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Street Fighter

Updated on January 11, 2013

Street Fighter

Street Fighter came to life in 1987 at the arcades, spreading a wave of feverish fighting competition while popularizing the fighting genre.

Below is the story and history of the most famous fighting game in the world.

Street Fighter
Street Fighter

The beginning

The Street Fighter saga follows the story of martial artists Ryu and Ken, who were trained in Japan by Gouken in their childhood and developed a fraternal bond ever since. Once their training was complete, Ken returned to America, while Ryu embarked on a solo quest around the world to hone his skills.

This quest would lead Ryu into an international martial arts tournament, held by Muay Thai champion Sagat, where he would meet his old friend Ken and compete against a slew of combatants from various countries, including fallen monk Retsu, ninja Geki, death-obsessed Gen and British brawler Birdie. Ryu would eventually reach the finals and defeat Sagat with a powerful Shoryuken (the so-called "Dragon Punch"), leaving the former champion physically and emotionally scarred.

Text by: Nuno Correia

Image by: Capcom

Street Fighter Alpha
Street Fighter Alpha

Enter Shadaloo

The grudge held by Sagat and his thirst for revenge led him to join one of the most ruthless and powerful men alive: M. Bison ("Vega" in Japan), the leader of a crime syndicate known as Shadaloo. Bison's own agenda included world domination and the pursuit of immortality, which he hoped to achieve through cloning and by gathering data from strong warriors, in order to build himself a new body to which he could transfer his soul, thus avoiding death. Using the black arts known as "psycho power" and combining them with the might of military technology and genetic research, he created a powerful device - the Psycho Drive - that posed a serious threat to the world. This, along with his army of clones and brainwashed assassins - the "Dolls" (of which Cammy was a notable member) - began to draw attention from the Western world. But that was part of Bison's plan, as he wanted to lure all those who felt were strong enough to take him down. An international joint operation led by U.S. Air Force lieutenant Charlie Nash and Interpol agent Chun-Li (who held a personal grudge against Bison herself) managed to infiltrate and destroy Shadaloo headquarters, successfully eliminating Bison's weaponry systems, as well as the Psycho Drive. The attack left Bison physically damaged and Charlie presumably dead, but it didn't end the reign of Shadaloo, nor did it foil Bison's plans of achieving immortality, as invitations had already been sent to fighters from across the globe to compete in a Shadaloo-hosted tournament. This tournament would certainly attract the strong warriors Bison needed so desperately, and hopefully one warrior in particular: the wandering Ryu. Sagat's account of Ryu's power placed the young martial artist in the top of Bison's list of contenders for body replacement. The former Muay Thai champion was unaware of Bison's ulterior motives and when he requested to be sponsored as one of the tournament's four "Grand Masters" - the others being former heavyweight champion Balrog ("Mike Bison" in Japan), Spanish ninja Vega ("Balrog" in Japan) and Bison himself - he expected nothing more than to face Ryu again and defeat him. Bison, on the other hand, used the tournament as an excuse to fulfill several of his plans: to attract Ryu and other powerful warriors in order to obtain more and better replacement bodies, to enlist more men in his army and to take revenge on those who took part in the assault on Shadaloo, as they would surely return to finish the job.

Text by: Nuno Correia

Image by: Capcom

Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo
Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo

The World Warrior

Fighters from the four corners of the world attended the World Warrior Tournament held by Shadaloo. They included Brazilian man-beast Blanka, Russian wrestler Zangief, Indian mystic Dhalsim and several others, as well as Chun-Li, on a solo quest to kill Bison, and U.S.A.F. commander Guile, determined to avenge the supposed death of his partner Charlie. Ryu and Ken attended the tournament as well, but Ryu struggled to overcome his inner demons, who were corrupting his spirit by then. It so happens that Ryu too was being moved by a thirst for vengeance against the man who murdered his former master in front of his very eyes, shortly after his victory over Sagat. Watching his rival's fall from grace, Sagat learned that revenge was not the answer, as he too began to feel tainted by this evil energy. As he fought Ryu in the semi-finals, he helped his former rival overcome his "evil self" and even though he was defeated once more, he felt nothing but deep respect for his opponent, as Ryu managed to cleanse his soul. The battle drained the victorious warrior both physically and mentally, and as such he was no match against Bison in the tournament final. However, the bout was interrupted by an unexpected fighter who assaulted and apparently killed Bison; that warrior was Akuma ("Gouki" in Japan), the murderer and also brother of Ryu's teacher, Gouken. Akuma then fled the scene, leaving the tournament unresolved, with no winner.

Text by: Nuno Correia

Image by: Capcom

Super Street Fighter 4
Super Street Fighter 4

The rise of S.I.N.

Bison's apparent death led to some power struggles within Shadaloo. A rogue clone, developed by Bison's scientists as a future body replacement for their leader, took charge of Shadaloo's weapon division and founded the Shadaloo Intimidation Network (S.I.N.). The clone, named Seth, became the leader of what were the remains of Shadaloo. Driven by the lust of power and a constant struggle to overcome his inferiority complex (he was a clone after all), Seth developed an imposing bio-weapon - the Boiling Liquid Expanding Cell Explosion (BLECE) engine. As the device was powered by the "chi" (energy) of humans, he took inspiration from Bison and decided to host a new international tournament in order to attract strong warriors from all over the world and use their fighting skills and energy produced during matches to boost the engine. Several participants that attended the previous tournament returned, including Ryu and Ken, while others were new on the scene, such as C.I.A. agent Crimson Viper, luchador El Fuerte, oil tycoon Hakan and self-taught "kung fu master" Rufus.

To the dismay of many, however, Bison was not really dead. His apparent death merely acted as a way to expose and destroy dissidents within Shadaloo. Seth fell into his trap and met his end at the dictator's hands. S.I.N. was destroyed by Bison and his loyal followers, while the BLECE engine was put to sleep by Ryu. Once again, the tournament ended with no discernible victor. Bison's whereabouts remain unknown ever since.

Text by: Nuno Correia

Image by: Capcom

Street Fighter 3
Street Fighter 3

The New Generation

A few years later, Ryu and Ken decided to compete in yet another international fighting tournament, this time held by an organization known as the "Illuminati" and their leader, Gill. Gill prophesied the end of the world and decided to host a new World Warrior tournament in order to determine those worthy of salvation and repopulating the Earth after the apocalypse. The attendants consisted of a whole new generation of mostly younger fighters, with Ryu, Ken and Chun-Li being the only returnees (not counting Akuma, who was never an official participant).

The tournament would eventually be won by a young American wrestler named Alex, which led Ryu to believe that "his time" had passed. However, Ryu's defeat at the hands of the much older Oro only proved him wrong and made him understand that he had yet much to learn and many more battles to fight.

Text by: Nuno Correia

Image by: Capcom

Street Fighter Arcade History - 1987-2010

Street Fighter through time 1987-1997 - A selection of box Art

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Street Fighter - AmstradStreet Fighter II: The World Warrior - Amiga/CommodoreStreet Fighter II: Champion Edition - PC Engine aka TurbograFxStreet Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting - Super Nintendo Entertainment SystemSuper Street Fighter II - Sega GenesisSuper Street Fighter II Turbo - Amiga 32Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dreams - PlaystationStreet Fighter Alpha 2 - Sega SaturnStreet Fighter III: New Generation - ArcadeStreet Fighter III: Double Impact - Dreamcast (SF3 New Generation+SF3 2nd Impact)
Street Fighter - Amstrad
Street Fighter - Amstrad
Street Fighter II: The World Warrior - Amiga/Commodore
Street Fighter II: The World Warrior - Amiga/Commodore
Street Fighter II: Champion Edition - PC Engine aka TurbograFx
Street Fighter II: Champion Edition - PC Engine aka TurbograFx
Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting - Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting - Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Super Street Fighter II - Sega Genesis
Super Street Fighter II - Sega Genesis
Super Street Fighter II Turbo - Amiga 32
Super Street Fighter II Turbo - Amiga 32
Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dreams - Playstation
Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dreams - Playstation
Street Fighter Alpha 2 - Sega Saturn
Street Fighter Alpha 2 - Sega Saturn
Street Fighter III: New Generation - Arcade
Street Fighter III: New Generation - Arcade
Street Fighter III: Double Impact - Dreamcast (SF3 New Generation+SF3 2nd Impact)
Street Fighter III: Double Impact - Dreamcast (SF3 New Generation+SF3 2nd Impact)

Street Fighter through time 1998-2010 - A selection of box art

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Street Fighter Alpha 3 - DreamcastStreet Fighter III: 3rd Strike - Playstation 2 (in SF Anniversary Collection)Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo: Revival - Gameboy AdvanceStreet Fighter Alpha 3: Upper - Gameboy AdvanceHyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition - Playstation 2Street Fighter Alpha 3: Max - Playstation PortableStreet Fighter IV - PC DVD-RomSuper Street Fighter II Turbo: HD Remix - Xbox Live/Playstation NetworkSuper Street Fighter IV - Playstation 3Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition - Xbox 360
Street Fighter Alpha 3 - Dreamcast
Street Fighter Alpha 3 - Dreamcast
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike - Playstation 2 (in SF Anniversary Collection)
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike - Playstation 2 (in SF Anniversary Collection)
Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo: Revival - Gameboy Advance
Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo: Revival - Gameboy Advance
Street Fighter Alpha 3: Upper - Gameboy Advance
Street Fighter Alpha 3: Upper - Gameboy Advance
Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition - Playstation 2
Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition - Playstation 2
Street Fighter Alpha 3: Max - Playstation Portable
Street Fighter Alpha 3: Max - Playstation Portable
Street Fighter IV - PC DVD-Rom
Street Fighter IV - PC DVD-Rom
Super Street Fighter II Turbo: HD Remix - Xbox Live/Playstation Network
Super Street Fighter II Turbo: HD Remix - Xbox Live/Playstation Network
Super Street Fighter IV - Playstation 3
Super Street Fighter IV - Playstation 3
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition - Xbox 360
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition - Xbox 360

Street Fighter through time 2011-Present - A selection of box Art

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition - Xbox Live/Playstation NetworkSuper Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition - Nintendo 3DS
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition - Xbox Live/Playstation Network
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition - Xbox Live/Playstation Network
Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition - Nintendo 3DS
Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition - Nintendo 3DS

Know your street fighters - Art by Ken Wong

Street Fighter characters
Street Fighter characters

Character artwork according to their playable appearance.

(source below)

The Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Edition World Map

Street Fighter world map
Street Fighter world map

A commemoration of the 25th anniversary of Street Fighter. By @manolowebhead (twitter)

(source below)

Street Fighter on the web

Here you will find some interesting links of Street Fighter lore.

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