- "I'll become stronger than anyone, no matter what the cost!"
- —Violent Ken
Violent Ken, known as Brainwashed Ken (洗脳されたケン Sennōsareta Ken?) in Japan, is a video game character who first appeared in SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos as a sub-boss, before eventually joining the mainline Street Fighter series starting with Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers. This is the form Ken has taken after being brainwashed and controlled by M. Bison's Psycho Power.
Violent Ken's design and backstory were heavily influenced by Ken's appearance in Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie where he was brainwashed by M. Bison. He was designed to be the contrast of how he would be normally, lusting for power just like Evil Ryu, and having no empathy for others, even for the ones he cares about.
In SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos, Violent Ken dons his usual red karate gi but has slightly lighter hair, darker skin, and purple eyes. The official artwork shows him with an afro, but it isn't seen in the actual game.
In his Street Fighter V profile artwork, he has the same hairstyle as his version in the game, but all his hair is unclipped and unstyled, letting his long hair out, and his hair is a lighter blond. He also has the torn-up gi and undershirt that was worn by his normal self in Street Fighter V.
In Ultra Street Fighter II, he has grey eyes and a slight purple tint on him.
Violent Ken is obsessed with power, as all his winning quote seem to focus on this obsession. His personality is somewhat similar to certain other characters (such as Evil Ryu and Decapre), shouting and yelling quite frequently when fighting against his opponents, this trait can be seen in Violent Ken's pre-battle dialogue in SVC Chaos.
M. Bison takes control of Ken with Psycho Power and turns him into Violent Ken. After mowing through numerous opponents in the tournament, he confronts M. Bison and defeats him. After beating him, Ken regains control over himself and as he leaves on his boat, he ponders to himself that he'll never go the same path as Ryu, but hopes to see him at the end of it.
In SVC Chaos, Ken was being controlled by Shadaloo with Psycho Power. He easily fell to its influence due to his mind getting weaker when he began feeling jealous and impatient to become a better fighter like Ryu, who was surpassing him. Now full of hatred, the Psycho Power-enhanced Violent Ken seeks his rival to determine which of them is the strongest, with his flames gaining a purple color. However, when he saw the red headband he gave to Ryu, Ken returned to his normal self. Regular Ken, while fighting against his Violent form in the SvC Chaos, wonders if deep down, he desires this.
Violent Ken is fought as a sub-boss in the game, with the seventh fight being against either him or Orochi Iori. Both Ken and Violent Ken's ending in the game is almost the same. However, in the beginning of Violent Ken's ending, after the last battle, the evil power that was plaguing Ken lost its hold on him, returning him back to normal. However, after being returned back home, Ken no longer remembers what happened to him, or what he had done during the duration of his Arcade Mode story, and then the rest of Ken's ending plays from there.
Violent Ken briefly appears in the crossover SRPG game Project X Zone 2, where he served as an enemy/rival when Ryu and Ken's Pair Selection is locked. His appearance is the same as Ken's normal design, except for the purple flames and red eyes. Ryu manages to snap him back to normal with a Shin Shoryuken, in a direction parallel to Ken doing the same to Evil Ryu with a Shin Shoryuken in Namco X Capcom.
Street Fighter II manga
In the two-part manga, Ken goes missing after he and Ryu confront M. Bison and the Four Heavenly Kings at Gouken's dojo. He later appears to confront Ryu on the island of Shad, having been brainwashed by Bison's drug Doll. During the battle, an emotionally conflicted Ken starts to snap out of the Doll's influence.
This is the first appearance of a "Brainwashed" (Violent) Ken, predating Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, however, this incarnation of Ken is not under the control of Psycho Power.
SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos manga
In the eight-volume comic adaptation of SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos, Ken was convinced by Red Arremer to join him and was forced to undergo a brain-changing operation (despite reconsidering after thinking of Eliza and his son Mel), which turned him into Violent Ken. He lost to Ryu in the later volumes and was returned to normal.
Violent Ken reappears at the end and attacks Ryu, as an apparent result of being tainted by his visit in Makai.
He is fought off against Ryu, Dan, and Sakura to be able to hold off his darkness, but without much success. When he returns home, Rufus challenges him and he transforms in Violent Ken again, almost killing Rufus. When he saw what he was doing and his wife's reaction, Ken manages to return to normal and gains a better control over his transformation.
During Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, Ken is captured, brainwashed, and sent to fight against Ryu, keeping them preoccupied while Bison tracks down Guile. When Ryu undoes the brainwashing, Bison tries to use his Psycho Power on 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. This dark, alter ego is called Sennou Ken (Brainwashed Ken in Japanese).
Violent Ken fights using the unnamed Ansatsuken art. Due to his state, Violent Ken is a more ruthless, aggressive, valiant, daring, fearless, and cutthroat version of Ken. His Ansatsuken style uses purple flames instead of regular ones in his Shoryuken, which is a feature of Akuma's Hadokens and Shoryukens from the Marvel vs. Capcom series, and a pillar of deathly energy appears at the end of his Exceed move, which is a feature of Rugal's DMs in The King of Fighters. He seems to speak with a calm sinister voice while combining it with incoherent screams similar to Orochi Iori.
In Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers, he has faster movement, jump and fall speed than Ken. He gains the Rasetsu Kyaku, a special dash like teleport that can close distance with a faster startup and recovery than the Ashura Senku, and he is much more brutal with his special attacks, with more hits in his Shoryuken and Tatsumaki Senpukyaku. Unlike Evil Ryu however, who requires careful reservations of space and control of strength to ensure his somewhat slow speed doesn't leave him open, Violent Ken does not have much variability in his movesets, and requires a lot of control of pace to properly win, including knowing when to strike and to pull off combos; his Supers and Exceed are reflective of Violent Ken's erratic and unstable berserker-like nature, using up more energy than he can coherently realize and leaving him dangerously close to "burning out".
- See: Violent Ken/Sprites
- See: Violent Ken/Quotes
- A common misconception on the source of Violent Ken's powers is that it originates from the Orochi power, a fictional power energy from SNK's The King of Fighters series.
- This is probably due to the purple flames in Violent Ken's Shoryuken, similar to those under the influence of the Riot of the Blood, and the skull pillar at the end of Shinbu Messatsu, that is also an element shown in some Orochi power users like Rugal, Mature, and Vice.
- His aggressive and wild behavior is also reminiscent of Orochi Iori, his SNK counterpart in the SNK vs. Capcom series.
- Kyo Kusanagi also compares Violent Ken to an Orochi in their pre-battle dialogue.
- Ken's 8th alternate color in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate resembles Violent Ken’s black alternate color in SVC Chaos: SNK vs. Capcom.
- This is further referenced in Dark Samus' Classic Mode route. Her campaign is a series of fights where she teams up with a character who was possessed or corrupted in their games to fight against the protagonist. In the third fight, she teams up with Ken in this alternate color to fight against Ryu.
- A similar situation occurs in Mewtwo's Classic Mode route. His campaign functions in a similar way, involving characters who were brainwashed or hypnotized in their series to aid the antagonist. In the third fight, Mewtwo teams up with Cloud in his "Cloudy Wolf" outfit in a team battle against Ryu and Ken. Upon completion, Ken joins Mewtwo in a 2-on-1 fight against Richter also wearing this outfit.
|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 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|