Strider Hiryu
Hiryu, as he appears in Strider 2
Full Name Unknown
Birthdate 2030[1]
Birthplace A village in the Tungus region[1], eastern Siberia
Height N/a
Weight N/a
Blood Type N/a
Likes N/a
Dislikes N/a
Measurements (Bust, Waist, Hip) N/a
Fighting Style Superhuman mastery of martial arts (Taijutsu)

Hiryu (飛竜, Hiryū), more commonly known as Strider Hiryu (ストライダー飛竜, Sutoraidā Hiryū), is the main protagonist of the Strider series of action platformer games.



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[2], 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.[2] 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".[3]

Hiryu was named after the Japanese World War II aircraft carrier "Hiryu"[4], 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.

Kouchi Yotsui himself drew Hiryu's design and appearance in the original Arcade game.[5] 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 wore instead 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.[6]

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, specially in overseas countries, and opening way for a proper sequel to the original Arcade game to be produced.[5] His 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.[5] 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.[5] This would become the standard for all of Hiryu's following appearances.

For Strider 2 it was Harumaru, an artist who briefly worked at Capcom at the time, 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.[5] 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,[5] 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, Mukashi Hiryū).[7]

Hiryu's new appearance in the 2014 Strider game was created by Sho Sakai, originally the enemy designer in Strider 2, and he oversaw all the process from initial sketches, to drawing, 3D rendering and final model.[8] 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.[9]

Hiryu's new design includes brand new elements while keeping his general appearance intact. Chief among these changes are 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.[10] 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.



Hiryu is a special agent known as a Strider. The Striders are an elite team of hi-tech ninja-like mercenaries specializing in kidnapping, assassination, demolition, and other types of missions that they have performed throughout history in service of the greater good. They are one of the world's most influential secret maneuvering groups, having been descended from the ninja of the feudal era of Japan.

As an active Strider agent, all personal data about Hiryu are top secret, although spare details are known. He was born in a Tungusic village and was drafted into the Strider's training program at a young age. Despite the odds of surviving such training regime (only 10% of all applicants survive) he excelled at every category and became the youngest agent to reach the highest rank (Special-A Class) in the group's history. Hiryu favors the plasma sword Cypher as his weapon of choice, which he can freely use from any position.

Strider (classic version)Edit

In the year 2042, an evil supergenius by the name of Grandmaster Meio appeared and, in five years time, had taken over the nations of Earth, and exerts control over the human race with an iron fist and powerful militia. Having uncovered the secrets of life in the Amazon, Meio plans to utilize his artificial city, the Third Moon, to cause a mass extinction event on Earth, seeing it as nothing more than his own plaything, and creating his own lifeforms to populate his new world.

In 2048, A resistance force comes to the Striders to stop Meio's diabolical plans. Hiryu, who retired from the group two years prior, returns and is tasked to take down Meio and his machinations. After bringing down his followers in the Kazakh Federation, the Grandmaster offers a bounty for his head and sends assassins and bounty hunters to kill him. Hiryu eventually finds the Grandmaster's base in the Third Moon, infiltrates it and finishes his mission.

Strider 2Edit

2000 years after Grandmaster Meio's defeat, a Strider carrying the same codename of the man who miraculously defeated him two centuries ago rises up to confront a world who worships him. Shortly after receiving the mission, however, the Striders were betrayed by Hien, a fellow Special-A Strider and friend of Hiryu, who released the Grandmaster from his tomb to reclaim his world. Rather than lingering over his feelings for the defunct group, Hiryu decides to carry out their final mission instead: to find and eliminate the Grandmaster.

After facing the Grandmaster's followers across the world, Hiryu eventually reaches the rebuilt Third Moon, where he faces and eliminates both Solo and Hien for the last time. Then he reaches to top of the station and confronts the Grandmaster himself, finally defeating him. The Grandmaster wonders if the man in front of him is the same one who defeated him 2000 years ago, but Hiryu provides no answer and cleaves him in two, ending his tyranny.

Strider (2014)Edit

In this retelling of the original story, Strider Hiryu is the latest in a line of Striders that were sent on a mission to eliminate Grandmaster Meio, who has taken over the world and now resides in a military base at Kazakh City. Hiryu is the 12th Strider to attempt the mission, all others having died during the infiltration. Hiryu begins his mission by infiltrating Kazakh Ciy in the year of "Meio 0048".

Other appearancesEdit

Capcom World 2Edit

Strider Hiryu was featured in the obscure Japan-only game Capcom World 2 as one of the characters providing quizzes to the player.

Marvel vs. Capcom seriesEdit

Hiryu has appeared as a playable character in Marvel vs. Capcom, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.

Namco ✕ CapcomEdit

Hiryu also appeared in Namco x Capcom as one of the protagonists.

Project X Zone 2Edit

Hiryu appears in Project X Zone 2 as one of the playable protagonists. He is paired up with Hotsuma from Sega's Shinobi series.

Monster Hunter seriesEdit

As part of a special collaboration event, Hiryu's uniform and Light Sword Cypher are equipment sets available in the English-only Monster Hunter Generations and its Japanese upgrade, Monster Hunter XX.


Trivia Edit

  • Hiryu was originally said to have been kept out of the original Marvel vs. Capcom 3 due to legal troubles with his manga company, despite the massive fan demand for him. When explaining about Hiryu's playable appearance in Ultimate, Ryota Niitsuma said that because of the fan demand, they decided to work something out with his manga company.
  • Due to the vague backstory in Strider 2, it was a long-held belief that Hiryu is somehow immortal and over 2000 years old. The Visual Chronicle artbook, however, implies the Hiryu in Strider 2 is a successor carrying the same codename from the original who defeated Meio.
    • The story mode in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite provides a different take on the situation, with Hiryu lamenting about fighting Grandmaster Meio for a thousand years in a 'never-ending circle of life and death' to his fighting partner Gamora. This explanation is exclusive of Infinite, however, and not considered canon to the Strider series.
  • Hiryu was slated to appear in the canceled Capcom Fighting All-Stars. Capcom Fighting All-Stars' gameplay was more down-to-Earth and as such, Hiryu's fighting style was considerably more subdued than in his Marvel vs. Capcom incarnation. In All-Stars, he primarily used punches and kicks, with his light sword Cypher unleashed only in special attacks.
  • His modernized animations that date back to Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes became primary elements and influences in the 2014 remake of his game. It was also due to the mentioned game that Hiryu and the entire Strider series came out of obscurity, paving way for the production of Strider 2, and Hiryu's other crossover appearances.
  • Street Fighter character Zeku shares many similarities and thematic elements with Hiryu,[11] as noted in the former's character article. Its currently unknown whether these connections mean that the Strider series exists within the same shared universe as the Street Fighter series or that they are just homages.

Gallery Edit

For more of this character, see their gallery.

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1993. Club Capcom #0. Pg 11-12.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Scion; Dire 51 (24 April 2010). "Interview with Kouichi "Isuke" Yotsui". LSCM 4.0. Translated by Gaijin Punch. Accessed 5 Oct 2011.
  3. Concepcion, Miguel (May 14, 2011). "Q&A with Kouichi Yotsui on Moon Diver". Examiner. Accessed 24 Jun 2011.
  4. 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)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Capcom (March 10, 2014). "Capcom Legends Chapter 3: The Running Ninja from the Future, Hiryu!" (Japanese). Capcom's official site. Accessed November 04, 2015
  6. Jones, Darran (April 24, 2010). "The Making of... Strider". Retro Gamer (76). pp. 48-53.
  7. Capcom (February 22, 2014). Strider Hiryu Visual Chronicle (Japanese). Pg. 33
  8. Calvert, Darren (February 7, 2014). "Interview: Double Helix Games on Carving Out a New Strider for PS4". Accessed April 11, 2014
  9. GregaMan (February 13, 2014). "Get the dirt on Strider's new game with this behind-the-scenes feature" (English). Accessed May 27, 2016
  10. Spencer (July 26, 2013). Strider Starts out with All of his Core Abilities and has Touches for MvC Fans. Accessed November 04, 2015

External LinksEdit

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