You're not logged in | Login / Register | News Filter | Submit News

Here's why throwing your opponent could start a real life fight back in the arcade days of Street Fighter 2

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • December 4, 2020 at 9:53 a.m. PST • Comments: 29

I remember vividly being in Southern California's Super Arcade and standing next to the Super Turbo machine where Mike Watson was running one of his usual open challenges to anyone in the building. Anyone who could beat him would get some very worthwhile prize... a hundred bucks or free entry into the arcade for a few months – I can't recall the specifics but it's not important as no one ever bested the American Street Fighter legend.

At some point between rounds and trash talk, Watson brought up the fact that using throws back in the days of laundromat cabinets was an all but surefire way to get oneself punched in the face. I thought he was speaking in hyperbole or metaphor, but he clarified that he meant exactly what he said.

We talk a ton about cheap stuff in modern fighting games, and it's understandable that the community would naturally develop an expectation of developers to regularly balance things given the way games can constantly be updated these days. When Street Fighter 2 was in arcades, however, what you saw was what you got, and creators were in the earliest days of guess and check work.

Throwing is a very routine and seemingly simple mechanic that's now in almost every fighting game you come across, but it was extremely unrefined in Street Fighter 2. Players quickly found just how incredibly powerful tossing your opponent could be, not only for the damage, but also because of priority and the extremely lopsided situations that could follow.

Theory Fighter recently produced a new video examining the particulars of throws in SF2 and why they garnered the reputation that they did. He lays out just how cheap using this universal attack was regarded to be, and gives us plenty of reason to be thankful for two button throws and reversal special attacks.

You can view the full video below and let us know if you learned anything worthwhile in the comments when you're done. Oh, and one more bit of advice should you accidentally find yourself having thrown an veteran SF2 player: you simply "give the throw back," according to Watson. Let go of the controller, apologize, and let your opponent throw you – even if it means a KO. Those were, apparently, the rules in the harder of old arcade scenes.

Load comments (29)