Video Game: Capoeira Fighter

Capoeira Fighter is a series of flash games created by a man known as Scott Stoddard. The first game, Capoeira Fighter, was a generic game with no story and characterization; there were simply two identical figures (save for the color of their pants) for two players to control. The second game, Capoeira Fighter 2, introduced actual characters and somewhat of a storyline (Mestre Loka was holding a Batizado and invited Zumbi to come in order to try to repair their damaged friendship), but the storyline never actually went anywhere, the backstory restricted to the character profiles. The third game, Capoeira Fighter 3, the most recent iteration, redesigned all of the characters with up-to-date graphics and introduced some new ones, and it introduced "Arcade Mode" that had actual storyline resolution and personality characterization. The player could pick someone in Arcade Mode, and after finishing Match 1, the player would begin the storyline with a slideshow-based cutscene. Then, after Match 5, a "Twist" would happen that would either cause the current player's team to split up and cause the player character to gain a new partner, or cause a solo person to gain a partner, or a team to split into a solo, etc. Depending on which of two "choices" the player chose at the "Twist", the player would see a different "Ending" upon completing Match 10.

The backstory of the series kicks off before the games actually take place: a Capoeira Mestre named Mestre Katigura is retiring and needs to choose a successor. His two best students are Mestre Loka, a student that came later on, and Mestre Zumbi, who is named after the legendary capoeira King of Palmares himself. But, to Zumbi's shock, Katigura chose Loka to succeed him instead. Zumbi was so outraged that he left Katigura's (which then became Loka's) capoeira school and founded his own, taking several followers with him. Now, Zumbi is constantly going out of his way to try to repay the humiliation he feels he received at Loka's hands. His latest chance to do this, in Capoeira Fighter 3, is on the grand "World Tour" Loka is planning to show off capoeira to the world, to prove that Zumbi himself is the best, once and for all.

The Capoeira Fighter series, especially Capoeira Fighter 3, the series' finished product, contains examples of:

  • Alien Fast Food Is Appreciated: In the shared ending you get if you finish the game as either Arubim alone, Saryn alone, or as a team of Arubim and Saryn, Arubim is eating a burger, while Saryn is sipping EFRI brand soda.
  • All Amazons Want Hercules: As Zumbi and Cobra's story mode starts off, Cobra is getting sick of Zumbi because Zumbi keeps acting like an asshole, and he's messing with "macumba", or black magic, to boot. But if the player chooses to finish the game as the team of Zumbi and Cobra, Cobra decides to stick with Zumbi since "I know a winner when I see one" (and Zumbi always liked that recognition about her, rather than her feminine snake-like charm) and she knew Zumbi would never lose to Loka. They then drink a toast to victory. So apparently, Cobra's attraction to Zumbi is based on how powerful and strong he is. Interestingly, if the player is playing as Cobra, then after the "Twist" Cobra can switch her partner to Maestro, who also fits the description of a strong, powerful man who's likely to win a lot, but has "better manners" and "more brains" than Zumbi. If you finish the game as Cobra and Maestro, Maestro becomes Cobra's new boyfriend, and Cobra even gets Maestro a job under Cobra's wealthy crime lord father because Maestro's old boss's business was destroyed by Santo, and Maestro usually isn't suited to "legitimate" work.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Buldogue's backstory. She's virtually uneducated, so when she was a child, all her peers wrote her off for looking stupid. This made her angry at the world, and Zumbi turned her rage to his advantage. True to her name, Buldogue, she is now unfailingly loyal to Zumbi, the only person to ever give her any respect. This can change if you play as Ramba and take Buldogue as a partner midway through the game, or if you play Buldogue and switch your partner from Maestro to Ramba, as Ramba offers Buldogue another option for gaining self-respect besides being Zumbi's loyal attack dog.
  • Ascended Dragon: See Maestro under The Dragon below, but in some storylines Maestro's the final boss! Why? Because in addition to being Zumbi's new top student, Maestro is also an "enforcer" for a prominent criminal gang and he's running some schemes that Zumbi has no hand in. Maestro's the one who caused a lot of problems that kickstarted Santo's, Coelha's, and Pantera's storylines.
  • The Atoner: Angoleiro, the old man, used to constantly get into fights as a youth, showing no compassion for anyone and living a life of decadence and indulgence. Meeting his wife, Rosa changed all that and turned him into a compassionate man, so he became inconsolable with grief when Rosa died suddenly of a fever. Now, Rosa's spirit sends him dreams of people who need his help, so he can atone for the sins of his youth. His most recent dream included a young girl with a fierce capoeira style, but he couldn't see her face. He first joins up with Pantera, believing she's the one in his dream. And she is, if you finish the game as a team of Angoleiro and Pantera. But if you switch to Perereca as a partner, Angoleiro believes Perereca's the one the Rosa dream meant, and Angoleiro calls himself a fool for following Pantera, can Perereca forgive an ignorant old man? It should be noted that either way he still manages to help someone: either he helps Pantera not let vengeance get the best of her, or he gives Perereca focus and direction in life.
  • Author Avatar: Maionese, who is none other than an Expy of Scott Stoddard himself. (Thus, to avoid the temptation of stroking his own ego, Stoddard intentionally goes out of his way to portray Maionese as a nervous newbie.)
  • Back to School: The Buldogue and Ramba ending. Ramba managed to get Buldogue to make a Heel Face Turn in the first place because Ramba promised Buldogue that there were more ways for Buldogue to be strong than just physically. In the Buldogue and Ramba ending, Ramba explains that she means that she wants Buldogue to go to school. Buldogue is nervous, since she never went to school in her life, but Ramba thinks Buldogue can do it, and anyway if women like them are ever going to get what they deserve, they're going to need women like Buldogue to lead the way. Buldogue says well in that case she guesses she'll try.
  • Be Yourself: Chompoo's ending has her defy her father's wishes for her future and pursue her own path. Also, Ramba was split between her legal career and her duties as a student to Loka's school, so Loka has Ramba take a break from her legal studies so she can remember what it is she was fighting for.
  • Black Magic: It turns out Zumbi is using "macumba", a Brazilian slang term for black magic (although in Real Life's it's a lot more complicated than that) to make himself stronger and more powerful. Depending on the storyline, you can actually end up fighting "Zumbi Azul", which translates to "Blue Zumbi" as a boss, once the macumba completely takes Zumbi over. In fact, if you play Buldogue and you keep Maestro as your partner throughout the whole story, Zumbi Azul turns both Maestro and Buldogue into zombies by filling them with his power. And if you play Zumbi Azul himself, or alternatively if you play as regular Zumbi but dump Cobra and go solo after the "Twist", his ending consists entirely of Zumbi Azul's evil laughter as he becomes a demonic force for the world to reckon with.
  • Bruce Lee Clone: Lei Long, with a capoeira twist. But other than the capoeira stuff, he fights a lot like Fei Long from the Street Fighter series. His origin is a bit different, though; Lei Long starts the storyline in the circus. He even ends up a "movie star" like Bruce Lee if you finish as him and Helicopter, or at least on a cooking television show if you finish as him and Kuan Yin Shen.
  • Contest Winner Cameo: Not the contest winners themselves, but Stoddard held a contest to design two new fighters for players to unlock. Macacao and Pantera were the fighters designed by the two winners of the contest.
  • Death by Childbirth: In Chompoo's backstory, Chompoo's mother died giving birth to Chompoo, and her father was bitterly disappointed because he wanted a son, and now he's been left with only a daughter. He raised Chompoo but never let Chompoo forget that she wasn't a boy. This is why Chompoo throws herself into kickboxing and does nothing but train, so she can finally earn some approval from her cold father's eyes.
  • Deceptive Disciple: Zumbi doesn't really count; while he and Loka were both disciples to Katigura, Zumbi made it very clear why he turned against Loka after Katigura retired and chose Loka to succeed him, and Zumbi always made it pretty clear he was ambitious anyway. The real deceptive disciple is Maestro, who used to be Loka's student named "Primo", but went with Zumbi after Zumbi lured him away with promises of more power and status. In fact, he actually went under "Primo" in Capoeira Fighter 2, but even that game made it pretty clear that he resented Loka for being above him and Santo for his undying loyalty and goodness; it was in Capoeira Fighter 3 that he finally changed his name to Maestro and went with Zumbi.
  • Doorstop Child: Kuan Yin Shen was abandoned at age four at the doorstep of a Buddhist monastery. The monks kindly took him in and raised him as one of them.
  • The Dragon: Maestro, Zumbi's top student, is this to Zumbi. Interestingly, he used to be one of Loka's students, and back then his alias was Primo. But when Zumbi left Katigura's (and then Loka's) school, he took Primo with him promising Primo more power and status than Loka could ever give. Primo took the offer and became Maestro. Also, Zumbi's girlfriend Cobra and another student named Buldogue sometimes serve as co-Dragons, and Maestro and Cobra sometimes even serve as tag team partners to Zumbi the final boss. Usually though, at least in terms of overall plot, the Dragon is Maestro.
    • On the "good guys" side, namely Loka's school, Jamaika can be seen as a Dragon to Loka, although if you're playing as either Perereca or Furacao, it's possible for either of them to temporarily be Loka's Dragon, but usually it's Jamaika.
  • Freudian Excuse: Zumbi thinks he has one, because he thinks Katigura overlooked him and chose Loka as his successor for no reason. Zumbi is delusional, however; the real reason is that Zumbi got so caught up in his name being the same as the legendary king of Palmares Zumbi's name that he thought he deserved a position he didn't earn. Buldogue, one of the students Zumbi recruited for his own school, has a legitimate version of this trope: everyone used to make fun of Buldogue as a child because she was overweight, so Buldogue stuck with Zumbi because she thought only Zumbi, who was willing to teach her how to be a ferocious fighter, had any respect for her at all. Ramba can change this if you play either Ramba or Buldogue and choose to switch partners at the "Twist".
  • Gaia's Vengeance: You wouldn't know it from looking at Pantera now, but she used to be just an ordinary human anthropologist studying native peoples and the rainforests in which they live. But she became so angry at developers' carelessness towards the rainforest that she lost control of her rage and took on the identity of the "panther spirit".
  • Happily Adopted: Perereca is Loka's adopted daughter-and-student. Perereca was a street urchin but she kept winning street fights against much larger opponents, so Loka adopted her and taught her in his school to try to unlock her mind. This is a challenge because Perereca is completely mute except for her animal growls during fights, and she struggles to control herself in the roda, but by all accounts their relationship is a happy one.
  • Heel-Face Turn: If the player picks Ramba, and chooses to pick up Buldogue as a partner during the "Twist", or if the player picks Buldogue and switches her partner to Ramba during the "Twist", then Buldogue, formerly Zumbi's loyal attack dog, pun intended, becomes a strong, independent woman in her own right with Ramba's help.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender: Gator's backstory. He almost won the 2004 UFC Championship, but was beaten by a mysterious Brazilian fighter in the last round, and said fighter then disappeared. Gator reluctantly started an alligator wrestling business to make a living with his momma, but now considers himself a sellout and wants to break back into the fighting world, swearing a rematch if he ever sees that mystery fighter again. Given who his final boss is in his story mode, it's subtly implied that the mysterious Brazilian fighter who beat him in 2004 was Rochedo.
  • Long-Lost Relative: If you finish the game as a team of Macacao and Kuan Yin Shen, Kuan Yin Shen spots the bracelet around Macacao's wrist and realizes that Macacao is Kuan Yin Shen's long-lost twin brother, since it matches the bracelet Kuan Yin Shen had when his mother left him with the monks as a baby!
  • Lovable Jock: Jamaika, one of Mestre Loka's students. He showboats, he grandstands, in story modes involving him constantly wants to show off his flashiness and general awesomeness to the whole world on the "World Tour". Yet for all of that, he's a nice guy, he's doing it because he loves to perform above all (Jamaika got his start performing for tourists on beaches, and Loka noticed his talent and brought him in as a student), and he loves to please his Mestre, Loka, and do his very best, in order to show the world what real capoeira is really like (Jamaika's backstory mentions that he's almost like a son to Loka). In fact, during the Mestre Loka and Jamaika team "ending", Jamaika utters his one and only line of humility when Loka praises Jamaika for actually having some wisdom behind his grandstanding, and Jamaika responds that that's only because he had Loka for a mestre. (Loka express shock at actual humility he's hearing from Jamaika's mouth, so Jamaika promises not to worry, it won't happen again.)
  • Mafia Princess: Well, "crime boss" princess in Cobra's case, as she's the daughter of a wealthy crime lord and thus is free to do as she chooses.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Pantera's storyline kicks off when she believes Coelha is responsible for native peoples' rainforests being illegally cleared away. Why? Because the company that's doing the clearing is called Vincentin Industries, and the head of that company is Coelha's father himself. Well, Coelha's father did in fact mysteriously disappear, and Santo is in fact investigating possible criminal ties between Vincentin Industries and a criminal gang... Nope, Coelha and her father are both innocent. Maestro is responsible along with some genuinely corrupt executives within the company, and had Coelha's father "disappear" to get him out of the way. Depending on how you finish the game, either Pantera successfully gets her misplaced revenge on Coelha, or the true culprits are brought to justice instead.
  • Name's the Same: A plot point! The source of Zumbi's anger is that because he was named after one of the best capoeiristas of all time, Zumbi feels he is just as good as the legendary Zumbi was, and thus should not have been "overlooked" in favor of Loka.
  • Non-Idle Rich: Rochedo, a former student of Loka's who is now an independent Mestre with his own school, is a good example. He's independently wealthy thanks to his father's tourism business, but he chooses to spend most of his spare time helping underprivileged childre.
    • Coelha is another good example. She's the wealthy heiress of Vincentin Industries, since her father is the head of the company. But she practices capoeira as a student of Loka's in her spare time, since she first learned capoeira from her father on the beach when he practiced in his spare time, but since her father mysteriously disappeared two years ago, she's sought out Loka and is learning capoeira from him as an outlet for her frustration. And she's also investigating the mysterious disappearance of her father. Non-idle rich, indeed.
  • Poisonous Friend: Rochedo is an extremely benign variety of this trope. Rochedo thinks Loka is too trusting, and doesn't realize that Zumbi's jealousy could drive him to do anything. Rochedo agrees to go on the "World Tour" mostly just to be able to keep an eye on Zumbi from behind the scenes so Loka doesn't have to.
  • Pride: Cobra's backstory says Cobra's sick with pride and sees herself as unbeatable. Interestingly, though, during the course of Capoeira Fighter 3, this never has any consequences for her that are too negative. Instead, Zumbi's the one who plays with black magic he doesn't understand until it takes him over, while Cobra, who is secretly superstitious, was the one who warned him he was a fool for messing with macumba. And Maestro can pay for his pride in his and Buldogue's team ending when Zumbi Azul promises them both power, but does so by turning them both into blue zombies.
  • Redemption Earns Life: The above spoilered Heel Face Turn. Buldogue starts out with Maestro as her partner. If she switches to Ramba at the "Twist", this indirectly saves her life: if she keeps Maestro as her partner, then during her ending, both Buldogue and Maestro are turned into zombies with Zumbi Azul's black magic. But switching to Ramba drastically improves Buldogue's life in her ending.
  • Ship Tease: Plenty of it for a game like this, surprisingly. Depending on what choices the player makes at the story mode "Twists", there can be slight hints of romance (or more than slight in some cases) between Coelha and Saturno or Coelha and Santo, Cobra and Zumbi or Cobra and Maestro, Chompoo and Gator, Aleron and Pantera, and Panda and Jimmy Zappa. Possibly Arubim and Saryn too if it was even possible to understand what the heck they're ever talking about.
  • Shout-Out: Jimmy Zappa's character is one giant shout out to the Karate Kid movie. His background music sounds a lot like "You're the Best", there are Daniel and Mr. Miyagi look-a-likes as observers, and Jimmy Zappa's solo ending even has a line paraphrased from "You're the Best". Bizarrely enough, however, Jimmy Zappa is wearing an outfit a lot like the evil Cobra School black-and-yellow outfit, mentions in his introduction that a girl named "Ali" dumped him, and has a master that teaches him to always strike without mercy since enemies deserve no mercy, which sounds more like the Cobra school philosophy than that of Mr. Miyagi's. But Jimmy Zappa isn't evil like the Cobras were; in fact, in one ending, he even gets a girlfriend, namely Panda.
    • Also, Santo's character is a shout out to the famous capoeira movie Only the Strong. Santo has military experience in Brazil, he's helped locals take down drug dealers and gangs, and his real motivation for joining Loka's school and this World Tour is he has inside information from his superiors, whose orders he's still taking, that a notorious crime lord has connections to one of Zumbi's fighters.
  • Shown Their Work: Scott Stoddard has the advantage of being a Capoeira student himself, so the Portuguese terms that riddle the game are accurate, and he took advantage of several martial arts consultants to accurately portray the moves the fighters use.
  • So Proud of You: This particular example of this trope isn't actually spoken to the person it's meant for per se, but it still counts. If you play as Rochedo, a Mestre with Saturno as his student (this is because Rochedo now owns his own independent school, although Rochedo used to be one of Loka's students since he sided with Loka during Loka and Zumbi's power struggle), then during the "Twist", Saturno realizes that Coelha needs help, and reminds Rochedo that Rochedo taught Saturno not to ignore things like that. If you finish the game as Rochedo alone, Rochedo and Loka will be overlooking a sunset, with Loka having suddenly been paid a large amount of money by Coelha's father because Saturno helped Coelha. Loka wants to give the money to Rochedo, but Rochedo doesn't need it, and is so proud of Saturno for having done a noble deed, even if that required Saturno leaving Rochedo. Loka says, "Spoken like a true Mestre."
  • Starfish Language: It is impossible for the player to understand the language of Arubim and Saryn, the "alien" fighters, because in their story mode, their language is rendered in bizarre symbols that look like shapes with holes in them or pieces cut out.
  • Stepford Smiler: Coelha. While she puts on a brave face, she's secretly always frustrated and fearful about her father's mysterious disappearance two years ago.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Zumbi Azul, although much more voluntarily than the usual examples of this trope, since Zumbi achieves it with "macumba", or black magic.
  • To Be a Master: Jimmy Zappa's motivation.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Furacao, Maionese's teacher, isn't actually a Mestre. He's of a high enough rank that he can teach a class, but Furacao is still just a student to Loka. However, if the player finishes the game as a team of Loka and Furacao, Loka promises to sponsor Furacao so Furacao will find it easier to get support as a Contra Mestre (usually American Mestres find it difficult to get respect, so Loka's support is quite a step up in badass for Furacao). Also, Maionese takes a slightly less major (but still a step up) level in badass if you finish the game as Maionese alone because he beats his teacher Furacao!
  • Trademark Favorite Food: You learn in a throwaway line in Rochedo and Saturno's team ending that Saturno spends too much time looking for the perfect "Feijoada", a stew of beans with beef and pork which is often considered Brazil's national dish.
  • You Go Girl: The entire point of Ramba's character, although it's justified: Ramba and her mother had to run away from home when Ramba was a child, so Ramba doesn't remember her father, and Ramba had to work hard to help her mother support the family. Ramba saw her mother suffer a lot from prejudices against women, so Ramba dreams of becoming a lawyer to help support women's rights. In Capoeira Fighter 2, she saw the Batizado as a chance to put men in their place, and in Capoeira Fighter 3, to some extent she still uses the roda as a way to get back at all men who have hurt her and people like her. But Capoeira Fighter 3 introduces a complication: Ramba was studying for legal exams and her devotion to her career caused her to renege on some of her commitments to Loka's capoeira school. When Loka launches his "World Tour", he asks Ramba to temporarily take a break from her legal studies in order to help Ramba regain her focus. If you finish the game with Ramba alone, Ramba tells a legal professor that she found her vacation "enlightening", and has decided to start her own law firm, which the legal professor says will be a lot of hard work, but Ramba is up to it now that she knows who she's fighting for...all the poor and sick women she saw during Loka's world tour. So Loka's capoeira school ended up furthering her legal interests after all! However, if you finish the game with Ramba and Buldogue, Ramba fights for women's rights in a different way, by sending Buldogue to school so Buldogue can gain some self-respect and the respect of everyone else, and no longer be known as only the fat stupid woman that Buldogue's peers wrote her off as when Buldogue was a child.