Capcom has shared a new gameplay trailer for incoming Street Fighter 6 character, A.K.I.
A.K.I. works for F.A.N.G., threatening his return in the games in the future, but he does not appear for now. F.A.N.G. has tasked her with finding out what has happened to Shadaloo for him. Although ostensibly a villainess, you can find her in World Tour, much like JC, and fall under her tutelage. She will be found in a new area called Tian Hong Yuan, where she sells herbal ‘medicine’. As you’ll soon see, you might actually want to learn a few things from her.
As detailed in the PlayStation Blog introducing her, A.K.I. leans very close to influences from the Classic Chinese Novels, which in turn inspired the famous Hong Kong and Chinese movies through the decades.
Game Director Takayuki Nakayama shared her concept in detail:
“The character design we landed on was a pale-skinned disciple with her fighting style being a combination of the Poison Hand and the Fanged Snake Style martial arts. Therefore, we decided to proceed with A.K.I. being a white snake that carries poison.
Her snakeskin Chinese dress has a beautiful sheen like a black mamba with material that looks ominous when it shines and animates. The serpentine pattern you see from her chest to her stomach was meant to resemble the belly of a snake.
Her distinctive hairstyle was an idea that came from outside of the design team, which incorporates the symbol of an assassin: “kasa” (umbrella in Japanese) through her hair. Based on this concept, we tweaked the way her eyes hide behind her hair and the overall silhouette. We took extra care in making the silhouette of the collar and the way her eyes are hidden to look alluring when viewed from the side.”
In gameplay, A.K.I. certainly feels reminiscent of 1990s style fighting game character design. Rather than stretch her limbs like Dhalsim, she contorts her body to crawl on the ground, or leap towards you with her back facing you. She also has a dagger attached with a string so she can pull it back and weaponized claws that extend her range just enough. Rather than the Snake Style we’ve seen in martial arts movies, Capcom reinvented what snakelike movements are, so that they are in no way realistic, but they do have their visual appeal.
We don’t know for sure if A.K.I. will be fun to play or good for competitive play (two completely separate concerns). But at least she looks like a character people will be curious to fight, or even play as.
A.K.I. is part of Street Fighter 6’s Year 1 Character Pass. If you own the Year 1 Character Pass, Deluxe Edition, or Ultimate Edition, she will be added to your copy of the game when she unlocks on September 27, 2023. In the meantime, an A.K.I. Arrives! Fighting Pass will release on September 1, giving you several in-game items themed around Capcom’s latest snakey combatant.
Street Fighter 6 is available to play on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, and Windows via Steam. You can watch her introduction trailer below.