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Monkey King Lite

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L-R, top to bottom: Son Goku, Infernape, Gokuwmon, Sonson III.

Journey to the West is one of China's greatest epics and it has spawned a lot of derivative works. Amongst the most famous characters is none other than the Monkey King, Sun Wukong. As a result, this monkey king often becomes a stock figure for Eastern-flavored monkey fighters to be based on, often popping up in other places where they're not supposed to be a "retelling" or "derivative" of the epic story. As such, these characters often come without the counterparts of his other companions, Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing, as well as his master Tang Sanzang (though he tends to be the most recurring character that pops up alongside the Wukong derivative). But if a character is based on this guy, chances are, it would be one badass monkey (yes, this even applies to female characters based on him).

These characters often come with these traits:

  • Obviously, this character has the Animal Motifs of a monkey. Either they are a humanoid monkey or have several monkey-like traits, such as being dumb as a brick or having a big appetite. The latter trait was ironically shared by Sun Wukong's original companion Zhu Bajie. Of course, in case of an evil Wukong pastiche, they can include some Maniac Monkeys traits.
  • They come with one or two or more of Sun Wukong's repertoires below. If the monkey-motif is fulfilled, then one of these will be enough. However, if the monkey-motif is NOT present, they must have at least TWO of these to count:
    • Battle Staff, often at times a Telescoping Staff. Sun Wukong fights with the Ruyi Jingu Bang (AKA Nyoi Kinko Bou in Japanese; lit. Compliant Gold-Rimmed Pole), the staff that can elongate or shrink at its owner's will, thus having a staff is a must for this trope, though one can alternate it with using something like a Sansetsukon (Three-section staff).
    • The Nimbus Cloud. Sun Wukong is known to summon a cloud that he can ride on his own, increasing his mobility, mostly known as the 'Nimbus Cloud/Flying Nimbus' or by its actual name Jindouyun/Kinto'un (lit. Somersault Cloud) which is actually also a technique that involves somersaulting through the clouds from the source material.
    • Mini-selves. One of Sun Wukong's most renowned abilities is to pull hairs from his body then blow on them with his magic to transform them into miniature versions of himself. Alternatively, they just summon mirror images of themselves.
    • Golden Ring Headband. When Wukong becomes a disciple of Sanzang, he's forced to equip a headband so Sanzang can recite a mantra that causes him pain in case he gets too hotheaded and naughty, to make him learn some good lessons. Characters of this trope can be seen wearing this kind of headband, though the restraining orders are usually absent.
  • Optional: They will occasionally be in servitude to someone else, bodyguarding them. Usually this is the Sanzang Expy; while there has been a lot of stand-alone Wukong expies, if they want a companion from the same series the model used will usually be Sanzang. Unless there's a Sanzang Expy, don't expect an Expy of Zhu Bajie or Sha Wujing to appear, usually to showcase Wukong's unbeatable badass credentials and that he can take on everything on his own. Well, mostly.
  • Mischievous Nature. Sun Wukong is also one of the earlier trickster characters, so those who are derived from him tend to have some sort of tendency towards mischief, either to screw with the enemy, or as part of his charm and personality. Should there be a Sanzang derivative accompanying him, they may have to reel in the Wukong derivative to stop messing around if they think the situation should be taken in seriously, though never with the Golden Ring Headband.
  • And above all else, this character is not Sun Wukong himself. There are many works where the actual Sun Wukong is portrayed like this even without his compatriots, but in that case he's the real deal, not this trope.

For some reason, this trope is excessively popular in online games, especially the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena genre. If there isn't a playable character or class based on Sun Wukong, chances are there are either items or a cosmetic skin based on his iconic outfit. This can be attributed to the fact that he is a well-known character whose iconic weapon and abilities translate well to a video game hero. China is also one of the most lucrative markets for online games, and including a well-known Chinese mythical hero is one way to pander to such a large crowd of potential players.

Not to be confused with expies of the specific character Son Goku from Dragon Ball (himself an example of this trope); there's another trope for that (which Wukong isn't an example of).

Also see Journey to the West's Referenced By page for works that nod to the source in other ways.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Per Word of God, Buster Keel! is loosely based on Journey to the West and other Chinese literary works, though most fans won't see beyond the similarities with Fairy Tail: the main heroes Keel, Lavia, Mippi and Blue are based respectively on Sun Wukong, Tripitaka, Zhu Wuneng/Baijie and Sha Wujing, there's a location called Mountain of Flowers and Fruits under the control of the Bull Demong King T-Ros and two minor antagonists, Gold and Silver, are based on the villains Gold Horn and Silver Horn, they are affiliated with a Fox Demon and possess a magical gourd which can suck enemies inside.
  • Chinyuki: Taro to Yukai na Nakama-tachi: This series is a darkly twisted parody of Journey to the West in which an assassin named Taro Yamada is punished by a Buddhist monk to be turned into a baby-monkey-hybrid-being and must serve and protect the monk to atone for his sins of serial murder (and also pooping on his victims' graves afterwards). However, in spite of these comical changes in comparison to its source material, it is somewhat more accurate in that Taro, in contrast to many other characters based on Sun Wukong who are morally upright heroes from the start, he is very much an Anti-Role Model who is forced to become a better person against his will much like Sun Wukong following his attempted rebellion against the Chinese pantheon (Though whereas the Monkey King did eventually become a better person over the course of the story, Taro remained a thoroughly unscrupulous person for Chinyuki's run).
  • Digimon:
    • Gokuwmon is a Beast Man-type Digimon based on Sun Wukong. In addition to Gokuwmon's ape-like appearance, the Digimon Reference Book states that he is on a journey throughout the Digital world seeking strong opponents to fight, is restricted by the Kinkoji golden ring headhand on his head, and also uses a magical staff as his weapon of choice. To take the influences of Journey to the West even further, he is also accompanied by Digimon named Sanzomon who is a gender flipped version of Sanzo.
    • Predating Gokuwmon by over ten years, Hanumon (or Apemon, if you're going by the English nomenclature) is another, slightly less blatant example. His main form of attack is the elongating bone staff carried on his back, his bio states that he flies around on a cloud-like object, and his ability to shoot off hardened strands of his hair to attack may be inspired by Sun Wukong's ability to create copies from his hair. His name is also a rather thinly-veiled reference to the god Hanuman, who served as the inspiration for Sun Wukong himself.
    • Gumdramon in Digimon Xros Wars: The Young Hunters Who Leapt Through Time also has some of Wukong's qualities, though he's a dragon instead of a monkey. Just like Gokuwmon, Sanzomon stepped in to curb his troublemaking by sticking a Kinkoji band on him, although Gumdramon has it on his tail instead of his head. He also has the Telescoping Staff without the actual staff, in a sense, as he's a Rubber Man with a stretchy tail.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Son Goku is anime's most famous example since he was originally created as being loosely based on Sun Wukong. His name is the Japanese reading of Wukong (as he basically stole his name and ran with it ever since), he had a monkey tail, fought with a staff that could extend endlessly (same Asian name as the original staff), could turn into a monstrous monkey when he looked at the full moon, and traveled on a golden cloud called the Nimbus (again, same Asian name as the original flying cloud). After Dragon Ball Z, this becomes downplayed as he takes on more Stock Shōnen Hero characteristics, most that he invented. He does keep some of his Sun Wukong's traits like becoming an actual god, his monstrous strength, his ability to copy techniques that he sees, his mischievous personality, and he still has the Nimbus around for his family to use. He of course, also codified the Big Eater trait that as mentioned before, was originally supposed to be Zhu Bajie's.
    • Broly the Legendary Super Saiyan has a headband similar to Sun Wukong's. His father Paragus uses it to control Broly's actions. The Canon Immigrant version of Broly introduced in Dragon Ball Super: Broly adds to this by wearing a fur pelt around his waistnote , mirroring Sun Wukong's tiger pelt loincloth.
  • Gintama: Shoukaku of the Harusame Space Pirates has many elements of Sun Wukong, of which include being a primate-like being (though Shoukaku is a Killer Gorilla rather than a monkey), his joy of combat, and his use of a Martial Arts Staff as his choice of weapon. Even more coincidentally is that he's voiced by Rikiya Koyama, the voice actor who voiced the version of the OG Sun Wukong/Son Goku himself from the Warriors Orochi series.
  • Mori in The God of High School is a Taekwondo master, Idiot Hero, and a Big Eater with the ability to copy techniques that he sees who's occasionally called a monkey by his friend Mira for these reasons. When he unlocks the power of Charyeok, he's able to channel Sun Wukong himself and gains his headband and Telescoping Staff, as well as the ability to summon and control storm clouds. That said Mori starts as this but ultimately isn't this trope as it turns out he's Sun Wukong himself, reincarnated.
  • Hunter × Hunter: Saiyu, the Monkey based member of the Zodiacs, is one of the highest ranking members of the Hunter Association. In addition to being based on the Monkey from the Chinese Zodiac, he is also based on Sun Wukong in that he that he enjoys battle, lacks humility (though Sun Wukong gradually became more humane and humble in the latter parts of the novel), and employs the use of a Telescoping Staff.
  • My Hero Academia: Oboro Shirokumo, classmate of Present Mic and Eraser Head, had the power to manipulate clouds (his family name even means "white cloud"), fought with a staff, and his hero costume was incredibly reminiscent of Sun Wukong's. Unfortunately, he is killed by villains and his body is taken by All For One, which is then used to create Kurogiri. Even his death is very reminiscent of Wukong's, being crushed under a pile of rubble much like how Wukong was crushed under a mountain. The only thing he lacks is a monkey motif, since he has more of an association with clouds due to his abilities.
  • Naruto:
    • The Four-Tails's real name is Son Gokū. He's a giant gorilla, and his host's name is Roshi.
    • The Third Hokage's personal summon animal, Monkey King Enma, in addition to literally being the verse's monkey king, can transform himself into the Adamantine Staff, a nigh indestructible Telescoping Staff that can extend and retract just like Sun Wukong's signature weapon. Thus, when he and the Third team up, the Third basically adopts Sun Wukong's fighting style. And as a master of the Multi Shadow Clone Jutsu, he can make numerous copies of himself. He also wears a tiger-skin outfit (Wukong wore a tiger-skin loincloth), and mirroring the Golden Ring Headband he is one of the very few summons in Naruto who wears a headband with the forehead protector of his summoner's ninja village.
      • A less obvious example related to the above is Hiruzen Sarutobi himself. His surname literally means "jumping monkey," he is an exceptionally old and incredibly skilled in all shinobi arts, is a master of the shadow clone technique to create copies of himself, and while not tricky in a traditional sense is very good at using deceptive tactics in battle. When he wields the above Monkey King Enma as a staff, the parallels become even more clear.
  • Ku Fei from Negima! Magister Negi Magi is a Gender Flipped version of Sun Wukong. She is a Chinese warrior who wields a Telescoping Staff, which in-story is a replica of the one used by Sun Wukong himself. Reinforcing the Sun Wukong inspiration is that Ku Fei also works as a bodyguard, much like how Sun Wukong served as the protector of Xuanzang and the other members of his group. Also can be noted is that she has blonde hair, which while her design is based on Kaolla Su from Love Hina (also made by the same author as Negima), it can also lend itself to being like the Monkey King given that many portrayals have featured him with blonde or reddish hair.
  • One Piece:
    • Monkey D. Luffy, who wants to be the King of the Pirates, is also an Idiot Hero and a Big Eater and requires his more levelheaded crewmates to keep his eccentricities in check. The way he employs his Rubber Man powers — generally by throwing elongated punches and kicks at his opponents' faces — also serves to evoke the image of Sun Wukong's Telescoping Staff. Reinforced even further with Gear 5, which reveals Luffy's Devil Fruit powers to actually be that of the previous holder, Human Human Fruit model: Nika, who is described as being the ultimate personification of Freedom, akin to Sun Wukong's own willingness to be free. Luffy's new firey hair and Fire scarf are also an homage to fellow Trickster Deity from Chinese mythology, Nezha, who is also a rival and friend of Sun Wukong. In addition, his Hair and clothes are a pure white, Akin to Hanuman's fur color, who was another influence on Sun Wukong himself.
    • In later arcs Nami also gains aspects of the Monkey King. Her Clima Tact when going into the Whole Cake Island arc gains the ability to grow and shrink much like Monkey King's staff, and during said arc she ends up befriending/kidnapping Zeus, a sentient cloud people can ride on. Taken even further in the Wano arc, Zeus survives Big Mom's attempt to kill him by merging into the Clima Tact, giving Nami access to his cloud powers permanently.
    • The Sabaody Archipelago arc introduces the Coffee Monkeys, a group of kidnappers. The leader of the Coffee Monkeys resembles the Monkey King himself by having big ears, mutton chops, wielding a staff and wearing a gold headband.
  • Genjou Sanzou (AKA the JPN reading of Xuanzang Sanzang) from Read or Die. Like all the antagonists, he's a clone of a historical figure. In this case, he's a clone of the man who wrote Journey to the West, and was given abilities and weapons based on Sun Wukong.
  • Many Rumiko Takahashi protagonists have traits in common with Sun Wukong but the closest example is the eponymous Inuyasha, a demon half-breed with a shape-changing weapon who must protect (the reincarnation of) a priestess, Kagome, who in turn has the power to control/punish him with prayer beads using the command "Sit!". At the beginning of their journey, Inuyasha had been trapped in a tree for many years until Kagome frees him.
  • Son Goku from Saiyuki as it is a "loose" interpretation of the original source, where he's a kid (that's 18 years physically though) that fights with a staff, acts like a curious monkey that often lands him being called "Stupid Monkey". He also wears the golden ring headband as a power limiter for his Superpowered Evil Side. He too, also has a Big Eater trait, though it's played a bit more darkly when you look at his past.
  • SD Gundam World Heroes has one as its Main Protagonist, Wukong Impulse Gundam. He has the monkey traits, the bo staff (Which in his case doubles as his tail), the Nimbus Cloud, the appetite, and he even starts his story by crash-landing onto a planet like Goku did! Interestingly, he has two other personalities that more closely resemble two of Sun Wukong's allies, Zhu Bajie and Sha Wujing.
  • Shinzo: Given that this anime series draws much inspiration from Journey to the West, in which it is recast as a Sci-fi adventure in a post-apocalyptic world (somewhat akin to the Enslaved: Odyssey to the West example below), an example naturally shows up here. Mushra is like Sun Wukong, as he loves to fight, wields a staff, and wears a golden headband. In addition he and two other companions have to protect someone (Yakumo) much like Sun Wukong and his companions had to protect Xuanzang along his journey.
  • Starzinger (called Spaceketeers in the west) had Jan Kugo (Jesse Dart) as one member of the heroic quartet. Brash and hotheaded, was initially punished for his arrogance (though by being demoted to menial tasks rather than imprisoned), and fought with a powerful staff that could change, shoot lasers, and separate into halves. He also wore a circlet that could constrict should his charge, Princess Aurora, need to discipline him. In addition, his other companions - Sir Djorgo/Arimos and Don Hakka/Porkos - were clear standins for Sha Wujing and Zha Bajie, while Aurora was an obvious Tang Sanzang. (The westernized version based their names on The Three Musketeers instead.)

    Comic Books 
  • In May 2021, DC Comics introduced Monkey Prince, a superhero who's the son of the actual Monkey King god.
  • Marvel Comics has a character introduced in a 2011 Iron Man comic issue named Monkey King who attempts to take the extending staff Ruyi Jingu Bang from THE Sun Wukong. As he was not deemed to be Pure Of Heart in order to wield it, he was sent to the Eighth City of Heaven, a prison that housed many demons, until he escaped thanks to the Absorbing Man destroying the walls of the prison during the events of the "Fear Itself" Storyline. Monkey King has eventually become a more heroic character, even meeting up and allying with Iron Fist, the Marvel universe's top Martial Arts master.
  • Stan Lee and Sharad Devrajan made a comic called "Monkey Master", who was New York City archaeologist Li Yong who followed an ancient prophecy about the Monkey King to India and found an artifact that transforms him into a modern-day superhero. The comic is to be adapted into a film by John Woo.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics): Monkey Khan (AKA Ken Khan) is a cyborg monkey whose body was modified by the original Dr. Robotnik in an effort to create obedient super soldiers. Among the other traits he shares with Sun Wukong are his design, having superpowered martial arts skills and prowess (which in Khan's case manifests as electricity-based), using a staff as his weapon of choice, using a flying cloud for transport, and an inhibiting device in the form of a gold band around his head.

    Films — Animation 

  • Probably one of the first examples of this trope is found in Fengshen Yanyi, a Ming novel written not too long after Xiyouji: near the end, the hero Yang Jian (who's a younger Erlang Shen) must face the wicked general Yuan Hong, who's actually a monster from Plum Mountain, specifically a white monkey demon who fights with an iron staff and is a master of the 72 Transformations. To add further connections, one of Yuan Hong's helpers is a wild hog demon taking the appearence of a monk (Zhu Bajie), his battle with Yang Jian involves a lot of chasing and transformations and is extremely difficult to execute once captured.
  • Journey to Chaos: Eric Watley is a Guile Hero mage wielding a Magic Staff. Two of his favorite spells are Winged Feet and Air Disc to increase his mobility. Starting with Looming Shadow, Eric enjoys acting like Sun Wukong such as calling himself "the handsome metal monkey" and staging pranks.

    Live-Action TV 
  • AMC's Into the Badlands has the protagonist Sunny, who is based on Sun Wukong, who travels with a youth named M.K., who may be the monk Xuanzhang, aka Tripitaka, or the name M.K. may be a play on the word Monkey King.
    • This parallel becomes even more apparent in Season 3, when Sunny expertly uses a quarterstaff to kick some ass on a few occasions.
  • A late Monster of the Week in Kamen Rider BLACK RX was Gaina Ninpo, a martial arts using monkey monster with a crown and extending staff.
  • Super Sentai:
    • Ninja Sentai Kakuranger: Sasuke (a.k.a. Ninja Red), as with all the other members, is based on a character from Journey to the West with his counterpart being Sun Wukong. Like the Monkey King, Sasuke is initially uncaring and mischievous but becomes more humble and disciplined over time, has a Doppelganger Attack ability like him, and also has a monkey based mecha. Kakuranger also tends to have the heroes subdued and tied up... but Sasuke is never the victim of it, just like how in the original book, Wukong is never the one to get caught by any demons' trick.
    • A Monkey King-style Monster of the Week will occasionally appear in the series. Two such series with them are Juken Sentai Gekiranger (Shuen) and Kaitou Sentai Lupinranger VS Keisatsu Sentai Patranger (Zarudan Hou).
    • RyuseiOh in Gosei Sentai Dairanger also has some Monkey King-like traits, despite being a dragon mecha instead of a monkey. The season as a whole has a Chinese motif, and RyuseiOh has a staff weapon and the other Heavenly Chi Beasts can form a platform that it flies around on like Sun Wukong's cloud.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • New Japan Pro-Wrestling: YOSHI-HASHI is at least an invocation given that his outfit is modeled on that of Sun Wukong and even carries a staff with him.

    Religion & Mythology 
  • Hanuman is a character in several Hindu stories, most notably the Ramayana. Hanuman isn't the same as the Sun Wukong, but you can see the similarities. Actually, this is an Inverted Trope, because some scholars think Sun Wukong may have been influenced by Hanuman, and Monkey King Lite is about characters who were influenced by Sun Wukong. (Sun Wukong can be traced back to about 1000 years, and the Ramayana is even older.)

    Tabletop Games 
  • Infinity: Nomad Nation features Bran Do Castro, a monkey-like character with a staff and a headband. He is the only known "Triple Zero" (Zeros being standard Nomad infiltrating troops) and is predictably a beast in close combat.
  • Any Scion of Sun Wukong in Scion can qualify for this trope, as most of them often emulate their father's penchant for chaotic behavior, acrobatic skill, and simian features. Most emblematic of this trope is one of the sample Chinese Scions, Tommy Li, who not only emulates much of his father's traits (albeit with a bit more restraint), but also possesses of a fragment of his father's Telescoping Staff and a shard of the Stone Egg that his father hatched from. Much like his father, he also has a penchant for thievery, having pilfered several artifacts from other pantheons.
  • In the background of Warhammer Fantasy, it is mentioned that at one point in time, the nation of Grand Cathay (the setting's Fantasy Counterpart Culture to Imperial China) fell under the rule of the Monkey King, who appointed advisors from the Skaven Clan Eshin and ushered in a period of chaos. While a rare villainous example of the trope, it makes sense when one considers that the original Sun Wukong was seen as an embodiment of chaos, and in the setting of Warhammer the Forces of Chaos are considered the ultimate evil. The promotional material for Total War: Warhammer III, which sees Cathay undergo significant Adaptation Expansion, reveals that the Monkey King's ascension led to the Dragon Emperor's progeny actually setting aside their differences and uniting against him, only being able to throw him out once their parents returned from a lengthy absence.

    Video Games 
  • Asura's Wrath:
    • Asura is an incredibly powerful immortal that dedicates himself to Rage Against the Heavens and the gods that rule over it with an iron fist. He emerges from beneath a mountain (just as Sun Wukong was born from a stone on a mountain) and actively faces off against Chakravartan (who is essentially an evil Buddha) after toppling the Seven Deities and their armies. And let's not forget this infamous little scene.
    • Augus, Asura's mentor, is also a case of this, being a rowdy and incredibly powerful Blood Knight with notably similar personality traits to Wukong, who wields a weapon that's capable of extending from the earth to the moon.
  • Skree of Awesomenauts has a skin based on Sun Wukong, replacing his floating sawblade with a cloud and his weapon with a staff.
  • Best Fiends has Wu the Tarsier, introduced for the Year of the Monkey New Year event. While just a standard monkey in his first three forms, his final two forms dress him in red robes with a gold headband holding his topnot, while also giving him a staff. His static art gives him a cloud to ride on, which he is missing in the game. His bios also says that he prefers brawn to brains in his fighting style.
  • CrossCode: The boss, Son of the East, is an intelligent ape that wields a Martial Arts Staff, rides on a cloud, wears a headband, and has an attack where he can clone himself.
    • Son of the Beach is a stronger version of the Son of the East that has similar attack patterns, including the clones and cloud. However, it has a fishing rod instead of a staff. It still has a headband though.
  • Dota 2:
    • Azwraith, the Phantom Lancer, was originally intended to be the game's designated Monkey King Lite. The similarities are mostly limited to his Self-Duplication abilities and one cosmetic item that replaces his spear with Wukong's staff.
    • Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, was later added as the first hero who wasn't in Defense of the Ancients. He's an Agility hero who wields an extending staff, can leap on trees, shapeshifts to disguise himself, and summons clones of himself for his ultimate ability. It might look like an aversion because it was implied that it's the actual Sun Wukong since this is a setting where All Myths Are True (Zeus, Medusa, and Mars are in the game and taken right out of Classical Mythology), however, Wukong's in-game lore, while similar, also differs in some ways from Journey to the West. For instance, it's not Buddha that sealed him but the three Spirits (Earth, Ember and Storm).
  • Enslaved: Odyssey to the West: Given that this game is a loose retelling of Journey to the West set in a post-apocalyptic world, Monkey is by default based on Sun Wukong including having his iconic equipment (staff, cloud, headband). It is also driven home with one of Monkey's unlockable costumes, which is a red and gold robe directly based on the robe commonly seen in other depictions of The Monkey King.
  • In Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, you can have your Fall Guy dress up as Sun Wukong himself with the Monkey King fit, available for free for all players who logged on during February 11-13, 2021. A recolor of the costume, called Simian Royalty, is also available on the shop for 10 crowns.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has Qitian Dasheng as the boss of The Swallow's Compass, a dungeon introduced in the Stormblood expansion. He's a giant humanoid with a monkey's face and wears a golden headband. The boss' tactics play all of Sun Wukong's greatest hits: he has a telescoping staff (which can strike in a small area around the boss or everywhere but directly adjacent), he summons a group of monkeys to attack the party, and will summon a clone of himself that must be defeated to complete the dungeon. The dungeon's final section also requires the party to travel between platforms via yellowish clouds. In the lore, Qitian Dasheng is an Auspice, an animal that has lived at least 1000 years and gained a measure of divinity. After being defeated, he reverts to a smaller, more simian form riding a cloud that can be spoken with. The boss version can drop the small version as a collectible minion, whose special ability in Lord of Verminion is called Jingu Bang. The description of the minion explains that his name is more of a title, meaning "The Great Sage, Heaven's Equal,' just like the original Journey to the West.
  • One of the skins available in Fortnite Battle Royale is Wukong, with a distinctively simian face and red and gold armor. He lacks Sun Wukong's tail, but the Ruyi Jingu Bang is available as an extra cosmetic.
  • Anchira/Andira of Granblue Fantasy. She's got all the details to be a Monkey King Lite, namely the monkey motif, staff as a weapon, the nimbus cloud, the ability to summon copies of herself and a golden ring headband.
  • Gunfire Reborn's first DLC expansion introduced Xing Zhe, a monkey demon hunter designed after Wukong who can produce clones from strands of his hair that strike with a staff when summoned. The item pickups for his secondary skill are themselves minature versions of Wukong's golden headband, although they're actually bracelets in Xing Zhe's case.
  • Monkey King from Heroes of Newerth is another of the MOBA heroes that is based on Sun Wukong. Fighting differently than the aforementioned Wukong, this Monkey King heavily emphasizes mobility and physical burst damage, with abilities that let him dash multiple times and pole vault over enemies, buildings, and the earth he ruptures with a slam of his staff. His ultimate is merely riding his Nimbus Cloud, which increases his movement speed if he's not entering combat, which is good for travel.
  • Heroes of the Storm became the latest MOBA to jump on this trope's train when it released a Sun Wukong skin for the blademaster hero Samuro, complete with custom voice lines. This is because Blizzard games didn't have a particularly notable example of the trope to become a full blown hero, so they had to make do with a skin, but thankfully Samuro's skins were close enough to fit with Wukong, especially his ability to create illusions.
  • In Kingdom Hearts χ there is a Heartless called the "Martial Monkey", which is based on Sun Wukong and even wields a Martial Arts Staff.
  • Kirby Star Allies introduces the Jammerjab enemy, who is given the Staff ability. While not an example as an enemy, if Kirby inhales one to gain the Staff ability or recruits one to become an ally character, the character gains a Golden Ring Headband, which, combined with the ability's Telescoping Staff, turns the character into a Sun Wukong reference.
  • League of Legends has Wukong The Monkey King as a playable character amongst its huge roster. In spite of having the same name, he's not the actual Sun Wukong (barring the Chinese servers). A monkey Vastaya and consummate prankster who proclaimed himself "the Monkey King" after being exiled from his tribe for a prank that went too far, he eventually sought out the Wuju masters to teach him how to be the strongest—but also to gain wisdom and defend his people and home. Master Yi, the last Wuju Master, ultimately accepted him as a pupil and ally in defense of Ionia. He fights with a variable length staff, can summon a nimbus cloud (and uses it in his idle animations), can create illusionary clones of himself to fight and trick people with, and turns to stone upon death. In the original pre-retcon lore he was actually a hyper-intelligent monkey from the Plague Jungles driven by curiosity, but still ultimately became Master Yi's student.
    • To drive the point home, he even has the same Japanese voice as the Goku from Dragon Ball, Masako Nozawa, as a straight up actor allusion (the original Sun Wukong himself via his Smite portrayal has his English voice Sean Schemmel voicing him beforehand).
  • Two examples can be found in the Mega Man franchise:
    • Buster Rod G is Robot Master only seen in Mega Man: The Wily Wars. Based on Wukong, he's a robot monkey that wields a staff that can elongate as well as create mirror images of himself.
    • Mega Man Zero's Hanumachine, while named after the Hindu monkey god Hanuman, has a design closer to Sun Wukong — he's a monkey-based Reploid who has the golden circlet and the Telescoping Staff, and is able to summon mini-clones of himself.
  • Shi Hou from Monster Legends is described as a monkey that can do battle with even the gods.
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps has the weapon master Opher, a Wukong-esque anthropomorphic monkey who wields a Martial Arts Staff as his main weapon.
  • Overwatch gives gorilla hero Winston a skin based on Sun Wukong for the Lunar New Year event. A comic released for LNY 2017 depicts Winston and other heroes filling the roles of the Journey to the West characters.
  • Paragon (2016) is yet another MOBA with their own obligatory Wukong. However, with the developer's tendency of throwing practically anything and seeing what sticks, it's ambiguous as to whether or not he is the actual Monkey King. He has the staff (referred to by its actual name), "cloudwalking", he can duplicate himself and he has the headband.
  • Persona 5 has Ryuji Sakamoto. He has a minor underlying monkey motif (his Mask of Power has the extended canines and furrowed brow, most insults towards him center on calling him a "stupid ape"), he fights using long blunt instruments like a lead pipe, and he has the rebellious demeanor towards authority (while ultimately being a good person). However, what really drives home the connection is his Ultimate Persona — Seiten Taisei, aka the original name for Sun Wukong himself (complete with a ridable cloud and a massive staff) — and his Ultimate Weapon (obtained by itemizing Hanuman, see the above Mythology tab) — the Ruyi Jingu Bang itself.
  • Pokémon: Infernape is a composite of two mythological figures. The gold elements in its design, as well as its Japanese name, are most likely linked to Son Goku, the Japanese interpretation of the character. It is also similar to the Vanara, a race of ape-like humanoids in the Hindu epic Ramayana.
  • Project × Zone: Kogoro Tenzai is a staff-fighting "detective ninja" whose jutsu includes self-multiplication, and his staff hides short swords. In addition, he's wearing a headband similar to Wukong's Golden Ring Headband, and Mii Kouryuuji serves as his Xuanzang counterpart, the woman he's bodyguarding and being a Supporting Protagonist for and being the Big Good of the struggles. Ironically, Kogoro is Mii's instructor instead of the other way around like Wukong and Xuanzang.
  • Toyotomi Hideyoshi as portrayed in Samurai Warriors surprisingly fits the bill. He fights with a Sansetsukon, and he has a lot of monkey motifs and mannerisms without actually looking like one, and was even nicknamed "Monkey" by Oda Nobunaga. He's also a bit of a goofball in lighter times.
  • SonSon from from the titular Capcom sidescroller SonSon is modelled after Wukong. Aside of his general appearance, he uses a staff that shoots out projectiles, and him respawning has him riding on a cloud. He is also accompanied by a Pig Man called TonTon. While you might remember "him" from Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (see the page image), that is actually his granddaughter as a semi-Original Generation.
  • The Soul Series has two particular examples, who take different aspects. Kilik is the much more serious hero, who takes a lot more of the loyal parts, not to mention being The Leader to his little group (bonus points for being voiced by Soichiro Hoshi, the VA who voiced the Goku from Gensoumaden Saiyuki). Xiba, on the other hand, is a much more obvious example, being a typical trickster and constantly fixated on food to the point of shouting "FOOD!" as his death cry. Both characters are bojutsu practitioners, with their primary weapons (the Kali-Yuga for Kilik; the Three Karmas and, later, the Kali-Yuga for Xiba) being based on Sun Wukong's Ruyi Jingu Bang (both also have extra weapons more closely inspired by the Ruyi Jingu Bang, the Jingu Staff). Kilik is known for his ability to absorb and purify evil energy via the Kali-Yuga (taught to him by his master, Edge Master), which could very well be drawn from the Monkey King's power to detect evil through his huoyan-jinjing ("fiery-eyes golden-gaze"). Kilik is a Warrior Monk who no longer has a real home to go back to and travels the land stamping out evil; one of Sun Wukong's titles was Xingzhe, meaning "ascetic" (as in a wandering monk). Until he masters the evil within him prior to Soulcalibur II, Kilik is also saddled with a berserk Superpowered Evil Side as a result of being driven insane by the Evil Seed and slaughtering his fellow monks in his backstory, which bears somes parallels to the Monkey King's famous rampage in heaven. (Curiously, Soulcalibur VI revamped the appearance of his Possessed State to give Kilik a long mane while under the effects of his Soul Edge-induced corruption, not unlike the Goku of the aforementioned Saiyuki.) Xiba, however, carries more of the Monkey King imagery. Likely an orphan (as well as, according to Japanese sourcebooks, the estranged son of both Kilik and Xianghua), he is said to have been born on the Zhen Hang Mountain, suggesting that he raised himself in the wild; this matches up with accounts of Sun Wukong's early life. Xiba wears a tiger pelt around his waist which gives off the illusion of him having a tail. Several of his moves are named after monkeys and his overall style resembles the staff fighting branch of Monkey Kung Fu (Hou Gun), while his Critical Edge is named Kong's Dance of Qi Tian Da Sheng, Qitian Dasheng (Seiten Taisei in Japanese; lit. "Equaling Heaven Great Sage") being another one of Sun Wukong's titles.
  • Suikoden: Downplayed with the first game's protagonist Tir McDohl, who uses a three-sectioned staff, and wears a bandanna instead of circlet (the circlet instead goes to the next game's protagonist Riou, who wields a pair of tonfas instead). The game as a whole is inspired by another of China's Four Classical Novels, Water Margin.
  • Summoners War: Sky Arena has a monkey monster directly inspired from Sun Wukong, with his various skills including creating clones, having "stone skin" and of course his extensible staff. His elemental variants are named after some of the monkey king's titles:
    • "Mei Hou Wang" (Handsome monkey king),
    • "Quitian Dasheng" (Great sage equal to heaven)
    • "Xin Zhe" (Traveling monk)
    • "Shi Hou" (Possibly Hou Zi, meaning monkey)
  • Karin Son from Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer is a female one, and because she's from a Masami Obari work, she ends up very laden with fanservice, though she still comes with the golden ring headband. She might not look like a monkey, but she's claimed to be a descendant of races similar to Wukong, the Seiten Taisei, and also is very energetic and excitable. She's armed with a staff that can elongate, can ride on her own Nimbus Cloud, and her move that can be transferred to the player is to summon a miniature version of herself.
  • Warframe: The aptly named Wukong Warframe, described as "A primal warrior with the heart of a trickster." His abilities include Celestial Twin, which creates a duplicate of himself, Cloud Walker, which hides Wukong in clouds, and Primal Fury, which summons a variable-size staff.
  • Gokuu from World Heroes, is based on Sun Wukong, surprising because the other characters in the roster are based on historical people, not mythological. Regardless, he has a very monkey-ish attitude, wears his golden ring headband, enters the battle with his nimbus cloud and his super includes summoning miniature versions of himself... as bees.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: Sun Wukong is a monkey Faunus who's mischievous, cocky, wields a staff-nunchaku hybrid (made out of shotguns) named Ruyi Bang and Jingu Bang, and has a superpower to make duplicates of himself. Despite having the same name, he's not the Monkey King Sun Wukong; nearly all RWBY characters are based on figures from myth and folklore and have the same or similar names, but each is a distinct character from their mythological inspirations.


    Western Animation 
  • Avatar Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender. He is a young, rambunctious boy that wields a staff, rides a flying apparatus (Sun Wukong riding a cloud, Aang riding Appa) with divine powers (as one would expect from the Avatar). Both end up entrapped for many years (Sun Wukong having been trapped beneath a mountain by the Buddha, Aang within a glacier) and would later join a group of people on a journey that would strengthen them spiritually and enrich the world around them (Sun Wukong learning the tenants of Buddhism on their search for the sacred texts, Aang learning the other bending arts to defeat Fire Lord Ozai and restoring balance).
  • Jackie Chan Adventures has the Monkey King in two episodes, who is portrayed as a humanoid ape-monkey hybrid with red fur. He wears a golden headband and carries a staff, and is both a proficient martial artist and sorcerer. He is a trickster who considers himself the "monkey king of comedy", but he has a twisted sense of humour and doesn't care if someone dies as a result of his jokes. Most of the time he is trapped in the form of a puppet unless someone pulls his leg, making them swap places with him and become a puppet instead.
  • Miraculous Ladybug gives us Lê Chiến Kim as "King Monkey", who transforms with the Monkey Miraculous, which is a circlet. His design appears to be based on Sun Wukong, he is kind of a Cloud Cuckoolander, he wields a staff and his special ability, Uproar, can be seen as a form of mischief (it chaotically interferes with the powers of someone else). According to Word of God, Sun Wukong himself was a previous user of the Monkey Miraculous.
  • Monkie Kid focuses on MK, an arrogant and hotheaded young man who is able to wield Sun Wukong's staff and gets a monkey themed mech. He's even trained by the Monkey King himself. It escalates in Season 4 when it is revealed that just like Wukong, MK is in fact a stone monkey.


Video Example(s):


Staff and crown

As he fell into a temple, Grizzy found a staff that could stretch, and a crown that could summon a cloud.

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Main / MonkeyKingLite

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