Street Fighter's T. Hawk probably isn't looking forward to Valentine's Day

The sad tale of the Street Fighter 2 combatant's ongoing quest to retrieve the love of his life

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • February 11, 2020 at 6:34 p.m. PST | Comments: 25

Love is in the air as Valentine's Day is right around the corner. While a portion of the fighting game community will be celebrating with the launch of Street Fighter 5: Champion Edition this February 14, others will be spending quality time with their significant others — which might actually involve Champion Edition too!

In the spirit of the holiday, I decided to take a look around at the relationships between characters within the Street Fighter series in hopes of highlighting some of the stronger ones for all of those hopeless romantics out there. However, during my research, I discovered that there exists a storyline that brings the literal definition of "hopeless romantic" into the fold, and that's the grim tale of Street Fighter 2's T. Hawk and Street Fighter Alpha's Juli.

T. Hawk's love story basically boils down to a never-ending mission to reclaim the love of his life, Julia. Of course, Julia became "Juli" after series boss character M. Bison got involved and brainwashed her into becoming one of the Shadaloo dolls.

When T. Hawk was a child, Bison and Shadaloo ransacked the homeland of the Thunderfoot Tribe — T. Hawk's tribe. In an attempt to defend their home, several of the tribesmen were killed, including T. Hawk's father.

T. Hawk vowed to take revenge on M. Bison and restore his people's land to its former glory, which brings us to the events of Street Fighter Alpha 3.

A now-adult T. Hawk resides in a small village in Mexico where some of the locals have gone missing, including his love and fellow Thunderfoot Tribe member, Julia. The giant grappler sets out on a quest to find out who is behind the abductions, ultimately learning that M. Bison, "the man who wields the blue beam," is behind it all.

T. Hawk eventually locates Julia, who is fully brainwashed by Bison at this point and carrying out missions for him. As Juli, she does not recognize T. Hawk as her lover and instead is dedicated to eliminating him.

After defeating M. Bison, T. Hawk takes Juli back to his homeland in hopes of clearing her of the mind control. "He believes that hope may one day reach the girl's heart," reads the narration of T. Hawk's in-game ending.

In Super Street Fighter 2: The New Challengers, T. Hawk enters the second World Warrior tournament in order to take out Bison, find Julia, and free his sacred land from Bison's treachery. Though he does not actually win the tournament, he does regain his land, but it is desolate and in need of rebuilding.

While there doesn't seem to be much talk of Julia in the Street Fighter 2 series, Super Street Fighter 4 gives us an update on their relationship. Now with the Thunderfoot Tribe beginning to prosper once again thanks to T. Hawk, the village elder wants to make him the chief.

Unfortunately, T. Hawk was unable to save Julia, and he does not know her whereabouts. Unable to forgive himself for that, he feels unworthy of the chief mantle and sets out once again to retrieve his darling.

Perhaps the grimmest part of this entire story — yes, even taking into account that his father died — is that at the end of it all, T. Hawk still does not necessarily save Julia. Though she is freed from Shadaloo's grasp, Rose informs T. Hawk that she is now just a shell of her former self.

"If that is not enough to dissuade you... I will tell you where she is," Rose says. We come to find Julia under the care of an elderly couple, sitting in front of a window in an incapacitated state.

Julia has no memory, she is unable to speak, she can't laugh, she can't cry, and all the while she's looking outside of that damn window as if she's waiting for someone (T. Hawk) to come for her. Despite all of this, hope still remains inside of Julia, that same hope T. Hawk felt may one day find her.

T. Hawk and Julia gaze at each other through the window, but Julia simply stares back with a blank expression. And this is the last we hear of the two's tale.

What's interesting is that Juli does return in Street Fighter 5 as one of Bison's dolls, and this game comes after Street Fighter 4 in the timeline. So this possibly signifies a plothole in the story arc — which wouldn't be surprising considering the Street Fighter franchise's story tends to be fairly disjointed — or Street Fighter 4's ending isn't technically canon.

Regardless, this is the last time we get to see what happens between these two long lost lovers in a main Street Fighter entry, and it is no doubt a depressing outcome.

Poor T. Hawk won't be shown any love this Valentine's Day, but I hope that someday he will be reunited with Julia and will become a playable character in a Street Fighter title once more. (Come on, Capcom! Bring him back!)

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