Street Fighter: 15 Things You Never Knew About M. Bison
The kids who played Street Fighter II: The World Warrior for the first time were in for a big surprise when they defeated all of the other playable characters. Once the seventh character was knocked down, a series of epic boss battles began!
These took place with four new characters who could not be selected by the player. The first was Balrog the boxer, who is generally considered to be the easiest of the bosses to defeat. You then had to battle the vain matador known as Vega. Once Vega was defeated, you traveled to Thailand to battle Sagat, the giant Muay Thai champion. Finally, you faced off against M. Bison, who was a mysterious man in a military uniform. Unlike the other enemies in the game, Bison used powerful psychic abilities to overpower his foes.
M. Bison is considered to be the chief antagonist of the Street Fighter series. His schemes have affected the lives of many characters in the franchise. More than a few Street Fighter warriors have entered the tournament for no other reason that to get a shot at M. Bison.
We are here today to look into the mysterious life of the shadowy dictator of the Street Fighter universe.
Here are 15 Things You Didn’t Know About M. Bison From Street Fighter!
15. THE ORIGIN OF THE DICTATOR
The bosses of Street Fighter II were all based on different things. Balrog is based on Mike Tyson, who was considered to be one of the most dangerous fighters in the world. Vega was originally meant to be an updated version of Geki, a claw-wielding ninja from the original Street Fighter. Sagat is believed to be based on a real life Muay Thai legend, named Sagat Petchyindee.
M. Bison is based upon Yasunori Katō, the protagonist of a famous series of novels, which are referred to as Teito Monogatari. The series would go on to sell millions of copies in Japan and spawn numerous adaptations. Katō is believed to be a demon given human form, who has been trying to destroy Japan through numerous supernatural schemes for centuries. His most iconic outfit is a military uniform that he wore when he joined the Imperial Japanese Army.
Yasunori Katō is considered to be an important figure in Japanese literature. He also inspired the designs for General Washizaki from Riki-Oh and Shiliew of the Rain from One Piece.
14. THE NAME GAME
Mike Tyson has managed to have a large effect on the world of video games, despite having almost nothing to do with them in real life. His digital avatar destroyed the hopes and dreams of children across America in Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! for the NES. Without even realising it, Tyson managed to make things really awkward for the Street Fighter II community.
In the Japanese version of Street Fighter II, the boxer character who we know as Balrog is actually called M. Bison. This was intended to be a reference to Mike Tyson. The dictator character we know as M. Bison is called Vega in Japan, with the Spanish matador’s name being Balrog. These names were all switched around in the international editions of the game, due to fears of a lawsuit from Mike Tyson’s representatives when the game was released in America. This led to M. Bison being called Balrog, Balrog having his named changed to Vega and for Vega to become M. Bison. When the three characters are discussed in the fan community, they are often referred to as Boxer, Claw and Dictator, so as not to cause confusion when posting tournament results.
13. THE CAMMY CLONE
Street Fighter II is in the running for being the most ported and re-released game of all time. This was even true back in the days of the 16-bit era, as Street Fighter II had several updated ports. You had the Champion edition, which made the four bosses playable. There was the Turbo edition, which made the game faster. Then there was The New Challengers, which added four new characters. In the arcades, there was Super Street Fighter II Turbo, which added Super Combos & Akuma. There have also been HD versions of the game in the modern era. This doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon, as Ultra Street Fighter II is being released for the Nintendo Switch.
One of the characters introduced in The New Challengers was Cammy. She was a British fighter who dressed in military garb. Throughout her story in the games, Cammy learns the truth about her life. In Street Fighter Alpha 3, it is revealed that Cammy is a female clone of M. Bison. He used her as a personal assassin and even imparted a piece of his Psycho Power into her. M. Bison planned on using Cammy as a spare body that he could possess, should his original be destroyed.
12. THE YES MEME
The fighting game genre was at the peak of its popularity in the ’90s. As such, series like Street Fighterand Mortal Kombat would receive numerous adaptations into various forms of media. They would both get comic books, t-shirts, toys and even live action movies based on them. Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat were so popular that people were willing to overlook the more violent aspects of the series, in order to merchandise them to kids.
Street Fighter II would receive an animated series in 1995. The cartoon was called Street Fighter, and it focused on Guile. He was the leader of a team of martial artists, known as the Street Fighters. They would do battle against M. Bison and the members of Shadaloo.
The most well-remembered scene from Street Fighter is a clip of M. Bison watching Guile getting beaten up by a monster. He claims that Guile’s beating is “delicious” and shouts “YES, YES” in an exaggerated way. This would go on to become a popular Internet meme. If any new Street Fighter information is put up on social media, or someone posts a Street Fighter cosplay picture, then expect to see this clip posted a thousand times in the comments section.
11. THE MYSTERY OF M
As previously mentioned, the name M. Bison being attributed to the Dictator character is an invention of the international versions of the game. He is still referred to as Vega in the Japanese versions of the Street Fighter games.
In all of the different versions of Street Fighter media that have been released in the West, none of them has revealed what the M in M. Bison stands for. In the Japanese version of the game, it is believed to stand for “Mike” (as it refers to the character of Balrog, who is based on Mike Tyson). There have been instances in some Street Fighter adaptations, where the M is supposed to stand for “Master”. This is not considered to be a canon explanation for the M.
The people at Capcom have decided to keep the true meaning of the M a mystery for now.
10. A DOLL’S HOUSE
M. Bison is the founder and leader of the Shadaloo organization. The purpose and goals of Shadaloo tend to change from game to game, but they usually involve the creation of biochemical weapons.
Even though M. Bison possesses a range of psychic powers and is more than capable of defending himself, he felt the need to create his own personal elite guard. Bison accomplished this by kidnapping young girls, brainwashing them to be totally subservient to him and giving them the nickname “The Dolls“.
There have been several members of The Dolls who have been playable in the Street Fighter games. Cammy was the first, though she was technically created from scratch, rather than kidnapped. Juni and Juli both made their first appearance in Street Fighter Alpha 3. There was another clone of M. Bison who was inducted into The Dolls, known as Decapre. She was made playable in Ultra Street Fighter IV. These characters have a tendency to break free from Bison’s control, depending on the various endings of the games.
9. THE DEATH OF M. BISON
Street Fighter II is a violent game, but it managed to keep the depictions of the violence at a PG level. It took the series’ competitor, Mortal Kombat, to add blood and dismemberment to the fighting game genre. This level of violence directly led to the creation of the ESRB organization, which gives age ratings to games.
The Street Fighter games have managed to maintain a low level of graphic violence in the series. Characters who have been stated to have died in the backstory of the games have a tendency to show up alive (like Charlie Nash).
In terms of death and resurrection, no one has pulled off more of them in Street Fighter than M. Bison. He was killed when his base was blown up with him still inside (while fighting Charlie). Due to his Psycho Power, Bison is able to survive after death and move into a fresh body (which are created by Shadaloo scientists). Cammy’s original purpose was to be a body that Bison could use, which is why he left a piece of his Psycho Power within her. During the Street Fighter II era, Bison was killed again, this time by Akuma. In Street Fighter V, Bison is destroyed by Ryu, though the chances of this death sticking are low.
8. TRUE M. BISON
When the 32-bit era of gaming came around, the old 2D fighting games fell into obscurity. This was partly due to a series of bad 3D versions of classic franchises. While new series like Tekken were achieving commercial and critical success, the old games were struggling to stay relevant.
The Street Fighter EX games were an early attempt at bringing the series into the 3D era.
In Street Fighter EX 3, there was a secret final boss who could only be fought once you achieved a high enough score. His name was Shin-Bison (also known as True Bison), and he was so strong that he wasn’t made playable (without the use of cheat devices). Shin-Bison is much faster and stronger than his regular counterpart, with a unique move set that gives him new Meteor Combo.
7. THE M. BISON ROBOT!
It took Capcom a long time to leave the relative safety of the Street Fighter II era. After numerous ports, updates and rereleases, they decided that the next Street Fighter games should be prequels. The Street Fighter Alpha series is set between the original Street Fighter and its sequel. We wouldn’t see a true sequel to Street Fighter II until 1997 when Street Fighter III: New Generation was released in the arcades.
M. Bison’s ending in Street Fighter Alpha 3 makes an unusual revelation about the Shadaloo organization. After defeating Ryu in combat, M. Bison places his body within the lying statue of Buddha.
You may recognize this as the statue from the background of Sagat’s stage (which is based on a real-life location, known as the Ayutthaya Ruins). With Ryu’s body in place, the statue is revealed to be a giant robot!
M. Bison uses this colossal Buddha Robot to nuke a city. As Ryu is acting as a power source, M. Bison can now take over the world!
6. THE MIS-TRANSLATION
The original version of Street Fighter II that appeared in the arcades was home to several mis-translations and mistakes that would go on to become famous. You had things like Guile telling Chun Li to “Go home and be a family man”.
The most well-known of these is Ryu telling his enemies that “You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance” in his victory quote.
This led to Electronic Gaming Monthly publishing a fake method of unlocking a new boss character, named Sheng Long. This urban legend would eventually lead to the creation of Akuma and Gouken in later games.
Ryu wasn’t the only person who was talking nonsense in Street Fighter II. If you are defeated by M. Bison, then he will tell you to “Get lose, you can’t compare with my powers”. This was changed in the later versions of the game. The Sheng Long statement was also corrected, with Ryu now telling opponents that they must defeat his dragon punch if they want to win.
5. THE COBRA CROSSOVER
The Street Fighter series has crossed over with numerous franchises over the years. We have seen Street Fighter characters in Marvel vs. Capcom, Tekken, Mega Man and Smash Bros. Street Fighter contains some of the most iconic characters in all of gaming, so it should come as no surprise that they have appeared in the works of other companies (including their competition). Street Fighter characters even appeared in the movie Wreck-It Ralph.
In 2016, IDW Publishing released a six-part comic series that crossed over the worlds of Street Fighterand G.I. Joe. In this story, Destro and M. Bison form an alliance between Cobra and Shadaloo. They create a new martial arts tournament, which is entered by characters from both franchises. The series devolves into fanfiction style dream matches between various Street Fighter and G.I. Joe characters. With that being said, it never takes itself too seriously. If you are a fan of both series or are just looking for some light-hearted action, then you will probably enjoy Street Fighter x G.I. Joe.
4. THE CRIMSON CRUISER
With its colorful cast of unique and interesting characters, it was only a matter of time before Street Fighter II action figures were made. In 1993, Hasbro created a line of Street Fighter II toys. These were reworked versions of their G.I. Joe action figures and were technically classed as being part of the G.I. Joe universe (this was long before the two would cross over in a comic). Hasbro would also make toys for the Street Fighter live action movie.
The commercials for the Hasbro Street Fighter II toys can be seen on YouTube. Not only did Hasbro make figures of the Street Fighter II characters, they also made vehicles for them. M. Bison received his own awesome all-terrain machine, known as the Crimson Cruiser. It came with the ability to fire missiles, which would have been useful for M. Bison to have in the video games.
3. THE MEGAMAN/SONIC CROSSOVER
In 2010, Archie Comics began a Mega Man comic book series that ran for five years. As Archie Comics also had the rights to create comics based on Sonic the Hedgehog, the two series crossed over. In 2013, a storyline called “Worlds Collide” began. It was spaced out between different issues of the Mega Man and Sonic comics.
During the final third of “Worlds Collide”, other video game franchises crossed over with Mega Man and Sonic. The Mega Man villain known as Sigma wants to take over the multiverse. He sends his Reploid minions into the worlds of Alex Kidd, Skies of Arcadia and Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins in order to set up deadly Unity Engines, which were needed as part of his villainous plan.
Sigma sends his minions into the world of Street Fighter. The Reploid known as Blizzard Buffalo is dispatched to Thailand to build a Unity Engine. Unfortunately for him, he runs into M. Bison, who quickly dispatches the robot. Many of the Street Fighter characters would team up with the other video game heroes in order to stop Sigma from taking over the universe.
2. THE IRISH M. BISON
The 1994 Street Fighter movie has gone on to become a cult classic. The movie is so bad that it is good.
In 2009, a new Street Fighter movie was made that focused on Chun Li.
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li manages to be even less faithful to the source material than its predecessor.
In The Legend of Chun-Li, M. Bison is an Irishman who spends most of the movie wearing suits. He has no supernatural powers and his ultimate defeats involved a stick of bamboo and a bag of sand. It’s almost as if the makers of this film went out of their way to make this version of M. Bison as different from the original video game character as possible.
1. THE BEST M. BISON
It is easy to tell when an actor is having fun with a role. Nowhere was this more apparent than with Raúl Juliá’s role as M. Bison in Street Fighter.
Raúl Juliá was a famous Puerto Rican actor, who is probably best known for the role of Gomez in the Addams Family movies. He was eager to play the role of M. Bison, as his children were huge fans of the games. Not long before filming was due to begin, Raúl Juliá underwent surgery that is believed to be linked to stomach cancer. Despite knowing that Street Fighter may have been his last ever role, Raúl Juliá gave his all to the performance of M. Bison. When Street Fighter was released, the critics couldn’t wait to savage the movie. The one exception to this was Raúl Juliá’s performance, which was almost universally agreed to be the best part of the film.
Raúl Juliá passed away in October of 1994, two months before Street Fighter was released.
As Street Fighter made its transition into cult status, many of M. Bison’s famous lines became popular among the Street Fighter fanbase. M. Bison’s victory quotes and taunts have referenced Raúl Juliá’s version of the character on several occasions.
While Capcom might be more than willing to let the existence of the Street Fighter movie slip from their memory, there is no way for anyone to deny or forget Raúl Juliá’s amazing contribution to the series.
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