Remember those two guys fighting at the very beginning of Street Fighter II arcade? They've always appeared to just be two random "World Warriors" fighting for the entertainment of others, and it didn't look like they had anything to do with the cast of playable Street Fighter characters like Ryu and Chun-Li.
Since their appearance in Street Fighter II, nobody has ever seen or heard anything about the two mystery men - until now.
As spotted by a user on the Street Fighter subreddit, it appears the Japanese Street Fighter website has finally given the two characters actual names and backstories. The guy on the left who gets punched? That's Max. The guy on the right? That's Scott.
Why are they fighting? Who knows, but thanks to a fan translation via Eurogamer, we do learn a little more about each character's backstory. It looks like both men are former boxers. Max is known for his speed and technique, and apparently has quite a temper. He used to be a mixed martial artist until he was banned from tournaments for bad behavior. Sounds like he also has a gambling problem, as his bio states most of his fighting winnings are spent on gambling.
Scott, on the other hand, now works as a bouncer at a bar. On the weekends he loves to head down to the lake and fish for black bass. His description labels him as a "somewhat famous" street fighter with a fierce straight and the ability to dodge opponent's attacks within a hair's breadth through high-speed ducking. Unfortunately, his bio also states he won't be appearing in Street Fighter V. Here's what the two men look like now.
Interestingly enough, these two characters only appear in some versions of Street Fighter II. Later versions of the game would substitute out Max for another white character, presumably so Capcom could avoid any kind of negative racial connotations associated with a white character punching out a black character.
At long last, one of Street Fighter's greatest mysteries has been solved. While it's unfortunate these two characters haven't yet gotten another chance to be in the spotlight, perhaps they'll make their grand comeback one of these days.