Street Fighter is almost 35 years old, and it’s still one of the most iconic and popular fighting games in the world. It’s no wonder that it already has several games from different generations and even today it continues to gain news, such as Street Fighter 6, which will be released in 2022.
Its first version was released for arcades and in these years of existence the game has gathered many fans. It’s a fighting game with characters that come from all over the world, with classic moves that keep gaining new features with each generation.
9 facts about Street Fighter
To celebrate the success of this franchise that has even featured movies and cartoons, today we are going to separate some curious facts about it. Check out:
1. Blanka may not be Brazilian, but he’s the game’s producer’s favorite
Blanka’s nationality is still a matter of debate among Street Fighter fans. Although most know that he is Brazilian, his origin leaves a flea behind his ear in relation to this. What is known is that Blanka was in a plane crash and crashed into the Amazon Rainforest, where he mutated from being exposed to electric eels.
So many say that he wasn’t exactly born in Brazil, he just fell there when he was little, being actually Jimmy, an American boy. Other theories claim that he was actually born in Brazil.
But regardless of the character’s nationality, he stands out for being the favorite of Yoshinori Ono, the producer of the franchise. He always has a small Blanka doll close by and this ended up becoming public on the internet, even because he himself posts several photos with the doll on his social networks.
2. Many characters were inspired by real people
As with some fighting games, Street Fighter also had several of its characters inspired by real people. The most famous are Balrog and Fei Long, who are characters inspired by boxer Mike Tyson and actor Bruce Lee, respectively. But they weren’t the only ones.
Several other real-life fighters also served as inspiration for other characters. Ken himself, who is one of the most well-known characters in the franchise, was inspired by a great American karate fighter, Joe Lewis. Ryu, on the other hand, was inspired by a character from a manga which, in turn, was inspired by another important karate fighter, Masutatsu Oyama.
Other examples are Zangief, whose look was inspired by the fighter Ivan Koloff and Dee Jay was inspired by the actor and fighter Billy Blanks, who invented the Tae Bo style, a combination of Tae Kwon Do and Boxing.
3. Chun Li ran the risk of being weaker
Chun Li is one of the great highlights of Street Fighter, being one of the favorites of many players. She was the first female character to come to the game, being introduced in Street Fighter 2, and has already arrived with an important role.
However, she was almost a victim of an idea that could be considered sexist and that was a common cultural thought of the time. When Chun Li was created, Yoshiki Okamoto, the creator of the game, wanted her health bar to be lower than that of other fighters, as, according to him, “women are not that strong”. But the game’s designer, Akira Nishitani, didn’t like the idea, and luckily, it didn’t come to fruition.
4. Other character ideas were discarded
During the creation of the game, some ideas were considered for some of the characters and were discarded in the process. One is that in Dhalsim’s original concept art, he would have 6 arms, 3 on each side of his body. This idea would have been inspired by Ganesha, a Hindu god, and because of that the fighter would still have an elephant’s head.
Zangief also underwent a change, but in this case it was in relation to the name and origin of the character. Initially he was going to be called Gobalsky Vodka, and he was reportedly banned from the Russian wrestling organization after participating in a drunken tournament, thus breaking the rules.
Another character that underwent changes was Vega, who in his early drafts was a medieval knight, even gaining armor, sword and shield. This happened when they were still thinking of bringing in participants from various eras in history. But as this concept changed to be from participants from different countries, the idea was discarded. Not entirely, however, as the mask and blades he uses are remnants of that idea.
5. Final Fight would be the direct continuation of the first Street Fighter
Final Fight is a very successful beat’em up game, but many people don’t know that it was initially designed to be a direct continuation of Street Fighter. Its original title was Street Fighter ’89 and it even earned the title Street Fighter: The Final Fight in a Japanese magazine spread.
However, they ended up changing their minds just before the game’s release, which became just Final Fight and turned into another franchise. According to designer Yoshiki Okamoto, this was because the two games had different styles, one fighting and the other beat’em up, so it would end up confusing things a lot.
But that relationship still continued in a way, as the characters from Final Fight have already appeared in the Street Fighter franchise. Guy and Sodom can be seen in Street Fighter Alpha, while Rolento appears in Street Fighter Alpha 2 and Cody in Alpha 3.
6. Two games were released based on the movie Street Fighter – The Final Battle
Street Fighter won a movie starring Jean Claude Van Damme, Raúl Juliá and Kylie Minogue. Despite the success of the games, the film did not like that much and arrived with several problems, becoming a target of criticism. However, he won 2 games inspired by the feature.
That is, the movie that is based on the game won 2 two games that were based on the movie. Confused? A little. The arcade version of the Street Fighter – The Movie movie is completely independent of the “original” Street Fighter franchise, starting with the visuals. The characters have the look and feel of the actors in the film and their style is much more reminiscent of the franchise’s rival, Mortal Kombat.
The idea was really to take the focus away from Mortal Kombat at the time, but it didn’t help much since, like the movie, it wasn’t very well received. There was also a version for consoles, but this one was produced by Capcom itself and already brings a style more similar to the original Street Fighter series. It was released for the PlayStation and Saturn and brought back characters cut from the arcade version, such as Blanka and Dee Jay, and took the Blade. It wasn’t very successful either.
7. Sheng Long was created from a game translation error
Sheng Long, Ryu and Ken’s master, only appeared in Street Fighter 4, as one of the fighters in the series, but few people know he wasn’t even planned. It all started with a translation error. In Street Fighter 2, after the opponent is defeated by Ryu, the phrase “You need to defeat Sheng Long to have a chance of winning” appears.
In fact, the correct phrase would be “You need to defeat Shoryuken to have a chance of winning”, referring to one of his most iconic powers. But the game ended up going through a translation error in the ideogram, and in English it was like Sheng Long.
After that, in 1991, EGM magazine ended up running an April 1 joke that said that Sheng Long could be found in the game and even unlocked in the arcade version. Capcom ended up taking advantage of all the facts and finally created Sheng Long.
8. Combos were also created unexpectedly, because of a bug
Another detail of the games that emerged unexpectedly were the iconic fighting combos, which started to be seen in the game mechanics from Super Street Fighter II. It turns out that during the game’s production, producer Noritaka Funamizu ended up realizing that there was a bug in that bonus stage of destroying a car. In the bug, the character took one more hit.
But as he believed that no one would be able to execute this mechanic because it was too difficult and complicated, he ended up leaving him there without correction. I was wrong, since many players managed to do this feat, finding the bug and with that one of the most interesting elements of Street Fighter was born: the combos.
9. The game has some Guinness Book records
The bug that started the game’s combos was welcome, both for the success of the mechanics and for guaranteeing Street Fighter one of its Guinness World Records records. Among them are the “first fighting game using combos”, the “most cloned fighting game of all time” and the “best selling arcade fighting game of all time”.