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Shaq Fu is a 1994 fighting game for the Sega Genesis and SNES, developed and published by acclaimed company EA. It features former professional basketball player Shaquille "Shaq" O'Neal venturing to another world to save a young boy and fulfill the prophecy and blah blah blah.
The gameplay is based around Shaq Fµ, an obscure style of martial arts often compared to Chinese Water Torture. Practitioners are rare, as few are capable of withstanding the techniques for long enough to learn them properly without descending into madness. Only with the power of Shaq Fµ will you be able to defeat the baddies and save the day.
Shaq Fu is widely considered to be one of the greatest games of all-time, alongside other gems like Superman 64 or Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing. A sequel, Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn, is in development, but will likely not be as good as the original.
Long ago and far away, in a place called The Second World, there ruled the heartless sorcerer Sett Ra. His hunger for power still gnawed at him even though his dominance over the Second World was unchallenged; he longed to extend his grasp to the fair First World, Earth. Sett Ra's plan was simple. He would destroy the Pharaoh of Egypt and usurp his throne. He created a perfect assassin from his own shadow who would serve him without question. This shadow became Beast, the mightiest and most loyal of all Sett Ra's minions. Beast destroyed the Pharaoh, and the disguised Sett Ra soon sat upon his throne.
However, the Pharaoh's son Ahmet was not deceived. He brazenly confronted the powerful sorcerer, threatening to reveal him. Sett Ra called forth Beast from his shadowy other domain. Ahmet barely escaped from the palace to the Great Desert, where his grandfather, Leotsu the Wise, dwelt as a monk and hermit. Leotsu and Ahmet united with a coven of powerful wizards from the lands beyond Egypt, and their combined power was enough to send Sett Ra back to the Second World, comatose and imprisoned within a rune-encrusted pyramid. He slumbered for a millenium, bound by the wrappings of a mummy.
Beast roamed the Second World, dedicated to finding and releasing his dread master. Successful at last, Beast and Sett Ra vow to wreak havoc on those who stopped them before. They have gathered a battalion of formidable fighters to further this end. To regain his full strength and to end his exile from the First World, Sett Ra must perform an ancient ritual upon a descendant of Ahmet. Beast has now returned from Earth with the child Nezu, a child in whose veins the royal blood runs pure. All is ready for the final cataclysmic battle; only the Chosen One can stop Sett Ra now. One who possesses strength, spirituality, courage, agility, intelligence and unsurpassed skill in the martial arts. Where will the world find such a one? We're about to find out.
In Tokyo, world famous basketball player Shaquille O'Neal stumbles across a kung-fu dojo while heading to a charity basketball game. The owner is Leotsu, an old and wise martial arts master. He tells Shaq that he is the Chosen One, and shows him to a door leading to another dimension, the Second World. In that world, he must rescue a young boy named Nezu from the evil mummy Sett Ra, before Sett Ra can use the boy in some vaguely-defined evil scheme to resurect a long-dead pharaoh. Shaq, being the good sport he is, agrees immediately to this bizarre and suspicious proposition, with no second thought.
In the portal, Shaq explores the Second World and engages in Mortal Kombat-esque battles with odd characters like an evil mummy, a voodoo priestess, and a cyborg police officer. The world is murky, dark, and uninviting, with a brilliant shade of crimson cast as Shaq fulfills the prophecy and lays the Shaqdown on his opponents. Shaq manages to defeat Sett Ra, and returns Nezu to safety. He goes back to his charity game, where he finds that Beast, one of the enemies he fought in the Second World, is on the opposing team. Shaq hopes that Beast can play hoops better than he can fight, and the game is on.
In the game, you must use Shaq Fµ to defeat your enemies. The delicate techniques of the style are intended to damage the internal organs; because of this, only blows landed directly in the center of a person are effective. This includes the many Projectile attacks the style is known for creating. Unlike in other styles of combat, hits are not meant to be strung together. Rather, the fighter is meant to perform one of four single strikes at lightning speed.
Another staple technique of Shaq Fµ involves the use of cheesy-yet-charming puns and one-liners. By utilizing these tidbits of dialogue, the practicioner of Shaq Fµ gains an advantage, as the opponent is sent into a laughing fit, not because of how funny this one liner is, but how corny it is. Goofy clown shorts and smelly sports jerseys of any kind(basketball and football are most prefered) also add a tremendous amount of ridiculousness to Shaq Fµ. One can light his foot on fire and kick someone with it to light them on fire. Too bad one can't kick too well. One can also throw a Japanese throwing tool used by mystical ninjas in orange pajamas who eat raman and have stupid catch phrases, known as a Shaq-uriken
Enemies battled include an Indian prince (who gets hurt with his own swords); a promiscuous voodoo practitioner (who is acually Shaq's girlfriend); a potato sack wearing Green Goblin ripoff (complete with intimidating "I'll whisper it in your ear after I slap you silly" threat); some random San Francisco docksman who turns out to have a lot of significance in the plot (with more significance to Shaq's rap carrier); a catwoman (who is oh so kawaii!!!!/\./\); some guy wearing a bionic bra; and in a shocking plot twist, the old man who is that Asian boy's grandfather, fights Shaq in a battle that determines his courage and wits!
In 1994, EA met famous basketball player Shaquille O'Neal, who told them a story of how he saved the world through martial arts. They decided to make this premise of their next game, Shaq Fu. While LOSERs claimed this was a mere marketing ploy to get fans of Shaq to buy the game, it was in fact created to reveal nearly all of Shaq's secret kung-fu techniques.
Shaq Fu received unanimously positive reviews upon release. Fans praised it for its endearing story and characters, unique fighting mechanics, and sheer enjoyability. All remaining copies of the game still in circulation were bought and preserved in a Mexican fort, along with E.T. cartridges, copies of Battlefield Earth, and the missing Florida Ballots.
Recently several buisnesses have embraced the art of Shaq Fu as not only a physical martial art, but a mental and spiritual one as well, and have attempted to incorporate its teachings with their business strategies (much the way smarter people embraced the principles of Go in a similar manner). Generally, the resulting intent is to produce products intended solely to annoy, perplex, and infuriate consumers, presumably to make other products produced by the group look better by comparison, or to inflict brain damage and produce an army of fans who will purchase anything with the person or company's name on it. Invaribaly, the former has proven to be less successful than expected, though the latter has been met with some small success.