While the other victory screens on this list have either been memorably badass, silly or both, this is the only one that could justifiably be called "legendary." This single, mysterious sentence - which Ryu would repeat like a mantra with every victory - started a rumor that spread through arcades like wildfire: Sheng Long was Ryu's master, and to truly win the game, you had to fight him. The rumor culminated in an infamous hoax in the April 1992 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly, which "revealed" that - if you played as Ryu, won every match without being hit and then went 10 rounds with final boss M. Bison without either of you hitting each other - Sheng Long would show up and plant a foot in your ass.
The blurb at the end of the article, which credited the trick to W.A. Stokins ("waste tokens") of Fuldigen, HA, was a dead giveaway. So was the boxout at the bottom of the page inviting readers to try and spot that issue's April Fool's joke. But tons of gamers apparently don't understand jokes, and so the trick was reprinted in other publications as factual, and Sheng Long started showing up in comic books as Ryu and Ken's mysterious teacher.
So what was really the source of all the mystery? A mistranslation, that's what. For whatever reason, a couple of the Kanji symbols in Ryu's Japanese victory screen were just transliterated from their Chinese pronunciation, instead of actually translated from their Japanese meaning. So instead of "Dragon Punch," we got the Chinese equivalent, "Sheng Long."
But what the hell - that screwup gave us the most memorable April Fool's joke in videogame history, and ultimately resulted in the creation of Akuma as a stand-in for Sheng Long. Who then gave us that weird quote about how much he likes to smack babies, or whatever. It's weird how these things come full circle.
Mar 17, 2008