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Wo Long Fallen Dynasty Zhang Liang, General of Man boss tips and strategy

Don’t get caught out by this first formidable boss.

Zhang Liang is the first boss you encounter in the very first mission of Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty - Village of Calamity. It’s proof that the game does not go easy on you from the off, especially when you’re still grappling with its mechanics.

Indeed, as the first boss of Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, this Yellow Turban general might seem almost impossible if you don’t know what you’re doing. But Zhang Liang is a useful lesson in mastering deflection, and also a lesson in paying attention to a very specific prompt that will make your life a lot easier.

This guide will explain everything you need to know to prepare and triumph over this brutal fight against the first of the three mighty Zhang brothers of the Yellow Turban rebels.

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How to prepare for Zhang Liang in Wo Long Fallen Dynasty

As this is the first mission of Wo Long, there’s not a whole lot of preparation you can do apart from the basic weapons you have and the three uses of the dragon’s cure pot for healing. You will have had the opportunity to learn some basic Wizardry Spells, so it’s highly recommended that you learn Enhanced Defense from the Earth Phase Spells, which will temporarily reduce any damage you receive. You will need to have levelled up your Earth Virtue to at least two to do this, while your Morale needs to be a minimum of three to cast it.

You should also have been practising the deflecting mechanic that is going to be important to surviving this fight, since your only assistance comes from the Blindfolded Boy, who unfortunately isn’t much help at all. Every attack can be deflected but, most importantly, you should be parrying the glowing red unblockable critical blows as this will decrease his spirit that can break his stance, leaving him open to a fatal strike.

What you should ensure you do is plant flags on all possible locations on your way to the boss, which raises your Fortitude Rank, the value which your Morale will not fall below should you die. Having as high a morale also makes tougher enemies that more manageable. For this mission, your maximum Fortitude Rank is 10 when you have planted all possible flags, matching Zhang Liang’s starting morale of 10.

The most important thing to be aware of is that there is an essential gimmick, which introduces you to the Divine Beast mechanic. This will end the fight early and save you much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

How to defeat Zhang Liang in Wo Long Fallen Dynasty

You’ll fight Zhang Liang in an arena overlooking a cliff. Pillars of rock surround the arena and can be used as cover. Though he’ll likely smash through them in one go with his large intimidating club, which he wields with both hands in the first phase.

The good news is that any attack he comes at you with can be deflected (there’s even a tutorial prompt encouraging you to deflect) which then gives you a brief window to get in some attacks to both chip his health and put his spirit gauge in the red. While the spirit gauge starts out long, you can also reduce its upper limit (shown by the gauge whitening from the edges) through both deflecting or using spirit attacks (i.e. heavy attacks), which makes it easier to stagger him.

It’s worth noting that spirit attacks are also more likely to interrupt his attacks than just a standard attack. Once you punish him with a fatal strike, his morale will drop by one point, although the spirit gauge also resets.

His standard attacks involve bringing the club down from overhead, sometimes followed up with a leaping overhead attack. He also has an animation where he swings the club horizontally, as well as a much higher jumping attack. In all these cases, the animation is winding up long enough for you to anticipate; so the smart way to play this is to anticipate for the deflection, rather than trying to score a quick hit.

For his unblockable attack, he’ll wind his club back to power up, while there’s also a red glow coming from within his chest so that it’s very clear you should be anticipating this. This attack can close gaps though if you have problems with getting the timing down, it’s worth giving yourself some distance as it will still take some time for the attack to connect.

With the health you have chipped down while bringing down his spirit gauge, staggering him twice and delivering a fatal strike both times should be enough to finish this phase.

He, however, has another new health bar for his second phase, resets his morale to 10, and is much more ferocious as he now has a demonic left arm that can be extended for some pretty damaging attacks while he’s strong enough to swing his club with just his right hand.

With his extended demon arm, Zhang Liang sweeps it around once, which can catch anyone around him within range, before winding it with a short pause before swinging it around again. His club consists of a combo of two swings, with a short pause before the second swing, as well as a charged thrust that also has a wind-up animation.

He also has a ranged attack where he thrusts his club down into the ground, which then unleashes a trail of spikes to shoot out in front. Fortunately, this, as well as the aforementioned attacks, can also be deflected.

His unblockable here comes from his demon arm, which winds up then shoots towards you, and given how long it can extend there’s no running from this, so be prepared to deflect otherwise it will grab you and slam you down for some nasty damage.

When you’ve taken a third of his health, he gets even more enraged, as a red demonic aura shoots up in his surrounding area and restores his morale. He also gains an extra combo with his club, where he swings it up and down, as well as another unblockable attack where he does a charging three hit combo with his club. If you manage to deflect these, he can still wind up the previous unblockable attack with his demon arm.

Suffice to say, it’s a lot to endure when you have so few resources at this stage. However, what you should be paying attention to is the Blindfolded Boy who actually bestows you a gift that means you don’t actually have to take down Zhang Liang’s whole health bar to beat him.

At the start of the second phase, the boy will mention something about 'that jade', which might provide you with the power to overcome this challenge. He’s referring to the Divine Beast mechanic that unlocks during this phase, which is represented by a gauge on the bottom right corner, above the Wizardry Spells.

As you fight Zhang Liang, this gauge slowly increases but greatly increases when you deliver a fatal strike after staggering him. By our estimation, two fatal strikes will be enough to fill the gauge, whereby then the boss will be down to around half his health.

When the Divine Beast gauge is glowing, you’ll get a prompt from both the Blindfolded Boy to unleash the power residing in the jade, while the deflection tutorial display will change to one about summoning the Divine Beast with Triangle + Circle / Y + B.

In the stress of the fight, as well as if you’re playing with non-English audio, it’s easy to actually miss this prompt while you continue struggling. You can still do it the hard way by taking all Zhang Liang’s health down, but our advice is to make that summon the moment you see the prompt, which will then trigger a cutscene of a dragon spirit coming to save the day.

If you need help getting started in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, then check out our beginner's tips and tricks. When it comes to bosses, we have strategies for Zhang Liang, Zhuyan, Fengxi, Zhang Bao and Zhang Jiao. Don't forget to take a look at our Marking Flag locations, Vengeance Flags and how to feed Shitieshou guides too.

Zhang Liang reward in Wo Long Fallen Dynasty

Despite overcoming Wo Long’s tough first boss, it might not feel that rewarding as you fail to stop the mysterious Taoist in Black getting his hands on the Blindfolded Boy and your protagonist is also sent tumbling off the edge of the arena.

Nonetheless, defeating Zhang Liang will earn you his General of Man Bandana (2-star) and his weapon Great Club of Polaris (3-star), while you’re also awarded with 3,000 Qi and 3,000 copper. Be sure to use the Qi to level up at the start of the next mission!

The journey in Wo Long has just begun, and you’ll be facing the other two Zhang brothers soon enough. But don’t worry, you’ll also have some more help along the way.

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