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Welcome to my blog and feel free to leave any comments!

I’ve finally decided to do an introduction entry and this also serves as an entry where you can put in random comments (this entry will remain at the very top). I like people leaving me comments, but it get a bit annoying when I have a totally random comment on my fan fiction or other review entries. Because when I see that some one left a comment on these entries (which take time to write) I’ll really look forward to what people think of that piece of writing, and to see that it just a random ‘hi’ does make me feel a bit disappointed. Yet I do like random comments.

So this is why I have this entry. Lastly- for people who often come to my blog: please tell me how you managed to stumble onto my blog! I am just very curious about this!

Lastly, I don’t like using life journal cut that much, so I probably won’t put something under life journal cut unless it is really long. But to my defence: I have a summary bar which prevents you from having to spot the title by having to scroll down a lot of times.

PS: If you want to friend me then please tell me because I don’t always notice when people add me as their friend even though I love expanding my F-list. Chances are I will add you back.

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Dynasty Warriors 8: Jin route review

I feel that I should say: “as expected of the fraction that is actually fund by a tactician, the word ‘talent’ is being used a lot.” However, I feel that the way that they use the word makes sense more, as it is more about them saying: “This is because we are smart and we want everyone to know it” as opposed to Shu’s benevolence. Also, while you can see that the people of Jin are pretty talented, I won’t say that the people of Shu are particular benevolent. As mentioned, they are pretty much dong the same as what everyone else does. Even though I do feel that Wei is probably still my favourite faction, because I am really just biased for Sima Shi, I do still like the story of Jin. However, I definitely am biased because I am way more motivated to participate in the battles that Sima Shi is in, as opposed to the latter ones.

I will be honest and admit that this is the group whose what if route I want to do the most, because the what if is basically Sima Shi getting his heaven’s will. One of the things I am really annoyed with the translation on the English site is that they describe Sima Shi as the genius without a purpose, whereas the original word is ‘heaven’s will’. It is probably better to say that he is the genius without the fate, the destiny. This is because he clearly has a purpose and he is basically much trying to achieve that whenever he is out. That phrase probably describes his brother much better. But one of the very interesting thing about the Jin story route is that this seem the route where the what if and historical route are split between two people. Unlike the other three routes, which focuses on what would happen if something in particular happen, I feel that after the turning point in the game, the historical route basically focuses on Sima Zhao’s route and his view on what is happening, where as the what if pretty much focuses on Sima Shi getting what he want way more.

The character of Sima Shi truly fascinates me, but at the same time, I feel that he is also someone really scary. It is not just that he is ruthless, but he happens to be very ambitious, and I think this is a very dangerous combination. In order to achieve what he wants, he would show little mercy. Apparently how he killed his first wife could be a common misconception in history, and some even say that he and his first wife actually got on very well. However, I really feel that even though his historical counterpart might not have killed his wife, the game one could very well have. Also, I read a very interesting comment in regard to his character. The writer of the review said that the only time he could recall Sima Shi smiling outside the cutscene is when he is about to perform a very painful musou. Ie.he is smiling when he inflicting a really painful attack on someone. I am not sure if I quite agree, but I have to admit that the comment is valid. He definitely does have a little sadism in him.

One thing that happened after I play the route is that I really don’t like Jia Chong. I really don’t like characters who pushes another character to do something and say that it is for their own good, when it is really because of that said character’s desire, and this is what I feel is the situation between Jia Chong and Sima Zhao. Throughout the game, Jia Chong has this whole issue of how much he want Sima Zhao to be the ruler. I feel that this becomes a major problem as it transcends from him wanting Sima Zhao to do well, to the fact that he has a specific vision and any that fails to follow it would be eliminated by him. For me, the really scary moment came during the time that Sima Shi is injured, and as you try to save him, Jia Chong will suddenly say something along the line of Sima Shi cannot die yet, because Sima Zhao is not ready. It was at that moment, I suddenly had the feeling of: “So if Sima Zhao is ready by that time then you would not save Sima Shi?” I then can actually see Jia Chong killing Sima Shi for the simple reason that by the other living, Sima Zhao would never be the emperor.

Another surprise I had is that I actually really like Zhang Chunhua. I feel that this is because she is a bit like Nouhime, in that she is unapologetic about her being a bit sadistic and bitchy at times. I think her sweet demure is meant to fool no one, and this is something she is aware of. I also don’t feel that she is a character who presumes that she knows everything, she merely does that for her family from the perspective of a mother and a wife. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that I like the what if route more, because not only can you play as Sima Shi, you also see more of Zhang Chunhua, although it is a bit disappointing that she can’t be played in the final battle.

As mentioned before, one of the really interesting things about Jin is that unlike the other three factions, even Shu, we actually don’t really have a Jin. In the historical route, it is mentioned at the very end that the emperor of Wei will give the title of Sima Zhao, but is probably more like a said region, instead of an actual kingdom or dynasty. Or, in the what if route, it is only until the very last cut scene when it is shown that because the emperor of Wei abdicated in Sima Shi’s favour, that he actually began to fly the flags of Jin. Even up to the final battles in either route, both brothers mention that they are doing this for Wei. Sure, it is a Wei where they will have great power, but neither actually had the idea of being an emperor, they just want to have a power that can influence, instead of an absolute power.

In the last game, Jin had one of the best cutscene in a video game, not just the Musou series. You have a montage of those that are in the three kingdom times, with rivals facing or fighting one another, before you eventually cut to Cao Cao, Liu Bei and Sun Quan, the three that caused the three kingdoms era to be. After this, the scene then cuts to a mural of the Sima family: Sima Yi, Sima Zhao and Sima Shi. It is obviously sad due to the idea that despite all the dreams and hope of all the men before them, none of them really achieved what they want, because the three kingdoms era did come to an end, but not in the way that they expected, as it is really a fourth power that is the winner. It is also sad because all these men are all now only figures in the past. But then, you suddenly realise that this applies to Jin as well. Yes, the Sima family is the winners but we are not looking at them alive and realising their victory, we are being reminded that they are actually gone too, that they are figures of the past like the others. The three kingdoms era is over, including the Sima family, who are also heavily involved with it.

Chapter 1: Pursuit at Wuzhang Plains
Jin’s storyline actually started after Zhuge Liang is dead, and it is quite nice to see how the whole family is introduced. Sima Yi and Sima Shi will be talking to one another, while Sima Zhao is slouching around. But unlike last time, where we just see the two siblings, we actually then have Zhang Chunhua coming out. In the battle, you pretty much just fight Jiang Wei, which will actually be something very common.

Chapter 2: Battle of Xinagping
This is actually Gongsun Yuan’s rebellion, so this is actually an internal conflict of Wei. It can also be seen as a parallel of what the Sima family would do later on. But Gongsun Yuan would actually take a certain land and claim that he is the emperor. At first, during the battle, he would refuse to surrender, only to change his mind. This would lead to Sima Yi saying his famous quote about how the five options in a battle and how Gongsun Yuan only have one left. I think this battle is definitely symbolic because it shows that Wei is in a mess with the ruler unable to sort this out, and it is only the Sima family that can do so.

Chapter 3: battle of Mt Xingshi
This is a battle against Shu, but what happened is that Sima Shi and Sima Zhao were sent to help Cao Shuang, who is one of the regents for the emperor alongside Sima Yi. This battle would result in a disastrous lose for Wei. Once again, this battle shows what is happening to Wei. Which then lead to the next battle really well.

Chapter 4: Coup d’etat.
This is the rebellion of the Sima family and the cutscene actually starts with Sima Yi commenting that Cao Cao was someone worthy of conquering the land, and Cao Pi, who came after him, is someone that is able to do so too. However, he would then point out that the ones after them are all incapable of this. It is actually really touching to see how much Sima Yi actually did respect and even care for Cao Cao and Cao Pi, even after all this time. I really believe that had the Cao family continue to have a capable ruler, then Sima Yi would never have rebelled. I think that the reason that Sima Yi rebelled is the idea that he feels only he and his family are able to do a good enough job. This is one of the cases where I don’t feel that the speaker is being very arrogant because the previous parts really show that this is pretty much what is happening.

However, after the battle, Sima Yi will actually decide to retire, which will lead to the brothers talking to one another about what they would do. It seem very symbolic how they walked pass one another with Sima Shi ascending to the place their father had previously stood, while Sima Zhao went to stand with the rest.

Due to Sima Shi punishing the Cao family, Xiahou Ba would be worried about his safety and he would flee to Shu. As part of the criteria to unlock the what if route, you would have to prevent this. However, I am going to go with what happened in the historical route, which would be that Xiahou Ba did deflect.

Chapter 5: East Gates Battle
This is basically a battle which Zhuge Dan was in charge of, but he would end up screwing up. To make things even more complicated, Sima Zhao would make changes to the plan during the middle of the battle, which then gave Zhuge Dan a possible excuse. It seems most likely that Sima Zhao prevented the situation from being really bad, but to Zhuge Dan, this sudden unexpected change did have an effect. I think this battle is also meant to show the contrast between Sima Zhao and Zhuge Dan. Even though Zhuge Dan is a nice person (as seen in the beginning of the cutscene), who desires to do good, he is also too rigid and not able to come up with the best strategy. This is meant to contrast to Sima Zhao, who could deal with the sudden change of the flaw.

In regard to Zhuge Dan, I actually quite like him, because I could really relate to his insecurities of feeling that you are not living up to the expectation that those around you, as well as feeling pressured due to being constantly compared and associated with someone that is much more better then you. Also, he is someone that is clearly trying to change and be better, and he is also a really good person. His relationship with Sima Shi is also really touching, as you can see that he truly care for Sima Shi, shown by his reaction at the other’s death as well as how glad he was at seeing Sima Shi recovering. And in the historical route, the game did mention that part of his anger at Sima Zhao was due to Sima Shi’s death and the other’s reaction.

Chapter 6: Battle of Mt Tielong
This is the battle you have to save Guo Huai and it is most likely that you would not be able to save him in the first playthrough. His death is really sad because this would happen due to him believing that Xiahou Ba is here to help (having said that, it is then really touching to play this route when you are trying to save him, as you would have unlock the previous criteria where Xiahou Ba continued to stay in Wei/Jin. In that case, Xiahou Ba would really be here to help and he would be truly concerned about Guo Huai.)

Guo Huai’s death is really sad because he will point out that this is something that he had to constantly face (due to being severely ill) and that his time has finally come. Even though we are technically in Jin’s storyroute, they did come from Wei originally, and I feel Guo Huai’s attitude is very similar to those in Wei. They are not very dramatic about this, but accept that this is something that would happen, and they would grieve in their way even as they continued on with their life.

Chapter 7: Guanqiu Jian and Wen Qin’s rebellion
Wen Yang is actually one of the new characters for Jin, but that is all I know about him. However, Wen Qin is his dad, so basically he starts the battle as someone who you fight against. However, throughout the battle, he would be arguing with his father about how what they are doing does not seem to be the right thing, yet he would still fight under his father. There is a nice cutscene when Sima Shi observes him fight and he would comment that Wen Yang is much more better then his father. What I really like about the cutscene is how calm Sima Shi is as he watches the fighting that is right in front of him, even as he is in the middle of a battle field.

Chapter 8: Battle of Xuchang
The cutscene starts with Sima Shi being attacked and accused of being tyrannical. However, Sima Shi would tell his attackers that he does not care what they think about him, as he is firmly set on his path. You actually don’t get to play as Sima Shi. I guess this make sense, because this battle is the turning point. It is his fate that determines the what if faction of the part.

In this battle, you can choose between Sima Zhao, Wang Yuanji, Jia Chong and if you unlocked a previous criteria, you can play as Zhuge Dan. As I said before, I don’t like Jia Chong and his motivation to save Sima Shi is that he feels Sima Zhao is not able to be the leader yet. As I said, I cannot help but to wonder whether he would still have tried to save Sima Shi if he feels that Sima Zhao is ready. I would not even be surprised if he actually killed Sima Shi and then concealed his action in it and let the others think that this is the cause of the rebels (fan fiction idea?). However, the other three’s roles are really touching. Sima Zhao clearly cares for his brother and Wang Yuanji would be concerned for both of them (there are times when I actually feel that Wang Yuanji might have had a certain affection and even love for Sima Shi) while Zhuge Dan would point out that Sima Shi has helped him so much. If you haven’t unlock the previous criteria, you actually won’t be able to play as Zhuge Dan, although he would still be in the battle. (I would really love to see the battle from the perspective of Sima Shi’s wife, because we could then see a more humane side to him. After all, most of the time Sima Shi is just focused on his ambition, and his family, but we don’t see his personal relationships that much).

In the historical route, Sima Shi would die and his death is really sad, because even though he is acceptant of his fate, there is a sense of he could have achieved so much more. It is heartbreaking to see how both Sima Zhao and Zhuge Dan openly weeping. To make it worse, Sima Zhao is begging his brother to not leave him, and when you take account of how he is really doing this for the sake of his brother, it just makes it even sadder.

Historical route

Chapter Nine: Zhuge Dan’s rebellion
Zhuge Dan would actually decide to work for Wu, but the beginning of the cutscene will show that he received a letter from the Emperor of Wei, who actually wants to use him to fight Sima Zhao. Part of his rebellion is obviously due to his issue with Sima Zhao, but having the letter from the emperor probably convinced him that he is doing the right thing even more. I do wonder though, what would have happened had Sima Shi decided to rebel and the emperor of Wei condemned him? Judging from the conversation that they could have, I think Zhuge Dan would have choose to follow Sima Shi despite the condemnation from the emperor, because he truly believes in Sima Shi. He probably would feel that the other can actually make a difference and bring peace to the world.

In the middle of the battle, Zhuge Dan would have an argument with his ‘ally’ as the other had insulted the emperor of Wei, and he would execute the otehr. This is obviously a fatal flaw, and I think this also show how he often let his emotion get the better of him. However, his death is really sad because unlike the previous game (thanks to online clips), he faced his death with great dignity and is at peace due to him having tried to do something.

Chapter 10: Wei’s emperor’s last stand
As I mentioned before, even though the fraction we are playing is categorized under Jin, they are actually still loyal to Wei. On the other hand, their loyalty is their bond to Wei, not the Han dynasty that is probably too far away for most of them. Sima Zhao would face hesitation at fighting the emperor due to regarding him as being the emperor, but not long ago, the Wei dynasty would have been regarded as the usurpers as the emperor is the one of the Han Dynasty. I feel that this really show that the Han dynasty is long over, the Han dynasty that Shu held onto. For people in the Jin fraction, they are definitely not going to care about this.

The emperor of Wei would actually be killed by Jia Chong instead of Sima Zhao, although it seemed that he actually did make some form of resolution. I think he would have killed the emperor (like the last game), if Jia Chong had not come. The emperor of Wei will actually tried to run away when he sees Sima Zhao. It is interesting to note that Sima Zhao actually still showed the emperor some kindness, as he would ask the emperor to try and have some dignity, almost pleading. I think had his father and brother be here, their reaction would not have been so kind. I think this could be part of his personality, and also because Sima Zhao is probably the least ambitious as opposed to his father and brother. He is definitely a case of only accepting this position because he feels that no one else seemed to be able to do so.

Chapter 11: the battle of Taoyang
I don’t remember that much of the battle, but the main point of this battle is that you would have to fight Xiahou Ba. This is definitely a turning point for Sima Zhao, because he and the other seemed to be great friends (and it is even sadder when you see the hypothetical route, where the two of them shows this in camp conversations). But I feel that unlike before, when he shows hesitation at what would happen, he is now firm with his decision.

Chapter 12: Battle of Jiange
I have some really bad memories with this battle. In fact, this is the battle that caused me to decide to play in normal mod instead of hard mod.

I ABSOLUTELY HATE THE JUGGERNAUTS! This battle would be the eternal reminder of how this is so. In normal mod, it does not really matter, but in hard mod, they can actually do a lot of damage. So I was basically reduced to red hit point and trapped with a bunch of juggernauts. So I had to retort to running around in circles so that my musou would charge, and then repeat the process. So the amazing thing is that I actually managed to defeat Yueying this way. I could then make my way to the main camp and it seemed that there was enough time. However, Jiang Wei will suddenly escape and the hidden section of the camp actually opened.

For the first time I played the musou series, I realised that you could run out of time! I only had five minute left. I was super pissed and just decided to replay in normal mod.

Chapter 12: the battle of Chengdu
The final showdown of Shu and Jin (Wei). Liu Shan’s appearance in this battle is very impressive because he truly shows the bearing of a ruler. Despite his country being threatened and in the middle of war, he can calmly face his enemy. What he says is also very insightful, when he asks Sima Zhao whether he is able to find what he is looking for, even though this kingdom is poor and small. I think it is the idea that there is little point in taking this kingdom, unless the other is ambitious and wishes for unification of the overall country.

After the battle, Liu Shan will announce that he surrenders, saying that he is tired. However, as he walks pass Sima Zhao, he would whisper out a thank you. I really do think the two of them have a very interesting friendship due to the way that they could understand one another.

The ending cutscene actually have Sima Zhao walking with Deng Ai and Zhong Huai in the now peaceful streets, but Sima Zhao would suddenly pause. It seemed that he was going to say something, although he would then suddenly stop. I think this is meant to foreshadow how there would soon be the issue of Zhong Huai rebellion, and that everything is not completely right yet. We also have Sima Zhao and Jia Chong walking passes one another, Sima Zhao going into the light and Jia Chong going into the shadow. I do get what it is that they are trying to do, but I just don’t feel that I quite agree with it.

Dynasty Warriors 8: Wu route review

Sun Wu is a very interesting case, and it is not just because they are represented by Sun Quan, who has a position that is halfway between the two generations, but because their ambition is very different from both Liu Bei and Cao Cao. Whether he admits it or not, it is clear that Liu Bei does want to have the land by himself. Sun Quan and his family, however, are very different, because they are really simply focused on the land that they have.

Upon playing the game, I also feel that Sun Quan’s personality is also that of someone that is a bit in between the two of them, although saying that is quite unfair to him. Cao Cao is the one that is very open about his ambition and that he wants to rule the land because he believes that he is the one that can do the best job, that he is the one that should be doing this. As for Liu Bei, even though I feel that in essence, he is really similar, he actually feels that he is doing this for the good of everyone, as he is someone who truly wants to help the people. Even though he is, in my view, quite selfish and hypocritical, he himself believes that he is selfless and is doing this for the good of the people. Sun Quan is an interesting case because even though he might say speeches that are very similar to what Liu Bei is saying, I feel that this is merely an act by him. He is saying this to gain the support of his people. I have no doubt that he does wishes to result in a better future for everyone, but I truly think that his words are him saying what the people want to hear in order for them to get his results. I like Sun Quan, but I do feel that he is quite different from his father and elder brother in that he has a slight colder and more calculating side to him, that there are times when he is manipulating others (as for his sister, I dislike her. I feel that she is a case of the typical example of a female character who feels that because she can fight slightly, she can do whatever the heck she wants.).

Unlike Wei’s route, Sun Quan is actually not that much a focus as Cao Cao is, even though he and his family are what motivate everyone. It is hard to explain, but that is what I feel.

My main comment about Wu’s route is that this is basically pretty much a blood bath, as you basically get everyone dying at every battle. Likewise, even though they have quite a few tacticians (4), they pretty much come out one after another, due to the death rate. But an interesting thing about Wu’s tactician is that they are probably more of a warrior then a bureaucratic. I think as someone pointed out, KOEI gives tactician robes. This then means that for some of the tactician (the ones who does not really fight) they have more of a bureaucratic official look due to their clothes being mainly robes), while others has a mixture (such as Zhou Yu, as he actually fights quite a bit). Zhou Yu is an interesting case, because his official position is that of a naval commander (he actually has a military title, and I think Lu Xun is the same). Lu Su I am not sure about, but Lu Meng is actually famous for being someone who was a fighter and disdained learning, and then due to reasons improved himself and become educated. Once again, I am leaving aside historical interpretation but discussing popular culture. In popular culture, Lu Meng’s name is actually associated to the idea of someone suddenly undergoing a rapid sense of improvement.

Chapter 1: Battle of Xinagyang
The first battle that shows how the Sun family started to rise in power. Sun Jian actually comes out and I am aware that in the historical route, he would be assassinated. However, I really did not expect him to die at the end of the chapter. Totally random but his three kids actually all call him father in a different way. The front bit is quite interesting, because Han Dang will point out that he has an ill feeling.

Chapter 2: Conquest of Wujun
I don’t personally like Sun Ce much. I think it is just because I dislike the fact that he is constantly praised so much by everyone in Wu about being a great leader and all that when he is actually a pretty bad one, as he is really rash. It is true that he does have the ability of drawing people to him, but that is really only a part of what is required for a good leader, and that is all he has. Given how rash he is, I think he would easily have ended up losing the support of many. On the other hand, he does listen to the advice of his tacticians, so I guess things might not be that bad. The funny thing is that I have seen people’s comment about why they like him as a character, and one person said that even though they are not even sure what it is that Sun Ce is doing, they just find themselves supporting him. I, however, beg to differ. However, that just illustrate that this is what type of leader he is.

I decided to use Zhou Yu in this battle and I have to say, I know that he is also an actual warrior as well, but isn’t he still a bit too amazing regarding his attacks? My sister and I joke that he is actually someone from Shaolin Temple, because his combo and moves for his staff is just really cool. On the other hand, however, his character is not what I thought of him to be. I always thought that he was a bit of a contrast to Sun Ce, a bit of a foil. I thought that he would be like the one in Otome Heiou, who is rather cold and calculating even as he presents the façade of a false smile. However, the Zhou Yu in KOEI’s game is actually pretty similar to his friend, in that he is quite a hot headed character too. One of his musou has him say something along the line of: “the burning of my passionate soul” (I almost sprayed out the tea that I was drinking.) Totally random but I used to think that Zhou Yu and Xiao Qiao are a really strange pairing, as I thought that he would have someone like Cai Wenji instead. However, I now feel that it might not be so strange.

Chapter 3: the little conqueror in peril
This battle is certainly interesting and bizarre at the same time. Basically, Sun Ce got caught in an illusion and it is just really weird. I am surprised that they actually have this in the historical route, because I thought they were trying to go for more…non fantastical. But the main thing is that Sun Ce got killed.

Chapter 4: the battle of Chibi
It is quite interesting to play from the side of Wu, as I have already done both. In this battle, the indication is that the wind is not so much due to Zhuge Liang, but merely due to a natural phenomenon. However, Zhou Yu would be quite passive aggressive about Zhuge Liang.

Chapter 5: battle of Nanjun
As I mentioned, Wu’s route is almost a bloodbath, because you pretty much have someone dying at the end of every chapter. In this chapter, Zhou Yu would get injured and it is pretty much the same way as Sun Jian. As they started to celebrate, they get shock. But Zhou Yu would actually have himself act as a decoy.

This battle is actually the battle of Jing, the start of all this, and I have to say: the people of Shu are really responsible for what happens later on. It is almost a case of karma. They will fight with Wu, but once they reach a certain stage, they would just stop fighting and say that they need to guard the place. However, when Wu start to get attacked after Zhou Yu was in the enemy’s trap and got shot, Shu would certainly turn on them. That was when they had an alliance together, that is betrayal. Yet Shu does not think that they did anything wrong and when Wu simply allied themselves with Wei after Shu first rejected their offer (the marriage), Shu would start to throw the word around. As I said, I think they are hypocritical because they are doing a very clear case of one rule for them, and another rule for everyone else.

Chapter 6: battle of Jing province
I accidentally sort of screwed the battle up in that Lu Shu is suppose to die in this battle, but actually survived in my game. This then means that he will be out in the game later on. This can be done, but the idea that KOEI has is that it should be done after you done the historical routes, so that you can unlock the hypothetical routes. Although having Lu Shu alive is not that obvious, because this just means you have him appear in another battle. However, my sister ended up doing this for Guo Jia, allowing him to appear in the battle of Chibi the first time. This is then really ironic given that Guo Jia did not do anything, yet one of the main ideas they used is that he was meant to have done something to prevent Chibi had he been alive.

The ending of the battle actually results in Lu Shu creating a new alliance in that he will not fight about the said land anymore, in return for them to be able to work together and defeat Wei. He is actually giving up quite a bit (since the land in question was Sun Wu’s in the first place) in order to have peace, and I can see why some say that they feel Lu Shu truly desire peace and realise that it is something you have to achieve by compromising and sacrificing. He is also the one that constantly pushes for a peaceful solution, where as Zhou Yu and Lu Meng both feel that they should fight.

Chapter 7: Battle of Hefei
Gan Ning actually comes out in this battle and he is probably my favourite character in Wu, although I think I like the previous version of him more. I feel that in the previous version, he is not so reckless and foolhardy, but is actually quite streetwise. I feel that he is a bit of a chaotic neutral that is more extreme then Motochika. Motochika knows when a decision is foolish and he would still make it, although it would only be to a certain extent due to his responsibility as a leader. Gan Ning is just more extreme in that he would make the more rash decision more often. However, I feel that in the new version, he is more simple in that he pretty much does not even bother to try and think, but just act very rashly.

The battle is meant to be an attack on the castle but due to how quickly Wei has the upper hand, Sun Quan would order a retreat.

Historical Route

Chapter 8: Battle of Ruxukou
The start of the battle is quite funny, because Lu Meng will be the one leading Gan Ning and Ling Tong to a sneak attack. Ling Tong will then start to tell Gan Ning that his bells are causing noises, causing Gan Ning to fight. Lu Meng will be fed up and yell at both of them. It basically pretty much resulted in a: “Actually, the loudest is you”, as Lu Meng would ended up attracting the attention of the guards. At this, Lu Meng will just say that they were front enough and can attack (Later on, one of the characters from Wei will express shock at the surprised attack and I can only say: “Haven’t you heard about that already?”). But I think in this battle Ling Tong would be saved by Gan Ning due to Zhang Liao and this is pretty much what happened in the story, in that they became friends after Gan Ning saved him. However, I really don’t feel that Gan Ning is the type of guy who would just think: “As we are all fighting on the same side, we are all friends”. I can see him doing so on his ships, but not so extreme like this. That is why I said that I feel he is a much more simple character in this game. However, the end of the battle is very heartwarming, because the three of them would decide to go and drink together in celebration.

Ling Tong’s animation really needs to be changed, because it just seems that he does not stop moving. Even when you go to his character page, he does not stop moving. He always seems to be doing jumps on the same spot. However, I actually quite like his weapon, and when he and Gan Ning come together to attack you, they can actually do quite a bit of damage.

Chapter 9: Battle of Fan castle
The battle that resulted in Guan Yu being killed. I actually used Lianshi and oh my goodness, characters with missile weapons in this game are so hard to use.

I do feel that Lu Meng’s action in this battle is a bit personal, but consider all that he said to Guan Yu, I cannot argue with any of his words. The truth is that the people of Wu has really given Liu Bei and side more chances then they deserved and they sacrificed so much due to this. However, Guan Yu would not say anything and I think the sad thing is that up to his final moment, he does not realise that he did something wrong. Rather, it is more of the case of he cannot comprehend that he might not be in the full right. He would say that all he is doing is for Liu Bei and Lu Meng’s “I am sure it is” is a mixture of bitterness and frustration. I think it is the case of he realise that there is no point to talk to the other even more, as they simply will not listen to you.

Lu Meng would die in the end of this battle and I guess the difference with them and Wei is that Wei deals with their loss in a more stoic way. They already accept this and do not try to fight it as much.

Chapter 10: Battle of Yiling
The attack by Liu Bei and Shu (I am presuming that Fa Zheng is actually dead, as per history, which would be why he is not coming out). But Sun Quan would have a very valid point when he point out that Liu Bei relies on his emotions (which then seem to indicate that he is not the same). But Gan Ning will actually die in this battle. Much to my surprise, his death actually does not have a cutscene, but was just mentioned during the battle.

In the end, Sun Quan will manage Liu Bei to surrender as he would have this whole speech about how he lost his way and is no longer benevolent. Main issue is that Sun Quan won and Liu Bei would be their subordinates, although as the next chapter would indicate, they still seem to have quite some power since they could still declare themselves to be the emperor of their kingdom.

Chapter 11: Battle of Shiting
I am not sure whether it is before or after this battle, but Sun Quan would declare himself to be the emperor of his kingdom. I actually don’t remember much of this battle.

Chapter 12: Battle of Hefei
This is the final battle and it is meant to be the final showdown between Wei and Wu. Cao Pi would personally be there and he would actually have modified the castle so that it becomes very defensive. The battle actually starts with him telling his men that any deserters would be killed, so that would be their motivation. I must be totally M, but I really like hearing Cao Pi insulting, scolding and ordering people, as he just sound really cool.

In regard to the castle being modified, they were not kidding. The first sign is you not being able to enter from the main gate as they actually have a swinging ax. Then, when you are in the castle, you have room with this overlay bridge and parts that shot out fire. Due to being shot at in the beginning, my health bar was in the red and this meant I had to be super careful in navigating my way. Then, you have a place that shot out wind. It really is the case of: “Am I still playing dynasty warriors or am I playing RPG with traps?”

But the ending cutscene…I am biased for Cao Pi already but he is really cool in the cut scene. After being defeated by Sun Quan, Cao Pi will actually admit that he lose, which would cause Sun Quan to start by saying that he now has control of Wei and this would really just be the first step to unifying the land. However, Cao Pi will suddenly interrupt him and tell him that he is getting to full of himself (the seiyuu did an amazing job in conveying Cao Pi’s sense of scorn) as he would say that he merely admits that he lost this battle, and he is only giving them this castle. He will tell Sun Quan that Wei is still powerful, and this is just a minor loss for him, and they will be continuing this fight.

Like Shu, Wu’s story does ends quite hopeful with us seeing the characters fighting. The overall mood is hopeful, even though it is then quite ironic due to you knowing from history that they are doomed. However, I do find Ling Tong’s appearance in the final cutscene really sad. Ling Tong would be doing a sneak attack and unlike last time, Lu Meng and Gan Ning are both not with him. I actually feel that Sun Quan’s speech is very different from Jiang Wei in that while Jiang Wei probably means whatever he says, Sun Quan’s speech is rather calculated to me. I also like him for this, because I think he is not being hypocritical.

Dynasty Warriors 8: Wei route review

Wei is the second faction that I did. The reason is because I obviously feel that Jin should be saved for last, given that they are the faction that ended the three kingdoms. Which is just as well, because I really like them. I personally feel that Shu and Wei should be the first group to do, because they start off earliest as Liu Bei and Cao Cao were sort of similar in ages. Obviously, Cao Cao is older, but I feel that they both kind of started of at a similar time, and I think it is better for me to finish Shu first, since I don’t really like them (yet I am now faced with the very irritating dilemma of really liking Fa Zheng, yet does not like the group he is with). As for Wu, I feel that it should be done after both Shu and Wei. This is because I feel that Sun Quan has a really unique position in regard to this. Sun Quan is one of the fonder of the three kingdoms (he is the one that represent Wu), yet he is way younger then Liu Bei and Cao Cao. For a great part of his routes, he is actually dealing with Cao Pi instead of Cao Cao. However, he is also portrayed as being in a generation older then Cao Pi by having participated in the previous generation with Liu Bei and Cao Cao. As a result, I feel that his position is somewhere in between the two generations, in that he has the second half of the first generation, and the first half of the second generation. Therefore, I feel that I should do his kingdom after the previous two.

I admit, I am biased. Wei is my favourite faction. I like Jin, but this is mainly due to Sima Shi. Wei is not only a faction that I like because there are a lot of characters that I like in there, but also because I feel that I believe and support their ideas the most. I feel that Cao Cao is right with his belief that he has to conquer the country in order to end the chaos, and that it is he and his son that actually have the ability to truly end the war.

What really surprise me about Wei’s route is how much it is about Cao Cao. It is almost as if this is his own route, rather then the route of Wei. I know that there are times when you are seeing a battle from his subordinates’ view, while Cao Cao is far away, but his position is just so dominating. Not to mention that the game starts due to him, and it actually ends with his realisation of what would happen after his death. Then the game just ends here. I personally feel that this was done really well, as it makes sense for the focus to be one him.

Chapter 1: Escape from Luoyang
The scene opens with Cao Cao’s famous failed attempt of assassinating Dong Zhu, which lead to his escape. We then switch to Xiahou Dun and Xiahou Yuan, who are waiting for him outside. You can see that the two men both trust Cao Cao and when he come out, they immediately do what they can to help him. Although the conversation can also be translated to this one.
Xiahou Yuan: “Is he really going to be alright?”
Xiahou Dun: “He’ll be fine.”
(Cao Cao runs out)
Xiahou Dun: “It seems that he didn’t succeed.”
Xiahou Yuan:I agree.”
Cao Cao: “Just shut up and run!”
It was just the matter of fact tone that Xiahou Dun used that made the conversation feel this way.

In this battle, you are basically escaping to the escape point and because I somehow decided to switch my game to hard mod instead of normal mod…this begin my numerous times of save and load. In this battle, if you don’t escape fast enough then you can bump into Lu Bu and the game was not kidding when they say try to avoid him. The moment he poke you, you die. I am presuming that to defeat him, you needed to have level up way more.

Chapter 2: Battle of Hulau Gate
Chapter 3: Battle of Yan Province
Chapter 4: Battle of Xu Province
From these battles, you see how Cao Cao being to grow in power, and more people will start to follow him. I think one of the things about Wei that is done really well is that we can see why these people choose to follow Cao Cao, as well as how they managed to work together. You can see that they believe in Cao Cao due to believing that he is able to achieve what he set out to do, and that following him would be good for them (which I feel is not done very well in Shu. In Shu, it is just the case of Liu Bei is great, and then Zhuge Liang is great. Even though I like Fa Zheng, it seems that he is not completely immune to it, although given what his character is like, I feel that it might make sense in that he just saw something in Liu Bei that he believe in. Even the case of he is with this guy due to liking him, not so much about the other’s honour or justice or benevolence, which is what they did with Fa Zheng). In the battle when Cao Cao talks to Xu Zhu, he actually explains why the other should follow him in a way that the other could understand.

Chapter 5: Imperial Escort
In the beginning, the cutscene actually ends with Cao Cao riding and it almost blends in perfectly with the game play. You kind of only start to notice the cutscene finish when your horse stopped moving, and then you see the other stuff coming out. This result in Cao Cao protecting the emperor and they were not exaggerating when he ask for your help (said from the person who ignore the cries and ended up losing the battle). But this would result in a conversation between the emperor and Cao Cao, which I find very interesting. Cao Cao will actually admit that he is ambitious, and that he is hoping to shape the world into his vision. Yet at the same time, he feels that what he does will benefit everyone. The interesting thing about this is that he does not attempt to justify it, but he admits it for what it is. He is not saying: “I am right because I want to do this and this,” but “I want to do this and this, which I feel is right”. I also feel that the emperor is portrayed as quite an interesting figure: he is aware of what is going on and it bitter at how powerless he has become. He chooses to side with Cao Cao almost as a desperate gamble due to feeling that there is nothing else that he can do.

Chapter 6: Battle of Wan castle
This is the battle where Jia Xu’s master actually set a trap for Cao Cao, resulting in he and Dian Wei being trapped. Cao Cao will then tell Dian Wei that he will trust the other completely in this situation.

Regarding Dian Wei, I just really like this guy. I am probably biased due to one of the first appearance I saw of him was in one of the cutscene for the Empire game, when he is talking to the PC about marriage, and I just thought that this guy is a real sweet guy. He might be a bit rough and rash, but he is also quite considerate and caring. Dian Wei is perhaps a good representative of many soldiers that follow Cao Cao. Granted that he is a really strong fighter, but I think he is a good representative of the common man in that he did not seem to have an impressive background, or is extremely capable like a tactician who would be thinking about long term consequences, he is not as single minded as Xu Zhu, or one of the warriors who are very devoted to fighting and honour. I feel he wanted to do something about the situation and he feels that Cao Cao is the one that can let him do this. Then, he is there because he become loyal to Cao Cao, I think there is definitely a great sense of respect for the other, and he most likely like the other. It is not so much the more blind loyalty Xu Zhu has, but more of a choice that he made. He is a very skilled fighter (given that he could hold his own against Lu Bu) but this is not something that is emphasised about him. The game is very matter of fact about this, he is a great warrior, and now and then Cao Cao might make a comment about this, but this is it.

It is necessary for me to talk about Dian Wei here because he dies in the battle (unless you open the what if situation). Dian Wei’s death is sad and you can see that the others in Wei are very upset about this. Cao Cao even tells him that he cannot die yet. On the other hand, I think the difference between Wei and perhaps other fraction, is that Wei accepts their loss and grief in their own way privately. Now and then Cao Cao might make a comment about this, but it is never done in a very extremely way. I think he and his people realise that you have to focus on the living, doing what must be done now, and your grief is what you do privately.

In the last game, I find Dian Wei’s death even sadder, because he would apologise to Xu Zhu that he cannot fulfill the other’s promise of planting the fields with him. This then also link to Cao Cao’s death. In the brief moment when he allows himself to be an ordinary man, Cao Cao will actually apologise to Dian Wei for what happened. But the good thing about the hypothesis scenario is that in the end, you actually see Dian Wei being able to fulfill the promise by tending the fields with Xu Zhu (yes, a tissue is in my hand).

In regard to the battle, I find it really annoying due to the amount of weapons (catapults and stuff that shoot out fire), because you have to destroy them and if you are on hard mod, your hit point can get really damaged. This must be the first time when I saw someone from Wei that I am so eager to beat up (and I admit, I totally side with Dian Wei when he was a bit upset at Cao Cao telling him to stop. I so wanted to beat up Jia Xu a bit more.)

Cao Cao will recruit Jia Xu and Jia Xu will say that he will live for the sake of his talent. I think in the previous game he would even comment that it would be too much a waste if his talent is gone. So…this guy basically said that he is too smart to die (even Zhuge Liang does not say that! Or Zhou Yu, the guy who famously asks why Zhuge Liang was born if he, Zhou Yu, was already there). But it is touching to see that even though Cao Cao does recruit Jia Xu because the other is talented, he is not 100% happy due to what happened with Dian Wei’s death.

Chapter 6-X: Battle of Xiapi
I think this battle would actually result in Lu Bu being captured, and the two tacticians (Guo Jia and Jia Xu) would talk about this. Guo Jia would comment that a person who is very strong but cannot be trusted is not good, and then comment that it is good that Jia Xu can now be trusted.

In the original story, Lu Bu would be captured and he would actually ask Liu Bei to help him by persuading Cao Cao to not kill him. Liu Bei would actually say yes, but when Cao Cao ask, he will say: “You know what happen with his last two foster dads right?” Yeah…this guy is the benevolent guy.

Chapter 7: Battle of Guandu:
Chapter 8: Battle of Mt Bailang
The battle against Yuan Shou and Guo Jia will actually die (unless you managed to save him re the what if condition). Guo Jia’s death is really sad, because he will die on his horse after he entrusts the rest to Jia Xu, and Cao Cao will actually know about it. We don’t see Cao Cao turning, so we don’t see his expression, but from his voice, as he said goodbye to Guo Jia, you can tell that he is really upset. Once again, it is the idea that they deal with this in a rather stoic fashion. I guess I just find that idea quite touching. It is not that they are not upset, but that they try to deal with it as calmly as they could, due to understanding that such thing might just happen. Yes, each person would be missed in their own way, but we don’t see them cling onto the memories like what Shu did (I just find the ending scene where Zhuge Liang’s fan is kind of in a reverend position really creepy). And to be honest, I think that was what kind of backfired for Shu. Perhaps at one stage, there was this case of people being very weary at attacking due to Zhuge Liang, even though the reputation might have been unfunded, but then this mean that once Zhuge Liang is gone, people would no longer have this fear.

Chapter 9: Battle of Xinye
This is actually the battle where Cao-Wei will attack Xu Shu, who will be captured at the end of the game. I have actually already seen this cutscene before, but at that time, I had no idea that Xu Shu is. Upon realising that it is Xu Shu, I can only say that I was really shocked. I had no idea that he is such a kurai character. As mentioned, when he came out in Orochi and said that he is much happier here because he gets to serve Liu Bei, he is not exaggerating. But I have to say to the characters of Wei: why are you guys so shocked at the fact that Liu Bei got a tactician! Aren’t you guys the fraction that is always looking for tacticians if they are talented! Why are you so surprised that other factions might do the same?

But Cao Cao will praise the Xu Shu’s strategy and to be honest, I think Xu Shu’s answer probably quite surprised him (given that his last case was the person that actually said that he was too smart to die). Xu Shu would actually say something along the lines of “So what of it” in this really dark tone that was super alarming. In the historical version, Cao Cao will just say that if this is the extent of Xu Shu’s ambition, then there is no point for him to use him. In the next chapter, one of the soldiers will comment that Xu Shu was given a really low position in Cao-Wei. But I think perhaps to a certain extent, that might have been a form of happiness to him. However, I know that if you obtained certain criteria, then Xu Shu will wish to prove himself and he will end up doing quite well under Cao Cao.

Chapter 10: the battle of Chibi
The infamous battle. The battle actually starts with a cutscene of Cao Cao and Cao Pi talking, and Cao Pi would comment about his father’s path of power/ambition. Cao Cao will actually tell him that as one who choose to walk in this path, they have the responsibility to end the war as fast as they can. I feel that this conversation is very symbolic, because Cao Cao is actually telling his son that by choosing might, they actually have the obligation of trying to do the right thing, as well as pointing out that might is not right. In order to have might, there is an obligation of using the power for the sake of the right thing. In this case, the right thing is to end the war. Once again, how is this so different from what Shu is doing? The only difference is that Shu seem to focus on the ending result, instead of the method. It is almost as if they are using the end result to deny the process.

The battle will start quite positively, but everything will be shown as going down due to the wind and the fire attack. Once the fire attack started, it is basically escape for Cao Cao and KOEI really show the desperation that Cao Cao felt as he had to escape, and the sense of danger he was in. As I was playing hard, this is more relatable in how careful I had to preserve my hit point.

After Cao Cao escaped to the small boat, I really thought that things were going to be easier, but Gan Ning will suddenly appear. That scene was very cool in how he suddenly jumped across to land on the boat (but the next moment I was cursing him due to the fact that I almost had to load my game again due to being KO by him.)

The battle will end Cao Cao admitting that he lost, but Zhang Liao will point out that the other is alive. Cao Cao agrees, but will point out that this means that the warring era might not just end as soon as he hope. This then links to the cutscene in the next battle, where he talks to Xiahou Yuan about how he is worried that they would not see the end of the war. Xiahou Yuan will tell him that he should not be so pessimistic and even if they would not see the end of the era, their children might. Yet at the same time, Xiahou Yuan will also joke that it is nowhere near the time for them to retire.

Historical routes

Chapter 11: Battle of Tong Gate
As mentioned, the battle will start with Cao Cao and Xiahou Yuan talking about whether they can see the end of the chaos in this era. Wang Yi comes out in this battle, which means that Ma Chou will probably be out. I like Wang Yi (and I am perhaps a bit biased due to her being voiced by Kuwashima Houko)

Chapter 12: Battle of Hefei
This battle starts with Zhang Liao, Li Dian and Yue Jin being stuck in the castle and the three of them seemed to have some difficulty working together. It is the case of Li Dian does not like Zhang Liao while Yue Jin is okay with both of them, but does not quite agree with what they want. I feel that this battle is quite touching, because it will result in Li Dian realising that he need to let go of the grudge that he holds against Zhang Liao (for the death of his uncle) and work with the other. I think it is the case of he realise that what happened is not really Zhang Liao’s fault, and he definitely still have a certain respect for the other. He might still not like him that much, but he does have a certain respect. I was really touched at seeing the three of them working together.

Chapter 13: Battle of Mt Dingjun
The battle where Xiahou Yuan dies and this battle is really one of Fa Zheng’s major battles, as he is the one that comes up with the strategy for they victory, but this is in the original game, prior to his appearance. Xiahou Yuan’s death is really sad and seeing how Zhang He stops Xaihou Ba from chasing after the others is really sad, because we can see that Zhang He is actually really upset too. Likewise, Wang Yi is clearly very upset, which implies that she probably did care for the other as well, and when you realise that this is another loss that she has to suffer, it is just really sad.

Chapter 14: battle of Fan castle
The last battle of Wei’s story mod, which results in them attacking Guan Yu with the help of Wu. The battle resulted in a siege, that was then joined by reinforcement. In this battle, you play as one of the reinforcements, so we see how alarmed the reinforcements are as they ride to the castle, then switches to the character you choose to play.

The battle results in the death of Guan Yu and we then switch to Cao Cao being informed of this. Cao Cao will be sitting by Cao Pi but we actually see the rest of the officers spending time together. I think what is touching about the group in Wei is that they are a group of people who genuinely like each other and enjoy the other’s company. It is true that they might only have got together due to working for Cao Cao in the first place, but due to that, a friendship has developed. I do feel that this is not something that I saw in Shu, because the focus seems to be more on Liu Bei. Perhaps it is the case of they emphasise what the people feel about Liu Bei too much, that we don’t really see their relationship with one another.

Cao Cao will comment that Guan Yu’s death is the end of an era, and that he would probably soon die, and so would Liu Bei, and it would be Cao Pi that ends this. It is interesting that we see Cao Pi fights with Sun Quan. Is it because he sees Sun Quan as the one that remains a threat because Shu is pretty much not one, or is it because Liu Bei is not there? I don’t know and I think that is something left to your own interpretation. But it interesting how Cao Cao can still be so dominating even though that he was not in these battles, but I feel that the main thing is that KOEI managed to pull this off. Even though he might not be there, this is something that still affect him, and this is something that he kept a careful eye on.

Overall, I really like Wei’s route and I am really looking forward to playing the what if. I have already seen the cutscene, but after playing this route, I am certain that the rest of it will be very good. I feel that Wei’s story is perhaps very focused on Cao Cao, but it is written very well. We see how Cao Cao raise to power, and how he tries to live by his ambition as well as what might be his death, when he realise the impact he has made on history.

Dynasty Warriors 8: Shu route review

Regarding the game, I have never liked the Shu fraction. My preference has always been with Wei, then to Jin. Of course, a part of it is because I am most likely biased due to really like Cao Pi and Sima Shi, but even when I judge the story overall, I still feel that the overall route for Wei and Jin are more sympathetic. It is the case of the country is in a pretty bad state, and Wei and Jin are the two that tries to solve the problem in the best way that they can think of, and even though Shu is trying to do the same, they don’t admit this. Instead, they just the whole issue of how it is for the better of everyone, that they are the one that is right. As mentioned before, I feel that this kind of thinking is a bit holier-then-thou, and it just really irritate me. I think they are hypocritical.

I actually started by the Shu fraction and part of it is because I want to do it and get it out of the way, but a second part of the reason is because I am curious about Fa Zheng. Ironically, because Fa Zheng is a new character in Xtreme Legends, so this means that he does not really come out in the story mod, saved for the additional stages. I think in one of the story mods the character will be there as a NPC that fights, but you cannot play him in the actual story mod. Likewise, there are one or two camp conversations with him, but overall, he does not really come out in the actual story mod.

Overall, I personally don’t have much thought regarding the Shu story routes, it really is just the case of Liu Bei and the other going forward and keep on talking about how they are being benevolent and righteous, etc etc.

Chapter 1: Yellow Turban Rebellion
This first battle is probably a foreshadowing of what would happen pretty much in the game, because upon being defeated Zhang Jiao would suddenly decide that he sees the light and would follow Liu Bei. I am not saying that this is impossible, because Zhang Jiao is someone who actually has a similar desire as them, although it is probably mingled quite a bit with his own ambition, but it seems very random that he would suddenly be converted by Liu Bei just due to a few battles.

Chapter 2: Battle of Hulao Gate
Chapter 3: Defense of Xu Province
Chapter 3-X: Disturbance at guandu
Chapter 4: Battle of Xinye
Chapter 5: Battle of Changban

I cannot remember which battle it is, but one of the battles above would involve Liu Bei meeting Zhuge Liang (I think it is battle of Xinye), because Xu Shu is one of the playable characters. It will actually start with Liu Bei meeting Xu Shu and he will ask if Xu Shu is the famous ‘sleeping dragon’ (that is a moment of great awkwardness, you can feel the pin drop). Which then lead to Xu Shu agreeing to take them to the other. Afterwards, Xu Shu will actually decide to leave, by saying that Zhuge Liang can serve Liu Bei much better. Next time, you will see him in battle of Chibi.

Xu Shu is an interesting case (this is random, but he is the one guy that I always feel really bad bashing up.) Initially, I only know him from the cross over game (he has one of the best weapons). Then, I searched online and discovered a little bit about him. In the book/legend, Xu Shu is said to have been forced to work for Cao Cao due to his mother being held hostage, but because of his reluctance, he is said to have never came out with a strategy for Cao Cao. However, in history, it is said that the whole idea of how he never once came up with a strategy is just for the reason that he never did, not because it was a form of rebellion. However, popular culture has been influence more by the story, in that he becomes an example of how you might be physically in one place, but with your heart in another place. I think in the story, what happened is that Pang Tong will be the one to suggest the idea of linking the ships to Cao Cao. Afterwards, Xu Shu would come out and says that he knows what Pang Tong is doing, but because he actually is not loyal to Cao Cao, he will not reveal this. I think Pang Tong is said to have warned Xu Shu to quickly get out of here, because things would get dangerous soon, and Xu Shu probably did, because the book did not mention what happened to him afterwards.

Regarding how he was recruited to Cao Wei, I agree that Cao Cao’s strategy was not exactly something to be proud of, but I think it truly was the case that he had no idea how extreme it would be. I think it did get out of hand (because Xu Shu’s mother was clearly too extreme.) but Cao Cao actually was truly sorry and he expressed remorse. He seemed to have personally apologised and send the other gifts as an apology. Xu Shu did not accept them and I think the fact that this did not have any consequences is an indication that Cao Cao know he is in the wrong. I actually find that whole paragraph that talks about Xu Shu’s final moments with his mother really emotional, due to the fact that his reaction is describe pretty well. But at the least, Cao Cao seem to realise he was wrong, and tried to apologise, which is contrasting how Jiang Wei was recruited.

I actually have already seen Xu Shu’s scene when he was captured by Cao Cao in the Wei route and back then I had no idea that this was who he was. Because in Orochi, Xu Shu is actually not so ‘Kurai’. At one stage, I forgot to who, Xu Shu would comment that he is actually pretty happy in this world, as he gets to continue serving Liu Bei. Upon seeing him in his own game, I have to say- he was not exaggerating. This guy has great self esteem problem. In the cut scene, when Cao Cao first meets him, Cao Cao would comment on his strategy being quite good, but Xu Shu will actually say: “So what of it?” And the tone that he uses gave me such a shock, because he sounded so depressed. This guy is basically drawing circles in the corner, and planting mushrooms.

Yet at the same time, I feel that I can sort of understand why he is like this. After all, he is not in the best of environment for someone with a self esteem problem. First, he has to work with the great Zhuge Liang (the guy who is said to be able to control the direction of the wind), then there is Pang Dong, who is said to be the phoenix version of the dragon. The, we can add Fa Zheng to it. Fa Zheng is clearly another very capable tactician (given that Zhuge Liang will actually comment that had Fa Zheng be there, then things might be different), and Fa Zheng is the case of not caring what other people think. As he himself points out, he does what he want, when he want. In ambition, the two of them actually get a rather interesting conversation. It is actually quite surprising because Fa Zheng is actually pretty nice to him, and this is a guy who is pretty much quite critical of everyone.

Chapter 6: the battle of Chibi
The famous battle of Chibi. In the book, it is said that Zhuge Liang actually prayed and changed the direction of the wind, but history and other version would actually say that it is the case of the wind happening to be blowing in a different direction. I think it is mentioned that this is a strange wind and even though it would blow in different direction at times, this is only something that the local would know. It is a sign of natural phenomenon. KOEI’s interpretation is quite interesting because even though it is hinted that Zhuge Liang played  part with the prayer, the other routes suggested that it is not so much this, but an unusual natural phenomenon. Anyway, the battle is very interesting, especially given that you jump on a ship, and the ship will actually move as you fight the people on it. Sima Yi will actually come out in this battle, commenting that Xu Shu told him about Zhuge Liang (this is so what if material, but I suddenly wonder: did the tacticians of Wei go out drinking together due to Guo Jia?)

Chapter 7: Battle of Chengdu
Fa Zheng will come out in the camp and just make a few general comments, and he will be in the battle as well. In the middle of the battle, Ma Chao and Ma Dai will appear and as they watch the battle, Ma Dai will actually have a good point by commenting that even though Liu Bei talks about benevolence and justice, he is also causing a war at the same time. This would cause Ma Chao to be really angry and ride into battle. However, it is really ironic because after Ma Chao fights Liu Bei, he will suddenly realise that following Liu Bei will allow him to carry out his justice, and Liu Bei will be a really good ruler. The very valid point that Ma Dai raised was never mentioned.

Chapter 8: Battle of Mt Dingjun

Chapter 9: Battle of Fan castle
The battle that eventually resulted in Guan Yu being killed. As mentioned before, I really think Guan Yu brought his fate on himself. The province is actually Sun Wu’s property in the first place, and it was lend to them in good will. However, not only was this not returned, Guan Yu also rejected Wu’s offer of diplomacy by having Sun Quan’s son marry his daughter. As mentioned before, His position is not so high and extreme that Sun Quan needed to offer his own son (and certainly not the heir). It would have been generous to offer a daughter of even a relative. Instead, he insults Sun Quan by saying his son is not good enough for his daughter.

Is it any wonder that the other side would be mad?

One thing that stood out in the battle for me is at the end, when Guan Yu would tell Guan Xing to pass onto his message and I do feel a sense of admiration for Guan Xing in that scene. Guan Xing is aware of what is happening and he know that they are not all able to get out of here alive, so he decides to honour his father by taking the message. To see how he forces himself to be steady and accepts the news calmly is just really sad. The cutscene will deliberately show his back and even though he seemed calm, you can actually tell that he is struggling to hold himself together. Likewise, this is shown again when he tells Liu Bei what happened. Even though he appears stoic, his voice will actually shake slightly.

From here, the game can branch into historical routes or hypothetical routes. I am only going to do a review for the historical route.

Historical routes

Chapter 10: Battle of Yiling
This is the battle where Liu Bei tries to attack Sun-Wu and ended in a disaster from him. This is also the battle where Zhuge Liang commented that if Fa Zheng was still alive, then he could have prevented Liu Bei from going, or at the very least, prevents them from losing so badly.

I think shortly after this battle, Liu Bei dies, and it is a bit touching to see him seeing his two brothers upon his death.

Chapter 11: Battle of Tianshui
This is the battle where Shu managed to meet Jiang Wei and upon playing this battle, my reaction is this: “Oh my gosh, Zhuge Liang is an absolutely jerk.” And what annoyed me is the fact that he is never called out on this, it is almost as if Jiang Wei should be honoured that Zhuge Liang is giving so much attention to him.

In this battle, Jiang Wei would be at the other side (for Wei). I actually don’t like Jiang Wei, but in this battle, I actually ended up feeling really sorry for him. Zhuge Liang will decide that Jiang Wei is someone very talented, is worth talking to. This is perfectly okay, but let us compare to what Zhuge Liang does as opposed to Cao Cao, who often does the same thing. With Cao Cao, he will give a decent fight and tries to capture you. Once that is done, he will offer you a business card and if you don’t want to work for him, then he might kill you since you a prisoner, which is what would probably have happened if you were not so talented. However, if you agree to work for him, he would actually give you a very fair treatment. Zhuge Liang, however, will actually alienate and spread rumours about Jiang Wei so that his own masters basically kicked Jiang Wei out of the group. At one stage, when Jiang Wei’s master starts to yell at him, Jiang Wei will say: “What more can I do?” and I felt so sorry for him (and I am someone that does not even like him). Really, this is just such a nasty strategy. It is not that I am saying doing all that you can to get an advantage is wrong, but what irritates me is Zhuge Liang’s attitude about it. He basically gives a lame: “I’m sorry for using it, but this is the only way I can talk to you”. There isn’t even a proper apology. It is actually Liu Shan who gives a proper apology of how sorry they are to do this. But what annoy me is that Jiang Wei will suddenly decide that he will work for Zhuge Liang and sees Zhuge Liang as this absolutely amazing persona.

I feel that this is a really cruel strategy, in that they basically pretty much force Jiang Wei to lose his place by ruining his reputation and then having to go with Shu because he does not have a place to go. This is almost an example of how abuser gets their partner to stay with them. To make it worse, this is portrayed as not being something that is extremely wrong. If it is someone like Fa Zheng doing it, then I can understand, because he would have done it and argued that it is necessary, and that he knows he is being a jerk in doing it. But for Zhuge Liang to do it and still have a halo around him is just really wrong.

Also, I really don’t get why Jiang Wei then become so devoted to Zhuge Liang. I am not saying that he need to cling onto his past and keep on complaining of how tragic his life is (because that is a mistake many of his fraction has already made), but I do feel that he should probably show some more regret, because he clearly did have a certain loyalty to his old master. However, come the next battle and he is completely devoted to Zhuge Liang, and his every line is basically saying what he need to do for the other, and doing whatever the other want. The thing is, it is not so much because Zhuge Liang is a great tactician, but because somehow Jiang Wei just end up thinking that he is such a great guy whose every decision is right (even though the way that he was recruited was clearly not), it just does not make sense.

Ironically, I feel that this is merely a continuation of what many people feel towards Liu Bei. Zhuge Liang and many others all follow Liu Bei because he is such a great guy, the whole issue of how he can be a ruler by ruling with benevolence and kindness, but we have not really see this. I don’t feel that Liu Bei is very different from the other lords in that he is using power and might to get what he want, only that he is not calling it power. Instead, he is saying that he is right. So it is basically doing the same thing but saying it is different, so I really feel that this is hypocritical. I am biased but I feel that Fa Zheng is actually a bit different by realising that Liu Bei has faults (as he will comment that there should be a limit to the other wanting to be kind), but still choose to follow the other. Whereas the others all just seem to see something in him that as a gamer, I can not see. I just honestly don’t see what is so great about the guy. To make this even more annoying, Cao Cao will often comment about how great Liu Bei is, how he is the one that stands between him and his goal. As my sister pointed out, it is like eating a dish and everyone else is saying how amazing it is, but you just feel that it is a bit bland.

I think the idea is that Liu Bei is probably meant to be a kind man who can also somehow draw people to him. I don’t even fully agree with the first part, but I will admit that he is probably someone that wants to be kind, also he does not always get to behave in the way he wishes (perhaps a bit like Hideyoshi in Samurai Warriors). However, I cannot see what makes him draw the attention of many of his officials. The way that Ma Chou and Ma Dai just suddenly join them does not make sense. Ma Chou I don’t care that much, because that guy is not exactly the person that makes the most sense, but Ma Dai is actually someone who made the comment of how Liu Bei says that he is doing all this for benovelence, and is causing the war. I also don’t see how Zhuge Liang just from that one meeting (and at least in the book it was three times) feel that Liu Bei is such a great guy and become so loyal to him. Once again, Fa Zheng I can sort of understand, as he will mention that he did not really like his last master (who did not really treat him well), and he probably is grateful at the amount of trust Liu Bei give him. Also, I feel that he is not as exaggerated as the rest, in that he knows Liu Bei’s fault, and rather then the ideal of Liu Bei’s utopia, is just more interested in Liu Bei ruling. He is simply biased for the leader he choose, and that is fairly normal.

Chapter 12: Battle of Jieting
Chapter 12-X: Battle of Chencang
One random thing that I noticed: Jiang Wei can actually be really loud. Or maybe it is that guy’s voice. For some reason, when I play him, I can always hear him really clear.

Chapter 13: Battle of the Wuzhang Plains
The final battle, and you actually fight Sima Yi as the final boss. The ending cutscene is actually done really well, because Sima Yi will actually be the first to react due to the shooting star. He will be the first person to realise that Zhuge Liang is dead. I feel that what he says is really memorable- that even though he has lost the battle, it is he that wins the war. It is also of extreme significance to recall that in the end, Sima Yi is the person who won, because it is his family that ended the whole situation. Also, when he asks whether the others think they can actually carry on, he actually uses ‘Omae-tachi dake”, for some reason, that ‘dake’ really stood up for me. There seems a slight scorn in it.

The Shu route actually ends quite optimistically, as it has the survivors saying that they would do whatever they can to carry on the dreams and hopes of the other. But I just want to point out that I find the idea of Zhuge Liang’s fan being placed in the tent as if it is some sort of sacred object, or if it is watching everything on behalf of Zhuge Liang, really creepy.
Due to playing Dynasty Warriors, I decided that I will actually read the actual book, as I feel that I should actually read the actual story the game is based on. I have only read an abridged version of the story before, although I probably has heard of the story bits by bits.

I managed to find a copy of the book online and I have to say, I cannot understand why it got so famous and so well liked. Most of the time, the book is just saying that so and so is doing something, you rarely get a deeper examination of the rationale of anyone. I think the only bit where I feel it is beyond action and got emotional is when Xu Shu talked to his mother after they realised that he got tricked. That was one of the only bits where I feel the author did a show not tell. Unfortunately, that bit is only a single paragraph.

The book consists of so many character that it is the case of you blink and someone random has come out, blink again and someone just died. Now I am worried that there are some characters whose existence I did not notice as they might have came out and died in the same paragraph. Also, most of the characters come out with the assumption that you will know who they are and what happened. There are times when they come out and do something and you will then never hear from them again, because the assumption is that this is something you already know. At this point, it is thanks to playing the game and me reading Wikipedia that I was not so confused about some of the characters. For example, Fa Zheng came out and had his victory and then the next time we hear about him is Zhuge Liang saying if only he haven’t died.

The author is so pro Shu and a Zhuge Liang and Guan Yu that this is almost like a fan fiction that is written. Guan Yu is even said to have killed Cao Cao due to his death, and even possessed Lu Meng upon his death. Not to mention that the author justify Shu as really great.

Seriously, I don’t understand why the book is so famous.

Dynasty Warriors Fa Zheng character review

Full name: Fa Zheng (Hou Sei)
Style name: Xiaozhi (Kyouchoku)
For those who know Chinese or kanji, I am sure some of you will agree that almost all the characters in his name is really ironic.

Fa Zheng is introduced in Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme legends, and then continues to appear in Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires. Since I played Empire first, that is the game that I first saw him in. I believe that it is my second play through him when I saw him (and in a way, he probably remained my PC’s nemesis). At first, I just regarded him as quite an interesting character due to how he talks about vengeance and grudges. I had no idea who he is, but I can tell that he is a proper NPC, so I decided to see if I can find out a bit more (looking back, I have no idea why I did not realise that the fact that he is wearing green basically pretty much answers my question).

Fa Zheng is actually a member of Shu and I was really surprised at this. People in Shu are basically ‘good’ alignments with the whole benevolence and even though there are times when they can be hypocritical and holier-then-thou, there is no denying that they started as having good intention (whether that matches their action is another story). Pretty much the Shu group is the ‘we want to help people and create peace’, while this guy is: ‘Unless you helped me in the past, I won’t be bothered with helping you back’. Whil ehte other is more of a case of ‘Sure, I’ll lend a hand’, he is also: ‘Don’t piss me off, as I will hit you back’. So that along, is very interesting.

The real Fa Zheng is said to be a man that is very talented, but very flawed. He is said to be vindictive and hold grudges, and even abused his position in order to get payback. The game character is basically pretty much similar, although because this is dynasty warrior, he is toned down slightly, in that the issue of abusing his power is not mentioned (historically, he is said to even have used his authority to execute a few people for what happened in the past). In history, the people of Shu are obviously more flawed but in the game, they are portrayed in a very different way. Therefore, it is very interesting that they could place this character in this setting. Totally random, but his background is actually quite impressive. His family is actually quite a prestigious one, and his grandfather is a renowned scholar. He himself is said to be an intellectual too. However, it seems that his hometown is one of the places that suffered quite a bit in war, and he might have had to leave and seek refugee in another.

I personally feel that the best way to describe this is that Fa Zheng is a lawful evil character placed in a camp of good aligned characters re d&d, and by this, evil is more of selfish as opposed to selfless (good) or self-centre (neutral).

In regard to Shu, I personally feel that they are hypocritical with the exception of Liu Shan. Even though they talk about peace and benevolence, it is the sense of their version. If you don’t comply to it, then you will be labeled as evil. I basically feel that this is what they do with the other kingdoms: because they don’t agree with Shu, the people of Shu completely ignored to try and understand the other and just automatically label them as being wrong. I also feel that this is what happens in Samurai Warriors, with Hideyoshi and people like Mitsunari and Yukimura. In Dynasty Warrior 8, Ma Dai actually had a really good point when he mentions that even though Liu Bei is talking about benevolence and peace, he is actually causing war and death. However, this is never explained because after a brief fight, Ma Chao just did a 180 change and start saying how great Liu Bei and his justice is. The question that Ma Dai pointed out is actually never explained at all. As I have mentioned in my Samurai Warriors review, Hisahide had a really good point about Hideyoshi’s world where everyone smiles, it is a world where he forces everyone to smile. Also, such a world is impossible because his rivals would have lost a lot, yet the Toyotomi never admits this, they just talk about how everything is good under their rule, as if everyone should just sacrifice everything to the Toyotomi. Which is why I like Nobunaga (he is honest by admitting that he wants to unite the land by his power and will attack those in his way simple for that reason. Yet Nobunaga also admits that due to that reason, one who attack him because he is in their way would make sense too), and Ieyasu (who wants to stop this war and admits that in order to do that, there would be people who are sacrificed).

After playing part of the Shu storyline (I haven’t finished it yet), I feel that they are hypocritical and they also brought a lot of this upon themselves. The whole issue of Jiang province is definitely their fault. Sun Quan lends the land to them and it was agreed that this would be returned, but this was never done. Due to that happening, I can hardly blame Sun Quan for being pissed and deciding to attack. Also, Sun Quan actually wanted to preserve the alliance, as he would offer another marriage alliance. He will offer one of his sons to marry Guan Yu’s daughter. Among Wu, they actually said if Guan Yu agree, then they’ll stick with Shu; if not, they’ll go to Wei. Given that Sun Quan is a lord of a very prosperous region while Guan Yu is merely the sworn sibling and really subordinate of the brother of someone who is not even that powerful, Sun Quan is actually being super generous. He could have easily offered one of his subordinate’s child, or maybe a distant kin, but he actually offers his own son. Then, instead of saying something like ‘We are not good enough’ or even just something more polite, Guan Yu actually pretty much says: “You are not good enough for my kid”. Is it any wonder that Sun Quan got even more pissed?

Also, by that time Shu had their own land, it seems they immediately changed their way of behaving since they now have more power. In fact, if any one else did this, Shu would probably portray themselves as the victim with the other having no honour. Likewise, that they continue to attack others when they are not in a position to do so definitely led to their downfall. That is why Liu Shan’s surrendering is so impressive: he is willing to sacrifice what he has in order for peace to be possible. In addition, he would even bear the name of being a bad ruler, so that the others would not be blamed. It is not just the sacrifice that he is making, but that it is not even known as a sacrifice. That is probably true benevolence and a ruler that is truly thinking of what is the good of his kingdom, instead of what they think is the good of the kingdom.

Back to the character of Fa Zheng, even by himself he is an interesting character, but the context of his existence in the game then makes him all the more fascinating. He clearly believes in Liu Bei, and this is a case of “I believe that you believe it.” I don’t think that he believes in the ideal that Liu Bei have, but he does believe that Liu Bei can have the potential of being a good ruler and result in peace. Yet the thing I really like about him is that he admits that this is his own wish. Unlike good alignment characters who are often forcing their belief and ideals onto others, he is the opposite by openly admitting that he is doing it. Instead of justifying this as something that is good for everyone, he is honest by knowing that this is merely what he wants. He is doing all this for Liu Bei, not for the so said good of the world.

Another thing that I really like about Fa Zheng is that he is a character that is aware of his faults and yet is acceptant of who he is. When someone comment that he is someone who always fulfill a promise (whether it be due to revenge or gratitude), he would point out that he feels that this is human nature, before he admits that his view is probably a bit extreme. Even though he does not regard himself as wrong, he does know that he is a bit too extreme. As I said, this is an indication of him admitting his faults, yet he accepts them at the same time. In Empire, during a banquet option, his would point out that his presence in the banquet would probably worsen the mood, so he would actually drink a certain distance away from the rest. Once again, this is a sign of him showing awareness of his faults, but he is happy with who he is, as he certainly shows no desire of changing himself.

I have to admit, I probably have a personal bias for his character due to the fact that I am someone who hold grudges, so that is a flaw that I can emphsise and sympathise with. Likewise, I agree with him completely when he point out that this is human nature, although his own practice might be a bit more extreme then usual.

Fa Zheng have two important battles in Xtreme Lengeds (one is the battle where he saved Liu Bei and the other is the battle where Liu Bei wanted to attack Sun Wu after what happened with Guan Yu). In these two battles you can actually play as him and I think both battles are very revealing regarding his character. He clearly respects Liu Bei and would even risk his own life for the other (taking the arrow), yet he is able to calmly analyze the situation (which then explains how he would be misunderstood so easily. Because the rest of his ‘team’ is so emotional, one who does not would probably be regarded as indifferent). In what happened when Liu Bei attack Sun Wu (the battle at Yiling) after Guan Yu’s death, he would actually calmly tell the other to calm down first, and that he would give the other a strategy when the other has calmed down. The interesting thing is that his tone is not that one of reverence or concern, but that of a sigh. When you are making it clear that you don’t want to get involved in an argument and so would walk way. Upon talking to the soldiers in the camp, some of them would comment that Fa Zheng seems to be enjoying himself, which I do not believe is true at all. However, I then feel that it makes sense if he is not as upset as the rest, because there is no indication that he was close with the others. Therefore, the extent of his grief might be at a more impersonal base, as opposed to some of the others. In that aspect, Fa Zheng does show a slight arrogance given that he pretty much just tell his ruler to ‘go and take a few deep breath’ and then walk away with a ‘I’ll talk to you after you done that’.

Apparently, the real Fa Zheng is said to have great influence on Liu Bei (which is why his abuse of power is never punished. That alone, is quite revealing of Liu Bei’s character). In addition, Zhuge Liang is said that had Fa Zheng been alive during the battle of Yiling (which Shu had a disaster loss) then Fa Zheng would have been able to stopped Liu Bei or prevent them from losing. KOEI’s take on the what if of this battle is quite interesting, because they actually have Fa Zheng letting Liu Bei attack, only to come up with a strategy for them to win. I think a main difference between Fa Zheng and many members of Shu is that unlike them, who does what Liu Bei wishes, Fa Zheng actually thinks of what Liu Bei needs, even if that might be contrary to his wish. Although the battle of Yiling then shows that if he can, he will try to combine this. In the game, Zhuge Liang actually says that the battle of Yiling is a really bad idea, yet he lets Liu Bei do it, whereas Fa Zheng actually get Liu Bei to calm down a bit, before he let him to it in a way that has a chance of winning.

I really like the character of Fa Zheng and he is a very interesting addition to the Shu fraction. Not only is he different from the rest by being openly vindictive and selfish, he is honest about this. As mentioned early, the real Fa Zheng died when he was pretty young (in his 40s), so we don’t know what would have happened had he lived during Liu Shan’s rule and whether history might have changed due to this. I think in history, if he had been alive, then he might have received a similar amount of power to Zhuge Liang, but I feel that in the game, this would not have happened. I think he would have continued to serve Shu because that is Liu Bei’s kingdom, and he does respect Liu Bei greatly. However, since Zhuge Liang and Jiang Wei continued to fight wars when the kingdom could barely take it, I am not sure what his reaction would be. I feel that since Liu Bei is no longer there, and if the others continue to refuse his suggestions, then he might actually really just pack his bags and leave. Partly due to the fact that it is Liu Bei that is the special one to him, and also because he does not seem someone that is so focused on peace. Peace is preferable, but I do not think he is the type to openly try to work for it. But had he stayed, I don’t know how he could have reacted to Liu Shan’s surrender and this is due to the same reason as above: I don’t feel that he is as dominated and motivated by peace. It would certainly be an interesting concept.

It is almost surprising that he is not working for Cao Cao, as he seem to fit in there more then with Shu. There is also the fact that Cao Cao emphasise talent regardless of the person’s flaw or their past, while Shu is very focus on the idea of honour. It is said that later on, Zhuge Liang actually focus on having people who have more good character then talent, which is why that even though Shu would have officials that are full of justice and honour, who truly tries to act for the good of the kingdom, the amount of people who are talented is less as opposed to the other two kingdoms. It is then very ironic because Fa Zheng is the perfect example of how you can have someone who is very flawed but talented (after all, this guy is said to abuse his power to get his own revenge). On the other hand, maybe it is what Fa Zheng did that caused Zhuge Liang to be cautious. However, popular legend goes that Cao Cao is supposed to have been really surprised that he did actually recruit Fa Zheng. So the funny thing is that in ambition mod, if Fa Zheng meets Cao Cao, the latter will say that Fa Zheng is really talented, and ask if he wants to come and work for him. Unfortunately, KOEI did not write a reply, but that would certainly be interesting.

Dynasty Warriors does give character weird weapons (Ma Dai’s brush), so the fact that his weapon is this piece of cloth is actually not that strange). At the very least, he is not at the very top of the list, probably somewhere around the middle. Also, given his character and personality, the cloth is probably layered with wire and covered with poison. Also, the way that the cloth is often drawn as being open and flat kind of makes it appear like a scroll more. In fact, when I first saw him, I actually thought that his weapon was a scroll, like Tamamo in Orochi, so I actually thought that the idea is pretty cool. In one of his musou attack, the animation almost seem as if he is unrolling a scroll, so instead of thinking it as a cloth, I kind of still see it as a scroll.

Overall, I am really impressed with his character. Not only is the character done really well, it is also thanks to him that KOEI did something that I did not thought was possible: I am really interested in Shu’s route because I want to see more of him. I think in that aspect, he is an extremely successful character.

Now, a picture of the character, taken from the official website, which also includes a brief description of him.

I quite like the description because that it actually summarized the most important aspect in regard to him really well. However, even though at a first glance, he does seem without moral, I think that is not quite true, just that his sense of moral is very different. After all, his idea of paying back a debt is his moral principals, and he does follow them. That is why I feel that his alignment (re D&D) will actually be lawful evil, because he does have a strong sense of law (just that the law he follow might not be the one that everyone follow). I think it is the case of his law might be a bit different. Most of the time he does not care, but because he does have a few that he regard as law that he have to follow, that is why he is a lawful character. I know that it might be a bit strange to say that someone who abused his powers in order to settle personal debt is lawful, but I feel that this is because he feels that avenging himself is the more important law/rule that he has to follow.

Because Fa Zheng is a character that only comes out in Xtreme Lgends, so this means that his only official portrait is the 15th anniversary art book. This is the said picture and I quite like it (for a while, it was my wallpaper on my phone). I probably do over think and overanalyze when I like something/someone, but I feel that this picture is quite to his character. He is a strategist/tactician, and I think to be more precise, he is a military one. It was said that even though he was very good at coming up with strategies in a battle, he was not so good at governing. But the picture shows him with soldiers, but he is standing some distance away, which can indicate how he did not quite fit in with the rest.

I am pretty sure that there are many other character that wears glove, but the way the picture is drawn seems to emphasise this, because one of his hands is bare while the other one is gloved. He could be either be putting the gloves on or taking it off, but I think it is more likely to be the former. I feel that if he is taking them off, then he can have the other gloves in his hand, because taking them off would not be as hard as putting them on, you can easily have something else in your hand even as you tug the glove off. However, you are more likely to not hold the spare glove in your hand if you are in the process of putting your gloves on, as that would be more difficult. The fact that he is standing with soldiers and is in the process of putting the gloves on then make me feel that this how the artist is reminding us that he is about to participate in a battle where he would be dong something that is cruel, the gloves being a symbol of this (ie.to prevent blood on his hand, the gloves the reminder how his hand would soon be dirty). Of course, this can just be me over analyzing, because maybe that is just the way he likes to take his gloves off.

I was actually looking at the dynasty warrior page in TV trope and his character has quite a few interesting ones.

Disproportionate retribution: in his character song, the verses would even start with him saying that he would repay any debt or not forget any grudge, regardless of how small they might be

Evil is Petty: this is a particular interesting because the writer actually says that even though they would not quite exactly use the word evil to describe him, ‘he’s certainly quite sinister compared to the rest of his idealistic faction’. That basically just summarized his position in the game and the Shu fraction really well.

The friend nobody likes: this is true because even though he is seen as someone that is very capable, he is clearly not very popular. The camp conversations show this really well. Some would say that they feel he is sinister and is afraid of him, while other would comment that they feel Zhao Yun and Xingcai are only working with him because they have to. Later on, some soldier would even comment that he seems to be the only one that is enjoying himself in regard to the revenge. I feel that his cutscene also have him acknowledge this, because he says that he have a plan, but he will ask Zhao Yun and Xingcai whether they are actually able to listen to it. However, there is one soldier that actually is the opposite, saying that he trust Fa Zheng. But what I like about Fa Zheng is that he is aware of these faults/aspects of him and how he is seen, but he himself could actually care less.

Makes us even: the idea that this is a positive side with his obsession with grudges and settling accounts.

Manipulative bastard: this is the one that I really cannot agree with, because I don’t feel that he is actually manipulative with the exception of his strategies. TV trope and another side I have seen say that he is the one that encourages Liu Bei and the children of Guan Yu and Zhang Fei to revenge but I do not feel that this is the case. As we can see, everyone is basically set on avenging already. In fact, he did the very opposite by telling Liu Bei to calm down first.

Revenge: obviously, this is his character.

This is unforgivable: this link to the character or revenge, and one of the first things I remember him saying is him being angry at being caught in a trap, and he will say the following: “Don’t they know that I hold grudges?” Also, TV trope mentions that his dying words seem like a curse of vengeance. I think it is this one: “Don’t think that my death means you’ve escaped my wrath.” (On a light side, I think if he ever has a daughter then her husband would have to be a pretty brave man, because he would be one scary father-in-law. The moment you mistreat his daughter then he would probably devote everything to make sure that you are punished, and the scary part is that he is definitely able to pull if off. To make things worse, he would be very biased as well. He would probably not care whether something is socially alright, or even if the fault might have lied with the other as well, or that is was unintentional, or even if it is trivial).

The smart guy: I think this is definitely the case, and more importantly, if he seems something stupid, he is not going to do it, he would point it out.

Taking the bullet: relates to how he got shot due to shielding Liu Bei. The game just show him acting just out of instinct, which I think is an indication of how he truly does care for Liu Bei. However, the history behind this is quite interesting. Apparently Liu Bei was in the battle and despite being shot at, he refused to retreat. At this, Fa Zheng will step out and be exposed to the arrows as well. Liu Bei will tell him to go back and hide, but Fa Zheng will say something along the line of how can he do it if Liu Bei, his master, is not going? At this, Liu Bei will reluctantly agree to hide in safety. I think the original story is part calculation because Fa Zheng wants to get Liu Bei out of harms way, but since he already see the other refusing to listen, this is probably the only way he can achieve this.

Token Evil Teammate: TV trope will point out that he is ‘the first questionably moral character of Shu’. That is true, because while he is not evil-evil, he is definitely selfish.
I know that the numbering of the game is different regarding the English and the Japanese version, but since the game that I play is the English version, I will have to use the number that is actually on the copy of the game.

First of all, I know that the story is based on Chinese history and I think that this is why the translation uses the English spelling of the Chinese names, which makes sense. The only problem is that as someone who is actually Chinese and speaks the language, some of the ways the names are spelt is almost painful. As always, my case rest with Cao Pi/SouHi. I honestly don’t know why Cao is the version used. To be honest, the word sounds more like a ‘ts’ in my version. This then remind me of how in Disney’s Mulan, they actually gives her the last name of Fa, when the words actually sound more like Hua (much easier to spell). Although that is probably more of an extreme case, because I think they use the Cantonese version instead of the Chinese one. So, my main point is that because I don’t like the Chinese spelling, I tend to use the Japanese version when I talk about it in the past, because that is the version that I hear being said in the clips (as I tend to watch the Japanese voicing). Which led to an accusation that I am being racist once. Which is kind of hypocritical, because the game is made by Japanese, so how am I racist by using the actual names that are said in the game? Also, I am talking more of the characters in the game, not the actual historical/literary figure. When I do that, I would use the actual Chinese spelling that they are more known.

But one of the problems is that because Chinese is a language that is really difficult in being Latinized, and there was a time when this Latinized procedure is not done well or even regulated. For example, my dad and his brother actually have their identical Chinese last name spelt in English in a different way, because when my dad first went overseas and applied for a passport, they went: “We’ll spell your last name this way” and when my uncle, his brother went, they decided: “Actually, we will spell it this way instead, but your brother can still use that version of the last name.” And it is a language that is really hard to translate all the sound.

However, due to playing the game quite a bit (and then writing a fan fiction) I actually got quite used to the Latinized Chinese version. Not only did I start to see more of the Latinized spelling, I also reached to a stage in my writing when I feel that by using the Japanese names, everyone’s last name is sounding familiar, and so I am in danger of losing track. As a result, I will just use the Chinese version in ABC.

On the other hand, I still refuse to listen to the English voicing. It is just not done as well as the Japanese one. On top of that, there are actually a lot of the seiyuu that I like who are in the game (just to name a few: Fish-san, Kuwashima Houko, Toriumi) When I played Empire, the game was already in Japanese, but when I played the actual game, it was in English and I was at a stage of thinking: “I am just going to have to play this game on mute, because I cannot do it in English voicing”. However, I then tried to search online for a solution and luckily, you can actually have the Japanese voicing as an additional download. Much to my surprise, KOEI actually gives you 3GB of voicing for free. The thing is, however, I would have brought it regardless of the price. I was at the stage of being ready to charge to the nearest supermarket and buy a PS4 card for the sake of the DLC.

So I first played the empire version and I think the character design/outfit for your original PC is done so much better as opposed to samurai warriors. There is so much more choice. Also, the tiny details are amazing: my PC’s hair actually sways.

The dynasty warrior empire (at least this one) is actually more difficult then the samurai warriors and this is probably my own fault for not reading the tutorial carefully (I am the dumb person who wondered around without being aware of how the elements of your weapon will affect a fight and how use strategies). Which could be why I ended up losing in a decisive battle.

This is just a brief talk of what happened in my play through

Round 1: Ruri
Weapon: Xu Shu’s sword and hook (not to mention that this weapon is super powerful, it also looks really nice, because of the red tassels. Since this is my first play through I decided that is would be good is I have a weapon that is quite easy to use).
Time period: shortly before Jin’s raise to power, where the original three kingdoms is pretty much ending.

I quickly moved to the area that Sima Yi is and after finishing a quest with Sima Zhao, the latter actually came and invited me to serve in the kingdom. Soon after, Sima Zhao actually confesses to my character. I honestly had no idea why he did that, because my character did not even spend that much time with him, but actually talks to Sima Shi more (yeah, that is my plan. This is the fulfillment of a fan girl). After the rejection, Sima Shi will actually confess to the PC and upon agreeing, there is the cut scene for marriage. The interesting thing is that Sima Yi will then offer to become sworn siblings with the PC. Since that happened, I then decided to integrate my PC into the family even more by having her become the sworn sibling with Sima Zhao. In a way, isn’t that quite cruel?

I actually intended to be very loyal to Sima Yi and serve him and help him to conquer the kingdom (After all, he is the PC’s father-in-law and the PC is married to the heir). However, due to not doing well in one battle, I lost to Jiang Wei and he actually ended up taking all the lands I conquered for Sima Yi. My PC along with the three Sima families then are forced to became vagabonds again. At this, I then decided to go and serve Jiang Wei and prepare my evil plan…

MY PC then worked for Jiang Wei for a while, and I admit, this is personal due to the fact that he only had a little bit of land but due to me losing just one battle, all of the lands that I have (which was quite a bit) are suddenly his. So, I waited till I pretty much conquered the majority of the land and decided to rebel, because I want to know when id o that, would I actually get just my region, or the majority of the land.

After the rebellion (which I took back the land I conquered in the first place) I actually ended up having all the lands that was previously on the said kingdom, and only had one particular land left. Upon this was done, I ended up completing the game.

Round 2: Hime
Weapon: iron fans (I think this is either Xiaoqiao or Daqiao’s old weapons and since I actually liked using Daqiao’s weapon in Orochi, I decided to go for this).
Additional note: totally crazy but in the game, you can actually have a children with your spouse. The game will suddenly say that your child is born and they ask you to name them. In addition the game will cutomize their appearance and gives them a voice (I think the first part depends on your appearance) but the second part seems random.). In addition, they will use the same weapon as the parent of their gender. I think the gender depends on which character you are playing, the character you choose in the very beginning. So female get daughters, while males get sons.
Time period: some time during the battle of Chibi. This is rather ironic in that this means the child is in the time frame when her mother and father were most likely not born yet.

In this game I worked for Wei and unlike last time, I was absolutely loyal. In fact, my character even got offered the throne by Cao Cao many times, but refused.

I started the game wanting my character to get married to Cao Pi but it was simply not possible for him to join my character. Therefore, I decided to give up (even though I actually spent a lot of bonus point to buy his weapons). I was going to choose Guo Jia but upon seeing how sweet Li Dian is, my PC confessed to him, resulting in them marrying. I have to say, that guy is really sweet in the way he react upon seeing the PC helping him, in addition to his praise of the PC.

It is in this game when I ended up keep meeting Fa Zheng. It is actually his appearance that really made me want to become the ruler. When you are the ruler, you can decide what to do with the prisoners, but if you are not, then your ruler will be the one that decides. What happen is that Fa Zheng will attack me and then we will beat him in battle, but Cao Cao will just let him go, and then he will return to attack again. In fact, this guy did not agree to work with me until we pretty much only have one region left. (It is quite funny but I wanted to get my PC to marry him to see how he would behave in battle with her, but as it was impossible to recruit that guy, I just decided to let her marry Li Dian. So that could have been some sort of a fan fiction)

Round 3: Kagami
Weapon: flute (Zhenji)
Time period: I think an even earlier period then the above

I actually ended up starting the game in the region that Fa Zheng and his lord worked in, in fact, they were the ones that came out in the beginning. My PC then married him and then decides to raise their own banner and become a kingdom themselves. However, doing this turned out to be harder think I think. I pretty much stopped playing because I ended up playing the main game, but I do plan to finish it by raising my own banner and create my own kingdom from scratch (as oppose to receiving it from the lord, or taking it from them). But I might actually play through the game by having Fa Zheng as the main character.

Asaki Yumemishi- additional thoughts

I replayed Rurou’s route in the second game because I want to see if I understand a bit more and because I want to drool at Hosoya-san’s voice. One of my favourite bits in the whole game is actually when he tells her and Takatora that it is the full moon. I just love that bit. But because of that, I ended up replaying part of the first game and I have to say…why on earth did I not notice how scary the game is when I played it? There were actually moments when I wanted to close the game as it was suddenly really scary.

In one of the bad endings, Saiya will be killed by Ichito and prior to that she would have a nightmare that is a bit like a premonition of what would soon happen. The way that the screen would be splattered with blood and then with the PC describing what happened in short sentences, rather, short words. Like this: “My feet…it hurts…what is it…no…go away…”

As each word is quick to appear and immediately replaced by the next, along with the flashing screen that is already covered with blood, the overall effect is really scary. They really convey how the scared PC must have had been. It didn’t help that we only get a brief moment of thinking that it is okay before Ichito come and killed her. And seeing him through the screen dyed by blood with his evil smile is super scary.

His other bad ending is really scary too. In one of it, he’ll capture the PC and place her under a spell. Due to the way the screen would distort in its colour, it has a really scary affect. As you are seeing, but not quite seeing. Put into context with how the PC can no longer move and is basically a toy to Ichito…it is enough to make you want to close the game due to being afraid at what would come out next.

In conclusion…do not play at night time.

But I am still really pissed at how they never quite explained Ichito’s story. Namely, the relationship with Futaba. Because from the hints, it is actually a really fascinating story. And given what had happened between them, you would think that they could at least let him see her one last time. Well, even her gender is not specific but it seems a feminine name. As I said before, I think she is his sister, as he talks about family member more then romantic love. Although now that I think about it, when Aya tell him that he is going to the underworld to welcome her back like a father for the mother, I suddenly realise that isn’t this a really good comparison to the story of Izanami and Izanagi? The crazy idea of this then come: could it be that this is the specific comparison? That Ichito and Futaba are siblings, yet lovers. Because that could be an explanation of why they committed their crime. Also, there is many implication of how he fell from the right path. That could be why and it might also be this that caused them to commit even more crime. Initially, I always thought the right path was just his attempt of challenging the gods, but maybe it goes beyond that.
I swear that my liking for characters is getting more and more cynical. Samurai Warriors is a really good example as I like people who are willing to do what is necessary for survival (Eg.Masamune) and I dislike people who goes on about an ideal and all that (eg. The justice trio). In the past, I would be the opposite. Although I like Motochika, but then he is willing to put aside what he wants to do in order to do what is necessary for his people. But even he didn’t, I don’t think I would dislike him, and I think the reason would be because he is willing to admit that his ideals would cause harm to many. I hope that they do Samurai Warriors 5 (it is also due to a very selfish reason that if Nouhime or Koshoushou have a nice out fit then I can cosplay as them). Much to my surprise, I actually really like Koshoushou. Yes, I don’t like her design re the hair, but her character is written that well, so that I don’t care about her hairstyle, I still like her.

But if they do a fifth game, the character that I most want to see the most is Chousokabe Morichika. Motochika’s fourth son who ended up being the head of the clan. Not only is there the issue of how he ended up being the heir, he is also someone who had very prominent role in the battle of Osaka. Apparently, he did super well in that last battle and would have killed Takatora if his allied didn’t end up being in trouble. Also, he was exiled after Seikigahara. I think it would be interesting to see his view- how he felt being the heir and then how he would have felt given that he was exiled from the province that his family managed to keep when his father was the one that actually managed to conquer the whole island.

The second person that I want to see is Megohime, because she and Masamune were married when they were really young, so it would be interesting to see their relationship and interaction. Also, since they married so young, it would not be unreasonable for her to come out beside Masamune, who is portrayed as someone very young in the games.

In regard to the game, there is actually a special game that is made for Yukimura that is ked to last year’s Taiga drama (and am super glad they did not have Kiri in it). From the review I have seen of it, I can safely say that I would not buy it. Firstly, I have never really liked Yukimura much and in the fourth game, I feel that he is just this selfish person who want to do what he wants without thinking of the consequences, and to make it worse, any that does not agree with this he would simply label them as wrong, including his own brother. As I have said before, my feelings in regard Yukimura and the battle of Osaka is what Magoichi said in the third game, it is time to grant him his death wish.

But in the fifth game, there is this whole focus on Yukimura and Chacha, and it almost seems as if the whole reason he is doing this is not for the Toyotomi, but for Chacha. This I don’t really mind because I feel that even in the original game, it was never so much about the Toyotomi, but just whatever Yukimura wishes. The idea of honour due to the action, not so much the purpose. So if his actions are due to Chacha, that would not be so surprising.

But one thing about the fifth game that really put me off is that this whole thing seems to be due to Chacha, that she seem to be this Mary Sue. To be honest, this should not be surprising, because I feel that Oichi has always been darting in that category. I feel that due to the way everybody love Oichi and speak of her in such a way, it almost makes her a Mary Sue. The fact that she is not is truly something that KOEI did really well, as they did manage to achieve this delicate balance. However, I think what made Chacha into this is that there is this whole idea of protecting her with the Toyotomi when in the game, she has pretty much nothing to do with the Toyotomi. Historically, Chcha/Yodo-dono is the mother of Hideyoshi’s only son, and this is the guy that you always have to fight in the battle of Osalka. Protecting Chacha links to the survival of the Toyotomi because she is the mother of the remaining heir of Hideyoshi. Therefore, the others are protecting her because of her son, her son being the child of Hideyoshi. Before, this has always been something that KOEI sort of ignored, because even though we know that Hideyoshi did not have any children with Nene but Hideyoshi had a son, obviously with another, this was never specifically said. Likewise, Nobunaga obviously had sons with other woman, but the sons are just present without any concubines, as Nouhime is the only wife. The sons are just always present as the other’s son without their mother being mentioned in anyway, they are just there.

However, by having Chacha actually present, this is not something that can just be ignored. KOEI basically had to make a choice and they actually choose to idealise history by not mentioning that Chacha became Hideyoshi’s concubines. Yes, Hideyoshi would look after her because she is Oichi’s daughter and Nobunaga’s niece, and that was actually the excuse that he used before he married her. However, it did not make sense if he did not marry her and she did not have his children, that the rest of his clan continue to look after her in such an important way after Hideyoshi is gone. Instead, the game pretty much made it as if she is the cause of everything, that battle of Osaka results in protecting her. This does not make sense because by this point, I doubt that Chacha could actually threaten Ieyasu’s rule, and even if for some reason it does, it does not make sense for the rest of the Toyotomi to protect her in such a way.

Speaking of this, it is necessary to mention Kai-hime and the discussion in regard to this. Historically, Kaihime actually becomes one of Hideyoshi’s concubine, and this does not seem to be the case in the game. In the game, it seems that she just simply choose to work for the Toyotomi due to her own reason. My take on this is that she probably married one of Hideyoshi’s relatives or his higher ranked retainers. Yes, this is the same as idealised history, but Kaihime not being Hideyoshi’s concubine does not matter as much as Chacha not being the concubine. As I have seen this being pointed out in reviews, Kaihime’s main importance in history is that she was the one that defended her city heroically. This is the legend that is associated with Kaihime. In addition, she did not give Hideyoshi any children, so whether she becomes his concubine or not actually would not result in any drastic changes in history. Chacha, however, is pretty much important for being the one that actually gives Hideyoshi sons (one died in his infancy) and this is important because it is this that influenced Hideyoshi’s numerous actions.

Martyr syndrome

I must first mention that this is not a reference to real martyrs, who are amazing people that truly fights for their belief and faith, but for people who thinks that they are one when they are not. This is referring to those people who keep on complaining that they are the only one who does all the work and how they are never acknowledged. I am sure that we all, at one stage of our life or the other, have met one of these people.

The reason I ended up discovering is this was due to me goggling ‘people who think they are a martyr’ and this is due to the last manager who I worked with (the one who caused me to have a depression). This is because she basically keep on going on about how she is doing more work and that to train me is a big sacrifice, and keeping me is a great sacrifice. I am the first to admit that I am not the best worker, but I am certainly not someone who deserve to be constantly put down and mentally beaten up. I remember once I was trying to talk to her about the fact that the work load is getting to an insane level (my work hours were 9am to 6pm and by NZ law, you actually should have an hour break. However, I was ending up working from 9am to 7pm, with only a half hour break). I can’t remember exactly what happened but I think she was saying that I should give more, so I told her that I am already sacrificing a lot, such as there are expenses I don’t claim for myself because the red tape is not worth it. At this, she immediately talk about how she doesn’t (because no one is allowed to suffer something she is not).

So due to me goggling I ended up finding that this is an actual mental illness, and this is pretty much my manager does. She love talking about the sacrifices she made for the company and doing a poor me. So it seems that I am not the only one with mental problem in that department. I am much better now since working with her is basically pretty much what triggered me to feel depressed, so removing myself from that situation helps, but there are still a lot of times when I feel really bad.

But this entry is not about this. I had a read about the martyr syndrome and it is pretty interesting. Well, interesting as in the sense of making you (if you have worked with one) connect the dots.

Definition: Person with martyr syndrome puts everyone else’s need above his or her own so that he or she can suffer for the sake of others and thus give his or her life meaning. However, people with martyr syndrome often suffer needlessly while expecting those around them to shower them with affection because of their sacrifice.


  • The person often complains that their selflessness goes unacknowledged. Feel their sacrifices are under appreciated.

  • Often talk about how difficult life is as they sacrifice so much for others.

  • Person often remind people they make sacrifice and that they deserve acknowledgement and appreciation. Any slight display of attitude that they regard as less then respectful will be seen as insult. The person will get offended easily.

  • Person often talk highly of themselves and talk about themselves as one who choose to sacrifice for a noble cause.

  • Person expects everyone to shower her with sympathy. Want their sacrifice to be admired.

  • Will refuse assistance or deem help received as insignificant. Emphasise they are the one to bear the burden

  • Have little or no life outside work. Often the last one to leave

  • People with the symptom believe that the company will crumble without them.

As I look at this, I can see a lot of the symptom that my last manager had and I wish that I noticed these red flags earlier. The truth is that there were a lot of other signs that I should have picked up. Such as when she said (with great pride) about how her management style is that of a micromanager. But I didn’t actually know that micromanagement meant until I ended up getting a first hand experience in regard to it. Prior to that, I have never been that situation.

If you have the misfortune of working with one, I would like to offer this advice that I saw on the net: when they talk about how they sacrifice everything for work, remember that this is not the norm. You should not be sacrificing your for your work unless maybe this is your company, but even then, there should be a limit. I know that this seems obvious, but the problem when you work with someone so toxic like that for a long time is that you often forget what the norm is. In my last job, I was at the stage when I felt bad at leaving at six (my actual time where I finish work) when this is actually the norm.


Samurai Warriors 4: Chronicle events

This is in 4 and not 4-II which I think is a bit of a pity, because I really like this. At the very least, I wished that they would give a special downloadable context for Naomasa, since he was the additional character in 4-II. I would even be willing to pay for it.

The idea of the chronicle event is that you play as an original PC, and you actually get to create their appearance. This bit is quite fun because you can choose the costume, the hairstyle, and even the facial experience. Since this is Sengoku Musou, you even get to pick their kanji for true musou. I also like the family emblem being a decoration that you can have. (I started of as Saitou, although my next PC then was from the Chousokabe clan). Unfortunately, this is only a decoration, it won’t result in any acknowledgment from the relevant members of the clan. (In empire, they even one-up this by letting you have the ability to choose who your father is, although there was no reaction either).

Basically the PC start of taking a commission from one of the regional lords, and this really just affect cut scene and where you start off on the map. All the leaders would ask you to travel across the country and collect stories of the heroes. Depending on who you choose, the reason would be different, and it would also affect where you start off on the map. As you travel across the map, you will bump into characters in the game and often have to fight. Once they reach a certain amount of affection for you, you can take them with you as you fight. Each character has 4 cut scenes, and in general you get two different options in each scene.

I picked Masamune, so I quickly met him and Kojuurou, along with Kanetsugu and Kenshin. So it was quite easy for me to travel downwards and meet new people.

For many characters, the fourth cutscene reflect in some sort of declaration, although you could still face them in battle. But this bit was done quite well, because what they say when they encounter you would actually be different. Masamune would comment that he does not need this additional feeling, which clearly means that he is affected. Nouhime would tell you that she won’t hold back even if it is you. But the one that I remember the most is actually Sasaki Kojirou, as he will say (quite sadly) that this must be what it feels like to cut down someone you care about.

I think there are two ways to advance to the next/final phase. You either unlock all the four events of the playable samurai warriors characters (people like Masamune, Nouhime etc), or you unlock the biographies of the NPC (which is much harder). Chances are, the first way would be easier and quicker. Once that happen, you can return to where you started of and the said person would give you a final battle. Afterwards, you get a final cut scene.

I have to say, with the exception of Masamune, everyone else kind of just go “Good night and thank you”. For some people they even point out that you probably are really eager to continue your wandering. Masamune is the only person who actually offers you employment.

One of the really good part about chronicle is that regardless of which fraction you start of with, the moment that you finish, you unlock all the cut scenes of the other fractions, so you don’t have to restart the whole thing to see what it would be like if you had accept a commission from another fraction. I find the ending cut scene for Shikoku very interesting, because it is in two parts. The PC will say goodbye to Gracia and Mitsuhide, and then goes to find Motochika playing his shamisen, who tells her that everyone have their different song and just as she will continue travel, he will continue playing his shamisen.

As there are a lot of character, I am not going to talk about their events one-by-one, I’ll just talk about specific ones that interest me. I also use she and her for my PC, since I played a female character. The list is in no particular order.

A small side note, I am aware that mochi, steamed bun and manjou are different things, but due to this being quite hard to convey in English and the fact that I can’t remember exactly what translation was used, there might be a slight inconsistency at times.

At the beginning, Yukimura would actually be a bit ‘blond’, as that is the only word I can think of to describe him, although the PC uses odd. Yukimura would try to look for his headband even though it was on him, say he can hold his drink and then pass out after one cup. Later on, Nobuyuki would tell the PC that there are times when he can’t tell which is the real Yukimura. Afterwards, the PC will ask Yukimura about this and if you ask him whether his previous behaviour were an act, he would say that this is because he thought the PC like someone a bit odd. But if you just ask tell him that you want to see the real Yukimura, he would say that this is who he is. Regardless of what you choose, he would declare that he like you. Initially, I just thought that this was a classic case of the guy trying to be the type that the girl want, but my sister point out that it could be a deeper psychological issue. I think she is probably more right then me.

Nobunaga’s events are quite interesting, and I think they give a more detailed insight to his character. The PC will meet Nobunaga during a failed assassination attempt (by others) and his reaction is actually to laugh about it. He would say: “Laugh at the chaos before us, even as we trample and destroy it.” He definitely is someone that wants to put an end to this chaos, just that he believes that it has to be done by power.

In the next event, the PC will meet him during a festival and he will use this as an extended metaphor: “This whole world is a festival. When that passion dies, it will mark its end. So we must have fun! If we must live, then we must make the festival enjoyable. I wait for the coming of one such as this. If they appear, then I shall die, and they shall live.” Not only does this show his character, his determination to do what he wants, it also shows his acceptance of losing what he has. I think it is the idea that everything is fleeting, and he knows that one day he will lost what he has. I always think of how he would walk back to the burning temple in Honnoji, even when some of the versions suggest that he actually has a chance of leaving. There is a sense of he knows that it is time to end it, and he would choose it to be this very moment.

In the third event, the PC would talk about how Nobunaga has been making many enemies. Nobunaga will comment that he does not wish to hold back, as doing so would be like living without value, meaning that he would also die without this. Shibata will tell the PC that Nobunaga is like that, always charging his way forward, even if it will cause danger, and his retainers feel that they have no choice but to follow him. Shibata would actually say that Nobunaga’s reign would probably be quite short, as well as commenting that Nobunaga is always acting alone. This is actually true because ultimately, Nobunaga is merely doing what he wants. Even though a part of him does also want to end the chaos, I think a large part of this is motivated by his own desire, not so much in a desire to create a better world.

Nobunaga’s final event is very interesting. He will actually tell the PC that she is beautiful and he wants her to be right beside him. This is almost like a love declaration, I think this is what he feels toward Nouhime.

Magoichi is probably the only guy that has his event dependent on your PC’s gender. If you are a female, he basically tires to flirt with you every time he can, but is constantly interrupted. In the final cut scene, he’ll even yell out that he knows someone is going to interrupt him, so they might as well get it over with.

Takeda Shingen
At first, he’ll get the PC to be one of his spies (what the guy is famous for), only to declare out that he will join her in the travel, as he is only a body double. The two of them would create a code. But one day, when the PC watches the real Takeda Shingen speak, he will sudden do the code, revealing that the PC has met the real person all along. I do find the ending quite cute.

Once again, I want to point out that he is the only leader who actually asks the PC to stay with him. This is not fully related, but I want to point this out.

Masamune’s route focuses on the idea of family. It will start with him looking at two brothers riding on one horse, saying that they will make good soldiers. Later on, he’ll ask the PC what she thinks about one’s parents.

In the third event, he’ll tear off a scroll/painting and give half of it to the PC and keep the other half. As the painting is quite expensive, she would examine some sort of a shock. At this, he would say the following: “Any thing with form eventually breaks. Be it a scroll, a tea cup, anything. There are many things that are far more important. Yet people become fixated on objects. This is the nature of man, I suppose…yet isn’t it also sad? If this bonds us together more strongly, I don’t care what it costs.” I do find this event really sweet, although I can’t help but to wonder: did he say this if he accidentally broke some thing valuable of Kojuurou’s?

The final scene has him watching the two brothers riding on one horse again. The PC would say the following: “Masamune had a loud quick temper, but was actually very emotional, and wanted peace more than anyone. More than anything, he was desperate for the love of family.” After this, the two of them would ride one horse together, just like the two brothers. Depending on what the PC choose, Masamune might even ask her whether she is trying to imitate the two brothers, and then comment that if she does consider her as his family, then she better hold on.

I don’t fully get Nouhime’s route, but she will talk about how with Nobunaga, there are times when she feel that she is losing herself, having changed a lot due to him. It is actually because of this that made me wonder whether Hanbei’s words of how Nouhime was changed so drastically by Nobunaga is accurate.

Hattori Hanzou
At one of the earlier cut scenes, he would be instructing one of Ieyasu’s sons. Most likely the third, as he is called Saburou. However, in his final cut scene, Saburou has been ordered to die. I don’t know if this is meant to reflect what happened with his first son, who Nobunaga ordered to die due to Nobunaga’s daughter (Ieyasu’s daughter-in-law) having accused them of being traitors, or whether this is due to something else. But I choose to let my PC be the one that does it, and Hattori Hanzou would say that he can never forget this, even as he wiped the blood off her face.

Mitsunari’s event really show how is he is someone nice, but due to not being good at expressing his feelings, seems otherwise. However, the chronicle events end quite nicely for him, because he will ask the PC to stay with him, even hugging her. He would be able to create a town where everyone is happy, as that is one of his dreams. But I think the chronicle event show that if you get a chance to know him, then he is pretty decent, as he is considerate of the PC’s feeling.

My thoughts: “The mochi is round, it is really round”, and “Ginchiyo is this kind of person?” I think her events are something that needs to be seen to be appreciated…

At one point, Kanetsugu would say that Masamune invited him to a tea ceremony with the intention of mocking him since he knew Kanetsugu does not know the necessary manners. Therefore, he will take the PC with him, and imitate what the PC does. If the PC does not do it correctly, Kanetsugu will actually accidentally break Masamune’s cup, causing Masamune to yell out that the cup is really expensive (But Masamune, what about the scroll you ripped in two? And didn’t you say that all things that have a form eventually break and people shouldn’t become fixed on them?)

Fuma Kotorou
His route is basically him finding a new dog, and that is actually what he says in the game. He describes the PC as a puppy. At one of his events, he is even looking after a dog, saying he just can’t abandon it. His final event has him saying that he will continue to watch over her until she dies. If this is anyone else other then him then it will be the case of “Stalker…”

I still find it hard to believe that he is voiced by Hiyama-san too, and this is actually still Hiyama-san using the same voice (although this is quite like Hikitsu in Genbu Kaiden and Tachibana in Love Revolution). Totally random but there is a scene in one of the life drama where Hiyama-san will imitate Motochika and Imagawa’s voice.

Motochika’s route involve the idea of how this is a dangerous time, where you have to trust no one, as anyone could lie to you. He will say this in the beginning: Doubt everything, and resist everything. The only thing you can rely on, in the end, is yourself.” I am actually really surprised that he did not once mention Mitsuhide, or have the other coming out.

It starts with him tricking an enemy into letting his guard down due to disguising he and his men as member of a feast. To illustrate his point further, he will offer the PC a red bean bun that is actually filled with chilli. If she tries to eat it, Goemon would. But if she refuses, Motochika would reveal what it is, then eat it, reminding her that she need to be careful. This event is a bit evil, because the historical character is famous for an event relating with steamed bun/manjou. This took place sometime after Shikoku surrendered, when he was at a feast held by Hideyoshi. He would be given a steamed bun and after a bite, he would say that he wish for his family retainers to eat this too. So when I saw the event, I thought that he is giving me something nice.

In his final event, the two of them would be at a sumo match, only to realise that this is a trap held by his enemy. The PC would escape to get help, and then return to find him gone. However, he will then submerge from the ocean, revealing that he was hiding in there. He would comment that hiding in the water for a long amount of time is easy, since he used to swim from Shikoku to Kyoto (is this guy Ranma’s ancestor? Is he going to swim to China too?)

Sasaki Kojirou
Much to my surprise, I actually ended up really liking this guy’s events. I feel that the PC and him genuinely got close due to travelling together. His events in chronicles might even be responsible for me liking him as a character. The PC actually meets him, Musashi, Goemon and Okuni soon after she accepted the commission from the leader, and they would be one of the first NPCs that would join her on her trip. But chronologically, the timeline does not make sense, as the people you meet cannot exit in the same time.

The first event has the PC asking about his make up, and he will tell her that the person underneath the make up is actually dead. After this, he will then say that he want to talk about something happy with her. I feel that the amazing thing about his route is that even though he is pretty crazy and trigger happy, you can tell that he actually genuinely cares for the PC, and the two of them does seem quite happy together.

The second event have Munenori talking to the PC, asking her whether Kojiirou would be able to cut a rock in half, an indication of skills. A really nice part is that Munenori will describe Kojirou as the PC’s friend. Kojiirou would show the PC that he can when she asks, and the two of them then walk away, deciding to have tea together. But Munenori was actually watching, would comment that it is the same style of the young lord from the Kyushu uprising.

The next event start of with the PC overhearing two rounin wishing to rebel, and saying that their young lord has changed his name to Kojiirou. This would lead to the PC asking Kojiirou about his past, and he would reveal it. Apparently, his family were lords in Kyuushu who rebelled. After his family died, he escaped and wanted a new life. The ruler of the time is actually Ieyasu, which is why I say that the timeline is not meant to make sense. In addition, I think this is something that is created for the game, because not much is known about the real Sasaki Kojirou’s early life.

The final event has Kojirou telling the PC that Musashi has agreed to fight him, and if the PC asks him to run away with her afterwards, he would agree, saying that he is getting too much exposure lately. However, the event would end with the grim reminder that he would soon die after the duel, possibly assassinated.

Out of all the characters, I feel that this is the closest to a love declaration due to the promise of running away with the PC afterwards. This is almost like a very mini route. I actually immediately see this as a possible fan fiction setting. The PC was giving a commission and on her way, she met him. Due to her unconventional life, they ended up caring for one another and planned to be together once they each finish their unfinished business. I suddenly even envision a love triangle between the PC, Kojirou and Musashi. After Kojirou’s death due to Musashi’s student, the PC would angrily ask Musashi whether he really did not realise what his student was planning.

The PC will find a dog and Kiyomasa will end up building a home for the dog. Kiyomasa would end up adopting the dog due to being reminded of how he was abandoned and then took in by Hideyoshi. The final event actually takes place after quite sometime, as the puppy has grown up and gave birth to her own puppies. The final event is really cute, as he would talk about how he plans to build a castle, and almost asks the PC to live with him.

His first event is him giving money to someone who is poor without demanding a return. I think this shows that in a way, he is quite similar to Mitsuanri in that he is actually really nice, but is not very good at conveying himself. This would actually be pointed out by Takakage. Takakage’s brief sentence probably summarised his character perfectly: “Master Kanbei is wise, but he can hurry too quickly to the truth, and injure people along the way.”. However, I think the difference between him and Mitsunari is that he is better at looking after himself, as he prevents himself from being in such a position. There is also the fact that he is not idealistic.

I quite like how Takakage and Hanbei would make a guest appearance in his events, although Kanbei would complain that they are being too nosy in his home. But it seems he is surprisingly good with children, as children would often play in and near his house. In one of the cut scene in the main game, it would be revealed that children often like to play around him when he was retired.

In the final cutscene, Mitsunari would want to discuss an emergency when Kanbei was playing a game of go with the PC. Kanbei would refuse, telling the PC that Mitsunari tend to exaggerate about the importance of an issue, and he doesn’t want to just leave when he is in the company of a good friend like the PC.

Kai’s route is really cute, as she will decide to participate in a tournament for females. She’s quite upset at how everyone make fun of her as a bear despite how much she take care of her appearance, so she might as well be known as the strongest instead of the prettiest. Kai would do so well in the tournament, that the PC would have to fight her. Even though Kai loses to the PC, she is still really happy due to their friendship.

I can see why Kai would be misunderstood though, because there’s this scene in Odawara when she yelled out: “Be prepared for complete defeat!”, where she is really scary.

Haraguroi. I don’t think there is any doubt that Motonari is this, but his events probably cement this even more. The PC would find him talking about…surprise, surprise! His three arrows story. You can have the choice of breaking or not breaking the three arrows. But even if you try to break it, it will not work, because he actually put iron rod in there.

Motonari-san…isn’t that defying the point of the story?

This guy is tsundare (and I am starting to think that his friend is yandare). But I actually really like Takatora’s route, it is one of the routes where the importance of the PC to him is very clear.

His route starts off quite darkly, as he would comment on how people can be replaced so easily. In fact, his first event is called dispensable. He compares himself to a hand towel, and given what he said- how they don’t cost and you use them while they last. It is pretty grim.

His second event has a change of mood though. He would talk about how he dislike steamed bun and one of the worst fate would be for him to be surrendered by them. The PC would buy a lot of manjou and goes to see him, and he will ask her to eat them with her. The game even describes him as having a rare smile. The scene is actually quite cute, because you can see that what he wants is to have a lunch date with the PC (although not only was he being tsundare, he also made the girl pay…)

His third event has him asking the PC to join him when he is trying to look for a site for a castle. He would talk about how a castle is important, comparing it to a warrior’s world. However, he then adds that a castle should not allow anyone inside. Once again, the metaphor makes the event quite grim. However, when the PC injured herself on the way down, he would actually carry her down.

His final event is a really nice ending, and his events are almost like a mini route. His final event is called indispensable. The two would be in a battle and when Takatora injured, the PC would go and save him despite the danger. They will manage to defeat the enemies together and Takatora would be really happy at the realisation that he has become important to the PC.

Hisahide is a very interesting character, especially in chronicles. In the main game, he just goes around saying that he is the greatest evil, but there are times when he would make really good points. As a result, I think he is actually quite a complex character. It is even more so here.

When the PC first meets him, he has a bell cricket with him. He will tell the PC that the cricket has lived longer then expected, and linked this to the life span of men. At that time, there is the idea of the average life span being fifty, and this is also famous attributed to Nobunaga. However, Hisahide will say this: “Fifty years? Hah! We could live three times that long. Yet we rush into death in battle, neglect our health, become sick with worry, and pointlessly shorten our lives! What a waste!” It is just such a perceptive comment and not something I would have expected from him.

In the second event, he would be giving out food to the poor. Once again, not something that one expect from him. He would explain that he does this as a way to critisise the idea of justice- that people who does not work should not eat. He then says this: “Watch out for ‘justice’. Justice can be used to make excuses, control you, and dominate your fate.” Once again, a very perceptive insight.

The third event has them meeting Ieyasu, who reveals his fear of spider. I would have thought that he would laugh at Ieyasu, but he actually say (to the PC) that this is normal, as most people are afraid of something. Later on, he would actually pat the PC’s head and describe her as cute due to being honest in her praise of him. He will say this: “How cute, how cute. So honest, so straightforward. Being dumb is actually a virtue. It also concerns me a little, though. It can even be dangerous. I’ll be here to help you, so don’t ever change.” I was really shocked by his words. It is not so much due to the affection he shows for the PC, although that is quite cute, but that he actually told her that she does not have to change. Given that the PC is presented as someone who is very different from him, he actually can accept who she is, and does not try to affect her in anyway.

Historically, Hisahide is also one of the two that burnt down Todaji, that other being Taira no Shigehira. However, it seems that Shigehira is condemned for it more. I guess it is partly due to the fact that he might have caused innocent people to die, and also, the Heian time was not prepared for this kind of thing. A bit of the case of “We are lucky that only one temple got burnt” Vs “Oh my gosh, a temple is burnt!”

It’s quite funny to use Kanetsugu and Kagekatsu in a battle, because one is so loud, and the other is the opposite. In fact, you can always tell when Kanetsugu is near, because he is just really loud and speaks a lot. (In Sengoku Lovers, Kanetsugu would be talking about how great Kenshin is and this scene would happen. Kenshin: “Kanetsugu.” Kanetsugu: “Yes, dono? I’ll do anything for dono.” Kenshin: “Can you stop talking for a while?”)

I actually really like Kagekatsu, because unlike his mother and uncle, he doesn’t claim that he is the one that is right or just.

Kagekatsu’s events show how he is often misunderstood due to his face being quite frightening. It even caused one of his retainers to jump into the lake due to thinking that the other was angry. His final event is really nice, as he would tell her that he is not good with spending time with woman, but he is really happy that he is with her.

Takakage’s event started of a bit randomly due to him asking you a riddle, but I guess I should be glad that he is not talking about the three arrows.

Takakage’s weapon is actually a sword and a book, and he is constantly reading. Although unlike his father, he doesn’t write. But Motonari clearly affects him as he would say that books that are long (what Motonari write) are amazing. He even says the equivalent of how it is about quantity not quality (in modern time, he’ll probably be the guy carrying around a copy of the complete work of Shakespeare). One of his events actually has him being in pain due to lacking a book to read. When the PC lends him a book to read, he will declare her out to be his saviour.

His final event is quite cute. He clearly likes the PC by this time, as he is not able to concentrate on reading when she is there. He would admit that he is not good at saying what he is feeling.

Angle Heart – TV Drama,Spectre

These are both long overdue entry that I had in my file for ages, but kept on forgetting to put up.

Angle Heart – TV Drama

I first read the manga by chance and I actually like the story, although my problem is that the story is a bit too male oriented at times. That is probably why I like the anime more. But when I saw there was a drama, I decided to watch it.

I really like it and I thought the amazing part is how they changed it without making it into a change. When I watched the first episode I was quite shocked and disappointed that there wasn’t the issue of her being the daughter of the gang’s boss. I feel that without this, this is just another case of her being someone who wants to escape an organisation.

I still enjoyed it and watched it, but due to real life issues, I paused a bit, which turned out to be really good, because I don’t think I could have bear the wait.

The last episode is really impressive as they managed to make it work, even explaining why her real father was playing the bad guy. But I thought that scene was done really well, because Ryou would turn and point the gun at Xian Ying and her dad immediately reacted. So it is really impressive that they made what happened in the first episode (book) into the big grand revelation in the final episode.

My only complaint is that the additional of the new guy in the organisation was a bit weird, although I got to applaud the guy for how hard he was working.

One of the bit I really like is the ending, when Faust was going to give Miku the present (the telescope). He actually put the telescope at the place where he used to keep the weapons. So when he dragged it down, everyone was yelling that she can’t see this, but it was really nice, that it was a present instead.

Over all I really enjoyed watching it, and was quite sad that it was finished.

I have quite a funny memory with James Bond. My dad really likes the series and he used to watch it often. As a result, my sister and I would often watch it with him. Me, I have only watched some, but my sister has actually watched all of it.

Now that I think about it, I think my parents should have censored this.

My favourite James Bond is actually Pierce Brosnan. With him, I can understand where the sex appeal comes from. I actually didn’t like Daniel Craig’s version that much in the beginning, because my idea of James Bond is that he is almost always very calm and composed, being able to throw in the odd puns. Roger Moore is probably the best example of this, although his sense of fashion…as to be expected in the 70s and 80s?

But I do like this film and I thought what was really amazing is the character of Madeleine Swann. When she said that she hates gun and refuses to use one, I thought this was just the idealistic pacifist of an otome games. “Fighting is wrong and I am just going to stand with my arms wide open in front” (Haruka 5 left a bitterness that has yet to go). But it turns out that she is actually really good and she could shoot really well. I feel she is someone really strong, who can back up what she says.

The film itself feels like a last film, as if Bond is retiring with Madeleine.

This is more to do with the new series in general, but I really like how Moneypenny is actually a former agent, not just a secretary and assistant. Another thing I really looked forward to in this film is that we get to see Ralph Fiennes as M. I have to admit, when I saw him in Skyfall, I actually thought that he was going to be a bad guy. I really like the end of Skyfall, when we see him as M.

I was quite surprised at seeing Andrew Scott as ‘C’, and since the only other stuff I have seen him in is Moriarty in ‘Sherlock’, I was wondering if I’ll get to see him playing the good guy instead. At first, I actually thought that he was going to be a like Ralph Fiennes in the last film, even though he seems a bit of a jerk, he is actually a good guy.

Unfortunately, that was wrong, but I like the scene in the end, when M ask him whether C means careless.

Fushigi Yuugi 2015 version

I thought I would start the year with something positive. Something that made me really happy.

There are actually at least two versions of the Fushigi Yuugi play. One of it happened sometime ago and I have only seen clip of it from youtube. It seems very true to the original story, and everyone appeared very much as character. I have only seen part of it on youtube, but what they showed was very impressive. I remember being very impressed with Hotohori. We see the part where he fights Tamahome, as well as Nakago. There was also this bit when he was standing at the higher part of the stage and he seemed to have issued some sort of an order, as the rest of the celestial warrior would turn around and prepare to battle. In that bit, you can clearly see that he is the emperor, even though he was dressed in the clothes he wears for travelling.

This version that I found is a newer one, I think it was from 2015, and their take on it is really interesting. Even though they kept the overall plot similar, the majority of the finer detail has been has been changed. Initially, I was not very sure what I feel about it, but I actually ended up really liking it. Because it becomes quite different, with Miaka being different too, it is almost like Suzaku Ibun instead.

Another really interesting change they have is that the character’s clothes are actually different. There is enough similarity, but it is quite interesting in that they don’t have identical costume.

One of the reasons that I really like this version is that they don’t focus on the romance much, so we actually don’t have a reverse harem. Which is really nice given that one of the issues with Fushigi Yuugi is that the reverse harem was not done well.

Now, the guy who plays Hotohori…my only complaint is that I am not used to Hotohori speaking with such a high voice. Because he was voiced by Koyasu Takehito in the anime, I always personally feel that Hotohori should have a lower voice. However, appearance-wise the guy managed to do something that is quite difficult: they actually managed to find someone in real life that can be handsome enough to play Hotohori. To judge by his appearance, it will be twelve out of ten. When Hotohori first comes out, he actually has a strange hat and his hair would be pinned up, so he did not look as good. But in the rest of the story, he takes the hat off and has his hair down. He looks really good.

On a total side note, the majority of the actors have actually been in Tenimyu at sometime or the other. Hotohori’s actor has actually played Ooishi and I can’t help but to think: “You are giving this guy, who can play Hotohori, Ooishi’s hairstyle? That is a waste.” But he will actually be a good Ooishi because when Ooishi was the deputy captain, there were moments where he can be qtuie scary.

I think one of the advantages that people dressing up as Hotohori is that he actually has normal instead of manga/anime hair. As the behind-the-scene shows the actor having short hair, he is obviously wearing a wig. However, because the colour and texture is very natural, it could actually be his real hair, if he is someone with long hair. The actor actually has the hair in a braid at the middle, although it is not a complete braid, as the unbraided part at the end is quite long. I think the reason is so that it can look a bit like the way it does in the original story (unbraided), but would be less likely to get tangled. I can see why they have part of his hair in a braid because at the end, he has a scene when he has to dance and fight super hard out. But his hair/wig is actually a really normal colour, the brown that Asian people get when they dye their hair. So that is why I say that his wig look really natural. (Although I don’t know why his hair is more brown, because Hotohori’s hair is actually black in the original manga). (I think the last time I paid this much attention to someone’s wig is David Tennant’s Richard II. That pre-Raphaelite golden hair).

As mentioned, the overall plot is similar with Miaka needing to summon Suzaku and finding the celestial warriors, but the finer detail is very different.

The story starts with Miaka and Tamahome being captured and Miaka is actually much better then the original story. She is actually smarter. In the beginning, due to Tamahome threatening her due to her not giving him any ‘real money’, she will start screaming that he is harassing her, forcing him to apologise. Although this backfire due to the guards regarding them as very suspicious and decides to capture them.

When Tamahome and Miaka are trying to escape from the guards, Tamahome would bump into Nuriko, who would knock him out cold with a single punch. It would turn out that he happened to be taking a stroll outside. The actor who portrays Nuriko did a really good job. His first appearance as one that is very elegant, which will be very different from the love struck Nuriko that plans on how to leave a lasting impression with Hotohori and demands Tamahome to be a celestial warriors for this reason.

Hotohori will come out and one of the very interesting things about this interpretation is that Hotohori is aware that he is clutching at straws with his desire of summoning Suzaku, because he will comment that they are at a stage where they have to rely on legends. In the original manga, he seems very certain that Suzaku could save them. It is only much later when he says that they have been over reliant on the legend. This also link to how he sees Miaka as his ideal. After reading both Fushigi Yuugi and Genbu Kaiden, he seems to be the only one that we actually sees praying and calling to the gods. In the Universe of the Four Gods, religion does not seem one with set rules and protocols, so it is interesting that Hotohori is more devout and religious, even before the gods are summoned.

In this version, when Hotohori first hears Miaka’s name, he would also say that her name is symbolic (as it has the same character as Suzaku), and combined with the fact that he is not fully sure about the power of Suzaku but comment about how they are at the stage where they have to rely on the legend, it make me feel that he is at a desperate situation where he is clutching at straws.

One of the really impressive parts is when Hotohori hears Tamahome’s other name (which is a different reading of Tamahome), he will walk down to Tamahome and Miaka, causing Tamahome to ask if he is trying to pick a fight. This would cause Hotohori to yell at him to not move, and Tamahome would actually be shocked and literally does not move. At that moment, the actor suddenly has the bearing of the character as the emperor. I thought that bit is just done really well.

Hotohori will then ask Miaka to become the Suzaku no miko, and he will actually kneel down on one knee in front of her. The guy does it in a super graceful way (at this stage, I can only say, ‘That is Hotohori after all’.) At one stage, he would actually take her hand and says this: “It doesn’t matter even if it is just a small part of all your wishes, please spare a part of it to help Kounan.” I have to say, having that guy kneeing in front of you and taking your hand and saying that line…it would be super hard to refuse. But he seems much more desperate, and this actually makes sense because he would reveal that Kutou actually has already attacked Kounan. In the beginning of the manga, it is just that something is going to happen, they were not fully sure until later. The part where Hotohori addresses his people after Miaka became the priestess is really good as his character becomes the regal emperor. The actor for Hotohori actually said that out of all his scenes, that is one of his favourites, as well as saying that the acting had to be adjusted as that was more like him making a speech.

Afterwards, Tamahome and Miaka will meet Nuriko and Nuriko’s performance is truly worthy of being nominated for best outstanding performance in a comedy. Nuriko would reveal that he intends to introduce himself to Hotohori in such a way so that he can create a lasting impression. However, Nuriko’s plan would be cut short because Hotohori would suddenly come out and meet them, preventing Nuriko from carrying out the plan.

Hotohori will give them the sacred scroll and send them to find the rest. Interestingly, Hotohori knows that Nuriko is a man disguising himself as a woman. How Hotohori have this knowledge is never explained. Another interesting thing to note is that it seems Hotohori is actually using Nuriko’s liking for him to get the other to help.

Miaka, Tamahome and Nuriko will end up going on a journey and will get saved by Mitsukake and Chichiri, after Tamahome ending up attacking Miaka due to Kutou assassins. This will cause Tamahome to be separated from Miaka and this would actually cause him to meet Tasuki. As the sacred scroll was lost when they were attacked by Kutou, Tamahome would try to get this back. He would succeed in this and this then caused Amiboshi to come as Chiriko.

As the story is quite different and dehydrated, we don’t see much of Yui. She seems to have decided to become the priestess of Seiryuu out of her freewill, and my take is that she was probably lied to in regard to the situation, because Kounan is the peaceful country. Not only does she seem to think Kutou might be in danger, she also cares about Miaka, and be quite upset at them being on two different sides. However, when she sees Tamahome she would ask him to take him away to some place that is not involved with the two gods, and when Tamahome refused, she will be upset. I think the problem with Yui’s character is that because her reason of being Miaka’s enemy is done in a matter of five seconds just because Tamahome would not take her away, it does not seem realistic at all.

Tamahome would return with the sacred scroll and he would explain how everyone ‘welcomed’ him back. We have the actor narrating what happens at the font while the others would appear at the back, doing the actions.
Miaka- slaps him
Mitsukake- hit him on the head with his fist
Hotohori- gives him a very long lecture
Nuriko- tell him to get his head clear by pouring a bowl of water over him
Chichiri- tell him to meditate
‘Chiriko’- as they just met, the other did not do anything
Tasuki- laughs at him while everyone else does their thing.

The attempt at summoning Suzaku failed and Nakago will actually personally come to attack them. His conversation with Hotohori is very interesting.
Note: This is NOT a translation. I couldn’t see what exact words were spoken in Japanese as I could only hear it. So this is a combination of what I heard with the Chinese translation.

Hotohori: “Before you say such a thing, why don’t you have a good look at where you are? Nakago, summoning Suzaku has failed, as you intended, but you are the general, so you should know that it is not wise to fight here. This is our kingdom Kounan. If you start a fight here, you won’t get away so easily.” (1)
Nakago: “Then let me tell you this: your kingdom is weak to the stage that you are unable to not rely on Suzaku. Why not give the country up already?” (2)
Hotohori: “I refuse. You dare say such a thing when you only have so little soldiers here.”
Nakago: “To deal with you, only half of this amount is enough.”

(1) Hotohori uses kisama at this stage. Depending on when and who he is speaking to, I have seen him using omae, sonata and onore. I think when he is acting as the emperor, he tends to speak in a much formal way.
(2) Interestingly enough, Nakago uses anata when he talks to Hotohori here.

The story will end with Nakago retreating and the seven celestial warriors having learnt how to attempt summoning Suzaku again. Miaka will first go back and then return. As I said, it is very different from the original story, but I really like it.

Now that I rethink about the story as someone much older (I first read it ten years ago), I think Kounan was a problem that was waiting to happen, especially due to what Kutou was like. It just ended up happening in Hotohori’s reign. Nakago actually summarised the situation really well and in this version, I think Hotohori is aware of this too. I actually feel sorry for Hotohori even more, because he inherited something that cannot be repaired. He could only try to fix part of it so that he is delaying the eventual collapse.

I am also addressing the actors by their character name, since I don’t know all of their real names. However, since it will be mentioned as behind-the-scene, I think it shouldn’t case any confusion.

When I describe Nuriko, I usually use the female pronoun. But in this live version, perhaps it is because the actor is obviously a guy, I am using ‘he’ instead. But in the behind-the-scene moment, Nuriko would say that there was a time when he almost walked with his feet pointing inwards in a feminine fashion. Tamahome would joke that this might be contagious, causing Hotohori (Who was sitting beside Nuriko) to quickly move away.

Another really hilarious thing revealed in the behind-the-scene is that Nakago and Nuriko would often do impromptu scenes between them, as well as dragging others in. Apparently, the setting is that Nakago and Nuriko are a couple and both are delinquents. Tamahome would comment that both Nakago and Nuriko would be super into it, because once they starts, they could carry on for about 5 to 10 minutes, even if no one might be watching. Tamahome would also say that he was minding his own business one day when Nakago suddenly pointed to him and said to Nuriko: “What is it with you and that guy?” and he and Nuriko then began a scene about Nakago thinking that Nuriko is cheating on him with Tamahome.

There was also a really cute scene at the rehearsal on Tamahome’s birthday. They reached the scene near the end where the real Chiriko is meant to come out. On that day, Chiriko would come out with a cake for Tamahome. Tamahome would say that he was actually really tired that day and was thinking: “Why isn’t Chiriko coming out yet?and even wondering whether Chiriko has disappeared.

Chichiri will say that there was a time when he actually almost ended up saying –noda at the end of the sentence. Due to not being able to stop himself on time, the person he was talking to gave him a really strange look.

Photos will be in the next entry for my life journal friends.
Route availability: after clearing ‘Legend of the Oda’ and ‘Legend of the Takeda’
Playable Officers: Sanada, Yukimura, Sanada Nobuyuki, Shima Sakon, Kunoichi, Maeda Keiji, Ishida Mitsunari, Naoe Kanetsugu, Ina, Otani Yoshitsugu, Uesugi Kagekatsu, Hanzo Hattori, Yagyuu Munenori, Hawaykawa, Kai, Fuma Kotarou, Koshoushou
Battle of Mt Tenmoku, Battle of Kannagawa, 1st battle of Ueda Castle, Battle of Oshi castle, 2nd Battle of Ueda Castle (Eastern Army, Western Army), The Osaka campaign (Tokugawa Army, Toyotomi Army)

Like the legend of Oda, there are characters that you can only choose in one or two battles. For example, Koshoushou only come out at the very final battle (but I really like her role in that battle).

Battle of Mt Tenmoku
When I was playing the game, I was actually watching the Taiga drama. However, I am no longer watching it. My main reason is because Kiri is such a bitch. She has been pretty bad throughout the drama (deliberately interfering in Ume and Yukimura’s relationship), blaming everyone but her when something goes wrong, using the excuse that she is merely blunt and outspoken, blaming Yukimura for not saving her when it was her wanting to get something that made them get caught. But for me, what did it was the episode when Chacha decides to marry Hideyoshi. Chacha will tell Yukimura that they probably won’t meet for a while, but give him a pressed flower. When Yukimura look at it, clearly upset, Kiru would actually grab the flower and then eat it. That is so nasty. Seriously, what kind of person does that?

However, I am a bit curious at the latter part of the drama, where some of the other famous historical figures would come out (namely Masamune). Maybe I could skip the scene she is out in?

Anyway, I mentioned the Taiga drama, because a lot of the battles and what happened are mentioned in the drama. The story would pick up where the legend of the Takeda left, where the Takeda and Sanada are retreating after their defeat in Nagashino. We can see how different the two brothers are, because Yukimura would want to fight Nobunaga immediately, while Nobuyuki would argue that they need to have a stronghold to do this.

The Takeda would be attacked by others, but this is what they had done when they had the power.

Battle of Kannagawa
Throughout the chapter, there is this whole metaphor by Maeda Keiji about how Yukimura is the flower while Nobuyuki is the branch, there is the idea that the branch is the one that support the flower and allow the flower to bloom. In a way, that is basically what Nobuyuki is doing, as he is doing all that he can for the family so that Yukimura can do whatever he wish. This metaphor is also used for both Kagekatsu and Kanetsugu respectively, and I think before Hasedo, Maeda Keiji would point out that peace is only possible by standing over the petals of the flower.

1st battle of Ueda Castle
Mitsunari would be present in this battle due to Hideyoshi being curious about the Sanada siblings.

During the battle, Ieyasu would retreat and one of the retainers would comment that if Ieyasu just retreat and not attack, this would hurt his reputation. However, Ieyasu would say that this is not worth the life of his people. I really like this bit because it shows that instead of just saying something like he want to protect his people, we have someone who is really doing this and thinking about how this would affect his people.

Battle of Oshi castle
I ended up doing this battle so many times that I really don’t want to do it again. Oshi castle is the city that Kai’s father is in charge of, and this is the battle where the terrain would get flooded, so the map would constantly change. The thing that annoys me is that waiting to go to the next part of the battle due to this can sometimes take a while, and when you are doing this for the tenth time, it gets really annoying.

Mitsunari would describe the Toyotomi army as the army of the people and even though he coming to attack this place is obviously going to harm the people here, we can still see that he really believes that what he is doing is in the best interest of everyone, as he would not be able to attack the peasants. This show that he is not dominated by the thoughts of winning alone, he really does believe that he is here to make everyone’s life better.

During the battle, Nobuyuki would comment that Mitsunari is idealistic and always focus on his ideals, but afterwards, he would also say that Mitsunari only sees Hideyoshi’s vision. This is really similar to what Motonari said to Hideyoshi, that he is probably the only one here fighting for Nobunaga, as the rest of his retainers are clearly fighting for him instead. Nobuyuki would be a bit similar to Masamune by saying that he does not care about who end up taking control of the land, because he simply wants to protect those that are important to him.

What Kai’s father says at the end of the battle is really chilling- are those with strength the leaders? Are those with intelligence always right? Because that is what is happening.

2nd Battle of Ueda Castle
There will be two versions for this battle, as the brothers would split up. I am definitely 200% on Nobuyuki’s side when he comments that vision alone is not enough to win the war, and they also have their family to think of. If their house dies, they won’t even be warriors. I do feel that Yukimura is selfish in that he just says that his brother is wrong and does whatever he wishes. He does not consider the impact of his action at all. After the battle, Nobuyuki would beg Ieyasu to let Yukimura live and it is just really sad to see him do this, only for Yukimura to throw it away.

I really like what Nobuyuki says- that compares to Ieyasu’s burdens, Mitsunari’s ideals are merely sentiments.

The Osaka Campaign
I personally don’t get what is so amazing and heroic about Yukimura’s final sacrifice in Osaka. In fact, I would even say that is foolish and selfish. In the end, he is not protecting his people, his brother is the one doing it. Is it for the Toyotomi? But I don’t feel that he shows any strong loyalty, it seems more the case that he just wants to make a stand. I feel really sorry for Nobuyuki in that he was doing so much for his brother, only for Yukimura to throw it away.

I feel that Magoichi describes it perfectly in 3 when he says that it is time to grant Yukimura his death wish. But I really enjoyed playing Yukimura’s side in the battle of Osaka, as I get to play Koshoushou again, and it is really touching to see her thinking of Motochika.

On Nobuyuki’s side, you can only choose him and Ina. The route would end with him and Ina watching the sakura.

I can’t remember exactly which battle it is, but if you use Hattori Hanzou, then you would get a cut scene where he tries to assassinate Yukimura, only to give up due to his illness.

This is the last of the story routes, but I will be doing a review for some of the chronicle events too.
“One cannot be surprised by the ebb and flow of military fortune.” ~ Uesugi Kagekatsu

Route availability: after clearing ‘Legend of Kantou’
Playable officers: Uesugi Kenshin, Aya, Uesugi Kagekatsu, Naoe Kanetsugu
Battles: The Kanto Campaign, Battle of Kawanakajima, Battle of Tetorigawa, the Otate Rebellion
Special Gaiden: Battle of Hasedo, (available after clearing the Legend of a Land United).

As mentioned before, I don’t like the Uesugi. In fact, they might be my most disliked fraction. Even though I don’t like playing the Takeda sides, I don’t dislike the characters, and there are even characters in there that I like. I don’t dislike Kanetsugu, but he’s not one of the characters that I particular like. However, I actually really like Kagekatsu. I think it is because unlike the others around him, Kagekatsu never talks about justice or honour. Instead, he is simply trying to protect what he has.

As I said, I feel that the Uesugi siblings are both very hypocritical. They clearly like fighting and even inflicting suffering onto other people, but instead of acknowledging this like Nouhime or even Hisahide, they say that they are good and even claim that everything they do is right. They force their belief onto everyone. By claiming that they are the one that has justice and honour, they will label anyone that does not agree with them as an enemy who deserves punishment, as the other does not have justice and honour, since only they are allowed to have this. They are basically finding reasons to justify their actions, as they will never admit that they did anything wrong. In their view, they can only be right. At the very least, people like Nobunaga and Takeda Shingen are honest about what they are doing and what they want. Both Nobunaga and Takeda Shingen admit that they want to have power and be the one that rule with power. I personally don’t like playing the Takeda side, but that is just personal bias, because Takeda Shingen is not fully wrong to do what he did at the time.

Having said that, one of the amazing things about Kanetsugu is that even though he talks about love and honour, he is not hypocritical in anyway. I think this is because he truly believes that he is doing the right thing, and as soon as you agree, he will actually be really happy at this happening and would not hold anything of the past against you.

The Uesugi chapter is only available after you play the Hojo route. In this route, you fight the Hojo, then the Takeda, and then Nobuanga. The final battle will be the civil war against the clan.

At one stage, the Uesugi would fight Nobunaga and Kenshin would use this strategy in regard to water, and everyone on his side immediately begin to say how great it is, even saying that this is a sign of the gods favouring Kenshin. We then have Nobunaga commenting: “He’s a god of war that performs water trick.” I really like that line from Nobunaga because that is what happened, but the Uesugi family is clearly seeing what they want to see.

In the battle against Nobunaga, Nobunaga would leave midway during the battle and Nouhime would then out, saying that she want to fight as she is tired of waiting. This doesn’t have anything to do with the overall route, but I was just quite excited at seeing her come out here.

Regarding Saburou (who later become Uesugi Kagetora), I think he is a case of can’t do something right, but can screw up a lot. In addition, his character is really annoying. But from a plot based situation, I am quite surprised that his character is not a playable character, given that he has his customised appearance and plays an important role.

Kagetora being sent to Echigo as a hostage away from his family is quite sad, but given his background, he should actually realise that this is something that is necessary. Instead, he acts as if Hojo abandoned him, and the way that he speaks about how Kagekatsu is so lucky to have such a loving mother made it sound as if his mother is like Yoshihime (Masamune’s mother), and that he had a really difficulty childhood without much care from his family. If I just judge from what he says in the Uesugi chapters, I would expect that he had a childhood similar to Masamune’s (where his mother hated him and even wanted to kill him), but from the ‘Legend of Kantou’ it is clear that Hojo’s family is a very happy one. In fact, I think he definitely had a way happier childhood then Kagekatsu. The fact that the Hojo then willingly help him when he tries to rebel shows that he is definitely not abandoned and they clearly still care a lot about him.

Kagetora had caused problems due to being reckless for both the Hojo and for the Uesugi. At one stage, Kagekatsu actually had to rescue him. There is no indication that he is a good warrior either, so I don’t see why he actually feels that he can try to claim the position of being Kenshin’s heir. This family treats him with kindness when he was only the hostage, yet he then creates a civil war for them. In the end, he forces Kagekatsu to live with the label of being his brother’s killer, as well as most likely having to fight other retainers of the family due to the civil war.

Battle of Hasedo
I think Hasedo was a long battle and it might have taken place roughly around the same time as Seikigahara. I think Maeda Keiji actually refers to this battle as their Seikigahara. I think what happened is that the Mogami and Date were on their way to meet Ieyasu, but the Uesugi would prevent this from happening. Ieyasu was going to help in this battle when he heard news about what Mitsunari is doing and he would go and fight Mitsunari instead. I think the Date managed to get out of their battle, but the Mogami would be stuck in a siege.

Initially, the Uesugi are doing really well in the battle, and they even managed to capture Hasedo by defeating Mogami. However, there would be news that Mitsunari lost, as well as Masamune’s arrival. When Kanetsugu heard about what happened, he would naturally be very upset, but Kagekatsu would remind him to focus on what is important, and this would cause Kanetsugu to realise that he must get the retreat right. Apparently, the retreat was done really well. In the game, Masamune would give a reluctant praise in regard to this.

The moment of change is done really well in the battle, because your enemies will sudden increase and zones that are safe would now be danger zones. In addition to Mogami coming back, Masamune would arrive with mounted rifleman. Apparently, mounted rifleman is something that Masamune is famous for. I think he combined a powerful cavalry (what Takeda Shingen has) with the rifles (What Nobunaga is famous for using). This seems an indication of how he is managing the changing time.

Masamune would be the final boss, and he would tell Kanetsugu that he is surprised at the other being very calm. Kanetsugu will say that he must do what he must for Kagekatsu, and Masamune will actually comment that he is similar as he has to live for the expectation of others too. With Kagekatsu, he will say that he has to protect the Oushuu that his father left him.
“You turned your back on me, Nagamasa.” ~ Oda Nobunaga

Route availability: after clearing ‘Legend of the Oda’
Playable Officers: Azai Nagamasa, Oichi, Todou Takatora, Otani Yoshitsugu
Battles: Battle of Kannonji Castle, Pursuit at Kanegasaki, Battle of Anegawa, Battle of Odani Castle

I don’t really like this chapter, because I don’t like Nagamasa, and even though I don’t dislike Oichi, she is too much involved with her husband to let me like her. Half of the time she is just talking about her husband. There is also the fact that I don’t like Yoshitsugu either. However, I do like Takatora.

The route starts with Takatora fighting beside Yoshitsugu, and his rank is pretty low. Takatora would begin by saying that he feels that Nobunaga is using Nagamasa, but he does not have a way to let the other know. One of the things that really surprise me is that Takatora is actually very idealistic, as he truly believes that he can make a difference. Even during really bad situations, he would comment that he believe they are able to change fate. I think this is because he was heavily influenced by Nagamasa.

One of the really interesting things I find is that Oichi is actually not as idealistic as Nagamasa. She is actually pretty realistic, as she would realise what would happen, only to say that she still choose to dream. I do wonder whether things might be different if she had tried to influence Nagamasa more.

I feel that Nagamasa’s ideal of creating a land where everyone can live happily is a bit like Hideyoshi’s land of letting everyone laugh. It is as Hisahide said, you are forcing them to do what you want. This is contrasting to Ieyasu, who just want to have peace by stopping the war.

Later on, Takatora would comment that the highest form of loyalty is to live, which is what he learnt from Nagamasa. But it seems that Nagamasa is a case of not practicing what he teaches, because he is pretty eager to put himself in really dangerous situations.

The end cutscene is done really well. We have Nagamasa and Hideyoshi fighting, only for Nobunaga to come and kill Nagamasa. I feel that what he said to Nagamasa: “You turned your back on me” is an indication that he did have some affection for the other, and was affected by the betrayal.
“You can only give your life once. Are you sure this is the time?” ~ Shimazu Yoshihiro

Route availability: after clearing ‘Legend of Chugoku’
Playable officers: Shimazu Yoshihiro, Shimazu Toyohisa
Battles: Batttle of Mimikawa, Battle of Okitanawate, Siege of Iwaya and Mt Tachibana Castles
Special Gaiden: Battle of Yanagawa, (available after clearing the Legend of a Land united).

When I played 3, I actually felt that Shimazu (the elder) did not really get his own route, because his battles are basically what appear in the Tachibana couple’s route. Even though the fourth game, his route is still pretty much him vs the Tachibana, I feel that his route is written well. I think this is mainly because of Toyohisa.

The route starts with the Tachibana couple talking about their victory against the Shimazu, only for Toyohisa to come out and try to attack them. I would like to point out that when Toyohisa charged towards them, Muneshige actually dodged. Even though Ginchiyo is super tough (and someone who can definitely handle it herself), a husband should not dodge.

Yoshihiro will then drag Toyohisa away by telling him that he cannot win against them. Toyohisa will argue that he does not mind dying if it will help the clan, but Yoshihiro will point out that he would not achieve anything by dying now, as well as saying the quote above.

Compared to the other route, this route is quite short as it only has three battles, and it is pretty much them vs the Tachibana. The final cut scene has them fighting the Tachibana clan, along with Muneshige’s father. During the battle, Yoshihiro would say that it feels strange, it is as if the others are waiting for something. At the end, the Shimazu wins, only to see that Hideyoshi’s fleet has come. Basically, Muneshige’s father was buying time for the Toyotomi to arrive. At this, Yoshihiro would actually laugh and say that the other has won.

Post Legend of Kyushu

Conquest of Kyushu
This takes place in the ‘Legend of Lands United’ and one of the things I remember the most about this battle is that when the Shimazu brothers are talking about what strategy they should use, the current leader will tell Yoshihiro that it does not matter so much, as they have already won when Hideyoshi choose to come here. I think this is a bit similar to what happened in Shikoku, they made their power known in such a way that it is clear that Hideyoshi have to personally come, and you will need to be careful with how you deal with them. Although I think one of the main reasons is that they are both crazy at times, so you have to be careful.

After the battle, Yoshihiro will tell Hideyoshi that he will surrender and when Toyohisa protest, he will tell the other that now is not the time to die.

Conquest of Odawara
Toyohisa will actually feel really bad at fighting Hayakawa, saying that he can not give her a good answer in regard to why they are here.

Battle of Seikigahara
The Shimazu will fight with Mitsunari, although Toyohisa would not be very happy about this. I think during their conversation with Mitsunari, the other was looking down at his papers. Even though Seikigahara takes place in the ‘Legend of the Land United’, this is sort of their battle, because if you pick one of the Shimazu, you have to pick the others. Likewise, if you pick anyone other then the Shimazu, you can’t pick them. Ie. You can only fight the battle with both of them, not one.

If you are playing the Eastern side you actually start the battle with them as the first enemies you have to fight, and that is not easy. They will reappear in the middle of the battle once more, although they will then decide that it is time for them to retreat. Depending on who you play, one of the objectives would be to stop them, and that is hard.

This was what happened to me when I played the first time:
Me: “Seikigahara eastern side!”
(Shimazu charges at my character)
PS4: “Defeat”
Me: “…I need to level up.”

Historically, Toyohisa will stay behind with the mounted rifleman and he would fight Ii Naomasa, allowing Yoshihiro to escape. Even though Naomasa kills Toyohisa, he would be permanently injured and would eventually die due to that injury. Since Naomasa has yet to come out, we have Naotora filling that role.

Playing the route from the Shimazu’s side, they will actually go and attack Ieyasu in his main camp, only to be stopped by Honda and Naotora. I think Naotora is probably the strongest female in the game, but the ironic thing is that she is the one female that does not want to fight at all. The creators especially emphasise this in regard to her character, that she is someone who does not have a choice in regard to fighting. By this time, the battle has ended, and the Shimazu does this for the simple sake of showing how powerful they are. Due to being knocked off his horse, it would be Toyohisa that grab him as he ride past, mirroring the opening.

Naotora would give chase and Toyohisa will tell his uncle to leave while he would stay. This bit is really touching because Toyohisa has changed so much from the reckless youth that challenged the Tachibana couple. He is making a choice to sacrifice himself, but this is a choice that he has thought carefully of. Likewise, Yoshihiro’s reaction is very different, as he would understand, and tell Toyohisa that he is proud of the other.
Toyohisa: “Uncle, let me stay behind. Let me take care of this. If you die, the clan will be lost. Hurry! I will not give up.”
Shimazu: “Well said, I am proud of you, my boy.”

Battle of Yanagawa
Shimazu and the Tachibana couple would go to Kyushu and both Muneshigi and Ginchiyo would actually console him regarding Toyohisa’s lose in their own way.

After the battle, there would be a special cut scene for Yoshihiro that is really touching. Takatora would come on behalf of Ieyasu, as well as returning Toyohisa’s helmet to him. A peace agreement has been made, and it is because many were really impressed with how the Shimazu fight. Takatora would also add that even though he always feel that you can only achieve something if you are alive, he is affected by Toyohisa’s action, even saying that it would be remembered despite their death. Once he leaves, Yoshihiro would comment to the absent Toyohisa that in the end, they have won: “My boy…victory to the Shimazu”. That bit was just super sad.
“To lead a clan is a heavy burden. One must do what one can to keep one’s home live. Even if it means deceiving or harming others.” ~ Imagawa Yoshimoto.

Route availability: after clearing ‘Legend of the Takeda’
Playable Officers: Hattori Hanzo, Honda Tadakatsu, Ii Naotora, Tokgawa Ieyasu, Ina
Battles: Battle of Okehazama, Battle of Kakegawa Castle, Battle of Anegawa, Battle of Mikatagahara.

First of all, I really like Ieyasu, and I feel that he has what it takes to unite and bring peace to the land. Even though there are times when he is ruthless, he is still someone who cares greatly for his people, and tries to make the best choices.

I feel that out of the three conquerors (Nobunaga, Hideyoshi and Ieyasu), they are all really trying to gain control by being the most powerful. This is something Nobunaga has always been very blunt about. In the second game, he would even point out that because this chaos happens due to might and power, it can only be ended with might and power. As mentioned, I was really surprised when I watched clips from the second game, because Nobunaga spoke in a much more normal way, as opposed to him in 3 and 4. However, the basic characteristic continues to be there.

I feel that Hideyoshi wants the same thing, but he does not admit this, and he tries to justify this by saying that it is a world where everyone laughs. Hisahide actually has a really good point in regard to this by saying that Hideyoshi is basically creating a world where he is forcing people to laugh. Nene is similar, because in the battle with Kaihime (in her route at 3), Kai would protest that Nene is just here to invade her home, but Nene would say it won’t matter as this would be her home. How is her action here different from any of Nobunaga’s war? The claim of how you will make it happy seems just an excuse, because they already were doing fine without any additional help from whoever that attacks.

Ieyasu is fighting for an overall peace. He is different as he does not say his way is best. He just wants to stop fighting and admits that there would be sacrifices that happen due to him trying to achieve this. Mitsunari is the opposite as he firmly believes he is in the right and does not seem to acknowledge the sufferings other would have in order for them to benefit. But Mitsunari is different from Hideyoshi because I feel that Hideyoshi is aware of this, but just does not want to admit it, where as Mitsunari is truly unaware of him causing harm to others.

I feel that the opening scene for the Tokugawa route is one of the best one in the game. Imagawa has always been a bit of a comical character due to his appearance and his desire of playing kemari. However, his tone and voice would suddenly change and he would be like the numerous leaders of the game, he has great authority and power. I was just really amazed by that scene.

Battle of Okehazama
In the beginning, Ieyasu would be working for Yoshimoto, as he is a hostage there, after being one with the Oda. As mentioned, he was once a hostage in the Oda clan, and there seemed to be some form of a friendship between Nobunaga and Ieyasu. I think the hostage situation must have played a huge part in making him able to endure everything, and I think to have that mind frame in a time like the Sengoku era is truly amazing. A bit similar to what Masamune did during Odawara. For Masamune, it is even more impressive as he is young and was not exposed to a situation akin to Ieyasu that would force him to adopt this mentality.

Naotora would be there as her family are working for the Imagawa too. Her position is probably the same as Ieyasu’s and even though she would later work as a retainer for Ieyasu, it’s clearly her own choice. I think in that aspect, this is a bit of a parallel to Ieyasu and Hideyoshi’s relationship, with the difference being that the Ii family are happy to continue working under him.

Battle of Kakegawa Castle
Ieyasu would decide to rebel against the Imagawa, and once again, Naotora would fight alongside him. I really like how she tells him that it might be hard to be seen as a traitor, but this is something necessary as the Imagawa can no longer bring peace. This also seems to be a foreshadowing of what would happen with the Toyotomi later on.

Yoshimoto would have died by this stage, so the Imagawa you fight against is his son. You would also fight Ujiyasu, since he is here to help the other.

There is a nice light hearted scene after this, where Naotora brought Naomasa to the battle and Ina would talk to him. At one stage, Naotora would tell Ina that the Honda style of training might be too extreme for everyone else. Although I don’t think she need to worry, as the Ii family seems super tough. I am almost not sure who is worse.

Battle of Anegawa
The Tokugawa would be fighting at the very front without help from Nobunaga, as he wants to see how well the Tokugawa perform. The result is that the Tokugawa did really well. This would be pointed out by Takatora, and he would also comment that he is curious at what type of men Ieyasu is, since he obviously inspired this loyalty.

Battle of Mikatagahara
This is the battle that I really don’t like. Even though the Takeda are not wrong in doing this due to the situation of the time, I just still feel really bad whenever I play it. When I play the Takeda side, I feel super guilty, but when I play the Tokugawa side, I feel really sad. I feel that because the difference in power is so much, and because the Tokugawa did not do anything to provoke this at all, this is the case of bullies and victims. There are other battles that are equally bad, but for me, this is the worst one.

But we see that the Tokugawa retainers are like Hideyoshi’s retainers, in that they are doing this for their master due to them believing in him.
“We have cut down our friends, cast off our family. Now that we have done all this, we owe it to them to live! Live, and realise this peace!” ~ Todou Takatora

Route availability: after clearing ‘Legend of the Oda’ and the ‘Legend of the Takeda’
Playable Officers: Katou Kiyomasa, Ishida Mitsunari, Otani Yoshitsugu, Hashiba (Toyotomi) Hideyoshi, Kuroda, Fukushima Masanori, Nene, Shima Sakon, Maeda Toshiie, Koboyakawa Takakage, Todou Takatora, Tachibana Muneshige, Ginchiyo Tachibana, Chousokabe Motochika, Koshoushou, Shimazu Yoshihiro, Shimazu Toyohisa, Kakakura Kojuurou, Date MAsamune, Yagyuu Munenori, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Tadakatsu Honda, Ii Naotora, Uesugi Kakekatsu, Naoe Kanetsugu, Hayakawa
Battles: Battle of Yamazaki, Battle of Shizugatake, Battle of Komaki-Nagakute, Conquest of Shikoku, Conquest of Kyuushu, Conquest of Odawara, Battle of Seikigahara (Easter army, western army), the Osaka campaign

One of the things I like in 4 better then 4-II is that they have the major battles (like Osaka and Odawara) in one or two routes. Replaying through the battle with different character is not very repetitive, because very often, you will focus on a particular side in regard to the battle. For example, if you pick Masamune and Kojuurou, then you get to see the two of them reacting to the battle with references to what happened in their past. Likewise, Motochika and Koshoushou would have references to Shikoku and talk about why the Shimazu are resisting. In 4-II, however, a lot of the battles would repeat in many of the routes, and even though you can pick different characters, this focus would still be on the person of the route. Therefore, it would feel a bit more repetitive. That’s probably why I am a bit weary at trying to have replayed the battles in 4-II with every single character.

Regarding this route, I basically have talked about a lot of the battles in my other reviews, with focus on how it link to that route. Therefore, my reviews would probably be scatting thoughts

Hanbei would say that what would happen cannot be done by one person alone, because you need one person to quell chaos, one person to unify the land, and then one person to rule. His words are then rather ironic because even though he clearly believes in Hideyoshi being someone who can bring peace, his own words contradict this. Three people are needed for the three tasks, and since Nobunaga is the one that quell the chaos, Hideyoshi can only unify the land or rule, he cannot do both.

Also, a bit more in regard to Kanbei. During the fight with Hisahide, Kanbei would say that the other is not a spark, but a gunpowder. Hanbei would die shortly after this incident, saying that he would entrust this to Kanbei. This then remind me of what Kanbei said in his own route in 3, how this is a heavy burden.

At one point, Yoshitsugu would comment that Nobunaga’s sons are relic of another time. I feel that Yoshitsugu saying this is really hypocritical, because that is what the Toyotomi and Mitsunari are. Yet when that happens, he is suddenly acting in a way contrary to what happened before, and it seems okay. What he reproaches Takatora for is something that he himself is doing.

Then there is Kiyomasa, who wants to use Ieyasu to protect the Toyotomi. I feel that Takatora summarises the situation perfectly when he asks why Ieyasu should do so for the Toyotomi?

I don’t think the Toyotomi retainers attitude are wrong, because they live in a time where you are often forced to manipulate others for your own gain. What I don’t like about is the fact that they would condemn others for doing the same thing that they are doing. They would reproach the others for what they are doing, yet only the others would be wrong. And as I said many times, I really don’t like how Yoshitsugu is so quick to make Takatora the bad guy due to him now caring for Mitsunari. This is especially sad when we see how much Takatora is trying to make sure that Yoshitsugu remains alive.

This is totally random but due to the scene when Naotora and Takatora are talking about the graves of those that they lost, I feel that they would make a good couple.
Naotora: “I agree. I’m thinking of going home, however. Seeing these trees here has made me want to visit the grave of a friend.”
Takatora: “Very well. If you ever want to come back, there’s a place for you here.”
It seems TV trope agree with me too.

A lot of what Hideyoshi did is due to the fact that he picked up what Nobunaga left, yet this is something that was never acknowledged. They made it as if Hideyoshi is the one that started this, when it is not, it is Nobunaga. Also, I don’t think Hideyoshi could have done all of this if Nobunaga did not die. I think Kanbei is bang on the dot when he tells Hideyoshi that the fortune favours him after they learn of Nobunaga’s death.

One of the things I really like about Maeda Toshiie is that he is probably the only Toyotomi fraction/retainer that admits they are merely doing this for Hideyoshi, not for the good of everyone. In Odawara, he would apologise to Kai for doing this, because they are doing this for the purpose of letting Hideyoshi have more power. I really like Toshiie and I think he would probably be glad to know that at the end, he has become someone who made a huge difference, as it was he that prevented Ieyasu from taking over. He is the one that managed to maintain some type of peace.

If you use Muneshige in the battle of Osaka, then he and Koshoushou would have a really sad conversation. When seeing him, Koshoushou would ask him whether he will go easy on him for old time’s sake (probably referring to how he and Ginchiyo fought with her when she was with Kanesada). Muneshige would say that if he does, then they might be strike by lightening, but then adds that ‘she’ always looked so cute when she is angry. He did not mention any names, but this is clearly a reference to his wife. What makes this scene really sad is that at the beginning, he would come out alone, and as per history, Ginchiyo would have died for sometime already.

I really like the final cut scene, when Ieyasu announces that the Sengoku era is finally over, with the majority of those that fight in Osaka beside him. That scene is really powerful because it shows the sacrifice that was made to result in this. Each of these survivors has endured great loss. I feel that Takatora summarised it perfectly in the beginning- see his quote above. There isn’t anyone who managed to reach where they are at without having lost anything. For many of them, living would be a great burden.


autumn leaf

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