FIGHT! A vicious battle erupts between Ken and Vega, and a long-lost ally returns... but is he friend or foe? PLUS! Ken takes on Zangief in the squared circle, featuring the art of Kevin Lau!
Ryu dreams that he is beating Ken mercilessly within Master Gouken's dojo. He finishes Ken off with a fireball that swirls with dark purple energies, and then wakes from the dream... only to find that he is standing in the exact same place he was in the dream, and that, judging by the smoking ruin in front of him that used to be a wall, he must have thrown the fireball from his dream in real life as well. "Am I losing my mind?" Ryu wonders to himself.
Outside the dojo, Akuma sits cross-legged before his brother's grave. Having felt Ryu call upon the dark hadou when he flung the fireball in his sleep, Akuma tells Gouken that even though he withheld the teachings from Ryu, he could not stop Ryu from finding them within himself and discovering his destiny. "As I discovered mine." He says, taking Gouken's beads from his grave and putting them on.
The next day, Ken and Eliza are walking down the street in Shibuya, Japan, when Vega "accidentally" collides with Eliza, causing her to spill the contents of a bag she is carrying. Vega assists her, much to Ken's annoyance, in recovering her items, slipping a tracker device onto her scarf as he does so. Handing her a rose, Vega showers Eliza in compliments until Ken steps in and tells Vega that he and his FIANCE have to get going.
At Japan's Narita airport, Chun-Li and Guile disembark from their plane to start their search for Ryu. A stewardess observes them, then ducks into the plane's restroom where she contacts M. Bison, revealing herself as Shadaloo "Doll" Agent Juni. Juni tells Bison that Guile and Chun-Li have entered Japan.
Meanwhile, Ken leaves Eliza at the hotel while he goes to get them some dinner. While he is gone Vega breaks into the room, threatening Eliza with his claws and demanding to know where Ryu is.
Before Vega can follow through with his threats, Ken returns. Enraged at the sight of Vega tormenting Eliza, Ken launches himself at the masked killer and the two of them batter ferociously on one another. When Ken lands a kick that sends Vega's claws flying, he is horrified when the blades end up sinking into Eliza's neck and shoulder. Vega mockingly chastises Ken to be more careful, and in response Ken unleashes a devastating TATSUMAKI-SENPU-KYAKU helicopter kick, smashing Vega's mask to pieces.
Terrified that his face has been damaged, Vega flees.
From the shadows of a nearby rooftop, Shadaloo Agent Shadow witnesses Vega's defeat and reports it to M. Bison. He asks Bison if he should engage Ken, but Bison responds that he has a different task for him.
Later, at Eliza's room at a nearby hospital, Ken tells Eliza that his fighting almost got her killed. She responds that it was Vega who would have probably killed her, had Ken not shown up when he did. She also tells him that he has to leave her to go warn Ryu about Shadaloo, as there are no phones in the dojo, and Vega's attack proves that whatever Shadaloo wants with Ryu, they are willing to kill to get it. Ken protests that he can't just leave her, but she replies that he must.
Meanwhile, Guile and Chun-Li arrive at Gouken's dojo. A lone figure catches Guile's eye, but, with a sudden burst of unnatural speed, it disappears into a nearby alleyway. Before Chun-Li knows what's happening, Guile charges after the figure. Chun-Li, in turn, races after Guile, but when she enters the alleyway, the discus-shaped energy from a SONIC BOOM attack knocks her off of her feet. Dazed, she looks up and sees Charlie Nash, his flesh, hair and clothing all appearing oddly desaturated, carrying the unconscious form of Guile. "Charlie?!" She exclaims. "Negative," he replies. "I am Shadaloo Agent Shadow."
BACK UP STORY:
The story takes place a year earlier, during the last fight of the U.S. Martial Arts Tournament. Ken faces Zangief in the ring, but his head isn't in the game. Earlier, his fiance, Eliza, returned his engagement ring to him when he blew off her feelings about his fighting career.
Now, with Ken unable to summon the strength and willpower he needs to defeat Zangief: The Red Cyclone, he realizes that without Eliza by his side, he might not have a fighting career...
Zangief unloads attack after attack on Ken. Suddenly, a voice comes from the audience, snapping Ken out of his stupor. It's Eliza, yelling at him to get up.
Zangief charges Ken, roaring that he will now finish him, as he does so.
"In front of my girl? Dude, I don't think so." Ken replies, laying out the massive Russian with a flurry of attacks. Ken is declared the winner of the tournament. Afterwards, Eliza tells him that she realized that she fell in love with a fighter, and that she doesn't want Ken to pretend to be something that he isn't. "Just promise me you'll always try to win!" She says to Ken, leaping into his arms.