Two boys quarrel about a toy pistol. The game becomes serious. On the roof in a skyskraper district they risk their lifes for the toy pistol.
Soon after Japan relinquishes control of Taiwan in 1945, the Lin brothers face hardships from the changing culture. Bar owner Wen-heung, the eldest brother, falls foul of local gangsters, Wen-sun disappears, and Wen-leung, scarred by his experiences in the war, ends up in an insane asylum. Deaf-mute photographer Wen-ching, the youngest brother, decides to make a stand and fight the Kuomintang government from China that is assuming power.