Papercraft Diorama
(Rick Stalker vs. Dark Dragons)

For my eighth Nintendo Gameboy papercraft diorama, I selected the forested area from the beginning of the first stage of Culture Brain's 1991 Fighting Simulator 2-in-1 Flying Warriors video game (original 1990 Japanese title: 飛龍の拳外伝, which romanizes as Hiryuu no Ken Gaiden, and that translates to Fist of the Flying Dragon Side Story). The "2-in-1" part of the moniker refers to the game's two modes: a traditional martial arts tournament and a much longer and more involved sidescrolling action adventure.

I've always been a fan of the "Mind's Eye" combat system of the Hiryuu no Ken games--in a nutshell, circles briefly, and randomly, appear on either the head, chest, or legs of your, or your opponent's, body and you must then quickly strike, or protect, the targeted region to inflict, or prevent, damage. It's a relatively simplistic form of virtual martial arts, compared to modern fighting games, but it still requires good reflexes and intense focus to win bouts. I bought this particular game, a little over two decades ago, purely on the strength of an advertisement I saw for it in a video game magazine--aside from being captivated by fighting titles in general, I imagine that the "two games in one" was probably a big selling point for the younger me.

Here's the same area, from the 2000 Gameboy Color port, which was only released in Japan and retitled 飛龍の拳列伝 or Hiryuu no Ken Retsuden (Tales of the Fist of the Flying Dragon). I wasn't even aware that the original black and white version got colorized until I started doing research for this project!

This is the sheet I put together of ripped and edited game graphics (feel free to save and print it out if you want to try making a similar diorama). Technically, only the bat, sludge man (which were changed to rotting zombies in the Gameboy Color version for some reason), toothed worm, and clawed tanuki Dark Dragons monsters appear in the first level, but I put all of the standard enemy characters on the sheet anyway.

I've noticed that the tops of my Gameboy papercraft diorama bases have a tendency to warp in a concave manner, from the wet glue used to apply the "floor" graphics, so, this time I made a simple # shaped support structure and put that inside the hollow form in an attempt to prevent that. I can't say that it was 100% successful, but it seemed to help decrease the amount of warping that occurred.

The components aren't attached to one another yet, but this is what I had accomplished by the end of the second day: the base, the background, the two smaller tree trunks, the protagonist Rick Stalker (his name is Ryuhi in the original Japanese version), and the clawed tanuki Dark Dragons enemy. If you don't already know, tanuki are mythological Japanese tricksters that resemble a cross between a raccoon and a dog. The ones in this game are out for blood, but, historically, while they love to pull pranks and swindle their victims out of food, drink, or money, tanuki rarely cause any deliberate physical harm.

The finished product:

Cardboard, game graphics printed out on white paper (including some leftover bits from the Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins diorama), white glue, newsprint, lined white notebook paper, permanent marker, and transparent plastic (figure stands only).

8.8 cm (3.5") x 7.7 cm (3.0") [widest point x highest point]

Five days: September 4th, 6th, 7th, 9th, and 10th (2014).


  •   Fighting Simulator 2-in-1 Flying Warriors Nintendo Gameboy video game and instruction manual.

  •   Hiryuu no Ken Retsuden Nintendo Gameboy Color video game.

  •   Wikipedia Hiryuu no Ken article.

  • « Return to my Miscellaneous Video Game Fan Art Gallery Index

    This is a nonprofit web site.

    Any and all copyrighted imagery, terminology, etc., depicted on this page belongs to its respective holders/owners, namely Culture Brain.

    The repeating background graphic is the completed medallion, from the game, which I digitally colored.

    The midi music playing is the main theme from the NES Flying Warriors video game.

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