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Let’s say you’re a street fighter (or a boxer, or an LAPD cop, or even a senator of some backwards state). One day you are training or doing something else out of boredom when all of a sudden something comes in the mail. It's a nifty little invitation letter in an envelope of high-grade glossy paper with a spiffy-looking stamp addressed to you, meaning it has to be for real. And it is for real, my friend: You, a worthless nobody, have been summoned to a fighting tournament to fight and be given the chance to win whatever it is your heart desires, be it fame, glory, money, or swimming in a pool full of steaming hot spaghetti and tapioca, because you know it feels so right.
But then, questions may arise in your head: How do I go about participating in a fighting tournament? Who will I face? What will I do? Am I hungry? These questions and more will fill your mind to the point of wussing out and just going home to have TV dinners instead.
But don’t despair. If you know where your fists and feet are located, and if your battle cry is sufficiently obnoxious, nothing will stop you.
Preparing YourselfYou will obviously need to journey from your home to go to a remote location where the whole thing is held. That’s just the kind of places they hold these things at, you know? You may even have to go all around the world. Those trips are always annoying, but just think of the frequent flyer miles you’ll rack up. Be sure to bring lots of travel money in that case, cause it may even be in a top-secret place, or if you’re lucky, maybe an island full of bikini-clad girls playing volleyball. Bring stuff to snack on and all, but don’t worry about a change of clothes; you’ll be wearing the same thing throughout the whole tournament. Make sure that you look cool though, as you'll want to impress people. If the host of your tournament is generous, he may toss you a set of duds identical to the ones you have, but just a different color. In the business they call this a “palette swap”, but no need to get technical. If you're a girl, look unrealistically cute or dress sexy by wearing tiny or skin-tight clothes that that give the spectators a nice shot of your rack. Give them what they want to see, you filthy, shameless harlot, you.
The other method to getting around is using a map of the world. After you grind your opponent’s body into the ground with your super attack and win the whole match, your map will teleport you to the next place immediately without the use of your feet, a motor vehicle, or even a segway. The drawback is that your fight will begin with little rest for you, but at least you won't have to catch a taxi and ask the driver to take you to your next fight all the way over in Zimbabwe.
Once you are all ready to go, press the Start button! It's that simple.
Who You Might Face
Every tournament is comprised of a wacky collection of people who received the same invitations you did. They want to win as bad as you do, and they all have unique backgrounds that conveniently ties them into an art form of ass-kicking. Thus, here is a comprehensive list of some of the types you will encounter along the way.
- The Karate Guy - They are almost always from Japan, wear karate gis, and wander around barefoot, sometimes even in the snow while it’s below 0 degrees outside, which raises issues about their sanity. They also annoy you by throwing fireballs a lot. You could probably befriend these guys, but they're always on that quest to get stronger or master their fighting art, so they'd be really boring company. Just beat them up, you'll be doing yourself a favor.
- The Muay Thai Fighter - This guy usually tends to be a rival/foil to the Karate Guy and will beat the crap out of your ribs by kneeing you there a lot. They also tend to name their attacks after predatory animals (such as a tiger or jaguar), despite the fact the namesake animals don't use anything even resembling a Flying Knee or a spinning elbow strike to the temple. They are also unusual compared to most other fighters when you consider their choice of dress i.e. simply athletic shorts, which are ideal for fighting due to their inherent free range of motion when compared to other fighters who usually like to show up dressed like a pretentious douche getting ready to go to an equally pretentious rave, what with their over-the-top, styled hair, "fashion forward" designer clothes and expensive accessories. Seriously, practicality? What are those Muay Thai fighters thinking?
- The Ninja - Like how there is a token black guy in every Horror movie, there is a ninja in every fighting tournament. There can be more than one of them, but they always look alike and do the exact same type of moves.  The only way to tell them apart is the color of clothes they wear, which are rarely appropriate for stealth maneuvers...
- The Big Strong Fellow - There is always a big, huge, buff, strong fellow out there (which is almost always a wrestler or a sumo) who will join and can pound your head so hard into the ground that your grandmother will get a migraine. Fortunately, they move at a snail's pace since they suffer from "slow movement syndrome", a common condition found amongst big meaty people.
- The Chick - Every fighting tournament is not complete without some hot girl getting involved. This girl may be anything; a nature-lover, a policewoman, an assassin, yes, even a ninja. They usually hail from someplace with an air of fancy, like England, or China, or other parts of the world like that. There could also be two, maybe three or four of these fine ladies involved at once. What they will share in common is that their strength will be directly proportional to their bust size and that they are willing to use their dashing looks and sexy figures to distract you while they pound your skull in.
- The Old Person - Every now and then an old person who should be in a retirement home gets involved, and not only will attack you with some ancient fighting art, but will show you pictures of their grandchildren too. Sometimes this may be a creepy old woman who throws her dentures at you to attack, which is actually more gross than painful. Be wary, though, as there are some old fogies who could kick your ass twelve ways from Sunday if they get the chance.
- The Doppelganger - Fanboys/fangirls are dangerous people. So much so that sometimes in some tournaments, one of these overly obsessed fans will go out and make themselves look, dress, sound, and fight exactly like you, only they'll dress in different colors, not unlike "evil twins". You know what to do to copycats: Hand them their ass in a handbag.
- The Freaky Dude - A freak is almost always there. These guys are quite the eccentric characters; they could be a foaming-at-the-mouth beast that emits electricity, a knife-juggling clown, a zombie hungry for a little slab of brain, or perhaps even a sketchy kid with ADD that pretends to shoot you with laser eyes or who plays dead then kicks you in the balls when you go to check the motionless body. But they're not so bad, they only want to be friends... 
- The Kid - Don't worry about kicking these twerps around. No one will ever sue you for child abuse or get on your case if you beat them black and blue. Besides, a concussion or two will help build his character.
- The Car - Some tournaments will pit you in a match where your opponent is a car or an SUV. These fights are usually the easiest, as the vehicle won't fight you back at all. Just watch out for those import models.
Now that you know the who's in the who's who of fighting who's, it's time to get right down to what it will be like to engage in a symposium of fisticuffs between you and your various opponents.
It's Time to Fight!
Once you get into a fight with a fellow participant, you will notice two long bars hovering above your heads and a timer in the middle with numbers in it that gradually decreases, all of which seemingly hanging in midair through mysterious forces that follow you wherever your fight takes you... Is it magic, perhaps? Or maybe they're using wires that you just can't see. Just don’t worry about the technicalities, okay? If you leap too high, you somehow pass through them. See? No worries. An unseen voice screams out, "Round 1! FIGHT!!!" and the match begins. Use those fists and feet. Leap around and drop kick them. Duck and sweep them off their feet and punch them in the gut. If they get too close, throw them into a stack of conveniently located flaming barrels.
Don't be afraid to put up your guard, either. As soon as you do, you can gain a god-like invincibility that reduces all injuries to your person to next to nothing. You can take a sword slash to your arms as you hold them up and not even suffer a scratch! In fact, many people in fighting tournaments can and will rely almost solely on this tactic. These people are referred to as turtles. And what do you do to turtles? That's right, you pick them up and chuck them at the nearest mutant mushroom. Just be sure to jump it when it comes sliding back at you. ...Oh, wait; that's a different type of tournament.
Special moves are a must. Everyone's going to have them. A fireball, a rising uppercut, maybe even something that involves kicking like a flying kick, a spinning kick, or maybe a kicking kicker kick. If you can’t think of anything good just throw your car keys or something at them. If you do it while shouting something Japanese-sounding, it could turn into a set of flaming keys. Who knows? You can probably make lightning come out of your fists and flames fly out of your feet (or butt) with proper concentration of your ki, and maybe by motioning a quarter-circle then pressing a nearby button too, which always helps.  Don't forget to scream out the name of your attack, even if it's in questionable English.
Super Attacks, also known as "Desperation Moves", also help to turn the tides in your favor. They're big and flashy and really put the hurt on your foe, so always use them to both look cool and be effective. The bad thing about them is that you can only use them after meeting certain "special" requirements, but then, they wouldn't be super, now would they? Pull them off at the last second when your opponent least expects it, and before you know it, you've won the whole match!"YOU WIN!!!" the disembodied voice cries. That same one who announced the beginning of the match will somehow be stalking you everywhere you go, even if you fight in the middle of a field where there's no one but you and your opponent. Who is this guy? Why is he following you everywhere? Is he hiding himself somewhere where you can clearly hear him? Or is he just invisible? It's kind of spooky. This guy is also the voice you hear when you lose sometimes; the voice screams "CONTINUUUE?" and there will probably be another number set above you, the count slowly depleting. You'd best answer "yes" or you'll have to start the whole tournament over again, and I don't think you'd want to do that after busting your ass trying to get back to where you were at. The announcer may follow you to the bathroom when you go to relieve yourself too, most likely screaming "BONUS ROUND!! GO!!!"
Sometimes if your tournament allows it, you can kill your opponent! Rip his head off, tear him in two, or just slice him to pieces in an incredibly gruesome fashion that will have mothers across the world covering the eyes of their impressionable children. Or just knock them into a pit full of spikes! It's all in good fun and they'll understand. Best of all, you can get away with it. It's murder, and no one will have to know, legal in every way. It's fair to tell you this can happen to you too, but just like your opponent, you can get mauled by bears, ran over by a car, attacked by an angry swarm of deadly chickens, and have your spine broken in 37 places and come back in the next round/match completely intact! It's pretty amazing, isn't it?
In tournaments like that, you often lose gallons of blood from a single hit, yet you won't suffer any blood loss. Even a mere paper cut could result in a spectacular geyser of blood. Don't worry if your arm gets ripped off during the match too, it'll be back on you in the next round!
Nearing the End: Facing the Big BossNo doubt that once you dispose of all the normal competition you'll have to face the big leagues. Normally these are comprised of 4 people, or it's just the big guy in charge of the whole tournament. The dude who held the whole thing in the first place usually has more strength and power than you or throws huge fireballs; talk about cheap. He probably has a gun too. That’s okay, you’ll have found cheap moves of your own by now.
He could be anything, a walking sack of meat and steroids, a prissy rich guy, or a martial artist who wears the same clothes as that one karate guy you fought, only with a different head and maybe wearing a mask. Sometimes they are even guys running a big time crime organization on the side, or something like that. It may even be your sworn nemesis... you know, that guy who up and killed your father one day for some reason who you've been looking for all your life.
But why would they hold these tournaments? They'll likely go on about their plans and why they held it in the first place when you reach the finals. Now and then they are gathering all your energies for some purpose like to supply their death ray guns somehow, or to awaken some sort of super being which you'll then have to potentially face, or just to power their coffee grinders or to watch the TV so they won't run up the electric bill. Crap. Why can't they just hold the tournament to get a hug?
They tend to hold the final fight in their own lair, or just on some dramatic stage, like a spaceship or something. Probably doesn't matter anyways though, he might blow it up once you win. Flee!
While you are winning against your foes, be sure to pose for your portrait and throw a taunt down at your fallen foe to humiliate them. Sometimes just kicking around their defeated carcass is a good way to rub it in. But don't rest on your laurels just yet! At some point, depending on your performance, a mysterious warrior who isn't a normal part of the roster will leap in and challenge you to a battle, and are usually uber-powerful jerks who'll just beat you unconscious, and then steal your wallet and run away. But if you, somehow, manage to smite them, the girls will be all over you and you'll gain even more bragging rights to your credit, even though the guy you just fought was nobody special.
Sometimes, a record of just how well you did will be kept until the very end; hidden judges will tally up your total score or how fast you were winning and ask you to enter your initials, where your name will be kept on a list of "best fighters" for a while. It feels good to know you've accomplished something like that, doesn't it?
In the end, after it's all said and done and the tournament is over, you get to go home with whatever you want, depending on what the tournament offered you... the leadership of a wealthy clan, immortality, a wish, maybe even money and women. Power too, perhaps? Or did you just want the fight? If so, consider your life boring and meaningless and you'll never amount to anything.
Your dreams will be satisfied, and you can go and party hard, and knock back a cold beer. Maybe even flirt with that blue-haired cutie who almost beat you up in that one round, whom of which you've had your eyes on for a good while, and ask her out on a date. Catch up on your well-deserved rest and relaxation and enjoy life as it comes to you, or you can just go and beat up some more cars. Well, at least until there's another tournament being held by the next big boss...
- ↑ Martial artists also follow this trend. Martial arts are about kicking ass efficiently, not originality.
- ↑ Warning: Do not become friends.
- ↑ If you're backed into a corner just tap X rapidly, it usually works.
- ↑ It's in the bible. Check for yourself..