Wow has it been 25 years?
it was back in ’91 when I first caught glimpse of that game in the local arcade. I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but back in the day I was a young, lonely, bratty, hot tempered tomboy that preferred to chase around boys and kick balls than play with Barbies or wonder what to wear to school. I also had my head deep in space, like it was never quite in tune with the real world; I still am but I’ve come a looong way am I’ve learned to channel my aggression and restlessness into drawing. Oh and video games also helped as well.
I remember how that game was all the rage in the arcades all over the world. Any where I went I see guys of all ages and races swarming that machine like bees. I guess you can say games can bring people together, hehe. Of course there weren’t many girls playing it, in fact I don’t know ANY girls into games like I was. But that didn’t stop me from trying. Well I was always clumsy with my hands, and I had NO control over those joysticks and the buttons to pull off a decent special move. But I still tried, and 20 years later I got little better, though you’d have to be careful you don’t get on the machine that took so much beating over the years that the sticks don’t work properly.
I’ve played many different characters on many more different versions and sequels, but me being the person who likes things simple my favorite was Ryu:
Arguably the most popular and the most recognizable character of any fighting game, he’s barely changed in the 25 year run, the only thing that did change was his signature headband (usually red, it was white during the prequel games the ALPHA series) and his hair color, which I don’t know how that works (brown to red to black. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?). He is considered the ‘standard’ character, the ideal for novices, but there are lot of experts that like to pick him.
So why is Ryu my favorite? Well I don’t really know how it even came to that. He is just a simple guy wanting to win at all the fights he could get into, there was nothing flashy or flamboyant about him, unlike his friend, the Anerican duplicate Ken (not to be confused for Barbie’s boyfriend of course). I guess initially it’s because he was the easiest to play with, and he was kinda cute too. ^^;; (yes I’m a sucker for cute guys, real or not). But as I got deeper into the whole Street Fighter lore I find that he and I have few things in common:
1. Ryu and I are dedicated to crafting our arts.
No doubt about it we both are good at what we do and we both want to get better. We can never call ourselves true masters of our form, there is always room for improvements.
2. Ryu is a loner; so am I.
Given that he’s constantly on the move he’s never had time to have a decent social life, much less maintain a romantic relationship of any sort. (His idea of a socializing involves fists, actually). He is known to just keep to himself and be lost in his own thoughts of achieving his goals. I myself am a loser when it comes to socializing, I never knew how to make connections much less maintain them, I’m always deep in my own dream lands. A for romance, eh, that’s another story I rather not bother with…
3. Ryu never stays in one place; I can’t stay in one place.
As mentioned, Ryu is constantly traveling around the globe, making it rather hard for bad guys like M.Bison to track him down. Though I don’t actually travel around, though I’d like to someday, I can never sit still, or stick to one task at a time. I am very restless brat. And seeing my little niece hopping around like a rabbit never sitting still, it must run in the family…
4. Ryu struggles with his dark side; I am bouncing back and forth into it.
Everyone has some sort of dark side in their lives. But only very few involve devils, like Ryu. His Satsui No Hado is one reason he’s constantly on the move, out of fear that it might burst out of control and hurt people ( and there are those evil dudes wanting a piece of it). I got a dozen devils in me, not in literal sense of course, but caused by many years of emotional turmoil I’ve been through and I have to fight with it every day lest one day it takes over my head and I blow up, hurting my loved ones in the process.
5. Ryu hates spiders; spiders give me the creeps.
At some point in his life Ryu woke up one morning with a mouthful of…arachnid. That’s good enough reason to abhor the eight legged freak; even tough guys can be fearful of something. While I don’t necessarily fear them spiders one thing I dread when walking outside in the dark is if I should run my face into one of those giant thick webs, with the critter stuck in my hair. Yeeshhhhh…..
It must seem silly to relate myself to a video game sprite, but don’t we all at one point relate ourselves to the protagonist of a fantasy movie or a thriller novel? Somehow I found mine with Ryu, and it’s not really a bad thing. And he’s inspired a cool idea that I will share with you pretty soon, so keep a lookout!