Nobunaga's Ambition

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Nobunaga no Yabou Shinsei main visual

Nobunaga's Ambition (信長の野望, Nobunaga no Yabō) is a turn-based strategy video game series first released in Japan in 1983. It is a series of loosely adapted historical simulations produced by the Japanese video game developer Koei. It features a predominately Japanese voice track though English dubs appear during movie cutscenes. It debuted before Romance of the Three Kingdoms but isn't localized as often.

March 30, 2013 marks the series's 30th year anniversary. There are several events and miniature campaigns taking place to celebrate it, many of which are located for easy viewing on its special website.

The iconic main theme heard in the opening credits and most promotional trailers for the series was composed by Yoko Kanno.


Nobunaga's Ambition takes place during the Japanese Warring States period. As the title suggests, the player is tasked with achieving Oda Nobunaga's ultimate goal: the conquest and unification of Japan. Selecting Nobunaga is optional, however, as the player is can choose from a variety of other regional daimyo of the time. Available daimyo changes based on historical scenario the players selects to play.

The game plays in a similar manner as the Romance of the Three Kingdoms series but has a few distinguishing differences. Unlike the former, the imperial court plays a greater role in deciding the damiyos' fate. If the court favors them, players have the option to name someone an enemy of the state, call a ceasefire, or promote their rank.

Players can also raise and train ninja to guard a damiyo's envoy. Since the main map doesn't display the statistics for each general, ninja are used to spy on the enemy and report information on their progress. They can additionally reduce the order of their enemies' lands and disrupt relations between two other regional lords. Asking an officer to defect is a greater gamble than Romance of the Three Kingdoms as the player's envoys risk getting captured by the enemy and may face death if they can't escape. Employing officers may require a monetary fee for their services. Players can nominate their clan's Four Guardian Kings, arrange marriages, or choose to retire the clan's head and pass their leadership to another general.

Battles take place in real time in recent titles within the series. Armies fight in a secluded area and are given the objective to defeat, siege, or defend. Storehouses and other fortifications can be taken to fortify the player's food supply. Officers can continue to use skills but performing them doesn't always pause the action on the field. The goal is to either fulfill the objectives given or end the battle within a set time limit. If neither side achieves victory, the battle is declared a draw. Iron Triangle continues the real time element but has battles take place on the overworld map, visually resembling the 3D map layout in Romance of the Three Kingdoms XI.

The newest title, Tendou, includes options to reshape the landscape surrounding the player's cities and "what if?" versions of certain characters. These versions play on theories and famous fictional interpretations known in Japan such as a female Kenshin and the Kagemusha Ieyasu.

Recently, games have added Western settlers and various fictional figures who were said to be active during the time such as the Sanada Ten Braves. Other guest characters from past installments include figures from the Aynu culture, a few of the Forty-seven Ronin, Mongols from Genghis Khan's time, and figures from the Bakumatsu. Romance of the Three Kingdoms characters routinely crossover in select games. The online MMORPG includes occult encounters, gods, and several mythological beasts, one of which includes the snake beast, Yamata no Orochi.

Games in Series

For Nintendo Entertainment System

  • Nobunaga's Ambition
  • Nobunaga's Ambition II

For Sega Genesis / Mega Drive

For Super Nintendo Entertainment System

For Sega Mega CD

  • Tenkafubu
  • Nobunaga no Yabou: Haouden

For Sony PlayStation

For Sony PlayStation 2

For Sony PlayStation 3

For Sony PlayStation 4

For Xbox 360

  • Nobunaga no Yabou Tendou - March 4, 2010 (Japan)

For Wii

For Nintendo Switch

For PC

For Game Boy

  • Nobunaga's Ambition (based on Sengoku Gunyuden)

For Bandai WonderSwan

  • Nobunaga's Ambition

For Game Boy Color

  • Nobunaga's Ambition (Sengoku Gunyuden conversion)

For Game Boy Advance

For Nintendo DS

For Nintendo 3DS

For PlayStation Portable

For PlayStation Vita

For Mobile

For Pachinko/Pachislot

See also

Image Songs

  • Aoi no Asa - Nobunaga no Yabou: Zengokuban; Koei Vocal Collection track
Performed by Kumi Sano
  • Toki no Shirabe - Nobunaga no Yabou: Sengoku Gunyuden
Performed by Akino Arai
  • Tooi no Nakama he - Nobunaga no Yabou: Sengoku Gunyuden
Performed by Kira Shibusawa
  • Mou sugi ni... - Nobunaga no Yabou: Sengoku Gunyuden
Performed by Kira Shibusawa
  • Nishie no Hitomi - Nobunaga no Yabou: Sengoku Gunyuden
Performed by Akino Arai
  • Tooi Aoi Iro - Nobunaga no Yabou: Sengoku Gunyuden
Performed by Akino Arai
  • Soba ni iru - Nobunaga no Yabou: Sengoku Gunyuden
Performed by Akino Arai
  • Kagerou - Nobunaga no Yabou: Bushou Fuuun Roku
Performed by TETSU
Performed by Akino Arai
Performed by Kalafina
Performed by Ayaka Hirahara
Performed by MISIA and Marcus Miller

CR Nobunaga no Yabou Tenka Sousei ~Nii no Jin~ image songs

  • Koigokoro, BREAK OUT, Yumemiru Shoujo Janai by Nanase Aikawa
  • KISS ni Utarete Nemuritai, Setsunasa wo Korosenai, Monica by Koji Kikkawa

Related Media

In 2007, players of the Online game could do a quest to claim a pet named "Hikonyan", a modern day mascot character seen around Hikone Castle. The producer as appeared as a guest on Hibiki Radio to talk about the game.

Like earlier Romance of the Three Kingdoms titles, some of the games in the series use real life actors to express certain events.

The newest title, Tendou, has a tie-in with the film, Katen no Shiro and other media has been included into the game as downloadable content. A tie-in with 2012 live action film, Nobou no Shiro is included via a bonus scenario at Oshi Castle.

The Houoh no Shou expansion for the series's online adaptation was the focus of channel α's sixth episode.

As a part of the 30th anniversary celebration of the series, a web comic adaptation by Yoichiro Ono was released. Another comic collaboration with Nobuyuki Hori paints a modern parody of Nobunaga's life called Nobunaga no Yabou~n.

Music from the second, third, and fourth entries as well as Taishi and Online were performed for the GAME SYMPHONY JAPAN 24th CONCERT KOEI TECMO Special ~Shibusawa Kou 35th Anniversary~ orchestra concert.


External Links

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