Even though it's been 19 years since the release of Street Fighter II, Capcom's fighting game series continues to prove its popularity among modern games with its strong fan following. Although you may have spent all of your free time and lunch money in the arcades playing Street Fighter II during the '90s, there may be some things you still don't know about the series.
1. The Theme Song for Ken's Stage is a Rip Off of Cheap Trick's “Mighty Wings”
You be the judge. Coincidence, or plagiarism?
2. Why Does DeeJay Wear MAXIMUM Pants?
Dee Jay, Super Street Fighter II's Jamaican kick boxer, was originally designed to have pants that read “MANTIS” down the side of his leg. However, the words would not have looked right when his sprite was mirrored to face the opposite direction.
The game designers changed the word to the vertically symmetric “MAXIMUM,” so it can be spelled correctly facing either direction.
Think “MAXIMUM” is cheesy? Other options for his pants could have been “YUMMY”, “WAX MOUTH”, or “HI WHY AM I A MOM”.
3. Name Changes To Avoid Copyright Laws
Street Fighter II's African-American boxer was originally named “M. Bison,” which was short for “Mike Bison”… obviously, he was modeled and named after Mike Tyson. When the name got localized for the international market, the names of the boss characters where shuffled around to avoid any likeness infringement lawsuits.
The boxer is known as Mike Bison in Japan is renamed “Balrog” in the U.S.
The masked Spaniard is known as Balrog in Japan is renamed “Vega” in the U.S.
The evil dictator and head of Shadaloo is known as Vega in Japan is renamed “M. Bison” in the U.S.
4. Is That Dhalsim on the Street Fighter II Turbo Boxart?
Look closely at the SNES cover of Street Fighter II Turbo. The arms of E. Honda form a faint image of Dhalsim sitting in his Lotus position. Do you see it?
5. Hong Kong Flag Change
One of the changes made for Hyper Street Fighter II is that the colonial flag of Hong Kong was changed to the flag of China due to the handover in 1997. Street Fighter has to keep up with the times![ 6. The Legend of Ryu and Ken's Master, “Sheng Long,” Began as a Poor Translation Job
Whenever Ryu won a match during the one of the early iterations of Street Fighter II, he would say, “You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance.”
Well, who or what the heck is Sheng Long? “Sheng Long” is actually the Chinese pronunciation of “Sho-Ryo”, as in “Sho-Ryu-Ken” (better known as the Dragon Punch). What Ryu was trying to say at the time was that his opponent needed to master his technique in order to defeat him.
Due to one poor translator's epic mistranslation, many gamers across the world believed that Ryu's cryptic words hinted at a hidden character named Sheng Long. Taking full advantage of gamers' gullibility, Electronic Gaming Monthly Magazine pulled off one of the greatest April Fool's jokes of all time and claimed that Sheng Long is indeed a playable character. The long-rumored master of Ryu and Ken can be unlocked by performing certain ridiculously difficult feats, causing players from across the world to pour in quarter after quarter into Street Fighter II machines in order to unlock him.
How did Capcom respond to the Sheng Long fiasco? They made him a real character for the release of 2009's Street Fighter IV.
7. Russian President Cameo
Who was it that made a guest appearance during Zangief's ending? It's actually former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev. The two of them celebrate Zangief's victory by performing Трепак (also known as the “Russian Dance”) together.
8. Multiple Guinness World Records
Street Fighter II has been honored with several awards from the Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2008. However, you'll be surprised at what these titles were for. These records are “First Fighting Game to Use Combos,” “Most Cloned Fighting Game,” and “Biggest-Selling Coin-Operated Fighting Game.”
9. Who is “Buppo”?
One of the boats in Ken's stage has the name “Buppo” written on it. “Buppo” is actually the name of one of Street Fighter II's many game designers.
10. Ken and Ryu's Fireball is a Projection of Their Hands
Look closely at the still image of the Hadoken Fireball. The center of the flame of the fireball is an image of Ken and Ryu's hands.