Guile (Street Fighter)

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Guile
Street Fighter character
Super Guile.jpg
Guile in Super Street Fighter II by Bengus
First game Street Fighter II
Voiced by (English) Kirk Thornton (Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, Street Fighter II V, Animaze dub)
Rob Mungle (Street Fighter II V, ADV dub)
Michael Donovan (TV series)
Travis Willingham (Street Fighter IV, Street Fighter X Tekken)
Voiced by (Japanese) Tesshō Genda (Street Fighter EX series, Street Fighter II V)
Toshihide Tsuchiya (Street Fighter Alpha 3, Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes)
Unshō Ishizuka (Capcom vs. SNK series, Capcom Fighting Jam)
Takenosuke Nishikawa (SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos)
Hiroki Yasumoto (Street Fighter IV, Street Fighter X Tekken)
Masane Tsukayama (Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie)
Hideyuki Tanaka (Japanese television dub of the Street Fighter film)
Hōchū Ōtsuka (Japanese video and DVD dub of the Street Fighter film)
Norio Wakamoto (Street Fighter II: Mad Revenger)
Portrayed by Jean-Claude Van Damme (Street Fighter film)
Fictional profile
Birthplace United States
Nationality American
Fighting style SF IV: Military trained martial arts, Kickboxing infused with pro wrestling techniques (マーシャルアーツにプロレス技をブレンド Māsharu Ātsu ni Puroresu waza o burendo?)[1]
Occupation United States Air Force

Guile (ガイル Gairu?) is a character in Capcom's Street Fighter series of fighting games. He debuted as one of the original eight characters in 1991's Street Fighter II and appeared in the game's subsequent updates. In the games he is portrayed as a major in the United States Air Force who is seeking to avenge the death of his Air Force buddy Charlie at the hands of the villainous dictator M. Bison.

One of the most popular characters in the series, Guile has appeared in other Street Fighter games, including Street Fighter Alpha 3 (where he is a playable character alongside Charlie) and Street Fighter IV. He is also a playable character in various spin-off titles, such as the Street Fighter EX, Marvel vs. Capcom and SNK vs. Capcom series. In addition, Guile has appeared in other Street Fighter media. He is one of the main characters in the 1994 live action Street Fighter film and its animated spin-off, as well as Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie. The character has also been featured in various official comics and merchandise.

Guile has been perceived as one of the more unique Street Fighter II characters in both appearance and gameplay. He is noted as having only two signature moves in the game, both of which are performed by first holding a direction on the joystick ("charging") - the Sonic Boom and somersault (or "Flash Kick"). Guile has been well received, with the character often placing highly in various lists of the best Street Fighter characters of all time.

History[edit]

Street Fighter series[edit]

Guile first appears in Street Fighter II (1991) as one of the eight selectable characters featured in the first release of the game. Guile leaves his country and family to enter the World Warrior tournament to avenge the death of his friend Charlie, who was killed by M. Bison, the tournament's sponsor, sometime before the events of the game. In his ending, he defeats Bison, but is dissuaded from killing him by his wife and their daughter.

Guile's war buddy Charlie would appear in the later prequel series Street Fighter Alpha, although Guile himself did not appear in this sub-series until the console versions of Street Fighter Alpha 3 (1998). They originally made Guile a hidden character in the initial PlayStation version of the game, though subsequent versions made him part of the initial roster. In his storyline in the game, Guile is an Air Force JTAC ordered to track down Charlie, who has gone missing. Guile eventually fights Charlie, as well as Bison as his final opponent. In his ending, Guile infiltrates Bison's base with Charlie and sets explosives on the Psycho Drive, only for the two to be caught in the act by Bison. Charlie holds off Bison while Guile escapes and the base explodes with Charlie still in it, resulting in his death.

Guile also appears as a playable character in Street Fighter EX (1997) and its two sequels, Street Fighter EX2 (1998) and Street Fighter EX3 (2000). The storyline of the EX series takes place at the same time as Street Fighter II. In addition to tracking down Shadaloo to avenge Charlie, Guile is also hunted by a mercenary named Doctrine Dark (another playable character in this sub-series), who is actually a former subordinate named Holger. His relationship with Ken as brothers-in-law (with their respective wives being sisters) is mentioned for the first time in the games in Ken's ending in the Japanese version of the original EX2.

Guile returns as a playable character in Street Fighter IV, where he seeks authorization to conduct a rescue mission for a comrade named Charlie, whom he believes to be missing, but his request is rejected by his superiors. Guile also appears as a supporting character in the crossover fighting game Street Fighter X Tekken, with Abel as his official tag partner.

Other games[edit]

Guile appears in both the arcade and home versions of Street Fighter: The Movie, which were two separately-produced fighting games that used digitized footage from the live-action Street Fighter film, in which Guile was the lead character. Actor Jean-Claude Van Damme posed for Guile's animation frames in the game. Guile cameos in Charlie's ending in X-Men vs. Street Fighter. The Alpha 3 incarnation of Guile appears as a selectable character in a few fighting game crossovers which includes Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (2000), Capcom vs. SNK (2000), Capcom vs. SNK 2 (2001) and Capcom Fighting Jam (2003). He also appears in the SNK-produced installments of SNK/Capcom crossovers in SNK vs. Capcom: Match of the Millennium (1999), SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos (2003) and the SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash series.

Character design[edit]

Early Street Fighter II sketches and notes suggest that Guile was developed specifically to appeal to American fans.[2] In an interview with Game On!, Capcom Research and Design head Noritaka Funamizu stated that of the more popular characters in the series with western audiences, Guile was most likely considered the game's main character.[3] His physical appearance is strikingly different from the many Asian characters in the Street Fighter series, with light blue eyes, a chiseled jaw, and a blonde and particularly tall flattop haircut. The length of Guile's hair varies greatly from appearance to appearance. It is relatively realistic in Street Fighter II, and impossibly tall in SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom.

Capcom sourcebooks suggest that Guile's famous hairdo is styled with a special-order army hair spray to keep it up (though he ends up fixing it quickly after a match).[4] Another way Guile's image differs from the Asian combatants in the series is his Flag of the United States tattoos. Currently, he has one on each deltoid. Finally, Guile's military fatigues complete his all-American look. He wears Charlie's dog tag alongside his own as he searches for Bison.

In other media[edit]

In the 1994 live-action Street Fighter film, Guile (given the full name of William F. Guile) is played by Jean-Claude Van Damme and is the main character. Van Damme's line in the film, "Are you man enough to fight with me?", is taken from Street Fighter II and its follow-ups. His character is given the rank of Colonel. In this live adaption, Guile is commanding the A.N. (this film's version of the United Nations) forces as he searches for General M. Bison. His motivation for searching for Bison is not to avenge Charlie's death, but to end Bison's corrupt organization and to rescue Charlie, although he receives a great deal of help from Ryu and Ken to find Bison's base, and is aided in his mission by Chun-Li, Cammy White, T. Hawk, Balrog, E. Honda and Zangief. Jean-Claude Van Damme's hair, while blonde, lacked the hairstyle from the games, and even though the character was portrayed as American, Van Damme's French accent was very noticeable.

Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist creator Joey Ansah discusses to Shogungamer that if the show succeed, they'll work on to do the World Warrior story and wanted Scott Adkins to be Guile.[5][6]

Guile is one of the main characters in Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, where he is voiced by Masane Tsukayama in the Japanese original and by Kirk Thornton (credited as Donald Lee) in the English dub. Guile is assigned to work together with Chun-Li in order to take down Bison, whose organization Shadaloo (Shadowlaw in the English dub) has been kidnapping several martial artists and brainwashing them to do his evil bidding. Guile is at first far from happy to work with another person on the case, claiming loudly that "Bison's ass is mine", but a distinct friendship builds up between him and the Interpol agent. The film follows Guile's plot from the video game in Guile tracking down Bison to avenge Charlie's death, and his vendetta is amplified when Chun-Li is severely beaten by Vega on Bison's orders. Near the end of the film, Guile manages to track Ryu down but is followed by Bison and a brainwashed Ken. Guile engages Bison in combat but is outmatched by the crime lord's overwhelming speed and only manages to damage his cape with a Sonic Boom. Bison then finishes the fight by blasting Guile down a chasm. Guile survives this, although exhausted and bloodied, and when Bison finds Guile, he decides to spare him as an insult, and leaves. Guile is rescued along with Balrog by E. Honda. In his final scene, Guile, fully recovered, is moved to tears when informed that Chun-Li survived Vega's attack.

Based loosely on the storyline of the 1994 film while combining elements from Street Fighter II, Guile serves as the main protagonist of the Street Fighter animated series, and is depicted as the leader of an organization of Street Fighters consisting of himself, Chun-Li, Blanka, Ryu, Ken, T. Hawk, Cammy, Dee Jay, Fei Long and Dhalsim. Bison has survived his battle with Guile following the events of the film, and Guile's sole goal is to destroy Bison once and for all. The cartoon ran for two seasons (October 21, 1995 – May 14, 1997) with a total of 26 episodes.

Guile appears in the Street Fighter II V anime series, where he is voiced by Tesshō Genda in the Japanese original and once again by Kirk Thornton in the English Amimaze dub and by Rob Mungle in the ADV Films dub. In this TV series, Guile is a Technical Sergeant (E-6) in the U.S. Air Force, who spends most of his time training physically and who has great pride in the Air Force. He faces Ryu in a bar fight after Ryu and Ken beat up some of his men (although it was Guile's men who started the fight in the first place when Ken stole one of their dates). Guile easily defeats Ryu, only to face Ken, who challenges him in an air force base to avenge Ryu. Despite a severe hangover, Guile is able to defeat Ken, which motivates the duo to start a training journey and improve their martial art skills by challenging opponents around the world. While in India, Ryu fights an imaginary Guile during a training session, but stops the fight and acknowledges his respect for the Sergeant for showing them how arrogant they were and inspiring them to travel the world. Later in the series, Guile is recruited by Ken's father along with his friend Charlie (who retains his Japanese name, Nash, in the dub) when Ryu, Ken and Chun-Li are taken captive by Shadaloo. He faces Zangief while infiltrating Bison's base, while Nash confronts Bison himself. Guile knocks Zangief out, but is unable to save Nash from Bison, who pits a brainwashed Chun-Li against the enraged Sergeant. Outside, Guile fights Chun-Li until Bison's demise snaps her out of her brainwashing, and he is last seen showing admiration for Ryu and Ken when they emerge unharmed from the battlefield.

In UDON's Street Fighter comic adaptation, Guile is given a central role alongside Chun-Li, particularly in the first arc but he also is a frequent cast member in later arcs. Similar to the official story, Guile is chasing after Shadaloo to discover the whereabouts of his Air Force buddy, Charlie Nash. Guile is first introduced to Charlie after his aircraft is shot down and Charlie commands a black-ops mission to rescue him. Like the official story, Charlie teaches Guile to fight. For the first arc of the comics, Guile spends his time looking for Ryu, believing to there to be a connection between him and Shadaloo. He traces him to the US and then back to Japan. While in Japan, he and Chun-Li engage a Shadaloo-controlled Charlie (codenamed "Agent Shadow") and fight him off. At the end of the first story arc, Charlie regains his senses and rejoins Chun-Li and Guile before they're attacked by M. Bison. Charlie unleashes his latent Psycho Power abilities and sacrifices himself to take out Bison (Charlie giving his own life to stop Bison echoes Guile's ending in Street Fighter Alpha 3), leaving Guile distraught and swearing vengeance against Shadaloo. Afterwards, Guile continues to assist Chun-Li in looking for Bison (whom they believe survived his encounter with Charlie) but all the while juggling his struggling relationship with his wife, Julia, and their daughter, Amy. Eventually the family reconciles at the end of the comic's second arc. Guile isn't heavily active during the second series of comics (Street Fighter II) but he is given an invitation to Bison's tournament, which he accepts as his final bid for vengeance. The final series (Street Fighter II Turbo) documents Guile's entry into M. Bison's fighting tournament. While on Shadaloo island, he is contacted by Cammy, who needs his help but cannot openly assist him as she is attempting to fool Bison into thinking she is under his control. Through a carefully woven set of scripted matches, Guile and Chun-Li get themselves eliminated from the tournament and successfully free the Delta Red squadron. Together they manage to locate and destroy Bison's Psycho Drive before evacuating the island as it sinks. The aftermath of the tournament show that Guile is satisfied with the results, believing he has successfully avenged Charlie, and is now comfortably living with his family.

A Guile-inspired costume for players to use in Sony's LittleBigPlanet was released on December 12 of 2008 as downloadable content for the title.[7]

Reception[edit]

Video game publications have commented on Guile, giving mostly positive opinions. 8-Bit Theater author Brian Clevinger once described Guile as "the epitome of everything discussed in The Art of War".[8] IGN ranked him at number two in their "Top 25 Street Fighter Characters" article, stating "there's nothing too fancy about him. He's just your basic, no-nonsense, all-American tough guy."[9] Guile has also ranked tenth in ScrewAttack's "Top Ten Coolest Characters".[10] GameDaily listed him at number ten on their "Top 20 Street Fighter Characters of All Time" article, voicing disapproval for Jean-Claude Van Damme's portrayal of him in the live action film.[11] IGN gave similar comments labelling such portrayal as "What Went Wrong" in an article about gaming heroes.[12] GameDaily additionally named him one of their favorite Capcom characters of all time, praising his hairstyle as one of the weirdest in gaming by stating "It's not big, puffy and round, but big, puffy and MIGHTY."[13][14] In the February 1992 issue of Gamest magazine in Japan, Guile ranked at No. 4 in the list of Best Characters of 1991.[15]

Writing for The Guardian, Ryan Hart listed Guile as the fourteenth-best Street Fighter character, placing Charlie in a higher spot when comparing their movesets. Alongside Hart, UGO Networks's Paul Furfari commented that Guile was one of the most important characters from the series behind Ryu and Ken. They also listed him eleventh on their list of "Top 50 Street Fighter Characters".[16][17] His movesets were noted for having only two special techniques which required players to take a defensive style with Guile found to be one of first characters from the franchise with charged moves.[18][19] For the crossover game Street Fighter X Tekken, GamesRadar listed Paul Phoenix as an opponent they wanted Guile to face owing to their similar hairstyle.[20]

The theme tune for Guile, specifically the version from the CP System II release of Super Street Fighter II, is the subject of a mashup internet phenomenon named "Guile's Theme Goes With Everything", starting in April 2010,[citation needed] in which the music is perceived to synchronize with clips from films and other media, regardless of their content. This quickly grew to some 5500 videos and counting.[21][22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Street Fighter IV: Master Guide (in Japanese), Enterbrain
  2. ^ "The Making Of Street Fighter II (or, Writing is Rewriting)" by Chris Kohler, Insert Credit. Retrieved on 2008-01-10
  3. ^ Staff (1996). "A Fighter Speaks". Game On! (Horibuchi, Seiji) 1 (1): 6. 
  4. ^ Street Fighter II Guile All Perfect 1/2
  5. ^ Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist [Interview]
  6. ^ Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist Interview
  7. ^ Acevedo, Jay (2008-12-12). Weekly Playstation Store Update – December 12. Game Focus. Retrieved on 2008-12-18
  8. ^ Brian Clevinger (2005-10-27). "Episode 617: Thinking Ahead". Nuklear Power. Archived from the original on 2008-04-13. Retrieved 2008-04-03. 
  9. ^ Top 25 Street Fighter Characters – The Final Five. IGN. Retrieved on 2008-08-15
  10. ^ "Top Ten Coolest Characters". GameTrailers. 2007-02-07. Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  11. ^ "Top 20 Street Fighter Characters of All Time". GameDaily. Archived from the original on 2009-02-26. Retrieved 2008-11-02. 
  12. ^ Scheeden, Jeese. "Franchise Reboot: Videogame Heroes". IGN. Retrieved September 25, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Top 25 Capcom Characters of All Time". GameDaily. Archived from the original on April 8, 2009. Retrieved 2008-11-02. 
  14. ^ Workman, Robert. "Weirdest Hairstyles In Gaming". GameDaily. Archived from the original on April 15, 2009. Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  15. ^ "第5回ゲーメスト大賞". GAMEST (in Japanese) (68): 4. 
  16. ^ "Ryan Hart's top 20 Street Fighter characters – Part 1". The Guardian. 2010-04-10. Retrieved 2011-09-24. 
  17. ^ Furfari, Paul (2010-07-25). "Top 50 Street Fighter Characters". UGO Networks. Retrieved 2011-09-24. 
  18. ^ Stuart, Keith (2009-02-20). "A beginner's guide to Street Fighter IV". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 
  19. ^ Clements, Ryan (2009-02-04). "Street Fighter IV: Guile". IGN. Retrieved 2011-09-24. 
  20. ^ Grimm, Michael. "12 matchups we want to see in Street Fighter X Tekken". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2011-09-24. 
  21. ^ Guile's theme works with everything. Destructoid. Retrieved on 2011-01-12.
  22. ^ Guile’s theme goes with everything, Super Street Fighter IV Xbox 360 News. GamesRadar. Retrieved on 2011-01-12.