Ryu (sometimes written as "Ryuu" or "Ryū") is the main character from the Street Fighter series. As the headliner of Capcom's biggest fighting game franchise, he has appeared in all of the Marvel vs. Capcom games, barring X-Men: Children of the Atom and Marvel Super Heroes, which feature Marvel characters exclusively.
Ryu was an orphaned baby, with no knowledge of who his parents were or if they are still alive. When he was a young child, he was adopted by a man named Gouken and began living with him as well as learning a powerful martial art rooted as an assassination art. It was during his training where he met Ken, who was brought to learn under Gouken by his father. When Ryu was about 23 years old, Gouken believed that he was ready to travel the world in order to test his skills with fighters in the world. With this, Ryu left Gouken and Ken and headed to fight in the first World Warrior Tournament.
In Street Fighter, Ryu is one of the participants of the World Warrior tournament. After defeating many challengers, his skills earn him the right to fight its host, Sagat. Despite nearly losing against the "Emperor of Muay Thai," Ryu secures a difficult victory by allowing himself to be temporarily consumed by the Satsui no Hadou and is crowned champion.
In the Street Fighter Alpha series, Ryu leaves Sagat behind and returns to his home only to find that Gouken, his master and adoptive father, has been killed. Learning that Akuma had fought and killed his adopted father, Ryu began to travel the world to find this man to avenge him.
He encounters and fights Akuma on a secluded island known as Gokuentou while fighting Ryu. He senses that Ryu has the skills to harness the Satsui no Hadou like he does and tells Ryu about the Satsui no Hadou and it's abilities.
Two years later, Ryu continues to be troubled by what Akuma had told him, compounded by his encounter with Rose, who has intricate ties to M. Bison. She tells him that he cannot defeat Bison unless he fights him at the cost of his soul. True to form, when Ryu confronts Bison, he is defeated unfairly. Bison takes the semi-conscious Ryu and begins brainwashing him, using his power to do so.
This scene is interrupted by the entrance of Sagat, Ken, and Sakura, each of them having followed Ryu for their own reasons. While Ken and Sakura distract Bison, Sagat challenges the brainwashed Ryu. Sagat is offered this battle as an enticement to stay with Shadaloo. Sagat quickly notices the effects Bison's brainwashing have had on Ryu, and, at Sagat's urging, Ryu comes to his senses by using the Ki of the Satsui no Hadou to overcome Bison's power and helps Ken and Sakura fighting Bison, forcing him to retreat.
Three years later, Ryu enters the third World Warrior tournament to further advance his fighting abilities. It is there that he and Ken discover that Gouken is still alive, having survived being attacked by Akuma's Shun Goku Satsu and has helped Ryu learned how to control it without losing his humanity.
Ryu wears a white gi and a black belt, and wears a red headband, though, in the other MvC video games, the headband was white. In the Street Fighter series, Ryu didn't chronologically get a red headband until Street Fighter II. He wore a white headband in the Street Fighter Alpha series, which takes place between the first and second Street Fighter video games.
As a figure who strives to be the ultimate warrior, Ryu's most notable characteristic is that he always thinks about fighting. His motivation inspires characters like Sakura to fight, and is seen by others as an amazing person.
However, he is not without a dark side. His will to fight may cause him to struggle with the Satsui no Hado, a gathering of dark chi that consumes a fighter. The most notable example is Ryu's rival, Akuma, though there have been many (non-canon) instances where Ryu succumbs to the Satsui no Hadou, becoming Evil Ryu.
Powers and Abilities
- Master of a martial arts style with roots as an assassination art known as Ansatsuken. Ryu and fellow disciple Ken uses a sublimated style with the Satsui no Hadou removed from the art. The style appears to be somewhat based on kyokushin karate, as the traditional kyokushinkai techniques can be seen in the character's fighting style. Capcom USA originally referred to Ryu's fighting style as "Shotokan karate", despite bearing little resemblance to the discipline. Because of this, Ryu and other characters who use similar styles (such as Ken and Akuma) are still called "Shoto clones" or "shotos" by fans.
- Most recognized attack is the Ki 'fireball': 'Hadouken'
- Can channel his Ki into powerful attacks once in a while, such as gaining the height from Shouryuuken or spinning during the Tatsumaki Senpuukyaku.
- The Satsui no Hadou (Surge of Murderous Intent), an innate Ki which Ryu possesses, increases his fighting capabilities and the strength of his ki attacks, can teleport and but also turns him into a half demon like Akuma and can also use the "Raging Demon", (the same move that Akuma used to destroy Bison in Street Fighter II) an attack that can destroy the host's Soul if they do not empty their Soul from all negative feelings such as Rage, Hate, Darkness and Desires.
- He's also learned fairly good acrobatic skills to compliment his martial arts.
- Possesses superhuman agility, being able to dodge bullets as if they were nothing.
- All of Ryu's alternate color schemes are based on alternate colors from past Street Fighter games; one of these schemes is an Evil Ryu variant. In Ultimate, he also got an alt based off of his rival, Ken. His DLC costume is that of his appearance in the original game.
- Speaking of Evil Ryu, Ryu's text quote upon beating either Phoenix or Wolverine alludes to the struggle with the Satsui no Hadou he went through in both Street Fighter Alpha and Street Fighter IV, "When you lost control, you lost the fight."
- When placed opposite of Spider-Man, Ryu muses, "Spiders. I hate spiders." According to his bio, Ryu hates spiders due to a prank Ken apparently pulled on him in childhood involving having the spider (presumably a tarantula) crawl down his mouth. Spider-Man then tells Ryu off by replying, "You've got a black belt in stupid if you think you're gonna beat me."
- His win-quote against Wolverine references Vega: "And I thought facing someone with one claw was bad enough. You really put me to the test. Thank you."
- One of Ryu's win quotes in X-Men vs. Street Fighter references the original subtitle of Street Fighter II: "You need to learn the way of the World Warrior."
- Another win quote of his references the infamous Shen Long rumor from EGM (and by proxy, his actual win quote from II): "You must defeat my Aerial Rave to stand a chance."
- In both X-Men vs. Street Fighter and Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, pairing up Ryu and Ken together allows them to perform a Double Shinkuu Hadouken as their Crossover Combination. This is a likely homage to the finale of Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, where the two combined their Hadoukens as a finishing move to defeat Bison.
- In the ending cutscene of Marvel vs. Capcom 2, after you defeat Abyss, you can see Cyclops and Ryu shaking hands. This can be a call back to the title screen of X-Men vs Street Fighter, where both of them are shaking hands behind the game's logo.
- It's assumed that Ryu's rival is currently Wolverine. Both are fierce veterans in the game series, often being many fans' #1 character picks, and both are portrayed as warriors with an honor code, a murderous side, and the will and determination to fight against all odds. Both have also spent time living and training in Japan, for many years at a time. Furthermore, they are both iconic characters for their respective franchises, both specific (X-Men and Street Fighter) and general (Marvel and Capcom), so the pair seems ultimately justifiable.
- Before the rival switches, he was originally paired with Cyclops (who got excluded from Marvel vs. Capcom 3). The reason is that both could be considered the "Leaders or Heroes" of their franchise (since the first Capcom VS Game was originally X-Men VS Street Fighter).
- He was one of the first six characters to be included in Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
- Ryu's alternate colors in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 are Evil Ryu, his SF Alpha alternate, and his SFII alternate. His new palettes in Ultimate are Ken and the version of Evil Ryu that appeared in Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000.
- He is one of the last 7 fighters that has made an appearance as a playable character in every single Marvel vs Capcom game since the first one. He is also one of 3 fighters that have made apparances as a playable character since X-Men vs. Street Fighter (excluding Akuma, who is a secret character on X-Men: Children of Atom, making him the very first Street Fighter/Capcom character to appear in a Marvel related game).
- Ryu's ending features him about to fight Iron Fist in a dueling arena. Also in this ending if you look behind Iron Fist on the second picture there is a board which says "Up Next: Ken vs. Mr X".
- Ryu's after-match quote to Deadpool makes a reference to Deadpool's Shoryuken, shown in a comic book (where he used it against Kitty Pride), and also one of the moves Deadpool can use in Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
- Ryu was one of the first to gain a Downloadable Costume which became available March 1st. The costume is based on his appearance in the very first Street Fighter, not seen official media for over two decades since.
- One of Ryu's new moves, the Hadou Shoryuken, was originally an exclusive attack to Ken Masters in the anime series, Street Fighter II V.
- Up until Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, the Capcom vs. series used Ryu's appearance as of Street Fighter Alpha instead of his usual - while the MvC1 version uses his Street Fighter 2 palette (red headband and darker hair), his looks and animations are still those of the Alpha series.
- In the original Street Fighter video game, the Hadoken was actually called the Psycho Fire.
- In MVC2, most of Ryu's animations (and Katashi Ishizuka's voice clips) were reused which were ones before the time of the first MVC (due to the instant need to discard his power change system). Despite this, Ryu's Shin Shoryuken voice clip was actually done by Toshiyuki Morikawa, making him one of the few characters in the series voiced by two different voice actors in a way. (Though most of the content in MVC2 was more so recycled from other MVC games.)
- Ryu in MVC1 was meant to be more like his Street Fighter III series appearance, with darker hair, a red headband instead of a white one, and with Sean making an appearance in his intro. In out of line somewhat, Toshiyuki Morikawa provides his new deeper voice in that game as oppossed to Wataru Takagi (Takagi being Ryu's seiyuu in the first two SFIII games, Tou'ru Ookawa voices Ryu in SFIII: Third Strike). It was not until as of Street Fighter IV the official voices became solidified.
- Toshiyuki Morikawa also voiced Cyclops in the Marvel Anime.
- Ryu possesses the most amount of different voice actors in the MVC series (having four different JPN seiyuu), as well as in several of his appearances.
- Despite being the "Jack of All Stats/Trades" character in several of his appearances, more recent games show his health to be slightly above average, possibly due to his training.
- Two Ryu's alternate colors resemble Ken and Evil Ryu.
- Ryu's incarnation in UMVC3 is one of the most powerful versions of him to date.
- Ryu along with Zero is one of the few characters who has no button mashable Hyper Combos in UMVC3.
- Ryu is one of the few characters who have "aged" in terms of appearence. As Ryu was in his younger SFA look through Xmvssf to mvc2, He has changed into his more older SF4 look in MVC3/UMVC3. Which makes sense since the story of MVC3/UMVC3 takes place a decade after the events of MVC2. His voice ever since Street Fighter IV has taken a deeper tone, due to a new voice actor.
- In some rare forms of fanon, Ryu's surname is hinted to be "Hoshi". This predates from the real action film Street Fighter from 1994, which content is not part of the official canon.