Last week, I started talking about the storyline of the Street Fighter saga. Capcom did not make it easy for dedicated fans to follow the events of each game as they did mess up the order of when each entry falls in canonically. The first game was Street Fighter 1; that was easy. Things started to get a little messy by the time the Street Fighter II and Street Fighter Alpha/Zero games started rolling around as this is when Capcom made the conscious choice to screw around with when each game happened. Even though Street Fighter II was made before Street Fighter Alpha/Zero, the events of the Alpha/Zero games occurred before the events of Street Fighter II.
That was only the beginning. Capcom really went overboard afterwards. You’ll see why as now I’m going to talk about what happened in Street Fighter III, Street Fighter IV and Street Fighter V.
Even though the next game to be released after Street Fighter II was, obviously, Street Fighter III, that isn’t the next game in the Street Fighter chronology. That honor goes to Street Fighter IV. Basically, after the events of Street Fighter II, Shadaloo was in disarray due to M. Bison’s apparent death thanks to Akuma hitting the dictator with the Raging Demon. This led to one of Shadaloo’s enhanced androids to go rogue and form his own organization called SIN. This android was capable to integrating the techniques of multiple fighters to create the ultimate fighter. This android is Seth, the main antagonist of Street Fighter IV.
Seth’s motives aren’t really fleshed out but he was the one to sponsor the next World Warrior tournament. His goal was pretty much the same as M. Bison’s, in which he wanted to capture Ryu to find out how the Satsui no Hado worked as he needed the data to complete the BLECE project. Once again, it’s not really known what BLECE is. Just think of it as the very evil macguffin for Seth’s motivation.
Actually, the entire tournament seems like a big macguffin as well as, from what I understand, most of the main players eventually infiltrate Seth’s base, despite either losing or winning the tournament. A lot of things happen during this time. Cammy deletes all the information regarding the BLECE project, angering C. Viper, as it was her mission to download the data. M. Bison is actually alive and reintegrates SIN back into Shadaloo. This also means Guile, Chun-Li and newcomer Abel failed their mission as well as they were also tasked to get information on the BLECE project. Balrog escapes the base but with a young boy who seemingly can control Psycho Power. Akuma and Gouken, Ryu and Ken’s believed dead master, do battle with Gouken staving off Akuma’s offense.
There’s no real solid information regarding who is the official winner of the Street Fighter IV tournament. I guess that’s because they never did have a finals match by the end since everything was happening all at once. I do like to think M. Bison dealt the killing blow to Seth as it’s the one that makes the most sense, storyline-wise. There isn’t any concrete information regarding which character endings are canon as well. I would guess the ones which focus on Seth’s defeat and the fall of SIN actually happened but the more nonsensical ones, such as Elena taking selfies with other fighters or Poison forming a rock band with other fighters didn’t actually happen.
After the events of Street Fighter IV, we then go to what happened in Street Fighter V. Yes, we’re not at Street Fighter III yet. This time around, there isn’t some baloney about someone organizing a worldwide fighting tournament nor do you have to piece together what exactly happened as Street Fighter V has a dedicated Story mode called A Shadow Falls. It’s a really crummy story but at least there’s an actual narrative which can be considered canon!
There are several plot threads to follow in A Shadow Falls. However, the main one is all about Shadaloo’s new plot to take over the world. After Sagat leaving the organization, M. Bison recruits FANG, a highly intelligent assassin, and he comes up with a plan to hold the world ransom by launching satellites all over the world with the ability to shut down a country’s entire electronic network and infrastructure. This leads Karin Kanzuki to gather the best fighters in the world in an attempt to stop Shadaloo.
There are also other storylines as well, such as Ryu feeling the Satsui no Hado bubbling inside of him and he’s trying to find a way to expel it from his body. A new creature called Necalli is roaming around the globe, killing all fighters that crosses its path. Charlie Nash has been resurrected by a secret organization and has been ordered to take down Shadaloo as well. Rich adventurer Rashid wants to rescue his friend who has been captured by Shadaloo. Cammy is looking for a way to free Decapre and the other Dolls from M. Bison and Shadaloo’s mind control. There’s a few more but these are the more important ones, in my opinion.
At the end of A Shadow Falls, Karin’s ragtag group are successful. Shadaloo is finally destroyed with Ryu dealing the final blow to the dictator. Ryu has also found a way to channel his inner peace to sort of control the Satsui no Hado as well. Cammy is successful freeing the Decapre. It’s also revealed that the organization which revived Charlie Nash is the Illuminati, led by the enigmatic Gill. With his goal of finally destroying Shadaloo complete, it appears he can finally start his plan of building a worldwide utopia with him as the leader. This does finally lead to the events of Street Fighter III.
Street Fighter III’s story is very interesting because both 2nd Impact and 3rd Strike are separate events in Street Fighter timeline. In 2nd Impact, Gill holds another World Warrior tournament in the hopes of gauging who are the strongest fighters and worthy to be part of the upper echelon of his new utopia. Before this, however, Gill beats up a man in a fair fight and his friend, Alex, joins the tournament to face Gill and avenge his friend’s loss. Alex does eventually face off against Gill in the finals and beats him. His win awakens Alex’s hunger for training and decides to wander the world to get stronger. That’s basically Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact’s canon story in a nutshell.
Things get a little more insane in 3rd Strike. Like with the Alpha/Zero games, there isn’t a tournament anymore but just a bunch of fighters going at it. Oro spies Ryu and thinks he’s worthy enough to carry on his fighting style. Yun and Yang want to protect their neighborhood from the machinations of Gill and the Illuminati. The Illuminati kidnaps a young girl and Chun-Li goes after them to rescue her. A couple of the Illuminati’s experiments, Necro and Effie, escape and an artificial creature known as Twelve is dispatched to recover them. Dudley wants to recover his father’s car, which Gill has stolen from him. Alex has heard of Ryu’s legendary combat levels and decides to find him to test his training. Urien wants to usurp Gill, his elder brother, as the leader of the Illuminati. There are other characters, like Sean, Makoto, Elena, Q, Ibuki, Hugo and Remy who do have their own stories but they’re not really important as they don’t really have any specific grudges with anyone else in the game. Once again, it’s not really known which endings are canon in 3rd Strike, but, with the way the endings are written, pretty much everyone’s could have happened.
This finally leads us to Street Fighter 6. So now you’re all updated with Street Fighter’s canon storyline. It is frustratingly confusing as the games don’t follow the proper chronology and bounces around from game to game. I can appreciate Capcom trying to hold off moving the story alone because most fans still think of M. Bison and Shadaloo as the primary villains of the series. They just had to stop moving the story forward so they could milk M. Bison and Shadaloo for all its worth before moving on. I am ready for a new start and, hopefully, Street Fighter 6 can create a new memorable main villain once again.
A part of me is expecting it to be M. Bison in a mask and pulling the strings from the shadows, though. I wouldn’t put it past Capcom from doing this.
Were you as confused of Street Fighter’s story as me? Let me know in the comments section below!