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Betraying the Water Dragon is the Open Palm ending, saving it is the Closed FistFreeing the Water Dragon will cause massive droughts and probably kill many people, but will serve a higher moral principle. Replacing it, on the other hand, helps the entire Empire. Much like the question of whether to save the dam earlier in the game, the Open Palm wants to save everyone it can, while the Closed Fist expects the strong to survive when you take the proper course.
The Ending Scene actually took a while to arrange, not just a short flight down the Dragonfly.
The Lotus Assassins Have No Will Without the Emperor Via Death's Hand.Upon the death of the Big Bad, considering how Lotus Assassins are usually "stripped" of self before being made into utterly loyal, tools, the few remaining survivors might be walking vegetables by the end if is Open Palm ending. In Closed Fist, they are your minions. In much the same way that the Big Bad could use the Spirit Amulet to bind Death's Hand to him, you could use your Spirit Monk power to release and bind Death's Hand, and the entire Lotus Assassin Order to you, and even the entire Jade Empire given enough time.
Sun Hai is evil Closed Fist, Sun Li is evil Open Palm, The Water Dragon is good Closed Fist, and the Spirit Monk is supposed to be good Open Palm, though s/he can rebel against it.While we don't actually see it, the alignment system is supposed to be more complex than good and evil alone. Sun Hai represents the evil way of following the Closed Fist, being a selfish asshole. Sun Li represents the evil way of following the Open Palm, lording over and controlling others "for their own good." The Water Dragon represents the good way of following the Closed Fist, not helping others because it's better in the long run that you don't, but still interceding where necessary. The Spirit Monk only brings complete balance to the world by following the good Way of the Open Palm, but still has the choice not to.
Had Bioware ever created a sequel, it would have followed the Closed Fist story pathNothing in particular supports this except for a gut feeling that Bioware would have wanted to link the first game to the second, and upon the completion of the Open Fist path, there's nothing left that would have been required for a player to handle. It would also allow them to break free from the Lucas Arts-mandated "Light Side (i.e. Good Path) is always canonical" theme they had to follow for the second Knights of the Old Republic to follow the first.
The Brothers Sun were aligned with the Water Dragon's "other," and it drove them mad.Each heavenly entity has an equal and opposite. Most of the time, they keep each other in check, and maintain the cosmic balance. We see it with Fox Spirit and Mother, and with Chang Ka and Ya Zhen. We don't actually see the Water Dragon's equal and opposite, but judging by her job and what's happening with her out of the way, I wager the Water Dragon's opposite is King of the Undead - of unnaturally prolonged life and of those who cannot die. So, there is a drought. It's set to last three more years, by which time, the Empire will have collapsed. In desperation, the Sun brothers start looking to the Heavens to cut deals. The Dragon says she can't, but her counterpart says "Yes, she can. Here's how. Oh. and I'll collect my payment later." The Sun brothers, desperate and arguably trying to save their people with a heroic act march on Dirge and prove that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. The youngest brother, a monk, realizes too late what a massive screw-up they're about to make, and tried to stop it. His brothers cut him down and Sun Kin and gets bound to Death's Hand. His death and betrayal cause him to go insane and corrupt the Lotus Monks into the Lotus Assassins. Sun Hai completely loses his mind upon channeling the Dragon's power, dies, and continues on as a mad ghost, accusing his surviving (living) brother of treason, causing Sun Li to put together that jaw-dropper of a plan. Sun Li goes insane over a much longer period, but by the time you reach him at the final fight, he's clearly as out of his gourd as his elder brother. They end their drought, but at the cost of a slower damnation. By suspending the Water Dragon between life and death, her Undead counterpart is free to reign. The shepherds of the dead are destroyed, and the gate to the Underworld is blocked. The golems are powered by the undead, the spirits of the dead can't rest or be destroyed. Eventually, the Jade Empire would be like Seymour's idea for Spira - a land where there are none among the living, only ghosts going slowly mad from their imprisonment.
Jade Empire is the 4th edition version of Kara-TurJust a silly idea. Admittedly, this isn't that good of a fit since we never see any of the traditional D&D races, although Kara-Tur never had many of them (besides humans) to begin with anyway. But in Baldur's Gate you can find weapons from the "Jade Empire" (i.e., Kara-Tur) and many of the design elements of Jade Empire are clearly influenced by D&D's take on eastern culture (such as the Celestial Bureaucracy). Any differences can be accounted for by the Spellplague, which not only switched up geography but also led to devastating climate shifts. Eventually, the Brothers Sun decide to take out the god they deem responsible, the Water Dragon, killing her and stealing her power (a common theme in Forgotten Realms). Alternatively, the Water Dragon was murdered during / right after / right before the Time of Troubles, of which few details exist regarding Kara-Tur.
A whole other chapter was left on the cutting room floorThis is mostly supported by the Prima strategy guide, which has a short section dedicated to a bunch of seemingly random data that appear to have been culled from the alpha version of the game. There are some very specific references to cities and regions which have nothing to do with the storyline of the game itself. The most glaring example is the city of Phoenix Gate, which I take to be the Shanghai to the Imperial City's Nanking. It's mentioned at least twice in the loading-screen snippets, which are mostly plot-relevant. We have at least three characters from Phoenix Gate (Smiling Mountain, Henpecked Hou, Crimson Khana), plus some plot elements that just seem incomplete. Henpecked Hou is probably the most egregious example; his placement and disposition makes me think he was supposed to be someone you met when you entered a new place (Phoenix Gate). This may be a little further far-fetched, but I also feel like the Phoenix Unity style and the Phoenix Assassins who use it (in the arena) are a part of this as well.
Had BioWare decided to stall a little and release Jade Empire on the Xbox 360, the Jade Epire franchise would've been a huge success.Just look at Mass Effect and Dragon Age. Jade Empire has just as much charm as those series.
Mistress Vo and Master Iron Fist, the Old Masters in Tien's Landing, are at least Minor Gods/Demons.I played Open Palm, and defeated Mistress Vo for her Stone Fist style, she made a comment
Sun Li killed the last master, and his students, of the Two Rivers dojo. Then dumped their bodies and spirits into the dojo's cave for extra evil and as another way to hone his tool/plan.
Hui the Brave had a crush on the Glorious Strategist.Saddly, either Master Li didn't notice (unlikely), didn't care (possibly) or just considered her feelings as something to be used for his benefit (that bastard...)
The PC Could Secretly Become an Immortal Supreme Ruler of the Empire via Spirit Monk Powers.Assuming the PC was not a total moron, the possibilities of a Spirit Monk's power are rather obvious. The PC could bind several party members at once during a face to face confrontation. Granted, they might have been surprised by that, but given enough practice, its likely that the PC could do the attack in ways that leave the victim not realizing they already his, mind body and soul. The Heavenly Lilly could become enslaved in her sleep, along with the rest, and with her, the Jade Empire is the PC's play thing. Then there's Kang the Mad. A minor Godling, but still an IMMORTAL, or at least, very long lived. For that matter, there were Fox Spirits, The Mother, The Other, Chai Ka, and a host of other beings the Spirit Monk could probably learn the secret of Immortality from. (Or beat it out of them via Mega Manning.) Its not like the Water Dragon was the only source of Godhood after all. Then there's the possibility of promotion to Celestial Status due to merit alone.
There was a way the PC could combine the Closed Fist and Open Palm choice for the Water Dragon to get a better Third Option. The Spirit Monk could just beat the Water Dragon to death.In a world where beating a Toad Demon, Horse Ghost, Spirits, Golem. etc. gives you the ability to turn into said creature, beating the Water Dragon should grant the PC Water Dragon Powers WITHOUT having to sacrifice your allies. In fact, that the Water Dragon even suggested that some of your own would need to be sacrificed seems suspiciously like a manipulative bitch's strategy....
The world of Jade Empire is the past of Avatar: The Last AirbenderIt all makes perfect sense. Bear with me. Assuming the Open Palm ending, what is the state of the world? Well, there used to be an order of Spirit Monks. What was the power of the Spirit Monks? The ability to affect the spirits of themselves and others. They could bind spirits, enslaving them. They could influence spirits. And so forth. These worked on the living just as well as the dead. And the order was associated with the Great Water Dragon. Of course, there used to be an order of Spirit Monks; they're all but dead by the end of Jade Empire. There's just one left: the PC. Maybe the PC will teach others, but maybe he/she won't. The Water Dragon is dead. Per the rules of Jade Empire, that means you get reincarnated; she even says that this must be her fate. Is her new version going to restart the Spirit Monk order? Well, maybe. Then again, the fact that she needed the Spirit Monks to protect her mortal form was a weakness that nearly threw the world into chaos. So maybe the Celestial Bureaucracy will find a way to deal with it that doesn't leave her vulnerable. Maybe she'll get a form that's always on the move, that's completely untrackable. Thus, it will be far more difficult to usurp her power and screw things up. You know, something like... a Giant Lion Turtle. With no Spirit Monks around, with the order itself dying out due to lack of need, their powers disappear. Of course, the Water Dragon, in her new form, will remember the days of the Spirit Monks and their spirit abilities. Just in case she needed to dispense those powers to one who needed them. And then there's bending; this one's pretty obvious. The magic forms are clearly nascent forms of bending. Not fully formed, not in their final state. But the precursors are there. Perhaps the Celestial Bureaucracy used them as a test run for the final forms, deciding exactly which form each element's bending will take before unleashing bending fully upon the world. The GLT was very clear that there was a time before elemental bending, and it's very likely that Spirit Monks existed before the magic forms. Obviously, the world would have to have a cataclysm or two in order for this to work out. The Jade Empire would have to crumble, but probably not completely. Much of the history would be lost, and certainly the technology. But perhaps old Lord Lao is still around, putting his knowledge to good use in the Fire Nation. It would certainly explain the drill ;)
At the end, Minister Shen is going to get fired.
If there is a Sequel, there will be another encounter with The Magnificent Bastard
Absorbing the Water Dragon's power was never meant to combat the DroughtIt was a plan to stave off Roderik's home country. They are clearly beginning an age of seafaring, their muskets are capable of taking out the best martial artists the Imperial City has to offer, and they don't seem likely to leave anyone alone. To the philosophers Roderk is a nuisance. To the Emperor and his brothers he's the first pebble of an avalanche that threatens to crush the land.