The Let's Play Archive

Jade Empire

by Doc M

Part 19: Tell your children not to walk my way

Episode 18: Tell your children not to walk my way

Last time, we visited the Forest Shadow in heaven and discovered that she was in fact not the cause of the corruption in the Great Southern Forest. Instead, the innfolk who seemed so trustworthy shockingly turned out to be cannibal monsters serving a demon (and the Forest Shadow's ancient nemesis) known as the Mother, who had been sealed away by the Forest Shadow ages ago but recently woke up because all the ghosts in the woods were making a racket. Now, our job is to destroy the Mother once and for all.

The Mother is supposed to be somewhere in the caves beneath the Pilgrim's Rest Inn, so that's where we're starting off today.

VIDEO: The Cannibals

You fool! You do not know our true nature! You know nothing of the power we possess! Look upon us now, and see your doom!

Obviously, the cannibals don't appreciate us joining forces with the Forest Shadow all that much.


Ewww. As I briefly mentioned in the last update, we could've had this reveal the very first time we visited the inn if we'd spent some time talking to Hou the cook (who eventually says you should ask the innkeeper about the Mother, or something similar to that), but I wanted to keep their true form under wraps until after we talk to the Forest Shadow.

The Black Whirlwind clearly wasn't listening when the Forest Shadow mentioned the innfolk being inhuman monsters concealing themselves with magic. Still, he's always up for a bit of violence.

Rend her flesh! Her screams should echo in the town below!

Well, we have no intention of becoming the main course for tonight's dinner, so let's murder all of these abominations. I kept this shot in because it looks like the Keeper is doing a dance or practicing his soccer kicks.

We bought the Leaping Tiger style from Zin Bu (our newest party member/mobile store) at the end of the last update, and since the basic cannibal enemies are extremely weak I figured I could do some damage with our new Wolverine claws (which, according to the style's description, you actually don't sprout -- you just attack so fast somehow that it looks like you do... despite clearly having the claws while not attacking) despite the lack of upgrades. Turns out it didn't really work that way and we're barely hurting them (well, the fact I wasn't hitting anything didn't help matters). Oh well, that'll be fixed soon enough.

The cannibals come in numbers, but they're so weak that we can take out several of them by just waving our sword around a bit. The only slightly threatening foe in this fight is the Keeper, as he's capable of using Ice Shard magic, but he's still not much of a problem.

When we've slaughtered the initial group of cannibals, more pour in from outside and from the back.

They're still a bunch of weak trash enemies, so this second wave is more a waste of time than anything else.

Thank you for your great kindness in rescuing me. Now that these beasts are dead, I can finally talk to you. My name is Henpecked Hou, and before you ask, I'm not one of those monsters. They kept me prisoner so that I could "seem normal" to the customers.

My wife is...unique. To say that she is as enduring as the Wall itself is to do a disservice to her persistence. I could make similar comparisons between the force of her will and the Imperial Army. but I think you have the picture.

If you ask why Hou doesn't leave her, he says something to the effect of "oh god don't say that kind of thing, she might hear you " Hou has some issues.

That's beside the point for now. I must thank you, as I clearly owe you my life. These cannibals were getting desperate enough to cook even someone as ropy as me. The last thing I needed was to be dragged into the caves below.

Why did they keep you around? What were they planning?

They spoke often about the Mother, in the caves nearby, They used this inn as a base and a way to lure people to increase their food stocks and swell their ranks. What they failed to realize is that the forest is polluted with ghosts. No travelers means no food, whether people think this place is normal or not. Maybe they had some plan around that, but I doubt it. They are not forward thinkers, these beasts. How it all ties together, I'm not exactly sure.

We can ask about the caves and the Mother, but it's nothing the Forest Shadow didn't already tell us so let's just get on with it.

I do know that they were terrified of something called the Forest Shadow. I'm willing to bet that would be a good place to start.

Way ahead of you. This dialog with Hou doesn't seem to account for the fact we already visited the Forest Shadow and know all about the cannibals.

But, you'd be surprised what tricks an old bun master might know. Have you ever heard of Drunken Master style?

Teaching is all I can do. As I said, fame, fortune, and a *wife*. I discovered fairly early on that she had... opinions. Most of them regarding alcohol, and my regular consumption of it.

Why would someone marry a Drunken Master... err, master and then go "welp, I'm gonna forbid this guy from drinking alcohol"? Arranged marriage, I suppose.

Sure, let's get wasted right before we go fight an ancient demon. Can't see any downside to that plan.

The effect wears off quickly, but I will make sure you don't run out of wine, as long as you keep the enemies off of me. Now... watch my technique.

Drunken Master is Henpecked Hou's support ability. As we've gathered from his dialog, that is all he can do because he's no longer able/allowed to fight. The style works like improvised weapons (haven't seen those since the teahouse, I think) in that you have to pick up these bottles to initiate it, and you can only use Drunken Master for a limited time before you need to pick up more bottles (much like the improvised weapons will break after enough strikes).

Drunken Master does more damage than regular martial styles, but the main caveat (along with the whole thing about having to pick up Hou's wine bottles to keep going) is that it can't be upgraded at all and is therefore outclassed in no time.

It's also quite slow, so you'll occasionally take a couple of hits as you try to get your drunken kung-fu combo going.

I'm going to be perfectly honest here and tell you that this is going to be the only time I will be using Drunken Master on this playthrough. It's fun to mess around with, but since you need Hou around at all times to use it and it can't be upgraded, it's not really the most viable fighting style.

Your job isn't done, though. There are still more cannibals in the hill. The hill heaved a short while ago and dislodged a panel in the kitchen wall. These creatures seemed to think it was a new way into the caves below. If you truly want to finish this, you must deal with the Mother. The cannibals talked about her often. She's down there somewhere, corrupting everyone who gets close.

Well, it must be safer than this place! Good luck. You'll need it, I'm afraid.

This is obviously another path into the caves, but we can't do anything to remove those planks so we'll have to take the back door.

Before we do, let's just grab this excellent gem (Mind +12! ) Ultimate gems like this one (there are corresponding Warrior and Monk gems as well, for Body and Spirit respectively) are exclusive to the Special Edition, the console version only went up to Superior (+6) for the Warrior and Monk gems and Flawless (+10) for the Scholar gem. Getting an Ultimate gem this early on is quite insane, as even the Flawless and Superior ones tend to be late-game items. Also, I'm pretty sure this gem wasn't here on our first visit to the inn, as I thought I checked everything pretty thoroughly.

Holy shit look at all that focus

Before we go down the elevator, we can take the left to get to the roof, but there doesn't seem to be anything up there.

So, let's just descend into the cannibal-infested caves.

I would assume there is a good chance for a fight, considering we have a large group of cannibals just sitting around right ahead of us.

Love what they've done with the place.

This poor sap seems to be in the process of turning into one of the cannibal folk. I'm not certain how that process actually works, but magic probably has something to do with it.

The health inspector. Sorry, I'm going to have to shut you guys down. I'm sure you understand. This establishment of yours breaks at least 144 different regulations, and that's before we account for the "horrible cannibal abominations" factor.


Once again, a fairly straightforward fight. The basic cannibals are still massively weak against any reasonably upgraded style, and the Butcher is just another one of the magic-using cannibals like the Keeper.

I think the small ones use the same animations as the rat demons. They're definitely similar in shape and size.

After we've wiped the floor with all the cannibals, the prisoner staggers towards us.

They...ungh...they‘re capturing people, changing some and eating the rest. By the spirits, you have to help me!

How do I help you?

There's no way to stop... I don't want to turn.... Kill me!

If you don't kill him, he... well, obviously he turns into a cannibal and you must fight him.

The cutscene fades to black before you kill him so you don't see what happens, but judging from the sound you break his neck. Speaking of people who break necks, I think the Black Whirlwind has spent enough time following us for now so let's switch him out.

Sky hasn't had the chance to shine yet, so we'll fix that. His support skill recovers your focus, which naturally comes in rather handy for those of us who use weapon styles a lot.

As we head deeper into the caves, we find another magic-using cannibal. For some reason, he has rat demons caged up and decides to unleash them on us when we approach.

I, uh, may have forgotten to set Sky's tactic to support at first. At any rate, these are just rat demons and we can handle those just fine.

Well, this looks dangerous.

The stone bridge is actually completely safe to cross, we don't get attacked until we reach the other side.

There's a lot of the little guys down here, although since they are so weak they are more of a nuisance than anything. They are also just as vulnerable to harmonic combos as any common human enemy, but I didn't get around to using one against them here. The magic-using cannibals are immune to harmonic combos, but they don't show up that often and I think we already killed all of them anyway.

I figured I'd help the little fellas prepare dinner for tonight. Fried cannibal should be fine as far as they're concerned, right?

The dialog box shows up like that for whatever reason. Black Whirlwind's line was also on screen for about half a second, so something clearly bugged out.

Oh no you don't! We'll all go together. Besides, I need you to keep the wine flowing. I'm always more dangerous when I'm drunk.

Whirlwind and Hou seem like they'd make a good team.

I like that little jerk just standing back there and taunting us.

This should be fun. If there's enough of the little guys down there, this could be better than that time I stormed the Fortress of Seven Gates by myself!

So, now we have Whirlwind and Hou both following us, while Sky stays behind to watch our back. Well, I guess we got to show him off for almost a couple of minutes. We can't change companions at this point.

This tunnel is narrow and scary enough to probably lead to the Mother's lair. Den. Whatever these guys call it.

Sending the Black Whirlwind in first is a sound strategy, I think. If there's a giant horde of cannibals, he'll whack the shit out of them with his axes, and if something there tries to devour us we're at least making sure we're not the first ones to get eaten. Of course, I don't think eating Whirlwind would be very healthy for the cannibals.

Okay then, let's see. A large cavern with some pillars and a strange-looking rock in the middle. No sign of cannibals.

Oh. Well, that's probably bad. The fact the rock obviously had a foot might have been a clue something wasn't quite right.


The Mother, we presume?

VIDEO: The Mother

The Mother takes a swing at Whirlwind, but Wu manages to tackle him out of the way which must not have been an easy task. That probably feels a lot like tackling a very drunk elephant demon.


More of the little guys emerge from the tunnel behind Hou, which isn't really something our bun master needed at the moment. What with the giant demon roaring in his face, after all.

Fortunately, Whirlwind is back up and ready to roll.

With the Black Whirlwind and Henpecked Hou currently busy with the little fellas, Wu's job is to fight the giant demon. This is turning out to be one lousy day at the office.



It may not be obvious from the screenshot, but the Mother actually gets hit by one of the falling rocks here.


I like how you can see the pillars are clearly built of smaller chunks. It should also be clear what our next course of action is.

Regardless of what Hou says, we're not supposed to headbutt her. The Mother is in fact immune to all our attacks, so trying to fight her is completely useless. Instead of wasting our time on fighting, we're supposed to smash these load-bearing pillars.

Or just lure the Mother to smash them for us. That works just as well.

I think she broke that one by throwing up on it.

One pillar down, two to go.

That's two down. Check out Wu's sweet dodge moves as well.

Cannibals keep showing up during the fight to slow us down, but it's too late for this guy.

It's also too late for the Mother. Of course, the fact this whole cave is collapsing means we should probably get a move on.

Fortunately, there is a convenient way out.

Well, we still need to dodge a ton of debris. If this was a modern game, the escape here would probably be a gameplay setpiece, but as it is we just have a cutscene to watch.

That's a face only a mother could... oh, never mind.

Eventually, we find ourselves back in the forest. I always thought we came out through that tunnel next to the inn (the one that was blocked by the flimsy-looking planks earlier), but apparently we're in another part of the woods.

The Forest Shadow shows up to congratulate us on a job well done and thank us for finally destroying her old nemesis.

Ha! I'd have traded your life for the death of that thing as well. It's a fair trade.

Love you too, Whirlwind.

I had not thought to drop a mountain on my ancient foe, but your kind is always so resourceful.

Yeah, we totally planned to do that.

With the Mother gone, the forest will recover. I have already spoken to Lord Yun, and he is aware of what you have done for me. I hope, for us all, that you can learn the fate of the Water Dragon. Until she returns to her home, things will only get worse. We will not meet again mortal. This forest will need my attention in the months to come, and so I will close the portal in the temple. Farewell, young Spirit Monk.


On the upside, these rocks are remarkably good at dealing with cannibals. I think they're pretty much eliminated. The inn's certainly quiet.

You should probably go down to his camp and check with Lord Yun; he'll likely want to reward you. The bun man and I'll make our way back to Tien's Landing. If you need my axes or... whatever he does, just call.

Our reward for destroying the cannibals is the Brilliant Gem of Balance, which adds +4 to all attributes. +4 might seem a bit quaint compared to the +12 Mind bonus from the Ultimate Scholar Gem, but it's still nothing to sneeze at.

Time to head back to Lord Yun, then. Now we can finally get that wind map and leave Tien's Landing, at least after we've finished the few sidequests we still have going on (because I'm an idiot and loaded the wrong save earlier )

But of course, there is still one major loose end to wrap up.

I am tired of seeing our carefully laid plans fall to your thuggish fists. The operations in the ruins and Gao's factory were my responsibility. Their destruction is my shame.

Try? You amuse me, whelp. You must think yourself skilled beyond measure. Youth's illusions are often the most persuasive. I am expected to deliver this worthless fragment of a Spirit Monk amulet to our fortress, but that won't counter my disgrace for what you did here.

Well, I'm glad he's carrying the amulet piece with him. That saves us a lot of trouble.

Is that what he calls himself now? Hardly an honest representation of the blood he spilled. It doesn't matter. No matter your allies, I cannot let you survive. Enough talk. I will delay your death no longer! May your fall sate the anger of Death's Hand, will of the Emperor!

VIDEO: Boss: Inquisitor Lim

I'm afraid Death's Hand is going to have to be disappointed. Anyway, Inquisitor Lim is the final boss of Chapter 2, and if you leave the pirate lair for last you actually have to fight both him and Gao the Greater at the same time. Inquisitor Lim fights with the Viper and Stone Immortal styles, even though the latter should only be able to be learned and effectively used by someone who follows the Open Palm philosophy. Lim most certainly doesn't fit the bill. Viper can poison you, which can be a bit of a hassle.

Let's just get rid of Lim's backup here, there's a bit too many fireballs flying around for my liking.

Good lord, that animation is over the top. Excuse me, Mr. Lotus Assassin, could you maybe go spray all that blood elsewhere so it doesn't block my view of the other enemies?


Stone Immortal area spam is just as annoying as it is when you're fighting an elephant demon. If you as much as touch the edge of those rocks, you fall on your ass.

Still, eventually we do manage to close in on Inquisitor Lim, and since we leveled up after the last quest we now have some skill points in Leaping Tiger. Not many, but enough to do at least a bit of damage especially with chi strikes active. Leaping Tiger's range doesn't seem great at first, but then you realize that the third attack of the basic combo is a front flip strike that lets you close the distance quite efficiently. When you actually do get close, spamming the basic Leaping Tiger combo slices up most opponents with minimal effort.

I switched to the sword because I wanted to cut Lim's stupid smug head off, but sadly it remained attached.

Hello, what have we here?

Why, that is the amulet fragment Inquisitor Lim dropped. Now it's ours, as it was always meant to be.

Getting this piece of the amulet increases our gem slots by two, which is obviously a very useful upgrade and lets us boost our attributes and skills even further. We also pick up two new gems: a Superior Monk Gem (Spirit +6) and another Bronze Tongue gem (Charm, Intuition and Intimidation +4).


The Forest Shadow herself appeared here in this camp while the earth shook. She explained what was happening on my lands. She explained what happened in the inn. Nasty business that. Glad you had the skills to deal with that... Mother, was it?

Here is the wind map you wanted. The copy is near perfect, and I assure you that the Assassins will never know you have it.

What will you do now?

We will stay on here for a while. These trees will need tending. Besides, I think I have some old family business to catch up on. Old alliances to re-forge, as it were.

Lord Yun was apparently never that much into the whole Forest Shadow ritual thing, at least compared to his father. Now, it seems, he's going to start taking that stuff more seriously.

While it seems that you've solved the problem with the forest, that doesn't mean the ghosts will simply up and leave. If we're lucky, then you've stopped things from getting worse, and time will provide the cure.

I think it's time I left.

Indeed, it is. You have my deepest gratitude. I had virtually given up hope, and you appeared like a gift from the heavens. Farewell. That map will carry you safely if you can find a flyer with the range. I wish you all the best of luck.

Of course, we've got the flyer business well and truly covered.

Let's get back to the camp at Tien's Landing. With the Dragonfly, we can continue on to the Imperial City and resume the search for your master.

Yes, we'll do that in a minute. First of all, though, let's just finish those side missions I talked about.

First of all, Yifong and Fuyao have made it safely back to Tien's Landing.

More importantly, you destroyed the pirates who plagued Minister Sheng's administration of this town. Here is your reward.

Thank you once again! May fortune smile upon you for your good deeds.

We shall hope.

Next up, we're learning Stone Immortal. It would've come in handy against all those Lost Spirits in the forest, but at least we're getting it now.

I seek your training, Mistress Vo.

Yes, I know. It is good that you have come to me. You deserve to learn to control the earth, but you must also learn that the stone can never truly be controlled.

Oh, lovely. We did defeat a bunch of enemies who were using Stone Immortal already, so this shouldn't pose too much of a problem at this point.

Good. This will not be an easy test, but I suspect you are ready for it.

The basic attack for Stone Immortal is... well, essentially just throwing rocks at your opponent. Stone Immortal is more powerful than either one of the starting magic styles you learn in the Spirit Cave, but I just find the visual aspect of it a little bit underwhelming.

Mistress Vo is quickly defeated.

You understand your place, and yet you are not afraid to use your strength when it is required. That will serve you well in this lifetime, and...


As I said. That will serve you well.

Don't mind me. I was just thinking out loud. Students of your caliber are rare.

If you're finished with this little charade of a test, could you please train the girl, Vo? Further coddling will only weaken her.

Don't mind him. Men become temperamental at his age. Here, let me teach you to coax the earth to do your bidding. Only your connection to the world and your understanding of your place will convince them.

Oh. That was a lot simpler than I thought.

It was an honor to teach what I could. I am not the instructor Master Jian was, but his lessons would not have suited your temperament.

I am just Jian the Iron Fist. My best pupil turned away from my instructions, after all.

Remember to remain true to the high path. The earth only serves those who know their place among all things.

I still want to know how Inquisitor Lim was able to use this style.

You won't last that long. Our paths will cross, and you'll learn that this old tiger still has all his teeth.

You have made that proclamation every year for two decades. Those teeth must be frightfully long by now. How ever do you open your mouth anymore? Until next year, you old goat.

Now that we have learned Stone Immortal, we're nearly done here. Just gotta go talk to one more old friend.

I dropped you off at the pirate camp, you killed some pirates, I got drunk, you killed more pirates, and I took a nap! We are an unstoppable team, my friend! Do you know that all of this adventuring and such has shamed me? I find myself dwelling on memories of my youth. I was a capable man once. I've lost so much. I've wasted so much.

We can help Ru get his self-esteem back. Or we can just tell him to keep drinking, because... I don't know, really. That's supposed to be the Closed Fist choice, but what's the point?

Then she'd make me get up before midday. I'd pole the barge and ride the river all day, then I'd come home to a house full of kids. And a wife... probably with a big dinner on the stove...

[Success] I... I suppose that's true. I did get you up the river when nobody else could... when nobody else dared! If I can take on the pirates, surely I can give up the wine! Thank you, my friend! I am going to get sober, find some poor unfortunate woman, and make her my wife! And it's all thanks to you. I owe you more than I can say. Thank you!

I hope things work out for him. That whole speech about finding a wife might seem like Ru could become an option for Ai Ling's matchmaking quest (I seem to remember promising to show off the different options for that quest in a bonus update, I'll get to it soon enough) but he doesn't. Maybe at some point they planned to make him an option once you convince him to stop drinking, but had to cut it out. Who knows.

In any event, we are now done with all the quests in Tien's Landing. Well, all the quests Wu is able to do, anyway. Next time, we'll do something different.