MUSIC MONTH: Song of the Day Nueve
When you have nothing else left in you and you are trying to win the battle on nothing more than hopeless dreams, Music has the ability to provide you with the natural Rhythm to stand and fight, without any concious effort required
I’ve written a tiny bit previously about one of my favourite beat em up games soul blade/calibur series, so I won’t delve too much into the joy is provides me.
But I DO have to mention that this game was infinitely easy to pick up and infinitely hard to truly master.
It was one of the reasons why I loved it so much, that and the graphics and the brilliant animation of the characters and the range of assorted weapons you could use. It just felt right.
You must remember, this game was released back in the days of the mid 90s, back when games still had cheats associated with them. I haven’t owned a mainstream console since the original playstation so I don’t know what you younglings get up to or whether you have to pay for cheats online or if they don’t even exist anymore. Back then you had to work for your dollar and Soul Blade was definitely no exception. A cheat could definitley come in handy.
In order to obtain a secret character, alongside a plethora of goodies, one glorious cheat said that you had to keep the console on for 20 hours straight. That is pretty much a full day gaming.
Reading this as the cathargic adult I am today, I could easily see that it really meant, keepnig the console on for 20 hours would suffice. However as an eager youth who was looking for any excuse not to do anything else (you can probably tell I haven’t changed much over the years), I thougth that it meant that you had to continually play the game for 20 hours straight. Which then made obtaining the prize, a fitting challenge.
Luckily the game had a training mode, so I decided to use up my 20 hours in there refinining, my skills until the cheat had been activated. I thought hard and carefully about who I wished to engage in combat for this amount of time and there was only really one choice
I had to withstand the devil’s first captain himself
Cervantes de leon
This spanish fruit bat is the hardest entity in not only this game but arguably all fighting games ever.
He is a full time fucker upper with a PhD in Kicking ass, an MBa in knocking seven shits outta ya and does part time charity work in the weekend introducing his fists to your face. He made skynet look like a whiney toddler.
Make no mistake, he is not just a worthy adversary, he is an M and S worthy adversary. Who ever programmed this guy in the first place is clearly some descendant of someone who suffered, real REAL bad in the past and wanted the owners of this game to suffer to.
Maybe he was an albino aborignee midget….with bad breath?
Anywho, I won’t digress
I decided for this task, I would operate this task with Hwang Sung Kyung, a colour blind Korean who used to fuck people up for breakfast but had the dress sense of a Zamundan migrant on a trip to the states. But he could throw down for sure.
I had decided that if I was to dance, I would go all out and set the computer hardness to maximum and its life to infinity. And hoped by the end of my 20 hour stint, I would emerge victorious with my oponent unable to land a single blow on me.
So the stage of history was set as I set for the battle to embark on Cervantes’ emprial ship and awaited one man to emerge victorious.
So i embarked on my journey to self discovery
For the next 10 hours, I did nothing more than just die, and inernally try and contain an amount of rage I couldn’t even begin to fathom. I lost so many times it wasn’t even funny
There were many times, when I thought this whole thing was pointless and my curiosity no longer had the better of me, my fiance at the time, sleep was calling me to come bathe in her arms for the night as she whispered soft lullabies into my dreams.
But I can say there is one thing without a shadow of a doubt spurred me on and that was the stage music.
The unknown tune at the time had been written by the composer to accompany the greatest and most important battle of all time. And I couldn;t dissapoint, the stakes were too high.
So for the next ten hours, I improved and learnt and improved until myself and cervantes were pretty much on level pegging. To watch some of the bouts in the last half were just epic pieces of gaming. the movements of the characters was like an endless dance of destruction as they both shimmeyed towards their own demise.
And for a five minute time period admist, to which i don’t understand why, Cervantes had become my complete and utter bitch. And i love every second of kicking his ass all over the place. He had started having an intimate relationship with the floor and that is how i wanted to keep it.
But i didnt notice this until the 22 hour had passed. It seemed the song had taken me well and beyond my cheat task and I had emerged victorious.
Even though the battle had been won, Cervantes did take its toll on me, my hands were….destroyed,, forged to the remote over the heat exersion, with the sweaty palms fused to the plastic grips. once removed, they were cramped up, with the odd twitchy nerve, still sending combo information through my fingers, which they would reactox in a reflex without any cognitive thought behind it.
My hands began to bleed and were bruised, I couldn’t write or type or do any other extra curricula activities involving hands for quite some time
My shoulders and back had been mashed from sitting in the same place with my poster increasingly geting worse
my eyes were seeing squares and all i could hear ringing in my ears was the sound of combos, pirate/korean grunting, steel clashing and the glorious anthem of my overcoming adversity.
The point of the cheat had gone from my mind, that night became the night I overcame the impossible under insummountable odds. It was the first time I believed nothing was impossible.
And I couldn’t have been brave without this folkly song to march me on. I will never surrender again.
Takayuki Aihara – Bravely Folk Song (Cervantes Theme)