Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition is arriving next year, and just like with Extra Battle, there are plenty of exciting pieces hidden here and there for other aspects of the game if you browse through the Shadlaoo CRI.
This time around, we’re looking at various tidbits throughout the blog post that point to Sagat, the “Emperor of Muy Thai,” being added as a playable character in Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition.
As you might recall, one of the new modes being added to SF5: AE is Arcade Mode, where a player takes one of the characters and has them go through several stages where they fight other members of the cast before fighting a boss at the end. This is par the course for the Street Fighter series (though its unusual that Capcom didn’t include this in SF5’s base game), but the way the mode is implemented in this entry is very different.
Before, any character could wind up facing anyone as an opponent in Arcade mode, with only the mid boss or final boss being fixed. This time around, however, characters are split up based on the entry they were added in (or present in thereafter) and this has a direct impact on how many opponents they’ll actually face in Arcade Mode. As such, one can foresee the mode being designed so that characters introduced in Street Fighter 5, like Rashid, would not be playable or appear as a possible opponent in any other Arcade Mode segment except for SF5’s, while Ryu — who has been around since SF1 — would be playable and a possible opponent in every segment.
So, which characters pertain to which segment? We just have to categorize the current cast based on which title they were introduced in:
— SF1: Ryu, Ken, Birdie
— SF2: Akuma, Balrog, Cammy, Chun-Li, Dhalsim, Guile, Ken, M. Bison, Ryu, Vega, Zangief
— SF Alpha: Akuma, Balrog, Birdie, Cammy, Chun-Li, Dhalsim, Guile, Karin, Ken, M. Bison, Nash, R. Mika, Ryu, Vega, Zangief
— SF 3: Akuma, Alex, Chun-Li, Ibuki, Ken, Ryu, Urien
— SF 4: Akuma, Balrog, Cammy, Chun-Li, Dhalsim, Guile, Ibuki, Juri, Ken, M. Bison, Ryu, Vega, Zangief
— SF 5: Everyone
All of this is fine and dandy until you realize that the numbers for Street Fighter 1 don’t add up. Based on the picture above, there are four battles for that segment despite there only being three characters present in the roster — Ryu, Ken and Birdie — that could take part in it. As such, this would mean that we have at least one more character coming to Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition that was from the original SF. Assuming that’s the case, then there are only five realistic possibilities: Retsu, Gen, Eagle, Adon and Sagat. Each of these characters are notable for coming back as playable characters at one point or another (Retsu was supposed to be in Capcom Fighting Evolution but was scrapped).
However, Sagat is the clear fan-favorite among those five and he has been included in many entries since his debut as a non-playable boss. Because of these facts, his absence in the base roster of SF5 came as a shock to many and fans have been clamoring for his inclusion ever since. Of course, it would have been impossible for him to arrive as a character in Season 2, as Capcom confirmed early on that every character coming in that season would be newcomers (except for Akuma). But Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition is a completely different ballgame and rumors have long persisted that Sagat would be included later down the line. Now, these rumors are starting to look increasingly accurate, especially when you have pictures like the one below.
This is what appears to be Ryu’s ending (SF2 perhaps?) and while that alone doesn’t mean much for Sagat’s inclusion (many non-playable characters have appeared in character endings before), the fact Capcom deliberately chose this picture instead of any other is eye-opening. And when you consider his presence in the ending, the aforementioned rumors, as well as his legacy and importance to Ryu’s story, then its hard not to imagine Sagat making his grand return to the series.
Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition is Capcom’s chance to kick the 2018 season on a high note and there is no better character to start things off with than Sagat.