Many of the great leaders throughout history were also great warriors. They lead armies, knocked over walls, flags were heavily involved. Playing Civilization IV, this is self evident from the available commanders – Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, Gilgamesh. I considered what would happen if you added the greatest warriors in the world today – the stars of Street Fighter – into the Civilization mix. Why, you’d have the greatest gaming crossover of all time, is what you’d get.
Civilization IV: Champion Edition
Ryu – Japan
Sure, he can afford shoes, but he walks barefoot for comfort. Ryu is a good leader to pick for a beginner, with his balanced mix of traits, starting techs and unique units he gives you a solid base to work from. There are some people who complain when you choose him because “everyone plays as him” or its “dull” or you’re “lame”, but they can all go to hell. He’s also one of the best characters at high levels once you start getting the hang of the more intricate elements in the game (build lots of macemen!) The philosophical trait helps him develop great people more easily; also people that favor him are probably pretty great.
Ken – United States
Ken is a counterpoint to Ryu in many ways, although many people go on and on about how their unique unit and structure are essentially the same, when they are subtly different. Ken also has quite long hair, giving him the charismatic trait, like Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon. He also creates so much friction during some attacks that it actually sets his opponent on fire, think about that when he demands you end your current trade agreements with Guile.
Guile – United States
Now I’m not saying that Guile is boring and that people who pick him are boring, but his combination of traits lacks interestingness of any kind. Being protective, he’ll often sit back, waiting for you to make the first move so he can counterpunch in lame and predictable fashion. He’s also organized, which is always exciting, and probably reduces civic upkeep by half or something equally dazzling.
Dhalsim – India
If you pick Dhalsim as your leader then basically everyone is going to know that you have no real army and the first chance they get they’re going to pour over the border and burn your cities to the ground. Sure, he’s able to easily teleport between different civics with no anarchy using his spiritual trait, but that’s not going to help you much when the Macemen appear on the horizon. His unique unit is pretty good at a distance, but if anyone gets close then it’s game over. Dhalsim is really a leader for incredibly advanced players wanting to make other people look foolish.
Zangief – Russia
Zangief is a cool guy with a positive outlook on life. His civilization will take a long time to lurch along the tech tree, but can do a staggering amount of damage given the chance. Zangief’s impressive work ethic gives him the industrious trait, allowing his nation to construct wonders more easily, also he can just haul most of the larger stones by himself.
E. Honda – Japan
E. Honda is all about popularising Sumo wrestling, and what better way than leading a civilization to victory… I guess through the power of Sumo? E. Honda is perhaps one of the weaker leaders available, although repeatedly churning out workers through his expansive trait is just the kind of easy/effective/slightly unfair tactic that he’s always put to good use. His unique unit can probably hit you hundreds of times and move at the same time until they realise that’s just too powerful and fix it with a patch or sequel or whatever.
Blanka – Brazil
Anyone that can create their own bio-electricity is pretty creative; even Nikola Tesla couldn’t do that. Blanka’s claws and fangs mark him down as an aggressive leader, although he’s become a lot less scary and monster-like than he once was. Still, if you have a ready source of bananas within your lands, watch out…
Chun Li – China
Chun Li’s distinctive speedy, jump-around-a-lot tactics translate well to Civilization. Well not really, but wouldn’t it be cool if they did? It takes a lot of charisma to make that outfit of hers work, believe me. China is represented in Civ as being pink, and Chun Li is a lady so, well there’s a lot of synergy right there. Actually, I’m going to distance myself from that last thing I wrote. Unlike most of the other characters, Chun Li actually managed to gain fireball abilities part way through the series — imagine applying that kind of innovation to a whole civilization.
Balrog – United States
Balrog’s main concern is money, leading to his mercenary life working for Bison. This comes in handy in Civ, allowing him to get more gold from cottages for some reason. He combines his love of money with a great fondness for running in and punching people in the face. Unfortunately his aggressive style can leave him open to devastating counter attacks. Also he can’t kick, but don’t expect me to relate everything to Civ, there are limits.
Vega – Spain
Vega is also focused on matters financial. This way too powerful super-trait gives him an unfair advantage, much like his crazy speed and powerful attacks were completely unbalanced in Street Fighter II, not to mention the fact that he has giant metal claws. He is protective too – of his stupid face.
Sagat – Thailand
A strange mix, Sagat has proven himself alternately honorable and brutal. He is also the tallest man in the world and has an eye patch. All in all, excellent qualifications to lead a nation. Philosophical and imperialistic, that is like chalk and cheese man, chalk and cheese. Sagat is probably so good a leader that if you play online matches, every other opponent will pick him, which gets old in a hurry.
Bison – Evil
Bison is intent on expanding his evil operations, aggressively. As head of the crime syndicate that dominates the Street Fighter storyline, he is the antagonist par excellence. So if you start next to him on the map, probably get building some defences right away. Oh, and if he demands something innocent sounding like, say, the Gunpowder tech for example, do not under any circumstances give it to him. That would be a mistake.