Setting the record straight on Huo Hu

Discussion of other Three Kingdoms games (e.g. Destiny of an Emperor and Dynasty Tactics) and other games by Koei (e.g. Samurai Warriors).

Setting the record straight on Huo Hu

Unread postby heapinfrimp » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:00 am

Howdy good day.
Maybe this is old news, but I only recently became interested in what other people thought of Destiny of an Emperor, and I got the impression, looking around, that the game-exclusive generals, or at least Huo Hu, were subjects of fascinating debate and speculation on the internet at one point in time.

In my own case, I played Doae on NES back when it came out, but only recently learned of and attempted Dynasty Wars, its arcade counterpart, and realized that
http://bimshwel.com/awnaw/secretidentities.png
a number of the portraits were recycled and renamed from other generals from the first game. And so I became obsessed with finding out who was really who in the original Tenchi (w)o Kurau manga.

In fact the story ends
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/55420518/TTOKR-07-058.JPG
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/554 ... 07-059.JPG
shortly after Lu Bu slays Dong Zhuo for trying to force-feed the emperor a human foot
and the affairs of mortals are not exactly center stage, so many of these individuals just plain don't appear at all. However, fictional volunteers, Huo Hu, Song Yong, Song Ren and Zhao Chao do, just with different appearances.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/554 ... 03-066.JPG
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/554 ... 03-067.JPG
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/554 ... 03-068.JPG
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/554 ... 03-069.JPG

Huo Hu likely is called a "powder expert" because on two occasions he uses homemade bombs to destroy things. Notably, he identifies himself as Huo Hu after blowing up a bridge to deter/annoy Dong Zhuo's force. He is also a fierce warrior, able to lift a horse and rider without effort, and boldly cleaves several people in battle, though far fewer than major characters. What Capcom did was to give his strength points and appearance to Ma Chao, who, as implied earlier, does not appear in the manga, but preserved to some degree his ability to blow things up.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/554 ... 04-035.JPG
Song Yong has a bandanna, Song Ren has a white beard, Zhao Chao has the big spear.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/554 ... 04-048.JPG
These three seem to be brigands or thugs of some sort that are turned to goodness when they hear Liu Bei's story and observe the famous "peach garden" oath in prison. (Note Liu Bei's copious bohemian facial hair (and that the Capcom artist made him shave and switch places with Zhang Fei)) Zhao Chao appears to have inspired Yan Liang's DoaE 2 appearance, although without a helmet. There are probably more analogs but I have played doae 2 far fewer times than the first, and an obscure face reference is harder to find for it. There is also a man with an eye patch and a helmet who is not seen after this chapter (I did not see him, anyhow), but possibly was used as the basis for Xia Hou Dun (and Dynasty Wars Cheng Yuan Zhi's) ingame portrait.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/554 ... 06-029.JPG
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/554 ... 06-030.JPG
here the gang participates in the appropriately fictional battle of Hulaoguan.

Of course I cannot read Japanese for context and only recognize any Chinese names after repeated obvious exposure to them, so I did not realize this was Huo Hu (I assumed it was Ma Chao) and friends until much later when
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/55420518/TTOKR-07-078.JPG
Liu Bei's tier-2 thugs all die off-screen together
and have their names said.

The real mystery is why Capcom decided to use the made up characters but didn't bother to have them look correct or do anything significant. I think Capcom must have met its memory limit because Hua Xiong, Cao Ren, Cao Hong and undoubtedly others have very specific (albeit brief) appearances in the comic book but are rendered with generic portraits in the game.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/554 ... 05-022.JPG
Hua Xiong at least looks right in Dynasty Wars, if less hungry.

I hope this has been useful to someone. Specifically, me, who fixates on things like this but usually has nobody to tell. I assume it is considered improper to link to where I found the comic scans, but you may correct me on that, or just do a search for Tenchi_o_Kurau_v01-03.zip .
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Re: Setting the record straight on Huo Hu

Unread postby DragonAtma » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:10 am

Aha! So the truth comes out.

I did know it comes from Tenchi no Kurai (to the point that DoaE's japanese name is Tenchi no Kurai), but I don't speak Japanese, nor do I have access to Japanese comics.

But at least they didn't decide that everyone should be mongolian.

EDIT: I should add that they can't be faulted (at least not by me) for recycling portraits, considering I've done the same thing.
Image
True, my projects usually have exactly one nonprofessional person working on them (who does not specialize in art), but still!
Last edited by DragonAtma on Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
Unless I specifically say otherwise, assume I am talking about historical Three Kingdoms, and not the novel.

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Re: Setting the record straight on Huo Hu

Unread postby heapinfrimp » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:21 am

I love the name "Portor." I wish my name was Portor. It inspires me to write jokes for Highlights magazine.

Why does Liu Bei not carry his luggage?
Because he always has a portor around

What kind of steak does Guan Yu order at restaurants?
Portorhouse

How did Zhang Fei protect his identity on the internet?
He installed Por-Tor
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Re: Setting the record straight on Huo Hu

Unread postby DragonAtma » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:28 am

Unfortunately, given the mongolian distraction, the names are... less than perect.

Portor probably should be Borchu; Abaka should be Abaqa or Abaga.

Still better than when DoaE mangled Yue Jin's name is Le Xin, though.
Unless I specifically say otherwise, assume I am talking about historical Three Kingdoms, and not the novel.

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Re: Setting the record straight on Huo Hu

Unread postby heapinfrimp » Mon Aug 03, 2015 3:33 pm

Regarding portraits, Capcom was major for-profit video game developers trying to produce a cross-platform franchise, not people modifying an existing game in their spare time! I found it odd that they reused the same portraits for different people --the inconsistency confuses the integrity of the series as a unified whole-- not merely that they reused at all; they recycled the same Megaman sprites for much longer.

My favorite erroneous shortcut is that despite the introduction boasting of all the research done for the game, it duplicates Koei's error of making Guo Tu one of Yuan Shao's most aggressive warriors while Pang De is shown as an advisor, and it puts the likes of Cai Yong on the front lines despite him just being a well-learned musician and historian with no military experience, which suggests that at least some of the "research" was copying stuff from another game, even though the English translations differ.
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Re: Setting the record straight on Huo Hu

Unread postby James » Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:56 pm

Thank you so very much, heapinfrimp, for sharing this! I've wondered a long time now about these characters who appeared in Destiny of an Emperor seemingly with no historic basis. And thank you for taking some time to outline their appearances in this manga!

As for the generic portraits, everyone's portraits are sliced into horizontal pieces with unique portraits simply using pieces unique to that portrait. Everyone else gets a portrait made up of combining generic slices, and one of a handful of colors, into what becomes a 'unique' portrait that pretty much looks like everyone else who uses the same basic combination. Modders have extended the ROM to include more unique portraits, but originally it probably has far more to do with development time and space restrictions—and they seem to have focused more on who was well known from the Three Kingdoms period and Romance of the Three Kingdoms than these cool characters created in this manga.
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Re: Setting the record straight on Huo Hu

Unread postby heapinfrimp » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:40 pm

You are welcome! I am glad anyone cared. I was surprised nobody had posted this information already. I used to look up scans of European comic books that I also could not read very well, and learned to look for context in strange ways. I suppose this may be an unusual hobby. I might be better off actually LEARNING some languages.

I noticed today also some mentions of "Wang Gui" as another fictional recruitable. I cannot say for certain, but I am moderately sure he is also in the manga, just not as often, since there are two gentlemen other than Lu Bu who seem to know Diaochan and get frustrated with Dong Zhuo's antics. I may investigate that later.
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Re: Setting the record straight on Huo Hu

Unread postby DragonAtma » Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:25 am

According to the KMA encyclopedia, Wang Gui actually existed. He (along with Han Rong, Yin Xiu, Humu Ban, and Wu Xiu) were all sent by Dong Zhuo as envoys to make peace with the ADZC. But I have to wonder if Dong Zhuo had a bad memory or a list of people he had grudges against, as Yuan Shao and Wang Kuang killed all envoys but Han Rong.

And yes, space was limited on the NES. If they gave all 177 officers a unique portrait the size they did now, that would eat up fully 38.8% of the game's space!
Unless I specifically say otherwise, assume I am talking about historical Three Kingdoms, and not the novel.

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Re: Setting the record straight on Huo Hu

Unread postby heapinfrimp » Tue Aug 04, 2015 5:11 pm

Indeed? I admit I never fixated on the diplomatic history. That would not explain why Mr. Wang was singled out as an adventuring partner for the video game, but I might be overthinking a terribly minor aspect of something that came out 28 years ago, likely on a rushed deadline, because in fact I don't remember seeing Wang Gui in the game either.
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Re: Setting the record straight on Huo Hu

Unread postby DragonAtma » Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:03 pm

It's also possible that they screwed up on naming. After all, one of the officers fighting under Liu Zhang (presumably in the early 210s) is... Tao Qian!?

If so, my best guess is that Wang Gui is supposed to be Wang Kuang. The timing is correct*, and he was grand administrator of Henei (which is adjacent to Henan, Luoyang's commandery).

* KMA encyclopedia lists Wang Kuang as dying in 190, but some stories say he was killed by Humu Ban's relatives "years later" -- and for DoaE, that would be sufficient.
Unless I specifically say otherwise, assume I am talking about historical Three Kingdoms, and not the novel.

In memory of my beloved cats, Anastasia (9/30/06-9/18/17, illness) and Josephine (1/19/06-9/23/17, cancer).
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