*NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED*
*NO POLITICAL/SOCIAL CRITICISM INTENDED*
*THESE ARE PURELY MY OPINIONS/TAKES ON WORKS OF VIDEO GAME DEVELOPERS*
Hello! I’m back! Yup, I have to say it has been a while since my last post so I would like to make up for the lost time and create my own version of “FIGHTING VIDEO GAME CHARACTERS AROUND THE WORLD.” May sound impossible at first but since I’m an avid fan of fighting-genre video games, I really don’t mind creating a World Atlas-like reference. First things first, this post will only include characters from FIGHTING VIDEO GAMES. Second, the characters covered will be from Video Games that showcase different forms of martial arts and that don’t focus on only one fighting style. This post will be divided into different regions around the world. So let’s begin our WORLD TOUR!!
Starting our journey in the East Asian region, our first stop is Japan. Japan, for obvious reasons, is our first destination because most developers and concept artists of the fighting video games that we enjoy today are from Japan. As a matter of fact, my observation is that in almost every fighting video game that existed, there is at least one character hailing from Japan. Most video game protagonists and important secondary characters are Japanese as well. When it comes to the characters and fighting styles developed, Japan boasts a vast variety of them. You name it, they have it! Themes include: Samurai Warriors, Elusive Ninjas, Karate Experts, Sumo Wrestlers, Judo Masters, Aikido Practitioners, Kabuki Fighters, Shrine Maidens, Religious Monks, Superhuman Athletes, Magical Girls and Japanese Mythical Creatures.
Nearly all characters introduced are of full Japanese ancestry. Guilty Gear’s May is absolutely oblivious that she is of Japanese ancestry. However, there are region specific characters like Nakoruru and Rimururu, who are of Ainu descent, an ethnic group indigenous to the Hokkaido region and Maxi, a pirate from the Ryukyu Islands. There is also a group of Japanese Eurasians (Ryo Sakazaki, Yuri Sakazaki, Benimaru Nikaido and Kokoro are half Japanese/half White American; Kenshi Takahashi was stated to be a Japanese Eurasian; Hinako Shijou is part Russian while Roberto Miura is mixed Japanese-Brazilian ). There are also non-Japanese characters who have resided in Japan like the Caucasian swordswoman, Setsuka, and the Chinese martial artist, Lee Chaolan, both of whom have been adopted into a Japanese family.
Art of Fighting: Eiji Kisaragi, Jin Fu-Ha, Kasumi Todoh, Ryo Sakazaki, Ryuhaku Todoh, Takuma Sakazaki, Yuri Sakazaki
Buriki One: Akatsuki-Maru, Gai Tendo, Takato Saionji
Fatal Fury: Gato, Hokutomaru, Hotaru Futaba, Joe Higashi, Jubei Yamada, Mai Shiranui, Ryuji Yamazaki, Sokaku Mochizuki, Toji Sakata, Tsugumi Sendoh
King of Fighters: Athena Asamiya, Benimaru Nikaido, Chizuru Kagura (Yata), Goro Daimon, Hinako Shijou, Iori Yagami, Kyo Kusanagi, Kyo-1, Kyo-2, Malin, Momoko, Nagase, Orochi, Saisyu Kusanagi, Shingo Yabuki, Yashiro Nanakase
Samurai Shodown: Shiro Tokisada Amakusa, Basara, Gaira Caffeine, Gen-An Shiranui, Genjuro Kibagami, Hanma Yagyu, Hanzo Hattori, Haohmaru, Jinbei Sugamata, Jubei Yagyu, Kazuki Kazama, Kuroko, Kyoshiro Senryo, Mizuki Rashoujin, Nakoruru, Nicotine Caffeine, Rimururu, Shiki, Shizumaru Hisame, Sogetsu Kazama, Taizan Morozumi, Takechiyo, Ukyo Tachibana, Zankuro Minazuki
World Heroes: Fuuma Kotaro, Hanzo Hattori, Ryoko Izumo
Battle of the Beast God: Sho Hayate
Breakers: Sho Kamui, Tobikage No Saizo
Fighter’s History: Makoto Mizoguchi, Ryoko Kanou
Aggressors of Dark Kombat: Goh Kidokoro, Joe Kusanagi
Fight Fever: Karate Kenji, Miyuki
Rage of the Dragons: Annie Murakami, Cassandra Murata, Oni Inomura
Guilty Gear: Anji Mito, Baiken, May
Street Fighter: Akuma, Edmond Honda, Geki, Gouken, Hayate, Hokuto Mizukami, Ibuki, Kairi Mizukami, Karin Kanzuki, Maki Genryusai, Makoto, Nanase Mizukami, Rainbow Mika Nanakawa, Retsu, Ryu, Sakura Kasugano, Skullomania
Rival Schools: Akira Kazama, Batsu Ichimonji, Chairperson, Daigo Kazama, Eiji “Edge” Yamada, Gan Isurugi, Hayato Nekketsu, Hideo Shimazu, Hinata Wakaba, Hyo Imawano, Kurow Kirishima, Kyoko Minazuki, Kyosuke Kagami, Momo Karuizawa, Nagare Namikawa, Natsu Ayuhara, Raizo Imawano, Ran Hibiki, Roberto Miura, Shoma Sawamura, Yurika Kirishima, Aoi “Zaki” Himezaki
Mortal Kombat: Kenshi Takahashi, Scorpion (Hanzo Hasashi)
Tekken: Asuka Kazama, Ganryu, Heihachi Mishima, Jin Kazama, Jinpachi Mishima, Jun Kazama, Kazumi Mishima, Kazuya Mishima, Kuma, Kuma Jr., Kunimitsu, Lee Chaolan, Miharu Hirano, Mokujin, NANCY-MI847J, Yoshimitsu
Soul Calibur: Maxi, Heishiro Mitsurugi, Natsu, Setsuka, Taki, Yoshimitsu, Yoshimitsu II
Knuckle Heads: Takeshi Fujioka
Dead or Alive: Ayane, Hayate, Honoka, Kasumi, Kokoro, Momiji, Nyotengu, Omega (Genra), Raidou, Ryu Hayabusa, Tengu
Power Moves: Buoh
Virtua Fighter: Akira Yuki, Aoi Umenokouji, Dural (Tsukikage), Goh Hinogami, Kage-Maru, Taka-Arashi
Power Instinct: Buntaro Kuno, Hikaru Jomon, Hizumi Yukinoue, Kanji Kokuin, Kintaro “Kinta” Kokuin, Kurara Hananokoji, Oshima Goketsuji, Otane Goketsuji, Oume Goketsuji, Popura Hananokoji, Reiji Oyama, Remi Otogiri, Rin Oyama, Saizo Hattori, Shintaro Kuno, Sujiroku Tenjinbashi, Takumi Hattori
Battle Arena Toshinden: Eiji Shinjo, Gaia, Miyabi, Mondo, Nagisa Iwashiro, Shizuku Fuji, Sho Shinjo, Subaru Shinjo, Toujin
Kaiser Knuckle: Gekkou, Kazuya
Martial Champion: Jin, Zen
Let’s now visit Japan’s neighboring country, South Korea. When examining South Korea’s contribution to video game characters, most themes are related to Taekwondo, the most prominent Korean martial art. Since the introduction of Kim Kaphwan from Fatal Fury, various Korean Taekwondo practitioners have been present in succeeding SNK-developed fighting video games. Meanwhile, several video game developers introduced their own Taekwondo prodigies: Tekken’s Baek Doo San and Hwoarang, and Street Fighter’s very own Juri Han. Other notable styles utilize Chinese martial arts, sword fighting and pole weapons.
King of Fighters: Chae Lim, Chang Koehan, Choi Bounge, Gang-Il, Jhun Hoon, Jinju “May” Lee
Fatal Fury: Kim Dong Hwan, Kim Jae Hoon, Kim Kaphwan
Fight Fever: Han Baedal, Master Taekuk
Aggressors of Dark Kombat: Lee Hae Gwon
Battle of the Beast God: Kim Sue Il
Breakers: Lee Dao-Long
Buriki One: Seo Yong Song
Fighter’s History: Liu Yungmie
Rage of the Dragons: Kang Jae-Mo
Samurai Shodown: Kim Hae-Ryeong
World Heroes: Kim Dragon
Street Fighter: Juri Han
Soul Calibur: Seong Han Myeong, Hwang Sung Kyung, Seong Mi-Na, Hong Yun-Seong
Tekken: Baek Doo San, Hwoarang
Guilty Gear: Kum Haehyun
We now move on the Asian mainland starting with Mongolia. So far, there have been only 3 fighting video game characters hailing from Mongolia and all of them are experts of Mongolian Wrestling. Two of the characters introduced, Julius Carn and Temjin, are homage to the iconic emperor of the Mongol Empire, Genghis Kahn.
World Heroes: Julius Carn
Art of Fighting: Temjin
Mortal Kombat: Hsu Hao
We now come to People’s Republic of China, a country which is home to several martial arts and rich culture. Almost every character is a practitioner of a specific Chinese Martial Arts styles such as Tai Chi, Drunken Fist and Jeet Kune Do to name a few. To reflect the rich and colorful culture of the country, characters are dressed in exquisite Chinese costumes and ornate garments. The characters’ themes are diverse as well. There are Shaolin monks, acrobatic women warriors, aged Kung Fu masters, powerful sorcerers, veteran swordsmen and mythical characters inspired from classic Chinese novels. The Chinese video game characters also boasts a lot of exotic weapons like staffs, spears, iron claws and daggers. Due to a variety of authentic fighting styles from China, I observed that there is always at least one character in most video game series that comes from China.
Nearly all characters are ethnic Chinese. However, there are at least 3 Chinese Eurasians who reside in China: The Sub-Zero brothers and Lynn Barker are all half Chinese/half White American. Additionally, even though Kilik was raised in China, it is implied that he is NOT an ethnic Chinese.
King of Fighters: Bao, Chin Gentsai, Duo Lon, Lin, Meitenkun, Mian, Shen Woo, Shion, Shun’ei, Sie Kensou, Xiao Lon
Buriki One: Song Xuandao
Fatal Fury: Jin Chonrei, Jin Chonshu, Tung Fu Rue
Art of Fighting: Lee Pai Long, Wang Koh-San
Battle of the Beast God: Chung Paifu
Fighter’s History: Lee Ten Dok, Liu Feilin
Fight Fever: Chintao
Breakers: Huang Bai Hu
World Heroes: Ryofu, Son Gokuu
Rage of the Dragons: Lynn Baker
Samurai Shodown: Wan-Fu
Street Fighter: Chun-Li, Gen, Lee
Soul Calibur: Hualin, Kilik, Yan Leixia, Li Long, Chai Xianghua, Xiba
Tekken: Feng Wei, Ling Xiaoyu, Panda, Wang Jinrei
Knuckle Heads: Christine Myao
Power Instinct: Thin Nen
Mortal Kombat: Kung Jin, Kung Lao, Liu Kang, Noob Saibot (Bi Han), Sektor, Sub-Zero (Kuai Liang)
Virtua Fighter: Eileen, Lau Chan, Lei Fei, Shun Di
Guilty Gear: Faust, Jam Kuradoberi
Battle Arena Toshinden: Bayhou, Fo Fai, Genma, Ronron
Power Moves: Gaoluon
Kaiser Knuckle: Wulong
Dead or Alive: Brad Wong, Gen Fu, Jann Lee, Lei Fang
Martial Champion: Hoi
Let’s now visit Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China. Just like the characters from Mainland China, characters from Hong Kong are also practitioners of specific Chinese martial arts and are garbed in distinct Chinese costumes. My main observation is that most character designs are inspired from existing elements of pop culture: Lei Wulong and Hon Fu pay tribute to Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan, Fei Long was inspired from the iconic Bruce Lee, Yun and Yang’s designs (and personalities) are similar to Gundam Wing characters Duo Maxwell and Trowa Barton, while Dan Hibiki comes from the humorous amalgamation of SNK characters Ryo Sakazaki, Robert Garcia and Yuri Sakazaki.
All characters are ethnic Chinese with the exception of Dan Hibiki (Japanese) and M.A.D. (unknown ethnicity).
Street Fighter: Dan Hibiki, Fei Long, Yun Lee, Yang Lee
Power Instinct: M.A.D. (Max Ax Dax)
Martial Champion: Chaos
Tekken: Lei Wulong
Virtua Fighter: Pai Chan
Fatal Fury: Hon Fu
Battle Arena Toshinden: Cuiling
Our next stop is Taiwan (Republic of China). We have two representative characters from Taiwan who are ethnic Chinese: Tai Chi expert and businessman, Cheng Sinzan, and beautiful swordswoman, Lihua.
Fatal Fury: Cheng Sinzan
Kaiser Knuckle: Lihua
We now head towards the Southeast Asian region starting with the Philippines. Our Filipino representatives are Talim, a pacifist priestess adorned in tribal designs and accessories and Josie Rizal, a kick boxer/model whose costume pays homage to the colors and symbols of the Philippine flag.
Soul Calibur: Talim
Tekken: Josie Rizal
Let’s move further in the maritime Southeast Asian region with Malaysia. A sole representative, Miss Til is a Malaysian fortune teller who uses a long flute as her weapon.
Battle Arena Toshinden: Miss Til
Moving on, let’s visit the archipelago of Indonesia. Indonesia’s sole representative is Jivatma, the boss character and tournament organizer in The King of Fighters: Maximum Impact 2.
King of Fighters: Jivatma
Let’s move further in mainland Southeast Asia with Vietnam. While unofficial, many gamers and fans speculate Luong, a new character in King of Fighters, to be of Vietnamese origin judging by her name, appearance and costumes.
King of Fighters: Luong
Next stop is Thailand. Thailand’s main contribution to the fighting video games genre is Muay Thai. Most Thai characters utilize Muay Thai as their fighting style and are wearing traditional Muay Thai trunks and related accessories (head band, arm bands, bandages, etc). Exempted from the Muay Thai arts are Power Moves’ Reayon, who practices Chinese martial arts, and Takeda Takahashi, a nijutsu practitioner.
All characters are ethnic Thais with the exception of Takeda Takahashi who is of Japanese Eurasian and Thai descent. Despite not being an ethnic Thai, M. Bison, the leader of Shadaloo, has his base of operations located and concentrated in Thailand.
Street Fighter: Adon, M. Bison, Sagat
Power Moves: Reayon
Breakers: Tia Langray
Buriki One: Payak Sitpitak
Fatal Fury: Hwa Jai
Fighter’s History: Samchay Tomyamkun
World Heroes: Shura Nai Khanomtom
Mortal Kombat: Takeda Takahashi
Let’s now visit the South Asian region starting with India. So far, there have been only 3 fighting video game characters from India. The most iconic and probably most popular Indian character would have to be Dhalsim, the pacifist expert of Yoga and teleportation. He is joined by 2 Indian musclemen, Darun Mister (inspired by the renowned Indian wrestler, the Great Gama) and Abubo Rao.
Street Fighter: Darun Mister, Dhalsim
Rage of the Dragons: Abubo Rao
We now reach the final destination of our Asian tour in Sri Lanka. The lone Sri Lankan to grace the fighting genre video game is Battle Arena Toshinden’s Chaos, a scythe-wielding warrior and an antagonist of the series.
Battle Arena Toshinden: Chaos