Sunday, May 28, 2017

Analysis Request for Oencie

I've mentioned before that I am more than happy to take requests for this blog, and just recently a user named Oencie asked me to do one. It concerns two techniques Toothless has used in the RttE series. Now, since this is a request, it means I may or may not have actually given much thought to this before I was asked about it, but I will do my best to give you guys a short analysis! If anyone wishes to add to what I come up with in the comments, that would be great. Now, onto the analysis!

The request concerned me taking a look into Toothless's technique of using his tail to distract and defeat the Razorwhip in Stryke Out, and his maneuver he used to down the giant Shadow Wing. Let me hit them in order.

Many of you may remember that Toothless battles a Razorwhip in a brutal arena during the course of season 3 of RttE. In this battle, Toothless is injured early on. This drives him to quickly end the battle. He runs to the wall, uses his light weight, quick speed, and incredible strength to bounce off the arena wall and tackle the Razorwhip out of the air. At this point, Toothless intends to efficiently eliminate the other dragon. He ejects his teeth and goes for a throat bite. Though this may seem dark, I think it is realistic and in character. This dragon has hurt him, it's a serious threat, and Toothless is actually a pretty no-nonsense character when it comes to combat. We've seen dragons duke it out in the wild, we know Toothless has had rough encounters in the past (the Whispering Death), so he is actually probably kinda used to fighting other dragons... maybe even to the death. However, Hiccup pulls him out of this maneuver. Toothless then decides to deal with his opponent in the way Hiccup dealt with him. After all, at their heart, both Hiccup and Toothless prefer to show mercy. Toothless goes the rout of outsmarting his enemy, and he is GOOD at this. Toothless is still the smartest dragon to have shown up in the franchise, and he knows how to use his intelligence in battle. He covers his front with his tail. Now, what is the point of this? It creates a massive blinder for the enemy dragon. Toothless just looks like a big black shape, and it is very difficult to make out what he intends to do. This technique actually exists in other forms of combat. Zulu warriors in Africa have used large shields made from animal hide for hundreds of years. These shields don't actually offer much protection, but they are very light weight, and they hide the warrior from the enemy, allowing him to dart out and strike without the enemy being able to predict his actions. Toothless hides his own body behind his tail and wings, and when the enemy dragons jumps in to attack, he is able to quickly outmaneuver the Razorwhip and catch him in a cage. It shows that Toothless knows how to use cover, even his own body, to his own advantage, and it also shows (again) that Toothless is very efficient in combat. Both techniques he used on the Razorwhip cost him very little energy, and in the brutal world of dragons, maintaining stamina may be the most important factor in a lengthy fight.

So, the next technique I'll discuss is how Toothless downs the Shadow Wing. This beast is massive, so Toothless uses a tried and true method of using the ground and his enemy's weight as a weapon. Now, in both this fight and the last one, Hiccup really doesn't do any of the strategizing. This is a nice touch because sometimes it feels like they turn Toothless into little more than a weapon activated by yelling "Plasma blast!". Toothless comes up with the strategy completely on his own, and it works. Again, he uses cover to his advantage. He fires off a volley of blasts into the water bellow him, making a huge plume of steam. He then vanishes into it (a total Night Fury move), and his opponent is disoriented and crashes into the ground. The Shadow Wing is a bit smaller than the Screaming Death and much smaller than the Red Death. Toothless takes this into account and finds a way to make his enemy crash even though he cannot punch holes in its wings. 

So, bottom line, Toothless fights smart. Sure, he can be driven into a savage fury, and that is probably when he is most dangerous because he will fight fast, smart, and for the kill. However, he usually finds ways to use the environment around him or his own anatomy to wins victories without too much of a cost on his own stamina. He's quite the lethal combatant, and now that he is Alpha, he'll be even more dangerous than he was before.

Hope this is what you were looking for Oencie. Anyone else have opinions on these moments in the series? Feel free to let us know in the comments!

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