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Info on the Old School SF Scene?

dsfhdsfh i cant rushdownJoined: Posts: 15
I was wondering what the SF scene was like way back in the days of SF2. It'd be cool if some of the older boys put down some of their memories. Actually I specifically wanted to ask about this dude Tomo. My friends say he used to play around where I live (so cal), and was generally regarded as the best 'round here. Hell, I might have gotten my ass kicked by him and not even known it back then. So my questions are: Why did he quit, and where the hell is he nowadays? I guess I can ask the same thing about Thomas Osaki, who also seems to be a god. But it'd also be nice if some of the newer gamers got to know how it was like back then.
shut up, kid


  • ZuluZulu Mighty Mighty Joined: Posts: 3,064 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    Too good.
    All seeing. All knowing. All that.
  • GKIGKI Motoki owes me $20 Joined: Posts: 12
    Originally posted by Zulu
    Too good.
    So true, good job bro.:)
    Joystick page
    Super Final Brawl Turbo

    "Punk is the personal expression of uniqueness that comes from the experiences of growing up in touch with our human ability to reason and ask questions" - Greg Graffin
  • PlutoburnPlutoburn Alpha Booze Head Joined: Posts: 247
    That was a good read, I'll give this thread a foreign perspective.

    This happened in Taiwan, a situation IMO commonly shared by many Asian countries.

    I don't know what it is about arcade, but it always has a special place in my heart that no console can take away. Even now with the sophistication of DC/PS2/GC/XBOX, there is just something about the arcades that made me drop $$ and play.

    Like jcasetnl, going to the arcade was a daily after-school activity for the school gang. My neighborhood has small arcades all over. I remember there was a period in time I have a choice to visit 6 different arcades within 15 minute walking distance. It was just as common as convenient stores.

    Anyways, I forgot exactly when I started to actively going to arcades, but it was slightly before SF1 came out. I wasn't particularly interested in fighting game, I just played whatever is there. What I remember most about SF1 is that I always lost to Adon and fights between 2 human players are pretty much down to shoryken-fest. It's almost like a joust. 2 players start to approach each other with jab shoryuken and see who get hit. Sometimes it stall because they do it at exactly the same time. But to sum it up, there were not much strategy involved. It didn't matter to me at the time because I was just a kid mashing the buttons.

    Since arcades were extremely popular in Taiwan, I often have to compete against people much older than I am and I usually get my ass handed to me, so I don't play that often, I was just happy to watch.

    When SF2 came out, it didn't came out with much of fanfare for me. It just came. But within matter of weeks, EVERYBODY was playing it. I remember seeing some people that can finish the game PERFECT after PERFECT with Guile doing JUST air throws. Almost as if they know exactly when the opponent will jump throwing them down when the opponent is still rising. I also remember seeing the FIRST combo, cr. forward into fireball. I didn't have a clue what combos were. I merely progressed from button smashing to specials spamming state.

    Many different styles soon evolved. The invincibles are the ones that are ahead of their time. They study each normal, specials, priorities and stuff, nobody can touch them. And there are the I can do everything but I don't know what it will do style. They just throw out random moves and such, kinda fun to watch back then because it was still pretty new at the time. There are also the move abusers like me. Spamming one particular specials and just keep doing it.

    The arcade that I frequent the most has 6 machines dedicated to SF2. It is small, only has around 15 machines. That pretty much tells you how important SF2 was.

    While all this is going on, it went on with a twist... Schools didn't like students going to arcade after school, so teachers have a system of students reporting classmates who they caught going to the arcade. It's always the girls tell on the boys. So going to the arcade for my gang and I was like breaking rules together. Probably because of this that we had a special bond between us that makes us trust one another. However, me in particular, has the toughest time of all... my parents strongly oppose me going to arcades. Whenever I am caught, I get punished. 99% of my punishments are because of going to arcade. You can say because of this, arcade means that much more to me.

    I also remember buying my very first non-comic book using my own allowance. It's a street fighter 2 book. It has screenshot of all the moves, how to do them, and pictures, bio and stuff. One thing sticks in my head and that was a huge headline: SHORYUKEN no longer invincible. And it showed successive screen shot of a shoryuken performed and the performer punished on the way down. It's funny thinking back on this.

    A while gone and the rainbow edition came out. I was like WTF? hadouken in air?!? These modified SF2 was fun for a while but it didn't last. Same with accelerated edition. The next big thing was HF.
    Only dead fishes go with the flow
  • SystemSystem Joined: Posts: 508,676 admin
    man that post was fuckin awesome. if there was a best post award id vote for that one u just made.
  • taijitaiji mvc2 forever Joined: Posts: 1,533
    jcasetnl is top tier :)
    "I'm inviting all of you to come and watch my after-fight concert, i'm gonna sing 8 songs" - PACQUIAO
  • SystemSystem Joined: Posts: 508,676 admin
    I hardly ever post but this thread deserves some 'respect'. The second thread sums up very well what a lot of old timers (people in their late twenties approaching the big 30) experienced and can appreciate about the arcade scene circa 1983 (about the start of the crash) to 1991 (the 'Golden Era' in full swing) and what SF *really* meant to social aspect of going to an arcade.

    I remember for me going to the Scarborough Town Center in 1987 and staying at the mall all day (I was a mall rat) and watching all 'big' guys play SF1 (it's a primarily Asian community where I played) and round after round you saw these players just throwing fireballs and hoping to connect with an uppercut (just to illustrate how strong an uppercut was -- 1 uppercut, properly placed against Geki - second guy on Japan after Retsu-- would kill the bastard - I don't remember ever killing any other player in that game with one uppercut but Geki but I'm sure you could do it).

    And when SF2 came out it was pure madness at times. Huge crowds around the machines and people you didn't often see coming into the arcade actually coming in (I remember a bunch of big white biker dudes come in kicking ass with Guile and Dhalsim and was pretty amazed at their tricks). Then of course there were the glitches (handcuffs, freezes, magic throws) that people sometimes exploited and these individuals were hated because they locked up the machine then promptly took off (*Ugh*)

    And I still remember a couple of weeks prior to SF:CE coming out there were huge posters outside the arcade and in some parts of the mall with the words Street Fighter: Champion Edition Coming SOON! When the hell was the last time you walked through the mall and saw huge posters advertising the release of a SF game?

    Ahhh... the memories.
  • MillionMillion King of Creeps Joined: Posts: 11,047 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    *I'll read all that later...*

    I just remember HATING SF1 when I finally played it for myself. I didn't see what the big hoopla was...the control felt like your guy(Ryu) was moving through a tub of cement, and special moves only came out occasionally. The music was really cool though, as were the graphics for the time.:D Even the voices were classic, despite the fact of them being hard to understand:

    "Blua bluaaah blua bla bla blah. Derbluaah blah blah bloh."

    SF2--much better. Graphics were fukkin awsome for the time, and on my first time watching people play, I thought "THIS IS THE GREATEST GAME.....OF ALL TIME. WITHOUT QUESTION":lol:
    This immediately became my game of choice nearly every weekend at the mall. Saturdays were PACKED.....you actually had to stand in line to play, and it was messed up for a short guy like me, since people also crowded around the machine to watch.....
    *why the hell do tall and/or fat people ALWAYS end up in the damn front?!:mad: dammit.

    It got better though, as my arcade eventually put SF2 on a big screen setup when Champion Edition came out. Soon, that was our arcade's main thing:
    -1 big screen Champion Edition.
    - 1 big screen regular SF2
    - 1 big screen Mortal Kombat!
    - a regular size SF2 in the back of the arcade.
    - and ANOTHER regular sized SF2 at the front
    - there were some SNKs....1 World Heroes, and 1 Fatal Fury, but nobody gave a shit
    :lol: (Even when people didn't feel like waiting in the SF2/MK line....the SNK games STILL got no play....most people would go over to a pinball machine or an action/shooter game to pass the time:p )
  • SystemSystem Joined: Posts: 508,676 admin

    Great story man! So when you met Thomas, how well could he play? What made him different? What kinda fighting style did he have? Did he rush, or wait for the opponent to make a mistake. I bet he waited...

    ps- did you ever see Thomas get whipped by anyone?
  • taijitaiji mvc2 forever Joined: Posts: 1,533
    bump, this is really a great read :D
    "I'm inviting all of you to come and watch my after-fight concert, i'm gonna sing 8 songs" - PACQUIAO
  • DrumlinerJoeDrumlinerJoe Joined: Posts: 2,116
    I remember all those early SF games were in grocery stores and gas stations and all that. All day people would be huddled around the machines playing them, trading rumors about "handcuffs, bracelet throwing, etc..." Damn I remember when CE came out, that was insane. Everyone freaking out over the new colors, backgrounds, moves, and being able to play the bosses. Man those were the days, I got so many fun memories of SF II and the like.
  • OneEyedJackOneEyedJack Representing Nova Scotia! Joined: Posts: 216
    Best Thread EVER!
    -Jon in Canada

    Remember, the game tells you who was the better player at the end of the match.
  • Desmond DelaghettoDesmond Delaghetto Ghetto Strategies Joined: Posts: 622
    Originally posted by taiji
    bump, this is really a great read :D

    I know. This should definitely get a SRK Fourms Award.:(
    http://dreamcancel.com/ | Practice everyday without neglect
  • fireballtrapfireballtrap Respect is Earned Joined: Posts: 393
    Man, i really wished i was old enough to vividly remember this stuff. I can remember huge arcade crowds, but it was always like that, so i thought that's just the way it was, and always would be. :( Jcasetnl, finish the story....PLEASE!!!
    Getting 90% of the way there is a total fuck up.
  • SystemSystem Joined: Posts: 508,676 admin
    hahaha, this thread rules. I remember the first time i played SF2WW. I was 7 years old. My mom forced me to go shopping in some stupid town i hated. We got there and instead of being shopping cart caddie, i booked it to the mall to see what they had to offer. I had 2 bucks to kill, and then I saw my oais. ARCADE!!! It was like a tuesday at 11:30 or something, and there was NOBODY in the arcade. I didnt get to go into arcades very much in those days, never had money. But i knew what games i liked. I was in front of RAMPAGE in no time. One dollar down, i just walked around a bit. This place was pretty seedy, really dark lighting, brown carpet (which was sticky for reasons i cant explain), and then I saw SF2. i was just hypnotised. I saw blood sport like 2 days before and i remembered thinking how cool a game based on bloodsport would be (I WAS 7 OK !!!!). I just launched my money into the machine. First charactor i picked was blanka. First match was against Dhalsim. I just got my ass handed to me. Last 50 cents, i chose guile. Never looked back. After my money raqn out i just stayed there and watched the demo, over and over and over....then some older kids showed up and began playing. There was like 6 of them and they were doing all the moves and just being plain badass. I just stood among them and watched. My mom had to come find me and she was mad i was hanging out in such a dump. I came home and tried to tell my friends about it and they called me a liar because they remembered how i was talking about a bloodsport game, and just thought i made the whole thing up. When they did see the game i just stomped there ass with GUile. rest is history. Theres my best SF2 memory, well, actually the best was when i was 12 and i beat 3 16 year olds in front of their girlfriends, but that another story.......humahahahahaha.....

    yes, i am lame
  • SystemSystem Joined: Posts: 508,676 admin
    That right there was some shit.

    Brings back a lot of memories. I never played against anyone like Thomas or anything... I got my ass handed to me by much easier opponents.
    But since the first time I played SF, I wanted to be a pro...
    Someone who was above 99% of other players, to be able to compete with the best.
    I didnt need to win, just compete.
    I just wanted to be on that other level.
  • burnyourbraburnyourbra :) :) :) :) Joined: Posts: 154
    nice stories on this thread:)
    I remember seeing SF2 in a local arcade when I was young. i wanted to play it because of the chun li so my mother gave me some money and told me that she would be right back.
    I got my ass handed to me by some real good guys and they laughed at me cause I was a female.
    I didn't think anything of it.
    So I decieded one saturday morning to go and play against the computer. I had my sister bring me and again I got my ass handed to me. I kept putting money in and kept playing.

    When it came out for SNES my mother bought it for me cause she knew I liked it. I went through the little booklet, wondering how to do the moves. I played and played with chun li, ken and ryu until I finally got the hang of it. Then I put the game on the hardest level (I think it was 8 or something like that) and I played. My goal was not to lose a match and I didn't.

    Months after this my brother, sister and a couple of friends went to the mall. We passed by the arcade and there was SF2 HF. No one was there so I went to play. A couple of teens came up to play me and I beat them with chun li. I was surprised that I had beat them all. They left then returned with a kid younger than me and he choose chun li. He beat me the first round, I beat him the second and then the third round was close but he won. I had no hard feelings and he told me that he didn't know of any female who played. I thought nothing of it. it was normal for me.

    fighting games come and go and even though I don't play street fighter as much as I play tekken now I am a street fighter fan at heart.:)
    Oh . . . hi =]
  • fireballtrapfireballtrap Respect is Earned Joined: Posts: 393
    Originally posted by ...sICkpRIme...
    I saw blood sport like 2 days before and i remembered thinking how cool a game based on bloodsport would be (I WAS 7 OK !!!)

    yes, i am lame

    no WAY!!! When i was young(er), I remember seeing Bloodsport and remember comparing it to SF. Of course this was after i'd played it, but it seems to have all the characters represented, iirc. This thread needs to be stickied.
    Getting 90% of the way there is a total fuck up.
  • Desmond DelaghettoDesmond Delaghetto Ghetto Strategies Joined: Posts: 622
    Originally posted by fireballtrap

    no WAY!!! When i was young(er), I remember seeing Bloodsport and remember comparing it to SF. Of course this was after i'd played it, but it seems to have all the characters represented, iirc. This thread needs to be stickied.

    Heh, I was wondering how a WMAC Masters game would look like.
    Me and my cousin used to take our genesis controllers, and acted like we were controlling the people...man...the days....
    http://dreamcancel.com/ | Practice everyday without neglect
  • Cheezy RiceCheezy Rice Joined: Posts: 24
    That story was inspiring I give it 2 thumbs up.:D
    av made by KidVicious
  • jcasetnljcasetnl nachos.posterous.com Joined: Posts: 147
    old skool lore (LONG)

    The next day the young man returned again and found the old man at the back of the bar with a cue stick in his hand, engrossed in a game of pool against some of the regulars and leaning against a Golden Tee game in the corner waiting for his shot.

    "You see, boy? You see this piece of shit behind me? The only thing sadder than this waste of a perfectly good cabinet and trackball is that people actually put quarters into it. But it wasn't always like that. We used to have good games, games worth playing and mastering. Now they make 'em so any drunk-off-his-ass college kid can feel like a hero by smacking a track ball. Ah, but where was I?"

    Tony advised I switch to Guile and that's what I did. It quickly became clear to me why Guile was so dominant. Within a week I was a far more powerful player than I ever was with Ryu, and even when the gap between the two was closed with Champion, Hyper and Super, I never played Ryu again with the kind of conviction I did with Guile.

    But getting back to the World Warrior present of 1991, by this time I was actually afraid to step into a real arcade. Between the ass kickings Tony handed me regularly and the stories he told I was afraid to face reality - that I was nothing. Sure, I could now easily defeat any of the asian kids in the neighborhood, even Pele was no longer any match for me, but I still felt I needed more practice. But that was the thing about Tony. Like it or not, he dragged me kicking and screaming.

    The first lesson in humility I got was at Regency Game Palace in Concord, CA. The whole drive out there (about 40 minutes for us) Tony hyped it up and I squirmed in the passenger's seat.

    Tony: "Dude, are you prepared?"

    Me: "I'm ready for some Throw Down."

    Tony: "Nah, dude, I mean are you PREPARED?"

    Me: "ha ha, sure dude. It's all good."

    Tony: "Nah, dude, nothing can prepare you. I hope you're in shape, dude, I hope you ate a full meal and got a good night's sleep. You're gonna be making a lot of trips to the token machine. I don't want you to pass out from exaustion."

    Regency gave an unprecedented 11 tokens for a dollar. There was a cluster of four World Warrior machines in the center of the arcade with about 40 people playing. And they weren't kids. They weren't the 10-year olds I was used to at the liquor store or 7-11. In fact, no one looked younger than I was and several looked well into their 20's. We pushed our way forward into the crowd.

    I watched what I didn't think was possible by that point. Some guy was playing Ryu against Guile. And winning. The guy playing Guile was good, in fact, at the time he was one of the best Guile players I'd seen. Better than Tony. But this Ryu player was extroardinary. He had incredible timing and put pressure on the other guy in a way I'd never seen Ryu played before. In some cases he traded hits to stay out of the corner or keep the pressure on. He didn't seem to play by any set of rules, he had no pattern I could discern. Even though Guile was the better character he still pulled off the win.

    Me: "Damn, did you see that? That fool is--"

    Tony: "...on the next level. Hell yeah, he is. His name is Jay."

    Jay was probably the most dominant player at Regency. I counted the tokens till I was up - there were at least 10. But Jay gave his game to Tony and after Tony beat another Ryu player he gave me second round.

    I froze up. The guy wasn't even that good but I'd never seen people play like this. It's like when some little kid with absolutely no skill just bangs on the buttons and seems to beat you. I was expecting a mano-a-mano test of who could work the fireball-uppercut pattern better than the other but this guy just waited for openings and tore me apart.

    My thinking was just so wrong about this game. I was so used to throwing a fireball and waiting for my opponent to react so that I could answer with something. This guy examined my pattern and went from there.

    Tony: "You got schooled. Step aside."
    Me: "I... uh... damn..."

    Tony finished the guy off. The next round I was ready. Something clicked and I was no longer a pattern player. They say competition breeds excellence and they're right. Watching those few rounds in that dimly lit arcade with at least 10 people staring over my shoulder I immediately changed my style and focused as I never had before. It wasn't enough, not yet anyway.

    Tony: "You suck dude. That fool read you like a Dr. Seuss book."

    Yeah, I lost, but I learned more in one night than the whole year before. I saw how this game is meant to be played.

    We played until the arcade closed at midnight. I managed to win a few games over the course of the evening but even the crappy players were a challenge for a me. We made for Dennys up the street and that became our Friday night tradition. Warez till midnight, then off to Dennys. Our own little tradition of shit-talking and post game analysis.

    In the old skool days, news travelled via word-of-mouth. The internet technically existed but neither I nor the vast majority of players had any idea what it was. If you heard about a player it was in the arcades, chatting it up with other respected players. You even learned of an arcade's very existence this way.

    If you talked trash you had to have some nuts to do it because whatever you said was to a player's face. And this was in the Bay Area. In Oakland, you better be careful who you talk trash to. Spend a day there and you'll see what I mean.

    And when it came to legendary players, well, they just didn't get the props they rightfully deserved. We didn't have easily accessible ranking tables that could tell you with a few mouse clicks and URLs who the best players in the country were. Even the tournaments were poorly advertised, ussually just a flyer taped to the side of the game that got ripped off within a day of it being put up. How did we know who won the tournament the day before? Either we were in it or we asked someone else who was.

    We played on through the summer and I got better with Guile. We went everywhere we could find and when we weren't in the arcades we filled the gaps at the convenience store.

    Finally, I had a run-in with the famous Thomas Osaki.

    A few times we went to the Underground at UCB. In the World Warrior days we actually avoided the place because truth be told, there weren't too many good players there and a lot of the players were "cheap". On top of that the games were usually in lousy condition. But Telegraph Ave had always been a hangout for us, all the way back to the early La Val's days and $2 Sunday at Silverball.

    There was a good crowd that day and Tony pointed out Thomas to me.

    Me: "You think he can beat Jay?"
    Tony: "I don't know, dude. My guess is he probably could. I haven't played Thomas in awhile, though. He doesn't seem to come here much any more.

    My guess is Thomas was probably going to SVGL at this point, but I don't know for sure.

    At any rate, Thomas was methodically beating player after player. There were so many guys gathered around the machine that I could only catch a little of what he was doing. It was such a hassle to get a glimpse I finally resigned to playing on another machine.

    Tony: "Oh my God, did you see that?"
    Me (in the middle of a game): "See what?"
    Tony: "He just did Fierce-Standing-Fierce to flash kick."
    Me: "Wha...?"

    Okay, this sounds sort of pathetic by today's standards, but in old-skool combo theory this was a very big deal.

    Since this was World Warrior I had to pick Ryu. I knew I couldn't win. Against any good Guile player my Ryu just didn't stack up. But supposedly this guy was an expert Guile player.

    Thomas beat me soundly in a no-nonsense sort of way. No flash, just all business. No slack in his game. No faking a sonic boom with jab. No mistakes. He never once looked at me, not when I stepped up, not when I put my quarter in, not after he beat me. I was just another duck in the shooting gallery I guess.

    If I could relive those few hours knowing what I know now I would have put another quarter up and played him as much as I could. But after that one game I played the rest of the day on the other machine. Like I said before, we didn't know who the best of the best was. We went to the arcades and just played whoever was there. We knew who the local good players were but we didn't have any idea just how good they really were. I mean, we were comparing this guy to Jay, and I can say with certainty that Thomas would have owned Jay in a heartbeat.

    But that's how it was in those days. The world was a smaller place before the internet. The level of competition that existed in the Bay Area was extremely high, but we didn't see it that way. We figured what was going on in the Bay Area was happening everywhere, that guys like Thomas were just a 10 minute drive away at the next arcade. And sure, the Fighting scene was a hundred times bigger throughout the world in those days, but the Bay Area was one of the true hotspots. Go anywhere from Sausalito to San Jose and there was competition. Even after I won ten straight at the arcade the night before, I'd walk into a 7-11 during my break at work for a quick game and some random guy would give me a wake up call. Almost a year of playing Street Fighter fanatically and I was still just another player. That's how good players were back then.

    How many times have you been given a wake up call playing Golden-fucking-Tee?

    That was the one and only time I played Thomas. We never saw him again at the Underground. Sorry if my experience is a bit of a let-down, but that's how it happened. We never considered the possibility that one day this fabulous era of competition would end. We didn't really know what we had until years later when we realized it was gone...

    - j
  • burnyourbraburnyourbra :) :) :) :) Joined: Posts: 154
    Great story. You truly described the old days:)
    Oh . . . hi =]
  • OneEyedJackOneEyedJack Representing Nova Scotia! Joined: Posts: 216
    Please continue!

    You should definitely copy and paste your articles to file! Save them for posterity!

    Keep writing!
    -Jon in Canada

    Remember, the game tells you who was the better player at the end of the match.
  • Desmond DelaghettoDesmond Delaghetto Ghetto Strategies Joined: Posts: 622
    Yeah, man! Keep going! I bet a story about when SF Alpha first came out might be cool.
    Your a really good writer. Im sure you'll be a good gamemaster in Shadowrun.
    http://dreamcancel.com/ | Practice everyday without neglect
  • jcasetnljcasetnl nachos.posterous.com Joined: Posts: 147
    old skool lore (LONG)

    More time passed and fall turned to winter, which in the Bay Area means absolutely nothing. And like the unchanging weather I was an unwavering Street Fighter addict as always.

    By this time, however, Guile and Dhalsim were considered practically unbeatable in the hands of skilled players and that combined with the game being out for over year caused the competition to start tapering off. I didn't care too much though - I was happily doing invisible throw, handcuffs, statue and all the other glitches we had discovered.

    But one day it all came back with a vengeance. I rode with my friend Adrian in his 65 mustang out to the Red Robin at Bayfair.

    In the pre-web days you got game information from the magazines like Gamepro and EGM. I used to laugh when there was any mention of things like the handcuffs or the game reset glitches. The magazines were afraid to print how they were done but they were well known to all of us. One even warned that these glitches could "damage the game" and one version of World Warrior featured a neutered version of Guile to prevent people from doing them.

    I still remember when EGM played an April Fools joke wherein they explained that Sheng Long really did exist. This was always a big mystery to us. Who the hell is this Sheng Long guy anyway? Most speculated that it was the Dragon Punch, but we all wanted to believe he was some hidden character. Every once in awhile some kid would make a wild claim that his friend's friend's sister's boyfriend had gotten to Sheng Long. You know how those stories go. We never took them seriously.

    Supposedly to get to him you had to beat every single fighter perfect. They even had screenshots of him on Bison's stage with a flaming uppercut. I made this my mission for a few days until I wised up. I was so pissed off at EGM for all the quarters I'd wasted trying to accomplish this that I never bought another issue.

    But we rarely bought the magazines anyway. Another old ritual of ours' was going to Barnes and Noble in Jack London Square. We gathered up a stack of game magazines and then marched up to the cafe, ordered a cup of coffee and then spent a couple hours reading while the sun went down on the Bay. When we were done, we put them back on the rack and left.

    There was one I did buy, though, and I still have it. It was called "Video Games and Computer Entertainment" and it had the first screenshots of Champion Edition we'd seen.

    As Adrian and I pulled into Bayfair's parking lot I was skeptical. Adrian had "heard" that Champion Edition was there, but Adrian wasn't nearly as hardcore as I was, and the friend he heard it from was some scrub from Alameda.

    Anyway, as we walked in, there were at least 30 kids jammed into the little game area they had and there it was, Champion Edition. In fact, there were so many kids jammed into that room that finally the staff put a divider and a "door man" in front of the entrance to the game area. About an hour after we arrived they announced that only patrons of the restaurant could stay - everyone else had to leave.

    Being kicked out of 7-11s or super markets for crowd control reasons was a common thing back in those days. On one occasion at a 7-11 the guy told me "last game" and I said "fine". Then he went into a back room and cut the power right in the middle of my game. Disgusted I got in line behind about six or seven people to get my quarter back and after finally getting to the front he told me "no refunds." Then he smiled like a jackass and turned away on some Clerk-esque power trip. I don't reccommend you do what I did next. I reached into a box of candy bars at the counter, grabbed the biggest handful I could and waved it at him. "This ought to cover it, asshole," and I walked out.

    So I was used to being kicked out wherever I went. It was one of the prices we paid to play back then. But I got two games in, one with Ken and one with Guile. I couldn't resist playing Ken the moment I saw that huge sweeping uppercut of his. It seemed impossible to daze your opponent but the combos and the overall flow of the game just seemed better than ever.

    A week later Tony and I were out at Regency around noon time and he was playing Ken against a lousy Bison player. This is one of the all-time funniest Street Fighter moments I can remember.

    Everyone picked up on Bison's zig-zagging psycho crusher tactic that did stupid amounts of damage before you recovered from block delay and this guy was relying on it to win the match. So Tony, who knew a thing or two about playing against "cheap" players just gave him what he had coming. After his defeat the guy whipped out his soap box and started crying foul about how he was cheated.

    Tony pointedly underlined the "Champion Edition" logo on the marquee of the machine with his finger and said, "You see what this says? It says CHAMPION EDITION, dude. You see that game over there?" He pointed to the lonely World Warrior machine in the corner now suffering from total neglect. "That's where you need to go... back to Remedial Edition... to learn the basics."

    Champion Edition was a worthy successor to World Warrior and the Street Fighter competition scene was back in full swing. But unfortunately, it wouldn't last.

    Now some people say the end of the "golden age" of Street Fighter happened when Alpha came out. In a way, they're right. But in a lot of ways it happened during Champion Edition. It happened because of the "kits".

    You may have heard of Street Fighter: Rainbow Edition, or Street Fighter: Black Belt Edition. Those were hacked rom sets of Champion Edition. There were literally dozens of them. They started out tame - the first one I ever saw allowed you to do moves in the air and projectiles could go super slow (so slow you could walk past them after you threw them) or super fast.

    They were a lot of fun at first. You could throw a fireball, cross-up your opponent and combo him so that he was hit in the back by it during the combo. The computer AI would react in all sorts of wierd ways to these set ups. But we quickly realized a problem with them: competition was a joke. Take Zangeif for example. All you had to do was keep jumping and spinning and you could go off the screen. You could literally go up several screens this way. And then all you had to do was line yourself up vertically with your opponent and do a SPD. Sure, it was funny watching a guy get a SPD from seven screens up but after that, Zangief just had to spin up a few screens out of reach and wait for time to run out.

    There was another problem. Every week a new kit came out. Sometimes we got two or three in a week. And each one was more ridiculous than the last. Some sped up as you played, others had zig-zagging or curving fireballs. Others allowed multiple projectiles on the screen or zero delay charge moves (imagine sending 10 super slow sonic booms at your opponent). Others allowed you to switch characters mid-round. Throw ten sonic booms, switch to Ken and do a super fast spin kick across the screen, switch to Zangief and do a super high jump into SPD while your opponent is tied up in block delay. On wakeup your opponent was in a sea of sonic booms and totally powerless. In short, they were all fun for awhile but serious competition became impossible.

    When the kits hit, Street Fighter began to dissapear from the 7-11s and the super markets. Now it was the more hardcore players that remained. The damage was done though. Capcom's answer was Hyper Fighting.

    Once again I was up in Reno and my ussually cheap parents decided to splurge. We stayed at what was then called the Bally's and they had Hyper Fighting. I played it and honestly didn't really care for it because it played a lot like some of the early kits. You could do some moves in the air, it was sped up, etc. In fact, it seemed boring compared to the kits. No more crazy combos, no more total ownage of the computer, and no more insane setups using five different characters.

    It did bring back the competition though. It only took a couple trips out to Regency to figure that out.

    This is when arcades started to change pretty radically. Street Fighter 2: WW had brought the industry back from the dead and other fighting series (MK, SS, AoF) had kept the ball rolling but as the genre's popularity began to center around the more hardcore gamers the profits began to dry up overall.

    Regency was the classic example of this. First off, they changed the name. It became "Playland".

    "Regency Game Palace" - home of hardcore players.

    "Playland" - home of... stuffed animals?

    Sad but true. They installed a bevy of ticket games and one of those big, plastic playgrounds. It was no longer dimly lit and mysterious, with the competitive atmosphere of a pool hall from "The Color of Money". Now it was screaming flourescent lights and day-glo Barneys plastered all over the walls.

    By this time we checked into one of the oldest of the old skool homesteads: Gametown USA. This was an arcade of about 15 games and half a dozen pinball machines on College Ave. It was a shithole with virtually zero competition. However, I'd finally worked my way up to something approaching Tony's level and the competition was all about us. At the same time we made some good friends there. We still hit the other arcades looking for competition but somewhere along the line we realized the train had started to slow down. And as for me, I had other things to think about.


    The old man finished his drink with a seeming finality and the boy figured the story was over. But the old man gestured for the waitress.

    "One more and let me close out."
  • fireballtrapfireballtrap Respect is Earned Joined: Posts: 393
    Such goodness......:eek:

    Only one more? Noooooooo.....this is the only reason i come to this site anymore! :lol:
    Getting 90% of the way there is a total fuck up.
  • dsfhdsfh i cant rushdown Joined: Posts: 15
    The hacked versions of SF was the main reason I stopped going to the arcade back then, funny you mention. You think Spiral's Wall of Swords is crazy, you should see Guile's. sonicsonicsonicsonicsonicsonicsonicsonicsonicsonicsonic boom. Good stuff, jcasetnl, post of the year honors here.
    shut up, kid
  • SystemSystem Joined: Posts: 508,676 admin
    I remember the old days of pacific ave bowl in stockton. Me and zeke, or any of the rest of the "old" crew would walk from edison, over to the alley to battle. Even if all we could do was scrape up fifty cents for two games. We knew that was all it would take to keep on the machine for another 5 hours or so.....depending on how many scrubs came in....which back then, was pleanty. I remember we use to throw a round on purpose, just to keep them going back over to the change machine.

    Saturday nights were the best. We use to gamble on the machine, and had people that came from other towns just to do the same. Man, back then....you played your heart out, cause you knew if you lost....there was 12-15 quarters up that you would have to wait for.....at least there was wrestling, and U.N. Squadron to hold ya over.

    Anyone remember playing "poor man" style? If you and a buddy were the only one there....you would battle against each other until one almost lost...then you kept blocking fireballs or whatever, until you each had the same ammount of energy for a tie. It use to let you go 10 rounds before shutting down. Capcom got smart though, cause in champion edition, they cut that ish down to like 4.

    Those were the days......Never has another single video game caused so many people to drop outta school and take their ged/proficiency esam.......I know hella, and we all took it on the same day.
  • ShinRyuBenShinRyuBen Not a new $#@%ing member.... wtf.. Joined: Posts: 166
    Oh my God.... such chills and goosebumps.... best thread ever??..
    sure... I love it...
    ---->>Ok Im an old man... when I walked into the arcade (dono the name it was in Houston though, seedy, seedy, seedy mall by a Fiesta grocery store.. maybe some H-town Heros can help here) there were like 10 dudes around this machine (the mall was about to close..) I was like WTF?? so I looked up and WAM!! Street Fighter 2... TWO?!?!?! You see as far as I knew I was the only person in the world that had ever played Street Fighter much less knew how to throw a fireball (thank god for the grandparents, a Turbo Duo, and Fighting Street).. anyway.. They were taking turns fighting "The Last Guy" (it was Sagat) I was like "How do you know it was the last guy?" (some big Hispanic dude) "He was the Boss of the first one..." (man I was impressed now... These guys KNEW!!) But like I said the mall was about to close, and I was leaving town in the morning.. I wanted to play! So I asked if I could jump in, and the guy said "when I'm about to die" (sound familiar? :) ) So he was about to, and I did... Here it was... some girl vs my Ken.... don' remember much of the actual match but I remember I won third round... OK here comes Sagat (the Fagat, for he was cheap as hell in SF1) Killed him with Shoryuken and let me tell you peaple went CRAZY!! (And I've been hooked since then... I mean I LOVED the game before that but I've been an addict since) Then came Bison and of course that cheap fucker killed me ("Man I hate Fucking Bison!!.." became a fave saying of mine and my Homie Doc would ALWAYS say... "you sick fattie.. why do you wanna fuck him anyways? ;) )
    OK thats enough.... many similar stories to those above... ooohh OK OK OK first Standing Fierce xx F.Shoryuken with Ken in CE... aaaahhhh... the big uppercut = DEATH!!!! POW<POWPOWPOW!!!!!!
    later dudes--
    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible only make violent revolution inevitable
    -John F. Kennedy
  • SystemSystem Joined: Posts: 508,676 admin
    I've been looking and asking for stuff like this for quite a while on both this webpage and shinakuma. I suppose I didn't ask the right questions so props to the starter of this thread for showing me wording is crucial.

    And thanks to jcasetnl for making this one of the finest threads ever. Just wondering if you know anything about Tomo?

    Or if there's other bards out there with their fancy tales, throw down. There's a glass of JD waiting for you too.
  • SystemSystem Joined: Posts: 508,676 admin
    madd skillz!
  • SystemSystem Joined: Posts: 508,676 admin
    I would like to shake jcasetnl's hand.

    This stuff makes me want to cry. My true love, SF, in full glory, all thanks to the vivid memories of jcasetnl.

    Unfortunately I wasn't around for the old school days. I got into SF at A2. When exactly did the crowds die out? I will blow whatever machine that caused the death.

    *I still want to cry*

    My only wish is that I was alive back then. That is just so great.

    But perhaps more importantly to me than living back than would be to have the same boom happen all over again.

    I hope to someday pass along a story jcasetnl's to my own kids.

    I still want to cry.
  • TSTS pbbbbbbt... Joined: Posts: 4,318 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    old skool lore (LONG)

    Weird SF moment: I remember hearing about SF2 from my brother...I must have been in 3rd grade or so, I don't know...yeah, that sounds about right. Anyhow, I remember knowing exactly what Blanka's character art for the VS screen after he loses, before actually ever seeing him. Not a picture, not anything. And I don't mean I had that deja vu feeling when I saw Blanka...it was like precognition. Weird.

    Also, I remember making some weird association with Predator 2...since the thing in the mask with the claw (Vega) was fighting the rasta dude with the skulls around his neck (Sim). So I thought about how if it were Predator 2 it would be Sim trying to avenge that one dude who got killed and got his head torn off.

    Entirely too young to be seeing those movies...

    Damn, such memories about rediscovering the SF2 games on my own later...actually drawing the six buttons and a joystick on a piece of paper so I could get better acquainted with the buttons (there were so many!!)...reading that old SF2:WW guide by GamePro...trying to do that jump short, crouch rapid fire short combo with Ryu vs the CPU and getting killed...sweet...

    Damn. You just made my night.
    Originally posted by jcasetnl
    Tony pointedly underlined the "Champion Edition" logo on the marquee of the machine with his finger and said, "You see what this says? It says CHAMPION EDITION, dude. You see that game over there?" He pointed to the lonely World Warrior machine in the corner now suffering from total neglect. "That's where you need to go... back to Remedial Edition... to learn the basics."


    You write well.
  • SystemSystem Joined: Posts: 508,676 admin
    Originally posted by smashfighter
    I would like to shake jcasetnl's hand.

    This stuff makes me want to cry. My true love, SF, in full glory, all thanks to the vivid memories of jcasetnl.

    Unfortunately I wasn't around for the old school days. I got into SF at A2. When exactly did the crowds die out? I will blow whatever machine that caused the death.

    *I still want to cry*

    My only wish is that I was alive back then. That is just so great.

    But perhaps more importantly to me than living back than would be to have the same boom happen all over again.

    I hope to someday pass along a story jcasetnl's to my own kids.

    I still want to cry.

    I would say things really died out when super turbo came out. I remember there was still much excitement when super came.....but after that I think street fighter was hard to get into if you were a newbie. The computer on there would often kill off people in the first match.
  • SystemSystem Joined: Posts: 508,676 admin
    This is a great thread that brings up a lot of old memories especially for those people who were around for the Street Fighter I and WW days.

    This might sound drastic but I think for many of the older players here who experienced the boom years of SF and the revival of the arcade... such games actually shaped the way we grew up.

    I know for myself Fridays meant going to the local arcade on my bike or in my friend's car just to test our mettle against one another. More importantly I have never remembered feeling as passionate about a game as I have with street fighter. My brother and I played it constantly and have gotten into screaming matches and 'cold -shoulder' syndrome over the game. I remember when we didn't know better and the word cheap still existed in our vocabulary -- getting thrown was the ultimate disgrace and it got so bad at one point that if you threw in one of the arcaded I played at it was EXPECTED that you allow your opponent a free throw (man... I've even seen people almost come to real life blows over such a thing -- that's how heated and passionate people were about this game).

    Other memories I have are of SF2 coming out for the SNES. Man, when a kid on my block (about grade 7 I guess) was the first to get that cartridge seemingly every kid in the neighbourhood flocked into house (even me who was several years older). We really didn't even know him... we just knew that he got the cartridge on the first day it was out and so we had to go to this guy's house!! It was nuts... his parents promptly threw us out into the street after 20 minutes of playing because some people seemed to get so agitated by the competition.

    I also remmeber when that April Fool's joke came out in EGM. Man, my friends and I spent an entire evening trying to get Sheng Long to come out. What a waste... Strangely enough I remmeber that even Japanese mags were plagiarizing EGM and they were baffled on that side of the ocean as why it wasn't working (EGM printed this themselves the following month as they saw it as just desserts for having their stuff copied without prior consent).

    Interestingly, I bought both GamePro guides that outlined the SF games in 'detail' (well, in retrospect both guides sucked but they were just awesome to look at and read during lunch because we couldn't very well leave the school and head for the mall -- too far for us). In those guides there was actually a printed interview with Tomo Ohira (the guy Gamepro claimed to be the best -- but I know this is a heated / touchy area as ALOT of people claim Thomas or maybe even M. Watson was the best in the old school days). If only I knew how to upload scanned material I would post it here if people were interested.

    Ahhh.. I'm just rambling ... forgive a washed up, worn-out old-schooler for remembering who he was and who he thought he could be....

    Back before the internet made the world into a truly global village, I think more Street Fighter players were susceptible to the illussion that they could become 'the GREATEST' if only they practiced enough, spent enough money/time/blood/sweat and tears on this game. If anything, the internet and Shoryken.com has shown me that all those hopes were just grand delusions wrapped up by pipe dreams.

    But ... what I wouldn't give to have that same spark, that same feeling of invincibility we always thought we were on the brink of achieving in those early years.
  • SystemSystem Joined: Posts: 508,676 admin
    Originally posted by smashfighter

    "Unfortunately I wasn't around for the old school days. I got into SF at A2. When exactly did the crowds die out? I will blow whatever machine that caused the death."

    You might be surprised at what machine you will want to destroy then...

    Who was it who said "You kill what you love..."?

    The demise of Street Fighter from the 'Golden Age' in the early 90s was (*IMHO*)brought about (ironically) by Street Fighter itself or, more specifically, CAPCOM. As jcasetnl (sp?) pointed out (and I tend to agree) the numerous clones that came after the original WW without too many discernible changes (except to the hardcore) I think really took away from the SF scene. The leap from SF2:WW to SF2:CE was no where near as huge as the leap from SF1 to SF2. All the upgrades without any true revolution (just an incremental evolution) I don't think could draw the mass audience as much as the original WW did.

    Please don't take this the wrong way. I'm not saying that the SFs after WW sucked (I loved them all.. well except maybe Alpha 1) it's just that Capcom really rode this pony for all it was worth (witness the the strange transition from Super to ST -- the stage of evolution with the fewest noticeable changes [although one fo the changes being HUGE -- the addition of a super meter]).

    Also I think that maybe the fact that fighters became more and more technical alienated the mass audience. What we love as 'hardcore' fans (anyone who reads SRK regularly) is the intricacies and depth of this game. Ironically, I think it's this same depth that prevents the casual passerby to really get into SF. As everyone here knows SF is much harder to just 'casually play' (unless you're a complete scrub just hammering away at the buttons) than other games (gun games, shooters, driving sims, etc.

    Ahhh.. I don't think i made any sense... it's late... I don't feel like editing. Good night
  • Judgment DayJudgment Day Disrupting Da Coronation Joined: Posts: 379
    I totally agree with a lot of the posts made here; JCasetnl has a wonderful way of describing stories of the old school Street Fighter days. If anyone wants to read more of his work, click on the following links below. A lot of it is funny beyond belief, yet true :lol:

    All this talk of Thomas Osaki
    Tales of Smackdown
    Thomas Osaki

    Again, I highly recommend this. Enjoy.
    Judgment Day: PsychoBison, Rated [R]

  • MillionMillion King of Creeps Joined: Posts: 11,047 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    I will actually take the time to read this today....*such long posts:p *

    While I am here;

    Everything here "died" when the Super series came out. There's little to no question about it. Almost everyone (including myself) thought Super SF sucked ass compared to the previous editions and the original SF2. The new characters just weren't interesting (Bruce Lee. Another big-stupid character. A bikini broad with no ass. some black jamaican dude. Yay.:rolleyes: ) Also, the game was slower than SF2 Turbo/Hyper/whatever. It just was not acceptable....it was like a backwards evolutionary step. You don't give us insanely fast-paced action, and then go back to slow fighting....that's just not cool. And something about the graphics just wasn't great either. Even when this shit came out on SNES...nobody I knew cared; we were still playing SF2: Hyper Fighting(or Turbo? whatever) with the Game Genie to make it into the illegal "Crazy Edition".

    At least in the arcades here, the SF2 crowds was split into this:

    - people who thought Super series sucked (majority)
    - people who just got tired of any kind of SF (disappointed by lack of any "Oh My GOD!" changes....many of these types would become hardcore 3d fighting fans, and looked down on 2d fighting as a thing of the past.)
    - people who began to tire of videogames of all kinds. (the wierdos who actually "grew up".:lol:.)

    Actually, it's probably more accurate to say Super series slowed it down considerably.....SF: Alpha 1 was the final nail in the coffin.....it was the last straw that killed everything.
  • Josh-TheFunkDOCJosh-TheFunkDOC Double Dutch! Joined: Posts: 2,404 ✭✭✭✭✭ OG
    IMO, both Super SF2 and the constant comparisons with Mortal Kombat served as the nail in the coffin. All the problems with Super have been mentioned before, so no need to go further there. In addition, MK2 was released right around the same time as Super and in the opinions of many, was a better game overall. The whole issue with Joe Lieberman gave MK the mainstream buzz that Street Fighter never attained, as did their respective movies; while the SF movie was of course awful on every level, the MK movie was at worst enjoyable.

    Of course, Alpha 1 very well could have been one of the nails in the coffin...it was a horrible game, and that time was when the 3-D fighters emerged.

    Josh the FunkDOC
    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/live-speedrunning - My live stream, mainly speedruns w/ some other stuff now and then
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