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Video Game / Street Fighter

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"What strength! But don't forget there are many guys like you all over the world!"

Street Fighter is a Fighting Game developed and distributed by Capcom, which was released in arcades in 1987 as the first installment in the Street Fighter series. The game features two martial artists, Ryu and Ken, who travel around the globe 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. Notoriously, the original cabinet for the game had 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 new cabinet that featured the more familiar six-button configuration seen in all the follow ups was offered as a cheaper alternative.

A port of the game, Fighting Street, was released for the TurboGrafx-CD (and, later, the Wii Virtual Console) as well as more properly named ports on PC. Tiertex, the company behind many of these ports, would create their own sequel to the original game in the form of Human Killing Machine.

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 (barring 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.
  • Chromosome Casting: There are no female characters whatsoever.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: A few of the characters introduced here (Joe, Lee, and Geki) never showed up again. Mike is an unusual case, as while there is another boxer known as Mike Bison in Japan,note  who was introduced in the sequel, Capcom considers them to be separate characters. Retsu also took a whopping 36 years to get a named re-appearance, where he shows up as an opponent in Street Fighter 6's World Tour mode.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The A.I. 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 master the primitive controls, abuse the hell out of your special moves to K.O. them in only three hits, or use the aforementioned A.I. Breaker strategies. This rapidly goes From Bad to Worse in the Sagat battle, because he has special moves too — and they can K.O. you in two hits.
  • Credits Gag: Many of the developers' names were partially replaced with random things like "Punch" and "Radish."
  • Difficult, but Awesome: All three special moves 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 K.O. if all of them connect—it's unblockable. Mastering the Shoryuken allows you to cheese the entire game. It also happens to be the move that Ryu canonically uses to deliver the finishing blow against Sagat.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The continue screen is a 10-second time bomb. Assuming that it's intended to kill the player character, this is an unusually extreme punishment for losing.
  • 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. Rather than playing similarly with slight differences as in later games, here they both play the exact same.
    • There are no female fighters.
    • Combos and grappling moves are absent.
    • Executing the special moves requires precise timing, and they're absurdly powerful — the devs are on record that they were meant more like Cheat Codes than balanced parts of a character's moveset.
    • Every CPU opponent except Sagat has the same post-match voice and quotes. Only their in-match victory quotes differ.
    • Ryu is quite different in terms of design; his hair is red and he wears a pair of red shoes. Street Fighter Alpha, in line with its status as an interquel, would give Ryu auburn hair as a sort of transition between his red hair here and his brown hair in the sequel, but would not reverse Ryu's preference for going barefoot that was established in SFII.
    • 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.
    • 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, was a retcon from Street Fighter II. Not only does the first game not have this, Sagat takes his defeat quite well. Later on, this too would be 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:
    • "Wha dength! But don't fowget dewe awe many guys wike you, aww ovah da wowld!"
    • Ryu and Ken's "Ouuwight!"
  • Fan Remake: Through the use of M.U.G.E.N, there are at least two "good editions" of the game, which also include Cody and all of their own endings. Both of these remakes also acknowledge the aforementioned retcon made to the game's ending where it has a cinematic showing Ryu performing a Metsu Shoryuken on Sagat and feeling that this victory was hollow.
  • Game Mod: There exists a ROM hack that allows players to play as the CPU characters. This is based on how they are programmed, as the game treats all the opponents as playable characters.
  • Graceful Loser:
    • In a player vs. player match, the defeated character, even with a bruised face, will simply wish the winner good luck.
    • Upon defeating Sagat, he admits defeat and declares you "the strongest street fighter in the world!"
  • Have a Nice Death: When you are defeated by an opponent, the game cuts to the Continue screen, which features a 10-second time bomb for some reason. If you don't continue, the bomb goes off.
  • 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: Albeit in its usual, non-crossover Energy Ball form, which takes off a humongous chunk of damage from your opponent's health bar regardless. Maybe the devs thought you deserved a prize for the effort of pulling it off.
  • 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 has it the worst as he isn't mentioned even in speculative canonicity.
  • 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 K.O. on the opponent.note 
  • 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:
    • Most opponents in the game provide this quote when defeated:
      "What strength! But don't forget that there are many guys like you all over the world!"
    • And when you beat Sagat:
      "You've outlasted the best. You are now the strongest street fighter in the world!"
  • Worthy Opponent: In a 2-player versus match, the defeated fighter wishes the victor good luck.
    "I wish you good luck!"

You've outlasted the best! You are now the strongest street troper in the world!

Alternative Title(s): Fighting Street, Street Fighter 1