From Street Fighter 2 to Samurai Showdown and King of Fighters, the 90s were filled with a fantastic collection of 2D fighting games. It was more than just being able to hit, punch and kick fast enough to dominate your opponent – you needed to know the key/stick combos to unlock hidden super moves, quickly wreaking havoc on the health meter of your foe. When you weren’t completely focused on the fight going down, there was something surprisingly special about these games too – the low-fi repeating graphics scrolling across the background. Redditor RudeBootie, a big fan of these now vintage games, has created 125 fantastic repeating GIFs devoid of the fighting action and in doing so has brought our attention to the imaginative virtual arenas where all these punches were being thrown.
The artwork from these games ranges from the beautiful to the absurd. Many of the backgrounds have an almost painterly quality to them, despite the heavily pixelated graphics we were accustomed to back then (a time when we were more often talking about how rad those graphics were!). Other examples are a bit more on the hilarious side – from an Chinese themed under sea world with the Little Mermaid, to headbanging backup dancers and a submarine exploding through a dock.
Bonus points here to anyone who can identify all of these games – you can congratulate yourself on being a true gamer of the 90s. Find more of RudeBootie’s work here.