Divekick is a unique fighting game developed by Iron Galaxy Studios that is set to release soon. It’s a fighting game with only two buttons, dive and kick. The whole idea spawned from a joke and dissatisfaction with the tournament fighting game scene at the time. Divekick’s cast was revealed with complete bios recently, but who are the characters based on? The entire game is built upon many fighting game and community references that might not be apparent to many gamers, so let’s get everyone up to speed! After all, a fun and accessible fighting game like this should be understood and appreciated by as many as possible.
Dive and Kick will probably be the easiest reference to catch. Dive and Kick are characters based on Street Fighter III and Super Street Fighter IV’s Yang and Yun.
After the release of Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (and the introduction of the Chinese twins in the SF4 series), the fighting game community was starting to see a common sight at tournaments all around the world: Yun. The consensus was that he was the best character in the game, and that players would need to find specific “Anti-Yun” techniques if they chose not to hop on the bandwagon.
Evolution is one of the largest fighting game tournaments in the world that takes place annually in Las Vegas. EVO 2011’s Street Fighter IV tournament was thought to be sorely lacking in terms of character diversity. Viewers said that they estimated about a 50-60% select rate of Yun, which resulted in a boring tournament to watch. Especially when a Yun vs. Yun mirror match was on. The dominance of dive-kicking characters in fighting games was what got creator Adam Heart to jokingly suggest “What if there was a game called Divekick, and the characters were Dive and Kick, and the buttons were Dive and Kick?” He created a prototype of the game with other fighting game players under the name One True Game Studio (OTG is a term in the fighting game community that means “Off-the-Ground combo”).
Redacted was actually named Wolverine until a recent update showed the beast’s new name. Obviously, the name might have been a little too on-the-nose, considering that the character is based off of the dive-kicking incarnation of Wolverine from the Marvel vs. Capcom games. Redacted even smokes cigars and hails from British Columbia, Canada!
Dr. Victoria Shoals is also a reference to a Marvel vs. Capcom fighter. If you watch a Marvel vs. Capcom 3 tournament, and a player uses Dr. Victor von Doom (as many MvC3 players do), you’ll probably start to hear Doom yelling “FOOT DIVE! FOOT DIVE!” at some point in the fight. Like many fighting game characters that have dive kicks, Wolverine and Dr. Doom are considered two of the better characters in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
Kung Pao is based off of Mortal Kombat’s dive-kicking Kung Lao. She also seems to have some design influences from Virtua Fighter’s Pai. Kung Pao is a dimensional traveler from the land of “Down-World”, similar to Mortal Kombat’s “Outworld”.
Two of Divekick’s characters are based on actual people in the fighting game community. Jefailey is based on Alex Jebailey, organizer of Florida’s CEO fighting game tournament. Poking a little fun at his self-promotional nature, when Jefailey wins a round, it inflates his ego. This causes his head to actually get bigger and makes him an easier target.
Mr. N is based off of competitive player Marn. One of Mr. N’s winning quotes is "Where do I see myself in 5 years? Being a millionaire from eSports!", referencing his new career as a pro League of Legends player. Mr. N’s character bio also references “rigging brackets”. Marn was said to have rigged a Guilty Gear tournament so that he would get to fight against players that he specifically wanted to. The fighting style of Mr. N (and his attire) reflects Street Fighter 4’s Rufus.
I’ll be going over the mechanics that parody other fighting game jokes soon, but in the meantime, read more on the character bios and see if you can catch any references that may have slipped by! I’m more of a Capcom and Arc System Works player, so there may be more Mortal Kombat jokes that I may not have gotten!