Return of the Obra Dinn Wiki
Return of the Obra Dinn Wiki

Chioh Tan was a Formosan guard who traveled as a passenger on the Obra Dinn during her last voyage in 1802. He died when a mermaid shot a spike at him.

Story and fate

Chioh Tan was a Formosan guard for the Formosan passengers, It-Beng Sia and Bun-Lan Lim, who were transporting a chest containing a shell.

One day, Second Mate Edward Nichols attempted to steal the shell from the chest. He killed a passenger who found him in the cargo deck and framed Hok-Seng Lau, another Formosan guard, getting him executed. Nichols and a group of crewmen abducted the chest and the Formosan royals. They went on a mutinous expedition to the Canary Islands, which lead to the deaths of nearly everyone involved, including Sia and Lim. When Nichols, the sole survivor of the failed journey, saw the ship heading his way, Tan promptly shot him down.

While seaman Hamadou Diom held Tan in place, Captain Robert Witterel, with Chinese topman Huang Li acting as his interpreter, interrogated Tan for his actions. Tan told Captain Witterel that the shell must be protected, lest everyone on the ship die. Before Tan could say anything else, a mermaid that was being hoisted onto the ship shot a series of spikes at the crew, impaling him and Diom.

The East India Company insurance assessment of the Obra Dinn incident found Tan guilty of murdering a crewmate. His estate was unknown, but £25 were claimed.[1]


Tan can be identified after The Calling, part 2, although he does not appear in this memory. After Hok-Seng Lau and Bun-Lan Lim could be identified in Murder, part 2, It-Beng Sia's identity is revealed in The Calling, part 2. Tan can, therefore, be identified by elimination as the last person on the Formosan Royalty sketch.


Tan is first introduced to the player in Murder, part 2, witnessing the execution of Hok-Seng Lau. His chronological first appearance is in A Bitter Cold, part 2, standing by It-Beng Sia on the orlop deck. He appears in the Formosan Royalty and Justice at Sea sketches, but cannot be highlighted in the latter.


  1. Stated in the insurance assessment book in the epilogue if Tan's fate is deduced correctly.