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Dynasty Warriors 2 (真・三國無双, Shin Sangoku Musou; lit. "True Three Kingdoms Unmatched") is the reimagined sequel to Dynasty Warriors. It was originally going to be another fighting game until the producer was told to do something different. Its development started the battlefield gameplay that is the series's staple to this day.

To represent its creative change, the Asian title adds the Shin, which is roughly translated as "True - Unmatched Three Kingdoms". The Dynasty Warriors name was kept in the West, leading to the number discrepancies between the Western releases and Asian titles.

Being one of the first games released for the PlayStation 2, it was named Gamepro's best game of the week.


  • Characters can perform four normal attacks and gain more combinations with the charge attack button, with different properties depending on button input.
Triangle: Dubbed as C1. A damaging broad range attack. Has guard-breaking properties.
Square, Triangle: Dubbed as C2. Knocks target into the air for juggling opportunities.
Square, Square, Triangle: Dubbed as C3. Dizzies/stuns the target(s) hit, but only on grounded hit.
Square, Square, Square, Triangle: Dubbed as C4. Sends the enemy flying away. Good for crowd control as it often inflicts crashing/collision knockback.
Square, Square, Square, Square: A finishing blow that often knocks away. Compared to the other charge attacks, it makes up in raw damage compared to utility, making it decent as a finisher attack.
  • To have characters jump, press X. This allows characters to hop onto small obstacles and drop into other areas of the map. The button can be tapped for a short hop or held down for a higher jump, with certain characters being able to jump higher than others.
  • Pressing Circle activates the Musou Attack (or the Musou Ranbu; lit. Unmatched Wild Dance), a damaging flurry of blows that gives the player invincibility against attacks. The length of the attack is determined by the Musou Charge bar and how long the player holds the button.
  • To guard, hold L1, move analog or direction pads, and press Square while suffering blockstun. Use Power Guard to counterattack, but remain still to block attacks from the front, and costs a small portion of the Musou Gauge.
    • However, any attacker's attack stat that exceeds a defender's defense stat will result in the defender either being easily guard-broken without the use of a C1, or have high-raw-powered attacks become outright unblockable. The inverse can happen where a defender's defense stat is too high to enable any defensive bypass outside of hitting them from a blindspot or using a C1 to guard break.
  • Bow attacks can be done by holding R1 and pressing an attack button. Square unleashes a normal arrow while Triangle fires a paralyzing bolt that stuns/dizzies. Circle unleashes a continuous string of arrows that continues until the player's supply runs out or until the Musou bar is empty. When the player also holds L1, they can shift/strafe whilst aiming.
  • Stat boosting involves picking up swords and shields dropped by defeated officers or gate captains, adding +1 or +2 to the affected stat. Officers beaten with 8 hits drop an item double their normal worth, increasing to +10.
  • Enemy and allied officers can replenish their health or increase their attack/defense whenever they have their HP reach a certain point as they are knocked down.
  • Morale plays a notable role in turning the battle in one's favor. If the enemy forces have high morale, then allied units surrounded by enemies will most likely struggle if the player does not reach them on time. If the player's forces have high morale however, then allied units will do very fine on their own. Morale is shifted from defeating major officers and/or in-game events pertaining to the stage played.
    • All units also have their own morale, which decreases upon having too many of their units slain, or raises depending on the player's actions (such as slaying generals). This effects their performance independently of the overall army's morale. Needless to say, the player's own morale cannot be taken into account.
  • Gate captains guard the exits to the field and also are responsible for the flow of troops. If allies struggle, it may be prudent to defeat the enemy gate captains near them. The flow of troops that come out may or may not be dependent of their leader's current morale.
  • Bodyguards also escort the player and increase in numbers and stats as the character levels up.
  • Players can ride horses after knocking enemies off or gaining higher ranks. Mounting a horse increases travel speed, priority moves, and ground attack invulnerability. Characters can only bowl over stronger foes and downed soldiers don't add to KO count.
  • Interim saving is added in overseas versions and can only be done by finding the memory card items hidden in crates on the field.
  • Characters earn points between stages, advancing their "class" to the next level, which upgrades their stats and bodyguards, even when repeating past stages.


Musou Mode[]

The story mode in which the player follows a determined string of battles. Background info for each stage is provided in the preparations menu before battle, which describes the chain of events leading to this point. Proceeding through this mode unlocks more characters for the player to use.

The Other characters can only participate in Free Mode. Another way to unlock all of the cast is to input the following buttons while on the menu screen: Square, R1, Square, R2, Square, R2, Square, R1.

Free Mode[]

Characters can participate in multiple stages in the game, including opposing sides in their Musou Mode, with more stages unlocking through play.

To unlock the opposite sides that aren't available in Musou Mode, press and hold Triangle and input the following buttons: R1, L1, L2, R2, R1, L1, L2. There is no code for unlocking all stages.


The player can adjust difficulty, controller, and sound settings, display records, and adjust the screen, allowing them to turn off certain objects in the gameplay interface.


Characters with bolded names are new in this title. Characters with asterisks next to their names are initial characters.

Shu Wei Wu Other
Zhao Yun*
Guan Yu*
Zhang Fei*
Zhuge Liang
Liu Bei
Ma Chao
Huang Zhong
Jiang Wei
Xiahou Dun*
Dian Wei*
Xu Zhu*
Cao Cao
Xiahou Yuan
Zhang Liao
Sima Yi
Zhou Yu*
Lu Xun*
Taishi Ci
Sun Shang Xiang*
Sun Jian
Sun Quan
Lu Meng
Gan Ning
Diao Chan
Lu Bu
Dong Zhuo
Yuan Shao
Zhang Jiao

The following characters can be unlocked in Musou Mode.

  • Ma Chao, Huang Zhong, and Jiang Wei - Finish one Shu scenario.
  • Zhuge Liang - Complete Shu's starting character scenarios.
  • Liu Bei - Clear Musou Mode with every Shu character.
  • Xiahou Yuan and Zhang Liao - Finish one Wei scenario.
  • Sima Yi - Complete Wei's starting character scenarios.
  • Cao Cao - Clear Musou Mode with every Wei character.
  • Taishi Ci, Lu Meng, and Gan Ning - Finish one Wu scenario.
  • Sun Jian and Sun Quan - Clear Musou Mode with every Wu character.
  • Diao Chan, Dong Zhuo, Yuan Shao, and Zhang Jiao - Have one character from each kingdom clear Musou Mode; also unlocks Free Mode and music test.
  • Lu Bu - Score at least 1,000 KOs at Hu Lao Gate; can also be done in free mode.


  1. Yellow Turban Rebellion 184 A.D - Imperial Forces vs Yellow Turbans (All factions Stage 1)
  2. Battle of Hu Lao Gate 191 A.D - Allied Forces vs Dong Zhuo’s Forces (All factions Stage 2)
  3. Battle of Guan Du 200 A.D - Cao Cao’s Forces vs Yuan Shao’s Forces (Wei Stage 3)
  4. Battle of Chang Ban 208 A.D - Liu Bei’s Forces vs Cao Cao’s Forces (Shu Stage 3)
  5. Battle of Chi Bi 208 A.D - Sun Quan’s Forces vs Cao Cao’s Forces (Wei Stage 4, Wu Stage 3)
  6. Battle of He Fei 215 A.D - Wu Forces vs Wei Forces (Wu Stage 4)
  7. Battle of Yi Ling 222 A.D - Wu Forces vs Shu Forces (Shu Stage 4, Wu Final Stage)
  8. Battle of Wu Zhang Plains 234 A.D - Shu Forces vs Wei Forces (Shu and Wei Final Stage)


  • Koei 2002 Spring Pack Shin Sangoku Musou 2/Shin Sangoku Musou - repackaged as a part of Koei's 2002 Spring Sale set. Received a 2002 clear file with purchase.

Image Song[]

  • Can't Quit This!!! ~KNOCK'EM OUT~
performed by m.o.v.e
* used for ending and commercials


External Links[]