By Hailinel 17 Comments
Ah, yes. M. Bison. The final opponent in Street Fighter II, Street Fighter II Turbo, Super Street Fighter II, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, and…man, dude gets a lot of mileage out of one game. In any case, if you’re familiar with fighting games at all, you’re likely familiar with this man; the leader of the Shadaloo crime syndicate with dreams of being a magical Pol Pot. And who also did a bit of name swapping with a psychotic boxer and a narcissistic Spaniard.
Like a lot of people, Street Fighter II was my first introduction to the fighting genre. And it was hard; hard enough that even making it to Sagat was something of an accomplishment. The first time that I saw M. Bison’s portrait pop up on the versus screen, I had no idea what was in store for me. Oh, the naivety of youth.
What was in store for me was the beat down of a lifetime. Those crazy flipping kicks, that imposing stage music. That giant bell in the background. That PSYCHO CURASHA! When I finally beat him, it was an exhilarating moment. Bison stand as a monument to imposing, intimidating bosses in fighting games. And also to confusing backstories. I’m to this day still not sure how exactly Bison, Rose, and Cammy are all supposed to relate to one another.
No, really. What the hell, Capcom? What the hell is even going on here? Because I got totally lost somewhere around the third or fourth retcon of the series continuity.
Unfortunately, Bison is a character that’s lost his intimidating edge over the years. This is partially because he’s not really a boss anymore; he’s more or less just a standard fighter. His role of the big bad has been taken over by a technicolor Messiah-Adonis in a thong and by a robot with a yin-yang ball for a torso.
Of course, there was also the movie Street Fighter, and the USA animated series, and the memes that came with them.
Rest in peace, Raul Julia. Rest in peace.
Oh, Mr. Bison, how far you fell. And yet, no other final boss in a Street Fighter game has ever really been able to match your style or your ability to impose fear. Well, yes, Gill is a huge dick and can heal himself, but work with me here.
And, by the way. Just what does the M stand for, anyway?