A Paean to Ace Ebb
Wed, 01/28/2009 — Rev. Ragu
Great players come and go, but true masters must be treasured; for they are but a speck of sand in a sea of mediocrity. In 1989 we were introduced to such a master - a Nintendo Master. Not so much a player as he was an artist; in the ease and confident grace he strode through worlds three steps at a time, it was something akin to a ballet performance, poetry in motion. He was Ace Ebb, Nintendo Master, conqueror of worlds, the man with the custom NES Advantage.
Like a spark, he shone brightly for but a moment and then, as quickly as he lit, fell dark once more. On the pages of Nintendo Power, his grand achievements in beating Zelda and Mike Tyson in a mere five days were a gauntlet thrown down to others who felt they were Nintendo Masters, then revealed to be naught but Nintendo Suckers. And then he vanished. It was as if the gods themselves came down from Olympus to furnish us with a message: we, in our small-minded hubris, are a morsel of donkey shit on the sandals of the immortals - as well, your score in Clu Clu Land is actually pretty fucking pedestrian.
People have fruitlessly searched long and far for Ace Ebb; some have gone so far as to believe he was a fiction, a mere urban legend, and his total disappearance off the face of the earth certainly makes this an attractive theory. Even NINTENDO WORLD CHAMPION and shitty Codemasters game shill Thor Aackerlund resurfaced after years of obscurity, very likely from witness protection after death threats or worse from the three people who actually bought Ultimate Stuntman. Even famed professional video gamer Jamie Bunker came out of self-seclusion (although the status of his sweet mullet is currently unconfirmed). Both of these icons of a bygone era have shown their faces, yet not a trace of Ace Ebb has ever been found.
To others, though, spurred to step up their game to even be able to grasp at the shoelaces on Ace Ebb's L.A. Gears, continue to believe that he really, truly does exist based on nothing but a gut feeling. Perhaps without someone much greater than themselves, they can't find purpose in a cold and random universe? I think that the answer may lie somewhere in-between - Ace Ebb is in us all, in all of our gamer hearts; in the will to succeed and the urge to sit around in our underwear, all day, trying to get through stage 6-2 in Ninja Gaiden instead of going to work.
Maybe Ace Ebb once had the choice to own a pet. He could have just as well traveled that path, embracing the having-of-pets and the road to mediocrity that brings. But Ace Ebb would have none of that. Ace Ebb refused these petty attachments of the flesh. Ace Ebb honed his entire mind and body into a sword, a razor-tipped blade of Nintendo destruction thirsty for the spilt blood of final bosses. The only friend he needs is his Robotic Operating Buddy. The only love he needs is the rescued Princess telling him "GREAT! YOU DEFEAT THE EVIL! BUT STILL MORE BADNESS EXIST IN WORLD. THANK YOU FOR PLAYERS" in rapt gratitude.
Perhaps the lesson Ace Ebb imparts on us is to work toward what we want, to not let ourselves be distracted by promises of fame and fortune or even a basic quality of life, by romance, by pets, and to drive forward with single minded long strides until we have grasped our prize.
Go forth! You are Ace Ebb! Rid yourself of pets, play Nintendo all day, create the greatness in this world that you long for in others!
There is no one that can do this but you.