Archive for the 'Lists' Category


T-U-R-T-L-E Primer: A Guide to the First Two Years of IDW’s TMNT Comic

July 13th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

One of my favorite comics on the stands these days is IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Headed by Tom Waltz, Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman and a host of others, the two-year-old Ninja Turtles series feels like the perfect balance of what a new take on the series should be. Silly as it is to say, the Turtles are some of the most versatile properties in comics and television on the level of Batman. They could be anywhere from serious Frank Miller knockoffs to goofball comedians. Over the years they’ve shared scenes with the Power Rangers, the Flaming Carrot, the Muppet Babies and even Hitler (and that was in the Archie Comics spinoff of the 80’s cartoon!).

Even with something like Turtles Forever, I saw a little too much divisiveness within takes on the characters. The current series feels more accepting of all walks of the foursome and shows it well. It’s pieces of the Mirage universe, pieces of the 80’s cartoon universe, a little bit of the 4Kids cartoon universe (which doesn’t have too much to take from since the early seasons were mostly retellings of the Mirage stuff) and a lot of new twists and ideas to keep it original when it counts.

The hook of the series compared to all the other takes is this: you know how the cartoon was about the Turtles teaming up against Shredder and Krang, even though those two had little in common outside of being evil? What if it was instead a war between Shredder and Krang and the Turtles are just in the middle? Hell, go further. Add several more evil factions, all working against each other and the Turtles are the only bastion of hope to stop them.

Now, there is one major problem with the series and that’s in its format. As of this writing, there are 23 issues of the main series, 11 micro-series (character spotlights), an 80-page annual (the first Turtles comic written and drawn by Eastman in decades), a two-issue part of the IDW Infestation 2 storyline and a four-issue miniseries about the history of the Foot Clan. Other than Infestation 2, it’s all pretty important and it’s really hard to get the reading order down. I’m lucky because I was reading the Micro-Series issues as they came out, but for someone catching up and getting the trades, it’s a gigantic headache.

So I figured I’d give a bit of a primer for the series. A big who’s who of familiar and not-so-familiar faces.


Affilliation: TMNT
First Appearance: #1
Micro-Series Issue: During #11

Upon introduction, Splinter was just a lab rat at Stock Gen Research Inc. Due to some experiments, they were able to increase his intelligence, separating his human-like cognition from his animal instincts. Despite being just a rat, Splinter was able to understand the darkness that surrounded the lab, outside of naïve intern April O’Neil. When a couple of Foot ninjas broke into the lab one night, Splinter was able to help save April and then chase the ninjas onto a rooftop. He scratched out one’s eye and caused him to drop his plunder from the lab: four experimented-on turtles and some mutagen. Splinter and the turtles ended up in the sewer, stewing in the mutagen. Splinter grew into a humanoid rat creature and had a greater understanding of the world.

But really, his story began even earlier. In Feudal Japan, Hamato Yoshi was a great ninja warrior and member of the Foot Clan back when it was an honorable group. He was married to Tang Shen, who gave him four sons. Yoshi’s clan-mate Oroku Saki became leader of the Foot and started using it for ruthless, power-hungry reasons. Yoshi left the clan, feeling it was a disgrace. In response, Saki had Tang Shen killed. Yoshi was able to save his children and ran off with them to live in the mountains for years. Unfortunately, they were one day tracked down by the Foot and all beheaded. Yoshi prayed for justice and to be one day reunited with his children. Then, in his last act, he swore revenge on Saki.

Splinter became sought after by both Stock Gen for his blood and by the modern Foot Clan for recruitment. When Shredder saw Splinter’s skills in action, he began to notice the familiarity while Splinter realized that Shredder was Oroku Saki himself in the same exact body as all those years ago. Splinter lost in combat against Shredder, partially due to how he was worn down by having to go through an army of Foot ninjas and Alopex. Splinter was saved at the last minute by his sons, who defeated Shredder and brought him to safety.

Splinter is very strict about his sons not killing, as it is not their way. At the same time, he struggles with his hatred for the Shredder. At the very least, he insists to his sons that it is their duty to kill the Shredder. Not for the revenge factor, but because he’s too evil and dangerous to live.

Recently, Splinter donned a masked identity and attacked his sons, promising to go after Splinter if they didn’t stop him. He was able to get the best of them and revealed himself as a way to drive home the point that while the Turtles are skilled, they’re becoming too predictable. He needs to train them in more martial arts and truly broaden their horizons.


Affiliation: TMNT
First Appearance: #1
Micro-Series Issue: Between #8 and #9

Leonardo is the reincarnation of Hamato Yoshi’s eldest son. He’s the most loyal of the four and follows all of Splinter’s words like law. More than anyone else, he believes in Splinter’s claims of reincarnation, both because he believes anything Splinter says and because he has vague, dream-like memories of seeing Tang Shen die in front of him.

When Splinter was captured by Stock Gen, Leonardo searched the streets and found himself targeted by the Foot Clan, tangling with them for the first time. While he was able to fight a bunch of them off, the Shredder – wearing less extravagant ninja gear – easily beat him down and deemed him unimpressive. Later, Leonardo led his brothers in saving Splinter from being killed by Shredder. This time, Leonardo pressed the numbers advantage and won out. Leaving for the sake of getting Splinter to safety, Leonardo made sure to throw a shuriken an inch from Shredder’s head and deemed him unimpressive.

Splinter’s claims that they need to kill Shredder do not sit well with Leonardo, who wishes not to kill under any circumstances because life is sacred. This came up soon after when he and his brothers had to fight the insane and unstoppable Slash. Leonardo tried his hardest to reason with the giant turtle, but ended up gravely wounding him by accident while protecting April and Casey. Leonardo didn’t know that Slash survived having a katana shoved handle-deep down his shoulder and became troubled over it, keeping Slash’s black eye-mask as a memento.

After their second skirmish, Shredder grew to respect Leonardo and found potential in him as an apprentice. He staged a trap and kidnapped Leonardo. The witch Kitsune put Leonardo through a ritual very similar to what Frank Miller had the Hand do to resurrect Elektra. Leonardo’s memories were altered into a nightmarish recollection where Splinter had been terrorizing him via all of their adventures while Shredder had been trying to save him from all of it. In these altered memories, Splinter killed the other three Turtles and resurrected them as his evil soldiers. Last seen, Leonardo woke from this ritual, wearing Slash’s black eye-mask.

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The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings: Part Ten

July 2nd, 2013 Posted by Gavok

20) Tekken Tag Tournament 2 – BOB RICHARDS/SLIM BOB

Bob rules. With a design that’s Ken Masters meets Sammo Hung, his confidence comes from his massive size. Despite only three game appearances to his name, Bob’s been all sorts of things. Top US martial artist, celebrity, suave ladies man, bounty hunter and superhero. At least, that’s what he is in his Tekken Tag 2 ending.

The art style here is beautiful, taking the form of stylized motion comics with a little more movement mixed in. Bob sees some kids being picked on by a gang of punks. He shows up on the scene in a yellow superhero costume, introducing his battle cry, “SPEED AND… WEIGHT!” The punks aren’t impressed and think he’s supposed to be a road sign. They tell him to be like a good road sign and go stand in traffic. Bob doesn’t take their advice.

The kids cheer him on and join in with his battle cry. Then he sees a woman falling off a ledge on a nearby building. Bob tries to figure out how to get to her and sees a man putting bungee cords into a van. Bob steals those bungees and uses them to propel himself into the air, catch the woman and cause massive shockwaves in the ground upon landing, all while yelling, “SPEED AND… WEIGHT!” There’s an awesome shot of one of the kids he rescued excitedly high fiving the bungee van driver. An entire crowd gathers to cheer him on.

The next day, Bob is disappointed when he sees the headlines.

Bob has a similar ending in the form of Slim Bob. See, Bob is like the anti-Elvis Presley. He takes pride in his girth, but in his Tekken 6 ending, the success led to him letting himself go and becoming thin and handsome, much to his horror. That version of him became playable in Tekken Tag 2 and in his ending, he wears a red version of the superhero outfit. Unfortunately, it’s many sizes too big and he has to keep the pants from falling down. He rescues an old man in a subway from the same muggers, only this time they refer to him as “Sci-Fi Santa Claus.” Slim Bob takes them out, but feels weaker compared to his true, blubbery self.

Then he sees that the same woman from the other ending is on the train tracks, screaming for help. He picks her up, throws her off the track and then lays on the track just as a train goes over him. He’s fine, but is horrified when the woman hands him his accidentally-discarded mask. She calls him her hero and kisses him with an entire cheering crowd around them, but we later see that despite everything, Bob is still depressed over his slim frame.

19) Mortal Kombat 4 – JAX

God bless the terrible Mortal Kombat 4 endings. After figuring that text was the way of the dinosaurs, Midway decided that their first 3D Mortal Kombat game needed cutscene endings. While the Playstation version had full motion video, the arcade and Nintendo 64 versions had to rely on the in-game graphics to tell the stories. Stories filled with jerky animation, horrible dialogue and even worse voice acting. They’re magnificent.

Jax easily has the best, especially since it’s an extension of Jarek’s ending, which is sort of an extension of Sonya’s ending. Sonya confronts Jarek on a completely generic-looking plain of grass about how now that Shinnok is defeated, Jarek is going to be taken into custody. Jarek advances on Sonya, saying that he agreed to help them during this crisis, but he’ll never turn himself in. “THE BLACK DRAGON LIVE ON!”

Suddenly, it pans out to show that they’re on top of a cliff, accompanied by the worst dramatic music you’ve ever heard. Sonya tells Jarek that the Black Dragon died with Kano and that Jarek is the last one around. With a scream of, “UMMBSULKAIIIIEEEEEEE!” Jarek runs at her, misses and falls off the cliff. Sonya calls Jax on her walky-talky to inform him what just happened, but Jarek shows that he’s not so dead after all. He climbs back up, grabs Sonya by the ankle and throws her to her death. Then he stomps down on the walky-talky so hard that it not only breaks, but vanishes completely! There are no pieces of it anywhere when he moves his foot!

The walky-talky business was pointless anyway, because Jax turns out to be five feet away all this time. Weird how Jarek didn’t notice him what with there being no trees or anything. Jarek tries to talk his way out of it, but Jax isn’t hearing it. He grabs Jarek by the throat and holds him over the cliff with absolutely zero detail below. Jarek begs for his life and says that Jax has to uphold the law. This is brutality!

“Wrong, Jarek! This is not a brutality… this is a Fatality!”

Despite the subtitles, he’s still saying, “UMMBSULKAIIIIEEEEEEE!!”

It’s so beautifully shitty.

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The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings: Part Nine

June 25th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

40) Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe – SUB-ZERO

Sub-Zero gets the special treatment in the big DC crossover game. He’s the only guy on the Mortal Kombat side who’s aloud to take down Batman in a straight fight in the story mode. The story mode also paints a picture of Sub-Zero being a guy who’s unsure of what it is he should be doing. He’s more virtuous than what his ninja clan stands for, but he’s also the odd man out when it comes to the other defenders of Earthrealm. Nobody trusts him to do the right thing, but he does want to do the right thing.

Inspired by Batman, Sub-Zero decides to use his efforts to being a cape-wearing vigilante who creeps through the darkness and cold to crush evil wherever it lies. This way he can be a good guy and defend Earthrealm without having to put up with Liu Kang and the others. The Lin Kuei doesn’t take the desertion well and much like Batman, Sub-Zero will now have to contend with a pissed off league of assassins trying to hunt him down.

39) Skullgirls – PEACOCK

Peacock is the one character in Skullgirls who has a personal connection with the final boss Marie (otherwise known as the Skullgirl). Patricia was mutilated by the mafia and her friend Marie, in all her sadness and anger, found the Skull Heart and wished for revenge. She’s since started massacring the mafia, while at the same time, becoming more and more of a puppet for the Skull Heart’s evil and turning into something increasingly demonic. Patricia was rebuilt as Peacock to destroy Marie, augmented with reality-bending cybernetics. Due to her own shattered psyche over what she’s gone through and her love for cartoons, Peacock takes the form of an old-timey cartoon character and fights with cartoon physics.

Peacock confronts Marie and tries to talk her down to no avail. Marie shows off that she even took out the man who nearly killed Peacock and started this mess. Still, Peacock knows that Marie is fighting a losing war for her soul and it’s only a matter of time before the Skull Heart takes over completely and makes her unstoppable. Peacock defeats her friend and as part of her victory, is offered the Skull Heart. She’s able to make any wish her heart desires, but why do that when she’s already the strongest?

Marie is still alive, but is falling to pieces by the second. She apologizes for all she’s done. Peacock smiles and forgives her, saying that they’ll always be friends. Besides, now that she’s fulfilled her purpose of destroying the Skullgirl, she can find a new purpose in continuing where Marie left off, killing off mobsters left and right. Marie feels happy about this and burns to nothing.

Peacock makes good on her promise and takes out most of the mafia. With only a couple left, she goes after a mobster named Lorenzo. Lorenzo has something up his sleeve with his enforcer Black Dahlia. It ends with Peacock and Dahlia going at it.

You know what’s crazy? In an ending where our hero kills her best friend, it’s still the most optimistic ending in such an otherwise colorful and wacky game.

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The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings: Part Eight

June 22nd, 2013 Posted by Gavok

60) Eternal Champions: Challenge from the Dark Side – SENATOR

When Eternal Champions was upgraded into its Challenge from the Dark Side form, they introduced a lot of new characters. Some were other fallen would-be heroes from throughout history. Some were playable animals. There was even Death himself, who had mysteriously lost his status. The most memorable new guy was the Senator, a spoof on the government focus on violent video games and a headswap of Larcen Tyler.

The Senator was a selfish, corrupt politician who sold out to all the corporations and special interest groups until making an actual humane decision for once and being rejected by his Republican brethren. He ran as an independent and lost by a landslide, causing him to die of a heart attack. In the game, his fighting style is described as “Dishonesty”, which includes throwing red tape, banning violence and turning invisible while yelling, “I AM NOT A CROOK!”

Given a second chance, he calms down his heart rate and gives a concession speech where he admits his own wrongdoing, but also incriminates the other fat cats in Washington. This takes the world by storm and a mulligan election is demanded. Truly, this man has learned his lesson and will bring true political reform to the government!

Only a flood of scandals come out about the Senator, such as how he hires illegal immigrants, has sold military secrets to other countries and has a mistress in each state. It ruins his political career, but he still comes out a winner due to his budding career of writing books, selling the movie rights and appearing on talkshows for the rest of his life.

59) Mortal Kombat 9 – RAIN

People joke about Raiden being a complete, destructive dumbass during the course of the Mortal Kombat reboot, but at the end of the day, he did win. Sure, all the good guys other than himself, Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade are dead and the world is easy pickings for fallen god Shinnok, but at least he succeeded in stopping Shao Kahn for good, right? Maybe the idea that Raiden being a dunce is overblown. Maybe…

Rain’s story is that he’s the adopted son of an Edenian general who fell to Shao Kahn years ago. Rain had trained with the Edenian resistance, but grew arrogant due to his own skills and was offended that he didn’t get his own army to lead. He betrayed his people to join Shao Kahn, but in his ending, he turns on Kahn for refusing to give him his own army, as agreed. Not the most heroic of reasons by any means, but he got the job done and that’s worth something, right?

Raiden congratulates Rain and considers his actions heroic and befitting of a man of his bloodline. Raiden brings it to Rain’s attention that he is the long-lost son of Argus, a god of Edenia and Raiden’s counterpart as that realm’s protector. In a moment that’s meant to inspire Rain to greatness, it has a different effect.

Seeing that he’s a demigod, Rain figures that domination is his birthright, so he finally gets his own army by taking over where Shao Kahn left off. He conquers Earthrealm as a first step in overtaking all reality.

Thanks a lot, Raiden!

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The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings: Part Seven

June 18th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

80) Tekken Tag Tournament 2 – SEBASTIAN

Tekken Tag 2 has a roster of nearly every Tekken character ever and when it came time for downloadable content, they tried to fill in every gap possible. That included including Sebastian, Lili’s elderly and loyal butler. Fittingly, he fights just like her.

His ending has a neat chiaroscuro style where it’s in black and white with only whiteness for the background. All we can see are the limo, Sebastian and Lili. Lili sits in silence, obviously too annoyed for words. Sebastian drives and offers to calm her down with some music. He turns on the radio and hears a ecstatic DJ.

“The results of the last tournament are in! No one expected that this wildcard would appear from out of nowhere to claim the top prize! Yes, we’re talking about Sebastian! Who could’ve imagined this would happen? But ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves a new martial arts champion!”

Sebastian begins to panic as Lili remains silently pissed. Sebastian keeps changing the radio station, but on every station, people are excitedly talking about how he won the King of Iron Fist tournament and that he’s this amazing inspiration. Growing increasingly afraid, Sebastian starts attacking the radio itself.

The radio is turned off and they reach their destination. Sebastian lets Lili out and she takes a second to begrudgingly congratulate him on his win. Sebastian, relieved, thanks her.

79) Street Fighter Alpha 3 – GUILE

I touched on this last article, but one of the annoying things about the Street Fighter Alpha endings was how by being a prequel, it locks certain storytelling options. For instance, Chun-Li can defeat Bison, but then he’ll just get up and hospitalize her because he’s going to survive into Street Fighter II. The worst offender for all of this was Charlie. Charlie was known before this game as that guy who Guile had to avenge. That meant Charlie had to die.

Until the next game, where they’d bring him back because the last game no longer counted. And they’d kill him again.

The problem was that Charlie kept dying like a punk. In the first Alpha, he defeats Bison and gets on his walky-talky. This gives Bison the chance to get back up, pounce onto him and kill him. Then in Alpha 2, Charlie defeats Bison and gets gunned down by a military helicopter whose pilot was bought off by Shadaloo. Charlie falls off a cliff, presumably to his death. While X-Men vs. Street Fighter was never going to be canon, his ending is simply that he’s captured by Shadaloo and painfully tortured to death. The poor guy doesn’t even get to die with dignity.

(Yeah, yeah, I know that X-Men vs. Street Fighter one led to him becoming Shadow in the sequels, but that was retroactive context)

Guile’s storyline in Alpha 3 is that he’s sent to go find his good friend Charlie and bring him home from his mission because he’s too personally invested. There’s probably some unsaid political corruption in there too that Guile doesn’t know about. He finds Charlie and subdues him, but tells him that he still understands the importance of the mission and will help out, even if he isn’t the hero Charlie is. He defeats Bison, who slinks off to go recharge his batteries.

Guile and Charlie look around the Shadaloo base, find the room with the Psycho Drive and plant a whole bunch of bombs. Bison appears and badly wounds Charlie, laughing about how pets are worthless once they have their own free will. He flies at Guile to finish him off with the Psycho Crusher, but Charlie intercepts him.

Charlie orders him to leave before the place goes up. Guile escapes, seeing the Shadaloo base reduced to a mushroom cloud. From there, he and Chun-Li lament the loss of Charlie. Guile tries to believe that Charlie is still alive somewhere out there.

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The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings: Part Six

June 12th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

100) Marvel vs. Capcom 3 – MIKE HAGGAR

Zangief is great and all, but I never understood why Japan never played up Mike Haggar. Maybe it’s a cultural thing where Americans think Mike Haggar is the shit while the Japanese don’t find him all that impressive. Cody and Guy got to be incorporated into Street Fighter while Haggar’s only been allowed cameo roles (not counting being in Saturday Night Slam Masters). Seeing him included in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 had me stoked.

Beating up Galactus, Eater of Worlds, with nothing more than his bare hands and a pipe, Mike Haggar is visited in his office by Captain America and Chris Redfield. The two are just checking in, but are also a bit afraid that Haggar is burning the candle at both ends. His political career is taking off more than ever and that mixed with being the world’s foremost ass-kicker can’t be healthy. Haggar laughs it off and says he’s fine.

It’s spelled out that Haggar has been elected President of the United States with Tony Stark as his Vice President. I’m not sure how this works, considering they’re from two separate worlds. Is he President of both versions of the US? Did Stark just make the switch? Is this a separate Tony Stark from the Capcom world? Who knows? Either way, I fully support this ticket.

Haggar explains that as a professional wrestler, he’s driven by the roar of the crowd. Whether it’s in the ring, on the campaign trail, on the streets or even against galactic super gods, all Haggar needs is the fans cheering him and he’ll always have the strength to be the man. Captain America’s morale for democracy is pumped up for at least another 20 years.

99) Mortal Kombat 9 – LIU KANG/SHANG TSUNG

It took well over a decade before Midway/Netherrealm Studios could make Liu Kang in any way interesting. After years of being the bland never-loses hero of the Mortal Kombat series, they first killed him off, then turned him into a shambling zombie, then did that non-canon thing where Raiden turned him into Captain Marvel and then found a more permanent fix with the latest Mortal Kombat game. There, Raiden circa Mortal Kombat 1 gets visions of the future and a cryptic message that, “He must win!” At first he figures that means Liu Kang must win, but that doesn’t seem to be helping change the future.

Raiden’s attempts to alter the timeline lead to acts of buffoonery, desperation and massive death and as it goes on, Liu Kang goes from being mildly annoyed to violently disgusted. Especially when Kitana is killed off. In Liu’s ending, he decides that Raiden has to go. He stands up to the Elder Gods and requests that he takes Raiden’s place as Defender of Earthrealm. The status is decided via a duel and Liu Kang wins, presumably killing Raiden. He’s then empowered by the Elder Gods into being the God of Fire.

Shang Tsung’s ending coincides with these events. He kills Shao Kahn and takes all of the souls Kahn has devoured. Only it’s too much for him. Shang’s a good sorcerer, but he’s overwhelmed and nearly driven to madness. He’s about to kill himself when Bo’ Rai Cho, the master fighter who once trained Liu Kang, seeks him out at the last second. Master Cho can teach Shang to control his powers and master the souls that are currently tearing him apart. In return, he needs to take care of Liu Kang. Ever since becoming a god, Liu has become a total tyrant and needs stopping. Shang is seen as the lesser of two evils and goes through rigorous training to save Earthrealm via getting his revenge.

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The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings: Part Five

June 8th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

120) Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection – LILI

Lili makes her debut in Tekken 5’s update. She’s the prim and proper daughter of a French businessman and has a personality that’s both charmingly ditsy and annoyingly egotistical. Her narrow scope leads to her understanding that the Mishima Zaibatsu is a thorn in the side of her father’s oil-drilling corporation. She enters the King of Iron Fist Tournament to do away with the Zaibatsu’s threat once and for all.

Lili makes her way to her limo, beaming with pride over what she’s done for her father and how proud he’ll be. Her elderly butler Sebastian is moved to tears by Lili’s actions, which in turn makes Lili happier about her victory. The real star, though? Lili’s limo driver.

As that guy waits for them, he turns on the TV and sees some unfortunate news. Lili’s father’s company, Rochefort Enterprises has filed for bankruptcy. What Lili never realized was that her father’s company, regardless of any other issues, was extremely dependent on the Mishima Zaibatsu. With the Zaibatsu destroyed, Rochefort Enterprises is destabilized.

Isn’t that guy on LazyTown?

As Lili laughs about how great she is, the limo driver gets while the getting is good and cheeses it with all his might.

119) Soul Calibur III – ASTAROTH

In this game, Astaroth is a servant of Ares, God of War. Ares’ power is waning here and being represented as nothing more than a ball of light, he’s very low on the Ares depiction totem, far below the likes of Marvel Ares, DC Ares and God of War Ares. His story is pretty predictable. Ares wants Astaroth to get him the Soul Edge and in his “good ending” that comes from pressing the right button at the right time, Astaroth simply takes the Soul Edge as his own. Because that’s like 90% of what all the bad guys do in this game series. Take the Soul Edge and be evil and godly.

It’s the “bad ending” that I think is way better. Ares asks Astaroth to offer Soul Edge to him and Astaroth just laughs at him. As far as he’s concerned, it’s a worthless piece of junk and he proves it with this.

Ares flies off, as not only is Soul Edge destroyed, but he no longer has any hold on Astaroth. Astaroth boasts about how he’s the ultimate being as he’s strong enough to destroy even Soul Edge with his bare hands.

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The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings: Part Four

May 25th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

140) Mortal Kombat 9 – CYBER SUB-ZERO

Cyber Sub-Zero is the only character in the Mortal Kombat reboot with no narration in his ending. I’m not sure if this was an error by the developers or if they decided the visual storytelling could speak for itself. If it’s the latter, I can’t really blame them.

Despite destroying Shao Kahn, Cyber Sub-Zero appears to be in peril. Though Kahn’s body is gone, his soul is not. Kahn’s soul overtakes Cyber Sub-Zero. Shortly after, we see his new form.

Cyber Sub-Kahn! Oh shit! And so, Shao Kahn went off to find a death metal album to be on the cover of.


Come on. You knew I had to.

Shaq Fu is the famous piece of crap that came from the idea that Shaquille O’Neal, being such a popular basketball player, deserved to be part of the rise of fighting games. The game isn’t very good, though the utter badness of it is rather overblown. It isn’t the worst game ever made, but it’s just too much fun to make fun of a sub-par game where Shaq goes to Kung Fu Narnia to save a little boy from a mummy overlord.

Defeating Sett and saving young Nezu, Shaq returns to Earth to make it to the latest Orlando Magic game with the old man who set him on this adventure and Nezu joining him. He apologizes to his teammates for being late and is ready to hit the court when something stops him in his tracks.


Beast, one of Sett’s soldiers, wants a piece of Shaq… on the court! I’m not sure what part of this corn I like the most. The homicidal, savage monster wanting to play basketball? The fact that nobody else seems to be alarmed by this? Shaq playing basketball in a jersey that says, “SHAQ” on the front?

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The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings: Part Three

May 23rd, 2013 Posted by Gavok

160) X-Men vs. Street Fighter – JUGGERNAUT

Apocalypse sure owes a lot to the X-Men cartoon from the 90’s because for the longest time, he was considered THE top level threat of the franchise. You’d use Magneto as your go-to personal villain, but when you wanted to make things look extra dire, you’d toss in the seemingly-invincible guy who could turn himself into a giant. That last part made him a perfect boss for X-Men vs. Street Fighter.

Luckily, there’s one guy out there who’s just as unbeatable.

Juggernaut spends the entirety of his ending lecturing Apocalypse over underestimating him, especially in the brains department. He even brings up the time he outsmarted the Hulk. Granted, he’s talking about when Hulk had Banner’s intelligence and Juggernaut’s plan was actually pretty clever. On the other hand, you aren’t doing yourself any favors by saying you’re smarter than a monster everyone knows as “the really dumb, green guy.” Especially when you’re telling this story to a mutant who isn’t even conscious.

159) Samurai Showdown – HAOHMARU/GEN-AN

These two endings complement each other, so I’m putting them together.

Haohmaru is the main hero of the Samurai Showdown series. After defeating the mad wizard Amakusa, he berates him for being a conceited fool. Oshizu, a woman who appears to be in love with Haohmaru, runs to him, but Haohmaru immediately tells her it’s not to be. Despite the Engrish that appears throughout the series, Haohmaru says one of the cooler lines.

“I’m a samurai, a rebel guy.”

So, having given his girlfriend the Pee-Wee Herman speech about being a loner, Haohmaru runs off to the next adventure. We see him raring for another fight.

Where… he’s… fighting Mai Shiranui? What in the Hell? It’s weird enough that Eiji Kisaragi was professing his love for her in the 1970’s, but what is she doing in feudal Japan? Is she immortal and SNK never brought it up? Regardless, the two banter and attack at the same time, ending on a Rocky III non-cliffhanger. Cool enough.

Gen-An is the game’s freak character. A green monster with a giant Freddy Krueger claw. His ending is just like Haohmaru’s, only not quite. He destroys Amakusa and boasts about it. Then a woman named Azami runs out to him. She’s wearing tattered clothes like a cavewoman, with a bone in her hair. Gen-An leaves her and goes on to fight elsewhere.

Like Haohmaru, Gen-An gets in a scrap with a time-displaced Mai. The same dialogue plays out and they attack at the same time. Only here, they show the results. Mai lands a hit and Gen-An screams out for Azami.

Oh. Welp. Sorry, Gen-An.

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The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings: Part Two

May 19th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

180) Last Blade/Last Blade 2 – HYO AMANO
1997, 1998

Amongst all the serious swordsman characters in the Last Blade series, you have Hyo Amano, a dopey playboy with a love for cherry blossoms and sake. His endings are unique in that they’re multiple choice. He meets up with you the player (except in the second game, where he has his friend track you down for him) and uses you as a drinking companion. His actions vary based on whether you say you’re a man, woman or don’t answer at all. Either way, he’s friendly and insists you drink with him.

The second game branches out some more and he breaks the fourth wall a bit by giving you info and hints about the game. Such as this.

No, I don’t know the internet! This is the early 19th century!

179) Street Fighter III – ORO

Oro is a senin, an ancient, top-level martial artist who has spent many years living as a hermit. Considered to be possibly the most powerful character in Street Fighter lore, Oro makes things fair by fighting only with one arm. His ending shows him from the neck up, rubbing his chin with the clouds behind him. He wonders about finding someone to pass his knowledge on to and the only fighter he sees any promise in is Ryu. It’s about here where it pans out to show just where Oro happens to be at the time of this introspection.

Luckily, William Shatner can’t see this.

Oro decides that whether Ryu wants it or not, he’s going to make him into his new apprentice and the plane flies off into the horizon.

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