Live A Live: Imperial China – How Should You Train Your Disciples?

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  • How Does The Training Sequence Work?
  • Should You Train Lei, Hong, or Yun?

The Imperial China chapter, which focuses on the Earthen Heart Shifu, is perhaps the most tragic story in Live A Live. Your choices during the first half of the chapter will have a major impact on the story's outcome, and will also determine which disciple can join the battle against Odio at the end of the game.

This guide breaks down everything you need to know about the disciple training sequence and the best approach to choosing a successor. Only one of the three trainees will become the Earthen Heart Master, so choose carefully!

This guide contains major spoilers for Live A Live.

How Does The Training Sequence Work?

When the Shifu returns home with his three disciples – the bandit Lei Kugo, the thief Hong Hakka, and the youth Yun Jou – you will battle each of them in turn to assess their abilities. These first three battles don't affect any character's growth, but give you a preview of each disciple's fighting style.

After the initial training bout, three days of sparring will follow. On each day you will be able to participate in four fights with your disciples, in any order and combination you choose. Each time you fight a disciple, they will gain experience and a stat boost. The Earthen Heart Shifu himself is already a master of his art, and can never gain experience or level up.

The stat boosts that a disciple gains in addition to their growth from leveling up are determined by the day on which they are trained:

Day One +5 Physical Defense per fight.
Day Two +5 Speed per fight.
Day Three +5 Physical Attack per fight.

If the Shifu loses a sparring match against one of his disciples, no character will gain any experience or stat boosts, but the fight will not count against your daily allotment of four matches. You are required to try again until the Shifu has won four matches to end each day.

Should You Train Lei, Hong, or Yun?

It's reasonable to think that you should spread the training evenly among the three disciples, but the only real strategy is actually to choose a disciple at the very beginning and train them exclusively, ignoring the other two. After the third day of training, the Shifu will be called to deal with bandits in town who will attack his house in retaliation. Only the disciple with the most total Experience will survive the attack, joining the Shifu in the battle at Indomitable Fist Fortress and eventually becoming the Earthen Heart Master.

Be sure to unequip everything you can from the two disciples you won't be training. Gear is hard to come by in this chapter, and Ou Di Wan Li is a tough boss – your surviving disciple will need all the help they can get!

Also be sure to transfer all the best gear from the Shifu to the disciple before the final battle in Indomitable Fist Fortress. Only the disciple's equipment will continue on to the final chapter, and anything equipped to the Shifu or a fallen disciple will be lost forever.

Choose which disciple you want to survive based on your play style, knowing that they will be your only ally in the battle against Ou Di Wan Li and will become a party member in the final chapter. Dedicate every sparring match of every day to that character – by the end of the third day, you might even have trouble defeating them!

Lei Kugo

Lei boasts exceptional speed, allowing her to act several times before most enemies have a chance to strike back. She's a fantastic character offensively, but can find herself in trouble if an enemy lands a hit. Her starting set of moves makes her the best of the three disciples early on, since she can hold her own in a fight without the benefit of Earthen Heart techniques.

Hong Hakka

Hong is the polar opposite of Lei. He's the slowest character in the game, even with the benefit of focused training on Day Two. However, his defense and HP total are almost unmatched, letting him shrug off hits and keep fighting. He also has some unique moves that offer tactical options unavailable to Lei or Yun.

Yun Jou

Yun starts as the weakest of the three disciples, but he gains more stat increases per level than the others. At his full potential, Yun exceeds both Lei and Hong in nearly every category. His only real downside is that his starting moves are not very good, meaning he has to rely solely on the Earthen Heart techniques he learns as he levels. Yun can meet almost any situation head-on by virtue of his stats alone, but is somewhat lacking in tactical versatility.

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