Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (also known simply as Street Fighter II) is a fighting game developed and distributed by Capcom for the CP System (CPS-1) arcade hardware in March 1991. The sequel to the 1987 fighting game Street Fighter, Street Fighter II: The World Warrior is credited to laying down the framework for the traditional fighting game genre, as well as kicking off the "fighting game revolution" of the 1990s. Along with introducing smoother control over each player's character (as the control in previous fighting games are "stiff"), Street Fighter II: The World Warrior is the first versus fighting game to allow the player to select his character out of a pre-determined set of fighters, each with their own unique abilities and characteristics.
Players pick one of eight worldwide warriors (martial artists Ryu and Ken from the previous installment, Japanese sumo wrestler E. Honda, female Chinese martial artist Chun-Li, Brazilian beast man Blanka, Russian professional wrestler Zangief, American former Special Forces operative Guile, and Indian Yoga master Dhalsim) as they travel the world, trying to defeat the other seven warriors and progress through the martial arts tournament. If a player manages to defeat all seven opponents, he must face three Grand Masters: American former professional boxer Balrog (known in Japanese versions as M. Bison), Spanish cage fighter Vega (known in Japanese versions as Balrog), and the master of Muay Thai, Sagat (the final boss from the previous installment). It is revealed after defeating Sagat that the player must fight the mysterious dictator M. Bison (known in the Japanese versions as Vega) to win the tournament. Each of the eight fighters have unique endings showing the aftermath of their battle with M. Bison.
The game features eight playable characters, all with their own set of special moves (with the exception of maybe Ken) and stages, or fight locales, specific to
their character. Players engage in 1-on-1 fights, where the winner is decided once the player depletes their enemy's life bar, knocking them out. Typically a match is won by winning 2-out-of-3 rounds, but a Double KO or Draw Game will result in additional rounds. A Draw Game typically occurs when the countdown timer for a round hits zero while both players having equal health.
A bug in the game also allowed players to "cancel" move animations, allowing them to chain several punishing attacks into eachother. This later became a major feature in future games in the Street Fighter series and all other fighting games in the form of combos.
Players pick a character and then battle each of the respective other seven characters in their homeland. For example, E. Honda is fought in his Japanese bath-house, while Guile is fought at a United States Air Force base. The player is then tasked with defeating three underboss characters, American boxer Balrog, Spanish cage fighter Vega, and Muay Thai expert Sagat, before facing off against the final boss and would-be world dictator, M. Bison.
After defeating M. Bison, and thus clearing the Arcade Mode, a short character specific ending would play, giving the player some closure and more information on their character.
Another feature of the Arcade Mode were Bonus Stages that appeared after every three fights. The first of three had you destroying a car with your bare fists, very similar to Final Fight's bonus stage (another Capcom developed title). The second bonus stage had you breaking wooden barrells above you, as they fell from a conveyor bel. The final bonus stage had the player destroying metal drums that were surrounded by similarly fashioned exploding ones.
Two players face off against eachother, all the characters and features seen in Arcade Mode are present. The players were also allowed to set up individual handicaps for eachother and pick what stage they want to play on.
Non-Playable Boss Characters
- Balrog (known in Japanese versions as M. Bison)
- Vega (known in Japanese versions as Balrog)
- M. Bison (known in Japanese versions as Vega)
As was almost always seen in Japan during the 1980s and 1990s, Street Fighter II's end credits are a series of pseudonyms and/or aliases, instead of the developers' actual names. At the time, Japanese game studios feared that if a rival company discovered who worked on their most successful titles, they would headhunt their staff. As a result, the true identities of some of the game's developers remain a mystery to this day.
Outside of the constant rehashes, Street Fighter II was also ported to just about every video game console, handheld, and computer ever created.
- The first home release came to the SNES in 1992. It introduced Versus Mode, along with the ability to set up individual player handicaps. The game also featured a cheat code that allowed both players to pick the same character, although the feature wasn't officially introduced until Champion Edition.
- In 1993, a version for the TurboGrafx-16 was released. An optional six-button controller was also created, specifically for the game.
- A port for the Sega Master System was released in 1997 in Brazil, produced by Tec Toy. Although it was based on Champion Edition, the game's character designs, graphically, resembled that of Street Fighter II.
- 1997 also brought the release of Street Fighter Collection, for the Playstation and Sega Saturn, which collected Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, and Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold on one disc. A sequel, released in 1998, Street Fighter Collection 2, featured Street Fighter II, Champion Edition, and Hyper Fighting.
- 2005 release Capcom Classics Collection, for the Playstation 2 and Xbox, included Street Fighter II, along with Champion Edition and Hyper Fighting, similar to the previous Street Fighter Collection 2 release.
- In 2007, the game was released on the Wii's Virtual Console service.
- The Nintendo Game Boy release in 1995 only featured nine playable characters; E. Honda, Dhalsim and Vega/Balrog were absent. It only featured two attack buttons, Punch and Kick.
- Capcom Classics Collection: Reloaded, released in 2006 for the Playstation Portable, featured all the games from Capcom Classics Collection, which naturally included Street Fighter II.
- In 2006, the game was released for mobile devices, mostly fashioned after the original arcade game (minus the arcade stick).
- Street Fighter II came to the iPhone in 2010, packaged into a free arcade app "Capcom Arcade" along with Ghosts 'N Goblins, 1942, and Commando.
- A PC-DOS version was released in 1992 which, like the Game Boy version later released, only featured two attack buttons, Punch and Kick. It was also criticized for it's unresponsive controls and difficult to perform special attacks on the keyboard.
- Versions for the Amiga, Commodore 64, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum were all released in 1993 and featured all the playable characters from the arcade. Due to the release of the game so late in each respective system's life cycle, the game sold poorly.