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You insolent demon, how blind you are! You may think I’m small, but I can grow easily enough. You may think I’m unarmed, but I could pull the moon down from the sky with my two hands. Don’t worry, old Sun Wukong will sock you one!
— Sun Wukong

Sun Wukong, also known as the Monkey King is mythological hero-god from various Chinese legends, who most famously appears in the Ming Dynasty novel Journey to the West. According to the novel, Wukong began his life as a monkey born from a stone. He quickly proved he was much greater than his brethren, becoming the leader of the monkey tribes, learning magic from a Taoist sage, and acquiring a massive magical cudgel from the Dragon King of the Eastern Sea.

Wukong began to form alliances with other animal tribes, which caught the attention of the Jade Emperor, the monarch of the Taoist gods. The Emperor gave Wukong a title, in hopes of controlling him. When Wukong learned his title meant nothing more than the duty of taking care of Heaven's horses, he was furious. He did the unthinkable, and attacked Heaven, where he fought off thousands of heavenly soldiers single-handedly. It was only by the might of the Tagatha Buddha himself that Wukong was finally defeated and imprisoned beneath an enchanted mountain.

After five centuries was passed, Wukong was finally freed from his prison. To redeem himself for his past actions, he was commanded to perform as a bodyguard for a Buddhist monk named Xuanzang on a quest to retrieve Buddhist sutras from a temple in India. The pair would be joined by the godly warriors Zhu Baije and Sha Wujing. Together, the group would battle demons and monsters that sought to kill Xuanzang. At the end of their journey, Wukong was granted Buddhahood.

Battle vs. Hercules (by Laquearius)[]

The trotting of a horse, the light footsteps of a god, the grumbling of a warrior, and the stride of a ogre: these were the sounds that filled a mountain pass as the sun rose. Xuanzang, Zhu Bajie, Sha Wujing, and Sun Wukong were in the last leg of their journey; Western Heaven was only a few leagues away.

"I'm starving," mumbled Zhu. "We haven't eaten anything for two days! Master, please allow us to stop and search for some food!"

Xuanzang pulled his horse to a halt. "Very well. Brother Monkey, go and search the area, see if there are any houses or temples nearby where we may beg for some food. Friar Sand, collect some wood so we may start a fire. Zhu, I saw some green grass a ways back, take the horse and feed him there."

Zhu was upset about being given the mundane task, but it meant he would be eating soon, so he did not complain. After watching his fellow disciples head off, Sun Wukong preformed one great leap that carried him into the sky and on to a cloud. Peering around from his perch, he spied a lone temple seated on a hill, just over the mountain. With a single somersault, he sprung through the air and landed on the foot of the hill with a crash.

Approaching the temple's door, he raised his fist and prepared to knock. Before his stroke fell, he was unterrupted by a booming voice behind him.

"You there!"

Sun spun around with lighting quick movement, summoned his cudgel from its place inside his ear, and faced the stranger.

The stranger was a giant of man, standing at two and a half meters tall. He wore the skin of a massive lion, and underneath it he was equipped with bronze armor: greaves, a helmet, and a breastplate. A long spear was in one hand, and an enormous bronze shield adorned by numerous elaborate carvings was in the other. The tip of the spear was pointed at Sun.

"Are you the one they call the Monkey King?" the stranger growled.

"I'm not sure. I've been known by many names. Stone Monkey, Keeper of Horses... Great Sage, Equal of Heaven. Who is it that wants to know?"

"My name is Heracles, Son of Zeus. I am bound by oath to find this Monkey King, and to retrieve his staff."

"I'm not sure the Monkey King will appreciate that demand. He's very fond of his staff. He's owned it for many years, and it has served him well."

"If he won't willingly give it up... I'll make him."

The demigod dashed forward with blinding speed, thrusting his spear forward. Sun skillfully ducked underneath the thrust, and threw his fist upward, aiming for the hero's chin. Hercules reacted too quickly, and his struck Sun's arm with the edge of his shield. Sun winced in pain, and Hercules delivered a mighty kick to Sun's side, knocking him several meters away. Brother Monkey was only stunned for a short moment, and he immediately got to his feet. "Grow!" he shouted, and the magic staff in his hand increased in size tenfold. He swung the cudgel over his head, and then brought it down onto the Greek strongman. A thunderous crash rang out across the land as the cudgel met the demigod's shield. Hephaestus's exquisite handiwork defended blocked blow after blow from the Monkey's staff, and the hero behind it held fast.

Sun kept up his unrelenting attack, and Hercules snatched his spear up from the ground. After waiting for the perfect moment, he hurled the spear at his enemy. It struck Sun head-on, the blow sending him crashing through the temple doors. Sun grunted in pain as he laying among the ruins of several columns, destroyed by the impact. He pulled a handful of hairs off of his head, chewed them up, and spit them out. "Change!" he cried, and the hair ball transformed into fifteen perfect clones of himself. The clones turned to the remains of the temple door and saw Hercules, bow in hand, enter. An arrow was already nocked, and he fired at the nearest clone. The clone dexterously dodged the shot, but Hercules was ready with another. The second shot sailed into the clone's neck, the deadly Hydra poison burning its flesh. In a puff of smoke, the clone was reduced to a scorched hair.

The remaining clones rushed at Hercules, who cast his bow to the ground and drew his sword. One quick slash brought down another clone, and an upward thrust finished a third. When the tenth clone fell, the remaining five vanished with a flash. Hercules turned around to see Sun in the form of an ox, barrelling into him. The demigod was hurled backwards by the blow, but he quickly recovered and grabbed Sun by the horns. Swinging him around, Hercules threw the ox through the side of the temple and into a cliff face. The impact split the mountain in two, and Sun slumped to the ground. Hercules charged at his downed foe, ready to put him to the sword. Suddenly, a great wind manifested around him, forcing the hero back. When the gale subsided, Sun was nowhere to be found.

"Where are you, Monkey King?! Do not cower in the shadows. You wield great power, I can tell. Come out and face me!"

"Very well," replied the Great Sage, now in a much deeper voice. He emerged from behind the mountain, now several hundred times his normal size. His head touched the sky, and with every step, the ground shook. He thrust the end of his now-enlarged staff on top of the demigod. Hercules dropped his weapons and put his hands up, catching the staff and pushing back.

Behind the mountain, the three other members of the party quaked with fear. The thudering crashes and the shaking of the ground had them huddled under an outcropping, terrified. "I wonder if Brother Monkey is okay," whispered Sha. "Perhaps we should go aid him."

"And face whatever terror takes him this long to deal with!?" protested Zhu. "No way, I'm staying right here."

Hercules struggled against the massive weight of the cudgel. Sweat rolled down his brow, and his muscles had tensed up. Finally, with one mighty shove, he hurled the staff upwards and broke free. Rushing forward, he delivered an immensely powerful punch to Sun's ankle, so forceful that he collapsed on to his back. The ground quaked, trees were uprooted, and rocks umbled down from the sides of the mountain. Hercules hurried to his toppled foe, and seized him by the wrist. He squeezed, and the downed Sun roared in pain, wincing and opening his grip. The Ruyi Jingu Bang rolled out of his palm and to the ground. His prize within reach, he hurled the massive body of Monkey over his head, and watched him fly off into the horizon. Sighing, the hero approached the massive staff.

'Another labor complete,' he thought. Kneeling to the ground, he remembered his family. 'Megara... my sons, my daughters... by these works, I honor you.'

Hercules's victory was short-lived. "Heracles!" shouted Sun. He had transformed his body once more. He had three bodies attatched to his waist, and three heads, six arms, and two cudgels. Leaping over Hercules's head, he landed next to the original cudgel. "Change!" he demanded, and the cudgel returned to its normal size, and to his hands.

"My name is Sun Wukong! The Great Sage, who laid waste to Heaven five centuries ago! And you... you're in my way!"

Hercules growled, and took up his club and shield. The two warriors met each other, and began to trade blows. It was a terrible sight to see, the two godly warriors swinging their weapons left and right. Shield blocked cudgel, and cudgel blocked club. They fought for forty rounds, with neither warrior gaining the upper hand. Finally, Sun knocked the club from Hercules's hand in one swift motion. Giving in to rage, Hercules tackled Monkey and pinned him to the ground. He pounded on Monkey's face, and was only enraged when he saw that his strikes left no marks. Blow after blow, he continued his assault until Sun was buried in the earth. Out of breath, the Great Sage watched as the Son of Zeus drew his sword. He thrust the tip at Sun's exposed neck, but the Great Sage's unbreakable body remained undefeated. He tossed his sword away, and pulled Sun out of the ground by the throat. He applied pressure, slowly squeezing the life out of Monkey. With a pained voice, Monkey uttered, "Change...".

Sun transformed into a bird, and flew free of the demigod's grasp. He flapped his wings and flew high into the sky, before transforming into his normal form. He plummeted downwards, cudgel aimed at the hero's head. Hercules looked up to see Sun about to strike, and it was already too late. The blow struck him directly on the face. His nose was broken and his face was covered in blood. His back on the ground, Hercules struggled to get to his feet. His attempt was interrupted by another blow from the Ruyi Jingu Bang, and another, and another. Sun raised his cudgel once more, and Hercules closed his eyes, ready to meet his end.

"Stay your hand, Great Sage."

Sun immediately recognized the voice of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy. "You have won. There is no need for bloodshed." Sun obeyed, placed his cudgel into his ear. Approaching the defeated hero, Guanyin placed her hands on his chest, and Hercules felt strength flow through his body once more. He got to his feet, and bowed his head in respect to a worthy foe. "Na-a-aw," Sun chanted in return. "Return to your home, Hero of Achaea," said Guanyin. "I will send word, and you may consider your labor complete."

Winner: Sun Wukong

Expert's Opinion[]

Hercules was much physically stronger than Sun Wukong, but his advantages end there. Sun was faster and more experienced, and the Ruyi Jingu Bang outclassed all of Herc's weapons. Along with his immortal body and vast magical powers, Sun Wukong handily won this battle of godly warriors.

To see the original battle, votes and weapons, click here.

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