An In-Depth Character Study: Crimson Viper’s Breasts

Crimson Viper’s character design was goofy when I first saw it. She definitely wasn’t one of the new Street Fighter 4 characters I liked. Over time though, her design grew on me. She’s not a great example of character design, but she’s pretty cool! She looks like Angelina Jolie, has a cool suit, some crazy hair and kicks fire! Also hey cleavage, right? I love cleavage. While I never buy games due to sex appeal, I can certainly appreciate it as an admittedly perverted, red blooded male!

Only her knockers are a fucking travesty upon God

This might seem like a silly thing to write about and I assure you, IT IS, but it’s also a fun little topic over a pet peeve of mine. I also think theres a little glean here about design — and a bit on anatomy! Also again, as a man, I can’t resist a good excuse to talk about breasts. So anyways, let me begin with the story of C. Viper’s breasts — or sorta just C. Viper in general. Viper was designed to be sexy. She was designed to be a sexy female to appeal to the American male and as a powerful rival to Chun-li. The SNK inspired design, the Jolie-face, and the boob window, all chosen to appeal to Americans. The problem is, the character was not well received. Response was mixed. Maybe it was her goofy hair, or how out of place she feels in a Street Fighter game filled with semi plausible Martial Artists…. or maybe it was her… Boobs? Apparently they thought that, because Capcom of Japan immediately axed her bust size.

Lets go over this again. To try and make the character more likeable, they SHRUNK her bust size. Now lets be clear here, I’m not saying every female character has big breasts — obviously not. I mean, I love big boobs and draw them more than I probably should, but the sizing of breasts can change many things about a character. You can look at Cammy and her frame and her breast size and see the opposite side of things (big boobs would make her look retarded). But with C. Viper….

  • The change was made for a nonsensical reason: Maybe American audiences were scared of big boobs on a woman who was supposed to be a MILF?
  • The change conflicts with the character’s visual design: The whole big cleavage and tie look calls for bigger breasts. If you don’ want to do big breasts, don’t use that outfit
  • The change was HORRIBLY and ABYSMALLY modeled.

A little goofy in the modeling department, but they seem to mesh well with her visual design

So lets take a look at Viper’s original set. Viper, like all of the SF4 original cast, suffers from design inexperience in her model. Most of the original cast has little modeling quirks. For a lot of the guys, it’s okay. Ryu looks ape-ish (he’s sorta supposed to though I guess), Guile looks like he kinda has down syndrome, and Blanka is just 100% awful. Chun-Li looks mostly good, but has giant hands and a super generic face. Viper still has a share of problems. Her boobs are a bit awkward. They’re not too big really, but they’re a little nonsensical and how they eat her tie kinda looks weird. She has has some awkward bits with her hips and exposed midriff. Her hips just don’t taper off right or something, I can’t exactly say. This is pretty consistent with the read of the SF4 modeling issues. When the console characters came out — or the Super characters, it was much easier to see they got their modeling skills on track, but anyways…

So the logic was that Viper didn’t come off as a believable fighter in the Street Fighter universe. That is pretty true. The idea was then to reduce her bust (which honestly wasn’t that big as far as games go), to something more “reasonable” to make her more plausible. Personally I’d have just had them tighten up her model in general, but what do they do instead?

My friend Kenny calls them the ‘hamburgers’. Awkward in every conceivable way and totally at odds with either of her first two outfits.

Well, here we have C. Vipers SF4 hack-job breast reduction. She could practically sue for malpractice. First, they start at her COLLAR BONE. This is an artifact of her bigger breasts. Even in that case, the model was anatomically wrong as her top wouldn’t have had those results on her cleavage, but they were plausible. Now? They just look wrong. And they taper down in an awkward, goofy way. They look like hamburger buns. Combine that with her poorly placed tie and she looks like she has a mutant uni-boob. Everything is wrong. They start to high, they aren’t shaped right, they’re too close together and look ugly (If you’re going to model breasts wrong, at least make it the sexy kind of wrong). Clearly the reduction was done by lassoing her chest and squishing them back. A real hack job.

What gets me even more so is the whole idea clashes with her design. Shrinking her breasts isn’t going to make her into a plausible SF style fighter. It might do it a LITTLE BIT (and let me be clear when I say a LITTLE BIT), but at the cost of damaging the design strengths of the character. If you are unwilling to change the whole design, it is better to embrace it’s uniqueness and strengths, rather than cutting corners and making a character lame. Now, the reduction didn’t destroy C. Viper, but I notice it every time I play. It as a desperate gesture that was only a net loss. In a way, making her breasts bigger would have been a better response. If she’s going to be embraced as an out of place character, you might as well roll with it I suppose… and actually I think we can see now that it would have been a good idea.

They’re a bit on the big side, but if you’re dressing like that, they’re supposed to be.

MVC3 fixes a ton of modeling issues on Viper. Her hips and midriff are actually kinda sexy now! But her BREASTS. They’re a bit on the sillier side, size wise, but we’re not talking SC4 Ivy here. I think the important thing is it LOOKS right. The design is MEANT to have big obnoxious knockers. They also gave her real cleavage. The breasts are properly spaced apart and gives room for the whole tie motif to work. They have some actual weight to them, too. In action, they don’t even look that huge either (you tend to exaggerate parts of models to look good in motion and from a distance)! Viper looks great in Marvel vs Capcom 3. Everyone else seemed to know what Viper’s boobs were supposed to be like outside of the SF4 team. Even the ending animation realizes it, even though it’s….. sorta on the extreme side.

If they wanted to dodge the whole big boob thing, they could have. Actually having anatomically correct smaller boobs would have been FAR less glaring. If you also look at her last two alternative costumes, she looks great. They de-emphasis her chest. They don’t demand big cleavage anymore. Both the combat suit and the scientist suit look great and are stylish. They mesh with the character and don’t require huge boobs. Huge boobs aren’t always great! In fact, even if you do them right, they can look kinda gross, like SC4 Ivy. They’re modeled right and hang right and have the right weight to them, but they’re so large and implausible that they look awkward… to my goofy tastes, awkwardly HOT, but something that is something better reserved for pornographic material and not a fighting game where you want a character to be taken seriously.

So I dunno what the final moral is here, but it’s not entirely about boobs I guess. Just kinda embrace the elements that define your character and don’t make half assed compromises? That and just have nice boobs. They won’t make me buy your game, but I’ll appreciate it. :3

Both of Viper’s newer outfits look great without looking boobly. Conversely, Ivy looks like a washed up porn star in her 30s. Which happens to be a thing I’m into, but really shouldn’t be in a game. They’re also at least anatomically correct, if implausibly sized.

edit: Oh hey, I was linked on Eventhubs.

Anyways to respond to some of the comments. To all ya’ll who think I’m sick (true), will die a virgin (impossible unless you have a time machine) or never get laid (it’s admittingly infrequent!), I posted an article, to the public, on breasts. The concept alone is incredibly silly and I had a lot of fun doing it and also have a lot of fun reading all the reactions. I’m sorta above being hurt or bothered by such silly internetness. I’ve had a game out for a few years that has constantly brought me comical hate mail. I adore it all. But please, continue to have fun, but if your intent is to be legitimately hurtful, it won’t work. I like what I do too much.

For all of you that enjoyed my rambling little essay, thanks! I’m far from the best writer out there (FAAAAR from it), but I’d like to think some of my content is good and/or amusing. The rest of my blog probably won’t be nearly as funny, but feel free to take a look. I write a decent bit on fighting games!

I wish to respond to some comments publically though. Some of it is good, some of it is comically bad and some of it has new information!

Josh writes…

Viper herself is a travesty unto god, her poorly designed breasts are just a miniscule part of that. I fucking hate Viper. She is the worst female character Capcom has ever, EVER created. Nothing about her is likeable, and I mean, at all. People always say that she’s a mom and that makes her likeable, that’s just plain not true. She’s a condescending selfish bitch who only cares about salary and has no qualms about cheating. Her daughter, if anything, is probably going to grow up to be just as much of a cunt as she is.

This comment gave me a good laugh. This is the type of comment that is extremely fun to write and I bet Josh felt so good getting all that out that he went off to do manly things like punching bear. I got nothing to really add to it, but the sheer venom in his words made me laugh out loud.

HtH writes…

Yo dude the scientist outfit isnt like that ingame, it has gigantic cleavage:

Man, Capcom, thats weak. Your original design was much classier. Still, from this one screen shot it looks like a big improvement! It doesn’t necessarily look good (it might be, but I’d need to play with that outfit on. Which I won’t since I don’t buy costume packs), but they seem to at least be reasonably shaped and her tie doesn’t totally wreck her cleavage (though it’s still goofy. Her boobs need to SPREAD for it to work optimally, MVC3 style). I’d still prefer the classier concept art, but I suppose I can’t complain

Biggz writes…

You do realize C. VIper has the largest bust out of all of the street fighters? Look it up on Her bust is 98, compared to ibuki’s 95 and chun’s 88.

do your homework before you write an article .

Oh my god oh my god oh my god this comment is amazing. I don’t think I need to explain to anyone but Biggs that the bust size in the bio does not match the bust size of the model. They do not measure the model to create these numbers. They are artistic interpretations. Whats more though, it shows that Capcom was committed originally to Viper’s cleavage, only to abruptly give up in a moment of desperation. Either way, Biggz’s comment is amazing in it’s sheer idiocy. Also on the topic…

Doug writes…

Biggz, the biggest bust in the game is actually… Rufus’s. 180cm, delicious.

(Also, Rose’s is 96, which is almost as big as Viper’s)

Delicious indeed.

On eventhubs, some folks are talking about my own artwork. If you’re trying to hurt my feelings or something, HAHA, JOKES ON YOU: I KNOW MY ART SUCKS! Nice try! My artwork is a hobby, and yes, it is very flawed. I don’t fancy my self an illustrator and I am not aiming to ever be an professional illustrator. What I draw has no bearing at all on C. Viper’s breasts. They are a result of poor modeling in a professional capacity. They were also changed for a reason that is exceedingly ignorant. My art is something done every few months as a hobby, while money is sunk to pay professional artists to assets for a several million dollar game and these assets got signed off by management. Whats worse is MANAGEMENT TOLD THE BREASTS TO BE BUTCHERED.

Now, I’ll be totally fair here. Art is hard. Breasts are hard (well, when you draw them. Touching is another matter). Deadlines are rough. There is a lot to get done and often you gotta let things go. The only thing that was absolutely dumb was the last minute bust reduction. The SF4 artists have gone on to improve their skills and make awesome models in Super. I don’t want to imply any of them are talentless hacks. They’re way better than I am, obviously (I shouldn’t even need to SAY this, but just so it’s absolutely clear). If I put my art in a multi million dollar retail game, I couldn’t complain if someone laughed at it! It doesn’t belong there! They’ve also obviously gotten a better feel for what they’re doing with the newer characters.

But all of this does not mean C. Viper’s breasts are okay.

Just because I’m also probably a lousy director, that doesn’t mean I can’t say Plan 9 from Outerspace is an awful movie. I’ve seen what other professionals have done in the field and I know Plan 9 is bad. Do think her breasts are fine, or do you think they just should not be criticized? Both positions are equally laughable and I don’t think I need to explain why. What sort of breast TERRORIST would defend those things? It’s not like I’m yelling at the artists or pretending I could do any better — they’ll never know this is written and no, I can’t. I’m just taking a goofy flaw in a character model and making a comically big deal out of it. It’s not like I’m hurting her breast’s feelings or something. :)

Anyways, thats it for now! G’night folks!

Edit2: A few more tidbits, this time fro Eventhubs comments

Batsu writes…

Viper’s fine they way she is. People will complain about anything. People just need to STFU. And dude is wrong about Viper not appealing to many, everybody I know likes Viper. The guy behind that article is just a chump.

Terrornaut writes…

I know a ton of people that hate Viper’s design, or can’t get over her hair.

Its all varied.

And in those alpha vids posted…is chun li bigger all around there? Waist, thighs, arms? Should have kept the face from there. Kind of cherub thing goin on. Face looked so much better there. Also looks higher detail though, so maybe they had to cut it down. I definately like it, but don’t mind the changes, aside from tranny-li-face at some angles (her recovery from game over countdown, shudder)

Also smaller, but more pronounced chest?

Batsu writes…

“I know a ton of people that hate Viper’s design, or can’t get over her hair.”

Well I don’t…Most of the internet enjoys Viper and Viper players. Sounds to me like dude who wrote that article want’s her to be Mai or some Dead orAlive b!tch.

She’s fine the way she is. Like, she doesn’t have big anime knockers and a strange hair design. Get over it.

So the beautiful baller Terrornaut tries to reasonably state “You know, I think maybe you don’t have an adequate sample size, I know some people who don’t like C. Viper”. Batsu replies that I want some anime chick and that C Viper is fine because she doesn’t need big breasts or stupid hair and everyone likes her. Not only does Batsu clearly lack reading comprehension, but he clearly has never actually looked at C. Vipers hair… and since he’s defending her malformed breasts (which is more the problem. Size is a stylistic issue), I think he may lack any comprehension. Of course this ignores the fact I like C. Viper and often play her! I like her stupid hair too! The issue is, RESPONSE WAS BAD. But don’t take my word for it!

Yoshinori Ono writes, after Comic Com…

With all due respect to him, he’s a great character, but honestly we thought Crimson Viper would be a big hit here,” Ono said. “We got a lot of marketing data and a lot of advice from our U.S. branch in creating that character. She was kind of custom-tailored for the States and we thought people would like her.

If I dug around enough I’m pretty sure I could find other articles displaying Capcom’s disappointment at her reception. That doesn’t mean people don’t like her, or people haven’t grown to like her, but man, I’m not making shit up here.

Heres a bit that has little to do with anything…

Assy02 writes…

“Who cares were man” Stupidest comment i ever heard.A real man wouldn’t make big deals over a person chest.Just little boys and there games is all i see

Utils writes…

A real man hits the spacebar after punctuation marks.

Assy02 writes…

A real man can find something better to say than something stupid like hits the “hit spacebar after punctuation marks”.Like if your gonna insult someone come up with something better :P

Something better? Dude, that was the best. It is a shame Assy02 can’t understand the awesomeness of the burn Util laid upon him. It screams “You don’t put enough effort into your sentences, so why should I take you seriously?” I’m not one to talk about having proper grammar (I find my own to be embarrassingly lacking), but come on folks, that’s the least you can do for your fellow reader.