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  • Re: Info on the Old School SF Scene?

    Street Fighter....now that's a name I've not heard, in a long time....a long time...

    I actually got started with the first street fighter on a *commodore-64*. I didn't even know how to do the moves...just, sometimes a FB or a 50% damage DP came out. The music was quite good on it, though.

    Then, around 1989, when I started playing it at an Arcade in Cerritos Mall, I started learning the moves from my friend and trainer, Mohsen, and eventually we were able to have Uppercut contests, sometimes lasting half the round before someone got hit. (On that machine, the Uppercut was COMPLETELY invincible, even when landing). And we also had contests to see who could get the highest score fighting the computer (even a blocked HK gave you 5,000 points per hit, and making the CPU block and doing the HK for 4 hits, was the fastest way to jack up your score). Losing the 2nd round helped a lot here, too.
    (note: getting the "highest score" in a machine card (best score ever), gave you a bunch of free tokens.

    Anyway, Street fighter 2 came to our arcade late, because the manager was a jerk, and was going "VR" crazy. Anyone remember the "TIme traveler" "Hologram" game, and the "VR" action game? He didn't think SF2 was a great game, which hs REGRETTED when he found out how much money he missed, and how those "high tech" machines were TOTAL fads. We had to go play at Long Beach arcade, and a few other places, before the "TIme Out" would get a SF2 machine.

    Mohsen and I had advantages when SF2 was new, since we already knew how to DP, so we could beat a lot of people. We also found out about tick chumping too, but most scrubs hated it. we used it to take advantage of a knockdown and outpredicting what the other guy was going to do.

    Then (since we lived in Cerritos), we found out about World's Finest comics (in Pico Rivera) and Pacmann Arcade...and that's where I met the legendary Tomo (and a bunch of others, like George "eggo" (no offense, George :) (Ngo). It was at Pacmann where we first saw the "sitting Guile" domination of WW, when Guile's ground attacks simply had WAYY too much priority, and NOTHING in the game could hit his close standing forward kick (not even Chun Li's forward knee press, IIRC)

    I still remember when Mohsen beat Tomo's Perfect Guile, with *ken*, by jumping at him without attacking, which whiffed Tomo's RH totally, and then he got tick thrown to death. From then on, Tomo used ducking Fierce....

    CE came out next, and Western Arcade (in Cypress) and a donut shop by Faye Ross(?) junior high had the machines first. That Donut shop was PACKED with about 20 people...a tiny little shop. Western arcade was farther but we went there a day or two later, and it was PACKED. Two CE machines, and Mohsen figuring out that Guile was still good (but he didn't have 0 recovery after flash kick anymore). This was back before anyone knew about Ken's almighty Jumping Fierce priority. I was the first person in Cerritos to find out about this, and NO ONE at touraments knew. I was fighting some Vega player, who kept using the claw when I jumped in. Then I tried different attacks, and then saw that the Fierce, to my surprise, stuffed his claw cleanly. I then saw how dominating this Fierce was, by jumping at the CPU and outprioritizing their counters. I took this to a tournament at WF comics, and surprised everyone by jumping at Guile, and stuffing his ducking punch with my Fierce, and doing a DP for free when landing (usually a combo).

    The problem was, those joysticks were like total 360 type (Super) sticks that I could NOT DP on (I could only DP on the old block-feeling (for the corners) style (Happs Competition-like) joysticks), so my Ken got pretty owned. I even surprised Sean Mann by jumping at his sagat with Ken a million times, before he figured out that vs Ken's fierce, he had to wait till the last moment before doing a TU. I can't believe none of these guys knew this (not even Tomo).

    CE was really an imbalanced game, though. Bison had an *UPPERCUT* vs many players (Ducking Fierce), which totally destroyed Ryu...if Bison got close to Ryu, he could trade RH's with Ryu's FB, and nothing worked....Ryu couldn't jump (duck fierce), Ryu couldnt HK (duck fierce), Ryu couldn't DP (scissors double dizzy), Ryu couldnt FB (Bison jumps straight up or hits you with RH)...Ken was much easier to fight Bison with, than Ryu, as his jumping fierce hits Bison's ducking fierce).

    The 5 best players in CE were Guile, Bison, Ryu, Sagat (who was apparently identical to SSF2 Sagat but with a "worse" fireball and MASSIVELY damaging Fierce TU) , and Dhalsim (with his fast drills, and rediculous tick traps).

    I got out of tournaments after that, due to not having funds (or transportation), but I did start playing HF, and Chun (who was the same as on Ce, except with a much better SBK, and a FIREBALL), was actually a respectable player, and Blanka was mad fun.

    A word about some of the matchups: when i went to Riverside, I learned that Chun was one of the best characters in HF, IF you know how to use her effectively, without making mistakes. (Her too good jump forward+throw vs Shotos was a no-brainer as long as you didnt throw them into the corner--her throw made them land at the perfect time for a middle jump hit right when they get up, and jump forward+two low forwards=fast dizzy if they miss a wakeup DP), PLUS a fireball and useful air SBK. Blanka was really good too, vertical balls=OWNAGE...Sagat and Bison were no longer the best...Bison sucked ass and Sagat had more FB recovery time now; Dhalsim was really weakened (his air drills were SLLOWWW and more vulnerable now, while given an almost useless teleport--good against blanka traps only IF you did it right). Honda destroyed Sagat with his TOO GOOD short sumo splash. Ryu, without a Bison to stuff him (HF Bison's duck fierce totally missed Ryu's HK now), and with the increased speed of HF, made him top tier.

    Some people think that HF Ryu was "better" than CE Ryu, but this isn't really true. CE Ryu had gained the initial invincible frames of the HK, and faster FB, but slower ground speed (than Ken)...this was unchanged in HF. HF Ryu gained an air HK, that's the only change. Otherwise he was the _exact_same as on CE (the air HK could work for him or against him depending on distance or matchup). Both Ryu and Chun could land for free after their HK/SBK in the air and ground in HF. But what REALLY made Ryu top tier (besides the nerfing of Bison) was the faster speed of the game. This made it harder for Guile and Chun to react to Ryu's fireballs.

    If HF had CE's gamespeed, then Guile would be top tier, and Ryu would probably be *Below* Chun Li (chun would be 2nd, Ryu third), since again, the faster gamespeed makes it harder for both of them to react to the fireballs. Few people realize this.
    As it is now, the rankings for HF are 1:Ryu, 2:Guile/Chun (depends on who has more experience in this matchup, but Guile has a slight pull), 3:Blanka/Sagat (take your pick) 4:Ken. 5:Honda/Gief

    I wont get into the ST games, since I wasn't really into the scene (besides SSF2 and some ST games in Riverside and after I came back to Cypress)
  • Re: Info on the Old School SF Scene?

    with this talk about og sf, im trying to learn guile. can one of you guys help me on the guile vs ryu matchup HF, the gameplan and strategy, like followups and setups after booms..im only 17 but i played this 24 year old og player and i would come so close to beating his ryu with my ryu but when i go to guile i completely lose, and his guile beats down on both my guys but i still don't really know how to play guile.

    This matchup is pretty hard for Guile. Good ryu players will sweep your low forward and roundhouse with a low roundhouse. They can see the move come out and react.

    Anyway, try walking backwards to start, throwing nothing but fast sonic booms in the projectile war. See if you can draw him out into jumping to come get you. If you have him jumping towards you, you'll most likely win.

    If he doesn't jump towards you, you're going to have to keep throwing sonic booms till he falls asleep, then jump with a late roundhouse to kick him once in the head. Then proceed to run away and guard the lead. This match is all about getting a lead (no matter how minor) and holding it. Time is your best friend.

    Once you've got Ryu jumping, then you can low fierce, low strong (it will whiff) then immediately throw (Ryu's jumping RH with mysteriously miss), low jab, standing RH, standing forward if he's right on top of you, air throw, low forward or RH if he's far, or jump early RH. Once in a while, you might want to block too. Basically, whenever Ryu jumps on you, do something different, so he never knows what to expect and when to RH.

    If you're losing, then you have to play close range and throw the hell out of him. This should be your second choice. Never play close range if you can avoid it. Here, throw a slow sonic boom and follow it. If he matches with a fireball, backhand or low forward (he'll have time to block), but it buys you time to setup another boom.

    A good OG trick is after doing a low forward which they block, immediately do a backhand. If they try to throw a fireball, you'll hit them clean before the fireball comes out. Your goal is to get them to block a sonic boom with you right behind it. Then you just walk in and throw. The alternate is walk in and at the last second low RH. Or you can walk in, pause, then walk forward and low RH. Walk in, standing jab, throw. Endless variations of cheese. If he spin kicks, low fierce. If he fireballs, block it, then jump towards him with a fierce, low strong, razor kick in case he throws another.

    If Ryu corner traps you with fireballs, it can get really bad. Try razor kicking out - cutting off his head like a guillotine and going through the fireball. Or else trade a backhand with the fireball just to throw off his timing. Good Ryu players will back you into the corner and make you block at least 5 fireballs every time you fall down. If you jump up, they'll alternate fireball speed till you finally fall on one. You do not want to be in the corner against a good Ryu player.
    Is that THE Eggo from Gamefan magazine posting?!

    Yes.
  • Re: Info on the Old School SF Scene?

    The fateful Saturday rolls around and we head down to Pico Rivera. Worlds Finest Comics, the locale where Tomo and company hung out, played, strategized, talked, and generally grew into the #1 Street Fighter community in the U.S. The tournament was about 30 people or so. The turnout was considered a success, and Charles announced that he would hold another one in 3 weeks.

    I didnt make top 10, but I didnt care. I was there to learn, and learn I did. How to combo. The latest combos. Redizzy combos. Corner traps. Fireball traps. Trap counters. How to throw. How to reverse.

    Every three weeks, Vahe and I would go to Worlds Finest for these SF tournaments. We went as much to compete as to amass knowledge like a sponge. And then bring back the latest tricks of the trade to our local arcade to whip ass on the newbies.

    Worlds Finest wasnt just the site of a video game tournament. It was a place for SF experts to gather, be accepted, and share tales of their local arcades. It was a place where the newest and most effective combos, strategies, and glitches could be displayed, analyzed, and countered. The In & Out burger restaurant across the street was the source for our daily sustenance, drinks, and a secondary hangout - our home away from home.

    Gradually, the pecking order of Worlds Finest developed. There was the Big Four and everyone else. The Big Four were Tomo Ohira, Roger Chung, Tony Tsui, and Willy (Lee?). They were in a class by themselves, playing at another level from everyone else. The reason they were grouped together like that is because the other three were the only ones who could beat Tomo, although he ended up winning most of the tournaments.

    As time progressed, people realized that not all characters were created equally. Guile emerged as the best, and the only character who could stood a chance against him was Dhalsim. Every tournament came down to Guile and Dhalsim fighting in the finals and semi-finals.

    Vahe was a real student of the game. He could sit back and watch people play, dissecting what they were doing to win. What traps worked and how to get out of them. Every move had a counter. Every technique had an answer.

    His problem was he didnt have the reflexes and coordination to pull off the latest combos as they were invented. So he took me under his wing as his student. He told me what to do and when to do it. What countered what and the latest strategies. Living vicariously through me, he was training a lean, mean, fighting machine.

    After a couple tournaments, the Guile/Dhalsim fight was expected. It became like an elaborate dance to the death, with new moves added every week. It evolved. First Dhalsim started with standing Fierce to push people back, then Fireball, standing Forward. Then people changed it to Fireball, standing Fierce to push them back and get damage when they jumped. Then people found out Fireball, low fierce had more priority. Then it became Fireball, low Roundhouse slide when they jumped, Yoga Flame as they got up, standing Fierce, repeat. Fireball, close-range standing forward. Fireball, jump back Fierce. Drill (Yoga Mummy), throw. Noogie, standing Strong, Noogie some more. Yoga Flame, throw (in the corner). The variations were endless.

    Every week changes were made to the choreography, and if you didnt keep up on the latest moves and the appropriate counter, you would succumb to them. It became like homework in Street Fighter school to memorize the latest tactics. And believe me, school was in session.

    By this time, I was becoming an elite SF player. I knew all the strategies for destroying any non-Guile/Dhalsim characters with either Guile or Dhalsim. People I didnt know, didnt scare me. I began placing top 10 at Worlds Finest, as the homework and practice began to pay off. I still couldnt beat the Big Four when it counted, but I would make them earn it.

    At this point, playing at my local 7-11 was no longer satisfying. Local scrubs were stifling my growth, dulling my skills, and providing false confidence. I only wanted to play at Worlds Finest, where the true challenge lay. Every three weeks, I would go to the tournaments and get schooled by 3 weeks worth of new ideas and strategies. It was difficult trying to improvise counter strategies on the fly, but I tried and loved every second of it.

    Between tournaments, Vahe and I would scour Los Angeles, looking for hotbeds of hidden SF talent. Searching for a backwoods pizza place with a local prodigy who might have some tricks we could use.

    I became like a talent scout. I would go to foreign arcades and just watch how the locals played. If their technology (the moves and patterns they were using) wasnt up to snuff, I wouldnt even bother wasting a quarter to beat them. When I was out with my girlfriend, we would walk by an arcade and she would know we had to go inside to see what people were doing.

    By the way, the one time I brought my girlfriend to Worlds Finest (boys, never bring your girlfriend to a video game tournament. Shell be bored out of her mind.), I won the tournament, beating Tomo in the Finals. One of the high points of my SF career.

    Eventually, we realized that we had scouted all there was to scout. There was no more hidden talent in LA. The best places to play were Pak Mann in Pasadena, College Arcade across the street from LACC (LA Community College), and Worlds Finest in Pico Rivera. By now, we knew everybody at these places on a first name basis.

    Do you believe in pre-destination? It exists in video games. If you dropped a quarter in a machine and challenged me, and I didnt know your name, you already lost. There was no doubt. Your fate was pre-determined. You just wasted 25 cents funding my gaming habit for the next minute.

    When I spent three hours a day, seven days a week presiding over the scrubs at my local arcades and doing my homework regularly at Worlds Finest for the latest tricks of the trade, there was no way a stranger could win. It just didnt happen. Ever.

    Oh there were guys that talked smack. Lots of them. You gotta play my friend at Street Fighter. Hes sooooooo good. You dont know how many times I heard that.

    But the end result was always the same. Unless I knew you and practiced against you regularly, you didnt beat me. Not even a round. The people who could beat you became like family. Your peers. Your comp. What made you better. What pushed you further. What made you innovate.

    My comrades and I played through all sorts of conditions. Walk into an arcade no defensive crouch. No problem. Ill pick Ryu and uppercut through the fireballs. Spin kick to the other side and play footsie. Broken controls werent a deterrent, they were a handicap which we overcame. Roundhouse doesnt work all the time. Time to play Dhalsim.

    Only two buttons work.
    Is one of them punch?
    Yes.
    Zangief.

    I would play matches using only one button - jab. I would play one-handed: one hand on the joystick and the same hand on buttons (and yes, you can still fireball/uppercut that way). I could literally beat people with one hand behind my back. Buddies would share rounds. Sometimes, we would play together. My friend would do joystick, I would do buttons and we could fireball trap (with fakes) and uppercut opponents without verbal communication. Great minds think alike? Sometimes I would be bored and let people take off more than half my life, then magically turn it on and demolish them without taking any damage. It was sick.

    So it was established Pico Rivera was where the best Street Fighter players in Los Angeles played. But how did LA compare to the rest of the world? We were about to find out as we took our first trip outside LA in search of the true World Warrior
  • Re: Info on the Old School SF Scene?

    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.
  • Re: Info on the Old School SF Scene?

    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.