I've found that black people like the black characters. Russians like the Russian characters. Females like the female characters. Mexicans like the Mexican characters. Japanese like the Japanese characters.
It's a bit weird. I suspect that they're identifying with the characters. "This 2-d wrestling character looks sort of like me so we have a real bond."
There's a character in the game who's a black karateka named Everett Eddy. Eddy was a very obscure American fighter from the 1970s who had two matches with Japanese wrestling legend Antonio Inoki. I think that the matches were shoots but I've been unable to find footage of either match. Eddy lost both times.
In the game, Eddy is a very bad character. I don't mean morally but he has low stats, no pins, and only one submission move. So it's extremely difficult for him to win a regular wrestling match.
But a black guy comments, "He was a real pain in career mode." So this black guy chose one of the worst characters in the game to go through Fire Pro Wrestling 2's career mode, presumably just because the character was black.
There's a few women who play Fire Pro Wrestling World. You can see the edits that they make. All women. And they'll go to the suggestions forum. "We need more skirts and hairstyles!"
This is the way that they play the game. Women probably make up 5% of the overall roster in any Fire Pro game. But it's just that 5% that these female players are interested in.
There's probably about 5% black characters too. 5% Mexican. But again, these are the characters that people from the respective groups are most interested in.
Japanese players are only interested in Japanese wrestlers. Fortunately for them, the series has always been about 70% Japanese characters.
American players are only interested in American wrestlers. I put a message up, "If anyone wants me to make any characters from FPR, let me know." Guy from Florida responds with a list of five reasonably obscure, low-stat American wrestlers who were in the game. He wasn't interested in Misawa. He wanted some "King of the Indys" jobber.
British players want British characters. How many British characters have ever been in a Fire Pro game? Very few. There's William Regal, Dynamite Kid, and the British Bulldog. Maybe others but none come to mind.
So I made a William Regal. It wasn't long before an English guy commented. "Hey, that's not his finisher. His finisher is in the game as the 'England Stretch'".
I ported the guy over as he appeared in Fire Pro Wrestling 2. In FPW2, there was no "England Stretch", so they used a very similar-looking move to try to replicate the Regal Stretch. But it wasn't good enough for this English guy. He wanted supreme accuracy in this William Regal edit because he wanted to play a character that by some cosmic accident happened to be born on the same inbred island as he was.
Personally, I don't care. I've been focusing on making the Western characters first but only because that's what my audience wants. Not many Japanese people are looking at my edits because there's a language barrier.
But the first guy I made was Rikishi. He's Samoan. I've made almost all of the Mexican characters. I made almost all of the Western female characters. I made a good few Japanese characters.
Of course there were some characters who I made because I liked them. Ultimate Warrior was one of the first guys I made. Chris Benoit was also an early character. But I'm not focusing on them entirely.
It's good that Fire Pro has always taken a somewhat global view to their characters. They try to include wrestlers from all the major markets: Japan, Mexico, and the US. And men and women.
But it's interesting how people focus on the wrestlers that they identify with simply on the basis of race or country of origin or gender. As a white American, I still enjoy having Sanshiro Takagi in a match or Kamala II or El Hijo Del Santo or Stacy Kiebler. I don't have to limit myself to Ludvig Borga, although Ludvig Borga is awesome.
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