Here’s How You Break Your Thumb Playing Tekken 3

April 19th, 2012 Posted by david brothers

I mentioned breaking my thumb playing video games in passing when I was talking about Kids on the Slope, and Ross Campbell rightly called me out on it. I started this post as a comment, but I realized it was probably worth embarrassing myself in front of everyone, because I figure somebody’ll laugh.

Man, this is such a dumb story.

I was sixteen and thought I was the best at Tekken 3. I could beast my friends, my family, whatever whatever. So my uncle took me over to his friend’s house to hang out. Tekken came up, the PlayStation came out, and I got destroyed. Like, manhandled. I don’t even remember who I played, probably Eddy, Jin, or Xiaoyu. Maybe “savaged” is a better term. And when you’re sixteen, getting blown out like that is devastating. I’d have felt better if I’d like… I don’t even know, tripped on a banana pill and fell into a pie in front of the hottest girl in school.

So on the way home, we stopped by the grocery store (I think it was a Food Lion) and I was poking around the books section, super bummed out. I saw the Versus Guides Tekken 3 book, bought it, and spent the next week studying King for hours at a time. I learned all the throw chains (though I had to map the shoulder buttons to pull everything off, a decision that’s messed me up to this day), reversals (I remember being really disappointed that he just had kick reversals), everything. I can still tap out his ten string just from muscle memory. I think I also took a brief detour into Paul and Xiaoyu for variety’s sake. I wanted to get good with King, but I wanted to be competent with others, too. Plus, Xiaoyu looks like poetry in motion. She uses a mezcla of various Chinese martial arts at this point, but she’s always had this nice focus on smooth movements from point A to B.

For a week, that was all I did. Practice, practice, practice. Consulting the book, sitting on my bed, playing PlayStation, and learning. One day during that week, my mom is like “Hey David come eat dinner” so I stand up from my bed, trip over my controller cables (this was pre-wireless!), and fall to the ground, catching myself on my hands. I stand up, dust myself off, go eat, and then get back at it. I make it back to my uncle’s friend’s house, we go at it, and,, it wasn’t as triumphant as it maybe should’ve been. I didn’t get wrecked, but I held my own, which was good enough. Got mad respect points for learning King’s throw chains, too.

(My favorite chain is probably just the standard sidestep->1+3 or 2+4 chain with the Muscle Buster after the Victory Bomb for a finisher, whatever that’s called. I really like the Scorpion Death Lock throw chain, too, and of course pulling off the Rolling Death Cradle is the ultimate.)

But yeah, I showed and proved and was feeling real good. A couple days later, my mom noticed my left thumb and was like, “We’re going to the doctor right now.” Apparently accidentally breaking your thumb while falling off a bed, not realizing, and then ODing on PlayStation makes your thumb super, SUPER swollen. I had a hairline fracture on the long part of my thumb, so I had to wear a wrist brace to keep my thumb immobile for weeks. Basically as I was leaving Georgia and going to Spain.

Still the only bone I’ve ever broken.

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The Top 15 Best Fighting Game Storylines: Part 3 (5-1)

March 21st, 2012 Posted by Gavok

Part 1!
Part 2!

Before I finish off the list, I want to point out an honorary mention of sorts. When they came out with Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, they changed a lot of the endings. For some, the art was altered to feature different characters. For many, the dialogue was changed and made half as long as in the previous game. Still don’t understand that one. A couple guys from the first game got new endings because the previous ones were pointless. For instance, Ryu’s ending in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 features him facing off against Iron Fist in a Madripoor fighting tournament. Considering Iron Fist is in the upgraded game, there’s nothing special about his surprise reveal. So instead, Ryu’s ending has him discover a new role in the world.

Huge smile on my face when I saw that. Coincidentally, Iron Fist’s ending involves him starting up a new Heroes for Hire with Luke Cage, Misty Knight, Colleen Wing, Ryu, Chun-Li and Rival Schools’ Batsu. I’d easily pay the $3.99 every month for that comic.

5) Jinpache’s Emotional Deaths

Jinpachi Mishima was a good man who opposed his evil son Heihachi, but due to some convoluted storytelling, he became imprisoned underground for decades, infected by a gene that’s driving him to destroy everything. He becomes released during the conclusion of Tekken 4 and sets up the tournament for Tekken 5. Part of Jinpachi wants to get all the great fighters out of the way so he can lay waste to the planet. Part of him wants someone to stop him before he goes too far.

The elderly Wang Jinrei has been in the Tekken cast since the beginning, but he’s also been boring as hell while adding nothing of interest. One thing established is that he and Jinpachi were good friends back in the day and that’s one of the reasons Wang is out to stop Heihachi. Throughout the fifth tournament, he gets this strong feeling that something unbearably terrible will happen at the end. When he faces Jinpachi, seeing him in his demonic form, he outright refuses to fight his best friend. Jinpachi begs him, saying that his human consciousness is weakening by the moment and he needs to die soon or else. Wishing there was another way, Wang reluctantly goes to town.

What follows is one of the saddest video game moments, thanks to some fine voice acting (even though one guy is speaking Chinese and the other Japanese) and captivatingly realistic CGI work. Jinpachi lay on the ground, back in his human form. Wang tries to comfort him, saying he shouldn’t have to apologize for what he’s done. Weakly, Jinpachi wishes that they could have one last drink, but then he dies and instantly melts into sand.

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The Top 15 Best Fighting Game Storylines: Part 2 (10-6)

March 17th, 2012 Posted by Gavok

Click here for Part 1!

To answer a question from yesterday’s comments section, I never did get around to playing Blazblue. I really need to rectify that. So if there’s anything on the list you completely disagree with, pretend that if I were to get around to playing through Blazblue, I’d put it in that spot instead. Everybody’s happy.

Now back to the list.

10) Lee Chaolan: The Good Son

Tekken’s core storyline is about the world’s most dysfunctional family. Four generations of the Mishima clan beating the shit out of each other. It mainly started with Heihachi Mishima throwing his son Kazuya off a cliff as a training exercise. Kazuya survived by allowing his body to become host to a demonic entity and returned years later to exact his revenge. While the CGI endings for the first Tekken are hilariously dated in appearance, I always enjoyed the big twist in Kazuya’s. By all means, he should be the hero in this situation. He’s a pretty generic design and his father is evil and wronged him, so he should in response be a good guy. So he picks up his father, carries him in his arms while walking forward… then drops him off a cliff before giving an evil smile to the camera. Love it.

At the same time, if Kazuya was to come off as a hero on paper, Lee Chaolan should have been a villain (and he was in the anime, but that’s neither here nor there). Lee was adopted by Heihachi for the intent purpose of making Kazuya jealous and driving him to be better. After the first game, Kazuya takes over Heihachi’s criminal organization, the Tekken Zaibatsu, and makes Lee his underling. Lee hates what his life had become, forced to work for his despised brother and realizes that all his life, he’s been used as nothing but a pawn. After Heihachi comes back to retake the throne, Lee slips away and lays low for several decades. During this time, it’s speculated that the Tekken 3 boss Ogre found and killed him. Luckily, that wasn’t the case.

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Ghost of the Revenge of the Son of the Return of the Wrath of Comic Con

October 22nd, 2011 Posted by Gavok

Another year and another trip to the Jacob Javits Center for New York Comic Con. My fifth NYCC. And now you have to hear about it. Unless you came here by accident or you’re one of the 90% who only come here to read the David Brothers posts. If so, I apologize and understand.

I mean, for one, you won’t see this kind of crap in a Brothers post.

Maybe in an Esther post. Probably maybe.


This is the first year of NYCC where they had Thursday open, as far as I know. The place was only open for three hours, so it was mainly about getting the lay of the land and enjoy being able to breathe on the show floor. Shortly into my trek, I met up with my B&N coworker Jody. He was nice enough to hold the camera as I made this terrible, overplayed visual joke.

I spent a couple minutes at the Capcom area of the floor, where I briefly got to try out Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Street Fighter X Tekken. Then they had a weird little spot where they promoted the upcoming game Asura’s Rage by sticking people in a glass booth and having them scream as loudly and angrily as possible to see where they rate on the rage meter. When it was my turn and the host asked why I’m so angry, I told him I had been fighting with my eating disorder, which he didn’t know how to react to. I ended up with a 95%, which is just fine. I also got a strained throat, a promotional wig and a poster that I left in the hotel. I didn’t even see what the game looks like.

I found a booth selling comics in batches based on runs. I tend to like those better because a lot of the time, the weird shit I’m on the look for isn’t available in trade form. I bought a handful of stuff, including both runs of Seaguy and the original run of Rocket Raccoon, but one thing I had to get based on the cover was Superman vs. Terminator from 1999-2000.

Can Superman stand up to the Skynet Masterlock Challenge?! Really, though, I was too enthralled by the concept. I don’t care how many Terminators you have. It’s a bunch of faceless villains vs. a guy who will casually eat a robot if someone dares him.

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Tekken 6: King of Iron Fists, Online Manga, and Paper Stories

November 23rd, 2009 Posted by david brothers

Tekken 6 came out on PS3 and 360 a while back (and is forty-four bucks on Amazon right now and totally worth the purchase) and captivated my attention, just like the five prior games did. The fighting, the Barbie to the nth level dress-up/customization stuff… half of the games I play online with friends are all about how awesome that bit of hair you put on that character is, where did you get that? And that skirt, whoo! Way to go!

(It’s like playing with dolls, only they fight.)

The thing with Tekken, though, is that its story is dumb. It has a space alien/ancient Japanese ninja who looks like a bug, a bear who takes over a corporation, a kangaroo that gets divorced and that kangaroo’s son who goes on a quest to find his deadbeat father, and a series of people being thrown into volcanos, off cliffs, and into space so that someone else can become president of Mishima Corp. Everything is treated as having happened, including the dumbest “I had a secret twin all along!” twist I’ve seen in my entire life.

It would work very well as a comic, and luckily, Japan is on top of things. Ultra Jump, a spinoff of Shonen Jump, has an online arm called Ultra Jump Egg. And on Ultra Jump Egg is… TekkenComic, a Tekken manga by Rui Takato (author of Scape-God, summaries available here), produced for Tekken’s 15th anniversary and Ultra Jump’s 20th.


tekkencomic01The twist is that it’s also available in English, which is new and neat. Pressing a button overlays English text over the Japanese balloons. It’s a little punctuation starved, save for… ellipses, and the font could scale better, but it reads pretty well. And it’s funny. It opens on the story of Paul Phoenix, who, along with Steve Fox and Marshall Law, have entered the King of Iron Fist Tournament to cheat their way to the ten million yen.

The comic has three chapters up (of three?) and it’s pretty entertaining. The shower scene is kind of gratuitous, and I hadn’t realized exactly how much of a stereotypical anime girl Asuka Kazama was before now (all she needs is a magically appearing hammer). Despite that, Lili as Schoolgirl Imperialist really, really works. And I dug Leo’s brief interlude, too. Considering the last page of Battle 03, if this is an ongoing thing (and some 4l! reader with Japanese language skills please let me know!) I’ll tune in once a week. It’s just as delightfully dumb as the game’s story, which may well be the anti-pull quote of all anti-pull quotes, but I like it. Maybe Viz will license it and put it out over here?

Fair warning, though. Battle 03 is basically frilly panty heaven. Or maybe hell, depending on who you are and where you work.


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Tekken Saga and Tekken 2: Mishima Family Values

June 15th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

As much as I love fighting games and their storylines, just about all of them run into one major problem: if the series goes on long enough, the writers will run out of ideas and just pull off the same story over and over again with slight variation. King of Fighters reached this point after their ’97 incarnation. Mortal Kombat got there in its third game, though they were original enough in their ideas that it didn’t get too stagnant until several games later. Street Fighter went on for a while without this, up until Street Fighter 4. Soul Calibur is probably the worst offender, as despite five games, they’ve yet to come up with a story other than “guys fight each other in search of sword that just won’t die.”

Tekken, which is by the same company as Soul Calibur, is also a pretty bad offender. On one hand, the later the game, the more personality we get out of the characters. On the other hand, almost all the characters are window dressing to the never-ending infighting between the Mishima family members, who are all a bunch of assholes.

See, you have Heihachi Mishima, who is an asshole. He’s opposed by his son Kazuya Mishima, who we discover at the end of the first game to also be an asshole. Then in the third game, we get Kazuya’s son Jin Kazama, who seems like an all right guy for a while, only to succumb to being an asshole by the end of Tekken 5. Tekken 5 also introduces Heihachi’s powerful father Jinpachi Mishima, who is a pretty sweet guy, only he’s possessed by a power that’s forcing him to be an asshole.

Insert your Spaceballs joke right here.

Let’s go back to the simpler days, when the rivalry was no more than Kazuya vs. Heihachi. Tekken 3 was just being released, leading to the most popular era for the Tekken franchise. To tie in with this, the comic company Knightstone put together an attempt to retell the story of the first few games with Tekken Saga.

What’s with Kazuya? It’s like he’s spooked by Law’s ability to completely ignore getting hit in the skull with lightning. Or maybe he’s weirded out by Paul Phoenix’s hair.

Tekken Saga #1 came out in October, 1997. John Kim was the writer with Walter McDaniel an art. It begins years before Tekken 1, where Heihachi holds a meeting with his top underlings at the Mishima Zaibatsu (which in the comic is spelled “Zabitsu”). Conveniently, all three of his businessman flunkies turn out to be fathers of Tekken series mainstays: E. David Gordo, Bernard Chang and James King.

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Fighting Game Comics Round-Up: Featuring Raul Julia, Wolf Hawkfield and Paul Phoenix!

November 28th, 2007 Posted by Gavok

Back when I was doing reviews on the old Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat comics, I found that there were comics made based on other one-on-one fighting games, such as Virtua Fighter and Tekken. I scored these two one-shots and sat on them for a while, knowing that they would be best saved for a rainy day. More than that, something seemed off about reviewing these two alone. I needed a third comic to round it out. One day, when reading about Street Fighter on Wikipedia, fate smacked me in the face.

Being a D-level comic blogger like I am, rather than turn away from this ink-and-paper demon spawn, I reacted with, “I need to own this!” I don’t know. Since this 4th Letter gig, I’ve been finding myself going out of my way just to read pure shit. Chris Eckert has the market cornered in making fun of Countdown, and yet I find myself wanting in. That’s why when the series finishes, I plan on reading the entire series in one go backwards Memento style! You know. For science. I might even try reading World War Hulk: Gamma Corps with all the text whited out. It might be interesting in a self-torturing way.

Let’s get DC’s Street Fighter: The Movie out of the way, because believe it or not, it’s going to get worse. A lot has been said about the movie. There are a ton of things wrong with it, but the most complained-about part is the complete lack of loyalty to the source.

The game’s story: A serious martial artist and his less-serious best friend go around the world to train and build themselves up as the greatest street fighters. The more serious one is hunted down by a megalomaniac out to exploit the martial artist’s physical potential. This villain is targeted by many, including an American military man and a Chinese Interpol agent who each harbor a personal vendetta. This all comes to a head in a one-on-one fighting tournament, featuring great fighters from all over the globe.

The movie’s story: A megalomaniac takes a bunch of hostages in Thailand. A military man with an American tattoo, despite having a foreign accent thicker than Double Stuffed Oreos, leads a world-wide military team into Thailand to save the day. Two weasely weapon salesmen, a Chinese news reporter and her camera men (who happen to be a sumo wrestler and a boxer) get involved. Plus a scientist turns one of the main character’s friends into a green monster.

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