audi famam illius, solis in hostis ruit, et patriam servavit

Posted: December 1, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

When I haven’t been busy with writing, homework, classes, or sleep in the last few weeks (which honestly hasn’t been a lot), my friends and I have often got together and played Super Smash Bros Brawl. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, because I think that the SSB series is the world’s best offline multiplayer game.

One thing that I’ve noticed, though, is that we have our own lexicon that we use when playing the game. I’m not talking about the standard, worldwide definitions that everyone seems to agree on (like calling that cave area in Hyrule Temple “Fight Club”, or referring to the act of repeatedly using the same attack over and over again “spamming”, or using “Final D” to mean the Final Destination stage, or even just calling Pikachu “Pikacheap” or “Cheapachu”). No, we have our own definitions, honed over years of play together, which we use that MAKE NO SENSE to anyone outside our little play group.

Like, for example, “pulling a Josh”. To pull a Josh is to throw a Poké Ball off the edge of the map when you get it, so that you can’t summon a Pokémon to fight and do your bidding. That saying has a complex etymology. Basically, nobody in our neighborhood knows this Josh– except for me. He was a person who lived in my dorm freshman year who would play Brawl with us. Whenever he got the Poké Ball, he would invariably throw it off of the map, whether he wanted to or not. Therefore, we referred to inadvertently throwing a Poké Ball off the edge of the world as “pulling a Josh.” This saying eventually transferred to the gaming group of the local neighborhood kids.

I wonder what happened to Josh. Winter quarter of my freshman year, he was expelled for threatening his roommate with a knife.

It’s probably best not to go and find out.

But I digress. We use a lot of slang in our matches. A “trophy wife” is a summonable trophy item. When we use a smash attack against a person, we don’t “smash attack” them, we “C-stick” them (because the command for Smash Attack on the Gamecube controller is the C-stick). A lot of the time, when we talk about a specific attack, we refer to it by the button we use to perform the attack. We never call a recovery move a recovery move. We call it an “up-B”. Pit is called “Arm-Pit”.

I’m sure that every group of friends who gets together and plays a game has these little slang terms that make no sense to anyone outside the group. Whether they play Super Smash Bros, or Call of Duty, or Halo, or Street Fighter, or Marvel Vs. Capcom, or Need 4 Speed, or Mario Kart, or Soul Calibur, or even just Wii Sports or Tony Hawk or a hundred different others– whatever it is, whether it’s a fighting game or a racer or a first person shooter or anything else, there’s always those little bits of language that reinforce the idea that you’re a part of the group, one of the gang, that you belong somewhere.

Still, there’s one piece of SSB-related slang that only we use that’s a little bit closer to my heart. We always call Captain Falcon “Captain Peehead”. This is juvenile, I know, but since we made up this word when we were eight, that’s no surprise. We’ve always called him Captain Peehead, ever since the first Super Smash Bros game, when we played over at my neighbor Tobin’s house, up in his room on a Nintendo 64. Whenever I hear someone call Captain Falcon “Captain Peehead”, it takes me back, to when I was just a kid, to those early days of elementary school, when there was no such thing as Final Smashes or side-B attacks, when I watched cartoons every day and liked to draw maps of fantasy universes, back in the beforetimes.

It gives me nostalgia. It gives me peace.

~ Ian


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