Ah tennis, a gentlemanly game of skill. It’s all about two men facing off against each other, nothing but racquets and hairy balls between them. (I’ll get the bad puns out of the way early, I promise). Unless we are talking Sega’s Virtua Tennis series, in which case, prepare for huge sunflower racquets, giant alligators, wheelie bins from outer space invading our tennis courts, and the brave men who need to stop them. You know I’m not making this stuff up, I’m not that creative.
And of course, we have the baddest dudes to ever set foot on a tennis court. Of course I’m talking about Virtua Tennis’ Royalty the craziest, toughest tennis players to ever walk the earth (sorry John McEnroe, better luck next time).
Hit the Jump to read the full story of the Royal Family of Tennis!
It all started in Virtua Tennis, the arcade and Dreamcast game that launched the franchise into the hearts of gamers. With a roster of real-life tennis stars (and Mark Philippoussis), they needed someone particularly tough to fill in the coveted position of The Last Boss. Seeing as no mere mortal could take up the mantle, Sega had to create someone. Instead they created two.
To play the man known only as ‘Master’, you need to beat the Arcade mode without losing a single game. If you can do this, then your player’s celebrations are interrupted as Master challenges you to a game. He plays harder and better than anyone else in the game (and just to rub it in, he will serve to you with a signature underarm serve). He also looks rather dapper in his classic tennis outfit with a vest and long sleeved shirt.
Nice threads dude.
Getting to King is different and probably harder than Master. To get to him you need to beat every match in the World Circuit mode AND every challenge. When that is done, you’ll unlock a match against the King, and if you thought Master was difficult, King is even tougher. His serves clock in at 150 MPH. That’s like having a god-damned Ferrari served at you. And don’t even think he might be pushing his luck with a dive shot, they always work for him. Always.
Even if you manage to defeat him, he just calls up his mate Master and then challenges you to a doubles match (now you know why SEGA made two of these guys).
Virtua Tennis was a great success for Sega, and it wouldn’t be long before Virtua Tennis 2 emerged. With the sequel came a female roster, and because Sega is all about equality between the sexes, The Queen was also introduced alongside King (Master was absent from this game, presumably banned from the sport after crashing so many celebrations and starting impromptu tennis matches with tournament winners).
Queen lived up to the Royal family’s reputation by being equally tough as her husband. Just like King, you need to beat every stage in Arcade mode without losing a single match. If done with a male player you get to play King, if done with a female, you play against the Queen. For Virtua Tennis 2, the Royal Family stepped up their game though, rather than playing you on any old tennis court, you now play them on the coveted ‘King’s Court’ (See what they did there?), a carpeted court reserved for playing Tennis Royalty.
By the time Virtua Tennis 3 rolled out, The Queen had seemingly had enough of tennis, and she was replaced by Duke (not of Nukem fame unfortunately.)
“I’m here to play tennis and chew bubblegum…”
As usual to play one or the other of these frighteningly good players, you need to beat the Arcade Tournament without losing a game. This time though, King has taken a step down and lets the Duke take on the best players (anyone who ranks higher than ‘D’ goes to Duke, while King takes care of ‘D’ and lower ranks). Beware of their skill with a raquet and their 1920s dress sense (complete with manly moustaches).
In any other tennis game all this might seem really strange, but when you’ve just finished playing Ten Pin Tennis with a giant tennis ball, having your victory celebration crashed by a Moustachioed man wearing a wooly vest and calling himself Duke just seems like another day at the office really.Ad: