(いつでもいいぜ！かかってきな！ Itsu demo ii ze! Kakatte ki na!?)
Ken Masters (ケン・マスターズ Ken Masutāzu?) is a video game character and deuteragonist of the Street Fighter series, first appearing in the original Street Fighter. Similar to his longtime best friend and rival Ryu, Ken's goal is to test his power against many different fighters and strives to become stronger, but holds more restraint due to not wanting to jeopardize his family life.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Character Relationships
- 3 Story
- 3.1 Background
- 3.2 Winning the U.S. Tournament and fighting Shadaloo
- 3.3 The Second World Warrior Tournament, marrying Eliza and becoming Violent Ken
- 3.4 Fighting Seth and becoming a father
- 3.5 Street Fighter V
- 3.6 Street Fighter III
- 4 Other appearances
- 5 Crossover appearances
- 6 Animations
- 7 Comics
- 8 Live-action movies and series
- 9 Gameplay
- 10 Violent Ken
- 11 Actors
- 12 Subpages
- 13 Music
- 14 Videos
- 15 Trivia
- 16 See also
- 17 References
Ken is most easily recognized by wearing different sparring gloves that are either the color of his blonde hair or his bright red gi (he wears brown gloves in most other appearances) that features neatly torn off sleeves, similar to Ryu's (Capcom has officially stated that a red gi was chosen to stand out and to reflect his more flashy style of fighting) and it is usually seen in better shape than Ryu's (except for in the Street Fighter III series), since he can easily afford to keep up with and/or own spares. Ken's natural hair color is as black as his long and spiky eyebrows but he has dyed it blonde. He wears a black belt at his waist and fights without footwear.
In the Street Fighter Alpha series, he had longer hair tied into a ponytail with a red ribbon. The official event that took place where Ken gives up his ribbon is that he passes it down to Ryu during Street Fighter Alpha 2 (as stated in Ken's own ending); Ryu was distracted during his fight with Ken because he had just fought Sagat and ended up losing. To remind him of their fight, Ken handed his friendly rival his own ribbon that would later become the signature red headband worn by Ryu since Street Fighter II and onward.
In Street Fighter II V, Ken's hair is dyed red, similar to the live-action movie and the animated series. Ken usually wears casual outfits throughout most of the episodes; for example, he dresses in a yellow formal suit jacket with a red tank top, matching white pants with a black leather belt to his waist and black dress shoes, but he still does sports the same signature bright red gi, though he always fights barehanded.
By the time of Street Fighter V, Ken's appearance has undergone the first major design change in the character's history. Ken's gi top now hangs around his waist and he wears a black v-neck training shirt with several red linings in its place. He sports matching black sparring gloves and his hair has grown longer, to the point of being tied in a topknot. Most likely due to events yet undisclosed instead of hanging loose which it was grown into medium length after the events of Street Fighter IV series and now wears black ankle wraps with red linings instead of just barefoot.
His second alternate costume is one of his disguised forms in Pocket Fighter but updated; he wears a black leather jacket with maroon outlines and a white tank top underneath, red denim pants with a black belt, a neon yellow buckle on his waist and black leather shoes. His sunglasses are hanging loose on his tank top. His medium-length hair is shorter.
When Akiman draws Ken, he uses Benny Urquidez’s appearance in the Square Jungle (Shikakui Jungle, 四角いジャングル) as inspiration. The manga was written by Ikki Kajiwara the same author who made Karate Baka Ichidai (Karate Master) where Ryu and Sagat’s origins reside.
Ken could have also been inspired by real-life Karate world champion, Joe Lewis. Like Ken, Lewis was a blonde American who trained a traditional style in Japan, then went back to the U.S to become a famous champion. Lewis also founded Full Contact Karate and became a world champion at that as well. In addition to his similar looks, Lewis was also known (as were many American Karate fighters of his time) for using colored Karate uniforms, including a red one. Lewis notably appeared on the the cover of Combat Magazine dressed in red with a black belt. He was challenging of traditional Karate ways and modified much of his original "Shorin Ryu" style, similar to Ken's modifications that distinguish him from Ryu, a traditional fighter
Ken was originally named after Street Fighter planner Hiroshi Matsumoto. However, Hiroshi changed Ken's name to mean "fist" instead during development. He gained his last name when toy company Hasbro got the license to add the characters from Street Fighter II to their G.I. Joe toyline. It is widely believed, though never confirmed, that the name was given to avoid copyright confusion with the character of the same name from Mattel's Barbie toyline.
While Ryu is the more serious and stoic of the two, Ken is the complete opposite - stylish, unorthodox and unpredictable, as well as being much more violent and aggressive than Ryu. He is an alpha male with a giant ego and constantly reminds his opponents about his greatness. While he can be brash, egotistical and arrogant at times, his heart is pure. He is generally kind, friendly, a good person and very easygoing which led him into starting a family of his own. He never backs down from a fight no matter how difficult it looks.
Like Ryu, he believes in honor, hard work, endurance and discipline. He always gives his opponents (who are friendly rivals) the utmost respect, whether it is his master Gouken, his best friend Ryu or his Capcom vs. SNK rival, Terry Bogard. He is also a worrywart when it comes to his family, nearly missing the tournament in Street Fighter IV because he did not want to leave Eliza so close to her due date, and only entered when she assured him she'd be fine. He still called her to check in and tell her to be careful using stairs. Both Menat and Rose remark that Ken's burning aggression from his youth has been somewhat quelled through starting a family, making them wonder how long his drive to improve will keep going compared to Ryu's.
Ryu is Ken's best friend from his childhood, as the two have trained in the same art of Ansatsuken for a long time. They share a very close bond with each other and will help out each other no matter the cost. Both of them have also trained together under Gouken. One can see that they care for each other and never quarrel. Ken’s able to notice when Ryu isn’t in the right state of mind as shown in the Alpha series, where Ken gave him his red headband in order for Ryu to stay focused and not lose his way. And then in Street Fighter V where he tells Hinagiku that only he will show up alone, and encourages Ryu to continue his training before facing Shadoloo.
Although Ryu spends his time training, Ken will go as far as inviting him to his wedding and Ryu will answer the call (seen in Ken's ending in Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix) and also invite him to the Japanese hot springs (in Street Fighter III: New Generation/2nd Impact). In Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind , Ken always assumed that Ryu found him trivial since he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, whilst Ryu is an orphan who at the time lost the man who adopted him. In contrast to this, Ryu believed Ken was the only one he can reach out to when it comes to his internal struggle with the Satsui no Hado. Ken also gets annoyed when multiple people ask where Ryu is, making it seem like Ken is Ryu’s personal assistant.  The two usually greet each other by exchanging fist bumps, usually before starting a friendly sparring match. As of 3rd Strike, Ryu has won more fights between him and Ken.
Like Ryu, Ken has immense respect for Gouken.
Sakura is a friend of Ken who he met during the Alpha series. In Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind , when Sakura showed up to his house in hopes of finding Ryu, Ken was shocked that “his stalker” couldn’t find him herself.
Rufus constantly fights Ken, but Ken keeps forgetting who he is.
Ken highly respects Sean's abilities, enough to make him his personal disciple. Sometimes they can be sarcastic at each other and trade jabs but are at very good terms.
He is Guile's brother-in-law, because his wife Eliza is the younger sister of Guile's wife Julia. He may or may not be aware that there's parts of him that Guile has reservations of, which doesn't stop both Ken and Guile from getting along though. Ken knows what Guile likes and frequently gives him interesting information, such as Yanagiya's J-GEL hair gel.
Zangief is an old friend who's fought against Ken many times in the past. In SFIII, Ken brings Ryu & Sean along to watch Zangief face off against Hogan. Zangief was able to take a direct hit from Ken's strongest Shoryuken without toppling over. Despite hitting his jaw, Ken describes it as hitting steel instead of human flesh.
Karin holds Ken in high regard, due to his superior fighting ability. Especially after losing to him during the events of Street Fighter Alpha 3. Ken told her that there’s more to a fight than just winning, , and that the fight itself is more important In Street Fighter V they’re shown to be on good terms, as Karin invited Ken to her party and Ken decided to go even though it was his only day off. Karin also bring's Zangief and Mika along to Ken's winter home to bring Mel presents.
R. Mika is someone Ken has crossed paths with many times before in his life as a fighter. She accompanied Zangief in surprising Mel with a present.
Ken is aware of Bison's villainy and seeks to defeat him. During the events of the Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, Bison brainwashed Ken into Violent Ken.
Like Ryu, Ken is aware of the threat Akuma possesses over humanity, but regards him with less caution than Ryu does when fighting him.
Despite having been students together under Gouken, Ken does not think highly of Dan, going so far as to say that Dan "just sucks" directly to his face, after being challenged. This may be due in part of his first impression of Dan consisting of empty showboating and arrogance. He considers Dan to be a waste of his time to fight. Even his wife doesn't have good things to say about Dan.
Indirectly, this may have caused Sean to look down upon Dan too.
When Ken was about 12 years old, his father, a rich hotel tycoon owner, thought that his son needed to learn about discipline or his son would become a spoiled brat all of his life and try to leech onto the Masters' family fortune. In order to do so, the elder Masters sent Ken to Japan to train under his best friend, the mysterious karate master Gouken. At first, Ken was very hesitant to learn from Gouken, wanting to go back to the United States, but later began to respect his master. He even enjoyed the company of Gouken's adopted son, Ryu, since he had a foil to finally pull pranks on, although this got Ken into a lot of trouble. Ryu and Ken would later become best friends and each other's principal rivals.
When Ryu was 23, Gouken decided that both of his pupils had grown up to be fine fighters and decided that their training was over and could now leave the dojo. Ryu decided to travel the world in order to continue his training, whereas Ken was finally happy to be going back home to the United States after his years of straining his back for his master, Gouken and finally learning the meaning of humility. After coming home, Ken competed in many different Martial Arts tournaments held in the United States, winning most of them.
Winning the U.S. Tournament and fighting Shadaloo
Main Article: Street Fighter Alpha
Ken did not participate in the first World Warrior tournament; instead, he fought in (and won) the premiere U.S. Martial Arts tournament that had been previously won by Charlie Nash, as well as meeting a very attractive girl named Eliza, who became his girlfriend.
After winning the U.S. martial arts tournament, the heroic story that Ryu defeated the Emperor of Muay Thai reached his ears. Ken put his physical and Qigong training to the side so he could fly back to Japan to fight his friend. When Ken finds Ryu, he asks Ken what it means to be a true fighter, he wonders if he should use the same fist he used to defeat Sagat or the one Akuma uses to murder people. Ken sees that Ryu's gone back to his usual bad habit of overthinking things and fights him as an attempt to wake him up. After defeating Ryu, Ken realizes he has been deeply troubled since his last victory over Sagat. He reminds Ryu to keep fighting in order to find the answer and gives him his red hairband and that whenever he feels lost, he should use it as a reminder of their fight and to keep fighting to find the answer. Ryu happily takes the headband and they both go their separate ways. Ken returns home and, with Eliza's support, begins training harder, knowing even with his recent feelings, that Ryu is always stronger than he looks.
Ken begins to wonder about his own life. Ryu seemed to be on the right track again, but what of him? Along the road to proving himself again, he encounters Karin, who tells him she has followed his career and is trying to best her rival Sakura to prove she is superior. Ken advises her it's good to have a rival, not for supremacy, but to keep on training harder and focusing. With this, Ken finds himself again and is focused once more.
Going off to meet up with Sakura, they have a friendly match and Ken finally realizes that Ryu has the right idea all along. Both he and Sakura begin to travel to find Ryu, but their path crosses with that of Shadaloo dictator M. Bison. Ken confronts him but is easily defeated and placed under Bison's hypnosis. Bison then uses brainwashed Ken to lure Ryu out of hiding. Once Ryu shows up, Bison makes Ken fight him. Ryu wins and manages to release Ken of Bison's mind control.
Ryu then proceeds to fight Bison but loses and, just like Ken before him, is turned into a slave of Bison's Psycho Power. Sagat appears and, enraged by Bison's actions, engages Ryu in an attempt to break Bison's mental grip on him. Ken, now free and aided by Sakura, attacks Bison. This intervention, along with Sagat's presence, makes Ryu come to his senses.
Recovered, Ryu takes on Bison once more. Bison senses Ryu's dark power (which Bison describes as "The ultimate form of Psycho Power") and attempts to manipulate Ryu's mind once again. At his friends urging, Ryu resists and defeats Bison with a powerful Hadoken. Ken is happy to see his old friend again. With a promise of a new duel, the two part their ways.
The Second World Warrior Tournament, marrying Eliza and becoming Violent Ken
Main Article: Street Fighter II
Ken received an invitation to the second World Warrior tournament; however, since his last U.S. Martial Arts tournament, he had let himself spend too much time with his girlfriend, Eliza, rather than training. Only Ryu's personal challenge rekindled Ken's fighting spirit and persuaded him to enter the second World Warrior tournament.
After the events of Street Fighter II, Ken is married to Eliza, something he had apparently vowed only to do after winning a decisive victory against Ryu. However it is unknown if the two fought during the tournament or if Ken actually won if they even did. No details have been stated. Ken's promise to Eliza doesn't exist in Japanese text, only in the English translation of Street Fighter: Eternal Challenge.
Fighting Seth and becoming a father
Main Article: Super Street Fighter IV
When a new tournament is announced, Ken is unsure whether to compete, as Eliza is now far along in pregnancy and he doesn't want to leave her. Sensing his inner conflict, Eliza assures him that she'll be fine and that the baby isn't due for a while yet, so he should go meet up with Ryu and tell him she says hi. Ken enters, and in the absence of gas stations near the location for the final, he parks his SUV in a convenient spot, calls Eliza to check on her, and continues the rest of the way on foot. Over the course of the tournament, he encounters his self-appointed rival, Rufus, although the results of that match are unknown. It is later implied that Ken may have defeated M. Bison in the tournament.
After the tournament, it is discovered that Gouken is still alive, and Ken and Ryu pursue him as he leaves. Ken is upset that Gouken has not said anything to them, but Gouken counters that they no longer need a master. Ken and Ryu head home on foot, and Rufus passes them by on his motorbike, calling them losers. Soon however, Rufus' bike runs out of gas, and Ken and Ryu reach the SUV; Ken offers Rufus and his girlfriend Candy a lift, but Rufus refuses.
Upon arriving home afterwards, he tells Eliza that although he did indeed get to fight Ryu, they had been so busy with the rest of the unfolding events that they hadn't been able to give it their all. Soon afterwards their son is born  and they name him Mel.
As expected, Ken returned in Street Fighter V as of July 9, 2015. In the game, he has a different outfit and hairstyle, and his moves have been altered to further distance him from Ryu.
Ken, Eliza and Mel are invited to a party hosted by Karin. During the party, Ken reflects on the various sparring matches between him and Ryu. The family gets lost on the way to the party and encounter Birdie, who thinks they’re trespassing, resulting in a fight with Ken. Karin arrives and offers Ken a pre-meal fight as an apology for Birdie attacking him, which Ken accepts. Afterwards, he and Eliza wonder about why Ryu isn't at the party.
In the main story, Ken came to visit Ryu, who was in the middle of meditating. After getting defeated in a sparring match to Ken, Ryu tells him that he will join them when his training is complete. Later, Ken arrives with the rest of the fighters called by Karin to the Kanzuki Estate, where they plan their first infiltration of the Shadaloo base.
Ken, Chun-Li and Cammy travel to Brazil to search for the first missing chess piece, held by Laura Matsuda. While there, he saves Sean from F.A.N.G, but is then attacked by his older sister Laura, who mistakes him for an enemy. After the fight, Sean sorts out the misunderstanding by indicating the unconscious Shadaloo soldiers. Laura then decides to join them, but on the condition that Ken add Matsuda Jiu-Jitsu to his selection of online karate classes, which he agrees to. Chun-Li then leaves to assist Karin in the group's first infiltration. Ken remains with Laura and the duo fend off more Shadaloo soldiers, with Ken taking out three with a single Shinryuken.
Ken reunites with Ryu just before the group begins the final assault against Shadaloo.
After Bison's final defeat at Ryu's hands and Shadaloo's destruction, Ken finds Ryu alone and meditating, and decide to have another friendly sparring match to see if Ryu had found his 'true answer'. Ryu manages to defeat Ken, but drops his red headband; Ken hands it back to him, figuring he might still need it. The two are later seen sharing a friendly fist bump.
Ken and his family move to southern California from Washington State. By this time, a Brazilian teenager named Sean had been pestering him to become his student and Ken reluctantly accepted, beginning to train him. Maintaining a home and raising a child has strained his relationship with Ryu.  Ken gets in touch with Ryu and invites him to Japanese hot spring inn, Ken also brings Sean along, but decides to do last minute shopping for Eliza before flying to Japan. Ken, Ryu and Sean later spectate a WWCA title match between Zangief and Hogen. After being hit by Zangief's Double Lariat, Hogen went on a rampage while returning to the ring and picked up a chair and threw at a woman in the crowd, Ryu deflected the chair and Sean knocked him out to avoid injury to the audience. Ken reassures the woman's safety. 
Ken then entered the third World Warrior tournament. He fought Sean in the tournament and won against him; however, he drops out upon realizing Ryu was defeated by Oro. Ken begins to train his son Mel in rudimentary fighting techniques. He also told Sean to go find Ryu and challenge him, giving him some free time with Eliza.
A year later, Ken hears about a mysterious organization and goes to investigate in order to alleviate his boredom, and he may have confronted Urien. He learned that Ryu had sought him out and travelled all the way to New York from Oakland for their long-awaited rematch. Tossing some friendly jabs at each other, both have a good fight, ultimately won by Ryu. Since then, Ken has continued to train Sean and Mel, handle his family and business, and keep up with his old friend Ryu.
In Sean's ending, Ken wakes up Sean who was beaten unconscious after being knocked down by his opponent in the first round. In Ken's ending, he wins his third straight U.S. Martial Arts tournament, which is a new record and offers the trophy to Sean who turns the offer down, wanting to earn it for himself.
Street Fighter EX series
Ken has little more motivation to join the Street Fighter EX tournaments than his pure love of fighting, and the chance of being pitted against his best friend and rival Ryu in combat. After returning to the United States for the first time since he left as a child to begin his training in Japan, he has been an unstoppable force in the American fighting circuit, although he never earned the opportunity to fight the reigning champion, Allen Snider. Much to Ken's delight, it turned out that he would get such an opportunity in the first round of the first EX tournament.
The match turned out to be a bit of a let down for Ken, achieving an easy victory over Allen, who used a variant form of Ken's own fighting style. Astounded by the ferocity of Ken's attacks, Allen was overwhelmed and asked where Ken trained. Ken informed him of his life in Japan, and from that point on, Allen vowed to travel all over the world to become not only America's greatest fighter, but the world's as well.
Ken advanced several rounds in the tournament until he got what he had wished for: a match with Ryu. When the match started, Ryu didn't seem overly thrilled to see Ken. In fact, Ken wasn't sure if Ryu knew who he was at all. As the match progressed, Ken realized that Ryu was not himself, and his technique had changed. Ken stopped fighting Ryu and refused to strike back, insisting that Ryu regain his senses. Struggling against Ryu, Ken held his ground and the sight of Ken struggling caused Ryu to snap back to his former self. When Ryu returned to normal, the sound of laughter could be heard. They both turned to face the man that had cause Ryu to lose his mind, M. Bison.
Together, they launched an attack on him that sent M. Bison reeling. Right about that time, Guile and Chun-Li burst through the door together, but Bison hit a switch that allowed him to escape capture. Ryu thanked Ken for his efforts and said that he needed to travel more to better understand himself and the Satsui no Hadou inside him. Ken understood. They had a friendly rematch in the second tournament, and entered the third tournament as partners.
"See, I knew I was strong! If you truly want to beat me, then you might as well bring a tank with you next time. I better get lost now or Eliza will be mad at me. Ryu, next time we'll meet things will be different"
"I won, just like usual!" Polishing his unique skills, Ken is a man whose fighting spirit burns for a match with his eternal rival Ryu. Will Ken be the victor this time? Or else...? The battle of this fighting genius continues.
His beloved wife Eliza told him a story about none other than his brother-in-law Guile.
"Guile's one tough fellow, even if our fighting styles are different. He would definitely make a worthy sparring partner. Alright Eliza, make arrangements for my trip!"
Ken, a man who was raised as a carefree martial artist. It's only a matter of time before this soaring dragon reaches the skies before us.
"The winner, Ken Masters!"
The hall was overflown with the voice of great joy. Ken befriended his opponent and smiled.
"You were a good sport! But that's no reason to laugh at him."
Ken sits inside a rainbow by a waterfall and reflects up his past, "Nothing has changed at all since then..." As he thinks about the days when he trained with his friend, he can't remember all of the defeats, but he can clearly see each and every victory. He thinks, "Yes. We must challenge again. I'll find you again. my friend... And this time, there will be only one winner!"
Street Fighter EX3 (in team with Ryu)
Ken laid his hand on Ryu's shoulder and says, "Do you remember the days we fought against our master together?" In a rare mood Ryu jokingly replies, "...I could be more confident about our win than before." Surprised Ken remarks, "Humph! Don't forget that I see you not as the most reliable partner but as the toughest rival. Keep that in mind, buddy."
Marvel vs. Capcom series
SNK vs. Capcom series
Ken appears as a playable character in all the games of the SNK vs. Capcom series.
Ken who has the title of the "National Fighting King" enters the tournament after seeing Terry's name in the invitation, he enters to in order to fight the hero of Southtown who heard he heard rumors about.
Ken appears as a playable character in Capcom's Pocket Fighter, where he grows bored of married life and looks for a pretty girl to hang with. He eventually finds Morrigan, and has tea with her until Eliza sees them both.
Ken appears as a playable character in most games of Namco's Cross series.
Strategy RPG series
He later reappears in Namco X Capcom's spiritual successor and sequel series, Project X Zone. In this game, he is commonly pairing with Ryu within the Pair Unit like its predecessor game.
- Ken, alongside Ryu, Chun-Li, Juri, and Seth, makes an appearance in its first game, where is paired with Ryu as a Pair Unit. Some of the other characters note that their friends have learned moves from Ken via his online karate courses, much to the chagrin of Ryu, who not only feels that their master would be disappointed, but he is also annoyed that Ken seems to have forgotten about their style's bloody roots.
- In Project X Zone 2, once he and Ryu arrived from a Martial Arts tournament in New York, they appear chasing a robotic Axel Stone (named Brave in Japan) to the party, who are tied up fighting M. Bison and Juri along with their lackeys. Ryu and Ken agree to join the party after destroying the robotic Axel. However, in Chapter 29, Ken is brainwashed by M. Bison at Sword Valley, along with one of Ken's cohorts who keeps falling by the Shadaloo leader’s brainwashing second times, Lady Estellise. In his brainwashed state, he once again calls for Ryu to fight him. Ryu agrees, assuring Ken that he will never win while under M. Bison's mind control, and willingly submits to the Satsui no Hado in order to use techniques powerful enough to beat the Psycho Power out of Ken and restore him to his senses. The two then rejoin the party and defeat Bison together, causing Bison to muse about Ken's Power of Nothingness briefly before fleeing. The party would later encounter Bison multiple times throughout the remainder of the story.
When Ryu heads to Antartica to search for Pandora, fearing it has a connection with the Satsui no Hado, Ken joins him. The two head to the South Pole, fighting those who they meet along the way, a list which includes Kazuya Mishima and Nina Williams. When they reach the place Pandora crashed and defeat Ogre, Ryu vanishes with the box, leaving behind only the headband that Ken gave him. Ken searches all over the South Pole for Ryu, but finds nothing. However, Ken remains confident that his best friend will come back.
Super Smash Bros. series
Ken appears as a collectible trophy in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U, using his model from Super Street Fighter IV. Three versions of his Street Fighter II theme, including a new remix made for the game, is included in the Wii U version.
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Ken made his playable debut; he is an "Echo Fighter" (a cosmetically unique character with different attack animations and voice clips but functionally similar in gameplay and attack data to another character) to Ryu. He was first leaked on September 21st, 2018 and later officially confirmed on November 1 the same year. As the 'original' echo fighter within fighting game history, Ken is based primarily on his Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers incarnation (most further one is from Turbo), with details such as his eyes being colored blue as opposed to amber, palms appearing in his Hadoken and his Roundhouse Kick special moves, executed with the same motion. He retains many of his differences from Ryu, such as a multihit Tatsumaki Senpuukyaku, a flaming Shoryuken, his kick Focus Attack from Street Fighter IV and his Turbo Heavy Kick as his Forward Smash Attack instead of Ryu's Joudan Sokutogeri. His Final Smash changes depending on the distance to the nearest opponent, so if no one is directly in front of and close to Ken, he performs a Marvel vs. Capcom-styled Shinryuken. If there is an enemy within melee range, he instead performs the Shippu Jinraikyaku, which has few spinning kick-based essences based on his Guren Senpukyaku and Guren Enjinkyaku from post-Street Fighter III games.
In this film, Ken Masters is Ryu's long time friend and sparring partner; a flashback reveals that Ken gave Ryu his ponytail wrapping to use as a headband after the latter had hit his head falling down some stairs.
Currenty, Ken has settled down with his girlfriend, Eliza, but still yearns for a good challenge, and desires a rematch with Ryu. During a tussle with T. Hawk, who had sought out Ken to challenge him, Ken is unknowingly monitored by a cyborg, who sends footage of the fight to the Shadowlaw base. Bison sees the footage and, knowing of Ken's history with Ryu via his other monitor robots, decides to hunt him down and brainwash him in Ryu's stead.
Ken is captured, brainwashed and sent to fight against Ryu, keeping them preoccupied while Bison tracks down Guile. When Ryu undoes the brainwashing, Bison uses his Psycho Power to cast Ken before turning his attention to Ryu, who defends himself against Bison, initially with little success. Fortunately, Ken uses his master's teachings to mend his body and joins the fight.
With their combined forces, Ryu and Ken eventually pummel Bison into submission and seem to finish off the dictator for good with a combined Hadoken. After defeating Bison, Ken and Ryu part and go their separate ways, with Ryu starting his journey anew.
Ken appears as a major character in the TV series, voiced by Scott McNeil. Unlike his main incarnation, Ken is shown to be greedy and adventurous, looking for all kinds of treasure, keeping up with his role as a con man in the live-action Street Fighter film; Guile even states that Ken views the duties and responsibilities of being on his team as simply meaning he has to "party less".
In the series, Ken has red hair instead of his usual blond color. This version of Ken is also stated to be even stronger than Ryu, defeating Akuma during their battle.
In this series, Ken and Ryu are best friends who trained under the same master; he is the 17-year-old son of the extremely rich Masters family. He lives in San Francisco with his parents in a very large mansion − it takes twenty minutes to drive from the front yard to the main house. He too spends a lot of time training as well, but not as much as Ryu. Ken also rides a motorcycle.
After Ryu and Ken get into a fight with Guile and realize there a lot other stronger fighters out there in the world and plan on going on a world tour together. On their journey Ken has faced strong fighters like Fei Long while they are in Hong Kong. When they reach Spain, Ken encounters Vega who develops an attraction to Chun Li and develops a rivalry with Vega. They have a deadly fight in a steel cage match to the death in order for Ken to free Chun-Li from a trance put her in from a love potion. Later on Ken also learns to use the power of Hadō later on while being held captive by Shadoloo. Ryu knows the Hadoken, while both he and Ken know the Shoryuken. Ken later upgrades the Shoryuken to the Hadou Shoryuken and then shortens it to the Hadou Shoryu. Interestingly, in the English dub Ken still called the move Shoryuken while Ryu called it by its English translation: Rising Dragon Punch. After freeing himself from his prison he encounters both Ryu and Chun Li who have been brainwashed by M. Bison. He is able to free them from their control and team up to defeat M. Bison. Also in the series, Ken becomes smitten with Chun-li to the point where he takes her on a shopping spree and buys her things.
Most of Ken's personality from the games is the same in Street Fighter II V. The only difference is at times he'll use his wealth to solve some problems such as bribing a bouncer at a bar, bribing his way into the military base to fight Guile, giving a man cash in exchange for his motorcycle and paying for hospital expenses for a doctor in India. Just like Ryu, he never turns down a good fight and is willing to help those in need. He is voiced by Kenji Haga in Japan, Jason Douglas in the English ADV dub and Stephen Apostolina in the English Animaze dub.
While visiting Gouken's grave, Ryu meets his old friend, Ken. They are both approached by a young boy named Shun, who claims that he is Ryu's long-lost brother. According to Shun, their mother raised Shun in Brazil until her recent death and she sent Shun to find Ryu before she died. Ken is skeptical, but Ryu decides to take Shun in and notices the boy's potential as a fighter.One night Ryu succumbs to the Dark Hadou nearly killing Ken. Fortunately Ken punches him in the stomach. Ryu then returns to normal. Later that night Ken talks to Ryu about his Dark Hadou. Ryu instructs Ken to kill him if he's ever completely possessed by the Dark Hadou. Ken is reluctant at first, but then agrees.
Ryu seeks out Akuma and the fight begins. During their hard battle Ken confronts the old man and is easily taken down, being subdued to ensure that the battle between Ryu and Akuma must not be interrupted or interfered for its right conclusion between the two. It is here that old man tells Ken about the Satsui no Hado. He states that the Satsui no Hado is a mysterious evil life force that dwells within certain fighters. As this life force is exploited it grows stronger until it consumes its possessor. Once the person is consumed by the Satsui no Hado they cannot be released from is hold. He states that the Satsui no Hado is ancient, that even old warlords knew of its existence.
After the opening credits, it shifts to the Masters Foundation headquarters, where Ken refuses to be interviewed by a woman named Maya. Later, he talks about his last fight with Ryu, the Satsui no Hado and his personal life, now thinking he is no longer a fighter. After hearing news from Sakura that fighters have been disappearing and that they were possibly going after Ryu, he joined the fight. After learning that Eliza was pregnant, this renewed Ken's passion for fighting as this gave him a new reason.
Street Fighter II manga
Ken appears in Street Fighter II manga as he was kidnapped by Shadaloo and was brainwashed by Bison to carry out his evil, he was later freed by his mind control and was seeking out Bison to avenge Cho who was a target for Shadaloo.
Street Fighter Alpha manga
Ken makes an appearance in Street Fighter Alpha manga as he helps Chun-Li with finding out information on missing people who have been kidnapped by Shadaloo and helping Ryu with his own inner demons.
In Sakura Ganbaru!, Ken is visited by Sakura and Dan who are looking for important information on Ryu.
Ken appears in Street Fighter vs. Darkstalkers.
Archie Comics crossover: Worlds Unite
Ken makes an appearance in the Mega Man/Sonic the Hedgehog crossover story Worlds Unite, as he was called upon by Chun-Li after hearing about their home world being planned to be taken over by a robot named Sigma, he helped Ryu, Guile and Chun-Li fight against Sigma's army while teaming with Sonic character Knuckles.
Hearing rumors about his friend beating opponents all around the world within an inch of their lives, Ken sets out to confirm these rumors. Eventually he confronts Evil Ryu, at first Evil Ryu had no recollection on who Ken was, but once he remembers he begins to belittle him. Evil Ryu crushes Ken both physically and mentally, but Ken keeps fighting to help his friend and lands a couple of hits, one being a Shoryuken. Unfortunately none of the hits had any effect and Evil Ryu beats Ken to near death, Evil Ryu delivers the finishing blow and Ken accepts his death as it’s at the hands of his best friend. Evil Ryu leaves Ken to die from blood loss, but a mysterious person takes Ken to hospital.
Live-action movies and series
In this film Ken and Ryu are con men who try making a deal of selling toy guns to some terrorists. Later they get involved with Shadaloo in plot to infiltrate their base. In this series Ken develops a rivalry with Sagat who is an arms dealer. Later on in the movie Ken tries to leave the fortress during the final battle only to be goaded by Ryu to help the other street fighters take down Shadaloo once and for all.
In the series, Ken and Ryu are depicted during their early days training under Master Gouken. The series explains how Ken is left under Gouken's wing in order to channel his anger and frustration so he won't cause to much trouble for his father's company.
Ken is shown as impatient and eager to progress through his training without learning the basics. During their training, they are taken to a special site that is to be used for their final test. While there, Ken is tempted to learn the Dark Hado techniques after finding Akuma's old journal. He attempts to do a move until Gouken finds out and stops him, making him swear to never perform dark hado. During their training, Ken attempts to persuade Ryu to visit a nearby town for some fun. Ryu is reluctant at first, but follows him there.
Ken is later visited by his dad who wants him to return home and join the family business. However, Ken believes he is not ready yet and decides to finish his training with Ryu and Gouken. As they progress in their training, Ken and Ryu are ready for the test in their training hand to hand combat. Though while they fight, Ryu eventually becomes overwhelmed by Ken and succumbs to the dark hado. After the fight Ken explains to Gouken what happened and Gouken decides to let them pass and allows them to journey to outside world in order to completely master their skills. Ken decides to return home and help his father with his company.
Howard reprised his role as Ken in Street Fighter: Resurrection.
Howard will reprise his role as Ken Masters in the second season, Street Fighter: World Warrior.
Ken Masters, like Ryu, is a student of the unnamed Ansatsuken art referred to as Shotokan, though this only applies to his normal attacks with slight traces of Hapkido (as stated in the in-depth Japanese sources for his normal attacks' names). In the original Street Fighter and the first iteration of Street Fighter II, Ken was a clone of Ryu, with only one attack (a throw) appearing to be aesthetically different.
In later Street Fighter II editions, Ken's character was modified to focus on style and attack speed, along with a notable focus on more brutal judo throws (such as his trademark knee striking grapple) and with some aspects of Kyokushin Karate. As a foil to Ryu, Ken's trademark technique is instead his Shoryuken.
Ken's entire moveset would continue to develop around the Shoryuken and multi-hit combos as the series progressed. His overall style of gameplay revolves around a rushdown strategy that executes powerful combos off of quick hit-confirms while maintaining mobility; Ken's moves generally come out fast, and can be used fluidly to create several such combos. However, this requires him to stay dangerously close to his opponents; in addition to having limited ranged tools, many of his moves can also leave him open for an easy counter if properly defended.
This also ties into a weakness he shares with Ryu, which tends to be his mediocre physical range that causes him to rely more on zoning with his Hadoken as opposed to playing footsies in the neutral game; though unlike Ryu, most of Ken's moves are geared towards multi-hits as aforementioned, which on top of his mix-ups make him much more geared towards safe pressure and being able to get in.
Ken's playstyle makes him quite easy to pick up and learn, to the point that he is one of the most used characters in the Street Fighter III and IV series. At one point, this resulted in the emergence of "Flowchart Ken" - a strategy for beginner and intermediate Ken players that was literally outlined in a flowchart style. Said strategy would go on to dominate a large portion of high-level play in Street Fighter IV. One of Ken's winning quotes even makes a jabbing reference to this in Super Street Fighter IV.
In Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix Ken retains most of his moves, his Tatsumaki Sempukyaku are embedded with fire and enables him to shoot a Shakunetsu Hadoken. His Shoryureppa enables him to hit three times and his Shinryuken is much like his appearance in the Alpha games but Ken can be seen being burned up during the execution and his Shippu Jinraikyaku as well as all of his Super Combos serves as his Mighty Combos.
He carries a large broken mallet consist of 100 tons to flatten his opponent to deal damage and has three disguises serving as his special attacks (Eg. a soccer player, a cowboy outfit while using a horse to knock his opponents and his casual outfit). During his Shippu Jinraikyaku Mighty Combo, Ken can sometimes be seen wearing his casual outfit during the execution of his kicks.
Street Fighter V promised to put a new spin on Ken's playstyle, featuring a more "in-your-face" approach, much more akin to a rushdown character. Of particular note are the changes made to his Tatsumaki Senpukyaku (all three versions will now cause a knockdown and his hard kick variation now travels in an arc as opposed to horizontally across the arena). His EX Tatsumaki attacks are also revamped (his ground version traveling upwards diagonally and his airborne variation shooting down diagonally). His V-Skill, Quick Step, enables faster advancing movement against a foe and his V-Trigger, Heat Rush, imbues all of his special moves with fire and giving them enhanced properties (such as guaranteed knockdown when a Hadoken connects). His Shinryuken Super Combo returns as his second V-Trigger.
Compared to Ryu, Ken is often seen as a more flashier foil, often coming up with several new deviating moves on the spot as opposed to sticking to the fundamentals as often as Ryu does. His creative mind allows his fighting style to always stay fresh for new arts on the fly at any given time.
As mentioned before, Ken uses the same moves as Ryu: he possesses a slightly weaker Hadoken, a more horizontal Shoryuken that can hit up to three times and set opponents ablaze and a Tatsumaki Senpukyaku that can land up to five hits without knockdown. He also gained a series of command normal kicks; in the Street Fighter Alpha series only, these would be incorporated into his standard move list with his other special attacks.
Ken's Super Combo in Super Street Fighter II Turbo is the Shoryureppa, a string of consecutive Shoryukens. In the Street Fighter Alpha series, he would gain another Shoryuken-based Super Combo in the Shinryuken, a vertical spinning Shoryuken with a 'vortex' effect that can be used (sometimes exclusively) in midair. The Street Fighter III series would reuse those moves as Super Arts; Ken also gains the Shippu Jinraikyaku, a powerful series of kicks followed by a rising Tatsumaki. The move would later appear as a Level 3 Super Combo in Street Fighter Alpha 3.
In the Street Fighter EX series, Ken gains a Meteor Combo known as the Kuzuryu Reppa, which effectively combines the three aforementioned Super Combos; it leads with Shippu Jinraikyaku's kicks and instead of a Tatsumaki, Ken follows with three Shoryukens (the same as his Level 3 Shoryureppa in the Alpha series) and finishes with a Shinryuken. Kuzuryu Reppa would be seen again in SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom, also appearing as one of Violent Ken's Super Combos.
In the Street Fighter IV series, Ken uses the Shoryureppa as his Super Combo; his first Ultra Combo is the Shinryuken, and his 2nd Ultra is a new move known as the Guren Senpukyaku, a flaming horizontal Tatsumaki that adds a final finisher kick at the end "for good measure".
In Street Fighter V, Ken uses a powerful version of Guren Senpukyaku known as Guren Enjinkyaku as his Critical Art (where he launches himself at his opponent with a fierce kick that sends them airborne then follows them up with a flaming Tatsumaki to the face before kicking them away). The Shoryureppa returns as well, acting as his EX Shoryuken.
Violent Ken is an alternate version of Ken that mades his debut in SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos. He is the result of Ken being brainwashed and controlled by M. Bison's Psycho Power. He returned in Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers as a new character alongside Evil Ryu. He is faster than Ken and has two new moves; a teleport, dash move, the Rasetsu Kyaku, and his super combo, the Shinbu Messatsu, where Violent Ken does a series of punches and kicks and ends with a fiery Shoryuken. In SVC Chaos, he automatically teleports, making it more similar to the Raging Demon. But in The Final Challengers, he simply does the move, however it is possible to do the Shinbu Messatsu out of a Rasetu Kyaku immediately.
While his original voice was a re-use of the Ryu audio samples, beginning with Super Street Fighter II Ken's voice was performed by Kenji Haga, who also did his voice in the Street Fighter II anime movie. Tetsuya Iwanaga did Ken's voice in the Street Fighter Alpha series, and Koji Tobe did Ken's voice in the Street Fighter III games. In SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos, he was voiced by Atsushi "Monster" Maezuka, who voiced a number of SNK characters.
He was voiced by Scott McNeil in the Street Fighter animated series. He was voiced by Kazuya Ichijo in Japanese and Steven Blum in the dub for the Street Fighter Alpha movie. In Street Fighter II V, he was voiced by Jimmy Theodore and in Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, he was voiced by Eddie Frierson. In Street Fighter IV, he is voiced by Reuben Langdon in the English version, who also voices Dante from the Devil May Cry series. Langdon also voices Ken in Disney's 2012 film, Wreck-It Ralph.
Damian Chapa portrayed Ken in the 1994 Street Fighter movie, where he is a con artist alongside Ryu. After the two unsuccessfully try to scam Shadaloo Tong leader, Sagat, they are arrested by Allied Nations forces. Guile offers them their freedom in exchange for infiltrating Bison's base (to whom Sagat runs guns) and revealing its location so that the AN can make a military strike and free the hostages captured earlier in the film.
Ken and Ryu are forced to betray the vengeful GNT news-crew (Chun Li, Balrog and Honda) in order to gain Bison's trust, but later try to free them and are captured. When Guile eventually infiltrates Bison's base and chaos ensues Ryu and Ken try to help free the hostages but split up when the AN forces arrive (according to Ken the soldiers get paid and that they should not risk their lives). Ken later comes to Ryu's aid when he is ambushed by Vega and Sagat. While Ryu defeats Vega, Ken defeats Sagat and drops a heavy golden statue on his hands before delivering a parting line: "If I hadn't met you, I might have become you.".
Interestingly, Ken and Sagat are portrayed as rivals, switching the usual scenario from the games, with Ryu's rivalry switched to Vega.
Ken's voice actor Reuben Langdon portrayed Ken in the short film Street Fighter x Tekken: The Devil Within.
Christian Howard played Ken in Street Fighter: Legacy, which was co-directed by Joey Ansah and Owen Trevor. Howard reprised his role as Ken in Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist, Street Fighter: Resurrection and Street Fighter: World Warrior.
|Street Fighter II|
|Ken Stage||Street Fighter II||Yoko Shimomura|
|Ken's Ending||Street Fighter II||Yoko Shimomura|
|Ken's Ending 2||Street Fighter II||Yoko Shimomura|
|Ken Stage||Street Fighter II (SNES)||Yoko Shimomura|
|Ken's Ending||Street Fighter II (SNES)||Yoko Shimomura|
|Ken's Ending 2||Street Fighter II (SNES)||Yoko Shimomura|
|Ken Stage||Street Fighter II (Game Boy)|
|Ken's Ending||Street Fighter II (Game Boy)|
|Ken's Ending 2||Street Fighter II (Game Boy)|
|Ken Stage||Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition|
|Ken's Ending||Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition|
|Ken's Ending 2||Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition|
|Ken Stage||Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers||Syun Nishigaki|
|Ken's Ending||Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers||Syun Nishigaki|
|Ken's Ending 2||Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers||Syun Nishigaki|
|Ken Stage||Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers (SNES)|
|Ken's Ending||Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers (SNES)|
|Ken's Ending 2||Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers (SNES)|
|Ken Stage||Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers (Sega Genesis)|
|Ken's Ending||Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers (Sega Genesis)|
|Ken's Ending 2||Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers (Sega Genesis)|
|Ken Stage||Super Street Fighter II Turbo (3DO)|
|Ken's Ending||Super Street Fighter II Turbo (3DO)|
|Ken's Ending 2||Super Street Fighter II Turbo (3DO)|
|Ken's Theme||Street Fighter II Mad Revenger Vengeful Warriors||Kunitoshi Tojima|
|Fight it Out (KEN)||Street Fighter II Collector's Box|
|Breath Again||STREET FIGHTER II ALPH-LYLA with YUJI TORIYAMA||Yuji Toriyama|
|Ken Stage||Street Fighter Tribute Album||Hiroaki Yoshida|
|Made in U.S.A. HD (Ken Stage)||Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix||OverClocked ReMix|
|Ken Stage||Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers|
|Street Fighter Alpha|
|Ken Stage||Street Fighter Alpha||Naoshi Mizuta|
|Ken Ending||Street Fighter Alpha||Naoshi Mizuta|
|Ken Stage||Street Fighter Alpha (PSX and Saturn Versions)||Naoshi Mizuta|
|Ken Ending||Street Fighter Alpha (PSX and Saturn Versions)||Naoshi Mizuta|
|Ken Stage||Street Fighter Alpha 2||Tatsuro Suzuki|
|Ken Ending||Street Fighter Alpha 2||Tatsuro Suzuki|
|Ken Stage||Street Fighter Alpha 2 (PSX and Saturn Versions)||Tatsuro Suzuki|
|Ken Ending||Street Fighter Alpha 2 (PSX and Saturn Versions)||Tatsuro Suzuki|
|Active Red||Street Fighter Alpha 3||Isao Abe|
|Street Fighter EX|
|Light Guardian/Hikari no Shugoshin||Street Fighter EX||Ayako Saso|
|Light Guardian/Hikari no Shugoshin||Street Fighter EX -Arrange Sound Trax-||Ayako Saso|
|Light Guardian/Hikari no Shugoshin||Street Fighter EX Plus α||Ayako Saso|
|Street Fighter III|
|Good Fighter||Street Fighter III: New Generation||Hideki Okugawa|
|Good Fighter [bliriant mix]||STREET FIGHTER III NEW GENERATION ORIGINAL ARRANGE ALBUM||Yohito Teraoka|
|Funky Bay||Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact||Hideki Okugawa|
|JAZZY NYC '99||Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike||Hideki Okugawa|
|JAZZY NYC '99 -Subway Station-||Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition||Hideki Okugawa|
|Street Fighter IV|
|Theme of Ken -SFIV Arrange-||Street Fighter IV||Hideyuki Fukasawa|
|Ken (S.S.F.4 PS mix)||Super Street Fighter IV: PachiSlot Edition||kamejack|
|Street Fighter V|
|Theme of Ken||Street Fighter V||Masahiro Aoki|
|Eternal Rivals||A Shadow Falls||Hideyuki Fukasawa|
|Stage Ken||Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo||Tatsuro Suzuki|
|Marvel vs. Capcom|
|Ken Theme||X-Men vs. Street Fighter||Yuki Iwai|
|Ken Theme||Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter||Yuki Iwai|
|SNK vs. Capcom|
|Ken No Tema||SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium|
|Namco X Capcom|
|Stage U.S.A Ken||Namco X Capcom|
|Super Smash Bros.|
|Ken Theme||Super Smash Bros. Ultimate||Rio Hamamoto|
- As a result of potential lawsuits, Ken was given the last name "Masters" so he would not be confused with Ken Carson from Barbie, a Mattel owned franchise.
- Ken has been playable in every installment of Street Fighter, much like Ryu (a distinction that is unique to them), both main series and spinoff. However, Ken is not playable in a few crossover titles, such as Capcom Fighting Evolution, both versions of Tatsunoko vs. Capcom and Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds and the updated "Ultimate" version. He is also not playable in Super Smash Bros. 4, as Ryu is the only playable Street Fighter character (Ken's theme is able to be selected to play on Ryu's stage). This is likely due to a desire not to take up many spaces in their rosters with overly similar characters. He does, however, appear as an "Echo Fighter" in the sequel.
- When fought as a CPU opponent in some games, particularly Street Fighter Alpha and Street Fighter EX, Ken will occasionally do a light Shoryuken, followed by a medium one as soon as he lands, and then a strong one. This AI behavior has remained consistent in most of his appearances.
- Ken is one of the eleven playable Street Fighter characters who are married or in a romantic relationship.
- In Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact, if Ken defeats Sean, he would say to him "You must defeat Ryu to stand a chance!" This is based on Ryu's infamously mistranslated win quote ("You must defeat my Shoryuken/Sheng Long in order to stand a chance!").
- In the SFIII Q&A from Gamest's SFIII Fanbook, when asked if he's still entering fighting competitions after having a son and moving to the west coast, Ken confirms that he's not been able to after Mel's birth. But he'll make an exception if Ryu participates.
- When asked if Ken will make Mel into a martial artist, Ken says it's up to Mel. Ken also mentions in the interview that seeing Sean reminds him of himself when he was young.
- In the Street Fighter III games, Ken seems to break the fourth wall in one of his quotes against Hugo or Gill in Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact ("It's losers like you that make this game boring!").
- Though born in the United States, Ken is actually only one quarter Anglo-American and three quarters Japanese. This is justified as his father was also likely born in the States but is half Japanese.
- A misconception seen from western Street Fighter fans is that Ken's Japanese heritage was a retcon in order to dilute his American side. In reality Ken always had a Japanese descent, as evident by the fact his name is spelled in kanji (拳) in the Street Fighter's flyer. In Street Fighter II, Ken's backstory states that he moved to the USA to continue his training. Manabu Takemura confirms that Ken represents a typical young man who likes American culture and wants to become an American. And in ALL ABOUT Street Fighter III The Characters, the first sentence under the 家族/family section says 日本出身 (nihon shusshin), suggesting that Capcom was still characterizing Ken as being of Japanese origin from 1987 to 1997 (the time of Street Fighter III's release).
- Additionally a lot of Americans in real life have ancestry from other countries with relatively very few of them in fact having ancestry from only the U.S.A.
- Ken's stage in Street Fighter Alpha 2 has cameos by several other Capcom characters, including those from the Darkstalkers series and Captain Commando from the arcade game of the same name.
- In SNK vs. Capcom: SvC Chaos, as Violent Ken, his battle stance in his intro is similar to Akuma's and Evil Ryu's; however, he turns clockwise instead of counterclockwise.
- Ken's win quote against Lei Wulong in Street Fighter × Tekken is based on Lei resembling Jackie Chan.
- In the original Street Fighter, there's unused audio in the game files for a "Fire Kick", along with unused graphics that suggest Ryu and Ken were planned to have a fourth special move. Had that been the case, then the move could have been similar to the Tenmakujinkyaku or Senpukyaku.
- Ironically, some of Ken's kick-based moves would later involve fire.
- Ryu & Ken's fighting style have gone through many changes over the course of the series. In the original Street Fighter, Ryu & Ken were genius martial artists who learned martial arts from an early age and created their own martial arts style. This would carry over to SFA3 where Ryu adopts various techniques from karate, jūdō and taekwondo to create his own style.However, in Ryu's SFIII bio it states that he uses martial arts based on karate.It wasn't until SFIV where Ryu & Ken's fighting style became a "martial art rooted as an art of assassination".
- In Street Fighter: Resurrection, Ken's birthyear is mistakenly listed as 1966 while his official (former) birthyear is 1965.
- Street Fighter II suggests that Ken is from or around Detroit, Michigan as that location shows up on the map when he is selected as an opponent.
- Some fans have pointed out that Ken's theme sounds similar to the Cheap Trick song "Mighty Wings" from Top Gun. Street Fighter II composer Yoko Shimomura stated in an interview: "I have heard people say that and I watched the movie before I composed the song, so I can't deny I may have been inspired subconsciously. But I didn't go into it thinking, 'OK I'm gonna make this song sound like Mighty Wings.'".
- It was also stated that Ken's theme was originally going to be Guile's. This would make sense, as Guile is in the US Air Force, like the characters in Top Gun.
- Ken's first alternate costume in Street Fighter IV is the costume for King Cobra, a character that was scrapped in favor of Rufus.
- The part in Ken's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate reveal trailer where he is seen flirting with Zelda, could be a reference to his Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix ending, where Ken was seen flirting with a female character who wasn't Eliza.
- In Street Fighter V, Ken has a downloadable costume in the form of Dante's clothes from Devil May Cry 4.
- Additionally, holding a button combination after equipping Ken in the Dante costume unlocks the Devil Arm Gilgamesh as part of the Dante costume for the match.
- Coincidentally, both Ken and Dante are voiced by Reuben Langdon.
- Ken's moves in Street Fighter
- Ken's moves in the Street Fighter II series
- Ken's moves in Super Street Fighter II Turbo: HD Remix
- Ken's moves in Street Fighter: The Movie (the arcade version)
- Ken's moves in Street Fighter: The Movie (the console version)
- Ken's moves in Street Fighter Alpha 3
- Ken's moves in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
- Ken's moves in Capcom vs. SNK 2
- Ken's moves in Street Fighter EX plus α
- Ken's moves in Street Fighter EX2 Plus
- Ken's moves in Street Fighter EX3
- Ken's moves in Street Fighter IV
- Ken's moves in Super Street Fighter IV
- Ken's moves in Ultra Street Fighter IV
- Ken's moves in Street Fighter Online: Mouse Generation
- Ken's moves in Street Fighter X Tekken
- Ken's moves in Street Fighter V
- Ken's profile from Super Street Fighter II.
- Ultra Street Fighter IV Profile Archived from The original
- Street Fighter: World Warrior Encyclopedia Hardcover
- Street Fighter II SNES manual, p.24
- "COMPLETE FILE STREET FIGHTER II" Published by Capcom, Released by Asahi Sonorama , December 30, 1992, p. 49.
- "Mystery of Hadoken" ( Shinseisha )
- "Recognizing Takashi (Ryu), a friend of the same family, as a lifelong rival, he made a firm promise to meet again after becoming stronger with each other and went to the United States for martial arts training." (同門の友、隆を生涯の好敵手と認め、お互いに強くなつた後に再び会おうと堅い約束を交わし、アメリカヘ武修行に渡つた。) from Ken's backstory from Street Fighter II Monthly Magazine GAMEST October Extra
- Ken's bio from ALL ABOUT Street Fighter III The Characters
- VHS (007) Street Fighter - Game Simulation Video GSV ストリートファイター
- All About Street Fighter ZERO page 042
- Street Fighter V Stat Card
- All About Street Fighter ZERO2 page 019
- All About Street Fighter ZERO3 page 030
- "Ryu has the impression that he is good, practical and hard-working, but Ken is a character whose facial expression changes depending on the painter, which cannot be imagined in a specific image. When I draw, I respect the martial arts user Benny Urquidez. It's a perot when he appeared in the manga "Square Jungle" (Original by Ikki Kajiwara, Kensaku Nakagusuku). (Akiman)" (リュウは質実用健で硬派な印象がありますが、ケンは描き手によって表情が変化する、特定のイメージにられないキャラクターです。私が描くときは、マーシャルアーツの使い手である格家べユキーデをリスペクトしています。マンガ「四角いジャングル」(模原一騎原作・中城健作園) に出ていたころのペローですね。(あきまん)) from How to Make CAPCOM Fighting Characters page 044.
- Nishiyama: it's true. Ryu writes "降", which is taken from my name Takashi. You have the right to name the main character as a character that projects yourself (laughs). By the way, Ken's named after Matsumoto. (西山: 本当です。リュウは 「降」 と書きますガ、僕の隆志から名前を取っています。 自分自身を投影するキャラクターとして、主人公の名前を付ける権じゃないですか (笑)。 ちなみにケンの名前の山来は松本なんですよ。 ) from Takashi Nishimyama and Hiroshi Matsumoto interview from SF25: The Art of Street Fighter page 435.
- It was the first time in a while that Ryu used the hot spring water in Japan. Ken said, "There's someone I want you to meet" and designated a Japanese hot spring inn as the meeting place. "A proper hot spring inn is good once in a while." The hot water that hits the trained shoulders bursts violently as if it had fallen on the marble. "Ken is also the father of a three-year-old boy........ When you become a father、 I wonder if it's hard to go out with me and go camping in the mountains." As expected, Ryu could not help feeling the flow of time by using the hot springs in his hometown of Japan. (リュウ自身、 日本の温泉の湯につかるのはしばらくぶりのことだった。ケンが「会わせたいヤツがいる」と言って、合流場所に日本の温泉宿を指定してきたのだ。「たまにはちゃんとした温泉宿もいいな」鍛えられた肩にあたる打たせ湯が、 大理石にでも落ちたかのように激しく弾けている。「ケンも、もう3歳の男の子の父親か・・・・・・・。 父 親ともなると、俺に付き合って山籠ごもりするのも大変かな」故郷日本の温泉につかって、 さすがのリュウも時の流れを感じずにはいられなかった。) from All About Street Fighter III: The Fighting Bible, page 226
- "Oh, here, here!" On the hill in front, you can see the hot spring inn designated as the destination to join Ryu. "Well, I guess it's okay. If you leave it to that bastard, he’d specify a closed school in the mountains." Ken turned around and called out to the boy walking behind him. "What's wrong, the inn is right in front of you, hurry up, Sean!" "Oh, I understand, Master" Way behind Ken, In addition to his own backpack, a Japanese-American boy with Ken's huge trunk and Boston bag comes with him. Ken thought while watching Sean climbing up the slope. "Well, how do you push this guy against Ryu ... Yeah, if you want to be my best pupil, how about not coming home until you take 1 round from Ryu? Yeah, let's go!" Ken walked up to Sean as he was alone. "What, you’re a sloppy one, here give me one." Ken says, as he snatched the smallest of Sean's backpack and started walking. (「おう、ここだ、ここだ !」目前の高台にリュウとの合流先に指定した温泉宿が見えてきた。「ちょっと、しょぼいがまあいいか。あの野郎にまかせると山んなかの廃校なんか指定してくるんだからな」「どうした、宿は目の前だぜ、さっさとこいよ、ショーン !」「は一い、わかりましたーっ、お師匠さま」ケンのうしろにだいぶ遅れて、自分のディパックに加え、ケンのでっかいトランクやボストンバッグをかかえた日系人らしい少年がついてくる。坂道をよたよたとのぼってくるショーンの姿を見ながら、ケンは考えた。「さてと、どうやってこいつをリュウに押しつけるかな・・・・・・。うん、俺の一番弟子になりたかったら、リュウから 1 本取るまで帰ってくるな、ってのはどうだ。そうだ、それで行こう!」ケンはひとりうなすくと、ショーンに歩み寄った。「なんだ、だらしね一ぞ、持ってやるからひとつ貸しな」ケンはそう言うと、一番小さいショーンのディパックをひったくって歩きだした。) from All About Street Fighter III: The Fighting Bible, page 240
- Ken: “I suppose I’ve always seemed kinda trivial to a guy like you, Ryu. After all, I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I didn’t have to work for this. ” from Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind
- Ken: “Apparently, I’m Ryu’s personal assistant now.” from Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind
- Shadaloo Combat Research Institute: Side readers : 03 「Unexpected Guests 」(Part II）
- Street Fighter III: New Generation Secret File
- Karin -> Ken = 敗北 = Defeat from Street Fighter Eternal Challenge page 252. (Japanese)
- Ken: "Such amazing ki. Who is this? Is it Gouki? No, it's similar, but a little different." (すごいさ気。これはだれだ? ならで豪鬼ゃないか? いいや似てはいる少し違う。) from Street Fighter EX Drama CD Round 2: "Bloodshed Bloodline"
- Ken: "You're similar after all." (やはり似てるのは。)
Ken: " The fist that was ahead of you. And the smell of blood. It similar to Gouki." (あんたの先だった拳。そして血の匂い。豪鬼似ている。)
Kairi: "Gouki?" (豪鬼?)'
from Street Fighter EX Drama CD Round 2: "Bloodshed Bloodline"
- The heroic story that Ryu defeated the Emperor of Muay Thai was transmitted to Ken, who had separated from his rival Ryu and continued training in America. Ken, who was planning to polish his physical training and Qigong method in the United States, returns to Japan immediately after hearing the story. To exchange fists with grown friends (ライバルのリュウと別れ,アメリカて修行をつづけていたケンのもとに,リュウがムエタイの帝王を打ち破ったという武勇伝が伝わってきた。このアメリカて体術と気功法に磨さをかけるつもりていたケンだが,その話を聞いた瞬間,すぐさま日本へと帰国する。成長した友人と拳を交えるために)
- Ryu: "......Ken, I'm......what was i aiming for......? This fist, that defeated Sagat......Is this a proof of a true fighter?" 「・・・・・・ケン、おれは・・・・・・何を目指していたんだ・・・・・・? サガットを倒した、この拳・・・・・・これが、真の格闘家の証なのか?」
Ken: "Hey...... is that your usual bad habit again? Fight me, I'll wake you up! " 「おいおい・・・・・・またいつもの悪いクセか? ー発俺と勝負しろ、目を覚まさせてやるぜ! 」
Rival dialogue from Street Fighter Alpha 2
- Ken: "Look, stand up, Ryu! You're still a clumsy guy, you know. I don't know what you felt when you fought Sagat, but we have no choice but to fight to find answers like this. " 「ほら、立てよリュウ! あいかわらず不器用なヤツだな、おまえは。サガットと戦って、何を感じたか知らないが、俺達はこうやって戦いながら答えをさくっていくしかないんだ」
Ken: "I'll leave this guy to you. If you ever get lost again, look at this and remember.... this battle with me now!" 「こいつを、預けとくぜ。また迷うことがあったら、コレを見て思い出せ・・・・この俺との、いまのバトルをな! 」
Ken’s dialogue from his Street Fighter Alpha 2 ending
- "However, as he moved away from the actual battle and became accustomed to peace, he forgot to fight. One day, a letter arrived to Ken, who had passed away his bloody past and had a sweet moment with his lover. It was a letter from Takashi(Ryu)."(しかし実戦から遠ざかり平和に慣れきつてしまつた彼は、いつしか闘うことを忘れてしまつていた。血なまぐさい過去をすて去り恋人との甘いひとときにうつつをぬかしていたケンのもとにある日、1通の手紙が届いた。それは隆からの手紙だつた。) from Ken's backstory from Street Fighter II Monthly Magazine GAMEST October Extra
- Street Fighter V | Ken revealed | PS4 Capcom July 9, 2015
- ALL ABOUT Capcom Fighting Game 1987-2000
- Lives on the West Coast of the United States. Having a Family-Becoming a father of a baby, his relationship with Ryu became a little worse. (アメリカ 西海岸在住。家庭 を 持っ て - 児 の 父 と なり、リュウ と の つき合い は やや 悪く なっ た。)
- All About Street Fighter III: The Fighting Bible, page 246
- “He has been sitting in the seat of the hero for many years, but the time has come to transfer it over to the new character Alex. Although he has not changed and continues travelling day to day with the aim of becoming a true warrior. Since Ken is now the father of a child their relationship has deteriorated, after a long time from being home in Japan he is summoned to a hot spring inn, where “There is a guy I want to meet”. Returning with his red headband straight out of the “SF2” era , now in his 30’s with a more mature look.” (長年すわっていた主人公の座を、ついに新キャラクターのアレックスにゆずり渡した。相も変わらず真の格闘家を目指して旅する日々を送っていたところ、ー児の父となって付き合いが悪くなったケンから「会わせたいヤツがいる」と呼び出され、久しぶりに故郷日本の温泉宿へと向かう。『ストⅡ』時代の赤いハチマキが復活30代に突入し、外見がややオヤジくさくなったうだ。)
- "However, there was only the appearance of Ken Masters (National Fighting Champion), who was completely reluctant to speak to the woman next door."(しかしもつて全くきをよそに隣の女性を口足いているケン・マスターズ (全米マーシヤル ・マーシ・チ ャ ン ピ オ ン) の姿があるだけであった。)
- “1 year since the battle to determine the best in the world, Alex is again searching for an unseen enemy. While on his journey, he simultaneously finds martial artists from around the world with aims of waging a fight against Gill… Fulfilling ambitions of the strongest is never ending.” (世界 の 頂点 を 決める闘い から 1 年. ま だ 見 ぬ 強敵 を 求め, ふたたび アレック ス は 旅立っ た. 時 を 同じく し て, 世界中 の 格闘家 たち も, ギル を 目指し て 闘い を くり広げる を 見つける ため に, 野望 を 果たす ため に … … 最強 を 求める旅 に, 決して終わり は ない の だ.)
- Street Fighter III 3rd Strike character introductions (in Japanese). Archived from the original
- Ken's backstory from SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium
- "See? The strongest fighter always wins! As easy to understand as a flowchart!" - One of Ken's Versus Mode win quotes
- "Since the birth of Mel, I haven't been able to participate in martial arts competitions. Still, I asked him to go out with me only in the competitions in which Ryu participates." (「メルの誕生以来、格闘技大会への出場はダメということになつてしまいました。それでも、リユウが出場する大会だけは付き合つて出場してもいことにしてもらいました」 ) from Gamest Mook Vol. 81 – Street Fighter III New Generation ‘Fan Book’
- "I'm not against it, but I think it's up to Mel."「に反対するつもりはないですが、メルの気ち次第と考えています。」
- Street Fighter flyer.
- "Manabu Takemura Interview" Archived from the original
- Like Takashi (Ryu), he is a genius of martial arts who learned martial arts from an early age and established his own style. He has the same skill as Takashi. He also goes on a journey to become "the strongest man in the world". from (隆と同じく幼い頃より格闘技を学び、自分のスタイルを確立した格開技の天才。隆に優るとも劣らないい技量の持ち主。彼もまた、"世界最強の男" を目指して旅にでる。)Street Fighter flyer.
- "Because he seeks the path of the true warrior, he doesn’t stick to a single style. If he has to better himself, he gladly adopts techniques from other styles, arranged in his way. As a result, he mixed various moves from karate, jūdō and taekwondo, building his own fighting style." (真の格闘家を目指す彼は、ひとつの格闘流派に固執ることはしない。みすからを高めるためであれば、他流派の技も積極的に取!入れ、自分なりのアレンジを加えていく。それが結果として空手、柔道、テコンドーといった各種格闘技をミックスした、独自の格闘スタイルを作り出している。) from All About Street Fighter ZERO3 page 024
- He uses his own martial arts based on karate. (空手をベースにした独自の格闘技を使う。) from Ryu's bio from ALL ABOUT Street Fighter III The Characters
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|Street Fighter Characters|
|Playable||Ken · Ryu|
|CPU Only||Adon · Birdie · Eagle · Geki · Gen · Joe · Lee · Mike · Retsu · Sagat|
|Street Fighter II Characters|
|The World Warrior||Blanka · Chun-Li · Dhalsim · E. Honda · Guile · Ken · Ryu · Zangief|
|Champion Edition||Balrog · M. Bison · Sagat · Vega|
|Super||Cammy · Dee Jay · Fei Long · T. Hawk|
|Ultra||Evil Ryu · Shin Akuma · Violent Ken|
|Street Fighter: The Movie Characters|
|Core Roster||Akuma · Balrog · Cammy · Chun-Li · E. Honda · Guile · Ken|
M. Bison · Ryu · Sagat · Sawada · Vega · Zangief
|Arcade Only||Arkane · Blade · F7 · Khyber|
|Console Only||Blanka · Dee Jay|
|CPU Only||Super Bison|
|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 EX Characters|
|EX||Original||Akuma · Allen · Blair · Chun-Li · C. Jack · Darun · D. Dark · Guile|
Hokuto · Kairi · Ken · Pullum · Ryu · Skullomania · Zangief
|Plus||Bloody Hokuto · Cycloid-β · Cycloid-γ · Evil Ryu · Garuda · M. Bison|
|Plus α||Dhalsim · Sakura|
|EX2||Original||Blanka · Hayate · Nanase · Shadowgeist · Sharon · Vega|
|Plus||Area · Sagat · V. Rosso|
|EX3||Ace · Bison II|
|CPU Only||Shin-Bison · Cycloids · Zako|
|Street Fighter III Characters|
|New Generation||Alex · Dudley · Elena · Ibuki · Ken · Necro · Oro · Ryu · Sean · Yang · Yun|
|2nd Impact||Akuma · Gill · Hugo · Shin Akuma · Urien|
|3rd Strike||Chun-Li · Makoto · Q · Remy · Twelve|
|Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix Characters|
|Akuma · Chun-Li · Dan · Ibuki · Ken · Ryu · Sakura · Zangief|
|SNK vs. Capcom Characters|
|The Match of the Millennium||Akuma · Chun-Li · Dan · Evil Ryu · Guile|
Ken · M. Bison · Ryu · Sakura · Zangief
|Millennium Fight 2000||Balrog · Blanka · Cammy · Dhalsim · E. Honda · Sagat · Vega|
|Mark of the Millennium 2001||Eagle · Kyosuke · Maki · Rolento · Shin Akuma · Yun|
|SVC Chaos||Hugo · Violent Ken|
|Street Fighter Online: Mouse Generation Characters|
|Akira · Batsu · Chun-Li · Guile · Ken · Ryu · Shin · Zangief|
|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|
|Street Fighter X Tekken Characters|
|Core Roster||Abel · Akuma · Balrog · Cammy · Chun-Li · Dhalsim · Guile · Hugo · Ibuki · Juri|
Ken · M. Bison · Poison · Rufus · Rolento · Ryu · Sagat · Vega · Zangief
|Downloadable||Blanka · Cody · Dudley · Elena · Guy · Sakura|
|Street Fighter V Characters|
|Original||Birdie · Cammy · Chun-Li · Dhalsim · F.A.N.G · Karin · Ken · Laura|
M. Bison · Nash · Necalli · R. Mika · Rashid · Ryu · Vega · Zangief
|Season 1||Alex · Balrog · Guile · Ibuki · Juri · Urien|
|Season 2||Abigail · Akuma · Ed · Kolin · Menat · Zeku|
|Season 3||Blanka · Cody · Falke · G · Sagat · Sakura|
|Season 4||E. Honda · Gill · Kage · Lucia · Poison · Seth|
|Season 5||Akira · Dan · Eleven · Oro · Rose|
|CPU Only||AS · Aprile · Decapre · Enero · Février · Juli · März · Peter|
Phantom Bison · Santamu · Satsuki · Shadow · Shadow Lady · Two P