Hayato Kanzaki is the main character of the Capcom series, Star Gladiator. He is a rebellious young Japanese bounty hunter from the year 2348, where mankind is capable of intergalactic travel and established contact with extraterrestrials. Living on his own and caring about others - especially the children living in the orphanage in which he was raised, and his close friends June, Saturn, and Gamof, this care for people is the driving force that prompts him to go against Dr. Edward Bilstein: a mad scientist bent on universal domination and beginning his conquest by taking his revenge against Earth. He is the only character in the series to cross over and become playable into another Capcom game; in this case, Marvel vs. Capcom 2.
Abandoned on the streets of Neo Tokyo when he was a child, Hayato Kanzaki eventually adapted to the harsh environment of the city and its unforgiving impoverished depths into a ringleader of other fellow orphans who stole and schemed to survive in the disparate metropolis. However, during one run of mischief where he and the group were chased by a police officer, Hayato became a target suspect upon witnessing the officer murdered by sniper fire from an unknown assailant.
Framed for the act and taken into the custody of the court for the crime of murder, Hayato faced severe judgment and punishment, including a sentence of undergoing a controversial and protested brainwashing process to "create" good citizens from perpetrators, until he was rescued by a woman who debated his case and demanded that the case be put into the jurisdiction of child services. That woman soon turned out to be the owner and director of an orphanage that opened its doors in the face of the alarming issue of Neo Tokyo's rising rates of child abandonment and insufficient care for families due to Japan's economic issues stemming from overseas corporate outsourcing and resourcing within the great city, and immediately took in the entire group into her care after settling Hayato's case. Though Hayato was reluctant at first to stay in her care, he soon turned over a new leaf upon being caught for the crime of shoplifting and witnessed her saddened and crying at his delinquency when forced to confront the police to bail him out a second time.
As the years passed on into his teens, Hayato eventually decided to succeed in his caretaker's path as the orphanage's next director and a career counselor for future orphans. As Hayato continued his post high school education for a year however, Hayato began to notice unscrupulous and intimidating figures who came to meet with the caretaker. Soon learning that the orphanage was in a great deal of debt over the years and that the caretaker was forced to borrow money to raise them all, Hayato immediately left to find work to pay off her debt and rescue the orphanage from closing down.
Much to his dismay, Hayato was unable to find any job in the city that would allow him to combat the steep debt. Reluctantly, and desperately, Hayato began the work of a bounty hunter, that while payed well, knew too well of its corrupting nature that he despised and went against his fierce sense of justice.
Though having avoided the pitfalls with criminal influences and becoming accustomed to the grit and bitterness of bounty hunting in a few months time into an outstanding hunter, the deadline neared closer and Hayato's bounties were strung up in massive amounts of red tape, delaying him the money to pay off the debt in time.
As Doctor Edward Bilstein escaped from his orbital prison on Zeta and established the dreaded Fourth Empire, the Earth Federation would start Project Star Gladiator as its last stand against the madman. Soon offering their pleas of help and recruitment through ads through bounty hunting and other Earth Federation venues, Hayato soon caught a glimpse of one such ad, and immediately followed into recruitment. For Hayato, if not for the reward on the mission to bring about the collapse of the Fourth Empire, it would be for merely for the collapse of the Fourth Empire itself, to ensure that Earth and his orphanage would have a future.
Into the sequel Plasma Sword, Hayato peacefully spends time rebuilding the orphanage with the many bounties he's collected, but sets out once more when he realizes that his girlfriend, June has gone missing. Along with rumors and ominous information regarding the reemergence of defeated Fourth Empire, Hayato is drawn into a grave mystery to uncover if the dreaded Edward Bilstein has returned from death and to rescue June if she has pursued again her vendetta against the murderer of her family.
Plasma Power is a neologism within the Star Gladiator universe describing powers, methodologies, and forces related to the manipulation of the fourth form of matter by the use of sixth sense, or the alleged psychic powers of the mind. Unlocked by the physicist and once Nobel Peace Prize winner Doctor Edward Bilstein, Plasma Power was originally discovered by his ancestor Victor Bilstein through his work and experiments as a Nazi scientist on the rumored Die Glocke and Wunderwaft programs to discover the source of the legendary powers of magic and mystical abilities spoken of within myth across the ages. Into the 24th Century, its unveiling made way for enormous breakthroughs in the studies of medical sciences, thermodynamics, and energy research, and was soon implemented as a superweapon deterrent against hostile intergalactic forces antagonistic to Earth.
Hayato, able to utilize Plasma Power, manifests this into a special machine known as a Plasma Blade, a weapon not unlike the lightsaber of Star Wars fame. Powered solely by his presence as a Plasma Power user, Hayato is said to be able to channel his Power focused and capable enough to slice and cut through any known substance. Along with this, his skills with a sword in the martial arts of Japanese Kenjutsu of an unknown school allows him to wield his blade without error.
Hayato displays common attributes associated with Plasma Power users, including the manifestation of high levels of Plasma Power as translucent and sometimes illuminated energy auras that can interact and interfere with matter on a subatomic level, the emanation of these strong Plasma Power levels as projectiles and fields of personal influence, and superhuman attributes fueled by its activation, including super strength and speed. Hayato is known to utilize these base abilities by utilizing Plasma Power to influence the size of his Plasma Blade, including shrinking and enlarging its entire form, concentrating Plasma Power into his fists to increase the strength of his punches strong enough to launch an opponent into the air with a standard upper jab, concentrating Plasma Power into his Plasma Blade for its output powerful enough to emanate blade beams, and utilizes his Plasma Aura to increase the force of his attacks by expanding their distance and increasing their kinetic power.
Within the effects of Plasma Power, matter can be transmuted and neutral energy can be manipulated to achieve the three known states, being that of heat, electricity, and the cold. Hayato displays a limited but effective affinity for electricity, capable of electrifying his blade's aura to stun and shock opponents, and is powerful enough to cause such ionic displacement in the air to create lightning when it lands a hit.
Within the ranking system of Plasma Power, Hayato's attributes rank him an A Class Plasma Power User.
Hayato's gameplay is often based on his plasma sword and energy attacks. In MVC2, he's strong on range and priority leading to great sword pokes, but the nature of his laggy normals makes his rushdown game unsafe. His Expansion assist is one of the best in the game however, and his Guren attack is not considered a good anti air. Hayato has too many weaknesses to put him on par with others.
- Hien (飛燕, "Flying Swallow"): A leaping spin slash command normal that can go over low attacks. Based on one of his moves from the first Star Gladiator.
- Dokuryuu (独龍, "Single Dragon"): Running command normal where Hayato slashes outward. Has some lag that makes it unsafe. Can slash past the foe in order to follow up with Souryuu. Based on one of his dash attacks from his home series.
- Souryuu (双龍, "Twin Dragon"): Followup to Dokuryuu, Hayato swipes down on the foe from behind.
- Dai Oiuchi Kougeki (大追い打ち攻撃, "Big Pursuit Strike Attack"): Hayato dive stabs downward in midair with a sword-plant. Bounces off the foe if it hits, where Hayato can still perform midair attacks. Can chain into a Guren or Plasma Field if it hits.
- Shiden (紫電, "Violet-Volt"): An outward slash followed by a downward cut in a forward moving motion, similar to his st.MP and st.HK attacks or his Dokuryuu. Can OTG and covers a large forward area, making it great in combos.
- Guren (紅蓮, "Crimson Lotus"): Hayato slashes upward in the air vertically with his plasma sword. Can be used in midair. The LP version makes him slash upward with small height. The HP version makes him dash forward a bit and rises higher. In the Balance assist version, when used as a Variable/Crossover Counter Hayato peforms the Guren briefly in his Black Hayato form instead.
- Byakkohou (白虎砲, "White Tiger Cannon"): A command grab where Hayato does a hooking arm motion to grab the foe, then smashes them upward with an upward-angled elbow if it connects. Has the same range as a regular throw (not much). Lauches opponent a good distance.
- Plasma Combos: Taken straight from his original series (the first game to be precise). Hayato can attack the opponent with several combos depending on the buttons pressed. Five different combos are available to him. Different button presses will initate different attacks. All this requires you to hold back. This is Hayato's main combo tool, and many combo possibilities can stem from these moves.
- The kick portions of the combos hit low, and both the Kegon combos have finishing overhead strikes on their final inputs, which must be timed properly or they will not execute. However, Hayato can drop a Kegon combo to start link combos right afterwards.
- Rasetsuzan (羅刹斬, "Rakshasa Slash") (Level 1): A Hyper version of Shiden. Hayato gets ready for an assault then proceeds to do a series of seven slashes. The final hit will knock back the opponent. Both start-up and recover is long therefore unsafe if guarded.
- Engetsu (円月, "Circling Moon") (Level 1): Hayato raises his blade above his head and quickly slashes down on the ground creating pillars of shockwaves in front of him. This attack can hit the opponent OTG.
- Plasma Field (Level 1): Hayato gathers energy and releases a spherical energy field around him. If this move connects with a unguarded opponent he will enter in a state of unlimited hyper combo gauge. For roughly ten seconds Hayato can use any of his hyper combos without depleting his hyper combo gauge. Can also be done in midair.
- Black Hayato: Ura Rasetsuzan (裏羅刹斬, "Reverse Rakshasa Slash") (Level 3): This is Hayato's version of the Shun Goku Satsu. Hayato will proceed to grab his opponent with a deep stab, if he suceeds the entire screen turns black and he will slash the opponent multiple times. Once the screen turns back to normal with Hayato in his Black Hayato form as the final blow. Despite the looks, the attack is blockable.
- His Black Hayato form is Hayato's inner dark side from Plasma Sword, created from a genotype microchip implanted in his head by Bilstein. B. Hayato is shown to be a near complete opposite of Hayato in that he is emotionless and ruthless, but still dislikes Bilstein for what he did.
- Hayato's plasma auto-combos are taken unaltered from the first Star Gladiator, adapted into this game's control scheme (Vertical is LP, Horizontal is HP and Kick is either LK or HK).
- Three characters from said game make cameo appearances in his win poses (Saturn, Ele and June Lin), all in poses seen in Star Gladiator artwork.
- Ura Rasetsuzan is oddly somewhat screen dependent, as Hayato rushes to the side where he first starts on a match after he completes the attack, no matter which side the move is performed from.