Initially, I was leaning towards modeling a Weretree (one-eyed, four-legged wood beasts) from the Nintendo DS RPG Glory of Heracles, but then I read a recent Hardcore Gaming 101 article about the old 1990 Famicom (a truncated combination of "Family + Computer", which is the original Japanese name for the Nintendo Entertainment System) RPG Musashi no Bouken ("The Adventures of Musashi") and fell in love with a screenshot of a zany bamboo monster instead. I've made several tree creatures over the years, but never a bamboo one, so that was also a factor in my decision. While said game was never released in North America, thankfully, Musashi no Bouken received a full English fan translation, which can easily be found online, so, I was able to experience things in my language.

The protagonist of the game, Musashi (Junior), is the fictional son of the legendary real Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi. Senior Musashi's arch rival, Sasaki Kojiro, whom he slew during their famous duel on Ganryu Island, has risen from the dead and brought a host of demons with him to terrorize Japan. Naturally, Junior wants to follow in his father's footsteps and bring glory to his family, save the country, and apparently lose his virginity in the process. Let in never be said that this young man doesn't understand what's important in life!

Like most classic RPGs, the vast majority of your time in Musashi no Bouken will be spent fighting and killing the monsters that ambush you with disturbing frequency whenever you dare to set foot outside of the safety of a village. Doing so gets you money, experience points, and occasionally items, that will strengthen Musashi over time and/or help him progress further into his journey. As a novice, outside his hometown, Junior will find himself struggling against sentient and vicious pine cones, corn cobs, and, of course, stalks of bamboo! While those aren't exactly the most intimidating opponents, every hero has to start somewhere, and beating on his veggies is apparently how Musashi aims to make his mark in the world. Surely you'd be impressed if I told you that I once singlehandedly slew an entire army of rabid potatoes on my way to school one morning? By slew I mean ate, and by army of potatoes I mean a bag of chips. Okay, I'm not impressed either; Musashi and I are both losers!

Since they're enemies encountered very early in the game, Bamboos aren't too tough (they only have 12 hit points, but Musashi will still have some trouble dealing with them until he gains a few experience levels and/or some better gear). In addition to smacking you upside the head with their branches, Bamboos can also cast the "Skunker" spell which may cause our hero to involuntarily fall asleep, whereupon the Bamboo will gleefully beat upon Musashi's comatose and defenseless body until he awakens (if you were already low on hit points before nap time, you're probably doomed). Defeated Bamboos are only worth a measly two experience points and nine ryo (the in-game currency); however, if you get really lucky, these foes also sometimes drop a Bamboo Sword when they die, which just happens to be the worst weapon in the entire game, but then, it's a glorified pointy wooden stick, what did you expect? It's kind of tasteless to smack around other monsters with a piece of Bamboo's corpse, so sell it for some extra cash to the gullible town shopkeepers and buy a real blade instead.


Newsprint, white paper, wire twist ties, white glue, permanent marker, and acrylic paint.

5.0 cm (2.0") wide x 6.8 cm (2.7") tall x 3.8 cm (1.5") deep.

Four days: May 8th, 16th-18th, 2017.
Yup, in my typical industrious fashion, I took an eight day vacation to do "important" stuff like digging up and cleaning virtual dinosaur bones (Fossil Fighters on the Nitendo DS). Modeling the figure was only a two-day process; I was just super lazy about painting and sealing it, which took me another two days, even though neither task was terribly time-consuming (the figure is only three colors after all).

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