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Fanfic / Ultimate Video Rumble

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The Ultimate Video Rumble (or UVR for short) is a Mega Crossover tournament-style fanfic, taking characters from fighting games such as Street Fighter, The King of Fighters, Tekken, and Mortal Kombat and pitting them against each other in a huge contest in a competition not unlike a Royal Rumble found in professional wrestling. Basically, each "Section" is made up of the twenty people currently in the ring, and the reading public votes on which ten people will stay in the arena to welcome the next wave of fighters, whereupon the public can vote again. This continues until there is only one left.

The first tournament was strictly a tournament, having no interaction between characters outside of the ring. This tournament also consisted of the smallest roster of the three (around 120 characters), and the eventual win went to Haohmaru of Samurai Shodown.

The second and third tournaments added a side story to the tournament, and how several of the games' villains were pooling their resources together to pull off some evil scheme that somehow involved some of the other characters in the tournament. These subplots included additional fights that happened "backstage", the outcomes of which were also voted upon. The winner of the second tournament was Guy of Final Fight while the winner of the third was Geese Howard of Fatal Fury (outside the tournament itself, the Bad Guys got beat both times overall).

Responsibilities of the tournament traded hands several times over the course of the three fanfics and it appears that the third tournament has been the last.

The story content of all three Rumbles can presently be found on here, here, and here.

Older archives and caches are more scattered and frequently require use of the Wayback Machine, but additionally include voting forms, vote tallies, author and voter comments, and FAQs: some can be found here, here, and here. And a message board used by the authors during the latter half of the third Rumble can be found here; it includes discussion and early drafts for each chapter, along with supplemental material for the never-released Ultimate Video Rumble 4.

The UVR has inspired several spinoffs, but only a select few have seen completion.

These stories provide examples of...

  • Aborted Arc: With all the other artifacts and power sources up for grabs at the start of the third Rumble, the Soul Edge winds up forgotten and unpursued. Around the mid-point, the arc is hastily and officially closed with a comment that Cervantes went home early, blades and all.
    • Also around the mid-point (more specifically, when the new batch of authors join), the entire ''Iron & Blood'' faction calls it quits before half of them have even entered the ring. (The writers wanted to make room for some extra mystery fighters that were more interesting, but whose games didn't exist when the roster was first assembled.)
  • A God Am I: Demitri in the second tournament, and M. Bison in the third.
  • All-American Face: Captain America, of course. It works: Cap lasts an incredible thirteen rounds in the third Rumble, the best showing of the night, and might have gone the distance if he hadn't drawn such an early entry.
  • An Arm and a Leg: In the first rumble, possibly as a nod to the Time Killers being represented, the fighters could lose their arms and still continue fighting if they could. That said, the only one that benefited from this was Chun-Li, whom managed to score several eliminations despite losing both arms due to her reliance on kick-based moves.
  • Another Dimension: Called "nodes" here; each game series has its own. The planned UVR 4 more explicitly treats Fatal Fury as an Alternate Universe of The King of Fighters, resolving the contradictions in the two timelines.
  • Anyone Can Die: In the ring, anyone can literally get ripped to pieces...
    • ...but then be magically restored to normal after their elimination, so this is technically subverted.
      • An Explanation: The first UVR had the ring surrounded by a moat of acid from Mortal Kombat II. EVERYBODY who didn't win got a fatal acid bath (Except Larcen Tyler), but was later shown just fine in the stands. The second and third rumbles featured a Dimensional Barrier, which sent eliminated fighters into a random universe, usually right in front of something nasty. Like in the first, they were brought back to the dome in one piece (to continue with the subplot, of course).
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The third tournament briefly brings us Apocalypse, who is so big that he can't fit in the arena and it takes EVERYONE in the ring to get rid of him.
  • Author Avatar: The organizers and staff of the rumble.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Geese winning the third UVR (even people who voted for him were surprised he actually won)
  • Big Bad: Shao Khan in the inaugural UVR, Demitri in the second tournament; M. Bison in the third.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The second and third tournaments each had a ragtag group of characters joining forces to take down the Big Bad just before the evil scheme is about to be complete.
  • Berserk Button: Whatever you do, don't tell The Silver Samurai he sucks or even say the WORD around him. He WILL destroy you. Also, don't call Ryoko cute (she is, but never ever say that to her face).
  • Blessed with Suck: Anyone enhanced by the Ore. In their own universe, they might be the most powerful beings around, but in the Rumble, they're surrounded by fighters with near-equal power and far more skill (and public respect). Hence the chanting. When Rancid gets exposed, he finds it a curse, power boost not withstanding.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Morrigan uses her succubus powers to brainwash several hapless fighters into serving her and fighting the heroes in both the second and third tournaments.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Several fighters have amusing behavior quirks, either canonically or added by the writers. If they're sufficiently entertaining, they also prove to be especially skillful in the ring because the voters keep them in longer just to see what they do next. This particularly explains the respectable showings of Athena, Silver Samurai, and Wan-Fu in the second Rumble, Yoshimitsu and Kirby in the third, and Haohmaru in all three.
  • Butt-Monkey: The majority of the cast of World Heroes.
    • Eddy Gordo in UVR 3. Probably a bigger Butt Monkey than the World Heroes, the War Gods, and the Time Killers combined. He might also be classified as an Iron Butt-Monkey.
    • Also in UVR 3, the War Gods. As an example, Tak only manages to survive for two whole seconds before Juggernaut punches him so hard that he explodes. Yes, you read that right. TWO SECONDS.
    • In all three UVR's, every Time Killer except Rancid...
      • least until UVR 3, when he is eliminated relatively quickly compared to his last two outings.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Many, many fighters do this in all three tournaments, carrying this over from their respective games. Handily for the authors, this is a good substitute for writing out a visual description of the move: the reader doesn't need further details to picture what happens when someone shouts, e.g., "HADOUKEN!"
  • Cerebus Syndrome / Growing the Beard: The first Rumble is simply a free-for-all between the fighters of numerous universes, for no justification beyond the Rule of Cool. The second Rumble keeps that element, but adds backstage plotting which eventually converts the story from no-stakes action-comedy to multiverse-threatening action-drama; the third Rumble follows that pattern.
  • Chainsaw Good: Rancid, whom appears in all three rumbles, is obviously never seen without his trademark chainsaw.
  • Character Catchphrase:
    • Wan-Fu basically spends the entirety of the second tournament yelling "YOU!" while beating people with his Pillar of Pain.
    • Rancid frequently uttered "Mommy!" in the first two tournaments when anyone decided to eliminate him.
    • Scorpion just loves to use "GET OVER HERE!" throughout the tournaments.
    • Haohmaru, whenever he talks (and boy, does he TALK), tends to include the words "HA!" and "Legendary".
    • In UVR 3, Kenshi begins almost every sentence with "Now, I may be blind..."
  • Characterization Marches On: Due to the sheer number of characters involved, the authors give many of them fairly generic personalities in the first and even second tournaments, developing their nuances and/or quirks in the later outings. For example, the Geese Howard in the first Rumble is sniveling and underwhelming, especially compared to the confident crime boss seen in the third.
    • There are also meta-examples where later games reveal the characterization doesn't match the canon. One example: Morrigan and Demitri work together in the second tournament, written long before anybody found out that they are actually enemies. (Others, like Yoshimitsu, deliberately deviate from the official personality just to make them more interesting.)
  • Chekhov's Gun: Subverted with the wooden stake Ryo carries in the second Rumble, which is brought out in the climactic battle against Demitri... only to accomplish absolutely nothing.
  • Cloudcuckoolander / Pop-Cultured Badass: Yoshimitsu. He has a tendency to constantly make random quotes from pop culture.
    • Many of the voter responses throughout all three UVR's also qualify.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: RANCID. He basically runs around, screaming like a little girl, and then manages to decapitate and/or mutilate anyone who gets in his way. He has been the only Time Killer to ever get an elimination in any of the three tournaments. Subverted in UVR 3, when he was eliminated quickly. Winning a bonus battle was apparently of no help.
    "More eliminations than the World Heroes, Fatal Furites, Eternal Champions, and Virtua Fighters *combined*." - Rancid's "WHAFU**?" AWARD from the first tournament.
  • Crowd Chant: In the first UVR, the crowd insults the Virtua Fighters by chanting "CUBES SUCK! CUBES SUCK!" Briefly changed to "POLLYGUNS SUCK!" (actual spelling) when Wolf chastises the heckler who started the chant.
    • The "WAR GODS SUCK!" chant mentioned above. Even the cameraman gets in on it!
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Doctor Doom wants to kidnap Kyo Kusanagi so he can analyze the Orochi Source... as a clean power source for Latveria. There might be also some superweapon possibilities (which is why Kyo refused when Doom tried asking nicely), but that's secondary. (According to Doom, anyway.)
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The first tournament had the eventual winner (Haohmaru) enter very early, dominate the rest of the tournament and win with a staggering 22 eliminations, a record that was never matched in either of the following tournaments by anyone (partially because a "fatigue" feature was added in the second tournament).
    • Eddy's Quake II battle in UVR 3 may also qualify. He managed to kill some players, until they all decided to work together and kill him.
    • Falcon enters as a Mystery Fighter in the third tournament, promptly turns into his super mode and blasts everybody in the ring with his arsenal. The instant the power wears off, however, everyone else promptly beats him down.
    • Because of what he tried to do in the previous tournament, the UVR organizers "randomly" drew Demitri Maximov as the first entry. Guess who almost everyone decides to go after for the first few rounds.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: In the third tournament, Chang Koehan scores his only elimination in all three tournaments against TRUE OGRE.
  • Duel to the Death: Mitsurugi vs Hol Horse. Occurs because Mitsurugi is jealous that Hol Horse, an inexperienced cowboy, is doing much better than people who are skilled with swords.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Rancid becomes one after stupidly picking up some cursed ore from a War God after beating him in a Side Battle. Rancid spends the majority of the third tournament in a huge, powerful form that he doesn't want in the first place.
  • Evil Twin: Early in the third tournament, the villains create an evil clone of Andy Bogard (officially labelled as "EX Andy Bogard" from the Real Bout Fatal Fury games). Said evil clone, calling hmself "Drew Bogard", spends most of the tournament with the villains and tarnishing Andy's image before being unceremoniously killed by Rancid in the penultimate section before the latter enters the arena. Ironically, Drew and Andy never end up meeting over the course of the tournament.
  • Expy / Shotoclone: The similarities between Ken Masters and Ryo Sakazaki, and between Robert Garcia and Dan Hibiki, are inevitably lampshaded once each pair meets. Ken takes the resemblance personally, accusing Ryo of deliberately ripping him off. Robert and Dan, however, feel kinship from the resemblance and remain in contact (somehow) between Rumbles.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Chang Koehan. The third tournament also includes Kirby.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Most of the World Heroes in the third Rumble; once their collective Small Name, Big Ego is deflated, they spitefully turn to infamy to replace their lost fame. (They aren't any more effective as villains than they are as heroes.)
  • Failure Gambit: It's not uncommon in the second and third Rumbles for someone inside the ring to decide they need to deal with something outside the ring, and therefore deliberately try to get eliminated. When Geese doesn't do this in the third Rumble, despite supposedly managing a criminal conspiracy that could use direction, it's the first sign that his priorities have changed.
  • Fourth-Wall Observer: According to the author notes, this would have been Hyo Amano's gimmick in the never-started fourth Rumble.
  • The Giant: Expressed in the "Big Guy" rules. The default number of eliminations per section is half the competitors in the ring (usually, ten out of twenty), but for each "Big Guy" present, that number goes up by one, to demonstrate that the Big Guy is wearing everyone down a lot more than usual. (There are also "Really Big Guys" who bump up the number by two.) A "Big Guy" isn't always literally big — overpowered competitors of regular size, such as most Final Bosses of their respective games, will have the same effect — but usually it's someone like Zangief, Motaro, or Hulk.
  • Gilligan Cut: Towards the end of the third tournament, The Incredible Hulk decides to take on Geese Howard. He charges at Geese... and we cut to OutRun, with Hulk bellowing in rage. (He then decides to hitchhike to the nearest town. Cue this.)
  • Glory Seeker: Geese Howard abandons his MacGuffin hunt in favor of trying to win the third Rumble and show an audience of millions that he's the greatest fighter in the multiverse (and, as a bonus, have fun beating the tar out of everyone in his way, without consequence). And he succeeds, and even has a chance to mock Bison for sticking to the Evil Plan and failing badly. Given that his earlier plan would have made him a Physical God, this change in priorities is an improvement for all concerned, although he's still a gloating Jerkass every step of the way.
  • Handicapped Badass: As mentioned, in the first rumble, Chun-Li scored multiple eliminations after losing BOTH of her arms. The third rumble also brings Kenshi, whom is blind.
  • Heel: Of multiple varieties:
    • There are plenty of literal Monsters, particularly from Darkstalkers. Some are actually good guys, but many are not and get the heel treatment.
    • The War Gods, with their unwarranted pride in the power of their node, fill the role of the Foreigners.
    • Hol Horse adopts the classic heel role, as a prideful coward who repeatedly cheats through help from his partner in the audience. He also gets his eliminations off of fan favorites and then taunts the booing audience.
  • Heroic Bystander: While it's hard to call anyone competing at UVR a true bystander, Demitri would have succeeded (or at least escaped) in the second Rumble were it not for the interference of a couple of relative nobodies:
    • Namely, the wrestler, King, interrupting the ritual at a key moment.
    • And then the one who seals his fate is Sasquatch, with a clutch ice laser.
  • Heroic Willpower: Guy, the only person ever to successfully resist Morrigan's seduction attack. And he does so ''casually''. How?
    Guy: (shrugs) Clean living.
  • Hilarity Sues: How does Thanos the Mad Titan deal with the loss of the Infinity Gems? He sues the Rumble organizers.
  • Humiliation Conga: EDDY GORDO. Let's recap:
    • To start, Eddy gets eliminated in the first round and is sent to Quake II. He dies at least 43 times in the span of 10 minutes.
    • Immediately after Eddy's elimination (but before the aforementioned Curb-Stomp Battle), a terrorist organization raises an insanely large amount of money to create the "Keep Eddy Gordo Dead" fund. Birdman uses the money to keep Eddy circulating between video game worlds for the rest of the evening.
    • His next destination is Silent Hill. He is promptly slaughtered by demons.
    • Then it's on to ChuChu Rocket!. He defeated all of the cats, and was on his way to the rocket... and then True Ogre drops in (see Took a Level in Badass below) and starts bleeding. And then the mice start drinking the blood. What happens next ain't pretty.
    • After Grendal is eliminated, he lands in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. Take one guess as to who's playing with Regis before Grendal kills everything in the studio.
    • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is the next stop on Eddy's journey of pain. He manages to break into the Technodrome, eliminate every last Foot Ninja, and even manages to kill Krang, Rocksteady, and Bebop at the same time. Eddy celebrates his long-awaited good fortune... only to get stabbed in the back by Shredder.
    • Finally, he gets into a massive brawl with Chang Koehan that spills into multiple worlds throughout the final rounds. It ends when, in the world of Twisted Metal: Black, Eddy is crushed by a belly flop from Chang.
    • According to the epilogue, Eddy died 364 times throughout the night. He suffered so much psychological damage that he hired a lawyer to sue the UVR organizers for breach of contract (a fighter can only die once after being eliminated, according to the contracts).
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Happens a few times over the course of the second and third Rumbles, as brainwashing people is the MO of both Demitri and Morrigan.
    • Spider-Man, who sees mind-controlling villains pit friends against each other all the time, mocks Morrigan for even trying it, since "it never works."
    • Except this time it does.
      Spider-Man: All right, all right! So I owe the bat lady a Coke. Nobody's perfect.
  • Inn Between the Worlds: The Rumbles are housed in a pocket dimension created specifically for the event, with various technologies employed to access the numerous other universes (and, in some cases, different time periods within). Different aspects of its unusual nature come up as a plot point in each Rumble.
  • Jobber: The fighters of the less popular games frequently serve as "die" vote magnets, allowing more popular fighters to last longer. In the first Rumble, this was World Heroes, Time Killers, and Eternal Champions; in the second, World Heroes (mostly), Time Killers, and Killer Instinct; in the third, Iron & Blood: Warriors of Ravenloft, Mace: The Dark Age, and War Gods.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: This happens to Muscle Power in the first tournament. Within seconds of entering the ring.
    • "I'M NUMBAAAGGGGGGH!" (falls into acid)
    • Essentially, anyone who utters the phrase "I'M NUMBAHHHH ONE!" in any UVR will be slaughtered before the event is over.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Mystery Fighter Hol Horse in the third Rumble. He used his Stand to distract other opponents, eliminated two fan-favorite characters (Kirby and Yoshimitsu), and shot Captain America in the gut. It was inevitable that he would be eliminated in a quick and painful manner. It got even more painful when Mitsurugi jumped into the elimination portal after him and killed him in a duel. (See Duel to the Death above.)
  • Lethal Joke Character: Kirby nets five eliminations in the third Rumble, placing him in the top ten performances of the night. Other mystery entries of the "what are they even doing in the ring?" type are also surprisingly likely to manage at least one kill, due to getting votes out of sheer amusement.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Joke Character Dan Hibiki. In the ring, he's not a real threat, getting most of his eliminations by accident or by the blundering of his opponent. But outside the ring and aware of the stakes, he becomes serious and surprisingly competent.
  • Motor Mouth: Haohmaru and Genjuro of Samurai Shodown LOVE to talk. Every time either of them talk, they get at least three full lines of text. This was based off a Running Gag in previous works by the authors and their fandom circle.
    • Played for Laughs in the third tournament, where Rogue kisses Haohmaru, borrowing his samurai skills, but also his ability to talk loud and long.
  • Mundane Wish: After already getting supercharged from the Ore, Rancid gets the power of the Mace of Tanis. He promptly uses the second to remove the first (along with some minuscule health complaints), then ditches the Mace in a Genre Savvy moment before Evil Weapon corruption can kick in.
  • Mushroom Samba: Chang Koehan in the world of Parappa The Rapper.
  • Must Make Amends: King of Tekken signs on with one of the villain teams for money in the second Rumble, belatedly realizes that his employers are planning Targeted Human Sacrifice, and then spends the rest of the night fighting with absolutely everything he has to disrupt the scheme.
  • Noble Demon: Doctor Doom. While he generally has his own self-serving plots going on, he also has several lines he will not cross (especially related to the demonic/souls), and honors his promises and debts. He's actually on the side of the heroes for the duration of his time at the second Rumble, albeit one who needs to be pulled back from some pragmatic solutions. (And in turn leverages that assistance into some Villain with Good Publicity persuasion in the third Rumble.)
  • No Indoor Voice: Haohmaru again. All of his text is done in ALLCAPS.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: The reason why great warriors of history and even superpowered immortals are getting thrashed by "regular" martial artists and even schoolgirls: the level of fighting prowess common in some worlds is just that much better. Even the weakest fighters there Had to Be Sharp just to compete at all; as a consequence, they can stand toe-to-toe with the best from the other worlds, who have only each other for practice or comparison. (That's the Watsonian reason, anyway. The Doylist reason is that the winners are decided by reader vote, and absolutely no one cares about Tak.)
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Again, Haohmaru and Genjuro. They see each other in the ring and they drop whatever it is they're doing to fight.
  • Power Parasite: Amakusa's plan in the third Rumble involves draining the many (many) fire-throwing fighters of their elemental power and feeding it all into Iori.
  • Running Gag:
    • The second and third tournaments involve one character ingesting a large amount of medication, leading to comedic hallucinations. In the second tournament, it happens to Athena, but in the third, it happens to RYU.
    • The second rumble had a habit of sending many fighters to the Smurf Village. Naturally, they came to complain about it before the third. So the organizers put them in miniaturized Virtuaroids and hired them to be security.
    • Someone trying a jump attack on Kim Kaphwan and getting mocked by Joe and Terry when a Hienzan inevitably sends them flying out of the ring. Until the Hulk tries and proves too hefty for Kim's counter.
  • Schrödinger's Gun: The author notes from the third Rumble reveal that some (though not all) bonus fights had predetermined ultimate outcomes regardless of how the votes fell, in order to keep the plot moving in roughly the desired direction. If the wrong person lost, they would be KO'd as per the vote, but a nearby ally would save them and/or accomplish their goal for them. (The outcomes in the ring, however, were always decided purely by the votes, and sometimes influenced events outside the ring by determining who was available to participate at all.)
  • Second Place Is for Losers: Bishamon, who was the final elimination in both the first and second rumbles.
  • Security Is Useless: Rumble security, for the most part, is grossly understaffed for the threats outside the ring, and does more harm than good by preventing the heroes who could actually stop the villains from organizing and pursuing effectively. They occasionally do help, but only when their biggest guns aren't tied up elsewhere.
  • Spirited Competitor: The motivation of most of the heroes for participating, at least before they get dragged into stopping whatever the villains are up to. Geese Howard develops into one in the third Rumble, by choosing to fight in the ring to the end at the expense of his schemes.
  • Targeted Human Sacrifice: All the villains want to sacrifice Haohmaru in the second Rumble, due to the Oversoul effect; some want to sacrifice Jeffry in the third because he's just so pure and innocent.
  • Thinking Up Portals: The third Rumble introduces Asmodeus, who appears in the ring via a demonic portal. It also keeps him mounted to the mat, which proves to be a challenge to everyone trying to eliminate him. Then he brushes up against the force field around the ring...
  • Took a Level in Badass: Chang Koehan in the third tournament. After spending the first two tournaments getting the lowest number of votes, his popularity skyrocketed in the third, which starts after a side battle concludes in him eating Shuma-Gorath (let me say that again: CHANG KOEHAN defeats, cooks and EATS SHUMA-GORATH). Afterward, he enters the ring, scores an elimination (against TRUE OGRE) and spends the rest of the tournament demolishing unusual opponents in different worlds. And he did it all in a comedic fashion.
  • What Could Have Been: Due to the votefic nature of the Rumbles, the writers didn't have full control over how things turned out, and planned for multiple possibilities. Author notes from the third Rumble (linked above) reveal, for example, that:
    • Had Doctor Doom's team failed to take out the demonic alliance, the demons would have fallen to in-fighting in a later bonus fight, with the winner taking the lead for the "sacrifice people" scheme.
      • Morrigan, meanwhile, would have probably sat that arc out. The writers had designated her as the "villain-on-standby" to take over any evil scheme that the original participants had sufficiently botched, so she could have conceivably involved herself in any of them, depending on which needed the most help.
    • Had Drew beaten Ran-Cid, he would have attempted to draw the Ore out for himself, only for the power of it and the Mace to collectively destroy him.
    • Had Geese Howard been eliminated (at any point) instead of winning the tournament, he would have landed in Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes right in front of US Agent, who would have taken the opportunity to do what Steve Rogers could not.
    • Had Geese been eliminated from the ring early enough, he would have continued collecting the Infinity Gems with Bison. At some point, the two would have fought it out for sole possession of the Gems in a bonus fight, which would have decided who would go on to become the Big Bad of the finale.
      • And had the winner of that fight been Geese, King likely would have been the one to face him in the final showdown, or at least the one to save the day had Alex lost the fight itself.