Features, Games

Top 20 Street Fighter Facts

Here at PixelBedlam we like to beat people up, both in real life and virtually, and despite dalliances every so often with games like Injustice: Gods Among Us or World Heroes on the arcade machine, our hearts will always belong to Street Fighter. The following are a series of facts that we’re 90% sure the hardcore Street Fighter fan probably knows, but for us lesser mortals, here are PixelBedlam’s Top 20 Street Fighter Facts to amaze, confuse and entertain.

1.Name Changes

Street Fighter Renames Names Explained Balrog Bison Vega

Lets start with one that the whole Street Fighter tournament scene knows, and realistically, needs to know. In Japan the character in the west that we know as Balrog was actually M.Bison. When you think about it this makes sense, M. Bison, sounds like M. Tyson the boxer. Unfortunately with it making sense it also incurs potential law suits so names were rotated for releases outside Japan, why Vega got involved in this I have no idea. In the tournament scene to avoid confusion they are “They Boxer” “The Dicatator” and “The Claw”.

2. Record Breaker

street-fighter-25th-anniversary-box-set

One thing that has always been an issue to me, but for some reason a selling point to others, is the sheer amount of Street Fighter games. You’d think there was 4 main games, but no; first you must consider the spin offs, Street Fighter X Tekken, Street Fighter Vs X-men etc. Then you must consider the non numbered series like Street Fighter Alpha or Street Fighter EX. Then you must consider the dozens of spin offs of each title, there’s the Arcade Editions, the Hyper Editions, the Championship Editions and all the others. Some times these would throw in new characters or locations or just updated the game a bit with new balancing. Either way this has earned the Street Fighter series the Guinness World Record for being The Most Prolific Fighting Game Series with a total (in 2011) of 133 titles.

3. Hadoukens

Hadouken Ryu Hands

Growing up I just assumed that fire was the main element of Hadoukens. And judging by the updated graphics of modern Street Fighter games it is energy, or chi, or something similarly wishy-washy. However there was a theory for a long time, that the Hadouken was actually a projection of Ryu’s (or Ken’s) hands, as you can see from the image above there is definitely the appropriate shape for it to be the hands. However with the modern HD graphics it would be a lot clearer if it was his hands flying through the air on fire. Chalk this one up to just some artist from Capcom as opposed to Street Fighter canon.

4. Tag Teams

Xmen Vs Street Fighter

In 1996, X-Men vs Street Fighter introduced a new gameplay feature that has appeared in many fighting games since, Tag – Team action. This feature has been put into the Tekken Series, Dead or Alive and even My Little Pony: Fighting Is Magic. Providing gamers undue stress since 1996, the tag mode of fighting games has become a staple of many franchises, all of which owe thanks to X-Men vs Street Fighter.

5. Gender Equality

Chun Li

Fighting games have been knocking each other around since the mid 70′s admittedly most of these game were junk or only released in the Asian market but they were there. In the 16 years of fighting games that were around none had featured a playable female character, until Street Fighter II introduced us to Chun Li, someone who even today is hard to match in terms of gender vs sexual imagery vs arse kickery. Chun Li, in the early days at least, wasn’t there for sexual purposes, she wasn’t scantily clad, yeah she had legs that went to the moon and things the size of turkeys, but that wasn’t a sexual thing. Today Chun Li has been pushed into the background as a character, and mixed with her new bigger chest and even longer legs, what made her special early on has been bastardised by teenage boys and the Japanese market.

6. Zangief’s “Other Name”

Zangief

Zangief is my favourite Street Fighter character, there’s no two ways about it, he’s a strong challenging character to play as but he also  has some of the best back stories of all the Street Fighter cast, some of which I’ll cover in a bit. During development Zangief went through many changes, one of which was his name, according to interviews he was at one point going to be named Vodka Gobalsky, a name that some might class as slightly inappropriate. As someone who is half Irish a character from the Emerald Isle being called Guiness McSeamus would be either the best thing ever or painfully offensive.

7. A Lot of Names to Remember

Street Fighter Every Character World Map

As I pointed out above, there are a hell of a lot of Street Fighter games, each has its own roster and generally title exclusive characters, at the current count there are a total of 66 characters that have featured across the whole series, this number includes non playable and boss characters.

8. Brothers In Law

Guile and Ken Family Man
Like many bad TV shows, Lost, Fringe and Heroes, it seems that all Street Fighter characters are somehow related in their back-stories, someone once met someone while training, someone once sold someone else a car that then got smashed up at the docks. Well it turns out that Ken and Guile are related!  Guile’s wife Julia is sister to Ken Masters’ wife Eliza making them Brothers in Law, like most family members Ken and Guile are happy to put blood relations to one side to beat the snot out of each other on a regular basis.

9. Master of Surnames

video games street fighter ken masters

Most Street Fighter characters don’t have surname, or at least they didn’t first time around, Ken was the first to be given a second name. When Mattel, creators of the Barbie franchise of disproportionately figured dolls, learned of Street Fighter Ken they rocked up to the Capcom office with a cease and stop that in hand. Capcom still in their relative infancy decided rather than point out how stupid Mattel were being with this law suit decided to give Ken a surname, Ken Masters was born that day.

10. Dhalsim’s Skulls

Dhalsim

Dhalsim is all kinds of weird at the best of times, not only is he a stretchy fire-breathing freak, he also wears skulls around his neck. Have you ever wondered where those skulls came from? Well according to various character bios they are in fact children’s skulls, apparently his village suffered a great plague that wiped out many. So to remember them he wears their skulls as an accessory. I personally think a photo in his wallet would have been just as good.

11. Vega is a Narcissist

Vega Statue Of Liberty

In SNK Vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos, if you win the game with the Spanish dandy, Vega, you are greeted with the above sight. Vega owns the world and he wants all its inhabitants to know that he is beautiful, not handsome, beautiful. Rather than take part in a great marketing campaign including posters and viral videos he decides to destroy the statue of liberty and replace it with his own stone colossal image.

12. Wrestling Bears

Can't find a site for the artist, Just know them as JAMUCK!

Can’t find a site for the artist, We just know them as JAMUCK!

As I mentioned above Zangief has a weird and amazing back story. Zangief’s body is covered in pink and red crosses, according to The Red Cyclone’s bio from Street Fighter II it is said that he got his scars from wrestling bears in Siberia. According to the wiki page for East Siberian Bears they, and I quote, “They are also more carnivorous than their European counterparts, and do not seem to like honey.” this quote appears without citation, I doubt it’s true, but Zangief did fight them, that much I can guarantee.

13. Ken’s Spin Off Game

Street Fighter 2010 The Final Fight

Ken (Masters) has his own spin-off game, though it was never intended to be that way. Street Fighter 2010 was originally just a bog standard NES platformer but Capcom wanted to cash in on the success the original Street Fighter game was gaining, as such they decided to associate the main character of the game with Ken. In Street Fighter 2010 Ken is now a cyborg cop, from the future, or past as it is now 2013. The game got slated for being too hard and being a cheap cash in, both of these things are true.

14. Q Pre-dates most characters

Q Street Fighter II 2 Background

In 1991 when Street Fighter 2 came out Ken’s own stage had an odd man in the background. On the right hand side of the boat, above Ryu, a lone man stood wearing a brown trench coat, years later in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike a new challenger appeared, Q, someone who rocks the trenchoat and Trilby as awesomely as Rorschach.

15. A Boat and a Casino

ninninhall

I mentioned Ken’s boat in the fact above, the name of the boat is Buppo, this is named after a character designer and long time Capcom staff writer, if you complete the game without losing a round, something that I’ve never done, then you are greeted to his picture in the credits. In another narcissistic showing from Capcom staff, Balrog’s Casino Stage features a gambling establishment named Nin Nin Hall, after Akira Nishitani, stage designer and planner, who also went under the pseudonym Nin Nin. It’s because of him you will also see a number of the high scores being held by NIN.

16. Gorbachov and The Red Cyclone

Zangief Dance Gorbachev Street Fighter II 2

Street Fighter II features one of the weirdest cameos in any game ever, former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev. The man who looks like he spilt ketchup on his head appears to congratulate his comrade for winning the tournament. After beating M.Bison you are provided with the ultimate party, Cossack Dancing with a politician from the Soviet.

17. Blue to Red

Street Fighter Hadouken Ryu Red
We all love Hadoukens, they’re a relatively simple move to perform and they look badass, I have mentioned them 3 times in this list already. In the early games there was a glitch, a glitch that, the very rare occasion it would happen, would palette change the Hadouken from blue to red. This reportedly happens less than 1% of the time which is the main reason to find a screen shot of it has been impossible for me and I’ve never been able to replicate it. The long and short is that so many people have reported seeing this rare red Hadouken it seems likely to be true. Apparently it causes no more damage and doesn’t do anything special, it’s just red, that’s it, I guess it isn’t really worth hunting down in retrospect.

18. Sagat’s Missing Eye

Sagat Eye Patch Go Hibiki

Sagat’s got some mean looks, seeing Sagat in a pub or bar means one thing, go find another place to drink. As well as his almighty scar across his chest, which was put there by a rather over zealous Ryu, Sagat is also missing an eye. His eye patch covers an empty socket, how did he come to need a pirate accessory? Well in itself this is one of the greatest bits of Street Fighter canon, the eye was pulled out during a fight with Go Hibiki, if that name looks familiar it’s because Go Hibiki is the father of Dan Hibiki, the “joke” character in recent Street Fighter games. In return for ripping out his peeper Sagat yoinked Go’s life and left him as a rather fetching corpse.

19. Street Fighter’s Live Action Tv Series

Korean Street Fighter TV Series Ryu

Street Fighter had its own live action series in Korea, completely unlicensed and not endorsed by Capcom this series is just, well to be honest I have no idea if it’s good or not, the lack of subtitles and coherent acting or plot means that this is just a bad cosplay video in my eyes. That being said 4 parts can be found on Youtube, if you last more than 2 parts you’re a better man than most. I have found zero information on this, but it does in reality remind me a lot of all of those fan made videos that are on Kickstarter trying to cash in on someone else’s property.

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20. Jackie Chan Played Chun Li & E.Honda in a Film

Jackie Chan Chun Li

Ask most people about Street Fighter Movies and they’ll mention the Jean Claude Van Damme one Which I talk about at length here, they may mention the Kirsten Kruek film about Chun Li, they MAY mention the Hong Kong film from the early 90′s. Not many will mention the amazing film City Hunter! During a fight on a cruise liner Chan is sent flying into an arcade machine, once he has woken up he sees himself as E. Honda and his opponent as Ken (Masters). After a brief fight the two comic relief characters pop up as Guile and Dhalsim before finally Chan reappears as Chun Li, the fight is true to the source material, more so than any of the films. This is disturbing considering it’s a throw away joke over 4 minutes in a 90 minute film. At least there is no Van Damme in this scene.

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Ruaidhri

Big-Boss of PixelBedlam.co.uk
Ruaidhri has been writing for a number of sites over the past few years, spewing his vitriol and love in equal measures on all topics from Video Games to Film and Board Games to Geek Culture. He started PixelBedlam in September of 2012. Follow him on Twitter!