Today we’re going to see if we are able to make crystals out of a put out fire. Thanks to the lovely Mike Anthony of Still Loading, we’re exploring this phenomenon in Burning Rangers on the Sega Saturn. Since I have never played a Sega Saturn, much less Burning Rangers, we’re going to conduct this analysis based on my understanding of the game in YouTube videos. I am sure Mike from Still Loading or David from Saturnology will want to attack me with fire and pitchforks in saying this, but I am completely content with never playing a Sega Saturn since it’s too pricey an endeavor for a system I potentially won’t like. So let’s conduct our analysis using our YouTube videos.

From what I can garner from this game, it is kind of like a modification of Sonic the Hedgehog mechanics to apply to this 3D world of firefighters. In Sonic you collect rings to give yourself another level of protection from damage, if you have no rings another hit will kill you; Burning Rangers has a similar mechanic but with the aforementioned crystals in place of rings. Boring, clunky Sonic has you run around and collect rings scattered throughout the world, whereas Burning Rangers has you put out fires to collect these crystals. So let’s try and make the seemingly impossible possible and explain how we get big ol’ bouncy crystals from a put out fire.

Time to collect those sweet, sweet crystals!

Time to collect those sweet, sweet crystals!

Firstly we have to look at why this is such a complicated problem. We have three states of matter, all of which have in betweens where they can be a bit of both or all three: solids, liquids and gases. Typically as you add heat, matter will go from solid to liquid, then liquid to gas, and vise versa with cold. What we need to somehow explain is how a stream of liquid not only douses a fire, but turns into a solid after doing so; which goes reverse on the solid-liquid-gas continuum we spoke of.

There are a number of different kinds of shots available to put out these fires, all of which can be explained via similar reasoning to the Metroid article we did ages ago. If you want clarification on any specifics, please don’t hesitate to ask and we can cover it in the comments or a subsequent article. All we need to know is that there is a liquid that will cut off oxygen to the fire and will douse the flame. This means we can focus all of our attention on the crystals.

It may be difficult to see due to poor visual quality of the Saturn (that isn’t a jab, no home consoles had great detail with polygons back then) but there are actually little parcels in the streams. Some parcels contain explosives that create big, blue barriers. Other parcels are a wonderful mix of components in order to create our crystals.

That stream could have all sorts of goodies in it!

That stream could have all sorts of goodies in it!

Our crystals are composed of the following: gas, a light, durable membrane, and wires on hinges. We can use a lot of gases, but let’s use helium. Helium doesn’t like to bond with itself a whole lot, so it will try and spread out as much as possible. But our helium won’t get too far because it will be trapped within the light, durable, melting-resistant membrane that looks crystal-like. Gases take the shape of their container and will try to spread out as much as possible, especially when heat is applied. In order to prevent our crystal from becoming a balloon instead of looking crystal-like, we have the hinged wires inside. The hinged wires move as the container expands from the heat from the fire, then lock in place in order to keep the crystal structure. The helium and light weight of its components will allow for the bouncing of the crystal to take place. The bouncing lessens with time due to gravity, no external forces encouraging bouncing, and the helium cooling down and settling a little more.

So there’s how we have bouncy crystals come out of doused fires. As for where the crystals are put when collected… oh my.


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