The mystery of Blanka

Street Fighter the Movie the Game released in arcades nearly 25 years ago, and it continues to be a game that sees new discoveries thanks to a dedicated playerbase. Most of this revolves around the crazy technology for the game, but we’re finding this includes secrets tucked away in the game.

I was recently toying with the single-player mode, and, by chance, the character Blanka jumped onto the screen, charged his electricity a few times and then jumped back off the screen. The presentation makes it akin to the Dan Forden “Toasty!” cameo seen in some of the Mortal Kombat titles.

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But, the thing is, after numerous times spent streaming Street Fighter the Movie the Game, recording videos for the game and digging into the weird, yet rewarding juggling tech, I have never seen this happen before. It took me by such a surprise that I started recording the rest of my playthrough and noting each time Blanka would do a run-in.

A piece of the video was shared on Twitter thinking that others would chime in and share times they witnessed the Blanka cameo, but the result was unexpected – no one had any account of ever seeing Blanka jump in during the single-player game mode.

In the bizarre tale of the development of Street Fighter the Movie the Game, it has been stated that footage for the character was filmed for the game, but there was not enough time for the developers to clean the images and get them playable in the game. All of this footage was taken in by Capcom, which elected to develop its own game to bring Street Fighter the Movie the Game to the Sony Playstation and SEGA Saturn. The home version has Blanka introduced as a playable character, but, on consoles, Street Fighter the Movie (which is given the sweet name of Street Fighter Real Battle on Film for its Japanese release) is a completely different video game.

Still, data remains for Blanka inside the arcade version, with some reporting there is still an unused ending sequence tucked away for the character. The arcade machine, as was common for its time, placed items in its diagnostics, leading players to believe there was a way to control Super Bison, and displaying stats about Blanka and Fei Long. Having such data available in the diagnostics presses fans of arcade games to keep pumping and quarters, gossiping and reading games magazines in search of elusive secrets.

And it seems talk about Blanka in the arcade version of Street Fighter the Movie the Game isn’t new, with older sources such as FAQs on GameFAQs speaking of Blanka as if he were the game’s “Reptile” – a secret character hidden in the game requiring a lot of skill to find and fight.

What seems to be true, though, is you can reliably trigger the Blanka cameo by going on a 50-win streak in the game’s versus mode (or at 50 wins single-player if the game rolls over to the arcade mode). I tried an online method where you play versus mode up to a certain point and then switch over to single-player mode in an attempt to fight a CPU Blanka character, but it merely triggers the cameo.

So … how did I trigger the Blanka appearance multiple times during a fresh single-player game, and how did this occur only a few wins into the playthrough? It seems that nobody knows, and I’ve failed to replicate the experience of that playthrough. The clincher is, not only did Blanka make a random one-off appearance, he jumped onto the stage about five different times during that playthrough!

One of the developers, Alan Noon, has been vocal about his involvement in the Street Fighter the Movie the Game for Incredible Technologies. He noted the tweet with the comment “Blanka appearances +1” in a nod to the diagnostic counter in the game’s menu. However, he said, as someone who was involved with the art aspect of the game, he is unaware of the programming that went into the game to guess the methods that spurred Blanka’s appearance in the single-player mode.

At the end of the day, I suppose it’s something that doesn’t matter because it doesn’t impact the gameplay in any way. Still, maybe it brings the excitement of arcade secrets gossip into the year 2021, and it’s another secret to chase after in a 25-year-old game that didn’t get a fair shake during its release.

I personally love the fact we’re talking about Street Fighter the Movie the Game in the current day, and we’ve finally got this gem of a fighting title featured on the site!

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Categories: GemuBaka Feature, GemuBaka Random

Author:indiesnack

Indie Snack is a video gaming Web site focusing on independent developers and game releases. Indie Snack will also soon have services made available to independent developers to include tools aiding them in public relations and game marketing.

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