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 stars Ryu and Ken Masters.

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 Masters

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

The universe continues to be represented by Ryu, with Suzaku Castle returning as a stage. New music has been confirmed on the official website, along with the additions of Ken Masters as Ryu’s echo fighter and Guile as an assist trophy.


  • 60.
    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.

  • 60ε.
    Ken: Ken Masters, Ryu's best friend and rival, and the original shotoclone, debuts as an unlockable fighter in Smash Bros. Ultimate, serving as Ryu's echo fighter. Although the regular Hadoken (albeit different effect), neutral light punch, ground medium kicks, jumping hard attacks are the same, most of his movesets, along with the damage properties are different, including the two Final Smashes being Shinryuken and Shinpu Jinrai Kyaku.

Assist Trophy[edit]

  • Guile: Guile, the original charged character, debuts in Smash Bros. Ultimate, serving as an Assist Trophy with a trademark upward brows hairstyle, no eyebrows, green tank-top shirt and army pants, along with his Sonic Boom and Flash Kick.


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


Most songs heard in this game are ripped out from Street Fighter II and it's updated counterpart, Super Street Fighter II.

  • Vega/Balrog (JP) 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.
  • Guile Stage: Remix of Guile's stage music in Street Fighter II. Featured in Guile's showcase as an Assist Trophy character in Nintendo Direct.
  • Guile Stage Type B: The Super Street Fighter II version of this song is included in the final release.
  • Super Smash Bros. 4 Ryu Stage: The SSB4 version of this song is featured in Ryu's trailer on the official website.
  • Super Smash Bros. 4 Ken Stage: The SSB4 version of this song is featured in Ken's reveal and character trailers.
  • Super Smash Bros. 4 Ryu Stage Type A: the original version of Ryu's stage theme from Street Fighter II.
  • Super Smash Bros. 4 Ken Stage Type A: the original version of Ken's stage theme from Street Fighter II.
  • Super Smash Bros. 4 Ryu Stage Type B: the updated version of Ryu's stage theme from Super Street Fighter II.
  • Super Smash Bros. 4 Ken Stage Type B: The Super Street Fighter II version of this song is played during Ken's moveset explanation in the November Smash Direct.


The kanji aruji "" denotes a Master Spirit.

977. Ryu
978. Ken
979. E. Honda
980. Chun-Li (Street Fighter Alpha)
981. Chun-Li
982. Blanka
983. Zangief
984. Guile
985. Dhalsim
986. Balrog
987. Vega
988. Sagat
989. M. Bison
990. Cammy

991. Fei Long
992. Dee Jay
993. T. Hawk
994. Akuma
995. Nash
996. Dan
997. Sakura (Street Fighter)
998. Gen
999 Karin
1,000 Cody[note 1]
1,001 Ibuki
1,002 Yun & Yang
1,003 Juri

  1. This character or item debuted in a game from a different universe.

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. Ken can only be played solely after defeating Ryu, the first default player character. This also the early foundation of “Shotoclones” before being made worldwide in Street Fighter II and all other medias. Sagat, who appears as a spirit in Ultimate also made his debut as the game's final boss.

Final Fight[edit]

A Side-Scrolling Beat 'em Up spin-off that was originally developed as Street Fighter II, one of the main protagonists Cody Tavers appears as a Spirit.

Street Fighter II[edit]

The Suzaku Castle stage and all of its music tracks debuted here. Ryu and Ken’s modern-day design (brown hair and red headband for Ryu, medium-lenght blond hair for Ken, and both walks with bare feet), along with Guile’s debut was completely implemented by the time of this game. Ryu's splash art on the Smash Bros. 4 website is a direct homage to this game's original arcade flyer, with Zero Suit Samus replaces Ken there, even drawn by the same artist (Akira "Akiman" Yasuda), who is now known as founder of Arika, the known developer of EX fighting games (namely Street Fighter EX, and recently original Arika game Fighting EX Layer). Ryu and Ken's victory theme is a remix of when the match is over from this game. As Guile is an assist trophy for this game, his move set is solely Sonic Boom and Flash Kick. Several other fighters also appear as Spirits.

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 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate 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. This is also where Ken's Shoryuken been given additional flame effects on its Heavy Punch version. Also in Ultimate, the stage theme songs of all 16 characters and the player selection theme from this game are present.

Super Street Fighter II Turbo[edit]

The final update to original Super Street Fighter II, released in 1994, prior the true final release of Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers in, introduced the Super Combo mechanic. Ryu's Super Combo was the Shinku Hadoken, which first appear in Super Smash Bros. 4 as one of his Final Smashes. This is also where Ken got much more different normals and additional special moves, in order to make Ken’s movesets, animations and damage properties to be completely different than Ryu’s.

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 Ken’s Shinryuken added in original Alpha, then Shin Shoryuken and Shinpu Jinrai Kyaku being added to Ryu and Ken’s movelists respectively in Alpha 3, they are able to use both of these their own first Super Combo moves within the same battle, similar to how their Final Smash works in SSB4 and Ultimate. As the 2D-era Marvel vs. Capcom uses Alpha sprites, Ken’s Shinryuken is based on this.

Street Fighter III[edit]

The Joudan Sokutogeri (appearing as his side Smash attack in SSB4) was added to Ryu and Ken's repertoire in this game, as was their second respective Final Smash, the Shin Shoryuken and Shinpu Jinrai Kyaku Super Arts. Ryu and Ken'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 and Ken'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. In addition, Yuji Kishi voiced Ken in this game’s Japanese voice set.

Street Fighter IV[edit]

Ryu and Ken's down-B moves in SSB4 and Ultimate are taken exactly from Street Fighter IV's Focus Attack mechanic, with an identical function and animation. In addition, Ryu's 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 when using the Shin Shoryuken (Ryu) or Shippu Jinraikyaku‎ (Ken). One of Ryu's 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 (English) and Hiroki Takahashi (Japanese) voiced Ryu, Reuben Langdon voiced Ken in the English version, while Hiroki Yasumoto (Japanese) and Travis Willingham (English) voiced Guile in this game. This is where Guile’s Somersault Kick being locally renamed as “Flash Kick” in all Western versions, and Ken’s Shiryuken being also an invulnerable startup at close range against non-juggled opponents.

Super Street Fighter IV[edit]

Juri who debuted in this expansion, appears as a spirit in Ultimate.

Street Fighter V[edit]

One of Ken’s victory quotes is originally from this game. Ryu’s purple palette swap is based off his tenth color from SFV.


  • 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. Although Ken did appear in the story, Mario did not get to fight him.[2]
  • Street Fighter is the first character-based universe introduced as downloadable content.
  • Street Fighter is the second third-party franchise to have more than one playable representative (the other is Castlevania).
    • It is the only universe introduced as DLC to have more than one playable character.
    • However, Street Fighter is the only veteran third-party universe to add a new playable character.
    • It is also the second third party franchise to have a clone character (the other is Castlevania).
    • Street Fighter, Castlevania, Kid Icarus, Animal Crossing, and Fire Emblem are the only universes with multiple characters to not be introduced in the original Super Smash Bros.
  • Street Fighter is one of two universes introduced as DLC to have an Assist Trophy, the other being Bayonetta
  • Coincidentally, both Ryu and Ken were leaked prior to their official reveals; Ryu was datamined alongside Roy on April 15th, 2015, while a screenshot of Ken was posted onto 4Chan on September 21st, 2018.


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