Theory Of Nothing

or Just Theory

The Incorruptible Warrior

A free Chinese online game, The Incorruptible Warrior, was so overwhelmingly popular during its 3-days-long live-testing that its sever has been shut down for upgrading. On 25 July 2007 – its first day of live-testing – more than 300 people registered. This number multiplied with astonishing speed. At Sina.com alone, more than 100,000 downloads of the game were made. 3 days later on 28 July 2007, the server was so congested that players could no longer log in to the game. After all, the server was originally designed for only about 500 online players at any one time.

What is it about this game that is attracting so many players? In a cyberspace flooded with countless free online games, the popularity of the game is surprising and noteworthy because the technical quality of the game is certainly less than mediocre. The executable file is only 78M, the pictures are crude, the scenes are spare, the copyright is suspect with its massive amount of borrowing from other famous Chinese computer games, it has only one server and that is unstable to boot.

Maybe the widespread interest in the game has to do with its premise, which is arguably an intriguing one. The player takes the role of the hero in the game as an “honest and upright official” whose assignment is to weed out corrupt officials, along with their mistresses and children. This is achieved by using weapons, wizardry and torture to kill them. The conventional method of putting them in jail is not an option in the game.

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There are 165 characters taken from history. On the hero’s side are the famously upright officials such as Hai Rui, Lord Bao, etc. Opposing the hero are the notoriously corrupt officials such as Zhao Gao, Huo Shen, etc. The corrupt officials’ different degrees of power or corruption are indicated by the gauge levels over their heads.

When the hero kills a corrupt official, he gains experience points. For example, the hero gains 100 experience points for killing the eunuch official, Wei Zhongxian. As the hero accumulate expereince points, he increases his powers for “Combatting corruption,” “Moral character” and “Degree of being corruption free,” instead of the typical “Life,” “Strength” and “Magic” in most other games.

The hero’s ultimate goal is to reach the “Honest and Corruption-Free Paradise” where “the birds sing, the flowers give out fragrance, the people are full of love and harmony, the nation is prospering and the world is calm and peaceful.”

Here are some Netizens’ observations and questions about the game:

– The characters and scenes are crude, perhaps even cruder than games such as Celestial Sword from 10 years ago.

– The monsters are always either “son of corrupt official” or “daughter of corrupt official.”

– Even if an official is corrupt, is it necessary to kill his children?

– Why do the “mistresses of corrupt officials” walk around in bikinis? Why do they have to fight without proper clothes?

– There are options for adding values and purchasing equipment. Is this one of those “free” games that make money off the value-added services?

– A lot of the material is taken from other famous Chinese computer games such as Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Legend, etc. Does the fact that the government created this game mean that copyrights do not have to be respected?

Interestingly, the financial sponsor of the game is the Communist Party Disciplinary Committee of the Haishu district in Ningbo city, China.

(Link)

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Thursday, 2 August 2007 Posted by | Game, Internet, News, Pop Culture | Leave a comment