ehowton (ehowton) wrote,

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I was never much into console games, never had the time nor inclination despite many of my peers often playing. But there were times I turned to them. Mostly out of long stretches of boredom. There were only so many books I could read on temporary duty, or places I could go when first arriving at a new duty station. During a particularly boring start at Langley AFB, Virginia, I went out and bought myself a SuperNintendo for one reason, and one reason alone: Street Fighter II.
It all started innocently enough and honestly, through a false sense of chivalry. You see, dorm life in the Air Force was mind-numbing. But overseas a very strong sense of community always formed, nothing like living stateside. And as with every group of people you find yourself with, we too had our early adopters. So when Street Fighter II debuted on the console, the individual who bought it was very popular indeed. And with a large-screen television in the common room, and 24x7 operations, it was never difficult to find a game.
I don't remember the exact circumstances which led to me watching a group of guys play, but I remember being inflamed watching these large, violent characters slapping around the sole female, Chun-Li. That's why I picked up that controller. To prevent a female video game character from being battered. Silly, I know. But I sat down, controller in hand, chose Chun-Li as my player, and entered her world.
Chun-Li is an undercover Interpol agent, who enters the fighting tournament to get to its murderous founder, M. Bison, who killed her father. Seeking to avenge him, she fulfills her vow and returns to her life as an ordinary girl. Proof of which is in the second of these two "screen shots" (literally shots of the television screen) I took when I finally defeated M. Bison in 1993 while TDY to USCENTCOM at MacDill AFB, Florida:
Chun-Li, translated from Mandarin Chinese means "Spring Beauty" and she was the first playable female character in fighting games - something which is more commonplace now, but it was the gentleman in me which caused me to start playing her - I just couldn't stand seeing her get beat up by rough men. Chun-Li also has the distinction of being ranked 4th on Gamefly's list of Hottest Chicks Ever, (Laura Croft came in at #2 but I can't find any information on the others) which is probably why she's so often seen in cosplay.
Yesterday we loaded up Gloria and took the kids to breakfast, dropped catttitude off at the grocery store, and went to run our errands. That day, this included getting each of the kids a new game for their DS, as we have a tonsillectomy scheduled over Spring Break, and trips back-and-forth to my folks in preparation for the surgery (they're watching our daughter for the duration). My daughter picked hers out quickly, and I was wandering the store waiting for my son to make his choice (he usually takes an inordinate amount of time to make a decision). That's when I saw it. Only...I didn't understand at first. I walked closer, in absolute awe. Someone was playing Chin-Li on a large HDTV connected to a Playstation 3. Street Fighter 4! I NEED A PS3!
The graphics were amazing! Three-dimensional figures, lush backdrops, bullet-time camera spins; this is not your 32-bit graphical version, or any of those other attempts to restart the game - this was the real deal. Standing there in GameStop, once again, I reached for that controller. Fluid movement, responsive control, accurate hits and blocks - its what we all wished Street Fighter really were back in the day, but this time, its for real. Only...something was different. Something was very wrong.
In place of Chun-Li's long, lighting fast, super-sexy legs...she's been given the thighs of a fatted turkey. It was insane to see her with those meaty thighs and gigantic man-hands fighting Ryu. It hurt my head. And then I thought back to the CAD comic I'd read days before without understanding. It all made sense now! I SRSLY don't get it.

Chun-Li, you don't need me anymore. You can fight your own battles.

Tags: awe, picturebook, stories, usaf stories
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