Codex Gamicus

Xuan-Yuan Sword (Chinese: 軒轅劍, literally "Sword of Yellow Emperor"[1] refers to a series of Chinese console-style role-playing games for personal computers developed by DOMO group of Softstar, Inc. based in Taiwan. These games are based on pre-history Chinese mythology, as well as history-based storylines around Qin Dynasty, Sui Dynasty, Tang Dynasty, etc.

In the time beyond record, the "Xuan-Yuan Sword" is created by Huang Di, the Yellow Emperor of ancient China to defend the ancient Chinese against darklord Chi You and his evil empire. After Chi You was killed by the Sword, the five-thousand-year-old history of China began, and the Sword was passed on from Huang Di to heroes alike to continue to defend the nation against evil. Due to its great power, however, ambitious would-be emperors and evil warlords often sought the Sword to further their own end.

There is also the Spirit Fusion Pot, (Lian Yao Hu, 鍊妖壺 in traditional Chinese, or simply the Pot, This Translation is first appeared in the user guide of Xuanyuan Sword 3) created by the goddess Nüwa to cleanse the world. Living in the Pot is the god Pot Lord, whose specialty is to combine whatever evil thrown into the pot, and transmute them into harmless creatures or items that benefits the world.

Main series[]

Xuanyuan Sword[]

In the beginning of the world, the goddess Nüwa created two genres of intelligent life: those of Man, and those of Monster, who warred among each other all the time. The Sword was created by Men in an attempt to end the everlasting war. Led by a single heroic figure, Xuanyuan Jian Xia (軒轅劍俠, Crusader of the Sword, or simply the Crusader) who wielded the Sword, the War Between Men and Monsters ended with both sides suffering heavy casualties. Seventeen years later, the main character, He Ran (何然), a young discipline of Xian Shu (仙術, sorcery) left his mentor, into the aftermath world of China to carve a future of his own.

The first game of the series, Xuanyuan Sword was also Softstar's first RPG product, released in 1990. The storyline in this game was not based on any certain period of actual history, the culture and people in the game bear a resemblance of what was mid-1500 ancient Chinese. All these materials were presented in a Dragon Quest-like game rule and interface. Players started the game as a youthful good-for-nothing level 1 character, in a poor village that offered little else than most basic equipments. The wilderness was filled with monsters that players must kill to gain experience levels, thus enable them to proceed to other areas, and thus proceed the plot.

The game featured standard VGA 16-colored 640x480 screen, complete with party-members, round-based combat, full-screen sprite animation, various monsters, Chinese-styled AdLb music, sound effects, animated spell effects, as well as full Chinese interface, which was a great hit in Taiwan's computer game market at that period.

Released on 13 October 1990.

Xuanyuan Sword 2[]

In the end of the first game, He Ran (何然), together with the Ranger Yang Kunshuo (楊坤碩), and the young sorceress Jiang Ruhong (江如虹), defeated the dreaded incarnation of the Flaming Phoenix (火鳳凰) who has kidnapped, spellbound, and enslaved Jiang, and traveled back in time to find He Ran's parents, as well as seeking the identity of the true leader of the Monsters, one who was being called the Wicked God(惡神).

Released on 8 February 1994.

Although it is the second game, many key features of the game series started from this game. It was set in 320×240 256-colored screen (in the once-popular VGA X-mode). In-game artworks such as scenes, monsters, character portraits, items were fashioned in Chinese painting style.
Spirit Fusion Pot
Another key feature is the Pot system. Not long after the beginning of the game, the Pot of Evil-Refining was acquired, which has two functional ability:
  1. Suck in whatever creatures encountered in battle, with limits:
    • Cannot suck in creatures that have higher experience level than player, and those creatures whose level are close to the players must be wounded first before they can be imprisoned.
    • Only creatures encountered in randomly occurred battles (wilderness, dungeons, etc.) can be sucked in. Bosses, big or small, human and some mechanical enemies cannot be sucked in.
    • Sucked creatures are treated as items, visible in players inventory. Summoning those creature is done by "using" the "item", with a stamina point cost.
  2. Transmute power. A player can choose any two items, be it normal objects or such creatures, and transmute them to a new creature. The outcome creature may be a total rare and more powerful one that is impossible for play to caught in battle.
The Sword
In the battle against the final boss (the Pot Lord himself), the Crusader appears, and gives the Sword to the players. The manifestation of the Sword in this game is a weapon with the highest damage, and its slashing stroke is a huge tearing of lightning.

Xuanyuan Sword 3: Beyond the Clouds and Mountains[]

(Chinese: 軒轅劍參:雲與山的彼端, literally "Sword of the Yellow Emperor 3: Beyond Clouds and Mountains") Several hundred years later, the story of the Sword occurred in the West, whereas this time the main character was a mix-blooded French knight named Septem(賽特), lieutenant to Pippin the Younger. The strangeness about Septem was that he was born with pupils of different color, one blue and the other brown. He also bore heirlooms, an eastern-styled pottery, which is actually the Pot of Evil-Refining. Due to his rather mysterious (or some other lieutenants under Pippin the Young would say, "unpure") heritage, Septem was not very popular among his peers. Pippin himself, however, favored Septem, and gave him his first knightly-sacred quest: Go to the East, and find the secret of the way to achieve Absolute Victory. During the journey, an imp from the West named Nicole(妮可) joined the party, as an undercover sent by Satan. Her mission was to awake Septem's memory in his past life, which is the Angel of Darkness, Satan's most trusted ally. The hindunism twin-spirits, Kama and Ankh, as well as Li Jing(李靖), a Chinese deity, will also join the party. After the party reaches China, they discovered Satan's real plan: permanently alter the world by using the Reversed-Mandala Structure (反曼陀羅陣). The party is to stop Satan himself.

The Sword in this game, after absorbing the energy of Heaven and the Earth for several hundred years, had become a sentient being. Its avatar is a tall, thin, sharp-boned old man, with the flowings, with the outfitting robes of ancient Chinese officer, and with an air of cold wisdom. The Scabbard of the Sword is manifested as a child bearing eternal curiosity. When certain conditions are met, the Scabbard Kid will join the party as an item that can be used to cast attack spells. The Sword Lord will become a similar item after acquired in the later part of the game, and will become a wieldable weapon only when players stand right in front of the entrance to the Anti-Mandala Structure, before the final boss. Besides its high damage, with the Sword in hand, Septem also regenerates hitpoint, mana, and vitality every round.

The game uses Active Time Battle in combat, an unusual step in Chinese RPGs. The refining system in this game is modified so that it has two tiers of items (one eastern and one western) to refine. Due to the unusual plot, one criticism is that this game is too western to be Chinese style.

The game was released on the 4th of December 1999.

Xuanyuan Sword 4: Hei Long Wu xi Yun Fei Yang[]

(Chinese: 軒轅劍肆:黑龍舞兮雲飛揚, literally "Sword of the Yellow Emperor 4: The Black Dragon Dances, and the Cloud Flows) This game is the fourth game of the main series. The game is presented in 3D, both in environment and in combat. "It's the first time that this game was presented in 3D, and this caused a lot of arguments among the players. A lot of players insist that the Sword of Xuanyuan should be a 2D-game so that it can express the style well. But also there are some supporters who liked this evolution.

The story starts with a girl from the Zhao dynasty, Shui Jing (水鏡), whose parents are killed in a war and her "sister", Qu Xian (屈嫻) on the top of a mountain with their seniors from the house of Muo. They watched their companions got killed by those giant machines made from which they call Jiguanshu or "the study of machinery." Later, Shui meets with Ji Liang, an intelligent person who uses the "Tien Shu" (literal translation: the book of sky) in battles. (In real history: Zhang Liang張良) And Ji Peng (疾鵬), a talking bird who stays in a machinery body in battle. And later in the story, it is discovered that Ji Peng is the bird owned by husband of the head of the house Muo from the previous game Feng zhi Wu. At the end, the protagonists battles with the "black fire," which is believed to be the ultimate weapon against any machineries.

Introduced on the 4th of August 2004.

Xuanyuan Sword 5: The Adventure in Shanhai World[]

(Chinese: 軒轅劍伍:一劍凌雲山海情, literally "Sword of the Yellow Emperor 5: The Sword above the Cloud and the story in the world of Shanhai") The main character Lu Cheng-Xuan(陸承軒), an orphan who was being chased meets with Xia Rou(夏柔). The two travels around the world and meets with people from other kingdoms.

Released on 4 August 2006.

Legend titles[]

Xuanyuan Sword Legend: Dance of the Maple Leaves[]

The first "LEGEND" style sequel, the story of Dance of the Maple Leaves (楓之舞) was based on the Warring States Period in Chinese History. The Sword fell into the hands of the political radical, Shu Sangzi (蜀桑子). The main character Fu Ziche (輔子徹) is a young follower of Mohism, and is also an expert in mechanical engineering, especially concerning Ji Guan Ren (機關人), man-sized robots or golems powered by small beasts. Ji Guan Rens were originally developed for war, but the knowledge was hidden later for the fear of being misused. In some way, Shu Sangzi had re-discovered this technology, and had developed a large robot army for his own end. Hearing this news, Mozi sent Fu Ziche to investigate, and if possible, to stop Shu.

Being the first game in the series to have connection with real world history, Dance of the Maple Leaves inherited most of the previous game's interface, arts, and battle system, with subtle modifications, and wrapped with new plot. More realistic ancient war machines were made alive, while historical figures such as Mozi, Lu Ban, Sun Bin, could be encountered in the game.

As were the cases with most LEGEND games in the series, players do not have the chance to wield the Sword. In this game the Sword is in Shu Sangzi's possession, and is used against players. In the final battle, Shu will use a move called Xuanyuan Jian Fa (軒轅劍法), which would cause serious damage to all party members.

Released on 6 January 1995.

Xuanyuan Sword 3 Legend: The Scar in the Sky[]

(Chinese: 軒轅劍參外傳:天之痕, literally "Legend with Sword of the Yellow Emperor 3: Scar in the Heaven") Set in the era of Sui Dynasty, 150 years earlier than Sword of Xuanyuan 3, this game intended to cover the starts of several loose threads in Sword of Xuanyuan 3.

The main character is a teenager Chen Jingchou(陳靖仇), the only royal descendant from the then decimated Chen Dynasty. The final attempt for counterattack from the Chen family happened several years before Chen Jingchou was born, where several thousand strong armies were congregated, but were single-handedly destroyed by a young general of Sui, Yuwen Tuo (宇文拓), who wielded the Sword better than any in the history.

Living in a time ruled by the killers of his family, Chen Jingchou has been educated by his mentor, Chen Fu, that life is "nothing but revenge". In their journey to acquire the Mirror of Kunlun, one of the Powerful Ten Ancient Artifacts[2]

Taotie was released from a fake Mirror. In order to protect Jingchou, Fu has trapped himself with Taotie using Silk of Ice spell, and instructed Jingchou to embark at once to find a way to save him, as well as finding informations concerning other Artifacts.

Jingchou later was later joined by Yu Xiaoxue (于小雪), a white haired girl showing unusual magic potential, the Göktürks blooded Zhang Lie(張烈), and,[3] Zhang's sister in law Tuoba Yu'er (拓拔玉兒). During their expedition in collecting the Artifacts, they spied several Blood Rituals of a Million Souls, rites conducted by Yuwen Tuo, which involved the killing of a million souls, and gathering the essence of their blood into a single Blood Pearl. This greatly enraged the party, but Yuwen Tuo was too strong an enemy to be confronted. Thus they began to spy on Tuo's army, hampering his every effort to collect the Blood Pearls, and was even helped by Tuo's political rival in the palace, a young countess named Dugu Ningke(獨孤寧珂), who also wished to collect all the artifacts.

Eventually, their plan failed, and Yu Xiaoxue was held as a hostage by Tuo in exchange for the Artifacts that Jingchou's party had collected, namely the Ding of Shennong, the Seal of Kongtong, the Axe of Pangu, the Stone of Nüwa, and the Mirror of Kunlun. Jingchou complied, yet Tuo discarded the Stone and the mirror, proclaiming that he himself was actually the human manifestation of the Mirror of Kunlun. Yu Xiaoxue refused to leave with Jingchou, stating that she will stay and help Tuo's project. Losing all hope, Jingchou gave up and stayed with his saved mentor.

This did not bode well with Ningke, who was actually a demonlord from the Western pantheon. The time era she appeared was calculated to be within the time a demonic star named Chi Guan (赤貫) passing through China, thus opening a rift allowing demons from the West for invasion. Tuo somehow knew the consequence of the star, thus set out to collect five of the Artifacts in order to seal the rift the meteor would cause. However, several of the five Artifacts required for the Ritual of Mending has been out of reach. Ningke proposed to replace these with Blood Pearls, the rebuild of the Tower of Babel, and a Pentagram. In order to save the Chinese world, using his power, his riches and his relation with the Emperor Yang, Tuo managed to accomplish these against his moral codes. In the process Tuo also recognized that Xiaoxue was actually the avatar of the Stone of Nüwa, thus he told her his plan and convinced her to stay.

Naturally, Ningke cannot allow the Ritual to be cast away. Thus she once again manipulated Jingchou through treachery by murdering Yu'er, and left the blame on Xiaoxue and Tuo. With burning rage, Jingchou's party managed to fight their way up the Tower of Babel, where they were beaten once again by Tuo. Ningke appeared then and seized Xiaoxue as hostage to divert Tuo's attention. At this moment Jingchou leaped forward and severed Tuo's arm. Ningke then revealed her true demon form, and magically imprisoned Tuo. Unable to mend the sky, the Chinese world fell under Satan's rule.

Days later, under the instruction of the now immortal He Ran and Gu Yue Sheng, Jingchou's lot successfully collected back the Artifacts from Ningke's handmaidens in the bloodied world, then rushed the Tower again. They beat Ningke in her demonic glory, and rescued Tuo. Having the Artifacts at hand, Jingchou invoked the Ritual of Reversal (which is also named the Ritual of Loss, 失卻之陣) at the top of Tower of Babel, which, utilizing the power of Tuo as the avatar the Mirror of Kunlun, reversed time and brought the party back to the moment prior to the passing of Chi Guan.

After this was done, they then invoked the Ritual of Trespass (also called the Ritual of Babel), sending them above the sky, and arrived at Chi Guan itself. At the heart of the meteor, where Mastero Gu prepared to cast the Ritual of Sealing, the then-alive Ningke appeared. Not knowing that her plan has been known, she intended to continue her deception, yet a fight eventually ensued, and Ningke yielded. She said that her wish was to return to her homeland, and to "love her love". Mastero Gu stated that was naturally impossible due to her demonic nature, and put her soul into the Koto of Fu Xi (伏羲琴) for cleansing.

One moment prior to their leaving, Chen Fu saw that Jingchou standing side by side with Tuo, his supposed archenemy, who he hated with all his life. Ningke exploited this by giving Chen Fu the Fruit of Satan. By consuming it, Chen Fu suddenly possessed the strength and the power of Satan himself, his hate magnified a thousandfold. Chen Fu soon arrived at the heart of Chi Guan and starting destroying. As a finality, Jingchou's band had no choice but to kill Chen Fu to save the world.

Several decades later, Ningke was reborn as Nicole, while Septem was the descendant of Tuo, which can be seem from his eye.

The Magic System is revamped in this game. All magics now belong to one of the five elements金木水火土 in Chinese mythology.

The game was released on 2 December 2000 .

Xuanyuan Sword Legend: The Millennium Destiny[]

(Chinese: 軒轅劍外傳:蒼之濤, literally "Legend with Sword of the Yellow Emperor: Billows of the Bleak") The introduction begins at the Battle of Fei River, a war between Former Qin and Eastern Jin. It ended up with Eastern Jin surrendering to Former Qin. Former Qin merged with Eastern Jin and united the whole China.

Set in the period of Spring and Autumn. The story of a little girl, Che Yun (車芸) who has lost her legs and is very talented in the skill of mu jia (a way of making machinery using wood and metal). And so she made herself wooden legs and a wooden fox, Yun-hu (雲狐). In the story, it was told that she was a close friend with Huan Yuan Zhi (桓遠之) - who once was saved by Che Yun from drowning, and to repay the favour helped her with building the wooden fox by collecting special wood acquired by her. However, Che Yun meets with Ying Shi (嬴詩) who shares the same soul with Che Yun except that Ying was from a different era. In the end, Che, Ying and Huan reaches the room with a wheel which can change the destiny, Round of Taiyi (太一之輪). However, Ying and Huan each wants to change to a different era for their own purpose. Che intended to stop Huan from killing Ying by ordering Yun hu. However, Huan now wield the Sword and injures Che fatally. At this point, the gate to the Taiyi zhi Lun closes. Ying, unable to grab on to her friends then flies out of the gate, leaving Huan and Che in the room where Huan cries for Che's death for years. Ying then discovers that she is linked to Che and feels that the knowledge of mu jia stays with her. She then goes to beyond the gate for the Taiyi zhi Lun once again as she returned to the future, seeing Huan aged and it is believed that Ying has forgiven Huan for what he had done.

Introduced on 6 February 2004.

Xuanyuan Sword Legend: Clouds of the Han Dynasty[]

(Chinese: 軒轅劍外傳:漢之雲, literally "Legend with Sword of the Yellow Emperor: Clouds of the Han Dynasty") Released on 19 December 2007.

The game is set in the era of the Three Kingdoms, Kingdom of Wei, Shu and Wu. Most of the main characters were designed base on real history. Zhuge Liang, the chancellor of the kingdom of Shu kept trying to take on with the army of Wei but never return with victory. On his third try, a mysterious group called "Fei Yu"(飛羽)(the two words came from the names of two famous generals of Shu kingdom -Zhang Fei and his sworn elder brother Guan Yu) helped in the war and the kingdom of Shu won the battle. However, on the fourth attempt, the Wei found the weakness of Shu which forces fei yu to set out for war once again.

Xuanyuan Sword Legend: The Clouds Faraway[]

(Chinese: 軒轅劍外傳:雲之遙, literally "Legend with Sword of the Yellow Emperor: The Clouds Faraway") Released on 12 January 2010.

The Clouds Faraway, also set in the era of the Three Kingdoms, is an opposite story which happened previous to Clouds of the Han Dynasty. Instead of from the standpoint of the Han Kingdom, the main character, Xu Mu Yun (徐暮雲), was adopted by the Kingdom of Wei. Growing up with his childhood friends Lan Yin (蘭茵) and Zhang Gao (張誥), the three young swordsmen promised themselves to fight for their homeland and meet the prosperous days together in the future. Through his journey, Mu Yun came to a new level of maturity and realized the ruthlessness of war.

The story does not truly end in the main episode. Three patches are coming up following the main episode to fulfill the whole story.

List of titles[]

  • Main series:
    • Xuanyuan Sword (軒轅劍)(1990)
    • Xuanyuan Sword 2 (軒轅劍貳)(1994)
    • Xuanyuan Sword 3: Beyond the Clouds and Mountains (軒轅劍參:雲和山的彼端)(1999)
    • Xuanyuan Sword 4: Hei Long Wu xi Yun Fei Yang (軒轅劍肆:黑龍舞兮雲飛揚)(2002)
    • Xuanyuan Sword 5: The Adventure in Shanhai World (軒轅劍伍:一劍凌雲山海情)(2006)
  • Waizhuan (Legend) titles:
    • Xuanyuan Sword Waizhuan: The Dance of the Maples Leaves (軒轅劍外傳:楓之舞)(1995)
    • Xuanyuan Sword 3 Waizhuan: The Scar in the Sky (軒轅劍參外傳:天之痕)(2001)
    • Xuanyuan Sword Waizhuan: The Millennium Destiny (軒轅劍外傳:蒼之濤)(2004)
    • Xuanyuan Sword Waizhuan: The Clouds of Han Dynasty (軒轅劍外傳:漢之雲) (2007)
    • Xuanyuan Sword Waizhuan: The Clouds Faraway (軒轅劍外傳:雲之遙) (2010)

  • Other titles:
    • Xuanyuan Fu Mo Lu (軒轅伏魔錄) (2001)
    • Xuanyuan Sword Online: The Chain of the Life (軒轅劍網路版) (2002)
    • Dream of Mirror Online (飛天歷險:軒轅劍網路版2代)(2005)
    • Xuanyuan Sword Online: The Scar in the Sky (軒轅劍網路版參:天之痕)

See also[]

Notes and references[]

  1. The real translation about "軒轅劍" is "Xuan-Yuan Sword", not "Xuan-Yuan Jian". Reference:楓舞軒轅電子報第六十二期:軒轅劍的英文名字(The E-Paper of the Maple Dance with Xuan-Yuan Sword, 62th: The English Name of Xuan-Yuan Sword))
  2. 『鐘劍斧壺塔,琴鼎印鏡石』, thus Bell, Sword, Axe, Pot, Tower and Koto, Ding, Seal, Mirror, and Stone.
  3. Zhang Lie, 張烈, Göktürks blooded warlord from the novel 虯髯客傳, by 杜光庭.

External links[]

zh-classical:軒轅劍系列 zh:軒轅劍系列