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Virtua Fighter

Virtua Fighter is a beat 'em up video game developed by the Sega studio AM2, headed by Yu Suzuki. The Virtua label indicates the on screen action takes place in 3D, the first game of this genre to do so. The images were created using wireframes and flat-shaded polygons. Beyond 3D it retained the staple of multiple characters, each with their own distinctive 'moves'.

Virtua Fighter was released in 1993 as an arcade game using hardware jointly developed by Lockheed Martin and Sega. New versions of the game accompained each new iteration of the base hardware (Model 1, Model 2 and Model 3), "Virtua Fighter 2" was released in 1994 and "Virtua Fighter 3" in 1996 with "Virtua Fighter 3tb" in 1997 adding tournament battles featuring more than two characters. "Virtua Fighter 4" was released on the NAOMI hardware in 2001. The game is consistently popular in its home arcade market.

The transition of Virtua Fighter to the home console was initially difficult due to the comparative weakness of early Sega consoles, but VF2 featured on the 32X and the Genesis. The game was first ported to the Sega Saturn in 1995 but suffered due to poor graphics and jerky game-play - there was even a free upgrade ("Virtua Fighter Remix") to deal with the problems. Sega released Virtua Fighter 2 on the Saturn for Christmas 1995 and a super-deformed version called "Virtua Fighter Kids". Also released for the Saturn and related to Virtua Fighter were "Fighter's Megamix" (1996) and the curious "Virtua Fighter Portrait Series" (1996). The first port was to the Dreamcast by Genki with "Virtua Fighter 3tb" in 1998. With "Virtua Fighter 4", following Sega's retreat from the hardware market in mid-2001, it was ported by Sega to the Sony PlayStation 2 in 2002.

The Dreamcast game Shenmue, also developed by AM2/Yu Suzuki, was called "Virtua Fighter RPG" in the early stages of development and features a Virtua Fighter-like fighting system and in-game Virtua Fighter memorabilia.

The eight basic fighters that have been in all four games are:

  • Akira Yuki, a 25-year-old kung-fu teacher from Japan
  • Pai Chan, an 18-year-old martial arts movie star from Hong Kong
  • Lau Chan, Pai's father, a 53-year-old cook from China
  • Wolf Hawkfield, a 27-year-old professional wrestler from Canada
  • Jeffry McWild, a 36-year-old Rastafarian fisherman from Australia
  • Kagemaru Hagakure, a 22-year-old ninja from Japan
  • Sarah Bryant, a 20-year-old college student from San Francisco, CA
  • Jacky Bryant, Sarah's older brother, a 23-year-old race car driver also from San Francisco.
  • Dural, an android-like creature

Characters not in all four games include:

  • Shun Di, an 82-year-old herbal doctor from China
  • Lion Rafale, a 15-year-old rocker from France
  • Aoi Umenokouji, a 17-year-old princess from Japan
  • Lei-Fei, a 21-year-old monk from China
  • Vanessa Lewis, a 26-year-old security officer from Atlanta, GA.

The main theme is "Youth of the Nation" by P.O.D. The studio that will make movies of it will be DreamWorks pictures.

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