The Best of GemuBaka in 2019

After refocusing and establishing an actual “brand” in April 2018, GemuBaka has seen modest growth since that point. The 2020 new year rang in after passing 1,000 followers on Twitter, meaning 2019 was a success with most of my personal goals. Overall, GemuBaka is a fledgling brand that is a hobby for me, but that doesn’t mean portions of my content went unnoticed in 2019.

Now that 2020 is actually here, this is a look at some of the content that resonated with the Internet during 2019.

TWITTER HONORABLE MENTIONS
Karnovember – Various posts through November
When November comes around each year, a segment of the internet celebrates the legendary Data East character Karnov. Part of this comes from the recent appreciation of Karnov’s Revenge/Fighters’ History Dynamite on the Neo-Geo, and part of it comes from the speedrunning community behind the NES port of Karnov’s original game. Any way you slice it, from his own games to his appearances in other Data East games as villains, Karnov is forever linked to the company.

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I took an extended break from a lot of content creation efforts from late October through most of December, so I unfortunately did little in regard to playing Karnov games, but it didn’t stop me from making little tweets celebrating the month. The month was capped by a Twitch channel airing independent film maker Galaxy 454 Productions’ Karnov film for a full 24 hours. I found out Galaxy 454 still sells DVDs of the film (which turns 15 this year!), and I ordered the movie as a Christmas gift to myself.

longlivekarnov
“LONG LIVE HE LEGACY OF KARNOV!”

World Heroes 2 – J. Max’s defeat – March
I sunk a lot of time into the original World Heroes game in 2018 – so much that the title has its own feature on this site (The timeless World Heroes and speedruns). The 2018 focus was on speedrunning for the 12 Hour Challenge and how broken Brocken is in the original MVS release, but 2019 got me slightly hooked on World Heroes Perfect and trying to 1CC with C. Kidd.

Perhaps the real star of World Heroes since he was introduced is J. Max, a football player recruited from the year 1989 to participate in the game’s tournaments. He’s a very viable competitive character from the limited footage I’ve seen, but he’s also known for his … crude exclamation upon defeat.

The real treat of this is defeating J. Max with a super move that repeats this phrase over and over. Twitter seemingly got a kick out of this in March, with these posts barely being edged off the top 10 list.

The Streets of Rage 2 Double KO – June
I love a good double KO in games, and, while it’s a slant to label a beat ’em up event as a double KO, the one I last recorded occurred in June in Streets of Rage 2.

Robots enter the game as the stage 7 boss, and they have a nasty trick in self-destructing to try and take you down. If they zap your final life away, the game still goes through all of the stage clear pageantry and waits until the start of stage 8 to tell you that you are on the losing end. Streets of Rage 2 really stretches things out here to maximize the disappointment.

THE TWITTER TOP 10
#10 – Happy 24th birthday SEGA Saturn! – May
I’m kind of surprised this made the cut based on Twitter analytics, but it seems people were into the SEGA Saturn’s US release anniversary. This is surprising to me as the SEGA Dreamcast recognized a full 20 years in 2019. As I usually point out, for as much love as there seems to be for the SEGA Dreamcast online, virtually none of my Dreamcast content even remotely gains traction (which is double surprises me that we’ll see a Dreamcast entry in the top 10 in just a bit).

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The post is a no-nonsense photo of my dead SEGA Saturn: “For #SaturnDay wish the US SEGA Saturn a happy 24th birthday! The system was famously surprise launched on this date during the inaugural E3 in 1995. Make sure to give this system a few plays today if you can.” I really do wish there was more to this, but I suppose that’s why I’m surprised this tweet made the cut!

My personal SEGA Saturn that I purchased in 2001 unfortunately bit the dust in late 2018 with the machine refusing to spin the discs to read the games. I had a turn of fate for New Year’s Day, though, and I now I have a new model of SEGA Saturn to enjoy. That’s a very good thing as my Saturn shelf of video games kept awkwardly staring at me for the better part of a year.

#9 – The Beavis & Butthead arcade game splash screen – April
The Beavis & Butthead arcade game is a bit of old news for Galloping Ghost Arcade, releasing to the arcade’s floor in April 2016. The canceled Atari game is noted to maybe cap at 12 cabinets in existence, so it still remains a highly sought-after game for patrons of the arcade to play.

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The game has made its rounds at a few Midwest shows courtesy of the arcade, most notably, the Midwest Gaming Classic in Milwaukee. The story behind the game’s hardware is that it infamously utilizes 3D0 parts, with arcade owner Doc Mack chronicling he needed to purchase a Panasonic 3D0 for its drive to connect to a unique ribbon cable.

This idea was prompted because, upon resetting the game, Doc noted “a 3D0 logo would display.” Even with the game working, resetting it (which is necessary because the game softlocks like crazy) still prompts a 3D0 splash page to pop up. I’d seen it a number of times at the arcade and I always found humor in the display of “FICTICIOUS DEVELOPER PRESENTS BOGUS TITLE.” I happened to snap a photo of the splash screen during the 2019 Midwest Gaming Classic and I believe this served as my first 100+ like tweet for the year.

#8 – Quan Chi is judging you – August
On Twitter, one of the wholesome meme accounts I follow is @DailyMk4 – an account that posts daily some sort of photo involving the Quan Chi side art from Mortal Kombat 4. Being at Galloping Ghost Productions for the annual T20 competition, the side storage room presented a unique opportunity to snap a Daily MK4 of my own.

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The storage doorway is a glass door with a wooden frame, and, with an MK4 cabinet propped up against the door, it appears Quan Chi has become a peeping Tom, judging the T20 players in the other room. The photo has since been included in the account’s rotation, which is awesome to see! As for my account, it was just a straight meme post that people seemed to enjoy.

#7 – Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 (Dreamcast) turns 19 – June
Much like the Saturn tweet, I can’t say there is an extravagant story or explanation for the post, but it’s merely a post showcasing the Dreamcast release of Marvel Vs. Capcom 2. I still own my original copy I drove 1 1/2 hours for on its launch day, so it was a “CIB” display of the title.

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I did ask which characters people enjoy using in the game, so, perhaps this added to the tweet’s traction. Although the game is now available for a handful of different formats, the Dreamcast version is special to me personally, and I keep hearing it calling me back for a few games here and there.

#6 – Bret Hart goes ham – December
There is no shortage of WWF: Wrestlemania content on my outlets, so it’s no surprise it pops up twice in the list. There was a relatively recent discovery by LRock617 that Lex Luger has a strange hitbox property when he bounces off the mat, and there were at least two instances of me posting a video of the Bret Hart uppercut infinite that got noticed by Twitter users.

In WWF: Wrestlemania (arcade), Bret Hart is a character that exemplifies what could be considered the “neutral game” in the title. He has a ridiculous rolling uppercut move, a fast-moving eye rake that stuns the opponent for a split second, a solid dropkick and solid jab moves. The uppercut is great on its own, but when you couple it with Lex Luger’s strange low hitbox, it results in infinite shenanigans. It’s satisfying to execute and it’s fun to watch! I guess, unless you’re playing as Lex Luger, but, it turns out, he has an infinite of his own …

#5 Tattoo Assassins tech – December
Tattoo Assassins is on the list of crazy prototype games that you can actually play at Galloping Ghost Arcade, and, upon giving it a chance at the arcade, I realized it’s way more fun than people online tend to let on. I started playing Tattoo Assassins roughly around the same time as I picked up the canceled Vicious Circle by Atari – which is covered in crazy detail on this site (A breakdown of the canceled Vicious Circle) – but I invested more time in the latter.

There are a few cases in Tattoo Assassins where projectiles can be reflected by merely blocking them, and I made a tweet showing off a few weird instances of this. The tweet received modest attention, but also a few requests for information on the actual tech of the game. Up to that point, most of my attention was placed in going for 1CC plays with Karla Keller, but, diving into the game proper allowed me to discover a few interesting things on the surface.

While “tier listing” will likely take more time than I have available, I realized the flatulence taunt all characters can do (B,B,LP) is a move that launches characters very high into the air, which would allow me to scratch the surface on what was possible with combos in the game.

The resulting thread breaks down the crazy lengths the developers seem to go to in order to prevent infinites and 100% damage combos. The game knocks your character down if you attempt two jumping attacks in the same corner combo, you get locked out of doing repeated attacks and the damage scaling after the first hit is massive. Regardless of the tiny details, though, it seems fighting game flatulence gets a few views.

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#4 – Dance Dan, dance! – December
Even with the expanse of knowledge available on the internet, there are still a few things I discovered when I was younger that I’m not certain is widely known. One of these is a bit of an Easter egg I found in the ’90s with the Playstation version of Street Fighter Alpha.

Pre-internet era and inspired by magazines, I would do my own analysis of CPU matchups to get character data. I’m not sure what prompted me to pit Dan versus Dan in AI matches, but, when you do, they perform a scripted jump and punch dance for the first 20 seconds of the match.

It ultimately doesn’t amount to much, but it fits Dan’s personality and it’s a cute Easter egg tucked into one of the fighting games that shaped my teen years.

#3 – Salty Yokozuna – September
As promised, WWF: Wrestlemania pops up a second time, this time with patented tech involving Yokozuna’s salt throw special move. Normally you have to charge the punch button two seconds and release to throw some blinding salt, but, if you are in a grapple, you can shortcut the move with QCF+P. The real magic of this move in the arcade version is that you can cancel any move you do out of grapple with this shortcut salt throw.

I’ve long gone over the crazy things you can do with this, from stunlocking opponents to glitching them out, but a chance encounter during a stream made me realize you can even “cancel” THE OPPONENT’S MOVES if they reverse a grapple.

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This led to a number of bizarre occurrences that allowed me to reverse reversals – something you shouldn’t be able to do with in the game’s rules. It also provided an opportunity for even more glitches in the game, which included the super-popular “Yoko Shuffle.”

I’m not certain how much further we can advance tech in the game, but, rest assured, I’m not done playing WWF: Wrestlemania by a long shot. As expected, while at Level 419 for the new year, this was the first game I got an arcade 1CC on for 2020. I even managed a new softlock with The Undertaker’s coffin!

#2 BloodStorm boomerang – August
As it goes with arcade fighting games, I’ll check out just about anything, and this led to me toying with BloodStorm for a spell. It’s yet another game I don’t believe is as bad as people let on, and, with the mass of features thrown at the wall for this ambitious game, there is certainly a level of intrigue with it.

My experimentation obviously began with 1CC strategies, but, in digging into the move list, I discovered a boomerang move Freon has. If you toss the boomerang and finish the round, it knocks Freon down when it returns and gives you control back of your character. I started messing with this on the stage with the ceiling fans, but then realized it could knock you into the game’s pit for grizzly results even if you had won.

Winning the match, yet still being impaled on a spike, is quite a feat in a fighting game. In 2018, my photo of Ryu holding a can of Monster energy drink reached 600 likes, but this video was my first on Twitter to surpass 1,000.

The BloodStorm content was further bolstered by another video showing off a secret command glitch that allows you to fight a secret character on the stage select screen. BloodStorm is the gift that keeps giving, and I really should get back to the game at some point.

#1 The return of Battle Arena Toshinden 3 – December
In a completely unrelated tweet, I did one of my magazine showcases, featuring the June 1997 issue of GamePro. Part of the thread goes through video game advertisements, one of which was Battle Arena Toshinden 3 for the Playstation. I played BAT3 with a friend when we were able to rent it from a local store in the ’90s, and it was by far the best in the series, in my opinion.

Seeing the advertisement made me want to fire the game up once again, and I’m really glad I did. The game is a textbook example of one of those very enjoyable “6 out of 10” games. In fact, GamePro reviewed the game in that issue, giving it 3.5 (out of 5) ratings across the board – it’s a fine game that can be plenty fun, it just isn’t as good as other select fighting games. I, for one, agree with that assessment.

Revisiting the game, I was reminded of why I liked it so much – crazy characters, even more crazy characters to unlock and a lot of neat mechanics you can toy with when you play off the game’s wall/ceiling splats and soul bomb moves. In 1990s fashion, the game got a bit of an overhaul when it was released in the US nearly a year after its Japanese release. In this case, modes and features were added for the US release by Playmates, and the character voices were completely re-recorded to add English clips.

The character David fights using a chainsaw, pistol and grenades (?), and his throw has him using the hilt of the chainsaw to strike down the opponent and fire a bullet from his pistol. However, in a subtle touch, if David is out of bullets, the gun clicks and the English voice lets out a very overdramatic “DAMMIT!” I always found the voice clip to be quite funny, and, apparently Twitter did as well. By the time I got out work that day, the tweet was at 2.5K likes, and it currently sits at more than 5.5K.

At the suggestion of GhostPilot, I also recorded an Easter egg that occurs if you let Ten Count stand still for 3 1/2 minutes. In recording other media, I found a really ridiculous hitbox instance for David’s chainsaw, and I even isolated David’s soundclip for “archive purposes.”

But, the really cool thing is, for such a dormant game series, it brought in other people who shared how much they like Toshinden and others that saw the video clip that then had an interest in checking out the series. In the end, this is ultimately why I create the things I do – to dig up information to archive on forgotten games and share them with an audience new to the material. It really allowed me to end the decade on a content high note, so I’m really appreciative people supported the Toshinden 3 content! I may even have to check out the other games in the series that aren’t the fairly well-done Game Boy version!

GEMUBAKA CONTENT
The above listing was sorted based on Twitter analytics, but, here on the proper GemuBaka site, I just wanted to pick out five other stories I wanted to highlight for 2019. Please check them out if you get a chance!

Hands-on with Dark Presence

Midwest Gaming Classic featured impressive new titles

A night of fierce Virtual On matches

The Curious Case of Castle of Illusion Scoring

Busted speed tech: Thunder’s test of strength

Thank you so much for your support up to this point! I hope 2020 is positive year for everyone and I’m looking forward to more positives for GemuBaka!

-D.J.

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Categories: GemuBaka Feature

Author:indiesnack

Indie Snack is a video gaming Web site focusing on independent developers and game releases. Indie Snack will also soon have services made available to independent developers to include tools aiding them in public relations and game marketing.

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