- For more than a century, China was caught under the shadow of war.
Commanded by his five demon-spawned offspring, the armies of Xao Gon destroyed the clans.
One by one they fell, their warriors slaughtered, their lands captured...
It is a time of chaos... a time of defiance...
A time for heroes.
New Legends is a 2002 Hack and Slash action game developed by Infinite Machine - a company founded by ex-LucasArts employees - for the Xbox, being their first and last effort in producing games.Owing to the success of the then-recent Dynasty Warriors series, New Legends follows the trend of being set in a wuxia-inspired setting and a homage to Martial Arts Movies, albeit one with Steampunk elements thrown in.
Taking place in an alternate version of the Ming Dynasty - albeit one with firearms, flying drones and laser weaponry - the once-peaceful Soo Kingdom is invaded by a warlord, Xao Gon, whose armies laid waste to the kingdom with Xao Gon killing their wise ruler, Emperor Soo.
Players assume the role of Prince Sun-Soo, leader of the Soo army and Emperor Soo's only son, who must fight to reclaim his kingdom, battling Xao Gon and his team of lieutenants, one at a time, before uncovering a new, devastating, forbidden weapon Xao Gon somehow managed to obtain and is intending to use to conquer not just China, but to Take Over the World.
The Kingdom of Soo may have fallen, but hope still lives on...
- Advertised Extra: For some reason, Mai Khan appears in all the game's covers and promotional materials, despite her extremely minor role. She appears early on to help Prince Sun-Soo and Boo escape the labor camp, shows up occasionally between levels for exposition, and was unceremoniously written out when she gets injured and left out after uncovering Xao Gon's Forbidden City hideout, to the point where she's absent in the final stages. Meanwhile Prince Sun-Soo's allies, Boo the demon-human hybrid and Zhang the Old Retainer who sticks around in several levels until his death barely gets any promotion.
- All Monks Know Kung-Fu: Sun-Soo befriends a group of Shaolin monks who forms part of the La Résistance against Xao Gon's tyranny, all of them being capable fighters and warriors.
- Ambiguous Time Period: The universe the game is set in seems to be during the Ming Dynasty, with China in a state of war and and under the rule of Emperors. But there are helicopters and laser rifles around.
- An Arm and a Leg: Shockingly enough, this happens to Prince Sun-Soo halfway through, after he defeats General Kuun... only for the villain, in a last act of spite, to throw his hammer-ax at the prince. At close range Kuun's ax removes Prince Sun-Soo's left arm and nearly kills him. He gets a new one later (see below).
- Artificial Limbs Are Stronger: Prince Sun-Soo gains a stone arm after meeting his father in the Otherworld. Which allows him to execute stronger punches and melee attacks.
- Asian Lion Dogs: Chinese stone lions are a recurring background element throughout the Soo Palace and the Forbidden City.
- Assist Character: In levels where Boo is around, the half-demon will help Prince Sun-Soo attack enemies.
- Big Bad: Xao Gon, a warlord who had his eyes on the Soo Kingdom.
- Blade on a Rope: Prince Sun-Soo can obtain a Chinese rope dart as part of his arsenal, and it's the melee weapon with greatest attack range.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: Tends to show up in-between fights, when Prince Sun-Soo is around with his allies, Boo and Zhang.Boo: Where is that old man? Old man! Where in the hell have you gone? Are you dead?
Zhang: If I were dead I couldn't answer that question, could I?
Boo: Does it sound like I care?
- Cruel Mercy: After wiping out the army defending Soo Kingdom and killing Prince Sun-Soo's father, Xao Gon instead ordered for the prince to be flung into his labour camps, alive, together with hordes and hordes of prisoners in order to rub in his superiority over his captives. Complete with "The Reason You Suck" Speech.General Kuun: Shall I take his (Prince Sun-Soo) head?
Xao Gon: Leave him his kingdom in ashes. It is a shame that your father did not share the vision I have for the New China... you (Prince Sun-Soo) shall become a symbol of treason, and spend your life living with the pain of extinction. That of your family, and your kingdom.
- Dark Action Girl:
- Mai Khan, the lady general of the La Résistance who organizes raids and assaults on Xao Gon's camps.
- Xao Gon's henchwoman, General Chen, an extremely dangerous boss on her own.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Boo, a purple-skinned, red-eyed, demonic-looking giant humanoid monster... is Prince Sun-Soo's ally and the first friend he makes during the escape from Xao Gon's prison. Boo hangs a lampshade on it during their first meeting.Boo: Do you think I would be in this foul prison if I were full blooded?
- Dead Person Conversation: Prince Sun-Soo, after losing his arm and nearly dying and drifting into a state of unconsciousness, managed to enter the Otherworld and have a conversation with the Emperor of Soo, his deceased father.
- Defiant to the End:
Prince Sun-Soo: By the blood of my family... never! I will fight you to my very last breath!
- When the prince is demanded to surrender...
- General Kuun from the villains isn't too shabby himself. After Prince Sun-Soo defeats him in battle, before he succumbs his last act is to hurl his ax, removing Prince Sun-Soo's left arm and nearly killing him. Before succumbing with a Dying Smirk.
- Drop The Hammer: General Kuun, one of Xao Gon's leading enforcers and The Brute among the villains, uses a gigantic two-sidedhammer-axe as his weapon.
- Dual Wield:
- Prince Sun-Soo can swap his jian into a pair of short kukris for slicing enemies up close, or collect and use two light swords at the same time. He temporarily lose this skill halfway through in the Otherworld after General Kuun severes his left arm, owing to Gameplay and Story Integration.
- For the villains, General Chen and some slightly higher-ranked enemy soldiers would use two blades at once.
- Fantasy Gun Control: Averted, rifles, missiles and cannons are frequently used throughout the game. Prince Sun-Soo himself can acquire firearms from armouries throughout.
- Gas Mask Mooks: Xao Gon's footsoldiers in carrying out raids are dressed in gasmasks.
- Genre Mashup: Wuxia martial arts Steampunk fantasy.
- Guns Are Worthless: Several of Xao Gon's mooks are armed with guns, and yet their bullets could barely deal as much damage as edged weapons. Firearms also slows down their movements, allowing Prince Sun-Soo to slice them into ribbons - whenever he's facing multiple gunmen you can expect the prince to emerge unscathed.
- Hair-Trigger Avalanche: Xao Gon's labor camp is located on the wintery, mountainous Chinese-Kazakhstan border, and in the subsequent escape mission Prince Sun-Soo and Boo escapes their captors by firing a pair of missiles to the mountaintop. Cue an avalanche with the heroes sliding their way down before escaping.
- Human Pincushion: Right in the first stage's scouting mission, Prince Sun-Soo recovers a near-dead scout intending to warn the castle of Xao Gon's impending attack, only to be skewered by multiple arrows. The same scout managed to warn Prince Sun-Soo "The enemy is coming" before he suddenly turns to a zombie.
- Karmic Death: It doesn't get even more karmic than how Xao Gon gets eliminated. Being the villain who wiped out the Soo Kingdom and enslaved her people, have the noble Prince Sun-Soo Made a Slave after killing the prince's father, and trying to use a Kill Sat to wipe out every kingdom who dares to oppose him — his comeuppance involves getting defeated by the prince in a lengthy boss battle, and his Kill Sat sabotaged by the prince's allies, where the first and only shot fired by said weapon ends up vaporizing Xao Gon.
- Kill Sat: Xao Gon's final trump card is a powerful particle beam satellite called the God's Eye, that allows him to pinpoint any city-sized target on Earth and destroy it. Said weapon is a forbidden technology whose blueprints were supposedly destroyed, but Xao Gon managed to obtain a backup and have it constructed in his lab underneath the Forbidden City, and the final stage have Prince Sun-Soo and the resistance stopping Xao Gon from using it.
- La Résistance: A resistance army consisting of an alliance of rebels, survivors of Xao Gon's initial invasion, Mongols fearing for their country's safety, Shaolin monks and various forces of good stood in the dictator's way. And Prince Sun-Soo need to prove he's worthy of leading them.
- Locomotive Level: The military train leading to Beijing filled with Xao Gon's soldiers, which Prince Sun-Soo and his allies boards to infiltrate the capital city. When his identity gets inevitably exposed the Prince then spends the whole stage beating up every enemy onboard said train.
- Made a Slave: Prince Sun-Soo suffers this fate at the start of the second stage when Xao Gon orders him to be thrown to his prisons. But the Prince meets Boo and formulates an escape.
- Make My Monster Grow: Xao Gon, in the second half of his Sequential Boss fight, where after defeating him the villain then reveals how his dark magic can turn him into a fifty-foot giant with a new health bar, and a new Shockwave Stomp ability.
- Martial Arts Staff: Iron Shaolin bo staffs can be frequently collected as a melee weapon, which excels in range compared to swords or claws. Befitting the ancient Chinese-inspired setting.
- Multi-Melee Master: Prince Sun-Soo fights using everything available in the Stock Wushu Weapons catalogue; swords, axes, flails, arrows, spears, rope darts, both weapons of the light and heavy variety, and even firearms.
- Our Dragons Are Different: A Chinese long capable of speech appears in the valley stage, after destroying Xao Gon's refineries. It firstly swoops past the heroes, giving them a surprise, and then reappears at the end of the stage, revealing himself to be among the Last of His Kind after Xao Gon ordered for the genocide of dragons.
- Our Ghosts Are Different: The ghost enemies in the Otherworld are humanoid, but with a Skull for a Head and are actually vulnerable to Prince Sun-Soo's attacks. It helps that he's a ghost himself in said stage after nearly dying in fighting General Kuun.
- Our Zombies Are Different: Xao Gon's army have numerous zombies, which turns out to be former Soo Kingdom soldiers - infected by Xao Gon's sorcery, they are converted into his zombie minions who attacks their former allies. The unfortunate scout early in the game in fact begs to be killed... only to turn into a zombie and attack.
- Prison Riot: The second stage, "Escape From Prison", have Prince Sun-Soo and his newfound ally, Boo initiating one in Xao Gon's labor camps so they can escape in the chaos.
- Sacrificial Lion: Zhang, one of Prince Sun-Soo's major allies and the oldest among the main heroes, was killed by Xao Gon's last lieutenant, General Li. Cue the Prince defeating Li before making his way to Xao Gon's quarters.
- Shockwave Stomp:
- One of Prince Sun-Soo's power-up attacks, which he can execute if he's armed with the Shaolin iron staff. Hitting it to the floor sends a shockwave that knocks every enemy around him off their feet and deals damage, but drains points from the prince's chi meter.
- Among the villains, General Kuun can create mini-shockwaves using his hammer. Which causes extra debris to drop from above the prince in his boss fight.
- There's also Xao Gon, the Big Bad and Final Boss, in his secondary form, where he turns into a giant and can shake the ground by punching.
- Sickly Green Glow: Zombie enemies and several lieutenants from Xao Gon's army will emit green light from their Battle Aura, when attacking Prince Sun-Soo. In contrast, the Prince's aura is blue.
- Spirit World: The Otherworld, where the dead ends up in. Prince Sun-Soo enters said world when he nearly dies, courtesy of losing his arm from General Kuun's flung ax, where he then spends a stage fighting ghost enemies before meeting his deceased father.
- Slashed Throat: Prince Sun-Soo can execute enemies instantly by slicing their throats.
- Stock Wushu Weapons: As expected from a game whose setting is a steampunk-version of ancient China, Prince Sun-Soo's arsenal includes his trusty jian, chui, qiang, bian, gun, bu. gozhao among others.
- Storming the Castle: Forbidden City, the final stage, which have Prince Sun-Soo and his army raiding the area to hunt down and defeat Xao Gon once and for all.
- Sword Fight: While Xao Gon's lieutenants uses a variety of weapons, his lst lieutenant, Li, is an expert swordsman. Players content with using Prince Sun-Soo's sword can take on Li in an intense sword duel. And of course there's also Xao Gon's footsoldiers, most of them who uses swords.
- Tempting Fate: Prince Sun-Soo's words to his father the Emperor in the prologue.Prince Sun-Soo: Don't worry father, Xao Gon wouldn't dare attack this kingdom.
[they did, barely an hour later, wiping out this kingdom's army, killing the Emperor, enslaving the prince, and proceeding to cut a bloody swathe of death in a lengthy campaign to conquer China over the next few weeks]
- Token Non-Human:
- Wardens Are Evil: In the second stage, an unnamed warden working under Xao Gon executes a random slave for the flimsiest of reasons. Before shoving his boot on Prince Sun-Soo's face.Warden: Enough talking! The prison camp is full with prisoners from Beijing. And we must lose some dead weight.
[shoots a random prisoner in the head, just For the Evulz]
- Warrior Prince: Prince Sun-Soo is a heroic soldier and fighter, battling a tyrant to reclaim his kingdom.
- Wolverine Claws: Several of Xao Gon's elite soldiers have clawed gauntlets on both hands as standard melee weapons, instead of swords or firearms. These are among the fastest enemies, although in a few areas Prince Sun-Soo can obtain similar gauntlets (called "Tiger Claws" in-game) which allows him to slice up mooks with similar speed.
- You Can't Thwart Stage One: The first stage ends with Prince Sun-Soo completely failing to defeat Xao Gon's army, as he gets ambushed by the warlord's lieutenants before being captured alive to be thrown into prison. He then meets Boo, as well as the resistance, leading to the major plot of the game.
- You Killed My Father: Xao Gon killed Prince Sun-Soo's father, the Soo Kingdom Emperor, and the Prince's motivations for the entire game is for revenge.