On Valentine's Day, Inven Global debuted its Smash Ultimate dating service. Thousands took part in the highly analytical matchmaking experience including many of our own staff. One of those was Nick. And his date didn't go how he expected at all.
Here is his recollection of events.
Related: Take the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Valentine's Day Quiz to see who you should canoodle with.
Valentine's Day with Fox
I hadn’t spoken with Fox in quite some time — and to be honest, there was plenty left unsaid. But we have always been united through one thing: a desire to be the best.
But that was a decade ago. I had grown up. And as I grew, my bond with Sheik had strengthened to be tighter than an infinite tech-chase grab combo. I had changed through the years — my youthful desire to waveshine my opponents across the stage had disappeared, but after a few years away from Smash, I decided to give Fox another chance after getting matched up through Inven Global's dating service.
That isn’t to say Fox hadn’t changed, too. After all, there were three Smash titles — four if you count the 3DS version as its own — that had been released since we last saw each other. I expected him to ask about Sheik immediately, but over the years, Sheik changed too. Her F-air just didn’t hit the way it used to in Melee. Still, I was hesitant, so I kept the date casual — coffee in a place where we both could meet…and leave quickly if things got weird.
To my surprise, Fox did not possess the same intense vibe he did when we were younger. His feet didn’t hit the ground as hard, and he didn’t seem to be moving at a near-vibrating frequency like he did in our Melee heyday.
“How are you?” he asked.
“Fine,” I replied.
He flashed a small smile — a smile? From Fox?
“It’s been quite some time,” he said.
I wasn’t sure what to say, but the awkward silence was fortunately cut short when he asked if we should head inside. Not told, but asked.
I was going to order his usual — black coffee, six shots of espresso added — but to my surprise, Fox ordered tea. TEA? I hardly recognized the furry humanoid space mercenary in front of me. Maybe this really could be different.
And it was! Fox had completely changed from when we last spoke. Not once was my longtime union with Sheik mentioned, and the way Fox seemed to approach the ledge of conversations was night and day. Ultimately, it was a nice time, but midway through, I came to a realization: I was so worried about what Fox was like and how he would feel that I had not stopped to consider my own feelings.
Here was a person in front of me — well, foxperson, furry? — that I recognized physically, but was a complete stranger emotionally. I’m happy that he’s grown as a person, but I failed to factor in my own growth. It was a nice time, and catching up was great. I’m glad Fox is doing well, but the past is the past, and no amount of short-hop lasers can change that.