Apologies, folks... looks like I'm a little late with this month's Character Battle. What can I say, life happens, especially during a birthday weekend. That's right, yours truly is officially a year older. In any case, let's get this showdown on the road!
Now, seeing as how my mind is focused on getting older & whatnot, I decided this month's contest should have something to do with that concept. But that raises an important question: How does getting older relate to fighting games? Well, in the most basic sense, it actually doesn't. We really don't get any insight or perspective on aging in games unless the developers explicitly decide that a character should appear older. Sometimes, this is done from one installment to the next in a given series or, let's say, if someone from one game/series happens to make a cameo in another title. On the other hand. Sometimes, a character can have a connection to an ongoing storyline and age accordingly. In the same respect, some people can be part of a series from the very beginning, have it go in a bunch of different directions, skip a few years & -still- look the same. Hell, by my calendar, Chun Li is closer to 50 than she is to 40, but them childbearing hips don't look a day over 23! (Not that I'm complaining, mind you.) Some people just have good genetics, I guess...
So since the concept of aging in games is fickle at best, we need to find another outlet. Another good example of displaying age in games is through one's progeny. Although, this poses another slight problem since far too many parents in gaming are either dead, evil or both. However, this sets us on the right path. If we can determine the measure of someone not by their progeny, but by their legacy, then the task at hand right now is simple. This month, we're going to ask the big question: Who has the greater legacy to their name?
Here we go! In one corner, we have The One Who Rules Time, Saiki. In the other, the "Last Ninja" himself, Zantetsu. Now, again, I'm going to stress this point because I've actually found myself in some pointlessly heated debates regarding these Character Battles:
I DO NOT CARE WHO WOULD WIN IN A FIGHT!!!
If I did, I'd go lobby for a job over at ScrewAttack. Besides, in a battle of who's stronger, the guy with the monstrous second form pretty much always wins. However, that's not the case, since we're gauging these two men by the quality of the legacies they left behind. That being said, let's get the obvious out of the way. Saiki is the (fill in the blank yourself because I have no idea how many) generations removed ancestor of the ever flamboyant & unabashedly effeminate Ash Crimson. Not sure how far back the lineage goes, but there's an obvious resemblence even if they choose to downplay it with headbands & bad attitudes.
Our other contestant has a slightly less obvious connection. In Last Blade/2, Zantetsu is pretty much the last of his kind. In reference to the story of that series, the events take place during the Bakumatsu, a period of great idealogical shift was taking place in Japan. The world was changing and its need for ninja was on a sharp decline. Sensing both this & the end of his own time, Zantetsu set forth to prove the might of the ninja one last time. Pretty compelling stuff, ain't it? Should you ever finish Last Blade 2 with Zantetsu, you come to learn that his descendant is none other than Eiji Kisaragi.
Now that we know exactly where all these sordid family trees take root & blossom, let's see whose ancestor gave the world something worthwhile. On the subject of Saiki & Ash, well... if my ancestor does something (or rather tries to accomplish something) that ultimately results in me having to erase him -- and therefore, myself -- from the timestream, that guy sucks as an ancestor. On the other hand, Zantetsu's legacy is the Kisaragi itself. Furthermore, Zantetsu is the originator of his clan's ultimate techniques: the Dankoujin & Yami Barai. These techniques have (canonically) survived from 1833 all the way to 2003, when Eiji himself takes up the ancestral blades & went to work.
Until next time... keep fighting the good fight, my friends.