Story Summary: A visit to :re proves to be just what he needs as Haise struggles from his worries of disappearing.
Pairing: Tousaki (Touka/Haise)
Word Count: ~2,260 words
Note: Contains spoilers for Chapter 32 (in case you haven’t read it yet). I didn’t think I would be continuing this (at least not so soon) but here is another fic which takes place after the events in “Winter Warmth”.Hope you enjoy! :)
He rests his chin on his hand, watching as she bends down to give a
cookie to the crying child, which the mother thanks her profusely for -
in between apologies- before patting them gently on the head.
“Job well done”he mouths when she catches him staring,and she laughs.
grin slowly fades as his horrible headache - the one that he worked so
hard to conceal from his squad - returns with a vengeance, intensifying
further, and suddenly he’s just…so… tired…
He wavers in his seat, his arm slamming against the table in an attempt
to steady himself but his motions are sluggish and he is unable to stop
from toppling sideways out of his chair.
The Character: A goofy, gargantuan Pacific Islander stereotype in the Minor Circuit of the World Video Boxing Association, Hippo hails from the fictional Hippo Island (but not the real Hippo Island in Antarctica). He’s so heavy that he can’t get off the floor on his own. Punch him in the face to break his defense, or focus on the stomach to drop his pants!
Beyond his pugilistic work, Hippo also found employment in the Eighties for Mother Brain in Captain N: the Game Master - albeit with blue skin - though his work slowed down before he was revived with the other boxers in Next Level Games’ Wii reboot of Punch-Out!! Currently has a trophy in Smash Wii U.
Pros: Look, we’re not getting a new Punch-Out!! character for a long time, if at all. Mac is the player character, it’s a minor (pun!) series, and it just got added. But Hippo would probably be the best candidate were the series to explode in popularity, due to his own.
Recognition is the big thing; discounting Captain N (not because it’s wretched, but because Nintendo had next to nothing to do with making it), he’s probably the most iconic opposing boxer in the series outside of Mike Tyson. Who’s a convicted rapist, once bit part of a man’s ear off, and as a real person carries greater and stricter licensing issues. The only other comparably well known characters are Glass Joe and Doc Louis; the former could only work as a joke character, and the latter’s stuck as part of Little Mac’s design in Smash for the time being.
It would also be fun to see him operate as a semi-clone of Mac, just for the mechanics in how the fighter would work. The boxer we know’s so fast that turning him into an almost purely defensive character - not to mention one who’s twice the size - would inherently redefine how players would use him, even if they kept all the same moves. And besides, he’d certainly be another heavyweight - we’re a little short on them this time around.
Cons: He carries a similar problem to the spinoff Mario characters, like Daisy and Waluigi: the game itself doesn’t treat him any differently to his counterparts. He’s certainly more popular in a general sense, but Smash usually goes for characters more central to either a series or part of a series. The one exception I’ve got is Falco, who probably wouldn’t have been as likely had he not been a clone.
Also, the King has iconography to spare, but it’s harder to justify that when the series has been so defined by its main character. You play Punch-Out!! as Little Mac, to the point where Giga Mac was added as the playable opponent in the Wii game’s multiplayer mode. For all its lack of narrative heft or dialogue, the games are very oriented through the perspective of the single player character.
The final issue is, of course, fan-related - he’s got minimal support, and only from people who want more Punch-Out!! content. Even if they’re not drawing from fan polls or the ballot, Nintendo’s gonna need more popular DLC fighters. Hippo would also not work even as a quickly-added clone, since his physicality would demand significant changes.
Final Thoughts: Again, I need to stress that a new Punch-Out!! character is really unlikely, not only no but into the future. It’s probably more likely (or just easier) than other one-fighter series like Pikmin or the retro games, but not by much. It’s too small, too obscure, and not really part of Nintendo’s current focus.
But were Sakurai (or whoever succeeds him) were to think that buffing up the pre-existing franchises is a worthy goal, I’d guess Hippo would be their choice for this franchise. He’s visually iconic, represents the series’ “fighting game by way of sports game that’s really a puzzle game” style from his stance, and is appropriately cartoony. We won’t be seeing King Hippo duct tape a manhole cover to his stomach for his own Final Smash anytime soon, but if the series somehow continues or gets an entirely new revival, he’s probably more likely than most.