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Jade Empire
Jade Empire Coverart.png
Developer(s) BioWare (Xbox)
LTI Gray Matter (PC)
Publisher(s) Microsoft Game Studios (Xbox)
2K Games (PC)
Valve Corporation (Steam)
Transgaming Technologies (Mac OS X)
Composer(s) Jack Wall
Engine Jade Empire engine
Platform(s) Xbox, Microsoft Windows XP, Mac OS X
Release date(s) Xbox:

NA April 12, 2005
EU April 22, 2005
JP June 16, 2005
AUS June 30, 2005
Microsoft Windows XP:
NA February 26, 2007
EU March 2, 2007
AUS March 2, 2007
INT February 27, 2007 (Steam)
Xbox Originals:
July 21, 2008
Mac OS X:
NA August 18, 2008

Genre(s) Action role-playing
Mode(s) Single-player
Rating(s) ESRB: Mature (17+)
USK: 16+
PEGI: 16+
OFLC (AU): MA15+
Media DVD, Download
System requirements Microsoft Windows XP[1]
Input methods Mouse, keyboard, gamepad

Jade Empire is an action role-playing game developed by Canadian developer BioWare and first published in 2005 by Microsoft Game Studios as a worldwide release for the Xbox.[2] The later, two-disc Limited Edition contained extra content.[3] On May 10, 2006 BioWare announced a version for Microsoft Windows XP, to be published by 2K Games and developed by LTI Gray Matter, which was subsequently released in North America on February 26, 2007 as a Special Edition.[2] The Special Edition was also released through the Steam delivery system on February 27, 2007 published by Valve Corporation. Jade Empire was released as an Xbox Original on Microsoft's Xbox 360 on July 21, 2008. TransGaming Technologies announced immediate availability of the Special Edition for Intel-based Macs on August 18, 2008.[4]




Jade Empire follows the style of the wuxia genre within a mythical setting inspired by ancient China. The player, who can be either male or female, progresses through an adventure based on traditional martial arts and can discover and develop new fighting styles:[5] martial arts,[6] weapon styles,[7] magic styles,[8] support styles, or transformation styles. Combat is not turn-based, but is in real time, granting players control over how and when characters dodge or attack. In this fashion the player may change styles during combat and possibly initiate a Harmonic Combo.[9]

The role playing statistic system in Jade Empire uses a tri-stat system Body, Mind, and Spirit.[10] These primary stats control the secondary stats of Health, Focus, and Chi (respectively), and the conversation skills of Charm, Intuition, and Intimidation. Focus is used by fighting with weapon styles (such as a longsword or a staff) or by choosing "focus mode", which slows the movements of other characters, allowing the player to attack at high speeds. Chi is a character's spirit energy. The player can use it to heal himself, to charge up a powerful "chi strike" to deal large damage, or to use it as "mana" when casting spells or transformations. Health, focus, and chi can be replenished by collecting power-ups left by defeated enemies in combat or by using Focus Shrines and Spirit Fonts found in the game world. Additionally, certain party members[11] have the ability to add their power to yours—refilling your stats while they remain out of harm's way.

Certain aspects of Jade Empire's gameplay engine, dialogue and quest systems are handled in a way that is very similar to BioWare's Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic games for the Xbox and PC. Players can speak to NPCs in the game's towns and other areas, asking questions for information to learn more about the world, the storyline, and other characters. Many of these NPCs will offer the player side quests that can be completed for experience points and items. These quests often have more than one method of completion depending on whether the player chooses to follow the "High path" (in the game referred to as The Way of the Open Palm[12]) or the "Low path" (The Way of the Closed Fist[13]). The player can respond to questions or take courses of action that are consistent with the philosophy he or she follows; different actions will affect a character's alignment and his or her ability to cast certain spells or equip certain items.

There is also a vertical-scrolling airplane shooter included in Jade Empire as a mini-game, which is triggered by certain events in the storyline. In the mini-game, only the health and chi bars are active. Chi is replenished by shooting enemies, and is used for special attacks specific to the mini-game. The yellow focus spheres will upgrade your primary cannon up to three times. Red health spheres refill your health bar as in the main game.

Jade Empire also features the constructed language Tho Fan developed by Wolf Wikeley, a Ph.D. candidate in linguistics at the University of Alberta.[14]


Much of the game places emphasis on the two major philosophies in the world of the Jade Empire, the Way of the Open Palm and the Way of the Closed Fist. These paths bear a close resemblance to the "Light Path" and "Dark Path" described in the BioWare title Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic; however, a minor character states "I believe there can be intrigue behind the Way of the Open Palm, and honour behind the Way of the Closed Fist". Thus one who follows the Way of the Open Palm is not necessarily good, and one who follows the Way of the Closed Fist is not necessarily evil.

According to the "Way of the Open Palm", the key to maintaining the universe is by being in harmony with nature, one's surroundings, and one's station in life. As an effect of being in nature with one's surroundings, one is expected to actively assist in lessening the chaos in the area, through the assistance of lessening burdens. While this seems "Peaceful", the Way of the Open Palm is strict in another form: one should not act outside their station and purpose in life.[12]

According to the "Way of the Closed Fist", on the other hand, the purpose of life is to follow the ways of serving oneself — to face one's challenges head on, challenge one's station in life, and work to become self-reliant. The emphasis of the Way of the Closed Fist is combat, turmoil, and constantly challenging oneself, which is why many of those who are evil tend to be considered to follow the Way of the Closed Fist, in that they bring about chaos in the universe.[13]

Context plays a large part in the interpretation of these philosophies. For example, an evil follower of the Open Palm path could enable the suffering of others in order to achieve greater order,[12] and a good follower of the Closed Fist path could encourage self-reliance in others, thus making them happier.[13] For instance, if a follower of the Open Palm came upon a peasant being attacked by a gang of bandits, he would help because it is the right thing to do. Conversely, if a follower of the Closed Fist encountered this situation, he would reason that the peasant must survive on their own merit, or die. However, the Closed Fist student might also help the peasant if he felt that the peasant was too far out of his league for such a battle to be a valid test of his strength. For example, if a common thug came upon this situation he may not help the peasant due to concern for his own safety, but then later claim he was merely following the way of the Closed Fist. In this way, the Closed Fist tends to be misconstrued as evil.

Despite the philosophical nuances, the actual game play in Jade Empire for the most part casts Open Palm actions as selfless and heroic, and Closed Fist actions as selfish and thuggish.


Player characters

Prior to starting the game, the player must choose one of either six or seven playable characters, depending on the game version. The sex of the character is by far the most important factor at character creation, since it will determine the various romance options as well as the responses of many non-player characters throughout the story. There are no differences in combat capabilities between the sexes.

The default playable characters are labeled "fast" (Mind specialists), "magic" (Spirit specialists), "strong" (Body specialists), or "balanced." The male playable characters are Furious Ming (fast, tattooed), Lu the Prodigy (balanced, athletic), Monk Zeng (magic, dressed as a Buddhist monk), and Tiger Shen (strong, large & muscular). The female characters are Radiant Jen Zi (fast, diminutive), Scholar Ling (magic, contemplative), and Wu the Lotus Blossom (balanced, seductive). Monk Zeng is only available in the Limited Xbox and Special PC editions of the game. The names of the characters can be customized prior to starting the game. Other than sex-based differences, the Jade Empire plot does not distinguish among the player characters (e.g., all male characters will have the same dialog response options, and will be received the same way by the story). As a minor detail, some NPCs will give a vague description of the player character's appearance.

The player character models all share common expressive traits. Through most conversations, the faces of the playable characters are calm and expressionless. When choosing a rare humorous or witty response from dialog options, a slight, barely perceptible smile appears on the character models. When choosing a mean-spirited or angry response, a much more perceptible scowl shows itself. Many of the pre-generated video cut scenes are rendered separately for each player character model.

Non-player characters

During the course of the game the player will meet various non-player characters. Some will have the willingness to join the player's party and thereby become a 'follower'. Many more characters will not become followers, but will present opportunities for side-quests or casual conversation.

  • Dawn Star, voiced by Kim Mai Guest, is a fellow student of the Two Rivers school under Master Li. She is an orphan with the ability to sense spirits, and the only thing she knows about her past is that she is named after an ominous light, which causes people to be wary of her.
  • Sagacious Zu, voiced by Robin Atkin Downes, is a former member of the Lotus Assassins, who disagreed with the unnecessary slaughter ordered by Death's Hand. He attempts to stay away from trouble to avoid them, but he is drawn into the Spirit Monk's ordeal, often providing valuable insight into the Assassins. He hides much of his past, which includes getting an unnamed child to safety and his role within the Assassins.
  • Sky, voiced by Cam Clarke, is a thief, who has a grudge against the Lotus Assassins and the Empire for the death of his young daughter. He does not like being shackled by society, so he constantly travels, all while looking for his revenge.
  • Wild Flower, voiced by Nicky Pugh, is a young girl, who died during the flooding of Tien's Landing. She is then used by the Heavenly Gate Guardian, Chai Ka, as an anchor to the world, so that he may help the Spirit Monk and safeguard a piece of the amulet. He cares greatly for Wild Flower, and protects her from harm. Ya Zhen, an evil demon with goals of world domination, also inhabits her body in order to counterbalance Chai Ka's existence. The two constantly battle for control, and they manifest from Wild Flower's body in order to fight.
  • Silk Fox, voiced by Masasa, is a mysterious, black-clad assassin, who reveals herself to be Princess Sun Lian, The Heavenly Lily. She works undercover as a commoner in order to seek out evidence that Death's Hand is manipulating her father. A stereotypical rich girl by nature, she comes over as snobbish and a bit naive, seeing her allies as commoners who are only worthy of traveling with her because she allows it. Nonetheless, she enjoys her other side as it gives her the freedom to break away from tradition from time to time.
  • Henpecked Hou, voiced by Josh Dean, is a Bun Master, and a former combatant in the Imperial Arena. He formerly used the "Drunken Master" style of fighting, but the constant consumption of alcohol left him destitute. Eventually, he married his promoter's niece, who quickly became overbearing, and forced him to stop fighting and settle down. He does whatever he can to get away from her, but he is too afraid to leave her.
  • Kang the Mad, voiced by Paul Eiding, is an avid inventor who specializes in making things "fly and explode." He is generally eccentric, not very socially skilled, and quite arrogant about his creations. He does not believe in making improvements, and he instead completely destroys older models before building new ones. He has a very faulty memory, and he has a mysterious connection to Lord Lao's Furnace, which was created by a celestial being.
  • Zin Bu is a high ranking member of the Celestial Bureaucracy charged with keeping tabs on the damage caused by the student and cataloging it to keep the universe in balance. After being replaced by an entire department, he is relegated to trade, and forces the student to purchase wares from him.
  • Black Whirlwind is a dual axe-wielding mercenary known for his short temper, affinity for wine, and his eagerness to kill. He is very simple-minded, he lives to fight, and he often ends up killing the people who hire him.
  • Death's Hand is the mysterious, armor-clad leader of the Lotus Assassins and the Emperor's adviser. He is believed to be fanatically loyal to the emperor. However, the emperor's daughter Sun Lian, has other thoughts about his loyalty, assuming that he is attempting to seize control of the Empire.
  • Abbot Song, voiced by Armin Shimerman, is a deceased Spirit Monk killed during the siege on Dirge. He helps the student restore Dirge and the Water Dragon's power.
  • Master Li, voiced by Barry Dennen, is a humble martial arts master, who trains his prized student for a coming ordeal. He reveals that he is really Sun Li, The Glorious Strategist, the brother of the Emperor said to have been killed as a traitor years before. He is soon kidnapped by the Lotus Assassins, and his student begins to search for him.
  • Emperor Sun Hai, voiced by Armin Shimerman, is the leader of the Empire and the savior during the "Long Drought", which completely crippled the Empire. He eventually stops appearing in public and stays within the confines of his palace, while Death's Hand is very active.


Jade Empire gives the player-character the option to form a romantic relationship with several of the non-player characters, including characters of the same sex. Successfully romancing a character results in them standing outside the player-character's tent on the eve of the battle against the golems, whereupon unless the player chooses to reject them, the player-character and the NPC will lean in to kiss (although if the character is of the same sex, the camera will pan away before the actual kiss itself). Male characters can romance Dawn Star, Silk Fox or Sky. Female characters can romance Sky or Silk Fox. Male characters can also romance both Dawn Star and Silk Fox at the same time. If this is the case, the cutscene and dialog at the tent implies that Dawn Star and Silk Fox spent some time together in their grief and lead the player character off for a menage-a-trois. When romancing a certain character, the opportunity arises to influence his or her way of thinking. For example, the normally calm and collected Dawn Star can be persuaded to stand up for herself and become an altogether less mellow person, effectively following the path of the Closed Fist.



Jade Empire takes place in a fictional kingdom inspired by ancient China.

Tho Fan is a constructed language created by Canadian linguist Wolf Wikeley for the game. The language has been designed to sound ancient and distinctly Asian.[15]

Tho Fan does without the verb "to be"; instead, articles — words like "a" and "the" — would be used to mark tense. In the game, the Tho Fan phrases do not actually match up to their on-screen translations — most of them are actually a set of a few dozen pre-rendered phrases. In fact, the game will often use the exact same audio track to say successive sentences, much akin to Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.


Chapter 1: Two Rivers

The game begins with the player cast as a martial arts student under the tutelage of Master Li, head of the Two Rivers martial arts school, based in the in-game geographical locale of the Golden Delta.[16]

The player's training is interrupted as the town of Two Rivers comes under attack from an aggressor in a strange ship who summons ghosts to attack the student. The attacker is defeated by Master Li, who comes to the student's rescue and reveals that the attacker was a member of the Lotus Assassins, a mysterious force serving the Emperor of the Jade Empire. Gao the Lesser, a rival of the student, issues a challenge for a duel and loses. He is expelled from the school after he attempts to use explicitly forbidden magic on the student. Master Li explains that the student is the last of the order of Spirit Monks. He, a brother of the Emperor and leader of the Empire's army, had ordered an attack on Dirge, where the Spirit Monks' temple existed, in order to end the Long Drought. He claimed to have opposed the act and to have saved the student and the Dragon's Amulet.

He sends the student to a cave beneath the school where he or she finds part of a Spirit Monk amulet and has a vision of the Water Dragon, the entity whose death at the hands of the Emperor ended the decade-long Long Drought but left spirits roaming the land. Dawn Star, one of the students at the school and a friend of the player, is kidnapped by Gao The Lesser. The student rescues her but returns to find the village in flames and Master Li kidnapped. The student, Dawn Star, and Sagacious Zu, a man whom they had met in the swamps around the village, head off in a borrowed flying machine towards the Imperial City, where Master Li has been taken.

Chapter 2: Tien's Landing

The party crash-lands their machine in Tien's Landing and sets out to find a new flier and a wind map that will show them the way to the Imperial City. The new flyer, called the Marvelous Dragonfly, is taken from the base of Gao the Greater, the father of the dead student of the first chapter. Gao the Greater is working with Grand Inquisitor Jia's elite subordinate, Inquisitor Lim, and is distressed to hear of his son's death. The player tracks down and kills him, and recruits Sky, a rogue, and Kang The Mad, Gao's personal engineer.

The party goes to a recently drained area near Tien's Landing, which flooded when the dam was first constructed. The Lotus Assassins opened the dam in order to search the ruins of old Tien's Landing. The student fights Chai Ka, a demon bound in the body of a little girl, and learns that Chai Kai was sent to protect the student and that the Lotus Assassins already have the amulet. The player can then close the dam or destroy the controls, keeping it open forever.

The student then heads to the Great Southern Forest, which is under the ownership of Lord Yun. The player then has the option of helping the Forest Shadow defeat a demon known as the Mother, or helping the Mother's cannibalistic demons destroy the Forest Shadow. In either event, the player can convince Lord Yun that the forest is recovering and get his wind map. Inquisitor Lim will ambush the player at this point; the player kills him and recovers a piece of the amulet.

Chapter 3: Imperial City

The party lands in the Imperial City and meets up with Silk Fox, who is revealed to be Princess Lian the Heavenly Lily, daughter of the Emperor. She is unconvinced that her father is behind the sickness the plagues the land, and believes that Death's Hand, the black armor-clad head of the Lotus Assassins, is responsible. After joining either the Executioners or the Inquisitors, the student's party infiltrates the Lotus Assassin's training ground to recover the last part of the Spirit Monk amulet. Sagacious Zu reveals that he was one of the Lotus Assassins who killed Master Li's family. During their quest, the party helps Master Gang assassinate his superior, Master Shin, making it look like an accident, and puts a corrupted Spirit Shard into a Jade Golem, causing it to malfunction. The golems go out of control, damaging the underground complex. The party battles two Jade Golems and a handful of Lotus Assassins, killing Master Gang in the process. They also find Grand Inquisitor Jia, who reveals that the Emperor knew about what Death's Hand and the Lotus Assassins were doing and had, in fact, ordered them to do it. The player kills her, but Death's Hand arrives. Sagacious Zu sacrifices himself to save the student, burying Death's Hand in rubble.

Chapter 4: Imperial Palace

The party fights their way to the Emperor's throne room where Silk Fox learns of what her father has done. He is aware that the Water Dragon's death is stopping the dead from reaching the underworld but is mad with power. The Emperor knocks down everyone in the throne room with a blast of magic and summons guards to attack the student, who defeats them. The student battles the Emperor, who is able to alternate fighting styles and damage immunities. The student kills the Emperor, but Master Li gets up, takes the Jade Heart for himself, and kills the student.

Chapter 5: Spirit Monk Temple

The student wakes up in the underworld as a spirit. The Water Dragon reveals that Sun Li had planned this all along; he wished for the Water Dragon's power and needed to obtain the amulet and defeat Emperor Sun Hai. The student meets up with the spirit of Abbot Song, who tells him or her what truly happened at Dirge. He reveals that Sun Li wore Death's Hand's armor and killed the abbot when he tried to stop him and his brothers. The brothers arrange for Dirge's fountains to be tainted with human blood, weakening the Water Dragon, and Emperor Sun Hai killed Sun Kin when he and Sun Li attempted to oppose him. Abbot Song then reveals that one of his order attempted to escape with the student, but Sun Li, who had escaped from Sun Hai, killed the student's guardian and assumed his identity. The player and Abbot Song make their way through Dirge and learn that an evil being has taken control after the fall of the temple. The student reaches the place where the Water Dragon was slain, and defeats aspects of his or her darker emotions. The student then returns to life, and the rest of the party, who learns about this through Dawn Star, flies to Dirge to reunite with their friend.

Chapter 6: Defending the Temple

While the student was dead, Sun Li realized that action would have to be taken in case the student managed to return to the realm of the living, and he retrieved Death's Hand from the rubble of the Lotus Assassin headquarters. He then sends the Imperial Army against Dirge. Sky pretends to betray the group, and lures Death's Hand out so that the student can defeat him in single combat. However, this is not enough to defeat him; Death's Hand rises again, but the student uses the force of his will to expel Sun Li's influence. The player may then release Death's Hand, use him as a slave, or convince him to seek redemption.

Chapter 7: Back to the Palace

The party flies back to the palace to confront Master Li, now the Emperor. As they make their way through the palace they discover that Emperor Sun Hai had stopped the drought by cutting open the Water Dragon's corpse and letting the water that flows from it feed the Empire. The student chooses either to destroy the Water Dragon's body, thus freeing her spirit and allowing the dead to find the underworld, or defile the water to weaken the Dragon and claim her power after defeating the new Emperor.

The student reaches Emperor Sun Li, who first sends Constructs of Bull and Elephant demons, the most powerful in the game, after the player. Sun Li then encases the student in stone and attempts to defeat the player with the force of his own doubt. However, if the student's companions survived, they will reduce the number of enemies that must be fought in each of the two stages. Sagacious Zu appears and helps free the student from his mind.

Emperor Sun Li offers to help his student live in legend forever, if the student dies without fighting. If the player makes this decision, the student is remembered as a hero for knowing his or her place as Sun Li looks on and laughs. If the player does not, Sun Li attacks, and the student defeats him.


If the student chooses to free the Water Dragon's spirit, then the end sequence shows the people of the Jade Empire cheering the student and their party. If the student chooses to enslave the Water Dragon, the end sequence shows the Lotus Assassins kneeling at the feet of the student. After this end sequence, there are short text summaries detailing the fate of any characters who survived the adventure. These vary depending upon whether the student chose to enslave or free the Water Dragon, and also what romance options the student pursued.

Dawn Star: She either settles down with the student, settles down on her own, rules the empire with the student, or if the student talked her into a Closed Fist philosophy and/or abandoned her, wanders the Jade Empire alone.

Silk Fox: If the student does not romance Silk Fox, she will become Empress of the Jade Empire. If the student does romance Silk Fox and the student is male, the student and Silk Fox will rule the empire fairly, or with an iron fist. If the student is female, Silk Fox will either rule the empire fairly with her 'companion,' or will again rule with an iron fist, and both the student and Silk Fox don the Silk Fox costume to silence dissenters.

Sky: Sky will use the Guild for good purposes, or serve as the student's consort or as the new Death's Hand. If the student romances Sky, they leave the imperial city and live on the outskirts of Tien's Landing, unless the student is male, in which case they continue on their adventures through the Jade Empire, not complacent to settle down in one place.

Black Whirlwind: Black Whirlwind will roam the empire cutting off heads, eventually making his way around the world.

Henpecked Hou: After a series of mishaps, Hou starts a delivery business which he immediately uses as a method of escaping his overbearing wife.

Chai Ka: Chai Ka will either return to the heavens, freeing Wild Flower and giving her the gift of life, or he will remain trapped in Wild Flower's body causing her to wander the empire as a raving lunatic.

Ya Zhen: Ya Zhen will either serve the student until he or she passes away (resulting in him moving to bigger plans) or serve the student forever and loyally.

Death's Hand: Death's Hand will either become more evil, mutating so badly that his armor cannot hold his demonic form, or he will spend the rest of his days wandering the empire as a crusader for good, in order to make up for his past misdeeds.

Kang the Mad: Kang will continue to invent machines until an explosion appears to take his life, although strange machines continue to appear on the student's doorstep every year on his or her birthday. As Lord Lao, Kang's lack of danger affects his imagination in building machines, so as a radical solution Kang starts arming the mobs that chase after him. If the player chose the Closed Fist ending, Kang works for the emperor(player), worrying his use will eventually be worn out and he will be disposed of. Eventually, he crafts a portal to another dimension and disappears in a huge explosion, taking an entire lake with him.

A third, alternate ending is available if the Student agrees to the terms of surrender presented by Sun Li in the final confrontation. The ending sequence features a statue of the student being praised years later by a class of children with a skin condition similar to that of the Lotus Assassins. One child asks what life was like before the protagonist's honored sacrifice and is quickly shushed by his teacher as a Jade Golem readies an axe to quell such questioning. The sequence ends with Sun Li laughing evilly, as the decision to surrender has ultimately led to misery and corruption in the Jade Empire.


Limited Edition

A 'Limited Edition' of Jade Empire was available for those who pre-ordered the game, except in Canada where all copies were Limited Editions. Eventually, they would appear on all store shelves. The Limited Edition version has a different box art than the original. It has a red, reflective background instead of the sky blue, and the words "Limited Edition" were printed on the bottom of the name. This version of Jade Empire was packed with an extra disc that contained the data for the character model Monk Zeng, a magic type character, a "Making of" video by G4, and three game demos: Forza Motorsport, Conker Live & Reloaded, and MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf.

Special Edition

The Windows XP version of Jade Empire is known as the 'Special Edition'. It is based on the Xbox 'Limited Edition', and also includes the Monk Zeng character but not the Tien's Justice weapon style (both of which are available in the Limited Edition described above). Changes from the Xbox version includes increased resolutions up to 1600x1200 (1920x1200 in Widescreen), new special effects and redrawn textures, two new martial styles (Iron Palm and Viper), a new rhino demon transformation, new monsters, new high level weapons, an improved AI with enemies able to take cover more often; a new "Jade Master" difficulty level, with ability to import save games; a new world map interface; and keyboard and hotkey support. It also contains a bonus art book and poster.[17] Windows Vista is not a supported operating system.[18] The game runs without problems in Windows 7 64-bit.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 89/100[19]
Metacritic 89/100[20]
Review scores
Publication Score A[21]
Computer and Video Games 9/10[22]
Eurogamer 8/10[23]
Game Informer 9.5/10[24]
GamePro 4.5/5
GameSpot 8.4/10[25]
GameSpy 5/5[26]
GameTrailers 8.6/10[27]
GameZone 9.8/10[28]
IGN 9.9/10[29]
X-Play 4/5[30]

The Xbox version of Jade Empire received positive reviews from most critics. Garnering a 89% from Metacritic, based on 84 reviews, indicating generally favorable reviews. On Game Rankings the game also received an average score of 89%, based on 98 reviews.

IGN praises Jade Empire as "A completely original universe, hard hitting combat, accessible controls, and the story in an RPG on Xbox".[29] The graphics were also commented by IGN stating, "Environments are beautiful and the characters are real enough to fall in love with", though it was criticized by its slight camera issues. Gamespot states that Jade Empire gives "Open-ended role playing involves you in the storyline and fosters replay value" though was poorly received due to its unbalanced Combat system and lack of depth and challenge.[25]

Like the original version, the Special Edition has also been criticized for being too short and for having rather easy battles using a simplistic battle system,[31] getting an average review score of 80% according to Game Rankings.[32] Other criticisms included a lack of cheat codes, and the ease of changing your alignment (hence changing the ending) at a point near the end-game which effectively discounts any good/evil deeds you've done for the majority of the game.[33]


In 2005, senior staff at BioWare suggested the possibility of a sequel;[34] however, on January 2007 BioWare staff stated there were no plans to develop Jade Empire 2.[35] Despite this denial, hints of Jade Empire 2 have surfaced as recently as December 2007.[36]

A part of an interview for GTTV published on GameTrailers website on November 13 2009 was tagged "Jade Empire strikes back". In this part Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka said a sequel was "something they thought about" but they had "nothing to announce".[37]


  1. ^ "Windows system requirements". BioWare. Retrieved February 15, 2007. 
  2. ^ a b "Game Info and Support". Retrieved May 15, 2007. 
  3. ^ "Q&A with Ray & Greg". Retrieved May 15, 2007. 
  4. ^ "TransGaming Enables BioWare's Jade Empire Special Edition for The Mac". 2008-08-18. Retrieved 2008-08-18. 
  5. ^ "Fighting Styles". Retrieved May 15, 2007. 
  6. ^ "Martial Arts School". Retrieved May 15, 2007. 
  7. ^ "Weapon School". Retrieved May 15, 2007. 
  8. ^ "Magic School". Retrieved May 15, 2007. 
  9. ^ ""Harmonic Combos". Retrieved May 15, 2007. 
  10. ^ "Abilities". Retrieved May 15, 2007. 
  11. ^ "About Agents". Retrieved May 15, 2007. 
  12. ^ a b c "Jade Empire Philosophy: Way of the Open Palm". Retrieved May 15, 2007. 
  13. ^ a b c ""Jade Empire Philosophy: Way of the Closed Fist". Retrieved May 15, 2007. 
  14. ^ Do You Speak Tho Fan? It's All the Rage in Jade Empire - NY Times
  15. ^ The New York Times > Arts > Do You Speak Tho Fan? It's All the Rage in Jade Empire
  16. ^ "World Regions". Retrieved 2005-05-15. 
  17. ^ "Jade Empire: Special Edition Updated Impressions - New Graphics, New Features". 2006-10-27. Retrieved 2007-05-15. 
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ a b;read-review
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ a b
  30. ^
  31. ^ "Jade Empire: Special Edition PC Review Index, Jade Empire: Special Edition Reviews:". 2007-02-23. Retrieved 2007-05-15. 
  32. ^ "Jade Empire: Special Edition Reviews (PC)". Retrieved 2008-11-30. 
  33. ^ "GameSpy: Jade Empire (Special Edition) Review:". 2007-02-23. Retrieved 2007-05-15. 
  34. ^ "Xbox Evolved Interview". Retrieved July 6, 2007. 
  35. ^ "BioWare Staff Comment". Retrieved July 6, 2007. 
  36. ^ "Jade Empire 2 on the horizon". GamerNode. Retrieved December 31, 2007. 
  37. ^ "GTTV Episode 228". GameTrailers. 13 November 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2009. 

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Jade Empire is a role-playing game by Bioware.

Spoiler warning: Plot, ending, or solution details follow.


The Player

(Note: these are only choices that the player can potentially make)

  • [to Kai Lan the Serpent, suggesting that Black Whirlwind fight him in his or her stead] There have been other substitutions. Mine won't be the first.
(Note: This quote refers to Kai Lan replacing one of the Guild's fighters with a Toad Demon in an earlier match.)
  • [to Sun Li]: You were a great teacher. It is a shame that your skill was wasted on evil ambition.
  • [to Captain Sen, before Aishi the Mournful Blade kills him] If I help you, you'll only tell the others what I've done. I have to let you go.
(Note: The player is repeating Captain Sen's excuse for not saving a child whose drowning he caused when he and Aishi were children.)
  • [CF player about Gao the Lesser] Empty threats. Let him argue with the worms.

Dawn Star

  • [going CF] I should... I should fight more. I should spit more. I should slap the princess in her smirking face, and I should... I should...I should look at you without fear of what might happen, because if I grow to need you and if you *leave*, ancestors help me, you will regret it.

Master Li/Sun Li the Glorious Strategist

  • Sometimes all you will learn in defeat is that you have been defeated.
  • Your abilities have grown immensely. But it also does my heart good to see that you remember the basics of what I taught... even the flaws.
  • [on Death's Hand]: You know who he is, but what he is defies you, defies your skill. He is more than Sun Kin ever was.
  • [last words] You surprise me yet again. I'm a better teacher... than I thought...

Sagacious Zu

  • Oh dear. This will be unpleasant for someone.
(Note: The player has found out that a merchant's wife that he/she rescued is not the "Fen" that he was searching for. "Fen" is soon revealed to be the merchant's ox.)
  • I have little use for morals, but honor?
  • It would be a great inconvenience if we were all suddenly slaughtered.
  • Your best is not always enough. That's why it is used as a comforter after failure. "You tried your best, but death consumed the nation anyway. Sorry."
  • [last words] I wasn't looking for victory... just a few seconds...
(Death's Hand has mortally wounded Zu, but has also damaged the support pillars, causing the chamber to collapse on both of them and allowing the player to escape.)
  • I have moved with you, hidden, trying to keep focus. I give you all that I am, all that I was. Restore what has been corrupted.

The Black Whirlwind

  • My fill? I have been sated from battle, but never filled!
  • If there is no wine, there should be fighting!
  • [When the Whirlwind is killing Lotus Assassins atop the Temple of Dirge, a voice sounds every 20 kills, possibly that of a god... or just in his own head]
    • Untold Slaughter!
    • Bringer of Pain!
    • Destroyer of Lives!
    • Just Kill the Golem Already, would you?
  • Hahaha! Come to my axes! All of you!
  • That racket is distracting me from the cries of my enemies. Sky better have a good reason for ringing that bell.
  • [upon entering the Lotus Assassin's fortress] These Lotus Assassins really aren't all that tough; they're just trained well. I've seen men a lot tougher than this run scared from a fight, but not these guys. They're like well-trained dogs, and just as dangerous... though they smell slightly better, and I'm willing to bet they wouldn't taste as good over a plate of rice. Damn it, now I'm getting hungry... and thirsty. Let's get this finished so I can get something to drink.
  • So we serve Gang until we find the information we need? I'd rather fight the golem army. That would draw out their leaders, whether Death's Hand or the Emperor.
  • [to the Overzealous Lotus Acolytes] You look to be worth about a silver and a half. What do we need to prove to you?
  • [Acolyte threatens] A foolish, foolish mistake. You have no idea.
  • [reaction to Master Gang] He thinks it's too tough, but impossible odds make the best fights.
  • [after Master Gang uses the word "machinations"] He thinks we will die. That means there will be fighting. I like him.
  • [in palace]I always figured if I saw the Emperor it would be for my own execution. 'Course, the day's still young.

Wild Flower

  • [after Master Gang uses the word "machinations"] He uses big words, but he seems small. He lets others fight for him.
  • The Guardian says for me to be cheerful, and to not repeat what he says all the... oh.
  • [to the overzealous Lotus Acolytes] Bullies will meet the Guardian... or worse.
  • I think Mister Gang is a jerk.

Chai Ka

Ya Zhen

  • What do you want? I owe you a great deal for freeing me. This body should serve well... as long as it lasts. Your mortal fates are such interesting things. Such amusing toys. But if you get what you seek here, and your ambition is realized... remember a faithful servant. Ha! And if you fail... well, then I'll have your soul to toy with, anyway, as with this girl
  • [at the sight of the cut open Water Dragon] I marvel at the mind that came up with this. To cast his gaze so far above his station to his own makers is... admirable.
  • [battle with Chai Ka inside Wild Flower's mind] Grr... he presumes to trap us, too. He is too strong to fight alone, but you can use the strength of your followers. What else are they good for?
  • [pre Dirge battle]I don't like these odds, but death is not as final for me as it is for you, so what do I care?

Kang the Mad

  • I am Kang the Mad. I make things explode, and I make things fly, and I'm very good at both. The things I fly tend to survive. The things I explode... not so much.
  • You handled the guards well, with your punching and kicking. I was going to make more of an explody thing, but the kicking worked well, too.
  • Next time I hide something, I'm packing explosives around it. Explosives shaped like silver bananas! Stops thieves, monkeys and monkey thieves in one fell swoop.
  • The things I fly tend to survive. The things I explode...not so much.
  • If you stage a combat related accident for Gao, like say, falling down a flight of punches, I'll replace the inductors on the Dragonfly and we can fly away!
  • You are sure to profit from this partnership. In fact, I've never accidentally exploded anyone traveling *with* me, so that alone is a benefit of my presence.
  • Interruptions... who designed that Dragonfly... build something to make his sandals explode...
  • Well, it's much like the dilemma of the centipede. If he relaxes and lets things happen, he can walk naturally all day long, his hundred legs not missing a step. But, if he thinks too hard about the complexity of what he's doing, those legs might crash into the teahouse and kill everyone. A valuable lesson.

Henpecked Hou

  • That was astonishing! I haven't seen such martial skills in an eatery since the last time I added ginger to my wife's hot and sour soup!
  • It would seem we have our work cut out for us. But as my darling wife likes to say, when things are tough... quit your whining and get to work.
  • As I mentioned, I am but a simple bun master, with a dear wife who has turned my life into a miserable cesspool devoid of humor and excitement. Bless her soul.
  • Life is not all bad though. I may have lost all my dignity and self-respect, along with my ability to fight or even make a tight fist, but I am a bun master of some renown.
  • You’re beginning to sound like my wife. Where were you last night? Why were you talking to that woman? Why do you smell like a goat? Always with the questions!
  • I still can't believe it's that easy to become a Lotus Assassin. If I had known sooner I would have joined their ranks as soon as possible. It would be brutal work, with little reward, and there's a good chance I'd die a hideous, painful death, but it couldn't *all* be better than married life... could it?
  • [on being bound to the character] While my duties don't seem to have changed much, I find this form of servitude even more degrading than the kind my gentle wife imposes.
  • [upon entering the Lotus Assassin fortress]I've seen many things in my life that scare me, many of them with you, I might add. This place terrifies me. My knees are shaking so badly I'm going to have bruises. These Assassins are very well trained. They obey without question, pay no heed to their pain or their needs, and they work tirelessly for their masters, with little reward. Come to think of it, they live a life much like mine. But then, they don't have to share a bed with my wife

Silk Fox/The Heavenly Lily/Princess Sun Lian

  • Notice the painted face? This one only pretends at beauty.
  • [upon entering the Lotus Assassin fortress] I hate the assassins. Can't they see the strings that pull at them? They are unquestioning, and even believe they do my father's bidding by following Death's Hand


  • [upon entering the Lotus Assassins fortress] I never expected to see the inside of this place, and, frankly, I wish I hadn't.

The Water Dragon

  • You are meant to learn, but not too much. To see, but not too clearly. To succeed, but not completely.
  • If you fail in your destiny, your true enemy falls with you. And if he falls, so do we all. You must win, but in doing so, you will lose.
  • [when the player has learned her true identity] Names are fleeting, given so you kind can point and say "That is mine." All words... names, history, dreams... they die on your lips.
  • [when guiding you through the underworld] I am the Water Dragon, Guardian of the underworld and shephard of the dead.

Other characters

  • Gate Guard: [regaining consciousness] Ugh... my head feels like a war drum, and the battle did not go in the Empire's favor.
  • Minister of Culture's Servant: [to the player] Your physique seems exceptional. Clearly you are a peasant- a noble could afford sloth.
  • Lucky Cho: You should have won that fight, Zheng, but you suddenly developed that blind spot, didn't you! Did the glint of silver get in your eye?
  • Emperor Sun Hai: In my youth, I ruled dutifully, but nature does not respect titles.
  • Pirate: Oh, certainly! We'll just sit back and let you stroll upstairs to kill our leader! Would it help if we drew you a map to his room?
  • Forest Shadow: [chuckling] I had not thought to drop a mountain on my ancient foe, but your kind is always so resourceful.
  • Minister Sheng: Woe to Minister Sheng, that his only ally is an uneducated simpleton!
  • Student Lin: You could just be pouring honey in my ears, but that's not half as fun as other places it could go
  • Student Lin: [to male player] "Am I interested in you defeating me again, like you so often do? Oooh, of course I am! Imagine the gossip if we keep "studying together."
  • Gao the Lesser: So you are at their beck and call? A service animal for those too weak to protect themselves. An endless, foolish road to go down. There are always victims, always weaklings. You could live a thousand lives, and still someone would be begging for your help
  • Yaoru: [upon being called a pompous ass by the player] Your jibes can nary prick the armor of my pride; they are blunted barbs forged by the sputtering flames of your lesser intellect.


  • Sing: [referring to her husband's precious ox] "Do I have to slaughter that thing for you to show me some attention?"
  • Merchant Hing: "No dear"
  • Sing: Are you lying again?"
  • Merchant Hing: "No dear"
  • Sing: "Are you listening to me?"
  • Merchant Hing: "No dear"
  • [SLAP!]
  • Forest Shadow: "So, my ancient foe is dead'"
  • Player: "I'd have given my life to see that abomination dead."
  • Black Whirlwind: "I'd have given your life too. It's a fair trade!"

Cook Teh & Dishwasher Wong - Tien's Landing second conversation

  • Cook Teh: "Oh, again you are here. What is it now? Maybe you need directions? I have a few for you, that's for sure."
  • Dishwasher Wong: "Don't trust him. His directions usually start out friendly but end up with a spatula in someone's nose. Why would anyone want to know how to do that?"
  • Cook Teh: "Thank you, Mister Wong. Thank you for over-explaining the intricacies of my wit. Implied threats are ever so much more effective when they are no longer implied!"

Cook Teh & Dishwasher Wong - Tien's Landing third conversation

  • Cook Teh: "What is this, the third time you've bothered me? Go tell the customers in the teahouse their food will be late because of someone's nosy tour."
  • Dishwasher Wong: "He doesn't really mean that. I mean, if everyone showed up in town, sure, there would be some delay, but most people eat at home, you know?"
  • Cook Teh: "Mister Wong... you are an imbecile."

Cook Teh & Dishwasher Wong - Tien's Landing fourth conversation

  • Cook Teh: "Do thugs like you think you can just walk back here for food anytime? If I wanted *human* interaction, I'd have a kiosk in the square! Or maybe a trough."
  • Dishwasher Wong: "Why a trough? We don't feed the animals, Mister Teh. That's handled by the farmers."
  • Cook Teh: "Step back, Mister Wong. You just... step back."

Cook Teh & Dishwasher Wong - Tien's Landing fifth conversation

  • Cook Teh: "You again? I really don't have time for you. How about you come back in a week. Maybe a season would be good."
  • Dishwasher Wong: "We can talk while we cut the vegetables, Mister Teh. We can make time if they need something."
  • Cook Teh: "Mister Wong... I hate you."

Cook Teh & Dishwasher Wong - Tien's Landing sixth conversation

  • Cook Teh: "Oh, more interruptions. Look, I don't have any work, I don't need anything fetched, and I don't have any lost relatives for you to rescue!"
  • Dishwasher Wong: "You said your nephew was lost. You don't want help finding him?"
  • Cook Teh: "Lost cause, Mister Wong, I said he was a lost cause. The boy was spoiled by my sister and.... Why am I telling you this? Just... go away."

Cook Teh & Dishwasher Wong - Tien's Landing seventh conversation

  • Cook Teh: "Did I not just speak with you? I have no patience for this. I am not here to amuse you."
  • Dishwasher Wong: "And yet you are so often funny. Thank you for your levity, Mister Teh."
  • Cook Teh: "Shut up, Mister Wong."
  • Dishwasher Wong: "Ah, another fine joke. I love them all."

Spirit Monk mistrusting Sky

  • Spirit Monk: "You can come... but I'll be watching you!"
  • Sky: "I assure you, I will be as devoted and capable as any of your other companions."
  • Kang: "Ha! If I could harness all that hot air, I could make a furnace to power the whole of the Imperial City! If you're done with all the talking, I have to go make the Dragonfly ready for some flying."
  • Shipeng: "Yes, yes, and yes! Ha ha! My skill and suavity as a merchant triumphs once more. Master Jiang will be pleased!"
  • Dawn Star's response: "What an odd little man. It is as if a rat and a monkey mated." [laughs]
  • Sagacious Zu's response: "You know, there are several diseases that will result in a person appearing mad. They usually result from inbreeding or lack of cleanliness."
  • The Black Whirlwind's response: "This little man makes my eyeballs itch. I may have to kill him."
  • Sky's response: "This fellow may have taken a few too many blows to the head."
  • Wild Flower/Chai Ka's response: Mortals can be so strange at times..."

The Black Whirlwind - about to join, conversation with Dawn Star

  • The Black Whirlwind: "Well, you and me and Little Miss Magenta here. Maybe she can distract our foes, flash a little leg."
  • Dawn Star: "Would you like to see the damage these legs can inflict firsthand?"
  • The Black Whirlwind: "Hmm. Feisty! I like that.

The Black Whirlwind - about to join, conversation with Sagacious Zu

  • The Black Whirlwind: "Well... you, me, and the fellow with the dark hands and dark looks."
  • Sagacious Zu: "I already tire of this fool. Keep him away from me if you want him to stay alive.

The Black Whirlwind - about to join, conversation with Sky

  • The Black Whirlwind: "Well... you, me, and the pretty boy. You must be wealthy to have your own eunuch."
  • Sky: "Ha! You're going to fit right in. You must like to dice, correct?"
  • The Black Whirlwind: "Sure! Can't say as I'm very good at it, I can never remember the rules....

The Black Whirlwind - about to join, conversation with Wild Flower

  • The Black Whirlwind: "Well... you, me, and the kid. I hope she's well trained."
  • Wild Flower: "You smell funny.

The Black Whirlwind - about to join, conversation with Henpecked Hou

  • The Black Whirlwind: "Whoa... almost didn't see the little guy. Is he with you, too?"
  • Henpecked Hou: "Yes, I am, you great behemoth. Looks like I'm going to need a lot more supplies if I'm supposed to keep you fed."

Other characters' quest logs

Note: During later sections of the game, you take control of other characters than the PC. They each have goals in the quest log.

Silk Fox

  • Dawn Star - You've led Dawn Star down to aid Kang at the bridge, and while she's certainly competent, you'd feel bad letting one of the peasants die on your watch.
  • Keep the Farm Girl Safe - While she has been through a lot, you're certain Dawn Star still can't take care of herself.

Black Whirlwind

  • Defend Dirge from Sun Li’s Troops – Golems, assassins… whatever. If it’s foolish enough to get close, you’re foolish enough to kill it. The courtyard seems clear enough, but you never know what sort of delicious and intoxicating goodies might be stored around the place. They’re monks after all...
  • Make Your Way Into the Temple – Your victory has bought you a moment of time to look around the temple courtyard, if you wish. When the bun master’s whining gets too shrill, you should make your way to the temple to make sure everything’s fine.
  • Daily Reminder – Since I keep forgetting where I put everything the night before, I’m writing this checklist to myself... to help me get through mornings.
1. Do you have your axes? If not, you’re probably dead.
2. Do you have your clothes? Are you wearing them? If you don’t see your clothes nearby, you’ll probably never find them, so don’t waste time looking. If you really need clothes for some reason, take what you need from the nearest dead bodies.
3. Are you in a bed? Is there someone with you? I’ve learned from past mistakes, waking up with someone usually ends badly. Get your clothes and leave quietly.
4. Is anyone still alive nearby? Don’t be shocked. Sometimes I pass out before I start fighting. Since the people nearby probably won’t be up for a fight for some time, it’s best just to move on and find another place to stay for the day.

Sun Kin

  • One Chance – For years you have been enslaved to the power of the Water Dragon, but now a flicker of hope exists to break free of enslavement as Death’s Hand. You may be the youngest brother, but you were always a match for your siblings in battle.
  • Fight for Your Freedom – You have a chance to break free with the help of the last Spirit Monk. Fight for it!


The Airing of Grievances
Being a collection of the indignities suffered by Minister Sheng at the hands of the backward shanty town of Tien's Landing:
His hat has been soiled
A parchment was stolen from him before a speech at a community gathering
His cat was viciously threatened
A chair at his table was placed backward
His finger was slammed in a door, not once, but thrice
An egg was thrown at him by an unknown assailant
His cart was stolen, filled with soiled garments, and then returned
His face was ridiculed by young children
His prized tonberry was squashed
It was suggested that he perform acts of deliberate indecency upon himself
He was forced to suffer the interminable and petty gripes of the people
His hair was accused of being impermanent and false
The honor of his family was impugned
He suffered a disabling attack by a pack of bees
His reputation was maligned by brigands. Brigands!
A local dog evacuated in the Minister's shoe
He was given a gift of turtle eggs by a visiting merchant
It was suggested that he would be able to trace his lineage to a simple courtesan
He was referred to as "smelly"
He slipped in mud, no doubt placed in his path by jealous townsfolk
Sailors burned down his office

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Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Jade Empire

Developer(s) BioWare
Publisher(s) Microsoft Game Studios (Xbox), 2K Games (PC)
Release date April 12, 2005 (NA)

April 22, 2005 (EU)

June 16, 2005 (JP)

June 30, 2005 (AU)

Genre RPG
Mode(s) Single player
Age rating(s) ESRB: M
Platform(s) PC, Xbox
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough




Dawn Star, Sagacious Zu, Sky, Wild Flower(Chai Ka), Wild Flower(Ya Zhen), Silk Fox, Henpecked Hou, Kang the Mad, Zin Bu, The Black Whirlwind, Death's Hand(Sun Kin)(if bonded to player), Abbot Song, Master Li(Sun Li),


Emperor Sun Hai, Death's Hand(Sun Kin), Master Li(Sun Li), Gao the Lesser, Gao the Greater, Grand Inquisitor Jia, Lotus Assassins



Hidden Fist, Leaping Tiger, Legendary Strike, Spirit Thief, Storm Dragon, Thousand Cuts, White Demon


Dire Flame, Ice Shard, Horse Demon, Paralyzing Palm, Stone Immortal, Tempest, Toad Demon


Double Axes, Golden Star, Long Sword, Twin Hams, Dragon Sword, Flawless

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