The Legend of Tianding

by Aethyna
Dec 3, 2021 | 1 Votes | 100 Played | 0 Reviews Your vote
The Legend of Tianding 10 rate The Legend of Tianding lets you follow the exciting exploits of Taiwan’s very own Robin Hood as he embarks on various platforming-based adventures across Taiwan, taking on wealthy merchants who mistreat the common folk and the Japanese imperialists who treat the locals like slaves alike. Play Now Similar Games Played Post a Review

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Summary Plotline Gameplay Community Graphics/ Sound Conclusion


Inspired by what was dubbed as the “Robin Hood of Taiwan”, The Legend of Tianding lets you follow the exciting exploits of Taiwan’s very own folk hero-slash-outlaw as he embarks on various platforming-based adventures across Taiwan, taking on wealthy merchants who mistreat the common folk and the Japanese imperialists who treat the locals like dogs alike.

In addition to offering an “easy mode” for players who just want to experience the story, the game features plenty of fighting styles that you can use to take down foes in spectacular fashion and a Metroidvania-based gameplay where exploration and keeping your eyes peeled for secrets is often very rewarding.


The game focuses on the little-known Taiwanese folklore, a.k.a. the namesake of this game, The Legend of Tianding. Set in 1909 during World War II, after the Japanese have occupied Taiwan in their conquest of East Asia, the story in this game details the exploits of a Robin Hood-like outlaw-slash-folk hero called Liao Tianding.

Not only does he steal from the rich and give to the poor, but he also fights oppressors, whether they are rich folks who collude with the Japanese to amass wealth and mistreat the common people, or the Japanese imperialists who think of the Qing people as slaves to be exploited.

The game follows the legend almost exactly so if you’re already familiar with the legend, you should be delighted with the accuracy.


The first thing you’ll notice about the game is how smooth its controls are. Although you can play the game using the keyboard and mouse, I would recommend using a controller instead if you want to get the full experience, though using the former works just as well. Tianding responds to your every button press and joystick movement really well and it does feel like you’re right there with him taking down the bad guys and jumping across poisonous pits.

Similar to many platformers, there are many challenges that await you as you progress. This ranges from the basics such as jumping or double jumping over gaps or obstacles to wall climbing and sliding. You’ll also be expected to combine actions and movements so as to clear larger gaps or get to a much higher platform.

Tianding also has access to his trusty spiderwire which functions exactly like a grappling hook. Simply launch it at an anchor point where the wire can be used and Tianding can swing across obstacles or even “climb” up a tunnel.

Combos are present in combat as well, giving you the ability to deal devastating damage if you time your button presses just right. You’ll get to unlock new fighting styles and hence, combos, too by finding martial art books.

Tianding also has this piece of long cloth that he often uses like Wonder Woman’s lasso – to wrap around his enemies and sometimes, to steal their weapons. You can then use the stolen weapons, whether it’s a gun, a long bamboo pole, a bunch of rocks, Molotov cocktails, or even an ax, against the bad guys you stole them from. This little gameplay mechanism allows you to experience combat in many different ways, such as being able to get rid of vagrants by pelting them with rocks.

Another great thing about the game is its well-placed checkpoints a.k.a. the tea stations. Some of the obstacle challenges can be a bit tricky to get through and if you do end up dead at some point, know that you won’t need to go back to the beginning to start over.

Being a Metroidvania, the game encourages and rewards exploration by providing the player with lots of secrets to find, most of which end with a nice treasure chest filled with loot. There are plenty of collectibles as well, which grants the player bonuses. You can collect all of them simply by “donating” the cash you earn by beating up foes to the beggars that line the streets. You can even use the money to buy new weapons and gear in Act 2, so don’t give all of them away now.

However, do take note that what collectible you’ll get is completely randomized so you just need to keep at it until you’ve collected them all. Each collectible is history-infused and it comes with a description that can be accessed via the Collectibles tab right next to the map.

After you’ve completed the first Act, you’ll be given an Amulet Pouch that you can bring along amulets, which also grant powerful bonuses Unfortunately, the pouch has limited space (weightage) and you’ll need to pick and choose which to bring.

To be honest, I’m not particularly great at playing this type of game so I’m glad that the game offers an “Easy mode” (a.k.a. the Gentleman Thief mode) for players who just want to enjoy the story – even the boss fights are simple enough! But if you’re looking for a challenge, there’s the Wanted Outlaw mode to keep you on your toes. You can even change the difficulty while midgame, so feel free to switch around as much as you like!

Personally, the best part about the game, in addition to its excellent storytelling and gameplay, is how the game manages to showcase Taiwan’s folklore to people who may have otherwise been none the wiser. I guess I’ve got an extra advantage here since I know Hokkien, which was the language spoken in the game, but I can attest that the localization and translation done here are on-point so you won’t be missing out on anything interesting.

Imagine my joy when I was able to listen to and enjoy the original “song-version” of the folklore in the game itself! It’s just sublime!


The Legend of Tianding is a single-player game so there aren’t any community aspects to it. However, if you’re interested to get together with your fellow players, the game’s Steam page is the best place to be.

Graphics/ Sound

The watercolor art -style used here manages to give the game its vintage-like aesthetics, which I think fits perfectly with the game’s theme and setting (1909 during World War II after the Japanese have taken over Taiwan). The comic art which filled the game’s many cutscenes is very well-done too!

In terms of sound, if you’re into traditional oriental music, you’ll definitely love the soundtrack here in this game. As mentioned, there’s also a part where a Taiwanese bard sang the song-version of the legend in the game and by listening to it all, you can get a nice achievement.


The Legend of Tianding has had received a lot of love from the devs and it shows! Not only does it feature tight, responsive, and smooth controls; the beat ‘em up-styled combat here is incredibly thrilling and well-varied, and the storyline is nothing short of engaging. As a bonus, you’ll also get to learn more about Taiwanese history and folklore through the game’s many collectibles, music, and art. I truly can’t recommend this game enough!

The Legend of Tianding Blog

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by Aethyna Dec 3, 2021
The Legend of Tianding lets you follow the exciting exploits of Taiwan’s very own Robin Hood as he embarks on various platforming-based adventures across Taiwan, taking on wealthy merchants who mistreat the common folk and the Japanese imperialists who treat the locals like slaves alike. The Legend of Tianding: Checkpoint New skill unlocked in The Legend of Tianding The Legend of Tianding: Fighting an elite Read More
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