One of the things that has made Street Fighter such a legendary and enduring game series is its iconic characters. Players fondly remember the first time they hit an opponent with Ryu’s Shoryuken, sent a Sonic Boom with Guile, or crushed Chun-Li’s lightning strikes. Many of the series’ favorite characters return to Street Fighter 6, but with new designs that still convey the cast’s long-established personalities and skills. We sat down with Capcom to talk about giving old Street Fighters a new look.
Takayuki Nakayama is the Game Director of Street Fighter 6. He has worked at Capcom since 2012, beginning his Street Fighter journey with work on Ultra Street Fighter IV. “Since we are working on a new numbered series title, it was an opportunity to redesign all the characters,” he said. “We wanted to give all of the legacy characters striking new designs as a challenge and make them look very different from the old character designs we’ve seen before.”
Some characters, like Chun Li, were particularly difficult: “It took several years to land on his final design. Chun Li has long been one of the most notable key characters. And everyone’s ideal look for her is a little different. Because she’s such a beloved character, people really have strong feelings about how Chun Li should look in a modern Street Fighter game.
The RE engine makes each character model appear on screen. But take a closer look and you’ll notice that each of the 18 starter roster members has distinct muscle tones. This is the result of experimentation, including scanning 3D photos of people, by a small studio team dedicated to more accurately representing muscle definitions taking into account age, gender and fighting style. For example, a sumo wrestler like E. Honda will have completely different muscle definition than a professional wrestler like Zangief.
But the Street Fighter II-era fighter whose redesign caused quite a stir on social media was Cammy White, the blonde bombshell British brawler first introduced in Super Street Fighter II, and who is a favorite fans for decades.
When Cammy first took to the streets, she was dressed in a bright red beret and matching gloves, accenting a distinctive green leotard that showed off her legs – befitting a fighter capable of crushing opponents with her powerful thighs. This became her classic look, known as Delta Red, named after the elite special forces unit that Cammy was a part of in Street Fighter lore.
When X-Men vs. Street Fighter debuted in 1996, she wore a thicker long-sleeved baby blue jumpsuit and cap, but kept her big red gloves and, most importantly, her thick pointed bangs, long blonde ponytails and facial scar. This “Killer Bee” outfit depicts the period when she was under the thrall of supervillain M. Bison as one of his “dolls” – and, as later revealed, a female clone wearing most of her DNA.
A lot has changed in the world of Street Fighter 6. Shadaloo is no more, and Cammy’s quest for revenge against Bison seems to have reached its conclusion, but she’s still here to fight and do it with a new outfit. . Gone is the tight leotard, replaced by a shiny sky blue jacket and a cropped top that reveals the belly. Her legs are covered with training pants in stretch fabric: a smart choice for a sporty woman.
“Cammy thinks Shadaloo’s ending is a new step for her to chart her own path and live a more normal life. This new look is her civilian attire, while her old leotard is more of a combat outfit,” explains Nakayara-san. “When you first meet her in World Tour, she’s in London. We realized that seeing her in her classic outfit might seem weird in this context. So we tried to keep those kinds of things in mind when designing the new costumes.
The most striking change is Cammy’s hairstyle. Gone are the long braids that came with her other standard outfits, replaced with a new short and lively trim. She still has those chunky, spiky bangs, and they look surprisingly menacing as accents to her short haircut.
Nakayama-san described the thought process behind his drastic new “doing.” “We thought it would be an interesting challenge to give her a short hairstyle – she doesn’t have her classic braids, which seemed to be a defining point of her design. During the development of Street Fighter V, we had the opportunity to change it – we thought the fans might react negatively, but the idea seemed to be received positively, so we decided to go with it in Street Fighter 6. His hair may be short, but the straps on his jacket are meant to call back her classic braids – it’s our creative callback touch.
So how do you change something as grand as an iconic hairstyle and keep a recognizable character?
“The figure of the character is very important,” says Nakayama-san. “As you may know, Cammy is quite small compared to some of the other large scale characters in the game, so we wanted to keep that essence of the character.
The design team also kept some recognizable traits, like his gloves and boots, to stay true to previous designs and make gameplay easier. “It should be obvious when certain attacks hit the opponent. That’s why we kept his gloves. When an attack connects, it’s easy to tell what’s going on. The rings on his boots are like an indicator of the hit detection points, so that makes it visually more easily discernible when playing the game.”
But if you’re super into the old look, don’t despair: many long-lived characters have classic costumes available in-game, including Cammy. Check out a first look at the outfits below:
The team also took the opportunity to add many nifty little touches. “Whenever a character uses up their entire Drive Gauge, they enter Burnout Mode. And then, in this mode, their position changes slightly. For Cammy, her pose changes to one reminiscent of a developing sketch of her neutral pose. from Super Street Fighter II.
There’s also a lot more fan service. “If you see her gaining the pose after a match or in her character select screen, you’ll notice a little cat walking past her. This refers to the final artwork of her arcade mode ending in Super Street Fighter II Turbo.
Since Cammy changed her look, it makes sense that she changed her gameplay a bit. “Cammy is historically a difficult character to develop. It’s hard to give her new moves because she lacks supernatural powers. Giving Cammy some kind of projectile kills the essence of her character. One idea we toyed with was to ‘use the animated film Street Fighter II as a reference. While eagle-eyed gamers will notice a particular move that pays homage to its appearance in that film, the studio deliberately gave it a projectile attack that matched his past.
“We thought, ‘What if we gave her some grenades she could throw?’ But that’s not really Cammy’s style, and it would overlap with another SF series character, Rolento. Ultimately, we were able to make improvements to her existing moveset in Street Fighter V. We continued this with Street Fighter 6, having her “hold” her specials to apply different attributes to those moves. .
The love that went into the characters of Street Fighter 6 is evident not only from Nakahara’s words but also from what you see on screen. Expect to see all your old favorites and create your own legendary Street Fighter when Street Fighter 6 hits the scene on June 2, 2023.