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  • Annoying Video-Game Helper: Olaf's snow powers can screw over allies as badly as they do enemies.
    • He also EXERTS this personality several times, notably the T-Minus 15 mission in AW2.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Whereas his predecessor Sturm was horribly overpowered, Von Bolt from Advance Wars: Dual Strike is barely above average at best and up against a roster full of new overpowered COs. Not to mention that the maps you battle him on are rather... pathetic, to the point where the last mission should have been called Mean To The End instead. Intelligent Systems learned from this and made doubly sure Caulder/Stolos from Days of Ruin didn't fall into the same pit trap.
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  • Awesome Music: Has its own page here.
  • Breather Level: Kanbei's Error in the first game, compared to the last two. Kanbei has a factory, but it's useless and his other troops are spread out far enough to be taken care of one at a time. It's not even that hard to control the required properties (unless it's on the Advanced Difficulty).
    • Sinking Feeling tends to be this compared to the rest of the Green Earth missions in the second game. The strategy is more freeform than the rest, and while there's a time limit, it's manageable. Lash's abilities aren't too useful to her since she only has immediate access to an airport (which don't benefit from terrain effects), making her a much easier opponent than Hawke.
  • Broken Base:
    • Whether or not the tone shift in Days of Ruin/Dark Conflict was a good idea or not. Opponents say it turned its back on the entire series' lighthearted spirit in favor of a Darker and Edgier retool, while proponents say that the change in tone, namely the fact that death and the horrors of war get taken seriously now, means that the new characters are far more relatable and interesting than the shallow, vaguely creepy implied sociopaths of the original series, and the proponents who have the American Days of Ruin specifically will often argue that, despite the Darker and Edgier tone, it's often a lot funnier than the original games.
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    • Over which of the American Days of Ruin or European Dark Conflict translation is better. Some people prefer the Woolseyism-filled script of Days of Ruin, while others prefer the more straight translation of Dark Conflict.
  • Character Tiers: Has them, as you might expect. Unlike a lot of games, though, its tier list generally goes from "average" to "Game-Breaker."
  • Complete Monster: From Advance Wars: Days of Ruin:
  • Contested Sequel:
    • Dual Strike comes off as one to Black Hole Rising, mostly due to the new characters being pretty scattershot and the gameplay a lot more broken.
    • Days of Ruin certainly evokes this. Some fans appreciated the deeper plot and the reduced emphasis on CO Powers and abilities, allowing tactical decision-making to return to the forefront of gameplay (especially welcome after the broken mess of CO Power spam that was Dual Strike) while others derided the game for straying too far from the original series with its Darker and Edgier setting, making it feel more like a cheap knockoff than a true sequel. Many of the latter camp even declared that it would be garbage, despite not knowing anything else about it.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Oozium in Dual Strike. Sure, their movement range is a whopping one, but that's all they need considering that they instantly destroy anything in their path. Even worse, they have Nigh-Invulnerability against indirects, and considering that their defense against direct attacks is itself pretty strong, you pretty much have no choice but to sacrifice an expensive unit in order to take it down.
    • Anti-Tanks in Days of Ruin. For starters, they're the only indirect unit in the entire series that can counterattack, and they hit like a dump truck. It says a lot when a tank at full health can challenge one and come out on the losing end. In case all that wasn't enough, they can also hit copters for some idiotic reasonnote  , neutering what would otherwise be a very cost-effective way of dealing with them. The best answer to them is, counter-intuitively enough, infantry... but given how squishy foot soldiers are to begin with, the odds are good that they'll be severely crippled if not outright dead by the time they're within striking distance. Once an army's captured enough properties to be able to afford them regularly (keep in mind they're cheaper than Medium Tanks despite being roughly equal in terms of firepower), Anti-Tanks end up rendering Artillery (formerly the most cost-effective indirect in the game) completely obsolete.
    • Pillboxes in the first Battalion Wars, Fighters and Strato Destroyers in Battalion Wars 2.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
  • Fandom Rivalry: One seems to have developed with Fire Emblem during the 2010's. Both are turn-based strategy games developed by Intelligent Systems, but after the release of Awakening, the Fire Emblem franchise exploded in popularity, getting a new (set of) game(s), a remake, two crossover spin-offs, and a mobile game. And during all of this, nothing new at all has developed for the Wars series, making fans feel left out in the cold while Nintendo focuses on milking its FE Cash Cow Franchise. Not helped by statements that Wars has been halted because the developers are unable to implement Fire Emblem's relationship mechanics into a new entry, and the introduction of squads of unnamed soldiers in Three Houses has angered Wars fans even further.
  • Fridge Logic: Orange Star is based on the USA. Nell is the Commander-in-Chief of OS. The Commander-In-Chief of the USA is the President...
    • By the same token, Hachi is apparently a former Commander-In-Chief of OS and is purposefully styled as a stereotypical, old-timey Japanese shopkeeper.
  • Game-Breaker: The series has its own page.
  • Good Bad Bug: Advance Wars has an enemy control glitch where, once the player has edit mode unlocked and goes on to lose training battle 11, they can now control the enemy in the story mode and end every battle on turn one by selecting the "Surrender" option (which, thanks to said glitch, counts as instant victory in the player's favor)
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • The 'Mech Rush' tactic from Advance Wars is based on this trope. In particular, Sensei's CO Powers — spawning Infantry or Mechs on every city he owns — can quickly drive opponents insane.
    • Colin, with his power to increase his funds by half every couple of turns on top of normal income and having cheaper units, can out Mech-Swamp even Sensei, and when partnered with Hachi or Sensei in Dual Strike, this is made even worse.
  • Growing the Beard: Famicom Wars, as well as the first few Game Boy Wars, were dreadfully slow affairs, with maps that were either horrifically imbalanced or quickly devolved into long, drawn-out stalemates. It wouldn't be until Advance Wars, released 13 years after the original, where both issues would be rectified and the series finally found its footingnote 
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The first Advance Wars game was released on September 10, 2001.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: One CO in Advance Wars Dual Strike, released in 2005, is first seen trying (and failing, because of the approaching battle) to catch up on her reading. Her name? Kindle.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Eagle and Hawke.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Andy doesn't know what an airport is.Explanation 
    • "I shall deploy a mountain of troops!"Explanation 
  • Moral Event Horizon: They probably crossed it a long time beforehand, but in-story, Waylon (on Greyfield's orders) crosses it by murdering Forsythe execution-style, in front of just about everybody, and keeps his smug-ass attitude rolling the whole time. Greyfield and Caulder followed by using a implied nuke to kill Brenner, not giving a damn about it killing their own men in the area.
  • Most Annoying Sound: The Black Hole Coming theme, which has a microphone feedback sound in the track.
  • Name's the Same: Yamamoto may refer to Mr. Yamamoto from Super Famicom Wars or Sensei's name in the Japanese versions of the Advance Wars games.
    • Although it is strongly suggested that Sensei was once an unbeatable CO, so it's not that much of a stretch to assume it was an intentional Shout-Out.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The Creeper in Days of Ruin. Lin, being how she is, makes it worse by theorizing whether the infected feel the roots moving just beneath their skin. Knowing the guy who created it, the answer is most likely yes.
    • Speaking of that guy, how about the extreme close up of him that shows up midway through the final mission, with him sporting an incredibly disturbing Slasher Smile? Worse, the Sound Room randomly cycles through the game's CG artwork, meaning it could show up again there when you least expect it! It's practically a Screamer.
    • Same game again: Lose Chapter 19. Gage tells everyone to escape without him as he is set upon by the crazed cultists. You don't see what happens, but you can sure imagine it.
    • A rare moment from one of the Lighter and Softer games, "Into the Woods" in Dual Strike. It's a Fog of War mission with none of the enemies visible from the start (and they won't be for several turns), leaving you to advance blindly through the woods as the enemy commander says it's time to use "that". As you get to the first clump of woods, you find out the hard way exactly what "that" is, in your first encounter with the above-mentioned Oozium. Anything they move over instantly dies and they take a ton of damage to kill. Oh, and the mission is set up so that your Megatank is extremely likely to be the first victim if you're going in blind. What's worse is that attacking Oozium charges the enemy Power meters rapidly, so you're likely to eat a Dual Strike soon after this. The whole mission feels like something out of a horror movie.
    • Oozium in general can be horrifying. As mentioned, they instantly kill any unit they touch, and given their high resistance to indirects, the player has to fight them up close, putting on a lot of pressure to kill them quickly. It's even scarier if they eat an infantry unit, since it basically means that the soldiers are getting eaten alive.
  • One-Scene Wonder: That poor IDS agent in Chapter 24, who is the only person to be aware that she's being commanded by a homicidal girl with a teddy bear or how doomed everyone is when an entire invasion force lands on a plane wing.
    "Sweet corn casserole! They have freakin' ROCKETS!"
  • Paranoia Fuel: Comes with the territory on Fog of War maps due to not being able to see where (or even what) the enemy army is, but it becomes doubly so if Sonja's your opponent. First, she hides her units' HP from the enemy - so, for instance, you can manage to whittle down one of her Md Tanks to 1 HP, and she'll pull it back out of sight on her turn. Next turn, your Recon moves up and spots a Md Tank resting on one of her cities. Is it the same Md Tank as before, attempting to heal up and ripe to be picked off with a cheap shot from a weaker unit... or is it a full-health one ready to rip anything attempting a cheap shot at it to shreds? Second, her CO powers allow her to see into hiding places from a distance, which means you'll always be walking on eggshells knowing that, at any time, Sonja can expose your army and leave them with nowhere to hide. Made even worse in Dual Strike, when her powers also remove the defensive bonuses said hiding places provide. Now not only are your units exposed, they're also in for a world of hurt.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • Von Bolt, who replaced Sturm. While Sturm was Purposely Overpowered and killed off in the previous game, Von Bolt is facing off against a new crew of broken COs and the maps where he's fought in the campaign often give him a disadvantage instead of you.
    • John/Jake replacing Andy as the main character. While Andy wasn't exactly the most interesting character in the world, a lot of people would prefer him over Jake's Jive Turkey routine any day. Jake's CO Powers aren't nearly as useful as Andy's, either.
  • Sequel Displacement: The original Advance Wars isn't spoken of nearly as often as Black Hole Rising — the latter's more interesting mechanics, better story, larger cast, and less unfortunate release date will do that.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: Though Von Bolt's considered a Replacement Scrappy for Sturm, those who hate Jake will probably love him for this remark to Jake in the final battle:
    Jake: Dude. You couldn't be more of a loser! You only care about yourself! You're not thinking about the land or anyone else. That kind of thing will only lead to your own destruction!
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: Chapter 19 in Days of Ruin. Desperate people infected with a horrific and terminal super-plague have turned to an abusive cult that promises magical miracle cures in exchange for their obedience. After unsuccessfully attacking the armed soldiers for "sacrifices" and their supplies at the cult leader's urging (who perishes in the attack), the survivors are told by the troops' doctor that, while science might work slowly and not tell them whatever they want to hear, they should trust it, not magic-peddling hucksters, for medical solutions, because science actually will solve their problems. This particular anvil falls on both religions that prey on desperate people's fears, and on alternative medicine generally.
  • That One Level: There's so many that the turn-based games have their own page.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Isabella's theme in Days of Ruin, despite the Darker and Edgier setting. That doesn't mean the song isn't good. As it's a song from Advance Wars, it pretty much has to be really good.
    • Sasha's theme from Dual Strike is very similar, though this time it doesn't clash with the setting.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Missiles in Advance Wars are powerful Anti-Air units, but the high mobility of air units and their limited range meant one is better served building Fighters (excellent range) and/or Anti-Air Tanks (cheaper, nearly as powerful, not limited to fighting aircraft). Days of Ruin gave them increased range, making them much more viable.
    • Non-B-copter aircraft and navies (and by extension, characters who use those mechanics) can get this, due to being perceived as way too expensive and way too easy to counter.
    • Indirect units as a whole become this in Dual Strike. Due to Tag Breaks and Dual Strikes increasing the pace of the game dramatically, luring the enemy into firing range is no longer as effective as it used to be (it's much more effective to rush in and lay down the hurt with direct attackers, and use your enemy's attacks to feed your power meters so that you can Tag Break and lay down even more hurt). This makes indirect specialists like Grit all but useless, especially on maps with Airports as Black Bombs will ruin their day.
  • Woolseyism:
    • Most of the CO names in the English localizations.
    • Particularly Days of Ruin/Dark Conflict: Nearly every name (and themes), many missions, several units (sometimes contradicting the same unit name in earlier games) and the entirety of the script differ due to an independent European localization. The European version is closer to the original Japanese, for better or worse, but the American version has its defenders, arguing that the localized rather than straight-translated script gives the characters more personality and works better for the English-speaking ear.

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