"Well then who the fuck is Sheng Long?" a chorus of 11-year-old voices shrieked, only to be answered when the SNES version of the game came out. Its instruction manual claimed that Sheng Long -- which, I cannot stress enough, at that point was a mistranslated gibberish name that came out of fucking nowhere -- was Ryu's former martial arts master.
Into this clusterfuck of miscommunication stepped Electronic Gaming Monthly, a video games magazine best known for its mastery of clusterfucked miscommunication. In their April 1992 issue, EGM printed a claim that the player could fight Sheng Long by undertaking a ridiculously difficult sequence of events, essentially using Ryu for half a day without taking any damage. It was later revealed that this was an April Fool's joke (which EGM cleverly disguised by publishing in mid-February), but that didn't stop other magazines from reprinting the trick. Without checking it, because obviously this is just video games journalism we're talking about. Before long, there wasn't a Street Fighter player in the world who wasn't convinced that you could fight Sheng Long if you only tried hard enough.
How Gullible You'd Have to Be to Buy It
Not too gullible. As mentioned, "Sheng Long" had been hinted at in both the arcade and SNES versions of the game. And there was no reason to distrust the video games magazines; in this era, to an 11-year-old, they had about the same authority as the Bible.
And we know that in all things, the path forward shall be lit by up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start.
And because the steps were so difficult to do that they could never be verified, and there was no way to definitively prove the hoax wrong, this one drove kids mad for a long, long time.
They did probably get pretty freaking good at using Ryu, though.