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"Every day of his life, he has fought for not only the survival of himself but also his entire village. Now, however, the stakes are higher than ever..."
Thunder Fang is a Soulcalibur fan-character created by just another guy on the internet. Two things inspired this character: One being a challenge to try and use Lizardman's style in a way that was actually plausible, and two being watching Deadliest Warrior and seeing just how badass the Apache were. They were like American ninja, except without five crappy 80s movies. After another night of fighting generic ninja created souls online, I decided to give him a shot. It took about four different costumes revamps, but here he is now and I'm incredibly fond of him.
Thunder Fang is an Apache hunter-warrior who is among his tribe's primary source of defense and food. Recently, however, invaders that he has defeated have been carrying unusual items on them. Strange writings and dark artifacts, with origins clearly not of this land. While Thunder Fang thinks the best thing to do is just throw them away and be done with it, apparently they herald a great darkness. With much reluctance, Thunder Fang leaves his beloved home in order to explore the world and see what all is going down and about.
His primary weapon is a tomahawk and shield called Ba' ts'osé and Gaagé, and was created using Lizardman's style.
What lies in his soul is Serenity.
In the many, many territories of the unexplored New World, there lives Native Americans of different kinds. Some of them are peaceful, some of them are warlike. All of them, however, have a story to tell.
A hunter-warrior of the Chokonen Apache tribe, Thunder Fang acts as the guardian for a sleepy little village set in the mountains. Being their defender was an easy task, as the village was so out of the way that very few rival tribes would raid it. For the most part, his duties were working with the other hunter-warriors to bring back food to feed the village. It wasn't a particularly difficult set of duties, either. He had been doing them ever since he was a young child, just learning how to pick up a tomahawk and use it—he had been serving his village for years, and he knew how to do it easily.
Not that it wasn't important, of course. He worked with a team, but all of them had a duty to fulfill to feed the entire town. Ever since his little sister joined the ranks of the Spirit Shamans, however, he had even more of a reason to ensure that his hunts were successful. For years, life was simple—wake up, go hunting, patrol the territory to defend from invaders, and there were no problems. Nothing strange, nothing unusual. Normal, in fact. He liked normal.
As of late, however, there had been a couple oddities. There were invaders roaming around the territory, clad in a strange garb not of this realm...and clearly mad, striking at the earth around them and fighting off invisible assailants. They were easy enough to repulse, but several of them had odd items on them—strange metallic shards that emanated with an elder power, and papers with an unknowable language with ancient diagrams. When he took them back, he gave them to his sister to study.
For the next couple of days, she was plagued with visions. Horrible visions of an ancient knight: a man who was sealed deep within the heart of war, who wore the armor of a bird and had ancient weapons within his veins. Over the sea, he was struggling to get free and to come into the world again, and once he came free...the world would change drastically.
Thunder Fang couldn't bear to see his sister suffer. He pulled the artifacts away, but still the memory of them stayed with her. Who was this strange knight? Where did he come from? What weapons were held within his body? How would the world change upon his revival?
Thunder Fang tried to brush off the visions. If it's across the sea, then it had nothing to do with their tribe. Why not leave the rest of the world to deal with their problem, and keep him defending the village? His sister, however, insisted that it affected the entire world, and that he needed to do. She begged him, holding his hand tight...
...and he relented. For his sister, he would investigate.
It would probably be simple. Just go to the worlds across the sea, and see what other lands there were. Meet new people, maybe get into some scraps, check out some legends and stories.
Sounded like a whole bunch of hullabaloo about nothing, anyway. What's the worst that could happen?
Distant Marsh (Soulcalibur IV)Who knew what these ruins held so long ago? What strange buildings once stood proud in this place, and what forest boasted this place as its residence? Whatever it was, now it's simply collapsed ruins, overgrown by the jungle and now acting as home to hundreds of animals and plants. The marsh is not particularly deep, but it is difficult to navigate and the ruins act as a quick place to rest. Even in this area long claimed by nature, people can rest in an area reminiscent of civilization.
Hot Springs (Original)Many people have extolled the virtues of nature for as long as humanity has existed; nature is a place of beauty, nature is a place of peace, nature is a place of inherent goodness. While the war between nature, technology, and the proponents of both have gone back and forth, these hot springs are undeniably one of the most beautiful parts of nature. A circle of rocks underneath a waterfall, with a volcano sitting peacefully in the not-too-far distance, the hot springs provide a blast of scorching hot water to relax and heal in—though not everyone uses them to relax or heal.
The waterfall pounds down on the pit and fills it up with steaming hot water to knee-level, while various animals rest on the circle to come and go as they please, enjoying the waters despite the combat. There are no areas to ring out another person, providing an entirely-closed arena of which there is only one way out of. When two people decide to duel in this hot spring, there is nowhere to run and certainly no way to easily be rid of the other...
Ba' ts'osé & Gaagé (Main Weapon)The Coyote and the Crow is an old Native American tale that speaks of a foolish crow and a clever coyote. The coyote is hungry, and he sees a crow high up snacking on meat—with some sly words, the coyote butters up the crow and then gets him to drop his meal, upon which the coyote snatches it up to satisfy himself. It's a simple story with a basic message: Do not be fooled by your safe position and harmless surroundings, for you can still suffer even if you believe yourself incapable of. It's a lesson that Thunder Fang has kept throughout his entire life, and he has named his weapons after the story so as to constant remind himself to stay on his toes even when lounging.
Functionally, the pair is a tomahawk axe and a shield made out of thick layers of bone atop wood fixtures, bound together with rawhide. The tomahawk is made out of a horse's jawbone, one of the thickest bones in the world, sharpened and treated until it could match even tempered steel in its hardiness—the shield, likewise, is carved from the skull of an elephant, layered repeatedly. The result are a pair of weapons that are incredibly light and quick to move, but surprisingly powerful and capable of standing against even the toughest of metal blades and axes.
Panabas & Al-DaraqaThe panabas is deceptively simple at first glance, looking like a cross between a kukri and an ilkwa—but functioning much like a battleaxe. It sports a curved double-edged blade pointing forward and welded on a lengthy stick, and provides deep cleaver-like cuts that can carve up just as deeply as any axe. While the point of the blade does allow it to deliver decent thrusts as well as chops, its primary function is still cleaving.
The al-daraqa, unlike the panabas, is anything but simple in appearance. This shield is highly stylized and decorated, with various precious metals imbedded in the front and numerous nubs projecting forth from the metal. It is a highly intricate shield design, but its fanciful appearance does not at all detract from its ability to defend.
First appearing in the Crusades and used primarily by Muslim forces, this is a highly exotic blade and shield that is sure to catch the eye of anybody who notices it. Both of them are very flashy and stylish, and thus it allows a wielder to defend more effectively—when someone is unsure how to approach such a combination, it becomes easier to stay protected against their assaults. Unfortunately, in the hands of someone who is not properly trained in their use, their effectiveness diminishes and it also becomes difficult to deal as much damage.
Mace & TargeThe mace is a traditional instrument of the medieval ages, offering a bashing and crushing alternative to blades. While blades can slice things up something fierce, when confronted with shields and armor their usefulness drastically decreases. Enter the mace, the fierce bludgeoning instrument that could provide incredible concussive force that could work even through armor. Descended from the ancient club, it has hundreds of hundreds of different designs, but every single time the function remains the same—crushing bones and metal underneath massive force.
Shields, themselves, were long designated as simply a defensive tool and acted as a gigantic wall of steel between the wielder and the enemy. An extra layer of armor never hurt, though many people were frustrated by the inability to utilize it as a weapon as well. Enter the targe—a wicked war spike in and around the shield, allowing for an extra method of death that very few would expect.
A combination of a defense-crushing shield and a lethal shield make this an offensive combo, with extra attack capabilities and penetration of defense. Unfortunately, it loses defensive capabilities on its own, allowing people to smash past easily.
Gunstock Club & BucklerShocked by the advent of gunpowder, but lacking any ability to create their own, the Native Americans tried to recreate it through spiritual means rather than technological. They would create clubs in the shape of these strange "rifles" and then infuse them with the magic of their ancestors. While severely lacking in any actual capability to fire bullets, the lengthy range of the club combined with the vicious war spike and the sharpened oak edge made it a nightmare to go against.
A buckler is a simple leather shield, small and barely covering the forearm, with a knob in front. One of the earliest types of shields, it was crafted from a hardened leather and designed to assist in duels. The small and smooth exterior, while allowing people to penetrate it easily, greatly assisted in parries and impacts.
This shield-club combination is a very defensive pairing, combining lengthy range with greater parrying capabilities. Those who want all-out offense should probably look elsewhere, as this is a weapon set for a thinking fighter.
Arms of Durga (Ultimate)Durga is a name that means "The Invincible", and in Hinduism is one of the epic forms of Devi, the supreme radiant goddess. Durga herself is a powerful figure in Hinduism, acting as an embodiment of both creative force and terrific fury. She is the goddess of victory and the triumph of good over evil, and while is not specifically a herald of war is nonetheless more than familiar with it. While she has a wide and varied arsenal of weapons to wield in her numerous arms, these two items have somehow found their way into mortal hands.
The Parashu is an incredibly powerful axe, which is surprising given its tiny size. Despite its size it is a weapon that has seen battles against foes innumerable, and has felled demons and monsters of all kinds. The blade may not be gigantic, but it has penetration like nothing else, and even immortal or invincible creatures tremble at its sight.
The Mandala Shield itself is a holy artifact that can weather even the toughest forms of punishment, a saffron shield edge painted with holy red and then given a reflective barrier. Tougher than any steel, iron, rock, bone, or hide, the shield remains in perfect condition no matter how much wear and tear it goes through, making it an amazing defense no matter the stress the wielder puts on it. It is said that the reflective barrier may also reflect ill intent as well, but such rumors remain unfounded.
Feather Duster & Dust Pan (Joke)Being a maid or a butler, for the most part, is thankless work. While it's true that they receive quite a bit of payment as well as free food and lodging, many masters and mistresses start eventually taking the services of a servant for granted. However, sometimes you find that rare maid or butler who works out of love for the job or love for the master/mistress, doing everything to the best of his or her ability simply because he or she can.
While the feather duster has long been the icon of a maid's work, in reality it's not really all that effective. The slickness of feathers has usually meant that dust would be flung around left and right instead of actually attached to the brush, and such small-scale cleanings are usually better handled with a wet rag instead of a feather duster. Likewise, a dustpan is best when working in tandem along with a linear broom putting things in a nice and neat line, rather than a scatter-happy feather duster.
It is safe to say that someone carrying these things has no clue as to how they actually work, but rather is simply wielding them because they look cool. They serve absolutely no use in combat, but wielding them may cause the opponent to let down their guard.
Iron Handaxe & Iron Shield (The Ancient)These are, as the name would indicate, a handaxe and a shield forged with iron. While steel has quickly become the commonplace alloy of choice when dealing with weapon-crafting, iron is still a solid and capable metal when it comes to weapon-smithing. While not as hardy as steel, iron can still provide a powerful cutting edge and a sturdy wall of defense. It may not be the absolute best, but sometimes imperfection has its charms.
Both the handaxe and shield were forged by a common smith's furnace with absolutely no special construction in their handicraft, and thus are as staple as can be. While the design was made with painstaking care and shows numerous aesthetic customizations, functionally they hold no real strengths or weaknesses. These are perfectly basic weapons, who could be used easily by anyone in whatever situation he or she can think of.
Thunder Fang lifts up his tomahawk and scratches behind his head with the back. "Hate to end it this way..."
Thunder Fang gives a sudden charge with his shield, shouting "Have some of this!", shoving it into the opponent's stomach and causing them to collapse to their knees, winded. He gives his tomahawk a wide swing against their throat, slicing it, and as the opponent chokes he side-flips around to behind them.
He tosses his tomahawk to the side, then spins around to crack the shield against the back of their head. They stumble forward slightly from the impact and he spins around again, his hands enveloping in flames as he builds up the power.
With a shout of "Smile!", he slams the shield full-force into the back of their head again, crushing their skull from the impact. The opponent is flung away, ragdolling a great distance away from him.
Thunder Fang stretches and yawns, then lazily lays down on his side and props his head up with one arm. "I guess that's that, then. Man, what a way to go..."
- "So... Are you strong?"
- "I don't really have any business with you..."
- "I can play with you for just a few minutes."
- "It's really boring when I know I'm going to win."
- "Another day, another brawl. Life is full of surprises."
- "Man, oh man...why do I always get drug into situations like this?"
- "Well, that was a waste of time..."
- "Don't be a sore loser, now."
- "Try and last a little longer next time, all right?"
- "Heh heh heh. I believe they call this 'bullying'."
- "Ooohh, looks like I was a little hard on you. You'll heal up."
- "Hrrmmm... Tell me again just how awesome you were...?"
- To the Wind (Soulcalibur IV)
- Formless Like Water (Hot Springs)
- Current sprinting record so far is being able to go over a hundred yards in roughly 12 seconds.
- One infamous part about his voice is the "I almost feel like dancing!" taunt. With Lizardman's swaying-back-and-forth taunt, it actually does look like dancing.
- Is a natural prodigy when it comes to fighting, and rarely has had to work hard. Weapons-handling seems to come naturally to him. This does not help his lazy demeanor.
- His fighting style is called "The Four Beasts from a Single Man", and takes elements from creatures he has constantly encountered. Pupils need to study certain combat aspects of four animals, then face it in unarmed combat and kill it, taking a part of it to wear as a trophy. Thunder Fang started small with a lizard and hawk, then moved on to the far more lethal mountain wolf and buffalo.
- His design was partially inspired by the Native American tales of Skin-walkers, people who wore the pelts of dead animals in order to gain their qualities. Of course, there are no pelts in SCIV, but I figured bones would work just as well.
- There are hundreds of Native American historical accounts. Even going more specifically doesn't help, as there are hundreds of Apache historical accounts and hundreds of Chokonen Apache historical accounts. So I have absolutely no doubt that there are some things incorrect in this profile and mostly wrote about what was cool. I apologize deeply to actual Native Americans for the undoubted inaccuracies in language, history, or...anything, really.
Hoo boy. This is gonna be rough. Ahem.
- Soulcalibur IV screenshots taken by Kristof.
- Formless Like Water composed by Akitaka Tohyama, from the Namco-Bandai Sound Team.
- Panabas blade taken from the Macao Museum of Art's History of Steel in Eastern Asia exhibit, modified in Photoshop.
- Al-Daraqa found on Photobucket. No copyright information known. If you believe it infringes on any copyrights, please tell me and I will take it down.
- Mace taken from Mr. P's CastleVania Realm.
- Targe taken from Guild Wars, screenshot from the Guild Wars wiki.
- Gunstock club taken from 1stdibs' Brant Mackley Gallery. Modified in Photoshop.
- Leather Buckler taken from Purpleheart Armoury. Modified in Photoshop.
- Durga axe taken from MFA Educators Online, modified in Photoshop.
- Durga shield taken from Ideal Home's Mirrors section, modified heavily in Photoshop.
- Iron Axe taken from Acerose de Hispania. Modified in Photoshop.
- Iron Shield also taken from Acerose de Hispania.
- Feather duster taken from Natural Blinds.
- Dust Pan taken from Marko Janitorial Supply. Modified in Photoshop.
- Hot Springs picture taken from Buried Mirror. Modified extensively in Photoshop.