More on Hakan at the Super SFIV Blog
Original designs for the character, the mystery behind his hair, and more revealed!
As promised, Hakan is back in the spotlight at the Super Street Fighter IV development blog. Following last week's discussion of Hakan's play style, Super's planning, design, sound and engineering staff (they've all assembled!) discuss the character's appearance and personality.
Hakan wasn't always his current self. Originally, the staff had some ideas for a slim character who uses Capoeira. This fighting style was one of the final candidates alongside the Yagli Gures oil wrestling they ended up adopting.
Capoeira would have been interesting, said art director Toshiyuki Kamei, because they had a number of ideas for how to use the style, including attacks where the character rotates his head. They ended up going with Yagli Gures, as they wanted to create type of expression they'd previously not used. Capoeira already appears in past SFs, after all.
There were a good number of character concepts that didn't make it in -- 100 or 200, said Kamei, although he admitted that Juri had more. Aside from the Capoeira example, the only example the mentioned in the blog was a "cool looking" character.
After deciding on the Yagli Gures fighting style, the designers thought that it wouldn't be interesting to just have a normal fighter. The Hakan character evolved into a cooking oil company CEO who speaks Osaka-ben (the totally incomprehensible, but utterly cool type of Japanese that people from the Osaka area use) and travels the world in search of oil.
A good amount of the blog post is about Hakan's oil, and the visual effects required to achieve it. The design staff had to do a lot of work to make sure the oily look of the character fit in with the backgrounds and other characters. They even had to make adjustments on a stage-by-stage basis for such things as what parts of the stage are reflected in the oil.
The oil can be heard in addition to seen. The sound staff came up with some interesting approaches for creating the various oil-related sound effects. For example, Hakan's Oil Sliding move makes a "slip" sound. This is actually the sound of a sound designer sliding his finger across a glass board.
The staff also commented a bit on Hakan's non-visual aspects. Regarding his personality, director Taisaku Okada said he's like an old stubborn father. He's a very serious person.
He didn't originally speak Osaka-ben. The original plan was to have him use a different style of speech (I'm not sure how to translate this), but producer Yoshinori Ono said that, when looking at the character's dialogue on its own, it would be difficult to match it up with the character. According to Okada, they went with Osaka-ben in the end because there hadn't been an Osaka-ben character in the Street Fighter series before.
Outside of the oily appearance and unique background story, there's one particularly curious aspect about the character, which you can see in this screenshot:
What is up with Hakan's hair? There's a background story behind it, said Kamei, although it's being kept secret for now. It's possible that you might have figured it out based off Hakan's in-game movements and his special features, he said. The "thing" on top of Hakan's head is his hair style, Kamei noted. It's not a hat, shower cap or helmet.
Hakan has had two installments of the blog all to himself. So what's next? Previously, the blog promised in-depth looks at the changes being made for the old cast members. The next four updates will focus on this area, starting next week with Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Honda, Blanka and Zangief.
This sounds like it could get super technical, especially given that the game has already gone playable for journalists, so I'd suggest checking out the SRK forums for translations of those posts.
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