Street Fighter (1987)
Street Fighter, designed by Takashi Nishiyama and Hiroshi Matsumoto, made its debut in arcades, in 1987. In this game, the player takes control of martial artist Ryu, who competes in a worldwide martial arts tournament, spanning five countries and 10 opponents. A second player can join in at any time and take control of Ryu’s American rival, Ken.
The player can perform three types of punch and kick attacks, each varying in speed and strength, and three special attacks: the Hadouken, Shoryuken, and Tatsumaki Senpukyaku. These are performed by executing special button combinations with the controls.
Street Fighter was ported to many popular home computer systems of the time, like the PC. In 1988, it was released on the NEC Avenue TurboGrafx-CD console under the name Fighting Street. Street Fighter was also later included in Capcom Classics Collection: Remixed for the PlayStation Portable and Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2 for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox.
Street Fighter II series (1991)
Street Fighter II: The World Warrior was released in 1991, and was the first true sequel to the original Street Fighter. This release followed an unsuccessful attempt to brand the 1989 beat ’em up game Final Fight and the officially commissioned spin-off Human Killing Machine as Street Fighter sequels. It was one of the earliest arcade games for Capcom’s CP System hardware and was designed by Akira Nishitani and Akira Yasuda, who were also responsible for Final Fight and Forgotten Worlds.
Street Fighter II is the first one-on-one fighting game to give players a choice from a variety of player characters with different moves. The choice of multiple available characters allows for more varied matches. In this game, each player character had a unique fighting style with approximately 30 or more moves, including then-new grappling moves and throws, as well as two or three special attacks per character. In the single-player mode, the player’s chosen character is pitted sequentially against the seven other main characters before confronting the final four boss opponents, who consist of CPU-controlled characters not selectable by the player. As in the original, a second player could join in at any point during single player mode and compete against the other player in competitive matches.
The original Japanese version of Street Fighter II (released in the United States for Turbografx 16 as “Fighting Street”) introduced an African-American boxer boss character, sharing the physical characteristics and likeness of real-life boxer Mike Tyson. In order to avoid a likeness infringement lawsuit from Tyson, Capcom rotated the names of three of the boss characters for international versions of the game. The final boss, named Vega in the Japanese version, was given the M. Bison name, the talon-wielding Spanish warrior, named Balrog in the Japanese version, was renamed Vega, and the boxer became Balrog.
Street Fighter II eclipsed its predecessor in popularity, eventually turning Street Fighter into a multimedia franchise. The release of the game had an unexpected impact on gaming and was the beginning of a massive phenomenon. By 1993, sales of Street Fighter II exceeded $1.5 billion in revenue (equivalent to over $2.64 billion in 2017). By 1995, Street Fighter II and Street Fighter II: Champion Edition arcade machines had exceeded $2.312 billion (9.25 billion quarters) in gross revenue (equivalent to over $4.07 billion in 2017). In addition, the video game console ports sold more than 14 million copies for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Genesis platforms.
The first official update to the series was Street Fighter II’: Champion Edition, pronounced Street Fighter II Dash in Japan, as noted by the prime notation on the logo. In this game, players are allowed to play as the four computer-controlled boss characters and two players are able to choose the same character. In this case, one character wears an alternate color pattern. The game also features slightly improved graphics, including differently colored backgrounds and refined gameplay. A second upgrade, titled Street Fighter II’ Turbo: Hyper Fighting, called Street Fighter II Dash Turbo in Japan, was produced in response to the various bootleg editions of the game. Hyper Fighting offers faster gameplay than its predecessors, different character costume colors, and new special techniques.
Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers, the third revision, gives the game a complete graphical and musical overhaul and introduces four new playable characters. It is also the first game for Capcom’s CP System II arcade hardware. The fifth arcade installment, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Super Street Fighter II X in Japan, brings back the faster gameplay of Hyper Fighting, a new type of special techniques known as “Super Combos”, and a hidden character, Akuma.
Numerous home versions of the Street Fighter II games have been produced following the release of the original game. The original version, Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, was ported to the Super NES in 1992. As of 2008[update], the original Super NES game is still Capcom’s best-selling game. It was followed by a Japanese-only port of Street Fighter II Dash for the PC Engine in 1993. That year, Hyper Fighting received two different home versions as well: a Super NES version titled Street Fighter II Turbo and a Genesis counterpart titled Street Fighter II’: Special Champion Edition, titled Street Fighter II Dash Plus in Japan. The following game, Super Street Fighter II, was also ported to the Super NES and Genesis in 1994. Later that year, Super Street Fighter II Turbo was released for the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer and also appeared in a PC version for Windows, released by the now defunct GameTek.
In 1997, Capcom released the Street Fighter Collection for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn. This is a compilation that includes Super and Super Turbo as well as Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold, titled Street Fighter Zero 2′ (Dash) in Japan, an updated version of Street Fighter Alpha 2. It was followed by Street Fighter Collection 2, titled Capcom Generation Vol. 5 in Japan, also released for the PlayStation and Saturn, which includes the original Street Fighter II, Champion Edition, and Hyper Fighting. In 2000, Capcom released Super Street Fighter II X for Matching Service exclusively in Japan for the Dreamcast. This version of the game features an online two-player versus mode. In 2003, Capcom released Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition for the arcades in Japan and Asia to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the series. As the final arcade installment, the game is a hybrid version of Super Turbo, which allows player to select between versions of characters from all five previous Street Fighter II games. Hyper was released in North America and the PAL region via its ports for the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox, released as part of the Street Fighter Anniversary Collection along with Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. In 2005, the three games in Street Fighter Collection 2 were included in Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 1 for PlayStation 2 and Xbox. A version of Super Turbo, along with the original Street Fighter, was later included in the 2007 compilation Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2, also released for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Street Fighter II and Super Street Fighter II are also available as downloadable games for select cellular phone services.
An updated version of Super Street Fighter II Turbo came to the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade services in November 2008. The game, titled Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, has fully redrawn artwork, including HD sprites 4.5x the original size, drawn by artists from UDON. This is the first time the Street Fighter characters have had new sprites, drawn by Capcom, since Capcom vs. SNK 2 in 2001. The game has several changes which address character balancing issues, but also features the original arcade version gameplay so that players can choose between the two.
Street Fighter Alpha series (1995)
Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors’ Dreams, titled Street Fighter Zero in Japan and Asia, is the next game in the series. The game uses the same art style Capcom previously employed in Darkstalkers and X-Men: Children of the Atom with settings and character designs heavily influenced by Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie. Alpha expands on the Super Combo system from Super Turbo by extending Super Combo meter into three levels, allowing for super combos to be stored up, and introducing Alpha Counters and Chain Combos, also from Darkstalkers. The plot of Alpha is set between the first two Street Fighter games and fleshes out the backstories and grudges held by many of the classic SFII characters. It features a playable roster of ten immediately playable characters and three unlockable fighters, comprising not only younger versions of established Street Fighter II characters, but also characters from the original Street Fighter and Final Fight, such as Adon and Guy.
Street Fighter Alpha 2 features all-new stages, music, and endings for some characters, some of which overlap with those from the original Alpha. It also discards the Chain Combo system in favor of Custom Combos, which requires a portion of the Super Combo meter to be used. Alpha 2 retains all 13 characters from the original and adds five new characters to the roster along with hidden versions of returning characters. Alpha 2 is followed by a slightly enhanced arcade release titled Street Fighter Zero 2 Alpha and was released in Japan and Brazil, ported to home consoles as Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold, and Zero 2′ Dash in Japan.
The third and final Alpha game, Street Fighter Alpha 3, was released in 1998 following the release of the original Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact and Street Fighter EX. Alpha 3 introduces three selectable fighting styles and further expands the playable roster to 28 characters. Console versions of the three games, including the original Alpha 2 and the aforementioned Alpha 2 Gold, were released for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn, although versions of specific games in the series were also released for the Game Boy Color, Super NES, Dreamcast, and Windows. The home console versions of Alpha 3 further expands the character roster by adding the remaining “New Challengers” from Super Street Fighter II. The Dreamcast version of the game was backported to the arcades in Japan under the title of Street Fighter Zero 3 Upper. A version of Upper, simply titled Alpha 3 outside Japan, was released for the Game Boy Advance and added three characters from Capcom vs. SNK 2. A PlayStation Portable version titled Alpha 3 MAX, or ‘Zero 3 Double Upper in Japan, contains the added characters from the GBA version and Ingrid from Capcom Fighting Jam.
Street Fighter EX series (1996)
In 1996, Capcom co-produced a 3D fighting game spinoff titled Street Fighter EX with Arika, a company founded by former Street Fighter II planner Akira Nishitani. It was developed for the PlayStation-based ZN-1 hardware. EX combined the established Street Fighter cast with original characters created and owned by Arika. It was followed by an upgraded version titled Street Fighter EX Plus in 1997, which expanded the character roster. A home version with additional features and characters, Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha, was released for the PlayStation during the same year.
A sequel was released in 1998, titled Street Fighter EX2, developed for the ZN-2 hardware. Custom combos were reintroduced and the character roster was expanded upon even further. In 1999, EX2 also received an upgraded version, Street Fighter EX2 Plus. A port of EX2 Plus was released for the PlayStation in 1999.
The third game in the series, Street Fighter EX3, was released as a launch title for the PlayStation 2 in 2000. This game included a tag team system, a mode that let a single player fight up to three opponents simultaneously, and another mode that allowed players to give the new character, Ace, a selection of special and super moves after purchasing them with experience points. The cast included many characters from the previous game.
Some of the Arika-owned characters from the series were later featured in other games developed by the company. The Namco-distributed arcade game Fighting Layer featured Allen Snider and Blair Dame from the original EX, while Skullomania would reappear in the PlayStation game Fighter Maker and the PlayStation 2 music game Technictix.
Capcom Crossover series (1996)
Capcom has also produced fighting games involving licensed characters from other companies and their own properties. In 1994, Capcom released the Marvel-licensed fighting game X-Men: Children of the Atom, which featured Akuma from Super Turbo as a hidden character. It was followed by Marvel Super Heroes in 1995, which featured Anita from Night Warriors.
Capcom would release a third Marvel-licensed game, X-Men vs. Street Fighter, in 1996, a full-fledged crossover between characters from X-Men and the Street Fighter Alpha games that featured a two-on-two tag team-based system. It was followed by Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter in 1997, which expanded the roster to include characters from Marvel Super Heroes; Marvel vs. Capcom in 1998, which featured not only Street Fighter characters, but also characters from other Capcom properties; and Marvel vs. Capcom 2 in 2000, which was produced from the Dreamcast-based NAOMI hardware.
Capcom also produced a series of similar crossover fighting games with rival fighting game developer SNK Playmore. The games, produced by Capcom, include Capcom vs. SNK in 2000, which features characters primarily from the Street Fighter and King of Fighters series. It was followed by a minor upgrade, Capcom vs. SNK Pro, and a sequel titled Capcom vs. SNK 2, both released in 2001. All three games were produced for the NAOMI hardware as well. The SNK-produced fighting games of this crossover include the Dimps-developed portable fighting game SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium for the Neo Geo Pocket Color in 1999 and SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos for the Neo Geo in 2003.
From 2003 to 2008, the Versus series of Capcom fighting games saw no new releases, though Capcom and Namco produced the crossover tactical role-playing game Namco × Capcom for the PlayStation 2 exclusively in Japan in 2005. Ryu and Ken are also among the characters playable in 2012’s Project X Zone, a tactical role-playing game that draws characters from various Sega, Namco-Bandai, and Capcom franchises.
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Cross Generation of Heroes, released on December 11, 2008, features characters from both Tatsunoko Production and Capcom properties, including Street Fighter characters Ryu, Chun-Li, and Alex as well as characters like Ken the Eagle of Gatchaman and Casshern of Neo-Human Casshern on Tatsunoko’s side. Initially released only in Japan, the game received an updated international release entitled Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars on January 26, 2010 in response to fan demand.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds was released on February 15, 2011 and includes Akuma, Chun-Li, Crimson Viper, and Ryu. The game features completely new visuals and audio, three-on-three gameplay, and online play. The game was also intended to have downloadable content, but the content was disrupted due to an earthquake and tsunami in Tōhoku and was released along with additional new content in a separate game titled Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
Street Fighter X Tekken was released on March 6, 2012, featuring over 50 playable characters from both the Street Fighter and Tekken fighting franchises. While Street Fighter X Tekken was developed by Capcom, Namco is currently developing their own crossover title, Tekken X Street Fighter. Additionally, Akuma will make a guest appearance in Tekken 7.
Street Fighter X Mega Man is an all star (not to be confused with crossovers) platform game that was originally supposed to be a fan game developed by Seo Zong Hui, but Capcom distributed and released the game for the PC on December 17, 2012. Based on the classic Mega Man games, the free title has players control Mega Man as he battles against various Street Fighter characters and obtain their techniques.
Beyond Street Fighter, Capcom franchises have had guest appearances in the 2014 Nintendo crossover-fighting games Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, with protagonist Ryu appearing alongside fellow Capcom representative Mega Man. The Street Fighter content was released as extra in-game downloadable content in June 2015 and includes Ryu and Suzaku Castle, a stage inspired by Ryu’s stage from the Street Fighter II series.
Street Fighter III series (1997)
Street Fighter III: New Generation made its debut in the arcades on the CPS3 hardware in 1997. Street Fighter III discards most of the character roster from previous games, keeping only Ryu and Ken, introducing several new characters in their place. The most notable of these is the grappler Alex, who was designed to be the new lead character of the game, and Gill, who replaced Bison as the game’s main antagonist. Street Fighter III introduced the “Super Arts” selection system and the ability to parry an opponent’s attack.
Several months after Street Fighter III: New Generation’s release, it was followed by Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact, which made adjustments to the gameplay, added two new characters, and featured the return of Akuma as a playable character. Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, released in 1999 as the third and last iteration of Street Fighter III, brings back Chun-Li and adds four new characters.
The first two Street Fighter III games were ported to the Dreamcast as a compilation titled Double Impact. Ports of 3rd Strike were released for the Dreamcast as a standalone game, then included in the compilation Street Fighter Anniversary Collection for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Gill also became a playable secret character in the console versions, although he can still be played on the arcade version by using Twelve’s X.C.O.P.Y. super art. In 2010, Capcom announced Street Fighter III 3rd Strike: Online Edition.
Street Fighter IV series (2008)
The original Street Fighter IV game concept, Street Fighter IV Flashback, never made it past the proposal stage. On October 17, 2007, more than eight years since the release of Street Fighter III 3rd Strike for the arcades, Capcom unveiled Street Fighter IV at a Capcom Gamers Day event in London. Conceived as a direct sequel to the early Street Fighter II games (particularly Super Street Fighter II Turbo), Street Fighter IV features the return of the original twelve world warriors and recurring hidden character Akuma, along with four new characters (as well as a new boss character) in a storyline chronologically set between Street Fighter II and Street Fighter III. The gameplay, while still 2D, features cel-shaded 3D graphics inspired by Japanese sumi-e paintings. The Super Combo system, a Street Fighter mainstay since Super Turbo, returns along with new counter-attacking techniques called “Focus Attacks” (“Saving Attacks” in Japan), as well as new “Ultra Combo” moves, similar to the Rage Gauge seen in games from SNK Playmore.
The arcade version, which runs on the Taito Type X2 hardware, was distributed in Japan on July 2008, with a limited release in North America and the United Kingdom in select arcades in August. A home version was released in North America and Europe in February 2009 on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and in July 2009 for Windows PC. This features an expanded character roster, as well as all-new animated segments that show each character’s backstory, and a training mode similar to the Expert Challenges in Street Fighter EX. The cast includes six characters new to the Street Fighter series. Yoshinori Ono had hinted that the only two Street Fighter II characters absent from the game, Dee Jay and T. Hawk, could be available in the game at a later date. Instead, they were to be included in a whole new version of the game.
On September 28, 2009, Capcom announced Super Street Fighter IV. The game includes ten additional characters including two characters new to the franchise: Korean taekwondo fighter Juri and Turkish oil wrestler Hakan. Capcom implemented character balance adjustments and added second Ultra moves for each character. The game features an improved online experience with new modes of play. The game was released on April 27, 2010 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 at a discounted price point. If a Street Fighter IV savefile is detected on the system of play, two additional character colors (ink and sketch effect) are available.
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition was released on December 16, 2010, containing all of the content from the console release, and featuring four additional characters: Yun and Yang from Street Fighter III, as well as Evil Ryu and Oni, an alternate version of Ryu and Akuma, respectively. Seth Killian of Capcom said Arcade Edition was to be the last update to the IV series. On June 15, at E3 2010, a portable conversion of Super Street Fighter IV was confirmed for the Nintendo 3DS. Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition features 3D stereoscopic technology, multiplayer, and all thirty-five characters from the original Super Street Fighter IV release. At Evo 2011, Ono announced that a balance patch for Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition had been approved by Capcom. The patch was free of charge.
On July 14, 2013, a new update for Street Fighter IV titled Ultra Street Fighter IV was announced at the 2013 Evolution Championship Series. The new edition was released in 2014 as an arcade game, a DLC add-on for existing console versions of Super Street Fighter IV, and as a standalone game containing DLC from previous iterations. Along with various tweaks and additional modes and stages, the update adds five additional characters, consisting of Rolento, Elena, Poison and Hugo, who previously appeared in Street Fighter x Tekken, plus an all-new character, Decapre. Many of the gameplay changes are based on feedback from fans and Capcom community employee Peter Rosas, best known in the fighting game tournament scene as ComboFiend. On December 6, 2014, the game was confirmed to arrive on next generation consoles with a PlayStation 4 version releasing in Spring 2015.
Street Fighter V (2016)
In July 2013, Ono commented that while he desired to make a Street Fighter V for an eighth-generation console, such as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, a next-generation game would require a large staff and a large budget. He also stated that making the game a free-to-play title was an option, though he was not fully open to it, and confirmed that the game was currently not in development. In June 2014, Ono refuted claims that Street Fighter V would include a “pay to win option”, stating that Street Fighter V is still in the early planning stages.
On December 5, 2014, a teaser trailer for Street Fighter V was unintentionally released by Capcom to the public before being taken down again. The trailer mentioned that the game would be exclusive to PlayStation 4 and PC, and will enable cross platform gameplay. The official announcement was made at Sony’s PlayStation Experience event on December 6. It was released on February 16, 2016.
Various other games based on the Street Fighter franchise have been produced.
- The 1990 platforming game Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight is a non-canon loose sequel for the NES in which a retired Ken becomes a scientist fighting to avenge the death of a friend in a futuristic interplanetary adventure.
- Two video games based on the live-action Street Fighter movie were released in 1995; one for arcades, the other for PlayStation and Sega Saturn. The game retains the fighting style of the main series, but uses digitized character sprites similar to games such as Mortal Kombat.
- Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo is a puzzle game released in 1996, which features super deformed characters from the Street Fighter and Darkstalkers series fighting against each other by matching colored gems.
- Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo’s art style was later used in 1997’s Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix, which is a more lighthearted take on the main fighting games featuring simpler commands.
- The first animation based on the Street Fighter franchise was an unofficial animation released in South Korea in 1992, titled simply Street Fighter. It follows the characters Soryong and Saeng as they travel into the world of Street Fighter to defeat M. Bison.
- An anime film Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie by Group TAC was released theatrically in Japan in 1994. The English adaptation, produced by Manga Entertainment, was released on home video in 1995.
- Group TAC also produced an animated TV series Street Fighter II V, which first aired on Yomiuri TV in 1995, and a two-episode original video animation (OVA) series, Street Fighter Alpha: The Movie, which was released in 1999. English adaptations of both productions were produced by Manga Entertainment as well, though ADV Films did produce an early English adaptation of Street Fighter II V for the UK in the 90’s.
- An American-produced animated television series based on the games, titled simply Street Fighter, was produced by InVision Entertainment and aired in North America between 1995 and 1997. The series focused on Guile as he leads a group of “Street Fighters” to battle against Bison and his minions.
- A second OVA based on Street Fighter Alpha, titled Street Fighter Alpha: Generations, was produced specifically for the English market by Studio A.P.P.P. in 2005.
- With the publication of Street Fighter II manga complete edition, a 26-minute educational animation film Street Fighter Yomigaeru Fujiwara-Kyou was also released in 2004. In it, Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li and E.Honda travel back through time and learn about Japanese history. This film contains no fighting scenes and was released only in Japan.
- OVA Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind was released by Studio 4 °C in 2009. Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind is an animated movie directed by Jirō Kanai that was featured in a bonus disc included in the Collector’s Edition of Street Fighter IV for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The film adaptation was part of Capcom’s multi-platform launch for 2008 that also launched video games and a potential TV series in 2008.
- In Asia, a downloadable voucher for a Super Street Fighter IV movie featuring Juri was given in the Collector’s Edition of the Xbox 360 version. The 35-minute feature serves as an origin story to Juri and a canonical precursor to the game. Although having been fully dubbed in English, the film was not released outside of Asia until its inclusion as part of the Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Collector’s Set in 2012.
- There are four original animated trailers for Street Fighter IV that serve as prequels for its story.
- An American-produced live-action film, titled simply Street Fighter, was released in 1994, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme as Guile as well as Kylie Minogue, this version’s main character, opposite the late Raúl Juliá as General M. Bison. This film inspired an arcade game and console game both titled Street Fighter: The Movie. The film also inspired an American-produced animated TV series Street Fighter, which lasted two seasons with 13-episodes each from 1995 to 1997.
- In 2006, Hyde Park Entertainment and Capcom announced its intention to produce a film adaptation of the game series in a joint venture, with the storyline to focus on the Street Fighter character Chun-Li. Screenwriter Justin Marks was attached to write a script for the adaptation. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li was released on February 27, 2009 starring Kristin Kreuk as Chun-Li.
- Actor and filmmaker Joey Ansah co-directed Owen Trevor’s 2010 live-action short film Street Fighter: Legacy, starring John Foo as Ryu and Christian Howard as Ken who co-wrote it with Ansah. That same year, Capcom’s vice president of strategic planning and business development Christian Svensson has confirmed that there will be more Street Fighter films in development.
- At the San Diego Comic Con 2012, Ansah and Howard announced they are working on a TV series Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist, which was released on Machinima‘s YouTube channel in May 2014.
- At the San Diego Comic Con 2014, Ansah announced a second season titled Street Fighter: World Warrior for a 2017 release date.
- A Street Fighter web miniseries aired on Machinima exclusively on go90 in March 2016 titled Street Fighter: Resurrection.