My fireworks are not flares. They burst with ferocious beauty and then disappear like the lightning.
Artwork of Panda King from Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves
The Panda King is an anthropomorphic giant panda and was the Demolition Expert for the Fiendish Five. He created an avalanche protection racket and buried any village that didn't pay in snow with his fireworks. After being defeated by Sly, he retired and General Tsao convinced him to take up meditation. He would later become the Demolitions Expert for the Cooper Vault Job and 6th member of the Cooper Gang. He was the main antagonist of Episode 4: Fire in the Sky.
Born poor on the streets of China, Panda King was fascinated by the fireworks set off by rich noblemen every New Year. After spending a decade learning the art, Panda King attempted to offer his fireworks to the noblemen. However the vain and arrogant Noblemen could not see past his shabby clothes and poverty to see his talent and drove him away. Enraged and humiliated, he used the tools of his art for crime, becoming feared by the very noblemen who cast him aside. Subsequently he was recruited by the Fiendish Five as their demolitions expert. At some point in his earlier life, the Panda King apparently married and had at least one child; the fate of his wife is unknown.
Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus
Together with his fellow members of the Fiendish Five, the Panda King took part in the attack that resulted in the death of Sly's parents and the theft of the Thievius Raccoonus. After acquiring the Thievius Raccoonus' section containing the blueprints of Otto Van Cooper, Panda King set up shop in the Kunlun Mountains of western China. Building a massive explosives factory, he disguised it as a large temple-like facility. In order to finance his crimes, the Panda King pressured local villages for avalanche protection. If they refused, he would set off a firework that would bring a megaton of snow down on them.
Panda King finished his brand new firework technique, Flame Fu, just in time to use it against Sly Cooper. Despite Panda King's impressive fighting style blending the martial arts of his homeland with his firework skills, he was defeated by Sly. He was then arrested and put to jail by a frustrated Carmelita Fox. Afterwards, after learning the origin of a vehicle the Panda King had utilized in his base, Sly went after Clockwerk.
Getting out of prison through unknown circumstances, the Panda King returned home to his family, still harboring a deep resentment towards Sly for defeating him and ruining his criminal reputation. During this period, he was convinced to take up meditation, and grew out his hair and beard.
Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves
Fear not, Cooper. I shall not kill you this day.
A few years later, Sly and the gang needed an artillery expert in order to get into the Cooper Vault. Panda King joined the gang after they help him save his beloved daughter, Jing King (who is only seen in silhouette form during the game) from the evil General Tsao. The general had been the one to convince the Panda King to take up meditation, all so that he would be unable to prevent Tsao from forcing Jing King to marry him. At first, both Sly and Panda King were highly against this alliance: Sly because the Panda King had helped kill his parents, and Panda King because Sly had humiliated him. However, after being forced out of a dream of his previous battle with Sly, the Panda King seemed to get along with the Guru, most likely because of their shared spiritual values. He was also moved by Murray's dedication to the things he cares about, and helped him recover the Cooper Van. He is extremely confident and proud of his fireworks, though he readily recognizes their limitations as well.
When the Panda King was brought into the field, he came into conflict with his criminal side, a sort of yin-yang split personality that takes the part of yang. He reconciled with his other half to save his daughter, despite the other's wishes to kill Sly, by convincing his other side that they needed each other and Sly's help to save their daughter. After Jing King was saved, Panda King left her with an aunt while paying off his debt to Sly and the rest of the gang. He would subsequently help them battle the sea monster Crusher, and utilize his fireworks on Kaine Island to help Sly, Bentley, and Murray access the Cooper Vault. After Dr. M was defeated, Panda King returned home and moved in two doors down from his daughter. Probably fearing another General Tsao incident, she allowed him to screen all her suitors, and as yet she is unmarried-due to the fact that her suitors are scared off by their stony, fiery-tempered possible father-in-law, as well as the fact that he is seen armed with a firework bazooka whenever one approaches the house.
The Panda King is a large, male giant panda who casually wears flame striped, red pants and a blue sash around his waist. He also wore a white gown when first encountered in Sly 3. After joining the Gang he wears his regular clothing with fireworks around his torso and back.
The Panda King, in his day, was magnificent.
Throughout both Sly 1 and Sly 3, he is shown to be very calm, though he can become very angry in a matter of seconds. He takes great pride in his fireworks, though he interestingly didn't use them in his fight against Sly. During his initial exploits with the gang in China, a rather awkward moment between Sly and Panda King occurs, where Panda must venture into a dangerous area full of kuang-shi like vampire zombies. When Panda King agrees, 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 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 of the Cooper Gang. He did not 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 socialized with Penelope although he used one of his fireworks up for her to get her RC Car onto the Drone Pipes on Kaine Island.
As a master demolitions expert, the Panda King comes equipped with a variety of abilities. In the first game and in his flashback fight with Sly, he demonstrates several fire-enhanced martial arts techniques. Among these are the Flame-Fu, a mixing of his martial arts and fireworks skills including an attack that sends a fireball through the air at his opponents. He can also use the Fiery Wheel, where he spins on the ground. Other moves include the Booming Chop, which is a highly-powered karate chop, and the Palms of Thunder, where he slams his hands on the ground.
In Honor Among Thieves the Panda King uses an attack technique which is essentially a horizontal karate chop. This attack is enhanced by having his hand wreathed in fire. His main attack techniques involve shooting fireworks from his rocket launcher on his back, wherein he is capable of engaging roughly half a dozen separate targets simultaneously.
He is also stated by Bentley to be very strong, which make sense as he is very large. His strength level is unknown, though he's probably not on the same level as hard-core enforcers like Murray or Muggshot. He is also shown to place himself in a deep meditative hibernation, apparently not needing food, drink, or sleep (though he apparently ages on the outside as he had a beard and eyebrows).
- Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus
- Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves
- Panda King is featured in several portraits in Sly 2 during the museum opening level in Cairo. As you walk through the hallway towards the first rope you run along, there are pictures of him along the wall, along with ones of Sir Raleigh, Muggshot, and Mz. Ruby.
- Panda King does have his own Binocucom, although he never uses it in the game unless the character selects to; it is red and shaped like Bentley's, but in the shape of a samurai helmet, and the zoom in looks like a sniper rifle scope.
- Panda King's codename is 'Agent Monarch' during the Cooper Vault heist.
- There is a billboard with the Panda King on it in at the dog track, the race in the level Sunset Snake Eyes.
- Panda King's signature color is red. Like Sly, it is based off his attire, not off his skin.
- Ironically, the color of his attack auras depend on the color of his fireworks.
- In inFamous, another game by Sucker Punch Productions, there are some Chinese Food Boxes with pictures of Panda King on them.
- Once you defeat the Panda King, the cutscene will play and in the news paper, in the top left corner, it says "Dude, That's Kickass", marking the only time that profanity is written out in the series of games.
- In the beginning of "Goodbye My Sweet", a box with a bearpaw on it, full of fireworks, can be seen on a shelf in the hideout. This likely belonged to the Panda King.
- In the Cooper Vault job, Panda King's job is "Artillery".
- Sanzaru confirmed that Panda King will not return in Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time; additionally, the Panda King is the only member of the Cooper Gang from Sly 3 who was not referenced in some form in Thieves in Time.
- In the Sly Collection, his jaw is different than it was in the PlayStation 2 version of the game. However, it is only like this during the cutscene in which he is speaking to Sly. During gameplay, it is back to normal.
- The Panda King is the only member of the Cooper Gang who isn't playable in Episode 6: Honor Among Thieves.