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Street Fighter: 10 facts about the franchise

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One of the most famous fighting franchises of all time, Street Fighter rose to success in the arcade era. Not having played any version or not knowing any characters from the games is a very difficult task. With that in mind, ge prepared a list of 10 fun facts about games you probably didn’t know.

Ryu no Street Fighter III: Third Strike — Photo: Reproduction

1- INSPIRATION IN RELIGION

The Indian character Dhalsim is inspired by the Hindu god Ganesha. The fighter would have more god-like features such as six arms and an elephant head. However, the idea ended up not going forward and a remodeling was carried out. The reason for this is believed to be the precaution of not causing any religious offense or incident.

Dhalsim’s first conception — Photo: Reproduction / Retro Cemetery

The Russian character Zangief receives a visit from the former president of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev during Street Fighter II. Also, according to producer Akira Yasuda, the wrestler would have been called Vodka Gobalsky and, in his history, would have been banned from Russia’s major wrestling tournaments for alcoholism. However, the idea did not go ahead.

3- CHANGE OF NAME IN THE VERSION

The Balrog fighter is a clear allusion to boxer Mike Tyson. The fact worried the developers at the time because, in the beginning, the character was called Bison. So, for the western version, CAPCOM changed the name of two characters to avoid any kind of lawsuit for the misuse of the athlete’s image.

Characters whose names were changed — Photo: Reproduction / IGN

4- BLANKA IS NOT BRAZILIAN

Although it is widely believed that the character Blanka was Brazilian, his story is not quite like that. The boy Jimmy Blanka was on a flight to visit his mother. However, the plane had a breakdown and crashed in the middle of the Amazon rainforest. The boy mutated after coming into contact with electric eels and had his shape changed. After that, he went to live with a pack.

Blanka — Photo: Publicity

In the first version of Street Fighter, released on August 30, 1987, the game was completely different. Due to a bug in the bonus phase of destroying the car, the fighters applied blows faster. Players discovered it and used it for fun. The producers then realized that this made the game more dynamic and at the release of Street Fighter II, they modified the game’s concept. This made the game considered the first in history to have combos for fighters.

Combo in Street Fighter II — Photo: Reproduction / Tenor

According to Street Fighter creator Yoshiki Okamoto, the character Chun-Li would have a shorter life bar compared to the other characters. The fact would happen because “women were not so strong”. The idea was vetoed by designer Akira Nishitani as it would not make sense in the design of the character.

Chun-Li — Photo: Disclosure/Capcom

7- TRULY BRAZILIAN CHARACTER

Street Fighter became a successful franchise in Brazil and CAPCOM decided to pay tribute to the country. Fighter Lauta Matsuda was introduced to the public in Street Fighter V. According to the story, the character’s grandfather created a new fighting style called Matsuda Jiu-Jitsu. One of Laura’s goals is to uphold the family’s legacy internationally.

The story however is very similar to the Gracie family. Creators of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu martial art, the fighting style became popular in world tournaments in the 90s, such as Pride. The character also has traits similar to the female heir of the family of fighters, three-time Jiu-Jitsu world champion Kyra Gracie.

Laura Matsuda and Kyra Gracie — Photo: Reproduction

8- PLAY THAT BECAME A CHARACTER

At some point in Street Fighter II, the character Ryu said “you need to defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance” when beating another fighter. But, Sheng Long was not a character or a fighter. In fact, the western version mistranslated the “Sho Ryu Ken” move and gave rise to Ryu’s mysterious master.

The fact took on even greater proportions when on April 1, 1992, Electronic Game Monthly ran a fan troll. During publication, it was stated that Sheng Long existed and it was possible to play as the mysterious character. To achieve this, the player needed to survive for 10 rounds against M. Bison without dealing or taking damage. Subsequently, CAPCOM decided to officially release the character in Street Fighter IV, under the name of Gouken.

EGM Magazine — Photo: Reproduction

9- GAME INSPIRED BY THE MOVIE

The biggest inspiration for creating the game franchise was a 1974 film. Directed by director Shigehiro Ozawa, The Street Fighter told the story of Terry, starring the renowned Japanese actor Sonny Chiba, a street fighter who offered his fighting services to who could pay. The street-fighting aesthetic drew so much attention from the producers that even the same name was used for the game.

The Street Fighter poster — Photo: Reproduction

10- COPY OF THE COMPETITOR

In 1994, American actor Jean-Claude Van Damme played the fighter Guile in a film adaptation of Street Fighter. The film was released at the height of the popularity of Mortal Kombat II, which used real people in the mold of the characters. Seeing the success of the competitor, the producers decided to release a new game with the actors who made the film. The result was a complete sales failure and did not please the fans of the saga at all.

Street Fighter Movie Game — Photo: Playback / Start

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