Sometimes in fighting games, CPU opponents reach God-like levels. They get to a point where they are seemingly unstoppable - executing combos flawless and taking absolutely no damage, while the player struggles to register a single hit.
Although there are a number of retro fighting games that behave like this, one of the biggest offenders is arguably Street Fighter II. A "revelatory" video has now emerged online, reportedly exposing the game's CPU opponents as a bunch of cheats.
This clip, by the fighting game YouTuber Desk, explains how computer opponents in this Capcom classic can essentially do whatever they like and even have access to unblockable attacks. Get the full rundown above and tell us if you've been on the receiving end of this yourself.
I suppose it had to be unfair otherwise if would have been exposed for being a short game- like a lot of other games at the time.
Still felt good when you finally beat it as a kid though.
The only way to beat the game is to be cheaper than the AI.
Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo on the SF Collection is ridiculously hard. Even the first opponent can destroy you in seconds if you're not on your game.
I bloody KNEW it!
Now i want this is in the next Super Nintendo Switch Online Drop when ever it happens....
Well now we could all say that Street Fighter II did had blood in it. When CPU Chun-Li kicked Player 1 Ryu in the face with that roundhouse, you can see the splat of blood flying, same thing for the Blanka bites.
The only problem with fighting game AI is that it doesn't teach how to play well against humans. The zoning and footsies game is totally different.
The awful music in this video made me turn it off after a minute
I never really played any fighting games apart from Tekken when I was younger and I managed to unlock a cpuple of characters on this on my dads laptop, first PC or laptop we ever had, it sucked so bad but I enjoyed SF 2.
I could cheap shot my way thru using Chun Li's medium punch until i got close enough it'd use a throw instead. I manged to get the better ending by never losing a round.
Mortal Kombat bosses were infuriatingly cheap, too.
When I was a kid, I used to use a 3rd party controller that had a slow motion button (it just paused and un-paused really fast) and it made ME invincible against any difficult fights in Street Fighter 2 and even Turbo on the fastest setting. It’s like I had an extra second to react to every single move the CPU was making.
Anyone who has even a cursory interest in 2D fighters owes it to themselves to subscribe to Desk. That channel is some straight gold.
I think everyone knew this. Arcades use to have editions (also change difficulty and other settings) where if the cpu grabs you, that’s game over as they are not letting you go. Charging players getting out their moves even without charging or the infinite 100 hands slaps/kicks. Eventhubs had a similar video a while back.
Still a fantastic game.
@OorWullie True the difficulty of that game is awful. The fairest AI in the SF2 games is propbably in Hyper Fighting, which is the SF2 Turbo episode on Snes.
@construx cheaper than Street Fighter's in fact!
At the video arcade once I saw Bison torpedo towards my friend and take HALF a life bar from him. Just an example. I guess I just don't need to talk about the combos and defenseless attacks which should be totally blockable.
The SF version I thought was the most reasonable one in terms of difficulty was SF Champion Edition on the SNES
I thought this was known lol.
Same with Mortal Kombat... if you start Novice mode.. the first 3 characters can be defeated but at 4th you will start really having troubles. of course you lose and come back and when you lose like 2 times or something somehow the CPU difficulty is adjusted and you can defeat them. At least MK showed in Deadly Alliance the difficulty of the CPU on later stages by showing the % at each battle. Those % were lowered when you lost a battle so it became easier. That's how it works I guess... Kinda not fair... if I choose Novice level I expect ALL battles to be at that lowest level
There was some NES sports game where humans can only pass to a teammate on screen... But the computer will pass to a teammate out of screen.
Mk arcade is drastically higher difficulty... Until you lose. Then it becomes easier until you win. Thanks for the quarter.
@OorWullie and Akuma is essentially invincible
I totally suck at SFII anyway, but I did always feel like the AI was cheating (mostly because it always seemed to know the exact move to use to avoid and counter whatever I had just pressed).
I knew it! All the moves that took 2 seconds to charge (like Guile’s sonic boom) they could just spam over and over.
@OorWullie I'm pretty sure Super Turbo had a bug that set the difficulty to the highest level no matter what you chose
Always suspected this street fighter 3 third strike is guilty of this too although it does have a more aggressive AI Gill is really cheap sometimes
Guess that means you gotta Get Gud
I knew it! Aargh
90's fighting games are notorious for their awful computer AI that cheats. Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo is probably the worst, that game is literally broken if you try to play the computer. SNK also had their fair share of cheap, cheating AI.
@glaemay Yeah it's usually pretty standard for me to lower the difficulty in these games to their lowest settings, and even then they can be brutally hard.
I'll never forget one time I was playing SFII: Champion Edition in the arcade...I was using Ken, and I fought my way all the way to Bison on a single credit. It got to the third round and I was winning for a minute, then at some point I jumped backward twice and Bison was walking toward me. The instant I jumped the second time, he launched into a Psycho Crusher which hit and killed me. I was like...wait a minute, you have to charge back to do that...
That's when I first learned the AI was crazy broken in some games.
Neo Geo Fighters were something else completely back in the mid to late 90s.
I am surprised anyone that played any fighting game from back then didn't realize that the CPU cheated. They always knew what you were going to do and how to counter it perfectly. Akuma was always the worst offender I knew, along with Bison at the end of the game. About the only way to consistently beat them was to be random enough or just use goofy moves that confused the AI.
But it was still frustrating to have a perfect run killed by what you knew was cheap CPU tricks. Link's Shadow at the end of Zelda II is another perfect example of this. I could never beat him until I learned to go stand in a corner and jump/duck attack. The AI doesn't know how to respond and will just walk into it's own death.
@Hordak oh the memories 👍🏾
@TurboTEF Unbeatable boss syndrome is what they were infamous for, looking back the cheap CPU has a lot to do with why a lot of old fighters have aged poorly.
Yup. Spamming. That is all the AI did. I really didn't enjoy fighting games until Marvel Vs. Capcom where they allowed me to press a button for a fireball attack. Dragonball Z Budokai 2 and 3 improved upon that by removing those diagonal steps to perform an attack.
geez how do you even learn what works against a player, i'm thinking how someone not being able to practice taking advantage of moves that trip
Desk is godlike! He is a legend in the fighting game community
I'm pretty sure every old school fighting game had a way to make the AI cheat you, the trick was finding ways to exploit the AI regardless of its cheats. MK2 in particular had the most fun exploits for me.
@Gs69 SF3 Gill gave me PTSD in the Dreamcast days
I've been telling friends for years and occasionally in internet posts like this that Street Fighter 2 definitely cheated the player. I learned some thilngs from the video. The way charge characters cheat is terrible, and I noticed that one back in the '90s. I never liked charge characters, as a result. One thing the video didn't cover that is absolutely true as well is that the game uses the player inputs to trigger CPU attacks. This is most obvious against Bison. And thanks to save states, you can repeat the same scenario over and over and see that it's not just a timing issue. In some scenarios, the CPU will wait for the player to make a move and it will trigger the CPU attack which will come out instantly and ahead of the player attack and it will have priority. That's one of the main reasons Bison is so tough. The way to consistently beat the CPU in Street Fighter 2 is to learn the routines and exploit them. It becomes more of a puzzle game than a fighting game in that way.
I've seen other games cheat as well. In Konami's X-Men, when boss characters are nearly defeated, they become invulnerable for one hit to give them a higher chance of hitting a counterattack and, ideally, forcing players to put in another quarter before the stage ends. I still love that game, though, despite its cheating ways.
Not only in fighting game but CPU also cheat in other games too like in Super Mario Kart. If Mario or Luigi is your rival, they'll immediately use the invincibility star man power for literally ever unless you go way pass them or move away from them. Also if you're in the lead and guys like Koopa Troopa, Yoshi, Princess Toadstool, Toad, Donkey Kong Jr., or Bowser are behind you they will spam you with multiple projectiles flying your way.
Toadstool and Toad's projectile aren't too bad but damn Bowser, Yoshi, and Koopa Troopa were really annoying especially since you will spin-out and lose speed momentum if you got hit. Worst case scenario is if you play 150cc and on a course where your kart could fall such as Ghost Valley and Rainbow Road, they will gang up on you and push you into the pit while they immediately use inifinite feather jump to avoid such an ordeal.
@sdelfin Yeah I think all of us who grew up playing these 90's fighters eventually approached them like a puzzle game in order to decipher how to actually beat the AI. I made the same discoveries as you did, I noticed how the AI will always wait for me to do something at times and how whenever I would lose it would usually be due to the way they would perfectly react to whatever I did. Eventually I developed an approach where I simply wait for the AI to attack, combo them as much as I can then jump back and wait for them to get up and start moving before I launch into another combo. You can't win with straight up offense for the reasons demonstrated here.
I still beat all the home versions of sf 2 on max stars anyway. Bison was the worst no charge with nonstop kick attacks in the original.
After that the cheap ai was easy in the other versions.
Most competitive games against the CPU will cheat. It's the only way they can beat skilled humans. Of course, you can learn the ways that they cheat and ultimately still win.
Obviously. It was such a cheat. I used to get so mad back then playing SF2.
This is why i prefer Tekken.
Same also with DBZ Fighting.. when you play arcade mode the first 3 battles are ok. But the 4th battle suddenly it's harder to beat the CPU. It became also very annoying. After that I couldn't be bothered to play. I really dislike stressing while playing a game. I choose a mode normal I expect until the end all battles are at that level cap and not randomly suddenly way harder. That's why I dislike fighting games. you select a difficulty and still you get beat up... I guess since it has arcade mode they have to gain some money so put more coins at arcade.... something like that
And here I thought I just had become sucky with the game since childhood. But it's not me, it's the game.
@construx I remember beating Goro back in the day felt like a huge accomplishment! 😆 I remember Ultimate on the Genesis being ridiculously hard! I remember BEGGING for that game! My mom finally gave in. I was so crushed after finally getting the game, only to slowly realize how hard it was and how bad I was at playing the game. 😞 I I remember having an easier time with part 4 and the one on N64. I forgot which one it was. It had a big roster of fighters to choose from.
Now I feel a lot better after losing to the arcade of Championship Edition and then later on the Super Street Fighter II arcade on the Sealink ferry to France once upon a time.
Still, cheapness has always been a part of Street Fighter (strong kick slides anyone? 😝)
SFII isn't even the worst offender when it comes to cheating AI. I would have like to have known what the setting were for the video though. I wouldn't really consider some of those cheats if they vary with difficulty. Reading inputs is always cheating though.
@outsider83 Or Shao Khan beating you in 3.5 seconds with unbeatable combos... Ah, good times.
I remember buying Mortal Kombat for the Nintendo DS to be able to play MK on the road - and then selling it the next day because difficulty was that frustrating...
Thankfully, the PS Vita version of 9(?) is among the bests so I can now play MK anytime. (I didn't like X because it looked too brutal to me so I won't buy 11 for the Switch anytime soon..)
What about when the CPU in Super Mario Kart cheats? It infuriates me!
I don't remember the AI cheating like that, but that was probably toned down for home console releases, and I almost never player Street Fighter games at the arcades. This does, however, remind me of trying unsuccessfully to throw AI-controlled opponents in Mortal Kombat 1 and having my characters merely punch them in the chest no matter how close they were.
This is not specific to fighting games, this was common in old games in general. Mario Kart would be a prime example.
Luckily, game design evolved a lot since then, CPU enemies don't need to cheat anymore nowadays, they are just better designed.
MK 1, 2 and 3 were definitely the worst offenders and incredibly cheap. The cpu reading of your inputs was blatant. I never completed 2 or 3, even on novice. Was still a great 2 player game, but I do remember thinking at the time it was broken.
SF2 also cheated, but somehow seemed less blatant call Mortal Kombat.
Mario Kart was another rage fuelled experience on 150cc. Even the thwomps ted their descent to get you, whilst the cpu literally drove right on through!
I’m a loner, Dotty, a rebel, and now you know why I don’t bother playing SFII. 😂
I don’t know, did MK have anything that matched the CPU cheating as Zangief and E. Honda?
Tap here to load 58 comments
Leave A Comment
Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...