Dynasty Warriors (series)

From Koei Tecmo Wiki
Twentieth anniversary visual

Dynasty Warriors (三國無双, Sangoku Musou, lit. Three Kingdoms Unmatched; or 真・三國無双, Shin Sangoku Musou, lit. True Three Kingdoms Unmatched) is a series of hack-n-slash action games started by Koei and developed by Omega Force. It draws inspiration from the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms which details the epic struggle of power between three kingdoms in ancient China.

Before creating the first Dynasty Warriors game, the Omega Force team had plans to make a new action game that had nothing to do with history. However, because many of Koei's employees were fans of the Three Kingdoms era, the team ended up creating a Three Kingdoms action game without realizing it. They discussed whether to develop the game themselves or pitch it to another developer, but Omega Force ultimately decided to develop it in-house.

The developers hesitated to bring the game to the PlayStation 2 because there were already many popular fighting titles at that time. To make their product unique, they came up with the idea of a battlefield setting where players could team up to fight multiple opponents. They also decided to include elements from the Three Kingdoms era. This decision turned the game into the successful hack-and-slash title that it is today.

To establish a distinct difference between the first game, the word "true" (真, shin) was inserted for the second title. Hence, the Japanese title for Dynasty Warriors 3 is actually Shin Sangoku Musou 2 and so on. Omega Force considers the Shin titles as the true start of the brand. Any series anniversary that they celebrate will be based on Dynasty Warriors 2's sales date.

Though listed under the action game genre, creators strove to make the series a "fusion of real time strategy and action". Eventually, the series's appeal was allowing the player to be a "one man army" versus the thousands of enemies in ancient China. Kou Shibusawa states that it was his personal desire to capture the excitement and thrill felt by the events in the novel. The series started its own type of genre. In the east, games similar to it are referred to as the Musou franchise. The English equivalent for the same term is Warriors series. Keeping in touch with the core ideas of its fighting game counterpart, the Dynasty Warriors series is designed to always be inviting to beginners to either the series or the action genre. The new features that are added into the series strive to never be too complicated, hoping to add another entertaining aspect for every type of fan of the Warriors games.

A recent Dengeki PlayStation interview reveals that the development team does look at other Three Kingdoms period media frequently in between designing each entry for inspiration. They also lack a formal team of historical researchers like the ones seen in Koei's historical simulation titles. However, developers do rely on other novels, books and movies they have personally read or viewed. A particular individual in the Omega Force team also knows the time era "like the back of their hand". Whenever they ask the person questions, he/she can correctly identify a particular place, person, or battle on the spot.

The mechanics set in this series help influence game play elements in Koei's other titles, some of which include the Samurai Warriors and Dynasty Warriors: Gundam series, Kessen III, and Bladestorm: The Hundred Years' War. Both the Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors series crossover in the Warriors Orochi series.


The three kingdoms struggling in each game are Wei, Wu, and Shu but the series also adds characters from miscellaneous, unaffiliated factions into the mix. These characters are labeled as "Other". Lastly, guest characters were added in the original Dynasty Warriors, and Dynasty Warriors 3. Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce 2 includes several characters who didn't exist during the Three Kingdoms period. Dynasty Warriors 7 adds Jin to the games.

Characters are color coded by default to match the particular faction they serve. When told by a fan that the idea should be abandoned and to be more liberal like Samurai Warriors, the series producer defended the color choices since they serve as an easy method for distinguishing characters and their alignments. He would rather these hues serve as a political symbol of sorts than a completely driven aesthetic choice.

Original Characters

  • Phoenix, Dragon, and Chimera (Dynasty Warriors DS: Fighter's Battle)
  • Cao Wenming (Dynasty Warriors Online)
  • Xiahou Bang (Dynasty Warriors Online)
  • Sima Ken (Dynasty Warriors Online)
  • Simaji (Shin Sangoku Musou Online Z)
  • Lixia (Godseekers)
  • Dong Fang (Dynasty Warriors: Blazing Battles)

Guest Characters

Unique Non-Playable Characters

Uniquely designed non-playable characters only.


Related Media

Koei published a twelve volume fanbook series titled Dynasty Warriors Communication (真・三國無双通信, Shin Sangoku Musou Tsushin). It contained information about the developers, gag comics, official illustrations, and fun tidbits for fans. When Samurai Warriors came out, the two franchises shared a similar publication titled Musou Fan Field (無双FanField). A miniature novel series for the Romance of the Three Kingdoms was also included. Two drama CDs based on Dynasty Warriors 4 were made surrounding the battles at Chi Bi and He Fei.

Gamecity also published a light novel dramatizing the CD's events. A free sample of the light novel can be read in Japanese here.

To celebrate their series's tenth anniversary, a cohesive character illustration book was released to include all characters and their iterations within this series. It states to include up until the sixth title, but the Strikeforce characters are also included in the book. Kabaya published trading cards with character illustrations found throughout the series.

A Dynasty Warriors themed PSP protective pouch was also created by Koei in 2006.

See Also

Downloadable content for these games can be found in the DLC category.

External Links


Dynasty Warriors
Main Titles Dynasty WarriorsDynasty Warriors 2Dynasty Warriors 3Dynasty Warriors 4Dynasty Warriors 5Dynasty Warriors 6Dynasty Warriors 7Dynasty Warriors 8Dynasty Warriors 9
Expansions Empires (4)Empires (5)Empires (6)Empires (7)Empires (8)Empires (9)Special (6)Special (7)Xtreme Legends (3)Xtreme Legends (4)Xtreme Legends (5)Xtreme Legends (7)Xtreme Legends (8)
Spin-Offs 100man-ninAdvanceApuriBlastBlazing BattlesDS: Fighter's BattleGodseekersMahjongNextOnlineOverlordsPSP PortPSP Port Vol. 2SLASHStrikeforceStrikeforce 2UnleashedVersus
Wei Characters
Kingdom Icon - Wei (DWOV).png Cai WenjiCao CaoCao PiCao RenCao XiuDian WeiGuo JiaJia XuLi DianMan ChongPang DeWang YiXiahou DunXiahou YuanXu HuangXu ZhuXun YouXun YuYu JinYue JinZhang HeZhang LiaoZhenji
Wu Characters
Kingdom Icon - Wu (DWOV).png Cheng PuDaqiaoDing FengGan NingHan DangHuang GaiLianshiLing TongLu MengLu SuLu XunSun CeSun JianSun QuanSun ShangxiangTaishi CiXiaoqiaoXu ShengZhou TaiZhou YuZhu Ran
Shu Characters
Kingdom Icon - Shu (DWOV).png Bao SanniangFa ZhengGuan PingGuan SuoGuan XingGuan YinpingGuan YuHuang ZhongJiang WeiLiu BeiLiu ShanMa ChaoMa DaiPang TongWei YanXiahoujiXingcaiXu ShuYueyingZhang BaoZhang FeiZhao YunZhou CangZhuge Liang
Jin Characters
Kingdom Icon - Jin (DWOV).png Deng AiGuo HuaiJia ChongSima ShiSima YiSima ZhaoWang YuanjiWen YangXiahou BaXin XianyingZhang ChunhuaZhong HuiZhuge Dan
Other Characters
Kingdom Icon - Other (DWOV).png Chen GongDiaochanDong BaiDong ZhuoHua XiongLu BuLu LingqiMeng HuoYuan ShaoYuan ShuZhang JiaoZhurongZuo Ci
Miscellaneous Characters
NPC Shu NPCsWei NPCsWu NPCsJin NPCsOther NPCsBodyguardsUnit TypesLixia
Playable Edit CharactersPhoenix, Dragon, ChimeraShin Sangoku Musou Blast OfficersBeauty YuFu XiKing MuLei BinNuwaSanzangSun WukongXi WangmuXiang Yu
Various Factions
Allied ForcesDong Zhuo's ForcesFive Bushel SectForces in XiliangGongsun Zan's ForcesHan DynastyHeishan BanditsLiu Biao's ForcesLiu Yao's ForcesLiu Zhang's ForcesLu Bu's ForcesNanmanTen EunuchsWuwanYellow TurbansYuan Shao's ForcesYuan Shu's Forces