The geek multiverse is slowly fusing.
Already, fans of the popular Power Rangers: Legacy Wars mobile game were treated to an unexpected announcement that several characters from the enduring Street Fighter franchise would be invading the Morphin Grid as selectable fighters among the game’s roster of combatants duking it out for supremacy. Now comes the news that one such character will not only do battle with the heroes and villains of the Power Rangers film and television franchise, he will be joining their ranks as a morphed Ranger. What in the actual Netherworld…?
But wait, there’s more. To mark this momentous crossover event, the gods have seen fit to send a messenger from on high, to tell us of this challenge to the status quo, in the form of a teaser trailer for Bat in the Sun’s film short Power Rangers Legacy Wars: Street Fighter Showdown.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers‘ Jason David Frank returns for another spat of web content, reprising his role as Green Ranger (and damn near every other color) Tommy, who comes into contact with some fighters from the streets, who may need some assistance against the combined forces of evil bossman M. Bison and space witch Rita Repulsa. Joining them is Ciara Hanna, who played Yellow Ranger Gia, back on screen with Frank after his cameo appearance in her season, Power Rangers Super Megaforce.
Other familiar personas include the Capcom game’s Chun-Li, the morphed suits for the original Red Ranger, the Phantom Ranger from Power Rangers Turbo, the Pink Ranger from Power Rangers Time Force, and the Black Brachio Ranger from Power Rangers Dino Thunder.
The video concludes with martial artist Ryu being presented with a never-before-seen Power Coin, with which he will morph into the Ryu Ranger, possessing the powers of the Crimson Hawk.
It’s curious that his powers are based on a bird and not some reptilian creature instead, considering he throws fireballs and his name literally means “dragon”, giving us the perfect opportunity to see two dragon-based heroes from different franchises fighting side-by-side. But what do I know about this stuff, eh? It’s at least nice to see something other than Green and White get the spotlight with regards to you-know-who, if he’ll be morphing into action yet again for us.
It’s also amusing that Toei Company’s Super Sentai franchise, from which Power Rangers receives much of its action source footage, already has a Ryuuranger from 1993’s Gosei Sentai Dairanger, who of course also sports red, white, and gold in his costume. I wasn’t kidding when I said stuff was fusing. In the future, there will be one TV show, one movie, and one game, and they’ll all have flame-retardant spandex somewhere in the mix.
Meanwhile, NWay and Lionsgate Games are gearing up to include Ryu Ranger in Legacy Wars proper.
“With more than 36 million installations and 500 million matches played, Power Rangers: Legacy Wars has truly created its own universe and it only continues to grow in popularity,” said Taehoon Kim, CEO of nWay. “In addition to a AAA game with a large and growing player base and esports scene, we’re introducing one-of-a-kind crossovers and collaborations, as well as creating brand new characters between titles. Nobody has seen anything like the Ryu Ranger before.”
“We’re excited to morph a key Street Fighter like Ryu into a mighty Ranger and to introduce him through an exciting new piece of video content as we continue to find innovative ways for gamers to enjoy Power Rangers: Legacy Wars,” said Daniel Engelhardt, Senior Vice President of Interactive Ventures & Games at Lionsgate. “We’re also very proud to be working with great companies such as G Fuel and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. on this unique collaboration that brings together fun gameplay, original storytelling, and direct fan engagement.”
As the Power Rangers franchise continues its transition away from previous handlers at Saban Brands, over to the new hotness that is the toy and media curators at Hasbro, we wait and watch with hope that the stuff all of these fun artifacts are based on can measure up.
Power Rangers Legacy Wars: Street Fighter Showdown arrives this fall. The Legacy Wars game is available now for the iOS and Android.
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