(Special thanks to fiendmaw and Alex Sanchez for their keen eyes.)
Fighting game narratives can often be a mess to keep track of thanks to arcade modes that have to be padded with fights against various cast members and conflicting storylines. Most of the time, fans won’t find out which of the endings should be considered canon (a term that denotes official information in fictional universes) until a sequel or similar follow-up is released.
That being said, various details, like a character’s moveset or relationships with other fighters, can typically provide a good foundation for where a title falls in the franchise timeline before official word is released by the developer. Such is the case (maybe, possibly) with Street Fighter V.
By now, I’m sure pretty much all of you reading this have see the Street Fighter V teaser Capcom accidentally released earlier this morning; honestly, if you haven’t, please stop reading and go check it out now. While there wasn’t a whole lot of footage of the upcoming title, what was shown may shed some light on when it takes place in the series.
First, a quick history lesson. Street Fighter debuted back in 1987, introducing characters like Ryu, Ken, and Sagat to the world. A few years later, Capcom improved on that initial formula with Street Fighter II, expanding the cast even further and providing a continuation of Ryu’s journey.
Canonically, however, Street Fighter II wasn’t the very next game in line. Later on in the 90s, Capcom would begin a brand new Street Fighter series, denoting its place in the story with the Alpha subtitle. As such, minor characters from the first Street Fighter, namely Adon and Birdie, reappeared as playable characters.
Street Fighter III hit the scene near the end of the decade, but it would take Street Fighter IV’s release in 2008 for fans to find out the former takes place after the latter. Street Fighter IV’s closer proximity to Street Fighter II would be reflected not only in its story, but also in the way the game played, doing away with Street Fighter III’s parry system and super selections in favor of gameplay that more closely followed the original classic.
Still with me?
To put it simply, the official timeline looks something like this: Street Fighter – Street Fighter Alpha – Street Fighter II – Street Fighter IV – Street Fighter III.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the early gameplay footage included in the Street Fighter V teaser, starting with franchise poster boy Ryu.
(Hover over GIF to see it in motion)
Some of you may recognize the above attack as the Denjin Hadouken–the signature electricity should be a dead giveaway. A more powerful, chargeable version of the iconic fireball, this move is utilized by Gouken in Street Fighter IV, but Ryu has only had access to it in one game: Street Fighter III. This leads me to believe that the wandering warrior leveled up sometime between the two games, either on his own or with help from his former master.
(Hover over GIF to see it in motion)
But that’s not all. In addition to Ryu, the teaser also featured glimpses of Chun-Li, most notably another attack that has only made an appearance in Street Fighter III called the Tensei Ranka–at least a part of it. While the beginning is modified a bit (possibly a combo involving her Yoshokyaku headstomps), the unique airborne spin is very similar to the aforementioned super art.
At first, the Street Fighter V teaser may have seemed like a quick promo (apart from the beautiful tribute to the community, of course), but I think these two tiny bits of gameplay may just provide some hints as to when the title takes place in the universe of Capcom’s titular fighting franchise.
What do you think? Feel free to sound off in the comments.