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The Other Ken (Super Smash Bros)


The Ghost Lord
This... was a very late Christmas gift for a friend, the identity of whom you'll be able to ascertain as you read it, and a blatant excuse for dipping my toes into a fandom I've wanted to write in for over a decade. With that ou of the way, enjoy:

The Other Ken

Ken had a relatively simple life.

He'd been through many jobs over the years, from amusement parks to Kmart, but his current one involved taking care of adults with disabilities. And he was stuck with one particular one named Joe.

Joe lived in an apartment, alone, except for his dog. Said dog was the highlight of the job and showered Ken with affection whenever he visited - and Ken back - but Joe was a bit more passive, quiet, and relatively low-maintenance.

One thing constantly occupying Joe's time was video games. If he wasn't playing them he was watching Youtube videos about them. And one game had caught Joe's attention in particular for the past year - Super Smash Bros. or something. He'd been watching countless videos all year about it ever since this E3 thing, and once he got it he started playing it nonstop.

Ken didn't get it. He was old. Video games were after his time. Joe made him play a few rounds of Smash but he couldn't figure it out at all. He didn't know what Joe saw in the thing.

There was a Ken in the game. That was nice, he supposed.

It wasn't really anything major. Nothing that stopped him from going home at the end of the day, seeing his wife and dogs, and going to bed.


Ken woke up. And at that point was when everything went horribly wrong.

There were strange pictures lining the walls, of strange people. Things seemed almost... Japanese? Ken was startled, and even more so when he looked down at himself.

He was no longer old and out of shape. He was muscular, almost disgustingly so. He was also wearing... some kind of red martial arts outfit. Before he could process anything further the door slid open.

A similarly muscled Japanese man in similar but white martial arts gear entered the room, a grumpy look on his face.

"...You're up late."

"...Who the hell are you?"

"Very funny. Now come on, we need to get going."

Ken groaned, pushed himself up, and followed the other man.


Ken soon found himself outside a series of apartment complexes. He immediately noticed that milling about this series of apartments were people and creatures of all shapes and sizes he hardly recognized. There were round, pink things and anthropomorphic animals and more sword wielders than you could shake a... sword at. One of the sword wielders, a young man with fiery orange hair, approached the pair.

"Hey! You two ready for the big tournament?"

"...Tournament?" said Ken.

Something clicked for him. These people and creatures... They were all from that weird game Joe played all the time. But what was he doing here?

"Yeah! We're having a big one to celebrate Piranha Plant and Joker joining us!" said the redhead. "Granted, they aren't here yet... But hey, we can just have another one when they show up!"

"Roy, we all know you want revenge for Ken's 'physics is boring' comment the other day," said Ken's companion.

Roy's chest swelled as he took a deep breath. "No I do not, Ryu. Also, physics is not boring, it is by far the most fascinating of the sciences!"

"...I didn't say nothing," said Ken.

Roy narrowed his eyes. "Something's off about you..."

"He claimed to not know me when he woke up," said Ryu.

Roy's eyes widened. "Wait... That blow to the head from Donkey Kong yesterday... Maybe he has amnesia!"

"Wait, I-" Ken started to say.

"...That does make sense..." said Ryu.

"Hmm, this is a predicament..." said Roy. "Do you still think he can fight in the tournament?"

"Do you remember how to fight?" said Ryu.

Before Ken could answer, there was a loud roar from further in the crowd.

"Looks like your opponent isn't taking no for an answer," said Roy.

Ryu sighed. "Well, come on then."

And Ken, protesting all the way, was dragged off.


Ken didn't know where he was or what he was doing. Main thing he could tell was he was on some sort of tiny tropical island and there was a boat with some kind of... anthropomorphic turtle? But those things didn't really concern him so much as his opponent.

The creature noticeably resembled a dragon but one that looked grotesque and wrong. He had needle-sharp teeth, mottled purple skin, and glowing yellow eyes - the latter of which were staring him down with surprising intelligence.

Ken heard an announcer count down from three to one and then the dragon charged. He had to react fast. He tried to run away from the thing, and when it barreled toward him anyway, he summoned instincts he didn't know he had and jumped over it. But the dragon lunged at him and sent him flying. Landing with a thud, Ken noticed an energy sword next to him and grabbed it, swinging it desperately at the dragon. It knocked him back a bit, but not enough. The dragon hit him with a savage claw strike and Ken was sent flying and flying and then there was a loud "bam."

Ken opened his eyes to find himself hovering over the battlefield, the dragon still down below. Was he dead? Was this an out-of-body experience? Was he-

His questions were promptly answered by him being dropped down to face the dragon again, and he quickly panicked and punched him. The dragon was knocked back noticeably further, but immediately came back and raked Ken across the ground with a roar. Ken then saw a strange capsule, grabbed it, and cracked it open, hoping whatever was inside could stop this thing.

What emerged was a lanky man in purple, coming to Ken's defense with a cackling laugh. "Too bad, Waluigi time!" Waluigi stomped the dragon into the dirt and then sent him flying off the battlefield with another crash with a swing of a tennis racket. "I may not be in the fight yet, but Waluigi can still kick some tail!" And with that, he vanished.

Ken got to his feet and dusted himself off. He kind of wished he could have thanked that Waluigi guy, but he needed to get out of-

The dragon swooped in and attacked Ken with his tail. Ken yelled and crashed to the ground, stunned. This was enough for the dragon to hit him with another decisive blow and send him flying off the battlefield with another crash.

As Ken descended back onto the battlefeild again, he heard the announcer counting down.

"Three.. Two... One... Game!"

Suddenly, the battlefield was replaced by an open area facing an audience, and his opponent was giving a victory screech.


Ken had been ushered off to a hospital bed. A short man with a moustache in a doctor's outfit was looking him over, frowning. Roy and Ryu were nearby, looking concerned.

"Well, almost everything seems healthy," said the doctor. "But you're right, he seems to have amnesia."

"I'm telling you, I'm the wrong Ken!" said Ken.

"...Or delusional. One of the two."

"What should we do then Dr. Mario?" said Roy.

"Give him time, some TLC," said Doctor Mario. "Hopefully his memories and normal state of mind will come back to him."

"Alright then..." said Ryu.

Ken sighed.


Ken was sitting by himself, gazing at the apartment buildings from the distance. His mind stewed on how he was trapped, alone in this strange video game wo-


Ken paused, then turned a bit. Next to him was a small, round, pink creature, staring at him inquisitively.



"Is that all you say?"


Ken sighed. "What do you want?"


The pink ball somehow grabbed his hand with his... nub and started pulling him. Ken begrudgingly obliged, and the pink ball started leading him toward the apartments.


The pink ball led Ken over to a strange, blue, hedgehog-like creature. The hedgehog was running around the complex at incredible speed, but stopped when he saw Kirby and Ken.

"Hey little buddy!" he said to the pink ball. "You need me for something?"

"Poyo!" said the ball, pointing to Ken.

The hedgehog looked over at Ken. "Oh right. You lost your memory huh?"

"You guys keep assuming that! I'm the wrong guy! I just somehow ended up her-"

He narrowed his eyes. "Wait a minute... Aren't you Sonic the Hedgehog?"

"See! He's getting his memory back already!" said Sonic.

"No- It's not that! I recognized you from my world! There's a guy I know who plays your video games!"

"Wait, your world? My video games? The weird multiversal stuff isn't lining up!"


"Okay. So what is your deal, Ken?"

Ken paused, then attempted to explain himself. It was long, rambly, and contained a several-minute rant about his old job at KMart.

"...Woah. I think I see the problem." said Sonic. "You seem to be some other Ken in the Ken we know's body!"

"Poyo?" said Kirby curiously. He then turned to Ken and waved.


"That's... I guess that's what I'm trying to get at," said Ken.

"Well how do we fix that?" said Sonic. "There's gotta be a way..."

He thought a bit, then raised a finger. "I've got it! There's two guys who can help you out. Come on!"

He grabbed Ken and Kirby by their hands and to the displeasure of Ken sped off with them.


Ken and Kirby were dragged to a pair of strange creatures, one purple and vaguely feline and the other blue and more distinctly canine. The two were staring at each other intently.

"...What are they doing?" said Ken.

"Probably telepathically smack-talking each other again," said Sonic. "Hey, you two! We need your petty butts for something!"

The two turned to the others.

~What do you need?~ said Mewtwo.

~And why both of us?~ said Lucario.

"See, Ken's saying he's really some other Ken!" said Sonic. "And you two have the power to figure out what's up!"


~Well, Kirby's awfully convincing.~ said the canine.

With that, he closed his eyes as strange feelers on the back of his head flared. The feline's eyes glowed as he stared directly at Ken's. Ken felt a strange feeling tingle down his spine. Finally, they stopped.

~You're right Sonic,~ said the canine. ~His aura... it's completely different from the Ken we know.~

~And yet,~ said the feline, ~I sense our Ken's mind resting, dormant.~

"Can you like... get him out?" said Sonic.

~I cannot,~ said the feline. ~There is a force preventing me.~

~It seems to be... Some sort of curse,~ said the canine.

"Curse? What kinda mumbo-jumbo is this?" said Sonic.

"That's bullshit!" said Ken. "Can't any of you take me home?"

~There is Master Hand,~ said the feline. ~But he is... Elusive.~

"Fine," said Ken. "I've had it. We're finding the source of this curse ourselves."

He turned to Sonic. "You know where those Ryu and Roy guys are?"

"Leave it to me!" said Sonic, speeding off.

Meanwhile, Kirby's brow furrowed.


Ken, Kirby, Sonic, Roy, and Ryu had gathered around a table in one of the apartments. Ken was looking around at the others grimly.

"Okay, which one of you guys can deal with curses?"

"Not me..." said Ryu.

"I've got a dragon-killing sword, does that count?" said Roy.

"I... beat a genie once?" said Sonic.

"Poyo! Poyo!" said Kirby.

Ken sighed. "Alright, we're going to have to-"


"I think Kirby wants something," said Ryu.

"What is it then?" said Ken.

Kirby left the room briefly before wheeling in a whiteboard and drawing on it in marker. The others stared as Kirby started drawing bizarre and horrifying creatures - a bloody eyeball, a hulking titan, a queen bee, a... Jester? Once he got to the jester the eyes of everyone but Ken widened.

"...Oh. Him." said Ryu.

"Is he our man? Or... Whatever?" said Roy.

Kirby nodded sagely. "Poyo."

"Then we'll get him!" said Sonic.

"Wait, who is this guy?" said Ken.

"You'll find out soon enough." said Ryu. "Come on."

The group all started filing out of the apartment. Ken hesitantly followed.


The landscape was dark. Barren. Silent. Eerie. But the party was trekking through it anyway. Ken looked around at it all then turned to Roy.

"I've been wondering something," said Ken.

"What is it?" said Roy.

"You all... You get together for this big thing. So what? You guys just fight all the time or something."

"Oh, it's more than just that!" said Roy. "First off, we wouldn't have stopped threats like Galeem if we hadn't all gotten together. Second... We've made so many friends coming together like this."


"Yeah! Like... See Sonic and Kirby over there?"

Ken looked. There they were, chatting away. "...So?"

"They were from totally different worlds before they came here. All of us were. But now we can forge new bonds. Learn new things. It's incredible."

Ken paused for a bit. He looked back at Sonic and Kirby and nodded. "You know... I guess you're right."

And they trudged onward.


Eventually the path ended. The group reached a stony arena framed by the dark sky. There in the middle was the jester.

Ken noticed he seemed totally unassuming - a bright blue and red hat, a short purple body with big, round eyes, a bow tie, and stubby feet in oversized shoes.

He looked at the others. "This really the guy who did this to me?"

"Sure am!" said the jester.

With that his eyes grew crazed. He sprouted fangs and wings. He floated up in the air, exuding a dark energy palpable to all.

"...Oh." said Ken.

"I knew meddling with your friend here would bring me to you, Kirby!" said the jester with a giggle. "Now we'll settle this once and for all!"

Kirby glared. "Poyo!"

"If you're itching for a fight, we'll bring it!" said Roy.

"Our discipline will make you break," said Ryu.

"And most importantly so will our speed!" said Sonic.

"Wait," said Ken, "We're actually fighting this gu-"

The fighters engaged. Ryu pummeled the jester with punches and kicks. Roy struck with a flaming sword. Sonic spun into him with his body. Kirby summoned forth various powers to batter him. And yet the jester didn't even flinch, sending blasts and beams at them all the way.

Ken yelled and ran away from any attacks that came near, but he soon noticed that his companions were starting to get beaten back. The jester was damaged but still going strong. Ken stopped, paused,then shouted out.

"Hey! Clown face!"

The jester stopped. Then turned to Ken. "What is it, worm?"

"You really think you can stop these guys? Well they've got something you don't!"

"What could they possibly have?"



"Yeah! They came from... from different worlds and stuff! And now they really like each other! Because they fight and train and talk and play with each other! And if you don't appreciate that then get lost!"

The jester laughed, a maniacal cackle. "Fool! Mortal relationships are meaningless! All is meaningless! You really think you can get through to me with that drivel?!"

"Well no, but it's a nice distraction."

"...Oh shi-"

A flurry of blows hit the jester. An uppercut from Ken, a stony strike from Kirby, a flying kick from Sonic, a fierce sword blow from Roy. With that, his powers sputtered, faded, and he fell to the ground and lay unconscious.

It was then Ken felt a tingling feeling. Looking down at himself, he saw a familiar hoodie and shoes. Looking next to him, he saw the red-clad person he once inhabited the body of.

"Woah..." said the second Ken. "What did I miss?"

"So this is the real you, huh?" said Ryu.

"He's more unassuming than I anticipated..." said Roy.

"Pretty much just a normal guy," said Sonic.

"Poyo..." said Kirby.

Kirby then looked up. "Poyo!"

There, descending from the heavens, was a massive disembodied white hand. All gazed upon it in awe as it seemed to look around.

"Okay," said a booming voice seemingly coming from the hand, "What just happened here?"

"Uh, I got trapped in that guy's body," said Ken, pointing to the second Ken.

"Hmmm, you don't seem to be a fighter... Or an Assist Trophy... Or even a Spirit... Let me check something..."

Several portals opened at the hand's fingertips, the hand browsing through them like a cellphone app until it stopped at one.

"Oh... that universe. It's not even a video game universe, how did you get here? Is Goku trying to get in again?"

"Ah, no," said Ken, pointing to the unconscious jester. "He did it."

"Oh. Marx. Always starting trouble. Hold on I can send you home right quick."

He selected a portal and stretched it wider until it sat before Ken, beckoning.

"Well, I guess this is goodbye, other Ken," said Ryu.

"I hope you show any dragons or despots in your world who's boss!" said Roy.

"Always remember to look on the fast side of life!" said Sonic.

"Baiiiiiiii!" said Kirby, waving.

Despite himself Ken smiled. "Thanks guys."

And he entered the portal.


Ken emerged in front of his house. It was the dead of night, and it was cold. He felt the portal close behind him, and somehow felt his keys in his pocket.

Without a word he entered the house and went to bed.


The next morning, he entered Joe's apartment. Joe was up early playing Super Smash Bros. The dog greeted him as usual - he could almost hear her going "Hiiiiii!".

It was then Joe passed him a controller. "Wanna play?"

"Oh, I guess?"

He sat down and selected Ken.