Hello, and welcome to the third article in my new series on The Story Arc: Make a Musou. I love Dynasty Warriors, the number of times I bring it up, and the multiple Musou related articles I’ve written should be proof enough of that. However, I am currently in a Dynasty Warriors drought as I have no interest in Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires, so I thought it was time to flex some creative writing.
But what could I do? When it comes to Dynasty Warriors content you can find whatever you want online already. For the past twenty years, the internet has been filled with character analyses, essays on the storytelling, and gameplay deconstructions. I don’t have much to add when talking about Dynasty Warriors itself. However, there is one question that everyone has had at one point in time: “What if ___ was a Musou game?”
That’s right, it’s time to pretend we’ve gone back to the Tumblr days when imagining your ideal game and talking to people about it wasn’t cringe! I have asked my friends to give me a list of franchises, and I will make a Musou roster out of each and every one of them. Last time I made a Musou roster out of the Pokemon franchise, this time I will he picking a franchise that is much, much smaller
This week on The Story Arc, we shall be making a Musou roster out Thunderbolt Fantasy! One of my favorite currently airing dramas!
How we’ll be designing the movesets!
Now, we must discuss how Musou Movesets typically work if we are going to create a wide variety of them. If you have already read my pieces on making a Batman Musou, Pokemon Musou, or Sakura Wars Musou, you may skip ahead to when we start talking about how many characters our roster will have. First, let’s go over the basics of each character’s normal attacks. You all likely know how Musou movesets work on a basic level; you string together combos consisting of light attacks and heavy attacks. However, there is a pattern that movesets typically follow that I feel need some explaining.
Pressing light attacks once and then heavy will knock enemies directly in front of you in the air, allowing for a juggle or for you yourself to transition into an attempted combo.
Pressing light attack two times and then a heavy will perform an attack that while not super powerful will hit enemies close to you, generally on your left and right.
Pressing light attacks three times and then heavy will perform an attack that, while not your strongest, will hit a wide range of enemies.
Pressing light attack four times and then a heavy will perform an attack that is either straightforward or will move you slightly forward
Finally, pressing light attack five times, and then triangle will perform an attack that does plenty of damage in a short range, the perfect attack for enemy officers.
These are the foundations of a basic Musou moveset; however, there is more to explain and think of for our roster.
The bar you have been seeing below or next to the health bars in this footage is the Musou gauge. Once it is full, you are able to unleash your most powerful attack: a Musou attack. So we’ll need to think of a Musou for everyone.
Next, we have the trickiest part of our roster, the R1/RB button. The R1/RB button is used as a weapon switch in mainline Dynasty Warriors, but various spin-offs have used it as a button that activates a unique skill or attack for a character. These attacks can span from being very average to something atypical, so thinking about each character’s uniqueness will be hard.
Finally, we’re going to incorporate something that main modern Musous and Musou clones have, skill attacks. Holding down a button will give you an option of activating a skill. Most of these are just buffs like increased attack or speed; however, many Musous gives characters extra moves via skills. As we want to make this hypothetical game seem as appealing as possible, we shall come up with 3 skill attacks for each character.
And that’s everything! 5 Normal combos, a musou attack, a unique skill, and 3 skill attacks for each character. As we go into this, I won’t describe what each and every character’s individual combos will be but rather just how we imagine them playing with a few combo examples. I will mostly focus on describing every Musou, unique, and skill attack we come up with. A fair warning as well that I won’t talk about some characters as much as others, thinking of a variety of different movesets is difficult
With everything about how we will go about this explained, let’s move on.
Our Roster Size
Before we get into picking our characters, we first need to figure out how big the roster could be. While a true dream would be everyone playable, we’re going to have to be realistic with this. Other licensed Musous started with rosters of these sizes
Berserk Musou – 8 characters
Arslan Musou – 16 characters
Dragon Quest Musou – 13 characters + 1 DLC
Touken Ranbu Musou – 15 characters
One Piece Pirate Warriors – 15 characters
Now, while Thunderbolt Fantasy is slowly growing in popularity, it is undeniably still a very niche show. As such, giving it a large roster wouldn’t make a lot of sense, so we’ll be aiming for something on the smaller end of the spectrum. Our Thunderbolt Fantasy roster will have 10 characters, no more, no less.
With all of the out of the way, we can finally get into talking about the characters!
Character 1: Shang Bu Huan
Of course the main character of the series is the first character we put on the roster! That’s just how these rosters go, with the first four or five picks being really obvious before we need to start thinking up crazier characters. With that out of the way, let’s talk about Shang himself.
Shang’s moveset will be very quick and precise. Most of his heavy combos won’t involve swinging his sword multiple times after hitting the triangle button but rather one nearly deadly slice. Unfortunately for me, that means describing these in words will be exceedingly difficult.
As a first heavy combo, Shang will slice his sword vertically and launch enemies in his range up into the air.
As a third heavy combo, Shang will sheath his sword and then draw it again, causing a large slash to damage a wide range of enemies.
Shang’s Musou attack will have him pull out the Jie Huang Jian and move around rapidly, destroying any enemies unlucky enough to be around him and sealed within the Forbidden Prison of Absolute Desolation.
Shang’s special skill will reference an attack that isn’t in our moveset for him. He will throw and catch his sword causing it to be surrounded by electricity, however instead of charging forward at enemies like in the show we will instead make this a buff where for a brief period of time his attack will have an electric effect that spreads damage from one enemy to another.
For a first attack skill, we’ll have Shang pull out a hat and throw it forward at enemies at a speed high enough to damage them. Those of you who have watched the second Thunderbolt Fantasy movie know exactly why I wanted to write this attack.
As a second attack skill, Shang will pull two bamboo sticks from the ground and smack enemies with them a few times before they break.
Finally, for a third attack skill, Shang will simply punch the closest enemy in front of him. He became a master of everything, after all, and that includes close ranged combat.
With our main protagonist out of the way, let’s move on to his longest lasting and most important companion!
Character 2: Lin Xue Ya
Our next character is the Enigmatic Gale, Lin Xue Ya. Putting him on this roster was a no-brainer as he’s one of the central characters of the series but thinking up a moveset for him will be difficult as he’s not the type of character who typical fights, although the situations the cast gets in do require him to fight sometimes so we’ll try to create a moveset from those times.
Lin’s light attacks will involve using a sword; however, his heavy combos will make use of his pipe and smoke as I want to put emphasis on the trickster element of his characters.
As a third heavy combo to hit a wide range of enemies, Lin will blow into his pipe, and smoke will spread and damage enemies.
As a fourth heavy combo to move forward slightly, smoke will push Lin forward as if he is flying into enemies.
Finally, as a fifth heavy combo, Lin will just smack an enemy with his pipe and deal a large amount of damage to them.
For his Musou, a blue aura will appear behind Lin as the sun shines down on him before he dashes forward and slices through several enemies in his path.
For a special skill when pressing R1, Lin will turn into fog for a second, allowing you to move away from enemies without being hurt. This wouldn’t be very helpful in most situations but could be a lifesaver in certain situations.
Lin’s first attack skill will cause rocks to fall from the sky, crushing enemies around him as he gives a smug look as if he placed them as a trap.
As a second attack skill, Lin will throw a bone boomerang into the air and summon a skeleton bird to come down and attack enemies.
Finally, as a third attack skill, Lin will pull out a nendoroid of himself and toss it at enemies. Why? Because Lin Nendoroids exist in this universe and I needed to reference it somehow.
And that was the Enigmatic Gale! It took everything in me not to name him Vape Duck in this article, so let’s move on to our third character before I change my mind about that!
Character 3: Lang Wu Yao
Our third character will be everyone’s favorite: the Wandering Sorcery Ballad: Lang Wu Yao! Lang thankfully made thinking up a moveset for him as easy as not only does he use a sword, but he also has his trusty instrument. Ling Ya with him that we could make a music centric moveset out of!
Lang’s light attacks will make use of a sword, whereas all of his heavy combos will involve using his instrument and music in some form.
Lang’s second heavy combo to attack around him, Lang will strum his instrument, two and two small shockwaves will knock enemies away from him.
For his third heavy combo, Lang will toss Ling Ya on the ground and strum him once, sending a single shockwave at a wide range of enemies.
As a fourth attack skill, Lang will strum his instrument and send a razer sharp shockwave forward at enemies.
Lang’s Musou will have him get on his knees and begin rapidly strumming the strings of Ling Ya, causing shockwaves to devastate all surrounding enemies.
For his special skill, Lang will jump forward spinning, allowing him to escape from enemies if you are surrounded at low health.
Lang’s attack skills will be fewer attacks and more various types of buffs for a musician character to have. As a first skill he will play the first few notes of Roll the Dice and get a brief speed buff, as a second skill he will play the beginning of Crescent Cutlass and get an attack buff, and as a final skill he will play the start of His/Story and get a brief defense buff.
That’s our third and final main character out of the way! These three characters are the faces of the franchise, so all three of them being on the roster isn’t surprising, our next character, though, is less important for a lot of the series.
Character 4: Juan Can Yun
I know very few people who are truly Juan fans, but he was pretty relevant in season 1 and season 3 of the show, so it would feel wrong not to have him in the roster. He also fills out a niche that every Musou game needs: a spear user!
The unfortunate part of him being a spear user is that because all of the most iconic Musou characters are also spear users, there are very little iconic things we can do with him. To the point that I don’t really feel the need to go over specific combos for him, if you have played any Musou game, you know exactly how he will play.
Juan’s Musou attack will be super simple but in character for him. It will be a difficult looking spear attack where he tosses the spear from his hands to his feet and swing it, damaging enemies in front of him and causing sand to fly up and hurt foes not directly hit by the spear.
For his special skill, we’ll have Juan close his eyes for a second to meditate before he gains a double speed buff for a short period of time.
While we have had all of Juan’s normal attacks involve his spear, his attack skills shall all involve using a bow. While he himself doesn’t use a bow in the show, this would be our way of homaging his mentor, who did use one.
As a first attack skill, Juan will fire one arrow forward toward enemies, not exactly fancy, but it would be damaging.
For a second attack skill, Juan will fire some arrows into the air that will rain down on enemies around him.
Finally, as a third attack skill, Juan will call on his wife Dan Fei to come save him. She will perform a sword combo on enemies before vanishing. I had considered giving Dan Fei a slot on this roster, but her role in the franchise has grown miniscule since the first season of the show.
Believe it or not, Juan is the last hero on our roster. I know I usually fill these rosters with a lot of heroes and only a few villains, but with how Thunderbolt Fantasy is structured it makes a lot more sense to focus our roster more on villains, anti-heros, and anti-villains. So let’s move on to our first villain slot!
Character 5: Xing Hai
Our first villain in the roster! Xing Hai has had a major presence in the show that has only been increasing as the series goes on and will likely still have a major role come Season 4, so she was guaranteed a slot on our roster.
Thinking up a moveset for her was difficult, but once I decided how she would play, things became relatively simple. For her light attacks, she will harm enemies with a whip, whereas her heavy combos will involve using magical attacks. To make a comparison to mainline Dynasty Warriors, think of a mashup between Diaochan and Zhang Jiao.
For her second heavy combo, she’ll whip her uh, whip to the left and right of her, and cause two flame pillars to appear and damage enemies.
For her fourth heavy combo, Xing Hai will whip the ground and send rocks flying forward at enemies.
As a fifth heavy combo that will deal devastating damage to enemy commanders, she will wrap her whip around the enemy’s neck and pull them closer to her.
Xing Hai’s Musou attack will have her summons several demons from the ground to slice at any nearby enemies before they vanish.
For her special skill when pressing R1 as Xing Hai she will whisper something and surrounding enemies will get pink hearts over their heads as they have been seduced to her side, allowing you to attack them without them fighting back.
As a first attack skill Xing Hai will spread cloth in various directions and pull enemies close to her, allowing the players to easily transition into combos.
Xing Hai’s second attack skill will have her stretch a cloth to the sky and swing around on it, kicking down enemies to damage them as she moves.
Finally, as a third attack skill Xing Hai will use a mirror shard to teleport a short distance and begin to whip enemies.
Xing Hai was a pretty simple character to come up with a moveset for once I knew what I wanted to do with her. Our next character, however, was actually the one who gave me the most trouble in the writing process.
Character 6: Screaming Phoenix Killer
The Screaming Phoenix Killer isn’t exactly necessary for a Thunderbolt Fantasy roster but I felt like it would be fair to include him as he had half a movie focused on him and his presence in season 1 of the show is unforgettable. In a roster of extraordinary people, his moveset will be incredibly simple; both his light attacks and heavy combos will just involve using his dual swords, the tools of a killer.
The Screaming Phoenix Killer’s first heavy combo will have him slice his swords upwards to knock enemies into the air and then allow the player to juggle them with more light attacks.
A third heavy combo is always easy to think of for dual sword users like this. The Screaming Phoenix Killer will spin once horizontally and hurt any enemies unlucky enough to meet his wrath.
For a fourth heavy combo to move him forward slightly, the Screaming Phoenix Killer will spin vertically and slice through those in his path.
In a roster full of people using magical techniques for their musou attacks, the Screaming Phoenix Killer’s musou will be disturbingly simple. He will stab his swords into the closest enemy in front of him and hold them there for a second, doing devas damage.
If you were to press R1 as the Screaming Phoenix Killer his weapons will briefly get covered in a purple aura, for this small period of time attacking enemies will give them a poison effect that will eat at their health. While the Killer himself never used poison, a character in his movie did.
As a first skill attack, the Screaming Phoenix Killer won’t slash with his swords, but enemies will still be hurt by nonexistent slashes. This was the only way I could think of to represent how he is always thinking of how to kill people as he speaks to them.
For his second attack skill, the Screaming Phoenix Killer will appear to split in two because of how fast he’s moving and attack an enemy from two different directions.
Finally, for the Screaming Phoenix Killer’s third attack skill, he’ll throw one of his swords into a nearby before running toward the corpse to reclaim it.
I love the Screaming Phoenix Killer, but he really didn’t make my job easy, being the last character I finished writing in this roster. Thankfully, it’s all uphill from here, so let’s move on to our next villain.
Character 7: Mie Tian Hai
Seven characters in, and we’re only now introducing our final season 1 character. I will admit I do have a bias toward the structure of season 1 of the show, even if the entire series is fantastic. Anyway, the Bones of Creation, Mie Tian Hai was the main antagonist of the first season of the show and although he wasn’t as complex as later villains he left a very good impression as the series first villain, I had to put him on the roster! I envision Mie as the Lu Bu of our roster with huge attacks that do massive damage so that when he appears as an enemy, the player knows to panic
For his first heavy combo, Mian Tian Hai will jump into the air while spinning with his blade drawn before plummeting to the ground and decimating any enemies within range.
Mian Tian Hai’s second heavy combo will have him take a stance, and the ground around him will explode and damage enemies nearby.
As a fourth heavy combo to attack directly in front of him, Mie Tian Hai will shoot a laser from his sword the will pierce through enemies.
Mian Tian Hai’s musou attack will be Demonic War Force: Hellborn Rebelion. A massive purple aura will appear behind him briefly, and the sky will darken before he rushes forward into enemies, causing an explosion that covers the whole screen before things turn to normal
For a special skill when pressing R1 for a brief period of time a dark aura will surround Mie, if attacked in this small period of time he will teleport behind the enemies the hit him and perform a devastating stab to their back.
He’ll be sharing his first attack skill with Lin because well, this guy really had only a single fight in the show itself where it was against Lin, and they used several of the same attacks. It’s near impossible to think of a moveset for both of them without having them share some attacks. Anyway, the attack itself will be him throwing a bone boomerang into the air and a skeleton bird swooping down to attack nearby enemies.
For a second attack skill, we’ll have him swing his sword, and an X shaped beam will fly forward at enemies.
Finally, for a third attack skill, we’ll have him summon Lie Mei to attack a few enemies before vanishing. Because she’s a popular character but not one who I feel deserves a spot on this roster.
Mie Tian Hai is a villain I loved to watch but couldn’t think up a super unique moveset for, in complete contrast to our next villain who I hated to watch but was able to think of a great gimmick for!
Character 8: Xiao Kuang Juan
We’ve finally moved on to season 2 villains! Some of you may think Xiao Kuang Juan is a very odd pick for our roster as he isn’t really a fighter. Well, you’re right there; however, I thought of a cool gimmick for him that would make him work with our roster! He shall be wielding the Night of Mourning; for those unfamiliar with the show, it’s a sword that while it doesn’t hurt people, it puts them under your control.
Yes, Xiao won’t be attacking himself at all in our moveset for him but rather commanding other people to do it for him. I imagine him having four zombified minions around him at all times as you move
For his first heavy combo, Xiao will have two of his minions run to his side and slash at enemies to his left and right.
As a third heavy combo, Xiao will have his four minions rush in four directions in front of him, slashing enemies in his way.
Then, for fifth heavy combo, Xiao will have all four of his minions surround and stab whatever enemy is directly in front of him, an attack that would be utterly devastating to commanders.
For his Musou, the camera will zoom in on Xiao’s glasses only to quickly zoom out again and show that he now has fifty minions surrounding him. They will all run amuck for a few seconds before the camera zooms in on Xiao again, and they disappear.
For his special skill, after pressing R1, Xiao will let out a laugh, and his minions’ attacks will get a wind element effect to them for a short period of time. Causing their attacks to knock enemies back even further than usual and keep Xiao safe
As a first attack skill for Xiao, we will reference the other important aspect of his character, the fact that he is a thief. He will pull treasure out of his pocket and quickly examine it, but deem it worthless and toss it at enemies.
For his second attack skill, Xiao will have one of his minions grab an enemy and have another stab through both of them.
Finally, as a third attack skill, Xiao will slowly walk forward and slice at enemies a single time. A weak attack but one oozing with style.
I hate Xiao with a passion, which makes him a great villain, but he isn’t exactly main villain material. Season 2 of the show had a much larger threat to deal with by the end, so let’s go over one of the best characters in the franchise!
Character 9: Lou Zhen Jie
This character is the entire reason I gave a spoiler warning at the beginning. Yeah, this character was the entire reason for that. Him being relevant and a villain is pretty predictable, him being Gen Urobuchi’s dungeons and dragons character inserted into this show? That is amazing. Lou is most people’s favorite villain in Thunderbolt Fantasy because of his menacing presence and the cool fights he has been involved in, so let’s turn those fights into a moveset shall we.
For gameplay, Lou shall be wielding the drill sword he had in the third season of the show. Although it feels more obvious to give him the Seven Blasphemous Deaths from season 2, I couldn’t think of a good way to make him play unique from everyone else while wielding that beautiful blade.
The first heavy combo of his moveset will have Lou strike his drill upward in front of him and knock enemies into the air.
Lou’s fourth heavy combo will have him jump forward and try to bash enemies’ heads in with the side of his drill.
As a fifth heavy combo, Lou will grab the closest enemy and drill into them, a deadly and precise strike.
Lou’s musou attack will be the Prison Inferno Vortex. He will gather magical energy from around the area and tap his drill on the ground, sending forward a vortex to consume all enemies unlucky enough to be in his way.
For his special skill when pressing R1 as Lou he will let out a wail in agony, his desire to regain his beautiful sword will push him to the limit and give him an attack buff for a short period of time.
As a first attack skill, we will have Lou extend his arm forward and launch out his robotic fist at enemies before it returns to him. This must be a very confusing sentence for any of you who haven’t watched season 3 of the show, yes, they did, in fact, give Lou a robotic arm.
For his second attack skill, Lou will launch beads at surrounding enemies. As he was a monk, when we were introduced to him, it felt like I should reference that aspect of his character.
Finally, for the third attack skill, Lou will jump into the air and begin to throw rocks toward the ground, causing shockwaves that harm enemies.
Only one slot left, and anyone completely caught up with the show knows I needed to include a new fan favorite. So let’s finally talk about him!
Character 10: Wan Jun Po
Our only season 3 character in the roster because I ran out of space. Though a lot of characters in this roster do show up in the third season, so it’s not like we have nothing from the third season here. As for the season 3 debut character we picked, I needed to go with Wan Jun Po. One of the best written characters in the series to the point where I don’t know if I should classify him as a hero or an anti-villain.
His moveset will be simple and honorable. His light attacks, as well as his heavy combos, will all involve harming enemies with his large polearm, giving him one of the longest ranges on the roster but being one of the slower characters here.
For a third heavy combo, Wan will do one mighty horizontal swing with his polearm and knock away a wide range of enemies
As a fourth heavy combo, he will charge forward and try to stab enemies with his weapon.
Wan’s fifth heavy combo will be a bit unconventional and was something I forgot his weapon could even do until I rewatched some fights for this article. He will split his weapon in half and spin it like a buzzsaw at an enemy before putting it back together again.
For his musou attack Wan will split his weapon in half like his fifth heavy combo but instead of spinning it this time he will swing the two halves together like a huge pair of scissors and deal a devastating blow to anyone caught in between the blades.
The special skill we’ll be giving Wan is a bit cruel because of what happened to him in the show. When pressing R1, we will have him engulf himself in flames so that his attacks will have a fire effect that will eat away at the health of enemies.
Following up with the cruelty of having that be his special skill, all of Wan’s attack skills will involve the Blazing Crystal Sword. As a first attack skill, he’ll stab the sword into an enemy before it explodes with a burst of fire. Then, as a second attack skill, he’ll stab it into the ground and cause flames to go off in several directions. Finally, as a third attack skill, he’ll raise it into the air and have balls of fire rain down around him.
That’s all I have for Wan. his time on the show was short, but he was a hero to the end and will never be forgotten by fans.
Finally we’re finished! Like I said when talking about Juan, usually when I come up with these rosters I have a huge hero bias and include villains as an afterthought, but for Thunderbolt Fantasy there simply isn’t that many heroes in the actual show. I do think I did a good job of selecting villains, though, even if there are a few fan favorites that I couldn’t include because of the smaller size we decided on.
Come back to The Story Arc soon too see my next Make a Musou, but in the meantime why don’t you check out the Make A Musou homepage and look at my previous Musou rosters, they’re all as great as this one!
2 thoughts on “Make a Musou: Thunderbolt Fantasy”
This is not a franchise I’m into, so I’ll toss out three franchises (and assumed roster sizes) for consideration. (Say if they’re already suggested or not and if my roster sizes would be right.)
Vivziepop’s Hell (12)
Lord of the Rings (16)
All suggestions are welcome! It’ll be a long time before I can do any of them though