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Asura

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Asura
Asura
Character Information
Allegiance(s):
Devil Eight
Element:
none
Weapon(s):
none (uses sorcery)
Real form:
Three faced, six handed humanoid giant
Mythological Information
Real name:
Asura
Chinese name:
阿修罗
Also known as:
Axiūluo
Ashura or Shura
Divine name(s):
n/a
Asura is the name for a rank of deities within Hinduism and Buddhism, not a single entity as the character in the game.

Asura (アスラ) is the main antagonist and final boss of Saiyuki: Journey West. He is the leader of a group of malevolent, immortal beings referred to as the Devil Eight (八鬼衆).

Role in GameEdit

One thousand years before Sanzo's birth, the Devilish God Asura surrendered himself before Buddha. His only request for his submission was to become a Holy Guardian. Buddha, who believed Asura had the power to look past his self-disdain, did not grant Asura's request. Feeling horribly wronged by what he perceived as blatant distrust, Asura gathered an army of other immortal beings and spirits to rebel against Heaven, forming the powerful Devil Eight at this time. The war with Heaven was quick and fruitless; Asura and his seven followers were exiled to Hell, or colloquially the Pit.

Sent to the Pit to reflect on his behavior, Asura instead spent the following thousand years covertly breaking the seal of their listless domain. Telling his loyalist friend, Deva, that the time was ripe, Asura and his demons invaded Heaven sixteen years before the game's main story. Unlike their first venture towards the divine gates, the Devil Eight took their victims completely by surprise. Asura absorbed the souls of Heaven within himself and gained vast amounts of power during his self-righteous rampage. During the attack, Buddha hid his presence from his mighty adversary, the Guardians fell from Heaven as comets to Earth, and Lady Kannon concealed herself to watch over Sanzo.

Having dominated Heaven, Asura began to construct a new Mandara -literally a quilt setting the standards of all worlds- in his own image. He desires to craft a hellish world of misery, a new dark age of his liking. As his Mandara nears its completion sixteen years later, he becomes aware of Lady Kannon's movements. Asura doesn't consider the monk with Lady Kannon's request an immediate threat, yet he desires to harness the Guardians resting within the staff. Therefore, he periodically orders his demonic followers to capture it for him. Learning they cannot directly touch the holy object, he alters his plans to instead lure Sanzo to him within Heaven. Sanzo's rapid progress perks his interest and he even creates a doll just to observe the monk's movements.

When Sanzo and his/her party reach Truths Temple, Asura confronts them with the protection an impenetrable magical barrier. Thanks to Deva's hint, however, Sanzo and his/her friends break the four monuments guarding him and beat his human form into submission. Asura stubbornly rises to his feet, invigorating himself to repel the seal Lady Kannon tried to prepare for him. He drags the monk's party into the Pit and faces them in his real form. With Lady Kannon forced into the staff due to Asura's overwhelming strength, Sanzo and his/her party only have themselves and the Guardians to rely on for the final battle.

Once the heroes weaken Asura, Lady Kannon and the Guardians fulfill their duties of bestowing Buddha's mercy onto Asura. Their powers purge Asura of the souls he absorbed and he emerges in his human form with humiliation, requesting he be eradicated from existence before facing another imprisonment. Refusing to open his heart and love himself, Asura once again derails Heaven for their misgivings of demons. When Deva temporarily emerges from his jeweled prison, Asura thinks his friend despises him and apologizes. Greeted instead by Deva's forgiveness, Asura composes himself and calmly requests a peaceful slumber with his demons.

If the player loses against Asura during their final confrontations, a special cinematic will play detailing Sanzo's failure. Heaven is enveloped in complete darkness and the world is crumbled to Asura's wrath.

PersonalityEdit

A sadistic demon who rules with draconian principles, Asura is a vengeful being who desires proper respect. He believes his race are outcasts and seeks to rectify what he thinks is Heaven's prejudice against them. Once a revolutionary, his goals for recognition were muddled with despair and anger throughout his years of imprisonment. Pleased with the power he obtained after destroying Heaven, he drowns himself in ambition and seeks to have the world experience the darkness he had throughout his existence. Since he is actually stronger than Buddha by the time Sanzo confronts him, he carries an overwhelming sense of confidence to the point he doesn't care if the monk opposes him. He is a sophisticated speaker who condescends nearly all who face him.

Asura's closest friend is Deva, yet even he is not immune to the cruel manipulations he subjects to his other followers. In spite of his behavior, he trusts Deva entirely and knows his friend will never betray him.

Fighting StyleEdit

Asura's fight is separated into two phases. The first part is the encounter within Truths Temple, where he appears with a group of fearsome monsters to intrude the player's party. If the monsters are defeated, they will periodically regenerate if Asura is still active on the map. His minions are present to slow Sanzo's party down before reaching the four crystals located in the corners of the map. A slab of tile periodically acts as a levee for the party, lowering and rising once per turn. The goal of the battle is to disable the four crystals before attacking Asura himself.

Nothing is stopping Asura and his monsters from attacking Sanzo's members, so the player will likely have to split their party to play two roles: one to divert Asura's attention while the others deal with the stones. The secondary group can be replaced with just Goku since he can use his Cloud ability to hop to the square adjacent to the crystals in one or two turns. The monsters are not a huge threat but the sorcerer in upper left is meddlesome due to its damaging poison spells and its trait of randomly healing Asura; most players advise getting rid of it early within the battle.

Meanwhile, Asura attacks with destructive high leveled magic and he can teleport to any section of the map, proving a danger to anyone heading for the crystals. His AI tends to either target weakened characters or characters within groups. If players choose to use just Goku for the crystals, they may dedicate the rest of their party for a stalwart defense against Asura. Should they choose to instead divide and conquer, they will need at least one person to stay on the upper level to routinely distract him while the crystals and monsters are being simultaneously defeated. Otherwise, Asura may transport himself across the map to attack each member, who may or may not have the means to fully recover themselves. When the crystals are disabled, the party can reunite and hurl whatever attack they want at him for a quick victory.

Asura's last stand against Sanzo's party is one of the toughest fights in the game and will lead to a fast loss if the player isn't careful. The party is surrounded by his six arms and are forced to position themselves around his head in the center of the map. Walking space is sparse and the arms attack with some of the Guardian's weapons for powerful ranged attacks. They don't hit the entire range of the map, however, so it's possible to seek some shelter from their spells if the character judges their range with practice. Asura's head, though it is dormant, is armed with destructive group attacks if a member happens to be attacking or in front of him. Weres are not a good idea for this battle; the arms seem to like bashing all they have at them.

The initial map position implies that each party member can deal with an arm individually. While this maybe true for high leveled characters, chances are they will likely be massacred before they can succeed. It's best to assemble the party to at least one half of the map to avoid a few of the arms' onslaught. Players can choose to either proceed with an all-or-nothing attack on Asura's head or direct their entire party to deal with each arm individually. Both plans will need at least one designated healer as the characters will get hurt quite frequently.

The arms have an innate null element, but they still share elemental weaknesses like the rest of the monsters in the game. With some experimenting, players can pinpoint which arm is weak to what element and chop off each arm one at a time. Unlike the monsters from the first stage of the battle, the hands do not regenerate and their attacks are not shared by another arm. If there is a particular attack that is specifically hazardous to the health of a key attacker, it may benefit the player to pay attention and take out the arm controlling it.

GalleryEdit

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