Real Talk By: Cmack The Don
If you know anything about pro-wrestling in the 80’s, then you’re probably at least as old or older than me. If not, you should know that it was filled with over-the-top characters, ridiculous beefs, and tons of steroids, much like many gyms around the nation.
Among some of the most outlandish, goofiest characters in the WWE (not that it was titled that then) was none other than the Ultimate Warrior. If you’re not familiar with The Warrior, he was played by James Brian Hellwig and was at one point a major hit within the organization. Although he had many fans and drew in views, Hellwig encountered a lot of problems in the organization and had some controversy with the management and with other wrestlers, and is now treated by the current WWE as a black sheep and pariah, much to the dislike of many of his fans.
This author is a latter-day fan of his, getting exposed to him through ridiculous clips of his pre-match rants, in which he would reference and speak about many bizarre, mystical subjects and go on at length about his own personal philosophy. Indeed, the Ultimate Warrior was as much a verbal presence as physical. What’s the point of all this trivia and information? Well, it is this author and many on this site’s opinion that The Warrior would be best honored and paid tribute with a video game of his own, even if he was immortalized and finally recognized in recent WWE games like WWE All-Stars.
The Basic Concept
I’m thinking that Ultimate Warrior’s game would be a 3rd person action adventure game with multiple elements and expressions related to the character, we would see a lot of references for hardcore fans and try to establish The Warrior as a character and recognizable brand to new fans and to non-wrestling fans also, we’d want this game to appeal to those who are a fan of humorous games.
So in other words, the audience for this would be similar to those of Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Gex, Boogerman, Earthworm Jim, and other games that had sardonic, ridiculous humor in them as well as solid gameplay.
There would be loads of creative/wacky level design and absurdly brutal, ridiculously violent combat. Everything in the game would be done to the point of extremity and humor, to reflect the spirit of the Ultimate Warrior himself. It would have to feel like being pulled into some insane acid trip without stopping, forcing you to eventually accept the madness and not question anything that may appear in the course of the game. So by the end, facing a 3-headed Purple Polar Bear with Dragon Wings wouldn’t phase you in the slightest.
Although most of the game would be insane melee combat, some platforming, limited puzzle solving, and maybe some dialogue interaction with NPCs, the boss battles would be set up in traditional pro-wrestling format, in a squared ring, incorporating smooth wrestling mechanics that would have to be refined and well done, so as not to make the change of pace in the game’s set up seem like a tack-on.
Despite the wrestling set-up, the bosses wouldn’t just be wrestlers, they’d just fight in a similar manner, sometimes abiding by pro-wrestling rules, sometimes not, with some boss battles/matches being extreme rules or weapons matches, or perhaps even rings that would generate obstacles to navigate before fighting the enemy or while the fight was going on.
In my vision for the game, the boss battles are one of the things that would be a major selling point, as I think the concept of a cross-over between a serious sports mechanic and total comic book absurdity would be something that a lot of people could get into.
One way of making The Warrior’s famous mad rants feature in the game more strongly than just automated quips and quotes would be a system in which Warrior quotes would figure into how you fought. You would have a pre-set menu of topics that would give you different power ups if you equipped Warrior with them. The words would change and ramble, and it wouldn’t be constant so as not to annoy the players, but if you played well enough to make the Warrior speak, with solid combat or skilled platforming, you would be rewarded with a power-up inducing rant that would break monotony and tickle funny bones. I would of course have Warrior able to navigate the game world and perform tasks while still ranting.
Just watch any of the Warrior’s pre-match promos and you’ll see that he was a gifted storyteller. What was going on in his stories wouldn’t always be clear, but he could certainly grab your attention. I think a great storyline would be one that would intertwine reality and fiction, with the player playing through Warrior’s years in the WWE in the 80s and also creating the “alter-ego” of Hellwig, a human/civilian identity to keep his true motives as a protector of the universe a secret.
You could even make the controversy and slander he faced from the organization a part of the story, a shadow deal all influenced by the main villain of the story. Of course, if this wasn’t approved of by the WWE (which, let’s face it, it probably wouldn’t be), then you could have an organization and story that would be extremely similar to the WWE, lamp-shading what did happen through the use of a parody wrestling league.
The idea would be that what we know about Warrior in reality would only be part of the whole story, and that he actually travels to fantastic worlds and does otherworldly deeds.
Of course all of this would be played with heaping doses of absurdest humor, with concepts strange enough to confuse and wig out the most dedicated of comic fans.
In summary, The Ultimate Warrior game would be an out-of-left-field crazy adventure that could attract gamers from various different walks and interests (and the heavily demanding voice acting job would mean a nice paycheck for Hellwig, who of course would be called in to voice the Man from Parts Unknown). By making it the right mix of 3rd person adventure, fighting game, wrestling game, and also a genuinely funny product, you could satisfy the need for a funny game in the market, which in this world of grit-filled, super-realistic shooters, is sorely needed.
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