Street Fighter is a fighting game that was released in arcades in 1987. The game features two martial artists, Ryu and Ken, who travel around the world taking on some of the best fighters in the world, culminating with a match against the massive Thai kickboxer Sagat.
It's a far cry from the sequel that revolutionized the industry, but it did feature many of the staples of the series: a six-button control setup, the best-out-of-three match structure, Ryu and Ken, naturally, and even many of the now-common motions for special attacks. Alternate arcade cabinets could be found that were also the first to use a two-button, pressure sensitive layout rather than the standard cherry switch six button layout, one for punches and one for kicks, to control the strength of the attack. It was confusing to use and more expensive to maintain than most standard cabinets, so a version that featured the more familiar six-button configuration seen in all the follow ups was offered as a cheaper alternative.
Tropes distinct to, or introduced in, this game:
- A.I. Breaker: As demonstrated in this walkthrough, every opponent with the exception of Sagat can be locked into easily-countered patterns in Fighting Street. For Lee, Gen (with the exception of one attack of his), Birdie, and Adon, a viable strategy is to hit them once, back up all the way to the end of the screen, and block until the timer runs down to 0.
- Big "YES!": Ryu and Ken will say "Alright!" every time they win a match.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: A few of the characters introduced here (Joe, Mike, Lee, Retsu, and Geki) never showed up again.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The AI opponents, even as early as your very first battle, have high reaction times that seem to be reading your inputs, and can knock you out in about four or five hits. So naturally the only way to really assure victory is to either be obscenely good at fighting with the terrible controls, abuse the hell out of your special moves to KO them in only three hits, or use the A.I. Breaker strategy above. This rapidly goes From Bad to Worse in the Sagat battle, because he has special moves too - and they can KO you in two hits.
- Credits Gag: Many of the developers' names were partially replaced with combat terms.
- Difficult, but Awesome: All three special attacks are hard to pull off but take off 1/3 of the enemy's entire Life Meter for each hit; the main issue arises from the game processing input not on button press but on button release. The classic Shoryuken is the biggest example of this, requiring an awkward stick input (right, down, down-right; known as a Z-motion or the Dragon Punch motion in more modern terminology), but not only does it do up to 3 hits—i.e. an instant KO if all of them connect—it's unblockable. Mastering the Shoryuken allows you to cheese the entire game.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The continue screen is a 10-second time bomb. Assuming that it's intended to kill the player, this is an unusually extreme punishment for losing.
- Dual Tonfas: Technically kali sticks, but Eagle fights with these.
- Early Installment Weirdness:
- Ryu and Ken are the only playable characters, with each of them assigned by the control panel; Player 1 is always Ryu, while Player 2 is always Ken. There are no female fighters either.
- Combos and grappling moves are absent.
- Executing the special moves requires precise timing.
- Every CPU opponent except Sagat has the same quotes.
- Ryu is quite different in terms of design; his hair is red and he wears a pair of shoes.
- While this was the first fighting game to use Capcom's now-standard six-button configuration, the six-button version was actually sold as a cheaper alternative to arcade owners who couldn't afford the more expensive (and harder to maintain) deluxe version with the two large mechatronic pads that determined the strength level of your punches and kicks. The pressure sensitive buttons were also problematic because they tended to encourage abuse. There are tales of players stomping on them.
- Ken was originally Japanese in this game, as evident by the fact that his name is spelled in kanji in the game's Japanese brochure and other promotional materials. Street Fighter II turned him into an American immigrant before retconning him into a native-born American of (mostly) Japanese descent.
- If you're expecting the game to end with Ryu defeating Sagat with his Shoryuken, leaving Sagat with his iconic chest scar that served as the foundation of his heated rivalry with Ryu for sequels to come, then you'll be disappointed to learn that there's no such ending in this game. That was purely a retcon from Street Fighter II. Not only is there no scar, Sagat takes his defeat quite well. Later on, this too gets retconned. Ryu didn't win the tournament, Sagat did. However, Ryu's darker instincts took over and he scarred Sagat with a cheap shot Metsu Shoryuken after the match ended.
- Elmuh Fudd Syndwome:
- "What stwength! But don't fowget dewe awe many guys wike you, aww ovah da wowld!"
- Ryu and Ken's "Awwight!"
- Graceful Loser:
- Have a Nice Death: "You've got a lot to learn before you beat me. Try again kiddo! Eh, heh, heh, heh!"note
- Hurricane Kick: Except here, as with the two other special moves, it takes patience and effort to make it happen, but it's worth the effort.
- Kamehame Hadoken: Maybe they thought you deserved a prize for the effort of pulling it off. It takes off a humongous chunk of damage from your opponent's health bar.
- Long Bus Trip: Only Ryu, Ken and Sagat would return in Street Fighter II, while Birdie, Adon and Gen would not come back until the Street Fighter Alpha series along with Eagle in Capcom vs. SNK 2. Geki, Retsu, Joe, Mike and Lee have yet to make a return appearance as fighters in any further game.note Joe and Mike have it worse, as they aren't mentioned even in speculative canon, aside from the theory that Mike may be Balrog.note
- Mondegreen: The player victory shout sounds more like "Oh Lamb!"
- Ninja: Geki.
- Nintendo Hard: Even by Street Fighter standards, this game can be particularly unforgiving, especially if you don't know how to pull off special moves.
- Shoryuken: Good luck pulling off this too, but when you do, it's worth the effort. With perfect positioning and/or some luck, landing it will score a One-Hit KO on the opponent.note
- Surprisingly Good English: Considering the time the game was made.
- Title Drop: After defeating Sagat, he crowns you as the "strongest street fighter in the world!"
- Unblockable Attack: The Shoryuken, as if its severely damaging properties weren't enough.
- Welcome to Corneria:"What strength! But don't forget there are many guys like you all over the world!"
- What the Fu Are You Doing?: Two bonus rounds involve Ryu/Ken trying to break brick pieces. It's possible to break all of them, some of them, or none at all. The latter will cause the character to look like this, with booing sounds in the background to match.
- A Winner Is You:"What strength! But don't forget that there are many guys like you all over the world!"
"You've outlasted the best. You are now the strongest street fighter in the world!"
- And when you beat Sagat:
- Worthy Opponent: In a 2-player versus match, the defeated fighter wishes the victor good luck.
You've outlasted the best! You are now the strongest street troper in the world!