The pathetic history of Dan Hibiki

Cool as they were, the first two Capcom vs SNK (or SNK vs Capcom) games were really just a dry run for the awesomeness that was Millionaire Fighting 2001. The roster of fighters this time was huge, even bigger than that of Marvel vs Capcom 2, and the flashy team-based battles were a marked improvement over the comparatively clunky action in Millennium Fight. And of course Dan was there, rocking the same super-serious look he’d sported in 2000, except that this time he’d loosened up a little.

Above: No relation…?

His old taunt moves and goofy poses were back, as was his generally silly demeanor. Sadly, though, his Gadoukens were back down to controllable levels.

Above: Oh well

The only real flaw this time around was in Dan’s win quotes, which aside from the usual self-aggrandizing nonsense included gems like this:

Above: If you get this reference, congratulations! You’ve watched infomercials


Dan showed up once again for another Card Fighters Clash, this time released exclusively in Japan and with the Pokémon-style gameplay removed in favor of a more linear, text-adventurey approach. That aside, the card-battle gameplay remained more or less the same.And once again, Dan appeared as a slightly more awesome card than before.

Above: What

Like the aftershock of a massive explosion, SVC Chaos was a smaller, more story-focused and somewhat disappointing follow-up to the majesty of Capcom vs SNK 2. Created mostly by SNK, it was developed for the then-ancient Neo-Geo hardware, and it showed through in the jaggy graphics and flat, polygon-free backgrounds.

Still, it had Zero from Mega Man X as a playable character, which was pretty awesome. More importantly, it featured Dan, whose storyline mostly revolved around him being mistaken for SNK characters.

Not that he was above mistaking people’s identities himself, of course.

SVC Chaos was also notable for featuring one of the lamest, ugliest incarnations of the Gadouken, and after what we’ve seen in the last three pages, that’s saying a hell of a lot.

But at least his sense of humor was intact this time around.

Finally, we’ve arrived at Dan’s latest and coolest incarnation. Unlocked on consoles by defeating the single-player game as Sakura (who in turn has to be unlocked by beating the game as Ryu), Dan’s 2009 appearance is his most over-the-top ridiculous yet. No longer comfortable with perennial-loser status, the new Dan is an insanely overconfident goon who’s more fun to play as than ever. He taunts, he grins like the Joker and he goes down more entertainingly than any of his cartoonishly redesigned opponents.

And his Gadoukens, while still sucky, now at least look like the kind of fireball you’d bring home to meet your mother.

Some of his classic moves haven’t translated quite as well to 3D, however…

Above: Ew?

Of course, all of the fighters in Street Fighter IV are at their most awesome when they’re busting out their cinematic new Ultra Combos, and Dan is no exception.

Above: Ha ha, he made Sagat look like Popeye

Above: Finish with a smile, just like the pros

Another first are Dan’s anime-style cutscenes, which – while generally lame where other fighters are concerned – are pretty entertaining. They also do their best to explain away why Dan was absent during Street Fighter II: he hadn’t paid his phone bill, and so nobody could tell him there was a tournament going on. Unfazed by missing out, Dan doesn’t hesitate to seize another opportunity to spread the Saikyo style across the globe.

Whatever his reasons, it’s good to see that Capcom’s as dedicated to keeping him a part of Street Fighter as his fans are. Honestly, we hope the joke never ends.

Above: Image from UDON Entertainment's Art of Capcom

Feb 20, 2009

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