Google+

The pathetic history of Dan Hibiki

Sure, it was on a handheld nobody owned, but for 2D fighting fans, the first official SNK-Capcom mashup represented a nerdgasm of inconceivable proportions. It didn’t matter that all the characters were squat and superdeformed, or that the Neo-Geo Pocket Color only had two buttons – this was a clash of titans. But it was perhaps most significant to Dan Hibiki, who, after years of throwing his lameness in SNK’s face, finally had to put up or shut up against the characters his very existence had been mocking.

Dan being Dan, he put up, and with his usual dopey charm to boot.

The stress of confrontation must have gotten to Dan a little, though; normally he’s a sweetly imbecilic fool, but this time around his win quotes were somewhat less than friendly.


Above: Really, Dan? Suddenly now you’re a badass?

On the upside, Dan got a few upgrades to his special moves for the fight, not the least of which was a slightly improved Gadouken.


Above: It’s… a little better, actually


  


SNK quickly followed up its landmark crossover fighter with Card Fighters Clash, a sort of take-off on Pokémon that had players collecting and battling with cards instead of monsters. Which kind of begs the question of why you wouldn’t just go around collecting cards and battling people in real life. Whatever the case, Dan doesn’t really appear as a character – he’s just art on a card. But check out that sweet business to the right – Dan at least makes a better card than he does a martial artist.


Still considered by many to be the high-water mark for 2D fighters, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 had – in addition to one of the most irritating character-select tunes ever recorded – a huge roster of characters. More importantly, that roster included Dan, who got to take another break from his more “serious” endeavors to leap 50 feet into the air and hurl autographed glossies at his enemies.

 


Above: This went right back to being terrible, though


Above: Hooray!

There wasn’t really any story this time around – MvC2 was just too huge, and the fighting between the three-hero teams was way too chaotic. Dan’s appearance, virtually unchanged from Marvel Super Heroes vs Street Fighter, was probably just thrown in as an added bonus for players hungry to unlock as many fighters as possible. But for Dan, this was the ultimate opportunity to throw down with (and more often be thrown down by) the greatest assortment of fighters he was ever likely to face.


SNK wasn’t done with Dan just yet, though – oh, not by a long shot. Initially absent from Millennium Fight 2000, Dan was shoehorned into the PSone version (simply titled Capcom vs SNK Pro) as not only a playable character, but the first one you see when the select screen loads up.

This version of Dan has gotten something of a makeover, looking a little older and craggier. He’s back to being just a little more serious, apparently having gotten the crazy out of his system in Marvel vs Capcom 2, and his usual grin has been replaced by a Kabuki-like scowl. Most shocking of all, his Gadouken is… well, you’d probably better see it for yourself.


Above: DAMN, SON

Playing as Dan in this version felt like a stiffer, humorless mockup of his earlier selves (the new, stern-looking portrait by SNK’s artists didn’t help), but then he was never really supposed to be included in the first place. And we sort of got the sense that he didn’t really want to be there, either, considering how curt his win quotes were.


Above: Even after winning the tournament, he seemed strangely unenthusiastic

Despite being unplayable in the “real” version of Millennium Fight, he was still part of the tournament, inevitably winning it alongside Fatal Fury’s also-unplayable Joe Higashi regardless of what you did. Of course, it was another in a long string of hollow victories – the only reason they won is because your team was sidetracked dealing with SNK villain Geese Howard, blah blah blah, but let the man have his moment.


Above: Now that’s more like it

By this point, Dan had faced down the characters he was supposed to parody three times, but as it turned out there was still a lot of fight left in both SNK and its silly little imitator.

26 comments

  • XNam360 - March 11, 2013 7:37 p.m.

    Dan = Steven Seagal
  • Nikku7 - October 14, 2012 3:16 p.m.

    Wow, I had forgotten how freakin great these old articles actually were. Totally worth a re-read any day. If you can hear me GR, MORE PICS WITH AWESOME CAPTIONS PLEASE! Also... Harun says, "Let's CARD BATTLE!" retsu ca-do batoru!
  • 2cute2Bcruel - February 9, 2011 11:46 p.m.

    This is one of the funniest articles that GamesRadar had ever done. The captions are great.
  • bidigamesradar - September 6, 2009 3:08 a.m.

    More secret hidden in Dan's sleeves.
  • BizarrePuppet - August 21, 2009 8:31 p.m.

    Ah Dan... The best and the brightest.
  • Mr.Epic64 - March 9, 2009 2:24 p.m.

    DAMN, SON. I laughed so hard at that.
  • deathrebellion - February 27, 2009 11:11 a.m.

    Popeye lolzzz
  • sadowolf - February 24, 2009 6:36 p.m.

    @ Johnny6Gun its dan in the orange gi. sagat killed go hibiki in the same battle where he was blinded, so it wouldnt make sense that hes wearing an eye patch in the picture. not to mention that its sf2 artwork, and the fight happened long before then. besides, go hibiki's gi has always been depicted as green =P
  • fergfighter - February 22, 2009 1:18 p.m.

    @skelt. DO NOT INSULT PINK POLO'S!!!
  • candyman - February 21, 2009 10:33 p.m.

    This is what GR is famous for.
  • Sonneilon - February 21, 2009 9:01 p.m.

    I REALLY enjoyed this article. I had no idea he had such a history. Sure, I just played thru some of the SF2 games, an Alpha here and there, SF vs X-Men... I remember first time I 'met' Dan, I thought he was Ryu/Ken knockoff. His fireball sucked! Reading all this. I'm not sure what GamesRadar is doing here. Great article but it feels like an ad to go buy and play ALL the games that were referenced!
  • Hunter2458 - February 21, 2009 5:39 p.m.

    You should touch on Dan's appearance in the animate Street Fighter movies, pretty funny seeing him try to fight Akuma and stuff. ReCaptcha Konta $140,000
  • Vagrant - February 21, 2009 2:55 a.m.

    Good article. Interesting and wif some funnies. (Sakura's bigger energy ball and the phone bill thing were classic) I'd like to comment more in-depth than that, but I don't know my beat 'em ups well enough.
  • drprofessor - February 21, 2009 2:08 a.m.

    Hey Dan is almost passable in SF4.......almost. His legendary taunt is the stuff of well legends.
  • skelt - February 21, 2009 12:24 a.m.

    what dan wears is the equivalent of wearing a pink polo in real life
  • PCG_Evan - February 20, 2009 11:27 p.m.

    The most comprehensive history of Dan I've ever seen. Do Sagat!
  • Johnny6Gun - February 20, 2009 11:20 p.m.

    The man in the orange gi is Dan's dad, who was killed by Sagat after he took his eye in combat.
  • VaneTrago - May 5, 2009 8:52 p.m.

    Ever since his first incarnation, Dan has and always will be my absolute favorite character in the SF universe. Most people laugh at him and brush him off, but I'll give you a reason to respect him. More and more I've been showing this online in SF4, and if you truly doubt Dan's abilities to destroy all comers by all means, add me. And don't shrug off his Gadoken, or you may perish by it. It's dangerous. P.S. While CVS2:MF has a substantially fleshed out roster at 46 characters, MVC2 has 56, making it still the king.
  • Clownsarescary - February 24, 2009 4:17 p.m.

    Wait, Dan's the token gay guy of street fighter, isn't he? A bit like Zangief's the token Russian bear wrestler? Capcom: they've got the demographics licked.
  • thochaos - February 23, 2009 6:25 a.m.

    Awesome. Dan is the greatest. Is his quote from Millennium Fight from Pink's song "There You Go" perhaps? The colour fits...

Showing 1-20 of 26 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000