Well, according to me anyway.
I love fighting games. I've been playing them my whole life. One of my very first memories of playing games period is playing Street Fighter II in my local bowling alley. It was mind-blowing and addicitive, and I haven't stopped since. There is so much charm to these titles, partially because of the great gameplay, and partially because of the (sometimes) great sound design.
Let's not get it twisted. Not every title had super-cool sound effects or great voice work. But you know what? That's as much a part of my fondness for these games as anything else. Hopefully you'll browse through this list and see a favorite or two. These are the 10 clips (in no particular order) that I just can't forget, both totally awesome and laughably bad!
1. Heaven or Hell? Duel 1! Let's Rock! - Guilty Gear
Don't lie. You knew it was going to be on here somewhere. This was, quite literally, one of the first things I heard about Guilty Gear when it was first introduced to me! I think that, for the most part, fighting game announcers had been pretty tame up until this point. Guilty Gear threw that out the window and then burned the house to the ground. Heaven or Hell? Seriously? It's both cheesy and awesome at the same time, just like the music that inspired most of the game. If you're going to have a game with so much Heavy Metal swagger, it's a must to push it to the extreme. These days, crazy intros are the norm in the "anime-fighter" circle. Go look. I'll wait. Then again, you might just want to wait a bit. I think another one of these intros just might make the list...
2. Chicken! - Tekken 3
Tekken 3 holds a special place in my heart. Not only do I consider it one of the finest 3D fighters ever, it is also easily packed with the most extra content I can remember. One of my favorite modes was Tekken Force, a 2D beat-'em-up using the Tekken cast! Coming from a fan of all things brawler, this mode was not only incredibly competent, but hilariously fun! Not only did they pay homage to the cult of the street-meat, they immortalized it with a clip that should be in every beat-'em-up from now on. Next time you eat a consumable in a game, think of how much better it would be if the narrator just screamed the food at you. Trust me, it's a lot.
Thank you, Harada. I owe you some KFC.
3. Tatsumaki Senpukyaku! - Ryu, Street Fighter II
Wait, what? That can't be what he said, can it?
Thanks to Street Fighter II, I learned that Japanese words are incredibly tough for most people to understand! I can't think of a single person I know who knew what Ryu was screaming as he hurricane kicked across the stage without looking it up. I was convinced for the longest time that the voice actor couldn't say the word right and was just making something up (See Also: Street Fighter II: The Movie: The Game.) It sounded all the world like "Tatsblackjackburukyack" to me, and that's what I went with until I knew better. It's not Ryu's fault, though. Words are hard.
4. M. Bison's Alpha Win Quote - Street Fighter Alpha
Notice that I didn't put what he actually says up there? It's because I literally just found out myself! This is one of those awesome sounding lines that I just mush-mouthed and nobody ever really called me out on it. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have known either. I actually had to do some pretty deep digging (Thanks, GameFAQ's!) but I found out the actual line is "Heh, neruiwa!" According to that same source, it means something like "Hah, too slow!" Pretty kick-ass, and it makes what was always a really great sounding line even cooler. Hat's off to Tomomishi Nishimura, Bison's Japanese voice actor, for making Bison sound like a total bad-ass, even though I had no idea what he was saying!
5. Urien - Street Fighter III: Third Strike
So this was totally going to be about a specific quote when I was dreaming this post up, but I started listening to all of Urien's voice samples and I'll be damned if they aren't all awesome. I know, I know, it's "supposed" to be a list of my ten favorite, but it's my list and I'll do what I want! Seriously though, just listen to 'em all and tell me that you can choose just one. Urien already just looks like a dude who would ruin your day, but having him yell "GET READY TO DIE!" before you fight? That's one way to liquify your opponents bowels. He's not trying to knock you out; he wants you dead. Goes to show you that even in your underwear, you can still be a total bad-ass.
6. Geese Howard's Home Improvement - Capcom Vs. SNK 2
Geese Howard isn't such a bad guy, really. He just wants to help make Southtown the best gosh-darn city in the U-S-of-A. He's got a solid work ethic, and a never-say-die attitude (literally.) Best of all, he's not afraid to dig in and get his hands dirty. Just listen to him: "I'll stain my house with your bread."
That's not what he said? Maybe it was "I'll paint my house with your bread?" Or "I'll paint my house with your blood?"
No? "I'll stain my hands with your blood?" Oh. Oh, I get it now. Maybe Geese isn't such a nice guy after all...
7. Tiger! - Sagat, Street Fighter II
Tiger! Tiger! Tiger! Tiger! Tiger Uppercut! Tiger! Tiger! Tiger! Tiger Uppercut! Tiger! Tiger! Tiger! Tiger! Tiger!
Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about. Sagat was everyone's first harsh lesson about zoning characters. With high and low fireballs, this was about all you'd hear over the other sounds of the arcade. It's become nearly as iconic as the Hadouken within the fighting game community and still brings me back to the smoky, sweaty, musty arcade days of my youth. God bless the man with the eyepatch. You taught me well.
8. GAHNFRAAME! - Sol Badguy, Guilty Gear
What's a main character without a great special move? Not much. Thankfully, Sol Badguy (yes, that's his name), the anti-hero of Guilty Gear has an incredibly iconic fireball at his disposal, the Gunflame. Even better, it's got a great soundbite to go along with it. You can thank Daisuke Ishiwatari for that. Who's that, you might ask? Oh, no one really. He just DESIGNED EVERYTHING ABOUT THE GAME, WROTE THE MUSIC, AND DID SOL'S VOICE ACTING. So yeah, if you like anything about Guilty Gear, you've got him to thank. Rock on, Daisuke.
9. No more games for Magneto - Marvel vs. Capcom 2
In the grand scheme of things, there aren't too many mutants more powerful than Magneto. He's considered an Omega-level mutant, to be precise, an extremely short list of heroes and villains that includes incredibly heavy-hitters like Phoenix. With that in mind, it's probably a bad idea to get him riled up. Seriously, when the kid gloves come off, bad stuff starts to happen, like shifting the magnetic poles. So when he tells you that "Playtime has ended?" Pack up, move on, hide out at your granny's for a while. You may want to change names. Shit is about to hit the industrial fan.
10. YOU CAN'T ESCAPE!!! - Alex, Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
Do you remember the feeling of Hulkamania runnin' wild? Were you there when the Hulkster body slammed Andre the Giant in front of Madison Square? Alex was. He's not gonna' let you forget it either. He's ripping his shirt off and putting you down for the big 1-2-3. Trying to run from the fight? Want to get out of the squared circle? No chance. He's coming off the turnbuckle and head-butting your face into mush. It was foolish of you to try and get away. You. Can't. Escape.
Oh yeah! That was fun! So how about you? What are some of your favorite voice samples from fighters? I have so many more, but I want to hear (literally) what you guys and gals love!