Musou (無双, lit. Unmatched) is an umbrella term for an attack that can be used by playable characters and generic officers. They are automated, cinematic attack sequences which vary by the character. Characters who activate it can interrupt enemy attacks and in most Warriors games, the character is rendered invincible during the duration of the attack. Players can use the Musou attack in battle by pressing (default setting). In titles that don't have an aerial Musou, the character cannot perform their normal Musou attack while airborne, and must wait until they are grounded.
The Musou bar is located underneath the health bar and can be filled as a character fights (either by attacking foes or by taking damage). Alternatively, in some games, players can hold down or retrieve a restorative item to charge it. Characters in low health gradually restore their Musou Gauge automatically.
True Musou, a stronger variation of Musou which is initiated while at low health or with a special item or skill equipped, may add a special property or attack for the sequence. If two ally characters are in close proximity to one another, they can unleash a Double Musou if they press simultaneously with completely filled Musou Gauges.
The Japanese name for Musou in this series is Musou Ranbu (無双乱舞, lit. Unmatched Wild Dance). True Musou is known as Shin Musou Ranbu (真･無双乱舞, lit. True Unmatched Wild Dance).
In most titles of this series, the player holds to determine the length of the assault. They can be stopped if the player releases before the gauge is empty, if the user falls off the edge of a platform, or if they are interrupted by certain hazards that can break through invincibility (such as boulders). True Musou Attacks add a fire property to the character's attacks since the third title. Their said invincibility also renders any units that try to attack a user mid-Musou into a guard break state.
The Musou Attack could be canceled only in Dynasty Warriors 2 if the user is hit by an arrow, or a counter attack from a guarding enemy officer. Limited invincibility continues in the third title, as well the fact that most characters' normal Musou Attacks do not knockback-and-or-launch while True Musou Attacks do (barring the majority of finishing blows). Musou Attacks as of the third title will also continue through arrow attacks, but characters will still be interrupted and take damage from stage hazards; they can also perform Musou Attacks while mounted. Subsequent titles after the fifth installment make characters completely invulnerable to even the aforementioned stage hazards during their Musou.
Dynasty Warriors 5 adds a special finishing move for True Musou Attacks unique to each character, and added a similar almighty feature known as Musou Rage, which allows all Musou Attacks to always be the True version regardless of HP amount.
Musou Attacks in Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce and its sequel can only be activated by pressing + while the user is under a state of fury. In the case of the first game, using a Musou will revert the player's character back to their normal self.
In Dynasty Warriors 7, Musou Attacks automatically use one stock of the gauge, like the Samurai Warriors series, and requires a single button tap to use; if activated close enough to opposing units, they are stunned via slowed down flinching animation if they do not block the activation on time. Like Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2, a secondary Musou can be used by characters. They can be charged to a maximum of four slots. Although Dynasty Warriors 8 limits it to three slots, the Rage feature converts it into one full bar which allows the player to perform a Rage Attack reminiscent to previous titles.
Musou Attacks in both aforementioned Dynasty Warriors titles now act more as special attacks with unique effects/animations as opposed to a sequence of attacks, and there also exist aerial Musou Attacks (which can also be used to break out of airborne flinching); in the 8th title all characters share all three types of Musou Attacks. As a trade-off however, how the gauge works in both those titles prevents the player from charging up their Musou Gauge manually like in older installments.
Dynasty Warriors Next adds a secondary Musou sequence known as Speed Musou (神速乱舞, Shinsoku Ranbu, lit. Godspeed Wild Dance), which requires the player's active participation of the PS Vita's touch screen in order to complete.
In many of the older titles, if an allied general's and enemy general's Musou collide, it often results in a standard weapon deadlock. This can also apply to enemy peons using a Musou against each other, but if lower-ranking units attempt to clash against a higher ranking unit/the player's Musou, then the lower ranking unit will always fail and enter a guard break state. Characters with magical Musou Attacks bypass this feature, but will still clash with another physical Musou Attack.
The Japanese name for Musou in this series is Musou Ougi (無双奥義, lit. Unmatched Secret Skill). True Musou is known as Musou Hiougi (無双秘奥義, lit. Unmatched Hidden Secret Skill). Throughout the series, the characters' two kanji of their symbolization flash on the screen upon being pressed; the first kanji appears during a normal Musou Attack, while the second one appears during only a True Musou.
Samurai Warriors follows a format similar to most Dynasty Warriors installments except Musous automatically consume the Musou bar when used. When the Musou is initiated, however, the battlefield slows to a bullet-time like sequence and automatically stuns nearby foes upon startup. The finisher is normally a pose that causes a unique area-of-effect shockwave that inflicts crashing knockback for all characters. If is held, the character will perform their base Musou Attack animation until the gauge is depleted.
Players have the option of controlling their character to perform other attacks if they should desire, but as a trade-off Musou Attacks cannot be interrupted at will and will forcibly drain the whole gauge. True Musou attacks akin to Dynasty Warriors causes the character to perform a set of specific attacks before the final pose of the Musou sequence. Mounted Musou speeds the horse's sprint and provides an automated sequence from the rider. Two players will share the same Musou gauge.
The sequel allows characters to stock up to three levels for their Musou Gauge. These levels can be earned by leveling each character individually. On the third level, a secondary effect is added to the character's attacks. Effects may include a shadow effect, faster execution of their attack, support fire, and so on. When Musou are used, the gauge will be depleted completely. Two players have their own Musou Gauges. Mounted Musous now have the horse stampede through enemy lines, and the ending no longer interrupts the horse's sprint. Only one stock of the Musou Gauge can be manually charged up, while the rest must be filled up by other means.
Samurai Warriors 3 keeps the idea of three Musou stocks but limits the Musou to using one level and now only has it last for a set duration (other than that, it still functions the same); however, the whole Musou gauge no longer has to be drained as only a single stock is used for a Musou attack. Characters can also use their Spirit Gauge to unleash an Ultimate Musou. An Ultimate Musou (無双奥義・皆伝, Musou Ougi Kaiden, lit. Unmatched Secret Skill: Art Initiation) is a special and unique finisher which often covers a wider range of attack than a normal Musou.
In the fourth title, the aforementioned Ultimate Musou can only be performed during the Rage Attack (無双極意, Musou Gokui, lit. Unmatched Main Point) state, where using it will end the said state prematurely. It is also done separately from the normal Musou Attack sequence, as the default Musou Attacks for all characters now have unique finishing animations separate from the Ultimate Musou. However, free movement and actions are no longer possible during a Musou Attack, and pressing will cause the character to use the finisher sooner. True Musou Attacks now increase the repetition of attacks before the finisher occurs by a slight amount.
Their previous "shockwave pose" finishers are now simply ending animations for the Rage Attack, while CPU playable generals still use the original type of Musou Attack with the shockwave finishers; only their Musou Attacks no longer render them invincible and instead provide them with super armor.
If an enemy officer and a player activates and/or clashes their Musou Attack against each other, they merely slide back from each other with no damage taken and both Musou Attacks being cancelled out, since weapon deadlocks are removed in the fourth title.
In the first few Warriors Orochi games, the Chinese characters via their Dynasty Warriors 5 incarnations have their Musou Attacks relatively untouched, with all characters following the same Normal Musou and True Musou schemes, and sharing the same type of single gauge that can be manually charged. A notable difference is that the Musou Rage was removed, and several graphics changes were done to make Musou Attacks more distinct. However, the gauge can no longer be charged from connecting attacks on units or taking hits as well, and must be filled up via being tagged out or manual charging.
While the third installment uses their Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends incarnations as their base via moveset, it now only limits each character to one specific Musou Attack (mainly for the characters with two grounded Musou Attacks), and the characters with midair Musou Attacks have them removed. Some characters' R1 Type Actions (e.g. Lu Meng, Sun Quan, Lianshi and Sima Shi) are re-arranged versions of their missing Musou Attack. Also in the said installment, they are able to manually charge up their Musou Gauge like in older titles.
Chinese mythology characters in the series also have their Musou Attacks function just like how they would in Dynasty Warriors 5, even up to Warriors Orochi 3. The only difference is that for all Chinese and Western-based characters, their Musou Attacks will always use up a set portion of the Musou gauge akin to a Type Action (which is affected by Musou gauge-consumption modifiers); characters who previously could hold down for a continuous duration can only now have their traditional Musou Attacks last a set amount of time, and the main difference between a normal and True version is mainly the damage with no differences in animation; some characters will use their True Musou finishers from the prior second title by default (e.g. Taigong Wang, Fu Xi and Nuwa).
The Samurai Warriors characters via their second installment incarnations as their base lose their original Level 3 Musou Attacks, and instead follow the same normal and True Musou scheme as the Dynasty Warriors characters; their Level 1 is their normal Musou, while their Level 2 is their True Musou (this also applies to their Musou Gauge being a single bar). Thus, their Musou Attacks will no doubt drain the entire gauge by force just like in the first Samurai Warriors. Type Actions from any character type are not available for the duration of Musou Attacks in this case.
However, in Warriors Orochi 3, their Ultimate Musou from Samurai Warriors 3 takes the place of their True Musou instead (the only exceptions are Musashi, Kojirō and Goemon who all have "Mystic-styled" Musou Attacks and function the same as before). Japanese mythology characters all have their Musou Attacks function in the same way as well. Also in that game, Musou Attack durations for Japanese characters they are interrupted through either sliding off steep surfaces, climbing ladders or leaping into the water. Any Musou-gauge-absorption-based attack will still fill up the user's Musou gauge as normal during a Japanese-Musou Attack, which can increase the duration in general.
All characters in the first few installments can also use a Musou Chain, which is a followup Musou Attack done by another member on the player's team by using as soon as one other character is switched to mid-Musou Attack. Depending on the character class, the next Musou Attack in the chain will gain a special property, and will always be a True Musou Attack. The second game allows for Triple Musou Attacks between the whole team continuously tagging in before a finishing combo, and certain character combinations allow for unique attacks in this way.
The third installment reworks this into a joint True Triple Attack between all characters akin to the Trinity Attack/Soul Bursts from TRINITY: Souls of Zill O'll; for a set duration when the True Triple Attack gauge is draining upon being full, the tagged-out characters appear alongside the player will act on their own through the AI. For this duration, the player can run into and/or hit any targets for a free critical hit on all moves while affected targets are stuck in bullet-time hitstun. When the gauge is emptied, all enemies damaged prior will gather up while the team performs a finishing blow on them; the damage and special effects alter depending on the bond levels between the characters on the team.
The True/Shin Musou Burst is a two-team combination of six characters total between two players, added in the Ultimate expansion. This is akin to the original Double Musou Attack, only done with both the inactive team members on the field in all other modes (barring Duel Mode), or done with all four other members in Gauntlet Mode. Any Musou Attacks performed through this will always be their True versions with only an increase in damage or the Ultimate Musou in the case of a Samurai Warriors-character.
Dynasty Warriors: GundamEdit
Musou in this series are known as SP Attacks or Special Attacks. True Musou is called Hyper SP Attack. A Double Musou is called Combination SP Attack.
Dynasty Warriors: Gundam lets players stock a maximum of three levels for a Mobile Suit. Each SP attack level initiates a unique attack, which is linked to a different level. To see the entire sequence, players will need to fill the gauge to its maximum level. The Mobile Suit's varied SP Attacks may alter the player's strategy in battle.
On the other hand, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 omits the need for strategy by assigning an automated SP Attack. Mobile Suits which require licenses to use have three unique SP Attacks available to them: on ground, in the air, or with a friendly ally. These mobile suits will also use the entire SP gauge while secondary suits will only use one stock upon activating their SP attack. Secondary Mobile Suits are limited to one SP Attack. Combination SP Attacks will not change their form of assault.
Select Mobile Suits will have a different effect when their SP Attacks are used at different levels of the SP Gauge. Certain Mobile Suits like Burning Gundam and Gundam F91 have a temporary special effect unlocked after performing their SP Attacks.
Fist of the North Star: Ken's RageEdit
Musou in these games are known as Signature Moves and the Musou Gauge is known as the Spirit Reserve.
Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage allows characters to equip a maximum of four different Signature Moves for battle. Signature Moves can be learned by leveling up a character. Players can choose which technique to use by pressing the directional pad and the button. Multiple stocks can be filled by the player.
The player can sacrifice their character's filled Spirit Reserve Gauge to activate Spirit Aura, which strengthens their character's attack. When the character has their Spirit Aura activated, they can use their Spirit Reserve to initiate their character's Hyper Signature Move, either an instant kill Signature Move or a deadly quick-time event sequence.
One Piece: Pirate WarriorsEdit
The Musou attack in this series is coined as a Special Attack (必殺技, Hissatsu Waza, lit. Sure-Killing Art).
The One Piece: Pirate Warriors series allow characters to have up to four Special Attack gauges when fully upgraded. It can be filled by defeating enemies, taking damage, collecting restorative items, restorative skills, or leveling up. Unleashing them is often akin to how Musou Attacks work as of Dynasty Warriors 7, in that the initial startup flash will stun nearby enemies with a slowed down flinching animation if activated close enough to them.
Each character has a level 1 Special Attack and a level 2 Special Attack. The Level 1 Special Attack consumes one gauge and is done by tapping . The Level 2 Special Attacks consumes two Special Attack gauges and is performed by pressing and holding down for a defined period of time; holding down slows down time until the button is released, but invincibility against incoming attacks during that state is often limited.
In the third installment, the Kizuna Rush Special Attack is a special type of Special Attack that can be performed only during Kizuna Rush mode, and it is achieved by pressing before the Kizuna meter runs out, ending it prematurely.
The Musou attack in this series is coined Special Technique.
Characters in Hyrule Warriors can have up to three Special Technique gauges which can be filled by defeating enemies. The Musou can be performed with a single tap of A and it consumes one special gauge to use. The Musou gauge can be filled by leveling up, defeating enemies, collecting restorative items, or through character specific special abilities.
This title's version of the Ultimate Musou comes in the form of the Focus Spirit finisher, in which players can press A during Focus Spirit to end it prematurely with a devastating finisher attack. It does not consume the special gauge to use, but it will automatically drain the Magic Gauge and place all enemies it hits into their Weak Point Gauge.
Musou is called Kessen Attack in Kessen III.
Once an ally officer has initiated the Rampage skill, press to unleash their Kessen Attack. Kessen Attacks automatically stop the timer for the Rampage screen. The attacks are reliant on the weapons the officer has equipped; only Nobunaga, Mitsuhide, and Kicho have unique Kessen Attacks. Light Orbs can restore the Kessen Attack slots and are often dropped by defeated officers. Alternatively the player can hold to restore it.
Bladestorm: The Hundred Years' WarEdit
Bladestorm: The Hundred Years' War uses a similar mechanic and calls it Zeal. When the morale gauge reaches its peak, the player along with his or her troops will undergo a state of Zeal (otherwise known as Bladestorm Mode). Any unit under this condition is granted full invincibility and doubled stats (including damage output, mobility, and skill recovery time) for thirty seconds before the gauge exhausts itself completely. One way to increase morale is to defeat opposing units in succession. Other methods of raising it include picking up wine and chalices dropped by enemies or touching wild deer found throughout the battlefield.
In a pinch, Zeal can easily turn the tide of battle to the player's favor if done correctly. By entering this state, allied troops are rendered immune to damage and receive a variety of stat enhancements. Even buff skills like Mighty Arm and Dead Shot become twice as deadly when used during Zeal. At times, it may be wise to maximize morale when confronting troops the player's unit is currently weak against.
When it comes to catching wild deer, it's best to chase them down as quickly as possible by using the Sprint skill, riding on horseback, or both.