Where in the World is Kendo Nagasaki?

by Howard Bishop


The basic of the object is to discover the whereabouts and identity of a mystery personality, who is lost and alone somewhere in the world with "the dark forces" closing in. You must find him (or her) before "they" do. Each turn you must set up your high-powered transmitter in a new location and try to find get a reply from "the wrestler who out from the warm".

1.0 Kendo Nagasaki

1.1 It is very very unlikely (although not impossible) that the mystery person will be the masked wrestling genius Kendo Nagasaki, since this would be too easy to guess. In fact it probably be won't be a wrestler at all. Don't rule out a masked genius competing in other pantomime sports. The person is probably still alive, but I make no apologies if the person I choose has secretly popped his clogs while out of the public eye.

1.2 The hiding place for Kendo (or his proxy) is a large town or a city. It's quite likely that you've heard of it, even if you've never travelled further than 50 miles from the place you were born. It's probably fair to say that it won't be Hebden Bridge or Stowmarket, even if Kendo was born in one of those fine towns.

2.0 What Happens In Each Turn

2.1 Each turn you move your secret transmitter to somewhere in the world. Actually it's not that secret because you tell me and then I tell all the other players where you are too.

2.2 I then have to work out which of the players is the closest to "the chap or wench who is not Kendo Nagasaki". This bit becomes significant in a minute, honest!

2.3 Also on each turn you have to guess the name of the person. This isn't secret either because everyone gets to hear everyone else's guesses too.

2.4 Now comes the clever bit. Actually not that clever, and pretty contrived too, but you'll just have to live with it OK? The player whose transmitter is closest to "the person who isn't Kendo" will be informed of the fact and the mystery man will respond to the name suggested by that player.

2.5 Everyone gets to hear the response, but only the closest player will know that the answer refers to his suggested name. This may help you to work out who was closest, or it may just cause you to be even more confused than you are now.

3.0 Who Wins And How?

3.1 You win by being in the same location and guessing the name correctly, i.e. bringing Kendo home.

3.2 On turn 10 if nobody has won, we draw the whole sorry thing to a close and the sinister conspirators win.

Example turn

(for this game, the mystery personality is Billy Graham in St Petersburg)


Bob goes to Montevideo and suggests John Parrott

Hilda goes to Frankfurt and suggests Bill Gates

Gilbert goes to Sacramento and suggests Rowan Atkinson

Liam goes to Accrington and suggests Tina Turner


Consults globe.

Works out that Hilda is closest. Hilda is informed of the fact.

All players receive the locations and suggestions from the other players.

They are all given the following answer "You have my name about half right", but only Hilda knows that it refers to her suggestion.

4.0 Notes

4.1 Some GMs stipulate that Kendo must have an entry on Wikipedia, as must his location.

4.2 GMs may also optionally supply the geographic coordinates of the guesses and/or gpx data.

4.3 Different house rules exist for dealing with more than one player guessing the same location and being nearest. One option is to inform all the players and come up with a clue that works for all the Kendo candidates. Another is to choose one player at random as nearest (and optionally inform the others that they lost the tie-break).

Clueless Variant

If someone gets the right location or the right person, they are informed secretly, but no-one else is.

If the player guessing the correct person is also the nearest geographically, a normal clue will still appear in the zine (e.g. something Kendo has in common with himself).

Temperature Control Variant

The closest person is told they are "hot". The second closest is "warm". The furthest away is "cold" and all others are "cool".

Players are informed of their temperature via email or on the back of their paper zine.

Subway Variant

... or Where on the #$%& Tube is Kendo Nagasaki?

These rules (previously published in Damn The Consequences) are designed for the London underground maps, i.e. they explain the peculiarities of that map in game terms. GMs will need to modify them to fit the peculiarities of other subway system such as Paris, New York or Tokyo.

Like the standard game, players can join at any time, and the game lasts 10 rounds unless won before.

The game uses the the latest London tube map. All stations are *open*.

1) At the beginning of the game the GM determines the name of a mystery person (hereafter "Kendo Nagasaki" or "Kendo"), and a tube station at which s/he is located.

2) The first player(s) to correctly guess both the identity and location of Kendo wins.

3) If no player(s) wins by the end of Round 10, Kendo escapes (i.e. the GM wins, and yah boo sucks to the players).

4) Each round, players submit a guess consisting of a person, and a tube station.

5) The GM will report all guesses, as well as privately notifying the player whose guessed station was closest (see #6) to that of Kendo. The GM will also reveal a clue to all players as to Kendo's true identity and/or station based on the guessed identity submitted by the closest player.

6) The map:

  1. For game purposes, all lines/stations on the map are considered "tube" lines/stations, not just the real underground lines. Thus Kendo may be hiding on, and distances calculated via stations on Tube as well as the Overground, DLR, TfL, Tram and Emirates Air Line.
  2. For the London tube map, locational proximity is based on the number of tube stops between Kendo and the guessed station. Each change of line adds an extra "stop" to this distance. The lines themselves are NOT part of Kendo's location. Thus if Kendo is at Bond Street, that is *1* stop from either Marble Arch or Green Park. But Marble Arch is *3* stops from Green Park: 1 from Green Park to Bond Street, 1 to change lines, 1 from Bond St to Marble Arch. Note that distance is also 3 from Green Park to Marble Arch: direction of travel makes no difference in the distance calculation. For simplicity, the line-change rule is the same whether the change is made at a station denoted by one or more circles (e.g. Bond Street or West Ham) or a "notch" (e.g. Great Portland St).
  3. Some stations have two separate unconnected locations (e.g. Edgeware Rd, Turnham Green, Hammersmith, Baron's Court). These are considered the SAME location, and distances calculated with respect to the closest one to Kendo or a player's guess. Thus Edgeware Rd is *1* stop from each of Marylebone, Baker Street and Paddington. Note that because the two locations are physically separate, it is not possible to change lines between them directly. So Goldhawk Road to Barons Court cannot be reached in 3 via Hammersmith, but 13 via Wood Lane, White City and Notting Hill Gate.
  4. Bank/Monument and other differently named stations connected by white lines are *2* separate stations: Consider the connection between them to be a separate 1-stop line. Thus Cannon Street to Monument, Bank and St. Paul's have distances of 1, 3 and 5 respectively (treat the middle circle in the Bank-Monument white link as part of Bank). Treat similarly Tower Hill/Tower Gateway; Bow Road/Bow Church, White City/Wood Lane, Clapham High Street/Clapham North, etc.
  5. Distance is counted following the natural curves and direction arrows of the lines. This means it may be necessary to "change lines" between branches on the same coloured line. E.g. Central line: North Acton is 1 from each of West Acton and Hanger Lane. But West Acton and Hanger Lane are *3* apart: as there is no natural curve joining the two branches, it is necessary to travel from West Acton to North Acton (1), "change" (1), and then travel to Hanger Lane (1), for a total distance of 3. It is necessary to change (cost=1) at Poplar to move between the east-west and north-south branches of the DLR, except when travelling from the west to/from the south as there is a direct natural curve between Westferry and West India Quay. Likewise from Pudding Mill Lane to either Stratford International or Stratford High Street on the DLR costs 3 due to a required change at Stratford.
  6. The Overground consists of *6* separate lines, 3 of which have branches, between which it is necessary to change as normal.
  7. Where lines cross with no station to connect them, then they do NOT connect!
  8. Ignore the zoning and service information on the map. *All* lines and stations are open.

Three Wishes Variant

Three times during the game, you can make a wish, but not more than one in the same round, and each wish can only be used once. The request is made by email after seeing the turn report, and the response is returned to the wishing player in time to be used to help with his orders. The next turn report will indicate that the player has made a wish, but not which one.

Players must choose when to use the wishes to the best tactical advantage. The help from the wishes means it is less likely that Kendo will not be found in the 10 rounds.

1)Yes or No??

This must be a yes / no question relating to Kendo's identity but not his hiding place.

Examples: Is Kendo alive? Was Kendo born in the UK? Is Kendo a musician?

2) Who was closest?

If it is a tie between two or more players, all names will be returned regardless of a any tiebreak rules applied.

Example: Alice and Bill are both 10km away, so the GM reports "Alice and Bill are joint closest". The GM's house rules state that the published clue applies to only one of those two, but which one is not revealed.

3) How warm was I?

A simple ranking such as 3rd or equal 2nd.

Example: Alice=10km, Bill=10km, Carol=823km, Dave=2510km. Carol is 3rd nearest.

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