Just a couple weeks ago, Capcom confirmed the addition of new characters to its upcoming Super Street Fighter IV. Included in the mix are Final Fight heroes Cody and Guy. It’s a shame that Mike Haggar couldn’t complete the Final Fight reunion, but I suppose we’ll have to make do with Zangief’s alternate costume.
What’s somewhat curious is the Capcom’s decision to continue using Cody’s “Alpha” costume, which portrays him as an escapee from a 1920s chain gang. Unless Cody’s just a huge fan of O’ Brother, Where Art Thou?, I can only assume that the current installment of the Street Fighter games is just as much about time travel as it is about punching with fire. This may also explain why Sakura hasn’t aged a day in the ten years that take place between Street Fighter Alpha 2 and Street Fighter IV.
Fortunately, the developers of Super Street Fighter IV have saved me a call to Doc Brown, giving explanation for their design choices in a recent interview. Mad props to SRK member Azrael for the translation, BTW.
The short answer for Cody’s prison garb in SSF4 is basically this: Kids today are probably too young to remember what arcades are, let alone the original Final Fight. The most recent version of Cody that gamers might be familiar with is the design used in Street Fighter Alpha 3, just a decade ago. You kids… You just don’t know the guilty pleasure of a good arcade beat-em-up.
The inclusion of Cody also meant revisiting one of the features that made his character unique in Alpha 3: The knife. Despite it being a painful hurdle for the games programmers, the dev’s believe that Cody’s ability to pick up and throw a casually discarded knife adds an additional layer to the gameplay. More than just chipping away at each other’s lifebar, his opponents can now take part in a “keep away” meta game, with the knife as a MacGuffin.
In a Cody mirror match, only one knife will be available. If both Cody’s reach for the knife at the same time, only one will receive it. The other better start making some distance. More than just a knife will be available… Other Final Fight melee classics will appear, such as pipes and wrenches. No word yet on finding meat in oil drums.