Share this article

The Game Featuring “Ugliest Hero Ever” Turns Out to Be a Bromance Masterpiece

By Johnson Ge
Jun. 21, 2022 updated 09:38

Since its launch on May 5th, Legend of Mortal has attracted much attention for its unforgettably ugly-looking main protagonist, an unusual feat in a martial hero video game.

A screenshot of the protagonist in the game.A screenshot of the protagonist in the game.

Legend of Mortal is a martial hero RPG developed by Obb Studio. The player will control Zhao Huo, a low-rank outer disciple in Tangmen, calling himself “the ugly hero in Tangmen”, trying to learn powerful Kongfu and make a difference in his life.

There was criticism about the protagonist’s face design, and people believed it was a marketing stunt trying to draw everyone’s attention with an intentionally ugly face.

But the tide quickly changed after the demo was released. The game turned out to have a great story and some fun gameplay, and the protagonist’s self-awareness is actually really relatable.

A screenshot of the game showing that ‘shit talk’ is a kind of an attack skill.A screenshot of the game showing that ‘shit talk’ is a kind of an attack skill.

The main protagonist is not the only interesting character. In Legend of Mortal, Tang Buyi, the Senior Martial Brother of Tangmen, is the first apprentice of the leader and is often described in the game as a Robinhood-style thief who robs the rich to help the poor. But when players actually have a conversation with him, many of them are attracted to his unique personality.

A screenshot of the Senior Martial Brother in the game.A screenshot of the Senior Martial Brother in the game.

When the player first meets Buyi, the conversation immediately turns into a comedic banter between the two characters. Wherein Buyi complains about how the Flying Stone Gang is constantly bombarding him with hateful speech. Then immediately afterward mentions how he seduced the Master of the rival Gang’s wife prior to that. If the protagonist points this out and criticizes Buyi for bringing the treatment upon himself, their friendship will improve. The character shows a unique charisma and is both unpredictable and kind.

A screenshot of the game shows how Buyi makes excuses for his actions.A screenshot of the game shows how Buyi makes excuses for his actions.

It is this kind of banter between friends that makes the character of the Senior Brother more intimate. He will deceive the protagonist and lure him into the chaos between two rival gangs, but he will also come to the rescue when things go really bad. He also accompanies the protagonist to play tricks on his dream lover and will try to console the protagonist when he is lovelorn. As a result, it makes some players see the relationship as a ‘bromance’.

A screenshot of the game community where someone shared his sexual feeling towards the Senior Martial Brother in the game.A screenshot of the game community where someone shared his sexual feeling towards the Senior Martial Brother in the game.

A trend about the bromance with Senior Martial Brother” spread through the community in no time. It was hard to blame those players; as we said, Buyi has a unique charisma and a strong personal interest in the protagonist despite his physical appearance. He also has an androgynous face with some flattering facial expression portraits that makes him attractive to many players.

A screenshot of the game’s dialog, which could be misunderstood by some peopleA screenshot of the game’s dialog, which could be misunderstood by some people

Some fans of the game already thought that Buyi looked like a ‘Waifu’, but one Modder took it a step further and kicked off another trend in the community by modifying Buyi’s portrait.

A meme picture from the game’s community about the funny purpose for installing mods to the game.A meme picture from the game’s community about the funny purpose for installing mods to the game.

After that, tons of fanart and portrait-changing mods gender-swapping Buyi went viral in the community, and they soon became more popular than the “plastic surgery” mods that changed the protagonist's face. Later on, other characters would also see similar kinds of fanart as well.

Those pictures attracted people who had little knowledge of the game to the community. Some of them stayed after knowing the truth, played the game, and contributed more fanart afterward.

A screenshot of the game community where a player shares his first impression of the characters before playing the game.A screenshot of the game community where a player shares his first impression of the characters before playing the game.

It didn’t take long until the developer team Obb Studio noticed this trend. At first, they were pretty calm since they expected the character to be popular, and popular characters always have all kinds of fanart. But as the trend spread, when more users joined in, and more fanart popped out. Things were about to lose control.

The development team shared their thoughts with the players that they were happy about how the players loved this character and promised there would be a good ending with the Senior Martial Brother. Meanwhile, they mentioned they felt a little overwhelmed by the fanart. They did not oppose them but felt it had gotten to be a bit much.

A screenshot of the game community where the developer shared his feeling towards gender-swapping fanart.A screenshot of the game community where the developer shared his feeling towards gender-swapping fanart.

After this, the community calmed down a bit and started posting their fanart to platforms like Pixiv rather than continuing to flood the game community with them.

It had been weeks since the demo ended, and Obb Studio started a closed development. There are still many players posting new fanart of the game. They are passionate about the game, it is the martial hero game they have been waiting for, and they will keep waiting for it until it is released.

Source: YYS