When it comes to fighting video games, few are as iconic as Street Fighter! Since it was released in 1987, Street Fighter has remained one of the biggest names in fighting, and many aspects of the game—including its characters and catchphrases—have become pieces of video game history and pieces of iconography.
While the first game was certainly a success, things didn't REALLY get going until Street Fighter II. That's the game that everyone remembers, and that's the game that truly made Street Fighter an iconic franchise.
Well, we're here to show some love to the OG. These are ten things you never knew about the first Street Fighter.
10 It Was The First Fighting Game Developed By Capcom
Capcom isn't especially known for its fighting games. When one thinks of Capcom, one usually thinks of games like Resident Evil, Devil May Cry, and Monster Hunter. Therefore, it's really weird to think that their first foray into the fighting genre was such a massive success!
Street Fighter was the company's first try at a fighting game, and its success both launched one of gaming's most iconic franchises and inspired Capcom to create more fighting titles, including Marvel vs. Capcom.
9 It Was Inspired By Avengers
No, not THE Avengers. Avengers was an overhead beat-em-up video game developed by Capcom and released in 1987, the same year as Street Fighter. It was directed by a man named Takashi Nishiyama and worked on by Hiroshi Matsumoto.
Matsumoto later served as the core planner and designer of Street Fighter, and Takashi Nishiyama served as director. As the two had previously worked on Avengers together, it's clear that they took ideas from that game and perfected them, turning them into what would become one of the popular fighting franchises of all time. So, thanks, Avengers!
8 Nishiyama Was Practicing Martial Arts
Creative work is often inspired by real life. After all, they usually say "write what you know!" Well, in this case, it is "make what you know," but the concept still stands!
At the time of Street Fighter's development, director Takashi Nishiyama was practicing and studying various different styles of martial arts. He used what he had learned in real life and applied it to the game, emphasizing the different martial arts styles in the gameplay, helping to differentiate it from its contemporaries!
7 It Introduced Everyone To Keiji Inafune
Keiji Inafune is one of the most prolific illustrators in gaming history. Remember when game covers actually required imaginative artwork instead of copy-and-pasted characters looking into the "camera?" Inafune had just graduated college and began work at Capcom as their illustrator. He immediately went to work on Street Fighter and Mega Man.
Street Fighter was released to Japanese arcades in August of 1987, and Mega Man the following December. As you can see, both Capcom AND Keiji Inafune had a fantastic 1987! And right out of college as well!
6 Two Versions Were Released
Back in 1987, Street Fighter was released in two separate arcade variants. The first was the regular version that everyone knows, featuring the classic six-button configuration.
However, another version was also released, and it was called the "deluxe" version. This "deluxe" cabinet featured sensitive rubber pads, which determined both the strength and the speed of the players' attacks. It was a pretty fancy toy for the time, and it added a further sense of immersion to the game.
5 Ken And Ryu Were Originally Dubbed In English
Like most Japanese video games, Street Fighter was originally dubbed in English when it was released to western countries. Both Ken and Ryu's voices were altered to English for the worldwide release, and the two would shout their moves. These included "Psycho fire!" "Dragon fire!" and "Hurricane kick!"
However, for whatever reason, this change did not last long. Upon further worldwide releases of the game, the original Japanese voices were left intact. We think it was the right decision...
4 It Was Later Released As Fighting Street
We personally love the title Street Fighter. Some people prefer Fighting Street. To each their own! The following year (1988), Street Fighter was ported to home consoles and released on the TurboGrafx-CD (known as the PC Engine in Japan and France).
For whatever reason, this version was released under the name Fighting Street, and it was this version that was later released on the Wii's Virtual Console. This version also came equipped with a remastered soundtrack, even though the game was only one year old! Man, how technology flies!
3 It Was An Immediate Success
As we said, Street Fighter didn't really become the series we know and love today until Street Fighter II was released in 1991. However, that's not to say that the original game wasn't a success, because it absolutely was.
Street Fighter was ranked as the most commercially successful arcade game in an August 1988 issue of Sinclair User, a magazine based around Sinclair Research. This was one full year after its release, which proves either Street Fighter remained popular for an entire year or word of mouth had significantly spread since its release. Either way, it was making big bucks, and work on potential sequels began.
2 It Received A Bad Review From Computer And Video Games
While Street Fighter was an immediate commercial success, not everyone was a fan of the game. A particularly scathing review came from Computer and Video Games, a now-defunct UK-based gaming magazine.
Back in Computer and Video Games no. 84, published in October of 1988, the game was said to have "no lasting appeal whatsoever." Now, isn't that ironic, considering that we're talking about it and you're reading about it and that it did have lasting appeal. In fact, it became the most important fighting game of all time! So there!
1 It Later Received "Unofficial" Sequels
Street Fighter was a massive success, although work didn't necessarily begin on Street Fighter II right away. Instead, Capcom tried branding unrelated games as sequels in an attempt to drum up interest—and money.
One of these was a beat-em-up game called Final Fight, which was originally going to be Street Fighter II until it was altered midway through development. Another game was called Human Killing Machine, which was weirdly branded as the sequel to Tiertex's port of the original Street Fighter. Of course, this didn't work, and fans began clamoring for a proper sequel. Needless to say, they got one...