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|Street Fighter character|
Dhalsim in Super Street Fighter II as drawn by Bengus
|First game||Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (1991)|
|Portrayed by||Roshan Seth (Street Fighter film)|
|Fighting style||(Mysteries of the Yoga (ヨガの奥義 Yoga no Ōgi))|
Dhalsim (ダルシム Darushimu) is a video game character in Capcom's Street Fighter series. He made his first appearance in Street Fighter II: The World Warrior in 1991. In the series, he is a yogi, a husband, a father, and a pacifist who goes against his beliefs by entering the World Warrior tournament to raise money for his village.
In video games
In his Arcade Mode ending in Street Fighter II, Dhalsim wins the tournament and returns home on his elephant Kodal. Three years later, Dhalsim's son, Datta, discovers a photograph of his father from the tournament. From the original Street Fighter II and up until Super Street Fighter II, this ending graphic was drawn in a comical style. In Super Street Fighter II Turbo, it was changed to a more realistic style, with Dhalsim's wife and son - Sari and Datta, respectively - added to it.
Dhalsim would later appear in the Street Fighter Alpha sub-series in Street Fighter Alpha 2 and Street Fighter Alpha 3. In his storyline in the Alpha games (which are set prior to the events of Street Fighter II), Dhalsim attempts to hunt down an "evil spirit" (Mike Bison￼￼) that is threatening the world. Dhalsim also appears in the Street Fighter EX sub-series, beginning with the console-exclusive version, Street Fighter EX Plus α, followed by Street Fighter EX2 and Street Fighter EX3. His characterization and motivation are the same as they are in the previous Street Fighter game. Dhalsim later appears in Street Fighter IV, and has also appeared as a playable character in several crossover fighting games, which include: X-Men vs. Street Fighter, Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Capcom vs. SNK, Capcom vs. SNK 2, SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos and Street Fighter X Tekken. He makes a special appearance in Street Fighter X Mega Man.
Dhalsim is often depicted as having pupil-less eyes. His build is that of a normal man who exercises and weight trains regularly, except for the fact that his abdomen and waist appear out of proportion and emaciated. He wears torn saffron shorts as his only clothing attire, matching wrist and ankle bands, and a necklace of shrunken human skulls. He has three colored stripes adorning his head, and in the Street Fighter Alpha series, he wears a turban that he removes before battle. In Street Fighter V, Dhalsim appears much older, having grown a full beard, and now retains the turban on his head during battle.
His fighting style is a Yoga-based style, in which Dhalsim can stretch his arms, legs, abdomen and even his neck to great lengths making him a decent long-range hand-to-hand fighter. He also uses many fire-based attacks such as Yoga Fire, Yoga Flame and Yoga Blast, the latter being an anti-air technique. His super move in the Street Fighter EX, Cross Over and later Alpha Series was the Yoga Inferno, which was basically a multi-hitting flamethrower-style attack that could be directed manually. Dhalsim also uses a teleportation technique known as the Yoga Teleport (Mike Bison would later gain this ability in Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors Dreams). In Street Fighter EX3, he gains a tag-team super move when paired with Blanka. In Street Fighter IV he uses the ultra combo move "Yoga Catastrophe", as a large fireball which slowly moves toward and deals multi-damage on impact on any opponent, before using a super, "Yoga Inferno".
In other media
In the Street Fighter II V, the UDON comic book series, and Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, Dhalsim is a wise and powerful mystic who has mastered the inner mysteries of Yoga. In the comic, he helps prepare Sagat for his bout with Ryu and helps Ryu himself discover the darkness within his soul. Later on he is given an invitation to M. Bison's "Street Fighter II" global fighting tournament, wherein he defeats Adon in the preliminaries with ease.
In the anime series Street Fighter II V, Dhalsim is a monk who lives in a remote village in India. Sagat had earlier instructed Ryu to seek Dhalsim for advice about the Ways of Hadou. Sagat had been turned down years before when he sought Dhalsim's wisdom, but had figured that Ryu might be found more worthy. Dhalsim is a practitioner of yoga and has some psychic abilities, and although he knows much about Hadou, he was unable to train Ryu to use the Hadouken, which was inadvertently triggered in Ryu's body during a lesson. Dhalsim is voiced by Shōzō Iizuka in the Japanese version and Steve Blum in the English dub by Animaze/Manga Enteetainment.
Dhalsim has a brief appearance in Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, where he fights E. Honda in India. Though he gains the upper hand with his telekinetic abilities, he is distracted when he senses another nearby power, long enough for Honda to overpower him. He subsequently withdraws from the fight, giving Honda the victory, and apparently later points Ryu out to Honda, enabling him to give Ryu half the winnings out of gratitude.
Dhalsim is portrayed by British actor Roshan Seth in 1994's live action film Street Fighter. The film depicts Dhalsim as a British Indian scientist and doctor whose science was originally supposed to promote peace, only for Bison to capture him and force him to aid him in his evil ambitions, one of which is the "supersoldier" experiment meant to turn Carlos Blanka into a mutated beast. During the process, Dhalsim alters Blanka's cerebral programming to keep him gentle, and is found out by the lab guard. A fight ensues, in which Dhalsim is branded with the mutagen and almost killed, but Blanka is released and saves Dhalsim by killing the guard. When Guile arrives at the base, Dhalsim directs him to confront Bison. After Bison is defeated, Dhalsim decides to remain in Bison's base along with Blanka to await its destruction, choosing to atone for his part in mutating Blanka, telling Guile that "if good men do nothing, that is evil enough."
Dhalsim is later featured in the Street Fighter animated series as part of Guile's team. From the original roster of Street Fighter II characters featured in the film, Dhalsim and T. Hawk are the only ones who do not appear as playable characters in the video game based on the film, Street Fighter. The opposite situation occurs with Akuma, who is a secret character in the game but does not appear in the film.
In 1992, Dhalsim ranked at number five in the list of Best Characters of 1991 by the Gamest magazine in Japan. IGN ranked Dhalsim at number eight in their list of top Street Fighter characters, noting his unique gameplay and role as a "popular oddball". The Guardian ranked him as the 15th-top Street Fighter character in 2010, with writer Ryan Hart saying his abilities to extend his limbs "changed the way you see fighting game characters". He additionally placed number fourteen on GameDaily's list top Street Fighter characters of all time. He was also included in their list of the top 25 "baldies" by GameDaily. In 2013, Complex placed Dhalsim third in a list of "12 Old School Video Game Characters Who Were Style Icons".
Topless Robot named him one of the "most ridiculously stereotyped" fighting game characters, calling him the most outlandish of Street Fighter II's cast and drew comparisons to the Indian assassin in the film Master of the Flying Guillotine. The satirical book A Practical Guide to Racism, implicitly criticizes his portrayal as a sum of negative stereotypes of South Asians, where Hindus are portrayed as "nonviolent, magical, fastidious, stretchy, and pugnacious".
The book Game Design Perspectives notes Dhalsim as an example of a "nemesis character" in video games, one difficult to master proper usage of but widely considered one of the strongest characters in the game as well.
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- "Top 25 Baldies". GameDaily. Archived from the original on March 21, 2009. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- Welch, Hanuman (May 23, 2013). "12 Old School Video Game Characters Who Were Style Icons". Complex. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- Ciolek, Todd; Rob Bricken (2008-04-30). "The 10 Most Ridiculously Stereotyped Fighting Game Characters". Topless Robot. The Village Voice. Retrieved 2010-03-11.
- Dalton, C. H. (2007). A Practical Guide to Racism. Gotham. pp. 61–62. ISBN 1-59240-348-4.
- Laramée, Franc̜ois Dominic (200w). Game Design Perspectives. Cengage Learning. p. 137. ISBN 1-58450-090-5.