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Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, released in 1991, was the first true sequel to the original Street Fighter. It was one of the earliest arcade games for Capcom's CPS hardware and was designed by the duo of Akira Nishitani (Nin-Nin) and Akiman (Akira Yasuda), who were previously responsible for Final Fight and Forgotten Worlds. Notably, even when Street Fighter II was released, Capcom had no idea what sort of phenomenon it was about to create. It believed that the game would do somewhat (but an unknown quantity) better than its CPS-based contemporary games, Final Fight and Mercs.
Street Fighter II was the first one-on-one fighting game to give players a choice from a variety of player characters, an option which created hitherto unknown levels of depth and replay value for an arcade game. Each player character had a fighting style with roughly 30 or more moves, including previously nonexistent grappling moves such as throws, as well as two or three special hidden attacks per character. In the game's single-player mode, the player's chosen character is pitted against the seven other main characters before confronting the final four opponents, who were CPU-controlled characters that were not selectable by the player. Like in the original, a second player could join in and compete against the other player in competitive matches, with the multiple available characters allowing for more varied matches. Street Fighter II proved to be popular due to all these factors, eclipsing its predecessor in popularity, eventually turning Street Fighter into a multimedia franchise. Numerous home ports of Street Fighter II followed the original arcade game. In fact, demand for the game was so high that pirates created an unsanctioned, copyright-infringing Famicom/NES version, which saw a very limited release in Asian markets. Computer versions were released for 16-bit PCs, first by a number of copyright-infringing fans who strove to develop a PC version of the game, and later by Capcom, working with an external programming house.
The first official update to the series was Street Fighter II': Champion Edition (pronounced Street Fighter II Dash in Japan, as noted by the prime symbol on the logo), which allowed players to play as the four previously non-playable bosses and also allowed two players to choose the same character with one character drawn in an alternate color pattern. The game also featured slightly improved graphics including differently colored backgrounds and refined gameplay. A second update, titled Street Fighter II' Turbo: Hyper Fighting, or Street Fighter II Dash Turbo, was produced in response to the various bootleg editions of the game. Hyper Fighting offered faster gameplay than its predecessors and new special techniques such as Chun-Li's Kikoken or Dhalsim's Yoga Teleport.
Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers, the third revision, gave the game a complete graphical overhaul and introduced four new playable characters: Cammy, Fei Long, Dee Jay, and T. Hawk. This game gave previous characters new basic moves, such as giving Vega standing kicks, new special moves, such as Vega's diving claw, and improvements to existing special moves, such as Ryu's Flaming Fireball or Ken's Flaming Dragon Punch. It was also the first game for Capcom’s CPS II arcade hardware. The fourth and final arcade version, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, (Super Street Fighter II X: Grand Master Challenge in Japan), brought back the faster gameplay of Hyper Fighting, along with a new type of special techniques known as super combos and hidden character Akuma.
Street Fighter: The Movie was combination of digitized graphics with a version of the Street Fighter II engine, featuring all of the movie's stars. Every main Street Fighter II fighter is included, plus a couple of new characters: Captain Sawada, from the movie, and Blade, a character with a bazooka, knives, and stun rod. Some characters have new moves inspired by the movie, such as M. Bison's lightning bolt fingertips attack.
Numerous home versions of the game had been release for various platforms including the SNES, Sega Genesis, PC Engine, 3DO, PlayStation, Dreamcast and Saturn, Master System. The games has released individually or through compilations such as Street Fighter Collection and more recently the Capcom Classics Collection series. Most notably, Capcom released Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition, a modified version of Super Turbo that allows players to select characters from all five versions of the game, was originally released for PlayStation 2 and Xbox and also saw a limited release in Japanese arcades. Emulated versions have also been recently included in downloadable game services. The Wii's Virtual Console received the SNES versions of Street Fighter II, Street Fighter II': Champion Edition, Street Fighter II' Turbo: Hyper Fighting and Super Street Fighter II, and the Xbox 360's Xbox Live Arcade received an online enabled version of Street Fighter II': Champion Edition and Street Fighter II' Turbo: Hyper Fighting.
In 2008, Capcom released an remake of Super Street Fighter II Turbo for the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade service called Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. It features fully redrawn artwork, including HD sprites 4.5x the original size, done by artists from UDON.
In 2017, in celebration of the franchise's 30th anniversary, Capcom released a new revision, Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers for the Nintendo Switch. It added many additional features including a few from other Street Fighter games, such as the additional fighters Evil Ryu and Violent Ken (who had appeared in other games before), the 2 vs. 1 Dynamic Battle mode from the Street Fighter Alpha series, a Color Edit mode, and the special Way of the Hado minigame.
- While not yet officialy stated, all the fighters' listed birthyears since Street Fighter II and up to Super Street Fighter II are considered to be no longer canon.
- History of: Street Fighter by Nick Petty, Sega-16, 2005-09-02
- The History of Street Fighter, GameSpot, page 3.
- Street Fighter II': Champion Edition on Street Fighter Central
- Street Fighter 2 Turbo on Street Fighter Central
- Street Fighter Anniversary Collection on Street Fighter Central
- Capcom® Entertainment expands digital initiative with new downloadable games, Capcom Entertainment Press Center, 2007-04-12.