Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Bad Guy Beatdown Round 17 - Results

       Skeletor stood at the base of the massive cliff and called out to the incredible power within. "Stampede!" he cried. "I've come to make a deal." To emphasize his point, he slammed the tip of his havoc staff into the earth, throwing up a cloud of sand. The entire planet he'd teleported to was nothing but desert and he found it to be even less welcome then the dark side of Eternia. He felt the dry wind blowing into his eyes every second he started there, his teeth gritting with every word.
    "Who dares summon me?" the booming voice responded. A thick cloud of smoke billowed to life before Skeletor, almost the size of a dragon.
    Skeletor stood his ground. "It is I, the master of evil, Skeletor, and rightful ruler of Eternia."
    "And what do I care of Eternia?" the smoke said, swirling into the form of a giant Broncosaur. It shot streams of harsh black smoke through his nostrils directly into Skeletor's face.
    After a brief cough, Skeletor laid out his plan.  "If you grant me your power, I could finally unlock the secrets of Castle Grayskull. The Secrets of the Ancients could give us enough power to take over the Galaxy."
       Stampede thought a moment, drifting out of solidity when he did so. He materialized fully in front of Skeletor, along with a purple man in unfamiliar garb. "I'm curious about your offer, Skull-face. I'll gave you a portion of my power if you can best my champion."
    "With pleasure."

    Tex Hex found himself in a very familiar situation; at the business end of Marshall Bravestarr's blaster.  Thunderstick and Cactus Head were both unconscious in a pile of rock.
“Your time as a free man is up, Tex,” Bravestarr said.
Tex weighed his options and only a retreat seemed feasible.  “I wouldn’t count on it, Bravestarr.” Tex drew out the Marshall’s name and followed it up with a cackle.  “I’ll get you next time!” In a pillar of black smoke, Tex Hex dematerialized and blew away in the wind, aiming to go to his base at the Hexagon.  Instead of appearing in his quarters though, he found himself forming at the base of the Hexagon’s cliffs, facing a blue-skinned man without a face.  Stampede loomed over them both, swimming in thick exhaust, speaking of some kind of arrangement Tex didn’t catch.
Without warning, the skull-faced man swung his staff at him and shot a blast of energy from the ram head atop it.  Tex jumped back, barely dodging the attack and drew his blaster. He shot a volley of fire at his opponent, giant horseshoes capable of turning their targets to stone, and waited for his quick victory.  To his surprise, the man caught the projectile in one of his hands and dropped it to the ground, unfazed by the magic imbued in it.
“You think you can defeat the mighty Skeletor with such pitiful magic?” he talking skull said.  “I’ll show you true power.” He tapped his staff into the ground, sending a tremor through the sand towards a massive boulder.  The rock shifted, rearranging the smaller rocks around it into a head and limbs. It stomped towards Tex, somehow roaring without a mouth, and snatched up the outlaw in a bearhug.
“Oh, you won’t catch me that easily,” Tex Hex growled.  His body dissolved into red sand, spilling out between the rock creature’s gravelly limb.  Once all of his body and flowed through like a living hourglass, he reconstituted his body and shot a beam of red light from his eyes at his captor.  Glowing in a white light, the rock creature shape-shifted into a massive red scorpion. “Let’s see how that skull-faced fool likes the look of this.”
The scorpion leapt across the distance at Skeletor, claws snapping.  Skeletor braced himself and pointed the head of his staff at the monster.  He blasted again, turning the scorpion back into inanimate rock before it crashed to the ground and shattered.  “You surprise me, stranger,” Skeletor said. “Maybe after I defeat you, you could replace some of my moronic minions.”
“Ha!  You talk too much.”  Tex Hex pointed his hands at Skeletor and fired to beams of energy from his pointer fingers.  The energy shot past Skeletor on both sides, striking a dead tree and transforming it into a colossal snake.  It coiled around the wayward villain, but fell away a moment later when Skeletor teleported away in a flash of light.
“It appears we are too evenly matched, champion.” Skeletor said.
Tex Hex grumbled, “It does seem that way, stranger.”
“Perhaps we need to do a more direct challenge instead of these parlor tricks.”
“A duel, then? My pistol versus your freaky stick?”
“Yes,” Stampede said, watching the fight so far with an entertained grin, “let’s get to the big show, why don’t we?”
“Draw!” Tex yelled, slinging his pistol and firing at Skeletor as the other raised his staff and blasted.  Both beams met in the air between them, unleashing a shockwave of energy. The beams surged back and forth as each villain fed the full force of their power into each weapon.  Tex Hex fell to his knees bracing his weapon against the onslaught of Skeletor’s magic, the confluence of energy inching closer to him. In the end, the power in his blaster failed and Tex dropped his aim.  The full power of Skeletor’s magic struck and incinerated Tex in an instant.
“It appears we have a deal,” Stampede said as Skeletor hefted his havok staff over his head in triumph.
Click here for Skeletor and Tex Hex's last respect post.

A lot of people expected Skeletor to win this round hadily, and I'll admit I did too, but considering both villains are of the magical variety and from the same animation studio that gives everyone such random powers, it shouldn't surprise anyone that they're both even matched.  Skeletor has control over the objects, either animating it as is or moving them around, but Tex Hex has the ability to transmute an object into a living creature.  Both are able to shoot energy blasts with varying degrees of power, both can either teleport or turn into smoke to move around.  And both have just weird powers that never show up more than once.  Hell, Tex Hex could turn himself into a big monster, but it happens so infrequently, I don't think he'd even consider it in this fight.  In the end it came down to whose magic was stronger, and I think Skeletor's comes out on top.  Of all the stuff both of them can do, Skeletor can do with in bigger increments and with flasier results.  Tex Hex doesn't provide as much of a threat as Skeletor does, and I think it comes down to who controls that power - Tex's comes from Stampede, while Skeletor's is his alone.

The Winner

Click here to see the fight that brought Skeletor to the second tier, and click here to see the rest of the first tier's battles.

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