Character Loyalty: Why is it so celebrated?


I’m working on an independent project, and as a part of that, I’m looking into answers for the question in the thread title.

I know how cool it is to see someone stick with a lower tier character and find success, but I can’t help but wonder if there is more to it than that. What about characters who are top tier and get nerfed? How many players are there that stick with a character throughout multiple games? Is there any more to this phenomenon?

You tell me, gurus of SRK; Why do you think sticking with a character is such a good thing, and why do people seem to like it so much?


I thought it was looked down upon.

When I see it discussed, it usually either represents a players’ inability to move on or it’s like a little affect. “He’s a great player! He could be a lot better if he played [X character] instead. But, y’know, he has that whole character loyalty with [Y character] going on.”


I think its just cool to see character specialists. It distinguishes those players, and its cool to see them fight through the bad matchups instead of counterpicking. It’s more of a Japanese value than American value though. Their tournaments typically are single game/elim, so the players must become specialists. If there weren’t players like that there wouldn’t be much point to having character variety. More important, if there weren’t players like this, we wouldn’t have the fantastic Komoda Blanka PV.

I really dig that Nuki always rocks Chun.


Yea it depends on the character. Low-tier loyalty is shined on while top-tier whoring is frowned upon in steam monster land. It’s why I never go there.


Being a low tier hero just for bragging rights isn’t cool, but getting to the highest level with a certain character (no matter the tier), is.


There is also the fact that choosing characters for reasons other than their tier not only potentially changes the tiers, but also extends the natural life of the game.


There’s a certain respect that you afford someone who plays a character not because the latest tier list says that they’re the best, but they play them because they have a certain connection with him. Each character has a distinct feel, personality, and style of play that they cater to best. Anybody can just whore up the tier list and feel like they’re good at fighting games, but if you’re able to use dedication, skill, and ingenuity, to turn a lackluster character into a killer, that just proves how much better of a player you are.

Think of it as guys who avoid the band wagon. In sports, many people flock to whoever is hot that year, but it takes real dedication and heart to be a true loyalist and stick with your team through thick and thin.


for some players it’s an indication that they love the game. players who play certain games just to do reasonably well but don’t have any affection for it will probably not pick crap characters.


This kind of reminds me of my situation over my love for Chun li(ssf4/HDR) and why I’m not really playing her as much anymore. When i got into HDR in 2008, I just literally didn’t want to play as anyone else besides Chun-Li. I love the damn character, and her outfit, is IMO, not too “skimpy” or show-offy like a bunch of females in games are usually portrayed. It’s perfect for me to go into a fight with a cool looking character i like in that way.

The problem comes from the separation of loving the actual character, and the separation of who I personally play with the best. I played the games more and more, and I eventually broke my own self righteous “code of honor” for Chun to try other characters, and I was very surprised how quick I got adjusted to some of them. SO…long story short, is for my personal case, I will always stand by and be a chunner fan for life, I’ll always play her in whatever game she’s in and if she’s my best character than more power to me. Though if I happen to be better with another character, I don’t feel inclined to deny myself of enjoying that character I play the best with just because I love chun that much…that’s just how I see it.


Well for me, it’s just a feeling of happiness I get when I see my favorite character get the winning screen.
I also seem to be one of the rare Phoenix Wrights online… on XBL. I don’t use him because of his Low Tier status, nor his Turnabout junk, but rather… he just suits my playstyle. That and he’s my favorite character in any Capcom game next to Felicia.


I think it depends on the kind of character loyalty. Someone who’s been playing a fighting game since it’s first title, and has stuck with their character every game, regardless of what the character’s tier status is…I think is praiseworthy. I have friends who always pick certain characters in SF regardless of whether or not they’re good or bad in a game. There’s some practicality in doing so, because when you’ve been playing a character forever you have a great understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. You understand how a character is supposed to function fundamentally, and you have familiarity with their tools.

One of my friends is a Bison(dictator) vet. I don’t like charge characters, but he pulls off those moves like they’re QCF motions. He knows how to apply pressure with Rushdown Bison, and he knows how to build meter with fat Bison. His timing on teleports is fantastic. When CvS2 came out he was beasting people with S-Groove Bison. Anytime Bison is in a game, he picks him.


Because people need justification for sticking to their “favorite” characters and not putting in the effort to learn other characters. As Viscant asked Combofiend “are we character loyalists, or are we just being lazy?”


That happens more often in Marvel games then any other game IMO. Even Viscant thinks that the best player does not really win in Marvel without a good team. Often times Top Marvel players struggle to find a new team and character are viable in high competition.

Whereas in Tekken/Soul Calibur/VF/SF4 they don’t dramatically change the strength of the cast too much. For example Kayane has play X/Lexia in Soul Calibur for about over 5 years without no problems. We know that Justin Wong has no issues playing as Rufus for 4 years either, and ultimately Rufus has been the same character we all know and love.

Character loyalty can sometimes show how balance and consistent the game is. It means that you don’t have worry about some random patch/update that will ruin your character because people are bitching about your character being too strong.


I think most everyone likes to see a character specialist. With that said, character specialist =/= character loyalty. Being a character specialist implies that the player plays that character at a very high level. Someone could be “loyal” (LOL!) to a character for years and still be a crappy player with said character.

To answer the thread title, no, character loyalty is not celebrated. Winning is celebrated. Winning with a particular character you’re known to always play is celebrated. (Lower the amount of approval if the character happens to be top tier and raise it tenfold if the character happens to be low tier.) There ya go.


It’s great to see someone like Mike Ross succeed with Honda when he would probably do even better if he switched it up. I like rooting for the underdog.


Based on his strengths and weaknesses (great reading, great reactions, not enough patience, not good at adapting, doesn’t like zoning people) I have an extremely hard time seeing Mike Ross doing better with another character.


That’s a funny example since Leixia did get changed a fair bit in SCV and post-patch, so much that Kayane has said the character isn’t really tournament viable and she’s primarily using Viola now.


I think character loyalty is a good thing. You want to play with characters you like. Playing with a character you hate just for wins annoys me, but if you are payed to win tournaments, it needs to be done.

I have played Tron Bonne since 2… I won’t win any tournaments, but I enjoy playing as her. That’s the most important thing. I will always play characters I enjoy playing as.


Look up Kusumondo. That guy picked Honda in WW and throughout SF2’s evolution he stuck with him, making him THE undisputed Honda specialist. I hate Honda, but that’s pretty damn cool.


No what real character loyalty is, is not someone who sticks with a character after getting nerfed, but rather, one who sticks with his character when He is S++ tier.

Cuz everyone nowadays wants to be low tier heroes…only a real gangsta play his character low/god tier…