PART THE FIRST:
In which we start an aging shortstop down the path towards championship gold.
If you haven’t already checked it out, take a look at the first post in this series.
No sense in delaying thiokngs; let’s get right to it. The quest for the Triple Crown Championship starts now, and I’m already 17 years behind schedule. Time to dig into AJPW’s charmingly titled “Featuring Mode” and grab that belt.
Featuring Mode is equal parts “create-a-wrestler” and “career mode.” Rather than let you choose the appearance and attributes of your character outright, in a design decision I can only describe as “innately Japanese,” AJPW requires you to fill out a job application in order to determine what type of grappler you’ll be portraying.
All right, let’s get…
Huh. Well, that’s something else. Fortunately, the same translation guide I used back in 1997 is still publicly available. ECrouser, I may never meet you in person, but when I win the gold, I’m dedicating it to you.
First, we’re presented with a list of names for our wrestler:
Back in 1997 I’d have been inclined to pick “Bastard.” That’s a name that inspires fear, respect, and paternity suits. But this is 2014, baby, and I need a name that says “experience.” I need a moniker that says, intelligence, experience, and general superiority. They often say that the majestic bottle nose is the most intelligent mammal on the planet, so let’s go with “DOLPHIN.” Remember that name, for it is the sound of your doom.
Next option: Choose your wrestler’s age. As I’m writing this, I’m 32, so my wrestler is 32. Easy choice. Next question. Let’s just ignore the fact that 32 is the maximum age the game lets you choose, because that is not depressing at all.
So we’re a 32-year-old wrestler named Dolphin. The game now wants to know what prior sports experience our majestic Dolphin is bringing to the dance:
One can assume that if Dolphin is entering the ring as a second career at the ripe middlish age of 32, things probably didn’t end up so hot for him during his first athletic endeavor. Much like me, returning to AJPW 17 years after the fact, Dolphin is looking to recapture faded glory. Of all the sports on the list, baseball would have probably garnered him highest base level of glory from which to fade. No disrespect to arm wrestlers, drummers, or ???ists, but chicks dig the long ball. Dolphin used to be a shortstop.
Now we’re on to the substance of our job application – a personality test of sorts. Dolphin used to bat 6th for the Blue Jays’ Single-A affiliate. He’s used to dealing with the tough questions, so this should be no sweat.
Question: All Japan Puroresu is Giant Baba? 1) Of Course 2) It is the four lords of heaven 3) It is Rusher Kimura
Crap. Dolphin was not prepared to respond to any queries of an existential nature. Thankfully, Dolphin has access to a smartphone. It appears that Giant Baba was the founder of All Japan Pro Wrestling, essentially making him Dolphin’s boss. Dolphin knows where his bread is buttered, so Giant Baba it is.
Question: How should a Pro Wrestler win his matches? 1) Pretty (Technically sound) Suplex should decide 2) The big move done in the heat of the match should decide the victory 3) It does not matter
Dolphin is in this for the money. He’s got three kids in Durham, Ontario that don’t know his name. There’s child support to pay, and it just does not matter.
Question: What technique do you like? 1) Counter attacks 2) Throwing 3) Stretching
Baseball. Throwing. Duh.
Question: What should the Pro Wrestler's goal be? 1) Strength 2) Championship Belt 3) Fans enjoying the match
Well, Dolphin is in this first and foremost for himself. Undoubtedly, he’s already strong, and fans will probably enjoy the match no matter what if he obtains the Championship Belt, so let’s go with option 3.
Question: Tomorrow is your Pro Wrestling debut. What are you thinking? 1) Think positive 2) Concentrate 3) Win at all costs
Dolphin has got child support to pay. Number 3! It’s all about that cheddar. Win at all costs.
Question: Why did you become a pro wrestler? 1) To become strong 2) ( Not Sure ) 3) To become a famous wrestler
You know, I’m not really sure why I’m doing this at all. Whether it’s a translation error or not, we’re going with option 2.
Question: To become a strong wrestler requires endless stamina and techniques. How do you do it? 1) Extra long training 2) ( Not Sure ) 3) Eat three times as much
As a former professional baseball player. Dolphin understands that physique does not matter. He will eat three times as much as the normal human.
Question: Your opponent misses a wild attack. So your counter attack begins. How do you start? 1) Yell to get your ki up 2) Slap your face to get your ki up 3) Do a surprisingly cold and precise counter
Like his namesake murdering sharks with a nose to the abdomen, Dolphin will be dispatching his foes with precise counterattacks.
Wow! Those were some intense questions. Based on our responses, we’re now presented with some cosmetic choices:
Way too Zubaz. Dolphin knows better than this.
No sense in wearing a mask. The good people of Durham, Ontario already know what Dolphin looks like. Plus, hiding from child support payments is downright shameful.
Nope. Dolphin is a lot of things, but Irish isn’t one of them.
Next time, we’ll be leading our newly minted wrestler into battle. Tune in next time – same Dolphin time, same Dolphin channel!