Video Game / Street Fighter II

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"Round 1, Fight!"
Announcer

After the release of the original Street Fighter, the series practically exploded overnight with its 1991 sequel, Street Fighter II: The World Warrior. Capcom increased the number of available player characters to eight: alongside the returning Ryu and Ken, six new characters, each with their unique fighting styles and techniques, were tossed into the mix: Chinese female crime-fighter Chun-Li, American soldier Guile, Russian wrestler and heronote  Zangief, Brazilian mutant Blanka, Indian yoga practitioner Dhalsim, and Japanese sumo wrestler E. Honda. Players who could defeat the other seven characters would then encounter four bosses: Not-Really-Mike-Tyson boxer Balrog; Spanish ninja/cage fighter Vega; a returning (and now-scarred) Sagat; and the game's final boss, evil druglord M. Bison.

The game also (accidentally) invented the fighting game definition of combos, which quickly became a staple of the genre. Fighting game style combos later crossed over into other genres of games.

While not the first fighting game by any stretch, Street Fighter II was the breakthrough game that defined the genre and gave it concepts that numerous games borrowed as they tried to duplicate Capcom's success. At the time of release (and the releases of the subsequent updates), Street Fighter II renovated the arcade scene—particularly in the United States—as people lined up at Street Fighter II machines to compete against each other. A Fight Clubbing mentality (not in the "blowing up buildings" sense, mind you) is alleged to have evolved at the time; machines that cost just over $1,300 made that amount back in less than a month.

There was a Street Fighter 2 in 1988, called Human Killing Machine: Street Fighter 2 that was developed by Tiertex, who had developed the PC port of the first game and pitched it to Capcom. The game was single-player only, had players fighting enemies that included a dog and a bull, and whose final boss was completely glitched (and never patched). Needless to say, Capcom passed.

Further versions of this game include:

  • Street Fighter II': Champion Edition (1992, a.k.a. Street Fighter II Dash in Japan) — This was the first in a long line of updates of Street Fighter II; at the time, however, this was intended to be the only one. In addition to adjusting the character balance (including differentiating the fighting styles of Ryu and Ken), Champion Edition also allowed players to play as the four end bosses and fight in Mirror Matches (World Warrior did not have this feature), differentiating one player's character from the other with a different color scheme.
  • Street Fighter II' Turbo: Hyper Fighting (1992, a.k.a. Street Fighter II Dash Turbo in Japan) — This version was released a few months after Champion Edition as a countermeasure to bootleg hacks that were incredibly unbalanced, featured faster playing speed, and vastly modified the behavior of many moves to the point of eccentricity. Hyper Fighting introduced brand new special moves for half of the returning characters, further adjusted character balance, and increased the play speed for more intense fighting. It received two 16-bit console ports (that both included Champion Edition as well): a Super NES version, titled Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting, and a Sega Genesis version titled Street Fighter II′: Special Champion Edition (Street Fighter II Dash Plus in Japan); the difference in title was the result of an exclusivity agreement between Capcom and Nintendo over the rights for the Turbo title.
  • Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers (1993) - This is the biggest expansion in the series; it added four entirely new characters — Bruce Lee Clone Fei Long, British soldier Cammy, Mexican chief Thunder Hawk and Jamaican Dance Battler and music star Dee Jay — as well as more new attacks for the existing characters, it upgraded the sound quality, and it even tossed in some new animations for existing characters (thanks to the newer and better CP System II hardware). Even though the speed increase from Hyper Fighting was well-received in many parts of the world, countries flooded with bootleg hacks assumed Hyper Fighting was another hack (and some players just could not keep up with the increased pace), so the speed increase was dropped for Super. This caused backlash from fans of Hyper Fighting, which is one of the reasons this game failed to acquire the intended audience.
  • Super Street Fighter II Turbo: The Ultimate Championship (1994, a.k.a. Super Street Fighter II X: Grand Master Challenge in Japan) - This game introduced Super Combos, saw the debut of the ferocious Akuma as the True Final Boss, and brought back the faster game speed of Hyper Fighting (this time with adjustable settings). It is still a common sight at tournaments even today, but moreso in Japan than in the U.S.
  • Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival (2001) - This is a Game Boy Advance adaptation of Super Street Fighter II Turbo. It is notable for making Akuma and Shin Akuma unlockable characters, including new endings that better align to the series canon post-Street Fighter Alpha, and having redesigns of various stages.
  • Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition (2004) - This is a re-release of Super Turbo that includes the ability to change characters to variations from previous Street Fighter II installments (e.g., Champion Edition Ken vs. Super Turbo Blanka). It was released alongside Street Fighter III 3rd Strike as part of the Street Fighter Anniversary Collection to celebrate the series' 15th anniversary.
  • Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (2008) - This is a remake of Super Turbo released as a downloadable game for the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. It holds the longest title in the series. Developed by Backbone Entertainment, this remake features rebalanced/tweaked characters, high definition sprites, new character and stage artwork courtesy of UDON Comics, online play, widescreen support, and a brand-new soundtrack created by OverClocked ReMix. It was never officially released in Japan, as it was made and developed specifically for Western countries.
  • Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers (2017) - This is a port of Super Street Fighter II Turbo coming to the Nintendo Switch to kick off the series' 30th anniversary. It adds Evil Ryu and Violent Ken (the latter originally from SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos) to the playable roster, and it tosses in Shin Akuma as a hidden character (but limits him to certain game modes). Ultra includes the updated graphics from HD Remix (with the ability to use the original visuals as in that game as well), but Capcom opted not to use the OverClocked ReMix soundtrack and the UDON Comics-designed character portraits from that game. (It uses a new soundtrack of theme remixes and the character portraits from Super Turbo instead.) Ultra also includes the voice acting from Street Fighter IV in the HD Remix Mode, and it features several new game modes, including the return of the Dramatic Battle Mode last seen in the Alpha series.


Tropes distinct to, or introduced in, Street Fighter II and its various re-releases include:

  • Ascended Glitch: Playtesters would input special moves too fast and end up with normals, so a leniency system was designed to allow faster execution. During further testing, it was discovered that this allowed special moves to start during the recovery frames of a normal move, and was kept in the game. Various types of cancels are now a core part of combos in fighting games.
  • Art Evolution: The graphics were revised with each subsequent installment; this is especially notable with the character portraits, which were modified in Champion Edition and completely replaced in Super Street Fighter II.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted in that the sprites never show any harm (of course the ROM size would have been a lot larger), but then we see the defeated faces. This is played straight in another sense: whereas most of the defeated faces show the fighters being bloody, battered and bruised, Chun-Li and Cammy get away with only light bruising. Weirdly enough, Balrog and Vega, the latter in the original arcade version of The World Warrior, also gets just a few bruises in the initial release, but in Champion Edition onward, they're just as bloodied as the other male fighters.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: In the original arcade version, one of M. Bison's winning quotes has him telling the loser to "get lose". It was corrected to "get lost" in Champion Edition onward.
  • Blood Knight: Further deconstructed in individual character pages, but common enough that it applies to the series as a whole. While each character has their own reasons for fighting in the tournament, and some are more violent than others, virtually every character in the series actually enjoys brutal hand-to-hand combat, and even the decidedly "good" or peace-loving characters still clearly love a good knock-down, drag-out fight.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • The 3DO version of Super Street Fighter II Turbo censored the blood and bruising the characters received.
    • In Ultra, the USAF logo in Guile's stage in both classic and HD modes was changed by the same one used in Street Fighter V, probably for legal reasons.
  • Breakout Character:
    • While the original roster of 12 are all iconic in their own way, Chun-Li has had a bigger impact than the rest, as she has appeared as a playable fighter in almost every Street Fighter game since. She is also required to appear in every game in the Vs. series.
    • Cammy, by virtue of being the second female fighter in the series, has more return appearances than the other new characters introduced in New Challengers.
    • Akuma, who became a consistent mainstay in subsequent Street Fighter entries (with New Generation, the EX sequels and the launch edition of V being the only games not to grace his presence), even going as far as to appear in other Capcom fighting games such as X-Men: Children of the Atom and Cyberbots.
  • Calling Your Attacks: One of the more famous and memorable examples in video games. Nearly every characters special move has this to accompany it.
  • Canon Immigrant: For a certain value of "canon"; Ultra not only "brings back" Evil Ryu from the Alpha series, but also features Violent Ken from SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos, who was based upon the brainwashed Ken seen in Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie. However, it is likely that these dark variants are meant to be What If? characters included simply for the hell of it.
  • Capcom Sequel Stagnation:
    • This game is the purest example of this. Capcom milked out a total of five arcade editions of Street Fighter II in a span of just three years, in addition to all the console ports. By the time Super Street Fighter II Turbo was released, gaming magazines were already making jokes at Capcom's expense about their apparent inability to count past two.
    • Ultra Street Fighter II for the Switch is an update of a 2008 remake of a 1994 game that was released nine years after said remake.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: From Champion Edition and onward, two players could use the same character, with one player having an alternate color scheme assigned for their character:
    • In Champion Edition, the player using a character's standard palette has his name tag displayed in yellow fonts and the one using the alternate palette is displayed in blue. The same thing applies in Hyper Fighting, except all the characters have a new default palette and the original World Warrior palettes are now used as the alternate palette (except for Bison, who keeps his original as a default, but still gets a new alternate palette).
    • In Super Street Fighter II, each character has eight palette choices (the three palettes from the previous games and five new ones). This was due to Tournament Battle variants of the game which allowed up to eight players to compete at the same time by linking four cabinets together.
    • Super Turbo gave each of the 16 main fighters a new default palette. Along with the alternate "classic" versions of the characters, whom each used the original default palette plus an exclusive alternate, brought the total to 10 palettes per character (except for Akuma, who only has two).
  • Combos: Created them for fighting games by accident.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard:
    • In The World Warrior, the computer doesn't need to "charge" their moves like the player does. For example, the computer loves to have Guile walk up to the opponent and deliver a Flash Kick after only ducking for a split second.
    • The overseas versions of Super Turbo is notorious for having cheap A.I.
  • Dance Party Ending: Zangief's ending is this. After Zangief beats Bison, Mikhail Gorbachev suddenly descends out of a helicopter, and after praising Zangief, the scene suddenly changes to Gorbachev and Zangief, along with several KGB agents, doing That Russian Squat Dance.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: Some of the endings in the original arcade versions were translated rather liberally and the characters' backstories were also embellished for the instruction manuals of the SNES and Genesis versions:
    • Guile mentions that Charlie was killed by Bison during a mission they both had in Cambodia. However, Cambodia is not mentioned in the Japanese version and in the first two Alpha games, Guile wasn't even present when Charlie was killed.
    • In the Super games, Bison reveals that he and Cammy used to be lovers. This would later bring a rather incestuous implication when Alpha 3 revealed that Cammy was actually a DNA copy of Bison himself. In the Japanese version, Bison merely said that Cammy worked for him.
  • Dub Name Change: Capcom changed M. Bison, Vega, and Balrog's name around in the overseas versions, out of fear that they'd be sued by Mike Tyson due to M. Bison being a Tyson pastiche. The GBA version of Super Turbo pulls an unintentional Lampshade Hanging on this by making it so the win quotes for these characters match their Japanese names as opposed to their western characters (see Game-Breaking Bug below).
  • Easter Egg: According to Akira Nishitani, the orange Hadouken "glitch" was in fact an intentional Easter egg put in by programmers. Nishitani admitted that he never imagined it would spawn a new special move for Ryu.
    • Being able to use Shin Akuma in Ultra. To do so, players have to select specific characters, highlight certain colors, cancel and repeat the process before pressing both L and R buttons on the random select icon to play as him. Appropriately enough, this won't work if playing online.note 
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: In the console versions, clearing the single player mode on one of the three easiest settings will not play the character's ending. Instead, there is a screen encouraging the player to try a harder difficulty.
  • Enemy Roll Call: Most versions have credits at the end of Arcade Mode that show the names of two characters at a time.
  • Funny Background Event:
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • The YYC bootleg hack of Champion Edition had a bug with Dhalsim's Yoga Drill where he would charge towards the edge of the stage indefinitely, even when the time limit reads zero, requiring a reboot.
    • Super Turbo Revival on the Game Boy Advance has a pretty terrible one wherein, if the player manages to reach Akuma in Arcade Mode, the game will lock up on a glitchy picture of him and upon resetting, all of their Time Attack and Survival records will be glitched beyond repair. On a lesser scale, Balrog, Vega and Bison's win quotes are mixed up so that Balrog (Boxer) has Bison's quote, Vega (Claw) has Balrog's and Bison (Dictator) has Vega's, likely a result of the nature surrounding their name switch. A ROM patch released in 2014 fixed this, as well as the Wii U Virtual Console release.
  • Iconic Outfit: Chun-Li's Qipao is so iconic that when she was given a new, more realistic outfit in Street Fighter Alpha, all subsequent games in the series provided the option for the player to use her old outfit.note 
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": Ryu and Ken's "Hadouken" is often heard as "Hadooken." The pronunciation is clearer in later games in the series, but the samples from Street Fighter II were so iconic that it's understandable that people can still get it wrong these days. The "Are you Ken?!" comic, for example, only works with the old sample in mind.
  • Jiggle Physics: Cammy's boobs are pretty bouncy in the arcade versions.
  • Licensed Pinball Table: Right here.
  • Long Song, Short Scene:
    • With the exception of Super Turbo, all music in Street Fighter II started over with the new rounds, and while it didn't hurt the game as most themes were less than 99 seconds long, it was very noticeable with Ken's theme, where it was cut off before the last part of the theme was played out.
    • Starting from the SNES port of The World Warrior, the second loop of Sagat's theme has a different ending.
  • Lucky Translation: Guile's Sonic Boom has been misheard as "Sabit-ku!" in Malaysia. Coincidentally, "sabit-ku" literally means "my sickle" (or loosely, "my crescent") in Malay. Guess how the Sonic Boom is represented onscreen?
  • Meet Your Early Installment Weirdness: Hyper Street Fighter II allows you to select classic versions of certain characters from the earlier renditions of the game like The World Warrior and Champion Edition.
  • Mirror Match: A code in the SNES version of The World Warrior enabled this when the original arcade version didn't. note  From Champion Edition and onward, all future games allowed players to match characters up with themselves.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: According to the Japanese website, Ultra Street Fighter II includes a simplified gameplay mode with one-hit knockouts.
  • Pedestrian Crushes Car: Street Fighter II features a minigame copied from Final Fight, where fighters have a time limit to destroy a car.
  • Perma-Stubble: Ryu gets one from Champion Edition and onward.
  • Personality Blood Types: The character biographies list blood types.
  • Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: Super Street Fighter II replaced the original opening sequence with a new one where Ryu launches a Hadōken towards the screen.
  • Secret Character: The "O./Old"note  versions of characters in Super Street Fighter II Turbo function as this, with a character-specific code needing to be entered to play as them. Akuma also could be played as with a specific code, but his code is very difficult to enter.
  • Songs in the Key of Panic: When a player is close to losing the round, the music changes to an up-tempo remix until it fades out at K.O. In the vanilla SFII, this happened every round; in Super and subsequent games, this is only done from the second round onward.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Chun-Li among the original twelve World Warriors and Cammy among the New Challengers.
  • Versus Character Splash: The fight openers.

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