Street Fighter is so much more than just a fighting game: it’s an institution.
Mortal Kombat may have had the gore factor and realism but Street Fighter had the characters and the addictive playability that helped make it one of the most iconic titles in the history of gaming.
From humble arcade beginnings way back in 1987, to the soon-to-be-released Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, the series has gone through some incredible changes over the years but remains as popular as ever, having sold 39 million copies worldwide over the course of three decades.
Boasting memorable characters like Ryu, Blanka, Chun-Li, Zangief and Guile to name but a few, it’s also a franchise that boasts plenty in the way of fascinating insights. Here are 11 awesome facts on the Street Fighter franchise.
The Guys At The Start Of Street Fight II Have Names
As anyone who ever entered an arcade or owned Street Fighter II on either the SNES or Sega Mega Drive/Genesis will tell you, the game boasted an awesome intro featuring two guys duking it out in front of a giant skyscraper with the words “Street Fighter II” written on the side. Until now, the identities of the two guys involved have been a mystery, with some claiming their names were Mike and Joe – two non-playable characters from the original edition of the game.
One eagle-eyed Redditor managed to uncover actual proof of their real names from a Capcom website though.The white guy is called Scott while the black guy is officially called Max. Oddly, a Capcom webpage also lists some odd personal traits. Scott dislikes caterpillars apparently while Max dislikes being sober.
Street Fighter’s Famous Combo System Was Created By Accident
Street Fighter II kickstarted the fighting game craze thanks to its combo system, which let players combine normal punches and kicks into special moves. Akira Nishitani, lead designer on Street Fighter II, said this was an unintended side-effect the team discovered when they were making special moves easier to execute. Even now, it’s still the combo system used in the vast majority of fighting games.
Street Fighter Appears In The Guinness Book Of World Records
The Street Fighter series has made several appearances in The Guinness Book of World Records. Some of the records Street Fighter holds includes ‘Longest-Running Fighting Video Game Series’ and ‘Best-Selling Coin-Operated Fighting Game’
The Longest Street Fighter Win Streak Is 260 (!)
Pro gamer Ryan Hart set the monster win streak when he beat 260 consecutive opponents in Street Fighter V. The feat, which was recognised by Guinness World Records, took over 11 hours and was completed in a GAME store in Manchester.
Ken’s Theme Music Is Based On A Song From ‘Top Gun’
Ken’s iconic theme music has carved out its own place in videogame legend. But surprisingly, this theme is based on ‘Mighty Wings’ by American rock band Cheap Trick from the soundtrack to Top Gun. Listen to the two songs side by side and you’ll hear where the inspiration for Ken’s music came from…
Chun-Li Became The First Playable Female Character In A Fighting Game
Chun-Li made history for Capcom in 1991, when she became the first ever playable female character in a fighting game. She has been a Street Fighter mainstay ever since and ever got her own movie Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li starring Smallville’s Kristin Kreuk.
An Imaginary Character Became Street Fighter Legend
One of Ryu’s win quotes in Street Fighter II is “You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance.” But Sheng Long didn’t actually exist. The quote mistranslated Ryu’s trademark ‘Shoryuken’ move as ‘Sheng Long’, leading fans to believe Sheng Long was a hidden character in the game.
Ryu Is Actually An Old Man
One of the most recognisable faces in gaming, fan favourite Ryu isn’t quite as youthful as he appears. When Street Fighter II was released for retro console SNES, the manual mentions that Ryu was born in 1964. He doesn’t look too bad for his age, does he?
Mike Tyson or M.Bison?
When Street Fighter II was released in Japan, one of its playable characters was M.Bison, a clear tribute to American boxer Mike Tyson. When Capcom brought Street Fighter II to the US, the localization team was worried about legal issues, and swapped the names of M.Bison, Balrog and Vega. So in Japan, while the boxer is still known as M.Bison, the US and Europe known him as Balrog.
Ryu’s Most Unusual Cameo
Fan favourite Ryu has made several cameos outside of Street Fighter, from his appearance as an opponent in the destructive Asura’s Wrath to a fleeting background appearance in Wreck-It Ralph. But his most unusual appearance is in Capcom’s retro shooter Varth: Operation Thunderstorm, where he’ll leap from the bushes with his trademark ‘Shoryuken’ move. Check it out at 1:33 (above).
Street Fighter II Tournaments Still Take Place
Even as the series progresses and evolves, that doesn’t mean the past gets left behind. There are still tournaments held around the world for Street Fighter II, ranging as far and wide from Japanese arcades to console tournaments on the Californian coast.