Rivers of sweat course down your seared flesh as flames dance merrily all around you and black smoke chokes the very life from your throat. Squinting through watering eyes, you spy a strange, one-legged crane hopping and flapping about maniacally in the very heart of the conflagration that's consuming your home, its' wings fanning the blaze to even greater heights. Raising the bucket that you drew from the well outside a scant minute ago, its contents already steaming from the intense heat, you heave the liquid upon the demonic creature. Squawking in surprised dismay, the bird angrily ruffles its feathers and shakes its head, sizzling droplets of water flying in every direction. It whirls about and fixes you with its beady eyes for a moment before suddenly opening its beaked maw and exhaling an incinerating plume of death in your direction...
Hippou (pronounced 'Hee-poh') is one of the many demon types that can be encountered, and potentially recruited, in Atlus' 1995 Shin Megami Tensei: Debiru Samana- (Reincarnation of The True Goddess: Devil Summoner) Sega Saturn video game [said title was also ported to the Sony Playstation Portable (PSP) in 2005, but, like the original version, it's only available in Japan]. In Devil Summoner, Hippou conforms to the Dark-Law alignment, a life philosophy that, while generally malevolent in nature, advocates order. However, in dealing with this dangerous creature, one should keep in mind that the Hippou's warped concept of an ideal, structured world is one that's been totally engulfed in flames. This firebug is further classified as a member of the Kyouchou (literally "Evil Bird") Clan, a group of nefarious avian creatures. Alternate names for this monster include "Bi Fang" (Chinese) and "Krane" (English).
This one-legged pyromaniac is incredibly destructive; the Hippou takes a perverse delight in setting everything, and everyone, around it aflame. The crane's crest burns constantly (being magical in nature, nothing, not water nor the absence of oxygen, can ever extinguish it), and the Hippou also exhales plumes of fire anytime that it opens its beak (which, unfortunately for anything flammable, is often.) Naturally, this incinerating fiend is completely immune to the flames and high temperatures that it creates. Tracking the Hippou is simplicity itself, all you have to do is follow the trail of charred wreckage and burnt corpses that the creature inevitably leaves in its wake...dealing with the bird, once you catch up to it (and Goddess help you if you do), is another matter entirely.
Bi Fang, the legendary crane Hippou is based upon, originates in Chinese mythology. This single-legged and scarlet-crested bird is said to make its home on the slopes of Mount Zhang'e. Its name comes from its distinctive cry: "Bifang!" Although encountering Bi Fang is generally considered to be an ill omen, as it portends calamitous fire, on rare occasions, meeting with the crane can be of a more fortuitous nature, as it will carry a truly worthy individual away to wondrous places, where he or she will have the opportunity to visit with both gods and demons.
Newsprint, tissue paper, wire twist ties, white glue, and acrylic paint.
8.8 cm/3.5 in. x 10.6 cm/4.2 in. (widest point x highest point)
Maximum wingspan: 10.7 cm/4.2 in.
Note: The numbers given assume a neutral standing position and will vary depending on how the figure is posed.
10 points: Beak, neck (2), wings (2), tail, hip, knee (2), and ankle.
Four days; December 18-21, 2011. I modeled the leg, head, neck, body, and tail on the 18th. The wings were made and attached on the 19th. On the 20th, I decided to scrap the original tail but finished the rest of the figure. The last day, the 21st, was spent making the new replacement tail and doing final touch-ups.