To list all of the Street Fighter characters in existence would take far, far too long (and might destroy the internet in doing so) because there's a ton of the buggers. So instead of a comprehensive list, here's a collection of the most well-known, often-seen and often-used characters in the Street Fighter universe.
- Blanka. Half man, half green electric monkey thing, Blanka was introduced into the Street Fighter series in "Street Fighter 2," and has been a character in every game since, with the notable exception of "Street Fighter 3." His main attacks are hurtling himself bodily at his opponent, and channeling electricity through his skin. You shouldn't think too hard about how that's possible.
- Guile. You can tell Guile used to be in the U.S. Air Force because it's entirely possible to land an airplane on his blonde flat-top. Like Blanka, Guile made his first appearance in "Street Fighter 2" on the SNES, and was mysteriously absent from SF3. Guile's combat style is a mixture of up-close brawling, and whipping his limbs through the air so fast it creates a torrent of sonic-boom energy. Don't try this at home kids, 'cause it won't actually work.
- Sagat. Sagat has the dubious distinction of being one of only three characters to have been with the Street Fighter series since it began on the old NES. He functioned as the boss in the original game, and was eventually defeated by his rival Ken. In the game's story (stop laughing, it actually does have a story), the scar on Sagat's chest was a result of that climactic battle.
- Zangief. Imagine a hilarious Russian accent crossed with Hulk Hogan after twenty years of steroid abuse, and you'll have nightmare fodder for years. Now imagine it wearing a mohawk and a mutton-chop beard and pile-driving your skull into the concrete, and you've pretty much got Zangief. This character is one of the few in Street Fighter that has no fireball or "attack-from-a-distance" moves whatsoever.
- E. Honda. This chubby sumo wrestler was a button-masher's dream when he appeared in "Street Fighter 2." His "hundred hand slap" move could be pulled off by rapidly tapping on the "punch" buttons. Like Chun Li, this would unleash a torrent of fast, damaging blows. Unlike Chun Li, he could move while doing it, making it nearly impossible to defeat him unless you were half-way across the screen when he started slapping, making him one of the cheapest characters in the games.
- M. Bison. No one is entirely sure what the "M" stands for (probably "Marvin"), but M. Bison will forever be remembered as the boss character for the "Street Fighter 2" games. He's psychic, can turn his body into a flaming torpedo, and has a fashion sense that would make a third-world dictator go "dude, seriously?"
- Akuma. Akuma is essentially a repeating "hidden boss" character and can be described as a Ryu/Ken clone with stupidly overpowered moves and an unblockable "ultimate" combo move. He was first seen in the arcade version of "Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo" as a hidden boss.
- Chun Li. Chun Li (or "Legs," to her friends) was Street Fighter's first female character, and one of the series icons. Her popularity stems from her quick and powerful attack style, her ability to decimate opponents with her "lightning kick" special move, and presumably the fact that she's never understood the concept of "pants."
- Ken. A blonde American pretty boy who can shoot fire out of his hands, Ken is one of only two characters to appear in every Street Fighter game ever made. His fighting style is nearly identical to that of Ryu, except his dragon punch can light things on fire. Handy skill, that.
- Ryu. The face of the whole Street Fighter series, Ryu's mug has been on the intro screen ever since "Super Streetfighter 2" came out in the arcades. His fireballs are slightly faster than Ken's, but he's just not as stylish as the other fighter.
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