The Weirdest Fighting Game Characters
Fighting games are the medium where you can find some of the weirdest, bizarre, and bewildering characters of all competitive games. Let's take a look at a few of them.
They rightly say that the hardest thing to understand is the logic of a child and the flight of fantasy of fighting games’ game designers. Wait, they don’t say this? Pity. They should. Fighting games are the medium where you can find some of the weirdest, bizarre, and bewildering characters of all competitive games. Some of them appeared in their respective games as unlockable secrets, others became the continuation of a bad joke a couple of decades-long, but most of them were brought to life by the vision of the developers.
Perhaps they wanted to make the characters as memorable as possible, or to serve as a reference to something, or even just for fun. Be that as it may, the success was obviously not uniform: some of them became iconic characters, while others were forgotten in the rivers of time.
Meet Meat, the meaty skeleton
The last decade of the twentieth century was marked by the dominance of the brutal Mortal Kombat franchise. In 1997, just five years after the first entry, Midway Games released Mortal Kombat 4. In it, you could unlock a bloody skeleton that could take the place of any of the existing fighters and use their moveset. He was merely used as a dummy for fatalities by the game and he didn’t even have a name. It only became known after the promotional slogan “Meat lives!” appeared on the website of the creator of the series, Ed Boon, ahead of the release of the third arcade revision of MK4. Since then, Meat has appeared in cameo roles in Deception, Unchained, 2011, X and 11, and Armageddon made him a full-fledged character and even gave him a backstory: he was a victim of Shang Tsung's inhuman experiments, but managed to escape from the powerful sorcerer before they were concluded. In this game, he got his own wrestling style moveset, and his weapons of choice were a pair of giant meat cleavers.
Mokap breaking kneecaps
Naturally, he's not the only strange character in the series. In 2002 the community saw the release of Deadly Alliance, and it became the first game in the franchise to be released on home consoles without a prior release on arcades. PlayStation 2, GameCube, GameBoy Advance, and Xbox players could unlock a secret character named Mokap who looked like a man dressed up in a motion capture suit. But even more surprisingly, he was a full-fledged canonical character in the game's plot: according to the in-game description, this motion capture actor became a master of martial arts and became involved in the events of the series because he continued to find himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Mokap’s appearance in Deadly Alliance was a tribute to Carlos Pesina, an actor who portrayed Raiden in the first three games of the series. Unfortunately, the hero was created very late in the development cycle, and the authors simply did not have time to give him his own fighting style, stance and even fatality.
Pirouettes of Voldo
Studio Namco is another studio known for its strange characters. The standard-bearer among them is Voldo from the Soul Calibur series.
The plot of the Soul Calibur series is divided into two timelines: the old one, which includes all games up to the fifth, and the new one, which started from the sixth entry.
According to modern plot, Voldo was the right-hand man of an Italian arms dealer named Vercci. He kept all his treasures in a deep cave, and Voldo guarded it against bandits and robbers. Being blind and mute, he relied on his other heightened senses for doing his job.
If Meat and Mokap from Mortal Kombat were weird mainly because of their looks, Soul Calibur's character is the most unusual in both the visuals and the gameplay. He looks like a bald middle-aged man dressed in an extravagant attire that changes from game to game. Usually, it’s a leather leotard with a lot of straps and spikes. His weapons are a pair of modified three-blade jamadhar katars, which he can fight with from almost any position: sitting, lying, having his back turned to the opponent, or even from a gymnastic bridge pose. All of this takes people aback and many newcomers even wonder if Voldo is human at all.
The Tekken Zoo
However, the main zoo of strange characters is the second fighting game franchise from Namco: Tekken. Kuma and Panda are permanent residents of the series. These bears are often used as alternative colors for the same character slot, but in the Tekken universe, they are canonically different characters. Initially, they were gameplay clones of the Jack series robots, but gradually they began to receive their own abilities, and in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 and Tekken 7 they even got full movesets and character slots.
Another pair of clones share a similar fate — the kangaroo Roger Jr. and the fighting reptilian Alex, who was created by Mishima Zaibatsu. Their last appearance at the moment was in Tekken Tag Tournament 2. Mokujin, who debuted in Tekken 3, has become an absolutely iconic character. According to the plot of the series, he is a wooden dummy that was used to train fighters 2000 years ago. Ancient Ogre’s awakening also breathed life into him and he undertook the mission to help modern fighters in their fight against evil. Mokujin doesn’t have his own moveset and instead, he transforms into a random hero every round and uses their skills.
Bad Box Art Mega Man
Peculiarity didn’t stay away from one of the few crossovers associated with Namco's main fighting game series — Street Fighter x Tekken. One of Capcom's guest characters was Mega-Man. However, this was no ordinary studio mascot. This version of Mega Man was based on the North American cover of the original 1987 Mega Man game.
Needless to say, it has nothing to do with the original character. Much the same as this Bad Box Art Mega Man from SFxT. Unlike the dashing youth, this iteration is a middle-aged man with a beer-belly dressed in a questionable outfit.
The inclusion of the legendary Pacman in the fighting game caused no fewer questions. One of the Nintendo’s mascots appeared in Street Fighter x Tekken riding a giant Mokujin head.
Amingo is not your amigo
It seems that strange characters swarm Capcom’s fighting game crossovers like flies. Back in 2000 Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes was released for arcades and Sega Dreamcast. It had four new characters, one of whom was a living cactus named Amingo. He hadn’t had any previous appearances in Capcom games prior to his debut in MvC2 and many people speculated that he was supposed to become the main character of one of the studio's games that were already canceled by that time. The developers did not confirm or deny these rumors, so its origin is still a mystery to this day. According to the plot of the game, Amingo is a member of the race of humanoid plants. His mission is to find the cause of death of all flora on Earth.
An equally bizarre guest appeared in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the next game in the series. It was Phoenix Wright from the Ace Attorney series. What’s strange about his presence in a fighting game is that he does not know how to fight at all. His techniques in battle have him look for evidence, throw said evidence and papers at the opponent, call for witnesses, and yell his iconic catchphrase — "Objection!" All of its gameplay is geared towards defense (Coincidence? I think not!), with a lot of projectiles, good potential for punishing combos, and an impressive pool of HP. His three combat modes also serve as an homage to the original Ace Attorney series: Investigation Mode, Courtroom Mode, and Turnabout Mode. In the latter, Phoenix inflicts an incredible amount of damage, as if turning the entire combat (or, well, trial) process on its head.
Duality of (in)human nature
The Skullgirls fighting game is full of the most quirky and peculiar characters, but even among them there is one that stands out from the crowd — her name is Double and she is a shapeshifter who mimics different beings. Sister Agatha became her main appearance. Its true form is a hideous heap of human limbs and entrails, brought together by an otherworldly force. In battle she uses her mimicry ability to the maximum, constantly turning into various kinds of weapons and devices. In some of her combos she even manages to transform between hits. She also knows how to imitate the voices and take their appearance. The real foe in your own reflection.
Obviously, this is not a complete and definitive list of weird and interesting characters in fighting games. After all, whether someone finds something weird is subjective. For many, even Yoshimitsu, the charismatic ninja from the Tekken and Soul Calibur series, is odd. And before you ask — yes, we do know about Hornet, the NASCAR race car from the game Fighters Megamix. It just requires no words.