Trapped under the mountain and pestered Monkey complains about his fate. In Heaven Buddha announces the scriptures might save humanity from itself that the words of the scriptures can lead to enlightenment and salvation but these gifts won’t be given easily they must be discovered via great trial and tribulation.
On Earth a messenger of Heaven comes under attack from Sandy now a terrible cannibalistic Water Demon. Sandy’s attempts at eating the Heavenly messenger fail and the man-eating demon monster becomes set on a quest to assist Tripitaka.
Within moments of setting Sandy on this quest the Heavenly messenger becomes under attack from the vicious Pigsy and he is also set upon the quest to assist Tripitaka. Both Pigsy and Sandy are informed that Monkey, their adversary, will explain everything to them and their assistance will result in their return to the Heavenly Host.
The Heavenly messenger then saves a dragon from execution and this monster will, at some point, be turned by Monkey into a beautiful white horse a beast destined to carry Tripitaka to the West to fetch the scriptures.
The Heavenly messenger visits the imprisoned Monkey, buried under the mountain for five hundred years, and informs Monkey that a holy man will free Monkey but only if Monkey helps the holy man on his quest to the West.
Tripitaka in the meantime has turned down the chance to become the Abbot of his religious order and instead searches for his Mother. Tripitaka’s Mother is now the wife of a powerful, but psychotic, magistrate. Tripitaka is set a task to rescue his Mother by seeking out his grandfather an administrator at the royal court.
The Chinese Emperor sends his Imperial Army to subdue the forces of the evil magistrate and in the war that follows many die including the evil magistrate. Tripitaka reveals his holiness to the Heavenly messenger by being pious, honest, forgiving and just. Tripitaka reveals to the Chinese Emperor the quest he has been set on a quest to take him 102,000 leagues.
Tripitaka begins his journey through wild and unknown lands losing along the way his assistants but finding eventually the imprisoned Monkey. Tripitaka accidentally releases Monkey from beneath the mountain and with great destructive violence Monkey escapes and reveals he will join Tripitaka on his quest.
Tripitaka and Monkey become under attack from robbers and Monkey, happily, kicks their collective asses using his superior fighting skills and insane magical abilities.
Tripitaka is shocked that Monkey killed the bandits and berates him ceaselessly. Monkey quits Tripitaka’s company leaving the priest to fend for himself but Tripitaka possesses a magical headband that he binds to Monkey’s head to keep him in hand and force him into servitude.
Monkey and Tripitaka come under attack from the dragon that the Heavenly messenger freed, the monster eats Tripitaka’s horse but Monkey confronts the monster in its lair defeats it and forces it to become a new horse servant to Tripitaka.
Tripitaka, Monkey and the transformed dragon continue on their quest eventually coming across an isolated town community a place within which corrupt townsfolk lust after the treasures Tripitaka carries.
Monkey and Tripitaka are trapped inside a building that is then set on fire but Monkey saves himself and his priest master using his powerful magic. The human villain becomes a victim of an evil demon that Monkey battles for one of Buddha’s treasures. The demon at first seems superior in power and strength to the Monkey King but the Great Sage Equal Of Heaven refuses to give in and his persistence pays off he finds a means of defeating the evil demon via magical subterfuge.
Rather than quickly settle into Monkey and his companions traversing all kinds of dangers to retrieve Buddha’s scriptures the story instead slowly burns but without dragging or being boring. There’s still a vast amount of danger facing our heroes and evil demons and monsters rear their ugly heads to let us know China is a land beset by a variety of evils some monstrous but some all too human.