Shout it from the rooftops: Cammy White will be trading in her traditional battle gear for an outfit with pants, thanks to Street Fighter V’s upcoming cross-promotion with Resident Evil. In paying homage to frequent Resident Evil protagonist Jill Valentine, the Killer Bee is set to have an outfit with ample bottom coverage for one of the few times in her extensive history.
While it’s certainly not the worst the genre has seen, Cammy’s attire has historically been an absolute mess. Thong leotard, beret, giant gauntlets—is that really how British secret agents dress for missions? But, love it or hate it, Cammy’s outfit has been an iconic part of fighting game history since she was introduced in Super Street Fighter II. Only recently has she started to mix things up.
Cammy was just the second female character in the Street Fighter cast, introduced shortly after Chun-Li’s debut in the original Street Fighter II. Being one of the only two women competing with a group of burly dudes is enough to make Cammy stand out, but Capcom ensured more eyes would be on her by decking her out in a green thong leotard and giving her animations that accentuated her legs and butt.
In the move to 3D animations, Cammy’s outfit has only gotten smaller and tighter. In its early iterations, the leotard showed a dim outline of her abs, but now, it’s so impossibly tight as to fully outline not just her abs but her rib cage and belly button. The thong in back got a few inches smaller, too.
In Street Fighter V, Cammy’s initial 3D animations for her intro and special moves used to aim the camera between her legs, but later on, Capcom updated one of her intros with a more obscured view of her crotch. Fans suspected that the change was made to preserve the game’s ‘Teen’ rating with the ESRB, although the ESRB did not confirm that. The game’s executive producer Yoshinori Ono told UOL that the camera angles had changed because “we do not want to have something in the game that could make anyone uncomfortable.”
There’s nothing inherently wrong with a fictional character wearing sexy clothing. I don’t believe Cammy’s leotard diminishes Street Fighter or contributes to any sort of societal ill. It’s just, like, really silly! How can she be comfortable fighting in that? Since debuting almost three decades ago, Cammy has fought thousands of battles against plasma-chucking martial artists, electric mutants, and humongous gang members. Can’t a girl get a pair of pants?
This question has become a running gag among fans and longtime Street Fighter veterans. For years, the leotard appeared to be the single piece of battle-ready clothing in Cammy’s wardrobe, although she did often add random accessories like the miniature tie from the Street Fighter Alpha series and the rollerblades she wears in Cannon Spike. She had alternate options from time to time, like her cat costume from Street Fighter IV or the King swap costume in Street Fighter x Tekken, but these outfits merely incorporated additional pieces into her basic outfit. The leotard was still there.
With Street Fighter V, Capcom once again had the opportunity to give Cammy some pants. Her story mode costume features a large, military-style coat, but instead of providing a matching pair of slacks, Cammy simply wears panties underneath (seriously). In one of last year’s Street Fighter V crossovers, the secret costume code gave Cammy chaps as a nod to Fiona Belli’s alternate outfit in Haunting Ground. She wears those chaps with no pants underneath them, of course. Slowly but surely, though, Cammy seemed to be moving towards wearing a real pair of pants, a goal that will finally be realized with the upcoming Jill Valentine homage.
Due to her inclusion in some of the earliest Street Fighter rosters, Cammy’s leotard has become as iconic and emblematic of her character as Ryu’s gi or Chun-Li’s qipao. But now, decades later, the Killer Bee will finally be able to kick some ass in a practical, military-grade outfit rather than a showy leotard that sits firmly in her buttcrack. Will it make her a stronger character or affect competition in any way? Nope. But at least she’ll finally have some pockets for storing all the packages that she’s previously been pulling out of her butt.
Ian Walker loves fighting games and writing about them. You can find him on Twitter at @iantothemax.