Sunday, April 1, 2018

Happy Easter and April Fools! Revisiting classic Street Fighter hoaxes from EGM

Easter Eggs and April Fools Day seldom go hand and hand... But today this 2018, they coincide and crossover on April 1st as it is Easter Sunday and it's also the same day where tricks and pranks can be made in good fun. So in the spirit of both occasions and the fact that the 2018 Capcom Pro Tour is currently ongoing with some of the best Street Fighter players around the world - let's revisit some of Electronic Gaming Monthly's most infamous pranks during "April Fools".

Back in April of 1992, EGM decided to post a "trick" that would test the patience and sanity of any Street Fighter II player willing to go for it - fighting against "Sheng Long" - the supposed master of Ryu and Ken who was put into Street Fighter canon by accident thanks to a mistranslation of the word "Dragon Punch" in one of Ryu's winning quotes. As a result, EGM decided to take advantage and put out a grand hoax where the player, as Ryu, cannot take a single hit until they reach M.Bison's stage and when they reach that stage they cannot land or take hits until the tenth round. By that time, "Sheng Long" would appear and throw Bison off the arena - challenging the player to a "dual to the death".

Ironically, this hoax led to the creation and existence of Akuma/ Gouki as the "Secret Boss Character" that made his first appearance in Super Street Fighter II Turbo. That wouldn't be "Sheng Long" technically, but the pranks wouldn't stop there.

When Street Fighter III: New Generation first appeared in arcades, EGM revived the "secret" by creating a new elaborate "hoax" for the April 1997 issue - with Sheng Long "appearing in the sequel and an elaborate method explained on how to "fight him". Of course it was another ruse, and this eventually led to Akuma appearing in the updated Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact.

Eventually more than a decade later, "Sheng Long" did get his long awaited addition to the Street Fighter series - in the form of Gouken - the true master of Ryu and Ken who was supposedly killed by Akuma/ Gouki, but instead revived thanks to a new power that countered the Satsui no Hadou his younger brother used. Gouken made his first appearance as a secret boss character in Street Fighter IV, before becoming fully playable in later revisions and home releases.

Finally, there was the "AKUMA" hoax in Resident Evil 2, which EGM took full advantage of using as a "Trick of the Month" to let players play as the famed Street Fighter secret character in the 1998 survival horror sequel. That put a lot of people through stress and challenges to "unlock the demon" - another elaborate trick for April Fool's that the Electronic Gaming Monthly guys cleverly crafted.

That's pretty much it for the throwback folks. Happy Easter and April Fool's Day 2018!

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