20 Years of SF2: The World Warrior, 20 Years of the Fighting Game Community

Has it been that long? 20 years since SF2: The World Warrior has been released. The game was the root of the fighting game community; yes, there were other fighting games before it (such as Karate Champ, and the first Street Fighter), but those games were very limited and came after the video game and arcade market crash, meaning there wasn’t going to be much of a community. SF2WW single-handedly revived a dying arcade market, despite there being great games at the time, such as Contra, Rygar, Double Dragon, Final Fight, Bubble Bobble, etc. They couldn’t save the arcade market from the pits, but SF2WW did.

With SF2WW has spawned a community of players that were able to bear witness to their talents, not against the computer, but against another player. No longer were you playing against something that was based on a pattern, and the game getting harder meant that enemies would be faster and there would be more stuff on the screen for you to get around, now, you had to play against an actual player, someone that can think outside the box, someone that can adapt, someone that can actually strike fear to you, not in real life, but on the screen (sometimes, both can happen) which made the game more dynamic, which made players coming back for more.

With SF2, we have heard of players that we never would have either come across or ever heard of, or cared to. With SF2, we have created friendships with people that we never would have even noticed. With SF2, rivalries were created, language was created, traveling across the country for just a video game actually became common; but it wasn’t just a video game, it wasn’t one of those games that you played once and then shelved it to collect dust. To play SF2 the way it was meant to be played, you had to be coming back for more, and just when you thought you figured out everything, there was still more to dive into. SF2 was a way of life, and taught some life lessons (metaphorically speaking).

After SF2, more fighting games from different series started to come out. Mortal Kombat, the Alphas, Tekken, Virtua Fighter, the Marvel series, Guilty Gear, etc. With these games spawned more players in the fighting game community. While there are plenty of disagreements from each community to one another, they still share same traits (practicing to get better, traveling to tournaments, talking strategy, trying to find out what the latest news is), and there are many players that intersect different communities, playing a variety of games.

While the game might be primitive and unbalanced compared to its latest versions, and modern fighters (can’t reversal, can’t mirror match, Guile being too good, etc), SF2WW is arguably the most important fighting game to ever come out. I’m sure some would say another game would have done the same thing SF2WW did, and that is very well possible; but what SF2WW did had magnified the globe, revived a nearly dead market, creating communities from various fighting games in nearly every pocket of the world. I don’t think just “any other game” could have done that.

Some threads and videos:

http://shoryuken.com/f2/info-old-school-sf-scene-1427/ - jcasetnl’s posts are must read

http://shoryuken.com/f2/1994-capcom-official-ssf2-tournament-super-just-games-northbrook-il-game-footage-156988/ - the longest going major tournament

http://shoryuken.com/f2/no-vids-us-sfs-golden-era-best_ever-player-103126/ - thread about arguably the best pre-ST player in ever, Tomo Ohira



[media=youtube]s4ABbhQIQHo[/media] - World Warrior videos

[media=youtube]p3COZ1741GY[/media] - You should watch the rest of the parts, from the 2nd best pre-ST player in the United States


[media=youtube]XCuZ3b7GuKc&feature=related[/media] - one of the greatest comebacks ever

[media=youtube]9eWJ69qODFw&feature=related[/media] - USA vs. Japan

[media=youtube]68tQ3qNQuRU&feature=related[/media] - the beast is brought down to earth by Cali’s finest

[media=youtube]6XB1RgcQBzU[/media] - videos from the longest going major, back in '94


[media=youtube]RgVUUHU84YU&feature=related[/media] - An example of why the old school players were great, even with a lack of practice

Already 20 years…I still remember the first time i played SF2 back then. That was like the ‘pandora’s box’ that exploded and we got all these games and characters since then.

Nice thread.

Fantastic post, nominated.

I’m old.

Good read.

Awesome read. I still remember the first time I played World Warrior in the Arcade. It was great. Had no idea what I was doing, but I knew I was going to continue playing it regardless.

I remember when I first saw SF2 in the arcade. I was 12yrs old, and me and my mom, aunt & uncle took a vacation in Ohau, Hawaii. My aunt worked for TWA back then so we got a huge discount on air fare. While there I was wandering around our hotel looking for an arcade. I found one, and the funny thing was I was seriously hoping they had Street Fighter 1 since it had been a while since I played it. Lo and behold it had STREET FIGHTER 2!!! Wtf!!! I had no idea they were making a sequel to SF1!!! I remember reading gaming magazines alot back then (EGM and Nintendo Power) and I never recalled seeing a SF1 sequel in the works.

Anyway I hop on the cabinet and I’m amazed at how many characters to choose. I pick Ryu cause he was from SF1 and I remember spamming crouching roundhouse in the old game, cause I was still a kid and spinning kicks look fucking awesome. I got my ass kicked by other people who wandered in and mashed away (we were all mashing–NONE of us knew how to do special moves). I eventually picked Chun Li, and I was embarrassed at first cause I thought she was a character made for girls. :rofl:

By pure coincidence and stupidity I found out how good her standing strong punch was. I was a dumb kid and when I saw the punch button labeled as “strong” I thought that meant it was her strongest attack. I had no idea what “fierce” meant. :rofl: so I just mash strong punch all day and I start beating people. I’m hitting them on the ground, hitting them in the air, THROWING them in the air (air throws were fucking amazing back then, I don’t think any game ever had that shit prior to SF2). I’m like holy shit this girl’s character is awesome hahaha.

When our vacation was over and I came back to the mainland USA I was telling my friends about how awesome the game was and they didn’t believe me. I think Hawaii may have got the game earlier than my city (Philadelphia), probably due to it being so close to Japan? I dunno. Eventually SF2 made it to Philly, but I mainly played it out at the King of Prussia Mall, when it used to have an arcade. I dropped Chun Li when the other players there taught me how to do Ryu’s fireball. :lol: It was soooo hard trying to find special moves for SF2 back. I don’t think people learned the dragon punch motion until after the game been out a month or so.

SF2 made all this shit happen. I also think it has one of the greatest game soundtracks of all time. Capcom can remix all the want, but the original themes are timeless. The low health themes are fucking HYPE, especially Ken’s. Tell me you don’t get hype listening to this shit:

Now if only Bang the Machine would get released.

I agree. I didn’t start playing until CE on console, but every time I landed Guile’s backbracker I felt like I was staring into the face of God and he was smirking and remarking “You are my greatest creation”.

Ah, sweet nostalgia.

It will be 20 years in March. =P

I’ve never played World Warrior.

Somebody kick me in the face.

There is something that the SF2 series has that other games don’t, and that is longevity. While the game has went through different versions, the core remained nearly the same. There isn’t a PvP game that has been in competition as long as SF2 has, 20 years. The game has went through peaks and valleys, but it has stayed consistent as far as tournaments go. I believe the next longest games are Starcraft and KOF98.

There is a SF2WW ROM set labeled as 2/1991, so I went off on that, and I really wanted to post this at the turn of the year as soon as I could before I forgot about it.

I’m jealous becuase i am so young, so this post of my memory of playing this game probably does not matter to you guys.

I was about 5 years old. I remember thinking that the NES was new!! It was my only game console and me and my friends would play contra all day. Then my cousin comes with his sega genesis and i’m like “wtf is that.” He hooked it up then he popped in Sonic and I remember being fucking amazed at how good those graphics were. We didn’t wanna play becuase only one person could play, so he switched over to street fighter 2 world warrior. I saw the intro and was expecting it to be a game where we fight in the street and work together. I was horribly wrong. We saw the character list and we were confused as hell so I picked Ken, and my cousin picked Zangeif. I will never forget how I felt when I found out we had to fight eachother. I instantly began mashing on his 6 button controller, and I won. I was sad that I had to beat him him up but he said that was what we were supposed to do. Me, my brother, and my 2 friends held our own version of a tourney. Who ever lost passed it up and last man standing was the champ.

sigh memories.

This is and always will be the best thread on SRK. I end up going back to read parts of it a couple times a year, and I always shed a little tear at the end of jcasetnl’s story. I hope this is backed up somewhere so if the srk servers ever get hit by a meteor or something it gets saved.

Damn, if I never spend a penny at my local convenience store and arcades playing this game, I would be able to buy myself a house by now.

Still worth it tho!

Maaaaan, I remember being 12 and playing this. I remember when flying Roundhouse->low Roundhouse spam was considered a “great” strategy lol! There was a guy at the local arcade who looked like he should have been a member of AC/DC, and dude was really good. I also remember how hard Vega was back then. There were a bunch of guys on the arcade machine trying to beat him and sometimes getting close, but never quite making it.

I still go back and play WW once in awhile just because it was an innocent game, and there’s still something about it that makes me remember why I love playing fighting games.

Wow, guess that means I was 9 or so when I first played this.

Discovered SF1 long before this came out and I was amazed by the whole concept; dude traveling around the world beating people up, it was incredible. First time I saw WW was at a resturant here in town, I was like, WHOA! SF 2??? DUDE! The big green guy caught my attention right away. Most people played Guile cause he was the AMERICAN army dude. Since it was mostly kids who played in my neighborhood, I came up with an idea for two people to play if someone was short on money, two guys on one character; one mashes the buttons and another rocks the joystick. Anytime a fireball came out (no one knew how to do them at the time), we thought that was cool.

Im pretty sure tomorrow is SFII 20 anniversary! we need to do something…

Just for the record, there was a sequel to SF1 released on a handful of platforms in March 1989… It was more of an expansion pack, using the same engine as SF1, but with new characters. So when I first saw SF2 in the arcade, I thought to myself “don’t they mean SF3?”. Anyway…

Frankly, I think you’re laying that on a bit too thick. Over in the UK, there was no such crash. Our games industry ticked along very well throughout the 80s and 90s. Double Dragon and all those other games you mention were rightly big hits, and very famous.

However, SF2 did take things to another level, and increased the number of people in arcades (along with takings). In fact, it increased the number of arcade machines full stop, from dedicated arcades, out into corner shops, takeaway restaurants, pubs, and even department stores. They had SF2 everywhere.

I’d say this was mainly down to big sprites, selectable characters, special moves, reliable defensive options, etc. Just the depth of gameplay (it couldn’t be beaten by repeating 2 moves). I’ve written about this elsewhere (I think even in those topics you link). In short, it just broadened the market to people that didn’t play games before (all ages, both sexes, non geeks, etc). It inspired people to be competitive in a way that OutRun never did.

My family used to move around quite a bit worldwide during the early 90’s, and I’ll definitely attest to SFII impressing/intriguing many even nongamers and it was competitive everywhere.

Those were the days. Especially the boom in fighters that followed. Thanks to World Warrior! :tup::karate: