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Overview

Fou-Lu is the main antagonist in the fourth game in the Breath of Fire series of Japanese RPG's. First Emperor of the Fou Empire, and going by the moniker of God Emperor, Fou-Lu is actually the malevolent half of an ancient dragon spirit, summoned into the world from the realm of the gods in a botched ceremony, causing the entity to split in two and be separated through space and time. The other half of this entity is Ryu, the principal protagonist of the game. A unique mechanic in Breath of Fire IV allowed you to play parts of the story as Fou-Lu, following his reawakening and subsequent return to power over the Fou Empire. Fou-Lu, like Ryu, has the extraordinary ability to transform into a dragon, as well as wielding powerful magic.

Near the beginning of the game, Fou-Lu awakens from his burial shrine from generations of slumber, declaring that it is now time to retake the world. Leaving his faithful guard hound, Won-Qu, to watch over his shrine, Fou-Lu sets off to reclaim his Empire. Before he gets far, he is attacked by Yohm, a General in the modern Fou Empire's army, who, knowing of the prophecy of Fou-Lu's reawakening, was sent by the current Emperor to stop Fou-Lu at all costs. Fou-Lu, much weakened after his slumber, is defeated, and escapes by jumping into a nearby river.

Fou-Lu awakens some time later in the care of a man called Bunyan. After he recovers, Fou-Lu departs and is again confronted by Yohm. After a brief battle, the weakened Fou-Lu is once again defeated and transforms into a dragon to escape, but cannot control his form in his battered state and crashes into the forest below.

Fou-Lu once again awakens in the care of a human, this time a farmer girl named Mami. After nursing his wounds, Fou-Lu learns from Mami that there is a supposed 'god' terrorizing her village. Fou-Lu leaves to investigate, and after defeating the 'god' (a giant rock golem), Fou-Lu returns to the village to find it under attack by Fou soldiers. Mami sacrifices herself to allow Fou-Lu to escape, but after fleeing into the mountains he is bombarded by fire from an Imperial Hex Cannon, a device that uses human sacrifices to fire incredible and unstable destructive blasts.

Fou-Lu survives this attack, deranged and enraged to the point of insanity. He finally reaches the Fou Imperial Palace and ruthlessly kills the Emperor, finally retaking his Empire. Ryu and his friends then confront Fou-Lu, questioning his motivation to destroy humanity, even after they have given so much to him to aid his recovery and escape from Yohm. The player can then make some important moral choices, which can change the ending of the game depending on what you pick. One of the options even allows you to skip the final confrontation and willingly reunite with Fou-Lu and take over the world, leading to a game over. In other cases, Fou-Lu is ultimately defeated, coming to his senses and re-merging with Ryu. The dragons of the world then decide to leave and take their power with them, leaving the world in humanity's hands, allowing the reformed Ryu to live on in the world as a mortal.

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