Street Fighter II Nintendo Magazine System Promo
Towards the end of 1992, the phenomenal Street Fighter II fever that had hit Japan and the United States arrived in the United Kingdom with the high-profile release of the Super Nintendo version of the game. Nintendo's official gaming magazine back in the day, Nintendo Magazine System, promoted the game's release with a 'free' album. The album didn't actually feature the music for the Super Nintendo port — regrettably no console ports of Street Fighter II music have ever been released on CD. Instead it featured the the music from the Arcade version taken directly from the Japanese multi-title compilation album Street Fighter II ~ G.S.M. Capcom 4. It is also believed this album may have been released with the Nintendo Power magazine in the United States. So how does the music satisfy?
All the music featured in the promotional album was originally featured in the ultra-rare Street Fighter II Perfect Original Version included in the Street Fighter II Collector's Box. This CD contained all the original music included in the Arcade's Street Fighter II: The World Warrior and is now regarded the definitive soundtrack release for the game. For the two disc compilation Street Fighter II ~ G.S.M. Capcom 4, Capcom essentially spliced the components of this album into a series of original sound medleys. They curiously bundled multiple themes into single tracks and separated each theme with short pauses. The United Kingdom promotional album is essentially identical to this compilation except the original music for the other titles featured in the compilation (Carrier Air Wing, Magic Sword, Mega Twins) and any arranged tracks (including a synthy medley of the Street Fighter II: The World Warrior) were omitted. That leaves a 42 minute compilation of the original music and sound from Street Fighter II.
The album features all the original music from Street Fighter II in its original form. In the spirit of old-school game music, Yoko Shimomura crafted memorable and motivating character themes for the likes of Ryu, Ken, and Guile. She also ensured a diverse feel to the game with stereotypical culturally inspired tracks for Chun-Li, Dhalsim, and E. Honda and quirky light-hearted gems for Zangief and Blanka. The climax of the game was also tight with the nostalgic synth theme for Balrog, passionate flamenco for Vega, and more intense accompaniments for Sagat and M. Bison. Less spectacular are the heavy damage versions of the character themes or the short ending themes for each character, though they serve their in-game purpose well. More enjoyable are some of the subsidiary menu tracks. In addition, there are three tracks featuring all the voices and sound effects from the game. They were remarkably well done for their time, although most won't care for them out of context.
Despite the strength of the music, the presentation of the album is troublesome. While the release follows the flow of the Street Fighter II Perfect Original Version, the grouping of tracks gives a cluttered and incohesive feel to the release. After a pile of subsidiary themes, the album finally arrives at Ryu's theme; while the theme is given a full loop and sounds decent on Arcade synth, listeners are likely to be disorientated by the way it suddenly speeds up into the heavy damage before ending with a stage complete fanfare and voice-over. The way tracks are bundled together seems random and makes the album very difficult to navigate. Among the curious pairings are Blanka with Guile, Zangief with Dhalsim, and Chun-Li with... the bonus stage jingle. It is a little more sensible how the themes for the Four Devas were bundled together and it's also convenient that the ending themes were clustered together since that makes it easier to skip them... albeit to arrive at voice collections!
As far as Street Fighter II original scores go, this one is middle of the range. On the plus side, it is a complete compilation featuring full loops and music tracks not interrupted by sound effects. Unlike other releases, it was also technically free! On the downside, it clutters multiple pieces into once track so it can be difficult to find particular tracks and interruptive to listen to in full. It also doesn't feature the character themes and additional music from Super Street Fighter II and Super Street Fighter II Turbo. This doesn't come close to being the ideal Street Fighter II, but it's practically impossible to find satisfying and inexpensive alternatives. If you managed to obtain it back in the day, it's probably the best you're going to get without shelling enormous amounts of money on the Street Fighter II Collector's Box.
Yoko Shimomura, Isao Abe (1, 4)
Yoko Shimomura (2, 3, 5~7, 9, 10)
Isao Abe, Yoko Shimomura (8)
Yoshihiro Sakaguchi, Tatsuya Nishimura (13)
Note, there seem to have been two print runs of this album with matrix codes "S CM 001 01" and "S CM 001 02" respectively.
This is an official U.K. domestically produced soundtrack under license from the original Japanese manufacturer. Released originally in the U.K. as an accompaning free gift with the U.K. official NINTENDO magazine (Nintendo Magazine System), in 1992.
The Soundtrack is based on the 1991 Japanese domestically released "Street Fighter II ~ G.S.M. Capcom 4 / Alph Lyra" (PCCB-00056), and contains all the arcade music and sound effects in full digital stereo.
Comes in slipcase.
This album may also have been bundled in the U.S. in June 1992 with the Nintendo Power SF2 issue (38).
Apparently the fact that this was put out by Nintendo has made a lot of people think this is the SNES soundtrack, but it does say on the cover that this is the Arcade music, and it very much is.
Title Demo / Credit ~ Player Select ~ VS.
Japan (Ryu) ~ Stage End
Brazil (Blanka) ~ U.S.A. (Guile)
China (Chun Li) ~ Bonus Stage / Here Comes a New Challenger!!!
Japan (E.Honda) ~ U.S.A. (Ken)
USSR (Zangief) ~ India (Dhalsim)
U.S.A. (Balrog) ~ Spain (Vega)
Thailand (Sagat) ~ Thailand (M.Bison)
Ending Collection 1 - Ryu, Blanka, Guile, Chun Li
Ending Collection 2 - E.Honda, Ken, Zangief, Dhalsim / Continue / Game Over / Ranking
Narrator Announcements / Countries
Narrator Round Count
Character Voices & Game Sound Effects