Street Fighter II is an arcade pinball machine released by Gottlieb in 1993, a Pinball Spin-Off of the video fighting game. It was designed by Ray Tanzer and Jon Norris, with art by David Moore and Constantino and Jeanine Mitchell.
The Street Fighter II pinball casts the player as a new challenger in the tournament, who must defeat each of the twelve opponents by making the appropriate shot when that opponent's light is lit. Along the way are various ancillary challenges, such as fighting off ninja attacks, participating in several multiball modes, and crunching the sports car beneath the playfield. Defeat all twelve fighters, and you will enter the Champion Challenge — if you can defeat all of the fighters again, you will be recognized as the new Master (along with numerous points and bonuses).
Not surprisingly, the Street Fighter II pinball rode the popularity of the license to become one of Premier's top-selling games, with over 5,500 tables sold. But although the game has a fair number of challenging shots, it failed to catch on with many players, who were turned off by its stop-and-go gameplay, sparse lower playfield, and unbalanced design.
The one thing that everyone agrees with, however, is the unappealing backbox art, which doesn't do any favors for the iconic World Warriors, and left Chun Li resembling a Bruce Lee Clone Disguised in Drag. The display animations are equally infamous for their low quality, as they appear to be ripped from the actual game — and poorly at that. One can only assume that the art budget for this game was eaten up by the licensing costs for Capcom.
The Street Fighter II pinball demonstrates the following tropes:
- Anime Chinese Girl: Chun Li. At least in theory...
- Anime Hair: Guile and Blanka.
- Beast Man/ Shock and Awe: Blanka.
- Boobs-and-Butt Pose: Technically, Chun Li is adopting this pose on the backglass.
- Evil Overlooker: Downplayed - it's easy to miss M. Bison doing this on the backglass.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: Chun Li's Spinning Helicopter Kick, a rotating flipper on the upper playfield.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom/Slasher Smile: Seen on M. Bison, but of course!
- Hurricane Kick:
- Ryu and Ken are shown doing these on the playfield.
- Chun Li's Spinning Helicopter Kick is represented both on the playfield art and by a rotating flipper.
- Husky Russkie/Spinning Piledriver: Zangief.
- Improbable Weapon User: Chun-Li uses her spiked braclets as throwing weapons in the display animation during the Skill Shot.
- Gratuitous Ninja: The "Roaming Ninjas", which never appeared in the original game.
- Moveset Clone: Ken and Ryu; they even share the same target on the playfield.
- Off-Model: To say the least; the display animations are pretty bad, but the backglass is infamous for it. To quote this review from IPDB:"The backglass is just atrocious. It contains the worst piece of Chun-Li art ever, professional or fan made... Either it was an intern training day or it was half off bong hits week at the Gottlieb offices when she was painted."
- Playing with Fire: Dhalsim, whose saucer awards a two million Flame score when shot.
- Red Boxing Gloves: Seen on Balrog and his Turn Punch.
- Rewarding Vandalism: The "Car Crunch" Mini-Game, which drops the pinball to the embedded playfield, then gives the player eight seconds to use it to smash the red sports car inside.
- Shoryuken: Sagat is seen performing his Tiger Uppercut.
- Skill Shot: Time the plunger to shoot the ball into Blanka's saucer to set the value, then shoot Chun Li's bracelet to claim it.
- The Smurfette Principle: Chun Li, of course.
- Spelling Bonus: Spell T-O-R-P-E-D-O at the E. Honda saucer to start Torpedo Multiball.
- Title Confusion: The game is called Street Fighter II, but the backglass and playfield include a small "Champion Edition" underneath the logo, possibly due to a last-minute change.
- Use Your Head: E. Honda's "Torpedo Head Butt".
- Wizard Mode: The Champion Challenge, available after defeating all twelve Street Fighters. You must defeat all of them using the same ball to enter your initials as the new Master; fortunately, some of the shots will take out two opponents at once, so only ten shots are needed to complete the mode.
- Wolverine Claws: Vega.