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"Now, the show's ready to begin!"
—Poison (Street Fighter X Tekken)
"Let's have some fun... (楽しめそうだねえ Tanoshime-sōda nee?)"
—Poison (Street Fighter IV series)
"Can't start the show without the star, right? (あたしが出なくちゃ……、始まらない、だろ? Atashi ga denakucha… Hajimaranai Daro??)"
—Poison (Street Fighter V series)

Poison (ポイズン Poizun?) is a video game character who debuted as a common enemy in the beat-em-up game Final Fight. She would later join the Street Fighter series in a non-playable capacity starting with Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact, eventually becoming playable in the cross-over game Street Fighter X Tekken and later joining the cast of Ultra Street Fighter IV. She also becomes playable in Street Fighter V. She is the friend and manager of Hugo and ex-member of the Mad Gear Gang.

Biography

Appearance

Poison has long pinkish-purple hair and wears a black peak cap with a chain-link design, a skimpy white midriff-revealing tank top, and a pair of skimpy denim "Daisy Dukes" cut-off shorts and high heels. She also has a chain around her waist, a studded black collar on her neck, and a pair of hand-cuffs hanging from the chain around her waist. Since Final Fight Revenge, she usually carries a riding crop that she uses as a weapon. This appearance later became as her "Nostalgia" costume in Street Fighter V.

There is also a palette-swap of Poison called Roxy. Roxy is identical to Poison, though she has reddish-orange hair instead of purple, and has lower health. Roxy was from the same orphanage that Poison grew up at, according to Capcom Classics Collection, which also mentions that she looks up to Poison.

In her concept art in Street Fighter V, Poison's outfit has minor changes, her skimpy tank top has been replaced with a bandage styled shirt which has covered in her top and has a single left long sleeve beneath it. She also has white elbowband on her left elbow. Her cut-off denim shorts are now black, which also shows her the lines of her red thong beneath her shirt and has a gold band on her right thigh and her red high heels are maintained.

In her full appearance in Street Fighter V, Poison finally cuts her long hair into a shoulder-length coif bob in a style of dishieveled spikes downward. Her primary appearance was updated as her peaked cap is now dark pink with a gray skull design at the center. She retains her skimpy white midriff-revealing tank top, and a pair of skimpy denim "Daisy Dukes" cut-off shorts from her primary outfit as her denim shorts now had pink rips at the edge and right black straps which is connected to her shorts and a black side belt that nearly resembles a black thong. She now has a single black long fingerless gloves on her right and a single black stocking on her left and her high heels are now dark pink. She now wields a long black whip instead of a riding crop.

Her story costume has her wearing a white sleeveless cocktail dress which shows a full amount of cleavage and was fastened with a black belt on her waist and black panties underneath it. The edge of her dress skirt reaches through her left knee and wears white high pumps. She retains her long hair from her previous appearance to show her fringes in each sides and was tied in a high ponytail and wears a pale gold heart-shaped sunglasses.

Her second alternate costume which is her battle costume is a gray and white stripped corporate dress which is similar to her story costume but with a single sleeve on the right.

Her summer costume is a skimpy version of the female police uniform that bears a minor resemblance to the police uniform worn by Kelly in the sequel of Square's Bust-A-Move.

Concept

Poison was named after the late '80s glam-metal band Poison, known for their effeminate dress sense and use of make up, by an unnamed female employee at Capcom. She was designed by Akira Yasuda to contrast against the bigger characters in the game and move about randomly.

Character Relationships

Hugo

Vs181214-004

Poison with Hugo in their tag team exclusive intro.

Poison and Hugo have both a personal and professional relationship. Hugo is usually treated as a "Monster Heel" (a bad guy in wrestling who is usually capable of defeating most opponents easily except the absolute top baby faces) and as most have managers who do the talking, Poison serves this role. Poison seems to be able to get Hugo to follow her every whim, as her story in Street Fighter X Tekken and Street Fighter IV would show.

Hugo seems to have a high amount of patience when it comes to dealing with Poison, as he never raises his voice to her when she is yelling at him. In their rival battle against Hwoarang and Steve from Tekken, while Poison is scolding Hugo for his lack of chivalry, Hugo simply tells her to stop being so mean. In their ending, Hugo is seen not getting angry because their efforts were for nothing while Poison was furious.

In Street Fighter V, it was revealed that both Poison and Hugo are not on good terms after they have a massive fall out between them which she finally explains to Lucia about it, but at the end of her character story, it is shown that Hugo was given another chance when he returns to see her again.

Cody

Even during the times when they were still enemies, Poison has a liking to Cody, and this feeling still persists. Cody flatly rejects her, especially when he and Jessica were still together. However, after being a convict and breaking up with Jessica, Cody still is standoffish against her until Street Fighter V. By this time, Cody, who has since reformed and became the new Mayor of Metro City acknowledges her for her own reformed reputation, and has also shown interest in joining her troop, preferably after his term ends. He still doesn't reciprocate her feelings however.

Story

Final Fight

During the kidnapping of Mayor Mike Haggar's daughter Jessica, Poison was a member of the Mad Gear Gang. Not much is known about her participation in the events, however, beyond the fact that she fought the heroes.

Ultra Street Fighter IV

After the collapse of Mad Gear, she becomes a wrestling manager. However, her charges are lackluster and the attendance at events is poor. When she realizes that her wrestlers are failing to interest the crowd and overhears people talking about how they would rather watch "the main event" (presumably referring to the S.I.N. tournament which has flyers around the place), she enters the ring herself and pummels two of her employees. She decides to go to the tournament to scout some new talent.

After the tournament, she meets up with her former comrade Hugo. She offers to manage him, and although he is reluctant at first, he eventually accepts.

In Poison's ending, she somehow manages to convince not just Hugo and Rolento, but also Cody and Guy, to form a KISS-style rock band with her, the "Mad Gears", with Ryu and Ken performing Hadoken pyrotechnics above the stage.

Street Fighter V

Poison is one of the few people that Rashid is in contact with.

As of August 1st, 2019; Poison was revealed through a leak alongside E. Honda and Lucia as a playable character in Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition

In her character story, Poison returns to New York after she and Hugo had a massive fall out between them. She reunites with Roxy and Abigail who now owns a scrap metal house, which leads Poison to test his strength. Despite Abigail's defeat, Poison scouts him to replace Hugo for the tour only to be scolded by Roxy for her selfish acts. Poison then apologizes after seeing Abigail's job as a owner. She then visits the city hall and spars with Cody who is now the mayor of Metro City. Cody tells her that he will hang out with her once his term as mayor is done until the arrival of Lucia who thought that Cody was attacked by a thug which he informs that it was just a "conversation" in the old days. As Cody leaves, Lucia noticed Poison was upset because of the massive fall out between her and Hugo as she explains to her about it. Poison sadly leaves after hearing Lucia's words about how she had talked to Cody is how she had talked to Hugo.

As soon as Hugo returns to see her again, Poison finally gives him another chance as her partner once again.

Street Fighter III series

Poison appears alongside Hugo in Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact and its sequel Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike as his manager. She embarks with Hugo to find him a tag-team partner, making several cameos during his match intro and win animations. The duo manage to find a temporary partner in Ryu, and later she and Hugo found the HWA, a wrestling stable which includes many World Warriors, however temporarily.

Other Appearances

Beyond the Final Fight series, Poison was planned to appear in the cancelled Capcom Fighting All-Stars; though not playable in the beta test of the game, promotional material released by Capcom for the title shows that she would have retained one of her moves from Final Fight Revenge, the Poison Kiss.

She was also slated to appear in Final Fight: Streetwise, but was cut from the final game, along with Sodom.

Street Fighter Alpha series

Poison makes a few cameos in Sodom's ending in the Street Fighter Alpha, and cameos in Guy's stage in Street Fighter Alpha 2.

Marvel vs. Capcom 3

Poison makes a cameo appearance in the Metro City stage of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and its update. She appears on the back of a trashed car in black attire, and also appearing near Hugo in the artwork of the stage.

Street Fighter X Tekken

In Street Fighter X Tekken, her tag team partner is Hugo. After Poison hears about the Pandora box, they go looking for it and try to become famous. On the way there, they encounter Steve Fox & Hwoarang. In Poison's and Hugo's arcade mode, Poison checks them out to see if they are tough enough, while Hugo backs her up. In Steve Fox's and Hwoarang's arcade mode, Poison and Hugo are arguing whether or not they want Chinese food and hot dogs. Steve and Hwoarang stop them from fighting each other, but then Poison and Hugo get angry at them for touching her breast (which was an accident). After they defeat them, and later Ogre, they finally find the box. It doesn't seem to work the way they thought, which causes them to argue and leave.

Gameplay and fighting style

Poison's fighting style utilizes a mix of acrobatic pro-wrestling moves and street fighting abilities. In the original Final Fight, Poison and Roxy both utilized standing and acrobatic flip kicks to attack the player. As one of the fighters in Final Fight Revenge, her moveset was expanded heavily, and she was armed with a whip. The whip is used primarily in her Cat Claw and Thunder Whip attacks, and can be used to steal a weapon from the opponent. Additionally, her handcuffs can be thrown as a horizontal projectile move to immobilize the opponent for a short time.

In the Street Fighter series, Poison's overall style revolves around a fierce projectile zoning game in a similar fashion to Guile's, while mixing it up with powerful overhead attacks. Poison can potentially create cross-up situations that can leave opponents reeling; however, her 'dependance' on overhead attacks put her directly in front of the opponent, allowing her overall strategy to be thwarted by grappling opponents such as Hugo and Zangief. Despite lacking in terms of defensive game, Poison's setups are solid, easy to execute, and she can be a tough opponent to counter. In Street Fighter V Poison wields a long black whip replacing her riding crop as a weapon. She also maintained her moves from Ultra Street Fighter IV and gained new special attacks which replaces her previous movements such as her Aeolus Edge. Her Whip of Love is now replaced by Avant Line which is a multi hitting whip attack. Her V-Skill is her Perfume Swing is a swinging strike that can travel one of two distances. It can be cancelled from some of her normal attacks and allows for a follow-up strike. It can also travel over most projectiles if spaced correctly. Her first V-Trigger is the Poison Cocktail where she hits her opponent with molotov cocktails as her projectile and her second V-Trigger is the Toxic Glamor where her Avant Line can deal multiple damage and as part of the combo. She also utilizes both Toxic Hold and Toxic Bind moves during activation of her V-Trigger.

In Street Fighter X Tekken and Ultra Street Fighter IV, Poison's techniques include the anti-air Kissed by a Goddess; the Aeolus Edge, a projectile designed for zoning; the Whip of Love, a multi-hitting move similar to the Rekkaken; and the Love Me Tender, an axe kick with a follow-up throw based on her attack from the original Final Fight.

Super/Ultra Combos

Some of Poison's more powerful moves are borrowed and redesigned from her appearance in Final Fight Revenge. Her Thunder Whip appears as a Super Combo, where she performs a series of Shoryureppa-style whip attacks. Her first Ultra Combo is the Love Storm, first appearing as her Super Art in Street Fighter X Tekken; she performs a powerful Aeolus Edge, and follows a successful hit with a Love Me Tender that brings her foe to their knees before she whips them repeatedly. Her second Ultra Combo is the Poison Kiss, another move from Final Fight Revenge; the move is a command grab in which Poison slaps the foe and then kicks them forcefully in the groin. In Street Fighter V, her Critical Art is the Love Hurricane which is an alternate version of Love Storm, Poison ensnares her opponent to the ground with her whip and whips them repeatedly until she lands a powerful kick to heavily knocks her opponent down.

Controversy

Sid and Roxy in Final Fight

Sprites of Roxy, Poison, Billy and Sid.

Poison and Roxy were originally planned to be cisgender females. However, because of an issue on the idea of making female characters take part in a beat em up game the developers went with the idea of making them transgender. when the game was ported onto the SNES in 1991, Poison and Roxy were replaced with two male thugs named Billy and Sid for the American release. It can be seen in concept art for Poison that she was referred to as "ニューハーフ" (roughly translated as "newhalf"), a largely derogatory Japanese term equivalent to "shemale". [4]

A later appearance by Poison as playable character in Final Fight Revenge, an American-produced 3D fighting game spinoff of Final Fight, portrayed the character in a highly feminine manner and had her romantically interested in Cody. Commentary about her ending in the game in All About Capcom suggested that the character might have gotten sex reassignment surgery. The Final Fight-related character profiles featured in the 2005 compilation Capcom Classics Collection acknowledges Poison's transgender characterization, although it confuses transgender people with transvestites, addressing Roxy as a female who dislikes Poison's crossdressing.

The discrepancy regarding Poison has been addressed more than once in interviews with former and current Capcom employees. Final Fight designer and Arika founder Akira Nishitani stated he supposed the character could be male, but added it was up to the viewer to decide. Street Fighter IV producer Yoshinori Ono, when asked in an interview about the matter, stated "Let's set the record straight: in North America, Poison is officially post-op transgender. 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. Since then, however, he has changed his mind twice, first declaring her a definite post-op in all regions for better ease of localization and consistency with past official statements, and then later deciding that it's best to leave it up to the fans after all.[citation needed]

On July 10, 2014, Akira Nishitani he later clarified in a discussion on Twitter that in his personal view Poison is a woman.

In early developments of Street Fighter X Tekken, footage was shown of Ryu and Chun-Li's win quotes to Poison (i.e. "Your looks really can be deceiving. I'll be careful not to fall into your trap" and "You're not very lady-like at all! I felt like I was fighting against a guy..." respectively). Other characters were later revealed to have quotes along the same lines, some even worse, including Kuma outright saying Poison smells like a man and doubting she's in any way a woman. Sometime after the footage was shown, a prominent LGBT rights group contacted Capcom about the dialogue, stating that it was highly offensive, ignorant and insensitive towards trans individuals. Capcom agreed to change the quotes, leaving only Yoshimitsu's remark about her being a "freshly-recruited kunoichi", Craig Marduk's more vague comment that he doesn't sweat the small stuff and only cares that she's attractive, and Poison's mirror match quote where she tries to recall a song, "The something-or-other in the mirror", referencing Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror."[citation needed]

Related Notes

  • In the UDON comics, Cody remarks that Poison 'is not much of a lady', to which Poison responds with fury.
  • In Ultra Street Fighter IV, Decapre's win quote against Poison is: "Numerous irregularities. Data acquisition suspended", which may refer to her gender.
  • Poison's peacock costume from the Wild Costume DLC pack may be another hint at the ambiguity of her gender, as only male peafowl tend to possess the vivid and colorful plumage.
  • In the Street Fighter X Tekken artbook, a footnote from Yasuda states that he'll always personally view Poison as being a female in Japan and only being transgender overseas, due to having originally conceived her as the former.
  • Assuming that Poison is trans, she would be the second LGBT character of the series, with the first being Eagle.
  • In Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, in the "Epilogue" of Poison's "Character Story", she says during a dialogue with Lucia: "There are some things we just can't control. You could be born to a rich family, or to a family living in a garage dump. Whether you're a man or a woman, you can't choose how you're born into this world.". This colud be an allusion to the fact that she was born with a gender not macthing with her inner being.
  • In Lair of the Four Kings when she is thrown to the screen in the left side of the stage, her gender appears as unknown.
  • One of Poison's win quotes in Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition seemingly alludes to the controversy and ambiguity surrounding her gender identity, with the character saying "Being gossiped about is proof of my popularity!"

Trivia

  • Poison is the only Street Fighter character in Street Fighter X Tekken to have not appeared as a playable character in previous Street Fighter games until her main series debut in Ultra Street Fighter IV.
  • Karen Strassman, Poison's current voice actress, also voices Helena Douglas in Dead or Alive 5 as well as Alexia Ashford in Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles. She also voices Kitana and Mileena in Mortal Kombat (2011), as well as Rosa from Final Fantasy IV. She and Poison's previous actress, Lani Minella, have also both been the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog character Rouge the Bat.
  • Poison's theme in the Street Fighter IV series has the Final Fight "Continue" theme inserted at the end.
  • A model figure was made for the 2008 Capcom Girls Collection line of figurines by Mitsumasa Yoshizawa, using her Final Fight attire and at 1/6th height, standing nearly 11 inches tall. A similar model was released by REFLECT later on, identical to the previous figurine, except with her giving a thumbs down gesture and darker colors.
  • Poison, C. Viper and Lucia are the only playable female characters originating from the United States.
  • Poison's main appearance and hairstyle in Street Fighter V bears a minor resemblance to the late Ashley Massaro in WWE where she competed in the ring on 2006 until her release in July 9, 2008.
  • Poison's win quote towards Alex is a reference to both Maria Kanellis and Mike Kanellis in WWE where she dominates her own husband for his lack of experience.
  • Poison as she appears in the regular artwork cover of Street Fighter Unlimited 6 might be a reference to her Unique Tag Introduction in Street Fighter X Tekken, where she is shown sitting on the massive shoulder of Hugo.
  • Poison's posture in her Ultra Street Fighter IV official character art looks similar to her upper body stance when she is performing her crouching light kick in Street Fighter X Tekken.

Stage theme

Videos

Quotes

Main article: Poison/Quotes

Gallery

Main article: Poison/Gallery

Sprites

Main article: Poison/Sprites

See also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 http://www.capcom.co.jp/sf4/poison.html
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Street Fighter: World Warrior Encyclopedia Hardcover
  3. 3.0 3.1 Capcom 30th Anniversary Character Encyclopedia
  4. http://fightingstreet.com/folders/artworkfolder/artworkpics/ff_art/ff1_art/ff1_concept_art/Final_Fight_1_Concept_Art_05.jpg
5. https://twitter.com/nin_arika/status/487230113902108672
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