Cypher Attack (サイファー攻撃) refers to Hiryu's primary attack in the series, as well as other basic moves he performs with his weapon, the Cypher. In official material, and specially control scheme images, this attack is often labeled simply "Cypher" or "Shot" (ショット).
During battle, Hiryu's main strategy is to quickly close the distance with his target and then eliminate them with a single strike using the blade of plasma generated by the Cypher, sharp enough to cut through anything in its path. This attack usually comes in the form of a perfectly horizontal crescent arc of plasma. Due to the great speed of Hiryu's swinging arm, the Cypher releases a high-pitched sound with each swing.
As an expert handling the Cypher, Hiryu can perform an attack from any position he finds himself in without any problem, including while standing, crouching, jumping, climbing walls or ceilings and even while sliding. Hiryu's fast arm movement allows him to swing the Cypher several times in a second, fast enough to where his arm is practically never seen in motion and leaving no opening between attacks for an enemy to counterattack. Finally, in certain games the range of the Cypher's blade can be increased temporarily by picking up the "Cypher" power-up, an item appearing as a small version of the weapon.
Hiryu's basic Cypher swing is a horizontal slash of plasma energy produced in front of him with every swing of the Cypher. As stated above, he can create this arc of plasma from any position, and by rapid-mashing pretty much obliterate any enemy in his path without breaking pace.
The generated arc of plasma is a solid white in color with a red and blue outline. With the "Cypher" power-up, the blade is extended to twice its normal length for the following 100 attacks, greatly increasing its range.
Hiryu's basic attack is mostly similar to the original. Hiryu unleashes an arc of plasma energy in front of him with each swing of the Cypher. Hiryu can perform this attack while standing, crouching and jumping, but not while sliding or using certain Tricks. The plasma arc here is white with light blue accents.
Hiryu has another basic move referred to as a stabbing action, where he rises the Cypher vertically over his head by holding up. While in this stance Hiryu can't perform any action but jumping, any enemy that comes into contact with the Cypher receives damage. This ability is useful to clear upper levels of weak enemies, and it is also needed to charge up plasma for the Plasma Arrow move.
When attacking, Hiryu now performs three different slices in quick succession. His first strike is a horizontal blade slash much like before, the following attack has the arc of plasma at a 45º downward angle, and the third strike is angled at a 45º upward angle instead. This cycle conforms Hiryu's basic Cypher offensive. The plasma arc is based on the original appearance, albeit not as large and transparent instead of a solid white.
With the "Cypher" power-up, Hiryu starts emitting a purplish aura, the plasma arc gains a green tinge and each slash now releases a small plasma wave forward, extending its range to atleast half-screen. The plasma waves are slightly stronger than the basic strike (doing 2 points of damage instead of 1) and killing enemies with them also grants more points. Unlike the original, this power-up has no time limit and lasts until Hiryu receives damage.
Hiryu's basic attack is know as the "Primary Attack" or Cypher Slash, and it returns to its original form, being a straight horizontal arc of plasma. This time, however, Hiryu can alter the direction of the arc by pressing up or down, allowing him to strike at any direction around him, such as above his head, downwards while jumping or at a low or high angle. This can be useful to strike at enemies located at different heights than Hiryu. The plasma energy's color is now a transparent yellow with a purple edge, which becomes crimson after the Reflect Cypher upgrade is found.
Hiryu also comes with a second Cypher attack option known as the "Secondary Attack" or Cypher Heavy Strike (切り上げ攻撃, lit. Cutting/Slashing Lift Attack), an uppercut slash based on his launcher (crouching HP) from the Vs. series. Enemies hit by this move are send flying upwards, temporarily stunning and taking them out of Hiryu's path. Hiryu can also follow behind the struck enemy and strike it in mid-air until it is destroyed.
Hiryu can also perform a rushing strike while running at an enemy, delivering a quick long swinging strike as he fully outstretches both arms away, similar in form to his Ame-no-Murakumo attack in the Vs. series.
- Hinjo retains Hiryu's original plasma arc in most versions of Strider II, but it can only be used while moving or jumping since pressing attack while standing takes out Hinjo's Gyro laser for long-range attacks instead. The Mega Drive port provides a new "Sweep" variant as the default which possess a wave-like flat and segmented plasma arc. The "Classic" arc can be selected in the options screen, however.
- Hiryu was given several different forms of Cypher slashes in the Marvel vs. Capcom series, including uppercuts, turning and spinning strikes, sweeps, etc. His Medium Punch (MP) attack animation, however, is a horizontal slash on all instances (standing, crouching, jumping), likely in reference to the original attack. The blade of plasma in the first and second game was modeled after the original game's arc, while Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 changes it into a transparent trail of either yellow (basic attacks) or blue (special attacks) plasma. Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite drops the yellow trail in favor of a plasma arc closer in look to the 2014 Strider version, retains the blue trail for special moves, and turns the original standing and jumping MP horizontal slash into a new Command Normal called Lateral Slice.
- Several of Hiryu's moves in Namco × Capcom are taken from his normal Cypher attacks in Marvel vs. Capcom: his move Cypher has Hiryu strike the target three times, first with a horizontal slash (Medium Punch), then a backwards upper slice (Heavy Punch) and finally a downwards slash (Heavy Kick). The move is upgraded at Level 23 into Cypher (Strong) (サイファー (強) ), although the animation remains the same. Hiryu has also two other moves known as Cypher Lift Slash (サイファー斬り上げ; lit. "Cypher Cutting/Slashing Lift"}}, based on the crouching HP/launcher) and Cypher Down Slash (サイファー斬り下ろし; lit. "Cypher Slash Dropping", based on the jumping HP).
- Hiryu performs the three-way Strider 2 variant in his neutral attack from Project X Zone 2, which has him perform moves from Strider 2 exclusively. Outside the Special moves from Marvel vs. Capcom, he's also seen performing the basic horizontal slash, possibly as a nod to the original Arcade game where it was Hiryu's only sword strike.
- "Cypher" is the special ability of Hiryu's card in the first two games of the SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters series.
- Zeku from Street Fighter V has two references to Hiryu's basic attack:
- He performs a horizontal swinging chop as his standing and crouching Heavy Punch (HP), both using an identical stance to Hiryu when he swings the Cypher. Both attacks possess a follow-up move known as the Kaeshi Saiha (返し災破, lit. Return/Reversal Calamity Blast), where he continues the attack with a backwards-motion chop in a similar way to Hiryu's rapid swinging in his series, where he performs forward and backward strikes very fast. "Saiha" is also a deliberate name, as it is similar to the pronunciation of Cypher in Japanese (Saifā).
- Most of his special kick moves produce a small purplish shockwave similar to the Cypher's arc of plasma, as well as the exact same high-pitched sound the Cypher produces when swung. One of Zeku's special moves, Bushin Gram, is based on Hiryu's ability to produce an arc of plasma with twice its normal length.
- The Mega Man 7 special weapon "Slash Claw" is likely inspired by Hiryu's original attack. The weapon is used by Mega Man swinging his arm, and it creates a crescent arc of energy very similar to that of the Cypher's. Furthering the reference, Auto's commentary in the Japanese version directly compares it to Strider Hiryu.
- The cancelled Capcom Fighting All-Stars was the only instance in which a playable Hiryu had no basic Cypher attack, as he fought with his bare hands and only used the Cypher in Specials and Super Arts.
- All playable characters in Isuke's Moon Diver produce similar arcs of energy when swinging their weapons, with the ones from charged slashes resembling the Cypher's arc of plasma the most. Visually, these arcs look different and appear to be made of wind.
- The sound effect used for all Cypher-based attacks in the CPS-1 Strider is hardware rendered, from the native synthesis audio function. Since Marvel Vs. Capcom onwards, it is digitally sampled.
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