Ryu is the hardest working street fighter in the business. It has been said that the world warrior has cameoed in so many games, you can trace most any character that has not met the man to another game where you have Ryu available in as few as five moves. But that does not mean that every street fighter cameo has always featured Ryu. There have been a few events here and there with street fighters that did not involve Ryu at all. And today we are going to look at them! Complete with an “if anybody asks” explanation for how that could have canonically happened! This is why you come to Gogglebob.com! For the canon!
Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight
Featured Street Fighter: Ken
What’s the game: Here we have an action platformer in the vein of Strider or Ninja Gaiden. Venture through levels, beat the bad guys, and eventually conquer a final boss. The hook this time is that every level has a monster that must be defeated, and there can be some variance there. Sometimes it is a continually respawning “bat” creature, sometimes it is much more of a traditional boss.
What’s the plot: Long story short, there is some kind of techno-organic virus floating around space, and it is transforming people into monsters. One of the scientists responsible for this plague, Ken Masters, injects himself with the virus and cybernetics (?), and becomes the Street Fighter of 2010 to pummel freaks until he can beat back the virus from space. … That’s how vaccines work, right?
Is it related to Street Fighter? Alright, so Ken’s birthday was February 14, 1965 (noted on the character biography screens of the original release of Street Fighter 2), that means he would have plenty of time to become a 45-year-old scientist of some renown by the far-flung future of 2010. And it completely makes sense that some mutant cybernetics (or whatever) would bring him back to the fighting prowess of his Street Fighter 1, American Champion-self. So, hey, this could totally be Ken Masters from Street Fighter! And some of those “boss arenas” feel like future versions of street fighting stages/fights.
If anybody asks…: Like in the real world, 2010 has come and gone in the Street Fighter universe. Ken did not become a cyborg robot, and it is debatable if he is 45 in 2023. That said, Ken is known to be a minor celebrity for being a street fighter and rich dude in his universe, so maybe someone slapped his likeness on an otherwise forgettable NES game to get a few extra sales. Street Fighter 2010: A Masters Foundation release.
Breath of Fire
Featured Street Fighter: Chun-Li
What’s the game: An RPG primarily in the vein of Dragon Quest, you control a party of eight lovingly animated weirdos of various fur affinities on a quest to save the world.
What’s the Plot: Ryu (but definitely not that Ryu) must collect magical keys that could unlock a destructive goddess. The evil empire wants to free the goddess to gain a world-conquering wish, but you know in your heart that this deity is a monster, and you have to grab all those keys first to keep the world safe. Naturally, you’re going to misplace those keys right when it is plot appropriate, but at least you will pull off a win if you find the supreme dragon form at the bottom of a well.
Is it related to Street Fighter? Final Fight 2, Saturday Night Slam Masters, and even Mega Man 9 have “street fighter cameos”, but they are more in the “blink and you miss it” vein. Chun-Li in Breath of Fire is a featured cameo. You have to work for it by navigating a confusing dialogue chain that could see you losing a healthy chunk of your cash (which, in Breath of Fire, can be the difference between life and death). And what is your reward if you successfully “unlock” Chun-Li? A few seconds of watching a custom Chun-Li sprite perform her signature lightning kick in a nondescript room with absolutely no explanation. Could you possibly imagine anything more glorious?
If anybody asks…: Chun-Li kicked her away into another dimension, and is performing exhibitions to earn the zenny to buy her way home. There is probably a magical key for that somewhere.
X-Men Children of the Atom
Featured Street Fighter: Akuma
What’s the game: Back when Capcom was producing fighting games seemingly every five seconds, the X-Men got their first official 2-D fighter. Wolverine, Colossus, Storm, and the rest of the heroes are all super stoked to knock the snot out of each other.
What’s the plot: It is the same excuse that worked for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when they decided to have a fighting game. Everyone knows Magneto must be defeated, so the X-Men are having a friendly sparring competition to see who is strongest and most worthy to tackle Magneto one-on-one. Since this is the worst idea in the universe (what if Wolverine wins? He has a clear disadvantage!), some of the villains have joined in on the fun, too. Sentinel is the strongest one there is!
Is it related to Street Fighter: One day, this subseries would birth the venerable Vs. series. But back in 1994, Akuma was dropped into the mix entirely for contractual reasons, as it was assumed that a Street Fighter being involved would increase sales/quarters. And, since Akuma already had that “secret character” thing going, it made sense to make him the super challenge for a player that could already conquer the rest of the X-roster. He is also playable in an extremely limited capacity (he doesn’t even have a character portrait!) if a secret select sequence is entered.
If anybody asks…: Akuma barely has an ending sequence of his own, but later Versus titles use endings for Ken to “reveal” that all the X-Men/Marvel vs. Street Fighter/Capcom hijinks were either a dream Ken had during the pre-Alpha days, or a videogame he plays with his son some time around Street Fighter 3. Whatever the case, let’s assume Akuma does not have an X-gene.
Cyberbots: Fullmetal Madness
Featured Street Fighter: Akuma
What’s the Game: Another 2-D fighting game, but this time with giant robots. Whie the “pilots” do not fight on foot, there are a number of different mechs available to each character.
What’s the plot: The main character is Jin Saotome, and he is fighting to avenge his fallen friend. On the other side of the aisle, everyone’s villain is G.O.D., a giant brain that controls the X-0 Warlock. Obviously, G.O.D. is a threat to the universe, and no matter your protagonist, you’re gonna beat that brain until it doesn’t understand fractions anymore.
Is it related to Street Fighter: The standout rival character of the piece is Princess Devilotte de Death Satan IX. As you can likely guess from her name, her father is the grand Emperor Death Satan. And, as one may expect, Emperor Death Satan pilots the Z-AKUMA mech, a giant robot that looks a whole hell of a lot like Akuma. And Z-AKUMA is invincible! Well… until Emperor Death Satan gets upset that Devilotte likes a boy, and they fight, and yada yada yada Emperor Death Satan is dead now. You can control a Devilotte that has inherited the Z-AKUMA, though!
If anybody asks…: Complete with the Killer Bee mech, it is easy to assume Cyberbots takes place in the far-flung future of the Street Fighter universe. Why else would Akuma be worshipped as a symbol of death and destruction? It’s not like Emperor Death Satan was an otaku obsessed with playing a videogame from the 20th Century. That would be preposterous.
Rival Schools: United by Fate
Featured Street Fighter: Sakura
What’s the game: Rival Schools was more or less Capcom making an attempt at a 3-D fighting game with general 2-D mechanics. It was all the rage back in the late 90’s! Unfortunately, it was one of the least popular Capcom fighting games, so, despite having a dedicated fanbase, the franchise only saw a game or two.
What’s the plot: The short answer is that a bunch of rival schoolchildren are fighting. The long answer is that mind control is involved, and there are distinct factions forming between the students, and while it initially appears the principal of Justice High is responsible for everything, the real final boss is his nefarious nephew. So it’s kind of like Ducktales?
Is it related to Street Fighter? Street Fighter 5 has officially canonized Akira and the whole of the Rival Schools universe, so Sakura fighting here is normal. This can just be considered what she does on her day off. Oh, and if you are curious, she is germane to the plot, and her ending sees her obtaining a greater feeling of satisfaction from fighting for her favorite school than just randomly fighting dudes on the street. And then she wasn’t invited back for the sequel.
If anybody asks…: This one does not have to be justified, as Akira already tied everything together as easily as Guy stopping by Street Fighter Alpha. That said, it is amusing that Akira is the character chosen, as her original deal was that she was a Samus Aran-esque hero in a helmet that was surprise revealed to be a woman during her ending. Spoilers for a twenty-year-old game, Street Fighter!
Featured Street Fighter: Charlie Nash, Cammy, and Vega
What’s the game: A twin stick shooter from before that genre became popular (and then faded back into obscurity), Cannon Spike is an arcade/Dreamcast title that relies on breakneck action and a whole heck of a lot of explosions.
What’s the plot: Terrorists got some robots, and they are wreaking havoc across the globe. Cammy is granted a special team and rollerblades to take down this universal threat. And, because nobody was too worried about continuity, Cammy apparently recruits protagonists from across the Capcom universe, like Arthur, B.B. Hood, and Mega Man. She even got an ersatz hero from Alien vs. Predator!
Is it related to Street Fighter? Charlie and Cammy are working together, and “Fallen” Vega is working for the latest global terrorist organization. In a weird way, this could absolutely be a more “military”-focused version of the Street Fighter universe. I’m sure they were just saving Guile and Chun-Li for the sequel.
If anybody asks…: Assuming you don’t want to peg this one as “videogame characters working as actors” like the good ol’ days of Disney, Cannon Spike is completely incompatible with Street Fighter continuity. Charlie died a long time ago! And when he came back to life, he died again! Don’t try to tell me he is alive for Cannon Spiking with Cammy! And Mega Man is involved? No way that little metal boy could exist in the same universe as Mecha Zangief! Preposterous!
Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law
Featured Street Fighter: Guile, Dhalsim, Chun-Li, Zangief
What’s the game: Harvey Birdman, one time superhero and now fulltime lawyer, must solve a series of legal cases (that often involve him or his friends as the victim). Without the (omnipresent) Adult Swim trappings, this is a Phoenix Wright/Ace Attorney title. And that’s appropriate, as this was partially produced by Phoenix gamedaddy, Capcom.
What’s the plot: This is a series of vignettes that could appear on any given Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law episode. If you are a Harvey Birdman-head (was there ever a decent term for Harvey’s fans?) obsessed with continuity, these adventures take place after the introduction of Birdgirl (who would have thought she’d get her own show?), but before the death of Phil Ken Sebben… not that Stephen Colbert deigned to lend his voice to these proceedings. The rest of the cast is here, though!
Is it related to Street Fighter: Obviously, there is nothing Street Fighter-y about legal proceedings. However, there are a number of Street Fighter cameos sprinkled about the proceedings that are only accessible if you choose the right (funny) dialogue option at the right (comedically appropriate) time. There is even someone that looks like Ryu referenced, but he is clearly identified as Nobuyuki Johnson, so no Ryu here. Also, weirdly, this game makes the same “Zangief is a bad guy” blunder as Wreck-It Ralph a full four years before that Disney cameo.
If anybody asks…: Thanks to persistent cameos across time and space (Barack Obama appeared in the Harvey Birdman jury pool more often than we saw Scooby-Doo), Harvey Birdman clearly exists in an “all myths are true” universe. Of course Chun-Li can randomly join a party in this world! And of course Street Fighter 3 is inexplicably and glowingly referenced three times over the course of the game! Only in Bird-World could Street Fighter 3 be remembered fondly/at all.
Featured Street Fighter: Blanka
What’s the Game: You are an alien that is herding various animals into your spaceship for… let’s assume altruistic purposes.
What’s the plot: This is one of those early Xbox Live Arcade-style titles that recaptures the good ol’ days of absurd and simple arcade titles. So there isn’t much of a plot other than “get them animals”. So, ya know, get them animals!
Is it related to Street Fighter: Blanka is available as a special, custom wrecking ball if you clear literally every stage of the game. Considering this is something of a puzzle game, and if you have cleared everything, there is very little to play anymore… Well, there probably are not a whole lot of players that have participated in Blanka-mode for longer than five minutes. That said, Blanka does do exactly as much damage as you would expect from a giant, electric furry.
If anybody asks…: Blanka is a friend to animals all the world over, and Street Fighter 5 and Street Fighter 6 both agree that Blanka is trying to increase his international profile. So this must be another situation where a street fighter is earning fame and fortune by lending his likeness to an otherwise unremarkable game. Flock! is generally fun, but with Blanka playing the part of a boulder, it is unforgettable.
Featured Street Fighter: Akuma
What’s the game: The seventh King of the Iron First Tournament is a 3-D fighting game. It’s like a classic Street Fighter game, but with more polygons.
What’s the plot: The complications of the Tekken universe could be its own article, but we basically have an ongoing generational feud that literally the whole world has been sucked into because all those feudin’ fellas are billionaires. So it is easily the most realistic game story on this list. By Tekken 7, the various Mishima men have literally started world wars in an effort to annoy anyone else in the family, and things are coming to a head with Kazuya and Heihachi finally initiating the final battle between father and son.
Is it related to Street Fighter: Akuma is revealed to be 100% canon in the Tekken universe, and is inexplicably a friend of Kazuya’s mom. Apparently Kazumi Mishima had a “devil gene” of her own, and she became friends with Akuma after saving his life. They bonded over their mutual bloodlust, and, because Kazumi was the worst wife and mother in history, Akuma agreed to her final wish of eventually murdering her entire family. By Tekken 7, Akuma finally gets around to fulfilling his vow, and sets himself on a path to commit all kinds of homicide in some kind of volcano. From a gameplay perspective, Akuma feels like a Street Fighter character in a Tekken universe, and even brought his own EX gauge.
If anybody asks…: There is strong evidence that Akuma can punch through dimensions (see also: Asura’s Wrath). There is no reason this Akuma cannot be the “same” Akuma from the Street Fighter Universe, just stopping over to Tekken land for a spell. The Tekken and Street Fighter universes are mutually exclusive (no way Guile lives in the same dimension as the war-ready Mishima Zaibatsu), but Akuma could visit. Besides, when you are dealing with any Street Fighter other than Ryu, you can come up with any explanation you like.
SBC #22 Ken Masters & Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight
Ken Masters in Super Smash Bros Ultimate
- He any Good? Ken feels like Ken, which is a minor miracle in a game where Mario feels like an alien lifeform. The transplanted Street Fighter casts feels so real in their new digs, my brain often short-circuits, and I attempt to use the cross pad for special moves… which just means I accidentally taunt and get destroyed. My only other comment is that it feels weird to “smash” with a sweep.
- That final smash work? There should be more Final Smashes that still have an effect even if you whiff. If you miss that Ultra Combo, there is nothing like a giant pillar of fire to show everyone who is the American Martial Arts Champion.
- The background work? We are obviously going to toss the dojo to the first Street Fighter representative, and there are no other Street Fighter stages, so we are going to assign Ken to New Donk City Hall. Ken is a city kid, and this background premiered in the same Smash Bros. game as Ken. It’s justified! Anywho, this stage has a number of different configurations as it scrolls around the city, and it is difficult (in a fun way) to remember every possibility. And sometimes there is ground! And sometimes not so much! And when the music isn’t playing, it is creepy.
- Classic Mode: Red-Hot Rivalry includes the noted “I’m just here to fight the protagonist” rival smashers… of which there are many, apparently. And Dark Link is here again! I think he gets to be a “character” more often in Smash Bros. than actual Zelda games. The finale is a match against Crazy Hand, the most powerful second banana in the cast.
- Smash Trivia: Ken was presented as an echo character, and his positioning on the character select screen confirms this status. But there are so many differences between him and Ryu! The throw! The flaming dragon punch! The sweeping roundhouse! The yelling! Ken is his own man.
- Amiibo Corner: That taunting pose is rad, and the gi looks delightfully cloth-y. Other than that, Ken is a basic design from his inception, so there is not too much to analyze. Man, I am not looking forward to Kazuya…
- Does Smash Bros Remember Today’s Game? Absolutely not. Capcom refuses to acknowledge Street Fighter 2010, so why should Smash Bros?
Ken Masters in Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight
- System: Nintendo Entertainment System, and likely never appearing again anywhere else.
- Number of players: Tell your friends that this is the only single player Street Fighter game! Then debate whether or not this is an actual Street Fighter game for the next few hours!
- A minor change: This is Street Fighter 2010 regardless of region. That said, the protagonist is only Dr. Ken Masters in the American localization, and we have space-cop Kevin Straker in the original Japanese adventure. In both cases, Kevin ‘n Ken have a relationship with the final boss, and are shocked to learn they are somehow his living science experiment. Other than that, it’s pretty much the same game.
- Try to Survive: This game is hard, ya’all. Powerups are important, and you lose a level every time you get hit. There are auto scrolling stages with Z-shape tracks that are all but guaranteed to crush you. You have ten seconds to access a portal once it opens, and if you miss it, you have to repeat the level. At least one boss has a minion that resets the fight if you fall for its trap. Ken fighting across the galaxy is all well and good, but actually seeing past level 3 is tricky.
- See the sights: For an NES game, the graphics are expressive. Give or take a map that looks like it is straight out of Star Fox 2 (or… uh… did Star Fox 2 copy this view of the cosmos?), the locations across this version of space have a unique, almost cyber-punk aesthetic. It would be nice to vacation around this universe after Ken cleared out the booming sandworm population.
- Did you know? The villain of the piece is revealed to be Troy, who was Ken’s best friend, but faked his death when he went rogue. And, if you think about it, why didn’t the localizers make “Troy” a Street Fighter character, too? Like Ryu? Or one of the other American fighters? You were already messing with “Ken” anyway…
- Would I play again: I disagree with the popular opinion that this game would be completely forgotten by time if the Street Fighter franchise was not involved. We still remember Kabuki: Quantum Fighter, and this is about on that level. So if you want to play something along the lines of a minor Vice: Project Doom, give Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight a try. I am not going to, though, because I already played it. I don’t need to do that again.
What’s next? There is a dinosaur on the loose, and he is in desperate need of a cookie. We should do something about that! Please look forward to it!