QUICK FIX: "MACHO" MIKE HAGGAR vs ZANGIEF
Final Fight: Bonus Story (UDON)
Where: Street Fighter II Turbo #6 When: May 2009
Why: Ken Siu-Chong How: Eric Vedder
Strength: Draw 4 (Enhanced)
Intelligence: Mike Haggar 3 (Straight A)
Speed: Draw 3 (Athlete)
Stamina: Draw 5 (Marathon)
Agility: Draw 2 (Average)
Fighting: Draw 5 (Martial Arts)
Energy: Draw 1 (None)
Math: Mike Haggar
Ranking: Zangief (#740)
If I remember correctly, I mentioned at the beginning of May's entries that I was planning to be a little bit more ambitious with the schedule. For Infinite Wars, that meant trying to incorporate more quick fix entries to expand content. As it happens, we weren't the only ones trying to be more ambitious, it would seem.
UDON unleashed the first glimpse of their Capcom licensing expansion in the form of a four page short story summing up the life and times of "Macho" Mike Haggar. The story acts as a disconnected prequel to what will almost inevitably be a new Final Fight series from the studio-cum-publisher. UDON are actually playing coy for the time being, teasing fans with artwork and appearances of characters in the Street Fighter II Turbo series, while petitioning for e-support.
Ostensibly this is the confirmation of another Capcom sourced series.
I have to confess to being distracted this month with a side-project.
Yes, I've been cheating on you with a younger, sexier subject, but it isn't entirely irrelevant to today's quick fix! Truth be told, sometimes the rewards for running a blog like this are few and far between. I love comics and keeping a reader like you informed and entertained, but for the second or third time, the gamers have embraced me enough to seduce me to maintain regular free-flowing updates on a blog at 1up.com (recently featured on the front-page "Popular Blogs" list).
If you look closely at the panel above, you'll notice a handful of colourful characters from the other games. If I'm not mistaken, squinting into the middle of the pack will reveal Dan Hibiki just below Zangief's boot, and possibly even the enigmatic Street Fighter III character, Q, shrouded in shadow on the right. More interesting, however, and pertinent to the posts I've been making on 1up, is the presence of characters from the early nineties Saturday Night Slam Masters games (known in Japan as Muscle Bomber)!
The burly bearded fellow on the left is Kimala the Bouncer (Jumbo Flapjack in the United States), the masked lucha libre giving thumbs up is El Stinger (Stingray in the United States), and with him, Aleksey Zalazof (Biff Slamkovich in the US).
These guys, along with Zangief and Haggar, have been part of an experiment I've been conducting on the 1up blog to try to stress test a theory that Saturday Night Slam Masters would be viable as a retro revival, complete with modern wrestling game mechanics like an indepth storyline driven career mode.
To test this theory, I've decided to take a shot at writing a year's worth of real-time results for Muscle Bomber's feature promotion, the Capcom Wrestling Association.
If you've read any previous Street Fighter entries on the Infinite Wars, or somehow remember me as a writer for prowrestling.com, then this fact probably won't come as a huge surprise. Even less so if you've hired a private investigator to dig up dirt on me, and know I dabbled in a little bit of online text-based fantasy wrestling. Ouch!
Should you find yourself curious about this combative experiment, then you can find all the mammoth "kayfabe" (in-character) write-ups at the following URLs:
- Undisputed Muscle Bomber Comeback!
- CWA: The International Blowout Preview
- CWA: The International Blowout
- CWA: Saturday Night Slam Masters (06/13)
- CWA: Saturday Night Slam Masters (06/20)
The results combine characters from various Capcom properties, including Street Fighters like R. Mika, Zangief, Alex, and El Fuerte; Final Fight characters like Sodom and Hugo Andore; and the ten SNSM originals and four characters added to the numerical Slam Masters sequel. Storylines and characterization bridge from what's established in the game canons to contrive prowrestling-style feuds, while inventing new details, and even borrowing a few ideas from the likes of UDON, ie; El Fuerte's fandom for R. Mika, as revealed in a previous Turbo back-up!
Mike Haggar also features in a non-wrestling role, building on the canon that will be elaborated upon should UDON go ahead with their expected Final Fight comic series. As the Turbo back-up story reveals, Haggar was a famous prowrestler (in the Saturday Night Slam Masters games), but first appeared on the streets of Metro City as a retired-fighter turned city Mayor, intent on cleaning up the crime ridden streets with his own brand of piledriving street fighting.
Final Fight was the side-scrolling beat 'em up released by Capcom in 1989 as a follow-up to the very first Street Fighter arcade game. In fact, some early artwork reveals their original intentions, billing the game as Street Fighter '89: The Final Fight!
Haggar appears alongside Cody Travers and Guy; two protagonists who found their way into the Street Fighter canon as playable characters in the Alpha series. They appeared opposite Final Fight villains, Sodom and Rolento, who also trainsitioned from their roll as Mad Gear Gang sub-bosses in the scrolling fighter, to be fully playable.
Though Haggar's history in wrestling was reflected in his distinctly burly moveset, it really wasn't until the first Slam Masters game in 1993 that this facet of his character was really elaborated on. Interesting, considering that would effectively render the wrestling fighter a prequel to his adventures in Final Fight, barring an unforseen dismissal from his celebrated position as Mayor of Metro City.
Though his "Macho" monikker suggests reference to wrestling great, Randy Savage; it would not be surprising if some influence came from eventual Governer of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura. While it would not be until 1998 that Ventura would reach his famous role a Governor, in 1990 he was elected as Mayor of Brooklyn Park, a position he remained in until 1995. Final Fight was released in arcades in Japan in 1989, but I can't be certain if plot details such as Haggar's role as Mayor were present then, or instated right around the time Ventura was as well, making them a topical reference to the time. Either way, there's curious symmetry.
As depicted in the panels featured earlier, UDON have Haggar stepping in to the ring with Russian rival, Zangief! While gamers never got the chance to have the dream battle, the tale pans out in favour of Haggar, seeing the fight finish with a 360 lariat that follows the finishing spinning piledriver!
Console gamers with Street Fighter IV got a taste of the action with the alternate costume downloadable content that garbs Zangief in the trademark belt/slacks get-up of the Macho Mayor. It was a fitting scenario, given their shared use of the two trademark moves depicted in UDON's short story battle, but has already started rumors about possible appearances of Haggar and other characters in a potential sequel or SFIV iteration.
Producer and driving force behind the Street Fighter revival, Yoshinori Ono, showed some reluctance in interviews about potentially including characters from other Capcom fighters in the the fourth numerical instalment. Second generation Street Fighters like Fei Long and Cammy White, along with prominent Alpha inclusions like Sakura and Rose, all made their way to console versions of the game despite dedication to SFII aesthetic. Given Capcom's propensity for churning out interative re-releases of their Street Fighter games, often boasting the addition of new characters, it seems of reasonable plausibility.
No word yet on when (or if) a Final Fight series will emerge, but back-up stories will continue to be featured in monthly issues of Street Fighter II Turbo. Characters from the Final Fight franchise will also be appearing in the Street Fighter story itself, as some already have. As has been a regular theme in more recent times, we would caution that UDON should carefully consider their choices when adding clearer detail to the Final Fight narrative, suggesting perhaps the consideration of a writer other than sole contributor, Ken Siu-Chong.
The Fight: 4 The Story: 4
Winner: "Macho" Mike Haggar
For more game talk and fantasy Saturday Night Slam Masters results, check out http://sixarmedsamurai.1up.com/, and the recent post recap to help catch you up! Be sure to leave a thumbs up!
Street Fighter II Turbo is currently appearing monthly via UDON comics, along with other Street Fighter and Capcom titles. You can follow (archival) information in the Infinite Wars Shipping Lists, or keep in touch via the UDON website! You'll find other issues of the Street Fighter comics in the Secret Archives, with complete links in the online store to collections featuring those issues reviewed. By using purchase links provided on the site, you help sponsor future entries on the Infinite Wars. Triumph or die!