Hey, I’m JoeZhao, a software engineer, and a gamer.

Qin Shang


"Qin Shang" is a game that I really love.

It completely changed my view that history is boring, which is only because of the boring textbooks. In fact, history can be very interesting. Thanks to the production team's dedication to faithfully restoring history, the characters, personality traits, and historical allusions related to the Qin Dynasty are faithfully reproduced in the game. As the plot progresses, you can encounter different characters from this period and understand their stories and personalities through dialogue and actions. Without understanding certain historical allusions, the plot cannot progress. This can stimulate people's interest in understanding this period of history. In other words, all my interest and understanding of the history of the Qin Dynasty comes from "Qin Shang".

This is the first game I have played with full voice acting. The item forging system is excellent, and the game hides various tasks and equipment. Gan Jiang Mo Ye's sword forging, Zhao Village's Peach Blossom Spring, and even meeting Uncle Liu who sells straw shoes, and so on.

This is the first game I have played with full voice acting. The item forging system is excellent, and combined with the rare non-linear plot and freedom at that time, there are also various hidden characters and endings. For example, Gan Jiang Mo Ye's sword forging, Zhao Village's Peach Blossom Spring, and even meeting Liu Bei who sells straw shoes in the later stages...

Because of this, I went to a computer city 70 kilometers away from home to buy a genuine copy.

Even now, when I have free time, I still open a virtual machine to play.

Of course, I also bought the prequel "Resurrection", but it was too fantasy and the pace was slow. Although I also completed it, it didn't give me the desire to play it again like Prince Fusu.

Therefore, I had the idea of writing this article.


"Qin Shang" draws inspiration from the turbulent late Qin Dynasty, where numerous wise men, heroes, talented writers, fierce generals, as well as thieves and pleasure seekers... will gather at such a specific historical juncture that is both glorious and magnificent, yet tragic and melancholic.

"Qin Shang" also incorporates many elements of Chinese culture, categorizing skills and abilities in the game into the five elements of "gold, wood, water, fire, and earth". It pioneered the Five Elements system, and there is a relationship of mutual generation and mutual restraint between various skills, greatly enriching the gameplay of the game.

Many characters in the game are based on real history, such as Zhang Liang, Han Xin, Xiang Yu, and others, all of whom make appearances. Combined with the game's rich ethnic-style music, it fully lives up to GAMESPOT's evaluation of "Qin Shang" as "Diablo in history".


After "Diablo" redefined the ARPG genre, a new term emerged in the industry: Diablo-like. In July 2002, Objective Software, targeting "Diablo", created a Chinese Diablo-like work called "Qin Shang". "Qin Shang" caused a huge response as soon as it was released.

Looking back now, "Qin Shang" has rare non-linear game features and freedom in domestic games of that era. The addition of a mini-map allows players to freely switch and explore between main quests and side quests, and there are also rich branching endings and hidden quests.

It is truly a masterpiece of domestic RPG.

After E3 in May 2002, "Qin Shang" was released overseas and was translated into other languages, including English, Russian, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Japanese, etc. The standalone version was sold in countries and regions such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Russia, Japan, and South Korea.

Qin Shang Prequel - Resurrection

In 2004, "Qin Shang" released a prequel called "Resurrection". Although the game used a new Relive1 engine, there was no obvious improvement in the game graphics compared to the previous work. "Resurrection" places the story before the unification of the six states in the Qin Dynasty. As the daughter of the leader of Dong Baiyue, Lan Wei embarks on a journey to revive her mysteriously deceased father and the high priest in search of the legendary Sky-Repairing Stone.

"Resurrection" was the first game to add full voice acting to the main storyline. Although the voice acting was not well-received and made people want to turn off the voices, as an attempt to approach "Diablo II", it is still admirable for the creators' efforts.

Like most Diablo-like games, its success lies in its imitation and tribute to "Diablo", and its failure is also due to "Diablo".

In terms of game quality, "Resurrection" is not bad, but it is not friendly enough and not fun enough. Many elements are too contrived and are not welcomed by the player community, belonging to the type that receives praise but does not sell well.

The main reason is the collapse of the domestic standalone game market.

Looking back at history, in my opinion, the collapse of the domestic standalone game market at that time had three reasons:

  1. Rampant piracy
  2. Impact of online games
  3. Emergence of the "electronic heroin" discourse

Can you imagine how rampant piracy was?

Almost every legitimate game store had 3-5 pirate game stores nearby, and every released game could be purchased in pirate game stores.

Legitimate copies cost 79 yuan, while pirate copies only cost 5 yuan.

Even the legitimate distributors at the time only had legitimate games as display items on their counters, like exhibits in a museum, while they themselves were selling 5 yuan discs from pirate vendors.

The failure of "Resurrection" also led the development company Objective Software (known as the Chinese Blizzard in the player community) to fall into difficulties. Since then, Objective Software has transitioned to online games and no longer develops standalone games.

  • EOF -
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