Dynasty Warriors – A Legendary Game Turned Movie

Keep Spamming that Attack Button!

The year is 1997, you boot up your PlayStation 1 console and pop in the cd of your favorite game. The game loads and you see the text display on your tv screen, “Dynasty Warriors.” A smile creeps across your face and you feel a level of excitement burst out as you prepare to take on the menacing Lu Bu at Hu Lao Gate with your favorite character.

This excitement is exactly what I experienced when I watched the trailer for the new Dynasty Warriors movie. That little kid from the 90s came out briefly and all the nostalgia that comes with it flowed through me like unseen energy waiting to be released with the press of a button.


There’s a live action movie coming out and I can hardly wait. To prepare myself for this experience I took to the video game on which it is based once more. If you haven’t seen the movie trailer, you can check it out here and judge it for yourself.


A Tale as Old as Time

Dynasty Warriors is a timeless video game that first released in February 1997 for the PlayStation 1 and was the pinnacle of the hack n’ slash genre. The game itself is based on the 14th-century novel “Romance of the Three Kingdoms,” which is loosely based on events that took place near the end of the Han Dynasty, from 169 to 280 AD.

The novel dramatized and romanticized hundreds of heroes and military strategies becoming a cult classic in Chinese literature. If anything, it could be compared to the likes of Huckleberry Finn and Jane Eyre.


From what we know, the movie will be following more on the video game series rather than the novel. However, it is not clear how much of the timeline the movie will cover as the novel covered events over the span of more than 100 years. The game, on the other hand, is not historically accurate, as it reuses the same characters in their battles and has different outcomes depending on which side the players choose. It also doesn’t follow up on the many subplots, political struggles, and intrigues – aspects that are largely missing in the game – as it mainly focuses on battles between the three kingdoms/provinces of Shu, Wu, and Wei.


As of now the following confirmed characters from IMDB are, Lubu, Cao Cao, Yuan Shao, Zhang Fei, Liu Bei, Guan Yu, Diao Chan, Chen Gong, Dong Zhuo, and Zhang Jiao. From the looks of it, the movie might just focus on the events prior to the battles of the three kingdoms.

With this in mind, it can be safely assumed that the movie will include certain events based on what characters have been announced in the movie.  


Is this real life, or is this just fantasy?

The first notable event was the uprising of the Yellow Turban Warriors, a rebellion made up of peasants and farmers who were discontent with the corruption within the government.  The imperial court called upon their forces and local warlords for support to suppress the rebellion by either capturing or killing their leader Zhang Jue.

The second notable event takes place right after his death with the rise of Dong Zhuo.  A warlord named Dong Zhuo is asked to help remove the imperial court eunuchs from power and help restore Emperor Shao to his former glory.  Instead, Dong Zhuo uses this as an opportunity to seize power, declaring himself Chancellor and replacing Shao with a new Emperor. With his adopted son, Lu Bu, a powerful and feared general, he began to take over the surrounding provinces and built himself a formidable army.


This, in turn, led to the formation of a coalition of forces to challenge his rule, which is the next notable series of events. After Dong Zhuo’s inevitable downfall, the land was left in turmoil, still allowing the leader of the Wei forces, Cao Cao, to take power using the new, young emperor as a puppet.


His goal was to unite all of China under one rule and bring unity and prosperity to all. However, the provinces of Wu and Shu saw him as more of a tyrant who just wanted to control everything. Aware that neither one could stand up to Cao Cao alone, the forces united and pushed back the army of Wei.

At this point, it becomes unclear if the movie will end or if it will cover the northern expansion campaigns by Cao Cao and the overall conflicts between the provinces of Shu, Wu, and Wei. If it does, it will go all the way to the battle of Wuzhang Plains, where the final major conflict between Wei and Shu takes place. In this battle, Wei forces become victorious, which leads to the start of the Jiang Dynasty.


If the movie does plan on expanding further there will need to be many more characters for the story. However, my sincere hope is that this movie will be an action-packed experience that incorporates the iconic ‘musou mode’ in a non-cheesy way and inspires a new generation of fans. The last thing people need is another video game franchise becoming a colossal disaster on the big screen.


Photo Credit: IMDB

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