atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

More Thoughts on El Hazard and a correction

The Eye of God was built after Ifurita (and her sisters) became operational.

...I've been watching El Hazard over the past couple of days and I was reminded that Ifurita has memories of the construction of the Eye of God. SO, my statement, in the previous entry about El Hazard, that the Eye of God was built in response to the deployment of Ifurita in the Great Holy War is, in fact, incorrect. mumble grumble

I don't know. It makes more sense to me that the small, light, mobile weapon was developed in order to deal with the massive and powerful ultimate weapon. But considering how government projects go, the enemy could have learned of the construction of the Eye of God and made Ifurita in order to combat it--and finished first.

The Eye of God is so big that it was built in orbit--this is shown at least twice in the series--before it was activated and lowered into the atmosphere, where it remains to this day, hovering in the sky.

Still, the fact that Ifurita has memories at all of its construction seems to indicate that both she and the Eye of God were on the same side. And considering the "revenge weapon" which is unearthed in the second OVA series, it's quite possible that they were.

In the second OVA series, El Hazard 2, Jinnai--having lost Ifurita and nearly all of his Bugrom followers--seeks out a new and more powerful "ultimate weapon" to aid in his conquest of El Hazard. He finds Kalia and, thinking she's similar to Ifurita, reactivates her.

But after a certain point Kalia stops listening to his orders; she turns out to be part of an ancient weapon designed to throw the entire frickin' universe into the ash-pit. And it's mentioned that Kalia was, among other things, meant to combat the Eye of God.

Although I suppose that "Mutual Assured Destruction" is not a very difficult concept to invent, that's one of the reasons I think that the "ancients of El Hazard" are us. But MAD should only involve nations, not the whole universe. That's a bit much.

From OVA2 we also see that there is more than one Ifurita. They are individuals, which means that the one Makoto freed--the one which ended up on Earth and sent him and the others to El Hazard--is a distinct individual they come across in OVA2. They're all named "Ifurita", but for all we know, "Ifurita" may be a model name or even a generalized type designation in the ancient El Hazard language. In that sense, Kalia may have been an "ifurita"....

The Eye of God is some kind of singularity generator. Legends tell of its use in the Great Holy War, and the war ended before the "Kalia" weapon was activated, but El Hazard was utterly devastated; it must have been a pyrrhic victory.

It's a huge weapon, big enough to affect local weather, and both the weapon and its control tower (the Stairway to the Sky) throw around a lot of unshielded leakage current (lightning) during the activation process. The Stairway to the Sky is on the order of 1000 feet high; using that as a scale, the Eye of God must be over 3000 feet in diameter. It's a remotely operated vehicle (ROV)--none of that enormous volume contains provision for pilot or crew--and its operation is entirely automatic, requiring only targeting information from its operators once it has been brought on-line.

It's an example of how well-built the world is; the ancient technologies of El Hazard still pervade the world.

The Eye of God is controlled by two princesses of Roshtaria. The royal family of Roshtaria must be direct descendants of the people who controlled the Eye of God in the Great Holy War (indicating that it was mere centuries ago, rather than millennia). The weapon is keyed to a specific gene in their DNA; also, it seems that the bearer of the gene must be female. The Eye of God cannot be used except by women (TWO women operating in concert) who have this gene. But the Eye of God cannot be used unless it is first brought on-line; and they can't do that themselves. The three Elemental Priestesses must do that.

In El Hazard, the three Elemental Priestesses are Mizu Mishtal, Priestess of Water; Afura Mann, Priestess of Air, and Shayla-Shayla, Priestess of Fire. They come to Floristica, capital of Roshtaria, in order to "unseal" the Eye of God. Once this is done, the weapon is on-line and ready to receive targeting data.

In El Hazard: The Alternate World we see Mizu Mishtal, after her marriage to Fujisawa, transfer her office to Kwawoor, her replacement--therefore the office of Priestess is neither hereditary nor even genetically keyed; it requires only that the officeholder master the use of devices which give the priestesses their power. These are, naturally, examples of ancient El Hazard technology...but these are also the control keys which unlock the safties on the Eye of God.

Everyday life in El Hazard doesn't include such things. The average person seems to live a life that would not seem all that strange to someone from the 1900s: there are no obvious mass media, nor computing devices. Electricity is available but not widely used--it's used primarily for lighting. The culture has indoor plumbing. Air conditioning is not available, but neither does it seem to be required. There are commonly available flying vehicles, but I don't get the sense that they are of recent manufacture. Clothing seems to follow a mid-eastern style--loose flowing garments which allow air to circulate underneath.

And now for a few words about Ifurita herself.

According to the El Hazard comics, Ifurita is just one model in a series of "demon gods", and all of them are first constructed and then bound to a power-key staff, which makes them controllable.

In El Hazard Makoto uses his ability to "interface" with ancient El Hazard technology in order to break this link, rendering Ifurita a free agent.

The character design seems to use the approximate chassis specifications of Dolly Parton. Well, I suppose if you're going to build a potent superweapon, you might as well make it bouyant, as well, in the event of an unscheduled water landing.

For one D&D campaign I decided to do something highly unusual for the group I played with: I generated a mage character, one whose primary school of magic was necromancy. Necromancy is not a good magic school--that's the school of magic which deals with animating dead, making zombies, stealing life, etc, etc, all kinds of things which are generally considered "evil". The mage part was okay, but the primary school of "necromancy" is what made the character unusual in my group.

I ended up borrowing the general character design specs for Ifurita and made the character female, which is also unusual--a guy playing a female character, I mean. "Role playing" means that you take on a role and play it, but most of the time people stay with their real-world sex when generating characters. I named her "Calandra". Her alignment was "neutral good" and her destiny was to change the "rules" for necromancy to make it a much less-evil discipline.

Calandra has, ever since, been one of my favorite characters. She's the first character I ever played using the third edition rules of D&D (D&D 3E). I had originally thought to build her using the specifications for Urd, from Oh! My Goddess!, but the more I worked on her, the more I realized that Ifurita was closer.

Still, during one session, when two new players were joining us, I used an Urd line. When he learned that my character was female, one asked, "What's your charisma?" I replied with a cool, "Heel, boy."

Although she was physically attractive, because of her vocation Calandra was surrounded with a vague air of creepiness, and her skin was actually clammy to the touch. Her skin was pale and her hair white, and she had been rendered incapable of bearing children by a deal made by her parents with, eh, her great-great-great-and-so-on-grandfather...a personage known as Amun-Ghul, the necromancer who had pioneered the art of turning one's self into a lich...which is itself an evil act, of course. Liches are generally powerful creatures, and evil, but Amun-Ghul was the original lich--at least in that campaign world. Among other works in his portfolio, Amun-Ghul had constructed a throne made of bones which allowed the user to control all the undead in the world--but only a few people EVER could possibly use the thing...and Calandra, naturally, was one of them.

So Calandra wasn't your generic guy-playing-a-chick hottie character. In fact, most guys would have to be either really desperate--or total breast men--in order to want to sleep with her. (And she wasn't a lesbian, either, so don't ask.)

In fact, Calandra was the first female character I ever ran, now that I think of it. After 19 years of playing D&D (in 2000) I suppose it was inevitable. You get tired of playing the same kinds of characters over and over again.

But as for Ifurita, I liked the character so much that I ended up using her for one (of many) of my own abortive D&D campaigns. In fact, many characters of El Hazard showed up in my campaign setting. I couldn't resist it. The priestesses showed up there, and Mizu Mishtal attached herself to one of the PCs (just as she did in the anime, with Mr. Fujisawa) and my then-girlfriend told me that I absolutely nailed the character. Calandra has been enshrined as one of the major non-player characters of the total revision of the campaign setting, too; so a form of Ifurita is still around, making life interesting.
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