Street Fighter IV Character Guide Part 1: The Original Player Characters
by: Simon Hill
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 4/17/2012
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This first character guide for Street Fighter IV explores the eight original characters returning from Street Fighter II. Find out what's new for Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Dhalsim, Zangief, Blanka, E. Honda and Guile. This guide gives you the background and a run down on their strengths and weaknesses.
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Street Fighter IV
Street Fighter IV is the latest addition to the most successful fighting game series ever made. Capcom have included a total of 25 characters in the game. There are the original 8 heroes from Street Fighter II, the 4 bad guys, 9 additional characters from the various other releases in the series and 4 entirely new characters. In this series of 4 articles we are going to take a look at each of the characters in the game starting with the 8 original heroes.
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First up is Ryu; the loner intent on becoming the greatest warrior the world has ever known. Trained by his master Gouken, he scours the globe looking for a challenge and is quick to fight evil wherever he finds it. Clad in white with dark gloves and a red headband he is the classic Street Fighter hero and a truly iconic videogame character. He has grown up with Ken and the two are very similar in style although there are some important differences. Ryu has a special antipathy with Sagat after he left the baddie with a nasty chest scar.
Ryu is a versatile choice and capable of speed and strength which makes him ideal as an all rounder. He can fire a Hadouken fireball, pull off the Shoryuken uppercut punch and the Tatsumaki Senpukyaku kick. When it comes to the new Super and Ultra combos, both of Ryu’s moves are variations on the Hadouken so can be used at range. He has a string of possibilities when it comes to chaining attacks and he is fairly easy to pick up and play for beginners.
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The American brat also trained by Gouken, Ken is the angry undisciplined version of Ryu and the two are like surrogate brothers. Dressed in red with a mop of blond surfer like hair Ken is every bit as dangerous as Ryu and fights with a very similar range of attacks. He doesn’t have a special enemy although he tends to lose to his training partner and so Ryu could be considered his nemesis.
Ken is also strong and fast and well suited to fighting most other characters. He can fire a Hadouken fireball, unleash the Shoryuken uppercut and of course the spinning roundhouse kick Tatsumaki Senpukyaku. His Super and Ultra combos are variations on the Shoryuken uppercut punch which are devastating at close range. He too has a wide array of choices when it comes to stringing attacks together for destructive combinations. He is also fairly easy for novice players to pick up but he does need to get much closer to his opponent than Ryu in order to be truly effective.
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The thunder-thighed Chinese Interpol agent is seeking revenge for her father’s death at the hands of M. Bison. She is a martial arts expert with a specific skill at kicking. She was the only female character in Street Fighter II and she is fast and versatile proving to be a potent threat at close or long range.
Chun-Li’s lightning kick is her signature move but she has a wide range of Unique Attacks and Special Moves. She can also jump off the walls and her Spinning Bird Kick is devastating when used correctly. She can fire a projectile with the Kikouken attack and her Rear Spin Kick is also a handy tool in the arsenal. If you time an attack incorrectly she is very vulnerable and when defending against attacks from the air she lacks flexibility.
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The yoga expert from India is a mortal enemy of the evil M. Bison and originally gave up his pacifist ways and started fighting in order to raise money for his home village. He looks quite creepy as a wiry character with white eyes and a necklace of skulls and he has mastered some supernatural manoeuvres which make a really tough character in skilled hands.
Dhalsim can pull off various combos and his best attacks are long range efforts. He also has a number of great defensive moves like the Yoga Tower which makes him invulnerable for a couple of seconds. His Yoga Fire is a short range projectile and he has a fire attack to hit enemies approaching from the air as well. His extendable arms and legs can make him formidable from distance and he has the ability to teleport and get in close to take an opponent by surprise. The problem with Dhalsim is his slow speed and the fact he cannot take a lot of punishment.
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The big Russian wrestler is seriously strong and he likes to crush opponents. He is a typical Soviet Union throwback, an ex-professional wrestler representing his country and in various spin off series and films he has been portrayed as a baddie. This seems a bit unfair and he strives to inspire the children of Russia with his might in the ring.
Zangief is a grappler with a number of wrestling moves and you need to get in close to beat your enemy with him. He lacks any sort of projectile and he is very slow moving but he has some great attacks like the devastating Spinning Piledriver which sees him grab his opponent and smash them into the ground. He can also pull off a Flying Body attack and a Banishing Flat which is a handy rotating backhand. His Super and Ultra Combos are tough to pull off and Zangief is definitely one of the harder characters to master, although his great strength makes him a potentially frightening opponent.
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Blanka is a bizarre green feral swamp monster from the Amazon rainforest. Young Jimmy crash landed in the forest years ago and was raised by animals, his skin turned green, his hair orange and he developed the ability to roll himself into a ball and fly through the air not to mention his uncanny knack for electrifying people.
He is a strong character defensively with the ability to duck under projectiles with his Coward Crouch and electrify enemies that come too near with his Electric Thunder. He can also skip around enemies to get out of corners and although he doesn’t have any projectiles his rolled up flying attacks are almost as good. He is tough to fight against because of his unconventional moves. Although he is a bit slow, he is relatively easy to learn. It takes a bit of skill to master the timing necessary to get the best from his Super and Ultra Combos.
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The sumo wrestling giant from Japan, E. Honda is extremely strong and sees himself as an ambassador for his sport. He likes to batter drug dealers and is eager to prove that sumo wrestlers are the most talented fighters in the world.
Honda is very strong and although he moves quite slowly he has some great fast attacks. His Hundred Hand Slap is easy to pull off and potentially damaging especially if he manages to corner his opponent first. He also has a terrific flying Headbutt move and a truly devastating stomp called Shikofumi but it is very slow to power up. He has a nice Sumo Smash which can knock opponents out of the air and his Super and Ultra Combos are highly destructive. He isn’t the easiest character to master and it will take some practice to get good with Honda.
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He is a U.S. military officer fighting for his country and his wife and kid back home. This flat-topped muscle bound soldier in fatigues is a dangerous enemy and he originally fought to avenge his friend Charlie who was killed by M. Bison.
Guile is a tough character but he is also a little slow and it takes some practice to pull off his moves. He is certainly one of the trickier characters to play as and timing is absolutely crucial if you want to win. In addition to a number of basic punches, kicks and throws he also has a Sonic Boom projectile attack and a Flash Kick for close range. His Super and Ultra Combos are really tough to pull off and if you time an attack badly he seems to be left very vulnerable.