Jade Empire’s Ending Set Up A Three Kingdoms-Style Sequel We Never Got

BioWare’s Jade Empire CRPG and the metaphysics of the game’s environment might suggest a sequel about three kingdoms-style civil wars.

Among Bioware’s original video game IPs (the mass effect Space Opera Franchise, the Dark Fantasy dragon time RPG series, etc.) Jade Empire features a martial arts-focused combat system and colorful environment inspired by the heroic fiction of Chinese culture; the different fighting styles of the players Jade Empire can be inspired by the pugilistic heroes of wuxia fiction, the cosmology of spirits and celestial bureaucrats in the game world homages Journey to the Westand the theme of rising and falling empires pays homage to the epic Chinese novel that is named Romance of the Three Kingdoms. In fact, any Jade Empire The sequel published by Bioware would likely have a plot based on the collapse or break of the title jade empire, leads to a Three Kingdoms-style narrative in which both brave and ambitious heroes try to build a new empire in their own image.

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The concept of cycles, whether of nature or history, is the focus Jade Empire, a 2007 Eastern fantasy action role-playing game and one of Bioware’s first original setting games. The seasons change, empires rise and fall, and souls live and die under the guidance of the divine water dragon and his spirit monks who cast out spirits. The main villain of Jade Empirea scion of the imperial dynasty, destroys the spirit monks in order to capture the water dragon and absorb their power – a heresy that breaks both the cycles of history and reincarnation (much like the villains in Avatar: The Last Airbender). The protagonist of Bioware Jade Empire role playing game, a martial arts prodigy and last of the spirit monks, comes of age in a land tyrannized by the Empire’s sinister lotus assassins and plagued by insane spirits unable to pass. The protagonist’s wise old mentor sends the player on a mission to recover an artifact of power, defeat the evil God Emperor and restore balance to the land… but the journey of this classic hero is not what it seems.


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The novel is considered one of the four great classics of Chinese literature Romance of the Three Kingdoms also explores the theme of cycles in its history, beginning with the following quote: “The empire long divided must unite; long united must divide. It has always been so.” The narration of Romance of the Three Kingdoms, loosely inspired by the historical collapse of the Han Dynasty, focuses on the battles, exploits, friendships, and betrayals of warlords, generals, and strategists seeking to reunite the divided lands of China on their own terms. The original Jade Empire was inspired by the plot and characters of Romance of the Three Kingdoms (especially with the characters known as Sun Li, the Glorious Strategist); if Bioware ever makes a sequel to it Jade Empirethe studio can get a lot more inspiration Romance of the Three Kingdoms.


In Jade Empire, the Empire is destined to fall and be replaced


Jade Empire battle scene

The spirit of the water dragon, the divine goddess who rules reincarnation in the world of Jade Empire, appears before the player several times during the RPG’s main story campaign, each time revealing tidbits of information about the cycles of reality and the plans of the game’s villains. The most interesting lore the water dragon shares is exactly why Emperor Sun Hai and his brothers tried to steal their power and slaughter their spirit monks. Their empire (like the Han dynasty from both the Dynasty warriors franchise and Chinese history) suffered from a severe drought that threatened to tear it apart, and the power of the water dragon could affect the flow of water and rain, as well as the transmigration of souls; As vicious as it was to kill an order of priests and besmirch their goddess, the actions of the Sun brothers ended the drought of their empire and gave it a new age of prosperity.


However, as late-game events show, the civilization’s renewed prosperity is evident in Jade Empire is not sustainable. The bountiful rains Emperor Sun Hai bestows on his land are drying up other lands, and the cycle of reincarnation broken by the game’s main villain will soon see the earth overwhelmed by trapped, increasingly insane spirits. Furthermore, the Spirit of the Water Dragon suggests that the titular Jade Empire eventually “fade away for something new to bloom.” At the good end of Jade Empire, the player character frees the water dragon from her captivity and restores the broken cycle of reincarnation; This saves the country from its ghost plague, but also theoretically leaves the empire once again vulnerable to collapse, or at least a long period of civil unrest. To paraphrase the opening line of Romance of the Three KingdomsThe long united empire must divide.”


A sequel to Jade Empire with a civil war would challenge player morale


Jade Empire

As the spiritual successor of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republica Bioware RPG that lets players become benevolent Jedi or power-hungry Sith, Jade Empire attempted to introduce a moral voting system with more nuance and complexity than the light side versus dark side dynamic war of stars Attitude. The open-hand way was an altruistic philosophy focused on helping and protecting others (at the risk of becoming a suffocating tyrant), while the closed-fist way emphasized the selfish virtue of striving for strength (while also encouraging others to become strong themselves). ). In practice, Open Palm’s moral choices came across as good in-game and Closed Fist’s choices came across as cartoonishly evil, largely because Closest Fist’s choices in Jade Empire were too mean to be justified.

A Jade Empire Continuation with warring parties a-la Romance of the Three Kingdoms (or Fire Emblem: Three Houses) would be a much better place for Bioware developers to challenge players with morally complex choices. Each of the warring factions in such a game might have their own mix of heroes like Zhuge Liang and Guan Yu along with their own mutually irreconcilable moral beliefs; Depending on the choices players make, players can achieve different game endings depending on the faction they support, or potentially achieve a golden ending (a-la the triangle strategy RPG) in which the different philosophies of the individual factions are reconciled.


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