The Badass of the Week.

-- How to Kill Your Doppleganger --
Update 17 November 2006 by Amazing Ben

So I started this morning as I start pretty much every morning;  I sat at my over-cluttered desk trying to pretend that I didn't notice the mountains of work that had been piling up for days and took a nice relaxing sip of shitty convenience-store coffee while opening up my email client.  It was presumably going to be just another Friday filled with reading video game news, checking out the weekend's sports match-ups, and trying to think of something stupid to write about in this space.

Then I read my email.

Hey dude, I love your website.  I was wondering, are you currently in St. Louis?  If not, you have a doppelgänger here that was totally at the gay ass bread company today.  The funny thing is, he was wearing a shirt with what looked like Chinese text on it, so I thought it had to be you.  I started calling out your name, and the dude didn't respond for awhile.  I figure it had to be someone else, but I just thought it was kind of weird.

Graham "Danger" Hohlfeld

I nearly spit my coffee out on my computer screen.  At first I was amused by the mental image of "Danger" Hohlfeld calling my name out in the middle of a crowded store while people gave him weird looks, but a deep, sinking feeling struck me in the gut like a body-blow from a boxing-glove-wearing kangaroo when I actually wrapped my brain around what I had just read.  There was an Amazing Ben dopplegänger out there somewhere, going to gay ass bread stores, wearing Chinese t-shirts, and making me look bad to people who like the site.

I know now what I must do.  It is every human being's solemn duty to kill their dopplegänger or die trying.  My initial preparations are done, and in case I do not survive this battle, I want to pass my wisdom on to you.  Here are my tips for destroying your clone.

The enemy.

Step One:  Locate Your Clone

The Bible tells us that when God created the Earth he created two of every person, and that the only way to get to Heaven is to find your clone and destroy him (or her) in a violent and bloody manner.  I think that's what John 3:16 says, but don't quote me on that.  Now, with roughly six billion people on the planet, locating your mortal enemy can certainly be a difficult endeavor.  Luckily, I got some help from a concerned reader, but for many of you, you will have to take up some sort of spying program to help you out.  Maybe take out an ad in every paper in the country featuring a picture of your face and offering a twenty thousand dollar reward to anyone who has any knowledge of your "long-lost twin".

When you finally find your dopplegänger, arrange to meet up with them at a quiet neutral location, preferably some place like an old abandoned warehouse, so that if a fight breaks out you'll be able to do it up action movie style.  Once the two of you are face-to-face, you will need to quickly ascertain what type of clone you are facing and how you should react to them.  This chart can help you:

Type of Clone Description Recommendation
Standard Clone Your regular run-of-the-mill clone, created in a test tube in a lab somewhere.  The good thing about a true clone is that, according to science, they are only your duplicate in DNA alone, and don't share thoughts, feelings or memories attached to you.  There are also action movie theories out there stating that your clone is generally not as powerful as you are.  It's sort of like when you burn a CD of a CD of a CD - every time you make a copy of a copy the quality degrades a little bit.  If this is the case, you should be able to take them out in hand-to-hand combat with relative ease.

The thing you need to watch out for is the possibility that there is more than one clone running around out there.  Theoretically, if someone is able to genetically engineer one clone of you, there's little to stop them from making a clone army and causing serious problems for you down the line.
Don't attack the clone immediately.  Instead, see if you can use him to lead you to the lab where he was created so you can destroy all the DNA samples as well as the mad scientist responsible for the whole mess.  Under no circumstances should you attempt to manufacture a clone army yourself and then bend them to your will;  That NEVER works out the way you want it to, and you're only going to end up getting the crap kicked out of you by a hundred angry dudes that look exactly like you.
Dopplegänger A dopplegänger is an exact double of you in every way.  This is a dangerous situation for anyone, because this motherfucker is your equal in speed, power and cunning.  He's tough, he's difficult to defeat, and at best you are basically going to have a 50/50 chance of taking him down. 

Medieval legend had it that seeing a dopplegänger was a sign that you were about to die (probably from getting your ass kicked by said dopplegänger).
Proceed with caution.  Don't attack him immediately, but instead proceed to Step Two.
Identical Twin An identical twin is sort of like a clone in that you both share DNA.  However, identical twins can be very different behaviorally, so you still have a good chance of outwitting him or being able to take him out in a one-one-one duel. Please don't go out, kill your identical twin, and then blame it on this website.
Evil Twin Your Evil Twin is just like you, only super fucking evil.  He may have one glaring physical difference from you, like a beard or a monocle or a monster truck hat or something, and instead of being a regular upright citizen such as yourself, he's hell-bent on destroying everything that you like, ruining your life, and subjecting the entire planet to a lifetime of servitude under his Iron Fist. Do not try to befriend your Evil Twin, because he will only fuck you over the first chance he gets.  Instead, attempt to cultivate a good hero-villain relationship with him.  Sure, he's an evil bastard, but arch-nemeses like these are really hard to come by sometimes.
Bizarro You Bizarro You looks like a mutated, fucked-up version of yourself and is basically your exact opposite in almost every way.  He may have green skin or a bulging eye, he may speak only in tongues, and he could have some sort of crazy super power like the ability to make trees explode just by looking at them really seriously.  He's usually evil, his behavior and ideology is generally diametrically opposed to your own, and as the name would imply, he's also really ridiculously weird. Bizarro You is also excellent arch-nemesis material.  The downside is the fact that he's super-weird and will probably spend more time irritating you than actually coming up with diabolical schemes plotting your downfall.  Still, you have to take what you can get sometimes.
Good Twin It may surprise you one day to find out that YOU, in fact, are the Evil Twin, and there is a Good version of you out there somewhere.  You'll instantly be able to recognize this douchebag by the fact that he's some pain-in-the-ass do-gooder who likes all sorts of ridiculous utopian bullcrap that you hate. If you end up being the Evil Twin, you need to embrace that role and start going out of your way to fuck over your Good Twin at all costs, ruining his life, and subjecting the entire planet to a lifetime of servitude under your Iron Fist.

As you can see, there are a number of different types of clones out there, and each one is ready to screw you over the second you give them a chance.  For the purposes of this update, I'm going to deal with dopplegängers, in part because that's what "Other Ben" was referred to as in the email I received, and partly because that's also the most difficult sort of clone to deal with.

Coming face-to-face with your dopplegänger can be awkward.

Step Two:  Hilarity Ensues

Now if you ask almost anybody what they would do if they had a clone, their answer is almost always the same.  They'd either make the clone go to school for them or go to work for them.  They'd use the clone as a "stand-in" for any number of mind-numbingly boring things, or force them to do routine, menial tasks that nobody in their right mind would ever want to perform.  Think about it for a minute.  Who wouldn't want to sit at home watching SportsCenter while their clone heads off to the office for a grueling eight-hour shift?  You get to chill out and relax while still getting credit for being at work, and your clone is basically *YOU*, so you don't have to worry about him fucking things up and getting you in trouble.  It's a win-win situation.

Not quite.  You see, while you might think this is a brilliant plan, you have to remember that your dopplegänger is pretty much your exact double in almost every respect.  So why the hell would he want to do all the hard work while you get to hang out drinking beer in your underwear at 11 in the morning on a Tuesday?  No, in his mind it's YOU who should slap on the monkey suit and attend boring ass meetings while he vacations in the Poconos with scores of hot oiled-up bikini babes.  This difference in opinion can be troublesome at best.

However, despite these difficulties, and even though both of you will feel uncontrollably compelled by nature to kill the other immediately upon seeing them, the two of you would be stupid not to take advantage of this situation and use it to your own benefit.  As such, it will behoove both of you to try and come up with some sort of short-term agreement to help each other out by getting out of work and/or performing hilarious pranks on unsuspecting people.  Here are some fun things the two of you can try:

  • Trade-off work weeks.  Sure, it sucks that you still have to go to the office every once in a while, but working 125 days a year is certainly preferable to working 250.

  • Freak out your pot-head friends.  It's not going to be difficult, but it certainly will be entertaining.

  • Play "Bens Versus Everyone" in multiplayer HALO.

  • If you're a hot chick, you two can probably make some sweet money as bikini babes.

  • Team up Double Impact style and go beat up some jackass street gangs like some kind of crazy vigilante force.

Well none of that stuff is really all that fun or awesome (except the vigilante justice thing of course), but if you go watch one of those twenty billion Disney kids movies featuring twins running around causing havoc and pissing off French people you can probably get some good ideas.

Step Three:  The Passive-Aggressive Struggle for Power

No matter how good your intentions, eventually either you or your clone is going to abuse the fact that they look and sound exactly like you.  It's inevitable.  Sure, the two of you will probably try to keep up the shortened work schedule and take advantage of all the awesome perks that come with having an exact duplicate of yourself, but you will find new and interesting ways to get back at each other.  It will become some sort of passive-aggressive war;  sort of like identity theft on PCP.  You'll go withdraw money from his bank account.  He'll respond by closing your Blockbuster Video account.  You'll change his Social Security number, he'll steal your Driver's License and rack up two grand in traffic tickets in your name.  You'll get him fired from work, he'll pretend he's you and have sex with your wife.  The possibilities for dicking over someone who looks exactly like you are endless, so on and on it will go until you both fucking suck it up and start kicking each other's asses.  He's eventually going to do something to piss you off and ruin your life, and then you're going to have to destroy him to clear your good name and also prevent him from raising a clone army hell-bent on slaughtering you and everyone you love.

This is the sort of thing you should try to avoid.

Step Four:  The Final Duel

Finally the time has come.  It doesn't matter how well you guys get along, eventually you and your twin are going to have to settle this once and for all in a no-holds-barred duel to the death.  If you don't believe me, just think about the end of Double Dragon in the arcade - you and your twin battle through hordes of gangster motherfuckers and beat the shit out of a machinegun-weilding maniac with your bare hands, but before you can rescue the hot babe and ride off into the sunset the two of you have to kick the ever-loving crap out of each other.  There's no rhyme or reason behind it.  It's just the natural order of the universe.  But how do you win a fight against yourself?  Here are a few tips:


Evil Spock.

  • Find a Perilous Location
  • Fighting your clone is a lot like the Real Estate business;  Location is everything.  For instance, having a Kung Fu showdown in a cornfield in Kansas is going to be as smart as sticking your head in a broken microwave and then setting your pants on fire.  You have to consider the fact that you and your dopplegänger are duplicates of each other, and any attempt for you to battle on a level playing field is going to end in a stalemate every single time.  You're just going to look like a couple of fucking idiots running around a farm punching yourselves into exhaustion.  If you want to actually settle things for good, you're going to need to introduce some variables.

    One way to destabilize the playing field is to stage your final showdown in a location rife with peril and danger.  Places such as foundries, prisons, machine shops, zombie-infested laboratories, military arsenals and the roofs of skyscrapers provide excellent backdrops for your epic struggle.  Ideally, you want a place that will allow you not only to use the environment to your advantage by doing things such as whacking your clone in the face with a steel girder or kicking him down some stairs, but will also give you the best chance of ending up with an overly-dramatic death scene.  Narrow walkways overlooking impractically large spike pits, the summit of a large mountain, and the baggage hold of a 747 are all good locations that will serve this purpose.  I used to know of a good site that had the "Guidelines to a Proper Showdown" that I would link to here, but that page has been dead for a while now.

  • Switch Up the Weaponry
  • The second thing to consider when fighting the ultimate duel with your dopplegänger is your weapon configuration.  Considering the fact that the two of you have equal levels of proficiency with the same weapons, it would be completely pointless for you to battle it out with identical gear.  Instead, you will need to make sure that you switch up the weapon loadouts in a fair manner.  For instance, if you're good with a sword, then it would be stupid to have the battle be "Sword Vs. Nunchucks" because nunchucks would get head arm chopped off faster than you could say "Black Knight".  Instead, opt for something obscure like "Pike Vs. Halberd", "Warhammer Vs. Mace" or the old gladiator favorite "Axe and Shield Vs. Trident and Net".  This keeps everyone on their toes and does it's part to shake things up a little bit.  Plus, it makes for a pretty exciting battle to watch.

The only way to settle it.

That's all for now folks.  Wish me luck in my upcoming duel, and may all of you find the luck and courage necessary to slay your mortal enemies.


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