However, I've never really explored the African-American experience in my favorite video game genre. So today's post will discuss African-American characters in fighting games. I'll list them in no particular order. Some will not appear on this list for several reasons. I might not have heard of them. I might not have ever played with them. Or the character in question might be black, but not African American, like Elena and Dudley from Street Fighter III, and Christie and Eddy from the Tekken series.
Like films, there are a few stereotypes, mostly revolving around the "black muscle" who acts as a sidekick to the hero or a henchmen to the villain. The primary fighting styles of most black characters in fighting games are Boxing and Muay Thai. I'm not sure why that is.
To date, no major fighting game has ever used an African-American character as either the main protagonist or primary antagonist.
SNK). However, a closer look reveals a more professional and more polished character. His fighting style isn't about overwhelming you with slow, powerful attacks. Seth uses range, counter attacks, and patience to methodically wear down his opponents, something that's very rare in African-American characters because it shows a sense of intellect. This is to be appreciated, especially since The King of Fighters is my favorite fighting game franchise. I wish there was more story to him, but that's a problem that most fighting games have.
Vanessa Lewis – From Virtua Fighter. Not much here. Like Bruce Irvin, her family is killed when she was young, she becomes a bodyguard as an adult, and she uses a realistic form of Muay Thai as a fighting style.
Jacqui Briggs – From Mortal Kombat X. Daughter of Jax Briggs. I'd like to see her grow outside of her debut before I create an analysis of her. So far, it seems she's doomed to play the sidekick role to Cassie Cage.
Raven – From Tekken. I'm not sure if he's African-American. A Tekken bio credits his birthplace as Canada. A digital magazine called VentureBeat is quoted as saying Raven might be the only African-American ninja in fighting game history. I'm not sure about any of it. Either way, he doesn't have much of a story to tell. I will update accordingly, should the need arise.
Black Orchid – From Killer Instinct. I'm not sure if she's African-American. If so, I will update accordingly.
*Note: Bruce Irvin holds a world record for surviving plane crashes in fighting games.