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Modder discovers hidden method to unlock Shin Akuma after 25 years in Super Nintendo version of Street Fighter Alpha 2

Now that's a blast from the past

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • December 30, 2020 at 10:55 a.m. PST • Comments: 20

Trying to use cheat codes and figuring out ways to unlock new characters used to be some of the most fun things to do on home console ports of fighting games in the '90s and early 2000's though it's certainly become an art lost to time and the introduction of DLC.

One programmer dusted off those old history books, however, when they discovered something once thought to be impossible — a legitimate way to unlock Shin Akuma in the Super Nintendo version of Street Fighter Alpha 2.

Like the other ports of the classic Capcom fighting game, Shin Akuma appeared as a secret boss character in Alpha 2's Arcade Mode, but he wasn't available to use through in-game cheats or special inputs.

A modder going by the name of Gizaha was reportedly attempting to reverse engineer the code of the game earlier to make it run better when they stumbled across the requirements needed to play as the secret boss character.

It's actually fairly simple too.

The first step one needs to complete this process is to beat Alpha 2's Arcade Mode and receive a new number-one high score.

From there, enter the initials "KAJ" when prompted to record the score and then head back to the title screen.

A second controller is necessary to complete the next part, as player two needs to hold down L, X, Y and Start all together at the start screen while the first navigates and selects Versus.

Once the character select screen is loaded, either player can pick Shin Akuma by simply holding Start while choosing the character.

Akuma's gray gi will turn purple at the stage select screen if the code was successful, and then bam, you can now throw double air fireballs and do even more damage.

The process can also be used in Arcade Mode, but the game bugs out somewhat.

This lead Gizaha to believe that this way to play Shin Akuma was meant to be for the developers only in testing since they also never published the cheat code in guides nor anywhere else.

We tested this all for ourselves to confirm this is indeed true, and it does work by beating any difficulty and round settings though be careful that you do the input at the title screen and not the mode select. Otherwise, it won't go through.

A discovery like this isn't going to shatter reality since it's not the preferred way to play Alpha 2, but the fact that there are still hidden secrets buried within these old Street Fighter games certainly sparks the imagination as to what else may still be waiting to be unearthed.

Street Fighter Alpha 2 on SNES is still something of a technical marvel of its time as well considering the other ports of the game were releasing on much stronger hardware like the PlayStation and Sega Saturn back in 1996.

The sprite work isn't obviously as sharp, some things cause slowdown and there's almost a five-second wait to the start of every round while the game loads, but it's still a surprisingly enjoyable version — especially if you just want to mess around with Shin Akuma.

If you've still got a copy sitting around then you've got the rare opportunity to try out some "new content" in a fighting game that will soon be celebrating its 25th birthday.

Image source: Back to the Future.

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