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“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.