In another thread Mirkan said, "You could argue that Vanessa is the first really brave design." Yes. That's something that has always been on my mind. Well here's how I see it, as an ethnic minority (Black) in the UK I've never been truly satisfied by the way Black people were presented in fighting games (any game for that matter). If they weren't six foot plus power houses without a clue they were wise talking hip hop dude jerks (Zack-DOA) or worse, criminals like M Bison (Balrog). Capcom's Street Fighter 2 was the worst culprit but, later one of the best ambassadors. In Street Fighter 2 you had two characters, M Bison, a spin on Mike Tyson who was portrayed to be an evil pimping maniac while Dee Jay Maximum was a Jamaican DJ (Always with the music) who just had to say Mon in every sentence (My cousins from Kingston would be pissed) and felt compelled to always smile like a prick. Music or money, throughout Street Fighter 2 those were the only messages you got, nothing deep like revenge or finding the meaning of fighting just pimping and bloody maracas. This was taken to the zenith of insults when Street Fighter Alpha appeared. Birdie....What the heck was up with that?! Not only was he big and stupid but he had inflatable lips! He was animated to look like a gorilla and do you know what his reason for fighting was? yep, bloody money, the guy wanted to join Vega (M Bison) so he could earn big bucks... I really hated Street Fighter for a time, that was one of the reasons I started playing King Of fighters. KOF had a similar mind set with Black people in sports but, they were portrayed in a positive manner. Heavy D (yet more references to music) and Lucky (a basket ball star) were actually cool characters in the game despite their blatant sports related designs. The funny thing was as I mentioned earlier, Capcom did a 180 with their character designs when Street Fighter 3 came along. Dudley was a boxer (surprised?) but, and this is the real turning point, he was rich from a successful career and family wealth through legitimate practices. In fact his story involved winning back his fathers prized car from the boss, rather than making the ultimate rhythm like Dee Jay (wanker). Next you had Elena, she was this foxy girl from Kenya (Africa) who was studying to find a cure for her tribes environmental drought. Elena used Cappoerira Angola (Same thing as the Brazilian style but with more emphasis on its African roots) to deadly effect with dynamic kicks. Her personality was very cute as she was a happy go lucky sort of person who just liked to kick the crap out of you for fun (she'd even thank you for the pleasure). The final and imo the most unique (probably because he's my favourite) was Sean. Sean was just a regular kid from an average family in Brazil but had great potential as a fighter. He became infatuated with Ken's technique after watching him fight and begged Ken to take him as his pupil. Ken accepted and taught him the basics, but encouraged Sean to find his own style. To this effect Sean went on a journey much like Ryu in the hopes of realising his potential as a fighter. He even ran into Ryu himself, and after a thorough beating (He's just a kid) from Ryu he becomes even more determined. The thing I liked about Sean was that he wasn't perfect like the other Shotokan fighters but he was trying, and was walking his own path to perfection. Sean had some connection to sport in that his taunt was chucking a basket ball at his foes (it was a good move though) but, in a nut shell he was well thought out, smart, cool and Black without having anything to do with crime, music or a professional sporting career. This has been drawn out but, on Virtua Fighter my views are mixed. Jeffery McWild is a powerful individual who doesn't use a typical Black style. He likes Reggie music but he's Australian which, until VF, games had led you to believe that black people only came from the UK or the USA other than Africa or the Caribbean. Plot wise you can't really fault him as VF's story line is weak anyway but, a fisherman with a vendetta against a giant shark is not bad, if a little comical. Now Vanessa, is interesting, she has looks and has power equal and above many male fighters in the game. She's portrayed as tough and elitist, nothing wrong with that from a character design view. I think the game developing industry (Japan) has woken up to the fact that there is more to different ethnic cultures than what you see in some crap TV show or hear on the radio. Things are looking up.