After an English, a Polish, and a Canadian fighting game roster get read for an Italy-based platform-fighting game: Perilous Pizza, Mamma Mia! (yes, that's the game's full name)
And here it is some music that you might want to listen to while reading this description.
So that's it for my attempt at an Italian platform fighting game. I'm rather proud of this, tbf, and in hindsight I might have gone the extra-mile and added 24 characters instead of only 18. Shoutout to Befana, Gabibbo, and Maciste, who would have definitely made it if I were braver.
For the roster, I only used characters that were made in Italy, with a couple of caveats here and there... well, maybe more than a few. Since I don't expect that everyone around here is Italian, I imagine that they might be a bit puzzled about these characters. Perhaps, they recognized three or four here and there. So sit down, take a cappuccino and let me explain who these fellas are. Let's-a-go!
And here it is some music that you might want to listen to while reading this description.
Since I don't think that these characters are that iconic, I want to stress that I'm going to explain them from left to right, row after row. In order to make it easier to follow, I'm coloring the characters' names either green, white, or red, depending on the color I used for their spot (which is entirely cosmetic).
- It might seem odd to start with a cowboy in an all-Italian fighting game, but believe me, Tex Willer is one of if not the most iconic comic book hero made in Italy. As such, I believe that Tex should be the beginner-friendly character of the game, though I'm not sure if he'd fit a true shoto archetype. He'd definitely wield his weapons (two .45 Colt and a Winchester rifle, which I guess would act similarly to Snake's forward Smash) though!
- Did you know that Pinocchio doesn't look at all like the Disney version of the character? Carlo Collodi's The Adventures of Pinocchio is set in Tuscany, while Disney did set his Pinocchio in a more Tyrolese setting. And also, did you know that The Adventures of Pinocchio is the third most translated book in the history, after the Bible and The Little Prince? In this game, Pinocchio would attack using his nose to poke opponents and by referencing his story book in various ways, either by using paraphernalia or by summoning the characters he meets. His final attack would definitely involve the opponents being eaten by the Dogfish.
- Dylan Dog is yet another very popular comic book character, second only to Tex and someone you'll be acquainted to in no time. His moveset would be rather basic, but his personality would definitely transpire mostly in his animations. Some of his moves however would feature his gun and some paranormal paraphernalia (maybe it should be called parainfernalia?)
- This might be cheating a bit, but I HAD to include some characters portrayed by Bud Spencer and Terence Hill. Choosing one for Terence was easy, as Trinity immediately comes to mind, but for Bud it was not. So I opted to directly put them in the game, instead of their characters. For those of you who don't know, Bud Spencer (real name: Carlo Perdersoli) and Terence Hill (real name: Mario Girotti) are some of Italy's most famous actors: their popularity was (and still is) huge in Italy, some countries of Eastern Europe (where their western movies would be available, unlike the American ones) and even in other European countries, such as Germany (Berlin currently hosts a museum dedicated to Bud Spencer). On top of these, they were extremely kind and generous persons (Terence Hill still is), so I wanted to pay an homage to these two giants of Italian cinema. They would act as stance-changing fighters, kind of like Zelda and Sheik. Bud Spencer would be a heavyweight, burly fighter while Terence Hill would be a rushdown character. It would be kind of like switching between Ganondorf and Fox, in a way, but without the latter's projectiles. As for their movesets... well, in their movies, Bud and Terence always throw some comedically powerful punches and kicks, so there should be no trouble in finding the right moves for them.
- Satanik is one of the most obscure choices in this roster (even for an Italian), but I wanted to boost female representation and I also wanted a full-on villain. Satanik would attack using the mixtures and brews she prepares. Not only that, but Satanik is also a master of the supernatural, meaning that she could summon demons to attack her opponents.
- Diabolik is, along with Tex, Italy's most popular comic book character (Italy has a lot of comic book characters, I know). His moveset would revolve around his iconic daggers and athletics. Much like Satanik, Diabolik is another "villain", this time being a master thief, though not as evil as Satanik. I pondered about adding Diabolik's fiancée, Eva Kant, on top of him, but I decided that I wanted to stick with one character per "universe".
- Inspector Salvo Montalbano is yet another very popular Italian character, this time coming from the pen of the late Andrea Camilleri. For the game, however, I wanted to use Montalbano's more iconic look from the TV series, where he's portrayed by Luca Zingaretti. His moveset would be kind of basic, but I felt that a character that is known for his literary and TV appearances deserved a spot, and we need someone to keep Diabolik and Satanik in check...
- Ranging from a realistic pick to a complete fantastic one, Bloom represents the Winx Club animated series. Bloom's moveset would be fairly (pun intended) easy to implement, as she already has the power of fire at her disposal. Other than that, I believe that she should be strong in midair, due to her flight ability.
- Pimpa is our penultimate comic book character, but she is fairly different from the ones seen before, as her stories are aimed to children. As such, her moveset would revolve around things that children use to play, like pencils, kites, balls, and so on. She could also fly a plane if needed, as Pimpa flying a plane is somewhat common. Pimpa would be one of the lightest characters in the game, though not as light as...
- The black chick Calimero! This adorable little chick was the mascot of an Italian cleanser but became so popular that he even had an animated series co-produced in Italy and Japan (!!). Other than being somewhat iconic on his own right, Calimero represents the so called "Carosello" (carousel in Italian), an Italian TV program airing from 1957 to 1977 that mixed short sketches (both animated and in live-action) as well as advertisement. Notably, Carosello was allegedly the last show that kids were allowed to see before having to go to the bed. Or at least, that's what my mom always tells me.
- Geronimo Stilton is the protagonist of the eponymous series of children books that has seen moderate success worldwide, as well as groundbreaking success in Italy. Geronimo has appeared in more than 100 books, so he has a lot of source material to pull from for a moveset. Though Geronimo is more on the tranquil side, being a very calm and intellectual rodent. Maybe we could pull another Velma out of him, who knows?
- Bellona is probably my most controversial pick. I wanted someone from Roman myths, but I had no idea on who to pick. I was this close from picking Quirinus, one of the original Roman gods, but in the end I went with Bellona for a couple of reasons. First, her appearance in Smite made her a somewhat popular, though still niche, deity. Secondly, I wanted more female fighters and finally I also wanted someone that could wield some weapons, since most of the characters so far wield, at most, a gun. Bellona is a heavy hitter, using many weapons, but mostly focusing on the pilum (the Roman javelin), the spatha (the Roman longsword), and clubs and mace for good measure.
- Alberto the Wolf is our final comic book character and he'd represent the more Looney Toones-esque version of comics, using chaotic attacks that take full advantage of Alberto's stretchy body. He also employs some paraphernalia used by farmers, seeing how Alberto usually is around farms, looking for his beloved Marta, a chicken.
- Pulcinella was chosen as the representative of Italy's many characters from the commedia dell'arte (roughly and literally translated as "comedy of the profession" in English), a series of theatrical comedies that were played between the 16th and 18th centuries. Pulcinella in particular represents the everyman that wants to become richer and does so by doing many different jobs. Pulcinella's most iconic traits however are his cunning and his inability to keep a secret (in Italy, "Pulcinella's secret" is a slang referred to something everyone knows). Pulcinella was chosen over Arlecchino because he could represent Naples, since Pulcinella's mask does come from that city, and I wanted some characters that could represent Southern Italy and Naples in particular, due to its very unique and picturesque folklore. Also, Pulcinella might be the only character in the game that can use a pizza to attack his enemies, who knows.
- Dante Alighieri is definitely a stretch, probably even more so than Bud Spencer and Terence Hill, but there's a caveat to it. So, Dante Alighieri wrote the Divine Comedy, a not-so-comedic poem written in the 14th century. The Divine Comedy is still widely considered to be the most important work in Italian literature and among the greatest works in the history of worldwide literature. Notably, the Divine Comedy was a key work in creating a standardized Italian language, using the Tuscan dialect and, more specifically, the one from Florence. This poem tells the story of none other than... Dante Alighieri himself, traveling through Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso, so I thought that Dante's presence in a game like this was not that far-fetched. His moveset would revolve around the many punishments that the condemned souls suffer in Inferno and Purgatorio.
- Sandokan is yet another literature-based character, and the last one at that. Sandokan is a heroic pirate that fights the evil and, most famously the Malaysia tiger. His appearance in the game would DEFINITELY be based on Kabir Bedi's portrayal of the character in the 1976 TV series, by far the most important appearance of the character. Sandokan fights using his scimitar and dagger, taking advantage of his speed and agility to overwhelm his opponents.
- Did you know that Indivisible was published and is still owned by an Italian company, 505 Games? I wanted to pull a character straight from the video-game universe and Anja felt like the best choice, even if she was invented by an American developer team. Anja's moveset would revolve around her axe & the ability to summon the many characters she can absorb in her game. I actually never played Indivisible, though I always wanted to. Welp, I guess I have a backlog of games, now that TotK is taking me so much time to finish...
- Finally, our last character is... Ciao? What's that? Ciao is the admittedly pretty ugly mascot of the 1990 FIFA World Cup, which was disputed in Italy. Italy has a penchant for soccer, much like most European countries, but the 1990 World Cup is still a very important social phenomenon here in Italy, even if we didn't even won it (congratulations to Germany)! As a matter of fact, the best player of that competition, Totò Schillaci, is still renowned and he is considered to be one of the most iconic soccer players in Italy. Ciao would work kind of similar to LeBron James in MultiVersus, but instead of playing basketball he'd obviously play soccer and he'd do so by using... his head? Also, unlike LeBron, I imagine that Ciao would be able to switch between a soccer more and a "normal" mode, where he returns his soccer ball to his head.