Mark Patraw

Unicorn Kentaurides

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Single-horned kentaurides (female centaurs) that can be encountered ( . . . maybe, see below) in RED Company/Riverhill Software/Vic Tokai's Princess Minerva NEC PC-9801 (1992), NEC PC Engine CD (1994), and Nintendo Super Famicom (1995) role-playing video games (RPGs), which are based on the manga of the same name by Maisaka Kou. Unlike most games in the Sword & Sorcery genre, said title is disproportionately populated by females. The nine characters that you control, including the titular Minerva, are all women/girls, and only a handful of the monsters/enemies that you encounter are male or have no obvious gender.

Oddly enough, I'm not really sure if there actually are any of these unicorn enemies in Princess Minerva at all. I played through the entire Super Famicom game, but I never saw a single one. It's entirely possible that I somehow missed them though. Various legends stipulate that only female virgins can successfully interact with unicorns, so, as I don't meet that criteria, perhaps that's why they gave me the slip. While I didn't encounter any myself, I did find unicorn kentaurides images on a Super Famicom Princess Minerva monster sprite sheet that someone else compiled, which is my only clue to her possible existence. Sometimes video game developers will leave graphical assets in a game's code that aren't used in the final version of the software, which is another possible explanation as to why I didn't run into any when I played Princess Minerva [a person who has the know-how (I don't), can hack into a ROM and find and extract that kind of hidden data]. Alternatively, some of the monsters from the PC Engine CD version of Princess Minerva (which is what the Super Famicom adaptation is based on) might have gotten mixed-up in said monster sprite collection (the reason I suspect that may be the case is because that sheet also included the PCE CD battle sprites for the Sphinx boss, which aren't used during the fight with her, or anywhere else that I'm aware of, in the Super Famicom game).

Kentauros (centaurs) are often included in RPG bestiaries, but it's less common to see one combined with elements of a unicorn like this, which is what appealed to me. That, and I had already made the "normal" kentaurides Princess Minerva monster a couple of years ago, so, I didn't want to craft a figure of her again. As such, I went for the similar, but different, unicorn design instead.

The most common explanation as to how the legend of centaur-like creatures began is that when an ancient people, that had never ridden horses themselves, first sighted mounted foreigners, they mistakenly assumed that man and animal were joined as one creature (later in history, the Aztecs were reported to have reached that same erroneous conclusion when they observed Spanish cavalry for the first time). And, when it comes to unicorns, it's probable that the creature concept stems from a romanticized misinterpretation of a rhinoceros or that a normal, two-horned animal was mistaken for a one-horned one when it was observed in profile. Additionally, double-horned quadrupeds can, on rare occasions, exhibit just one horn, due to a genetic aberration, injury/disease, or even direct human intervention (i.e., it's possible to intentionally reshape some young animals' horn buds so that they'll grow into a single projection; the resulting "unicorns" were sometimes displayed in traveling carnivals and circuses).


Newsprint, white glue, cardboard from a cereal box, tissue paper, acrylic paint, ink, colored pencil,
marker, super glue, and transparent plastic from a toy package (base only).

Dimensions (excluding the base):
4.5 cm (1.8") wide x 7.2 cm (2.8") long x 5.3 cm (2.1") tall.

Four days: August 19th, 20th, 23rd, and 24th, 2015.
I probably would have finished her sooner, but we had a kitchen plumbing problem I had to deal with on the 21st and 22nd

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