In my time as a pro* gamer, I’ve earned many many titles. Elden Lord, Master Fire Maker, Keyblade Master, Savior of the Mushroom Kingdom, Captain of the Blue Horizon, and too many others to count. But none have made me as proud—and generally insufferable—as my current title of Trombone Champ. That’s right, you scallawags and subpar symphonists. Pack it up and pack it in, because I am the Trombone Champ, of the video game, Trombone Champ.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then I feel truly sorry for you. Let me help educate you about the wonderful world of Trombone Champ, which is a rhythm game that infuses Guitar Hero-esque gameplay with goofy and inaccurate mouse sliding. But it’s so much more than that. Trombone Champ is a musical journey, a puzzle game, and a trivia teacher. Most of all? It’s my religion. The game is sloppy, hard, and hilarious, and it’s the only title to contend with my presumptive game of the year, Elden Ring. For only $14.99 on Steam, I don’t know why you’re not playing it. Unless it’s simply because I’m already the Trombone Champ, so what’s the point?
My hero’s journey to become the chosen of the bwomp was an epic to rival God of War. I played songs such as “Ride of the Valkyries,” “Auld Lang Syne,” “William Tell Overture,” and a song simply called… “Baboons.” It was a rough, but strong start, earning mostly C grades and the occasional B. But when I first got an S (the highest honor!) on Take Me Out to the the Ballgame, the bloodlust took over. I needed to become perfect, like Miles Teller in Whiplash, so I dove in. Being the Trombone Champ, you have to understand, there’s more to conquer than just the music. You have to collect items and put your puzzle hat on. You earn toots from playing Trombone Champ, which are cards inspired by trombones, composers, or baboons. Collecting these cards can earn you secrets—if you know where to look—and open an ominous page for the final battle. But a Trombone Champ never reveals his secrets.
If you think this is simply me becoming the first one to officially plant a flag and get the Trombone Champ moniker, well, it sort of is. But where’s your article proclaiming yourself the Trombone Champ? That’s what I thought. Plus, I’m verified on Twitter, so anything I say is fact. You may be asking yourself what being the Trombone Champ really means. Well, first of all, it makes me next in line for the royal throne. Does it also mean I’m the best at the game? Yes. Yes it does. I’ll keep saying I’m the best until they implement some kind of competition, in which case I will take my throne and retire, which is the brave thing to do. 2022 has been the year where various titles were bestowed upon me, none of which I’m comfortable sharing with you all.
While I’d like to say the honors are all on the same level, my self-proclaimed title of Trombone Champ is the one that brings me the most joy. So get bopped and bwaped, you brass beets, and make way for his slides: the Trombone Champ.
*Just kidding. No asterisk. You belong with the wind instruments, punk.
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Cameron Sherrill is a designer and writer for Esquire.com, where he covers technology and video games.
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