Hello, and welcome to yet another article in my new series on The Story Arc: Make a Musou. I love Dynasty Warriors, the number of times I bring it up, and the multiple Musou related articles I’ve written should be proof enough of that. However, I am currently in a Dynasty Warriors drought as I have no interest in Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires, so I thought it was time to flex some creative writing.
But what could I do? When it comes to Dynasty Warriors content you can find whatever you want online already. For the past twenty years, the internet has been filled with character analyses, essays on the storytelling, and gameplay deconstructions. I don’t have much to add when talking about Dynasty Warriors itself. However, there is one question that everyone has had at one point in time: “What if ___ was a Musou game?”
That’s right, it’s time to pretend we’ve gone back to the Tumblr days when imagining your ideal game and talking to people about it wasn’t cringe! I have asked my friends to give me a list of franchises, and I will make a Musou roster out of each and every one of them. In my previous article, I highlighted how I would pick and design a roster for a Slash Killer Musou. Today, we’re going to do something that may be described as the complete opposite.
So, what’s the second franchise on the list? Well do to a sudden episode of depression I decided to focus on something that makes me happy and remake the Musou roster I made for one of my favorite framchises: Sakura Wars. How will I be remaking it? Why don’t you scroll down to the “Roster Size” part and find out.
How we’ll be designing the movesets!
Now we must discuss how Musou Movesets typically work if we are going to create a wide variety of them. If you have already read my piece on making a Batman Musou you may skip ahead to when we start talking about how many characters our roster will have First let’s go over the basics of each character’s normal attacks. You all likely know how Musou movesets work on a basic level, you string together combos consisting of light attacks and heavy attacks. However there is a pattern that movesets typically follow that I feel needs some explaining.
Pressing light attack once and then heavy will knock enemies directly in front of you in the air allowing for a juggle or for you yourself to transition into an attempted combo.
Pressing light attack two times and then a heavy will perform an attack that while not super powerful will hit enemies close to you, generally on your left and right.
Pressing light attack three times and then heavy will perform an attack that while not your strongest will hit a wide range of enemies.
Pressing light attack four times and then a heavy will perform an attack that is either straight forward or will move you slightly forward
Finally, pressing light attack five times and then triangle will perform an attack that does plenty of damage in a short range, the perfect attack for enemy officers.
These are the foundations of a basic Musou moveset however there is more to explain and think of for our roster.
The bar you have been seeing below or next to the health bars in this footage is the Musou gauge. Once it is full you are able to unleash your most powerful attack: a Musou attack. So we’ll need to think of a Musou for everyone.
Next we have the trickiest part of our roster, the R1/RB button. The R1/RB button is used as a weapon switch in mainline Dynasty Warriors but various spin offs have used it as a button that activates a unique skill or attack for a character. These attacks can span from being very average to something atypical so thinking about each character’s unique will be hard.
Finally we’re going to incorporate a mechanic that many modern Musous such as Pirate Warriors 4 and Warriors All Stars as well as Musou clones like Utawarerumono Zan have: skill attacks. Holding down a button will give you an option of activating a skill. Most of these are just buffs like increased attack or speed, however several of these Musous give characters extra moves via skills. As we want to make this hypothetical game seem as appealing as possible we shall come up with 3 skill attacks for each character.
And that’s everything! 5 Normal combos, a musou attack, a unique skill, and 3 skill attacks for each character. As we go into this I won’t describe what each and every character’s individual combos will be but rather just how we imagine them playing with a few combo examples. I will mostly focus on describing every Musou, unique, and skill attack we come up with. A fair warning as well that I won’t talk about some characters as much as others, thinking of a variety of different movesets is difficult
With everything about how we will go about this explained let’s move on.
Our Roster Size
Before we get into picking our characters we first need to figure out how big the roster could be. While a true dream would be everyone playable we’re going to have to be realistic with this. Other licensed Musous started with rosters of these sizes
Berserk Musou – 8 characters
Arslan Musou – 16 characters
Dragon Quest Musou – 13 characters + 1 DLC
Touken Ranbu Musou – 15 characters
One Piece Pirate Warriors – 15 characters
When I first made this roster I picked 11 characters from the Sakura Wars series as I felt it was niche enough for that to feel fair. Well for future Musou article I no longer want to make roster that small so I have decided to expand it. How much will I expand it? Consider this a test for all future Musous I make which will be 18 characters minimum (Unless the series in question has less than 18 characters). This new SW Musou roster will be 19 characters big!
If you’ve already read my previous Sakura Wars Musou Roster the first 11 characters here are completely unchanged, so feel free to scroll all the way down to character 12 for the new additions I’ve made.
And now, finally, we can start discussing the roster
Character 1: Sakura Shinguji
Sakura Shinguji! There’s no use hiding this pick till later. Anyone who has ever heard of Sakura Wars has heard of Sakura herself. She is the poster girl. As for a moveset she’s made that job easy for us as well. Katanas are some of the easiest weapons to make a moveset for, hell Touken Ranbu Musou is entirely katanas.
I imagine Sakura’s moveset and normal combos being refined with strikes that look precise, similar to characters like Ranmaru in Samurai Warriors. She may be a silly country girl but as we’ve seen time and again that when the going gets tough she’s nothing if not a serious fighter. Unfortunately I don’t really have any basic combos to describe for her, as being a katana user also means there’s not much interesting to describe there.
Now while we’ll have her basic combos focus on her more refined swordsmanship we’ll be able to have some more of her personality show in her attacks skills as I propose these three.
First off, Tripping! Sakura is a clumsy girl, we see her mess up sets all the time throughout Sakura Wars media. We need this aspect of her to be represented somehow so I propose one of her skill attacks be tripping into a group of enemies and damaging them.
Next is a skill I want to be devastating to enemy commanders, one where Sakura jumps into the air and stabs her sword behind her as she did in the first episode of Sakura Wars Gouka Kenran.
For a third attack skill we’ll be referencing Yaksha, the evil Sakura Shinguji, from the sixth game. Sakura will duplicate into 3 and charge forward, her sword having a purple and pink dark aura to it.
Sakura Wars as a franchise has made picking Musou attacks for each character easy. As the games already have big super attacks for each character. For Sakura she will do her Haja Kensan Ouka Houshin and swing her sword forward causing a pink energy wave to cut through enemies.
With Sakura done let’s move on to our next character, a character who you all knew would be on this roster so we may as well say her second.
Character 2: Erica Fontaine
Our second character is the main girl of Sakura Wars 3, Erica! Aside from being one of the series poster girls, Erica is insanely popular among fans. She had a guaranteed place in this roster from the start.
As for how she’ll play, Erica will be our most ranged fighter in the roster, as her main weapon in the series is two machine guns shaped like crosses. Her light attacks will all involve shooting in various directions. However, this shooting won’t be standstill like you’d expect from a professional. Erica will be constantly moving in her combos and throwing her arms in various directions with her eyes closed. She’s the clumsiest of the Sakura Wars heroines and thus will have the least elegant fighting style.
For his third heavy combo to hit a wide range of enemies, I want Erica to spin in circles while firing her weapons.
For her fifth heavy combo, I want Erica to do something that we saved for Sakura’s skill attacks. She’ll trip right into an enemy commander only for an angel to pick her back up.
Erica’s musou attack was a bit tricky to think of. See, unlike most character’s special moves in the games, hers was a healing move. While Dynasty Warriors has given characters healing musou attacks before (Pang Tong from DW7 for an example) in a crossover title like this, it doesn’t feel right. So we’ll instead take influence from Project X Zone for her Musou
Erica will quickly throw her dress toward the camera and reveal she is dressed in a catsuit. She’ll then pull out a comically sized hammer and slam it down on the enemies in front of her before he dress falls back on her
For Erica’s special skill, she’ll do what is actually her special move from the games. She’ll enter a prayer pose and grow wings; those wings will then disappear, and she’ll have regained some of her health.
Out of the four main heroines picking Erica’s skill attacks was the easiest. This girl is wacky with a capital W, which leads to many fun things we can have her do.
For her first skill attack, I want Erica to do what is probably the most iconic aspect of the character. She’ll pull out a pair of maracas and do a little jig. Enemies around her will dance along before collapsing.
Erica’s second skill attack will have her hold up her cross as beams of light rain down and blast enemies around her.
For her final skill attack Erica will also clumsily trip like Sakura, however as Erica is much, much clumsier than other Sakura Wars heroines she will for some reason explode as she trips before getting right back up.
Now for our third character I’m going to be adding someone who I wouldn’t consider necessary for a Sakura Wars roster but because crossover games often include him I couldn’t exclude him if I want to keep this roster realistic.
Character 3: Ichiro Ogami
Yes, for our third character, we’re going to include the man you’re actually playing as for the first four games. Shocking, I know.
Ogami’s moveset is a bit difficult to think about, not because his weapon would be hard to think of attacks for but rather because of what I want to do with him. Ogami will be our opportunity to represent characters who did not make the cut for my roster. Similar to the Project X Zone games, his attacks will involve using the weapons of Flower Division girls who weren’t included.
For Ogami’s light attacks, he’ll be attacking with his dual swords in a rapid fashion, but each of his heavy combos will involve pulling out a different weapon.
For his third heavy combo to hit a wide range of enemies, he’ll pull out a bow and fire a few arrows around him in reference to Hanabi from the third game.
For Ogami’s fourth heavy combo, which will move him forward a bit, he’ll pull out a lance like Reni’s and charge forward.
For his fifth heavy combo to do devastating damage to enemy commanders, he’ll pull out Glycine’s axe from three and slice sideways in front of him.
For Ogami’s Musou, he will clash his swords against each other, and the blue silhouette of a wolf will appear and charge forward at enemies.
For Ogami’s special skill, we’ll be referencing Iris from the first two games. After pressing R1, Ogami will be surrounded by teddy bears to protect him from damage for a few seconds.
Now, let’s move on to his skill attacks. For his first skill attack, he’ll pull out a pistol and shoot one shot at enemies in front of him. Referencing Maria from the opening of the first game.
For his second skill attack, he’ll pull out a bazooka that explodes in his face and rolls him into enemies to hurt them, referencing Kohran’s from the first episode of Sakura Wars Ouka Kenran.
For his final skill attack, an elephant shall appear from out of nowhere and stomp on some enemies. This will be our reference to Colquiecot from game 3.
Ogami’s moveset was easy to think of because we had an entire pantheon of unused characters in the Tokyo and Paris Divisions to pick from. Sure would be a shame if I put two other men on this roster with a significantly smaller number of characters to reference.
So anyway, moving on to our next character.
Character 4: Gemini Sunrise
Those of you more in the know about the Sakura Wars franchise will know there was a time when Sega themselves tried to create a Musou style game with Sakura Wars as the basis. I’m, of course, referring to Sakura Wars V Episode 0 on the PS2. This game starred Gemini Sunrise and her horse, Rally. We’re going to homage this game completely and have Gemini’s entire moveset be on her horse.
By default, this will make Gemini the fastest fighter in our roster; she’s riding a horse around for god’s sake! We’re also going to want her attacks to primarily attack to her left and right to encourage the player to never stop moving as her. Episode 0 gives us very little to work with in terms of attacks; she just has basic sword slashes. However, the game actually had many different equivalents to Musou attacks for her. So, for this moveset, we’ll be converting those Musous into normal attacks!
Gemini’s second heavy combo Gemini will pull on Rally’s reins and begin to spin in circles, kicking up dust that damage surrounding enemies.
For her third heavy combo to hit a range of enemies, Gemini will swing her sword around, and three meteors will appear from it, flying at enemies in front of her.
For her fourth heavy combo, Rally will begin jumping forward as Gemini slashes, with lighting bolts appearing wherever they land.
Gemini’s Musou attack shall be the Tyrant of Texas from Episode 0. She’ll jump off of Rally into the air, and an aura will surround her. she’ll then spread her limbs, sending energy flying at all nearby enemies before landing back on her trusted horse.
Gemini’s special skill, as well as her skill attacks in general, will all be following the theme of fire. Whether it be Project X Zone or SRW, games love having Gemini set things aflame. As such, for her special skill, her sword shall be set aflame for a short while, producing a fire effect that will chip away at the health of enemies.
Now, let’s move on to Gemini’s skill attacks. For her first skill attack, she’ll throw a flaming baseball forward to hit a group of enemies.
For Gemini’s second skill attack, she’ll do what was the equivalent to her first Musou attack in Sakura Wars V Episode 0. Larry will kick his legs up as Gemini holds up her sword, and a wave of fire will spread around them, damaging enemies.
Gemini’s third skill attack will be comparable to on-horse musous in the main DW series but with her own flair. Rally will be set aflame and charge forward, crushing any enemies in his path.
Gemini was one of the most fun characters to think up a moveset for because I effectively had to rework a mediocre musou moveset into one that would fit a modern game. With her out of the way, let’s move on to the second New York character in our roster.
Character 5: Shinjiro Taiga
Our fifth character will be the protagonist of the fifth game, Shinjiro Taiga! Shinjiro will have a similar gimmick to his uncle where a lot of his attacks will reference characters who couldn’t make the cut for our roster, but unlike his uncle who had nearly the entire casts of the first three games to pull moves from we only have a small handful of unused girls in the fifth game to choose moves from for Shinjiro.
So, for Shinjiro’s light attacks, he’ll attack with twin swords like Ogami; however, in order for his attacks to be different from his uncle, he will be holding one of them backwards. His heavy combos will also mainly focus on this dual sword style, with one exception:
For his third heavy combo to hit a wide range of enemies, he will pull out Rosarita’s gold and silver guns and fire rapidly at enemies.
Shinjiro’s Musou attack will reference his special attack from Sakura Wars 5 but not the same thing; he will yell out, “Tiger fang!” and hold his swords to his side, the silhouette of a tiger will then appear and claw at enemies in front of him.
When pressing R1 and activating his special skill, some birds shall surround Shinjiro and allow him to recover a small amount of health, a reference to Diana’s healing from the fifth game
For his first attack skill, Shinjiro will pull out some throwing knives and toss them at enemies surrounding him, in reference to Lachette. The first captain of the Star Division.
For Shiniro’s second attack skill, we’ll have a motorcycle drive by and crash into enemies. This will be our reference to Sagitta’s from the second chapter of the fifth game.
His final attack skill will be something relatively simple. His fist will glow white and he’ll fly forward at enemies with a punch in a reference to how he beat the antagonist of the New York OVA.
Shinjiro wasn’t as hard to think up a moveset for as I anticipated, but him having the same weapon as Ogami definitely forced me to be creative and describe another way to wield two swords….there’s going to be another two swords character later.
Anyway, moving on to our sixth character!
Character 6: Sakura Amamiya
Our next character is the main girl of the sixth mainline Sakura Wars game, Sakura Amamiya! Amamiya’s whole thing is that she wants to be just like Sakura Shinguji so that would give us a convenient excuse to just clone her moveset, however we won’t be doing that!
While Shinguji’s moveset is going to look really refined, Amamiya will be significantly less so. Her strikes will look like random slashes in an attempt to imitate Shinguji but not quite getting there.
For her fourth heavy combo to move her forward as she attacks, Amamiya will be propelled forward by pink spirit energy and slash at enemies as she does.
Amamiya’s musou attack will be the one attack in our roster that actually calls upon one of the mecha of Sakura Wars! For her Musou she will call upon the mech that her and Klara co-piloted in the anime to fly over the area and blast enemies.
When pressing R1 and activating Amamiya’s special skill she will pull out a plate of omelet fried rice and eat it all in a second. She will then have a brief period of time where her attack strength is doubled
For Amamiya’s first attack skill she will pull out what I have affectionately nicknamed the broom of doom. She pull out her broom and smack around nearby enemies
In her second attack skill Amamiya will pull out a metal drum full of water from nowhere and roll it toward a pack of enemies
As a final attack skill Amamiya will do something similar to her Musou attack, instead of summoning her mech to do an attack she will instead summon Klara herself in her demon form. Klara will do a few scratches at enemies before disappearing.
Despite the fact that half of you reading commented “but the 2019 cast already has a Musou” knowing full well I meant something different from that, Amamiya was the hardest character to think up a moveset for and probably the one I’m least proud of in this roster.
Oh no, it’s time for not only our third man on the roster but also our third dual sword user!
Character 7: Seijuro Kamiyama
And we have our final male in the roster with Seijuro Kamiyama, the captain of the 2019 Flower Division.
Why do all 3 captains use dual swords? It feels like they do only so they can make my job at making them feel unique harder! Seijuro is going to play similar to Ogami and Shinjiro in our roster but he has even less calling upon references to other characters as the 2019 Flower Division is the smallest.
For his light attack and a majority of his heavy attacks he’ll use his swords, but there is one heavy attack where I want him to reference someone who didn’t make the cut for our roster.
For his first heavy combo he’ll launch an enemy in the air and then jump after them. Once in the air, if you press the heavy attack button again, Seijuro will come spinning down with his blades.
For his fifth heavy combo he will pull out a large hammer and swing it down on whatever enemies are in front of him. This will be our reference to Hatsuho from the sixth game.
Seijuro’s Musou is going to be pretty simplistic as the source material doesn’t give us much to work with for him. His swords will glow blue and he will let out a bunch of rapid slashes, devastating enemies
For his special skill I want Seijuro to perform a dodge-like animation and gain a double speed buff. In the sixth Sakura Wars game there was a perfect dodge mechanic which slowed down time and this is the closest thing I could think of to represent that.
For Seijuro’s first skill attack whirlwinds will surround him briefly and damage any enemies that are near him for that brief period of time, in reference to Claris from the 2019 team.
For his second skill attack he’ll launch a bullet from a gun into the air and surrounding enemies will become frozen. This will be our homage to Anastasia from the 6th game.
Picking the first seven character was easy as we were able to pick the main girls of each team and the captains. However, that leaves us with four character slots left. With our final four slots I decided to pick based on two metrics. Character popularity and weapon variety. Popularity is important of course however for making a roster having characters with different weapons is invaluable. So I needed to make sure our final four characters all used different weapons.
With all that said, who was our eighth character?
Character 8: Sumire Kanzaki
Sumire is one of, if not the most, popular characters in the series. If we’re making a roster that is meant to represent Sakura Wars as a whole, we need to include her. She also has a weapon that no one else in our roster has, a naginata, which would make her feel unique.
In order to get proper use out of her naginata while also portraying Sumire fighting the way she does in anime and OVAs, we wouldn’t just clone naginata movesets from Samurai Warriors. Instead, a lot of Sumire’s moveset will involve spinning around.
For her second heavy combo, Sumire will spin her Naginata in circles while passing it between her two hands to hit enemies around her.
Sumire’s third heavy combo will involve her slashing her weapon in front of her, then spinning around behind her to hit enemies in that direction as well.
Then, for her fifth heavy combo, I want Sumire to stab her naginata at whatever enemy is in front of her and then use that momentum to spin herself to the other side of it.
For her Musou attack, Sumire will stick her naginata in the ground and do her Kanzaki Fujin-ryu, which will result in pillars of fire spreading in multiple directions to devastate enemies.
Sumire’s special skill was hard to think if because I didn’t want another character to set their weapon aflame because spoiler: our next character will be doing that! So this is what I came up with. When pressing R1 as Sumire, she will let out an “Ohohoho” and her ego will give her a defense boost for thirty seconds.
Sumire’s first attack skill will be a reference to a nickname given to her by Kanna: cactus lady! Sumire will pull out a small cactus and throw it at enemies in front of her
In her second attack skill, Sumire will offer up some of her bad cooking to the enemies. When no one accepts it, she will instead throw it at them in a rage
For a final attack skill, purple spirit energy will burst from Sumire and damage nearby enemies. As she had some of the highest spirit energy in the Flower Division before it burned out, this excess shall be an attack.
With Sumire on our roster that brings us to 2 original Tokyo Division members, 1 Paris Division, 1 New York Division member, and 1 new Tokyo Division member. We’re going to round things out to 2 girls from each division for our final 3 characters.
Character 9: Lobelia Carlini
One Dynasty Warriors trope we’re missing right now is a fist fighter with slower combos. In a series full of people with weapons we have only two fist fighters to pick from, Lobelia and Kanna, and as we’re using Sumire as our second Flower Division rep we don’t have Kanna. So for a first fighter we’ll be going for Lobelia from the Paris Division. However Lobelia isn’t just a hand me down, we can craft a good moveset for her that would feel wholly unique with her prison chains and her fire powers.
Lobelia is going to be the slowest character in our roster, but all of her attacks will look like they have a huge impact. For her light attacks she’ll throw out various punches but for her heavy combos she’ll move around the prison chains on her arms which will have longer reach.
For her second heavy combo to hit enemies nearby she’ll stretch her arms left and right so the chains smack enemies near her.
For her fourth heavy combos to move her forward a bit we’ll have her stretch her arm forward and pull her toward the enemy she hits.
For Lobelia’s Musou she’ll be using the weapon her mech actually uses: claws. When activating her Musou, Lobelia will stare at the enemy in front of her before quickly stabbing forward. This Musou will only damage one enemy but will be one of the most devastating in the game damage wise.
Thinking up a special skill for Lobelia was pretty easy, she has fire powers so when you press R1 we’ll have her ignite her chains. Now for a brief period of time her heavy combos will inflict a fire status effect that eats away at enemy health.
For Lobelia’s first attack skill we’ll do something similar to Erica’s musou. Lobelia will quick change into her dancer outfit, which will charm any nearby enemies and leave them unable to attack before quickly changing back to her normal outfit and laying the beat down on them.
Lobelia’s second attack skill will have her stretch her arm forward and fire will come from her hand like a flamethrower, the same way she destroyed the Mona Lisa in SW3. Which is a sentence I’m only including to confuse readers who haven’t played the games.
Finally for her third attack skill we’ll be referencing another important aspect of her character: money. Lobelia is greedy, half of her CGs in the games involve her counting stacks of bills she’s earned. For her third skill attack we’ll have her pull out a fad wad of cash and smack the nearest enemy with it!
And that covers both of our Paris Division reps! Let’s move on into our second New York Division girl!
Character 10: Subaru Kujo
Picking a member of the New York Divisjon was hard for me personally as unlike Sumire and Lobelia there wasn’t an obvious choice. However there is a trope among Musou games that our roster is missing, a cool headed strategist. That’s right, Subaru is going to be the Zhuge Liang of our roster. As for what weapon they’ll be using in their moveset They can have a moveset where they uses their dual fans to create wind to hit enemies
Subaru’s moveset will involve swinging their fan around and creating whirlwinds to damage enemies. With her light attacks involving smacking them with the fans themselves and the heavy combos will create the wind itself.
For their first heavy combo Subaru will knock enemies in the air and jump after them allowing you to smack them a few times in midair
Subaru’s third heavy combo will have them smack the enemies around her before creating three whirlwinds that fly off in various directions.
When activating Subaru’s musou the moon shall shine down on her like a spotlight, she will then open both of her fans and have vortex will appear in front of her to devastate enemies
For Subaru’s special skill they’ll throw one of their fans forward and it will spin in place for a few seconds, similar to Xiaoqiao’s weapon switch skill in Dynasty Warriors. While it’s spinning in place it’ll damage enemies however your combos will only be half strength until it returns to you
For one of their attack skills I want to reference the times Subaru attempted jazz in the fifth game. However I can’t just have them pull an entire piano out of their pocket. Instead they’ll pull out a saxophone and the resulting music will damage enemies.
As a second skill attack Subaru will sit down and begin to meditate for a second. If any enemies attack them during this second they will be hit with an aggressive counter attack.
Subaru’s final skill attack will have them close their fans altogether and just smack an enemy on the head with one of them.
I love Subaru and I know a few friends reading this do as well, so there was a bit of bias putting them on the roster. However, they didn’t have nearly as much bias as our final pick. If you have ever talked to me, you know who I picked for our next character.
Character 11: Azami Mochizuki
Azami Mochizuki is easily my favorite character in the franchise. She is here via bias and I won’t even attempt to argue otherwise. However I will still try my best to give her an interesting moveset.
Azami is a ninja so she needs to be one of the speediest characters in the roster, as for her weapon we’ll be giving her the weapon that her mech uses, an arm gauntlet. It’s an odd weapon for a Ninja to use but Azami is anything but a typical ninja character.
For her light attacks she’ll run around kicking things but for her heavy combos she’ll use this gauntlet to launch enemies around.
For her first heavy combo she’ll attack straight ahead and throw enemies into the air, allowing her to begin juggling them with her kicks.
For her third heavy combo she’ll point the gauntlet various directions and bombs will launch out of it, damaging a wide range of enemies.
Her fifth fourth heavy combo will be the only one that won’t feature the gauntlet at all. Instead she’ll do a kick that send her flying forward.
Azami’s Musou is once again a super attack used in the actual SW games. she’ll multiply herself tenfold and rush toward the enemies, with her clones vanishing after the attack
For Azami’s special skill she’ll do hand gestures and then for a short while a wind-like aura will surround her, giving her double speed for her attacks.
Her first two skill attacks will involve the type of thing that you’d expect from a ninja based character. For her first skill attack she’ll throw a ton of kunai ahead of her at high speed, doing light damage to a large amount of enemies
Her second skill attack a large frog will appear out of nowhere and land behind Azami before disappearing, referencing the animals summoned during her chapter of the sixth game
Her third skill attack will reference an aspect of Sakura Wars 6 that we have to have in our game. She will summon Peanut the elephant who will spin on his platform, moving around and hurting enemies as he let’s out a loud “BWOOOT!”
Character 12: Iris Chateaubriand
The most adorable of our new roster additions, Iris! Iris is an absolutely iconic character to the franchise, being the second girl you meet in the first and second games in the series and one of the first Tokyo Division characters to reappear in 3. Sakura and Sumire may be the characters most often used to represent the Tokyo team in marketing and crossovers but Iris is directly behind them in use for the series itself.
Now here comes the difficult part, deciding how Iris will play! While Iris can attack in the games she is primarily a healer character. For her moveset in this hypothetical musou I will instead focus on how Iris is overflowing with spirit energy and is likely to explode with lightning if she gets too peeved. So while I will be pulling some attacks from her Koubu I will primarily pull from other Iris scenes in the games.
Iris’ light attacks will have her summon gems from Sega’s Columns series and smack them into enemies. Not only did her Tenbu in SW2 use Columns gems but this will be a nice way to reference the spinoff Sakura Wars Columns games. Then for her heavy combos Iris will do a wide and inconsistent variety of things with her spirit energy.
For her first heavy combo Iris will summon bubbles under the feet of enemies that will pop and knock them into the air where she can then proceed to juggle them with her gems.
As a second heavy combo Iris will burst with electricity similar to how she does in chapter 4 of the first game and in Ouka Kenran, electrocuting any enemies that are too close to her.
Then as a third heavy combo Iris will spin as large pink hearts appear that she will then launch in various directions to harm enemies.
Iris’ fourth heavy combo will have her wave her arms forward as flowers sprout from the ground in front of her, knocking away any enemies that were standing on the ground where they appeared.
Finally for Iris’ fifth heavy combo she will grab at an enemy in front of her for a hug and then electrocute them for massive damage!
Iris’s Musou attack will have her unleash a huge explosion of spirit energy similar to her first team up attack with Ogami in Sakura Wars 1. A large explosion of purple energy, bows, and teddy bears will destroy all enemies around her!
As Iris is the healer of the Sakura Wars 1 cast she will have a very similar R1 special skill to Erica. When activating the skill Iris will summon nurse Jean Paul to recover a bit of her health!
Speaking of Jean Paul, this adorable teddy bear will be the focus of all of Iris’ attack skills! For example, her first attack skill will summon a giant Jean Paul to charge forward and squish any enemies in his path!
For her second attack skill Iris will summon several Jean Paul’s to circle around her and damage enemies that are too close.
Then for her third and final attack skill Iris will summon a normal sized Jean Paul and launch him forward as a projectile that will bounce against several enemies before returning to Iris.
And that’s Iris’ moveset! She was an absolute joy to write once I decided what I wanted to do with her! Our next character was also a joy to brainstorm a moveset for so let’s move on to them!
Character 13: Li Kohran
By popular demand I have added Kohran to the roster. Thinking up how Kohran would work in a Musou roster was hard compared to other characters on here as while her Koubu does have weapons they aren’t the type of thing you’d expect in a Musou game with quick combos right next to enemies.
Kohran’s primary weapon for this hypothetical roster will be a steam powered bazooka launcher that she built but I don’t want her firing off an explosion with all of her light attacks, no instead she will smack enemies with the bazooka for those and then her heavy combos will involve firing explosions at a range. This combination of close ranged attacks and long range heavy combos would make Kohran a character who would be tricky to get a hang of but a satisfying one to play.
For her first heavy combo Kohran will aim the bazooka right at her feet and fire, sending enemies flying upward where the player can then press triangle again to fire another explosive at them.
As her second heavy combo Kohran will fire two quick shots to her left and right to send explosives flying in those directions.
Then as a third heavy combo Kohran will fire a shot straight up into the air, it will take a second to come down but when it does it will cause a large explosion that will take out many enemies.
Kohran’s fourth heavy combo will have her fire four explosives directly forward at enemies to take them out.
Finally for her fifth heavy combo Kohran will run forward and fire a single explosive directly in front of her, damaging both the enemies and sending her flying backward from the explosion.
For her Musou attack Kohran will summon four robotic animals representing Hanafuda cards to attack enemies, but before they can attack the robots will explode in a massive explosion that will destroy enemies caught within it.
Kohran’s special skill will be similar to Gemini’s in that it will give her attacks a fire status effect for a short period of time, but unlike Gemini who will intentionally set her sword ablaze Kohran’s will be caused by her steam bazooka nearly exploding when pressing the R1 button.
For Kohran’s attacks skill I want to represent some of her other inventions throughout the franchise! After all, she works on a lot more than just the Koubu!
Her first attack skill Kohran will pull out her steam powered ice machine from the manga, which will quickly malfunction and begin to shoot ice at enemies surrounding Kohran.
As her second attack skill Kohran will call upon a plane to fly over her her head and drop bombs onto enemies, in reference to her plane from her ending in the first game.
Finally a third attack skill Kohran will hop aboard her steam bike and prepare to charge into enemies, before falling off as the bike runs into them and explodes.
And that was Kohran! I don’t over Kohran nearly as much as some of the other people I know do but I hope I was able to do her moveset justice for all of you! We just talked about two new characters for the original Tokyo Flower Division and I think it’s time that we move on to another team’s additions.
Character 14: Glycine Bluemer
Glycine only barely didn’t make it onto my previous Sakura Wars Musou Roster. A noble woman of viking descent who carries around an axe is practically built for these kinds of rosters!
Being an axe user, Glycine will be one of the slowest characters in our roster but she will hit like a truck and eat through enemies’ health bars. Both Glycine’s light attacks and heavy combos will involve her swinging her axe in various ways, nothing too fancy but she doesn’t need anything elaborate.
For her first heavy combo Glycine will slam her axe down directly in front of her, enemies near the axe but not directly hit by it will be sent flying into the air from the shockwave.
As a second heavy combo Glycine will do a short spin around herself to knock away enemies that are too close to her.
Glycine’s third heavy combo will have her move around while spinning her axe for a few seconds to chop through a large amount of enemies.
Then for her fourth heavy combo Glycine will charge forward, pushing any enemies she touches along with her, before letting out a slash to deal damage to all of those enemies.
Finally for her fifth heavy combo Glycine will unleash three heavy slices from her axe at an enemy directly in front of her, dealing devastating damage
For Glycine’s musou attack she will raise her axe to the air and shout as waves of water rise from the ground in all directions to drown enemies.
When pressing R1 to activate Glycine’s special skill, water will begin to surround her axe before freezing. Once this happens her attacks will have an ice effect for a short period of time that will freeze enemies in place after she attacks them so they don’t move away before the follow up.
Glycine’s first attack skill will have her swing her axe forward as a wave of water appears to wash away enemies.
For her second attack skill Glycine will summon her maid Madam Tarebou to assist her, Tarebou will smack enemies around with a broom before vanishing.
Finally for her third attack skill Glycine will swing her axe downward and a large amount of bubbles will fly toward enemies to damage them, similar to an attack effect in Sakura Wars 4.
Glycine started so easy to write, her main moveset went by like a breeze! But once I got to her special skill and attack skills everything began to fall apart as I had to reach hard for some of these. Surprisingly our next character was easier to think up stuff for.
Character 15: Hanabi Kitaoji
Hanabi is one of my favorite girls in the series even though she is probably the least character of the original teams. I just think she’s neat.
Now as for her moveset we have a weapon that nearly every Musou game under the sun has, a bow and arrow! Yeah this is going to be hard to put a unique spin on so I’m sorry if you came expecting a ton of unique sounding movesets from me. If anything, this issue perfectly sums up Hanabi.
For Hanabi’s light attacks she will fire arrows directly in front of her while for her heavy combos she’ll perform fancier shots, not much to say here so let’s just get into it!
For her first heavy combo, Hanabi will run up to a crowd of enemies and fire an arrow upward at an angle to knock them into the air for easy juggling.
As her second heavy combo Hanabi will bash her bow to her left and right to knock away enemies too close to her.
Then as a third heavy combo Hanabi will load three arrows into her bow and fire them in separate directions to his several enemies.
Hanabi’s fourth heavy combo will have her fire arrows directly into the sky that will then fall in front of her to damage enemies.
Finally for her fifth heavy combo Hanabi will charge an arrow with spirit energy before firing it at an enemy in front of her for massive damage.
For her Musou attack Hanabi will launch an arrow upward that will take the shape of a hawk and launch fire at enemies in front of her to annihilate them.
When pressing R1 to activate a special skill a bolt of lightning will strike Hanabi’s bow and give her attacks a lightning status effect for a brief period of time. This lightning effect will cause her attacks to spread across multiple enemies to make up for her light attacks just being straight shots.
Hanabi’s first attack skill will have her load her bow with a drill arrow before firing it forward at enemies to eat away at their health.
For her second attack skill Hanabi will fire an arrow forward that will sprout into a flower and harm enemies near it with its pollen.
Finally for her third attack skill Hanabi will throw some fireworks in front of her and shoot them before they hit the ground, causing them to beautifully explode in the faces of enemies.
And that was Hanabi! I still think she’s neat and she was pretty easy to think up attacks for so that’s another plus in her favor! Now that we’ve talked about two new additions for the Paris Division, let’s move on to the New York team!
Character 16: Rikarita Ares
Another character who just barely didn’t make my roster last time, Rikarita Ares! While Subaru made my roster because I love them a lot, Rika is making the roster because her chaotic nature just fits the idea of an SW Musou well.
Rika’s main weapons shall be her twin pistols from Sakura Wars 5! She is always running around shooting things in that game so in order to truly show her chaotic nature whenever she attacks in this roster I was you to imagine her moving in a random direction after each attack. This would make her a tricky character to get the hang of like Zhu Ran in Dynasty Warriors but it fits her the best. We won’t have anything too fancy for her heavy combos either, just rooting tooting gun shooting.
For her first heavy combo Rika will kick enemies in front of her into the air and then unleash a barrage of bullets upwards at them.
As a second heavy combo Rika will aim her pistols to her left and right and fire one shot in those directions, damaging enemies.
Then as a third heavy combo Rika will jump into the air and spin in a circle, firing her guns as she descends and damaging a wide range of enemies.
Rika’s fourth heavy combo will have her aim her guns directly forward as she begins to charge directly at enemies while firing.
Finally for her fifth heavy combo Rika will fire one bullet from her silver gun at an enemy before quickly following it up with a shot from her gold gun, devastating their health bar
Rika’s Musou attack will have her stand still and begin to unleash a volley of bullets directly in front of her, ending the attack with one final shot that takes the shape of a star.
For her R1 special skill Rika will begin to get extremely hyper and bounce around, once in this state her speed will be doubled for 30 seconds!
Rika’s first attack skill will be cruel but is something she has done before, she will smack around her pet weasel Noko at enemies to damage them.
For her second attack skill Rika will pull out a large gun similar to the one she uses in midair battles in V and fire a large shot forward at enemies.
Finally for her third attack skill Rika will begin to eat a bunch of food as fast as she can, as she does she will throw the scraps around her which will harm enemies.
Rika was a bit of a challenge for her attack skills but everything came together in the end. Our next character however ended up being the hardest to write a moveset for out of all our new additions so let’s get her out of the way.
Character 17: Ratchet Altair
Next up for the New York team we’ve got Ratchet Altair! Ratchet is a very unique character in the series as she was initially introduced in the movie and was supposed to be in the original concept for Sakura Wars 4 before plans were changed and she instead appeared in Sakura Wars 5 where she acted very differently than she had in the movie. She’s had an odd journey for sure.
Moveset wise Ratchet will have a very cool weapon: throwing knives! She used these in the movie and very briefly in Sakura Wars V and they were very cool! They’re almost entirely the reason I chose Ratchet instead of Cherion for this roster. For her light attacks Ratchet will slice at enemies with 3 knives in her left hand while she will throw the knives for her heavy combos.
As a first heavy combo Ratchet will throw a knife upward at an angle to knock some enemies into the air.
For her second heavy combo she will slice at enemies that are to her left and right to keep them away.
Ratchet’s third heavy combo will have her turn in four separate directions while throwing several knives to damage enemies.
Then as a fourth heavy combo she will run forward at enemies before slicing at them once with her knives.
Finally for a fifth heavy combo Ratchet will throw a knife at an enemy to pin them to the ground before quickly throwing another to deal devastating damage.
For Ratchet’s Musou attack a large star will appear over her head to show she is the commander of the Star Division and the bright light coming from the star will destroy any nearby enemies.
When activating her R1 special skill Ratchet’s knives will begin to glow with the light of spirit energy, when under this effect her knives will ignore enemies guarding and pierce through them anyway.
For her first attack skill Ratchet will call upon theater employees Anri and Plum to attack enemies with various theater supplies before vanishing.
As a second attack skill Ratchet will get in her car and drive through enemies at high speed before smoothly getting out.
Finally for her third attack skill Ratchet will call Mr. Sunnyside for assistance and he will respond by launching a koi shaped missile at the area in front of Ratchet to eliminate enemies.
I really overestimated how much Ratchet content was really in Sakura Wars V when picking her for this roster. She doesn’t even have a super attack to pull from for her moveset like the other girls so I had to really reach for this. Thankfully our next two characters didn’t require me to reach nearly as much. So let’s move on to our next two characters from yet another Division!
Character 18: Hatsuho Shinonome
Next up we have my third choice for a representative of the New Flower Division: Hatsuho! From my experience Hatsuho is one of the most beloved characters from the newest game and it isn’t hard to see why!
Hatsuho has a huge hammer so she’s going to be similar to Glycine earlier in the roster where she will play slow but will hit like a truck. Her heavy combos won’t include anything fancy but I do want to try incorporating her shrine maiden character aspect in here somewhere.
As a first heavy combo Hatsuho will swing her hammer upward and knock enemies into the sky before jumping up after them and slamming them back into the ground.
For her second heavy combo Hatsuho will bash her hammer to her left and right once each to launch enemies away from her.
Hatsuho’s third heavy combo will be similar to Glycine’s where she will spin around with her hammer a few times while moving to damage a large amount of enemies.
Then as a fourth heavy combo Hatsuho will slam her hammer on the ground to create a shockwave that knock away enemies directly in front of her.
Finally as a fifth heavy combo Hatsuho will grab an enemy and throw them into the air before hitting them with her hammer like a baseball, dealing devastating damage!
Hatsuho’s musou attack will have her pull out a large taiko drum and begin to rapidly bang on it with her hammer, the continuous shockwaves from this wild drum playing will destroy any enemies that hear it.
When pressing R1 to activate Hatsuho’s special skill she will briefly hold her hammer on her shoulders as a taunt. After performing this taunt she will have double defense for half a minute in order to tank through enemy attacks as decimates them.
For her first attack skill Hatsuho will spin her hammer around until she becomes a flaming tornado that sucks up enemies and burns them!
Hatsuho’s second attack skill will be the simplest attack on the roster, she will rev up her fist before knocking down an entire crowd with a single punch!
And that was Hatsuho! Like I said she is probably the Shin Sakura Wars girl I see talked about the most so that and her hammer secured her a spot on this roster! I could have gone with either remaining Shin girl for this final slot so let’s move on to them!
Character 19: Clarissa Snowflake
The final character I’m adding to the roster is Clarissa Snowflake! Claris is probably the Shin Sakura Wars character I see talked about the least but when discussing making Musou movesets I think her magical gimmick can work really well.
Claris isn’t a physical fighter by any means, instead she will be fighting entirely with her spellbook. For her light attacks Claris will launch little magical orbs in front of her while for her heavy combos she’ll use fancier magic.
As a first heavy combo Claris will summon a tornado directly in front of her to knock enemies into the air where she will then be able to juggle them with her light attacks.
For her second heavy combo Claris will spin in a circle while green flames spew from her book to burn enemies standing too close to her.
Claris’ third heavy combo will have three tornadoes appear and spin around her before launching in different directions to hit a wide range of enemies.
Then for her fourth heavy combo Claris will have several lazer beams rain from the sky in front of her to damage enemies.
Finally for her fifth heavy combo Claris will launch a laser directly out of her book at an enemy in front of her to eat through its health bar.
Claris’ musou attack will have her open her book and send a volley of green magic projectiles flying in all directions to eliminate any enemies around her.
When pressing R1 to activate Claris’ special skill she will read a page of her book before smiling, once this animation is done for a brief period of time her magic energy balls will have.a wind status effect to them that will do a greater job of knocking away enemies.
For Claris’ first attack we are going to reference the play we see the Flower Division performing at the beginning of Shin: Momotaro! When activating the attack a giant peach will fall from the sky and roll over enemies.
Claris’s second attack skill will have her hold up a candy cane and have a dolphin jump out of nowhere to attack.
And that makes 19 characters! I am very proud of the 8 characters I added today as I feel they make up for some of the failing of my initial roster such as the lack of slower characters and half the previous roster being sword wielders. Our roster has a distinct lack of villains but to be blunt there are no Sakura Wars villains who are interesting enough to give a place on the roster that could instead be taken up by one of the girls.
If I wanted to be less realistic and make the roster incredibly huge I would have probably put Aoi Satan from the first game, Kongou from the second, Ciseaux from the third, Ranmaru from the fifth, and Oboro from the sixth. However, our roster size didn’t allow room for villains. But how would the game’s plot go without villains? It’s not my job to think of plot but rather a good roster, but let me try to spin something together.
Either the game would have giant bosses that the characters would need to fight but wouldn’t be playable or the plot could be about a new, unplayable, villain who hypnotized most of the combat revues and thus Sakura, Lobelia, and Subaru need to fight their friends and free them one at a time from mind control. Like I said, just throwing out ideas.
Thinking up this roster was incredibly fun. For my previous Batman Musou piece, I needed to do a lot of research to get a good idea of how most of the cast would play, but this one? I live and breathe Sakura Wars, most of this came to me in an instant, but I did have help in the form of asking questions to veterans of the SW community like Samantha Ferreira, Lettuce, and Kori Maru.
I still have plenty of Musous left to write, so join me hopefully two weeks from now where I will be putting out a Pokemon Musou roster! I will be posting constant updates to Twitter, so if you want to know my progress, follow me there!