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- "Now, the show's ready to begin!"
- —Poison (Street Fighter X Tekken)
Poison (ポイズン Poizun?) is a video game character who debuted as a common enemy in the beat-em-up game Final Fight. She would later join the Street Fighter series in a non-playable capacity starting with Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact, eventually becoming playable in the cross-over game Street Fighter X Tekken and later joining the cast of Ultra Street Fighter IV. She is the friend and manager of Hugo and ex-member of the Mad Gear Gang.
Poison is viewed as an attractive woman. She has long purple hair and wears a black peak cap with a chain-link design, a skimpy white midriff-revealing tank top, and a pair of skimpy denim "Daisy Dukes" cut-off shorts and high heels. She also has a chain around her waist, a studded black collar on her neck, and a pair of hand-cuffs hanging from the chain around her waist. Since Final Fight Revenge, she usually carries a riding crop that she uses as a weapon.
There is also a palette-swap of Poison called Roxy. Roxy is identical to Poison, though she has reddish-orange hair instead of purple, and has lower health. Roxy was from the same orphanage that Poison grew up at, according to Capcom Classics Collection, which also mentions that she looks up to Poison.
In her concept art in Street Fighter V, Poison's outfit has minor changes, her skimpy tank top has been replaced with a bandage styled shirt which has covered in her top and has a single left long sleeve beneath it. She also has white elbowband on her left elbow. Her cut-off denim shorts are now black, which also shows her the lines of her red thong beneath her shirt and has a gold band on her right thigh and her red high heels are maintained.
Posion was named after the late '80s glam-metal band Poison, known for their effeminate dress sense and use of make up, by an unnamed female employee at Capcom. She was designed by Akira Yasuda to contrast against the bigger characters in the game and move about randomly.
During the kidnapping of Mayor Mike Haggar's daughter Jessica, Poison was a member of the Mad Gear Gang. Not much is known about her participation in the events, however, beyond the fact that she fought the heroes.
After the collapse of Mad Gear, she becomes a wrestling manager. However, her charges are lackluster and attendance at events was poor. When she realizes that her wrestlers are failing to interest the crowd and overhears people talking about how they would rather watch "the main event" (presumably referring to the S.I.N. tournament which has flyers around the place), she enters the ring herself and pummels two of her employees. She decides to go to the tournament to scout some new talent.
After the tournament, she meets up with her former comrade Hugo. She offers to manage him, and although he is reluctant at first, he eventually accepts.
In Poison's ending, she somehow manages to convince not just Hugo and Rolento, but also Cody and Guy, to form a KISS-style rock band with her, the "Mad Gears", with Ryu and Ken performing Hadoken pyrotechnics above the stage.
Poison is one of the few people that Rashid is in contact with.
Street Fighter III series
Poison appears alongside Hugo in Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact and its sequel Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike as his manager. She embarks with Hugo to find him a tag-team partner, making several cameos during his match intro and win animations. The duo manage to find a temporary partner in Ryu, and later she and Hugo found the HWA, a wrestling stable which includes many World Warriors, however temporarily.
Beyond the Final Fight series, Poison was planned to appear in the cancelled Capcom Fighting All-Stars; though not playable in the beta test of the game, promotional material released by Capcom for the title shows that she would have retained one of her moves from Final Fight Revenge, the Poison Kiss.
Street Fighter Alpha series
Poison makes a few cameos in stages in the Street Fighter Alpha games.
Poison makes a cameo appearance in the Metro City stage of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and its update. She appears on the back of a trashed car in black attire, and also appearing near Hugo in the artwork of the stage.
In Street Fighter X Tekken, her tag team partner is Hugo. After Poison hears about the Pandora box, they go looking for it and try to become famous. On the way there, they encounter Steve Fox & Hwoarang. In Poison's and Hugo's arcade mode, Poison checks them out to see if they are tough enough, while Hugo backs her up. In Steve Fox's and Hwoarang's arcade mode, Poison and Hugo are arguing whether or not they want Chinese food and hot dogs. Steve and Hwoarang stop them from fighting each other, but then Poison and Hugo get angry at them for touching her breast (which was an accident). After they defeat them, and later Ogre, they finally find the box. It doesn't seem to work the way they thought, which causes them to argue and leave.
Gameplay and fighting style
Poison's fighting style utilizes a mix of acrobatic pro-wrestling moves and street fighting abilities. In the original Final Fight, Poison and Roxy both utilized standing and acrobatic flip kicks to attack the player. As one of the fighters in Final Fight Revenge, her moveset was expanded heavily, and she was armed with a whip. The whip is used primarily in her Cat Claw and Thunder Whip attacks, and can be used to steal a weapon from the opponent. Additionally, her handcuffs can be thrown as a horizontal projectile move to immobilize the opponent for a short time.
In the Street Fighter series, Poison's overall style revolves around a fierce projectile zoning game in a similar fashion to Guile's, while mixing it up with powerful overhead attacks. Poison can potentially create cross-up situations that can leave opponents reeling; however, her 'dependance' on overhead attacks put her directly in front of the opponent, allowing her overall strategy to be thwarted by grappling opponents such as Hugo and Zangief. Despite lacking in terms of defensive game, Poison's setups are solid, easy to execute, and she can be a tough opponent to counter.
In Street Fighter X Tekken and Ultra Street Fighter IV, Poison's techniques include the anti-air Kissed by a Goddess; the Aeolus Edge, a projectile designed for zoning; the Whip of Love, a multi-hitting move similar to the Rekkaken; and the Love Me Tender, an axe kick with a follow-up throw based on her attack from the original Final Fight.
Some of Poison's more powerful moves are borrowed and redesigned from her appearance in Final Fight Revenge. Her Thunder Whip appears as a Super Combo, where she performs a series of Shoryureppa-style whip attacks. Her first Ultra Combo is the Love Storm, first appearing as her Super Art in Street Fighter X Tekken; she performs a powerful Aeolus Edge, and follows a successful hit with a Love Me Tender that brings her foe to their knees before she whips them repeatedly. Her second Ultra Combo is the Poison Kiss, another move from Final Fight Revenge; the move is a command grab in which Poison slaps the foe and then kicks them forcefully in the groin.
Poison and Roxy were originally planned to be cisgender females, but were changed during development to transgender females, due to the suggestion that "hitting women was considered rude" in America and the concern that feminist groups would sue, as revealed by Yasuda in 1993's "All About Capcom Head to Head Fighting Games". When the game was ported onto the SNES in 1991, the issue was avoided altogether by replacing Poison and Roxy with two male thugs named Billy and Sid in the American release. It can be seen in concept art for Poison that she was referred to as "ニューハーフ" (roughly translated as "newhalf"), a largely derogatory Japanese term equivalent to "shemale". 
A later appearance by Poison as playable character in Final Fight Revenge, an American-produced 3D fighting game spinoff of Final Fight, portrayed the character in a highly feminine manner and had her romantically interested in Cody. Commentary about her ending in the game in All About Capcom suggested that the character might have gotten sex reassignment surgery. The Final Fight-related character profiles featured in the 2005 compilation Capcom Classics Collection acknowledges Poison's transgender characterization, although it confuses transgender people with transvestites, addressing Roxy as a cisgender female who dislikes Poison's crossdressing.
The discrepancy regarding Poison has been addressed more than once in interviews with former and current Capcom employees. Final Fight designer and Arika founder Akira Nishitani stated he supposed the character could be male, but added it was up to the viewer to decide. Street Fighter IV producer Yoshinori Ono, when asked in an interview about the matter, stated "Let's set the record straight: in North America, Poison is officially post-op transgender. But in Japan, she simply tucks her business away to look female." He later emphasized it again when asked about what female characters could be included in the game Street Fighter IV, stating that it would be too confusing to include her due to the region-specific gender. Since then, however, he has changed his mind twice, first declaring her a definite post-op in all regions for better ease of localization and consistency with past official statements, and then later deciding that it's best to leave it up to the fans after all.
In early developments of Street Fighter X Tekken, footage was shown of Ryu and Chun-Li's win quotes to Poison (i.e. "Your looks really can be deceiving. I'll be careful not to fall into your trap" and "You're not very lady-like at all! I felt like I was fighting against a guy..." respectively). Other characters were later revealed to have quotes along the same lines, some even worse, including Kuma outright saying Poison smells like a man and doubting she's in any way a woman. Sometime after the footage was shown, a prominent LGBT rights group contacted Capcom about the dialogue, stating that it was highly offensive, ignorant and insensitive towards trans individuals. Capcom agreed to change the quotes, leaving only Yoshimitsu's remark about her being a "freshly-recruited kunoichi", Craig Marduk's more vague comment that he doesn't sweat the small stuff and only cares that she's attractive, and Poison's mirror match quote where she tries to recall a song, "The something-or-other in the mirror", referencing Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror."
- In the UDON comics, Cody remarks that Poison 'is not much of a lady', to which Poison responds with fury.
- In Ultra Street Fighter IV, Decapre's win quote against Poison is: "Numerous irregularities. Data acquisition suspended", which may refer to her gender.
- Poison's peacock costume from the Wild Costume DLC pack may be another hint at the ambiguity of her gender, as only male peafowl tend to possess the vivid and colorful plumage.
- Poison's card in SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters DS explicitly states that "She's a man, baby!", and Hugo's card refers to her as Hugo's "MANager".
- In the Street Fighter X Tekken artbook, a footnote from Yasuda states that he'll always personally view Poison as being a cisgender female in Japan and only being transgender overseas, due to having originally conceived her as the former.
- Poison is the only Street Fighter character in Street Fighter X Tekken to have not appeared as a playable character in previous Street Fighter games until her main series debut in Ultra Street Fighter IV.
- Karen Strassman, Poison's current voice actress, also voices Alexia Ashford in Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles. She also voices Kitana and Mileena in Mortal Kombat (2011 game), as well as Rosa from Final Fantasy IV. She and Poison's previous actress, Lani Minella, have also both been the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog character Rouge the Bat.
- Out of all the Final Fight characters in the Street Fighter IV series, Poison is the only one to not have a theme tied to that series. However, the Final Fight "Continue" theme is inserted at the end of her theme, much in the same vein as Hugo's "Bottoms Up" theme from Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact, which appears at the end of Hugo's Ultra Street Fighter IV theme.
- A model figure was made for the 2008 Capcom Girls Collection line of figurines by Mitsumasa Yoshizawa, using her Final Fight attire and at 1/6th height, standing nearly 11 inches tall. A similar model was released by REFLECT later on, identical to the previous figurine, except with her giving a thumbs down gesture and darker colors.
- Poison and C. Viper are the only playable female characters originating from the United States.
Main article: Poison/Quotes
Main article: Poison/Gallery
Main article: Poison/Sprites
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 http://www.capcom.co.jp/sf4/poison.html
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Street Fighter: World Warrior Encyclopedia Hardcover
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Capcom 30th Anniversary Character Encyclopedia
- ↑ http://fightingstreet.com/folders/artworkfolder/artworkpics/ff_art/ff1_art/ff1_concept_art/Final_Fight_1_Concept_Art_05.jpg
|Final Fight Revenge Characters|
|Playable|| Cody · Damnd · Edi. E · El Gado · Guy · Hugo|
Haggar · Poison · Rolento · Sodom
|CPU Only||Zombie Belger|
|Capcom Fighting All-Stars Characters|
|Returning||Akira · Akuma · Alex · Batsu · Charlie · Chun-Li · Haggar · Poison · Ryu|
|Original||D.D. · Death · Ingrid · Rook|
|Street Fighter X Tekken Characters|
|Core Roster|| Abel · Akuma · Balrog · Cammy · Chun-Li · Dhalsim · Guile · Hugo · Ibuki · Juri|
Ken · M. Bison · Poison · Rufus · Rolento · Ryu · Sagat · Vega · Zangief
|Downloadable||Blanka · Cody · Dudley · Elena · Guy · Sakura|
|Street Fighter IV Characters|
|Original|| Abel · Akuma · Balrog · Blanka · Chun-Li · C. Viper · Dhalsim · E. Honda|
El Fuerte · Guile · Ken · M. Bison · Rufus · Ryu · Sagat · Vega · Zangief
|Console||Cammy · Dan · Fei Long · Gen · Gouken · Rose · Seth · Sakura|
|Super||Adon · Cody · Dee Jay · Dudley · Guy · Hakan · Ibuki · Juri · Makoto · T. Hawk|
|Arcade Edition||Evil Ryu · Oni · Yang · Yun|
|Ultra||Decapre · Elena · Hugo · Poison · Rolento|