game based on the struggle for dominance in China
during the second century BC
. It was developed for the Super Nintendo
) system, and is one of Koei's lesser known entries into it's historical simulation
The two playable characters in this game are Xiang Yu, and Liu Bang. Liu Bang was the founder of the Han Dynasty in China. Xiang Yu was Liu Bang's only true threat, and at least initially, the strongest force attempting reunification.
The game can be started from any number of scenerios, detailing the various stages of the conflict. By choosing a different scenerio, you can attempt the game with a different power base.
Each round has two turns, military and civil. During the military turn you make attacks and prepare defenses, and during the civil turn you move and, for those armies in cities when the turn begins, you can improve the cities, draft troops or gather supplies.
The strong point of the game is the diplomatic relations, by getting good enough relations, you can gain allies among the minor lords, and possibly even get them to join you, greatly strengthening your forces. You must attmept to maintain a good diplomatic standing, or you just may find youself surrounded by hostile warlords on all sides. It just may get bad enough that you watch, one by one, these lords join your enemy.
On the battlefield, the game's graphics get unique and pretty good. Unfortunately battles in the field are kind of dreary, though those in the city can be rather fun, if not absolutely destructive for the attacker. Battles outside of cities involve moving units, all which look the same except for being colored in the defender or attacker color. You can shoot arrows or engage in melee with the enemy. Once you siege a city though, the battle engine gets better. You will see several units, archers, battering rams and catapults. Each uses up a varying amount of your army's strength each turn so you generally have to choose a certain strategy. In city battles, you can even attack during the night, both as attackers and city defenders. Night attacks, while highly dangerous can yield huge gains if succesful.
So you've negotiated your way through a few battles, won a few cities, but no one likes you. Don't forget to keep your reputation high, or it may all fall apart in the end. Whether you choose to follow the path of the statesman Liu Bang, or the warrior Xiang Yu, your goal is to unite China. Can you do it?
I have seen the old SNES carts of this game around, but they are hard to find. As always, you can check emulation and abandonware sites to try to find a copy.