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L'Empereur (ランペルール) is a turn-based strategy game which centers on Napoleon Bonaparte's rise to power in 18th century Europe.

Kou Shibusawa is the producer. His goal for the game was to capture Napoleon's success story and create a new twist on European simulations at the time. Noriyoshi Ourai illustrated the game's cover. The music was composed by Akira Ishiguro.


The player only plays as France. Their goal is to conquer cities from neighboring nations and manage their officers effectively to build a lasting empire. The game can end prematurely if Napoleon is captured, dies from old age, or loses all of his territory.

Like many other Koei simulation titles, the game is divided into two main phases: strategy and battle.

Randomized events (storms, bad harvests, etc.) can disrupt the flow for the player. Historical events are timed to occur near the same time of their occurrence. Some of them, like the overthrowing of Barras, can be altered at the player's discretion.


The player makes decisions that affect troops, economy, and international standing. Resources such as gold, food, and materials are required in order to make commands and instigate wars. The amount of resources required increases each time a nation's total population grows as the years pass.

It takes one month for cities to act, meaning there are twelve turns per year. Annual events like taxation and conscription occur on March. Commanders within each city are given power to achieve civic orders, but only Napoleon and his relatives can be directed manually. Outside of regional orders, nations can exert domestic and foreign policies to suit their needs every season (every three months).

As Napoleon gains more approval and promotions, the player will be able to take part in government actions. They are carried out in two levels: national strategies and city strategies. National Strategies are blue and focus on diplomatic relations; city strategies regulate the player's officers in other cities. A rolled flag on the map indicates that a city has received their orders.

Napoleon's officers and his current spouse may provide requests that can be helpful if heeded. This usually occurs if the player has neglected to manage one or more important matters.

The game cannot be saved while making government commands.

National Strategies
  • Foreign - Political-related commands used for negotiating with other nations.
    • Alliance - Forms a three year alliance with a friendly nation. Benefits include ally reinforcements in battle and trading for resources. When used on a hostile nation, the offerer will be forced to pay for a year cease-fire agreement.
    • Friendship - Establish a friendship with a neutral nation. Opens up the possibility of trade.
    • Stop Trade - Stops trade with a friendly nations. Also allows players to ask other nations to join a trade blockade, though doing so increases hostilities for all parties involved.
    • Declare War - Instigates war against neutral nations, raising their hostility level towards the offending party. Causes officer loyalty and soldier morale to plummet.
    • Exchange Prisoners - Proposes an exchange of prisoners. Can use gold to raise command's success rate.
  • Army - Military-related commands used for supporting own army.
    • War Expenditures - Set up war expenditures proportionate to the amount of arms factories supported. Cannons are worth 50 gold each and can only be manufactured within three months.
    • Recruit POWs - Recruits prisoners of war and places them in reserve.
  • Give - Takes food or materials from the national treasury and distributes them to the population. Good for placating unsatisfied cities.
  • Trade - Proposes trade with allied or friendly nations. Useful when there is not enough food or materials. Lower hostility means better price proposals and more profit.
City Strategies
  • Send - Logistics-related command used for managing the flow of products or people on a national level.
    • Officers - Relocates officers to a different city. Similar to its officer command counterpart.
    • Goods - Transports gold, food, and materials to another city. Works the same as its officer command counterpart.
    • Treasury - Takes gold, food, and materials from the national treasury to a city. The opposite of its officer command counterpart.
    • Fleet - Places ships from one city to another sharing the same shoreline.
  • Deploy - Construction-related commands involving artillery and warships.
    • Artillery - Positions cannons within a city's artillery reserves.
    • Shipbuilding - Constructs warships in coastal cities. Each ship costs 100 gold taken from the national treasury. The higher a city's industrial level is, the more ships a nation can build.
    • Scrap Ships - Scraps own warships.
  • Personnel - Commands involving the appointment of own officers.
    • Appoint - Replaces a city's commander with a different one.
    • Dispatch - Sends reserve officers to active duty by dispatching them to chosen city.
    • Reserves - Put active officers into national reserves, causing them to leave behind their soldiers, horses, and artillery.
  • Command - Forces cities to pay more to fund the national treasury with either gold or food and materials.
  • Rest - Ends the player's turn.
Officer Commands
  • Invade - Attacks adjacent cities controlled by hostile nations. Invading by sea requires the targeted city and attacking army to share the same shoreline.
  • Army - Military-related commands used for managing own army.
    • Recruit - Recruits soldiers from a city's population to join a unit. One soldier is worth 5 food points and up to 5% of a city's population is available for recruitment.
    • Horse - Purchases horses for reserves. One horse is worth 5 food points.
    • Arrange - Arranges troops into active duty. Allows the player to decide what type of unit an officer should lead.
    • Speech - Raises morale by giving a speech.
    • Reward - Raises an officer's loyalty by rewarding them with gold.
    • Training - Trains all soldiers within a city, raising their accuracy in battle.
  • Invest - Commands used for investing gold on different ventures.
    • Industry - Raises production of heavy materials.
    • Commerce - Raises commercial worth to further increase tax revenues.
    • Agriculture - Develops agriculture to yield more harvest.
    • Medical - Raises the quality of hospitals to improve health. More effective when done by officers with high building level.
  • Supply - Adjusts the population's consumption of food and materials.
  • Send - Logistics-related command used for managing the flow of products or people.
    • Officers - Relocates officers and their respective goods to another area.
    • Goods - Transfers gold, food, and materials.
    • Treasury - Deposits gold, food, and materials to the national treasury.
  • Give - Appeases the population by giving them food and materials.
  • Tax - Gathers food and material from the population in addition to regular taxes. May do more harm than good on agriculture and trading if used too much.
  • Request - Requests for government aid. Has a chance of failing if not approved.
    • Funds/Food/Material - Sends supplies taken from the national treasury.
    • Exempt - Asks for a tax exemption.
    • Officer/Artillery/Warship - Provides military support for officers.
  • Rest - Ends the player's turn.
  • View - Views pertinent data on any nation, city, and officer. Shows which nation has control over the sea. Will cost an entire turn during city strategy when used on other territories besides France.
  • Summary - Displays data on foreign relations with other nations. Will cost an entire turn during city strategy when used on other territories besides France.
  • Map - Displays a map of Europe.


Battle is conducted on a hexagon-shaped grid (rectangular in certain ports) where up to ten units can stand for either side. The player must arrange their troops within designated spots and move them accordingly using mobility points.

All units are affected by strength (manpower), training (accuracy), and morale (which determines defense and resistance to falling into disarray). These traits increase overall mobility. Additionally, an officer's leadership has an impact on their unit's overall strength. Third party reinforcements may arrive if they have an alliance with one side; this may prove beneficial or detrimental depending on the player's own foreign relations.

There are three types of combat units: infantry, cavalry, and artillery.

  1. Infantry (INF) units are the most commonly used in any army. They have the ability to build bridges or destroy them, making them perfect for luring enemies to their deaths. Their potency can be increased by raising building levels and overall troop count.
  2. Cavalry (CAV) units are the fastest and specialize in charge attacks, enabling them to hit more than once per turn. This makes them effective at targeting confused units and harassing stronger ones. Horses are needed to replenish their numbers.
  3. Artillery (ART) units bombard foes from a distance so long as the player aims them correctly. They should be used for weakening approaching foes and putting them in disarray. However, these units are unable to attack during a blizzard and will turn into infantry if forced to abandon their cannons. Their slow mobility makes them a burden in disadvantageous terrain.

Terrain can affect troop movement and defenses. Bad weather conditions (rain, snow, etc.) exhaust mobility points and may prevent units from using their abilities. However, the southern regions are not affected.

Terrain INF CAV ART Defense Attributes
Mountains A None None None Inaccessible Can block cannon fire depending on altitude.
Mountains B 7 6 8 None Cannot be entered during winter.
Hills C 6 5 7 High None
Hills D 5 4 6 None None
Forest 5 6 7 Slightly High Can block cannon fire from plain level.
Grassy Plain 4 3 5 Average None
Swamp 6 7 8 Low Hinders movement when raining. Stops artillery units.
Sand Bar 8 8 None Very Low Troops may slip back. Cannot be entered during winter.
River 10 None None Very Low Troops may drown. Cannot be entered during winter.
Lake/Sea None None None Inaccessible Frozen up north during winter.
Bridge 5 4 6 Slightly Low Can be destroyed from cannon fire or explosions.
Ice 5 5 6 Low Can be cracked from cannon fire.
Fortress 4 4 6 Very High None

When hostile units clash, one of them has a chance of being put into disarray, leaving them immobile and helpless for several turns. Ally units can be brought back to order by the player with the recovery command. If an officer is low on soldiers, they can opt to send out reserves or withdraw from battle entirely.

Defenders are tasked with keeping invaders out of city hexes whereas invaders must take them or defeat the opposing army before their food supply runs out (100 soldiers consume two cases of food per day). A battle can also end if there is no decisive victor after thirty days of fighting.

After winning, food provisions from the opponent will be taken by the city and officers captured will be made prisoners of war. Prisoners of war can be recruited or used in a diplomatic exchange.


Four different scenarios are available from the start.

  1. Napoleon's Beginning (1796) - Focuses on Napoleon as a commander in Marseilles. Beginner friendly. Hostile nations include Venice, Naples, Austria, and England. Conquer nine cities to clear this scenario.
  2. Desire for Power (1798) - Stationed at St. Malo, Napoleon is promoted to commander-in-chief. Hostile nations include England. Conquer twelve cities to clear this scenario.
  3. End of Revolution (1802) - Napoleon becomes First Consul of France, allowing him to oversee France and micro-manage its regions. Conquer eighteen cities to clear this scenario.
  4. Glorious Empire (1806) - With Napoleon as Emperor, France is now a major power in Europe. At this point, Napoleon's family members can be controlled. Hostile nations include Sweden, Prussia, Russia, and England. Conquer the entire map to clear this scenario.
  5. Escape from Elba Island (1815) - A hidden scenario exclusive to the PC version, it is unlocked by fulfilling certain conditions in other campaigns. Taking place after Napoleon's return from exile, it is the most challenging due to France's territorial losses and numerous hostile nations. Conquer the entire map to clear this scenario.

After choosing a scenario, an option to view other wars will appear; players can decide whether or not this feature should be used for the entire game.

The continent is divided into several nations vying for power. Each one has its own pros and cons derived from history. It is advised to target weaker nations first and reserve the stronger ones for last.

Flag Name Attributes
Holland Icon (LE).png Holland An enemy of Prussia, it forms an alliance with France in almost every scenario.
Bavaria Icon (LE).png Bavaria Situated close to France, making it an easy target for beginning players.
Denmark Icon (LE).png Denmark Weak in terms of power, it is easily overwhelmed by England's attacks.
Turkey Icon (LE).png Turkey Above average in terms of size, though many of its officers are disloyal.
Venice Icon (LE).png Venice This small but populous nation is bordered by Austria and Turkey.
Naples Icon (LE).png Naples Despite its diminutive size, the nation may build itself up by the time France reaches it.
Portugal Icon (LE).png Portugal Usually ends up becoming a satellite state for England, but Spain may dominate it as well.
Sweden Icon (LE).png Sweden A small coastal nation suffering from lack of military power.
Spain Icon (LE).png Spain Hostile to England and Portugal, they rely on guerrillas and volunteer troops for defense.
Prussia Icon (LE).png Prussia The nation's officers and troops more than make up for their small size.
Russia Icon (LE).png Russia Hard to defeat due to guerrillas, scorched earth tactics, and the land's harsh winter.
Austria Icon (LE).png Austria Equipped with a strong army, its relationship with Russia is tense at best.
England Icon (LE).png England Has dominance over industry and naval combat, but relies on trade to maintain food supply.

Related Media[]

Two guidebooks were published by KOEI, one for the NES version. A soundtrack CD includes game music and an original image song. This vocal song was reprinted onto Koei Soundware Vocal Collections Vol. 1 and THE BEST OF KOEI Vol. 3.

Image Song[]

  • L'Empereur Ai no Theme BELIEVE IN YOUR LOVE
Performed by Eri Morishita

External Links[]