Zhang Liang serves as a good wake-up boss in Wo Long, viciously punishing players who have not yet gotten the hang of its basic mechanics. The unfortunate reality is he is also the first boss you have to go up against. Despite how early in the game you encounter him, Zhang Liang is harder than a lot of the later bosses you have to fight. Luckily, once you know what to do and remember to play it safe, defeating him is not as impossible a task as it may seem.
First of all, a general rule of thumb in Wo Long if you are not so confident in your reaction time is to equip a weapon with a lower deflect difficulty. At this point in the game, you should have a polearm available to you. Zhang Liang’s always blocking your attacks, which means it is difficult to score free hits on him. However, he leaves himself wide open if you parry his attacks.
This is yet another general strategy when playing Wo Long: deflect as much as you can and get in a few hits before returning to the defensive.
As a tip, when Zhang Liang lunges at you, there is actually a beat before his attack lands. Try to wait maybe half a second before you deflect or he will punish you. When you whittle him down to half-health, he gets a jumping attack. This one is very easy to parry because of its simple tell. Just keep an eye on him while he’s in the air. Since he spams this, you can end the fight very quickly from this point if you can deflect all of his jump hits. It may sound difficult, but the rhythm to this attack is easier to follow than his lunge move.
For this fight, the Blindfolded Boy is your ally. He can be a bit of a hindrance, to be honest. This is because he occasionally knocks Zhang Liang out of his attack motion or lunge. If you are close enough to take advantage of the opening, that’s fantastic. But otherwise, you will have lost your chance to parry his attack, which is preferable because you can get closer to staggering him. The Blindfolded Boy can also get in your way when you try to move around the map if he gets too close to you. So when you position yourself on the field, make sure you sandwich Zhang Liang between yourself and the Blindfolded Boy. Not only is this a good pincer strategy so you can maximize damage, but it gets the Blindfolded Boy out of your hair.
Zhang Liang is actually a two-part boss fight. After you defeat him in his human form, he turns into a monster. Luckily, you gain access to the Divine Beast when you get him to around half health, which will essentially end the fight. If you plan on using the Divine Beast, make sure you check your key binding before you even start the Zhang Liang fight. You cannot pause in this game. Since Zhang Liang can hit from farther away in his second form, it can take a bit of time to familiarize yourself with the deflect timings. So I recommend holding onto two Dragon’s Cure Pots for this portion of the fight to play it safe.
Zhang Liang is a grueling challenge but if you keep these tips and strategies in mind, you should have a bit of an easier time. The rest is up to your luck and how fast you can hit that deflect button. Incidentally, if you die during the second half of the boss fight, you have to start over right from the beginning. Good luck!
Wo Long is readily available on the PS4, PS5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.