Capcom’s New Street Fighter vs. Tekken Has A Slutty Post-Op Transexual Fighter

Austen Crowder at The Bilerico Project has chronicled LGBT issues in video games and paid special attention to “Poison”, a transexual character from the fight-’em-up side-scroller Final Fight. She stars in Capcom’s latest fighting game as well, Street Fighter vs. Tekken.

But here’s the thing… in Japan, Poison is a non-op transexual, but in America she is a post-op transexual. Wait… what?

Crowder explains:

Final Fight, much like Streets of Rage 3, was one among many side-scrolling brawlers made popular in the arcade. The concept is simple: walk from left to right, beating up all the gang members and baddies along the way. One of these baddies, “Poison,” was changed into a transsexual early in the development process. The reason, ironically, was American sensibilities: the character was originally intended to be female, but was changed to a male-to-female transsexual because “hitting women was considered rude” in America. Offensive and base? Yes, but such is history!

Even this wasn’t enough to save Poison. She was originally replaced with generic male flunkies in the US Super Nintendo port of the arcade game.

When Final Fight was ported to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, an American playtester working for Capcom reviewed the content during the localization process with one of the Japanese designers, and objected to the protagonist hitting females. Akira Yasuda pointed that the “female” enemies were actually transvestites, and despite his objections, Poison and Roxy were replaced with regular male punks named “Billy” and “Sid” in the English localization.

(Again, I unfortunately can’t make videogame history more palatable. Seems that the times said that hitting girls = not okay, unless they’re trans. Then it’s hilarious!)

In time, however, she became a part of the regular Capcom crew. Her operative status changed between Japan and the US. In Japan, Poison is non-op, while in America she is post-op. This was confirmed by Street Fighter IV’s producer Yoshinori Ono, who explained why Poison was not included in the new game:

Let’s set the record straight: In North America, Poison is officially a post-op transsexual. But in Japan, she simply tucks her business away to look female.” He later emphasized it again when asked about what female characters could be included in the game Street Fighter IV, stating that it would be too confusing to include her due to the region-specific gender.

Either way, we hope Poison is a lot more badass as a fighter than the above trailer leads us to believe.

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  • Sweetbrandigirl2004

    Why did they have to make her slutty ? That’s not the image that majority of HBS transsexuals would represent……..I think they should have let the character a non-op transgender person instead or removed the character all together IMO

  • Greg Garavani

    Poison looks more like Howard Stern than a “Slutty Post-Op Transexual Fighter”.

  • Alan K. Chan

    So how did Chun-Li get into Street Fighter? Is Chun-Li a transsexuals too?

  • Red Meat

    Who cares, I only use Cammy.

  • Tuck

    Finally! Poison! I’ve been waiting for a long time to kick ass with her.

    @Sweetbrandigirl2004: She just dresses slutty as far as I know. She’s apparently quite dedicated to that Hugo dude. Regardless, being slutty is not a bad thing in and of itself. Actually, considering the Street Fighter pantheon, she’s relatively tame but still fabulous.

  • N00b

    Before anyone gets offended and asks why she looks like this or that… It’s a Capcom fighting game. They’re not trying to actually represent each subset of the population with their characters or make a generalizing point, but they do take many of the stereotypes associated with them (and this is true for every single one of them; I think it started due to limitation in the hardware back in the day, so they really had to emphasize some features to make them recognizable). It’s not a political or social statement, it’s just pure fun, based on the creativity of the designers. The story itself doesn’t make sense and varies game by game, so please don’t read too much into the characters.

  • Gregor

    file under “not news”

  • Ian

    @Alan K. Chan: The Japanese were okay with Chun-li because she was Chinese. ;)

  • N00b

    @Alan K. Chan: Final Fight was released before Street Fighter 2, which is when Chun Li was introduced.

  • tapoh

    So far she looks like she’s got a good projectile and a decent hopping overhead working for her, gameplay wise. I want to see how her launchers and poking middle range game works out before I decide to make her part of my team.

    Of course, the vast majority of the readers of this post will think I’m just saying gibberish.

  • Ted C.

    It would be pretty brilliant if Cammy from Streetfighter turned out to be transsexual, since she was played by Kylie Minogue in the movie.

  • Red Meat

    @Ted C.: A lesbian is just fine.

  • Mykell

    What a stupid headline. Poison is a female character in a fighting game. OF COURSE SHE’S GOING TO BE SLUTTY!

  • Bluey

    @11 tapoh

    im the few that knows where you are going on bout it though. cheers to another fightin genre gamer :3 i wonder if she would have cross-ups + with the slow projectile it really feels more like a bait item for opponent to jump. anti-air normals for her? :\ hmmm

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