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.