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20th Anniversary Art (DW9)

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 created by Omega Force. It draws inspiration from the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which entails the epic struggle of power between three kingdoms in ancient China.

Omega Force initially planned a new action game unrelated to history, but the Three Kingdoms era was consciously conceived by Koei employees. After considering in-house development or pitching to another developer, they chose Omega Force. The game's unique battlefield scenario and incorporation of Three Kingdoms elements made it a popular hack-and-slash hit.

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.

Dynasty Warriors is an action game series that combines real-time strategy and action, allowing players to be a "one man army" against ancient China's enemies. The series is designed to be inviting to beginners and offers new features that don't get too complicated. The development team focuses on other Three Kingdoms period media and personal readings rather than a formal team of historical researchers. Each Omega Force team member knows the time era like the back of their hand, identifying places, people, and battles 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 tints 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)

Guest Characters

*Himiko's render was listed in the datamind of Dynasty Warriors: Unleashed, However, She was scrapped due to Dynasty Warriors: Unleashed being shut down.

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.

Cygame's Sangokushi Puzzle Taisen is hosting a Dynasty Warriors collaboration December 2~16, 2014. Registered players can earn/purchase Dynasty Warriors characters in a series of events for the campaign.

See Also

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

External Links