10 Fighting Game Characters That Were Cut Before Their Games’ Release

Fighting games allow gamers to express themselves through the characters they play. Each character in any given fighting game has not just their own gameplay style, but their own personality and flair. This is why the quality and size of a fighting game’s roster is often so important to players.

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However, through the development of a game, not all intended characters are able to make the final cut, whether it be due to time constraints or other factors. In some cases, characters even make it into later stages of development scrapped. Here are just a few examples of characters that were intended to be included in classic fighting games, but players wound up missing out on.

10 Bowser – Super Smash Bros. (N64)

The first entry of the Super Smash Brosseries featured a roster of twelve playable characters, a size that is quite sparse by today’s standards. Upon looking at the game’s roster with a modern perspective, one can immediately not the game’s complete lack of playable villains.

However, this lack of playable antagonists was not always the intent. Both Bowser and King Dedede were playable in an early stage of the game’s development but were ultimately cut from the final version.

9 Umbrella – Skullgirls

While Parasoul’s little sister Umbrella appears within Parasoul’s story in Skullgirlsshe was originally intended to be a playable character. However, resources limitated how many characters could be included in the release of the game. Umbrella wound up being planned as a DLC character.

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Unfortunately, as DLC was developed for the game, developers continuously pushed her onto the back burner. Luckily, nearly ten years after the game’s initial release, Umbrella has been confirmed as an upcoming DLC character.

8 Wario – Super Smash Bros. Melee

Despite being referred to many as one of the greatest fighting games of all time, Super Smash Bros Melee had a notoriously short and fast-paced development cycle. The game was made in its entirety in only thirteen months, and it has been said that series creator Masahiru Sakurai’s lifestyle was “destructive” at this time.

Due to the rushed nature of this development, its no surprise that not all characters were able to make the final cut. For example, Wario was said to have been included, if the team had more time to develop the game.

7 Karin – Marvel Superheroes Vs. Street Fighter

First appearing in Street Fighter Alpha 3, Karin is a fan-favorite character in the Street Fighter series, serving as the rival to Sakura. A little-known fact about the character is that her sprites exist within the game Marvel Superheroes Vs. Street Fighter, hinting at her potential inclusion within the game.

This is quite interesting as Marvel Superheroes Vs. Street Fighter was released prior to Alpha 3. This means that if she had been in the game, it would’ve been the character’s first appearance.

6 Sheng Long – Street Fighter: The Movie: The Game

A fictitious Street Fighter character, Shen Long is the result of a hoax by the magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly. Based off a mistranslation of a line within Street Fighter II, the hoax stated that a character named Sheng Long could be fought in the game if very specific requirements were met.

While the character has never been made playable, there were plans to make this hoax character legitimately playable in Street Fighter: The Movie: The GameYet, as of now, players have never been able to choose him as their fighter.

5 Edgardo – Soul Calibur III

Edgardo is a character who was intended to be part of Soul Calibur III‘s roster. However, the development team ultimately cut him out due to time limitations.

The game’s developers planned him as a fighter that wielded two swords that could change form. Edgardo was later repurposed as a custom character of Soul Calibur: Broken Destiny‘s Quick Match mode.

4 T. Hawk & Dee Jay

T. Hawk and Dee Jay originally came to the Street Fighter series in the Super Street Fighter II title. While they each became playable in Super Street Fighter IV, it is likely that they were each intended to be playable within the vanilla version of the game.

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Their fellow Super Street Fighter II characters Cammy and Fei Long were each playable in the original version of Street Fighter IV. Additionally, their character models can even be found within the game’s code.

3 Roy – Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Despite the fact that Roy was an incredibly popular character in Super Smash Bros. Melee, he did not return in the game’s sequel, Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Most likely, he was cut in favor of the inclusion of the at-the-time modern protagonist of the series, Ike.

Digging into the game’s code shows evidence that the team planned to put Roy into the game at some point during development. Sadly, he didn’t make the final roster.

2 Dojima & Nanako – Persona 4 Arena

Persona 4 Arena‘s cast is made up primarily of party members from Persona 4 and Persona 3. At some point during the game’s development, having additional playable Persona 4 characters on the roster was a possibility.

While Nanako remains in the game as a potential announcer, an interview with the developers of the game  revealed that the designers wanted to include both Nanako and Dojima as playable characters. However, Atlus shot down this concept.

1 King Cobra – Street Fighter IV

Street Fighter IV introduced the joke character of Rufus to the series, having him serve as the rival to Ken. Despite this, numerous pieces of concept art have shown that the original intent for Ken’s new rival was to be a much more serious and imposing figure known as King Cobra.

King Cobra has not been included in or even mentioned within any entries in the series. However, the character’s outfit was included as an alternate costume for Ken in Street Fighter IV.

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