Thursday, May 21, 2009

Fighting Games

Gabe may be the FickleGM, but I can give him a run for his money. My interests flit back and forth from several different things, and what is ascendant at any given time may change significantly. For instance, after being quiescent for many months, my interest in two-dimensional comic book-like Japanese fighting games has surged to new life again. I've spent much of the last several evenings with my Dreamcast, my Playstation and my Xbox, reliving the wonders of the King of Fighters series, the Fatal Fury games, the Street Fighter games, and even the Marvel and Marvel vs. Capcom games. I've been listening to my game soundtracks while doing other things (how geeky is it that I even have those game soundtracks, anyway? Those aren't exactly easy to track down outside of Japan, y'know.) And, I've revisited my old fan fiction website. Many, many years ago, I actually wrote a fairly lengthy Street Fighter fan fiction, and I'm actually pretty happy with how it turned out. I mean, it's old, and glancing through it now, there are all kinds of things I'd do differently, but there are many other things that I still think work very well, and I enjoy reading it again, with enough distance that it's almost as if someone else wrote it.

These days, though, as the picture below shows, I'm thinking more ambitiously. If Street Fighter is good, why not King of Fighters? Why not Fatal Fury? Why not Darkstalkers? Hey, why not all four of them mashed together? Well, because it's kinda crazy and intimidating to attempt such a massive undertaking, that's why. Yet, that's exactly what I'm doing.

Creating a coherent setting and narrative that combines the literally hundreds of characters and dozens of plotlines of these four games is going to be quite a challenge, and in order to do it, I'm going to have to not feel constrained to get every little detail right, exactly as it appears in the canon of the game from which it originally comes.

Which is OK. Which is, in fact, desireable. What would be the point of retelling a story that someone else has already written exactly as is? I'm adapting the characters and storylines, with an eye towards making them work together. After all, half the fun is telling stories in which Ryu and Terry can rub shoulders with each other, and the rest of their respective (and separate) casts.

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