A reboot/prequel to the 1997 videogame Shadow Warrior. It follows a younger Lo Wang, an assassin at the employ of corporate mogul Orochi Zilla. Lo Wang is tasked with retrieving an ancient sword called the "Nobitsura Kage". However Lo Wang's assignment proves difficult when a demon invasion happens - the demons themselves also seeking the sword, forcing Lo Wang to team up with the banished demon Hoji (who doesn't remember WHY he was banished) to find the Nobitsura Kage before Zilla, repel the demon invasion, and find out the truth behind Hoji's banishment.The game was developed by Flying Wild Hog of Hard Reset fame. Greater emphasis was put on sword combat, with Lo Wang now capable of doing devastating combos and using Ki Attacks to great efficiency, on top of his arsenal of guns. The game stays true to the tongue-in-cheek tone of the original, while going for a more developed, complex story.
The Game contains examples of:
Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: Despite starting with The Touch blaring out loud, the game still shows an example of this - the game ends with Lo Wang and Hoji's sister, kneeling by Hoji's slowly vanishing corpse in silence, as the camera circles them.
And I Must Scream: Subverted. Xing got decapitated with his head left on a pedestal in a corner of the Shadow Realm for several millennia, but is still alive, being an Immortal. All things considered, he's taking it very well, since he no longer has to deal with his family's squabbles. He's gotten bored of staring at the same wall, though, and asks Lo Wang for a change in scenery.
Animesque: The anime bathing girls are back. In addition, the story has a much more anime-inspired flavor to it than the original.
Alas, Poor Villain: In the end, Enra just wanted to save his world by killing the one responsible for almost destroying it. He lets Lo Wang kill him in order to revive his sister and allow her tears to bring back the rain. He could have sacrificed one of his other brothers whom he used as pawns anyway, but he admitted his defeat and made himself a noble sacrifice in the end.
A.K.A.-47: In the remake, the Zilla Industries PDW is an MP7. Lampshaded in the flavor text, which states Zilla Industries was forced to stop distribution of the gun after being sued by a German arms manufacturer.note Heckler and Koch, for the less gun-inclined, make the MP7 and are based out of Germany.
Beat Still, My Heart: One of the weapons is a still-beating, blood-spouting heart. It kills any lesser demon around you when you crush it.
The Blacksmith: Hoji invented both the armour that ancients use in battle and the whisperers.
Black Swords Are Better: The fully-upgraded Nobitsura Kage, which one-hit kills any enemy within rage with powerful strokes that slice through the air itself.
Brother-Sister Incest: Due to the nature of the Immortals, all of them but Xing and Enma had the hots for their sole sister - but the biggest example out of them all would have to be Hoji, who truly made her happy and loved her so much.
BullfightElite Mook: Berserkers. They can turn towards you if you dodge out of the way, but they won't stop if you hide behind a wall or tree.
Corporate Samurai: Lo Wang's job (and soon to be former job), doing mercenary work (sometimes quite literally) for Zilla Industries.
Cosmic Keystone: Hoji's Sister's Tears are what keeps the Shadow Realm alive.
Crazy-Prepared: In the remake, Lo Wang has a huge secret vault beside his house, containing his comic book collection, weapons, arcade machines, and a set of ninja armor.
Hoji: You have a cave under your house where you keep your battlesuit? Glad to see you are keeping your superhero complex in check!
Lo Wang: Laugh all you want, but who's the guy with the sweet suit of armor ready to go in case of Zombie Apocalypse? Turned out it was a Demon Apocalypse, still, not a bad time to be a superhero.
Credits Gag: A rare non-comedic example. The credits roll endlessly, looping back to the beginning, as the camera does a flyby of the final level... When it departs from Lo Wang kneeling above Hoji's evaporating form, we see his sister looking up at Wang. When the camera rolls back to this staircase the first time, we see Wang kneeling in the same pose above her unmoving body. The second time, Wang is gone, leaving the Nobitsura Kage embedded into the stonework next to the girl's body.
Crossover: With the Rise of the Triad reboot; Shadow Warrior gets an Excalibat skin for your katana, and ROTT gets Lo Wang as a playable character.
Orochi Zilla is only fought in non-interactive cutscenes, and has his arm sliced off to get the final piece of the Nobitsura Kage. He escapes, thanks to the Kyokagami twins.
Enra simply allows himself to be slain after you kill his bodyguard puppet, so that his blood may revive his sister and save the shadow realm.
Do Not Run with a Gun: Sprinting doesn't allow firing or slashing with the sword, although you can end the run with a kick.
Eleventh Hour Superpower: When you finally assemble all 3 pieces of the Nobitsura Kage, it gains the ability to fire energy slashes through the air whenever you swing it. Each slash is powerful enough to slice multiple enemies into pieces with one swing.
Empowered Badass Normal: Lo Wang was able to take down an entire army of katana-wielding dudes in the start of the game. This is before he gained his ki powers.
Emergency Weapon: Played With. You certainly do have a katana in case you're short on ammo, but it's a completely viable weapon on its own right. Still, you're given a Quick Melee button when you have a gun up, and you have shuriken as your absolutely last resort ranged attack.
Every Car Is a Pinto: Exaggerated. A single katana slash is all it takes to turn a perfectly undamaged sedan into a fiery wreckage.
Fanservice: We have the "Kyokagami" twins, clad in bodytight suits. Some secrets tend to have the original pixelated nude anime babes from the original in them.
Fan Disservice: There are plenty of naked women in the reboot! Problem: they're all dead, skinned and impaled on various things.
First-Person Ghost: Played straight and averted at the same time. You can see your legs if you look down, but Lo Wang doesn't cast a shadow and isn't reflected in water. Only once he's reflected in a mirror but i's because of the Importan Haircut scene.
The legs even clip with the arms if you move while looking down.
Firing One-Handed: Wang will do this when charging his ki powers and firing a gun at the same time.
Guns Akimbo: One of the upgrades for the MP-7s allows you to dual wield them, doubling the damage, magazine capacity, and firing rate at the cost of taking up your other hand (no ki powers).
Heroic Sacrifice: Two. First Hoji saves Lo Wang by throwing the Nobitsura Kage to him, knowing fully well that merely touching it will kill him, all while defying Enra that it will not be his blood to awaken their Sister. Not much later, when his bodyguard puppet is destroyed, Enra surrenders and allows Lo Wang to slice open his throat to revive his sister, bringing back rain to the Shadow Realm. See Alas Poor Villain above.
Hidden Depths: You have to admit, the "Wangcave" is surprisingly restrained and tasteful given the rest of Wang's... everything.
Humongous Mecha: The suits of armour that the ancients wear are a magical version of this.
Hyperspace Arsenal: Let's count. two katanas (when Lo Wang loses the Nobitsura Kage at the end, he simply takes back his own katana) and unlimited shuriken, a revolver, (possibly) two SMGs, a crossbow, a heavy shotgun, a flamethrower, a rocket launcher, ammo for all those weapons, a demon heart and a demon head. Wonder where he keeps it all.
I Know Your True Name: Lo Wang demands to know his demon companion's name because he read that knowing it will give him control over him. When he gets it, Hoji is shocked that Wang could pronounce it, stating that he must be the one the prophesies spoke of: A goddamn moron who believes everything he's told.
Kavorka Man: Hoji, prior to his banishment, looked like a hideous, long-nosed clown, but was the one who won the affections of his sister, out of all his brothers. Having his face torn off by his brothers was a slight improvement.
Killer Rabbit: Killing too many rabbits spawns a special black rabbit that requires several special moves to be slain. It can also teleport, and heavy metal plays as you fight it.
Last of His Kind: Averted. It might seem like this, but it is explicitly mentioned by Hoji that draining the Ki of his brothers is in no way lethal, and that only the Nobitsura Kage can kill them. Still, aside from their sister, only the Dumb Muscle variety of Ancient is still alive, while one of those three might have actually also died when Lo Wang killed his body while his head was alive and laying on a rock. All in all, not a lot of them left.
Love Makes You Evil: The reason behind most of the plot... Hoji met his sister, making her happy, which stopped her crying, and her tears are the Cosmic Keystone of the Shadow Realm. As this began causing a drought, Hoji was found out by his brothers, and punished by them for his actions. This caused him to turn on his sister as he saw her as a liar - she had promised him he could be whoever or whatever he wanted. He thus tricked one of his brothers into poisoning her, before locking his memories of doing so inside a Whisperer and sending it away, setting the plot of the game into motion.
Memory Gambit: Subverted, in that Hoji never planned on getting his memories back, he simply wanted to forget the sadness and suffering he had felt, as well as forgetting the wrath that lead to the downfall of the Shadow Realm. Most of the others just wanted to forget their part in the whole drama, and were coerced into it by Enra.
Mythology Gag: When Lo Wang reaches his lair, he gives himself a haircut, shaving himself bald, but leaving his beard intact - just like the original Lo Wang.
The common demons greatly resemble the Uzi-wielding ones from the original - just a bit more spikey.
Killing too many rabbits will spawn a Killer Rabbit that's similar to the one from the original.
The various secrets areas lying around are directly taken from the original, low-res textures and all.
You can also find the original game as an arcade machine in various places.
Upon reaching the final level, Lo Wang will shout out "WHO WANT SOME WANG?!"
The original's Riot Gun is implied to be the military version of this game's shotgun, according to its flavor text - the Riot Gun was full auto and had a proper magazine, unlike this game's shotgun.
Owning the remastered version of the original game gives you Lo Wang's Katana from said game.
One of Us: In-universe example. The Wang Cave has quite a collection of comics and arcade machines.
Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: A dramatic version. Towards the end, Hoji loses his weird nerd lisp and becomes much more morose, serious, and clear. Given that he just became nearly suicidally depressed at finding out what he did, it's probably why he stopped being silly. At the same time, Lo Wang loses his accent occasionally.
Power Tattoo: Upgrading Wang's powers grants him new tattoos.
Redemption Equals Death: Hoji dies by touching the Nobitsura Kage, saving Lo Wang and allowing him take out Enra, which in turn revives his sister.
Retcon: In the original game, Zilla sends his men to kill Lo Wang soon after Lo Wang resigns. The 2013 reboot has Lo Wang turn against Zilla and implies this is where the two of them became enemies, even though it seems to take place at least 30-40 years prior to the original game based on the difference in Lo Wang's age.
Lo Wang has gone from a Dirty Old Man with a heavy accent who'll hit on anyone with breasts and spouts off sex jokes like no tomorrow, to a young, slightly accented man with no interest in women. Especially not ones who might try to kill him.
(on being asked if he's made it with the Kyokagami twins before, or even has any interest in them) "I prefer to keep my body parts intact, thanks very much..."
Revolvers Are Just Better: The only pistol in the game is an eight-shot revolver. It deals good damage with medium accuracy, and can be upgraded to fire faster.
Running Gag: From the promotional material. No matter how minor it is, Devolver Digital has a division for it.
Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Xing, partially responsible for causing the mess in the first place and implied to have been the Big Bad at points, is just a head when Lo Wang finds him. After a short Breather Episode of Lo Wang and Xing's head journeying to Hoji's lab, Xing asks he be set down near it, as all he desires is a change of scenery and being away from his brothers' quarrels.
Sequel Hook: At the end of the second-to-last level, Zilla loses an arm and escapes on an helicopter with the Kyokagami twins. When the end credits roll, Lo Wang has solved all matters within the Shadow Realm, but we can be sure he'll have some scores left to settle in the human world.
As are the scantily clad anime babes from the original game - mostly in areas TAKEN from the original game!
Two achievements are called "The Touch" and "The Power" referencing Stan Bush's "The Touch" note "You have the Touch, You have the Power!, the theme song of the 1986 The Transformers film. Lo Wang will also mention in the intro he might have to employ "The Touch". Doubles as an homage to Saints Row IV as the Touch plays in the lead-up to the final boss fight.
Many of the fortune cookies make references to famous people in humorous ways, ranging from Bill Hicks to George Carlin.
invoked After an incredibly Ho Yay-filled moment where Lo Wang manages to convince Hoji not to give up his memories of Lo Wang to a Whisperer to undo what he'd done to the Shadow Realm and his beloved sister and defeat Enma instead, Hoji, complete with cowboy twang, says "I wish I knew how to quit you."
The flavor text for the rocket launcher says that the rockets it fires are named Nuke Dukems.
The comics in the Wang Cave are designed to evoke the cover of various real life comics. In particular there is a french comic depicting a cover based on the cover of one of the Tintin comics.
One of the levels has a few retinal scanners which are blatantly modeled after HAL. They're even labeled as "Dave"!!
In one level, Lo Wang and Hoji chat about the Rocky movies:
"Eye of the Tiger, Hoji."
"He lost at the end of the first movie, you know."
"But he got the girl."
Beside posters and arcade cabinet of Hard Reset, there's another and quirky reference to Flying Wild Hog's previous game. At the very beginning, if you walk down the road on each side, at some point you cannot move further, as the road further down is in truth just painted on a large tarplaulin which has a hole - and through it you see the world of Hard Reset.
Sliding Scale of Anti-Villains: Of the Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds kind, Hoji caused the near-destruction of the shadow realm by poisoning his sister/lover out of heartbreak and revenge. Said sister/lover had promised to stay by his side, but left him after he was horribly disfigured as punishment for causing a drought in the Shadow Realm, as her tears of sadness nourish it with rain - and him being with her stopped the tears.
Standard FPS Guns: To be fair, they're quite stylized with a number of upgrades and curious secondary attacks, but in the end, you pretty much start with a melee weapon and find yourself a Rocket Launcher, in that order.
Sword Beam: The Wing of Crane skill allows you to do this. The final piece of the Nobitsura Kage makes the basic katana attack do this as well.
Title Drop: Every chapter in the game gets a the title dropped at some point, by someone, right from Wang himself to Hoji and others.
Transformation Is a Free Action: Averted in the 2013 remake during Lo Wang's first Cutscene Boss fight with Zilla. Lo Wang just slashes Zilla, injuring him, when Zilla stupidly stands still and tries to charge up some kind of power attack.
Turns Red: Demons regularly do in combat, making them more aggressive, attack more often, and have more health.
Twincest: The Kyokagami twins refer to each other as "love" and "my sweet".
Well-Intentioned Extremist: The cause of the demon invasion? Enma searching for all three pieces of the Nobitsura Kage to ensure his realm does not die, and avenge his sister's death. But did he and his minions really have to subject countless civilians to unspeakable deaths?