Shingen the Ruler

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Shingen the Ruler
Shingen the Ruler
North American cover art
Developer(s) Another[1]
Publisher(s) HOT・B[1]
Designer(s) Osa Dandadan
Mamire Kikuchi
Composer(s) Kazuyoshi Yamane[2]
Platform(s) NES[1]
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Strategy with breeding/constructing[1]
Mode(s) Single-player

Shingen the Ruler (武田信玄2[3]?) is a turn-based strategy game for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), produced by HOT・B in 1989, and released in North America in 1990. The original Takeda Shingen video game was never released in North America. This game was called Takeda Shingen 2 in Japan.


A typical screen in Shingen the Ruler.

The game is set during the Sengoku period of Japan. The player is Takeda Shingen, who is based in the holding of Kai and Shinano. The goal of the game is to conquer central Japan, roughly spanning from Kyoto to Kamakura. Play starts in January 1545, and the player may make one action per province (up to four) per month.

The player must build and train an army, cultivate provinces, make (and break) alliances with neighboring daimyo. The game featured both random disasters (such as floods) and predefined events (such as the death of Shingen's father). One could also train Shingen's heir, Takeda Katsuyori.

Combat consists of a field skirmish, followed by a battle at the castle itself. Each holding's field and castle varies in layout. An automatic battle system is also provided, which calculates damage done by each army.

List of characters and regions[edit]

With the exception of "General Li" and "General Su" in the holding of Noto, the remaining warlords depicted in the game are actual historical figures. Most families in the game have one heir. The Ikko Sect remains the same throughout, while the Ashikaga family is the only one to have a second heir (Ashikaga Yoshiaki, who historically was the younger brother of Ashikaga Yoshiteru).

Due to technical limitations in the English version of the game, names longer than sixteen letters had to be shortened, usually by dropping one of the components of the given name; in those cases, the full historical name is listed in italics.

Game regions Starting character Successors Historical interactions with the Takeda clan
Kai, Shinano Takeda Shingen Takeda Katsuyori Shingen's father Nobutora also makes occasional in-game appearances in which he causes loss of money or food while ominous music plays in the background; the people rejoice upon the occasion of his death.
Sagami, Musashi Hojo Ujiyasu Hojo Ujimasa Ujimasa allied with Takeda Shingen against the Uesugi clan to retake Matsuyama castle in Musashi province in the 1563 siege of Mushashi-Matsuyama. However, the two clans would later clash. In the siege of Hachigata, Takeda Shingen made an unsuccessful attempt to wrest control of Hachigata Castle in Musashi province from Ujimasa's third son Ujikuni, and then burned Odawara Castle in Sagami province to the ground during the 1569 siege of Odawara.

In retaliation, Hōjō forces led by Ujiteru and Ujikuni ambushed Takeda Shingen at the battle of Mimasetoge later that year, but were defeated. The Takeda clan would go on to fight the Hōjō clan in Suruga province, taking Kanbara castle from Tsunashige in the siege of Kanbara and Fukuzawa town from Tsunanari in the 1571 siege of Fukuzawa. Ujimasa was victorious against Takeda Katsuyori in the 1580 Battle of Omosu off the Izu Peninsula, one of the few naval battles to be fought in pre-modern Japan.

Kozuke, Echigo Uesugi Kenshin Uesugi Kagekatsu Kenshin's father Norimasa fought the Battle of Odaihara with the Takeda clan in 1546. Kenshin himself clashed with the Takeda clan in the 1553–1564 battles of Kawanakajima in northern Shinano province, and the 1566 siege of Minowa and 1571 battle of Tonegawa both in Kōzuke province.
West Shinano Kiso Yoshimasa Kiso Yoshitoshi Yoshimasa's father Yoshiyasu surrendered to Takeda Shingen in the 1554 siege of Kiso Fukushima.
North Shinano Murakami Kiyo
(Murakami Yoshikiyo)
Murakami Kuni
(Murakami Yoshikuni)
Yoshikiyo lost the battle of Sezawa in 1542, allowing the Takeda clan to take control of southern Shinano province. He would go on to defeat Takeda Shingen at the 1548 battle of Uedahara, but lost to Takeda forces in the 1550–51 sieges of Toishi and the 1553 siege of Katsurao. Yoshikiyo later took the side of the Uesugi clan in the 1553–1564 battles of Kawanakajima.
Suruga, Totoumi Imagawa Moto
(Imagawa Yoshimoto)
Imagawa Ujizane The Imagawa clan lost Hanazawa castle in Suruga province to Takeda Shingen in the 1570 siege of Hanazawa.
Owari Oda Nobunaga Oda Nobuo Takeda Katsuyori first clashed with Tokugawa Ieyasu at the 1572 siege of Futamata in Tōtōmi province, resulting in a Takeda victory. Shingen and Katsuyori would fight the famous battle of Mikatagahara against combined Tokugawa and Oda forces in 1572, leading to a decisive Takeda victory and a demonstration of the power of Shingen's cavalry tactics against Nobunaga's rifle-based tactics. The 1573 siege of Noda Castle resulted in another Takeda victory against the Tokugawa clan, but Shingen's health suffered due to wounds sustained in the battle and he died the following month.

Katsuyori took Takatenjin fortress in Tōtōmi from the Tokugawa clan in the 1574 siege of Takatenjin, and temporarily converted Ogasawara Nagatada from a Tokugawa retainer into a Takeda retainer. Katsuyori had further victories against the Tokugawa clan in the 1575 Siege of Yoshida Castle in Mikawa, but Oda–Tokugawa forces broke his siege in the Battle of Nagashino later that year. Oda retook Takatenjin fortress in the 1581 siege of Takatenjin, and Ogasawara would later return to the Oda–Tokugawa side in the 1582 invasion of Kai. Katsuyori's last stand against Oda–Tokugawa forces came in the 1582 battle of Temmokuzan; he fled to Iwadono, which was held by Oyamada Nobushige, but Oyamada refused Katsuyori entry, and Katsuyori then committed suicide.

Mikawa Matsudaira Hiro
(Matsudaira Hirotada)
Tokugawa Ieyasu
Mino Saito Dosan Saito Yoshitatsu
Hida Anekoji Yori Anekoji Koretsu
Etchu Hatakeyama Tsuna Hatakeyama Nori
Noto General Li General Wang
Kaga The Ikko Sect
Echizen Asakura Takakage Asakura Kage
(Asakura Yoshikage)
Oumi Asai Hisamasa
(Azai Hisamasa)
Asai Nagamasa
(Azai Nagamasa)
Ise Kitabatake Hara Kitabatake Tono
(Kitabatake Tomomasa)
Yamashiro Ashikaga Yoshiteru Ashikaga Hide
(Ashikaga Yoshihide)
Ashikaga Aki
(Ashikaga Yoshiaki)
Yoshiaki was the younger brother of Yoshiteru, who became shōgun after Yoshihide was deposed.



  • Sansom, George (1961). A History of Japan: 1334–1615. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.
  • Turnbull, Stephen (1998). The Samurai Sourcebook. London: Cassell & Co.
  • Turnbull, Stephen (2002). War in Japan: 1467–1615. Oxford: Osprey Publishing.