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Context

Dhalsim is one of the classic, famous characters in the landmark series of brawling video games Street Fighter. He appeared all the way back in 1991, in SF2.

Beyond his fame, he has the advantage of being from India – an oddly under-represented population in Western genre fiction.

Furthermore, his odd abilities are a rare mix of mysticism, flexibility, combat prowess and of course roasting his foes with his divine flames. He has a certain flair, shall we say.

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Background

  • Real Name: Unrevealed.
  • Other Aliases: Miracle of yoga reach infinity, An aloof and proud yoga fighter, Deeply Caring Ascetic.
  • Known Relatives: Sally (wife), Datta (son), Lilly (daughter).
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: A small unnamed village off the coast of the Ganges River in India.
  • Height: 5’10” (1.78m). Weight: 106 lbs. (48 Kg.).
  • Eyes: White and without pupils. Hair: Usually none, but later alternate costumes in SF5 give him a white beard.

Powers and Abilities

Dhalsim has been a devoutly religious practitioner of yoga and loyal to his god Agni  all his life. He has gained a number of body control powers through this such as:

  • Incredible flexibility.
  • The ability to stretch his limbs great distances.
  • The ability to both float and glide through the air.
  • PsionicPsionics are sci-fi style psychic powers-like mystic abilities, such as mind probes or teleportation.
  • And the most obvious and powerful ability, to call upon the mystic flames of Agni and thus breathe fire.

He is also quite skilled in:

  1. Matters of the occult.
  2. Handling and caring for his pet elephants.
  3. Being a world class martial artist.

Dhalsim (Street Fighter)

In-game fighting techniques

Dhalsim usually has the best long-range abilities in whatever game he appears in. So it’s best to play keep away with him as he has:

  • Very low defense and offense.
  • Pretty limited options for combos.
  • Many moves that can leave him open.

To offset this his floating ability and options to change direction while in the air can help him avoid rush attacks that are meant to get in close. And more skilled players can simply teleport out of harm’s way.

Another saving grace is that his close-range super flame attacks come out quick and do a lot of damage.

History (part 1)

Street Fighter Alpha 2

Dhalsim’s village was ravaged with both disease and famine. Even though he was a pacifist at heart he reluctantly entered the tournament to raise money to save them.

His presence in the tournament was negligeable. He likely beat up a few nobodies then dropped out after he had earned enough money to save his village.

This won him the respect of his fellow villagers who began addressing him as the “Great Yoga Master Dhalsim”.

In his ending he still questioned that whether resorting to violence was justified to have saved his village. But his wife tried to convince him that he had performed a noble deed.

Street Fighter Alpha 3

Dhalsim came to the conclusion that evil such as Bison could not go unopposed. He set out put a stop to the evil dictator.

While searching for Bison he met Rose, another fellow mystical do gooder. The two helped each other out by sharing whatever information they had.

Later he met Birdie, a former Shadaloo thug for hire. Birdie refused to cooperate, but Dhalsim telepathically pried answers from the dimwitted criminal.

This new lead led him to Cammy. A clone of Bison, she was under the evil mastermind’s psychic yoke. Dhalsim used his own mental powers to “awaken” her, and grant her free will for the first time.

Dhalsim stretches his arms to punch

History (part 2)

Street Fighter 2

Dhalsim once again participated in the tournament to win money for his family. But he again dropped out early, as the violence was too offensive to him.

He returned home to spend some time with his family. He also occasionally traveled around India, doing good deeds for others.

Street Fighter 4

Dhalsim was forced to enter the tournament, as a newly constructed dam blocked water to his village.

His son, Datta, who was pen pals with Guile’s daughter Amy, told Dhalsim that Guile had been dispatched to investigate the dam. So the situation was likely more serious than he had originally thought.

When fighting in the tournament he also met newcomer Rufus and defeated him.

After that he was able to defeat Seth, the evil organizer of the tournament. Dhalsim forced the villain to take down the dam, restoring the water to his village.

Street Fighter 5

Dhalsim was approached by a young police officer named Mahesh. He wanted to learn yoga from the master in order to protect others.

Dhalsim explained that Yoga was not for power or violence, but to achieve harmony and understanding. He did however recognize that the young man’s heart was in the right place and decided to start training him.

One of their training sessions was interrupted by new comer Rashid. He was a fan of Dhalsim and wanted to challenge him in a friendly sparring match in order to become stronger. The Yoga Master defeated him.

Street Fighter 5 (cont.)

Their training sessions were again interrupted by Oro, another mystical “wise old man on a mountain top” figure and an old acquaintance of Dhalsim.

He was surprised to see his old friend in India. The two debated ideology a bit before Oro departed to search for another powerful figure in the area that he could sense.

Their training was interrupted yet again by Rainbow Mika. The pro wrestler implored Dhalsim to teach her how to breathe fire, as she felt that it would be real crowd pleaser. Dhalsim agreed to teach her, but she was unable to pull off the technique.

He explained that Mika had a passionate fire inside of her. And that she shouldn’t give up – and would surely be able to breathe fire if she didn’t give up trying. Mika took the lesson in stride and the pair parted on friendly terms.

Karin Kanzuki happened upon Dhalsim as she was in India searching for Oro. She challenged the yoga master to a sparring match. After a long battle they agreed to end it in a draw.

Dhalsim (Street Fighter) with hands praying

Street Fighter 5 Side Story: Musing on Still Night

Dhalsim was last seen enjoying dinner with his friend Oro. The two waxed philosophical.

Oro stated that he respected Dhalsim’s pious zeal to pacifism and his attempts to make the world a better place. But he was eventually able to convince him that even though powers such as the Satsui no Hado (killing intent) and Bison’s Psycho Power had been wielded for evil, these were but tools. And could potentially be used for the greater good in the right hands.

Oro then departed and Dhalsim was thankful for his friend imparting him with his wisdom.

Dhalsim (Street Fighter) levitating in lotus

Description

Dhalsim is a gaunt, thin, creepy-looking Indian man with pupils-less eyes and a shaved head.

He typically dresses in the most humble of clothes. Namely, a pair of ripped up trunks bound by a rope. He also wears oversized bracelets and anklets, and sports some unusual body paint.

He also wears three skulls on his necklace. As creepy as this may sound they are the skulls of three children who died from famine and disease that he could not prevent. He wears them as a reminder what will happen to his village should he fail.

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Personality

Dhalsim is a devoutly caring humanitarian who is devoted to his family, village, and of course his patron god Agni.

He tries to make the world a better place and abhors violence. Dhalsim is an extreme pacifist and will never enter killing combat. He is most likely to try to end any confrontation in the least violent way.

He only participated in the Street Fighter tournament to keep buy food and medicine for his village. And even then he is still reluctant to use violence. He wishes to use his divine flames to try to purify other souls and end fights with the least amount of bloodshed.

Dhalsim stretching his neck

Credit unknown. We’ve had this image for a very long time, and the original seems to have since vanished from the Internet. The linkmesh.com site  still exists though.

Quotes

(After seeing her meditating husband burst into flames)
Sally: “Dear !”
Dhalsim: “There’s no need for concern. This is a marvel of yoga, a fabricated blaze borrowed from the power of the fire god Agni. It’s alright ! Utilizing this power, opponents won’t be injured more than is necessary, I can likely battle to win.”
Sally: “Your beliefs are surely the proper ones.”
Dhalsim: “If they could this time be continued as fighting techniques for the world battle championship, a lifetime of idleness in India can be overwhelmed with a monetary prize to be obtained.”

“I will meditate and then destroy you.”

DC Universe Adaptation

(This section proposes ways of using this character in DC Universe stories).

Dhalsim can probably be dropped right in as is as there’s next to nothing happening in India anyway. He could also easily be written into a various mystical campaigns given his origins.

DC Heroes RPG

Dhalsim

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 04
Int: 06 Wil: 06 Min: 09
Inf: 04 Aur: 06 Spi: 09
Init: 017 HP: 060

Powers:

Adrenaline Surge: 04, Air Walk: 02, Awareness (ML): 06, Detect (evil): 04, Flame Being: 02, Flame Projection (ML): 08, Flight: 00, Gliding: 02, Jumping: 01, Mind Probe: 06, Stretching: 02, Teleport: 03

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Adrenaline Surge only works on Flame Projection and Jumping.
  • Air Walk may only be used for him to hover (read meditate) off the ground.
  • Detect (evil) has a +10 range bonus as well as the Discerning bonus.
  • Flame Being requires extreme concentration. It does not allow him to take any other Actions other than Automatic Actions while performing it. It also takes an unspecified amount of time for him to go into meditation to activate (likely at least a few minutes). Given the description and the only known instance of him doing it is in the quote above when he talks to his wife it may very well be a ritual of some sort and not an innate power at all. For obvious reason he won’t be using this ability in combat anytime soon either.
  • Flame Projection is Mystically Linked and has the Rapidly Diminishing limitation (-2 APs of EV for every one AP of distance it travels). Dhalsim also choose to have an area effect bonus if he uses the no range version of it. In fact if he uses either Adrenaline Surge of Hero Points to enhance the blast then he MUST use it at no range with area effect.
  • Flame Projection does Bashing Damage.
  • Flame Projection may only be used on people or objects with Mystical Attributes. As flames are said to mystically burn away all evil impurities at the GMs digression they could do more damage to villains and less to heroes.
  • Gliding is Always On in the game. He always slowly floats back down after he jumps. This may or may not be the case outside the ring. Feel free to use your own discretion as to whether or not gliding is always on although if you use the slightly more power EX version keep in mind that with 4 APs of gliding he’s going to be in the air for a while.
  • Stretching only applies to his limbs. Dhalsim may only receive the RV bonus from stretching if he blocks (substitutes his Martial Arts for RV) or takes an attack that specifically targets one or more of his limbs.
  • Stretching does not provide the normal bonuses to Grappling/Wrestling.
  • Teleportation does not have the +7 Range Bonus.

Skills:

Acrobatics (Athletics, Dodging): 04, Animal Handling (elephants): 04, Martial Artist: 09, Occultist (Knowledge, rituals, premonition): 06

Advantages:

Double Jointed, Iron Nerves, Languages (Hindi, possibly other Indian languages), Pet (Elephant), Scholar (Agni teachings, Yoga), Schtick (Unpredictable Fighting Style, True Faith).

Connections:

His village (High), Street Fighter circuit (Low).

Drawbacks:

Creepy Appearance (pupiless eyes, unusual movement, body paint, etc.), Dependents (wife and children).

Motivation:

Upholding the Good.

Occupation:

Yoga practitioner.

Wealth:

001


Pet Elephant

Dex: 04 Str: 08 Bod: 04
Int: 01 Wil: 01 Min: 01
Inf: 01 Aur: 00 Spi: 01
Init: 006 HP: 000

Powers:

Claws: 10, Extended Hearing: 02, Extra Limb (x1, trunk): 08, Growth: 05, Running: 04, Super Hearing: 03, Super Ventriloquism: 09

Bonuses and Limitations:

Growth is Always On and already figured into STR.

Motivation:

Elephantine.

Occupation:

Pachyderm.

Wealth:

Underpaid.


Marvel vs. Capcom statistics

Dhalsim, like all the other Street Fighter Characters, got a huge boost in order to crossover in the Marvel versus Capcom series and go toe to toe with Marvel’s heavy hitters.

Dex: 06 Str: 04 Bod: 05
Int: 07 Wil: 07 Min: 10
Inf: 05 Aur: 07 Spi: 10
Init: 018 HP: 070

Powers:

Adrenaline Surge: 06, Air Walk: 04, Awareness (ML): 07, Detect (evil): 05, Flame Being: 03, Flame Projection (ML): 11, Flight: 00, Gliding: 03, Jumping: 03, Mind Probe: 07, Stretching: 01, Teleport: 05

Bonuses and Limitations:

Same as above.

Skills:

Acrobatics (Athletics, Dodging): 05, Animal Handling (Elephants): 05, Martial Artist: 10, Occultist (Knowledge, Rituals, Premonition): 07

On a further note his ending seems to imply that he’s a lot closer to achieving Nirvana or the spiritual oneness that he’s been training for.

Motivation:

Upholding the Good.

Occupation:

Yoga practitioner.

Wealth:

001


EX Series stats

Dhalsim was also slightly more powerful in the EX series.

  • Up Adrenaline Surge to 05 and it also works with Gliding.
  • Up Gliding to 04.
  • Up Teleport to 05.

He also had a new move called Yoga Catch which allowed him to stretch his arms out and grow his hands to grapple opponents. That’s Growth: 03, limited to his hands but giving him the normal STR and RV benefits for Grappling/Wrestling purposes.

Flame Projection was slightly lower, to 06.


SNK versus Capcom (aka SVC Chaos) stats

Dhalsim’s Gliding was upped to 06 and Adrenaline Surge worked with it.

Flame Projection was also a 06 here as well.

Writeups.org writer avatar Tom Eilers

By Tom Eilers.

Source of Character: Street Fighter.

Helper(s): Sean MacDonald (for 1.1 version), Chris Cottingham (for elephant stats), Eric Langendorff, Adam Fuqua, Darci, Sébastien Andrivet.