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Friday, December 9, 2011

Demi-God Lǚ Méng 神吕蒙

Posted by Ricky Chua On 10:48 PM No comments
What's with the cartoon?
This is just a cutesy version of the original portrait, but this time holding a heart-shaped lollipop which is symbolic of his abilities.

Why is he a Demi-God:
I wish I had an answer to this question that I am whole-heartedly convinced with. Unfortunately, I do not. "Divine Enlightenment" is an exaggeration of Lu Meng's studious discipline, where he turns from a military brute into a learned minister. His remarkable improvements are due to his own hard work and there was nothing divine about his new found enlightenment. Perhaps by giving this character a tinge of divinity, he rises to join the immortal Demi-Gods? Of course, my aim is not to pick the minor faults of this game, given the huge amount of literature references in all the cards combined.

Character ability 1: "Browse Through 涉猎 (shè liè)"
During the drawing phase, Lu Meng can choose to carry out the following action to replace the drawing of cards: Flip over 5 cards from the top of the deck and take 1 card of each suit (max 4 cards: 1 heart, 1 spade, 1 clubs, 1 diamonds). Discard the remainder.

Character ability 2: "Strike at the Heart 攻心 (gōng xīn)"
During the action phase, Lu Meng can view all the on-hand cards of 1 player. He can then pick 1 card with a suit of "hearts" from this player's on-hand cards and display it for every player to see. After doing so, Lu Meng can chose to either discard this "hearts" card or place it at the top of the deck.

Ability's relation to story:
"Browse Through" is the very phrase that Sun Quan 孙权 used to advise Lu Meng to read more and be knowledgeable. Of course, Sun Quan's intention was not to turn Lu Meng into a PhD, so he only advocated browsing through as many books as possible to get a wider breadth of knowledge. Using a wordplay on the ability name, Lu Meng can now "browse through" the first 5 cards of the deck and take his pick. Very nice fit!

"Strike at the Heart" is also another wordplay. In his attack on Jing Zhou 荆州, Lu Meng used psychological tactics to defeat Guan Yu 关羽. He "attacked" the hearts of the civilians of Jing Zhou by treating them well and with respect. It was thus that Guan Yu's troops began deserting him.


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