Euro Fantasy Strike Players Series: #1 – Nok

This is the first post in an on-going series where I’m going to interview and find out more about the European members of the Fantasy Strike community.

I’m starting out with a player I’ve known of since the Pre Early Access days of Fantasy Strike and has been in many of my EU streams and tournaments, as well as a frequent online FS competitor in general: Nok.

My handle is Nok (or variations of!), my real name is Ulrik. Nok is the name of my World of Warcraft Orc Shaman from 2008, from my raiding days in that game. I wanted to make an enhancement shaman, and wanted a short, Orcish name. I thought Nok fit the bill, and the meaning (it’s Norwegian for “enough”) was both fitting for the character and a Blizzard homage! My avatar image is just grabbed from the internet because I liked it, an acquaintance claimed he made the image once, but I don’t know if he was telling the truth.

I also use this image of Argagarg as well as the penguin. If you ignore the fact that I don’t play Arg – at least I put the sunglasses and cigar on him!

I’m from Oslo, Norway. Born here, lived here most of my life. I’ve been playing Fantasy Strike since November 2016. I got into Sirlin Games with Codex, and when I heard that Sirlin wasn’t going to release more for Codex and instead develop a computer game I was really disappointed. A friend was a Patreon of Sirlin Games at the time, so I gave FS a shot anyway, and have been hooked ever since.

My favourite character is DeGrey, both in gameplay and characterisation. Fighting injustice appeals to me, and his counter-hit punchy style and counterpoint-tyrant crusher reminds me of Steve (who I played when I fooled around with Tekken solo on PSP a decade ago). Also, ghost allows me to get in on nasty zoners easily! I’ve now come full circle as I’ve picked up Steve for playing Tekken 7 at a local FGC meetup, and I now thinks he reminds me of DeGrey!

In FS I think I dislike specific matchups more than characters or particular opponents. It used to be that I hated to play vs Setsuki, but I’ve now figured out how to counter teleport spam, so I don’t hate it anymore. My current worst matchup is as DeGrey vs Rook (I have to play like a zoner, and can’t do DeGrey stuff!). I also dislike playing as Setsuki vs Valerie because I don’t know how to overcome her just spamming Three Colors yet, but hopefully I’ll learn that and it won’t be so bad.

My favourite character in the whole FS lore is probably still DeGrey. I do think he’s probably the most popular character in Europe, but I think he’s pretty popular world wide as well, he pops up a lot. I also have a weak spot for Troq, the good-natured, mercenary minotaur that loves giant growth potions. Hope to see him in FS one day. Also, Geiger is the most stylish character; I wouldn’t mind being Geiger (but sadly I’m more of a Midori). My current Ranked match team is DeGrey, Midori and Setsuki. When I started out I only had access to the first five (Grave, Jaina, Valerie, Setsuki, Rook), but I upped my patreon pledge to get a sneak peak at Geiger who is, as I’ve already noted, the best-dressed character. That means I also got sneak peeks at DeGrey and Midori as they were released, and got drawn to them, for the newness factor I thought at the time. When team battle was announced (before Arg), I was fully expecting DeGrey, Midori and Argagarg to be my team, seeing as I was obviously lost to the ‘Cult of New’. It didn’t work out that way (Arg is both too frenetic and too defensive for me), so I went back to Geiger for a long time. He never clicked with me like DeGrey and Midori did, so I swapped him out with Rook and learned to hate all zoners. That led to dumping Rook and turning to the dark side of Setsuki, the most evil character currently in the game! So much easier to mess with zoners. Currently I’m very happy with my team, and will stay with them until I change my mind.

My greatest personal achievement in FS was taking a game off Neb on stream! Sadly, he ran it back with ease and won 2-1. I wasn’t a fighting game player prior to trying Fantasy Strike but I’m a gamer in general, both computer and tabletop, and my passion is board games. I think my greatest personal achievements were making the top cut twice in the Nordic Netrunner championships. Not the greatest, but there are some sharp players in Denmark and Sweden (I’ve won or placed in the top regularly in Norway, but our meta is tiny). In terms of other videogames I enjoy, my time is mostly spent in the Blizzard-sphere, and Overwatch is a great game. I also spend a lot of time in WoW, but that might be more of a comfort game these days. I’ve also played some paper & dice RPGs and a lot of miniature gaming, but currently RPGs are too stressful and I’m not as fond of painting miniatures as I used to be, so I’ve focused on board games. I also like collectible card games of many types (as long as they’re not Magic! So overhyped.)

The reason I like FS is that the game does what I tell it to do! I’ve found through playing it that I really like fighting games, but trying out Tekken and Samurai Showdown really feels like a step backward in many ways. Quite apart from the ridiculous move list in Tekken, eating a combo because Steve punches high when I try to input a crouching punch in an attack string drives me up the wall.

If you’re a new player to Fantasy Strike, the first thing I recommend is watching Sirlin’s in-game gameplay video for the character(s) you want to play. Learn a character in casual queue first, then take it to ranked to see how good you are. Join the discord, ask for advice, and become part of a cool community!

As mentioned earlier, if FS is able to add more characters in the future, I’d most like to see Troq, but not just because he’s a lovable giant minotaur. When I was a teen I played Super Street Fighter II, and I really liked playing T-Hawk. Well, Troq will probably play something like T-Hawk, so seeing him in FS would be a double bonus!

The best FS player in Norway is probably Neigutten. I have played more FS online lately, but he has a much stronger background in fighting games in general, and it’s not like he hasn’t played a lot of FS as well. His buddy God 2.0 is also very good, and I’m actually not really sure who’s the better player of them. But I think Neigutten has played more. Maybe I’ll pass them if continue to work at improving my game! A Norwegian country tournament would be awesome, but as we’re currently split 50-50 in Oslo and Bergen (that is, 2 in each city), it wouldn’t be much of a tournament just yet! I’ve joined my local FGC group, to learn Tekken for now, but maybe I can get some converts?

Thank you so much Nok for such a great interview, and a really fascinating start to this series! As well as in-game in Fantasy Strike, Nok can be found on twitter @UlrikDBoe here.

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