He drinks a whiskey drink, he drinks a vodka drink …
Street Fighter 6’s two most prominent developers, Director Takayuki Nakayama and Producer Shuhei Matsumoto, recently sat down for an interview with IGN and shared quite a bit of extra information regarding the franchise’s 2023 entry.
At one point they expand on a few particulars about Street Fighter’s newest character, Jamie, a drunken fist / break dance hybrid combatant who has a unique level up system tied to his drinking from a jug that we all presumed contained alcohol. According to the devs, however, it actually does not.
The concept of increasingly drunken characters in fighting games is not new by any stretch of the imagination as franchises like Mortal Kombat, Virtua Fighter, Tekken, and others have explored the space before. Street Fighter, however, has never really featured such a fighter.
When using Jamie, players have the option to take drinks from his jug, (this maneuver is called “The Devil Inside”) and doing so will grant the character access to new and more powerful attacks.
He can take up to four sips each round, the first of which unlocks a target combo, the second unlocks his dive kick, the third grants him access to a command grab, and the fourth grants him increased walk speed as well as damage and range on his rack extension.
Users get to play a bit of a mini game while controlling Jamie as they must decide when to try to sneak these level ups in. There are options to forsake a bit of damage at the end of combos to instead take a gulp, meaning a little extra strategy is involved.
Nakayama offers a bit of insider information on why the team at Capcom ended up creating Jamie the way they did.
“In the Street Fighter series, we hadn’t had a Drunken Fist style character until now,” he starts. “We wanted something new that we hadn’t had before so we looked at fighting styles that fit that, but we also wanted it to be a young character, so we incorporated breakdance which is a lot more connected to modern culture in his moveset as well. We ended up with a character who mixes Drunken Fist and Breakdance and decided to use him as Luke’s rival character.
“Also, he actually isn’t drinking alcohol … It’s more like medication, similar to tea …”
Matsumoto followed this up by noting out loud “A special drink, haha,” to which the live audience erupted with laughter at.
“Yes, a special drink. While battling, he looks for openings to take a sip and gets stronger. It is not just a special move where you drink, he can also go into a drinking mode in the middle of combos,” continued Nakayama.
“He has a level 1 super where he spins around, if you hold the ‘down’ input during this he will stop attacking and cancel it into a drinking animation instead. He’s a character where the key is to find the perfect timing to power yourself up. “
What do you think of Jamie, Street Fighter 6’s newest addition, thus far? From visuals to gameplay, is he the character you’re most interested in thus far, or are you more intrigued by the likes of returning Luke, Ryu, Chun-Li, or Guile? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
A big thank you to Nicholas “MajinTenshinhan” Taylor for translating the interview from Japanese to English.