|This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2011)|
|M. Bison (Vega)|
|Street Fighter series character|
M. Bison in Super Street Fighter II, as drawn by Bengus.
|First game||Street Fighter II|
|Designed by||Akiman (Street Fighter II)|
|Voiced by (English)|
|Voiced by (Japanese)|
|Portrayed by||Raúl Juliá (Street Fighter: The Movie)
Neal McDonough (Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li)
|Fighting style||Psycho Power-infused style|
|Occupation||Leader of Shadaloo|
M. Bison, known in Japan as Vega (ベガ Bega?), is a video game character created by Capcom. First introduced in Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, he is a recurring character and primary villain in the Street Fighter series of fighting games, acting as the final boss and primary antagonist of the Street Fighter II and Street Fighter Alpha series, and later a supporting villain in the Street Fighter IV series. He is also the final boss of the non-canonical Street Fighter EX series.
A would-be world dictator and a pure incarnation of evil, M. Bison's ambition is to control the world's governments through his covert crime syndicate, Shadaloo (シャドルー Shadorū?, sometimes spelled as "Shadoloo", "Shadowloo" or "Shadowlaw"). He serves as the host of Street Fighter II 's fighting tournament and is the last opponent fought in the game. Several Street Fighter characters—including Guile, T. Hawk, Cammy, Rose and Chun-Li—have their personal vendettas against M. Bison and have entered the tournament in the hopes of facing him personally. M. Bison wields an inherently evil energy known as "Psycho Power".
Conception and development
In Japan, the character is named Vega (ベガ Bega?), derived from the star of the same name. However, during localization of Street Fighter II for the English language market, Capcom's North American branch felt that the name sounded non-threatening to North American audiences for the game's final boss and was more suitable for the Spanish cage fighter Balrog. At this same time another concern arose that the name of another character, Mike Bison, conceived as a parody of real-life boxer Mike Tyson, would be a legal liability for Capcom. As a result, the characters swapped names, and the game's final boss was dubbed M. Bison for English language appearances of the character. Capcom has never explained what "M" stands for, calling it "part of the character's mystery". Regardless, Bison has been addressed as Master Bison in Street Fighter Alpha 3 repeatedly, as well as in the animated movie. In his introduction before a fight in (Super) Street Fighter IV, he refers to himself as "The Mighty Bison". In endings in Alpha 2, he is referred to by a henchman as Commander Bison.
When developing Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, it was decided to give him a more muscular appearance, rather than have him resemble "a middle aged man", while his face was modified to appear somewhat demonic. This appearance was later carried onto the Street Fighter Alpha series, featured as his original appearance before the Street Fighter II series.
The first source of inspiration for M. Bison's design came from the character General Washizaki, one of the main villains of the popular martial arts manga Riki-Oh. However Bison's image and supernatural prowess are also widely considered to have been inspired by Yasunori Kato, the mystical antagonist of the influential fantasy novel series Teito Monogatari, especially its subsequent cinematic adaptations such as Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis.
Street Fighter series
Bison first appears in the original Street Fighter II as the final computer-controlled opponent in the single-player mode, following the player's defeat of the other three Grand Masters. The battle takes place in the streets of Bangkok, Thailand in front of a crowd, where he poses with his cape, which he throws off prior to battle. He was originally a non-playable character in the first edition of Street Fighter II, but became selectable from Champion Edition and onward, while maintaining his position as the final boss until Super Street Fighter II Turbo, in which a hidden character named Akuma defeats Bison and challenges the player as an alternate final boss.
The storyline through the numerous versions of Street Fighter II characterizes Bison as the leader of a criminal organization called "Shadaloo" who sponsors the World Warrior tournament. A few characters who participate in the tournament have a personal vendetta against Bison. Chun-Li and Guile are both seeking to avenge the deaths of their loved ones (Chun-Li's father and Guile's best friend respectively), while T. Hawk wants to avenge both his homeland and his father, that were destroyed and devastated by the villain; the amnesiac Cammy, on the other hand, believes that Bison is connected to her past and learns in her ending that she was once one of his agents (changed to being lovers in the original English localization of the arcade, and then changed into being a DNA copy made for the purpose of impersonating him in the Game Boy Advance version).
Capcom later released Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dreams, a prequel to the Street Fighter II games inspired by the animated movie that further fleshed out and developed the fictional universe of the series. Bison appears in the first Alpha as the final boss for certain characters and a hidden playable character available via a code. Two characters with ties to Bison were introduced: Rose, a fortune teller with spiritual ties to Bison, whose Soul Power is the opposite of Bison's Psycho Power; and Charlie (Nash in Japan), Guile's dead war buddy from Street Fighter II, who seeks to track him down. Bison, as he appears in the Alpha games, fights wearing a cape. and gains a teleport and a projectile move.
Street Fighter Alpha 2, released the following year in 1996, follows the same plot as the original Alpha, but features completely revamped endings. Bison is featured in this game as a regular playable character.
In Street Fighter Alpha 3, released in 1998, a non-playable version of Bison called Final Bison serves as the final boss of all the characters (with the exception of Bison himself, who fights Ryu). Several revelations are made in this game, including the fact that Rose is the good half of Bison's soul and the fact that Cammy is a female clone of Bison. In the end of the game (regardless which ending the player gets), Bison's body is destroyed and a new one is built for him by his scientists after the game.
In Street Fighter EX, Bison retains a projectile attack and teleport, and gains a new throw, which was later used in Street Fighter IV. In his ending in Street Fighter EX2 Plus, Bison develops an experimental drug called "SH-11". In Street Fighter EX3, he gains a tag-team super move when paired with Vega.
Bison returns in Street Fighter IV, a continuation of Street Fighter II set prior to the events of Street Fighter III. The Street Fighter IV Training Guide reveals that Bison was destroyed by Akuma's Shun Goku Satsu and now inhabits a new body created for him by his scientists. Unlike his previous bodies, this one is capable of withstanding the full strength of his Psycho Power.
Bison appears in Street Fighter: The Movie, a 1995 video game adaptation of the 1994 film. The game looks similar to early Mortal Kombat games, due to each character being represented by digitized sprites of the film's actors. Bison's portrayer, Raúl Juliá, had intended to participate in the project, but bowed out due to health problems. Consequently, Bison's fight animations were performed by stuntman Darko Tuscan. Film clips of Juliá as Bison are included within the game's cutscenes.
- In the Marvel vs. Capcom series of crossover fighting games, Bison is frequently included among the ranks of Capcom characters. Both X-Men vs. Street Fighter (1996) and Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter (1997) feature Bison as a playable character. Bison's character sprite is identical to that of his Street Fighter Alpha incarnation, except that he is constantly grinning. He is noticeably absent from Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes (1998), though he appears in Chun-Li and Shadow Lady's ending sequences. In Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes (2000), the Alpha version of Bison is once again a playable character, though he must be unlocked before he is made available. M. Bison does not appear in Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, but he is mentioned by Chun-Li in one of her win quotes, and in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, one of Wesker's alternate colors is based on M. Bison's design. M. Bison also makes a cameo appearance in Dormammu's ending in UMVC3.
- Bison reappears in the SNK vs. Capcom series, with an appearance that resembled his original Street Fighter II sprite instead of Alpha ones. He has regularly appeared in each entry of the series, beginning with SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium (1999) and its sequels, Capcom vs. SNK Pro: Millennium Fight 2000 and Capcom vs. SNK 2 (2001). Bison appears at the halfway point of each game as a mid-boss (along with Geese Howard) if the player has accumulated enough points. Most recently, he was included as a playable character in SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos (2003).
- Bison appears in Capcom Fighting Jam (2004), which features an assortment of characters from each individual series published by Capcom. In the game, Bison is part of the Street Fighter II roster.
- Bison also appears as a trading card in the handheld collectible card game SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash (1999). He also appears in the Japanese action/tactical RPG hybrid Namco × Capcom.
- Bison is also a playable character in Street Fighter X Tekken, with Juri as his official tag partner.
In some versions of Street Fighter games, the player will face an alternate version of M. Bison, usually as a computer controlled opponent in the game's single-player mode. In Street Fighter Alpha 3, the player will face against Final Bison (Final Vega in the Japanese version) in the end of the single-player mode (except when playing as Bison himself, Balrog, Juni, or Juli, in which case Ryu will be the last opponent). Final Bison differs from the regular version of M. Bison, in which he uses a fighting style similar to X-ism dubbed Shadaloo-ism (or S-ism), which is available only to him in the arcade version. He has all the Special Moves his regular self uses during S-ism, with more powerful basic moves and a new Super Combo dubbed the Final Psycho Crushers (instead of the Knee Press Nightmare his regular self uses during S-ism mode). In the arcade version, the player is not allowed to continue after losing a match against Final Bison. Instead the game will play a bad ending. Final Bison is selectable only in the home versions of the game.
In Street Fighter EX 2 Plus for the arcade and PlayStation, another version of Bison appears called "Bison II" (or "Vega II") as a secret final opponent in the single-player mode. If the player defeats the regular version of Bison at the end, Bison will resurrect himself as Bison II and challenge the player. Bison II can be distinguished from the regular Bison by the white-colored outfit he wears back in EX2, and the background which changes from normal to a colorful light stream coming out of the floor in a pure black room. While in EX3 he sports a black uniform, gold plates and orange tinted skin. Like Final Bison in Alpha 3, the player cannot continue after losing against Bison II in EX 2.
In Street Fighter EX 3, Bison II returns as a secret, playable character. His arsenal is identical to that of his normal counterparts, with the exception of two additional Psycho Cannon attacks.
A third, computer-only version of the character, labeled as "Shin-Bison" (or "True Vega"), is also included in the release of EX 3. Shin-Bison appears with pale, purple-tinted skin, blue green plates and a white uniform. In addition to an overall speed increase, he has an infinite amount of SC energy, the ability to cancel most of his moves, and a new Knee Press Nightmare Meteor combo where he creates 3 copies of himself, one above and two beside him which gives the move a massive range boost. This incarnation by far is considered his most formidable one.
In other media
- Bison was portrayed by Raúl Juliá in the 1994 live-action film Street Fighter. Julia perceived Bison in the same vein of villain as Richard III, and approached the role with a Shakespearean tone. In the film, General M. Bison is a crazed military general who plans to produce supersoldiers to take over the world and establish a new order known as "Pax Bisonica." His ambitions have led to a civil war against the Allied Nations (AN), led by Colonel Guile, the movie's main character, in Shadaloo City. Bison is killed in a fight with Guile after the colonel discovers that Bison is defenseless while flying towards him. A post-credits scene shows Bison resurrected through his life-support machine survived. Street Fighter was Raúl Juliá's final film role before his death, and is dedicated to his memory. Although the film was largely panned by critics and fans, Juliá's performance was widely praised and he was nominated for a posthumous Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor. In the Japanese dub of the film, he is still called "M. Bison" as opposed to "Vega", his name in the original Japanese versions of the series. For the role, Raúl Juliá had studied various dictators, and as such mimicked many of their hand movements and body language to incorporate into the M.Bison character, most notably Benito Mussolini's hand gestures, and Adolf Hitler's love of art. This version of Bison appears in the arcade game based on the film, Street Fighter: The Movie, as well as in the home video game bearing the same title. In the home version, he is the main antagonist of the Movie Battle mode, and a non-playable version of him serves as the final boss. In his ending, he is said to have "crushed" Colonel Guile and his AN Forces, and subsequently brought the world under his control. In the game, Bison is physically portrayed by Darko Tuscan, who served as Raúl Juliá's stunt double in the film, and cutscenes of Juliá as Bison are shown throughout the game.
- Bison was portrayed by Neal McDonough in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. He appears as the main antagonist once again, this time opposite Chun-Li. The film shows Bison donning a business suit rather than his signature costume. He is also an Irish international businessman based in Thailand who can speak multiple languages instead of a military man/international drug dealer. Bison was abandoned by his Irish missionary parents in Thailand. "Shadaloo" as it is referred to, is a multi-leveled criminal syndicate which is a plutarchy of an unknown number of powerful crime families that have connections ranging from the locale mafiosos of the countries to even factions of the government (in the film's current case, the department of commerce). Though Bison's full goals are not divulged, his first order of business is to buy up an entire waterfront district and restructure it specifically for the wealthy and elite, thus further adding to the funding of his operations. He first appears as a simple mob head, only to skyrocket through the ranks after killing off a number of allied families and usurping their power for himself. He is depicted as being uncomfortably upbeat about everything, as he usually reveals shortly afterward that he is in control of almost every element of espionage and intrigue he is involved with. There is a moderately less supernatural background with Bison than there was with his video game and anime counterparts. In a backstory told by Gen, Bison sacrificed his pregnant wife in the bowls of a supernatural cave, where he imbued his daughter, Rose, with the goodness of his soul, thus ridding himself of any sense of conscience. Bison's raw physical power is seen to borderline on supernatural, as he usually only required one punch or kick to send an opponent hurtling through the air. His power is first exhibited during his introduction where his spiritual energy was so immense, it heralded his arrival by a soft breeze inside Chun-Li's family manor. He is killed at the end of the film in front of his daughter when Chun-Li twists his head around by use of her legs.
- Bison is featured prominently in the anime film Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie. He is the main antagonist of the film and a shared enemy of several other fighters, mainly Chun-Li and Guile. Bison is voiced by Takeshi Kusaka in the Japanese version and Tom Wyner in the English dub. In the English dub, Bison is depicted with an upper-class British-esque accent as in the live-action movie, given that Wyner is English-born. Bison's organization, Shadaloo (here named "Shadowlaw"), is stated as being an international terrorist organization. It employs a great deal of sci-fi technology, including cyborgs (known as "Monitor Cyborgs") which pose as human while broadcasting live images to Bison. As in the games, the "M" in his name is not revealed, although his scientist, Senoh, refers to him as "Master Bison". Intrigued by Ryu's fighting skill after seeing him defeat Sagat, Bison orders a nationwide manhunt to capture and brainwash him to work for Shadowlaw. Ken, Ryu's old friend, is brainwashed by Bison's "Psycho Power" after the terrorist leader easily outmatches him in a fight. Shortly after, Bison instructs Ken to attack Ryu. Ken complies due to Bison Psycho Power control over him. Ken cannot recognize Ryu. Ken viciously beats Ryu until Ken realizes that Ryu is his friend. Bison nearly kills Ken with a large energy shot of Psycho Power. Bison toys with Ryu, while Ken shakes off Bison's attack through meditation. Ken and Ryu challenge Bison simultaneously, but are pummelled by Bison until Ryu catches him off guard and topples him. The fight ends when both Ryu and Ken launch a combined Hadouken which hits Bison directly and seemingly destroys him, but the film's closing scene reveals that Bison survived. Ryu and Bison prepare to fight again as the end credits roll.
- Bison appears in the second half of the anime series Street Fighter II V, voiced again by Tom Wyner for the Animaze English dub, but sporting a blue uniform instead of his traditional red one. In the ADV Films dub he was voiced by Markham Anderson and then later on by Mike Kleinhenz. He is still the leader of Shadowlaw, which now has many subdivisions, such as the Ashura Syndicate. When Ashura is destroyed by Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Fei-Long and Dorai (Chun-Li's father), Bison orders Dorai murdered and Ken kidnapped and held ransom after witnessing him defeat Vega in a very dramatic fashion, and later sends his henchman, Zangief, to capture Ryu, whom Bison had seen on the beach practising Hadou, and have him brainwashed. In the meantime, Bison succeeds in brainwashing both Chun-Li and Ryu and setting them on Guile and Ken, respectively, after killing Charlie. In the end, Ken manages to break Bison's control on Ryu, and the two take on Bison. Bison, clearly the superior fighter, easily handles both Ryu and Ken, until they discover that Bison can be damaged with their Hadou powers. Ken is knocked unconscious while Ryu battles on. Bison prepares to finish off Ryu with a Psycho Crusher, but is intercepted by Ken using his Hadou Shoryu Reppa. Ken's strength is depleted and Ryu takes on Bison one-on-one who is still not fully recovered from Ken's attack. Ryu uses a series of moves to defeat a defenseless Bison. As Bison prepares a final Psycho Crusher, Ryu counters with a Hadouken, which hits Bison square in the chest and sends him into the sidereal space.
- Voiced by Richard Newman, Bison's portrayal in the American Street Fighter animated series is considerably close to his portrayal in both the live-action film and significant aspects of the video game. His primary nemesis is Guile, as in the movie. In the first season, Bison's attack on Chun-Li's village (referenced in the live-action film), appears in a flashback, revealing how he killed Chun-Li's father, who attacked him in futile defiance. Bison later reveals to a vengeful Chun-Li that he also slew his own father in cold blood, and remarks that she doesn't see him whining about it as she does. The second season explored Bison's relationship with Cammy in the same manner as the games and the anime movie, with Cammy being triggered as a "sleeper agent" in the opening episodes. She discovers the truth about Bison in the series finale, but not before she reestablishes her romantic bond with him. Bison seems to worship a Thai deity that instructs him on what to do with his resources, and in the finale, Bison convinces himself he has been told to destroy the Earth through the launching of nuclear missiles. A final battle with Guile, Cammy, Chun-Li, Sagat, and Cammy's former teammates concludes with Bison being consumed by his own computers, aborting the launch and seemingly killing him.
- Bison is heavily featured as the primary antagonist of the UDON-published Street Fighter comic series. His story is mostly unchanged from the official version, portraying him as the dark and sinister leader of Shadaloo. He operates behind a veil of various agents and associates who do his bidding as well as having numerous enemies (such as Chun-Li and Guile). Bison is the student of a mysterious woman whose tribe has mastered the art of Soul Power. After being exiled from further training, he studies the forbidden texts of their people and learns the nature of Psycho Power, the negative half of Soul Power. He returns to her later in life and uses this power to massacre his mentor's tribe, leaving only one survivor (Rose). Like the official story, Bison has a great interest in Ryu after watching him defeat Sagat at the last Street Fighter tournament and observing the nature of the Satsui no Hadō. At the end of the first series of comics, Bison is defeated in a battle with his own creation (Charlie, who had been empowered with Shadaloo technology) when Charlie sacrifices himself to plunge Bison into a river. Bison survives the fall and his body is reanimated with the Psycho Drive, whereupon he resumes his role as Shadaloo dictator. As the comic moves forward, Bison announces his "Street Fighter II" tournament, the second global gathering of martial artists, and is documented in the Street Fighter II Turbo series of comics. The tournament itself runs smoothly up until what would have been the final battle between Ryu and Bison. At this point, Akuma intervenes (much like the official story) and demands a fight with Ryu. Bison senses the amount of great power Akuma carries and attempts to subdue him in combat, only to be halted by Rose's spirit who restrains him while Akuma delivers the final blow and seals Bison's soul for good.
- Popular internet comedian Doug Walker, better known as The Nostalgia Critic, uses M. Bison as a running gag. Whenever a character in a film he's reviewing wishes to take over the world, he cuts to a clip from the movie of Raúl Juliá shouting Of course! Walker also wore an M. Bison costume in the That Guy With The Glasses 2nd anniversary film Kickassia.
- M. Bison makes a cameo appearance in the Disney film Wreck-It Ralph with Gerald C. Rivers reprising the role. He and Zangief appear as members of the villain support group Bad-Anon.
Shadaloo is a fictional crime organization that is run by Bison. Its insignia is a winged skull with a lightning bolt—forming an "S" for Shadaloo—etched onto its forehead. The symbol can be seen on Bison's cap from Champion Edition onwards, as well as in numerous cutscenes. The Four Main members of Shadaloo include Balrog, Vega, Sagat, and Bison himself. Balrog and Vega were recruited by Bison with the promise of massive wealth, whereas Sagat was motivated to join by the prospect of revenge for his defeat at the hands of Ryu in the first Street Fighter tournament. In Street Fighter II, Bison ostensibly hosts the game's fighting tournament to seek out new talent for Shadaloo. Bison's end sequence in Super Street Fighter II sees him establish a new world order.
Bison and Shadaloo feature more prominently in the Alpha series of games. New Shadaloo henchmen are introduced, including the Dolls, a group of female fighters who are programmed to serve Bison. Cammy was bred as a member of this group, but eventually broke from the group and fled to England. The character Birdie joins Shadaloo during his end sequence in the first Street Fighter Alpha game, but leaves in Alpha 2 and turns against Bison.
In Street Fighter Alpha 3, Bison's headquarters is located in the interior of a Thai statue depicting a female deity. During the game over sequence, the face of the statue crumbles away, revealing a skull-like robotic head. The robot's eyes fire a laser into the stratosphere, which is intercepted by Bison's satellite and deflected back toward Earth.
In Street Fighter EX, C. Jack is a member of Shadaloo who seeks to escape from the organisation. In his ending in the first game, he derails a Shadaloo train.
In the 1994 live-action Street Fighter film, Shadaloo is a hostile dictatorship. According to maps shown during the film's opening, it is a fictitious country located in a segment of present-day Burma. Zangief and Dee Jay were members of Shadaloo in the film. Members introduced in the game of the film are Blade, Arkane, F7 and Khyber, who were all members of Bison's shock troops. It can be surmised, from a song sung by Bison's soldiers and two posters ("ĝeneralo Bison", "teroristo"), that the official language of Shadaloo is Esperanto. Bison's nationality is not revealed in the film, although it can be assumed that he is depicted as an Englishman, given his use of a perfect English accent and his desire to conquer England first after defeating Guile and the Allied Nations.
In the 2009 live-action film Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li, Shadaloo (in this case, Shadowlaw) was a major crime syndicate operating out of (but not limited to) Bangkok, Thailand dealing mainly with narcotics, extortion, and several legal fronts such as high priced commercial and residential real-estate. Bison (portrayed by Neal McDonough) rose to power of this organization by hiring Vega to decapitate all the other shareholders to the company, and then later placed their heads on a platter to be discovered by interpol agent Charlie Nash. Bison's appearance in this film is severely altered as well being changed to that of a blonde haired, blue eyed Irish immigrant to Thailand due to his parents being religious missionaries to that country.
Since he appeared in Street Fighter II, M. Bison has received mostly positive reception. IGN ranked Bison fourth on their list of the "Top 25 Street Fighter Characters", praising his role as a villain in the series that did not rely solely on his henchmen. IGN would also list him as the 19th best video game villain, describing him as a formidable boss and one who has endured for years as a mainstay in the Street Fighter series. GameSpot listed him at number five on their "Top 10 Video Game Villains" list, stating a preference for his attack set while bemoaning his portrayal in the live action film. He was also featured in GameSpot's Top Ten Boss Fights with editors describing him as "cheap." GamePro placed him at number thirty in their "47 Most Diabolical Video-Game Villains of All Time" article, stating "This guy had the nerve to look you dead in the face, threaten your very soul and then tell you he represents an organization called Shadaloo. That's brave, man." GameDaily named Bison one of their favorite Capcom characters of all time, calling him "one of the best end bosses ever." They later listed Bison at number five on their "Top 20 Street Fighter Characters of All Time" article, describing him as "One of the most vile, powerful end bosses ever put into a video game". He was also 2nd in GamesRadar's "The 12 most misunderstood videogame villains" with comments on the various sub-stories Bison is involved in the Street Fighter series. UGO Networks placed M.Bison at #14 on their list of Top 50 Street Fighter Characters", stating "Bison is the second (Street Fighter's last boss was Sagat) and only true villain in the series. Other bosses in the series are motivated by one thing or another, but Bison's true goal is to oppress the world for his own selfish benefit." 1UP.com listed him as of the characters they wanted to see in Street Fighter X Tekken.
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