Darkstalkers, Fighting Games, Staten Island, and my Mom

ImageMy love for fighting games was born in Pathmark, Staten Island (it didn’t look that nice back then). The shops inside always had the newest cabs. I’d beg my mom to go play while she shopped/waited on line. A good bit of the mini shops inside the Pathmark had cabs. A lot of shops and bodegas throughout Staten Island had random cabs at the time, so it wasn’t out of the ordinary to see them. The Pathmark cabs were dope tho. It’s where I 1st played Street Fighter II, Street Fighter Alpha, and DARKSTALKERS!  

ImageI remember clearly the 1st time I saw the original Darkstalkers cab in one of the shops. I heard the noises and music from the machine before I actually saw it. Seeing the characters move around for just a few seconds instantly captivated me. At that time I wasn’t allowed to stay by the cabs by myself yet, so I had to walk around with my mom while she shopped for groceries. The wait felt like eternity! I finally got to play while she was on the cash out line. I don’t remember if the line was long or not, but playing it that 1st time felt like time stopped. I was hooked, and kept thinking about it long after leaving.


Whenever I went back to those shops and tried the new games, I would also hear a bunch of Wu Tang songs playing from the shops. It became the soundtrack to my fighting game experience. To this day, whenever I play Vampire Savior, I automatically hear a random track off the 36 Chambers album play in my head. When you walked through the main entrance to that Pathmark, you had to walk by a few of the shops, so you could hear Wu Tang playing and noise from the cabs. It always felt like my mom was hurrying my brother and I along as to not annoy her to play. She always made sure to give us a chance to play when she could, even though she was always busy, and I appreciate that greatly and love her so much! I still can’t believe how on point she was for surprising us with Street Fighter Alpha on playstation as an Easter present. Like wut!? For Easter?!!? We were so hyped. Then on one of my birthdays she got me Vampire Savior on playstation! I was so shocked. When I started it up, I quickly realised it’s a bad port :((( but I still played that game a ton. I wouldn’t be surprised if the disc turned floppy and transparent.Image

My art style and choices are heavily influenced by the Darkstalkers series. Vampire Savior is my all time favorite fighting game and possibly my favorite game, for multiple reasons that I can go on about forever. I owe a lot to that Pathmark and my Staten Island childhood upbringing. Also my awesome, awesome, awesome mom. Darkstalkers reminds me of the 90s, SI, and my mom.


capcom_vs_capcom_pepcat_thepepperedcatStreet Fighter 6, not VI, was revealed, and I am not excited for it at all. I’m hopeful it will be a great game, but Street Fighter lost me a long time ago. The art got less and less unique and inspiring, as well as the game functions themselves. That’s not what I want to get into tho. I was secretly hoping for them to release a new Darkstalkers or ….. CAPCOM vs CAPCOM.

cvc_pepcat_thepepperedcatIt sounds silly, and that title alone would drum up so much hype, speculation, and publicity. Capcom has a plethora of characters and lore to pull from. A huge cast of colorful and instantly lovable characters at their disposal. Why wouldn’t they do this??? With so much variety, they have a chance to make a fighter with outside the box game mechanics. They can mix and match obscure mechanics from fighters like Warzard/Red Earth, Vampire Savior, Pocket Fighter, and Cyberbots. Don’t copy and paste them. Tweak and build something new and unique. The fighting games of today needs it.

bengus_capcom_pepcat_thepepperedcatThere’s so much potential! Street Fighter has felt very samey and stagnant for a long time now. SFIV and SFV both felt stiff and heavy both in looks and gameplay feel. It’s time to loosen up. Other current titles feel way less stiff and you can feel a sense of fluidity as soon as you start playing. Games like Melty Blood, Guilty Gear Strive, and KOF XV. I have issues with all 3 of those, but they’re still very new and I can see them getting better and better with time. SFV felt terrible to play from the beginning. The general consensus seems to be it took them about 4 or 5 years to get to a point people genuinely like playing, and most still don’t enjoy it. I can’t say personally, as I played it for maybe a month at launch.

Please CAPCOM, make this a reality. Tatsunoko vs Capcom was kind of a test. This time handle the release with more care and make sure to respect your own characters and fanbase. The money will come, it doesn’t need to be the focus.

Grow Grow Grow


I guess I was right. I felt it coming, the slow exodus by artists from 3rd party apps like Gumroad and instagram. I’m a firm believer in having your own website if you can. Companies like these will come and go but having your own site will stay with you and you can always send people there.

All this to say, if you haven’t seen my previous posts, I’ve been making efforts to take it back to the old days of focusing on my own site. It’ll be my base of operations while using twitter and instagram as supplements.

My shop is live! Right now there’s downloadable comics. With pay what you want prices! Visit the shop, spread the word, any form of support is much appreciated!

New New Coming Soon

The shop is officially down and the new one will be up around early new year. Available directly here on my site! I used to have the shop directly on my site years ago, but it was a lot to deal with at that time when I was juggling a ton of stuff all at once.

I’m looking forward to the direction I’m heading and my new comics heavy focus for the new year! In the meantime, check out my gumroad page. For now I’m leaving there my comic “The PRISM”, a story about a couple of scientists and their space ship that can go anywhere.  thepepperedcat.gumroad.com

Online Presence Changes

I’m closing my tees shop and transferring my art products over to my own site in about a week! I’m trying to simplify things, as well as keep things in my direct control as much as possible. I’m very much over social media and the way it made ppl consume media and the internet. This is an attempt to make things personal and legit social once again. Please join me in my crusade!