To give our intrepid heroes Guy, Cody and the one-man wrecking team Mayor Mike Haggar (from Capcom's 1991 arcade game Final Fight) a breather between rounds of piledriving Andore and Damnd, some rounds had inter-level bonus stages spliced in where Players 1 and 2 would work out their frustrations on inanimate objects without fear of retaliation (to say nothing of splinters or shrapnel!) Whoever wrecked the most havoc in a set time period would rack up some hefty bonus points, and the carnage against anthropoid targets would resume.

There were a few of these - first and foremost among the riotous spates of mayhem arriving in the form of most thoroughly trashing an automobile, apparently owned by a member of the Mad Gears gang. Windows, windshield, hood, bumper, carburetor, engine block - piece by piece the entire car would be reduced to its constituent components by high kicks and roundhouse punches.

After blowing off some steam this way (literally and figuratively - venting the players' destructive energy while simultaneously causing the radiator to puff sadly in a final gesture of futile defiance) the characters would exeunt stage left (in search of some presumably perfidious plate-glass windows), shortly thereafter the owner of the former car wandering on-screen and exclaiming, in shock, immediately before bursting into tears (I'll bet he'd just made the last payment on it):

OH, MY CAR!1

The Metro City gang of heroic ruffians wouldn't be seen again for many a game but Capcom recognized a star when they had one - among many crates and oil drums, the self-same car logged another appearance shortly thereafter as another target for inter-level violence in various versions of Street Fighter 2: The World Warriors, in every case being most effectively reduced to rubble by Blanka's electric shock field, Chun-Li's repeating kick and E. Honda's wacky sumo hand action. The brief trend of providing inanimate objects for players to smashy smashy to dust between baddies was also featured (albeit in a marginally more martial-artsy context) in the arcade version of Mortal Kombat - almost assuredly more in emulation of SF2 than FF.

The no-skill button-mashing tactics applied against these defenseless inanimate objects also opened the door to "twitch" inter-level bonus stages providing no greater challenge than seeing which player could hit buttons faster. This was first seen divorced from a car-destruction context in the arcade game of The Simpsons, masked in one case as inflating a Krusty-the-Clown's-head-shaped balloon with a bicycle pump and elsewhere in self-slapping back to consciousness.

Strangely, the mad button-slapping mania seems to have endured as a more-longstanding trend in arcade games than wanton aggression exercised upon immobile objects and fixtures did - this can be seen manifesting at perhaps its most frantically minimal and stripped-down level with Hyper Bishi-Bashi Champion, all the while the only car destruction going on in our nation's arcades being merely the inevitable result of inept drivers in excessive simulations.

1 "Oh, my car!" was in fact an adaptation from the arcade version's original exclamation "Oh, my God!" for the sanitized SNES conversion of Final Fight, but makes much more sense as a node-title. According to QXZ, it sounded (due to poor synthesis or a low sampling rate perhaps?) much more like "Oh, my cuh!" - plainly a cause for endless amusement.

Many thanks to TheBooBooKitty for actually playing through the entirety of the arcade version of Final Fight to check my facts 8)

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.