A Rival challenges for Station,
And Ming's mellow is Harshed.
On a beautiful early afternoon in the outskirts of the Jade Empire, our hero stumbles out of bed!
Furious Ming: Ah! Another wonderful day in the idyllic Two Rivers School!
Student 1: Good morning, Ming!
Student 2: We love you, Ming!
Student 3: Isn't he astonishing?
Lin: He's astonishing in bed all right.
Well, of course I am. How you doin', Lin? Good walk of shame this morning?
The best, Ming.
I have to ask, where's Master Li? I'm his favorite student, you know.
We love you, Ming!
I saw him in his house.
Great, great, I'm sure he won't mind me dropping by...
Jing Woo: Hold on, Ming! First you and I need to discuss the path of mastery you want to take: focus, magic, and transformation styles. Some people can do one of those, but only you have the ability to do all of them.
It's hard being this awesome.
First, you could use intense Focus to speed up your perceptions, making your enemies appear like they're crawling!
Great, bullet time. I'll go with that.
Or, you could follow the path of magic!
Is there a way to use Focus to speed up dialogue?
Finally, you could utilize the transformation styles to become a number of powerful entities!
Well, you could be a frog, or a "Red Minister," or a flayed undead horse.
Why would I ever want to do that?
...these forms provide you with incredible powers!
You know what else provides me with incredible powers? *FLEX*
Look at those guns!
We love you, Ming!
Who needs styles!
I kissed his gun.
Anyway, thanks for the talk. Later!
Master Li: Ah, my greatest student. My masterpiece.
That's me. Listen, Master, I have great news!
Of course, my child. Ask that I may answer. But before you do, could you bring me that pitcher of water?
Of course, Master. Here it...Master? Did you only send me across the room to watch me go?
My child, are you suggesting that I put that pitcher across the room specifically to begin a sequence of events that would culminate with my watching your delightful rear in motion? That would be...a glorious strategy.
...right. Anyway, I have a question. Aren't we in fantasy China? Why does everyone sound—
Gao the Lesser: YEE-HAW! Master Li, Ah'm here for mah four o'clock lesson!
Your antics do not impress me, Gao! I will meet with you when I've finished speaking with my favored student and not a moment sooner!
Ah reckon Ah don't take kindly to bein' put off, Master Li...an' neither does my father.
I don't get why you keep him around, let alone antagonize him.
Are you suggesting that I keep Gao around for a purpose greater than teaching him discipline and the martial arts? That would be a—
Master Li! Master Li! Pirates are attacking the town! They've come back to prove that pirates are better than ninjas!
Ming! Now is the time for you to prove yourself. Defend the townsfolk and defeat the invaders! Take Dawn Star.
Seriously? It's hard enough to interrupt her conversations with Casper, let alone fight.
Are you suggesting that the only reason I've kept that freaky, ghost-conversing pariah around is so that I could throw the both of you into combat, forcing you to form a bond with her while laying a foundation of unchecked antagonism towards your enemies? That woul—
No! I wasn't suggesting that at all! I just...you know what? Whatever. I'm going to get Dawn Star.
Ming finds Dawn Star outside her home.
Well, of course he doesn't call anymore, Mrs. Lippenberg. You're dead, and it's simply impossible to afford the long-distance charges.
Hey, Dawn Star, pack up your crazy and let's go. We've gotta go prove that ninjas are more awesome than pirates.
Mrs. Lippenberg says that ninjas are Japanese.
All in a day's work for someone this awesome.
Lotus Assassin: Not just yet! You haven't seen the true extent of our power!
Ghost 1: We rise!
Ghost 2: Our torment and our wrath are eternal!
Oh, no! The pirates and zombies have formed an alliance against us!
Yeah, whatever, just give me a few—
No, my student!
Did he just punch out a boat?
Master Li? Sun Li? Are you kidding me?
I totally had that!
Events are moving quickly, my student. We must return to the school.
Back at the school, Ming listens as his master makes a startling revelation...
It's time I told you, my favored student: I am no ordinary kung fu master. I am...Sun Li, brother to the Emperor!
Okay, you know that Gao's hanging around outside. We saw him when we came in! And he's totally going to tell his dad that you're Chun-Li or whatever.
Are you sug—
Okay, fine, moving on.
Do you remember your origins?
You told me that you found me after a horrible massacre and raised me as your own.
That's true, but there is more. You see, I planned that battle, but realized—too late—that my brother's plans were evil. I resisted, but he had all your people put to the blade. I escaped with you, and a relic of your people.
Worse than you know. Anyway, I hid the fragment in the caves below the school. Go and claim it, and meditate on its importance. Uh...it will lead you to your destiny, so just sit there thinking about it. Don't come back for two days.
Finally, a quest! One that leads to my destiny!
Ming descends into the caverns below the school, and quickly finds the artifact.
Sweet, bling! This would go great with my polo shirts...if I wore polo shirts. Seriously, these abs.
Water Dragon: You...you're the last, best hope? Okay. Okay, it's not that bad. Listen up: You're the last Spirit Monk. It's your duty—
Is this the thing with my destiny?
Yes. It's your destiny or whatever to reset the balance and allow the dead to go on to the afterlife. That artifact is a Spirit Monk medallion, and only you can use its power properly. My own strength is greatly weakened, but I will impart some of it to you in order to aid you.
Awesome! Thanks, lady!
I'm teleporting you back to Two Rivers now.
Peace out! *TELEPORTS*
Back in Master Li's chambers...
AH! Where did you come from?
Dude, when I was down there I saw a glowing blue lady and she told me that it was my destiny to restore balance.
You must be careful when speaking with spirits. They can be deceitful. Don't listen to anyone but me.
You got it, Master.
Unfortunately, this spirit speaks some truth. When the empire was suffering under the Great Drought, your people resided in the temple of the Water Dragon at Dirge. We had hoped to commune with the Dragon to end the drought, but your people resisted and were killed for it. Ever since Dirge fell, the spirits have been restless. Something in the cycle is broken.
Master Li! Master Li! Dawn Star is missing, and it looks like there was a fight at her house. Plus, Gao is nowhere to be found!
I mean...you should go rescue her.
She probably just started breaking things because ghosts told her to.
Gao probably kidnapped her for nefarious purposes that he's subjecting her to even now.
...that ain't cool.
Exactly. Get moving. Don't come back for a day or two.
In the swamps, Ming comes across a striking scene...
Bandits: Get his money!
Sagacious Zu: GANK.
Nice job, man! I'm Furious Ming.
Hell yeah, brah. It's what my sweet back tats say.
...right. Listen, I'm just going to head out...
It's all cool, man. I'm gonna go rescue Dawn Star.
I mean...I should come with. To help you find her.
Glad for the help, man.
Farther on, Ming and Zu find a flier outside an ogre cave...
She's in there. I can smell her hair.
...kinda weird, brah.
Ah tried t' save the only worthwhile thing in that pisshole of a town, and this here is how you repay me! Talk to me!
Mr. Abernathy, I'm really quite busy at the moment. What's that? Yes, I understand that you've been waiting a long time to move on, but I have some problems in the real world right now.
TALK TO ME.
Hey, Gao. I'll talk to you. With my fists.
No matter what happens here, death is comin' for your crummy little school. Y'all oughta be as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room fulla rockin' chairs.
I like how even you don't think you can beat me. GANK!
Guess some introductions are in order now that that's over with. Dawn Star, this is Zu. Zu, this is—
Dawn Star, I know.
Have we met before?
In my heart.
I mean, I live in the swamp, you know, and I think I've seen you a few times before when I came close to Two Rivers. And when you're sleeping.
Wow, this is really kinda a frying pan/fire thing for you, isn't it?
Let's focus on something else. Didn't Gao say that death was coming for Two Rivers?
And isn't that smoke coming from the direction of town?
We have to get back!
If what I think is happening is happening, we don't want to be anywhere near there.
And how the hell would you know all this? You live in a swamp!
Well...I used to be...a Lotus Assassin.
Oh, I've heard of those. Lots of people talk about them. Well, mostly dead people. And they usually say that Lotus Assassins are horrible.
Guilty as charged.
...but we really need to get back to Two Rivers. Won't you take us back in that flier? Pretty please?
For you, anything.
They take to the air in the flier, moving swiftly towards the column of smoke that marks Two Rivers...
...why are we suddenly playing Galaga?
This is sick, yo! I got, like, top score on xBox Live for this game!
...wow, he's good.
One quick flight later...
Two Rivers! No!
These were Gao the Greater's men, but it looks like most of the damage was done by...
Ming...is it really you? We were attacked by elite soldiers—
...led by an imposing man clad in armor—
...and an evil woman, her face hidden by a mask.
Jing Woo, where is Lin? Did she make it?
Oh...oh, Lin. You were always my favorite bullpen girl. I'll always treasure that thong you left next to my bed last time.
...looks like your room's on fire.
Master Li surrendered to them, but they attacked anyway. Avenge us, Ming. Avenge...us...ACK.
Damn you, Lotus Assassins! Damn you, Death's Hand! Damn you, Sub-Boss! I'm coming for you! I'm coming for you all!
If the Lotus Assassins are here, it's because the Emperor sent them. Do you want to face the entire Jade Empire?
I'm the best of the best of the best! Nothing can stop me! Get in the flier! We're Galaga-ing to the Imperial City right now!
All right, all right, you don't need to push.
The flier takes to the air, rocketing towards the Imperial City. A few miles into the trip, the wings begin to shred apart.