Part 21: Bloody brawls.
Coming out of the most complex of our seven chapters, its time to wind down with something simpler.
-Strongest on Earth-
I must be adaptable.
I will learn much from each fighter.
I look forward to the coming battles!
With our montage and training theme taken care of, we are unceremoniously placed on a MegaMan-style selection screen. These are the six fighters that stand in the way of Andre becoming the strongest man in the world, and we can tackle them in any order.
We can also take a look at our menu; though Andre has no items to use, he does have amazing stats for only being level 2. They arent O-Robo levels of crazy, but theyre definitely better than our other protagonists had.
Trained by a special paramilitary fighting unit, Tula Han is a master of close-quarters combat. He fights with both mind and body as one, and can bend both to extreme measures.
Cross Heel Hold
Whenever you pick an opponent, were treated to a little bit of background for them and half their techs. Its a nice little touch.
Lets see how strong you really are
Andres got his serious face on. So lets get to wrassling!
The Wrestling chapter has some pretty great music.
Also, the gimmick here is that Andre does not gain any experience during these fights. Nor will he get any new gear.
So you need to know how to take advantage of his moveset. Roundhouse here is weak, but turns the opponent. This can be quite handy, since as mentioned by some folks in the thread, enemies need to be facing a particular direction to use certain moves. And since it takes them some time to turn, you can spin-lock some foes who cant hit behind them.
Oh, and all that stuff about being adaptable and learning all the fighting skills? That directly translates into Andre being a blue mage. If he gets hit by the moves mentioned in the pre-fight text, hell add them to his own moveset.
Cross Heel Hold and Arm Lock are two great moves to start with, because Andre can use both of them as counter attacks. And of course, they lock away feet and hand techs as per usual.
To help support this whole deliberately-taking-damage thing, we have a weak healing move that also attempts to buff Andres power and level, along with cleansing some status effects. Battle Cry is going to see a whole lot of use in this chapter.
One important thing to note, however: Battle Cry has a brief charge time. Its enough to let an opponent to turn around or move toward you, but not enough to attack (most of the time). Be wary of your placement when backing off to heal.
All of our opponents have three or four techs, but we just have to eat the others with no benefit.
Tula Han gets finished off with the last of Andres starting moves, Blazing Fist. Its a solid diagonal-targeting attack.
Every competitor has their own beaten-up portrait and line for defeating them
You cannot win if you dont use your brain!
As well as one for losing to them. They tend to be very closely related.
Heeding the call of the sumo, Jackie traveled to Hawaii to become the greatest ever. Unfortunately, he failed, and instead uses his sumo skills in international wrestling.
My Sumo skills will crush you!!
Jackies another good early candidate for an ass-whooping, because his attacks arent too threatening when used against you.
Also, his fight is home to one of two secrets for this chapter. Disabling his movement makes getting this one much easier, hence why I fought Tula first.
If you hang around outside of Jackies range long enough, he will throw out his secret move. Earth-Rending Fury hits like a speeding train (and in a 5x5 area), so youll want to be near full health for this.
Its also Andres final technique. Its the only one besides Battle Cry to have a charge time which is unfortunately beyond glacial. Its honestly not too useful in most situations; enough so that it isnt even unique to Andre. O-Robo learns this move at level 16.
But hey, completionism!
Jackies regular moves have a similar theme; Aloha Clap is a Wind tech that hits a 3x3 area and will probably push opponents back.
Owww. Guess who used Arm Lock and paid for it? (Andre basically spends the rest of this fight in critical health.)
Ogre Grip hits only one tile, but is more powerful than Jackies other tech. It also has the knockback, so if you keep triggering it, you can push back your opponent over and over while they move closer on their turns.
That was closer than Id like
Come to think of it, is sumo wrestling a big thing in Hawaii?
Youll never knock me out of the ringside rope!!
Enlightened in the ancient Japanese technique of bare-handed killing, Moribes strikes can pierce even the toughest armor, yet can damage internal organs without breaking the skin.
I hope you have studied well of the Art of War!
Facing off against Moribe Seishi can potentially be a very infuriating fight. He has by far the least HP of Andres opponents, just 112. (Tula has 432, Jackie 576.)
Of course, this translates directly to him being insanely evasive. Its a royal pain to land any hits on him at all.
This could potentially be counteracted by learning Tsuda and crippling his stats, but good luck landing it in the first place. This also leads into the other reason why Moribe is annoying: his two non-learnable techs are both weak and have the exact same attack ranges as the learnable ones. Guess which he prefers using.
Though to be honest, its probably a good thing he doesnt use Abise-Geri much. This attack will often spin its target around, which will prove invaluable later on.
Generally speaking, this fight tends to devolve into healing constantly and letting Andre counter this old man to death.
...Unless you get sick of that and drop a whole load of rocks on him for a one-hit kill.
My ancient Japanese martial arts have never been defeated!!
Americas number one wrestler, Max has made a name for himself as a Hollywood star. Hes grown bored, however, and is seeking a challenger who can provide him with a new thrill.
What I know about wrestling wouldnt fill a thimble, but I do know Maxamanias running wild.
Max Bomber Number 1!!
Oh man, that outfit.
Aside from a powerful elbow strike, Max Morgan has a spinning lariat
And the eternal classic, the German Suplex.
Ive never been much good at fighting games (Soul Caliber 3 and Bloody Roar: Primal Fury were the only two I really got anywhere with), but suplexes were part of what really sold me on playing Kirby in Smash Bros way back when. Thats more of a brawler, though
But I digress. Now back to jump-kicking anime Hulk Hogan in the back of the head.
And using Battle Cry a bunch, because this dudes whole thing is that he hits pretty hard. Max will wreck you pretty quick if you dont keep your guard up. He also has 512 HP, so hell definitely win a pure damage race.
And with a firm kick right in the taint, were done here.
Gracious even in defeat.
IIIIIIM NUMBER ONE! Youll always be playing second fiddle, chump!!
An incredibly flexible warrior who fights using the Muay Thai style. His ashiwaza high kick is considered to be absolutely devastating.
If Im not mistaken, Ashi-Waza simply refers to a leg or foot technique.
Too bad you wont be able to so much as bruise my pretty face!!
Despite being a total pretty boy, Namcat is fully capable of stomping Andre into the dirt with his Spiral Kick.
Especially since he can use Panchama Kick as a counter, potentially knocking Andre back directly into its range.
Some strategic miscalculation makes Namcat the only one of the six fighters who I didnt have to go back and get loss dialogue for. It turns out that theres a version of Martial Arts Masters used just for these loss screens.
Get dunked on.
Namcats 255 HP doesnt hold up for long against some styling.
A Japanese wrestler who has mastered the techniques of the Mexican Lucha Libre champ, El Rudo. His moves are considered to be extremely rough, and he has been called the Dark Angel.
You obviously have no skill! Im gonna chop your head off!!
Nope, still not sure what that is spilling out from behind Great Asias skull mask.
This fight has the slight issue that Asia absolutely loves using his unlearnable move, and its range is three tiles to his side, bottom and diagonal. It does about 30 damage and poisons Andre, so Battle Cry counteracts it almost perfectly.
Baring the weak 3x3 area of Aloha Clap and the extremely slow Earth-Rending Fury, Tornado Press is Andres best option for dealing with opponents more than two spaces away. Its worth picking up just for that little bit extra range.
The last of Great Asias moves is a diving headbutt. And really, what else could you call that but the Frankensteiner?
Now, heres a problem. The second secret for this chapter is in Great Asias fight. I had to take a few goes at this fight to actually get it to trigger before the big guys 244 HP runs out.
You have to force Great Asia to the bottom right corner of the arena, then have him use Bite. Every time he uses Bite, it has a chance to trigger an extra scene.
Yes, that was the chapters Watanabe moment. Great Asia leapt into the audience and straight-up murdered a dude who had thrown a can at him.
Live-A-Live: For kids!
Youll never be able to knock my head off!
The game actually puts you straight onto the save screen after beating all six opponents but were not done yet.
...Wow, hes big.
It doesnt help that apparently our Andre is very much not a giant.
I am not impressed, though. The competition was not exactly stellar.
First was that amateur, Namcat and the Lucha wimp I twisted Tulas joints in ways nature never intended! Then Max, and that fatass, Iaukea And the geezer, whatever his name was. They were weak so they died! Now, you fight me !
You didnt fight them
Namcats ashiwaza Great Asias Lucha Tulas armlocks, Jackies strength Morgans power, Seishis technique! And my anger !
Odie Oldbright is perhaps the toughest final boss of the seven chapters, even with Andre having access to a full moveset.
Firstly because hes reasonably evasive, so some moves will have a hard time landing.
And while his ranged attack isnt too strong, his melee attack is pretty hefty. Add in the fact that he has 832 HP, and its really quite tough to stay alive long enough to whittle him down.
Also, dont stand on the diagonal. Odie does have one more tech called Terrible Shout, but it just heals him for about 20 HP.
Full disclosure: I died five times in this fight.
Why yes, that is a Continue? timer. The game is nice enough to let you just jump right back to trying the fight again without punishment, something I really wish more games would do.
The best tactic I can find for this fight is to lower Odies stats a few times with Tsuda, then back off. If you can stop him moving beforehand, that would be even better.
If you stand two spaces to the side and one down from Odie (or vice versa), Odie cant hit you with his ranged attack. This is the ideal spot to pummel him with Abise-Geri, which will turn him around. He will then use his turn to spin back around. Repeat ad nauseum.
The problem is that even two or three Tsudas wont give Abise-Geri perfect accuracy, and it wont always turn Oldbright around successfully either. So you also need a little bit of luck. Unfortunately, thats the best Ive got.
But hey, it got me there eventually.
(No music, wind blows.)
The title passed on, until it reached me I, the great one! The invincible! It is my destiny to be the best there ever was You cant be human
I will be the strongest!
Such is the life of a champion.
And that, ladies and gents, was the Wrestler chapter in its entirety!
Andre managed to rise to the top, overcoming even the most brutal of opponents.
It was a short chapter, but it did what it needed to.
And now we have just two more of our seven chapters to explore. We will be meeting this mysterious man next time But whats his name? Remember, its going to be the ______ Kid.
Also, please enjoy pretty anime Hulk Hogan.
Junpei Hyde posted:
For those possibly wondering why the obvious Hulk Hogan analogue doesn't use his signature finishing leg drop as a move, the Max Bomber technique is presumably based off of the Axe Bomber, a lariat that Hogan used as his primary finisher in Japan. A popular rumor is that it was established as his finisher when it legitimately knocked out Japanese legend Antonio Inoki in a match, although it's most likely that he wasn't actually knocked out.
There, that will probably be my sole piece of info contributed to this LP
Also, one of the few things I know about wrestling is your description isn't what's going on in the Frankensteiner move. It's a real thing in pro wrestling similar to the Japanese Huricanrana. It's not often done on floor like you see here, usually it's a turnbuckle move. But basically, the guy doing it jumps up, wraps their knees around their opponents head, and does a back flip, slamming them face-first into the mat. I can definitely see how the limited sprite work is trying to get that across.
i didn't catch it the first time i played this, but I'm pretty sure the kickboxer is a reference to Parinya Charoenphol. She was known for beating guys up and then kissing them and had a few matches in Japan.
So, Wrestling chapter!
First off, Live A Live's composer, Yoko Shimomura, used to work for Capcom, her best-known works for the company having been the soundtracks for Street Fighter II and Final Fight. Knock You Down, in fact, has a number of commonalities with Ken's theme. Interestingly, the final boss of the chapter is actually more of an SNK reference. The majority of Odie Oldbright's character design is pretty clearly based off of Fatal Fury's Geese Howard (while he actually has close-cropped hair, Geese's sprite typically looked bald), though, the prayer beads you see around his neck in his portrait may be a reference to a character who had made significant waves a few months earlier, as the February of 1994 saw the release of Street Fighter II Turbo to arcades, and with it, Akuma. The end credits, while not shown, have each of the fighters in turn appearing and showing off both of their sprites, which I take to be a reference to the trend in fighting games to, during the end credits, have a montage of the various fighters appearing and striking a pose.
Now, for the chapter's illustrator! Ryoji Minagawa is another somewhat obscure name, though he won that same award that a couple of the others have won, kinda feels like it's the Newbury Award of Japanese funny books. Interestingly, he gives his inspirations as George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Francis Ford Coppola. More hardcore anime fans than me might know his work on Project ARMS (I only barely recognized the name, myself). This chapter isn't the last time he does fighting game character designs, either, as recent entries in the Tekken series have tapped him to design alternate skins for some of the cast.
Also, yeah, pretty anime Hulk Hogan sure is something.
Shiki Dan posted:
More reference info for the wrestler chapter!
The Hawaiian sumo Iaukea is most likely an homage to Hawaiian pro wrestler King Curtis Iaukea, who was also the great grandson of Colonel Curtis Iaukea, a diplomat for the Kingdom of Hawaii in the 19th century, and whose uncle was an assistant to none other than the famous King Kamehameha III.
Of course, most American wrestling fans know Curtis Iaukea for his role as the "Master" who led his Dungeon of Doom as arch-enemies against Hulk Hogan for years in the mid 90's, peaking with.....this...
Also the final boss' surname MAY be a reference to one of the most famous gaijin wrestlers in Japan during the mid 90's, Gary Albright
Ironically, Gary Albright also ended up dying during a pro wrestling match...