In 1995, Adam returned to Hong Kong to shoot’ Instinct’, playing a good-natured, heavy-weight red capitalist. This was eight months into the shooting of Legend of Chor Lau Heung in Taiwan, which was yet to be wrapped. This had a knock-on effect on the original schedule for Adam to return to Hong Kong for Instinct. The result was that all the demanding and climactic scenes were concentrated in the last twenty episodes. Instinct with its theme song of the same title have left a long-lasting impression on the audience to become one of Adam’s best known representative works. The popularity of Instinct resulted in four ‘Adam Cheng, the King of Entertainment’ concerts being held in March 1996 at the Hong Kong Coliseum.
In 2001, in ‘The Dark Tales’, a period-drama musical, adapted from Pou Sung-ling’s Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio, Adam Cheng played the role of Bak Yu-Wan, a student who shuns the material world and embarks on an extensive journey of scholarly pursuits in which Adam has to portray the relationships between teachers and students; study peers and men bound by fraternity, all compounded by an unexpected romantic encounter with a fox-siren. There is a light touch of humor woven into the romance and a lingering sense of profundity. Adam’s scholarly looks, gentleness and erudition, sway towards the feminine at times and there is a little mischief when he is under the spell of the fox-siren, a real challenge indeed. The soundtrack is also touching and compelling with a resonating force. Between August and October (2001), Adam gave 59 performances (as opposed to the 60 performances originally planned, the 60th being cancelled due to a fire at the end of the 59th show causing damage on certain props) at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University ending with a dazzling box office.