Video play culture builds magical realism in the epic of a hero fighting for love. Once upon a time there was a boy who had discovered the girl of his dreams in the most literal sense of the term.
They both loved each other, but his story would not be easy: to be together, the young man had to defeat the seven evil ex-boyfriends of his lady. This is the story of Scott Pilgrim, protagonist of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novel of the same name. This work had its own adaptation in the cinema: Scott Pilgrim against the world. A story so steeped in video-play culture, and whose development resembles the narrative of a fighting game, should also have its own version in digital entertainment. On January 14, 2021, Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game Complete Edition arrives, with three special physical editions. Today in MeriStation we talk about a hero moved by love whose epic goes beyond the classic “the hero always stays with the girl”.
Fighting games as a teacher
If we take a look at the classic beat’em up, the topic of the damsel in distress is more than present: Double Dragon, Final Fight, The Revenge of Shinobi … In them, our hero beat his way through hordes of enemies to rescue a girl who used to be his girlfriend. Of course, there have been variations that have challenged this convention: in Streets of Rage 2 we go to the rescue of Adam Hunter and in River City Girls it is they who are going to save their respective boyfriends.
Scott Pilgrim’s narrative combines two fantasies: the hero who defeats his rivals and the boy with few social skills who ends up conquering a beautiful and mysterious young woman. Scott is far from a winner: unemployed, financially distressed, socially awkward. His weak constitution does not correspond to the common image of the muscular protagonists of fighting games. And yet, Scott Pilgrim manages to defeat the seven powerful ex-boyfriends of his beloved Ramona Flowers and has his happy ending next to her love.