- Estimated achievement difficulty: 3/10
- Offline: 48 
- Online: 0
- Approximate amount of time to 1000: 20 - 30 hours [Low Difficulty] 40 - 50 hours [Higher Difficulty]
- Minimum number of playthroughs needed: 1
- Number of missable achievements: None
- Do cheat codes disable achievements: No Cheats
- Does difficulty affect achievements: No
- Glitchy achievements: None
- Unobtainable achievements: None
- Extra equipment needed: None
Welcome to Shin Sangoku Musou 4 Special! This game is the special edition of what's known as "Dynasty Warriors 5" in English-speaking countries, so if you've played DW5 at all before, you'll feel right at home here. The game is entirely in Japanese with only a few token English words here and there, but that doesn't matter - it's very easy to just pick up and play.
There are 48 achievements to be had, each corresponding to a playable character. You'll gain an achievement for every character whose Musou Mode you complete. Each character has between four and eight missions, and they can be done on any difficulty, so feel free to set it to Beginner and just blast through. They'll take roughly 40-50 hours (about 1 hour per character) on higher difficulties, or 20-30 hours (30-45 minutes per character) on lower difficulties.
Because all the characters are unlocked from the start of the game, you can get the achievements in any order you like. In this section, I'll describe how to start a character's Musou Mode, and go through what the various menu options do, as well as give a basic description of how the game will progress.
First, select Musou Mode from the main menu. Next, select your character. The game will then prompt you to select a difficulty; they are as follows:
Beginner - Easy - Normal - Hard - Chaos
After confirming your difficulty, you'll get a short introduction to your character, followed by a lecture from your commander. Once it's done, you'll be taken to your first battle.
- The first menu option is used to equip your character. The first sub-menu is for weapons, the second for special items and the third for bodyguards. Remember to check this screen after every battle to equip any new weapons or items you may collect!
- The second menu option shows you your objective, which will usually be to kill the enemy commander (in red) and protect your commander (in blue).
- The third menu option shows the positions of enemy and ally generals.
- I'm not sure what the fourth option is.
- The fifth option quits to the main menu; you're prompted Yes or No if you select it.
- The last option begins the battle.
The menu is similar to the pre-battle menu. The sixth option on the list will make a mid-battle save that you can then continue from the main menu. The number of times you can save depends on your difficulty, and is represented by the Xbox 360 Memory Unit icons on the right of the screen.
In general, your objective will be to fight through the enemy troops to reach the enemy commander, and defeat him. Enemy generals will drop random power-ups when defeated, usually Attack or Defense Up. If you ever find yourself stuck and don't know what to do to finish the level, just start killing everyone, and eventually something will happen that will allow you to finish.
Look out for Kakusei items, either in boxes or dropped by enemies. In the English version of Dynasty Warriors 5, these were known as "Musou Rage" tokens. You can press to activate one, boosting your attack speed and power considerably. It's best to save these for enemy commanders or other difficult generals.
After battle, you'll receive whatever items and weapons you picked up during the battle, as well as experience points, which will help you level up. If you're at a higher level, the number of items you can equip will increase. Your bodyguard will also receive experience. Finally, you'll get tokens that you can spend in the Camp screen (on the fourth menu item) to increase your stats.
To aid in completing the Musou Mode stages, you'll want to get the Red Hare Harness. This will allow you to start each stage riding Red Hare, the fastest horse in the game. To get it, play the Battle of Chang Shan as Yuan Shao's Forces (in Free Mode, it's the first battle listed under "192") and defeat Liu Bei, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei in under one minute. The timer starts when you kill one of them - I'd suggest starting with Zhang Fei. The rare item box will then appear in the northwest corner of the map.
Shin Sangoku Musou 4 Special falls into the category of "easy but time-consuming". Beyond setting the difficulty to Beginner and going straight for the enemy commander in every stage, there's no real way to speed up the process of getting the achievements. Just proceed at your own pace and try to enjoy the game while you're doing it.
[XBA would like to thank CNash for this Roadmap]