Friday, October 15, 2004

Instruction Manual: Fight Club
By Chuck Pahlaniuk

Getting Started

Set up your Playstation2 Computer Entertainment System according to the instructions in its Instruction Manual.
These instructions you've read a million times before, only they have to put them at the start of every Instruction Manual, because there's always someone out there willing to do the wrong thing and get hurt.
Or, worse, sue.
Like the Arkansas kid who tried to unscrew his Master System II so he could lend Alex Kidd to a friend, only he didn't disconnect it from the power first, and now he has no use of his right arm below the elbow.
Make sure the MAIN POWER switch (located on the back of the console) is turned on. Press the RESET button.
The Salt Lake City girl who wondered the same perfectly natural thing that everyone wonders about the N64 Rumble Pak, and her parents (with the legal and financial support of Mormon Elders) are still involved in a class-action lawsuit against Nintendo for making the destruction of the base on Fortuna in Lylat Wars "unnecessarily suggestive".
When the front of the console lights up, press EJECT and the disc tray will open. Place the Fight Club disc on the disc tray with the label side facing up. Press the EJECT button again and the disc tray will close.
The Normal, Illinois, kid, who, making the wrong inferences from the Giger-via-Konami graphical flourishes of the final level of Contra: The Alien Wars, tried it on with his Super Famicom, and he hasn't been able to get wood ever since.
They said if only he hadn't imported.
They say the Cartridge Slot of the American model is shaped in such a manner that such inferences would never be possible.
Attach game controllers and other peripherals, as appropriate. Follow on-screen instructions and refer to this manual for information on using the software.


Using the Controller, you can make your character perform a variety of actions.

D-PAD - Move/Menu Selection
Cross - Confirm
Circle - Cancel

Pauses the action. Everything flows, moment-to-moment. You press this button and you're taken out of those moments.
Like your own personal escape pod.
Or your own personal coffin.
Only you can unpause by pressing START again.

Press this button to exit the fight.
To Tap Out.
Using the controller, you can make your character live to fight another day.
There's no shame in Tapping Out in Fight Club. Guys aren't there to win. Guys are there to Feel. Hitting, getting hit, beating a guy, tapping out, it's all the same.
Only if you Tap Out, you lose the fight, and then you have to Continue.
The German word for this, if you have a big enough dictionary, is zeitgeber.
The resetting of the spirit.
Your environment winding all the dials back and putting you back at zero.
In Fight Club, it's called a Continue. You can collect more by collecting tokens, which appear when you perform combos.

When in analog mode (indicator: ON), the left analog stick may be used to control character movement.
Everything on a sliding scale. Press hard. Run. Nudge the stick. Inch the character.
Sometimes you can be moving and not even know it. Sometimes standing still is the most definitive movement of all.
With analog mode off, your movement is at a perfectly regulated pace.
You couldn't run if you wanted to.
You couldn't inch if you tried.
Using the controller, you can make your character a perfectly regulated simulacrum of a human being.
Toggle analog mode on and off by pressing the ANALOG button.

Punch/Menu Confirm/Choke (In Grapples)
A quick punch will put anyone in their place.
Fight Club isn't about winning or losing. That's why your score goes up even when you get hit. Using points, you can buy condiments, furniture and other things. You can then store your belongings on your Memory Card, to show them to all your friends!

Kick/Menu Cancel/Cut Loose (In Grapples)
The kick is a more time-consuming move than the punch, but also packs more power.
The longer you take, the bigger the release.
Just like real fighting.
Or fucking.

Headbutt/Gouge (In Grapples)
The headbutt is a dirty move, but sometimes in Fight Club, you have to fight dirty.
Using the controller, you can make your character walk the complicated moral grayscape between ethical behaviour and being a total shitheel.

Special Move
Each character has his own special move.
Jack: Destroy Something Beautiful Floor Grapple
Tyler: Breathe Smoke Ground Lock
Bob: Bear Hug
Angel Boy: Jeet Kune Do Dodge With Flip Kick

As you progress, you'll unlock new characters with different moves.
New environments to fight in.
The bigger the world gets, the more everything starts to look the same.
Using the controller, you can make your character experience extreme violence in a variety of intentionally bland and monotonous settings.
Using the controller, you can switch the music between Slipknot and Staind.
Using the controller, you can bypass the tedious literary devices.

Playing Fight Club

The first rule of Fight Club is, you do not talk about Fight Club.