When it comes down to it, fighting games are all about the gameplay. People only really care about how well they play and if they’re any fun. Usually very little effort is put into the story, and understandably so.
But there’s one exception: it’s always fun and rewarding when you unlock a character’s ending. You do so by finishing a fighting game’s arcade mode, which usually has you go through 10 to 12 rounds of random fights. A bunch of these endings veer away from a fighting game’s plot and don’t really fit in with a certain character’s personality and aesthetic, but they’re still pretty amusing. These cutscenes are where the developers really let loose and get all kinds of crazy, creative, and, most importantly, weird.
As a huge fan of fighting games, I feel pretty confident that these are the six most bizarre fighting game endings ever.
KILLING YOUR FAMILY AS AN ASTRONAUT
Tekken, from Japanese studio Bandai Namco, is one of the biggest 3D fighting game franchises in the world. You can block, throw, kick, punch, and dish out some devastating combos while moving around in a 3D playing field; meaning, you can freely move in 360 degrees. It’s renowned for its crazy endings as well. One of Tekken’s oldest characters is martial artist Heihachi Mishima. With his crazy hairdo and stern look, Heihachi is only one of four fighters to have appeared in all major installments in the series, and he often plays a central role in the plots. But recently he’s mostly just been comedic relief and is really no longer a main character, which has led to some truly comical and peculiar endings.
In Tekken 6 Heihachi dress up as an astronaut, kidnaps his son and grandson Kazuya Mishima and Jin Kazama—both important Tekken characters as well—somehow gets a spaceship, and attempts to kick both Kazuya and Jin into outer space. Cue some quirky music and the fact that Heihachi ends up drifting into space as well, and we have ourselves an ending that has nothing to do with the game (which is about civil war and corporate corruption), but one that shows just how bad a family relationship can get. Oh, and all three characters burn alive once they get closer to Earth. Fantastic.
COMMUNISM AND DANCING
Developed by Capcom, Street Fighter II is considered to be one of the best fighting games ever made, and arguably the best entry in the series. It was the first one-on-one fighting game to let players choose from a variety of fighters that each have their own unique moves and special attacks. Released in 1991 when the Soviet Union was still around, the game introduced one of the series’ most popular fighters in Russian wrestler Zangief, whose moves largely consist of grappling and throwing fighters.
After Zangief defeats Street Fighter II’s antagonist M. Bison—who’s also an iconic fighting game character—then-Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev jumps out of a random helicopter to congratulate Zangief on his victory and for making his country proud. Right afterwards, Gorbachev and Zangief start to mindlessly break into Barynya, a traditional Russian folk dance that involves a lot of leg movement. They do this for a whole minute while not saying much. Why did Capcom include a controversial Russian communist leader in a Japanese fighting game? Well, we’ll probably never know.
BEING PUNISHED FOR SAVING THE WORLD
Bandai Namco’s other major 3D fighting game franchise is Soul Calibur. In these games you use weapons like nunchucks and swords to kick some ass instead of fists and legs. Though the series has been around for a while—since 1996—the one ending that stands out the most is Cassandra’s attempt to fix a powerful sword in Soul Calibur III. She’s a series regular and has a twin sister named Sophitia.
Cassandra tries to destroy an evil weapon called Soul Edge by using her sister’s legendary sword. She succeeds, but only to find Sophitia’s weapon cut in half in the process. Panicking Cassandra tries to pretend the sword is okay by putting it back where she found out, but Sophitia eventually finds out. Cassandra then, stuck in a dungeon somewhere, spends an exorbitant amount of time trying to put the sword back together. She eventually gives up and cries. The fact that she probably saved the world is totally ignored by everyone.
Nina, one of Tekken’s oldest characters, has her crotch grabbed by her sister Anna in Tekken 1. You’re probably wondering why, right? Well apparently, Anna accused Nina of stealing one of her expensive shoes. She comes storming into Nina’s room, yells at her, and then proceeds to grab her crotch.
Of course Nina denies it and retaliates by slapping Anna. She then turns around to face the player to reveal she did actually steal Anna’s shoe. The whole thing is only 30 seconds long and makes absolutely no sense.
SERVING DRINKS IN A G-STRING
Heihachi is back at it again, only this time he serves his stepson (Lee Chaolan, another old Tekken character) alcoholic drinks at a pool party while wearing a very provocative g-string. The 75-year-old man is pretty much completely naked save for some particular areas. Oh, and he’s also wearing a bowtie that acts as a shock collar.
The real question behind this scene is why is Lee forcing his stepdad to serve drinks while wearing a small g-string. Has this always been a fantasy of his? Is this how Lee punishes people? And why is poor Heihachi constantly doing insane things? Maybe the next Tekken game will finally answer these hard-hitting questions.
BECOMING A MERMAID
Perhaps the one ending that really feels as if the game studio was playing some sort of sadistic joke on the player is Kasumi’s ending in Dead or Alive 4. The series, like Tekken, is set in a 3D playing field but puts an emphasis on striking characters quickly and efficiently. Kasumi is one of the main protagonists in the series, and is a teenaged female ninja. In this fourth installment Kasumi transforms into a mermaid, swims around in an ocean while playing with a few fishes, and then gets caught by a huge fish net.
Thankfully after having a panic attack Kasumi wakes up realizing it was all just a terrible nightmare, and then takes a quick glance at her fish tank. As you’d probably guess, the whole thing feels like a random acid trip, complete with a random J-pop soundtrack.
Aleksander Gilyadov is a freelance writer with an eclectic taste in film, music, and games. He believes Breaking Bad is the greatest show mankind has concocted, and that The Sopranos is actually a bit overrated.
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