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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sī Mǎ Yì 司马懿

Posted by Ricky Chua On 3:02 PM No comments
What's with the cartoon?
The cartoon is a cute-version of the original portrait in SanGuoSha, where he is seen having the ability to conjure up blue flames... which is of course a complete understatement of his power.

Who is he:
The cunning. The scheming. The ultimate bad guy. He is the beginning of the end of the Three Kingdoms era. If you have never read Romance of Three Kingdoms, my apologies for the spoiler. We are talking about a man of ambition so great, it transcended two generations after his death before it was achieved. Portrayed as cunning and untrustworthy with promises, Si Ma Yi is practically demonized by the story. No doubt he was the most important military advisor the Kingdom of Cao Wei 曹魏 ever had, time would never dilute his usurper legacy that erased Cao Wei off the face of the planet. As tribute to this incredibly smart yet devious historical figure, the card game has aptly given Si Ma Yi abilities that make him a formidable opponent. Meet the most dangerous character in the entire San Guo Sha 三国杀 card game.

Character ability 1: "Retaliation 反馈 (fǎn kuì)"
When Si Ma Yi receives any damage, he can obtain 1 card (whether on-hand or equipped) from the player who is the source of the damage. In most cases, source of damage is the player who is currently in the action phase (that player's turn) that played an offensive move.

Character ability 2: "Demonic Talent 鬼才 (guǐ cái)"
After any judgement card has been flipped over, Si Ma Yi can immediately play one of his on-hand cards to "replace" the judgement card. Note that Si Ma Yi cannot take back the original judgement card. Net effect is Si Ma Yi loses one on-hand card to change the judgement card.

Ability's relation to story:
It is generally well-known that Si Ma Yi was a smart and shrewd strategist, but no, he was not smart enough to tinker with heaven's will. The abilities themselves do not reflect Si Ma Yi as well as how these abilities are used during game play. As a "Judgement Tinkerer", Si Ma Yi can just crouch inactively, waiting for judgement cards to appear before he rears his ugly head. This somewhat resembles the life mission of Si Ma Yi as he lay in wait for the right moment, then pouncing on opportunity to usurp an entire Cao Wei kingdom for his own.

Additional info based on story:
1. Most famous achievement - The man that started the end of the Three Kingdoms era. Si Ma Yi handed down power to his son and grandson, who ultimately concurred all of China to form the Jin Dynasty 晋朝 (AD 265 - 420).

2. Cause of death - Si Ma Yi died of old-age at 72. His son Si Ma Shi 司马师 took over the reigns and strengthened his family's control over Cao Wei, followed by his grandson Si Ma Zhao 司马昭 who united China.

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