(continued from page C1) which is why it became a custom of the area to store our cooked meats in crates and barrels.
Also, this week in 199X was another curious historical event for our beloved Metro City: the political plummet of former mayor Mike Haggar.
We’ve discussed Mayor Haggar many times in this series, from his victories as a professional wrestler to his political campaign that involved suplexing a live shark (and this author maintains that, had that feat been attempted in the water, we would have seen a very different history of Metro City). Discussing Mayor Haggar at this point seems almost superfluous, as even school children know the minutia of the man, like how he met his beloved Nancy, and if someone is at all curious to learn more, they need only get within fifteen feet of Mike’s Maritime Maintenance to hear tales spun well past closing. Here’s a tip, when he starts talking about the time he fought a giant, hungry space god, it’s time to head home.
But there’s one tale Mayor Haggar never tells.
Readers old enough to remember the rise of the Mad Gear Gang and the ensuing conflict (dubbed by some overzealous reporters as The Final Fight of Metro City) will no doubt recall the heroics Mayor Haggar showed during the battle. Congresswoman Jessica Haggar, then just a teenager, had been dragged, quite literally, into the conflict, kidnapped from what should have been a pleasant evening of dancing with her then boyfriend, Cody Travers. Reports diverge at this point, but it is confirmed that Mike Haggar personally waded into the fray to rescue his daughter. Haggar was joined by Cody and/or an “international ninja” named Guy (last name unknown). The reasoning behind this differing account has been discussed before, but it is still my belief that various news sources chose to downplay or outright eliminate Guy from history due to his nationality ruining the “heroic native sons” narrative for Cody and Haggar. Later, Cody’s descent into crime could not be associated with “Hero Mayor Haggar”, so he was erased to make way for Guy’s reemergence. Whatever the case, whether everyone fought side by side or singularly, all three men were at least involved in the conflict, and were eventually victorious over the Mad Gears. Jessica Haggar made it home without a scratch, escorted by her father and two freshly minted heroes.
Most towns don’t declare a city-wide holiday celebrating the day a man was defenestrated through a skyscraper, but Metro City has never been most towns. Mayor Haggar experienced a popularity surge not seen since the days of knights and demons, and many called for Haggar to run for positions like governor, senator, and even president. Haggar was riding a wave of national popularity, but it would be the international stage that would knock him from that perch to the cold, dark waters below.
As Cody Travers began his crash from hero to outlaw (yes, gossip rags at the time claimed Cody was “on vacation” with the mayor’s daughter, but Jessica’s autobiography From Lariat to Law School: One Woman’s Journey would later reveal that Cody was already having problems with the MCPD, and was only on the streets thanks to her father’s influence), Guy was continuing his training traveling the world. Guy was keeping a low profile, likely trying to hide himself from any gang reprisal, when information was leaked that Guy’s fiancée and future father-in-law had been kidnapped by a newly reformed Mad Gear Gang. Presumably, this was all an effort to draw Guy into a trap far away from Metro City, but there was one glaring problem: Guy was nowhere to be found!
Enter Maki Genryusai, the last remaining blood relative of the victims. Maki attempted to contact Guy, but received no response. She was a trained martial artist, so she considered rescuing her family singlehandedly, but she came to a fateful decision: she contacted Mayor Mike Haggar for help.
This cannot have been an easy decision for the mayor. On one hand, Guy had been a faithful ally of Haggar and all of Metro City in the past, and had been instrumental in rescuing Haggar’s own blood, so it would be only appropriate to reciprocate the favor. On the other hand, this kidnapping happened in far off Hong Kong, far beyond the jurisdiction of an American mayor. But perhaps the issue had already been decided when Haggar learned the Mad Gear Gang was responsible. Aides on site that day would later claim that fire burst forth from the mayor’s eyes when he was confronted with the realization that some Mad Gear members had not yet experienced his piledriver of justice.
Mayor Haggar’s journey was now inevitable, but as he prepared to leave his beloved city and join Maki on this deadly quest, another warrior threw his fist into the ring. A curious young man named Carlos Miyamoto claimed that he owed a favor to Haggar and Guy, and pleaded to assist the assault team. Very little is known about Carlos, and he was never seen again beyond this “second” Final Fight, but many have floated the theory that his love of katanas and obvious Japanophile tendencies (Carlos Miyamoto? One doesn’t need to be an onomatologist to see the problems there) reveal that he was an unmasked, incognito Sodom, a bitter former Mad Gear member. This conflicts with reports that Sodom was participating in a martial arts tournament around this time, though rumors still abound.
The trio journeyed initially to Hong Kong, but found information that the Mad Gear Gang had fled to Europe. Everyone flew from country to country in pursuit of the gang, visiting an American Marine Base in France that had been infiltrated, and then touring Holland to follow the lead of an imprisoned criminal claiming to have Mad Gear ties. An international incident nearly occurred when that prisoner, Bratken, recommended Haggar find the remaining Mad Gear members in England. Unfortunately, this was all a fiction of Bratken’s sadistic mind, and Haggar and company accidently demolished a circus troop starring England’s beloved Philippe the Clown. Luckily for everyone involved, it’s legal to maim a clown after 8 PM on a Sunday in the UK, so no one was prosecuted for damages.
Finally, Rolento, a lieutenant in the Mad Gear Gang, was found hiding in Italy. When questioned about how Rolento could be free and living in Italy after his reported defeat during the Metro City incident, Cody Travers claimed he “couldn’t quite remember ever meeting the guy. Did we ever actually go to his factory?” Regardless, Rolento was finally apprehended at his Italian villa, and revealed the shocking truth to Haggar: the Mad Gear Gang had never left Japan, and this European tour had all been a distraction. He went on to explain that transporting two captives across Europe would be a “logistical nightmare” and “too much trouble” and “what were you morons thinking?” Rolento gained an all new scar that day.
Back in Japan, Haggar, Maki, and Carlos ventured through the Mad Gear Stronghold, and confronted Retu, a part-time kabuki performer who had acquired the reins to the Mad Gear Gang. After some twirling and jumping, Maki decided to just kick Retu through a window. Retu survived, however, because, unlike his predecessor, Retu was hurled out of a window on the ground floor. Retu went on to get a job with Channel 6 in the small town of Springfield, and Maki was reunited with her family.
The Mad Gear Gang was never seen again, but Haggar was not greeted with a hero’s welcome upon his return to the states. He had only been gone a week, but in that time, the worm had turned, and Metro City was in an uproar over its mayor’s latest “vacation”. The Mad Gear Gang had sympathizers in Metro City’s government, and information had been leaked that revealed that Mayor Haggar and his entourage had traveled Europe entirely on the city’s dime. Metro City had been in an economic spiral following the gang wars, it was in no position to support international vengeance quests waged by its politicians, so Haggar was in hot water. He tried to explain that eliminating the Mad Gear Gang “once and for all” would be the only way to keep the city safe, but a city needs more than flying kicks to stay secure, and Haggar had threatened that stability more than a hammer punch ever could.
The inquisition that started this week back in 199X would last for months, and Mayor Haggar may have had mighty muscle control, but he was a poor politician when it came to damage control. Attempting to maintain his persona as a super-powered “everyman”, Haggar grew a ponytail, and claimed that this whole debacle was the result of him “going through some stuff”. The public wasn’t buying it, though, and it seemed all but assured that Haggar’s term would end with the man leaving office in disgrace.
Fortunately for Haggar, but unfortunately for the city, the Skull Cross Gang rose from the ashes of the Mad Gear Gang, and attempted to seize control of the city. Haggar and a returning Guy worked together with gang informants and the MCPD to stop the riots that ensued during the conflict, and, while that battle is a story for another day, it did serve to catapult Haggar back to his former standing. Haggar would go on to serve another two terms, and was followed by his own hand-picked successor, Mayor Two P.
Just goes to show that Metro City will love you if you beat up thugs in Metro City, but not anywhere else.
Well, that’s it for this week’s column. Be sure to come back next week, when, in honor of his birthday, we’ll take a look at the life of Mr. Hoover, aka Metro City’s own Baby Commando!
FGC #59 Final Fight 2
- System: Super Nintendo, though also available on the Wii Virtual Console.
- Number of Players: Two, just as it should be.
- This Final Fight has two simultaneous players, but it got played a lot less than Final Fight 1, why? I’m going to have to go ahead and say it’s due to a complete lack of adolescent evolved acrobatic amphibians.
- Guy Problems: It is a really odd choice to base the entire game outside of Metro City, travel to Asia repeatedly, and make the captives related to Guy… but not include Guy as a playable character. Was he switched for Final Fight’s first female, Maki, at the last moment, or were the developers just toying with Guy’s random absence from Final Fight SNES? The world may never know.
- Favorite Character: I don’t know why I played as Carlos so much as a kid. Hm, probably because swords are cool. Anyway, Haggar is much more fun as an adult, mainly because he seems to have an actual move repertoire. I want to like Maki more, but I can’t really find her niche here, as Carlos seems faster, and Haggar is definitely stronger. I think Maki is supposed to be fast, though.
- Did you know? This article is a tribute to my mother. Figure that one out.
- Would I play again: Yes. I was rather surprised at how much more I enjoyed this game over original Final Fight, and now I really want to give it a try with two active players, which I think I only ever experienced once during a rental some twenty years ago. Somebody please grab that second controller, there’s senseis to save!
What’s next? Random ROB has chosen… to go out on maternity leave. Wait. What the hell? ROB, is this one of your damn excuses that…
Oh, alright. Yeah. That… errr… I don’t… Huh. Wait, maternity leave? You’re a girl robot? Then who is the…
Primal Prime, the time traveling revived control suit that became the very embodiment of the Autobot Matrix of Leadership itself? You’re the father? Oh, this raises so many more questions. So, so many.
Well, great, what the hell am I supposed to do in the meanwhile, Random ROB? What’s that? There’s something on the back of your maternity leave request? Oh.
Yes. This could work. Come back later today for more information on FGC Reader’s Choice Challenge.