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The Shoryuken (昇龍拳 Shōryūken?, "Rising Dragon Fist"), commonly referred to as the Dragon Punch, is a special attack in the Street Fighter series used by Ryu, Ken, and other Street Fighter characters that use the same style.
|All characters and appearances||+|
Shoryuken was created by Takashi Nishiyama and it was Hiroshi Matsumoto's idea to make the move invincible. In the original Street Fighter it was a continuous attack that involves an uppercut that crushes the opponent's jaw followed up with a knee kick. If all 3 hits land it will knock out the opponent without fail. Some sources state that it involves the fist -> knee -> elbow as the move hits 3 times in original Street Fighter. This is also shown in Street Fighter III's and Street Fighter 6's version of Shin Shoryuken. Metsu Shoryuken also involves a knee kick after the initial uppercut to the jaw.
In the games narrative, Shoryuken is an assasination technique created by Goutetsu. The idea that the move is forbidden originated from 1993 Kanzaki manga, where Gouken forbids his students from using it unless they have no other option. When Gouken makes his playable appearance in Street Fighter IV, he only uses Shoryuken as a Super Combo named Forbidden Shoryuken.
Executed by moving the stick forward, down, and then down-forward (commonly referred to as a "Shoryuken motion" or a "DP Motion), the move is a jumping uppercut in which the user spins upwards with some horizontal movement as well, knocking the opponent to the ground and inflicting damage.
The Shoryuken is primarily used as an anti-air move. However, with some practice, it is possible to use it to counterattack almost any move. The trade-off for this is that the user is completely vulnerable to attack as they fall back to the ground, and for a split second after landing.
If the Shoryuken connects with the opponent at the deepest point of impact (i.e. while the user is still standing on the ground), it will inflict substantially more damage. Experienced players will often wait until the last possible moment before using the move as counter, even against air attacks.
In the Street Fighter II series, the Shoryuken is almost completely invincible while rising, meaning it can pass through projectile attacks, potentially striking the recipient in the act of throwing them. In later games in the series, this invincibility is mostly removed; however, the Shoryuken still has a massive hitbox, and will often beat out most other attacks.
Different Variants of Shoryuken
- Goshoryuken (豪昇龍拳 Gō Shōryūken?, "Great Rising Dragon Fist") - The original Shoryuken, which is a more powerful variation of the "regular" Shoryuken, used by Akuma.
- Shining Circuit Shoryuken - Cyber Akuma's enhanced variantion of the Goshoryuken.
- Ultimate Throw - A multi-hitting counter Shoryuken inbued with black flames which burns the opponent. Used by Akuma in the game X-Men: Children of the Atom.
- Shoryureppa (昇龍裂破 Shōryū Reppa?, "Rising Dragon Rend Blast") - A series of two or three Shoryukens that progressively cause more and more damage to an opponent with each hit.
- Shinryuken (神龍拳 Shinryūken?, "Divine Dragon Fist") - A Shoryuken that corkscrews vertically into the air, causing a vacuum effect that sucks in the opponent and strikes multiple times.
- Metsu Shoryuken (滅・昇龍拳 Metsu Shōryūken?, "Perish Rising Dragon Fist") - Three different variations are seen in Street Fighter Alpha 3, Street Fighter IV, and Street Fighter V (which is used by Kage instead of Ryu).
- Shin Shoryuken (真・昇龍拳 Shin Shōryūken?, "True Rising Dragon Fist") - The strongest non-lethal known variant of the Shoryuken, only known and used by Gouken and Ryu.
- Forbidden Shoryuken (禁じ手・昇龍拳 Kinjite Shōryūken?, "Forbidden Hand Rising Dragon Fist") - A potentially lethal variant based on Goutetsu's original Ansatsuken, it is used as a last resort technique by Gouken. An imperfectly executed Shin Shoryuken/Metsu Shoryuken resembles the Forbidden Shoryuken, but does not have the same killing potential.
- Souryuken (双龍拳 Sōryūken?, "Twin Dragon Fist") - A powerful pair of Shoryuken made at the same time which is strong enough to nearly kill an opponent. It was used by Ryu and Ken in the crossover Project X Zone.
- Messatsu-Goshoryu (滅殺豪昇龍 Messatsu Gō Shouryū?, "Annihilating Great Rising Dragon") - A stronger version of the Shoryureppa. The user delivers 2 or 3 Goshoryukens, depending on which punch button is pressed. Usually used by Akuma.
- Hado Shoryuken (波動・昇龍拳 Hadō Shouryūken?, "Surge Rising Dragon Fist") - A Shoryuken empowered by Hado energy. Two different versions of the move exist.
Ryu focused on making his Shoryuken hard-hitting, usually hitting in one blow and knocking the opponent on his back. Though a little weaker and with slightly less range than Ken's, it makes up for this with better recovery time.
In Street Fighter Alpha, Ryu began using the Shin Shoryuken. The Metsu Shoryuken appears in SFA as well. It is visually similar to the Shin Shoryuken minus the second uppercut, and is right-handed instead.
In the Street Fighter IV series, Ryu's Shoryuken began to differ by strength of the punch used, his medium and EX Shoryuken striking with two hits. His Shoryuken as depicted in this part of the series also had it trail with a translucent white ink stroke pattern; in consideration of the "ki ink" themes prevalent in IV, this expresses the "purity" of his martial art and his intent. Conversely, Evil Ryu has his ki in his Shoryuken in black and frayed ink.
- Shin Shoryuken
- Metsu Shoryuken
- Souryuken (Project X Zone only)
- Hado Shoryuken (Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 only)
- Kinjite Shoryuken
- Reppu Jirai Shoryuken
Ken prefers to use the Shoryuken to finish opponents, as it is a stylish and graceful way to win the match, and has different powerful variants as a result. Ken has focused on this move in order to distinguish himself from his training partner (fitting that Ryu surpasses him with the Hadoken).
In most games, Ken's Shoryuken also covers a lot of horizontal distance, at the cost of a longer recovery time, leaving him open for counter-attack if he misses or is blocked. Starting with Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers, his fierce version also causes his opponent to burn when hit, this being born from the individualism he sought (the storyline explanation being shifting ki into his fist during the uppercut in order to channel a fire elemental).
In Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Ken gains the Shoryureppa, which is a series of Shoryukens; specifically, a light Shoryuken followed by a medium one and/or a heavy one imbued with flames. During the Street Fighter Alpha series, Ken gains the Shinryuken, a Shoryuken that goes straight up, creating a flaming vacuum.
Of note is that in the Marvel vs. Capcom series, Ken and Sakura are the only ones capable of performing a Shoryuken/uppercut in midair.
- Shoryureppa (serves as the EX Shoryuken in Street Fighter V)
- Hado Shoryuken
- Souryuken (Project X Zone only)
Akuma has a Shoryuken that strikes hard and can score multiple hits, like Ken's (though Akuma's fist doesn't become engulfed in flames), and has the range and overall function property of Ryu. Instead of crouching, however, Akuma launches differently; he directly hits them in the chest then in the chin, then he jumps up and hits them with the flying uppercut. This property makes the attack quick and hard to block. This property disappears when Akuma becomes Oni.
In Street Fighter IV, his Shoryuken also displays a "ki ink" pattern like Ryu's, but in a solid black.
- Ultimate Throw (X-Men: Children of the Atom only)
- Kimonkai (Ultra Street Fighter IV's OMEGA Mode only)
- Messatsu-Goshoryu (serves as the EX Goshoryuken in Street Fighter V, and for counter purpose in Tekken 7)
Akuma's cybernetically enhanced form, featured only in the crossover, Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter has much stronger variations of the Shoryuken in comparison to his former self. His basic Shoryuken, dubbed the Shining Circuit Shoryuken can connect up to 10 times up close and setup the opponent for a juggle. Cyber Akuma has his own variation of the Messatsu-Goshoryu, dubbed the Scramble Gou Punch. It surpasses the Messatsu-Goshoryu every way conceivable.
- Shining Circuit Shoryuken
- Scramble Gou Punch
Akuma's Goshoryuken became stronger when he became Oni, and it bears resemblance to the Shin Shoryuken. The first uppercut will hit the opponent in the midsection, while the jumping uppercut to the chin is performed with the other fist. It deals out 3 hits and good damage, although if the uppercut whiffs it, will turn into a regular Goshoryuken that can catch airborne opponents for less damage. The other trade off is that it doesn't go far horizontally. Oni's second Ultra Combo in the Street Fighter IV series, the Tenchi Sokaigen concludes with a Goshoryuken to the spine of the airborne opponent.
- Mu (Ultra Street Fighter IV's OMEGA Mode only)
- Tenchi Sokaigen
- Forbidden Shoryuken (Asura's Wrath only)
Gouken does not have the Shoryuken in his standard moveset, unlike his disciples, Ryu and Ken; his only Shoryuken variants are his Super Combo and first Ultra Combo. In regards of the themes of Street Fighter IV, his "ki ink" during this attack depicts it as a white mist like energy emanating from his fist and "splashes" upon impact; rather than the strong brush strokes as seen with Ryu's and Akuma's Shoryuken, this may indicate his reservation and reluctance to turn to the move constantly, and to hold back his true strength to uphold his principles.
Sakura developed her own variation of the Shoryuken, the Shouoken, in which she runs at her opponent and finishes with an uppercut. Her Shoryureppa-inspired combo Midare Zakura is three of these Shouokens back to back.
As he has not completed his training with Ken as of Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, Sean's version of the Shoryuken is incomplete. His Dragon Smash involves him jumping like a Shoryuken, and throwing both fists into the air simultaneously. He does a proper Shoryuken as part of one of his Super Arts.
Dan uses his own version of the Shoryuken, the Koryuken. It is possible that he learned this move during his brief training under Gouken. Dan also has a super move similar to the Shoryureppa, the Koryu Rekka. It tends to have less of a horizontal hitbox compared to Ryu and Ken's in games and doesn't move him forward as much (though this varies from game to game).
In Street Fighter IV, his "ki ink" has it manifest in a clear water like aura with a weak trail.
Since Seth can mimic the techniques of other fighters, he has developed his own modified version of the Shoryuken. His unique Shoryuken can be performed multiple times in midair if the initial Shoryuken hits (the motions must be repeated). Using both arms to launch two Shoryukens in rapid succession then finally ending with a spinning Shoryuken that looks somewhat similar to a flame-less Shinryuken.
Kage's Shoryuken acts similarly to Akuma's. He can hit his opponent 1-3 times, depending on which punch button is pressed. The range of this attack is also determined by the strength of the punch button pressed. The EX version requires pressing two punch buttons, but is treated similarly as Shoryureppa. Like other users before him, Shoryuken is used to end combos to inflict optimal damage. Kage can use Kurekijin to put his opponent in a juggle state, allowing him to follow up with Shoryuken of the same or less intensity.
In terms of execution, Kage's Shoryuken is instead performed with the left or foremost hand, akin to Gouken's Kinjite Shoryuken; while this position allows him to perform a Shoryuken easier and quicker, the recovery has him vulnerable due to him landing nearly off balance, as the energy and momentum required, as well as through the improper stance he takes is greater than normally performed.
- Metsu Shoryuken
- See Shoryuken/Sprites.
The move has been the subject of a very famous rumor and hoax revolving around Ryu's mistranslated quote, "You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance". Sheng Long would later become one of the most well known legends in video game history. As for the Shoryuken itself, it has since been referenced in various forms of media.
Many attacks of characters work by similar concepts to the Shoryuken in either knocking the opponent into the sky or being the invincible reversal of said user (sometimes both). Attacks of this class involve Tiger Uppercut, Kazekiri, Cannon Spike, and Jet Upper. Some follow Ryu's example in being a stronger 1 hit attack or Ken's in being a multi hitting attack that adds up damage over hits.
- The Shoryuken appears as Ryu's unique emote in Fortnite, where it can be used by any character, meaning that besides him, it can also be performed by Chun-Li, Guile, Cammy, Sakura and Blanka in that game.
- From Takashi Nishimyama and Hiroshi Matsumoto interview from SF25: The Art of Street Fighter page 435.
- "Attack from a low position, throwing an uppercut and knee kick." from Fighting Street manual.
- skillsmith_bug's tweet (674250659072335873)
- The original assassination fist! Ryu and Ken's master, Gouken's master! He is the creator of Hadoken and Shoryuken! (元祖暗殺拳！リュウとケンの師匠、剛拳の師匠！波動拳、昇龍拳の生みの親なのだ！) from Character picture book 027: Todoroki
- Gouken, the master of Ryu and Ken, and the man who sealed off the Shoryuken! He still cheekily uses it in his super and ultra combos though...!
from Character picture book 025: Gouken
|Violent Ken's Move List|
|Unique Attacks||Inazuma Kick• Kurubushi Kick|
|Special Attacks||Hadoken • Shoryuken • Tatsumaki Senpukyaku • Rasetsu Kyaku• Roundhouse Kick|
|Super Combos||Shinbu Messatsu• Shinryuken • Kuzuryu Reppa|
|Seth's Move List|
|Unique Attacks||Yosokyaku • Tenmakujinkyaku • Scythe Kick • Double Zoom Punch • Step Shoot • Hazard Blow • Head Hunter • Turning Slicer • Twin Claw • Tanden Combination • Shoot Slicer • Fatal Rush|
|V-Skills||Tanden Engine • Tanden Booster|
|V-Shift Break||Hell's Punishment|
|V-Triggers||Tanden Ignition • Tanden Maneuver|
|Special Attacks||Sonic Boom • Shoryuken • Hyakuretsukyaku • Tanden Engine • Spinning Piledriver • Yoga Teleport • Chariot Tackle • Hecatoncheires • Mad Cradle • Cruel Disaster • Annihilate Sword|
|Super Combos||Tanden Storm|
|Ultra Combos||Tanden Stream • Tanden Typhoon|
|Critical Arts||Tanden Destruction • Tanden Extreme|