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Dynasty Wars

MobyRank MobyScore
Arcade
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Amstrad CPC
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ZX Spectrum
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Description

Originating in the arcades, Dynasty Wars is a beat-em-up set during the Three Kingdoms Era of the Chinese history, and is, more specifically, based on the Tenchi o Kurau manga adaptation of the story. The player adopts the identity of an ancient Chinese warrior, and riding on horseback has to eliminate all his opponents, mostly infantry and archers.

Four historical characters from the time period can be controlled: Zhang Fei (fights with a halberd), Liu Bei (broadsword), Guan Yu (a Chinese pole weapon known as guan dao), and Zhao Yun (pike); some of the character names are misspelled in translated versions. The characters are distinguished by their health and strength parameters.

The game uses a lateral scroll and the player can move in all four directions. A novelty is the attack system: when pressing fire the energy of the attack will load up as the warrior moves his weapon up and backwards, in order to gain momentum. The more the player can keep fire pressed, the more powerful the attack will be. In addition, so-called "tactics" can be used at specific moments; these are powerful area attacks that deplete the protagonist's HP in process and range from summoning an ambush partner and causing rocks slide down slopes.

Stages typically culminate in boss battles. Along the way, various power-ups can be collected. Besides treasure that increases the player's score, and food packs that heal the protagonist, there are also yellow and blue orbs, which represent the game's light RPG elements: yellow orbs count as experience points and increase the character's vitality after a stage is over, and blue orbs increase the power of his weapon.

Screenshots

Dynasty Wars TurboGrafx CD Liu Bei attacks regular, weak guys
Dynasty Wars Arcade They hit me
Dynasty Wars Atari ST Archers shoot fire arrows
Dynasty Wars Atari ST One general down ? to go

Alternate Titles

  • "天地を喰らう" -- Japanese spelling
  • "Tenchi o Kurau" -- Japanese title

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The Press Says

Your Amiga Amiga Aug, 1990 80 out of 100 80
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Amstrad CPC Jul, 1990 79 out of 100 79
Computer and Video Games (CVG) ZX Spectrum Jul, 1990 77 out of 100 77
The Games Machine (UK) Amiga Jul, 1990 76 out of 100 76
Amiga Format Amiga Aug, 1990 69 out of 100 69
Amiga Joker Amiga Sep, 1990 66 out of 100 66
Zzap! Amiga Jul, 1990 57 out of 100 57
CU Amiga Amiga Jul, 1990 56 out of 100 56
The Games Machine (UK) Commodore 64 Jul, 1990 45 out of 100 45
Power Play Commodore 64 Sep, 1990 35 out of 100 35

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Contributed to by Pseudo_Intellectual (44454), אולג 小奥 (168688) and Neville (1847)