Introduction to the Dynasty Warriors Franchise

The Three Kingdoms period has long fascinated historians and warlord-wannabes for centuries with its cast of colorful warriors and leaders, the intrigues and betrayals, and the spectacular battles waged for supremacy. Although a video game might not be the best way to retell this chapter in history, the Dynasty Warriors series is the best-known adaptation of the period and is fun to play besides.

Dynasty Warriors (1997)

The series itself is a spin-off of the turn-based strategy series called Romance of the Three Kingdoms. This one focuses instead on weapon-based fighting similar to hack and slash games. The first installment is slightly different from the rest in that it focuses on one-on-one combat. It only had 16 playable characters including Nobunaga and Toukichi who are not from that period but are included in another series Samurai Warriors. The other playable characters are Dian Wei, Xiahou Dun, Xu Zhu, Cao Cao, Lu Xun, Taishi Ci, Zhou Yu, Sun Shang Xiang, Diao Chan, Lu Bu, Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, Zhao Yun, and Zhuge Liang.

Dynasty Warriors 2 (2000)

The gameplay in this installment is what the series would come to be known for: crowd combat. You get to choose one of the 28 playable characters to complete levels inspired by the real battles of the Three Kingdoms period. For the first time, it also introduced the free and Musou modes. Musou is the equivalent of the mission mode in other games where you play a particular character’s story.

Dynasty Warriors 3 (2001)

The installment introduced a two-player mode, several new characters, weapons, and stages that expanded on the previous title. Most notable is the introduction of new characters to under the “other” classification.

Dynasty Warriors 4 (2003)

More characters are introduced in the fourth installment and a new mode, called Edit Mode, is included. The objective is pretty much the same as in the previous game, but there are also secondary objectives. There are a total of 42 playable characters not including those who can create.

Dynasty Warriors 5 (2005)

Similar to the previous game, there are two new features introduced here including Challenge Mode and the Encyclopedia for all the characters in the game. There is also a feature where you need to defend bases from the enemies and to attack the others to gain strategic points.

Dynasty Warriors 6 (2007)

Several new features are introduced including the Renbu which is a way to build up powerful attack combos. That means you do not need to rely on the weapon alone. The Renbu even has a skill tree similar to those in RPGs. Dueling is reintroduced but in a slightly different form.

Dynasty Warriors 7 (2011)

With so many characters to choose from, there are a lot of changes in this installment including customization, special attacks, Conquest Mode, morale level, weapons, and support animals.

Dynasty Warriors 8 (2013)

The Other faction here is given more substance as they have their own story mode. The game seems to shift focus more on changes in the way the story is delivered than in the combat.

Dynasty Warriors 9 (2018)

This seems like an entirely different game as it is set in a open world where you can freely roam. There are also a lot of content and activities like fishing, camping, etc. Combat has also been overhauled to allow for more variety in attacks.


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