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MPHtails avatar 1:43 AM on 07.06.2008  (server time)
A Cast of Thousands: The Tecmo Bills.

No, you're not reading that wrong. The first thing that came to my mind for this month's monthly musings was a football team. A team of sprites modeled after real people even. But if that's what you think, you've obviously never set foot onto the 8-bit gridiron of Tecmo Super Bowl.

Sure, it's 11 images modeled after real people, but have you ever seen a super bowl team score 3 touchdowns and a field goal in the last quarter of a Super Bowl? Also, I must remind you that quarters are five minutes long, and even then they go in double time. So one real world second is two or three Tecmo seconds.

You could call it simply bad play, the player falling apart in the end. When fumbles and INTs are as random as they are in this game, I don't think 3 straight fumbles are any player error.

You could call it using a bad team, but the Giants in his game are stacked. If you were to simulate 100 seasons of Tecmo, I guarantee NY would be in the playoffs all but maybe 10 times, would be in the second round most of those times ,and even go to the superbowl more than 25 of those times. So it's basically the top two teams.

So, what is the cause of this, then? Basically when they were making this it was in the midst of Buffalo's 4 consecutive Super Bowl streak (which they lost all 4 of, by the way). So, they decided that the Bills would be the top team. Then they proceeded to have the computer that governed the events in the game to cheat as heavily as it could for them. Therefore, things like the above could easily happen, to anyone from a rookie to a vet.

And this isn't just in the big games, oh no. Many a perfect season has been lost to the Bills, in just as spectacular of fashions. You ask any player who aruins their seasons the most, and the answer is likely to be the team with the programming to be able to overcome almost any odds.

And for this, I must salute the most feared enemy in any game. Sure, that boss might be scary, but once you beat him most of the time either he's done or you have his pattern down. The Bills? You face them at most 3 times a season and rarely more than once, even for teams in the other conference. They are a boss that comes back, more unpredictable than the last time. You can never truly figure them out, they have no pattern. If you ever enter season mode, they are right there, ready and waiting to ruin your Super Bowl run.

And all you can do is pray. Pray that the retro gods shine upon you as you hope to god that sack doesn't produce the 5th fumble of the first quarter and the third to go back for a TD. Offer a virgin in sacrifice as you hope against hope that this time when they throw to a receiver that's covered by 5 of your guys that no miracle catch happens again. And finally commit seppuku when they score that game winning field goal off the 9th INT of the game in the closing seconds of the Super Bowl.

There's no way to defend against their shenanigans because you're playing by the Nintendo's rules, and since the game is so in love with them, it's pretty much their rules. And that is why gaming's greatest villains, the NES version of Tecmo Super Bowl's Buffalo Bills, are the subject of my cast of thousands monthly musing.

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