- The game itself has some of the most wonderfully atmospheric music in a Total War title. "All Under Heaven", one of the first battle intro tracks you'll hear, really brings home the scale and drama of the conflict.
- The trailers make very effective use of classical Chinese poems. Since it helps to know what the singing is about, here comes the poetry class, folks:
- The announcement trailer contains the ballad "At Fifteen I Joined the Army on Expedition" ("Shíwǔ Cóngjūn Zhēng", 十五從軍征), turning it into an alternately triumphant and haunting battle hymn. This poem was given a full rendering in an episode of The Advisors Alliance, where Sima Yi recites the poem to Cao Cao (then already the King of Wei). The lyrics moved the warlord to tears. The bold line below has became the game's Arc Words.At fifteen I joined the army on expedition, Only at eighty did I finally return.
On the way I met a villager: "Who is left in my home?"
"See there in the distance is your home, Among the pine, cypress, and graves piled high."
Rabbits enter through the dog hole, Pheasants fly from the rafters.
In the parlour grows wild grain, Upon the well grows wild vegetables.
I grind the grain for a meal. I pick the vegetables for the broth.
Meal and broth are ready in an instant, But I know not whom to serve.
As I step out and look east, Falling tears soak my clothes.
- Cao Cao's trailer features the poem "Graveyard Ballad" ("蒿里行" Hāolǐ xíng, )note , written by old man Cao himself. The bold lines are sung in the trailer.In Guandong there were righteous men, raising their troops against the evil-doers.In the trailer
At first they gathered at Mengjin,note While their hearts lay at Xianyang.note In the trailer
Their troops were together yet their will was apart. They wavered like geese.In the trailer
Interests drove men to quarrels, Then they came back killing each other.In the trailer
In Huainan, the younger brothernote crowned himself, While an imperial seal was carved in the North.note
Armor breeds lice, Civilians died.
White bones laid bare in the fields, For thousand of miles there was not even a rooster crowing.
Out of a hundred, only one survived. Thinking of it breaks men's heart."
- Sun Jian's trailer has the song "Immortals by the river" (臨江仙)note . Bold lines are sung in the trailer. For extra enjoyment, listen to the opening theme of the 1994 Romance of the Three Kingdoms TV series, which contains the whole poem. In China, the series is widely considered a classic.The billowing Long Rivernote flows east.
Waves wash away all heroes. In the trailer
Right and wrong, victory and defeat, all turns to naught In the trailer
Only the blue mountains remain under countless red sunsets.
White-haired woodcutters and fishermen on the river shoal,
all too familiar with autumn moons and spring breezes.
By a jar of turbid wine, they happily gather.
Stories great and small, of the present and the past, are all in their laugh.
- Dong Zhuo's trailer has a poem about his ambition sung in the background.The traitor Dong schemed to dethrone the Emperor,
The Han Dynasty was in great peril.
All officials in the court were in his clutches,
Only lord Dingnote was a true hero.
- The trailer for the "Eight Princes" DLC, based on the brothers of the Sima family warring with one another, uses a beautifully melancholic song whose lyrics based on the Seven Steps Verse(七步詩), a poem describing the bond between brothers and lamenting the idea of them fighting over petty reasons. The poem is called "Seven Steps Verse" because, according to legend (recorded in the historical/ historical fiction book Shishuo Xinyu, "A New Account of the Tales of the World"), it was composed by Cao Zhi, the younger brother of Cao Cao's successor Cao Pi. Cao Pi's distrust towards his brother grew to the point that he ordered Cao Zhi's execution unless the latter could compose a poem with the theme of brotherhood, without using the word "brothers", and within seven steps. Cao Zhi nailed it and survived. Since Sima Yi himself later used infighting among the Caos to seize power, one would expect his descendants to know better. The bold line is repeated multiple times throughout the trailer.Beanstalks burnt to boil beans,
The beans were filtered to make juice.
The beanstalks were burnt under the cauldron,
And the beans in the cauldron wailed: In the trailer
"We were originally grown from the same root;
How come we torment each other with such haste?" In the trailer
- The announcement trailer contains the ballad "At Fifteen I Joined the Army on Expedition" ("Shíwǔ Cóngjūn Zhēng", 十五從軍征), turning it into an alternately triumphant and haunting battle hymn. This poem was given a full rendering in an episode of The Advisors Alliance, where Sima Yi recites the poem to Cao Cao (then already the King of Wei). The lyrics moved the warlord to tears. The bold line below has became the game's Arc Words.
Awesome Music / Total War: Three Kingdoms