Here’s How You Break Your Thumb Playing Tekken 3

April 19th, 2012 by | Tags:

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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10 comments to “Here’s How You Break Your Thumb Playing Tekken 3”

  1. haha!! that’s pretty awesome. so embarrassing yet kind of badass at the same time, hehheh.

    i’ve never broken a bone playing video games, or broken one period, but my most shameful video game story relates to how devastated or angry you feel when you get beat; i was at an arcade with a friend of mine and i used to think i was hot shit at Street Fighter 2 on the SNES, but the arcade version of the game i discovered was really different, and my friend who i could normally destroy was kicking my ass with E. Honda and his stupid 100 Hand Slap or whatever and he would not let up. i got so mad and humiliated that i actually hit him in the face and gave him a bloody lip. not my finest moment. but hey, i was 12, so you know, capricious youth. XD

    what does mapping the shoulder buttons mean, though? i know what the shoulder buttons are but why is that bad and why has it messed you up even to this day?

  2. When I was in the sixth grade, we had a Harlem Globetrotter come over for an assembly. It was pretty cool and in the middle of it, he asked for volunteers. Of course, super confident, twelve-year-old Nawid raised his hand. He had us throwing the ball in the air and catching with a finger and spinning it. Unfortunately for me, I threw it way too high so it just smashed my index finger real good when it came down. It hurt pretty bad, but I didn’t want to cry in front of 800 other kids so I played it off. It was super swollen and painful for the next month or two.

    I don’t know if I broke it, but that’s the closest I ever came to breaking any bones if so.

  3. “Tekken came up, the PlayStation came out, and I got destroyed.”

    I remember I had been hearing about Tekken in school (It has a guy with a leopard head, awesome!) , and eventually scrounged up the money to get a copy of Tekken 3 from wall-mart. Now, I had never actually played a fighting game before in my life so the concept of chains, reversals, and “not just spamming the buttons and praying” were completely alien to me (and still are, really). So I loaded up the game and challenged my younger brother to a fight, acting like I knew what I was doing. I picked Paul, he picked Yosimitsu and…

    He beat me, by simply standing still and spamming the punch button. He has, never, ever, let me live it down.

  4. @ross campbell: Oh, whoops. Normally, the shoulder buttons don’t do anything in Tekken. You just have to worry about Triangle/Square/Circle/X and that’s it. Mapping the shoulder buttons means putting commands onto L1/R1/L2/R2. For me, that means left throw on L1, right throw on R1, two kicks on L2, and two punches on R2. It lets me whip out certain commands quicker, basically, like a shortcut. There are other technical advantages, too. So it’s not cheating, but it’s not the purest way to play the game. Sometimes I find myself a little too reliant on those, but most of the time, I don’t really really mind.

  5. Man, I love Tekken. I too started with 3, but every couple of years, I’ll end up in a Gamestop and pick up the newest one.

    Xiaoyu has always been my favorite. Probably because she reminded me of Chun-Li. Those quick, nimble characters are always my favorite in fighting games. Pop in, get some hits, get out. And the phoenix stance was fun!

    Bryan was great too, but he was more of a striker.

  6. @David Brothers

    Putting commands on L1/R1/L2/R2 was one of the defaults in Tekken 1 or 2, wasn’t it? Because I do the exact same thing, and I think I got it from the earlier games.

  7. Tekken 3 is probably one of the top few games that I’ve sunk the most hours in. When I used to watch my little cousin in the summer back in the day, we would have marathon sessions lasting hours at a time. His go to was Law, and I was Paul all day. It got to the point where we knew each other’s style so thoroughly, that when the match would start neither of us would move for seconds at a time.

  8. Eh. I’ve always found pressing two buttons at once to be really unreliable on a pad. You pretty much have to use shortcut buttons or screw up half your inputs. I try not to use them on stick, but I don’t think there’s any shame in it if you’re on pad.

    Never broken a bone (all my worst injuries involve soft tissue), but I did sprain my thumb once. Back when Street Fighter II on Super Nintendo was the big thing, I had spent an awful lot of time going back and forth over which of us was better with a friend of mine at school. For whatever reason, we had never managed to play each other. So, finally, sometime during winter things have aligned and he’s coming over my house. We will, of course, be playing SFII. So my mom brings me over to his house to pick him up. I ring the doorbell, but no one answers, so I head around to the back to try another door. Through the window on that door, I see my friend finally going to answer the front door, so I run around to catch him. Midway around, I slip on a patch of black ice and hit the driveway. I got right up and all, but it hurt to bend my thumb. Needless to say, our long-awaited match did not happen that day.

    Oh, and this is tangential at best, but I haven’t heard “Army of Me” in quite a while. Can’t say I expected it to be in a Tekken video.

  9. I’ve never broken a bone while playing video games.

    On a bad note, I’ve had three ribs broken, my left wrist slashed and my jaw dislocated for beating the wrong people.
    On a good note, the last match that I played in a tournament was to Justin Wong. Yes, that Justin Wong, the devious little mutant. I can remember playing him before he was “famous”. One day, he was just another Chinese kid bothering us “grown folks” at the Chinatown Fair; the next thing that we knew, he was sonning us like we were corner boy rappers and he was 2005-era Jadakiss. Coincidentally enough, I beat his V-ISM Ryu with A-ISM Adon during that tournament (a character and gauge that, at the time, was considered low/mid-tier in SFA3.) About two weeks after that set, he. Went. Crazy. I never caught up to him (the difference between a 22 year old part-timer’s learning curve and a 10 year old full-time player’s learning curve is… astronomical.)

  10. I feel you man. Early one summer I took a dare to jump like 30 feet from a tree and did it without a problem…or so I thought. I didn’t have my left thumb set quite right and chipped the corner off the long bone. Hadda wear a cast for 6 weeks for that one, there went water skiing that summer…