Pop Vulture


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Could Super Mario beat Pac-Man in a fight? Would Power Rangers top Ninja Turtles? What about Daffy Duck vs. Underdog? Any self-respecting geek needs to know the answers. And back in 1999, a small software company called Elecbyte offered a chance to see such matchups through a customizable fighting game called M.U.G.E.N. It was a freeware program that many armchair game developers started using as a 2-D pixilated version of "Celebrity Deathmatch." Rather than spend time designing original characters, they pasted the stars of other video games into the M.U.G.E.N. engine and had them duke it out.

Despite questionable legality (somewhere there's a copyright lawyer licking his lips), a lively M.U.G.E.N. community still thrives on the Web, and many of its members post videos of their favorite matches on YouTube. One portly warrior has been singled out as the darling of the M.U.G.E.N. world for his unorthodox combat techniques, drunken fighting stance and impeccable taunting ability: Homer Simpson. From among his dozens of battles online, here are Homer's top 10:

10. Homer vs. "Family Guy's" Peter Griffin. Thrill as Peter sits on the ground and moans for 15 seconds as Homer stands by and scratches his butt. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glHjUFjjfy8.

9. Homer vs. Fred Flintstone. Homer's Stone Age doppelganger comes on strong, using clubs and bowling balls to pound his foe, but our hero still manages to pull off his patented Devil-costume victory dance in the end. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGQDOxnjIrg.

8. Homer vs. Predator. The dreadlocked alien gives Mr. S a run for his money, but Homer still bites his way to victory. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IB8CWv3tFY.

7. Homer vs. Popeye. Never mind the spinach; Homer regains energy by chomping into a burger. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7K1Hxe7K6e4.

6. Homer vs. Optimus Prime. You wouldn't think that throwing doughnuts at the leader of the Transformers would cause so much damage. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTZy54wOCOg.

5. Homer vs. Michael Jackson. Jacko's smooth moves are of no use when Homer decides to use a steamroller. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Pf9gmysrk8.

4. Homer vs. Godzilla. Highlight: Homer uses Ned Flanders as a shield against the monster's flaming breath. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-_eHaJWPrA.

3. Homer vs. an ox. No, it's not a battle of wits. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZPwYPz5Cxg.

2. Homer vs. a swarm of floating circular targets. Those spinning disks have no necks for Homer to get his chunky hands around. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKOKrf39L1s.

1. Homer vs. Homers. Our hero becomes a one-man Three Stooges sketch when he takes on two clones of himself. In this case, everybody wins. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlPAAIO3lwc.

-- Christopher Healy

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