*NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED*
*NO POLITICAL/SOCIAL CRITICISM INTENDED*
*THESE ARE PURELY MY OPINIONS/TAKES ON WORKS OF VIDEO GAME DEVELOPERS*
V. NORTH AMERICA
We now arrive at the continent of North America. Let’s start with the country of Canada. We are introduced to 6 Canadian male characters: Sheen Genus, a blonde professional wrestler; Maxima, a cybernetically enhanced secret agent; Wolf Hawkfield, a First Nations professional wrestler; Sasquatch, the mysterious Bigfoot creature who was probably inspired from the abominable snowman; Damian Shade, a very loyal and devoted servant to his master; and Rig, a cryptic oil platform worker specializing in Taekwondo.
Aggressors of Dark Kombat: Sheen Genus
King of Fighters: Maxima
Virtua Fighter: Wolf Hawkfield
Power Instinct: Damian Shade
Dead or Alive: Rig
Let’s now move towards the United States of America. Second to Japanese video game characters, American video game characters rank second in terms of number of characters. However, American characters boast a diversity of plots, storylines, themes and fighting styles. Almost every existing theme in fighting video games, they’ve got it! Common themes include: the All-American cool guy, powerful professional boxers, no-nonsense soldiers, young martial arts masters, boisterous professional wrestlers, athletic sportsmen, laid back secret agents, rhythmic dancers and hot babes who can kick ass. I also observed that there are American characters (mostly White) who are enthusiasts of Asian arts and culture. Another observation is that most Native American characters are themed as being deeply spiritual and are defenders of nature. A number of video game boss characters also hail from the United States. When it comes to fighting styles, American characters utilize several styles which include: Professional boxing, Chinese martial arts, kickboxing (including Muay Thai), Ninjutsu, Karate, professional wrestling and sword fighting.
Reflecting America’s multicultural and ethnic diversity, American characters have different racial backgrounds: Majority of American characters are White Americans; 4 of them reference their specific ancestry (Rock is an Englishman who washed upon the shores of the native Apache tribes; Franco Bash is of Italian descent while Rolento and Doctrine Dark are of German descent). They are followed by Black/African Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans (Guy is ethnic Japanese; Li Xiangfei, Marshall and Forest Law are all ethnic Chinese). There are also 4 multiracial American characters (Ken Masters is 3/4 Japanese and 1/4 White; Alice Garnet Nakata is 3/4 White and 1/4 Japanese; Michelle Chang is part Chinese/part Native American; Leon is probably a Latino American which may suggest he is a mix of European and Amerindian origin).
Street Fighter: Alex, Allen Snider, Balrog, Charlie Nash, Cody Travers, Cracker Jack, Crimson Viper, Doctrine Dark (Holger), Guile, Guy, Joe, Ken Masters, Mike, Poison Kiss, Rolento Schugerg, Rufus, Sodom
Rival Schools: Boman Delgado, Roy Bromwell, Tiffany Lords
Tekken: Robert “Bob” Richards, Bruce Irvin, Bryan Fury, Forest Law, Julia Chang, Marshall Law, Michelle Chang, Paul Phoenix, Tiger Jackson
Soul Calibur: Rock (Nathaniel William Adams)
Knuckle Heads: Rob Vincent
Power Instinct: Chris Wayne, Larry Light, Keith Wayne, White Buffalo
Fatal Fury: Alfred Airhawk, Andy Bogard, Axel Hawk, Blue Mary, Duck King, Franco Bash, Geese Howard, Grant (Abel Cameron), Kain R. Heinlein, Kevin Rian, Li Xiangfei, Michael Max, Rick Strowd, Rock Howard, Terry Bogard, Alice Garnet Nakata
King of Fighters: Brian Battler, Clark Still, Heavy D!, Lucky Glauber, Mignon Beart, Ninon Beart, Ralf Jones, Seth
Art of Fighting: Jack Turner, John Crawley, Lenny Creston, Mickey Rogers, Rody Birts
Buriki One: Rob Python
Samurai Shodown: Black Hawk, Draco, Earthquake, Galford D. Weller
World Heroes: Johnny Maximum, Muscle Power
Rage of the Dragons: Billy Lewis, James “Jimmy” Lewis, Mr. Jones
Fight Fever: Magic Dunker, Nick Commando
Fighter’s History: Ray MacDougall
Aggressors of Dark Kombat: Bobby Nelson
Battle of the Beast God: Max Eagle
Breakers: Condor Heads
Kaiser Knuckle: Barts, Boggy, Jim McCoy
Mortal Kombat: Cassandra “Cassie” Carlton Cage, Erron Black, Jacqueline “Jacqui” Briggs, Jackson “Jax” Briggs, Johnny Cage (John Carlton), Kai, Kobra, Mokap, Nightwolf, Sonya Blade, Kurtis Stryker
Battle Arena Toshinden: Leon, Rachael, Rook Castle, Rungo Iron, Tracy
Virtua Fighter: Jacky Bryant, Sarah Bryant
Dead or Alive: Bass Armstrong, La Mariposa (Lisa Hamilton), Tina Armstrong, Zack
Martial Champion: Bobby, Racheal
Guilty Gear: Chipp Zanuff, Johnny Sfondi, Sol-Badguy
Power Moves: Joe, Ranker, Warren
We now take a look the characters hailing from Mexico. Most Mexican fighting characters introduced are Professional Wrestlers (Luchador). Just like real-life luchador, Mexican luchador characters exhibit acrobatic wrestling moves and usually sports a distinguishing mask (with the exception of Angel and Ramon). Another design that surely stood out was the Aztec warrior theme. This theme inspired the designs of Azteca, Ogre, Pepe and Necalli. The Aztec theme was also shown in the robot, Huitzil, which was probably inspired from the mythical Aztec warrior, Huitzilopochtli. Other fighting styles include indigenous fighting arts and Taekwondo.
Given Mexico’s’ population, I am guessing that human characters introduced are of European, Amerindian or Mestizo (mixed European and Amerindian) ancestry. Thunder Hawk is actually a Native American from the United States; he and his Thunderfoot tribe settled in Mexico because they were driven out of their lands by M. Bison. Juli, was probably from Germany and became a member of the Thunderfoot tribe, eventually becoming T. Hawk’s lover until she was kidnapped by Shadaloo. When it comes to Ramon, Angel and Kim Hoon, I find that their blonde hair and European features may suggest that they are of European ancestry. It’s also interesting to note that Kim Hoon’s name is Korean despite being from Mexico.
Street Fighter: El Fuerte, Juli, Thunder Hawk, Necalli
Virtua Fighter: El Blaze
Kaiser Knuckle: Azteca
Tekken: King, King II, Ogre
King of Fighters: Angel, Ramon
Fight Fever: Kim Hoon
Fatal Fury: Tizoc
Rage of the Dragons: Jose “Pepe” Rodriguez
Let’s now see the Caribbean region starting off with the island nation of Cuba. Cuba’s sole representative is Bang-Boo, a cyborg from the Battle Arena Toshinden series who wields 2 huge cannons.
Battle Arena Toshinden: Bang-Boo
Our next Caribbean nation on the list is Jamaica. We are introduced to Dee Jay, an Afro-Jamaican kick boxer who infuses music and rhythm to his fighting style. Aside from his kick boxing skills, he is also a talented musician and dancer.
Street Fighter: Dee Jay