- Ryu The Past
- How Does Ryu Play
- Is Ryu Returning to Street Fighter 6
The seminal Street Fighter series makes its grand reentry into the frenetic fighting fandom with a bang in 2023, and we take a look back at the heart of all of the big moments in the longtime series, with ups and downs across the board.
And right at the heart of it is the protagonist of the entire series: Ryu, in many forms the quintessential protagonist, Ryu is a symbol of everything that Street Fighter represents; a grounded martial artist who has otherworldly powers as well as an extraordinary drive to become the strongest fighter alive.
So, is Ryu in Street Fighter 6? Let’s find out!
Ryu – The Past
Starting things off, Ryu is introduced in the first Street Fighter game as the protagonist who wants to become the strongest fighter in the world and enters the first world tournament to look for stronger opponents to fight.
In the events of the first game, Ryu and Ken both travel to fight Sagat, where Ryu takes him on and defeats him. In doing so, he also gives Sagat the iconic scar that defines him in the series.
Street Fighter II
In the 2nd game, Ryu returns for the second version of the tournament. He wins it again in the canon ending of the game.
Here, in Ultra Street Fighter II, we are introduced to a darker, more sadistic version of Ryu – Evil Ryu.
This version of the fighter represents his wish to fight and kill every single thing in existence and is a manifestation of the Satsui no Hado power that resides in every practitioner of Ansatsuken.
Street Fighter Alpha: Warrior’s Dreams
In the next mainline entry, which was Street Fighter Alpha (a prequel) we saw a much younger version of Ryu, facing off against Sagat in a rematch of their Street Fighter tournament finale.
After winning, he continues his journey, having earned Sagat’s respect and being held in high regard as one of the best fighters in the world.
Street Fighter Alpha II
Ryu is back on his quest to confront Akuma, the brother of his master Gouken, and his murderer too.
Wanting to find answers as well as face off against who he believes to be much stronger, Ryu finally meets Akuma and tests his mettle against him. Akuma has completely given in to the same dark power that resides in Ryu. He even believes Ryu to be his successor.
Street Fighter Alpha III
In the 3rd and final installment in the acclaimed Alpha series, Ryu faces off against M. Bison, who has sought a man like Ryu for decades whose body he can inhabit.
Ryu fights and defeats him. But in another ending with Evil Ryu, he instead fights Akuma to decide the world’s strongest.
Street Fighter III
There isn’t really much of a story in this, it only really gained popularity with the Third Strike update.
Regardless, Ryu gets a new, totally different cast, and gets a grand arcade ending.
Street Fighter IV
Street Fighter IV saw a very modern, fresh take on the series that it had needed for a long time.
With the fourth installment, there was an arcade story ladder as well as an ending for all of the characters, including Ryu and Evil Ryu.
The story takes place between the second and third games, utilizing the opportunity to flesh out Ryu’s character.
Street Fighter V
In the latest installment, Ryu finally realizes the Power of Nothingness that saved his master Gouken. He uses it to defeat both Bison and the Satsui no Hado once and for all, destroying the former and purging the latter from his body.
How Does Ryu Play?
Being a staple of the series, Ryu is a very easy-to-pick-up-and-play kind of character.
But, as simple as he might be, he constantly finds himself on the upper-mid tier of tier lists. He is a strong meta pick for pros as well as intermediate online players.
Ryu is an excellent mid-range zoner, as he can effectively use space to either play keep away with his Hadouken and special versions of it. Or close distance quickly with the Tatsumaki Senpukyaku.
Regardless, Ryu is a great choice for newcomers to get a hang of the game’s systems, special moves and the metagame.
There is not much else to say about the way that he works; as is canonical, Ryu is a very simple and strong character who remains grounded and hits hard and true.
Is Ryu In Street Fighter 6?
Well, as a fan-favorite and the game’s protagonist, there was no chance that Ryu was not returning.
After the reveal and the beta gameplay, however, we can confirm that it is a much-changed Ryu that appears in the latest game.
No longer burdened by a vicious dark power hungry for battle, SF6 Ryu is grizzled and world-weary, only stopping for a fight or two on his travels.