For a game that made its debut in Japanese arcades in 1987, Street Fighter has had quite an interesting history. We’ve come up on the 23rd Anniversary of the Street Fighter saga, and for that we’re celebrating some of the lesser-known facts about one of the most iconic fighting games to bless arcades and consoles across the globe.
Street Fighter has attracted fans from all parts of the world, and has actually been one of the most competed-over arcade games since Capcom released the first title.
Here are six interesting facts about Street Fighter you might not know.
1) Ken and Ryu are the only characters that have appeared in every single Street Fighter title. In the first Street Fighter, you could only play as Ryu by default in single player, and player two as Ken in multiplayer. The two are best friends (and rivals) from different sides of the world. Ken is an American-born fighter, and Ryu from Japan. According to the storyline, their tournament lead them to take on the final boss, Sagat. In the final battle between Sagat and Ryu, Ryu defeated Sagat, leaving him with his iconic facial scar.
2) In Japan, ‘Balrog’ is known as ‘M. Bison’ — the ‘M’ standing for Mike, an intentional parody of Mike Tyson. When the game went international, Capcom was suggested to change the name of the character, because he actually resembled Mike Tyson to the point of an infringement lawsuit. When they changed the names of the characters, they actually just switched M. Bison and Balrog’s names around. Balrog is now commonly referred to as ‘Boxer’, and M. Bison is referred to as ‘Dictator’.
3) The largest competitive Street Fighter event to date was Evo 2010. With 1800 entrants and cold, hard cash riding on the line for the champion, it was a hard battle fought and eventually won by an esteemed champion by the name of Daigo Umehara. Closely following him in second was an American by the name of Ricky Ortiz. Third place was taken by a Korean under the handle ‘Infiltration’.
Here is a video of the final battle of Evo 2010, in case you were interested:
4) There were two American Street Fighter movies made, the first, titled Street Fighter starring Jean Claude Van Damme as Guile, and Australian pop singer Kylie Minogue as Cammy. The second adaptation released in 2009 was called Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li which stars Kristin Kruek as Chun-Li, Chris Klein as Charlie, Michael Clarke Duncan as Balrog, and one of those dudes from the Black Eyed Peas (Taboo) as Vega.
5) Super Street Fighter 4 was the first game in the series to be released on console before hitting the arcade. The simple answer to why this happened, is because the arcade industry is slowly dying. Blame it on the recession, or newly formed anti-social behavior with this generation of couch-dwelling gamers. Arcades in North America are slowly closing their doors, making it difficult for game companies to justify making a true arcade game over a console game.
6) Street Fighter X Tekken is the first time that a Street Fighter game will actually become a crossover [Edit: with Namco]. Capcom does come out with a lot of crossovers, but this is the first time they’ve teamed up with Tekken. Announced at the “Street Fighter Mania!: SSFIV and Beyond” panel at Comic-Con 2010, it is another benchmark in the Street Fighter history books.