Is Sodom joining Street Fighter 5 in the near future? The new Capcom Pro Tour stage seems to give some hints that he might be...

There's obviously nothing conclusive about it, but judging by what we can see of him in this new arena, there may be good reason to expect him

Posted by Nicholas 'MajinTenshinhan' Taylor • February 27, 2019 at 10:26 a.m. PST | Comments: 89

Yesterday, we got our first look at the 2019 Capcom Pro Tour DLC for Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition.

In it, we've got a special costume for Kage, as well as the Champion's Choice costume from RB|Gachikun, which went to Sagat.

The stage, though, is what I was the most happy about, since it's based entirely on Metro City, and filled with Final Fight characters and references.

To start off, it's obvious that the stage is taking place at the same area as a Street Fighter 4 stage, namely the Skyscraper Under Construction location, complete with even a full view of the (former) Mayor Haggar statue in the background.

Since it's Metro City, as mentioned earlier, a ton of familiar faces from Final Fight make an appearance, mostly from the villainous Mad Gear gang, since they tend to be the ones who rule the streets.

However, one of these seems a lot more pronounced than the others... And he's a character we've spoken at length about in the past (even slightly before Street Fighter 5's original release), namely Sodom who first crossed over to Street Fighter back in the Alpha series. What makes Sodom stand out so much more than the rest? Let's have a look.

This isn't the first time someone was in a stage shortly before their official reveal

There are always cameo characters standing around in the stages of Street Fighter 5, and most of them aren't playable. We've seen everything from Guile's colleagues, Karin's butlers and maids, Dhalsim's wife and son cheering him on, and way more beyond that.

Of course, there are also instances of characters being in the background who are also playable. Last year's Capcom Pro Tour stage is a perfect example, where we have M. Bison, Balrog, Vega and F.A.N.G all sitting on thrones in the background, surveying the fight.

However, the most notable of all of these is perhaps Alex's appearance in the City of Chaos stage, since this happened before he was actually playable in the game. The stage was originally shown to the public back in October of 2015, before Street Fighter 5 was officially released, and although the model was a bit rough making it hard to tell, a lot of people suspected it was Alex in the background.

Capcom confirmed this, and peretended they had no idea that people wanted him playable, only to unveil him as the first DLC character only a few months later.

With this in mind, it's not hard to imagine that they might be playing at a similar situation with Sodom here — by hiding him in plain sight. It seems even more plausible since there are a few other points I'd like to bring up about this Alpha absentee, who to this day remains the only character in the main Street Fighter Alpha series to not appear in either the Street Fighter 4 or Street Fighter 5 series.

His model is clearly higher quality than the rest

This one is just a complete no-brainer. You can see a lot of characters in the background of this stage, and with the exception of Abigail who's obviously been ripped from his playable character model, Sodom is of notably higher quality than everyone else present.

I think the best comparison is to look at the Andore Family who are standing so close to Sodom, and you can clearly see the level of detail placed on them in relation to each other isn't even close.

One could, of course, argue that Sodom has more detail to his model because he's standing closer to the action, and that necessitates more detail to him since the player will be looking at him much more clearly.

But even with that line of reasoning, I think Sodom has more detail to him than the vast majority of background characters in the game do, on any given stage.

That said, Sodom's model obviously isn't good enough where he's rivaling the playable characters, but then again, neither is Alex on City of Chaos. Alex's background model clearly looks much worse than his playable model does, so it would stand to reason that Sodom's would as well.

Just by looking at it, I think it seems likely that this is a downscaled verison of a playable character, especially when you see what every other non playable character on the Metro City stage looks like.

He's sporting a somewhat updated design

A quite interesting part about Sodom in this new stage that I picked up on almost immediately is that his design isn't quite like what we've seen for him before.

In the Street Fighter Alpha series, his upper body was much more bulky, with gear sticking out from under his clothing (at least, I hope that wasn't meant to be his actual body shape) forming quite the imposing chest area.

In Final Fight, though, his upper body, while still quite large, is more subdued and natural, though he doesn't have the shoulder padding present in those appearances.

In the stage, he takes a bit of both, looking more natural as he does in Final Fight, but also with the shoulder padding applied.

Overall, his body type looks a lot smaller than he used to based on this stage image (back in Street Fighter Alpha, he really wasn't very much smaller than Zangief was).

All of this begs the question, why would you go through the effort of redesigning a character people are fully aware of and who's been playable before if you're only making him a background character?

This stands out all the more when you look at all the other Final Fight alumni in the stage like Damnd, Edi E, Axl, the Andore Family and Rolento, all who look practically identical to the last time you saw them.

You know who doesn't look like you remembered them before Street Fighter 5? Abigail. And now, while obviously a more subtle change than the gigantic motorhead, neither does Sodom.

Sodom is the only character standing inside the ring

While this one might seem like the smallest argument for his inclusion at first glance, I'm actually starting to think it might be the very biggest.

First off, let's cover the obvious part, which is that every single Metro City character is standing outside of the ring, watching the fight from afar. Except Sodom. He's standing in the ring, which would seem to signify him being ready to actually participate in the fight himself.

Obviously, this wouldn't mean too much on its own, since we have a lot of stages where characters are standing close to the action, but in this case it's partly notable because Sodom is the only character who's standing inside the boundaries in which fighters are meant to challenge each other, with everyone else from the background, even the already playable Abigail, staying outside.

What makes it more notable, though, is that this is the fourth arena stage we've received as part of the Capcom Pro Tour passes in Street Fighter 5, and each one — Ring of Destiny, Ring of Pride and Ring of Power — have one thing in common, which is that every single background character stays firmly in the background, with none of them being inside the actual ring itself.

Sodom being the sole exception to this four year rule makes me feel like assuming it means nothing is the more farfetched option, instead.

Of course, outside of the stage itself, we've heard from Capcom numerous times about Sodom throughout the years, especially since he ended up being the sole holdout of Alpha characters in the 3D Street Fighter era after Nash, Birdie, R. Mika and Karin all made the launch roster for Street Fighter 5.

Notably, the quote we heard back before Street Fighter 5's release about this subject, as linked earlier up in this story, was "Haha, we have not forgotten Sodom. Sodom was one of the candidates we were considering from the Alpha series, but he was difficult to fit into the story. If we include Sodom, that also brings in the Mad Gear Gang. We also can't very well put Sodom in without having any of Cody, Haggar or Guy."

Obviously, all these criteria are now moot — Cody is playable in the game, Abigail is playable and part of the Mad Gear Gang, and with this stage, the entire gang is here (except the conspicuously absent Poison and Hugo, though their departure from the Mad Gear Gang was detailed in their Street Fighter 4 story modes).

I've been expecting Sodom to join the Street Fighter 5 roster for quite some time, especially given the statements Capcom have officially made about him. But now, with this stage, I feel like he's closer than ever. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

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