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Xtreme Classix - Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Romance of the Three Kingdoms NES Screenshot 1
Romance of the Three Kingdoms (NES)
KOEI's Romance of the Three Kingdoms is more than just a game -- the people, places, and events are all taken from real life. It is based on a novel written by Lo Kuanchung sometime in the 14th Century, about 600 years ago. The story opens with the fall of the Chinese government -- called the Later Han Dynasty -- and closes with the rebirth of a new government called the Chin Dynasty in 280. The 100 years in-between tell of the rise and fall of the country's greatest lands, Wei, Shu, and Wu: the Three Kingdoms.

The Later Han Dynasty was an empire without an emperor. An emperor lived, but was completely isolated from his people, a lonely prisoner in his own palace. The only news he heard of the outside world came from the palace guards, or eunuchs. Soon, the eunuchs were able to control what the emperor heard and didn't hear. They became the real power behind the throne. And, the more powerful the eunuchs became, the more cruelly they treated the people. Taxes became unbearably high as the greedy eunuchs demanded more and more gold from the peasants.

At this time, a terrible epidemic swept the land, claiming countless lives. A wandering magician named Chang Chueh discovered a cure, and soon an army of grateful followers rallied behind him. Chang, an ambitious man, decided to use his popularity to overthrow not only the eunuch tyrants, but the whole government as we;ll. He and his followers, famous for the bright yellow turbans they wore, took up arms, and the so-called Yellow Turban Rebellion began.

The government called upon the greatest generals in China to help crush the rebellion. Among the most successful of them was Cao Cao. After eliminating many rival masters, he ruled North China as the king of Wei, and ruthlessly punished the survivors of the Later Han Dynasty.

The main obstacle keeping the greedy Cao Cao from terrorizing the entire country was another hero named Sun Quan. Sun Quan inherited the rich Kingdom of Wu, southwest of Wei. It was Sun Quan who eventually mobilized a great army to meet Cao Cao at the battle of Red Wall, on the Yangtze river.

Meanwhile, a humble yet great master named Liu Bei assembled two men of legendary power, and in a quiet peach grove, swore eternal brotherhood to them. While Sun Quan gathered men of war, Liu Bei gathered men of knowledge. Among the greatest was Zhuge Liang, perhaps the most brilliant advisor in Chinese history. Under his careful guidance, Liu Bei came to rule the Kingdom of Shu.
--from the NES Romance of the Three Kingdoms game manual

This is your chance to live history. In Romance of the Three Kingdoms you are a leader of a small province of China, with the goal of uniting all of China under your rule. Recruit armies and generals, train your troops, develop your land, and when you're ready, attack your neighbors.


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Romance of the Three Kingdoms 2 Sega Genesis Screenshot 1
Romance of the Three Kingdoms 2 (Sega Genesis)
In this sequel, you must once again try to unite China under a single dominant ruler. It's really more of an update than a sequel, since all the Romance of the Three Kingdoms games have the same story. It is history, after all...

In any case, the graphics and sound are updated or this newer version. Some of the stats on the various leaders have changed, and some of the commands and tactics have been changed around. Romance of the Three Kingdoms 2 is commonly regarded as the worst of the series, but that's still pretty good considering how awesome this series is.


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Romance of the Three Kingdoms 2 Super Nintendo Screenshot 1
Romance of the Three Kingdoms 2 (Super Nintendo)
China in 190 A.D. was in a state of chaos. The Later Han Dynasty, which had ruled for the previous 165 years, was rapidly losing the throne. In the lands surrounding the palace, power-hungry generals usurped control, and the Emperor lost all authority over his kingdom.

Yet, these were only the early stages of a great power race that encompassed the country. As rulers clashed and territorial lines were drawn, the struggle to dominate mounted. By 215 A.D. China was divided into three kingdoms: Wei in the North, Wu on the East, and Shu in the West.
--from the SNES Romance of the Three Kingdoms 2 instruction booklet

In this strategic war game, you control pretty much all aspects of life in your small area of the country. The final goal is to unite the warring kingdoms of China under one rule, hopefully yours.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms is an incredible series of games, bringing home the history of feudal China and letting you relive it as one of the key players. With a good graphical interface, all your commands are at your fingertips. The music may get tiresome, but the sounds effects are decent, so keep busy and you won't have to listen to the same loop for too long. Soon you'll be on your way to glory, building alliances and wiping out your enemies. Each move you make brings you one step closer to the throne, or your ultimate doom if you make a mistake!


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Romance of the Three Kingdoms 3: Dragon of Destiny Sega Genesis Screenshot 1
Romance of the Three Kingdoms 3: Dragon of Destiny (Sega Genesis)
Fight to expand your territory and eventually unite all of China.

In this edition of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms series, you have the option of Historical mode, or Fictional mode. In Fictional mode the generals are randomly placed and you an create your own characters, while in Historical mode all the leaders are based on historical figures and tied to certain cities.

Vast improvements were made over the graphics of RTK 2, as well as slight changes to the interface, commands and tactics. RTK 3 is the only version that includes a strong component of naval warfare.

Overall, one of the strongest titles in a truly great progression of classic games.


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Romance of the Three Kingdoms 3: Dragon of Destiny Super Nintendo Screenshot 1
Romance of the Three Kingdoms 3: Dragon of Destiny (Super Nintendo)
Until the second century A.D. in China, the clan of Han controlled the Dragon's Throne, the Emperor's seat of power. Over successive generations the Throne was occupied by descendants of Han with little contest. There came a day, however, when the Throne was left unguarded and an ambitious warlord saw his chance to install new power at the palace. For the next century, China was torn apart by warlords, each seeking to unite the people under a new dynasty.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms III: Dragon of Destiny is the third game in the Koei Historical Simulation Series which recounts the history of China during the Three Kingdoms period. This game includes over 500 historical characters, and highlights rulers such as Cao Rui and Liu Chan who were destined to rise to power after their fathers, Cao Cao and Liu Bei. Six scenarios cover the three kingdoms period. Play an historical ruler, or create your own ruler and subordinates. Civil officers will aid your domestic endeavors and military officers will bring skill to your war tactics. Gain control of China and the Dragon Throne will be yours!
--from the SNES Romance of the Three Kingdoms 3 instruction booklet

The third edition of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms series is truly a masterpiece of strategic gaming. This version brings in some major changes including much more detailed control over your generals and officers. Taking advantage of this gives you more options for your domestic life and your battles and wars.

The graphics are much improved over previous editions, and most importantly, the sound is a lot better. The music won't drive you mad, and the effects are actually pretty good.

So get out there and conquer (I mean unite) all your squabbling neighbors. You could be the next Emperor of China!


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Romance of the Three Kingdoms 4 Super Nintendo Screenshot 1
Romance of the Three Kingdoms 4 (Super Nintendo)
Once again, you must try to unify the various provinces of China, and become Emperor. Romance of the Three Kingdoms 4 continues to improve upon this already great series of strategy games.

Your generals now have special abilities as well as scores in Intelligence, Charm, etc. so you can get specialists for different military and civic tasks. Also there is a greater variety of options, both in military and civic commands. City improvements can boost your economy, and new spells can be taught to your leaders to quickly turn the tide of battles.


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