How Street Fighter 6 Pays Tribute to a Forgotten Capcom Franchise

Yes, after years of playing up Street Fighter‘s relationship with Final Fight, Capcom looks to be centering Street Fighter 6‘s story around that beloved, and all-but-forgotten, video game series. Of course, that relationship between those two franchises has been building for quite some time now.

The Initial Fight

After Street Fighter came out in 1987, Capcom decided to give the game a fresh follow-up. No, not 1991’s revolutionary Street Fighter II. At least not originally. Instead, they started work on a game called Street Fighter ’89, which was going to have Ryu and Ken fight alongside each other against waves of enemies. Over time, they decided that it just wasn’t Street Fighter enough and changed the plot, characters, and title.

That project instead became Final Fight: the story of the Mad Gear Gang’s attempt to kidnap the mayor’s daughter, Jessica, in the hopes that the mayor will finally get off their backs. Unfortunately for them, the mayor was a former professional wrestler and an absolute beast of a man, Mike Haggar. Haggar, alongside Jessica’s boyfriend Cody and their ninja friend Guy, take to the streets of Metro City to save Jessica, beat people with pipes, and eat entire roasted chickens off the ground.

Final Fight received two sequels for SNES, and while they still weren’t named after Street Fighter, it was soon apparent that the two games shared one continuity. Even as early as Street Fighter II, it was established that Soviet grappler Zangief was a longtime wrestling rival of Haggar’s (which neatly explains their tendency to do the same moves).

The Street Fighter Alpha Series

Street Fighter Alpha effectively served as the middle ground between the first two Street Fighter games. As a sub-series partially dedicated to worldbuilding, the first Alpha game introduced Guy and Final Fight second-level boss Sodom as playable characters. Street Fighter Alpha 2 even brought in fellow Final Fight boss character, Rolento. With Street Fighter Alpha 3, Cody was playable, albeit in a new form. Turns out that after saving the day and rescuing Jessica, Cody went down a dark path, couldn’t stop getting into fights, and ended up in prison for his antics.

The connection even led to the penultimate episode of the Street Fighter Saturday morning animated series, “Final Fight,” where Ryu and Ken helped Haggar, Cody, and Guy clean up the streets of Metro City by going undercover and joining the Mad Gear gang.

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