GAINING AN EDGE: A MASSIVE FIGHTING GAME CROSSOVER
Joe Higashi entered King’s Illusion Bar in Southtown and noticed the owner of the establishment with a despondent look on her face as she cleaned out mugs.
“Hey King,” said Joe. “What’s going on?”
“Nothing much. How about you?” replied King.
“I was wondering if you could help me with something. But, if this is a bad time I can...”
King’s expression brightened a little. “You’re fine, Joe. What can I do for you?”
“Have you seen Billy Kane around or know where he is at?” asked Joe. “He has been missing for a few days and Lilly is worried about him. I told her that I would help her track him down.”
King shook her head. “I have no idea where he is.” She chuckled. “It’s funny there was a woman in here the other night looking for him. She looked like trouble. (REF: LEO KLIESEN VS. KING (ART OF FIGHTING)) My guess is Billy has gotten himself in a bad situation.” (REF: CAMMY WHITE VS. BILLY KANE)
“Yeah. That wouldn’t be too surprising considering he has spent most of his life working for the likes of Geese Howard,” Joe lamented.
King shrugged. Joe’s phone buzzed and he pulled it from his pocket.
“It’s a text from Lilly. She finally heard from Billy. Turns out he got himself arrested for fighting a Delta Force officer in a hospital." (REF: VEGA VS. MIGUEL CABALLERO ROJO)
“Why would he do a thing like that?” King wondered.
Joe sighed. “Who knows.”
King leaned over the bar. “Disappointed you couldn’t earn brownie points with Lilly by locating her wayward brother before she did?”
“A little,” Joe admitted. “Anyways, sorry for wasting your time.”
“Nonsense. You know you are always welcome here Joe,” said King.
Joe prepared himself to leave, but then stopped himself. “So, what’s really going on, King? You didn’t exactly have a cheerful look on your face when I came in here.”
“It’s not a big deal. Just hurt pride is all,” answered King. “I lost a fight recently that I was sure I was going to win. Strangely enough, it happened on that same night the woman came in here looking for Billy Kane.”
“Who was he?” Joe asked.
“It was a she. Her name was Leo Kliesen. I could tell she was tough, but I didn’t think she would be that tough.”
“Why were the two of you fighting?”
“She actually traveled all the way to Southtown just to challenge me. Apparently, my story was an inspiration to her and she wanted to test her skills against me,” King explained.
“That’s actually pretty cool, well except for the losing part,” said Joe.
“Yeah. And it was right in front of Ryo...”
“Ryo knows you are an amazing fighter. I’m guessing she just caught you off guard that night. She probably studied your moves.”
“Thanks for the pep talk, but I’m probably still going to beat myself up about it for a little while,” said King.
“We have all been guilty of that.” Joe noticed a flier behind the bar. “What is that? An open invitation from Sagat?”
King looked back at the flier. “Oh yeah. Sagat is holding a tournament in Thailand. He is inviting all the strongest Muay Thai fighters in the world to attend. The winner of the tournament gets to challenge Sagat for his title as the God of Muay Thai.”
“Whoa. That’s incredible.”
“I was planning on going until the other night,” King said wistfully. “If I can’t beat the Leo Kliesens of the world then I’m still not ready to challenge Sagat.”
“How did I not know about this?” Joe wondered. “I have been traveling around a lot lately with the Bogard brothers, but still.”
“You should go,” King encouraged. “I think you would do great. Maybe even tame the Tiger himself.”
Joe smiled. “I think I will. Wish me luck.”
In Thailand, Sagat looked at all the fighters around him. He had never seen so many strong Muay Thai fighters in one place before. He took great pride in the impromptu tournament he had created. Sagat’s feelings of satisfaction quickly turned into annoyance as he noticed Adon approaching him with a head of steam.
“This whole tournament is a pointless formality,” said Adon. “Let me challenge you here and now for
your crown, and let’s be done with it.”
“Your arrogance will be your downfall just as it was once mine,” Sagat warned. “There are many talented Muay Thai fighters here that you have never faced, that I have never faced. Calling this a formality is extremely short sighted.”
“None of these impostors are in my league, you know it and I know it,” claimed Adon.
“What I know is that a title becomes hollow and empty if you don’t have the victories to sustain it. It is one thing to be called the God of Muay Thai, it is another thing all together to remind the world why,” Sagat explained.
“Really? I just thought this was another pathetic attempt on your part to make you feel better about that.” Adon pointed to the scar emblazoned across Sagat’s chest.
“You will never understand,” said Sagat. “I do hope that you win this. I would receive plenty of joy from personally wiping that smug smirk off your face!”
“It’s going to be hard to do that from a position of being crushed under my feet,” Adon retorted.
Some anger swelled up inside Sagat, but he quickly squelched it. He glance over at the bracket. “I believe you have a match to prepare for, Adon. One with Joe Higashi from the King of Fighters tournament.”
Adon scoffed. “An overrated goofball.”
“Now is your chance to back up your tough talk.”
A short distance away, Joe Higashi clinched his fists in anticipation as he looked at the bracket. “So I’m paired up with Adon. Taking down the Jaguar to help warm me up for the Tiger, I like it. Lilly is going to be so proud when I tell her she has been dating the new God of Muay Thai!”