#454 – Nobunaga’s Ambition

But who will save your soul?
One of the best Koei covers. Masterfully done.
Good to know!

PLAYERS: 1-8 alternating



GENRE: Historical Sim


Who wants to ride shogun, kids? Nobunaga’s Ambition takes Koei out of their beloved ancient China and into a strongly divided 15th and 16th century Japan. The Hundred Year War is raging. The daimyo or “lord” Nobunaga has all but conquered Japan, but other daimyos – who are in control of different feudal states or “fiefs” of Japan – are vain enough to challenge his strength. Choose from one of two scenarios: choose to rule as a daimyo from one of seventeen fiefs, or one of fifty fiefs. If you choose the latter, be prepared for the longest game of “Risk” you never wanted to play; the former is a little less brutal, but still lengthy. Once your fief has been chosen, you maintain it: keep your citizens and soldiers happy, make your rice fields flourish, and of course, expand your reach over other fiefs. If you feel comfortable enough with your supplies and your units, you can choose to go to war with other fiefs. Hesitate for too long, and they will make war on you, so either way, war will be declared. This is Koei, so stats/options are plentiful and overwhelming. In your fief, you have to keep track of dams (if they’re strong, they won’t burst during typhoons), the loyalty of your peasants, and even your daimyo’s health, IQ, and bowel regularity (not really, but it wouldn’t surprise me). You can sign peace treaties, marry other daimyo’s daughters, bribe peasants to your fief, among eighteen other commands. I could care less, frankly, and I’ve explained why in my L’Empereur review. If virtual conquest is something of a pastime for you, however, please look forward to Nobunaga’s Ambition.

K (for Koei)

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4 replies on “#454 – Nobunaga’s Ambition”

This one was a doozie. As far as Koei games go I found this one to be much less forgiving than the rest of them. Still a good game mind you, just more difficult and punishing.

I too loved the cover. For the longest time I thought it was supposed to be a space mask thin. Now I figure it could easily say “cut out and past your face and you can become a great warlord!”


I played the Game Boy version of this game some 20 years from now and I remember enjoying it a lot allthough it’s really quite the inverse of what I’m looking for in a video game.

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