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Street Fighter
by yo go re

Street Fighter II followed the videogame convention of one final boss who only appeared after you'd bested his minions: to get to M. Bison, you had to go through his underlings first. First was American boxer Balrog, then the prancing Spanish bullfighter Vega and finally returning fiend Sagat.

The large Thai fighter was the reigning Street Fighting champion until Ryu stole the title from him with that blasted dragon punch! The scar on his chest from Ryu's winning Sagat blow is a fateful reminder of his defeat. Seething with rage at his lost honor, Sagat developed his own form of the dragon punch, training by launching his fist against a powerful waterfall as a test. During this time, Sagat was approached by M. Bison with the promise of revenge on Ryu. Against his better judgment, Sagat joined M. Bison's army, and became his right-hand man.

Sagat was the final boss in the original Street Fighter, a gigantic man about twice Ryu's size. In order to beat him, you had to have mastered the game's clunky and unreliable system of super moves. In fact, since Street Fighter was one of the first games of its kind, those moves remained a secret for quite a while - there weren't any strategy guides to help you through it, and any experienced player who showed newcomers how to perform the moves were considered something of a traitor.

By the time of SF2, Sagat was answering to a higher power, but he also had a slight design change: a giant scar across his chest. It wasn't there in the first game, and was only included in the sequel as a nod to Ryu's victory. Since that's the way Sagat's normally been seen, that's the way SOTA made him.

Sagat is a huge figure, easily the biggest in Series 1 at 7¾" tall. Since he's only wearing a pair of shorts, you can really appreciate his musculature Will Harbottle sculpted for him: slightly cartoony (to match the games) but not enough to be really outlandish. Of course, the bandages wrapped around Sagat's wrists and ankles are detailed nicely, and could almost pass for real cloth.

The scar on Sagat's chest has been done really well. It looks more like actual scar tissue than the overly cartoonish version in the games, but it still blends nicely with the rest of the sculpt.

That scar also made Sagat unique among the old Street Fighters, as one of the only non-symmetrical characters. Instead of drawing their characters from both sides, Capcom just flipped the images around, so when Sagat turns to face the other direction, his scar and his eyepatch flipped sides. We can't help but think that it would have been really cool for SOTA to make a variant "reversed" Sagat. Really cool and prohibitively expensive. Okay, maybe not so cool.

Sagat has two sets of hands - one balled into fists, one open - and two heads, so you can choose if you want him to look angry or have him taunting his opponent. The pieces pop on and off with little trouble, and the figure's got enough articulation to perform any special move: head, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, hands, torso, waist, hips, thighs, knees, ankles, feet and toes.

He may not be the strongest character in the game anymore, but even watered-down, Sagat is a major threat.

Ryu | Chun-Li | Sodom | Sagat | M. Bison

-- 11/17/04

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