The Love That Grew From Capcom

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It’s February 15, 2011. Valentine’s Day had been spent in my usual fashion (lonely), so I really didn’t have anything else to do but scurry up to GameStop for the midnight release of Marvel Versus Capcom 3: The Fate of Two Worlds. I’d never played any of the games in the MvC franchise, so who knows why I even pre-ordered it, let alone decided to attend a midnight release (loneliness). I gathered my game and sent out the first of several tweets inviting anybody to come see me on PSN. I had a pretty solid following of gamers I could play with, but I started playing MvC3 with a few new dudes. They were pretty good, I guess. When you’re lonely playing a new game, anybody can be good or bad. I mean, when you’re in a lobby of 7, you can imagine there’s a scrub or two mixed in there, but I’m not calling any names today. There was one guy who got my attention. I’d followed him for a while, but he just kind of blended in. 140 characters of garbled thoughts I would scroll past, until we became gaming buddies.

We gamed often, and with each lobby the things he talked about became more relevant and interesting. He was kinda dope. New games dropped, new games copped, old ones filed away, and we stopped gaming together for a good while. None of the games we really played afforded us online play together, but as funny as it sounds, following him on Twitter, I found myself attracted to him. Like pining, damn near. Typing it out I sound crazy as hell, *shifty eyes*, but that’s how it was. So the day I rushed-down his DMs, things just took off. We bonded. Combos everywhere. The execution was perfect in every way.

However, no good love story fighter is complete without a mid-tier boss battle. This game had statements including phrases such as “my girl”. C-c-c-c-c-c-c-combo Breaker. No one told me another challenger had appeared. Arcade mode was off, he was in the middle of a versus match, and I wasn’t in the stick rotation. I pushed my feelings to the side and became a good friend, but resistance was futile. “Innocent” flirting was one thing, but in my heart ‘2P press start’ was still flashing. We had to stop talking. I really had the “Go home and be a family man!” face. The countdown began.

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We weren’t speaking like we used to, but we still checked on each other. There was always something lingering there that I think we both knew to avoid. This went on for a while, and then one day he wanted to play. He felt like I disrespected him on Twitter by saying how badly I beat him. We played, I dusted his ass, and we picked up right where we left off, only better. Combo chains got longer, boss-tier even. The more time that we spent in lobbies, the more I realized I loved him. He had the cheat code, yet I couldn’t fall for a unavailable man. The continue clock was down to two seconds, and then he’d let on that his relationship was over. I wanted badly to get the win, but I wasn’t an opportunist. I wanted him to want me for me, not because he was lonely (even though I was, see above). No real gamer likes beating the computer on easy, feel me? Super meter was at full capacity, glowing. I kept frame watching, waiting for the right time to execute a Level 3 that would either end up in victory or leave me wide open for a humiliating defeat. I spent a lot of time turtling through phone calls only to hear, “And I do love you, Robyn”. He’d won by Ultra Combo Finish.

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I drew this.

I woke up each day to that love. A heart that swelled with each beat and a man that I couldn’t live without. I never dreamed I could be loved like that, let alone love a man like I did. We loved so abundantly that when we spoke, it was in infinites and not absolutes. It was “forever” not “until the end of time”. I thought no matter what the difficulty, we would not be defeated.

But no good love story fighter is complete with out a god-tier boss match. The type of adversary that you think you have beat, but has some cheap, broken mechanic you always succumb to. Life was no different for us. We were out of sync. Whiffing on low-damage, highly punishable attacks. We were broken. Our lives and our love was broken and the boss stared down at us with malice and complete disdain. We were no longer a team. We no longer assisted one another and it led to our downfall.

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I didn’t want to lose. I flat out refused. Yet I did nothing to get better at it. I wasn’t in practice mode, and he wasn’t either. The countdown clock began again. If we didn’t get it together, it would all be over. While I lagged, another challenger appeared. You know the rules – loser passes the sticks. Everyday was a fight, and I couldn’t fight anymore. I decided to walk away. The countdown clock appeared to speed up. But just as I put the controller down, trying to save myself frustration, there was a flash and a sparkle in his eyes.

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No good love story  fighter is complete without a continue.

 

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