In 1991, Capcom first unleashed Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, and the Street Fighter series still rules the fighting game roost 24 years later. Why? Well, there are a lot of reasons, but a big one is that Street Fighter II laid the strongest of possible foundations.
Street Fighter II was by no means a surefire prospect. It was created by a small team of, shall we say, unique individuals, and a lot of its innovations were essentially stumbled upon by luck. Street Fighter II could have gone wrong in so many ways, but Capcom somehow managed to produce one of the most solidly designed games in history. Here are a few things you might not know about the first fighting game that really mattered…
1) Final Fight was originally supposed to be Street Fighter II. Yes, nobody really remembers it, but there was a Street Fighter game before Street Fighter II. The original Street Fighter wasn’t a great success, selling under 3,000 arcade units worldwide, but Capcom brass nevertheless gave producer Yoshiki Okamoto the task of making a sequel. Okamoto wasn’t exactly thrilled about developing a sequel to a game not many people liked, so he made major changes, transforming Street Fighter into a side-scrolling brawler.
They also added one pretty epic mustache.
Until very near release, this game was going to be released as Street Fighter ’89, but Capcom decided at the last second that the game was too different from the original Street Fighter, so it was renamed Final Fight. If the game hadn’t been renamed, the Street Fighter series, and the entire fighting genre, might have gone in a very different direction.