Posted by: Smash Daddy | May 1, 2017

My Struggle: From Meme to King, Part 1

After a session of reading FA’s retrospective on his MYM career back in 2015, I had two thoughts: been a long time since one of these was made and I never got around to one myself. I’ve been here since MYM3 and I’ve technically been on SWF for 10 years now, which when I saw was coming up on the calendar decided now was as good a time as any to put out an article. That’s right, I joined SWF on April 30, 2007. Funnily enough exactly 3 days after FrozenRoy joined. I’m not sure where exactly this will end up going, but this is simply an article I felt like typing up to celebrate the occasion.

So this is technically on the anniversary of my joining Smash World Forums, for any who somehow don’t know that is the forum on which MYM has been posted for the past almost 10 years. In fact I was not in on the fun of Make Your Move for a good while after MYM1 was posted in November 2007. At the time, Make Your Move was half social thread, half movesets and the kinds of sets posted tended to be one-off jokes, and not taken remotely serious. For example, sets for Hitler, Anonymous, Angry Video Game Nerd, you can imagine the rest. I have to imagine if Fawriel or any of the other bigwigs of MYM1 hung around the modern community for any period of time, they’d feel very disturbed how far we’ve taken their funny forum thread. I doubt I was lurking the forums at the time MYM1-2 were in existence, but if I was, this was not the sort of thread I would have seen.

To start at the beginning of my technical moveset career, it did in fact exist before I joined MYM3 back in Oct 15, 2008 with Vivi, at least a year before that actually. I made sets on Smash World Forums that were largely unfinished and conceptual, but I did make sets. This is a common activity of anyone who surfs the character threads on Smash World Forums, and back in those days before Brawl came out it was very popular. This was in early-mid 2007, and then I took a break from SWF until I joined MYM3, more or less. This early set making by the SWF community, that in small part continues today, was the primordial soup of MYM and you can trace the basics of the community back to this era. In the previous iterations of Smash Bros, there was no space to create such long and complex movesets that others could then read and judge for themselves. SWF was created in 2000 and did technically exist for Melee’s release in 2001 but it did not really explode in activity for years after that. Brawl’s massive hype campaign brought in tons of new users, including me. At the beginning, the insane hype for Brawl and my love of the Smash Bros series is what brought me to SWF and ultimately to MYM. I would never have guessed that in 10 years I’d still be here making sets, and honestly enjoying it now just as much as then, though much has changed, including me.

When I came into the MYM3 thread I had an incredibly arrogant mindset which I never really brushed off. Arrogant as in I thought that when I made my set, it would immediately be hailed by everyone as a masterpiece, I’d win whatever contest it was being run here and everyone would just be fascinated by my amazing talents. I had a huge chip on my shoulder over my writing skills, and to look back on them now it’s obviously somewhat embarrassing as my writing was not actually very good and my understanding of Smash Bros was shockingly limited. Though I technically joined in MYM3, I can’t say I was a part of the community or anything like that. At best I had run into Chief Mendez in 2007 and read some of his… unique arguments that Dedede would be a Kirby clone that uses a hammer, an argument so terrible it is unforgettable. And I say I used to meander but I’ve not gotten into my first set in 4 paragraphs.

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VIVI

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Vivi is one of the main characters of Final Fantasy IX, probably my favourite game but one I haven’t played in many years, and a squishy black mage in the context of his JRPG and in the moveset. It’s fascinating to read today what I wrote for Vivi’s intro back then, talking about how Vivi goes on an emotional journey and it’s problematic that in a JRPG, enemies stand still and therefore has no easily ported animation for a fighting game. Pretty silly stuff, but this was my natural reaction to the challenge of making a moveset. I do think there’s some significance in my saying that it should be “fun” to write a set for Vivi as it’s a challenge to make his JRPG attacks into flowing fighting game attacks, I always did like to challenge myself in making a moveset. I even talk about making Trance workable being a challenge.

Long story short, this set is very basic. Most moves are one line long. I at least do not skimp out on moves, having the full inputs besides glaring a grab as I must have considered a grab so obvious it wasn’t worth the effort stating its animation, ironically I may have been more correct in this mindset about grab games and the importance of throws compared to my mindset in my MYM11 winning set Death, but I digress. The throws also come after the final smash which is really dumb. Speaking of, I clearly put a lot more effort into the extras, the final smash and a stage than I did the moveset, which only has one image compared to about a dozen, 4 each for both final smash and the stage. It was a very flashy dedication to FFIX if nothing else, and this is largely what I always did when I made protagonists, glorifying their source rather than the character. I do like Vivi, he is an extremely likable protagonist, but FFIX has at least 4 villains I like a lot better as characters, and Steiner is a protagonist I like far more as a character too.

As Vivi is a black mage, all of his attacks are magic and have a fair amount of flash to them, even if my descriptions leave much to be desired in 2008. Every move has a very emphatic animation attached as the game did tend to have a style to it about the battles, and I’m still a massive fan of this genre today too. When you can’t move in these games, the developers go out of their way to pretty up everything from the models to the animations to the graphics which is part of why I’ve always loved the genre. In Vivi’s case though it’s just so under-detailed, for example the down tilt that is as follows: “Down: Sweep w/ staff. 4%” You can basically understand it, but you’re not going to get much out of this moveset. The specials in this set do at least go out of their way with the Trance gimmick. As Vivi gets more percent, he can go into a longer Trance mode. This lets him double cast multiple times the more percent he has, or gives him invulnerability for some reason if he has no percent, obviously broken!

Besides the Trance idea, this set basically got zero reception until fairly recently. MYM3 was insanely active, part of why I even posted a set as I figured I’d get some response, as you could sum up a lot of MYM3 as spam, a lot of the time to get the next page. FrozenRoy decided to remake Vivi in his own style in MYM15. That Vivi set was initially well received but Warlord did not like it, ending up with a mixed reception at best, but I wholly appreciated this effort by Roy. For all its problems I did think Roy did a good job capturing the feel of Vivi and doing the concepts from my MYM3 sets real justice. At the time in MYM3, though, I really got no response from anyone except Mendez, who I didn’t even recognize and neither did he me from the 2007 days, who said a few vague comments on the final smash and trance being good. It clearly paled in comparison to other MYM3 sets like his own Dracula, Warlord’s Cervantes and so on, and was overlooked entirely, I think it might have gotten one or two votes but didn’t even place in the Top 50. For a while after that I left MYM after kicking around the idea of a Garland set. He is another FFIX character and a minor villain at that, a common archetype that I do all the time in recent MYMs. So not much has changed in terms of the characters I pick.

MYM3 was certainly a community for the little time I spent there, but MYM didn’t change much from it over the years until around MYM6. Everyone in the MYM3 period was fascinated by Robotnik’s pingas and CDi King of Red Lions saying mah boi. Everyone was obsessed with YouTube and internet culture. It was kind of funny but really showed how young everyone was at that time.

I was a pretty awful MYMer at the time – hey, nothing changes right! I was a lurker at best, and then when the chat popped up sometime in MYM4 I was all over that, having contributed almost nothing to MYM I still made myself a huge presence in the chatroom. In this era, the big personalities were Spadefox, Rool, Warlord, and there was tons of trolling, not even intelligent trolling, just the spiteful, childish and immature kind that seems pathetic in hindsight. We drove out a good few people out of pure hatred. It was that kind of era, eventually leading to massive drama by people like Spadefox and Mendez when they left without really thinking of the consequences for the Stadium or whatever else, but we’ll get to that. For now, it was MYM4 and yeah, I did another solo set for this contest too. Though it’s ancient history now, I had the bad label of being a One Set Wonder for all the contests MYM3-7, only breaking it in MYM8 with a joke set, or MYM7 if you understandably don’t want to count my contribution to Gambit. This is why this part of this retrospective is going to be a bit heavy on the set analysis as really, there’s not much else to say.

I didn’t read many of the MYM3 sets being that I barely participated in this one, but I have read some since. It’s surprising how well these sets “hold up” in the sense that they lack any of the tackier gimmicks of say, MYM7, or the horrible attempts at balance of MYM6. This was movesetting in its purest form for some time, until it was horribly corrupted by the weird ideas that came later on. Everyone was also very young, so rather than directly tacky moves, you’d see childish jokes or memes in sets instead. For example, basically go read any of Kupa’s sets from this period, they’re really good fun. It was a fairly nice time for everyone just making whatever they liked and not getting hung up on their reception or a certain set philosophy, but that would not last. Dracula won this contest and this was really the end of an era as Chief Mendez left in the middle of MYM4, without much fanfare, and left behind a legacy of actually not too bad sets, if very basic. He was at least completely uncorrupted by the eras that were to come, though apparently was a pretty weird guy according to gossip.

A good ways into MYM4, I came back to MYM for some reason. It’s not as though I’d kept in contact with anyone in the community, I knew basically no one, but nonetheless got sucked into the chat which was a lot of fun for a teenage troll. I didn’t take it at all seriously, no one did, and would constantly post stupid memes and talk incessantly about random things. I do admit I have some nostalgia for this early period though, as who wouldn’t, when you’re just getting into a community for the first time and getting to know everyone. No one looks good for what they did in the chat or community aspect of MYM4 anymore, to say anything of that whole era. It was a very, very silly and immature, and I personally didn’t even play a huge part in it as I came and went throughout the contest. I wouldn’t actually settle into the community fully until MYM5. My next set after Vivi may actually be my most incomprehensible solely for the layout, and was very polarizing for the few people who actually read it.

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YAMAZAKI

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I had a long history of playing the SNK fighting games online, as even in the early 2000s, MAME emulators let you play arcade games. It’s amazing to think how I was able to play fairly lagless matches on a dial-up connection with a group of friends who lived in America, for a late 90s Arcade game like King of Fighters 98 or KoF 2003. My main in both those games was indisputably Yamazaki, a crazy mob boss who could inexplicably stretch his limbs like Dhalsim whilst carrying around a knife and kicking sands in people’s eyes. I have far more memory of writing Yamazaki as while Vivi was written in a day, creating the monstrosity that is Yamazaki’s layout and thinking of moves took months. This is not because it’s that long, but I was very lazy in those days and would do a huge amount of work on the set, then drop it for a long time before returning to work on it a little more. This is a large part of why I made so many One Set Wonders per contest. As a side note, funnily enough Yamazaki was just added to the new KoF, for the first time in decades a playable role in a new game.

Yamazaki’s set is very basic and not all that interesting, but it does have any good ideas for a melee-focused set. He has his knife, the sand kicking in faces, his stretchy limbs, whirlwinds, all the good stuff that should be in a Yamazaki set and feels very in character. His unique counter/dodge/parry has the common mistake at the time of ignoring the existence of dodges/rolls, but having a counter or parry on the same input is a decent idea. It has some fun ideas with varying up the follow up of smashes and the like, with a lot of very simplistic moves. Honestly if not for the layout and balance I’d say this is one of the best MYM4 sets, considering how primordial everything was still.

What really ruins the set besides a criminal lack of description on most moves again is horrendous balance. Every move pretty much does far too little damage for absolutely no reason and you can be sure if I ever state a number in this moveset, it will be a bizarrely unfitting one. I do at least in this set not state a lot of numbers, a very smart idea but one I foolishly abandoned for my next few sets. It would’ve helped the newer sets in hindsight, but ironically probably hurt them at the time for under detail. In modern days it’s more acceptable to say such things as “low knockback” and such, but in those days was too obvious to nitpick when criticism was hard to come by for anything actually logical.

Yamazaki was not as complicated as the set’s layout would have you believe and really this set deserves a larger explanation for the layout. Essentially the set is written in branches for the specials, where it will instead of inputs say the Gamecube controller input, for example (A) also coloured in green like the button, but then later say to press or hold A or press another button like B to do another type of follow up. This when you break it down only means that you’re doing say, a jab but then you can hold the jab out. Nothing extraordinary but Yamazaki’s writing makes this simple functionality into a confusing mess. The layout goes further into the insanity by not just spoiler tagging images, but linking them, as on my dial-up connection I’d picked up the idea that so many images for the set would crash everyone’s computer or internet. Instead, click this link.

And boy did I spend a long time going on Fighters Generation getting all the sprites and editing them to make sense for my moveset. I did give credit to that site, like I did for SilvaGunner’s FFIX music uploads used in my Vivi set, who has become part of a big internet meme sensation today. Why I felt the need to give credit, I don’t know, I think to seem more professional? It is such a shame that the image work is hidden behind all the links. I have more than once considered remaking this set just to make it easily readable, as in this state it is frankly a trainwreck.

I did put a lot of effort into this project however and I got a little more reception for it than Vivi. This was in the form of very vague remarks about how great a job I’d done. Chris Lionheart gave a very odd comment saying it was great but I’m not sure he read it considering he said he read it on “a skim” and that I was part of the [Chief] Mendez movement which is really a joke in hindsight, as no such thing ever existed. I hung onto this line about the Mendez movement for far too long as it was one of the only significant bits of feedback I had gotten. Again, nothing substantive, and unlike Vivi it’s not as though Yamazaki was ever brought up again for any positive reason. Largely this layout and simplistic melee playstyle made it seem more abstract art than moveset. In fact Yamazaki’s existence for a long time was purely used as another reason why I sucked in the MYM7-8 period where I was at least at my second most hated status in the MYM community. Safe to say, between this not placing and my first set, I had a pretty awful couple of MYMs at the beginning, largely just driving me however to focus on my next set which ended up being one of the most long winded projects I’d ever do.

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RAIDEN

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The main character of Metal Gear Solid 2, Raiden was a character initally hated for replacing Solid Snake but has grown into a fan favourite, especially for the more recent game Metal Gear Rising. For the record, MGS2 is super old at this point, coming out around the same time as Melee but it has been around the same time since I posted this set as it was then from the release of MGS2. 2017 now, 2009 then, and now 2001. This set could very easily have its own article, there’s a lot to talk about for a plethora of reasons. Raiden has very ambitious flashy concepts and is very long for a set at that time. This set is 12,000 words, that would not be out-of-place for a modern MYM set. Before I get ahead of myself yet again, lets talk about the set.

Largely, Raiden is a remix of the Snake moveset in Brawl. He’s got the same basic set of specials with one massive difference in the down special, mostly for the worse, and then gets into very tacky territory later, which I feel absolutely was part of what paved the way for the tackier shit in later contests. Besides the grenades and a version of the cypher that is much tackier (summoning a helicopter ladder) Raiden has many, many props, including two types of pistols, a sniper rifle… a magazine, a claymore, he even summons a fucking locker on his down throw. No one at the time felt this was worth some criticism, I guess the locker was at least a very fun idea even if the balance has inevitably aged horribly.

Raiden’s gimmick is that he supposedly has two sets, lethal and non-lethal. This is based on the MGS playstyles where you can choose to kill everyone you come into contact with or use sleeping darts or other methods to leave them alive. Ultimately the latter is the correct choice if you want to play as a moral character and is always harder anyway, so it feels like the correct one if you want to do the harder playthrough. The game even rewards you for doing so. This is why I decided to incorporate it into the Raiden set, although there’s really no reason why Raiden would have it over Snake.

The problem with this gimmick is that not every move has a lethal or non-lethal version. This isn’t actually out-of-character, not like MGS2 gives you a non-lethal rocket launcher that shoots giant beach balls, but for the set it just means you’re always switching styles when you don’t want to. The other problem is the balance, as the lag I state is extremely long to the point of ridiculousness and the damage numbers are really off. The down special is also broken and very tacky, not to mention a down smash that can force a foe to read a magazine as forced stun if they walk over it. In defence of the set, the tackiness and balance is terrible, but the gimmick not being on every move is not the worst crime ever committed as was often stated back then. It was already a very ambitious set, it’s forgivable to not have every move covered, as the option of playing lethal/non-lethal is only there if the player particularly cares, more of an easter egg. It’s not like the dash attack or jab of a punch punch kick combo could have a lethal version anyway.

Another part of Raiden that was very popular at first was its organization. Raiden had a very flashy production full of icons, images, unique B coding and the writing style was extremely verbose, without being confusing as it was in Yamazaki. Looking back on it, this is one of the better aging aspects of the set (besides some dead GIF links) and all in all, it’s obviously very correct for the character/franchise if you want to go the full mile. This all comes together with how super referential the set is with tons of props and little nods at MGS2, which most people who played the game did seem to get.

Suffice to say, Raiden was a massive surprise hit. Keep in mind that I did not place with my first two sets, all of a sudden the chat was exploding with praise for Raiden, the first comment I got was glowing, people like Junahu and Chris Lionheart even said they’d SV the set. Previously I never even got votes from most people, they just ignored my sets, so this was pretty shocking and awesome to see happen. I immediately got plans for a Solidus set to follow up Raiden but like Garland this never materialized, and Raiden became another one set wonder for MYM5. The popularity of the set was so great though that Raiden actually tied votes with Acid Seaforce in the top fifty at 1st place, holy fucking crap. Recently it was decided by leadership that Raiden did in fact win MYM5! This is not actually because of the tie, but because Spadefox, who jointed Acid Seaforce, voted on his own sets with his alt account, ironically posting the first set after Raiden as well. This is the only reason Raiden did not outright win, because of direct metavoting by an alt. But there you go, my first winner technically, and boy did this set’s reception turn into a story all on its own.

After MYM5 Acid Seaforce was largely forgotten, I will say that the set has aged very badly and if you read it today you’ll find it to be even worse balanced than Raiden, which is quite a feat, but at least Raiden does not transform into a jet on an aerial for example. No, Raiden was for MYM5 very popular but became the whipping boy of Warlord for a long, long time. Warlord did not like the set especially in MYM5, but later on when Smady hatred was at a high around MYM7 Warlord figured that as my only high placing set, if he took a big dump on the set constantly it would tarnish my reputation.

Warlord did this so much that he turned Raiden into a meme rather than a moveset, basically a political tool that if you dared to say wasn’t unholy garbage he would attack you and say you’re a moron for not agreeing. I would always argue that the tie was very suspicious and that the leaders seemed to not actually vote on the winner, but obviously came to some shady arrangement to give Seaforce the win because at the time I was new, but this itself became mocked for all the whining I did. In hindsight I did bitch a lot about this later on when I obviously had much worse problems, but I did have a point given the outright cheating Spadefox did to make his set win. Though for the time in MYM5, I was riding high and Raiden was just riding a wave of positivity for months and months. Even Warlord at first gave a positive comment and had made an entire SM about Raiden before I finished the set. The hype train was chugging away.

It was after MYM5’s runaway success with Raiden and some of my own commenting for the first time that something happened to fundamentally change my experience in MYM forever: I was offered a slot as a leader. I don’t know how in the hell I got this offer considering I was 1) new and 2) had only made 3 sets, but I guess I had technically been around since MYM3 and I was in chat constantly. This was around the time I had finally made MYM a huge part of my internet activity, as before MYM5 I mostly treated it as a minor hobby. I feel like as a random guy who didn’t use chat, I might’ve gotten a surprise hit with Raiden, but I doubt I’d have been a leader. This was a big mistake in retrospect, but at the time I saw this as a fun challenge to motivate myself to make more sets and comment. I did at least get out a fair few comments in this period, but the set quantity would remain an issue for years.

MYM5 was still in a fairly immature phase of MYM, with all the pingases, YouTube poops, outrageous trolling and so forth. This was the contest Spadefox was driven out and PPL would soon follow. After a lot of silly drama, things did calm down for a while in MYM6 as at this point, movesets became a little more serious. We’d been doing this now for a good number of months and years, but no one really had challenged the ideas behind making the sets. Rool had already pushed the idea of playstyle, but MYM6 is when people started to really challenge MYM5 over-creativity, unfortunately this led to even worse tackiness and balance. I will happily argue that MYM6 has aged even worse than MYM3-5, precisely because of the renewed focus on balance… when no one knew how balance worked.

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MYM6 had two very memorable events: the Punch Out!! movement and Rool’s seminal contest. The PO movement was naturally about the PO boxers, and had some very big names attend, from myself to Rool to Warlord, almost everyone was involved. My own set was my one contribution to MYM6, finishing off my string of one set wonder contests before I’d get to my big failure in MYM7, we’ll get to that later. The other thing in MYM6 was Rool. He managed to put out a whopping 13 movesets in the short lifespan of MYM6, including a set for all the then-existing Eeveelutions. This made a huge stir in MYM6 and immediately elevated Rool to what everyone called a “deity” status. It’s unfortunate that time has not been kind to Rool’s sets in this contest, but you have to give credit for putting out so many sets that at the time were incredibly popular. I personally was never a fan of Rool even back in the day for his sets, his comments were always interesting even if not the most technical.

VON KAISER

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This was a fairly evolutionary set of mine. Von Kaiser is a simplistic boxer who is only the second fought character in Punch Out for Wii, he doesn’t even have the gimmick Glass Joe does of being weak. In fairness, balancing around a negative mechanic doesn’t sound much fun. Von Kaiser’s set was the first time I felt I was punching above my weight, as while Yamazaki was also a melee-focused set, he had props and flashy moves, all Von Kaiser had was punches. I dug up all the material I could and milked the character for all he was worth, I remember reading Kupa’s Hades set in MYM6 and being very inspired by its percent-based mechanic, using this on Von Kaiser. As he gets hit, he gets a primitive form of Rage that builds up that unlocks more powerful versions of his moves. He can then heal his Rage… and himself oddly enough, by doing exercises. Yeah, it doesn’t age all that greatly when Rage exists in Smash 4 without all the tacky requirements, for MYM6 this was a decent concept.

Von Kaiser was easily my most simple set to date, and despite the fact it wasn’t as complex as Raiden. Everyone loved the random ass final smash I added where Von Kaiser turns into a monster, which was some of my weird humour poking its way into my sets. Not for the last time! I didn’t put as much effort into the images or other stuff like Raiden, but I did experiment with using GIFs for the first time, which I would only pick back up again in MYMX and then became a trait of most of my sets. But honestly I don’t have a whole lot to say about Von Kaiser. It has aged poorly, but not as bad as some others I made from this era. The balance is terrible and yet it has any salvageable concepts.

The set’s reception was similarly a mixed bag. It got alright comments and only placed in the 30s on the top fifty. This is a lot worse as my only set and when I was meant to be a leader. This was at least an improvement over my pre-Raiden sets, but I couldn’t help feel disappointed by how much I’d dropped since MYM5. This was around when Warlord really started to hate on Raiden too, I distinctly recall that he took shots at it in his Von Kaiser comment saying it was better than Raiden which I don’t think is remotely fair considering they’re such polar opposites. I got a few nice comments, but everyone agreed it was merely one of the better PO sets and nothing remarkable. I was partially just happy to finally get out my MYM6 set, and very happy that I got one out at all once the contest ended. Ultimately this was Warlord’s first win, and for a character he only knew of because I suggested he read Berserk. Me and Warlord did in fact get along alright in MYM6. That would not last long.

MYM6 was a crazy time of massive change. A lot of the older people had moved on, we had a new generation of leaders. MYM6 had an insanely packed leadership of 10 people for some reason. This included Rool, Warlord and Junahu, this short period was the only time this trio were in leadership together. I had become fully settled into the community and the chat was slightly better than it had been. We got in depth commentary on sets for the most part, the culture of commenting had really taken off in MYM5 and in 6 became a big deal, now that reviews had entirely died out of existence. All in all, MYM6 was important though it felt pretty sleepy. Not much drama for a change, a lot of focus on movesets and smarter discussion of set qualify. This was in no way a good preparation for the trainwreck – the unforgettable contest that followed.

For starters, in a move that baffles me today, leadership decided the next OP would be… me. The OP in the old days had far more sway and influence over MYM as in that era, there’d only been 6 up to that point, and the ones in 1, 2 and even 3 were basically irrelevant as the community was almost entirely different and was nothing like then. I was essentially to join the ranks of SirKibble and Warlord because there was no one else who wanted to do the job. Up to this point I’d only made 4 sets and had a serious problem making sets that I did all I could to hide. I can’t really explain why, I just never was able to get over massive amounts of crushing procrastination.

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This era of MYM has been talked about ad nauseum, first in Rool’s Black Box article, and many times since. They’re all largely correct talking about how experimental this contest was, and that the atmosphere in the community was becoming extremely hostile. What is sometimes overlooked is exactly why. This was the first time that the massive splits in the community started to become readily apparent. You had Warlord’s group versus Rool’s group in terms of movesets. You had the side of the community who lived and died in the chatroom and its memes versus everyone who wanted to continue focusing on movesets. By this point, a lot of people in the chat hadn’t made sets in years, andif they had they were obviously very low effort, merely attempting to keep themselves relevant and not be called a “chat leech.” You even had separate friend groups that at times kept to themselves or focused on specific discussions. All this would come to a head over the years but everything really started in this contest.

There’s a lot more to talk about for MYM7, but first lets get to my one set of the contest, if you can even credit me with this one.

GAMBIT

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I hadn’t made a joint set before and in MYM7, I discussed with Halfsilver about making a set for Gambit. I had seen a few episodes of the X-Men cartoon as a kid and he was one of my favourites in that series, although I didn’t have any strong attachment to the series or character. Gambit’s power set focuses on throwing out magical cards and using weapons like his staff, plus he had a somewhat interesting set in Marvel vs Capcom that we largely ignored. The set was partially based around something like a weapon switch where Gambit would choose a suit of cards and this would affect some of his moves like his up special, giving them unique properties. He largely had a melee focus besides that, and I can’t speak for most of the set and why I made it as simply, I did not make it. Silver probably made over half the moves on his own and I barely remember the discussion surrounding then.

In truth this set’s development was by far the biggest trainwreck of the sets I had made, and the only reason it was finished is that I came to chat proclaiming that I had an idea for a one day set and Silver was extremely offended I did not finish Gambit instead. After a lot of arguing I agreed that it was wrong for me to try making a one day set instead of helping him to finish our joint that was already half-finished. Suffice to say the undelivered concepts were all too easy to pick apart. It was obviously rushed, it was even obvious who made what moves and did not stand up to any criticism, although it did manage to place. I think we had good ideas in places anyway, but there’s also some awful tackiness because of the power set where for example he makes a giant flying carpet card for one of his up specials. Later moves tended to have tons of filler, largely because of the fact I was rushing to finish the set and Silver’s moves were never revisited from first draft.

This set was thankfully mostly ignored and everyone gave Silver full credit for it anyway, as I became a massive hate figure in this contest for my inactivity. For a long time “Smady in MYM7” was a MYM meme because I basically did nothing for the entire contest. I did start plenty of sets, but could never manage to get them past the finish line, or hell, get them past the first two sections. I felt like I was completely paralyzed in writing any movesets at that time. MYM7 itself was also a real mess, with tons of arguments in leadership because of proposals I had made to completely change the way that MYM worked in terms of leadership. These ranged from the chat, which eventually happened anyway, to rotating out leaders which was extremely offensive to Warlord who already hated me at the time. The idea he should be rotated out for new people made him explode into a rage that lasted months if not years. It’s kind of ironic to think on it now that it got so little support, as this was the one opportunity that Warlord’s opposition ever had to get him out of leadership even temporarily, but they were in fear of his rage, and that was that. I can’t say I’m unhappy about how the proposals went in hindsight even if I did get a huge amount of shit for them because they were largely just pointless rearranging, for example desperately trying to revive leader reviews or articles by making a rota.

At the same time as pontificating on whether Sundance should be chat owner (the answer should be obvious) I was totally inactive, which was the biggest failure of any OP in MYM’s short history. I became a Nero figure who was fiddling as MYM descended into a hell of arguments and division. And I deserved pretty much all the blame for my inactivity, though I think the hatred I received was a bit overblown. Some of it, most of the stuff Warlord said for example, was very personal as we simply did not get along for a very long time back then because I was allied with Rool and Junahu in leadership. After MYM7 though, this alliance was broken as Rool left leadership, only really coming back for any time at all in MYM9-11, and Junahu became a contarian figure who I could no longer comprehend, let alone support. This all meant that at the same time as being hated, I also lost any support I had, and this weird coalition of me, Rool, Junahu and others fell apart, making way for complete Warlord domination. This is largely down to Rool deciding to leave leadership and even MYM itself for a while, and the MYM8 leadership ended up being… Warlord, Kupa, Wizzerd, DM and MT. Effectively, the first three were all pro-Warlord, and DM/MT were pretty nebulous. Thank God that these sorts of politics eventually died. A lot of the “politics” focused around a terrible Picks/Kicks/Shift system for the top fifty that basically became defunct later on anyway, but with Warlord in charge half the top fifty would get shifted around and no one complained.

After MYM7 I was literally banned from the leadership forums and everyone wrote me off as being done in the community. It wasn’t exactly incorrect to do so, but the treatment was pretty horrific, ironically my crime was doing nothing. I guess I did de-stabilize leadership somewhat, but only by making suggestions that largely just died because of lack of discussion, because MYM is a moveset forum not a political ideology forum, and others would make this mistakes later on. I did read plenty of sets in this contest, for example I was a mild fan of Strangelove when it first came out although I did raise some concerns, for example I had no idea how the grab worked (like everyone else). I was probably the biggest hater of Warlord’s more experimental sets like Lucy and The Spy, going out of my way to attack Warlord over them at the end of the thread. Really going out on a positive there. It’s all there if you want to look at it, and it’s pretty terrible how things broke down. In the end Doppelori won this contest though, mostly notable for being Junahu’s one winner. This is not the worst choice for winner in MYM7, although it has in fact aged pretty horribly with moves that deal no damage or do very wonky damage or knockback, as well as the central theme of unlocking opponents’ final smashes seeming very imbalanced and making Doppelori seem underpowered. This was still probably one of the better candidates.

So what could possibly follow a contest like MYM7? Well, a complete trainwreck of course. And I at least took no responsibility for it this time, as MYM8 was almost a polar opposite of what happened in MYM7, with a lot of attempts at refinement on the insane gimmicks invented in MYM7 but mostly, a very dead contest. Even by today’s standards MYM8 was pretty slow, but compared to MYM7 and before it was fairly apocalyptic and this is one of the most active times for all the people saying MYM was about to die. It even happened back in MYM4 when the huge amount of MYM3 activity dried up. It happened pretty much every contest at some point, but for once I was the one being a doomsayer in MYM8. You see, I was unashamedly a massive asshole in MYM8 as I felt like leaders had maligned me with the forum ban, and the entire community hated me for what I did in MYM7. When MYM8 was an unmitigated disaster, I took my opportunity to take shots at Wizzerd and DM for their inactivity, as well as Warlord and MT for driving this clown car. Kupa I couldn’t bring myself to hate but I did meme on him plenty with my joke set.

Specifically, I bullied Wizzerd about his age when we were both in our teens at the time, and this became a massive fucking offence to a few people, mostly Agidius, for a long time. Wizzerd I didn’t even talk to in chat for months before he randomly died completely and had to be removed from leadership. It was pretty generic trolling of mocking his excuse of “middle school” for why he was inactive. DM I also took jabs at for his inactivity, and this was a bit more unfair as DM did actually make a ton of fairly good MYM8 sets. DM’s problem was that he made a lot of crap in MYM8 and then MYM9 that became big memes in the community, for example Secret Apprentice and his MYM9 Pokemon sets. Then DM took a vacation and was fired from leadership unceremoniously by Warlord. Yeah this was quite the turnaround from MYM7 where DM ruled the roost with many top 10 sets and was a massive figure, working his way up to leadership proper only in MYM7, but lost it immediately, and would never reclaim it. This was itself very controversial to Rool and DM himself, for good reason, but first lets go over my sets this contest. Yes, this was my first contest with more than one set, too bad one of them is a memetic joke set.

In the midst of all this, I made one of the more important sets in my time, that would become a pretty definitive character. This was my first Pokemon set and my first poison-type Pokemon set, one that had always been my favourite Pokemon.

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WEEZING

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Weezing’s design is simply perfect, a Pokemon that lives in pollution, was born in it, moulded by it, as an evolution it may appear to be just two Koffings glued together like a Magneton or Dugtrio but it’s much more than that. It’s actually an abomination of two Koffings that have becomes symbiotic and that is both awesome and interesting in terms of the anatomy. There’s aren’t many Pokémon designs like this one, unfortunately. I’d always been a fan of poison-types but it was only in MYM that I came to the realization just how much I preferred them to every other type of Pokémon, especially Weezing, Muk, and later Garbodor. This is part of why I chose Weezing, the other part being the obvious concept that just leapt out to me and seemed immediately brilliant.

The idea is simple: wherever Weezing goes, he leaves a trail of gas in his wake. This is sort of like a snail trail but in the air, and this gas can be used for all types of things. He can swoop it up with wind hitboxes, he can suck it up to power his moves or reposition it in the air and, best of all in my opinion, Self Destruct to cause the gas to become like a dynamite fuse that follows all the way back along the trail Weezing has made. It’s pure brilliance, and on top of the very straightforward ideas I came up with to compliment the set, this one was much less painful than my previous movesets and took only a day to make. Compare this to every previous set I made, the only other one day set was Vivi all the way back in MYM3, even back then years ago. I had tons of enthusiasm and was pumped up by the events in MYM8, very desperate to prove myself with this moveset.

I’m certainly of the opinion that Weezing is the best of the sets up to this point, but it certainly does age today and even in MYM8 there was plenty of valid criticism thrown its way. In terms of the presentation, the writing was incredibly cloying, to the point of making it almost unreadable. My set writing at its worst gets so thick it’s actually painful to read. Weezing’s problems was this and the fact I worked in the gas mechanic in a confusing way hurt the set, with a weird system where there were different levels of gas, and moves that kept talking about Weezing leaning back and forth because there’s very little else to do for his animations. There were some balance issues too, Weezing was far too OP with his Self Destruct up special into his gas trail, that alone was either too UP if it didn’t go through shields or OP if it did, ending up slack bang in the middle and conceptually imbalanced.

Nonetheless, Weezing did manage to do well on the top fifty and got top 10, just barely squeezing into the line-up alongside Warlord’s set for his Pokémon OC Hugo, ironically having Koffing as one of his Pokémon. It’s a fun piece of history that these two fairly iconic sets ended up next to each other on the top fifty considering all the poison and Hugo-style sets that would come as a result of these first baby steps in the respective “genres.” After all these years I do look back with a fondness on Weezing and the ideas it had but in later years I realized just how flawed it was beyond the simple balance and writing style. The set has one throw, a very lazy idea that I’d picked up from Rool and others at the time. It had really bad redundancy and filler. It played far too much like a flowchart with the Self Destruct and lacked the right dynamism for it to work in game as a good unique moveset. This is why all those years later in MYM14 I decided to come back to the concept with Koffing, but that was a far more long-winded, slow process than the making of Weezing. In hindsight though, I am very glad I did it to at least give the gas trail concept a better execution, though Koffing is also far from perfect at this point.

Before I get into my next set, I feel it’s appropriate to go over some more of MYM8’s history as this next set is one of my most embarrassing for the content, and shows my pretty childish mindset at the time. MYM8 was when I once again became friends with Warlord and eventually in the middle of MYM8, I somehow made my way back into leadership. I would then stay in leadership right up until today, never leaving, although I did come close once or twice which I might ever get to way further down the line. Suffice to say, me and Warlord had a lot of catching up to do and we became great friends, still are to this day. I think our enduring friendship is a large part of why MYM is even around now, or at least the state it has been in for years. I can ever imagine a Make Your Move that is very different, and as a result very indifferent, towards movesets and activity. MYM stuck in a permanent quagmire, an eternal MYM8 because Warlord becomes the one person who cares anymore and has no reason to compete with dead people.

So MYM8 was an important time for that alone, and yet this was the start of me managing to stick my foot in it pretty mimetically, a mistake I would go on to make many times as I returned to leadership. I would consider this next joke set one of those missteps as although it didn’t cause any major controversy, it was obviously a pretty stupid idea, and has nothing redeemable about it other than some cheap laughs. Still, it’s at least fairly harmless besides killing a few brain cells. The sequel is actually megatons worse.

WIZ & KUPA

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Now, this set really needs context above all others. At the time of making this set, Wiz & Kupa (as it says in the set) had not made any sets for all the month of whatevr it was, and I decided to pick on them for this by making a joke set. The idea is that Wizzerd, because he’s a middle-schooler, is represented by the kid in the inner tube from Pokémon RSE and Kupa is… himself, because I had a funny RL picture of Kupa in his swimming suit. Kupa did like the sport he is take this lightly as I personally would be kind of pissed, although the set goes out of its way to glorify Kupa and shit on Wizzerd. The set tries to be light-hearted as it can be, poking fun as Wiz and Kupa but at the same time trying to create a fun story akin to the one told by Rool’s The Elves. Mostly, it’s extremely random, and has almost nothing to do with Wiz and Kupa outside of memes about them, like Kupa being obsessed with Pennywise and DK, and Wiz being Kupa’s bitch.

The set tries to be remotely serious and is not a full joke set, I’m sure to anyone’s surprise reading this who has not read the set themselves. This is because I found the concept of an inflatable inner tube to be an interesting concept, I don’t know why, it’s really not. I also found the concept of a tag team to be decent but honestly, what could I possibly do with a set this stupid in the first place? I do think I was correct to try and steer it in a more serious style later in the set just to avoid its humour becoming really stale, but it’s pretty arguable. This set got about the reception you’d expect, ranging from shock, to praise on the humour, to disgust at it being kind of veiled insult directed at Wizzerd and a tiny bit at Kupa. Throughout the set Kupa is just used as the token strongman who throws Wizzerd around, not exactly an insult. I really don’t know what I was thinking when I made this set, but mostly I just wanted to break my infinite One Hit Wonder cycle already and get out anything.

So as MYM8 drew to a close, MYM was going through some massive changes. Warlord won his second contest with a hybrid of a regular and boss moveset, Dark Bowser, which would go on to be one of his most prevailing concepts. Rool made only one set under an alt account. We didn’t get many newcomers, although I distinctly remember Geto’s arrival in a pretty weird period that this was. Yeah it was weird honestly, I did a complete turnaround and commented basically everything, I even did the very first moveset ranking that would later become extremely prevalent. Today everyone has a ranking, although Warlord’s that was made soon after mine became a bit more comprehensive and consistent. I pretty much ruined DM in MYM by conspiring against him with Warlord in private so obviously even Rool realized it was happening and held a grudge over it for years. I do regret it now, because aside from being an asshole I could’ve just waited for DM to drop out for college and saved making myself look like a piece of crap.

After MYM8 was one of my most active periods ever in MYM9, as I was fully determined to prove my worth in Make Your Move no matter what. I would go on a blitz of moveset activity in MYM9 that I would not match until MYM17, full 8 contests and many years later. This is not without reason however… most mf MYM9 sets are pretty awful, even then they became massive memes. This was probably when my personal credibility in movesetting hit its lowest since the period where Raiden was a massive meme, especially with my first few sets.

MYM9 was very experimental compared to the refinement of MYM8, MYM9 was very creative if not nearly as tacky. You won’t find a set as tacky as Nurse Joy (MYM8 2nd place) in MYM9, but surprisingly I do think MYM9’s concepts were a lot mote interesting in spite of that. It turns out that fun ideas are worth more than the sum of their parts, compared to a tacky idea that everyone realizes is terrible one contest after the set’s release. This is why for the most part, MYM9 was a decent period of improvement for most people and produced some of the best out of a lot of the MYMers. For me especially, this environment let me really learn my own style. This would develop a hell of a lot but this was where it all began, with a lot of fumbles.

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MUK

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No more of a fumble really existed for me in MYM9 other than the one and only Muk. This was another pure poison-type Pokémon I liked… but to be frank, never as much as Weezing. I love Muk’s design don’t’ get me wrong, it’s like a Shin Megami Tensei demon escaped that franchise and made its way to Pokémon. (That demon exists by the way, it’s called Slime or Black Ooze at higher levels). Muk is really not that interesting honestly; he has a few gimmicks, some of which don’t even contribute to a Smash moveset in a positive way. Being stuck to the ground is no fun, and really should not be taken literally as it was in this set and Diglet from the same contest. The only set to even approach such a concept in an intelligent way was my Smot set in MYM12, but even that had some issues. In any case, I digress because it’s not like Muk had much to do with the character. It may as well be a random blob OC.

Muk was basically a grounded version of Weezing, which is where the clever ideas begin and end. Instead of an aerial gas trail, Muk will poison the stage going out from his extremities (the kind of word I loved to throw around in MYM9) and stretch to the edges of the stage. As he covers more of the stage, Muk can use this for aggression or camp it out, essentially the stage becomes his own domain. Muk has bizarrely tacky moves, some of which removed in a later edit like a move where Muk Self Destructs with Memento, when I say bizarre I really mean it. One nifty idea I had was tendrils from the Brinstar Depths stage that Muk created to bridge together platforms and the main stage, considering he can’t leave ground normally this was fairly important. Muk’s set is just the strangest thing I ever wrote and it’s obvious how rushed it was to try and get an early set in MYM9, leading to hilarious consequences for the set’s writing.

The writing was the primary meme in the chat, with such unforgettable lines as “Muk shakes like a Parkinsons sufferer.” Not content merely to make light of Michael J Fox, Muk had a plethora of catchphrases that caught fire in the chat. I was not exactly a popular figure so Muk became a prime source of ribbing. I can’t say it was undeserved as original Muk was pretty awful. I did go back and do edits to remove the most egregious moves and outright mistakes, but the set is unsalvageable because even the basic concept isn’t that great. Outside of being grounded Weezing, the concept is very abstract and has nothing to do with Muk as a Pokémon. This was a problem in my other Pokémon sets until Koffing, way too much interpretation and projecting my own uninformed ideas onto Pokémon, a series I didn’t even really like. Truth be told, outside of a few Pokémon I’ve never been too into Pokémon after gen 3, I’m a big genwunner. I just wanted to fit in with my own niche, and I do love the poison types, but I would not be very informed on Pokémon and how to do sets for them until well after my bombs in MYM9.

I could also never forget Rool’s comment where he said my whole movesetting style was like a thick sludge. This was a pretty defining moment for me even if Rool was obviously kidding around with that, he wasn’t exactly wrong. This was the first time anyone had even attempted to peg me down in any way since Chris Lionheart’s random “Mendez movement” comment in MYM5. It was one of the best comments Muk got that wasn’t just saying it was terrible too, and Muk did end up placing on the top fifty just barely. This was one of my lowest placings ever, but still nice it managed to get on.

My next set came fast and was my first real second set in a contest seeing as W&K was a joke set.

AURON

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This is one of my favourite characters from my childhood, I played the crap out of Final Fantasy X and knew everything about it. I even kept up with the speedrunning community for a while, I know pretty much everything about this game. I am not the hugest fan of the game anymore, it has many, many flaws and I’m not sure it’d even crack top 10 JRPGs anymore, but I had a lot of fun with this game. The only reason I could even stand playing this game in all honesty was the character of Auron. An old badass who had a giant sword and largely was too cool to engage with most of the cast’s idiotic cast of characters besides to give them a talking down, like Tidus and Rikku… many times. He basically was isolated in the party. It’s kind of funny how this character was more relatable than all the younguns who were/are much closer to my age, but my taste has not changed so drastically since being a kid that I’d ever have liked these more anime-ish protagonists.

Auron’s set attempted to bring over his playstyle from Final Fantasy X, a big bruiser who has great defences and deals massive damage but is slow as a slug. Unfortunately this kind of playstyle was way above my skill level in MYM9 and what I ended up doing was a mess. I completely subverted the rules of the grab game was my first action, in oddly enough the first presented input section, where I make a throw be the grab release, as I forgot grab releases exist. I made it so you could cheaply make the foe do a move as they mash out, and this was one of my better ideas. Auron can create a tornado like he does in his final overdrive (AKA his super attacks) and has a tilt entirely dedicated to setting it on fire, otherwise being a useless projectile that is completely out of place. The numbers/balance is beyond asinine. I think Warlord summed up the set’s best quality as one of the smashes or specials that debuffs the enemy’s defences. That would’ve been a much better concept for the set than the randomness that made it in.

Really this was the set’s problem in a nutshell, far too unfocused and not sure what it wants to be, just putting in a bunch of cool ideas that don’t mesh at all. Auron had a massive playstyle section but it was just nonsense. It like Weezing, but much worse than Weezing, had an obvious flowchart where Auron sets up his insanely OP tornado then fights around it, and if the foe ever gets hit by the tornado they are completely screwed. Besides that he just turtles, like a more annoying version of Cloud and his projectile. There’s no finesse here, because I had no understanding of how the engine worked on a fundamental level. You could get decently far with sets that basically wrote themselves like Weezing, or characters who had little potential like Von Kaiser, but when you’re trying to incorporate such flashy super attacks you need a bit more skill than that. I just really was not ready for this character at this time.

The set got even worse reception than Muk in a way. Not just mockery like with Muk, but full on dismissal by everyone except for Junahu and DM. Warlord made a fairly fool proof critique of the set in the form of a huge comment that picked apart my own inner thinking that I had argued on the set, and it was very hard to back up my side of the discussion before realizing just how right he was on the set. Again as with Muk there was nothing to salvage as the set had so few positive points in the first place. The first point on which I built this set was the moronic grab release throw to tell you how bad this set was from its very origin. This set was so bad it did not even place on the top fifty.

All the reception to Auron got me frustrated because I was floundering now, and no one liked either set. Even Junahu only liked the set because he was contrarian, DM only threw it a bone to say it wasn’t as bad as Warlord thought because Warlord rightfully considered it garbage. I feel like in some way this contributed to my next work, easily the biggest turd I have posted in MYM.

WIZ & KUPA 2

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This joke moveset was a full joke and for that garnered a little praise, but it’s so outrageously stupid. Every move is randomness personified and has the unlikely duo mocked and belittled in increasingly stupid ways. It defies description. This is one of the dumbest things I’ve written in my entire life. There’s no attempt to form a serious set here or anything resembling a moveset, every move is just an attempt to tell another wacky joke at the expense of Wizzerd and Kupa. Not that at this point you can take any of it seriously, it’s gone beyond the point of being at all relevant when Wizzerd already left MYM in MYM8. Kupa was around and in leadership, but I mean, why was this team even a thing anymore? This really does not quality as a moveset. It got a very muted and polarized reception. Warlord thought it was funny, everyone else more or less didn’t agree. All I can say is a small part of me finds it pretty amusing the two W&K sets exist for their sheer absurdity.

There was a large gap of time between the making of Auron and my next actual movesets, 2 of the 3 Jack Bros. These would be my first SMT (Shin Megami Tensei/Persona) sets. This was the first time I did a movement with anyone, and later in the contest I’d even go on to do two of them with Warlord, so this was a fairly big deal for me. I did this with my at the time very good friend Wrk, and I’m glad I got to do this with him at the time. Later on Twilthero would join this dysfunctional little Persona fan club in the community. Although I know some others like tirkaro were fans of the series/SMT in general, we were the more casual fans of it and some of the other spin-offs like Devil Survivor. Twilt and Wrk would do their own movement for Devil Survivor later too. It’s pretty sad I fell out with these guys and didn’t talk to them again later, but we had a lot of good times in MYM9 when I was turning into a comic relief figure again.

PYRO JACK

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As one of those movements that existed because thing existed, Jack Bros happens to be the 3 main characters of an obscure game neither me or Wrk played called Jack Bros on the Virtual Boy. Yes, Virtual Boy. These are demons you fight and then can summon yourself in the SMT franchise, including the Persona games which got me into the franchise as a whole. It’s pretty meaningless how all the characters come from this one Virtual Boy game and have this tentative connection, and Jack the Ripper doesn’t even appear in any games of his own, but I digress. This is about Pyro Jack.

Pyro Jack is one of the two mascots of the entire SMT franchise along with Jack Frost, the set Wrk made for this mini-movement. Pyro Jack is a happy little troublemaker demon who carries a lantern everywhere. He is no pushover however, and in most games in the past was a good ways above Jack Frost in level, who is more of a starting area kind of demon. Hilariously enough in Persona 5 Pyro Jack is now switched with Jack Frost and called Jack ‘o’ Lantern so my set has been retroactively made outdated for 90% of the fans of SMT, ignoring the fact none of them will probably ever read my sets. There’s not a ton of character to Pyro Jack, as demons in SMT are formed from myths and legends, not biology or environment. It is largely what it says on the can.

As it turns out interpreting SMT demons works a treat compared to doing it for Pokémon, and I came up with a fun concept that made Pyro Jack work wonders. It’s a lot like Weezing or Muk, instead of poison this time it’s oil. Pyro Jack covers the stage in oil that catches fire, spreading it across the entire stage wherever the oil is, and I used this pretty intelligently for a few moves too. I especially liked my idea for a giant cartwheel firework on the forward smash and moves that created projectiles that sunk underneath the oil to come out later. This was easily the best of my MYM9 sets due to this core idea, and good thing too as Warlord had warned me I might be removed from leadership if I put out another terrible moveset like Auron and Muk. It’s pretty correct actually to interpret a SMT demon as it’s a constantly changing legend or myth anyway, so it’s fairly malleable, they change from game to game anyway within reason.

This set got a positive reception for a change. This was the first time since Weezing. Everyone liked the oil and while the writing got some complaints, regular complaints for my sets until like MYM12, everyone seemed to agree it had fun ideas and fitted the character. Rool even liked it enough to SV it, and this set managed to place decently high if not in the top 10. This would be my 5th highest placing set when the top fifty initially came out, a nice set to pad out my set history. The other Jack set I did was not as well received you might say.

JACK THE RIPPER

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Unlike Pyro Jack who I at least used in Persona 3, Jack the Ripper I barely knew anything about and decided on a whim to make his set in the early morning before we posted. This was entirely because he completed the trio from the Jack Bros game on Virtual Boy that I saw existed. Honestly this demon is actually a decent one, but it’s so irrelevant and has been for literally decades, so there’s basically nothing to make of it besides the design and a few generic abilities it shares with dozens of other SMT demons. Funnily enough, he does finally come back in SMTIV which is a newer game I didn’t even play, but at the time of the set his last appearance was SMT2 which was on the SNES.

On the night of posting the movement I was buzzing and wrote up the entire Ripper set in one sitting, deciding on a combo of a ravenous zombie and klu klutz killer that never meshed too well. I knew Pyro Jack was good, but wanted to push the movement through the roof. This was a massive rush job and my ideas weren’t exactly cohesive. There’s not much to salvage here either, it’s real messy and you can tell how tired I was writing the set, just desperate to get to the end, the last few input sections I’m sure are pretty bad but I don’t even want to look at the set again. It’s really just a lame set.

The set got picked on a lot for the insanely obvious problems and the rushing of the set. The fact Raiden has this character’s nickname was a choice meme as Raiden was still hated on even in MYM9. Warlord went out of his way to read it first before Pyro Jack as I said as much in the chat about its quality, ripping me a new ass over how bad it was, but weirdly focused on the characterization compared to the SMT games. I guess it’s not incorrect that it’s OOC but picking on a SMT demon for being OOC when it’s already a long unused character, seems like a criticism that wasn’t really fully developed at that time. Now it’s obvious, the set is just way too edgy and serious. It has all this blood and Jack the Ripper going postal over the sight or taste of blood. This is just ridiculous for a character in Jack Bros who is meant to be pretty comical. I think I just saw the image of Jack the Ripper and made up my own opinions on the character, without knowing nearly enough about the series besides Persona, which was much more edgy but less serious than the SMT series at the same time. So it was an awkward mix of misunderstanding and projection on my part, which about sums up a lot of my MYM9 failures. This was another MYM9 set of mine that didn’t place.

The rest of Make Your Move 9 was made up of movements I did with Warlord, all for DragonBall Z. Me and Warlord had become good friends in MYM8, but it took until a good ways into MYM9 for us to do a movement together, DragonBall was the biggest series we both liked and had many natural teams that worked for set potential. The first we chose was pretty obvious as a very famous duo who were at the time very famous due to DragonBall Abridged. I’m not caught up on that series anymore, but was a big fan of it at the time and you can see a lot of other people were too in MYM with the extras of Krillin’s Junahu set and plenty of other references.

After Pyro Jack I was more confident in my ability to make sets, but Vegeta really proved to be another failure and it’d take until my last day output for me to feel at all good about my MYM9 sets.

VEGETA

vegeta_saiyan_saga_by_alexiscabo1-d9ap0c0

I’m a big fan of Vegeta as a character, but as a kid especially I really liked the character. I think it’s because of the fact he was a villain at first but ended up becoming a very important protagonist later on, without ever losing his lack of morals, just doing what he had to getting things done. Goku by comparison is your standard goody-two-shoes morally righteous character who refuses to kill anyone even when it’s insane to leave them alive, for example Frieza almost gets the drop on him because he somehow has sympathy on Frieza in the end. Vegeta by comparison spends most of the Namek saga going around murdering the other villains and trying to get the DragonBalls for himself so Freiza can’t wish himself immortal. That kind of character still has a lot of appeal to me today, but this is why I really liked him when I first watched DragonBall Z. I’m not sure without Vegeta I would’ve even cared as much for DragonBall Z. Most important part of all this is that I cared a lot about giving Vegeta an accurate moveset, and well, you can kind of see it in the set but it ended up being yet another trainwreck for various reasons.

The original intent of Vegeta was to create a set that I felt fitted Vegeta well for the character and all his abilities, above all else. I wanted to not only make it accurate to Vegeta, but specifically for how he fought in the saiyan saga. This led to me leaving out things like super saiyan which everyone complained about, but it should be obvious reading the set this is not a set for the post-saiyan saga Vegeta, who doesn’t do that much else regardless. His only new abilities are more power-ups and ki attacks, nothing that would actually change his playstyle in a game outside of his final smash. The original version of the moveset was as a result all focused on stuff like his galick gun, generic DragonBall Z abilities like teleportations and incorporating elements of Warlord’s Nappa set, posted alongside Vegeta, but awkwardly implemented here. Ultimately I never really thought of a way to combine this into a fitting overall playstyle so it was all kind of a mish-mash, and in the end I just tried to connect it by saying Vegeta was a “chaser”, like a rushdown focused character. This was not actually true however, Vegeta if anything was pretty defensive due to his ability to teleport, in Brawl this would mean he’d never have to be aggressive if he didn’t choose to be.

The set had a decent organization but that didn’t count for much, I did know anything about how to do sprites from this one GBA game that was useful, which was emulated for Junahu’s Krillin set and apparently the reason he liked this set, if I were to guess. Besides that, the set was a pretty big mess, and most of it comes down to me listening to Warlord’s criticism when he first previewed the set. He rightly said it was bad, but he didn’t have any ideas how to particularly fix it either, besides incorporating Nappa’s concepts of the Fake Moon a little better than I had done. Compared to Nappa who goes Great Ape by throwing a Fake Moon to stare at that stands in place, Vegeta’s moves forwards so he has to keep up with it to keep looking at it, which wasn’t a bad idea, although I’m not sure if Great Ape has aged at all good at this point. The other big change I did that just sucked is a horrible tunnelling mechanic made from Vegeta’s Galick Gun and other moves that launches the foe into the stage and makes giant tunnels on the inside of the stage, in a blatant attempt to appeal more to Warlord so he wouldn’t just hate the set like he had done most of my MYM9 output.

I would’ve felt a lot prouder about this set if I at least stuck to my guns and put out what I originally wrote rather than the bastardized version I made to appeal to Warlord, and only to Warlord in MYM9. Looking back on it now the balance is a disaster because of the awful numbers on the tunnelling and is mostly just boring besides the sprite work I did. At the time the set was pretty hated, and ended up being ignored on the top fifty, actually doing worse than Muk despite that set being a meme. There’s just nothing likeable about Vegeta for anyone but Junahu. For such an important character I definitely would like for him to get a decent set at some point, he really doesn’t deserve such a pile of crap for his most recent moveset. Another terrible thing about Vegeta is I literally copy pasted and only partially rewrote all of the moves from Nappa’s Great Ape for those moves when Vegeta transforms, and though it’s not as though the Great Ape could do much else anyways, this was pretty awful on my part, plus incredibly obvious. This made the set feel even cheaper than it already did as a carbon copy of Nappa for its core mechanic. When you tear away these mechanics the set at it’s best is a boring direct port of saiyan saga Vegeta to Smash, which besides his Galick Gun is a very generic character and hard into much of a character for a set. It’s a shame of a set.

Warlord did give me a chance to redeem myself with my next two sets, part of a Ginyu Force movement we ended up posting on a delayed ending day for MYM9. The contest was actually extended due to a terrible April Fool’s joke that made the thread and SWF be turned into a huge Friday joke, based on the Rachel Black or whatever her name is, song. So we delayed for a week, in which time I actually made Recoome, the other set that I had until then not finished. I still waited a long time to finish it even then, showing how bad I was then at procrastination when sets weren’t that insanely long yet. This was lucky as without that time I am sure Recoome would’ve ended up just as bad as Vegeta. It’s funny as Recoome does fight and demolish Vegeta one time in the Namek saga.

RECOOME

recoome

This is the big tanky member of the Ginyu Force and the most comparable member to Nappa of the group, as the big guy who takes out a bunch of minor characters from the protagonist forces. Recoome has a lot of flashy attacks and is like a steam train that keeps going forever until Goku has to show up to stop him from plowing down every single other protagonist, just like Nappa. Also like Nappa, he is serendipitously killed by Vegeta right after he is defeated by Goku, though this time just for safety or revenge rather than cruel punishment for a worthless Nappa he’d known all his life. Recoome was all in this flash and showboating, a great representative for the ever-taunting Ginyu Force who were brimming with personality. I was very happy I got to do this character and after some problems, settled on an approach to it I actually quite liked.

Recoome would get temporary armour from his taunts, lasting only for a moment (though balanced awkwardly now) so that he could go on the offensive, or he could burn the taunt up to power up specific moves. At the time people didn’t seem to understand this, but the taunts all corresponded to different moves so that the foe would find it very hard to track what moves Recoome would use, even if it did end up turning the set into somewhat of a flow chart again. A lot of my old set tended to have this problem of an awkward flow chart/bottleneck that made the character insanely obvious, when they also didn’t even have all the moves a lot of the time. On top of the taunting, Recoome mostly played it logically with all his moves being applied to Smash, a natural heavyweight with his massive power but with unnecessary lag where he taunted within the move, which is what could be skipped by doing a set taunt instead. This seemed to make logical sense. This also led to what I felt was some decently funny stuff like Recoome’s Elbow that Warlord made into a meme for years.

The reception to this set wasn’t great, it did end up placing but basically people harped on this set for the same reasons they did Muk, just saying it was hard to read and that they didn’t understand it. To that I had to say, really? This set is not complicated and I never got why it wasn’t liked, I honestly think a lot of it was just personal animosity because apparently some people liked the character who didn’t like me and went out of their way to crap on the set because it wasn’t exactly what they expected. It was a similar thing with Vegeta too, where people expected him to go super saiyan and fire his Big Bang attack or whatever else from later, but that wasn’t the point. I don’t know what they wanted from a Recoome set specifically when Recoome’s entire ability set is in the set, but that’s not to say the set is even good anymore or without problems at the time. What people were right about is that the set had poor balance, though maybe not for the reasons stated. I have to admit this is just one of those sets that for some reason I never felt got a fair shake. Rool did at least like the set and give it some credit of all people, though he happened to prefer Pyro Jack to it a good bit, he was one of the few people who liked it more than Jeice, my other Ginyu Force set. Lets get right to that.

JEICE

3514545-jeicedbz

This was the other Ginyu member I did, and this was quite an adventure to make, and I’m glad I finally get to tell the story of how I made this set in an article because it’s a story worth sharing. I did not particularly like Jeice that much and never have, he was probably my favourite member of the Ginyu Force purely because I valued competence a lot at the time and despite him being a coward, he does manage to escape the protagonists and not die like Burter, Recoome and Guldo do. Captain Ginyu is good and all, but he manages to be outsmarted by the protagonists and put into a frog’s body, so how competent can you really say he is with such an OP power as body swap? So in the end, Jeice was the one member of the group I felt was actually competent enough that I could get behind. However later on I realized that Jeice’s actual power set is basically non-existent. His whole fighting style is almost unexplained as he never gets to launch his signature Crusher Ball, and spends most of his first fight teaming with Burter, who actually does get an explanation for his power. So that’s what this entire set centred on: coming up my own Crusher Ball.

What I did was make the Crusher Ball into a projectile with a powerful grab hitbox that carried the opponent along with it at Sonic’s dash speed. Yes, this is real and this was the kind of balance in MYM9 that got you into the top 5. Jeice ended up being my top placing set after Raiden because of this Crusher Ball. Besides that, he could do things like speed up his Crusher Ball to up to 4x Sonic’s dash speed, turn it into an even more powerful grab hitbox with grab (of course he doesn’t actually have a melee grab of his own) and many, many, many insane interactions with the Crusher Ball that make the set insanely overpowered, it’s just ludicrous how no one really pointed this out. It says a lot for how inept people were at balance, and how bad I was at balance too in fairness. But the concepts were at least okay so I can see why it placed over Vegeta, and our standards were not high. I definitely had fun making the set and it was rather a challenge to write because of the character’s limited potential.

In truth though I wrote this set half as a joke when I saw the reaction to Vegeta, this is no exaggeration. I took all of the clichés from Warlord’s sets, from the awkward images (because I was pretty obsessed with images being the same size for some reason), to the tackiness, to the needless interactions, just took all of those MYM9 Warlord clichés and forced them into Jeice half as a joke and half because fuck it basically. I had gotten to the point in MYM9 where I thought I could never have a set as successful as Raiden again when my most liked set up to that point was Pyro Jack, which was not even that liked. But to my shock this actually worked and people liked Jeice, a lot! I did not expect this and it had a massive effect on how I made sets… definitely not all for the better. I think I would have been in a much better place for MYMX if Recoome got more credit and Jeice was rightly criticized for its horrendous balance and focus on style over substance, but that was not how it’d go.

I came to the end of MYM9 after a super active contest, keeping in mind I had only done one set a contest before MYM9 and had just done about ten sets. I had many, many failures, and anyone remotely new to MYM reading this article should be encouraged by just how much I managed to fail in MYM for literally years and be a hate figure before becoming a pretty big part of the community in later years. I don’t think it’s possible to be more of a failure in the community than I was in MYM7, but I decided that I just had to persist with this and see where it went, because I really did screw up badly then. As far as the community goes, MYM was definitely going in a bad direction still, but things were at least a little quieter in MYM9 than they were in MYM8 and if not for some massive fuck ups in MYM10-11, might not have ended up splitting so badly. For now though, MYM was actually making a lot of sound improvements and coming together again after some huge divisions. Kupa managed to secure his win with Bowser Jr, a first day set, much to everyone’s surprise. This was a pretty random winner but Kupa did deserve a win, and this is at this point a decent enough winner for a contest full of very poorly aging sets. I certainly am a part of that club with Jeice and most of the top 10 is terrible when you look at the balance for longer than a millisecond.

=======================================

For now this will be where I finish up my article, having done a good 7 contests worth of writing about my MYM experience. This is only a fraction of my total movesets, but a great big chunk of my overall time in MYM, and I want to get this out on the 30th of April at least for the majority of MYM in America. I’m not sure who’ll end up reading this or if this will even get a reaction, but I’d like to continue this at some point probably not in the immediate future if anyone wants to see that. There’s a lot more to talk about to say the least as after MYM9 is when things started to get really crazy. I’ve probably left a good deal out of this article as well, but I mostly am writing this article for my own enjoyment, so if anyone can learn a thing or two from it that’s more than enough for my own satisfaction.

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