Deadly doppelgängers: The best (and worst) fighting-game clones


Hall of Fame: Urien (Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact)

Model: Gill

Brothers and sisters will always rough-house when they’re little, but what happens when they become champion martial artists? Rather than tone down Street Fighter III boss Gill to make him a playable character, Capcom introduced Urien as a violent usurper who wants to be the Sword of Damocles hanging over his brother’s throne. The arrangement works out well: Gill maintains his aura as an unstoppable demigod while Urien has developed his own unique moves like the Chariot Tackle and Aegis Reflector to become a hardcore favorite.

Fatal Fury Jin Twins

Above: The great Terry Bogard sees right through the Jin Twins’ overcompensating lair.

Image Credit: Samir Torres/GamesBeat

Hall of Lame: The Jin Twins (Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory)

It’s tough to make twins work: They’re either both cool or both expendable. Jin Chonrei (blue) and Jin Chonsue (red) started as powerful bosses under the possession of ancient Chinese warriors. Their search for the powerful “Jin scrolls” continued in later sequels, but aside from an appearance in Neo Geo Battle Coliseum they would fade into SNK history. Despite their impressive pedigree, these brothers didn’t intimidate anyone with their stumpy bodies, boring techniques, and wardrobe that looks more like Halloween costumes than imperial regalia.

Evil Doppelgängers

Hall of Fame: Robo-Ky

Model: Ky Kiske

Perhaps your evil twin is a product of science. Robo-Ky first appeared in the story mode of Guilty Gear X2 as a meddlesome imposter of Ky Kiske. Like most clones, he played very similarly to his inspiration, but that changed quickly when developer Arc System Works re-engineered him into a metal madman who attacked with hammers, missiles, eye lasers, and flying unicycles. With his own unique super meter and “overheat” gauge, this robot went from a rehash to one of the most complex fighters ever created.

Dead or Alive 5 Alpha-152

Above: Kasumi tracks down her see-through double, Alpha-152, in Dead or Alive 5.

Image Credit: Deviant Art

Hall of Shame: Kasumi Alpha/Alpha-152 (Dead or Alive 2)

Model: Kasumi

It’s clear that developers prefer basing their clones on a franchise’s most popular characters. They already have a connection with fans, so a remixed version will have a built-in audience. I’m guessing that’s what Temco thought when it copied Dead or Alive’s Kasumi so many times. Kasumi Alpha appeared in Dead or Alive 2 as an off-kilter replica of the kunoichi. She would later transform into the hypercheap boss Alpha-152 for Dead or Alive 4. While she does gain a unique fighting style, her bland translucent form makes for an anti-climatic nemesis. If you need even more Kasumi in your life, you can download a new doppelgänger, Phase 4, in Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate.

Next: Suit up for action! If that fails, have your children avenge you.

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More information:

Founded in Japan in 1979 as a manufacturer and distributor of electronic game machines. Since then, Capcom has expanded in all areas of the videogame industry and has offices in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan; Sunnyvale, California; London, En... read more »

Namco specializes in the production and sales of home and portable video games. Namco provides high quality entertainment on several platforms including Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PSP, Nintendo DS, mobile phones, iPhone, iP... read more »

TECMO KOEI AMERICA CORP. is a publisher of interactive entertainment software for current generation consoles, handhelds and digital download content based in Burlingame, California. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of TECMO KO... read more »

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Rachel Marie Espiritu
Rachel Marie Espiritu

I've been pulling for Decapre for years, and I'm glad she finally made it, clone status be damned.

Chris Hoadley
Chris Hoadley moderator VB Staff

That's cool. Is there any reason why?

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