Where’s Strider Hiryu?
- March 7th, 2011
- By MogKnight
Edit: I’m happy to announce that Strider Hiryu has indeed returned in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3!
Strider Hiryu, a character that was jointly owned by Capcom and Moto Kikaku, was one character that was very popular among the fighting game fans and the old school Capcom fans. Making his video game debut in a self-titled arcade game, Strider Hiryu would slash his way through enemies with his weapon “Cypher” and was known for his speed and agility. Hiryu would have a solidified backstory with a manga release by Moto Kikaku and an NES game that focused more on story. After a sequel and an introduction to fighting games via the Marvel vs Capcom series, this ninja hero would be an instant hit.
But, where the heck did he go after all that?Truth is, no one really does except for Capcom. The last time we would see Strider Hiryu in any video game form would be in Namco x Capcom, a tactical RPG that featured various Namco and Capcom. With his absence in Tatsunoko vs Capcom, a cross-over fighting game that was released in arcades and on the Nintendo Wii, a few fans started to get worried. With no mention of another Strider game, the next thing we would hope that would have any sort of mention of Strider Hiryu would be Marvel vs Capcom 3. Unfortunately, the game is out without Strider Hiryu included. Though we could say that he “may” show up as downloadable character later on, it is still something to worry about. Strider Hiryu was very popular when he came out in the first Marvel vs Capcom game and would continue to be popular in the sequel Marvel vs Capcom 2. To have him not even included into the game from the get go is rather surprising.
Strider Hiryu would make his first video game appearance in the arcades. His fast slashes and just overall mobility in an arcade was new and fresh at the time and even now, you don’t see many games like this. The game was fun, challenging and heck, it was great. Eventually, we would start seeing home ports of this game on the Amiga, the Commodore 64, the ZX Spectrum. However, most of those were converted by Tiertex and Tiertex is… generally not known for making good ports. Better ports would be seen on the X68000, the PC Engine and the Sega Genesis. The Nintendo would see its own exclusive version of Strider though it was too different from the original to really be compared to.
Speaking of the bad ports and Tiertex, when something that gets released becomes a fan favorite there will always be attempts to milk the heck out of the product. What better way to do this other than make sequels? Eventually, this was made:
An unofficial sequel to Strider was released on the Sega Genesis and was titled “Strider Returns” except it was a different Strider altogether. The game was awful and was easily something that most people would just love to forget, if they have not heard of it already that is. Strider Hiryu would not be playable in any game for quite awhile until 1998 when Capcom released Marvel vs Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes. Hiryu would have a complete design overhaul but maintained everything that we liked about him in the original.
After MvC and pretty much out of nowhere, an official sequel from Capcom was released. Strider 2 was a masterpiece of an arcade game that everyone that loved the original wanted. Using the revamped design, adding a few new techniques and putting everything on a 2.5D field with 2D sprites, Strider 2 was amazing… but it was also poorly marketed and did not sell well in the arcades (which were on the verge of dying) and on the Playstation. Heck, the Playstation release included both Strider 1 and 2 but the two labels were incorrectly swapped.
Most would remember Strider Hiryu from Marvel vs Capcom and he would show up again in Marvel vs Capcom 2. As popular as he was, it would be easy to understand how much of a risk doing a third Strider game would be. With some Capcom titles getting a revival and new IPs being attempted, Capcom’s recent track record has not been doing well. The new Bionic Commando was a commercial failure, Dark Void didn’t get anywhere and perhaps with the exception of Clover Studio games (Viewtiful Joe, Okami), anything that Capcom released that was attempting to be new and original just fell flat on the floor.
So what now? Nowhere to be seen or mentioned. Much like any other ninja, he just shows up and disappears, probably never to be seen again. Maybe one day Capcom will revive the Strider series and release a great game or bring in him for Marvel vs Capcom 3. Until then, Strider Hiryu will just be on the benches.
For more information on the Strider series, the Striderpedia, a Wiki that details the (very little) information about the Strider games, manga and other media.