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|“||Defeat has brought me rage... Rage that leads me to victory!||„|
|~ Sagat from SFA 3|
|“||A strong fighter is not one who always wins, but one who stands after defeat.||„|
Sagat (Japanese: サガッ), is a villain turned anti-hero in the Street Fighter video game franchise and Ryu's (former) archenemy turned ally. He is a highly skilled Muay Thai warrior and a former member of Shadaloo. He serves as the main villan of the first game and the secondary villain before his redeemption.
In the Japanese original versions of the games or of the film, he is voiced by several actors such as; Shigezo Sasaoka, Banjo Ginga, Sakai Albright, Kojui Suitsu and Daisuke Endo. In the english versions, he is voiced by Robert O. Smith at the animated series, Peter Spellos and Isaac C. Shingelton, Jr (who also voices Thanos).
In the theatrical 1994 live-action film adaptation Street Fighter, he was portrayed by Wes Studi, who also portrayed Magua in The Last of the Mohicans.
Sagat won the title of God of Muay Thai when he was only a teenager, becoming a national hero throughout Thailand. At one point, he was challenged by a fighter named Go Hibiki and in the fight, Sagat’s eye was badly damaged by Go. In a fit of rage, Sagat beat his opponent to death and Go’s son, Dan, would swear vengeance on him.
Sagat held the first World Warrior tournament to prove that he was more than just the strongest practitioner of Muay Thai, and that he was the strongest fighter in the whole world. One fighter, Ryu, managed to make it to the final battle against Sagat, who was able to maintain the upper hand at first and felt sure of victory, even helping Ryu up at one point out of honor. However Ryu, determined to win, briefly gave in to the Satsui no Hado and struck Sagat with his Metsu Shoryuken, defeating him and leaving a large scar on his chest. After that day, Sagat swore to have his revenge on Ryu both for defeating him and scarring him for life despite his display of honor.
Street Fighter Alpha 2
Seeking to develop a move able to match the one that defeated him, Sagat developed the Tiger Blow. Adon, Sagat’s student, taunted him for his loss against Ryu and challenged him to a fight for the title of the God of Muay Thai. Due to having not recovered fully from his fight with Ryu, Sagat lost, but proceeded to beat Adon senseless, leaving him in the hospital for four months. However M. Bison offered Sagat a place in Shadaloo, saying his organization’s resources could help him find Ryu and have his rematch. Completely consumed by his anger and hate, Sagat agreed and his fighting skills eventually made him one of Bison’s four elite bodyguards.
He began seeking Ryu, eventually finding him, and challenged him, despite Ryu’s protests that Sagat had not yet recovered fully. He refused to back down and the two fought with Sagat emerging as the victor. But he felt that the victory was hollow and it dawned on him that Ryu had let him win to make up for winning their pervious fight dishonorably remembering how he’d acted strangely after the fight. Sagat became determined to train harder and rightfully win in their next fight, working on perfecting his Tiger Blow and eventually making it into the Tiger Uppercut. Soon afterwards, Sagat was confronted by Dan seeking revenge for his father. Still occupied with the fact that Ryu had let him win, Sagat let Dan win, allowing him to let go of his anger.
Street Fighter Alpha 3
Sagat realized that the attack that scarred him was the result of Satsui no Hado, which had possessed Ryu. He further realized that true rivals shouldn’t be consumed or seduced by anger and hatred and figured out Bison’s true plans. But Bison presented a brainwashed Ryu to Sagat, saying he could have the rematch he’d wanted and although he wasn’t pleased at the idea of fighting a brainwashed foe, he battled Ryu in hopes of freeing him.
However, Sagat encouraged Ryu to break free and he succeeded with Ryu shaking off Bison’s control and the influence of the Satsui no Hado. Ryu defeated Bison and Sagat realized that a rivalry had to have its limits, telling Ryu that he was almost destroyed by corruption. Sagat said Ryu was not ready for a rematch with him and he left, promising to become a true master. Sagat realized it was because of destiny that he had to defeat Ryu, not revenge.
Street Fighter II
Sagat entered the second World Warrior tournament seeking a true rematch with Ryu. However when Ryu was knocked out of the tournament, Sagat dropped out as well, coming in third in the competition. He left Shadaloo and continued to train to become the strongest fighter in the world before he became too old.
Street Fighter IV
However as time went by, Sagat grew depressed and started feeling like a loser. When he attended one of Adon’s matches, his former student taunted him and challenged him to a fight. Sagat won with his Tiger Destruction move and his fans cheered for him, reigniting his drive. He entered the new tournament held by Seth so as to have a rematch against Ryu and discover what the ultimate purpose of fighting was.
After winning, Sagat reflected on his obsession with beating Ryu and realized that one should focus on communicating their soul through their fists, rather than on who won or lost. Sagat noted that his old self was similar to Seth, whose fists were now “mute” and wondered if he’d really changed. He went home to his village, where his older brother, a monk named Chit, met him and when asked how the tournament went. Sagat said he actually enjoyed himself, because he’d met an old friend (presumably Ryu).
Street Fighter V
In his character story, Sagat is revealed to have the Satsui no Hado within him. And just like Ryu, he begins to walk the same path as his arch-rival in order to fight off the evil energy.
Sagat is proud and determined, having much confidence in his abilities as the former God of Muay Thai, and is completely dedicated to the ways of martial arts. His appearance gives him a menacing air, which is supported by the rage and power he demonstrates during fights. Sagat will even resort to lethal means if he seems on the verge of losing although he has since tried to avoid killing his opponents if he can. He is driven greatly by his hatred towards Ryu and his desire to defeat him so as to reclaim the title of greatest fighter in the world. Deep down, Sagat lives only for the fight, constantly seeking to improve his strength, always learning from his mistakes and improving. However Sagat does appreciate strong opponents and hates taking any unfair advantages in battle. Therefore, since Ryu won by attacking him when he was trying to help him up, Sagat was possibly more upset over that than scarring him for life.
Sagat is an extremely skilled fighter and a master of the Muay Thai style of martial arts, having been dubbed the “God of Muay Thai”. He uses a number of signature techniques, including the Tiger Shot, an energy blast fired from his fists, the Tiger Uppercut, a rising uppercut that uses “tiger fury”, the Tiger Genocide, where he unleashes a barrage of kicks, then unleashes a powerful flying kick, and the Tiger Destruction, where he knees the opponent, hits them with a Tiger Uppercut, then finishes with a fiery Tiger Uppercut.
- In the Capcom vs. SNK games, Sagat’s may say “Try again kid” after defeating an opponent, referencing the original Street Fighter game.
- Sagat is believed to be based on Sagat Petchyindee, a real-life practioner of Muay Thai.
- His name is a Thai word that means “to intercept” or “to stop something’s advancement.”
- Concept art of Sagat’s alternate costume in Super Street Fighter 4 shows that his hair is reddish brown.
- In Street Fighter 4, when he wins, Sagat advises the opponent on how they could improve, similar to Ryu and Gouken, but he is much more blunt and to the point about their faults. That said, he is kinder towards stronger opponents/\.
- In Street Fighter II, Sagat’s eye patch changes position when he switches what side of the screen he’s on.
- He bears a resemblance to Sigma, a villain from the Mega Man X series.
- Sagat’s moves are tiger themed, most likely referencing an old Muay Thai legend about a king with the nickname, the Siamese Tiger King, who had a fondness for competing in Muay Thai and gained respect from Burma after defeating multiple Burmese soldiers in fights.