Why do some characters in Street Fighter have different names?

Boxer balrog or m.bison who is who

Super Street Fighter 2X, also known as Super Street Fighter II Turbo, is one of the most popular fighting games of all time. The game features a cast of memorable characters, each with their unique fighting styles and personalities. However, did you know that the names of some of these characters differ depending on the region where the game was released?

I wanted the first entry in the blog to be the answer to this question. This is because whenever someone does a streaming or tournament and people who have seen Street Fighter before but have never played 2X watch it, the first thing they notice is that the character names are wrong. This actually causes a lot of confusion.

Lost in Translation: A Look at Super Street Fighter 2X Character Name Differences by Region

It all begins in Japan, at the offices of Capcom where the game originates. There are three characters, well four (including the secret character we will talk about later). It all starts with one of the game’s final bosses, M. Bison, whose fighting style is boxing.

Capcom was concerned that the character M. Bison’s name, who is a boxer in the game, was too similar to real-life boxer Mike Tyson and could lead to legal issues in America. To avoid this, they decided to swap the names of the boss characters. Instead of renaming the boxer, they gave him the name Balrog, which was the original name of the character now known as Vega, a Spanish assassin and bullfighter. Meanwhile, they renamed the boss of Shadaloo to M. Bison, who was originally Vega.

To avoid confusion, the SSF2X community uses the nicknames Dictator, Claw, and Boxer for the characters previously known as M. Bison, Vega, and Balrog respectively. To make it easier to understand, I’ve included an image that should help clarify the situation

Who is Claw?

The 2X community has been growing, and in non-English speaking countries, the name “Claw” is sometimes translated. For example, in the French community, the French word for Claw, “Grieff,” is used. One member of the Spanish/French community, Marcade, proposed doing the same for the Spanish community and calling the character “Garra,” and in Catalan “Urpa”. On the other hand(the hand without the claw… sorry), the Mexican community did not translate the word but instead modified it to “Claudia.” Claudia is a female name that is pronounced the same as Claw’s first part of the name in spanish.

If you know of any other names that the character is called, leave them in the comments below.

Here you have a video where you can see the different pronunciations of Claw:

The secret character: Gouki/Akuma

As I mentioned before, there is a fourth character that also has a name change, and that is the secret character Gouki, introduced in the fifth version of the game as known as Super Turbo. But wait, you already know that the game was sold outside of Japan, so why did they change this character’s name at this point? Well, the theory is that the name didn’t sound powerful enough for a “demon,” so they named him Akuma. This character is playable through a secret code to unlock him and is the strongest in the game because he is broken, but our friend Gouki deserves a whole post( next time ).

Some people say they change the name because of the meaning, but both names have similar meaning:

Gouki = Great Demon

Akuma = Devil/Evil Demon

From Vega to Balrog: Understanding Super Turbo Character Name Changes

In conclusion, while the character names in Super Street Fighter 2X may vary depending on the region, the nicknames used by the international community provide a universal understanding of the game’s characters. Dictator, Claw, and Boxer have become synonymous with M. Bison, Vega, and Balrog, respectively, and are now widely recognized by fans of the game.

If you’re a fan of Super Turbo or just curious about the game’s history, understanding the different names of the characters is essential. Whether you’re playing in the United States, Japan, or anywhere else in the world, knowing the nicknames will help you navigate the game’s colorful cast of characters with ease.

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