I have a lot of things to say about this portion of the D’Arby the Gamer’s fight but first let’s start with the fact that Stardust Crusaders takes place in 1987 and that is an amazing-looking game for the era. If I were a child in the 1987 and I saw an NES suddenly play voice samples and real-time 3D graphics my head would explode harder than the Nagasaki atom bomb. For the record, this was the best CGI available at the era.
Yes, I know this is definitely artistic license for the purpose of thrilling because seeing Kakyoin and D’Arby drive vague 8-bit blobs posing as vehicles through a largely featureless 8-bit landscape is boring as fuck. Still, it’s fun to pretend and all. Now with that out of the way, let me ramble about why D’Arby the Gamer’s fight is the best fight in Stardust Crusaders.
Much of why I like the fight against D’Arby the Gamer can be nailed to D’Arby himself. D’Arby is, to me, the most terrifying villain in Stardust Crusaders. There’s something about how calm he is in his derangement and the nonchalant tone he speaks as he describes his perverse activities. D’Arby, like his brother, isn’t doing this for Dio; he’s doing it for himself.
There are also more subtle touches to his personality that just makes me hate him in that good way. As much as he pretends otherwise, D’Arby is a total manchild. Giving him a collection of talking dolls or an interest in videogames isn’t a coincidence; this man and sanity and/or maturity are as close as Pluto is to the Sun.
Or, as Kakyoin says: he pretends he’s a gentleman, but he’s just a madman.
Speaking of Kakyoin, he gets to see some action this episode after spending most of the Egypt Arc doing not much of note except for laying down in bed and staring wistfully out of a window being blind. He turns out to be an avid gamer (albeit unlike D’Arby, it’s not a creepy childish obsession) of F-
ZeroMega, the game pictured above.
And we finally get some insight into why Kakyoin decided to go on a world trip with Jotaro and company across the globe when he could’ve stayed in Japan reroreroreroing ladies. It turns out that he, like Avdol, was approached and seduced (really, there’s no other proper word for what happened) by DIO. Unlike Avdol, he gave in. He hates himself for that, and admires Jotaro for saving him, and that’s why he’s betting his soul for Jotaro.
I think I now know why Jotaro/Kakyoin is so popular amongst JoJo’s huge fujoshi fandom.
The F-Mega uh… battle (?) itself is the other part of why the D’Arby Gamer sequence is the best part of Stardust Crusaders.
It boils down that this game-playing sequence is extremely thrilling. I’ve said before that David Production is very good at elevating the source material to the point that even a hardened JoJo fan like me would enjoy watching it all again. Everything from the music to the camera angles to the CGI is perfectly fit for this scene. As I said before, this is where the uncertainity of whether our heroes will live or not hits with full force, and one of them is betting his soul over a damn videogame.
Sadly, Kakyoin is not good enough to beat D’Arby Gamer, and so he’s reduced to this ugly as fuck doll. Also sad is that the doll doesn’t come with a RERORERORERO button. He’d make a killing selling that doll at Ikebukuro if it had it.
It’s now down to Jotaro to beat D’Arby Gamer and get Kakyoin back. And it’s easily also Jotaro’s finest moment in Stardust Crusaders.
I’m fucking sold on Oh! That’s a Baseball!! already. Apart from the narrator cheefully announcing the title in the best Engrish this side of Joseph’s Oh my Goooood! and pronouncing “Jaguars” as “Jaggers” and clearly being in pain during his pronounciation of “Red Dragons!” (or WRED DRAGGERS), there’s the fact that one team is called the Bears Tears. And don’t get me started on the fucking FireFoxes.
There’ also the fact that Oldseph is absolutely amazing as an stand-in for your average Twitch or Hitbox chat commentator complaining about the streamer while knowing fuck all himself. His commentary here is an endless stream of hilariousness, and easily his finest moment in Stardust Crusaders (still nothing compared to all he did in Battle Tendency, though).
And so, Episode 41 ends without concluding the D’Arby Gamer fight. Let’s hope Kobayashi doesn’t mess up the pacing like she did with Phantom Blood (still amazing though). Although the next episode’s title seems to have moved on to the Vanilla I… erm… sorry, Cool Ice pls don’t sue me fight.