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Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Box artwork for Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
Developer(s) Koei
Publisher(s) Koei
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Strategy
System(s) NEC PC-88, NEC PC-98, Sharp X1, Sharp X68000, Fujitsu FM-7, MSX, MSX2, Commodore Amiga, NES, DOS
Players 1
Followed by Romance of the Three Kingdoms II
Series Romance of the Three Kingdoms
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Romance of the Three Kingdoms (三國志 Sangokushi?, lit. "Records of Three Empires") is the first game in a series of turn-based war simulation games produced by Koei. While the game's title as it was released in English refers to the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms (三國演義) by Luo Guanzhong, the title as it was released in Japan and Chinese regions refers to the historical text Records of the Three Kingdoms (三國志) by Chen Shou. Originally released for a variety of popular Japanese home computers as well as the Famicom, it was eventually translated into English and published for the Amiga, the NES, and on the DOS computer platform. At it's core, it takes the strategy gameplay established by Nobunaga's Ambition and applies it to the conquest of China.

The storyline takes place during the Han Dynasty in China with many warring factions that included the Shu Han, Cao Wei and Eastern Wu kingdoms. Gameplay revolves around managing numerical statistics, each representing an attribute of a city or a character. A city is described by statistics such as stored grain supplies, vulnerability to disasters such as floods and earthquakes, treasury funds, domestic affairs and populace loyalty. Characters are numerically characterized by their leadership abilities, melee prowess, intellects and loyalty, as well as special traits of even magical abilities that can be called upon whether during wartime, diplomacy or domestic affairs. Players can increase these numbers before waging war on neighboring territories or intending diplomatic efforts.

Originating from Japan in 1985, twelve installments of the game have been published in Japan, Taiwan, China, South Korea and North America to date. Several spin-offs based on the series include the tactical action video game Dynasty Warriors, and Dynasty Tactics which is a hybrid of Dynasty Warriors and Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

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