By LAMP 0 Comments
So I like this Giant Bomb place. I had a little bit of faith in it since Jeff Gerstmann was involved- I enjoyed his tenure at "that other place"- but once more and more came out, and when the site actually launched, I was vaguely astounded. My sleep schedule was off track, and I was just staring at the ceiling at about five in the morning before I decided to get out of bed and check the RSS feeds. I had noticed that the feed for Giant Bomb had sort of... exploded, pardon the pun.
Cut to hours later, and on sleepless energy, I get to typing on the Fire Pro article. I'm sort of a writer on the side, for fun. I started writing creatively in roleplay communities (dude shut -up-) and in wrestling counter parts. It was actually my enjoyment of those that led me to Fire Pro Wrestling. Back in... lord alive, 2002 or so, I was linked by someone to this place called C-CWA. It was an e-fed (electronic wrestling federation (DUDE, shut up!)) where people would write wrestling "promos", but instead of the matches being written by greatly unproductive bumpkins, they were played out through Fire Pro Wrestling for the GBA, the first one to make it to the US, recapped, and then put up. It churned out shows on a pretty regular basis. While I started there because I liked wrestling a really abnormal amount, eventually a few people nudged me towards the Dreamcast version, Fire ProWrestling D, which actually hadn't made it to America.
Figuring it out took huge dedication, since I was having to bypass Japanese menus and figure out how they had laid everything out in edit mode. The people on GameFAQs back then were tremendously helpful, as were the weirdos in my little community. They were the ones that hook-in-mouth lead me through creating wrestlers, and everything that actually entails in order to make better and better wrestlers. The goal was to make something that, barring the usual problems with the Fire Pro engine like a lack of hot tags- so dramatic moments in dag matches usually ended with one guy just standing up and backing up into a corner, tagging, and then hopping outside the ring-, felt like this was someone you could see in a wrestling ring. And once it clicked to me that my endless stream of ideas could be implimented in game form, that every half brained thing I would've liked to see in a wrestling ring could happen if I gave it enough time, I burst with joyous energy and created more and more.
The peak of the community was this thing called Evolution-01, where just bunches of these communities got together, all sharing Fire Pro as a mindset, and put together a big wrestling show that was streamed over Windows Media Player while as many people as possible got in and commented on it. This is important because this is why I love Fire Pro. It's not because I love wrestling games, because I think there are better games with wrestling in them. It's not because I love wrestling, because otherwise I could just watch wrestling. It's because it let me participate in wrestling. In many ways, those wrestlers were more real to me than others, because I could actually talk to them. Some of them had multiple characters, but they were still people. While other people will hail Ric Flair, The Road Warriors, or Bret Hart's glory years, I can look back and say I loved guys like Twinky McLanahan and SPUNK, that I was terrified of the thought of crossing Lord Vermin, that I hated The Sharpshooters to death and wished poxes on all men named "Tonga", now and forever. Without that exposure to what wrestling could be, that I could mold wrestling to be what I wanted, I would never have shown the interest in writing despite what talents I may have with it.
This last monday, as I was writing, all of it flashed back bit by bit. When I was reading the combat section, I remember being dragged with a hook in my cheek through how to play from six people a hundred miles away. I recalled reading about Lord Vermin's postulations on affinities and attributes before we had any sort of definitive answers. When I was writing the write up for landmine death matches, I remembered all of the great ones I had seen- and later wrote- for C-CWA. When I was writing CPU logic, I remembered my eternal work in progress and my magnum opus as far as the game goes, a man named T-Bone, and the five or six years it's taken to get him to what he is today, someone I am genuinely proud of being responsible for. Writing all of that, and in a way, all of this, was a way of showing people "this is something I've done with my life. I invested all of this energy and time, and I've thought and thought and thought, and this is what I know about this game I love."
And I got recognized for it.
So, uh, thanks for that. I feel awesome. And I'll add pictures soon, as soon as my typo fixes get approved, don't worry. I'm just a man with priorities.
The last thing I want to say is that I think it's statistically impossible for me to be the only person that has this sort of intricate knowledge for games they love, that beyond "which one pins" they know about the infastructure of the game like the back of their hand. The fact that I had a venue to express that crazed love for one game that people passed up and that a close circle of people were completely insane about pales in comparison to the thought that there's too many games out there for me to be the only person that has this kind of enjoyment of games, that runs deeper than most people care to think about, but that they're unashamed of. So the real thanks goes to Giant Bomb, for giving all of us nutters platforms to stand on and tell people things like "this game has sixteen damage stats and you can't see most of them."