"Wow! How does Street Fighter beat other arcade fighters? It must be Capcom's `Ryu´ formula!" thought rival company SNK. Like Doctor Frankensteins, they pieced together Ryo Sakazaki, a gi-toting, uppercut-flaring, fireball-tossing Ryu shotoclone in SNK's Art of Fighting and King of Fighters series. Did Capcom file a lawsuit? No, they simply ripped off the knock-off, inadvertently adding to Street Fighter´s already soaring popularity. They crafted... Dan Hibiki.
In Street Fighter Alpha, Muay Thai kickboxer Sagat is seen tossing aside a defeated warrior. Look closely and you'll spot Ryo's bright orange gi — and the head of Robert Garcia, Ryo's friend and rival. Two bitch-slaps in one heralds Dan's first appearance, his status as both a parody and a weak character exploited in later games. For instance, like Ryo and Robert, Dan throws a fireball with one hand, not two, but the distance covered is considerably short. His uppercut flies no farther, and his airborne triple-kick can be blocked easily. Dan's redeeming skill, ironically, is taunting. From in-battle poses to conceited catch phrases to SNK fighter-mocking family ties, the bumbling clown of Saikyo karate has no shortage of tauntage, which immortalizes him as a fan favorite.
"I'm not tougher than you, just better than you!"
Selected game appearances
- Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dreams (1995)
- Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter (1997)
- Street Fighter Alpha 2 (1996)
Neo Geo Pocket Color
- SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium (1999)
- Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium 2001 (2001)
- SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom (2003)