Round 4: Tomoshi Sadamoto Part 3

SF III Character Designs

Tell me more about what went into the creation of each character.

But, before that...why don't the characters have birthdates?

We didn't give them birthdates because we didn't want them to age. If they got older, we thought things would be pretty difficult when we got around to making Street Fighter IV.

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.


Alex, the main character of Street Fighter III, also makes an appearance in SFV. He has several strike attacks as well as powerful throws at his command.

North America wasn't originally the main market for Street Fighter. Ryu was popular as the Japanese karate fighter, so in my mind, pro wrestling was what I thought of when it came to American fighting.

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.
*1: Rampaging Police Officer (dropped concept)

Seems like he'd be pretty popular. We do have a former wrestler mayor*2, after all.
*2: "It's me, Mike Haggar!"
That we do. Yasuda-san brought me the rough sketch and I we decided to go with it. At the time, a certain pro wrestling "federation" was pretty popular, which influenced our decision.

But then that means your main character would be a grappler...

That was a bit difficult, but if we made him to be like Ryu then it wouldn't have been original. And we'd decided on having Ryu in the game as well.

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.


Elena, the capoeira artist with a charming smile.
She's the only character who can use the "Healing" move to restore her vitality.

We decided the country of origin before anything else.

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?

At the time we couldn't quickly look of videos on the internet, like we can do now.

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.

Capoeira wasn't as well-known as it is now. If there had been a martial artist using it, we could have at least gone to see one of their matches.

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

Yun & Yang, twins skilled in Chinese kempo. Their special moves, etc. were changed in 2I to make them completely different characters.

We wanted these guys to be popular characters from the start. They're flashier than the main character, and we wanted to have them utilize the parry system using their kung-fu. So you could say these are the characters we gave the most consideration to. We also wanted to emphasize their boyish-youth.

These guys ultimately evolved to be quite different from each other.


Dudley, the dandy gentleman boxer. When pruning his roses, drinking tea, or driving a matter what, he never takes his gloves off.

First, there was talk of boxing being a "gentleman's sport" that was currently being perfected in England.

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.


Ibuki, the female student ninja who yearns for love. Raised in a ninja village, she is proficient in using ninja tools and martial arts.


I thought that Ibuki was the first time we had a real ninja.

Yeah, we didn't have any shortage of reference materials. lol

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?

Yes. We had multiple hair patterns, and since there was no one else to help, I did it. Little by little, every day, while getting help from everyone along the way. It took several months.

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.


Necro, a warrior who can stretch his body and release electricity. A tragic living weapon, created by Gill's Illuminati.

If I had to pick a SFII character that most closely resembled Necro... It'd have to be Dhalsim. Dhalsim gained his stretching abilities through the miracle of yoga, but as that's not possible for most ordinary people, we made Necro an android. That's dipping into the science-fiction territory a bit though.

We even gave him a girlfriend.

Ah, Effie. She was around since the beginning.
Yes. Basically, in order to give our characters more depth, we decided to give them all supporting characters. They would be seen in the endings and what not. Every character has one, right?

Yes, there definitely are a lot.

Unlike the SFII era, it would be difficult to try and make a story with just the playable characters. This was something extra to give them depth.

So you made the game with these supplementary characters planned out.

Yes. We thought it'd be good to have a lot of interesting hooks. Things that would interest people.
I see. Well then, what about the large person with the electric shocks in the background of Necro's stage*3...was she also planned?
*3: Someone's gonna get zapped!

Her? I have no idea.



That's probably the scientist who modified Necro. Eventually she ended up as seen in the game. I was kind of thinking of someone more majestic for a scientist, but eh, it's fine.

We haven't seen that scientist since, have we?

She's a bit too unique. Too far from the realm or normal, so difficult to use. lol
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

What a shock!


Oro, the mysterious old mountain hermit. He lives in a cave deep in the Amazon, and apparently has taken an interest in Ryu.


The original idea was a Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner, like that Gracie fellow.


Oh really?


That was the design we got from the designer.


That's completely different from the final product. lol

The design for Oro was present among several others, and upon seeing it we thought "this guy is awesome...".

The character modeler said he wanted to see him in action, so he ultimately got the thumbs up.


Sean, a young man training under Ken. His older sister Laura appears in SFV.


Was Sean present from the beginning?

He was not. But we didn't have enough characters...

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.


Gill, the boss of the SFIII series.
Colored red and blue, this "god" leads the Illuminati.

I want to know why he's red and blue. Is it because red, blue, and yellow are primary colors?

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.

And that made life difficult for me in SFV. I thought "Aw, c'mon, why isn't Bison in SFIII?!"

Ha ha ha (lol)

Bison may be a dictator, but ultimately, he is a fighter. I felt that Gill isn't really a fighter.

That's right.

And Gill is unique in that he has a mysterious power. Even Dhalsim's Yoga Fire, ultimately that's just an illusion. I thought that's part of what comes with being a transcendent being.

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.

Ever since Dungeons & Dragons, I'd wanted to make a character who could use both fire and ice. As you said, it's difficult to make a character who can use ice. So Gill is a bit of a science-fiction character.

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

Back then, you could see Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, K-1 fighting and professional regularly on TV, so that was how we got our exposure to martial arts. But now I feel like games are the closest thing we have now.

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.

We tried adjusting the rhythm when performing combos. A good rhythm and sound is strong. Kind of like the sound off the bat of a home run in baseball.

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.

As things become more competitive, the characters have to be roughly the same in terms of strength. But since it's a game, I feel like I just want to make characters as I like. In fighting games, the aspects of visual appeal, competitiveness, interesting ideas, and ease of understanding have become essential.

In that regard, we thought a lot about getting hit as well*4, not just attacking.

*4: Graphics for getting hit.
For SFIII, we had nearly 40 pages of materials just for getting hit.
One of the basic principles for games is - "reaction upon something happening."

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.

*5: Check this out.

Yeah, but it would have been very difficult to make.


You'd need to draw a mask or a pattern for it.

Well, we did have them make those reactions in the background. A character dropping their bowl of ramen and what not.

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

We were able to do it within the time allotted for the backgrounds, so we could come up with quite a bit. Getting that first one made was very difficult though. 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.

*6: They'll show you the winner of the match using their panels.

Double KOs and time overs are pretty rare.

We used them a lot more at first. Then as the battle adjustment proceeded, they began to be used less and less. I guess that's just how it goes. lol

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.

It's best if we can appeal to both - the ideal being half the players being interested in the game world, and the other half being interested in the competitive aspect.
Right. At any rate, a bowl of ramen toppling over has nothing to do with the outcome of the battle, so that should be fine, right? Lol

We included both Sean, and the Super Arts select system in the game to try and appeal to both groups.


Reason and acceptance.

But that's something you don't really understand while making it. lol

So, what do you think? My talk with Mr. Sadamoto, who is a walking encyclopedia of the Street Fighter III series. This is a rare look into the origins of the characters and the parry system.

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!


△The game Mr. Sadamoto is currently working on△

Takayuki Nakayama

【 音量を調整してお楽しみください 】


Use Twitter to communicate with other Dojo members, and challenge other fighters to a battle! A great way to sharpen your skills!


The Dojo is a place where like-minded SFV fans can join forces.
All you need to do is to log in to the C.R.I. to join!

  • With detailed search settings, you can find groups of all sorts of players, from casuals, to serious players, and more! Join forces with people who use the same character, or are in the same league, and work together to improve your skills!

  • Can be linked with your Fighters ID and Twitter account, giving you quick ways to communicate!

  • You can use the Dojo stage simply by joining a Dojo! Note: The Dojo stage in-game can contain aspects customized by the individual player. An individual's Dojo stage cannot be customized by anyone else, including the Dojo Master and other Dojo members.

  • The Dojo stage can be customized with items obtained in-game, and through Menat's Fighting Chance! Surprise your opponent with your own personalized stage, start the mind games before the round even begins!

  • You will accumulate Dojo Points as you regularly play SFV! * Dojo Points can be obtained from playing the Arcade, Survival, Extra Battle, Ranked Match, Casual Match, and Battle Lounge game modes.
    * In one day, DP can only be obtained a maximum of 10 times for the Battle Lounge, per each difficulty in Arcade and Survival Modes, and by the total calculation of draws/losses in Ranked and Casual Matches.

  • The Dojo Ranking is calculated from the total Dojo Points from all the Dojo members. Work together with your friends to increase your Dojo ranking!

  • Dojos that earn the top ranking spot will get special Dojo items! Display them in the Dojo and show off to your opponents! Dojo Rankings will begin from October, 2018!

You must log in in order to utilize this Dojo.

In the basic settings, set the Join Authorization to "Not Needed," Join Requests to "Accepting," and the Maximum No. of Members to "100," and you can get a wide range of members! The more members, the bigger the chance you have to get a lot of Dojo Points!

Be strict with your desired league and LP ranking settings to gather similar members, and work together to polish your skills! A direct path to realizing your dreams!

An excellent method to increase communication opportunities. Speaking with your fists isn't the only way get your point across!