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Samurai Warriors is a spinoff of Koei's Dynasty Warriors Hack and Slash, porting the gameplay elements to a new setting: the Sengoku period of Japanese history. The playable scenarios span fifty years of Japanese history, and playable characters include Oda Nobunaga, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Sanada Yukimura, Mitsunari Ishida, Miyamoto Musashi, Hattori Hanzo, Kotaro Fuma, and many more. It should be worth noting that each version loosely sticks to a certain time frame and focuses on specific moments: case in point, the first game is all over Nobunaga while the second game's primary focus are the events leading to Sekigahara, and the third appears to try to cover just about everything in-between.

Some of the playable battles:

  • September 10, 1561: The Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima: Takeda vs Uesugi
  • January 25, 1573: Battle of Mikatagahara: Oda vs Takeda
  • June 28, 1575: Battle of Nagashino: Oda vs Takeda
  • June 21, 1582: The Incident at Honnoji; Oda Nobunaga vs Akechi Mitsuhide
  • July 4, 1582: The Battle of Yamazaki: Akechi Mitsuhide vs Toyotomi
  • October 21, 1600: The Battle of Sekigahara: East (Tokugawa) vs West (Ishida)
  • Winter 1614 - Summer 1615: Siege of Osaka Castle: Tokugawa vs Toyotomi

-and many, many more

Some scenarios are "What if's," such as Nobunaga surviving Honnoji and uniting Japan, or Hideyoshi faking his death in 1598 and appearing at Sekigahara (both examples are their respective hidden "Dream Stage" battle). In other cases, some of the "Dream Stages" are just for fun, like Tadakatsu taking on all worthy warriors in a champion's tournament or Nohime and Oichi's beauty contest battle (made even funnier if played with the SW2: Xtreme Legends expansion).

The voice acting is goofy at times (witness Hideyoshi declare, "Let's make our enemies beg us for peace!" and Badass Honda Tadakatsu's borderline lisp), and the difficulty encompasses downright stupid allied NPC's and enemy officers who love to gang up on you* , but you'll learn something about Japanese history; just remember that Tokugawa Ieyasu did not actually fight the Battle of Sekigahara with a spear that shot cannon balls.

The series encompasses:

  • Samurai Warriors / Sengoku Musou (PlayStation 2, 2004)
  • Samurai Warriors: Xtreme Legends / Sengoku Musou Moushouden (PlayStation 2, 2004)
  • Samurai Warriors: State of War / Geki Sengoku Musou (PSP, 2005)
  • Samurai Warriors 2 / Sengoku Musou 2 (PlayStation 2, X360, 2006)
  • Samurai Warriors 2 Empires / Sengoku Musou 2 (PlayStation 2, X360, 2006)
  • Samurai Warriors 2: Xtreme Legends / Sengoku Musou 2 Moushouden (PlayStation 2, X360, 2006)
  • Samurai Warriors Katana / Sengoku Musou Katana (Wii, 2008)
  • Samurai Warriors 3 / Sengoku Musou 3 (Wii, 2009 [JPN], 2010 [US/EU]. PS3 version coming soon in 2011 [JPN], combining the contents of this and below.)
  • Samurai Warriors 3 Xtreme Legends / Sengoku Musou 3 Moushouden (Wii, 2010 [JPN])
  • Warriors Orochi / Musou Orochi (Dynasty Warriors Crossover; PC, PlayStation 2, PSP, X360, 2007)
  • Warriors Orochi 2 / Musou Orochi Maou Sairin (Dynasty Warriors crossover; PlayStation 2, X360, 2008)
  • Samurai Warriors Chronicles (Nintendo 3DS, 2011)
  • Sengoku Musou 3 Empires (PS3, 2011)
  • Warriors Orochi 3 / Musou Orochi 2 (Dynasty Warriors crossover; PS3, X360, 2012)
  • Sengoku Musou Chronicle 2 (Nintendo 3DS, 2012)
  • Samurai Warriors 4 / Sengoku Musou 4 (PS3, PS Vita, PS4, 2014)
  • Samurai Warriors Chronicles 3 / Sengoku Musou Chronicle 3 (3DS, PS Vita, 2014)
  • Samurai Warriors 4-II / Sengoku Musou 4-II (PS3, PS Vita, PS4, PC 2015)

See also Sengoku Basara - which is what many say these games would be like on crack.

Tropes used in Samurai Warriors include:

  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Western neophyte players in particular might just be surprised at how much of what's presented in these games is based closely on historical fact.
    • For example, the "star-crossed lovers" arc for Oichi and Azai Nagamasa? Yep, that one's out of Japanese history, as is her death at Shizugatake, albeit the game has her fighting alongside Shibata Katsuie, who was her husband both before and after Nagamasa, instead of committing seppuku with him.
  • Bottomless Magazines: All of the gun-type weapons have unlimited ammunition and don't need to be reloaded manually by the player (but there is a token effort at animating reloads during combos). Generic NPC riflemen reload between shots, though.
  • Camera Centering
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Somewhat justified in that this is a game that revolves around battles fought in feudal times, so it would be strange for there to be a particularly equal balance of the genders - indeed, that there are female characters taking part at all is, for the most part, unrealistic. On the other hand, it would take a Social Darwinist of Britannian proportions to claim that the upper classes ought to all be so damn pretty.
  • Catch Phrase: The characters' personal variations of "Enemy Officer Defeated".
  • Crossover: Pokémon Conquest, in the sense that the character designs for Nobunaga, Oichi, Mitsuhide, Shingen and Kenshin are all lifted directly from Samurai Warriors 3.
  • Elaborate Equals Effective: Played straight with the various weapons.
  • Escort Mission: Hampered by bad AI, par for the course with any others.
    • Particularly noticeable in the first game if playing on the Oda side at Honnouji as anyone except Nobunaga, as when he's a NPC he absolutely insists on killing any and all enemy peons in the way instead of high-tailing it to the escape point.
  • Flanderization: Par for the course with Koei and expanding character rosters.
  • Gary Stu/Mary Sue: Any given Edit Character can be seen as this but special mention has to go to the protagonists of Chronicles as everyone they meet can become a close friend (even romance is hinted with some characters), they lose very few battles and are considerred among the most important people of the era along with Nobunaga, Hideyoshi and Ieyasu.
  • Guide Dang It: Getting your ultimate weapons. All of them involve doing very difficult things at very specific points in the battle on Hard or greater difficulty. And there's no hint whatsoever in the game itself about what you're supposed to do.
    • 3 is a bit better about this: you just have to complete every (usually optional) tactical advantage objective in a certain battle on Hard or above. Which battle is still guesswork, however.
  • Hard Mode Perks: Like in Dynasty Warriors.
  • Historical Badass Upgrade: Most of the cast. Granted, some of those ancient warriors were actually pretty badass on their own....
  • Holler Button - The ability to summon a horse, exclusive to Keiji, Yukimura and Toshiie.
    • Made universal in the third installment. You can even summon a generic horse out of nowhere if you didn't start with one.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Yoshimoto Imagawa kicks a Kemari(ancient oriental soccer ball) in almost all of his moves. His main weapon is a simple cutlass/sabre though. Oichi uses a Kendama(child's puzzle toy) in her first appearances, but from the third game on, she switches to a bunch of barbed chakra. Shingen Takeda uses a fan. That one did actually occur historically, although only once, in a single incident.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Inverted as few characters use them.
  • Keystone Army: Scripted twists (such as body doubles and dramatic entrances) aside, as soon as the commander of the opposing force retreats clutching his side/keels over dramatically, the rest of his army beats it regardless of numbers.
    • Of course, with how many of them you were likely cutting down before defeating the commander, it's amazing they wait that long to get out of your sight.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: If you're not the one Leeroy-ing into the crowd, expect one or more of the AI-controlled officers to charge recklessly and then necessitate you bailing them out. There are even a few stages that penalize you for getting ahead of yourself.
    • And a very unusual case of the game forcing you into one: at the end of Yukimura's story mode, he decides the final battle a lost cause, the game invalidates the defeat conditions and declares everyone but you expendable, a path straight to the enemy camp (but swimming in enemy soldiers) opens up, and in SW3 your items are disabled. Why push you down the road of a totally reckless charge? Because historically, he actually did that.
  • Love Across Battlelines: Oichi and Nagamasa in some scenarios.
  • Miyamoto Musashi
  • Moving the Goalposts: Tachibana (of all people) pulls this on you in the third-to-last normal mission in katana. Never mind that the part up to it is a bit of a Guide Dang It as to how you're supposed to strafe, no, she wants you to defeat 30-ish enemies without any attack successfully landing on you. The enemies do include Kunai-throwing ninjas. Fortunately, she doesn't make you fight her without taking damage, saving it from becoming That One Level.
  • Multishot
  • Names to Know in Anime: Nobuyuki Hiyama voices Date Masamune AND Fuma Kotaro, once again proving that he's no Pigeonholed Voice Actor.
  • Name Order Confusion: The western releases are bad about this, as Koei's other games tend to have the the surnames first and given names second but in Samurai Warriors given names are written before surnames.
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: Justified as it's (mostly) based on historical events in 1500s Japan.
  • Ninja: Both peons and a few playable characters. See characters page.
  • No Export for You: Samurai Warriors 3 Z and Samurai Warriors 3 Empires.
  • Oda Nobunaga - A rather surprising Historical Hero Upgrade from the second game on (for certain values of hero, anyway).\
    • He gets some Troll and Jerkass tendencies by the time of Samurai Warriors 4 as a counterbalance, and is basically an Evil Overlord from any story perspective hostile to him.
  • Off-Model: A custom warrior using a moveset with a unique mounting animation can result in very obvious clipping into a horse's back if the models are of different size.
  • The Power of Friendship: Naoe Kanetsugu goes on at length about it. Several characters tell him to shut up. Get worse when this mutates into The Power of Love speeches in alter games.
  • Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner: As standard for a Warriors game, used for full effect during True Musou attacks.
  • Rail Shooter With A Katana: Samurai Warriors Katana for the Wii. We Are Not Making This Up.
  • Redshirt Army: Pretty much who you fight save for the occasional officers, most of which end up as merely Elite Mooks at best.
  • Sarashi: SW3/SW4 provides this in the form of the female Create a Warrior model who can have half a kimono top and a sarashi.
  • Serrated Blade of Pain: Ginchiyo Tachibana. All her weapons are barbed katana with a lightning motif.
  • Stock Ninja Weaponry: Hattori Hanzo wields a Kusarigama in battle. Other ninjas include Kunoichi and Nene (daggers) and Kotaro Fuuma (clawed gauntlets).
  • Sword And Gun: Common to have characters, Masumune Date especially, wielding both.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Tadakatsu, following up Lu Bu's tradition.
    • Naomasa Ii and Noboyuki/Yukimura Sanada get their own specific music for their moments of glory in SW4.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Some requests in Survival Mode contain stealth missions. Also, Sugoroku.
    • Magoichi occasionally has sniping missions.
    • Cannoneering sub-missions in the third game.
  • Variable Mix - The music gets really quiet when there aren't a lot of enemies around.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: This fluctuates with each game, but it keeps certain points very much intact - namely the deaths of Nobunaga, Mitsuhide, and Hideyoshi are always kept at when they're supposed to be, unless you're playing as them.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: Character creation is a feature of most games, especially SW4, which has a very robust character creator.
  • What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic - Again, those feathers Nobunaga (pitch black) and Mitsuhide (pure white) keep shedding all over the place.
  • What If: Some routes in some games are based entirely on hypotheticals and alternate viewpoints on historical events.
  • World Of Badass Ham: Par for the course for a Koei game.
  • You All Look Familiar: There are hundreds of generic NPC officers with nothing but names to differentiate them.