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Presenting a list of commonly asked questions relating to the subjects of Kongming’s Archives, the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and anything else people ask me on a regular basis. Before you send me an email please make sure you question isn’t answered here. If you can’t find the information you are looking for below please feel free to send me an email using this form or ask the knowledgeable members at The Scholars of Shen Zhou.
Our most common email questions. These emails are frequently ignored.
A: Due to the volume of email received, gameplay questions are not answered in most cases. Please direct all gameplay questions to the Scholars of Shen Zhou where many experienced players of all games featured on this site are available to help you with even obscure questions (also featuring intelligent discussion on related or educational topics). Emails on this subject may be ignored, and will generally only receive a reply if they are well presented (though even if there is a reply it could take a week or longer).
A: Koei Games – makers of Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Dynasty Warriors, Dynasty Tactics, and more (external) – have their own Web page (koei.com) which contains resources which can be used to provide them with feedback (please note that we disregard emailed feedback on games, as we have no simple process for forwarding them to Koei Games). The mentioned resources include a discussion forum (external, which is, allegedly, monitored for feedback and taken into consideration for upcoming games), a feedback form (external, which might serve the same purpose, keeping in mind that adding your email address to it includes you in a mailing list with no immediate opt-out option), and a polls page (external, which probably holds little influence). Email addresses for divisions and people in Koei (Jarik included) are not listed on the site, nor will we provide them.
A: Kongming’s Archives does not provide me with regular income (I run the site at a loss as donations do not cover hosting fees). For this reason I have to work a regular job to stay fed and housed. I’d love to make this site my ‘job’, but that won’t happen without heavy advertising and pay-for-access content (something I don’t plan to do). For this reason, when work is heavy, or when events in life limit my freetime, updates to Kongming’s Archives decrease in volume, something reflected in the number of update posts shown on the home page. Please note that while focusing on back-end revisions (code enhancements, clean up, site revision) home page updates will not always be posted even though hours have been spent on the site. You need only click on the ‘Nostalgia’ option under ‘Indulgence’ in the right-hand menu to see how far we have come since starting in March 2002.
A: If you browse Kongming’s Archives you will notice that it is a very large project spanning thousands of individual hand-coded pages. One might think that a whole team manages it, but in fact it is just me. I have only the time for this project my life allows, and have difficulties adding content for games I do not own. While I do attempt to make information on mainstream games available (e.g. Dynasty Warriors, Dynasty Tactics, and Romance of the Three Kingdoms), there will always be life-induced delays. There are several ideas in the works, which may bring you more content faster, but this will require patience (though professional assistance is always welcome). Please also remember that as of around October 2003 the Novel and History section became the primary focus of this site.
A: I receive around fifteen emails a day related to Kongming’s Archives alone, one among several online projects, and this doesn’t include spam or personal email. In the end it all comes down to time, and I’m forced to pick and choose between them (replying to important email and friends first). My first suggestion would be to review this FAQ for reasons why your message may have been deleted (e.g. gameplay questions), and if you see no related mention, make sure to give me some time. If a week or two passes with no reply, feel free to write again. As always, make sure questions are carefully researched and presented clearly.
A: My name is James Peirce and I live in the United States (email). Romance of the Three Kingdoms is a hobby for me; my profession is Graphics and Web Design. If you want to know me better sign up and participate at our forum, The Scholars of Shen Zhou. My user name is James.
A: Latest staff information can be found on the Staff Information Page. There are two sections, one for Kongming’s Archives, and another for Scholars of Shen Zhou. There is no staff information listed for SimRTK. If you are looking for contact information to reach biography translators and authors, please check the list in the biographies section.
A: All graphics are developed using
and ImageReady for pixel-based art and Adobe
Illustrator for vector art. PHP, [X]HTML,
Macromedia Dreamweaver, BBEdit,
or in a plain text editor. In most instances I use Macromedia
Dreamweaver to create layouts (which I touch up by hand) and to manage my site. I make
sure my [X]HTML validates
with the latest [X]HTML and
CSS standards set fourth by the W3C
(the geeks that say how Internet languages should work), PHP to pull everything together, and to assemble the various tools and interactive parts of the site (e.g. the Quiz), and Dreamweaver,
because it can make repetitive elements of design much faster and more efficient, and provides me with a good method of managing the site’s files.
Kongming’s Archives is hosted by a large well-established hosting company named Host Gator. It took years to find a good host not only for Kongming’s Archives but also for the other sites I have been running. Host Gator is the first host I have been with to actually live up to its claims, such as 99.9% uptime. I have since deployed both personal sites, such as this one, and corporate sites on their servers. If you are looking for a home to host your pages, save yourself the trouble and sign up with Host Gator. (For $7.95 a month you can host unlimited sites and domains with more bandwidth than most people could ever dream of using).
A: From time to time I am able to
help a little with upcoming Romance of the Three Kingdoms Web sites I am not able to make
designs, layouts, or templates for people (I simply don’t have the time).
A: Check the “Game News” section on the home page. If you do not find your information there please check that game’s section on this Web site. If you still don’t see it you can safely assume that I don’t know.
A: Please feel free to register at our forum, The Scholars of Shen Zhou, and post your question there. You will get a response in a very short amount of time. I usually answer questions of this nature, but I am not always able to reply in a time frame that might be called “fast”.
A: Avatars can be tough to use when you first start learning about them. In an effort to answer the vast majority of the avatar questions I used to receive I wrote this Avatar tutorial. It explains everything you need to know about how to use avatars and some of the problems you may run into. If you are experiencing avatar issues please read this guide thoroughly before contacting me, I won’t reply to questions covered inside it.
A: Kongming’s Archives is a pay-free hobby for me, it has to come second to my real job (Graphics and Web Design). If I am working for a client they come first. I use my free time to develop this site. As a result sometimes I am behind in adding content. It is also possible that I may have lost your email (because I get so many). If you think I have forgotten please send me another email as a reminder.
A: I don’t post my email address
tedious to manage and input). This means my answer is, “I am not telling yet, so nya!”
You can use this form to send me an email and if I reply you can
get my address that way. This saves me time and spam.
“Why do you use a form?” A: There are many reasons. The form uses server-side software to send me the email, this means I don’t have to worry about how reliable your email host is. It also means that anyone with an Internet connection can send me a message, even if they don’t have an email account. The form also disables attachments, formatting, and images. It may sound bland, but it makes it easier for me to read my messages (no more Comic Sans, there is mercy in the world). If you want to send an image upload it to a server (or get the URL) and send it to me as plain text. If you want to exchange files or submit some content (like wallpaper) just let me know. I will either reply (so you can send me an email using your email client) or give you my AOL Instant Messenger handle so we can make the exchange.
“Do you plan on having a public email address ever again?” A: No.
A: Why do I get asked this? Send me spam and I will report it to your ISP. Don’t send spam and I won’t. It is that simple. I hate spam and I will go out of my way to inconvenience anyone that places it in my inbox. And don’t think a “remove me” link will stop anything.
In this FAQ commonly asked questions regarding this website and our policies will be answered (e.g. policies, technical issues, contact information).
A: Please report all problems, large
and small, using this email form. Due to the size of Kongming’s
Archives and the fact that it is a hobby (rather than a job) errors slip through from
to time. A link may not work correctly, some CSS
might make a page hard to read, or some mouseover text might be incorrect. If no one reports
these problems I have to wait until I come across them myself and that could take months
(and may not ever happen if it is in a browser I don’t personally use).
That is why I strongly encourage you to report even the slightest error on this web site (right down to typos, alt text, and grammar errors). Doing so saves other people trouble and gets you access to the content that may have previously been unavailable. In the end it makes Kongming’s Archives better for everyone. Please use this form to contact me and to describe the problem. If I need a screenshot to see what is going on I will write you back asking if it is possible for one to be mailed. Thank you everyone that takes time out to report even the smallest problem.
A note to 4.x and earlier users (that includes you Netscape 4.x users): The technology used on this Web site is not supported by your browser, upgrade to see this site the way it was meant to be seen. I will make sure that all content is accessible to you, but I will not be able to help you if you think the layout is bland.
A: Submitted material is the life-blood
of Kongming’s Archives. If you have anything you would like included please don’t
hesitate to contact me via email. We are always looking for things
like FAQs, Walkthroughs, Guides, Screenshots,
Portraits, Avatars, news, etc. We are also planning to add some sections for submitted avatars
and fan art. You may submit this sort of thing even though the sections aren’t online.
To submit material please send me an email explaining what you want included and provide any additional information you would like to share (like credit information). I will reply with instructions. Depending on the file size(s) it will either be sent over email or across AOL Instant Messenger (I know, the program is crap, but it works for this).
Don’t be afraid to share you work with us. Even if it doesn’t go online we love to see it, and new sections are frequently made for new content submissions (e.g. if some people started sending in poetry I would make a poetry section to display it).
A: Yes, plenty of information is available on the subject of submitting content to Kongming’s Archives, including what we are looking for and an additional FAQ section to answer your questions. You can review all this information on the Kongming’s Archives Submissions Page.
A: In some cases, yes, we do (game walkthroughs and essays are the exceptions). Kongming’s Archives, as a community project, adopts various standards (regarding the presentation of information) and those standards are applied to various types of submitted works (biographies in particular). Possible examples include ‘Xu Zhu’ being changed to ‘Xu Chu’, ‘Lu Bu’ being changed to ‘Lü Bu’, ‘AD’ being moved to the beginning of a date or ‘CE’ being changed to ‘AD’, and common spelling or grammar corrections. The reasons for these various changes, where they apply, and in what ways can be found on the site standards information page. Please submit any questions you may have using the contact form.
A: Sure, please send us an email with your request. We do check the original sources for FAQs and Walkthroughs on occasion to make sure we are up to date (e.g. GameFAQs). Only worry about sending a request if you want it done right away.
A: That decision is up to the original author, not us. Please open and read the FAQ/Walkthrough/Guide and search for a “Disclaimer” or “Copyright” section. This is usually found near the top or bottom. You can read about that author’s policies there. Do not email us about this matter, we will not reply.
A: The answer to this question depends
on the image in question. If you want to use a Romance of the Three Kingdoms officer portrait
please feel free. Even though I (or the submitter) extracted the images they are still Koei’s
property. If you do so please credit us (we did all the work, after all) in a visible way.
You don’t have to do that of course, it is just common Internet courtesy and impacts
your Web site’s reputation.
If you want to use banner images, link buttons, wallpaper, avatars, or any other content that was edited by me or someone else that submitted it you must ask for permission first. These items are protected by copyright and their appearance here does not authorize you to include them at your site. Once you have permission, you may include them as long as you follow some basic guidelines.
1) Do not claim to be the author (this is just sleazy).
2) Do not redistribute them; unless specifically given you don’t have this right.
3) Credit them clearly and out in the open. It is unethical to make it look like your work.
4) Do not edit the items, that is a copyright violation. You may only do this if the author has specifically allowed it (that include FAQs and my wallpaper, something people don’t seem to understand).
5) Don’t use someone else’s work to attract business (e.g. posting a FAQ in an attempt to get ad-clicks); this is more rotten business. Breaking these rules, even if no legal action is taken, still builds a bad reputation for your site.
A: It is done. Visit The Scholars of Shen Zhou, our online community.
A: Kongming’s Archives is paid
for and maintained by me (email) as a hobby site. It gives me
a chance to share information I have, collect new information I am interested in, and a
techniques. I do not plan to advertise in the future although I may set up a donation program
(which won’t come under the “donate or it goes offline” guise).
If you are interested in helping out please send me an email. We are always looking for new people to help with content and kind donations never hurt (it helps me focus more time on content).
A: I personally make all graphics on Kongming’s Archives using Adobe Photoshop and ImageReady 7. Sampled portraits and content in these images come from featured (usually related) game (which are by Koei in nearly all instances). Backgrounds, hanzi, layout, and presentation are by me. I would like to thank Koei for all the wonderful artwork; I wouldn’t have even made this site if it weren’t for your wonderful games.
A: If this site looks bad there are two possible causes. If you are using a modern Web browser and have been here before your cache might need to be cleared. Do so and restart your browser, the problem should be solved. If you are not using a modern browser (e.g. that piece of crap that won’t die called Netscape 4.x) it is best to upgrade. I use modern Internet technology on this site and older browsers like Netscape 4.x (and other 4.x and earlier browsers) won’t render it properly. If you need upgrade links please click here for more information. Dial-up users: yes, it is worth the trouble to update your browser. I suggest the latest version of Mozilla or Firebird (OS X users should also try Camino).
A: Please don’t ever link
to other Web sites in this way; it is considered bad Net-etiquette. You should never open
someone else’s web page inside your own frameset. Use the
target="_top" attributes of the
tag to open the link in a new window or over your frameset instead. Besides, we have included
A: Short answer: no. Long answer: see the site viewer agreement.
A: In an effort to make abbreviations
and acronyms easier to understand without drawn out explanations we have included special
HTML that displays the meaning in a tool
tip. To activate this, hold your mouse cursor over any abbreviation or acronym that shows
up with the gray dotted underline for a few moments. If the gray dotted underline is absent,
or if you are using an outdated browser, this will not work. The text is a little smaller
because that simply makes it easier to read. Full-size capital letter abbreviations can
be disruptive in a sentence if they occur regularly, and with abbreviations like SGZ
and SGYY littering
this site, you can probably understand.
HTML Autors, if you would like to include these tool tips in your own site, all you need to do is enclose abbreviations in the
<abbr>…</abbr> tag and acronyms in the
tag. Include the
title="value" attribute, and set the value to the
text you want inside the tool tip. This works in many elements, including images and form
A: Kongming’s Archives is not affiliated, at this time, with Koei Games (external) in any financial way. We do not receive payments from them to advertise nor do they sponsor the site. Koei does, however, provide us with updates as they do other sites which feature information on their upcoming releases (this information in most cases is forwarded to you through facility of the site). The opinions expressed on their titles here are just that, our opinions and you may not share the views with us. Should any of this information change, it will be made apparent here.
This portion of the FAQ is dedicated to our forum, The Scholars of Shen Zhou. Check the links below for basic site information and a server status page.
A: The Scholars of Shen Zhou was stated to give everyone who visits this site a place to talk about everything from The Romance of the Three Kingdoms (books, history, games) to current affairs and world history. You can also share your favorite art with us there and speak with everyone behind the maintenance and development of Kongming’s Archives.
A: The Scholars of Shen Zhou was started using free forum software from phpBB which rivals the expensive alternative of vBulletin. The phpBB forum software is nearly as capable as vBulletin, and we feel the HTML/CSS source code is clearer as well. We are very fond of the layout and plan to stay with it for some time now. The Scholars of Shen Zhou is currently hosted by Burton Hosting, a fine company. Earlier major downtime, data loss, and failures took place under Voxtreme, who we left for being a terrible company.
A: We don’t always have up to date news on this at Kongming’s Archives because we are not always online when the issue occurs. If you want to know what is going on please check this server information page which will list any offline services. Explanations of problems can be found in this forum. The Scholars of Shen Zhou is being run off the “Zeus” server. If this page fails to explain the occurrence please send me an email so I can look into it. If you are also willing to perform a traceroute and email me the results, that would be great, (go here and enter “the-scholars.com”).
Here in this FAQ I will give my information on Copyright Issues as they relate to content on this site. You will also find our policies on plagiarism and copyright concerns. I am not a lawyer; information provided here is not to be taken as law.
A: All content of Kongming’s
Archives is Copyright © 2002-2005 James Peirce (Rot3K Graphics and Web Design), all
rights reserved. Kongming’s Archives assumes no copyright over submitted material,
the original authors retain full copyright possession and rights, but Kongming’s
Archives does assume copyright over the HTML used to present these works.
Unmodified game images and portraits are copyright by their respective developing companies and may be used freely as long as you upload them to your own server (remote linking to Kongming’s Archives non-.html files is only allowed for avatars in forums that disable uploads). Please request permission before using everything on this site like avatars, wallpaper, etc., as additional authors and editors may be involved.
Violation of the Kongming’s Archives copyright will not always result in warnings. Depending on how severe a copyright violation is we may either issue a request to take content offline or we may go directly to your Web host. It isn’t so hard to send an email asking for permission [or to the original author in the case of submitted material], and I don’t have sympathy for people that refuse to take out to follow this basic step.
A: First off please keep in mind that
copyright infringement is very serious to us. If you have a problem with someone or some
content on this site please do your homework before coming to us. That said, there are a
few things to keep in mind. If you are mad that the cheat your discovered (oh, say, you
published the information that in Dynasty Warriors II if you kill 1000 soldiers you unlock
Lu Bu) is in someone else’s strategy guide do not even bother messaging us.
You have absolutely no right to that information, it is a fact found within a game and we
will ignore your message. On the other hand say you had written a whole guide on strategies
and techniques to use in order to get the job done. This case is different; you have copyright
and a reason to contact us. If someone took that information and completely rewrote it adding
their own twists etc. then we are sorry to say that again you have no case or reason to
contact us. It is only copyright infringement if they steal your words. If it is a story
you wrote (completely original) or a unique FAQ
introduction that was stolen you once again have grounds to do something about it.
Even if we disagree with some of these facts there is nothing that can or will be done. You may be able to get a few webmasters to dump their work but you will never have grounds for legal action. For example, say someone decided to take all the information presented in all the odd little guides and FAQs at GameFAQs and collaborated them into one single FAQ. People would be angry (he just took something they poured hours of work into and rehashed it to claim credit) but whether or not they could do anything about it would depend on the new guide written by this person (we will call him Bob). To summarize, if Bob rewrote all that information making sure not to include any of the original working and only the facts of the game he would have an original work and no one would be able to do anything to him unless they had a large sum of money to break the legal rules (like large corporations do). On the other hand, if Bob was careless and he left a lot of an author’s original working, explanations, and comments in his work he is guilty of copyright infringement.
Now that you understand this here is what we will do about it. Taking the last example into account lets address the first scenario. Bob gathers the work from many different authors and rewrites it into an original work containing only game facts. You can be mad all you want but we will do nothing. You have no claim to the facts behind a video game, just your original work. We aren’t going to say we like it this way, but that is how things are. Regarding the other scenario, Bob takes peoples work and collaborates them into a single FAQ but is careless and includes original wording, content, descriptions, etc. (Bob is kind of a punk, isn’t he). Let us know and we will look into it. If our findings indicate to us that Bob is indeed guilty of stealing your intellectual property we will remove Bob’s ‘work’ from our site. If you have issue with anything on this site itself contact us immediately so we can work it out.
A: “Well,” you say, “getting
their work removed from your site is great and all, but what else can I do? Getting webmasters
to refuse their FAQ does not exactly stop
them from distributing it.” This is rocky ground. By law anything original that you
have written is copyrighted by you. These things are your “intellectual property’.
It sounds great when said, but in the real world it does not mean much. If you choose to
sue them (yes, you do have a legal standing) you better have thousands of dollars to throw
away with nothing in return. To go after them you will need an attorney and attorneys
charge by the hour for this sort of work unless you are a large company with deep pockets.
Furthermore, if the entity that stole your work was a large company itself you might as
well pucker up and kiss it good-bye unless you have a much larger amount of money and some
media backing you (and the luck to find an attorney that will go against a case that will
be easy to loose). What all this amounts to is this: you can get their work removed from
sites, but don’t expect to file a lawsuit against them unless you have money to burn.
Here is what you can do: when people make walkthroughs they rely on large sites like GameFAQs to distribute them. Most of these large sites do not tolerate copyright infringement. When someone has stolen your work (what I say here assumes you understand what I have covered above) check the help, FAQ, and contact sections for the sites that host the item in question. They will all have a way to report this sort of activity. On smaller sites e-mail the Webmaster. If you do this at every site that hosts his or her file odds are they will have no way left to share it other than on their own page. In many instances, if they host it on their own home page, you can contact the web service provider and get their web page taken off-line. You may not be able to attack them in court, but you can certainly put a nice wall between their unethical work and the people they were hoping to share it with.
A: Certainly. In order to copyright something you need not do anything. If the work is original it is considered your ‘intellectual property’. Many people add a copyright to help people understand how much their work means to them. Just because a document does not have a copyright does not mean that is its not copyrighted (that is important to remember). You have no rights to images that came from someone else’s property (such as a game) and this includes screenshots, character portraits, game music, etc. You have no right to discoveries made in relation to a game (such as a game secret or strategy) but you do have rights to original wording used to present your discovery (no one has rights to the discovery that Lu Bu can be unlocked if you kill 1,000 soldiers in DW2 or DW3, but you do have rights to the elaborate guide you wrote on just how to do this). Suing people over stolen ‘intellectual property’ is a pipe dream unless you have a lot of money to throw against them (and they happen to be too poor to defend themselves) but you can report the copyright infringement to webmasters and websites that host their stolen work to get it removed. This effectively prevents them from distributing the item in question at no cost to you. If they host it on their own web page you can contact their web host and you may be able to get their page shut down. I hope this helps everyone understand copyrights and just what the word does and does not mean. As I said before, many people do not like this the way it is but these are the facts and they are something we need to live with.
There are many commonly asked questions related to the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms by Luo Guanzhong and the history behind it. I will answer some of the more commonly asked questions here (emails about these questions will not be answered).
A: This .zip archive is the Hanyu Pinyin version of threekingoms.com’s translation of Romance of the Three Kingdoms attributed to Luo Guanzhong. They translated it, we host it here for your pleasure with proper authorization. Because it is Hanyu Pinyin character names appear the way you see them in Koei games (e.g. Cao Cao is Cao Cao instead of Ts’ao Ts’ao). The novel is a collection of HTML documents, to read them you must find the file ‘index.html’ and open it in your favorite web browser. I have been asked if we intend to translated another version of the novel here; the answer is, and always will be, no.
A: I suggest one of Moss Roberts’ translations. If you have the money and really love the series get the $149.95 Library Binding version. If you just want to read the novel I strongly recommend the Paperback version. Avoid buying an abridged version if you can help it (compare 3115 pages to 488 pages and I think you will understand what I am hinting at). A Romance of the Three Kingdoms Purchase Information Guide discussing the various versions of the novel is also available. Here are some links at Amazon.com along with prices current as of 1/1/04:
- ISBN: 7119024086 - Romance of the Three Kingdoms (English/Chinese)
Author: Moss Roberts, Library Binding (5 Volumes), 3115 pages, $149.95
- ISBN: 7119005901 - Romance of the Three Kingdoms (English)
Author: Moss Roberts, Paperback (4 Volumes), 2340 pages, $39.95
- ISBN: 0520215850 - Romance of the Three Kingdoms (English)
Author: Moss Roberts, Abridged Edition (1 Volume), 488 pages, $12.03
A: Guan Yu, Huang Zhong, Ma Chao, Zhang Fei, and Zhao Yun. In the novel the ‘Tiger General’ title was unique to Shu and was only given to these five officers. Historically this position was created long after most of them were dead (257AD) by Liu Shan (Liu Bei’s son and successor) and originally named Pang Tong instead of Zhao Yun. Liu Shan later changed it to include Zhao Yun (258AD). Historically, they were ranked in this order: Guan Yu, Zhang Fei, Ma Chao, Huang Zhong, Zhao Yun.
Yu: executed by Lu Meng after being defeated at Fan Castle (AD 219).
Zhang Fei: assassinated by his subordinates Fan Jiang and Zhang Da after drinking himself to sleep. He had beaten them because they questioned a time limit set for the army’s mourning garb (to be worn while attacking Wu for killing Guan Yu (AD 221).
Huang Zhong: shot with an arrow by Ma Zhong. He died shortly after. (Historically Huang Zhong did not live as long as he did in the novel) (AD 222).
Ma Chao: Died due to an illness (AD 225).
Zhao Yun: Died of natural causes (AD 229).
July 27, 2009