How Street Fighter 2’s mythical 10-0 matchup was finally proven true

How Street Fighter 2's mythical 10-0 matchup was finally proven true

One of Street Fighter 2’s most enduring myths has finally been proven true 30 years after its debut.

The myth is that Street Fighter 2: World Warrior, launched in 1991, contains a 10-0 clash between Zangief and E. Honda.

The 10-0 match phrase is used by some in the fighting game community to describe a fight between two specific characters where one is so dominant that they always win in a best of 10 match – no matter what. the opponent with the weaker character tries to do. do.

The phrase has come to be used to describe any very favorable game, but this myth relates to an actual 10-0 clash, where Honda is literally powerless to avoid defeat.

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Here’s what the myth describes: At the start of a turn, Zangief immediately performs his famous Spinning Piledriver throw. His reach in Street Fighter 2: World Warrior – according to the myth – is such that Zangief is able to grab Honda and perform the move from the round starting positions. So, in the first round, fight! SPD, slap! Nothing Honda can do to escape.

That’s bad enough, but what makes it a 10-0 game is that Zangief is then able to follow that lap starting SPD with another SPD as Honda rises from the ground. Street Fighter 2 does not have a reverse function – that is, when you come out of an inactionable state, such as knockdown, you cannot perform a special attack.

So in this game, if Zangief gets the SPD knockdown, he can just walk over to Honda, force Honda to block an attack and then throw Honda again (called a “tick” throw). Honda can’t even jump out of the throw like it can in modern fighting games, because in Street Fighter 2 the frames before the jump are disposable.

The myth is that if Zangief starts off with a Honda SPD can’t escape, the round is already over as Zangief is just going to loop this confusion over and over again. There is nothing Honda can do to escape defeat – a real 10-0 game.

It sounds absurd and completely broken – and it is. But remember, Street Fighter 2 was the first fighting game of its kind (he invented combos by accident!), With a slew of bugs and other quirks. The video below, from the fighting game TheoryFighter YouTube channel, explains this iconic Street Fighter 2 10-0 match, and well worth a watch for more information.

This Zangief vs Honda 10-0 match has been known to some veterans of the fighting game community for years, and every now and then prominent members of the community would mention it on podcasts and the like, but there was no never proof. Memories fade, events merge into each other, and over time the community has collectively forgotten the origin of this myth – or even if it was real. Most agreed that this was an early version of Street Fighter 2 – maybe the first. As FGC commentator and historian James Chen put it on Twitter early May: “It was supposed to be the very first version of the game. Maybe it’s something my memory has spoiled for me because others have told me it exists, like I have it. already seen. O_o “

Determined to find out the truth, TheoryFighter tested as many versions of Street Fighter 2 as he could for this starting SPD. This didn’t work in the original Street Fighter 2: World Warrior, with Zangief’s SPD lineup not far enough for an early-round throw against Honda. Testing all later versions of Street Fighter 2 via emulation also showed that this was not possible. There was no recorded footage from this 10-0 game on the internet. It seemed, at least according to TheoryFighter, to be a myth that could have remained forever proven.

Determined to sort this out once and for all, on May 1, 2021, TheoryFighter set up a £ 100 bounty on Twitter: the first person to capture video footage and send the ROM it was made on would win.


I’ve heard of a version of SF2 World Warrior where Zangief can boot the EHonda SPD. We talked about it, but I’ve never seen one – never.

The first person to find it, capture video footage, and send the ROM to me, I’ll Venmo you £ 100.?

– TheoryFighter (@TheoryFighter) May 1, 2021

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On May 13, 2021, the bonus was over. Twitter user @ ElenoreHU3BR responded by saying that they had managed to hit the SPD since the start of the round in the Super Nintendo beta of Street Fighter 2, provide pictures and a link to the ROM.

It turns out that another user reported the find at the same time, a fan by the name of Dabenport who hit the Street Fighter Alpha 2 Revival Discord less than 20 minutes after his tweet was posted by @ ElenoreHU3BR.

TheoryFighter has played this beta of Street Fighter 2 on SNES and has confirmed that SPD early in the round is possible. “According to my tests, it was inescapable,” he told Eurogamer. TheoryFighter has now donated £ 100 to @ ElenoreHU3BR and Dabenport.

So, to top it off, here it is, the SPD start turn key of death.

Honda holds up all the time.

– TheoryFighter (@TheoryFighter) May 18, 2021

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For TheoryFighter, this is an important step for the fighting game community, and finally puts to bed a “myth” that has been floating around for 30 years.

“I originally heard about it on the Shoryuken forums,” he told Eurogamer. “I played Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo for a long time (that’s the game that led me to become fighters) and just being on the stage you would always hear stories of some of those old versions breaking up. of SF2, in particular World Warrior. “

It seems unlikely that a beta version of Street Fighter 2 on console would be played by enough people to launch a myth that would become so prevalent in the fighting game community – and last for 30 years. So how did it start?

TheoryFighter has two theories:

“At this point, the original versions of the fighters were incredibly inaccurate compared to their arcade counterparts, but these inaccuracies were not documented online as they are now. So it’s possible that word of mouth will spread from a handful of people playing the SNES version as real matchmaking advice without understanding how bad these ports are.

“My other theory is that it actually existed on the arcade version. People kept talking about it and if the beta of the arcade version is still half as broken as the SNES port, anything is possible because this game is a complete mess. Problem is, we don’t have an Arcade Beta ROM dump, and until someone finds one, we’ll never know. “

Of course, now that this early-turn SPD has been found in the beta, it’s possible that an unknown “tech” could be found in the same beta to defeat it. As TheoryFighter notes, the beta is “massively unexplored compared to the more modern accepted version of World Warrior.” For now, however, we have closure: Street Fighter 2’s legendary 10-0 game has finally come true.

Modern fighting games are of course designed to avoid these kinds of situations. And fixes are being released to eradicate things like “infinite combos” and other broken mechanics. For TheoryFighter, the discovery of the legendary Street Fighter 2 10-0 match shows how far fighting games have evolved over the past 30 years.

“World Warrior is a game where combos were a problem, pre-jump frames were disposable, and inversions weren’t there,” he says. “These are all universally present in the current generation of games to avoid such situations.”

And after? Are there any other Street Fighter-related myths that TheoryFighter plans to explore? Are there any other fighting game mysteries left to solve?

“I love old fighting games,” he says. “One of the best things about them is the way their issues define them and create some of the most compelling examples of gameplay to emerge, which actually work competitively (I admit, the SNES World Warrior port, not so much).

“As the community increasingly understands fighting games as a genre, our ability to shatter the old ones also increases and I will always continue this journey of exploration while continuing to compete – that is. the best.

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