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Top Ten Most Iconic Street Fighter 2 Moves


Almost made it on the Street Fighter 2 moves list – Psycho Crusher

Psycho Crusher. Image courtesy of Evil Ryu@mobygames
Psycho Crusher. Image courtesy of Evil [email protected]

The almost made it is the Psycho Crusher. Anyone lucky enough to reach the final boss in Street Fighter 2 would be met with this unstoppable force of nature as M Bison would ignite in psycho power and launch himself across the screen.

Originally known as the ‘Psycho Torpedo’ in some instruction manuals, the move is exactly that. Fast pasted and quite hard to stop, your only defence was to pre-empt when it would arrive. Variations of it have been named Mega, Ultimate, Final and oddly enough, the Heartbreak Despair. A signature move synonymous with the franchise main villain.

10) Hundred Hand Slap

Hundred Hand Slap. Image courtesy of Evil Ryu @mobygames.com
Hundred Hand Slap. Image courtesy of Evil Ryu @mobygames.com

In Japanese, the move is known as 100 Rending Hand Slaps. Honda will throw forward a flurry of flat palm strikes if the player taps punch repeatedly. The greatest strength is not how easy it is to execute, but the fact that it is also possible to move forward while doing this. As such, Honda becomes a unique, immovable, wall like character.

Early versions of Street Fighter II saw this move do absurd amounts of damage per slap, so you could essentially see off an opponent in one special move. It was later nerfed to level the playing field. If you are not an aerial character this can be really awkward to get away from.

9) Electric Thunder

Electric Thunder. Image courtesy of Evil Ryu @mobygames.com
Electric Thunder. Image courtesy of Evil Ryu @mobygames.com

The greatest thing about this move is that it is synonymous with its character. Had it existed on anyone other than a bright green, red headed monster the visual impact would not have been half as strong.

Blanka curling into a ball, charging his voltage and watching opponents shock in a cartoon style skeleton silhouette is one of the most enjoyable moment in Street Fighter II. It could also be one of the most frustrating as novice players would simply button bash and have an almost unstoppable defence. The movement range would depend on the level of the punch button being pressed and the only way to stop it was to get in a lucky hit between his head and hand or use a projectile attack.

8) Spinning Bird Kick

Spinning Bird Kick. Image courtesy of Infernos@mobygames.com
Spinning Bird Kick. Image courtesy of [email protected]

Gravity defying, underwear flashing Spinning Bird Kick is number seven. It’s other name ‘Rotating Crane Leg Kick’ does not sound half as good.

Chun Li launches herself into the air vertically, then unreal physics push her horizontally as she twirls her legs. In later Street Fighter games, they attempted to make the sprite action a little more realistic but it lost a lot of the impact. In Street Fighter IV it returned to its original form and all for the better.

Click here to read 10 retro Capcom characters that need to be in the Street Fighter roster

Some iterations of Street Fighter have had her doing this move on the spot without the forward movement. In some games, this move and even be done in aerial combat which looks outstanding.

7) Shun Goku Satsu

Shun Goku Satsu. Image courtesy of tstone88@youtube.com
Shun Goku Satsu. Image courtesy of [email protected]

The only reason this move is not higher is that Akuma was only an unlockable character in Street Fighter II and as such, less people got to see the move in action. However, its delivery is way different to any other Street Fighter 2 moves making it a must have.

Akuma slides in a ghost like manner toward his opponent. He grabs them, then the screen goes blank. For a split second the sounds of attacks and impact bubbles are seen on screen. The screen returns to show Akuma and his downed opponent. Probably one of the coolest moves in any game made.

6) Flashkick

Flashkick. Image courtesy of Evil Ryu@mobygames
Flashkick. Image courtesy of Evil [email protected]

Another gravity defying move from the character most known for his gravity defying hair, Guile. One of the most powerful aerial defences, Guile flips backward while moving himself forward. As his leg trails, a flash of sonic energy erupts from his foot.

The move is performed as a downward charge so you have to tread carefully when Guile is crouching. This can be really frustrating and is one of the reasons Guile is such a defensive character. Go in from the air and you face this. Go in from the front and…..well we will talk about that later.

5) Lightning Kick

Lightning Kick. Image courtesy of @mobygames.com
Lightning Kick. Image courtesy of @mobygames.com

Also known as 100 Rending Legs or the Hyakuretsukyaku, this is in my opinion one of the most deadly Street Fighter II moves in the whole game. Chun Li would use her muscular thighs to deliver a barrage of kicks at the speed of light. Not only was it useful against your opponent but was the quickest way to destroy a car in the bonus rounds.

Although it lacked the movement of the hundred hand slap it was quicker to instigate and impossible to avoid if you were cornered. A little jump on the head, down into a spinning bird kick and finished off with a lightning kick is one of my favourite tactics.

Click here to read why we think SFII is the most important game ever made!

Over the years, how you execute the move has chopped and changed. Originally just a button bashing kick, later games in the series introduced more complex controls.

4) Hurricane Kick

The Hurricane Kick. Image courtesy of Evil Ryu@Mobygame
The Hurricane Kick. Image courtesy of Evil [email protected]

Ideal for when you are literally on the back foot, the Hurricane (Tatsumaki) kick is a true force of nature. Ryu, Ken or Akuma can lift into the air performing a rotating and repeating back heel kick that can span most of the screen. One of the most devastating Street Fighter 2 moves.

As Street Fighter has developed, the iterations of the Hurricane Kick have been really vast and varied. From Ryu’s apprentice Sakura and her attempts in Street Fighter Alpha to Dan Hibiki and his poor copycat imitation, it could be said to be the most ingrained in Street Fighter lore.

3) Rising Dragon Punch

Shoryuken. Image courtesy of Evil Ryu@mobygames.com
Shoryuken. Image courtesy of Evil [email protected]

The uppercut to end all uppercuts. The Shoryuken is a videogame icon in it’s own right. As soon as the cry kicks in and the character lifts off the ground, the mythos of Street Fighter can not help but course through your veins.

The beauty of the move is that as the series has continued and other specials have changed and adapted, the Dragon Punch had essentially stayed true to its roots. The addition of Ken’s flaming uppercut took it to a whole new level but aside from this it was perfection from its first appearance in SF I.

2) Sonic Boom

Sonic Boom. Image courtesy of Evil [email protected]

How could this not be in a list of the defining Street Fighter 2 moves? The image of American G.I. Guile smashing his hands together, creating an arc projectile that bounds across the screen is gaming lore. Also used by Charlie and later Seth, the move is synonymous with the franchise. It is also really dangerous to get hit with and combined with the Flashkick gives Guile a superb defence.

The cry of Sonic Boom is eclipsed only by one other move…..

1) Hadouken

Hadouken. Image courtesy of Nintendo eshop
Hadouken. Image courtesy of Nintendo eshop

It was so close between this and our second entry but the Street Fighter fireball just came out top. It has been around since Street Fighter one and it is intrinsically linked to the main franchise character, Ryu. Along with Sonic Boom, very few videogame sounds are as recognisable as this move. It has pervaded popular culture in every sense.

The move translates as ‘Wave Motion Fist’ or ‘Surge Wave’. Based on an energy attack from the Seventies anime Space Battleship Yamamoto, in many cracked versions of Street Fighter II the attack is given to all characters on the roster. Iconic does even begin to describe it.

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