|Invasion of Xuchang|
|Sun Ce's Forces||Cao Cao's Forces|
|Sun Ce||Xun Yu|
The Invasion of Xuchang (許昌侵攻戦, rōmaji: Kyoshō Shinkōsen) is a fictional battle between Sun Ce and Cao Cao's forces. It occurred during the Battle of Guandu when Xuchang, Cao Cao's base of operations, was poorly guarded. With Cao Cao's attention diverted towards Yuan Shao, Sun Ce desires to use the moment of weakness to rescue the emperor, who was held by Cao Cao at Xuchang.
In history, while Sun Ce did have the intention to invade the capital, he was assassinated by Xu Gong's men before the plan could be set. This was also where Sima Shi eventually met his end after the second rebellion at Shouchun.
Role in Games
The stage actually first appears in the first Dynasty Warriors game, under the name "Great Hall, Shang Yong" (but with the same Chinese characters used), and takes place inside one of the palaces in a dark lit room with only the light of day from the outside. This is normally Cao Cao's stage.
First appearing as a more-open-fielded stage in Dynasty Warriors 4, the player's army (either Shu, Wu, or Nanman) has to storm the castle. The map is a part of the Xu Chang series of stages, with the map being mostly whole in comparison to its two other shared maps (Si Shui Gate and Guan Yu's Escape; the Yellow River in the southwest portion of the latter map is not in this battle). A specific general on the player's side upon reaching the supply depot will arrange a siege ramp to get into the castle grounds quicker, though Sima Yi foresees this and instantly calls for an ambush by both a Wei officer and their sub-unit to converge on the allied main fortress in the southwest, forcing the player to either protect the ramp or the main fortress. Though if the sub-officer closest to the south area of the Western portion of the castle and a majority of enemy peons around are defeated before the aforementioned general that sets up the siege ramp reaches their destination, the ramp will have a smooth ride while the player can instead protect the camp; Sima Yi will express his disbelief when both attacks on the ramp and main fortress end up failing. Later on in the battle, the main camp comes under attack a second time by Cao Cao's timely reinforcements in the south; this will prompt the primary strategist on the player's side to aid the fortress to buy some time while the rest of the forces continue the assault on Xu Chang.
The southeastern section of the castle however, which must be first reached by defeating two enemy officers on in south guarding the two-way Wu Ru Guan (五女関, Gonyokan; lit. Five Females Gate) via its north and southern portions. However, upon reaching the southern portion of the castle itself, an ambush will appear as planned by Sima Yi. Sometime later when the player's forces enter the castle, Sima Yi sets gunpowder within the Western section of the castle to blow the troops up, which upon sealing the castle gates will instantly wipe off any nearby peons (allied and enemy) off the map save for any officers or sub-officers (though the explosions will deal minor damage to the player that will not be able to KO them). Even then, the castle's primary entry gates will contain a pair of spike/sword-wielding carts for each gate that move back and forth along the gateways, launching any units that come in contact with them for damage. Defeating the respective guard captains will cause the traps to be sabotaged and to disappear, with Sima Yi expressing his frustration.
Once Cao Cao's section of the castle (in front of his palace) is reached, a cutscene will play where a soldier will tell Cao Cao to retreat as Cao Cao himself cuts down opposing troops by himself. He then refuses his soldier's pleas and orders him to close off the palace gates (southern gate which will access his palace's throne room and the most northeastern checkpoint of the stage) while he makes his last stand.
However, it is possible through the use of both warping through the gate and walking on mountains through a glitch (or some other program-bypassing exploits) to sneak around outside of the stage boundary in the northeastern section in order to enter the inner palace. Upon doing so, the sealed palace gates will automatically be opened and the soldiers inside can be defeated; though the western gate of the palace will remain closed as per the start of the stage.
In Dynasty Warriors Vol. 2, the stage appears as one of Wu's last stages in their story mode. With Wei troops surrounding the area, Lu Xun suggests taking some siege weapons from bases, and sending them to the task area to open new paths, and lower Wei morale. Cao Pi will act as the commander of the battle, and must be defeated to ensure Wu's control over the land. If all the weapons are used, Cao Pi will harden his officer's resolve, and will become a recruitable officer. There is a village to the northwest corner of the map. The treasure trove of the map is guarded by the Western Han Dynasty's Ying Bu.
The battle can be played by using three different forces in Dynasty Warriors 6 (namely Sun Ce's Forces, Sima Yi's Forces, and Lu Bu's Forces). The first deals with Sun Ce's invasion, in which they take the castle from three fronts. After breaking down the gates, they rush straight for the undermanned Xun Yu. If the player takes too long, Xiahou Dun and Xiahou Yuan will appear as reinforcements in the south.
In Sun Shang Xiang and Lu Xun's Musou Modes, the victory is marred when Sun Ce is shot by arrows in his back. Taishi Ci's story has him personally challenge Xu Zhu during the battle and still has the conqueror die at the conclusion. Zhou Yu's story has the strategist persuade Sun Ce to cut their losses before they get too deep, leading to the warlord's survival.
Sima Yi's version of the battle occurs after Cao Cao defeats Liu Bei at Wu Zhang. Sima Yi then rebels along with Zhang He and attacks Xu Chang. If the player opens the first gate, Cao Cao will set fire to the inner courtyards which will cause ally morale to drop. Xu Huang will later appear as reinforcements for Sima Yi. Once the second gate is opened, Cao Pi will appear with his wife as Cao Cao's last reserve. Defeating them will leave Xu Zhu to stand guard as the final obstacle.
Cao Pi's last stage in Special deals with his side of Sima Yi's revolt. Sima Yi already has possession of the castle and Cao Pi has to invade it. At the beginning of the battle Sima Yi shall seal the first gate and lures Cao Pi to the west which Cao Pi senses to be a trap. Once his forces conquers the gates, Lu Xun and Yue Ying, and the remnants of Wu and Shu reinforce Sima Yi from the west and eastern sections outside Xu Chang. Cao Pi is forced to deal with the two sub-parties in order to defend his main camp in the south. Simultaneously, the strategist decides to have his forces march with the momentum. Later, Cao Pi send off Xiahou Dun and Cao Ren appeared as Wei reinforcements after Cao Pi helped them in previous battle. Xiahou Dun survived from Lu Bu at Xia Pi and Cao Ren thanked to Cao Pi for defending Fan Castle from Guan Yu.
The hardest to get is Lu Bu's Forces only being unlocked as Diao Chan's last challenge to fulfill her promise to her father. The battle is similar to Sima Yi's scenario but changes the placements of Cao Cao's officers. Cao Pi will already be present defending the innermost gates instead of appearing as reinforcements. Before entering the palace, Xiahou Dun will appear and must be defeated for an easy win. After Cao Cao is defeated Lu Bu will tell Diao Chan that her wish is finally fulfilled.
It also appears in the seventh installment where all theories of Sun Ce's death were put together. In the first part of the battle, Sun Ce will take a walk in the western path where he will encounter Yu Ji. Yu Ji will then start the trials, summoning apparitions of enemies and allies. If all trials are finished Yu Ji will disappear and soldiers of the late Xu Gong will attack him. In the second part, Sun Ce has disappeared and Sun Quan will have to navigate the castle in search of him. After defeating the reinforcements, led by Xiahou Dun, Sun Ce will appear to Sun Quan and his allies and drops dead from the wounds he got from the archers. Sun Quan's forces then retreats from the battle.
Xuchang is also the area where Sima Zhao will defend Sima Shi from the Wei Forces who were trying to assassinate him. The map in this installment is the same as the sixth installment with a few minor differences.
In the eighth title Xuchang features as a battleground for all four factions.In the Wei hypothetical route, Zuo Ci instigates a rebellion at Xuchang and summons phantom soldiers, as well as phantoms of deceased heroes including Lu Bu, Dong Zhuo, and Zhang Jiao. If Sun Quan is killed at Jianye, Lu Meng, Lu Xun, Gan Ning, and Ling Tong will appear to aid the rebels. The rebellion is put down by Cao Pi, Zhenji, Xiahou Dun and Xiahou Yuan. A personal scenario allows the player to control Zuo Ci, who successfully defeats Cao Pi and the other officers present.
In both Wu and Shu's hypothetical routes, the Wei forces make their final stand at Xuchang. In Wu's version, most of the army feigns a frontal assault in order to distract the Wei forces from a fire attack that is successfully carried out, setting fire to the palace and opening the way to Cao Cao. In Wei's side, the Wu forces have already reached the throne room, and the Wei forces must expel them. Lianshi, Zhou Yu, and Sun Jian lead the first assault. When they are defeated, Liu Bei and Sun Shangxiang will appear from the pond's hidden passage. Finally, Sun Quan will order a full assault when the others have been defeated. Notably, even when Yu Jin receives his playable incarnation for the Xtreme Legends expansion, allowing the ram's destruction at the outer gate will cause Yu Jin to order an attack using his generic counterpart's voice.
Shu's version sees the Shu army attack Xuchang from two sides. Liu Bei and Zhuge Liang lead a frontal assault, cutting down Xiahou Ba and Guo Huai as they attempt to defend the courtyard. An arrow ambush also stalls the advance until the officer in charge is defeated. Wei reinforcements will attempt to destroy the battering ram as it breaks down the castle gates, but Xu Shu defends the gates long enough for them to be breached. Meanwhile Zhao Yun and Liu Shan close off reinforcements before attacking from the side. In the process they seize arbalests and siege equipment to turn against the Wei forces and cut down the waiting Zhang Liao, Yue Jin, and Li Dian. Once the Shu forces reunite, they must fight through Wang Yi and Jia Xu before being trapped by Xiahou Dun. Once the castle has been breached, Cao Pi, Zhenji and Sima Yi stand as the final obstacle before the throne room, where Cao Cao awaits. In Wei's version of the stage, the Shu forces have already broken through most of the defenses and are now attacking Cao Cao's palace. After the defeat of the first assault unit, Zhao Yun and Liu Shan arrive leading the second unit to attack, when they are defeated Liu Bei will charge himself.
In Jin's storyline Sima Shi is ambushed by Wen Qin's forces and must be rescued by Jin forces lead by Sima Zhao. Whether or not the player unlocked the hypothetical route will determine Shi's survival. In the historical version, Sima Zhao will attempt to search for Sima Shi while the remainder of the forces fight against Wen Qin's men. Faced with a continuous supply of reinforcements, Sima Zhao fights his way to the central square where he encounters Sima Shi's guards, who tell the younger brother that Shi had fled to the garden. Saving a nearby village, the peasants confirm the guards' words, but, by the time Wei forces reach the garden, Sima Shi is nowhere to be seen, and Wen Qin orders the attack on the Wei forces. When Wen Qin is defeated Sima Shi finally appears with his brother, only to die in mere moments later.
In the hypothetical scenario, Wen Yang will first order Xiahou Ba and Guo Huai attack the nearby entry points at the east, while Sima Zhao's men continue to advance to the central square, with assistance from Zhuge Dan. Doing so causes Wen Hu to appear for the first time. When the southern entry point is taken, Wen Yang will order for the central points to be taken, leading to Wen Hu's second appearance. When Wen Hu is defeated, Xiahou Ba and Guo Huai will hide their troops to ambush Wen Qin's reinforcements. Wen Hu then appears for a third time, but now chooses to surrender after his defeat, and reveals Sima Shi's location, allowing Sima Zhao to reach his brother before the enemy can. Defeating Wen Qin ends the stage. In the rebel's scenario, Wen Qin is instead located at the central square, under attack from the Wei forces while Sima Zhao rushes to meet his brother. Defeating both Simas will end the battle in victory.
In the Xtreme Legends expansion, the city hosts the emperor's tournament on who is the strongest warrior of the land. Dong Zhuo first passes through the tournament by defeating Gao Lan, Cao Hong, Han Dang, and Xiahou Yuan, while secretly arranging his forces to kill the other warlords. As soon as he wins the tournament however, Sun Jian appears and reveals that they had already seen through his plan. Now, Dong Zhuo must race across the city to reach the escape point before the other warlords can successfully evacuate the emperor.
In a DLC stage, Xiahou Ba here must decide whether to fight for Cao Shuang or the Sima family.
In the ninth installment, Xuchang appears as a full-fledged city due to the game's open world design. It carries all the various shops that can be found in most cities, a hideaway just outside the city walls to the east, and the moat can be used to fish for artifacts that can be sold for gold.
Cao Cao makes Xuchang his capital and central base of operations during all of his campaigns, from early after defeating Dong Zhuo and ousting him from Luoyang, to his death some time after kicking Liu Bei out of Hanzhong to avenge Xiahou Yuan and allying with Sun Quan to oust Shu from Jing Province with slaying Guan Yu. This also includes placing Emperor Xian in Xuchang for his own safety after he manages to escape Dong Zhuo's remnant troops in Chang'an. After Cao Pi takes over for his late father and becomes the next King of Wei, he then solidifies Wei's power by forcing Emperor Xian to abdicate, dissolving the Han Imperial Court and establishing the Wei Empire in its place, naming himself Wei Emperor, before moving the capital on Sima Yi's suggestion back to Luoyang.
In Chen Gong's DLC scenario, Sun Ce and Zhou Yu are able to successfully lead an attack on the capital during Cao Cao's absence. Hoping to recruit them to their cause, Chen Gong instructs Liu Bei to stop Sun Ce to gain a favor with Cao Cao as well as having a secret meeting to plot against the warlord. Upon their defeat, Sun Ce and Zhou Yu, although suspicious of Chen Gong's true intentions, return home and promise to lend their support when the time comes.
In Dynasty Tactics, a young Sun Ce may choose to try to take Xu Chang early in the game. However, once he even moves towards the capital, a cinematic noting his fatal injury during a hunting party incident occurs. Sun Ce then passes his dreams of conquest onto Sun Quan and dies.
In Warriors Orochi 3, Xuchang is held by Dong Zhuo who still intends on making his paradise. While the Coalition heads to rescue the maidens Nene, Xingcai, and Oichi, Jiang Wei almost succeeds but is spotted and dies from earlier wounds. After capturing Katsuie who was forced to fight for Oichi's safety, the player and Ayane must go inside to rescue the girls, and even save Zhang He. While outside, Nagamasa and his group must distract the serpents. As soon as Dong Zhuo hears of the women's rescue, he attempts to re-kidnap them, but is defeated and dies. The party must then go after and capture Shuten Doji.
In the redux, Zhang He remembers the hostages locations and the player meets with Jiang Wei after ensuring he crosses Mt. Xingshi safely.
In Ultimate, the player is assigned to Dong Zhuo's side in Chapter 6, and has to prevent Yuan Shao's army from besieging the city. Later, Shennong and Dian Wei will arrive and decide to attack both armies. Once Sima Zhao and Shennong's forces are defeated, Yuan Shao's camp gates will open and he must be defeated in order to get him to retreat. In the Mirror Realm's version, both Sima Zhao and Yuan Shao are revealed to the fakers within the enemy army, though Dong Zhuo will still act hostilely against Shennong's army.
After defeating the Li Jue and Guo Si at Luoyang, Cao Cao offered refuge and shelter to Emperor Xian at Yan Province. As both Chang'an and Luoyang were still recovering from the damage of Dong Zhuo's forces, Xuchang was made the temporary capital of the Eastern Han Dynasty. It is questionable if the battle actually took place as historically Sun Ce was said to have died before the battle of Guandu began while other historians believe he was planning to invade Xuchang but was assassinated before the battle even started. It was also unknown who guarded Xuchang before the battle. Only few historians approved that the possible invasion even existed.
In the years during following Cao Cao, Cao Pi had Emperor Xian abdicate, and Xuchang initially became Wei's capital though he status was eventually returned to Luoyang. After quelling Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin's rebellion at Shouchun, Sima Shi's eye injury was aggravated, and the eye fell out, which caused his health to plummet severely. In his dying wish, he entrusted his power to his younger brother, Sima Zhao.
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