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Battle of Nanzhong
Nanzhong in Dynasty Warriors 8
Date 225
Location Nanzhong (modern day Yunnan, Guizhou and southern Sichuan)
Result Nanzhong is subjugated.
Nanman Shu
Meng Huo Zhuge Liang

The Battle of Nanzhong (南中の戦い, rōmaji: Nanchū no Tatakai), also called the Nanman Campaign in earlier titles, often entails Zhuge Liang's southern campaign to subjugate the Southern tribes. It is a series of battles against their leader, Meng Huo. Other kingdoms also subdue them in their respective scenarios. Players see many different versions of the region during the games.

Role in Games[]

Dynasty Warriors[]

In the Dynasty Warriors series, the battle loosely follows the events entailed in Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Normally, the Shu forces attack Meng Huo and must defeat him seven times until he agrees to join the Shu forces. The battle often involves secret passages, poison swamps, powerful troops, vicious beasts and other tricks that Meng Huo's forces attempt to use against Zhuge Liang, but they are easily thwarted after the completion of a few simple missions.

Nan Zhong is also the stage for Wu's campaigns in the south. On Lu Xun's suggestion, Sun Quan leads an army to protect their southern borders after the Battle of Chi Bi. Meng Huo attempts to stage an ambush on Sun Quan's men by luring them to the bottom section of the map. He then surrounds Wu's main camp with a team of elephant riders and tiger troops. An engineer team will try to cut off the central bridge to further isolate Sun Quan. Unlike Shu's version of the campaigns, Wu kills Meng Huo to suppress the south in Dynasty Warriors 5.

Meng Huo's Legend Mode in the Xtreme Legends expansions explores the possibility of being invaded by Wei after Shu falls. In Dynasty Warriors 4: Xtreme Legends, Meng Huo tries to sacrifice himself so that his men and wife can safely escape Sima Zhao's army. The following installment's expansion has him work together with his tribe to uphold their promise to Zhuge Liang and they drive back Sima Yi.

In Dynasty Warriors 4, the battle is optional if playing the Shu and Wu story modes. It is also infamous for being one of the hardest battles in the game to complete, with a very undersized allied army, the constant climate change affecting ally morale and enemy morale often rising with Meng Huo's each subsequent reappearance. Meng Huo can also be very hard to defeat if his troop and morale count are high as he fights with greater fervor, so taking out nearby troops may be recommended. If Yong Kai and his subofficers are routed fast enough, Ahui Nan and Dong Tuna will defect to the Shu ranks. Zhu Rong also may be challenged to a duel. Completing the stage triggers the Nanman reinforcements at the Battle of Yi Ling.

Nan Zhong also appears as an optional quest for the next-gen ports of Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce. It has two maps in Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires as well as seeing the return of Meng Huo and unique Nanman generals but both maps are rather small and the Nanman lack many of their unique tactics.

In Dynasty Warriors 7, the battle does not appear in the main story, yet it is mentioned in Shu's narration scene. Sanjiang Castle appears as a map in conquest mode and in the Xtreme Legends expansion, where Bao Sanniang has it as her legendary stage.

In Dynasty Warriors 8, it is also given a brief mention in the historical route, but the battle returns during the hypothetical route. The combined Shu-Wu army led by Zhuge Liang and Lu Su , look to pacify Nanzhong. Mounts cannot be ridden on this stage and the player has to overcome various plots such as ambushes, the recurring Meng Huo and Zhurong, and tigers and elephant attacks as well while trying to use Yueying's juggernauts and Nanman features such as elephants to your advantage. By defeating Zhurong three times, this will allow her and Meng Huo to arrive as reinforcements at the siege of Luoyang

This is also Zhurong's personal scenario where she sets out to look for her husband, while rescuing the isolated Nanman forces from the Shu onslaught. She eventually finds Meng Huo fighting Guan Suo and Guan Yinping in the central garrison and although initially angry, calms down and then both husband, wife and army charge to defeat Zhuge Liang. 

The map from Dynasty Warriors 5 where Wu invades the Nanman also appears as a DLC pack for Dynasty Warriors 8, which can be played for both sides and aside from a larger amount of reinforcements for both forces, the battle remains the same as before. Like the other DLC packs, there is also an animal battle where you can obtain the limited-edition Amazon Bird. In this battle, the player fights on the heavily surrounded Wei side. It begins with Pang Tong leading a large coalition of Shu officers to assault Cao Cao's camp in the northwest. The player must keep both Cao Cao and Guo Jia safe. Once the Eastern Garrison falls, Guo Jia will stay to defend the area. The player must defeat Li Hui to break through the Southern Garrison. Xu Shu will blockade the southwest fort, forcing the player to try and draw him out from the centre. When the eastern blockade is breached, Li Dian and Yue Jin will arrive to back Guo Jia up. Once the player makes it to Cao Cao's side, and rescues him from a slew of officers led by Guan Yu's children, he will award the player with the Amazon Bird. Then, the player must defeat Pang Tong in the north camp to finish the stage.

Nanzhong is also seen in the Xtreme Legends expansion as a scenario for both Meng Huo and Zhurong, where the two drive out poachers. When the battle begins poachers will arrive in the following order; Yuan Shao will appear to take the elephants, Xiaoqiao appears to take the pandas, Yueying appears at the northeast to take the tigers there, Liu Biao and Yuan Shu attack the northwestern garrison to take the elephants, Dian Wei appears in the central area to take the tigers, and Dong Zhuo appears to seize any animal within the vicinity. Defeating Dong Zhuo will put a firm stop to the poachers, but allowing more than three animals to be taken or letting Meng Huo get defeated will result in defeat.

In Dynasty Warriors 9, Nanzhong encompasses the south of Chengdu, and in the story it first becomes relevant in the five fronts assault on Shu led by Cao Pi on the behest of many of his advisers. If playing as the Wei coalition, the player is entasked to escort Yong Kai through the Nanzhong area, fighting off Lu Kai and Wei Yan. Zhang Chunhua also praises Yong Kai's devotion. Once he reaches Meng Huo and Zhurong, the nanman forces advance. Meng Huo and Zhurong also get this mission in their story modes, but it's somewhat altered with the objectives. Shu's version of the five fronts assault can prevent Nanman involvement by defeating the armor troops under the command of Xin Xianying and Zhang Chunhua.

As a result of this, Nanzhong becomes a target for Shu who look to suppress the Nanman tribes under more peaceful terms. The following campaign is known as "Devotion to Nanzhong" to show how dedicated the Nanman are to defending their land from Shu. The terrain and tactics are different to almost any battle in the game, the only fortified city in sight is Jianning and the rest of the Nanman army are fairly open. The battle tends to evolve as the player clears missions, Meng Huo also intrudes in a majority of them but his defeat often isn't necessary until the end but doing so weakens him. The first missions are to rescue Li Hui from King Wutugu who falls back to safety, and to induce Gao Ding to betray the Nanman. Yueying is constructing fire arrows in order to deal with the rattan armor of Wutugu's soldiers and can be assisted by giving her 10 fire arrows. In the west, after dealing with Gao Ding, the player can advance to the poison swamps, and can circle around them to find Meng Jie, who is not fighting with the Nanman and gives them medicine to get past King Duosi's trap. In the east, Wutugu can be defeated again with the fire attack helping to get rid of rattan troops throughout the battlefield.

Following on from this, Guan Suo and Bao Sanniang are enamored by the animals, who are trained by the Nanman to attack. By startling the elephants, the animals then become easier to defeat and lose cohesion. King Mulu also commands his own platoon of animals near the main camp and his defeat also leads to animals abandoning the fight around Jianning and it's swamps. Zhurong is stationed near Jianning and has captured Zhang Yi, luring out Ma Zhong to rescue him. The player can defeat her to cause both the generals to apologize for their blunders and advance to Jianning. Meng Huo then appears in the city of Jianning and his strength varies depending on how many times the player has defeated him out on the field. Meng Huo then surrenders along with Zhurong upon learning that the Shu army have no interest in seizing their land. Fa Zheng in his hypothetical story has a similar scenario, where after defeating scouting units led by Zhurong, eventually surrounds Nanzhong by defeating rattan troops and nearby bandits in order to fight Meng Huo at Jianning and coerce his surrender. Afterwards, the Nanman assist Shu against Cao Pi at Jing Province.

Warriors Orochi[]

In Warriors Orochi, Zhao Yun's army is assisted by Jiang Wei after their escape from Ueda Castle. They set up an ambush for 4 officers under Orochi. If the ambush is successful, Jiang Wei will join Zhao Yun's cause and become playable. Zhao Yun later saves Meng Huo's army from Orochi's army. As a result, Meng Huo, and Zhu Rong joins Zhao Yun's cause and fight against Orochi. Cao Pi saved Zhang He from the assault from Zhao Yun's forces convincing him to fight for Cao Pi. If Cao Pi meets up with Zhang He, Zhang He will join Cao Pi's cause and become playable. Nagamasa, Oichi, and Gan Ning later save Tadakatsu's sons from Dong Zhuo and Lu Bu's assault. If the player saves Tadakatsu's son and defeat Lu Bu in 2 minutes without losing any yellow officers, Tadakatsu will be impressed and might be unlocked as a playable character.

In Warriors Orochi 2, Wu cooperates with Meng Huo to defeat Cao Pi. If the player helps Meng Huo succeed with all the fire attacks and defeat Pang Tong, the player will be able to get the treasure. Regardless, Meng Huo and Zhu Rong joins Wu's cause in the end. It's a dream mode stage where Liu Bei and Sun Ce have a practice battle, while Wei Yan, Kojirō, and Taishi Ci fight their rivals/ allies without hate or malice. This is also present for another dream mode stage where Ma Chao, Kanetsugu, and Nagamasa rescue peasants from Kiyomori's army. During the battle, Yukimura also arrives to assist them. Another dream stage also for Sun Ce, Toshiie and Pang De go to this stage, where they're struggling against Da Ji. First, they need to team up with Katsuie. Sun Ce suggest to Sun Shao to send the message to Zhou Yu and make sure they need reinforcements. However, Da Ji gives the order to Himiko to wipe them out by using her sorcery but easily defeated. Zhou Yu's army arrived afterwards, saying that they've done for taking the enemies. As well with Ma Chao's army, come to assist Pang De and allies. Defeating Da Ji will end the stage, while Da Ji is upset for retreating.

In Musou OROCHI Z, a scenario is entailed based on The Journey to the West. In it, San Zang, Himiko, and Sun Wukong travel together throughout Nanzhong, solving various problems such as  saving Gracia and handmaidens from Goemon Ishikawa and Meng Huo, gaining Sima Yi's assistance along the way. They also have to fight tricked warriors from copies of Cao Cao, Zhu Rong and Okuni who are then revealed to be Kotarō's phantoms. Once the chaos is disposed of, Wukong then goes back to taunting Himiko which Sanzang then punishes him by clamping down his headband.

Warriors Orochi 3 gives Nanzhong a Greek-style design with a temple at the center of the stage. Nemea, Sun Shangxiang, Kai, Ding Feng, and Kaguya pursue the fleeing Da Ji while saving Meng Huo, Zhurong and Wei Yan from being overwhelmed by the demon army and fighting their way past Achilles, Motonari Mōri and Himiko. Although Da Ji manages to escape, the coalition captures Himiko, but Kai allows the girl to leave. Meng Huo returns to Nanzhong with Zhurong, Wei Yan and Zhang He to save the land from the serpent army. They come across Kojirō, who helps them drive off the demons and later joins the coalition.

Warriors Orochi 4 first features this map as the coalition try to learn more about the horrors running rampant in the Greek Army. At Nanzhong, Nu Wa and the coalition meet up with Zuo Ci who is fighting a greek army batallion by his lonesome, who along with Zhou Tai, Dian Wei and Motochika Chosokabe explains that the horrors are no different to animals and can be tamed and given a master, if so desired. Throughout the level, the three warriors who arrived with various horrors use them to great effect. This staggers the Greek army who summon more horrors in a desperate bid to counter-attack. Zuo Ci then summons one giant wraith who breaks the gates to the main camp and defeating the commander wins the coalition army the battle, and services of Zuo Ci.

It is again featured as the Azai army are struggling against a combined attack by Da Ji and Lu Bu's forces. Facing several ambushes, the stranded officers soon break through and have to contend with a deified Lu Bu before fighting Da Ji herself. After this battle, a cutscene plays where Shuten Doji arrives to the world, only to be quickly downed by Lu Bu, having his essence drained to revive Orochi

It is also used in a sidestage where Toshiie and Gracia head to Nanzhong hearing of a ruckus there. They witness the Nanman fighting alongside Keiji and offer a helping hand. Like Zuo Ci, Meng Huo proves adept at taming the horrors of the world and uses them to defeat the enemy army.


Historical Information[]

Romance of the Three Kingdoms[]


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