The Underworld Strikes Back.
After my first almost-win, I knew I had to come back. The tournament called to me in my sleep. I went a day without participating, but knew it was there, waiting for me to come and conquer it. On Saturday, two days after my previous failure, I returned.
By my side was our beloved site director. Neal admitted he had not played Kid Icarus: Uprising recently, but was ready to jump in headfirst.
“Truce?” I asked, looking him dead in the eye. “We can do a lot more damage if we team up.”
Neal agreed, and we sat down at our consoles. We picked the same weapon, and I picked the same power set as before. I thought my familiarity might give me an advantage over the competition.
Our screens counted down to the start of the match. I took a second to look around. Everyone was in our demographic; males between 20 and 30 all around. I locked in on my screen and asked Neal’s name for the round.
I looked at my screen. Medusa. Was this fate? Were we to take this match in the name of the Underworld!? As I gripped my 3DS my eyes danced around the screen with excitement. The match was about to begin.
As we started the match my strategy was a simple one—annihilate everyone but Neal— and sound in my mind. We were up against some less advanced players, and some slower weapons. The match was a solid run: challenging, but in the most enjoyable way. When they announced the leading player’s name, it wasn’t either of us, so I didn’t pay it any mind. I just knew I had to start fighting harder and smarter.
As I came up with a new strategy, someone started attacking me with laser claws. I was a little thrown, but kept control. I turned to see the name of my attacker.
Betrayal, thy name is Neal. Why was this happening? Weren’t we going to take a win for the Underworld? Why must this battle keep happening?! Neal... no... Hades hit hard and fast. He was making up for lost ground, and had taken out everyone else in the immediate area. With my death, he continued to find his next target.
For the last minute and a half I was completely on my own. I knew I had to go into Berserker Mode. Anytime I saw anything move I’d dash to it and mash the hell out of the attack button, focusing solely on what ever was in front of me. It worked pretty well, too. Most of the other fighters stayed out of my way when I got my claws into someone. I was trying to get as many points as I could before the timer ran out. I had to get as many as---
That was it. We stood up as our points were counted. I turned to Hades. “What the hell!? What happened to our truce?!”
“You were there. I wanted to win. It’s no big deal.”
I was silently weeping inside when the totals appeared on our screens. I had beaten Neal by a few points. Sweet karmic justice was indeed real that day. Unfortunately, I had also come in second place. Again.
But that was that. I didn’t return to the tournament again, but my love for Kid Icarus: Uprising has been reignited. Seriously, if you put it down before, pick it up for 10 minutes. It can get addictive quickly.