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Fighting game bots create hell version of famous EVO moment

Passive-aggressive Chun-Li kicks blonde Ken in the hand 14 times and then once in the head.

The year is 2004. The Scream has been stolen in a daring art heist. Saddam Hussein is on trial. And some creep called Mark is making a website that compares women. But never mind all that, because the EVO fighting game championship is witnessing its defining moment. Daigo “The Beast” Umehara is on his last sliver of health against a frightening Chun-Li who has just unleashed her super-duper finishing move. Miraculously, with the skill and timing of a trained martial artist, Daigo’s Ken stands his ground. He parries. He parries again. He parries 14 consecutive kicks and then… gets knocked out by the last kick? Wait. That’s not how it goes.

But that’s how it did go in one hellish alternative timeline. EVO moment 37 is bandied about by fighting game fans as one of the most dramatic moments in virtual biffing. A last minute turnaround that involved such finesse, skill and composure that everyone in the event’s hall jumped to their feet to celebrate Daigo Umehara’s unexpected victory.

But what if things had been different? If that moment had turned out as anti-climactic as this scrap between bots in Salty Bet, it might have been just as memorable. But for dark, sinister reasons. Fight fans, this is Hell Moment 37.

No Context Mugen is a Twitter account that burps up fights between bots in M.U.G.E.N, an aging fighting game engine for which fans create their own characters. If you’ve ever delved into the internet dive bar that is Salty Bet, you’ll recognise it. With M.U.G.E.N, weird fights can occur between obscure anime characters and angry memes. Splinter from the Ninja Turtles versus a broken, twitching version of Spiderman. Or sad Yoshimitsu being slapped around by a giant MS Paint Peter Griffin. It’s in this twisted fightscape that the two robot foes, “Daigo Ken” and “Passive-Aggressive Chun-Li”, recreated the final moment of that old fight. [Edit: Or rather, it happened in a similar dive bar called Spriteclub.]

No Context Mugen has been adding videos for almost a month now. It’s an junk-filled pantry stuffed with other fighting game silliness. This recent fight between Kung Fu Man and an unseen troll program simply called “The Freezer” is a good bout. I also like this fight, which sees a Pokemon endlessly dropping rocks on his anime opponents head.

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Who am I?

Brendan Caldwell

Features Editor

Brendan likes all types of games. To him there is wisdom in Crusader Kings 2, valour in Dark Souls, and tragicomedy in Nidhogg.

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