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Flying Fox
Flying Fox
Title: General
Status: Deceased
Killed by: Kai
Gender: Male
Weapon of choice: Swords
First appearance: Beware the Fox
Last appearance: To Kill a Fox
Game voice: Steven Berkoff
Film voice: Barry Dennen
Flying Fox is a major character and antagonist in Heavenly Sword.

Biography

Early Life

As is the case with numerous characters featured throughout the game, not much is known of Flying Fox's early life. At some point prior to the events of Heavenly Sword, he met and began a relationship with King Bohan, with the latter eventually elevating him to the esteemed rank of General within his armies. What is known is that Flying Fox is responsible for the deaths of numerous people of the clans in the unnamed lands in which the events of the Heavenly Sword series take place. Perhaps the most notable of these murders is that of Kai's Mother, which took place when Kai was just a little girl; this traumatic experience is what caused Kai to develop the childlike demeanor she exhibits in Heavenly Sword

Events of Heavenly Sword

Flying Fox makes his first in-game appearance in the Chapter Two checkpoint Beware the Fox, in which he has laid a trap for Nariko inside a banquet hall. After sending numerous soldiers to their deaths at the hands of the heroine and the Heavenly Sword, Flying Fox jumps down into the hall itself to do battle with Nariko. This is the first Boss Battle featured in the game; as the event is a tutorial, Flying Fox will allow Nariko to leave with the Sword, regardless of whether the player successfully completed the associated Quick Time Event. Proclaiming Nariko needs more "Style" before they can battle again, he leaps into the air to make his escape. He later makes an appearance during the interlude scene depicted during the checkpoint The Prison, in which Bohan admonishes him for not procuring the Sword when he had the chance, calling the Fox an "incompetent fool." After a brief war of words with Whiptail, Bohan's other prominent general, the monarch silences them briefly, before asking the Fox for better personal protection, as there are those who wish to "expunge" him. Flying Fox responds positively, as long as it is for "the right price," before teleporting around the room and walking off in a birdlike manner; this prompts Bohan to inform the Raven King of his lack of trust of the man. After this, Flying Fox does not appear in the game again until the Chapter Three checkpoint Riding High, where he is featured in a flashback of Kai's where he is shown to be responsible for the death of her mother. As Kai screams in horror at the recognition of her mother's decomposed corpse, the Fox appears seemingly from nothing, before hurling his blades at Kai in an attempt to kill her. This sets the theme for the entire course of Chapter Four, where Nariko is chasing Flying Fox throughout the wilderness in a desperate bid to reach him before he catches up to Kai. However, despite this, it appears Flying Fox is indeed successful in his endeavor, as just as Nariko reaches the Fox's lair, a makeshift bird cage, he lynches Kai from the top of the cage, snapping her neck and killing her.

Death

In the following checkpoint, Nariko does battle with Flying Fox; however, it quickly becomes evident that the Fox was merely holding back in their initial battle, with Nariko facing little to no chance of defeating him. However, just when it seems that he is about to defeat Nariko, Kai awakens, apparently not dead after all. Raising her crossbow, Kai fires a single bolt into the middle of Flying Fox's forehead, causes him to cry out in agony and surprise. Before falling dead into the rushing waters below, he proclaims his motto, "Style," one last time.

Events of The Film

Flying Fox also makes a brief but definitive appearance in the 2014 film adaptation of Heavenly Sword. He is first mentioned by Kai to Nariko as they are traveling northeast to the Dead Marsh in an effort to find Loki, their half-brother and focal point of the Heavenly Warrior prophecy. Kai refers to him as "the Fox," and said that when he and his soldiers raided her clan's village years earlier he "went to hurt Mama." Later, after arriving at Bohan's castle and indeed discovering their half-brother Loki, Flying Fox drops from the sky above, killing Loki in one fell swoop before briefly procuring the Heavenly Sword and attempting to wield it against Nariko. Using his doppelganger powers, Flying Fox eventually teleports with Kai in hand to the top of a statue depicting King Bohan; from there, he lynches Kai in a manner similar to how he lynches her in the game. In the following fight against Nariko, he once again overwhelms her, with Nariko facing virtually no chance of defeating him due to all his abilities. However, as in the game, Kai has not been killed from the lynching but merely incapacitated; raising her crossbow, she fires a single bolt into the middle of the Fox's forehead, catching him by surprise and causing him to fall to the ground below, dead.

Personality

Heavenly Sword

Flying Fox is depicted in the Heavenly Sword video game as having an chilling, almost psychopathic disregard for life. On multiple occasions, Flying Fox has shown himself not only capable of but quite willing to perform many heinous acts of violence, either at the behest of Bohan or for his own twisted pleasure. This includes the murder of innocent people, razing entire communities to the ground and tormenting people beyond measure briefly before killing them. His motto, "Style!," is indicative of his view of combat and his larger worldview: combat, violence and death are not negative, destructive aspects of existence but rather things to be celebrated, refined and even displayed, if one has the penchant for it. An example of this is his retrieval of the corpse of Kai's Mother after he murders her when Kai is a little girl; not only does his kill the child's mother, but he pretends to be her mother briefly before showing his face to the girl, causing Kai's fragile psyche to break completely, molding her very personality and life up to the events of Heavenly Sword. Following this, he uses her mother's corpse for the further perpetuation of his own amusement, bringing it back to Bohan's capital in order to display it in Bohan's armory alongside the flags of each clan defeated by Bohan's armies. Flying Fox's cold, bloodthirsty persona can sometimes come into conflict with those who share his goals, however; as depicted in the cutscene during The Prison, Flying Fox does not think very highly of Whiptail at all, referring to her as a "rotting octopus crawling with slimy maggots." This, however, may also be due to the fact Flying Fox desires to be Bohan's top general, a status most likely afforded to Whiptail due to her ability to get "closer" to Bohan than the Fox ever could. Even Bohan himself has a somewhat distanced opinion of Flying Fox, stating "there's something about that man I don't entirely trust." Nevertheless, the Fox's penchant for violence and bloodshed is virtually unmatched, which has afforded him a large quantity of soldiers at his disposal to carry out tasks according to Bohan's wishes as well as membership on Bohan's inner council.

The Film

Much akin to his depiction in the video game, Flying Fox retains his role as a murderous, bloodthirsty psychopath in the film. He is confirmed to have been responsible for the death of Kai's Mother, with Kai stating that he killed her specifically, as well as wiping out her entire clan and destroying her village; this attests to level of terror and misery he is capable of inflicting upon others. Even his debut is a testament to his very personality: his first scene in the entire movie is that of him decapitating Loki upon his retrieval of the Heavenly Sword. However, due to his role being limited to virtually a single battle with Nariko, the Fox's relationship with the other generals and Bohan remains to be seen. As he is killed by Kai not long after he appears in the movie, it is unknown whether Bohan retains the same opinion of him as he does in the video game.

Abilities

Heavenly Sword

Flying Fox's combat repetoire includes a host of abilities unseen in the other bosses fought during the events of Heavenly Sword, with the Fox himself being unique in that he is technically the only boss Nariko fights on two separate occasions: once in a banquet hall during Beware the Fox, and again in his home during the checkpoint To Kill a Fox. During the first battle, Flying Fox moves with lightning speed at Nariko, able to quickly close the gap between the two combatants and mitigate whatever possible advantage Nariko has due to her lithe and agile frame. In addition, he is able to utilize an Unblockable attack that involves a pirouet of spinning blades, dealing immense damage to Nariko if care is not taken to roll out of its way. His primary attack seems to quick, fast strikes with a short sword, most likely one of the many blades adorning his back. In the second battle, Flying Fox is much more difficult to defeat, as he is now shown to also be capable of a host of moves that are both deadlier and much harder to avoid. The blades adorning his back have now been converted into a fan of sorts, allowing him to fly around his cage virtually out of reach of any attacks Nariko might be able to perform. He also retains his previously mentioned abilities from the first battle, in addition to now showcasing his ability to instantly teleport to any location around his cage. However, perhaps the most notable of Flying Fox's powers is his inexplicable ability to produce either one, a few, or even several doppelgangers of himself, seemingly at whim. These doppelgangers not only have the ability to distract Nariko as well as receive no damage whatsoever from strikes with the Heavenly Sword, they also have the ability to inflict damage in combat, meaning these copies of the Fox must be dealt with in order for a fighter to have a chance in combat against him.

The Film

Flying Fox retains the vast majority of the abilities he has in the Heavenly Sword video game in the film of the same name, with one notable exception being his lack of usage of his spinning blade attack featured in the first battle with him in the video game. His usage of teleportation and doppelgangers quickly overwhelms Nariko, despite her valiant efforts to defeat him in combat.

Depiction

Flying Fox is portrayed as a frail, middle-aged man with light-colored eyes and jet black hair worn in a top bun held together with a purple hair tie. His skin is extremely pale and his torso is mostly bare, the exception being the right part of his chest which is covered in a golden breastplate. This breastplate extends to cover part of his right arm as well, resulting in a sort of armor piece. He wears black trousers held up with a red sash, and sandals with blades adorning the toes. Perhaps his most notable feature are the numerous blades he wears on his back; apparently, these blades can be expanded and retracted at the whim of Flying Fox, with them granting him the ability of flight as well.

Appearances

Flying Fox appears in the Heavenly Sword video game and in the 2014 film adaptation of the same name as well. 

Trivia

  • In real life, the Flying Fox is a type of bat, and is the largest bat in the world.
  • Steven Berkoff, the actor who provided motion capture for Flying Fox, has been well-known as a popular actor in villainous roles for over half a century. These include General Orlov in the James Bond film Octopussy and Victor Maitland in Beverly Hills Cop.
  • Flying Fox is widely agreed upon by many in the gaming community as the most difficult boss to defeat singlehandedly in the game, even trumping that of the Raven King.
  • Based off his depiction in the video game, it appears that Flying Fox may suffer from a form of antisocial personality disorder.
    • This depiction, defined as a pervasive and persistent disregard for morals, social norms, and the rights and feelings of others, is quite consistent with his personality. For example, his reference of Kai's death in To Kill a Fox as "delectable" after his lynching of her, etc.
  • Between the video game and the film, Flying Fox is responsible for the most deaths of named characters.
    • Prior to the events of the game, Flying Fox murdered Kai's Mother in the process of destroying her village and decimating her clan.
    • Flying Fox also kills Kai by lynching her from the top of his bird cage.
    • In the film, Flying Fox makes his first appearance by decapitating Loki upon his retrieval of the Heavenly Sword.
  • As is the case with each of the bosses fought in Heavenly Sword, Flying Fox is represented by an animal common in East Asian folklore. His namesake animal, the fox, is described as mischievous, with the ability to take the form of different people, playing well into the Fox's doppelganger abilites.

Gallery