Fallen Claw – The Cosmic Threads of Vega & Q

As I’ve theorized before, there are many candidates in regard to the true identity of Q. I’ve stated that there are likely many Qs in the Street Fighter universe, all controlled by G, all to fulfill some nefarious purpose, up to and including the literal reshaping of the Earth into the supercontinent Pangaea. Even if there are many Qs who were all once prominent characters in Street Fighter, the main question is who is the primary Q that we all know and philosophize about? Who is THIS Q?:

A lot of people say it’s G himself, transformed by the Illuminati and his powers stripped away. Unfortunately for the “G is Q” believers, in-game evidence all but proves otherwise. From the first theory on this blog, I’ve shown my work. Just because G and Q share the same moves doesn’t mean they’re the same.

However, I’m going to stretch this concept a bit for this theory, as there’s a character design choice I found fascinating enough to expand upon. This is Vega’s appearance in his Street Fighter V Arcade Mode ending:

As you can see, Vega is wearing a VERY similar outfit to Q. He has the same kind of shirt, tie, and most importantly, trench coat that Q wears, albeit with different colors. In fact, bits and pieces of Vega’s aesthetic is similar to Q’s – he wears a hat in one of his alternate costumes, and his mask has been with him from day one.

If we just look at overall design, it’s pretty easy to see some connections, but there are other hat wearers like Cammy and Rolento, other mask wearers like Sodom and Decapre, and other tie wearers like Kage.

The trench coat would seem like the biggest giveaway, considering that, to my knowledge, no one else wears a trenchcoat with the exception of Cammy, and even then hers resembles more of a winter coat.

This isn’t definitive proof that Vega is Q, though, so we need to look at what else is there. Of course, mere aesthetics aren’t very helpful in this situation. By virtue of his appearance in canon art, F.A.N.G actually qualifies as Q. In fact, he fits several of Q’s traits: he’s tall, he’s thin, he wears gloves, and of course, he wears a hat and suit.

The hair doesn’t match as Q is a blonde, but I’ve already stated that Seth was Q, and Seth’s not a blonde either. There’s one thing, though, that makes F.A.N.G very unlikely to be Q: his attacks look nothing like Q’s. Vega, however, does appear to share some basic moves with Q, particularly his punches. Q has a long reach, has a claw-like move that strikes several times, and his shoulder tackle even looks like Vega’s lunge. Have a look for yourself:

Q playthrough in Street Fighter III: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Rt27agDbxs

Vega playthrough in Street Fighter II Turbo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fXmuBJlk0Y

“If you squint, sure,” you say, initiating the facial movement as you watch the videos. “This is probably the biggest reach you’ve ever done, man.” I know, which is why the design part came first. The true strength of this theory relies not on the design of Vega and Q, but in the back lore. So, is there anything there that might show that Vega becomes Q?

I’ve used non-canon stuff before to make arguments, and in Street Fighter V, something really stood out to me: the alternate Cannon Spike outfits that Cammy and Nash can wear. When they wear the outfits, their win quotes to certain characters change, and the three characters who are most affected are Cammy, Nash, and Vega, as Vega appeared in Cannon Spike as a darker version of himself. Cammy’s win quote mentions his fighting style: “What’s wrong? Not going to fly at me with your claws?”

However, it’s Nash’s that is more cryptic: “We worked together once. I could do without any more explosions.”

In my research of Cannon Spike, I could not find a single instance of Vega helping out Nash in any form, nor did I find a playable version of him for the game that could suggest this. It makes this particular ending in Cannon Spike all the more bizarre: http://www.vgmuseum.com/end/dc/a/cspcha.htm

Vega, who is known as Fallen Balrog in this game (Balrog, of course, being Vega’s original name in Japan), seeks to kill Charlie Nash for reasons that are beyond my understanding (especially considering that he has more history with Cammy than Charlie; then again, it was a separate developer, Psikyo, so they kind of did their own thing). This appeared to be a nod to Charlie dying in the Alpha series and they wanted to add their own spin to it. Regardless of their intent, however, what’s clear is that both Vega and Nash get caught in a volcanic eruption, and Nash’s’s glasses are seen broken on a beach.

Based on Nash’s SFV quote, however, in the Cannon Spike lore, Charlie survived the eruption, and did it with the help of the man who wanted him dead: Vega. They worked together to escape the volcanic island because Vega realized that he himself was going to die too.

This is really cool back lore, but Cannon Spike is non-canon, right? Well, that’s what I had thought at first, but there were a couple of things I found that appear to say otherwise.

The first is Cammy’s love for cats. This was first alluded to in the manga Cammy Gaiden, which was non-canon, but also revealed that Cammy had rescued a cat in lieu of completing a mission she was on.

From what I could find, however, Cammy’s first in-game expression of being a cat fanatic appeared in Cannon Spike, and this was eventually brought over into the main timeline in Street Fighter IV.

The second is something I didn’t figure out until I looked in my copy of the Udon Street Fighter World Warrior Encyclopedia Arcade Edition (which you can buy for a great price on Amazon!: https://www.amazon.com/Street-Fighter-World-Warrior-Encyclopedia/dp/1772940704. As stated in my last theory, Udon is not a sponsor of this blog… but could be!). When I checked my encyclopedia, I found that the two original characters who were exclusive to Cannon Spike were included. To double-check, I looked at Capcom’s official character guides, and there they were: Simone and Siva (aka Shiba).

Simone: https://game.capcom.com/cfn/sfv/column/130996

Siva: https://game.capcom.com/cfn/sfv/column/130986

Both characters are officially members of Cammy’s Delta Red team, meaning that at least some of the events that happened in Cannon Spike are an official part of Street Fighter lore. This makes it very likely that, along with Cammy’s love for cats, the volcanic eruption that forced Vega and Nash to work together did happen, and Vega canonically and briefly went through a weird phase where he tried to look like Marilyn Manson.

So, what does him trying to look like a bad Gene Simmons rip-off tell us? First of all, the slash motions of Q do look similar to Fallen Balrog’s slashes, minus the projectiles he throws. https://youtu.be/qCN1iTW_0nE?t=316

If that’s not enough to convince you, though, here is Vega’s Revenger Balrog form, and, as Cammy stated, Vega really is flying at her with his claws. https://youtu.be/qCN1iTW_0nE?t=770

Of course, this still isn’t enough, so there’s one last thing to make of this. If said events of Cannon Spike happened, this means that, while working for Shadaloo, Vega was also working for the main boss of the game, Psychiccer Sting. Basically, this places Vega firmly as a ninja for hire and a mercenary, which is also seen in Street Fighter V with the ninja girl Ibuki.

While I cannot answer why Vega isn’t very pretty looking in Cannon Spike nor why he isn’t wearing his trademark mask to protect his face in the first place, it doesn’t really matter as his face seems to have gotten restored at some point. However, now that we know that Vega is a mercenary, we know why he works with Bison: he gets paid well enough to furnish his upper-class lifestyle; plus, having a statue in Shadaloo’s Lair of the Four Kings means he’s respected enough for him to stay in Shadaloo. With the fall of the organization, however, Vega would need to find employment at some point. Enter a man who, judging by his own taste in expensive clothing, could help Vega out with his financial issues.

G would end up utilizing Vega for his particular set of skills, calling on him for feats that require agility and cunning (much like G would use Marz for her intelligence and technological know-how). Since Qs are lumbering and slow, Vega would be quite a useful asset to G’s plans. However, at some point, Vega’s skills would no longer be needed, and so G would transform him into his primary Q, the one seen in Street Fighter III, trenchcoat and all.

What we need, though, is something that can show, if not prove, that Vega works or will end up working for G. It’s got to be something that is definitely canon, something that relates to Vega and G in someway, and can be considered enough evidence to at least make this theory a possibility. It turns out there are two pieces of evidence that points to this theory being true.

One is G’s win quote to Vega: “What is beauty? The answer is simple! It is nothing without me! NOTHING!” It’s odd that G loses his cool with the thought of beauty, or at least the thought of Vega’s version of beauty. If we assume that G has hired Vega, who is indeed running out of money, we can assume that at this point G can make Vega do whatever he wants, and is merely telling Vega (and his online audience) that he pretty much owns him. He is telling Vega, “you are nothing without me.” G is basically being a bully because Vega is in precarious straits and this is his way of reminding Vega who is in charge.

The second piece, and perhaps strongest, relates to the idea of G being related to the Earth. In previous theories, I mentioned that Capcom may be going for a space theme when it comes to G. This is evident in G’s battle intro, where he states he’s not just President of the World, but President of the Universe. Even the developers themselves stated in How to Make Capcom Fighting Characters that G has “a cosmic-like power that we have so little knowledge of”, suggesting that G’s powers are more galactic than they appear to be.

With G being more emblematic of space, it makes perfect sense how someone like Marz, whose name is reminiscent of the planet Mars, would be paired with G. Karin also fits G’s space motif, with her last name, Kanzuki, literally translating into “Moon Goddess”; Karin also both wears a moon necklace in her Story costume and also has plans for a space colony.

However, there is at least one more person who fits the space theme – Vega. While he is Balrog in Japan, he’s Vega pretty much everywhere else, and as Vega is an actual star in the sky, Vega already fits the pattern (as for Dictator, who is known as Vega in Japan and M. Bison everywhere else, he was the precedent for the space theme but no conclusive evidence I’ve found ties him with G… yet). Some of Vega’s attacks are even named in the same vein, including his Cosmic Heel kick and Stardust Drop air throw. https://streetfighter.fandom.com/wiki/Vega

There is one big thing in Street Fighter that ties Vega unequivocally to space, though. It is canon thanks to G, it is a big part of G’s story mode, and its importance cannot be overstated: the Street Fighter tarot cards. Vega’s card?

Vega is the Moon. The Moon represents deception and illusion, and “suggests a time when something is not as it appears to be.” When taken into context, this could demonstrate that Vega is not who he seems to be, because, much like Crimson Viper, he is hiding the idea that he is a double agent working for Shadaloo and G at the same time. https://g.co/kgs/cye3Fm

There are two problems with this theory, of course. The first is that, as seen in the Vega playthrough above, Q is seen in Ken’s stage, meaning that Vega can’t be Q… or at least, he isn’t the Q that’s on the boat. With G having multiple Qs around the world, the Q on the boat doesn’t have to be the Q from III.

The second problem? Vega’s height. I’m expecting the Q from III to be a very tall individual, and while Vega is tall at 6’1″, it’s likely that Q is more in the seven-foot range, or at least as tall as G, who is 6’7″. This is because in III, Q, Gill, and Hugo are all very close to the same height in their sprites, and Gill and G are close to being the same height in Street Fighter V. However, officially, Gill is supposed to be three inches taller than G, and we just don’t see that in-game (I was considering posting images here, but I didn’t want to put up a bunch of pictures to argue a very small point, so you can either take my word for it or look it up on your own).

In other words, the measurements that Capcom gives for their characters really don’t matter in the long run, and since Q in his original form hasn’t been seen since III, there’s no real way to tell who Q is until he returns again. He could be Vega; he could be F.A.N.G; he could be Nash, Dorai, or Seth.

All we know for sure is that with Q, nothing’s for sure.

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