Cloned characters are a common occurrence in fighting games, often existing to add a bit of fan service into the mix while retaining the same move set as pre-existing fighters. While Kage, the latest Street Fighter V DLC, might appropriately look and fight similar to series mascot Ryu, Capcom has added in some variation to make him stand out on his own.
Kage (pronounced Kar-gay) takes the place of Evil Ryu, a character originally introduced in 1996’s Street Fighter Zero manga before becoming playable in Street Fighter Alpha 2 in the same year. Evil Ryu is the result of our hero giving in to Satsui no Hado, otherwise known in English as a “surge of murderous intent.” Fortunately, Ryu manages to purge himself of these temptations following the conclusion of Street Fighter V’s Arcade Mode, however this gave birth to a sentient personification of Satsui no Hado called Kage.
Sporting red skin, glowing red eyes, upward-facing fangs and horns protruding from his head, Kage lives up to his namesake of “shadow” in Japanese by acting as “the Embodiment of the Satsui.” Narratively speaking, “Kage lives to prove Ryu is nothing without him and seeks to challenge Akuma and Sagat, two of Ryu’s most notorious rivals,” explains Capcom.
Fortunately, Capcom has added a twist to Kage rather than making him play exactly like his heroic counterpart. Acting more as an evolution of Street Fighter IV’s Evil Ryu, Kage’s kick is less of a hurricane given that it only rotates once. Instead, his horizontal dash is given to his air Hadouken, while his ground Hadouken no longer creates fireballs. V-Trigger I is a teleportation move that can be used on the ground or in the air, while V-Trigger II breaks blocked sweeps.
Kage is set to kick off the fourth season of Street Fighter V, however Capcom seems to have some unannounced changes in the works for next year. In the meantime, the new character is set to cost £4.99 or 100,000 Fight Money, giving players plenty of time to grind with those divisive sponsorships for extra FM.
KitGuru Says: While I’m torn at Kage being a full-fledged purchasable DLC character, I do always enjoy a narrative reasoning for cloned characters. Do you think Kage adds enough to warrant his own DLC, or is he too similar to Ryu?