The arcade was already a shadow of its former self at the time, 1999, but my Gaming was still born in one. Well not exactly, it wasn't even an arcade really. But it had arcade machines, fat obnoxious elitists, and sticky shit on the floor. This place was called El Chilito.
Picture taken 3 years ago, who knows what happened to that place now...
I was about 6 or 7 in age when I first laid eyes to my first video game. Many of you have probably never cared for it, let alone even seen it. The game was the 4th Marvel and Capcom made together. This was really testing the waters before the ever popular Marvel VS. Capcom and its sequel came out. Once I touched the arcade stick and buttons, I was hooked. Every day from school I would spend roughly $5 at the beginning. But as time went on and my skill increased, I would spend maybe $.25 to $.75 in 3 hours near the end of my time with it.The game's actual story was Bullshit. I don't think anyone could tell you what it was. The gameplay was similar to X-Men Vs. Street Fighter, and by similar I mean exactly the same.
Lets get to the fucking point, the game was Marvel Super Heroes VS. Street Fighter.
I had a fun time with this game, Playing against people was always hard since my hands weren't as developed for fighters at the time, but it was great to experience the way the game was meant to be played. As a result, singleplayer was never really played. If someone tried, another kid(me more than likely) would pop in and start the fun.
Basic MS Paint skill FTW.
I never even played the single player until an early morning of summer break when it was just me in the place, so I thought "why not?" lets see what this game's story is. In 5 minutes I reached the announced final boss, a huge dude named Apocalypse. My Spiderman/Wolverine tag team took his ass out pretty quickly(I didn't use any SF characters since I never heard of the franchise before, for shame I'm sure). I thought this was the end. I wanted my initials on the top ten list, HIG. But then HE showed up.
Hell of a first Final Boss
Being 6 or 7 at the time I thought yay! A reward for beating the game, an extra fight! No problem.... I was wrong. He seemed to me just as a 'Black robot Ryu', now that I remember these childhood memories. The match starts, my hands are ready for anything. At least I thought they were, I didn't understand what started to happen. He was overpowering and faster than everyone else before. His robot arm would shoot off and had a homing ability that would beat out every thing I tried to pull off. His supers were doing 60% to 75% damage. His Tatsumaki (hurricane kick) was doing 45%. And his teleport ability was maddening...
I felt cheated as the fucker beat me, so much that I cried... I would then come back for weeks with only a desire to kick the shit out of him. My parents soon caught wind of how stressed out and focused I was in beating the game so they started to cut my time with it. This entire endeavor made me feel frustration, hopeless, and above all powerless. All this time playing as Wolvie and Spidey amounting to nothing.
Pic from my comic book collection.
But I decided to keep on. I learned a devasting Spidey air combo the only other regular on that game, a guy 10 years older, taught me. I think his name was Pablo, he even watched my attempts and gave me on the spot advice. This gave me a safety net. I was thinking my journey would end soon now.
But then shit hit the fan. He came over one day to tell me he was moving to his college dorm in Riverside, California. 10 miles away. POOPY!!! My only social experience in this was gone and quarters were harder to come by since my parents decided to make things worse, they cut me off. They gave me $5 to kick his ass. 25 more chances to win or bust.
Sunday begins, last day of summer break. GO TIME. The 3 minute walk to the place was nerve destroying, so many thoughts of losing and never completing the first game I've started. I open the door, the smell of 'Birria' and 'Horchata' serves as the reminder of the setting. Lets do this shit. I assault the machine, thinking that would help my chances somehow. I would move the stick around violently, as if that would intimidate the game.
1 quarter goes in, 3 more, 5 more, etc. By my 16th try I thought about giving up, but the other 9 quarters provided hope. The clicking noise for the 17th time as I slip in another quarter is heighten to a thunderous crash.
"Please let it be this time", I plead.
Spidey, my best fighter, comes up. His air combos keep Akuma's supers at bay. Thinking the computer would see a pattern in my moves, I switch to Wolverine. His ground combos do some serious damage. But Akuma is fucking Cyber, he ain't going down like a bitch. He lands a tasumaki, 45% of Wolverine gone. I decide to go all in and try Wolvie/Spidey 3 guage consuming super. Akuma FUCKING teleports through all of it. Then lands quite possibly the sexiest super in SF history, AIR-MUTHAFUCKIN-BORNE Shun Goku Satsu(his teleport grab/game over thing). The costumed Canadian is gone. Its just my 50% Spidey against a 35% Akuma. I build up some super with the air combos, Cyber Akuma fires his robot arm constantly.
I reach level 1 super guage.
I can't tell you what the ending credits were, I was so relieved to beat the game I just pressed buttons until I could put my Initials, HIG, I was 3rd highest. After all of the shit I put myself through, I remember laughing, almost histerically. My war was over, the walk home was my parade back into normal, social life. Nothing got to me for about 3 months, the feeling of great accomplishment does that to me. I was 'the shit'.
Heres the final boss in action.
Just imagine a 7 year old whining during the entire thing