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Street Fighter II

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Street Fighter II (ストリートファイターⅡ, Sutorīto Faitā Tsū?) is a 1991 competitive fighting game by Capcom. It is widely credited with launching the fighting game genre into the mainstream and extending the life of the worldwide arcade scene for several years with its unique six button "combo" controls and revolutionary "loser pays" competitive gameplay. Its popularity far eclipsed that of its comparatively obscure predecessor, thanks in part to its inclusion of eight selectable characters (a number which would increase in subsequent updates) with their unique playing style and refinement of the unique play controls featured in the first game, setting the template for future fighting games. Its success also led to the production of several updates of the game (including home versions), as well as merchandising and cross-media adaptations (including two separately produced theatrical films).

Street Fighter II was followed by a prequel titled Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dreams and a sequel titled Street Fighter III: New Generation. Both games also inspired their own series of updates.

Overview

As one of the most popular games of the early 1990s, Street Fighter II, released on Capcom's CPS-1 arcade board in March 1991, shaped the direction of arcade games for nearly a decade to follow. It is widely acknowledged as the premier fighting game of its era, due to its game balance with regard to the timing of attacks and blocks, and due to "Special Moves" in which players could execute by moving the joystick and tapping the buttons in certain combinations. The game featured a six button layout, with punch buttons consisting of 'jab', 'strong', and 'fierce' and kick buttons consisting of 'short', 'forward', and 'roundhouse', in ascending order of strength. This was not new or exclusive to fighting games, but the way in which the game relied on them was. These fighting moves were given names, such as the Shoryuken (the Rising Dragon Punch), the Tatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku (the Tornado Whirlwind Kick) and the Hadouken (Surge Fist or Wave Motion Fist)[1].

The game features eight fighters that players can choose from: Ryu, Ken, Blanka, Zangief, Dhalsim, Guile, E. Honda, and Chun-Li, plus four bosses (Balrog, Vega, Sagat, and M. Bison). The character known as M. Bison in the original Japanese version was considered a legal liability by Capcom USA, because his name, backstory and appearance were very similar to that of professional boxer Mike Tyson. In order to pre-empt any lawsuits on the part of Tyson, the names of all the bosses except Sagat (who was carried over from the original Street Fighter), were re-arranged, something which has since caused no shortage of confusion when attempting description. For the sake of reference, the characters known as M. Bison, Balrog, and Vega in Japan became Balrog, Vega, and M. Bison in overseas versions respectively.

Characters

The original version of Street Fighter II featured a roster of eight playable characters that could be selected by the player. Out of the eight character in the roster, only Ryu and Ken were taken from the original Street Fighter. The others were created specifically for this game.

The single player tournament mode also features four CPU-controlled opponents whom the player face after defeating the other main characters. The bosses in the Japanese version were: Balrog, an American boxer; Vega, a Spanish clawman; Sagat, the former champion from the original Street Fighter; and M. Bison, a mysterious crime lord. When Street Fighter II was released overseas, the names of the bosses were rotated, fearing that the character of Balrog resembled Mike Tyson (whom Bison was modeled after) too closely, but also because Capcom USA's marketing team believed that "Vega" was a "weak-sounding name" for the final boss.[1] As a result, the boxer became Balrog, the clawman became Vega and the final boss became M. Bison in the localization. The initial in M. Bison originally stood for "Mike", but its meaning was lost to western players.

From Champion Edition and onward, the boss characters became playable, expanding the selectable roster to twelve and the player could now face against an opponent who used the same character. This meant that the player faced all twelve characters, including a clone of their own, during the single-player tournament.

Super Street Fighter II introduced four new characters from previously unrepresented nationalities to the pre-existing roster: Fei Long, Cammy, T. Hawk and Dee Jay. The new characters were designed by Capcom's internal artists in Japan except for Dee Jay, whose original design was contributed to the game by American designer James Goddard. The character roster was now increased to sixteen, but the player still faced only twelve opponents (including the original four bosses) in the single-player tournament.

Super Street Fighter II Turbo featured another new character whom the player faced (upon meeting the required conditions) in the game's final match instead of M. Bison. This character, who was unnamed within the actual game, was officially referred as Gouki in Japan and as Akuma in the English version and the different names were stuck in those territories. Akuma becomes selectable only by entering a special cheat code in the character selection screen.

Arcade Release History

Champion Edition

Street Fighter II': Champion Edition, released in Japan as Street Fighter II Dash (ストリートファイターIIダッシュ, Sutorīto Faitā Tsū Dasshu?)[2]

  • All four boss characters became playable.
  • Players could choose the same character to fight against each other, using palette swapping to differentiate the second player.
  • The backgrounds of each player's stage were re-colored (a theme throughout most of the updates).
  • There were various bug fixes for serious glitches (such as Guile's "Handcuffs"[3]), as well as some balancing of the characters.

Hyper Fighting

Street Fighter II': Hyper Fighting, or Street Fighter II Dash Turbo (ストリートファイターIIダッシュターボ, Sutorīto Faitā Tsū Dasshu Tābo?)[4] in Japan, was released in response to the proliferation of modified bootlegs of Champion Edition. Perhaps the most notorious of these modified bootlegs was the "Rainbow Edition" which not only increased the game speed over the original, but allowed the player to fire multiple homing projectiles, change characters mid-round, and execute ground moves in mid-air - greatly altering gameplay. Hyper Fighting included the following official changes to Champion Edition:

  • Faster gameplay.
  • Many characters gained new moves (all composed of recycled animation frames), and several that could now be performed in mid-air.
  • All characters were given new, default color palettes, with their original color scheme accessible as an alternate color scheme (replacing the ones from Champion Edition). The only exception to this was the final boss M. Bison, who still used his original color scheme by default, but was given a new alternate color scheme anyway.

Super Street Fighter II

Further information: Super Street Fighter II

Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers (スーパーストリートファイターII, Sūpā Sutorīto Faitā Tsū?) was the first Street Fighter game that Capcom would release on its CPS-2 hardware. The arcade version of this game also included a variant titled Super Street Fighter II: Tournament Battle that allowed four arcade cabinets to be connected together for simultaneous tournament play. This version contained the most extensive changes introduced in the series:

  • Four new characters were added (Fei Long, T. Hawk, Cammy, and Dee Jay).
  • Boss characters received updated regular move sets.
  • Boss characters received new, individual game endings.
  • Each character could be selected with one of eight different color palettes.
  • Some of the original eight playable characters received updated art and audio.
  • The speed introduced in Hyper Fighting was reduced.
  • A combo counter (a first despite combos being in the game since the original), as well as point bonuses for first attack, combos and reversals.

Super Street Fighter II Turbo

Main article: Super Street Fighter II Turbo

Super Street Fighter II Turbo,[5] or Super Street Fighter II X: Grand Master Challenge (スーパーストリートファイターII X, Sūpā Sutorīto Faitā Tsū Ekusu?, "Two Ex") in Japan, is a much updated version of Super Street Fighter II. The updates, though seemingly small, radically change the game dynamic. This version introduced:

  • The addition of the "SUPER" bar. This allowed character to build up and unleash a very powerful special attack.
  • The speed was again raised from Super SF2, close to Hyper Fighting levels.
  • Intentional air juggling (a series of attacks that could hit an opponent while airborne).
  • The ability to tech or "soften" non-multi hit throws (teching allows a character to land on one's feet instead of on their back, resulting in less damage).
  • A new secret character (Akuma).
  • New regular moves, throws, and special moves for many characters, notably Ken, whose kicks have been radically changed from Super Street Fighter II, and E. Honda.
  • Some characters, such as Ken and Ryu, now have an overhead attack that hits high while the character is standing on the ground, which allows players to hit a ducking and blocking opponent.
  • Alternate versions of each character with similar characteristics (but not quite identical) to their Super Street Fighter II version.
  • The bonus stages (where players try to destroy all the objects in the stage before time runs out) were removed.

Hyper Street Fighter II

Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition (ハイパーストリートファイターII, Haipā Sutorīto Faitā Tsū?) is an arranged version of Super Street Fighter II Turbo with the ability to choose every previously playable version of the characters from all five arcade versions of Street Fighter II (including the alternate versions of the characters in Super Turbo). It was first released as a PlayStation 2 game, but was backported to the CPS-2 hardware and distributed in arcades in Japan and Asia. The game includes an option to switch between the CPS, CPS-2 and arranged (from the 3DO version of Super Turbo) renditions of the game's soundtrack. The PS2 version of the game was sold as a stand-alone game in Japan and in the PAL region, as part of a bundle with Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike titled Street Fighter Anniversary Collection in North America. This same bundle was released worldwide for the Xbox.

Ports

These are the major ports of the Street Fighter II games made for consumer devices and is not comprehensive.

Street Fighter II: The World Warrior

Street Fighter II: The World Warrior was released for the Super NES in 1992 as a 16Mbit game pak. Character sprites were slightly smaller and less detailed, and some frames of animation were omitted. The arcade's Frequency modulation synthesis background music was adapted to the SNES's SPC700 PCM based sound chip. This port has different tones of the characters' voices using different levels of the special attacks. Their voice is quick and precise for the stronger attacks, or slow and prolonged for the weak attacks. It went on to become the biggest selling console port of a fighting game ever, and is currently available for download on the Wii's Virtual Console. The SNES version is also notable for correcting a minor error of the arcade version—Chun-Li's portrait in the arcade had red clothes even though she actually fought in blue ones. The portrait color is changed to the proper blue on the SNES.

PC-DOS also recieved a port published abd developed by US Gold in 1992,[6] but was poorly received with various speed,music,sound effects, and sprite problems.It also only had two attack buttons,one for punching and one for kicking.In this port,special moves were more difficult to perform and the keyboard controls were often unresponsive. It was considered a flop by major game magazines and fans of the game were outraged at US Gold for this poor port.Ports for Amiga,[7] Commodore 64,[8] Atari ST[9] and ZX Spectrum[10] was also made by U.S. Gold but with much inferior 8-bit sprite quality. An unnoficial port for NES is also known as Street Fighter IV.[11]

An official port for the Sega Master System[12] was developed and published by Tec Toy. This version had collision detection problems, missing moves and missing characters, but the graphics were very impressive regarding the system's limited capabilities and were not too far from the 16-Bit counterparts.

Street Fighter II': Champion Edition and Street Fighter II' Turbo: Hyper Fighting

The PC Engine was the first console to receive the updated Street Fighter II and was ported by NEC. The game is contained on a standard HuCard and features graphics comparable to the more powerful SNES port which came later. A 6 Button PCE Controller was created specifically for use with this game.

The Sega Genesis port, known as Street Fighter II': Special Champion Edition (Street Fighter II' Plus or Dash Plus in Japan), contained the option to play both Champion Edition and Hyper Fighting—as did the SNES release of Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting (the SNES port does not contain a prime symbol on its title). The arcade Champion Edition is known as "Normal" mode in the SNES port, and is referred to as "Champion" in the Sega Genesis version. The Mega Drive/Genesis version received the Special Champion Edition subtitle because it was intended to be a port of Street Fighter II': Champion Edition (to be released in the fall of 1993, about one year after the SNES version of the original SF2) but ultimately included the option to play Hyper Fighting as well.

The Genesis was to be the only US console to receive an SFII game that allowed people to play as the bosses, but five months before its release Nintendo announced an exclusive deal with Capcom to port the newer Street Fighter II' Turbo: Hyper Fighting to the SNES for release before the Mega Drive/Genesis version of Champion Edition. However, their contract only extended exclusivity to the name and presentation of the game, allowing Capcom to add Hyper Fighting mode to the Mega Drive/Genesis game as a bonus, giving both versions of the game the same features. The legacy of this contractual obligation is apparent in the games as the Mega Drive/Genesis version presents the Champion Edition intro, attract mode (only presenting Champion Edition gameplay and color scheme) and title screen and defaults to Champion Edition mode, while the SNES version contains the Hyper Fighting intro (though missing the fight in front of the skyscraper), attract mode (presenting Hyper Fighting gameplay and color scheme) and title screen and defaults to Turbo mode.

Street Fighter II': Special Champion Edition for the Mega Drive/Genesis allowed the selection of game speed by increasing "stars" at game start, up to 10-star speed (the SNES version has the 4-10 option, but requires a controller code to activate Stars 5 to 10). The Genesis port also allowed for four stars of speed in Normal/Champion mode, but the SNES version lacked this feature, allowing stars only in Turbo mode. Gameplay was faster than the arcade versions.

Though both versions of the game were identical in overall gameplay and graphics, there were differences in the sound. While the SNES-voices sound somewhat muffled the Genesis version's voices are clearer, but scratchy. All tunes had to be remixed for the SNES version, offering a more natural instrumentation, while the Genesis version was closer to the arcade original thanks to the Yamaha soundchip being a relative of the one found in the arcade. The result are two very different sounding versions where every player had to judge his favorite by personal preferences. The PC Engine version is to be mentioned for having by far the clearest voices. The soundtrack is closer to the Genesis version than to the SNES version.

Street Fighter II′: Hyper Fighting (the arcade versions released outside of Japan never had the word Turbo in the title) has also been released on the Xbox 360's Xbox Live Arcade service featuring online play through Xbox Live and a new 'Quarters mode' which allows players to watch, and challenge others to matches. The order in which the players fight is represented by a US quarter. This was done to re-enact the arcade scene of the 1990s. The game was released on August 2, 2006 for a cost of 800 points ($10) and has become the fastest selling game on the Xbox Live Arcade service.

Recently, the SNES port, Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting, has been released on the Wii Virtual Console for America and Europe for a cost of 800 Wii Points ($8 USD).

Super Street Fighter II and Super Street Fighter II Turbo

The SNES and Genesis received a port of Super Street Fighter II a year after their respective SFII Turbo ports, but was a commercial failure at retail and a financial hit to Capcom who had overestimated consumer demand. This was a sign that the audience was not willing to pay for annual updates of SFII, especially when Super Street Fighter II Turbo already superseded Super Street Fighter II in the arcades and fixed many of the complaints people had of SSFII. The SNES version was released on the Wii Virtual Console in 2008.

The FM Towns port is the first fighting game by Capcom to feature a color edit mode. It also features remixed soundtracks, the same ones found in the 3DO version of SSF2T, Street Fighter Collection 2 and the console versions of Hyper Street Fighter II.

The 3DO received the first console port of Super Street Fighter II Turbo; it featured the same remixed soundtracks found in the FM-TOWNS port of Super Street Fighter II, with full Q Sound support. The second port was for the IBM PC by Eurocom (released by Gametek) in 1995 and was the first truly ported version of a Street Fighter game for a home computer, helped by the fact that PC hardware was sufficiently powerful to reasonably duplicate the 2D graphics and sound capabilities, to the results of dedicated 2D game machines like the CPS-2, the original platform of the game. Up until this release, home computers received interpretive remakes of past Street Fighter games that did not play like the arcade games they were based on. An interpretive remake of Super Street Fighter II Turbo was on the Commodore Amiga for its AGA chipset based systems, coming on 12 floppy discs and requiring a hard drive to play.

In 1997, the PlayStation and Sega Saturn received a port of both Super Street Fighter II and Super Street Fighter II Turbo along with Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold in Street Fighter Collection. The Saturn version was thought to turn out superior because of the dramatic increase in Video RAM it offered over the PlayStation version. The last stand-alone version of SSF2T released is for the Dreamcast and was released only in Japan. It featured online play via Capcom of Japan's Matching Service, making this the first Street Fighter game to be officially playable through a network connection.

A reworked portable version of Super Street Fighter II Turbo titled Super Street Fighter II Turbo: Revival (Super Street Fighter II X: Revival in Japan) was released for the Game Boy Advance in 2001. It featured new character artwork on the versus and post-fight screens, as well as for the game endings. Some of the game endings were changed to reconcile the storyline with the Street Fighter Alpha games. There were new stage backgrounds for Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Guile, Zangief and Bison and the car and barrel bonus stages from Super Street Fighter II returned. There were two unlockable versions of Akuma and unlike their original Super Street Fighter II Turbo versions where their names are not shown during a fight as well as not having a super combo gauge for performing super combo finish, in this portable version both actually had a super combo gauge and had their trademark Shun Goku Satsu (Instant Hell Murder) unblockable super combo which was made famous from their appearance in the Alpha series. The classic versions of all the original returning characters were removed.

A high-definition remake of Super Street Fighter II Turbo titled Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix will be released on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network in 2008. It will feature redrawn graphics at 1080p HD resolution, online play and a "Remix Mode." The "Quarter Mode" innovated by Street Fighter II': Hyper Fighting on Xbox Live will also make its return here.

Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition

An update of Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition was released in 2004 for the Xbox, PS2 and CPS-2. The console version in North America was contained within Street Fighter Anniversary Collection, which includes Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike and Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition.Capcom also included the censored version of Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie as a bonus. Hyper Street Fighter II on its own was released for the PS2 in Europe, which also included Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie as a bonus. However, the shower scene with Chun-Li was edited, as was some of the Vega vs. Chun-Li battle which followed.

Retro collections

The Street Fighter Collection was released both in the US and Japan in late 1997 for the PlayStation and the Sega Saturn. It featured near arcade perfect versions of both Super Street Fighter II and Super Street Fighter II: Turbo as well as Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold.

A second collection, titled Street Fighter Collection 2, was released in the US in late 1998 for the PlayStation and featured the first three major Street Fighter II titles: Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, Street Fighter II': Champion Edition and Street Fighter II' Turbo: Hyper Fighting. It also featured a "Deluxe Versus" mode, which allows players to battle with characters from different versions of the game, for example, matching Champion Edition Ken vs. Turbo Chun-Li, in a similar concept to the one found in Hyper Street Fighter II.

In 2003 Capcom Arcade Hits Volume 1 was released for Windows PC, featuring emulated arcade versions of the original Street Fighter and Street Fighter II: Champion Edition.

2005 saw the release of Capcom Classics Collection for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox and it also featured the first three major Street Fighter II titles: Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, Street Fighter II′: Champion Edition and Street Fighter II' Turbo: Hyper Fighting as well as a multitude of other Capcom games. The games contained in this collection are actually ports of the games featured in the Japan only Capcom Generations series for the PlayStation and the Sega Saturn, complete with its special modes including versus mode, CPU battle mode, training mode, and more. Even the cast artwork and information is the same as Street Fighter Collection 2, but there is some new unlockable artwork that was not featured in that collection. The load times from Capcom Generations/Street Fighter Collection 2 were ported over, which is unusual since each game should be able to fit into the system RAM of the PS2 and Xbox in their entirety.

2006 saw the release of Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2 for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox and contains Super Street Fighter II Turbo.

Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix

Further information: Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix

Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix is an upcoming title on the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Store download services. The game is based on Super Turbo, but with sprites and backgrounds replaced by high-resolution artwork drawn by UDON Comics, and remixed music is also in development.[13] HD Remix is currently planned to include two game modes: an arcade accurate version of Super Street Fighter II Turbo and an upgraded version of the same game with over 100 changes from the original Super Turbo. Other features will include:[14]

  • Online and offline multiplayer.
  • A training mode.
  • Voice chat.
  • A 'Quarter Match' mode which allows players to spectate and jump into online matches.
  • Worldwide rankings and leaderboards arranged by character and country.
  • Indepth statistics tracking.
  • A display mode that fits the game into a 16:9 aspect ratio without impacting gameplay.
  • HD 1080p display for HDTVs.

Related Media

Street Fighter II was adapted into two different movies in 1994, Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie (a Japanese anime released in the U.S. courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment) and an American produced live-action film, simply titled Street Fighter. Starring Jean Claude Van Damme as Guile, Kylie Minogue as Cammy and Raúl Juliá as M. Bison, the live-action film effectively incorporated the main cast of the video game and wrapped them into an action adventure very reminiscent of the classic adventure films of yore. Director Steven E. de Souza's take on the premise: "I especially loved films like The Longest Day, The Great Escape and The Guns of Navarone. What made those films great wasn't the random violence. It was the clear-cut struggle between forces of good and evil, leading to an ultimate showdown."

There was also a US Street Fighter cartoon, which followed the plot of the Van Damme movie, and an unrelated anime titled Street Fighter II V.

References

  1. "Interview with Street Fighter II Sound Team" (in Japanese).
  2. In Japan, Street Fighter II': Champion Edition is fully titled Street Fighter II Dash: Champion Edition. The word "Dash" however is not written on the game's logo, but represented by the apostrophe-like prime symbol (which can pronounced as "dash" or "prime") on the game's logo. When the game was released in North America, the apostrophe was kept on the game's title screen, but the arcade game's marquee refers to it simply as Street Fighter II: Champion Edition and the meaning of the apostrophe was lost.
  3. Gordon, Jason (2000, February 13). "Guile's Glitches". Retrieved on 2008-02-29.
  4. In the same way Champion Edition is titled Street Fighter II Dash in Japan, Hyper Fighting is fully titled Street Fighter II Dash Turbo: Hyper Fighting in Japan, with "dash" once again rendered as an apostrophe. The word Turbo is missing from the title screens of the overseas versions, simply referring to the game as Street Fighter II′ : Hyper Fighting. The American arcade cabinet of the game features the American Street Fighter II: Champion Edition logo with the words Turbo and Hyper Fighting surrounding it.
  5. The western version of Super Street Fighter II Turbo is the only Street Fighter II game originally released without a subtitle, although it was given one in Street Fighter Collection for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn, where it is titled Super Street Fighter II Turbo: The Ultimate Challenge
  6. Street Fighter II for DOS - MobyGames
  7. Street Fighter II for Amiga - MobyGames
  8. Street Fighter II for Commodore 64 - MobyGames
  9. Street Fighter II for Atari ST - MobyGames
  10. Street Fighter II for ZX Spectrum - MobyGames
  11. Clip: Street Fighter IV, The Pirated NES Version
  12. GameSpot Staff:"Street Fighter II'" (2006). Retrieved on 2006-08-08.
  13. Blog post in which Rey Jimenez comments on arranged audio track
  14. Capcom BBS: HD Remix fact sheet