Street Fighter Animation Dates Back To An 80s Music Video

Street Fighter III: Third Strike’s Elena has a small animation routine that might look familiar to old folks/Van Halen fans: it’s pretty much frame-for-frame taken from a 1985 David Lee Roth video.


deafidelity noticed it while watching the vid for Just a Gigolo, in which a backup dancer makes almost the exact same moves as Elena’s victory pose. Indeed they’re so close you can argue it was simply rotoscoped.

All video game art, whether it’s character design, environment work or in this case animation, has its inspiration somewhere. And sometimes art can stand as much on its own as it can serve as a tribute to something else.


We see that all the time in video games, just not...for an old David Lee Roth song.

And just in case you needed any further evidence that Street Fighter III was released in the late 90s, some of the game’s tributes date back even further:

If you want to read a bit more on Street Fighter III’s animation—it’s one of the most beautiful pixel art games of all time—here’s a cool thread from last year on the process, with some gif examples.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs

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Luke Plunkett

I only just had it pointed out to me on twitter that he actually smacks her in the head at the end there :(