Juroung (ジュロング) is one of the boss characters introduced in Strider (2014).
A shaman and self-proclaimed true disciple of Grandmaster Meio, Juroung is the leader of Kazakh City's Underground, where he enforces Meio's will. Known as the "Devoted Shaman", he's a religious fanatic of the Grandmaster who worships him as a true god, following his instructions blindly and regardless of any risks, even to the extent of willingly dying for him. Through his belief in Meio, Juroung sees himself as superior to others whose belief is "weak", and fights with full confidence that Meio's will guides him to victory.
Juroung takes residence in a personal chamber deep within the Underworld's Buried Temple. Living in the Underground where chaos and disorder reigns, Juroung believes that paving the way for Meio's order in such a place is his destiny or life calling. As one of his closest aides, Grandmaster Meio puts a lot more trust in him over his other subordinates like General Mikiel or the Four Winds.
Before Hiryu's infiltration in Kazakh City, Juroung was challenged in the Buried Temple by Strider Hoen, who he effortlessly eliminated with his water manipulation skills. Following Professor Schlange's failure in eliminating Hiryu, a frustrated Meio went to the Underground and visited the shaman on his quarters. Observing Hiryu through his powers, Meio notes his efforts will be futile and commands Juroung to eliminate him where others have failed. Juroung confidently assures his lord that he'll not fail.
Having been told by the Black Marketer that Juroung holds the "key" he needs to proceed, the Pickup Cradle for the Magnetic Cypher, Hiryu sought him out and finally met him in his chambers. Juroung begins by proclaiming that Meio's words "blesses [them] all" and asking Hiryu if he can hear Meio's calling and why he refuses it. Initially, Juroung's control over water forces Hiryu into the defensive as Juroung notes that "escaping is not for [him]" and that he can't run away forever. Eventually, however, Hiryu turns the situation around and damages Juroung enough that his gravitron becomes unstable and he seemingly explodes in a burst of energy.
Skills and Abilities
Juroung's special ability is his control over water. Using the gravity force of the small Gravitron embedded within his body, Juroung can manipulate bodies of water and shape them into ghostly forms he uses to attack any intruder. The constructs he creates are varied, though he seems to favor creating giant water hands to hit and crush his targets. In order to gather water for his attacks, Juroung has a mechanical contraption in his back which sucks in water from the ground and transports it to his upper body/forearms. He's also capable of using the power of gravity directly to create miniature black holes to which capture/crush his targets.
In battle, Juroung has three distinct phases: at first he simply stands at one end of the room, attacking Hiryu with one or two of his techniques before leaping over to the other side to continue his attacks. After receiving enough damage, he starts creating a water hand to stand on and attack from a higher position, forcing Hiryu to jump to hit him. If Hiryu is standing near the edges when the hands emerge, he can be hit by the rising water as well. During the final phase, his attacks come up faster and stronger and he mixes them together.
- Giant Water Hand: Juroung summons several water hands that dashes forward at Hiryu. They come out quickly, but can be avoided by jumping or standing at the opposite end of the room.
- Rising Water Hand: Juroung charges up and strikes the ground, creating a water hand form that springs upwards. He often does this attack continously to strike Hiryu. When his life is low, he starts creating two hands together instead of one.
- Water Stream: Juroung shoots streams of water at high pressure from the ground, which travel diagonally up across the screen, and then bounce back from above. They cover up a lot of screen space, making them hard to dodge.
- Water Insects: Juroung creates a swarm of water-shaped insects and sics them on Hiryu. They have some homing capabilities when released, and will seek Hiryu's position. If destroyed the insects drop health.
- Gravity Well: Juroung rises atop a water hand in the background and produces a powerful gravity pull in the center of the stage. During the move, two water hands generate at both ends of the room and eventually clash into the center. If Hiryu is pulled into the black hole, he's stunned in place and will be unable to avoid the upcoming water hands.
Juroung's concept is a combination between The Candyman, the main character in the horror slasher film series of the same name, and Imhotep from The Mummy film franchise. He's also stated to have "a bit" of Thulsa Doom as well, a magician and necromancer from the Kull of Atlantis stories. Juroung's face was loosely modeled after pictures of a younger Tony Barnes.
The origin of the name is uncertain, although it may have been taken from the Sungei Jurong, a river located in Singapore, possibly in relation to his water powers. Jurong or Zhurong is also a fire deity in Chinese Mythology, but it appears to have no relation to the character.
- Juroung's Intel profile mentions that he protects the Prototype Gravitron "to the death", even though in-game he's nowhere to be seen when Hiryu tracks and destroys it. Interestingly, the Intel profile for the Buried Temple in the Japanese version states the prototype is managed by Meio's Army instead and it remains outside Juroung's jurisdiction.
- Going from the above, it appears Juroung may have been intended to have an early boss battle in the game. A few of his boss battle dialogue seems to support this, with lines such as "We meet for the last time" and "This time I deal with you until the end!". The scrapped enemy Juroung's Follower furthers hints at Juroung playing a larger part originally.
- The cutscene where Juroung talks to Grandmaster Meio as he observes Hiryu in an orb is inspired by a similar scene from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. At the end of the cutscene Juroung creates a miniature Earth out of water and then crushes it. This is likely a nod to the intro artwork of the original Arcade game, which shows Meio holding the Earth in his hands.
- Capcom (2013). "Character: Juroung". Capcom's official Strider site (Japanese). Retrieved from archive.org. Accessed November 11, 2021.
- Capcom (February 2014, multi). Strider Hiryu (Japanese). Character Intel #37: Juroung
- Capcom (February 2014). Strider Hiryu (Japanese). Story Intel #12: Strider Hoen
- Hickey Jr., Patrick (January 3, 2020). The Minds Behind Adventure Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers. "Even Better Than the First Time", pg. 211. ISBN 1-4766-3847-0.
- Tony Barnes reply, posted May 14, 2015. LSCMainframe Facebook Group. Accessed April 27, 2020