Strider Hiryu (ストライダー飛竜), or simply Hiryu in his home series, is the main protagonist of the franchise. Jointly owned by Capcom and manga studio Moto Kikaku, Hiryu has starred in all official Strider games and the manga, as well as appearing in a host of Capcom's crossover games.
As an active Strider agent, all personal data such as real name, age, nationality, career and any other background information are top secret, although official speculation states that he's an Asian male somewhere around 20 years of age (19 in the manga). The youngest Strider ever to reach Special A-Class in the organization's history, Hiryu completed the Striders' hellish training program among the top ten percentile. He is a professional expert in sabotage and assassination, as well as a master spy.
In battle, Hiryu is incredibly focused, appearing silent but stern. He shows super-human capabilities, heightened by his impressive agility and speed, which allows him to dodge barrages of bullets. Hiryu fights like a fierce deity while remaining both calm and collected emotionally. He epitomizes the strength a Special A-Class Strider possesses.
- 1 Manga Story
- 2 Games Story
- 3 Appearance
- 4 Skills and Abilities
- 5 Design Notes
- 6 Other Appearances
- 7 Gallery
- 8 Trivia
- 9 References
Nothing is known about Hiryu's past, outside the fact that he's an orphan of Asian heritage, with him claiming at one point a Japanese identity while in a disguise. He took the Striders' training program alongside Kain, Sheena, and Kubira, and became a close friend of the former two. During training, Hiryu's excellence in every category and incredible displays of skill at such a young age gained him a reputation among other Striders for his inhuman strength and mastery of the Cypher.
Together with him in the Striders was his sister, Mariya, a person he respected and loved dearly. One fateful day, however, Mariya suddenly went insane and murdered ten Strider trainees. As she was a very skilled agent on her own, Director Kuramoto decided to assign the mission to stop her to her brother, a decision he came to regret later. Hiryu desperately fought his mad sister while trying to reason with her, but was finally forced to kill her in self-defense. This incident would weigh heavily on Hiryu's mind. Carrying the burden of her murder, Hiryu lost the will to live and became increasingly reckless and careless during missions, becoming a "demon of destruction" who simply sought to die on the battlefield.
Six months after Mariya's death, Director Kuramoto assigns Hiryu what'd become his final mission as a Strider: to rescue Dr. J. Hogan, the lead authority in nuclear fusion, and eliminate its kidnappers, the terrorist group known as the Phantom Unit. Kain directly objects Kuramoto's decision to send him on such a dangerous mission alone, citing Hiryu's unstable emotional state since his sister's death, but unbeknownst to both was the fact that Kuramoto intentionally gave him a very dangerous mission, believing that if Hiryu survives the ordeal, he'll be able to overcome his distress and move on.
After finding the enemy base in the middle of a snowy wasteland, Hiryu breaks in and starts savagely murdering all who stand in his way. He's soon confronted by the terrorist leaders, the Zangi Brothers. Disguised as Hogan, the older brother is able to injure Hiryu's left arm and capture him, but Hiryu frees himself by setting off bombs he has planted earlier to blow the whole base and then uses his Cypher to electrocute the area, killing all remaining soldiers instantly and heavily burning the younger of the Zangi Brother, Aaron.
Exhausted from the assault, Hiryu starts to wonder if his time has finally come, though he remains determined to bring his enemies down with him. Jumping to cross blades with Aaron one last time, Hiryu is caught off-guard when Aaron's brother appears from behind Aaron's back and shoots him. Though hit square in the chest, Hiryu spins in mid-air and throws his Climb Sickle at the brothers, striking the older one in the forehead and killing him instantly. He then faces and easily eliminates the enraged Aaron. Falling to his knees afterward, Hiryu checks the wound and discovers the bullet was stopped by a necklace he was wearing, which belonged to his sister. Taking it as a sign that Mariya would not want him to die this way, Hiryu takes a new resolve to live his life fully in her memory.
Hiryu disappears after rescuing Dr. Hogan, abandoning the organization to pursue a new lifestyle. This was also part of Kuramoto's plan, allowing Hiryu a chance for a "special retirement" after the mission, considering him no longer fit to be a Strider. Kuramoto later proclaims that "Strider Hiryu" is dead.
Hiryu choose a small plateau in Mongolia to set up his new home with Rin, a small girl he met at the plateau and part of a village of Mongolian nomads living at the base who he also befriended. For the next two years, Hiryu carried out a simple life in this region, convinced that only Kuramoto knew of his location.
Then, Matic suddenly appeared one day on the village intending to force him out of retirement for one last mission: to eliminate Kain, who was captured in Kazakh and has become a liability to the organization. Hiryu initially refuses, having long abandoned that part of his life, but Matic then threatens the lives of the innocent villagers and Rin if he doesn't comply. With his past as an assassin exposed to them already, Hiryu reluctantly agrees. After arriving on Kazakh, Hiryu reunites with Sheena in an abandoned building. While Sheena was overjoyed to see him back, Hiryu kept his mission to kill Kain a secret from her, even though he himself questioned whether he'd be able to fulfill it. Together, they find and retrieve an unconscious Kain from the Secret Police HQ, and seek shelter in one of the Rebel Army's safehouses due to a blizzard.
Kain eventually recovers consciousness, and suddenly attacks both Hiryu and Sheena. Hiryu confronts and eventually subdues the violent Kain, but not before Sheena received a fatal injury, dying in his hands. Finding a strange implant inside Kain's neck, Hiryu forces the captive chief of the Secret Police to reveal the truth behind Enterprise's ZAIN Project and their brainwashing weapon. Hiryu later helps the recovered Kain to cope with the grief of having killed Sheena, and having realized his sister's insanity was caused by the same implant, he vows to put an end to the project and anyone involved in it. The next morning they bury Sheena, with Hiryu cutting off his ponytail as a sign of his determination to take down Enterprise.
Hiryu and Kain later track down the ZAIN laboratory hidden inside the Kazakh Federation Mental Institute, where Hiryu discovers one ZAIN Terminal, as well as Matic's involvement in this complot. After destroying the terminal, they hear from the head of the institute that there exist more terminals in construction and that any effort is useless as long as the main computer remains operational. With this knowledge, both decide to target the Amazon institute next and use the terminal's satellite link to determine the primary ZAIN's location, as well as the organization's headquarters. During their stay in the Amazon they are attacked by Strider Arana and Strider Kubira on Matic's orders. Hiryu defeats both Striders in battle and secures a way for him and Kain to reach Enterprise's headquarters, by infiltrating one of the Rescue Airships sent to assist the injured from the institute's destruction.
Once they arrive at Enterprise's headquarters in Los Angeles, Hiryu and Kain attempt to infiltrate by disguising themselves as repairmen, Hiryu claiming the identity of Japanese engineer "Ryuji Asuka" (飛鳥竜二). Eventually discovered by Matic, both make a quick escape and split ways, with Hiryu taking on the attacking soldiers and killing Secretary Yuri. Reaching the top floor of the building, Hiryu is confronted by Faceas Clay who explains his views on humanity as "flawed products" and his goal of correcting that. Unable to convince him, Clay sics his mechanical bodyguard on him, but Hiryu finally destroys it and kills Clay. Exhausted from the difficult battle, Hiryu is cornered by Matic, who reveals his plans to take over both Enterprise and the Striders and frame Kuramoto's death on Hiryu and Kain. A timely appearance from Kain, however, allows Hiryu to fight Matic one-on-one and stand against him in spite of his wounds. The battle is then interrupted by Kuramoto's arrival, revealing all Striders are now against Matic. Cornered, Matic threatens all present with a bomb but is then killed by the awakening Mother ZAIN. As the machine starts attacking everyone, Hiryu spots its core and throws his Cypher at it, destroying ZAIN and its skyscraper, effectively ending Enterprise for good.
In the end, Kain and Kuramoto talk about Hiryu after he has quickly abandoned the area. Hiryu looks back one last time and disappears, leaving his Cypher behind planted on the ground.
Strider NES Adaptation
Hiryu is called out of retirement by Strider Matic and ordered to kill Kain, who has fallen into enemy hands. Hiryu refuses to kill his best friend, instead deciding to rescue him. After interrogating the Commander of the Kazakh Police, he finds Kain and brings him back to the Blue Dragon. Going to inquiry Chief Kuramoto by Kain's suggestion, he's informed of the ZAIN Project created by "The Syndicate" and is requested to destroy the Chinese terminal.
Before being able to go, he's forced to stop the brainwashed Kain. Realizing this was what happened with his sister years ago, Hiryu swears to destroy all the terminals. During his quest, he discovers Strider Matic to be allied with The Syndicate. Finding The Syndicate's base in Los Angeles, Hiryu travels there to face the leader, Faceas Clay. Inside the building Hiryu discovers it links to the Strider Headquarters and finds a dying Sheena, who asks him to get Matic for her. After destroying all the terminals and Faceas Clay, Hiryu receives a transmission from a dying Kain, having failed to stop Matic. With Matic's base revealed by Kain, Hiryu infiltrates it and faces off against Matic and his men, and finally destroys the main terminal, Yggdrasil. Afterward, Chief Kuramoto asks him if he wants to return, but Hiryu declines his offer and leaves once again, throwing his Cypher away as he walks away.
As an active agent, Hiryu's background information is strictly confidential, albeit it is known that he was born in a village in the region of Tungus in the year 2030. Easily recognized among his peers by the "Hi" kanji mark in his chest and the red sash worn around his waist, Hiryu obtained the highest position in the organization at a young age, demonstrating skills far superior to those of any other Strider. Hiryu temporarily retired from the organization when he was 16 years old (c. 2046), only returning to activity 2 years later in order to eliminate Grandmaster Meio.
Following Meio's devastation on Earth, the Striders are hired to take the matter into their hands and Hiryu is given the difficult task of stopping Meio's plans. Hiryu begins his mission by investigating Kazakh's capital city and Meio's base, St. Petersburg. After infiltrating and taking out its whole officer's council, Hiryu moves to leave the continent through Siberia, shaking off pursuers trying to get a reward Meio has offered for his head. On his path Hiryu finds a secret Meio base, fends off the attack of bounty hunter Solo and defeats the Kuniang martial arts team, finding out the existence of the Flying Battleship Balrog, Meio's greatest weapon, from the team's leader Tong Pooh. Calling it merely "a toy", Hiryu infiltrates the air fortress and single-handedly brings it down alongside its captain, Captain Beard Jr.
After destroying the Balrog, Hiryu follows traces of strange activity in the Amazon related to Meio, and discovers he has resurrected dinosaurs in the area. After Hiryu destroys the mechanical dinosaur Lago, he learns from an Amazoness about Meio's lair, the Third Moon. Having discovered Meio's diabolical "The Third Moon Plan", Hiryu infiltrates the orbital station and faces off against the remains of Meio's army, destroys the station's core and finally confronts Meio in an escape pod. After defeating Meio, Hiryu returns to Earth as the Third Moon collapses, and finally lands on a whale as it peacefully swims into the horizon.
While most background information about Hiryu is confidential due to being an active agent, he's known to be an Asian male around 20 years of age. He's noted to carry the same codename used by the Strider who defeated Grandmaster Meio 2000 years ago, but any further connection between them is unknown. He worked together several times with Hien, another Special-A agent, and both became comrade-in-arms.
Shortly after Hiryu received the mission to exterminate Grandmaster Meio, however, the Striders were wiped out by Hien's betrayal, leaving Hiryu as the sole survivor. Rather than lingering over his feeling for the organization he was once a part of, Hiryu instead decides to carry out the Striders' final mission, even if it pits him against the entire world.
Investigating unusual activity in the ancient ruins of "El Dorado", Hiryu unexpectedly discovers that Strider Hien has released Grandmaster Meio from his grave and has allied with him. Arriving just moments after Meio leaves the room, both Striders clash in a short struggle, after which Hien attempts to convince Hiryu that he's mistaken in opposing Grandmaster Meio, the "Creator of the world and everything on it". Hiryu ignores his pleas and instead tells him to warn Meio that "he's the hunter, and [Meio's] the game" and advises Hien to fight with all his strength in their next encounter.
Sometime later, Hiryu resurfaces from the dark alleys to stop a terrorist strike in Neo Hong Kong City, possibly linked with the Grandmaster. Searching for the origin of the technology, he finds and infiltrates the heavily fortified Fortress Wahnen, and destroys it along with its owner, Herzog Schlange. Then, after discovering the existence of a research institute in Antarctica, Hiryu destroys it to force the unknown powers ruling the world to reveal themselves. Successful in his plan, Hiryu tracks down the location of their Flying Battleship Balrog. After destroying the Balrog and its captain, Admiral Wilhelm, Hiryu travels with the latter's escape ship to the Third Moon to face off against the Grandmaster.
Hiryu fights his way against the defense machines in the Third Moon, eventually finding the station's Gravity Core and destroying it. On his way to Meio's chamber, Hiryu is confronted by Hien once again, now ready to fight seriously. Hiryu defeats his former comrade and arrives at the Unified Earth Control Section, where Grandmaster Meio greets him before beginning his attack. Defeated in his assault, Meio sends his ultimate creation, the bio-weapon Caduceus, but can only watch as it falls against Hiryu's blade. Weakened and at Hiryu's mercy, Meio wonders if he's the same man who has once stood in his path 2000 years ago, but receives no answer as Hiryu swiftly slashes him down. Finally, Hiryu reports that his mission has been accomplished just as the Third Moon explodes.
No background information is known about Hiryu. In the year of "Meio 0048", he's assigned the mission to exterminate Grandmaster Meio, who at that moment possesses control over the entire world. Despite being a dangerous and suicidal mission, one which claimed the lives of 11 previous Striders, Hiryu accepts it without hesitation and makes his first move infiltrating Kazakh City, Meio's seat of power.
Arriving from the sky using his Glider, Hiryu avoids enemy fire and effortlessly makes his entrance through the city outskirts. Destroying the armies of Light Troopers standing in his path, Hiryu makes his way across the area, and following a confrontation with the giant biological weapon Ouroboros Mk.III, finally enters the city's Historical District. Discovered by the enemy, Hiryu is pursued across the area by General Mikiel's troops, Meio's personal assassin unit, the Winds, and the hired bounty hunter Solo. After several battles across the complex, Hiryu successfully arrives at the entrance to Meio's Tower, where the dictator is said to live.
Finding the entrance locked by three mechanisms, Hiryu starts searching for the power source. After infiltrating the Military Prison he meets with The Prisoner, one of Meio's former researchers. The deranged man sends him to locate the leader of the Resistance, the Black Marketer, for help. Hiryu continues his mission deep within Kazakh City's Underground and eventually meets with the Black Marketer. The old man decides to help him since both share a common enemy in Meio, but not before asking Hiryu for help in dealing with a monstrous Millipede terrorizing the citizens. After taking care of the creature, the Marketer reveals to Hiryu the key to Meio's Tower: the "Gravitron" gravity control units, which must be disabled or destroyed to gain access to the Tower. Following his directions, Hiryu descends into the Buried Temple and destroys the first Gravitron unit.
In his return to the surface world, Hiryu meets with the Prisoner again, who points him in the direction of the second Gravitron, found in the Research Facility protected by Professor Schlange. Hiryu proceeds towards the facility, facing and exterminating the corrupt Mikiel along the way. Through several hardships, Hiryu survives all attempts on his life and finally destroys the second Gravitron and Schlange's masterpiece, the mechanical gorilla Mecha Pon. Shortly afterward, Hiryu is faced by Grandmaster Meio just as he executes the mad scientist. However, he is unable to do anything as Meio sends him hurtling into the Underground Dump.
Back on the Underground, Hiryu reunites with the Black Marketer. He tells the old man that he still needs another key to continue, and the marketer sends him to find Juroung, a fanatical follower of Meio, for the key he seeks. Hiryu meets with the shaman in the Buried Temple and eliminates him, gaining the Magnetic Cypher. With it, Hiryu breaks into the War Room and summons the Airship Balrog, where the final Gravitron is found. Hiryu reaches the airship using Option C and fights across a set of Skiffs to infiltrate it. Once arriving at the Gravitron Chamber, he's confronted by a resurrected and unstable Solo, whose sole goal is to see him dead. Hiryu defeats the bounty hunter in a close match and dives out just as the entire Balrog explodes, and uses his Glider to safely land.
With all three seals unlocked, the entrance to Meio's Tower opens and Hiryu makes his way inside.
Fighting against the remains of Meio's Army, Hiryu unlocks the Orbital Lift and reaches Meio's chambers at the top of the tower. Grandmaster Meio reveals himself to him, commending Hiryu for showing him the ineptitude of his subordinates, and exposing his plan to exterminate all life on Earth to replace it with his genetically-engineered "perfect race". He offers Hiryu the opportunity to join him, but Hiryu bluntly refuses to serve "a dead man". A fierce battle ensues and, despite Meio's best efforts, he's unable to put Hiryu down. Transporting him to the Third Moon base above Earth's orbit, Meio assumes his true form and makes a last desperate effort to kill him. Finally defeated and falling back into Earth, Hiryu jumps into Meio's body as it incinerates upon atmospheric reentry. Hiryu is last seen in front of Meio's Tower, proclaiming his mission has been accomplished.
Hiryu wears a bluish-purple colored sleeveless Strider uniform resembling the clothing worn by ninjas in popular media that shows the kanji for the first character of his codename (飛 - Hi) imprinted in red on the upper left of his chest, shin and wrist wraps, and a loose, metallic belt over a red sash. Sometimes he is seen wearing a red scarf that he uses to mask the lower portion of his face.
In the 2014 game, Hiryu's new uniform consists of a skintight wetsuit used below a Hard rubber armor made of a set of chaps and a chest piece, a separate metallic insignia with the red "Hi" kanji imprint strapped to his chest and a face mask. Instead of a physical scarf, he has an energy scarf of sorts made of excess plasma he's constantly releasing from his body. He also sports a single shoulder pad on his right shoulder, fingerless gloves and a mechanical Gauntlet, elements borrowed from his manga design.
Skills and Abilities
Hiryu shows super-human capabilities during battle, heightened by his impressive agility and speed. While he rarely fights unarmed, Hiryu has mastered hand-to-hand martial arts (Taijutsu, or unarmed body skills) to a super-human level and possess above-normal physical strength, being powerful enough to hack through his enemy's limbs using only his bare hand as though he was slashing at them with his Cypher. Hiryu's physique has been honed through special training, granting him the ability to move around freely in any location or position, even while climbing or hanging off structures; as well as nimble movements and agility to perform high acrobatic moves such as cartwheel jumps and backflips. Hiryu also posses a gifted speed, easily reaching supersonic levels as shown when he evaded "Shadow Tag Bullets", a man-sized anti-aircraft machinegun known for their ability to hit super sonic targets automatically thanks to an advanced radar system. His speed possibly reaches hyper sonic and above, but that is yet to be shown. He's shown moving and attacking faster than the human eye can perceive, moving across large distances in the blink of an eye and moving at such speed that he leaves several after-images of him behind. He's also implied (but not shown) to have outran an explosion while standing close to it, is seen outrunning the chain of explosions of mines as he steps on them and has dodged the combined fire of three Shadow Tag Bullets by moving so fast their radar system couldn't find him, while cornered inside a room with little moving space.
Hiryu favors the plasma sword Cypher as his weapon of choice, which he can freely use from any position. His mastery over the Cypher is well known among the Striders, to the point where it's said there are none more skilled than him wielding it. Hiryu's primary strategy is to close the distance with his target and then attack with a single Cypher strike to cut the enemy in half, a tactic facilitated by his trained physique and technique.
In Strider (2014), the Cypher instead channels plasma energy generated within Hiryu's body. Hiryu can concentrate this energy in different amounts to generate new attacks, as well as change its properties to create elemental edges such as fire or ice-based ones.
Equipment and Techniques
- Cypher: Hiryu's primary and preferred weapon.
- Climb Sickle: A climbing tool which allows him to climb any geographical feature with ease. Although very rarely, Hiryu has used it as a weapon as well.
- Glider: a flying hang-glider. Hiryu can seemingly summon it when needed to silently fly across the sky at high speed.
- Options: A set of support robots that he can call in for assistance.
- Option A: A small, mushroom-shaped bipedal robot which surrounds Hiryu and protects him from harm, while assisting with ring-shaped lasers. Hiryu can only keep up to two at a time.
- Option B: A tiger-shaped robot which lunges at enemies with its sharp claws. Hiryu can only summon it alone for a limited amount of time.
- Option C: A bird-shaped robot which swoops down from above to slice enemies with its sharp wings.
- Kunai: Hiryu carries a set of Kunai he uses as throwing weapon. (Strider manga, 2014)
- Bombs: As part of a Strider's equipment, Hiryu carries a number of miniature bombs he can place during battle and detonate remotely. (Strider manga)
- Boots: Special boots which allow Hiryu to walk on water and across magnetic walls, as well as upgrade his Slide In. (Strider NES)
- Plasma Capacitors: A set of small capacitors installed in Hiryu's boots, which allow him to release focused bursts of plasma for different purposes, such as enhancing his Slide Kick or to perform a Double Jump. (Strider 2014)
- Gauntlet: A mechanical gauntlet worn in his right arm, which also works as a plasma capacitor. It charges up an amount of plasma to be later used in the Plasma Catapult and uses a laser sight to guide the technique's path. It can also absorb plasma upgrades. (Strider 2014)
- Option-D: A small Option used for communication with HQ and navigation, it can perform several tasks including mapping out surrounding areas, tracking power sources and discover weakness in structures and enemies. (Strider 2014)
- Double Jump: Hiryu can perform a second jump in mid-air. (Strider 2, 2014)
- Cartwheel Jump: Hiryu does a long cartwheel jump forward. He can do it while standing still or running. (all appearances)
- Acceleration Jump: By running down steps or inclines, Hiryu uses the momentum to perform a longer jump. It's used most effectively to clear large pits. (Strider, original and NES)
- Triangle Jump: By jumping into a wall and then jumping in the opposite direction, Hiryu can perform a wall jump and reach places that are otherwise inaccessible. (Strider NES)
- Hassou Jump: While clinging to a wall, Hiryu can propel himself off it and perform a mid-air dash forward. It can be used to switch positions or move faster in between locations. (Strider 2)
- Backward Somersault: While in the middle of a sliding kick, Hiryu quickly makes a somersault backflip in the opposite direction. (Strider 2)
- Slide: Also known as Slide In. Hiryu's signature sliding kick attack, which he can use to go below hazards and enemy attacks. (all appearances)
- Slide Assault: By focusing plasma on his feet, Hiryu can perform a high-speed slide kick that can slice any enemy in his path, as well as break through closed ducts. (Strider 2014)
- Savage Slash: Also known as Midare-Giri. Hiryu jumps in mid-air and does several slashes in quick succession all around him. (Strider 2)
- Plasma Catapult: Hiryu can travel in the air like a bullet by ejecting plasma energy from his feet. This technique requires recharging after each use. (Strider 2014)
- Down Strike: A powerful downward thrust with concentrated plasma on the Cypher. It releases a shockwave upon landing that destroys nearby enemies, and can break through specific floors. (Strider 2014)
- Boomerang throw: Using a special function of the Cypher, Hiryu can throw it away and it will return to him. He's usually seen using it to distract an enemy or for sneak attacks. (Strider manga)
- Cypher Power-Up: The range of the Cypher's plasma blade is extended for a short period of time. (Strider, original and 2)
- Charged Cypher: Similar to the above, Hiryu can charge up plasma in the Cypher to perform a stronger slash with extended reach. (Strider 2014)
- Plasma Arrow: Charging up plasma energy in the Cypher, Hiryu can release it in the form of a projectile attack. (Strider NES)
- Boost: Upon activation, each swing of the Cypher releases plasma waves which home-in on nearby enemies and slices them apart. (Strider 2)
- Reflect Cypher: Hiryu infuses a coating of concentrated plasma energy in the Cypher's blade, which generates an electromagnetic field capable of repelling enemy bullets. When used with the Kunai, it allows them to bounce off surfaces, and when used with the Catapult, the plasma trail can reflect any shot coming in its path. (Strider 2014)
- Explosive Cypher: Known as the Burst Cypher in Japanese. Infusing the Cypher with the heat emitted from plasma energy, its edge is wreathed in flames. The Cypher's power increases and its attacks can set enemies on fire. When used with the Kunai, they become timed bombs that stick to any surface and enemy and produce a fiery explosion; and when used with the Catapult, the plasma trail can damage and set enemies on fire. (Strider 2014)
- Ultra-Cold Cypher: Hiryu generates cryogenic plasma energy by clearing his mind, wrapping his Cypher with a frozen edge that reaches absolute zero and freezes anything who enters in contact with. When used with the Kunai and Catapult, both abilities gain the same freezing power. (Strider 2014)
- Magnetic Cypher: Hiryu is able to generate magnetic force by focusing the plasma energy produced by his body, enabling him to shoot plasma waves that fly back to his Cypher much like a boomerang. When used with the Kunai, they will home-in on any nearby enemy; while when used with the Catapult, the plasma trail will stun any enemy in its path and attract any bullets shot toward them. (Strider 2014)
The basis for Hiryu's character was conceived during the project's initial meeting of the three project heads (Kouichi Yotsui, Masahiko Kurokawa and Tatsumi Wada) at the Shinjuku Hilton hotel, and fleshed out over subsequent meetings. Among the three, Yotsui was the one who proposed and pushed for a futuristic ninja concept, inspired by the Shinjuku skyline visible from the hotel and ninja series of the Sixties. Hiryu's use of a sword as his main weapon may have also been his idea, as Isuke has professed a liking of melee weapons since they force the player to "approach the enemy in order to destroy them".
Hiryu was named after the Japanese World War II aircraft carrier "Hiryu", although Hiryu's name uses the simplified form of the second kanji. Although the two names mean the same ("Flying Dragon"), Hiryu's name is also a synonym for "wyvern" in Japanese, a type of European dragon which only has wings and hind legs. His name also has an extended vowel on the "u" part in romaji, making it possible to also romanize his name as "Hiryuu", with an extra "u". "Strider", on the other hand, was pulled up from The Lord of the Rings.
Strider (CPS-1): Kouchi Yotsui himself drew Hiryu's design and appearance in the original Arcade game. Yotsui's take on Hiryu differs noticeably from the design featured in the manga and the NES video game, most notably in the absence of the long, red scarf. Early backstory stated Hiryu instead wore a long red sash on his waist, but the final in-game design also ditched this element. Although unconfirmed, it's possible memory limitations and/or difficulties in animating a flowing piece of cloth with sprites were factors in their removal.
Hiryu's agility and high acrobatics were inspired by Isuke's love of mountain-climbing, skiing, and diving; as well as an incident where he was locked onto the Hilton's rooftop and was forced to climb down the building to reach a fire escape. His fluid and athletic animations, however, used a "tremendous" amount of data, roughly the same they would use in "two games" back then. For Isuke, Hiryu's graceful agility was the most important thing when designing the game, as he wanted players to enjoy and be entertained by the simply act of controlling Hiryu, making him run, slide and jump around unknown environments and use his skills to defeat large, unexpected enemies.
Marvel vs. Capcom: Hiryu's unexpected return as a playable character in Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes became pivotal in resurrecting the character's popularity, becoming a favorite choice among the game's audience, especially in overseas countries, and opening way for a proper sequel to the original Arcade game to be produced.
Hiryu's inclusion in the roster was the initiative of primary planner Atsushi Tomita, a self-confessed fan of the Arcade original who wanted to resurrect the character. The new design, drawn by Capcom's former artist Bengus, follows the basic design of Isuke's original version, but it most notably restores the missing red scarf. According to Bengus, after seeing the original manga and liking Tatsumi Wada's rendition, he decided that Hiryu's "fighting game version" would also sport it. This would become the standard for all of Hiryu's following appearances.
Strider 2: Harumaru, an artist who briefly worked at Capcom at the time, was the one chosen to helm Hiryu's (and the overall game's) design. Hiryu's general appearance and animations take inspiration from Marvel vs. Capcom, although Harumaru was not particularly inspired by this version, instead drawing him based on advice from Capcom artist Shoei about Hiryu being a "crazy" protagonist that carries out any mission he's given "mechanically", and as such considers this version fundamentally different from Bengus' version. Harumaru also drew heavily from several American comic books found at the design office, listing specifically works from DC Comics, Mike Mignola, Simon Bisley, and Spawn, which made Hiryu's look a mix between a "quirky" anime style and hard tones most commonly associated with American comic books.
Harumaru made special note of designing the Hiryu from the first game differently, including the lack of scarf and (in concept art) the appearance of his Options. Harumaru referred to this version as "Old Times/Ancient Hiryu" (むかし飛竜).
- Main article: Strider (2014)/Development#Hiryu
Strider (2014): Hiryu's new appearance was created by Sho Sakai, originally the enemy designer in Strider 2, and he oversaw all the processes from initial sketches to drawing, 3D rendering and final model. The main idea behind Hiryu's "reborn" design sought to keep his "character silhouette" intact, updating him visually while remaining instantly recognizable. He draws from all his previous appearances, Sakai's idea for the design being that Hiryu would look like previous versions when seen from afar, but upon closer inspection, one would discover a completely different design.
Hiryu's new design includes brand new elements while keeping his general appearance intact. Chief among these changes is the new hard-rubber armor Hiryu wears and a trail of plasma which doubles as a "plasma scarf". The setting behind the updated visual was considered important, and these new elements were integrated into the mythos: Hiryu's armor is the uniform used for long-term missions, while the plasma scarf is created by the excess energy Hiryu generates from his body, which the Cypher uses to function. The plasma scarf was also implemented to serve as a visual cue for Hiryu's new plasma-based abilities, changing its color to indicate which of the four plasma upgrades is being selected at the time.
Marvel vs. Capcom series
Strider Hiryu was among the characters selected to join the roster in the first Marvel vs. Capcom, and later returned virtually unchanged in the sequel Marvel vs. Capcom 2. For Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Hiryu was initially disconfirmed (citing first that he "didn't fit in [the game's] concept" and later his complex licensing issues as the reason), but he was later confirmed for its updated re-release, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Ryota Niitsuma (the producer and director for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and its update) said that because of the fan demand, Capcom decided to work something out with Hiryu's manga company.
Hiryu was confirmed as part of the base roster in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite in April 2017.
In this series' incarnation, Hiryu's move arsenal is inspired by elements from the original Arcade game, including use of the Climb Sickle to climb into the edges of the screen, summoning and use of the three Options and his plasma-extendable Cypher. His design was also updated from his original appearance, making him look closer to his NES/manga design.
Namco x Capcom
Strider Hiryu appears as one of the many Capcom-side playable characters in Namco x Capcom. Hiryu is based mostly on his Marvel vs Capcom incarnation, having some of his basic attacks/combos and specials, but including Strider 2 moves like the Savage Slash and Boost to his arsenal.
He's first introduced in a reenactment of Strider 2's last mission, infiltrating the Third Moon and facing off against Strider Hien, while seeking Meio as his main target. He's soon joined by the other heroes into battling Meio's subordinates before the Third Moon blows up. After escaping from the station, he's reluctant to join the heroes' group, thinking they'd hinder his mission. Captain Commando finally convinces him to join. Hiryu remains a member of the team from then on, often helping out in battle and planning strategies (especially when the group infiltrates the Balrog).
SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters
In this crossover card-themed game, Strider Hiryu appears among many other Capcom characters. He appears on all three games of the series, always as a character card. In the first game (Card Fighters' Clash) he's a card ranked as "A" (rare), having 900 hit points and 3 special points for his ability. He gets downgraded to a "B" rank card on the second game (Card Fighters 2) and loses 200 hit points, but remains a strong and useful card.
In the third game (Card Fighters DS), Hiryu's rank remains identical, but his HP drops again into 600, and he gets his Strider 2 "Boost Activation" as a special ability.
Capcom Fighting All-Stars
Strider Hiryu was planned to appear as a playable character in this canceled 3D fighting game, alongside other Capcom characters such as Ryu, Chun-Li, and Mike Haggar. Based on surviving screenshots and gameplay videos, Hiryu's style centered mostly on hand-to-hand combat, only using the Cypher for Special attacks and Super Arts.
Street Fighter x All Capcom
A social card battle RPG crossover of several Capcom properties, Hiryu makes an appearance, alongside other characters of his series, as 5 different cards. He was also a character card in the game's discontinued predecessor, Minna to Capcom All Stars.
Project X Zone 2
Hiryu was among the first set of characters revealed for Project X Zone 2. He appears as a Pair Unit, joining forces with Hotsuma from Sega's Shinobi series. Hiryu is mostly an amalgam of his Strider 2 and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 incarnations, featuring techniques from both games.
Hiryu is introduced in Prologue 3: while on a mission to hunt down the remaining supporters of Grandmaster Meio, Hiryu is caught in a wormhole and thrown into present-time Shibuya. After meeting with Hotsuma, Hibana, and Natsu and dealing with Solo and other enemies, Hiryu attempts to return to his time through the wormhole but instead ends up in the Summoning Gate (a stage from Summon Night 3) where the rest of the party is gathered. After discovering Tong Pooh is part of the enemy group, Hiryu joins Reiji, Xiaomu and the party once again, and remains with them for the rest of the game.
Monster Hunter Generations
A set of armor and weapon based on Hiryu is one of four English-exclusive collaboration gears to be released for Monster Hunter Generations. This includes an armor set based on his Strider uniform (including his red scarf) for use by hunter avatars of both genders, and his Cypher sword. The Cypher is adapted into the game's fastest weapon class, the "Dual Blades", as a way to emulate Hiryu's striking speed, with the hunter filling in the second blade with bare-handed chops. This is possibly a nod to a scene in the manga where Hiryu slices off two enemies' hands with his bare hands.
The set later became available in the Japanese upgraded version, Monster Hunter XX.
The Strider series was introduced in the card battle mobile game TEPPEN in March 2021, in a expansion titled "A Dark Agenda", only represented by cards. Hiryu is featured as a Legendary Unit Card titled "S.A-Class Strider Hiryu" with the ability to summon any of his three Options with each attack. He also appears in the artwork for the Action Cards "Mortal Enemies" (facing Solo ZN-2) and "Collapse of Negotiations" (facing Ada Wong from Resident Evil). He appears in his 2014 design.
- For minor appearances and references, go here.
Capcom Baseball: Suketto Gaijin Oo-Abare!
A baseball game released in October 1989, Capcom Baseball features Hiryu in a minor cameo. There's an ad in the newspaper shown after a team's victory for the then-new Capcom "CP System" Arcade board, featuring the protagonists from the first three CPS-1 Arcade games: Arthur (Ghouls 'n Ghosts), the Unknown Soldiers (Forgotten World) and Hiryu himself.
There's also a reference to the series in the "Capcom Games" team, whose members are all named after Capcom games. One player is named "Stri" (ストライ), the first part of "Strider".
Adventure Quiz: Capcom World 2
Hiryu appears in this board-style quiz game for arcades as one of the various challengers, who appear to provide questions and, at times, benefits to help the player.
Street Fighter Alpha 2
Hiryu makes a small background cameo in Ken's stage in Street Fighter Alpha 2, as one of many guests to the birthday of Ken's girlfriend (and later, wife), Eliza. He's seen with his typical ninja suit, except wearing a bow tie and holding a teddy bear, which he tosses up into the air and catches every time a character's Super Combo connects.
Dragon's Dogma Quest
As part of a limited cross-promotion with the Vita port of this Dragon's Dogma spin-off, Hiryu appears as two character cards alongside the Wind sisters, sporting a unique job class. He appears in his 2014 design.
Street Fighter V
Hiryu's outfit is the basis for Zeku's Battle Costume, sporting similar uniform with the stitched character changed to 武 (for 武神 or Bushin, Zeku's fighting style) and a red scarf. Zeku's younger appearance resembles Hiryu even more as his hair is trimmed down to match his length. Zeku himself has a large number of animations, techniques and story details referencing both Hiryu and the Strider series.
Hiryu makes minor cameos in the gag mini-comic Gesen Owarae, published in Gamest. He appears in the 2nd story in the background observing the events unfold, and at the beginning of the 3rd story defeating Ouroboros, only to discover one officer was soundly asleep and missed out the whole battle.
Namco x Capcom Comic Anthology
Hiryu appears in the Hien-centric story in Namco x Capcom Comic Anthology, where Hien is trying to convince Sylphie from Forgotten Worlds to sell Hiryu to him by offering her unlimited money. At one point he can be seen sitting on a bench grabbing his head as he wonders what's just happening, and later again joined by Reiji Arisu and Bruce McGivern.
RYU-TMR no Retro Game Kaitai Gekijō
Hiryu from both the 2014 and 1989 games appears in a chapter focused on the Mega Drive port of Strider, made to promote the recent release of the 2014 game. The 2014 Hiryu appears at first to stop the main characters (Iria, Risetto and their dog Inu) from buying a PlayStation 4, instead requesting them to play the Mega Drive version. Once the girls and Inu enter the game, they are joined by the classic Hiryu as they travel each of the game's levels, with Hiryu making quick work of enemies and bosses much to the girls' awe.
- For a full gallery of Hiryu images, go to Hiryu/Gallery
- There is debate over whether the Hiryu in Strider 2 is the same one or an incarnation of the original, primarily stemming from the game's backstory which sets the game 2000 years after the original, and Grandmaster Meio's last words in the ending wondering if he is the same man who defeated him back then and if he has "come to finish what he didn't". The Strider Hiryu Visual Chronicle artwork, however, states the Strider 2 Hiryu carries the same nickname of the original, implying they are two different people.
- Going from the above, its a common but mistaken assumption that Hiryu has lived and is well over 2,000 years old, a "fact" usually accompanied by giving him the completely arbitrary age of 2021. This, however, has never been backed up by any official source, making the claim completely fan-made.
- The web series Death Battle, which featured Hiryu, implies he's lived over 2,000 years, adding that it is "likely because of the advanced medicine of the future". While the Strider Hiryu Visual Chronicle ultimately disproves these claims, Hiryu's appearance on the web series predates the release of the Visual Chronicle.
- Another long-held misconception in English-speaking communities was that Hiryu's voice actor in the first two Marvel vs. Capcom games was Kosuke Toriumi, who was attributed to the nickname "Tomomi Fube". In truth, Tomomi Fube (冨部友美) is actually a female seiyû who probably voiced one of the Special Partners in the first Marvel vs. Capcom.
- Hiryu was one of six Strider characters to rank in the "Best Characters" category of Gamest magazine's "3rd Gamest Grand Prix", ranking in 3rd place. His Marvel vs. Capcom incarnation later ranked 21st in the "Best Characters" category of the 12th (final) Gamest Grand Prix.
- Hiryu's Cypher sound effect when swinging is actually a result of FM synthesis from his origin game in the CPS-1 hardware. Since his appearance in Marvel vs. Capcom, the Cypher swing sound effect is digitally sampled and no longer rendered by hardware.
- Staff (1993). "Capcom Illustration Gallery". Club Capcom (0). Pg. 11-12
- Wada, Tatsumi (November 10, 1989). Strider Hiryû. Chapter 5, Pg. 154. Kadokawa Shoten. ISBN 4-04-713009-5
- Wada, Tatsumi (November 10, 1989). Strider Hiryû, Chapter 2, Pg. 53. Kadokawa Shoten. ISBN 4-04-713009-5.
- Capcom (1989, NES). Strider (English). Instruction Manual, Pg. 4
- Capcom (2000, PlayStation). Strider Hiryû 1&2 (Japanese). Instruction Manual, Pg. 10
- Capcom (February 2014, multi). Strider (English). How To Play: Overview
- Sega (September 1990, Sega Genesis). Strider (English). Instruction manual, Pg. 5
- Capcom (October 2006, PlayStation). Capcom Gamebook: Strider Hiryu (Japanese). Pg. 42. ISBN 4-86233-076-2.
- Sega (September 1990, Mega Drive). Strider Hiryû (Japanese). Instruction manual, Pg. 12
- Capcom (2013). "Character: Hiryu". Capcom's official Strider site (Japanese). Retrieved December 20, 2013.
- Capcom (1999). 37th JAMMA Show Line Up Flyer
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- Wada, Tatsumi (December 1988). "Comp Comic". Strider Hiryû Gaiden, Pg. 341. Kadokawa Shoten.
- MVP (January 2000). "Strider Hiryu 2: Glossary" (Japanese). Arcadia (Vol. 1). Pg.95
- Capcom (February 22, 2014). Strider Hiryu Visual Chronicle (Japanese). Pg. 15
- Capcom (2000). Strider Hiryu 1&2 Official Site (Japanese). Retrieved from archive.org. Accessed December 04, 2015.
- Capcom (2013). "Introduction". Capcom's official Strider site (Japanese). Retrieved April 20, 2014.
- Wada, Tatsumi (November 10, 1989). Strider Hiryû. Chapter 1, Pg. 35. Kadokawa Shoten. ISBN 4-04-713009-5.
- Wada, Tatsumi (November 10, 1989). Strider Hiryû. Chapter 4, Pg. 133. Kadokawa Shoten. ISBN 4-04-713009-5.
- Capcom (1989, Arcade). Strider (English). Stage 2: Siberian Wilderness
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- Capcom (2013). "Action: Cypher". Capcom's official Strider site. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
- Capcom (2013). "Action: Physical". Capcom's official Strider site. Retrieved December 13, 2013.
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- Scion; Dire 51 (24 April 2010). "Interview with Kouichi "Isuke" Yotsui". LSCM 4.0. Translated by Gaijin Punch. Accessed 5 Oct 2011.
- Concepcion, Miguel (May 14, 2011). "Q&A with Kouichi Yotsui on Moon Diver". Examiner. Retrieved from archive.org. Accessed June 24, 2011.
- Szymanski, Andrew (February 22, 2014). "Original Strider Hiryu Developer - Kouichi Yotsui Interview" (Japanese). Video interview included in the PlayStation 3 version of Strider Hiryu (2014)
- Singingbrakeman (March 13, 2020). "Franchise Festival #82: Strider" (English). the-avocado.org. Accessed March 14, 2020
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|Strider video game series|
|Strider (Home computers • Mega Drive • Master System • PC Engine • Sharp X68000 • PlayStation • Mobile)|
Strider (NES) • Strider II/Returns • Strider 2 • Strider (2014)
Compilations • Crossovers • Related Games
|Hiryu • Grandmaster Meio • Solo • Kuniang M.A. Team|
Tong Pooh • Hien • General Mikiel • Ouroboros
|Striders • Cypher • Climb Sickle • Options • Kazakh Federation|
Anti-Gravity Device/Gravitron • Mecha Pon • Flying Battleship Balrog • The Third Moon
|Capcom • Moto Kikaku • Tiertex Design Studios • Double Helix Games|
Isuke • Patariro • Other key staff • Strider Hiryu (Manga) • Capcom Gamebooks
Merchandise • Soundtracks