Monthly Archives: February 2015

The Best Wii Games Nintendo Should Sell on the Virtual Console

Nintendo made a great move in January by allowing Wii games to be downloaded on the Wii U’s Virtual Console. Now, games that are no longer in print or are hard to come by can easily, and cheaply, be accessed on the Virtual Console. But the selection is still small and as such, I thought I would weigh my opinion on the best Wii Games Nintendo should sell on their Virtual Console.  I’m only selecting games that I think would benefit the most on the Virtual Console.

Pikmin and Pikmin 2.

One of the more obvious choices, Pikmin and Pikmin 2 are great games that are meant to be played with the wiimote. After playing the Gamecube version and switching over to the Wii, I was happy at how everything was better managed and easier to control. However, the prices for these games on Amazon are pretty high even if they are used.

Selling both of these games on Virtual Console would not only allow for a greater audience to be exposed to these games, but it would also serve a tantalizing lower price for two gems. What’s more, Nintendo could sell them with a discount if bought together.

Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Though more ubiquitous than the Wii Pikmin games, Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess would benefit with a Virtual Console option. This is a great year for them to release it with two official Zelda games coming out. Also, Nintendo is very good at releasing or updating older Zelda games to the modern audience. The amount of Zelda games you can get on Virtual Console is pretty high. What’s more, this game is almost ten years old so selling it online can open the door for new players.

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn

Going for $70 used on Amazon, Radiant Dawn is another perfect Wii game that would be good for the Virtual Console.  It’s just like Metroid Prime Trilogy, a good game that is quite expensive.  Again, this is also a good year for its release thanks to another Fire Emblem game coming out.  And who knows, maybe Nintendo will have a Gamecube emulator and release the Fire Emblem Gamecube game as well.

Third Party Games

The Wii may not have the Third Party strength compared to the PS3 and Xbox360 but there are still a host good games out there could be sold on the Virtual Console.  It’s not that far of a stretch as well considering Nintendo is selling Capcom and Konami games from the NES and SNES era.  This can include Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, Red Steel Series, and No More Heroes.  All these games were good Wii games that didn’t get that much press.  And what the hell, throw in Resident Evil 4 while we’re at it, that game is freaking awesome.

How about you?  What Wii games do you think the Virtual Console should have? Let me know in the comments!

Advertisements

The Untapped Potential of the Sheep Talisman

Happy Year of the Sheep everyone!

To celebrate this New Year, let’s talk about what some may call the most useless talisman in the great cartoon series, Jackie Chan Adventures.

Finn, Jackie Chan Adventures, Talismans

“Astral Projection…Motion to the Motionless…Yin/Yang? How come I get all the loser powers?”

For those who forget, the Sheep Talisman has the powers of astral projection. Basically, the user’s spirit leaves the host body and is able to fly around unseen and infiltrate people’s dreams. The body is lifeless until the spirit returns to the body.

Now, when you compare this talisman to other, more flamboyant, talismans like Snake, Ox, Dragon, and Rabbit…it looks kind of lame. And truth be told you have the show to thank for that! The show doesn’t use the talisman to its full potential! The only time it is used is either when an episode focuses specifically on it or when all 12 talismans are featured (with one exception which I’ll get to in just a moment).

Even the other, supposedly useless talismans, were embraced more often than the Sheep Talisman. For instance, the Rat Talisman was used to revive the Lo Pei statue, Jackie when he was a puppet, and of course, Mighty Moose many times. The Tiger Talisman was even used several times on Jackie, once by Jade (correctly I might add), and even Captain Black when he was wearing an Oni Mask.

You see, one of the cool things about Jackie Chan Adventures was that it used the talismans even if they weren’t essential to the plot. They were kind of like a last resort or even a solution to a tricky problem the protagonists encountered. All talismans were vital or important in one form or another except for the Sheep Talisman.

Astral Projection, Sheep Talisman, Tohru, Hak foo, Jackie Chan Adventures

It can even be a problem from ignorant users which leads to hilarious results

But what could have they done with the Sheep Talisman? Well, several things come to mind.

One: Infiltration. You can go through walls, be invisible, fly, and be silent. No one can detect you unless they have some sort of magical or spiritual aid. Jackie and his crew could have used the talisman to learn about a crucial plan from the Dark Hand.

Two: Spiritual Possession. Shendu was able to possess Jade’s body while she was using the Sheep Talisman.   This opens up to some interesting plot concepts. Maybe there’s this lifeless object or spirit-less person that Jade or Jackie could take over and control temporary. Maybe you need that person’s fingerprint to access a super secret safe or bank? That would have been awesome.

Three: More Dream Watching. Remember that exception I was talking about earlier? Well, in the season 2 episode “Armor of the Gods,” Jade puts Uncle to sleep using a sleeping potion because he was being cranky. However, later, she needed the anti-demon potion from him to take down the Earth Demon but he was still sleeping hard, what to do? Ah ha! The Sheep Talisman! In the lone episode it was used (to the best of my knowledge), Jade uses the Sheep Talisman to infiltrate Uncle’s dream and learned how to make the potion from him.

Jackie and crew could have used the Sheep Talisman for certain missions involving dreams. Perhaps a Sandman-like villain was stealing people’s energy while they are sleeping. They could use the Sheep Talisman to hop from dream to dream and take down the Sandman villain in the surreal world of dreams. That would have been a funny episode.

It’s a shame that none of those three situations, save for that one episode, came up because that would have taken a talisman that everyone perceived to be useless and made it important. It could have been used as an infiltration tool and that would have made it awesome. Sometimes, you can’t solve your problems by using force; if you want to get ahead in life then you’ll have to be as sneaky as a sheep.

There will still be an article for next Monday but it won’t be the usual length as to accommodate for this special article.

“The Dam Keeper” is My Pick for Best Animated Short for 2015 Oscars

Last year, Mary and I went to our first screening of all the Oscar Animated Shorts for 2014.  We were delighted at the eclectic group of shorts that varied extraordinarily from their country origin, to their run time, to their visual style, and most importantly, to their overall message.  Unfortunately, this year’s selections were not as strong as last year’s.  They were still good but they didn’t have that “oomph” that last year’s selections had.

What’s more, in 2014, Mary and I were divided between our two favorites.  She liked the Japanese-produced “Possessions” and the Luxembourg-produced “Mr Hublot” while I liked “Possessions” and the Disney-produced “Get a Horse!”  But for 2015, we unanimously agreed that “The Dam Keeper” was the best out of the five nominees.

Out of the five nominees (and several non-nominated shorts), “The Dam Keeper” was definitely the strongest, and probably most original, out of all of them.  Why?  Well, let me tackle the other nominees first to give you why this is my pick for best Oscar Animated Short for 2015.

To begin with, I’m glad that the non-nominated shorts were not nominated as they were definitely the weaker shorts.  “Bus Story” and “Duet” had an underwhelming story while “Sweet Cocoon” had a predictable ending with animation that looked to be on par with a children’s television show.  “Footprints” was the strongest of the four thanks to its exaggerated animation, great music, and story that continued to hold me to the end.

In fact, if given the option, I would have switched Disney’s “Feast” with “Footprints” as a nominated short.  Now let me be frank here, I loved last year’s “Get a Horse!” as it was hilarious and had a great concept behind it that was well executed.  I don’t think anything like that could be topped.  “Feast,” on the other hand, though adorable, lovingly animated, and well thought-out, did not have that extra something to make it special.  I liked it but its play-by-the-rules attitude to story and animation holds it back from earning that Oscar.

What didn’t play by the rules was “The Bigger Picture,” the British short that used real life sets and props to animate the story.  The style at first is jarring but after you quickly get used to it it seems natural to the depressing plot on hand.  I liked how the short animated the water using saran wrap or how the protagonist shut his brother up by slamming open a cabinet door onto his face.  My real fault with the short however is the story.  It played with your heartstring by dealing with such heavy topics as taking care of your elderly parents, unhelpful and ungrateful siblings, or death.  That I’m fine with.  However, the story felt kind of…unresolved…there was no closing for the will, or the mother’s forgiveness to her caring son, or a resolution for the brothers’ tension towards one another.  Perhaps the short was supposed to emanate real life but if that was case then it was certainly lost on me.  Granted, of all the shorts this was definitely the most real-like of the five but even then, a story without a resolution seems empty.

“Me and My Moulton” I definitely liked better than “The Bigger Picture.”  First off, I liked the simple design, the flat colors, and the contained story that it held.  This complimented this nostalgic retelling of a woman’s past as it painted the world from a child’s perspective.  What’s more, we only see things from her point of view and as such, there’s a very “grass is greener” vibe going on, especially when she compares her family to her neighbor’s family.  The whole short reminded me of Nickelodeon’s Doug thanks to its down-to-earth feeling.  The simple designs also reminded me of the old European comics like Tintin thanks to the simple, black dot eyes and the vibrant, unblending colors.  And as a side note, I liked how the father’s blind eye was slightly off-kilter compared to his normal eye, nice touch.

Next up, we get to the shortest of the nominees (a whopping 2 minutes), “A Single Life.”  When I saw the time stamp for this movie I was wondering how the heck they were going to tell a story in that time frame.  But boy was I surprise!  A record controlling time is probably not new but the way the animators delivered this concept was fantastic.  It told a story in such a succinct and delicious manner that you can’t help but be swept up by it.  And that ending!  That was great.

Honestly, the only thing holding back “A Single Life” would probably be its brevity.  And don’t get me wrong, brevity is fine but when you compare it to a full fledge story that you can latch onto and follow its progression smoothly then you’re on shaky ground.  Such is the way for the final nominee, “The Dam Keeper” which doesn’t have the faults its fellow nominees have.

“The Dam Keeper” has a nice story length with good pacing, it sets the ground rules for its universe fairly early on, it has a unique style to it, and its story is wholly original.  True, anthropomorphized animals is definitely nothing new, but the world that is built around them seems fresh.  I also like how a lot of things are kind of left up in the air such as what the darkness exactly is, why the pig is in charge of keeping the darkness at bay or why the windmill has the power to stop the darkness.  This doesn’t matter so much as the story between the friendship of a young fox and pig.  So wrapped up with it I was that when the pig decided to let the town suffer and let the darkness come in, I was genially surprise at the short’s direction and honestly thought it would end there.  Then, when the pig saw his friend’s drawing, I again thought the story was going to end there with this even bigger downer ending.  Fortunately, the pig was able to save the town and subsequently his friend’s life.  The ending was quite happy if not relieving and left a generally uplifting note in the air.

Now, if I were a betting man, I would bet the Oscars would pick Disney’s “Feast” as the winner because of its happy, warm, feel-good approach.  I would be 100% positive about this if it weren’t for the fact that Disney hasn’t won every year it was in the race.  Heck, last year’s “Get a Horse” lost to “Mr Hublot” which surprised me.  I’m hoping that “The Dam Keeper” will win this year because it deserves it.  If not it then I would be content with “A Single Life” or “Me and My Moulton” winning it as well because they told a better story compared to the bland, predictable “Feast.”  Fingers crossed!

Paleontology Misconceptions: Introduction, Megaloceros (the “Irish Elk”) and Orthogenesis

For the past few months, I have been stewing over what kind of paleontological articles I could write for my blog.  It’s easy to write and talk about comics, cartoons, and video games as you rely on experience and personal opinion.  Scientific articles, however, are more difficult for me as not only do they have to be interesting to the reader but they also have to be more objective and lean more heavy on up-to-date resources.  However, while I was sitting in the back row of the Introduction to Biology course (part of my requirement for being a lab TA), I was struck with an idea that was brought about my cool and collect professor.

In paleontology (and other sciences as well but I’m more attuned to the paleo ones) there is a large amount of misconceptions that many people believe to be true.  Some misconceptions are more innocently ignorant (pterodactyls and mosasaurs are dinosaurs) while others deceit even fossil enthusiasts today.  These misconceptions still hang around because they were long believed to be true, were over simplified, or were romanticized to the point that they have to be correct because it sounds so perfect.

Today, I adduce to you a fine example of a romanticized misconception.

Meet Megaloceros giganteus, a large mammalian deer that lived during the Pleistocene.  It’s also known as the “Irish Elk.”

And already, right from the get-go, we see two misconceptions that lead you astray from what this beast represents.

Irish Elk

The funny thing about Megaloceros’ common name is how plain wrong it is; Megaloceros is not exclusively found in Ireland and it is a deer not an elk.  First off, it can be found throughout Europe, North Africa, and well into western Asia (Lister 1994) so it has quite a diverse range.  Its association towards Ireland stems from its initial discovery there as well as the plentiful amount of specimens preserved in the Irish Bogs (http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/mammal/artio/irishelk.html and Gould 1977).  Irish poet Seamus Heaney even mentioned Megaloceros in his poem “Bogland” which is a short poem about the bogs of Ireland.

Megaloceros, map, distribution, biogeography, eurasia

Map from Lister (1994).

But being geographically confused seems trifling when many people assume that Megaloceros is an elk.  This doesn’t seem like a big deal until you realize that people in Eurasia use the term “elk” to refer to the animal that North American people refer as “moose.”  And THAT…is where the confusion lies.  Megaloceros is not a moose it’s a deer.  It was originally confused to be a moose because only moose were known at the time to have antlers that came even close to the size of Megaloceros (Gould 1977).

This moose-association was eventually taken down once enough viable specimens could be used for anatomical comparison.  Even the advent of genetic technology, which has the habit of shaking phylogenetic trees hard, did nothing to subvert this new-found truth and only enhanced Megaloceros’ position by placing it as a sister taxon to the fallow deer (Lister et al. 2005 and Hughes et al. 2006).

As such, many scientists nowadays call Megaloceros the “Giant Deer.” And though I think this name does not sound as majestic as “Irish Elk,” it is nonetheless 100% more correct and should be used more often.

But now let us get to the heart of the matter of the Giant Misconception for our Giant Deer.

You may be familiar with the Giant Deer in high school biological textbooks or as an example for Hardy-Weinberg sexual selection.  Similar to peacocks, males had large antlers to showcase their sexy fitness.  A display of dominance will win over any lucky gal and together, they can make adorable, small Giant Deer.

But.

For a long time, the prevailing hypothesis behind the demise of the Giant Deer was that their antlers were so huge that eventually their size drove them to extinction.  Their constant selection for bigger antlers meant they became too unwieldy, too energy costly, or just plain too heavy for the males to support.  Basically, the Giant Deer became too sexy.

This “Too Sexy for My Antlers” hypothesis was accepted as truth until the mid-20th century when paleontologists discredited it as being farfetched and countered that the antlers were the right size relative to the Giant Deer’s body (Gould 1977).   However, no one bothered to test this new hypothesis out!  This was until famous paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould stepped in and experimented with the hypothesis himself in 1973.  In his simple experiment, he analyzed modern deer specimens and compared the size of their antlers relative to their shoulder height.  He then compared his data to that of the Giant Deer.  What he found was that the antlers were not as dangerously large as everyone once thought they were.  In fact, they were at the expected level if you were to have a modern day deer of that size.

Photograph of Stephen Jay Gould from The Simpsons.

The importance of Gould’s discovery goes farther than determining the antler size of an extinct deer.  It discredited a long dead notion that continued to propagate the “Too Sexy for My Antlers” hypothesis.  There was this “theory” that existed in the late 1800s and early 1900s called orthogenesis that some scientists used to counter Darwin’s Theory of Evolution (and btw, before I forget, happy early birthday Charles).

Instead of Natural Selection, species evolve in a direct, linear path.  Species are evolving to a final end product that they are destined for.  As such, some orthogenesis scientists used the Giant Deer as an example of evolution that went too extreme and killed the species.  Taken from Gould (1977), orthogenesis supporter and paleontologist R. S. Lull said “Natural selection will not account for overspecialization, for it is manifest that, while an organ can be brought to the point of perfection by selection, it would never be carried to a condition where it is an actual menace to survival…[as in] the great branching antlers of the extinct Irish deer.”

Gould’s experiment was the final nail in a long-forgotten, already decaying coffin.  It was evidence that took down a dying idea that stubbornly eked out a living for many decades.  And yet while the scientific community had learned the new ideas and rejected the old ones, I would beg to differ that the public had been so quick to adapt as well.

Even I, who was a paleo-nut in high school, assumed that the Irish Elk died out due to its impressive antlers.  No one had bothered to correct me that it had a diverse geographical range, or that it was technically a deer, or that its antlers were the right size until I was a graduate student.  I would even go far as to argue that I was unknowingly accepting orthogenetic ideas while learning about biology and evolution.

I should try to get off my soap box before I become too preachy so I’ll end with this.  While writing this article, I was not aware of the orthogenesis hypothesis as I was never taught it before, even with all the biological courses I had taken.  I was taught Lamarckism and other discredited theories but never orthogenesis.  However, I think orthogenesis should be taught in basic biological courses as blooming scientists can learn what evolution is and is not.  They can learn why scientists thought orthogenesis is true and why it was ultimately rejected.  Learning about it can give a better understanding on how life works and why they should not accept this dead hypothesis.

And hey, if teachers were to educate their students about orthogenesis, students might even learn more about the Giant Deer and how, despite its outlandish appearance, it did not go extinct from being too sexy.

If you are interested in the crazy history of the Giant Deer, I recommend you to check out Gould’s “The Misnamed Mistreated and Misunderstood Irish Elk.”  It’s an enthralling read and greatly expands many of the concepts information I touched upon in this article.

 

Bibliography

Gould, Stephen Jay. “Positive allometry of antlers in the “Irish elk”, Megaloceros giganteus.” (1973): 375-376.

Gould, Stephen Jay. “MISNAMED, MISTREATED, AND MISUNDERSTOOD IRISH-ELK.” Natural History 82.3 (1977): 10.

Hughes, Sandrine, et al. “Molecular phylogeny of the extinct giant deer, Megaloceros giganteus.” Molecular phylogenetics and evolution 40.1 (2006): 285-291.

Lister, Adrian M. “The evolution of the giant deer, Megaloceros giganteus (Blumenbach).” Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 112.1‐2 (1994): 65-100.

Lister, A. M., et al. “The phylogenetic position of the ‘giant deer’Megaloceros giganteus.” Nature 438.7069 (2005): 850-853.

Who Would Win? Rocky vs. Little Mac

Ladies and Gentlemen! I bring you a match-up that will get your heart a-pumpin and your voice a-screamin! This is between the most famous fictionalized boxers of all time, Rocky Balboa from the Rocky movies and Little Mac from the Punch Out video games! They are known for their indomitable will, their stubborn tenacity, and the ability to beat the odds no matter what against larger-than-life opponents. Both of these boxers never met each other in the ring but what if they did? Who would win between these two boxing legends?? Let’s find out folks! Only canon sources are applied and no items will be used, let’s determine whose will and fortitude is stronger in a fantastic, 12-round, battle of Rocky the Two Time Heavyweight Champion vs. Little Mac the Champion of the World Video Boxing Association!

Image via huffingtonpost.com

Let’s start off with Rocky! A native Philadelphian, Rocky’s humble origins were eventually thrown into the spotlight when Apollo Creed, the Heavyweight Champion, handpicked him to fight in a special match. Since his legendary battle with the Champion, Rocky has faced tough opponents over the years such as the vicious Clubber Lang and the monster Ivan Drago. He even faced the new Champion, Mason Dixon, when he was 60 years old! He has had several trainers over the years such as Apollo’s trainer Duke, Apollo himself and of course, Mickey Goldmill played by Burgess Meredith. All of these trainers had imparted their boxing wisdom onto Rocky and he would have definitely not been the champ if it wasn’t for them.

Rocky’s main strength as a boxer is the ability to tire out his opponents. This is thanks to his iron jaw but especially to his will of steel. Even when faced against stronger opponents, he’s able to tire them out and finish the job. He actually uses this to his advantage by taunting some of his opponents, like Clubber Lang, and make them wear out faster by aggressively attacking him. One of Rocky’s main traits is his “southpaw” fighting, better known as fighting primarily with your left hand. It’s quite unorthodox in the boxing world and supposedly can throw off your opponent. In the end, Jim Lampley in Rocky Balboa said it best that Rocky has a “cast iron jaw, ferocious body attack, and will of steel; all of which carried him to victories over the years against physically superior opponents.”

Despite his talent as a great boxer, Rocky has some bad shortcomings that saw him some of his defeats. Rocky’s ego can get the better of him at times whether he either lacks or has too much of it. He had too much ego going up against Clubber Lang for their first fight and too little shortly before his first fight against Apollo Creed. Rocky also has a bad right eye which he got fighting his first match against Apollo Creed. He lacks some peripheral vision for that eye and that can be an almost literal blind spot for him. Also, Rocky seems to forget that he has hands and on those hands are gloves and he can use those gloves to block. He’s like Homer Simpson when he decided to take up boxing in “The Homer They Fall,” boxers punch him in the head but Rocky doesn’t seem to care.

Image via smashbros.com

Little Mac hails from the Bronx and is primarily known for his short height. In the NES version of Punch Out he was 4’ 8’’ but then he was buffed up to 5’ 7’’ in the Wii version. Little Mac has faced many vainglorious opponents that were much bigger than him during his boxing matches. They’ve all been diverse and use unique techniques even to the point that some of them use magic to help them win. As such, Little Mac has valuable experience that was bestowed to him by his opponents and has prepared him for any kind of situation.

Little Mac’s main strength is his fast reaction. Some of his tougher opponents have punches that can strike fast and hard. However, all of them have tells that indicate their plan of action and Mac is good at picking those up. Depending on how well Mac knows his opponent, he can leave a match unscathed with another KO under his belt. Sometimes, Mac knows the tells so well that he’s able to hit his opponents at the right time to give him star punches. Star punches are extra strong punches that can do a lot of damage on his rivals. If he saved up three star punches he can knock them down with one blow. What’s more, if he’s out of hearts (basically his level of fatigue) only one star punch is needed to knock down the opponent and if he uses all three then that can knock them out for good.

However, if Little Mac is hit once after he gets a star punch he loses it. As such, he has to be careful to hold onto those star punches and use them when appropriate. Little Mac is also not the best defender as he can get knocked down by a few strong moves or even with one special move such as Bald Bull’s charge. If Little Mac gets hit, or if he blocks, or if he hits a blocking opponent then he’ll lose his hearts. If he reaches down to zero hearts, Mac will have to rest a bit and dodge his opponents until he can recover his hearts. During this critical time, Mac can’t throw any punches (except the star punches).

Doc Louis, his trainer, is also not the most helpful trainer at times. He’s good at getting Mac into shape and he was the one who taught Mac his star punches. However…Doc will give Mac cryptic advice how to beat his opponent in-between rounds and even then that doesn’t happen too much. Sometimes he’ll say what his favorite flower is (chocolate) or that he should join the Nintendo Fun Club. Other times he just commenting on how Mac is doing, the rival, or that Mac should finish this fight up. So yeah…not really the best support…

GIF from brotherbrain.tumblr.com

Alright, now that we have our introductions aside, we can begin the match! Before we begin we’re going to level the playing field a bit and say that Rocky or Little Mac do not know each other at all going into the ring. All they know is their height, weight, age, and Win-Loss ratio. With that said, let’s get ready to rumbleeeeeeee!

In front of a large, screaming crowd, Rocky and Little Mac are introduced and they meet each other for the first time in the ring. Rocky is initially surprised that his opponent is so small while Little Mac is relieved that for once his rival does not initially seem wacky or loud. As they step forward for the referee to explain the rules, Rocky notices that Little Mac means business, he’s got the Eye of the Tiger. Already, Rocky is breaking down his opinion that maybe he shouldn’t go easy on this guy.

They step back to their corners and the bell rings.

The crowd screams as the two opponents warily step forward. They test the waters by jabbing at their opposites. Little Mac in particular is trying to find the chink in Rocky’s armor. He jabs at his stomach and at his head, trying to determine where is the sweetest spot to hit. Rocky blocks the stomach punches and returns with some counter punches of his own.

But Little Mac is fast, he has reacted to opponents much quicker than Rocky before and he easily dodges his punches. After he dodges one, he returns back with a solid uppercut to Rocky’s face. Rocky is momentarily dazed and now Little Mac is wailing on him. Mickey screams at Rocky while Paulie clutches at the loose strands of hair on his balding head. Rocky finally regains his composure and steps back from Mac to regain his senses.

Rocky is now no longer going to take it easy on Mac. Mac means business and he can hit hard at that. Rocky is now dancing the ring trying to determine what to do. Little Mac sweeps in though and starts pummeling him in the face. Little Mac has picked up that Rocky’s face is the best part to hit as he rarely blocks it. Rocky responds with a hook onto Mac and he finally hits him squarely on the side.

Little Mac is momentarily stunned and now has to dodge Rocky’s punches. As he wonders what to do next, the bell signaling the end of Round 1 rings out.

Rocky, Little Mac, Rocky vs Little Mac, Punch Out

Image photoshopped by me. Punch Out NES text from https://www.splintered.co.uk/experiments/152/

Understandably, Mickey is more than pissed at Rocky and fiercely shouts that Little Mac is not some shrimpy punk; Mac has what it takes to beat him. Meanwhile, Doc Louis cheerfully talks riddles to Little Mac leaving Mac once again frustrated and confused towards his trainer.

Round 2 begins and now everything is changed. Rocky has regained his desire to win and he’s no longer treating Mac as a fragile, plaything. He goes out there like a bull in a china shop and is now throwing punches fiercely at Mac. Mac is dodging, dodging, dodging. He’s pondering hard where to strike the now serious boxer.

And now, an opening! When Rocky lets loose a right hook, he leaves the right side of his face open for a surprise attack. Mac dodges the right hook and strikes an uppercut at Rocky.

Ding! Little Mac just got his first star punch. Before Rocky knew what literally hit him, Mac decides to let go while he still has the chance and release the star punch onto Rocky.

Bam! Rocky stumbles back and hits the ground hard. The ref starts counting and before he even reaches three, Rocky is back up again. He’s ready to dance with Mac again.

Little Mac throws another uppercut at Rocky but he blocks it. Little Mac throws another one and Rocky blocks it as well. Rocky then lets loose a series of jabs at Little Mac and for once the Bronx-fighter was too slow. Little Mac is getting slammed repeatedly and can’t break away from Rocky’s onslaught. Rocky lets loose another punch and Little Mac is the one to go down this time.

Little Mac climbs back up, now bruised and badly hurt, and decides to step off from the attacks to analyze his opponent some more. Rocky comes back with his own attacks and he misses again and again. Another right hook from Rocky is responded by a counter from Little Mac to his face again. Ding! Little Mac gets another star punch but he’s holding onto it this time.

The bell rings and it’s the end of Round 2.

“Hey, Mac!” says Doc to Mac, “Chisel away at Rocky with your uppercut punches.”

Round 3 begins and now the bruised fighters are coming back out again. Rocky is about to attack but he’s surprised by Mac as he took the initiative and punched him right in the stomach.   Ding! Another star punch for Little Mac. Little Mac now proceeds to let a storm of punches onto Rocky. Left, right, left, right. Some to the face and some to the stomach. Rocky tries to respond with some punches of his own but Little Mac dodges it with ease. Another uppercut sends Rocky back down.

This time the referee gets to four and Rocky is back up. Rocky is about to attack again but Little Mac surprises him by jumping his star punches early and taking him down a second time.

Little Mac thinks that will keep Rocky down but he is surprised that Rocky comes back up, though admittedly struggling.

Rocky is now in full swing, he is in the zone, he can now visualize himself winning.

“Come on!” Rocky taunts to Little Mac as he starts dancing around him, “come on! Is that all you got??”

Little Mac swings at Rocky but he dodges and counters back with two quick blows to the head.

Little Mac is unsure what to do now and steps off from attacking his now loud mouthed opponent, waiting to see what he does now.

Rocky comes back in with a series of jabs and Little Mac dodges. Rocky let’s loose a series of punches that are entirely random. Left, left, right, left, uppercut, right, left hook. Rocky is successfully confusing Little Mac. He can’t dodge all the punches.

Bam! A solid punch to his stomach sends Little Mac down.

He climbs back and starts aggressively attacking Rocky again to the face. But Rocky responds by putting his hands up again and again and again. He then hits Little Mac back with another left hook.

Little Mac glows pink as he his fatigue takes a hold of him. Rocky sets up a right hook but Little Mac is ready this time. He dodges it, recovers, and hits Rocky again squarely below his right eye.

Ding! Another star punch. And just in time too, Round 3 just ended.

Round 4 begins and Rocky, after some encouragement from Mickey, begins taunting Little Mac again. Little Mac swings at Rocky but Rocky blocks and hits Mac in the head. Rocky randomizes everything now. He comes in close, he dances around Mac, he punches low, he punches high, he blocks his stomach and sometimes his face.

It’s too much for Little Mac, he can’t hit Rocky at the right times, he can’t figure out when he should dodge and when he should counter.

Little Mac goes down again. He’s struggling hard to get back up. He tries to attack again but it’s fruitless. Rocky has this fight. After a series of dodges and blocks, Rocky punches Little Mac one more time and he’s down and out. KO.

The winner is Rocky.

via Rocky II.

So why do I think Rocky would win this fight?

There are several reasons why I think he would win. First off, let’s look at Rocky IV. Ivan Drago has a punching strength of 2,150 psi, well above what even the strongest boxers can achieve. This punch was so devastating that it even killed Apollo Creed in the second round. Rocky was able to take Drago’s punches to his head multiple times, went the full 15 rounds, won it, and lived long enough to make two more movies. Even Drago commented how Rocky had a body made of iron.

If Rocky was an opponent in Punch Out, he’d probably be one of the most frustrating opponents ever. His health bar would barely decrease after every punch. Even when he’s knocked down multiple times, he will be able to get back up and keep fighting.

Little Mac on the other hand has a weaker body. One strong blow from Mike Tyson can lead to an instant knockdown. Little Mac can also go down so many times before he is KO’d for good. He is definitely a short-term fighter.

That’s not to say it was all in the bag for Rocky. Little Mac was definitely the faster of the two. He could dodge many of Rocky’s attacks with ease and respond promptly as well. True, Rocky got a speed boost in Rocky III but even then, Rocky’s agility does not compare to some of Mac’s more tricky opponents such as Mike Tyson, Mr. Sandman, and Bald Bull.

And if Little Mac was able to figure out what the hell Doc Louis means when he talks about Rocky’s Northeye, then he could exploit Rocky’s bad peripheral vision for his right eye and get a few good star punches from it as well.

I think though the real reason why Rocky would win between the two is that Rocky is human. He doesn’t have a set pattern like all of Mac’s opponents do. He can change things up and randomize his attack pattern to the point that Mac couldn’t keep up with him. At the heart of the matter, Little Mac is a responder. He doesn’t have the hearts to waste by senselessly attacking his opponents. He has to gauge when to accurately use them or not. Rocky would realize this halfway through the fight and would just go crazy in the ring. From southpaw to orthodox, from swarmer to out-boxer, he would just mix things up so much that Little Mac wouldn’t know what to do.

So Rocky wins in the end but…

…what about a rematch?

via killscreen.tumblr.com

In true Punch Out and Rocky fashion there has to be a rematch. It’s funny because whenever I would look up what other people would say who would win between these two titans (or one titan at least) no one would talk about a rematch. I guarantee you that no matter who would win the first fight, the loser would win the rematch.

Besides the fact that’s the way underdog stories go, there is a clear reason why I think the loser would win the rematch. First off, if Mac won the first match, Rocky would go on a training montage and change up his fighting style just like he did for Apollo and Clubber Lang. He was able to win both rematches. This new style would throw off the pattern-loving Little Mac and Rocky would win.

But in this case, Little Mac would win because Doc Louis has a trump card that helps Little Mac through any trouble.

You see, in Punch Out for the Wii, Doc has an awesome training simulation machine that helps Mac through some of his more tricky opponents. He can practice again and again with them until he’s able to take the opponents in real life with ease. In this case, Rocky would practice against a Rocky simulation.

But how? How could Mac win against Rocky’s iron will and body?

The best method is to build up his star punches as fast as he could and knock Rocky down in a TKO. Three knockdowns in one round would satisfy a win for Mac. Mac would endlessly test against the simulation to determine weaknesses that even Rocky doesn’t know about.

And when that rematch happens, Little Mac would be ready and he would take Rocky down in a surprise upset in the first round.

And here, dear readers if you have managed to read this 3000+ word article, I leave you with this. I seriously believe that after that second match, Rocky and Little Mac would become friends similar to Rocky’s relationship with Apollo. Rocky would enjoy finding time to spar with a friendly rival while Mac would revel at the chance to be with a boxer that was not crazy or mean. Cause their burning hearts are, after all, made of gold.

Thanks for reading my longest article yet! This article was a culmination of research done on my free time by watching Rocky fights, playing Punch Out, learning boxing terminology, and watching Mike Tyson fights. Do you agree or disagree with who you’d think would win? Say so in the comments! I would be more than willing to hear what you think!