Warriors of Fate
As often happens, some foreign titles are too much for American audiences. I’ve seen countless Kung Fu movies with altered titles. Way of the Dragon became Return of the Dragon to make it sound like a sequel to Enter the Dragon. One of my personal favorite kung fu comedy romps, My Young Auntie, hilariously, became Fangs of the Tigress. Another classical Chinese novel called Water Margin became Seven Deadly Blows of the Dragon. And, as such, here we are. Tenchi Wo Kurau became Warriors of Fate. Not only was the title changed, but the characters names were as well. But as we all know, a rose by any other name smells just as sweet and can be just as violent.
I had personally never played this game until the wonderful Capcom Beat’em Up Collection graced our presence. What was an import only for the Sega Saturn and Playstation systems all the sudden became available on PC, Switch, PS4, and Xbox One. I downloaded it recently, and was finally able to play this bad boy. It’s a rather fun beat’em up, which as we know from Dynasty Warriors, is a wonderful choice for these games. Honestly, the book (Romance of the Three Kingdoms) is full of violence and so the games should be as well. There are descriptions of heroes “charging to and fro, chopping enemies into halves…” and other such tales of gore and glory.
I found out that Tenchi Wo Kurau II is an awesome game. It has large characters, neat pixel art, and a lot going on at any given point. When fighting bosses, you’re not always confined to one room, and I was able to back up a bit. You can fight from horse back (which is how most fights in the book take place), or on foot. You have a different set of attacks depending on if you’re mounted or not.
I like the horse combat, but it is a little clunky, as you have to hit jump to turn around. You have a back attack to counter that, so it’s not a problem. The game IS lengthy though, just as the war was. It may be considered too long for a beat’em up for some people, and I can’t imagine actually playing this at the arcade. It must’ve taken a lot of quarters to get through this one.
This game is really good, and if you don’t already have access to it, the Capcom Beat’em Up Bundle is the easiest and best way to play it. I hope you all enjoy the game as much as I do. Let us know in the comments what you think about it, who your favorite warrior is, and what your favorite adaptation of Romance of the Three Kingdoms is! Below is a playthrough I found of the Saturn version on PepAlacant’s youtube page. Enjoy!
Back Story: A time of war and strife
Ancient China was definitely an interesting point in history. One of the main events was known as the Warring States. During this troublesome time, there was an enormous war that started in 169 bc and ended close to 280 ad. This was the war of the Three Kingdoms.
During this war, a historian named Chen Shou recorded the war. This later became a book known as the Chronicles of the Three Kingdoms or Records of the Three Kingdoms. It also included the history of the Late Han Empire. To truly cover any aspect of the war of history is a Herculean task, and I don’t have the personal in-depth knowledge or time to give it the proper respect it deserves. However, I would love to get you started on what is an incredibly dynamic series of books, movies, comics, and games that sprang forth from this interesting time in history.
Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Abuot 1,000 years after the battles, a play write named Luo Guangzhong wrote the books we know today as “Romance of the Three Kingdoms“. This book is a historical novel based on the records by Chen Shou. It is packed with characters, magic, battles, and drama. Over 700 years after that, we started getting video games, comics, and movies based on the same thing.
I’d say that the most well known game series at this point is probably Dynasty Warriors. I personally love Dynasty Warriors 5, and would pick it as my favorite. I first played 3 way back in the PS2 days, and couldn’t believe my eyes. Little did I know that an ancient Chinese beat’em up already existed, it just hadn’t come out on American consoles. Romance of the Three Kingdoms is the strategy version of the same time period. Kessen 2 is a tactics game. We’re going to focus less on Koei’s involvement (for now), and look more at Capcom’s.
If you have the patience and love to read, I definitely recommend reading Romance of the Three Kingdoms. I love the book, but it’s a daunting task. Actually having played Dynasty Warriors helped me out significantly. There are dozens of characters, if not a few hundred, so it helped me out already having been acquainted with many of them.
Related Games: Destiny of an Emperor
Destiny of an Emperor is, without a doubt, an old-school RPG on the NES. It’s based on Tenchi Wo Kurau, the manga by Hiroshi Motomiya, set in the warring states period. Tenchi Wo Kurau means “The devouring of heaven and earth”, which is so f*ing metal I can barely stand it. In this RPG, you don’t have HP for your characters, your characters are generals in your army and what serves as your HP is how many troops you have. It’s an interesting game, but anybody would be forgiven for thinking it’s a slog. I found this game to be a bit of a slog, therefor, didn’t get very far. Someday, hopefully, I’ll have the time to sit down and play through it.