Five great gates of Ouka be, Name them here for all to see; Sieryu, Byakko and Genbu Kirin and Suzaku be there too; At Heaven’s gate twin keys you need; At Earth’s gates, bows the Divine Steed; The soul is born as the Yang moon whirls The body is born as the Yin moon twirls The twin moons make a mighty hum From the watery moon, it doth come.
Liju Liu and Liju Lee. The Forbidden Poem
An Action RPG by Climax Entertainment designed for the PlayStation Portable, it is known as Tenchi no Mon in Japan and Key of Heaven in Europe. It was released in the US in December 2005 and in Europe in March 2006.You play as Shinbu, a Seiryu outcast working as a mercenary. One day, after an escort job, he sees a girl being chased by some men. He soundly beats her attackers. The girl, Sui Lin, tells Shinbu that the whole Seiryuu clan was massacred and that he's the last person who mastered the Zangeki Cut. Thus begins an adventure that spans all of Ouka in an bid to save Ouka from destruction.It is heavily influenced by Asian culture as a whole, especially the Chinese Ssu Ling, on which four of the five clans in the game are based.Country names share the same name as their clan gods. To avoid confusion, gods are named by themselves and countries will have "the" or its associated direction before it. For example, "Seiryu" is the clan god of "The Seiryu" or "Eastern Seiryu".
This game exhibits examples of:
100% Completion: One needs to collect all of the bugei and kenpu scattered about Ouka in order to achieve this.
Armor-Piercing Question: After Shinbu fights Yen Lan for the first time, she scoffs at the idea of gender in bugei. Shinbu then retorts, "If men and women don't matter in bugei, then why are you trying to act so much like a man?" That disarmed her so much that she left afterwards.
Badass: Several. Hohaku, Lei Gai, Seidatsu, Soh Yu, Yen Lan, Shinbu; even Sui Lin has her moment.
Bait-and-Switch Boss: Densei. When you get to the throne "room" of Genshin, the cutscene sets it up as if you're going to fight the Big Bad. But Densei throws the Seiryu clan sword at Gikyo's heart, killing him. You then start to fight Densei and Seiryu.
Bar Brawl: Shinbu spends a night at the Raichin Tavern, but wakes up to Uzo and Muzo causing trouble for Lei Gai. Shinbu gets in on the brawl and kicks those two out.
Chekhov's Gunman: Li Yin and Lu Yan. They are the twin keys referred to in the fifth line of the Forbidden Poem. Sadly, that means they cannot exist once the Toshitetsu is activated to release Banko.
A Child Shall Lead Them: Eikoku, who renames himself Eigen. He is just a child himself, so requires Professor Seidatsu's tutelage to learn the technique and rule over the river kingdom.
Combos: Your bread-and-butter for swordplay. Most clan bugei have set kenpu that you must collect and piece together in a specific order to do that combo. A bugei can at a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 10 kenpu. Once you get one of five "Freestyle Bugei", you get to customize your combos to inflict plenty of damage.
Dark Is Not Evil: As seen with the Ruthless vs. Righteous clans. It is pointed out in-game that the Ruthless clans, Northern Genbu and Western Byakko, are not explicitly evil; rather, they simply use a different style of bugei and chi arts.
It's hinted that the Righteous and Ruthless clans represent the yang and yin forces, with the latter being the more 'destructive' force. Hence the Ruthless' powers of Chi Disruption.
Also, Yen Lan. She's on the antagonist's side, but she's really not specifically evil.
The complimentary system plays this straight. It runs in a cycle that gets stronger the longer you chain the cycle. This is especially important with your Freestyle Bugei.
The charging system double subverts this. In order to create the strongest attack, you have to make sure your first set of kenpu is weak against the element of your opponent. Your last kenpu has to be strong against your enemy's element.
Everything Is an Instrument: The Ginmei Sword can produce some fine music. This is knowledge required to reveal the temple at Gekkei Lake. The Full Moon Sword can also produce some fine music. Both are played at the epilogue.
The Four Gods: This is the basis for the setting and much of the gameplay. Shinbu must travel to each clan (Seiryu, Suzaku, Genbu, Byakko, Kirin) and battle the corresponding God in order to advance.
Freudian Excuse: Len Yan definitely has one. After the invasion of Southern Suzaku, Yen Lan shows Shinbu the true nature of the fire spring, which is basically burning sulfur chi. She tells him that since both of her parents were Seima, they were thrown into the Fire Spring. That lead her to hate the Suzaku, waiting until the right time to desert her clan and then join the Kirin.
Given Name Reveal: At the cutscene where Lu Yan and Li Yin face Lord Gikyo, all three decided that they will not speak to each other using Oukan names. Lord Gikyo's real name and title is Commander Gikyo Taihan. Lu Yan's real name is revealed to be Liju Liu and Li Yin's real name is Liju Lee. These true names reveal that they are of true Seima blood, and that they were warring against Ouka during the Great Ouka-Seima war before they lost and settled down in Ouka.
Good Scars, Evil Scars: Genra has scars on both eyes. Hohaku (and, presumably, Lei Gai) has scars on their chests.
Great Offscreen War: The Great Ouka-Seima War that happened over 300 years before the story begins. Exactly three people in this game were alive when the war happened.
Heartbroken Badass: Hohaku. He lost both his wife and Lu Yan. He vows to live on for them.
High Heel-Face Turn: After Lord Gikyo activated the Toshintetsu and sacrificed Lu Yan and Li Yin, she became so distraught with what she did that she left Central Kirin and helped Shinbu on Gensei Island.
Hoist by His Own Petard: Jok Xiu. She used Chi Disruption one too many times on Sui Lin, and that's what lead to her death.
I Lied: Oh man. Len Yan really fell for Lord Gikyo's honeyed words about needing the strongest warriors to create a better Ouka for all people, including people with Seima bloodline.
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: The game adores this trope. Lu Yan to Hohaku is the most prominent example, but also applies for Sui Lin (to Shinbu), Lei Gai (to Xiuk Yu and vice versa), and arguably Soh Yu to Jok Xiu.
Idiot Ball: Ho boy. Ginritsu held this ball at the wrong time, blurting about "traitors having no place to go back to" right in front of Genra, who figured out her mole status.
Implausible Fencing Powers: Type I in regards to bows-and-arrows. If you swing your sword right as the arrow is about to hit you, you hit the arrow right back to the archer.
Infinity–1 Sword: Miracle Sword via Downloadable Content. It IS the strongest sword in the game (attack-wise), but you cannot use Chi Arts with this sword. As another "-1" to this sword, you can't hurt Clan Gods nor Seima golems with this sword.
Shinbu's New Moon blade (aka the Ginmei Sword), when fully upgraded.
The Pure San'Yuan Bugei, which is only available in New Game+, is the true version of the San'Yuan. Plus, it's very reliable in combat.
The Legend of Chekhov: The Forbidden Poem. It's that important to the game, even though NPCs will usually try to stay away from information regarding it.
Legendary Weapon: The Ginmei Sword that was found at Mt. Myokendai, kept by Prof. Seidatsu and given to Shinbu. It's also one of one of the swords in the Forbidden Poem, though the actual meaning is very well obscured.
Like Father, Like Son: Shinbu trains everyday so that he can be the best swordsman in Ouka. Hohaku trains everyday so that he can revive the San'Yuan. They both love to fight.
Lost Tribe: Uzo and Muzo, the last of the Mt. Gokuho faction. You kill off that tribe for good.
Mind-Control Eyes: Those under the influence of Chi Disruption have unsettling gray eyes.
Minored In Ass Kicking: Ho boy, Professor Seidatsu. He's your worldly mentor, even teaching Eigen after Genra's attack. Later on, Uzo and Muzon take him hostage in Gokuho Island. But they never realized that he's one of the masters of the San'yuan and proceeded to break out of his bonds and kick the shit out of the bandits.
Sui Lin, after waking up from Chi Disruption to find out that she killed Lord Jok Xiu, had this reaction.
Yen Lan really regrets taking the Toshintetsu to Gensei Island and capturing the Celestial Twins. She did not want to kill the Twins, but rather have equality with the Ouka and the Seima. Lord Gikyo sacrifices the Celestial Twins to the Toshintetsu and the Kirin Gate.
New Game+: After you beat the final boss and you run the credits, the game gives you the option to make that data your endgame save. Loading the very same data will allow you to start your New Game+. You get to keep all your scrolls, inventory, Chi Arts, and equipment from the previous game. But your enemies are much tougher to beat.
No Stat Atrophy: When you level up, whatever you used more often during that level affects which stat got bigger bonuses. For example, if you did a lot of Chi Arts, your Mind stat would get bigger bonuses. For swordfighting, your Technique stat would get bigger gains. And if you defended a lot, your Body stat would get bigger gains. You only have 20 levels to maximize your stats, though.
Palette Swap: For the generic field battles, the 'disciples' are identical save for their uniform color.
Power-Up Food: Go to any main city's hotel and eat at the tavern. Not only will you recover HP, but you will gain attack, defense or both boosts for 10 minutes.
Really 700 Years Old: Lu Yan and Li Yin look like they're only 25 but they're really 325 years old. Lord Gikyo actually looks like he's over 300 years old.
Redemption Equals Death: Yen Lan. In Kirin Island, Shinbu needed to unlock all five Chi Gates to access the final Boss Battle. The last gate is Genbu, the reason nobody has ever gotten far enough in Gensei Island. note In case you have forgotten, Kirin Chi Arts are required to unlock the gate. Yen Lan, already heavily injured, came to unlock the last Chi gate. She dies right afterward.
Refusal of the Call: The Call asked Shinbu to be the next Seiryu Clan Lord. He refused, deferring the duties to Sui Lin.
Right in Front of Me: Sui Lin is looking for Shinbu, who is described as a real brat who did something stupid to get kicked out of the clan. The only problem? The person who just saved her from Kirin disciples is standing right in front of her.
Royals Who Actually Do Something: Subverted with Lord Xiuk Yu. As the ruler of the Suzaku, one would expect her to be able to do something during the invasion. But she cannot fight because she did not learn the Senbu Dance, the fighting style of the Suzaku. Thus exposing Xiuk Yu as a false lord. It should be noted that Xiuk Yu wouldn't have been able to do anything nonetheless since the one attacking Southern Suzaku is Genbu. And even then, she still wouldn't be able to coordinate a response with the Byakko because a false lord cannot wield the clan sword.
Secret Art: The San'Yuan. The origin of all sword techniques in all of Ouka. There are five San'Yuan bugei in existence, one of them that can only be obtained in New Game+.
Sempai/Kohai: Sui Lin considers Shinbu to be her sempai, even though they had never met before.
She Is The Lord: There are no gender-inverted titles. All leaders of their clan are called "Lord", even if they're female, e.g., Jok Xiu, Xiuk Yu and future Lord Sui Lin.
Soundtrack Dissonance: The main theme variation used when Shinbu plays his Ginmei Sword to open the Celestial Palace at Gekkei Lake plays when the Seima twins are being sacrificed to the Toshintetsu and the Kirin Gate. Talk about a Mood Whiplash.
Succession Crisis: The previous lord of Southern Suzaku died before naming her successor. The current lord of the Suzaku was the number 1 disciple at the time.
Throwing Your Sword Always Works: If it hits, it impales, allowing you to concentrate your Chi Attack on the mook. However, you can't focus your Lv. 1 Chi charms on them, though. And you won't be able to impale Seima golems and large monsters.
To Be a Master: Hohaku and Shinbu want to become the best swordmaster in all of Ouka. It really runs in the family.
The primary motivation for Lord Gikyo's antagonism is because he is rapidly approaching 300 years and his chi techniques cannot sustain him any longer, and thus needs to return to Seima. Unfortunately, he really can never go home again because Densei killed him before he had the chance to activate the Toshintetsu and open the gate to Seima.
Zig-Zagged with Shinbu. He was kicked out of his clan for looking at his Clan's monument. He has a home in Chikuan. But since the Seiryu clan was massacred, there is no clan for him to go back to. He doesn't want to go back to his clan to become the clan lord, leaving it to Sui Lin.
You Killed My Father: Shinbu finds out that both Uzo and Muzo attacked both his mother and father, killing his mother and taking his father prisoner on Gokuho Island. Doubles as his Crowning Moment Of Awesome as he gives both of them an epic ass-kicking the third time he fights them and pays them back in full by killing them.
Wake-Up Call Boss: Eikoku can easily end your game if you don't know how to defend correctly. His combos hurt.
Weapon Tombstone: At the very end of the epilogue, Shinbu and Hohaku both leave the Full Moon and New Moon swords, respectively, at the Kirin throne, just where Lu Yan and Li Yin were sacrificed to the Toshintetsu and the Kirin Gate.