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Shinkirou_
07-20-2016, 07:05 PM
Now, I know this game is takes place in an alternate history divergent from our own, and that it takes fantastical artistic license liberties.
It bases itself on a lot of stereotypes that were not true about their respective warrior cultures (such as vikings with horns).

I'm somewhat familiar to the origins of the vikings with horns myth, but I have to ask, where does the stereotype that samurai have wooden armour come from?

This is not the first time I've run across this stereotype on the internet and it baffles me.

Samurai armour was made out of laminar and banded plates of either iron or steel.
Later samurai armour weighed from 35kg up to 40kg and the later 16th century versions were also designed to be musket proof.

Even the lightest form of samurai armour (back when they were horse-mounted archers) was mainly composed of lamellar iron.

I've always thought this to be pretty common knowledge.
However, I've seen, on multiple occasions, people say that samurai armour was made out of bamboo.

And the samurai armour in this game is also primarily made out of wood.

Can someone enlighten me on the origins of this stereotype?

Cheers.

Joe_Corleone
07-20-2016, 07:39 PM
I'm too lazy. Find a pic of the Oni. Lots of iron armor.

Horns will be optional as ornaments for Vikings. It was in an interview. Again too lazy for link.

Shinkirou_
07-20-2016, 08:00 PM
I'm too lazy. Find a pic of the Oni. Lots of iron armor.

Horns will be optional as ornaments for Vikings. It was in an interview. Again too lazy for link.

The Oni was described as having wooden and leather armour, though his armour seems to be mostly leather + ring mail.

http://i.imgur.com/9SyG3LG.png


Also, every newer depiction of samurai/chosen in the game has wooden armour.

The mooks in the Viking Single-player mission:

http://i.imgur.com/xyQ10KK.png

The Kensei, whose armour is solely wood + cloth:

http://i.imgur.com/YB0yrWF.png

And the early samurai from the Cinematic Story trailer:

http://i.imgur.com/urKAWpW.png

http://i.imgur.com/F4RTNSL.png

All of these have wood as their primary armour.

ksatnodesaelp
07-20-2016, 08:44 PM
Seems to be a popular stereotype, I came across a website for the asian art museum in san francisco even mentioning the japanese using wood as one of their materials for armor construction, a few other websites and the wikipedia page on japanese armor only make mention of leather and steel. Just a game though, so long as we don't enter the realm of pauldrons the size of a compact car I don't mind if they take some artistic liberties.

Shinkirou_
07-21-2016, 06:02 AM
I don't mind most of the artistic liberties seeing how gorgeous this game is and how it's an alternate history.

However, the wooden armour bothers me for one reason:

I'm willing to overlook viking with horns as horns on a helmet are merely a cosmetic thing.

But, there is a big difference function wise between wooden and metal armour.

One of the main draws of this game is that it is Knight vs Viking vs Samurai, and if you don't use the actual weapons and armours that those warriors used, then it loses a bit of that appeal.

I mean, you could give them all M16s and say it's a alternate history fantasy world, but then what's the point of making them viking/knight/samurai? (Of course, this is an exaggerated example).

In this regard, I think armour is largely overlooked in this game, especially when it comes to Samurai.
All of the weapons in this game are well researched and well represented, however the armour (especially for the samurai) is greatly lacking.

They wouldn't give the samurai wooden swords, now would they? But they're perfectly willing to give wooden armour to the samurai.

AvarusTyrannus
07-21-2016, 06:18 AM
Seems to be a popular stereotype, I came across a website for the asian art museum in san francisco even mentioning the japanese using wood as one of their materials for armor construction, a few other websites and the wikipedia page on japanese armor only make mention of leather and steel. Just a game though, so long as we don't enter the realm of pauldrons the size of a compact car I don't mind if they take some artistic liberties.

Been to that museum before, it was pretty cool. I think by wood they are talking about lacquer, which was used to some degree in Japanese armor at various periods. Expand on that and they can push the boundaries of how much was or wasn't used. Plus it makes a great contrast between the factions, you have your pilfered gear minimalistic hides of the vikings, the technologic plate armor of the knights and this harmonious everything is art wood and leather approach by the Samurai.

Truth may well be that in reality each group wore mainly metal armor though history, but who cares, it's a game and there is enough of a precedent to work with.

Shinkirou_
07-21-2016, 07:07 AM
I think by wood they are talking about lacquer, which was used to some degree in Japanese armor at various periods.

Lacquer was used universally throughout the time of the samurai.

They coated a layer of lacquer over the metal plates to keep them from rusting and it's what made the samurai armour black and shiny.

But lacquer is in no way wood. It is paint made out of resin.

I mean, you wouldn't say that the knight's armour was made out of flowers because they dyed their fabrics in woad or madder, now would you?

The fact is, wood was never ever used in samurai armour during any time period whatsoever.




Plus it makes a great contrast between the factions, you have your pilfered gear minimalistic hides of the vikings, the technologic plate armor of the knights and this harmonious everything is art wood and leather approach by the Samurai.

But again, the appeal of this game is that you are pitting knights, vikings and samurai against each other.

So if they don't use the various weapons and armours they used in real life, it won't be as interesting.

I mean, you could give a greater contrast by having all the vikings use whips as their primary weapon, but then they might as well not be vikings anymore.

I'm sure you can still have lots of contrast while still using the armours they actually used.


You may say "who cares", but I'm sure a lot of people would be miffed if knights were depicted as having armour made completely out of wood.

WYRDB0Y
07-21-2016, 01:29 PM
Never heard of this stereotype before, but I find it funny Ubi would do such a thing. And what's the point? The knights have metal armor, and historically the vikings had chain mail too so where does wooden armor come into the picture?

MisterWillow
07-21-2016, 07:24 PM
Never heard of this stereotype before, but I find it funny Ubi would do such a thing. And what's the point? The knights have metal armor, and historically the vikings had chain mail too so where does wooden armor come into the picture?

Maybe it has something to do with resource shortages after the Cataclysm?

I'd like to think this has some sort of lore-reason for being the way it is, and not that the team did no research (because I find that hard to believe).

ksatnodesaelp
07-22-2016, 01:05 PM
I'd like to think this has some sort of lore-reason for being the way it is, and not that the team did no research (because I find that hard to believe).

I don't think there will be a specific lore reason as to why it is the way it is, a better explanation is that while they more than likely did their research, the artists are still going to take some liberties when designing different kinds of armor if for no other reason than to give some customization options that allow you stand out while still keeping within the theme of each faction. If it's really that bothersome don't use it and stick to more historical designs for your characters.

MisterWillow
07-22-2016, 06:05 PM
I don't think there will be a specific lore reason as to why it is the way it is, a better explanation is that while they more than likely did their research, the artists are still going to take some liberties when designing different kinds of armor if for no other reason than to give some customization options that allow you stand out while still keeping within the theme of each faction. If it's really that bothersome don't use it and stick to more historical designs for your characters.

While I agree that they should be able to take liberties, given the world is a pastiche of our world and alt-history/low fantasy/mythology---Viking horned helmets are a good case-in-point---I think the point that's being made is that the devs put out a video of the Oni that specifically says he wears wood armour, along with the other screenshots above showing the same for the flashback/ancient Kensei, which seems odd since the Warden clearly has steel armour, and the Raider has his steel helmet. That's why I suggested there could be some sort of lore reason (like they only had enough iron in their region to make their weapons).

Of course, that could also be where the customisation comes in, and there will be plenty of metal armour for the Samurai to choose from in the final game.

ZenBearV13
07-22-2016, 07:40 PM
Maybe it has something to do with resource shortages after the Cataclysm?

I'd like to think this has some sort of lore-reason for being the way it is, and not that the team did no research (because I find that hard to believe).

The Chosen are described as desert dwellers and nomads. It makes sense then that they would not only lack a lot of raw materials but also would prefer to wear light, breathable equipment.

That being said, they do own keeps, as seen in the Viking Campaign, so that "nomadic" lifestyle is non-ubiquitous.

Willaguy2010
07-22-2016, 08:07 PM
The Chosen are described as desert dwellers and nomads. It makes sense then that they would not only lack a lot of raw materials but also would prefer to wear light, breathable equipment.

That being said, they do own keeps, as seen in the Viking Campaign, so that "nomadic" lifestyle is non-ubiquitous.

That bit of lore was part of the old description of the Chosen. Now only the term Samurai is used and they aren't described as desert nomads anymore. They could still be the Chosen or desert nomads but one would think that they wouldn't leave something like that out of their described history and lore on the new page.

Maccaroth
07-25-2016, 07:47 AM
I have found some mentions about wooden Japanese armor:

Classification

Japanese armours could be classified by different indicators. For the purposes of this article we will classify them only by their construction and age. But before we start our journey, it is necessary to make one very important note: No matter what you have seen or heard, Japanese armour never was made of wood (except in the case of some of the earliest cuirasses) or bamboo. The materials were leather and iron (steel in later periods), or a combination of both. Their colors, which give them their distinct appearance and make them look like they are made of wood, are the colors of the lacing cords and the lacquer that covers the leather and metal. [...]


Ancient Armour

[...]

The oldest cuirasses were probably made from hardwood or rawhide. The elements were laced with leather strips, and the cuirass itself was covered with reddish-brown, red or black lacquer. Even though only fragments of similar armour are preserved (dating approximately to the end of the first/beginning of the 2nd century A.D.), it is believed that this type was widespread.
Source: https://myarmoury.com/feature_jpn_armour.php

However, I watched the gameplay of the Vikings' storyline mission (this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqjzSX4GRqg)) and it looks like Samurai armor is less visibly wooden, if it's still wooden at all.

Litany91
07-29-2016, 04:26 AM
Id say where its not blatantly bamboo stitched together it is probably iron plates with a smoked leather covering. This style was called Haramaki and looked something like this:

http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/03/0a/02/030a0223a9a906ee2dc6db181e0a9e6c.jpg

As for the foot soldiers I think the artist was trying to nail this particular type of leather Do Maru:

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/3b/eb/6f/3beb6f8636fcc8c7d11e40ce1dd52647.jpg

Both of these are armor styles came up around the 14th century in Japan as fighting became centralized around castles making mounted combat useless (hense the nodachi as it was popular for castle fighting). That brings the Armour and fighting style even historically with the warden who's influences are 14th century German (as far as i can tell anyway).

While i am not crash hot about some of the armor choices for the Warden, or the Viking horns, I am of the opinion that broadly they have nailed the Samurai (like seriously I am impressed with a lot of the details)..