New Character Ideas for Street Fighter 6
Updated: Aug 9
Looking forward to new fighting games? Well so are we and as you know the one thing we always look forward to is new characters in fighting games, especially those from new nationalities or representing new fighting styles. We already had our say in what new characters we want to see for upcoming fighting games like Virtua Fighter 6 and King of Fighters 15. For Street Fighter 6 we will be looking at rejected or discarded concept characters that we reckon they should add as playable character in the next game as well as some new ideas that could be a thank you to Street Fighter fans who made several references to the franchise in pop culture.
One of the rejected character concepts for Street Fighter 5 was an Indian Bollywood star named Zen, admittedly the name Dhyan (Zen in Hindi) or Zorawar (Punjabi name starting with Z, also a name of a Bollywood film) would be more appropriate. This wouldn't actually be a bad idea since fighting game characters who are celebrities or actors like Hong Kong star Fei-Long and Hollywood action hero Johnny Cage are fairly popular, but also Street Fighter actors Joey Ansah and Christian Howard actually mentioned working in India and specifically with a Bollywood martial arts actor Vidyut Jamwal. Vidyut Jamwal is a practitioner of the Indian martial art Kalaripayattu and Capcom can easily use his film as a visual reference to his style. On top of that the character's design can be adapted to resemble Bollywood superhero such as Tiger Shroff's Flying Jatt, Hrithik Roshan's Krrish or Shah Rukh Khan's Ra.One. Street Fighter having an Indian character whose style is a better representation of Indian Martial Arts maybe the way forward since Dhalsim as always come across as a problematic yet layered character (well design wise when you look into him). Additionally Capcom can also use design similar to their Asura's Wrath characters like Deus or Yasha since that game was heavily based off Hinduism.
Another rejected idea Capcom had was a Malaysian female fighter. A Tom Boy or tough girl who apparently can take out a tiger and is likely a practitioner of Silat. Silat being a style practiced in both Malaysia and Indonesia. What interesting is one fo the stages in Street Fighter V is in fact a Beach stage in Malaysia. Considering the lack of South East Asian characters in Street Fighter as a whole. We feel that Capcom should revisit this idea and again take cues from popular films featuring female Silat fighters. We reckon the character can be also inspired by Malaysian actresses Ismi Melinda and Fify Azmi from the martial arts film Wira. Notably Fify Azmi's character "Zain" is the heroic tom boy tough girl type much like the character Capcom conceptualised, whilst Ismi Melinda's character "Vee" is more Daddy's little gangster and far more femme fatale. In fact she even attempts to seduce Hassan during the 2 vs 2 fight while her adoptive Brother Rayyan and Hassan's Sister Zain are also in the ring fighting. Either way Capcom should consider this Malaysian Silat fighter for the next Street Fighter game.
Going further back. We are looking at a concept character from Street Fighter 4. Remember Rufus? The Fat American Kung Fu fighter who wants to beat Ken Masters to prove he is the best American Fighter? Yeah he was originally going to be King Cobra a seemingly a slim Breakdancing African American Kung-Fu fighter with a lot of Blaxploitation themes to his overall design. Its likely Capcom did not include the character due to fears he would come across as offensive. However, looking at Leroy Smith from Tekken (another Blaxploitation themed character), maybe Capcom should reconsider. In fact Unroolie (Kenny from YoVideoGames) even stated he is perfectly fine with King Cobra and would have preferred him over Rufus any day. So basically what we are saying Capcom is use King Cobra, however one interesting thing they could do, is make King Cobra Black Australian. Australia is yet another country featured as a stage in Street Fighter but yet no characters, in fact Street Fighter has no characters from Oceania in general. So how about revamping the King Cobra Concept into an Australian Aboriginal fighter with a penchant for gold jewellery and kung-fu. Hell make him a Wing Chun fighter like Leroy Smith if they want to. Especially since there are a few Black Australians in Fighting Games like Jeffrey McWilde in Virtua Fighter and Craig Marduk in Tekken. Maybe use real life Australian Aboriginal martial artist Brenton McKenna (of Yawuru descent) as a real life reference to update the look and look into Australia Aboriginal Hip Hop culture.
Back to the concept characters for Street Fighter V. Another idea dropped by Capcom was an Indigenous Alaskan/Canadian fighter. Why did they not include this character? well we are not sure but there is a martial art rooted in Indigenous Canadian culture that they can use as a reference to the character's fighting style. That martial art is Okichitaw. Okichitaw is a Canadian martial art that takes traditional Cree techniques such as Wrestling, Tomahawk fighting and hand to hand techniques called "Miche Che Kiske" and mixes it with styles like Judo, Hapkido and Taekwondo. So there is a lot of leeway for creativity in this characters style. According to Capcom's Concept design, she was intended to be a Huntress that live in the Alaskan/Canadian tundra, she possesses inhuman strength, beat BWA Kimala and lives with her Father and 5 brothers. They probably didn't know exactly what they were doing when conceptualising the character. But she does sound like a potential rival for Tekken's Michelle or Julia Chang. Design wise they can make her resemble Canadian Mixed martial artist and model Shana Pasapa who is of Indigenous origins specifically Core and Nakota origins. She is the CEO and founder of Power Our Women a scheme to encourage self defence among women.
Remember Santamu? The one of the Shadowlaw dolls? well she is actually of Vietnamese descent originally with her name derived from the Vietnamese word Thang Tham meaning August. We have no idea how or why Capcom chose to make her Ethiopian since Street Fighter 4 especially since there has never been a Vietnamese character in street fighter yet. Either way going off the new canon that she is Ethiopian, since SFV she would be free from brainwashing and likely be able to be a full fledged character of her own if Capcom feel like it. Africa as a continent is heavily underrepresented and we feel that they should definitely consider expanding the continent with Samtamu as a new playable character. Her spear fighting style can be replicated from her SFV moves and based off the Surma People's sticking fighting culture. They could even give her the signature scarification patterns that the Surma people are known for and traditional clothing inspired by Black panther's Dora Milage if they wanted to.
Since Samtamu was changed from Vietnamese to Ethiopian. We felt that they should consider a brand new original Vietnamese character who is a practitioner of Vovinam. A Vietnamese martial art. Vovinam is a martial art that definitely needs representation in Fighting Games and there's plenty of videos to use as reference to how the fighting style looks. On top of that there really isn't a lot of Vietnamese representation so this would be a two bird one stone situation. One potential inspiration they could use for a Vietnamese character is actor Johnny Tri Nguyen who has done plenty of work in Hollywood such as Raimi's Spiderman series and Jarhead, he was the lead role in Vietnamese martial arts film The Rebel, he also played roles in Thai film Tom Yum Goong against Tony Jaa and even Indian Tamil films like 7Aum Arivu and Irumbu Kuthirai). The other potential inspiration they can pull from is Vietnamese American martial artist Gemma Nguyen who is a huge fan of fighting games and even does her own series of imitating the moves of her favourite characters especially Street Fighter's Chun-Li. So hey why not two Vietnamese Vovinam fighters. One based off Johnny the other based off Gemma. Johnny could easily be a friend or rival to Dhalsim and Sagat to reference Johnny's real life collabs with Thai and Indian cinema whilst Gemma could be like a fan girl of Chun-Li in similar case to Sakura for Ryu or Sean to Ken. Gemma could have a Vovinam version of Chun-Li's moves set but with more unique differences. Also the Csnetworks very own Tony Chang is played by none other than Michael Truong whose family is actually Vietnamese Chinese. As in ethnically Chinese immigrants to the UK from Vietnam. So we are pretty sure he would appreciate a Vietnamese character in the next Street Fighter. I mean did you see Tony's Hadoken? If not you need to start watching some episodes of the Corner Shop Show.
Related to the point above. We at theCSnetwork happen to be massive Street Fighter Fans and in fact some of us also happen to be Bangladeshi too. So we would 100% be down for a Street Fighter character from Bangladesh. There's even martial arts in Bangladesh believe it or not. In fact the founder of Butthan (Bangladeshi martial art) was featured in Ripley's Believe it or not. Grandmaster Mak Yuree (born Yuree Alam) is known for his shins of steel which can deliver thunder kicks strong enough to break three baseball bats in one go. In fact Street Fighter could even make this character British Bangladeshi. Why? well if anyone has watched Diary of a Badman or Corner Shop Show, they would realise that the British Asian community really really love Street Fighter and we reference it everywhere we can. Mistah Islah's uncle Askir Zakareah Khan can even do a Shinku Hadoken. Considering Street Fighter has had two British White character and two British Black characters. They could easily add in a British Asian or two. Hell we even did an article on British Asian Athletes in Martial Arts and to put the cherry on top. Capcom love to reference British Asian Singer Freddie Mercury from Eagles flamboyant personality, to Birdie and Dudley's alternate costumes. Why not make a British Bangladeshi kickboxer who uses Butthan but is also a fan of music and his alternate costumes can reference not only Freddie Mercury but also Ali Jacko, a British Bangladeshi former Kickboxer who has an interest in rock music lately and Sparkaman another British Bangladeshi kickboxer but his music is rap and grime. Also add in the Spark nickname with the Thunder shin man. The British Bangladeshi could be a very electrifying character maybe with a similar powerset to MK's Rain who also is seemingly inspired by South Asian culture too and has his own Freddie Mercury reference one of his Fatalities, just saying Capcom you know we want this.
Another one for the fans. Street Fighter has many Ninjas almost a new one in each generation barring SF4. SF1 had Geki, SF2 had Vega, SFA had Guy and Maki, SF3 had Ibuki and SF5 had Zeku. So why would SF6 have a new ninja and why Ghanaian of all things. Well easy. Joey Ansah. The man who made Street Fighter: Legacy, Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist and Street Fighter: Resurrection. In fact if he had his way, we would have gotten a Street Fighter World Warrior by now. A Ghanaian Ninja inspired by Joey Ansah makes total sense since he is half Ghanaian and even lived there, started his martial arts training in Ghana too. He also became the youngest practitioner of Ninjutsu in the UK when he went to Plymouth for training. Considering we have a Nigerian Samurai in Guilty Gear and Tekken's has two Black Ninjas possibly form Canada. We reckon a Bad ass Ghanaian Ninja would be the perfect way to pay homage to Joey Ansah. His moves can even borrow aspects of Raven from Street Fighter X Tekken or just add in technique from other style Joey Ansah learnt along the way like Capoeria and Taekwondo.
Another South East Asian nation with little to no representation. We have Cambodia and this country has its own martial art too. Bokator. The style was featured as the main martial art for the police force in the French Cambodian film Jail Break starring Jean Paul Ly. You might be wondering who cares? We care. French actor Jean Paul Ly happens to be of partial Cambodian origin and he likely picked up on Bokator from his co-star on set, but on top of that. He was Shogen and Akira Koeiyama's stunt double for Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist. Many of the acrobatic moves we see Goken Sensei do in the live action series were performed by Jean Paul Ly himself. So yeah, we reckon Cambodian Cop based off Ly who uses the Martial Art Bokator would be perfect for the future of the Street Fighter Franchise.
OK the last one plays around with the influences a bit. Many of you may wonder why Bulgaria and what the hell is Da Dao. Well according to the Da Dao website, it is a Bulgarian martial art which embodies ancient fighting traditions. "Even our ancestors had their system which ensured their priority in the fight. Since ancient times that martial art has been passed on from generation to generation. It has been an integral part of our ancestors’ traditions and culture." OK so a new original style great but out of all the nationalities. Why Bulgaria? well Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist was set in Japan. But was filmed in Sofia, Bulgaria. Also Michael Truong went their for holiday once, recommend paying it a visit once the pandemics over. But back to the point, Eastern Europe doesn't get a lot of interesting representation outside of Russian, Russian and Russian. So why not explore a different East European country for once especially since Bulgaria was the country that allowed the Street Fighter; Assassin's Fist series to be filmed lets repay the favour back with a character from their nation practising a style from their country. Finally if anyone has seen the latest Resident Evil 8 trailer and gameplay, all we can take from it is that despite being a 9 foot tall, chalk white skinned Romanian Vampire, Lady Alcina Dimitrescu has proven to be extremely popular with the fans. So why not a tall Bulgarian martial arts fighter loosely based off Katya Kavaleva. A 6'5" tall Belarusian Female MMA fighter. I mean Capcom's tallest girl is Elena at the moment why not step it up a notch with a female fighter based on Kavaleva. If Street Fighter can make French Abel based off Russian Fedor Emelianenko, German Hugo based off French Andre the Giant and Jamaican DeeJay was based off American Billy Blanks. Then yeah Im sure we can live with a Big Bulgarian fighter based off the Belarusian Katya Kavaleva.