Saturday 15 December 2012

Part 12: Yanagita Rikao's Sengoku Basara Science Laboratory

As with my posts covering the earlier parts, this is an extremely rough English translation of part of the blog series Yanagita Rikao's Sengoku Basara Science Laboratory (Yanagita Rikao Sengoku Basara Kagaku Kenkyuujo). Please click the link below to see the original article, which is accompanied by illustrations and promotional videos.

Part 12: The unexpected power of the gigantic iron hot pot!? Kobayakawa Hideaki

Kobayakawa Hideaki is a pretty pathetic warlord in the world of Sengoku Basara. He runs away while saying things like "It's not worth risking my neck!" instead of trying to fight on the battlefield. He doesn't even hold a sword in the first place; his only weapon is the nabe (hot pot pan) he carries on his back. Still, it's hard to dislike the flukey way that he uses the pot to attack without thinking. I'll take a closer look at the charm of Kobayakawa Hideaki, who wins without trying to win.

A huge hot pot

He carries an iron nabe pot on his back which keeps him alive. Measuring from a picture in the Sengoku Basara 5th Anniversary Eiyuu Taizen book, the pot's diameter is 44% of Hideaki's height. If this diminutive guy is 150cm tall, that diameter will be 67cm. I measured a wok at home and it was 28cm; Hideaki's pot is 2.4 times larger.

It's also worth mentioning its significantly thickness. My pan at home is only 1mm thick. Although Hideaki's nabe pot has a diameter 2.4 times as much as the author's, if its thickness is 2.4 times greater too it won't be strong enough. Since a large dish is easy to crack, a large weapon would need to have a thickness which scaled up with its diameter. With that in mind, if the pot's diameter is 2.4 times greater it would need to be 3.7 times thicker. In other words, 3.7mm is an appropriate thickness for Hideaki's pot. The thickness of Hideaki's pot, though, is on another level. Judging from the picture in the Eiyuu Taizen book, it's 1.4cm. As it's almost four times thicker than necessary, I wonder whether it mightn't have been designed specifically for combat - rather than being cookware?

Whatever the reason, with it being so thick it should also be substantially heavy. By measuring the depth as 22cm it's possible to calculate the weight: goodness, it's 173kg. That's on par with a professional sumo wrestler. Although it doesn't match Kuroda Kanbee's 1.1t iron ball or Chousokabe Motochika's 282kg anchor-spear, the pot is too heavy to carry while running around. I may have to revise my assumptions. While appearing to be completely pathetic, Kobayakawa Hideaki was working surprisingly hard!

Unexpectedly strong

With the pot being this heavy, attacks which use the pot should also be rather powerful. For example, 'Heko Heko Kingo'. This technique involves bowing down to the enemy in an attempt to apologise; the pot then slips down and crushes the enemy to death. It's the most pathetic of all, but if 173kg of iron was to fall it would deal significant damage.

There's also 'Guru Guru Kingo'. Impulsively taking the chance to pop inside the pot, he spins around and around, sending enemies flying. This technique is formidable even if we consider that the pot weighs 173kg. However, when I think about how powerful these techniques appear within the game, it raises the question of whether the pot really weighs only 173kg. With Guru Guru Kingo, the spinning doesn't slow down while enemy soldiers are being tossed away one after another. To not slow down at all would mean that the pot is infinitely heavy, so let's assume that the rotational speed drops to 95% every time it knocks a person away. If the weight of an enemy combined with their armour is 100kg, a pot which could cause this phenomenon would weigh 4.8t.

If we go back to Heko Heko Kingo, it's even more amazing. At the point the pot drops down the ground breaks up and cracks in an area 5m in diameter. When falling from his height of 150cm, the pot's weight would be equivalent to 200t. That's as much as five Shinkansen carriages! It is said that Sengoku period armour weighed up to 25kg; Hideaki was running across the battlefield carrying objects weighing 8,000 times more than that.

An incredibly large appetite

Supporting his activity is that voracious appetite. In the midst of battle, Hideaki may suddenly start cooking using the nabe pot. Of course, nabe (hot pot) is on the menu. Daikon and Chinese cabbages are put inside whole, and on top of that each one is quite large. If I add water to my own pot, it will contain 2 litres. If it's Hideaki's huge pot it ought to contain 27 litres calculating from the ratio of the diameters. He immediately gobbles it up with a ladle. Considering the calories in a mixed nabe stew, the energy Hideaki ingests during this meal is 9,000kcal. That's as much as an adult male takes in over four days.

But Hideaki always has food with him which surpasses this. With 'Atafuta Kingo' he produces dango from nowhere. The gigantic dango are skewered from the left in the order pink, white and green, and Hideaki travels around on this as though he's balancing on a ball, scattering the enemy about. Their diameter is 90cm measured from the game screen. The weight of one piece would be 380kg while all three together would reach 1.1t. If Hideaki was to eat this, the energy he'd take in would be 2,260,000kcal. That's as much as an adult male ingests over two years and eight months! Yet, in spite of this hearty appetite Hideaki doesn't seem to get fat, which means that he probably consumes 2,260,000kcal within the space of a single day. In that case Hideaki must have 980 times more power than a normal soldier.

Appearing weak, Kobayakawa Hideaki actually hides tremendous brute strength and power. If there was someone who threatened Honda Tadakatsu's title as the strongest in the Sengoku period, it may just be him.

All content in this post is © CAPCOM CO., LTD. 2012.

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