What makes Hisako a great character? (analysis)

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Many people have gone on record saying that Hisako is one of the most well designed characters in a fighting game ever. It’s hard to deny the mass appeal she has had to players and non players alike. But why is this? her moveset is not revolutionary and her aesthetics are not terribly complicated, so why is she considered so great? I think I have figured it out.
Hisako works so well because every aspect of her design (combat, visuals, everything) is there to reinforce a central theme; Fear. It is not often that a characters looks perfectly compliment their gameplay and this is the mark of a great character. Another great example is Ryu from Street Fighter. His looks, his lore, and his toolkit all revolve around the theme of an honorable shotacon warrior. His toolkit is very straight forward and does not harbor many tricks, which help him seem all the more honorable. Hisako works in a similar way. Everything about Hisako is meant to scare you. From her nightmarish design to her powerful Oki and punishes, nothing about this character is put to waste in backing up her overall themes. I believe that this merriment of personality with visuals and gameplay is what makes a fighting game character likable and lasting. This design philosophy cannot work for everyone, but I think that more designers should go into character creation with this philosophy in mind. IG did a great job with the Ghost Girl and hopefully others can use her as a great example of combining visuals and mechanics.

3 Likes

She’s very unique when it comes to horror characters. I have never seen a fighting game character quite like Hisako. She has a great sense of presence, moves like a dead person, makes weird cracking and ethereal noises, etc.

I feel her moveset is game- changing to KI yes

@TheKeits created a unique and very fun playable character in what could have been a shoto or bland character in any other game series.

Her specials and shadows are insane and can really get the opponents who are not familiar to her advantages and disadvantages VERY salty.

She is always in my top 4 especially if I could have 4 shadow slots she’d be right there

I couldn’t possibly express my love for Hisako enough. She’s the main reason why I started playing KI in the first place - the moment I saw her in her trailer I was more than hooked. I love how her not so intimidating size and design (excluding freaky and spooky bits of course) constrasts with her vicious nature, huge naginata and intimidating behaviour. We can hear her bones crack every time she takes a step, for crying out loud! And don’t even get me started on her forward dash. But these are just creepy parts. The genius of Hisako is how she becomes truly scary when you go over her tools. It’s as if she was designed to scare people! Oh, wait… Combine all of that with a truly tragic backstory and you get one hell of a character. Man, I get salty every time I recall that there’s no way to get US’s Hisako figure in my country…