From Takashi to Tournament

By Isaac Shepherd and Tomos Jones.21 Apr 2016

Due to the hype train of Street Fighter V, and just the overall amazingness of the series, we have decided to tell you a little bit about the development of the Street Fighter games, and the lore behind them involving the main characters of Ryu, Ken, Akuma and Gouken. Of these characters, Ryu (probably the most well-known fighting game character in the world) is our main ‘protagonist’ and Ken is his training partner under Gouken, their master. Akuma is the brother of Gouken, and a demon of sorts who has transcended his humanity.

The story behind the main characters of Street Fighter begins with Ryu’s birth in Japan in 1964, and Ken’s birth in the US in early 1965. The details of their meeting are not officially specified, but they have been incredibly close friends and training partners since childhood. They were raised and trained under Gouken, who would go on to each them such techniques as hadoken and shoryuken (two main well-known moves from the entire series). As Ryu and Ken grow up, Ken becomes a ‘family man’, and settles down, whilst still tending to his fighting career, while Ryu continues to attempt to hone his skills in an attempt to become the strongest warrior. Ryu, as the main protagonist of the series, is later confronted with Gouken’s brother, Akuma, who has ‘transcended his humanity (become a demon) and attempts to convince Ryu to do the same at the Volcanic Rim. Ryu, quite obviously, would go on to refuse this ‘offer’ and escape the confrontation. Enraged by this, Akuma challenges Gouken to a fight to the death over ‘ownership’ of Ryu. Akuma manages to defeat his brother, but only after having taken on his final destructive demon form, ‘Oni’. Oni then claims possession of Ryu, forcing him to transcend his humanity and causing him to become his own destructive demon form, known as ‘Evil Ryu’. Ken is nowhere to be seen as his wife is pregnant.

The series was created by Takashi Nishiyama and Hiroshi Matsumoto in 1987, who were employees of Capcom, and began with “Street Fighter” for arcades. The game featured a roster of 2 playable characters (Ryu and Ken, who later became the mascots of the series) and ten cpu controlled opponents, hailing from Japan, USA, China, England and Thailand. After the game was finished, the two developers left Capcom to form SNK (Who later went on to make the Fatal Fury fighting game series), however, the two later returned to work on Street Fighter IV. Alongside those two, Mega-Man creator Keiji Inafune also worked on artwork for the first game. After originally being released exclusively for arcades, it was ported over to the Japanese only system, the “PC engine CD-ROM”, making it the first ever videogame in a CD-ROM format.

Street Fighter II was released in 1991 for arcades, and had a much bigger development team than the first game, with the producer being Yoshiki Okamoto, and the lead designers being Akira Nishitani and Yasuda. Its roster was expanded to 8 playable characters, with 4 boss characters.

Personally, we both believe Street Fighter to be an awesome series and we highly recommend it for you readers.