Potential Blog Idea: Ninja Never Wins

Mortal Kombat

First, I have to admit that I may have made a mistake.  Back in August when I said I’d have to tone things down with the writing, I did that during a real dark moment.  Bad things were happening and I didn’t have my head on straight.  This resulted in me putting away all my notebooks, but I also threw something out.  Don’t worry.  The title will be explained shortly.

For nearly a year, there has been a hat sitting on the floor.  Inside, I had a box full of my old RPG dice and pieces of paper with character names on it.  On top of the hat was a set of six papers that were empty tournament brackets.  This was all to set up a series that I wanted to do that I’ve always called ‘The Ninja Never Wins’.  The basic concept is that each book is about a tournament that acts as a spoof of fighting games.  I came up with the title when I saw that the character Scorpion in Mortal Kombat could win the game and still lose in the ending cut scene.  Honestly, these types of games love killing ninjas.  Anyway, the method to this was that I would draw names from the hat to set the brackets and then use the dice to roll up winners.  So, I would never know the match ups or winners beforehand, which was kind of fun.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure out how to make this anything other than fight after fight after fight.  Became a real problem during the final volume that had 30+ combatants.  It’s always been a challenge and I ended up tossing the papers into the garbage during my frantic crash.

Yet, the idea remains in my head.  So, I was wondering if down the road, it would be a worthwhile bi-weekly.  This wouldn’t be until some time next year when I have things settled in my life.  Since I’m writing this in September, it would be nice to know that my life has already settled instead of getting worse.  That aside, I would make one post revealing the combatants and let people talk about what they think will happen.  No voting because then people would either know the winner or I’d anger those that think I purposely went for the loser of the poll.  I’d use my dice and then write out the fight scene at another point in the week.  Maybe I could do the intro in the morning and the fight at night too.  Just spit-balling ideas here to help keep the blog entertaining while I get things together.

If people are interested then I might make another post about this.  I could even make it one tournament a year to cover the 6 stories, but this does mean there won’t be any side stuff.  I mean, the alternative is that I use ‘Ninja Never Wins’ as a weekly think like I plan on doing with Ichabod Brooks.  It could even be that I use ‘Ninja Never Wins’ and ‘Bedlam’ on the blog while I slowly build up another Ichabod Brooks collection to officially release, which is another option.  Between writing this post and it going live, I think I’ll rebuild the brackets and name papers.  That way, I can start it fairly quickly if people like the idea.  Again, it would just be fights with some banter and the ‘character bios’ in the morning would be where you learn about them.  Be great if I had pictures for these characters, but I can’t draw to save my life.

Just to give an overview, the tournaments I had were:

  1. Regular tournament with no special rules.
  2. Each competitor has a token or gem that you can steal to get the win.
  3. Death match with weapons.
  4. Women Only (All dead characters have been perfectly cloned with full memories.  How else do you explain Mortal Kombat?)
  5. Two-person teams.
  6. Grand Battle

I’ll admit that I’m a little iffy on #2 even now, but I can’t think of another fun addition.  I do remember a few fighting games that had special gems.  Anyway, this is an idea and I figure I’ll share it and get a response.  If anything, I might start it up mid to late spring or early summer next year if I can.  Again, I’m just throwing all ideas at the ether and seeing what survives.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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6 Responses to Potential Blog Idea: Ninja Never Wins

  1. There is a lot you could do with it. The title brings to mind the old Born Loser strip. It might make a great slapstick kind of comedy. Maybe you have a capture the flag event thrown in. I think it has a lot going for it.

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  2. I would direct your attention to a couple of anime, Yu-Gi-Oh and Naruto. Both series basically have one battle after another, some of which take two or three episodes to complete. Yu-Gi-Oh is based on a card game, but I think ninjas with special powers could fill in well for the special attacks and such in the card game. Naruto, of course, involves a group of ninjas who — shockingly — have special powers as well.

    BTW, since Naruto specifically involves ninjas, I think you should watch some of it. That way you wouldn’t inadvertently copy the themes and powers from the show, and you’d have an idea of the ninja society portrayed there.

    But what I wanted to mention about Yu-Gi-Oh is how every character has some kind of desperate desire or goal that drives them to compete in the seemingly-endless tournament. Yugi’s grandfather is captured and held hostage, forcing him to compete. Joey’s sister is blind, and winning the money will allow him to get surgery that would restore her sight. Even Pegasus, the evil mastermind who runs the tournament, does it all because he wants to revive his dead lover. Each of these competing goals are gripping, and it makes you care about who wins at the end of the season.

    By contrast, Naruto’s young protagonist initially starts with a Big Dream to one day be the ninja lord of his village. But he and his companions discover they are up against a master villain who is capable of destroying everyone and everything they love. The older this cohort gets, the darker and more urgent their series becomes.

    So even if you do a series of shorts that are humorous/satirical, you still need something solid at the core. Either the main character(s) has something urgent at stake or there is a terrible consequence attached to who wins the ultimate contest. Or both!

    You’ve mentioned in the past that you don’t get the same response to Cassidy & Lloyd as you do to Luke & Co. I wonder if it has to do with the more random nature of C&L and that everything is already in ruins so nothing is at stake?

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    • I’m actually reading ‘Naruto’ manga right now. Got into it years ago and finally coming back. Haven’t checked out YuGioh in years either, but I do remember the first few seasons.

      With this series, I’m looking more at fighting video games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat. There’s a general reason for the tournament with everyone entering for a different reason. I’m not even sure I’ll have a central character since the fight results will be randomly generated by dice. Having a central character could backfire if they are taken out halfway through the tournament.

      I think the Bedlam series is a tougher sell more because of the high violence and foul language content. There really isn’t any more randomness to their adventures than with the Windemere crew. It runs a little more like short stories, but every overarching adventure has something that they’re fighting for.

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