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Big Band

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Ben "Big Band" Birdland
Gallery | Quotes | Move List
Big band action portrait by oh8-d6l2186
One Man Band
Gender Male
Age 49
Birthday December 15
Blood Type B♭ (experimental oil mixture)
Height 7'8"
Weight 5000 lbs (95 lbs organic)
Likes A good beat, shoe polish, brass polish, 4-part harmony, Autumn Leaves, the flat 5th, the spirit of the law, gin, neat, Dr. Avian, Leduc, Hive, Ileum, Irvin, Stanley, Lab 8
Dislikes Punks, corruption, unresolved dissonance, carelessness, electric shavers, smoothies, narrow spaces, Valentine
Voice Actor Rich Brown
Shoryuken

Big Band (JP: ビッグバンド), also known as Ben Birdland, is a DLC character for Skullgirls Encore. Because Lab Zero Games reached their requested donations for Big Band, he was a free DLC character for all to acquire for a limited amount of time (the first 3 months after his release), but since has been added to the store for purchase. He is also a good friend of Irvin, during his time when he was a cop.

History

Ben Birdland has seen a lot in his time, including the worst of the Grand War. But nothing was worse than what he saw as a beat cop in New Meridian. When he ran afoul of his crooked unit, he was given a violent early retirement, and his broken body was left to spend the rest of its days in an iron lung. His good friend, Irvin does not betray him however.

That would have been the end of Ben’s story if it hadn't drawn the ears of the Anti-Skullgirl Labs. With little left to lose, he agreed to be rebuilt with their experimental procedures. Melded with the machinery that allows him to breathe and a powerful array of pneumatic weaponry, he was reborn as “Big Band.”

Now a senior member of Lab 8, he’s become a father figure of sort to the younger ASG soldiers. A firm believer in their cause, he has stayed with the project through its controversies and still sees his place on the front lines against the Skullgirl. His technology may be dated, but he more than makes up for it with experience and fortissimo.

Story Mode

After recollecting his past as a cop prior to receiving his current state in an iron lung; musing how inconceivable the New Meridian police force were to take a hit from the Medici Mafia and having him beaten and left for dead, he opts to put an end to the current Skullgirl by destroying the source of her power - the Skullheart - as part of his new career at the Anti-Skullgirl labs. Knowing the current Skullgirl's intent for the death of the entire Medici family, he begins his goal of tracking her down by investigating the River King Casino, a notorious hangout for the Medici Mafia. There he is greeted by Cerebella, wrongly believing his intent was to cause harm to Medici's. Despite Big Band's attempt to leave courteously having noted there was no evidence of the Skullgirl, he is forced to fight Cerebella. After winning, he comments how he no longer wishes to waste the Medici's like he used too.

Big Band then retrieves a distress signal from Dr. Avian alerting him that Lab 8 is under attack. Realizing how this was likely a set-up by the Skullgirl, he returns to the lab immediately to find the place destroyed in the presence of a mysterious doppelgänger of himself. After fighting them off he discovers it was Double, who leaves posthaste. After discovering that Dr. Avian was killed in the incident he briefly searches for evidence regarding who infiltrated the lab - finding a scalpel which isn't the doctor's and reflecting on how the person in question must have known their way around a lab.

Leaving to find the Lab 8 survivors via an escape route, Big Band finds an ordeal amongst the Lab 8 group involving Peacock attempting to leave and defeat the Skullgirl singlehandedly. Despite Big Band's offer of taking out the Skullgirl together, Peacock and Avery rudely dismiss him and attempt to fight him off. Losing, Peacock manages to escape anyway by ordering Tommy to knock him out. It then becomes Big Band's mission to track down Peacock, the Skullgirl and Dr. Avian's killer.

Ending

Big Band manages to find the Skullgirls whereabouts after a tip off from his old co-worker, Irvin. Here he meets Brain Drain, having also come to witness the reveal of Skullgirl, he requests Big Band to join his services in order to defeat Marie. Big Band declines, seeing the potential casualties caused by Brain Drain's plan. In his rage, Brain Drain orders Painwheel to attack Big Band, who comes out triumphant. Big Band contacts Leduc while Brain Drain is lecturing Painwheel on her loss to come to her rescue and rehabilitate her at Lab 8.

Now knowing the Skullgirl's location (and thus Peacock's too), Big Band heads towards the Grand Cathedral and confronts Valentine - confirming his suspicions that she was the perpetrator who killed Dr. Avian, with Double acting as a mere distraction. After defeating them, Big Band heads into the catacombs below to face Marie and retrieve Peacock. Despite defeating Peacock, Marie admits she was unable to kill her due their strong friendship in the past. Peacock, now accepting Big Bands previous offer, opts to fight alongside Big Band against Marie, to which Big Band agrees.

After Marie's defeat, the twosome escape the crumbling catacombs with Big Band informing Peacock to learn from her initial defeat - having the need to be more cautious with the arise of the next Skullgirl which could potentially be more powerful than the last.

At ease that the next Skullgirl won't come until another 7 years, Big Band, with Peacock by his side, realizes he has learnt something new; that people like Painwheel and Peacock, and others like them, need someone to keep them on track, deducing that that person might as well be him. He apprehends that they are the future of Anti-Skullgirls Labs, and in due time will the ones that will end up defeating the next Skullgirl.

Fighting Style

Trailer

Skullgirls on PS3 -- Big Band Trailer01:25

Skullgirls on PS3 -- Big Band Trailer

Color Palettes

BigBand

Big Band Colors as of 23rd of April 2014

  1. Default colors
  2. Carl Kolchak (Kolchak: The Night Stalker)
  3. Red Q (Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike)
  4. Smooth Criminal (Michael Jackson music video)
  5. White Ranger (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers)
  6. Big Zam (Gundam Battle Assault 2)
  7. Sepia-tinted films
  8. Dick Tracy (Dick Tracy)
  9. Sturm (Advance Wars)
  10. Nonon Jakuzure (Goku Uniform(Kill la Kill)
  11. Famicom (Japanese NES)
  12. Sega Mega Drive
  13. The Question (DC Comics)
  14. King Dedede (Kirby's Dream Land)
  15. Original colors
  16. RoboCop (RoboCop)
  17. Big the Cat (Sonic Adventure)
  18. Gato (Chrono Trigger)
  19. Big O (The Big O)
  20. Original colors
  21. Original colors
  22. Negaduck (Darkwing Duck)

Trivia

  • Big Band started development when the fundraising reached $375,000. The fundraising managed to raise over $400,000, so he was able to have his own stage and Story Mode.[1]
  • Big Band was the first male playable character added into Skullgirls.
  • He was given musically themed powers as Dr. Avian was a fan of jazz music. In the same way to how Peacock employed her extensive knowledge of cartoons when creating unique weaponry for herself, a better understanding of the mechanics of jazz instruments meant that Avian could create mechanisms based on them more effectively.
  • The character's last name is a reference to "Birdland" a famous jazz club in New York City, named after saxophonist Charlie "Bird" Parker.
    • Big Band was originally intended to have a robotic voice, but the team felt the filter took away from Rich Brown's smooth voice and filtered with a smooth metal echo to go with it.
  • In the background of Anti-Skullgirl Lab 8 Stage, Big Band can be seen watching the players fight. However, if either or both players select Big Band he will not be present in the stage background. 
  • Big Band's move "Brass Knuckles" alludes to the weapons by the same name, and the fact that most band instruments (and his arms) are made from brass.
  • Big Band has a grab-and-punch move where he says "Beat Extend!", which is a reference to Guilty Gear's Potemkin, who uses a similar move called "Heat Extend".
  • Big Band's attack "Take the 'A' Train" is a reference to a jazz tune by the same name, which was made famous by Duke Ellington, a prominent African-American jazz pianist.
  • Big Band's "Satchmo Solo" (his Level 5 Blockbuster) way of input is derived from a Street Fighter character Akuma and his special attack "Shun Goku Satsu", including 2x LPs, 1x LK, 1x directional input and 1x Hard Button (which is changed to LP+MP)
    • "Satchmo Deathblow" is inspired from another Capcom Fighter called "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage of the Future" where Jotaro Kujo can stop time and is able to hit his enemy in the frozen time. While there are two characters that can freeze time, Jotaro Kujo additionaly has another Special Move that summons his "Stand " that pummels on the enemy multiple times.
      • While performing "Satchmo Deathblow", Big Band shouts "TUBATUBATUBATUBATUBA-" and starting to pummel on the enemy which is another JJBA:HotF reference as the character Jotaro Kujo and Dio Brando Stands (which both can stop time), have their own battlecries. Jotaro's being "ORAORAORAORAORA" and Dio's being "MUDAMUDAMUDAMUDA".
      • The way how the players Meter after using "Satchmo Solo" slowly deplets and time resumes after it hits zero is also inspired from "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage of the Future".
  • He wears striped boxers with musical notes on them.
  • He fought the previous two Skullgirls alongside Ileum.
  • Although he has large arms with brass knuckles, he usually uses sets of small arms with cushioned tipped claws to hold small items.
  • Based on some of his dialogue, it can be assumed that he knew Squigly before she died. Even enough to refer to her by her real name.
  • Big Band is nicknamed Detective Sax (サックスでか) by the Japanese fanbase.
Skullgirls (Encore)
Lab Zero Games
Characters
Main Cast Filia (Samson) • CerebellaPeacock (Avery) • ParasoulMs. FortunePainwheelValentineDouble
DLC Squigly (Leviathan) • Big BandFukuaEliza (Sekhmet) • BeowulfRobo-Fortune
Bosses Marie
Other AdamAeonAndy AnvilAnnieBeatrixBlack DahliaBrain DrainDr. AvianFengGeorge BombHiveHubrechtIleumIrvinIsaacLawrenceLeducLonesome LennyLorenzo MediciMinetteMollyMotherMrs. Victoria (D. Violet) • OttomoPanzerfaustQueen NancyReginaRiccardoRoberto ContielloRoxieScythanaSelene ContielloStanleyTaliesinTommy Ten-TonsUmbrellaVenusVitaleYu-WanMisc.
Archives
Terminology The Black EgretsCirque des CartesFishbone GangThe Last HopeLiving WeaponMedici MafiaParasiteSkull HeartSkullgirlThe Trinity
Stages Bath of TefnutClass NotesFinal AtriumGlass CanopyGrand CathedralLab 8Little InnsmouthMaplecrestMedici TowerNew Meridian RooftopsNightmare CrestRiver King CasinoRooftops AssaultStreets of New MeridianUnder the Bridge
Misc.
System HUDControlsBasic MechanicsAdvanced Mechanics
Extras StoryArt GalleryMarie 300%QuotesThe Typing of the Skullgirls
Music Skullgirls Original Soundtrack (Tracklist) • "Hitomi No Kioku" • "In a Moment's Time"
Other Media SkullgirlSSkullgalsKeep Skullgirls Growing!Digital Art Compendium

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