What If Scenario: Street Fighter V & a Gender Balanced Roster

I did this several months ago with the Smash Bros. Roster (which you can find here), but the roster was over half revealed at that point and there were a LOT more characters to work with in the Nintendo universe than with Street Fighter. Also, there were costumes and plenty of gender neutral characters (such as all of the Pokemon) to make the process a lot easier.

But I thought I'd give it a shot. So here's the rules, once again...

Could a Street Fighter game have equal female & male characters and still have a roster that people could be happy with?

1) Street Fighter V is the first version of what is likely to be a multi-version fighting game. Some decry this as nickle and dimeing, but it's an effective way of keeping the competitive scene alive and interesting. Keeping this in mind, I've cut some pretty obvious choices (mostly male) in anticipation of more characters being added later.

2) That being said, I set a target of characters a little larger than most initial Street Fighter titles. Street Fighter IV, for example, had 25 characters by the time it hit consoles. I'm thinking of a roster of about 25 characters seems fair.

3) There will probably be some new characters added to the roster, but not too many. I think saying 3 new female characters and 2 new male characters is a little hopeful on the gender distribution, but not unreasonable.

4) Has to use the two characters announced (Chun-Li and Ryu)

5) The goal is to have a roster with 12 returning female characters and 13 returning male characters (15 female characters and 15 male characters overall).

6) No EX characters or other characters owned by companies outside of Capcom.

7) No characters that are Capcom characters that haven't appeared in a Street Fighter game.

8) I'm going off the theory that this is going to be a mixture of Street Fighter III & IV, taking place after IV and before III and seeing a mixture of those characters.

Okay, with that, here's the list I could come up with!

List items

  • #1 - Ryu

    Gender: Male

    First Game: Street Fighter

    Status: Confirmed

  • #2 - Chun-Li

    Gender: Female

    First Game: Street Fighter II

    Status: Confirmed

  • #3 - Ken

    Gender: Male

    First Game: Street Fighter

    Status: Unconfirmed

    Notes: The tomato coloured, cocky American counterpart of Ryu's. He's changed just enough, especially in his normals, to not be exactly a clone of Ryu and it's great to get a similar character with a completely different playstyle, especially since Ryu is basically the template for the entire fighting game genre. Anyway, I think it's extremely likely we'll see Ken again right away.

  • #4 - Cammy

    Gender: Female

    First Game: Super Street Fighter II

    Status: Unconfirmed

    Notes: The second female playable character in the series and easily the second most popular female character behind Chun-Li. She's a staple in the series and nearly guaranteed.

  • #5 - Guile

    Gender: Male

    First Game: Street Fighter II

    Status: Unconfirmed

    Notes: The man with the second American national anthem. Guile is an extremely popular character in Street Fighter, both for his theme and turtle playstyle. He was replaced in SFIII by Remy, but I don't see the same happening here. I think it's pretty likely he'll be coming back.

  • #6 - Rose

    Gender: Female

    First Game: Street Fighter Alpha

    Status: Unconfirmed

    Notes: The third playable female in the series and the character of the current EVO champ. She plays a pretty heavy spacing and projectile game, but I think, with the mechanics so far, we could see some crazy things out of Rose. While not as guaranteed as Cammy or Chun, I think it's likely she'll be there.

  • #7 - Blanka

    Gender: Male

    First Game: Street Fighter II.

    Status: Unconfirmed

    Notes: Anyone who follows Street Fighter or even fighting games in general knows how much Ono loves Blanka. I don't see him retiring just yet.

  • #8 - Sakura

    Gender: Female

    First Game: Street Fighter Alpha 2

    Status: Unconfirmed

    Notes: Sakura is a super popular character, having manga based off her, appearing in a ton of spin-offs and crossovers, and playing a big part in almost every game since her introduction. Notably she was absent in Street Fighter III, but I'm sure she'll be in there. Also, I think seeing Sakura a few years older, past high school and into adulthood, would be very interesting for both her character and her playstyle.

  • #9 - Zangief

    Gender: Male

    First Game: Street Fighter II

    Status: Unconfirmed

    Notes: It's a toss-up between Zangief and Hugo for the big grappler spot on this list, but with the unpopularity of Hugo recently (he was not well received in SFxT or Ultra), the design problems they had fitting him into SFIV, and the enduring popularity of Zangief over the years, I think we'll still be protecting Russia's skies when Street Fighter V launches.

  • #10 - Juri

    Gender: Female

    First Game: Super Street Fighter IV

    Status: Unconfirmed

    Notes: Probably the most popular addition to the Street Fighter IV roster, Juri's insane hybrid strategy of snapping from heavy rush-down to heavy keep away in an instant can really fit into any fighting game system. I'm not confident enough to say she'll make the roster for sure, but I can see her in SFV over any other original SFIV character.

  • #11 - Sagat

    Gender: Male

    First Game: Street Fighter

    Status: Unconfirmed

    Notes: Put_Sagat_In_SFV. A fan favourite that became even more popular/infamous (depending on who you talk to) after dominating the competitive scene in vanilla Street Fighter IV. Though he is no longer tiger kneeing his way to victory, I can see him getting a spot in Street Fighter V over his (former) comrades Balrog and Vega.

  • #12 - Crimson Viper

    Gender: Female

    First Game: Street Fighter IV

    Status: Unconfirmed

    Notes: If there is one SFIV character that might take a spot in SFV over or beside Juri, it would be C. Viper. She has often been said to be a character randomly tossed from another fighting game into the roster, as she doesn't play anything like other Street Fighter characters. She's incredibly technical and hard to use, but I can see her crazy cancels and rushdown being an asset given the footage we've seen so far. Despite her weird mechanics and high barrier to entry, she remains a quite popular character in the fanbase and Capcom thinks she deserves to be in more games based on her appearance in Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

  • #13 - M. Bison

    Gender: Male

    First Game: Street Fighter II

    Status: Uncomfirmed

    Notes: I originally didn't have 'ol Bison on the list because I was questioning whether he was alive at this point or not, but that's never really stopped Capcom before. He's died and come back dozens of times before, so I don't think this game will become his grave.

  • #14 - Poison

    Gender: Female

    First Game: Final Fight

    Status: Unconfirmed

    Notes: Posion has only recently been added to the roster of Street Fighter, having been the manager for Hugo in Street Fighter III and that's about it before Street Fighter x Tekken. Considering her recent success in the series (and having the best goddamn theme in Street Fighter IV), I could see her coming back.

  • #15 - Rufus

    Gender: Male

    First Game: Street Fighter IV

    Status: Unconfirmed

    Notes: Most of the male original characters in SFIV had a lukewarm to bad reaction from fans, but many players have taken a liking to jiggly Rufus. I think his playstyle is perfect for a more air combo, ground bounce, and OTG heavy Street Fighter game, too. Out of all the original males from SFIV, count on Rufus being back, still on the hunt to overthrow Ken Masters in a one-sided rivalry.

  • #16 - Rainbow Mika

    Gender: Female

    First Game: Street Fighter Alpha 3

    Status: Unconfirmed

    Notes: The most requested female character throughout Street Fighter IV's history, so much so that multiple "leaks" confirmed her addition with each version of the game. She was even teased during the unveiling video of Decapre for Ultra Street Fighter IV earlier this year. Capcom knows people want her in a game again and we need more than one grappler, so I think it's time for the return of the rainbow.

    Hopefully with a better costume though.

  • #17 - Akuma

    Gender: Male

    First Game: Super Street Fighter II Turbo

    Status: Unconfirmed

    Notes: It's Akuma. I would be more surprised if he WASN'T in the game.

  • #18 - Karin

    Gender: Female

    First Game: Street Fighter Alpha 3

    Status: Unconfirmed

    Notes: Well, maybe R. Mika isn't the mooost requested worldwide. In Japan, Karin is incredibly popular because she's basically an anime stereotype, much like Sakura. I don't think she's a great addition as I don't really like the character or her playstyle, but I think, again like Sakura, I'd like to see what they'd do with her character after all the time that passes between IV and III.

  • #19 - Dudley

    Gender: Male

    First Game: Street Fighter III

    Status: Unconfirmed

    Notes: Again, Dudley fits the playstyle of the game being shown to us and has a growing fanbase, especially in the competitive scene (go watch some of Smug's matches. Such a smart player). I can see him making it into the roster over most of SFIII's gutter trash.

  • #20 - Ibuki

    Gender: Female

    First Game: Street Fighter III

    Status: Unconfirmed

    Notes: Ibuki is another really popular character and not just for her appearances in the games. With comics following her, much like Sakura, and a big fanbase in the game (despite her spot in the competitive spotlight always being brief), I can see her making it over most of the Street Fighter III cast.

  • #21 - Alex

    Gender: Male

    First Game: Street Fighter III

    Status: Unconfirmed

    Notes: I think it's a toss-up for Alex. He was originally poised to be the next hero of the Street Fighter franchise, replacing Ryu and claiming the spotlight. Unfortunately, that largely drove a ton of people away from the game and Ryu quickly returned. We haven't really seen much of Alex since, but he has been heavily rumoured, much like R. Mika. I think we'll finally see him back, if in a much smaller role than he was originally intended. Besides, a roster that is at least 10% grapplers is a good ratio by me.

  • #22 - Makoto

    Gender: Female

    First Game: Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike

    Status: Unconfirmed

    Notes: Makoto has always been an interesting fit into the Street Fighter games. Relying on dealing heavy amounts of stun and being able to make incredible comebacks if she has the resources, she kind of floats between really good and really bad depending on the current metagame and balance. I think her huge combos and air juggle nature will fit well into SFV, moreso than the rest of the Street Fighter III cast in fact.

  • #23 - Urien

    Gender: Male

    First Game: Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact

    Status: Unconfirmed

    Notes: Abel and Seth have always been like the poor-man's Urien to me. Sure, both of those character play nothing like him, but there are some shades of Urien in there, whether it's their stance, appearance, or normals, that made me wish that I had this crazy rush down and mix-up machine. Sure, his Aegis reflector might have been accidentally overpowered in 3rd Strike, but it was a fun playstyle and I would love to see him back again. Considering the timeframe I'm going with, it would make a lot of sense, too.

  • #24 - Elena

    Gender: Female

    First Game: Street Fighter III

    Status: Unconfirmed

    Notes: She makes several appearances in the Ibuki and Sakura comics, she has appeared in the two most recent Street Fighter games, and she has a playstyle that would work with these new systems. I see her making it.

  • #25 - Oro

    Gender: Male

    First Game: Street Fighter III

    Status: Unconfirmed

    Notes: Oro's such a weird character that he would never have worked in Street Fighter IV's system. His double jump, his weird headstomping, his fireballs meant to test people's ability to parry... It would never have worked. Some of his aspects, such as the different angle of the fireballs and a few normals, would be duplicated with Ryu's teacher Gouken, but not exactly. I think, with what we've seen of Street Fighter V's mechanics, it's time for the weird, scowling, half-naked hermit to fight again.