Someone has gone to great lengths to render the lasagna-obsessed cat as some of the Nintendo fighting game series’ most iconic characters. Not content to stop there, artist Shawn Bowers also gave each of them perfect backstories.
For example, there’s Nessfield. He plays sports and loves baseball. “He did not have enough money for a bat so his dad said ‘use me as your bat.’ He has a good dad,” Bowers wrote on his Instagram. “He can eat two hot dogs if he tries, but only one hamburger. He doesn’t usually have enough money for hot dogs or hamburgers so he just chews air and pretends.” See? Perfect.
There’s also like Linkfield, whose trusted pal Swordie betrayed him by hacking his accounts and selling all his secrets on the dark web, and then there’s Starfield, whose real name is actually Cat McCloud. They are all in a fight club because of Marfield, the plumber who was so lazy he lost his business and had to resort to holding “Smashes” in his basement to pay the bills.
Pikafield has the most in-depth backstory of all. I’m just going to excerpt the whole thing below, because holy fuck:
“Pikafield didn’t want his twin brother Chris to participate in an underground fight club, but Pikafield also didn’t owe the Muncie Mafia 50 large from a bad horse bet. Night after night, he’d watch his brother stumble through the door, battered and bloodied. Chris always tried to play it off. “It feels worse than it looks,” he’d say. “You should see the other guy.” But at 3 am, through the thin walls of their tiny apartment, Pikafield could hear his brother crying...whether because of his injuries or his lot in life was anyone’s guess. One evening, Chris didn’t come home at all. Pikafield called his brother’s cell over and over until the voicemail box was too full to accept any more panicked messages. Finally, he got a call back, from a number he’d never seen before. The voice on the other end greeted him with a heavy groan, a sound he recognized from his many sleepless nights. “Chris? Chris, say something.” He heard a thump. “Chris ain’t feeling so hot,” a new challenger chimed in. “Which is a shame, cause he got about 4 more brawls to go tonight. If he don’t brawl, he don’t earn. If he don’t earn, he don’t live. Catch my drift?” The line went dead. Pikafield knew exactly where the smashes took place; everyone in Muncie did. He also knew there was only one option left if his brother was going to make it through tonight. Pikafield didn’t want his twin brother to fight, because he knew sooner or later... he’d have to fight too.”
Why did Bowers do it? He’s a self-identified Garfield expert who even produced a four-episode podcast series called QUAG (Questions About Garfield), and beyond that, the world clearly needed this important work. Though he characterized his fan art as simple “likebait,” I think it’s deeper than that. I know I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since seeing it.
Garfield Kart is a unique delight, but I really hope modders get to going on a working version of Smash Fields as soon as possible.