Originally designed by Akira Yasuda, Poison first appears in the second level of Capcom's Final Fight as one of the standard enemies encountered as beat'em-up fodder. Roxy, a palette-swapped version of Poison, is often paired with her. Her first playable appearance came in Final Fight Revenge, a fighting game featuring a roster comprised of characters from the original Final Fight.
Like other Final Fight characters such as Cody, Rolento, Sodom and Guy, Poison has also made appearances in the Street Fighter series; most notably in the Street Fighter III games, in which she appears as the NPC manager of Hugo Andore. She was also intended to be a playable character in Capcom Fighting All-Stars prior to the game's cancellation. Most recently, she was made a member of the fighting roster of Street Fighter X Tekken.
Poison's appearance is based on a highly feminine but fit physique. She has long, pink hair and wears a biker's cap, choker, a white cut-off tank top that leaves her abdomen exposed, and cut-off denim shorts with the fly unfastened. She also wears a pair of pumps, and a chain that hangs off her hips. She also commonly uses a pair of handcuffs as an accessory that hangs from her hip-chain.
Poison's original appearance in Final Fight was less as an individual character and more as a standard form of enemy type encountered frequently throughout the game. She and Roxy both make their first appearance in the second stage and commonly attack the player with a flip kick. Both characters were edited out of the SNES version of the game and replaced with male counterparts. More details on this and other aspects of changes made to Poison's Final Fight appearance can be read later in this article.
Poison also appears in Mighty Final Fight; a more cartoonish, comedic take on the original game in which all of the characters are redrawn in the super-deformed style.
Final Fight Revenge
In Poison's first playable appearance, she uses a whip as a weapon for some attacks, as well as the special attack Poison Kiss, a projectile that will leave opponents stunned if it connects, and during the attack, several pictures of Poison in suggestive poses are displayed.
In Final Fight Revenge, Poison's ending first states that she and her friends hatch a plan to frame Cody Travers for their crimes in order to avoid jail time. The game then shows an image of her visiting Cody in prison with flowers, but downcast at the knowledge that he'll never love anyone other than Jessica Haggar.
Street Fighter X Tekken
In Street Fighter X Tekken, her first playable appearance since Final Fight Revenge, Poison fights using an agile, self-taught style and wields a riding crop as a weapon. Her arcade mode story in the game partners her with her Street Fighter III ally, Hugo Andore (an homage to Andre the Giant).
Story & Ending
In Poison's story, she learns of all of the media attention being focused around the South Pole and decides that it would be the perfect opportunity for her and Hugo to gain notoriety. In the end, the pair make it to Antarctica and defeat Ogre, only to find that the media had long since disappeared. Disappointed, she turns to leave when Hugo points out that they haven't examined Pandora's Box yet, but Poison has no interest in the box and they leave. Unclaimed, the box vanishes.
Poison and Hugo go on to form their own wrestling federation. However, their method of recruiting fighters involves crashing rival wrestling promotions and defeating their fighters to force them into joining. It's unclear whether the new organization will succeed, but the venture is dependent on Poison's efforts.
Poison's Japanese voice has been provided by Atsuko Tanaka, who voiced her in Street Fighter X Tekken and Street Fighter III: Third Strike, and Masae Yumi, who provided her voice in SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos. Lani Minella provides her vocals in Final Fight Revenge. Her English voice in Street Fighter X Tekken was provided by Karen Strassman.
Poison was officially a woman in the first released version of Final Fight. When Capcom prepared to release the game in regions outside of Japan, however, Poison's involvement was met with protest from people within Capcom USA that objected against the idea of a game featuring men beating women. Poison's creator Yasuda responded to the objections by claiming that Poison and Roxy were crossdressing men, with the manual referring to them as "new-halves", Japanese slang for transvestites. In the Sega CD version, Poison and Roxy are given slightly less revealing clothing, while in the SNES version, they were removed entirely and replaced with a pair of male characters named Billy and Sid. The original, unedited version of Poison appears in the downloadable release of Final Fight: Double Impact, which is based on the original arcade ROM.
Since the original Final Fight was released, the Roxy character, who was a palette swap of Poison, has officially been deemed female, although the official stance on Poison remains unclear depending on who is asked. Officially, Capcom USA considers her a post-op transexual, while in Japan, 'she' is officially considered an exceptionally talented cross-dressing male. In Poison's most recent appearance in Street Fighter X Tekken, the debate about the character's gender is ignored entirely, and is referred to as female by the other characters. This is due to backlash that the initial builds of the game received over several quotes directed at Poison in early demos that made fun of "his" status as a cross-dresser.