Street Fighter II
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|Street Fighter II|
A Japanese brochure for the arcade version of Street Fighter II, featuring the original eight main characters.
|Designer(s)||Akira Nishitani (Nin Nin)
Akira Yasuda (Akiman)
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players simultaneously|
|Distribution||ROM, cartridge, Compact Cassette, floppy disk|
|Arcade system||CP System|
|Display||Raster, horizontal orientation, 384 x 224 pixels, 4096 colors, 60 Hz refresh rate|
Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (ストリートファイターⅡ -The World Warrior-) is a competitive fighting game originally released for the arcades in 1991. It is the second entry in the Street Fighter series and the arcade sequel to the original Street Fighter released in 1987. It was Capcom's fourteenth title that ran on the CP System arcade hardware. Street Fighter II improved upon the many concepts introduced in the first game, including the use of command-based special moves and a six-button configuration, while offering players a selection of multiple playable characters, each with their own unique fighting style.
The success of Street Fighter II is credited for starting the fighting game boom during the 1990s which inspired other game developers to produce their own fighting game franchises, popularizing the genre. Its success led to a sub-series of updated versions (see below), each offering additional features and characters over previous versions, as well as several home versions. In 1993, sales of Street Fighter II exceeded $1.5 billion in gross revenues, and by 1994, the game had been played by at least 25 million Americans in homes and arcades. The video game console port to the Super NES sold 6.3 million units and remained Capcom's best-selling consumer game of all time until 2013, when it was surpassed by Resident Evil 5.
- 1 Gameplay
- 2 Development
- 3 Characters
- 4 Updated versions
- 5 Home versions
- 6 Legacy
- 7 Reception
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
Street Fighter II follows several of the conventions and rules already established by its original 1987 predecessor. The player engages opponents in one-on-one close quarter combat in a series of best-two-out-of-three matches. The objective of each round is to deplete the opponent's vitality before the timer runs out. If both opponents knock each other out at the same time or the timer runs out with both fighters having an equal amount of vitality left, then a "double KO" or "draw game" is declared and additional rounds will be played until sudden death. In the first Street Fighter II, a match could last up to ten rounds if there was no clear winner; this was reduced to four rounds in Champion Edition and onward. If there is no clear winner by the end of the final round, then either the computer-controlled opponent will win by default in a single-player match or both fighters will lose in a 2-player match.
After every third match in the single player mode, the player will participate in a "Bonus stage minigame" for additional points. The bonus games includes (in order) a car-breaking event similar to another bonus round featured in Final Fight; a barrel breaking bonus game where the barrels are dropped off from a conveyor belt above the player; and a drum-breaking bonus game where drums are flammable and piled over each other. The bonus games were removed from the arcade version of Super Street Fighter II Turbo (although they are featured in the Game Boy Advance version).
Like in the original, the game's controls uses a configuration of an eight-directional joystick and six attack buttons. The player uses the joystick to jump, crouch and move the character towards or away from the opponent, as well as to guard the character from an opponent's attacks. There are three punch buttons and three kick buttons of differing strength and speed (Light, Medium and Heavy). The player can perform a variety of basic moves in any position, including grabbing/throwing attacks, which were not featured in the original Street Fighter. Like in the original, the player can perform special moves by inputting a combination of directional and button-based commands.
Street Fighter II differs from its predecessor due to the selection of multiple playable characters, each with distinct fighting styles and special moves. A bug in the game's code enabled the player to "cancel" during the animation of some moves by performing another move, allowing for a combination of several basic and special moves. This "combo" system was later adopted as a standard feature of fighting games, and was expanded upon in subsequent Street Fighter installments.
Although the original Street Fighter had not been very popular, Capcom began to make fighting games a priority after Final Fight was commercially successful in the United States. About 35 to 40 people worked on Street Fighter II, with Noritaka Funamizu as a producer, and Akira Nishitani and Akira Yasuda in charge of the game and character design respectively. Funamizu notes that the developers did not particularly prioritise Street Fighter II's balance; he primarily ascribes the game's success to its appealing animation patterns. The quality of animation benefitted from the developers' use of the CPS-1 hardware, the advantages of which included the ability for different characters to occupy different amounts of memory; for example, Ryu could take up 8Mbit and Zangief 12Mbit. The game's development took two years.
The game's combo system came about by accident:
"While I was making a bug check during the car bonus stage… I noticed something strange, curious. I taped the sequence and we saw that during the punch timing, it was possible to add a second hit and so on. I thought this was something impossible to make useful inside a game, as the timing balance was so hard to catch. So we decided to leave the feature as a hidden one. The most interesting thing is that this became the base for future titles. Later we were able to make the timing more comfortable and the combo into a real feature. In SFII we thought if you got the perfect timing you could place several hits, up to four I think. Then we managed to place eight! A bug? Maybe.—Noritaka Funamizu, 
The vast majority of the in-game music was composed by Yoko Shimomura. While Shimomura initially had reservations about doing the music for a fighting game, a genre of which she was not particularly fond, she soon came to enjoy working on the project and stated that while Breath of Fire was her personal favorite of the games she worked on while at Capcom, Street Fighter II was the most memorable. This was ultimately the only game in the series on which Shimomura worked, as she subsequently left the company for Squaresoft two years later. Isao Abe, a Capcom newcomer, handled a few additional tracks for this game (most notably Sagat's theme) and subsequently became the main composer on the remaining Street Fighter II games. The sound programming and sound effects were overseen by Yoshihiro Sakaguchi, who had been the composer on the original Street Fighter.
The original Street Fighter II features a roster of eight playable characters that could be selected by the player. The roster initially included Ryu and Ken—the two main characters from the original Street Fighter game—plus six new characters from different nationalities. In the single-player tournament, the player faces off against the other seven main characters, before proceeding to the final opponents, which are four non-selectable CPU-controlled boss opponents, known as the "Four Grand Masters".
- Blanka, a beast-like man from Brazil who was raised in the jungle.
- Chun-Li, a Chinese female martial artist who works as an Interpol officer, seeking to avenge her deceased father.
- Dhalsim, a yoga master from India.
- E. Honda, a sumo wrestler from Japan.
- Guile, a former special forces operative from the United States, seeking to defeat the man who killed his best friend.
- Ken, Ryu's former training partner and rival, from the United States.
- Ryu, a Japanese martial artist seeking to become a "true warrior."
- Zangief, a pro wrestler from USSR.
- Balrog (M. Bison in the Japanese version), an African-American boxer, designed with a similar appearance to Mike Tyson.
- Vega (Balrog in the Japanese version), a Spanish cage fighter who uses a unique style of ninjutsu.
- Sagat, a Muay Thai master and the final boss in the original Street Fighter, who was scarred by Ryu in the end of the previous tournament.
- M. Bison (Vega in the Japanese version), the leader of the criminal organization Shadaloo, who uses a mysterious power known as "Psycho Power", and the final boss of the game.
Balrog was designed as a pastiche of real-life boxer Mike Tyson and was originally named M. Bison (short for "Mike Bison") in the Japanese versions, while Vega and M. Bison were originally named Balrog and Vega respectively. When the game was localized for the overseas market, the names of the bosses were rotated because the name and resemblance could have led to a likeness infringement lawsuit.
Street Fighter II was followed by a series of updated versions, each refining the play mechanics, graphics, character roster and other aspects of the game. The first was Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, released for the arcades in 1992, which allowed players to control the four Grand Masters and same character matches. Following the Champion Edition, a wave of bootleg ROM chip upgrades for its arcade cabinets added new gameplay, prompting Capcom's official response with Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting during the same year, increasing the playing speed and giving some of the characters new special moves. Super Street Fighter II was released in 1993, which marked the change to the more advanced CP System II, allowing for revamped graphics and music, while introducing four new characters. Super Street Fighter II Turbo was released in 1994 and was the last of the Street Fighter II releases for the arcades, which introduced powered-up special moves called Super Combos and added a new hidden character.
All five Street Fighter II games have ported to various platforms, both in individual releases and in compilations. There have also been exclusive home versions such as Hyper Street Fighter II (which was retroactively ported to the arcade) and Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix.
Street Fighter II was released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System on June 10, 1992 in Japan, which was followed by a North American and European release on August of the same year. It was the first 16-Megabit cartridge for the SNES. Many aspects from the arcade versions were either changed, or simplified in order to fit into the smaller memory capacity. This version also featured a secret code which would allow both players to control the same character in a match, which wasn't possible in the original arcade version edition. The second player uses the same alternate color palette introduced in Street Fighter II: Champion Edition. The four Grand Masters are still non-playable, but they use their Champion Edition color palette if the code is entered.
Other changes are as follows:
- The attract sequence which featured two generic fighters fighting was removed (it was missing in Street Fighter II Turbo, but it was restored for the Genesis version Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition albeit with the appearance of one of the fighters altered and blood removed).
- Some of the voice samples played when characters perform certain techniques or special moves were removed.
- The pitch of a character's voice when they perform a special move differs depending on the strength level. The higher the strength level, the higher the pitch.
- The bonus stage in which the player must destroy stacks of flammable oil drums was replaced by a stage in which the player must destroy a pile of bricks (this same bonus stage also featured in subsequent SNES versions, as well as in both Genesis installments although the bricks were red instead of gray). The barrel breaking bonus stage was also removed (it was restored for the two subsequent SNES versions, as well as both Genesis installments) and as a result, the bonus stages are now played after every four matches (rather than every three).
- The tunes of the soundtrack were not only arranged, the music that plays when a character is losing a match is arranged differently from the arcade version, since the same music is played but with the tempo raised (later SNES and Genesis installments also featured similar changes).
- Some techniques were deleted, such as Chun-Li's close standing medium punch.
- The walking animation of the characters when retreating from an opponent is the same when advancing, only played in reverse (the other SNES and Genesis versions also featured this change).
- The palm tree in the foreground of Sagat's stage was removed (it was removed in Champion Edition).
- The voiced countdown during the continue screen, as well as the reading of each country's name, were removed. Moreover, the font used during the continue screen is different as well (a noticeably larger number font).
- Two of the elephants were removed from Dhalsim's stage, leaving a total of four.
- The blood splatter behind the "VS." text before each match was removed. The effect was added back in the later port versions, and its colour changed to purple in Super Street Fighter II.
- The post-match messages for certain characters (like M. Bison and Balrog) were altered.
- The visuals and script in some of the endings are a bit different from the arcade version.
- The upper and lower portions of the screen are covered in black bars, shortening the vertical length of the game screen (the PC Engine and Genesis ports also added these black bars). This was done to compensate for the reduced size of the character sprites and make the change less noticeable to players.
- A "VS." mode was added for two players to play a series of matches (wins/losses/draws), having the option each time to change their character, the stage, handicap, etc.
U.S. Gold versions
U.S. Gold released versions of Street Fighter II for various home computer platforms, particularly DOS, Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum. All five versions were developed by Creative Materials.
The Game Boy version of Street Fighter II was released on August 11, 1995 in Japan and on September 1995 internationally. It is missing three of the original characters (E. Honda, Dhalsim and Vega), although the remaining nine are all playable. The graphics, character portraits, and backgrounds are based on Super Street Fighter II, although some moves (such as Blanka's Amazon River Run) from Super Street Fighter II Turbo are included as well. Since the Game Boy only features two buttons, the strength of a player's punches and kicks are determined by how long the player hold either button (an input method similar to the one used in Fighting Street, the TurboGrafx CD version of the original Street Fighter). Same character matches are allowed, but because of the game's lack of color, distinguishing between two characters is not possible even on a Super Game Boy.
The original Street Fighter II was included along with Champion Edition and Hyper Fighting in the compilation Capcom Generation 5 for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn, which was released in North America and Europe under the title of Street Fighter Collection 2. All three games were also included in Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 1 for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, as well as Capcom Classics Collection Reloaded for the PlayStation Portable.
Street Fighter II is regarded as one of the most influential video games of all time, and the most important fighting game in particular. The release of Street Fighter II in 1991 is often considered a revolutionary moment in the fighting game genre. It featured the most accurate joystick and button scanning routine in the genre thus far, allowed players to reliably execute multi-button special moves (which had previously required an element of luck), and its graphics took advantage of Capcom's CPS arcade chipset, with highly detailed characters and stages. Whereas previous games allowed players to combat a variety of computer-controlled fighters, Street Fighter II allowed players to play against each other. The popularity of Street Fighter II surprised the gaming industry, as arcade owners bought more machines to keep up with demand. Street Fighter II was also responsible for introducing the combo mechanic, which came about when skilled players learned that they could combine several attacks that left no time for the opponent to recover if they timed them correctly. Its success inspired a wave of other fighting games, which were initially often labelled as "clones", including popular franchises such as Mortal Kombat, Killer Instinct, The King of Fighters, Virtua Fighter, and Tekken.
Street Fighter II was also responsible for revitalizing the arcade video game industry in the early 1990s, to a level of popularity not seen since the days of Pac-Man in the early 1980s; it was the best-selling arcade video game by far since the golden age of arcade video games. Its impact on home video games was equally important, with its release being a major event that boosted sales of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Since then, many of the best-selling home video games have been arcade ports.
The game was also responsible for popularizing the concept of direct, tournament-level competition between two players. Previously, video games most often relied on high scores to determine the best player, but this changed with Street Fighter II, where players would instead challenge each other directly, "face-to-face," to determine the best player, paving the way for the competitive multiplayer and deathmatch modes found in modern action games. Another impact it had on the gaming industry was the concept of revisions, with Capcom continuously upgrading and expanding the arcade game instead of simply releasing a sequel, paving the way for the patches and downloadable content found in modern video games.
The Street Fighter II games were followed by several sub-series of Street Fighter games and spinoffs which includes Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter EX, Street Fighter III, Pocket Fighter, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo and Capcom's Vs. series (which combined Capcom's characters with properties from other companies such as Marvel, SNK and Tatsunoko). Capcom released Street Fighter IV for the arcades in July 2008, followed by the release for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles in February 2009 and for Microsoft Windows in July 2009.
- The characters from the Street Fighter II video game became part of the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero line up in 1993, as Hasbro bought the toy rights to the characters.
- Street Fighter II was adapted into two different film adaptations in 1994, Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie (a Japanese anime film produced by Group TAC) 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 incorporated the main cast of the video game and wrapped them into an action adventure. 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 U.S. Street Fighter cartoon, which followed a combined Van Damme movie and game series plot, and an unrelated anime titled Street Fighter II V, mostly thought as being a prequel to the event in the original game (like the Street Fighter Alpha series), featuring younger characters; a similar approach drove the script of the movie The Legend of Chun-Li.
In the February 1992 issue of Gamest magazine in Japan, it was revealed that due to low stock the games were selling for seven times the cost (15000 yen in Japan, equivalent to about $119.19 and £65 at the time). The original arcade version of Street Fighter II was awarded Best Game of 1991 in their Fifth Annual Grand Prize, which also won in the genre of Best Action Game (the award for fighting games was not established yet). Street Fighter II also placed No. 1 in Best VGM, Best Direction, and Best Album, and was second place in Best Graphics. All the characters, with the exception of M. Bison (the character known internationally as Balrog), were featured in the list of Best Characters of 1991, with Chun-Li at No. 1, Ryu at No. 3, Guile at No. 4, Dhalsim at No. 5, Zangief at No. 6, Edmond Honda at No. 8, Ken and Blanka sharing the No. 9 spot, Vega (M. Bison outside Japan) at No. 13, Balrog (Vega outside Japan) at No. 16, and Sagat at No. 22.
In the following year, Street Fighter II Dash was also awarded Best Game of 1992 in the Sixth Annual Grand Prize, as published in the February 1993 issue of Gamest, winning once again in the category of Best Action Game. Dash placed No. 3 in Best VGM, No. 6 in Best Graphics, No. 5 in Best Direction. The Street Fighter II Image Album was the No. 1 Best Album in the same issue, with the Drama CD version of Street Fighter II tied for No. 7 with the soundtrack for Star Blade. The List of Best Characters was not dominated by Street Fighter II characters this time, with the only character at the Top Ten being Chun-Li at No. 3. Street Fighter II also won the Golden Joystick Award for Game of the Year in 1992.
The SNES version of Street Fighter II was also very well received, named by Electronic Gaming Monthly as the Game of the Year for 1992. EGM awarded the follow-up title Street Fighter II Turbo with Best Super NES Game in the year after. It was also one of the three games chosen by Electronic Games magazine's Electronic Gaming Awards for the Video Game of the Year category, along with NHLPA Hockey '93 and Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
The Mega Drive version of Street Fighter II received 10 out of 10 for both graphics and addiction from Mega, who described it as "a candidate for best game ever and without a doubt the best beat-'em-up of all time". MegaTech scored it 95%, and commented "the greatest coin-op hits the Megadrive in perfect form". Guinness World Records awarded Street Fighter II three world records in the Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2008. These records are "First Fighting Game to Use Combos", "Most Cloned Fighting Game", and "Biggest-Selling Coin-Operated Fighting Game."
The original version of Street Fighter II sold more than 60,000 video game arcade cabinets, followed by Street Fighter II': Champion Edition selling 140,000 cabinets in Japan alone, where it cost ¥160,000 ($1300) for each cabinet, amounting to ¥22.4 billion ($182 million) revenue generated from cabinet sales of Champion Edition in Japan, which in 2009 is equivalent to ¥24.6 billion (over $300 million). The sales for the arcade versions of Street Fighter II in the Western world were similarly successful. In 1992, the game captured 60% of the UK coin-op market, with individual machines taking up to £1000 per week, for an estimated total of £260 million per year
The numerous home versions of Street Fighter II are listed among Capcom's Platinum-class titles (games which have sold more than 1 million units worldwide). The SNES version of the original Street Fighter II is still the company's best-selling game, having sold more than 6.3 million units. The SNES versions of Street Fighter II Turbo and Super Street Fighter II also sold 4.1 million and 2 million, respectively, followed by the Genesis version of Street Fighter II′: Special Champion Edition with 1.65 million sales. In total, more than 14 million copies were sold for the SNES and Mega Drive / Genesis consoles. In 1993, sales of Street Fighter II exceeded $1.5 billion in gross revenue, equivalent to $2.32 billion in 2011. By 1994, the game had been played by at least 25 million Americans in homes and arcades.
- Arcade cabinets
|Game||Sales (arcade cabinets)|
|Street Fighter II||60,000+|
|Street Fighter II': Champion Edition||140,000+ in Japan|
- Home software
|The World Warrior||Super NES||6.3|
|Special Champion Edition||Mega Drive||1.65|
|New Challengers||Super NES||2|
|HD Remix||PS3 / Xbox 360||0.25*|
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