Like most members of the GI Joe team, even its elite Ninja Force squad, Banzai is naught but a normal human. While he lacks super-powers of any variety, he sometimes seems to possess an unearthly combat prowess, moving like no one ought to be capable of!
Hindrances / Enhancements:
Axe (s): like his blood brother, Bushido, Banzai can wield the axe with skill! He may use this weapon to inflict his Strength +3 in slashing damage, which he may boost up to +4 if he uses this weapon two-handed; it's all about the delivery with this deadly implement.
Explosives (i): strapped onto his chest, these small packets of Torinoko plastique can be used to detonate large targets - or just soften them up. They explode to inflict up to intensity 12 fragmentary damage to whatever Banzai sets them upon.
Knives (s): Banzai carries several shorter blades into combat. These include two dueling daggers and a long, flat blade. He can use these to either parry sword blows, to inflict his Strength +2 in slashing damage, or to cut through items of up to m.s. 13.
Nage Teppo Grenades (i): these are essentially smoke bombs. Banzai can fling these to, upon their detonation, fill the area with thick, obscuring smoke of intensity 8 opacity. This is great for either dropping the enemy into confusion or when he needs to make a quick exit.
Nunchaku (s): Banzai carries a lead-filled nunchaku at all times, the two halves connected with an 'unbreakable' chain. He can use this weapon to inflict his Strength +3 in bashing damage, but has yet to master the dread 'Samurai Strike', which Nunchuk developed with such hard work.
Rising Sun Mask (s): Banzai wears this colorful, conspicuous mask while in the field, both for practical reasons (it offers him intensity 8, or +2, protection against physical attack aimed at his face) and for flair (it's 'rising sun' design exemplifies his ninja role perfectly).
Sai (s): a backup for his knives, Banzai usually has one of these strapped to his chest in the field. He can use it to inflict his Strength +2 in piercing damage, though he can also use this weapon to parry (block) incoming sharp damage as well.
Shuriken (a): Banzai makes use of these projectiles, secured on his hips when not in use. He can fling each of these blades to inflict his Agility +2 in slashing damage, and typically has at least three of them on his person at any given time.
Swords (s): Banzai always carries two swords into battle: a katana and a wakizashi. He can use either of these blades to inflict his Strength +4 in slashing damage, though the former is primarily for attacking and the latter functions as an honor blade.
Acrobatics (a): Banzai is but a normal human, though he sometimes seems to have a super-human sense of balance. He can easily navigate narrow ledges and tightropes, and should always receive a reduced difficulty on actions to dodge attacks or lower falling damage.
Boxing (s): Banzai knows how to fight fast and hard. He may divide his pre-card play action score between two unarmed melee attacks, the second of which hey may attempt as a contingent action - even if he prefers to fight with weapons in hand.
Guns (a): though he rarely wields them, Banzai has been trained in the fine art of gunplay by the US military. He can fire any standard, semi-automatic, or fully automatic rifle or pistol, or even a shotgun, at one difficulty level lower than is usually necessary.
Martial Arts (a): Banzai is an exceptional martial artist, having been trained by a ninja master. He may may reduce the difficulty of actions intended to lower falling damage, catch thrown objects, or strike in unarmed melee combat, by one difficulty level.
Martial Arts Weapons (s): while a master of unarmed combat, Banzai is also well-versed in the use of 'ninja' weaponry as well. Whether holding a katana, a nunchaku, a shuriken, a sai, or anything else of that stripe, he may utilize them without penalty.
Military / United States (w): Banzai didn't originally plan on enlisting - he merely did so as a requirement to serve on the Ninja Force. He's still getting the knack of it, but Banzai has a passing knowledge of the SOP and regimented fighting techniques.
Banzai is a member of the GI Joe team, and can rely upon them for assistance should he but ask - the Joes take care of each other. Furthermore, as one of the team's Ninja Force operatives, he can easily consider members of the Arashikage ninja clan reliable contacts as well.
Peace of Mind: Banzai's original goal for walking the earth was finding purpose, a oneness with the world. While he seems to have managed the former, the latter appears to elude him, for the man is still quite assertive and aggressive in everything he does.
Banzai's GI Joe field uniform is both ostentatious and minimal. It consists of black leather and magenta trousers, black and purple leather boots, black leather gloves, a black leather belt, black and magenta web gear over his bare chest, and his magenta 'Rising Sun' mask.
Robert is somewhat aggressive in nature, and has a habit of getting 'in your face' more often than not. He's usually alert and aware of his environment above and beyond most others in the area, even when other ninja are present, and is never caught off guard. Ever.
Real Name: Robert J. Travalino, grade E-4
Occupation: first-strike, commando, martial arts instructor
Legal Status: citizen of the United States with no known criminal record
Marital Status: single
Alias(es), if any: none
Group Affiliation: GI Joe, Ninja Force (GI Joe sub-group)
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 155 lbs
Other Distinguishing Characteristics: Banzai wears his hair long, and pulled back in a pony tail.
Robert walked the earth in search of enlightenment years ago, eventually winding up in the mountainous land of Tibet. There, he found not enlightenment, but instead a secluded ninja master! Never one to be found by happenstance, this ninja was in fact waiting for Robert.
This curious Arashikage recluse took Robert under his wing, teaching him the way of the ninja. While he didn't find oneness with the universe on his trek, Robert has nonetheless experienced a heightening of his awareness upon beginning his intense martial arts training.
This because his strange ninja master, the identity of which Robert has yet to reveal, has taught him how to fight even when under limited sensory conditions. In fact, to relax these days, he often practices with his weapons blindfolded - dangerous with a nunchaku!
Whether or not it was the Blind Master of the Arashikage who instructed him (he's supposedly dead, but he's also known to convincingly fake his death), Robert can easily fight blind - or without any other sense if he must. And he rivals Nunchuk in the use of his namesake!
Robert is so good at what he can do that he was sought out by Storm Shadow for the GI Joe team's elite Ninja Force team. Feeling the need to use his skills for the betterment of society, Robert accepted Storm Shadow's offer... at which point he ceased to be Robert J. Travalino.
No, now he is known only as Banzai! A Rising Sun ninja, Banzai makes use of a large variety of martial arts weaponry while active with the GI Joe team, all the while brushing up on the finer points of military policy and procedures - he didn't enlist until after Storm Shadow found him, after all.
Of course, Banzai has found several kindred spirits in the Joe Ninja Force, as they are almost all members of the Arashikage ninja clan, as he himself is. In particular, Banzai gets on well with Bushido, and the two have become so close that they are avowed blood brothers.
From the moment he was a fully fledged member of the Ninja Force, Banzai has been beset by all manner of martial arts intrigue, as Cobra employs a large number of ninja in its ranks, from the villainous Red Ninjas to the high tech Night Creeper mercenaries.
Banzai helped the Joes to deal with these seemingly supernatural menaces for the duration of his time with the GI Joe team, only ceasing actions against Cobra's heinous martial artists when the team itself was disbanded for a time. What he got up to after this has yet to be revealed.
However, whenever the Joes call on him and his unique skills, Banzai is more than happy to answer, showing up in his distinctive, minimalist costume and loaded for bear with all manner of deadly melee weaponry. He knows little besides combat, but he's one of the best in that regard!
Banzai's second GI Joe field ensemble is a variation on his first. It includes black leather trousers, black leather boots, black and purple gloves and knee pads, a black leather belt, black web gear over his bare chest, black and magenta sheathes, and his magenta 'Rising Sun' mask.
GI Joe directories featuring a version of Banzai:
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