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In the distant future, demons have taken over the earth, and only a few people possessing great powers and martial arts skills were able to survive. The young sword-master Lao comes back from his long exile/training in order to stop Rei, his former friend, and end the demonic influence in the world.
Bujingai: Swordmaster, released in some areas as Bujingai: The Forsaken City, is a fairly obscure Hack and Slash game based on Wuxia and set mostly in a post-apocalyptic world occupied by demons. Its main character, Lao, is based on, is voiced by and uses motion capture of Gackt, who also helped write the storyline.
An interesting side note: This is one of the games that ZUN worked on during his nebulous 'day job' as a programmer.
Bujingai contains examples of:
- The Archer: Lao can open his sword's blade and form a magical bow. He even uses the other sword as an arrow when finishing off one of the bosses.
- Arrogant Kung Fu Guy: Rei.
- Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever: The first two bosses. One is a huge humanoid monster which looks like a sort of undead horse, and the other is a sort of lion-monster.
- BFS: Lao's swords, based on a Dadao and a Jian. Also the penultimate boss.
- Blow You Away: The Senranken magic.
- Calling Your Attacks: Lao and Master Naguri yell the name of the spells they cast.
- Came Back Wrong: Yohfa was brought back to life by Rei, but has a Dragon-demon sealed in her.
- The Chick: Yohfa.
- Cool Old Guy: Master Naguri.
- Counter Attack: Lao can block an incoming magical attack by spinning his swords. With the right timing, he can send it back For Massive Damage.
- Death From Above: Tenseiken, the slowest yet strongest magic in Lao's arsenal.
- Death of a Thousand Cuts: Jinbuken summons a barrage of flying blades that surrounds Lao and hit his enemies.
- Dual-Wielding: Lao wields a humongous curved sword in his right hand and a long, straight sword in his left. Rei Dual Wields thin, katana-like sabers.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Imagine Lao as Gackt wearing Chinese clothes, earrings and dark purple lipstick.
- Excuse Plot: Screw the plot!! Just go around hacking away at demons for fun!
- Face Heel Turn: Rei, after witnessing Yohfa's death.
- Final Boss New Dimension: The final battle takes place on a newly created small planet in the/a demon-dimension, which is then sliced in half in order to form a proper platform.
- Final Exam Boss: Both of the last two bosses require you to use basically every skill you've acquired. There's also a sort of final exam stage in the form of the penultimate level (see Platform Hell below), a series of platforms in the demon-dimension with a cloud motif.
- Fireballs: Gouenken!
- Foe Yay: Between Lao and Rei.
- Gainax Ending: Lao beats Rei, but the latter pulls a Not Quite Dead moment and sends Lao into space...followed by the intro video. Interpret that!
- Giant Spider: Some enemies are large, spider-like monsters with the head of a bull and a gaping maw on their bodies.
- Implausible Fencing Powers: So much so that Lao manages to save Yohfa by cutting only the demon inside her.
- In a Single Bound: No kidding, you can double jump, run on walls and even glide from one platform to the next.
- Ink Suit Actor: Lao is Gackt.
- Instant Awesome, Just Add Dragons: The penultimate boss is a gargantuan white dragon.
- Legions of Hell: The demons.
- Lethal Lava Land: One of the levels takes place inside a series of caverns culminating in a volcano.
- Light'Em Up: The Ryuuseiken and Tenseiken spells.
- The Lost Woods: The second level. A bamboo forest, to be specific.
- Mirror Boss: Master Naguri's spirit fights Lao to test his skills.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: While he has no problem using minions, Rei takes on a hint of this during the final battle. If you would lose by falling off the stage, he'll catch Lao and throw him back into the ring (unless your health is almost completely gone).
"Sorry old friend, you'll die by my hand, and mine alone!"
- Our Demons Are Different: Demons are the main enemies of the game, aside from reanimated corpses and Rei, but they're not the conventional western sort of demon.
- Our Monsters Are Weird: The most common demons resemble some sort of flesh puppets with swords and a paper charm on their face. Many of the stronger demons look even stranger.
- Platform Hell: In the last level, you must navigate several platforms above the clouds in order to reach a mystical temple.
- Posthumous Character: Master Naguri and Yohfa, sort of.
- Recurring Boss: The first two monsters and Rei.
- Scenery Porn
- Screaming Warrior: Lao.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: One level is set on a frozen mountain containing a holy temple dedicated to the Si-Ling four deities.
- Spirit Advisor: Master Naguri.
- Temple of Doom: The third level takes place in a multi-terraced temple built into a mountainside. It is infested with demons and has several traps as well.