FF 5

Whenever I’m asked if I’m a dog or a cat person, I can always respond quite easily: “Neither.” I’m absolutely convinced fish make the best pets, since they’re quiet, relaxing, and never pee or cough things up on the carpet.

And just in case that wasn’t enough to sell you, consider one more thing fish can now do: play a game of Street Fighter II.

Canadian Twitch user Andrew Hill was poking around the video game streaming site recently when he stumbled across a project called Fish Play Pokémon, which is exactly what it sounds like. Hill was inspired, but apparently felt that in the gaming pecking order, one-on-one fighters are a rung above rearing games. In order to share his appreciation of the genre with his aquatic friends, he rigged up a system that allows fish to enjoy the most celebrated fighting game ever, Street Fighter II.

FF 1

As can be seen in the upper left box of Hill’s stream, which can be watched live here, the fish tank is divided into nine sections, with each corresponding to a direction of the gamepad or a button. Sensors react when the fish swims into a zone, sending the input to a copy of the SNES version of Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting.

Any experienced fighting game fan will tell you that while A.I.-controlled opponents are good for practice and learning the ropes, the real meat of the genre is head-to-head competition. That’s why Hill’s system supports two players, specifically his two pet goldfish, Aquarius and Robert the Bruce.

▼ It’s a good thing they don’t both want to play the single-player-only SNES Final Fight.

FF 3

Surprisingly, the fish even have different playing styles. Aquarius tends to move around more erratically, actions then mimicked by his on-screen World Warrior. Robert, on the other hand, tends to stay in one spot, commonly known as “turtling” in fighting game parlance (although we’re not sure if we can use the term when the player is, in fact, a fish).

FF 4

So far, the two tankmates/martial arts rivals have been at it for three days, with Aquarius coming out slightly ahead on Day 3. Whether due to his early success or just his more flamboyant appearance, this has actually gotten the brightly colored fish a sponsorship from professional video gaming organization Always Godlike, according to Hill. Still, Robert, who controls Player 2, isn’t giving up yet, and is currently clawing his way back with Chinese delegate Chun Li.

There is one drawback to Hill’s awesome setup, though, which is that Street Fighter is a six-button fighter, so with the additional four d-pad directions, you’d really need 10 zones to map every possible input. As a result, the fish’s repertoire is on the limited side. And while you won’t see them pulling off any complicated attacks like the shoryuken or spinning bird kick, it is possible for them to enact throws by hanging out on the borderlines between the left or right zones and a punch button.

Without the level of aggression human players show, their matches can take a while, especially since Hill as set the timer to infinite. Still, the satisfaction that comes from watching Aquarius or Bruce land a blow is incredible.

FF 2

All in all, it’s not a bad display of fighting skills from players who wouldn’t even be able to breathe on a real street.

Sources: Twitch, Game Informer
Top image: Twitch
Insert images: Twitch, Imgur