Guile (Street Fighter character)

Guile (Street Fighter)

is a video game character in Capcom's Street Fighter series of fighting games. Although his role in the Street Fighter story is minimal, he is considered the third leading male character in the series, after Ryu and Ken, largely due to his effectiveness as a character and his popularity. In the live action Street Fighter movie, Guile is given the full name of William F. Guile with the military rank of colonel, which was also used in the US Street Fighter cartoon, but was never adapted into the video game series. In the Udon Street Fighter comic book, Guile is the character's first name.

History

Street Fighter series

Guile made his first appearance in Street Fighter II as one of the eight selectable characters featured in the original version of the game. A Major in the United States Air Force, he leaves his country and family to enter the World Warrior tournament and avenge his friend Charlies death, who was killed by M. Bison, the tournament's sponsor sometime before the events of the game. In his ending, he defeats Bison, but is dissuaded from killing him by his wife Jane (Julia in the Japanese version) and their daughter Amy (Kris in Japan). Guile spares Bison and returns home to his family.

Guile's war buddy Charlie would appear in the later prequel series Street Fighter Alpha, although Guile himself did not appear in this sub-series until the console versions of Street Fighter Alpha 3 (). Originally Guile was a hidden character in the initial PlayStation version of the game, subsequent versions made him part of the initial roster. In his storyline in the game, Guile is an Air Force lieutenant ordered to track down Charlie, who has gone missing. Guile eventually fights Charlie, as well as Bison as his final opponent. In his ending, Guile infiltrates Bison's base with Charlie and sets explosives on the Psycho Drive, only for them to be caught in the act by Bison. Charlie holds off Bison while Guile escapes and the base explodes with Charlie still in it.

Guile appears as a playable character in Street Fighter EX and its two sequels, Street Fighter EX2 and Street Fighter EX3 (). The storyline of the EX trilogy takes place at the same time as Street Fighter II. In addition to tracking down Shadaloo to avenge Charlie, Guile is also hunted by a mercenary named Doctrine Dark (another playable character in this sub-series), who is actually a former subordinate named Holger. His relationship with Ken as brothers-in-law (with their respective wives being sisters) is mentioned for the first time in the games in Ken's ending in the Japanese version of the original EX2.

Guile is one of the returning characters who appears in the arcade version of Street Fighter IV, which is scheduled for future release on home consoles. In an animated teaser for the home versions, Guile seeks authorization to conduct a rescue mission for his missing comrade Charlie, but his request is denied by his superiors.

Other games

Guile appears in both the arcade and home versions of Street Fighter: The Movie, which were two separately-produced fighting games that used digitized footage from the live-action Street Fighter film (in which Guile was the lead character). Van-Damme posed for Guile's animation frames in the game. The Alpha 3 incarnation of Guile appears as a selectable character in a few fighting game crossovers which includes Marvel vs. Capcom 2 Capcom vs. SNK Capcom vs. SNK 2 and Capcom Fighting Jam (). He also appears in the SNK-produced installments of SNK/Capcom crossovers in SNK vs. Capcom: Match of the Millennium SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos and the SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash series.

Character design

Early Street Fighter II sketches and notes suggest that Guile was developed specifically to appeal to American fans. His physical appearance is strikingly different from the many Asian characters in the Street Fighter series, with light blue eyes, a chiseled jaw, and a particularly tall flattop haircut. The length of Guile's hair varies greatly from appearance to appearance. It is relatively realistic in Street Fighter II, and impossibly tall in SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom. Capcom sourcebooks suggest that Guile's famous hairdo is styled with a special-order army hair spray to keep it up (though he ends up fixing it quickly after a match).

Another way Guile's image differs from the Asian combatants in the series is his Flag of the United States tattoos. Currently, he has one on each deltoid. Finally, Guile's Military fatigues complete his all-American look.

Guile wears Charlie's dog tag alongside his own, as he searches for Bison.

Stage

In all versions of Street Fighter II Guile's stage is set on a United States Air Force airbase with an F-16 fighter jet in the background and a large, smashable wooden crate on either side. It is assumed the developers designed the stage this way to reinforce the fact that Guile is in the United States Air Force and not in the United States Army Aviation Branch of the United States Army. The F-16 was chosen in particular due to the real-life presence of F-16s on USAF airbases in Japan therefore making it one of the most recognized planes in Japan.

Gameplay

Guile's special moves are activated using the 'charge' style of gameplay, where a player holds the joystick in one particular defensive direction for 2 seconds, before moving it in the opposite direction and pressing an attack button. This type of gameplay can potentially make Guile a defensive character, but because of the minimal lag after his Sonic Boom, he can follow it and use his various forward-moving attacks to pressure the enemy, which makes him offensively very powerful as well. Since his moves can be charged at any time (even while on the floor, or dizzied), a skillful player can move about the playfield while still preparing special moves to attack with. A particular conceit of the CPU AI from the Street Fighter games is that when controlled by the computer, Guile sometimes uses special moves in ways that would not be normally possible, like performing a somersault kick while walking forward, or from an idle position.

Techniques

Guile's two primary special moves are the "Sonic Boom", a projectile-based attack, and the "Somersault Kick" (also known as the "Flash Kick"), an anti-air attack. Both moves require holding the joystick in a direction for a few seconds. Throughout the series, these have been Guile's main special attacks. Unlike every other character since Street Fighter II, Guile has never been given a new special move and, in some game appearances, he has been known to have more Super Combos than special moves. His original Super Combo, the "Somersault Strike" is basically two or three somersault kicks performed in rapid succession. The "Sonic Hurricane" is not a projectile but rather, when executed, a spinning burst of energy surrounds Guile. If it connects, it traps the opponent and does multiple hits. In the Capcom vs. SNK series he gained another Super Move called "Total Wipeout" which allows him to do consecutive punches that end with a final Backhand punch that knocks the opponent away. This move is similar to a super move he had in the Street Fighter EX series called "Opening Gambit", which also features consecutive punches but ends with a modified side Somersault kick instead of a backhand. In SVC Chaos he gains another super move called "Somersault Slash" which is performed like the "Somersault Strike" with punch pressed instead of kick. It is a spinning, vertically traveling, multi-hitting Somersault that carries the opponent upwards and ends with a downward kick knocking the opponent to the ground. In Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 Guile gains a new super move/hyper combo very similar to Charlie's "Crossfire Blitz". It is executed with the same button and motion combination as Charlie's move except in only in the air. Guile dashes forward and, as with Charlie's, the first hit must connect for the automatic, mid-air combo to start if it misses or is guarded against Guile simply lands and is vulnerable to attack. The move ends with a mid-air Flash Kick. In the same game Guile also gained the ability to perform his Somersault Kick in the air without charging.

In other media

Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie

Guile is one of the main characters in Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, where he is voiced by Masane Tsukayama in the Japanese original and by Kirk Thornton (credited as Donald Lee) in the English dub. Guile is assigned to work together with Chun-Li in order to take down M. Bison, whose organization Shadaloo (Shadowlaw in the English dub) has been kidnapping several martial artists and brainwashing them to do his evil bidding. The movie follows Guile's plot from the video game in Guile is tracking down Bison to avenge his friend's death. Eventually Guile does fight Bison near the end of the movie, although all he manages to do is damage his cape with a Sonic Boom. Bison then finishes the fight by blasting Guile down a chasm and then leaving him to die alone, although Guile survives this, and is rescued along with Balrog by E. Honda.

Street Fighter II V

Guile appears in the Street Fighter II V anime series, where he is voiced by Tesshō Genda in the Japanese original and once again by Kirk Thornton in the English dub. In this TV series, Guile is just a regular soldier, who spends most of his time training physically and who has great pride in the U.S. Air Force. He faces Ryu in a bar fight after Ryu and Ken beat up some of his men. Guile easily defeats Ryu, only to face Ken, who challenges him in an air force base to avenge Ryu. Ken is also badly defeated, which motivates the duo to start a training journey and improve their martial art skills by challenging opponents around the world. Later in the series, Guile is recruited by Ken's father along with his friend Nash (who retains his Japanese name in the dub) when Ryu, Ken and Chun-Li are taken captive by Shadaloo. He faces Zangief while infiltrating Bison's base, while Nash confronts Bison himself. He is unable to face Bison, but manages to rescue Chun-Li from her brainwashing.

Live-action film

In the 1994 live-action Street Fighter film, Guile is is played by Belgian actor Jean Claude Van Damme and is the lead character. Van Damme's line in the movie "Are you man enough to fight with me?" is straight from the game. His character is given the rank of Colonel. In this live adaption, Guile is commanding the A.N. forces as he searches for General M. Bison. His motivation for searching for Bison is not to avenge Charlie's death (Charlie is alive throughout the film and gets turned into Blanka by Bison's scientists), but to end Bison's corrupt organization. He is the one who ultimately defeats Bison. Van Damme's hair is spiked and red in the film whilst the game Guile has big blonde hair, even though the character was American, Van Damme's thick European accent was notable.

Street Fighter TV series

The 1995 Street Fighter animated series continued to use the movie's continuity, but also adapted aspects of the video games. Guile returns to his more traditional Capcom look, but remained a Colonel. Blanka remains his best friend, whilst a former female love interest, an exclusive character called Cyndy, appears several times. In this series, Guile continues to use the Street Fighters who aided him in the movie against Bison's legions, but also makes use of other characters not seen in the movie or underused, his goal very much remaining to take down Bison and end his terrorist actions. His Sonic Booms also become a more frequent weapon, being used in often ludicrous ways (like opening a hole in a wall of fire to pass through, and to defuse a ticking time bomb). In the series finale, Guile leads Chun-Li, Cammy, her former team, and Sagat against the insane Bison in a final encounter to prevent him from launching nuclear missiles and annihilating the planet. Guile's attack sends Bison into his own computers, which devour the terrorist and seemingly swallow him whole.

Promotion and reception

8-Bit Theater author Brian Clevinger once described Guile as "the epitome of everything discussed in The Art of War". IGN ranked him at number two in their "Top 25 Street Fighter Characters" article, stating "there's nothing too fancy about him. He's just your basic, no-nonsense, all-American tough guy. Guile has also ranked tenth in ScrewAttack's "Top Ten Coolest Characters".

References

See also

External links

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