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Friday, December 9, 2011

Zhōu Tài 周泰

Posted by Ricky Chua On 11:14 PM No comments

What's with the cartoon?
They can't show the original portrait of Zhou Tai being pierced by spears! It's a kids game for goodness' sakes! So let's make it more family friendly by piercing him with a kitchen knife, bread knife, fork, and a plunger just for good measure. Sheesh!

Who is he:
If there was a commando spirit in any of the Three Kingdoms characters, it would be Zhou Tai. If I had my way, I would rewrite his description as "Never say die". He began his military career as a pirate-convert under Sun Ce 孙策, but Sun Quan 孙权 quickly took a liking and requested Zhou Tai be transfered over to his command. It was from then on that Zhou Tai would save Sun Quan's ass many times from certain death. In one significant scenario in the story, Sun Quan asked Zhou Tai to remove his clothing during a banquet and show his battle scars for all those present. Zhou Tai remembers the battle behind every scar, most of which he earned valiantly serving the cause of the Sun Quan's Wu Kingdom. It is thus that Sun Quan treats Zhou Tai as one of his most trusted and capable generals, as kin as a brother to him.

Character ability: "Refuting Death 不屈 (bù qū)"
When Zhou Tai's health reaches zero (brink of death), one playing card must be flipped from the deck and placed on his character card. Zhou Tai is not considered dead at this point and the game continues. Whenever he loses an additional unit of health from here on, an additional card will be further added on top of his character card. As long as none of these cards have the same "number" (ie: from ace to king), Zhou Tai will remain alive. Whenever there is a card or more placed on his character card, he will always be considered as being on the "brink of death".

1. Can the card displayed after Zhou Tai's health reaches zero be "tinkered" with by Si Ma Yi 司马懿 or Zhang Jiao 张角?

Ans: No. It is not a judgement card and cannot be changed by these 2 characters.

[Added Feb 2011] 2. Can other players use PEACH 桃 on Zhou Tai when he has "brink-of-death" cards displayed?

Ans: Only under specific circumstances. Other players can only use PEACH on Zhou Tai when:
(a) When Zhou Tai receives damage
(b) Right after a "brink-of-death" card is flipped.

3. What happens when another "brink-of-death" card has a number that matches one of the other cards already displayed?

[Updated Feb 2011] Ans: Zhou Tai DOES NOT die immediately. Instead the other players have the option of using PEACH to save him, or he can use PEACH or WINE 酒. Once saved, the most recent "brink-of-death" card can be discarded.

[Added Feb 2011] 4. Can Zhou Tai use PEACH or WINE in his turn to remove "brink-of-death" cards, even though he did not receive damage?

Ans: Yes. 

5. What is the largest number of health units that Zhou Tai can have in total before he dies?

Ans: 16!! 3 units of health deducted the normal way plus a possible 13 different cards can be displayed without any repeating number.

Ability's relation to story:
His ability "Refuting Death" is a wonderful match from the story! Many times Zhou Tai risked life and limb to save Sun Quan, each time getting injured and cut up but he survives! This ability is a tribute to the Zhou Tai that "never says die".

Additional info based on story:
1. Most famous achievement - Immense bravery in rescuing Sun Quan at the battle of Ru Xu Kou 濡须口之战. Upon the failure of Sun Quan's attack, he found himself surrounded by enemy troops. Zhou Tai had already dashed to safety, but seeing that Sun Quan was nowhere to be seen, dashed into the chaos of battle once again. He told Sun Quan to follow behind as he slashed a path out to safety. Yet Sun Quan was once again surrounded very quickly and all seemed lost. Zhou Tai dashed into battle a second time, but this time the enemy was raining arrows on them. Zhou Tai told Sun Quan to dash straight out to safety as he covered to rear this time. They succeeded but Zhou Tai was injured in numerous places in his body. But that wasn't the end. After Sun Quan was safe, he dashed into the chaos a third time to rescue Xu Sheng 徐盛 successfully.

2. Cause of death - Zhou Tai died of illness at an old-age. It is estimated that he was 62 years old at the time of his death. 


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