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In the 12th century, the Emperor Hui Zhong is faced with an internal rebellion led by Imperial Minister Gao Qiu. The Song Dynasty comes to an end, and Gao Qiu became the new ruler. You take the role of an exiled ruler, and you must build your stats up to be able to challenge- and destroy- Gao Qiu and restore Hui Zhong to the throne.

The game is a military strategy game, like most of Koei's games, but instead of conquering a country, the goal is to depose the despotic ruler of China. You start out lowly, and have to work your way up by conquering smaller prefectures, forming alliances, and fighting small battles. You have to earn the right to attack Gao Qiu's home prefecture, though- he is off limits until you are powerful.


Bandit Kings of Ancient China DOS Character select. (CGA)
Bandit Kings of Ancient China DOS Visiting the marketplace (EGA)
Bandit Kings of Ancient China DOS Giving out orders. (CGA)
Bandit Kings of Ancient China DOS Choose a scenario (EGA)

Promo Images

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Alternate Titles

  • "水滸伝 天命の誓い" -- Japanese spelling
  • "Suikoden: Tenmei no Chikai" -- Japanese title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

What do you mean 27 years? There's a time limit? Aaaaaahhhhh.... Indra is stressed (19942) 3.33 Stars3.33 Stars3.33 Stars3.33 Stars3.33 Stars
Top 5 all-time games Adam Tarr (3) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
Praise for Bandit Kings of Ancient China...The Game Dhanawutt Hanwuttisut (3) 4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars

Critic Reviews

PC-Spiele '92 1991 8 out of 10 80
Power Play Aug, 1991 79 out of 100 79
ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Jun, 1991 7.8 out of 12 65
Computer Gaming World (CGW) Oct, 1990 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
Joker Verlag präsentiert: Sonderheft 1993 55 out of 100 55


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The game is based on the book Shui Hu Zhuan, a novel based on actual 12th century Chinese political conflicts.


  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #12 Most Memorable Game Villain (Gao Qui)

Robert Morgan (859) added Bandit Kings of Ancient China (DOS) on Aug 05, 2000
Other platforms contributed by Trypticon (10743), Firebird (5), PCGamer77 (3001), Infernos (12838), Kabushi (163155), Martin Smith (62902), koffiepad (9955) and Oleg Roschin (174012)