The Let's Play Archive

Destiny of an Emperor

by GeneralContempt

Part 1: Chapter I: The Oath in Mrs. Liu's Kitchen

Chapter I: The Oath in Mrs. Liu's Kitchen

Before we start, I don't know if it's important to note or anything, but in Chinese names, the family name typically comes first, then the given name. (i.e: Bowie David, Chalphy Celice, Aligheri Dante, and I'm sure you get the point)

I also am going to 'fix' names in my transcriptions to be more in the style of Moss Roberts's translation, because I'm a purist asshole like that.

Obviously, someone didn't want to wait to shove everything into the credits.

Definitely worth listening to, if only for the hard core lightning sound effect five seconds into it.

Hopefully this history book will be about two thousand pages less than the original one, and won't introduce a new character every other sentence.

This is the name of the file, so no, you can't name Liu Bei something incredibly western or meme-tastic, because that would just be silly.

That being said, I'm feeling rather uncreative, so let's go with the author of the actual book, Luo Guanzhon-


Good enough.

Oh god, the "slow" setting on any NES game. We go with fast, even if it ends up screwing with the timing of my shots later on.

"Oh look at us, we walk in a perfect triangle, at the exact same speed, and conspire at the exact same spot in the exact same time. No siree, we totally did not practice beforehand!"

"die in the same hour of the same day of the same year. On our very souls we pledge that this will be true."

The actual events that led this trio to form a military marriage was Liu Bei lamenting in a bar about the state of the empire. Zhang Fei overhears him and joins him, only for Guan Yu to magically step in and join the conversation. Somehow they become best friends in the matter of two pages.

The 93' TV drama is way cooler, Zhang Fei crushes Guan Yu's seeds that he was selling in the market because he accidentally gave away Zhang Fei's meat to poor people because it was left unattended. The destruction of potential capital does not go well at all with Mr. Beard here, so they get into this really manly kung-fu fight. Liu Bei being the Jesus he is, steps between the two and stops the fighting, which they then subsequently get really drunk at Zhang Fei's house, and this occurs.

In the video game, none of this happens as we start with the oath right here and now. At least we can assume they're probably drunk.

Anyway, the noon following the oath, the trio find themselves (most possibly) hungover in Liu Bei's mom's house. To their dismay, she's ain't making no grown man any hashbrowns!

Liu Bei, listen! A group of rebels, known as the Yellow Scarfs is terrorizing the local people. You are the direct descendant of the hero Erdrick, and must slay the Dragonlord Han Dynasty. It falls to you to bring justice back to the land. To the west is the castle of Tao Qian. I hear he is recruiting volunteer soldiers to subdue these insurrectionists. Tao Qian will need leaders for his volunteers. I made sure you had the best training. Now its [sic] time to use what you know to bring civilization back to this land and carve out your place in history.

As we have already established from the back story, the Empire sucks at their job, therefore the duty falls not on them to stop the rebels, but local village bumpkins such as Liu Bei. As video game logic goes: the hero will really be the only person who will bother applying for this position, yet alone owning a house. Although Mrs. Liu was strict on the boy's education, she most definitely did not make sure he had the best equipment, as that would make his life too easy. Mrs. Liu isn't ready to make her son's life a cakewalk, she wants him to live the real life.

Anyway, let's go have a peek at our characters, and tediously explain how stats work.

Our hero, and as expected, mom's strict training made him into a great scholar, but average fighter. He still hits the best, due to his high soldier count, which will be explained.

Guan Yu, or simply called Lord Guan throughout the entire book, because he's just that good. His beard adds +100 manliness to him, which allows him have a strong attack, and he's not too dumb either.

And who can forget the comedic relief character, Zhang Fei? Getting drunk every hour on the hour didn't help him retain his brain cells, so he will be on smash everything duty.

So basically, this game has a really weird levelling system. See those STR and INT stats? They will never budge, even if you gain the maximum amount of levels (51). While we are talking about levels, no one has a level, the whole of your party has a level. This means we could totally bench Ma Chao later on, come back to him just as we're about to fight the final boss, and he will be as ready as the next active officer.

Wait a minute, if you don't gain stats, what do you gain in a level? While TP is the main thing, a select few can gain HP, which is called "SOLDIER", whereas everyone else is stuck at their base stats forever. And yes it's exactly what it seems, when we get into a battle, don't assume it's a five on five battle, imagine it an actual war. That being said, I find it amusing that there are currently 515 people in Mrs. Liu's house, 514 are currently wanting her to make breakfast.

The soldiers account for how much damage you do, so even if you have 255 STR, if you only have one soldier, the guy with 30,000 soldiers, but only 10 STR will be doing much more damage. Healing then becomes a priority, as obviously you want your characters to do max damage.

There is more stuff to explain, but I'll attempt to unload throughout the subsequent chapters in a digestible manner.

"Hello. I am Zhang Shiping. I've heard of your aspiration. I am no warrior but a simple merchant who's had some good fortune. If it will further your cause I want you to accept this small gift so you can buy weapons and prepare for battle."

Anyway, this is the first of many names to come. Fortunately, he's more of a Crassus to this game, and can safely be forgotten if you feel like a ungrateful prick.

Although money isn't really a big problem with treasure chests and looting dead armies n' all. And yes, this game is realistic and doesn't expect the team to stay alive on a mountain for 500 days and live off plot, they need food! Although in a realistic run of this game, rations are never, ever a problem, but you start losing soldiers every step if you have none.

"Cui Zhouping is never home."

You do however have to remember his name, halfway through the game even.

Even the horse is in a state of melancholy from the Yellow Scarf's tyranny.

"Are you Liu Bei? My name is Song Ren and this is Song Yong. We would be honoured to enter your service"


"We will serve you faithfully."

Being a game based on a book with over 1,000 characters in it, you do end up having a large Suikoden-esque roster at the end. Unfortunately, you cannot recruit everyone, as there is a limit to how many people are allowed to sit in the roster, which if you go over it, you have to fire weaker officers. For now, because we don't even have enough officers to fill the active party, I'll take anyone.

Even if they are statistically deplorable.

These two are the first of the non-Tiger Generals, which means that they will not gain any soldiers upon party level ups. In short, they are fillers until you get someone who is stronger than them, which is basically anyone.

Originally, the three do their oath in this peach garden, but eh, details. Mrs. Liu was a great addition to this game anyway.

And off we go!

How will this ragtag bunch of village kids manage against the world? Read on.