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YMMV / Virtua Fighter

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  • Awesome Music:
  • Bragging Rights Option:
    • Akira is known for being the single most difficult character to use in every game. A good Akira player can make an opponent look absolutely pathetic with his arsenal of moves that require strict timing and foresight, and he hits with such high passion and high damage that you can almost feel the bones breaking.
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    • Kage-Maru is both an uncommon and impressive character due to how strange his moveset is. Incorporating a number of acrobatic flips, rolls, dives, and handstands, a Kage player who knows what they're doing is not a common thing to see.
    • Aoi's fighting style is based on reversals, parries, and counters, giving her an insanely large repertoire of defensive moves. She doesn't have many combos, she isn't acrobatic or flashy, and she doesn't deal half your life in damage. However, an Aoi that knows what she's doing can read an opponent easily, making the match feel like fighting a psychic. A successful counter also leads to humiliating and bone-crunching animations from Aoi.
    • Vanessa's difficulty comes from her Stance System and the fact that she has a long moveset in both of her stances. It's not uncommon to find beginner or average Vanessa players who either only know the basics in both stances or just stick to one stance completely. A Vanessa player that knows both stances thoroughly, though? Both rare and scary. Some of her most difficult but devastating abilities in Offensive Stance involve tackling an opponent and mounting them MMA-style, while the ones in Defensive Stance involve counters that brutalize the opponent gruesomely.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Wolf was popular enough to become a "real" wrestler in Japan for a few years.
    • Aoi, owing to being an archetypal Yamato Nadeshiko... who just so happens to employ aiki-jujutsu in battle to great effect, making her a very graceful representative of a martial art that is relatively rare in Fighting Games. In fact, she was the only character featured in the pachinko game Virtua Fighter Revolution who wasn't from the original installment.
    • Though largely ignored in 3, Taka-Arashi received a lot of love upon his return in VF5R.
    • Vanessa. When she debuted in 4, Vanessa was one of very few Amazonian Beauties with a tough attitude, and had a fairly dark skin tone, making her very unique among female fighting game characters.
    • Goh and Eileen have proven to be fan favorites despite making their first appearances fairly late in the series (4: Evo and 5 respectively), likely because one's a sadistic judoka working for behind-the-scenes villains J6 and the other's a happy-go-lucky practitioner of Monkey Kung Fu (and Pai fangirl). Jean, another J6 assassin introduced in 5 R, has a similar appeal in addition to being the series' first traditional karateka yet averting Boring, but Practical with unique mechanics centered around Charged Attacks, feints, and being able to press the offensive during certain blockstrings.
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    • Siba bears mention despite never actually being playable in a VF game, as he was replaced by Akira late in the original game's development. Ever since the crossover Fighters Megamix, fans have been hoping he'll finally make a proper appearance in the series.
  • Foe Yay: Between Aoi and Brad. Aoi lost to Brad in the fourth tournament because his flirting threw off her game; feeling conflicted, Aoi finds that she can hardly think of anything else but Brad as she trains in the hopes of settling the score in their next match. The developers even seem fond of poking fun at the development, judging by their brief scene together in one of the fifth game's arcade intros.
  • Game-Breaker: Against the A.I., Jeffery's Ass Shove in Virtua Fighter 2 is the strongest move in the game. It's easily punishable during both startup and recovery, but the A.I. gets hit far more often than they should, and two consecutive ones from round start pushes them out of the arena for an instant win. Even if you don't push them out, it still deals a lot of damage and can K.O. them surprisingly quickly.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Virtua Fighter has long been popular in arcades in the Middle East, and many YouTubers from those countries have commented that they really like Siba and wish he had been in the game, noting both his badass mercenary appearance and the general rarity of Arab characters in fighting games. In particular, Siba is noted as one of the few Arab characters in games who is not explicitly identified as a villain.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The description "well-muscled and correspondingly endowed Dark-Skinned Blond" fits not only Vanessa, but villainous Canon Foreigner Nyon from the VF anime, to the point it's speculated Vanessa was inspired by Nyon's design.
    • Brad bears many similarities to Tony Stark, to the red clothes, black hair and goatee, arrogance and playboy attitude. Granted, Tony's been around since the '60s, but Brad was around before the films made the character massively popular outside of comic book aficionados.
    • The games are commonly used as games-within-the-game in the Yakuza series. That said, Virtua Fighter 5 was reportedly given to the Yakuza devs and remade in their proprietary Dragon Engine in the transition to Ultimate Showdown.
  • Ho Yay Shipping: Sarah/Vanessa has some popularity among fans who can easily see a Bodyguard Crush forming. Even without Shipping Goggles are Vanessa and the Bryant siblings said to be close, though most likely only in the platonic sense.
  • Incest Yay Shipping: Jacky and Sarah, as explained in the Incest Subtext entry on the main page. Oddly, Sarah's desire to kill to Jacky while she was Brainwashed and Crazy does not seem to be a deterrent for those who ship them together.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Juu'nen hayain da yo!" Jacky's Big "YEAH!" and El Blaze's "Hot Dog!" also seem to be catching on.
    • Jacky's "YEAH!" actually caught on in the tournament scene of Dead or Alive 5. Whenever Jacky appears on screen, expect the stream chat, audience and maybe even the commentators to call out Jacky's "YEAH!" every time he says it.
    • "Racist netcode." Explanation 
  • Moe:
  • More Popular Spin-Off: Virtua Fighter was initially part of the Virtua series of early 3D titles developed by Sega AM2, alongside Virtua Racing, Virtua Striker and Virtua Cop. Eventually, the series had not only outlived the three aforementioned Virtua titles, but had also eclipsed them in popularity.
  • Narm: Anything spoken in English. It even has its own page.
  • Narm Charm:
    • As terrible as El Blaze's voice actor is, his dialogue is still seen as endearing and fits his larger-than-life personality.
    • The unseen announcer who describes each signature move in the English dub of the anime is considered one of the most memorable parts of said dub. This is because his Large Ham delivery is absolutely hilarious, and his wordplay is quite well done.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Dural is a rather unsettling boss character, as she is essentially a tall, bald, naked woman whose skin is covered entirely in metal or stone, whose fighting style is a powered-up amalgamation of every other fighters' own fighting style, which she utilizes with extreme efficiency. She also never makes a sound, except for her ominous breathing whenever she is still. The original Dural is revealed to be Kage's brainwashed mother Tsukikage, who was kidnapped from her home and experimented on until she became a cold, unfeeling cyborg. It would also be revealed that the appearances of Dural in later installments are in fact one of the many mass-produced clones of Tsukikage's Dural with even less traits of humanity than the original, as shown by their ability to float, melt, and change the texture of their skin at will.
  • Polished Port:
    • If there's anything the console versions of the various versions of Virtua Fighter 5 are known for, it's two things:
      1. They look prettier than their arcade counterparts.
      2. The online netcode is considered by even the most casual fighting game fans to be the best netcode for fighting games out there, with practically no lag except in the most extreme conditions.
    • The PS3 and Xbox 360 ports of Virtua Fighter 2, which thankfully port the arcade version instead of the inferior Genesis version.
  • Porting Disaster:
    • While the Saturn version of the original Virtua Fighter is perfectly playable, it's a graphical mess, due in no small part to Sega rushing the game for the system's stealth launch. Fortunately, the situation was rectified six months later when Sega released a free update to the game titled Virtua Fighter Remix via mail order.
    • While the game isn't unplayable and it is quite decent, the Sega Genesis port of Virtua Fighter 2. The game was 2D obviously, but you can tell by gameplay footage that the magic is lost. Clunky animations and very basic feel makes this game compare very poorly to the 3D arcade version. Made worse by the fact that inevitably when porting Virtua Fighter 2, this is the port Sega uses, ranging from online game services like GameTap to iOS, both of which are easily capable of handling 32-bit graphics and gameplay.
  • The Scrappy: A very mild case, but Lion's high-toned and bratty voice acting and dialog can be very grating for some fans. This seemingly reached a nadir in 4, only for 5 to dial Lion's cocky mannerisms down a bit. Ironically, in VF2, where he debuted, his voice acting is considered to be more tolerable.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny:
    • It can't be underestimated just how much of a graphical showcase the Virtua Fighter series was for the first three entries. 3D gaming hadn't taken off yet in 1993, and yet even in their blocky designs the cast of the first title had fully rendered fingers and smooth movements. By the time the third game launched in '96, it was the pinnacle of real-time gaming graphics in the arcades, in a year where Quake I and Tomb Raider made their home debuts. By the time 4 finally came around after a five-year release gap, the competitors had finally caught up and games like Namco's own fighting franchises had crossed the gap significantly, and by today it all seems rote by comparison to what the following home console generations would proceed to put out.
    • This also applies to the gameplay. At the time, most fighters were still competing with Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, so Virtua Fighter was the first proper 3D fighter and, as many fans tend to hold it, still one of the most pure and refined examples of the genre. However, it was also incredibly bare; early home releases at best added tournament modes, whereas other series were adding thorough training modes and often basic stories. Each successive game added a couple characters and tweaked or added a couple mechanics, all while numerous other franchises within the genre rapidly expanded and underwent alterations within the increasing gap between releases. Nowadays, VF still packs an Excuse Plot as an arcade-focused experience with a cast that is still fairly compact, while the competitors surrounding it focused far more heavily on home experiences and evolved drastically with Loads and Loads of Characters; for hardcore fans, this kept that raw purity, but for casual consumers this made Virtua Fighter stand out far less.
  • Self-Fanservice: A strange example in that this is used to revert a canonical design change between games. In VF4 and Virtua Quest, Vanessa was shown to be dark-skinned and rather buff, accentuated by her wearing only a sports bra and shorts as combat attire. Her first outfit was swapped out for a differently colored version of her far less revealing special forces uniform in Evolution (though it returned in the Japanese arcade-only Final Tuned), but the real point of contention came in 5, where Vanessa suddenly lost most of her muscularity and had a progressively lighter skin tone. While some fans originally complained that Vanessa looked mannish in 4 because of her physique, many more disliked the unexplained changes for 5 and continued to portray Vanessa in fan art as she appeared in the previous game. Sega AM2 must've caught wind of this, as Final Showdown has customization items that bring Vanessa's skin color and build more closely in line with how they were originally.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The continue track in 4 sounds very similar to AC/DC's "Back in Black".
  • That One Attack: Several throughout the series:
    • Jacky's somersault. It does insane damage on a counterhit, and it's a very easy move to execute. Many players tend to throw out this move, even though it's incredibly unsafe on block and can be reversed by Akira and Aoi.
    • Kage-Maru's frontkick in Virtua Fighter 4 and Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution is an absolute nightmare to play against. He can launch it when his combo appears to be over and easily intercept your counter attacks or throw attempts (it has a small time delay just to trick you into an attack). Whenever he hits, the player is completely defenseless against another devastating combo.
    • Wolf's Burning Hammer in Final Showdown, the single most damaging move in the game. Actually a subtle example of Truth in Television as the real Burning Hammer is so dangerous that some promotions have actually banned the move.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Jacky in Final Showdown. While it is a very balanced game, and Jacky isn't even considered the best character, he is still high up thanks to a lot of very good moves. This combined with him being one of the easiest characters to learn and one of the most used makes him unpopular with some competitive players.
  • Toy Ship: Lion/Elieen for some. Granted, both of them are teenagers, but they're still the youngest in the cast.
  • Uncanny Valley: Most of the character models and faces in 3 look rather off by today's standards. Dural in general also invokes this.
  • The Woobie:
    • Pai lost her mother because of her father Lau's obsession with martial arts, and has spent years trying to defeat him. She has only recently started to patch things up with him, right when he's dying of an illness. Now Pai just wants her dad to be proud of her before he dies. To twist the knife further, it's implied multiple times that Lau is indeed proud of Pai's growth and accomplishments as a martial artist; the problem is he's never openly said as much to her.
    • Everyone who has been a victim of J6:
      • Kage-Maru and his mother Tsukikage. Kage's mother was abducted and turned into Dural, not to mention his father being killed and his entire clan being wiped out. Even after he saved her, Kage's mother ended up turning back into Dural, and he resolved to finally mercy kill her. The poor ninja has lost almost everything. The only bright side is the Dural he destroyed was just a mass production model.
      • Jacky suffered a massive injury that took two years to recover from because of J6 sabotaging his race car, and then they kidnapped Sarah and brainwashed her into trying to kill him when she investigated what happened. Jacky failed to save her in the first tournament, and even after he did in the second she suffered amnesia and felt no connection to him. Thankfully, Sarah got her memories back, but now she's left wondering if she subconsciously really did want to kill her brother. She sees Jacky as a rival now, and they have become much more distant. Jacky is trying to reach out to Sarah, but the ordeal has changed her. And J6 still continues to harass them.
      • Lion has some major father issues, and is implied to be a Lonely Rich Kid since he lost his friend Jean when they were young. It doesn't help that his father's company is being manipulated by J6 and Jean, who has little memory of their past friendship, has been sent out to kill several of the tournament competitors, Lion included.
      • Vanessa's parents were killed, she was kidnapped, and she had her body experimented on when she was just a child, all to turn her into another of J6's assassins. She was rescued by Lewis, but he was killed by J6 years later. When Vanessa entered the fourth tournament, she was captured and experimented on yet again for who knows how long before being rescued. She has no memory of what happened, and is struggling to remember. Vanessa became friends with Jacky and Sarah, and her missing is implied to be a big deal to them.
      • Goh and Jean could each be considered Jerkass Woobies, as neither of them were rescued from J6 and ended up becoming the brutal assassins that Sarah and Vanessa managed to avoid.
  • Woolseyism: The English dub of the anime has a lot of these, making some jokes work better in English, adding in some extra funny lines, and making characters like Jacky and Pai more snarky.


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