- "You cannot keep my fists in your sight, for they move with the fury of hell!"
Gen (元 Gen or Yuan?) is a video game character from the Street Fighter series, first appearing as a non-playable opponent in the original Street Fighter, before becoming playable in Street Fighter Alpha 2. He is an aging Chinese martial arts master and former legendary assassin.
Gen is an elderly man who often has a stern look on his face. He is among the shortest male characters in the series, standing at just 5'5". Gen wears a loose, purple outfit with a red sash around his clothes, and red Chinese martial art shoes with white socks. He has white hair with a long, white beard. In the original Street Fighter, he had black pupils in his eyes, not to mention he didn't have the red sash, but in his more recent incarnations, his eyes are now completely white in color.
Prior to his recent appearance in Street Fighter IV, Gen had short hair. In the Street Fighter IV games, his hair not only has grown much longer but he also keeps it tied in a formal bun at the back of his head (the bun in the Street Fighter IV series has a traditional qipao similar to Chun-Li's ones, but is completely exposed in Street Fighter V artworks). In most recent games his skin also has aging wrinkles in his entire body, notably his face.
Gen bears a strong resemblance to the 1980s fictional martial arts master and famous leader of the White Lotus Clan, Bak Mei. Bak Mei appeared in many martial arts films by Hong Kong based Shaw Brothers Studios, and although a master of many styles, he was famous for practicing the art of Dim Mak (pressure point strikes), which Gen also utilizes. Pai Mei from Kill Bill: Volume 2, also shares this homage.
Gen's martial arts style may have been a direct homage to classic 1983 manga/anime Hokuto no Ken (Fist of the North Star). Which helped further popularize the idea of pressure point based martial arts. His Hyakurenko technique may have been based off Kenshiro's Hokuto Hyakuretsu Ken.
The character 元 literally means "origin" or "source". Gen's name is spoken out in the Japanese on'yomi format; the Mandarin/pinyin reading of the character is "Yuán" (pronounced as "Y-wahn" or "Yoo-ahn").
Gen is a silent, precise and wise man who takes fighting very seriously and prefers to take on formidable, honorable warriors, such as Ryu and Akuma. Elderly though he is, Gen's temperament is extremely sharp, his speech patterned with a weathered and biting coarseness. With a tendency to muse over death (likely rooted in his condition), he is also not hesitant to speak of such dark matters regarding the inevitable passing of all things, especially to those that walk the path of a fighter, since he seeks to die as he has lived: fighting.
Despite being a powerful assassin in the past, and a legend in the Chinese underworld, Gen follows a code and has benevolent intentions, as he never imposes his power over those who cannot fight, nor does he kill the defenseless. Though he fights to test his strength and his opponents, much like Akuma, Gen is very respectful to younger fighters like Sakura and Ibuki, and is displeased by those who do not rely on their own power, as he values the true spirit of martial arts and honor. Another sign of his inner goodness is that he shows a great deal of care for Chun-Li, as he trained her in her youth.
Gen was known as one of the legends of martial arts, supposedly being the "man who killed hundreds". He was not only a great martial artist, but a legendary assassin known as "The Devil of Hong Kong", reputed to be invincible, and whose skills was prominently sought throughout the Hong Kong underworld. Even into the current day, Gen's reputation and might draws out many who seek his presence, be it the world of crime, or numerous aspiring assassins and martial artists who dare to seek his life, but whom are never heard of again.
Later, he was diagnosed with leukemia, and did not have much time to live. At first, he decided he would be careful and just manage his restaurant, but old foes sent assassins who made repeated attempts on him and his family's lives. Due to this, he decided he would stop hiding and go out fighting, in a blaze of glory, as he felt it was a more honorable way to die.
He went on a search for a worthy opponent, taking on members of Shadaloo and other crime syndicates, to provoke a fight to the death in which he would meet his demise. Word got around about Akuma, a fighter who fully embraced the Satsui no Hado. After seeking him out, Gen challenged him to a fight that he hoped would be decisive. The two fought fiercely until the end, each surviving the other's finishing blow. However, Akuma sensed that Gen was terminally ill, making it an unfair fight. Thus, Akuma decided to end the match, leaving him to his fate.
Eventually, Gen challenged Akuma once again, but although the results of the battle are unknown, Gen did survive.
When Gen and Akuma fight during the game's story mode, they perform their signature moves on each other before the fight begins, re-enacting the fight described above.
Gen is haunted by nightmares where he is surrounded on all sides by the ghosts of those he has killed in the past when he was still an assassin. Scorning the ghosts, he proclaims that while he is still alive, he will not succumb to the likes of them. Reflecting on how Chun-Li has grown into a strong and admirable woman, he knows he cannot protect her for much longer, as his time is running short. He remembers the day when his illness allowed Shadaloo to capture her father; cursing his body and its "infernal frailties", he vows not to let them get away.
He joins the S.I.N. organized tournament, and at some point Chun-Li finds him and demands that he tell her all that he knows about what happened to her father. Gen refuses and fades away, leaving her alone. When the S.I.N. base is destroyed, Gen protects Chun-Li from the ensuing collapse, though it's not shown how. While partially trapped under the rubble, Gen witnesses Akuma and Gouken fight over an unconscious Ryu, internally referring to the two fighters as "Life and Death". He muses that "Death is indeed strong. Impressed by what he called their "ultimate battle", in which both men were "prepared to give up the ghost", Gen resolves not to die until their final battle, and so returns to his own "fight to the death".
Gen appears in Akuma's character story in Street Fighter V, locked in combat with the demonic martial artist. Gen observes Akuma's newfound power, and ponders as to whether or not he has become a "true demon god", before realizing he has not attained this level of power yet. Gen laughs, stating that Akuma will never reach the path of the divine if he does not know the path of humanity. Akuma calls Gen weak, and calls his speech an attempt to "delay the inevitable". Akuma then tells Gen to accept his fate and go to hell, before striking him down with a lunging fist. As he stands over Gen's body, the old man's words echo in Akuma's head. With contempt, Akuma remarks that he has no interest in for the path of humanity or the divine, and only walks the path of the demon.
While it is heavily implied he has been finally killed by Akuma, his status remains officially unknown.
Chun-Li is the daughter of his old friend. They first encountered one another in Street Fighter Alpha 2.She however feels Gen is hiding something from her regarding Dorai's death and sometimes confronts him for it. Despite occasionally threatening to kill her in combat, Gen cares deeply for her.
Along with Chun-Li, the two are among the younger fighters who Gen is more respectful of.
While they are somewhat distant and has no known interactions, it can be assumed Gen is comfortable and holds no ill will with them. He is depicted as like a grandfather to the two in the UDON comics.
Gen saw Akuma as a skilled opponent who could finally kill him, a morbid desire amplified by his own terminal sickness. However, their skills often clash, giving each other challenges. Akuma however backed down upon learning Gen is fatally ill, but would engage him again after seeing he can still fight. Akuma emerges victorious in Street Fighter V in their last fight, and strikes Gen down, though his ultimate fate is left uncertain.
Gen makes an appearance in the manga. He was hired to kill Cammy, who had defected from Shadaloo, fighting against her. Chun-Li, who was nearby along with Sakura and Dan, decided to take matters in her hands and bring Gen into custody. However, Gen was able to quickly incapacitate her by hitting a deadly pressure point on her stomach. Despite her shock and her awareness to the danger the man represented, Sakura steps up to fight Gen.
While able to effortlessly dodge every attack, Gen became intrigued by the fighting spirit within Sakura, as well as the fact that she utilized the martial art developed for assassination without any negativity in her mind. As he wondered about the "light" in her fists, he lost his focus for a moment, allowing Sakura to land a hit. Deciding to finish the battle for good, Gen rushed in for the kill, but allowed himself to stop just one moment early, by a cherry tree leaf. The impact, however, was enough to send Sakura into unconsciousness. Cammy asked Gen why he spared Sakura's life when he was never hesitant to kill anybody before; he replied that, having found the "light", he no longer held the desire to kill.
Gen appeared in UDON's Street Fighter comic series and in Street Fighter Legends: Chun-Li. He is portrayed as Dorai's longtime friend (despite their being on the opposite side of the law), the teacher of Chun-Li back in the day, and the ward and grandparent of Yun and Yang; a former legendary assassin, he eventually renounced his ways (after killing his would-be assassin in front of his pupil) and concentrated on his opened a restaurant known as Genhanten, which is based off of his stage from Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix. By the time of the story, he is close to death, suffering from an advanced stage of leukemia.
In the Street Fighter II arc, Gen is portrayed as the only one, save for Gouken, that at one time managed to defeat Akuma, because the latter had not yet mastered the Satsui no Hado, although he survived Gen's Zan'ei; Gen chose to spare him in hopes of having a fight with both of them at the peak of their abilities. Ryu, seeking for a way to defeat Akuma, went to Gen for help, and he encouraged him to fight back with the same ruthlesness and determination to kill, as Gen felt that otherwise he would have no chance; Ryu refused to accept this, but thanked the elderly master nonetheless. Akuma revealed himself to Gen, and both lamented the fact that their rematch would never take place, because of Gen's sickness; he nonetheless stated that he'd rather die fighting than suffer a long agony, and Akuma obliged him, with the two exchanging a single blow each and parting afterwards. Gen passed away shortly after.
Gen appears in the comic crossover of Street Fighter vs. Darkstalkers. He helps Chun-Li unlock her hidden power as well as help her friends save their world, despite being deceased by this time. He is first seen as a ghost who fought with Hsien-Ko, only to dissipate as the incense runs out.
Gen wanted to teach Chun-Li the killing aspect of their martial arts, but only desperation by seeing her friends attacked convinced her to embrace the killing aspect. Gen's soul moves on as Chun-Li finally wields it, despite her still hesitant to truly use it.
Gen appeared as a main character the live-action movie, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, portrayed by Robin Shou. Depicted as a younger martial arts master and lacking any resemblance and characteristics to how Gen was depicted in the game series except being Chinese. he serves as the leader of a secret anti-crime organization known as the Order of the Web. It is Gen who teaches Chun-Li her more advanced moves, including the Kikoken, and accompanies her in the fight against Bison and Shadaloo. His back-story also reveals he was a partner-in-arms with Bison in their earlier days as criminals, but Gen eventually left him, no longer tolerant of stealing from others.
Live-action TV series
He was mentioned by Gouken in Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist second episode "Round 1: Fight" as a kung-fu master he met during his travels who taught him how to use the Power of Nothingness as the foundation of his Ansatsuken art instead of the Satsui no Hado.
Gen's fighting style incorporates various kung fu styles that he has utilized in his assassinations. As of Street Fighter Alpha 2, this is reflected in the unique ability to switch between two fighting styles during gameplay: Mantis (Sou) and Crane (Ki). The origins of his martial arts style is said to have come from a master who had allegedly tested his style out in the battlefields of the Boxer Rebellions against the British. 
Gen is at his best with both styles utilized in tandem, often switching between Mantis and Crane mid-attack; however, this makes him a difficult character to learn and master, and his low stun and stamina leave even less room for error.
Gen's two styles use opposite approaches: The Mantis style focuses on ground-based pressure, spacing, and approaching, with special attacks that can act as solid reversals, among other defensive functions. The more offensive Crane style uses a multi-angle approach, with normal and special moves tailored to confuse and punish foes, and unique standard normals (such as an overhead standing medium punch and low-hitting standing heavy punch).
In the Street Fighter Alpha series, Gen and Guy are the among only characters to retain their 'natural' Chain Combo abilities, and both would carry this trait into later appearances.
The Mantis/Sou-style makes heavy use of linear-motion attacks and pressure point finger strikes, including the Hyakurenko (百連勾 Hyakurenkō?, "Hundred Chained Hooks") (in which Gen strikes the opponent rapidly with hand stabs) and the Gekiro (逆瀧 Gekirō?, "Inverted Cascade") (a vertical jump kick with repeated follow-up kicks). His Super Combos while using the Sou-style include the Zan'ei (惨影? the "Cruel Shadow") and the Shitenshuu (死点咒 Shitenshū?, "Death Point Curse").
The Crane/Ki-style involves more mobility, swiping and clearing attacks and unorthodox techniques, including the Jyasen (蛇穿 Jasen?, "Snake Drill") (a rolling tumble into a forward finger stab) and the Oga (徨牙 Ōga?, "Wandering Fang") (a versatile wall-leaping technique with many different ending moves). His Super Combos include the Jyakoha (蛇咬叭 Jakōha?, "Snake Bite Opening") and the Kouga (狂牙 Kōga?, "Lunatic Fang"). He also has a crouching heavy punch known as the Kirou (危弄 Kirō, "Dangerous Tamper"), one of the strongest counter-hit damage attacks in the series.
When Gen is played on X-ism mode in Street Fighter Alpha 3, he loses the ability to switch between fighting styles. Instead, he has a blended style which uses techniques from both styles (except the Oga), and uses the Zan'ei as his sole Super Combo.
Due to the fact that he has two fighting styles, Gen is one of the two characters to have two Super Combos in the Street Fighter IV series (the other being Dan), and the only character to have four Ultra Combos.
|Gen (China, Town)||Street Fighter||Yoshihiro Sakaguchi|
|Gen (China, Town)||Fighting Street|
|Street Fighter Alpha|
|Gen Stage||Street Fighter Alpha 2||Tatsuro Suzuki|
|Gen Ending||Street Fighter Alpha 2||Tatsuro Suzuki|
|Gen Stage||Street Fighter Alpha 2 (PSX and Saturn Versions)||Tatsuro Suzuki|
|Gen Ending 1||Street Fighter Alpha 2 (PSX and Saturn Versions)||Tatsuro Suzuki|
|Gen Ending 2||Street Fighter Alpha 2 (PSX and Saturn Versions)||Tatsuro Suzuki|
|Moments||Street Fighter Alpha 3||Yuki Iwai|
|Street Fighter IV|
|Theme of Gen -SSFIV Arrange-||Super Street Fighter IV||Hideyuki Fukasawa|
- In Gen's stage in the original Street Fighter, there are a lot of signs in the background. Some of the signs include Southeast Asia Money Exchanger, Siu Wah Bargagain ("Bargain" misspelled) Palace, Gou Norman French Cuisine, etc., which hints that his stage is set in Hong Kong.
- Gen's stages often depict him fighting in his city of Hong Kong, away from the public eye in the heart of its city. These often are depicted at its alleyways in the night, or if in the day, in its rather seedy, gloomy, and unscrupulous locations, such as rundown and dangerous sections of town, or amidst its ports.
- Gen is known for his quote in English, spoken to a defeated opponent: "You are a big fool!". Incidentally, Gen says this before his final battle against M. Bison in Alpha 3.
- When Gen fights Akuma during Stage 9 in Street Fighter Alpha 3, Shin Akuma's "Groan" replaces his usual theme as the BGM.
- Gen's restaurant is one of the backgrounds in Super Gem Fighter: Mini Mix (Pocket Fighter in Japan), where Fei Long, Dhalsim, Birdie, M. Bison, Rolento, Charlie and Sodom, along with Darkstalkers characters Victor and Bishamon, can be seen having lunch. Gen himself is seen on the leftmost side of the stage, slicing a duck.
- Gen is one of only two characters who can switch fighting styles, the other being Zeku (albeit to a lesser extent to the former).
- In the original Street Fighter, Gen uses an attack called Genden assassination kick (元伝暗殺蹴) in which he kicks with both feet while balancing on one hand. Gen taught this move to Dorai then he taught it to Chun-Li which can be seen in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike.
- A small AI bug caused CPU Gen players in Street Fighter Alpha 2 to occasionally perform various strings of attacks at random intervals, even when the player is far out of reach.
- Gen's game over sequence in the Street Fighter IV series implies that he dies from his disease: he lies on the floor, face down, and does not breathe.
- The fighting style of Neji, from the ninja manga and anime series Naruto, is also similar to Gen's style as they both focus on attacking the vital parts of the body.
- Gen and Charlie Nash are the only characters to have a one-hit super combo. In Gen's case, it is the Jyakoha.
- Gen's Jyasen special attack is very similar to Vega's Rolling Crystal Flash special attack, as both have the same input, start off with consecutive rolls, and end with a punch attack.
- Gen's first alternate costume in Street Fighter IV has a color-changing mask. It is red when he is in Mantis stance and blue when he is in Crane stance.
- Gen utilizing four Super and Ultra Combos along with his profession as an assassin is a reference to tetraphobia. This is fitting as Gen himself constantly muses over death; due to the pronunciation of the said number is "shi" which is the part of the word for "death" (shi-ne), as the belief of tetraphobia is common in Southeast Asian countries, including China.
- In the parody-themed fighting game Divekick, a character named "Uncle Sensei" is a parody of Gen (as well as the "old wise man" stereotype common in fighting games).
- Gen is one of the few characters in the original Street Fighter IV to have one rival (in his case, Chun-Li) throughout the whole game series.
- Gen's apprentice was conceptulized for Street Fighter V but the idea was scrapped. She was meant to be a granchild to Gen but many of the design elements went to Seth, some of them can be seen in Secret File No. 28.
- Gen's moves in Street Fighter Alpha 3
- Gen's moves in Street Fighter IV
- Gen's moves in Super Street Fighter IV
- Gen's moves in Ultra Street Fighter IV
- Street Fighter: World Warrior Encyclopedia Hardcover
- VHS (007) Street Fighter - Game Simulation Video GSV ストリートファイター
- Gen: "Hmm ... sharp eyes. Where did you learn that technique, little girl?" 「ほう・・・・・鋭い眼だ。娘、その技をどこで身に付けた?」
Chun-Li: "This is what I learned from my father .... Who are you?" 「れは父に習ったものよ。・・・・・あなた、誰なの?」
Chun-Li: "... If you want to fight, why didn’t you say so? Okay, bring it!" 「・・・・・勝負したいのならハッキリそう言ったらどう? いいわ、かかってらっしゃい!」 Rival dialogue from Street Fighter Alpha 2
- Chun-Li: "I'm Interpool detective, Chun-Li. I'm sorry for appearing all of a sudden, but I have one thing I want to ask. If you’re famous as an assassin fist user, do you know anything about "Shadaloo"?" 「私はインターボールの刑事、春麗。突然で申し訳ないけど、ひとつたすねたい事があるの。暗殺拳の使い手として有名なあなたなら、「シャドルー」について何か知っているでしょう?」
Gen: ".....I don’t know. I don’t know anything about those dirty little scoundrels. More than that, little girl......" 「・・・・・知らんな。下衆な悪党なぞに知りあいはおらん。それよりも娘・・・・・・おぬしの眼光の方が、よほど我の血を騒がしてくれるわ・・・・・・! 」
Rival dialogue from Street Fighter Alpha 2
- ALL ABOUT Capcom Fighting Game 1987-2000", p. 326.
- Concept / Rejected Art
- "A lost character we had, Gen's disciple, who ended up having a lot of her design elements shifted to Seth (well, this is one of her designs anyway). She still has no name. She was meant to be like a grandchild to him." from Takayuki Nakayama
|Street Fighter Characters|
|Playable||Ken · Ryu|
|CPU Only||Adon · Birdie · Eagle · Geki · Gen · Joe · Lee · Mike · Retsu · Sagat|
|Street Fighter Alpha Characters|
|Alpha||Adon · Akuma · Birdie · Charlie · Chun-Li · Dan · Guy|
Ken · M. Bison · Rose · Ryu · Sagat · Sodom
|Alpha 2||Original||Dhalsim · Evil Ryu · Gen · Rolento · Sakura · Zangief|
|Alpha 3||Original||Balrog · Blanka · Cody · E. Honda · Juli · Juni · Karin · R. Mika · Vega|
|Console||Dee Jay · Fei Long · Guile · T. Hawk|
|Upper||Eagle · Maki · Yun|
|Street Fighter IV Characters|
|Original||Abel · Akuma · Balrog · Blanka · Chun-Li · C. Viper · Dhalsim · E. Honda|
El Fuerte · Guile · Ken · M. Bison · Rufus · Ryu · Sagat · Vega · Zangief
|Console||Cammy · Dan · Fei Long · Gen · Gouken · Rose · Seth · Sakura|
|Super||Adon · Cody · Dee Jay · Dudley · Guy · Hakan · Ibuki · Juri · Makoto · T. Hawk|
|Arcade Edition||Evil Ryu · Oni · Yang · Yun|
|Ultra||Decapre · Elena · Hugo · Poison · Rolento|