Free Mode

From Koei Tecmo Wiki

Free Mode (フリーモード) is a mode featured in several Warriors titles. Originally introduced in Dynasty Warriors 2, it features several characteristics that distinguish it from Story Mode.

  1. Allows one to replay unlocked stages without having to go through story introductions, cutscenes, and pre-battle dialogues.
  2. Provides a faster method of grinding for loot and experience in order to strengthen characters.
  3. Sometimes provides easier alternatives to acquiring rare weapons and items, though only certain characters can pull it off depending on their placement on the battle map.
  4. Offers the choice of fighting from the perspective of factions and occasional third parties not made playable in Story Modes. It should be noted that this option is omitted entirely in the Warriors Orochi series.
  5. Enables players to hear an enemy officer's death quote instead of their retreat phrase. Select characters may offer unique dialogue found only in this mode.

Playable characters that cannot be played within a game's own Story Mode are usually referred to as "Free Mode characters" by fans. They typically have special traits to distinguish them from unique NPCs, player-created characters, or other generic officers on the field. Their exclusion from Story Mode is often met negatively, especially with fans who desire to experience more facets of their respective games' narratives. Expansions or spin-off titles sometimes alleviate this problem by giving these characters their own unique stories.

Characters in the third-party Warriors collaboration titles may solely be available in the game's original mode (closest equivalent to Free Mode in these titles). These characters often differentiate themselves from "Free Mode characters" since they have individual side stories or optional objectives dedicated to them. Downloadable content might also highlight them in some way.