Alright! Back with another volume! I'd previously written about Hugo being the biggest character on the Street Fighter roster but had to amend that entry to acknowledge that Gill (disputed) and Abigail now top the list. So, a little more about Abigail. He debuted in Final Fight as the Bay Area (Stage 5) boss but became a playable character in the Street Fighter series for the first time when he was revealed as a DLC character for Street Fighter V in July 2017. Abigail is 8 feet tall (244 cms) and weighs 584 lbs (265 kgs). That is absolutely huge. Now here's the fun trivia: as with several other enemies in Final Fight, Abigail's name can be traced back to the '80s hair metal scene. Abigail is the name of a 1987 album by the Danish band King Diamond. Furthermore, the character shares similar face paint to the lead singer of the band, King Diamond himself (real name Kim Bendix Petersen).
So who are the other Final Fight enemies with hair metal associations? Firstly there's Poison, Final Fight's equivocally female enemy and also the name of an American rock band formed in 1983. Leather jacket wearing thugs Axl and Slash are surely based on Axl Rose and the guitarist Slash from the band Guns N' Roses, the former even sharing a bandana and long hair with his namesake. More open to conjecture, Roxy may be named after the English art-rock band, Roxy Music and Sodom happens to be the name of a German thrash metal group formed in 1981. Damn'd could be a reference to '70s punk group The Damned and I'd argue that Sid, Roxy's replacement in the SNES port of Final Fight is a possible nod to the Sex Pistols' Sid Vicious.
Cameo time! Fire up Marvel Vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes and head over to Honda's Bathhouse stage. The second area of this stage, accessed when the wall on the right-hand side of the first area is broken, moves the fight into the women's section of the bathhouse. In the tub on the right hand side are none other than Sakura and her friend Kei who looks characteristically embarassed by Sakura's enthusiasm for the fight! Fans of seeing Sakura in the bath will no doubt be reminded of a similar scenario in the Street Fighter Alpha: Generations anime.
Tekken 7: Fated Retribution, an updated version of the original arcade (simply Tekken 7), released in July 2016, features Akuma as a playable character; the first time a character from Street Fighter has ever crossed over into Namco's Tekken series. But much more than just being an Easter-egg, Akuma was actually integral to the game's storyline. This is because Kazumi Mishima had asked Akuma to kill her husband Heihachi and son Kazuya (it's complicated) in return for once saving his life. Akuma apparently kills Heihachi but it is later revealed that Heihachi managed to fake his death. The final outcome of Akuma's fight with Kazuya, who is forced into his devil form by Akuma's strength, is left unanswered at the conclusion of Fated Retribution.
In the fifteenth episode of the first series of the Nickelodeon cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender, entitled 'Bato of the Water Tribe', a character with a strong resemblance to Ryu can be seen during the episode's tavern scene. The focal point of the sequence depicts the bounty hunter June taking part in an arm-wrestling match against the Ryu lookalike. Emphasising her toughness, June wins comfortably in the contest! Funnily enough, the same character is seen again, taking on June for a second time in the series three episode Sozin's Comet, Part 1: The Phoenix King. On this occasion, June finishes their bar fight when she throws 'Ryu' over a table. Oh dear.
It came as a surprise to many, including yours truly, when a new revision of Street Fighter II—the first in nine years and twenty-six years since World Warrior—was released for the Nintendo Switch in Spring/Summer 2017. Key features of Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers include a colour edit mode, the ability to toggle between the original sprites and Udon's HD Remix versions and a whopping nineteen characters to choose from with the addition of Evil Ryu and Violent Ken to the roster. Wait... did I say nineteen? There's actually twenty playable characters in Ultra as Shin Akuma is also present as a hidden character, selectable in the game's arcade mode (i.e. not in online play). To play as Shin Akuma:
1. Select Ryu, cancel on colour 12. Select Ken, cancel on colour 93. Select Sagat, cancel on colour 84. Select M. Bison, cancel on colour 75. Place the cursor on Random and press L & R at the same time
The fan-made but Capcom published Street Fighter X Mega Man, (2012) contains a few secrets: Yang was originally intended to be included but lost his spot on the roster to Chun-Li. His attack, however, the Sei'ei Enbu, can still be activated for use by Mega Man. On the title screen, hold Jump and Shoot for 6 seconds until you hear a chime. Then, in-game, press Shoot and Weapon Switch 1 to activate. This creates three shadow Mega Man on screen at the same time, mirroring Yang's Super Art. The Hadoken can also be activated (without defeating Ryu) by following the same initial step on the title screen and then doing a quarter-circle forward (Hadoken motion) and pressing Shoot in-game to perform a fireball. Another secret, 'helmet-less' Mega Man, can be activated by highlighting Ryu on the Level Select, then holding Shoot and pressing →, →, →, ←. You will know if done correctly as the portrait of Mega Man on the character select will change. Finally, to set Guile's theme as the background music: on the pause screen hold Jump and press ↑, ↓, ↓, ↓. This will replace all of the music in the game with Guile's theme; it goes with everything after all!