Prepare to stand a chance: Sheng Long is in Street Fighter IV

The closest he’s ever gotten to being in a videogame was as part of a 1992 EGM practical joke, but now it’s come to light that one of gaming’s oldest red herrings, Sheng Long, is a playable character in Street Fighter IV‘s arcade version.

Sheng Long started life as a mistranslation of the “shō ryū” (Rising Dragon) part of Ryu’s Shōryūken.When translated into Chinese Pinyin, “shō ryū” becomes “Sheng Long,” and it’s from here that the misconception was had. In the original Japanese version of the game, Ryu would say to defeated opponents: “If you cannot break through the Rising Dragon Punch, you cannot win!” In the translated version, it became “You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance.” The inevitable happened, as English-speaking players assumed Sheng Long was a person, and EGM swiftly took advantage.

EGM claimed that Sheng Long could be unlocked by taking zero hits during an entire game, and then letting the timer run out in the final battle against M. Bison without giving or receiving any damage. Aptly, the writer of this tip was W.A Stokens, or “Waste Tokens.”

The legacy of Mr. Stokens, however, lives on, as Capcom has seen to it that Sheng Long is finally about to take his rightful place in Street Fighter history. He’ll be armed with a “Forbidden Shōryūken,” and will most likely be a total badass. We don’t know how to unlock him.

James Stephanie Sterling