Did you know that the “let’s go” voice clip in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike was pulled from the 1960s Batman television series? I sure didn’t, and being confronted with this apparently well-known fact over the weekend sent me tumbling down a rabbit hole of video game sample usage.
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike is arguably Capcom’s most stylish fighting game, with overt nods to drum-and-bass music and street culture. It only makes sense that one of its most iconic sound effects came from an old-school sample CD known as Datafile Two, the contents of which have been endlessly repurposed by musicians for their own projects.
The source for the voice clip that plays when a Super Meter is filled in Street Fighter III: Third Strike comes from 1966's Batman series.
Or rather, a sample disc that got it from Batman, as TS is not the only game to use it. pic.twitter.com/w3dpRoYj8i
— Fairly Frequent FG Facts (@fffightinfacts) April 22, 2022
Datafile Two is the second in a trilogy of legendary sample compilations published in the early 1990s by UK-based production company Zero-G. While the unlicensed beats and voice clips obviously proliferated through electronic music, the sound effects have also found their way into video games with surprising frequency over the years considering their dubious legality.
For example, see if you can hear the very faint “let’s go” sound effect at the beginning of this song from 1993’s Sonic CD.
Sega / Official VGM (YouTube)
It can also be found in a classic Sonic CD-based remix that more recently appeared in 2005’s Sonic Gems Collection.
Sega / HalcyonsXcution (YouTube)
Adam West’s unmistakable Batman performance is used repeatedly in the wild intro cinematic for Bass Landing 2, a fishing game released in the early 2000s.
Tose / RetroGameTV (YouTube)
1992’s R-Type Leo combines the voice clip with a dissonant countdown at the beginning of every stage.
Nanao / RedSevenNine (YouTube)
And finally, the action sequences in 2012’s Rhythm Thief & The Emperor’s Treasure use the sound effect as well, trimming it down to just “go” for a quick injection of urgency during heists.
Xeen / Backlogged Games (YouTube)
Despite sampling’s rich history, it can be hard to find concrete info on both a sample’s source and everywhere it’s been used outside its original context. Putting the pieces together often comes down to someone hearing a familiar drum beat or voice clip in an old song or television show, and even then it can be difficult to place with any specificity due to the audio editing techniques used to make it fit a specific style or rhythm.
It’s funny to think Batman is lurking in a bunch of video games, but next time you’re playing something, keep an ear out for any out-of-place voice clips. You might just hear Adam West invite you to a ride in the Batmobile.