Kobayakawa Hideaki 小早川秀秋
Character image phrase: 無明秋夜 Mumyou Shuuya ('Autumn Night Of Ignorance')
Seiyuu: Fukuyama Jun
Weapon: Nabe pot
Description: Hideaki is the supreme commander of the Kobayakawa army. As a lord he's a coward and extremely indecisive, but when it comes to food he's a glutton who gets more fired up and determined than anyone else in the land of Hinomoto. He seems to have built up a strange lord-retainer relationship with Tenkai, the mysterious monk who resides in the Kobayakawa household.
For Kobayakawa, running around and apologising become forms of attack. Contrary to appearances the unique skills which use the pot on his back are very powerful.
Hideaki's true value is in his unique skill 'Mogu Mogu Kingo' ('Munching Kingo'). By eating food, Hideaki's unique skills will be powered up. Try to keep his stomach full!
"Since I'm the 'nabe shogun', I have nothing to do with things like battles..."
Character image phrase: 慈眼傍観 Jigan Boukan ('Spectating Merciful Eye')
Seiyuu: Hayami Shou
Weapon: A pair of 'monk staff' (shakujou) scythes
Description: An unidentified Buddhist monk who works with the Kobayakawa army. Due to his skill at advising the indecisive Kobayakawa Hideaki and the way that he can charm people with words, he's earned the admiration of the soldiers. However, nobody knows the background of this person who habours many secrets and often disappears.
By using the unique skill 'Koukotsuteki Kyuushuu' ('Ecstatic Absorption') Tenkai can heal himself and raise his 'ecstasy' level. This increases the efficiency of his normal and unique skills.
"As a reward, I'll tell you! My name...my real name is...! Hehehe...hahahahaha!"
Note: There's a cool picture of Tenkai leaping aggressively towards Nobunaga wielding both of his scythes.
Maeda Keiji 前田慶次
Character image phrase: 絢麗豪壮 Kenrei Gousou ('Gorgeous Splendour')
Seiyuu: Morita Masakazu
Weapon: Choutou-shuyari (Super-sword, scarlet spear)
Description: The supreme commander of a reborn Maeda army. While his free-spiritedness as a former vagabond remains, he's starting to gain an awareness of being the head of his clan. Keiji seems to harbour doubts about carrying responsibility for his land on his shoulders, opposing the turbulent era brought about by the 'restoration of power to the heavens'. Meanwhile, as the one who was known as a kabukimono, he can't deny the heated enthusiasm that the people are emitting. On the battlefield he blows numerous enemy soldiers away by brandishing his lengthy 'super-sword'. Keiji's personality can be appreciated for the way it embodies splendid action.
By using Keiji's unique skill 'Koi No Kakehiki' ('Tactics of Love'), his normal skills, unique skills and special moves can be cancelled.
Note: There's a picture of Keiji blocking a frontal attack from Yoshiteru.
Note 2: A kabukimono is a dazzling eccentric.
"For the Maeda clan of Kaga, for those who yearn for love...please take a good look at Maeda Keiji's great eccentricity!"
Maeda Toshiie 前田利家
Character image phrase: 豪放磊落 Gouhou Rairaku ('Open-hearted')
Seiyuu: Tsuboi Tomohiro
Weapon: Three-pronged spear
Description: Maeda Keiji's uncle, and a commander who loves the meals his wife cooks more than anything else. The heroic spear control he demonstrates on the battlefield marks him as 'Mataza of the Spear'. At the same time, he seems very interested in the movements of the lord he used to serve - a certain Oda Nobunaga.
Having handed his role as head of the family over to Keiji, Maeda Toshiie and Matsu battle hard in order to support Keiji. What kind of drama will we see from them?
"With support from Keiji, the strongest couple is even stronger!"
Character image phrase: 賢才瞬麗 Kensai Shunrei ('Gifted Sparkle')
Seiyuu: Kaida Yuuko
Description: The wife of a warrior family who wields her cooking skills in order to support the new Maeda army. She repeats her strict but gentle lectures on a daily basis so that Maeda Keiji will be a respectable head of their clan. On the battlefield, her combination with Toshiie poses a threat.
Whether they're going to a bustling festival or creating a stack of rice, the peaceful atmosphere throughout is one of the Maeda clan's traits. The quips between the married couple of Toshiie and Matsu are a highlight!
"The new Maeda army is full of life, just like fresh vegetables!"
This week's gameplay feature concentrates on some of the elements shown off at the Tokyo Game Show 2013, such as level-ups during battle. It's nothing revolutionary but I'll translate it.
- You gain experience by defeating enemies and enemy camps, which leads to level-ups taking place during the stage.
- If the level-up unlocks new a technique, it can be used immediately.
- A picture shows Masamune levelling up and unlocking Crazy Storm with the input L1+Triangle displayed on the screen.
- You can switch your special move mid-battle, so you can have multiple special moves equipped at the same time.
- Caption: Change to adapt to the situation! Masamune is shown freely switching between Hell Dragon and War Dance in an instant.
- The sword clash ('kengeki') mechanic is back when your attack coincides with an enemy commander's strike. As usual, you have to bash the button quickly to be victorious and stagger the enemy.
- If you use the left stick while guarding just before an enemy attack lands, you'll trigger the desertion mechanic ('mikiri'). It's the fancy dodge move shown in some of the videos and slows the enemy down for a moment.
Then there's a section on enemy camps.
- Camps are locations which act as bases for the enemy forces. The camps play a critical role: they're close to the barracks, from which enemy soldiers appear in succession, and gates might not open if you haven't destroyed the camp. Furthemore, inside the camps are special enemy units called camp commanders.
- By defeating the camp commander, it's possible to claim the camp for your own forces.
- Camps with up to three levels are created through the enhancing abilities of the strategists (note: this is a particular unit type which was described back when the enemy formations were revealed).
- If that's the case, it's necessary to defeat the camp commanders on all of the floors before you can take the camp.
- There's also a system called 'camp destruction' which lets you destroy the individual levels of strong bases with a single blow. If a button icon is displayed on-screen when the camp commander goes to attack, calmly press that button with the right timing.
- As with the Naotora wedding outfit I mentioned before, there are plans to make the Masamune hakama/wooden sword DLC costume available separately later on for a fee.
- Count ZERO (the game's opening theme) will include keywords like 'creation' and 'advance towards the enemy' in the lyrics.
- Meanwhile, Runners high (the ending theme) contains a message along the lines of 'keep on running, don't stop!'.
Kingo is popular in the stage plays so I'm interested to know what his story will be this time around. I also want to know whether they'll make Mitsuhide play differently to Tenkai this time to justify him having two different spots on the roster.
Thanks to this week's reveal we're now up to 23/40 characters formally announced, with 5 of them being NPCs. The official website (and major Japanese news sites) are likely to update on Thursday to share the details from the magazine.
Japanese Twitter user escarpment19 has uploaded a photograph of Keiji's page and the Maeda couple, while yuhya63 provides a glimpse of Tenkai/Kingo here.
Bonus: CapcomChannel has posted a higher quality version of the Naotora/Matabee gameplay demonstration and presentation from TGS 2013.
Update (23:30): The whole article is now translated above. By the way, everyone looks the same as they did in Utage (though I like Keiji's new render better, Tenkai's looks awesome and Kingo's isn't very flattering).
Update (Thursday morning). The official website has now been updated so I added the profile pictures.
Update (Thursday noon). Pictures are now all over the Japanese press such as Gamer and 4Gamer.