Paz Zuu is a slight rearrangement of Pazuzu, an entity from Assyrian/Babylonian mythology. Pazuzu was a demon king and lord of the winds, particularly those blowing from the South. Gusts originating from the fiend typically brought famine during the dry months and plagues of locusts during the wet season. While Pazuzu was evil, people in antiquity often used his likeness (on amulets, window/door ornaments, etc.) to ward against other malicious spirits and misfortune in general. He must have been very bad news indeed if lesser horrors were terrified by just a glimpse of an object that resembled him.
In Tecmo's 2004 Ninja Gaiden Xbox video game, the protagonist, Ryu Hayabusa, unintentionally awakened the demon when he placed The Brand of Valor sword in an ancient altar that he found in the Underground Catacombs far beneath the City of Tairon. Unfortunately for Hayabusa-san, the sleeping Paz Zuu had been imprisoned in that location to prevent humans from trespassing into the land of Zarkhan and he was none-too-pleased to have his millennia of beauty sleep disturbed by a tiny, ebon-clad trespasser brandishing a pointy knife. Needless to say, violence ensued.
Six months later (in game time, four years in ours), while collecting the eight Dark Dragonstones in 2008's Nintendo DS Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword video game, Ryu once again crossed paths with Paz Zuu in the Underground Catacombs, who had somehow been resurrected by the power of said mystical rocks (i.e., the developers didn't have the time/ambition to design a new boss monster). Upon destroying the creature once again, Ryu recovered the Dark Dragonstone of Strength from Paz Zuu's remains.
The digital version of the demon attacks by emitting searing beams from its maw (lasers were all the rage back in ancient Mesopotamia, don't you know) in sweeping, vertical-and-horizontal line patterns, or with devastating blows from its knife-like wing feathers. Paz Zuu has also been known to stomp on anyone who foolishly lingers around its taloned feet and to munch on ninja that get too close to its fanged mouth. The creature's unholy flesh is highly-resistant to physical injury, but its bony skull is more fragile. Repeated blows will eventually daze Paz Zuu and cause the creature to drop to its knees with its forehead resting on the ground, albeit temporarily, which is a golden opportunity for a shinobi to really wail on the demon's elongated melon. Many gamers have also discovered that Paz Zuu's posterior is his blind spot--if you maneuver yourself behind him, you can merrily slash away at his backside and the creature won't be able to effectively retaliate. However, Paz Zuu won't tolerate that kind of abuse for long and will usually lunge across his chamber to escape such dishonorable tactics--even an ancient winged demon knows that a real master ninja wouldn't stab his opponent in the ass in such a cowardly fashion. How will you ever sleep at night knowing that you've lost the respect of a giant, bony, bird monster?
Below are some photos of the creation process of my figure. These are the legs under construction. I'm not very fond of making said appendages in general, which is why that's where I usually start, to get them out of the way. The left one is almost fully formed while the right only consists of the "snake" shapes that will eventually become the five toes.
Pictured, the torso and neck have been added to the legs while the head lies at Paz Zuu's feet. Alas, I made said noggin, which was obviously inspired by H.R. Giger's famous xenomorph, a bit too large.
In this image, everything is more fully-developed and one of the wings has been added to the body. While the "fingers" of the left wing are strewn around the ground, waiting to be assembled together. Making eight of those things was a tedious business, but using cardboard templates sped things up somewhat and kept them more-or-less uniform in shape/size.
The finished figure. As previously mentioned, I'm of the opinion that I made the head a bit too large, and there's some asymmetry here-and-there, but, overall, I feel that Paz Zuu turned out okay. I should have redone the head smaller, or, alternatively, made the legs larger to compensate, but, the extra work that would have entailed did not appeal to me in the slightest. There are some other boss monster designs from Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword that I like, so, maybe I'll make Paz Zuu a friend or two one of these days.
Newsprint, white glue, cardboard from a cereal box (wings only), tissue paper, and acrylic paint.
13.6 cm (5.4") wingspan x 5.6 cm (2.2") front-to-back x 9.1 cm (3.7") tall.
Four days: August 12th-15th, 2015.
Hardcore Gaming 101 Ninja Gaiden article.
Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword Nintendo DS video game.
Ninja Gaiden Ninja Fortress fan site.
Ninja Gaiden Wiki Paz Zuu article.
Wikipedia Pazuzu article.
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The midi music playing is the Stage 4-1 theme from Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom.