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Battle of Yiling
Yiling (DW8)
Date 208
July 221 ~ July 222
Location Yiling and Xiaoting, Jing Province (near present-day Yichang and Yidu, Hubei)
Result Wu Victory (208)
Wu victory; Liu Bei retreats to Baidi Castle. (222)
Forces
Wei (208)
Shu (222)
Wu
Commanders
Cao Ren (208)
Liu Bei (222)
Gan Ning (208)
Lu Xun (222)

The Battle of Xiaoting (猇亭の戦い, rōmaji: Ōtei no Tatakai), also known as the Battle of Yiling (夷陵の戦い, rōmaji: Iryō no Tatakai), is a battle fought between Wei and Wu, shortly after Cao Cao's massive defeat at Chibi. Gan Ning quickly took Yiling from the Wei forces, but was besieged by Cao Ren as a result. Zhou Yu and Lu Meng successfully rescued the stranded general, and Cao Ren fled back to Nanjun. This battle is occasionally merged with the main battle at Nanjun.

Later, Liu Bei, enraged by the deaths of Guan Yu, Zhang Fei and the loss of Jing Province launched a punitive expedition against Wu. Young Lu Xun, with the help of Ling Tong and Zhu Ran, lead Wu to a decisive victory thanks to his genius fire attack. The decisive battle here halted Liu Bei's invasion of Wu and eventually led to his death.

Role in GamesEdit

Dynasty WarriorsEdit

Most of the versions of this battle in the Dynasty Warriors series emphasizes the devastating effects of Wu's fire attack and the importance of the Stone Sentinel Maze, or the Shíbīng Bāzhèn (石兵八陣, Sekihei Hachijin; Stone Soldier Eight Array) in the Asian scripts. In all games, the battle results with Wu using a fire attack against Shu, although it is preventable in some games. Depending on what installment and what force the player is fighting for, this can happen soon after the start of the battle, or minutes into the battle. In some games, Wu brings out reinforcements after the attack. After the fire attack, the Shu forces retreat back, normally to the said Stone Sentinel Maze in which the map will disappear if the player enters it (which often depends on the scenario being played). Normally, Zhuge Liang appears when the Shu forces successfully pull back to the camp for a turn-around.

The aforementioned Stone Sentinel Maze is the key to winning the battle in some of the games depending on the forces as well as the installment; its effects greatly vary when used against the player and the opposing side.

The second installment version of the stage is unique in that the center of the stage involves rainy weather. The third installment instead, has a landmark on the west side of the stage that serves as an alternate way of entry aside from the maze, known as Ma An Gate (馬鞍門, Ba'anmon, lit. Horse Saddle Gate), which can be opened when Huang Zhong is defeated. In both these cases, the maze was originally known as the Stone Warrior Formation.

In the fourth installment of the series, this stage is part of the Yi Ling series with both Campaign for Jing and Unification of Jing. Yi Ling itself can be considered the whole stage of the stage set, having included the Stone Sentinel Maze in the south, and Ma An Gate instead being in the southeast which makes it the gate the separates the two forces. Another gate is added known as Bei Guan Gate (北関門, Hokukanmon, lit. North Connection Gate) leads into Sun Jian's main camp. This installment has one area of the map act as the main stage for the 1 vs. 1 stage in the Versus mode, while the camp in front of Bai Di Castle is used for Bridge Melee. In order to render the maze's effectiveness against Wu to be useless, players have to cause the fire attack to force Liu Bei to retreat into Bai Di Castle which seals the gate needed to access it (thus forcing the player on the Wu forces side to enter from the south). The maze is a few roads divided by statues which rise and lower until the player exits the western side, and they are set to work in a predetermined route (which may involve ambush units). Upon exit, Zhuge Liang arrives with a fleet to defend Liu Bei and raid the Wu Forces' camp via connecting the northeast exit of the castle to a chain of ships straight to the main camp on the upper waters. Guan Yu will arrive as reinforcements if Race for Nan Territory is cleared beforehand in Musou Mode.

The Shu Forces scenario instead, has Zhuge Liang at some point relays a message to a generic troop, telling them to stand at the watchtower indicated by the map. Either the tower itself is destroyed or not, standing at the spot will reveal Zhu Ran and his task force units to be walking into the camp in front of Bai Di Castle in order to set the place on fire and force Liu Bei to retreat, as well as Zhou Tai and the Two Qiaos to appear in an ambush. Holding off the Wu forces long enough will cause Zhuge Liang to appear with his ship bridge as usual, with Meng Huo arriving as reinforcements if Nanman Campaign is beforehand first in Musou Mode. If Zhu Ran is defeated along with his task force, Lu Xun inputs that the Wu forces must take Liu Bei head-on. From then on, Ma An Gate opens and once the player reaches it, only then will Zhou Tai and the two Qiaos will appear in the castle camp, forcing the player to backtrack to them.

Lu Xun's Legend Mode in the fourth title's expansion entails his desire to surpass Zhuge Liang's wit for the eradication of Shu, taking place at Yu Fu Bay (魚腹浦, Gyofukuho, lit. Fish Entrails Bay). It is a custom-made map of the Stone Sentinel Maze, the pathways being blocked by rising stone walls and ambush soldiers. To proceed forward, Lu Xun needs to backtrack with caution and defeat the guards impeding his path within the maze, which almost akin to the original map's maze, but with more events that can occur and thus more possible room for error. Midway to Zhuge Liang's hiding spot, the strategist will send Chen Shi and Zhang Bao to try to stop the youth. Zhao Yun and Guan Xing also attempt to guard the second to last barricade. On the last stone wall impeding their path, a middle aged gentleman named Huang Cheng Yan realizes Lu Xun is stuck and guides him to the real exit. Lu Xun then engages in a final duel with Zhuge Liang. Also in the said expansion, portions of the said map set are used for Zhen Ji (Bai Di Castle and bay area front of castle to the east and used to represent Yi Province, with Bai Di Castle acting as Ye Castle), Cao Ren (southwestern corner outside of Bai Di Castle's south gate) and Gan Ning's (bay in front of river, with Stone Sentinel Maze and Bai Di Castle omitted) Legend Mode stages.

In Dynasty Warriors 5, the maze is a set of paths in a forest, and ambushes appear there. Zhuge Liang arrives south of the area. Unlike in the previous game, both the Stone Sentinel Maze and Bai Di Castle itself are on a stage separate from Yi Ling.

In Dynasty Warriors 6, it contains a few mazes and paths which lead to the center of the maze, which resembles an arena in many ways. Zhuge Liang appears there to finish the player off, with many generals alongside him.

Dynasty Warriors 7 introduces a more historic octangular Stone Sentinel Maze that is not accessible to the player when they are playing Shu's Story Mode. Part One sees Zhao Yun ventures into the burnt-up battlefield looking for Liu Bei, while Part Two follows Zhuge Liang covering Shu officers' retreat. In Wu's Story Mode, Lu Xun has to break through the maze before beating Liu Bei in Baidi Castle.

In Dynasty Warriors 8, Yiling appears twice in Wu's scenario. The first time it appears is at Nanjun, where it acts as the southwestern castle, where Gan Ning's forces are stranded and are fighting Xu Huang. Once Zhou Yu rescues the general, he will be wounded by Wei archers.

Lu Meng's appearance in the second determines whether he survives Fan Castle or not. After fighting off the Shu forces on the frontlines, Liu Bei deserts his army and Lu Xun gives orders for Han Dang to set the fire attack and for Ling Tong to recapture the garrisons near the main camp while the young Wu strategist heads to lure out the Shu commander. Gan Ning ventures on his own without orders, only to be ambushed and killed by Shamoke. After the fire attack and the first round against Liu Bei, Zhuge Liang brings him to safety and sets the Wu forces to try and clear the Stone Sentinel Maze. Should the player go with Gan Ning before he is ambushed, they can save him from his death and unlock Guangling.

Shu's version of the stage begins as Liu Bei runs off alone and goes missing. While Zhao Yun fights off multiple ambushes by Wu forces in search of Liu Bei, Guan Xing and Zhang Bao lead Shu's forces south towards the Wu main camp. Zhao Yun must also defeat Han Dang before he launches the fire attack, whereupon Liu Bei is discovered being attacked by Lu Xun. After Lu Xun is defeated Zhuge Liang arrives with reinforcements and orders the Shu forces to march on the Wu camp. Gan Ning, Ling Tong and Zhou Tai arrive as the Shu forces capture the Wu garrisons. Sun Quan is defeated but Liu Bei fails to slay him to avenge his brothers. If the enemy fire attack is carried out, Liu Bei will immediately begin retreating, and the objectives will change to escorting him to escape point. Once Zhuge Liang orders the retreat, Gu Yong and Pan Zhang will advance to catch Liu Bei. After the first set of pursuit troops are defeated, Wu reinforcements will appear to give chase, and Gan Ning will impede Liu Bei's retreat with ballistae. After Gan Ning's defeat, Ling Tong and Xue Zong will launch a pincer attack on Liu Bei. Zhou Tai will finally act as the last gatekeeper of the escape point. If Ma Liang, Shamoke, Feng Xi, Zhao Guang or Liu Ning are defeated in battle, they will have a unique slain quote.

The eighth game's expansion later gives two new, revised scenarios of the battle. In Wu's part, Lu Xun is joined by his predecessors, Zhou Yu, Lu Su, and Lu Meng. The Wu soldiers immediately defeat the Shu forces surrounding the allied camp, before moving on to the fire strategy. As Lu Xun and Zhu Ran advance north, to the center of Shu's army, while Lu Meng and Zhou Tai divert the enemy's attention to the south. From that point on, the Wu army begins their hunt for Liu Bei. At the battle's conclusion, Liu Bei escapes with Zhao Yun's aid. The timing of Zhao Yun's defeat may also result in the unlocking of the Defense of Jiangling.

In Shu's scenario, Fa Zheng will appear at the entrance of the Stone Sentinel Maze, and he will immediately move out to warn Liu Bei of the fire attack. Within the maze are the ones responsible for Guan Yu and Zhang Fei's death, while the exit is guarded by Ding Feng. Soon the Wu forces begin sending out fire attack units, and they immediately target the center of Shu's army. After being warned, Liu Bei begins pulling out his forces. On Fa Zheng's advice the Shu army allows the Wu army to initiate a fire attack, and then goad the enemy into attacking by stating Liu Bei's death. Zhu Ran then moves out to execute the fire, while the Shu forces withdraw and hide in order to ambush the enemy. As planned, Sun Quan moves out as soon as word reaches out of Liu Bei's death, allowing Liu Bei to ambush the Wu forces. Once the ambush is sprung, the Shu forces enter Sun Quan's camp and defeat him.

Warriors OrochiEdit

During Orochi's story mode, Orochi and Sun Quan spot Cao Cao's army at this location. The latter's army still consists of a majority of his loyal officers. The serpent army invades from the upper right hand corner while Cao Cao's army stands firm in the center. Moments after the short exchange between the commanders, the Orochi army fires with their cannons. The Wei forces, whom have never seen the destructive weapons of war before, panic and start to break formation. A composed Cao Cao attempts to recover from the situation by issuing an organized retreat into the Stone Sentinel Maze. To capitalize on the brief moment of weakness, Sun Quan orders the Orochi forces to hunt down the escaping officers.

Once his remaining troops flee inside the maze, Cao Cao plans a fire attack to counter the cannons. His plot cannot be prevented by the player, although a quick and mighty character can execute the officer leading the engineers in the north-western garrison. With the fire spelling confusion on the Orochi forces and the cannons dispelled, Cao Cao then orders a counter offensive. The player's team then has to calm the Orochi officers in the front line garrisons or they will be annihilated without even putting up a fight. Once the nearest generals to the main camp have been defeated, Cao Cao's location becomes hidden in the maze. The player then has to defeat the sorcerers hiding him before he flees to the lower left hand base on the map. Pinned at last, he and a few of his guards put a final offensive.

In Warriors Orochi, Cao Pi and Mitsunari band together to deal with the disgruntled Xiahou Dun and Xiahou Yuan. They are assisted by reinforcements from the Orochi army, Sun Shang Xiang and Ina. Again, the Orochi forces arm themselves in the north-eastern corner of the map. Cao Pi and company heading from the east, the ladies invade from the west, and Mitsunari defends the main camp. The Xiahou cousins take their position in the center with Pang Tong as their strategist. Victory must be claimed by defeating the three figures spearheading the revolution.

Pang Tong orders a pincer by ordering Xiahou Dun to attack Cao Pi's path and Xiahou Yuan to attack from the west. He plans to send an engineer team to create a straight bridge to the Orochi forces' main camp. If interrupted, he attempts to flee into the Stone Sentinel Maze and launches an ambush on those who pursue. Meanwhile the Xiahou cousins realize the plan has failed and order an all-out attack on the main camp to compensate for their weakened morale. Both cousins need to be defeated twice for their submission while the player's team need only defeat Pang Tong once. After witnessing Cao Pi's worth firsthand, the trio then join Wei after their defeats.

If their plan succeeds, the player will need to deal with the invigorated rebel army as they relentlessly charge for Mitsunari's position. This may prove to burdensome in early levels as it is difficult to simultaneously guard Cao Pi and the main camp. The aftermath is still the same regardless of the player's choice. After the battle, Xiahou Dun, Xiahou Yuan, and Pang Tong joins Wei.

A replica of the Stone Sentinel Maze also appears in Kawanakajima. In Orochi's Story Mode, the Takeda army uses the maze in conjunction with a fire attack to weaken players.

In the third game, the battle with Kiyomori there first ends in a complete disaster; Ma Dai and Pang De have died in their efforts to protect Ma Chao. Suddenly, the young Xiliang warrior returns to the past thanks to Kaguya to stop the tragedies he originally faced. Ma Chao first turns back and begins moving to assist Ma Dai, who receives surprise reinforcements from Pang De. On his way, they run into Kunoichi, who is possessed by Kiyomori, and successfully defeat her, and bring her back to her senses. As the battle rages on, Ma Dai immediately urges their forces to assist Huang Zhong at the entrance to Stone Sentinel Maze, only to find the exit locked from the inside. This eventually leads to the Coalition's inability to save Huang Zhong. Despite this, they manage to defeat both Kiyomori and Yukimura, ending the battle.

The redux version allows Ma Chao to rescue Huang Zhong from his death after taking mobile catapults from the demon army's storehouse at Tedorigawa.

Shortly before the rise of the Hydra, Ina went to Yiling to train, but was cut off from her allies by a demon army. Guo Jia, Guo Huai, and Xingcai come to her aid by impeding the demons surrounding the vicinity.

Ultimate shows a recap on the original battle prior to Kaguya's intervention. It first shows Huang Zhong, Ma Dai, Ma Chao, and Xu Shu leading the remnants of Shu through the Demon forces at Yiling. Huang Zhong and Ma Dai ultimately choose to stay behind, guarding the entrance of the Stone Sentinel Maze and the southeastern garrison respectively while Ma Chao and Xu Shu leave for Odawara Castle. Midway, however, Ma Chao orders Xu Shu to go on without him as he senses something bad at Yiling, and wishes to return there.

Historical InformationEdit

Romance of the Three KingdomsEdit

After Guan Yu's death at Maicheng and the loss of Jingzhou, Liu Bei became incensed and immediately ordered for preparations to attack Sun Quan. Perplexed by the constant shuffling of Guan Yu's head, Zhuge Liang reported to their lord that Sun Quan attempted to redirect some of the blame to Cao Cao, who buried Guan Yu's head with full military honors to defuse their feud. Seeing these developments, Zhuge Liang first asked his lord to meet with the other advisors and generals first before moving on.

During the council, Liu Bei's anger slowly began fading with many of his retainers, including Zhuge Liang, Ma Liang and Zhao Yun insisting that an attack on Wu would only benefit Wei and that they would only make use of the situation. Their argument was also amplified by the fact that Emperor Xian had abdicated in favor of Cao Pi, and the Han Dynasty's only remaining hope was with Shu. Zhang Fei, who was heartbroken by his sworn brother's death, was in a flurry after hearing that no immediate action was taken. Arriving to his brother's palace, Zhang Fei chided Liu for failing to honor the oath at the Peach Garden, forcing Liu to finally spur into action.

As Zhang Fei began preparations for a punitive expedition, he flogged Zhang Da and Fan Jiang for asking for an extension in making properly colored flags and banners for the army as Zhang Fei's original time was an impossible task. This proved to be his undoing, however, as both men killed their commander and took his head to Wu. Zhang Fei's death would leave Liu Bei unconsolable and he immediately ordered his troops to begin their march into Wu territory.

In the opening battle, Zhang Bao and Guan Xing defeated Sun Huan and Zhu Ran. Zhu Ran was then given a false message of a raid on Sun Huan's camp, and attempted to lend aid, but was caught in an ambush and forced to retreat. Sun Huan's forces are soon overwhelmed and retreat back to Yiling. Huang Zhong, hoping to still prove himself amongst the rise of many youths, went out to challenge Pan Zhang's unit. Pan, however, feigned retreat and lured the elderly general into an encirclement. Though Huang was eventually rescued by both Zhang Bao and Guan Xing, a wound incurred from an arrow shot by Ma Zhong sealed the general's fate, and he perished in the allied camp.

Incensed by the death of his third tiger general, Liu Bei personally led his troops out and defeated Zhou Tai and Han Dang in a skirmish. Gan Ning, who was suffering heavily from sickness, attempted to lead troops to aid his allies, however, he encounters Shamoke and his forces instead. Unable to overcome his adversary, Gan Ning attempted to withdraw, but was hit by the tribal leader's arrow and dies instead. Pan Zhang also met his end around the same time, being petrified by Guan Yu's ghost before being cut down by Guan Xing.

With Shu's advance seemingly unstoppable, Fu Shiren and Mi Fang became fearful for their lives in Wu. Hoping to return back to Liu Bei, they assassinated Ma Zhong and presented his head when they attempted to surrender. Liu Bei, however, shouted that he would've failed Guan Yu if they weren't dead, and immediately ordered Guan Xing to execute the two before presenting their heads to Guan Yu's altar. Sun Quan, hoping to put closure to the matter, then sent Zhang Fei's head along with Zhang Da and Fan Jiang to the Shu camp. Both men were executed by Zhang Bao before their heads were presented to Zhang Fei's altar. The messenger, Zhuge Jin, also offered to return both Lady Sun and Liu Bei's lost portions of Jingzhou in exchange for the renewal of their alliance, but Liu flatly rejected the offer, swearing to not stop until he had Sun Quan's head on a platter. Sun Quan then sent a messenger to Cao Pi asking for reinforcements. Cao Pi, however, was more content to watch and see his rivals fight amongst themselves, and prepared a navy, but did not mobilize troops.

On his wits end, Sun Quan once again deliberated with his advisors on who could potentially be placed at the position of Commander-in-Chief with Lu Meng, Lu Su and Zhou Yu dead. Kan Ze spoke up with Lu Xun in mind. While all the other trusted advisors of Sun felt that Lu Xun was too young and inexperienced, Kan reminded their lord that it was Lu Xun's planning that helped defeat Guan Yu. Choosing to follow Kan Ze's gamble, Sun Quan appointed Lu Xun as commander, and gave him the commander's sword in case any of the older generals think about disobeying orders.

Calling upon the generals, who were clearly dissatisfied at being given orders by someone without any real experience, Lu Xun first announced his decision to stay put. While many generals immediately wished to save the besieged Sun Huan, Lu Xun stated that Sun Huan would be able to hold his position long enough for him to enact the plan to defeat Liu Bei's forces. Until then, all the generals were ordered to defend key checkpoints. Liu Bei initially laughed at the news that control be given to someone without any rank or prestige, but Ma Liang immediately warned his lord that it was only through Lu Xun's scheming that Guan Yu was killed.

With Lu Xun's new appointment, Liu Bei immediately ordered a full advance in honor of Guan Yu, but Lu Xun remained on the defensive, and even remonstrated the veteran Han Dang for nearly abandoning his position in a suicidal charge to engage the enemy. As the Wu forces refused to budge from their positions and faced with the sweltering summer heat, Liu Bei ordered his troops to withdraw into a forested area for shade, while leaving an ambush behind and having old and sickly troops act as a rear guard in order to lure the Wu forces out. Zhou Tai and Han Dang both immediately asked to lead an attack on the Shu troops upon seeing their withdrawal, but Lu Xun dismissed the idea, saying that the only real time the Shu forces would withdraw would be in a few days. True to his words, the ambush troops withdrew in a few days as the Wu forces refused to move out.

With the Shu troops setting camps up, Ma Liang began showing concerns over the divisions and requested Liu Bei to at least send a draft back to Zhuge Liang. In Wei, Cao Pi, upon hearing that Liu Bei had set up camp in forested area, foresaw his defeat as Lu Xun would likely defeat his foe with fire. Secretly, he now began preparing his troops to advance on Wu once their forces would pursue their defeated prey. Lu Xun, upon seeing that the Shu troops had now lost a significant amount of morale from when they first started soon allowed engagement. He first ordered a petty officer, Chunyu Dan, to lead an attack at a camp defended by Fu Tong. Chunyu was handily defeated but was rescued by Zhou Tai and Han Dang. Though Chunyu Dan asked for punishment, Lu Xun apologized and stated that all he wanted to do was to test the strength of the Shu forces. Laughing that Zhuge Liang, the only one who wouldn't be fooled with this plot, was not around, Lu Xun immediately began setting his troops up.

Zhuge Liang, who received Ma Liang, was outraged by the camp placements, and immediately told Ma Liang to send a messenger to Zhao Yun to secure a retreat path to Baidicheng, and that a group of soldiers were left on the way to the city. Ma Liang, however, asked what troops as he had passed the area, but Zhuge insisted that they would only appear when the time was right. Zhuge then lamented that the scattered camps meant they couldn't assist one another, the forest, which shielded the Shu forces from the heat, could also be used to bake them alive, and that their lord had forgotten the lesson Cao Cao learned at Chibi. He did, however, respect Sun Quan's decision to appoint Lu Xun, reminding Ma before he left that capable commanders that Zhou Yu, Lu Meng and Lu Su were fully maximized, and that Sun Quan's eye for talent shouldn't be underestimated. Meanwhile, Lu Xun gave Han Dang and Zhou Tai instructions to successively light camps on fire. Zhu Ran would then lead a separate detachment of troops to cut off Liu Bei's escape.

On what seemed to be a normal night for Liu Bei soon turned into hell as he began smelling smoke from one of the camps and ordered Guan Xing and Zhang Bao to check up on the situation, believing the fires to be by pure accident. Not only did both return with multiple messages of camp fires, but also many more successive messengers came to inform their lord. Realizing now that the enemy was attacking by fire, Liu Bei rallied his remaining troops in an attempt to retreat. With Fu Tong guarding the rear, Liu Bei encountered Zhu Ran, but was saved in time by Zhao Yun, who killed the enemy general in a single thrust. Fu Tong, however, was not so lucky and was killed defending their lord's rear. Meanwhile, the rest of Liu Bei's forces were decimated. Many of his allies and retainers, including Shamoke, Ma Liang and Huang Quan would either die or be forced to surrender to either Wei or Wu.

Lu Xun initially attempted to chase Liu Bei into Baidicheng, however, he entered Zhuge Liang's maze, and the "soldiers" he set up were activated. Unable to find his way through, Lu Xun's forces were hopelessly lost until they met an old man claiming to be Zhuge Liang's father-in-law. Guiding the Wu forces back to the entrance to see the entire maze suddenly flooded, Lu Xun understood Zhuge Liang's implicative message and agreed to pull his troops back. While many of his generals questioned this decision, Lu Xun replied that Zhuge Liang's message was to keep an eye on Cao Pi, who had been watching the entire conflict from start to finish. Predicting an enemy attack, Lu Xun was then greeted by a messenger, who stated that the forces of Cao Pi were advancing on Ruxukou, Nanjun and Dongkou. As he had pulled the troops back, all three fronts were defended, and Lu established himself as the saviour of his kingdom. Many that doubted or resented taking orders from him were silenced, and gave him their newfound respect and loyalty.

Liu Bei would eventually die out of severe grief due to the massive losses at Yiling, leaving his son in the hands of Zhuge Liang. After Liu Bei's death, Wu and Shu eventually reformed their alliance and made joint attacks on Wei.

GalleryEdit

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