You know, it’s funny. I’ve played a lot of fighting games in my time, but I’ve never really put too much stock into why I chose the characters that I do. Until recently; since I learned about the concept of “mains” a few years back -- the character you play the most, and are arguably the best with -- it’s made me wonder what inspires that fighter/player loyalty. As I’ve mentioned before in several other places and to several other people, I have zero recollection of my time in arcades. I guess I spent SOME time there, since my brother remembers the arcades fondly (and being two below-ten-year-olds, our parents did their best to corral us in the same general area). But ask me about who my main was in Street Fighter II
, and I’d respond with a resounding “Durrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…”
But now it’s 2012. Thus far, two big fighting games have been released, and there are at least four more games coming down the pipeline. It’s a time to re-evaluate one’s choices -- what draws you to a certain character. How you forge your loyalties. And, whether you’ll stick by them through your darkest hour, or abandon them to play Wesker.
So I made this little ditty in response to that thought. Now, if you’ll allow me to invoke the muses…
So many games have I now played
With barest-boned of accolades
The mother that adores me so
Sees them as artifacts of woe.
My brother’s grades, once at summit
Did soon start a hasty plummet.
Whilst younger scion brought home A’s
His body thinned; muscles away.
But soft! No matter to us boys
No need for bikes! No need for toys!
Our fingers strengthened by the day
Our senses, honed, each time we played!
And such was life for many years
Besting the beasts that instilled fears
That emerged from our consoles vast
With deft thumb twitch, we throttled past.
But if there stood a great divide
Forcing a kinship’s override
‘Twas when we sparked our latest fight
One to stew ‘bout through the night.
Instinctive skill did I dare wield;
Defense and strength to own the field.
Dear brother, vowing heart to war
Used rapid force to raise his score.
I, the dragon; tiger was he
Two beasts of high divinity
(In games at least; to neutral eyes
Weasel and peacock, undisguised).
And thus when latest stage came ‘bout
Beseeching duels in large amounts
The time came ‘gain to choose our sides --
Warriors, shearing rivals’ hides.
“Now Yoshimitsu, come to me!”
My sibling cried with ecstasy --
Only to find his glowing blade
No better than a farmer’s spade.
“Bob Richards! Surely blubber’s best
For putting dastards to the test!”
And while those antics made him smile
Foes’ slothful links did leave him riled.
He soldiers daily, undeterred
For a fighter above the herd.
His loyalty shifts with each eve
With little thought; no need to grieve.
As for me, my woe’s compounded
On the grounds of claims resounded;
“Just Paul and Guile -- now rest assured
You’ll see their plateau-like coiffures!”
So I’d yelled quite boastfully
(Drawing ire from my pup, Henri);
Come game’s release, and clash of wills
Prospects and truths both gave me chills.
Could I use Guile to hold my ground?
Indeed; with blades surpassing sound
I held my own ‘gainst kin’s onslaught
Rendering most attacks for naught.
But with Paul came a true quagmire
One that crossed my blunt desire --
Could I use him? And was he strong?
In combat, would he dare live long?
“He’ll be simple; easy to game
Straightforward offense is my aim.
Like a mountain, there I’ll stand --
And come my chance, I’ll leave my brand.”
Such were my thoughts, and yet my fears
Multiplied as news reached my ears.
Fighters from their pantheons high
Did make their claims with divine cries.
I sensed as much when Lord of Hair
Through guides and fights earned no fanfare;
And then one post did make it clear:
Beware of Paul -- he’s bottom-tier!
“A plague on thy house! Wretched curs!
To make such claims -- surely you’ve erred!”
Is what I dared dearly to shout;
Those words, alas, would not come out.
I’d known the sting of bottom-tier
With Phoenix Wright since late last year;
I’d put no stock in fated lists --
Even whilst turned to bloody mist.
I merely wished for battles fun
And standing proud with chosen one.
‘Gainst foes with stats of devilish class
My ideals, rent; I’m but an ass.
And so one night, as I did trot
To my cold bed, post-poorest lot
Did my mind’s workings, one and all
Did dare to ask: “Why select Paul?”
Far back I thought, to days long gone
When a new challenger did dawn
Upon my clan; with Tekken 5
Prompting players to take a dive.
“Why do you ask? I’ve chosen Jin
His cursed fists will earn me wins!”
I claimed, with foolish bravery
Passing over others quickly.
For a mere breath, my sights did rest
And put my senses to the test
A tall-haired man, with beard of gold
So reckless, he! A stench, so bold!
“Who is this knave? A fool so high
In foppishness! I’ll never try
To win with him; he stands no chance
If I should dare, my head be lanced!”
I hardly entertained the thought
Of Paul; I hoped his bones would rot
That he may quickly leave my sight
And let me start my heated fight.
But time did pass, and heat mellowed;
I spotted that burly fellow.
With gritted teeth, and heavy sigh --
“What harm is there? I’ll risk a try.”
As I trained for half an hour
I then learned of Phoenix power.
Rugged blows and heavy strikes
Did set my heart upon a hike.
“What in the world? Such majesty!
Such impact -- I can hardly breathe!
Oh, all the time I’ve flushed away --
No, never more! I’m born today!”
At first I would not dare admit --
A service to this prideful twit --
That I’d been transformed quite like this
By Paul, in search of Iron Fists.
So first, I kept my shift discrete
(With Jin, I hardly knew defeat)
Eventually, I made the leap
And with Paul’s strikes, left foes in heaps.
And so it was in Tekken 6
Where Paul, through hammer blows and kicks
Brought me more wins, and perfect rounds
And bodies, piled in stretching mounds.
“You know, I think back to a time,”
My brother said (joining this rhyme)
“When you reviled that bearded fop
And clamored he was red-clad slop.”
“That’s true enough. I must agree.
But that’s all ancient history.”
I gave a nod, and once again
From Raven, stole a perfect win.
And so I stand, right here and now
Wond’ring if Paul should take a bow
In light of evidence, primed to mock
Dwarfing his rampart-styled locks.
To win with Paul, with aims of fun
Is no slight task; he needs but one
Misstep to scream is final words;
I’d guess his vict’ry’s rarely heard.
But just one win offers enough
To prove his mettle -- yes, he’s tough
Rugged and charming, fun yet brave
Come any foe, their fangs he’ll stave.
A counterpoint to stoic twats;
Though they are skilled, their souls are flat.
So boring, dull, and too routine
(And often, made of plasticine).
What I want is a fighting man
One who can break their tricks and plans
One whose fists fly noble and true
With passion, heat -- comedy, too.
To win a fight with fist-born creed --
Of tiers and fame, there is no need.
Conviction, and to fight freely
That is a fighter’s loyalty.
And such is life -- the truth I’ve gained
The strongest of my haughty claims.
Though I lack skill, and can’t move fast
Till end of days this faith shall last.
I’ll make my stand, on my own terms
And ‘gainst strong foe, I’ll dare not squirm.
Though my fingers may oft grow terse
With Paul I’ll brave the universe!
Well, hope that enlightened you. Who knew you could write something like this based on video games? Next thing you know, there'll be a poem about oatmeal or something. Silly, right?
...This is a massive misappropriation of the English language.