Franchise: Street Fighter
For the Sonny Chiba martial arts series, see The Street Fighter. For the first game in the series, see Street Fighter I.Street Fighter
is a long running series of fighting games
, that have basically defined
Before Street Fighter
, most fighting games were side-scrolling beat 'em ups
in the style of Kung Fu Master
. Even the relatively few one-on-one fighters that predated the original Street Fighter
had, at most, only a handful of characters (only one or two of them playable), and extremely simplistic controls. Street Fighter
(specifically its first sequel, Street Fighter II: The World Warrior
) gave the genre depth
, popularity, and, most importantly, legitimacy. Even modern fighting games cling tightly to the features and tropes innovated by this series.
The series not only has multiple games, but some of them are their own series:
Media Spin Offs
In addition to the normal Street Fighter
series, Capcom also released a number of partially-related peripheral series, as an attempt to cash in on its success:
- Cyberbots: A mecha-themed fighting game that's actually a pseudo sequel to Armored Warriors, a Final Fight-style beat 'em up featuring the same mechas.
- Darkstalkers: which uses horror-themed characters, such as vampires, yeti, werewolves, succubi, and even Frankenstein's Monster.
- Rival Schools: A series of 3D fighting games featuring Japanese high school students beating the hell out of each other.
- X-Men: Children of the Atom and Marvel Super Heroes: A couple of Marvel Comics licensed fighting games. The former features characters strictly from X-Men; while the latter includes characters from the whole Marvel Universe, such as Spider-Man, Captain America, and the Hulk.
- This led to the inevitable Massive Multiplayer Crossover (see Capcom vs. Whatever for full details), which includes X-Men vs. Street Fighter (self-explanatory), Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter (again, self-explanatory), Marvel vs. Capcom (which now included characters from other Capcom games like Mega Man and Captain Commando), Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (which introduced even more Capcom characters, including some odd original ones like Amingo, the granddaughter of the original Son Son and the pirate Ruby Heart), Namco × Capcom (a genre shift to turn-based strategy RPG), Tatsunoko vs. Capcom (self-explanatory), and Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
- The Capcom vs. SNK series, is an even bigger Massive Multiplayer Crossover, featuring characters from two different companies both known for their 2D fighting games. Although, the original Capcom vs. SNK and its upgraded rerelease Capcom vs. SNK Pro merely consisted of Street Fighter and The King of Fighters characters (with Morrigan from Darkstalkers and Nakoruru from Samurai Shodown), the sequel Capcom vs. SNK 2 contains a greater range of characters from both companies' fighting game catalog. Later on, SNK made their own title, SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos. Unlike the other titles, the roster choices were a bit more... unorthodox.
- Street Fighter X Tekken and Tekken X Street Fighter take this a step further, with Street Fighter characters going up against Tekken characters. The collaboration in game development marks the first time ever that we'll see a 2D fighting game series crossing over with a 3D fighting game series.
- Street Fighter X Mega Man is more of an ascended Mega Man fan game, but nonetheless features a roster of Street Fighter characters as bosses.
The series itself is part of a small Shared Universe
between a few Capcom games including:
- Final Fight, which was originally titled Street Fighter '89 before they realized that the game played nothing like the original Street Fighter after which they then changed the name.
- Slam Masters, known as Muscle Bomber in Japan, a trilogy of wrestling games featuring artwork by Tetsuo Hara (of Fist of the North Star fame) and featuring Haggar of Final Fight fame. The first two games, Saturday Night Slam Masters and Muscle Bomber Duo (the only game to retain its Japanese title in the overseas versions) were arcade-style wrestling games with Street Fighter-esque special moves added to the mix, while Ring of Destruction: Slam Masters II (a.k.a. Super Muscle Bomber) was a Super Street Fighter II-esque fighting game with a wrestling theme.
- Captain Commando, a beat 'em up set in a future version of Metro City and starring the titular Captain Commando, an early and since abandoned mascot for Capcom. note
In addition to the aforementioned spin-offs, the series also inspired at least three different animated adaptations
, a little-known live-action Chinese action/comedy adaptation starring Palette Swap Captain Ersatz
's of the main characters Future Cops
, Japanese manga, plus several toylines (one of which was actually mixed in with G.I. Joe
). An officially sanctioned, fan-made short film was released on May 6, 2010 and a parody
of Street Fighter II
. It also had a Tabletop RPG
that used the White Wolf system, better known for angsty gothic horror. There are also several art books, the latest of which was released in August 2014 and titled SF 25: The Art of Street Fighter
The innovations and impact of the Street Fighter
series can never be overstated, as evidenced by the number of imitators
and competitors, not to mention its enduring popularity and fame, seen everywhere from an Easter Egg
in Mega Man X
to Sabin's Blitzes in Final Fantasy VI
Outside of the main series, a confirmed DLC pack for Asura's Wrath
has the title character going up against Ryu, Akuma, and Evil Ryu (and Oni, too)
. The story in Asura's Wrath
also provides the possibility that Street Fighter
takes place thousands of years after Asura's Wrath.Shout-Out
sheet found here
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: With Ham and Cheese.
- Capcom Sequel Stagnation: Perhaps the purest example alongside Mega Man.
- Cherry Tapping
- Combos as we know them wouldn't exist without Street Fighter.
- Hurricane Kick: Also known as the Tatsumaki Senpuukyaku.
- Kamehame Hadoken: The second part of the name is the name of the fireball move by Ryu, Ken, and others (just wasn't called that in the West, even though they still said it in the game). note
- Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: Courtesy of Dudley.
- Shoryuken: From the Dragon Punch... sorry... Rising Dragon Fist, to the Tiger Uppercut, and even kick versions with Chun-Li (Tenshokyaku), Cammy (Cannon Spike), and Fei Long (Shienkyaku).
- Shotoclone: Ryu, Ken, Akuma, Dan, Sakura, and Sean; Sean's projectile attacks take the form of basketballs (save for his first Super Art, the Hadou Burst), though. Amazingly enough, Gouken is actually a subversion of this, as he fights very differently from the typical Ryu/Ken-type — he does have his own unique take on the Hadouken, but his Shoryuken is only used as a super, and he has many other moves that no other Ryu/Ken-type has. There's also Allen Snider and Kairi from the EX series; Kairi, in particular, became the Akuma analogue when Akuma left after the first game.
Tropes across the series:
- Adaptational Villainy:
- Zangief is easily the most infamous example as he was often depicted as a member of Shadaloo in various American and Japanese adaptations of the series back in the 1990s. The only cinematic adaptation during the '90s that didn't cast Zangief as a villain was Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie and he just had a cameo fight with Blanka. Fortunately for Zangief, this trend seems to have stopped over the course of the 2000s as more recent adaptations do depict Zangief as a hero for Russia like how he is in the games (Dee Jay was also depicted as a Shadaloo member in the first live action Street Fighter movie, but unlike Zangief, this was the only time).
- Sagat was more of a downplayed example of this. Yes, he was a villainous member of Shadaloo, but old and even recent adaptations have a strong tendency to play up his role with Shadaloo a lot more than the games did, normally depicting him as someone who has committed various crimes under Shadaloo, while in the games, he is more of a noble demon who really didn't do much for Shadaloo (especially during the Alpha series where Sagat really started to play up his noble demon persona). Adon has also been depicted as a Shadaloo member in certain Street Fighter manga adaptations, but while Adon is indeed quite the Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy, he was never really deemed a villain in the games.
- All There in the Manual:
- The series actually has a pretty extensive background story, but you'll have to get all the supplementary materials (like the numerous guides by Gamest or Arcadia, as well as Studio Bent Stuff's All About series) to gather the info. For those without access to Japanese resources or not literate enough at the language to understand them, the Street Fighter Plot Guide has plenty of fan-translated bios from those guides.
- UDON released the World Warrior Encyclopedia in late 2010, featuring character profiles cobbled together from every official source imaginable, no matter how obscure. It essentially collected everything into one handy compendium.
- Amazing Technicolor Population: While for the most part the cast of the games have plausible skin tones, the series manages to give us a few exceptions: we have green-skinned Blanka, blood-red Hakan, yellow-toned Oro, Necro and Twelve that are as white as the snow, Gill who's half red, half blue, no less, Dhalsim who also tends to have some unnatural alternate skin colors like grey or orange among the others, Birdie who has a green color, grey M. Bison, slate-Blue Seth.note And let's not get started about the various palette swaps.
- Ascended Fanboy: The UDON crew currently handles a huge amount of official Capcom art for many different series, but mainly SF, the primary focus of their collective admiration.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Ryu, Ken, Gouken and Zangief.
- Blood Knight: The Satsui no Hadou/Surge of Murderous Intent grants immense fighting power, but ultimately has the user develop a insatiable desire to fight, driving it to wander the world challenging strong fighters to a battle to the death.
- Bonus Material: There are a few of these. Most of them seems to make fun of Ryu and his limited wardrobe.
- Bootstrapped Theme: Every character, as early as II. This is because the music was for the stage, and not its respective character.
- Cast of Snowflakes: With time, each character's facial characteristics has become more and more defined, to the point that you could show merely the face, without any other reference, of every character and know exactly who it is. Especially evident since Street Fighter IV.
- Charged Attack: Both kinds.
- Circling Birdies: And stars and mini-Grim Reapers.
- Color-Coded Multiplayer
- Comic-Book Time: In the early Street Fighter II games, the characters were given specific birth dates that coincided with the current ages of the characters at the time and the release dates of the games (i.e. Cammy was born on January 1974 and is said to be 19 in Super Street Fighter II, which came out in 1993). As the years went by, it became obvious that Capcom had to age the characters if they wanted to maintain consistency, so they used vaguer dates in the Alpha and III series (i.e. Sakura was born on March 197X in Alpha 2) before they finally stopped giving out the years of birth in IV.
- Cool Hat:
- Bison's Commissar Cap.
- Cammy and Rolento sport cool berets. There's also Yun's cap and Q's fedora.
- Death Cry Echo
- Divergent Character Evolution: Ryu and Ken used to be identical in almost every aspect gameplay-wise (justified as it was the only way back then to have a pure mirror match), but from Super Street Fighter II onward, they both received several changes that made the characters much different from each other (Ryu's refined Hadouken techniques, Ken's different kicks and the Flaming Shoryuken). In 3rd Strike, Ken's EX Hurricane Kick hit multiple times and launch the enemy while Ryu's hits once for the normal versions and hits the enemy away while keeping him in place in the EX version (i.e. his Shinku Tatsumaki Senpuukyaku super is downgraded into his EX Tatsu).
- Does Not Like Shoes: Half the cast. Lampshaded in Street Fighter IV:
Ryu: "Shoes? No, I can certainly afford them; I go barefoot for comfort."
- Energy Ball: What most of the projectiles amount to. "HADOKEN!"
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Well, not... exactly.
- Fanservice: Pretty much every female fighter's outfit, with the exception of Makoto (at least until you use one of her Ultra Combos in Super Street Fighter IV or a foot fetishist; Street Fighter III marked the first time Capcom introduced any female barefoot fighters, and Makoto doesn't like shoes).
- Fireballs: The Hadoken is not one (it's just a ball of ki). However, Akuma and Ryu's Shakunetsu Hadoken is one.
- Fixed Floor Fighting
- Gentle Giant: Happens a few times over the course of the series, or as gentle as these characters get: the running theme that loving the challenge of the fight does not necessarily make you a violent person. Judging by in game quotes, Zangief, Hugo, T. Hawk, Honda and Hakan, some of the largest and most physically imposing characters in the series, are all extremely nice, modest, social people who fulfill a "gentle warrior" archetype. Most of them have a Let's Fight Like Gentlemen approach to fighting, and are mostly concerned about having fun and a challenge, not hurting people. Sagat also gains shades of this after his Heel-Face Turn, best seen in his ending from Super Street Fighter IV.
- Handwraps of Awesome: Adon, Akuma, Ibuki, and Sagat.
- Iconic Sequel Character: Chun-Li wasn't introduced until Street Fighter II. Due to Sequel Displacement, the entire Street Fighter II cast is better known than the non-holdovers from the first game.
- Intercontinuity Crossover: The Alpha series brings over several characters from the original Final Fight as playable characters. Namely Cody, Guy, Sodom, Rolento, and Maki. This extends to Super Street Fighter IV with Cody and Guy and then to Ultra Street Fighter IV with Rolento, Hugo, and Poison.
- Invulnerable Attack
- Ki Attacks
- Lampshade Hanging: A few games make fun of Chun-Li's legs.
- Leitmotif: Overlaps with Bootstrapped Theme. From II all the way up to Alpha 2 Gold, every character kept their easily recognizable themes (in the case of the Final Fight characters, their tunes were based off of stage BGMs from their debut game, but weren't necessarily the music they were affiliated with in FF). Starting with Alpha 3, they were finally given new themes, although the rival battles in IV restored the trend.
- Subverted in Street Fighter III 2nd Impact. Every character that returned from New Generation, excluding Ken, Sean, and Gill, received a new version of their previous theme, but in 3rd Strike, everyone except for Alex and Yun & Yang (who kept "Jazzy NYC" and "Crowded Street" from the past two installments) were given new themes. In fact, Dudley and Ibuki's themes in IV are based off of their 3rd Strike themes.
- Limit Break: Several fighters have attacks that can only be done with full super bars.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: 64, excluding the Arika characters introduced in the EX series, boosting the number to 82 or the ones from the movie games and Mouse Generation, boosting it to a whopping 89 in this case. And that's not even going into the NPCs. Or those who never appeared in a video game.
- Mad Libs Dialogue
- Mind-Control Device: The cyberchips as well as some help from a statue and Bison's Psycho Power in Street Fighter II V and a machine in Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie also with help from Bison's Psycho Power. Both of these also tie in with...
- Mind-Control Eyes: Both Ryu and Chun-Li in the Street Fighter II V series and Ken in Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie. In each case, all three victims' sclera of the eye turn pink instead of white (more so in Street Fighter II V). This is most likely as a result of Bison's Psycho Power which helped brainwash them.
- Modesty Shorts: Sakura wears gym shorts under her school uniform. Ditto for Karin in Alpha 3 and Ibuki (in her alternate outfit) in Super IV, only with bike shorts instead.
- Monster Modesty: Blanka never wears more than a pair of pants. Considering he wants to be seen as a human being, you'd think he would dress up a bit more.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: Played straight and subverted at the same time. In a series where petite and deceptively adorable women use implausible fighting skills and many characters possess supernatural abilities able to render physical strength null and void or have had their (possibly artificial) bodies fundamentally altered, characters like Zangief and Alex (who rely almost completely on strength and deadly technique) are able to match them in most cases (tier rankings notwithstanding). In fact, the increasingly absurd Heroic Build doesn't just benefit the men; some of the ladies are visibly ripped due to their training. Take a look at Cammy (her entire physique in general), Makoto's arms (in IV), Juri (her abs, in particular), and Chun-Li (her legs in any game, as well as her arms in the Street Fighter Alpha series) for example.
- National Stereotypes: Used with great effect since the series' inception to enhance characterization. Most characters in the series are designed with classic national archetypes in mind. Some classic examples below are listed by nation:
- The United States
- Guile — Eagleland Type 1 incarnate; the manly, patriotic hero.
- Rufus — Eagleland Type 2 incarnate; the obese, mouthy, American idiot.
- Ken — very much a mixed example of the above; he's loud, cocky and brash, but also heroic and a Nice Guy at heart.
- Remy — the brooding, fatalistic French Jerk, filled with Gallic ennui.
- Abel — Actually turns the Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey stereotype on its head, being a courageous, soft spoken, and caring man, but it's his brooding, emo-ish side that is unmistakably French.
- Dhalsim — the peaceful, Ghandi-inspired Hindu yogi.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: The English voice work in the games and adaptations have a tendency to play with this. If you are from Europe, or to a lesser extent the Americas, you will probably get an accent. If you are from Asia, you most likely will not (except for Dhalsim and Hakan).
- Not Just a Tournament: In Street Fighter II, Bison's holding a tournament to get revenge on the characters who ruined his plans in Alpha 3. In Street Fighter IV, Seth from S.I.N. (Shadaloo Intimidation Network, the weapons division of Shadaloo) holds a tournament to gain data (and Ryu) to complete his BLECE Project, an unknown bioweapon. The tournament in Street Fighter III: New Generation/2nd Impact subverts this, though. The Illuminati is judging people worldwide to see who is fit to live in the new utopian world foretold in their ominous prophecy. Their leader Gill is a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
- Off Model: Between the Capcom sequels, animated and live action films, and the Art Shift from sprite to 3D model, no one knows what "on model" is supposed to look like anymore.
- Panty Shot: Avoided mostly, since Chun-Li has tights and Sakura wears gym shorts underneath.
- Passion Is Evil:
- The Satsui no Hadou is the surge of violent emotion that originally fueled the Ansatsuken martial art used Ryu, Ken, Akuma, Dan and Gouken. The more fiercely and passionately one fights, the easier it is to become lost to the Satsui no Hadou. According to some sources, merely attempting to use the Shun Goku Satsu (Raging Demon) forever alters the personality of the user and drives them insane. Akuma is the first and only known person to use it and remain some lucidity (although not completely unchanged).
- Discussed by Jean Grey in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, when she defeats Akuma.
"We're more alike than I'd like to admit."
- Averted by Gouken, and by extension Ken and Ryu. Gouken created a unique form of Ansatsuken that does not rely on Satsui no Hado, which he taught to Ken and Ryu.
- Pinball Spinoff: See here for more details.
- Poor Communication Kills: The typical contrivance to make rivals out of fighters who would otherwise simply fight the tournament.
- Promoted to Playable: Bison and his lieutenants.
- Prophet Eyes: Irises and pupils seem to be optional in the world of Street Fighter. While some characters may have a justification (e.g. Dhalsim's spiritual connections and Bison being fueled with Psycho Power), there's really no good explanation for Badass Normals like Sagat and Hakan to have them.
- Remixed Level: Sagat's Buddha statue stage.
- Roundhouse Kick: Many characters have this as their fierce kick move.
- Serial Escalation
- The evolution of attacks. Probably started with Super Turbo and its Super Combos. From there they became multi-level in Alpha and everyone got multiple super attacks, evolved into Super Arts by III, and then Ultra moves were introduced starting with IV. V might be ramping up further with its new "EX Mode" elemental gameplay that allows your character to tap into an elemental alignment to amp up their moves with that element (seemingly).
- The setting itself also got more and more extreme as time went on. For instance initially the Satsui no Hadou was just described as a dark ki energy that could corrupt a well-meaning fighter if they become too consumed with the thought of victory at any cost. They'd become stronger by relying on it but be less inclined to show mercy or fight honorably. By IV it is more akin to an evil spirit that can impose its destructive will on a fighter. Evil Ryu was initially just a cocky, somewhat angry fighter in the Alpha series but IV's interpretation paints him as a violence-mongering demon that strives to rip his foes to shreds. Oni apparently shows what can happen to someone if they take it all the way and let the Satsui no Hadou use their body as a host and not merely as a supplement to their own power; a far cry from Shin Akuma, which was only Akuma without restraint but still fully in control of his actions.
- Shout-Out: Refer to the dedicated page.
- Talking Is a Free Action/Transformation Is a Free Action:
- In Street Fighter IV, activating a Ultra Combo momentarily stops time. Even if the opponent was in the middle of an attack.
- The activation animations for supers and the like involve this in general.
- Too Long; Didn't Dub: Most of the attack names after the first few releases of II.
- Tournament Play:
- This is one of the first video games which was suited for tournament play. Even today, professional tournaments use nearly every Street Fighter game; check here for some tutorials on advanced Street Fighter strategy.
- The underlying plot of the Street Fighter world is essentially tournament play, too: the Street Fighter tournaments exist to crown the greatest fighter in the world.
- Wolverine Publicity:
- Ryu and Chun-Li are unquestionably the faces of Street Fighter. They have been in every crossover project involving the series without exception.note They've become so ubiquitous that the first footage ever shown of Street Fighter V features them in battle against each other.
- Ken is probably one peg below them, having appeared in every Street Fighter game (including the two that Chun-Li did not; notable since the original plan was to nix both Ryu and Ken from the III series entirely) but missing out on a few crossover titles.
- World's Best Warrior: What the tournaments are (generally) held to find, although sometimes the ones hosting the tournament have ulterior motives.
- World of Badass: Every playable character is a martial artist to some extent and four of the five main series iterations revolve around worldwide tournaments. Each and every character being a Badass in their own right is to be expected.
- World of Buxom: Pretty much every gal in the series has a lot of stuff above those pecs. Even the younger girls are quite well-endowed. Basically, the only flat out exceptions to this are Sakura, Karin, Juni, and Ingrid.
- World of Ham: OOOOOOOF COOOOOURRRRRRSSSSSSE!!!
- World of Muscle Men: Especially in Street Fighter IV. However, most the women are also jacked as well. This is definitely a case of Author Appeal on the character designer's behalf, as he's even admitted to liking Chun-Li's muscular trademark thunder thighs.
- World Tour: A trademark of the series. You travel around the world to fight other characters.
- You Don't Look Like You: You can make a case for this everywhere in the series with the obvious differences between artwork and sprites, but the most evident case of this is in IV, where the in-game models look drastically different than the CGI models used for artwork and bios (for example, Rose's render◊ has her resemble Monica Bellucci, whereas her in-game model is more along the line of this).
You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance!