Feature Article

Why Decapre is Ultra Street Fighter 4's Next World Warrior

You, Me, and Decapre.

The fifth character will be female. She'll come from the Street Fighter comics. And Ultra Street Fighter IV will be her fighting game debut. These hints and others were all we had to go on as to the identity of Ultra Street Fighter IV's mysterious fifth character, who was first teased in the game's announcement trailer. After several months of rampant speculation--including such contenders as Ibuki's friend and Ken's wife--Capcom finally put the rumors to rest at Final Round 17 in Atlanta, Georgia, with the reveal of Decapre, the next world warrior.

If our coverage is any indication, the response to this announcement was mixed at best. Since Decapre lacks the nostalgia Hugo, Poison, Elena, and Rolento enjoy, as well as the novelty of being a completely original character, the odds were already against her. Her status as just another one of M. Bison's assassins--dubbed The Dolls--felt underwhelming to some given the series' strong lineup of memorable characters and outrageous personalities. It also didn't help that she looks almost exactly like Cammy with a mask. Earlier this week, I spoke with developer Capcom about why Decapre made the cut, and what went into designing this brand-new fighter for the series.

A lot of attention was paid to the design of Decapre's scar. The fact that it crosses right between her eyebrows makes her look angry by default no matter what sort of expression she wears. Interestingly, donning her mask allows her to cover the scar and therefore makes her emotional state easier to read. It's quite rare to come across a design like this, where masking a large portion of the face actually makes it easier to read a character's emotions rather than more difficult. --Capcom's Art Team

According to the game's assistant producer, Tomoyaki Ayano, Decapre's status as a Doll was one of the main reasons why she was chosen as the fifth character--to help fix a missing link in the game's roster. "The Street Fighter IV series is basically a compilation of popular characters from the franchise. However, it doesn't speak much about The Dolls, which fan favorites such as Juli and Juni also belong to. We selected the final character from The Dolls so we can further explore the Street Fighter IV universe. We believe that Decapre helps us to understand the aspect of her causal link with Cammy and Shadaloo."

"Rolento, Poison, Hugo, and Elena have all appeared in Street Fighter X Tekken, so we made sure to stay true to their original design," Ayano continued. "As for Decapre, she's never appeared in a game as a playable character. Although she is Cammy's clone in the setting, we wanted to create a distinctive character in terms of her fighting style. Therefore, a lot of elements unique to her character, such as new special moves and charges, have been implemented."

"She's very trick-heavy, with lots of left and right mix-ups to keep up her offense," added senior online and community specialist Peter Rosas. When Rosas first laid eyes on Decapre, she was nothing more than an Excel spreadsheet filled with frame data--the numerical values that represent her attacks. That was last year, and since then he has been hard at work helping mold Decapre into a balanced fighter. "Decapre is not like Cammy at all; she's actually more like E. Honda in that she's a charge-based character who can still be played very offensively. She can excel without relying too heavily on charge-based attacks, but when she's able to get in close and use her charge attacks in conjunction with some pretty great normal attacks, things can get pretty nasty pretty fast."

Unlike some of the other world warriors, Decapre has a fighting style that isn't based on an existing martial art, so it was up to the development team to invent one. As Ayano described it, "Decapre attacks with the daggers equipped to her hands. Unfortunately, there's no real-life analogue for her fighting style, but we've referred to jamadhar, also known as katar, to design her weapon. Her fighting style is distinctive, as she utilizes a powerful claw combined with its hack-and-slash functionality. She's a charge-based character in nature, so some people might imagine that her fighting style might be defensive awaiting the opponent's moves. However, that is actually not the case."

This collection of facial expressions is meant to show the extremes of her emotional states as a way to sort of flesh out the character behind the scenes. However, you don't really see her get this emotional in the game, so these images are rare in that sense. --Capcom's Art Team

In the months following Decapre's spreadsheet origins, Rosas has tested and consulted on three different versions of this fighter. His job is to help ensure she's not "too obnoxious" and is balanced against the rest of the roster. This means she has undergone a lot of changes. "Her second ultra, the DCM or defensive combat maneuver, used to have a three-frame startup, so you could land it off of basically any attack. It also had three different variations: hitting straight across, at a 45-degree angle, or a 90-degree angle. This was too much. You basically couldn't get away from her. You couldn't jump back, you couldn't back dash--she had an option for everything. It was too obnoxious."

It was important for the team to nail the DCM ultra since it is an enhanced version of her signature attack, the scramble, a short-range teleport. Ayano and Rosas agree that Decapre's scramble attacks are her most important asset, and the linchpin of her fighting style. "[Scramble] is a charge-based command attack, but with ultra-fast migration and three different paths: low, medium, and high," explained Ayano. "It is not just a migration, but also comes with a lot of [follow-up] moves, such as blake (sudden stop of migration) and cannon strike (assault from the air). By utilizing these scramble attacks, players are more likely to be ahead of the game."

"I'd say her scramble into ground pound is something you're going to see a lot," said Rosas. "When Decapre knocks her opponent down, she can choose which side she wants to attack from, sort of like what C. Viper does when she flame kicks over some guy's head. If the kick hits, she'll combo accordingly, and the same thing is true for Decapre. When she does a scramble into ground pound, she can hit either the front or back of her opponent, and they have to figure out which one it's going to be. All you see is her dash into the air and vanish, and then wham, she's on the ground. You're going to see that a lot in her mix-up game."

Of course, just like with the DCM, it's important that this attack not be too powerful. "There was actually one version of Decapre where her scramble just ended instantly; like bam she was right in front of you," Rosas added. "It was basically an infinite as she could just teleport nonstop all over the screen. And while it looked really cool, it was just way too obnoxious."

As Capcom has stated, Decapre is around 80 percent complete. However, that last 20 percent is a tightrope of minute tweaks and attack rebalancing. "I want to see the public's reaction to her," said Rosas. "She's a far cry from her previous, overpowered versions and is definitely more in line with the rest of the cast. But at the same time, due to her pretty good moveset, I want to see what other people can do. I can only do what I can do, I can't account for what people like Desk--that combo guru--or others might come up with. I just really want to see how the public fights against her, how they use her. Do they focus on her charge attacks or on her normals? What will be the most efficient play style for her?"

Rosas is confident that Capcom, with the community's support, will find these answers ahead of Ultra Street Fighter IV's June release date, just a few short weeks before their game is put to the ultimate test at this year's Evolution Championship Series.

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Discussion

50 comments
kane6911
kane6911

BOOOOOOOOO i would have preferred ken's wife 

seriousdave
seriousdave

Well, at least they proclaim she has a different fighting style than Cammy. But hey, maybe the will give us a new Ryu-clone with "Super Duper Street Fighter IV: shut up and give us your money Hyper Arcade Turbo Edition"

forkandplate
forkandplate

I don't have any of the previous sf4 versions so I'll be picking this up on steam. It looks like fun

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

yay, new character... xcept not really... its an old character

TheLeftHandDoom
TheLeftHandDoom

You guys are complaining that Capcom put another clone in SFIV?  Don't you remember SFIVAE:  Evil Ryu = Oni= Akuma

zerohournow
zerohournow

just when i thought people couldn't get bent out of shape over something more trivial...I have to set the bar even lower.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

Been watching ESGN Fight Night for a bit now, people love some Cammy. I still want to see people actually play this character before judgement.

LittleMac19
LittleMac19

I stopped right at Super Street Fighter IV in 2010 because I knew what would eventually happen.

Kyrylo
Kyrylo

Well innovation before death RIP street fighter.

tomtutt
tomtutt

If they wanted to explore the SF universe, why not choose a Doll that doesn't look like a mod Cammy (which Decapre is), or even better, Karin.

wexorian
wexorian

Well because she's reskined cammy, ooh god so much "innovation", they can't be more lazy than this, if they want to make quick cash just make SR V kickstarter , With those charatcers: Gill.oro,urien and necro added to main cast again

megakick
megakick

Could have picked another doll and Decapre as a skin for Cammy.

pip3dream
pip3dream

This is so lame... They couldn't even come up with a new character?  This isn't the 90's where the only reason we had characters that were clones was because of limited ram in cabinets.  Even subzero and scorpion no longer look exactly the same.

SoulScribe
SoulScribe

OMG Cammy got a mask and a stereotype Russian accent. SOLD!

nights_team2k7
nights_team2k7

So instead of creating a new character, they give us a Dural clone???

finalfantasy94
finalfantasy94

Simple answer is capcom didint want to put any real work into this. This all could have been avoided if they didint keep saying new. Its a freaking cammy costume change.

chev9341
chev9341

I got to say this, the price for USFIV should be lowered. The DLC version should be 5$ and the disc based version should be 20$.


If Capcom did that, I would be the disc based version NEW instead of getting it from the 5$ used bin like I do with all the other Capcom games from the last gen.

MonkeyRobot
MonkeyRobot

I think the real reason people are raging over this character is that fact capcom trolled us. I believe if they just said who the fifth fighter was at the start there would be some disagreement, but not full on rage. Capcom or the PR team or Ono (whoever you want to blame)thought they were being clever, unfortunately the longer the troll went the higher expectations become (I still think the crowd reaction at the reveal was hilarious). The point I'm trying to make here is this if capcom didn't troll there fan base this whole situation would of went a lot smoother IMO. 


P.S. for those who say SF4 is the worse in the series I say this don't hate the game just hate YOUR skill at it. Last time I check SF3 was drastically different from SF2 all the while being inviting to new people. So when I see "ugh it just not how it use too be blah blah blah" or whatever I think to myself "maybe you should try to understand the systems that are in place instead of complain like a pompous hipster with low caffeine" 

bahamutdragons
bahamutdragons

I feel like this article doesn't explain why Capcom couldn't choose a doll which wasn't a visual clone of an existing character. That's what ticked a lot of people off. It's great that she plays completely differently, but they certainly could have made her look different as well.

horrnet35
horrnet35

Out of the wide ensemble of Street fighter characters, we are given a character palette swap of another existing character. This goes to show how lazy Capcom is and how they don't give a damn about their fans or fan request. All they care about is how to rip fans off!! Off all characters, why this one?? why not upgrade characters like Sean, Alex, Birdie,Oro, R. Mika or give a completely new character that possesses original move-sets with no ties or resemblance to an existing character but ties into the SF universe. Way to go!! 


Well that's me skipping this game.

Shin_Gallon
Shin_Gallon

Too bad she's stuck in the latest revision of the worst Street Fighter since the original Street Fighter 1.

SuplexKirby
SuplexKirby

Seriously...Cammy herself is overrated and yet they add another.

Poodlejumper
Poodlejumper

So...it's another streetfighter character?


Um...OK.

registeredpunk
registeredpunk

The last thing this game need, is another cheap character. 

jark888
jark888

An evil Cammy or Cammy with new costume. That surely is convenient for Capcom designing team. All they need to do is some more special moves.

sladakrobot
sladakrobot

Looks like Cammy in  ablue suit to me!
I wonder,everytime i hear abour new SF4 characters,it turns out to be a comeback from a chara from previous SF or this...so not really a new chara.
Personally,i find the KOF charas more interesting and better/cooler looking.
My last SF was SF Zero 3 on Saturn.

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

I watched a video of combofiend fighting a guy who just won a tournament. that guy used SF4 Sagat, which is widely considered to be the most OP character in SF4. He lost to Decapre.

Then he went to USF4 Yun, widely considered to be the second most OP character. He lost to Decapre again. All the people watching got pissed and walked off because they thought that Decapre was a QCF character. After they found out she is a charge character they calmed down.

chev9341
chev9341

Isn't Maxwell Mcgee the same guy that gave every Capcom fighter a high 8 or a 9 despite lackluster features and crap disc lock content like Street Fighter X Tekken (8.5)?



Also, the reason why Capcom decided to clone Cammy to make this recycled character is because Capcom is broke. But that's not our fault, Capcom is the only one to blame for the situation that they're in. And it also doesn't change the fact that Capcom flat out teased and trolled everyone for the announcement of that character.


It just goes to show how oblivious and arrogant the company truly is. 


Anyways, here comes the trolling from the Capcom fanboys.

chev9341
chev9341

@FallenOneX "I still want to see people actually play this character before judgement."

lol

Gen007
Gen007

@chev9341 so they should charge $5 dollars for a complete rebalance, online training mode, new game mechanics, and 5 new characters for $5? seriously when every other fighting game out generally charges $5 for a single character. Your just one of the people that are are on the hate bandwagon for no reason then.

Gen007
Gen007

@bahamutdragons all of the dolls look pretty similar in body build at least and have similar move sets, Thats canon to to the story. And if you ever seen / played SFA3 when the had juni and juli it was pretty much the same situation.

chev9341
chev9341

@bahamutdragons All I'm seeing is the same movesets from her gameplay. The only difference is that they're charge moves. . .Oh and the frame data is different. 

Give me a break. . . .

JediKnight366
JediKnight366

@horrnet35 Yoshinori Ono was pushing for R. Mika to get into Super Street Fighter 4, but the game director didn't follow through with his request. So someone in the team cares, at least.

Shin_Gallon
Shin_Gallon

@sladakrobot You stopped at the right time, SF4 is casual-friendly garbage with awful art design.

Shin_Gallon
Shin_Gallon

@chev9341 If he gave any version of Street Fighter 4 a score higher than 2 out of 10, I can safely disregard his opinion on fighting games.

chev9341
chev9341

@Gen007 @chev9341 No reply? That's what I thought. No reply, just use your alternate accounts to hit the like button on your shitty-ass post. 

bahamutdragons
bahamutdragons

@Gen007 @bahamutdragons  Yeah but they have different hair, different faces and that makes a lot of difference.  Heck, they could have used any other culture doll, like the black one, the native american. They were a lot of opportunities and I feel like they took the least interesting approach in this instance.

bahamutdragons
bahamutdragons

@chev9341 @bahamutdragons  No the special moves actually are really different.  If you haven't see it yet, check out the Final Round matchup being Peter Rosas and Ryan Hart, they show pretty much what the character is all about.

bahamutdragons
bahamutdragons

@chev9341 @bahamutdragons  It's pretty sad that you'd think I'm a fanboy. You've probably missed most of my other criticisms about the game.


That being said, if the frame data is different, the specials are different, I'm also convinced damage output and health will be different, then she's at least more different than Ryu/Ken. Same body, but as far as gameplay, pretty convinced she'll play differently.

chev9341
chev9341

@bahamutdragons @chev9341 So they put in a one or two new specials? Yay! 

Man, it's so sad that you fanboys think you're smarter than everyone else.