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Welcome! Entry for random comments!

Welcome to my blog and feel free to leave any comments!

I’ve finally decided to do an introduction entry and this also serves as an entry where you can put in random comments (this entry will remain at the very top). I like people leaving me comments, but it get a bit annoying when I have a totally random comment on my fan fiction or other review entries. Because when I see that some one left a comment on these entries (which take time to write) I’ll really look forward to what people think of that piece of writing, and to see that it just a random ‘hi’ does make me feel a bit disappointed. Yet I do like random comments.

So this is why I have this entry. Lastly- for people who often come to my blog: please tell me how you managed to stumble onto my blog! I am just very curious about this!

Lastly, I don’t like using life journal cut that much, so I probably won’t put something under life journal cut unless it is really long. But to my defence: I have a summary bar which prevents you from having to spot the title by having to scroll down a lot of times.


PS: If you want to friend me then please tell me because I don’t always notice when people add me as their friend even though I love expanding my F-list. Chances are I will add you back.

Haruka 2 game dialogues

Fan fiction links

Haruka

Prince of tennis

Fushigi Yugi

Other anime/manga

Other computer games
Hetalia

Asaki Yumemishi- additional thoughts

I replayed Rurou’s route in the second game because I want to see if I understand a bit more and because I want to drool at Hosoya-san’s voice. One of my favourite bits in the whole game is actually when he tells her and Takatora that it is the full moon. I just love that bit. But because of that, I ended up replaying part of the first game and I have to say…why on earth did I not notice how scary the game is when I played it? There were actually moments when I wanted to close the game as it was suddenly really scary.

In one of the bad endings, Saiya will be killed by Ichito and prior to that she would have a nightmare that is a bit like a premonition of what would soon happen. The way that the screen would be splattered with blood and then with the PC describing what happened in short sentences, rather, short words. Like this: “My feet…it hurts…what is it…no…go away…”

As each word is quick to appear and immediately replaced by the next, along with the flashing screen that is already covered with blood, the overall effect is really scary. They really convey how the scared PC must have had been. It didn’t help that we only get a brief moment of thinking that it is okay before Ichito come and killed her. And seeing him through the screen dyed by blood with his evil smile is super scary.

His other bad ending is really scary too. In one of it, he’ll capture the PC and place her under a spell. Due to the way the screen would distort in its colour, it has a really scary affect. As you are seeing, but not quite seeing. Put into context with how the PC can no longer move and is basically a toy to Ichito…it is enough to make you want to close the game due to being afraid at what would come out next.

In conclusion…do not play at night time.

But I am still really pissed at how they never quite explained Ichito’s story. Namely, the relationship with Futaba. Because from the hints, it is actually a really fascinating story. And given what had happened between them, you would think that they could at least let him see her one last time. Well, even her gender is not specific but it seems a feminine name. As I said before, I think she is his sister, as he talks about family member more then romantic love. Although now that I think about it, when Aya tell him that he is going to the underworld to welcome her back like a father for the mother, I suddenly realise that isn’t this a really good comparison to the story of Izanami and Izanagi? The crazy idea of this then come: could it be that this is the specific comparison? That Ichito and Futaba are siblings, yet lovers. Because that could be an explanation of why they committed their crime. Also, there is many implication of how he fell from the right path. That could be why and it might also be this that caused them to commit even more crime. Initially, I always thought the right path was just his attempt of challenging the gods, but maybe it goes beyond that.
I swear that my liking for characters is getting more and more cynical. Samurai Warriors is a really good example as I like people who are willing to do what is necessary for survival (Eg.Masamune) and I dislike people who goes on about an ideal and all that (eg. The justice trio). In the past, I would be the opposite. Although I like Motochika, but then he is willing to put aside what he wants to do in order to do what is necessary for his people. But even he didn’t, I don’t think I would dislike him, and I think the reason would be because he is willing to admit that his ideals would cause harm to many. I hope that they do Samurai Warriors 5 (it is also due to a very selfish reason that if Nouhime or Koshoushou have a nice out fit then I can cosplay as them). Much to my surprise, I actually really like Koshoushou. Yes, I don’t like her design re the hair, but her character is written that well, so that I don’t care about her hairstyle, I still like her.

But if they do a fifth game, the character that I most want to see the most is Chousokabe Morichika. Motochika’s fourth son who ended up being the head of the clan. Not only is there the issue of how he ended up being the heir, he is also someone who had very prominent role in the battle of Osaka. Apparently, he did super well in that last battle and would have killed Takatora if his allied didn’t end up being in trouble. Also, he was exiled after Seikigahara. I think it would be interesting to see his view- how he felt being the heir and then how he would have felt given that he was exiled from the province that his family managed to keep when his father was the one that actually managed to conquer the whole island.

The second person that I want to see is Megohime, because she and Masamune were married when they were really young, so it would be interesting to see their relationship and interaction. Also, since they married so young, it would not be unreasonable for her to come out beside Masamune, who is portrayed as someone very young in the games.

In regard to the game, there is actually a special game that is made for Yukimura that is ked to last year’s Taiga drama (and am super glad they did not have Kiri in it). From the review I have seen of it, I can safely say that I would not buy it. Firstly, I have never really liked Yukimura much and in the fourth game, I feel that he is just this selfish person who want to do what he wants without thinking of the consequences, and to make it worse, any that does not agree with this he would simply label them as wrong, including his own brother. As I have said before, my feelings in regard Yukimura and the battle of Osaka is what Magoichi said in the third game, it is time to grant him his death wish.

But in the fifth game, there is this whole focus on Yukimura and Chacha, and it almost seems as if the whole reason he is doing this is not for the Toyotomi, but for Chacha. This I don’t really mind because I feel that even in the original game, it was never so much about the Toyotomi, but just whatever Yukimura wishes. The idea of honour due to the action, not so much the purpose. So if his actions are due to Chacha, that would not be so surprising.

But one thing about the fifth game that really put me off is that this whole thing seems to be due to Chacha, that she seem to be this Mary Sue. To be honest, this should not be surprising, because I feel that Oichi has always been darting in that category. I feel that due to the way everybody love Oichi and speak of her in such a way, it almost makes her a Mary Sue. The fact that she is not is truly something that KOEI did really well, as they did manage to achieve this delicate balance. However, I think what made Chacha into this is that there is this whole idea of protecting her with the Toyotomi when in the game, she has pretty much nothing to do with the Toyotomi. Historically, Chcha/Yodo-dono is the mother of Hideyoshi’s only son, and this is the guy that you always have to fight in the battle of Osalka. Protecting Chacha links to the survival of the Toyotomi because she is the mother of the remaining heir of Hideyoshi. Therefore, the others are protecting her because of her son, her son being the child of Hideyoshi. Before, this has always been something that KOEI sort of ignored, because even though we know that Hideyoshi did not have any children with Nene but Hideyoshi had a son, obviously with another, this was never specifically said. Likewise, Nobunaga obviously had sons with other woman, but the sons are just present without any concubines, as Nouhime is the only wife. The sons are just always present as the other’s son without their mother being mentioned in anyway, they are just there.

However, by having Chacha actually present, this is not something that can just be ignored. KOEI basically had to make a choice and they actually choose to idealise history by not mentioning that Chacha became Hideyoshi’s concubines. Yes, Hideyoshi would look after her because she is Oichi’s daughter and Nobunaga’s niece, and that was actually the excuse that he used before he married her. However, it did not make sense if he did not marry her and she did not have his children, that the rest of his clan continue to look after her in such an important way after Hideyoshi is gone. Instead, the game pretty much made it as if she is the cause of everything, that battle of Osaka results in protecting her. This does not make sense because by this point, I doubt that Chacha could actually threaten Ieyasu’s rule, and even if for some reason it does, it does not make sense for the rest of the Toyotomi to protect her in such a way.

Speaking of this, it is necessary to mention Kai-hime and the discussion in regard to this. Historically, Kaihime actually becomes one of Hideyoshi’s concubine, and this does not seem to be the case in the game. In the game, it seems that she just simply choose to work for the Toyotomi due to her own reason. My take on this is that she probably married one of Hideyoshi’s relatives or his higher ranked retainers. Yes, this is the same as idealised history, but Kaihime not being Hideyoshi’s concubine does not matter as much as Chacha not being the concubine. As I have seen this being pointed out in reviews, Kaihime’s main importance in history is that she was the one that defended her city heroically. This is the legend that is associated with Kaihime. In addition, she did not give Hideyoshi any children, so whether she becomes his concubine or not actually would not result in any drastic changes in history. Chacha, however, is pretty much important for being the one that actually gives Hideyoshi sons (one died in his infancy) and this is important because it is this that influenced Hideyoshi’s numerous actions.

Martyr syndrome

I must first mention that this is not a reference to real martyrs, who are amazing people that truly fights for their belief and faith, but for people who thinks that they are one when they are not. This is referring to those people who keep on complaining that they are the only one who does all the work and how they are never acknowledged. I am sure that we all, at one stage of our life or the other, have met one of these people.

The reason I ended up discovering is this was due to me goggling ‘people who think they are a martyr’ and this is due to the last manager who I worked with (the one who caused me to have a depression). This is because she basically keep on going on about how she is doing more work and that to train me is a big sacrifice, and keeping me is a great sacrifice. I am the first to admit that I am not the best worker, but I am certainly not someone who deserve to be constantly put down and mentally beaten up. I remember once I was trying to talk to her about the fact that the work load is getting to an insane level (my work hours were 9am to 6pm and by NZ law, you actually should have an hour break. However, I was ending up working from 9am to 7pm, with only a half hour break). I can’t remember exactly what happened but I think she was saying that I should give more, so I told her that I am already sacrificing a lot, such as there are expenses I don’t claim for myself because the red tape is not worth it. At this, she immediately talk about how she doesn’t (because no one is allowed to suffer something she is not).

So due to me goggling I ended up finding that this is an actual mental illness, and this is pretty much my manager does. She love talking about the sacrifices she made for the company and doing a poor me. So it seems that I am not the only one with mental problem in that department. I am much better now since working with her is basically pretty much what triggered me to feel depressed, so removing myself from that situation helps, but there are still a lot of times when I feel really bad.

But this entry is not about this. I had a read about the martyr syndrome and it is pretty interesting. Well, interesting as in the sense of making you (if you have worked with one) connect the dots.

Definition: Person with martyr syndrome puts everyone else’s need above his or her own so that he or she can suffer for the sake of others and thus give his or her life meaning. However, people with martyr syndrome often suffer needlessly while expecting those around them to shower them with affection because of their sacrifice.

Signs

  • The person often complains that their selflessness goes unacknowledged. Feel their sacrifices are under appreciated.

  • Often talk about how difficult life is as they sacrifice so much for others.

  • Person often remind people they make sacrifice and that they deserve acknowledgement and appreciation. Any slight display of attitude that they regard as less then respectful will be seen as insult. The person will get offended easily.

  • Person often talk highly of themselves and talk about themselves as one who choose to sacrifice for a noble cause.

  • Person expects everyone to shower her with sympathy. Want their sacrifice to be admired.

  • Will refuse assistance or deem help received as insignificant. Emphasise they are the one to bear the burden

  • Have little or no life outside work. Often the last one to leave

  • People with the symptom believe that the company will crumble without them.


As I look at this, I can see a lot of the symptom that my last manager had and I wish that I noticed these red flags earlier. The truth is that there were a lot of other signs that I should have picked up. Such as when she said (with great pride) about how her management style is that of a micromanager. But I didn’t actually know that micromanagement meant until I ended up getting a first hand experience in regard to it. Prior to that, I have never been that situation.

If you have the misfortune of working with one, I would like to offer this advice that I saw on the net: when they talk about how they sacrifice everything for work, remember that this is not the norm. You should not be sacrificing your for your work unless maybe this is your company, but even then, there should be a limit. I know that this seems obvious, but the problem when you work with someone so toxic like that for a long time is that you often forget what the norm is. In my last job, I was at the stage when I felt bad at leaving at six (my actual time where I finish work) when this is actually the norm.
 

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Samurai Warriors 4: Chronicle events

This is in 4 and not 4-II which I think is a bit of a pity, because I really like this. At the very least, I wished that they would give a special downloadable context for Naomasa, since he was the additional character in 4-II. I would even be willing to pay for it.

The idea of the chronicle event is that you play as an original PC, and you actually get to create their appearance. This bit is quite fun because you can choose the costume, the hairstyle, and even the facial experience. Since this is Sengoku Musou, you even get to pick their kanji for true musou. I also like the family emblem being a decoration that you can have. (I started of as Saitou, although my next PC then was from the Chousokabe clan). Unfortunately, this is only a decoration, it won’t result in any acknowledgment from the relevant members of the clan. (In empire, they even one-up this by letting you have the ability to choose who your father is, although there was no reaction either).

Basically the PC start of taking a commission from one of the regional lords, and this really just affect cut scene and where you start off on the map. All the leaders would ask you to travel across the country and collect stories of the heroes. Depending on who you choose, the reason would be different, and it would also affect where you start off on the map. As you travel across the map, you will bump into characters in the game and often have to fight. Once they reach a certain amount of affection for you, you can take them with you as you fight. Each character has 4 cut scenes, and in general you get two different options in each scene.

I picked Masamune, so I quickly met him and Kojuurou, along with Kanetsugu and Kenshin. So it was quite easy for me to travel downwards and meet new people.

For many characters, the fourth cutscene reflect in some sort of declaration, although you could still face them in battle. But this bit was done quite well, because what they say when they encounter you would actually be different. Masamune would comment that he does not need this additional feeling, which clearly means that he is affected. Nouhime would tell you that she won’t hold back even if it is you. But the one that I remember the most is actually Sasaki Kojirou, as he will say (quite sadly) that this must be what it feels like to cut down someone you care about.

I think there are two ways to advance to the next/final phase. You either unlock all the four events of the playable samurai warriors characters (people like Masamune, Nouhime etc), or you unlock the biographies of the NPC (which is much harder). Chances are, the first way would be easier and quicker. Once that happen, you can return to where you started of and the said person would give you a final battle. Afterwards, you get a final cut scene.

I have to say, with the exception of Masamune, everyone else kind of just go “Good night and thank you”. For some people they even point out that you probably are really eager to continue your wandering. Masamune is the only person who actually offers you employment.

One of the really good part about chronicle is that regardless of which fraction you start of with, the moment that you finish, you unlock all the cut scenes of the other fractions, so you don’t have to restart the whole thing to see what it would be like if you had accept a commission from another fraction. I find the ending cut scene for Shikoku very interesting, because it is in two parts. The PC will say goodbye to Gracia and Mitsuhide, and then goes to find Motochika playing his shamisen, who tells her that everyone have their different song and just as she will continue travel, he will continue playing his shamisen.

As there are a lot of character, I am not going to talk about their events one-by-one, I’ll just talk about specific ones that interest me. I also use she and her for my PC, since I played a female character. The list is in no particular order.

A small side note, I am aware that mochi, steamed bun and manjou are different things, but due to this being quite hard to convey in English and the fact that I can’t remember exactly what translation was used, there might be a slight inconsistency at times.

Yukimura
At the beginning, Yukimura would actually be a bit ‘blond’, as that is the only word I can think of to describe him, although the PC uses odd. Yukimura would try to look for his headband even though it was on him, say he can hold his drink and then pass out after one cup. Later on, Nobuyuki would tell the PC that there are times when he can’t tell which is the real Yukimura. Afterwards, the PC will ask Yukimura about this and if you ask him whether his previous behaviour were an act, he would say that this is because he thought the PC like someone a bit odd. But if you just ask tell him that you want to see the real Yukimura, he would say that this is who he is. Regardless of what you choose, he would declare that he like you. Initially, I just thought that this was a classic case of the guy trying to be the type that the girl want, but my sister point out that it could be a deeper psychological issue. I think she is probably more right then me.

Nobunaga
Nobunaga’s events are quite interesting, and I think they give a more detailed insight to his character. The PC will meet Nobunaga during a failed assassination attempt (by others) and his reaction is actually to laugh about it. He would say: “Laugh at the chaos before us, even as we trample and destroy it.” He definitely is someone that wants to put an end to this chaos, just that he believes that it has to be done by power.

In the next event, the PC will meet him during a festival and he will use this as an extended metaphor: “This whole world is a festival. When that passion dies, it will mark its end. So we must have fun! If we must live, then we must make the festival enjoyable. I wait for the coming of one such as this. If they appear, then I shall die, and they shall live.” Not only does this show his character, his determination to do what he wants, it also shows his acceptance of losing what he has. I think it is the idea that everything is fleeting, and he knows that one day he will lost what he has. I always think of how he would walk back to the burning temple in Honnoji, even when some of the versions suggest that he actually has a chance of leaving. There is a sense of he knows that it is time to end it, and he would choose it to be this very moment.

In the third event, the PC would talk about how Nobunaga has been making many enemies. Nobunaga will comment that he does not wish to hold back, as doing so would be like living without value, meaning that he would also die without this. Shibata will tell the PC that Nobunaga is like that, always charging his way forward, even if it will cause danger, and his retainers feel that they have no choice but to follow him. Shibata would actually say that Nobunaga’s reign would probably be quite short, as well as commenting that Nobunaga is always acting alone. This is actually true because ultimately, Nobunaga is merely doing what he wants. Even though a part of him does also want to end the chaos, I think a large part of this is motivated by his own desire, not so much in a desire to create a better world.

Nobunaga’s final event is very interesting. He will actually tell the PC that she is beautiful and he wants her to be right beside him. This is almost like a love declaration, I think this is what he feels toward Nouhime.

Magoichi
Magoichi is probably the only guy that has his event dependent on your PC’s gender. If you are a female, he basically tires to flirt with you every time he can, but is constantly interrupted. In the final cut scene, he’ll even yell out that he knows someone is going to interrupt him, so they might as well get it over with.

Takeda Shingen
At first, he’ll get the PC to be one of his spies (what the guy is famous for), only to declare out that he will join her in the travel, as he is only a body double. The two of them would create a code. But one day, when the PC watches the real Takeda Shingen speak, he will sudden do the code, revealing that the PC has met the real person all along. I do find the ending quite cute.

Masamune
Once again, I want to point out that he is the only leader who actually asks the PC to stay with him. This is not fully related, but I want to point this out.

Masamune’s route focuses on the idea of family. It will start with him looking at two brothers riding on one horse, saying that they will make good soldiers. Later on, he’ll ask the PC what she thinks about one’s parents.

In the third event, he’ll tear off a scroll/painting and give half of it to the PC and keep the other half. As the painting is quite expensive, she would examine some sort of a shock. At this, he would say the following: “Any thing with form eventually breaks. Be it a scroll, a tea cup, anything. There are many things that are far more important. Yet people become fixated on objects. This is the nature of man, I suppose…yet isn’t it also sad? If this bonds us together more strongly, I don’t care what it costs.” I do find this event really sweet, although I can’t help but to wonder: did he say this if he accidentally broke some thing valuable of Kojuurou’s?

The final scene has him watching the two brothers riding on one horse again. The PC would say the following: “Masamune had a loud quick temper, but was actually very emotional, and wanted peace more than anyone. More than anything, he was desperate for the love of family.” After this, the two of them would ride one horse together, just like the two brothers. Depending on what the PC choose, Masamune might even ask her whether she is trying to imitate the two brothers, and then comment that if she does consider her as his family, then she better hold on.

Nouhime
I don’t fully get Nouhime’s route, but she will talk about how with Nobunaga, there are times when she feel that she is losing herself, having changed a lot due to him. It is actually because of this that made me wonder whether Hanbei’s words of how Nouhime was changed so drastically by Nobunaga is accurate.

Hattori Hanzou
At one of the earlier cut scenes, he would be instructing one of Ieyasu’s sons. Most likely the third, as he is called Saburou. However, in his final cut scene, Saburou has been ordered to die. I don’t know if this is meant to reflect what happened with his first son, who Nobunaga ordered to die due to Nobunaga’s daughter (Ieyasu’s daughter-in-law) having accused them of being traitors, or whether this is due to something else. But I choose to let my PC be the one that does it, and Hattori Hanzou would say that he can never forget this, even as he wiped the blood off her face.

Mitsunari
Mitsunari’s event really show how is he is someone nice, but due to not being good at expressing his feelings, seems otherwise. However, the chronicle events end quite nicely for him, because he will ask the PC to stay with him, even hugging her. He would be able to create a town where everyone is happy, as that is one of his dreams. But I think the chronicle event show that if you get a chance to know him, then he is pretty decent, as he is considerate of the PC’s feeling.

Ginchiyo
My thoughts: “The mochi is round, it is really round”, and “Ginchiyo is this kind of person?” I think her events are something that needs to be seen to be appreciated…

Kanetsugu
At one point, Kanetsugu would say that Masamune invited him to a tea ceremony with the intention of mocking him since he knew Kanetsugu does not know the necessary manners. Therefore, he will take the PC with him, and imitate what the PC does. If the PC does not do it correctly, Kanetsugu will actually accidentally break Masamune’s cup, causing Masamune to yell out that the cup is really expensive (But Masamune, what about the scroll you ripped in two? And didn’t you say that all things that have a form eventually break and people shouldn’t become fixed on them?)

Fuma Kotorou
His route is basically him finding a new dog, and that is actually what he says in the game. He describes the PC as a puppy. At one of his events, he is even looking after a dog, saying he just can’t abandon it. His final event has him saying that he will continue to watch over her until she dies. If this is anyone else other then him then it will be the case of “Stalker…”

I still find it hard to believe that he is voiced by Hiyama-san too, and this is actually still Hiyama-san using the same voice (although this is quite like Hikitsu in Genbu Kaiden and Tachibana in Love Revolution). Totally random but there is a scene in one of the life drama where Hiyama-san will imitate Motochika and Imagawa’s voice.

Motochika
Motochika’s route involve the idea of how this is a dangerous time, where you have to trust no one, as anyone could lie to you. He will say this in the beginning: Doubt everything, and resist everything. The only thing you can rely on, in the end, is yourself.” I am actually really surprised that he did not once mention Mitsuhide, or have the other coming out.

It starts with him tricking an enemy into letting his guard down due to disguising he and his men as member of a feast. To illustrate his point further, he will offer the PC a red bean bun that is actually filled with chilli. If she tries to eat it, Goemon would. But if she refuses, Motochika would reveal what it is, then eat it, reminding her that she need to be careful. This event is a bit evil, because the historical character is famous for an event relating with steamed bun/manjou. This took place sometime after Shikoku surrendered, when he was at a feast held by Hideyoshi. He would be given a steamed bun and after a bite, he would say that he wish for his family retainers to eat this too. So when I saw the event, I thought that he is giving me something nice.

In his final event, the two of them would be at a sumo match, only to realise that this is a trap held by his enemy. The PC would escape to get help, and then return to find him gone. However, he will then submerge from the ocean, revealing that he was hiding in there. He would comment that hiding in the water for a long amount of time is easy, since he used to swim from Shikoku to Kyoto (is this guy Ranma’s ancestor? Is he going to swim to China too?)

Sasaki Kojirou
Much to my surprise, I actually ended up really liking this guy’s events. I feel that the PC and him genuinely got close due to travelling together. His events in chronicles might even be responsible for me liking him as a character. The PC actually meets him, Musashi, Goemon and Okuni soon after she accepted the commission from the leader, and they would be one of the first NPCs that would join her on her trip. But chronologically, the timeline does not make sense, as the people you meet cannot exit in the same time.

The first event has the PC asking about his make up, and he will tell her that the person underneath the make up is actually dead. After this, he will then say that he want to talk about something happy with her. I feel that the amazing thing about his route is that even though he is pretty crazy and trigger happy, you can tell that he actually genuinely cares for the PC, and the two of them does seem quite happy together.

The second event have Munenori talking to the PC, asking her whether Kojiirou would be able to cut a rock in half, an indication of skills. A really nice part is that Munenori will describe Kojirou as the PC’s friend. Kojiirou would show the PC that he can when she asks, and the two of them then walk away, deciding to have tea together. But Munenori was actually watching, would comment that it is the same style of the young lord from the Kyushu uprising.

The next event start of with the PC overhearing two rounin wishing to rebel, and saying that their young lord has changed his name to Kojiirou. This would lead to the PC asking Kojiirou about his past, and he would reveal it. Apparently, his family were lords in Kyuushu who rebelled. After his family died, he escaped and wanted a new life. The ruler of the time is actually Ieyasu, which is why I say that the timeline is not meant to make sense. In addition, I think this is something that is created for the game, because not much is known about the real Sasaki Kojirou’s early life.

The final event has Kojirou telling the PC that Musashi has agreed to fight him, and if the PC asks him to run away with her afterwards, he would agree, saying that he is getting too much exposure lately. However, the event would end with the grim reminder that he would soon die after the duel, possibly assassinated.

Out of all the characters, I feel that this is the closest to a love declaration due to the promise of running away with the PC afterwards. This is almost like a very mini route. I actually immediately see this as a possible fan fiction setting. The PC was giving a commission and on her way, she met him. Due to her unconventional life, they ended up caring for one another and planned to be together once they each finish their unfinished business. I suddenly even envision a love triangle between the PC, Kojirou and Musashi. After Kojirou’s death due to Musashi’s student, the PC would angrily ask Musashi whether he really did not realise what his student was planning.

Kiyomasa
The PC will find a dog and Kiyomasa will end up building a home for the dog. Kiyomasa would end up adopting the dog due to being reminded of how he was abandoned and then took in by Hideyoshi. The final event actually takes place after quite sometime, as the puppy has grown up and gave birth to her own puppies. The final event is really cute, as he would talk about how he plans to build a castle, and almost asks the PC to live with him.

Kanbei
His first event is him giving money to someone who is poor without demanding a return. I think this shows that in a way, he is quite similar to Mitsuanri in that he is actually really nice, but is not very good at conveying himself. This would actually be pointed out by Takakage. Takakage’s brief sentence probably summarised his character perfectly: “Master Kanbei is wise, but he can hurry too quickly to the truth, and injure people along the way.”. However, I think the difference between him and Mitsunari is that he is better at looking after himself, as he prevents himself from being in such a position. There is also the fact that he is not idealistic.

I quite like how Takakage and Hanbei would make a guest appearance in his events, although Kanbei would complain that they are being too nosy in his home. But it seems he is surprisingly good with children, as children would often play in and near his house. In one of the cut scene in the main game, it would be revealed that children often like to play around him when he was retired.

In the final cutscene, Mitsunari would want to discuss an emergency when Kanbei was playing a game of go with the PC. Kanbei would refuse, telling the PC that Mitsunari tend to exaggerate about the importance of an issue, and he doesn’t want to just leave when he is in the company of a good friend like the PC.

Kai
Kai’s route is really cute, as she will decide to participate in a tournament for females. She’s quite upset at how everyone make fun of her as a bear despite how much she take care of her appearance, so she might as well be known as the strongest instead of the prettiest. Kai would do so well in the tournament, that the PC would have to fight her. Even though Kai loses to the PC, she is still really happy due to their friendship.

I can see why Kai would be misunderstood though, because there’s this scene in Odawara when she yelled out: “Be prepared for complete defeat!”, where she is really scary.

Motonari
Haraguroi. I don’t think there is any doubt that Motonari is this, but his events probably cement this even more. The PC would find him talking about…surprise, surprise! His three arrows story. You can have the choice of breaking or not breaking the three arrows. But even if you try to break it, it will not work, because he actually put iron rod in there.

Motonari-san…isn’t that defying the point of the story?

Takatora
This guy is tsundare (and I am starting to think that his friend is yandare). But I actually really like Takatora’s route, it is one of the routes where the importance of the PC to him is very clear.

His route starts off quite darkly, as he would comment on how people can be replaced so easily. In fact, his first event is called dispensable. He compares himself to a hand towel, and given what he said- how they don’t cost and you use them while they last. It is pretty grim.

His second event has a change of mood though. He would talk about how he dislike steamed bun and one of the worst fate would be for him to be surrendered by them. The PC would buy a lot of manjou and goes to see him, and he will ask her to eat them with her. The game even describes him as having a rare smile. The scene is actually quite cute, because you can see that what he wants is to have a lunch date with the PC (although not only was he being tsundare, he also made the girl pay…)

His third event has him asking the PC to join him when he is trying to look for a site for a castle. He would talk about how a castle is important, comparing it to a warrior’s world. However, he then adds that a castle should not allow anyone inside. Once again, the metaphor makes the event quite grim. However, when the PC injured herself on the way down, he would actually carry her down.

His final event is a really nice ending, and his events are almost like a mini route. His final event is called indispensable. The two would be in a battle and when Takatora injured, the PC would go and save him despite the danger. They will manage to defeat the enemies together and Takatora would be really happy at the realisation that he has become important to the PC.

Hisahide
Hisahide is a very interesting character, especially in chronicles. In the main game, he just goes around saying that he is the greatest evil, but there are times when he would make really good points. As a result, I think he is actually quite a complex character. It is even more so here.

When the PC first meets him, he has a bell cricket with him. He will tell the PC that the cricket has lived longer then expected, and linked this to the life span of men. At that time, there is the idea of the average life span being fifty, and this is also famous attributed to Nobunaga. However, Hisahide will say this: “Fifty years? Hah! We could live three times that long. Yet we rush into death in battle, neglect our health, become sick with worry, and pointlessly shorten our lives! What a waste!” It is just such a perceptive comment and not something I would have expected from him.

In the second event, he would be giving out food to the poor. Once again, not something that one expect from him. He would explain that he does this as a way to critisise the idea of justice- that people who does not work should not eat. He then says this: “Watch out for ‘justice’. Justice can be used to make excuses, control you, and dominate your fate.” Once again, a very perceptive insight.

The third event has them meeting Ieyasu, who reveals his fear of spider. I would have thought that he would laugh at Ieyasu, but he actually say (to the PC) that this is normal, as most people are afraid of something. Later on, he would actually pat the PC’s head and describe her as cute due to being honest in her praise of him. He will say this: “How cute, how cute. So honest, so straightforward. Being dumb is actually a virtue. It also concerns me a little, though. It can even be dangerous. I’ll be here to help you, so don’t ever change.” I was really shocked by his words. It is not so much due to the affection he shows for the PC, although that is quite cute, but that he actually told her that she does not have to change. Given that the PC is presented as someone who is very different from him, he actually can accept who she is, and does not try to affect her in anyway.

Historically, Hisahide is also one of the two that burnt down Todaji, that other being Taira no Shigehira. However, it seems that Shigehira is condemned for it more. I guess it is partly due to the fact that he might have caused innocent people to die, and also, the Heian time was not prepared for this kind of thing. A bit of the case of “We are lucky that only one temple got burnt” Vs “Oh my gosh, a temple is burnt!”

Kagekatsu
It’s quite funny to use Kanetsugu and Kagekatsu in a battle, because one is so loud, and the other is the opposite. In fact, you can always tell when Kanetsugu is near, because he is just really loud and speaks a lot. (In Sengoku Lovers, Kanetsugu would be talking about how great Kenshin is and this scene would happen. Kenshin: “Kanetsugu.” Kanetsugu: “Yes, dono? I’ll do anything for dono.” Kenshin: “Can you stop talking for a while?”)

I actually really like Kagekatsu, because unlike his mother and uncle, he doesn’t claim that he is the one that is right or just.

Kagekatsu’s events show how he is often misunderstood due to his face being quite frightening. It even caused one of his retainers to jump into the lake due to thinking that the other was angry. His final event is really nice, as he would tell her that he is not good with spending time with woman, but he is really happy that he is with her.

Takakage
Takakage’s event started of a bit randomly due to him asking you a riddle, but I guess I should be glad that he is not talking about the three arrows.

Takakage’s weapon is actually a sword and a book, and he is constantly reading. Although unlike his father, he doesn’t write. But Motonari clearly affects him as he would say that books that are long (what Motonari write) are amazing. He even says the equivalent of how it is about quantity not quality (in modern time, he’ll probably be the guy carrying around a copy of the complete work of Shakespeare). One of his events actually has him being in pain due to lacking a book to read. When the PC lends him a book to read, he will declare her out to be his saviour.

His final event is quite cute. He clearly likes the PC by this time, as he is not able to concentrate on reading when she is there. He would admit that he is not good at saying what he is feeling.
 

Angle Heart – TV Drama,Spectre

These are both long overdue entry that I had in my file for ages, but kept on forgetting to put up.

Angle Heart – TV Drama

I first read the manga by chance and I actually like the story, although my problem is that the story is a bit too male oriented at times. That is probably why I like the anime more. But when I saw there was a drama, I decided to watch it.

I really like it and I thought the amazing part is how they changed it without making it into a change. When I watched the first episode I was quite shocked and disappointed that there wasn’t the issue of her being the daughter of the gang’s boss. I feel that without this, this is just another case of her being someone who wants to escape an organisation.

I still enjoyed it and watched it, but due to real life issues, I paused a bit, which turned out to be really good, because I don’t think I could have bear the wait.

The last episode is really impressive as they managed to make it work, even explaining why her real father was playing the bad guy. But I thought that scene was done really well, because Ryou would turn and point the gun at Xian Ying and her dad immediately reacted. So it is really impressive that they made what happened in the first episode (book) into the big grand revelation in the final episode.

My only complaint is that the additional of the new guy in the organisation was a bit weird, although I got to applaud the guy for how hard he was working.

One of the bit I really like is the ending, when Faust was going to give Miku the present (the telescope). He actually put the telescope at the place where he used to keep the weapons. So when he dragged it down, everyone was yelling that she can’t see this, but it was really nice, that it was a present instead.

Over all I really enjoyed watching it, and was quite sad that it was finished.

Specter
I have quite a funny memory with James Bond. My dad really likes the series and he used to watch it often. As a result, my sister and I would often watch it with him. Me, I have only watched some, but my sister has actually watched all of it.

Now that I think about it, I think my parents should have censored this.

My favourite James Bond is actually Pierce Brosnan. With him, I can understand where the sex appeal comes from. I actually didn’t like Daniel Craig’s version that much in the beginning, because my idea of James Bond is that he is almost always very calm and composed, being able to throw in the odd puns. Roger Moore is probably the best example of this, although his sense of fashion…as to be expected in the 70s and 80s?

But I do like this film and I thought what was really amazing is the character of Madeleine Swann. When she said that she hates gun and refuses to use one, I thought this was just the idealistic pacifist of an otome games. “Fighting is wrong and I am just going to stand with my arms wide open in front” (Haruka 5 left a bitterness that has yet to go). But it turns out that she is actually really good and she could shoot really well. I feel she is someone really strong, who can back up what she says.

The film itself feels like a last film, as if Bond is retiring with Madeleine.

This is more to do with the new series in general, but I really like how Moneypenny is actually a former agent, not just a secretary and assistant. Another thing I really looked forward to in this film is that we get to see Ralph Fiennes as M. I have to admit, when I saw him in Skyfall, I actually thought that he was going to be a bad guy. I really like the end of Skyfall, when we see him as M.

I was quite surprised at seeing Andrew Scott as ‘C’, and since the only other stuff I have seen him in is Moriarty in ‘Sherlock’, I was wondering if I’ll get to see him playing the good guy instead. At first, I actually thought that he was going to be a like Ralph Fiennes in the last film, even though he seems a bit of a jerk, he is actually a good guy.

Unfortunately, that was wrong, but I like the scene in the end, when M ask him whether C means careless.
 

Fushigi Yuugi 2015 version

I thought I would start the year with something positive. Something that made me really happy.

There are actually at least two versions of the Fushigi Yuugi play. One of it happened sometime ago and I have only seen clip of it from youtube. It seems very true to the original story, and everyone appeared very much as character. I have only seen part of it on youtube, but what they showed was very impressive. I remember being very impressed with Hotohori. We see the part where he fights Tamahome, as well as Nakago. There was also this bit when he was standing at the higher part of the stage and he seemed to have issued some sort of an order, as the rest of the celestial warrior would turn around and prepare to battle. In that bit, you can clearly see that he is the emperor, even though he was dressed in the clothes he wears for travelling.

This version that I found is a newer one, I think it was from 2015, and their take on it is really interesting. Even though they kept the overall plot similar, the majority of the finer detail has been has been changed. Initially, I was not very sure what I feel about it, but I actually ended up really liking it. Because it becomes quite different, with Miaka being different too, it is almost like Suzaku Ibun instead.

Another really interesting change they have is that the character’s clothes are actually different. There is enough similarity, but it is quite interesting in that they don’t have identical costume.

One of the reasons that I really like this version is that they don’t focus on the romance much, so we actually don’t have a reverse harem. Which is really nice given that one of the issues with Fushigi Yuugi is that the reverse harem was not done well.

Now, the guy who plays Hotohori…my only complaint is that I am not used to Hotohori speaking with such a high voice. Because he was voiced by Koyasu Takehito in the anime, I always personally feel that Hotohori should have a lower voice. However, appearance-wise the guy managed to do something that is quite difficult: they actually managed to find someone in real life that can be handsome enough to play Hotohori. To judge by his appearance, it will be twelve out of ten. When Hotohori first comes out, he actually has a strange hat and his hair would be pinned up, so he did not look as good. But in the rest of the story, he takes the hat off and has his hair down. He looks really good.

On a total side note, the majority of the actors have actually been in Tenimyu at sometime or the other. Hotohori’s actor has actually played Ooishi and I can’t help but to think: “You are giving this guy, who can play Hotohori, Ooishi’s hairstyle? That is a waste.” But he will actually be a good Ooishi because when Ooishi was the deputy captain, there were moments where he can be qtuie scary.

I think one of the advantages that people dressing up as Hotohori is that he actually has normal instead of manga/anime hair. As the behind-the-scene shows the actor having short hair, he is obviously wearing a wig. However, because the colour and texture is very natural, it could actually be his real hair, if he is someone with long hair. The actor actually has the hair in a braid at the middle, although it is not a complete braid, as the unbraided part at the end is quite long. I think the reason is so that it can look a bit like the way it does in the original story (unbraided), but would be less likely to get tangled. I can see why they have part of his hair in a braid because at the end, he has a scene when he has to dance and fight super hard out. But his hair/wig is actually a really normal colour, the brown that Asian people get when they dye their hair. So that is why I say that his wig look really natural. (Although I don’t know why his hair is more brown, because Hotohori’s hair is actually black in the original manga). (I think the last time I paid this much attention to someone’s wig is David Tennant’s Richard II. That pre-Raphaelite golden hair).

Plot
As mentioned, the overall plot is similar with Miaka needing to summon Suzaku and finding the celestial warriors, but the finer detail is very different.

The story starts with Miaka and Tamahome being captured and Miaka is actually much better then the original story. She is actually smarter. In the beginning, due to Tamahome threatening her due to her not giving him any ‘real money’, she will start screaming that he is harassing her, forcing him to apologise. Although this backfire due to the guards regarding them as very suspicious and decides to capture them.

When Tamahome and Miaka are trying to escape from the guards, Tamahome would bump into Nuriko, who would knock him out cold with a single punch. It would turn out that he happened to be taking a stroll outside. The actor who portrays Nuriko did a really good job. His first appearance as one that is very elegant, which will be very different from the love struck Nuriko that plans on how to leave a lasting impression with Hotohori and demands Tamahome to be a celestial warriors for this reason.

Hotohori will come out and one of the very interesting things about this interpretation is that Hotohori is aware that he is clutching at straws with his desire of summoning Suzaku, because he will comment that they are at a stage where they have to rely on legends. In the original manga, he seems very certain that Suzaku could save them. It is only much later when he says that they have been over reliant on the legend. This also link to how he sees Miaka as his ideal. After reading both Fushigi Yuugi and Genbu Kaiden, he seems to be the only one that we actually sees praying and calling to the gods. In the Universe of the Four Gods, religion does not seem one with set rules and protocols, so it is interesting that Hotohori is more devout and religious, even before the gods are summoned.

In this version, when Hotohori first hears Miaka’s name, he would also say that her name is symbolic (as it has the same character as Suzaku), and combined with the fact that he is not fully sure about the power of Suzaku but comment about how they are at the stage where they have to rely on the legend, it make me feel that he is at a desperate situation where he is clutching at straws.

One of the really impressive parts is when Hotohori hears Tamahome’s other name (which is a different reading of Tamahome), he will walk down to Tamahome and Miaka, causing Tamahome to ask if he is trying to pick a fight. This would cause Hotohori to yell at him to not move, and Tamahome would actually be shocked and literally does not move. At that moment, the actor suddenly has the bearing of the character as the emperor. I thought that bit is just done really well.

Hotohori will then ask Miaka to become the Suzaku no miko, and he will actually kneel down on one knee in front of her. The guy does it in a super graceful way (at this stage, I can only say, ‘That is Hotohori after all’.) At one stage, he would actually take her hand and says this: “It doesn’t matter even if it is just a small part of all your wishes, please spare a part of it to help Kounan.” I have to say, having that guy kneeing in front of you and taking your hand and saying that line…it would be super hard to refuse. But he seems much more desperate, and this actually makes sense because he would reveal that Kutou actually has already attacked Kounan. In the beginning of the manga, it is just that something is going to happen, they were not fully sure until later. The part where Hotohori addresses his people after Miaka became the priestess is really good as his character becomes the regal emperor. The actor for Hotohori actually said that out of all his scenes, that is one of his favourites, as well as saying that the acting had to be adjusted as that was more like him making a speech.

Afterwards, Tamahome and Miaka will meet Nuriko and Nuriko’s performance is truly worthy of being nominated for best outstanding performance in a comedy. Nuriko would reveal that he intends to introduce himself to Hotohori in such a way so that he can create a lasting impression. However, Nuriko’s plan would be cut short because Hotohori would suddenly come out and meet them, preventing Nuriko from carrying out the plan.

Hotohori will give them the sacred scroll and send them to find the rest. Interestingly, Hotohori knows that Nuriko is a man disguising himself as a woman. How Hotohori have this knowledge is never explained. Another interesting thing to note is that it seems Hotohori is actually using Nuriko’s liking for him to get the other to help.

Miaka, Tamahome and Nuriko will end up going on a journey and will get saved by Mitsukake and Chichiri, after Tamahome ending up attacking Miaka due to Kutou assassins. This will cause Tamahome to be separated from Miaka and this would actually cause him to meet Tasuki. As the sacred scroll was lost when they were attacked by Kutou, Tamahome would try to get this back. He would succeed in this and this then caused Amiboshi to come as Chiriko.

As the story is quite different and dehydrated, we don’t see much of Yui. She seems to have decided to become the priestess of Seiryuu out of her freewill, and my take is that she was probably lied to in regard to the situation, because Kounan is the peaceful country. Not only does she seem to think Kutou might be in danger, she also cares about Miaka, and be quite upset at them being on two different sides. However, when she sees Tamahome she would ask him to take him away to some place that is not involved with the two gods, and when Tamahome refused, she will be upset. I think the problem with Yui’s character is that because her reason of being Miaka’s enemy is done in a matter of five seconds just because Tamahome would not take her away, it does not seem realistic at all.

Tamahome would return with the sacred scroll and he would explain how everyone ‘welcomed’ him back. We have the actor narrating what happens at the font while the others would appear at the back, doing the actions.
Miaka- slaps him
Mitsukake- hit him on the head with his fist
Hotohori- gives him a very long lecture
Nuriko- tell him to get his head clear by pouring a bowl of water over him
Chichiri- tell him to meditate
‘Chiriko’- as they just met, the other did not do anything
Tasuki- laughs at him while everyone else does their thing.

The attempt at summoning Suzaku failed and Nakago will actually personally come to attack them. His conversation with Hotohori is very interesting.
Note: This is NOT a translation. I couldn’t see what exact words were spoken in Japanese as I could only hear it. So this is a combination of what I heard with the Chinese translation.

Hotohori: “Before you say such a thing, why don’t you have a good look at where you are? Nakago, summoning Suzaku has failed, as you intended, but you are the general, so you should know that it is not wise to fight here. This is our kingdom Kounan. If you start a fight here, you won’t get away so easily.” (1)
Nakago: “Then let me tell you this: your kingdom is weak to the stage that you are unable to not rely on Suzaku. Why not give the country up already?” (2)
Hotohori: “I refuse. You dare say such a thing when you only have so little soldiers here.”
Nakago: “To deal with you, only half of this amount is enough.”

(1) Hotohori uses kisama at this stage. Depending on when and who he is speaking to, I have seen him using omae, sonata and onore. I think when he is acting as the emperor, he tends to speak in a much formal way.
(2) Interestingly enough, Nakago uses anata when he talks to Hotohori here.


The story will end with Nakago retreating and the seven celestial warriors having learnt how to attempt summoning Suzaku again. Miaka will first go back and then return. As I said, it is very different from the original story, but I really like it.

Now that I rethink about the story as someone much older (I first read it ten years ago), I think Kounan was a problem that was waiting to happen, especially due to what Kutou was like. It just ended up happening in Hotohori’s reign. Nakago actually summarised the situation really well and in this version, I think Hotohori is aware of this too. I actually feel sorry for Hotohori even more, because he inherited something that cannot be repaired. He could only try to fix part of it so that he is delaying the eventual collapse.

Behind-the-scene
I am also addressing the actors by their character name, since I don’t know all of their real names. However, since it will be mentioned as behind-the-scene, I think it shouldn’t case any confusion.

When I describe Nuriko, I usually use the female pronoun. But in this live version, perhaps it is because the actor is obviously a guy, I am using ‘he’ instead. But in the behind-the-scene moment, Nuriko would say that there was a time when he almost walked with his feet pointing inwards in a feminine fashion. Tamahome would joke that this might be contagious, causing Hotohori (Who was sitting beside Nuriko) to quickly move away.

Another really hilarious thing revealed in the behind-the-scene is that Nakago and Nuriko would often do impromptu scenes between them, as well as dragging others in. Apparently, the setting is that Nakago and Nuriko are a couple and both are delinquents. Tamahome would comment that both Nakago and Nuriko would be super into it, because once they starts, they could carry on for about 5 to 10 minutes, even if no one might be watching. Tamahome would also say that he was minding his own business one day when Nakago suddenly pointed to him and said to Nuriko: “What is it with you and that guy?” and he and Nuriko then began a scene about Nakago thinking that Nuriko is cheating on him with Tamahome.

There was also a really cute scene at the rehearsal on Tamahome’s birthday. They reached the scene near the end where the real Chiriko is meant to come out. On that day, Chiriko would come out with a cake for Tamahome. Tamahome would say that he was actually really tired that day and was thinking: “Why isn’t Chiriko coming out yet?and even wondering whether Chiriko has disappeared.

Chichiri will say that there was a time when he actually almost ended up saying –noda at the end of the sentence. Due to not being able to stop himself on time, the person he was talking to gave him a really strange look.

Photos will be in the next entry for my life journal friends.
 
Route availability: after clearing ‘Legend of the Oda’ and ‘Legend of the Takeda’
Playable Officers: Sanada, Yukimura, Sanada Nobuyuki, Shima Sakon, Kunoichi, Maeda Keiji, Ishida Mitsunari, Naoe Kanetsugu, Ina, Otani Yoshitsugu, Uesugi Kagekatsu, Hanzo Hattori, Yagyuu Munenori, Hawaykawa, Kai, Fuma Kotarou, Koshoushou
Battle of Mt Tenmoku, Battle of Kannagawa, 1st battle of Ueda Castle, Battle of Oshi castle, 2nd Battle of Ueda Castle (Eastern Army, Western Army), The Osaka campaign (Tokugawa Army, Toyotomi Army)

Like the legend of Oda, there are characters that you can only choose in one or two battles. For example, Koshoushou only come out at the very final battle (but I really like her role in that battle).

Battle of Mt Tenmoku
When I was playing the game, I was actually watching the Taiga drama. However, I am no longer watching it. My main reason is because Kiri is such a bitch. She has been pretty bad throughout the drama (deliberately interfering in Ume and Yukimura’s relationship), blaming everyone but her when something goes wrong, using the excuse that she is merely blunt and outspoken, blaming Yukimura for not saving her when it was her wanting to get something that made them get caught. But for me, what did it was the episode when Chacha decides to marry Hideyoshi. Chacha will tell Yukimura that they probably won’t meet for a while, but give him a pressed flower. When Yukimura look at it, clearly upset, Kiru would actually grab the flower and then eat it. That is so nasty. Seriously, what kind of person does that?

However, I am a bit curious at the latter part of the drama, where some of the other famous historical figures would come out (namely Masamune). Maybe I could skip the scene she is out in?

Anyway, I mentioned the Taiga drama, because a lot of the battles and what happened are mentioned in the drama. The story would pick up where the legend of the Takeda left, where the Takeda and Sanada are retreating after their defeat in Nagashino. We can see how different the two brothers are, because Yukimura would want to fight Nobunaga immediately, while Nobuyuki would argue that they need to have a stronghold to do this.

The Takeda would be attacked by others, but this is what they had done when they had the power.

Battle of Kannagawa
Throughout the chapter, there is this whole metaphor by Maeda Keiji about how Yukimura is the flower while Nobuyuki is the branch, there is the idea that the branch is the one that support the flower and allow the flower to bloom. In a way, that is basically what Nobuyuki is doing, as he is doing all that he can for the family so that Yukimura can do whatever he wish. This metaphor is also used for both Kagekatsu and Kanetsugu respectively, and I think before Hasedo, Maeda Keiji would point out that peace is only possible by standing over the petals of the flower.

1st battle of Ueda Castle
Mitsunari would be present in this battle due to Hideyoshi being curious about the Sanada siblings.

During the battle, Ieyasu would retreat and one of the retainers would comment that if Ieyasu just retreat and not attack, this would hurt his reputation. However, Ieyasu would say that this is not worth the life of his people. I really like this bit because it shows that instead of just saying something like he want to protect his people, we have someone who is really doing this and thinking about how this would affect his people.

Battle of Oshi castle
I ended up doing this battle so many times that I really don’t want to do it again. Oshi castle is the city that Kai’s father is in charge of, and this is the battle where the terrain would get flooded, so the map would constantly change. The thing that annoys me is that waiting to go to the next part of the battle due to this can sometimes take a while, and when you are doing this for the tenth time, it gets really annoying.

Mitsunari would describe the Toyotomi army as the army of the people and even though he coming to attack this place is obviously going to harm the people here, we can still see that he really believes that what he is doing is in the best interest of everyone, as he would not be able to attack the peasants. This show that he is not dominated by the thoughts of winning alone, he really does believe that he is here to make everyone’s life better.

During the battle, Nobuyuki would comment that Mitsunari is idealistic and always focus on his ideals, but afterwards, he would also say that Mitsunari only sees Hideyoshi’s vision. This is really similar to what Motonari said to Hideyoshi, that he is probably the only one here fighting for Nobunaga, as the rest of his retainers are clearly fighting for him instead. Nobuyuki would be a bit similar to Masamune by saying that he does not care about who end up taking control of the land, because he simply wants to protect those that are important to him.

What Kai’s father says at the end of the battle is really chilling- are those with strength the leaders? Are those with intelligence always right? Because that is what is happening.

2nd Battle of Ueda Castle
There will be two versions for this battle, as the brothers would split up. I am definitely 200% on Nobuyuki’s side when he comments that vision alone is not enough to win the war, and they also have their family to think of. If their house dies, they won’t even be warriors. I do feel that Yukimura is selfish in that he just says that his brother is wrong and does whatever he wishes. He does not consider the impact of his action at all. After the battle, Nobuyuki would beg Ieyasu to let Yukimura live and it is just really sad to see him do this, only for Yukimura to throw it away.

I really like what Nobuyuki says- that compares to Ieyasu’s burdens, Mitsunari’s ideals are merely sentiments.

The Osaka Campaign
I personally don’t get what is so amazing and heroic about Yukimura’s final sacrifice in Osaka. In fact, I would even say that is foolish and selfish. In the end, he is not protecting his people, his brother is the one doing it. Is it for the Toyotomi? But I don’t feel that he shows any strong loyalty, it seems more the case that he just wants to make a stand. I feel really sorry for Nobuyuki in that he was doing so much for his brother, only for Yukimura to throw it away.

I feel that Magoichi describes it perfectly in 3 when he says that it is time to grant Yukimura his death wish. But I really enjoyed playing Yukimura’s side in the battle of Osaka, as I get to play Koshoushou again, and it is really touching to see her thinking of Motochika.

On Nobuyuki’s side, you can only choose him and Ina. The route would end with him and Ina watching the sakura.

I can’t remember exactly which battle it is, but if you use Hattori Hanzou, then you would get a cut scene where he tries to assassinate Yukimura, only to give up due to his illness.

This is the last of the story routes, but I will be doing a review for some of the chronicle events too.
“One cannot be surprised by the ebb and flow of military fortune.” ~ Uesugi Kagekatsu

Route availability: after clearing ‘Legend of Kantou’
Playable officers: Uesugi Kenshin, Aya, Uesugi Kagekatsu, Naoe Kanetsugu
Battles: The Kanto Campaign, Battle of Kawanakajima, Battle of Tetorigawa, the Otate Rebellion
Special Gaiden: Battle of Hasedo, (available after clearing the Legend of a Land United).

As mentioned before, I don’t like the Uesugi. In fact, they might be my most disliked fraction. Even though I don’t like playing the Takeda sides, I don’t dislike the characters, and there are even characters in there that I like. I don’t dislike Kanetsugu, but he’s not one of the characters that I particular like. However, I actually really like Kagekatsu. I think it is because unlike the others around him, Kagekatsu never talks about justice or honour. Instead, he is simply trying to protect what he has.

As I said, I feel that the Uesugi siblings are both very hypocritical. They clearly like fighting and even inflicting suffering onto other people, but instead of acknowledging this like Nouhime or even Hisahide, they say that they are good and even claim that everything they do is right. They force their belief onto everyone. By claiming that they are the one that has justice and honour, they will label anyone that does not agree with them as an enemy who deserves punishment, as the other does not have justice and honour, since only they are allowed to have this. They are basically finding reasons to justify their actions, as they will never admit that they did anything wrong. In their view, they can only be right. At the very least, people like Nobunaga and Takeda Shingen are honest about what they are doing and what they want. Both Nobunaga and Takeda Shingen admit that they want to have power and be the one that rule with power. I personally don’t like playing the Takeda side, but that is just personal bias, because Takeda Shingen is not fully wrong to do what he did at the time.

Having said that, one of the amazing things about Kanetsugu is that even though he talks about love and honour, he is not hypocritical in anyway. I think this is because he truly believes that he is doing the right thing, and as soon as you agree, he will actually be really happy at this happening and would not hold anything of the past against you.

The Uesugi chapter is only available after you play the Hojo route. In this route, you fight the Hojo, then the Takeda, and then Nobuanga. The final battle will be the civil war against the clan.

At one stage, the Uesugi would fight Nobunaga and Kenshin would use this strategy in regard to water, and everyone on his side immediately begin to say how great it is, even saying that this is a sign of the gods favouring Kenshin. We then have Nobunaga commenting: “He’s a god of war that performs water trick.” I really like that line from Nobunaga because that is what happened, but the Uesugi family is clearly seeing what they want to see.

In the battle against Nobunaga, Nobunaga would leave midway during the battle and Nouhime would then out, saying that she want to fight as she is tired of waiting. This doesn’t have anything to do with the overall route, but I was just quite excited at seeing her come out here.

Regarding Saburou (who later become Uesugi Kagetora), I think he is a case of can’t do something right, but can screw up a lot. In addition, his character is really annoying. But from a plot based situation, I am quite surprised that his character is not a playable character, given that he has his customised appearance and plays an important role.

Kagetora being sent to Echigo as a hostage away from his family is quite sad, but given his background, he should actually realise that this is something that is necessary. Instead, he acts as if Hojo abandoned him, and the way that he speaks about how Kagekatsu is so lucky to have such a loving mother made it sound as if his mother is like Yoshihime (Masamune’s mother), and that he had a really difficulty childhood without much care from his family. If I just judge from what he says in the Uesugi chapters, I would expect that he had a childhood similar to Masamune’s (where his mother hated him and even wanted to kill him), but from the ‘Legend of Kantou’ it is clear that Hojo’s family is a very happy one. In fact, I think he definitely had a way happier childhood then Kagekatsu. The fact that the Hojo then willingly help him when he tries to rebel shows that he is definitely not abandoned and they clearly still care a lot about him.

Kagetora had caused problems due to being reckless for both the Hojo and for the Uesugi. At one stage, Kagekatsu actually had to rescue him. There is no indication that he is a good warrior either, so I don’t see why he actually feels that he can try to claim the position of being Kenshin’s heir. This family treats him with kindness when he was only the hostage, yet he then creates a civil war for them. In the end, he forces Kagekatsu to live with the label of being his brother’s killer, as well as most likely having to fight other retainers of the family due to the civil war.

Battle of Hasedo
I think Hasedo was a long battle and it might have taken place roughly around the same time as Seikigahara. I think Maeda Keiji actually refers to this battle as their Seikigahara. I think what happened is that the Mogami and Date were on their way to meet Ieyasu, but the Uesugi would prevent this from happening. Ieyasu was going to help in this battle when he heard news about what Mitsunari is doing and he would go and fight Mitsunari instead. I think the Date managed to get out of their battle, but the Mogami would be stuck in a siege.

Initially, the Uesugi are doing really well in the battle, and they even managed to capture Hasedo by defeating Mogami. However, there would be news that Mitsunari lost, as well as Masamune’s arrival. When Kanetsugu heard about what happened, he would naturally be very upset, but Kagekatsu would remind him to focus on what is important, and this would cause Kanetsugu to realise that he must get the retreat right. Apparently, the retreat was done really well. In the game, Masamune would give a reluctant praise in regard to this.

The moment of change is done really well in the battle, because your enemies will sudden increase and zones that are safe would now be danger zones. In addition to Mogami coming back, Masamune would arrive with mounted rifleman. Apparently, mounted rifleman is something that Masamune is famous for. I think he combined a powerful cavalry (what Takeda Shingen has) with the rifles (What Nobunaga is famous for using). This seems an indication of how he is managing the changing time.

Masamune would be the final boss, and he would tell Kanetsugu that he is surprised at the other being very calm. Kanetsugu will say that he must do what he must for Kagekatsu, and Masamune will actually comment that he is similar as he has to live for the expectation of others too. With Kagekatsu, he will say that he has to protect the Oushuu that his father left him.
 
“You turned your back on me, Nagamasa.” ~ Oda Nobunaga

Route availability: after clearing ‘Legend of the Oda’
Playable Officers: Azai Nagamasa, Oichi, Todou Takatora, Otani Yoshitsugu
Battles: Battle of Kannonji Castle, Pursuit at Kanegasaki, Battle of Anegawa, Battle of Odani Castle

I don’t really like this chapter, because I don’t like Nagamasa, and even though I don’t dislike Oichi, she is too much involved with her husband to let me like her. Half of the time she is just talking about her husband. There is also the fact that I don’t like Yoshitsugu either. However, I do like Takatora.

The route starts with Takatora fighting beside Yoshitsugu, and his rank is pretty low. Takatora would begin by saying that he feels that Nobunaga is using Nagamasa, but he does not have a way to let the other know. One of the things that really surprise me is that Takatora is actually very idealistic, as he truly believes that he can make a difference. Even during really bad situations, he would comment that he believe they are able to change fate. I think this is because he was heavily influenced by Nagamasa.

One of the really interesting things I find is that Oichi is actually not as idealistic as Nagamasa. She is actually pretty realistic, as she would realise what would happen, only to say that she still choose to dream. I do wonder whether things might be different if she had tried to influence Nagamasa more.

I feel that Nagamasa’s ideal of creating a land where everyone can live happily is a bit like Hideyoshi’s land of letting everyone laugh. It is as Hisahide said, you are forcing them to do what you want. This is contrasting to Ieyasu, who just want to have peace by stopping the war.

Later on, Takatora would comment that the highest form of loyalty is to live, which is what he learnt from Nagamasa. But it seems that Nagamasa is a case of not practicing what he teaches, because he is pretty eager to put himself in really dangerous situations.

The end cutscene is done really well. We have Nagamasa and Hideyoshi fighting, only for Nobunaga to come and kill Nagamasa. I feel that what he said to Nagamasa: “You turned your back on me” is an indication that he did have some affection for the other, and was affected by the betrayal.
 
“You can only give your life once. Are you sure this is the time?” ~ Shimazu Yoshihiro

Route availability: after clearing ‘Legend of Chugoku’
Playable officers: Shimazu Yoshihiro, Shimazu Toyohisa
Battles: Batttle of Mimikawa, Battle of Okitanawate, Siege of Iwaya and Mt Tachibana Castles
Special Gaiden: Battle of Yanagawa, (available after clearing the Legend of a Land united).

When I played 3, I actually felt that Shimazu (the elder) did not really get his own route, because his battles are basically what appear in the Tachibana couple’s route. Even though the fourth game, his route is still pretty much him vs the Tachibana, I feel that his route is written well. I think this is mainly because of Toyohisa.

The route starts with the Tachibana couple talking about their victory against the Shimazu, only for Toyohisa to come out and try to attack them. I would like to point out that when Toyohisa charged towards them, Muneshige actually dodged. Even though Ginchiyo is super tough (and someone who can definitely handle it herself), a husband should not dodge.

Yoshihiro will then drag Toyohisa away by telling him that he cannot win against them. Toyohisa will argue that he does not mind dying if it will help the clan, but Yoshihiro will point out that he would not achieve anything by dying now, as well as saying the quote above.

Compared to the other route, this route is quite short as it only has three battles, and it is pretty much them vs the Tachibana. The final cut scene has them fighting the Tachibana clan, along with Muneshige’s father. During the battle, Yoshihiro would say that it feels strange, it is as if the others are waiting for something. At the end, the Shimazu wins, only to see that Hideyoshi’s fleet has come. Basically, Muneshige’s father was buying time for the Toyotomi to arrive. At this, Yoshihiro would actually laugh and say that the other has won.

Post Legend of Kyushu

Conquest of Kyushu
This takes place in the ‘Legend of Lands United’ and one of the things I remember the most about this battle is that when the Shimazu brothers are talking about what strategy they should use, the current leader will tell Yoshihiro that it does not matter so much, as they have already won when Hideyoshi choose to come here. I think this is a bit similar to what happened in Shikoku, they made their power known in such a way that it is clear that Hideyoshi have to personally come, and you will need to be careful with how you deal with them. Although I think one of the main reasons is that they are both crazy at times, so you have to be careful.

After the battle, Yoshihiro will tell Hideyoshi that he will surrender and when Toyohisa protest, he will tell the other that now is not the time to die.

Conquest of Odawara
Toyohisa will actually feel really bad at fighting Hayakawa, saying that he can not give her a good answer in regard to why they are here.

Battle of Seikigahara
The Shimazu will fight with Mitsunari, although Toyohisa would not be very happy about this. I think during their conversation with Mitsunari, the other was looking down at his papers. Even though Seikigahara takes place in the ‘Legend of the Land United’, this is sort of their battle, because if you pick one of the Shimazu, you have to pick the others. Likewise, if you pick anyone other then the Shimazu, you can’t pick them. Ie. You can only fight the battle with both of them, not one.

If you are playing the Eastern side you actually start the battle with them as the first enemies you have to fight, and that is not easy. They will reappear in the middle of the battle once more, although they will then decide that it is time for them to retreat. Depending on who you play, one of the objectives would be to stop them, and that is hard.

This was what happened to me when I played the first time:
Me: “Seikigahara eastern side!”
(Shimazu charges at my character)
PS4: “Defeat”
Me: “…I need to level up.”

Historically, Toyohisa will stay behind with the mounted rifleman and he would fight Ii Naomasa, allowing Yoshihiro to escape. Even though Naomasa kills Toyohisa, he would be permanently injured and would eventually die due to that injury. Since Naomasa has yet to come out, we have Naotora filling that role.

Playing the route from the Shimazu’s side, they will actually go and attack Ieyasu in his main camp, only to be stopped by Honda and Naotora. I think Naotora is probably the strongest female in the game, but the ironic thing is that she is the one female that does not want to fight at all. The creators especially emphasise this in regard to her character, that she is someone who does not have a choice in regard to fighting. By this time, the battle has ended, and the Shimazu does this for the simple sake of showing how powerful they are. Due to being knocked off his horse, it would be Toyohisa that grab him as he ride past, mirroring the opening.

Naotora would give chase and Toyohisa will tell his uncle to leave while he would stay. This bit is really touching because Toyohisa has changed so much from the reckless youth that challenged the Tachibana couple. He is making a choice to sacrifice himself, but this is a choice that he has thought carefully of. Likewise, Yoshihiro’s reaction is very different, as he would understand, and tell Toyohisa that he is proud of the other.
Toyohisa: “Uncle, let me stay behind. Let me take care of this. If you die, the clan will be lost. Hurry! I will not give up.”
Shimazu: “Well said, I am proud of you, my boy.”

Battle of Yanagawa
Shimazu and the Tachibana couple would go to Kyushu and both Muneshigi and Ginchiyo would actually console him regarding Toyohisa’s lose in their own way.

After the battle, there would be a special cut scene for Yoshihiro that is really touching. Takatora would come on behalf of Ieyasu, as well as returning Toyohisa’s helmet to him. A peace agreement has been made, and it is because many were really impressed with how the Shimazu fight. Takatora would also add that even though he always feel that you can only achieve something if you are alive, he is affected by Toyohisa’s action, even saying that it would be remembered despite their death. Once he leaves, Yoshihiro would comment to the absent Toyohisa that in the end, they have won: “My boy…victory to the Shimazu”. That bit was just super sad.
 
“To lead a clan is a heavy burden. One must do what one can to keep one’s home live. Even if it means deceiving or harming others.” ~ Imagawa Yoshimoto.

Route availability: after clearing ‘Legend of the Takeda’
Playable Officers: Hattori Hanzo, Honda Tadakatsu, Ii Naotora, Tokgawa Ieyasu, Ina
Battles: Battle of Okehazama, Battle of Kakegawa Castle, Battle of Anegawa, Battle of Mikatagahara.

First of all, I really like Ieyasu, and I feel that he has what it takes to unite and bring peace to the land. Even though there are times when he is ruthless, he is still someone who cares greatly for his people, and tries to make the best choices.

I feel that out of the three conquerors (Nobunaga, Hideyoshi and Ieyasu), they are all really trying to gain control by being the most powerful. This is something Nobunaga has always been very blunt about. In the second game, he would even point out that because this chaos happens due to might and power, it can only be ended with might and power. As mentioned, I was really surprised when I watched clips from the second game, because Nobunaga spoke in a much more normal way, as opposed to him in 3 and 4. However, the basic characteristic continues to be there.

I feel that Hideyoshi wants the same thing, but he does not admit this, and he tries to justify this by saying that it is a world where everyone laughs. Hisahide actually has a really good point in regard to this by saying that Hideyoshi is basically creating a world where he is forcing people to laugh. Nene is similar, because in the battle with Kaihime (in her route at 3), Kai would protest that Nene is just here to invade her home, but Nene would say it won’t matter as this would be her home. How is her action here different from any of Nobunaga’s war? The claim of how you will make it happy seems just an excuse, because they already were doing fine without any additional help from whoever that attacks.

Ieyasu is fighting for an overall peace. He is different as he does not say his way is best. He just wants to stop fighting and admits that there would be sacrifices that happen due to him trying to achieve this. Mitsunari is the opposite as he firmly believes he is in the right and does not seem to acknowledge the sufferings other would have in order for them to benefit. But Mitsunari is different from Hideyoshi because I feel that Hideyoshi is aware of this, but just does not want to admit it, where as Mitsunari is truly unaware of him causing harm to others.

I feel that the opening scene for the Tokugawa route is one of the best one in the game. Imagawa has always been a bit of a comical character due to his appearance and his desire of playing kemari. However, his tone and voice would suddenly change and he would be like the numerous leaders of the game, he has great authority and power. I was just really amazed by that scene.

Battle of Okehazama
In the beginning, Ieyasu would be working for Yoshimoto, as he is a hostage there, after being one with the Oda. As mentioned, he was once a hostage in the Oda clan, and there seemed to be some form of a friendship between Nobunaga and Ieyasu. I think the hostage situation must have played a huge part in making him able to endure everything, and I think to have that mind frame in a time like the Sengoku era is truly amazing. A bit similar to what Masamune did during Odawara. For Masamune, it is even more impressive as he is young and was not exposed to a situation akin to Ieyasu that would force him to adopt this mentality.

Naotora would be there as her family are working for the Imagawa too. Her position is probably the same as Ieyasu’s and even though she would later work as a retainer for Ieyasu, it’s clearly her own choice. I think in that aspect, this is a bit of a parallel to Ieyasu and Hideyoshi’s relationship, with the difference being that the Ii family are happy to continue working under him.

Battle of Kakegawa Castle
Ieyasu would decide to rebel against the Imagawa, and once again, Naotora would fight alongside him. I really like how she tells him that it might be hard to be seen as a traitor, but this is something necessary as the Imagawa can no longer bring peace. This also seems to be a foreshadowing of what would happen with the Toyotomi later on.

Yoshimoto would have died by this stage, so the Imagawa you fight against is his son. You would also fight Ujiyasu, since he is here to help the other.

There is a nice light hearted scene after this, where Naotora brought Naomasa to the battle and Ina would talk to him. At one stage, Naotora would tell Ina that the Honda style of training might be too extreme for everyone else. Although I don’t think she need to worry, as the Ii family seems super tough. I am almost not sure who is worse.

Battle of Anegawa
The Tokugawa would be fighting at the very front without help from Nobunaga, as he wants to see how well the Tokugawa perform. The result is that the Tokugawa did really well. This would be pointed out by Takatora, and he would also comment that he is curious at what type of men Ieyasu is, since he obviously inspired this loyalty.

Battle of Mikatagahara
This is the battle that I really don’t like. Even though the Takeda are not wrong in doing this due to the situation of the time, I just still feel really bad whenever I play it. When I play the Takeda side, I feel super guilty, but when I play the Tokugawa side, I feel really sad. I feel that because the difference in power is so much, and because the Tokugawa did not do anything to provoke this at all, this is the case of bullies and victims. There are other battles that are equally bad, but for me, this is the worst one.

But we see that the Tokugawa retainers are like Hideyoshi’s retainers, in that they are doing this for their master due to them believing in him.
“We have cut down our friends, cast off our family. Now that we have done all this, we owe it to them to live! Live, and realise this peace!” ~ Todou Takatora

Route availability: after clearing ‘Legend of the Oda’ and the ‘Legend of the Takeda’
Playable Officers: Katou Kiyomasa, Ishida Mitsunari, Otani Yoshitsugu, Hashiba (Toyotomi) Hideyoshi, Kuroda, Fukushima Masanori, Nene, Shima Sakon, Maeda Toshiie, Koboyakawa Takakage, Todou Takatora, Tachibana Muneshige, Ginchiyo Tachibana, Chousokabe Motochika, Koshoushou, Shimazu Yoshihiro, Shimazu Toyohisa, Kakakura Kojuurou, Date MAsamune, Yagyuu Munenori, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Tadakatsu Honda, Ii Naotora, Uesugi Kakekatsu, Naoe Kanetsugu, Hayakawa
Battles: Battle of Yamazaki, Battle of Shizugatake, Battle of Komaki-Nagakute, Conquest of Shikoku, Conquest of Kyuushu, Conquest of Odawara, Battle of Seikigahara (Easter army, western army), the Osaka campaign

One of the things I like in 4 better then 4-II is that they have the major battles (like Osaka and Odawara) in one or two routes. Replaying through the battle with different character is not very repetitive, because very often, you will focus on a particular side in regard to the battle. For example, if you pick Masamune and Kojuurou, then you get to see the two of them reacting to the battle with references to what happened in their past. Likewise, Motochika and Koshoushou would have references to Shikoku and talk about why the Shimazu are resisting. In 4-II, however, a lot of the battles would repeat in many of the routes, and even though you can pick different characters, this focus would still be on the person of the route. Therefore, it would feel a bit more repetitive. That’s probably why I am a bit weary at trying to have replayed the battles in 4-II with every single character.

Regarding this route, I basically have talked about a lot of the battles in my other reviews, with focus on how it link to that route. Therefore, my reviews would probably be scatting thoughts

Hanbei would say that what would happen cannot be done by one person alone, because you need one person to quell chaos, one person to unify the land, and then one person to rule. His words are then rather ironic because even though he clearly believes in Hideyoshi being someone who can bring peace, his own words contradict this. Three people are needed for the three tasks, and since Nobunaga is the one that quell the chaos, Hideyoshi can only unify the land or rule, he cannot do both.

Also, a bit more in regard to Kanbei. During the fight with Hisahide, Kanbei would say that the other is not a spark, but a gunpowder. Hanbei would die shortly after this incident, saying that he would entrust this to Kanbei. This then remind me of what Kanbei said in his own route in 3, how this is a heavy burden.

At one point, Yoshitsugu would comment that Nobunaga’s sons are relic of another time. I feel that Yoshitsugu saying this is really hypocritical, because that is what the Toyotomi and Mitsunari are. Yet when that happens, he is suddenly acting in a way contrary to what happened before, and it seems okay. What he reproaches Takatora for is something that he himself is doing.

Then there is Kiyomasa, who wants to use Ieyasu to protect the Toyotomi. I feel that Takatora summarises the situation perfectly when he asks why Ieyasu should do so for the Toyotomi?

I don’t think the Toyotomi retainers attitude are wrong, because they live in a time where you are often forced to manipulate others for your own gain. What I don’t like about is the fact that they would condemn others for doing the same thing that they are doing. They would reproach the others for what they are doing, yet only the others would be wrong. And as I said many times, I really don’t like how Yoshitsugu is so quick to make Takatora the bad guy due to him now caring for Mitsunari. This is especially sad when we see how much Takatora is trying to make sure that Yoshitsugu remains alive.

This is totally random but due to the scene when Naotora and Takatora are talking about the graves of those that they lost, I feel that they would make a good couple.
Naotora: “I agree. I’m thinking of going home, however. Seeing these trees here has made me want to visit the grave of a friend.”
Takatora: “Very well. If you ever want to come back, there’s a place for you here.”
It seems TV trope agree with me too.

A lot of what Hideyoshi did is due to the fact that he picked up what Nobunaga left, yet this is something that was never acknowledged. They made it as if Hideyoshi is the one that started this, when it is not, it is Nobunaga. Also, I don’t think Hideyoshi could have done all of this if Nobunaga did not die. I think Kanbei is bang on the dot when he tells Hideyoshi that the fortune favours him after they learn of Nobunaga’s death.

One of the things I really like about Maeda Toshiie is that he is probably the only Toyotomi fraction/retainer that admits they are merely doing this for Hideyoshi, not for the good of everyone. In Odawara, he would apologise to Kai for doing this, because they are doing this for the purpose of letting Hideyoshi have more power. I really like Toshiie and I think he would probably be glad to know that at the end, he has become someone who made a huge difference, as it was he that prevented Ieyasu from taking over. He is the one that managed to maintain some type of peace.

If you use Muneshige in the battle of Osaka, then he and Koshoushou would have a really sad conversation. When seeing him, Koshoushou would ask him whether he will go easy on him for old time’s sake (probably referring to how he and Ginchiyo fought with her when she was with Kanesada). Muneshige would say that if he does, then they might be strike by lightening, but then adds that ‘she’ always looked so cute when she is angry. He did not mention any names, but this is clearly a reference to his wife. What makes this scene really sad is that at the beginning, he would come out alone, and as per history, Ginchiyo would have died for sometime already.

I really like the final cut scene, when Ieyasu announces that the Sengoku era is finally over, with the majority of those that fight in Osaka beside him. That scene is really powerful because it shows the sacrifice that was made to result in this. Each of these survivors has endured great loss. I feel that Takatora summarised it perfectly in the beginning- see his quote above. There isn’t anyone who managed to reach where they are at without having lost anything. For many of them, living would be a great burden.
 
“The glint I see in those eyes behind the mask does not seek peace. Those are the eyes of a beast that seeks dominance.” ~ Shima Sakon

Route availability: one of the default routes available
Playable officers: Sanada Nobuyuki, Sanada Yukimura, Takeda Shingen, Kunoichi, Shima Sakon
Battles: Battle of Kawanakajima, Invasion of Suruga, Battle of Mikatagahara, Battle of Nagashino

I never quite like the Takeda side due to the battle of Mikatagahara, as I feel that this is the most extreme case of attacking another side to show that you have power for the simple reason that you can. When you play the Tokugawa side, it is really heart wrenching to see how Ieyasu’s retainers risk their live and even dies in order for him to be saved due to their belief in him. Therefore, I always feel quite guilty when I play the Takeda side. What they did is not wrong in the time, but I still just feel really guilty.

Regarding this route, I think it is important to realise that when the Takeda have power, they are cheerfully attacking others. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a surprise that they get attacked by others later on.

One of the parts I really like is when Naotora comes out and explain to Shingen that she has decided to side with Ieyasu because she believes in Ieyasu more then him. She will also comment that Shingen seems ill.

The final battle is Nagashino and the interesting thing about the route is that the ‘Legend of the Sanada’ will continue straight from there.
“We all saw the hope of a new era in your eyes.” ~ Katakura Kojuurou

Route availability: after clearing ‘Legend of Kantou’
Playable Officers: Date Masamune, Katakura Kojuurou, Saika Magoichi, Maeda Keiji
Battles: Battle of Hitotoribashi, Conflict at Koriyama, Oushuu’s punishment
Special Gaiden: Battle of Hasedo (available after clearing ‘Legend of a Land United’)

Masamune is my favourite character in the whole series (followed by Motochika and then Nouhime) and I also really enjoy the team Oushuu battles. I feel that Masamune is amazing in that he managed to reconcile his ambition with his desire of protecting his people, as well as carrying it out.

Prior to 4, Oushuu is kind of a one man army, because Magoichi is not really part of Oushuu. Even though he does help Masamune in both the games, he is never an official retainer. But is Team Oushuu the group with multiple weapons? Masamune uses a sword during normal attack, but would use pistols during special attacks. However, Kojuurou seems to be taking this a step further. He normally uses a shield and jagged sword, but for special power attacks he has a pistol and a flute. There is also this thing that shoot out laser, but I’m letting that go as that is obviously something quite unusual. Apparently he also have throwing daggers. No wonder TV trope lists him as Swiss army knife or walking armoury.

Battle of Hitotoribashi
The battle starts with a flash back- to the scene of Masamune having to kill his father. I think what happened is that he was fighting the Nihonmatsu, and the leader would suggest that they make peace. The Date would agree, even giving lands to them. However, the other then betrayed them, resulting in Terumune being held hostage.

Obviously, that would leave a trauma on anyone, but I think even more so for Masamune, because it seems that his father is one of the few that actually loves him. In chronicles, the PC would say that Masamune is someone who really wants to be loved. Apparently, him having small pox and losing an eyes made his mother dislike him, and many of the family retainers would feel that he is not able to be a good ruler, as having a part of your body missing is an indicating of incapability. In Basara, there is a scene where Masamune tell Kojuurou to go away, since everyone else pretty much gave up hope on him due to his blind eye. I know that this is a different game, but the bitterness and sadness in Masamune’s voice just really convey what he must have felt.

It is not just that he had to make this decision, but the person he lost is probably one of the few people that care about him. In both 3 and 4 (as I have only played these two), Masamune is clearly haunted by what he did on that day. In addition, there is the fact that he feels guilty for causing his father to be in that position. To make it worse, he probably did not have much time to grieve due to the fighting that was still going on. (In Ikemen Samurai, that Masamune would comment that he used to have dreams of him kneeling beside his father’s corpse and apologising. That just creates such a powerful image. Once again, I know it is different games, but that just convey the sense of sorrow and grief due to this action so well).

After Terumune’s death, the Date lost many of their allies, and this would probably be an additional wound for Masamune. I think this must have been a very dark time for him. Having lost his father and doubting the survival of his clan. He will say the following: “I must win. I have already killed my father. I cannot let my clan be destroyed.”, and this is actually to himself. What I like about Masamune in both 3 and 4 is that we get to see him develop as a character and leader. Unlike the other leaders who often start with the authority, knowledge and resolution of what they must do (eg.Nobunaga, Motochika), Masamune starts the game being very vulnerable. In the beginning of his route, he is actually a bit hesitant in giving out the necessary orders.

In 4-II you get to fight in his first battle, with his father coming out, and it is clear that his father really cares for him. At one stage, his father would be attacked and upon successfully defeating these enemies, he will say that there is nothing better then his father not being harmed, and his tone just convey both his relief and joy at that really well. You can see that this is a pair of father and son who truly care and love for one another.

Conflict at Koriyama
This battle would involve the Mogami, who are actually related to Masamune (his mother is the current leader’s sister).

I think by this time, Hideyoshi has been gaining power and this would be known in Oushuu. Masamume would say that he needs to unite his land so that he can be powerful enough to protect the clan against Hideyoshi.

The Uesugu would join the battle and at one point, one of Masamune retainers would betray him. Masamune’s reaction is really sad, because he would be really upset at this. As said, this was probably a really dark time for him.

Oushuu’s punishment
Due to Masamune refusing to go to Odawara, Hideyoshi would send Mitsunari to attack him. According to some historical sources, the reason that he was late was actually because he was poisoned by his mother.

Kojuurou would have been in contact with Hideyoshi, who offers to make him into a damiyo. This is actually quite a cruel strategy, as explained in Takakage’s route in 4-II. Basically, the retainers would gain a significant amount of power, overshadowing the lord, whose existence might then be threatened. Of course, the retainers could refuse, but sometimes they would be at a position where it is really difficult to do so. That would be what happens to the Tachibana couple and the family that they were allied with. As Takakage’s story shows, Hideyoshi did the offer in such a way that if you refused, it would appear as if you were insulting him. Takakage manages to do so very tactfully, but it is clear that this is not always an option. I guess another option is like Kojuurou, who basically tells everyone that he is going to serve Masamune no matter what.

Kojuurou’s plan is basically a bit like the Shimazu, he will fight and show Hideyoshi that Oushuu is powerful, with Magoichi being the messenger. During the battle, Kojuurou would comment that the Toyotomi army’s size is an advantage as well as a disadvantage. He would use certain strategies to cause a possible inner fighting between the Toyotomi army, since the army does not fully trust it self. During one stage, the Sanada army would be suspected as working with the Date, although Nobuyuki quickly dispels this. This is clearly a case of Nobuyuki being trustworthy because I can imagine a lot of others who would not be believed.

Mitsunari will appear, telling them that they will lose. Kojuurou would describe Mitsunari as a fox, and Masamune will call him Kitsune-dono (I can suddenly see him giving Mitsunari a box of Inari sushi in a possible what if). At the end, Mitsunari will tell Kojuurou that he would report this to Hideyoshi. Kojuurou would tell him to do so, to report back on the strength of the Date and Mitsunari’s incompetence. I think this is what they will say in the Kasei-Osaki uprising as well (although I like Masamune’s reaction there better. When he yells out that he is completely loyal even as he bashes up Mitsunari).

At the end, Masamune would be caught in a trap, only for Kojuurou to divert the enemy by yelling out that he is Masamune. He would actually be shot and the injured Kojuurou would ask Masamune to stop thinking of the past and move to focus on the future. Basically, in Masamune’s route, he has been tormented by the guilt of his father’s death, leading to him believe that he have to conquer Oushuu and the rest of the land as a way to make up for it. It is after this that he will change his focus to the wellbeing of the land and people more. Masamune would say this: “I won’t blame myself for my father’s death anymore. I will strive towards a new era.”

I really like the route and I do find the ending cut scene very touching. However, I cannot help but to wonder: did Kojuurou pull a Clint Eastwood? I wouldn’t put that past him.

Totally random, but Motochika would come out as part of the Toyotomi army, although Koshoushou won’t. But Magoichi would ask after her.

Conquest of Odawara
The battle almost always starts with Masamune arriving, and this is symbolic because this indicates that the Hojo, which they are attacking, is the only ones that have not surrender to Hideyoshi. The way Hideyoshi speak is clearly of a person very high up, to someone much below him. This is not an alliance, but of servitude. Both Masamune and Kojuurou would pause slightly, before they bow. I think this shows very clearly that this is not loyalty, but an act inspired by necessity. Therefore, it shouldn’t be a surprise that something would happen once the Toyotomi lose their power.

During the battle Masamune would wonder about what might happen if he had allied himself with the Hojo instead, only to have Kojuurou remind him that he promised to focus on the overall wellbeing of the land instead of his own ambitions. Kojuurou would also remind him that they would have a new age regardless of who rule the land. I think the fact that Masamune is still entertaining these thoughts is an indication that he definitely still wants more. That is why I feel he is a bit of a ticking time bomb. If not for Ieyasu, I think the fuse would have blown.

Battle of Hasedo
By this time, Masamune would comment that his focus is on the people, and he does not care that much about who is ruling the land, as long as they can let peace happen. This is very similar to Nobuyuki’s attitude. I think unlike Nobuyuki, he is still ambitious in that if there is a chance for him to seize the land and gain control, then he would definitely do it. If Ieyasu does not exist, then I think Masamune would probably have attacked the Toyotomi due to them not being able to rule the land. However, because there is someone who is leading the land and creating peace, Masamune would not challenge them, and would even work for them. This is because they can let him have what he wants. I think this really reflects how he is neutral in term of the law and chaos scale.

The cut scenes after Hasedo are really nice. As Kojuurou and Magoichi would comment that Masamune is very different from what he was like in his first battle.

If Magoichi is used in the final battle, there would be a really sad cutscene. Alone, Magoichi would address the dead Hideyoshi, saying this: “That kid you found so interesting has turned into a dragon and soared into the sky. The vassals you worked so hard to shape, however, are scattered, and Ieyasu is poised to steal everything away. Are you alright with this, Hideyoshi? Is this the world you aimed for, where everyone can live happily?”

The narration would comment that Magoichi then disappears, I think the Japanese version would describe him as someone who has seen the changes from Nobunaga to Hideyoshi, then to the Tokugawa. He is definitely one of the older characters who had been heavily involved since the very beginning, someone who has seen the rise and fall of all these powerful people. A reminder of how much sacrifice has happened in order for the peace to happen.

Additional note: drama from seiyuu event 10th anniversary
This is not related to the game, so I don’t think if we can regard this as cannon. But in one of the drama, we would have Masamune meeting Nobunaga, and Nobunaga would show him where Japan is on a world globe. Masamune would be surprised at the smallness of the country (I wonder whether he would have pointed to Russia when first asked about Japan’s whereabouts), and Nobunaga would comment that they are really just fighting over this small place, before he announce his ambition of going to the lands outside. That conversation seem to have left a huge impact on Masamune, and he would later think about this when he is about to fight the Toyotomi. I think there is definiltey respect for Nobunaga, as Nobunaga was known for being innovative and unusual, and I think Masamune was (is) a bit like that. He favours the use of guns and in most of his routes in the games, he expresses a desire of going to the world outside of Japan. In some routes, he actually does achieve this.

In regard to that voice drama, Hiyama-san is amazing. Most of the time, Masamune is portrayed as being really hot-blooded, charging around and yelling at others (As mentioned, my first impression of him is the ‘The idiot is right beside me’ due to one of the reviews I saw online). But in that drama, Hiyama-san really shows the coldness and ruthlessness that Masamune has. The event in question is the Kasei-Osaki uprising. After the battle, Mitsunari would question Masamune, resulting in the scene where he says that the seal they got is a fake one. In three, this scene happens with Kanbei and Hideyoshi. But I was quite amazed at how he remains composed even when it seems that he does not have a way out. The outcome is that there is no proof to tie him to the rebellion, and at this he would announce that this is because he is loyal, and he actually sounds very chilling and scary in that scene. All of a sudden, he is not the guy who runs around calling everyone idiot, but someone very ruthless who probably has done a lot of nasty things in order to achieve what he want. There is a strong sense of: “Don’t upset this guy, because you cannot be sure what he will do if pushed.”

Pictures
First, a picture of him in 3.
Masamune-sw3.jpg

Below is a picture of him in four, taken from the official Samurai warriors site, followed by another picture.



I feel that his design got a bit more elaborate in 4. I include the second picture as it shows that he actually has a jacket draped over him, not a cloak. That jacket kind of gives a military feeling and I think it just look really nice. The description about him is also pretty interesting. One of his outfit in Orochi is this Western style military Europe in the 19th or early 20th century and he looks really cool in it.

In my earlier entry, I mentioned that I was not very happy with his yukata (jinbei) as I felt that it should have been more extravagant, given that he is kind of famous for dressing quite flashy. Here it is.

Compared to some of the other yukata (Nobuyuki), it does feel a bit plain, although the pattern seems a bit modern.

Finally, his official art in 4, which I thought would be good to include, because it also has Kojuurou in the background.

The picture also shows him with his horse. In the fourth game, there seem to be quite a bit of mentioning in regard to him liking horses and riding. Maybe it is because the historical person actually was famous for his cavalry as well? In chronicles, he would be observing riders and it end with him and the PC riding off together. In Empires, the pet conversation would also have him talking about his horses/ponies (by the way, Motochika’s pet is a whale.). Another conversation involves the said guy’s wife giving him some money she saved so that he can buy a horse. This event is about how a samurai need to have a horse. But in addition to thanking his wife, Masamune would also mention that when he buys a horse, they will go riding together.
“Thought we continue to strive for a land free of war, it remains ever beyond the distant horizon.” ~ Akechi Mitsuhide

Route availability: one of the default routes available
Playable Officers: Oda Nobunaga, Nouhime, Hashiba (Toyotomi) Hideyoshi, Maeda Toshiie, Shiba Katsuie, Maeda Keiji, Oichi, Akechi Mitsuhide, Azai Nagamsa, Saika Magoichi, Nene, Takenaka Hanbei, Matsunaga Hisahide, Yagyuu Munenori, Kuroda Kanbei, Mori Ranmaru, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Gracia, Chousokabe Motochika, Koshoushou.
Battles: Battle of Okehazama, Nobunaga’s ascent, Conflict at Rokujo, Retreat at Kanegasaki, Battle of Noda –Fukushima, Battle of Nagashino, Conquest of Kishu, Incident at Honnoji.

The Oda route is one of the longer routes and there are a lot of playable characters. Although I should mention that the Shikoku couple could only be used in the final battle. Even though the Oda route does focus on Nobunaga, a significant amount of attention is actually on Mitsuhide. We begin the cut scene with Mitsuhide overlooking the war, and not only is the final battle Honnouji, we actually don’t even play Nobuanga’s version, but plays from Mitsuhide’s point of view.

Battle of Okehazama
The story would start with Mitushide commenting that even though people want peace, war continues. It seems that he observes the first battle, and that is what made him decide to join Nobunaga’s forces.

This is the battle against Yoshitomo, who Ieyasu is still working for at this stage. Ieyasu would comment that during his time as a hostage with the Oda, he actually had a slight friendship with Nobunaga. In another game, that Ieyasu would even comment that Nobunaga is the only one who actually showed him kindness.

Honda will tell Ieyasu that if things get dangerous, then he would need to retreat, as that is the duty of a leader, while Ieyasu himself would describe living for his people as something that he must do. This is very similar to what Takatora would say about living, and even a bit similar to what Motochika says.

After the battle, Nobunaga would comment that he is waiting for someone to come, and when Mitsuhide requests to join the Oda, Nobunaga would imply that Mitsuhide is the person who would fill whatever this role is. The relationship between Nobunaga and Mitsuhide is quite strange at times, because sometimes it almost seems that Nobunaga is waiting for Mitsuhide to rebel.

In one of the downloadable contexts, Hideyoshi would attack Nobunaga, after first tricking a lot of the other leaders to do so. In that scenario, you play as Nobunaga, Nouhime, Ranmaru and Mitsuhide. After the battle, Nobunaga would tell Mitsuhide that this attack would not have worked, and if you really wanted to plan a successful rebellion, you should attack in some place like a temple. It is almost as if he was telling Mitsuhide how to do it.

Nobunaga’s ascent
This is the battle against the Saitou and we get to see Nouhime’s flashback in the opening cut scene. This is the famous scene when Nouhime’s father gives her a dagger and tells her to kill Nobunaga if he turns out to be a fool. Nouhime’s reply: “If it turns out he is not a fool, then I will have no choice but to turn this blade on you.” is really famous, as it shows the turbulent time of the Sengoku period. During the flashback, Mitsuhide and Hanbei would also be there. I know that Hanbei did serve Nouhime’s nephew, although I’m not sure if he served her father too. I think in the first game, it is mentioned that Nouhime and Mitsuhide are cousins. I haven’t played 2, but I don’t recall there being any mentioning of Mitsuhide having worked for the Saitou in 3, although he does calls her hime-sama. (On a side note, when you compare this scene to the same scene in the first game, it is amazing regarding how much the graphics improved).

Hanbei will say that he does not like Nobunaga due to him causing Nouhime to be in pain by attacking Minou, although he would be quite impressed with Hideyoshi. However, is Hanbei actually right in regard to this? I love Nouhime but I don’t think she is fully right in the head as she can be quite crazy at times, so I don’t know if she is actually very upset at what happened to the Saitou. With the exception of Nobunaga, I don’t know if she actually has truly cared for anyone else. On the other hand, Hanbei also says that Nouhime has changed a lot, and she herself admits that Nobunaga caused her to change. So maybe there is some truth in regard to what Hanbei said.

Conflict at Rokujo
During the cherry blossom scene, Hisahide would comment that all of Nobunaga’ allies and retainers have different motives for following Nobunaga, and I think he would begin to plan rebellion from here. Regardless of his plans, this guy deserves an A for effort, because he really is working really hard, and his route in 4-II shows this even more. One thing I am really curious about is why Yagyuu follows Hisahide, as he would say that his clan owns a debt to him.

Koshoushou would be out in this battle as an enemy and she would comment that men would just run away, forcing her to rely on herself. I think that could be a cause of why Motochika would become so important to her, because he is someone that would not run away. Hidsahide would point out to Koshoushou that she could actually reveal that he is responsible for this, but he knows she won’t, due to this not being the right time.

Retreat at Kanegasaki
This is the battle where Nagamasa and Asakura Yoshikage would attack them. Despite knowing that Hisahide is responsible, Nobunaga would get him to lead the retreat. In that aspect, I can understand why Hisahide would say that he is really pissed that Nobunaga just keep on forgiving him (ie.not punish him) and then let him be in a position where he could try to do something again.

In regard to Hisahide getting Nagamasa to betray Nobunaga, I think it is the fact that he is merely working with what is in there already. In 4, Nagamasa is actually a bit more ambitious in that he actually feels that he could be the one on top and do a good job.

On a personal note, I don’t like battles that force you to retreat, because you often end up in a situation where you have to make sure that a certain number of officers remain alive, so you have to dart across the battle field. 4 is a bit better because you can have two characters. I think it was in Ieyasu’s route in 3, where Nobunaga suddenly just won’t move to the retreating point, which means I can’t get the battle to finish.

Battle of Noda–Fukushima
This is the battle where you defeat Nagamasa. If you play Shibata, then he will yell at Nagamasa for doing this, as well as telling him that he cannot succeed if he can’t even let Oichi be happy.

I find the end of the battle really ironic, when Hideyoshi comments that this is all pointless if Oichi can’t smile. Yet this is basically what he would do later on. By being the one who smiles, he is preventing many from doing so.

I actually really like what Hisahide says at the very end: “When you pledge to stand by someone, you must be ware of the potential consequences….even when we know what will happen, we cannot help but to feel the pain.” Despite this guy being a jerk at times, he actually has some really good lines.

Battle of Nagashino
Before the battle, you have a cut scene with Yukimura charging towards Nobunaga and the game then switch from the cut scene to the actual battle. It’s really cool because it is a direct continuation. The battle has people exactly where the cut scene left them off.

The battles shows Mitsuhide’s dilemma really well and I think Mitsuhide is a classic case of Lawful Good character being in conflict due to their master’s action being something that they question. Mitsuhide’s belief is that what happens in the war, even if it is cruel, is necessary if it will end, but this then reaches to a level where he cannot be so certain.

Conquest of Kishu
The battle will end up with Hisahide defecting, and you will also have to fight Magoichi and Motonari. Koshoushou would also be there to help Magoichi.

After being captured, Magoichi is meant to be executed, but Hideyoshi would prevent this. The cut scene also ends with both Mitsuhide and Hideyoshi deciding to do what they want, instead of just following Nobunaga. We all know that Honnouji is Mitsuhide’s answer, but other then letting Magoichi go, what is Hideyoshi actually going to do? I think Hideyoshi is right to take advantage of the situation but he is hardly someone like Nobunaga, nor could he really say that he is the one that is morally right.

Incident at Honnouji
I wasn’t surprised that this is the last battle, but I was really shocked that you only play from the Akechi side. That is why I said that I felt the focus of the Oda route seems to be on both Nobuanga and Mitsuhide.

Munenori is one of the playable characters and he is an interesting case. His reason of being in Honnouji is because he wants to see the effect of an individual on history.

As mentioned in the Shikoku chapter, Koshoushou and Motochika would come out together.

Like 3, I feel that the scene of Nobunaga walking into the flame really powerful. Regarding Nobunaga, I think he is one of the most complex characters that Koei has created. He is also pretty eccentric at times, which makes him all the more hard to work out. But regardless of which game, he clear has a sense of power around him, and I feel that one can easily see why he would end up being able to conquer the land. Of course, there is the question of what would happen afterwards. It is possible that he could manage, but I think it is hard to predict what he would have done. Unlike the others, his desire to rule is not just due to ambition and power, or even peace. But it is so that Japan can improve (in that aspect, Masamune is a bit like that. Masamune also seem one of the war lords that was very eager for contact with the outside world.). I think he might have done a similar thing to what the one in Ikemen Sengoku did, where he gives the position of ruling to Hideyoshi so that he can travel overseas.

I was looking at clips in other games due to curiosity and I was shocked at how different he sounds in 2. Unlike the latter games, he does not have the weird pause. I was really impressed with the speech he made about how he believes that it is necessary to use power to end the warring era, since it was a period that was caused by power. He also seems to be genuinely fond of Mitsuhide, as he would be regretful at having to kill the other. But then, 2 is also the game where Nouhime is the most normal. She really is just a woman who loves her husband very much, and is a bit more ruthless then most, but that is all.

Since this chapter is about the Oda, here are some pictures of Nouhime. As I don’t like her design and appearance in 1, I will not include pictures from the first game.

This is a picture of Nouhime’s design in 4, along with the description of her character.


As mentioned, I feel that the top part of her outfit is too much like actual armour. But then, this is because she is meant to be matching Nobunaga in regard to design. I wish that they can add a bit more a eastern decoration in regard to the top of the armour, since they obviously did for the bit below the waist. In addition, the obi of the outfit is really nice. When you look at the outfit from behind, which is what happen when you play the game, the back due to the obi is really nice. From the back, it actually looks quite eastern. So while I am not fully happy with her whole design, I feel that she still look really nice.

Regarding Nouhime’s outfit, the design seem to usually be that she would have some sort of flowing sleeves, and her right leg would be visible due to the snake around her. She also have a very nice and fancy obi, which can really only be shown in its full glory when you play the game.

This is from 2

So far, this is her most non revealing outfit, as the sleeves are still attached to her dress. For some reason, due to this outfit and her hair being done this way, I always feel that there is a rather Chinese feel in regard to the dress. It actually won’t be very surprising if the dress is like that, since Nobunaga is famous for wearing foreign clothes, so I don’t see why she might not have a dress that has a foreign design, although I think this is just me.

This is from 3.

As mentioned before, my favourite design for her is the one in the third game. The obi she has is really nice at the back.

This is actually the special yukata for Samurai Warriors 4 Empire.

I actually did buy this for my game. I brought the ‘Shrewd’ and ‘Artful’ set. The people that motivated me to buy the set is Nouhime and Motochika. But I got lucky as the set also include Koshoushou and Masamune. Masamune actually has a jinbei instead of a yukata but because the outfits are refers to as yukata set, I will continue to use Yukata. I am actually a bit disappointed with Masamune’s yukata, as it is really plain. I was expecting something like green with giant bright gold pattern all over it. After all, he is Date Masamune, the guy whose last name end up being a reference to people who dresses really flashy.
“This chaos creates hard-hearted demons everywhere and the resolve to become one seems to be a requirement in getting anything done.” ~ Hojo Ujiyasu

Route availability: one of the default routes available
Playable officers: Fuma Kotarou, Hayakawa-dono, Kai-hime, Hojo Ujiyasu, Ii Naotora,
Battles: The great Kanto defense, Defense of Totomi, Defense of Suruga, Battle of Mimase Pass
Special Gaiden: Battle of Oshi Castle, (available after clearing the legend of a land united).

Overall, the Kantou route is fairly positive as it focuses on what happens before the family ends up all being in different places. I am still not fully sure of Kai’s position in the family. Is she like another daughter, or is she more of a favoured retainer? After all, she still calls the rest of the Hojo family by their title.

One of the battles actually has Hojo helping Imagawa’s son and unlike the others, Hojo really is helping him because he is concerned, as the result was not something that would give him advantage at all.

I was quite surprised at Naotora coming out, but her introduction is quite funny, as Kai would think that she is a guy, only for Naotora to announce her identity. But Kai does have a chance, because Naomasa (in the battle of Odawara) will ask Kai if she is the beautiful princess that his mother told him about. He ask the question in a tone that does not suggest any disagreement, nor does he give any indication of disagreement after the battle.

The final cut scene is actually quite ominous, due to the wind suddenly blowing, as if this happiness is only temporary.

Battle of Oshi Castle
This is the battle against Mitsunari, and even though the battle is won, Hojo would point out that he has to go to Odawara, because if Odawara falls, then it is all pointless. It is really sad despite the mood, because we know that Odawara would be lost.

A strange thing regarding Hojo Ujiyasu’s presence is that in history, he was actually already dead for some time. The official ruler would be his grandson, with his son being the unofficial ruler. In one of the latter cut scene, Takakage would comment that Kanbei was talking with Ujiyasu’s son in an attempt of getting them to surrender. Somehow, Ujiyasu is just this strange presence.
“Do you have the resolve to keep on struggling against the tide of history?” ~ Chousokabe Motochika.

Route availability: after clearing ‘Legend of Chugoku’
Playable Officers: Chousokabe Motochika, Akechi Mitsuhide, Gracia (Akechi Tama), Koshoushou, Yagyuu Munenori
Battles: Battle of Shimanto River, Invasion of Asan, Invasion of Iyo, Battle of Hiketa.

Re Samurai Warriors ,my game philosophy is that I usually do a route I really like in the second play through, because by this time I would have a good enough grasp on the game play, and I don’t want to wait for a long time to play the characters that I really like.

I credited Gracia as Tama, because this is her real name. The historical Gracia is famous for her conversion, and Gracia is the name she was baptised with.

Battle of Shimanto River
I really like how the Shikoku chapter starts, how we first see Koshoushou, then switch to Motochika. I love the sequence of how we have close up of Motochika playing his shamisen, and then have him turn around to Mitsuhide.
SW4 screenshot.jpg

I am pretty sure that the reason that Mitsuhide is here is because at this time, Motochika and Nobunaga still have an alliance. Apparently the story of Nobunaga calling Motochika a bat in scorn might not be real, but it is obviously the case in Samurai Warriors.

The guy that Koshoushou is with, Ichijou Kanesada, actually has a long history with Shikoku. The Ichijou family were once a dominate power in Tosa, but was then exiled due to the Chousokabe family taking over. He is being manipulated by Koshoushou, but he probably does want to get Tosa back anyway.

I think this battle probably serves to introduce Koshoushou’s character, and she starts of as an enemy. During the battle, both Motochika and Mitsuhide would say that her plan is very impressive. We also see that she is not a bad person, because she actually does feel a bit bad that Kanesada get trick by her so easily. It is not an extreme guilt, but she definitely is not heartless.

Invasion of Asan
I call this battle ‘the hide and seek round’, because throughout the battle, you would fight enemy officers only to have them retreat and disappear after a certain stage. It is really troublesome due to the fact that they are pretty much spread out on the map. To make things worse, during part of the game, Koshoushou could cause some of Motochika’s soldier to stop fighting, and Motochika will comment that he has been made a fool of.

At the end, Koshoushou will use her own camp as a bait, and the battles ends with her being the final boss. If she meets Mitsuhide or Motochika, she would try to flirt her way out. Mitsuhide would say that this won’t work on him, as he has a wife he is in love with. Even though Mitsuhide’s wife has yet to come out, there are many indications that he has a very affectionate marriage with her. I will really like her to be a new character, as I want to see her interaction with Motochika and Gracia, in addition to Mitsuhide. I think the historical Mitsuhide had two wives, and he and his second wife were very loving to one another, even though she was said to be quite ugly. When Koshoushou sees Motochika, she will also add that she won’t rebel anymore, causing Motochika to say that this is a joke, because her soul thrives on rebellion.

Koshoushou would be captured and Mitsuhide would work out her identity, that she is the daughter of someone who had power in Shikoku, although this is never made clear, because Koshoushou would say that there is no point to talk about it. When Motochika asks her whether this is why she wants to have Shikoku, she will not give a clear answer. Motochika would actually let her go after he declares out that he will be the one that unite Shikoku, and if she does not like it, then it is up to her to do something about it.

Invasion of Iyo
Motonari and someone else will attack Shikoku. I think Motonari has constantly tried to do something in Shikoku due to him being pretty close geographically (in Sengoku Basara, that Motonari and Motochika seems to be constantly fighting), and I think in a way, Motonari have the final victory, because Takakage ended up having Iyo due to Hideyoshi. If you use Motochika and/or Takakage in Odwara, Motochika would comment about it.

From here, Koshoushou would be a playable character in the Shikoku chapters and in addition to liking her as a character, I find her an easy character to use. I like the concept of her weapon too. I think from here, Mitsuhide would no longer be a playable character, although Gracia will continue to be here, claiming that she is representing her father. I am not fully sure why, but you get to have Munenori too.

Chronologically, this will be the first battle where Motochika and Koshoushou are fighting together, and he would ask her why she is still here. She will tell him that she wants a place to belong, resulting in him asking why she think he can grant this. I think Motochika is trying to convey the idea that this is something Koshoushou needs to do herself. This idea seems to be explored more in the second game, because Motochika would explain to Gracia that Koshoushou is using others to try and gain what she wants, instead of realising that this is something she needs to do herself.

During the battle, Koshoushou will comment that the Mori are more powerful, and suggests that Motochika consider surrendering, because he would be able to achieve peace, as well as keeping Tosa. Motochika will say that if he really wants peace, then he would never fight in the first place. I think what Motochika says basically summarises all that is happening in this time, as well as what will happen after Hideyoshi’s death. I really like what Motochika says here, because it is really true. As long as you are fighting, you are causing some sort of unrest that disrupts the peace. Perhaps the goal is for peace, but it is still your vision of peace. Unlike Mitsunari, Ieyasu admits this.

After the battle, Koshoushou and Motochika will talk about her decision of staying by him and she is definitely flirting with him.
SW4 screenshot 2.jpg

But he will tell her that he cannot change her fate, although this conversation will be brought short due to Gracia coming out.

Incident at Honnoji (from Legend of the Oda)
This is not a battle in the Shikoku route but chronologically, it would have taken place sometime here.

Motochika and Koshoushou would both come out and Mitsuhide would describe them as the conquers of Shikoku (I take this as a sign that Koshoushou is only called so due to her actually being with Motochika).

Before fighting Nobunaga, Nouhime would come out. She will tell Motochika that he is an outsider who has no right to be here. However, Motochika will actually say that he has every right to be here, because Mitsuhide’s pain is his pain. But I really like the conversation Nouhime has with Koshoushou. Koshoushou would tell Nouhime that they are similar due to their misfortune, as Nobunaga destroyed Nouhime’s homeland. However, Nouhime would say that she is happy, because she is with Nobunaga. At this, Koshoushou would say that perhaps she is actually bringing happiness this time, as she would allow Nouhime to be with Nobunaga in her final moment.

When fighting Nobunaga, he will describe Motochika as the bat, while Koshoushou is the maid of misfortune.

Battle of Hiketa
This is one of my favourite battles and a large part of the credit goes to Fish-san’s voicing. Basically, Hideyoshi has taken over and is trying to unite the whole country, and Shikoku is his first stop. This is the final battle in this route.

For the characters chronologically, they would have participated in Honnoji (as playable characters) and Yamazaki (as enemy officers). I guess what happened is that Motochika did go to help Mitsuhide, and then returned to Shikoku. At first, I felt that this did not make sense, because Motochika seems more likely to die for Mitsuhide then returns (like Mitsuhide’s route in 3). However, I think this is because Motochika is a ruler at the same time, he is not so irresponsible as to just leave his people.

I guess if you take consideration of the fact that Motochika was by Mitsuhide’s side in Honnoji and Yamazaki, Hideyoshi is not fully wrong in wanting to attack Shikoku. I guess even if he does not know whether Motochika was involved in Honnoji, he did see him participating in Yamazaki. Yet there is never the issue of attacking Shikoku as a revenge. The reason for the place being attacked is because they will not be subjected to Hideyoshi’s rule.

My favourite pairing for this battle is Koshoushou and Motochika, because I feel that by this time, they are a couple already. I do think it is a slight shame that this is not properly acknowledged in the game. But it is really nice to have them coming out together. Despite saying that she will not follow someone who has a death wish, Koshoushou would continue to fight alongside with Motochika, and he will tell her that this is because of her rebellious spirit. Motochika will also say that he has to continue fighting because he made many sacrifices to get Shikoku. This makes sense because if he just gives up so easily, then those under him who fought for him to get what he want would have died in vain. In addition, those who fought against him would also be insulted if he just gives up, because it would be as if what he gained from them is not valuable at all.

Mitsunari is the one leading the battle, so Hideyoshi does not come out. However, Nene is here and she will tell Motochika that he is being stubborn by fighting as more people would get hurt. Motochika will say that this is not him being stubborn, but him being true to himself. Despite the fact that he only kept Tosa, I think his refusal to give up did have an impact on how they are treated.

Yoshitsugu would tell Motochika that he is foolish to try and change the flow, and that this path is the worst. However, Motochika will say that if this is the case, then he is happy to be on this very worst path. But I would like to point out that Yoshitsugu seems to think that it is alright to do this when Mitsunari is involved. Yoshitsugu says a similar thing to Koshoushou, and she will admit that she knows it is useless, but does not care. She also tells Yoshitsugu: “Why don’t you tell him that?”

As mentioned, Hideyoshi does not come out, but he will send Mitsunari, Kiyomasa and Masanori. Masanori is the first of the three you fight with and Koshoushou will actually trick him to opening the door. When he fights Masanori, Motochika would make a comment about those who are no longer there. Usually, Motochika just say that they are the voice of those who have no voice, but this time, he describes them as the following: “Bitter cries of those who lost everything, even their shadows.” I really like this. I think this whole concept is not so much that he is hearing voices in his head, but that he feels deeply in regard to those who he defeated or those he lost.

After Masanori you meet Kiyomasa and once again, Fish-san’s voicing is amazing. As mentioned, the following conversation will happen:
Motochika: “Who the hell does Hideyoshi think he is? What great cause made him think he can come here?”
Kiyomasa: “If everyone follows Hideyoshi-sama, we would have an age without war. Isn’t that a great enough cause?”
Motochika: “I am asking who the hell Hideyoshi think he is. He calls himself a unifier just because he destroyed Mitsuhide?”

Of course, Motochika is very biased, but I think he does have a point. The truth is that Hideyoshi cannot justify this. There is the issue of Yamazaki, but that is never the actual reason, as the battle is never about revenge. Shikoku is attacked because Motochika does not surrender to Hideyoshi and why should he have to answer to Hideyoshi? The reason that Hideyoshi can be the one that unite and rule the land is because he is more powerful then the rest due to having Nobunaga’s army. In addition, Nobunaga is the one that started and done many of this. Hideyoshi only manages to be in this position because he killed Mitsuhide, and argue that this act of vengeance made him deserve to have control of the army. Nobunaga actually have sons, who were then displaced from power by Hideyoshi. Hideyoshi then attacks the other places that were not causing problem on the mainland and have his retainers saying that this is for the better world. However, these lands were doing fine without Hideyoshi ruling them, it is ultimately for himself. This is similar to Nobunaga’s might is right, but Hideyoshi does not even admit this. Later on, Masamune surrenders to Hideyoshi, and this is simply because if he doesn’t, Oushuu is going to get attacked. Therefore, what loyalty does he owe?

The final boss is Mitsunari and I love what Motochika says at the end. It’s not just the words, but the way he says it. There really is this bearing of a ruler when Motochika says this: “You might as well go back and tell this to Hideyoshi. If he wants me to surrender, then he has to come and do it himself.”

After the battle, Motochika will comment that even though they win this battle, there would be more and he intends to continue rebelling. Koshoushou would agree to stay with him, and it ends with him, Koshoushou and Gracia standing by the sea, determined to continue. However, this is a rather bittersweet ending, because the eventual result is that Motochika would be forced to give up the rest of Shikoku and he would then die, with Gracia and Koshoushou forced to go on separate paths. However, in the “Legend of a Land United”, you can actually still use Motochika and Koshoushou in battle, and the two of them would have cut scenes together. However, it will get really sad when we start to have cut scenes when Koshoushou is by herself without Motochika.


Post “Legend of Shikoku”

Conquest of Shikoku
This is a battle where you play from Hideyoshi’s side, so you actually can’t play the Shikoku side. Hideyoshi will declare out that the unification would begin in Shikoku, and it starts with Hideyoshi and Kanbei deciding that it is necessary for them to do this, because Motochika will not surrender. And to be honest, why should he?

This is another battle that I don’t like, because I like the Shikoku group too much. But it is really nice to see how Koshoushou is now fully committed to Shikoku. She is also very influential in Shikoku, as many soldiers would describe her as a goddess (in my head, that equates to her being the wife of the overall ruler there). I also really like how Koshoushou asks Motochika to not get killed when she told him that she has done her part and it is now his turn. It’s the fact that she accepts what he is doing, yet is still very concerned for him.

Conquest of Kyushu
After Shikoku, Hideyoshi attacks Kyushu. The situation in Kyuushu is a bit different, because the Tachibana couple actually asked for Hideyoshi’s help during their fight with Shimazu, so there is more of a justification in regarding them fighting there.

During the battle, Koshoushou would ask Motochika whether the Shimazu are motivated by the spirit of rebellion and he will say yes, because they don’t want to be ruled by the Toyotomi. However, he will always say that rebellion is not just about fighting the Toyotomi.

It must be the island air but both Shikoku and Kyushu are kind of crazy. I have this sense of you have to be really careful with them because they might just decide to do something crazy despite all rationale. Well, alignment wise it makes sense, because of chaotic neutral and chaotic evil. I am not saying that Masamune is not a ticking time bomb but the difference is that he is reasonable. He is not going to do something crazy for the sake of it. If you give him certain power, he would happily work for you.

Oushuu’s punishment
Motochika would be in the battle as an enemy officer, although Koshoushou would not be there. However, he would describe Koshoushou as the woman that changed his fate and is always with him even when she is not directly beside him. Consider that this guy probably only says this for Mitsuhide, I think this is the closest we have to him saying that they are a couple.

Conquest of Odawara
After Kyushu, there were only two groups left, the Hojo and the Date. In both 3 and 4, the battle opens with Masamune surrendering to Hideyoshi, although the main difference in 4 is that Kojuurou is with him. Despite being at a position where he is being submissive, there is something really powerful about Masamune’s bearing. I think in the second game, Maeda Keiji would point out that despite walking into a really dangerous situation, Masamune does not show any fear.

Before the fighting begins, Motochika will tell Koshoushou that he is actually happy, because he gets to bring an end to all this chaos. However, I feel that given how much Shikoku means to him, is he really truly happy at having to give up all but Tosa? Or is it because he does still continue to rebel against fate, only that I am not able to understand it (to be fair, Koshoushou would say that she does not really understand what he is trying to say either).

Upon meeting Kai, Motochika will tell her that she is not being rebellious, but stubborn, because in order to protect something, you have to be alive. I guess that might be what he feels in regard to Shikoku. I am guessing the idea is that even though he could have died during the first battle in Shikoku, the battle would have made a point in regard to what he feels and his people would not have suffered that much? I feel that Motochika is a strange chaotic neutral in that even though he does wish to continue making the irrational choice despite knowing what the rational choice is, he would eventually make the rational choice due to him being a ruler. But he will also tell Kai that he is here because he will witness the end.

Upon meeting Hayakawa, he will say that the Hojo are rebellious, and it will be hard for the next ruler. When he meets Ujiyasu, he will say that there will be peace once Ujiyasu loses his voice, but he will not forget the lion’s roar. Once again, this relates to how he does wish to see the end, and he does have a begrudging respect to those that continues to fight (with the exception of Kai. But then, maybe it is because he feels that she is reckless?)

Koshoushou also tell Kai that the other is foolish to do this, while she will say that Hayakawa reminds her of a friend (Gracia) who remains strong despite all that has happened. She also expresses genuine regret at both situations by saying that a young girl should be happy.

Eventually, some time after this, Motochika will die. The last time we see him would be at the sakura viewing with the majority of the characters, where Motochika and Koshoushou would be standing side by side.


Battle of Seikigahara
By this time, Koshoushou is by herself. When I first played the battle of Seikigahara from the Western Army’s point of view, a lot of symbols appeared. This is a ten stars battle and the majority of the characters are characters that I have not used. Therefore, I was super glad at being able to use Koshoushou. The other character I picked was Ginchiyo and my initial plan was that she would just stand in the main camp and not get into any danger, as Koshoushou can handle this herself. However, this battle is one of the few battles where you have to use both characters. I was really lucky that Ginchiyo managed to stay alive. But even though Koshoushou is a high level character in my game, it was still really hard the first time.

Before the battle, Koshoushou would actually have a conversation with Takatora, where he offers to let her surrender. There is no explanation in regard to why this offer is made, or whether the two of them actually know each other. The main thing is that she would refuse. After Takatora leaves, she would comment that it doesn’t matter what she do now, because she is now alone.

The Osaka campaign
The battle of Osaka in the ‘Legend of a Land United’ is limited to the Tokugawa side, but in the ‘Legend of Sanada’, you get to play the Toyotomi side. In addition, you get to have Koshoushou as a playable character. In the Tokugawa side, she is actually an enemy officer who is beside Hideyori, and tells him that he has to live because this is his duty. This is very reminiscent to what Motochika has said about living.

Just like Seikigahara, she is in a position where it is pretty much hopeless, yet she will continue to fight for a losing battle. In the battle of Osaka, she would even specifically say that she is going to continue for the one in her heart. Upon seeing Ieyasu, she will comment that he seems someone very important and she wonders whether that person would be impressed if she defeats him.

Koshoushou actually does not specifically say Motochika’s name, but talks about him as ‘that person’ (‘ano hito’). However, I think who she is implying is pretty obvious. (although a part of me wonder whether Koei does this on purpose, because in 4-II, the implication is that she had something going on with Magoichi instead). However, in the first game, it is clearly with Motochika, as they constantly come out together.
“The times are changing.”~ Mori Motonari.
“Yes, everything begins now.”~ Kobayakawa Takakage.

Route availability: one of the default routes available
Playable officers: Mori Motonari, Kobayakawa Takakage
Battles: Conflict at Itsukushima, conflict at Aga, battles of Kozuki castle, Siege of Takamatsu
Special Gaiden: Conflict at the Ishigaki plains, (available after clearing ‘The Legend of a Land United).

This is the first route that I played, partly because it is one of the routes that are available by default, and partly because I need to clear this route in order to do Shikoku. Excluding the special gaiden, you actually only ever get to play Motonari and his son. I actually feel that they should include another (so that we can have the three arrows allusion.)

Takakage is one of the new characters and he is a very interesting character, because he is a tactician that really backs up his desire of achieving an ending with as little loss as possible.

I feel that for a lot of the strategist and tacticians in the game, they have what I call a strategist’s bad habits. By this, I mean that they are sometimes too absorb in the battle as a possible theory, that they forgets to take into account that this actually involves really people. Perhaps by sacrificing a few people here, more would be saved, but these few people here are not just pawns, but actual people. I think it is Ieyasu’s route in 3, where Shima Sakon would be in shock at how he suddenly lose despite the advantage he has, and Ieyasu would tell him that this is because he is forgetting to take account that actual people are involved.

I think the majority of the strategists in the game have this, and it can be a bit of a chicken and egg at times. Are you drawn to this job because you are like this, or is this happening due to your job? Is this a way for you to perform your task efficiently, or is this a coping mechanism? A tactician needs to minimise loss, but this means that very often, there would be inevitable losses, and they have to acknowledge this. You have people like Kanbei who try to see this in a detached way, or you have people like Motonari and Hanbei, who often focus on the theory and how to get a victory so much more that it almost seems like a game. Takakage is then a very interesting case, because he is neither. He really tries to think of a way to minimise lose instead of just focus on the victory and when he cannot, he would show regret and sadness. In that aspect, he is very different from his father, who focuses on the victory more. I was really shocked at how cheerfully Motonari rammed his ship.

This is Motonari’s official art for 4, and is that kid Takakage? This is because the grown up Takakage dresses in a similar colour and style.


Speaking of Motonari, I have to comment on his yukata for Samurai Warriors 4 Empires. There is such a thing as taking a symbol too far.

When I first saw the outfit, my thought was: “Did you get the fabric custom made?”

Conflict at Itsukushima
I think this battle takes place during Motonari’s hey days. Technically, he is meant to be quite old when Nobunaga starts to have power. This battle deals with Motonari and an old rival, and it raises the question of whether two very similar people would end up being friends or rivals? This is meant to be a link to how Takakage and Kanbei would become friends due to them being similar by wanting to minimise loss (despite Kanbei usually causing people to think the opposite)

Conflict at Aga
This is when Nobunaga starts to attack Chuugoku, although you actually don’t get to fight Nobunaga, you just end up fighting Hideyoshi.

Battles of Kozuki castle
In this battle, we see how Takakage refuse an advantageous strategy, as he does not want to harm the innocent peasants. What is amazing about Takakage is that he can come up with an alternative theory, he is not just saying that he wants to do something, but he is actually really doing it.

The prelude of the battle actually shows Hanbei being ill and it is really touching to see how concerned Kanbei is for him.

Siege of Takamatsu
I think what happens in the beginning is that one of their retainers is in trouble, and it is basically a situation where trying to save the other is not really worth it. However, Takakage would want to save the situation. The scary thing is that I think Motonari might want to do a similar thing, but for the reason that doing so would be challenging.

At the end of the battle, you fight Hideyoshi and it’s interesting to see how different father and son are treated. Upon seeing Motonari, Hideyoshi will basically just attack him, but if he sees Takakage, he will actually says that he does not really want to fight Takakage and even ask the other to work for him.

After the battle finishes, Hideyoshi will hear news of Nobunaga’s death and will leave. Kanbei will assure him that Takakage would not chase after him, because Takakage wants to see the end of the era. This route then ends with Takakage and Motonari watching the others leave, commenting that things will be changing. I included both of their quotes, which follows one another, because I feel that either one quote alone could not deliver the impact.


After Legend of Chuugoku
Motonari would not be a playable character again, and we will see him in one of the flash backs in ‘Legends of a Land united’. He will say that he will leave leave everything to Takakage, and he is sure that Takakage can do a good job. Prior to Kyushu, Takakage will talk to Kanbei about his father, saying that their family will no longer be so powerful, since it is his father that is responsible for bringing them to great power.

Gaiden: Conflict at the Ishigaki plains
This battle happens when you finish ‘Legends of a Land United’ and you can only have Kanbei and Kiyomasa in the battle. When I unlocked it, I actually have not used either of these two, so I had to level up a bit, and then get their rare weapons from chronicle mod. I don’t like Kiyomasa, but I am actually really good at using his weapon…

The battle actually happens in Kyushu, which makes sense since Kanbei and Kiyomasa lives there. Basically, Shimazu and the Tachibana couple returns to Kyushu after Seikigahara and you have to fight them.

By this time, Kanbei has retired, but will decide to fight because he feels this is necessary (regarding the history, some feel that this was done because Kanbei was trying to gain control of Kyushu). An interesting thing is that Miyamoto Musashi will appear in the beginning cut scene. He and his father are actually said to have worked for Kanbei when he was in Kyushu. Even though Musashi will be in the battle, you can’t choose him as a playable character. I think when you play the battle on the opposing side, Sasaki Kojirou will be in the battle.

Afterwards, Kanbei is shown to be in retirement once more, but he will say that he does not suit the term, as it is for someone who wants to take naps and just read, a clear reference to both Hanbei and Takakage.

I like the way that it shows what Kanbei feels when he is the only one left, but I don’t know why this battle is included in the ‘Legend of Chuugoku’, because the battle is actually in Kyushu. The only reason I can think of is due to the beginning, where Kanbei will point out that Takakage is no longer in this world and recall a conversation with him, where Takakage jokes that he might retire like his father and spend his days reading.
Unlike the previous game, four does not have individual storylines, but have overall storylines for plot. Obviously, some people have more of a presence due to their position and role in the said storyline. For example, even though Shikoku includes Motochika, Koshoushou, Gracia and Mitsuhide, the ultimate focus of the Shikoku chapters is still on Motochika, because he is the one that wants to conquer the place. It is almost like Motochika’s route.

I am doing the review by the actual chapters (routes), but for some, I will mention the additional battles, as that shows what happen to the characters after their said route. I think this mainly applies to Motochika and Masamune.

Brief thoughts on 4 (re game play)
The main difference is probably that unlike the previous game, you get to control two characters, so it is quite handy when you can let character B head off to a far off direction instead of trying to race there. The disadvantage of this is that you have two characters that you need to keep alive, which is often very troublesome if the battle is hard. In my first nightmare mod, I actually had to have one character stay in the safety of the camp because I could not keep two characters alive at the same time. At first, controlling two characters is quite difficult, but after a few battles, you get use to it.

As 4 is on a PS4, the graphic look way nicer. You can see very fine details. I am not sure if this detail is necessary, but it is still pretty awesome to have. Due to the improvement in the graphics, the cut scenes look even more amazing.

For many of the big battles, you can have a lot of characters that you can pick from. While this allow you to use some character that you might not otherwise use, it also mean that if you possess the desire of playing every character in every possible situation (like me), it would take a long time, and you would end up playing the same battle over and over again. That’s why I am sick of fighting Odawara city and Oshi castle. However, some cut scenes would only be unlocked after you use a certain character in a certain battle.

Here’s a screenshot of the game, using Nouhime as the model.


Character design
Overall, I think most people’s design in the fourth game is much better then 3, with a few exceptions. I don’t like Nouhime’s new outfit that much, although she still looks super gorgeous. But I definitely like the design for Motochika and Masamune much better.

New characters
With the exception of a few, I am really happy with the new characters. I have to mention, my favourite new character would be Koshoushou. I don’t care that her hairstyle is bizarre, because her character is written that well. She is a really likeable character. I am actually really glad that she gets her own route in the next game, as I think she definitely deserves it.

My stand in the East vs West, Ieyasu and Mitsunari situation
I am a supporter of the Eastern army and Ieyasu. I think both sides are written really well, but I personally don’t like the Western army and many of Mitsunari’s supporters due to their characteristic and beliefs. This is mostly because I think they are a bit holier-then-thou in that they think they are the ones that are right, when they actually aren’t. Despite the fact that I think they have good intention, they are biased due to believing that only their way is the right way. I feel that this is the main difference between the Eastern and Western army.

Ieyasu never once said that he is the one doing the right thing, he merely states that he wants to put an end on this. Both sides want to stop the war and bring peace, but whereas Ieyasu merely states that he intends to do this, Mitsunari justify this by saying that his side is right. I like Ieyasu because he is honest with what he is doing, as opposed to Mitsunari, who believe that he is right when he isn’t. Without intending to, Mitsunari is hypocritical. The things that he blames people doing to the Toyotomi are what the Toyotomi has done to others. But Mitsunari is an interesting case, because he is not personally ambitious, only that he is too biased for the Toyotomi. He believes that they are the one that are right and just, when this is not the case. Hideyoshi is doing what Ieyasu is doing, and what he did to Nobunaga’s family is what Ieyasu will do to his family. It’s probably not even karma, but merely the way of the world at that time.

Another reason that I don’t really like Mitsunari is because even though he is said to be bad at interacting with people, this does not seem the case, given that he always have numerous people that seems to understand and support him. Kiyomasa and Masanori from a childhood friend angle, Yukimura and Kanetsugu from a friendship from other countries angle, and then Shima Sakon and Yoshitsugu from the servant angle. At one hand, Koei is saying that he is this really poor misunderstood and tragic character, but at one hand, he is shown as having other people’s support far more then anyone else. I don’t think there is anyone in the game who has so many people from different areas supporting him.

I feel that the tragedy that happens after Hideyoshi’s death is due to his own fault. At one hand, he would tell Ieyasu that the other can take over the kingdom when he dies. It is as if he is suggesting to Ieyasu that because he will have the power later on, he does not need to rebel now (thus letting Hideyoshi create the façade of unification), he merely has to wait. Yet at the same time, he is telling the others to make sure that the Toyotomi are going to be protected. I feel that he is really trying to have it both ways. He seems to be doing a “When I am not here, it’s not my problem”, but unlike SouHi from Dynasty Warriors, this merely seems the action of someone who merely is looking after his own self interest without regard for his family or country.

Another thing I am always really curious about is what happens to Nene after Hideyoshi’s death? Because as long as she is there, then I don’t see how Kiyomasa and Mitsunari would end up being in that situation. But then, Kiyomasa is not that influential either (unlike what he might think).

Characters I dislike
I thought I better mention them here, as a warning. These are the characters that I don’t like, so read on at the risk of seeing criticism. They will be characters that you can actually use in the game. Most of the characters that I don’t like are due to the fact that I think they are hypocritical and holier-then-thou, in that they think they are the only ones who are doing the right thing.

Kiyomasa: I really don’t like him. From the last game, I feel that he is really only on the lookout for himself but does not dare to admit it. Therefore, he keeps on justifying his actions by saying that it is for the Toyotomi. Ironically, I think he helped the Toyotomi to get destroyed. Not that his action is the decisive one, but he definitely made things a lot worse. Although I feel that he is not as bad as in 4, as he does not get that much screen time (in my opinion)

Hideyoshi: I think I wouldn’t dislike Hideyoshi so much if not for the fact that his people keep on saying that he is the one doing the right thing, and that by challenging the Toyotomi, Ieyasu is wrong. Because the truth is that Hideyoshi is merely doing what is done by numerous others, with the exception that he is lucky enough to succeed due to managing to have Nobunaga’s army. However, this does not happen without him emphasising the fact that he is right to the others. If he is merely doing it from a strategic point of view, then that won’t be so bad, but I think he really feel that he is the one doing the right thing.

Yoshitsugu: I am probably biased because I actually really like Takatora. First of all, I feel that Yoshitsugu is a bad friend. People talk about how great he is with Mitsunari, but what about what happened with Takatora? It almost seems that he just forgets about Takatora. Of course, it is not his fault that he feels that Mitsunari is more important, but he immediately casts Takatora as the bad guy, blaming him for what happens to Mitsunari. It is all the more sad due to the fact that Takatora would be asking Ieyasu to spare him. Not to mention, what happens with Kiyomasa is Mitsunari’s fault, as Takatora merely state to Kiyomasa that he needs to think about who to support instead of trying to sit on the fence. The other reason I dislike Yoshitsugu is that he is hypocritical. He would talk about how Takatora shouldn’t try to fight fate in regard to what happens to Oichi and Nagamasa, yet it is suddenly okay for him to do the same due to Mitsunari being involved. We don’t see him acknowledging that he is acting in a way that he previously condemned. No, because it is him and Mitsunari, it is suddenly okay.

Kenshin: firstly, I really think the character could have been written better. But the main reason that I dislike him is because I think he is hypocritical by saying that what he is doing is the right thing when this is merely an excuse for him to fight. To make it worse, he doesn’t even want to claim the responsibility of the lands he takes, he just fight and leaves. Then there is the fact that he thinks he is right because he is the reincarnation of the god. He’s not saying this as a propaganda or a metaphor, but that he really believes it. Totally random, but in both Sengoku Lovers and Ikemen Samurai, Kenshin is done in a really interesting way. The first is a bit of an interesting twist because that Kenshin does not like to fight, but the second game shows this really well. I actually really want to see his storyline.

Nagamasa: I don’t like him because he is the case of saying nice things without taking them into consideration. He basically pretty much is leading his clan to destruction, yet does not realise this. I personally just feel that he is really foolish.

Mitsunari: he is a really strange case, because I don’t think I dislike him as a person, I just dislike him due to his actions, as well as the way those around him acts due to and because of him. It’s hard to explain

Aya: I don’t dislike S characters but I dislike those who are sadistic but say they are actually not. Aya is the best example of this. The whole thing about love and her showing love is such bulls**t. Basically, she is doing ‘my way of the highway’. Anyone that does not agree with her, she thinks they can be punished and hurt. This is not the action of someone good. This is the action of a psychotic bitch. There is also the fact that she is deluded with her thinking that her brother is a god.

Special mentioning: Uesugi Kagetora. Given that he is Aya’s adopted son, it probably is not a surprise that I dislike him. Yes, his situation is sad, but the way he acts… He actually has a family that really cares for him, but from the way he speaks of his father, I would have thought that this guy had a really painful childhood. He then made things worse in Echigo by trying to be the ruler when he does not have any right to it. He is the hostage that was adopted, and he is the younger one. In addition, it is not as if he actually had significant victories in the battle. He had to be saved by Kagekatsu.

Re methods of writing names
I tend to write a name in full, eg.Kojuurou, instead of using the line over the u and o, and this is mainly because using the actual texts is a bit hard, and they ended up being a different font size and style. However, the list of battles that I found does not actually the symbols, so that’s why sometimes the spelling would not be complete But for place names, (Osaka, Kyushu) it is often in the common abbreviated from. Also, I tend to write Hojo as that, due to being used to doing so. Oushuu is written as Oushuu as I can’t get used to writing it Oshu.

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