Dan Hibiki

Street Fighter

Dan Hibiki is a video game character from Capcom’s ‘Street Fighter’ series of fighting games. Introduced in 1995 as a secret character in ‘Street Fighter Alpha,’ Dan is consistently portrayed as an arrogant, overconfident, yet utterly feeble character. Shortly after the release of ‘Street Fighter II’ in 1991, rival company SNK released their own fighting game, ‘Art of Fighting.’

The principal character of this series, Ryo Sakazaki, bore a resemblance in appearance and name to ‘Street Fighter’ mascots Ryu, as well as other aesthetic similarities to Ken, wearing an orange gi and sporting blonde hair. In humorous retaliation, ‘Street Fighter II’ co-designer Akiman drew an artwork of Sagat holding a defeated opponent by the head during the release of ‘Street Fighter II: Champion Edition.’ The defeated opponent wore an attire similar to Ryo’s: an orange karate gi with a torn black shirt underneath and geta sandals; but had long dark hair tied to a ponytail like Robert Garcia, another character from the ‘Art of Fighting’ series. This character design would become the basis of Dan.

His fireball is telling: instead of using both hands to unleash his Gadōken, as Ryu and Ken do for the Hadōken, he propels it with one hand, like Ryo, Robert and Yuri do for the Kooh-ken (though Dan’s Gadōken has pitifully short range and does mediocre damage; it only gains longer range when you use the super version of the move, the Shinkū Gadōken). Dan can also taunt infinitely like the ‘Art of Fighting’ games, unlike his fellow ‘Street Fighter Alpha’ characters who can only taunt once per round. Taunts do little to no damage, but are useful in starting combos.

When developing ‘Street Fighter IV,’ executive producer Yoshinori Ono emphasized Dan as a character he strongly wanted to have appear in the game, stating that while the character’s personality and actions earned him the label of a joke character, he felt Dan was a very technical fighting game character that could be used well and bring something unique to the game. Dan is introduced as a martial artist who developed his own fighting style called Saikyō-ryū, ‘The Strongest Style,’ despite the considerable lack of power in his techniques. Dan seeks to defeat Sagat to avenge his father’s death. While Dan is an unlockable character in ‘Street Fighter Alpha,’ in following games he is already available. By ‘Street Fighter Alpha 3,’ Dan has succeeded in his quest, and seeks to perfect and promote his fighting style.

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