Video Game / Street Fighter II

"Round 1, Fight!"

After the release of the original Street Fighter, the series practically exploded overnight with its 1991 sequel, Street Fighter II: The World Warrior. The list of available player characters was increased 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. The game also had four tough bosses encountered after the other characters were put down for the count: 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 basically the breakthrough game which defined the genre, with many games borrowing concepts introduced by the game. At the time of its release (and the releases of the subsequent updates), it was heralded as renovating the arcade scene (particularly in the U.S.) as people began lining 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 $1300 were making 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) - the first in a long line of updates of Street Fighter II, though at the time was intended to be the only one. This installment, in addition to adjusting the character balance (including differentiating the fighting styles of Ryu and Ken), also allowed players to play as the four end bosses and match ups between same characters (World Warrior didn't have this feature), differentiating one player's character with a different color scheme.
  • Street Fighter II′ Turbo: Hyper Fighting (1992, a.k.a. Street Fighter II Dash Turbo in Japan) — 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, and further adjusted character balance, in addition to the faster play speed for more intense fighting. Had 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 being 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) - The biggest expansion in the series, which 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, upgraded sound quality, and even some new animations for existing characters (thanks to the switch 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 then there's players who could not keep up with Hyper Fighting's increased pace), thus the speed was dropped for Super, which caused backlash from fans of Hyper Fighting, and didn't really acquire its intended audience either.
  • 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, heralded the debut of the ferocious Akuma as the true final boss, and returned the faster game speed of Hyper Fighting (this time with adjustable settings). It's still a common sight at tournaments even today, especially in Japan.
  • Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition (2004) - A re-release of Super Turbo that includes the character rosters from all five arcade editions of the series (for example: if a player had ever dreamed of fighting a Super Turbo Ken with a Champion Edition Guile, they were now free to do so).
  • Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (2008) - A remake of Super Turbo released as a digital download on Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. Holds the longest title in the series. Developed by Backbone Entertainment, this remake features rebalanced/tweaked characters, high definition sprites, all new character and stage artwork (courtesy of UDON Comics), online play, widescreen support, and a brand-new soundtrack created by OverClocked ReMix. Never officially released in Japan, as it was made and developed specifically for the west.

Tropes Distinct To, Or Introduced In, This Game:

  • Ascended Glitch: Combos and the red fireball were integrated into updates, and the combo system became a staple of the entire fighting game genre.
  • Art Evolution: The graphics were revised with each subsequent installment, 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 onwards they're just as bloodied as the other male fighters.
  • 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.
  • Breakout Character:
    • While the original roster of 12 are all iconic in their own way, Chun-Li had more impact than the rest. She has appeared as playable fighter in every Street Fighter sequel since (excluding New Generation and 2nd Impact), being one of the few World Warriors to do so in addition to Ryu and Ken. 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, had more return appearances than the other new characters introduced in New Challengers.
    • And then there's Akuma, who also became a consistent mainstay in subsequent Street Fighter entries (with the New Generation and the EX sequels 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.
  • Capcom Sequel Stagnation: The purest example, in that this happened with sub-sequels. 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.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer:
    • Starting with 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 ones 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.
    • In Super Turbo, all of the returning characters received a new default palette. The original palettes were now used by alternate versions who retained their moveset from New Challengers and these alternate versions also had a new alternate palette each.
  • 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 AI.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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:
    • Super Turbo Revival on the Game Boy Advance had a pretty terrible one wherein, if the player managed to reach Akuma in arcade mode, the game would lock up on a glitchy picture of him and upon resetting, all of their Time Attack and Survival records would be glitched beyond repair. On a less breaky scale, Balrog, Vega and Bison's win quotes are mixed up so that Balrog has Bison's quote, Vega has Balrog's and Bison has Vega's, quite the consequence of their name change. A ROM hack was released in 2014 that fixed this, however.
    • 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.
  • Iconic Outfit: Chun-Li's Qipao costume is so iconic that when she was given a new, more realistic outfit in Alpha, all subsequent games in the series provided the option for the player to use her old outfit.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • Mirror Match: A code in the SNES version of The World Warrior enabled this when the original arcade version didn't. From Champion Edition and onward, all future games allowed players to match characters up with themselves.
  • 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.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Chun-Li among the original twelve World Warriors and Cammy among the New Challengers.
  • Versus Character Splash: The fight openers.