Street Fighter

by Wencke Schuncken


We declare a tribute to Chun-Li. With quite a history in the gaming world it's time to focus on her character, looks and "videogamegraphy". She's an amazing character and her name translated means "Spring Beauty" and was given to her on the 1st of March, 1968 back in China. But Chun-Li's original design concept was created in 1991 by Capcom while they were working on Street Fighter II and wanted to include a female fighting character.

Chun-Li is notable for being the first successful and popular female video game protagonist in an action / fighting game. Prior to Street Fighter II being released in 1991, most female characters in games existed as objectives to be rescued or cast in the roles of other supporting characters, such as townspeople, girlfriends, the occasional opponent, or simply background decoration. Maybe you'll think that a female character is not the best option to defeat opponents in a fighting game, but don't be mistaken. Chun-Li may not be the strongest physical character but she sure was by far the quickest person. Her famous attack is the Hyakuretsukyaku (a.k.a. the Lightning Leg/Lightning Kick), where she repeatedly kicks her opponent from a standing position with incredible speed. Besides this technique she also was capable of doing a Spinning Bird Kick. Chun-Li flips and spins across the screen upside down, with her legs spinning like helicopter blades. I know, this sounds a bit strange. Besides these two valuable fighting techniques, Chun-Li had many others in her repertoire. Those poor opponents …

After Street Fighter II Turbo, Chun-Li's familiar techniques were weakened. She gained the Kikouken maneuver to compensate for this. Her "hit and run" attacks were still useful, but they left her open to the possibility of being cornered quite easily. These flaws were counteracted in Super Street fighter 2: Turbo with new Super Combos and special attacks that increased her offensive capabilities. Her Super Combos gave her practical invulnerability when utilized, making her a devastating opponent.

In the Street Fighter Alpha series, her potential continued to grow with new maneuvers such as the scissor kicking Sen'en Shuu which she could use to leap over projectile attacks. Her taunt maneuver caused jab-equivalent damage, allowing her to send an enemy into defeat with the ultimate embarrassment.


Chun-Li's fighting style was first called Wu-shu, and then changed by Capcom to Tai-Chi. Over the years she has learned many Chinese martial arts and other elaborate fighting styles. By understanding her own inner-self, adapting her father's Chinese martial arts, and learning many other Kenpo styles, Chun-Li has built up a powerful array of kicking strikes. She takes pride in her incredible acrobatic balance and uses it to perform various "hit and run" type attacks. Over the years, Chun-Li has also developed several Chi-energy attack forms to add to her already impressive abilities. It should also be noted that she has had training from Gen, a renowned assassin and family friend. She's also done time in the X-men Danger Room if you count X-Men vs. Street Fighter and/or the Marvel vs. CAPCOM games.

Her appearance changed during the years / Street Fighting games. Not only her personal look changed but also her wardrobe. Regarding clothes and fashion, Chun-Li has different kind of dresses. For example she's wears a "qipao", a traditional Chinese dress popular among girls during the early 20th Century. Her outfit is modified to allow a far wider range of movement than a normal qipao. She also wears combat boots and dark brown tights with her blue qipao. She was originally supposed to wear a peach-colored qipao, as seen in her in-game profile and ending in the original Street Fighter II. This was corrected to the blue one in Street Fighter II: Champion Edition. During the period covered in Street Fighter Alpha, she wore an embroidered vest, unitary and athletic shoes, as well as studded wristbands. It is unclear why she chose to stop using this outfit and switch to a qipao. With the switch to the qipao, she also swapped her wristbands for spiked training bracelets. To match her hairstyle and qipao outfit, she decided that it would be appropriate to wear a hairstyle called "ox horns". This is a typical style in which Chinese children dress their hair; depictions of girls in Chinese paintings frequently show girls in "ox horns". She's also font of using brocades and ribbons to decorate this hairstyle.

When Street Fighter Alpha 2 hit arcades, a rumor began that Chun-Li was the strongest chracter in the game. Truth or not, when Alpha gave way to Alpha 2, CAPCOM tweaked Alpha 2 a bit for balance, but that was it. The characters were not changed. However, this "balancing act" gave Chun-Li the chance to demonstrate the power of her mid-air throw. Beyond her increased aerial combat abilites, she also gained the ability to use the Kikouken in mid-air. A particularly powerful Custom Combo of hers was to start with a crouching strong kick, rise from it and follow through with a strong Hyakuretsu Kyaku. When it succeeded, 70-80% of an opponents's health was taken off.


Chun-Li's popularity isn't all from her looks and her ability to kick ass. She has a good tragic backstory too. She is a special agent for the International Criminal Police Organization. Her story begins in Street Fighter Alpha 2, where she is trying to find her father, who has gone missing on an assignment. She receives a lead from Gen, a friend of her father's and one of her former sensei, and begins tracking the movements of M. Bison and his criminal empire. She finally tracks down M. Bison and demands that he tell her what happened to her father. Bison laughs, and the two of them fight. M. Bison defeats her and escapes, mocking her and bragging that he killed her father. Chun-Li, now more determined than ever to find and destroy M. Bison to avenge her father's death.

More little facts about Chun-Li as she has multiple skills. She can play a traditional two-string Chinese instrument called an Ehru. Also she seems to handle a gun very good (she placed 6th in an international sharp-shooting contest). She likes crepes, steamed nikuman, American candy and soda. And she regularly practices aerobics to ward off the fat these foods invite. She is a big fan of Bruce Lee and has posters of him in her room. Her turn-offs include crime and indecisive people. She stands at 170cm (about 5'7") with the impressive measurements: B 88, W 58, H 90. Her blood type is A. And her weight? Well, she'll never ever tell.

Street Fighter II
Street Fighter II Turbo
Street Fighter Alpha 2 hit arcades
Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike
Pocket Fighter
Marvel vs. Capcom series
SNK vs. series
Namco x Capcom
Capcom Fighting Evolution
and many more to come ...