Warriors Orochi 3 is the third game in Koei's Musou sub-series that mixes characters from the Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors franchises. This new installment features playable characters from titles outside of the Musou franchise, bringing the player character roster to a total of over 130. The latest edition of the game, Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate, features a roster totaling 145 characters.
It was released in Japan on December 22, 2011, April 6th in Europe, and March 20th (for the PS3) and 27th (Xbox 360) in North America. This is also the second game in the Warriors series (after Samurai Warriors Chronicles) that was released outside of Japan without an English voice option.
Musou Orochi 2 Special
A PSP port of Warriors Orochi 3 was released exclusively in Japan on July 19, 2012. The game is mostly the same as the PS3 version, but removed the ability to swim in deep water, and the camp has been replaced with a menu screen. Two new characters and a four player versus mode were added to the game.
Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper
Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper is an upgraded edition of Warriors Orochi 3 exclusive to the Wii U platform. This version of the game features the ability to play cooperative local multiplayer with two players without a split-screen; one player uses the screen on the Wii U GamePad, while the second player uses the television. Hyper also includes all of the characters found in Musou Orochi 2 Special, as well as some exclusive additions to the roster. The game also features an exclusive one-on-one Duel Mode that can be played against opponents online. Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper was released as a Wii U launch title in North America on November 18, 2012 in both disc format as well as a digital download.
Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate
Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate is a further enhanced version of the game, containing all the content from the Wii U Hyper release as well as a new story chapter and additional characters. It also contains the four-player versus mode from Musou Orochi 2 Special and an all-new Unlimited Mode in which the player must fight through a survival mode-style dungeon with a team of five characters. The Ultimate edition was released on PlayStation 3 and Vita on September 26, 2013, and on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 2, 2014.
In addition to the extensive rosters taken from the Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors series, as well as other historical and mystic figures introduced in previous Warriors Orochi titles, Warriors Orochi 3 features a number of playable characters taken from other sources. Some of these characters are figures taken from Japanese and Chinese folklore:
- Kaguya: A character from "The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter", a.k.a. "Princess Kaguya". Wields sakaki and mirrors. Arrives from the Mystic Realm to provide aid to the surviving warriors, and her ability to travel time is essential in changing the odds against the Hydra and Orochi's forces.
- Shuten Doji: The mythical ruler of the oni of Japanese myth. His weapon is a giant gourd. A powerful being who has no memory of himself other than his name.
- Nezha: A character from the the tale "Journey to the West", and a figure of Chinese mythology. Wielding four bladed discs, he is a man who died long ago, but was resurrected in largely mechanized form.
- Susano-o: The god of storm and the seas from ancient Japanese myth. Weapon is the Ama-no-Murakumo-no-Tsuruugi ("Sword of the Gathering Clouds of Heaven"). He is the leader of the Mystic Army and while completely confident, is dismissive of humans.
The remaining newcomers are Tecmo Koei characters from outside the Dynasty and Samurai Warriors franchises:
The following player characters were first added in Musou Orochi 2 Special:
The following player characters were first added in Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper:
The following player characters were first added in Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate:
- Kasumi (Dead or Alive)
- Yinglong: A mythical dragon and rain deity of ancient Chinese folklore. He appears in this game in a humanoid form.
- Tamamo no Mae: An evil kitsune chronicled in the Otogizoshi that took the guise of a beautiful woman and gained the favor of Emperor Konoe.
- Sterkenburg Cranach (Atelier)
- Sophitia Alexandra (Special guest character from Namco Bandai's Soul Calibur)
- Nezha: An alternate version of the character from prior to his death and resurrection as Susano'o's servant.
- Kyubi no Kitsune: A nine-tailed fox (kitsune). Resembles a fusion of Da Ji and Tamamo no Mae.
The story begins several years after Orochi's death, when the warriors involved in the conflict live in relative peace. However, Orochi's raw power creates the form of the giant, eight-headed Hydra. The apparently unbeatable monster brings chaos to the world once again, and in the chaos, the many warriors are either killed or scattered into parts unknown. When all hope seems lost, Kaguya is able to use her time reversing powers to rescue three warriors that survived a last-ditch battle with the monster; Sima Zhao, Ma Chao, and Hanbei Takenaka. Given a second chance, these warriors must travel into the past and recruit others in order to alter the future and improve the odds. However, they are limited in that they can only travel back to times and places in the past that someone in the group actually experienced, and are further limited in that they can only travel as far back as the Hydra's first appearance due to the interference it causes in the timeline.
Unlike previous Warriors Orochi games, the story mode is not broken up by faction; instead, there is a single path that features a linear progression. New stages are unlocked as the player progresses through the chapters, though there are some side stages that can only be accessed after certain character bonds are raised to a high enough level. Alternate "Redux" versions of existing stages can also be unlocked by participating in chronologically preceding battles where success alters the flow of time.
Additionally, the story features multiple endings based on factors such as the number of characters that have been unlocked over the course of play. To view the best ending, the player must unlock every character in the game save for those unlocked by beating it.
Warriors Orochi 3 plays similarly to previous entries in the Orochi series, with the player taking control of teams of characters that can be swapped between on the fly. As in previous entries, each character is categorized as a specific class. The Power, Speed, and Technique classes all return from the previous games, with the addition of a fourth class called "Wonder." Wonder characters are capable of powerful counter attacks that can be followed with critical strikes.
Warriors Orochi 3 features a number of mechanics new to the series.
- Dash Chain: Allows for smooth transition from dash attack to normal/charge attack.
- Break Guard: A counter attack to knock an enemy back.
- True Triple Attack: When a special gauge is filled, The player can invoke this attack to summon all three player characters in the player's team onto the battlefield at once. During a True Triple Attack, the player may continue to switch between characters on the fly. All enemies defeated with a TTA are guaranteed to drop items.
- Switch Combo: Combo attacks can be chained as the player switches from one character to another, but doing so consumes Musou gauge energy.
- Support Attack: A feature from Warriors Orochi 2, in Warriors Orochi 3, the chances of a support attack are tied to the bond levels between characters.
Duel Mode, first introduced in Warriors Orochi 3 Hyper on the Wii U and which will be included in Warriors Orochi 3 Ultimate, is a one on one battle that can be played against either the computer or a human opponent. Each player selects a team of three characters, as well as a set of four cards. Each card is mapped to one of the four directions on the D-pad. In battle, controls are identical to those in the main game, save for the ability to trigger card effects. Cards have a variety of effects ranging from dealing damage or restoring health/musou energy to imbuing elemental power or temporarily locking out the opponent's ability to switch characters. The battle is decided when all three characters on one player's team are defeated.
Warriors Orochi 3 features a special mode called Musou Battlefields that allows players to create custom stages and share them online. The player may select any previously cleared stage to edit. Customizable elements are unlocked as the player progresses through the story mode. These options include:
- Officers encountered during the battle.
- Officer dialogue. Any line that the player has heard during the course of play can be inserted.
- The soldier types for all armies.
- The background music.
- Sound effect libraries from past Dynasty and Samurai Warriors games.
- Enemy and ally army and officer morale and aggression.
- The stage time limit.