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How I met Super Smash Bros. and started to play competitively

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Picutre from Deviant Art


Eh Yo, CaptainJack! Hey everyone, this is CaptainJack (@CaptainJackSSB4) here! 

Today, I'm going to talk about "How I met Super Smash Bros. and started to play competitively". At that time, I never could imagine this game would totally change my entire life like many of you guys.

So let's get  on to the subject!



Meeting with Super Smsh Bros. 64


Picture from すぱいらる速報


As mentioned on Smashboards interview article, I got Smash 64 on the day of its release as a present of my 14th birthday from my grandfather and grandmother, which was 2 days before my real birthday (so interview is a little wrong).

Captain Jack’s Smash career dates back to the first iteration on the Nintendo 64. He received the game as a present on his 14th birthday, two days after the game’s release. “Nobody could have imagined that this game would change my life in the future,” he reflects. 

Melee Legend Ryota "Captain Jack" Yoshida on returning to the game, world travels, and more | Smashboards


Since the moment I got the game, I started to play it very passionately with junior high school friends, and I immediately became someone invincible among friends like many of you guys.

Before Smash 64 came out, I used to play fighting games such as Street Fighter II and Vampire Savior. I liked them, but I really felt something different and more interesting than them in Smash. I don't know why, maybe consept of not reducing opponent's health, but just a simple idea of "drop your opponent" must have been attractive for me somehow. 


How I started to play Smash competitively


Picture from 関西スマブラ. Thunders is the tallest and 2nd one from the right 

Once upon a time in around 1999 in Japan, where I was 14 years old, Internet was still something "special" for many people, to the point that the question of "Are you using Internet?" was common. And if your answer is yes, you are sort of someone "advanced" or "a la mode" in a way.

So since my father was someone a la mode, we had a PC in our house and I could use Internet. One day, I had an idea to look for something relating to Smash on the Internet. I immediately found some websites and boards where people talked about Smash, and I took part of it little by little.

On a totally unrelated subject, I played Pokemon very passionately too. One day, me and Thunders, a Pokemon player from my region Kansai (West Japan) that I met online, had an appointment to meet together in Kyoto and we enjoyed a lot of friendlies at Mac Donald's. And he was also a Smash player. 

A Few moments later, we naturally agreed to go to an "off-kai" together, which means an offline-meeting in Japanese, to a player's house in Osaka. The organizer's name was "Moko". He was an university student and was extremely nice. He was maybe 19-21 years old so he looked very "adult" for me and Thunders, who were only 14 years old at that time. 

In that off-kai, from what I remember, we were 6 in Moko's house. Moko, Thunders, Cho, Jamu no Imbo, Harisen Master and me, CaptainJack, respectively. We did a round-robin and I won every match. I was surprised how I could do well against them, because I never went out of Kyoto where I was born and raised, to compete with other guys. 

Anyhow, this is the story of my first appearance on competitive Smash scene. I'm not sure if that was the first meeting for Moko, Cho, and other guys too, but that was my first exposure to the scene and I will never forget that weekend in the future. 


Side story 17 years later... 

This is just an aside, but 17 years later since this day, Cho came to the after party of my wedding ceremony along with so many other Smash players that I will meet. Such as Masashi, IKKI, Kounotori and Shaz etc.

Smash is great, obviously a life-changing game. For me, at least.