In Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, Ultron and Sigma merge into one force and wipe out all organic life while Jedah tries to unleash an army of symbiotes. There are aliens, raccoons, wrestling mayors, Avengers, and so on. Also mixed up in this are Ryu and Chun-Li, who have a very lengthy career involving trading blows with warriors from other worlds and properties. It’s their thing.
The Street Fighter cast has taken part in plenty of crossovers, facing Marvel Comics, SNK, Tekken, and many others. I’m a man who loves his crossovers even though sometimes they don’t really meet their full potential. For example, Ryu was recently in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Seeing him fight the likes of Mario and Link is great, but the lack of story ends up being a waste of the character. Man, seeing Ryu and Little Mac actually interact would be pretty fun, right?
As the legendary hobo and his thunder-thighed cop friend take on a bunch of comic book supervillains, I want to look at the best moments of Street Fighter’s roster crossing paths with other folk.
My rules for this are that 1) it has to be official (so that South Park “Imaginationland” episode is off the table), and 2) it has to be a non-Capcom property. Messing with Mega Man and Asura isn’t enough here.
Here we go:
25. E. HONDA VS. THE FERRET
Malibu’s Street Fighter comic is one of my absolute favorite trainwrecks to talk about. Heck, it deserved mention simply for being the first Street Fighter crossover. Back in the early 90s, Malibu’ Street Fighter comic by Len Strazewski and Don Hillsman got the publisher in hot water with Capcom due to a plot where Balrog and Sagat beat Ken Masters presumably to death, scalped him, and sent the bloody scalp to a horrified Ryu.
Capcom cancelled the book, but Malibu at least made it to the third issue, which established the events as happening in the Malibu Comics universe. Many mourn the death of Ken Masters, including E. Honda. While reading the news story on an airplane, he gets in a minor altercation with Cal Denton, the alter-ego of Wolverine ripoff the Ferret. The two agree that Cal will tell his “friend” the Ferret to seek out Honda and see just how tough these Street Fighters are supposed to be.
Then one of Malibu’s top heroes goes and jobs out to probably the least important of the original twelve from Street Fighter II. The battle goes on for six pages and comes to an end when Honda causes Ferret to yield after the Hundred Hand Slap. Then he happily crushes his ribs with a celebratory bearhug and says that he’s ready to go avenge Ken’s murder. Ferret is left shaken and offers to hook Honda up with his Protectors teammate Amazing Man.
24. CHUN-LI VS. THE KINGPIN
In her Marvel vs. Capcom 3 ending, Chun-Li is shown handcuffing Wilson Fisk. Fisk boasts about his connections and how every authority figure worth a damn is in his pocket. Chun-Li shrugs off his threats considering she’s taken on worse organizations, and we see that prior to this, Chun-Li’s given Kingpin quite the swollen face to subdue him.
In Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the art is the same, but with different text. Chun-Li says that she’d rather stay in the Marvel world because it’s overwhelming with criminals. Kingpin reminds her that he’ll be back on the streets within a day. Her response?
“Well, then I guess I have something to do tomorrow.”
23. DHALSIM AND SHUMA GORATH
Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter is a strange game all around, but Dhalsim’s ending surely sticks out. Dhalsim has Shuma Gorath, the Lovecraftian elder god of chaos, over for dinner. This god, capable of making Stephen Strange need to change his pants, sits across the table from the yoga master and proceeds to go on about how he will bring an end to the universe. Dhalsim and his wife appear in no way alarmed by this and continue to make small talk.
22. CHUN-LI VS. RYUJI YAMAZAKI
Ryuji Yamazaki from Fatal Fury and King of Fighters is a psychotic and brutal criminal obsessed with getting his pay and breaking bones. Much of the time, he’s pestered by Hon Fu, a Hong Kong action cop based on the many roles of Jackie Chan. Yamazaki would make for an obvious enemy of Chun-Li and they play on that in Capcom vs. SNK and its sequel.
Whenever Chun-Li and Yamazaki face each other, Hon Fu jumps out of nowhere to protect Chun-Li and take down Yamazaki himself. Using his whip-like arm, Yamazaki hits Hon Fu in the butt, causing the proud cop to run off whimpering while clutching his cheeks. Chun-Li watches all this transpire with bemusement.
At least having Jackie Chan aid Chun-Li is less weird than Jackie Chan dressing as Chun-Li.
21. DHALSIM VS. MAI SHIRANUI
SNK vs. Capcom, for all its faults, at least has a fantastic gimmick where every matchup includes character-specific dialogue. Everyone has something to say about everyone else. One of the funnier instances is when Dhalsim fights Mai. Mai is voluptuous, and maybe not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
Dhalsim tries to explain to Mai that maybe if she wasn’t packing so much “unwanted fat,” she’d have more mobility as a ninja. Mai doesn’t catch on that he’s talking about her breasts and only gets offended that he would dare call her fat. Dhalsim keeps being coy about it in his insistence and soon Mai is ready to shut him up.
20. HAKAN VS. ROADBLOCK
A few years ago, IDW released a six-issue miniseries called Street Fighter X GI Joe, written by Aubrey SItterson with art by Emilio Laiso and Andrea Di Vito. The story involves a 32-man fighting tournament hosted by M. Bison and Destro, with the comic picking up during the second round.
The whole thing is a trip, but one thing that adds to the early issues is how unorthodox the roster is. Sure, you have expected guys like Ryu, Snake Eyes, Baroness, Chun-Li, Storm Shadow, and so on, but then there’s obscure entries like Hakan, Croc Master, and Rufus. In fact, the “final boss” of the story is a 25-foot-tall Rufus bursting with Psycho Power.
Anyway, the offbeat tournament leads to such matches as Hakan vs. Roadblock, which comes off as unfair at first since Roadblock gets to use a machinegun. Hakan still evades the gunfire and gets the better of his not-rhyming-in-the-comic opponent with the Oil Combination Hold.
Afterwards, Roadblock – himself a cook – finally tastes Hakan’s prized cooking oil and becomes the Turkish wrestler’s biggest fan, offering him a government contract.
19. ZANGIEF MEETS COLOSSUS
Even though his in-game rival/partner is Juggernaut, Zangief has a pretty obvious Marvel Comics counterpart. It isn’t until after Apocalypse is defeated and Zangief stands tall in X-Men vs. Street Fighter that we get to see this fateful team up come into fruition.
Russia is under attack from a rampaging Omega Red. Suddenly, we see Zangief and Colossus running together to team up against this threat. Two good-hearted powerhouses out to protect Mother Russia and all its people.
It suddenly makes sense why the following games gave Zangief the ability to give himself Colossus-like armor.
18. THE BROTHERHOOD OF EVIL MUTANTS AND HUMANS
Also from X-Men vs. Street Fighter, Magneto’s ending shows him putting down Bison and putting an end to his ill-explained plot to rule the world. As Magneto monologues, Bison’s inner-circle – Sagat, Vega, and Balrog – creep over to offer their services as his new Acolytes. Magneto uses the trio as henchmen and somehow “throws fireballs,” “flips around,” and “punches hard” give “controls magnetism” the edge needed to rule the world fairly quickly.
Regardless, it’s nice to see Magneto get over his racism when succeeding in his megalomania. Good for him!
17. SAGAT AND DHALSIM VS. PAUL PHOENIX AND MARSHALL LAW
Street Fighter X Tekken isn’t as based on the two games interacting as you’d think. It’s more about each game’s characters interacting with themselves as various teams of two race towards Antarctica to fight over a MacGuffin. The crossover clashing comes when these teams face their rivals, leading to a cutscene to set up the fight.
The oddest tag-team rivalry is between Dhalsim/Sagat (two wise warriors, one’s known for his calmness and the other for his temper) and Paul/Law (two dopes driven by greed and desperation). Unlike all the other rivalries, this one doesn’t even pretend that everyone’s on an even playing ground. Even though Paul is the dude who defeated Ogre in Tekken canon, he and Law both know that the best chance they have against Sagat is to ambush him.
By the time both teams are about to fight each other, Sagat lets out a tiger’s roar loud enough to make Paul and Law nearly piss themselves in fear.
16. TATSUNOKO VS. CAPCOM’S GIRLS GET-TOGETHER
Fighting games lend themselves well to a narrative. Quiz games…less so.
In Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, one of the animated Japanese endings has all the female characters hanging out and enjoying tea. Chun-Li, Saki Omakane, Jun, Roll, Morrigan, and Doronjo discuss Saki’s boyfriend and how they met. Saki, being from Quiz Nanairo Dreams, explains the general story via the logic of the game.
As she talks about how her boyfriend was able to defeat the Demon King’s army and win her heart by answering a bunch of trivia questions, all the women in the room get increasingly confused over whatever the hell she’s talking about.
15. STREET FIGHTERS JOIN GI JOE
I talked about the GI Joe crossover comic, but the two properties had joined together long before that. Once upon a time, Street Fighter action figures were available under the GI Joe umbrella. Not only were the original eight playable fighters part of GI Joe, but Shadaloo became a Cobra subsidiary.
The commercials for this are a wonderland of 90s cheese where Duke acts like a dumbass about his new recruits. Highlights include wondering, “What’s a Dhalsim?” before getting a long-distance kick to the face.
“What’s tougher than a Street Fighter?” he asks. “A Street Fighter’s mother?”
This does mean that Sergeant Slaughter and William “The Refrigerator” Perry are part of at least one Street Fighter continuity.
14. SKULLOMANIA SAVES THE WORLD
Retroactively, Street Fighter EX and its sequels are crossovers. Arika’s characters are their own thing and will even be getting their own fighting game sometime soon. Which sadly means we won’t be getting Cracker Jack in Street Fighter V.
In Street Fighter EX3, the endings are just the characters posing behind a block of text. Chun-Li’s writes a report to her superiors while Sakura sends her parents a letter to let them know she’s all right.
Skullomania – the awesome businessman-turned-superhero – has his ending text in the form of an announcer narrating his exploits at the end of a TV show episode. Like Tom Kenny in Power Puff Girls, basically. The narrator discusses how Skullomania thwarted Shadaloo and will continue to fight evil as we cheer him on. It ends with mention that next week is Episode 25, “Friend or foe? Enter the Skullolady!”
13. HUGO AND POISON VS. KING AND MARDUK
The cinematic trailers leading up to Street Fighter X Tekken absolutely ruled, as did the game’s intro, which was pretty much a highlight reel mixed with butt rock. One of the coolest by far is the one that shows King kicking all the available ass in Metro City.
King starts off defeating Mike Haggar in a wrestling match, which is already kind of a big deal. As he and Marduk celebrate, Poison arrives with Hugo. Hugo is quick to clothesline Marduk out of the ring and then gets his ass completely handed to him by King. Marduk faces off with Poison, leading to a wonderful ending where King picks up Hugo for the Big Swing – an act of strength that horrifies Poison – before tossing the giant into her.
At the end of the trailer, DLC team Guy and Cody arrive on the scene. Cody surveys the wreckage and notes that they missed the fun.
12. THE BAD-ANON MEETING
Ah, Wreck-It Ralph. Great movie. Early on, we see our protagonist, the off-brand Donkey Kong, go to Bad-Anon, a meeting for video game villains who have issues being evil. Other than some off-brand Mortal Kombat characters, there’s Bowser, Dr. Robotnik, that rhino guy from Altered Beast, one of the Pacman ghosts, and others. As this is an entry on a list of Street Fighter crossovers, we also have M. Bison and Zangief.
Zangief gives a little speech about how necessary it is to be a villain, and while it’s a well-delivered one, it still grinds my gears because 1) Zangief is a hero to children everywhere and doesn’t deserve to be lumped in with these guys, and 2) M. Bison has the same rad voice actor as the recent games (Gerard C. Rivers) and doesn’t get to say nearly enough.
11. RUFUS VS. BOB RICHARDS
Street Fighter X Tekken leans hard on the perfect rivalry between Rufus and Bob Richards, which is great, since they’re both newbies to their respective games. Bob likes seeing another round fighter who understands the marriage of speed and weight. Rufus continues to see Bob as being Ken Masters or, at the very least, a Ken Masters double.
Not only does this come up in both of their fight intros, but also in their cinematic trailer. Rufus fights Bob at Marshall Law’s restaurant while insisting that Ken gained a bunch of weight to copycat Rufus’ style. As the fight heats up, Rufus fails to notice that Ryu and Ken are calmly eating in the same restaurant and pay the battle no mind.
10. CHUN-LI AND THE WARRIOR KING
Ah, the Warrior King Saga. I’ve written at length about it elsewhere, but here’s the short take on perhaps the strangest Street Fighter crossover of all time. Back in the 90s, Street Fighter had its own Saturday morning cartoon on USA, along with the Mortal Kombat cartoon and a few others. One morning, a two-hour block of shows had an unannounced story that linked them all together. Street Fighter, Savage Dragon, Mortal Kombat, and Wing Commander Academy all featured a hero named the Warrior King.
The Warrior King is from Warrior World, a planet under siege from evil forces. Warrior King escapes in order to plan his counter attack. Unfortunately, his main weapon, a weather-controlling orb, falls out of his hands and he spends the run of guest appearances trying to get it back.
In Street Fighter, it falls into the hands of M. Bison, who becomes a god due to his control over nature itself. Warrior King works alongside Chun-Li to retrieve the orb and during the adventure, the two become very close. They defeat Bison and the Warrior King has to forego his newfound love in order to follow the orb into another world.
He probably should have stuck around because his adventure does not have a happy ending.
9. AKUMA AND DAN SCHOOL GOD
Even though SNK vs. Capcom has all that dialogue built into it, the endings are mostly pretty weak and have little crossover whatsoever. Ryu looks for a new challenge, Kyo fights Iori, Guile goes home to be a family man, Terry continues drifting, Bison rules the world, and so on. Nobody really reaches out to the other brand.
Except some characters have two possible endings. The final boss is either Red Arremer (Capcom) in Hell or Athena (SNK) in Heaven and events in these endings depend on who you fight. That means that in Akuma’s ending, he decides to return to Heaven to confront Athena again and challenge her boss, God himself.
Similarly, Dan’s ending has him take Athena and God under his wing to teach them his worthless Saikyo Style. God throwing punches in a pink karate gi, just as He intended.
8. DAN HIBIKI’S TRUE FORM
The Street Fighter X GI Joe comic plays up its tournament. For the first two rounds, nearly every battle is a Street Fighter character against someone from GI Joe or Cobra. There is a weird outlier in that, though. The first round (recapped in text in the appendix) has Dan defeat Sakura in an upset. That advances him into the top 16 against Chun-Li.
Not only is it strange that Dan won a fight, but that they’re having him face two Street Fighter characters in a row.
The fight goes the way you’d expect at first. Dan talks a big game and gets his face smashed in while looking like a complete jackass. It isn’t until Chun-Li goes for the Spinning Bird Kick that Dan springs to action and incapacitates her with a knee to the spine. He then reveals that he was never Dan to begin with.
Zartan, a true master of disguise, essentially got to saunter through the first two rounds by getting his opponents to underestimate the hell out of him. Bravo.
7. THE MARVEL VS. CAPCOM BBQ
Marvel’s YouTube channel used to do a series called Marvel Super Heroes: What The?! that featured stop-motion action figures poking fun at Marvel itself. To tie into the release of Marvel vs. Capcom Origins, there’s an episode about Captain America throwing a barbeque and inviting Ryu and Chun-Li. The two parties have fought enough, so they might as well have fun together.
Chun-Li briefly inquires about the lack of storyline in all of the Marvel vs. Capcom games (i.e. who entered them in those tournaments and why were they fighting?), but it’s ignored. It doesn’t take long for Ryu to get in a confrontation with Deadpool, Hawkeye, and later Hulk.
As a massive brawl breaks out, MODOK relaxes with the villains, sighing at yet another meaningless “hero vs. hero” conflict. At the same time, Dr. Strange can’t figure out how gods and mystics are getting taken down by people whose special powers are “being good at karate.”
The fight is broken up when a giant Apocalypse stomps onto the scene, smiles, and announces that he brought potato salad.
6. GUILE VS. RUGAL BERNSTEIN
Here’s some fan service 16 years in the making.
In King of Fighters ’94, the very first of the series, Rugal Bernstein is introduced while he’s showing off his statue collection. He has a zest for fighting powerful opponents, killing them, and then giving them the Han Solo treatment for the sake of having badass trophies. This is an easy way for the game to tell us that he’s EVIL.
One of those victims looks awfully familiar, though. It’s a man with brush-like hair, posing with arms crossed. In other words, it’s SNK playfully flipping off Capcom by saying that Rugal killed Guile at some point.
Fast-forward to the year 2000 with the release of Capcom vs. SNK. Whenever Guile is in a round against Rugal, that statue stands in-between them. The two take turns destroying it and get down to business.
5. STREET FIGHTERS UNITE
Once upon a time, Archie Comics did a crossover between Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man called Worlds Collide. It ruled so hard. A few years later, they did a sequel called Worlds Unite. This one starts off not only using Sonic and Mega Man’s worlds, but the world of Sonic Boom and the era of Mega Man X. Everyone has to work together to face the forces of Sigma.
About halfway into the story, Sticks from Sonic Boom falls through a random portal and ends up in the Street Fighter reality, where she goes on to explain the plot of Mega Man X to Chun-Li. Next thing you know, not only are Chun-Li, Ryu, Ken, and Guile helping fight Sigma, but Shadaloo joins their side.
The heroes decide not to stop there and bring in all sorts of Sega and Capcom characters. We get heroes from Billy Hatcher, Golden Axe, Panzer Dragoon, Alex Kidd, Nights Into Dreams, Skies of Arcadia, Ghosts ‘n Goblins, Okami, Viewtiful Joe, Monster Hunter, and Breath of Fire III! So yeah, it’s a party.
4. AKUMA VS. RUGAL BERNSTEIN
Akuma has had various rivals in the many Capcom/SNK games. SNK vs. Capcom said it was Mr. Karate, the handheld version went with Iori Yagami, and the first Capcom vs. SNK didn’t give him a rival at all. In Capcom vs. SNK 2, the developers decided to match him up with Rugal. Two very different men at the same power level.
Rugal and Akuma have a showdown and the resulting battle destroys the surrounding city. If Akuma wins, a dying Rugal impales him with his fist and forcefeeds him Rugal’s Orochi powers. You’re forced to fight Shin Akuma and even if you do stop him, a cutscene shows that the Orochi powers simply refuse to let Akuma die.
If Rugal wins, on the other hand, he also impales Akuma, but to suck out and absorb his Dark Hadou powers. God Rugal (or Ultimate Rugal) is your boss fight and in defeat, his power overwhelms him. The Akuma essence that he absorbed proceeds to take over, turning him into a full-on, well-dressed demon.
3. A SHORYUKEN LIKE SOMETHING UNTO IRON
In Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Ryu’s ending puts him in an underground fighting tournament in Madripoor where his opponent turns out to be Iron Fist. Sweet ending, but with Iron Fist showing up in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, they need to change it up a bit. Understandably, Ryu gets a new ending.
Ryu is shown about to put on a red cloth, presumably his iconic headband, while musing that he’s finally found the correct path after so many years training and wandering. Akuma pops in for his usual, angry, “How dare you turn your back on your inner darkness?!” freakout challenge and it’s then that we see that Ryu wasn’t holding his headband after all.
Instead, Ryu has become the new Iron Fist, complete with bandana mask and chest tattoo, and has zero problem teaching Akuma a lesson with an Iron Shoryuken.
Luckily, I’m not the only one who digs this alternate take on Ryu. Someone altered Capcom vs. SNK’s Ryu sprite to make Iron Fist Ryu a reality in MUGEN.
2. AKUMA VS. HEIHACHI MISHIMA
It’s one thing to be a guest character in another game, but for Akuma to be revealed as a major part of Tekken canon is absolutely bonkers. As a favor to Kazumi Mishima – wife of Heihachi – Akuma was asked decades ago to protect the world by killing both Heihachi and his son Kazuya. Being that Akuma likes powerful foes, he decided to wait out that contract and let those two jerks power up over time.
The showdown between Akuma and Heihachi in Tekken 7’s story mode is really well done. Akuma confronts Heihachi, the two fight for a round, and then some Jack robots interrupt and get taken apart. Akuma finally introduces himself and explains why he’s there, they fight it out again, they punch each other so hard they both go flying back, and then they do the final round.
In the final round, Heihachi’s attacks have plenty of super armor attached, making him much more powerful. This time, it ends with Akuma hitting his trademark Raging Demon, which does a ton of damage, but doesn’t outright take down Heihachi. The two attack at the same time and Akuma ends up the last man standing. He walks off, thinking Heihachi dead, but even then, the old man survives.
It’s great, because it shows Akuma the victor while Heihachi still gets badass points for not only surviving the onslaught, but for nearly shrugging off Akuma’s ultimate attack.
Akuma would go on to fight Kazuya a couple times, but it’s not as good. Mainly because we never get a real ending out of either fight. Plus that Devil Kazuya vs. Akuma boss battle is total bullshit.
1. MARVEL VS. CAPCOM 3’S PROLOGUE
So originally, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was supposed to have a story mode. That was quietly brushed under the rug, though. The only story we got outside of the endings was the special edition’s tiny comic book and these completely badass prologue trailers. The first of which was also used as an announcement trailer.
In the beginning, we see Ryu fighting Wolverine on a rooftop, while Iron Man dogfights Morrigan, Chris Redfield tries to hunt the Hulk, and Deadpool and Dante empty hundreds of bullets at each other. Ryu starts off hallucinating for a second, laying on his back and seeing a hand reaching down to him. Personally, I like to think he’s flashing back to his fight with Sagat from the first Street Fighter. Regardless, there is no hand and instead he has to continue fighting this berserk enemy.
Through four trailers, we get 11 minutes of absolute beauty. The animation looks fantastic and despite there being no dialogue whatsoever, there’s so much personality shining through.
There are many awesome moments in there. Chris catching Morrigan out of the air. Chun-Li rescuing a nameless helicopter pilot while Captain America protects them from Super-Skrull. Iron Man saving Viewtiful Joe’s life and Joe giving him a thumbs up. Chris coming to realize that Hulk isn’t the enemy. Thor having an epic battle with Dormammu in the middle of a city while Mike Haggar and Felicia desperately try to save a political billboard.
Then there’s the final part, where Ryu passes out and has his hallucination again. This time, Wolverine is there to grab his hand and help him up. Together, the two run into action and we get a still of the heroes preparing their last stand to heroic music. It’s absolutely killer.
…Man, who’s going to grab Ryu’s hand now?
Gavin Jasper is very ready for more Skullomania in this world. Follow Gavin on Twitter!