Elena (Street Fighter)
|Street Fighter character|
Elena in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike OE
|First game||Street Fighter III (1997)|
|Designed by||Akiman, "Mori" (Street Fighter III)|
High school student
Elena (エレナ Erena) is a character in the Street Fighter series who made her first appearance in Street Fighter III: New Generation in 1997. The first black female character of the Street Fighter franchise, Elena is an expert in capoeira, and she is a nature-loving and light-hearted daughter of an East African tribal leader who has attended schools abroad and travels the world to make friends. She has been well received for a variety of reasons, including her innovative fighting style and very smooth animation in Street Fighter III, and was noted as a very powerful character in Ultra Street Fighter IV.
Elena is the young daughter of a small African tribe with a warrior culture tradition from a savannah in Kenya. Her loving father, the patriarch of the tribe, has a doctorate from a French university. Elena was raised in the vast nature of Africa and she aspires to study abroad like her father did before her. She is an extremely skilled adept of capoeira, a fighting style which mostly use one's legs to fight.
Elena is 183 cm tall and weighs 52 kg, her measurements are B83 / W58 / H88, and her birthday is on September 18. She has a tomboyish but light-hearted personality, and loves music and dance. While very energetic and golden hearted, she is also smart, sociable, and culture-adaptive. Elena is always eager to learn more about the world, which is part of the reason for her travels. She is able to hear and comprehend various rhythms as well as the voices of the wind and trees.
Elena made her debut in Street Fighter III and its subsequent expansions, Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact and Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. In her Street Fighter III ending, Elena ends up being transferred to a high school in Japan as an exchange student, where she has befriended a young Japanese girl named Narumi (ナルミ) and writes home to her parents about her experiences. Her story does not change much in 2nd Impact, although Elena has an additional role as one of Hugo's potential partners in one of his multiple endings as "Elena the Wilderness Warrior", becoming the tag team of "Beauty and the Beast". In 3rd Strike, a year has passed since Elena has left Japan to study medicine abroad in France during the new year. Before beginning her studies again, Elena decides to street fight once again to seek new friends. In her ending, Elena writes back to her Japanese friend after returning to France from spending her summer vacation in Japan again and invites Narumi to visit her in Africa during her winter vacation.
She returns in Ultra Street Fighter IV, the final update for Street Fighter IV.[note 1] While sparring with her brother, Elena feels unsettled by the feelings she senses from the surrounding trees. Her father confirms her suspicions, claiming to have already discussed the matter with the shaman. It has been determined that "a bringer of death" once walked amongst their people. The "seeds of sadness" this individual has proceeded to sow around the world have caused the trees to respond with "strange noises," the source of her disquiet. Believing that this person is associated with the upcoming S.I.N. tournament, he then reveals that he has decided to enter her into it. Furthermore, as head of the tribe, he then commands her (amid protests from her brother) to observe the fighters and thus determine "the truth", to which she happily agrees. After the tournament, Elena tells her father that she has made many friends along the way. She reflects on her selfies with the fighters in the tournament and recalls her experience with Blanka, El Fuerte, Dudley, and even Akuma. She resolves to travel the world and become friends with people from every country. With that, she decides to head for her next trip to Japan, where she meets up with Sakura.
Elena is featured as a playable character via DLC in Street Fighter X Tekken. A few elements of Elena's story are based on her role in the Street Fighter III: Ryu Final manga, including her choice of Dudley as her partner. In her story, Elena finds herself summoned to Dudley's estate and tells him she was told by a tree in his garden that the two of them must take a journey to Antarctica. Dudley agrees to accompany her but insists that he return in time for his next bout. Along the way, the two meet Tekken's Christie Monteiro, a fellow capoeira fighter whom Elena spars with. While Dudley was less than thrilled about the journey to begin with, it turns out that Elena's cheerful demeanor helped make it a fun trip. As Pandora opens, it creates a geyser of light, reminding Elena of "flowers falling from the sky", prompting Dudley to invite her to his garden. Returning to Britain, Elena told the tree who summoned her all about the trip, and the tree seemed to be listening intently.
Elena is one of the playable Capcom-side character cards appearing in the SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash series. She appears in a cameo in the beach stage in Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix and in the London stage in Capcom vs. SNK 2. Elena was added to the social game Street Fighter Battle Combination in 2016.
In Street Fighter III: Ryu Final, a manga adaptation of the game, Elena has a small but nevertheless important role as she is able to mystically communicate with Ryu via a sacred tree when he was temporarily knocked out during his battle with Dudley. After speaking with Elena, Ryu is able to develop a new technique called "The Fist of the Wind" with which he defeats Dudley. Elena appears in a larger role in the Street Fighter Legends: Ibuki comic book series by UDON Entertainment. In it, she ends up being sent to the same school as Ibuki, Makoto, Narumi, and Sarai Kurosawa. Her height and exotic appearance cause her to become popular with her classmates, and she ends up fighting alongside Ibuki and Makoto against the Geki ninja clan.
Design and gameplay
Street Fighter III producer Tomoshi Sadamoto recalled: "We decided the country of origin before anything else. Once we decided on Africa, we felt that a female character made for better style. A male would end up being stern, and we already had plenty of stern characters. Our image of African women was that they hand long arms and legs, so we felt capoeira was a fitting fighting style for her. But we didn't have a lot of materials about it, so that was difficult. At the time we couldn't quickly look of videos on the internet, like we can do now." She was originally envisioned to use a long spear.
Elena's visual design is somewhat similar to Dhalsim's, but her fighting style is strikingly different. Elena is noted for her unique gameplay style in the series, as she only uses kicks. The fighting style of Street Fighter V's Laura resembles a mix of Elena's and Abel's. Elena's English voice actress, Karen Dyer, cosplayed the character to promote crowdfunding campaign for her live-action series project.
Elena is one of the only characters who can heal, which she uses her Super Arts to do. In Ultra Street Fighter IV, she is the only one with both offensive and defensive Ultras, the latter of which can restore half of her health bar. According to Red Bull, Elena earned an infamy during the 2015 Capcom Pro Tour for being an overpowered character "terrorizing" the players at the game's early tournaments, as her "healing Ultra, ridiculously awkward hurtbox, and even more ridiculous range and hit box was a nightmare scenario for many." Prior to the release, TechnologyTell has predicted her to be "probably be the best character for beginners" as well.
Elena was mostly very well received by video game critics and writers. According to the Computer & Video Games reviewer of the arcade version of her first game, Elena had "the most animation frames of any 2D hand drawn character in [fighting game] history. Her animation appears to be two to three times smoother than any other character in SFIII." The magazine compared her "incredible" taunt animation to "a particularly smooth cartoon." Electronic Gaming Monthly remarked that her lack of punch attacks make her awkward to use, but she can be an effective fighter for players who get used to her unusual kicks. Elena was also noted as one of the relatively few black female or African characters in video games. In her article on black game characters, game designer Brenda Brathwaite cited Elena as a character who has a stereotypical design, though fellow game designer Seth Smith noted that black players tended to gravitate to such characters. In 2012, Complex ranked her as the seventh best black character in video games, adding "though not one of the most popular characters in the franchise, Elena has a cult fanbase that adores her and so do we." That same year, ScrewAttack included her among top ten underrated Street Fighter characters. Ultra Street Fighter IV review by Retro Gamer stated: "We've always been big fans of Hugo and Elena, so they're our favourite additions."
Gamasutra's Brandon Sheffield expressed a desire to see her in Super Street Fighter IV, calling her his favourite character. Similarly, GamesRadar chose Elena as one of the 12 most-wanted Street Fighter characters for Super Street Fighter IV due to "wearing almost nothing and acrobatically showing off her crotch at every opportunity" and the smoothness of her animation in Street Fighter III, adding that she was "much more than just a bikini-clad tease with impossibly fluid and graceful movements" and called her a "lot of fun to play" and "the exact polar opposite of Balrog". Planet Xbox 360 shared the sentiment, listing her as one of the characters they most wanted to see in Street Fighter IV while further adding that "Elena would bring a lot of depth to character roster that truly needs more women representation ... if guys drool over Cammy’s legs, then Elena should make them blush in the company of other women."
She has gained a popularity among the series' fandom as well. In an official poll by Namco in 2012, Elena was the 13th most requested Street Fighter character to be added to the roster of Tekken X Street Fighter. She won Gameyaro.com's vote for the most kawaii Street Fighter female. In a 2018 worldwide poll by Capcom, Elena was voted 42nd most popular Street Fighter character (out of 109).
- Street Fighter Eternal Challenge. Capcom. p. 126.
- あきまんウオッチ・ソルジャー76 [@akiman7] (8 February 2013). "機械戦士（めかばとらー）ギルファーやメタルKを描いた巻来功士先生のアシスタントをやった事もあるという経歴でやってきた「森」という男がスト２のサガットを作りモリガンのドットを制作しスト３ではエレナを制作しました。彼の進化が初期から中期の格ゲーにかなりの影響を及ぼしています" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- CVG issue 185 (1997-04) page 87.
- "キャラ図鑑047:エレナ | キャラ図鑑 | 活動報告書 | CAPCOM：シャドルー格闘家研究所". Game.capcom.com. Retrieved 2016-07-08.
- 株式会社インプレス. "カプコン、PS Vita「STREET FIGHTER X 鉄拳」。「さくら」や「エレナ」など3組6キャラを紹介 - GAME Watch" (in Japanese). Game.watch.impress.co.jp. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
- Furfari, Paul (2010-08-25). "Top 50 Street Fighter Characters". UGO.com. Archived from the original on 2011-06-15. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
- Brandon Sheffield (March 1, 2010). "Features - Careful, Capcom: Christian Svensson Speaks". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
- "Take a Look at Elena, Poison, and Rolento's Arcade Mode Endings in Ultra Street Fighter IV". Shoryuken. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
- "― 「STREET FIGHTER X 鉄拳」，追加12キャラの公式タッグプロローグを全3回で公開。第1回は「エレナ＆ダッドリー」と「ラース＆アリサ」" (in Japanese). 4gamer.net. 2012-07-19. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
- "カプコン、『ストリートファイター バトルコンビネーション』で、さくら、いぶき、エレナの3人が可愛くて甘い「バレンタインアーツ」になって登場 | Social Game Info" (in Japanese). Gamebiz.jp. 2016-01-30. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
- "Elena ‹ Characters ‹ Encyclopedia - MyFigureCollection.net (Tsuki-board.net)". MyFigureCollection.net. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
- "Round 4: Tomoshi Sadamoto Part 3". game.capcom.com. Retrieved 2018-11-24.
- Street Fighter III. Gamest Mook (in Japanese). 185. Shinseisha. p. 125.
- "Ultra Street Fighter IV [DLC] – recenzja | Polygamia" (in Polish). Polygamia.pl. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
- "Ultra Street Fighter IV - recenzja" (in Polish). gram.pl. 2014-08-22. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
- Ishaan (2014-02-28). "Elena Puts On A Show In Ultra Street Street Fighter IV Character Video". Siliconera. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
- Mitchell Saltzman (2016-02-16). "Street Fighter V Review | Reviews | The Escapist". Escapistmagazine.com. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
- "Street Fighter, Resident Evil Actress Karen Dyer in Cosplay to Launch Kickstarter Campaign for Action Spy TV Series - Press Release". Digital Journal. 2016-02-17. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
- "「ウルトラストリートファイターIV」，"体力回復ウルコン"を持つカポエイラ使いの新キャラ エレナの技紹介PVを公開" (in Japanese). 4Gamer.net. 2014-04-17. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
- Edge issue 263 page 54.
- Michael Martin. "What We Learned at Capcom Cup 2015". Redbull.com. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
- "Look at all five new Ultra Street Fighter IV fighters - GamerTell". TechnologyTell. 2014-03-17. Retrieved 2016-07-08.
- CVG issue 184 (1997-03) page 84.
- "Rewriting the Street Fighter Legend". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 92. Ziff Davis. March 1997. p. 71.
- Kieran Yates. "Aurion: the mission to create African video-game heroes | Technology". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
- "African Stereotypes – National Stereotypes". Nationalstereotype.com. 2015-11-14. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
- Endo, Tom (2008-11-04). "The Escapist : What if the Player is Black?". The Escapist. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
- "7. Elena — The 10 Best Black Characters In Video Games". Complex. 2012-06-26. Retrieved 2013-10-09.
- ScrewAttack, Top 10 Underrated Street Fighter Characters, ScrewAttack's Top 10, GameTrailers.com, 03/17/2012.
- Retro Gamer issue 131 page 98.
- Mikel Reparaz (Oct 2, 2009). "12 fighters we'd like to see in Super Street Fighter IV, Street Fighter Alpha Anthology PS2 Features". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2011-04-09.
- "Ten Characters We Want in Street Fighter IV". Planetxbox360.com. Retrieved 2011-11-04.
- Tekken vs Street Fighter Archived August 13, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
- "ウル4の女キャラ可愛さランキングｗｗｗｗｗ | ゲームやろ。". Gameyaro.com. 2014-08-29. Retrieved 2016-07-08.
- "第1回 キャラクター人気投票 | CAPCOM：シャドルー格闘家研究所". game.capcom.com (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-11-24.