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After Street Fighter 2 success in the arcades, Capcom released Street Fighter 2' Champion Edition in the following year. Featuring new graphics, new sprites, new artwork, mirror matches, bug corrections, significant gameplay improvements and an overall faster pace, the title set the foundation to modern fighting games. However, the most important feature was the addition of the original four bosses as playable characters, which brought a new level of strategy and fun factor to the beloved series.
Like it's predecessor, SF2CE is a fighting game, which means it features matches between two characters in an one-on-one combat fashion. The player choose a fighter in a twelve character roster and must face all of them, including a clone of him or herself (a.k.a. mirror match) under a given time limit per round. Each fighter have a lifebar, and the player must deplete the opponent's one (using normal/special attacks, grabs and throws) to win. After defeating the 8 original selectable chars from SF2, the player still must overcome the four Grand Masters in order to beat the game.
During the game, there are bonus stages where the player must destroy a car, falling barrels and a pile of oil cans, earning points according to his success at doing that.
Like Street Fighter 2, SF2CE runs on Capcom Play System 1 (CPS-1) arcade hardware.
(borrowed from the supercool ST wiki)
- F - Forward - Tilt stick forward/towards the opponent. (X-axis)
- B - Backward/Back - Tilt stick backward/away from the opponent. (X-axis)
- U - Up - Tilt stick upwards. (Y-axis)
- D - Down - Tilt stick downwards. (Y-axis)
- QCF - Quarter circle forward/Hadouken/Fireball - Tilt stick downwards, then to downwards and forward, then forward.
- QCB - Quarter circle backward - Tilt stick downwards, then to downwards and backward, then backward.
- HCF - Half circle forward - Tilt stick backwards, then to downwards and backward, then to downward, then to downwards and forward, then forward.
- HCB - Half circle backward - Tilt stick forwards, then to downwards and forward, then to downward, then to downwards and backward, then backward.
- DP - Dragon punch/Shoryuken - Tilt stick forwards, then to downward, then to downward and forward.
- 360/FC - Full circle - Complete a full rotation of the stick.
- Charge - Hold a tilt - Hold the stick in either B or D (Depending) then move to F or U respectively.
X-axis functions can be used interchangeably with Y-axis functions and vice versa. X-axis functions cannot be used in conjunction with another X-axis function and vice versa.
Six Button Notation
- Jab - weak punch (also called LP)
- Strong - medium punch (also called MP)
- Fierce - fierce punch (also called HP)
- P - any punch
- PPP or 3P - all three punches simultaneously
- Short - weak kick (also called LK)
- Forward - medium kick (also called MK)
- Roundhouse (RH) - fierce kick (also called HK)
- K - any kick
- KKK or 3K - all three kicks simultaneously
- ~ = Immediately after, e.g "Strong~Fierce" means press Fierce IMMEDIATELY after Strong
- st. - The following move should be performed in the standing position (neutral in the Y-axis). i.e. st.Fierce, perform a Fierce whilst standing.
- cr. - The following move should be performed in the crouched position (held down in the Y-axis). i.e. cr.Fierce, perform a Fierce whilst crouching.
- j. - The following move should be performed in the "in the air" position (After having held up in the Y-axis). i.e. j.Fierce, perform a Fierce whilst in the air.
- cl. -The following move should be performed 'close' to the opponent in the standing position so that the close animation of the move activates.
- SF2 or SF II = Street Fighter II (all versions)
- WW = Street Fighter II The World Warrior
- SF2CE (or just CE) = Street Fighter II' Champion Edition
- HF = Street Fighter II' Hyper Fighting (USA)
- SF2T = HF japanese version. Basically the same game
- SSF2 = Super Street Fighter 2
- ST = Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo
- TAP = Boxer's Turn Around Punch (hold 3P or 3K, then release)
- Shoto = a practitioner of shotokan karate (now called "Ansatsuken"). EG: Ryu and Ken
- Boxer = American Balrog = Japanese Bison
- Claw = American Vega = Japanese Balrog
- Dictator (Dic) = American Bison = Japanese Vega
NOTE 1: Not everyone plays on the American version, and some character names are different in the Japanese version, so to avoid confusion, we should not use the names Vega, Bison, or Balrog (further explained in the "Regional Differences" section below).
Holding away from your opponent on the controller while they are attacking results in your character defending their attack (blocking), and will take little to no damage. However, there are two blocking states, one standing, and one crouching.
Standing block (high block) will block your opponent's high attacks (including jumping attacks), while crouching block (low block) will block your opponent's low attacks (including sweeps, and some other crouching kicks). All attacks which are not specifically 'high' or 'low' attacks can be blocked either standing or crouching.
While blocking you cannot move or perform attacks, you must wait until the block has completed.
Pressing one of the 6 action buttons on the control panel results in a normal move. On a standard SF cabinet (and some specific home videogame controllers), punches are the top 3 buttons and kicks the bottom 3. Weaker normals are to the left, stronger to the right.
Normal attacks are your most basic offensive tools, and you should familiarise yourself with your character's normals as thoroughly as possible.
Some normal attacks only are available when holding particular directions on the stick, these are known as 'unique moves' or 'command normals'. An example is E.Honda's 'Hiza Geri' which is performed by holding left or right on the controller and pressing the Medium Kick button.
Every character has 'special' attacks, which involve a series of controller movements and/or button presses. These will take some practice to get used to, but are very important tools. Generally, performing special moves using the weaker punch or kick buttons will do less damage or travel shorter distances, but be less punishable by your opponent.
Special moves inflict a small amount of damage to your opponent even when blocked (chip damage).
Throws and Grabs
If your opponent is blocking your attacks, Throws allow you to grab your opponent anyway and deal damage. Depending on your character, while near your opponent, holding left or right on the stick while pressing particular punch or kick buttons (usually hard punch) will perform a throw. Holding left results in the opponent being throw towards the left, and holding right will throw them to the right.
Some characters have holds rather than throws, they fill the same role but result in multiple smaller hits rather than one big throw.
Familiarise yourself with the ranges your throws/holds will work at, and how far away your opponent ends up afterwards.
Damage comes from 2 sources: Hits and Throws/Grabs. Each are handled separately for randomness, scaling, and special other factors.
The basic formula for any hit's damage is
(base + rnd) * char_scaling * life-scaling
Any hit has a predefined "base" damage level. This is the raw amount of damage that would be dealt, were there no other random factors or scaling. A random value (which may be positive or negative) is added to this base level, which varies by both the hit and how much life the opponent has left. After this, each character has a 'defense rating' which decreases damage dealt to that character by an amount specific to that character (shown in the table below). Finally, the amount of life an opponent has determines a final scaling factor.
|27/32||Ryu, Guile, Ken, Chun Li, Dhalsim, Vega (Claw)|
|25/32||E.Honda, Blanka, Boxer, Sagat, Dictator|
Every character takes less than full damage, but Zangief takes the least damage.
CE said goodbye to the WW "weak" hitbox, where extra damage could be inflicted to the opponent if the attacker mets certain conditions (EG. pulling a Shoryuken to counter Blanka's Rolling Ball Attack).
Throws are unaffected by a character's 'defense' scaling. This means a throw will do the same damage to Zangief as it will to Chun Li. They are however affected by Lifebar scaling, and also are given a boost if the thrower is behind in rounds won.
Damage randomness tables are documented at HF Random Damage
Dizzy (a.k.a. Stun)
Once a character has accumulated 32 points of dizzy, they become dizzied. To reach this value, they must be hit or thrown several times in quick succession.
Along with a counter tracking how many dizzy points a character has accumulated, there is a separate 'dizzy timeout' counter, which tracks how long until their dizzy point tracker is reset to 0. Dizzy timeout is decremented with every game tick, regardless of whether the character is blocking an attack, in hitstun, being thrown, or knocked down.
Note that generally a throw which does not dizzy is a net loss of dizzy timeout.
Dizzy properties of attacks
Any hit or throw has a predefined base dizzy amount. To this is added a random value (which may be negative), consistent across all attacks.
The lookup table for dizzy randomness is as follows:
For example, Vega's crouching Strong has a base dizzy value of 8, to which a random value between -3 and +3 is added, resulting in a 5~11 possible dizzy range, with 8 being the most likely value and 5 or 11 being very unlikely. His throw has a base dizzy value of 10, resulting in a 7~13 possible dizzy range.
As well as raw dizzy value, each move has a predefined dizzy timeout value, which is added to the character's dizzy timeout counter. This means that successive hits increase the length of time until a character's dizzy is reset.
A move hitting an airbourne opponent tends to result in less stun and stun timeout when compared to the same move hitting a grounded opponent. For example, Blanka's horizontal rolling ball special attack does 16 points of stun damage and adds 120 to the stun timer if connected on a grounded opponent, but only 14 stun points and adds only 80 to the stun timer if the opponent is airbourne.
Upon becoming dizzy, a randomly selected value is chosen determining the difficulty of escaping dizzy. These values are represented by a dizzy icon which circle above the dizzied character's head, either Stars (easier) or Ducks (harder). Each game tick, the value chosen is decremented by 1 until it reaches 0, whereupon the character leaves the dizzy state.
|Stars||60, 90, 120|
|Ducks||150, 180, 210|
Entering commands (joystick directions, button presses) decreases the counter faster, so it's in your best interest to mash.
Being hit while dizzy
A character being hit out of dizzy is afforded 60 game ticks as a "grace period" before more dizzy will be accumulated.
Impact freeze is a period of time where the game freezes momentarily when an attack hits or is blocked. It is why a move on hit seems to show on the screen for much longer than the same move when it whiffs. Impact freeze allows special move cancels such as Ryu's cr.mk XX fireball to be much easier than the number of active frames would suggest. See  and  for much more information.
In HF, normal game ticks still occur during impact freeze, so timers such as the Dizzy Timer still decrease.
In HF, Impact freeze lasts for 14 frames, regardless of attack strength.
Negative Edge refers to events which occur upon the release of a button (or buttons) as opposed to the press of a button. An example is Balrog (Boxer)'s Turn Around Punch, which is performed by holding all 3 punch or kick buttons for a few seconds, then releasing.
More specifically, the ability for all special moves to be performed by button releases rather than presses can be called Negative Edge. For example, it is possible to perform a Ryu Fireball by holding a punch button, performing the QCF joystick motion, and then releasing the punch button.
Hit Stun and Block Stun
After any attack has hit or has been blocked, and after impact freeze, the attackee enters a state of hit stun or block stun. Depending on the attack, hitstun or block stun may end before or after the attack has finished, putting the attackee in advantage or disadvantage (known as "Frame advantage").
During hitstun, the character is unable to perform any action, and is also unthrowable. They may however buffer special moves during hitstun.
During blockstun the character is additionally allowed to switch block states (e.g. from high blocking to low blocking).
For normal moves, the strength of the move determines the amount of hitstun. Special moves usually have the same hitstun regardless of strength used.
In general, block stun is one frame longer than hit stun. That is, if your opponent blocks an attack, they recover one frame LATER than they would if they had been hit by the attack. Any frame data given in terms of "Frame advantage on block" can be converted to "Frame advantage on hit" by subtracting one.
Additionally, hitstun is reduced by a frame after the first hit in a combo. This explains why Ryu can combo cr.LK xx Fireball, but j.HK, cr.LK xx Fireball can be blocked.
See  for more info.
|Hitstun (in frames)||14||19||23|
Special moves may have their own specific hitstun values, but often are 23f (like a fierce/roundhouse).
A Combo results when any attack is followed by a subsequent attack without the opponent being able to block inbetween. This is an interaction between the Hitstun on an opponent from the attack, the attack's recovery, and the next attack's startup. As long as the hitstun is greater than the attack's recovery time plus the startup of the next attack, the next attack will successfully combo and the opponent will be unable to stop it. Other gameplay mechanics allow combos in different ways, such as Special Cancelling, Chain Cancelling, and Kara Cancelling (explained below).
Officially this is not a feature present in the game but a "mistake" in Dhalsim's design allow him to be juggled. It works only in certain circunstances and the timing must be somewhat tight in order to perform an air juggle combo on him, as shown in this video.
Essentially a Block string is a combo which is blocked. Due to block stun and hitstun generally being the same in CE, attack strings which would normally combo will form a block string when blocked. This means the opponent will be similarly unable to perform any actions except those allowed during blocking, i.e. switching from crouch block to stand block, for the duration of the combo. They will however not be taking damage (except from moves which cause block damage). For example, Ryu's cr.Strong, cr.Forward XX Fireball attack string can combo, and will also form a block string if blocked, but the opponent will only take block damage from the Fireball.
Kara (meaning 'empty') cancelling is an allowance the SF2 engine makes for easier input of special moves. When a normal attack is performed, a 5 frame timer ticks down, during which the input of a special move will result in the normal move being interrupted and the special move will be performed. This means if you press the attack button slightly before the special move motion is completed, the normal move which has started animating can be kara cancelled into the special move when the button is released.
One use for this technique is to use a crouching normal move (usually a kick) cancelled into a special such as a Dragon Punch. This can result in a lower hurtbox for your character, which may allow for avoiding certain jumpins.
A possible error in the handling of the kara cancel code in the SF2 series means that the kara cancel timer is NOT decremented during impact freeze. The result is that any normal attack which hits or is blocked by the opponent before the timer runs out retains the ability to kara cancel into a special move for the 14 extra frames of impact freeze. This is typically known as special cancelling. When impact freeze ends, the normal move is cancelled and the special move is performed. This allows combos such as Ryu's cr.Forward XX Fireball and Guile's cr.Strong XX Flash Kick. Note that this does NOT necessarily mean the special move will combo after the normal attack, although many will.
Some characters have at least one Jab or Short attack which may be cancelled by another of the same strength. This allows repeated presses of the same button to easily combo even up to 4 or 5 times. An example is Dictator's Jab, which may be continued with further Jabs. Note that any attacks in a chain past the initial attack lose any special cancelling ability they may have had, due to the kara-cancel timer expiring between the first and second hits.
- Frame skipping
- Dizzy dealt
- Time spent in dizzy (difficulty of mashing out)
- Throw invincibility upon wakeup
- Winner of a same-frame throw vs throw exchange
- When Vega's claw will fall off
See SF2 randomness for more details.
Chain Cancelling into special moves
Chain cancelled normal attack strings cannot normally be comboed into special moves. For example, Boxer's cr.Jab XX Straight Rush will normally special cancel, but cr.Jab, cr.Jab will not. However, alternating between standing and crouching can reset the "chain state" and re-allow special cancelling. Continuing the previous example, Boxer's crouching Jab can be chained into standing Jab, thus allowing cr.Jab, cr.Jab, s.Jab XX Straight Rush to connect.
Strangely, even though Boxer's s.Short is not chain cancellable, it is possible to perform cr.Short, cr.Short, s.Short XX Straight Rush too (as a chain, not a link combo).
Utilizing the CPS1 gaming engine to your advantage:
The first three editions of Street Fighter II (WW, CE, HF aka Turbo) were programmed with the CPS1 engine. There was an old glitch that was fixed in Super and Super Turbo that allowed for a number of rapid fire kicks to be linked into a punch and then further cancelled into your favorite special.
EX. Ken: 2x c.LK -> s.HP xx Shoryuken
How this works is beyond me, but I do know how to utilize the CPS1 chains, and here's how:
After hitting with the first two rapid fire kicks, let the pad, stick, whatever go back to neutral (so you are standing) and input LK+whichever punch you want with the same timing as the initial LK's. In the example above you would input c.LK..c.LK (neutral).s.LK+HP then just cancel into Shoryuken.
This is just one of the ways to use CPS1 chains. You can use these to get high punches in when all you had time for was a low kick.
One more note, you can go from standing LK's to crouching punches; or from crouching LK's to standing punches. But curiously enough not vice versa, punches don't go to kicks, and standing kicks do not go to standing punches.
Here's a video description of CPS1 chains.
As in every fighting game, there are chars that are better than others or even chars more suitable to defeat certain opponents than others. Some are better overall because they have a good mix of speed, strength and moves and some are worse due to the lack of these features. Tier lists are somewhat a personal thing but in old games like CE there is a certain consensus about who are the top/bottom chars.
|Top Tier||Mid Tier||Low Tier|
M Bison (Dictador)
As said, tier lists are very personal. A more detailed list can be found in the old documents from Jonathan Deitch, based on knowledge found in alt.games.sf2 boards. This info, altough early OG treatments about the game's nature, reflects an incredibly accurate representation of SF2CE match ups, still to this day. This list will be adopted for further char-specific match up discussion.
- Golden Hadouken: a fiery Hadouken that sometimes comes out in place of the normal blue/white ones. It happens randomly with both Ryu and Ken and has the same effect as a normal fireball. Considered a bug for years, a recent statement from Akira Nishitani (main SF2 developer) said it was intentionally implemented in the game as an easter egg. In Super Street Fighter II onwards, it was converted in a command move exclusive to Ryu and, different from the normal Hadouken, sets the opponent on fire if not blocked.
- Beating the game without lose a single round: after the char ending, you'll get a demo mode when each fighter destroys a crate or an oil drum using one of his/her signature moves, along with aliases and caricatures of the game devs.
- Konami Code: strangely enough, the Konami Code can be used in the arcade version of SF2CE. If you pull the sequence up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right and press MP then LP on controller 2 during the attract mode, you'll get screen info like: number of coins deposited, number of times a certain char was used, etc. Here's the video.
SF2CE known bugs include:
- Bonus Stage infinite hits: This bug freezes the game. Here you can see Honda, Blanka and Vega doing it intentionally. However, if you're on a 2-player game, the other player remains fully operational, and can cancel the bug just hitting the frozen opponent.
- Vega backflip bug: an old known bug occurs whenever Vega does his backflip move underneath the oil drums at the third bonus stage. It doesn't interfere in the game. Video.
- Corner bug: when one of the players is cornered, the game messes the controllers up whenever the opponent jump at him turning a reversal attack or even a simple blocking into a guessing game. In this video, an unscrupulous player takes advantage of the bug to punish his opponent, who did the Shoryuken command facing left but the attack cames out facing right. The japanese version doesn't have this bug.
This is the original release of Champion Edition.
U.S.A. and World
Final Revision of U.S.A. and Japan
Differences between U.S.A./World and Japan versions
There are some U.S.A. first revision and Japan first revision technical differences. The japanese version has bug corrections, balance tweaks, a higher damage rate and a somewhat smarter AI.
Some of these differences are further explained below:
|Ken||Zangief||Balrog(M.Bison) a.k.a Boxer||Vega(Balrog) a.k.a Claw||Sagat||M.Bison(Vega) a.k.a Dictador|
|USA||"Egg Roller" Tatsumaki Senpuukyaku after knockdown||Needs 4 SPD to defeat opponent (44)||Dash Punch misses crouching characters
TAP doesn't powered up by extra charge time
|Fierce Rolling Crystal Flash hits 3 times close
All 3 versions of RCF mades only one loop
|Only Jab version of Tiger Uppercut makes knocksdown||Psycho Crusher cause more block damage 3-6 hits|
|Japan||Doesn't multihit after knockdown||Need 3 SPD to defeat opponent (50)||Dash Punch hits crouching characters
TAP can be powered up as long as charged
|Fierce Rolling Crystal Flash have an extra hit close
Number of loops in RCF depends on button
|All Tiger Uppercuts makes knockdown||Psycho Crusher makes less block damage only 1-3 hits|
The initial home release. Derezzed sprites/simpler graphics (very little parallax scrolling) and much weaker sound effects than the arcade release. Also some nitpicky game engine changes - CPS1 combos don't work, and the game certainly 'feels' different - probably some frame data and timing changes. Check out E.Honda's LP headbutt for instance.
Also, no intro movie! OMG!
Japan exclusive home release, have tuned down sprites, not darktune colored as Mega Drive but isn't light as Super Nintendo.
Sega Genesis/Mega Drive
Titled "Street Fighter 2' Special Champion Edition" in the West, and "Street Fighter 2' Plus" in the East.
Quite similar to the Super Nintendo release, although the Genesis version has an extra tournament mode and match play over the Super Nintendo release. Also, more speed options are available by default. Worse sound though (especially the voices), and slightly poorer colours. It does have the original intro movie though. Also, CPS1 chains work - which make this probably a more accurate port!
Amusing to note that these ancient 16-bit ports even have the 'good' button configs - thanks, 90s Capcom!
Part of Capcom Generation 5. Direct-to-Arcade alike, but not perfect.
Part of Capcom Generation 5. Direct-to-Arcade alike, but not perfect.
Part of Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 1.
Part of Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 1.
SF2CE success started a bootleg craze, which gave origin to adulterated versions of the game. These versions allowed "enhanced" moves like aerial special attacks, increased speed, twisted physics, teleporting, multiple fireball shots, in-game Shang Tsung-esque char selection, and many other things. This prompted Capcom to incorporate some of these ideas into the game's next version and tweaking them on subsequent SF iterations.
These versions vary from slightly different from the original to nearly unplayable. Some of the most famous ones are:
- Accelerator Pt. II
- Sheng Long Edition (note the altered winning quote and different colour schemes for each char)
- Rainbow Edition
- Rainbow Edition Mikado Tournament. o.O
Besides the technical differences between both american/world and japanese CE versions mentioned above, and like in the WW case, the boss names where interchanged for some reasons, being the most known one the fear of legal troubles in USA (M. Bison vs Mike Tyson). Also, it seems that americans considered "Vega" a dumb last-boss-evil-dictator-vilain-of-all-times name so the changes took place and persist to these Street Fighter V days.
|Boxer character = Balrog||Boxer character = M.Bison|
|Claw character = Vega||Claw character = Balrog|
|Dictator character = M.Bison||Dictator character = Vega|
Unlike USA and World versions, the japanese SF2CE has different and gender specific winning quotes for each fighter. A compilation of these quotes and their respective translations can be found in the External Links section below.
Again, unlike USA and World versions, the japanese SF2CE gives gameplay tips and advices during the continue screen, including instructions for performing special moves and even motivational phrases.
- SRK Fighting Game Glossary, fighting games jargon and definitions.
- SF2CE Wikipedia Page. English SF2CE Wikipedia entry.
- SF2 oral history, interesting facts about SF2 development revealed by the devs themselves.
- Mugenguild Thread, Akira Nishitani's tweets compilation covering SF2 and Final Fight development with links and translation.
- Sonichurricane.com, relevant information about SF2 undocumented features.
- T.Akiba's site, japanese site with technical info about SF2.
- tcrf.net, hidden game elements and unused graphics found in the SF2 rom.
- alt.games.sf2, old SF2 boards. (still active!)
- Win quotes, SF2 japanese win quotes translated.
- FightCade by Pof, to play CE online. Based on Final Burn Alpha/GGPO emulator.
- Arclive/Suparc, a chinese emulator with suport to most old school arcade games (english and spanish versions available).
- SF2CE channel, tons of korean CE videos and daily live streams from real arcade matches.