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Overview

The Musou Attack is a special attack type seen in Koei's Musou franchise, or Warriors franchise.  First seen in Dynasty Warriors 2, it has since played a role in the gameplay of all subsequent entries in the Dynasty Warriors series and its spin-offs, including Samurai Warriors, Dynasty Warriors:  Gundam, Warriors Orochi, and Fist of the North Star.
 
The core concept behind the Musou Attack remains the same in each game.  While dealing and receiving damage, the player character gradually fills up a special musou gauge that, when full, will allow the player to perform a Musou Attack at the press of a button.  The attack used varies from character to character, and its effectiveness may vary between being more useful against crowds or against single opponents.  While the Musou Attack is in effect, the player character is invincible, but a weapon deadlock may occur if an enemy character attempts to strike the player with his or her own Musou Attack.
 
The structure of the musou gauge itself varies from game to game.  In the Dynasty Warriors series, the gauge is solid, and the Musou Attack is invoked only for as long as the button is held down.  In the Samurai Warriors series, the gauge is divided into up to three sections at its maximum length, and pressing the Musou Attack button will only use a portion of the gauge, effectively giving the player multiple stocks of Musou Attacks.
 

Musou Attack Types

Standard

A standard Musou Attack is invoked when the player presses the Musou Attack button when the gauge is full and the player character's health gauge is above the critical level.

True Musou

If the Musou Attack button is pressed while the player character's health is in a critical state, the attack will become a True Musou Attack.  A True Musou Attack deals more damage and carries additional effects that the standard form lacks.  Some games also feature special equipment that may allow the player character to use a True Musou Attack even when the character's health is above the critical level.

Ultimate Musou

Introduced in Samurai Warriors 3, the Ultimate Musou Attack is the most powerful variant of the technique.  It requires that the player character's spirit gauge be filled to maximum in addition to at least one full segment of the musou gauge.  When the move is used, the spirit gauge is emptied.
 

Double Musou/Dual Musou

When allied characters with full musou gauges use their Musou Attacks at the same time, the power of the attacks are increased.  The partner in this technique may be either an allied AI officer or a second player.  To trigger the attack, the characters must be within close proximity of each other.  The game signifies when a Double Musou Attack is possible by displaying an arc of electricity linking the two characters.  In two-player mode, both players must trigger their Musou Attacks simultaneously.  In single-player, the AI partner in the attack will use his or her attack when the player triggers their own.


Secondary Musou

Each character in Dynasty Warriors 7 now has an additional musou attack, unlocked by purchasing it from their skill tree. This is either an Air Musou (invoked - once a Musou gauge is full - by pressing the Musou Attack button while jumping), or an alternate Ground Musou that usually allows the player to focus on a particular enemy - that is, a grab type attack. This type of Musou can be invoked (with a full gauge) by pressing the Musou Attack button and R1 (PS3)/RB (Xbox 360) at the same time.

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