Shogun 2 Trailer Explained, Plus Art

This man has a very big knife, and is angry with those men over there.

Yesterday we had it confirmed that Shogun 2: Total War is to come out next year. Today we have the first trailer. Where “trailer” means, “a man sticking a knife in a map.” So there’s some analysis of what this could mean below. There’s also some rather lovely promotional art stuff that you can enjoy.

Before we dissect this, it’s worth watching the trailer in full. So here you go:

What are the implications of these details released by Sega and Creative Assembly? I’d argue they are three-fold.

1) A Man: A man is very likely to appear as a character within the game. Perhaps this man, seemingly of Japanese origins, may be a character against whom you fight. Or perhaps he could be the man you fight as. Maybe he offers advice to you as you play? Or perhaps he is simply a beard to aim for.

2) A Map: Maps have formed an essential part of strategy gaming for years, so perhaps this simple hand-drawn map is an indication from CA that they do not intend to deviate from this in their new game. While we cannot infer there definitely will be a map in the game, I’m willing to predict that map fans won’t be disappointed.

3) A Knife: Knives wielded by men have often been used throughout cultural history to denote the penis. Here we see an angry man waving his knife/penis in his hand, then stabbing it into the map. It is reasonable to infer that this represents the man’s desire to “fuck” the map. In representing sex in this violent fashion, where the map/vagina is penetrated by the knife/penis, we are made aware that this man intends to impose his will upon the lands represented in the map. In this sense he is aiming to “conquer” them.

In conclusion, the angry man wants to have sex with a map. Shogun 2: Total War comes out in 2011.


  1. cahode says:

    Loved the original, looking forward to this already.

    But guys, all your artwork points to the same image, not the individual backgrounds!

  2. Will says:

    That’s why when I wave a knife, I do it lovingly.

    Also: I adored the first Shogun: TW, but none of the other games since have resonated with me – I’m not quite sure why. I’m starting to genuinely believe that it was the 3D maps they used, which I know is an entirely silly reason to hate a game. I’m hoping that the gently caressed map they’ll be using in the game is just that – a map.

    • D says:

      I’m totally with you there, I believe the simplified map of the original Shogun was one of its great assets. The later 3d maps had way too much control, too much micro of unit stacks and remaining movement points. But they’re not going away from that kindof game, so I just hope they can find a balance. Hexes would be nice (heh)

    • Colliic says:

      Moving back to the 2d maps of the first two games would be brilliant – they conveyed the atmosphere of the period far better I thought. I never liked the 3d ones either. Needless complication and laggy graphics for something that never seemed like an improvement for me. We’ll see though.

  3. The Walker says:

    The Twist: Shogun 2 is going to look just like Okami.

  4. Pmeie says:

    “In conclusion, the angry man wants to have sex with a map. Shogun 2: Total War comes out in 2011.”

    rofl. love this site.

    • Magic H8 Ball says:

      Reminds me of a certain Sexy Losers strip which I can’t venture looking for as I’m at work.

  5. Zerotonine says:

    I loved the original game. I’ve only played Shogun and Rome as my only entries to the series, as I’m interested in those cultures and their history.

    It’ll be good to get back to where it all began!

    Now only if there was an update to Sid Meier’s Sword Of The Samurai, my life would be complete. Curry favour with the current Daimyo and get to the most honourable position above your competitors, then go an assassinate the Daimyo secretly so that his power transfers to you!

    • Torgen says:

      Sword of the Samurai, please God yes. I still have my floppies for that game (and the “Microprose Classics” box from buying it a second time.) Alas, no drive with which to install it.

      I wonder if it would work on Dosbox?

    • The_Terminator says:

      I can confirm that not only does it work in DOSBox, but it is as awesome as it always has been.

    • Zerotonine says:

      As previously stated, it does work in DOSbox, played it a few years ago.

      I have fond memories of the music in that game. The roaming music was appropriately anthemic, and I love how it shifts in tone and pace if you’ve been discovered or hurt during a top-down assassination level or how well you’re performing during a one-on-one sword fight.

    • Colliic says:

      hey what abput the first medieval (and viking invasion) – i loved those :P Anyone have any luck getting either of those to work these days ? I’d try and find my old disk if i wouldn’t be wasting my time.

  6. Paperflyer says:

    Guys, I love you. This was my hardest lough today!

  7. Springy says:

    Are those all in-game screens? The first five look fantastic but the last one looks, well, a bit shit. Dunno why they threw that in there.

  8. Thiefsie says:

    Is there somewhere I can get the full size images without an IGN stamp on them etc? Can’t seem to find much on an official site which barely exists…… Press release?


  9. Mario Figueiredo says:

    This game would rock in 2D. Nothing depicts oriental culture like 2D art.

  10. bill says:

    Shogun was awesome… so i’m very happy. And it looks like they’re going to keep the awesome art style and atmosphere that made the original so cool.

    But why no Hokkaido? I don’t know my Japanese history, was Hokkaido not part of Japan at this time?

  11. yaster says:

    Does that mean we would have war dogs once more, japanese this time?

    Also: Shotgun 2 would be better

  12. D says:

    I always had my blunt tanto sheathed by my side when I was playing Shogun. At opportune moments, I’d draw it and stab into the air, in what I can only guess would be called the fistpump of the older ages.

    • Lukasz says:

      Now i wanna play shogun 1 drinking sake and waving a dangerous Japanese weapon over my head.

    • BonusWavePilot says:

      @D: Keep it blunt – have a friend who gave himself a hospital-trip requiring wound with his sharpened tanto during a bout of drunken enthusiasm. (Fumbled it in the sheath then reflexively tried to catch it as it fell. Nasty.)

  13. Lucas Says says:

    I hope I’ll be waving my knife/penis when playing this game. Nothing like feudal japan to get the blood flowing.

    I hope it’s less big than Empire. Maybe I’m just a coward with a small knife but I never found myself as addicted to Empire as I was to Medieval 2 and Rome.

    • Snidesworth says:

      I can get behind that sentiment. Empire was simply too big for me to get to grips with.

  14. laikapants says:

    This announcement is going to put me on a summer long Kurosawa kick, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    As excited as I am for this, I really hope this is not followed by Rome 2: TW. Not that I don’t want them ever to return to Rome, but here’s to hoping for them visiting some other part of the world for a while. Fertile Crescent? India? China?

    • Fumarole says:

      Not likely. CA has stated in the past they generally work on one sequel and one new title in the Total War series at any given time, usually released alternately. So the next title after Shogun 2 is likely to be something we haven’t seen before.

  15. Berzee says:

    Kieron’s squelch-happy ways would be better employed in places hereabouts. >_>

  16. enzoke says:


    That would be incredibly awesome if the game looked like that artwork. I wonder how that style would translate to the scale of total war games though…

  17. Hikkikomori says:

    I’m pretty sure that all the first 5 images are remakes of original paintings and prints depicting scenes from the Sengoku era (Not so sure about the 3rd one, but there are many little sections like that in paintings from early Sengoku). It seems the team are trying to pay homage to the culture as with the calligraphy video but still they don’t say much else.

  18. Bhazor says:

    We’re all forgetting the most important part of that trailer.
    The guy has a mustache on his mask.

    • matte_k says:

      That’s probably partly to do with the Samurai cultivating moustaches/beards to differentiate themselves from women and children when heads were taken on the battlefield, as they didn’t count towards their kill total. So it’s probably an opponent’s mustache.

    • matte_k says:

      Aha! Couldn’t find it earlier, but got it now- quote from the “Hagakure”, apologies for the double post:

      “The warriors of old cultivated mustaches, for as proof that a man had been slain in battle, his ears and nose would be cut off and brought to the enemy’s camp. So that there would be no mistake as to whether the person was a man or a woman, the mustache was also cut off with the nose. At such a time the head was thrown away if it had no mustache, for it might be mistaken for that of a woman. Therefore, growing a mustache was one of the disciplines of a samurai so that his head would not be thrown away upon his death. Tsunetomo said, “If one washes his face with water every morning, if he is slain his complexion will not change. “

    • Bhazor says:

      That is so bad ass. Seriously, you just straight out quoted the Hagakure. Up top dude!

      I only brought it up because it reminded me of Dr McNinja’s dad and his moustache of unquestionable authority.

  19. Taillefer says:

    I thought he was angry because Wizball had invaded Japan.

  20. Vitamin Powered says:

    *looks at second last image*

    Awesome, we finally get giants as a unit.

  21. alh_p says:

    I like maps, but I don’t want to make sex with them. perhaps this game is not for me?

  22. Boris says:

    Whats going on here? Whats up with all the feminazist talk lately?

    • theleif says:

      Yeah its crazy, all this talk about gender equality. Next thing you know, they might suggest that we should treat black people and gays as humans as well. Scary stuff.
      The constant threat we white males live under daily is horrifying.

  23. BinhoF says:

    Why didn’t they make cool promotional art like this for any of the other Total War games?

    Since the first medieval, and the move away from 2D maps all the games CA have made have lacked atmosphere I found. I used to love just sitting on the campaign maps in Shogun and Medieval, and listening to the relaxing music.

    Imagine how much more atmospheric Medieval II would have been if the artwork for it looked like this:

    link to

    link to

    link to

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    Instead…we got this…:×712/245449/Medieval-2-Total-War.jpg

    link to

    It feels like they just took a dump on European art and history. (As much as I loved the game)

  24. Finn says:

    @Bill: Hokkaido was only settled by Japanese in the extreme south, it was only during the Meiji Restoration that the Ainu (the natives) were subdued entirely and the whole region settled.

    There were always Japanese there but the influence was little to none when compared to the local Ainu tribes.
    Also, this:
    link to

    Back on topic, release date is 2011? Good, that gives me time to update my palaeolithic rig.

  25. Skusey says:

    I don’t remember much about the first game as I was only little when it came out, but I think I liked it. Anyway I’m looking forward to this, map-fucking games are my favourites.

  26. Geoff says:

    Great post John thanks! very funny

  27. Web Cole says:

    Map sex, yay!

  28. devin says:

    lololololololololololololololololololoololololololol he wants to f the map classic

  29. Joran says:

    Shogun 2 is probably going to set a new standard for RTS and turn based strategy games. I really can’t wait for this awesome game :D

    A good site with loads of good news and info on shogun 2 is :)

    Check it out, some interviews with the game designers