Oriental Legend (西遊釋厄傳, lit. Journey to the West – Battle Against the Demons) is a 1997 arcade Beat ’em Up video game developed by Taiwan’s International Games System Co., Ltd., loosely – very loosely based on the Chinese literary classic, Journey to the West.
Much like the novel, the game have the player characters as the various disciples of Xuanzang, on their long pilgrimage to the west. But their journey is interrupted when Xuanzang gets abducted by demons intending to feast on his flesh, and the disciples must venture through various locations lifted directly from the novel, including the Lair of the Horned Kings, depths of the Heaven Reaching River, the Cave of Silken Web, and the Mount of Flames, infested with demons and monsters that many fans of the novel would undoubtly find familiar.
The game allows up to four players at once.
A sequel (actually a Stealth Prequel) is released in 2008 (11 years later), which rehashes much of the original’s plot, including re-visiting redesigned stages and bosses, but with new characters added.
Players can select between five heroes (YES, five – even though Xuanzang canonically have only three disciples in the novels and most adaptations, but just roll with it), each of them with their unique weapons and powers that can be unleashed as a Smart Bomb attack:
- Sun Wukong, the ever-iconic Monkey King and the eldest of the Pilgrims, and undoubtedly a fan-favorite. NO adaptation of Journey to the West would leave him out for sure.
- Zhu Bajie, the Pig Man sidekick and Vitriolic Best Buds of Wukong. He’s surprisingly acrofatic and depicted as The Big Guy in-game.
- Sha Wujing, the third of the disciples, a lawful river demon-turned-monk on the side of the heroes. Normally a pacifist, he’s not afraid to go rough on hostile demons.
- Bai Long-ma, the White Dragon Horse who, unlike other adaptations who leaves him Out of Focus, actually gives him the privilege of being a playable character.
- Hsiao Long-nu, the Dragon Girl, the sister of Bai Long-ma and a Canon Foreigner created just for the game. Since she doesn’t have a literary counterpart, she’s probably just there to be the token female playable heroine