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- "Fire a ki blast directly forward. Useful for attacking enemies at range."
- —"Kikoken", Street Fighter 6
Usually executed by charging backward and then pressing forward (or, in Street Fighter II': Hyper Fighting, Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, and Chun-Li's Alpha uniform in Street Fighter Alpha 2, performing a half-circle forward motion) and punch, Chun-Li shoots a small energy ball at an opponent that causes small damage. Depending on the game, the Kikoken will not always reach across the entire screen, fizzling out after a certain distance.
The distance it travels and its speed are determined by the strength of the punch button used: light punch travels farther and slowly, while the medium punch moves faster, but dissipates quicker, and heavy punch moves even faster, but disappears almost instantly. The EX Special version inflicts more damage and hits twice, while moving very slowly in 3rd Strike, and much faster in Street Fighter IV.
The Kikoken has changed drastically since its first appearance. Originally a pair of blue-colored Yoga Fires in appearance, it has since been drawn several different ways in various games. Chun Li's pose when throwing a Kikoken also varies based upon the game; to date, there are at least five different poses. In 3rd Strike, she can even throw the Kikoken with one hand.
In some games such as Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix, the projectile appears much larger in size. In Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, this move can be canceled with Heavy into the Kikoanken, which is a powerful short range blast that causes a crumple state and allows for a combo follow-up.
Unlike the projectiles of characters such as Ryu, Ken Masters or Sagat, Chun-Li's Kikoken is not effective in a projectile war. Instead, it is better suited to "zoning", or controlling the space between Chun-Li and her opponent. By utilizing the different ranges of the Kikoken based on the strength of the punch button pressed, Chun-Li can easily keep her opponent exactly where she wants them, allowing her to set up combos.
In Street Fighter IV Chun-Li can "projectile walk" using the Focus Attack Dash Cancel mechanic immediately when she uses light Kikoken. She can then move forward with her projectile potentially ending any counter offense an opponent attempts with Chun-Li herself being able to combo afterwards if it hits. Though since Kikoken fizzles out it isn't as effective as Rose's or Guile's respective equivalents despite Chun-Li's higher Walk Speed than either of them.
Different Variants of Kikoken
- Kikoanken is a move Chun-Li was given in the Marvel vs. Capcom series.
- Kikosho is a more powerful variant of Kikoken but is a stationary, multi-hitting fireball. It is often part of her move set as a Hyper/Super move or a V-Trigger.
- Kikou Hou'ou Ken used in Street Fighter: The Movie.
- For more sprites, see Kikoken/Sprites.
- In Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, Chun-Li's Kikoken wasn't shown in a scene, but it was added in the PlayStation 2 version from the hidden video where Chun-Li launches a Kikoken on Vega during the assassination.
- In the Street Fighter cartoon, sometimes this move was simply referred as "fireball".