By Dakota ‘DarkHorse’ Hills
Ryu, Ken and Chun-Li have served as Street Fighter’s poster children for over 30 years now, but it looks like there’s a new trio in town to look out for.
Game Informer recently had the chance to speak with Street Fighter 6 Character Designer Kaname Fujioka, who revealed Capcom is setting up Luke, Jamie and Kimberly as the new hero team for a new generation.
This information comes in the publication’s latest look into SF6 where Fujioka describes each of the characters revealed thus far.
“[Kimberly’s] like the last piece of the trio of Luke, Jamie, and Kimberly that is almost related to how Ryu, Ken, and Chun-Li were in the older generation of Street Fighter,” said Fujioka via Game Informer. “We wanted to kind of recreate that relationship with new characters, so Kimberly’s the last piece of that puzzle, essentially.
Not only that, but we wanted to make that trio a diverse group, with Kimberly being an African American woman who is enamored by ninja culture. She wants to be like Guy, so she practices Bushin-Ryu style, but simultaneously, she’s a very athletic character.”
“She’s like the last piece of the trio of Luke, Jamie, and Kimberly that is almost related to how Ryu, Ken, and Chun-Li were in the older generation of Street Fighter” – Kaname Fujioka
It’s quite interesting to hear the developer’s intent for the newcombers now when there’d been little indication of such before, and it’s something that Capcom hasn’t really done with prior entries.
Sure, we’ve gotten new protagonists like Alex in Street Fighter 3, Abel in Street Fighter 4 and Rashid in Street Fighter 5, but never a group meant to be in the spotlight together like Ryu, Ken and Chun.
With Luke being the new hero of SF6, it’s clear he’s being given Ryu’s primary role while taking him in a much different direction.
“Luke, being the main character, we felt that we really wanted him to be a straightforward and easy-to-relate-with type character without a lot of curveballs in comparison to Ryu, who’s always been the main character or iconic character of the Street Fighter series,” said the character designer. “We wanted to make Luke a little bit different and have some contrast between [Ryu’s disciplined, aged] look and Luke.
We want to make Luke the protagonist figure, but differentiate him from Ryu in his appearance and story. We wanted to make him be more of a colorful, refreshing type of character with colors that are easy to understand with an emphasis on blue and orange.”
They had previously given indication as to Luke and Jamie’s friendly rivalry in SF6 although we hadn’t really seen the guys interact with Kimberly in a meaningful way.
If that dynamic is going to be fully present in the new game, it’ll likely be saved for SF6’s World Tour mode and / or individual character stories.
We also don’t really know what brings these characters together as well as their motivations aside from Luke, who it seems will be trying to discover the truth behind his father’s death.
With Luke being positioned like Ryu and Kimberly like Chun-Li, that of course leaves Jamie to be the Ken of the group.
“When it comes to Jamie, this was somebody that Nakayama-san wanted from an early point,” Fujioka says. “He always wanted him to be a rival figure to Luke. Unlike Luke, who uses more of a modern MMA style of fighting, Jamie utilizes more of an ancient drunken boxing kind of kung-fu style.
We felt that just having that is not enough, so we incorporated more modern elements of movement, like breakdancing and stuff that is probably more relevant to a younger generation of people.”
Just because they’re the new trio, however, doesn’t mean that the original generation has nothing to do in the new game.
Ken’s story of being on the run appears like it’ll be directly tied to Luke’s quest and the “terrorists” who killed his father though we’ll have to see what Ryu and Chun are up to beyond moving into more of a mentor role.
It’s doubtful we’d ever see Ryu, Ken and Chun fully replaced as the icons of Street Fighter considering their popularity, recognition and history, so we should really worry about them going anywhere.
Things will get very interesting though if Capcom’s plan to make Luke, Jamie and Kimberly the “new trio” goes over well with the fans because that means we’re probably going to be seeing a lot more of them moving forward.
You can read up on the SF6 character designers full write ups for the revealed cast on Game Informer.
Source: Event Hubs