SF6’s February 2024 DLC Character Ed Has A Lot of Franchise Baggage

Highlights

  • Street Fighter 6 marks a new era for the franchise, allowing characters like Ed to reinvent themselves.
  • Ed’s unique gameplay, with attacks mapped to simultaneous button inputs, made him a controversial character in Street Fighter 5, but in Street Fighter 6, it can serve as a bridge between Modern and Classic control methods.
  • SF6 is Ed’s time to shine with his own story and the opportunity to fill the gap for a boxer-style fighter in the game.



The release of Street Fighter 6 in 2023 marked the beginning of a new golden age for fighting games and a return to greatness for one of gaming’s oldest franchises. Over more than 35 years, the franchise has amassed an enormous roster of characters and told many stories with them. Until Street Fighter 6, however, the series tended to focus on Ryu and his companion’s battle to take down M. Bison and his evil organization, Shadaloo. Now that Shadaloo is defeated and M. Bison is seemingly gone for good, many characters who were once defined by their relationship with him are now getting a chance to reinvent themselves. One of them is the upcoming DLC character, Ed.


Across the history of the Street Fighter franchise, there are few characters with more baggage than Ed. Ed was introduced during the events of Street Fighter 4 but wasn’t playable until its fifth entry. When he was introduced, he was immediately essential to the plot, making him a big part of SF5‘s story in spite of being a relative newcomer. This made Ed controversial with fans, and his unique gameplay only worked to make him more divisive. Rather than using motion inputs, many of Ed’s attacks are mapped to different simultaneous button inputs. Capcom hoped that Ed would help to make the franchise more accessible to new fans, but his convoluted lore and unique gameplay made Ed something of a black sheep.

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Street Fighter’s Ed Has A Lot of Lore


When players first encounter Ed in Rose’s ending in SF4, he is being held in a tank and is intended to be a replacement body for M. Bison. He is later taken by Seth and claimed for S.I.N. Ed’s story begins in earnest when he is rescued from S.I.N. by Balrog, who notices the Shadaloo symbol on his hand, which indicates that Ed possesses and can use Psycho-powers, much like M. Bison. Balrog goes on to mentor Ed and teaches him to fight. After Ryu and his comrades defeat Shadaloo, Ed and Balrog flee to New Zealand. Ed then goes on to establish a new organization for himself and the other victims of Bison’s experiments.


With Neo Shadaloo now formed, Ed has set out to choose his own destiny. In SF6, A.K.I’s story reveals that Ed is sought out by JP, who has an interest in the people Shadaloo experimented on. His location is unknown, as are the intentions of his organization. This is where things will pick up for Ed in Street Fighter 6 when he is added at the end of February. Ed’s story could go in several directions: his possession of Psycho power could corrupt him, for instance, and he was raised by one of the series’ villains, but his goal of rescuing the other victims of Shadaloo seems benevolent. Perhaps SF6 will make Ed’s morality going forward clearer.

Ed’s Gameplay Makes More Sense in Street Fighter 6

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In Street Fighter 5, Ed’s defining trait was that his gameplay didn’t revolve around motion inputs. Now that SF6 has Modern Controls, this isn’t unique. What it does mean, however, is that Ed could be an effective stepping stone between Modern and Classic control methods. In SF5, which lacked high-quality tutorials, no other character was controlled like Ed, so he failed as a way to make the game more accessible for players who didn’t want to main him, but now he can serve as a way for players to get used to six-button Classic controls before introducing motion inputs.

Street Fighter 6 is Ed’s Time to Shine

After years of being entangled in M. Bison and Shadaloo’s antics, SF6 could be Ed’s chance to have his own story. The motivations of Neo Shadaloo remain unknown, and Ed’s morality is also a mystery. SF6 is also currently lacking a boxer-style fighter, a huge gap that Ed will fill as the first character added to Street Fighter 6 in 2024.

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Street Fighter 6

Released
June 2, 2023

Genre(s)
Fighting

Multiplayer
Online Multiplayer , Local Multiplayer

ESRB
T For Teen Due To Mild Blood, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco, Violence

Metascore
92

Platforms That Support Crossplay
PC, PS4, PS5, & Xbox Series X|S

PS Plus Availability
N/A

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