Shadow Runner (絶影, Juéyǐng (Chinese), Zetsuei (onyomi), lit. Suppressing Shadow) is a horse from the Three Kingdoms period. It was said to have run so quick that it would cast no shadow during its sprint. In the Dynasty Warriors series, it is a black steed but there is no definite description regarding its color. It is named in the Record of the Three Kingdoms and Book of Wei but not in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
The horse is famous for carrying Cao Cao to safety during his flight from Wan Castle. Historical records state that it was wounded in the foot and its fate remains unknown. In the novel, it received three arrow wounds -one located in its eye- and perished after it saved its rider. Later Cao Cao would offer it tribute in memory along with Dian Wei.
Players riding this horse are more resilient against attacks which could knock them off the horse, preventing them from ever getting knocked off at all. Though one would stay on the horse, players can still take damage from enemy attacks. This trait can carry over to other horses they choose to steal/borrow and ride, such as another copy of Red Hare or Hex Mark.
In the earlier games in the series, combining the Shadow Runner with characters that only attack from one side while mounted, such as Zhou Tai and Ma Chao, was so powerful that many fans considered it to be cheating, especially due to the latter's very powerful mounted charge attack in the fourth and fifth titles. Of course, in some scenarios and via player preferences, it is offset by the fact that the horse itself still travels at an average speed akin to a majority of the general-ranked horses in the series, unless the player manages to steal a faster horse.
However, in a two-player setting, any of the two players that isn't equipped with the Shadow Runner saddle while the other player is, cannot have the same resistance effect applied to them should they borrow the Shadow Runner for themselves; the effects only apply to any player that has equipped the saddle beforehand.
How to UnlockEdit
- No definite way of getting this: the player must get lucky with the "Change Production" tactic. There are reports that having Lu Bu as grand general helps, however this is unconfirmed.
- Stage: Battle of Liang Province (Allied Forces)
- Defeat Zhang Ji and Hu Zhen in less than 45 seconds after their arrival.
- Select easy mode and equip Red Hare. First destroy the south-western supply base and the two attack bases in the top-left and bottom-right corners. Then camp out in one corner. When Dong Zhuo arrives, he will say "Ha! Do you think I came without a plan!?" after about 1~2 mins. This is the point that the enemy reinforcements come. Quickly kill off the newly spawned reinforcement officer (ignore their troops), then quickly head to the other without stopping.
- Produced in the northwest most land, Xi Liang. Develop it until you cannot do so any more. After you are done developing, go to "Assign" and do "Western Trade". Repeat this until you get the Shadow Harness.
- Raise a black colored horse with "eyes that consider the world" and "possesses a heavenly physique" in its description. The player will need a character with Horsemanship to ensure they unlock the Shadow Runner.
- Buy it for 22,000 gold in a county with a stable.
- Clear the Conquest stage, Ransei Gunrou Ikusa (乱世群狼戦).
- In Ambition Mode, clear 30 consecutive battles. The horse also acts the default mount of Cao Cao.
- In Campaign mode, capture "Luoyang" in "The Struggle for Power" under the Chaos difficulty.
- Complete Cao Cao's story and purchase Shadow Runner from the stable.
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