Learn All About Capcom's Favorite Transgender Thug

Learn All About Capcom's Favorite Transgender Thug

A new fan-made documentary details the gender confusion surrounding Capcom's most infamous beat 'em up antagonist.

Despite its legions of fans and three-decade-long history of building some of the finest games in the industry, Capcom has long been plagued with a single question: Is Poison a man or a woman?

For those of you left scratching your head at that query, here's a bit of a primer on the dilemma: In 1989 Capcom released Final Fight, a game that would go on to be a smash hit and effectively create the "beat 'em up" genre. Yes, games of this type had existed previously (Double Dragon, and River City Rampage, to name two), but it wasn't until Final Fight that the subgenre became codified and other developers began churning out similar (usually inferior) copies.

In one of the earlier stages of Final Fight players encounter a midriff-baring punk girl -- or at least that's how it seemed. Knowing that the censors would pitch a fit at seeing Mike "Mayor Of Earth" Haggar piledriving a woman into the cold, unforgiving concrete, Capcom instead claimed that Poison (and her palette swap Roxy) were both hiding a secret underneath their tight leather miniskirts. Both characters were, in fact, "newhalfs;" a Japanese colloquialism for transgender people who were, at the time, famous in the country's club scene.

When Final Fight came to the Super Nintendo in the US, the company opted to switch out both Poison and Roxy with male characters, in a seeming attempt to appease the more rigorous Nintendo censorship guidelines. When the game was later released in its original, unedited form, gamers were baffled by the "ladies," leading to years of speculation aimed squarely at Capcom that survives to this day.

With Poison set to appear in the upcoming Street Fighter X Tekken, a Capcom fan using the YouTube handle "MegatonStammer" took it upon himself to dive into the controversy, and the result is the nearly-20-minute long mini-documentary embedded at top-right. It sources information from many of Capcom's designers and producers, and while I won't spoil the conclusion, let's just say that the controversy lives on.

The video is recommended for any fans of Capcom and its long-history of virtual violence. I've been a huge fan of the company for decades and was well-acquainted with the Poison debacle, and yet I too learned a lot of interesting facts from watching the clip.

While it doesn't wrap the mystery up in a nice, neat bow, it does offer a host of factoids you can drop at your next gaming-themed dinner party. You guys all have those too, right? I can't be the only one who gathers erudite friends around a delicious meal to discuss the sociopolitical implications of Command & Conquer: Red Alert or the inherent nihilist rhetoric in Bubble Bobble, right?

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I saw this video earlier on "The Cut" over on PA. I personally have always been of the view that poison was always transgender. Their is nothing wrong with it, and I've always enjoyed the fantasy of it myself.

Very good video. I always found Poison interesting due to the character's infamous history.

Don't the Japanese have a fetish for transgenders anyway? I'm sure everything will be fine.

OT: very interesting documentary

Much Ado about nothing, and this seems like the attempt by someone to drudge up a contreversy that has long since been resolved.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poison_(Final_Fight)

Basically for those who want a quick version, the creator of the character has stated that Poison in the US is a post-op transgender (ie female, but started as male, apparently with substantial cosmetic surgery), in the Japan Poison is a crossdresser (a guy dressed as a girl).

There is no contreversy, no speculation, no room for wondering, no history lessons really needed. There is nothing ambigious anymore, there is an official, canon, answer.

Consider it something similar to how the names for characters like M. Bison, Balrog, and others get switched around between the US and Japanese versions. I don't think it's a terribly difficult thing to keep straight, so it surprises me how often this comes up still.

I find myself oddly aroused by this he-she-it anime person. I'm kind of frightened...

Ultimately awkward fighting game moments number 103:

Poison vs. Bridget.

Also:

Show of hands, who DOESN'T care either way? ;D

So... Who cares what gender (s)he is?
(S)He's hot.

Ok, let me start off saying, cant we all agree that He/she is confusing, and that his/her gender doesnt truly matter, because mr/ms Poison is a video game character?

Anyway, ive always figured Poison as transgender/crossdresser. And honestly, think the reason why people always state her as female to justify their fapping material. I mean, theres nothing wrong with being homosexual, but alot of people would react..... let say "poorly" to finding out they spanked the ham to a man.

But more on topic, this was a really great video. One of the best put together ive seen in.... ever. While the subject was a bit..... strange, im glad he did the video on it. :D because someone has to stick up for the facts, and take a nice neutral position on the topic.

I still go with the "Poison is whatever you want" approach, but I personally feel that she is a female, namely because of the hips, shoulders and face. They're all waaay too feminine, and definitely speak to Poison originally being thought of as a female first before being made into a newhalf character for an interesting (and controversial) twist.

Because unless medical technology and technique has advanced to near magical levels in the SF version of our world, there is no way for a biological male to get get a face, shoulders and hips that feminine looking. You can get close, but you'd ultimately wind up with a very masculine looking woman, not someone who could kick 3/4s of the supermodels of the world out of their jobs. And she is a street thug too; where the fuck would she get the money for that kind of job? I didn't think Shadaloo was is the business of giving random street thugs obscenely expensive and advanced cosmetic surgery. Unless Bison and Seth have a thing for that kind of thing we're not aware of.

antipunt:
Don't the Japanese have a fetish for transgenders anyway? I'm sure everything will be fine.

OT: I'd always thought that it was a woman. Doesn't really matter if it's not, though.

Is that a Dead or Alive avatar? When I was in a band I tried my hardest to get the guys to cover "You spin me round" but was aways veto'd.

I thought everyone knew Poison was transgender? I think Poison is a great charecter. There are too few transgender charecters in videogames and she must be one of the few transgender charecters in any media accessable in the west who is not protrayed as a clown or victim.

We need more Poison.

antipunt:
Don't the Japanese have a fetish for transgenders anyway? I'm sure everything will be fine.

OT: very interesting documentary

I'm sure that an entire race shares a single fetish. You might want to reword that to make it less offensive/racist.

bjj hero:
Is that a Dead or Alive avatar? When I was in a band I tried my hardest to get the guys to cover "You spin me round" but was aways veto'd.

I thought everyone knew Poison was transgender? I think Poison is a great charecter. There are too few transgender charecters in videogames and she must be one of the few transgender charecters in any media accessable in the west who is not protrayed as a clown or victim.

We need more Poison.

Certainly, because being personified as sexpot gang banger is the perfect image for mtf transgender women. *belch*

Transgender, crossdresser or woman Poison is up there with the kind of female videogame characters I'd gladly do without.

RedEyesBlackGamer:

antipunt:
Don't the Japanese have a fetish for transgenders anyway? I'm sure everything will be fine.

OT: very interesting documentary

I'm sure that an entire race shares a single fetish. You might want to reword that to make it less offensive/racist.

It's sarcasm. I doubt anyone could possibly be stupid enough to believe such a ridiculously racist/unrealistic overgeneralization.

I think I can settle the entirety of the arguement with but one question:

Can you fuck hir? If the answer is yes, regardless of whether male, female, or transgendered, people will still want to bang him/her.

Jesus, 20 minutes?

Somebody honestly cared enough to make a 20 minute video on this?

I still hate Capcom. I utter the very name of my mortal enemy with a shudder of hate. Rest in Peace, Megaman.

Paragon Fury:
I still go with the "Poison is whatever you want" approach, but I personally feel that she is a female, namely because of the hips, shoulders and face. They're all waaay too feminine, and definitely speak to Poison originally being thought of as a female first before being made into a newhalf character for an interesting (and controversial) twist.

Because unless medical technology and technique has advanced to near magical levels in the SF version of our world, there is no way for a biological male to get get a face, shoulders and hips that feminine looking. You can get close, but you'd ultimately wind up with a very masculine looking woman, not someone who could kick 3/4s of the supermodels of the world out of their jobs. And she is a street thug too; where the fuck would she get the money for that kind of job? I didn't think Shadaloo was is the business of giving random street thugs obscenely expensive and advanced cosmetic surgery. Unless Bison and Seth have a thing for that kind of thing we're not aware of.

I just have to say that it is possible for a tras-women to look good enough to be a supermodel.


That is america's next top model contestant Isis King, a tras-women that had received no surgery at the time of this picture. I'd say she does better than "very masculine looking". Still Poisons hips do overdo it, I'll give you that.

I noticed this video went with that old chestnut of using the term "transvestite" as though it's interchangeable with the term "transexual", which is most certianly fucking is not.

Rex Dark:
So... Who cares what gender (s)he is?
(S)He's hot.

A spectacularly level-headed outlook, my friend.

All this just to decide if you can fap to Poison or not.

Now THAT is some dedication :P

cool video. i'm just going to try really hard and take myself back a few months before I heard about street fighter x tekken and capcom's catalogue of colorful characters. great marketing capcom.

Therumancer:
Much Ado about nothing, and this seems like the attempt by someone to drudge up a contreversy that has long since been resolved.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poison_(Final_Fight)

I thought the video made several excellent points countering the wikipedia entry.

Which I must point out, is a wikipedia entry.

Many people trying to say "it doesn't matter" in an attempt to deflect the fact that they find transsexuals to be icky. Classy

I actually enjoyed the full video. Very good mini documentary on a (to me anyway) fresh topic!

Belaam:

Therumancer:
Much Ado about nothing, and this seems like the attempt by someone to drudge up a contreversy that has long since been resolved.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poison_(Final_Fight)

I thought the video made several excellent points countering the wikipedia entry.

Which I must point out, is a wikipedia entry.

While I myself have criticized Wikipedia in the past on the same grounds, especially when used politicslly and with largely political sources as citations, this is a matter of fandom which is pretty well documented. It includes a direct comment from the creator, and seems to have a citation to the source of him clarifying the matter.

This is a long standing "issue" as far as fighting game characters go, and it's not surprising that the guys who created the contreversy came down and made a ruling, especially given their intentions to want to use the character again, presumably without a ton of baggage.

One of the criticisms of Wikipedia is that it can be trusted more to say cover things like comic book continuity, than say an analysis of another country. Largely because fans want the information to be covered well, and go back to the same sources that can be verified in back issues of the titles, interviews with the creators in magazines like "Wizard" (if they are even still around) and similar things. With real world events politics enter into it and when anyone can edit a website, a negative point about a culture, politicians, country, or whatever is going to be edited by people from that group. Companies, political groups, politicians, etc.. have people on staff just to run around and screw with sites like that for purposes of PR spin which has lead to pages becoming "warzones" or even being locked out while the Wikipedia management has conferred on how to resolve the various points of view. I seem to remember big issues with say Serbs and Croats having editing wars over things like the Serbo-Croation war (I mean, obviously). Scientologists going after the pages on them on wikipedia both in terms of copyright violations, accusations of spying, and libel, not to mention trying to edit the pages is another big example.

The point is that we're probably going to have to agree to disagree here, but I really can't see a valid reason to question this one. I think it's a situation where the contreversy was more exciting than the answer.

I have never played Street Fighters and I didn't know the story about Poison.
So my main concern remains this: was Amanda Lear a woman, or transvestite?

 

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