Street Fighter: The Secrets of Guile and His Sonic Boom

Of all the extensive characters introduced through Capcom's massively popular Street Fighter fighting game franchise, one of the most iconic and fan-favorite characters is Guile. First introduced in 1991's Street Figher II: The World Warrior, the American fighter entered the world martial arts tournament with a deep grudge and armed with his signature special attack, the Sonic Boom.

Now, CBR is taking a quick overview of Guile and his famous offensive technique including other fighters in the long-running video game franchise that can also use the special move.

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Guile Sonic Boom

In his first appearance, Guile is presented as a gruff, no-nonsense career officer in the U.S. Air Force, fiercely loyal to his country and his family. It is revealed that some time before the events of Street Fighter II, Guile's best friend and partner Charlie Nash sacrificed himself to save the lives of Guile and Chun-Li while those two were investigating M. Bison and his criminal syndicate Shadaloo. Haunted by his friend's sacrifice, Guile wears Charlie's dogtag and wristwatch as he enters the world martial arts tournament for a chance at revenge against M. Bison in Thailand.

Later installments of the fighting game series would see Guile continuing to work around the world to dismantle Shadaloo, especially after learning that Bison had been resurrected through experimental genetic technology. While pursuing his revived target, Guile crosses paths with a similarly resurrected Charlie, corrupted by Shadaloo to become a more antagonistic figure with an amnesiac past.


By charging up both arms and suddenly crossing them in front him, Guile fires a large energy projectile he dubs the Sonic Boom. The move has been Guile's default special move ever since his debut in Street Fighter II and has been employed by the martial artist in all his subsequent appearances including the live-action 1994 film where he is portrayed by Jean-Claude Van Damme.

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Guile has upgraded the Sonic Boom since its introduction, charging it up to be more powerful as an EX attack and incorporating it into his Sonic Typhoon super combo in Street Fighter EX2. Guile would similarly integrate the technique into his ultra combo beginning in Super Street Fighter IV as the Sonic Hurricane and gain additional mastery over the move in Street Fighter V, able to throw a Sonic Boom with every single move if he selects Solid Puncher as his chosen art in the game with the V-trigger active.


The creator of the Sonic Boom is Guile's best friend and military comrade-in-arms Charlie Nash. Charlie can not only use the Sonic Boom but is faster and more capable of launching the attack, only needing one arm to do so as opposed to Guile's two. In the Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter crossover spinoff, Charlie resurfaces corrupted by Shadaloo and their Psycho Power, renaming himself Shadow. In this form, Charlie has a variation of the Sonic Boom he aptly dubs the Shadow Boom.

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While Guile and Charlie are absent in Street Fighter III, a French fighter named Remy utilizes a similar move to Charlie's one-handed version of the Sonic Boom in Street Fighter III: Third Strike. Dubbed the Light of Virtue, the technique features the same general button inputs as the Sonic Boom, with Remy able to fire the projectile high or low and in super combos. The most recent character to use the Sonic Boom is Street Fighter IV's Seth, the main antagonist of the installment and its spinoffs. Containing data on all the world's major fighters, Seth copies Charlie's one-handed Sonic Boom to great effect.

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