None of the many statues to collect in Animal Crossing New Horizons is as stoic, mysterious, and potentially fraudulent as the Warrior Statue.
It is available from Jolly Redd’s Treasure Trawler for 4,980 bells and sells for 1,245 bells. It is only available in Animal Crossing New Horizons and doesn’t appear in any other mainline title of the Animal Crossing series.
The real-life history behind this terracotta titan is one of my favorites, and I’m so excited that it has been featured as part of the art history of the Animal Crossing series.
Friend or Foe?
This mighty warrior stands tall as a shining example of the protector Qin Dynasty… or does he? Make sure you know which statute is the real deal when shopping at shady Redd’s, I mean Jolly Redd’s.
If the Warrior Statue holds a shovel in his hands that is pointing towards the ground, it’s a fake.
The real Warrior Statue will have no shovel and will instead hold his empty hands crossed in front of him.
Blathers will only accept genuine art pieces in his Museum, so be sure not to get tricked by that sly fox Redd.
I love the detail of the fake soldier holding a shovel, a subtle touch to pay homage to the real-life dig that unearthed these thousands of clay soldiers. It even harkens back to the excellent digging that produced the first pieces of terracotta, which made archeologists want to visit the site to explore more in-depth.
If you can get the genuine article into your Museum, the description will read,
Artist Unknown, 210 BCE
These terracotta warriors were buried with the first Qin emperor to protect him in the afterlife. Nearly 2,000 years later, in 1974, about 8,000 of them were found. Each life-sized statue is said to have been handmade with different poses, expressions, and clothing.
I’m so excited to be talking about the Warrior Statue and its inclusion in the art history of Animal Crossing due to my fascination with its real-life counterpart, the Terracotta Warrior or Terracotta Army.
In 1974 a group of workers in Shaanxi province of China was digging a well in hopes of combatting the massive drought in the area. In their digging efforts, they started to dig up pieces of a terracotta figure, uncovering one of the most significant archeological finds of the modern-day.
What began as one figure turned into a massive army of nearly 8,000 figures ranging from human figures to horses in military regalia.
As archeologists searched the site, they discovered that the figures stood guard at a burial site. This was no ordinary burial site or even the burial site of an unknown noble. This was the burial site of Qin Shi Huangdi, the self-proclaimed first emperor of China and founder of the Qin Dynasty.
The site was home to Xianyang, the ancient capital, about a half an hour’s drive away from the modern-day city of X’ian. Until the well diggers accidentally unearthed the massive tomb, it lay untouched for over 2,000 years.
The figures themselves all have an individual touch. The life-sized sculpture featured in Animal Crossing does not look like most other versions of the warriors in the real-life tomb. Each body was created from a central mold with pieces like mustaches and hands placed individually to create unique looks for each warrior.
Although Qin Shi Huangdi was known as a ruthless warlord, his military might was not the only thing displayed in his tomb. Acrobats, musicians, and even the birds that would have surrounded him in his imperial court were present in the tomb.
The Emperor himself has never been excavated from his grave. This is partially because of the archeological desire not to disturb the burial site and expose any biological materials like ancient texts to any atmosphere that could harm or destroy them and disturb his importance to China’s history by putting him on display instead of allowing him to rest.
However, there is a much more unusual reason. After Qin Shi Huangdi was buried, texts state that he had two artificial rivers constructed to resemble the Yellow and Yangtze rivers. As if this engineering feat was not enough, the two rivers are said to be filled with liquid mercury that mimics the flow of water.
Mercury is a hazardous material to humans, causing harm to the digestive and immune systems. During the reign of Qin Shi Huangdi, he believed that it could grant him eternal life. He drank it to achieve immortality, although it considerably shortened his life. He passed at 49 years old.
Although no one has physically entered the tomb, the dig site where his tomb rests denotes significant traces of mercury in the soil.
Question: Is my Warrior Statue Real or Fake?
Answer: There is an easy way to tell if the Warrior Statue you bought from Redd is real or fake. If the Statue holds a shovel under his crossed hands, it is a fake. The actual version will still have its arms crossed without any shovel. It is only available in Animal Crossing New Horizons and is not featured in any other mainline Animal Crossing game.
Question: Is the Warrior Statue Based on a Real Statue?
Answer: Yes! The Warrior Statue is based on the Terracotta Warrior statues, also known as the Terracotta Army. These warriors guard the tomb of Qin Shi Huangdi, the self-proclaimed first emperor of China. There are around 8,000 documented Terracotta Warriors in the tomb and terracotta recreations of war horses and members of his imperial court. These included acrobats, musicians, and terracotta animals. Excavation of the burial site is still in progress today.
Question: Is the Warrior Statue Haunted?
Answer: No, the Warrior Statue in any of its forms, fake or real, does not have any haunted elements. It would be terrifying if it did! Like those weeping angel statues from Dr. Who…
Although a first in the series as of Animal Crossing New Horizons, the Warrior Statue shares a 2,000 year-old history with China’s Terracotta Warriors. I love that Animal Crossing supplies such a varied and detailed array of classic artworks to view. I can’t wait to see how this part of the Museum continues to expand within the game and expand our imaginations about pieces of precious artwork I know I would have never learned about without seeing them virtually in Animal Crossing.