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Street Fighter Director shows off fascinating and unexpected concept art for events that never fully panned out

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • April 4, 2023 at 6:25 p.m. PDT • Comments: 26

There's got to be an absolute treasure trove of concept art and scrapped ideas that never made their way into games at development studios with a lot of history like Capcom, and we only ever get to see any of it when someone on the inside wants us to.

Current Street Fighter Director Takayuki Nakayama recently shared some unexpected concept art for one of Street Fighter 5's most interesting event concepts that never fully came together.

The artwork in question doesn't actually feature any Street Fighter characters, but rather anthropomorphic interpretations of the divine beasts of Japanese/Chinese/Asian mythology depticting Byakko (the white tiger), Suzaku (the vermillion bird), Genbu (the black tortoise), Seiryu (the azure dragon) and the less often seen Koryu (the yellow dragon).

These designs were put together by longtime Capcom artist Bengus to serve as the mascots of annual Street Fighter tournaments in Japan named / themed after each of these gods.

For unstated reasons, however, the special RAGE Cup events only lasted 3 years from 2016–2018 covering Suazku, Genbu and Byakko, so it was expected that Seiryu would come next (but now it also seems they had potential plans for a fifth year too).

What made these tournaments so unique was that the winners were awarded one-of-a-kind costumes for their main characters themed after that year's god, and though we know what the 3 that were made looked like, there's still no official way to get your hands on them.

Fujimura was the first to win in 2016 with Nash followed by Mizuha with Chun-Li in 2017 and Rohto|Tokido with Akuma in 2018, so the community never ended up receiving a unique costume for Seiryu and Koryu even though Capcom already had their art designs completed.

It'd be interesting to see something similar come back to Street Fighter 6 as a way to reward players with something wholly unique though we need to be careful not to tread into NFT territory with those ideas.

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