After finishing my theory on G and Q, I listened over and over to G’s theme, trying to find some sort of clue in the music. After noticing something in the trumpets, I reached out to Daniel Lindholm to ask what the story was behind the music. Two things stood out in our conversation: that the producers of Street Fighter 5 wanted synth jazz, and that he had put a Dixieland aesthetic in the song. Daniel himself stated he didn’t know very much about the character. However, in giving G the theme he did, he has, intentionally or unintentionally, established something about G that to my knowledge no one has mentioned: a place of origin. Not just Hell and him being Glasya-Labolas, but a real place of origin where G himself took his aesthetic.
Ladies and gentlemen, G is from New Orleans.
As stated, it starts with the music. Jazz and Dixieland are associated with New Orleans, and you can hear brass street bands playing local music. “When the Saints Go Marching In”, a Dixieland staple, is as synonymous with New Orleans as jambalaya, gumbo, and the NFL’s New Orleans Saints. However, while it does not appear that G has a fleur-de-lis anywhere in his design that would make this an open and shut case, in his English portrayal, he has something else: a dialect.
Keeping in mind that G was originally created by Japanese game developers, the dialect seems more like an actor’s take on the character than anything. However, it must also be said that: 1) G speaks English in his Japanese portrayal. 2) It’s more than hinted at that G is American, with him being based off of Abraham Lincoln and Uncle Sam. 3) Even if Capcom wanted him to be from New Orleans, there’s no real way that could be reflected in a Japanese dialect.
Since the American dialect would then be the “true” voice of G, the southern accent would play heavily to his origin. In a recent interview with Shoryuken, G’s American voice actor, Christopher Corey Smith, stated that “I put together an amalgamation of American dialects from Missouri, Arkansas, and a little bit of Carolina. I threw in a bit of Presidential cadence, and voilà! G’s voice came to life.” That interview can be found here: http://shoryuken.com/2018/10/24/light-it-up-voice-actor-christopher-smith-talks-about-bringing-g-to-life-in-street-fighter-v/
While Smith does not state he used a New Orleans dialect, coincidentally, he created one. Listen to this example of a New Orleans Uptown/Garden District dialect: https://youtu.be/tpFDNTo4DNg?t=100
A more famous version would be the dialect Kevin Costner used in his portrayal of New Orleans attorney Jim Garrison in the Oliver Stone movie “JFK”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BckPa2_A8gI
As you can hear, those dialects sound very similar to G’s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjcoRCLPWqI
G’s New Orleans traits run far deeper, however. New Orleans is also known as a hotbed of mysticality. G’s aesthetic isn’t just based on the Devil; it also has roots in New Orleans voodoo. Abraham Lincoln wasn’t the only famous figure who wore a top hat. Say hello to Baron Samedi: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baron_Samedi
As stated in the Wikipedia article, Baron Samedi has the power of life and death, and can keep someone from dying if he thinks it’s worth his while. However, G has very few distinctions taken from the figure. He doesn’t drink, smoke, or swear, and Baron Samedi is known to PREVENT people from becoming zombies, unlike G’s apparent ability to turn people into controlled Q’s. What he does have, however, besides the top hat, are charisma and his deal-making. What other figure has those as traits? The Devil.
Based on the evidence stated in the original theory, G has the power to mind-control people. If we take into account Baron Samedi’s powers and add them to G’s repertoire, we can conclude that G has the power to save people from dying by making deals with them. In return, they become his servants, their every movement controlled by him. As stated, they become zombies, and where did the concept of zombies come from? Voodoo.
There is another piece of the puzzle, however, that goes beyond the metaphysical. We’re returning to the world of music and to perhaps G’s ultimate influence, as no one has been as symbolic of New Orleans identity than Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Dr. John.
The legendary musician has personified the spirituality of New Orleans in his stage shows and songs, and his 1968 album “Gris-Gris” has been considered the hallmark of his career. However, there is one song in particular that ties in with who G is: “I Walk on Guilded Splinters.” The enigmatic lyrics speak of the singer’s spiritual powers and ability to control your destiny. Have a listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWvdO3l4_P8
If the over seven-minute song doesn’t convince you that G has a connection with New Orleans and Dr. John, then look at what late New Orleans musician Coco Robicheaux had to say about it:
“Dr. John, he was very much interested in metaphysics… In voodoo they call the gilded splinters the points of a planet. Mystically, they appear like little gilded splinters, like little gold, like fire that holds still. They’re different strengths at different times. I guess it ties in with astrology, and influence the energy. That’s what that’s about.”
And if anything, G is about two things: gold and fire.
Finally, Dr. John’s album is named after an emblem at the core of voodoo: gris-gris. It is an amulet said to protect the wearer from bad luck. Conversely, in New Orleans, it is also known as a sign of black magic and ill fortune. Usually, gris-gris would come in the form of a small bag that held objects of relevance. However, in G’s case, he has something else that could act in a very similar way: his pocket watch.
It just might be the secret to his powers.