Street Fighter (universe)

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Street Fighter (universe)
Developer(s) Capcom
Publisher(s) Capcom
Designer(s) Takashi Nishiyama (Piston Takahashi)
Hiroshi Matsumoto (Finish Hiroshi)
Akira Yasuda (Akiman)
Akira Nishitani (Nin Nin)
Yoshinori Ono
Genre(s) Fighting
Console of origin Arcade
First installment Street Fighter (1987)
Latest installment Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection (2018)
Article on Wikipedia Street Fighter (universe)

The Street Fighter universe (ストリートファイター, Street Fighter) refers to the Super Smash Bros. series' collection of characters and properties that hail from the famous fighting game franchise created by Capcom. Originating on the arcade in 1987, the series became world-renowned as one of Capcom's most lucrative franchises, alongside Mega Man. It stars a multitude of characters whose sights are set on their life goals and to be crowned the greatest warrior on Earth -- as is the case with its main star and sole playable downloadable-content (DLC) fighter, Ryu.

Franchise description[edit]

In 1987, Capcom developed and released its first competitive fighting game, Street Fighter, for arcade machines, and subsequently ported it to the TurboGrafx-CD console under the title "Fighting Street" in 1988. Though the one-on-one fighting game genre had already been first popularized years earlier by Karate Champ in 1984, Street Fighter is credited with introducing hidden, command-based special techniques to the budding genre's formula. The game itself is a primarily single-player affair in which the only character that can be played as is the martial artist Ryu, who must defeat a linear series of computer-controlled opponents at martial arts venues across the world. In the game's limited 2-player mode, the second player takes control of Ken Masters, Ryu's friendly rival who is otherwise a functionally identical clone of Ryu in-game, and whichever player wins a multiplayer match between the two will proceed with the rest of the single-player game as that character. The game received fair critical reception for relevantly innovating on its genre, but failed to garner lasting popularity, and would primarily derive its public appeal from being a historical curiosity in the wake of far more successful endeavors by the series.

Capcom had intended to lift Street Fighter's concept and improve on it with a sequel, but repurposed their follow-up project as a side-scrolling beat-em-up titled Final Fight in response to the popularity of Technōs Japan's Double Dragon. Despite this change in direction, Capcom decided to make fighting games a priority after Final Fight was commercially successful in the United States, and went ahead with Street Fighter II, which saw release in 1991. It was met with meteoric commercial and critical success, and is credited with both setting off a renaissance for the arcade game industry in the early 1990s and giving rise to an influx of fighting game franchises by other developers, popularizing the genre. The Super NES port of Street Fighter II - the first 16-Megabit cartridge for the console - became Capcom's best-selling single-consumer game software until 2013, when it was surpassed by Resident Evil 5.

Street Fighter II added the concept of a roster of selectable playable characters, each with their own distinct fighting style and special moves, to the formula of the first game, as well competitive multiplayer combat between two players and a combo system - the first fighting game ever to use one, despite coming about as a bug initially. Many of the innovations brought about by Street Fighter II were incorporated into later fighting games - including the Super Smash Bros. series itself, to an extent. Following this, Capcom enacted a long series of updated re-releases of the game over the course of several years, adding various improvements and new features in response to a wave of bootleg ROM chip upgrades that emerged for its arcade cabinets. Street Fighter II': Champion Edition made four previously boss-exclusive characters playable and added "mirror matches" (the capacity for two players to fight as the same character with differing color palettes); Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting featured faster playing speeds; Super Street Fighter II reverted the speed change, added more characters, and featured a new scoring system which kept track of combos, as well as an eight-player single-elimination tournament mode; and Super Street Fighter II Turbo allowed the gameplay speed to be adjusted, featured combos that could be performed in the air, and introduced more powerful "Super Combos" that could only be performed under certain conditions.

Street Fighter had become Capcom's second best-selling franchise behind Mega Man, with Street Fighter II being among the most successful and highest-grossing video games of all time when considering both its arcade and home versions.[1] Capcom proceeded to release appropriately-iterative sequels in the decades to follow, each of which made more significant changes and expansions to the prototypical formula and each of which spawned their own subseries. In addition to a variety of game spinoffs and television and film adaptations, the Street Fighter IP has also been involved in a fairly regular stream of crossover productions, such as Street Fighter X Tekken, which pits Street Fighter's iconic cast against that of Namco's Tekken series (one of the more prolific fighting game series that Street Fighter has been credited with spawning in the wake of its own success). Street Fighter characters have also been regulars in the Marvel vs. Capcom series, where a large roster of the most popular characters from Capcom's overall stable of franchises fight alongside an equally large selection of Marvel Comics superheroes and supervillains. In a nonetheless unexpected turn, Ryu was included as a post-launch downloadable content character in Nintendo and Namco's Super Smash Bros. 4, the second Capcom-originating character to figure into the game's roster.

The Street Fighter series prioritizes gameplay over plotting throughout its chronology, with a vague scenario serving as a backdrop for otherwise context-free competition between members of the series' long-established recurrent cast. Ryu and Ken are two among many recurring combatants that have since become some of the video game industry's most iconic character designs, each with an international backstory and a set of relationships with any number of the other fighters. Among the more significant series mainstays are Chun-Li, widely regarded as a trailblazer for heroines in gaming media; Blanka, a mutated former human with green skin and a bestial combat style; and Guile, an affectionate All-American stereotype. Earlier games set their proceedings within "World Warrior Tournaments", in which aspiring martial artists from all corners of the globe compete for glory and personal advancement, but later games take place at tournaments organized for reasons more closely tied into ongoing storylines, such as a tournament hosted by the criminal organization of Shadaloo, led by M. Bison - another icon of video game character personification, embodying an over-the-top stereotype of a would-be world dictator.

In Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

The universe makes its debut in downloadable content for this game, with a playable character, Ryu, a stage in both versions, and a small amount of total trophies.


  • RyuIcon(SSB4-U).png
    Ryu: The popular and iconic wandering world warrior from Capcom makes his Super Smash Bros. debut as a playable downloadable fighter. He is armed with his trademark Hadoken & Shoryuken attacks, his traditional Street Fighter button commands, and his two Final Smashes: Shinku Hadoken and Shin Shoryuken.


  • SuzakuCastleIconSSB4-U.png
    Suzaku Castle: This stage, available for both versions, is a reimagining of Ryu's original stage from Street Fighter II.


  • Ryu Stage: A string-heavy remix of Ryu's stage theme from Street Fighter II, arranged by the song's original composer, Yoko Shimomura.
  • Ken Stage: A more rock remix of Ken's stage theme from Street Fighter II, arranged by Rio Hamamoto.
  • Ryu Stage Type A: the original version of Ryu's stage theme from Street Fighter II.
  • Ken Stage Type A: the original version of Ken's stage theme from Street Fighter II.
  • Ryu Stage Type B: the updated version of Ryu's stage theme from Super Street Fighter II.
  • Ken Stage Type B: the updated version of Ken's stage theme from Super Street Fighter II.


  • Ryu
  • Ryu (Alt)
  • Shinku Hadoken / Shin Shoryuken
  • Ken

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

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The universe continues to be represented by Ryu, with Suzaku Castle returning as a stage. New music has been confirmed on the official website, while other elements remain to be seen.


  • Ryu: Ryu returns to the fight as an unlockable fighter with a largely similar moveset to the previous game. A new mechanic unique to Ryu is that in 1-on-1 matches, he will face his opponent at all times. This is designed to decrease the amount of failed inputs when executing combo specials.


  • SuzakuCastleIconSSB4-U.png
    Super Smash Bros. 4 Suzaku Castle: Suzaku Castle returns, and like other stages in the game sports a rehauled visual style.


  • Vega/Baltic Stage: Similar to Ryu's theme, original composer Yoko Shimomura composed a string-heavy remix of the theme for Vega's (Balrog in Japan) Street Fighter II stage.
  • Super Smash Bros. 4 Ryu Stage: The SSB4 version of this song is featured in Ryu's trailer on the official website.

Games with elements from or in the Super Smash Bros. series[edit]

Street Fighter[edit]

Ryu and Ken naturally made their debut in the original Street Fighter game. Many of Ryu's moves, including the Hadoken, Shoryuken, and Tatsumaki Senpukyaku, also first appeared here, as did his iconic "raised fist" victory pose. Ryu's mechanic of holding the A button down to produce stronger attacks is also a direct callback to the pressure-sensitive buttons of the original Street Fighter arcade machine, which had the same functionality. His on-screen appearance is also similar to his intro in Street Fighter, where he simply walks into the stage.

Street Fighter II[edit]

The Suzaku Castle stage and all of its music tracks debuted here. Ryu's modern-day design (brown hair, red headband, and bare feet) was completely implemented by the time of this game. Ryu's splash art on the Smash Bros. website is a direct homage to this game's original arcade flyer, even drawn by the same artist (Akira "Akiman" Yasuda). Ryu's victory theme is a remix of when the match is over from this game.

Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers[edit]

This update to Street Fighter II, released in 1993, was the first game to use Capcom's CPS2 hardware, which allowed superior audio quality over the previous CPS1 system. As such, the music of Street Fighter II was completely rearranged in order to show off the system's capabilities. Super Street Fighter II's versions of Ryu and Ken's themes appear in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U as "Ryu Stage: Type B" and "Ken Stage: Type B". Additionally, Ryu gained his Shakunetsu Hadoken ability in this game, as well as the majority of his alternate palette swaps that appear in Super Smash Bros. 4.

Super Street Fighter II Turbo[edit]

The final update to Street Fighter II, released in 1994, introduced the Super Combo mechanic. Ryu's Super Combo was the Shinku Hadoken, which appears in Super Smash Bros. 4 as one of his Final Smashes.

Street Fighter Alpha[edit]

The first Street Fighter game to implement a taunt mechanic. Ryu's up taunt of tightening his headband, and the portion of his idle pose where he adjusts his gloves, appeared both as taunts and in his "fight start" animation in the Alpha series. The Alpha series was the first time that characters were able to use multiple different Super Combos in battle. With the Shin Shoryuken being added to Ryu's movelist in Alpha 3, he is able to use both it and the Shinku Hadoken within the same battle, similar to how his Final Smash works in SSB4.

Street Fighter III[edit]

The Joudan Sokutogeri (appearing as his side Smash attack in SSB4) was added to Ryu's repertoire in this game, as was his second Final Smash, the Shin Shoryuken Super Art. Ryu's perfect shield sound effect and animation are a direct reference to the Parry mechanic in this game, which would nullify all damage if the player moved towards an incoming attack with perfect timing. Ryu's back roll and initial dash animation are taken from his back and front dashes, respectively, from this game. The duffel bag that appears in one of Ryu's victory poses, as well as his down taunt, are both from this game.

Street Fighter IV[edit]

Ryu's down-B move in SSB4 is taken exactly from Street Fighter IV's Focus Attack mechanic, with an identical function and animation. In addition, his up and side taunts are also taken from this game along with the KO background after using a Super/Ultra Combo to deliver the final hit of the match. One of his victory poses, involving a punch toward the camera, is also a reference to his victory animation in this game, and Ken's trophy is a rip of his SFIV model. In addition, Kyle Hebert voiced Ryu in this game.


  • Several Street Fighter characters made an appearance in the German Club Nintendo magazine, where Mario enters a fighting tournament and faces off against them, although Ryu was not present.[2]
  • Street Fighter is the first character-based universe introduced as downloadable content.
  • Street Fighter is the first 3rd-party franchise not to have an Assist Trophy.


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