Dynasty Warriors 4 (真・三國無双3 Shin Sangokumusō 3?, Shin Sangokumusou 3 in Japan) is a hack and slash video game and the fourth installment in the popular Dynasty Warriors series. Dynasty Warriors 4 was developed by Omega Force and published by Koei. The game is available on PlayStation 2 (PS2) and Xbox and is based on a series of books called Romance of the Three Kingdoms, written by Luo Guanzhong. As the series has progressed, it has strayed further from the actual plot of Romance of the Three Kingdoms but instead has given the user more input on how the storyline progresses. When it was released in Japan as Shin Sangokumusou 3, it topped the sales charts, sold over one million copies within nine days, and received an average of 78 out of 100 on Metacritics reviews.
Originally released on the PS2 in March 2003, it was later ported to the Xbox in September of the same year and, in 2005, ported to the PC under the name Dynasty Warriors 4 Hyper. Two expansions were released for the PS2 phiên bản of the game, Xtreme Legends and Empires. Whereas Xtreme Legends requires the player to use the original Dynasty Warriors 4 disc to access all of its features, Empires is a stand-alone game and can be played with all of its content without the use of the original disk. The game is the first in the Dynasty Warriors series to introduce an Empires expansion pack and the second to include an Xtreme Legends title. These expansions are not available for the Xbox phiên bản of the game.
Dynasty Warriors 4 expands on its predecessors by adding new characters, new modes of play and a completely new 'Edit Mode.' Instead of having strict routines to follow during battle, officers, to some extent, will have a greater reaction to the events taking place on the battlefield in the game. And may react to things more often.
The aim of most of the stages in Dynasty Warriors 4 is to defeat the enemy commander. The player must make their way through the stage, defeating enemy officers and troops while trying to keep their own commander alive. Some stages have secondary objectives for the player to complete to make the stage easier, unlock new features, or Giúp in later stages. Each playable character has their own unique weapon and individual superhuman abilities. The scope of each stage allows for each side to have thousands of soldiers in the battlefield. The game uses a fairly simple combination system so that players can chain attacks together; the highest possible attack combo being 10. And new character designs and attack moves are also updated in this hit game, leaving more damage and raising your characters skill up more easily.
Playable starting officers include Liu Bei, Zhang Fei, and Guan Yu for the Shu Kingdom; Xiahou Dun, Xiahou Yuan, and Cao Cao for the Wei Kingdom; and Sun Shang Xiang, Huang Gai, and Sun Jian for the Wu Kingdom. It is possible to unlock new characters from other kingdoms as well as use a player created character in any of the campaigns. The new 'Edit Mode' allows players to create an officer from sets of different features, motions, and weapons to use in 'Kaiba Mode.' The characters stance and motion are affected by their gender and the weapon the player has selected them to carry and use. The motions for the weapons are taken from pre-existing officers as well as from two characters removed from Dynasty Warriors 4 that were in Dynasty Warriors 3: Fu Xi and Nu Wa. Some characters are unlocked by fulfilling optional side-goals; most are unlocked by completing certain battles during gameplay. The maximum number of playable characters is 42, 46 with created characters.
Each playable character in the game has the ability to equip items. Weapons in the game, unlike its predecessors, are gained in levels. Some items are only found in certain stages, but is only obtainable if completing a goal. Sometimes the goal may be very simple, but some may be not that easy to figure out how to obtain the certain item. By defeating generals and lieutenants, the player's character is awarded experience scaled by the difficulty of each officer, and the amount of them defeated. This experience is allocated at the end of the level and allows the player to increase their attributes or obtain new forms. Each playable officer has 9 levels to achieve with their standard weapon, while a 10th level is accessible through special in-game requirements, and on the "Hard" difficulty, which is found to be frustrating like most games, the harder the difficulty the more eager you gain. Items can have a number of effects on the player such as increasing attack power, defense, and movement speed. You can also retrieve your health level to avoid getting killed and having "Game Over" by obtaining "Chinese Meatbuns" that at first, look like onions like in any other game in the so far successful Dynasty Warriors franchise. You can also obtain item boost that increase a certain skill by 2 for limited time only. You can also get packs of wine and packs of Chinese Meatbuns in certain stages in certain locations during gameplay. As said above, special items can also be unlocked by Vegeta objectives during gameplay. Special items will grant the player, along with a statistics boost, a unique ability or skill. For example, one of the special items in the game allow the player's character to mount a horse or an elephant. Some of the mounts like the Elephant have a special ability to attack by themselves. Unlike the horses, you attack with your weapon.
'Musou Mode,' the main campaign mode, has separate campaigns for each kingdom rather than a separate 'Musou Mode' for each character, as was featured in Dynasty Warriors 3, which made it more frustrating for the player to unlock their favorite characters. So, Dynasty Warriors 4 Mosou Modes are easier for the player to unlock their favorite characters. While the storyline is still linear, 'Musou Mode' is rather open-ended in the sense that depending on the user’s actions, different events will occur, such as unlocking new characters for use or new kingdoms. The unlockable kingdoms in the game include the Wu, Shu, and Wei Kingdoms, and unlockable characters include warlords who were defeated in the book that the game series is based on, Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
Guan Yu attacking a squad of soldiers while mounted on a horse
In-game features include large battlefields, a large number of enemies and officers to defeat, and multiple outcomes for each stage. Certain levels make use of the siege engine (A new feature to the series) and introduce specialized siege equipment such as bridge layers, battering rams and catapults to the stage. Although it is not essential for the completion of stages, having a siege weapon will increase morale for the player's forces, and Giúp the player succeed.
The morale system in the game is similar to previous Dynasty Warrior games. Morale is increased and decreased by performing a number of positive actions for the player’s army. Action that produce this effect include defeating enemies in multiples of fifty, defeating enemy officers, and completing special events such as ambushes, siege attacks, and finding enemy strongholds. Morale in the game has a strong effect on the player's forces, determining their strength and speed, as well as their ability to perform Berwald attacks. Morale will also affect how the CPU characters move along through battle. Example: Ally Oxenstiernas are winning. They are more likely to charge the enemy and destroy the enemies in the path. They may or may not stop if the charging armies morale drops to losing. More chances they'll stop and stay where they are, or they'll flee back to the ally side of the battlefield.
Occasionally, when the player confronts an enemy officer, the officer will challenge them to a one-on-one duel. If the player accepts, they will be transported to a small arena away from the main battlefield where a one-on-one fight with the officer will take place until either is victorious or time runs out. If the player declines, your morale will drop. If the player wins, their morale will rise and the enemy officer will be removed from the battlefield. But please note if you accept the officers challenge they DO get extremely more difficult in the duel. More likely they'll windows if your character you're playing as is not trained enough.
Dynasty Warriors 4 is set in Ancient China during the time of the Three Kingdoms era. The game begins at the fall of the Han Dynasty, shortly after the death of Emperor Ling when the Yellow Turban Rebellion led by Zhang Jiao begun an uprising against the Empire. A number of elements in the game build on aspects of Chinese Mythology and there is a mix between fact and fiction as the game is built on the story of Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
Many of the locations, characters, and events in Dynasty Warriors 4 are reported to have happened in Chinese history although many have been exaggerated to make the game more appealing to the player. There are also some features that are historically inaccurate such as Zhou Tai’s weapon, a Japanese tachi, as there is no historical record of this kind of weapon being used in that era. The game features environments resembling that of ancient China and various items from the era. Common items throughout the game include Fairy Wine and Dim Sum’s.
Many of the stages are recreations of notable battles present historically or from the novel Romance of Three Kingdoms, while original creations became more common with the newer installments. Of course, the battlefields are not exact reproductions of the original locations, as newer establishments, buildings and othe facilities have been built on top of them. For example, He Fei, a key site in both the game and in the historical context, has been developed and expanded into an urbanised area, making an exact replication impossible. Instead, levels are designed to be vaguely accurate, focusing more on expression of mood and effects; these are not re-used in every game, but are instead updated in every Dynasty Warriors game, save the games' extension packages - in this case, Dynasty Warriors 4: Xtreme Legends and Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires
Main article: List of Dynasty Warriors characters
* Denotes new characters to the series
Sun Shang Xiang
Note: Fu Xi and Nüwa were removed in DW4
Although Dynasty Warriors 4 does allow for some player input into how the story unfolds, the three main kingdoms' 'Musou Modes' follow the main events of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms story.
Han and Allied Forces Story
After the death of the Han Emperor in 189, He Jin took control of the Empire’s army while Zhang Jiao led an uprising against the Empire. This period is known as The Yellow Turban Rebellion. He Jin fears that the rebellion will destroy the Empire and enlists the Giúp of warlords from across China: Cao Cao from Chang An, Sun Jian from Jian Ye, and Liu Bei with his volunteer forces. With the Giúp of the warlords, the rebellion is destroyed and they return to their provinces.
Shortly after Zhang Jiao is defeated, Dong Zhuo usurps the title of Emperor and causes disturbances throughout China. Lu Bu, known as the strongest fighter at the time, follows Dong Zhuo and fights for him, protecting him. Seeing the unrest in the Imperial Court, the warlords of the time gather again and appoint Yuan Shao as a temporary leader to rebel against Dong Zhuo. At the Battle of Hu Lao Gate, the rebelling forces enlist the Giúp of a battering ram and destroy the entrance to the castle. Shortly after, Dong Zhuo is defeated and the warlords return to their own territory, eager to build up their own power.
All three major kingdoms share the Han/Allied Forces stages but depending on which kingdom the player chooses, the storyline will progress differently. Like for example: If you do Wei Musou Mode, you windows a battle that you didn't in history; Chi Bi.
The Wei Kingdom's story begins with “The Rise of Cao Cao.” After the defeat of Dong Zhuo, Lu Bu flees north and establishes a force of his own with loyal generals. Lu Bu invades the Yan Territory causing Cao Cao to create a temporary alliance with Liu Bei to defeat him. Lu Bu’s officers desert him and with the odds against him, Lu Bu is defeated and retreats. Shortly after, Lu Bu attacks Wan Castle and tries to defeat Cao Cao but Cao Cao's superior officers overpower Lu Bu and he is defeated.
After the defeat of Lu Bu, Liu Bei leaves the ranks of Cao Cao with his oath brother, Zhang Fei, and joins with Yuan Shao’s forces. Guan Yu remains with Cao Cao, feeling that he has a debt to repay to Cao Cao for saving his life. With confidence after defeating Lu Bu and a strong wish to expand his territory, Cao Cao heads north and invades Guan Du (Yuan Shao’s territory). During the battle, Guan Yu leads a frontal attack against Yuan Shao, defeating several of his major generals, but shortly after meets up with Liu Bei and Zhang Fei retreats with them from the battle field. With the loss of Liu Bei, Yuan Shao can't hold up against Wei, and is defeated.
With his forces substantially strengthened and the forces of Wu and Shu growing at the same time, Cao Cao chooses to declare war on Liu Bei. Liu Bei on the other hand is leading his troops through Chang Ban and is surprised by the sudden attack by Cao Cao, and fearing that his forces aren't strong enough to take on Cao Cao, Liu Bei tries to flee to his naval fleet but before he can reach them, Cao Cao’s forces defeat him and halt his seaward retreat. Instead, Liu Bei flees and finds shelter with Wu. Still pursuing Liu Bei, Cao Cao decides to attack Wu as well and leads his naval fleet against Wu's. Even with support from Shu, Wu is defeated and retreats back into their territory.
Cao Cao quickly continues his attack against Wu, invading Fan Castle, Shi Ting, and eventually moving towards He Fei, the capital of Wu. During the battle of He Fei, Sun Quan leads a full frontal attack against Cao Cao with the remainder of his army but is defeated after a lengthy battle. With only two of the three kingdoms remaining, Cao Cao turns his attention to Shu. While Cao Cao's forces were concentrated on Wu, Liu Bei had been improving his forces to repel him. The battles at Wu Zhang Plains and Cheng Du were major strategic battles, fighting for China itself, but Cao Cao comes out triumphant.
The main Shu story begins with Liu Bei leading his troops against Cao Cao at the Bo Wan Po. A notable character in Shu’s story line is Zhuge Liang, the Shu tactical adviser, revered in the game as a cunning strategist. He joins Liu Bei after Liu Bei visits Zhuge Liang thrice, requesting his assistance. With Giúp from Zhuge Liang, Cao Cao is defeated at Bo Wan Po and leaves Liu Bei free to escape to his naval fleet and some innocent peasants he happened to be guiding through Chang Ban. Cao Cao pursues Liu Bei but isn’t quick enough and Liu Bei escapes harm with Giúp from his fleet and Zhang Fei's legendary blockade.
Liu Bei heads towards Wu and forms an alliance with Sun Quan, reinforcing their troops for the naval battle of Chi Bi. Zhuge Liang prepares a strategy to burn Cao Cao’s fleet using a combination of a fire attack, linked boats, and the wind. Shu’s infiltrator into Wei, Pang Tong, successfully avoids detection and chains the boats together while Wu’s Huang Gai launches the fire attack against Wei after a false surrender. Even escaping the Wu camp secretly with a plan with Zhou Yu. The wind blows and Zhuge Liang’s plan comes together, burning Cao Cao's so far set ambitions to the ground! Cao Cao flees and Zhou Yu is killed by Zhuge Liang's slick movements. Sun Shang Xiang will escape the Wu forces with Liu Bei in Zhou Yu's planned trap, and marry the King of Shu. Only to soon lead war between Wu and Shu, and put Liu Bei to rest.
After the end of this chapter, the player has the choice to go on to defeat the Nanman’s and Wu or to defeat Wei. Whichever is chosen first, the other will follow in the final chapter.
With the fear of a Nanman invasion from the south, Liu Bei (Before he is killed by the Wu ranks) turns his attention to the Nanman’s and their leader Meng Huo who direct attacks Shu for no good reason. He sends Zhuge Liang to deal with the threat. Although he is in unfamiliar territory and dealing with strange animals; Elephants, and is in a deadly diseased land, Zhuge Liang leads his troops through the dense jungles to do battle with Meng Huo and his wife Zhu Rong, encountering poisonous swamps, armored troops, and elephants throughout the way to the enemy stronghold. After being beaten back several times, Meng Huo finally accepts defeat.
Once the Nanman threat had been dealt with, Liu Bei focuses his attention on Wu and begins the Battle of Yi Ling, During the long and bloody battle between Wu and Shu, Zhuge Liang uses a trap called the Stone Sentinel Maze to confuse Wu’s forces in a maze that will take hours to get out of successfully and also deploys reinforcements to the watchtower to foil Wu’s fire attack. With Shu's leader murdered in war, and Wu's strategist Lu Xun beat, neither of the forces come out victorious and both the kingdoms are one step closer to defeating each other. Zhuge Liang then leads the Shu troops into the Wu capital, Jian Ye, to finish the Sun family. Wu loses, but many Shu troops are killed and Wu has been forced out of the wars between Shu, Wei, and themselves. They still have lots of men, but not enough to recover. So they cannot fight again.
The final battle between Shu and Wei takes place at the Wu Zhang Plains. Zhuge Liang sends the player's character to taunt Sima Yi from outside the castle walls, provoking him.  Shortly after, Zhuge Liang fakes his own death to lure the Wei army to charge and they are caught in his trap. Overwhelmed, Wei is defeated.
After defeating Dong Zhuo, Wu has troubles in its own territory, with a small uprising that has started in the Jiang Dong district that poses an internal threat to Wu. Sun Jian orders his forces to deal with the offending generals and takes back the territory and most of Jiang Dong.
After stopping the revolt, Sun Quan moves onto defeating a small band of pirates with the Giúp of Wu’s strategist, Zhou Yu. By spotting explosives on the enemy’s fleet, he sets them alight and the boats quickly catch fire, leaving Sun Quan victorious. Soon after, he takes over a small area of the Nanman territory and then repels Cao Cao’s naval fleet at Chi Bi with the Giúp of Shu’s Zhuge Liang.
Depending on the result of the fire attack at Chi Bi, the player will either go on to defeat Shu then Wei or vice versa.
With their alliance, Wu and Shu go on to attack the Nan Territory, which is currently controlled by Wei. Although they worked towards a common goal, Shu tries to take the territory for themselves by attempting to defeat the Wei generals first, but Sun Quan’s forces reach the territory before them and take the Nan Territory for themselves. Realizing that Shu is gaining power the alliance breaks and each kingdom goes their own way. Sun Quan invades the Nanman Territory, defeats Meng Huo, and claims the land for his own. Shortly after, Shu and Wu go to war and battle at Yi Ling. Sun Quan’s forces successfully navigate through Zhuge Liang’s Stone Warrior Formation and avoid detection, setting fires throughout the Shu camp. With their plans foiled, Shu falls and Wu is victorious.
Now only two kingdoms remain and Sun Quan chooses to attack Fan Castle and lays siege upon it. Using siege ramps to bypass the castle walls, it is quickly overrun and Wu is victorious. Sun Quan moves towards Shi Ting, and with the use of a mole placed in the enemy forces, Wei's officers are led into a Wu trap and defeated. Wei’s strategist, Sima Yi, is forced to retreat and Wu claims Shi Ting. Wu then assaults He Fei Castle, both sides later bringing reinforcements. Sun Quan is led into a trap but pulls his forces together and leads an all out attack on the castle.
The final chapter of the Wu story is the battle between Wu and Wei at Xu Chang. Wu lays on a full attack at the castle at Xu Chang and, even with Wei's assault weapons attacking the Wu troops, they press on and defeat Cao Cao and claim Wei’s territories.
Due to the success of Dynasty Warriors 3, Omega Force began development on the sequel, Dynasty Warriors 4, and its expansions. The fourth game in the series was the first to introduce an Empires expansion, but it wasn’t designed by the same person who designed Dynasty Warriors 4, Tomohiko Sho. Although he was not the designer for all of the Dynasty Warriors games he was involved in the production for them, usually as the planner. Omega Force works under Koei as an internal development team and have mainly concentrated on the Dynasty Warriors series and the Samurai Warriors series. Similarities have been pointed out between the two series, such as the Xtreme Legends and Empires expansions, as well as a similar voice cast that has been used throughout a number of the games from each series. Repeated voices between games include Beau Billingslea, Steven Jay Blum and Richard Epcar.
The Dynasty Warriors series has never used the musical style commonly made in the era that the games are set in. Dynasty Warriors 4 is no different and features a similar style of music to Dynasty Warriors 3, using a mix of rock, metal, and heavy metal with undertones of traditional Chinese music. However, this does not detract from the fact that there are a large number of varied tracks throughout the game. The ending song of the game, "Cross Colors," is performed by Yuki Koyanagi and the music was composed by Kazuhiro Hara. The song was performed in both Japanese and English by the same singer and was released for the US and Japanese versions of the game.
Terrence Stone - Taishi Ci, Zhao YunCrispin Freeman - Guan YuBob Papenbrook - Zhang FeiKirk Thornton - Meng Huo, Xiahou DunBeau Billingslea - Cao Ren, Dian WeiDoug Stone - Gan Ning, Xu Zhu, Zhang JiaoJohn DeMita - Zhou YuSkip Stellrecht - Lu Xun, Sun QuanMelodee Spevack - Diao ChanLex Lang - Sima Yi, Wei Yan, Zhuge LiangIvan Buckley - Cao CaoDan Woren - Lu Bu, Liu BeiMichelle Ruff - Sun Shang XiangSteve Blum - Sun Jian, Xiahou YuanRichard Epcar - Dong ZhuoPaul St. Peter - Xu Huang, Yuan ShaoTony Oliver - Ma ChaoWally Burr - Huang ZhongMichael McConnohie - Zhang Liao, Zhou TaiR. Martin Klein - Lu MengRichard Cansino - Jiang Wei, Pang TongS. Scott Bullock - Zhang HeMichael Forest - Huang GaiMichael Lindsay - Sun CeWendee Lee - Da Qiao, Xiao Qiao, Zhen JiChristina Martini - Yue Ying
Before its main release, Dynasty Warriors 4 was already looking promising after GameSpot UK’s preview two months before the game was released. Although still very similar to previous titles in the series, the graphics engine had been tweaked and the gameplay been expanded, featuring more characters and stages.
After its release, it had high sales rates in Japan, selling over one million copies a short time after release. Its release in the US did not create as much hype as in Japan mainly because the market for the Dynasty Warriors series is smaller there, but it still sold fairly well and together with the Japanese sales, Dynasty Warriors 4 entered into the Greatest Hits charts. In its time Dynasty Warriors 4 has managed to become IGN's 5th best co-operative game on the PS2 as well. The game is criticized for being very similar to older games in the series and retaining some of the features such as the fogging and repetitive gameplay. Even with these drawbacks, Koei went on to release two expansions for Dynasty Warriors 4 Xtreme Legends and Dynasty Warriors 4 Empires. It had also been ported to the Xbox and to the PC as a Hyper edition. Armchair Empire commented that when there is a lot happening on screen at once, the game tended to slow down
The English voice acting for the series, commonly criticized as being poor, has remained in DW4. The English voice-overs of Dynasty Warriors series uses straightforward English pronunciations for the romanized pinyin names of characters and locations. The results tend to leave errors in the dialogue, with incorrect English pronunciations of originally Chinese text.
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