Nobunaga Oda is one of the three unifiers of the Warring States period along with his former generals, Hideyoshi Toyotomi and Ieyasu Tokugawa. Until his untimely demise, Nobunaga is widely considered to have had controlled most of Japan as one of the strongest ruling powers of his time. He is Nōhime's husband, Oichi's older brother, and Nagamasa Azai's brother-in-law. His successor is his son, Nobutada, though he often does not live to continue his father's legacy.
In many of Kou Shibusawa's produced works, Nobunaga is often portrayed as a charismatic if flawed heroic figure rather than as a heartless dictator. He is the title character of the strategy series, Nobunaga's Ambition, and is the role model for Hideyoshi in Taiko Risshiden. He also appears as a bonus character in Dynasty Warriors using his visual look from the Nobunaga's Ambition series. To honor Nobunaga's Ambition leading to the company's recognition as a video game company, Nobunaga's sprite portrait is imprinted onto one of the cement courts in Koei-Tecmo's Kanagawa building.
His Samurai Warriors counterpart is portrayed as the equivalent Dynasty Warriors Cao Cao. In the first Samurai Warriors, he's 33 years old. His height in the series is 190 cm (approximately 6'3"). Nobunaga is seventeenth place in Gamecity's Sengoku Musou 3: Empires character popularity poll. In Koei-Tecmo's Facebook Sengoku Musou Chronicle 2nd poll, he tied for sixth place with three other characters.
His Samurai Warriors counterpart has one image song titled Kiwami ~Karetsu Gojunen~ and a character duet with Mitsuhide titled En ~Buka Moyuru~.
In Geten no Hana, his character is 25 years old and his height is 180 cm (approximately 5'11"). This counterpart has an image song titled Moyuru ga Shiku
Like most fictional accounts, Nobunaga in Samurai Warriors acts cold and indifferent to the suffering of innocent people and of others' opinion of his methods. Boldly declaring that he is predestined to rule as a part of heaven's and the land's design, he therefore sees any resistance to his conquests as useless pursuits. He aims to continuously shock people with his campaigns, forcing them to continuously grow past their dated expectations by destroying the old. He adopts a devil's advocate motif, often asking others their desires and a way for him to grant them. An ingenious individual with sadistic traits, he also presents poetic barbs for his opponents in a quizzical and superior manner. In the second title, he enjoys the prospect of facing death, believing that all battles should be fought to conquer one's fear of dying. For the Japanese script of his Warriors appearance, Nobunaga speaks in a theatrical tone, refers to himself in third person, and dramatically pauses before speaking the last syllable of his sentences. His lines become more abstract and philosophical as he appears in more titles.
Enjoying Mitsuhide's headstrong nature and honesty, even when his retainer betrays him, Nobunaga always goads him to show his best effort. In the event that he actually dies at Honnōji, Nobunaga somehow gets the last word against his opponent by morbidly praising his vassal's accomplishment -Mitsuhide's reaction varies on the title. He is affectionate towards his wife, thinking highly of her beauty and her position beside him. Knowing her promise to her father, Nobunaga teases her about her thoughts in the first and third title. In the original Japanese script, his praise for Ranmaru contains hints of arousal and explicitly state that the young man's accomplishments are dedications of love. Nobunaga's lines are much more platonic in the English script, in which he praises Ranmaru with simple fascination. In the Japanese dub, he calls both of them with the "o" honorific (お濃 O-Nō, お蘭 O-Ran). His relationship with Nagamasa and Oichi is usually minor, but he has shown reluctance to lose either one of them in the first and third title.
Though he may seem callous, he's depicted with a shred of sympathy in his recent appearances. He trusts his generals to carry out their missions and is seen forgiving them in select scenarios. His heroic qualities are better demonstrated in the Warriors Orochi series. He acts as an idol for Guan Ping during the series, his presence impressing the youth greatly. Adhering to strong individuals, Nobunaga praises him, the youth's father, and Cao Cao.
Geten no Hana's Nobunaga lives and breathes the messages found in Atsumori. He believes that life is limited to fifty years; a person who isn't moved to enjoy living for their dreams may as well be dead. Always on the move and never satisfied with waiting, his every decision as clan head is dedicated towards a new land of peace for the people. Idealistic and orthodox as his actions may seem to traditionalists, Nobunaga's daring leadership and formidable cunning silences their skepticism. He firmly accepts the realities of his ancient war-torn age, realizing that death is an inevitable price for success. Therefore, Nobunaga treasures every drop of blood spilled and willingly accepts any change or sacrifice necessary for the sake of a new land. Since the stories of his belligerent disregard for customs run rampant, rumors of his cruel ruthlessness are commonplace. Aware of the constant intimidation he faces, Nobunaga gladly relishes it as proof of his dream becoming a reality.
Nobunaga is rather whimsical during his leisure. At any time, he may sneak away from the castle grounds to explore the nearby town, challenge his pages to a duel, or order for his men to attend a hunting party with him. Wanting to enjoy his life to the fullest, he desires to do anything which captures his immediate interest and rarely takes no for an answer. He is more than capable of protecting himself from danger during his adventurous outings –despite Ranmaru frequently nagging him to bring more guards– and feels he shouldn't waste time fixating on groundless paranoia. The young lord is undoubtedly sarcastic, arrogant, and blunt, yet his playful teases don't mask the genuine concern he has for his retainers. He ultimately urges them to do what's best for their happiness as a supportive brother figure. Nobunaga extends the same bond of trust and companionship to Nobuyuki, even if the feelings are not returned in a manner he expects.
At first, Hotaru is an interesting woman to him. He can initially relate to the burden of being labeled an "oddity" by others and is fascinated by her profound boldness. Adoring her for it, Nobunaga feels that he has found the one woman in his life that he had been waiting for, especially once she perfectly chimes his intents to see the world. He realizes his attraction for her much sooner than Hotaru and encourages her to be proud of herself beside him. Though her timid rejections may provoke his teasing, he has no doubt about her thoughts for him. For her, he is willing to be patient as he feels they are two separated halves becoming one.
Samurai Warriors StoryEdit
Nobunaga is an eccentric conqueror who believes he has the heavens on his side. Threatened in his home territory by the invading Yoshimoto, he lures his target to attack him. Leading an ambush during a fierce rainstorm, Nobunaga beats the odds and slays his stronger opponent at Okehazama. With this momentum, he leads a campaign to conquer the neighboring domains around his home. His greatest threat at present is the Ikko Rebels, who defy him at Ise-Nagashima. He tells his army to completely obliterate the peasants who raised their arms against him.
If any rebel escapes from the field, they will quickly head to Shingen and plead sympathy for their cause. Determined to counter Shingen's tactics at Nagashino, Nobunaga orders the troops to fire. The rifles cut through his own troops yet successfully rout the Takeda cavalry. After his army slays Shingen, Kenshin mobilizes his own forces to avenge his rival. The Uesugi lay siege to Gifu Castle and Nobunaga hurries north to defend his home. As Nobunaga deflects Kenshin's initial charge, he decides to hold Kagekatsu hostage to lure the commander back into the field. Mitsuhide, who does not condone the usage of cowardly tactics against the honorable Uesugi, retreats from the field. Mitsuhide betrays him after Kenshin's death. On the verge of unification, Nobunaga intercepts the Mitsuhide's troops at Yamazaki. He additionally faces the vengeful Yukimura and Magoichi. Depending on the player's actions, he may also have to defeat an empathetic Ranmaru, who may defect to join his former mentor. Using the fog that descends around the area, Nobunaga ambushes Mitsuhide and is victorious. The traitor tries to commit suicide yet Nobunaga saves and spares him. The conqueror, amused by Mitsuhide's valorous character, then passes on his mantle of leadership to him.
Should his original plan at Ise-Nagashima succeed, Nobunaga shows the rebels no mercy and eliminates them. Years later, Ieyasu requests reinforcements against the Takeda march so Nobunaga faces them at Nagashino. Proving the utter malice and heartless nature of machinery over ancient traditions, Nobunaga claims victory. However, Mitsuhide can't find himself to condone Nobunaga's radical and cruel methods. After Nobunaga has become one of the greatest powers in the land and scattered his generals, Mitsuhide betrays him at Honnoji. While delighted at the chance to finally face his end, Ranmaru pleads that he safely escape from the temple with his closest ladies, Nō and Oichi. His sister accompanies him; his wife, in her own show of love, defects and tries to kill him. He may escape the stage with Ranmaru and Oichi. Mitsuhide escapes his own defeat at Honnōji and joins with the other characters who are against his lord at Azuchi Castle. To recreate his home from scratch, Nobunaga lays siege to his own home and orders the castle to be burned down to the ground. He pursues his enemies as they escape into the castle, personally cutting them down one by one. After defeating Mitsuhide on the top floor, Nobunaga escapes and witnesses his burning home from afar. Paying his silent respects to Mitsuhide and Nō, he reasons that he alone should endure the burden of the souls lost to war.
His story in Samurai Warriors 2 abridges his battle at Okehazama and fast-forwards to his fight with the Takeda at Nagashino. He previously decimated their forces on his conquest for expansion and aims to use the battle to wipe them out. His confrontation with the Takeda infuriated the remaining lords and the Honganji rebels. Knowing that the rebels had powerful influence over the populace, he lead his troops to end them at Osaka Bay. To counter, the rebels called upon the Saika renegades and the Mōri to help their cause. Based on the land, the outnumbered Oda army continue to withstand the onslaught of angry generals and peasants against them. Once the ally navy arrives, the sudden bombardment of cannons on the rebels causes them to panic. Nobunaga orders their swift deaths and the west abides for a time. In response to his massacres, Kenshin leads his troops against him. Nobunaga sends Katsuie and Hideyoshi but both of his experienced retainers struggle against Kenshin. Nobunaga personally rides into the battle to rescue his men and slay the commander. Mitsuhide, who can no longer stomach killing innocent people, retreats from the field.
With the Uesugi weakened and Kenshin dead, Nobunaga decides to personally end Katsuyori to defend his eastern front. Together with his Tokugawa and Hōjō allies, they continuously rout Katsuyori. The Takeda leader flees to Masayuki's sanctum in Ueda Castle, who gathers the remaining Takeda and Uesugi to defy Nobunaga. With the excuse that Odawara Castle is under attack, Ujimasa takes his quick leave and lets Kotarō loose in the field. Kotarō hides the elder commander's location, but Nobunaga strikes the shinobi down and slays both Masayuki and Katsuyori. Told by the shinobi a premonition of his death in flames, he is excited to face his reckoning when Mitsuhide rides against him at Honnōji. Rather than flee, Nobunaga calls for a stronger defense and gambles their ambitions on the outcome of the battle. In their decisive duel, Mitsuhide restrains his sword during their last clash and, after sharing his sincere admiration for his lord, meets his own end from Nobunaga's blow. Nobunaga, moved by his vassal's final words, respectfully carries his opponent's body away from the temple's flames.
In his dream stage, Mitsuhide's betrayal confuses the other lords. To stake their right for leadership, many of the renegades unite under Ieyasu at Komaki-Nagakute. Aside from the Tokugawa army, he simultaneously faces Yukimura, Kanetsugu, Keiji, Yoshihiro, and Masamune. Nobunaga, now wanting to honor Mitsuhide's memory, tells Hideyoshi to spread his order to avoid killing the enemy officers. During the struggle, the remaining Akechi officers arrive to assist Nobunaga on the behalf of their departed master. Capturing Ieyasu alive, he spares him to avoid another regretful death and asks that Ieyasu continue ruling Mikawa for him.
Samurai Warriors 3 has Nobunaga start his story after he unifies Owari. Surrounded on two sides by the Imagawa and Tokugawa armies, Nobunaga leads his army to defy obliteration at Okehazama. Yoshimoto's death assures him that his time amongst the living can continue. He reveals his ambition to rule the land with military might to the surrendering Ieyasu, offering the cowering general to follow him if he is prepared. With Ieyasu's help, he subjugates Mino with little effort. When Oichi marries Nagamasa, the Azai and Oda form a mutual alliance. However, when Nobunaga soon attacks Nagamasa's family ally, Yoshikage, Nagamasa rides to Yoshikage's rescue and fights the Oda army. Once again facing the prospect of his death, Nobunaga orders a retreat at Kanegasaki and fights his brother-in-law and sister. Regrouping his forces after his escape, he ends both the Azai-Asakura armies at Anegawa. Meanwhile, Shingen establishes his alliances in the east and heads towards the capital. However, he is reported to have died due to illness and his son leads the troops into Mikawa. Ieyasu pleads assistance and Nobunaga helps him with his army of gunners.
Before the battle at Nagashino, he admits to Mitsuhide his desire to reform people with his unprecedented conquests. He suppresses the entire Takeda clan by defeating the-actually-alive Shingen in battle. Spurring rebellions with his actions, Magoichi and Motonari join forces to face Nobunaga at Kizugawa. Slaughtering the Saika and defeating Motonari, Nobunaga retires to Azuchi Castle after separating his forces across the land. Mitsuhide, who has doubted his lord's brutality at Kizugawa, leads soldiers against him as Nobunaga relocates to Honnōji. Once again escaping from the burning temple, Nobunaga defeats several pursuers to cut his path towards Mitsuhide. Routing Motochika while his wife and other ally officers die, Nobunaga enjoys his duel with his opponent to power and disarms his vassal. Sparing his angered retainer, Nobunaga states his pleasure with Mitsuhide's blatant desire for change and doesn't want to see it end. Aware and looking forward to Hideyoshi and Ieyasu's ambitions, he dubs the awestruck Mitsuhide his friend and leaves.
Warriors Orochi StoryEdit
During Orochi's story, Nobunaga acts as the last warlord to defy Orochi's forces as the "last hope for humanity". The two battle at Mikatagahara, where Nobunaga eventually has to retreat.
In Warriors Orochi, Nobunaga is seen as a fearsome neutral party. In reality, he is gathering various warriors to join his resistance against Orochi, despite Kanetsugu's initial observations. He is also fascinated by Cao Cao, the conqueror that several people state he resembles. He acts as the figurehead for the Samurai force and is seen as a heroic mastermind. Throughout the story, Nobunaga predicts the future, such as Cao Pi and Sun Ce eventually betraying Orochi. He is one of the four characters to lead a major resistance force (the others being Cao Pi, Sun Ce, and Zhao Yun) and temporarily join forces with his rivals, Shingen and Kenshin. After Orochi's defeat, the three warlords separate.
Nobunaga is given a lesser role in the sequel and is absent for the first half of the game. In the Samurai storyline, Sakon Shima looks to construct a powerful force to combat Kiyomori. At Hu Lao Gate, Sakon sends a messenger to seek an audience with Nobunaga and convince him to join the anti-Orochi alliance. In the middle of the battle, Nobunaga appears with reinforcements and helps Sakon defeat Kiyomori. In the Wei storyline, however, at Tong Gate, Nobunaga and his vassals help Xiahou Dun route a desperate Kiyomori. He stays to build a friendship with Cao Cao.
He shares his Dream stage with the other unifiers of Japan and wage a contest with the rulers of the Three Kingdoms.
Leading his army in Warriors Orochi 3, Nobunaga fought against Cao Cao for dominance in the original timeline. When Hydra awakened, he and his forces were bitterly decimated and scattered. Nobunaga's whereabouts after his defeat are not known. As the coalition from the future returns to Da Ji's past, however, the Demon King's forces opposes them. Nobunaga remains stationed at Honnōji and desires for the coalition to prove their worth to him in battle. Impressed by their will, he joins them after the battle. He later leads the Oda forces to defend Osaka Castle for the coalition.
Nobunaga stars with his wife in "Every Snake Has Its Day", one of the downloadable stages. With Yoshihiro, they help Diamondback in his rebellion against Kiyomori.