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Haitani Reveals His Young Days on Twitter

Original: Haitani's tweets, posted on Sep 22, 2017

– I ended up being threatened by a regular saying "ya, stop fxxking turtling."

From translator:
Haitani tweeted his old stories from when being an elementary school kid until when winning a nationwide tournament for the first time.
I translated all of them.

I played fighting games for the first time when I was seven, like SFII Turbo and SSFII, which were in vogue at that time, at one of my friends' home.
We were such low-caliber that the special moves we could do were only charge moves and anyone could do nothing against my M. Bison just going back and forth with Psycho Crusher.
But one time an older boy in another community got me bodied by Dragon Dance(*), and I practiced command moves very hard.

* DP-DP sequence, just only doing Ryu or Ken's light DP forever. For kids not having enough knowledge, it's very strong movement.

I knew that the new one of the franchise, SF Alpha, was available in game arcades. Having little money, I took my water bottle filled with green tea and I suggested a deal where I gave others tea in exchange for one round, and I was able to play it.

Seeing Darkstalkers 2, I thought I had to play it, and I suggested to two older boys in the neighborhood teaming up and taking turns playing every one round.
I was the strongest of the three, so they left all the final rounds to me and I got hit by them when I lost and the game was over. Looking it back now, I find it was insane, but I still enjoyed such days like mad.

I was so delighted at the release of Darkstalkers 3, but I quit it after playing only one time as disappointed at the new animation of Demitri's Chaos Flare.
I went to a game shop in Kita-Senri(**), where we could enjoy a demo of the King of Fighters '95 for Sega Saturn. I think I stayed there during whole hours every day during the summer vacation.

** A suburban area located north of Osaka city.

I was distant from games 1996 to 1997 as there was no game I wanted to play.
Seeing KOF '98, I thought I had to play it, and I lined up to go into a ¥50-for-one-time game arcade(***) upon the opening holidays. But there were also junior high schoolers from an adjacent town in the line, so I had days instantly getting beaten and going home.

*** As I've mentioned in the former post, ¥100-for-one-time game arcades prevailed and prevail in Japan. One of the tendencies is that arcades mainly for non-game-enthusiasts tend to require ¥100 for a play while arcades where many competitive players gather require ¥50.

I was so frustrated at not being able to play KOF '98 that I practiced in KOF '97 very hard with a friend who had it for Sega Saturn. It was rewarded, and gradually I was able to win a lot in KOF '98 at the game arcade and didn't have to spend much money.
But we moved to the countryside in Kawanishi city(****) when I was getting into junior high school. I despaired in the environment with no game arcade.

**** A city in another prefecture west of Osaka prefecture. The city is adjacent to Osaka prefecture.

KOF '99 was released. As having it only on a ¥100-arcade machine at a book store in the neighborhood, I was irritated about me unable to play it much, but a senior kindly let me know there was a ¥50-game arcade on the top of a mall a little far from home.
I went to there with stars in my eyes, but I ended up being threatened by a regular saying "ya, stop fxxking turtling," and knew the existence of local regulations(*****) for the first time.

***** To know about this peculiar culture a little bit more, read this translation post.

Not knowing where to go, I had a huge fight with my parents, saying "why should I live in this middle of nowhere!?" and went bad starting online matches on the Dreamcast, which cost and hella laggy.
The payment for a month went over ¥20,000(†), and I was soundly scolded by my parents and retired from it.
I had days humbly playing games on home video consoles at friends' homes for a while.

† Roughly $170 to $200.

I turned 16 and could work legally, and then started working at a supermarket in the neighborhood soon. Getting the one I'd been seeking for a long time, I went to a game arcade in a distant town by train to play Capcom vs. SNK and Guilty Gear.
Witnessing CAA-san(††) did continual overheads with Sasquatch in Darkstalkers 3, I wanted to play it and became his pupil.

†† A strong Zabel player in Darkstalkers 3.

Taken to unlimited play events in Kobe and Monte(†††), I suddenly went to a lot of places and knew the fact that there were many competitive fighting gamers.
When I went over to Domon-san(††††)'s house in Kobe, I found an arcade system board as well as an arcade control panel there. I remember I was seriously surprised, like "wait, we can actually buy these!?"

††† Monte 50, a game arcade in Osaka city, which is considered as the fighting game sanctuary in the Kansai region.
†††† A competitive Gallon player in Darkstalkers 3.

I won Tougeki '04(†††††) in Darkstalkers 3, which took place when I was 17, partly because of the improvement in the gaming environment.
I have a memory of not being happy as winning it wihtout fighting against players I considered as stronger than me. They were CAA, Kaji(‡) and Kosho(‡‡).
But I beat Sako-san there, I think!

††††† A big annual fighting game tournament held in 2003 to 2012. For more information, read this Wikipedia page.
‡ A strong Lilith player. Lilith is considered as a weak character, but he loves her and dominated with her.
‡‡ A strong Bulleta player. He is considered as the strongest Bulleta player after Sako quit playing the game.

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