In which I lament the wrath of KHAN!

Well, it’s happened. Black Friday has been imported from America, along with obesity and Adam Sandler. Thanks for that, guys. You bunch of apes. How does anyone profit from this insanity? Surely this will adversely impact demand for things on the remaining days of the year?

I am wholly convinced that this is a symptom of a disease. A contagious disease. Now, most people would say that the disease is consumerism – and guess what? I agree with them. The disease is consumerism. The symptoms include monomania, and a complete loss of regard for the well-being of your fellow human beings.

Hey, I get that buying things is a necessary part of life. I don’t want all my things handed out to me by some government department. I’m all for wanting and buying shit. But buying things should be done slowly, as and when things are needed. Not in freakish, spasmolytic binges. Fuck. What would life be like if you did a yearsworth of salivating in one day? You would be hospitalised.

The only bargain I netted so far has been Mortal Kombat, in the Steam sale. The contents of this game remind me quite a bit of the encounter I witnessed on YouTube, of one girl C’MERE-ing another in order to rob a modestly-priced handbag.

The story mode seemed like the best way to enjoy the game. It’s just a series of fights, interspersed with Shakespearean drama, in which the female characters look like slightly-jaded glamour models, who, struggling to find work after the demise of Nuts magazine, have migrated into the world of BDSM.

The male characters are similarly implausibly proportioned, and slightly thicker. Jonny Cage is meant to be the stupid comic relief character, but in truth they’re all equally stupid – especially Raiden, who manages at one point to accidentally burn someone to death with lightning.

But I can forgive this, along with the game’s generous view of the human body’s ability to withstand broken bones. This is, after all, a game where people can teleport and cast fireballs and lightning from their fingers.

Anyway, after you’ve beaten the living snot out of everyone, including your nominal allies, you get to fight Shao Khan. Something might happen after this – I don’t know, as I have yet to best this monstrosity. I’ve won perhaps four rounds out of the fifty plus I’ve played against him. My girlfriend listens from another room to the sound of Raiden’s bones being repeatedly broken, and lightning attacks being blithely swatted aside by this absolute bitch of an end boss, intersperesed at roughly forty-second intervals by the announcement that Shao Khan wins.

Raiden has the ability to fly across the room and tackle people around the middrift – a doubtless essential move, and one which I’ve been abusing to all hell. But if you do this and it doesn’t work out, Shao Khan will just go to town. It’s like watching a youtube compilation of the most one-sided, injury-resulting UFC encounters.

Occasionally I come very close. But for every close-fought round there are three or four where he just molests me in the face. The chances of me ever winning more than one out of every three rounds is remote. I feel like James Rolfe when I play this game.

The injustice of it all is maddening – and of course, anger makes you lose more. This fight prompts surges of anger I haven’t felt since a round of FIFA* prompted me to smash open the bottom of my Xbox controller and bite a huge hole there. It’s a vicious circle.   This is like some lesson in Zen – how does one remain calm when faced with this shit? Is this game trying to impart some knowledge which I can’t hope to grasp?

Sometimes he blocks it, sometimes he doesn’t bother; he just sort of glows gold, disregards my puny attempts to fight him and proceeds to batter me in the face. What an absolute fucker. The pattern in which this effect occurs seems entirely random, or so arcane that it might as well be. Maybe I’m supposed to refrain from attacking whenever a rogue magical wombat is present atop a skyscraper in the far distance.

“It’s official!” he bellows, having just smashed me in the face with his glowing green sledgehammer.  “You suck!”

Just what the hell is your problem, Shao Khan? I’ve just kicked you in the shin, really, really hard. Fall the fuck over! In Mortal Kombat, as in other fighting games, hitting someone should interrupt their attempts to hit you. If you get there first, then the animation will cease, and they will stagger back a bit. Shao Khan doesn’t do that shit.

Am I supposed to just disregard all of the game mechanics thus far? When I get to the final race of F1 2014 season will I discover that everyone’s brakes have been cut except for Alonso’s? When I get to the end of Tetris, will all the blocks turn momentarily octagonal? Fuck! What’s the end boss of the next MK going to be? Shao Khan in an M1 Abrams tank? I’d have the same chance of beating him!

I feel like I’m just running away from a horrible monster. My nightmares are going to be haunted by my foolish attempts to jump over his hammer uppercut, forgetting that he is tall as shit.

I bet Shao Khan doesn’t have any problems at Black Friday. I bet he could just wander into any shop of his choosing. If anyone told him he couldn’t have a 60” plasma, he’d have no problems. The prospect of having him stamp on their head before tossing their inert body aside would be sufficient.

I’m sure if you are such a person, Black Friday would be immensely profitable. You could simply push people aside like the puny thunder-gods that they are. For next year’s Black Friday I’m just going to go down to the nearest sweaty-gym. You know, one of those weird beefcake gyms which only rugby players, professional wrestlers and characters from Mortal Kombat can enter, and all of the very-heavy weights are mounted on the tusks of a mastodon. I’m going to pay them two-hundred pounds to go and get me a two-grand TV at 20% off. An excellent deal.

Or I could just start lifting weights now. I don’t know.  In more immediate future, i’m going to make another attempt to beat that motherfucker.  I must be a masochist.

Until next week.

*I think they were playing as Real Madrid, who are like the Shao Khan of the football world.

UPDATE:  I BEAT HIM!!!!1

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