I spent an inordinate amount of time in my childhood daydreaming that I could fly. Except unlike the flight of comic book superheroes, I found myself delighting in the strange and yet hypnotic wire-fu of the cheap, poorly-dubbed kung fu movies that were shown on TV in odd hours of the afternoon on weekdays. There was just something awesome about the graceful, yet deadly looking fight choreography, and the mysteries of ancient martial arts and hidden techniques were just the thing to keep me coming back again and again. I didn’t care if I’d watched The 18 Bronzemen Part 2 again and again, it was just awesome.
Now that I’m older though, I’d like to think that my tastes have somewhat evolved. Now I marvel at movies like Zhang Yimou’s HERO and John Woo’s Red Cliff, but the same childlike sense of wonder persists even if the themes got more complicated. Wuxia has always been something of a niche genre. Unlike the more popular Japanese Chanbara movies, Wuxia is less known though still widely appreciated. The two recent movies I mentioned were excellent follow ups to the revival of the genre thanks to Ang Lee’s acclaimed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
But in the gaming realm, Wuxia is generally remixed with other things. The upcoming Far West rpg marries Wuxia to Westerns, which is a neat idea, and one that I might take a look at given that I do love both of those flavors, but having a standalone Wuxia game is something that takes balls to do. It’s not easy to research, and the genre itself is still somewhat obscure compared to other forms of heroic fantasy.
Enter then, Qin: the Warring States from Cubicle 7. Qin is actually the earlier work of 7eme Cercle, the team that just recently released Yggdrasill, and if the level of research apparent in Yggdrasill is even remotely present in Qin, I’m in for a very pleasant series of Let’s Study articles.
Tomorrow we’ll take a look at Qin’s setting starting with the History of Heaven and Earth.