At Long Last, It’s Martial Arts: Capoeira

By Adam Smith on November 23rd, 2011 at 3:07 pm.

It's a perfect way to exercise those abs while losing several teeth under the repeated hammer-like blows of an opponents heel

Perhaps I shouldn’t admit this, but one night last week I awoke drenched in cold sweat, my hands gripping the bedclothes as if they were the only viable scraps of flotsam to emerge from the splintered wreck of the good ship Sleep, which had been torn asunder by the crashing waves of doubt and the Kraken of existential angst. The question which plagued me was one which every man, woman and child has asked themselves, often in the hours just before a winter’s dawn when the streets outside are indistinct and all existence seems poised to crumble like a biscuit in a blender. Has there ever been a PC game that captures the noble and exotic art of Capoeira?

I whispered it to the unlistening walls, which really don’t have ears, and then mumbled it once more, addressing only the darkness of the room. If the darkness could have spoken, it would have told me that all would be well and I only had to wait until November 25th and the release of Martial Arts: Capoeira, at which time my sleep would go untroubled, the question finally answered, the void finally illuminated by a spark.

The civilised art (and it is an art) of Capoeira has long been ignored by the computing world, which is a terrible shame that can only be explained by snobbery and ignorance. The uncouth barbarity of street fights and face-punching robots is considered acceptable digital entertainment and yet Capoeira’s combination of smoothly flowing sensual grooves, erotic performance art and violent assault has had no virtual re-enactment within the Windows of these many machines. Until now. Or, if you’re reading this the day that I wrote it, until an undisclosed hour this Friday.

This is how we settle disputes down at the disco

Adam, you may be imploring the screen as if I am trapped inside and can hear you, do tell us more about Capoeira. Even though I am not actually there, I pre-empted your interest, the flames of curiosity rising ever higher no doubt due to my liberal application of the gasoline known as intrigue. Allow me to quote from the game’s official partner, Capoeria-World.com. I would direct you to go there yourselves but I know many of you are risk-averse and the site does carry this grave warning.

Capoeira-World.com is dedicated to provide every capoeira fighter with knowledge in Capoeira. Once visited, it will become your favourite capoeira website!

I would prefer it if you had a choice of favourite Capoeira websites so I will not impose this one upon you at such an early stage in your Capoeira journey. Perhaps you will prefer the ramshackle charms of Capoeira.com or the cumbersomely titled Start Playing Capoeira? My friends, the choice is yours. It is not for me to attempt to harness your free-flowing limbs and torso, but rather to send you gyrating in a rhythmic and yet threatening manner toward these many fonts of knowledge.

Many words may be used to exprlain capoeira. Still neither of these words give the exact feeling and expression of capoeira. The truth is that the only way to understand and learn about capoeira is to watch a capoeira game (jogo capoeira) or simply watch a capoeirista showing his skills.

Neither of the many words can help but I’ll share some of them with you anyway: passion, magic, religion and love. Do either of those sound like words that you’d like to become better acquainted with? Through the magic of circuits and simulation, let’s watch some capoeirista’s in action!

That footage appears to be three years old. And I don’t think it’s running on a PC at all. Could Martial Arts: Capoeira be a late release of a game that previously existed on consoles without anyone noticing? Of course not – that would be crazy.

It can’t be the same as the game we just watched footage of because “In “Martial Arts – Capoeira” you will experience unrivaled realism and challenging gameplay.” Don’t worry then. Forget that footage with the slow motion burping and biffing. Our version is going to be just like the real thing, with an in-depth career mode and everything. It’s even “powered” by a real person, Kerstin Linnartz, rather than running on a mish-mash of coded lines as I hear so many games are these days. What’s more, unlike lines of code, Kerstin is an “attractive presenter” who will be on the cover of the box.

"Hi, don't mind me, I'm just dance-fighting while smiling for the camera."

That’s just one example of the lethal cocktail of scintillating dance and bone-crushing violence that may or may not be possible in the game’s 13 real world locations, which are rather poetically described as “photo opportunities”. Who doesn’t want to pose like that in front of the Eiffel Tower? Or like this?

I'm pretty sure something scuttled toward me in this pose in one of the Silent Hill games. Could be wrong though.

I haven’t even covered the range of characters, from the spider-obsessed and recently bereaved Tarantula to the reincarnated Pharoah Bezouro. Fists will fly, feet will fidget and rhythms will be rigorously followed in keeping with the tradition of the sport.

As you can see, all is now well and it only remains to be seen what I’ll find to be anxious about next.

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52 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    UW says:

    Well, it’s not PC, but capoeira has been in Tekken since 1997.

  2. devlocke says:

    Has Tekken never had a PC-game?

    EDIT: Ooops, too late.

    EDITx2: Wow, editing comments has gotten super-spiffy since the last time I did it.

    • E_FD says:

      Fatal Fury 3 got a PC port back in the day, and that had a capoeira guy in it!

    • cosmicolor says:

      If you count emulation it has some PC games…

    • smoke.tetsu says:

      The only official Tekken game for PC that I know of is the upcoming Street Fighter X Tekken from Capcom. But yeah, to a point other Tekken games can be played via emulation. The newest ones being the ones that came out on PS2.

    • cosmicolor says:

      And that’s only a Tekken game by virtue of having Tekken characters in it :(

  3. Omroth says:

    I have an irrational hatred of Capoeira.

    (hey – I *said* it was irrational).

    • Hoaxfish says:

      well, if you’re stuck for dance-combat… you’re left with West Side Story

    • siegarettes says:

      or that Micheal Jackson music video…

  4. whiskeyriver says:

    Nice. Hope there’s a muay thai character who can just walk forward and boot the guy on the spine as he’s going through his handstand repertoire

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      Why not just go the whole hog and have a sniper take out both participants from a nearby roof?

    • Pathetic Phallacy says:

      Nonsense. Nuke your opponent.

    • Berzee says:

      That would be a nice game, just a man with his gun wrecking a bunch of fighting tournaments.

    • whiskeyriver says:

      best idea ever

    • Premium User Badge

      Skeletor68 says:

      @ Whiskeyriver would love that! Anderson Silva dances on to screen and one MT clinch later and IT IS ALL OVER! Lol.

      Any chance of UFC Undisputed on PC at any stage?

    • Premium User Badge

      felisc says:

      I would love one of those ufc games on pc. Heard they were pretty good.

    • whiskeyriver says:

      UFC games: First one was decent, second one was like the first except the online was even more broken. And by that I mean that it was impossible to play an online game against another person because that part of the game did not function.

      Shame as the first really was great fun online, despite all the countless rage-quitters. It was rife with them and they didn’t patch in any fixes to that problem, so I wouldn’t hold my breath over a PC port.

      My disappointment over the second game was one of the key reasons I put a decent PC together & gave my 360 to my brother!

  5. Kollega says:

    This kind of over-the-top commentary is why i read RPS. This article drips with tasty, tasty sarcasm. Well done, chaps! Tally-ho!

  6. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    This must be the weirdest article I’ve read in quite some time (I’m not sure if it beats the one with the poached eggs).

  7. Inigo says:

    GODAWFUL BBC1 STATION IDENTS: THE GAME

  8. CaspianRoach says:

    Wait, is Capoeira an actual fighting techinque? I thought it was just a pretty dancing style.

    • Pathetic Phallacy says:

      Yes, it is and it has an absolutely fascinating history.

    • Adam Smith says:

      A history that I started reading about earlier today and was somewhat diverted by. It really is fascinating.

      Unfortunately, the treatment in the game doesn’t seem to draw on that at all.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      If I get it right… it’s like Chinese martial arts, but instead of using farm implements and developing a style around that, they used dance and developed a combat style around that. To the outside observer it would just look like “non-combat, carry on” activities.

    • Chris D says:

      Does it actually work against someone who isn’t using Capoeira? It looks a little impractical to me, with all the spinning around and standing on your head.

    • Premium User Badge

      Foosnark says:

      As I understand it… it’s kind of like Tai Chi, in that it is a real martial art, practiced in a way that was supposed to make it look totally innocent, but has pretty much evolved into something that is not a martial art and is totally innocent. Except it’s less serene and more musical, performance-y, and humorous too.

      I watched a Capoeira group (team? troupe? whatever) doing their thing once. At one point the combatants/dancers/whatever were, I think, trying to steal each others’ shoes while never letting their own feet touch the ground. It was weird, but highly amusing.

    • DudeBro says:

      Chris D:

      I’ve actually been studying capoeira for about 2 years now. Many of the moves you see, you wouldn’t actually use in a real street fight. The same is true for many Kung-Fu, Karate, etc “show off” moves…There are a few UFC guys who incorporate some capoeira into their MMA repertoire (e.g. Anderson Silva); my current instructor was one of them and I’ve seen him kick someone’s ass on the street once…

    • Chris D says:

      DudeBro

      Thanks for the reply. That sounds entirely reasonable and I feel a bit silly for asking the question now. So fighting games and movies aren’t always realistic representations of actual fights. Who knew?

    • Arglebargle says:

      Part of the rationale for the style is that it was designed for fighting while being manacled. It has roots amongst the Brazilian slave populace, where this was apparantly common enough.

      I took tai chi from a knowlegeable Chinese exchange student years ago. Wu long form. We’d ask him about the utility of various moves and would get answers like, ‘This breaks arm’ ‘This is for universal block’ ‘This evades punch and strikes groin’. Certain moves got the explanation of ‘This is just very pretty’

  9. Berzee says:

    Mrs. Berzee wants us to become Capoeiraists, but I refuse to become anything I don’t know how to pronounce.

  10. aldo_14 says:

    That trailer reminds me of Yakuza on PS2, but only in a low-fi graphics kind of way.

  11. origo says:

    Come now, there’s a quite nice capoeira fighting flash game – capoeira fighter:
    http://www.shockwave.com/gamelanding/capfighter3.jsp

  12. Firkragg says:

    Urgh, the filth! We haven’t seen a trailer but surely a game that features Capoeira can only contain gratuitous amounts of violence. Someone has to think of the children!
    *Picks up phone and calls Keith Vaz* – “Have I got a story for you, buddy…”

  13. Roberto says:

    Capoeira started as a defense technique for Brazilian slaves. They were obviously not allowed to learn, practice or train any kind of martial or military activity, so they developed a unique fighting style, disguised as a dance ritual. That way, they could practice openly in front of their captors, but when time came, they literally kicked ass. I don’t believe it is THE most effective martial art, but unless you got some serious training on any fighting style, you’re very likely to be beat up pretty bad by any capoeira fighter. Shame the game is so lame. And shame on me for that last sentence.

  14. Premium User Badge

    chabuhi says:

    Can I enjoy caipareinas with my Capoeira?

    The martial art-centric game I am most looking forward to is Overgrowth.

  15. Khalan says:

    Not sure if real life or from a movie, but here’s a capoeira practioner vs a street fighter:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7157QMW9abM (56 sec)

    Not representative of course, but quite funny.

    • Chris D says:

      Yeah that’s knid of what I had in mind with my earleir question. Though I guess this is probably not so much a case of street fighting vs Capoeira as it is of guy who came to fight vs guy who came to show off.

      Edit: Ah, turns out it’s from the movie “Never Back Down”. Here it is again with more fancy camera angles.

    • whiskeyriver says:

      tis a movie, but still awesome

    • Khalan says:

      Here’s a real-life mixed martial arts capoeira knockout:

    • Nallen says:

      It’s from Never Back Down, a terrible film.

  16. Jahkaivah says:

    So it’s Tekken only every character is Eddy Gordo?

    I’m okay with this.

  17. Cayden says:

    I’m not surprised you never heard from Capoeira Legends ( http://www.capoeiralegends.com/Site/CL/ ). It’s a 2009 game made by Brasileiros.
    There is also a movie called Besouro (also 2009). They hired the choreographers from the Matrix movies. Sub-par movie, but a capoeira movie nonetheless.

  18. AaronLee says:

    Capoera Fighter makes this look like a stinky pile of explative explatived from a dog’s explative.

  19. AutoCyclist says:

    Some have mentioned the Capoeira Fighter games. If anyone’s interested it’s probably worth adding that they were developed by Scott Stoddard, creator of Robot Unicorn Attack!

  20. Multidirectional says:

    Fighters in that video seem animated worse than Eddy in Tekken 3.

    And I’m not sure how a fighting game with every character having the same fighting style is supposed to be fun for more than 15 minutes.

  21. capoeirafan says:

    Do your research guys! There is actually another Capoeira game for PC!

    Capoeria Legends

    http://www.capoeiralegends.com/Site/CL/

    It’s as shitty as the other one though >_<

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzfbtblIMVw

    At least more autenthic.

  22. adonf says:

    Capoiera is how hippies drag bored, rich kids who are immune to drum circles and drugs into their ranks. And now, this? Bloody hippies, they’re nothing but a nuisance!