Hello everybody and welcome back to your daily dose of video game countdowns. Now that Halloween is over, I’d say we can get into more normal weaponries, or this time, because I can’t get enough of themes… let’s try to come up with another silly theme for it. Let’s see… I know! How about Countdowns about Weapons… ON A STICK!
(I’m gonna have to cheat later by the way, I don’t think there’s enough poleaxe users)
We will start with the root of it. The stick itself. Sometimes, a weapon can look and appear simple, but it gets results and sometimes it’s kind of all you need. Enter the Combat Staff. Or Bo Staff.
Long in reach, and of the blunt type, the Combat Staff is a pretty popular weapons for those who are pacifistic in nature, but requires a weapon. Monks or Kung-Fu fighting characters tend to use that. But regardless, it remains a popular staple amongst video games, what they lack in steel and cutting capability, they make it up for their long range. The combat staff also exemplifies versatility, it has various uses that will depend on its user’s mind and cunning on how much of it can unleash its potential.
So! That being said, it’s time I count down 10 video game characters that has been known for the usage of this simple yet deadly weapon. Aside of the usual rule of ‘only from games I have played’, I’ll have to mention one thing. In order to qualify, the characters must be using the staff mainly to smack around their enemies up close physically. Staves have been also a popular choice as a conduit of magic. However, they’d be magic casters, NOT combat staff experts. We’re looking for more… physical things. I would excuse it if the staff is a variant like Sansetsukon or the Three-sectioned staff, but it has to be a long staff that is ideally wielded with two hands like a quarterstaff. Baton-staves will not count.
All right, all things said and done, it’s time to dig in to the best combat staff users in video game! Let the countdown begin!
Breath of Fire. One of Capcom’s Classic RPGs.
No, I didn’t grow up with them, so I don’t have nostalgia feels on that series. I did watch my brother playing Breath of Fire 3 to the end, but not completely. So I just HAD to start somewhere. And I gotta say, for a classic RPG, it’s actually pretty good! But I digress. Then again… when it comes to Breath of Fire and combat staff, only one name comes to mind… the energetic Woren gladiator Lin…
Huh? Wait, that’s not the Lin I’m talking about! Look at the weapon, does that look like a staff to you? Who the hell is… OH, Dragon Quarter. A game I never played and only know from wiki. I’m talking about THIS Lin… Linpuu Chuan… or is it Rinpoo Chuan?
Ah, doggone it, I’ll just go with the English name, Katt. They say the official English translations has shoddy quality (for shame, Capcom…), but I think ‘Katt’ is one of those ‘translations’ I can get by.
Anyway, Katt is a gladiator from the Coursair, well known for her extreme spunk and expertise in wielding her staves, which by the way, has a tiger paw on the edge of one of its ends. As a Woren, Katt is pretty much a bipedal tiger girl. She’s first encountered as a gladiator opponent for Ryu, who saves her from a plot to poison her. After repaying her debts, Katt tags along with Ryu like a new best friend until the very end of his journey. Very in touch with her emotions yet extremely extroverted, it’s more than likely that Katt would swing her staff even in cutscenes to anyone that got the wrong idea about her.
Also unlike most of the characters in here… well let’s just say that Katt kind of stands out for one thing… she’s dumb as a brick. Really, just about everyone makes mention on how much she’s not the brightest amongst the bulbs, and it shows. She shows interest in magic, and suddenly learns the best of the spells early times… and always have low AP and its growth to never be able to use them. Whoops, should’ve stuck with her staves.
Because that is where she completely excelled at. Katt combines her cat-like agility with deadly strength, making her able to smack her staff right in the face faster than anybody, and they hurt a lot. I take back about what I said about ‘cat-like’, this is like fighting a fierce and fast tiger. I’ll excuse the lack of super special move for her, because Katt does just fine with that. Oh, and with her personality, she does like to taunt her opponent, but I’d say that is usually a bad idea due to her low constitution, but it does have its uses… if she REALLY needs to divert the attention of someone important. But again, she’s a lot better at getting in quick and smash her staff to her enemy’s face.
She might look like she ditched her staff when she got her Shaman form, which also granted her a special action to charge her attack for an even bigger damaging strike with just her limbs, but she’s still equipping staves. Can we just pretend that her staff got integrated to her fist? It does make her the most damaging character physical-wise!
Regardless, as one of the earlier RPG characters that used a staff, Katt actually did the job pretty good, just the bare bones, but still packs enough punch, and with her very extroverted personality, I know that having her around guarantees fun time. But it was because of the bare bones that I had to put her kind of low here at #10, it looks like combat staff experts that come after her perfected her formula. But still, it was a good effort for Katt to wield her staff from start to finish and smacks a lot of enemies’ behind while she’s at it.
Well, if you look at what I said before, you’d know that combat staves are weapons for intellectuals. Well, except Katt before, but that’s just one oddity. Overall it’s just pretty underrated. I mean, what can a blunt staff bring in a massive hack and slash game like Dynasty Warriors?
Actually just as good as any bladed weapons can achieve. And the one to show this from that game is… not exactly someone who I’d use a lot, but he does show how much staves go hand in hand with intellect and cunning… Zhou Yu.
At any rate, if you know how history goes, you’d know who he is. Zhou Yu is the first of the lines of famed strategists in the Wu kingdom, every other strategists there took notes and succeeded his position, from Lu Su to Lu Meng to Lu Xun… (What’s with Zhou Yu and the Lu surname from Wu?) So as you can know, Zhou Yu can be said as THE strategist of Wu, if you think about strategy and that kingdom, chances are, it’s Zhou Yu you’d recognize first.
In addition, he’s also best buds and sworn brother to the Little Conqueror and one of its rulers, Sun Ce, and his wife is one of the greatest beauties of China, Xiao Qiao… It’s not Zhou Yu’s fault she looked like this, so get that weird pedophile-accusing looks off him, please. Also one thing I like about Zhou Yu at least in this is that while in the novel he gets REALLY jealous to the levels of pettiness against Zhuge Liang, this game tones it down. Actually it does good, it keeps Zhou Yu’s dignity greatly.
Dignified enough that he smacks his staff to enemy soldiers with style. He didn’t actually start with a staff, for the first five games, he’s using a sword, but he incorporates some graceful dances in his swings. But by the time of the sixth game, a big mess it may be, he uses a combat staff, and as time goes, he can really keep a good momentum in swinging it and even set it on fire to blaze through the enemy ranks.
Of course, all in all, if you want to worry about Zhou Yu, you should worry about his brains more instead. But that doesn’t take away that he’s a really good combat staff expert as far as Dynasty Warriors goes, and I personally think staff fits him better than sword. Someone who’d happily administer proper strategy while smacking people around with his staff definitely isn’t someone to overlook, the #9 Combat Staff Experts in this list.
Oh where would SNK be without Fatal Fury. Yeah, King of Fighters might be the biggest draw of the company, but it wouldn’t be possible without its solid ground work provided mostly by Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting. But for this one, we’ll just talk about the former. In the original Fatal Fury, you pick either one of the Bogard brothers Terry and Andy, or Muay Thai champion Joe Higashi, as you advance through the tournament sponsored by Geese Howard until you face the man himself. But before even reaching him, you have to contend with his bodyguard who totally is not Guns N Roses’ Axl Rose, Billy Kane
Now if you know that Geese is this ruthless crime lord, you might at first think that Billy is nothing but the same kind of scum. But actually, I’m surprised that he’s actually not that bad as a person, and he kind of shows Geese’s gentler side. Billy and his sister Lily lived in poverty for a long time, until Geese saw his talent in fighting and decided that he’ll want him as a bodyguard. And for that, he actually provided Billy with proper training with the triple stick, or sansetsukon, which he excelled at, and he was actually genuine in doing all those, so for Billy, Geese is not just a boss, he’s like a real friend. This makes him a very loyal person who’d go through lengths to protect his boss, criminal activities notwithstanding (then again, compared to Rugal Bernstein…), and he’ll smack anyone who looks at his boss funny with his staff. While he’s bitter at Terry Bogard for beating Geese, he never took it that far, only contending with rivalry. The only thing he rightfully hates seems to be just Iori Yagami, because let’s be honest, when you’re beaten to near death for no apparent reason, you’re gonna be bitter.
There’s a lot of thing that Billy can do with his staff, including spinning it around with ease, suddenly breaking the connecting parts and using it as a triple stick, pole-vaulting, or even suddenly setting it on fire. But if there’s one thing constant, it’s that his staff and him being in a fighting series means that Billy has a very good reach in his attacks, he doesn’t need projectiles, the long reach of his staff can be used as his tools to zone his enemies and keep them in place. If I had any problems with how Billy fights… it’s not exactly his staff, but… why would he be like cowering if he’s not with his staff? Like in the first Fatal Fury? I mean sure, it makes him actually cannot be hit. But… just… WHY??
But regardless, his fighting prowess with the staff actually set the bar pretty high as your measurement to fight Geese. You’re gonna need it, because he’s an SNK Boss with a very high caliber. And the way he uses his staff to control his range against the enemy while beating them to crap is impressive enough that he’s earned the spot at #8 of this list.
Due to the staff’s shape, some people can take other staff-like things and start using it like a staff in a more unique way. One of such tools is the pool cue. Yeah, you wouldn’t expect such a tool for intellect sport to be used as a beating stick, wouldn’t you? Well, some does, but I’d say one of the first to utilize that as a weapon actually comes from one game that has enough crazy ideas to make it work… Guilty Gear.
And the character to use it is a member of the Assassin’s Guild, Venom. No, in spite of his name, he’s not using any sorts of poison. In spite of wielding his staff like a pool cue, he certainly has his ways to fight like a proper staff user. And true to his Assassin nature, Venom is a serious man who would ruthlessly kill his target when they’re on his mission. Orphaned since childhood, Venom was taken in by Zato-ONE when the latter rescued the former from other assassins who found him too weak as an assassin for being too reluctant to kill, and Zato trained him personally, where Venom became fanatically loyal to Zato, and was sufficiently pissed when one of the members, Millia Rage, caused Zato to get arrested and later die consumed by his own Shadow. However, while he may be fanatically loyal to Zato, he didn’t inherit a lot of his shadier traits, instead when he was given the guild leadership by its owner, Slayer, Venom actually had other plans for it, but most of them do not involve being evil. Well, for someone who happily took in such a nefarious title, he isn’t really that bad…
Of course, like I said, if Venom wanted you to die as much, he’ll happily provide. In addition of casual usages of his pool cue like beating people with a staff, he makes full use of how much he can summon in balls out of nowhere that he hits with his cue, like a billiard player hitting on the balls. Except Venom doesn’t discriminate, no one says he can only hit the white ball. In addition of that, he does come with his own massive surge of energies that he can toss around, such as his massive Dark Angel special, or enhance his balls.
And you better watch out for his Instant Kill too, where he turns his target into a billiard ball, shoots out another ball that causes other balls to obliterate the enemy inside the ball…
Ugh, how many times have I said that word ‘balls’ again? I think I’m going to puke…
Anyway, it may be just a pool cue, but the way Venom uses it as a staff still gives the same result, with extra tidbits of several b– spheres being shot at his enemies. It still gets the job done, and makes Venom qualified for this list, ranking at #7 amongst other Combat Staff users.
The Tales series have been no stranger to staves. Well, except that their staff users also are mostly magic users. We rarely get a staff expert that uses the staff to whack their enemies silly. Oh, sure we have the likes of Kohaku/Amber Hearts from Tales of Hearts, but she’s using a baton, and mostly her kicks, so that doesn’t really count. Thankfully, in Tales of Xillia, we are finally introduced with the series’ first actual combat staff expert.
This one bright and energetic girl who goes by the name Leia Rolando. But before we begin, let’s get something clear first. I know there’s also Tales of Xillia 2 in which some background of the characters are a little different. I’m only talking about the Leia as shown in the first game. Because I haven’t played the second.
Okay, back to Leia. Let’s just say that her presence is really beaming with energy and gives one to the party as well, she’s energetic and always attempts to help people, even if she tends to blunder. Being a burden hurts her, but that doesn’t mean she’s just gonna lie down and wait for help, ooh no. This actually originated from her childhood, where she was inflicted with serious illness, and used sparring to get her back up to shape… though it came off as ‘bullying’ to her buddy Jude. But at any rate, right afterwards, she still kept her cheery personality to pull herself together from that past, not to mention working on her skills as a nurse and also her physical prowess with her weapon of choice, staves. Of course, when Jude came back home bringing in Milla Maxwell, Leia jumps at the chance to accompany them in their journey. Yep, if anything she has pretty good, it’s energy.
Now I did say that most Tales staff users are magic users. Well, Leia is not that different, with her nurse training comes some healing or buffing artes. But, she seems to be more home in whacking the enemies with her staff than casting her artes. And it shows as well, she has in possession of various flashy staff artes that strikes on a good range, or even lift up her enemies airborne to be smacked further there. In addition, she also learns the art of elongating her own staff everytime she makes a successful evasion. And in the middle of all these, she can steal items. Yeah, holding staves properly require two hands, but Leia’s fingers are still nimble enough and her reaction good enough to snatch an item or two in the middle of battle.
I’m really really impressed with just how Leia plays around with her staves, lots of flashy and multi hitting artes that is also on par with the usual front line fighters. She’ll fit in every party nicely, and her personality is also a plus points, she’s cheery with a reason, but most importantly, a good deal of great staff whacking earns her the spot in this list at #6.
In every MOBA game, it’s like a requirement of the roster to include either a pastiche, or THE Monkey King of Journey to the West, Sun Wukong, into their roster. Not without a reason though, Wukong himself is a very popular character that becomes the basis of many character who wield a combat staff, or look monkey-ish. The only reason they won’t include a Wukong clone is if they really doesn’t have it in their source material. (I’m looking at you, Heroes of the Storm). This monkey who once called himself “Great Sage Equal to Heaven” (until Buddha gave him a “NO U”) has been smacking a lot of demon asses with his elongating staff the Ruyi Jingu Bang.
So, Smite included the real Sun Wukong, Dota 2 soon is going to put in the Monkey King into their roster… and if their turf with Zeus is to go with, it’s probably the original Wukong. League of Legends modifies their Wukong’s story a bit to fit with the lore of Runeterra. So does Heroes of Newerth. And then there’s Gokong in Strife, or Ozo in Vainglory… Now it’s just hard to pick just one…
So I’m gonna have to cheat a bit here, and say this.
ALL THE WUKONG CLONES IN MOBA FIT IN THIS. As long as they wield a staff. (Ozo does not, unfortunately)
#5. Most Sun Wukong clones in MOBA (that wield staves)
(Clockwise from top: Dota 2, Smite, League of Legends, Heroes of Newerth)
If there’s another trait Wukong has, aside of the staff mastery, is that by pulling a few of his hairs, he can create copies of himself. So… we can loosely think that these Wukong are kind of like hair clones from the original Wukong. Who then pulled their hairs and created even more clones. At times. And I just feel that the MOBA genre is constantly making good impressions of Wukong that they all fit. I mean, really, all of these MOBAs show a good deal on how much Wukong is really good with his staff. In League of Legends, Wukong can smack his staff to the enemy for even greater damage and crushing the enemy’s armor, or he can constantly spin while knocking away his enemies, and he gets tougher the more champions surround him. Hey, the more the merrier to be smacked around. In Smite, Wukong’s staff elongates and is smacked to the ground, dealing a good deal of damage on a line, or he can spin just once, slowing them down so he can smack them more with his staff as he gives pursuit. In addition, if he rests on his Nimbus Cloud during his ultimate, he can leap down and then give a giant ground crash with his staff for massive damage, and he gets tougher when he’s near death. In Heroes of Newerth, the Monkey King can use his staff as a vault, or smacks the ground so hard it becomes an obstacle that he can jump from, all around making him an agile fighter with his staff.
If you like Journey to the West, let it be known that the MOBA genre really did justice on Sun Wukong overall. All of them showcases the great extent on how Wukong fights with his staff, hell, even in Smite, when Wukong was still in his old model that would become Hun Batz later, he still smacks a powerful staff! It might be a little cheating, but I stand by my decision that at #5 of the Combat Staff Experts… lies all Sun Wukong derivatives that has appeared in the MOBA genre.
I’m looking forward for your entrance at Dota 2, Monkey King.
And Blizzard, go make a Wukong clone in your games or something, so they can get ported to Heroes of the Storm!
Of course, being a weapon-based fighting series, the Soul series (Yes, there used to be a Soul Edge game, it didn’t start with Soul Calibur!) boasts a variations of weapon experts, even Scythe gets a good share, when you look at my scythe list. Of course, a combat staff is also one of the earlier weapons introduced within the game, and the one who wields it here also gets the privilege to be one of the main characters of the series… for a time.
Obviously, I’m talking about Kilik, who debuted in the first Soul Calibur. I mean, who else am I going to talk about? Xiba? … Uh, no, I didn’t get Soul Calibur V to make a judgment out of him. So let’s just concentrate on Kilik back in the days when he’s wielding staves full time, not becoming a random weapon switcher. (Those were the days!)
For a warrior monk, Kilik carries a big burden within him. Following his training and being granted the staff Kali-Yuga, at one night, the Evil Seed rained down on him and his fellow monks, driving them all insane, and his sister Xianglian only saved him by throwing the sacred mirror Dvapara-Yuga to him, while she got turned insane and had to be killed by him. With guilt on his back, Kilik trained under Edge Master to suppress the evil within Kali-Yuga, which is possible in the first place because the Dvapara-Yuga is in his possession. Once he’s done his training with Kali-Yuga, Kilik set out on a journey to vanquish the Evil Seed that originated from the evil sword Soul Edge, accompanied with his two friends Xianghua and Maxi. While confronting Nightmare, the Dvapara-Yuga was destroyed, but it dawned to Kilik that he has done enough training that he didn’t go insane without it. And afterwards, Kilik has been using the full extent of his staff to defeat any evil presences whenever it rears its head.
It goes without saying that by the privilege of being in a Soul Calibur game, Kilik has a LOT of ways to utilize that staff like a martial artist. Combining staff strikes and reach and some kicks, he can utilize a good deal of combination strikes and keep the enemies at bay. Even with Seong Mi-na appear alongside him while using similar moveset, just with a spear, Kilik still kept it purely blunt staff style, he’s using the back side of his staff more often. And being a one-time hero of the series (during the first Soul Calibur), Kilik’s humble personality tempered with full discipline makes it fitting that he wields a staff in battle, which he’ll definitely use to get things done. Overhead strike, long thrust, side bash, pole vaulting to downward strike… yeah, he got all of them.
Amongst fighting game characters, Kilik is one of those characters that really does the combat staff justice with how much pressure and effectiveness he can bring to the battle with it. He might have been using a plethora of other weapons in V, and he has passed down his staff to Xiba, but to me, the best combat staff expert in this series is always going to be Kilik, thus he’s amongst one of the best, ranking at #4.
Because he’s… not quite my main in the series. Sorry, Kilik.
My rating is not just about the variety of ways of how a character uses the combat staff, but also how it represents the overall character, and of course a little bit of personal experience. I think that’s also why even a single-striker like Katt can make it to this list. Well speaking of Katt, who originated from an RPG, if you read my previous list, you’ll know that one game that got me into RPG in general.
That’s right, Genso Suikoden! However, I usually prefer my character to be at least be able to talk, not being completely silent and having their personality portrayed with their actions by majority. Personalities matter (no it doesn’t mean I spit on Link). But this one is probably one of the few exceptions for this whole ‘Silent Hero’ thing.
And that’s the first protagonist of the game, officially named Tir McDohl. He’s the son of one of the generals of the Scarlet Moon Empire, Teo McDohl, and has a lot of expectations put on him. However, quickly enough, he saw something running deep within the Empire he served, majorly corruption, but also a nefarious plot by a certain individual that manipulates things behind the scenes. After receiving the True Rune Soul Eater, Tir was branded a fugitive, found shelter in the Liberation Army, and then became its leader, eventually toppling the corrupt Empire and re-christened it as Toran Republic. Not exactly an easy journey, because of the curse of the Soul Eater, he ends up having to witness the tragic deaths of at least four people close to him. Including his father. Who he had to kill with his own hands due to clashing convictions.
Ouch. And that’s my first RPG hero, folks.
Also, back in those days, I’ve always thought that a real hero’s weapon is a sword, so I wasn’t looking at Tir really nicely because I thought ‘What kind of wimp thinks that staves is for great heroes?’ Well, safe to say after experiencing Tir’s prowess, now it’s ‘STAFF IS A MOTHERFUCKING HARDCORE WEAPON FOR HEROES!’. How? Well, let’s just say that in spite of majorly just bashing enemies with his staff, Tir really does his job well done, he’s got an all-rounder and all-good stats that makes sure that his staff hits accurately and many times hits for good damage. Yes, he does also have the Soul Eater rune to use, but aside of the final spell, many of his spells are just instant kills for normal enemies, not exactly you’d use for bosses, so you’ll more likely use him for staves. And damn does he make a fine piece of work of enemies with it. It says something that it doesn’t matter if his enemies are wielding steel weapons that can cut his staff in two. Tir brings his staff to a steel weapon fight… and WIN. Yep, the staff is mightier than the sword, if it’s in Tir’s hands.
Adding to this, while he’s limited by the Silent Hero limitations, Tir does come off as a humble hero, seeing that rather than basking in the glory of being the president of the country he made, he instead just left it. Or that can also show his caring side, because he just knows how much the Soul Eater can damage those close to him, and if he got close to that country… Oh boy. Still, that doesn’t stop him to return as a secret character in Suikoden II, still as powerful as ever with his staff or his magic. And the reason why he does things? He’s just helping the locals, no strings attached. He’s just that kind of compassionate guy, fitting enough to wield the staff.
All these and I guess it’s clear why I valued Tir so highly. He pretty much changed my perspective about how staves are wielded by heroes. Doesn’t matter if he’s just limited to normal attacks with a staff, his staff is a staff that saves a nation and is mightier than the sword. And thus, Tir got his position as my #3 Top Video Game Combat Staff Experts.
I had a really good time with Mortal Kombat. It was one of my favorite stuffs to grow up with. Well I could do without the overly violence, but it was something of a cult favorite of mine. It’s just that Netherrealm Studios have been kind of jackass when it comes to Southeast Asia online, which I can’t even get online in their games that I ended up not being active in those games again, not to mention certain things happening in-story… But I digress.
When I mention most of the combat staff users in this list, most of them at least has good heart and sometimes not as much as sadistic people. Venom is an assassin, but he doesn’t take joy in killing. Billy is bodyguarding Geese Howard, but he’s not needlessly killing others. This one? Well, considering it’s Mortal Kombat, brutal killing is obligatory, but it doesn’t take away aspects of what makes a great staff kombatant.
Well, who else do you expect? It’s Jade, Princess Kitana’s most trusted bodyguard and friend. Yeah, curiously enough she actually started out as a hidden boss, a palette swap of Kitana that is invulnerable against projectiles. But ever since the third game, it only became a special move and she came around with her own staff and Jade has been inseparable from her staff afterwards.
Another of her tools is the boomerang, but aside of a few special moves and some Fatality, Jade uses her staff more. She incorporates a lot of staff beating in her combos and X-Ray moves, and the way she moves her staff is precise and deadly, because she knows the spot to fatally strike your groin, or break your rib in one thrust. A backward thrust, at that! And we’re not even getting into her fatalities, where she shows that after uppercutting you so high, she can just plant her staff standing on the ground and then it impales you to death, getting your head ripped off and put ontop of the staff is optional, by the way. Though it didn’t make it to the modern games, there’s also that one Fatality where she impales her enemies with her staff… and then shake it so hard that the enemy’s skin started getting peeled away with force, and then the body explodes.
Really, Jade, sure you’re not using a spear? And hey, she’s actually using a spear in Deception! Except she’s still swinging it like a staff. And, she just hits the enemy on the blunt side of her spear and the enemy is still cut in two! Considering what her staff has been capable of… might as well say her spear is just in name only, it’s just a staff disguised as a spear… If that’s even possible at all.
Oh right, we haven’t gotten to that one story. Yeah, Jade’s story is pretty simple, but effective. She’s Kitana’s bodyguard and best friend, and will go through lengths to ensure her safety, including betraying her lord Shao Kahn. In the original timeline, after disappearing in a bit during Shinnok’s assault and the Deadly Alliance due to participating in the defense of Edenia, Jade arrived too late to save Kitana from being killed by the Deadly Alliance and revived as Onaga’s servant, and had to play the part of bodyguarding her, but she secretly plots with Kitana’s mother Sindel to free her as well as dealing with one Edenian traitor Tanya. Regardless of the situation, Jade’s loyalty with Kitana is absolute.
Then Armageddon happened and the timeline got reset. And… uurgh, this is gonna suck. This is why I’m saving it for the last.
Jade, as usual, betrays Shao Kahn in order to help Kitana and conspires with the Earthrealm forces to save her. But later on during the third invasion… Sindel has been empowered heavily by Shao Kahn tossing Shang Tsung’s essence into her and she proceeded to unceremoniously kill many Earthrealm fighters. Jade included.
Excuse me in a moment.
WHY, NETHERREALM STUDIOS, WHY!?!?
But here’s what gets more curious. Arcade Endings are usually treated as non-canon, but in the case of Jade, she fell unconscious and gets possessed by a mysterious woman. In the story mode, after Sindel’s massacre, every kombatants that died there were doomed to be revenants serving Quan Chi. But Jade… while she appeared as a revenant first, in Mortal Kombat X, she’s… gone. Whether she’s no longer a revenant or still is, she just doesn’t appear.
Her only sign there is that Kitana is using her staff in her memory, and she appeared in Kitana’s Arcade ending, where she appeared not as a revenant, but possessed by that mystery woman. I mean, what was this supposed to mean, is she going to play a good part in future games? Still a revenant or not? Is she still gonna get screwed anyway? Ugh, considering Netherrealm Studios’ record, I might as well embrace that worst scenario movement. But considering how the others were pretty much reduced to shadows or mockeries of themselves, I guess Jade is a little bit luckier than the rest… if the next game doesn’t make things worse for her.
But regardless of how unfortunate fate plays her, Jade really brings up to the table a different way a combat staff can be used in video games. It’s still a martial weapon that’s effective in beating the ever-loving crap out of your opponent, but it can also be used for a gruesome murder weapon when the time calls. Even if she’s less peaceful and more willing to kill, Jade still has the discipline and expertise to wield her staff in a deadly manner, earning her the spot at #2 amongst my Top Video Game Staff Experts.
And no, I am not even doing it for that pole dance, it has nothing to do with my rating.
Yep, we’re going back to BlazBlue. With such a vast array of great characters (and some that I absolutely despise), it really is shaping up as one of the best games in the new age. I can even follow up the story just fine. Most of them seems to revolve heavily around the trials and tribulations of Ragna the Bloodedge. It’s a good tale on its own, but there are some hidden gems that can be found here, and in conjunction of fighting with Combat Staves…
Well a few things about staves that stand out is that it’s versatile and adaptable, can be used in a lot of situations. And this one, in addition of being a potent fighter on her own, exemplifies the versatility of a combat staff in the hands of an actual expert. Well, a rather magically-empowered expert, but that’s besides the point. And it also helps greatly that I absolutely ADORE this character, flaws and all.
I seriously LIKE this lady who goes by the name Litchi Faye-Ling as a character. Not just on the tragic angle she has and her personality and her looks, but the way she fights with her staff, even on telekinesis is truly a sight to behold and it’s a beautiful symphony between a staff fight and martial arts prowess, and usually balancing between the two is the key for a victorious Litchi. And guess what, her personality also encapsulated the archetype of a staff fighter very well.
Litchi is a kind hearted, mature lady and an ex scientist of Sector Seven who left her position to eventually settle in Orient Town as a doctor to save a colleague corrupted by the Boundary, the creature known as Arakune. She contracted it herself and is in danger of dying as well, but in the same time, she’s also garnered the hearts of many townspeople that she helped with no condition, and also helping the Kaka clan solve their degeneration problem. Of course, then fate decided to spit on her by having her degeneration problem escalate, and she’s getting a little desperate to help her friend and reclaim the lost time she lost, a duty she’s set onto in the beginning. It involves helping two obviously evil people that she doesn’t like at all in doing a great harm to the world, but she set that aside to save that one friend. That actually takes a lot of dedication and love that is admirable, but of course, because it’s helping two obviously evil people, people like to just chalk her down as completely unsympathetic and undeserving of any form of likings.
Well we’ll get into that later, but if you’re looking for a tl;dr version, I have one right here for those who just chalk her down as unsympathetic: PISS THE EFF OFF.
That said, in Central Fiction, she did get her closure after distancing herself with the bad guys. How much of a closure is that, I’ll let you figure it out yourself after you play the game.
That is about her personality and her history. She takes on the battlefield with her staff, Mantenbou, which does a lot more than being wielded as a weapon. Mainly because it can do a lot! From being tossed and planted to ground for her to force on mind games on the enemy or even be used as a pole vault or to call back like a boomerang, or to be turned into a spiked wheel of death, being tossed upwards to eventually slam the enemy to the ground on the way back, or even being turned into a stick figure that beats the crap out of her enemies from afar. The possibilities are pretty much endless for her.
As you have guessed, Litchi used her staff using telekinesis, but she certainly makes a great use on it. When she has her staff on, she certainly gains an enhancement on attack strength and defense even if she became less combo-oriented. But when her staff is away, she switches into good old martial arts moves… but that doesn’t mean she forgets her staff, the presence of her staff remains even if she’s not actively wielding it. Or if she wanted to go completely all out, in Chronophantasma, she can use the staff in her Drive to completely spin around her and assisting her attacks. Yep, even if she’s not having her staff on her hand, it can still fly around you on her own whim, and including how many forms it could take.
Now I’ve mentioned what her staff can do, but let’s talk about why I think she’s pretty much perfect as a combat staff user… it’s because of her personality. Staffs are the preferred weapon for martial artists, and seeing that she learned martial arts, it’s a fitting weapon for her, not to mention they also allow quite a bit of graces, something that goes along with Litchi’s graceful and disciplined style. Furthermore, it’s a weapon that is designed not to cause a lot of bloodshed or taking the life of many. While sure, her actions seems to look like it acts otherwise, but Litchi has always been one to try to avoid taking the life of others.
Hell, even her Astral portrays this, even if it has minimum use of the staff, it portrays the spirit well enough. Most Astral Heats are designed to be completely brutal or a surefire way to kill your opposition in the most awesome way. Litchi’s Astral is no slouch either, where she kicks you about 100 times from the sky, but when compared to the likes of Ragna’s, Terumi’s, Kokonoe’s, Rachel’s, Jin’s or others (even the kind ones like Makoto would cause death, I mean, shattering moon and leaving you in space if you still survive? You’re… still gonna die.), hers look tame and seems to be the most survivable of the others, something that this world full of tough guys can definitely withstand. So this speaks that even if Litchi will deliver a beating, she won’t actively try to murder you.
So with all that being said, Litchi pretty much encapsulated what it means to be a combat staff expert. She has various uses of her staff, incorporate her martial arts with it, and her kind and compassionate personality pretty much embodies what it means to be a staff fighter.
I am ChrisX, and without regrets and doubts I declare that… I really really like Litchi Faye-Ling as a character and as my #1 Top Video Game Combat Staff Experts.
As of if she’s really my top favorite female video game characters? That’ll be for another time, and who knows where she will stand.