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Gao the Greater is a minor antagonist who appears in the second chapter of the videogame Jade Empire. He is a sorcerous crime lord and a slaver in league with the Lotus Assassins. He is also the father of Gao the Lesser, another minor antagonist from the first chapter.

Biography

Background

Gao the Greater presented himself as a wealthy merchant, but it was no secret that he made his fortune through questionable means. He was in fact the head of a notorious crime syndicate known as the Guild. At some point following his takeover of the Guild, Gao took over a band of pirates operating from a river island close to the trading village of Tien's Landing. Making the island his main base of operations, he started constructing flyers there and had the pirates kidnap people to sell them to slavery. His primary buyers were the Lotus Assassins who gained from him flyers, a place of respite and slaves for their golem industry.

Gao had a son called Gao the Lesser who was at some point sent to study martial arts in the remote village of Two Rivers. Gao the Greater cared much for his spoiled son who seemed to reciprocate the respect, but he had no other positive relationships. Gao made it clear that he worked with the Lotus Assassins, not for them. His refusal to grovel before them resulted in a strained partnership with the Assassins' representative in Gao's area, Inquisitor Lim. His dealings with the Assassins did not sit well with some of the other members of the Guild either. The usurped pirate captain Cheung thought that the arrival of Gao and the Lotus Assassins marked the pirates' fall from grace.

Three years before the start of the gameplay, Gao's slavers kidnapped Sky's daughter Pinmei and killed her for fighting back. Filled with vengeance, Sky spent the following years tracking down Gao in order to kill him. When the inventor Kang the Mad was in trouble with the authorities of Tien's Landing, Gao bribed some officials to release him. He then forcibly made Kang his engineer and used the flyers he provided for his slaving operations, much to Kang's outrage (even if only for the lack of respect displayed through the mass production that stripped the flyers of their individual value).

Fall of Gao the Greater

When Gao the Lesser is expelled from the Two Rivers School and he overhears Master Li revealing his true identity as Sun Li the Glorious Strategist, the younger Gao informs his father of this. Gao the Greater passes this information to the Lotus Assassins. After Death's Hand and Grand Inquisitor Jia lead the Assassins to capture Master Li, Gao the Greater orders his mercenaries to burn the village and kill off any survivors. What Gao is not aware of is that his son Gao the Lesser is killed by Master Li's protege, the last Spirit Monk.

While the Spirit Monk and their companions look for information and means of travel in Tien's Landing, they travel to Gao the Greater's pirate base where Death's Hand briefly stopped on his way to take Sun Li to the Imperial City. They witness Gao and Inquisitor Lim conversing with Grand Inquisitor Jia through a magical projection. Gao is supposed to provide Lim a long-range flyer called the Marvelous Dragonfly as means of transport to the Imperial City, but the flyer is uncompleted due to Kang temporizing. After Jia cuts off communication, Lim orders Gao to finish the flyer, but Gao talks back at being ordered, making a mention of his son's role in the capture of Sun Li. Taking the opportunity, Lim informs Gao of his son's death. Distraught, Gao runs off to grieve privately.

The Spirit Monk finds Gao mourning in his office. Recognizing Master Li's protege as his son's killer, Gao attempts to avenge his son, only to be killed. If the main quests of Old Tien's Landing and the Great Southern Forest have been completed at this point, Lim is with Gao to offer resurrection of his son with the Lotus Assassins' necromancy, but Gao knows he would not truly get back the son he loved. They then fight the Spirit Monk together and are killed. Otherwise Gao is accompanied by three of his pirates.

With Gao the Greater killed, Tien's Landing is freed of the damage caused by slavers. Sky joins the Spirit Monk to have further revenge on Gao's collaborators, the Lotus Assassins. Kang also joins them, providing them the Marvelous Dragonfly as means of travel. Gao's death also creates a power vacuum in the Guild that gains the attention of another high-ranking Guild member, Kai Lan the Serpent.

Personality

Gao the Greater is a criminal willing to make profit out of pirating and slavery as well as dealing with the dreaded Lotus Assassins. Kang the Mad dislikes him because he does not care about the inventor's opinions of how flyers should be managed, mass-producing them for his slaving operations. Like his son Gao the Lesser, Gao the Greater is short-tempered and used to having things his way, which is why he is often at loggerheads with Inquisitor Lim over who is in charge. He also makes it clear to Lim that he does not take orders from Grand Inquisitor Jia either. Gao also practices strict order with his underlings. One of Gao the Lesser's beaten bodyguards says that he will be killed as a failure if he returns to Gao the Greater.

For all his evilness, however, Gao genuinely cares for his spoiled son, Gao the Lesser. He has mercenaries to bodyguard his son while he is far away in Two Rivers. He seems to share his son's outrage at the way Master Li apparently favors his protege, the last Spirit Monk, over the younger Gao. Upon being informed of his son's death, the older Gao is distraught, crying out that his son was everything to him. He then secludes himself to mourn for his son, threatening to answer to any disturbances with harsh retribution. Upon being confronted with his son's killer, Gao furiously calls them a murderer even if he is told that the Spirit Monk did not want to kill the younger Gao. He then attempts to have revenge, intending to give the Spirit Monk a slow and painful death.

Powers and abilities

Gao the Greater is regarded as a sorcerer whose eyes always blaze due to his dark magic. He is powerful enough to call demons to the mortal realm and bind them, like the Elephant Demon Xianshi whom he has forced to guard his treasure room. He is proficient in using the Dire Flame magic style in combat, and he has taught his son Gao the Lesser this technique. He also fights with the martial style Thousand Cuts. According to himself, he knows how to beat all the styles taught in the school of Two Rivers.

Quotes

Jia is not my Mistress, Lim, and I don't take orders from you, either! Remember, if not for my son, you would never have discovered where the Glorious Strategist was hiding!
~ Gao the Greater speaking against Inquisitor Lim's order to finish the Marvelous Dragonfly.
No! Young Gao was everything to me... Damn you and your black heart, Lim! Damn you! I... I want to be alone. I... I must grieve for my son. No one is to disturb me! No one!
~ Gao the Greater despairing over his son's death.
You dare disturb me in my grief? I said, no interruptions! You will pay for... wait. You are not one of my servants. I know you. You are one of Master Li's students! You... you are the one who killed my son, Gao!
~ Gao the Greater recognizing the last Spirit Monk.
Your words mean nothing! You are a murderer, a killer! Gao was everything to me, and now he is gone! Damn you and that school! My Gao was never good enough for Master Li; you were always his prize pupil. And now my son is...
~ Gao the Greater expressing his fury over his son's death.
Gao may be gone, but I will avenge him! I know the styles your broken old master taught you, and I know how to beat them! I promise your death will be both slow and painful!
~ Gao the Greater speaking his last words if he faces the last Spirit Monk without Inquisitor Lim.
It is time to end your meddling!
~ Gao the Greater speaking his last words if he faces the last Spirit Monk with Inquisitor Lim.
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