Less than 150 games needed to reach our MobyGoal of 1,500 documented arcade titles!

Romance of the Three Kingdoms series

Group Description

A strategy series developed and published by KOEI that is based on the Romance of the Three Kingdoms novel version and uses pingyin romanization for the translation of Chinese names.

Story
The Three Kingdoms (Chinese: 三国, sanguo) era is a period in Chinese history, following the decline and fall of the Han Dynasty after the Yellow Turban Rebellion. The saga originally existed via oral stories and was eventually made into official history. The Romance of the Three Kingdoms version was later popularized by Chinese writer Luó Guànzhōng between 1330-1400, portraying Liu Bei as the hero of the series and Cao Cao as the antagonist. The game series is heavily influenced by the romantic version rather than the official version.

Depending on the game, a Romance of the Three Kingdoms game may start during the decline of Han dynasty after the Yellow Turban Rebellion (184 AD), followed by periods such as the anti-Dong Zhuo league, the fight for power between the three kingdoms, and ultimately the preliminary establishment of the Jin Dynasty (264 AD). Some series have introduced scenarios and/or characters earlier or later from the usual time frame.

The Three Kingdoms title itself refers to last years of the chaos where a famous scholar in that period prophesied that the warring clans would eventually end with the formation of three remaining kingdoms:
  • The Kingdom of Wei, initially ruled by Cao Cao.
  • The Kingdom of Shu, initially ruled by Liu Bei.
  • The Kingdom of Wu, initially ruled by Sun Jian.
The saga ends during the period where the Kingdom of Wei becomes the victor. However, the Cao clan (Cao Shuang) was overthrown by the Sima clan (Sima Yi) which founded the Jin dynasty (Sima Yan) and eventually united China.

Gameplay
Romance of the Three Kingdoms is a turn-based strategy game that focuses on:
  1. Top-down political map strategy-type gameplay, where the player control provinces and their natural resources; managing armies and their generals; conducting plots and schemes between the player between or with rival kingdoms. The KOEI-type strategy game familiarizes generals with individual portraits as well as unique character skills and statistics. Individual biographies may also be available partially or completely in the game manual or in game documentation;

  2. Top-down perspective turn-based style combat, where the player position armies led by selected generals against attacking or defending opponents. Romance of the Three Kingdoms III later introduced personal combat (duels) where generals can challenge other generals in hand-to-hand combat, which results may vary from capture to death.
Related Game Groups

Selected Covers

Selected Screenshots