|Debut:||Manga: Chapter 2 (flashback)|
Mariya (マリヤ) is a minor character from the Strider Hiryu manga. She's only seen in a flashback in Chapter 2, which was later expanded in aspecial chapter released after the manga's end, Strider Hiryu Gaiden. Her death is briefly alluded to in the NES adaptation, when Hiryu makes a passing mention about his sister being similarly insane after defeating Kain.
Mariya was Hiryu's elder sister, and the first woman to ever reach A-Rank in the Striders. She and Hiryu were very close, and Hiryu always uses "big sister" when speaking about her. She was noted for her skills and fighting ability, which meant most normal agents were unable to subdue her. Due to this, Hiryu was finally the one selected to stop her rampage.
StoryEditKuramoto finally decided to assign Hiryu the task. Upon finding her, Hiryu first attempted to talk to her, but his words had no effect and a battle ensued. After a desperate struggle between them, Hiryu pierced through her torso with his Cypher just as she was about to strike him. Before dying, Mariya started crying and uttered her last words while in shock, asking Hiryu what had happened.
For the following six months, Mariya's death weighted heavily on Hiryu's conscience, and he became erratic and extremelly violent during missions, as he only wanted to be killed on battle. During this time, he carried a pendant that once belonged to Mariya. During the fight against the Zangi Brothers, the pendant stopped a bullet shot at his chest, saving his life. Hiryu took this as a sign that his sister wouldn't want him to die like this, renewing his desire to continue living in her name.
After completing the mission, Hiryu abandoned the Striders and left to carry out a normal life in the Mongolian wilderness. He made a symbolic grave outside the house in Mongolia where he moved, and buried his Cypher there. Two years later, when Hiryu was forced to confront a brainwashed Kain, he realized Mariya's madness came from the same source as Kain's: both were guinea pigs in Enterprise's ZAIN Project. With this revelation and Sheena's recent death, both Striders swore to put an end to Enterprise and their weapon for good.
- The manual for the NES Strider states Hiryu eliminated "the sister of a mad A-Rank Strider", which is a mistake on the translator's part, as the line should read "eliminated his sister, a mad A-Rank Strider". This is further confirmed in-game, as Hiryu refers to "his sister" after defeating the brainwashed Kain.
- Her name is never mentioned in the manga proper, as Hiryu refers to her exclusively as "big sister". It was first revealed in the Gaiden chapter.