Ken, as he appears in Street Fighter X Tekken.
|Birthdate||February 14, 1965|
|Birthplace||United States of America|
|Height||5'9" (175 cm)|
|Weight||165 lbs (72 kg)|
|Eye color||Brown (in-game blue circa Street Fighter IV)|
|Hair color||Blonde (Red in Street Fighter II V and the American cartoon)|
|Fighting style||Martial art rooted in Ansatsuken|
|Likes||Skateboarding, kinds of pastas, the beach, sports cars, his wife Eliza, his son Mel, his best friend Ryu, his master Gouken, his student Sean Matsuda (no matter how annoying he is), training|
|Dislikes||Umeboshi (pickled ume fruits), soap operas, losing fights, Akuma, M.Bison, Satsui no Hado|
|Rival(s)||Akuma, Rufus (SFIV), Urien (SFIII), Adon (SFA3), Guile (Family Rival), Ryu, Gouken, Sean (SFIII), Karin (SFA3), Sakura (SFA3), Chun-Li, Sodom, Vega, Terry Bogard (SNK Crossovers)|
|Hobbies||Cooking pasta dishes, finding Ryu|
|Moveset||Hadoken, Shoryuken, Tatsumaki Senpukyaku, Roll, Ryusenkyaku (CvS series), Shoryureppa, Shinryuken, Shippu Jinraikyaku, Kuzuryu Reppa (as Violent Ken), Shinbu Messatsu (as Violent Ken), Guren Senpukyaku|
|First game||Street Fighter|
|English voice actor(s)||Scott McNeil (Street Fighter TV series)|
Eddie Frierson (Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie)
Jimmy Theodore (Street Fighter II V) (Animaze dub)
Jason Douglas (Street Fighter II V) (ADV dub)
Steven Blum (Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation)
Steve Cassling (Street Fighter Alpha: Generations)
Reuben Langdon (Street Fighter IV, Street Fighter X Tekken, Wreck-It Ralph)
|Japanese voice actor(s)||Kenji Haga (Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, Street Fighter II V)|
Nobuyuki Hiyama (Street Fighter: The Movie)
Tetsuya Iwanaga (Street Fighter Alpha series, Street Fighter EX series, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, Marvel vs. Capcom series, Pocket Fighter, Namco x Capcom)
Koji Tobe (Street Fighter III: New Generation, Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact
Kazuya Ichijo (Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation)
Yuji Kishi (Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, Capcom vs. SNK series, Street Fighter IV, Street Fighter X Tekken, Project X Zone)
Monster Maezuka (SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos)
Eiji Hanawa (Street Fighter Alpha: Generations)
|Live action actor(s)||Damian Chapa (Street Fighter) |
Christian Howard (Street Fighter: Legacy, Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist)
- "The 'dragon' within me is always ready to strike. You should know from experience."
- —Ken, Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact
Ken (ケン or 拳, "Fist") also known by his full name, Ken Masters (ケン・マスターズ, Ken Masutāzu), is a video game character created by Capcom. He is one of the main characters from the Street Fighter series of fighting games alongside Ryu. Ken is also stated to be the second most popular character in the series, coming second to Ryu. Like Ryu, Ken's goal is to test his power against many different fighters and strive to become stronger.
Ken is most easily recognized by his sparring gloves (yellow in the Alpha series, brown elsewhere) and bright red gi with the sleeves ripped off, similar to Ryu's (Capcom has said that a red gi was chosen to stand out and to reflect his more flashy style of fighting). His gi has the sleeves neatly removed, and it is usually seen in better shape than Ryu's, since he can easily afford to keep up with and/or own spares. He has long blonde hair and has long eyebrows. He wears a black belt at his waist and fights barefooted. In the Street Fighter Alpha series, he had longer hair that he tied back with a red ribbon into a ponytail. The official explanation for the loss of the ribbon is that he gave it to Ryu to wear during the events of Street Fighter Alpha 2 (as stated in Ken's own ending); Ryu was distracted during his fight with Ken because he had just fought Sagat, and ended up losing. Ken gave Ryu the headband to remind him of their fight.
While Ryu is the more serious and stoic of the two, Ken is the complete opposite. He's flamboyant, unorthodox and unpredictable. He is an alpha male with a giant ego and constantly reminds his opponents about his greatness. While he can be brash, egotistical, and arrogant at times, his heart is pure. He is generally kind, friendly, a good person, and very easygoing. He never backs down from a fight no matter how difficult it looks. Like Ryu, he believes in honor, hard work, endurance, and discipline. He always gives his opponents the utmost respect, whether it is his master Gouken, his best friend Ryu, or his Capcom vs. SNK rival, Terry Bogard. He is also a worrywart when it comes to his family. He nearly didn't enter the tournament in Street Fighter IV because he didn't want to leave Eliza so close to her due date, and only entered when she assured him she'd be fine. He still called her to check in and tell her to be careful on stairs.
When Ken was about 12 years old, his father, a rich hotel tycoon, thought that his son needed to learn about discipline, or his son would become a spoiled brat all of his life and try to leech onto the Masters' family fortune. In order to do so, the elder Masters sent Ken to Japan to train under his best friend, the mysterious karate master Gouken. At first, Ken was very hesitant to learn from Gouken, wanting to go back to the United States, but later began to respect his master. He even enjoyed the company of Gouken's adopted son, Ryu, since he had a foil to finally pull pranks on, although this got Ken into a lot of trouble. Ryu and Ken would later become best friends and each other's principal rivals.
When Ryu was 23, Gouken decided that both of his pupils had grown up to be fine fighters and decided that their training was over and could now leave the dojo. Ryu decided to travel the world in order to continue his training, whereas Ken was finally happy to be going back home to the United States after his years of straining his back for his master, Gouken, and finally learning the meaning of humility. After coming home, Ken competed in many different Martial Arts tournaments held in the United States, winning most of them.
Ken did not participate in the first World Warrior tournament; instead, he fought in (and won) the premiere U.S. Martial Arts tournament that had been previously won by Charlie Nash, as well as meeting a very attractive girl named Eliza, who became his girlfriend.
After winning the U.S. martial arts tournament, Ken returned to his training ground to tell his master Gouken the good news. There, he witnessed his master's death at the hands of Akuma. Enraged and grief-stricken, he attacked Akuma, only to be knocked to the ground by a single blow.
Ken began wandering the world in search of Akuma, and his friend and fellow student Ryu; he wanted to tell Ryu what happened to their master, and also hoped to win a match against him. He eventually finds Ryu in seclusion. Ryu is dejected upon seeing his long-time friend, but Ken makes him go try out a spar anyway. After winning, Ken realizes how stressed out his best friend is since his fight with Sagat. Ryu explains to Ken that deep within him there is a burning rage - a power trying to overcome him. Giving Ryu his red headband, Ken tells him to stay focused, which greatly cheers Ryu up. Ken returns home and, with Eliza's support, begins training harder, knowing even with his recent feelings, that Ryu is always stronger than he looks.
Ken begins to wonder about his own life. Ryu seemed to be on the right track again, but what of him? Along the road to proving himself again, he encounters Karin, who tells him she has followed his career and is trying to best her rival Sakura to prove she is superior. Ken advises her it's good to have a rival, not for supremacy, but to keep on training harder and focusing. With this, Ken finds himself again and is focused once more.
Going off to meet up with Sakura, they too have a friendly match, and Ken finally realizes that Ryu has the right idea all along. Both he and Sakura begin to travel to find Ryu, but their path crosses with that of Shadaloo dictator M. Bison. Ken confronts him but is easily defeated and placed under Bison's hypnosis. Bison then uses brainwashed Ken to lure Ryu out of hiding. Once Ryu shows up, Bison makes Ken fight him. Ryu wins and manages to release Ken of Bison's mind control.
Ryu then proceeds to fight Bison but loses and is, just like Ken before him, turned into a slave of Bison's Psycho Power. Sagat appears and, enraged by Bison's actions, engages Ryu in an attempt to break Bison's mental grip on him. The now free Ken, aided by Sakura, attacks Bison. This intervention, along with Sagat's presence, makes Ryu come to his senses.
Recovered, Ryu takes on Bison once more. Bison senses Ryu's dark power (which Bison describes as "The ultimate form of Psycho Power") and attempts to manipulate Ryu's mind once again. At his friends urging, Ryu resists and defeats Bison with a powerful Hadoken. Ken is happy to see his old friend again. With a promise of a new duel, the two part their ways.
Ken received an invitation to the second World Warrior tournament; however, since his last U.S. Martial Arts tournament, he had let himself spend too much time with his girlfriend, Eliza, rather than training. Only Ryu's personal challenge rekindled Ken's fighting spirit and persuaded him to enter the second World Warrior tournament.
After the events of Street Fighter II, Ken is married to Eliza, something he had apparently vowed only to do after winning a decisive victory against Ryu. However it is unknown if the two fought during the tournament, or if Ken actually won if they even did. No details have been stated, although it is heavily implied that they indeed did fight, and Ken won.
When a new tournament is announced, Ken is unsure whether to compete, as Eliza is now heavily pregnant and he doesn't want to leave her. Sensing his inner conflict, Eliza assures him that she'll be fine and that the baby isn't due for a while yet, so he should go meet up with Ryu and tell him she says hi. Ken enters, and in the absence of gas stations near the location for the final, he parks his SUV in a convenient spot, calls Eliza to check on her, and continues the rest of the way on foot. Over the course of the tournament, he encounters his self-appointed rival, Rufus, although the results of that match are unknown.
After the tournament, it is discovered that Gouken is still alive, and Ken and Ryu pursue him as he leaves. Ken is upset that Gouken has not said anything to them, but Gouken counters that they no longer need a master. Ken and Ryu head home on foot, and Rufus passes them by on his motorbike, calling them losers. Soon however, Rufus' bike runs out of gas, and Ken and Ryu reach the SUV; Ken offers Rufus and his girlfriend Candy a lift, but Rufus refuses.
Upon arriving home afterwards, he tells Eliza that although he did indeed get to fight Ryu, they had been so busy with the rest of the unfolding events that they hadn't been able to give it their all. Soon afterwards, their son is born  and they name him Mel.
Ken then entered the third World Warrior tournament. By this time, a Brazilian teenager named Sean had been pestering him to become his student, and Ken reluctantly accepted, beginning to train him. He fought Sean in the tournament and won against him; however, he drops out upon realizing Ryu was defeated by Oro. Ken begins to train his son Mel in rudimentary fighting techniques. He also told Sean to go find Ryu and challenge him, giving him some free time with Eliza.
Though bored, Ken hears about a mysterious organization and goes to investigate, and he may have confronted Urien. He does win his third straight U.S. Martial Arts tournament victory, which is a new record, and offers the trophy to Sean, although his student says he wishes to earn it for himself. He also learned that Ryu had sought him out and traveled all the way to New York from Oakland for their long-awaited rematch. Tossing some friendly jabs at each other, both have a good fight. Since then, Ken has continued to train Sean and Mel, handle his family and business, and keep up with his old friend Ryu.
Marvel vs. Capcom seriesEdit
Capcom vs. SNK seriesEdit
When Ryu heads to Antartica to search for Pandora (fearing it has a connection with the Satsui no Hado), Ken joins him. The two head to the South Pole, fighting those who they meet along the way, a list which includes Kazuya Mishima and Nina Williams. When they reach the place Pandora crashed and defeat Ogre, Ryu vanishes with the box, leaving behind only the headband that Ken gave him. Ken searches all over the South Pole for Ryu, but finds nothing. However, Ken remains confident that his best friend will come back.
Ken, alongside Ryu, Chun-Li, Juri, and Seth, makes an appearance in the crossover strategy RPG Project X Zone. He is paired with Ryu as one unit. Some of the other characters note that their friends have learned moves from Ken via his online karate courses, much to the chagrin of Ryu, who not only feels that their master would be disappointed, but he is also annoyed that Ken seems to have forgotten about their style's bloody roots.
Animations and MoviesEdit
Ken is stalked by Bison to be recruited as his minion. Using his robots, Bison learns that Ken and Ryu have similar moves and trained under the same master. Bison finally captures Ken and turns him against Ryu, leaving the two to fight while he tracks down Guile, though Ryu is able to undo the brainwashing.
In a flashback, it is revealed that Ken gave Ryu his ponytail wrapping for Ryu to use as a headband after he hit his head falling down some stairs.
Comics and MangaEdit
In the original Street Fighter, and in the first iteration of Street Fighter II, Ken was a pallette swap of Ryu, in terms of gameplay, with only one attack (a throw) appearing to be aesthetically different. In later Street Fighter II editions, Ken's character was modified to be a variant of Ryu, using modified versions of Ryu's special attacks, though his animations and other attacks were still very similar to Ryu's, as Ken's sprite is always a head swap of Ryu. In the original version of this game, the only way to effectively have two characters with similar abilities fight each other was to have one player play as Ryu and the other play as Ken.
With the advent of "mirror matches" (same character vs.) in Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, Capcom needed to vary the two characters' playing styles a bit. Ryu was given a stronger, faster Hadoken and a one-hit knockdown Tatsumaki Senpukyaku, while Ken was given a wider arcing Shoryuken and a multi-hit Tatsumaki Senpukyaku (in the Marvel vs Capcom series, the Tatsumaki Senpukyaku went on an angle, making it effective against airborne opponents). In Super Street Fighter II, Ken began deviating from Ryu further being given a multi-hit flaming Shoryuken. In the next SFII installment, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Ken was given the super combo Shoryureppa (which was simply Ken's Jab and Strong Dragon Punches chained together) and a number of different command kicks, plus a new jumping Forward and a Knee Bash hold. These command kicks would be incorporated as the standard move list in the Street Fighter Alpha series, but remain commands in all others.
Ken mainly focuses on the Shoryuken move, to the point where his Shoryukens set the opponent on fire. Ken's Tatsumaki Senpukyaku does not allow him to dodge projectiles at the start of the spin, but spins faster, allows him to hit his opponent up to five times. Ken's Hadoken attacks are less concentrated than Ryu's but Ken's Shoryuken is more powerful.
By Street Fighter III, Ken has two Shoryuken Super Arts (Shoryureppa and Shinryuken) and Shippu Jinraikyaku, and in Street Fighter EX 3, he has a "meteor combo" (a Level 3 super-combo) called Kuzuryu Reppa (九頭龍裂破, "Nine-headed Dragon Destroyer"), a mix of his other three Super Arts. Kuzuryu Reppa would be seen again in SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom with it being one of Violent Ken's supers this time.
Ken's super moves consist of the Shoryureppa (昇龍裂破, "Rising Dragon Destroyer"), in which Ken does two or three Shoryuken; the Shinryuken (神龍拳, "Divine Dragon Fist"), a spinning vertical flaming Shoryuken (dedicated to his master Gouken, who Ken thought was dead at the time) that lacks range, but does greater damage and more hits, especially if the kick buttons are pressed rapidly; and the most recent addition to his move-list since Street Fighter III — the Shippu Jinraikyaku (疾風迅雷脚, "Gale Thunderclap Leg"), which Ken does a flurry of kicks before ending with a vertical Tatsumaki Senpukyaku (a diagonally vertical Tatsumaki Senpukyaku in Street Fighter Alpha Anthology's port of Alpha 3).
In Super Street Fighter IV Ken's 2nd Ultra is the Guren Senpukyaku (紅蓮旋風腳, "Crimson Lotus Whirlwind Kick"), a move visually similar to Shippu Jinraikyaku. Ken charges toward his opponent in an angled Hurricane Kick with a fire effect. Ken then adds one more kick at the end "for good measure".
Violent Ken is an alternate version of Ken that appears in SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos. He is the result of Ken absorbing the Orochi power from the King of Fighters series. He was inspired by Sennou Ken (Brainwashed Ken in Japanese), which was depicted in Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, during which M. Bison induced a large amount of Psycho Power to transform Ken into a killing machine. Though Brainwashed Ken has little to do with the Satsui no Hado, Ken, while fighting against this form in game, he wonders if, deep down, he desires this.
Violent Ken uses purple flames instead of regular ones in his Shoryuken, which is a feature of Akuma's Hadokens and Shoryukens from the Marvel vs. Capcom series, and a pillar of energy appears at the end of his Exceed move, which is a feature of Rugal's DMs in The King of Fighters.
In the 8 volume comic adaptation of SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos, Ken was covinced by Red Arremer to join him, and was forced to undergo a brain-changing operation (despite reconsidering after thinking of Eliza and his son Mel), which turned him into Violent Ken. He lost to Ryu within the later volumes, and was returned to normal.
While his original voice was a re-use of the Ryu audio samples, beginning with Super Street Fighter II Ken's voice was performed by Kenji Haga, who also did his voice in the Street Fighter II anime movie. Tetsuya Iwanaga did Ken's voice in the Street Fighter Alpha series, and Koji Tobe did Ken's voice in the Street Fighter III games. In SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos, he was voiced by Atsushi "Monster" Maezuka.
He was voiced by Scott McNeil in the Street Fighter animated series. He was voiced by Kazuya Ichijo in Japanese and Steven Blum in the dub for the Street Fighter Alpha movie. In Street Fighter II V, he was voiced by Jimmy Theodore and in Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, he was voiced by Eddie Frierson. In Street Fighter IV, he is voiced by Reuben Langdon in the English version, who also voices Dante from the Devil May Cry series. Langdon also voices Ken in Disney's 2012 film, Wreck-It Ralph.
Damian Chapa portrayed Ken in the 1994 Street Fighter movie, where he is a con artist alongside Ryu. After the two unsuccessfully try to scam Shadaloo Tong leader, Sagat, they are arrested by Allied Nations forces. Guile offers them their freedom in exchange for infiltrating Bison's base (to whom Sagat runs guns) and revealing its location so that the AN can make a military strike and free the hostages captured earlier in the film.
Ken and Ryu are forced to betray the vengeful GNT news-crew (Chun Li, Balrog and Honda) in order to gain Bison's trust but later try to free them and are captured. When Guile eventually infiltrates Bison's base and chaos ensues Ryu and Ken try to help free the hostages but split up when the AN forces arrive (according to Ken the soldiers get paid and that they should not risk their lives). Ken later comes to Ryu's aid when he is ambushed by Vega and Sagat. While Ryu defeats Vega, Ken defeats Sagat and drops a heavy golden statue on his hands parting him with the line: "If I hadn't met you, I might have become you.".
Interestingly, Ken and Sagat are portrayed as rivals, switching the usual scenario from the games where Ryu and Sagat are rivals, with Ryu's rivalry switched to Vega.
- As a result of potential lawsuits, Ken was given the last name "Masters" so he would not be confused with Ken Carson from Barbie, a Mattel owned franchise.
- Ken, much like Ryu, has been playable in every Street Fighter title, both main series and spinoff. However, Ken is not playable in a few crossover titles, such as Capcom Fighting Evolution, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Cross Generation of Heroes, and both versions of Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds. This is likely due to a desire not to take up many spaces in their rosters with overly similar characters, since Ryu does appear in those games.
- Ken is one of the eleven playable Street Fighter characters who are married or in a romantic relationship.
- Ryu can use Ken's moveset in Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes via Mode Change.
- The Mortal Kombat character Kobra bears some resemblance to Ken.
- In Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact, if Ken defeats Sean, he would say to him "You must defeat Ryu to stand a chance!" This is similar to what Ryu says about defeating his Shoryuken or the hoax character, "Sheng Long" in order to stand a chance, and one of Gouken's related quotes, which states "You must defeat me to stand a chance!".
- In the Street Fighter III games, Ken breaks the fourth wall in one of his quotes against Hugo ("It's losers like you that make this game boring!").
- Ken's Stage in Street Fighter Alpha 2, can be seen the cameos of other Capcom characters, such like Morrigan from Darkstalkers series and Captain Commando from the arcade game of the same name.
- Ken makes a cameo appearance in Disney's 52nd animated feature, Wreck-It Ralph alongside Ryu. He is voiced once again by Reuben Langdon. In the film, Ryu and Ken stop fighting after Yuni from "Dance Dance Revolution" tells them that the arcade is closed and that nobody is around. After that, Ryu asks Ken if he wants to head over to the Tapper bar which Ken accepts as they take a break from fighting.
- In SNK vs. Capcom: SvC Chaos, as Violent Ken, his battle stance intro is similar to Akuma 's and Evil Ryu's, however he turns clockwise instead of counterclockwise.
- Ken's win quote against Lei Wulong in Street Fighter X Tekken is based on Lei resembling Jackie Chan.
- For the full gallery, see Ken Masters/Gallery.
- For the full sprite gallery, see: Ken Masters/Sprites.
- ↑ Street Fighter II SNES manual, p.24
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 http://www.capcom.co.jp/sf4/ken.html
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w74dqHZLLsY
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B15UXDf64Ps
|Street Fighter Characters|
|Adon – Birdie – Eagle – Geki – Gen – Joe – Ken – Lee – Mike – Retsu – Ryu – Sagat|
|Street Fighter II Characters|
|Akuma – Balrog – Blanka – Cammy – Chun-Li – Dee Jay – Dhalsim – E. Honda – Fei Long – Guile – Ken – M. Bison – Ryu – Sagat – T. Hawk – Vega – Zangief|
|Street Fighter: The Movie Characters|
|Akuma – Arkane – Balrog – Blade – Blanka – Cammy – Chun-Li – Dee Jay – E. Honda – F7 – Guile – Ken – Khyber – M. Bison – Ryu – Sagat - Sawada – Vega – Zangief|
|Street Fighter Alpha Characters|
|Adon – Akuma (Shin) – Balrog – Birdie – Blanka – Cammy – Charlie – Chun-Li – Cody – Dan – Dee Jay – Dhalsim – E. Honda – Eagle – Evil Ryu – Fei Long – Gen – Guile – Guy – Ingrid – Juli – Juni – Karin – Ken – M. Bison (Final) – Maki – R. Mika – Rolento – Rose – Ryu – Sagat – Sakura – Sodom – T. Hawk – Vega – Zangief|
|Street Fighter EX Characters|
|Ace - Akuma - Allen - Area - Blair - Blanka - Chun-Li - C. Jack - Cycloid-β - Cycloid-γ - Darun - Dhalsim - D. Dark - Garuda - Guile - Hayate - Hokuto (Bloody) - Kairi - Ken - M. Bison (II |True) - Nanase - Pullum - Ryu (Evil) - Sagat - Sakura - Shadowgeist - Sharon - Skullomania - Vega - V. Rosso - Zangief|
|Street Fighter III Characters|
|Akuma (Shin) – Alex – Chun-Li – Dudley – Elena – Gill – Hugo – Ibuki – Ken – Makoto – Necro – Oro – Q – Remy – Ryu – Sean – Twelve – Urien – Yang – Yun|
|Street Fighter IV Characters|
|Abel – Adon – Akuma – Balrog – Blanka – Cammy – Chun-Li – Cody – C. Viper – Dan – Decapre – Dee Jay – Dhalsim – Dudley – E. Honda – Elena – El Fuerte – Evil Ryu – Fei Long – Gen – Gouken – Guile – Guy – Hakan – Hugo – Ibuki – Juri – Ken – M. Bison – Makoto – Oni – Poison – Rolento – Rose – Rufus – Ryu – Sagat – Sakura – Seth – T. Hawk – Vega – Yang – Yun – Zangief|
|Street Fighter X Tekken Characters|
|Abel – Akuma – Balrog – Blanka – Cammy – Chun-Li – Cody – Dhalsim – Dudley – Elena – Guile – Guy – Hugo – Ibuki - Juri - Ken – M. Bison – Poison – Rufus – Rolento - Ryu – Sagat – Sakura – Vega – Zangief|