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The World of Asian RPGs

Other Chinese RPGs

Xuanyuan Jian and Xianjian Qixia Zhuan are the only two long-running and influential franchises of Chinese RPGs. Up until recent times, there were only few Chinese RPGs that didn't belong to one of those series. Among them was Xiake Yingxiongzhuan, which dealt with the familiar topics of martial arts in a Chinese setting, but had interesting graphical style for battles and animation. Another popular game from the early time period of Chinese RPG history was Jianxia Qingyuan, with a love theme somewhat similar to Xianjian Qixia Zhuan games. Xin Qigai Wangzi told the story of a prince that had to live the life of a pauper, and had an interesting gameplay system which allowed you to execute several actions per turn.

During the modern times, many stand-alone Chinese RPGs and series began to appear. One of the most popular ones is Xin Juedai Shuangjiao, also known as "Twin Heroes", which was based on a popular modern Chinese novel. The series contained three games, all connected to each other by plot. The main story of the games dealt with twin brothers who were separated in childhood and were forced to become enemies. Concrete Chinese historical events didn't play a major role in the game, but supernatural and mythological elements also gave their way to a personal drama between characters. While still similar to the two great RPG franchises in style and gameplay, Xin Juedai Shuangjiao was among the more original offerings of the genre recently.

Shengnü zhi Ge - Heroine Anthem, a small series comprising two games directly linked by the plot, was one of the few to depart from the classic Chinese setting. In many ways it returns back to the Japanese origin of the genre, its graphical style being heavily influenced by animé. But it also had a distinct personality of its own, by creating a setting that was based on Scandinavian mythology. The gameplay system was similar to Final Fantasy games with their ATB system.

The short Huanxiang Sanguozhi, or "Fantasia Sango" series was set in the Three Kingdoms period. The games added many supernatural elements to the historical setting, and the story focused more on the personal quest of the heroes than on concrete historical events. However, popular figures from the time period and from the Three Kingdoms novel made an appearance in the games.

Fengse Huanxiang, commonly known as "Wind Fantasy", is primarily a strategy RPG series, but its second installment is a traditional Asian RPG. This series also discarded the Chinese setting, replacing it with a semi-medieval fantasy world. The graphics were done in animé style, and the fantasy world had its own history timeline which was carried through the four installments.

Bawang Bie Ji was conceived in the spirit of Xuanyuan Jian and Xianjian Qixia Zhuan, and was based on a popular classic Chinese tale, which showed the conflict between love and duty in a concrete historical setting.

Continued: Conclusion

Table of Contents: The World of Asian RPGs