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Straw Boats Borrow Arrows

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This is "Straw Boats Borrow Arrows", adapted from a part of Luo Guanzhong's classic chinese novel The Three Kingdoms. I entered it in a contest for short movies (5 minutes or less; this cut is available on youtube - just search "Straw Boats Borrow Arrows"), but I made an extended version just for you guys. xD It's not a comedy, nor is it some bloody showdown - its a battle of wits featuring one of the greatest military minds of all time.

Zhou Yu, director general for the Southland forces under Sun Quan, is jealous of Zhuge ("zhu-guh") Liang, director general of Liu Bei's forces (united with Sun Quan at this time, to oppose Cao Cao's invasion force from the north). So Zhou Yu conceives of a scheme to eliminate Zhuge Liang - he asks for 100,000 arrows for the army, and he wants them in ten days. Failure, he emphasizes, will be met with death, according to military law. Zhuge says he'll do it in three days. Thus our story begins.

To reviewers: I appreciate and read every constructive review, and I'm always eager for suggestions on how I could improve. In particular, I'd very much like to know what you thought of the story, which I had a hard time adapting so the context still came across. I made the music myself, despite not really being a music person, so if you have something to suggest, try not to use too much music terms, cuz I'll have no idea what you mean. I know all the people who did the voices (most aren't members of NG) so if you've got somethin to say to them, I'll pass it on.

Special thanks to Tom for letting me upload this huge file (sorry to everyone for the large file, movie's got a lot of 3D shots, so hopefully its worthwhile in the end)

For the first time in any of my movies, there's an easter egg! Who can find it? (if you're stumped, I'll probably post its location on my userpage later, or you can PM me) What do you think of it? Should I ever do it again? Feel free to give me some advice.

Edit: Daily 4th, not bad! Thx again to Tom, and to everyone who voted. Keep sendin reviews tho, I'll keep readin.


very well done

I've read The Romance of the Three Kingdoms and played the early KOEI games. This is nicely done and true to the story.

For those that don't know, It's not action packed, but a Chinese tale about how to out think your opponent strategically.


I play Dynasty Warriors, so I already know all of the characters. It was pretty neat watching this. Zhuge Liang is so awesome.

It would have been perfect if the voice quality was just a little better.

People find this review helpful!

Very Nice


The video was put together very well, and looks to be well thought out.

The only issue was the audio, particularly when they are speaking. At times, it seems as if the speakers were too close to the mic (or whatever input recording device that was used), but other than that, it sounded very well.

For almost 20 MB, I thought it would be a little longer, but I suppose that much media would use about 20MB. (-:

Interesting story. Although I have heard of the Three Kingdoms, I never studied them or anything.


When you mentioned Zhuge Liang, Cao Cao, and ESPECIALLY Liu Bei, they definitely rang some bells! (-:

Ever heard of, or played the NES game by Capcom, called "Destiny of an Emporor"? ;-)

It was based on the Han Dynasty, and it had all those characters (warlords or generals, as they were called from that era). Lui Bei was the main protagonist, along with his two most trusted allies, Guan Yu and Zhang Fei. Zhuge Liang was a major character in the game as well, was the "greatest stragetist" during that time. Although the game spelled his name as "Zhu Ge", and not "Zhuge", although I see the latter more often.

Cao Cao is also in the game, closer to the end - major bad guy, along with Sun Quan, and the final adversary, Si Ma Yi.

I could go on and on about that game, so I'll stop. Your video brought back some nostalgia, though. (-:

Again, nicely done. Keep it up. Make "Destiny of an Emperor" next time! lol - kidding. ;-P

-Ziro out.

People find this review helpful!
RPGsrok responds:

Audio huh... I'll work on that.

If I've learned anything already from this project, it's that 3D isn't the holy grail of animation - the part going across the water to Cao Cao's base, that was 5 MB! I'm definately gonna be more cautious about use of 3D in the future.

I feel like I've heard of Destiny of an Emperor, though I've never seen it, but from what you're telling me, it sounds like a story straight out of the Three Kingdoms. The story has a bias towards Liu Bei and his Shu-Han kingdom, and a bias against Cao Cao and Wei. In the book (slight spoiler) though he doesn't defeat Liu Bei directly, the clan of Sima Yi does overthrow the Wei, and set up the new Jing dynasty, which eventually reunites China. Many stories take inspiration from these events, but allow one of the original three kingdoms to "win". Anyways, glad to have reminded you of old times. =)

dude, i'm hellza gonna make all 120 chapters of the Three Kingdoms! lol - JK. Theres no way in HELL I'd even think of trying to adapt even a fourth of this monumental story. I will keep animating tho.

thanks for reviewing!


Good stuff.

It actually makes some sense. For someone who plays Dynasty Warriors, I actually knew the characters a little. The "thank you for the arrows" thing would have never happened, though, that was funny.

RPGsrok responds:

Glad you like it. Strangely enough, I didn't add the "Thank you for the arrows" part; it is in the original story! It is a nice ending either way though.

Quite ingenious.

I never really understood the title, that is...until the end.

It truly was a brilliant idea, and a very good flash.
The graphics were superb. The voices were...not Chinese, but still.

I hope you continue to make more, this one certainly made my day. (or rather, night.)


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Credits & Info

3.99 / 5.00

Apr 6, 2009
8:23 PM EDT
  • Daily 4th Place April 7, 2009