The Legend of Tiandeng

Legend of Tianding is about a mythical Taiwanese hero

So here’s a bit of a history lesson: when Taiwan was under Japanese colonial rule in the early 1900s, one of the most celebrated figures who emerged from the period was Liao Tianding, a Robin Hood-esque figure who supposedly butted heads with the authorities, stole from the rich and gave to the poor. To the Japanese authorities back then, he was merely a common criminal, but in later years was revered as a folk hero in the country—even becoming a symbol against oppression. His legendary exploits—a few real, others loosely based on his infamy—are now some of the stories that are being told in the country.

And now one of these tales is The Legend of Tianding, a side-scrolling beat ‘em up that’s set in Taiwan in 1909s, with you taking up arms as the folk hero himself. Along with exploring the streets of colonial Taiwan, you’ll get to pummel your enemies—from guards and soldiers to even unscrupulous businessmen—with a flurry of fast-paced kung fu and quick maneuvers, while executing a variety of combos with handy weapons. Rather than just button mashing, it seems that all these need to be performed in time against your opponents’ attacks, so you can counter them at the right moments. 

Abilities-enhancing talismans—a good luck charms of sorts used by both Buddhists and Taoists in real life—can also be equipped, which can bolster stats like helping you recover health more quickly, or take less damage. And of course, like the numerous legends surrounding Tianding, you’ll also get to rob the rich and feed the poor. 

Tianding’s exploits are all presented in a comic book-style frame and panels, which means that everytime you land a punch, onomatopoeia like “peng!” and “pow!”, albeit in Chinese, can be seen. Now put Tianding on your long lists of Asian superheroes that you should look for.

The Legend of Tianding will be released—and with English subtitles—on 28 October.