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The Street Fighter universe (ストリートファイター, Street Fighter) refers to the Smash Bros. series' collection of characters and properties that hail from the famous fighting game franchise created by Capcom. Originating on the arcade in 1987, the series became world-renowned as one of Capcom's most lucrative franchises, alongside Mega Man. It stars a multitude of characters whose sights are set on their life goals and to be crowned the greatest warrior on Earth -- as is the case with its main star and sole playable downloadable fighter, Ryu, then later accompanied by his friend and rival Ken Masters.

Franchise description

Street Fighter made its debut at the arcades in 1987, designed by Takashi Nishiyama and Hiroshi Matsumoto. Along with being the creator of quite a few martial arts based beat em' up games, including Avengers and the Nintendo Black Box feature Kung Fu Master, Street Fighter proper was said to have been inspired by his tenure as a martial artist, and especially since he practiced many of them around Street Fighter's development. After Street Fighter, Takashi soon left Capcom to work at SNK, and had also founded the Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting series.

The player took control of a lone martial artist named Ryu, who competes in a worldwide martial arts tournament spanning five different countries (United States, Japan, China, England, and Thailand) and ten opponents, two per country. The player could perform three basic types of punches and kicks, which varies in speed and strength, for a total six attack buttons and three special attacks: the Wave Fist in which the player launches a fireball, Rising Dragon Punch, and Hurricane Kick; or the Hadoken, Shoryuken and Tatsumaki Senpukyaku in Japanese, that could be performed only by executing specific motions. A second player could join in anytime and take control of Ryu's rival, Ken, during competitive matches and play the rest of the game as Ken if they won. The original Street Fighter has been noted by fans of the series for the considerable difficulty in executing special moves compared to its sequels. Some of the characters seen in this game would appear in later Street Fighter games, including Adon, Birdie, Gen and Eagle.

One attempt by Capcom at making a sequel was Street Fighter '89, which was instead a side-scrolling beat 'em up game. Tester feedback pointed out how different this game was to the first Street Fighter, leading to the game being renamed Final Fight and spawning its own series, although ironically Final Fight characters would also appear in later Street Fighter games nonetheless.

While the original game faded into relative obscurity as time went by, its 1991 sequel, Street Fighter II: The World Warrior was a smash hit in the arcades, turning the franchise into a household name in the video game industry and allowing the fighting genre to flourish due to a whole slew of competitors which appeared in its wake, from SNK's Fatal Fury to Midway Games' Mortal Kombat. Ryu and Ken returned from the previous game, joined by a host of other characters from various parts of the world: Chinese kung fu expert and Interpol officer Chun-Li, USAF officer Guile, Japanese sumotori E. Honda, Russian wrestler Zangief, Indian yoga master Dhalsim and Brazilian beastman Blanka, each one with their own moves and fighting styles. The player could choose any of them freely as they competed in a new worldwide martial arts tournament hosted by the criminal organization Shadaloo, led by M. Bison (Vega in the Japanese version) and his three main lackeys: American boxer Balrog (Mike Bison in Japan), Spanish assassin Vega (Balrog in Japan) and Muay Thai master Sagat, also returning from the first game. Although unplayable in the original game, fan demand led to the bosses becoming playable in the first of many updates to the game, Street Fighter II: Champion Edition. A further series of gameplay-tweaking updates eventually led to Super Street Fighter II in 1993 and its own update, 1994's Super Street Fighter II Turbo, which added four new fighters, allowing for more gameplay variations: British government operative Cammy, Hong Kong movie star Fei Long, Mexican brawler T. Hawk and Jamaican kickboxer Dee Jay. Super Turbo added also the mysterious and powerful Akuma (Gouki in Japan) as a secret final boss, and introduced to the series the "Super Combo", a far more powerful version of certain specials that did massive damage. The mid-2000s saw the release of Hyper Street Fighter II for arcades as well as Sony Playstation 2 and Xbox, released to coincide with the 15th anniversary of the series. Hyper allowed players to choose any version of the entire cast of SF2 from World Warrior all the way up to Super Turbo, but was based primarily off of Super Turbo. Another edition of the game was released in 2008-2009, called Super Street Fighter II Turbo: HD Remix. This version was released for Sony Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. Developed by professional tournament player David Sirlin, the game boasted a rebalanced cast (including an attempt at balancing the infamously overpowered Akuma) and redrawn character sprites by comic book company UDON, who have since continued a line of comics based off of the Street Fighter series. This version was made primarily for Western adueinces and did not see a Japanese release. May 2017 saw the release of Ultra Street Fighter II on the Nintendo Switch, the first expansion to the game in almost a decade. The game boasted not just the UDON-drawn sprites of the HD Remix, but the addition of two extra characters, Evil Ryu and the fan-favourite Violent Ken, a version of Ken who had been brainwashed by M. Bison.

Following the II games, and with alleged credit to its more famous anime movie installment, 1995 saw the release of Street Fighter Alpha (Street Fighter Zero in Japan), the first part of a prequel trilogy whose events bridge the gap between the first and second World Warrior Tournaments, while adding new characters, fleshing out the backgrounds of established characters, and integrating Final Fight (a 1989 side-scrolling beat-'em-up from Capcom) into its canon with characters like Guy and Sodom. Its sequels, Street Fighter Alpha 2 and Street Fighter Alpha 3, came out in 1996 and 1998 respectively. Much like Street Fighter II, the Alpha series had a certain amount of revisions for the second and third installments. The overseas release of Alpha 2 introduced the "Evil" form of Ryu as a playable character and certain console ports of Alpha 2 Gold include Cammy White as a playable character. Alpha 3 had Alpha 3 Upper and MAX which added more characters. The Alpha series added more Super combos as well as the "Custom Combo" mechanic which gave players a brief moment to rapidly press buttons and create their own long and powerful combos. Alpha 3 split mechanics into three different "ISMs", with A-ISM playing more like the previous Alpha games, X-ISM increasing offensive power but only granting one super stock and one Super combo and removing defensive options, and V-ISM which removed all Super combos in favor of increased defense and the use of an improved Custom Combo system.

The series' true sequel, Street Fighter III, was released for arcades in 1997 in the new CPS-3 board, which showed off greater graphical capabilities, like smoother animation and greater level of detail, especially in its final boss, Gill, who was colored differently on both sides of his body, with the colors notably not switching sides as he moved around to demonstrate the power of the CPS-3 board. Ryu and Ken were the only returning characters, the rest of them making way to a whole new slew of fighters from everywhere around the world. Even then, Ryu and Ken were only added later in development due to criticism from testers, with Sean Matsuda originally planned to be the only Ansatsuken fighter in the game. Street Fighter III received its first update, 2nd Impact, eight months after the original release, and the second, 3rd Strike, in 1999. These games were notably more technical than the previous ones, with new mechanics like Parrying (in which the player can repel an oncoming attack by pressing forward at the exact moment of impact) and EX Specials (enhanced versions of special moves, performed at the cost of a portion of the Super Arts gauge). In these games, players could choose only one of three Super combos (in this game, redubbed "Super Arts") they would like to use before a match (for example, Ryu could choose from Shinku Hadoken, Shin Shoryuken and Denjin Hadoken), with different Super Arts having not only different amount of Super stocks that players could keep in reserve, but also had their Super Arts bars varying in length depending on how powerful a Super Art the player had chosen, allowing for player intuition and strategy than reliance on a plethora of moves and mechanic centered gameplay compared to earlier installments.

While the characters from Street Fighter would be featured in a slew of other fighting games and even crossovers throughout the late '90s and 2000s, a real sequel to the main series would not materialize until Street Fighter IV, released for the arcades in 2008, which is the first midquel between Street Fighter II and Street Fighter III. The new entry drew attention from the gaming press by utilizing the traditional 2D gameplay style in conjunction with high-definition 3D graphics (the Street Fighter EX subseries, developed by Arika, was an earlier attempt at bringing the series to a 3D environment; fan reaction to these games remains mixed to this day), while adding in new mechanics like Focus Attacks (powerful, chargeable moves which ignore defense at their full strength) and Ultra Combos (desperation attacks whose usage depends on the Revenge Gauge, which fills as the player takes damage; as such, these moves are mainly used as a means to alter the outcome of a match). The game was brought to home consoles the following year, and its success led to a total of three updates: Super Street Fighter IV (which added more characters and added a second Ultra Combo for every character) and Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition in 2010 (a rebalance that also added 4 characters including SFIII kung fu twins Yun and Yang, the infamous Evil Ryu and a demonic version of Akuma called Oni,) and Ultra Street Fighter IV in 2014, which added 5 new characters (albeit with 4 ported over from the earlier Street Fighter X Tekken) as well as introducing the "Red Focus Attack" and the "Ultra Combo Double" option, which let the player use both a character's Ultra Combos at once albeit with reduced damage. Notably, at the final version, the game has as many as 44 selectable characters in a roster which encompasses every era of the Street Fighter series.

The next and the second midquel game after Street Fighter IV, Street Fighter V, was released on February 16th 2016 for the Playstation 4 and PC via Steam. It boasts a revised DLC system similar to Killer Instinct 2013 which allows players to receive DLC charcters for free, in response to criticism of Capcom's previous DLC policies. Gameplay wise Street Fighter V removes the Ultra Combo and Focus Attack mechanics in favour of the new V-Gauge, which fills as the player takes damage and allows them to perform either a V-Skill (A character specific action similar to Blazblues Drive system), V-Reversal which acts similar to the Alpha Counter from Street Fighter Alpha and V-Trigger which powers up fighters in specific ways such as increasing the potency of Ryu's fireballs. SF V sees the return of fan favourites such as Charlie Nash (formerly only called Nash in Japan and Charlie worldwide, he is now called Nash in all versions of SFV,) Rainbow Mika and Karin Kanzuki from Alpha and Alex, Ibuki and Urien from Street Fighter III return as DLC as well. The game also introduces 4 new characters: Brazilian jiujitsu fighter Laura Matsuda (who is also Sean's older sister,) high-spirited Arabian wind fighter Rashid, insane soul-devouring berserker Necalli and the mysterious Chinese assassin F.A.N.G. A visual novel-style story mode is available for every character, with a cinematic story mode (similar to the story modes seen in Netherrealm Studios' Mortal Kombat and Injustice: Gods Among Us) released later on, titled "A Shadow Falls." This story bridges the gap between V and III, and details the ultimate demise of M. Bison and his Shadaloo crime syndicate, and leads the rise of Illuminati syndicate. Much like SFIII Super Combos and SSFIV’s Ultra Combos selections, Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition/Season 3 featured V-Trigger selection.

The Street Fighter series has also had a number of spin off games including the 3D Street Fighter EX series developed by Capcom and Arika. While heavily criticized by fans upon release, the EX series now enjoys a considerable cult following owing to its unique cast of characters not seen in any other SF game and a fighting system eerily similar to later mainline SF games. There is also the infamous Street Fighter: The Movie which is generally considered "so bad it's good" among fans and saw two games based on it. While the arcade game is largely forgotten and disliked, the Playstation and Sega Saturn game is generally received more favourably due to playing much more like Super Turbo with the addition of EX moves and being developed by the more experienced Capcom.

There were also various television, cinematic and internet web series adaptations of the series, ranging from the beloved Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie to the infamous live action production, Street Fighter: The Movie, which is considered by fans to be "so bad its good" especially due to the late Raul Julia's depiction of Bison amongst other things, and the Street Fighter Animated Series which is also enjoyed for similar reasons. The series also enjoys an ongoing comic book line by UDON Entertainment still continues to this day.

  • Street Fighter: The initial title of the series, the original Street Fighter set the template for later fighting games for many of its features. Rather than its more well known sequels, it plays as a series of boss rush like matches against varying fighters with only one select fighter. Set within the first known World Warrior Tournament, the original title features the Japanese martial artist Ryu participate and fight his way to the top to face against the champion Emperor of Muay Thai, Sagat.
  • Street Fighter II: The second series' installment, Street Fighter II went on to expand its gameplay by featuring a wide cast of selectable characters of differing martial arts styles, backgrounds, and personalities, and it would be through these features that would help lay the foundation for the fighting game genre. As Ryu would win the First World Warrior Tournament, the event's fame and renown soon rang throughout the world into popularity, and it would be from this well reception that a Second World Warrior Tournament would be hosted. As the world watched in anticipation and sensation of who would be the world's strongest fighter in this tournament, little did many know that this event was sponsored by the notorious and infamous Shadaloo criminal syndicate, and so did this event also turn into a fight of good versus evil.
  • Street Fighter Alpha: A series born out of Street Fighter II's massive fame, Street Fighter Alpha expanded on the more fantastical and competitive nature of gameplay by introducing elements such as super meters, giving fighters a wider variety of special moves to reflect their nature of fighting, and combo integral mechanics. With a greater emphasis on fleshing out its world and story, Street Fighter Alpha focuses on the time in between the original Street Fighter and II. Although Ryu had won the First World Warrior Tournament, he had noticed that his victory was not gained of a power of his own accord, but something more fearsome and potentially evil. Along with seeking out the true nature of this unknown force within and walking the path of self improvement to temper himself away from its influence, Alpha also integrates the events of Final Fight and details the rise of Shadaloo's power.
  • Street Fighter EX: Born from the rise of 3D formats and graphics into the mid 1990's and as a collaborative effort between Capcom and branch developer Arika, Street Fighter EX is the first attempt to take series into the third dimension. While its 3D nature is mostly aesthetic, its nature as a fighter is considered more fluid due to its format, and expands greater into the super meter mechanics born from Alpha. With characters introduced from Arika, EX details their storylines and affairs into the world of Street Fighter.
  • Street Fighter III: The official third installment of the series, Street Fighter III returns to not just the basics but also a technical hands on approach for its gameplay: along with featuring a selection of Super Arts to choose one of from each character, its individual aspects as a super attack, buildup, and meter parameters go on to encourage players to learn that fighter's pacing and develop strategy around that Super Art. Further incorporated are the mechanics of EX Specials that allow one's special attacks to be performed with optimal performance at the cost of the super gauge, and Parrying, allowing for the full nullification of an opponent's attack when acted against and helps gain super meter, further widening the scope of III's matches. Considered the furthest in the timeline of Street Fighter, the Third World Warrior Tournament is held after years of hiatus, and due to this, a new generation of fighters from around the world enters its arenas, with many fighters past retired or away from its spectacles. Much to the word on the street however, rumors abound into the present era about a secret society that has long manipulated human civilization and world events from the lofty classes since the dawn of history, and all evidence gathered points their relation to the Third World Warrior Tournament. Away from this, Ryu continues his path as a fighter into adulthood.
  • Street Fighter IV: The series' fourth installment, Street Fighter IV takes many elements of previous installments and combines them into new features for frantic open ended gameplay. Returning to an emphasis on combos, and focusing on turning the tides of the fight, IV introduces the mechanics of crumpling, super armor, and armor breaking to get players on their toes and properly act accordingly to every action made. Set after the Second World Warrior Tournament, a series of kidnappings regarding many martial artists occur throughout the world months after its events, and soon enough, a smaller scale world tournament hosted by the organization SIN is announced. Meanwhile, Ryu has come to a critical point with the Satsui no Hado within him, and making matters worse, SIN desires his dark power within for nefarious purposes.
  • Street Fighter V: The series' fifth installment, Street Fighter V makes a clean sweep to basics with little frills. The installment introduces the "V" mechanics, showcasing actions unique to that character's fighting style and compliments their movesets. Along with the return of the IV styled super meter, a second meter known as the V-Gauge allows for unique abilities called V-Triggers that can enhance a character entirely or turn the tide to their favor. Set after Street Fighter IV, V goes for a story heavy presentation; upon years of planning, Shadaloo begins their greatest act of terrorism upon the world, and heralds a grave crisis to the people of Earth. While forces of good gather to counter Shadaloo's actions, Ryu is pitted against the final trials of his adversity against the Satsui no Hado, including the coming of an infernal abomination who seeks the souls of the strong, before he can heed the call to action against Shadaloo.

List of games in Street Fighter franchise

  • Street Fighter (1987, Arcade, TurboGrafx CD)
  • Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (1991, Arcade, SNES)
    • Street Fighter II: Champion Edition (1992, Arcade, Sega Genesis)
      • Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting (1992, Arcade, SNES)
    • Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers (1993, Arcade, SNES)
      • Super Street Fighter II Turbo (1994, Arcade)
        • Hyper Street Fighter II (2004, Arcade, PlayStation 2, Xbox)
          • Super Street Fighter II Turbo: HD Remix (2008, Playstation 3, Xbox 360)
    • Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers (2017, Nintendo Switch)
  • Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dreams (1995, Arcade, Sega Saturn, PlayStation)
    • Street Fighter Alpha 2 (1996, Arcade, Sega Saturn, PlayStation)
      • Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold (1996, Arcade, PlayStation, Sega Saturn)
    • Street Fighter Alpha 3 (1998, Arcade, Sega Dreamcast, PlayStation)
      • Hyper Street Fighter Alpha (2006, PlayStation 2)
      • Street Fighter Alpha 3 Max (2006, PlayStation Portable)
  • Street Fighter III: New Generation (1997, Arcade, Dreamcast)
    • Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact (1998, Arcade, Dreamcast)
    • Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike (1999, Arcade, Sega Dreamcast, PlayStation 2)
  • Street Fighter IV (2008, Arcade, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
    • Super Street Fighter IV (2010, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
      • Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (2011, Arcade, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360)
    • Ultra Street Fighter IV (2014, Arcade, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
  • Street Fighter V (2016, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows)
    • Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition (2018, Arcade PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows)

SPIN-OFFS

  • Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight (1990, NES)
  • Street Fighter: The Movie (1995, Arcade, PlayStation, Sega Saturn)
  • Street Fighter EX (1996, Arcade)
    • Street Fighter EX+ (1997, Arcade)
      • Street Fighter EX+ Alpha (1997, PlayStation)
  • Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo (1996, Arcade, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3)
  • Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix (1997, Arcade, Sega Saturn, PlayStation)
  • Street Fighter EX2 (1998, Arcade)
    • Street Fighter EX2+ (1999, Arcade, PlayStation)
  • Street Fighter EX3 (2000, PlayStation 2)
  • Cannon Spike (2000, Sega Dreamcast)
  • Capcom Fighting Jam (2004, PlayStation 2, Xbox)

In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U

The Street Fighter universe makes its debut as downloadable content for this game, with a playable character, Ryu, a stage in both versions, and a small amount of trophies.

Characters

Ryu Icon SSBWU
  • Ryu: The popular wandering world warrior from Capcom makes his Super Smash Bros. debut as a downloadable fighter. He is armed with his trademark Hadoken & Shoryuken attacks and his two Final Smashes: Shinku Hadoken and Shin Shoryuken.

Stages

Suzaku Castle Icon SSBWU
  • Suzaku Castle: This stage, available for both versions, is based on Ryu's stage from Street Fighter II.

Music

  • Ryu Stage: A string-heavy remix of Ryu's stage theme from Street Fighter II, arranged by the song's original composer, Yoko Shimomura.
  • Ken Stage: A more rock remix of Ken's stage theme from Street Fighter II.
  • Ryu Stage Type A: the original version of Ryu's stage theme from Street Fighter II.
  • Ken Stage Type A: the original version of Ken's stage theme from Street Fighter II.
  • Ryu Stage Type B: the updated version of Ryu's stage theme from Super Street Fighter II.
  • Ken Stage Type B: the updated version of Ken's stage theme from Super Street Fighter II.
  • Victory! Street Fighter Series: A remix of the victory theme from Street Fighter II.

Trophies

Both Versions

Wii U Version

Shin Shoryuken / Shinku Hadoken (DLC)

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Characters

Assist Trophies

Spirits

Stages

Music

  • Vega Stage

Trivia

Street Fighter is the second third party universe to have 2 playable characters in the Super Smash Bros. series, the first being Castlevania.

External Links