In September 1984, Capcom released a Maze Arcade Game in Japan known as Pirate Ship Higemaru. This Z80-based game would later see the light of day on consoles by being included in the 1998 compilation Capcom Generations: The First Generation, for the original Playstation in Japan and Europe, and the Sega Saturn, only in Japan. Most players of it may be more familiar with its inclusion in the 2005 Capcom Classics Collection for the Playstation 2 and Xbox, as well as the Playstation Portable version of the title in Capcom Classics Collection: Reloaded, which marked the first time the game was released in North America.
The game stars a Norwegian sailor named Momotaru, who must defeat the titular enemy pirate crew by throwing barrels at them–as he has no attacks of his own–which would culminate in facing a Boss Pirate, known as Bow, at the end of each of the game’s sixteen levels. For the next series of CFN Portal site profiles, the Shadaloo Activity Report–as per Private Nakagawa– looks inside this pirate and his family, including a relative who may prove to be extremely familiar to long-time fighting game fans.
Private Nakagawa: This guy is a scoundrel of the sea and a sea-faring ruffian! He’s likely quite strong! He’s the brother of a Norwegian fisherman and he has actually battled with Ryu. He’s the eldest son of his fisherman family.
Blood type: O
Birthday: May 5
Country or Origin: Norway
Likes: The Sea, Darts
Dislikes: Rough Seas, Land
Private Nakagawa: He’s a big man that throws the huge barrel he shoulders at his opponents as an attack. Despite his rugged and grim appearance, he has a very friendly personality and is an extremely kind person. The ship that he uses with his siblings is called the “Anchor No. 1.”
Next, we move on to his brother, and boss character of the series, Bow!
Private Nakagawa: A man of the sea who is prideful in his own strength. He doesn’t actually train, but was naturally gifted with muscles and is very buff. He must have a very hard job.
Blood type: B
Birthday: May, 22
Country of Origin: Norway
Likes: Booze, Family
Dislikes: Minor Details, Things that require precision
Private Nakagawa: The youngest son who carries a massive glass float on his back that he uses to fight with. He’s the strongest of the fisherman siblings. His booze is also mighty potent, and he’s the best at holding his liquor. He’s always frustrated with fast-talkers, as he doesn’t understand what they’re saying, and could care less about it all. He’s the only married member of the fisherman siblings.
Continuing with the eldest brother, we have Beard!
Private Nakagawa: The strong-armed fisherman. He also partakes in fighting. Currently, it seems he wants to arrange a fight with Mr. Rufus, lately. I wonder why?
Blood type: B
Birthday: October 8
Home Country: Norway
Likes: Fighting, Fried food
Dislikes: Tooth decay
Private Nakagawa: The third-born son, who hurls a small shark around. He’s got a hook equipped on his right hand in order to reel his opponents in like he’s fishing and pull them around. His main offense as a character is his Command Grabs. He’s the rowdiest and most violent out of all of the three brothers. But, then again, he’s apparently no match for the likes of their younger sister… [His name is Beard, and it has a round shape, so this could be a play on the word “Higemaru,” the title of their series, that literally means, “Round Beard.”]
Finally, we close out this batch of Profiles with the sister of the Higemaru brothers, who may prove to be a VERY familiar face to fighting game fans:
Private Nakagawa: The youngest child in a family of fisherman. A strong-willed lady. I remember seeing her somewhere before… It seems her father was a pirate.
Blood type: B
Birthday: February, 24
Home Country: Norway
Likes: Old Furniture, Travel
Private Nakagawa: The most stable person in the entire family. She always makes clear what she wants, and is the type of person who straight-up says exactly what she wants to say. She always enjoyed and looked forward to hearing her father’s traveling tales. She works at the bar her mother manages, and she’s slowly constructing her own ship to sail the seas on her own adventures. Her ship’s name is “Partenaire”, in French. [“Partner”]
Before anyone jumps to conclusions, Street Fighter V’s Associate Producer, Takayuki Nakyama clarified on Twitter that, like Ingrid, in the case of Capcom Fighting All-Stars and Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX, there are now two separate versions of Ruby, that exist parallel to each other. The one we all know and love from Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, and this version, who has been changed to the daughter of a Norwegian fisherman, to make her canon to the Street Fighter Universe–and who has had no control over ghosts or spirits mentioned officially at all, as of this writing.
— takayuki nakayama (@takaNakayama) September 1, 2016
“Ruby is the daughter of a Norwegian bartender, not Ruby Heart. Sublimation!”
He also commented on some original plans to make Momotaru part of the Playable Roster in Street Fighter V.
— takayuki nakayama (@takaNakayama) August 30, 2016
“We had the intention to really make Momotaru a playable character, at some point. His V-skill should have been the ability to make a barrel rain from above the screen, and then grab it and toss it at his opponent. He didn’t make the cut because Birdie already covered that gameplay.”
That does it for another round of CFN Profiles. Do you have any experiences playing Pirate Ship Higemaru that you’d like to share? Do you think any of these characters should become playable in Street Fighter V in the future? What do you think of Ruby Heart being made officially canon to Street Fighter, and now finally having a home series, albeit an alternate version of her? Sound off in the Comments below! You can check out our coverage of the Season One DLC Characters here and here, as well as having a look at Tom’s friends here.