Friday 21 December 2012

Part 13: 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 13: The secret of the infinite bullets!? Saika Magoichi

Saika Magoichi is a leader with a will of steel. She judges which warlords to whom they should be lending their power, sticking fast to the Saika Shuu's way of life: to live for your own sake, and to die for your own sake. Should they decide to side with a warlord, they'll fight and tear through the vanguard at the right moment. For the Saika, a defeat means a decrease in their value, paving the way to the Saika's demise. That's why her gun will probably fire today, too, to lead these coarse men. I'll take a look at the way Magoichi Saika lives; the strong and beautiful 'Smoky Bird Soaring Magnificently'.

Where's the rocket launcher?

Saika Magoichi freely manipulates a variety of firearms. Magnums, shotguns, machine guns, hand grenades and a multiple rocket launcher with a laser sight; that kind of firepower would be invincible in the Sengoku period. In addition to this, Magoichi seems to bring everything with her at all times. I wonder whether she can walk while carrying so many weapons?

First of all, she has Magnum holsters all the way around her right thigh. According to the picture in the Sengoku Basara 5th Anniversary book, there are around eight holsters. Said to be the strongest handgun of all, the cartridges fired by the S&W M29 Magnum are 30.6cm in length and weigh 1,396g. The barrels of Magoichi's Magnums are clearly longer than that; they're likely to be 2kg, in which case that's 16kg from the eight Magnums alone.

The shotgun's shape is similar to that of a 3.45kg Benelli M3, and the M249SAW machine gun takes ammunition weighing 9.64kg. An M26 hand grenade is 454g. Because Magoichi repeatedly throws approximately five hand grenades at a time, she probably carries around twenty of them. So that's 9kg. We're already up to 38kg so far. Is it possible to carry a rocket launcher on top of this?

Looking at the game screen with this in mind, it doesn't seem as though Magoichi is walking around carrying the rocket launcher. By raising one foot and stamping down, the rocket launcher flies out of the ground. This cannot be explained by modern science! Sarutobi Sasuke uses 'Kagemoguri No Jutsu', a technique which involves diving into the ground to emerge elsewhere. If that kind of technology has been established in the period when Sengoku Basara is set, the rocket launcher might accompany Magoichi by following her under the ground.

A reason to remain airborne

Out of all of the gunplay demonstrated by Magoichi, the scenes where she jumps up and fires Magnums in both hands while rotating attract this author the most. It's as though she's taken absolute command of the world below.

Measuring from one particular scene, Magoichi continues to dance at an altitude of about 5m for six seconds. Yet it would only take one second to rise up to an altitude of 5m, and another second to drop back down. Why would Magoichi continue to spin magnificently for such a long time? Thinking about it, might it not be the case that firing the Magnums is having the effect of supporting her bodyweight? A round from a S&W M29 travels at 448m per second. The weight of a cartridge for the .44 Magnum is 15.6g. When Magoichi shoots over an area with a 10m radius, from 5m in the air, she'd have to fire 142 shots per second in order for the reaction to support her weight of 45kg. That's 72 shots per gun. That's a ridiculous rate of fire; even the M249SAW machine gun can only shoot 17 bullets within a second.

The bullets don't run out!?

Though Magoichi scatters the enemy with overwhelming firepower, this author can't help but worry. However many firearms you have, there will come a time when you've fired all of your ammunition. What will Magoichi do if that happens? Magoichi herself utters an amazing line about this, "Be warned. We don't run out of bullets.".


If the shooting continues without running out of bullets, it must be that they're being replenished from somewhere. However, there are no scenes of Magoichi receiving any ammunition from the soldiers under her command. What on earth can be happening? Could it be possible that Magoichi is being supplied with bullets from thin air? The nitrogen and oxygen contained in air is made up of protons, neutrons and electrons, just like the lead used to construct bullets. The only difference is the number of protons, neutrons and electrons used to make each substance. Therefore it's theoretically possible to make lead from nitrogen and oxygen.

However, if you were actually doing that, an immense amount of energy would be released. How is Magoichi processing it..? Aha, by using it to fire the bullets!?

Let's calculate based on that assumption. Suppose that I make 15.6g of lead from the air, the same as in that .44 Magnum cartridge. This would require 8.3 litres of air and at the same time, it would generate as much energy as 140t of gunpowder. If this was fired out as a bullet it would have a speed of 8,800km per second or Mach 26,000. 20,000 times more than an M29. You could shatter a rock 160m in diameter with a single shot by firing this bullet! At this kind of speed, it's not necessary to fire 172 times per second for the aforementioned spinning shooting spree. By firing one shot directly below, Magoichi will rise up to an altitude of 160km and come back down after one minute and thirty seconds. Instead, it would be necessary to find a balance by shooting upwards, to avoid rising too high.

It's simply terrifying that the guns never run out of bullets. I'd think that many warlords would naturally crave the power of the Saika Shuu. The future of Japan is determined by where the Saika is attached. I'd like to ask for calm judgement from the unruly goddess, Saika Magoichi.

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

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