Solve for Q: Predicting the Final Character of Street Fighter V

Since we haven’t seen an update for the new characters in Street Fighter V, I’ve been unsure of how to progress with my theories. Certainly, there’s plenty of juicy tidbits in the lore of Street Fighter that I haven’t come across yet, and there’s even been some I have but couldn’t use. However, it seems that the information I’ve run into, while still viable, either isn’t enough to create a longer theory or just doesn’t fit the narrative of what both Street Fighter and my blog want to tell. My theories have something of a formula: present the research I’ve found, reveal what the analysis tells me, then apply the research to the analysis and show how it led me to the overall conclusion of the theory. Finally, I end the theory with a short one-sentence pun or concluding statement.

It would look something like this, but wittier.

This is how it should work, but what do you do when the evidence doesn’t really align? The simple answer is cobble it together and hope for the best. The better answer, though, is to present the hodgepodge of research as is because, even if the pieces don’t quite fit together, there is usually a combination of factors between the differing pieces of evidence to at least write a connecting topic. I did this with my most recent Ibuki theory, and even used recycled evidence to hold the theory together. It came out as more of a character study than a true theory, but I’m fairly happy with the results as it was coherent and allowed me to sort of fit things together in a bit of a character primer for Ibuki.

Today, though, will be a true theory. Using this lopado­temacho­selacho­galeo­kranio­leipsano­drim­hypo­trimmato­silphio­karabo­melito­katakechy­meno­kichl­epi­kossypho­phatto­perister­alektryon­opte­kephallio­kigklo­peleio­lagoio­siraio­baphe­tragano­pterygon of information, I will try to show some of the plotlines that could be seen as Akira, Oro, and the fifth character will be released, as well as try to predict who the final character will be based on the information shown.

First of all, we need to look at what the developers of Street Fighter V themselves said about the future story of the game. Takayuki Nakayama and Shuhei Matsumoto both talked to Josh Chesler of SPIN Magazine back in October of 2020, and Nakayama said something very enlightening: “[T]here are still undiscovered secrets on the following topics: Zeku and Strider; Q and G, [and] The United States Air Force and Byron Taylor.”

There is a chance that Zeku actually appears in Akira’s story mode, considering that if Akira and Ibuki clash, Zeku will be there to at least try to recruit both girls (he tried recruiting Ibuki before in his story mode). There’s a possibility he could show up in Oro’s story, although I find it not very likely considering Oro already has links to Akuma, Ryu, and Karin. Also, considering that Zeku’s creation of the Striders directly leads to battles with intergalactic entities, Akira having a link to outer space means that Zeku appearing would make perfect sense.

Before you ask, Akira’s link to outer space is Hayato Kanzaki from the game Star Gladiator.

How? Take a look at her motorcycle.

Her bike was made by the brand Kanzaki (not Kanzuki, which would mean Karin’s zaibatsu would have made it, although there’s a chance Kanzaki is an offshoot company). This intentional link by the designers of the game, while not conclusive, appears to hint at the potential merger of Star Gladiator’s universe with both the Street Fighter and Strider universes. Akira would simply be the connection between them (as well as all of those universes with Rival Schools).

However, neither Akira nor Zeku appear to have any connection with either G, Q, or Byron Taylor and the United States Air Force. Ibuki has a connection to G and Q (the G File), but to try to shoehorn either Akira or Zeku into that story seems counterproductive and wouldn’t result in very much getting done. Also, it doesn’t look like Akira or Zeku have any sort of connection with Byron Taylor, unless, again, Capcom applies the shoehorn method.

I’ve already talked about G and Q many, many times on this blog, and I will continue talking about them in the future. In fact, if you’ve been paying attention to my Twitter account, you’ll know that I have fiercely championed the idea that Q will be the final character in SFV. Q is my top choice, but he is not my only guess. Another person I have considered is Byron Taylor himself, whose story we really don’t know much of, but could prove to be an invaluable character for the lore of the game. Mike Haggar is a possibility, and could very much live up to the hype of being pushed as an unknown character by Capcom. There’s also Demitri Maximoff or Jedah Dohma, whose inclusion would merge the Darkstalkers universe with Street Fighter’s. Some people are even pointing to a crossover with Tekken due to Akuma’s appearance in 7 and claiming the last character could be Jin, Kazuya, or Heihachi. Others are even wanting Asura from the game Asura’s Wrath to come in and fight Akuma!

You should notice that all of these characters I have listed are male. I do believe there are at least two qualifying female characters who fit the final spot. The first is März of the Shadaloo Dolls, for reasons I’ve stated in previous articles, and Crimson Viper, who is one of the most requested characters for the game and one of the most crucial regarding the current storyline of SFV considering she’s investigating Q.
While both women would make for incredible choices, there is one issue that blocks their potential inclusion – the number of costumes they would receive upon their release. All female characters have received five costumes as soon as they were included. The final, unknown character is set to receive only three, making most people believe that the final character will be male.

I don’t completely subscribe to this theory, as I can make the argument that the girls could be Q-ified, technically making them women in a traditionally male role, and justifying their having only three costumes (also, consider Seth’s gender swap). Let’s assume, though, that the final character is indeed fully male, however. What other clues might we have that could determine who the final character could be?
First, let’s narrow the selection down more, and assume that no more crossovers are happening. This means no Darkstalkers, no Tekken, and no Asura’s Wrath characters will be included. We can still include Mike Haggar since Final Fight, while technically a crossover, is already canon to the Street Fighter series with the inclusion of Cody, Poison, Lucia, and Abigail. What comes next?

Recently, I discovered a pattern within the character selections of the seasons. What I found is that SFV appears to have an even number of protagonists and antagonists in the game. While the protagonists are generally either working for the side of good or have reformed from doing bad things, the antagonists can either be truly villainous (Bison, F.A.N.G, Necalli, Vega) simply work or have worked for a villainous party within SFV (Abigail and Poison did work for Mad Gear, but Mad Gear no longer exists as of SFV, so they’re considered protagonists; meanwhile, both Rashid and Cammy ended up with the Illuminati, and Birdie both worked for Shadaloo and was a reluctant member of the Kanzuki Zaibatsu), or have the potential to become an antagonist (Ed, Falke, G, Rose). Here’s what I came up with:

If the pattern holds, then the final character would be an antagonist, someone who is villainous, works for a villain, or has the potential to be an antagonist. Q, Taylor, and Haggar all have the potential to become antagonists, although Haggar is the least likely of the three to be a bad guy, work for a bad guy, or become a bad guy. It’s just not in his character.

So we come to the final piece of evidence to determine who the fifth character is, and while I don’t completely fall into the idea that it tells us anything, it’s an idea that has been bounced quite a bit among the FGC and some have taken to be a gigantic clue to the identity of the fifth character. I’m talking, of course, about character roster slots.

Here’s Street Fighter Alpha’s path:

Here’s Street Fighter III’s path:

And here’s Street Fighter IV’s:

As you can see from above, the empty slots look like they will fill in very cleanly once the three final characters, Oro, Akira, and the fifth character, are released. Akira would fit very well in the first roster, being added to the Alpha path because of both her friendship with Sakura and the events of Rival Schools. Oro would slip perfectly into the second roster, originally being a SFIII character. This leaves only the third roster with an available slot, meaning the fifth character must have only appeared in SFIV since the SFI and SFII slots are evenly-numbered and have no spaces to fill.

Neither Q, Taylor, nor Haggar appeared at all in IV. However, Taylor’s inclusion could be justified based on two reasons. The first is his relationship with Guile. The second occurs in the OVA Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind. There is a particular scene where Ryu and a trucker talk about an unknown and unseen fighter (who was the United States karate champ) who disappeared the year previously, and who Ryu apparently knows.

Ryu eventually goes to the fighter’s house and is ambushed by Crimson Viper, who is on an assignment for Shadaloo.

Could this missing person have been Byron Taylor? Is the Byron Taylor we see in A Shadow Falls an imposter, able to disguise his true identity from both Guile and Chun-Li? There is some reasoning to this, as Byron Taylor wears a ring on his left hand, signifying he is married. The fighter Ryu and the trucker talk about was also married, but the trucker stated that his wife found a new man and “got out of dodge”. Also, Taylor’s character profile states, “He doesn’t have much in the way of family due to his attitude towards work.” Taylor would have zero reason to wear the ring then.

Of course, it could be that the U.S. fighter was someone else completely, Taylor’s an innocent man, and only wears the ring to remind him of what he lost. Since Taylor being an imposter or an innocent man can’t be proven without definitive evidence, however, and because Taylor does not appear in the main games, we can assume that Taylor is not the final character either.

This leaves four playable candidates from Street Fighter IV: Abel, Hakan, Rufus, and El Fuerte. With the way the story is going, none of these characters have a reason to be hidden. Even if Hakan is turning his kids into his famous oil (, his inclusion still wouldn’t warrant enough attention for most players to be excited. Neither El Fuerte nor Rufus have a place in the story, and while Abel’s inclusion would make the most sense storywise, like Hakan, his reveal would be incredibly underwhelming.

In other words, there are no more playable characters left to be candidates for the final fifth character. So, are we completely out of options?


There remains one character left who fits all of the criteria. This character has never been playable, but checks all of the boxes. He is male, not a crossover character, physically appeared in Street Fighter IV and in no other games, has the potential to be working for an antagonist, has been a huge part of Street Fighter’s story since II, and whose reveal would set the FGC abuzz.

Based on everything I’ve stated above, the most likely candidate for the final character in SFV is:


While he was only mentioned in previous games, having actually appeared for a grand total of two seconds in Gen’s prologue in SFIV qualifies him to fill the final SFIV roster spot in SFV.

Even though Dorai is a good guy, he would still likely be under someone’s control, whether it’s the remnants of Shadaloo or if he’s been turned into a Q by G. Moreso, Dorai has something no other character in SFIV has: precedent. Of all the pieces of media it could have been, there is one where Chun-Li’s father actually does serve the bad guys against his will.

It happens in The Legend of Chun-Li. In fact, as bad as it was, this might be the most important Street Fighter movie ever made for two reasons. The first, it provided the concept that Chun-Li’s dad is still alive and working for a villainous group against his will (even though his name in the movie was Xiang). The second, it was the first major project outside of Udon’s comics to officially canonize Charlie Nash’s name. While the movie was terrible, at least Capcom still had a winning formula they could use to better their games, if their previous Hollywood attempt was any indication. Of course, we’re still waiting for the perfect live action Street Fighter movie.

It would look something like this, but wittier.

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