Hero Overview

Special star

This is the path of my destiny!
~ Ryu
After this battle is over, I can continue my journey.
~ Ryu
Spiders! I hate spiders!
~ Ryu to Spider-Man from Marvel vs Capcom 3

Ryu is the main protagonist in the Street Fighter series and one of the most popular characters, beside Chun-Li and Ken. Ryu has made an appearance in every Street Fighter game, as well as in every crossover fighting game with Capcom characters in it. He is usually a silent, humble, serious individual whose severity is often juxtaposed against the light-hearted, fiery persona of his best friend, Ken (though he does possess a sense of humor).

He travels the globe with a stern nature, often appearing to others as boring or detached. Ryu's greatest strength is cool and calculating patience. During in his overaching goal, Ryu plays the part of the wandering warrior, and takes both his travels and training very seriously. However, he is actually a kind and good-hearted person. He respects others with skills equal to his own and holds superheroic figures like Captain America, Cyclops and Spider-Man in high regard, as seen in the Marvel vs. Capcom series. 


As a young boy, Ryu was an orphan and had no memories of his parents. He is adopted and raised by Gouken in a secluded dojo, and is intensely trained in Gouken's style of martial arts. A few years later, Gouken started training his best friend's son, Ken Masters, at the dojo. Ryu and Ken quickly became good friends and trained together daily. Still to this day, Ryu looks to Gouken as a father, and considers Ken to be his best friend and surrogate brother. When Ryu turned 23, Gouken believes that Ryu's training is complete, and Ryu leaves the dojo. Ryu wants to test and hone his martial skills, and set out to challenge the best fighters around the world.

Ryu finds himself at the first World Warrior tournament. After defeating all opponents, Ryu earns the right to face the host of the tournament, Sagat. Sagat nearly defeats Ryu and let his guard down after he thought he had won. Ryu had an intense desire to win and allows himself to become overcome by the Satsui no Hadou, also known as the Dark Hadou. When Ryu loses control of his inner Dark Hadou, he transforms into Evil Ryu. Ryu then launches a perfectly timed Metsu Shoryuken which scars Sagat's chest and nearly kills him. After Sagat regains consciousness, he swears vengeance on Ryu.

During the events of SFA2, Ryu is told by Ken that Gouken was killed by Akuma, and he immediately sets out to the man called Akuma. He eventually encounters Akuma on a secluded island called as Gokuentou, and a battle commences. Akuma senses that Ryu had the same powers as he does, and tells Ryu about the Satsui no Hadou - a power that consumes the practitioners of their shared fighting style, driving them to win even if it means killing the opponent. Akuma then uses his fist to destroy the island, leaving Ryu stranded. After escaping the island, Ryu runs into Ken and they decide to have a fight like old times. Ryu loses the fight, and Ken realizes that Ryu was not himself. Ryu tells Ken that he is deeply troubled since his last victory over Sagat. To cheer him up, Ken gives Ryu his red headband as a reminder to stay focused, which Ryu was sincerely grateful for.

Later during SFA2, Ryu runs into a girl named Sakura, who claims to be his #1 fan. She expresses her deep desire to become his student, but Ryu tells her that he has much to learn himself, and can't train her at this time. Soon thereafter, Ryu is found by Sagat who demanded a rematch. Ryu notices that Sagat wasn't fully recovered from their last bout and protests fighting, but Sagat persists. They begin fighting but Ryu holds back, which allows Sagat to win the fight. Afterwards, Sagat realizes Ryu didn't use his full strength, and vowed to fight him again someday.

Two years later (during SFA3), Ryu continues to be troubled by what Akuma had told him. He meets a woman named Rose, who tells him that he cannot defeat M. Bison unless he fights him at the cost of his soul. When Ryu confronts Bison, he is defeated despite putting up a valiant fight. Bison takes the semi-conscious Ryu and begins brainwashing him. Bison attempts to use Ryu's Satsui no Hadou to strengthen his own Psycho Power, but is eventually interrupted by Ken, Sakura, and Sagat, each of them having followed Ryu for their own reasons. While Ken and Sakura distract Bison, Sagat challenges the brainwashed Ryu and quickly notices that Ryu isn't himself at all. Sagat urges Ryu to come to his senses to confront Bison. Somehow, Ryu is able to overcome Bison's brainwashing, and destroys Bison temporarily.

Sometime after the second World Warrior tournament, Ryu enters the Street Fighter 4 tournament to further hone his skills and reunite with Ken for another rematch. During his journey, he runs into Sakura and encourages her to train harder. He also encounters Sagat and the two finally have their promised rematch (the outcome of this battle is unknown). In the finals, Ryu battles Seth and defeats him inside the S.I.N. headquarters. During and after their battle, the building is falling around them. Ryu unleashes the Satsui no Hadou on the BLECE machine, a weapon of mass destruction developed by S.I.N. that harnessed the energy in the human body. During this time, Sakura was searching for Ryu and finds him attacking the machine. Just then, a pulse of energy from the BLECE machine knocks her into a wall. Ryu defends Sakura and unleashes a Shoryuken on the machine, destroying it. Afterwards, the two leave the S.I.N. headquarters together. 

Later, Ryu encounters Gouken and learns that Gouken survived the battle with Akuma. Gouken uses the "Power of Nothingness" to seal Ryu's Satsui no Hadou, which knocks him unconscious. Akuma shows up shortly after and challenges his brother to a duel, the winner of which will claim Ryu (the outcome of this battle is unknown).

Many years later, Ryu enters the third World Warrior tournament. His most notable fight during the tournament is against Hugo, who is able to withstand his Shin Shoryuken and continue fighting. After the battle, he serves as Hugo's pro-wrestling tag-team partner for a brief period of time before moving on. Ryu also encounters Alex, and defeats him swiftly. Ryu encourages the young wrestler to continue honing his abilities against strong opponents. Alex is fascinated by Ryu's skill and became determined to become stronger. Ryu continues his travels and eventually meets the hermit, Oro. After a battle between the two, Oro aids Ryu in his training, though Ryu is never truly aware of the hermit's presence.


Ryu is a silent, humble, and respectful individual; which is often juxtaposed against the light-hearted, fiery persona of his childhood friend, Ken. He wanders the world with the desire for complete mastery of his martial art, and takes both his travels and training seriously. For Ryu, the training and the mastery that comes from the fight are all that he requires for satisfaction, declining the more material trappings of his various accomplishments as a warrior, simply moving on to his next challenge once he is victorious without delay, unless he is offered food or if he wants to converse with his friendly rivals. Though he does not seek the role of a hero, he possesses a strong sense of justice as well.

Because of this "wandering warrior" persona and also being trained far away from modern-day culture, Ryu often appears detached to others. Despite this, he is a kind and good-hearted warrior who, on rare occasions, shows a sense of humor (albeit a bad one). He also respects others with skills equal to his own; in the Marvel vs. Capcom series, he seems to hold superheroes like Captain America, Spider-Man, Cyclops, and Wolverine in high respect. To those who he is able to beat and is on friendly terms with, he compliments or encourages them to continue training and get stronger, sometimes offering help first hand (e.g. Dan).

In his appearances in the manga adaptation of Street Fighter II, the anime series Street Fighter II V and the UDON Entertainment comics, Ryu would intake large amounts of food if the opportunity presented itself.

There is, however, a dark side to Ryu: His drive to improve himself, no matter the difficulty, risks developing into a drive to win and to be the best at any cost. This darker drive is fed by (and in turn feeds) the Satsui no Hado within his soul, an influence which Ryu must constantly fight to suppress from killing (at least until the time of Street Fighter III). In times when his inner darkness threatens to overcome his humanity, Ryu relies on his friends and rivals - primarily Ken, Gouken, Chun-Li, Sagat, and Sakura - to keep him grounded and help him overcome out of it.

By the time of Street Fighter III, Ryu is somewhat more friendly; while still very quiet and reserved, but is willing to greet people with a smile and some kind advice, very much like his master Gouken.

Project X Zone

Ryu makes an appearance in Project X Zone. He is a playable character who is partnered up with Ken.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U

Ryu is a a Downloadable Character in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U that was released on June 14, 2015.

Crosspedia Entry

The fighting world warrior who continues his struggle to become a true martial artist. Ryu was trained under his master, Gouken. Since then, he has participated in many different tournaments, always seeking stronger opponents. At the same time, Ryu's strict training is part of his efforts to overcome the destructive potential that slumbers inside his body, the "Satsui no Hadou." Although in the past he did succumb to this power, letting it take him over completely, he managed to come back to himself with the help of his friend Ken Masters and other allies. He now pushes aside all doubt and vows that he will master the correct use of just and true power.


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