A trip through history with 150 video game backgrounds

If you grew up playing Street Fighter II, the only thing you focused on was figuring out the right button combination to beat the pulp out of your opponent.

 

Fernando Alfonso III

Streaming

Published May 3, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 4:49 pm CDT

If you grew up playing video games like Street Fighter II or Samurai Showdown, chances are the only thing you focused on was figuring out the right button combination to beat the pulp out of your opponent. 

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What you probably didn’t realize: With every fight, you were getting a subtle history lesson.

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In each one of these early fighting games, developers like Capcom created intricate moving backgrounds in which their characters would fight in front of. Some backgrounds took the minimalistic approach, having only one element animated like a running fountain. While others featured a plethora of animation, like this one of a hilarious Japanese car accident. Yet each background provided players with a glimpse into places like Japan, China, and Africa. 

A collection of 150 of these beautiful backgrounds as GIFs was posted on Reddit about a week ago. In the thread, redditor anothergaijin figured out where the real-life inspiration for some of the scenes had come from.

Statues at Okinawa


Photo by boviate

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Japanese bathhouse 


Photo by heiwa4126

View from a traditional Japanese residence

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Photo by john weiss

Japanese shopping district (shotengai)

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Photo by michaelvito

Tori Gates leading to Mount Fuji

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Photo by 1la


Check out the rest of the backgrounds below.

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*First Published: May 3, 2013, 12:23 pm CDT