New Character Ideas For Virtua Fighter 6 and The FGC
Sega has announced their intentions to return to the Fighting Game Community when they announced Virtua Fighter 6. That as much as we know so far about the project. Likely it will be a PS5 release and it will be great for the first ever 3D fighting game series to make a come back to compete with it rivals like Namco's Tekken and Team Ninja's Dead or Alive. But to really stand out Virtua Fighter needs new characters, new nationalities, new martial arts if it really wants to compete with the much bigger and diverse cast of the modern fighting games so we at theCSNetwork are here to provide some inspiration. As you guys know we are big on martial arts and video games (especially Street Fighter). But lets teach an old dog some new tricks to keep up with the modern FGC,
Despite the Philipines having a diverse selection of Martial Arts and significant world wide diaspora. There's only two notable Filipinos in Fighting Games. Namco's Tekken has Josie Rizal and Soul Calibur has Talim. But outside of that their is not anyone else. So Virtua Fighter can show up their 3D rival with a Filipino of their own. A Suntukan fighter based off Filipino Boxer Manny Pacquiao. This is a kill two birds one stone situation. Virtua Fighter does not have a boxer yet and Suntukan is a Filipino boxing style with only a few limitations. Clinching, Headbutts, Elbows and shoulder tackles are allowed in Suntukan but not so much kicks which are associated with Sikaran (Filipino Kickboxing). Having a character inspired by Manny Pac will not only be exciting for Boxing fans, but also for Filipinos if the character is a practitioner of Filipino boxing style. It would also mark the first character to be a practitioner of Suntukan in a fighting game, first male Filipino character in a fighting game and the first Filipino character in a fighting game not made by Namco. It will intensify Virtua Fighter 6's popularity.
Another country in Asia with many martial arts and large diaspora globally, on top of being the second most populated country in the world. India hasn't had the best rep in modern Fighting games, Dhalsim of Street Fighter is usually the best known one, with Darun Mister for Fighting EX Layer being second and you can stretch it to Sol Badguy in Guilty Gear going off his real name Frederick Bulsara. Interestingly Street Fighter did make a concept art of a new Indian character for Street Fighter V named Zen. He was intended to be a Bollywood action star. Using this as a concept Virtua Fighter 6 can easily create their own Bollywood based fighter. Indian actor Vidyut Jamwal has made a huge impact by representing his martial art of Kalaripayattu in the Bollywood martial arts scene, So it would be perfect for fighting games to use footage from his films to influence the moves. On top of that Tiger Shroff, another Indian actor also learnt Kalaripayattu for the Baaghi films series. Design wise they can easily make the character have stylish costume based off Indian superheroes such as the Tiger Shroff's Blue and Yellow FlyingJatt, Hrithik Roshan's Green eyed, black jacketed Krrish or Shah Rukh Khan Electric Blue Cyber looking Ra.One to make this character visually stand out. We've had Hollywood star Johnny Cage for Mortal Kombat and Hong Kong action star Fei-Long for Street Fighter. Virtua Fighter can try and one up them with Bollywood Kalaripayattu warrior for Virtua Fighter 6.
Oh Africa. One of the most over looked continents. It about time Virtua Fighter gets a character from here. Notably Virtua Fighter has yet to add a dance battling Capoeira fighter, but rather than go for that. Why not look into the ancestry of the martial arts. Capoeira was invented by Afro-latino slaves who can trace their ancestry to the Angolans. Many of which practiced Ngolo the style that Capoeria and Juego de Mani are descended from. An Angolan who uses Ngolo will not only educate fans on the history of Capoeira and raise awareness for the traditional style, Ngolo was not as much dance focused as Capoeira was due to it being open as a fitting style. Whilst Capoeira has to be disguised as a dance form. This give the dev more flexibility when designing the idle stance and movements for this Angola Ngolo concept. On top of that. There is a revival movement for the style by Kenyan American Khalil Maasi. He explains in his Kung Fu Kingdom interview that he has experience in Bando, Capoeira, Muay Thai, Boxing, Wrestling and Silat. All of which he incorporates into his Neo-Ngolo martial art.
Speaking of Silat. Silat is a martial art practiced in both Malaysia and Indonesia. It has recently been pushed into the mainstream spotlight after the success of Indonesian martial arts films such as the Raid franchise starring Iko Uwais, Joe Taslim and Yayan Ruhian. Interestingly and ironically the best known Silat fighters in fighting games are Finnish scientist NiCO in Dead or Alive 6 and Tarkartan Baraka in Mortal Kombat. The only Malaysian and Indonesian characters in fighting games Malaysian Miss Til from Battle Arena Toshiden and Indonesian Jivatma from King of Fighters. Neither of their styles are defined as Silat but most likely would be Silat. So Virtua Fighter 6 could introduce a Silat fighter based off Indonesian actress Julie Estelle who played Hammer Girl in Raid 2 a deaf-mute assassin who uses Hammers to fight. In fact one of Street Fighter V's rejected character concept was a Malaysian Silat girl. On top of that Street Fighter V's beach stage is set in Malaysia so maybe Malay-Indonesia Silat fighter will make their debut in either Street Fighter or Virtua Fighter in future. Maybe Street Fighter could revisit their Malaysian Silat fighter and base her off the Wira actresses Fify Azmi and Ismi Melinda who uses Silat in the film.
Punjabis. Big people with big hearts. It surprising that we yet to have a Punjabi character in a fighting game. Punjabis were known for being tough and strong, as well as occasionally pretty huge. Don't believe us? Indian Gatka group Bir Khalsa features Jagdeep Singh, who is the tallest active police officer and America's Got Talent contestant who stands at an incredible 7'6" tall. Before him the tallest policeman. in the world was Rajesh Kumar who stood at 7'4". And people thought 7' tall was tall when they saw the Great Khalil in WWE!!! Anyhow fighting games do tend to love their fair share of exaggeratedly large human characters from Abigail in Street Fighter, to Fahkumram in Tekken. Maybe Virtua Fighter should take a leaf out of their book and make a Punjabi Police Officer based off Jagdeep Singh. I mean would you mess with a policeman that was 7'6" tall? And one that knows the martial art Gatka which specialises in Weapons and unarmed combat. Yeah fighting games need to feature a character like this soon. It would make the South Asian diaspora (Especially the Punjabis) go crazy. Trust us they'll be making noise over it.
Heading to another South Asian nation. Bangladesh hasn't had the best reputation as of late if you've watch Extraction or Our Girl. But they do have a martial art of their own that would be great to feature in a fighting game. This martial art is Butthan. A simple way to describe Butthan would be that it is a modern hybrid style meant to revive the ancient art of South Asian warriors though its similarities to Kalaripayattu can be shows parallels to Taekwondo and Karate. Taekwondo being a modern style with a mixed of Korean and Japanese influence, Butthan is a Bangladeshi style but has elements borrowed from Indian, Chinese, Burmese and other styles. Butthan got media attention when the founder Yuree Alam (MAK Yuree) broke three baseball bats in a single shin kick and then was featured on the discovery channel for his superhuman leg strength. Nicknamed the Thundershin man, it seems Bangladesh does have potential in kickboxing since a few British Bangladeshis have shown interest in Kickboxing like Abdul Ali (Ali "Lionheart" Jacko) who was one of the UK's first British Asian kickboxing champs and now has found a passion for rock music. British rapper Sparkaman is also devout kickboxer which he references in his music and his song Shine features his training in Muay Thai in Thailand. Ashraf "Pocket Rocket" Uddin is another British Bangaldesh Muay Thai kickboxer who once held the European flyweight championship belt. Riaz Amin on the other hand is more a Karate and Eskrima styled fighter. He became the UK's youngest WEKAF champ. We also have a few of us here at theCSnetwork who happen to be Bangladeshis and martial artists too. So if a fighting game wants to feature a Bangladeshi Butthan fighter will electric shin kicks we'd be honoured to see it (Especially for street fighter). Here's a lil video of Master Askir Zakareah Khan showing off his Korean martial arts skill with a little bit of Street Fighter influence here.
Virtua Fighter has El Blaze a Mexican luchador and Vanessa Lewis a practitioner of the Brazilian Vale Tudo (Though her background is not clear). However if Virtua Fighter wanted a to appeal more to the Latino diaspora an MMA fighter who specialises in Brazilian Jujutsu would be a perfect shout. Several fighting games have been include Spanish and Latin American fighters like MMA/BJJ fighters from Spanish Mila in Dead or Alive, Brazilian Laura Matsuda in Street Fighter. As well as unskilled/untrained Brawlers from Mexican American Deigo in Dead or Alive and Spanish Miguel Caballero Rojo in Tekken. So maybe a Brazilian Jujutsu character will defo kick off the interest of Latin Americans and MMA fans. If they wanted a female MMA fighter then Kyra Gracie of the Infamous Gracie family would be a great choice to influence the character and it wouldn't hurt to have more women in fighting games in general. Whilst she may get compared to Vanessa Lewis, Laura Matsuda and Mila, similar characters will fuel the fans needs for cross over rivals.
Heading to Oceania. Oh boy does this region need more love. Oceania is pretty much the region with the least representation by countries and number of characters in the fighting game genre. But they do have martial arts worth looking into for a character. Notably the Maori people of New Zealand have a martial art named Mau Rakau. Mau Rakau is a Maori martial art style that focuses on weaponry, hey if Tekken can have a samurai like Yoshmitsu fight with a sword against unarmed characters. Virtua Fighter 6 can feature a Maori using traditional weapons as part of their moveset. It wouldn't be hard to make a decent character based off this especially since two well known actors Cliff Curtis and Temuera Morrison are said to be practitioners of the style so it's possible to use them as influence for a Maori May Rakau fighter. On top of that you can't go wrong with a New Zealand character especially since the only one in fighting game is Capriccio from Fighting Layer EX and he.... well. He looks like a Xenomorph with the skin tone of Maori. It's strange.
South Korea has a multitude of martial arts to pick from such as Taekwondo if youre a fan of flashy kicks, hapkido for those that prefer to grapple and counter, Taekkyon and Subak ancestor styles to Taekwondo, Tang Soo Do and Ssireum a form of Korean wrestling. Strangely however nearly all Korean characters in Fighting Game are pretty much the Taekwondo guy. So maybe Virtua Fighter 6 can change the formula up and feature a Korean female who uses other Korean styles and can be influence by Kim Ok-vin a South Korean actress who practises Hapkido, Taekwondo, Muay Thai and Boxing. She is best known for her lead role in the Korean action film The Villainess where she portrays an Amnesiac who gets indoctrinated into the South Koreas government agent training, however her past is not all that may seems when she begins to remember and it bites her back. A South Korean Hapkido Villainess for Virtua Fighter 6 will definitely get compared with Street Fighter's Juri Han and likely be a popular new addition to the roster for fans.
The Nordic nations don't seem to get as much notice compared to the rest of Europe. Outside of a few exceptions like Swedish Japanese Lars Alexandersson from Tekken, Swedish Marie Rose and Finnish NiCO from Dead or Alive. There isn't a lot of them in modern fighting games. However Iceland and Norway share a unique style of wrestling called Glima. The style was notably included as one of Thor's fighting style on Godzilla Rex's fighting style video when analysing the MCU Thor. The style was said to be introduced to Iceland by its Norwegian settlers and it was featured in a demonstration during the 1912 summer Olympic Games. So a Nordic wrestler could be perfect and the best man to base this concept off would be Hafthor Bjornsson. Icelandic Basketball player, strong man and actor best known for playing the mountain in Game of Thrones. He recently broke Eddie Hall's deadlift record and stands at an imposing 6'9". It would be perfect to create an Icelandic Glima wrestler character based off him and the fans would appreciate it too.
So there's been a rise of Arabic characters in Fighting Games. Egyptian Assassin Zafina and Saudi Soldier Shaheen in Tekken, Emirati Parkour lad Rashid and Egyptian Fortune Teller Menat in Street Fighter and also "North African" Assassin Kukri and Saudi vigilante Najd from King of Fighters. But before all of them Virtua Fighter had a Saudi Arabian fighter featured only in Virtua Fighter Megamix called Siba (Shiba in Japan). It was believed his original name was Abdul Majid (or Majido Adburro in Japanese), his fighting style was based off Bahn from Sega's Fighting Vipers game but with a scimitar added in, that was unblock able but breakable. Siba's name was inspired by Lebanese-Italian American Wrestler Terry Brunk aka Sabu who was at the time very popular in Japan and was openly proud of his Arabic heritage (though confusingly he claimed to be from both Saudi Arabia and Bombay, India). Either way Siba never returned to Virtua Fighter despite his appearance in Megamix was positively received by Arab fans in West Asia and North Africa. Since he was not in VF5, he should be in Virtua Fighter 6 but with a new redesign. This time around Siba is now a Lebanese fighter who uses the martial art Kowat Al Ramy. Meaning Power of Throw in Arabic. The style was pioneered by multiple Lebanese martial artist practising styles like wrestling, boxing, karate, judo, Aikido and Jujutsu. Under the idea that Arabic culture neglected the practice of their traditional martial art. Kowat Al-Ramy became somewhat of a modern style for them train in and it would be a perfect way to incorporate it into a redesigned Siba/Abdul Majid for Virtua Fighter 6.