Strobaya (ストロバヤ) is a character from the original arcade Strider and all its ports. He's the very first boss Hiryu faces off, and thus among the easiest in the entire series.
Strobaya is a muscle-bound cyborg man working for the Kazakh government. Also called an "Enhanced Human" (強化人間), his weapon is his entire body, whose functions have been considerably boosted by the administration of drugs. He appears to be a brute of few (if any) words, and has a fondness for shouting out loud warcries during battle.
While he has no actual dialogues in the original game, his dialogue in the PC Engine port has him telling Hiryu he's been awaiting in anticipation for him to show up, indicating he enjoys fighting strong opponents, much like Commander Keith from the manga.
Strobaya patiently awaits for Hiryu within St. Petersburg, in a large room located below the main path, with a retractable ceiling ready to seal off the area. As he awaits, he's hooked up to a backup machine that prepares his body for battle with the use of special drugs. As soon as Hiryu drops down on his room, Strobaya greets him by flexing up, this action ripping off his shirt and destroying the backup machine behind him. He then begins his attack.
However, he wasn't expecting to be completely outmatched by Hiryu's skill and technique. After receiving enough damage, Strobaya's body rips apart and he violently explodes causing a shock wave strong enough to bring down the ceiling in flames, creating a final hazard for Hiryu to avoid.
Strobaya possess great physical strength thanks to the enhancements he's been subjected to, most notably in his legs which allow him to thrust off walls with great force. But in contrast to this, however, he has a very single-minded and repetitive battle strategy, making him a very easy enemy to defeat in battle.
His main method of attack consists on grabbing his enemies with either his arms or legs to throw them violently against an opposing wall. He can either approach his target by impulsing himself off the ceiling with the strength of his legs, or by doing a ground Rolling Attack, his signature technique. If he fails to grab his enemy during either approach, he'll quickly turn around and thrust himself at the enemy again, doing it continously until he makes contact. This strategy, however, can be easily interrumpted by a quick strike, stunning Strobaya and throwing him off his attack.
Strobaya is also capable of blocking and parrying Hiryu's strikes with his arms, although only briefly since repeated slashes can easily break through his defense.
Strobaya bears quite a close resemblance to Ivan Drago, the main antagonist from Rocky IV. They both share similar designs, clothing, hairstyles and their use of drugs to enhance themselves. This resemblance is also noticeable in his portrait for the PC Engine port.
His name is derived from "Stolovaya" (столовая), a Russian word which can be translated into "dining room", "restaurant" or "canteen", and is also a brand of vodka (written "ストロワヤ" in Japan) Isuke really likes. There's also a Japanese Russian-themed restaurant called "Storovaya".
Strobaya makes an appearance in the 2nd story on this short gag manga published in Gamest. In the 1-page story Strobaya attacks the Kazakh council out of frustration over being skipped by Hiryu, and the council head decides to allow him to join Ouroboros in battle. The next panel shows Strobaya being literally part of Ouroboros' body as if he were one of the officers, as he screams "let's do this!" much to Ouroboros' discomfort, all the while Hiryu watches from above.
RYU-TMR no Retro Game Kaitai Gekijō
Strobaya makes a brief cameo in this video game-centric manga, in the chapter where its two protagonists (Iria and Risetto) join Hiryu in his quest. Strobaya appears in his usual spot in the 1st stage, blocking Hiryu's path. He shows off his enhanced muscular body and rolling technique, only to be comically defeated by a single strike of Hiryu's Cypher, much to the girls' disappointment.
- Strobaya was one of six Strider characters to rank in the "Best Characters" category of Gamest magazine's "3rd Gamest Grand Prix", ranking in 39th place.
- The Russian spy Kirikov from Isuke's 1991 follow-up game, Nostalgia 1907, bears a striking resemblance to Strobaya. At one point in the story Kirikov orders a glass of Stolovaya vodka as well, as another nod to the original character.
- Sega (September 1990, Mega Drive). Strider Hiryû (Japanese). Instruction manual, Pg. 19
- Capcom (October 2006, PlayStation). Gamebook: Strider Hiryu (Japanese). Pg. 13. ISBN 4-86233-076-2.
- Dice Creative Ltd.; NEC Avenue (September 1994, PC Engine CD-ROM²). Strider Hiryû (Japanese). Stage 01: Kazakh Federation.
- Game Area 51 (June 11, 2011). "Utata Kiyoshi Artdot Works [Interview Side]" (Japanese).
- Staff (December 27, 1989). "3RD Gamest Grand Prix". Gamest (41). Pg. 68-79.