Dynasty Warriors

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Dynasty Warriors is a series of games (known in Japan as the Shin San Goku[1] Musou series) produced by Koei. They're based on the novel "San Goku Shi" ("Romance of the Three Kingdoms"), which covers one of the most turbulent eras of ancient Chinese history (and the basis for Koei's popular series of hard strategy games of the same name).

The games epitomize the Hack and Slash genre, although many of the games have special levels and "modes" of gameplay, which allow single and multi-player duels between characters, as well as special "Challenge Modes", which allow the player to select a character and have them perform feats of strength and skill (although most of these are just an excuse to mash buttons).

The games feature a colorful cast of characters, most of whom are part of the storyline's three main warring factions, the Kingdoms of Wei, Wu, and Shu. There are also a few other characters thrown in, including the unsavory usurper Dong Zhuo and his Evil Minion Lu Bu, the greatest Badass in all of Ancient China. The games also feature lots of hammy voice acting, which is either very funny or very annoying... or sometimes both. This may make you want to plug your ears, but then you wouldn't be able to hear the game's cool Chinese-Techno-Rock Guitar soundtrack.

Warriors Orochi is a spin-off crossover of Dynasty Warriors with Samurai Warriors, while Dynasty Warriors: Gundam combines the formula with... well, Gundams. Bladestorm: The Hundred Years War transposes the action to the Hundred Years' War, and gives the player a whole squad to do the incredible feats with, instead of one man, but is otherwise the same. There's also a game based on Fist of the North Star called Fist Of The North Star: Ken's Rage (and a sequel in the works). There's also Warriors: Legends of Troy, based on the Trojan War. There is also a One Piece game coming called One Piece: Pirate Warriors. There is also an online spinoff that can be downloaded free of charge.

Given the games Loads and Loads of Characters, here is a character sheet to learn more about them.

Tropes used in Dynasty Warriors include:


  • Always Second Best: Almost all strategists feel this way when going up against Zhuge Liang.
    • Hell this is what caused Zhou Yu's death in some games.
  • Anachronism Stew: Sun Ce wields tonfas, Zhou Tai wields some sort of Japanese sword developed well after the period, Ling Tong wields nunchaku, Zhu Rong uses a boomerang. 7 ups the ante with, among other things, a chain gun as Guo Huai's default/EX weapon.
  • And Now for Something Completely Different: The gameplay of DW9 abruptly shifts from usual hack and slash action game format to being a Wide Open Sandbox Action RPG.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: In most titles, one of the benefits you get for leveling up is the ability to select alternate outfits for your character. These are often taken from previous iterations of the game.
  • Annoying Arrows: Treatment depends on which installment is being played. Arrows were very powerful in early installments, becoming merely a nuisance in later games. In DW 5, they are one of the few things that can regularly knock a player off his mount and the reload time is coincidentally about as long as it takes to get back on the horse.
    • Dynasty Warriors 3 archer ambushes spell instant death to those unprepared.
    • Averted in-story in Dynasty Warriors 7, with Sun Jian, Sun Ce, Taishi Ci, Dian Wei, Xiahou Yuan and Guo Huai all dying on-screen from being shot by arrows but played straight in-game where they slowly chip away your lifebar with the hit sound or your character slowing down as your only notice.
      • Let's not forget Pang Tong, being a delayed-action member of this trope aversion.
        • Though it is still played straight when Xiahou Dun is shot in the eye and shrugs it off.
  • Armour Is Useless: Literally.
  • Artistic Age: Type 2. Just about every non-patriarchal character looks to be in the late-teens/early-twenties range, with only a handful of characters looking much older. In most cases this is because characters don't age over the 60+ years of history covered, but it leads to interesting moments like Biseinen Sima Yi dying of old age and a young-looking Jiang Wei launching campaign after campaign in Jin's story (in history, Jiang Wei was in his late 40's to early 60's during his Northern Expeditions).
  • Ascended Extra: An unusual case in DW7:XL where it is done to weapons, as Xiahou Dun's sword, Guan Yu's pike, Zhang Fei's double-edged pike, and Zhao Yun's spear have been spun off into their own weapon categories.
    • Sima Yi gets his own kingdom in 7.
      • And in the actual history... Making the family a case of Ascended Demoted to Extra.
  • Ascended Meme: In 3, we have the meme of "DON'T PURSUE LU BU". In 7, the achievement/trophy for defeating Lu Bu for the first time is, "Okay, you can pursue Lu Bu."
    • Cao Cao himself says the aforementioned "Don't pursue Lu Bu" in DW7 as well.
  • Autobots Rock Out: Roughly 70% of the soundtrack.
  • Automatic Crossbows: The ballistae from 7, which are basically machineguns with arrows for ammunition.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: In the DW3 opener.
    • Plus a Double Musou. The two characters stand back to back, strike a badass pose, boast to high hell while time stops around them and lightning shoots around them. Then people die. Many people.
  • Badass Adorable: Sun Shan Xiang, Bao Sanniang, Da Qiao, Xiao Qiao, Wang Yuanji... Basically almost all the female cast fit into this.
  • Badass Family: The Sun family from DW3 onward. Now we have the Guan (for all they do) and Sima families in DW7.
  • Barbarian Tribe: The Nanman Forces; the name 'Nanman' literally translates into 'southern barbarians'.
  • Best Her to Bed Her: Sidequests often involve male characters needing to prove they are worthy of their love interests by defeating them.
  • BFS: Most blades are pretty huge, but the Greatswords really take the cake.
  • Body Count Competition: A few mission objectives invoke this, but it tends to inevitably happen when two players start playing co-op.
    • The entire point of Defeat in the online version is to get a combined k.o. count of 2,000/3,000 before the opposing team does. It is also the most popular alternate objective for Capture if all the bases aren't taken by one force before the time limit expires.
  • Bow and Sword in Accord: In 3-5, all characters can switch between their normal weapon and a bow. The bow is more or less useless, though.
    • Somewhat done literally with Huang Zhong and Xiahou Yuan, who alternated between bow and sword-based movesets; in 7 they both have the Bow and Sword as their default weapons (the Bow being the EX weapon).
  • Breakout Character: In Japan Ma Chao has gained such a following that in deciding characters to add for 7 Ma Dai was chosen to better flesh out his story (while also fleshing out late-Shu characters). In 7 Xtreme Wang Yi was added to Wei in relation to the two of them as well.
    • Her personality had earned her a following as well.
    • And then in Warriors Orochi 3, Ma Chao is what can be said to be one of the main heroes, surviving the early onslaught and generally gets a lot of spotlight... moreso than resident poster boy Zhao Yun.
    • In the online version, Ma Chao is the leader of a faction in one section, supported by Pang De. The faction was somewhat odd in that they reused the old colors and capes (each section has its own, unique capes) from the previous scenario, purple and silver, for Ma Chao, but the other factions also lack new capes as well.
  • Button Mashing: Practically a defining quality of the series, and a big reason for its Love It or Hate It status.
  • Camera Centering
  • Color-Coded Armies: Blue/Purple for Wei, Red for Wu, Green for Shu, and Teal/Light Blue for Jin as well as Yellow for the Yellow Turbans, Purple for Dong Zhuo, Black for Lu Bu, and Gold for Yuan Shao. In DW7's Story Mode, Unique Officers are even colored as such when they are in their original faction or when they changed faction.
    • Some of the characters have separate color schemes owing to their having served in separate factions at different moments (Guan Yu and Jiang Wei have Shu and Wei colors, Zhang Liao has Dong Zhuo/Lu Bu and Wei, Zhang He and Zhen Ji have Yuan Shao and Wei, and Sun Shang Xiang has Wu and Shu--she even appears in a cutscene in the Shu storyline in her Shu colors).
  • Combination Attack: If two players are close enough to each other and detonate their Musou attack at the same time, they can achieve this.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Particularly egregious in the later installments, where ALL officers except you and the commanders can retreat when defeated and will come back later in the same battle.
    • DW Online manages to top this with its AI-controlled officers being able to travel across impassable terrain, amongst other abilities.
      • Not that they really do anything after they get there, though. The computers in the Online version are some of the dumbest things ever.
      • During treasure mode, they can't teleport...but they keep trying too. Instead, they just stand there if you're not escorting them past their teleporting points.
    • Oddly enough, the ridiculously powerful Musou officers (playable characters in other games) are pretty much the only ones who don't come back in the same fight, pretty much inverting the trope. Makes sense in Defeat commander, but they still retreat in other modes (Though to be fair, they are almost always a bitch to kill, especially if you're unprepared).
  • Cool Horse - Red Hare, canonically the fastest horse in the three-kingdoms era, is generally unlockable as a horse. Some other less-famous horses are unlockable in some games as well.
  • Dance Party Ending: Most of the endings in the third and fourth games of the series; Zhang He's ending in the fifth involves him leading such a dance party.
  • David Versus Goliath: Strikeforce introduces giant golem-like enemies.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Generally how you take on most of the harder enemies. It may also happen to a severely annoying xtreme in DW4's Xtreme Mode, thanks to having to buy your After Combat Recovery at progressively higher costs, and the enemies' tendency to Gang Up on the Human and throw Mook Chivalry out the window.
  • Downer Ending / Bittersweet Ending: Jin's ending is this. Jin wins the war and peace is restored...But Zhao dies one year later, And everyone who fought and died for Wei, Wu, and Shu died for nothing. It may verge in to Tear Jerker territory When you learn that historically that it DID end this way. Yes the Jin dynasty wasn't formed at the time but they did win the war.
    • Historically it got worse because historically the peace following the fall of Wu and the end of the Three Kingdoms didn't even last a decade.
  • Down the Drain: Fan Castle and Xia Pi, both battles which revolve around a "water attack" (flooding of the target castle-city).
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The very first entry in the series was a PS 1 fighting game.
  • Elaborate Equals Effective: More powerful weapons will look better.
  • Escort Mission: There's usually some kind in every game, although "Guan Yu's Escape" was the most literal, being right out of the novel to boot.
  • Five-Bad Band: Dong Zhuo's forces fit this trope.
  • Five-Man Band: Due to the time there were many of these Shu at least until Chi Bi was.
  • Flanderization: It has occurred to increasing degrees as the character roster increases, if only so that archetypically-similar characters can be told apart.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: The entire game is one big Foe Tossing Charge.
  • Friendly Fireproof: You can rain a hail of death on a crowd of soldiers, or race into said crowd with flaming swords flailing, but miraculously your allies will emerge unscathed. Not that it really matters, of course...
  • Genius Bruiser: All of the playable strategists fit into this. But most of all, Zhuge Liang.
  • Genre Shift: The original Dynasty Warriors was an arcade-style fighting game, though some of the gameplay mechanics have survived.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Xiahou Dun catching an arrow in the eye is done pretty well, given that they don't explicitly show the arrow in the eye (or Dun pulling it out) given the T rating.
    • In 7, during the Jin Campaign, the execution of Cao Shuang is handled this way.
    • The death of Zhang Liao in 7 involves a very gruesome sound effect, but the wound is obviously not shown for rating purposes, but instead zooming in on Zhang Liao's surprised face.
  • Guide Dang It: Yeah, good luck getting every (read: almost any) fourth weapon, special item, mount or elemental orb on your own. In which game? Pick one.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck: Notable, considering the amount of adult content in the source material.
  • Hack and Slash
  • Hard Mode Perks: Playing on harder difficulties will get you better weapon-drops, better stat-increase drops, or just faster experience-gain in most of the games, except for 7. In most cases, the best weapons can only be aquired while playing on Hard Mode or higher.
    • The Xtreme Legends version of 7 changed it back, and added Nightmare mode to boot.
      • Although considering that the game already had Chaos mode, what would Nightmare be? Harder Than Harder Than Hard?
        • Nightmare is pretty much what Chaos was in Warriors Orochi - it's the same as Chaos, but now enemy attacks completely ignore your defense, meaning a mook can kill you in half a dozen hits. On the flip side, your allies also get powered up.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In-Universe. Lian Shi's statement in XL that no one would betray Wu becomes this if you've played Jin's Story.
  • Heart Container: Dim Sum baskets, at least in 3-5 and 7.
  • Hello, Insert Name Here: Edit Modes, figuring prominently in 4 onward, allow you to make your own characters.
  • Historical Badass Upgrade: Most of the cast. Granted, some of those ancient warriors were actually pretty badass on their own....
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Buns and meat will heal your character while wine fills your Musou bar.
  • In Name Only: Jin in DW7 is basically Wei ruled by the Sima family.
    • It's officially Wei throughout the events of the game, which is a major plot point, as much of the "Jin" story involves in-fighting within Wei between the pro/anti-Sima factions.
  • It Amused Me: Part of the stated reason why Meng Huo decided to fight against Zhuge Liang's forces is that he was simply bored.
  • Its Pronounced Tropay: Before DW7 (DW6 for the Cao family), most of the names were pronounced as they were spelled. (Sun Kwan instead of Sun Chwen, Kee-ow instead of Chi-ow, etc). Starting with 7 though the pronunciations are very much improved, although zhong, Dong (as in Dong Zhuo) and Lu (as in Lu Bu) are all still off.
  • It's Up to You: While allied units can take out enemy bases and officers, the player still has to deal with most of them. In particular, the player must deal the final blow to the enemy commander in an overwhelming majority of instances.
    • Easily subverted in the Empires games where your generals can get competent at taking down the entire enemy army if you command them well and give them good equipment. With a good weapon and decent command, your generals can do everything to the point you can sit back in the main camp while they do all the dirty work. Hope you've got time though, A Is will follow a set path and they're not the fastest slayers out there.
    • Also subverted in 4. While almost all levels can be won by defeating the commander, you can also win in most levels by helping the rest of your allies and all of them rush him, causing him to run. However, and the game subtly points this out, Lu Bu will not retreat, no matter how badly it looks for him.
  • Kill It with Fire - A number of battles hinge on fire attacks, which drain health rather quickly if you don't pay attention - one of the most noted ones is the Battle of Chi Bi.
    • Quickly becomes Jiang Wei's calling card in the Jin story... well, that and FAILURE.
  • Leitmotif: Lu Bu's theme, Theme of Lu Bu, has gotten numerous remixes throughout the series, to the point it is the theme of each game except 7.
    • In 7 each of the 4 Kingdoms gets their own theme which gets played during the camp before each battle entitled "Tales of *insert respective kingdom here*" and remixed into "Grief of ___" for sad scenes.
  • Lethal Joke Item: As of the downloadable content in Dynasty Warriors 7, many of the silly weapons have the highest attack power available to each weapon class, as well as a strong element attached to them.
  • Level Up At Intimacy 5: In Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires you can marry another character. "Resting" with them will raise your level. Taking blood oaths with a member of the same gender (since there's no Gay Option) will also result in that character randomly giving you gifts and bonuses.
  • Limit Break: Musou attacks.
    • Desperation Attack: True Musou attacks. Unless a specific skill/attribute is in use, they can only be done while the player's health bar is red (as opposed to yellow or blue/green). Additionally, the musou gauge automatically charges when the player's health is this low.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: In Dynasty Warriors 5 alone, the number of playable characters is 48.
    • Dynasty Warriors 7 tips the scales at 62, bringing back all but two of the characters cut in 6 (Pang De, due to "certain storyline constraints" and Zuo Ci, who was essentially a bonus character in 5.) and adding the Jin "kingdom" (more specifically, Sima Yi's sons and their affiliated officers). Xtreme Legends then ups the scale a bit by bringing back Pang De and adding two brand new characters (Guo Jia and Wang Yi) into 65.
    • Warriors Orochi 2 takes the trope Up to Eleven with 96 unique, playable characters.
    • Now topped with the announcement of Warriors Orochi 3 we have 120 characters confirmed.
      • More like 130 counting the "bonus" characters Gyuki, Dodomeki, and Orochi X. To put that into perspective, take a look at this. That's not even half of them.
  • Luck Stat: Determines quality of found items and frequency of drops or something like that. You can usually equip an item/ability or apply a skill to boost this.
  • Luck-Based Mission: Several quests in the online game have some luck in it. Usually, you can get a pretty high rank, even if you're completely screwed, but there are some quests where rank is determined almost completely by luck (I'm looking at you, Rescue the Apprentice).
  • Mooks: The troops. Only on the higher difficulty settings and in large numbers will they even manage to inconvenience you. The main difficulty of achieving 1000 K.O.s is finding enough of them to beat up.
  • Multiple Endings: Each ending in the game will depend on the character you've chosen and his family/group affiliation. Each family or group will have their own ending cutscene and credits sequence.
    • Notably in 7, the ending cutscenes are broadly canonical (even if the original Three Kingdoms' treatment of shared events is rather different), while Jin's ending cutscene is actually the overall ending.
    • In online, instead of an "ending" you see more of a "finality" once an era ends. You unlock it by being a high enough rank once the era ends and it will be of you and the commander you serve under. It appears to be that each cutscene for your general is the same. You get shown, and can pull up at any time after that, a scene between and your Mute Hero, at least for the cutscene, doing something related. If you served under Guan Yu, Guan Ping, or Zhang Fei, then cups of an undisclosed liquid are involved, and the general will talk about oaths of friendships. Or if you are serving under Sun Shang Xiang, you will get a nice little talk about how she feels like settling down now that the war has ended, possibly finding a husband. Then she says "yeah right" and asks you to join her on more adventure. Or you have Zhang He's ending, where the character and Zhang are sparring, and upon notice of a flower Zhang He notes that there really is no more reason for fighting, and they should peruse peace. Each cutscene is designed to show a scene that could be taken as either "we won, and now we no longer have to fight" or "we lost, but the war is over, so we can rest now" view.
  • Multishot
  • Mukokuseki: Even if Chinese people aren't as racially homogeneous as Westerners think, the character designs for some characters get a little...creative, to say the least. Dynasty Warriors 7 takes this to the limit, with some characters featuring unambiguously Western facial features, blue, green or grey eyes, as well as light brown, red and even blonde hair. Glaring examples include: Ma Dai (who looks like a cross between Gael García Bernal and Jake Gyllenhaal), Zhu Rong (green eyes and snow white hair), Xiao Qiao (blue-green eyes and honey blonde hair), Sun Shang Xiang (green eyes and auburn hair), Diao Chan (blue eyes and burgundy hair), Yue Ying (grey eyes and red hair), Zhong Hui (blue eyes and light brown hair), Xiahou Ba (hazel eyes and dark blond hair) and possibly the most incongruent, Wang Yuanji (golden eyes and ash blonde hair).
    • The source material, which the game is based on, already had a great deal of Mukokuseki. The Sun family were said to have green eyes. Sun Quan had purplish hair. Guan Yu had a red face. Zhang Fei a black face. Cao Zhang, a son of Cao Cao, was said to have blond facial hair. The Nanman were described as exotic looking. So the novel was pretty creative in its own right.
  • Nerf: Zuo Ci's weapon gets one hell of a downgrade for the online game. It's Kinda understandable, though.
    • The ridable elephant in the online version as well. They no longer damage enemies by running into them, their basic attack is stupidly hard to aim at anything not as big as it is, it's charge attack hits in a cone area instead of around it, and it's possible to dismount a rider with an attack that knocks someone down aimed at the elephant, along with killing the elephant outright. On the other hand, it's musou is changed to a more powerful version of it's original charge attack, it has it's own life and musou bars, and if the enemy isn't relying on charge attacks, it is much harder to dismount a rider from his/her elephant, since attacks made onto the rider count as hitting the elephant instead.
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: Justified, since it's based around feudal China from 184 to 234 (and 263 in 7); every single female character is either the love interest or relative of a male character.
    • We finally get an exception in 7, with the poet/songstress Cai Wenji.
      • And another in XL, the vengeance driven Wang Yi. Apparently Wei is a very progressive Kingdom.
  • Noob Cave: The Yellow Turban Rebellion is this in most games, albeit that's pretty similar to the book, where several of the major characters would establish their reputations from fighting against the rebels.
  • Not So Different: A person's family is killed by a general's army and thus joins a faction just for a chance kill that general. Are we talking about Wang Yi or Ma Chao?
  • Obvious Beta: Dynasty Warriors 9 obviously was not configured for anything other than consoles in mind at launch, as PC players can get slowdowns and graphics bugs unless they configure their graphics cards and the game settings in very specific ways.
  • Oh Crap: Lu Bu has entered the battlefield.
    • In the Battle of Hei Fei - Zhang Liao has entered the battlefield.
    • In the online game, anytime an canon officer enters scene pray you don't meet him unless you are using a weapon that was designed just for killing such officers. Both Pang Tong and Lu Bu have most of the same bonuses, you can't make them flinch with normal attacks but only elemental attacks can flinch or stun them, they can kill you in one hit after full upgrading, online you upgrade in battle according to your weapon rather than having regular stats, unless it's a tanking weapon, their health is UNGODLY, and have the same movement... rubberbanding as any other CPU player. Pang Tong and Lu Bu differ in that Pang Tong can be flinched with Musou attack but Lu Bu can only be moved by using the special attribute just meant for making people move. A select few also have the ability resist even the Limit Break. As you can see, pretty hard to fight. However, they are still daft and get stuck by literal Waist High Fence that need to be jumped over.
  • Old Save Bonus: You get a few things when playing an Extreme Legends or Empires title if you have a save for the corresponding game in the main line.
  • One-Man Army: Most of the time figuratively, but occasionally literally, as well.
  • Pimped-Out Cape
  • Powerup Mount: Horses and elephants, as well as bears in 7.
  • Public Domain Characters: Most characters are either historical persons or characters from a very old novel. As of 7 the only entirely fictional characters in the main games are Fu Xi, Nu Wa, and Bao Sanniang.
    • Fu Xi and Nu Wa are themselves Chinese mythological deities, so Bao Sanniang is the only character created entirely for this series.
  • Recurring Extra: An unnamed peasant that continues to appear in the main camp in Shu's Musou mode in DW7, who joined from as far back as the Yellow Turbans Rebellion and moves up the ranks as Liu Bei (and eventually Zhuge Liang)'s campaigning went on.
    • In XL, we get the "It's Me!" guy. He shows up in literally every camp, which puts him on something like 11 different sides over the years. The closest to an explanation we get is that he's a history buff, and likes being where the action is.
  • Redshirt Army: Everyone but the named officers, and sometimes even them (the ones with generic character models, anyway).
  • RPG Elements: As you complete missions, your character gains levels, and you gain permanent attribute bonuses from defeating enemy commanders. You also collect better weapons and gear.
    • 7 removed leveling, with enemy officers instead dropping attribute bonuses directly and skill points with which to pay for specific upgrades (i.e. a character's moveset, adding a second Musou attack, increasing the length of the Musou gauge).
    • Brought back to DW8, and taken Up to Eleven in DW9, which is essentially an action RPG.
  • Running Gag: In 7: Xtreme Legends, Liu Shan will intrude on certain battles, commenting that he was just taking a stroll and got lost. Xing Cai follows close by to berate him for his "clumsiness."
  • Schmuck Bait: Some people will view the words "Do not pursue Lu Bu" as an invitation. They will most likely get their asses handed back to them.
    • In the online game, any cannon officer announcing they have entered the battlefield will be unless you know what is going on.
      • Lu Bu actually appearing may also inadvertently invoke this to anybody who hasn't gotten their asses handed to them before. Especially if you miss the key detail that he doesn't flinch against your Limit Break like most others officers of the same power.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: 6E and occasionally ultimate weapons require this.
  • Serial Escalation: Strikeforce has more or less broken the sound barrier of insanity. It makes the already What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome? moments of previous installments look like gritty minimalist realism.
  • Serrated Blade of Pain: Dong Zhuo combines this with Sinister Scimitar before using a huge mace in later titles, and occasionally switches to bombs.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: In DW7XL, even if you do save him, Ma Su will be put to death anyway. Something that really affects Zhuge Liang, who is implied to be the one to execute him.
    • Averted in DW8XL, which let you save him minus the execution if you play the stage correctly.
  • Shout-Out: Possibly. One of the Dynasty Warriors 7 "lances" is entitled the Heaven Piercer.
    • Additionally, whenever a character uses Great Swords, at least one of them look quite a bit like the Buster Sword.
  • Spin Attack: Quite a lot of Musou attacks (and a few Charge attacks) have an element of this.
  • Sprint Shoes: Equipment and weapons with the Speed attribute increase running speed. There's also a temporary boost dropped by enemies, which is a pair of boots. Mounts also fit to some extent.
  • Stop Helping Me!: Elephant Liutenants in the online version. Sure, almost every liutenant can be annoying in one way or another (more than they can be useful, anyways), but Elephants are by far the most annoying ally to have following you around. Their attacks will constantly spread out the enemies you've been trying to herd into a small group to kill quicker, and it's practically impossible to string up combo's with them since all of their attacks launch enemies into the air. Sure, you could have them charge instead, but then you have to listen to that god damn gong constantly. The worst part is that you have to use them almost 100 times to meet the requirement to be able to ride them (which,depending on if someone is selling them for gold, may or may not mean spending real money to do it).
    • Computer ally officers are also a huge annoyance. At least you can tell a human player that you don't really need their help to take a soldier base.
      • The "Musou officers", I.E. the characters from the original game, are some of the strongest characters on the field, but unless you are trying to take over a base then their "contributions" don't count to a game score, a captured base is counted as being on your side but a mook taken down is not a K.O. for your side, meaning that unless the officer takes down an enemy who needs to be upgraded to kill mooks at the fastest time, they don't really help.
  • Super Mode: All officers have this in the Strikeforce games.
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity: Does your army start with a higher morale than the others does? Then be prepared for something really bad to happen within the level.
  • Talking to Himself: Present in every entry, but especially egregious in 7 where, among others, Wendee Lee voices three different characters with completely different personalities.
    • A particularly amusing (and frequently literal) example is Lex Lang voicing polar opposites and eternal rivals Zhuge Liang and Wei Yan.
  • Tempting Fate: Cao Cao manages this twice in the Battle of Chibi by downplaying Zhuge Liang and Zhou Yu's ability, saying "they're not so smart, if they'd set up an ambush here I'd really be in danger". The first time is amusing, the second one borders on Cao Cao being blatantly genre-blind.
    • Right out of the source material, the last instance (before encountering Guan Yu) being the most egregious because even his officers had caught on.
  • Timed Mission: Every battle.
  • Title Drop: In DW5:Empires, if you gain 1000 K.O.s, after the battle you will get a cutscene where your ruler will declare you a true "Dynasty Warrior."
    • Prominent in the Japanese versions where characters will mention "sangoku musou" word-for-word, and recent English versions have used the more direct translation "True Warrior of the Three Kingdoms."
  • Too Long; Didn't Dub: The combat vocals in 3 have no non-Japanese recording.
    • When you think about it it was the first in the series to include voice-overs during ingame cutscenes and not just the cinematic ones.
  • The Bechdel Test: DW7 passes with Sun Shang Xiang & Lian Shi, a minor conversation between Cai Wenji & Diao Chan, some dialogue between Yue Ying & Bao Sanniang, and other specific Conquest Mode quotes (E.g, Yue Ying to Wang Yuanji or Cai Wenji).
  • This Is a Drill: Lances in 7 act more like giant drills than what you'd expect of a lance.
  • Unstoppable Rage: The Musou RAGE tokens in 5 allow you to temporarily claim this.
  • Victory Pose
  • Villain Exit Stage Left: All defeated enemy commanders do this during a given character's story, unless it's the last battle in the story, or if it was their time to die historically.
    • 7 has Jiang Wei doing this no less than four times (in four failed invasions of Wei -- though he had three more in the novel) in Jin's story before being the final boss of Battle of Cheng Du, and one of Zhuge Liang's Legendary Stages in 7 has Meng Huo doing this a whopping six times before finally surrendering after his seventh defeat -- again, right out of the novel.
  • War Elephants: War elephants are generally used as mounts by the Nanman, and sometimes unlockable as a companion animal by the player character.
  • We Cannot Go on Without You: Defeating the enemy commander automatically ends most stages, while losing your commander will mean defeat for you. Overlaps with Decapitated Army.
    • In some stages where there is more than one force (And thus more than one commander), defeating an enemy commander will cause every officer of the corresponding force to retreat.
  • We Have Reserves: The main enemy tactic does seem at times to be 'let's keep hurling men at the player until he gets exhausted from killing so many.'
  • Weapon of Choice and almost all its subtropes, most notably Blade on a Stick and Sword Fight: Absolutely everyone.
    • 7 even acknowledges in its description of the single-edged broadsword ("Sword") how common the weapon is as well as the fact that it's the only weapon that almost every character can obtain a three star rating with it. This allows for characters who are naturally weaker early on to fight on even ground until they can either utilize their weaker EX Weapon fully or generally catch up in stats.
  • White and Grey Morality: With the exception of Dong Zhuo, this trope is played straight.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: Dynasty Warriors 9 makes liberal use of this trope.
  • World of Badass
  • World of Ham
  • Wrestler in All of Us: More prevalent in 7, but many officers use wrestling moves for some throws, such as Giant Swing for Zhang Fei and any wielders of the Gloves moveset, Backdrop Suplex and Muscle Buster for Huang Gai, and Armbar for Deng Ai.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: Dynasty Warriors Xtreme, one of the special editions.
  • You All Look Familiar: The NPC minor generals. And they all sound familiar, too.
    • Mildly averted in 7, as the generic NPC generals' faces were created by some mix-and-matching of head features, giving some a more distinct look than others -- for example, Huche'er is a freakin' ninja -- which befits the game having quite a few more NPC generals as stage bosses, particularly in Jin's story mode (i.e. Gongsun Yuan, Wang Ling and Cao Mao all leading opposition to the Sima clan).
  1. "The Three Kingdoms"