4 Famous Debates Solved at Last (in Super Smash Bros.)
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.)
Nikola Tesla vs. Thomas Edison
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.
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."
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.
Perhaps not with this exact method, though I'm not discounting it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Stan Lee vs. Jack Kirby
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.
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.
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.)
This is where I mention that Lee did invent Cap's shield-throwing move so I don't get 50 comments about it.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates
Steve Jobs and Bill Gates had a complicated relationship. When Jobs died in 2011, Gates said some very nice things about him ... to which Jobs replied (from beyond the grave, through a posthumous biography) by calling his old friend a "basically unimaginative" hack who "just shamelessly ripped off other people's ideas." Jobs was still slightly bitter about how Gates put his company, Microsoft, on the map by stealing Apple's big idea -- the same idea that Apple had stolen from Xerox. They're both assholes, is my point.
Since I don't have the technical know-how to make them kiss and make up (which, let's face it, is where their whole Sam/Diane thing was going), here's the next best thing: a fight.
Jobs was a visionary whose predictions about the future would have gotten him burned at the stake in any other century, but he was also a ruthless son of a bitch. Just ask anyone who had to work with the guy. So, I'm giving him a top-of-the-line arm cannon that is both slick in design and capable of murdering your ass in four different ways (for the tech-spec nuts, it's equipped with laser blaze, stealth burst, cannon uppercut, and echo reflector).
The thing in the back is Apple's new proprietary charger, which plugs directly into your anus.
Gates will have the exact same thing, but clunkier.
He stopped listening at "arm cannon."
There's a reason I've only shown you fights with no items so far: Smash Bros. matches with the items turned on have a way of devolving into random chaos. For this one, however, I'm enabling a few ones that seemed appropriate -- for example, some people have said that Jobs was so charismatic that he could distort reality around him, so I'm turning on an item that slows down time around the player. The classic super mushroom that turns Mario giant will also be usable here, since Jobs was no stranger to psychedelic substances. (Incidentally, the fight will take place in a Super Mario World stage, simply because that game fucking owns, and I love it more than most immediate family members.)
As soon as the fight starts, Gates nabs both those Jobs-inspired items and beats the crap out of Jobs like a giant, time-stopping idea thief.
"Giant, time-stopping idea thief" is as good a description of Gates as any.
Later, Gates uses another item that causes the screen to be invaded by a shameless Pong ripoff -- much like the Pong ripoff that Jobs shamelessly stole from a friend in the '70s and showed to Atari, which is how he got his first job in the tech industry. Again, this was an item I hoped Jobs would use to his advantage, but karma (and these rebellious AIs) had other ideas:
I hope Nintendo fixes the glitch where Jobs jumps off the screen and humps your face.
Congratulations to Mr. Gates: it's nice when life gives you a break like that. Anyway, if you're reading this on a Mac or an iPad, you are now officially shit. Sorry.
Yoko Ono vs. Paul, George, and Ringo
Saying that Yoko Ono broke up The Beatles would be incredibly simplistic, perhaps even idiotic. In reality, the most influential rock band in the history of the world ended due to a number of different factors, such as the lack of strong management, each band member's search for his own musical style, and Ringo. Just ... Ringo. So, with that in mind, I present to you a fight between The Beatles and all the complex reasons why they broke up, represented here by a fighter that happens to look like Yoko.
Since this is a three-on-one fight, only the Yoko character will be set as a Level 9 fighter (which you're free to see as a nod to her most esteemed contribution to Beatles canon) while her rivals will total 9 among them, distributed in the fairest way possible.
That looks about right.
Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr will be brawler-type characters in honor of The Beatles' rowdy behavior in Hamburg in the early '60s, although it was mostly John Lennon who was doing the brawling back then. As for Yoko, she'll be equipped with a katana and full ninja getup, because ninjutsu is an art, and art is precisely what the real Yoko does with her amazing songs, albums, and ... things. It has nothing to do with her being Asian, and I'm ashamed of you for even thinking that.
Because it's in the subversive spirit of The Beatles to embrace chaos, and because every one of my efforts to make these fucking fights shorter has failed so far, I'm turning on all the items this time. The locale for this fight will be the boxing ring from Punch-Out!! in remembrance of that historic moment when The Beatles got in the ring with Cassius Clay (actually, I picked "random stage" and that's what came up, but I'm rolling with it).
As the fight begins, Yoko blows The Beatles away -- this time not with her awesome ideas and suggestions but in a more literal sense, by creating mini-tornadoes with her blade.
Making her a human version of the "air dispenser" machine she created, because of course she did.
However, Yoko soon starts getting overwhelmed by all the items the Fab Three are throwing at her, like the one that causes a swarm of bees to cover her body. "Yoko gets covered by a swarm of bees" sounds like something she's probably done in an art show, but I could find no record of it.
It's also Ringo's No. 1 sexual fetish, apparently.
Yoko is then assaulted by bombs, various Pokemon I don't know the names of, and even the freaking blue shell from Mario Kart. If this was a no-items fight she'd definitely be in the lead, but since it's not, the winners aaaaare ... uhhhh, wait, I think my console crashed. Now the screen just says "A new foe has appeared," but I haven't-
Lennon? Wait, I'm not doing this. What the ...
"Try to sleep at night now, ya cunt."
Oh no. No, no, no. The ... the AI has become self-aware! Shit! I knew I should have unplugged the Wii U as soon as that weird lightning bolt hit my house!
"I've got my mind set on KILLING you! Or something! Hey, 'Something' works too."
STOP IT! THIS IS MY ARTICLE, DAMMIT! YOU CAN'T- ... OK, you can kill Ringo.
"I'm not sure who you are. You can go."
John and Yoko win! Woo! Anyway, sorry I caused the robot apocalypse with this article.
Maxwell Yezpitelok has a Twitter and a free comic. Since this is his fourth Nintendo-related article, he'd like to clarify that he doesn't work for that company. To prove it, here are some gratuitous cuss words: cock, ass, piss, shit, Virtual Boy, tittyfuck.
For more from Maxwell, check out 4 Comic Crossovers That Stuck It to the Man and The 8 Stupidest Ways to Play 'Mario Kart 8' (Tested).
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