Game of Zones

On Twitter, I asked a question about who my followers wanted me to write a theory on. The answers varied based on the personal preferences of each person who responded. The characters who were asked about included Guy, Cody, Poison, Rainbow Mika, Rolento, Seth, Edmond Honda, Adon, and the characters of Street Fighter I. All of these were great choices, but in the end, there was one topic I liked so much, I knew I had to do it.

I’ve stated in some of my theories that Street Fighter 6 will be a game of factions. Characters will represent groups, much like the characters in Rival Schools did, while also fighting for some personal goal or goals. There are a LOT of factions in Street Fighter 6, including the Kanzuki Zaibatsu, the remnants of Shadaloo and S.I.N., Neo Shadaloo, the Illuminati, and whatever group G is running with his army of Qs.

We already know Ryu and Luke are in the next game, and we can say with absolute certainty that Chun-Li will be, too. However, after those three, it isn’t clear who else will make the main roster of SF6. So, we will simply have to guess. Then again, that’s what this blog is about, right?

Based on what I’m seeing, I think the main roster will include: Ken, Cammy, Guile, Juri, Rashid, Ibuki, Fei Long, Rose, Dhalsim, Urien, Vega, Crimson Viper, G, Q, Cody, Sakura, and Karin, with the additions of new characters Baba Mwalimu (the Neo Shadaloo gorilla), März, Geki II (the successor to the original Geki who died after the events of SFI), and Phantom (F.A.N.G’s protégé from the Toxicity side reader).

If we assume these characters all make the base roster (and let’s be real, I’m gonna get a bunch of them wrong), then we’ll have 24 characters starting out. What’s interesting is that if this roster pans out, it will include the most female characters on a base roster in Street Fighter’s history, with 10, meaning that while the game will still have a mostly male roster, it would be a more gender-balanced one. Also, the characters I’ve listed all would have a role to play in the main story as well as have potential connections to the game’s speculative final boss, G.

So, who would belong to what faction?

Let’s start with the Kanzuki Zaibatsu: Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Guile, Ibuki, Dhalsim, Sakura, and Karin. At eight characters, the primary faction for good in the game would have the most in a single faction. This makes sense, considering that Karin would need to send her fighters to keep an eye out on several groups, and this would allow all of the factions to be introduced in a timely way.

G’s group looks to have the next biggest set of playable characters, with Luke, Rashid, Vega, Crimson Viper, Q, März, and G himself. If you’ve read my past theories, you’ll know that I stated several of these characters would be transformed into Qs. However, there’s also a chance that, such as in Vega’s case, G allows some of his fighters to have an individual personality in order to utilize their skills more efficiently. Since his Q army is lumbering and slow, G would be better off forcing Luke, Rashid, and others to do his bidding under the threat of transformation.

The next group is the Illuminati, who would be represented by Cammy, Juri, Urien, and Geki II. All of these characters, with the exception of Geki II, were with the Illuminati at some point in Street Fighter V, so to see Cammy and Juri join up as unlikely allies again would make for an interesting story.

You might be wondering why Geki II would be an Illuminati member. In the Udon comics, Geki is the name of an entire clan of ninjas who are antagonists of Ibuki’s Glade of Ninjas. He would be a natural rival for Ibuki, but more so, could serve as a catalyst to an Ibuki villain turn. Since I’ve stated that Ibuki’s story points to her both turning to the dark side as well as joining the Illuminati after meeting Gill, and considering that Geki II would be an evil character who would try to goad Ibuki towards a darker path, it makes sense to me that Geki II would be subservient to Gill.

Phantom and Baba Mwalimu would be the only representatives of their factions, Shadaloo/S.I.N. and Neo Shadaloo, respectively. While Vega is one of the Four Kings of Shadaloo, his apparent duplicity regarding the Doll Project behind Bison’s back makes him more of a fit for G’s forces. Phantom being the last recruit of Shadaloo would also make for a good story. With F.A.N.G as her mentor, it would be up to her to bring Bison back from the grave.

As for Baba Mwalimu, it’s pretty obvious that he’d be able to tell Ed and Falke’s story as well as his own. Plus, players showed more excitement in his character than Ed and Falke, so he would be a highly-welcomed addition to the main roster of SF6.

This leaves three outliers without a faction: Fei Long, Rose, and Cody. The obvious set up would be to make them all part of the Kanzuki Zaibatsu, but I’m honestly not seeing that with any of them. Interestingly enough, all three have some kind of connection with Guy, especially if you believe that Guy was the one who threw the kunai in Fei Long’s ending.

Quite simply, these three, along with Geki, could set up Ibuki’s villain saga. Here’s how it would work:

Rose would try sending a message into the past to stop G, but she would fail. This would, however, cause something of a time ripple, affecting several characters at certain intervals in time. Ibuki would be the one most greatly affected, as the fluctuation would cause a crucial event in her life to occur differently, changing her for the worse.

Cody, being the mayor of Metro City, would fight G, President of the World, but they would fight to a draw. Cody has his suspicions about G, who has been watching him the whole time through his secretary, Marlowe, who is actually März in disguise. Once Marlowe/März is revealed to be a spy for G, she escapes, leaving Guy and Zeku as Cody’s only trustworthy representatives. As Cody talks to Guy, Guy gives a meta clue to the players that leads us to believe he never encountered Seth in Street Fighter IV.

This culminates in Fei Long’s story, where Fei Long believes that Guy is the one who threw the kunai. He encounters Cody and Guy and fights Cody, who fights for his friend’s innocence. At the end of Fei Long’s story, another kunai is thrown at the trio’s feet, and we see the silhouettes of Ibuki and Geki II running in the distance.

This story would, of course, set up the story for Street Fighter 7, where Ibuki finally turns to the dark side and becomes the first female boss in Street Fighter history.

Complex? Absolutely. Doable? Absolutely. It would also give the series both a form of continuity that is sorely needed and a clear path for the story of the next game. Even so, this leaves with yet another question to be answered: where would literally every other character fit in the “Ibuki-turns-evil” story? Obviously, not everyone has to be involved. Dan Hibiki is a joke character who will continue to be a great comic relief character. Akuma will continue his path towards demon-hood. Sagat will fight the Satsui no Hado that lingers within him. There’s a lot going on outside of the main plotline.

What do you do with characters like Akira, Elena, and Makoto, though? Would they try to snap Ibuki back to reality? Sakura and Karin would be in the mix as well, but what about Birdie and Rainbow Mika? Is there a character who would be the most likely to make an attempt to save Ibuki, or will it come down to Ryu blasting her with a Hadoken, like always?

I suppose that’s up to the developers.

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