- "Hone the discord in your soul, living one, and may the Way of the Closed Fist always bring you strength".
- –Bladed Thesis
The Way of the Closed Fist is a philosophy within the Jade Empire which emphasizes combat, turmoil, and constantly challenging oneself. The alternate path to the Closed Fist is the Way of the Open Palm.
The Way of the Closed Fist is the "Low path" or the path of discord and aggression. This path isn't necessarily evil, though its followers may use it to justify their own evil actions. Those who follow the Closed Fist believe that strength is power and that power allows them to impose their will. They are generally quicker to resort to violence, allowing strength to decide the best course, and will do whatever it takes to advance their station. Closed Fist followers are not concerned with balance or harmony or the larger world consequences of their actions, but they are not disconnected with the world. An evil man ignores a plea for help because he does not care, but a man on the "low path" ignores the plea because that person will survive on their own if they are strong enough. The man on the "low path" may help if the odds are unreasonable, or if there is an incentive to give assistance.
Closed Fist Advancement
Throughout the game, the Player has an option to complete quests in a Closed Fist or Open Palm manner. Closed Fist options are the evil dialogue choices. They are associated with betrayal, being rude, bullying others out of their possessions, refusing to help, and choosing to do violence readily or happily. Intimidation conversation options may also bring about a Closed Fist alignment shift. Closed Fist alignment points are awarded each time the player follows the Closed Fist dialogue responses. When a certain Closed Fist alignment is reached, the player's shadow will grow tentacles every time he or she stands idle.
Some quests are automatically considered Closed Fist, for example killing the Forest Shadow. Other quests can only be completed if the Player has a Closed Fist alignment, for example impressing Jian the Iron Fist or completing the Zither of Discord. There are two followers that can be chosen by the Player which result in a Closed Fist alignment shift. These are Ya Zen and Death's Hand. Other followers, such as Sky, Dawn Star and Silk Fox, can have their alignments shifted to Closed Fist via romance. This alters their responses, attitudes and their final fate accordingly.
Followers of the Discordant Path
- Black Whirlwind
- Bladed Thesis
- Death's Hand
- Fifth Brother Shangjin
- Gao the Greater
- Gao the Lesser
- Iron Soldier
- Jian the Iron Fist
- Lotus Assassins
- Master Smiling Hawk
- Scholar Six Heavens (in name only)
- Third Brother Renshan