The Truth About E. Honda’s Arcade Mode Ending?

A few days before writing this, I went on Twitter and posted that there was a direct link between Edmund Honda and G. After going through videos of Honda’s story mode and arcade mode endings, I realized the two are even closer than I had originally expected.

Based on the evidence I have found, I believe G may have gotten to Honda, and it all begins with Hakan.

Hakan is a long time friend of Honda’s, and the two have a friendly rivalry over which of their types of wrestling is superior: Turkish oil wrestling or sumo. They’re still friends in Honda’s SFV arcade ending.

Everything about this ending is just bizarre, however, even for Street Fighter (there’s actually nothing wrong with two grown men eating ice cream together, but everything else is just plain WEIRD). From a meteor coming to destroy the planet, to Hakan showing the ability to launch a 6’1″, 302 pound man into orbit, to said man actually being able to intercept and destroy said meteor by ramming into it (and returning to earth mostly unharmed, suffering only a few broken bones), the ending shows off displays of power never before seen in Street Fighter history. Sure, Akuma was able to sink an island, but he wasn’t launched into space to destroy an oncoming meteor (and keep in mind that neither Honda nor Hakan have anything to do with the bigger plot of Street Fighter; they’re SECONDARY characters).

So, if Honda and Hakan have the kind of power they do, why aren’t they doing more to save the world? The answer: they don’t have that kind of power at all. Honda’s ending is a fiction – it never happened.

“Well, of course it never happened,” you say. “It’s non-canon. This was just a joke ending by the developers to give Honda players a satisfying conclusion to the end of his SFV arcade mode. It’s not worth looki-” If that’s your way of seeing things, then this is your first time reading this blog. Hello, new reader! I’m about to make you question everything you know about Street Fighter!

See, Honda definitely experienced this ending, but not in the way you think. It didn’t happen, but Honda thinks it did – it’s a delusion, and one brought on by G’s control. Take a look again at the ending. You see Honda, Hakan, the meteor, buildings, and people. Now take a look at the people.

Those do not look like people. They’re long, spindly shadows with wide mouths.

“It’s the artist’s way of focusing on the primary characters!” you exclaim. “He obviously didn’t have time to draw out people!” That’s one way of looking at it, but while Ed’s ending shows a common artistic technique of giving an audience darkened, formless shapes to represent them…

…and while Honda’s ending shows the same technique in two of the panels, it’s the last panel that proves otherwise. Honda and Hakan are seen among the spindly shadows, with the figures walking around them having big, toothy smiles. We know this is likely their “actual” form – look at the sign in the background.

The girl in the advertisement is a shadow too.

This leads to one of two conclusions: Honda and Hakan are on a different planet consisting of spindly, shadowy aliens or this is how they perceive people now. And there’s no proof of the former.

Background details matter so much in Street Fighter V, so to say that the design wasn’t intentional overlooks two very key pieces of evidence that prove character’s perceptions are key.

The first: there is another ending where background, NPC characters are fully detailed: G’s.

The second: The Congratulations screen in G’s April Fools game.

I have already pointed out the key details of G’s ending, specifically that the characters’ eyes matter in the context of G’s true nature. I’ve also pointed out that Hakan, by shaking G’s hand, is now under his influence. More on that later.

As for the Congratulations screen, the hand that G is shaking is completely blue, which tells me that G is transforming the person into a Q and putting them under his control. I discussed that in a previous theory as well.

While it’s true that both pieces of artwork are unique, the argument that different artists with different styles contributed to the overall atmosphere doesn’t hold up, especially when it’s the job of the developers to tell the artists exactly what it is they’re looking for. While artistic license can certainly be taken into account regarding the way characters look in certain endings, developers have specific scenarios in mind when they talk to an artist. Granted, developers don’t know EVERY detail they want, which is where the artistic license comes in. Still, as I stated previously, background details are at the heart of Street Fighter V, and to ignore the pattern would be a huge disservice to both the artists and the game’s lore.

In another theory, I stated that G’s power to control can also extend to those he already controls. A mere touch from a Q makes a person susceptible to G’s command.

Because of Honda’s close relationship to Hakan, the opportunity to transform Honda into a puppet as well is guaranteed, and a simple handshake or slap on the back means that Honda would be corrupted.

However, this is not the only way that Honda can be corrupted by G, and in fact, there is a much deeper secret lurking in the game which is just as likely. E. Honda has a direct connection to G – his bath house.

Honda, as the owner of a sento, must find ways to stay in business, and one of them would be to increase the number of services his sento provides. One of the most prominent newer spa treatments in Japan is ganban’yoku, or bedrock bath, a type of bath that doesn’t use water. Instead, a person lays down on a heated slab, and lets the rock heat their body up. This treatment is stated “to have a detoxification effect, improve the circulatory system and [is] good for the skin.”

Turns out along with giving speeches, G loves bedrock baths.

There are more than a few bath houses in Japan that have a ganban’yoku room, and to keep up with the times, it would be great business for Honda to have one too. While Honda’s Story Mode doesn’t show a separate ganban’yoku room, by having multiple rooms for bathing, showering, and drying, it increases the chances that he has one. By having one, there’s a great possibility that G would have stopped in.

In other words, G would be a client.

Now that we’ve established that G can connect with Honda directly, we can return to Honda’s SFV ending and finally figure out what it is. As I stated, it’s a delusion brought on by G’s control. What E. Honda is seeing is his version of utopia – him and his buddy saving the world and being honored for it. He wants to be famous worldwide, and both his re-opening of his bath house and his participation in the Street Fighter tournament are proof of this. Saving the world from a meteor would bring the fame he craves, and sharing it with his best friend would be the ultimate feeling of euphoria.

G pretty much states he wants the world to unify under him and give “power to the people” – or his promise of utopia for those who follow him. The vision he gives Honda is the power that Honda craves. Simply by giving G a handshake, Honda experiences his nirvana while G controls his body as a Q. Honda is lost in his own paradise while G reforms the Earth.

Is it heaven? Is it hell? If you’re a Q, it’s both.

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