Part 4: Chapter IV: No Such Thing as PeaceChapter IV: No Such Thing as Peace
Oh for- he better have written a will with Liu Bei in it!
"Tao Qian is resting in the back room. Proceed."
Fun fact: he actually never dies in this game, just goes into hibernation mode.
"Liu Bei, my son. You did what I have long been too weak to do. I am tired of trying to rule. Please take this burden from me."
I'm not displaying the "but thou must" loop for shits and giggles, well, not solely for shits and giggles. There is a strange Chinese custom of having to refuse the offer to rule twice, and accept the third time, even if they took the throne by force.
"My people will be pleased. I'm afraid my failing health has had everyone worried. Finally I can rest."
And with that, Tao Qian's hot secretary person, or whatever slips into obscurity, as do the guards for Liu Bei fires them all.
"Guan Yu, Zhang Fei. I now have a castle and a [sic] people to protect. With my responsibility to these people, I can't be constantly endangering my life in battle. From now on, please do your best on my behalf."
Thus the reason why he was not a tiger general. Doesn't him going out of battle break the oath? He can't really die at the exact same time with Guan Yu and Zhang Fei if he's ruling while the two are dying in battle. Like sure, he can suicide, but then that would contradict his whole message of endangering himself. In any case, he's a dick.
"I've come here as a messenger of Cao Cao. You know what Dong Zhuo is doing in Luoyang? If it continues, our country will be ruined. We are determined to put together an army and stop Dong Zhuo. Generals Guan Yu and Zhang Fei, please join us."
No, we do not know what Dong Zhuo is doing in Luoyang, Capcom. Just kidding, I do:
Dong Zhuo started out as a decently good character, he battled the Yellow Scarves and even saved the Emperor's life from corrupt eunuchs who were planning on gaining power through a coup. Through these events, he was able to move up the political latter, and this is where his assery begins. He manages to get the strongest warlord in China, Lu Bu to join him, and with Lu Bu in his hands, he had no opposition.
With that, he disposes the current Emperor, and a new Emperor comes to the throne, which he was too young to rule. Acting as the regency government, Dong Zhuo led the country into a state of terror and greater corruption.
"I'm Liu Feng. I want to fight the rebels on behalf of my [adoptive] father. Allow me to join you.
"We will serve you faithfully."
Somewhere while fighting the Yellow Scarves, Liu Bei adopted this not-so-young-looking boy, and he serves as his replacement. Like Liu Bei, he is not a tiger general, and while he lacks tactical ability, 399 soldiers and 187 STR can still hit things pretty well. Besides, in this part of the game, we only really need one person spamming tactics, while everyone else can save TP by attacking.
Because Dong Zhuo is evil now, we can raid his gate.
"I'm Sun Ce.* I attacked Fanshui Guan to defeat Dong Zhuo, but Yuan Shu didn't send us food. We were defeated and betrayed by our own side."
Maybe you should just carry around your rations like everyone else [me] has to?
*Historically, this should have been his father, Sun Jian, but the game cuts him out for whatever reason.
Yuan Shu and his brother Yuan Shao will soon become important. Just know that like the Yellow Scarves, Cao Cao and Liu Bei aren't the only ones fighting Dong Zhuo.
And not only does he bitch about game mechanics to me, he has the nerve to break them two seconds later by storming off and walking over a mountain tile.
However, that's still a gate, even if it's not on the overworld. So it's time for:
"You want to attack Dong Zhuo? Ha! I, Hua Xiong will
With 162 STR, 439 soldiers, he isn't too much of a challenge.
To make matters easier, his only other non-rebel friend is an idiot.
Upon yet another easy victory, we discover that there is quite a few people in Fanshui Guan, all with interesting things to say.
"If you go west, you'll come to Hulao Guan."
"I hear Hulao Guan is protected by a great warlord named Lu Bu."
"Cao Cao is attacking Hulao Guan. But Lu Bu is strong."
"If Yuan Shu is supposed to be an ally, why didn't he send provisions to Sun Ce?"
Sun Ce [Jian] serves under Yuan Shu, and if he did all the work, this would undermine Yuan Shu's prestige. The Yuan brothers are very vain.
"Yuan Shao and Yuan Shu never go to the front line. I wonder why?"
"I'm Yang Jin. I am a pirate but I've heard about Liu Feng, so I've been waiting here. Please let me join you."
"We will serve you faithfully."
With Han Zhong's duty fulfilled, basically anyone with higher STR can replace him, like this guy! He's also one of my favourite versions of the helmet soldier portrait, if only everyone was that happy.
This camp also has an inn, which saves a few steps from having to march all the way back to Xuzhou to rest.
To progress, one has to leave camp, then walk south on the world map. This embarrassingly enough once confused me, as I thought you had to leave the camp from a non-existent north exit, as you enter from the south, so it made sense that you leave from the north.
In this area, you can recruit the two non-dead commanders from the Yellow Scarf saga, but their stats are awful. One would really want to recruit them just to get them to stop attacking, as we will be going into a dungeon soon, and they'll be riding our asses whenever they can. I still don't recruit them, as they aren't a big threat or anything.
Going west from Fanshui Guan, we are given a rare branch: either continue and stomp on Lu Bu, or go treasure hunting in a totally optional cave.
We take the cave, of course! Getting the item in this cave unlocks cool stuff.
Like the previous cave, it looks complex, but the left and right paths going up both lead to dead ends, and the leftmost (there's a rightmost one as well) both lead to a single set of stairs.
Which leads to money that we've only really used once to buy a Robe for Liu Bei.
Backtracking to the original branch and taking the path that goes directly up leads to a branch going left and right. Both paths lead to sets of stairs going down that lead the player to a single destination anyway.
This destination is another set of stairs that lead to the second treasure in a dungeon of two treasures.
This will literally be the "key" to making an otherwise nasty fight later on into an essential joke.
In time, random encounters become so annoying, and the EXP so paltry that it's best just to run away if you're not grinding for gold.
Apparently, the Gold Key had an alarm on it, so naturally like fifty billion guards are at the front of the cave.
"Are you a general of Liu Bei's army? I heard you entered this cave. I've come to see if I can join you."
"We will serve you faithfully."
Much like Liu Bei, Guan Yu also has an adoptive son, who is pretty amazing stat-wise. With seven people allowed in the roster before they get sent to the reserves, we can use him right off the bat, as we didn't recruit those two crappy commanders. The better part is that Mi Zhe can remain the tactician even if he isn't in the battle party, so you can keep everything, but have a much stronger attacker, which is what we need in the next few battles.
Anyway fellow RotTK fans, it's that time.
How will the team fare against the strongest warlord in China? Read on.
Extra: Liu Bei does become the district ruler of Xuzhou, but not in this way. He becomes ruler by saving Tao Qian from an angry Cao Cao who was seeking revenge for what happened to his family. You see, Tao Qian entrusted Cao Cao's family's safety to a former Yellow Scarf named Zhang Kai who did quite the opposite, killing every one of them, making Cao Cao understandably angry at Tao Qian for hiring Zhang Kai. Once Tao Qian is saved, he offers his position to Liu Bei, but he is too modest to accept. In the end, Liu Bei is eventually convinced by a minister of Xuzhou, the ever so familiar Mi Zhe on the premise that Tao Qian was about to die, and he had no worthy sons to take his position.
Before this event, Cao Cao was being hunted by Dong Zhuo and he came across a small village. Here a kind man offered to fetch him some wine. Cao Cao thought he was actually going to report him to Dong Zhuo's soldiers, so while this man was out, he killed all of his family members. Once Cao Cao had found out that he actually was going to get wine for him, he killed him anyway. This mainly was due to the fact that if this man came home to find his family slaughtered, he probably wouldn't be too happy. So it was easier for Cao Cao to just kill him than to attempt to explain the misunderstanding he came to.
This is all related, because Cao Cao is a dick, but the game portrays him as a peaceful person of all things, when in reality he's like the biggest dick in the Three Kingdoms era.
EDIT: I also just realized karma's a bitch. Oh you Luo Guanzhong and your subtle Buddhist messages.