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Tear Jerker / Street Fighter

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Somehow, even Street Fighter manages to get in on the heartstring tugging action.

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  • Almost all of the Street Fighter characters have tragic backstories, with most of them involving being affected by a member of Shadaloo in some way (Guile, Charlie, Chun-Li, T. Hawk, Juri, Dan, Cammy, the Dolls, etc.), but also involving broken homes (Remy, Vega), being survivors of tragic incidents (Blanka, Dhalsim, F.A.N.G, Kolin), being the results of experimentation (Necro, Abel), or being orphaned (Ryu).
  • In every game in the series Charlie has starred in, all of his storylines result in a Downer Ending where he dies. In the Alpha trilogy, he's shot down in II and blown up in III. In the crossover X-Men vs. Capcom, his ending consisted of him being captured by Shadaloo and turned into the secret character Shadow. The endings where he doesn't die are labeled "non-canon".

    The Games 

Street Fighter II

  • Guile's original ending in SFII was a big-ass tearjerker. His wife and pre-teen daughter practically have to beg Guile to not kill Bison because they don't want him to lower himself to commit deliberate murder and plead with him to return home with them. One single, simple phrase can still make many a player sniffle like a little child once in a while:
    Guile: "A-Amy? Is that... my little Amy...?

Street Fighter Alpha I-III

  • The story ending for Juni was downright heartbreaking. She and fellow Doll Juli (aka Julia, T. Hawk's friend/girlfriend) hug each other in front of Bison's body as they become Empty Shells (and they won't get better for a LONG time.) The montage in which Charlie and Chun-Li discuss the project that made them borderline Robot Girls really doesn't help.
    Juni: We are... we are... Always... Sir Bison's...
  • The story of how Bison's Dolls came to be is a big tearjerker, too. They are a bunch of once normal and innocent girls who were kidnapped and thoroughly brainwashed to become super-soldiers, to the point where nothing of their personalities or past lives remain save for being created to serve Bison. They are even mindlinked to Bison so if he dies, they die as well, so any chance of hope for these girls is shot to hell.
  • If the Doll's history won't make you tear up, then the callous way Bison commands them to die after they successfully locate and bring Ryu for him, like how a child grows tired of his new toys definitely will.
  • Charlie sacrificing himself at the end of Alpha 3. He, Chun-Li and Guile have just infiltrated Bison's base and are planting explosives to destroy the Psycho Drive. As they are doing so, Bison ambushes them and incapacitates the three of them. As he approaches Guile to kill him, Charlie tackles Bison and orders the others to leave while he holds Bison back. Several minutes later, the base explodes, taking Charlie and Bison down with it. Meanwhile, Guile is watching the explosion and is implied to be crying. Some time later, Guile holds Charlie's dogtags and swears to honor his memory, while at the same time holding some small hope that he is still alive somewhere.
    • There's a brief Moment of Awesome in there. Charlie manages to hold his own against Final Bison, explicitly stated to be the strongest Bison has ever been, for at least several minutes while already injured.
  • Cody's entire character development from Final Fight up until his reveal in Alpha III. In Final Fight, Cody and his best friend Guy fought to rid the city of the Mad Gear gang, and rescue Cody's girlfriend Jessica. And while both were lauded as heroes, Cody was thrown into prison by a corrupt cop he had defeated along the way. While in prison, he develops an addiction to fighting that he carried with him when he got out, resulting in him walking the streets, looking for even the slightest reason to fight. When he is thrown back into jail, everybody but his best friend Guy abandons him. Eventually, he breaks out of prison to enter the various World Warrior tournaments. And while deep down, Cody is still a hero who longs to return to what he once was, he seems to have mostly convinced himself that he can never be a hero again.
    Cody: "I've saved the city, saved the girl, but couldn't save myself."
  • It's revealed here that since Street Fighter I, Sagat was completely driven by rage and hatred for Ryu, since the latter was responsible for both Sagat's loss of his title as a Muay Thai champion and the scar Sagat now carries on his chest. He joined Shadaloo for a chance to win against Ryu at all costs, but somewhere down the line he was confronted by Dan Hibiki, whose father Sagat killed before the events of Alpha. Seeing the intense desire for revenge in Dan's eyes reminded Sagat too much of himself, and the Heel Realization that resulted from their fight put him on the path of defecting from Shadaloo and becoming The Atoner.
  • One of Evil Ryu's win quotes is "It is too late to go back, now..."

Street Fighter III

  • Despite being a nihilistic Jerkass, Remy's backstory is incredibly tragic. His father walked out to become a martial artist, and shortly after that, his sister died, her body preserved in a block of ice underwater in the Bay of Biscay. His father's departure and the tragedy it resulted in emotionally broke Remy and caused him to develop a hatred for fighting and those who pursue such a lifestyle, as it is a reminder of the very thing that tore his family apart.
  • You can't help but feel bad for Necro, as he left his home to seek a better life, but ended up being tricked by the Illuminati and was kidnapped for their experiments and is now a mutant suffering Body Horror, is a fugitive on the run, has no home, is being hunted by Shapeshifter Weapon Twelve, and is implied to be self conscious about his appearance and abilities. Luckily for him, he's happily in love with his girlfriend Effie and has a very nice case of Earn Your Happy Ending.

Street Fighter IV

  • A few endings are genuinely sad. A notable example would be T. Hawk's ending, where he finds Juli/a with Rose's help, but her experience with Shadaloo has totally traumatized her to the point of being put in a near-catatonic state, mute, and unresponsive to external stimuli, being unable to remember T. Hawk at all when she meets him again. It is probably one of the most depressing things you would ever see in a fighting game.
    • The ending is even worse in light of V, where Juli was recaptured and reprogrammed off-screen. This also overrides Honda’s Alpha 3 ending, one of the few happy moments the Dolls have ever had.
    • Guile's ending consists of him visiting Charlie's grave and having a toast on it, vowing to finish his takedown of Shadaloo so that Charlie can have closure. However, unlike T. Hawk's ending above, Guile's can put a bit of a glow in the heart knowing in hindsight that he succeeded, since Shadaloo is gone by Street Fighter III's events, so Charlie can rest in peace.
    • Guy's ending has him holding Rose in his arms after he rescues her from Bison, and begs her not to give into darkness, which is pretty heartwrenching. However, it's followed up by a Heartwarming Moments in Rose's own ending, since she hears his voice and manages to wake up, finally earning something similar to a happy ending.
  • Decapre's ending in Ultra Street Fighter IV. Knowing Bison is the only one that can save her life, Cammy allows her "younger sister" to be taken away.
  • All of the titles unlocked in the original edition of IV by using a character tell something deeply personal about them, when they aren't being funny in a cheeky way. What's one of Ryu's title cards? "Wish I had a family". If Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist and/or Street Fighter Alpha: Generations are canon, Gouken may be his biological father by Goutetsu's daughter Sayaka.
  • Many victory quotes against Evil Ryu in the Arcade Edition of IV, especially from friends and associates of Ryu, express severe shock, sadness, concern or disappointment at his fall from grace. Some are quite heartbreaking.
    Ken: "Ryu... Is that really you!? What the hell happened? Ryu!"
    Sakura: "Ryu-san! Wake up, please!"
    Sagat: "I am so disappointed, Ryu! Is this the power you so desired?!"
    Gouken: "Don't give in to this power, Ryu!"
    Dhalsim:"I pray that the hatred inside of you is extinguished quietly..."
    • But perhaps the most painful quote comes from Gouken when he fights Evil Ryu as a hidden boss.
  • Also from Gouken is his victory quote against Oni, the ultimate result of Akuma's descent into darkness.
    Gouken: "Goodbye, brother."
  • Evil Ryu's win quote against Ken is "There is nothing you can say, Ken, and nothing you can do."

Street Fighter V

  • Remember Charlie's Heroic Sacrifice ending in Alpha III? Well, it turns out that Charlie did indeed survive the explosion that destroyed Shadaloo, but was mangled horribly as a result, so apparently he underwent extensive and horrific surgery that made him resemble a stitched-together monstrosity. Even worse, Charlie's body may have recovered, but his mind certainly has not. Gone is the cool-headed but passionate beacon of justice and mentor to Guile and occasional partner/almost boyfriend to Chun-Li from Alpha. In his stead is a cold-blooded, cynical, and ruthless assassin who will not hesitate to remove any obstacles in his way of his goal, even if said obstacles are people he once called friends.
    • His story mode manages to be an even bigger punch to the gut and heart by confirming that his Alpha 2 ending, the one where he's betrayed by his fellow Air Force unit and shot via helicopter before being sent careening off a Venezuelan waterfall, is his canon death. One has to wonder what was going through his mind during that moment. A paragon of justice and virtue, betrayed by those he once called comrades. To make it worse, it pretty much retroactively renders Charlie's Heroic Sacrifice in Alpha 3 null and void.
      • Hell, even the title of his story mode is one big Tear Jerker by appropriately naming it, "The Man Who Lost It All".
      • Even worse, after the events of Alpha, Charlie has gone so past the Despair Event Horizon that he has simply given up on saving others, knowing that he'll just be backstabbed in the end. Several of his win quotes suggest that he doesn't even place value in friendship and justice, things he used to treasure greatly, anymore, seeing them as useless things that only brought him betrayal and heartache. He only lives for himself and revenge now.
      • In the end, however, he does get a dignified Heroic Sacrifice after all, along with realizing the error of his ways when it's revealed that he can't kill Bison because he's a walking corpse and his hate is merely fuel for Bison's Psycho Power. Nash ends up using his newfound ability to absorb energy to de-power Bison as much as possible after his supply of Psycho Power via the Black Moons has been stopped so that Ryu can finish what he started. While he does end up weakening Bison severely, the energy is too much for him to handle and it results in an explosion that destroys his decaying body. Only his dog tags remain, which Bison promptly steps on.
  • With Guile confirmed as a DLC character for V, you can now experience the long-awaited yet saddest matchup in the series. Guile, who has gotten past his desire for revenge against Bison for killing his best friend, versus Charlie, said best friend who has been brought back from the dead and became what Guile stopped himself from becoming. Their win-quote dialogue to each other says it all.
  • F.A.N.G's backstory is tearjerking as it is horrific. He is the sole surviving member of a cartel that specialized in kidnapping young children and training them in the art of assassination through poison, called the "Poison Hands" technique, by constantly exposing the children to harmful poisons. F.A.N.G had watched so many fellow students die as the result of this harsh and cruel training that it turned him into a Determinator and eventually resulted in him gaining a Social Darwinist mindset. When the cartel attacked Bison and died in the attempt (due to Bison's immunity to poison), F.A.N.G was the only one who kept on fighting; despite knowing he'll die like the rest of his fellow assassins, he kept attacking Bison because he wanted to live another day.
  • In a very weird way, Bison's death. Yes, he totally deserves it, and his death scene is pretty awesome, but it's still a sight to see such an iconic villain who's been constantly kept alive finally die. What sells it is that he faces death with dignity and gives off one final Evil Laugh before his body and Psycho Power are dissolved away by the Power of Nothingness, while F.A.N.G cries out for him in anguish. Supplemental materials and other characters' stories reveal Bison is still alive as a spirit and F.A.N.G. is bent on resurrecting him, which adds another layer to the sadness as the fight the heroes thought was finally over isn't.
  • Rashid's entire storyline can count. He desperately tries to rescue his friend, a female scientist forced to work for Shadaloo. He even went so far as to work with the Illuminati, who clearly don't care about his dilemma. Tragically, he was too late as she was already murdered by F.A.N.G. Even worse, it happened just as Rashid was infiltrating the base, meaning he could have saved her if he didn't stop to rescue Li-Fen. Still, like Charlie above, he gets a Moment of Awesome when he avenges her death by beating the crap out of F.A.N.G and using her final command code to stop the Black Moons.
  • The Story Mode fight between Cammy and the again Brainwashed and Crazy Decapre is this, especially when Decapre starts to struggle and then when she leaves despite Cammy's pleas (flashback to Cammy's promise to protect her included), leaving her Iron Woobie of a "big sister" all heartbroken.
  • Kolin's Story Mode reveals her past, and it's not pretty. She was found by Gill when her whole homeland (a part from the Soviet Union) had already collapsed, her friends and family were dead, and she was so past the Despair Event Horizon that she was willing to let herself die in the middle of a snowy wasteland. Gill was the one who took her in after all of that, and that explains a LOT of her Undying Loyalty to him.
    Gill: "What is thy name, child?"
    Kolin: "I have none."
    Gill: "Where is...thy country?"
    Kolin: "It's gone..."
    Gill: "Then I shall forge one. The country of God. It could be thy new home, siring every nameless flower, bringing forth a thousand years of peace and harmony to all...if you desire it.
  • Ed's story mode can best be described as "a father-son/brotherly relationship falling apart", and arguably sets him as one of the biggest woobies of the franchise (while giving Balrog, of all people, some Jerkass Woobie traits). During the Season 1 story, it's shown that Ed is constantly plagued by nightmares of Bison trying to take over his body, since him being a possible candidate as a vessel for Bison's soul is the reason he was kidnapped by Shadaloo in the first place, and he openly angsts over his Rapid Aging. While taking the chess piece from Guile and Zangief in India, Ed is visited within his mind by Menat, an Egyptian Fortune Teller who warns him that she foresees hard times for him and Balrog in the future. Sure enough, Ed's issues come to a head, and Balrog tries, in his own way, to reassure him that as long as Ed stays with him he'll be fine. Of course, since it's Balrog, his choice of words comes out wrong, causing Ed to lash out at him, saying that Balrog would be nothing without him. The two fight, and end up parting ways on a sour note. Balrog tells Ed to get lost, and Ed walks away with a deeply hurt expression on his face. The fact that Balrog sounded like he was gonna cry when he told Ed to get lost and refusal to recover to fight back just shows how much he used to care for the young man (and probably still does afterwards), unlike the indifference and hostility he has for everyone else.
    Balrog: (on the verge of tears) GET LOST!
    • Adding onto this, Gill's victory quote for Balrog paints a sad portrait of the Crazy Buffalo — he doesn't want money, he wants companionship.
  • Sakura's story might hit a little close to home for some people. Sakura is now an adult working a part-time job, and is coming to the realization that her passion for fighting is beginning to fade. She doesn't have the money to jet around the world the way Karin does, and she begins contemplating just how she's going to live the rest of her life. She's not sure whether to continue fighting or if she just wants to settle down and start a family. When she bumps into Ryu, she even brings up the inevitability of death, no matter how strong you get from training. The entire thing is basically her having an existential crisis.
  • Sagat's Arcade Mode ending is a combination of this and Nightmare Fuel. Some time after his story mode, he finds the village where he had been living and training in seclusion to conquer his demons in flames, having been set ablaze by a group of unknown thugs. He mercilessly attacks them, but the last frame has him crying Tears of Blood, implying not only that he flat-out killed them, but that he lost the people he came to care for from the village as well. That innocent little girl from his Story Mode who brought him his meals? She probably died in the fire.
  • While Urien isn't the nicest character, he ends up as a Tragic Villain at the end of Gill's story mode. After losing to his brother, Gill walks away stating that he has a destiny to fulfill and that through it, everyone will be free to pursue a life for himself. Urien can't see that though, angry over being called a "spare" by his older brother and ends up screaming after his brother as the scene ends. It's hinted that what Urien wants the most is the good times with his brother before the Illuminati's plans split them forever.
    Urien: Wait! Look at me! GILL!!!
  • If you thought Urien was tragic, Seth takes the cake and runs with it. Juri accidentally botches the transferring of Seth's mind into a (female) robotic body but the tragedy really strikes when Seth is clashing with the idea that the body is called "Doll Unit Zero" and is trying to take revenge on Bison, going after Ed and Falke due to sensing Bison's presence of Psychic Power in them. In the end, Ed and Falke leave him because he is just chasing after ghosts with the AI in "his" new body detecting a personality override and is performing a reset. Various characters comment that Seth is absolutely a shell of the villain he was and pities what has happened to the head of SIN.

    The Film 
  • Guile's (fake) death early on can qualify to those who watch the movie without much familiarity with the series, and end up getting the impression he was Killed Off for Real.
  • Raúl Juliá's whole performance, as he knew he didn't have much time left and wanted to secure a big paycheck for his family, plus do a role his kids wanted to see. And it was fucking awesome, too. Although the film as a whole is often ridiculed as being one of the sillier video game adaptations, Julia's final appearance is generally treated with well-deserved respect, to the point where he was even posthumously nominated for a Saturn Award.
  • Charlie is mutated and tortured halfway into insanity, and then he, and the man who tried to help him apparently die in an explosion. Talk about depressing.
    • Even more affecting is when Dhalsim tries to undo his brainwashing by filling his mind with love, hope for the future, and happiness.
    • When Guile finds his friend in this state, he barely manages to talk him out of killing him (using his first name), then attempts a Mercy Kill on Charlie. Dhalsim quietly stops him, saying he has no right to do so; Charlie still retains capacity for good as well as evil, and shouldn't be killed because he has difficulty understanding the difference.
  • Before the final battle, Guile reminisces on happy memories he had with Charlie with Worth Fighting For by Angelique Kidjo playing.
  • The dedication to Raul Julia at the start of the credits. "For Raul. ¡Vaya con Dios!" ("Go forth with God!") note 
  • The whole "But for Me, It Was Tuesday" scene in a strange sort of way. It's legitimately well-acted and staged; Chun-Li explains how Bison and his minions were stopped from destroying her village by Chun-Li's father. As Bison was forced into retreat, he had Chun-Li's dad shot by a sharpshooter, purely out of spite. She's wanted revenge/justice ever since and it's clearly driven her life. Bison then apologizes... and bluntly informs her that he doesn't know what she's talking about and can't remember the incident at all. And he doesn't mean it as a taunt, he sounds genuinely apologetic that he can't remember. It drives home how senseless Bison and his plans really are; he's done so much that it's all just blurring together for him.

    Animated Media 

Street Fighter II: The Animation

Street Fighter II V

  • Fei Long starts having an intense and tearful Heroic BSoD when he thinks Chun-Li's father Dorai, who trained him and treated him like a son, is dead.
  • Charlie's death via strangulation at the hands of Bison.

Street Fighter (TV series)

  • In the episode "Eye of the Beholder", Blanka rescues the Japanese Prime Minister from an attack, only for the man to run away screaming that he's a monster. After this, Blanka deals with his angst over being mutated for the rest of the series.
  • Cammy declines Guile's offer to rejoin the Street Fighters following Bison's defeat, echoing the same words she told Guile when he got back together with Lucinda:
    "A person can't live in the past, Colonel. The past is filled with pain."

Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation

Street Fighter Alpha: Generations

  • Generations may not be fully canon, but damn it is depressing. Especially in the flashbacks to Akuma and Gouken's more or less happy lives before it went From Bad to Worse, and the Bittersweet Ending where Akuma recovers some parts of his humanity after almost killing Ryu in battle (and this particular Alternate Universe all but states that Ryu is Akuma's son) and later the Old Master that Ryu befriends passes away, and Ryu leaves after mourning him.

Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind

  • The scene where Ryu snaps massively upon seeing C. Viper torture Cammy, practically loses himself to the Satsui no Hado out of anger and a tearful Sakura has to give him a Cooldown Hug to stop him is surprisingly powerful, and it's not helped by how Ryu slumps to his knees in horror upon coming back to his senses, with poor Sakura still hugging him, and a Grey Rain of Depression falls on them both as well as on Ken and the injured Cammy.

Super Street Fighter IV: Juri OVA

  • Even after Bison's death, the nightmare doesn't end for the Dolls. While a Hope Spot was given in E. Honda's ending, where the aforementioned character took in a few Dolls and gave them a place to stay until they recovered from their Trauma-Induced Amnesia (while also teaching them sumo), here they were revealed to be kept in capsules since Seth plans to experiment on them all until they die, which is barely averted by the efforts of Cammy and Guile. But while Juni and Juli were rescued (without some repercussions, of course); it's unknown whether the rest of the Dolls were saved from their intended fate, leaving a lot of open questions...
  • The OVA reveals why Juri became so sadistic and batshit insane. She and her parents were killed by Shadaloo after her father, a lawyer, decided to prosecute the criminal organization, marking his family for death. During the incident, Juri survived, but at the cost of her left eye. It's implied that the loss of her parents and eye, combined with whatever Shadaloo (or SIN, its sister organization) did to her after that, drove her deep into madness, turning her into the person she is today.

    Comics and Manga 
  • It may not be canon, but Shadow is sure to make fans of Charlie shudder. Shadow is Charlie, after being captured by Bison post Alpha 3 and experimented on, tortured, and brainwashed. He is so far gone that he beats Guile to a bloody pulp without any hesitation, and is willing to attack Chun-Li, with whom Charlie was almost an Official Couple.
    • It becomes slightly heartwarming when Shadow breaks Bison's control and sacrifices himself to save Chun-li and Guile by destroying the cliff him and Bison are standing on with a Summersault Justice, which is specifically differentiated from Shadow Justice to show that for a brief moment, Charlie has regained control of himself.
  • In Legends: Chun-Li, we have the death of Go Hibiki, Dan's father. First alluded to in Street Fighter Alpha II, the creators of UDON did their take on the incident that cost Sagat his right eye and made Dan so deadset on getting revenge. Go and Dan were building their own martial arts dojo in a place that happened to be in Shadaloo territory, and were approached by a group of Shadaloo thugs demanding a protection racket fee. Go makes quick work of them, but later he is confronted by Sagat, who at the time was a member of Shadaloo. Go bests Sagat and tears out his right eye, after which things go downhill. Sagat, in a pain-induced fury, overpowers and brutalizes Go, reducing him to a bloody pulp, right in front of Dan.
    • What's more, when Chun-Li, Dorai, and Po Lin arrive with the police to question Dan at the crime scene, Dan is so traumatized that he refuses to out Sagat as his father's killer, instead claiming he was responsible and wanting to bring Sagat to justice himself.
    • Related to the issue, a variant cover drawn by UDON artist Jeffery "Chamba" Cruz shows a wounded Sagat clutching onto a bloodied Go Hibiki's head, while behind him, Dan screams for his father as Chun-Li struggles to hold him back. Never before has a Butt-Monkey Joke Character brought anyone to tears...
    • The incident was revisited in Unlimited where Dan finally corners Sagat. Sagat, regretting his past actions and how they affected Dan, offers up his head so Dan can find closure for Go's death. Though clearly tempted, Dan ultimately refuses the chance to take revenge and walks away in bitter tears, saying the only thing he wants is his father back. Ouch.
  • Juri's backstory, first revealed in the Super Street fighter IV: Juri OVA above, was expanded by UDON. She was a Taekwondo prodigy who was frequently pressured to uphold her family name, and her parents, while loving, were strict and demanding. Her father's decision to prosecute Shadaloo led to Juri's mother being killed, and him being ransomed and publicly executed on camera. Juri, however, survived, but she lost her left eye to a stray bullet when Shadaloo attacked and fell into a coma for a month. All of this left Juri with a very intense hatred of Shadaloo, Bison in particular; it's jarring to see the once innocent and shy Juri become a broken, angry teenager hell-bent on revenge, screaming at her Taekwondo master to "serve" her and make her into an instrument of revenge..
  • Street Fighter II: The Manga reveals that Guile was responsible for Charlie's death - Charlie was experimented on by Shadaloo to test a mind-controlling drug and he went insane from it. Guile intercepted him as Charlie was attacking unarmed villagers and was forced to perform a Mercy Kill on his best friend to prevent more lives from being endangered. While not canon, it certainly gave Guile a reason to hate Bison.

    Fan Works 
  • Ryu: Then and Now, an animated short made by Egoraptor (of Game Grumps and Awesome Series fame). The short begins with an idealistic Ryu during the SFII days, getting ready to take on the world. It then skips ahead to 20 years later, in which he is now a businessman. The short ends with him looking at a picture of his younger self and remembering the good ol' days, and starting to tear up as he does so. Anyone who grew up with the series is sure to shed a tear when watching this.
  • The two short movies made by ChubbyBoyFilms:
    • In the Balrog: Behind the Glory documentary, we see Balrog's father clearly torn up over how teaching his son to defend himself from bullies (the only time they ever really bonded, at that) was a misguided first step that led to him becoming a murderer and infamous criminal. Also, what caused him, the Heavyweight Champion of the World, to become said criminal: his trainer and the public drove him to become more and more vicious and fouling until he killed a challenger with a headbutt, and that got him banned from boxing and made into a joke.
    • While Vega's backstory is already sad enough, El Matador manage to make it worse by having young Vega try to intervene before his stepfather can murder his mother - only for both of them to fall out of the window, killing her instantly. And the end shows why he works for Bison: because he recognizes him as beautiful.


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