After an intriguing animation which sets the mystical backgroud and solemn tone for the story, we are directly introduced to Chen Jingchou (陳靖仇)－immediately known to the gamer as the protagonist－and his Shifu Chen Fu (陳輔). Your first mission as Jingchou is to follow shifu who just transmits himself to the end of the road at Fu Mo Mountain (伏魔山, literally demon-crouching mountain) with Taoist Magic (鬼谷道術).
Chen Fu: Jingchou, I bring you here to Fu Mo Mountain today－in addition to seeking the ancient artefact for restoration of the empire－to test how well you have learnt.
Before we actually do anything or go anywhere, some impressions first:
First, the 2D graphics is stunning－you may disagree with me if you are a fan of today’s standard 1080p full HD high-resolution video game graphics. But what the game achieves here in the visuals is quite amazing. Here it is at Fu Mo Mountain, with the open masses of greens ahead and paths leading to unknown places. Arrays of sunlight infiltrate and lighten up the otherwise peaceful woods, creating a serene sight with a hint of adventure.
And there is the music－ a melancholy yet impressive melody－ featuring a select few Chinese traditional instruments including erhu (a two-stringed bowed instrument) and xiao (flute). The saddening melody creates a somewhat solemn aura－rare in RPG’s beginning－ which works suprisingly well as a beginning imprint of the story.
So we caught up with Shifu, and have a little heart-warming moment of ours—while witnessing a eclipse along with a peculiar comet which does not at the lightest interest our experienced Shifu.
Chen Fu: Shifu does not like being so harsh on you all the time either… I knows how hard it must be for you to bear such heavy responsibility at such a young age.
Soon we learn what we are really after for our little trip. Allegedly, the one who collects all five of the ancient artefacts—The Lute, The Caldr, The Stamp, The Mirror and The Stone will assume the emperor’s seat. Our Shifu Chen Fu was a former general of the defeated Chen dynasty(陳朝), who saved Jingchou’s life—the last blood in Chen’s line— at the expense of the life of his own grandson’s . In order to defeat the Sui Dynasty (隋朝), which is in power now, and restore the Chen dynasty, they have come to collect the artefact Kun Lun Mirror(昆崙鏡) allegedly hidden at Fu Mo Mountain. And they did find it in the cave, sitting quietly there.
However, when Chen Fu tries to take hold of The Mirror, it happens—out of the ancient artefact emerges the deadly and formidable ancient monster Taotie (饕餮), aka the Gluttonous Ogre!
Knowing that he is no match for such a powerful ancient monster, all Chen Fu thinks of is to stall the monster for long enough for Jingchou to escape. With everything at stake, he is willing to do everything and anything that needs to be done…
Chen Fu: This white freezing silk is made of all my soul’s power to trap Taotie—but only temporarily.
Without wasting any time, he pushes JingChou out of the cave, right before Taotie strikes. When JingChou regains consciousness, he only finds a cave frozen and his Shifu locked—together with the formidable monster. It was Chen Fu. He did what had to be done to save JingChou—using every bit of his soul’s power to create a freezing web to trap Taotie inside. and keep him from breaking out to the world for a brief period of time. To JingChou’s despair, he can only listen to his Shifu—to go to a place called Lake Lei Xia (雷夏澤), and find his Shifu’s elder fellow brother(師伯) in the practice of Taoist Magic to come and save him, and defeat Taotie. And there is a time limit—Chen Fu’s soul power will dry within one year or less—so if JingChou fail to make it in time, his Shifu will die, Taotie will be unleashed, and all hell will break loose.
And that is what we have to do: to embark on our journey and save the day.