The Let's Play Archive

Amazing Cultivation Simulator

by Nyaa

Part 234: The Dao - by SaffronKit

Once again, Daoist SaffronKit greets fellow goons of the dao to join this little one in sharing my insights into today's topic The Dao, what it is, and what it means to cultivation novels. I reiterate that these are simply my own views on the topic and can only hope that it may provide some insight to those new to this wonderful world of cultivation. For those already knowledgeable, this little one invites you to share your own insights for any points you believe I may have skipped, missed, or are just generally unaware of. Now to the topic at hand.

The Dao

There are myriad (many) dao, but there is only one Dao. The Grand Dao is the essence of the universe which encompasses all things living and natural. Animals, rocks, plants, stars, anything that lies within and between the heavens and earth. Many daos (paths) can lead to the Dao with some dao taking one further than others more or less easily depending upon said dao. The dao (road) to the Dao is lonely and ultimately, others cannot accompany you on that journey as their dao (road) will never be the same. That is the Dao.

So what the fuck does that mean and how the hell is it relevant to cultivation novels? In cultivation novels you'll see the term dao a lot, and generally it can be broken down into two different types: Big D and little d. In any xianxia novel, if someone is talking about big D you can expect it to be referencing the big goal that everyone has to aim for, or some world defining law that is immutable. This type of Dao can be literal Heavenly Daos; basically a form of impartial (or not) natural laws that govern how their world works, (try) keep the world in balance, and guide/test cultivators as they ascend closer to the Dao. Other times it can be a widely accepted path to the Grand Dao that every cultivator agrees is such a broad category it deserves the big D treatment. Pill/Alchemy Dao, Martial Dao and Sword Dao are going to be the big three contenders for this sort of big D use in most novels.

The little d use is typically for a cultivator's personal dao or any subset of the Big D paths when speaking in general terms. Specific techniques, minor paths that no one takes seriously or just general referential discussion that doesn't involve Heavenly/Grand Dao are where this is typically used. The main difference of Big D and little d to me is simply a sort of proper noun vs adjective use, and you pick up pretty quick which one is appropriate just by reading xianxia. As a whole dao is a pretty intuitive word and typically one will come up with their own meaning for it, which is sort of the point in my mind. You will see it a LOT in cultivation novels to no one's surprise and it will typically be a main goal or subject that gets discussed on the regular.

But how is that relevant to the game???

The Dao is kind of the whole point of this game! By nature of being a game about cultivators and cultivation, our assumed win condition is to literally reach the Dao by ascending to the peak of cultivation. Whether or not we can accomplish that is a different story, but suffice to say you could define playing this game as a form of dao in which the goal is to reach the Dao. Yes, this amuses me on many levels.