Pokemon Conquest, or Pokemon + Nobunaga's Ambition in Japan, is probably something you wouldn't expect, but this collaborative effort combines Pokemon with Samurai Warriors 3, which itself is based on a franchise based on the most famous period of Japan, the Sengoku Period. So you have people from that time period as characters in those games appearing in this game with their Pokemon partners on a fun DS adventure with mechanics from the 5th generation of Pokemon, as it was released in mid 2012. Cool, right?
As a turn based tactical RPG, you control Warriors linked with Pokemon to do battle in various kingdoms across the region of Ransei. The one who can unite the region of Ransei will be able to encounter the region's creator. Sounds pretty spiffy. With great character design, excellent music and, uh, interesting overall gameplay, this is definitely a Pokemon game to play. So that's why I'm playing it, cause it's pretty great, even if there are some problems with it that we'll see later down the line.
What I also want to dive into is the period of Japan's history this game is based on, the Warring States period, or Sengoku jidai. It's a crazy adventure of many prominent warlords and fiefdoms fighting for domination to control the capital of Japan and maybe being able to conquer the whole island for the first time in 50,000 years. And that's where you guys come in! See, I'm a nerd, but I'm not too knowledgable in this specific part of Japan's history (crazy I know), so I'd love to find out what really happened during this interesting time of love, honour and glory by people who know more about that time period and culture than I ever will.
I will be delving into some history and backstory slightly during the LP, but I don't feel like poring through thousands of historical texts and websites to get my accurate info, I do want to have fun with this LP, so I'll be sticking with Wikipedia, much as that might make some of you wince.
Also you might notice this LP is on this neat little offsite Rhematic in thanks to the rad Etrian Odyssey LPer Ragnar Homsar. Check out her LPs and give her site a read.
Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Welcome to the World of Warlords!
- Chapter 2: Type Advantage
- Chapter 3: A Conquer North
- Chapter 4: Fighting Off Foes
- Chapter 5: Kenshin and Shingen
- Chapter 6: Yoshihiro's Grand Day Out
- Chapter 7: Super Effective
- Chapter 8: Cold, Hard and Unforgiving
- Chapter 9: The Enemy is in Dragnor!
- Chapter 10: Hanbei and Kanbei
- Chapter 11: Tolerable Postgame
- Chapter 11.5: When THIS Happens!
- Chapter 12: Fast Forward
- Chapter 13: Triple Story Time
- Chapter 14: Second Finale of Conquest
Just before we start, watch this video, it'll give you a quick lesson in the basic history of Japan. You could make a religion out of that.
Since this is an LP where I'll be talking about 16th century Japan, there's obviously going to be a few words that will be quite commonplace, but not exactly ones you'll know if you've only known English your whole life. So let's go over them:
Daimyō: Powerful Japanese feudal lords in control of land, subordinates only to the Shōgun. From dai 大, large and myōden 名田, private land.
Feudalism: A political system in medieval Europe that gave power to those with land in exchange for service or labour. Derived from the Latin feodum, fiefdom was a major element in Feudalism, as the land granted "in fee" could be returned for allegiance and service.
Shōgun: Military dictator of Japan and the true ruler as opposed to the Emperor, though they appoint new Shōgun. Short form of Sei-i Taishōgun (征夷大将軍, "Commander-in-Chief of the Expeditionary Force Against the Barbarians"), they held power over Japan through military means during 1185-1868, with exceptions.
Emperor: Ancestral and current head of Japan after the Meiji restoration in 1867. From Tennō 天皇, heavenly sovereign, said to be direct descendants of the sun goddess Amaterasu, they have spent most of the millenium controlled by other political forces, aside from the times they overthrew the shogunate.
Samurai: Military nobility of medieval and early-modern Japan, also referred to as bushi 武士, from the Chinese verb 侍, to wait upon or accompany persons, similar to the Japanese saburau 侍う, to wait for a chance, or to serve by one's side. They grew in greater number throughout the years and consolidated their power to became the political ruling class of Japan during the Ashikaga Shogunate.
Vassal: One with mutual obligation to a lord or monarch, in the context of feudalism, for military support and mutual protection in exchange for land or fiefdoms. In Feudal Japan, the powerful relations of daimyō, shugo and jizamurai could be considered equivalent to western vassals.
Retainer: A group of people in direct service of a lord or daimyō, the cornerstone of Feudalism. They wore heraldic badges to show their allegiance and would be supported by their lord in judicial processes, among other things.
Shugo: From 守護, military governor, appointed by the Shogun to oversee provinces in Japan, though as they began claiming land and greater power themselves, the position gave way to daimyō in a similar role. Some shugo lost power to their subordinate shugodai, while others strengthened their territory, dividing the country between their power.
Jizamurai: Smaller lords of rural domains as power became divided between a lord's sons, thus giving way to shugo to consolidate their power and take over the domains and oversee the provinces. Threatened by the shugo, the jizamurai banded together into leagues called ikki and uprisings occured when shugo attempted to seize control, also called ikki.
Ōnin War: A large civil war lasting between 1467 and 1477. Starting as a dispute between Hosokawa Katsumoto, a deputy to the Shogun and his father-in-law Yamana Sōzen, a powerful daimyō, Sōzen opposed the growing power of Katsumoto and supported the Shogun's newborn son, as opposed to the Shogun's brother, who should have been appointed as the new Shogun after the current one, Ashikaga Yoshimasa, was due to retire. Tensions grew as either side escalated the conflict and fighting broke out in the capital for control. While most conflict was defensive and political, there was much internal struggle to control the capital Kyoto, with different states vying for power in the vacuum.