Hell Fighter ヘルファイター

Hell Fighter
Hell Fighter

Length : 9 meters
Wingspan : 6 meters
Mass :

Powers / Weapons

Flight at mach 61; capable of space travel; Vulcan Cannon; Cosmo Laser Cannon; electro-wave; Pulse Laser Cannon

Appearances

The War in Space (1977)

Series // Showa

Sound Effect

Description

The workhorse of the Messiah 13 aliens, the Hell Fighter was a relatively small craft that was roughly the size of a pair of tanks. Despite its small proportions, though, the ship was lethal. Not only could the Hell Fighter move at incredible speeds, it was also equipped with the powerful Vulcan Cannon, which can easily decimate a city. Housed inside the Daimakan, the small attack ships were instrumental in the extraterrestrials' invasion of Earth.

Launched from the Messiah 13 warship, the Hell Fighters quickly descended on Earth. The alien species initially started a cloak and dagger campaign, masking the arrival of the Hell Fighters as a comet scare. As humanity was plagued by electric wave interference, a result of the Hell Fighters communicating with the Daimakan, the crafts were eventually discovered. The first UFO sighting occurred in the East Coast of America, with many more reports coming from the states around New York although with the largest concentration of activity occurring near Florida. The UN Space Federation stepped in to investigate, only for the invaders to begin dispatching ground troops from the Hell Fighters.

Eventually, the invaders learned of the Goten, realizing the power they could have if they gained control of it. The Messiah 13 aliens, however, became overzealous in their attempt to acquire it, and were revealed to some of the UN Space Federation. With their whereabouts no longer a secret, and members of the Goten staff mobilizing, the Hell Fighters begin to openly attack humanity. Their first targets were New York, San Francisco, Moscow, London and Paris. The ships were brutally efficient in their assault, unleashing fully powered Vulcan Cannon shots which decimated landmarks with a force similar to a miniature nuclear weapon.

Hell FighterAs many of Earth's capitals lay in ruins, a group of Hell Fighters converged on the Goten's construction site: a rocky island near Japan that featured a protected underground lair for the giant ship. As the Messiah 13 crafts unloaded their weapons at the island, the work area below suffered minor cave ins, although not enough to stop their progress on readying the Goten.

While most of the Goten's staff was present at the construction site, one member was still in the process of arriving when the attack started: NASA's Jimmy. Aboard an F-4 Phantom, a Hell Fighter pursued the American jet. Realizing he was in firing range, Jimmy quickly jettisoned via a parachute. The Messiah 13 aliens retaliated, destroying the F-4 Phantom before firing their Pulse Laser Cannons at Jimmy. The shots, however, missed their target and only slightly damaged the parachute strap. Quick on his feet, the American ran toward the water as the Hell Fighter's Pulse Laser Cannons narrowly missed their mark. At cliff side, Jimmy was able to quickly dive into the water, allowing himself to sneak into the Goten base.

Despite the alien's best efforts, including a ground attack on the base, the Goten was eventually mobilized after two days of work. Taking to the sky above the former construction site, the drill ship confronted a legion of Hell Fighters. Despite unleashing their full armament against the Goten, the Messiah 13 crafts were ineffective at seriously damaging the ship. In response, the drill ship launched explosive charges, destroying as many as 9 Hell Fighters with each discharge. As the crafts communicated with each other of the ensuing conflict, the remaining Hell Fighters inside Tokyo and America quickly joined the others in the assault on the Goten. However, despite superior numbers, the arrival of reinforcements simply added to the death toll on the alien's side. In the end, 7 explosive charges destroyed a total of 63 Hell Fighters, a majority of the original fleet of 75.

With the conflict on Earth resolved, the Goten traveled into space. Heading toward Venus, the drill tipped ship came across the remains of Space Station Terra. Stopping to investigate, the crew found a corpse in the wreckage and brought it onboard the Goten. Almost instantly, 5 Hell Fighters emerged and ascended on the Goten. Rather than attacking, though, one of the Hell Fighters docked next to the drill tipped ship. As it turned out, the corpse was really a Messiah 13 alien in disguise. The extraterrestrial kidnapped Jun and escaped aboard a Hell Fighter, which brought its captive to the Daimakan on Venus.

Eventually, the Goten landed on Venus and launched 5 Space Fighters in an effort to destroy the Daimakan's barrier. In response, the Daimakan releases Hell Fighters into battle . The first wave comprised of 9 Hell Fighters, while another 7 were released to join the assault. Following a fierce dog fight, the Space Fighters manage to visibly destroy 13 of the alien crafts. The aliens are less successful, destroying 4 Space Fighters, including Jimmy whose plane collides with the rock mass above the Daimakan, removing the alien warship's barrier in the process. The remaining Hell Fighters are presumed to have been destroyed by Reikai Muroi in the last Space Fighter while some of Goten's forces, on foot, enter the Daimakan.


Powers / Weapons
Flight at Mach 61

Flight at Mach 61

The Hell Fighter was stated to be able to fly between speeds of 17 to 21 kilometers per second. On the high end, that roughly translates to a maximum flight speed of mach 61.

The speed of the craft was put to the test during the initial battle with the Goten. During the conflict, all of the Hell Fighters attacking America quickly left to engage the Goten at its base near Japan. Traveling at max speed, this would have taken the Hell Fighters attacking California less than 7 minutes and those attacking New York less than 9 minutes to reach the Goten.

   
Capable of Space Travel

Capable of Space Travel

The small craft could fly both in and outside of an atmosphere. For space travel, the Hell Fighter was able to travel at its maximum warp speed and not lose navigation capabilities.

   
Vulcan Cannon

Vulcan Cannon

Although boasting a wide array of beam attacks, the ship's Vulcan Cannon was its most powerful. Offering a 50mm cannon, this weapon was discharged from the base of the craft.

The power of the blast did vary in use. At its peak, the cannon fired a shot that was comparable to that of a miniature nuclear explosion which was used on locations like London and Paris.

   
Cosmo Laser Cannons

Cosmo Laser Cannons

The Hell Fighter was equipped with two Cosmo Laser Cannons. Located on either side of the ship, the weapons were perfect for dog fights with other crafts. These cannons were used heavily during the Hell Fighters' skirmish with the Space Fighters.

   
Electro-Wave

Electro-Wave

The Messiah 13 aliens messaged through sending an electric wave transmission, offering near real-time communication even across the galaxy. This method, done at a frequency of 420 megahertz, was used to message back and forth between the Hell Fighters on Earth and the warship the Daimakan that was near Venus.

As a by-product, this technique also caused electric wave interference on Earth, impairing humanity's communication capabilities.

   
Pulse Laser Cannon

Pulse Laser Cannon

The weakest of the Hell Fighter's arsenal, the Pulse Laser Cannon was capable of rapid fire assaults.

The weapon was used to try and stop NASA's Jimmy from reaching the Goten base.


Background and Trivia
  • Director Jun Fukuda's nickname for the Hell Fighter crafts was the "spinning egg". This fact is found in Teruyoshi Nakano's interview for the special features on Toho's DVD release of The War in Space.
  • Special effects director, Teruyoshi Nakano, was told by other members of the staff to choose if the Hell Fighters would be capable of space travel or be able to fly inside an atmosphere. Those other staff members argued that it would be more logical for the Hell Fighter to be one or the other. Ultimately, Nakano ignored their advice and had the UFO fly both in and outside of an atmosphere. More information on this is found on Nakano's interview for the special features on Toho's DVD release of The War in Space.
  • The 2005 publication Godzilla: Toho Monster Picture Book (ISBN: 4092800525) lists an English name of "Hell Fighter" for the craft, which can be seen as a literal translation.