The Legend of Shaq-Fu

You may have heard of a game called Shaq-Fu, released on the SNES and Sega Genesis. You may have heard that it’s an atrocious, steaming pile of a game that is not worthy of your time.

This is very true. Shaq-Fu is terrible on just about every level. It’s for this very reason that I bought it a few months back for the bargain price of $1 at a local game store. The store was practically giving it away. When I asked the cashier for the game a look of baffled amusement crept across his face. I assured him I knew what I was in for. I was buying it as a joke of sorts. Surely I could get $1 worth of entertainment out of a NBA star shooting flaming basketballs out of his hands in a magical kung-fu world.

Shaq-Fu SNES Box

Wait, EA put this out? Now it all makes sense.

He went into the back of the store to dig out a copy of the game. I waited patiently. He returned with a similar amused expression, and in his hand he held what I at first mistook for a Legend of Zelda game.

Instead, in his hand rested a golden copy of Shaq-Fu.

“Somebody spray painted this one gold, is that OK?” the cashier asked.

I replied logically. “Why would I not want a golden one? It’s golden.”

And so with a swipe of my debit card a golden copy of one of the worst games of all time became mine.

Golden Shaqu-Fu

My golden ticket….to misery

I couldn’t help but wonder about the circumstances surrounding the game’s past. Why would somebody take the time to paint a copy of Shaq-Fu golden? Scenarios swept through my mind.

This game, this crappy game, might have been special to someone at some point in time. Perhaps some parent, unable to afford the Legend of Zelda, painted the cartridge golden to make his kid happy one year for Christmas. Maybe some kid knew the game was crappy, and that somehow painting it golden would make it better. It could have been a practical joke from a friend; a game nobody wanted painted golden and gifted just for fun.

Or maybe not. Maybe some kid was just bored one day and didn’t have anything better to do with a game nobody wanted to play. Still, I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something to the history of this cartridge that I would never know.

I played the game. The game is extremely difficult for reasons I can’t quit figure out. It wasn’t very fun, though the dialogue and plot is hysterical. Unsurprisingly, the golden finish did very little to improve the quality of the game inside the plastic cartridge. I can safely say I did get at least $1 worth of entertainment out of it. Maybe even $2 worth. Now it sits on my shelf, Shaquille O’ Neal’s darkest moment ironically shining brighter than any other game in my possession. Every once in a while I glance at it and wonder where it came from, who it belonged to and the series of mundane events that led it to eventually fall into my possession.

Where is all of this going Cameron, you ask? So you got a golden copy of Shaq-Fu. It was bad. Is there any more to this story?

Not really. But if you really need a moral to this story ,remember, all the glimmers is not gold.

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