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Taito's canceled Street Fighter clone was ahead of its time

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • September 12, 2022 at 12:46 p.m. PDT • Comments: 9

During the big fighting game boom of the early '90s, it seemed as though every developer wanted to take their own slice of Street Fighter 2's pie, and that included Taito.

The arcade giant released Global Champion (known as Kaiser Knuckle for Japan) in 1994, which was only memorable for its unfair final boss, but Guile Win Quote recently showed off the game's canceled sequel / update that would have made it so much more than a Street Fighter clone.

Dan-Ku-Ga, as the project was titled, overhauled the original Kaiser Knuckle that was years behind its competition into something that would have been ahead of its time.

Global Champion by itself didn't really do anything new that player's hadn't already seen by that point aside from maybe the interesting Crush meter, which made special attacks deal more damage when filled.

Since that plan didn't work, Taito apparently decided to get much more experimental trying to capture the attention of fighting game fans.

One of the wildest mechanics Guile Win Quote highlights about Dan-Ku-Ga is that every character can jump cancel their aerial normals on hit or block for more combos and mixups.

On top of that, characters were also given an airborne backdash, the ability to break walls and perform real juggles — and some fighters could perform unique specials out of said dash.

Plus, then somehow Taito put an actual (but basic) training mode into the arcade fighting game because why not.

Those features aren't exactly mind-blowing by today's standards, but remember, this was the middle of 1994.

The original Darkstalkers had just come out, and X-Men: Children of the Atom was still months away, with both pushed the genre in new directions for Capcom and the industry.

Despite all of this potential, Taito quietly pulled the plug on Dan-Ku-Ga after reportedly receiving subpar player impressions at limited location tests for some reason.

We only really know about Dan-Ku-Ga in the first place because someone leaked the ROM files online years ago, and it's now technically even playable online thanks to Fightcade.

Strangely enough, however, Taito would actually release Dan-Ku-Ga officially earlier this year, but it's only available on the Taito Egret 2 Mini console as a neat bonus.

We highly recommend checking out Guile Win Quote's full video below for a much closer look at what could have been almost 30 years ago.

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