I’m getting the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection tomorrow, and I am uber-excited! The opportunity to play at least three great fighting games from yesteryear—especially 3rd Strike, which I’ve only ever played in the arcade for brief moments—on current-gen platforms...and have the chance to do while on-the-go with the Switch?? This warrants a musical celebration.

Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
Hideki Okugawa
“Alex & Ken Stage ~ Jazzy NYC ‘99”

This stage theme already got a highlight of sorts several months ago, assuming that using it to basically make loving fun of Marvel vs. Capcom 2's soundtrack counts as “a highlight.” But times and circumstances entail that it get its own full-on post!! Because I love it so.

It’s always been that way from the first time I heard its opening moments, with a this-means-business introduction that basically throws a whole bunch of incredible shit—chunky drum break, cool synth melody, a horn section holding up the back—at my eardrums. Then the drum machine kicks in, we’re off to a horn-driven “verse” section, and it’s all too evident that the entire song intends to keep that energy up.

And it all would compel me to want to dance the whole way through. Considering that Street Fighter had always sounded to me like Chun Li’s theme and Guile’s Theme, that was never the kind of thing I would have ever expected from it, especially not taking it to the extent of borrowing some hip hop moves and making them work so well. Hell, there are even marimbas thrown into the mix, and they make things sound straight-up up suave—the last word that might ever be associated with a fighting game—without losing the grove.

Each time I play 3rd Strike where “Jazzy NYC ‘99” soundtracks the action is going to be a moment of joy. I am READY.

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RedStripe Loved Trax—originally from days of Tumblr past—is a series about the music Justin adores, with special emphasis on songs from (or introduced by) video games and anime.