When I lost the Cold War and Mom didn’t care — 17 of 31
Or “Super Dodge Ball was trash(ed)”
I’m a patron of Ninja Writers and this is day seventeen of the May Medium Post-a-Day Challenge of blogging for 30 consecutive days.
Christmas morning, 1989
WE GOT A NINTENDOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOholy crap I was so excited.
Basically, substitute NES for N64 here, and this was me:
It was my family’s first gaming system. We had heard about it, seen it at friends’ houses, but this one was OURS. I literally ran up and down the stairs, almost kicking our hamster Splinter in his goofy plastic ball thing, because I was so happy.
Dad just laughed his damn ass off.
The system came with the classic Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt combo game (with the Zapper included), two controllers, and another game we hadn’t heard of, Super Dodge Ball.
WHO WANTS STEREOTYPES
The country concepts for this game are hilarious. The courts for each of them are designed as if they asked four year old Kyle at the time what each country is probably like.
“OH OH TAJ MAHAL! ANIMAL STATUES! BROWN PEOPLE.”
“IGLOOS AND PENGUINS AND ICE DUH LOTS OF ICE PURPLE SKY? LOL”
Tell us more
The single player version is fairly straightforward. Before the match, you pick three players to be on the court and three on the opposite side. They have different “super throws” and stats for their abilities (Ex: Some are great catchers, some great throwers, etc).
Each player has a health bar that diminishes (the rate of which is based on their stats) as they take throws and super throws (which do considerably more damage). You can duck, dodge, and jump over balls to avoid being hit (Pro-Tip: Don’t reference the movie to an actual dodgeball player. We hate it).
If a character loses all their health, they die and their soul floats to heaven.
It’s a fairly easy game, even on the “Difficult” mode.
Over the next two years, I would beat Ninja Gaiden 1 & 2, Battletoads, and Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out. All of them are extremely difficult games to beat. My brothers couldn’t beat those, but they did beat Super Dodge Ball.
So, I HAD TO.
We on a World Tour
Like I said, it’s not too difficult of a game. Your team goes on a World Tour and plays the following countries in order:
Rival USA team, England, India, Iceland, China, Kenya, Japan, USSR.
Up until Japan, it’s not too difficult. Although India takes god damn forever to beat. Their players take very little damage, even from power throws.
Is this some reference to Ghandi’s resilience? Do we get their salt mines if we win?
Japan is pretty good (they’re the main team in the Japanese version), but once you take out their captain, “Fuji” (playing in front of Mt. Fuji, no less) they’re toast.
And then finally:
They’re good at everything. Most teams stick to the same three players, but the Soviets could rotate any of them in and not lose a step.
Although, why the 1950 in the background?
Not 1917? 1945? Anyone help me out here?
Anyway. After getting stuck for a while on Japan, I finally got to play the Soviets. I was going to beat the game on Difficult and finally be able to say I CAN DO IT TOO in classic Little Brother Syndrome.
I got the first two characters, Ivan and Yakov out. But, Boris whittled me down to my captain, Sam. I remember going for Sam’s patented power throw, the Blaster, thinking the game was over and Boris would go the way of Tsarist Russia.
But, no. He catches the damn ball and power counter threw right back. Sam dies. Goes to Heaven.
I go ballistic.
It wasn’t the first time I threw a tantrum over SDB, but it was the biggest. I ran outside and started yelling about how much I hated Russia and the Warsaw Pact (I read about it in a history book and didn’t realize it wasn’t a country).
I kicked my soccer ball super hard against the wall (take that, USSR!). I picked up a bucket I used to dig dirt into, but had this (now) funny moment where I realized I didn’t want to break it so I angrily set it down and rushed back inside. I started punching a pillow on the couch, still profusely badmouthing the Motherland (meanwhile the sad end music is still playing) and my Mom walks in and tells me this is it.
“IT’S GOING IN THE TRASH.”
My Mom literally threw the game in the trash.
I couldn’t beat the Soviets in a video game and it was the end of the world. Nothing would ever be the same again.
You might be thinking, “Wow, this sounds awful and traumatic. This isn’t funny.”
The Soviet Union collapsed the very next week on December 26, 1991. My Mom told me. “I guess you won after all” and I felt so vindicated. Like I had done my part.
The point of the story?
Kids are idiots.