Real name unknown, believed to have met Buckaroo at Phillips Exeter, but may be only self-taught with a grade-school education acquired in the South. Young, handsome, of good family. Vain, pleasure-loving, heartless, sordid, callous and sentimental, he can be brave to excess or cringingly cowardly. An enigma. A chameleon. Changes his mind as fast as he changes his hair color. A product of broken dreams. Told Buckaroo upon his induction to the Hong Kong Cavaliers, “I’m Perfect Tommy. Find Me.” Nicknamed by Buckaroo “Knight of the Lesser Boulevards.” Accepted to a special program at MIT where he could have coordinated material testing in cryogenic propellants to determine compatibility of various chemical gasses and fluids associated with rocket propulsion and laser systems, but a woman and a scandal forced him to leave Cambridge for a time. Went to Egypt and there taught himself the rhythm guitar; was involved in an opium bust for which he received a prison term; escaped and (posing as a Belgian) joined the Foreign Legion. Served in Africa and survived, a better man for it. Has postulated the existence of a new layer of atmosphere between the troposphere and the stratosphere, calling it the flatusphere, an accumulation of methane gas derived from the world’s constant farting and politicians’ bullshit. It was his design for the Jet Car’s suspension that convinced Buckaroo that the promise of the OSCILLATION OVERTHRUSTER might at last be realized.
It appears to be a Heckler and Koch P7M8 Pistol
9mm blowback operated, often referred to as a “squeeze cocker” for the unique safety mechanism.
8 round magazine.
Remington 870 Mark 6.
12 gauge, pump action
20 inch barrel, 7.53 pounds
5 round tube magazine
– Usually encountered as a member of Team Banzai or the Hong Kong Cavaliers
– A shipment of Buckaroo Banzai Merchandise has been stolen. Reno needs some help to recover it
– Government Agents are working to revive a top secret program. Unfortunately things go wrong, and the only person who might know how to fix is the mysterious figure Reno Nevada, member of Team Banzai
Real name unknown, of Latin extraction. Dark, moody, dangerous, although possessing an easy grin and a quirky artistic streak. Fond of bright, flashy colors. Executes bold pencil sketches of Buckaroo and the Cavaliers which he sells to national magazines. The real force behind the many Buckaroo Banzai cottage industries (comic books, male action figures, dime novels, “hanks o’ hair” collectibles). To quote an unnamed source: “slim with small feet and hands. His features are regular and pleasing, and his tiny black mustache (since shaved off) gives him the appearance of a modest bank clerk or accountant, but the eyes strike a jarring discord, their gaze always producing that sudden tightening of the spinal nerves which the unexpected appearance of a deadly reptile causes.” The same report adds, “he has three speeds; gun, knife and rope.” Intensely loyal to Buckaroo. Has played the saxophone since childhood.
(Note: Reno was a member of a Government “Think Tank” when he submitted his application to the Banzai Institute, roughly ten years prior to the adventure chronicled in Across the 8th Dimension. In the adventure “Bastardy Proves A Spur,” Reno and Pecos declare their love for each other and promise to marry.)
The book quotes him as having a “.45 automatic” (pg. 168). This, of course, refers to John Brownings design of the Colt M1911.
A .45 ACP round (830 fps with government hardball)
7 round magazine
British Sterling L2 series submachinegun.
9mm parabellum (9×19)… (aka 9mm)
30 round magazine
Real name unknown, of Western United States origin, straight as an arrow, owns no more than he can carry on his horse. Has known Buckaroo longer than any of the others. Believed to have a piece of bottom land in Wyoming, possible dependents, several brothers, one of whom may once have operated on the other side of the law, holds several advanced degrees in psychology, anthropology and entomology that belie his easygoing Zen-like manner. Interests: the human mind, the piano, all life-forms and cultures. Own once-stated belief: “the study of crime is the study of mankind in its truest form.”
The following is adapted from the April 1986 edition of ‘World Watch One’:
“Although in Earl Mac Rauch’s novel The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai (written in collaboration with our own Reno) the deaths of our three companions (Rawhide, Sam, and McIlvaine) are confirmed, in truth it was a necessary ruse. When Rawhide and the others were felled and John Parker confirmed their wounds mortal, Buckaroo held a hurried conference with New Jersey, then scrambled the Institutes medical team and committed the three seemingly lifeless bodies to the Cryogenic Lab. After the Lectroid crisis had been averted, Buckaroo and New Jersey returned their full attention to the hope of restoring life to our comrades. Fortunately, further consultation with John Parker revealed that he had failed pre-med as well as flight school; Lectroid M.D.s John Kildare and John Eligius were called in, and concerted study resulted in breakthrough research on the physiological differences between human and Lectroid nervous systems. A treatment (the details of which must remain confidential) was formulated and applied, and Rawhide, Sam, and McIlvaine were returned to this world.
Buckaroo and Rawhide then decided to boldly seize this unique opportunity to send the three men, whom the blackhearted Hanoi Xan was unaware still existed, against him. Rawhide led the trio in an assault on the World Crime League’s east coast stronghold and destroyed it, taking many Death Dwarves captive. By the time this mission was completed, however, the novel by E.M.R. had gone to press with the misleading information about our comrades’ demise. We regret the distress we have caused among the ranks of our friends and supporters (Rawhide, in particular, was amazed at the outpouring of public sentiment on his behalf) and hope you will understand that such an opportunity to strike such a blow against the World Crime League could not be allowed to pass.”
One of the 80’s best cult movies stared Peter Weller as Dr. Buckaroo Banzai. The movies’ popularity has never quite been enough to deliver the promised for sequel, but a set of comic books provide more character development for Dr. Buckaroo Banzai and Team Banzai in general. Dr. Banzai makes a great NPC to introduce to any D20 Modern game.
– Team Banzai is investigating the same strange object the character are
– PCs are brought in on a top secret government project, headed by Dr. Buckaroo Banzai
– A Blue Blaze Irregular has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Dr. Banzai can not investigate personally, but engages the characters to investigate.
Buckaroo Banzai was born in the winter of 1950 in London, the son of two scientists: Masado Banzai, a brilliant Japanese research physicist whose work in theoretical quantum mechanics is reported to have “rattled” Einstein, and Sandra Willoughby, the daughter of the eccentric Scottish-born Texas mathematician Edward McKay Willoughby. Sandra Willoughby fell in love with Masado Banzai when she was sixteen and married him twelve years later, after becoming an expert in her own right in the field of negative mass propulsion. The couple fled Japan at the outbreak of World War II and eventually settled in Texas. Their son grew up in Colorado and Arizona and was named “Buckaroo” because of his father’s love for the American West.
In 1946 Masado Banzai and Sandra Willoughby joined forces with Masado’s old friend and colleague, Professor Toichi Hikita, who shared their belief that one day man would be able to pass unharmed through solid matter. Their researches culminated in 1953 in the Texas desert, when Dr. Banzai took controls of a jet car equipped with an early version of the Oscillation Overthruster. But the experiment ended tragically: Buckaroo Banzai’s parents were killed in an explosion as the four-year-old child looked on. Hikita raised young Buckaroo, using the entire world as his classroom, and the boy grew up to be, among other things, an extraordinarily skilled neurosurgeon.
“Dissatisfied with a life devoted exclusively to medicine,” (film’s director W.D.) Richter writes, “Buckaroo Banzai perfected a wide range of skills. He designed and drove high-powered automobiles. He studied bujitsu and particle physics. His skill with a sixgun was reputed to eclipse that of Wyatt Earp. He spoke a dozen languages and wrote songs in all of them. His band, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, was one of the most popular, hard-rocking bar bands in east Jersey, though it’s members were not professional musicians at all but rather cartographers and botanists, linguists and propellant engineers, an entomologist and an epidemiologist. All of these experts in the oddest fields of endeavor were drawn to Buckaroo, and all of them came and went like the wind on the prairie – Rawhide, Reno, the Swede, Perfect Tommy, Big Norse, Pecos.”
Descriptions of Buckaroo Banzai are rare, but in Buckaroo Banzai, Reno recalls his first meeting with him as follows: “I have always found it remarkable how a confident and open person can make a strong lasting impression in the space of a single moment, but that was just what I found to be the case with B.Banzai. A ready smile and a firm handshake attached to a body that seemed to be made entirely of sinew captivated me immediately. I suggested that we walk outside , and he agreed.
“In the sunshine his face is smooth, unmarked. A smile plays constantly around his lips, but his eyes are deep and thoughtful, of an unusual color I cannot readily describe. Neither can I recall who spoke first, a phenomenon I have found common among others when they have been asked to recall their first encounters with the man. I tend to believe it is the eyes, of such an unusual hue and hypnotic intensity that they could make one believe almost anything. In short, within the first minute of our meeting I believe I had decided to follow him anywhere with the slightest hesitation.”
Later in his book, still recalling that first meeting when he was inducted into the Cavaliers, Reno adds this observation: “Buckaroo, like most true geniuses, was utterly without arrogance, a simple man in the best sense of the word. Decency towards others was not something he had to work at; it was as involuntary with him as breathing. On the other hand, I have seen him an hour after killing a man and found him to be perfectly composed.” The contradiction, Reno concludes, is apparent only to the Western mind.
Precious light is shed on the mystery of the man’s personality by the following laconic note, which is apparently the only time Dr. Banzai has discussed himself in print:
“It was quite by chance that I became involved in scientific investigation and began to study the psychology of crime. Although I was born in London during a visit of my parents to England, I spent my early days on the vast ranges of Colorado and Arizona and there was taught how to ride and shoot by the red-skinned Sioux warriors, who strangely seemed to enjoy showing an Amerasian boy their tricks. Until I was fourteen I went to school in Denver and later I continued my education in Massachusetts, Texas, and England, taking my medical degree from Harvard. In this way a love of travel and the craving for excitement and danger were stimulated in me from childhood.
“After my first introduction in Monte Carlo to the forces which wage unceasing warfare against the shadowy underworld of crime, I realized that in their ranks was a possibility of escaping from the dreaded monotony of a life of routine.
Saw his parents killed in their jetcar attempt.
Proposed to Peggy Simpson on the bank of the Thames River while at Merton College, Oxford. A fall wedding in New York was planned. She was murdered on their wedding day by agents of the evil Hanoi Xan.
Met Sidney Zwibel at Columbia P&S, where they shared Thornburg’s histology class and, later, an enzymology class.
Has written numerous tomes on science and philosophy, including Beyond the Realm of Atomic Particles and Massless Photons and Future History (co-authored with Prof. Hikita).
Colt Peacemaker (aka Single Action Army)
.45 Colt caliber, 6 round
4 3/4 inch barrel
(Note: Pg. 161-2 of the Book quotes Reno as saying “They were the Navy Colts he used only when going in search of Hanoi Xan, massive heavy pistols which had belonged to his father.”)
Fender Stratocaster, blond body with Maple neck