Ryu is an orphaned child with no knowledge of who his parents are or if they are still alive. When Ryu was a young child, he was adopted by Gouken and began living with him as well as learning the mysterious and dangerous martial art known as Ansatsuken (though it was a purified version created by Gouken, removing the Satsui no Hadou "murderous surge" and implimented Kikouhou "the cultivation of ki" in it's place).
Gouken later trained his best friend's bratty son, Ken Masters, who served not only as a sparring partner for Ryu, but also to give Ryu some company since Gouken was the only person Ryu had seen in a long time due to the seclusion of Gouken's dojo.
Ryu looked up to Gouken as a father figure during his early years and Ken as a best friend. When Ryu was a young man, Ken challenged him to see who could become a world famous fighter first. Accepting, Ryu (not with Ken) set off to enter the first World Warrior Tournament.
Ryu, having accepted Ken's challenge to see who could become a world famous fighter first, eagerly entered into the first "World Warrior" Tournament to prove himself. He was a prospective fighter, and with his skills and prowess, advanced to the finals to fight Sagat. Sagat had proved to be more than Ryu could handle and promptly beat him to the floor.
When Sagat thought the fight over, he reached a hand out to aid Ryu to his feet, while Ryu, who had been consumed with the desire to win at all costs, lashed out at Sagat with a Satsui-no-Hadou powered Shoryuken (the Metsu Shoryuken) and tore open the Emporer of Muay Thai's chest, scarring him and knocking him unconscious, making Ryu the victor.
Ryu then came to his senses, not knowing what had happened, but now knew he was the winner. Eager to find answers to what had over-taken him, Ryu returned home to consult his master Gouken, only to find him murdered. Sensing Akuma's (Gouki's) ki, he set off to find his master's killer.
Street Fighter Alpha Saga
(These events occur during Alpha/Zero 2 and 3. The original Alpha/Zero game is not considered "Canon" in the timeline as Capcom stated it was an "unfinished game").
During his search for Akuma, Ryu encounters a young girl named Sakura who had seen him fight near her High School. She challenges him to a fight, which he accepts and lets her win (Sakura figures this out later). After the fight, Sakura asks Ryu to be her master, to which he denies and says that he is still learning himself and isn't ready to take on students. As he is leaving Sakura takes a photo of him and swears she will be his student one day.
Ryu finally finds Akuma on his island of Gokuentou and challenges him to a fight. Akuma, who is merely testing Ryu, realizies that Ryu wields the same power he does and tells Ryu of the powerful fighting method called Satsui no Hadou ("the murderous intent") and that it is that power that Ryu used used to defeat Sagat. He then tells Ryu that when he "awakens to his full potential in the Satsui-no-Hadou", to seek him out so that they may have their true battle. After telling Ryu this, Akuma punches the island and sinks it, leaving Ryu stranded and frustrated by Akuma's cryptic words.
Ryu eventually encounters Ken which had returned to visit him. Ken promptly challenges Ryu to a fight and wins. After the battle, Ken sensed that Ryu was not quite himself and that something seemed to be clouding his mind. He gives him his red hair band, urging him to stay focused and that whenever he loses, to use the headband as a reminder of this fight. Ryu feels he had learned a lot from these experiences and knows he has a lot more to learn about himself, fighting against the Satsui-no-Hadou and becoming a true martial artist.
Later, Ryu, still haunted by Akuma's words, meets Rose a tarot card reader who warns him that M. Bison (Vega in Japan), leader of Shadoloo crime organization is searching for him, and that when Ryu meets "that man", he must fight with his soul and not his physical strength or he will lose. When Ryu is finally confronted by Bison, he is beaten to a semi-conscious state, which allows Bison to brainwash him with his Psycho Power. Under the effects of the Psycho Power, Ryu embraces his Satsui no Hadou side and turns into Evil Ryu.
Soon after this, Ken, Sakura, and Sagat arrive, having had searched for Ryu all for different reasons; Ken because he was worried about not having heard from Ryu, Sakura still seeking to be Ryu's apprentice, and Sagat for his revenge. Ken and Sakura engaged Bison, while Sagat fights Ryu but notices that Ryu has turned much more aggressive. Realizing that Ryu is not fighting as himself, Sagat urges Ryu to snap out of this brainwashed state.
With Sagat's words and his friends' efforts, Ryu was able to snap out of it and quickly help Ken and Sakura in their fight against Bison, who, after receiving a Shoryuken from Ryu is forced by the group to retreat in shock as he thought Psycho Power and the Satsui-no-Hadou were of the same force, and that Ryu would be unable to resist him. Ryu realizes that fighting with a desire to win is not the true way of a martial artist and shuns the Satsui-no-Hadou. He thanks his friends and they all part ways.
Street Fighter II Saga
During the second World Warrior tournament, Ryu enters to test and hone his skills. (It is unknown how far he made it in the tournament, however according to overall continuity, it was either Guile (most likely) or Chun-Li (a little less likely) that actually defeated M. Bison at the end as their story-lines are deeply tied to the true ending of Street Fighter 2. There is no evidence that Ryu won the tournament.)
Street Fighter 4 Saga
Ryu challenges Ken in the new tournament being held by S.I.N. and, upon Ken's acceptance of the challenge (thanks in no small part to Eliza's encouragement) Ryu sets forth into the tournament and fights his way to the finals.
Confronting S.I.N's leader Seth and his BLECE project (which feeds off of and nearly activates Ryu's Satsui-no-Hadou), Ryu not only defeats Seth, but destroys the BLECE project machine with a Shoryuken. Ryu then reflects upon having met with Ken, Sakura and finally having his rematch with Sagat and, impressed at how strong everyone has become, promises that they will all meet again in the future.
Street Fighter 3 Saga
(Much like the Street Fighter Alpha/Zero series, these events take place in Street Fighter 3: Second Impact and Third Strike as "New Generation was again an "unfinished game" and removed from the timeline).
Ryu meets up with Ken and his new tag-along student Sean and enters into a new tournament being held by Gill, but is defeated by Oro. He declines Oro's offer to be trained by him (Oro then vows to make Ryu his pupil someday). Ken then leaves Sean with Ryu for a short while for him to be trained temporarily by Ryu (and giving Ken a break from his over-zealous student).
Ryu eventually returns to America and makes his way to New York to challenge Ken to a match, which Ryu wins. He then encounters Alex while in New York and defeats him in a match as well and encourages Alex to "keep on fighting".
Powers and Abilities
Ryu is a practitioner of Ansatuken-Kikouhou (a non-killing version of his style developed by Gouken). Through his training and dedication to becoming a "True Martial Artist" he has over-come and shunned Ansatsuken-Satsui-no-Hadou (the murderous version of his style) and has incorporated many techniques of other styles into his own in an effort to continue his path of becoming a "True Martial Artist".
He is considered a master of Ki Manipulation (mastering the ability to manipulate his life force's energy to produce various effects, primarily various forms of Hadokens) and has been shown to cast spheres of energy from his hands at varying degrees of speed and power (such as temporarily stopping the flow of a waterfall with one blast as well as destroying a solid 20ft granite statue with another).
He can control the elemental properties, such as Flame or Electricity, that he is able to add to his Hadokens. This means that he can vary the amount of elemental energy in his attacks from non-lethal to lethal levels to damage his opponents. He can also add properties like a vacuum-effect to draw opponents into the Hadoken to strike them multiple times with one blast.
Ryu possesses heightened reflexes and it has been stated that he could dodge gunfire (though automatic fire is unknown) if the need ever arose. Ryu has also shown great feats of strength (such as lifting a giant boulder over his head) and great amounts of stamina (he had to swim the ocean back to shore as a young man after Akuma destroyed his island). He has great durability as well. Balrog, who has leveled vans with one punch, beat Ryu down mercilessly, yet he still got back up and won the fight. Ryu has also shown that he can sense the prescence of others through their fighting spirits or Ki.
- Joudan Sokutou Geri (High-Level Blade Kick)
- Hadoken (Wave Motion Fist)
- Shakunetsu Hadoken (Scorching Wave Motion Fist)
- Shinku Hadoken (Vacuum Wave Motion Fist)
- Metsu Hadoken (Destroying Wave Motion Fist)
- Denjin Hadoken (Lightning Blade Wave Motion Fist)
- Tatsumaki Senpu Kyaku (Cyclone Hurricane Kick)
- Kuchuu Tatsumaki Senpu Kyaku (Mid-Air Cyclone Hurricane Kick)
- Shinku Tatsumaki Senpu Kyaku (Vacuum Cyclone Hurricane Kick)
- Shoryuken (Rising Dragon Fist)
- Metsu Shoryuken (Destructive Rising Dragon Fist)
- Shin Shoryuken (True Rising Dragon Fist)
- Height: 5'9"
- Weight: 150 lbs
- Birthday: July 21st, 1964
- Nationality: Japanese
- Likes: Mizuyokan (Japanese Sweet Bean Jelly)
- Dis-Likes: Spiders (Woke up with one in his mouth once)
- Martial Arts Style: Ansatsuken-Kikouhou (With techniques from Karate, Taekwon-Do & multiple grappling styles incorporated)
- Personality: Has a strong sense of justice, duty and loyalty
- Ryu's name in Kanji actually means "Prosperity", not "Dragon" as most commonly believed.
- The Kanji on Ryu's belt reads- "Fuu Rin Ka Zan". It is a quote from Sun Tzu's Art of War and means: "Swift as the wind, Quiet as the forest, Attack like fire, Strong as a mountain".
- Ryu is often depicted as being right-handed, while Ken is shown as being left-handed.
- Ryu tends to cut out any flashy movements from his fighting-style, unlike his friend Ken who prefers "flair and finesse".
In this comic series, Bison holds a tournament in an attempt to capture the worlds greatest fighters and use them to power his psycho drive. This would cause Bison to grow even more powerful and help him succeed in world domination.
Ryu successfully makes his way through the tournament. This includes soundly defeating his old rival, Sagat. Ryu makes it to the final round against Bison, but Bison has Ken and many others under his control. As they are about to battle, Akuma interrupts, for he has been searching for Ryu. Akuma easily handles Bison and when his psycho drive is destroyed, is powerless to stop Akuma from destroying him.
Seeking vengeance for the death of his master Gouken at Akuma's hands, he glady begins the battle. But he refuses to unleash his full potential, which Akuma considers a weakness. Unable to defeat Akuma without succumbing to the Satsui no Hadou, he chooses death over betraying his masters teachings. As Akuma is about to land the killing blow with Bison's island slowly sinking in lava around them, Gouken appears from the dead. He tells Ryu that he has passed his final test and one day he will surpass even himself. Gouken battles his brother while Ryu begins to black out from the smoke. Dhalsim rescues him before he falls into the lava.
Ryu returns to Japan and rebuilds Gouken's Dojo, planning on getting a fresh start. He may not have beaten Akuma but he has won the battle and continues to focus on his training and bettering himself.
Film and Animation
- Street Fighter (first appearance)
- Street Fighter II
- Street Fighter II Champion Edition
- Street Fighter II Turbo Hyper Fighting
- Super Street Fighter II
- Super Street Fighter II Turbo
- Super Street Fighter II Revival
- Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
- Street Fighter IV
- Super Street Fighter IV
- Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition
- Street Fighter Alpha 3
- Street Fighter Alpha 3 Upper
- Street Fighter Alpha 3 Max
- Street Fighter Alpha Anthology
- Street Fighter EX 2
- Street Fighter EX 3
- Street Fighter III: New Generation
- Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact
- Street Fighter III 3rd Strike: Fight For the Future
- Street Fighter X Tekken
- Capcom vs SNK
- Capcom vs SNK Pro
- Marvel vs Capcom
- Marvel vs Capcom 2
- Marvel vs Capcom 3
- X-Men vs Street Fighter
- Namco x Capcom
- Capcom Classics Collection
- Capcom Classics Collection Reloaded
- Capcom Classics Collection: Volume 2
- Capcom Fighting All-Star
- Capcom Fighting Evolution
- Pocket Fighter
- Puzzle Fighter
- Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Cross Generation of Heroes
- Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Ultimate All Stars
- Tekken X Street Fighter
- Project X Zone
- Project X Zone 2