They’re genre mainstays that you can’t find anywhere else.
We previously covered the basic character archetypes of fighting games — basic stuff. But, there are some characters that don’t quite fit that mold. In some cases, there are archetypes that are tied to the fighting games they come from. These archetypes are unique, and that’s why we’ve listed down three of them and the fighting games they come from.
Coming from the grandfather of fighting games itself, a Shoto is an archetype that originates from Street Fighter. It comes from the name Shotokan, a style of karate that served as the inspiration for the fighting style of series protagonist Ryu and his rival, Ken.
Shotos are commonly seen as well-rounded fighters with slight differences depending on the character. Ken, for example, has a more aggressive approach compared to Ryu, using his fiery kicks to rushdown opponents.
A Shoto has three special moves that make them what they are. They have a projectile, a rising uppercut, and a forward advancing attack. Many players simply know these moves as a fireball, a dragon punch (or DP), and a tatsu (short for tatsumaki), as they all came from Ryu’s iconic moveset.
Named after the most dysfunctional family in all of fighting games, a Mishima is the unique archetype found in the Tekken Series.
Mishimas are mostly identified through their ability to wavedash, a technique that gives them amazing movement. They also have two iconic attacks, the Electric Wind God Fist (infamous for its difficulty to execute) and the Hellsweep (a slow but powerful attack that can lead to massive damage).
The Mishimas have always been the center of attention in Tekken games. Whether it’s the brooding Kazuya or his equally as moody son, Jin, the Mishimas enjoy widespread popularity among fighting game fans. It’s somewhat ironic then that they are one of the most technically challenging characters in the Tekken series. Proper practice is needed to play a Mishima well, so they attract specialists who can really make these characters shine.
Funny as it may sound, a Space Animal is the most accurate way of categorizing these characters in the Smash Brothers series.
Emphasizing speed and mobility, a Space Animal is light weight and mobile. They can dash around the stage, putting pressure on their opponents while zipping out of reach. Like all characters of the same archetype, they play similarly but with key differences. Falco is the fastest of the bunch but is the lightest, therefore making him easier to knock out of a stage. Wolf is not as agile but his claw attacks are deadlier, allowing him to rack up more damage on his opponents.
Banner images from Bandai Namco, Capcom, and Nintendo.