|“||I see you carry the cane of the notorious Cooper thief clan. Have you come here for revenge? To steal back the Thievius Raccoonus?||„|
|~ The Panda King|
|“||Insolent child! You shall pay dearly for your disrespect! Still, to honor your Cooper ancestry, I will send you to your doom with the beauty of my new firework technique: Flame Fu!||„|
|~ The Panda King, facing Sly.|
Panda King is the secondary antagonist in the Sly Cooper video game franchise. As of the third game, Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, he became a member of the Cooper Gang and was redeemed for his part in the death of Sly's parents at the hands of the Fiendish Five. When Sly feigned amnesia to strike up a relationship with Inspector Carmelita Fox, Panda King left when the gang disbanded and remained in China to ensure his daughter garnered a good marriage from a rush of potential suitors.
He was voiced by Kevin Blackton.
Early lifePanda King grew up in a small village in the Kunlun Mountains of western China. There he was astonished by the colorful fireworks displays given by noblemen every year, and yearned to become just like them. Over the years he set about perfecting his craft, until he was ready to show off his creations to the noblemen. However, they scoffed and turned him away after what they saw as a pitiful display, enraging Panda King greatly.
He again set about perfecting his craft and eventually crafted fireworks that could be used for military purposes. This must have been about the time he also discovered his firework "technique" called Flame-Fu. Panda King then used his new fireworks to gain his revenge of the noblemen who has shunned him before.
It wasn't long until Panda King was noticed by the Fiendish Five and taken on as their demolitions expert, gaining himself the title of "The Mad Bomber".
As a member of The Fiendish Five
Panda King utilized fireworks to crush his opponents and bomb entire villages into submission - making him quite a ruthless character. In Sly Cooper and the Thievious Raccoonus, Panda King used his fireworks to bury an entire village in snow. Sly arrived to witness this and eventually came to face the villain in a pagoda atop a giant stone statue of his likeness - using, ironically, one of the fireworks to reach the top. Panda King stated he would kill Sly, but honor his Cooper ancestry by using "the beauty" of his new firework technique, "Flame-Fu".
Sly and Panda King fought, the former running to avoid the flame-throwing attacks of the latter. Sly defeated Panda King by hitting him with his hooked cane, which eventually made the panda collapse. Panda King said that he was surprised to have been defeated and was in admiration of Sly's fighting skills, fainting immediately afterwords.
Later, he was accosted by Carmelita Fox and her Interpol forces, who had been in pursuit of the Cooper Gang.
As a member of the Cooper gang
At some point between the first and third game, he escaped or was released from police-custody and returned to his daughter Jing King in China. But when a warlord named general Tsao arrived and kidnapped her, he was unable to rescue her and thus tried to become stronger through meditation. When the Cooper-gang found him they offered to save his daughter in return for him joining their gang. He reluctantly accepted.
The Panda King is very calm and respectful, but he possesses a short temper. He also takes great pride in his fireworks. When Sly and Panda King must blow up the hopping vampire crypt, Sly shows great reserve on the idea exclaiming loudly "There's gonna be fangs everywhere!". Judging by Sly's concerned and uncharacteristically uncertain tone, its implied in this moment that Sly has begun to open up to the Panda King and show concern for him as if he were a friend despite his role in his parents' death. This endearing quality is the main thing which converts the Panda King over to the Cooper Gang's side, as he states to his evil half that if Sly is willing to put faith in him and forgive him despite his role in killing his parents, than he himself has no business carrying his vendetta over something as trivial as humiliation.
However, Panda King is still the most antisocial and obstreperous of the Cooper Gang. He didn't join the gang when Dimitri's scuba gear was unearthed, though this could be explained as him guarding the gang's ship. He also seems to have the least amount of approval for Dimitri. Of the members of the gang, he gets along best with Murray and Guru. Murray's dedication to his van inspired the Panda King to come to his aid, while the Guru seems to have a spiritual connection to him. The Panda King soon begins to accept Sly after various missions of working together, and so does Sly. His connection with Bentley is unknown although he has never shown much sign of disrespect probably due to the fact it was Bentley's genius planning that rescued his daughter and he has never argued with Bentley's planning. He never really socializes with Penelope although he used one of his fireworks up for her to get her RC Car onto the Drone Pipes on Kaine Island. But Panda king's hatred for Sly has eventually manifested into a second personality who tried to control him. Fortunately, he managed to suppress his darker side and assisted Sly in defeating Tsao. Jing King was saved and Panda King became an official member of the Cooper Gang.
The Panda King is a large giant panda who casually wears red pants and flame-like stripes, and a blue sash around his waist. While living as a monk, he wears a white gown and grows out his beard and his eyebrows. After joining the Gang, he wears his regular clothing with fireworks around his torso and his back.
As a pyrotechnician and demolitions expert, the Panda King is skilled and competent in the effective handling and use of explosives. He uses his expertise to develop an original fighting style called Flame-Fu, which he demonstrates during his battle with Sly. While working with the Cooper Gang, he primarily uses a fireworks launcher on his back as a weapon, wherein he was capable of engaging roughly half a dozen targets simultaneously. His melee attack is essentially a horizontal karate chop, enhanced by having his hand wreathed in fire. Although preferring to use his fireworks, the Panda King is also very strong and influential, as stated by Bentley. After becoming a monk, he becomes capable of placing himself in a deep and meditative hibernation, apparently not needing food, drink, or sleep (despite physically aging.)
- Although he was arrested by Interpol, Panda King somehow turns up in the hands of General Tsao in Sly 3, three years later.
- Like that of the Guru, Panda King's role and ultimate fate within the Cooper Gang are unknown as of the third game's ending.
- His daughter Jing King is never actually seen in any of the games and only her shadow is glimpsed.
- In the European and Australian editions of the Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves game manual, Panda King is shown to be about six-foot five in height.