World Court Tennis is just like any other Tennis game from 1989, save for two notable exceptions. One: it lets you play as a cat man named Grans:
Seriously! A quest! There’s really no point in talking about any other mode, is there? I’d just be wasting our time. Now let’s go rescue Stefi Graf. Or Ivan Lendl. Or whatever it is you do on a Tennis Quest in the late ’80s. ROLE PLAYING TIME!
So wait, you are just “a” king of Tennis Kingdom? Is this some kind of rotational constitutional monarchy? Are you some kind of regional warlord? So many questions. Anyway, sure, what do you need, Tennis King?
I really hope this isn’t some kind of long twisting switcharoonie, where I learn that he’s some kind of Robin Hood figure, and that I’ve been working for the wrong side all along. Don’t screw with STEV, Tennis King.
Now how did he do that? Who is he, Carmen Sandiego? Is he going to steal the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center next? I don’t care if your kingdom was peaceful, Tennis King; you just can’t let things like that happen on your watch. Negligence, plain and simple.
Again, are you referring to “Evil Tennis King” or yourself? Forget it, never mind. As I apparently have no choice in the matter, I will complete this task, and put an end to all this awful complaining.
And just like that, my legend began. No sooner did I accept “a” Tennis King’s challenge, than I was spit out on to the thriving streets of…
CHICAGO? Good God, what did the Evil Tennis King do to this place? People are so busy complaining that the city has returned to the Earth and nature reigns supreme! Either that, or this game takes place in a post apocalyptic future where only the strongest tennis players survive. This plot is much more nuanced than anticipated.
Anyway, Chicago doesn’t have much, just four modest huts, a pro shop, and the Tennis King’s castle. The huts were filled with people who offered me all kind of useful information. Take, for example, this jolly citizen:
First things first: The Tennis King clearly stated – and I QUOTE – that “people can’t play tennis and are complaining.” That was clearly not an issue here. No sooner did I step out into the surprisingly verdant wastes of Tennis Kingdom, did some random yuppie challenge me to a match. I knew something foul was afoot.
Not only did he challenge me, he absolutely DECIMATED me. If you’ve only ever played modern tennis games – say, from about Virtua Tennis onward – you’ve probably never had much trouble making ball contact. Today’s tennis sims tend to give players a little bit more leeway; you get with in stabbing distance of a volley or serve, and you’ll have no problem getting your racket on the ball. This is not the case in World Court Tennis: if the pixels of your racket do not make contact with the pixels that comprise the ball, you will miss. Horribly. Prophesied tennis hero or not, I had some practicing to do.
And by “practicing” I mean “losing.” At least the game gave me a nice assortment of randomly generated faces to lose to. BEHOLD:
…and this character, who I fondly call the “Tennis Rapist.”
Each loss threw me back to Chicago, so my progress was incremental at best. After about an hour of scratching and crawling, racking up a record of roughly 5-12, I managed to venture over three bridges, two rivers, and miles of forest to encounter – at LONG LAST – a mysterious hut in the middle of the woods!
What could this hold? A new racket? A wise tennis sage who will teach me the backhand of Sampras? The secret of John McEnroe’s rage?
Overwhelmed by the futility of my endeavors, I copied down my password and decided to take a rest, silently vowing to return to the desolation of Tennis Kingdom and bring the racket of vengeance to its oppressors – for I am STEV, the PROPHESIED ONE.