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> Zeku, a Strider?, a returning Bushinryu master
Strider Chen
 Posted: Oct 15 2017, 08:33 PM
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Though leaked ages ago, Zeku has been revealed as part of Season 2 of Street Fighter V. Zeku first appeared as a character in Guy's story in Street Fighter Alpha 2. He was Guy's master and the 38th "Grandmaster" of Bushinyu. In SFV, one of his gimmicks is that he can switch between his current and younger selves.

The thing is... Here's the designs:
https://I.redd.it/stgyeteltzrz.png
https://I.redd.it/8jdzm7pqtzrz.png

The designs looking similar to Hiryu across multiple skins are what first made me think that it was more than just a reference. But then I heard this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boNf5TFihE8...=youtu.be&t=33s

His kick has the Cypher sound effect. Are they going to tie Zeku to the Striders?

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Scion238
 Posted: Oct 15 2017, 09:18 PM
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There was an old Capcom-Unity rumor that Hiryu was descended from Guy & Rose. Basically, that Soul Power + Bushinryu = Strider abilities.

Seems like they may just be going that direction, after all.

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Zero-ELEC
 Posted: Oct 16 2017, 01:43 AM
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His theme includes the Strider theme intro.

His air slashing attacks are called Gram (like Hiryu's):

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His backstory for the game is that now that he is no longer the Bushinryu Grandmaster, he's creating a new style and planning to start a new ninja group.

I'm pretty sure he's supposed to be a (the first?) Strider, or the Street Fighter universe's equivalent.
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Suzaku
 Posted: Oct 16 2017, 02:46 AM
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There is a strong implication that he either founded the Striders, or a Street Fighter universe equivalent. It'll probably be made clear in his story mode, but so far what we have to go on is Capcom's description and profiles, his costumes and gameplay, and his movelist.


Capcom's description for the reveal states that he disappeared after being succeeded as Master of Bushinryu by Guy (during Guy's Street Fighter Alpha 2 ending), and has now returned to develop a new fighting style and to start a new ninja group. His profile states that he's a master of martial arts (taijutsu) specializing in kicks, and that he can use a special jutsu to reverse his aging and become young again. It also says that he's a forward-thinking man for the modern times, despite his old age.

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His main gimmick is being able to change his moveset by switching between Old Zeku and Young Zeku, so he has two variants for each costume. His default Young Zeku appearance strongly resembles Strider Hiryu (and even more strongly resembles Cannon Dancer Kirin, IMO).

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His Story Costume has him wearing a business suit, suggesting a business-oriented persona. His Battle Costume 1 clearly references Hiryu, while his Nostalgia Costume is based on his appearance at the end of Alpha 2, in which he wears a green version of Guy's outfit. The kanji on his chest in all costumes is 武 (bu, war), the first kanji of 武神 (bushin, war god).

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As for gameplay, his Old Zeku moveset notably includes a series of three moves: Bushin Gram - Koku, Bushin Gram - Ban, and Bushin Gram - Teki. Obvious references to Hiryu's Gram, though here it's spelled out phonetically with kanji as 倶羅無 (guramu), indicating a layer of abstraction. The Japanese news articles describe these as sharp kicks that produce shockwaves. They seem to produce the Cipher sound effect in-game, and are even described as being similar to the Iai (quick draw) sword fighting style.

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Another possible reference is one of his Young Zeku specials, Bushin Seiryukyaku (Bushin Blue Dragon kick), though it's arguable whether it's meant to be a reference to anything as the Blue Dragon only appeared in the American-exclusive NES Strider. His intro animation also has him flying in on a parachute/kite, not disimilar to Hiryu's glider.

His Critical Art, Batsuzan Gaisei (Power to Move Mountains), seems to be a fusion of Hiryu's Ragnarok and Guy's Bushin Muso Renge:



This post has been edited by Suzaku: Oct 16 2017, 04:38 AM
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Strider Sombra
 Posted: Oct 16 2017, 04:09 AM
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OH goody goody! Been going the entire day wishing I could post! I couldn't just believe Capcom did it! They showed a V.Joe costume for Rashid, so I was hoping Hiryu would come eventually, but to actually have hints of a connection? That's crazy. Street Fighter is turning into the nexus of the Capcom-verse if this turns out to be a direct connection.

Also, Suzaku beat me to the references between Zeku and the series tongue.gif . So I'll just add to his descriptions. Hope you don't mind!

QUOTE (Suzaku @ Oct 16 2017, 01:44 AM)
His profile states that he's a master of martial arts (taijutsu) specializing in kicks,


While "Taijutsu" is a pretty generic term (and is apparently commonly associated with ninja, see Naruto), I guess it is worth pointing out that plenty of official sources state Hiryu has "superhuman mastery of Taijutsu". This wasn't even new for Zeku, with his bio on the Street Fighter V site already mentioned that he introduced Taijutsu techniques to the Bushinryuu Style.

QUOTE
As for gameplay, his Old Zeku moveset notably includes a series of three moves: Bushin Gram - Koku, Bushin Gram - Ban, and Bushin Gram - Teki.


Interesting! Here "Teki" is the same kanji used in Kirin's group from Cannon-Dancer, referencing the Beidi or Barbarians of the North from Chinese Zhou Dynasty ("Ban" too, the southern ones). Since Isuke's early draft for the Arcade game implied Teki may have branched off the Striders, this technique having reference to them is probably no coincidence. Plus, there's the whole Kirin/Kuniang's plasma kicks similarities here, and Isuke's implication the Kuniang and Kirin are of the same clan...

Also, one of his attacks is called the "Bushin Kirinkyaku", but I'd wager this is just a reference to the mythological Kirin/Qilin and not the Cannon-Dancer guy. Well, Maybe. He does look a bit like Kirin too, so who knows...

QUOTE
and are even described as being similar to the Iai (quick draw) sword fighting style.


You know who else uses Iai as his style? Kuramoto. And Matic. And pretty much every single one of Hiryu's predecessors in his family lineage (per Isuke's draft, again). Isuke really likes his Iai-do, so I wouldn't be surprised if Hiryu's quick-draw slash was intended to be a perfected version of a Iai-do attack (you can't see the sword after all, a common trait of this type of attacks in media).

QUOTE
Another possible reference is one of his Young Zeku specials, Bushin Seiryukyaku (Bushin Blue Dragon kick), though it's arguable whether it's meant to be a reference to anything as the Blue Dragon only appeared in the American-exclusive NES Strider.


Well, Isuke did reveal he drew both "the Strider base in the desert and the dragon in space", meaning both the manga's Striders HQ and the NES Blue Dragon were his creation, and may have been part of the design document for the Arcade game. Still, this is probably just a reference to the Azure Dragon from Chinese Myth.

Also, one of young Zeku's techniques is called "Hassou Tobi", which is one of Hiryu's moves in Strider 2, the Hassou Jump. Don't know what it actually does, but it's listed after the Sankaku Tobi (Triangular Jump wink.gif ), so maybe it is some sort of wall jump too?

Really looking forward for the character's story mode, this is promising! http://I.imgur.com/qqrosJb.gif

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Scion238
 Posted: Oct 16 2017, 11:34 AM
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I just posted about this on the LSCM's Facebook page. This is really exciting stuff, guys! Thank you Zero-Elec, Suzaku, and Sombra for doing the digging on this one.

While it doesn't seem like they're going the Guy/Rose route, I'm really intrigued by the idea that they're showing us the founder and the roots of the Strider clan in the Street Fighter universe. Plus, all these links to the lore and the setting of Strider Isuke's Action Game Universe are amazing.

I'm just curious what he thinks of it, honestly.

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Strider Ichiban
 Posted: Oct 16 2017, 12:56 PM
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QUOTE (Scion238 @ Oct 16 2017, 10:32 AM)

While it doesn't seem like they're going the Guy/Rose route, I'm really intrigued by the idea that they're showing us the founder and the roots of the Strider clan in the Street Fighter universe.


A younger (Zeku) Kuramoto, perhaps. ohmy.gif

This post has been edited by Strider Ichiban: Oct 16 2017, 01:07 PM
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Suzaku
 Posted: Oct 16 2017, 01:24 PM
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It certainly wouldn't be unreasonable for Zeku's full name to be Kuramoto Zeku, since Kuramoto is a surname. Honestly, Old Zeku even bears a passing resemblance to Kuramoto as seen in the manga.

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Age him another dozen years, have him start going bald and grow a bushy beard, and... well, that's basically Kuramoto. Of course I don't want to jump to any conclusions so soon. It feels almost too perfect to actually be a thing.

Andy Wong posted an official blog entry about Zeku with some cool new screenshots, though he only offers the vaguest of hints at the obvious Hiryu inspiration: "His younger version sure looks familiar!"

Zeku's out in just over a week, so it shouldn't take long to play his story mode and find out if he's just a winky-faced homage, a really deep and detailed homage, or an actual attempt to link the two continuities.
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Suzaku
 Posted: Oct 16 2017, 01:44 PM
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Also, rough write up of all of Zeku's Strider References that I've found so far:
  • Default Costume (Young Zeku): Young Zeku's default costume bears a striking resemblance to Strider Hiryu, with a flowing red scarf, wild brown hair, and blue ninja garb with a red kanji embroidered on the left breast. While Hiryu's uniform bore the kanji Hi ("flying," the first kanji in Hiryu, "flying dragon"), Zeku's bears the kanji Bu ("war," the first kanji in Bushin, "war god"). In Bengus's artwork (example 1, example 2), he also gives Zeku a cowlick similar to the one often sported by Hiryu.

  • Battle Costume 1: An obvious homage to Strider Hiryu, replicating his costume quite faithfully, albeit with minor alteration to appear less high-tech. As before, the kanji on his chest is Bu instead of Hi. Incidentally, one of Guy's unused costumes in Ultra Street Fighter IV was modeled after Hiryu, and Hiryu has had pallete swaps based on Guy's colorscheme.

  • Story: Zeku's story concerns him returning to the battlefield after leaving the Bushinryu ninja school in Guy's Alpha 2 ending to develop a new fighting style and create a new ninja group. While not overt, this could imply that Zeku is the founder of the Street Fighter universe's own version of the Strider organization, if not an attempt to link the two canons. At the very least it would seem to be an homage. Note that while in the manga the Striders were founded by a man named Kuramoto, there are several different versions of Strider canon and the series was recently rebooted in 2014, with the group's origins left undefined.

  • Intro: Zeku flies into the stage using a makeshift parachute-kite, both a ninja trope and an apparent reference to Hiryu's iconic glider entrances.

  • Stance: Old Zeku's upper body and Young Zeku's lower body essentially combine to create Hiryu's iconic stance, sans the hand gripping his Cypher.

  • Special Moves, Bushin Gram - Koku, Teki, and Ban: Gram is an ability used by Hiryu in his various crossover incarnations, named for a mythical sword from Norse mythology. Zeku's Gram is written phonetically with kanji as 倶羅無 (guramu), creating a layer of abstraction. Hiryu's version charges his Cypher with plasma to extend the reach of the blade, while Zeku's is described as a sharp kick that produces a cutting shockwave, similar to an Iai (quickdraw) sword attack. Zeku's version notably produces Hiryu's signature Cypher slash sound effect. Additionally, two of Zeku's variants, "Teki" and "Ban," are derived from the Chinese names for two of the four barbarian groups said to border Ancient China, which according to Strider's lead designer, Kouichi "Isuke" Yatsui, are ancestors of the recurring Strider enemies, the Kuniang Martial Arts Team, a group of four female assassins who use kicks that generate shockwave blades.

  • Special Moves, Sankaku Tobi and Hassou Tobi: Triangle Jump and Hassou Jump are abilities used by Hiryu in Strider and Strider 2, respectively. Triangle Jump is a fairly standard wall jump, while the Hassou Jump allows him to dash off a wall in one of eight directions.

  • Critical Art, Batsuzan Gaisei: Zeku's Critical Art incorporates elements from Guy's Bushin Goraisenpujin and Bushin Muso Renge Ultra Combos with Hiryu's Ragnarok Hyper Combo.

  • Theme Song: The opening motif from Hiryu's theme song ("Raid!") can be heard in Zeku's theme at 1:19 in his reveal trailer.

  • Bonus 1: Tonfa: Maki, Guy's soon-to-be sister-in-law and another student of Zeku, is a Bushinryu ninja who wields the tonfa, which is similar in design to the Cyphers wielded by Striders.

  • Bonus 2: Cannon Dancer / Osman: Though probably unintentional, Young Zeku's default costume resembles Kirin, protagonist of Cannon Dancer, almost more strongly than it resembles Hiryu (fan art of Hiryu and Kirin, side-by-side, for reference). Cannon Dancer is a spiritual sequel to the original arcade Strider designed by its creator, Kouichi "Isuke" Yatsui, several years after he left Capcom. Much like Hiryu, Kirin is a member of a ninja-like organization called Teki (see the earlier section about Gram), and winds up on a mission to single-handedly destroy an entity that seeks to conquer the world. The similarity doesn't end with his appearance, as Kirin's primary method of attacking is to unleash shockwaves with his sharp kicks. Though Cannon Dancer was not published by Capcom and is not an official sequel, Isuke considers it an "irregular" sequel and it fits into a loose continuity with Strider and another spiritual sequel, Moon Diver. Isuke has also made implications that the Striders, the Teki, and the Kuniang all share similar origins in the "barbarian" tribes surrounding Ancient China, with Hiryu specifically being born in 2030 in a village belonging to the Tungus tribe, which in Isuke's design documents were also credited with founding the Striders towards the end of the 19th century; in his draft, rather than founding the organization, Kuramoto rebuilt and reformed it in Japan in 2006 with the goal of modernizing it, including developing new weapon technology such as the Cypher.
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Strider Ichiban
 Posted: Oct 16 2017, 04:53 PM
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What about the discrepancy with the other source regarding Hiryu's birth year?
Has the legitimacy of Isuke's design document/script with the year of 2031 been confirmed?
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Scion238
 Posted: Oct 16 2017, 05:08 PM
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Which "other source" are you referring to, Ichiban?

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Strider Sombra
 Posted: Oct 16 2017, 05:09 PM
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The idea of Kuramoto Zeku is more fitting than we think, besides the visual similarity there's the Iai connection, Zeku's Iai-like kicks could have evolved into a full-on Iai sword technique in his (advanced) age, plus the way Zeku is described as "forward-thinking" and having desires to be current sounds eerily similar to Kuramoto's role in Isuke's draft as the one who sought to modernize the group.

It really seems way too perfect to be real, though.

Nice write-up Suzaku! I was also writing something like that for the wiki. I'd probably sound pedantic (sorry! ph34r.gif ), but I wouldn't call the 2014 game a "reboot" since the developers were very insistent on it not being really one nor meaning to replace any of the other games in the series. It was said to be part of the same universe, basically treating the series like the James Bond film series (all part of the same "universe" but they don't share any single continuity). In any case, they didn't meant for it to become the "new canon" of the series, it's a retelling of the same conflict.

Huh, it looks like I'll be making a Street Fighter franchise page for the wiki to fit in all Zeku brings in. There have been enough connections between both series to merit one anyway...

Really can't wait for the story mode to drop. After how lackluster Infinite turned out, this was a breath of fresh air for us Hiryu fans!

EDIT:

He means the Capcom Club source (which lists Hiryu's birth year as 2030) and Isuke's draft (which lists it as 2031).

QUOTE (Strider Ichiban @ Oct 16 2017, 03:51 PM)
What about the discrepancy with the other source regarding Hiryu's birth year?
Has the legitimacy of Isuke's design document/script with the year of 2031 been confirmed?


Hey Ichiban! It's been a long time! How're you doing?

The Isuke draft is believed to be the first one he wrote, likely back when he and Kurokawa returned to Capcom and each wrote a script for the game's backstory. The text from Capcom Club is probably taken from the Arcade game's design document, which Isuke delivered at Capcom before the game's development was approved. It's possible Isuke made changes to the backstory (specially given he has said he trimmed down most of it over his concerns that it'd ruin the Arcade game's experience), so the year could have been changed.

By the way, Isuke still keeps both hand-written documents with him.

This post has been edited by Strider Sombra: Oct 16 2017, 05:18 PM

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Strider Ichiban
 Posted: Oct 16 2017, 05:18 PM
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QUOTE (Scion238 @ Oct 16 2017, 04:06 PM)
Which "other source" are you referring to, Ichiban?

That one where we originally learned about him being born in the Tungus region. In that it was 2030, I believe.
Don't know if that was supposed to be official, either.

QUOTE (Strider Sombra @ Oct 16 2017, 04:07 PM)

Really can't wait for the story mode to drop. After how lackluster Infinite turned out, this was a breath of fresh air for us Hiryu fans!


I hear you. I'm a little anxious to see how they handle this one to tell you the truth. We probably can't expect too much, though, being another verses fighting game and all. It is a game with a big budget, however, and I believe they spent a lot of time on this one compared to some of the others in season 2.

QUOTE (Strider Sombra @ Oct 16 2017, 04:07 PM)

Hey Ichiban! It's been a long time! How're you doing?


Doing good. Thanks for asking, Sombra. biggrin.gif Has it really been a while? Think last time I commented here was in the lead up to the release of Infinite. I haven't actually bought it yet, have you? I was a little underwhelmed myself. It's like Strider was thinking in the story mode, 'Ah, think I'll sit this one out and let everyone else save the world for a change'.
Might wait for an eventual Steam sale where I can get it at a bargain price. Anyway, I have been lurking around. Probably more so on the Wiki, though. I see you've been as busy there as ever! Always good to see what stuff you add. smile.gif

QUOTE (Strider Sombra @ Oct 16 2017, 04:07 PM)

The Isuke draft is believed to be the first one he wrote, likely back when he and Kurokawa returned to Capcom and each wrote a script for the game's backstory.


What form did it take when it hit the internet? Was it typed in or is it scans of his handwriting or something? Do you have it in its original form to compare it with with that video someone made of it? You know, that video where he sucked at playing Osman. wink.gif I'd really like to see it if it's still available online...
I'm sure it was just the crappy controller he was using, by the way. Lol.
Bet you they weren't playing Strider instead there because they were afraid they wouldn't get clearance or something. How I'd love to see a full commentary with Isuke playing that game...
Did you ever get to see the interview with him in the Strider 2004 Special Edition, by the way, I can't seem to find that anywhere? Is that the place where he said where Hiryu's name came from?

QUOTE (Strider Sombra @ Oct 16 2017, 04:07 PM)

It's possible Isuke made changes to the backstory (specially given he has said he trimmed down most of it over his concerns that it'd ruin the Arcade game's experience), so the year could have been changed.


Yeah, I suppose that could be the case.

This post has been edited by Strider Ichiban: Oct 16 2017, 06:06 PM
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Zero-ELEC
 Posted: Oct 16 2017, 05:29 PM
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Also interesting to note that his Battle Costume (the most overt Strider-like costume) actually has him wear a tonfa-hilted sword and a Climbing Sickle on his back


It's all very http://I.imgur.com/qqrosJb.gif
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Strider Sombra
 Posted: Oct 16 2017, 05:47 PM
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So he gets a proto-Cypher and Sickle too!? Cool! Wonder if it'll be used in any of his moves?

By the way, I love how they turned the loose-fitting metalic belt of Hiryu into a pouch belt. laugh.gif

QUOTE (Strider Ichiban @ Oct 16 2017, 04:16 PM)

That one where we originally learned about him being born in the Tungus region. In that it was 2030, I believe.
Don't know if that was supposed to be official, either.


The Club Capcom magazine is legit, officially published by Capcom exclusively for members of their fanclub in Japan, and it took information straight from their archives. They used it for official storyline information (they published sequel short stories for Breath of Fire there, for example). Another issue referenced the manga/gamebook's meaning for the word "Strider", even.

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