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Tiger Third

Sagat from Street Fighter II is known for his tiger fireballs and tiger uppercuts. The “tiger” in question is a Minor Third interval from the E-flat down to the C.

For the past week, I've had the Clapper Song stuck in my head—"Clap On, Clap Off"—which is a similar minor third interval from the 5th to the 3rd, but my brain kept resolving to an "uppercut" instead of "the clapper" ending. That's when I realized it was Sagat's sweet swaggering voice that had been singing to me in A-flat major.

Like this: Tiger_Uppercut.wav

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Does anyone remember that Street Fighter comic book from the 90s? In the second issue, Sagat sent Ken’s decapitated head in a box to Ryu. He tiger-uppercutted Ken’s head off or something. In the first panel: Ryu sees the blonde hair and then dramatically pulls his friend’s head out for a final full-page reveal. I thought it was a little extreme, like they were trying to Mortal Kombatize Street Fighter. This was before Se7en, and I think it actually inspired that climactic What’s-in-the-box? scene.

Yea, Sagat is a pretty cool boss. As a boy, I tiger-loved him and I still tiger-do. I know it’s actually pronounced “sa-GOT,” but he’ll always be a bundle of sticks to me.

Compare Sagat’s tiger third with the same interval and key used in the Sega bumper. It’s also reminiscent of the old playground melodies.

Bob Sagat…

One Comment

  1. Jim says:

    You guys are super cool. I feel bad for not keeping up with this blog. The Mystery Monday Melody from a year ago is the P.C. Richards theme!

    Here’s a Sagat-relevant song I made that you might enjoy: Had no idea he killed Ken!