Sunday, May 1, 2016

The "You vs. Fiction" Game [rules]

A few weeks ago I was browsing /r/whowouldwin. That's the site where users are invited to design battles between (usually) fictional characters and the commentators decide who will win, citing canonical facts and feats of strength along the way.

Some of the best scenarios pit the army of Mordor against the Roman Empire, Jackie Chan holding a baby vs. Jackie Chan holding vases "but doesn't want any trouble," and Home Alone's Kevin vs. the characters from The Purge. More recently, it seems "MacGyver with a $1,000 gift card to Home Depot" is becoming almost as popular as "Batman with preparation."

I love this kind of stuff.

My favorite scenario from the site was "You vs All of Fiction," but for reasons unknown to me the detailed list of rules were removed and it didn't get much attention in the first place. Nonetheless it kept me awake for hours. It's a really great (and kind of dumb) excuse to get your imagination flowing.

Here's how it essentially worked:


  • You have the ability to inherit all the powers of any fictional character you kill.
  • The object is to become so powerful that no fictional character can possibly defeat you.
  • You want to do it in as few moves as possible.


The catch is you will be fighting these characters in the real world and not their fictional universes. Initially, you have to choose a character you could defeat with your actual strengths and abilities in order to gain their powers before moving onto the next character (and so on). You only get an hour to prepare before each battle and you can only use weapons and resources you have in your house right now. So no, you can't visit the army surplus store beforehand.

There were a ton of other rules the original poster laid out, but I don't remember them all. If I remember correctly, he or she did state that Suggsverse was fair game, but I personally think that's cheating. I think it's best to stick with more popular characters and franchises, but it's fun coming up with your own rules, too.

One of the hardest parts is choosing that first character to fight. They shouldn't be chosen haphazardly. Part of the fun for me was approaching the exercise with complete seriousness.

My choice for the first character to fight was initially Carrie White, before her awakening, but then I immediately ran into a problem: it was stress which more or less unlocked her true power. If she finds herself in a duel to the death, who's to say she wouldn't realize her telekinesis then?

After that I briefly considered Henry from The Time Traveler's Wife (the book version because the movie looked fucking terrible). Then I reminded myself he was an active jogger and I'm an ex-smoker with a penchant for pizza. Maybe I could fight him after the frostbite got a hold of him, but even if I could score a serious blow, I'd run into the stress-activation factor again and possibly just knock him into another year. Never mind his version of time travel was so random it was more like a curse than a power.

Bruce Banner was an even briefer consideration. Again: the stress factor bites you in the ass.

I'm also beginning to think it's probably cheating if you choose to fight them at a certain point in their lives, e.g. "before the awakening" or "after the frostbite." After all, that would require time travel, which doesn't exist in the real world where the fight must take place. I suppose the advanced rules of the game would specify that you have to fight them as they presumably exist today, i.e. ruling out characters who died or who would otherwise be dead today. So that means no John Coffey, because he died in his story, and no period-specific characters like Indiana Jones or The Shadow because they likely died of old age long ago.

So if you kill a mutant who's been "cured" of the X-gene (as seen in X-Men 3) do you get their powers? I personally don't think so, but hey, it's all for shits and giggles so play any way you want.

At any rate, I'm still trying to come up with my definitive answer for #1.

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