He began life as a mistake that sparked one of the greatest hoaxes in all video games. Now, 30 years later, he’s finally in a video game.
Sheng Long is the once mythical Street Fighter secret boss who was mentioned in Ryu’s victory quote from the original Street Fighter 2: "You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance.” Fans vociferously speculated about the identity of the mysterious Sheng Long. Who was he? Where was he in the game? Is he Ryu and Ken’s master? Could he be unlocked somehow?
In the pre-internet era, Sheng Long was the subject of heated debate in playgrounds across the world. Little did players know, the name was simply the result of a mistranslation of “Shōryūken”, Street Fighter’s famous Dragon Punch.
"You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance."
ⓘ Official sources say this claim is disputed. pic.twitter.com/x0NgVR3ssR
— Street Fighter (@StreetFighter) November 18, 2020
Capitalising on the speculation, a 1992 April Fools’ prank by U.S. games magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly tricked people into believing Sheng Long was an unlockable boss character in Street Fighter 2. Cue more heated debate in playgrounds across the world as fans tried in vain to fight Sheng Long. Now, 30 years later, fans finally can in Street Fighter 6.
Spoilers for Street Fighter 6 follow.
In Street Fighter 6’s single-player campaign mode, World Tour, Sheng Long can be found on top of the SiRN building in Metro City at night as part of the Fighty Mighty side quest. It’s a bit of a fiddly trek to get to the level 90 beast. Head to Bayside Park Street and enter the SiRN building via the Construction Site. Climb the steps and ladders all the way to the top, using the control panels to call in the moving platforms to progress. Sprint past the aggressive NPCs if you can.
You’ll end up in the SiRN server rooms, which are packed with annoying robotic enemies. Sprint past them as you make your way up to the first floor of R&D. Get in the lift to the seventh floor, run down to the sixth floor, then up the stairs to the roof. From there, climb up to the crane platform and Sheng Long’s location. This video from YouTube channel lilfarmboi shows the way.
Sheng Long uses Ryu’s fighting style (of course he does), and looks like a sort of PS2-era Heihachi from Tekken. This is a design inspired by EGM’s prank, which involved unofficial art. Speak to him and he’ll say: “Begone. All who bear witness to me suffer terrible misfortune. Knowing this, do you still wish to face me in combat? Is this bravery born from ignorance? Or are you a beast whose hunger demands fell sacrifice? It matters not. Come. Face me with every fiber of your being.”
It turns out Sheng Long is something of a fireball spammer (it’s all his fault!), so if you can time your jump-ins well, you should be able to land some decent hits. The problem of course is Sheng Long is a level 90 NPC, and so presents one of the toughest encounters in the game for the vast majority of players who will be significantly under-levelled by the time they hunt him down. Remember your consumables!
Defeat Sheng Long and he says: “I… am defeated? Long has it been since I’ve known such a feeling. I suppose, then, that showing myself once more was fortuitous. I offer you my thanks, strong one.”
And that’s it. Sheng Long has finally made his canon appearance in a Street Fighter game. Perhaps when Street Fighter 7 comes around, he’ll be a playable character.
Street Fighter 6 launched earlier in June and was met with critical acclaim, including from IGN’s review. Capcom has announced one million people played over launch weekend.