Fighter II Famicom Hacks
A comparison guide for the various flavors of SF2 pirate carts, for people with
way too much invested in SF2
gamers today that were either too young or for whatever reason did not
experience the mania that SF2 brought whenever it was released, it's
probably hard to imagine what an astounding impact it had on arcades,
home consoles, and the video game industry as a whole. It's not an
understatement to say that without SF2 the gaming landscape today would
be a much different place. But, rather than spend an hour jerking off on
gaming nostalgia, I'll try to condense a little intro to this piece.
Street Fighter II hit, it was a very unique thing. One aspect that
probably made more difference than everything else was that there were
no other comparable gaming experiences like SF2 available in any format
at the time. The closest I can think of would be Fatal Fury, which was
an arcade and AES release that was pretty much just as much of a pipe
dream as owning a SF2 cab. Really the only alternative of pre-SF2
fighters was garbage like Slaughter Sport (Gen), Fighting Street (Duo),
or Karate Champ (tube radio), When SF2 was announced to be exclusive to
the SNES, it took a very long time before anything even remotely close
was released to satiate gamers' thirst for one-on-one fighting.
EGM had a small byline and one screenshot of a SF2 pirate for Famicom.
Up until that point I had no idea that original shit like that even
existed in foreign markets, being that any type of pirate carts for
consoles in America at the time had little or no penetration on the
market. It became my life's goal to own and play that game, regardless
of how shitty it may be. Yes, I like to keep my goals lofty like that.
both emulation and a global market I've been able to purchase and play a
lot of these titles. I noticed there wasn't a whole lot of information
available about them, especially since there were a fucking million
different variations of each basic game.
Street Fighter II
aka Master Fighter II
The Original Turd
||This was the version featured in
the infamous EGM screenshot. As you can see, there are two variants on the
name. I have no idea which game first, nor any as to why they would
change it anyway. Apparently it was programmed by Yoko Soft in 1992.
Both feature the flashing "Push Start Button" graphic but the picture on
the left didn't catch it onscreen.
One pretty cool thing was that the "Press
Start Button" message fades in from both directions and centers just
like the legit home versions
enough this crappy knockoff features the intro that the SNES version
didn't, and is even uncensored unlike the US Genesis one. It is not
animated and just scrolls up to the top of the skyscraper. Prepare to
feel racial tension so powerful that Capcom decided US owners couldn't
handle it without going out and starting something akin to the Tulsa OK
race riots of 1921.
Right is the
character select screen. Guile is not actually from the former USSR, but
is traveling there in his little sprite plane to fight Zangief. There
are a total whopping four characters available: Guile, Ryu, Chun Li, &
Zangief. Bison (Dictator) exists as a final boss albeit misspelled "Viga"
I have read that versions exist with Viga playable directly from the start
or with a code actually printed on the game label to play as him. While
I don't doubt this given my experience with shitty HK originals, I have
not came across a version of this myself. And yes, the plane has a
flying animation to go from country to country.
You can see from these screenshots the VS
screen is pretty cool, complete with bloodsplash not found in the
original home versions. The character portraits don't look too shabby
either. Too bad the game itself is complete unplayable dogshit that even
the most masochistic SF fan will run from.
get any good ideas from these screenshots. The backgrounds are static
and unanimated. As you can see from Gief's stage, the people look like
something I might draw in Paint.
This game plays like a complete train
wreck. You can block, but since the hit detection is so fucked up a lot
of times something will hit even if blocked. Throws seem to be thrown in
at random (note my stunning wit). Special moves are impossible to
perform with such horrible controls yet the AI constantly throws them at
you without remorse. In order to win you have to find simple AI exploit,
like a repeated jump kick or foot sweep.
lack of animation is not nearly as crippling as the fact that the
sprites themselves move around very herky-jerky. It's jerky enough to
fuck the AI routines up, triggering throw animations while you're
walking around and causing multiple hit registers
As you can see from the pictures this
version tries very hard to be a faithful reproduction of the arcade
version. I was really surprised that it tried to mimic the arcade
version rather than the SNES one. Release dates on stuff like this are
virtually impossible to locate, so I'm really not sure if this predates
the 16 bit release or not. If it did then that's a pretty damn good job
by unknown coders with no idea what they're doing.
||One thing this version does is capture the small details lost on others.
The post fight dialogue, the bruised continue screen, even an attempt at
a high score table are present. Most other pirates don't even try to
touch the smaller stuff like that. If Zangief didn't look like
ManBearPig and the game didn't play like shit, I could see myself
enjoying it. Especially if I had only a Famicom. A code exists to go
straight to the final fight with Viga, along with another code to view
Zangief's ending. Those two codes are the only readily available ones on
the net, and I'm too lazy to find patch codes in order to defeat the
horrible AI and view the rest of the characters' endings.
||I thought it was
pretty cool that they tried to include the
original arcade endings. As you'll see in
comparison with the other shit Famicom
SF2's, this first original version is the one that tries its best to
capture the true arcade feel.
seen this cartridge with several box art variants. I've even seen a few
blurry photos of actual boxes that some of the carts came in, which to
me is kinda cool since you don't come across that very often.
As a stunning piece worthy of framing, I
felt it was only just that I share with all of you the pictorial glory
that is my personal copy of "Master Fighter II". And no, my
camera did not distort the label, it really is stretched out of
proportion like that.
NOW ON TO PAGE 2,
OF STREET FIGHTER 12 PEOPLES AND ITS EQUALLY HANDICAPPED