Celebrity Rip Offs
Many street fighters have become celebrities over the years (Ryu, Guile, Chun- Li,...) but some characters already were celebrities when they first appeared in a game. Look at these pictures and find out who the street fighters are based on.
This page has lots of images so it might take a while to load.
(More real live inspirations on Rip Off page 4)
Mike Bison and Mike Tyson
||"Mike Bison" sounds just like "Mike Tyson" so it's pretty obvious.
As you might already know, the boxer called "Balrog" in the American version of SFII was originally designed as "M. Bison" but Capcom felt they had to change the name in the USA to avoid getting sued by the original (or Don King).
SF1 character Mike (who is officially NOT M.Bison) was probably already based on Mike Tyson.
As you can see on the pics they really tried to make him look like Tyson, even the tooth space is there. Capcom also includes hints like "I'll bite your ear off" (SFZ3), which Tyson did in a fight with Evander Holyfield. I don't know if this quote is also in the Japanese version of the game. They also made him stupid like Tyson.
In SFII M. Bison's Versus screen image also looked a lot like Tyson. For the SFZero line they made him a lot darker and more like the SFIIAM version, since the SFZero game series is a result of SFIIAM's impact on Capcom.
Here two pics that I cheaply threw together to show the similarity between the two boxers and one of Tyson from an old boxing video game.
Dudley (of SFIII) and Evander Holyfield
And another famous boxer rip off in a Street Fighter game. Dudley of SFIII has a similar face and expression as Evander Holyfield.
(left: Dudley sprite from SVC CFC; right: Evander Holyfield)
Ryu & Sagat and Mas Oyama/Yoshiji Soeno & Reiba
From 1UP's "This is not SFIV part 2"
Masutatsu Oyama, a legendary Karateka has a lot in common with Ryu although he was a Korean, while Ryu is Japanese. Both trained in the mountains, under icy waterfalls, have unknown parents and are fighting in a Karate style, although Ryu's (or Goutetsu's) style has never been given a name by Capcom (Capcom USA's "Shotokan" doesn't count). Check out the link above for more details.
From "The design of Ryu and Sagat"
Since I don't know anything about it I'll just post what is said ont the site, click on the link above to see the original page with the background story and mofe info.
(GF2 pointed this out at the Shoryuken.com Forum)
"Yoshiji Soeno, a Kyokushin Karate legend; & "Reiba", the "Dark Lord of Muaythai", as potrayed in the old Japanese martial art comics "Karate Baka Ichidai" (The Karate Idiot). After Mas Oyama, Soeno was the only other Karateka mad enough to launch a solo challenge on the strongest fighters in Thailand. Not surprisingly, the above real persons inspired the creation of the famous Street Fighter game characters Ryu & Sagat two decades later. Notice the striking resemblance of the comic and game potrayals. There is not a gaming youngster in this world who does not know these two characters, but hardly anybody would know the true story behind them"
Wow, that's amazing, they really look the same (gi, eye patch bald head etc.) and it's a Karate or at least Karate like style vs Muay Thai in SF, too. And in SFI the first Street Fighter game, Ryu was the main character (and the only selectable) while Sagat was the endboss (see screenshot below) and unbeaten champion "King Of Street Fighters".
(Main character Ryu vs Muay Thai boss Sagat in SFI; pic from the Red Cyclone site)
Do yourself a favor and read the complete text. The aerial tripple kick sounds a lot like the Tatsumakisenpuukiaku to me and there are more similarties.
The picture shows Ryu and Sagat in jail before their fight starts.
In SFIIV the fight of Ryu and Sagat and their two styles, Muay Thai and the Karate(like) style, were shown quite well, eventhough the story was a bit different.
Fei-Long and Bruce Lee
They look very similar (face and body), wear the same trousers and shoes and both use nunchakus. They are both actors for Kung Fu movies. Feilong's Kung Fu style looks a lot like Bruce Lee's "Jet Kune Do".
If you're a fan of the game Tekken you will know the two Laws who are Bruce Lee copies just like Fei-Long.
The difference between the Mike Tyson rip off and Fei-Long is, that Bruce Lee exists within the Street Fighter universe. Mike Tyson on the other hand is never mentioned.
(left: a photograph on Chun-Li's case, could be Fei-Long or Bruce Lee; right: a poster of Bruce)
Feilong's director and Steven Spielberg
In Feilong's Super Street Fighter II X/Super Street Fighter II Turbo ending you can see the director of his Kung Fu movies on the set.
(left: director from Feilong's SSFIIX ending; right: Steven Spielberg)
It is easy to see, that he is based on world famous director Steven Spielberg (glasses, blue hat, beard, clothing).
Eagle and the bodyguard/Freddie Mercury
Eagle the British bouncer looks a lot like the bodyguard in Bruce Lee's movie Jing wu men (Chinese Connection/Fist Of Fury in the US). Both security forces wear the same clothing and have a mustache. While fighting, the bodyguard gets hit and has a big scar on his forehead. Eagle has a vertical scar.
(thanks to PotS for this one)
Eagle first appeared in SFI. I'm not sure if he was always planned to be a Freddie Mercury copy (lead singer of the band "Queen") or if they realized that he looks like him and then decided to make him one.
Either way, now he is a Freddie Mercury copy and that includes him being gay (Mercury was bisexual). Capcom USA doesn't like that of course so they try to hide it but in the original Japanese versions of the games you can read his homo preference in his winning quotes.
Look at the pic, in SFI he had darker hair, now they made him blond for a SFZ1 drawing and his SFZ3 Upper and Capcom vs SNK 2 sprite.
I personaly think Final Fight's Haggar looks like a muscular version of FM sometimes.
Dee Jay and Billy Blanks
Dee Jay is a very special character.
1.He was created in the USA, all other SF characters were made in Japan.
2.He has nearly no official connection to any other character.
3.He's always grinning which makes him a happy, not very serious character.
4.The guy who invented him (James Goddard of Capcom USA) made him look like Billy Blanks. (http://www.billyblanks.com/)
If you're into Tae Bo you will know Billy Blanks.
He is famous for his often copied Tae Bo videos that help you staying fit and losing weight and he's a famous kick boxer (yes, Dee Jay is a kick boxer, too) and actor.
Dee Jay's braided mohawk also resembles Blank's role as Khan in The King of the Kickboxers
At Ryu's Temple you can see a picture of Blanks with the braids.
James Goddard also uses the name "DJames" on the SRK forum, so the name "Dee Jay" might be based on Goddard's name or on the character being a DJ, if he is one. It's not clear what instruments Dee Jay plays besides rattles and a keyboard but his stage performance (ending) reminds me a bit of MC Hammer.
Joe and Joe Lewis
Kickboxer Joe of Street Fighter I might be based on Kickboxing legend Joe Lewis who also trained with Bruce Lee.
Unfortunately Joe didn't appear in any other game, instead of him Capcom put Cody of Final Fight into SFZ3 with similar moves so we don't know much about him. But the kickboxing Joes look alike.
(image and info from Ryu's Temple, a French Street Fighter site)
Ken and Joe Lewis
Ken Masters might be influenced by Joe Lewis, too. Lewis is also a Karate legend and with the similar haircut and clothing he looks a lot like Ken who's fightingstyle at least somewhat resembles Karate.
(image and info from Ryu's Temple, a French Street Fighter site)
Abel and Fedor Vladimirovich Emelianenko
Both are grapplers and wear white handgloves and a blue gi with stripes. We don't know much about Abel from SFIV yet. His hairstyle is not very different though. Capcom might have made a mistake with Abel's nationality.
The flags have the same color but SFIV's Abel has a French flag while Fedor isn't French.
His nationality and his head butt might be based on French football/soccer player Zinedine Zidane who's spectacular head butt can be seen below.
(images and infos from Capcom Town, a Spanish blog)
Abel's upturned nose and front quiff could be an attempt to make him look like French speaking Belgian Tintin.
(Pointed out by Diggx)
Oro and Helio Gracie
While semi grappler Oro is most likely not Brazilian, his stage is. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu legend Helio Gracie, has a similar nose and wrinkles. More on Oro on page 5.
(Big Mex mentioned this on his 1UP.com blog series "This is not SFIV" part 3)
Adon and Naseem Hamed
Adon, who first appeared in Street Fighter 1 and got a redesign for his comeback in Street Fighter Zero, might be influenced by Featherweight Boxing Champion 'Prince' Naseem Hamed.
Both skinny fighters are known for their arrogance and have edgy faces.
(far left: Adon's Jaguar Kick; far right: Naseem with jaguar fur)
Just like Naseem sporting his jaguar fur pants, Adon seems to admire the jaguar, giving some of his moves names like "Jaguar Kick" as opposed to Sagat's "Tiger" moves.
Alex and Hulk Hogan
One of the most famous professional show wrestlers (if not the most famous) is Hulk Hogan.
Just like him wrestler Alex of Street Fighter III has blond hair, wears headbands and rips his shirt before the fight begins and his fight intro with Hugo is based on the famous fight Hulk Hogan vs Andre The Giant.
More on this and on other wrestlers on Rip Off Page 4 (Andore/Hugo).
(Alex rippin his shirt at the beginning of a fight, sprite from Zweifuss.com)
(thanks to SNK Zantetsu for the info)
Tom and Jean Reno
The internationally know actor Jean Reno (who appeared in the Capcom video game Onimusha 3 and in movies like Ronin, Leon, Mission Impossible, Rollerball, French Kiss and Godzilla) looks a lot like Tom, a very good friend of Alex from Street Fighter III. Tom only appeared in Alex' endings. You can see the pics above: The nose the hairstyle, the beard, the haircut. When I first saw him he reminded me a lot of Jean Reno and if they ever make a SFIII movie they just have to pick him as Tom.
Maybe Capcom threw in that easter egg as a tribute because he appeared in their game.
Don't know who drew the caricature.
Yun and Kien Lieu
Street Fighter III's Chinese Kung Fu twins Yun and Yang are based on two characters from Gundam Wing, as mentioned on page 2. Yun seems to also be based on Puma sneakers wearing skateboard legend Kien Lieu. While Yun rides skateboards, Yang prefers inline skates. Wether Yun was first based on Kien or on Duo is not obvious, all three have the same hairstyle and wear baseball caps.
(Big Mex mentioned this on his 1UP.com blog series "This is not SFIV" part 3)
C. Viper and The Dog/Angelina Jolie/hide
Little is known about Crimson Viper, Street Fighter IV's mysterious newcomer. She's the answer to Capcom of America's request for a sexy female character. And she has a few things in common with the very American Duane Lee Chapman aka "Dog –The Bounty Hunter" and his team.
Black leather clothing, gloves, hight tech sunglasses with microphone and a weirdo curl along with the typical Chapman braid. Just like the Dog she is tough when it comes to business but has a soft spot for her children. Is she a bounty hunter too? Who is she after and has she found Christ yet?
Because of her haircut Viper has also been compared to Elvis and manga character Josuke of JoJo's Bizarre Advemture (more JoJo rip inspirations on page 2).
With her sun glasses and full lips she looks a lot like superstar Angelina Jolie and considering team leader Ono's approach to the creation of SFIV characters (marketing research) she probably seemed to be the perfect model for Crimson Viper. Worth mentioning is that Viper, who's real name is Maya, and Angelina Jolie both have Native American blood.
(Thanks to Ark and Big Mex for this one)
Given how much C. Viper looks like hide, a Japanese rock star, the whole US research factor might be smaller than I first expected.
At least now we know where the hair color is from. He was the main guitarist in the huge Japanese rock band X JAPAN, and died in 1998.
(Thanks to ROCKET for this one)
Ace and Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson)
Ace is "only" a Street Fighter EX character by Arika, not by Capcom. He's not part of the official Street Fighter plot and has no real background story (or ending like all SFEX3 characters) but he's still worth to be mentioned here.
Ace looks a lot like Max Rockatansky from the movies Mad Max 1-3 played by Mel Gibson. His clothing is quite similar, especially the single shoulder pad on one side of his black leather suit (see right image). I couldn't find good images of either of em but here are some at least:
If you got better images of Ace send them to me please.
Especially if he looks like Max on the pics.
Here is a site, dedicated to Mad Max, that features different Mad Max references including Ace of Street Fighter EX 3: madmaxmovies.com/flubs/references/
Check that out if you need more info on the topic.
I only saw Mad Max 3 with Tina Turner so I can't tell you much about the storyline. All I know is that it is set in the future after some gigantic nuclear war or something.
Here you can see Tina Turner's video (Real Movie, you need Real Player) "We Don't Need Another Hero" from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to the movie Mad Max: Beyond The Thunderdome. Cool title huh? Beyond The Thunderdome. Wow. Anyway since I don't have a lot of images just watch it you're bored (or a Tina Turner fan) and check out Max' black suit with only one shoulder pad just like Ace of SFEX3 (you can see it alot better in the video than on the pic above). That's all I got. For more Tina Turner stuff (or if the direct link doesn't work) go to www.Tina-Turner.nl.
It's also possible that he's not based on Max directly, but on Kenshiro of Hokuto No Ken, who is based on Max. More about that on page 5.
Zangief and Victor Zangief
Could this real wrestler named Zangief have been a big influence on Capcom when creating SFII?
Sometimes the name is also written Zangiev. They're both Russian wrestlers that spin around like crazy.
(Got it from GetReadyToRumble.WordPress.com/)
Some might say they even have similar moves too, probably not as similar as in this video though.
(Got it from Capcom-Unity).
Darun Mister and Yusuf Ismail/Great Gama
One of the best wrestlling characters in a Capcom fighter is Darun of Arika's Street Fighter EX series. His beard looks like that of various Turkish wrestlers including Yusuf Ismail:
Darun, who happens to be Blair Dame's bodyguard, might also be based on Muslim wrestling legend Great Gama from India who's birthname was Ghulam Mohammed.
(Thanks to Big Mex of 1Up for this one)
The Indian heavyweight was a good counterpart to Russian muscle mountain Zangief. Once Gama fought against the world famous Polish wrestler Zbyszco:
"However, despite his problems finding suitable opponents, Gama did come across one world-famous competitor who was not unwilling to face off in a bout. That man was Stanislaus Zbyszco (pictured, standing on the left) and the two superstars wrestled to a controversial draw. Nearly twenty years later, Gama and Zbyszco had a rematch in India that drew the largest crowd ever for a wrestling event in that country. This time around, though, the veteran bulldozer Gama attacked the aging Zbyszco and secured the victory (by knockout) in an amazing 21 seconds before a rabid hometown audience."
RPG game Shadow Hearts II by Nautilus also features a wrestler named Great Gama:
(image from RPGGamer.com)
Rainbow Mika and Emma/Bubbles/Estrellita
Rainbow Mika first appeared in SFZ3.
She looks a lot like Emma Bunton aka "Baby Spice" from the Spice Girls with her hairstyle and her boobs.
Another very similar character, who existed before R. Mika was made, is Bubbles from the popular Cartoon Network show "The Powerpuff Girls". Colors and hairstyle are nearly the same.
There's actually a real female wrestler looking like cutelike her, with pigtails: Estrellita (Little Star) from Zamora who comes from a wrestling family.
Both have the heart thing going on also:
(Thanks to Big Mex for this one!)
Karin Kanzuki/her father and the Olsen girls/Heihachi
Karin Kanzuki of SFZ3 (originally from the non-canon SFZ2 based manga Sakura Ganbaru) has a lot in common with Nellie Olson and another girl from the later seasons of Little House on the Prarie. They have the same ringlet curls and are snotty/snobby. The series is very popular in Japan.
(Thanks to Stefan of CammyFan.com for this one!)
Her second name Kanzuki might be based on Masaomi Kanzaki, who did the Ryu VS mangas, known in the West simply as "Street Fighter II".
(Big Mex mentioned this on his 1UP.com blog series "This is not SFIV")
Her father looks a lot like Tekken's old badass Heihachi Mishima with the beard, clothing and angry eyebrows and the bald head with hair on the sides.
He only appears in the manga for a brief moment, not in any game.
Rip Off PAGE 2
If you have more well known people or characters that inspired Capcom send me a mail.