Suzaku Castle (朱雀城 Suzakujō?, lit. Vermilion Bird Castle) is a large and (presumably) Feudal-aged castle located in Japan. In all of its appearances in the Street Fighter series, as well as crossover games, it has served as Ryu's home stage. Because of the Suzaku Castle's association with Ryu, it is considered the most famous stage in the Street Fighter franchise.
Not much is known about the abandoned castle itself, with few knowing where it is located, but its dojo is used by Ryu for training since he was a kid.
Ryu's stage is set on the rooftops of the Suzaku Castle, 10 meters (32.8 feet) above the ground. It has breakable signs on it reading Fūrinkazan (風林火山? "Wind Forest Fire Mountain"), a shortened version of a quote from Sun Tzu's Art of War. The signs are present only in the original Street Fighter II, Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition, and Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers (Classic Graphics only). The same message is seen written on Ryu's belt in some of his appearances. Bats appear flying in the right side of the stage in some versions.
Ryu's stage is set in Genbugahara (玄武ヶ原?), an area near the Suzaku Castle, with the castle visible in the top of the mountains. While training in the area, a painter met Ryu in the plains and they had a short conversation.
The Suzaku Castle reappears in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, where it is once again Ryu's home stage. The castle in Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival appears exactly as it did in 3rd Strike, albeit at night. Revival also has a red-colored version which serves as Akuma's stage, as he didn't have one originally.
The Suzaku Castle appears as a DLC stage based on its Street Fighter II appearance. It was released on July 25th, 2017.
The castle is also in SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium, where it is used as the background of each characters' rival battle. It is also one of the backgrounds in Street Fighter Online: Mouse Generation. It is one of the backgrounds from the Street Fight mode in Street Fighter × All Capcom. The castle appears in a portal in Fortnite, possibly hinting towards a future crossover with the game.
Super Smash Bros. series
|“||This stage has a large platform on the right and two smaller ones on the left. Depending on your fighting style, you might prefer one side over the other. This stage comes with music tracks for 16 characters. When the clock starts running out or if your stock goes down to one, the music may get more intense!||”|
|—Super Smash Blog, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Official Site|
In Super Smash Bros. for 3DS/Wii U, the stage is designed to be used in its Omega Form (a single platform for combat) rather than its normal version; the latter features a number of different platforms, including two smaller ones on the left, and two larger ones on the right. The stage returns in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and like all other stages in the game, it has an avalaible standard layout of Battlefield, a standard three-platform field featured in previous Super Smash Bros. games.
The stage features two long walk-off platforms on the right side, and two smaller floating platforms on the left side. Only the lower platform on the right is solid. The position of the lower-left platform is a fair distance away from the main platform, and provides a challenge for more than one character to stand on it, allowing for camping. Signposts located on the longest platform will break if a fighter is launched past them. The signposts are eventually repaired after all of them are broken.
The Ω form of the stage consists of only the main platform centered without the smaller platforms and walk-off areas. The signposts can be broken even on this version of the stage, making it the only Ω Form stage to have interactive parts, albeit them being static. Both Ryu Stage Type A and B and Ken Stage Type A and B will change to become faster on the Ω form as well.
In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the Ω form and Battlefield form are very similar to the Ω form in SSB 3DS/Wii U; however, the main platform is resized and reshaped to match Final Destination and Battlefield, respectively. The three soft platforms of the Battlefield form resemble the platform on the bottom left of the normal form. As with some other Ω forms, the stage select preview of the Ω form of this stage is an early version of the stage, and the final version differs slightly in design.
- According to the Street Fighter II instruction manual, the Suzaku Castle is Ryu's dojo where he lives and trains. The platform built in the outside courtyard serves as a fighting area specifically for the Street Fighter tournament. This would also serve as Ken's secondary stage since he also trained here alongside Ryu under Gouken's teachings. Furthermore, this could also be considered Akuma's stage, since he along with his brother, Gouken, were also taught at or around that area. Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers even lists Suzaku Castle as Akuma's stage. Revival also had a version of Suzaku Castle with red skies as his stage.
- In the Super Smash Bros. games, if the current music playing is Ryu Stage Type A/B or Ken Stage Type A/B and either the timer has reached 30 seconds in a timed match; the last opponent has one stock left in a stock match; the last opponent's HP is under 100 in a stamina match; or during Sudden Death, a sped-up version of the respective song will play. This references Street Fighter II, where the stage music speeds up when a fighter loses half of their health.
- This also applies to the stage themes of E. Honda, Chun-Li, Blanka, Zangief, Guile, Dhalsim, Balrog, Sagat, Vega, M. Bison, Dee Jay, T. Hawk, Fei Long, and Cammy in Ultimate with both types.
- This makes Suzaku Castle one of the five stages in the Super Smash Bros. series that changes music when there is 30 seconds left during a timed match or when Sudden Death occurs, the others are Mushroom Kingdom (SSBM), Mushroom Kingdom (SSB), Mushroom Kingdom II, and Moray Towers.
- In the Super Smash Bros. series, despite being a Street Fighter stage, neither Ryu nor Ken are fought on this stage for their unlocking battles in Ultimate. Instead, the former is fought Battlefield and the latter is fought on Boxing Ring.
- However, Ryu is fought on this stage in the World of Light.
- Suzaku Castle is the only third party stage to not have characters from the series make an appearance as background elements or a hazard.
- Ibuki's Teppen artwork appears to be set in Suzaku Castle as evidenced by the building in the background and the flat standing area. The wooden standing area looks very similar too.
Since any stage set on Suzaku Castle is associated with Ryu, any theme that plays on it is associated with him, as well (primarily the one from Street Fighter II).