Compared were the shortened German version by Ascot, which is identical to the old US version and the uncut HK-DVD by Universe (Cat IIb). Unfortunately, the HK-DVD does not contain a time-code, which is why the given cut-durations may be somewhat inaccurate (manually taken). The times refer to the German version which is due to the many story-shortenings not only inevitably incomprehensible, but has even been slightly recut for some parts. It is a real shame with the movie, which like many other Asian movies had to immensely shed feathers.
Duration German-version (PAL): 85 Min. 28 Sec.
Duration Universe-DVD (NTSC): 128 Min. = 123 Min. (PAL)
Overall Cut-Duration: ca. 37 Min. 30 Sec.
The Logo of B.o.B. & Partners Company is missing.
A sword-smithy is visible and one sees Striding Sky forging the Ultimate sword. His son Striding Cloud stands beside him and asks whether a good sword or Martial Arts was better. He receives the response that it was up to the person carrying the sword. He dips the weapon into the water and the computer-animated opening credits evolve out of the steam (in the German version, Ekin Cheng’s theme song was bereaved of its lyrics).
Here, the movie has an English intro-text which is not there in the Original version! He describes what in the HK-version can be heard during the conversation between Mud Buddha and Jester (in German called fool only). They talk to each other and walk by many training children through steep stairs into the palace. They kneel down in front of Lord Conquer.
Instead of the summing-up editing, the following can be seen:
smithy: Striding Sky is being told that Lord Conquer is looking for two particular boys. He orders not to tell anything about Cloud and takes his son in his arms.
Cirrus Cave: Whispering Prince carries his son Whispering Wind on his back through the rocks. As Wind asks about his mother Ying, two year-old memories come up: Back then, he already fought against Lord Conquer for one time. The fight took place in a bamboo-forest and bamboo-sticks were used as weapons for it. In case of a victory, Conquer demanded either Ying or Blizzard Blade. Since he actually wins, he takes the woman with him and arranges a date for a new duel. Present: Wind waits; his father faces Conquer. In doing so, he has to learn that his wife has gone deliberately with Conquer, for she had been unsatisfied and wanted to live together with a hero. However, Conquer informs him that he has only used her all along. Whilst he and the angry prince waft away for an air fight, Ying runs toward her son, apologizes and throws herself into the deep. Distracted by the screams of his son, Prince falls off the Buddha-head, where he has landed together with Conquer by now. Just before he hits the ground, he is being abducted by the fire-beast. Conquer takes Wind, who is unconscious, with him.
smithy: A massacre takes place; nearly everybody is dead. Cloud just sits around without showing emotions and watches his father being killed. The soldiers take him and Ultimate Sword with them. You can see numerous corpses skewered on stakes.
2 days later: Wind wakes up; Frost and Conquer’s daughter Charity stand beside his bed. She gives him a cup of tea.
12 Min. 48 Sec.
Cloud rides together with his two companions toward his mission. Different place: Little Pigtails asks her grandfather to chase her and runs away. A monk, who is being hunted by Ming and his horsemen from Unchallenged City, approaches them.
The monk asks Ming why he is looking for Mud Buddha. He responds that he needed him for his father’s 60th birthday in order to predict him a long life. He was to become a power together with Conquer.
Unchallenged City: The 3-days lasting festivities are in full swing. A companion of Cloud observes everything from a roof and reports back to Cloud. He decides to strike at 4 in the morning.
Cloud and his two companions walk through the dead bodies which lie scattered all over the ground.
The last survivors of Unchallenged City tell Sword Saint, the arch-rival of Conquer, about their suffering and ask him for help. Sword Saint thinks about it.
A village: Whilst Little Pigtails performs some Martial arts, Wind tells Mud Buddha about the inhabitants’ plans to adopt the girl. Mud Buddha praises him for being so grateful and wants to know how Cloud ended up.
The scene in which Cloud yells in anger beneath a waterfall is actually due only at a later point in time...
The influential Doctor Yu is asked by the inhabitants of the village to put in a good word to Conquer for them because the harvest was bad and the taxes are high. After he has send them back home, his fire-beast arm, which seems to exist independently, reacts. Muse, who is his daughter, treats him.
In the palace: Jester mocks Frost by adorning him with wedding jewelry. He asks him what he thinks about the wedding. Both of them welcome recently arriving guests. In the meantime, Yu and his daughter approach the palace. Muse is obviously impressed.
3 Min. 44 Sec.
Charity is being prepared or the ceremony. Conquer enters the room and whishes her good luck. He tells her that he had many wifes, but that he loved her mother the most. Not martial arts but the happiness of her mother mattered to him all the time.
Here directly, the waterfall-scene of 0:37.48 follows.
Muse remarks that she would like to be a bride as well, whereupon Yu only asks who would want her.
Estate of the Lui/Xia family: Cloud comes in by the window carrying with Charity’s coffin. He is looking for Ice Vigor in order to preserve the body of his beloved. He is able to repel any attacks on him; He throws back the arrow which is being fired on him by the pregnant Phoenix. Inside the ancestral sepulcher, he gets Ice Vigor out of the body of Phoenix’ father in law, whereupon the latter disintegrates.
Sword Grave: Wind sits at the same place where he has sit together with Charity before and thinks about this moment.
The royal mausoleum: Cloud chases all workers out as far as they want to stay alive.
5 Min. 21 Sec.
Cloud looks at Charity and places colored stones into her hands. Here in the German version, the music has been replaced; in the Original, a Cantopop-ballade can be heard. Additionally, parts of the conversation have been wrong or even not at all synchronized.
After the gate has closed, Conquer blasts the way for himself. He takes a look around but Cloud has already gone.
The scene in which Wind and Bat are together on the road is actually due at a later point of time and does not belong here at all!
Yu’s cottage: Cloud lies in bed and is being haunted by memories. Muse treats him and tries to kiss him but is not able to because Doctor Yu enters the room. The fire-beast arm awakes again. Yu realizes that it “sticks” to the wrong owner and deems Cloud to be the right one. Thus it is being chopped off and sewed on Cloud! Four days later, Cloud wakes up and thanks Yu and his daughter.
Conquer’s palace: Wind lies heavily drunk on the stairs. To change this circumstance, Conquer sends him away together with Hawk and Bat for Cirrus Cave in order to obtain Blood-Bodhi fruits.
5 Min. 35 Sec.
Wind and his companions are on their way on a river ( 12 Sec. ).
Only now the scene of 0:51.18 follows!!
The journey is not over yet. They walk down the same road which Wind has walked as a child together with his father (or was carried by him). Memories about that time, especially about the death of his mother, come over him. They approach the cave of the fire-beast by stairs and corridors. Here, the German version sets in again.
After Conquer kneels down on the ground being beaten, fireflies suddenly appear. Charity’s face forms out of them and a hideous face develops soon afterwards. More faces of people who were killed by Conquer appear. They accuse him. Whilst German version contains the reverse-shot on Conquer, the first of four shots that shows the screaming, mad Lord Conquer is missing.
The credits are written in English; once again only one tune can be heard. In the HK-DVD, scenes from the Making-of are visible on the left and Chinese Characters can be seen on the right. Another song is being played (probably by Ekin Cheng); here, the credits are longer by ( 9 Sec. ).