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So I (didn't) Play Melty Blood Today

Melty Blood is a game based on the lore of 月姫, the canon of which inspired the wonderfully complex Fate series. Melty Blood (simply Melty for short) is a dojin fighting-game co-developed by Type-Moon and French Bread and is known for being the deplorable alternative to good fighting games such as Tekken, Street Fighter, and Virtua Fighter. Melty was originally released in 2002 as Microsoft Windows game but it somehow gathered enough of a following (due to Type-Moon's success with Fate people wanted to check out anything and everything this circle ever put out, what a mistake!) to warrant the release of an arcade sequel called Melty Blood: Actress Again. And that's just the game I played today.

I'm Fucking Blitzed

Let's prefix this with: today was certainly not the holy-Christian's Sunday: there's something charming about Sundays that makes me want to go to the arcade and play Dancerush Stardom or DDR or whatever and get blitzed. As it happens that's exactly what I did today.

Before I headed out today (around noon, after doing breakfast and making sure I had everything up-to-spec) I slipped some shitty vodka into a water bottle: this is essential because the arcade only serves Kirin and fuck if I'm getting drunk off Kirin. If anything I'd rather have アサヒスーパードライ 瞬冷辛口 ASAHI SUPER DRY but whatever, really it's remarkable that they even have Kirin over here at this little place.

I hopped on the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Antioch line and after some complex maneuvering through the public transit system I was at the arcade: this was not an easy task considering I already had something before I even left, so the fact I even showed up at the time I had planned was a mircale.

The place is pretty packed (especially for a Sunday) but luckily the good side of the Dancerush cabinet is open; I spend a few rounds warming up and pairing this sugar-free Rockstar energy drink with that shitty vodka I packed. It's pretty pleasant and I dance aggressively to some hardstyle, future-bass, and hands-up before finally calling it quits. There's some girl watching me and she claps a little for me as I get off but I bee-line to the Gunslinger Stratos machine, only partly because I'm knee-deep in this liquor but mostly because I don't like girls.

Gunslinger Stratos: it's a great game. I'm severely lacking the hand-eye coordination to slap the two guns together (which is something like three-quarters of the game mechanics) but it's still a lot of fun to play hammered.


I saunter over to Beatmania: my favorite rhythm game! Even though I'm really bad at it I'm improving slowly... ever since I picked it up during my last month in Tokyo recently it's become a really enjoyable game and a great way to pass time waiting for people to get off the Dancerush cabinet.

If I thought my hand-eye coordination was bad during Gunslinger then I'm really in for a bad time playing Beatmania: but somehow I pass all my songs (mostly I sort by my best and hope I can pass songs I've already cleared :3).

Hello, my name is Kirin

Here's where it all goes wrong: a schooner is only $3 (!) which is insane. Even though it's not that great, hell, it's there. I order one and sit down with my tall, tall glass. I'm not sure the bartender realized what a mistake I was making so she handed it over without any question.

What a trip: I hardly started it before I felt keenly sick. I get up, slowly, from my seat at the bar and carry my beer in arms-akimbo to the fighting games corner. I survey the games they've got on-display: Street Fighter (3rd Strike and Alpha), Tekken, and one lonely Melty Blood: Actress Again cabinet. I feel bad for it because nobody is playing this wonderful and impoverished machine so I saunter over with my Kirin still in my caring embrace and have a seat in front of the Melty cabinet. I stare at the graphics and opening credits, mesmerized and confused that anyone ever funded a Melty cabinet.

It's at this point that I transition from feeling very drunk but keenly happy to feeling very drunk but keenly sick. Not great, actually not good, not good at all. I'm 20-some kilometers from home and all I wanna do is lie on my bed and stare at the ceiling but here I am in front of the Melty Blood in Concord, California. Not good.

I rest my Kirin on the cabinet's hardware, right next to the heavy-punch button. There's no use drinking any more, I've already had more than my share: not good.

Melty Blood's flavor-text flashes on the screen and I feel nauseous: not good. I wish I could pay more attention to literally anything but all I can pay attention to is how sick-to-my-stomach I feel: not good.

My roomate (who I'll be seeing a lot of next semester, seeing that he's housemates with my boyfriend) used to play Melty in the living room fairly often. I've partied up and played it once or twice... I could probably pick up the game again, even though it's been a few months since I've touched a fight stick. I reach in my pocket to retrieve my cash-card for the arcade and toss it on the Melty cabinet's hardware. I stop, card in hand: God I feel nauseous again. There's no way I can play Melty like this, despite being a game for drunks and Melee-dropouts and despite me fitting both those requisites there's no way I can even input anything more complex than heavy-punch, block, heavy-punch. Fuck.

I've already tapped out my Kirin, it's still resting next to the heavy-punch button. I collect my backpack (which I set to the right-side of the Melty cabinet earlier when I sat down, evidently) and my cash-card and my wallet and attempt to stand up. Suddenly my saliva is upsettingly warm and realize that it's starting to pool up below up tongue. I go to spit it out before standing up on the carpet under the Melty cabinet but my doing so triggers a fit of coughing and half-hurling that I am rendered immobile until the nausea passes: not good. Just when I think it's passed I stand up and surprise: it's back! This time I can't hold it back and I just sit back down, surrendering to some awkward fit of half-hurling under the fight stick of the Melty cabinet.

As it's still coming out of my mouth I think about what kind of list my name has been added to by getting hellishly drunk and throwing up in front of a Melty Blood cabinet: considering the game's reputation, I think, it's gotta be an interesting list and there are probably way more names on it than I first consider. My name's right at the bottom and it certainly won't be the last name on the list. I wipe my mouth, somehow invigorated by my new-found energy, and actually collect my stuff, stumbling out of the arcade. I leave my schooner of Kirin on the Melty cabinet, partly a token of respect but mostly because I can't handle a single sip more.

Somehow, some way, I get home; living in Tokyo taught me a lot about public transit and that's all become so engrained in my head that I could do it all blindfolded and inebriated.

I have several more fits of halfway-puking in the Concord BART station sink before I finally make it home to Berkeley on the Richmond train. It's fucked but it's also Sunday: you can afford to lose a day or two. And as soon as I lose enough of those I'll be home in the arms everything I love.

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