Bandit Kings of Ancient China is one of many Koei games that requires extravagant patience, a thorough understanding of Chinese history, and a keen bottle of bourbon to make it through a campaign.
The game takes place in China during the Song dynasty and is based off the Classical Chinese novel, “Water Margin.” The year is 1101, and the Bandit Kings of Ancient China are going to war against Gao Qiu, an evil Imperial minister who has seized the throne away from the Emperor.
You start off as a Bandit King yourself, but you have the ability to acquire other Bandit Kings in your party as you progress, along with random travelers, merchants, what-have-you. Build your army, care for their needs, like food, shelter, stronger weapons, etc. and they’ll be loyal to the end.
Battles are fought on the Koei-standard hexagonal tiles. Once you defeat an enemy, you’re able to imprison them, or better yet, recruit them into your party. Of course, this doesn’t guarantee that they won’t turn against you, but if you arrive at that point, hopefully your loyal army will be stronger than their uprising.
Failure to capture Gao Qiu before January 1127 results in a Game Over and the death of China as we know it. You don’t want that on your conscience, do you?
PUBLISHER/DEVELOPER: Koei GENRE: Strategy
RELEASE DATE: 06/25/90 – (JP), 12/1990 – (US)
ALSO AVAILABLE ON: Amiga, FM Towns, Mac, MSX, PC, NEC PC88, PS1, Saturn, Sharp X1, Sharp X68000