Codex Gamicus
For the Street Fighter character known as "Vega" in Japan, see M. Bison.
Vega portrait.gif
Series Street Fighter series
First game Street Fighter II
Created by Akira Yasuda
Voiced by (English) Richard Cansino (Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie,Street Fighter II V, Animaze dub)
Vic Mignogna (Street Fighter II V, ADV dub)
Mark Hildreth (TV series)
Doug Erholtz (Street Fighter IV)
Voiced by (Japanese) Shō Hayami (Drama CD)
Kaneto Shiozawa (Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, Street Fighter II V, Street Fighter EX series)
Yūji Ueda (Street Fighter Alpha 3, Capcom vs. SNK series)
Kiyotomi Goshima (Gunspike, SVC Chaos: Capcom vs. SNK)
Junichi Suwabe (Street Fighter IV)
Kazuyuki Ishikawa (Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation)
Chihara Junior (Japanese dub of Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li)
Live action actor(s) Jay Tavare (Street Fighter film)
Taboo (Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li)
Fictional information
Nationality Template:ESP
Fighting style Spanish Ninjutsu (スペインニンジュツ Supein Ninjutsu?)

Vega is a fictional character from the Street Fighter fighting game series. Vega is a masked, talon-wielding warrior from Spain who uses a personal fighting style combining Japanese Ninjutsu and Bullfighting, earning him the nickname the "Spanish Ninja".

Vega first appears in the original Street Fighter II as the second of four computer-controlled opponents the player faces at the end of the single-player mode, a group known as the Four Devas or Grand Masters. From Street Fighter II′: Champion Edition (the second version of the game) and onward, Vega, along with the other three boss characters, became a playable character. He reappears as a playable character in Street Fighter Alpha 3, the Street Fighter EX series (from Street Fighter EX2 and onward), the Capcom vs. SNK series, Street Fighter IV and the Super Street Fighter IV.

Conception and creation[]

Vega was designed by Akira Yasuda, and was initially conceived as a brief sketch of a masked man in a ripped shirt with long, frizzy hair.[1] As development progressed the design evolved into a large, unarmed man, retaining the mask and dressed as a matador. The design was changed again, revolving around the concept of a foreign soldier with a cross on his vest and armed with a broadsword, while still retaining the mask.[2] This design was eventually replaced in turn with another concept, a masked ninja in a bodysuit armed with a long metal claw on his right hand.[1] Ultimately the character's finalized appearance was a culmination of all of these, incorporating various aspects of each into the finished design.[3]

When the original Street Fighter II was being localized for the English language market, Capcom's North American marketing staff felt that the name of the game's final boss, Vega, sounded non-threatening to North American audiences, and was more suitable for the androgynous bullfighter. As a result, the character's name was changed from Balrog to Vega for English-language appearances.[4]


Vega is one of the few Street Fighter characters to constantly carry a weapon, and the only character to do so in Street Fighter II. This claw is useful for both stabbing and slashing attacks, and gives him a very long range compared to most characters. It is the same type of weapon worn by Geki in the original Street Fighter, though longer.

Vega does not wear his expressionless mask to conceal his face or identity, as he removes it after fights, during his win poses, as well as in certain character-select images in various games he appears in. Instead, he wears the mask to protect his face from scarring or bruising during battle because he believes himself to be impossibly beautiful and is obsessively narcissistic.

Vega wears the purple and yellow ceremonial trousers, red sash, loafers and white leggings of a matador, suggesting his involvement with bullfighting. This decorative garb also offers matadors ease of movement, and is ideal for Vega's acrobatic maneuvers.

Depending on the game and context, Vega has brown or blonde hair. In the various games in the Street Fighter II series, Vega's game sprite and character select profile shot depict him with brown hair, while his ending in Street Fighter II′: Champion Edition and Super Street Fighter II depict him with blonde hair. In Street Fighter EX2 and Street Fighter Alpha 3, Vega is depicted with blonde hair.

Vega has a purple snake tattoo on his chest, which also circles his arm. In Capcom vs. SNK 2, in a victory pose, Vega will hold his arm out, with the tattoo coming to life and hissing at the opponent.


In video games[]

Vega's backstory supplies that he is born to a noble family in Catalonia, Spain. As he matures, Vega studies bullfighting, a cultural tradition among the nobles. Afterward, he goes to Japan and learns Ninjutsu, a style he believes meshes well with his natural grace and agility. Returning home, Vega combines bullfighting with Ninjutsu and goes into an underground cage fighting circuit, where he quickly becomes one of the best. Tragedy strikes one day when Vega witnesses the murder of his mother at the hands of his stepfather. His mind is warped by the tragedy and, from then on, he lives a double life: a suave nobleman by day, and a sadistic masked killer by night. He enjoys mutilating ugly people to death using a three-pronged forearm-mounted razor-sharp claw. His stepfather is his first victim.

Vega's bloodlust and brutal fighting skills impress the criminal leader M. Bison so much that he comes to him personally with an offer to join Shadaloo. Vega accepts Bison's offer purely to improve his own aesthetic senses. Bison instates Vega as one of his three personal Grand Masters bodyguards. Vega oversees assassination operations for Shadaloo as well.


Template:Summarize-section Vega is one of the fastest characters in the Street Fighter series, and also one of the most delicate. His strengths are in long range poking attacks with the reach-advantage provided by his claw. He is usually considered a low-tier tournament character due to his low defense and lack of projectile attacks, though many consider him a great anti-air character and a good match for projectile heavy characters (Ryu, Sagat, etc.) due to his ability to avoid such attacks.

It takes 14 blocked hits for Vega to lose his claw. This reduces his attack range significantly, and prevents him from doing certain super attacks. Since Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Vega can pick up the claw again if lost. In Street Fighter Alpha 3, he can lose his mask as well, which causes him to take more damage. In SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos Vega cannot lose either. In the Street Fighter EX series, Vega may reinforce or recover his claw with a special move. In Street Fighter IV Vega can take his claw and mask off manually in order to insult or taunt the opponent, also, if the claw is taken off, his attacks will be made weaker, and if the mask is taken off, the damage of his attacks will be increased. Taking either off also resets the amount of blocked hits that Vega has taken, making removing either the claw or the mask right before Vega loses it highly beneficial.

Vega's Rolling Crystal Flash/Tumbling Claw has him roll forward on the ground and end with a fierce claw strike, and is a move integral to Vega's offensive posturing, as it allows him to move forward after he has pushed himself away from the opponent with other attacks.

Vega's Flying Barcelona Attack and Izuna Drop were originally performed by the computer-controlled Vega by climbing on the chain fence that only exists in Vega's stage. For other stages, Vega must leap off the side of the screen. Later games removed Vega's ability to climb the wall altogether, thus making the character react the same way in every stage (except in SFA3, where players had to input a variant of the command to climb the cage in his stage).

In animated adaptations[]

In the Japanese animated film Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, Vega was voiced by the late Kaneto Shiozawa in Japanese and Richard Cansino in the English dub. In the film, he works for Shadowlaw under Bison, and is sent to New York to kill Chun-Li, but Chun-Li ultimately defeats him and knocks him out of her apartment window to his apparent death.

In the 1995 Japanese animated series Street Fighter II V, Vega appears as a bullfighter who tries to seduce Chun-Li. Envious over Ryu and Ken's friendship with Chun-Li, Vega invites the three to a party in his castle, which is actually a trap to lure Ryu and Ken to a caged death match with him. Since Ryu does not attend the party, he subsequently fights Ken, and is finally defeated after a brutal match. He is given the surname of Fabio La Cerda in the series. Kaneto Shiozawa provided his voice for the Japanese version, while Vic Mignogna provided his voice for the English dub from ADV Films and Richard Cansino provided his voice for the Animaze English dub.

Vega appears in two episodes of the 1995 American Street Fighter animated series, "Eye of the Beholder" and "Face of Fury", where he is a former henchman of Bison who develops a rivalry against Blanka. He was voiced by Mark Hildreth in the series.

Vega makes a non-speaking cameo appearance in 1999 Japanese OVA Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation, where he ends up pulverising, though not outright killing, his opponent Dan Hibiki during an underground fight.

Vega reappears in the Shadaloo helicopter near the end of Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind.

In film[]

In the 1994 live-action film version of Street Fighter, Vega was played by Jay Tavare. He is depicted as a member of the Shadaloo Tong working for Sagat. Along with his trademark mask and claw, he has only three lines during the whole movie and utters them while his face is obscured or when he is off-camera. He forms a rivalry with Ryu, and in the film's final battle, he is defeated by Ryu and left for dead by Sagat. He also appears in the arcade game based on the film titled Street Fighter: The Movie, as well as in the home video game also based on the film. In the arcade version of the game, Vega has the ability to take his mask off and throw it to his opponent. In the home version, this ability was removed and Vega fights unmasked.

Vega is played by rapper Taboo (of the group Black Eyed Peas) in the 2009 live-action film Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. The film also changed the reason the character wears a mask, from protecting his beauty to hiding his hideous face. Many have complained about this, as well as the misrepresenting of the other characters.

Critical reception[]

IGN ranked Vega at number ten in their "Top 25 Street Fighter Characters" article, stating "he deserves all the credit in the world for originality. There's never been a Street Fighter character quite like him since."[5] The original Spanish bullfighting character, Miguel, did not feature on the list. Additionally, he ranked 46th in GamePro's "47 Most Diabolical Video-Game Villains of All Time" article.[6] GameDaily ranked him at number twelve on their "Top 20 Street Fighter Characters of All Time" article, noting the strength of his aerial attacks.[7] named Vega one of the sexiest characters in video games, placing him tenth in their "Top 10" article and stating "part ninja, part bullfighter, Vega's fighting style is definitely one of the most unusual we've seen."[8] GamesRadar noted that while his attire and obsession with beauty was a departure from traditional depictions of ninjas, the features made him "one of the more iconic scrappers in the Street Fighter games".[9] They listed him as one of the most outrageous camp villains, stating that a "camp bad guy list" without Vega was like a "cheese sandwich without the cheese or bread."[10] In February 1992, he was ranked sixteenth on Japanese magazine Gamest's list of the best video game characters introduced in 1991.[11]

In contrast, named him one of "The Most Useless Video Game Items", describing him as "the type of character a artist jots on a napkin during a night of office bonding over Long Island Ice Teas" and calling him as a cross between Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees and Twiggy.[12]

See also[]

  • Fantomas
  • Laurence Blood


  1. 1.0 1.1 Staff (April 1992). "The Making of Street Fighter II". Electronic Gaming Monthly (33): 102. 
  2. Capcom Sound Team Alph Lyla (1992-11-15) (CD/booklet). Capcom-004: Street Fighter II Complete File. Capcom. p. 5. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  3. Kohler, Chris. The Making Of Street Fighter II (or, Writing is Rewriting). Insert Credit. Retrieved on 2009-08-01
  4. Interview with Street Fighter II composer Isao Abe (Japanese). Capcom. Archived from the original on 2004-04-09 Retrieved on 2009-08-01
  5. Top 25 Street Fighter Characters - Day IV. IGN. Retrieved on 2008-08-15
  6. GamePro staff (4 February 2008). The 47 Most Diabolical Video-Game Villains of All Time. PC World. Retrieved on 2008-09-16
  7. Top 20 Street Fighter Characters of All Time. GameDaily. Retrieved on 2008-11-12
  8. Staff (24 October 2008). Top 10 sexiest game characters. Retrieved on 2008-12-14
  9. Reparaz, Mikel. The Top 7...Assassins. GamesRadar. Retrieved on 2009-06-22
  10. The Top 7... Outrageous Camp Bad Guys. GamesRadar. Retrieved on 2010-01-05
  11. "第5回ゲーメスト大賞" (in Japanese). GAMEST (68): 4. 
  12. Frushtick, Russ and Plante, Chris. Thanks but No Thanks: The Most Useless Video Game Items. UGO. Retrieved on 2009-04-08

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