Battle of Wuzhang Plains
Wuzhang Plains (DW8)
Date April ~ Autumn 234
Location Wuzhang Plains, Yong Province (present-day Wuzhangyuan, Shaanxi)
Result Zhuge Liang dies and Shu's fifth Northern Campaign ends in failure.
Shu Wei
Zhuge Liang Sima Yi

The Battle of Wuzhang Plains (五丈原の戦い, rōmaji: Gojōgen no Tatakai), or literally the "Battle of Five Measure Plains" is the final battle of Zhuge Liang's northern campaign, due to this battle famous for his life being claimed by illness. Jiang Wei eventually succeeds as the lead of the Shu army due to such events. Sima Yi due to learning of such news was eager to press an attack, but due to Zhuge Liang's prior preparation for such a situation, the Shu army makes use of his leftover plans (which have varied in terms of adaptation) to successfully stall Sima Yi's advance and they make a successful retreat but with little progress against Wei; though it was noted that Zhuge Liang's death was not made public until Shu had successfully retreated back to their kingdom.

In the Dynasty Warriors series, this stage often acts as the final battle between Shu and Wei. The battle usually gets a special cinematic in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms series.

Role in GamesEdit

Dynasty WarriorsEdit

In most titles of the series, an ailing Zhuge Liang leads the Shu army at Wu Zhang Plains. Wanting to uphold his promise to Liu Bei before he passes away, he often orders his armies to charge into an offensive in an attempt to gain an upper hand over Wei. The only obstacle that splits the armies is a single thin river. Zhuge Liang coordinates his army briefly but loses his life to his illness. A shooting star signals his death, which is correctly read by Sima Yi. Sima Yi orders his army to charge the withdrawing Shu troops. In order to recover from the loss, Jiang Wei takes command of the army. Jiang Wei may take the time to use Zhuge Liang's inventions to aid Shu's fleeing soldiers. Wei is taken aback and retreats. From here, the fate of either army is left to the player. All playable versions of this stage are very notable for taking place under the silent night sky.

The first game has this take place on an open field in the night starry sky, and acts as Zhuge Liang's stage.

Dynasty Warriors 2 has Liu Bei and Cao Cao clashing here due to a deadlock caused by their forces. With the Five Tiger Generals and Shu's other key officers alive and well, the Wei army faces them on four fronts. Their objective is to besiege Liu Bei's heavily fortified position and counter ambushes or other ploys caused by Zhuge Liang. To do so, the army attacks the west and east gates guarded by Guan Yu and Zhang Fei. Once they are gone, the Wei army can proceed to demolish the other troops. Shu's strategy is to use their talented generals and the forts to converge on Cao Cao's forces.

As opposed to Wei being outnumbered, Shu is the force who is outnumbered in Dynasty Warriors 3. Both sides feature more siege weapons into the conflict to counter the other. Shu's case this includes their supply train of Wood Oxen and Wei's invention is catapults. In Shu's version of the stage, Sun Li taunts Wei Yan to move, causing the Shu general to let the defenses slack. Zhao Yun is also present for the defense against Wei's assault. The goal of their scenario is to keep the Wei generals at bay and weaken the large army. Wei's version of the stage has Zhang He present and three reinforcements on the wing. They desire to break through Shu's fortified position while keeping an eye out for any ambushes they encounter. In both sides of the stage, the Wood Oxen appear on the very east side of the stage near a village area around Sun Li and Wei Yan's positions, and they merely function as normal item containers with varying items not only found in jars and/or crates alike.

Dynasty Warriors 4 is similar to the previous incarnation but includes more events, as well as being the main stage of the Wu Zhang Plains series of maps (along with Jie Ting and Tian Shui). Both sections of the two other stages are expanded upon, but there is a new platformed stronghold architecture in the very south that is on Shu's side of the stage, and rocky formations past Ji Castle on Wei's side in the north, as well as missing most of the Tian Shui Castle section that's only accessible in said battle of Tian Shui. Shu's newest weapons in the battle are Zhuge Liang's invention, the arbalest, and his wife's concoction, the Juggernauts. The newer events in Shu's version of the stage includes taunting Sima Yi to lower his morale. With this momentum, they end Wei. The supplies in the form of mobile Wood Oxen only appear when Jie Ting is first completed in Musou Mode and is a requirement for Zhuge Liang's Lv. 10 weapon (here, they now act as damageable weapon units with HP bars and have more of an impact on the battle's events and morale). Wei's version of the stage has them focus on destroying Shu's supplies (the Wood Oxen on Wei's side of the stage will always appear on both Free Mode and Musou Mode). If they previously won the Battle of Jie Ting in Musou Mode, Sima Yi will taunt Ma Su here and lower the general's morale. However, both scenarios of the map feature a major difference compared to the other versions in terms of events: Zhuge Liang's death is merely a ruse that will cause Sima Yi to normally panic and retreat once he draws closer to the Shu army's base. In the Wei forces scenario, Sima Yi doesn't fall for Zhuge Liang's death ruse and presses his attack, but a heavy defense in the form of arbelests delays the Wei army quite a bit. Liu Bei and/or Cao Cao will appear as the true commander of the stage depending on the scenario played.

In Dynasty Warriors 5, Zhuge Liang presses for an offensive while protecting the army's supplies. In a few scenarios, he lives to command the rest of the battle but he dies otherwise during the battle. Jiang Wei takes over and orders a retreat. As the Wei army nears the center of the map, Jiang Wei unleashes the arbalests and has Shu counter. Wei's scenario has Sima Yi focus on defense since he senses Zhuge Liang's desperation to end the battle early. Once Zhuge Liang dies, his army charges and continues onto the main camp after tearing down the arbalests. Zhong Hui's catapults also attack the Shu main camp. Zhuge Liang, Liu Bei, Jiang Wei, Wei Yan, Yue Ying and Zuo Ci gets the Shu side, while Cao Cao, Sima Yi, Zhen Ji, Cao Ren, and Cao Pi gets the Wei side.

In Dynasty Warriors Vol. 2, the battle appears as a final stage in both Wei and Shu's story modes. In Wei's story mode, Sima Yi will order the Wei forces to advance in twos. Guo Huai will advance from the west while Xiahou Wei will advance from the east. Zhuge Liang responds by causing a rockslide in the eastern area which will reduce unit morale if the player doesn't have an officer with Ranger or a mount with Climber, and an assault from Zhang Yi and Zhang Ni to the west. As the Wei forces close in to the Shu main camp, Zhuge Liang mysteriously dies, and Sima Yi orders that the Shu main camp be taken. Once the camp is attacked, Zhuge Liang surprisingly appears close to the allied main camp, and he must be defeated before he can reach Cao Pi. There is a village in the central part of the map. There are two treasure troves in the area. The one to the north is guarded by Kanetsugu Naoe while the one to the southeast is guarded by Water Margin's Wu Song. In Shu's version of the stage, Sima Yi engulfs the central area with a fire attack, and Zhuge Liang orders that the central bases be protected until he finishes his prayer. Once Zhuge Liang is finished praying, the winds will push the fire to the Wei army's side of the field. Soon, Zhen Ji and Sima Zhao will attempt to make an attack to the east, and must be stopped. Defeating Cao Pi will end the fifth northern campaign. Shu's side of the battle also has a village, and two treasure troves guarded by Jiang Taigong and Water Margin's Guan Sheng.

Shu's version of the stage in Dynasty Warriors 6 focuses on defense. Zhuge Liang feigns distrust for Wei Yan, and it appears that the general is fleeing to join Wei. In reality, his defection is a plot to lower Wei's guard and Wei Yan leads a group of soldiers to attack the enemy main camp. When Xiahou Ba rushes into the canyon, Shu's troops lets loose a rockslide and springs an ambush. After they take the four bases controlled by Wei, they gain the momentum they need to end the battle. Wei's version of the stage is similar to Shu's version, except that Wei orders a full assault. Sima Yi notes the unease that Zhuge Liang has for Wei Yan and writes a letter to have the Shu general defect. If it reaches him, Wei Yan will desire to kill Zhuge Liang and momentarily joins Wei. He continues on his rampage until Liu Bei personally convinces him to calm down. Guan Yu, Zhuge Liang, and Liu Bei gets the Shu side, while Xiahou Dun, Sima Yi, and Cao Cao gets the Wei side. In the special edition of Dynasty Warriors 6, Yue Ying gets the Shu side, while Cao Pi and Zhang He gets the Wei side.

In Dynasty Warriors 7, this battle is the last battle for Shu's story mode and is split in two parts with both having Jiang Wei as the featured character. Jiang Wei is still having doubts about his ability to command the army, so Zhuge Liang assists him in battle. The first part is about their movement across the mountains, needing to capture bases in order to advance. After Jiang Wei learns of Zhuge Liang's illness he takes full command of the Shu forces to face the enemy. After clearing the mountains the Shu army goes for a full assault against the Wei. In this battle the player needs to avoid traps laid by the Wei army from arbalests to field mines. The player also needs to defend the main camp and allied officers. After the enemy main camp is surrounded, the gates will open and the player will have to defeat Sima Yi for a victory.

In Conquest Mode, the battle can be played in Wei's Scenario as one of Sima Yi's Legendary Battles.

In Dynasty Warriors 8, this battle is featured in Shu's story mode. The players are first asked to follow Zhuge Liang's plan of pressing the attack forward. Jiang Wei then takes command of the frontlines and splits them up into a prolonged assault from the west and east flank in order to get rid of Guo Huai's weapons. By pressing the attack, they taunt and draw out officers such as Zhong Hui and Zhuge Dan in order to defeat them with the overwhelming numbers in reserve the Shu army has. If this ploy succeeds, Sima Yi will then send messengers to acquire reinforcements. The army is then asked to feign a retreat due to Zhuge Liang faking an illness. If the player defeats the messengers, they can trigger Zhuge Liang's arrival back onto the field and trigger an extra cutscene, but if not, Zhuge Liang is actually ill, and Jiang Wei will then fall back to the front lines, and have to besiege Sima Yi's main camp by defeating the Wei forces.

The Jin storyline begins here. With Zhuge Liang dead, the Wei forces face off against the Shu forces attacking the main camp and force them into a pursuit.

In the expansion, a more decisive version appears as one of Shu's new if-scenarios. This version is somewhat a more final battle with both rivals Liu Bei and Cao Cao present in commanding their respective armies. Veterans such as Pang Tong, Ma Chao and Huang Zhong are present on Shu's army with Zhang Liao and other older generation warriors on the Wei army. Early into the battle, Yu Jin pounds the front lines with his catapults while Xiahou Yuan and Xiahou Dun appear as reinforcements and must be defeated to lower the morale of the Wei troops. Once the Shu forces breach the Wei defenses, Zhang Liao, Yue Jin and Li Dian leave to mount an assault against the Shu main camp but are blunted by Ma Dai's reinforcements. Xu Zhu blocks the path to Cao Cao, who must be defeated to end the battle. In Wei's side of the battle, the Shu forces have installed Arbalests to keep Wei troops from charging at the center. Once the arbalests are dealt with, Shu troops begin using juggernauts to slow down the advance before the Wei troops finally reach Liu Bei.

Warriors OrochiEdit

In Warriors Orochi, Nobunaga is satisfied with the simultaneous rebellions caused by Sun Ce and Cao Pi. He decides to personally join the battle against Orochi by trapping Da Ji. Though he appears to be outmaneuvered by the sheer numbers of his enemies' army, Shingen and Kenshin arrive to reinforce the west and eastern flanks. Masamune unleashes his riflemen on Nobunaga's troops and resists them until his defeat. Da Ji tries to counter Nobunaga by bringing out her reserve troops. While she is forced to flee after her defeat, her loss contributes to the weakening of Orochi's army. Shingen, Kenshin, and Kanetsugu then joins Nobunaga for the battle against Orochi.

The Shu army leads a campaign to end the resurrected Orochi here in Warriors Orochi 2. The player must contend with the enemy officers before Taigong Wang can use his sorcery to destroy the gates leading to Orochi's base. Himiko will attempt to empower Da Ji with a prayer, so defeating her is essential to stop it. Completing this stage will unlock Himiko.

In Warriors Orochi 3, Wuzhang Plains is used as the setting for several comical stages available for download. These battles are less focused on fighting and more about completing different tasks in time to gain the upper hand.

In Ultimate, Zhuge Liang, Zhang Jiao, and Seimei Abe decides to test Xu Shu, Zhuge Dan, and Kanetsugu Naoe with strategies.

Historical InformationEdit

Romance of the Three KingdomsEdit

Wuzhangyuan acted as Zhuge Liang's final battle with Sima Yi. In Zhuge's skirmish against Sima Yi near the Qishan Hills, Zhuge Liang was nearly able to kill Sima twice; The first when Liao Hua chased and lost Sima Yi's trail but took the Wei commander's helm and the second when Sima was lured to a fire attack at Gourd Gorge which was thwarted by a miraculous spell of rain. With his health deteriorating further, Zhuge Liang moved his troops to Wuzhangyuan in order to fight a decisive battle against the Wei troops.

Sima Yi, having learned from his experiences and shaves at life, refused to mobilize his troops. On one occasion, Zhuge Liang attempted to goad Sima Yi out by sending an embroidered clothing for women, however, Sima Yi brushed it off and complimented the quality of the cloth. During the messenger's stay, Sima Yi inquired about his rival's lifestyle in the camp. The messenger replied that Zhuge had always been the one to wake up earliest and retire the latest and that he oversaw every little detail in the camp, including menial matters. His meal was also considerably small aside from all the work he was given.

After the messenger left, Sima Yi began laughing and told his men that Zhuge Liang would not have very long to live for if he continued such a life. Meanwhile, the messenger told Zhuge of Sima Yi's questions, and Kongming realized that Sima would now commit to stalling until his rival could not continue. Many officials insisted that Zhuge begin delegating some of his workload to the others, but this proved too late as he collapsed. Nonetheless, he requested that his condition be kept a secret to prevent army morale from being affected.

In Sima Yi's camp, his men were incensed by all the insults of the Shu soldiers and began pressuring their commander further to give the order to march. Unable to quell his soldiers's desires, Sima Yi decided to write a petition instead to Cao Rui in order to approve an attack first. When the message reached the emperor, Xin Pi read between the lines and deduced that Sima's wish was not to attack, but that of his soldiers, and that he needed the emperor's word to satiate the dissatisfaction of the men. Cao Rui immediately sent the negative answer, much to Sima's delight.

As time passed on in the Shu camp, Fei Yi visited the Shu forces to inform them that Sun Quan's forces were defeated and were forced to withdraw from the eastern front. This news only worsened Zhuge Liang's condition and he collapsed. At Jiang Wei's suggestion, Zhuge Liang decided to begin a life-extending ritual that would span multiple days. If successful, Zhuge Liang's life would be extended by twelve more years.

On the final day of the ritual, Sima Yi began noticing a sudden change of the constellations, and the star that represented Zhuge Liang had begun falling, an indication of either death or grave illness. Anxious to see whether or not this was true, Sima Yi sent Xiahou Ba to attack and challenge the Shu forces. Due to Xiahou Ba's sudden assault, Wei Yan rushed to the commander's tent during the ritual. Thanks to his abrupt entry, the final candle was unlit and the ritual had now failed. Zhuge Liang then responded to Wei Yan's request and sent him out to engage Xiahou Ba's troops. He then wrote a full outline of plans once Sima Yi would attack after knowing that the Shu forces lost their commander.

Collapsing once more and rushed to bed, Zhuge Liang began calling for his trusted retainers individually. Jiang Wei was first called and given multiple scrolls which included his personal experiences as well as plans for various contraptions, including the repeating crossbow. After Jiang Wei was Ma Dai, who was given secret orders by Zhuge on how to deal with Wei Yan, who was predicted to rebel once Zhuge died. Yang Yi was then called in and given a brocaded box containing instructions to contain Wei Yan's impending rebellion. Li Fu, who was sent by Liu Shan to check on Zhuge's condition, was first told to rely heavily on Zhang Yi, Zhang Ni, Liao Hua, Ma Dai and Wang Ping. Following that, in his dying breath, he was asked who should be designated as his successor. On the first time, Zhuge replied Jiang Wan, when asked who would be after Jiang Wan, Zhuge replied Fei Yi. When asked who after Fei Yi, Zhuge Liang did not reply and breath his last.

On Zhuge's final request, his death was kept secret as the soldiers began making preparations to withdraw. Sima Yi, who saw these sudden change in tactics, immediately rallied his troops to pursue the Shu forces, however, he was shocked at the arrival of the figure of Zhuge Liang on his chariot, leading his troops, and immediately sent his troops back into a retreat. A Shu soldier who was left behind and captured later told Sima Yi that Zhuge had really died, and that the "man" Sima Yi had met was an identical statue. Sima Yi then praised his rival's final act of loyalty but was also disappointed at having lost such a golden opportunity. When he was ridiculed by people claiming that a "Dead Kongming scares the living Zhongda", Sima Yi laughed it off saying that he could predict the actions of the living, but not the dead.

On their way back to Hanzhong, however, the Shu forces realized that their bridges had been destroyed by Wei Yan and Ma Dai, who had rebelled, and they demanded that the Shu forces return back to the front to engage Wei. Yang Yi then opened the box, with the first order stating that Wei Yan's men were not truly loyal to him and would likely desert him. With this, Yang Yi called out to the soldiers on Wei Yan's side and chided them for following a rebel after all the treatment and loyalty the chancellor had showed until death. Guilty of their turn, many of Wei Yan's soldiers began returning back to side of their allies. In an attempt to cut desertions, Wei Yan attempted to attack Yang Yi but was held back by Wang Ping's archers.

Now in a dire situation, Wei Yan confided with Ma Dai on potential plans to switch sides to Wei, but Ma refused claiming that Wei Yan was far more capable than that, and ruled that if they captured Hanzhong and blocked off Yang Yi's route, the troops would have no choice but to submit. Wei Yan acted on Ma Dai's advice and met Yang Yi once again. Reading the next set of instructions, Yang Yi told Wei Yan that if he shouts "Who dares to kill me?" thrice, Yang would give in to Wei Yan's demands. Boasting that with Zhuge Liang and Liu Bei dead, no one could truly oppose him, Wei Yan began shouting "Who dares to kill me". Upon the third time he said the phrase, Ma Dai charged from behind and decapitated Wei Yan with the words, "I dare to kill you!". Giving back Zhuge Liang's secret instructions, Ma Dai was given control of Wei Yan's former rank and troops, and the Shu troops successfully returned back to Yizhou. On Zhuge Liang's request, he was buried at Mt. Dingjun.


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