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This is the path of my destiny!
~ Ryu
After this battle is over, I can continue my journey.
~ Ryu

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 his overarching 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. 

Story

As a young boy, Ryu was an orphan and had no memories of his parents. He was adopted and raised by Gouken in a secluded dojo, and 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 believed that Ryu's training was complete, and Ryu left the dojo. Ryu wanted to test and hone his martial skills, and set out to challenge the best fighters around the world.

Ryu found himself at the First World Warrior tournament. After defeating all opponents, Ryu earned the right to face the host of the tournament, Sagat. Sagat nearly defeated Ryu and let his guard down after he thought he had won. Ryu, unwilling to lose, was overcome by the Satsui no Hadou (Surge of Murderous Intent). When Ryu lost control of his inner darkness, he transformed into Evil Ryu. Ryu then hit Sagat with a deadly Metsu Shoryuken that scarred him for life. While Ryu regained his senses and was declared world champion, Sagat secretly swore that he would get revenge on Ryu.

During the events of Street Fighter Alpha 2, Ryu was told by Ken that Gouken was killed by Akuma, and he immediately set out to find him. He eventually encountered Akuma on a secluded island called "Gokuentou", and their battle commenced. Akuma sensed that Ryu had the same powers as he did, and told Ryu about the Satsui no Hadou, which was a power that consumed the practitioners of their shared fighting style, driving them to win even if it means killing the opponent. Akuma then used his fist to destroy the island, leaving Ryu stranded. After escaping the island, Ryu ran into Ken and they decided to have a fight just like old times. Ken won the fight, but realized that Ryu was not himself. Ryu told Ken that he was deeply troubled since his victory over Sagat. To cheer him up, Ken gave Ryu his now-famous red headband as a reminder to stay focused, which Ryu was sincerely grateful for.

Later, Ryu ran into a girl named Sakura, who claimed to be his #1 fan. She expressed her deep desire to become his student, but Ryu told her that he has much to learn himself, and couldn't train her at this time. Shortly thereafter, Ryu was found by Sagat who demanded a clean rematch. Ryu noticed that Sagat hadn't fully recovered from their last bout and refuses to fight him, but Sagat persists. They began fighting, but Ryu held back, which allowed Sagat to win the fight. Afterwards, Sagat realized Ryu didn't use his full strength, and vowed to fight him again someday when they were both at their full strength.

Two years later (during the events of Street Fighter Alpha 3), Ryu continued to be troubled by what Akuma had told him. He met a woman named Rose, who told him that he couldn't defeat the leader of Shadaloo, M. Bison, unless he fought him at the cost of his own soul. When Ryu confronted Bison, he was defeated despite putting up a valiant fight. Bison took the unconscious Ryu and began brainwashing him. Bison attempted to use Ryu's Satsui no Hadou to strengthen his own Psycho Power, but was eventually interrupted by Ken, Sakura and Sagat, each of them having followed Ryu for their own reasons. While Ken and Sakura distracted Bison, Sagat challenged the brainwashed Ryu and quickly noticed that Ryu wasn't himself at all. Sagat urged Ryu to come to his senses to confront Bison. Sagat's pleas managed to break through to Ryu, and he regained control of his body just in time to hear Sakura (who had taken a Psycho Crusher meant for Ryu) crying for help. Livid at seeing Sakura injured and at the mercy of the ruthless dictator, Ryu briefly succumbed to the Satsui no Hadou again and utterly destroyed Bison's body with a Metsu Hadouken (though his soul managed to survive and was eventually given a new body).

Sometime after retaining his title at the Second World Warrior tournament, Ryu entered the Third World Warrior tournament to further hone his skills and reunite with Ken for another rematch. During his journey, he reunited with Sakura and encouraged her to train harder. He also encountered Sagat and the two finally had their promised clean rematch (the outcome of this battle remains unknown). In the grand final, Ryu battled Seth and defeated him inside the S.I.N. headquarters. After their battle, Ryu unleashed the Satsui no Hadou on the BLECE machine, a weapon of mass destruction developed by S.I.N. that harnessed the energy of the human body. During this time, Sakura was searching for Ryu and found him attacking the machine. Just then, a pulse of energy from the BLECE machine knocks her into a wall. Ryu saved Sakura and unleashed a Shin Shoryuken on the machine, destroying it. Afterwards, the two left the S.I.N. headquarters together.

Later, Ryu encountered Gouken and learned that he had actually survived the battle with Akuma. Gouken used the Mu No Ken (Power of Nothingness) to seal Ryu's Satsui no Hadou away, which knocked him unconscious. Akuma showed up shortly after and challenged his brother to a duel (the outcome of which remains unknown).

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

Personality

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 Hibiki).

In his appearances in the manga adaptation of Street Fighter II, the anime series Street Fighter II Voyage and the non-canonical 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 Hadou 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 it.

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

Other Appearances

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 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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