"The Mystical Immortal 迷之仙人 (mí zhī xiān rén)"
Who is he:
Ever watched "X-Men" the movie? Remember the villain femme fatale known as "Mystique"? Well, here's the SGS version of Mystique! Without doubt one of the most interesting but controversial characters in SGS, Zuo Ci is currently the most popular character in the Hills Expansion Pack. But who is the real Zuo Ci, and why does he have X-Men like abilities? Alas, that question is very difficult to answer!
In the information available about Zuo Ci, be it on Wikipedia or on sites about Chinese "history", Zuo Ci has very little factual information left today. Whatever facts there are, they are diluted in the vast quantities of myth that surround this strange old man. For example, Zuo Ci was said to have lived to 300 (!) years old, and can walk through walls. There! See?? David Copperfield was not the first to walk through the Great Wall after all!!
Character ability 1: "Shapeshift 化身 (huà shēn)"
After everyone has selected their character cards, you select two unused character cards randomly from the deck. Select one of these two characters and place it before you, then state one of that character's abilities (excluding Single-use ability, awakening ability and ruler ability). You will obtain the stated ability, the allegiance, and the gender of this character until you have replaced it. At the beginning and end of each turn, you can replace the character with another character and/or re-state another ability.
Character ability 2: "Germinate 新生 (xīn shēng)"
For every 1 unit of damage you receive, you can acquire another new character card for "Shapeshift".
Ability's relation to story:
A wonderful link to the story... err... myth. Zuo Ci was said to wield the ability to shapeshift into anything. According to both historical texts and ROTK, he used this ability to escape from Cao Cao 曹操. When Cao Cao sent his troops to arrest Zuo Ci, he concealed himself among a flock of sheep. The game mechanics allowed the immortal to "shapeshift" as other characters, using their abilities freely in the game. To learn more about Zuo Ci's strange abilities, read my previous post on Mystic Cipher.
The phrase "新生" literally means “new life” in Chinese. It was said that he told his apprentice that he would make a mystical potion in the mountains, and he left this world as an immortal afterwards. However, the game mechanics do not grant Zuo Ci the ability to resurrect like Pang Tong, but he can get a new form to shapeshift instead. For this reason, this ability was initially translated as "Metamorphosis", to show the ability of “getting a new form” while suiting the literal meaning. On the other hand, I felt that the game creator was alluding to the biological ability to regenerate and grow. I think of it as chopping a leech in two, then ending up with two live leeches instead, double the trouble! Thus I translated this ability as "Germinate" instead.
Additional info based on story:
Most famous achievement - Teasing Cao Cao with his sorcery, which forms the basis of this character's ability. Zuo Ci was said to be able to transform into sheep, or into any other person on the street. Eat that David Blaine!!
Cause of death - Unknown. Perhaps he isn't dead. He's supposed to be immortal... right? *Eyes that sheep in the zoo suspiciously*
Zuo Ci Wiki