Man, I hope you know about 1989’s best arcade game, Final Fight.

It is a beat ’em up style game, wherein the player (or two) controls a character who must fight, primarily in an unarmed fashion, through a series of stages each filled with several antagonists. Like the player-controlled character, the antagonists primarily fight in an unarmed fashion and usually have a sub-leader of sorts who is typically more powerful.

In this particular game, the plot concerns the kidnapped daughter of a city’s mayor, and rather than using legal means, the mayor decides to confront the kidnappers through a series of fisticuffs and brawls. The mayor, Haggar, has a pair of associates, Cody and Guy. There is a lot of backstory and relationship lore, but you can read about that elsewhere.

This is about food. The food. This is really going to redefine what “street food” really is.

The food that the player-controlled characters use to regain health. It doesn’t make a lot of “real-world” sense, but it is what it is. As a youth I really enjoyed the mechanic, and as an adult, I tend to just want burgers and steaks all the time, so I am still drawn to it.

So anyway, there are several food items that appear in the game and these are my favourites, each accompanied by a screenshot. Enjoy.

10. Grapes

Man, I hate grapes. I mean, they’re okay, I guess, but I usually prefer them mashed up and fermented. Those grapes in that screenshot though, they do look nice. Just ignore the sapphire ring, whole cooked chicken, pipe-wielding man, likely dead person, and the fact that they are on the carpet of a high-rise luxury condominium. Easy. Grapes.

9. Cola

Ignore the fact that Andre the Giant is piledriving a dude while on a subway. Also ignore the wooden barrel on the subway. I mean, let’s focus on the (definitely not a popular and famous brand) can of “cola” on the floor there. I like cola, but it doesn’t quite make a meal, but if you were just slammed into the ground by a legendary wrestler, it might just hit the spot.

8. Orange; 7. Hot Dog

Hey, are you just bunching these two together because they are in one convenient screenshot?! Yes. I mean, I guess I could have cropped out the individual foods, but I didn’t want to ruin the aesthetic of the screenshot. Whatever. Anyway, the orange would normally appear as number nine with the grapes, but well, happenstance. I normally really like hot dogs, but man, this one doesn’t really have too appealing of a look to me, so it languishes back here in the number seven spot. Just imagine what it would be like to eat that hot dog off of the ground in a public park where a group of people are fighting, bleeding, sweating, and dying. Tasty.

6. Whisky; 5. Burger

Another combined screenshot?! Well this one is actually pretty much where I want it to be. Normally I don’t consider beverages to be a food, but look at that seductress laying there on the ground, just begging to be opened and consumed… Ahem… Yeah, I mean whisky goes well with a brawl and it seems fitting to me to take a break from being kicked in the testicles to enjoy a fine sippin’ whisky. Oh man, to me, that burger is in strict contrast to the number seven hot dog. Just by looking at that burger can I imagine the soft, fresh bun; the juicy beef, crisp lettuce… Mmmmm…

4. Steak

Man, I am really fond of steak. Am I fond enough to eat a random plate of steak from the piss-soaked concrete of an alley behind a nightclub where an Asian man is puking his guts out after being drop-kicked? Yeah, I don’t know about that. I’ll give it a solid maybe. Anyway, this plate of steak somehow has a special appeal for me, the grill marks, the small garnish, the fact that there are no utensil with which to eat it, everything about it is perfect. Also, that bottle of whisky right next to it might make a great pair for it. Alley steak, anyone?

3. “Barbecue”

Man, here it is, an example of “meat” that seems to exist only in the realm of imagination. I don’t think there is any cut of meat that even resembles that, maybe like a weird slice of thigh on the femur, but yeah, I don’t know. Maybe because it looks like the “bait” from the original Legend of Zelda, or maybe it is just the mysterious origin of the meat, but man, I always wondered what it taste like. Also, it is a true barbaric severing, it must be at least ten solid pounds of meat on a tiny plate, and like the steak, this is a handheld meal. Dig in, just forget that it is on the ground in what looks like the worst ghetto neighbourhood in the world, maybe it comes with a free AIDS syringe.

2. Chicken

Ever get really hungry when you are cruising the dockside washroom? No? Oh, okay… Anyway, here is a whole roast chicken just waiting to sate your hunger?

1. Gum

See that blue dot? That’s gum. That’s gum that was recently spit out by that hairy-chested cop. That’s recently spit-out gum that you can eat. Think. About. That. THINK. I don’t know what I like more, that it exists, or that someone thought that it would be a good idea to have a cop spit out gum and then allow your character to eat the gum to regain health. As far as I am concerned that is a mental exercise that should be worth university credit. …maybe. Anyway, the gum’s there, free for the taking! Maybe it still has flavour?! Oh, extra credit: imagine chewing the gum, tasting the saliva, the grim from the street, the grittiness, yeah, imagine really good…

Well, there it is, my list. Honourary mention is can of beer, but in my playthrough I couldn’t get a decent screenshot, so it was relegated to non-existence. Anyway, feel free to vote i the poll and show the world how badly you want to eat that gum…

Feel free to leave a comment with suggestions for arcade game Top Tens, playthroughs, reviews, or other articles.

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