4 Important Rivalries Recreated as Super Smash Bros. Fights

Christianity versus Islam. Communism versus Capitalism. Garfield versus Mondays. There are rivalries that have gone on for decades, centuries, or even the thing that comes after centuries, and yet they still aren't any closer to being resolved. A common problem is that many of the people originally involved in them are now dead, and it's always been rather difficult to win an argument in that state. Until now.

Using highly advanced virtual simulation technology (that thing in Super Smash Bros. where you can make fighters look like real people), I've re-created the protagonists of some of the most important rivalries in human history. Next step: forcing these esteemed figures to beat the crap out of each other in a series of one-on-one, five-stock, no items Smash Bros. battles on the stage called Final Destination to determine, without margin for error, who owns and who blows. I'll let other scholars sort out the vast implications of this study; for now, let's smash, bros. (Or whatever they say in the game. Pretend I said that.)

#4. Nikola Tesla vs. Thomas Edison

Nintendo

The Rivals:

Like all great enemies, Thomas Alva Edison and Nikola Tesla started out as allies before the former pushed the latter into an active volcano (of unpaid work and idea theft). In the 1880s, the two were involved in the War of the Currents, which disappointingly involved little to no actual warring -- it was more about each one trying to convince people to use their respective power distribution system. Who won? Well, if you go by whose system we all use now, then Tesla, but if you mean who didn't die poor and became one of the most respected inventors in the entire world, not just Internet message boards, then definitely Edison.

There's no clear winner, is my point; nerds have been debating the old Tesla vs. Edison problem for over a century. This ends today.

The Equipment:

I'm giving Tesla a high-tech arm cannon, because I'm pretty sure that if he'd ever constructed the mysterious "death beam" he spent his final years devising, it would have looked exactly like this. I'm also giving him guided missiles, or as he called what was (essentially) the same technology when he patented it in 1898: "teleautomatons."

Nintendo
He was almost as awesome at naming things as he was at inventing them.

As for Edison, he'll wield a beam sword (apparently Nintendo can't say lightsaber), because it seems like the obvious, natural progression for the guy's most famous "invention," the light bulb. Continuing with the light theme, he'll also be able to throw shurikens made of pure energy -- the perfect weapon for swiftly electrocuting dozens of stray animals, as Edison once did as part of his anti-Tesla smear campaign.

Nintendo
Perhaps not with this exact method, though I'm not discounting it.

The Fight:

Note: I have no input whatsoever in these fights. I've simply set up the fighters as Level 9 AI-controlled bots and let them duke it out by themselves. It is the scientific thing to do.

Only seconds into the fight, it becomes clear that Edison is that guy: the one you can't hit at all because he uses blade counter (a move that returns any damage you try to inflict) over and over. Basically, he's letting Tesla do all the work for him again.

Nintendo
As Edison once said, "Genius is 1 percent inspiration, 99 percent [others'] perspiration."

The Edison AI player also proved to be disturbingly accurate in another way: motherfucker plays dirty. The famous incident where he offered Tesla $50,000 for a job and then said it was a joke when Tesla finished is represented here as a series of direct punches to the dick.

Nintendo
This is literally the reason Tesla never had children.

As for Tesla's arm cannon: it's pretty and energy-efficient, but mostly impractical. Much like a Tesla car.

The Winner:

Nintendo

We can gather two conclusions from this fight: 1) Tesla is inferior in every sense, so you can shut up about the guy now, Internet. And 2) Final Destination-only fights last like 10 minutes and are fucking boring. Let's mix things up for the next one.

#3. Stan Lee vs. Jack Kirby

Nintendo

The Rivals:

Ask a nerd who they think is the biggest genius ever in comic books, and they'll probably say Jack Kirby. Ask the other 99 percent of the planet and they'll definitely say Stan Lee (mainly because he's the only genius in comic books they can name). But which of them really deserves the credit for coming up with all those classic Marvel superheroes that have been showing up all over our favorite movies, cartoons, and boxer shorts for the past 50 years? There's only one way to find out: stupid, senseless, awesome violence.

The Equipment:

To my surprise, it turns out Kirby is already a character in this game, but I decided to create my own version anyway, because the factory model has some slight differences from the historical figure. I don't recall the real Kirby having the power to swallow enemies and gain their powers, for example. No, all abilities of my Kirby stand-in must be based on talents the real person had -- such as the burning dropkick, which according to comics historians (me, my friend Raf, etc.) was probably how Kirby recovered the use of his legs after almost losing them to frostbite while serving in World War II. If that isn't the most badass thing you've read today, fuck you, I'm scared of you and I don't want to know you.

Nintendo
The Human Torch is only half based on him (the lower half).

Lee also served in World War II, but the only ability he gained there was fixing telegraph posts stateside, which isn't terribly useful in a fight. So I'm giving him a sword, which bears a passing resemblance to a small telegraph pole. Also, there's that famous saying that goes "The pen is mightier than the sword," but it's well documented that Lee has a terrible memory, so he probably thinks it's the other way around. I'm also equipping him with a throwing thingamajig called a chakram, because it kinda looks like Captain America's shield when he throws it, and Lee probably thinks he created Captain America. (He didn't; it was Kirby and Thomas Jefferson.)

Nintendo
This is where I mention that Lee did invent Cap's shield-throwing move so I don't get 50 comments about it.

The Fight:

Like I said, Final Destination is a lame stage, so for this round I'm making them fight in a place called Gaur Plains. I chose that one because it has an armored giant in the background, and that seems like something Kirby would have drawn in a comic without being prompted to, forcing the writer to figure out how the hell to incorporate that shit into the plot (which is seriously how the Silver Surfer was created). Things start well for Kirby as his, shall we say, "fluid" grasp on the human anatomy allows him to punch Lee with a ridiculously big fist.

Nintendo
"No, no, it's a perspective trick!"

Lee then manages to strike Kirby with something called the skyward slash dash, which sounds like the recipe for terrifying Zelda/My Little Pony fan fiction, but it's actually an upwards sword strike. I equipped Lee with this move because his catchphrase "Excelsior!" means "ever upward" in Latin, though it's highly dubious that he knows that.

Nintendo
Lee has just sued Latin America for copyright infringement.

Occasionally during the fight, a giant robot shows up and starts destroying parts of the scenery while laughing maniacally. Kirby doesn't seem terribly concerned (I assume the same thing happened during his everyday life), but robot attacks accounted for two of Lee's KOs. The others came from Kirby's righteous fists of fury, and that one time Lee leaped into a pit for no reason. Hmm. I hope the AIs aren't starting to rebel against me.

The Winner:

Nintendo

Kirby won with four lives left, so even accounting for robotic interference and suicidal tendencies, he still kicked Lee's ass. Marvel Comics is thereby ordered to transfer ownership of all its major characters to the estate of Kirby. You have until Friday, or I'm sending the Kirby AI to hunt you down like a Terminator.

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Maxwell Yezpitelok

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