Entertainment writer. Loves games, movies, and comics. Also loves talking in the third person
Since the 1980s, Street Fighter has entertained millions of players worldwide. With their unique characters, fun gameplay, and stunning visuals, it’s no surprise the franchise has been a success.
However, with the many games in the series, it might be hard to follow the story, especially when the chronological order of the games is not the same as its release order. To help get a better understanding of the story, here is the Street Fighter timeline explained.
The first in the series, both in chronological and release order, Street Fighter made its debut in arcades everywhere. It’s a fighting game like the rest in the series, but it’s more simple.
However, it’s easy to see the features of the game that would go on to be fundamental for the rest of the series and in fighting games in general.
The story of Street Fighter is simple: a fighter named Ryu competes in the Street Fighter tournament. It would be the first appearance of the popular character, and his rival and friend Ken would also make his debut.
The game also included characters such as Sagat, Adon, Gen, and Birdie; characters that would become playable in future installments.
Taking place between Street Fighter and Street Fighter 2 in the chronological Street Fighter Timeline is the Street Fighter Alpha series. The first in this series was released in 1995. The game allows the origin stories of characters to be fleshed out, introduces new characters, and continues storylines from the first Street Fighter game.
In the first game, Sagat was defeated by Ryu. This leads him to seek a rematch against the young fighter so he can avenge his loss. Meanwhile, the new character in the series, Dan, is trying to avenge his father after he was killed by Sagat.
On the other side, you have characters such as Charlie Nash and Chun-Li investigating the villainous M. Bison and his organization, Shadaloo.
This game is interesting in the sense that it’s sort of a re-imagining of the previous game. It features mostly similar storylines with some tweaks to different elements.
The game features a bigger roster than the previous game, with Dhalsim, Zangief, and Gen making their debut in the Alpha series.
Rolento makes his first Street Fighter appearance as he’s originally a character from the Final Fight series, and the completely new character is Sakura who idolizes Ryu and wishes to be like him.
Speaking of Ryu, both his and Ken’s mentor is seemingly killed at the hands of Akuma. This leads Ryu on a quest to confront and fight the murderer.
Sagat is on a quest of his own as he seeks to avenge his loss at the hands of Ryu and agrees to join M. Bison’s organization. Charlie Nash and Chun-Li are still investigating M. Bison, but ultimately come up short.
The last in the Alpha series, Street Fighter Alpha 3 sees some stories evolve and some end. Ryu’s mind is being conquered by an evil force called the Dark Hadou, and M. Bison seeks to use that to his advantage. He plans to become a host in Ryu's body.
Sagat finally gets his rematch with Ryu but realizes it's not right to fight him when he's in this state. He helps Ryu overcome this evil, and Ryu vanquishes M. Bison.
Characters such as Blanka, Dan, and Sakura become friends, a plot element that continues on in future installments. Dan is on cloud 9 after defeating Sagat and finally avenging his father’s death, and decides to teach his fighting style to the world. In reality, Sagat felt bad and decided to lose on purpose.
This is what makes the Street Fighter timeline confusing. Even though this game was released 7 years before Alpha 3, it’s still the sequel to the game. A tournament is created by M. Bison, so the world’s best fighters can come to compete. He does this to recruit some of them to his organization.
Some of the fighters include characters such as Ryu, Chun-Li, and Guile who are trying to take down M. Bison. Chun-Li is still trying to figure out how M. Bison is connected to her father’s death, and Guile is trying to get revenge for the death of his friend, Charlie Nash.
In the end, Bison isn’t killed by any of them. He’s immediately smacked and demolished by Akuma.
As it turns out, M. Bison survived Akuma’s attack. However, he is not the main bad guy of Street Fighter 4. This responsibility falls on the shoulders of Seth, a new character in the series. Seth is the CEO of Shadaloo’s weapons division, and he creates a tournament to lure the world’s greatest fighters.
Seth isn’t a character that pops up out of nowhere, however, his background is directly related to Bison. It’s revealed that Seth was created to be a replacement body for Bison in case it was ever needed.
Furthermore, Seth isn’t the first; he’s the 15th body created. In the end, Seth is defeated, but M. Bison is still loose.
The most recent game in the series, Street Fighter 5 was released just 5 years ago. After the events of Street Fighter 4, M. Bison is back on top and scheming as always.
He plans to use satellites to create fear in the world to make himself stronger. It’s up to Ryu and his friends to stop M. Bison once again.
Another character who tried to stop Bison long ago is Charlie Nash. However, Charlie is killed during the events of the Alpha series. He’s revived in Street Fighter 5 and continues on his quest to defeat Bison.
The villain meets his end at the hands of Charlie and Ryu, which makes way for a new bad guy to arise.
Just in case the Street Fighter timeline wasn’t complicated enough, the latest chronological chapter in the series is Street Fighter 3; a game that was released over 20 years ago.
After Bison and his organization are defeated, a new one springs up. This one is called the “Illuminati” and is run by Gill.
Gill is half red and half blue and has the power to use fire and ice. With the rise of a new villain comes a new hero. Alex is seeking to beat Gill after the villain beats his friend. He succeeds and decides to continue fighting around the world.
Although this is the end of the Street Fighter story so far, the next game could take place after this. Street Fighter 5 re-introduced numerous Street Fighter 3 characters such as Gill, Alex, Kolin, and Urien. It could be possible they’re setting up for the sequel to Street Fighter 3.
The Street Fighter timeline can get confusing, but the story and characters still keep us hooked. Wherever the Street Fighter series takes us next, we’re sure it’ll be a fun time.
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