The concept of a fanservice game has been done quite a bit since the first games of the “genre,” such as Fighters Megamix and Super Smash Brothers (I’m talking about company fanservice here, not breasts and puns!) and while it has not been perfected, we have gotten some great games recently. Also recently, we have seen Sony release a brawler, to join Nintendo, who has set the precedent with their aforementioned Smash series. Though Sega is not one of the bigger players anymore in the console world, could they still release a fanservice brawler? With the success of the All-Stars Racing games, I would think that it would indeed be lucrative if they released a fanservice brawler, but which characters would they pick? Which locations and items too? I will answer those questions with a series of top 10s, that will tell you just who I think would be perfect to fill these roles. I will be excluding anything, anyone or anyplace from the Sonic the Hedgehog Universe, as its obvious and easy to just choose what you would want from that series; and anyways, you and I both know that if Sega were to do a fanservice brawler, it would be almost half Sonic anyways!

The first stop on this list series are the first ten characters that stand a good chance of making an appearance. Of course, nowadays a fan service title has more than simply twenty characters, however I am not going to sit here and write fifty lists! These characters are not in order of importance per se, though the characters higher on the list are bigger names than those on the bottom of the list. While Fighters Megamix kept the characters solely in house (AM2), this would be an all-encompassing Sega list, thus it is more than wide open for any character developed by Sega, to be on the list. Ready? It's gonna be a brawl!

"Yo Kid!"

Combo made his first appearance in Jet Set Radio for the Dreamcast, where he is arguably the protagonist of the first game (Beat was a much bigger character once Future hit), once he joins the GGs. He's a tall, strong black man who always has a boombox on his shoulder, thus he is very distinct-looking in the first Jet Set Radio (mind you, every character from that game is distinct in their own way). He got a major makeover in Jet Set Radio Future, getting blue hair, shades and losing his hat, while keeping his gold chain and the boombox.

Why would he be a great character in a mascot brawler? For one, he's huge, two, his look is very different from many characters in Sega's arsenal and he has a weapon already! Yes there is a thing Sega has with characters and boomboxes, however unlike Cool J from Shenmue, I don't think Combo would have any qualms about beating someone up with his. It would also be a nice change, rather than having Beat be the Jet Set Radio representative for all of the Sega All-Star titles; the series does have many more diverse and interesting characters than a little guy in an orange shirt. For these reasons, Combo would be a great choice for a character in a Sega mascot brawler.

Actually Worth Money?: Combo's big chain around his neck is supposedly made of gold, however its symbol is that of the Yen (¥), thus its probably worth its weight in gold!

"Uh, this guy is too depressing, let's get outta here!"

Alys, the Algol-renowned master hunter from Aideo (or I guess it should be "huntress," in this case), is another Sega character that would be a great fit in a console brawler. Though the Phantasy Star characters are not well-known or revered amongst the general gaming community (aside from Alis Landale), Alys is one of the few who is, as many called for her to be on my most recent top 10 of strong Sega females. Always heroic, she leads Chaz throughout Phantasy Star IV and helps him get to the bottom of the monster problems that occur, before taking on a much bigger enemy as the very deep game goes on.

She is a great fighter with a barrage of techniques, especially useful with slicers as weapons (though she's a good warrior-type, this is the only weapon variety she can equip throughout the game) and fire-type techniques. These, "different" attributes would be welcome in the game as she would not be someone who solely fights with her fists or a specific weapon. Furthermore, her star power with the fans would make her a welcome addition as well, providing that fans have played the Phantasy Star series!

To dress like a character or not to dress like a character, that is the question: Alys is a popular character amongst cosplayers throughout the world and is about on-par with Alis Landale in terms of cosplay popularity.

"I got blown to *@?% once!"

Eternal Champions was SOA's (Sega Technical Institute, to be exact) 2D answer of sorts, to SOJ's (AM2, to be exact) 3D Virtua Fighter. Despite being a very nice-looking game with a lot of character and great aesthetics, it was just very difficult and the learning curve was somewhat steep, not to mention that in comparison to Virtua Fighter, it just didn't "wow," people enough (and even though VF is a difficult series as well, at least you can WIN if you're bad at the game). Amongst all of Eternal Champions flaws however, laid the awesome and deep characters, none being more popular and pushed than Larcen Tyler. A small-time criminal from the roaring 20s, he worked for a syndicate led by a man named Mr. Tagliani, before Tagliani had him killed by "set Larcen up the bomb," style. He then had a recurring story in the "Sonic the Comic," series, in the UK.

Larcen is a practitioner of the Praying Mantis style of fighting (tanglangquan) and while he refused to kill anyone, his fighting style was useful in incapacitating foes at any time. He also used cat paws/claws as weapons at times, which could make for an interesting weapon addition to the game. Due to his popularity, he would be the easiest choice for a character from Eternal Champions, I'd think. As well, his appearance is highly unique, as he looks like a typical detective type from that era (he was based on Hudson Hawk). With all of this going for him, it's clear to see that Larcen would work in a Sega mascot brawler.

Not a fan of Italians, I see: Larcen hates pasta and anything close to it, as it reminds him of his former boss.

"Ha!"

Inspired by yet another Bruce Willis-like character, John McClane (and you actually play as McClane in the localised version of Dynamite Deka), Bruno Dellinger is the protagonist of the Dynamite Deka series, a fairly unknown and underrated series to the general gaming public. Bruno is a policeman with the San Francisco Police Department, where he lives his up and down life as a divorced, damage causing, frustrated man. Though he has done many admirable things, such as saving Bermuda, as well as defeating the pirate terrorists and Wolf Hongo, he always seems to have a big chip on his shoulder.

Armed with a pet monkey and his rather well-developed martial arts skills, Bruno is a tough and savvy fighter, with an endless supply of weapon-knowledge. His addition to a mascot brawler would be interesting to say the least, what with his monkey on his back all the time, there could be certain combos and other attacks involving the monkey that Bruno could pull off. As well, his experience with a gun would be put to use if there are any gun-like weapons, which could give him an attack boost of sorts. On quirkiness alone, Bruno makes the cut.

Dynamite Deka EX: Asian Dynamite and STI: In a pseudo-spinoff/sequel of sorts, Dynamite Deka EX, Bruno can change into 4 different characters; Drunk Kung Fu (looks like a typical Chinese, stereotypical martial artist), Jihad Barmiyan (a Muslim-looking guy) and Miami Macho (Hulk Hogan ripoff #5000). Also, Dynamite Deka was the final STI game before the software house, originally created by Mark Cerny, went defunct.

"Oooooh-uluh!"

The self proclaimed, "Genghis Bahn III," is a young, cocky, but great fighter who has just come to Armstone City (at the events of the first Fighting Vipers) to find his deadbeat father and fight him. Clad in a blue hat, a spiffy jacket (with armour) and a very long toothpick-like thing sticking out of his mouth, he is a sight to say the least. At the events of the second game, he returns and attempts to put an end to B.M's reign as the mayor of Armstone City, while simultaneously being tracked down in the Viper hunts.

So how is Bahn built for fighting? As he is a Fighting Vipers counterpart-of sorts of Akira from Virtua Fighter, he fights somewhat similarly, complete with weird yelling and all, not to mention his specialty are single strikes, back, elbow and shoulder attacks (sounds almost the same as Akira, actually). He's just a young, tough, no-nonsense, karate-guy that can hold his own in a fight. He's his class leader too, what else positive can you say about the kid?

Trivia Time: Aside from being a stoic leader, Bahn loves Japanese Rock (so do I), Ramen rice and he hates any Western cuisine.

"You see, I'm a video game character, so as long as there's no one to control me I can't do anything but stand here, stopped. I've remained stopped, waiting for the next stage to come..."

The first official mascot and "young," character that Sega created, Alex Kidd, would have a great opportunity to put his skills to the test. Unlike his quote above, he actually has gotten a bit of love recently, being in the Sega All-Stars titles, though his body of work before that was impressive indeed (save for High-Tech World), until Sega decided to pull the plug on the franchise altogether. He then slaved away doing nothing, until the boys at AM3 decided to put him in Segagaga, where his return was glorious indeed.

Now, while Alex Kidd isn't much of a fighter, he does have some techniques, what with his flying kicks and his hard, shellcore punches. Him being adept with bikes, helicopters, pogo sticks and magical, flying rings shows that he is proficient with weapons as well. As for special attacks, why not bust out a move that deals with what Alex does best in? That's right, janken (Rock, Paper, Scissors) to the rescue! A janken-based move in a fighting game would be too awesome and Alex would be the Kidd to deliver it.

A long lineage of mascots: As we all know, Sonic and Alex Kidd have been the two most recent mascots of Sega. Who was before them? Opa-Opa preceded Alex, while Pengo preceded Opa-Opa (Pengo is a penguin that kicked stones around to solve puzzles). While all have been enshrined in some way by Sega, Pengo still hasn't been.

"Holler if you're dead!"

Dan Marshall is one tough guy; hell, he's survived so many close calls, his nickname is even, "the Survivor." (which gets annoying pretty quickly to be honest, as everyone and their mother in the game call him that at least once). Dan hates robots, a lot, thus it was natural to join one of the Rust Crews, which take care of breaches of the New Geneva Convention (essentially a protocol to control Robot breaches in the world). His resolve and strength is truly tested though, as Binary Domain plays out. He's a deep character with many layers and is lovable from the get go as well.

Though you can only use Dan with a massive gun in Binary Domain, his toughness and skills up close with the gun as a melee weapon, prove that he is probably just as adept at hand to hand combat as he is with firearms. He's also fairly fast and does a great job of staying on his feet at all times (unless he's dodging and rolling away). His use of a firearm is indeed his specialty however and we all know how good he is with a weapon; Dan has what it takes to survive on the roster for a mascot fighter.

Tough choice: Binary Domain does a great job with their trust system, however there's a funny bit right at the beginning of the second level; if you choose Ray (Big Bo) and Faye, your answers will always cause the trust of one of them to go up, while the other goes down: you will never lose both of their trust or gain both of their trust at the same time, regardless of your answer (Ray is a typical male while Faye is nearly feminist; put two and two together, et voila).

"May the Gods be with you"

An enigma at first, one just can't tell what's in the mind of Ren; is he a psychopath? Is he super money-hungry? Is he just a petty hoodlum that is looking to reign above many men? Is it all of the above? As the series has not officially ended, we may never know the true motivations behind Ren's actions in Shenmue II, however it seems that he is just really obsessed with money. I mean, you do need to raise $500.00 HK just to meet with the man, but he says that he won't give up fighting at the conclusion of disc three, thus it could possibly forever remain a mystery. Anyways, Ren is the leader of the Aberdeen-based gang, the Heavens. If you thought Bahn was cocky, Ren notches that cockiness level up to 9000 and he's also far from stoic, making him a rather loose cannon.

Fans of the series have always wanted to play as him, as he is a super tough fighter with an affinity for knives (just watch him play around and toss one in the air), however as the Shenmue series only allows you to control Ryo, this has yet to have happened. A mascot brawler would be perfect for the fans, as they would now be able to control Ren and completely wreak havoc with him, tossing knives and kicking people constantly. One can say that Yakuza/Ryu ga Gotoku's Goro Majima is very similar to Ren; head of their gang/family, weird obsession with knives, kind-hearted at times while absolute monsters at others and the fans love them both. I'd say that's a pretty fair comparison, would you?

"You idiot, what crow talks?!:" Ren has many hilarious back and forths with Ryo, ranging from impatient bell ringing, to trying to determine a type of bird or betting money on the wrong fighter; see if you can find them all!

"Toryaaa!"

Easily one of the 5 most beloved characters from the wonderful AM2 series, Kage is a modern-day ninja with a difference; he doesn't sit in the distance, throw shurikens and disappear at the blink of an eye, he brings the fight to you, pummeling you with his lightning speed and great reflexes. The lengths this man has gone through to rescue his mother from Judgement6 and to snap her out of being Dural, is more than commendable, not to mention that he has won the most tournaments (2) in the series, having won the third and fourth tourneys.

Kage is a master of Hagakure (where this Gemini was born) Jujutsu, which involve a lot of fast punches, kicks and a wide variety of quck but not overly powerful, throws. While Kage's moveset has basically been the same since the very first game, he is one of the few in the series like that, as others have had their movesets expanded by quite a bit. He jumps super high and is a very fast runner as well, which can be seen in his tallish, wiry frame. While he is as perfect as anyone else on this list in a mascot fighter, there is one character who could probably kick him around a bit...

Voice Actors: Kage is voiced by none other than legendary Sega musician, Takenobu Mitsuyoshi (I've written on him before, if his name sounds familiar), thus I bet Kage is a fairly decent singer in addition to his ninja skills...

"I wanna know just how far Taiga Saejima can climb in the Tojo ranks"

He's built like a bear, strong like a bear, calm and stoic like a... Buddhist? and a superb leader, Taiga Saejima has it all. First introduced in Yakuza 4, he is the current head of the Saejima family and was the third playable character in the series up until that point. Despite him being older than the series protagonist, Kiryu Kazuma, Saejima was sort've the "new blood," of the series, as he was introduced as basically an equal to Kiryu in terms of personality and attitude, though not in terms of decoration.

Saejima is yet another great, deep character created by Toshihiro Nagoshi and the boys at Ryu ga Gotoku Studios, who is so likable and so loved, despite the fact that essentially killed (with intent), 18 guys in a matter of a minute. This is probably wher ehe differs from Kiryu, in that Kiryu has never done something this heinous, yet he is still beloved and is instantly likable. Saejima has a chip on his shoulder no doubt, even if the truth shows him that he did not commit the acts he thought he did. His transition in Yakuza 5 shows his leadership qualities and the fact that he will lend a hand if a fellow brother is in trouble, while the character he played in Ryu ga Gotoku Ishin!, Nagakura Shinpachi (pictured above) is also similar to his Saejima character in terms of attitude and demeanor.

He fights like an absolute animal and is arguably the most fun character to use in both Yakuza 4 and Ryu ga Gotoku 5, which would transition well to a brawler, where he would be able to pick up any object close by and chuck it at his opponent, as he does in both Yakuza titles (he can pick up a motorcycle and throw it at an enemy). While not as loved as Kiryu or Majima, his presence in a mascot brawler would be welcome indeed, as many fans of the series would enjoy playing as him. It is too clear that he is a great choice and worthy of the number one spot... so far.

Karakoke-kan: Saejima picks up the microphone and helps in on a Grammy-worthy effort by Kayuga, on Rouge of Love. Never seen it before? Look it up and you can thank me later.

The first 10 of 20 characters are down and the list is a good one thus far. Of course, no list (nowadays, anyways) is complete without a steady dose of honourable mentions, thus here they are:

Goro Majima- Yakuza/Ryu ga Gotoku Series (Multi): Fans have always wanted to play as him... and they have! In Yakuza: Dead Souls, you can control Majima for 4 chapters+. Of all the HMs, he seems to be the top one, but Saejima just fits the role so much better, I feel.

Wonderboy- Wonderboy Series (Multi): As in the past, he is a Sega property but he was not created by Sega.

Bayonetta- Bayonetta Series (Multi): See above.

Toe Jam and Earl- Toe Jam and Earl Series (Multi): Same as above.

Roman Centurions- Altered Beast (Multi): Just missed the cut. I had actually wanted to put them in my list originally, however I decided to vary the Sega consoles somewhat.

Thomas Rogan, G, James Taylor, Gary Stewart- House of the Dead Series (Multi): These guys just missed the cut too, mainly because they just shoot guns; they're limited otherwise when it comes to fighting, it seems.

There are ten more characters coming soon, so if you don't see someone you think should be on the list, chances are they may be on the next one! Stay tuned next week for the list on items that could be in a Sega mascot brawler. As always, stop on by the Top 10 board to have your voice heard, if you have a comment, suggestion, improvement or just want to chat about the list. Be nice as always though! Peace!

List by Truck_1_0_1_ (08/08/2014)

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