Main Walkthrough

Location: Sweetspring Village
Prerequisite: Complete Badlands Stronghold
Petitioner: None
Reward: Ghostly Shadow Manual, Divine Blood Claw manual, Master's Notes

Picking up right where Badlands Stronghold left off, Approaching Battle is a side quest that canplay out in a few different ways. It all comes down to how you've approached the scenario up to this point, and how thorough you've been with your NPC interactions. This guide will do its best in breaking down the various ways the quest can end.

Badlands Ore Veins

Start with looking to the north. Ouyang Hai is standing up here, and he's the subject of a side quest that just popped up, Badlands Ore Veins. Speak to him and he'll offer to get some additional help from Fancheng City. You need to complete this one to proceed.

Traces of Ghost Condor

Check further north, along the path to the Cottahe. Wei Bilai will speak to you briefly. Check in the Cottage with the prisoners and, if your Affinity with Wan Biao was high enough (you needed to interact with him three times throughout the previous quests), you'll find him dead with several other prisoners. This activates another side quest, Traces of Ghost Condor. If your Affinity with Wan Biao is too low he'll simply be gone, and this bit will remain unresolved.

If you found Wan Biao dead you'll also have noticed that one of the prisoners, Zhao Cheng, has gone missing. Head to Mount Autumnscape - it's in the mountains to the north of Sweetspring Village - and travel west, to the end of the path. Here you'll find Zhao Cheng, collapsed but still alive. Alternate speaking to him and Frosty Condor to jump back to Sweetspring Village.

Your final stop on this quest is Skylinemont, to the west of Tianshui City. (If you completed Re-visit Bitterwater Village, Di Zui will leave the party as you enter.) Yin Wujin and Wang Daoming are waiting, and the conversation that plays out will be different depending on whether or not you did Traces of Ghost Condor. Speak to Frost Condor to put her back in the party, then speak to Wujin to receive your orders. You'll be called back east, to the entrance, where several battles are waiting. Lose any of them and you'll have to start over.

A few recommendations, before you wade into the fray:
  • Deploy your strongest party members. You're going to need 'em.
  • Kick Frosty Condor out of your active party. She'll still show up as a controllable character, and you'll get the rest of your team to boot.
  • Use items that will benefit your party in combat. The first fight in particular can be very hard if you came here at a lower level.
  • Save your game. You will probably die a few times. Make sure you have an individual save outside Skylinemont, as well, just in case you need to go grind for Martial Points.
If you've recruited Kong Liang, Li Yuanxing, Leng Wuqing, and Di Zui, you'll see a cut scene before wading into battle. This is a sign that you've made the most of the scenario. Yuanxing, Wuqing, and (if you recruited him) Yan Weihuan will leave the party at this point, so make sure you replace them if they were in your party.

Zhang Hongyan the Flame Envoy

This guy will look familiar if you recruited Ye Fei earlier in the game. Another one-on-one to the death, the battle against Zhang Hongyan can be tricky if Yi is low-level. Hongyan is powerful. He uses the following attacks:
  • Close-range punches that can Ignite Yi
  • A ranged AOE that can Ignite Yi
  • Sun-Blazing Palm, a ranged AOE that can Ignite Yi and will buff Hongyan
In short, yes, Yi is going to spend most of this battle on fire. Despite his fist weapons Hongyan can hit Yi at quite a range, so unless you're desperate to heal you might as well get right in Hongyan's face and strike him from the sides or front. This can goad him into using his weaker attacks rather than jumping right to the stronger stuff. Strategic use of Lightness, the Wind and Cloud Method, and some hit-and-run attacks.

Immediately after this battle you'll be pushed into another fight against all of the baddies, though this time you have Yin Wujin and Wang Daoming on your side, along with the rest of your deployed party. Wujin is a powerful fist fighter, while Daoming is an... acceptable... polearm fighter. This battle isn't a guaranteed win, so don't charge in stupidly, but you shouldn't have too much trouble so long as you're cautious.

(I have a feeling that Wang Daoming may not show up if you didn't complete Lü Xian'er's side quests before embarking on this lengthy scenario, but I don't know for sure. I'll try to test it on my second playthrough.)

You'll receive some solid rewards for winning this battle (I specifically got the Light Cultivation Method and Wildfire Rage manuals, among other things). Assuming you outed the traitor, however, the battle isn't over yet... (Note that the next fight does not happen if you are on the way to recruiting Di Zui.)

Dome Rinpoche and The Wise One

Accompanied by three Rinpoche's Disciples, Dome Rinpoche and The Wise One are powerful opponents. Despite the similar looks these two foes have very different movesets, and are both dangerous:
  • The Wise One uses hidden weapons, and prefers ranged attacks. Expect him to inflict Bleeding on a regular basis.
  • Dome Rinpoche is a polearm user, and prefers AOE attacks. Try to engage him with one character so he can't hit too many people at one time.
  • The Rinpoche's Disciples are all fist fighters. Nothing special here - just don't ignore them.
You'll have the numbers advantage in this fight, though Yin Wujin isn't helping this time. Draw the enemies cose by stalling one turn, then have one or two party members draw Dome Rinpoche and his Disciples away while everyone else piledrives The Wise One. You can then use AOEs to wipe out Dome Rinpoche and his disciples. This fight isn't as much of a gimme as the previous brawl, but it still isn't bad so long as you watch out for Rinpoche's AOEs.

The day still isn't won after this match, however...

Yang Liutu

The traitor enters the fray. Backed by Dome Rinpoche, The Wise One, and three Rinpoche's Disciples, Yang Liutu is a powerful opponent. He uses the following attacks:
  • Ranged hidden weapon attacks, one of which can inflict Frost
  • A long-range line attack
  • Unrivaled Finger Strike, a single-target attack that can inflict Dazzle
  • Rain of Flowers, a ranged AOE attack that can inflict Bleeding
The bad news is that Wang Daoming is out of the party. The good news is that a newcomer, Di Zui, will take his place. Di Zui is substantially more powerful than Daoming, and should have more firepower than anyone else on your team. Let him take the lead and pull Liutu away while you face off with everyone else. Di Zui is not strong enough to take on Liutu forever, but he should be able to stall long enough for you to wipe out everyone else. His Golden Bell Cocoon attack will boost his survivability.

The important thing here is to avoid clumping up your troops to an excessive degree if you can help it. The enemy side can use a lot of AOE attacks, and if you're not careful you might lose two or three weakened characters in a single burst. Watch everyone's HP and try to pull weakened characters out of the fracas so they can heal somewhere at the side of the arena.

It's important to note that this fight changes if your party split up before the battle. Assuming he's part of the team Yan Weihuan will show up behind the enemy lines, and Wang Daoming will still be in the fight. These additions make the battle quite a bit easier - though don't expect Yan Weihuan to last long in his ambush position. Use him as a distraction while your other party members get in some hard hits from the front.

You'll receive the Acala's Staff manual, the Eight-Trasure Shovel Advanced Blueprint, the Black Gauze Heavenward Boots Blueprint, and the Unrivaled Finger Strike manual for defeating Yang Liutu and his minions.

Yang Liutu - or should we say, Ji Fengdu - will flee after the battle. Follow him south to Bitterwater Village. Watch the cut scene that follows, then head back to Skylinemont to wrap up the quest. If you didn't recruit Di Zui then this will end rather quickly. If you did recruit him, but Leng Wuqing isn't in the party, you'll get a longer cut scene, but it still ends without a fight. If you did recruit Leng Wuqing and bring him along, however...


The mastermind is cornered. Kama is a powerful enemy, and he has another man, Mute Dhutanga, backing him up. They use the following combat styles:
  • Kama is an overwhelming hand-to-hand combatant. In addition to his single-target punches he has some wide-ranging AOE attacks, and can inflict Incapacitate, as well as a host of debuffs.
  • Mute Dhutanga is a relatively average polearm fighter - he just has a lot of HP. Expect a variety of AOE attacks.
Your first goal in this battle is getting rid of Mute Dhutanga. He has around 9,000 HP, which at this stage isn't that difficult to whittle down. If you focus everything you've got on him he'll probably fall before everyone charges up their Unique Skills. At that point, surround Kama at a distance and chip away at his health. If you clump your party up too much his AOE attacks will annihilate your party, whereas giving him some space will usually result in single-target attacks. Di Zui is the only one who should remain right in Kama's face, as he can use Golden Bell Cocoon to put up a powerful defense.

You don't have to beat Kama, but if you do - which is not easy, but it is doable - you'll receive the Vairocana's Staff and Great Vajrapani's Fist manuals, as well as a Bright-Colored Brocade Cassock. You'll also receive the Shura Saberplay and Leniancy Saberplay manuals, as well as Martial Arts Perceptions, after the battle, whether you win or lose, by speaking to Di Zui. Yi's Affinity with Di Zui will also rise again, both before and after the battle. (And yes, Kama gets away regardless.)

Head back to Skylinemont, if you weren't there already. Frosty Condor will leave the party, but if you follow her back to Condor School, southeast of Skylinemont, you'll trigger a new side quest, Visiting Condor School. This is a brief quest which will have Yi spar with Yin Wujin (if you can win you'll receive the Deluge of Blood, Ghostly Shadow and Divine Blood Claw manuals, as well as Master's Notes), and after that Frosty Condor joins the party permanently. If you ever remove her she'll be found inside Pingkang City's inn. 

There are three more things to do before we wrap up this quest: 
  • Revisit Sweetspring Village. Assuming you got a good ending the villagers will celebrate with Yi. Speak with Pei Qing afterward to receive the Steamed Red Squama Fish Recipe.
  • Assuming you completed the quests associated with Pingyang Fortress and Wang Daoming, make a trip back to the fortress before leaving this area. If Wang Daoming survived the battels of Skylinemont he'll give you a Phoenix's Talon manual. If Daoming did not survive, then Tiancong, Daoming's son, will have returned from his little exile - and he'll take control of the fortress now that his father is gone. As thanks he'll give you the Chiseled Phoenix Wing Tang, an obscenely powerful polearm.
  • Head to Shaolin Temple, northeast of Wutong Village. On the west side of the northern map you'll find a large cluster of stone structures, and among them is Di Zui. Speak to him to receive the Firebrand Saberplay and Zen Demon-Subduing manuals, as well as Master's Notes. Assuming you did the side quests involving Di Zui, you will now have enough Affinity with the monk to recruit him into the party.
  • Return to Wudang Sect. If you agreed that Cheng Yu should be allowed to join the sect earlier in the game - and if you helped Di Zui with his side quest - Yu will give you the Eight Trigrams of Roving Tiger manual, and Master's Notes.