(Special thanks to Twitter user @MysterSack for some of the screenshots here.)
Rose and her story were just released, hinting at, if not outright revealing, one of the darkest stories gaming has ever seen. Street Fighter is not known for having a dark plot, even though it does dabble in troubling elements from time to time, like brainwashing, murder, human trafficking, human experimentation, etc. After Rose’s story was released, however, everything has been put into a new light. Although the developers have made games that have appealed to younger generations, it seems they’ve finally decided to approach Street Fighter from an apocalyptic angle.
Bison was trying to conquer the world, but G is looking like he wants to destroy it.
Rose’s story ends with the idea that she can somehow inform her past self of events she is currently experiencing at present, hinting at a potential return of the Alpha series or even a Street Fighter reboot.
This could happen. Mortal Kombat and Guilty Gear are doing the same thing. In fact, the idea of a character reaching out to their past self already happened with Raiden in Mortal Kombat 9. Capcom would simply be copying that idea. Street Fighter is no stranger to time travel, however. Ingrid, who I’ve talked about in the past, is a time traveler who said she created the technology for the Psycho Drive and returned to the past to take it back from Bison. If Rose does somehow go back in time to warn herself, there’s a chance Ingrid could be involved at some point.
My issue with this, besides the creation of multiple timelines that honestly have no business in Street Fighter, is that there’s no real focal point where Rose can go back in time. Street Fighter Alpha focuses on Bison as the main protagonist, and G wasn’t even thought of at that stage in the series’ development. Even if Rose told her past self, “Hey, watch out for G”, what would her past self even do with that information?
The only possible thing I could think of is that it would involve Bison’s Psycho Power. Non-canonically, Bison’s power is said to have originated from either a fallen meteor (Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game) or an ancient cave (from all places, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li). If Capcom decided to run with one of these ideas, it brings in the possibility that G was present at the moment Bison received his powers, perhaps living within the meteor/cave and slowly growing in strength. In other words, Bison received part of G’s power and refined it into Psycho Power. https://streetfighter.fandom.com/wiki/M._Bison
If we assume this is what Capcom has in mind, then Rose basically has two options: either go back far enough in time to where her past self can destroy whatever object grants Bison his Psycho Power, at the same time killing an underpowered G, or she’ll tell herself to let Bison grow in strength as the lesser of two evils, allowing him to kill G and potentially sacrifice himself to do it. Neither one of these are optimal, as either would allow a madman to take over the planet. Also, both could lead Rose to her own demise, completely erasing her from existence and causing an unstable time loop that would wreak havoc on the Street Fighter universe.
So, if Rose goes back in time, what is the best thing she could do? The answer, believe it or not, is to fail. If she fails to complete her mission, nothing changes… but there is one thing she would end up doing which could be her plan all along: create a stable time loop. We have already seen a manifestation of this time loop through multiple games in the series.
Rose may not be able to actually travel back in time physically, but she does have the ability to send messages through time and space, which is why I feel that instead of simply appearing in the past like Ingrid, she’ll use her powers to send a message to the past and do it through her tarot cards. Whether this means changing the artwork or simply highlighting The Fool card’s importance, such as manipulating the outcome of a reading, Rose can put a ton of emphasis on the card. However, if she does this, the likely outcome is something that has already happened: Rose believes The Fool is meant to destroy Bison.
That’s when the time loop occurs: Rose believes The Fool to be Ryu, destined to defeat Bison, and does everything she can to protect him. Eventually, Ryu defeats Bison in the Lair of the Four Kings, killing him and ending his reign of terror. Rose breathes a sigh of relief, but then feels a new, more dangerous presence. She fights G and sees a vision of the world ending. She decides to contact her past self through her tarot cards, putting emphasis on The Fool card. Her past self believes The Fool to be Ryu… and the cycle begins again.
In other words, unless Rose can physically manifest in the past, her mission is doomed to failure. One way or another, G wins, and Rose is powerless to stop him… unless she specifically creates the time loop in order to defeat him. How would she defeat him? Well, to be honest, this is something I can’t answer unless pertinent information is revealed, but considering how heavily Street Fighter is influenced by JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, G’s fate could match up with Diavolo’s: both get caught in a time loop.
However, this is all speculation based on the information we have. Since there’s a lot of ways Capcom can go with Rose’s story, including a total reboot of the series, we don’t really have any clear cut answers on how Rose could potentially save the world. On the other hand, we may already know how G plans on ending it.
I have stated many times in past theories that G has created an army of Qs to do his bidding. Since Qs are known to show up during natural disasters, I had stated that Qs are the ones that are causing them in order to reshape the earth into G’s beloved Pangaea. What I didn’t know was how far he was actually going to go with it, and after Rose’s story was released, there now appears to be one ultimate event that G is planning to be able to reach his goal.
And it’s going to be like something out of Neon Genesis Evangelion.
In Rose’s story, as she processes the terrifying vision she’s seen, she states the following:
If we look at this at it’s most literal, and not just as a metaphor, Rose basically sees a gigantic glacier crashing into the ocean. In other words, something big, like a glacier, is destined to impact with Earth, hitting the ocean, and creating a flood of biblical proportions, wiping out the entirety of humanity. The earth will be covered in water, and only those who can prepare for a flood of that magnitude will be able to survive it.
Quite simply, it’s the tale of Noah’s Ark all over again. However, we should’ve seen this coming, as a gigantic clue was already revealed not too long ago.
The Ring of Galaxy stage clearly alludes to the Ark – the animal motif gives it away. Whoever is on G’s space station will be saved from the impact since it serves a similar purpose. This means all who follow G will be protected when the apocalypse comes.
So does that mean G is a savior? Far from it. In fact, he will be the one to cause the cataclysm on Earth. He will gather his army of Qs onto his space station, brainwashed people completely under his control, Street Fighters both good and evil who could not resist his power and became his puppets. Then with a trademark flourish, he finishes the job he started.
He crashes the space station into Earth, an artificial meteor.
His army of Qs will be protected from the massive impact, either because the space station shields them from the force of the collision or because G’s power gives them a degree of invulnerability. Everyone and everything still on the planet, however, will be destroyed, covered by miles of water.
In the end, G and his army of Qs will be the last beings left. Earth will be reshaped as G wishes, and he will force his followers to do whatever he asks for the rest of eternity. Since G believes the fate of the earth is the same as the rest of the universe, then he wouldn’t stop with just Earth. He will go to other life-supporting planets and do the exact same thing. He will continue to brainwash followers from other planets, not stopping until he was in complete control of everything in the universe.
Then when he’d finally finished his task over billions of years and every planet was overtaken with Qs, there would be one last thing he would destroy: the universe itself. As Rose so delicately put it, it would be the end of everything.
And G would do it all with a smile on his face.