Ken Masters, Family Man

Capcom has finally released some more information on Street Fighter 6. We got to see more of World Tour mode, more of the Battle Hub, and more of the roster. Blanka, Dhalsim, E. Honda, and Ken have all been revealed.

Blanka has become a tour guide in the Amazon, E. Honda continues to run his bath house, and Dhalsim is being more… Dhalsimer than ever.

Of course, the thing everyone has been talking about since the character leak is whatever’s been going on with Ken, and we finally know what his story is. There have been “accusations of orchestrating a criminal plot” that “have forced Ken to abandon his family and go into hiding.”

Well, then. What could this possibly mean? As the PlayStation Blog points out, Ken is trying to clear his name, and his attacks are inspired by his said quest.

Whatever Ken is doing, he’s trying to protect himself, his family, and his name, and it looks like he’s become something of an underground detective to find out what’s going on. In other words, he’s taking matters into his own hands.

And that’s very much in Ken’s character.

Props to the developers over at Capcom on finally giving Ken something to do after all these years other than run a company, fight Ryu during lunch break, and go home. Having Ken pick up Cody’s former angle was a brilliant move that’s already paying off in the memes. More importantly, however, it’s expanding the story of Street Fighter in a way that hasn’t been seen before. What will Ken’s story be about? Let’s take a look at what we’ve seen so far.
Ken has apparently been framed for a crime he did not commit, and, judging by his jacket, he also apparently has ties to Eagle from the very first Street Fighter

So, it appears that Eagle has become a wealthy businessman with a shipping business. However, the name Eagle is so widely used by companies in real life that this may not be the case at all. Nonetheless, it’s still a sly way of paying homage to the original character.

Even if Eagle does play a role in SF6, it doesn’t look like it would be a substantial one by any means. He’s not the one pulling strings here considering it would be completely out of his character to manipulate Ken for no real reason. Eagle is an honorable man.

Then who is? The first person is the leaked character, JP.

At this stage, we know he’s the main villain of season 1, although his motives are unclear and the organization he represents is a complete mystery. From the information that got leaked, he’s a Russian aristocrat who apparently controls Psycho Power… and that’s all we really know.
Does he have ties to Bison? Does he have ties to G? Does he have ties to the Illuminati or Mad Gear? We don’t know and we won’t know until more information is either leaked or revealed by the developers. JP is a wild card, but the more things pan out, the more I want Capcom to reveal the character and his motivations.

That being said, it’s very possible that JP was the one who orchestrated Ken’s downfall and framed him for his own nefarious purposes. This might even be the entire story of SF6’s season 1, and how you, the customizable player character, must take down JP and his organization once and for all using the moves you learned fighting legacy Street Fighter characters.

Of course, while it’s likely that JP is the one who caused all of this, he isn’t the only candidate. In fact, the next one is someone who would likely have more influence than JP, is a character many in the Street Fighter community are clamoring to make a return, and who I believe is one of the strongest characters in the series who could carry the franchise going forward.

In case you can’t tell, I love Karin, but I don’t like the silly plotlines the developers have been giving her (cough tea party cough). She’s been derided as a Mary Sue character who is, well, the perfect victor in every possible way. So what would happen if the pressure of keeping up her perfect facade finally got to her? What if this perfect diamond of a character finally cracked?
Could Karin have orchestrated Ken’s downfall as a result of her slipping sanity and as a means to procure a feasible heir for her enormous empire? Discussing this topic with fan fiction star and writer of “Sidekick”, @matbookworm2, made me realize this as a possibility, and although I didn’t agree with it at first, it would be one hell of a plot twist to re-establish Karin’s character as a threat. As I’ve stated in the past, Karin has a ton of potential as a villain:

What A Little Birdie Told Me

The Gilded Eyes of Evil

However, my issue with this is that there would be very few groups left that would be considered benevolent, and even organizations like the United States Air Force, who trained the unquestionably heroic Guile and Nash, have been corrupted by outside powers. If Karin breaks, there is very little hope left for humanity. Only the Kanzuki zaibatsu can shield the world from threats like M. Bison, Gill, G and Q, and JP. She is the last bastion of hope left in the Street Fighter universe.

If she falls, so does the world.

If Takayuki Nakayama decides to mastermind the complete collapse of society in Street Fighter, this would be the way to do it. In fact, from what I’ve researched, the end of society is canonical.

Still, manipulating Ken seems to be a bit too convoluted for even Karin to try. It would make no sense to set up a man she personally desires, even if she felt that it was the only way to break him away from his devotion to his family. If she wanted an heir from Ken, there were other ways of doing it that were more covert and would ensure success.

So, this leaves us with one other conceivable possibility, and the person who is the most likely to want something bad to happen to Ken. He holds a cosmic power, is very loquacious, and has amazing facial hair to match.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s Ruf-

Ah, who am I kidding? It’s G.

This all stems from the idea of Q being in the background of Ken’s stage in Street Fighter II. G may have hatched a plan that took years to come to fruition and tried to take down someone he saw as a threat to his hive mind vision. He sent one of his Qs to monitor Ken and keep tabs on him so he could understand all of Ken’s weaknesses and strike when the timing was right.

However, if you’ve read my theories from the beginning, you’d know G could already have Ken under his control and forced him to do something he would never do under his own power. There’s a chance Ken did commit a crime… but Ken was not in control. G was.

This explains why Ken left his family: he was a danger to them and anyone around him because he could lose control to G at any time. If G wanted Ken to kill Eliza and Mel, there was nothing that could stop him, not even Ken’s strong will and love for his family.

Even without the mask, Ken is essentially a Q.

What we’re likely looking at is a man literally possessed by a cosmic power that wants him to do bad things, even going so far as to orchestrating a criminal plot. It’s almost like the story with Violent Ken, except G allows Ken to continue living his life during the times he doesn’t need him to be his puppet in order to keep things under the radar (if a prominent martial artist and socialite like Ken went missing, it would raise suspicion and bring attention that G would not want).

So the real question we need to be asking is, “Is Ken fully aware of what he’s doing during the times he’s affected by G’s presence?” Based on my research, no. It’s safe to assume Ken knows what’s going on now, but if we take that what I theorized was true regarding E. Honda’s SFV ending, that Honda was having a strong delusion brought on by G’s control, then it’s clear that Ken believed everything he was doing was a dream.

He found out pretty quickly that those dreams were nightmares.

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