Before Street Fighter IV There Was Street Fighter IV Flashback

By Spencer . February 17, 2009 . 9:38am


Tons of people are about to play Street Fighter IV today. However, another concept for “Street Fighter IV” exists in design documents. David Sirlin, Lead Designer of Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, was part of a pitch for Street Fighter IV Flashback.


fbcLike the Street Fighter IV that shipped, Street Fighter IV Flashback is a 2D fighting game with most of the original cast and two new characters. One of the major twists in Street Fighter IV Flashback’s system is the flashback meter which lets players reverse time for up to four seconds by holding light punch + light kick. Flashbacks can be neutralized by taunting which sets a timestamp that players can’t rewind past. In addition to reversing time other time powers like speeding up/slowing down opponents and recording/stocking specials were on the table.


Since Street Fighter IV Flashback was being considered for consoles, specifically the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, the document proposed an optional New Millennium control scheme with four buttons and simplified special moves. Instead of doing a quarter-circle forward roll plus punch for a hadouken players would hold forward + punch. Ryu’s dragon punch was mapped to down + punch and a hurricane kick could be done by pressing back + punch. This control scheme was later adopted for Tatsunoko vs. Capcom. Players could opt for “classic” characters which would be balanced with the “new millennium” characters and easier controls.


As an awesome bonus Street Fighter IV Flashback would also include a museum of Street Fighter games with true arcade emulation as unlockable items. On a single disc you would have Street Fighter 1 all the way up to Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike with every installment in between. This includes the entire Street Fighter Alpha series and a 3D enhanced remake of Super Street Fighter II Turbo too. There are other nods to Street Fighter fans like training in Dan Hibiki’s dojo and a tournament mode that included an option for cash prizes.


sf4fbStreet Fighter IV Flashback also had a single player mode called Ryu’s Journey. Taking a departure from traditional Street Fighter games this single player mode had platforming elements, God of War style 3D camera, playable cutscenes a la Resident Evil 4, and “an actual story worth telling.”


The tale goes through Ryu’s life in a flashback after an adult Sakura seeks him out. Players learn new moves along the way starting with the taunt command after beating Dan. You play key moments in Ryu’s past like scarring Sagat in Street Fighter 1 working up to the Street Fighter II tournament where Ryu crushes Bison. Akuma follows Ryu on his journey occasionally pushing Ryu on and killing his master Gouken. Street Fighter fans might want to read the whole story to find out how Ryu ends at all-girl ninja school to playing meditating mini-game challenges with Dhalsim.


sf4sb2 sf4bc


Since Capcom passed on the proposed project Street Fighter IV Flashback isn’t in development. A prototype doesn’t even exist in a dusty filing cabinet. All we have are these documents, a bunch of media, and our imagination.


So, would you have bought Street Fighter IV Flashback? How does it compare to the Street Fighter IV we know today?


    Hm, I’m not so sure about the rewind-stuff, but both the museum and Ryu’s Journey sound awesome.

  • Traveler

    The concept sounds great, but the whole time controlling things sound very stupid

  • Akimitsu

    I probably would’ve bought it, but there are some things that sound weird, like the rewinding thing. Also, fighters turned into 3D adventures (or 2D ones) don’t seem to do all too well, either, although Capcom definitely has some platforming experience under their belts.

  • God damn it, we need a SFIV platformer.

  • Nightcap

    Would not buy. And I wish I hadnt bought SF IV either, it sucks.

  • Chow

    Yeah, the actual rewinding system sounds really weird, and I wouldn’t have gotten it for that at all. However, the rest sounded really cool, especially the Journey mode.

  • maxchain

    This sounds unbelievably ambitious. I’m mostly confident Capcom could’ve pulled the rewind gimmick off (I certainly would’ve given the game a spin), but the safe bet would be on reviewers whining about it being different and saying that the included backcatalog was the only reason to pick the game up.

  • Shin

    I would have bought that only for street fighter emulated versions :D 50$ for all that would have been a steal, IMO

  • I’m really glad they didn’t make this game… thank you for SFIV!
    A disc with all the arcade SF games on it would be nice tho! :)

  • Heero420

    well call me wierd but im waiting on sf4 i just got FEAR2, but if sf4 came with all the other sf it would have been day one for me…

  • RO?

    Time control? What the hell were they smoking when they came up with that!? I want some! LOL in any event, SFIV is great and so is HD Remix. I’m a happy street fighter.

  • RO?

    Time control? What the hell were they smoking when they came up with that!? I want some! LOL in any event, SFIV is great and so is HD Remix. I’m a happy street fighter.

  • What a horrible idea. No wonder capcom passed. Sirlin is an overrated hack. Acts like he made HD remix all by himself

    Nice buggy lump of crap that turned out to be so maybe he did make it himself.

    • GloomSaber

      I agree. It seems that both Sirlin and Killian are egotistic and I can’t understand why Capcom have both of them as special advisors; both of them seems to spam s.moves like crazy.

      On, it says that Sirlin thinks that the SF4 we know it is more complicated than the one he had intended to make. Furthermore, the sf4 we got isn’t the sf4 he has imagined. Call me crazy, but the last time I have checked, Sirlin did not make the Street Fighter series. So, why would his input on how a SF game be any more prominant than anyone elses? Just because he helped developed SSF2HDR doesn’t mean he has inherited the Street Fighter license.

      Anyways, the concept of rewindin seems awful and doesn’t make sense unless the game involves time travel or Ryu bashin his head so hard he cannot remember things straight. l can imagine it being complicated and irritating. I can also see the vetern SF users abusin it like hell.

      Also, Backbone Entertainment, Massive Black, and Udon were makin’ the game and not Capcom. Other than HDremix (an existing title that was tweaked) and maybe Death Jr. (I never played the series so I do not know), Backbone entertainment has never really made any good games. They are the ones who made Sonic Rivials 1 and 2, as well as a bunch of license titles.

      HDremix was good but the game was modified from SSF2T.

    • GloomSaber

      I agree. Both Sirlin and Killian seems arrogrant as if they were the guys who invented the street fighter games. At least with Killian, he cannot take full credit of SF4 because almost everyone who has followed SF4, knows that it was Ono who pitched the idea to Inafune.

      As for othe other guy, he said on 1up that the sf4 that came out isn’t the one he envisioned; despite that his ver of the game would have flashblack rewinds and speed control durin a round, he said that the SF4 thata is out is complicated?

      It is as if he believes that he invented the Street Fighter series and that his idea would help resurrect the SF series. If his version of SF was made, it would be developed by Backbone, Udon, and Massive Black. l think that because Capcom would not be developing it, it would have a high chance of being crap, which is why the company let Ono develop sf4 instead. Also, maybe Capcom wised up after havin a another company make the sucktastic Fina Fight adventure game.

      Unlike Final Fight, the S. Fight er games is well known and I doubt Capcom wants to drive that brand into the mud………..again.

      Backbone hasn’t made a good game that was built on the ground up. Other than SSF2HDR, which is a modified ver of SSF2T, their library games like Sonic Rivials and Shrek-in-roll did not do well.

  • videoman190

    I’m glad it wasn’t released because I really don’t want street fighter end up like the Star Wars prequels plus they should make Street Fighter III Third Strike HD Remix instead!

    I really had enough of sfII after playing sfIV!

  • videoman190

    ‘m glad it wasn’t released because I really don’t want street fighter end up like the Star Wars prequels plus they should make Street Fighter III Third Strike HD Remix instead!

    I really had enough of sfII after playing sfIV!

  • Justin Bailey

    Better value compared to SFIV. Not to mention better effort. After unlocking all characters and raking in half of the achievments/trophies I still want my money back. Third Strike alone would have been worth the price :-/

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