March 03, 2012

[Game 015] Destiny of an Emperor (NES - 1989)


Taking place in the same setting as the strategic Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the similarities end there as this is a RPG proper.  The brothers three: Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei are gathering their forces to help Tao Quan defeat the Yellow Scarves gang.  If successful, Liu Bei will be rewarded with Xu Zhou castle in which to make his headquarters.  The Yellow Scarves have taken over the stronghold of Qing Zhou and this is the first place to be liberated.  The people have cried out for champions to help deliver them from the reign of the hated Y.S.  Liu Bei and his posse have heeded these calls and are ready to lay the smackdown on any Scarf that dares to oppose them.

Don't give up!  Stay in school
and say no to drugs.

Even though Destiny of an Emperor is a strict RPG, it attempts to emulate the large scale battles such as took place in the previous strategy game.  This is accomplished by simply making hit points equal number of soldiers under their command.  Damage inflicted is also dependent on the number of soldiers the general currently has (drops significantly when under 100).  This gives an added depth to health management.  In most RPGs, characters do the same amount of damage regardless of their current hit points.  Hit points, erm, I mean total soldiers are dealt with in the hundreds.  A typical random battle will produce thousands of casualties.  The losses are easily replaced by, um, napping at the inn or drinking... a potion?  Okay, so the concept does break down at certain points but it's still cool.  Nothing beats seeing an opposing army lose hundreds of soldiers in seconds when automating a battle in a frenzied free-for-all.

Where should we stack the bodies, sir?

There are many, many generals in the game and most become recruitable.  Some join willingly but others must be given gold or a fine steed.  Most generals are selected for strength and high soldier counts, although one general is selected to be the tactician for the entire army and his ability is based off intelligence.  Tactics essentially replace magic for DoaE and have the usual range of effects one would expect (including all-important healing).  The tactician is generally not in the actual combat but makes available his tactics to be used by a general on the war field.  The intelligence of the general using the tactician's abilities also affects the potency of the spell, dammit, I mean tactic.

After going to and defeating the Yellow Scarves at several different locations, Liu Bei's army is victorious and they return to Xu Zhou castle to claim their prize.


I dunno... is the mortgage paid off?

It is here that Liu Bei decides to break off from the rest of the generals and rule from Xu Zhou.  At first this seemed like a set back.  After all, Liu Bei had all the best equipment available.  Luckily, these items are automatically passed down to the general recruited in the same room.  Guan Yu and Zhang Fei are ordered to go and defeat the tyrant Dong Zhou, who has teamed up with the super-buff Lu Bu.  Along the way, many small fry armies will be encountered and annihilated.  True to the historic content of the setting, many named generals will also be met and potentially recruited to be added to the warlord warehouse.  The cast is huge but a few names do stand out.

Cao Cao!  I loved (being) you in RotTK!

For now, most missions involve ousting an enemy army out of a castle although there are a few item fetch quests.  Hopefully, at some point, we can convince Lu Bu to join us.  Rumour has it he has been searching far and wide for the gemsword.  If only we can find it first...