Sagat (サガット, Sagatto?, based on Thai สกัด) is a boss character from the early editions of the Street Fighter series of fighting games. He was later turned into a regular, playable character. According to Street Fighter co-creator Hiroshi Matsumoto, Sagat's style was probably modeled after dramatic television kickboxing personalities. It is possible he was named after Sagat Petchyindee, a legendary Thai boxer.
Sagat made his first appearance in the original Street Fighter. After the player defeats the eight initial opponents, their character Ryu (or Ken Masters on Player 2's side) is taken to Thailand to face the final two opponents: Adon, Sagat's apprentice, and Sagat himself. After being defeated, he tells the player that they're the "strongest Street Fighter in the world". His next appearance was in Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, where he appears as one of the four Grand Masters, being the last CPU-controlled boss in the single player mode before M. Bison. He appears in this game with a scar across his chest that he received from Ryu as a result of his loss in the first game. Like the other bosses, he became a playable character in subsequent revisions of the game.
He also appears in the prequel series Street Fighter Alpha. In addition to fleshing out his rivalry with Ryu, a rivalry with his former apprentice Adon is introduced as well, and Dan, a character whose father was killed by Sagat years before.
Sagat won the title of Emperor/God of Muay Thai from Nuah Kahn as a teenager, and became a national hero in Thailand. He defended his title from a fighter named Go Hibiki, in a match that cost Sagat the use of his right eye, and cost Go his life by killing him unintentionally in a burst of rage, Go's son, Dan, swore revenge on Sagat for killing his father (not knowing that it was nothing more but an accident)
Sagat trained Adon shortly after becoming a champion, and entered the first World Warrior tournament to prove that he was not only the strongest Muay Thai fighter, but the strongest warrior in all of Tailand, believing that he would be making his country proud. Only one warrior was able to reach Sagat: a young martial artist named Ryu. Initially, Sagat was able to match him in battle by showing his full power and thinking that he has found a worthy warrior that was equal to his own power, despite the fact that he was younger then most of the warriors that he had fought before, and was sure that he was the winner of the match, even going to help Ryu up after being impressed by the fight Ryu gave him. However, Ryu became desperate to win the fight and was accidentally consumed by the Satsui no Hadou for a short time and executed the Shoryuken with rage, wounding Sagat and leaving a massive scar across his chest. Because of this event, Sagat has sworn revenge on Ryu, feeling that he has lost his pride as a warrior.
Street Fighter Alpha series
Adon mocked his teacher for losing to Ryu and challenged him for the title of God of Muay Thai. His rage blinded him, and Adon lost to Sagat, to the point of him defeating the his student that he that he would be in traction for four months. Consumed with rage and hatred, Sagat eagerly joined the criminal organization known as Shadaloo. M. Bison had offered him Shadaloo resources to find Ryu and provide Sagat with a rematch to gain back his pride. Sagat's nearly indomitable power provided him with the position of Bison's personal bodyguard, one of the feared Four Heavenly Kings|
During his tenure in Shadaloo, Sagat encountered Dan, now a young adult seeking revenge for his father's death in the fight with Sagat. Sagat, after finding that that Dan was the son of Go, realized how anger can make people do things they regret, so he purposely lost the fight (although Dan doesn't believe that he did), which allowed Dan to defeat him and satisfy his anger and vengeance.
Sagat realized that his scar was a result of a dark ki which possessed and had awoken inside Ryu called the Satsui no Hadou. Finally, he understood that true rivals should not be blinded by rage and hatred, nor be seduced by it, and realized Bison's real intentions.
However, Bison presented him with a brainwashed Ryu who would later use his body as a replacement, and told Sagat he could have the rematch he always wanted. Despite Sagat's disappointment with fighting a corrupted opponent, Sagat still fought Ryu. To break Bison's mind control, he implored to Ryu that a true warrior would not give in to such treachery. Ryu awakened from Bison's control with the Satsui no Hadou, and rejecting the Satsui no Hadou after Bison retreated back to his base. Sagat finally realized that rivalries must have their limits.
While Sagat's goal in the second World Warrior tournament was a clean and honorable rematch with Ryu, his hopes were eclipsed when Ryu was knocked out of the competition, therefore he dropped out of the tournament before his next match, finishing third in the tournament. Sagat continued to train his body and mind in Thailand, hoping to become the world's strongest fighter once again before he became too old to do so.
After the second World Warrior Tournament, Sagat lapses into a depression, "feeling like a loser". Attending one of Adon's matches in search of "something to reignite [his] spirit", he is mocked and challenged to a match by his former pupil. Defeating Adon with his Tiger Destruction, Sagat is cheered on by the fans. Reinvigorated, he then enters S.I.N.'s new tournament in the hopes of a friendly and honorable rematch with Ryu and discovering the "ultimate purpose of the fight". After the tournament, he is challenged by Adon once again, Sagat allowed Adon to win by holding back his power. After Sagat reflects on his obsession with Ryu, realizing that instead of focusing on victory or defeat, what's truly important is communicating one's soul to the opponent through one's fists. Sagat compares his former self to Seth, whose fists Sagat says were "mute", and wonders whether or not he has changed from the experience. Returning home to his village, he is greeted by local children who ask how the tournament went. Sagat replies that he "actually had fun" because he "met an old friend" (presumably Ryu).
Sagat encompasses a stereotypical "proud fighter" personality, since he is very powerful, prideful and strong-willed as well as hard working and dedicated in body and spirit to martial arts life. His uncommon physical appearance makes him menacing, hideous and downright unfriendly at first glance. This persona is greatly boosted by the elevated levels of rage and power unleashed during combats even to the extent of being near deadly should Sagat sees himself pinned or threatened to defeat just like it happened when Ryu struck his chest with a fire-embedded Shoryuken, leading to Sagat's downfall from his "World's Strongest Fighter". Since this incident, Sagat feeds on both his hatred towards Ryu and on seeking a new chance to challenge and defeat him to recover his title of greatest fighter and thus restore his lost "honor" and "pride".
Despite this violent and sometimes negative nature in battles, Sagat appreciates worthy opponents and greatly despises taking unfair advantages in combats, such as seen in Ryu's ending in Street Fighter Alpha 3, where Sagat shows to be highly disgusted with M. Bison as he infused Ryu with his malevolent Psycho Power in order to "make Ryu much stronger and thus grant Sagat the rematch he always looked forward to", which instead caused Sagat to try to break Ryu free of Bison's influence. Interestingly, in Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, if Sagat faces Evil Ryu as a boss, his win quote against the latter states he is dismayed of Ryu giving in to the Satsui no Hado. This is a strong proof that Sagat values true martial spirit and strength of character above all when facing those he considers worthy adversaries.
Sagat takes his pride as a renowned martial arts champion very seriously, which can lead him into surges of extreme hatred to deep depression, just like when he lost to Ryu or felt himself horribly empty-spirited when a hatred-stricken Dan Hibiki challenged him to avenge his father's death when the latter severely damaged Sagat's right eye, causing the ominous former Muay Thai Emperor to violently beat Go Hibiki to death in a fit of uncontrolled rage accidentally. After fights, Sagat tends to mock or ironize the "inferiority" of the defeated opponent, such as seen in his victory quotes from Street Fighter II and Street Fighter Alpha series. Deep down in his heart and soul, Sagat lives only for fighting and making himself even stronger everyday, and despite enjoying a lot fights in tournaments, he turns most of his attentions towards Ryu, whom he considers "the only man able to defeat him in a worthy battle.
As the king of Muay Thai, he is quite proud and confident in his abilities. Unlike Adon, Sagat actually learns from his own mistakes and improved for the better and tries not to let his pride get the best of him.
Sagat is menacingly tall, a trait he uses to his advantage in his long-reaching attacks. His natural size drove him to become a powerful fighter. His hands are massive enough to close around the entire head of many of his opponents. He is bald, except in one official artwork that shows him with a full head of long hair, and wears a black eyepatch over his severely damaged right eye, though the lack of depth perception and loss of peripheral vision do not seriously hamper his ability as a powerful fighter.
In the Street Fighter II series, Sagat's in-game sprite does not display the highly muscular build of the Street Fighter Alpha series, although even at that time he had been consistently portrayed so in his Super Street Fighter II Turbo ending, and other Capcom artworks. Later on, the game graphics improved to match those of the comics.
Due to a technical limitation in the Street Fighter series, Sagat's eyepatch will appear to switch from eye to eye when Sagat faces another direction, since the left-facing sprite is a mirror-image of the right. Neither the 3D Street Fighter EX games nor Street Fighter IV feature this limitation.
The massive scar on his chest is a constant reminder of Ryu's victory. Sagat makes no attempt to conceal the disfigurement, and in fact draws power from the hateful memory it invokes. In Capcom vs. SNK 2, Sagat's scar glows while he charges energy for his S-Groove super meter.
Sagat wears traditional short Muay Thai kickboxing shorts and classic wraps. The trunks have colors varying from purple with yellow trim, to blue with red trim, to blue with yellow trim. He wears tape around his fists and feet to protect his hands and ankles.
Sagat plays similarly to Ken and Ryu, with some notable differences. Foremost is his attack range: his low attacks and standing horizontal kicks have impressive range. In Street Fighter II, producing an array of alternating high and low fireball attacks can confuse and greatly damage an opponent. This technique is less viable in later games where projectiles do less damage, or can otherwise be avoided. In Capcom vs. SNK 2, Sagat's normal attacks, particularly his crouching fierce punch, have unusually high power and priority, making him one of the easiest characters to use effectively in that game. He is also known for his multiple-hitting Tiger Uppercut (Tiger Blow in the Alpha series) which is similar to Ken and Ryu's Shoryuken/Dragon Punch. The Tiger Blow had low priority against Shoryuken. In Street Fighter IV, the Tiger Uppercut has priority even over Ken's EX Shoryuken. Sagat's attacks do much more damage than Ryu or Ken. Sagat's supermoves such as Tiger Genocide have great priority.
In SSF2T, his "Old Sagat" incarnation is soft banned in Japan, because his fireballs combined with the occasional Tiger Uppercut make him overly effective and easy to use. Additionally, while he is not as broken as Akuma, his presence in American tournaments has seen certain characters completely ignored due to their almost un-winnable match-ups against Sagat. In Japan, the soft ban, while violated more frequently than the Akuma soft ban, has allowed a larger cast of characters to flourish.
- Tiger Shot - Sagat is capable of gathering his ki into his fists, and releasing it by pushing it out into the air. The result is a surge of energy that can travel towards his opponent at three different speeds. Due to Sagat's height, most opponents can duck this projectile.
- Ground Tiger Shot - Sagat knows that many shorter opponents can simply duck under his normal Tiger Shot, so he trained himself to be able to create a similar projectile closer to the ground. While this projectile can be easily jumped, Sagat can throw a series of Tiger Shots at various heights and speeds to keep the opponent guessing.
- Tiger Uppercut - After being defeated by Ryu's devastating uppercut, Sagat withdrew and began a very intense training period. So astounded that he was defeated by such a move, he was determined to perfect a similar uppercut. The result is the Tiger Uppercut. Prior to Super Street Fighter II Turbo, it typically knocked an opponent down in one hit. However, in that final version, Sagat turned the Tiger Uppercut into a multi-hit move.
- Tiger Knee Crush - Another versatile move in Sagat's limited arsenal, the Tiger Knee Crush allows Sagat to leap forward into the air with his knee extended at a lightning quick speed. He can often take opponents off guard. Although the move begins on the ground, the attack takes place high off the ground.
- Tiger Genocide - For his Super Move, Sagat has chained two attacks together. He first performs a low Tiger Knee Crush, and immediately follows that up with a high Tiger Uppercut. He has limited invulnerability at the start of the move, which gives him a very good chance at passing through projectiles. However, the move leaves Sagat rather vulnerable to counter attack if blocked.
- Tiger Raid - For another Super Move, Sagat will throw a Combination of Kicks followed by a Flying Kick that will sometime ignite into Flames. (Starts off with a sweep kick, followed by two roundhouse kicks and then finishes off with a flying kick. Depending on the level of your super meter determines if his kick ingnites into a flame or not.)
- Tiger Cannon - Just a stronger and slightly bigger version of his Tiger shot. Sagat will gather alot more energy than normal into his fist and he releases it the same way as a Tiger shot. The result is a Bigger Surge of energy that will cause the opponent more damage. (Also he can do a Ground Tiger Cannon.)
- Tiger Destruction - This is Sagat's Ultimate move as of yet. Much like the Tiger Genocide, Sagat will chain a few attacks together. He first performs a Tiger Knee Crush and immediately follows up with a Tiger Uppercut. As the opponent is in the air, Sagat prepares to strike with another Tiger Uppercut. When he strikes with this Multi hitting Tiger Uppercut, his fist is ignited with flames, sending the opponent souring through the air.