Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is a novelty for us here at IndieGala. We’ve written about dynasties before and even longer periods of our history. For instance, one of our best articles is about the cinematic representation of the Edo Period in Japan. You can check it out here.
But for the purpose of this article, we’re now moving to ancient China. More specifically in the Three Kingdoms of China. And we’re bringing plenty of great projects that are set in that particular era. But first, we need to start with the game that inspired this article.
What’s Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty All About You Might Ask?
Developed and published by KOEI TECMO GAMES CO., LTD Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is an upcoming action role-playing video game for the action junkie in you. The protagonist, a nameless soldier must fight against monsters and demons, in a dark fantasy version of the Three Kingdoms period. Like Nioh, the game is mostly linear, but unlike the Nioh series, Wo Long has a jump button, which further enhances both exploration and combat. Another feature of the game would be that each enemy has a “Morale rank”, which indicates how challenging the combat encounter will be. More difficult enemies would drop more valuable loot. Players can also choose from one of five “Divine Beasts” including the Qilin, Baihu, Qinglong, Zhuque and Xuanwu, these serve as a means to counter demonic qi and overcome challanges. And if any of this sounds interesting, then you should click here.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is available for pre-purchase. You know… Before the official release and with 15% off. Get it here.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty. But What About The Three Kingdoms?
Well, in a nutshell, was the tripartite division of China among the dynastic states of Cao Wei, Shu Han, and Eastern Wu. It lasted from 220 to 280 AD, and it’s considered to be one of the bloodiest in Chinese history. And although relatively short, this historical period has been greatly romanticized in the cultures of China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. It has been celebrated and popularized in operas, novels and in more recent times, films, television, and video games. Which leads us to the topic of this article. Movies that are set in this period. Which ones made the cut? Scroll down and find out.
The Advisors Alliance
A 2017 two-part television series based on the life of Sima Yi. A government official and military general who lived in the late part of the Three Kingdoms period of China. Wu Xiubo stars as the main character, while Liu Tao, Li Chen, Janine Chang, Tang Yixin, are in supporting roles. The first part covers Sima Yi’s early career under Cao Cao, the warlord who controls the central government. While the second part covers Sima Yi’s career in the Cao Wei state during the Three Kingdoms period. And his service under the emperors Cao Pi, Cao Rui and Cao Fang. The Advisors Alliance received high praise in China, especially for its plot, cinematography and cast performance. And of course, it’s a must-watch.
Another historical drama, and another one that’s focused on one person from the period. Cao Cao. A prominent warlord of the era. And one who became the de facto head of the central government in China towards the end of the Han dynasty. Chow Yun-fat portrays Cao Cao, but the movie focuses on Cao Cao’s life in his later years. The movie also depicts two assassination attempts on the warlord. The Assassins got plenty of praise for its accuracy and attention to historical details. And it’s also one of the must-watch movies from this period. You shouldn’t miss it.
Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon
A Hong Kong action drama for now. And one that’s loosely based on parts of the 14th-century Chinese classical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Furthermore, the film’s script received inspiration from Chapter 92 of Romance of the Three Kingdoms and it’s something to behold. Andy Lau portrays Zhao Zilong, while the lovely Maggie Q is Cao Ying. A female warrior who wears men’s clothing. There was some criticism regarding the costumes and the casting of Maggie Q (as not Chinese enough)… But despite all of the backlash, it’s still a pretty good movie.
A true epic made by John Woo. One that’s based on the Battle of Red Cliffs and the events at the end of the Han dynasty. Immediately prior to the Three Kingdoms period in Imperial China. The incredible Tony Leung and the talented Takeshi Kaneshiro have the leads here. But Zhang Fengyi, Chang Chen, Zhao Wei, Hu Jun, and Lin Chi-ling are on supporting duty too. In China and much of Asia, Red Cliff was released in two parts (since the entire length of the movie eclipses 4 long hours). However, according to the director, the film is only 50% factual. And the rest is the artist’s interpretation of the events. It’s also been a dream project for Woo since the mid-’90s and yeah. Not to mention, it’s John Woo’s first Chinese film since 1992. It’s a must-watch.
The Lost Bladesman
Donnie Yen fans, where are you? Calling all Donnie Yen fans. This one’s for you. It’s part historical war biopic and action film at the same time. One that’s loosely based on the story of Guan Yu crossing five passes. And slaying six generals in the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Jiang Wen portrays Cao Cao now, while Alex Fong is the warlord Liu Bei. Here’s a thing. The directors Alan Mak and Felix Chong needed to do some heavy convincing in order to get Donnie Yen into this role. He refused but after some persistence, they prevailed. Never give up, right?
Are You Hyped About Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty?
We sure are. Feel free to share some of your favorite Three Kingdoms movies. Let us know in the comment section below.