The original Killer Instinct didn't have throws because they were banned in some arcades during the early Street Fighter 2 era

Throws were considered 'cheap' and could result in giving up your quarter and even real life altercations

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • July 25, 2018 at 2:19 p.m. PDT

It is no secret that back in the Street Fighter 2 days throws were considered "cheap." With a strong arcade presence and players all around the world trying to learn the ins and outs of what is considered the most legendary fighting game series to ever launch, competitors took some time to understand the meta and the proper way to play the game.

You've probably heard stories of players way back when complaining about being thrown in Street Fighter 2. Due to the damage output of a successful throw and some players' lack of knowledge of how to stop them, this core game mechanic was banned at many arcade establishments back in the early 1990s.

Arcade-goers could still physically pull off these maneuvers, and those that were brave enough to do so were often met with "cheap!" accusations or demands for a free hit/throw in return from the "victim." In more extreme cases, players who went for throws or won games with them would have to give up a quarter to their opponent, and there are even tales of real life altercations stemming from throws. No joke.

While "no-throws" wasn't the standard for every establishment, it was enforced at the historic Sunnyvale Golfland arcade in Northern California. This happens to be the arcade that Partner Creative Director at Microsoft Studios, Ken Lobb, and Design Director & eSports Lead for Killer Instinct, James Goddard, would frequent back during the Street Fighter 2 era.

During yesterday's Microsoft Studios Live show stream, Lobb and Goddard gave some insight into the current installment in the Killer instinct franchise. In the midst of their discussion, we were also given some backstory on how the two met and more interesting bits of KI history.

When talking about their Street Fighter 2 experience at the arcade together. Lobb shared a fun fact. Apparently, the original Killer Instinct title did not have a throw mechanic because of the perception of Street Fighter 2's throws and their ban at arcades.

"The 'throwing is cheap' thing is another piece of interesting back history," Lobb started. "There was no throwing in the first Killer Instinct arcade game, and there was a reason.

"Part of that reason was throwing was sort of banned at Sunnyvale Golfland — people would do it, but it was banned. [...] So you kind of had to learn how to play legit, is the way I thought of it at the time.

"So when we started talking about Killer Instinct 1 and if it should have throws, 'No! Throws are bad!' Maybe it was a miseducation at the time. I love them now."

Throws did find their way into Killer Instinct 2 and are a staple in the latest Killer Instinct. Nowadays, they operate in a similar style to Street Fighter's, being initiated by pressing light punch and light kick together and having the ability to tech them by hitting the same buttons during an attempt from the opponent.

Source: Microsoft Studios Live.

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