The biggest news in fighting games right now has to be Warner Bros.’ newly announced platform fighter, MultiVersus. From Batman to Adventure Time, Game of Thrones to Steven Universe, the game features a ton of highly recognizable characters from across various intellectual properties, one of whom happens to be Norville “Shaggy” Rogers of Scooby-Doo fame.
Some fans might be asking, “Really? Shaggy over the titular canine?” He probably wouldn’t have been the go-to first pick from Scooby-Doo, but a 2017 meme (that really caught fire in 2019) catapulted Shaggy up popularity charts on the internet, and is clearly the inspiration developer Player First Games used to bring him into MultiVersus as a combatant.
The meme in question is, of course, Ultra Instinct Shaggy, which essentially imagines the often cowardly character as though he were imbued with Super Saiyan Ultra Instinct powers from the Dragon Ball franchise. This caught so much traction that, at one point, people started petitioning to have the character join Warner Bros.-owned Mortal Kombat 11 as DLC.
Below is the fight scene from 2011’s Scooby-Doo! Legend of the Phantosaur dubbed with Dragon Ball music that ushered the UI Shaggy meme to the forefront of the internet. Credit: RoastedCurry.
This idea of the ridiculously overpowered character falls into the same ballpark as the Chuck Norris memes circa 2006, (feel old?) and while Dragon Ball isn’t referenced by name in MultiVersus, the DB-like power auras seen around Shaggy in the game’s trailer leave almost no room for wonder.
In perusing the MultiVersus website, we actually find a backstory for Shaggy that qualifies why exactly he’s suddenly so fighting fit.
“The last thing Shaggy remembers before The Change was exploring another spooky old mansion with his pal Scoob, just like any other day with the gang. He found a strange glowing crystal and, thinking it was rock candy, went to take a bite. There was a FLASH… and then blackness.
“When he came to, he found himself in possession of incredible powers. He doesn’t know where they came from or how they work, but he’s vowed to use them to vanquish evil and protect the little guy. As soon as he gets some lunch, that is.”
This goes to show just how powerful trends and memes on the web can be. Indeed, Warner Bros. did tease the idea of an empowered Shaggy earlier this year via Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms promotional content, but that’s still a bit less intense than actually bringing the character to fruition in a fighting game.
We’d love to hear your opinions and thoughts on the fact that UI-err, “Post The Change” Shaggy will be available to play in MultiVersus. Will you be using him as your main, or holding out waiting for Scoob to join via DLC?