There are people out there that will play a fighting game for the story. Some will say it’s weird, but it’s okay. Fighting games must have a balance between casual and competitive players.
Fighting games will have two types of stories: one for the main plot and one for the character’s background. Most fighting games such as Mortal Kombat, Dead or Alive, Tekken, SoulCalibur, and Street Fighter for example will have a story mode that will cover the game’s full plot. In the past, players had to refer to the instruction manual to see character’s background story and Arcade Mode to see a character’s full ending to their story.
But in the case of Virtua Fighter, many people wonder if there is an in-game story for the series. The answer is yes: Virtua Fighter does have an in-game story; it just doesn’t have an actual story mode. But why?
I think the main reason why Sega decided not to give Virtua Fighter an actual story mode is because they want players to focus mostly on the gameplay rather than the game’s story. Players had to get the story from the manual that it came with.
So what is the main story for Virtua Fighter? It’s a world fighting tournament that is being run by an evil organization called Judgement Six (or J6 for short), whose main focus is global domination. The organization is made up of six executives, each named after the Major Arcana and have a different role within the company.
- Judgement is the main antagonist of the series that leads and commands the organization.
- The Devil is responsible for creating conventional weapons, centering around the Dural Project to gather each character’s fighting abilities.
- Wheel of Fortune handles global political affairs.
- The Moon is responsible for terrorist activity and military funding.
- The Tower overviews the organization in its entirety.
- Death creates nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons that could start wars.
Judgement Six can be compared to the likes of M.I.S.T. and DOATEC from the Dead or Alive series, Shadowloo, S.I.N., and Illuminati from the Street Fighter series, and Mishima Zaibatsu and G Corporation from the Tekken series. While the organization never appeared in the main games, they played a huge role in Virtua Quest. Not to mention, Goh Hinogami and Jean Kujo are the only two representatives for J6 in the main games.
Now that we got that out of the way, it’s time to explore the actual story behind the series.
The first game begins with an history lesson that took place during the Showa Era, where the Japanese army tried to approach the last Emperor of the Ching Dynasty, Henry Pu-yi. They lost to the imperial guards who used the martial art known as Hakkyoku-Ken (which is known to the Chinese as Bajiquan). During World War II, it was said that the Japanese army copied the Hakkyoku-Ken and made it their own art in order to create the strongest infantrymen.
Nearly half a century later, the World Fighting Tournament is about to begin, and it is to determine who is the #1 fighter in the world. Unknown to the competitors, the tournament is being run by an evil syndicate known as Judgement Six.
Each character has a reason why they are entering the tournament.
- Akira wanted to test his martial arts ability to the world.
- Pai wanted to defeat and surpass her father for approval.
- Lau wanted to achieve his mastery over the Koen-Ken martial art style.
- Wolf wanted to seek worthy opponents after feeling bored with Professional Wrestling.
- Jeffry just needed the money so that he can catch the Satan Shark. This will be an ongoing theme since his rival is a shark.
- Kage-Maru wanted to seek revenge for his father and rescue his mother after Judgement Six invaded the village, resulting in killing and kidnapping.
- Sarah was kidnapped and brainwashed by Judgement Six, so she was sent to the tournament to finish off her brother Jacky.
- Jacky enters the tournament to destroy Judgement Six for getting him into a car accident during the 1990 Indianapolis 500, and kidnapping Sarah.
At the end of the tournament, it was revealed that Lau Chan was the winner.
Virtua Fighter 2
Virtua Fighter 2 takes place one year after the end of the first tournament, with Lau Chan becoming the first champion. Every fighter has gained friendships and rivalries during the course of the tournament.
Now that Judgement Six announced the second World Fighting Tournament, ten fighters emerged from the scene to compete. This time, their suspicion raises even higher than before because of who’s pulling the strings behind the scenes.
- Akira lacked experience after losing to Kage-Maru, bearing a new grudge to get better.
- Pai is still determined to defeat her father after losing to him in the first tournament.
- Lau returns to defend his title after winning the first tournament.
- Wolf found a new rival in Akira, vowing one day to defeat him after losing to him in the first tournament.
- Jeffry used the prize money to build a new boat, but it got destroyed by the Satan Shark. He enters the tournament to rebuild his boat.
- Kage-Maru returns to find more information about Judgement Six and to rescue his mother.
- Sarah is still brainwashed by Judgement Six, and she still has to kill her brother Jacky under their orders.
- Jacky became an instructor for Jeet Kune Do, and is still trying to save his sister Sarah from Judgement Six.
- Shun wanted to compete in the tournament after one of his friend’s students had some success with the tournament.
- Lion entered the tournament as a prerequisite to be free from his father, since he’s been controlling his life.
At the end of Virtua Fighter 2, it was revealed that Akira Yuki redeemed himself and won the second tournament.
Virtua Fighter 3/tb
Virtua Fighter 3’s main story lies within each character’s background. Of course, Judgement Six is hosting another tournament, and well… you know the rest.
- Akira returns to retain his title, and to find out what his grandfather meant by what is “true strength”.
- Pai lost to her father for a second time in the tournament, and she is still trying to defeat him.
- Lau failed to defeat Akira in the second tournament, and now he enters the tournament to save his restaurant from financial issues.
- Wolf entered the tournament to find out the connection between the dream he had about a someone stopping a man from destroying the world and the tournament.
- Jeffry entered the tournament again so that he can pay off his debts and rebuild his boat so that he can catch the Satan Shark.
- Kage-Maru rescued his mother (who was transformed into Dural) after the second tournament. After she became sick due to the aftereffects of her transformation, he enters the tournament to find out what the connection is between her and the new Dural model.
- Sarah was rescued by Jacky after the second tournament, but her memory has been wiped clean. She enters the third tournament to regain her normal memories before she was brainwashed by Judgement Six.
- Jacky saved his sister at the end of the second tournament, only to realize that she lost her memories. He enters the tournament to protect her from Judgement Six.
- Shun enters the tournament to find the mystery behind his beloved disciple that he raised who went missing.
- Lion wants to redeem himself after losing in the second tournament. He enters the third tournament with newfound passion.
- Aoi enters the tournament to test her fighting abilities and to meet up with her childhood friend, Akira.
- Taka-Arashi enters the tournament with the thrill of the battle after he made his decision to leave Sumo Wrestling behind.
It was revealed at the end of Virtua Fighter 3 that Kage-Maru successfully won the tournament.
Virtua Fighter 4/Evolution/Final Tuned
Virtua Fighter 4 and Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution have a two-part storyline. VF4 started out with thirteen fighters entering the tournament for their own personal reasons, while Judgement Six used them for gathering data for Dural. Evolution adds two more fighters to the mix, one of them works for Judgement Six who is ordered to kill everyone in the tournament.
It was also revealed that for the Dural project, Judgement Six targeted Sarah Bryant as their next volunteer for a new Dural model.
- Akira fell short during the third tournament. In order to find out what the “real power” was within him, he enters the fourth tournament to find that answer.
- Pai discovers that her skill was close to her father’s despite her loss in the third tournament. After hearing that Lau was looking for a successor and has a terminal illness, she enters the tournament to prove that she is a worthy successor to master her father’s style.
- Lau suffered a terrible illness that cannot be cured after losing to Kage-Maru in the third tournament. He enters the tournament to find a worthy successor to Koen-Ken.
- Wolf still has reoccurring nightmares since the end of the second tournament. After losing in the third tournament, he ignored the dream but it kept coming back. He enters the fourth tournament to find out what that meant.
- Jeffry finally gained enough money to repair his boat, but there was only one problem: the Satan Shark mysteriously disappeared. He enters the tournament to invest in a sonar device for the shark.
- Kage-Maru won the third tournament and found a part from the new Dural model that would cure his mother. It result in his mother transforming into Dural once again and attacking him. Since Judgement Six saved her, Kage enters the tournament to kill Dural once and for all.
- Sarah regained her memories and lived a quiet life with her brother, until she had flashbacks of the time where she was brainwashed by Judgement Six and attempted to kill Jacky. She enters the tournament to defeat him and resolve the matter.
- Jacky turned his focus to racing after the end of the third tournament, where he formed his own racing team. However, Judgement Six killed one of his sponsors and they will continue unless Jacky enters the fourth tournament. He decides to enter the tournament to once again take down Judgement Six.
- Shun was unsuccessful on finding his missing student during the third tournament. It was revealed that his student was trying to escape from Judgement Six, but he was recaptured by the evil organization. He enters the fourth tournament to find more information about the missing student.
- Lion enters the fourth tournament in order to once again try to win the title.
- Aoi didn’t last long in the first round of the third tournament. She enters the fourth tournament to try her new skills in parrying and counterattacking.
- Lei-Fei entered the fourth tournament to become the successor to Lau’s Koen-Ken style of martial arts. His true intention is to kill Lau after he learned his style under the clan’s orders.
- Vanessa joins the fourth tournament to protect Sarah from Judgement Six, and to avenge the murder of her mentor, Lewis.
- Brad entered the fourth tournament after dominating the Muay Thai Kickboxing world.
- Goh infiltrated the fourth tournament under Judgement Six orders to kill everyone.
There was no winner at the end of the fourth tournament due to Dural interrupting Grand Finals between Shun and Kage-Maru.
Virtua Fighter 5/R/Final Showdown
Virtua Fighter 5 takes place after the end of the fourth tournament. It was true that Judgement Six sent Dural to interfere with the Grand Finals between Shun and Kage-Maru. Knowing that it was too late to save his mother after transforming into Dural, Kage destroyed her with his own hands. However, he felt that something wasn’t right after that defeat…
Meanwhile, Judgement Six captured Vanessa for the next step for the Dural program. Before she was turned into Dural, an insider helped Vanessa escape from the organization. However, they already have transplanted her combat data into the new Dural model. Judgement Six then later announced the Fifth World Fighting Tournament to test out V-Dural’s fighting abilities and seek out any traitors within J6.
- Akira lost to Kage-Maru again in the fourth tournament. He trained extra hard for the fifth tournament to defeat him.
- Pai was defeated at the fourth tournament. Before she left, she saved her father from Lei-Fei just when he was about to kill him. Knowing that Lau doesn’t have long to live, she enters the tournament to show her love for her father, emotionally and physically in combat.
- Lau nearly died when he knew that Lei-Fei was sent to kill him. With death approaching soon and his bond from his daughter is still intact, he entered the tournament… probably for the last time.
- Wolf is getting closer to what that nightmare meant while he watched Dural interfere in the fourth tournament. He was called out by El Blaze to face him in the fifth tournament in which he entered.
- Jeffry raised enough money to invest in a fishing research vessel, complete with the radar. When he came home, he learned from his local fishermen that the Satan Shark was captured by Judgement Six. Enraged that someone caught the shark before him and learning the fact that J6 was responsible for the tournaments, he decided to enter the fifth tournament.
- Kage was interrupted by Dural during the Grand Finals of the fourth tournament. He thought he destroyed his mother who was turned into Dural, only to realize that what he destroyed was one of Judgement Six’s Durals. Knowing that his mother is still alive, Kage enters the fifth tournament to save her.
- Sarah was unaware that Judgement Six was after her again during the fourth tournament. Vanessa was there to protect her and infiltrate the organization. However, Vanessa mysteriously disappeared. When Sarah heard that her brother Jacky was entering the fifth tournament, she decides to enter to defeat him and bring peace to her past. She has no idea that she’s falling under J6’s plans.
- Jacky had enough of Judgement Six since they caused his car accident, kidnapped and brainwashed Sarah, killing one of his sponsors for his racing team, and the disappearance of Vanessa, who was supposed to protect his sister. He enters the tournament to put an end to J6 once and for all, and then resume with his racing career.
- Shun was interrupted during the Grand Finals of the fourth tournament, in which he was close to finding his missing student. After the tournament ended, he lived his quiet life of retirement right until he received an invitation to the fifth tournament signed by his missing student. He was determined to enter.
- Lion didn’t win the fourth tournament, but he was satisfied with the results. However, Lion found out that his father’s company has a connection with Judgement Six based on the documents he found. He enters the tournament to find out more about his father’s involvement with J6.
- Aoi felt frustrated during the fourth tournament because she was defeated by Brad, who used pick-up lines to her before the match started to throw her off during the match. After the tournament, she can’t stop thinking about him. She enters the fifth tournament to face him again.
- Lei-Fei was selected to be the successor to Lau’s Koen-Ken fighting style after the fourth tournament. He grew impatient and tried to kill Lau right before Pai stopped him. Pissed at the fact that he was unable to learn the style of Koen-Ken, he enters the fifth tournament with a mission to become stronger than any opponent.
- Vanessa was captured by Judgement Six during the fourth tournament in order to create a brand new Dural model called V-Dural. Thankfully, she was rescued by a double agent within J6. She developed dissociative amnesia where she doesn’t remember what happened during the moment where she was kidnapped. She enters the fifth tournament to find out the answers.
- Brad had an amazing time during the fourth tournament, even though he didn’t win. He returned to the Muay Thai circuit unsatisfied. Worst of all, none of the women who he met returned any of his calls. He received an invitation for the fifth tournament under a woman who he met, which was Aoi. He decides to enter to go see her.
- Goh failed to kill his targets during the fourth tournament since he was defeated by Jacky. He puts the blame on Dural for interrupting his plans, but Judgement Six was disappointed in him. So now he enters the fifth tournament as his last chance to redeem himself, or else he will be killed by J6.
- Eileen entered the fifth tournament to see Pai Chan after she was amazed by her martial art skills.
- El Blaze caught the attention of Judgement Six tournament judges for his dominance for the cruiserweight division. When he saw Wolf dominate in the heavyweight division, he decides to face him in the fifth tournament to see who is the most dominant fighter in the world.
- Taka-Arashi was disappointed with his results in the third tournament, since he has felt the first time he was defeated. Feeling unmotivated to continue with Sumo, he was saved by a sumo-coach who used to work at his stable. Once he went back into being undefeated in the sumo world, he disappeared during grand finals of the sumo tournament because he decided to enter the fifth world tournament.
- Jean enters the fifth tournament when he heard that Goh lost to Jacky. As an assassin of Judgement Six, he decided to target Lion even though he was unaware that they were childhood friends.
We don’t know who won the fifth tournament, since it ended in a cliffhanger.
Stories in VF Side Games
While Virtua Fighter have a in-game story but lack an actual story mode, some of their side games have an actual story mode. Virtua Fighter Animation for the Game Gear is the only game in the series that has an actual story mode since it was based off of the Virtua Fighter anime. Virtua Quest also has a main story as well, but I haven’t played it yet. I heard it was alright. There’s also a Virtua Fighter Pachislot game in which you play as Akira, Jacky, Pai, and Aoi, and all four of these characters have a decent story. Hell, even Virtua Fighter Kids had endings for each characters.
In terms of character relationships other than the fact that Sarah and Jacky are siblings and Pai and Lau are daughter and father, there are some that you may not know. Akira is good friends with Pai, Sarah, Jacky, and Aoi. He also have a friendly rivalry with Wolf and Kage and a serious one with Goh. Lion and Jean are childhood friends, although they aren’t aware of it since Jean is brainwashed by J6. Vanessa was a bodyguard for Sarah, who was hired by Jacky. Eileen is a fan of Pai’s martial art work. Wolf and El Blaze are rivals, Aoi and Brad are rivals, and Jacky and Jean are rivals. The only characters that are unrivaled are Jeffry, Shun, and Taka-Arashi.
Jeffry has to have the most interesting backstory of them all. He is unrivaled in the tournament, but he usually gets runner-up to earn enough money in order to catch his one true rival, the Satan Shark.
Interesting enough, Majid Abdul was cut from the final release, but the story behind this character is hilarious. For those who don’t know who Majid is, that was the original name for Siba. Before the events of first Virtua Fighter game, he was disqualified from the first tournament because the officials banned the use of weapons.
I hope that if Virtua Fighter 6 ever does come to light, Sega AM2 doesn’t decide to kill off Lau since he has been one of the mainstays of the series. And I hope that it gets an actual story mode, but that’s just asking for too much.
With the recent announcement of Streets of Rage and Altered Beast getting Film/TV adaptations, it seems that Virtua Fighter is also one of the games that will get a live-action treatment.
That’s all for this blog. We’ll be talking about the most recent discovery of the three characters that was datamined from the first Virtua Fighter game.
Until next time… Train Up, Fighters!
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