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Video Game / Swordsman

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Swordsman is a Free To Play Wuxia MMORPG created by Perfect World Entertainment. It is based on a Chinese novel by the same name.

You are living peacefully in a small village... until one day, it is attacked by bandits. Entrusted with the sword the bandits are after, you try to run away on the village elder's orders - only to be caught and almost killed. Luckily, you are saved by Lynhu Tsong - a senior disciple of the Splendor school. Thus starts your quest to avenge your village and find out what's really going on. Along the way, you'll become entangled in complex rivalry plots between the schools, master lost techniques, and more.


The game has an interesting 'class' system where an early quest has you joining one of the schools. Each school has its own skills and weapon, providing different playing styles. Furthermore, each school has three different styles that you unlock as you level up, each with its own skillbar.

Swordsman contains examples of:

  • Academy of Evil: Most named Eminence school characters that you come across fall under Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy at best. They're behind the attack on your village and it only gets worse from there.
  • Action Girl: A female Player Character. Some Non Player Characters also qualify.
  • An Adventurer Is You: An interesting example where most schools offer some mix of the archetypes, often via style switching. For example, Wu-tang's default style makes you into a mage-tank with good AOE, shields and some minor healing capabilities. Their second style is closer to traditional melee DPS, while the third style has them as a full-blown Kung-Fu Wizard who fights unarmed and uses chi to control the sword.
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  • An Ice Person: Any school with Ice boost.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Zoh Tin, the guy behind the attack on your village. Son of his school's Grandmaster, Dirty Coward and Jerkass extraordinaire. His cohort Tin Mien also qualifies, as do many other 'bad' guys.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Several schools teach unarmed combat, but if you join Shaolin monks, you can become a literal Bare-Fisted Monk.
  • BFS: Joining Wu-tang will have you running around with a claymore that is almost as big as your character is tall. Curiously, those don't look as big on Wu-tang NPC models.
  • Big Damn Heroes: If not for Lynhu Tsong, you wouldn't have survived past the first five minutes of the game.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Tien Bokgan, the self-proclaimed 'world's most handsome thief', who isn't as irresistible as he thinks he is.
  • Combat Medic: Members of E'mei and Infinity schools have some healing abilities and can function as support.
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  • Cool Sword: Several schools use those.
  • Dirty Coward: Zoh Tin, who keeps making his cohorts ambush you instead of fighting you head-on.
  • Doomed Hometown: The Lone Sword village.
  • Dueling Dojos: The conflicts between the schools play a major role in the plot.
  • The Gunslinger: House Tong uses guns, and you can too if you join them.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Any school that teaches swordplay is likely to bestow these.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Zephyr school uses fans as weapons.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted with Chiu Fayan, who is killed right right in front of you. Also, it's explicitly stated that the bandits who attacked your village killed everyone, including women and children.
  • Instant Expert: Shortly after the beginning of the story, you stumble upon the writings left behind by the 'Lone Swordsman'. It takes you all of... 10 seconds to read them and learn the techniques described. You also learn your class skills at about the same speed, even if the dialogue implies that you had to train for it.
  • Interesting Situation Duel: While Roof Hopping, while jumping up a pagoda, on a burning ship...
  • Ki Manipulation: The game points out that what looks like magic to the uninitiated is actually chi manipulation.
  • Knife Nut: Sun and Moon cult members Dual Wield daggers.
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: If you join a school that specializes in both chi and unarmed - like E'mei - then you'll be this. Notably, all schools teach chi techniques along with martial combat, and even weapon-centric schools often have an unarmed-combat style, so it's highly likely that you'll end up as some flavor of a Kung-Fu Wizard anyway.
  • Magic Knight: Even styles that explicitly revolve around fighting with a weapon often involve a healthy dose of chi manipulation.
  • Master Swordsman: Special mention goes to Splendor school, which specializes in swordplay, but other schools that use swords - like Wu-tang - qualify as well.
  • One-Man Army: If one can fight, they're either this or a member of the Red Shirt Army.
  • Player Punch: The destruction of your village aside, there's also the Chiu Fayan death scene that happens right after you offer to take her with you (she was supposed to stay behind) and she accepts because "I know that I'm safe with you". Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! indeed.
  • Playing with Fire: Any school with Fire burst.
  • Roof Hopping: In some cutscenes. There are quests that require you to do this as well.
  • Simple Staff: E'mei and Shaolin have this as their weapon. Though the Shaolin version consists of three parts and can be dis- and reassembled at will.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: Duh.
  • Three-Point Landing: Done by Lynhu Tsong when he rescues you in the beginning.
  • Whip It Good: Five Venoms cult members use whips as their weapons.
  • Wuxia: To the core.

Example of: