SF III Character Designs
But, before that...why don't the characters have birthdates?
And then SFIV ended up being set before SFIII.
I thought, oh, that's one way of dealing with it! lol
Dealing with ages can be tricky.
Even now though, martial arts are more popular in America than in Japan. So thinking that we should have the main character be American, I asked Yasuda-san for a design and this is what he came up with.
Originally, he was a police officer*1 who used to be a pro wrestler.
Seems like he'd be pretty popular. We do have a former wrestler mayor*2, after all.
But then that means your main character would be a grappler...
I like having a simple protagonist. Then you can have the supporting cast be flashy. Like Phoenix and Cygnus in that Saint Sei...something or the other manga.
She's the only character who can use the "Healing" move to restore her vitality.
Once we decided on Africa, we felt that a female character made for better style. A male would end up being stern, and we already had plenty of stern characters.
Our image of African women was that they hand long arms and legs, so we felt capoeira was a fitting fighting style for her.
But we didn't have a lot of materials about it, so that was difficult.
At the time there wasn't a whole lot of information available about capoeira?
We got the most info from videos that were related to travel, lol. We bought everything off the shelves without knowing if it'd have any useful info in it or not.
Seems pretty challenging.
But even under those conditions, we decided we were gonna do it!
So you could say she's a character that required a lot of thought.
We just didn't have any info to work with. Lol
That's what I remember most.
Yun & Yang
These guys ultimately evolved to be quite different from each other.
Up to now, all our boxing characters had been bad guys - the image of boxing wasn't very good. So when we came up with England as the place of origin, we more or less had the framework for Dudley down from the start. I remember him being the easiest character to finalize.
I thought that Ibuki was the first time we had a real ninja.
Since this is Japan, we could find plenty of materials on ninjas and their techniques at the bookstore.
Ah, but the difficult thing about making Ibuki was putting her hair together.
She had 1.2 to 1.3x the character data, compared to the other characters. We had to attach her hair parts to all of that.
Were you the one who did it? The different hair parts?
When I first looked at the data, I thought "Wow, the hair is going to be difficult. Good luck with that!" And then a few months later, it ended up being me doing the work. lol
Must have been quite the challenge... So is that what comes to mind when you think of Ibuki?
That it is.
We even gave him a girlfriend.
Yes, there definitely are a lot.
So you made the game with these supplementary characters planned out.
Her? I have no idea.
We haven't seen that scientist since, have we?
But hey, you could make her into a playable character at some point.
It was the same for Nash. He started out as a background character, and eventually became playable. You get insights into how the background characters feel as well. If they're popular enough they can become fighters.
Everyone...except that scientist.
Everyone except her. lol
The original idea was a Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner, like that Gracie fellow.
That was the design we got from the designer.
That's completely different from the final product. lol
The character modeler said he wanted to see him in action, so he ultimately got the thumbs up.
Was Sean present from the beginning?
We couldn't finish Hugo in time, so we pushed him back to 2nd Impact.
Sean is what we call a compatibility character. He's a character that people could use when they wanted to give themselves a handicap. So for example, if friends wanted to fight but one was stronger, the strong one could say "I'll use Sean, so let's play!" In that way, friends could play together.
We felt we needed a weak character in order for players to give themselves a handicap, and that's how we ended up with Sean. To explain his weakness, we made him a student. lol
Even during the time of SFII, people primarily weren't playing it for the single player. But especially for SFIII and to some extent the Darkstalkers series, it became all about the versus battles. As such, the skill gaps between players began to emerge.
It's difficult for someone to say, "just let me play single player!" so we needed some kind of policy in regards to that.
Players could get started with the game, and then eventually start to fill in the skill gap.
Right now I'm making smartphone games, but I feel like this concept hasn't changed from then to now.
Colored red and blue, this "god" leads the Illuminati.
We hear this from players as well, but Alex is looking for the "blond haired" guy who defeated Tom. But rather than blond hair...wouldn't the fact that he's half red, half blue be the thing that stands out the most? lol
He wasn't red and blue at first.
Unlike M. Bison, he isn't a villain - instead we sought to make him a multi-faceted character. He seeks to control the world, but he's neither villain or hero. We were able to come up with a character that contrasts Bison. I didn't want to deal with Bison, it would have been a pain.
Ha ha ha (lol)
But ice is something that people can't really replicate. Fire can be made through friction or other means, and we can explain it away even if it's not entirely true. Being able to control both made Gill into a boss who'd truly stepped into an unknown territory.
Also, at the time we had the idea for "attributes" in the plans. Fire, wind, water, thunder, etc. Even if we didn't implement it in SFIII, we have some experiments left over where we wanted to see if it could be used in a future title.
Ultimately, we felt that having a character would had attributes, was new, and could parry was a bit too much.
Fighting Games at the Time
I wanted to reproduce martial arts. That's how I felt. As a result, I didn't really like combos.
People's tastes change with the times. There are lots of people who like combos.
After doing this for a while, I've come to feel that the sound is the most important thing. Isn't that why people like combos? The attacks are all about the sound. We adjusted the Shin Shoryuken only with sound.
Character balance is one thing, but it's essential that people enjoy the game.
In that regard, we thought a lot about getting hit as well*4, not just attacking.
In fighting games, it's not just getting hit. And it wouldn't be interesting if we just made getting hit patterns. lol
There were more than half of us who wanted to allocate more time for it, taking from the time and capacity devoted to attacks, and I even wrote a design document for it, but it never came to pass.
But we did end up doing the "spinning hit" and the "crumple KO".
The designer said, "the crumple KO is pretty interesting" and I said - "See, I told you!", but we didn't have the time for it.
I wanted to do something flashier for the spinning hit, but we couldn't do it due to issues for wakeup pressure.
The manhole KO*5 is pretty interesting.
Yeah, but it would have been very difficult to make.
You'd need to draw a mask or a pattern for it.
Even that got a bit of hate. lol
I begged, saying "at least just the ramen..."
And so the designer said, "the ramen is pretty interesting" and I said - "See, I told you!" lol
That sounds familiar. lol
One thing I really wanted to do though, was if a Hadoken was parried, it'd be deflected into the stage. But technically speaking, that was difficult. Pros could deflect Hadokens into flower vases into the stage and get score points for it.
Because of that, we didn't really have a use for the Judgment Girls*6, even though we made them.
Double KOs and time overs are pretty rare.
A lot of people wanted to play the game seriously, so they said they didn't need things like ramen and girls.
But then you start to create a gap between the beginner players. That's a pretty important issue.
We included both Sean, and the Super Arts select system in the game to try and appeal to both groups.
Reason and acceptance.
Mr. Sadamoto, thank you very much for your time. And thank you all for reading!
See you next time!
Ah - to explain why this entry was so late...
We were working on a collaboration between Street Fighter and Monster Hunter!
Click here for more details!