Ryo Sakazaki


Ryo Sakazaki

General CVG character
name=Ryo Sakazaki


caption=Ryo Sakazaki in "King of Fighters 2003"
firstgame="Art of Fighting"
series="Art of Fighting" series
"Fatal Fury" series
"King of Fighters" series
SNK "Vs." series
artist=
voiceactor=Curt Gebhart (Maximum Impact)
japanactor=Masaki Usui
Tetsuya Besho (anime)
Akira Kamiya (Dengeki Bunko drama CD)
inuniverse=SNK character
birthplace=flagicon|Japan Japan
birthdate=birth date|1957|8|2|mf=y ("Art of Fighting")
August 2 ("King of Fighters")
age= 24 years old ('95-2001)
height=179 cm (5 ft 10.5 in)
weight=68 kg ("King of Fighters '94" through "'98")
75 kg (163 lb) ("King of Fighters '99" and later games)
76 kg ("NeoGeo Battle Coliseum")
bloodtype=O
fightingstyle=Kyokugenryu Karate
likes=Japanese-style carpentry, Rice Cakes, Fermented soybeans
dislikes=Bugs with a lot of legs
soulmate=Takuma Sakazaki (father)
Yuri Sakazaki (younger sister)|
nihongo|Ryo Sakazaki|リョウ・サカザキ|Ryou Sakazaki|sometimes written as 坂崎 亮 or "Sakazaki Ryō" is the main character in "Art of Fighting", and one of the main characters in "The King of Fighters", both fighting game series from SNK. His name is most often written in kana, however, in some games kanji is used to write parts of his name. In Gamest's 1997 Heroes Collection, Ryo was voted as the staff's twenty-fourth favorite character.Cite book | year=1997 | editor=Gamest | title=Gamest Game Hero Collection 1997; issue 208 | pages=1 | language=Japanese | publisher=Shinseisha ] In a 2005 poll made by SNK-Playmore USA, he was voted as the fifth fan favorite character with a total of 193 votes. [cite web|url=http://blog.ureshino.cn/?eid=19860|title=ウレユサ日記03 2005/11/22|publisher=Ureshino Chronicle|author=Akihiko Ureshino|accessdate=2008-08-04]

History

"Art of Fighting"

The story of Ryo begins in the first "Art of Fighting" in a traditional damsel in distress story. Yuri is kidnapped by Mr. Big, a local criminal mastermind. With the help of best friend and rival Robert Garcia, Ryo manages to confront Mr. Big, leading him to a karate dojo where a mysterious man (originally unnamed in the game, but was named "Mr. Karate" by fans, and officially named as such in later games) challenges the two to a fight. When Ryo prevailed, he threatens to kill Mr. Karate unless he knew that Yuri was alive. As Ryo prepared to kill him, Yuri appears, telling Ryo to stop, for Mr. Karate was their father.

During this journey, Ryo met a bouncer named King, a Muay Thai expert. There has been some unspoken romantic tension between the two.

The realization that Mr. Karate was indeed Takuma was not in the original "Art of Fighting" ending (except for the Super NES port of the game, where it was clearly shown), but was merely speculation that was made official in the introduction to the second game, when Takuma was formally introduced. In the second game, Takuma reveals how he became Mr. Karate: when Geese Howard wanted Takuma to kill Jeff Bogard, adoptive father to Andy and Terry Bogard. Takuma refused, and in order to force Takuma to cooperate, Yuri was kidnapped. Takuma was forced to do things that were against his moral standards through repeated threats to kill Yuri, including fighting his two students. With the Sakazaki family reunited, the family, along with Robert, focused on exacting their revenge on Geese, and providing justice to all others who were wronged by him. Part of this preparation included, to Ryo's initial opposition, teaching Yuri the Kyokugen techniques.

Although their plan was successful to an extent, their victory was short-lived: Geese had managed to escape, and had ordered the killing of Jeff (but had killed Jeff by himself later). This ending effectively closed out the "Art of Fighting" series and brought forth the beginning of the "Fatal Fury" story, one that does not directly involve Ryo.

Although "Art of Fighting" had a third game to the series, Ryo's role in that game was largely insignificant, as he acts as a supporting character to Robert. However, one plot thread from "Art of Fighting 3" that carried over into the "King of Fighters" series was the introduction of Kasumi Todoh, the daughter of Ryuhaku Todoh, whom Ryo fought and defeated in the first "Art of Fighting".

"The King of Fighters"

The appearance of Ryo in "Fatal Fury Special" as a secret final boss was perhaps inspiration to SNK's most notable fighting game series, "The King of Fighters". Indeed, much of the appeal of the first "KOF" game, "The King of Fighters '94", was that characters from "Art of Fighting" and "Fatal Fury" could fight alongside and against each other. However, Ryo (and his "Fatal Fury" counterpart, Terry) would only play supporting roles in the series. The fictional continuity between the "Art of Fighting" and "Fatal Fury" games (where there is a decade gap between the events of both series) is ignored in the "King of Fighters" storyline, as the games follows a different continuity.

Although the "King of Fighters" tournament has its roots in "Fatal Fury", the 1994 tournament was the first tournament in the story to use a team fighting system, which was essentially the gimmick that was used to sell the series: three fighters could form a team, and when one fighter was knocked out, a new fighter could replace the fighter that was knocked out, continuing until one team was out of fighters. Ryo was the core of the "Art of Fighting" Team in this first game, one that was composed of Ryo, Robert, and Takuma (much to the displeasure of Yuri, to which Ryo was opposed to letting her even join the tournament, although she would find her own team).

Throughout the series, the Kyokugen style was depicted as a struggling family business, funded almost entirely by prize money earned from "KOF" and Robert's vast wealth. Despite all this, the family manages to keep two gyms running, one in South Town (setting of many SNK games), and a second in Mexico on his already deceased Mexican mother Home.

Before the events of "The King of Fighters '96", however, Takuma decided to retire from competitive fighting, and thus allowed Yuri to join the "Art of Fighting" Team. In this game, as well in "The King of Fighters '97", the Kyokugen trio would always find themselves after the tournament facing Takuma disguised as Mr. Karate, telling them to train harder for the following year. In short, for much of the first storyline of "KOF", nothing of consequence happens to Ryo.

In the second storyline to "KOF", however, fans were led to believe in an increased role for Ryo and company. Due to a new rule allowing teams of four in "The King of Fighters '99", and Takuma's coincidental "sudden urge to fight again", the "Art of Fighting" Team, for the first time, involved all four members of the Kyokugen family. In the rubble that had ultimately killed Krizalid, it had appeared that Takuma had died. The only trace of him that was found was the tengu mask that was once the trademark of Mr. Karate. Takuma had somehow survived [http://kof.confusticated.com/99_end/aof/07.gif] , and the next year, as Yuri left to join another team, King would join the "Art of Fighting" Team.

"The King of Fighters 2000" had South Town (named "Southtown" in later games) destroyed by way of the Zero Cannon, a space-based satellite weapon. In an effort to not get caught in the Zero Cannon's blasts, Takuma saved King's life by using his "Haoh Shikou Ken" projectile attack to redirect the Zero Cannon's attack. Although Ryo and Robert were surprised at Takuma's ability to redirect the Zero Cannon's blast, they were more surprised at Takuma's reason to save King: Takuma claimed that he could not afford to lose the heir to the Kyokugen style, a statement that shocked the other three team members, as this implied that King and Ryo would perhaps be parents to an heir to the Kyokugen style, a conclusion as of yet is unknown.

It is not known what had happened to the Kyokugen dojo that had brought forth the livelihood of the Sakazaki family after the destruction of South Town. However, it is well known that the Sakazakis kept two dojos in operation, and Takuma had retired, allowing Ryo to take charge of the family business. This is supported by the fact that Ryo takes over the Mr. Karate mantle that his father once held on Fatal Fury Wild Ambition and Neo Geo Battle Coliseum.

The second Mr. Karate

Ryo is also a central character in "Buriki One", a game for the short-lived Hyper Neo Geo 64. In this game, he appears in his older persona, and fighting in a grappling tournament without many of the flashier moves he is known for, as these defy physics and the game took some novel approaches to a more realistic fighting system. His look in the game is similar to Takuma's in the KoF series, only with his traditional spiked hair dyed blonde and a dark grey gi instead of white or orange.

In "Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition", a port of the Arcade game with for the PlayStation featuring some new characters, he (and not Takuma) uses the title of Mr. Karate (without a mask), as an aged and more powerful Ryo. Aesthetically, other than looking somewhat older but still with blonde hair, he's unshaved and isn't wearing the top of his orange gi, showing instead the black t-shirt underneath. The reason behind Ryo being older than Terry Bogard in this game is that "Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition" assumes that the retcon to the "Art Of Fighting" timeline did not happen.

Although he has appeared in no other unrelated games, he is often referenced indirectly in "Garou: Mark of the Wolves", he has his own student, Khushnood Butt (a.k.a. Marco Rodriguez). In "King of Fighters XI", Ryo indicates that Marco is currently a green belt.

More recently, in Neo Geo Battle Coliseum, Ryo goes by the name Mr. Karate (specifically, the 2nd Mr. Karate), while his look is the one used for Buriki One. There he retains many of his classic moves, along with using some of Takuma's, and one of his supers appears to be a homage to Buriki One's unique control system, since the player has to input a sequence of joystick directions (instead of button presses) after a specific command in order to attack. He is joined there by an older Robert, previously unseen in other games. He also has a special ending artwork if the player finishes the game with Robert as his partner. [http://img363.imageshack.us/img363/6312/duo9lk.jpg]

In KOF: Maximum Impact, Ryo's alternate costume is similar to that of his Buriki One costume. If you complete the game with him, you are able to use his "Rigging Model", a few additions to his costume include a Tengu Mask similar to Takuma's. In Maximum Impact 2 he also has the Buriki One costume as a secondary but still plays similar to KoF Ryo.

In , Ryo has two 'versions': his traditional KoF one and his Mr. Karate version, the primary costume of which comprises a Tengu mask slightly different from his father's, that Ryo is seen using for the first time. His "Another" costume is a very slightly modified version of his Fatal Fury Wild Ambition costume. This Ryo however plays much like Takuma and his Neo Geo Battle Coliseum form, and caries the same stance in Neo Geo Battle Coliseum.

List of appearances

* "Art of Fighting" series
* "Fatal Fury" series
** "Fatal Fury Special" (as a guest character and secret challenger)
** "" (featured in the PlayStation version as the new Mr. Karate)
* "The King of Fighters" series
* "SNK vs. Capcom" series
* "Buriki One"
* "Neo Geo Battle Coliseum"

Related characters

* Dan Hibiki, parody
* King, love interest
* Robert Garcia, friend/rival
* Takuma Sakazaki, father/master
* Yuri Sakazaki, sister
* Khushnood Butt, apprentice
* Geese Howard, enemy
* Mr. Big, enemy
* Eiji Kisaragi, enemy
* Kasumi Todoh, unintentional rival
* Ryuhaku Todoh unintentional rival
* Gai Tendo rival/friend
* Lee Pai Long rival
* Terry Bogard Fatal Fury counterpart and friend

References

External links

* [http://kofaniv.snkplaymore.co.jp/english/index.html The King of Fighters 10th Anniversary Official Website]
*jp icon [http://www.garou15th.com/ Fatal Fury 15th Anniversary Official Website]


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