When it comes to Super Nintendo fighting games attempting to cash in on Street Fighter II
-mania, I've played a lot of mediocre
ones. But talking about them is such a big task (involving lots of charts and graphs of "how few players you get to choose from", "how few buttons you can press for different attacks", etc) that I may never do it justice.
However, talking about some tiny stupid aspect of a game, rather than a game as a whole? That's right up my alley! So when I got a new fighting game this week -- the goofily-titled He-Man-Em-Up, Battle Blaze (pictured to your right), I knew I'd found something special!
After playing it through (not a mean feat -- I had to defeat all the FOUR other opponents as well as the last boss!), I knew what I had to talk about: prepare to get your random-opponent-studying cap on as we take a long, unflinching look at Lord Gustoff of Gromoor!
What do we know of Lord Gustoff?
Well, some text on that the internet* suggests that he's a Half-Orc, and he rules the peaceful land of Gromoor. However, I think we can rule that information out right away --
First off, look at that face! There's no way that someone with that many teeth rules a land "peacefully."
Second, the world of Battle Blaze
appears to be a standard Conan/He-Man kind of affair: beefy swordsmen, twisted monsters, and a giant stretchy red demon** doing his level best to possess people and whack them with his tail. That kind of world has no room for orcs or half-orcs or goblins or kobolds or beholders
; the next thing you know Ahnold the Barbarian is swinging a giant sword at Frodo and the universe collapses into a singularity, and who wants that?
So I think we can only trust the content actually presented to us inside this cartridge's vaunted walls. Come, friend, let us try to figure out as much as we can about this chunky be-morningstarred enigma that they call GUSTOFF!
*: some of my older readers may remember the internet; it was that thing which the kids seemed to like for a few years before it was purchased and replaced by YouFaceTwitBookTube.
**: The last-boss demon is not pictured in this character select screen. Actually, this is just an extended version of the Player vs. Player setting called, "Battle Mode." Like most bottom-of-the-barrel fighting games, you can only play as one character in the normal "story" mode of the game; however Battle Blaze has the slightly-above-bottom-of-the-barrel feature of at least letting you play as any character and fight all the other CPU-controlled characters for "fun" (though your results may vary).
Gromoor is a Country Paradise!
Lord Gustoff's realm, Gromoor, DOES seem pretty rural: look at those huts, chickens, and uh...shirtless ogre/orc/whatevers!
Also, in another odd twist, the ogre on the far right has brought his good lady-wife and her baby-ogre to watch Gustoff do battle!
Lord Gustoff is the Master of the Mace! (Which sometimes expands out to be a Morningstar)
If there's one thing Lord Gustoff likes to do, it's swing his spiky mace/morning star thing! He'll hop around, trying to bop his opponent on the noggin, or sometimes he'll magically make a giant chain extend from what otherwise appears to be a static mace, such that the spiky ball part can stretch half-way across the screen! Who needs the magic of yoga, when you can conceal ten feet of chain in a one-foot-long mace handle?
Perhaps they should call Gustoff "Lord...of the DANCE!"
Just look at Lord Gustoff go! It's a shame he has to begin the fight, really; his warm-up taunt/exercise/dance is quite a sight to behold. You can tell that disco will always have a home in the Realm of Gromoor!
Lord Gustoff doesn't like being stabbed with a giant sword
Like many crummy fighting games, Battle Blaze's most powerful attacks are the "throw"-type attacks, and here Kerrel demonstrates his version: running his enemies through. It looks like Lord Gustoff does not like this one little bit! And who can blame him?
And he would have gotten away with it, too...
But wait, what's this? Kerrel has bested Lord Gustoff in combat, and but now some giant squiggly ghost/face/rot/tree kind of thing exits the good ogre's body...it was all a ploy by the aforementioned evil demon, and Lord Gustoff was a victim of demonic possession all this time!
Whew! I bet he's glad to be released from that possession. You know, assuming that he wasn't seriously injured or maimed after being stabbed by goody-two-shoes Kerrel several dozen times...actually, yeah, that seems kind of like it would leave a mark.
We can only hope that Lord Gustoff's four subjects and three chickens can nurse him back to health, so that the giant orange beast can once again be seen dancing in the city-state/hut village of Gromoor!
Well, to wrap up, here's an additional bonus speculative fact of dubious repute!
Lord Gustoff's father...might be in a slightly more famous fighting game?
Just look at that toothy bastard and tell me there's no family resemblance!
Or, screw that...just watch Lord Gustoff go!
So, to wrap up...
Stay tuned, my true Battle Blaze believers, because some day I'll detail the game's second-most-interesting character: a weird jackalope/werewolf beast-man named...
— carlmarksguy, 2012-09-21