The odds are interesting at the least
Arcade Mode was a late addition to Street Fighter 5 with the release of Arcade Edition in 2018, and it may now hold a piece to the puzzle in the game’s final mystery.
Taking a closer look at the various Arcade routes available in Champion Edition may help clue us in on the identity of SF5’s last DLC character.
As pointed out by Street Fighter theory crafter Steven Mane, the amount of characters in SF5’s different Arcade routes lines up a pattern that’s difficult to ignore.
There’s 10 characters to pick from in the original Street Fighter route, 14 in Street Fighter 2’s, Alpha has 23, SF3 has 11 and there’s also 23 for SF4.
So what’s the importance of that you may be asking yourself.
Well, only three of those title themes have odd numbers to their name right now, and soon that will shrink down to only one.
We already know that Oro and Akira Kazama will be the next fighters to join the roster, and we can quite easily place them among the Arcade routes too.
The tortoise loving hermit will assuredly end up in Street Fighter 3’s selection while Akira will almost certainly be placed in the Alpha series because of her ties to Sakura and Rival Schools’ placement in the timeline of the series.
That just leaves Street Fighter 4 as the literal odd one out, which implies the final SF5 roster member may be somehow connected to its predecessor.
Considering we’ve been operating under the assumption that the final DLC character is male due to them having three additional costumes instead of five like Rose and Akira, there’s about five guys from SF4 who currently aren’t playable in SF5 that didn’t first appear in previous titles first.
Abel, El Fuerte, Hakan, Oni and Rufus are all technically options in that case.
The problem with that is, however, none of those dudes seem important enough or hype enough to hide their identity away for an entire year or more at this point.
If it’s not one of the SF4 roster members, then who could it be that would make a real splash?
Mane’s conclusion on the matter is most interesting in that case pointing to Chun-Li’s father, Dorai.
Though his disappearance fueled Chun-Li’s motivation going back to Street Fighter 2, it wasn’t until SF4 that we got our first canon look at Dorai in a few brief seconds during Gen’s original Arcade Mode opening cinematic.
We’ve talked about the potential for Dorai in the past as well considering he’s a master of martial arts and has strong ties to several other cast members and the past of Street Fighter’s world.
With Street Fighter 5’s story seemingly setting up a time travel plot, bringing in or trying to save Dorai would certainly make sense, but what if he’s still around today and not the same man Chun-Li, Gen and Fei Long once knew.
He’s never been confirmed dead in the timeline, so there’s a chance at least he may have met a fate worse than death and is more a shell working under someone more dastardly.
That would get Season 5 a “villain” to add to its lineup as well as provide perhaps further motivation to save him in the past too.
Of course, a lot of this is being pulled simply from numbers in one of SF5’s side modes, so this is still far from a concrete deal right now.
I mean we’ve already seen that Capcom is willing to leave character select screens all uneven and funky. Just look at Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite for that.
Whether or not the Arcade Modes are connected, we should be learning more about the final fighter soon enough once the developers host their Summer Update event for SF5. Maybe they went ahead with C. Viper after all.