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  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • In the stage Yellow Turban Rebellion for 5, if you defeated Zhang Bao or Zhang Liang and let Zhang Man Cheng alive for a while, there will be this exchange:
      Zhang Jiao: "Zhang Man Chengggggg... receive the power!"
      Zhang Man Cheng: "Oooohhh.... I feel the power in my own hands."
    • When Cao Pi first met Zhenji in Dynasty Warriors 5, he flirts with her by praising her that she's a beautiful flower and asking her if she wants to join him where she would rather have "your petals bloom...beneath me?"
    • One of Wang Yuanji's lines in "Ambition Mode" for Dynasty Warriors 8 consists of her inviting the Player Character to try some of her "meat buns".
  • Adorkable: For being one of Shu's strategists, Xu Shu sometimes stutters when speaking to someone personally. Many of his fans find him very cute because of his shy personality.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Is Zuo Ci actually some sort of divine being who truly believes in Liu Bei's cause, a trickster whom Liu Bei (or some other warlord who wanted to frame Liu Bei) hired to spread rumors and weaken Wei forces from the inside in the same vein as Gan Ji, who is employed by Cao Cao and/or Xu Gong to weaken Sun Ce's faction in 8, or, as Xiahou Dun surmises, a merely deluded hermit?
    • Is Liu Bei a genuinely benevolent ruler that cares for his people like he claims himself to be? Or is he an ambitious, naive warlord deluded by his ideals and self-importance? Finally, is he a cunning politician who uses "benevolence", "righteousness", "virtue", etc. as buzzwords to attract the masses and for his political advantage?
    • Is Zhuge Liang a brilliant, honorable strategist who wished to see justice brought back to the world, or is he only in it for fame and prestige? His retreat quote in most of the games is almost always a variation of Just as Planned or I Meant to Do That. An example of Chessmaster? Or just a plain Sore Loser? Considering some other more honorable, or, say, benevolent characters (including Shu characters, such as Zhao Yun) still have the dignity to accept defeat in their retreat quote, it does make Zhuge sound a bit less honorable than he's supposed to be.
    • Do the Shu officers truly desire a land of benevolence and virtue or are they only interested in conquest and glory, hiding their real intent behind a veneer of righteousness? At its minimum, is Shu (more specifically, Liu Bei) really motivated by The Needs of the Many or are they glorified Knight Templars who believe anyone who goes against them is automatically evil? Note the Shu Kingdom ending in Dynasty Warriors NEXT sees the faction killing all of its enemies, just as the Wei Kingdom does,including Liu Bei's wife Sun Shangxiang, while the Wu Kingdom ending has Sun Quan sparing his fellow warlords and convincing them they have a place in the new order. Not to mention that in the hypothetical path for 8, Shu ends up destroying Wei (though still allied with Wu, albeit a tense relationship) while Wu's hypothetical path have them forming peaceful relation between all three factions.
    • The series itself does this for Liu Shan. In the source material, Liu Shan is dismissed as a moron, even possibly outright retarded as a result of being dropped on his head as a baby (re: the "Battle at Changban"), but Dynasty Warriors reinterprets him as Brilliant, but Lazy, highly enlightened leader who employs Obfuscating Stupidity to avoid letting things get "too complicated", and surrenders to the Jin faction not out of cowardice, but because of the realization this age of strife won't end until somebody takes the first step to ending the fighting.
    • Is Jia Chong a pragmatic political officer who does the dirty work no one else is willing to do in the best interests of his leaders or a cold-blooded murderer who enjoys the bloodshed of his enemies and coincidentally chooses the best course of action?
    • How loyal is Sima Yi to Cao Cao and Cao Pi? Dynasty Warriors 6 portrayed him as an overly ambitious Evil Chancellor more than willing to betray and overthrow his masters, yet beginning with 7, Yi is content to serve them, as he considers the Cao clan worthy rulers who have the greatest chance at reuniting the land. However, when successors such as Cao Shuang turn out to be very incompetent, Sima Yi stages his coup d'etat and wrests control away from the Cao family. Judging by the ending of Wei's Story Mode in 7, there are still traces of his scheming, sinister side. This is also acknowledged In-Universe by Jia Xu in his ending for Dynasty Warriors 9, who remains wary of Sima Yi's motives and questions his loyalty to Cao Pi.
  • Americans Hate Tingle:
    • This and Samurai Warriors are well-received in Japan, but in North America, both are far more along the lines of a mixed reception, with exceptions for Dynasty Warriors 7 and 8. Generally, the earlier games had a poorer reception from professional critics (with the exception of perhaps one individual). The usual arguments are repetitive Button Mashing and the fictional/historical story aspects are boring and redundant (since it is technically telling the same stories with different variations in each major installment).
    • Due to Values Dissonance, Western players do not take to Xiaoqiao well. The reason stems from her appearance making her much younger than her husband Zhou Yu (whom fans mostly respect), making him look like an Ephebophile; adding to the fact she's very bubbly and perky, yet not exactly known for her intelligence, just adds fuel to the fire. Eastern fans are more accepting of her, though it's still somewhat acknowledged she feels too young to be Zhou Yu's wife.
  • Annoying Video Game Helper
    • Elephant Lieutenants in Dynasty Warriors Online: sure, almost every lieutenant can be annoying in one form or another (more than they can be useful, anyways), but these units' attacks will constantly spread out enemies players have been trying to herd into a small group to kill quicker, making it practically impossible to string Combos with them since all of their attacks launch enemies into the air. Yes, players can send these elephants to charge instead, but that's offset with a gong constantly ringing. The worst part is players have to use them almost a hundred times to meet the requirements to mount them (which, depending on if someone is selling them for gold, may or may not mean spending real money to do it).
    • AI-controlled allied officers are almost always unreliable; compare this to a human player, since they don't really need help at taking enemy bases.
      • The "Musou officers", I.E. the characters from the original game, are some of the strongest on the battlefield, but unless players are trying to take over an enemy base, their "contributions" don't count to game score, since a captured base is counted as being on the player's side, but a defeated Mook isn't considered a K.O., meaning that unless these officers defeat an enemy who needs to be upgraded to kill Mooks at the fastest time, they don't really help.
    • Mounted allied officers are globally loathed by players throughout the series: not only do they rarely contribute to the fight with their weak, inaccurate mounted attacks, they also have a habit of getting in players' way while they are trying to focus on continuing a Combo on an enemy officer, often pushing them out of the string, resulting in a number of consequences, none of them good. Needless to say, it became a relief to see them starting to get wiser by Dynasty Warriors 6, wherein they dismount first before engaging the enemy.
    • Lieutenant officers that can be recruited in "Extreme Mode" for Dynasty Warriors 5: unlike bodyguards in any other mode, they can't be ordered to take a defensive stance or stay their ground, which more often than not results in them charging at a squad of enemy Mooks, prematurely breaking their formation with a Charged Attack, forcing players to go after the scattered Mooks one-by-one to clean up their jobs, significantly increasing the risk and time players have to take to complete the stage. Meanwhile, in special stages filled with elemental crossbow users, the lieutenants stealing officer kills and breaking a Combo is the least of one's problems.
    • Any time players are in a fight with more allies than enemies, especially if the ratio is 5:1, they'll probably be the one who does the most damage, with allied officers likely the ones knocking enemies out of their attack Combos. This makes finishing enemies a pain when players are trying to find them; at the very least, however, enemies are rarely able to strike back because they're being juggled in the air, until 7 introduced "Aerial Musou Attacks", which can lead to players wishing more allied officers are around to help.
    • As noted below Demonic Spiders, the Cavalry units. If they happen to be your allies, it's this trope instead of Demonic Spiders because they tend to get in your way and ruin your combo.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Due to the Wide-Open Sandbox feature in Dynasty Warriors 9, Lu Bu is derided into this. Since players are allowed to level up as freely as they want until they approach Hulao Gate, this generally renders Lu Bu underleveled and easy to defeat for most players, not to mention his boss-exclusive "Hyper Mode" does nothing against a fully charged unblockable attack, nor is Lu Bu's AI play as strong for this game compared to prior installments. Even by increasing the difficulty via sneaking past Lu Bu and defeating Diaochan first, thus triggering his Hyper Mode, only makes him slightly stronger. It seems players can pursue Lu Bu all they want in this game, after all.
  • Author's Saving Throw
    • Downloadable Content for Dynasty Warriors 8 included faithfully recreated older costumes updated to reflect current visuals, allowing players who weren't happy with the changes that Dynasty Warriors 6 brought to certain charactersnote  to play as their original characterizations.
    • The Wei storyline in 7 and 8 ends with the Battle of Fan Castle, Cao Cao's death and the rise of Cao Pi as Emperor of Cao Wei. Several fans were upset it didn't went further into Cao Pi's reign where some of the best battles (such as Cao Pi's attempted invasions on Wu) happened; likewise, the Wu storyline merely touched upon these battles, but nothing further that. Dynasty Warriors 9 pays attention to Cao Pi's reign until his death by including several characters who played important roles during his era such as Man Chong and Xu Sheng.
      • Similarly, the Shu storyline in 7 and 8 concludes at the "Battle of Wuzhang Plains" and Zhuge Liang's death, until 9 expanded the storyline towards the Fall of Chengdu, giving an outlook on how Shu was handled when Jiang Wei is in charge of the Northern Campaign.
      • 8 also downplayed much of Sima Yi's interaction and relationship with Wei (non-Jin) characters whereas in 7 he only appears in Fan Castle for Wei story mode as "guide character". Particularly egregious that the Wei story mode in 8 almost pays no attention to his historically-accurate friendship with Cao Pi and in Jin story mode he only references Cao Cao and Cao Pi in passing mention long after they died. 9 fixes this where he has several cutscenes with Cao Pi and he's even among the mourners of Cao Cao's death.
    • For fans who were disappointed with the new English dub in 9 due to not living up to the original cast and being too Narm, the localization included Japanese and Chinese dubs with English subtitles, giving players the option of using either language of their choice.
    • Koei Tecmo is mostly aware of the less-than-stellar launch of 9, thus has dedicated their post-release time to include patches that smooth out the experience outside of the PlayStation 4 Pro, starting with graphical fixes, AI tweaking, adding extra optional features like removing the "officer encounter" cutscene that tends to disrupt Combos, switching characters in-game note , adding soundtracks from the past games and including several modes such as the Arena mode and the Photo mode, and eventually the old, classic weapons (even if it's DLC).
    • In Dynasty Warriors 9, several players criticized Matt Fowler's performance as Zhuge Liang for being too emotional and rough in contrast to Lex Lang's calculating and soft-spoken performance, which is akin to Masaya Onosaka's portrayal of the Sleeping Dragon. In the hypothetical DLC scenarios, Fowler's performance improved with his voice similarly closer to Lang's portrayal as it was originally intended.
  • Awesome Ego: Zhong Hui. He's an arrogant and self-centered jerk who declares himself as "The Chosen One" and yet, a lot of players, particularly the female players, find him awesome.
  • Badass Decay: Yuan Shao, insofar as presence and cunning are concerned, beginning around the fifth game. He was a reasonably fearsome warlord and a Worthy Opponent to Cao Cao in the first few games, but newer installments have more heavily leaned on his image as an Upper-Class Twit who foregoes strategy in favor of throwing troops at his enemies.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Zuo Ci returning in Dynasty Warriors 8 made some fans happy since his absence post-Dynasty Warriors 5, but others felt he took a roster spot away from more deserving historical characters in the "Others" category and should have been relegated to Spin-Off Crossover series Warriors Orochi, given the majority of "mystical" characters in that setting. On the other hand, Zuo Ci did appear for part of the source novel, and his mystical status against Fu Xi and Nuwa are debatable, since the latter two were recreated specifically for the crossover. His characterization is another case - some are fine with the way he's portrayed as a Mysterious Protector, but others believe the developers have no idea on how to effectively use him as part of the story, seeing him as nothing more than a Liu Bei supporter who unnecessarily trolls Cao Cao, despite the latter being less of a Card-Carrying Villain since Dynasty Warriors 7, making Zuo Ciwasted potential.
    • Xiahou Dun is slowly veering toward this path, having been openly admitted by the series producer for being his favorite character. In the modern installments, Dun's received special treatments from appearing in the opening CG movie to appearing in battles he didn't historically participate in, even taking screen-time from other characters(Cao Ren and Xu Huang at the "Battle of Fan Castle" in Dynasty Warriors 7 being the most egregious example). These alone raised many controversies among fans, accusing Xiahou Dun for stealing the already minimal- to non-existent appearances of less popular characters.
    • Xu Zhu's portrayal in this series is either acceptable and gives a unique color to the Wei force or is considered an insult to his historical/novel counterpart, where he's known as one of the most fearsome Wei generals, instead of the constantly-hungry fat simpleton the games has turned him into and further exaggerated with the English voice he got ever since 4.
    • Zhao Yun. No matter how many new characters Koei Tecmo can introduce into the series, it's clear he will always be the Series Mascot, constantly being on the cover of major installments and the primary focus of the intro CG movies; even the Spin-Off Dynasty Warriors: Godseekers makes him the protagonist of the game (aside from two Original Generation characters sharing the spotlight with him, while other historical characters play second fiddle to Yun). In the developer's defense, they needed a character to represent what encompasses One-Man Army the most from a game-play perspective, thus relegated to Yun, citing the "Battle at Changban" from the novel as the motivating reason (even though it never occurred the way it did historically). While some are feeling tired of Zhao Yun being shoved in their faces perpetually by Koei, especially those who look past the source material and into his actual history, others enjoy the notion that for whatever feats he has pulled, inaccurate or not, it's still breathtaking. And thankfully for the developers, Zhao Yun is one of the squeakiest clean guy amongst Shu history-wise, even if he actually didn't do much, so picking him as a poster boy means they avoid bigger controversies of putting other prominent Shu characters like Liu Bei and his brothers when their historical versions weren't as moral.
    • Bao Sanniang. She's either loved for her Genki Girl traits and parading around in a Stripperiffic outfit while killing thousands of Mooks, or she's hated for those same reasons. Detractors claim she's pure Fanservice, which the developers tried too hard to get players on board with her, while Bao's fans find her cute and refreshing. Seeing her act akin to a Cat Girl for her Musou Attacks only gave the latter more reasons to love her, and yet more reasons for the former to hate. All this is before mentioning Bao is the first playable character on the roster to not come from Romance of the Three Kingdoms or historical fact, making her inclusion a questionable addition.
    • Liu Shan, though given what he was in Real Life this should come as no surprise; fans either love his Historical Hero Upgrade the developers have done or hate he isn't portrayed as the Sucksessor he historically was note .
    • Guan Yu has become this towards the later games, although mostly in the wake of the earlier times the fandom discovered how it went in the actual Three Kingdoms – Shu, Wei, Wu.
      • While the reverence for Guan Yu's honor and valor and veneration of him as the "God of War" is very much in line with the original novel and even East Asian culture to this day, some fans believe him to be a major Creator's Pet whose alleged virtues have been Flanderized in later games. This especially applies after fans began analyzing official historical records, which suggest Guan Yu was a General Failure with very few actual accomplishments and a General Ripper who cared little for tactics and strategy (factors the historical Zhang Fei actually favored), and who treated anyone besides Liu Bei with arrogance and disdain. Furthermore, almost all his in-game accomplishments are either entirely fictional (slaying Wen Chou and Yan Liang) or historically attributed to someone else (killing Hua Xiong and fighting and routing Lu Bu, both of which were actually achieved by Sun Jian). Lastly, some fans blame him for creating the Spotlight-Stealing Squad of his family and Zhou Cang (twonote  of whom are completely fictional), who seem to exist entirely to worship and make him look good. Such fans believe they "stole" character spots from more deserving and actual historical figures.
      • Fortunately for Guan Yu, there's also a third camp that believed that most of his historical flaws above were overexaggerated, while he was indeed not as great as the novel hyped him up, he was still not as pathetic as the decriers made him out to be. note  In other words, Guan Yu still have a group of level-headed defenders that doesn't just blindly defend him based on his mythical veneration and worship; these fans viewed him as a reconstructed figure worthy of praise, having acknowledged his flaws and not overblowing it.
    • Aside from Guan Yinping (see Ensemble Dark Horse), Guan Yu's sons are treated as such, mostly because their characterization in the games are more-or-less a singular point of "worshipping their father".
      • Guan Ping was a lot more appreciated in prior installments, such as Dynasty Warriors 5, when he had a rapport with Xingcai. Once that was removed when Liu Shan became Promoted to Playable, Ping's stance didn't fare better, making some players believe he was thoroughly shafted, being only significant at the "Battle of Fan Castle" in order to die with Guan Yu. On the other hand, other fans welcomed how, since his siblings' introduction, the games have attempted to make him a Big Brother Mentor until his death, with a few noted appearances before the event at Fan Castle. In the popularity poll for Warriors Orochi 4: Ultimate, Ping is in first place for the DW branch over overly popular ones such as Zhao Yun and Zhong Hui which made a lot of fans questioned if it's a pity vote or not
      • Guan Xing is either a decent addition to the roster or more wasted potential, as Koei Tecmo downplayed a lot of his features from the novel, such as avenging Guan Yu by executing Mi Fang, reclaiming his father's guandao from Wu's Pan Zhang and Xing's sworn brotherhood with Zhang Bao, which was touched upon slightly since their debut in 8.
    • Before the modern installments, players were fine with Ma Chao's For Great Justice stance and immense utility due to the "Shadow Runner" mount. When 7 started to round out the Wei Kingdom's characterization, the fandom splintered - some say Chao's characteristics don't need to change, but others became appalled at how brutal he was historically and in the source novel, with the games Flanderizing him as a bringer of justice. This wasn't helped when Wang Yi was added to the roster, whose vengeance made Ma Chao's creed look extremely hypocritical, yet Koei Tecmo doesn't have Chao acknowledge his deeds against Yi, treating it as an afterthought. Fans are less likely to run into discussions about Ma Chao that doesn't stray into debates on whether he should remain who he is or he's a douchebag.
    • Zhang Chunhua - while many players love her borrowed move-set and weapon from Sima Yi's sixth incarnation, alongside her unique dynamic with her sons (being the first maternal character introduced for the roster), just as many people dislike how her presence derails her husband's character from a chessmaster to Henpecked Husband
  • Broken Base:
    • Shu is often accused of being the Creator's Pet: while some argue this viewpoint is consistent with the novels, others are annoyed and believe what better light they got in the source material has been ramped up to eleven in the games (these camps are mostly comprised of historically-inclined fans who see the Shu officers as inefficient). There's even a base who's annoyed at how much of a downgrade its characters received during the rise of the Jin Kingdom, since the latter got plenty of sugar-coating (the historical Sima Zhao was crueler; Dynasty Warriors 8 foisted some of that onto Jia Chong).
    • Years after the release of Dynasty Warriors 6, many players will state their absolute disgust for the "Renbu System" and Moveset Clones, though they tend not to mention what else the game brought to the table (or they did, but the Renbu System was so bad it overshadowed what Dynasty Warriors 6 did right). In its defense, some players fondly remember "Siege Battles", a new "Duel System", parrying, dodge-rolling, running charged attacks, the best use of AI in The Seventh Generation of Console Video Games-era of the series, and all the extra visual work that was done for mood and tone of the stages. Much of this has not been seen in the games post-6.
    • Characterizations: some take them well, others are not, ranging from how much Sun Shangxiang goes from a no-nonsense, ball-busting Action Girl into a more feminine version who swoons over Liu Bei and spends more time in the Shu Kingdom (even getting their color motif), Cao Ren focusing more on his "impenetrable defense" than his anti-chaos stance (which made him an Anti-Villain), Zhenji goes from a cool-headed Ice Queen into a haughty Rich Bitch or how the Shu characters, especially Liu Bei, goes from "for the Han restoration!" to "Benevolence!". Just about the only accepted change is Cao Cao, going from a Card-Carrying Villain into a well-intentioned Anti-Villain.
    • The new English dub in 9 was met with mixed reception: one camp hates it to the point of comparing it to the English dub in Dynasty Warriors 3, another finds the performance So Okay, It's Average and were glad an English dub even exists after several Warriors games post-8: Xtreme Legends were left without one, while a third camp found the casting choices perfect, but believe their delivery of the dialogue could have been better.
    • The game-play in 9: is the shift to a Wide-Open Sandbox the breath of fresh air and a bold new direction the franchise needs or is it a failed experiment bogging down the core game-play that reeks of chasing the open-world bandwagon? Furthermore, is altering the combat system from the formulaic Charged Attack system to this new "States/Trigger" system necessary in order to keep things fresh or is it a repeat of Dynasty Warriors 6 and its greatest mistake?
    • Xiahou Ji's addition in 9 turned controversial due to her touchy history with Zhang Fei, with her profile in Dynasty Warriors Blast omitting some of the murkier spots on her encounter with Fei, changing it into a Rescue Romance, which made some fans accuse Koei Tecmo of historical white-washing. Her addition as a unique Non-Player Character who became playable via Downloadable Content didn't sit well with players (to wit, Xiahou Ji retains her youthful appearance throughout 9, making her look younger than her children Zhang Bao and Xingcai and Zhang Fei just happens to be her type of preference in men - beardy, gruff and muscular); even her meeting with Fei is different, as she's the one who pursues him, fueling more white-washing accusations. However, some people have no problem with Xiahou Ji, citing her connections with the Xiahou and Zhang clans add a bridge for Xiahou Ba's defection to Shu, as seen in his ending for 9. Some other history researchers also noticed that Zhang Fei was noted to never take any other concubines, Xiahou Ji was his one and only wife/mate, thus concludes that their couple status is more passable in the end despite the rocky start. However, just like the Two Qiaos and their respective husbands (Sun Ce and Zhou Yu), they still raise their eyebrows at the huge age gap between the two.
     Tropes C-D 
  • Cargo Ship: Sima Shi and meat buns. Yes, it's a thing because he would always describe in perfect detail how delicious they are.
  • Character Rerailment: Starting with Dynasty Warriors 6, Yuan Shao was made more characteristically and visually foppish and pompous, an egregious Flanderization of his Blue Blood status; it didn't sit well with fans. For Dynasty Warriors 9, Koei Tecmo reverted him back to his pre-6 personality - while still pompous, Shao retains an air of bravery and nobility. Most likely because in 9, they have his half-brother Yuan Shu to take the majority of Shao's old foppish and pompous traits.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Slowly became more and more prevalent with the ever-increasing amount of weapons introduced with each progressive game and new characters, resulting in many weapons never getting used, while others becoming the sole tactic for tackling higher difficulties. Pre-Dynasty Warriors 9, the halberd's "Switch Attack" and the throwing knives' normal attack string were two of the most popular tactics to use. Meanwhile, items, skill selections and weapon attributes are also prone to this.
  • Contested Sequel
    • Unequivocally, Dynasty Warriors 6 for certain reasons.
      • The most controversial change is the Renbu System that required incredibly long chains of Button Mashing in order to build up the Renbu Gauge to allow the best attacks to be unlocked. As one player mentioned on a YouTube video, "Are you ready to press square three times and roll?"
      • It also didn't help that it actually increased the physical toll on the controller's normal attack button (X for the Xbox 360, square on the PlayStation 2 or PlayStation 3) more than previous games; furthermore, Charged Attacks turn into a non-viable alternative due to long charge-up times. As a result of such negative fan reaction, Dynasty Warriors 7 returned to the traditional setup of stringing Charged Attacks after normal attacks, with more combat maneuvers unlocked using skill points. Yes, it's still Button Mashing, but at least it's using different buttons rather than just one.
      • Many characters were given radical Unnecessary Makeovers and weapon changes: Liu Bei and Sun Quan lost their facial hair and look Bishōnen, while Lu Bu lost his trademark halberd. Most of these re-designs, particularly the more criticized ones, were reverted for 7, but the younger, more "better-looking" characters remained.
    • Due to the drastic changes made to game-play and presentation, Dynasty Warriors 9 has earned itself the same level of controversy and ire 6 had received as to whether the franchise is stepping towards the right direction. On one hand, fans invested in the original material praise the game for including a Chinese dub, making its story more faithful to the original novel and history, improving the characterization for most of the playable characters across the board, and find the new Wide-Open Sandbox design adds to the immersion. However, those more attuned to the franchise view the radical changes made to its formula and the plethora of Moveset Clones to be a regression, while finding the game's open-world monotonous and unenjoyable.
      • Not helping the fact is that all versions of the game suffer from severe frame-rate issues due to poor optimization, with publisher Koei Tecmo further fanning the flames by barring access to the Chinese subtitles and dubs for the PC version. After players discovered a way to access said option, Koei Tecmo then responded by releasing a patch to specifically "fix" this workaround by removing the language files completely (which unfathomably also removed the previously available Japanese subtitles). Unsurprisingly, this resulted in a torrent of negative reviews on Steam from Chinese and Japanese users. note 
      • Furthermore, game pundit Jim Sterling, who has been a long-time defender of the series, proclaimed 9 to be the "worst Dynasty Warriors game ever made" in their first impression video after having played it. And it only got worse when they noticed that many characters' more iconic weapons, which had been removed from the basic game, had been re-released as DLC. This only added to the divisiveness among fans.
  • Critical Backlash: During its release, Dynasty Warriors 9 earned a negative reception from critics and veteran fans for several problems such as the frame-rate, the Moveset Clone and the empty open world. Fortunately, Koei released patches to improve the game by adding several modes such as the Arena mode and fixing the frame rate. Months later, they added a co-op which many players consider it very appropriate to the open world design. Eventually, those who bought and played the game later on find that it's not really a bad game and considered it more as a MMO game rather than a typical Hack and Slash game. Even those who lambasted the game during its launch went back to play it after several patches and found that at least, Koei put a lot of effort to improve it.
  • Demonic Spiders
    • Archers and crossbow users in Dynasty Warriors 3: in general, these enemies aren't a big nuisance, but at later stages in a "Musou Mode" play-through (particularly at Yiling, Wuzhang Plains and Hefei Castle), they will rip players a new one with a single shot as their arrows and crossbow bolts deal damage to roughly one-eighth of total Hit Points. Now imagine taking on these enemies firing their projectiles every few seconds; chances are players will need to hop around and/or move in erratic patterns just to make sure they don't get hit or fight in large groups of either allies and/or enemies (since arrows are the type of projectiles that cannot pierce through units).
    • Sorcerer units in the earlier games deal elemental damage (thus bypassing the defense stat); this became bothersome when these magic-users cast ice-based spells. If hit, expect players to freeze in place for a good five seconds, not something anyone wants when they're surrounded by a huge horde or Mooks at higher difficulties or several enemy officers. Thankfully, sorcerers were removed in 6, and though they returned in 8, only a handful of them appear for a brief section in a couple of stages.
    • Juggernauts from Dynasty Warriors 4 and beyond have thick armor (meaning more Hit Points), breathe devastating flames (thus inflict a burn effect, where persistent damage is dealt so long as its target stays airborne) and can swivel itself incredibly fast for something of its size to keep its aim at players; dealing with more than a couple at a time isn't recommended. Things got worse in Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires where they are invulnerable when appearing in weapon bases, forcing players to constantly dodge while frantically trying to reduce the base strength.
    • Crossbow soldiers in Extreme Mode for 5 can receive elemental upgrades in certain scenarios, boosting their status from Goddamned Bats into this. In these scenarios, their arrows are either imbued with the fire element (thus continuous burn damage while airborne) or the ice element, which is the same as the aforementioned sorcerer's ice spells, only they're faster, hit harder, and more accurate. These soldiers can pose more of a threat to players' lieutenant officers, who have difficulty hitting them due to their tendency to run off when approached, leading an officer to chase after one, only for the other four to casually freeze/torch the ally to death with ease.
    • Halberd-wielding generic officers in 6 are the bane of any player, veteran or novice. While they attack slow, their high attack priorty and damage more than makes up for this flaw, and they are smart enough to work with their allies to initiate an infinite Combo when they get the chance. Player should consider themselves lucky if the one they encounter is named, as unnamed lieutenant halberd officers always attack in groups.
    • Thanks to new tweaks in 7: Xtreme Legends, "Banner Soldiers" in Nightmare difficulty can randomly give their commanding officer offensive/defensive/speed buffs, regenerate Hit Points or drain the player's Musou Gauge, all at an interval of less than 10 seconds. Imagine getting tossed in the air, hoping to use an Aerial Musou Attack for crowd-control, only to see a flash of blue light goes by and the Musou Gauge suddenly gets drained from full to dry.
    • Cavalry units were introduced in Dynasty Warriors 7 with their main and only tactic being to charge at players en masse, constantly knocking characters down (or juggling players if they're really unlucky). On Normal difficulty or higher, the only thing that might be able to give players a chance to escape is triggering a Musou Attack; unfortunately, cavalry units have a tendency to dodge during the start-up animation.
    • Ballistae and arbalests: the former hits hard and causes flinching, while the latter is certain death at higher difficulties because of damage priority. Worse, depending on the stage, some are indestructible.
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     Tropes E-F 
  • Ensemble Dark Horse
    • Despite being vastly outnumbered by the male cast, the female characters are incredibly popular and have the largest number of fans, to wit Sun Shangxiang, the Qiao sisters, Diaochan, and Zhenji are the most noteworthy. If there was any doubt of the females' (especially Wang Yuanji's) darkhorse status, these results from a Japanese poll following the launch of Dynasty Warriors 7 has 2/3 of the female cast ranking in the top half.
    • Despite the fact she only serves to be a computer player when there isn't a fourth player on one side, Ling Ling in Dynasty Warriors Online is pretty popular among the English-speaking community.
    • Of the "characters who should be included on the roster for the next game", Cheng Pu of the Wu Kingdom was a top contender, even if his claims were "being around Wu for a very long time since Sun Jian's reign", but without any (perceived) historical noteworthiness note . It took him nine main installments to become playable. Following his announcement, Liao Hua of Shu, an individual who was part of a faction since its birth to its collapse, took up Cheng Pu's old seat of "most wanted character"; other major candidates would be Sun Shao of the Wu Kingdomnote  and Yang Hu of the Jin Kingdomnote .
    • Considering women in the novel are always overlooked, those not yet playable will also be part of the wishlist, ranging from Lady Wu/Wu Guotainote , Lady Bian/Bian Shinote , Lady Guo/Guo Nuwangnote , Sunshinote , Sun Lubannote , Yang Huiyunote , etc. It should come to no surprise Dynasty Warriors Blast features plenty of women with varying designs, with most of these ladies (except Sunshi) getting featured; hell, there was even a popularity poll for all characters. The winner? Fan Yufengnote .
    • Out from the playable strategists, the Wei strategists have a huge following due to all of them being handsome and having very distinct personalities. It's very evident that they have a lot of fanarts in Pixiv and in Twitter.
    • Does anyone remember Xing Daorong? The guy who appeared only in 4 to ambush you at the Jing Province while giving a most hammy Evil Laugh and WILL DESTROY THEM ALL? Somehow, that part made him rather memorable amongst the many many generics of the game.
    • Of the majority of women from Android Trading Card Game Spin-Off Dynasty Warriors Blast, Dong Bai led the pack, despite almost no historical relevance or mention from the novels. However, awareness of her increased when it became known she was Dong Zhuo's granddaughter, ultimately culminating with her debut in Dynasty Warriors 9. When her DLC was released, many players enjoyed her storyline and her Musou attacks.
    • Aside from Zhenji since her debut in Dynasty Warriors 4, Wang Yi making her appearance in 7: Xtreme Legends became instantly popular, both for her atypical-for-a-heroine personality and the hilarious amounts of tension she has with fellow Ensemble Dark Horse Ma Chao. The Painted-On Pants on her don't hurt, either.
    • Guo Jia. His handsome looks, lax attitude and strategic mind earn him many fans which got him first place in the latest Japanese popularity poll, beating the likes of Cao Pi and Xiahou Dun.
    • Out from the Wei newcomers in 9, Man Chong seems to garner much attention due to his character design and personality.
    • Of the Shu roster in post-Dynasty Warriors 8, Guan Yinping; just as popular for Eastern and Western players, seen via her dominating the fanarts, despite having less stages in Story Mode compared to Wang Yuanji. Regardless of the plentiful anti-Shu sentiments from the player base, both anti- and pro- sides agree Yinping was a great, tolerable addition to the rosternote . By the next popularity poll, she dethroned Wang Yuanji as the most popular female and she's the first female in Warriors Orochi 4 to be announced to have a Deification form.
    • Despite his minimal role in the story, Xu Shu ranked fourth in the latest Japanese polls and in the overseas' Shu character polls. This might have something to do with his move-set and weapon, wearing an Assassin's Creed-like outfit and, to some, his Adorkable personality.
    • Asides from Xu Shu, Fa Zheng is very popular among the Shu strategists due to his morally shady persona which added variety to Shu's good-guy image. It helps that his Bishounen appearance won many female fans.
    • 7 introduced Wang Yuanji, who instantly rose to fame on both sides of the Pacific for her looks and personality. Of the new characters making their debut in this game, Yuanji has the second most fanart of them on Pixiv, trailing behind her husband Sima Zhao. She even won first place in the popularity poll for 7; note she's the only (new) female character who made it to the top ten, even beating out veterans Sun Shangxiang or Zhenji. That Yuanji is the female Dynasty Warriors representative in Warriors All-Stars reflects this.
    • Zhong Hui is beloved by the female fanbase not only because of his good looks but also his Awesome Ego which is as long as the Great Wall of China. It's no surprise that he's one of the few male characters who get a lot of DLC costumes and a hypothetical scenario. He's even regarded as the male representative of the Jin faction rather than the men of the Sima clan.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: A common complaint about some of the character endings in 9 is they only show them at the height of a character's respective career rather than their historical death. These endings are optimistic, but if players use another character in the same faction, the former will likely end up dead (e.g. Sun Jian's story ends in Chapter 2 where he finds the Imperial Seal, but he dies in Chapter 3), thus cheapening the optimism.
  • Fair for Its Day: Sima Yi's belief in a meritocratic system of rulership where only those of talent and ability are allowed at the top (instead of relying solely on blood relations and proclaimed divine right to rulership) would've been downright progressive at the time the game takes place.
  • Fan Nickname
    • "The Guannies" or "The Guanny Bunch" for the Guan siblings, children of Guan Yu (Ping, Xing, Suo and Yinping), particularly after Xing and Yinping made their debut in Dynasty Warriors 8. They may also be derisively called "Guanbabies".
    • "Roach" for Lu Bu, an affectionate term from the Chinese fanbase referencing his Nigh-Invulnerability (Real Life cockroaches can withstand a Nuke 'em) and his headgear resembling the eponymous insect's antennae.
    • "Yamada" for Zhang Liao, a rare Japanese Woolseyism: in Dynasty Warriors 3, performing his True Musou Attack makes his cry out "Jamada!" ("You're intruding!"), which some players thought sounded like "Yamada".
    • "Jindam"/"Rendam" for Cao Ren by the Japanese community, due to his heavily-armored appearance reminding them of Gundam.
    • "Lolicon" for Zhou Yu, due to his wife Xiaoqiao's appearance.
      • "Soy Sauce"/shoyu, as a result of how Zhou Yu's name sounds similar to the condiment in Japanese.
    • Sima Yi garnered a whole slew from the Japanese fandom:
      • "Commoner"/"Imbecile", a reference to his frequent CatchPhrases.
      • "NEET", due to his laid-back, lax attitude when he gets recruited by Cao Cao in Dynasty Warriors 6.
      • "Shibaiderman", as a result of his weapon in 6 looking like strings sprouting from his fingers.
      • "Mameshiba", a Pun on his name and a reference to his height.
      • "Shibachu", from Fan Fic Crossovers with Pokémon.
    • "Butterfly" for Zhang He from players who prefer using the characters for the word rather than the proper characters for his name via its Japanese reading, which may have been an intentional pun by the devs.
      • "The Beautiful Guy", thanks to Zhang He littering his dialogue with the word "beautiful" and everything about him.
    • "Angel" for Xiahou Yuan; due to "Yuan" being pronounced as "En" in Japanese (making it either "Yuangel" or "Enjeru") and because he's just a frickin' great guy.
      • "Tonny" for Xiahou Dun, another monniker used by Japanese players due to the Japanese on'yomi pronunciation of Dun being "Ton" and how Xiahou Yuan often address him as "Brother Dun/Ton-nii" in the series. Via a pinyin-English parallel, it would hilariously be rendered as "Duny/Doony" instead.
    • "Chinese Tintin", thanks to Han Dang's hairstyle resembling the same-named character.
    • "Xiahou Bieber" for Xiahou Ba, due to his perceived facial resemblance to Justin Bieber.
    • "Chinese Jesus" for Zhang Jiao, a rather obvious monniker due to his appearance in a few installments.
    • "Bovine Urine", a derisive nickname for Cao Pi, no thanks to the English voiceovers pronouncing his name in Dynasty Warriors 5 exactly how it's spelled.
    • "Pakde", a playful term dubbed by Indonesian fans for Pang De as a result of his name, but also used as a reference to his mature appearance ("pakde" is the Javanese word for parents' older brother).
    • "Jocopter/Xucopter" for Xu Huang to Japanese fans; a Good Bad Bug in Warriors Orochi, where executing Huang's jumping charge attack, causes him to fly like a helicopter.
    • "Guankarin" or "Karinping", as a result of whom Guan Yinping is an Expy of Akari Akaza due to them sharing the same Japanese voice actress.
    • "SSX" for Sun Shang Xiang which is an abbreviated nickname for her.
      • Some has also adopted a similar nicknaming method for Xin Xianying, hers being "XXY".
    • Since his debut into the series as of DW 8:XL, a handful of Western fans have given Yu Jin the somewhat similar sounding moniker of "Eugene".
  • Fan-Preferred Couple
    • Pre-Dynasty Warriors 6, Sun Shangxiang was universally paired with any of the "hot" Wu officers like Gan Ning, Ling Tong, Lu Xun, Ling Tong or Zhou Yu as opposed to her historical husband Liu Bei. Koei countered this by making Liu Bei much more attractive-looking and younger in 6. Prior to that, he looked a good 15-20 years older than her, and once the game was released, there was a noted rise of Liu Bei/Sun Shangxiang Fanart and Fanfics.
      • Similarly, Zhenji was usually paired with Zhang He or Zhao Yun, especially when the context of Cao Pi's historical behavior towards her deterred fans from such a pairing, but with his debut in Dynasty Warriors 5 alongside his gentler, kinder portrayal towards Zhen in-game than he was in Real Life, fans took and ran with Koei Tecmo's idea.
    • Guan Ping/Xingcai: even though the latter is based on the historical wives of Liu Shan, the developers has teased since their debut in 5 they might have feelings for each other, until this was Downplayed by the time Liu Shan became a playable character.
    • On the yaoi side of fandom, Ma Chao/Zhao Yun garnered a strong fan following for years (arguably an example of a Token Minority Couple, given both are handsome, young, almost exclusively preoccupied with things like honor and justice, and up until Dynasty Warriors 6, wielded spears) before Koei decided to give them an in-game friendship with proper cutscenes and special dialogue. Whether the developers were merely taking notes from fans and running with it or simply doing Pair the Spares is anyone's guess.
    • Due to how young the Qiao sisters are portrayed and how close Sun Ce and Zhou Yu are, it's understandable how the latter two are shipped together more than with their canon wives.
    • For a Squick-tastic one, there was a time fans liked the idea of pairing Lu Xun either one of the Qiao sisters, never mind that Lu Xun would go on to historically marry Da Qiao's DAUGHTERnote , thus making it look like Lu Xun has an Oedipus Complex on either his mother-in-law or aunt-in-law! Given they look like the youngest bunch in the Wu group at that time...
    • Sima Shi/Wang Yuanji in their debut for Dynasty Warriors 7 slowly became one, despite the latter being the wife of Sima Zhao. It doesn't help that Yuanji seems to be more affectionate towards Shi than Zhao throughout 7.
  • Fanon
    • Despite technically not being owned by anyone, some fans have taken the initiative to pair certain Downloadable Content weapons with the Moveset Clone characters in Dynasty Warriors 7 due to their appearance in stages where players fight for the rare versions of the weapons. Some of these pairings do make sense, as prior to Dynasty Warriors 6, characters such as Huang Gai, Xu Huang and Yue Ying used the bombs (somewhat), great axe and dagger axe, respectively, while Xiahou Dun used the mace in 6. However, as of Dynasty Warriors 7: Xtreme Legends, this is Jossed as Dun's weapon has ascended into its own weapon category.
    • Thanks to Dynasty Warriors NEXT, Warriors Orochi 3 and Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires, all previous DLC weapons are now assigned to previously Moveset Clones; in fact, 8 ensures they are no Moveset Clones at all.
    • Back when he was still a generic NPC, Xu Shu is listed under Wei and the official historical records stated that he's a Wei officer. Though Koei Tecmo placed him as a Shu character because of his admiration for Liu Bei, most of his fans prefer him as a Wei character because his tenure under Liu Bei was very short (his individual story in 9 consists of only one chapter) and had a very meaningful role in Wei's hypothetical scenario of 8:XL. This coupled with their huge dislike of Zhuge Liang because he upstaged Xu Shu and the latter's What If? DLC focuses more on him trying to get Zhuge Liang's attention.
  • Foe Yay Shipping:
    • Dong Bai has No Sense of Personal Space moment towards Diaochan, as seen here. Doubles as Les Yay.
    • Cao Cao with Liu Bei in almost all installments, there's even a distinct "naivete vs. pragmatism" bent between them in Dynasty Warriors 7. Though the end of their respective Hypothetical Routes in 8 are what takes the cake.
    • Meanwhile, Wang Yi can't help but antagonize Ma Chao with any chance she gets if they encounter one another during battle. It doesn't help that she gets very excited in Yandere levels.
    • Sima Yi with Zhuge Liang; played for all its worth in the "Battle of Wuzhang Plains" across many installments, with Yi lamenting Liang's passing either after or during the battle.
    • Zhong Hui with Jiang Wei; not too surprising, considering their subsequent (failed) rebellions against Wei/Jin in the novel after Liu Shan surrenders Chengdu.
    • Zhuge Dan, with Sima Zhao; again, not too surprising, as Dan idolized Sima Shi and deemed Zhao an unworthy successor.
  • Fountain of Memes: Zhang Jiao and, to a lesser extent, his brothers Bao and Liang utter a lot of hammy lines which are very memorable ever since their hilarious English voice performances in DW 3. Even if voice acting got better after 3, Zhang Jiao is always set to have a hilarious hammy voice acting style courtesy of Doug Stone until 9, which adds further to his charm and make him spout out even more memes.
  • Friendly Fandoms
    • With Fire Emblem: Three Houses fandom. While it is a known fact that KOEI Tecmo had a hand with Instys and Nintendo in developing the newest Fire Emblem entry in its development, it helps even more that the Instys and Nintendo directors confirmed that Three Houses is a partial homage to the epic that inspired the Dynasty Warriors franchise itself. The whole plot point of three main opposing faction is the cue.
     Tropes G-I 
  • Game-Breaker: Now with its own page
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • Warriors games, in general, sell much better in Europe than in North America: case in point, Spin-Off Hyrule Warriors sold more copies in Europe than any other region.
    • The series is very popular in China, due it being based on one of their most famous works, which is what made the country very obsessed with the Three Kingdoms era. It says a lot when this series can still stick out among other local Romance of the Three Kingdoms works due its live-action adaptation movie debut being released in China and Hong Kong first.
    • Of the entire Dynasty Warriors roster, Lu Bu - in Japan, he's at around 21st place in the official popularity polls, but the West consider him to be the most recognizable character of the franchise (moreso than Series Mascot Zhao Yun) and easily in the top five. The developers took notice, even granted him his own Story Mode again in Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends, as well as giving him an appearance on the box art cover instead of Zhao Yun.
    • Guan Yu usually has middling scores in popularity polls from Japan amongst Shu characters, due to being The Big Guy and not a pretty boy. When Koei Tecmo America held a popularity poll per faction pre-9, Guan Yu ranked third behind the more obvious choices of Ma Chao and Zhao Yun, yet surpassed fan favorites Xu Shu and Yinping, who'd more likely win by a wide margin in the Japanese polls. Justified when non-Japanese audiences particularly the Chinese are aware of his deification into a god in Chinese Mythology, thus much of his reception relies on this fact.
    • Zhou Tai is very popular in the West, placing first in the Wu popularity polls and second place on the final round of the overall popularity poll in the West, beating out the likes of Series Mascot Zhao Yun and Ensemble Dark Horse Wang Yuanji. The image of Chinese Samurai Ex-Pirate is way too awesome for Western audience to digest
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Depending on what stage and difficulty players are tackling, archer units, though they may switch between this and Demonic Spiders. Provided players obtain it, equipping the "Musou Armor"note  makes them less of a hassle.
    • In Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce, a combination of tigers, hawks and butterflies.
    • "Unit Commanders" in 8: while just as strong as regular Mooks when dealing damage, these units have increased Hit Points comparable to generic officers, and though they don't have the latter's AI aggressiveness, this makes Unit Commanders worse when they also have the ability to guard, which they do so obsessively, leaving little room for players to directly damage them without guard-breaking attacks or the cyclone weapon attribute that inflicts damage when enemies are guarding. Typically, the best strategy players can do is try to find an opening to attack their rear.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • In Dynasty Warriors 3, the AI mainly scales with the stats of player, meaning they will get more stronger in accordance (to the point where unless you have a full optimal setup especially in 3: XL, you're not flinching anyone in a higher difficulty). However, when in a 2 player setting where player 1 is an underleveled and/or fresh character, player 2's stats aren't paid to any mind (meaning they can deal full damage to enemy units without dying as fast). Because of this, it can be easy to abuse this 2 player trick with an intentionally underleveled player 1 and a fully-decked out player 2 to get some crazy weapon requirements with ease, especially when playing solo with 2 controllers.
    • In Dynasty Warriors 4: XL, there's an AI glitch that allows you to save at the start of a stage in Expert difficulty, change it back to Beginner, selecting a Legend Mode stage without reloading your save, starting the stage and leaving it without a save (Start+Select via soft resetting), then reloading your save. When done right, the AI will be on Beginner mode with Expert mode stats (including AI versions of playable officers wielding Level 10 weapons by default), which makes aquiring specific dreaded Level 11 weapons with a single player MUCH easier.
    • In Dynasty Warriors 7, due to how the game handled characters being thrown onto a steep slope, it's possible to make an enemy tumble endlessly by throwing them between two objects or even inside a doorstep.
    • Despite the apparent lack of Friendly Fire, it's possible to defeat an allied officer as shown in this Let's Play.
    • In Dynasty Warriors 8: Empires, being defeated while also being continuously juggled by a gas tactic can keep the player's character locked in this position while respawning at the main base. This happens because unlike AI characters, player-controlled characters immediately respawn within a time limit of ten seconds, and the routine for resetting the character model's position appears to not function when the character is being knocked around. The result is the character bends unnaturally until being knocked down and out of the juggle.
    • Jump canceling Zhenji's EX attack in 7 can result in her suddenly entering a slow-motion state until it's performed again or it wears off.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Considering that Sun Quan's insanity and stubbornness was one of the primary causes of Lu Xun's downfall coupled with Wu's throne succession crisis and being a victim of vicious slander, it is implied in historical text that Lu Xun committed suicide in the end, leaving behind his family and orphaned son with no wealth and no honorable funeral was given to the Wu general.
    • Sima Yi's ending in Dynasty Warriors 9 shows him encouraging his sons to raise worthy heirs after lamenting Cao Pi's early death. Yi's eldest son, Sima Shi, dies without a son (historically, Shi adopted his brother's younger son, Sima You, since he only had daughters). A year prior to his own death, Sima Zhao had to choose his oldest son, Sima Yan, over You as his heir; eventually, Yan overthrows the last Cao Wei emperor, establishes the Jin Dynasty, and finally conquers Wu, ending the Three Kingdoms Era. However, Yan's decisions to empower his male family members into higher positions and make his developmentally disabled son, Sima Zhong, as his heir, led to a bloody power struggle among the family members and regents called the "War of the Eight Princes", which lasted fifteen years. This resulted in the invasion of the Northern barbarians tribes, the relocation of the Jin Dynasty to the East, and the splitting of Ancient China into several kingdoms once again.
    • In 8, Sima Shi reminds Zhuge Dan that it's not his heritage that makes him the person he is, but his talent and deeds. As noted above, his nephew Sima Yan clearly never gets this lesson.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: One of the games' producers is named Atsushi Miyauchi. In 2013, Cao Cao's general Yu Jin joined the cast for 8: Xtreme Legends, voiced by a person with the same name.
  • Incest Yay Shipping: It comes as no surprise there's an enormous amount of doujinshi, fanarts and fanfics of Sima Shi and Sima Zhao being paired together; even their father, Sima Yi, is paired with either one of them, though this is because the games depict Yi looking just as young as his sons.
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Sun Quan - he loses his father and older brother in rapid succession, forcing him to lead Wu at a young age when he has accomplished next to nothing compared to them. His best officers (Zhou Yu, Lu Su, Lu Meng, Taishi Ci and Gan Ning, among others) die one-by-one, while his sister chooses to stay with the opposing side, never to return home. However, that doesn't stop Quan from keeping his kingdom together for years, even outlasting the Shu Kingdom.
    • Sima Zhao loses his father and brother in quick succession and is clearly torn up about it, but doesn't let this stop his advance to claim all of China.
  • It's Easy, So It Sucks!: Older fans, whose introduction to the series was on the slower-paced and more difficult Playstation 2 games (2-5) tend to lament how the games released after 6 focus more on speed, mass crowd control, and how aggressiveness of the minor mooks have been severely toned down, with the difficulty being more on fighting named officers, managing your allies, and acheiving objectives. Of course, this is downplayed, as newer fans introduced with later games or musou spin-offs, generally don't see an issue with the flashy, mass-murdering attacks and the power fantasy.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Wang Yi is an eerily sadistic, nasty woman, until players realize what made her like that, thus it's understandable why people do like to cheer for her - her clan and everyone she cared about were slaughtered by Ma Chao, who pranced around "in the name of justice" as if it were collateral damage, claiming that Cao Cao wronged him and must pay for that, while not even batting an eye on the damage he caused on her. It's no wonder Wang Yi flipped in the face of such unanswered Hypocrisy.
     Tropes M-N 
  • Memetic Badass
    • Lu Bu: there's a reason why Yuan Shao at the "Battle of Hulao Gate" for Dynasty Warriors 3 enforces the phrase "Do not pursue Lu Bu". When players see him on the battlefield, they'll quickly learn why he's feared by all. This gets crazier in Dynasty Warriors 6, where in his version of his "defining" Battle at Hulao Gate, he takes on just about everyone else in the game and wins (provided players complete the stage, of course). Hell, Dong Zhuo and Zhang Jiao come Back from the Dead and the leaders of the three kingdoms (Cao Cao, Liu Bei, Sun Quan) pull an Enemy Mine (complete with crossing swords in The Three Musketeers-style), just to fight him!
    • Zhang Bao (Zhang Jiao's brother, not Zhang Fei's son who shares the same name), due to all players feeling the power of his MAAGGGEEECC!
  • Memetic Loser: Many Wu fans felt that Koei Tecmo severely neglected their faction in favor of Wei and Shu because the late Wu period was not covered and they're still underrepresented in the spinoff games such as Warriors All-Stars and Warriors Orochi 4. It doesn't help that Lu Xun was supposed to have a deified form but was held back at the last minute, making Wu the only faction with no representative for the eight deified characters.
  • Memetic Molester:
    • Dong Bai. Her Elegant Gothic Lolita getup, Alpha Bitch persona, intimidating aura, and her ground musou attacks which consists of tying her opponent with the chain and drag them to their knees before she flips them off the air. Meanwhile, her aerial Musou attack has her landing the metal ball on her opponent's abdomen and stomps them with it. In a cutscene after defeating Diaochan, instead of immediately killing her, she takes a sweet time pinching the older maiden's chin while wondering how she's going to kill her, implying she's a Torture Technician as well. In her ending, she has Cao Cao, Lu Bu, Zhang Liao, Yuan Shao and Yuan Shu on their knees and forces them to bow at her feet. The fact that it turns out to be a dream doesn't help as it accidentally looks comparable to Erotic Dream.
    • Her grandfather, Dong Zhuo, is way ahead of her (of course, all those molesting genes Bai had would've come from him). He lusts Diaochan and wants to build his own paradise of women as seen in the Warriors Orochi games. He also has a bunch of grab attacks but the most provocative grab attack is his second ground Musou in 8 where he grabs his opponent from behind, hoist them over his head* , and did some sort of an Ass Shove which got their opponent flinching in pain.
    • Huang Gai, as a result of his Musou Attacks beginning with Dynasty Warriors 7 incorporating wrestling techniques, particularly the "Backbreaker", which is officially named as such, but actually based on the "Kinniku Buster". Find any video online of him using the Kinniku Buster on female characters, which also gives players a view of their behinds. Additionally, it doesn't help he's an aged, muscular character, whose design in modern installments reveals plenty of skin compared to other male characters.
    • Zhang Chunhua. Her nice smile, her domineering aura, her treatment of Sima Yi and her Musou attacks which consists of tying up her enemies or whipping them to their knees makes her into the ultimate dominatrix of the Three Kingdoms. There's even a whole video of her whipping all officers!
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Do not pursue Lu Bu"Explanation 
    • "The Sun Quan Tactic"Explanation 
    • "BENEVOLENCE!"Explanation 
    • "God of War, my foot! What's so great about Guan Yu!?"Explanation 
    • "Xing Daorong will DESTROY THEM ALL!Explanation 
    • "You flaming idiots! Take this!"Explanation 
    • "Feel the power of my MAJEEEEEEK!"Explanation 
    • Yan Liang and Wen Chou's deaths always happen in each games, but the incarnation in 3 turned into a meme because of just how over the top they are:
      • "Yan Liang!"note 
      • "FOR YAN LIAAAAANNNGG!!!note 
      • "SORYA! Forgive me. I must repay... .... .... my debts."note 
  • Narm:
    • The games aren't so subtle about belittling generic officers who are known to be incompetent historically and/or in the novels, especially those from the late era (though they're mostly from the Jin story-line). Cao Shuang is one of the earliest, most common victims of this, with Sima Shi going as far as insulting one of Wu's generic officer's which, amusingly lame enough, starts getting inevitable.
    Sima Shi: (To a Wu generic officer) "So the rumors are true. You are an imbecile. I can see it from your stupid face."
    • The Grand Finale of 7 is a Bittersweet Ending and emotional, but the green field where Sima Zhao and Wang Yuanji are standing in looked like the default Windows XP wallpaper.
    • Fa Zheng's death in Dynasty Warriors 9 is very anti-climatic: after discussing with Liu Bei about the possibility of Wu killing Guan Yu, he closes his eyes and bows his head; Liu Bei attempts to wake him up, only to realize he's dead. Though the latter did mention beforehand that Fa Zheng was ill, Zheng suddenly becoming lifeless, while sitting in front of his lord, led many players to believe he simply fell asleep. Liu Bei's reaction to this is calling out his name in shock, sadly shaking his head.
    • Liu Shan's defeated yells for 9 in Japanese and English sounds so hilarious, it wouldn't be entirely plausible if it replaced the "Game Over" sounds from the Franchise/{[Pacman}} franchise.
    • Zhou Cang already wears green even when he was in Yellow Turbans. Considering that he's some sort of Starter Villain since he's always the mini-boss in the first mission for Chapter 1, it can be a bit distracting.
    • In 9, some of the deaths for the Wu characters were them sitting down and bowing their heads as if they're going to take a nap. The worst is Gan Ning's death because of a glitch where Ling Tong runs past him while Gan Ning just sits down on a rock with his head bowed down which is a huge contrast with his death in 6 where he slumps on a tree and Ling Tong holds him before he dies.
    • The English dub of Sima Shi's death in 9 would have been a Tearjerker, were it not for the performance of Sima Zhao's voice actor. The way he says "Brother!" as Shi dies sounds very flat, ruining the emotional momentum of the scene.
    • Wen Yang's ending in 9 has his brother calling him the "reincarnation of Zhao Yun". While that phrase is applicable for his courage and determination that Zhao Yun possessed, it's still eye-rolling considering that Wen Yang's weapon is the longtou dazhadao and not the famed polearm which Zhao Yun also had as his main weapon.
    • The games can go out of their way to show Sima Yi's hostility against the Cao family, which can be hard to take seriously considering he wasn't that bad in real life. For example in 8, during the Battle of Shiting, he openly yells at Cao Xiu and calls him "imbecile" even if he did no such thing in other games' version of that battle.
    • While bad voice acting has been one thing in 3 and 4, Diaochan had a change of English VA in 4 and she sounded so extremely raspy and constipated which might make you think that it's actually an old lady residing in the body of one of the World's Most Beautiful Woman, the contrast can be extremely jarring and it doesn't even become a Narm Charm unlike a majority of the silliness within the title. Thankfully, by the next installments, they tend to get Diaochan's voice in the right, young ladylike pitch with the next games.
  • Narm Charm:
    • Almost as entertaining as the games themselves are the unintentional hilarity accompanying nearly every line of dialogue and dramatic moment. This starts becoming apparent by the third game due to its hilariously awkward voice acting.
    • Also in 3, the incomplete character dubbing leads to some of this. Although dialogue and other written character lines are fully voiced in English, sound effects such as attack noise, wounds taken, and musou attacks are voiced in the original Japanese. Somehow, it works; for instance, Zhang He's seiyū's rich, passionate laughter when he prepares his true musou is delightful to behold.
    • The rule of thumb is that up until 9, if Zhang Jiao isn't overacting with silly hammy voice acting, he's just... not the same.
  • Nerf: In 8, a huge majority of EX Attacks no longer had any elemental activation, especially those that did multiple hits at once. This would make or break certain characters on specific difficulty settings, especially against the highest-form of Hyper Mode officers that tanked hits like a brick and could kill you in one attack or two.
  • Nightmare Fuel: From the original fighting game instalment, we have Xiahou Dun’s ending, which straight up shows him eating his eye. Absolutely no Gory Discretion Shot or anything else to hide it like in later games. Not helping matters is that it comes out of nowhere, and the entire thing is never explained in the game itself.
     Tropes O-S 
  • Older Than They Think: Any "Best Her to Bed Her" sub-plot regarding Sun Ce and Zhou Yu against the Qiao sisters (such as in Dynasty Warriors 5: Xtreme Legends and 7) isn't anything new to the series. It's likely inspired from a Peking Opera production called Fenghuang Er Qiao - the sisters are depicted as skilled martial arts practitioners. Their father, Qiao Xuan, believed his daughters to be perfect matches for Sun Ce and Zhou Yu, thus issued a martial arts competition between the four so the future husbands could prove themselves worthy and engage his daughters in battle. Depending on the adaptation, they may do so by engaging in a sword fight or by hunting down tigers; Sun Ce and Zhou Yu prevail, leading to marriage with the sisters.
  • Pandering to the Base: Similar to what had happened to Samurai Warriors 4 when it comes to costumes, the female characters are the only ones who get DLC costumes in the second Season Pass. In the female characters' case, their costumes are modern ones, particularly high-school themed, which made many suspect that Koei Tecmo was banking on those who are into fanservice. It doesn't help that the producer admitted that they're following the Dead or Alive 5's business model of releasing DLCs via season passes. With the third season pass, several male characters also get their DLC costumes asides from the female ones; however, it's very obvious that the men selected are the popular Pretty Boy ones.
  • Polished Port: While Dynasty Warriors 6 had many changes to it, such as new disliked mechanics and giving many officers different weapons, the PlayStation 2 port didn't change the officers' weapons, making it more tolerable than the other ports.
  • Porting Disaster: While none of the console versions of 9 performed especially well on release, they at least managed somewhat playable (if unstable) frame-rates when played in their "Action Mode", which reduces the graphics resolution. Not so much the version for the original Xbox One (or Xbox One S), which ran at a resolution of just 720p with massively cut-back graphics, to the point where it looks more like an early PlayStation 3 title than something you'd expect to see several years into the following generation. However, the real killer is the abysmal frame-rate, which makes the game all-but-unplayable. Oh, and you can't switch into the "Action Mode", because there isn't one (presumably because it would drop the resolution into Standard Definition territory) Patches have improved the framerate somewhat, but the graphics remain poor.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: It wasn't hard for players to see this happen regarding Sun Quan and Lianshi's relationship in 7, where it took about half of Wu's story, while pushing other influential officers to the side as secondary characters. It was as if Koei Tecmo attempted to shoehorn the fact that Lianshi is historically Sun Quan's closest and favorite wife, as both were genuinely Happily Married in Real Life (unlike most of the other couples at the time whose marriages were for political purposes). However, this was Downplayed in 8, where their developing relationship was mostly only alluded to in camp dialogues.
  • Rooting for the Empire:
    • Even when the games depicted Wei as the "villainous" faction, as per the novels, fans embraced and ran with that idea. Nowadays, the faction has Downplayed the "evil" traits from earlier installments, yet garner just as many fans for the Shu and Wu characters.
    • Despite being shown as unhinged and more "evil" than the rest of the faction, there are more people who want to see Wang Yi win and put Ma Chao's head on a spike, when they consider her desire for vengeance to be more justified, disliking the Hypocrisy that Ma Chao unveils or citing that Wang Yi was historically more of a moral figure, while Ma Chao was adamantly worse.
  • The Scrappy: Guan Suo is disliked by the Eastern and Western fanbases mostly as a result of the latter's distaste of pretty boys, but also for his lack of character traits beyond admiration of his father Guan Yu. That Suo is also a questionable addition to the roster (like Bao Sanniang, the only significant character he interacts with, aside from Guan Yu), adds to his unpopularity. Note in the character polls for the Xtreme Legends expansions of 7 and 8, Suo ranked in the 60's.
  • Scrappy Mechanic
    • Dynasty Warriors 4 introduced the ability to duel against certain officers in stages. While the idea itself is unique and fun, it's also unfair on some levels. First off, if you lose a duel, it's an automatic game over and you'll have to redo the stage you were on. Sometimes duels can occur near the end of a stage, meaning you wasted 15-20 minutes only to lose at a duel and forced to redo a stage again. Secondly, duels against certain officers like Lu Bu and Gan Ning (though only in vanilla, 4:XL fixes this) are impossible to win against, even if your weapon is at the highest level. They don't take anywhere near as much damage than other officers and dueling either of them will likely result in losing and redoing the stage you were on. Even worse in the vanilla where you start the duel with empty musou gauge while your opponent start with full musou and can use musou as soon as the duel starts and, if you're really unlucky, they can even use the next musou without refilling despite it should've been theoretically impossible. This could be why the ability to duel against officers was removed in the later games.
    • Lightning Orb in 4 is cool for crowd control. However, you'll notice that sometimes killing enemy with lightning-powered charge attack doesn't give you KO count. This means that if this happened when you killed an officer, you won't get weapon experience from defeating them.
    • Dynasty Warriors 6 introduced the Renbu System ("Renbu" meaning "chain dance"), which no longer limits attacks to a simple normal string, but instead can be chained infinitely by simply mashing the attack button. A character's moveset is now governed by the Renbu Gauge, which is filled by attacking enemies and will gain levels once fully filled, with each level unlocking a new tier of moves. However, the Renbu Gauge will deplete if players stop attacking (thus making Escort Missions more frustrating) or take heavy damage from enemies (this can be slightly mitigated with the right abilities), causing the character's moveset to degrade. While a fine idea on paper, its poor implementation makes it downright frustrating at higher difficulties, since aggressive enemy AI means players are in constant danger of being hit by one of the many Mooks swarming around, and getting hit just a few times will instantly knock the Renbu Level back to zero. The worst part is that characters with slower attacks (Dian Wei and Xiahou Dun) will have a hard time regaining their Renbu Levels. The reception to this mechanic was so bad it was removed completely from 6: Empires in favor of the return of the traditional weapon upgrade system. Although simplifying the upgrade system is common for the Empires expansions in order to allow more focus on the kingdom management aspects, this was the first time a core battlefield mechanic was completely excised between a numbered installment and its expansion.
    • Dynasty Warriors NEXT is chock-full of these, even when players disregard the terrible control schemes:
      • In "Conquest Mode", the goal is to capture all enemy territories. Each territory has a "Territory Level", and players can only invade an adjacent territory with a lower level to theirs. On each turn, the player gains one Territory Level...to a single territory, which is chosen slot-machine stylednote , making it very difficult for players to level up the territory they want. Furthermore, if there's no territory for the player to attack, the game will lock the player out of action until the situation is averted; meanwhile, the opponent is free to take over all of the player's under-leveled territories without the latter being able to do jack about it.
      • Dueling, which is essentially a poorly-designed reflex game where players slide their finger across the screen to Counter-Attack when prompted, and tap to attack at other times. This gets frustrating as the opponent's strength and Hit Points gradually rise with the difficulty, until they are able to defeat the players' character with just a few hits, whereas players have to hack at their thick health bar for over two minutes to bring them down. The fact that is there's no way to avoid duels only makes this worse. "Campaign Mode" is lenient enough, where players are only placed in a duel as part of the plot; however, Conquest Mode throws out at least one per battle (if players are unlucky, it's two or three). Failing a duel in either mode and players must do it all over again until they win, making this nothing but a tedious nuisance.
    • The "Lockup" Stratagem in Dynasty Warriors 7: Empires: it closes the gates on a certain number of bases for about sixty seconds, which often does more harm than good, since if players get shut inside a base, there's no way to get out until the gates re-open. Sure, most players will learn to not use it, but AI-controlled allies won't. There's nothing more frustrating than getting trapped in an allied base as soon as players step into it, especially when they're pursuing an enemy or trying to get to somewhere in a hurry. Enemies can at least be excused as attempting to trap players for activating this Stratagem. Whether allied units are trying to help or deliberately Trolling players when they do it is anyone's guess.
    • Speaking of gates, Dynasty Warriors 8 brought back the traditional "gate captain" mechanic where players need to defeat a soldier who's guarding the gates in order to open them, which would have been fine if the gates remain closed until the gatekeeper is defeated, but they don't. Gates remain open until players comes within proximity, and in-between the time the gatekeeper is at risk of getting pushed behind the gates, which will then promptly close to shove the gatekeeper out of reach, thus forcing players to leave the area so the gates will re-open for the gatekeeper to return to his post, then run back hoping the same thing doesn't happen again. Thankfully, this is fixed by the time 8: Xtreme Legends was released.
    • "Storm Rush" in 8 is a multi-hitting attack automatically initiated when players successfully counters an enemy officer with the right weapon affinity and breaking their affinity gauge. Useful, sure, but the fact players can't choose when to trigger it means it can easily break an already flowing Combo string at the most inconvenient moment, and when coupled with its high damage output, this makes Storm Rush seem very rigid to use. Like gate captains, Storm Rush was fixed in the expansion, adding the option to manually trigger it.
    • Weapon Tempering in 8 is a weapon crafting system akin to Warriors Orochi that allows players to combine two weapons to create a better one. Unlike the Crossover, weapon attributes received from Tempering are completely randomized, meaning an excruciating grindfest awaits players if they want to get the attributes they need. Later patches slightly improved the system by giving a certain pattern to the type of attributes players could get, but it was too little too late, leading Koei Tecmo to sheepishly bring in the Warriors Orochi-styled weapon crafting that allows players to freely imbue whichever attribute they want for 8: Xtreme Legends.
    • The marriage and children system in 8: Empires is a textbook example of another idea that's great on paper, yet terrible in practice. Two married partners can produce a child together, but only one per play-through, with facial features randomly assembled from a mixture of the parents' facial assets, and a randomly assigned voice type. The usual result from this is the alleged child ends up looking somewhere between ugly and pure Unintentional Uncanny Valley, and more often than not, paired with a completely mis-matched voice. Unfortunately, there's no re-marrying aspect if your spouse die.
    • All the way back in Dynasty Warriors 2, there was an odd system where if an enemy officer was knocked down, then when they got back up, they would automatically get a power up effect. This could range from a speed boost, to an attack boost, all the way to a straight up full heal. Considering that the majority of the player’s limited charge attacks and their Musou would knock down an opponent, this meant that the C3, a stun move, was the only viable option to fight officers with, and even then, if they started a new attack string too soon, it would knock the opponent down anyway. And that’s without mentioning that allied soldiers completely ignore this, and will probably knock the enemy officer down anyway. It’s no wonder that Koei dropped this in all later games.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: The patch 1.08 on DW9 added a Photo Mode where you can take pictures on the scenery or the characters doing some poses. Patch 1.19 added the emotions where your character can bow or look depressed or excited. Naturally, players put a lot of effort on taking pictures of their favorite characters doing poses and putting designs.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night:
    • Apparently, Xiahou Dun/Xun Yu pairing seems to be very popular in Pixiv. Except that these two only have one interaction with each other which is the Battle of Puyang where Xiahou Dun lost his eye. The ship got its popularity, probably because of the short original drama their voice actors performed in 2015 Seiyuu Ranbu. The drama consists their first meeting during the battle of Hulao Pass, as they begin to acknowledge each other. When Xun Yu and his troops are surrounded by Lu Bu's army during rebellion in Yan Province, Xun Yu shows his confidence that Xiahou Dun will come to save them. The scene when Xiahou Dun's eye gets struck by arrow is also elaborated more, as Xun Yu shows much more concern to Dun compared to the game version.
    • For some reason, Cai Wenji and Yu Jin are paired together despite that they never talked to each other in the games except for that one mission in 8: Xtreme Legends where he, Yue Jin, Li Dian and Xiahou Yuan went around the battlefield to look for her.
    • Fa Zheng and Xu Shu seem to be a popular pairing, particularly in Pixiv despite that these two never crossed paths (asides from one conversation that they had in Ambition Mode) because when Fa Zheng joins Liu Bei's side, Xu Shu is already in Wei.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Most people who like Dynasty Warriors 3 liked the higher difficulty options than the preceding Dynasty Warriors 2, alongside the hilariously terrible voice acting. There are some good voices, but it's not easy to find most of them.
  • Surprise Difficulty
    • Anyone overly accustomed to plowing through hordes of cannon fodder may be unpleasantly surprised by the giant enemies in Strikeforce.
    • Those expecting enemy officers with the same predictable AI routine in Dynasty Warriors 4 and Dynasty Warriors 5 will quickly learn to hate the diabolically elusive generic officers in Dynasty Warriors 6.
     Tropes T-U 
  • Tainted by the Preview: With regards to Dynasty Warriors 9, the confirmation that certain characters are semi-Moveset Clones of each other similar to Dynasty Warriors 7 (where their normal movesets were the same, but with different Musou Attacks) caused a number of fans to decry the game, claiming they were no longer interested. Meanwhile, other fans had reserved judgement until release to view the game on its own merits.
  • That One Achievement
    • Dynasty Warriors 6 had the "Completist" and "Master Of Chaos" achievements: the former required players to reach Level 50 with all 41 characters. To put this into perspective, players must complete at least 10 to 15 scenarios with each character! The latter was even more unforgiving as it required players to complete all stages on "Chaos" difficulty! Given the Scrappy Mechanic that was the Renbu System in 6...
    • Dynasty Warriors 7 with "Quizmaster", which is to answer all questions asked correctly in the game's "Conquest Mode". These questions can range from "Who was Liu Bei's sworn brother?" to "In the Romance of the Three Kingdoms novel, the Ten Eunuchs consist of ten members. However, in the Book of the Later Han, there are more than ten. How many eunuchs appear in the Book of the Later Han?" Some answers weren't found in the in-game encyclopedia, while others were incredibly obscure; hell, this was before any mention of the total number of questions in the game (supposedly 500, and players can only answer five at a time). Nothing helping this was the poorly-handled translation in the localization, which often left portions of the text out, abruptly breaking the sentence just to confuse players further.
      • Another extremely tedious one in the same game is "Audio Collector": there were two voice sets that can be unlocked for each character - "General" and "Conquest". To obtain the former, players must gain that character as a "sworn ally" by talking to them when they come visit in a random town on two separate occasions after completing their "Legend Mode" stages. After that, players must allow them to partake in battles as their sworn ally until their bond with him/her reaches maximum level. In regards to unlocking Conquest audio, players must learn every skill from each officer; the difficulty varies from character to character, as some will need about 2,000 skill points, while others may need 3,000+ points. Whereas 6 had 41 characters, 7 had 62; good luck.
    • 7: Xtreme Legends and any achievements that require unlocking "titles", with Lu Bu's top title being the hardest (part and parcel for the overall achievement of getting all allies' top title). The first seven titles are a cakewalk, but the last requires 1000 K.O.s while maintaining 70% of total Hit Points, using no Musou Attacks, and selecting a 10-star ranked stage to Nightmare difficulty. For the uninitiated, Nightmare is the most realistic experience of what happens when a One-Man Army goes up against several hundred Mooks, with health easily dropping from 200% to zero in an instant, making this frustrating without proper setups.
    • Similar to Audio Collector is "Vocal Enthusiast" in Dynasty Warriors 8, which required players to have heard all voiced lines in the game. The alternate method to do this would be to max out the bonds between players and a bodyguard in "Ambition Mode". The problem? Players have to do this for each character TWICE: once as a male, once as a female, with nine battles per character to max out the bond required. There are 77 characters on the 8 roster; get crackin'.
  • That One Attack: Dong Zhuo’s Musou in Dynasty Warriors 2, mainly thanks to the belly flop at the end. It isn’t especially dangerous straight up, even with the small AOE it generates, but what makes it an irritating move to see is that the belly flop counts as a knockdown, which means it can trigger power up effects, as mentioned under Scrappy Mechanic.
  • That One Boss
    • Lu Bu at the Battle of Hulao Gate in almost every installment, not simply because of his insane stats, but also due to the surprise difficulty lift upon meeting him. Since Hulao Gate is almost always one of the early stages in a play-through, new players would most likely have had little trouble picking out peons and generic officers before arriving at the titular location. Cue Lu Bu bursting out of the gates, mounted on Red Hare and trademark halberd in hand, ready to show players exactly why they shouldn't pursue him. Oh, and he's almost always in "Hyper Mode" for the duration of the battle.
    • "The Ten Eunuchs' Rebellion" stage in Ambition Mode for 8: thought Lu Bu at Hulao Gate was too easy? How about taking on the eponymous ten characters at the same time? Sure, the eunuchs don't have access to Musou Attacks, but Storm Rush is available to them, with some armed with the throwing knives for support, which more than enough compensates this little flaw. Worse, they too have Hyper Mode activated at all times, thus having no weapon with elemental attributes is a surefire way to get defeated quickly. Finally, because this is an Ambition Mode stage, Suspend Save is out of the question; lose, and players must start from the beginning of the stage again.
  • That One Level
    • The "Battle of Yiling" (Shu side) in Dynasty Warriors 3: Wu officers like Lu Meng Gan Ning and Lu Xun are bizarrely overpowered on this level (though not to Hulao Gate-Lu Bu extremes), with loads of Hit Points and high defense, thus whittling them down takes forever; This also includes their personal guards who also barely take any damage from any attacks just like the named officers. Additionally, enemy archers litter the battlefield. Gan Ning is especially annoying because if allowed, he'll use his musou attack that takes away half of the players' hit points, no matter how much defense of health the player has and afterwards, can quickly take out the remaining hit points. Playing this stage on hard difficulty in Free Mode makes it easier because, for some reason, Wu officers aren't such a nightmare to fight against on this difficulty setting (especially due to the usual trope applying if played as a late stage in any character's Musou Mode). Other things that make this level hell is that the game is scripted to have Wu launch a fire attack on the Shu camp, making morale drop exponentially, while increasing Wu's troop morale. Furthermore, many Shu officers will likely die if players don't find and kill Wu placeholder officer Zhu Ran; unlike later games, the map doesn't reveal the location of sub-officers, meaning players won't find Zhu Ran unless Lu Xun is defeated first. Even if the fire attack is prevented, players are still required to defeat Lu Meng and Gan Ning, two of the hardest Wu officers to defeat in the game, then against against Sun Quan at the end of stage, with him being surrounded by many crossbow units. Of note is the Battle of Yiling for Shu characters must play at least two other stages finishing their respective Musou Mode. Fortunately, the subsequent stage after Yiling (mainly the Nanman Campaign) is considered a Breather Level.
    • "Siege of Hefei Castle" (Wei version) in the same game: unless playing on easier difficulties, chances are the stage will end with players in the center of the map, quickly trying to defeat enemies and preventing them from reaching their allied commander, who will be the only other allied officer left alive. Eventually, both the commanders decide to join the battle and march straight for each other.
    • Similarly, the Battle at Wuzhang Plains (Shu side) from the same installment also gets this flak, since players have to deal with the Wei forces' rock catapult shenanigans which, like many stage hazards, can take away a large percentage of Hit Points and can break through Musou Attack invincibility. The archers in the stage, just like at Yiling and Hefei Castle, are still as deadly as ever. Most of the time, the Wei side version is often the ideal stage for testing out Hard/Very Hard Mode clear times for each character, and it's already a real test to simply fight a single officer head on under those conditions.
    • The "Nanman Campaign" stages from Dynasty Warriors 4 are difficult mostly due to the odds being kept stacking against players, unlike the more simplistic-yet-time consuming 3 version. After time passes in these stages, the climate starts affecting allied morale; furthermore, every time Meng Huo is defeated, he returns for more, but winds up giving the Nanman a morale boost, to a point where it's exceptionally difficult to get anything done without the allied commander getting defeated as no matter what, enemy troops will go to wherever the allied commander is. Even more tedious is unlike other games where if you defeat a gate captain allied troops will come out and they become yours, in this stage the enemy gate captains will respawn, with the enemy units always going for your commander. At higher difficulties, it's not uncommon to complete these levels by one of three means: playing as the allied commander of the army, earning 1000 K.O.s to prevent morale loss among allies (which Game Breakers have no problem achieving) or by making a mad dash to Meng Huo's home base, ignoring everything else, forcing Meng Huo to respawn at his base - upon defeating him, the level is cleared. Also, unlike the prior installment, the poison marshes in Nanman only affect allied characters; enemy Nanman troops are invulnerable to them. Have fun. If there's one positive, it's that the player isn't required to beat it in order to proceed to the next stage. So if you don't mind missing whatever experience points or items that'll be in it, it's completely optional.
      • Zhurong's Legend Mode from the Xtreme Legends expansion is quite a hellish stage, even with Lu Bu whose Lv. 11 weapon is one of the best in the game for stages that restict items. The stage is litered with guards that will alert their respective Shu generals to come and follow you closely, making it more than just a mere chore to try and handle them all at once. On top of a Hyper Mode Zhao Yun and Zhuge Liang, trying to defeat all officers on this stage is basically asking for pure hell if you don't know how to manipulate the AI's habits on Expert Mode.
      • Sun Ce's Legend Mode, where all the Yu Ji copies are treated as officers, meaning on higher difficulties, they will block as soon as you attack, forcing you to use your peons to distract them or to counter with your Musou. But good luck when every single Yu Ji copy is blocking your hits, incluing Yu Ji himself (despite them being generic officers). However, any character able to deck themselves out with a maxed out elemental orb, maximum raw attack stats + Power Rune and a maxed out Herbal Remedy can easily bust their their guarding shenanigans.
      • Jiang Wei's Legend Mode, the defense of Jiange, where you have to defend the southern portion of the Chengdu map from the enemy Wei generals. But most of all is trying to maintain protecting Liu Shan (who was still an NPC and referred to as "Liu Chan") and preventing him from surrendering before the stage is successfully finished via the time running out. This often involves trying to juggle between sealing two gates to prevent Liu Shan from running out from the northern portion of the map, and if he does go past one unlocked gate, he'll try to head to any unsealed enemy strongholds to surrender himself. Never mind trying to defeat the Wei officers being hard enough, even though they all eventually will converge onto you if you keep staying at the northwest.
      • Sun Quan's Legend Mode, another one that restricts you from having items, involves trying to survive against a Hyper Mode Zhang Liao who will always reappear when defeated in the stage, and you also have to at the historically-accurate advice of Gu Li, steal a horse in order to leap over the broken bridge. The fact that you can't equip items means that you have no access to the Shadow Harness, on top of there being plenty of archers around to shoot you off depending on the difficulty setting.
    • The "Battle of Mt. Qi" from Dynasty Warriors 5: Xtreme Legends: unlike the "Legend Mode" version involving Sima Yi getting isolated by himself with mines all around (that, of course, will get defused by the rain), it's a bit different this time. By failing to achieve Zhuge Liang's strategy, players are left with no allies, fighting alone against more than twenty enemy officers, all of which have gained attack and defense bonuses, with much of the map being made up of tight areas filled with hordes of crossbow soldiers enough to turn the player's character into a pin cushion, making it by far the most challenging stage in the game (even then, in Sima Yi's Legend Mode, players are forced to take on the Shu army SINGLE-HANDEDLY). However, many players began deliberately failing the plan in order to take on the challenge; Koei Tecmo has since caught on by releasing a revamped version of the same stage in 8 due to its popularity.
    • The "Battle of Shouchun" in Lu Bu's historical route for 8: Xtreme Legends: players start out with an incredibly unfair time limit on both a bonus objective and a main objective, while the wonky AI makes Lu Bu surviving long enough to break through the ballistae and fire arrow traps a Luck-Based Mission. Fail to complete the pincer attack in time, and the final stretch of the stage pits players against half-a-dozen Wu officers in Hyper Mode. What makes this mission even more insufferable is that when your party splits up to prepare for the pincer attack, everyone on the other side becomes hypercompetent, steamrolling over everyone in their path and easily getting to the objective before you, while everyone on your side becomes borderline useless - even Lu Bu, who struggles to defeat even a single officer, as well as some Fake Difficulty in the map design; One bridge early in Lu Lingqi's path could've been an easy shortcut to get down and bail out Lu Bu in the ballista trap if need be, if only the map designers hadn't arbitrarily decided that you can't jump from this specific bridge despite not only the low guardrails, but plenty of open cliffside right next to either side.
  • That One Sidequest
    • Most weapon acquisition side-quests can become this, largely due to the fact they tend to put an unnecessary time-constraint by forcing players to fulfill certain conditions in time. This is not helped by the Fake Difficulty brought by "message lagging" and quest-essential allies charging forward blindly into getting themselves defeated, especially if there are objectives that state certain allied officers must survive the battle.
      • A more specific example is Zhuge Liang's fourth weapon in Dynasty Warriors 3: Liang is one of the weakest characters in the game, and the conditions to unlock the weapon is to play the Battle of Wuzhang Plains on hard difficulty. Doing it with two players is about the only way to acquire the weapon because Zhuge Liang isn't strong enough to fulfill the requirements and keep up against the waves of Mooks as allies fall one by one. Even trying the level again while fulfilling the same requirements, after getting his fourth weapon, is still as hard as hell.
      • Then in 3: XL, Zhuge Liang's 5th weapon involves getting 1000 K.O.s on the Shu Forces version of Chibi on Very Hard. Have fun trying to do this without a second player and abusing the aforementioned exploit of 2 players.
      • Another one is Yue Ying's Level 10 weapon, the Oblivion, in DW4. See that above entry for the Nanman Campaign? Yue Ying has to do everything done in canonical story: Defeat Meng Huo seven times, burn Wu Tugu's armor soldiers and defeat Zhu Rong all while keeping morale salvageable and not lose your allied commander.
      • Obtaining Jiang Wei's 4th weapon in 3 can be very tedious for a few players because in the battle of Jie Ting, the player has to defeat Zhen Ji and Cao Zhen within the first five minutes of the stage. Due to the fact that both officers have a sub officer with them as well as their guards that will attempt to give the player a lot of trouble, getting his weapon can be very difficult, especially due to Cao Zhen being next to a lot of dreaded crossbowmen.
      • Some Level 11 weapons in 4: XL however, are to be obtained in Legend Modes that restricts your character(s) from equipping any items, which can spell hell if your chosen character has crap crowd-handling abilities without items, often requiring the use of the AI glitch; even to the point where other stages with similar restrictions are easier no thanks to uneven balancing between the stages themselves (as a good number of them require a competent second player in order to get the score needed). Special mention goes to Sun Quan's Level 11 weapon, whose Legend Mode as aforementioned restricts you from equipping items, has to have you get 500 K.O.s while also defeating a Hyper Mode Zhang Liao 3 times in a row (while keeping all of your allies alive). Then considering that you have to steal Zhang Liao's horse to end the stage while also having no access to equipping the Shadow Harness with plenty of archers around....have fun.
      • Sun Ce's Legend Mode in 4: XL features the debut of Yu/Gan Ji has an NPC officer; yet for some reason, Yu Ji himself and his copies block/turtle WAY MORE OFTEN than any other officer in the game in Expert Mode (just as much as playable officers do, as a matter of fact), making it a bit of a time-waster if you can't make sure your peons can distract their opposition just to land back attacks (since the stage restricts you from having bodyguards).
      • Zhurong's Legend Mode in 4: XL not only restricts items and bodyguards, but if you trigger any of the officer appearances, say goodbye to both the weapon and if you choose to fight it out, your life. The stage possesses a good wad of Shu officers who will tightly follow you as well as both a Hyper Mode Zhao Yun and Zhuge Liang. Even if you slip through everyone unnoticed to get the Lv. 11 weapon, you still have to avoid triggering the officer appearances while also trying to deal with Zhuge Liang himself just to have more chances to finish the stage without dying. Did we also mention that on Expert Mode, Zhuge Liang's AI of all people hits like a truck like the rest of them even in Lu Xun's Legend Mode?
      • Xiaoqiao's Legend Mode like her sister Daqiao's, once again restricts items and bodyguards, but even at maximum stats and with Cao Cao not being in Hyper Mode until the very end, it's either him or any of his officers that will wipe the floor with you with ease if you're careless, especially if you can't take advantage of Xiaoqiao's infinite combo pre-sixth installment.
      • Lu Bu's Lv. 11 weapon from his Legend Mode presents another issue; while it's very easy to at least deck him how you'd like to your heart's content with only bodyguards being restricted, the requirement is to receive 2000 K.O.s....at a time where the series couldn't process that many enemies on screen (as well as the characters not having overly radical movesets as they do now). Along with extremely aggressive playable officers in the stage that come after you no matter where you go, the main issue is trying to keep each of them alive in order to meet the K.O. quota without accidentally killing them (as defeating them will cause the stage to go through faster even though Sun Jian, Xiahou Dun and Cao Cao will retreat on their own given enough time, and defeating the three sworn brothers at the end will for sure end the stage). This is also compounded by the fact that if you dare to hold back, the AI on Expert Mode without the AI glitch will not hesitate to rip you a new one. It takes a lot of AI manipulation, and/or making use of maximum mounted attack stats on the Shadow Harness in order to keep staying on the move to keep the AI officers as far away as possible just to rack up those kills.
    • Dynasty Warriors 8 introduced objectives that could alter Story Mode into either the "historical" or "hypothetical" route. The problem is certain hypothetical objectives can be a pain to achieve unless players know exactly what they're doing. The one objective many consider to be the hardest, though, is assassinating Tao Qian before he can escape during the Wei version of the "Xu Province" stage. When the objective is made available, Tao Qian is on the complete opposite end of the map from where players are; unless they've been leveling the "Equestrian" skill, catching up to Qian will be a hassle. It doesn't help that at certain points in the chase, enemy officers will seal off paths until they are defeated, forcing players to waste valuable time.
      • Meanwhile, the "Free Mode" version of this stage is more of a pain if attempting to complete the default stage objectives, since one of them requires the player's bodyguard to reach Tao Qian before he escapes and tag him. Not only must players catch up with Qian in time, but also keep him from escaping - without killing him - until said bodyguard can get there.
    • Xu Province seems to attract these kinds of hypothetical objectives. Partway through the Shu version of the stage, three sets of enemy officers led by Yue Jin spawn and start heading to the castle the Shu army is defending. Shortly afterwards, Guo Jia orders them to retreat in order to set up an ambush separating Liu Bei and Zhang Fei from Guan Yu. The hypothetical objective is to defeat all six retreating officers before they leave the map, but the game only tallies this if they are defeated after Guo Jia gives the order AND arrives on the map. Defeating even a single one of these six officers before these two events occur, it doesn't count and the objective automatically fails without telling you this; more likely than not, players won't even realize something's awry until after they've beaten the level!
    • Another pain-in-the-ass star objective is preventing Wei from calling reinforcements during the Battle of Wuzhang Plains by killing two messengers. Both messengers spawn on opposite sides of the map, and it's nigh-impossible to catch up to the other messenger unless you kill the first one as soon as possible, and then get on a horse and ride like hell to just barely catch the second one (and even then, it's nigh-impossible if you're playing one of the characters tasked with attacking Wei from the left side of the map, due to it being far faster to get from the right side to the left than the other way around.
    • In 8 the second half of Ambition Mode is often seen as a low point. The general concept is interesting enough, a false Emperor has risen and thrown the land into confusion and it's your job to defeat the various rebels that put the land back into disorder. The thing is the game does this by removing most of the units you got from part one so you have to fight them again. In addition to get them back you can't just do the mission mode stages but new supression missions where you fill out your army with the various commanders and play a level of capture the zones in one of the game maps. The only way to get "new" officers is by doing these battles but if someone on your team is forced to run away they become free officers and you have to do the part one battles to get them back on your roster so if you lose somebody valued you have to switch missions to get them back. You have 0 control of any friendly unit aside from your own bodyguards making it harder to keep them from fleeing. It also made it so that every one of these suppression battles can only give you a single playable officer, each map has its own list of officers that will show up there to be captured before they are replaced with generic Unit Commanders, and the game won't tell you who you can find on which map. Unless you want to stretch out the game some just keep to the end of part 1 because going to the second part only gives you some semi-unjque pets and weapons for fully supressing parts of the map.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Unbelievably, given the series' reputation, it occurs with almost every entry!
    • 3: Being far harder than the previous game by having many of the enemy officers (usually the playable ones) and their guards take far less damage than the regular mooks and dealing far more damage than any regular mook, no matter what difficulty you're playing it on. Even spending hours grinding getting your officer of choice to a high level doesn't mean much in the long run, because you can have a character use his 4th weapon and it will still do a fixed amount of damage on any named officers like Lu Meng and Gan Ning, even on the easiest difficulty. Plus you can't ride on any horse like in the other games. You need to be at certain ranks or else the horse will knock you off, unless you have the items that allows you to ride every horse. Related to that, speed x2 don't show up until the next game, so you're stuck with slow horses until you level characters up.
    • 3: Xtreme Legends: Focusing on officers not in the three kingdoms, often breaking Romance of the Three Kingdoms Canon.
    • 4: Replacing officer-specific story modes with collective kingdom-based story modes.
    • 4: Xtreme Legends: Shorter stages and how extreme "Xtreme Mode" took towards Numerical Hard.
    • 4: Empires: The lack of choices and the restrictive nature of "Empire Mode".
    • 5: Altering characterization of many cast members, starting the series' long slide into Flanderization and adding Zuo Ci to the roster. Unlike previous two titles, no Japanese audio track for the North America release.
    • 5: Xtreme Legends: Adding two modes that both boiled down to sawed-off Eastern RPG Level Grinding.
    • 5: Empires: Averted; considered a fan favorite as it holds the distinction of even receiving half-way favorable reviews from some North American critics.
    • 6: Abundant amounts of Progressively Prettier, dropping characters from the roster, the controversial Renbu System and its attendant weapon cloning. Notably, only the visual redesigns stuck for the sequels.
    • 6: Empires: No system carry-over from 6, which previous Empires expansions did.
    • 7: Lack of a Free Mode and locking "Kingdom Mode" to certain characters only.
    • 7: Xtreme Legends: Another one Averted, though some players lament the lack of a "Create-A-Warrior" feature that was present in previous Xtreme Legends installments.
    • 7: Empires: Absence of Free Mode and an English dub.
    • 8: No English narrator and other dub-related corner-cutting, such as voiced dialogue for NPC characters; outside of that, this major installment got a lot of praise.
    • 8: Xtreme Legends: Lousy Level Grinding experience brought on by the new features (bodyguard special abilities, repetitive battles in Ambition Mode, an Absurdly High Level Cap, etc.), generally less well-made stages, and the confusing plot to Lu Bu's story.
    • 8: Empires: Needlessly changing several character's EX weapons in a transparent attempt to assign DLC weapons to playable characters. Furthermore, most of the weapons being replaced, like Deng Ai's lance and Wang Yi's dual trishula, were already unique signature weapons of newer characters, while older characters with more generic "flavors of spear and sword" weapons went unmodified. Finally, the developers wouldn't give the game an English dub, despite previous announcements to the contrary.
    • 9: Received flak for changing characters' unique weapons for Moveset Clones, redoing the combat system again in a way that serves to make it shallow and uninteresting, pushing an "open-world" narrative/style by chasing popular trends without evolving the game, and replacing the original English dub cast with less-experienced (and often-less-fitting) but cheaper stand-ins.
    • 9: Empires: Like the two previous Empires games, it doesn't have an English dub. The siege battles are the only type of battles you can play. The character creator's armor customization is limited, meaning you have to buy the DLCs to get more costumes. And despite decloning the weapons of several characters, some of their Musou attacks remain unchanged (e.g. Lu Lingqi still uses the sword and shield in her Musou despite her weapon being the cross pike).
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Lu Lingqi in Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends - despite being heavily marketed in the expansion, she only appears in the second half of Lu Bu's historical campaign, and wasn't present in the hypothetical route. The creators expressed some difficulty at writing her interactions with Diaochan, but it seemed they solved the problem entirely by completely avoiding it, even giving it a Handwave in 9, where Diaochan leaves right after Dong Zhuo is assassinated, the implication that after Lu Bu parted ways with Diaochan, Lingqi came to the proper age to go out there and fight, thus the two never truly met. This was also explored in Dynasty Warriors: Godseekers where both of them can meet and had dialogue together, but things got awkward and complicated between the two. In Warriors Orochi 4, the two women never interact at all because by the time Orochi's world was rebuilt by Zeus, Lu Bu has already formed his faction with his daughter and Chen Gong while Diaochan is with Dong Zhuo and can be recruited via side mission.
    • Similar to Lu Lingqi never interacting with Diaochan during Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends, in the Wu and Shu's hypothetical stories for 8, where Liu Bei and Sun Shangxiang remain Happily Married, Liu Shan never had a chance to interact with his step-mother.
    • Despite that her storyline focuses on her perspective on certain Shu VS. Wei battles (e.g. Battle of Changban and Battle of Chibi) and her Conflicting Loyalty with Zhang Fei and Xiahou Yuan, many fans were disappointed that Xiahou Ji has less interaction with her children as her story stops with her reaction on Yuan's death at the Battle of Hanzhong. This would have been a good opportunity to expand Zhang Bao and Xingcai's characterization.
    • Daqiao's history has potential due to her very strong historical connections to a good amount of characters. But alas, like her younger sister, she was often pushed to the sidelines after her husband's death in most of the games, with Xiaoqiao following soon after.
    • In Zhou Yu's hypothetical DLC scenario for the ninth game where he outlives his death, it is expected that Xiaoqiao would, at least, have a role in her husband's plan except she never shows up at all!
    • In later incarnations, Sun Shangxiang's life post-marriage with Liu Bei isn't shown up until her saving Liu Bei in Yiling from her brother and eventually being in her husband's deathbed before disappearing entirely. Her being involved in the Shu-Wu alliance only appears in hypothetical plotlines, but her life in Shu is virtually invisible. In the ninth game's hypothetical scenarios DLCs, she never appears or is mentioned at all which is even stranger in Zhou Yu's and Xu Shu's scenarios where both Shu and Wu made an alliance without her.
    • Ever since 9 added Xin Xianying to the roster, there were expectations of her since she lived long enough to see the rise of the Jin Dynasty and is one of the few female historical figures who made an impact in the Three Kingdoms Era. Unfortunately, the game makes Xianying a stand-in for her father, Xin Pi, and her story ends with the Battle of Wuzhang Plains. While she does appear in several battles post-Wuzhang Plains, she doesn't have any important role afterwards. Like Guo Huai, Sima Yi and Xiahou Ba, many players see her more as a Wei character, rather than part of the Jin lineup, as Xianying never did things that made her historically prominent during the Sima clan's regency on Wei, such as advising her brother to stay allied with Cao Shuang during Sima Yi's coup d'etat and becoming suspicious enough of Zhong Hui that she warns her nephew about him. The best thing players could say about her is one scene where Xianying encourages the Wei forces to not give in to Zhuge Liang's taunts, an event where she makes the most out of it.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Despite the return of individual story-lines in Dynasty Warriors 9, players cannot play a character who began their career prior to joining their official faction during the Three Kingdoms Era - for example, Ma Chao started his military career under his father, Ma Teng, while Zhang Liao worked with Dong Zhuo and Lu Bu prior to joining Wei; by contrast, consider 8: Xtreme Legends, where Zhang Liao was playable for Lu Bu's faction and Wei. Likewise, certain story-lines end before a character joins another faction (e.g. Sun Shangxiang, Xiahou Ba and Xu Shu); players are unable to play as them afterwards.
    • The lack of playable officers from the late Wu generation (except for Ding Feng) prevented the Wu storyline from going further into Sun Quan's reign as the Wu emperor and other events that occurred after his reign, leading to Wu's collapse. The NPC conversation (1,2, and 3) from the Wu civilians in 9 hinted at the Succession Crisis within the Sun clan but this only occurred offscreen. It can be surmised that this is due to how Omega Force was insistent in keeping the franchise family friendly despite trying to make it follow the darker history more, and yet Sun Hao alone is so nightmarish that they can't even bring themselves to put him in without raising the rating, so they instead just chose to skim out the latter Wu's history.
    • Ever since 7 added the Jin faction, their storyline and the games as a whole only ended with the fall of Shu, while the Xtreme Legends expansions ended with Zhong Hui's rebellion, never going further into events such as Sima Yan's ascension as the first emperor of Jin and the fall of Wu, which are only mentioned in passing. The lack of several playable characters who were important during those events (Sima Yan, Yang Hu, Lu Kang, Sun Hao etc.) was the reason why the games never went past the fall of Shu.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • Xiahou Yuan in Dynasty Warriors 3 was terrible at filling up the Musou Gauge; however, when 3: Xtreme Legends was released,Yuan's fifth weapon featured the death element.
    • Zhuge Liang in Dynasty Warriors 3 has short-ranged attacks by proxy of using a feather fan, a slow-starting fourth charge attack (which is one of his only wave-clearing tools), his Energy Weapon is ineffective at juggling opponents, nor can he inflict as much damage overall in order to fill the Musou Gauge. There's a reason why he's ranked as the lowest on tier lists for stage completion time/officer-killing. Just about the only acceptable strategy with him is to stay at low Hit Points and spamming away his "True Musou Attack". However, compare this version of him to his counterpart in the fifth installment...
    • Ma Chao in the same game has an inaccurate Musou Attack, with an average spear-based moveset, including subpar defense against arrows (though not the flat out worst, as Guan Yu had the lowest in 3). Of course, this becomes the other way around in 4, thanks to his superb mounted combat and the Shadow Runner making him unable to be knocked away from the horse.
    • Sun Ce made his debut in Dynasty Warriors 3, but was deemed this due to an incredibly poor move-set, which was bad at filling up the Musou Gauge, with a C4 attack seen as "laggy" and a Musou Attack with terrible crowd control due to its honky hitboxes.
    • Sima Yi was similar to Zhuge Liang in Dynasty Warriors 3, with a stronger Musou charge stat on his fourth weapon and carries an innate lightning element on his fourth Charged Attack for great Area of Effect and filling up the Musou Gauge. Unfortunately, he suffered stationary attacking issues stemming from the fourth Charged Attack and Musou Attack. To get the most out of him, it's best to simply spam his running attack.
  • Too Cool to Live: Sun Jian - in some games, it's a case of Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies; in others, it's Annoying Arrows. Averted for him in 4, 5 and if players succeed in triggering the Hypothetical Route for 8. Likewise, Sun Ce in 4 and the Hypothetical Route in 8
  • Tough Act to Follow
    • Godseekers was a tactical role-playing Spin-Off of Dynasty Warriors 8, similar to Dynasty Tactics, celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Dynasty Warriors franchise. However, the game received low sales in Japan and mediocre reviews; that the game had less Hack and Slash, with several characters cut from the roster and the story focusing on Zhao Yun and the Kingdom of Shu, with awkward fantasy elements, decreased any interest surrounding it. In contrast, Samurai Warriors: Spirit of Sanada was received better by retaining its Hack and Slash nature, character roster, additional historical figures, an aging system and the story being closely tied to historical accountsnote . Considering Godseekers was released months before the announcement of Dynasty Warriors 9, many fans decided to move on and focus on the latter.
    • The new English voice cast for 9 had big shoes to fill, given they were replacing the voice actors who had played the characters since Dynasty Warriors 4. Unlike the original cast, of whom the majority are veterans in the industry, the newcomers are from another Los Angeles-based voice acting studio known for dubbing foreign movies, television series, soap operas/telenovelas and documentaries. Since 9 was their first video game assignment, it was a challenge for them when many fans became used to the original voices of their favorite characters; it didn't help that many players were comparing the new English dub to the laughable Dynasty Warriors 3 dub. In particular, Matt Fowler, who replaces Lex Lang as Zhuge Liang, expressed similar doubts, stating he loved Lang's work and hoped his acting did the character justice.
  • Underused Game Mechanic: 6 introduced new mechanics to the series such as grab attacks (outside of weapon attack Combos), dodging, the need to break down doors to bases before entering them, battlefield duels, and exclusive attacks upon winning weapon deadlocks. However, due to the poor reception of the game (mostly due to the Renbu System, cut characters, etc.), the developers scrapped all of these features come Dynasty Warriors 7.
  • Unnecessary Makeover: Zigzagged - most, if not, all character redesigns in Dynasty Warriors 6 were heavily criticized for being drastic (such as Yue Ying's makeover and Dong Zhuo getting even fatter) alongside changing some characters' weapons (Sun Shangxiang's familiar "Wind and Fire Wheels" to a bow, Lu Bu's historical and signature halberd to some wheel weapon). Most of the weapon changes have been reversed in recent installments, but character remodels stuck, though most fans have learned to like them.
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     Tropes V-Z 
  • Values Dissonance: Downplayed compared to the source material - for example, Liu Bei originally opposed the idea of an Arranged Marriage to Sun Shangxiang on moral grounds in modern games, whereas the novel had him favor it as a traditional way of life (though he did feel a bit self conscious about being much older than her).
  • Waggle: NEXT on the Sony Play Station Vita had touchscreen "ambushes" (e.g., knocking down arrows, cutting down charging cavalrymen) and mini-games (e.g., tracing calligraphy, stylized "duels") shoehorned in that changed it from reasonable fun to pains to the neck.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Even though Dynasty Warriors 7 was considered an improvement over 6 for introducing the Jin Kingdom Story Mode and giving many characters their weapons back, many felt it lacked replay value, with no Free Mode or any other substantial mode to compensate, including how shared weapons made characters too much like Moveset Clones of each other. Come 8 and its expansions, Koei Tecmo seemed to harken back to 3 and 4 by returning a Free Mode full of secret items and unlockable weapons, at least one unique weapon for each character, multiple hypothetical scenarios in each kingdom-based Story Mode and the expansions giving Lu Bu his own Story Mode again.
  • The Woobie:
    • The games paint Cai Wenji as a tragic beauty, especially if one looks at her historical counterpart. This is reflected in her poetry.
      Emotions stirred, I think of my parents,
      Whilst I draw a long sigh of endless sorrows.
    • Liu Shan inherits the throne at a very young age after his father's untimely death. At that time, he has to rely on Zhuge Liang on getting things done. But it turns out that this is very detrimental to his growth as a leader because after Zhuge Liang died, he's now on his own with no idea on how to proceed while his court is run by those who are debating on how to achieve his father's dream. It's true that he wants to fulfill his father's dream but the lack of progress against Wei and growing internal struggle within his court which both affected his kingdom's resources stresses him to point that he becomes very cynical which he hides by being a Stepford Smiler. Likewise, he feels inadequate when being compared to his father due to the high amount of expectations on him and because of his status as an emperor, he doesn't have many friends who can confide his worries except Xingcai while the rest of the officers only see him as a mere figurehead. As Wei under Sima Zhao invades his city, Liu Shan makes one difficult decision which is to surrender in order to save what's left of his kingdom. Except that his people condemn his choice and call him a failure. After being forced to exile to Luoyang, Liu Shan understands that he has to bear the burden of being a failure to his father. All of that would make you want to hug this poor guy.
    • Daqiao is the kind of girl you just want to give a hug. The girl is pretty timid in times of wars, but then at least she's blessed with a husband like Sun Ce, right? Nope. He died way too soon, leaving her a heartbroken widow that continued to support her husband's legacy by supporting his little brother, despite how much it's putting her in a Despair Event Horizon in a world where her husband was done. Sure, at least her sister Xiaoqiao was there to keep her going, but sometimes, hugs from her sister might not be enough...
  • Woolseyism: A very common difference between the overseas and English voice scripts are the stylistic names: due to style names being a contextual conceptnote , they are completely omitted in the English dub. However, to be authentic with the other adaptations of Romance of the Three Kingdoms, they are used extensively in the Japanese dub.
    • Several examples include hearing "Chou Shiryuu" (Zhao Zilong), "Kan Unchou" (Guan Yunchang), "Ryo Housen" (Lu Fengxian), "Shiba Chuutatsu" (Sima Zhongda); the list goes on. It would be much easier to count on one's fingers how many characters don't use style names at all.
    • An odd exception to this is Cai Wenji, who has her stylistic name as her in-series name by default in all languages, yet the style name concept is not deeply touched upon in the series, not to mention that due to a name-taboo issue with the historical Sima Zhao, her original style name was "Zhaoji", as historians had to change it to prevent going against the law Sima Zhao enforced at the time.
    • Alongside character names, all characters have different weapon names in the Asian/Japanese script: someone like Guan Yu wields the "Blue Moon Dragon", but is really called the "Yellow Dragon Weir Moon Blade" in Japanese (being named after "Huanglong/Kouryuu"). Thus, outside of sources like The Other Wiki for Koei Tecmo, localized names tend to miss a lot of spot-on character symbolism/motifs associated with those Asian/Japanese script names, despite the fact that certain Asian weapon names aren't as heavy on such symbolism in the later installments as of the seventh one.
  • What The Hell, Casting Agency?:
    • Many players found Jiang Wei’s English dub voice from 7 to 8 very irritating, though that depends on where one finds his yelling of "BENEVOLENCE!" very suitable for him or very hilarious to the point of Narm.
    • Due to Tsuyoshi Takishita’s untimely passing post-Dynasty Warriors 8, Sima Yi’s Japanese voice actor was replaced by Ryōtarō Okiayu, who voices Sima Shi. However, many find the latter's performance of Yi too similar to Shi.
    • In 8: Xtreme Legends, Roger Craig Smith was unavailable to perform new lines for Zhang Liao, leading to Joshua Tomar being brought in as a replacement, even redubbing lines from the vanilla version. Many felt the latter’s voice to be too high-pitched and squeaky for a character as powerful and intimidating as Zhang Liao.

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