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I want the pure, unadulterated truth on Sai Mun Chui Sheut!
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Thread: I want the pure, unadulterated truth on Sai Mun Chui Sheut!

  1. #1
    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Exclamation I want the pure, unadulterated truth on Sai Mun Chui Sheut!

    I want to get the pure, unadulterated truth on one of my favorite wuxia characters (and my avatar here at SPCNET), Gu Long's Sai Mun Chui Sheut from the LUK SIU FUNG novels.

    What I've seen in TV and comics adaptations, what I've read in the LUK SIU FUNG novels (yes, I actually kind of read a few of them), and what I've read at wuxia discussion forums has left me with a sense of cognitive dissonance as to exactly how great (or not so great) a swordsman/martial artist Sai Mun Chui Sheut really was.

    If you go by TV and comics adaptations (not just one adaptation, but all of them, spanning a period from the 1970s to the 2000s), then Sai Mun Chui Sheut is awesome: unless he's fighting someone of his own level like Luk Siu Fung, Dook Goo 1 Hok, Yip Goo Sing, or the Wooden Taoist, his fights are what you would imagine a truly great swordsman's fights would be: one stroke, dead opponent...no clashing of blades against scrubs and also-rans. In TVB's classic 1970s LUK SIU FUNG adaptation (considered one of the most novel-accurate adaptations ever made), Sai Mun Chui Sheut never needed more than one stroke for regular opponents. Only the other elites gave him any serious challenge. Contrast that with adaptations of Jin Yong's novels, where even great swordsmen like Yeung Gor, Ling Wu Chung, and Tai Chi-sword wielding Cheung Mo Gei have to clang swords with relative scrubs for a good 30 seconds before securing the win. Going by adaptations alone, Sai Mun Chui Sheut would seem to own all these guys.

    But as we all know, you can't judge by adaptations. Fine. Gu Long's descriptions of Sai Mun Chui Sheut's swordsmanship were also quite awesome. Certainly, Gu Long never described Sai Mun Chui Sheut as needing to clash swords with any opponent other than Dook Goo 1 Hok (whom Sai Mun Chui Sheut needed 30 moves to kill). Even Yip Goo Sing went down in one stroke in the novel. In the later LUK SIU FUNG novels, Sai Mun Chui Sheut stopped carrying a physical sword altogether, suggesting that he was entering the "swordless" level that Dook Goo Kau Bai became famous for.

    Then I read these forums: all I ever see when I bring up Sai Mun Chui Sheut is "Can't beat Luk Siu Fung. Luk Siu Fung is Sai Mun Chui Sheut's friend and doesn't want to hurt him. Luk Siu Fung has martial arts that can beat Sai Mun Chui Sheut but he never shows them" (WTF?!), "Can't beat Dook Goo 1 Hok. He was just lucky that Fok Teen Ching drained Dook Goo 1 Hok's inner power first" (OK, I'll allow that one because Gu Long did indeed say that), "Can't beat Yip Goo Sing. Yip Goo Sing just didn't want to win because he knew he'd die anyway." (OK, sure.), "Can't beat Ding Pang and his curved sabre.", "Can't block Lee Chum Foon's flying dagger", "Can't beat any of Jin Yong's great swordsmen." , etc.

    Based on forum comments, it would seem that Sai Mun Chui Sheut truly, really sucks as a swordsman, but that doesn't match either the adaptations or Gu Long's descriptions of him, or the admiration and fear that the other LUK SIU FUNG characters feel towards him (it's been explained that it's only because Sai Mun Chui Sheut is so cold and strange; I know alot of cold, strange people too, but they don't SCARE me).

    I want a straight explanation about exactly what's going on here.

  2. #2
    Senior Member junny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng
    "Can't beat Yip Goo Sing. Yip Goo Sing just didn't want to win because he knew he'd die anyway." (OK, sure.)
    From what I remember (it's been so long ago, so I stand corrected), Ye Gucheng and Ximen Chuixue were on par where martial arts were concerned. Ye Gucheng had an edge prior to the duel because:

    1) his single-minded focus on his mission ensured that he was totally intent on achieving whatever he set out to achieve and he allowed no distractions.

    2) Ximen Chuixue was preoccupied with his pregnant wife Sun Xiuqing and their unborn baby. In that state of mind, he could not concentrate because he had his loved ones to worry about and was unable to fully focus on beating Ye Gucheng.

    Which was why after Lu Xiaofeng had a little chat with him, Ximen Chuixue rediscovered his confidence and was able to get into the frame of mind necessary for the duel. And some people make too big a deal out of Ye Gucheng's desire to die. Sure, he knew his mission had failed, but to just want to die like that wouldn't befit his status as a famed swordsman. They were on par and showed mutual respect. Both of them would have wanted a proper duel.

    If you've read the novels, as you said, then you should be able to draw your own conclusions re Ximen Chuixue.
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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by junny
    If you've read the novels, as you said, then you should be able to draw your own conclusions re Ximen Chuixue.
    I have, and my conclusion is that he was among the greatest (if not THE greatest) swordsman in wuxia history...but most forum members seem to rate him much lower than that. Every time I've brought up Sai Mun Chui Sheut's sword skills at a wuxia forum, half a dozen people denigrate his skills.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Candide's Avatar
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    Well, you can't blame people on forums for not thinking too highly of him. Everything GL has written about him screams "BULLSITH!" so we have to put him down a little to make sure his feet are still on the ground.
    "Anything you can't say NO to is your MASTER, and you are its SLAVE."

    "I disapprove of what I say, but I will defend to the death my right to say it."

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    Senior Member junny's Avatar
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    Well, then. People are just measuring him by a different yardstick. More people read Jin Yong than Gu Long, would be my guess, and of those people, more of them would use their standards of judging Jin Yong heroes for Gu Long ones as well.

    The thing is, while Jin Yong's heroes undergo all sorts of training and attain all sorts of funny levels of martial arts (people can argue about them until the pigs turn blue), Gu Long's heroes are somewhat different ("hero" being a debatable term to use sometimes).

    Lu Xiaofeng, Ximen Chuixue, Li Xunhuan and Ding Peng all use the speed variable. And except for the first two, they live in different times in Gu Long's universe. Ximen Chuixue not only attained the "swordless" state, his skill reached a pinnacle where Gu Long described him as the "God of Sword", which was, he felt, a rare level not reached often in martial arts. Lu Xiaofeng also told Ximen Chuixue once (before the duel with Ye Gucheng) that there was only one weapon he could not catch with his two fingers: Ximen Chuixue's sword. Whether that was merely encouragement for a friend low on confidence, or the truth, we will never really know because there is no single clear instance where Gu Long demonstrated this (at least not in my memory for now).

    I like Ximen Chuixue too. I think in the last story, Gu Long mentioned that Ximen Chuixue had surpassed not only himself, but the limits of the sword. To the point where he abandoned his wife and child and spent years in isolation perfecting the art of the sword. At least in Gu Long's universe, very few swordsmen ever reach the pinnacle where they have the honour to be referred to as "God of Sword". Sure, in the earlier novels he might have had a bit of trouble defeating people (as alleged by the postings quoted, although I never had that impression), it must be remembered that he too, like many heroes, was on his personal learning curve and if he used his sword, it was because he bloody felt like it.

    I think that comparison between the heroes of different writers is a bit pointless, because Gu Long was never as generous with martial arts details as Jin Yong. There is only quickest and quickest, and when you're going to die in one stroke (Li Xunhuan's dagger or Ximen Chuixue's sword), or have the duel stopped by Lu Xiaofeng catching the weapon, or some fabulous, super-fast martial arts, then that kinda defeats the purpose of a duel.

    My two cents.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Candide's Avatar
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    Well we didn't see Xiao Feng go through any training but he's still the most likeable character around here. I kinda like SM but GL tried too hard to make him supercool.
    "Anything you can't say NO to is your MASTER, and you are its SLAVE."

    "I disapprove of what I say, but I will defend to the death my right to say it."

  7. #7
    Senior Member CC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candide
    Well we didn't see Xiao Feng go through any training but he's still the most likeable character around here. I kinda like SM but GL tried too hard to make him supercool.
    You referring to the bathing before the fights with the chicks scrubbing his butt and the faggy white threads?

  8. #8
    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CC
    You referring to the bathing before the fights with the chicks scrubbing his butt and the faggy white threads?
    Fortunately for all concerned, when TVB adapted LUK SIU FUNG in the 1970s, they changed "butt-scrubbing" to Sai Mun Chui Sheut just washing his hands in a basin (with the girls handing him towels). Sometimes, not being accurate to the novel is a *good* thing.

    As for the white clothes, Sai Mun Chui Sheut and Yip Goo Sing had an extraordinary ability to make all-white *very* manly.

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    Senior Member Radken's Avatar
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    Never read the novels before. First time I was introduced to the character was when watching the The Duel starring Andy Lau and Ekin Cheng. Come on, how can anyone take the name "Simon the Snow Blower" seriously? Sounds like a bad wrestling gimmick or someone who should be working on my driveway during Winter. "Simon the Snowman". Now that's intimidating.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Candide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radken
    . "Simon the Snowman". Now that's intimidating.


    Yeah....right.
    "Anything you can't say NO to is your MASTER, and you are its SLAVE."

    "I disapprove of what I say, but I will defend to the death my right to say it."

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    Moderator kidd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candide


    Yeah....right.

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    Default In defense of Ximen Chuixue

    In defense of all the Ximen Chuixue bashing, here is an old post by Edmund Lau that describes the actions of Ximen the "Snow Blower". The original question that was posed was what were the differences between him and Ye Gucheng, two sword gods who seemed to be obsessed with nothing else but the sword.

    Here's the post below, the first part is Moin's answer, the second part is Edmund's response:

    > They are the same because they are an embodiment of
    > their sword, to be sword gods they have to sacrifice
    > their own individuality and become the personification
    > of their swords, to become an extension of it. And all
    > swords, no matter how differently looking, are the
    > same, they are all merciless, loveless, regret-less,
    > killing machines.

    Moin, I disagree with what you wrote. Gu Long is seldom one to indulge in writing senseless killing machines. Even in his coldest characters (e.g. Jing Wuming in "Siu Lei Fei Do" and that killer in "Comet, Butterfly, Sword"), there is always a spark of humanity in them.

    Anyway, according to the novel, the real difference between Sai Mun Chui Shuet and Yip Koo Sing is very subtle but it means a world of difference.

    Sai Mun Chui Shuet considers killing an act that is holy (filled with sanctity). He does not take killing lightly. That is why he fasts every time before he goes off to kill someone. For all we know about him, every one killed by him genuinely deserves to die. He does not really enjoy killing but he sees it as a necessary evil (because he has the ability to kill off evil men). Killing is his working-life, in other words. Much like a farmer who goes out under the hot sun to work or a courier-man who travels under heavy rain and snow. Everytime he kills off someone, Sai Mun Chui Shuet would blow off the last drop of blood from his sword.

    Yip Goo Sing posed as Sai Mun Chui Shuet and killed in his name, framing him of several murders. It wasn't that difficult for Yip Goo Sing to pose as Sai Mun Chui Shuet considering the similarities between them. He even copied Sai Mun Chui Shuet's actions down to the last act of blowing the drop of blood from his sword. It is here that the similarities end. Yip Goo Sing takes pleasure in killing. The act of blowing the drop of blood from the sword is a symbol of victory to him (of conquest - he has defeated his opponent and has taken a life). Yip Goo Sing lives by his own values - which are quite simple really. He knows only victory and defeat.

    Sai Mun Chui Shuet is called Chui Shuet ("blow snow") rather than Chui Shuet ("blow blood") because he does not take pleasure in taking someone's life. He always looks at himself as someone who has to go out to work under the snow. Someone like that will come home dusting off snow from his clothings. As he enters the warmth of his home, he will wipe off the last bit of snow on his body and coverings. That's because he is preparing to leave his workplace ("under the snow") and return to the warmth of his home ("throwing away all signs of work"). Much like a man removes his tie and puts aside his briefcase once he comes home from work. That's why Sai Mun Chui Shuet is called "the snow blower". Once he's done with the killing, he ends his fast and would spend several days enjoying himself with food and drink. His work is over. His next assignment is in the future. In the meantime, he has a life.

    When Luk Siu Fung visited Sai Mun Chui Shuet, he saw a huge house with a lot of warmth. Paintings on the wall. Flowers in the garden. Is this the house of a killer who enjoys killing? Definitely not. Sai Mun Chui Shuet also has a peculiar sense of humour. Like the time when he requested Luk Siu Fung to shave off his mustache. In fact, Gu Long's final "Luk Siu Fung" novel is called "The Sword God's Laughter". Sai Mun Chui Shuet and Luk Siu Fung managed to trick a bunch of people and they both found it so funny that they laughed heartily together.

    When Luk Siu Fung encountered Yip Goo Sing, he found him a person with no friends (hiding in an old, dilapidated temple). After talking to some people, Luk Siu Fung discovered that Yip Goo Sing is a man who dislike women and flowers (which led him to question why there were women and flowers that accompanied him when they met earlier). Yip Goo Sing has no life other than his sword and his ambition. He may pretend to be Sai Mun Chui Shuet but he can go only so far as "the blood blower" and never "the snow blower".

    Edmund

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    I remember that post by Edmund and it was an excellent analysis of the Sai Mun Chui Shuet and Yip Goo Sing characters. Gu Long deliberately created Yip Goo Sing to be a mirror image of Sai Mun Chui Sheut, but Yip Goo Sing seemed to lack a soul. Yip Goo Sing seemed to symbolize what Sai Mun Chui Sheut might have been in danger of becoming had he not encountered Sheun Sau Ching. Then again, Sai Mun Chui Sheut was rooted in a sense of morality that Yip Goo Sing lacked.

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    Moderator Ren Wo Xing's Avatar
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    Well, here's my 2c on Ximen.

    Basically, as I see it, in too many of his fights he won against the 'ultratop-tier', there were extenuating circumstances. Dugu Yihe was already drained of energy before the battle began, else Ximen might have lost. Against Yi Gucheng, Gucheng 'let' him win. Lu Xiaofeng's statement that the only thing he couldn't stop was Ximen's sword is highly circumspect, considering he could and did stop Yi Gucheng's ultimate move, and Yi Gucheng was, at the very least, Ximen's equal.

    Also, when he stopped using a sword and started using substitutes, although he was still able to perform well, it was obvious that he would've done better had he actually had a sword. So instead of "overcoming a sword with no sword" as Dugu Qiubai did, what Ximen basically did was "subsituting a wooden sword for a sword" which was actually worse than using a normal sword.

    And finally, most importantly to me, Ximen didn't seem to be a 'master' of the sword; he acted like when he used the sword, all he could perform were killing moves; he couldn't spare someone's life even if he wanted to in a fight (such as in Book 1, against that young guy). That, to me at least, bespeaks a lack of a true mastery of the sword.

    To me, at least, Ximen was too much a master of killing. It was killing (although admittedly of evil people) which he 'worshipped' rather than the sword; the sword was simply the holy instrument with which he performed his 'rites'.

    Those are the reasons I don't think as highly of Ximen as a martial artist as I otherwise might.

  15. #15
    Senior Member TigerWong's Avatar
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    Default Some of my thoughts on XiMen ChuiXue

    I don't see why XiMen ChuiXue has to suck just because one doesn't consider him to be the greatest. Theres a lot of room in between. Personally, I think he's very good, but he doesn't strike me as being one of GL's super-elite fighters. It's not that he's shabby at all, it's just that there are a lot of uber, almost godlike fighters out there (especially in some of the earlier novels).

    Some things to consider before awarding him DuGu KiuBai's Medal of Invincibility.

    His earlier performances against Dugu YiHe and Ye GuCheng have been discussed. 'Nuff said.

    Let's say that he did improve tremendously since then. We know that there is an implication that he no longer needs to use a physical sword. But that can mean many things... using substitutes like branches, using the opponent's weapon, sword chi, using his hand/fingers as a sword, etc. Many other GL characters can also do one or more of those things. Some mention that he has achieved the level of sword chi in Book 7, but where is the evidence? I'm curious about this, and would be interested in seeing the passage. As far as I recall, the only implication might be when Beef Soup(?) felt a strong aura of sword chi coming from him. But that wasn't even him, that was an imposter (SiKong ZhaiXing I think, or one of the others) at the time. And even if there are a number of subtle hints implying he has reached that level, compare that to other GL novels whose characters actually demonstrated the projection of sword chi (i.e. Poisonous Sword, Fragrant Plum Blossom).

    In Silver Hook Casino, XMCS didn't use a sword, but he turned his opponent's sword against him. After XMCS left, the other villain attacked LXF with his sword, even more quickly and with more of an element of surprise, and LXF caught it easily. I'm not implying that LXF is better, but just pointing out that XMCS's feat may not be so uniquely remarkable.

    In Phantom Manor, one of the Wooden Taoist's men demonstrated a move that was said to be on par with Ye GuCheng's Outer Heaven Flying Angel. The Wooden Taoist seemed to demonstrate inner power above LXF's, and showed no fear of facing XMCS immediately after the power struggle. Of course, Ye GuCheng's overall skills are probably higher then Wooden Taoist's subordinate. And the Wooden Taoist's actions/attitude doesn't necessarily mean he'd defeat XMCS, but it does show that the elites in the LXF mainland do not all show a fear of XMCS (although certainly a healthy respect).

    Phoenix Dancing in the Ninth Heaven opens up the doors to the "Outer Isle" in LXF's era. The concept of a mysterious Island where the true upper levels of power reside is a very common theme in GL novels, especially the earlier ones where the hero interacts with the inhabitants (and oftentimes acquire great power that way). When legends like Shen Lang and Li XunHuan retire, they also travel to these Isles (it's almost reminiscent of the Avalon in Arthurian tales). I wouldn't be surprised if the master of the Isle took down 2 LXFs. And the prince, Gong 9, was certainly not too worried about XMCS (and XMCS was preparing to use a physical sword). In fact, LXF felt guilty about asking him to hold off Gong 9 and rushed back to check up because he was worried for his friend.

    GL's fight descriptions didn't always consist of emphasis on speed and the single killing moves that were more common in his popular novels. His earlier works were quite graphic and the characters performed astonishing feats. It is hard for me to place my bets on XMCS against some of those guys, even taking into account the differences in how GL described fights. But even if you look at XMCS in the context of the LXF era, he is not without peer.

    I'm not trying to "prove" that XMCS is not a great fighter (again, I personally think he is great, but I think there are others even better). I don't think I can. I think everyone will have their own means of gauging ability. I just wanted to throw out a few points to consider. Not proving innocence, but perhaps casting a shadow of a doubt.
    Last edited by TigerWong; 02-23-05 at 02:48 AM.

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    I feel that when it comes to discussing Sai Mun Chui Sheut, people generally take a "glass half empty" view of him. Every discussion of SMCS eventually turns to explicating why he isn't as great as he is typically depicted. I don't see this consistently with other elite fighters in either the Jin Yong or Gu Long canon. Maybe I'm just being paranoid because I like the character so much and think highly of him, but I can't help suspecting that there's almost some kind of unspoken conspiracy against the character. I can't think of another elite martial artist in wuxia fiction whose elite status comes under so much negative scrutiny.

  17. #17
    Senior Member TigerWong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng
    I feel that when it comes to discussing Sai Mun Chui Sheut, people generally take a "glass half empty" view of him. Every discussion of SMCS eventually turns to explicating why he isn't as great as he is typically depicted. I don't see this consistently with other elite fighters in either the Jin Yong or Gu Long canon. Maybe I'm just being paranoid because I like the character so much and think highly of him, but I can't help suspecting that there's almost some kind of unspoken conspiracy against the character. I can't think of another elite martial artist in wuxia fiction whose elite status comes under so much negative scrutiny.
    Maybe it's because he's such a popular character that oftentimes he comes across as nigh invincible, especially in comics (in fact, seems like the other extreme happens in those stories... they always blow him up to unreasonable heights of power) and many adaptations (i.e. The Duel). While he is strong, he is not peerless IMO. So, of course, other people who feel that way will express that point. I don't think I've really seen posts that claimed he sucked (at least not often enough for me to recall). Sure, I've also read comments such as: "LXF is better", "LXF was only being humble", "He can't beat Ding Pang", etc., etc. But can you really consider those opinions unfairly negative? They're valid viewpoints someone can have, just like how you might feel SMCX is better then either of those two. Theres no real conclusive proof either way.

    Hell, maybe my post might be lumped into your XMCS "bashing" group, although I think I'm trying to be as objective as I can. There is no unspoken conspiracy against him. Or at least, nobody has asked me to join yet.
    Last edited by TigerWong; 02-23-05 at 04:58 AM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Radken's Avatar
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    Sounds like Simon is living in DuGu KiuBai's shadow. No point in praising his heroic exploits when it's already accomplished by someone else. Maybe what the guy needs is some charisma. If his personality was more likeable, people will raise up to defend his sword wielding ability even if he practices something weirder like "To Converse With Eyes" technique.

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    Moderator kidd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cheng
    I feel that when it comes to discussing Sai Mun Chui Sheut, people generally take a "glass half empty" view of him. Every discussion of SMCS eventually turns to explicating why he isn't as great as he is typically depicted. I don't see this consistently with other elite fighters in either the Jin Yong or Gu Long canon. Maybe I'm just being paranoid because I like the character so much and think highly of him, but I can't help suspecting that there's almost some kind of unspoken conspiracy against the character. I can't think of another elite martial artist in wuxia fiction whose elite status comes under so much negative scrutiny.
    Yeah, I think u r paranoid. Even the undefeatable Xiao Feng has detractors who think he isn't God.
    So, I don't think there's a conspiracy against XMCX. There are people who think highly of him and there are others who think he is 'not the greatest'. But like Tiger Wong, I never came across anyone who actually says 'he sux'.

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    The spirit of Gu Long's novels was always about the human condition, never about who had the strongest martial arts, or who had the fastest sword. That is why I always believed Gu Long deliberately wrote so many invincible swordsman into his works and never really provided a method by which we could compare their relative skills. This just wasn't his intention.

    Jin Yong was more of a completist. It was almost a responsibility he put upon himself that every character he wrote about had a past that was accounted for and every martial art he described had an origin that was accounted for. That was what Jin Yong had intended to write, he wanted to create a lively vivid and historical universe for his characters to dwell in.

    I have always felt that Gu Long just wasn't as concerned about everything having to fit in. Most of his characters' origins are never talked about. Most of his martial arts are pretty vague as well, some don't even have proper names. For Gu Long, what he was trying to portray in Ximen Chuixue, was Ximen Chuixue, the person; not Ximen Chuixue the martial artist or Ximen Chuixue's sword technique.

    In reflecting on Gu Long's works, I think its pointless to look too deep into comparing and contrasting skills and power levels. Rather, Ximen Chuixue is such a well-known name because of his persona. If you ask any typical Asian person, I bet it is much more likely that they can tell you how Ximen Chuixue is like as a person (cold, emotionless, stoic) rather than what sword technique he used (Sharen Jianfa).

    Gu Long's intention was to write an invincible swordsman into the hearts of his readers. I think for the most part, he was very successful. Whether Ximen Chuixue really WAS invincible is irrelevant.

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