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Franchise / Street Fighter

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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 by Capcom, that have basically defined the genre.

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 include:

Anime & Manga

Comic Books



Tabletop Games

Video Games

Web Original

Western Animation

In addition to the normal Street Fighter and Alpha series, Capcom also released a number of partially-related peripheral series, as an attempt to cash in on its success:

The series itself is part of a 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 title. Several characters from here has since joined the playable roster of Street Fighter.
  • 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 
  • Rival Schools, a series of 3D fighting games featuring Japanese high school students beating the hell out of each other. Orignally, its only connection to the Street Fighter series was Sakura from Alpha appearing in the first game as an unlockable Guest Fighter. Then many years later in Street Fighter V, Hinata and Tiffany make background appearances in one of the stages, followed by Akira joining the playable cast as DLC.
  • Strider, a series of platformers featuring a ninja from the titular organization defending a future Earth from terrorists including an intergalactic conqueror. Zeku, who had previously appeared in a single scene in Alpha 2 as the teacher of Final Fight protagonist Guy, is playable in V with a look and storyline which heavily suggests he's the founder of the Striders.

In addition to the aforementioned spin-offs, the series also inspired at least three different animated adaptations, Japanese manga, plus several toylines (one of which was actually mixed in with G.I. Joe). There are also several art books, the latest of which was released in August 2014. College Humor's Street Fighter: The Later Years is a parody of Street Fighter II. There's also Future Cops, a little-known live-action Chinese action/comedy adaptation starring Palette Swap Captain Ersatzes of the main characters.

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 DLC pack for Asura's Wrath has the title character going up against Ryu, Akuma, Oni, and Evil Ryu, also providing the possibility that Street Fighter takes place thousands of years after Asura's Wrath. Ryu also appears as a downloadable Guest Fighter in Super Smash Bros for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U and as part of the regular roster in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, where Ken joins in as a Moveset Clone and Guile is a summonable Assist Character. A number of Street Fighter characters are guest fighter in Power Rangers: Legacy Wars, which later lead to Ryu become an original Ranger himself.

Furthermore, Capcom and Arika's collaboration on the Street Fighter EX series, which was designed as an Alternate Continuity from the main Street Fighter canon from the start, spawned enough memorable characters, music themes, and concepts to branch off into their own series. Around the same time, Arika developed a similar game called Fighting Layer which was published through Namco and featured two characters from the EX series amongst an entirely new cast, to see what they could do without the Capcom characters. Finally, two decades later, the Arika-owned EX cast was revived almost in full through Fighting EX Layer an explicit Spiritual Successor to their late '90s offerings. Canonically, Street Fighter and Fighting EX Layer belong to two different worlds due to the differing companies, while the Arika characters have been given bios on Capcom's new Shadaloo Combat Research Institute profile site. Thus, it can be said that they have two diverging histories following the SFEX games.

Street Fighter provides examples of:

  • 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 later adaptations do depict Zangief as a hero for Russia like how he is in the games.note  Wreck-It Ralph has him as a "bad guy," but emphasizes that that's just his job in the game, and he's actually a nice guy.
    • Sagat was more of a downplayed example of this. Yes, he was a villainous member of Shadaloo, but older and newer 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 been depicted as a Shadaloo member in certain Street Fighter manga adaptations. 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,note  yellow-toned Oro, Necro and Twelve that are as white as the snownote , 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.
  • Anger Is Not Enough: The Satsui No Hado is a powerful Ki born of negative emotions, including that of rage and anger - it makes whomsoever succumbs to it incredibly powerful and grants access to numerous Dangerous Forbidden Techniques, and Ryu succumbs to it in an attempt to kill Akuma, who has all but mastered it. It's not enough, and it's only through accessing The Power of Nothingness That Ryu is able to eventually defeat Akuma.
  • The Anime of the Game:
  • 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.
  • The Beautiful Elite: There is an incredibly exclusive in-series club known as the "International Debutantes Society" note  with four of the current cast noted as members. Each member originates from a nation associated with a distinct type of prestige:
    • Pullum; Saudi Arabia (huge financial wealth)
    • Blair; Monaco (ritzy exclusivity)
    • Julia; England (class, heritage and tradition)
    • Karin; Japan (refinement and courtesy)
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Ryu, Ken, Gouken, Zangief and Fei Long.
  • 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.
  • Bootstrapped Theme: Every character, as early as II. Back then, the music was associated with the stages, not the characters. However, since each character had their own stage, the music effectively extended to them as well. It went to an extent that the SFII music was remixed into the World Warriors' new stages in Alpha and Alpha 2, and solidified by the time of IV, with most characters not having a home stage.
  • Boulder Bludgeon: One of Cody's dirty fighting tricks is to pick up some stones and then throw them at people mid-fight. Later on, in Street Fighter V, he's got a variant; he can toss up a stone and then punt it with his steel pipe like a baseball to hit enemies at range.
  • Canon Foreigner:
    • Po-Lin and Wong-Mei from the Street Fighter II manga. Po-Lin appears in Street Fighter Legends: Chun-Li.
    • Lt. Gibson in the Street Fighter comic and Street Fighter - Round One: Fight!
    • Ren and Ran Kanzuki in the Street Fighter III: Ryu Final manga.
    • Vincent in the Street Fighter IV comic.
    • Nida in the Malibu Street Fighter comic.
    • The new fighters Aka Zahn, Alexander, Amanda Raintree, Anvil, Arslan, Arthur Parkington, Becca, Blade, Bonni "Backhand" Brown, Castor Mitaxis, The Chain, Chimu Nihon, Corona, The Crusher, Cyclone Garetti, Dana the Pole, Dehrik Savitch, Denzil Kincaid, Diablo, Dione, Dhakmar, Drake, Drakis, Dr. Lao, Dulcinea, Dunatis, Elias Synn, Eric the Red So Fine, Fernando DeGaul, Fixer, Freddy Earther, Gamal "The Phoenix" Qebesenef, Gonzo Bob Hellstrom, GX-9, Hammer, Harpol Jhaliwal, Hercules Harrison, Hikodoshi, Izzy Copper, Jack the Mechanic, Jackie Quace, Jacques Desroche, Jaq, Jason Best, Jean Lemonte, K.O., Kai, Kallista, Ken Paducah, Khan, Kiritan, Kuma Mizu, Kwa So, Lady Khan, Laverne, Leander, Legion, Lotus Blossom, Mace, Major Carnage, Marcia Calahan, Master Xaudo, Matrix, Midnight, The Mollusk, Nick Fontana, Nychus, Orihime, Paco "The Icepick" Juarez, Pantara, Pheonix Bright, Praetorian, Randi Copper, Ravana, Mr. Ray, Mustafa, Reba Miller, Rix, Rosie, Sai, Sanjo Hidetoshi, Samson Jr, Samson Prowse, Sapphire, Sarah Lewis, Seirei Kaji, Shade, Shan Lung, Shoujo Tora, Siren, Sss' Lusssthu-Kha, Master Takashi, Theons, The Thing That Should Not Be, Tick, Tock, Vanda, Wesley Adams, Col. William Stanton, Wolff Sprenger, and Yuki Takada in White Wolf's Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game.
    • Lucinda Davila, El Fideo, Escher, La Lupa, Lo Fat, Wo Fat, The Great Oni (not the same as the one from Saturday Night Slam Masters), Quinn, Raymond Wang, Satin Hammer, and Lord Zing in the Street Fighter Animated Series.
    • Raven, an unnamed prisoner in the Street Fighter movie, was planned to appear in the game adaptation.
    • Albert Sellers, the British Minister of Justice in Streetfighter II The Animated Movie.
    • Damdo, Donu, Eden, Han, Kikun, Kokuja, Ortega, Lo Yang, Rinko, Sodom & Gomorrah, Soong, Yo Senkai, Zochi, and Zoltar in Street Fighter II V.
    • Rosanov, Sadler, Shun, and Wallace from Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation.
    • Fuka and an old monk, and Sayaka in Street Fighter Alpha: Generations.
    • Senzo and another version of Sayaka in Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist.
  • Canon Immigrant:
    • Gouken first appeared in the manga Street Fighter II: Ryu.
    • Delta Red member Lt. Hanna Ackerson first appeared in the manga Super Street Fighter II: Cammy Gaiden.
    • Dr. Senoh, the old scientist working for Shadaloo, first appears in Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie and makes a cameo appearance in M. Bison's Street Fighter Alpha 2 ending.
    • Karin first appeared in the Sakura Ganbaru! manga before being introduced in Street Fighter Alpha 3.
    • Chun-Li's father was unnamed until being named Dorai in Street Fighter II V. Street Fighter V goes with the name Dorai.
    • The Eiga Street Fighter II Memorial Kōshiki Fanbook suggests that the man standing by the pole in Chun-Li's stage is a Monitor Cyborg.
    • The Shadaloo Combat Research Institute profiles on the Street Fighter V Character Encyclopedia website have entries for Daisuke "D.D." Dejima and Rook from Capcom Fighting All-Stars, Ingrid from Capcom Fighting All-Stars, Capcom Fighting Evolution and Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX, Simone and Shiba Shintaro from Cannon Spike, Mary and Reiko from the Chun-Li leaves China pachislot game, Kyle Travers from Final Fight: Streetwise, Yuriko Hibiki, Dark Sakura, Ruby, Shadow, Shadow Lady, and Mech Zangief from Marvel vs. Capcom, Momotaru, Bows and Beard from Pirate Ship Higemaru, Ace, Area, Blair Dame, Cracker Jack, Cycloid Beta, Cycloid Gamma, Doctrine Dark, Garuda, Hayate, Hokuto and Bloody Hokuto, Kairi, Darun Mister, Nanase, Pullum Purna, Vulcano Rosso, Shadowgeist, Sharon, Skullomania, and Allen Snider from Street Fighter EX, Arkane, Blade, F7, and Khyber from the arcade version of Street Fighter: The Movie, Captain Sawada from the Street Fighter movie and game, the Shadaloo Monitor Cyborg from Streetfighter II The Animated Movie and Street Fighter II: The Interactive Movie, The Crimson Crawdad from the Street Fighter animated series, the Hell 3000 Shadaloo Battle Armor based on a robot in the Street Fighter animated series, Dr. Jose and Kevin Straker from Street Fighter 2010, and Shin from Street Fighter Online: Mouse Generation. A number of these profiles, however, are stated to be non-canon, including even Ingrid.
  • Canon Welding: 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.
  • 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. This is especially evident since Street Fighter IV.
  • Central Theme: "The Answer Lies In The Heart of Battle". Street Fighter's most central theme revolves around the spiritual and physiological benefits of martial arts (and combat in general), and how it can imbue life lessons to make one a better person. This is most demonstrated with Ryu. His Shadow Archetypes (reflections of what he could become) include Sagat, Dan, M. Bison and Akuma, while his Paragons (people who demonstrate what he should become) are Gouken, Oro and Dhalsim. The metaphysical force that symbolizes this, the Dark Hadou, is loosely described as nothing but the overwhelming desire to win or defeat others at any cost—not fighting for fun or self-improvement. Ryu finally overcomes the Dark Hadou when he realizes this, and focuses his fighting philosophy on always moving forward and improving rather than merely winning. Other characters such as Chun-Li, Guile, Karin and Sagat also learn this lesson, which leads to them becoming better people as well. Also, the theme here is almost meta, because it can be applied to players of the game as well, in particular the infamous Scrubs and ""Stop Having Fun" Guys" who don't even enjoy playing the game or improving and just want to win at all costs.
  • Charged Attack: Both kinds.
  • Circling Birdies: And stars and mini-Grim Reapers. They each make their own sound, to boot.
  • 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.
    • Yun's cap.
    • Q's fedora.
    • Dhalsim's turban in V.
  • Crossover:
  • The Dark Side: A recurring theme in the series is that there are good reasons and methods for fighting and bad ones:
    • The most famous example is the Satsui no Hadou, which is used by Akuma and opposed by Ryu and Gouken. It's explained that their fighting style started as an assassination style, and thus each move's true and original form was meant for killing. The Satsui no Hadou occurs when a practitioner of the style gives in to the desire to win at all costs, thus walking a path full of death and destruction.
    • Bison's Psycho Power is stated to gain its strength from the suffering, fear and hatred of others. Bison himself embodies it and has become something no longer human (if he ever was human). Rose, on the other hand, embodies the good form (Soul Power) and is far weaker, but much kinder and more human (at least in appearance and behavior).
    • Whatever mysterious power that Charlie Nash channels in SFV is speculated in-universe to be related to the Satsui no Hadou. Fittingly, Charlie himself has been consumed by a thirst for revenge.
  • Death Cry Echo: Used ever since the very first game to indicate that a character is down for the count. Since IV, however, the death cry doesn't echo unless it's the match-winning round.
  • Decomposite Character: Akuma and his brother Gouken both started as shout-outs to the fictional character of Sheng Long, who was believed to be Ryu and Ken's master. Akuma appears and defeats Bison, just as Sheng Long was rumored to do. Both inherited moves that Sheng Long was rumored to possess, such as air fireballs, red fireballs, and multi-fireballs. The fake design used in Electronic Gaming Monthly was even used as a basis for Gouken.
  • 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."
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap:
    • It is retconned in the Alpha series that Ryu did not defeat Sagat at the first World Warrior competition. Sagat had Ryu utterly beaten before Ryu unleashed the Satsui no Hadou and sucker-punched Sagat after the match was technically over. All this serves to do is cast doubt on Ryu's status as Sagat's better, so that Sagat can still be technically undefeated.
    • Bison is retconned in Alpha to be utterly unstoppable when at the peak of his powers. Every time he was defeated, it was either without his cape, after the Psycho Drive was destroyed, or while he was occupying an inferior body. Even his death to Akuma was retconned, and Bison remains one of the most insanely powerful characters in the entire series.
  • Energy Ball: What most of the projectiles amount to. "HADOKEN!"
  • Enhanced Punch: Ryu and Ken's special move, Shoryuken, is a rising punch enhanced by ki. Sagat's nasty scar on his chest is caused by taking one of these from Ryu.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Well, not... exactly.
  • Expy:
    • Ryu is inspired by Mas Oyama/Ken Asuka from the manga Karate Baka Ichidai.note 
    • Sagat is inspired by Reiba from Karate Baka Ichidai as well. In fact, the plot of Street Fighter I is based on the arc where Yoshiji Soeno prepares his fight against Reiba.note 
    • Eagle is inspired by the Bodyguard from the Bruce Lee movie Fist of Fury.
    • Zangief is inspired by real-life Russian pro-wrestler Victor Zangief/Zangiev.
    • M. Bison/Vega/Dictator is inspired by Yasunori Kato from Teito Monogatari and General Washizaki from Riki-Oh.
    • Balrog/M. Bison/Mike/Boxer is inspired by Mike Tyson, especially in his Street Fighter II portrait art.
    • Guile is inspired by from Rudol von Stroheim from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, specifically the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency arc.note 
    • Fei Long is (obviously) inspired by Bruce Lee. He is, after all, a Bruce Lee Clone.
    • Dee Jay is inspired by Billy Blanks, the martial artist creator of the Tae Bo fitness system.
    • Gill from Street Fighter III is also inspired by Kars from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, , specifically the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency arc.
    • Abel is inspired by mixed martial artist legend Fedor Emelianenko.
    • Alex is inspired by Hulk Hogan. This is referenced by his intro pose when fighting Hugo, whose design is also inspired by André the Giant.
    • Twins Yun and Yang are respectively inspired by Duo Maxwell and Trowa Barton of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing fame. Yun's look and use of skateboards might be paying homage to skateboarding legend Kien Lieu as well.
  • Fanservice: Pretty much every female fighter's outfit, with the exception of Makoto (at least assuming you don't have a foot fetish; 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.
  • The Greatest Style:
    • This is Played for Laughs concerning Dan Hibiki, who created his own martial art called as "Saikyo Style",note  which is all but powerful.
    • Ansatsuken is used by Ryu, Ken, Akuma, Gouken, and a few others. It is generally shown to be the deadliest martial art in the entire series and the reason why Bison keeps coming after Ryu. It's also why Akuma wants him. The martial art, notably, also produces the Dark Hadou. Sakura and Dan both have a small amount of training in it, which is what makes them dangerous to World Warrior levels. Even if Dan shows a little bit of a good thing is a major bad one.
    • Karin's Kanzuki-style martial arts is apparently one of the most elite styles. Karin's story mode states that the best techniques of the style are those which are rare even for the heads of the family (by design, its strongest member) to fully master. Amongst its abilities is the skill to defeat enemies with nothing but a Battle Aura, and (according to Karin herself), the ability to levitate like Dhalsim. It's telling that, on Street Fighter V's stat chart, Karin is second only to Akuma in technical skill ranking.
    • Part of the reason why Sagat went so crazy after Ryu's defeat, before it was retconned, is that his Tiger style Muay Thai was considered the greatest in the world with him as its greatest master. Sagat's defeat rebutted this. While not strong to the level of superhuman abilities, Sagat pushed himself after this defeat that while he may not be able to achieve Ansatsuken levels of destruction, his Tiger style is certainly a second best at worst.
    • Oro, a 130 year old man whose Senjutsu mastery allows him to defeat even Ryu with one arm. All so he can take the wandering warrior under his wing to pass on his style/knowledge. Oro's power is such that even Akuma backs down rather than go all out. Sure, it's played as they both realize it would be a mutual kill, but Akuma has been shown to split mountains. Backing him down? Not bad for a 130 year old man.
  • Handwraps of Awesome: Adon, Akuma, Ibuki, and Sagat. This is played with by Akuma, as he wraps his with rope.
  • Hoax Hogan:
    • Alex from Street Fighter III is not exactly a copy of Hulk Hogan, but has some elements of him, like the t-shirt ripped before fights as well the intro against Hugo, who also is an André the Giant expy, as Hogan and André got before their iconical fight in WrestleMania III.
    • Zangief's Battle Outfit in Street Fighter V is a clear reference to "Macho Man" Randy Savage. However, one of his palettes is a Hogan reference with blonde hair and beard instead brown. As referenced in CFN website:
      Sgt. Ashida: For color 12...looks like he's ready to rip his T-shirt off.
  • 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: Street Fighter crosses over with other continuities in Marvel vs. Capcom, SNK vs. Capcom, Taisen Net Gimmick: Capcom & Psikyo All Stars, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, Street Fighter X Tekken, SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash, Namco × Capcom, and Project X Zone.
  • Invulnerable Attack: The most infamous example is the Shoryuken—most versions of which are invulnerable during at least the first few frames of startup. Most characters have at least one invulnerable attack that can be used for reversals. More powerful versions (such as EX or Super variations) may be invulnerable throughout most, or all of the attack.
  • Ki Manipulation: The co-TropeNamer of Kamehame Hadoken, and one of the most famous examples of this trope. The stable character archetype of Street Fighter, the Shoto Clone, is able to throw some sort of energy projectile from their hands. Other characters can use Ki to enhance physical attacks (such as M. Bison's Psycho Crusher or Guile's Somersault/Flash Kick).
  • 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, Makoto, 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.
  • Literal Metaphor: By IV, martial arts, as in fighting visual arts. Within IV, there is the use of paint and ink, and much of its cinematics showcases itself with an inkwash style like Okami. By the time of V, it goes all out with clay sculpting, theater and performance art....
  • 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.
  • Lost in Translation: M. Bison being a pastiche of Mike Tyson, rather than the Big Bad dictator.
  • 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. Larger and more muscular characters (such as Zangief, Alex and Hugo) tend to do more damage in single hits, as well as take more damage or possess Super Armor. However, smaller characters may deal more damage overall (with combos or more Difficult, but Awesome moves). Also, mass and weight do nothing to stop a character from being launched or juggled by smaller characters.
  • 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. Examples are listed below by nation:
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: The English voice acting 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 outside of Calling Your Attacks (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. For the tournament in Street Fighter III: New Generation/2nd Impact, 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.
  • Only Known by Initials: This only applies to West, in relation to M. Bison (Dictator). No one knows what the "M" stands for in this case. In the Japanese version, M. is simply short for "Mike", as Mike Bison (Boxer) is a thinly-veiled Expy of Mike Tyson. Other characters who use initials all have known first names (Edmond Honda, Thunder Hawk), codenames (Crimson Viper), or ring names (Rainbow Mika).
  • 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 became playable in the second iteration of II.
  • 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.
  • Pro Wrestling Is Real: If Zangief, R. Mika, Mike Haggar, Yamato Nadeshiko, and Azam are any indication, then yeah.
  • Remixed Level: Sagat's Buddha statue stage.
  • Ret-Canon:
  • Rival Final Boss:
    • The first two games of the Street Fighter Alpha series operate like this, as the last fighter your character faces is often a rival of theirs instead of the Big Bad. M. Bison/Dictator (said Big Bad) isn't quite up to his level of prominence in Street Fighter II since this saga is a prequel to the events of SFII, but a few characters (Charlie, Chun-Li, Guy, and Rose) have him as their rival.
    • Street Fighter Alpha 3 mostly avoids this, as Bison is the Final Boss for the majority of the cast, with other character-specific battles taking place at Stages 5 and 9. The lone exception other than Bison himself (whose Final Boss is Ryu) is Evil Ryu, who faces Final Bison as the Sub Boss before moving on to fight Shin Akuma at the end of his Arcade route.
    • Street Fighter IV inverts this slightly, as the player character's Rival Battle comes right before the real Big Bad, Seth. Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact and 3rd Strike before it followed a similar trajectory with the fights preceding Gill.
    • Street Fighter V's Cinematic Story Mode ends with Shadaloo defeated. However, after the credits there is one last fight, as Ryu and Ken have yet another rematch.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • Short-Range Guy, Long-Range Guy: Two of the central characters, Ryu and Ken, have identical special moves. However, Ryu is geared towards the projectile Hadoken attack while Ken is geared towards the Shoryuken uppercut. Their Super Combos are tailored towards these moves to highlight their preference.
  • Shout-Out: Refer to the dedicated page.
  • Skeleton Motif: The Shadaloo symbol used by Vega/M. Bison is a skull with wings on the sides.
  • Talking 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:
    • Almost no English voice actor will say "Tatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku" and simply Kiai when a Hurricane Kick is performed instead.note 
  • 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: 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.
  • Women Are Delicate: A more controversial purposeful design choice is how female characters tend to have lower total health numbers than males. Chun-Li's health was a huge talking point among the developers and while she started the same as the males more recent games have had her and the other girl fighters below the average of 1000. Some females such as ninja girl Ibuki are expected to be low health while male ninjas such as Guy are at the standard. Ryu tends to always be at the 1000 mark.
  • 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 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!

Video Example(s):


It Was Tuesday - Trope Namer

From Street Fighter. Bison cordially dismisses Chun-li's backstory.

How well does it match the trope?

4.98 (51 votes)

Example of:

Main / ButForMeItWasTuesday

Media sources:

Main / ButForMeItWasTuesday