"Q" (Q Kyuu ) is a video game character from the Street Fighter series of fighting games, first appearing in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. He is a mysterious individual of unknown origin whose face is concealed by an expressionless metallic mask.
Not much is known about Q, except that he appears at different places around the world, and may be linked to various disasters. Being arguably the most mysterious character in the Street Fighter universe, Q's true identity has been a subject of constant speculation ever since his debut.
While Q can be chosen as a playable character, he is also a "hidden" computer-controlled sub-boss in Arcade Mode that can only be battled after meeting specific requirements: the player must win the first eight matches without losing a round, and remain above D rank.
Of note is that Q is the only character in 3rd Strike that does not have his own stage. However, starting a two-player game with both players selecting Q will take them directly to Dudley's stage (London), while his own theme plays in the background.
The design for Q draws a clear influence from several characters such as the late Shotaro Ishinomori's Robot Detective K and Iron Mask from Mitsuteru Yokoyama's Babel II manga. The trench-coat, fedora and gloves are articles of clothing worn by H. G. Wells' "The Invisible Man".
Q shares his name with the same character from the James Bond series, with the most famous incarnation being played by the late Desmond Llewelyn, who was potraying the character during the time 3rd Strike was made.
Q sports a hat and a tan trench coat, along with white gloves, black pants and dress shoes. Under his coat is a typical white button-up shirt and red tie; this type of clothing is a trademark of archetypical spies and detectives (e.g. Rorschach, The Question, Mr. A). His head is engulfed in a metallic blue shell-like mask which surrounds his entire head. The mask has yellow eyes of varying brightness.
It is unknown if Q is a human or at least-part machine; when Q is shocked in-game, instead of showing the skull and skeleton, it shows his muscular system and an indistinct head. Also, Q's neck is the only portion of his body that is visibly made of flesh and skin, though some of his legs are visible during certain animations. Q's identity has frequently been the subject of speculation by fans.
It should be noted that in an artwork in the Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Secret File, Q is seen unmasked, having the appearance of a middle aged man, which so far, Capcom have yet to comment more on, as the artwork is most likely meant to be a joke.
Q is generally the quiet type, as he only speaks (or rather, grunts) when being hit, and he also mumbles an unintelligible and nonsensical line of dialogue after defeating his opponent. His win quotes consist of ellipses and short, vague phrases (e.g. "I... am abomination."); the latter are shown in parenthesis, perhaps indicating his thoughts or translating mumbling.
Q's mannerisms tend to straddle the line between man and machine. His movements are simple and robotic, and verge on stilted and awkward at times; he even "shuts" down when he is beaten by chip damage. Despite many of his simple, robotic movements, some of his other mannerisms and features could be considered human; for example, after parrying a move, he will brush off his trench coat. Much of his moveset seems to support this theory.
It is unknown how Q handles human contact; in his intro animations, people are often seen running in fear from him, followed by him simply walking onto the stage, or else performing a dashing punch. However, one artwork depicts him apparently being interviewed by a woman, while a man removes his coat, with no apparent discomfort on Q's part. Q also shows similarly contradictory acts of self-restraint and cruelty; when he defeats his opponent, he will either simply look over them, shed a tear and walk away, or else start crushing their face underneath his shoe.
The requirements to fight Q as a CPU opponent may indicate that Q may be after the world's most dangerous or powerful fighters, also similar to Akuma, and could possibly be a powerful fighter himself, despite being held back.
Before his eventual sightings in unsolved murders, Wayne Nakamura, of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), was investigating an unknown man in a trenchcoat spotted by him in an American port. That investigation is currently still continuing.
Q has been sighted in crime scene photographs of unsolved murders all over the world, partially hidden each time. The context of the pictures are shrouded in mystery: his appearance in them may make him the murderer, or perhaps he could be investigating it, as hinted by his stereotypical detective attire, though nothing regarding a potential role in the killings or the nature of the victims has been revealed.
In his ending, Julianna and David, along with other CIA agents, discuss Q's appearances at case sites worldwide over the last 10 days, believing him to be the common link between the cases (though they are unsure if it is the same person). While they cannot identify him, they at least manage to decipher his appearance based on the photos they have. After they set out to begin the investigation on him, a familiar silhouette can be seen on the projector screen, apparently leaving the room as well.
Cameos and other appearancesEdit
Q has also appeared as a card in the SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash games.
Q made a cameo appearance in Capcom Fighting Evolution, he can be seen on the rooftop in the New York stage.
Issue ten of Udon's Street Fighter II Turbo features a short story centered around Q, featuring a CIA agent investigating Q's identity and possible origins. In one panel, Chun-Li's father Dorai is shown in the background being experimented on and having Q's mask forcefully put onto his, however, this is likely a nod to the common fan theory of Q being Dorai, and is probably not intended to reflect the character's actual backstory in the comics.
In Street Fighter Unlimited Annual, he shows up attacking thugs that Ibuki ambushed and escaped after a short scuffle.
Q's techniques are those of a brute-force brawler, though one appearing physically contained, as opposed to a refined martial artist; one of his normal moves in particular has him kick at the opponent's head and fall over immediately after. Most of his special attack names are descriptions of his actions, rather than proper nouns referring to a move name.
Q's most signature special moves include his Dashing Straight, a fast and useful attack that can easily be canceled into Super Arts, his Dashing Leg Attack, and the Capture & Deadly Blow, a command grab which sends the opponent into the air for a juggle.
His Super Arts include the Critical Combo Attack, a series of quick punches while he moves forward, as well as the Deadly Double Combination, a gut punch followed by an overhead blow with both arms. His third Super Art is Total Destruction: When activated, Q can choose to either punch or grab his opponent, depending on the situation, which emits a small explosion that damages the opponent; interestingly, a female robotic voice can be heard saying "Danger!" when the throw is activated.
Q is noted as a defensive character due to his large stamina and low speed. With three taunts, his stamina can be "increased" up to a maximum of over twice the stamina of Akuma, which is also the highest possible stamina of any character in 3rd Strike. However, because of his slow speed and the lack of high-priority moves, he is considered to be a low-tier character in competitive play.
- It was rumored that Q (or someone resembling him) can be seen in Ken's stage background in the original Street Fighter II series. However, the man was removed from the redrawn and redesigned stage featured from Super Street Fighter II and onwards. Despite this, The Shadaloo C.R.I. information on Wayne Nakamura strongly implies that the man that was in Ken's stage is indeed Q and is the person the CIA are currently investigating.
- He is one of only two characters lacking any mid-boss or final boss conversation dialogue (the other being Akuma).
- The names of the two CIA agents, Juliana and David who are searching for Q, are most likely references to Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny, actors who play the roles of FBI agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder, the main characters of the X-Files series.
- Interestingly enough, Q's theme sounds very similar to the theme of the X-Files series.
- One of the people who flee from Q in one of his introductions is a boy wearing a cap similar to Yun's.
- Q, Oni and Necalli all have the distinction of interacting with defeated opponents in the games (in his case, Q walks up to his opponent and stomps on their head), with him being the first.
- Q is the only character to have all of his characteristics listed as "unknown"