Thursday, September 22, 2011

Raideen Fights Baragon (The Other Baragon)

(As a brief, momentary aside, I'm linking to this old column by Dave Campbell about the Red Skull getting thrashed by Magneto. Why? My sister was curious, and I'm curious how well she'd be able to read the article on her phone. That is all.)

One of the most fearsome enemies that the original Raideen faced was Baragon (no relation to the Toho daikaiju that fought a giant Frankenstein's monster, probably), a huge flying dragon created by Barao, the archnemesis of the civilization that created Raideen (the people of the imaginary continent of Mu). Baragon is one of Raideen's toughest enemies, but he's also made of pure craziness.

Here, the great dragon looks fairly... normalish, but you just can't see the crazy details too well. (Incidentally, the weapons in the foreground protect the fortress that maintains Raideen, which, I'm sorry to say I neglected to mention the last time I talked about how nuts this stuff is, is inside an enormous purple oyster shell that closes when the base is under attack.)

I add this image simply to show Baragon's happy face.

Anatomically, Baragon is a close relative of the enemy I've nicknamed Elephant's Head Ninja. That is, it's an animal form with a warrior guy sticking out of a random, convenient location. Baragon's warrior bit comes out of his back. In and of itself, that's not so weird, although the warrior has four arms.

No, what's crazy is that if you're looking closely enough (admittedly, these aren't the best screenshots, but I'm only human and putting too many pictures up takes a lot of time anyway), you can see that Barao's lieutenants are being worn by Baragon's warrior section as hand puppets.

And no, that's not at all misleading or misrepresenting what happened. In the previous two episodes, those guys got killed by Raideen, and so Barao brought forth Baragon for a last ditch attack... and he pulled out a pair of giant hand puppets and gave them to Baragon. That is literally exactly what happened.

So what kinds of abilities did Baragon and his puppet-wielding warrior symbiote have? Well, aside from the obvious flight and being much larger than Raideen (the warrior is of course in the same scale as Raideen), he had some fairly standard stuff, like eye beams and whirlwind generation, the warrior had some melee weapons (silly as they were), and the puppet heads spat projectiles (funny that that ends up being less silly by comparison). He could also recover from being shot in the eye with a giant robot arrow without apparent harm (although that was probably just lazy animation and direction). One of his more visually interesting abilities was his ability to stretch out his hair, which looked like the unholy lovechild of sawswords and barbed wire, and use them as a rather tentacular reaching and grabbing attack.

Apparently, this wasn't enough, because Baragon could also cause the hair stuff to merge into this... Raideen catcher. Seriously, that's pretty much the only word for it.

All of this wasn't enough to bring down Raideen, though, and the two titanic combatants got rather up close and personal with each other, leading Raideen to stab Baragon right in the mouth.

Which didn't go well, because Baragon has lava for blood.

How did Raideen get out of getting lava blood all over him? Well, somebody flew a Bluegar (Raideen's support craft, which I mention in that other post) loaded with a full payload of heavy missiles right down Baragon's throat, and the ensuing explosion split Baragon in half. This weakened Baragon enough (!) that Raideen was able to finish him off.

(And no, I'm not going to say more than that about the Bluegar suicide attack thing. Completely aside from the spoiler aspect, I'd have to explain a whole bunch of other stuff I haven't mentioned at all.)

Of course, that still left Barao to fight, and Barao was pretty bizarre, too... although that's a subject for another post.

-Signing off.

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