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"Just how many of you Hadoken-throwers are there, anyway?"
Fei Long on Gouken, Super Street Fighter IV

Perhaps the most basic form of Fighting Game character. Usually Jack of All Stats, this fighter's two most notable Special Attacks are a fireball or other projectile attack, and a rising physical attack, usually an uppercut (The standard versions of these are the Hadouken and Shoryuken). Wearing a gi or headband is optional. As you may have guessed, this character is typically based on Ryu, the protagonist of the Street Fighter series, and is often a protagonist themselves.

Note that having a projectile and something vaguely resembling an uppercut will get this label slapped on a character regardless of which moves are actually their most notable (a "true" Shotoclone also uses the same "quarter circle forward" and "dragon punch" (forward, down, down-forward) joystick motions, respectively). It's a very simple thing to qualify for, really!

The term Shotoclone comes from the English localization of Street Fighter II for the Super NES, which identified the fighting style used by Ryu and Ken as Shotokan Karate in the instruction manual. The martial art of Ryu and Ken has never been given a proper name in the Japanese versions (or in the games themselves), although the back-story in later games reveals that Gouken (Ryu and Ken's master) developed the fighting style from the original assassination art he learned with his brother Akuma from their master Goutetsu. For the record, Ryu and Ken's original moveset is largely based on Shotokan karate (no, not the special moves!), while in later games Ken's technique - notably his kicks - moved towards Kyokushin, in a textbook example of Divergent Character Evolution.

The Japanese term "Ansatsuken" (literally "assassination art", a martial art made for killing) has been misinterpreted by English-speaking fans as the name of Ryu and Ken's fighting style and has replaced "Shotokan" in recent localizations as the name of Ryu and Ken's style. Despite this, "ansatsuken" is not the actual name of Ryu and Ken's specific fighting style but a Japanese neologism commonly used in many martial art-related fiction to classify any hand-to-hand style with the capability of causing the death of an opponent. Gen's distinctively non-"Shoto" style has also earned the "Ansatsuken" classification as well in the Japanese continuity. The term actually predates even the first Street Fighter game, being used in Fist of the North Star to describe Hokuto Shinken, the martial art used by Kenshiro to cause his opponent's heads to explode.

The equivalent term of "Shotoclone" used by Japanese fandom is "Ryu/Ken-type"[1] (or "Ryu-type" for simplification purposes).

No relation to Send in the Clones. Do not confuse with Shotacon, and God help you if you do. Subtrope of Fountain of Expies.

Examples of Shotoclone include:
  • The Trope Maker, of course, is the Street Fighter series itself. Ryu and Ken began purely as headswaps, and although rather more lethal, Akuma's style is not far from their own (due to Akuma training under Goutetsu with Gouken, Ryu and Ken's sensei). Dan, who is considered a Joke Character, tends to at least share Ryu and Ken's basic techniques; although his specials are different, they tend to fit the fireball/uppercut/special-kick roles. Sakura may or may not be a Ryu-type; her unusual permutations of Ryu's special moves (and some different basic moves) shift her away from the model, but how different she is varies from game to game.
    • In the gaiden series Street Fighter EX, there are Allen Snider and Kairi, though the former mixes in some kickboxing moves with the usual fireball and uppercut, while the latter has a Dan-style flying kick and gains an entirely different fireball and supers in later games.
    • Sagat shares Ryu's projectile/uppercut profile with his Tiger Shot and Tiger Upper/Tiger Blow, and like Ryu, it's frequently the bread-and-butter of his strategy. However, Sagat lacks any Hurricane Kick equivalent (his Tiger Crush is really more like a knee-based version of the Shoryuken) and can fire hit projectile low.
    • Sakura has variations on Ryu's moves (since she learned them by watching him in action). In Street Fighter IV, her Hadoken can be charged for more damage but less range. Her Shoryuken move covers more horizontal ground than vertical and her Whirlwind Kick is distinctly weaker than Ryu's (most notably that it doesn't cause knockdown).
    • Gouken from Street Fighter IV is a variation. Despite being the one who trained Ryu and Ken and practicing the same martial art as them and Akuma, his actual play style is very different. His Hadoken can be fired at different angles, his "Shoryuken" input is a horizontal dashing punch that travels through projectiles, and his his Hurricane Kick travels straight upward. He can only use the Shoryuken proper as a Super Combo or Ultra Combo.
      • Ironically, considering he's the teacher of the other Shoto-characters, the fact that he performs those same moves differently implies that everyone else is performing them wrong.
    • Sean is often compared as the Street Fighter III equivalent of Dan and while his story arc in the trilogy is somewhat comical in nature, especially in 3rd Strike his skills in the first two installments was competent. In New Generation and 2nd Impact, Sean was a top-tier character, but is made nearly useless in 3rd Strike. Since 3rd Strike is the last and most popular installment of the III series and was on the market for ten years before the release of Street Fighter IV, Sean's joke character status was pretty much cemented by then. And he somewhat subverts the mold, however slightly; he learned his moves by mimicking Ken but can't replicate them exactly, leading to relatively minor differences in many of his specials. He also doesn't have a proper projectile.
      • Accounting for the three games, Sean would more accurately straddle the line between Sakura (what with being to Ken what she was to Ryu) and Dan.
  • The King of Fighters and its originating Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting series has several of these. Terry Bogard is a bit different, as his projectile travels along the ground and his (one of two) uppercut(s) is (traditionally) a charge move. His brother Andy, however, is right on the mark with both (though his fireball becomes a close range attack in some games). Ryo Sakazaki and Robert Garcia, and Art of Fighting in general, is really a big old nod to Street Fighter, though the two have all sorts of other moves just from the first AOF; Capcom created Dan Hibiki as a parody of this game and its characters. The KOF original characters Kyo Kusanagi and Iori Yagami started as Ryu-esque (or maybe Terry-esque), and while Iori has remained so, Kyo traded his fireball for a complicated series of chain punches very early on (though an "old" version of Kyo typically appears in many games).
    • Iori loses this status in XII and XIII due to losing his powers at the hands of Ash Crimson (who is a Guile/Charlie/Remy knockoff himself, particularly the latter) and starts using some moves centered more around his slashing hands, though he gains said pyrokinetic abilities back at the end of XIII, and a flame-using Iori is available as a bonus character in that game.
  • Demitri Maximoff and Morrigan Aensland of Capcom's Darkstalkers series are fundamentally the Ryu and Ken there. They've started as far more different though, especially in visual style; one being an aristocratic vampire bachelor and the other being a sexy succubus helps a lot. Lilith, from Savior, is a sort of "Dan" character based on Morrigan, though she's still quite a bit better than poor old Dan...
    • Demitri has his relatively different Bat Spin instead of a Tatsumaki, but Morrigan is given Lilith's spinner in Pocket Fighter plus Ryu's good old Shinkuu version as a super.
  • Hanzou and Fuuma from World Heroes, and they can even fire a "double" version of that fireball!
    • Sasuke and Kamui from Ninja Master's: Haō Ninpō Chō, sort of "descendents" of the above.
  • Anthony Hawk and Masamichi Ohyama from Battle K-Road also could arguably count; their movesets aren't ripoffs (the whole game plays pretty different from most 2D fighters), but they definitely represent the Ryu and Ken of that game.
  • Cool from Daraku Tenshi - The Fallen Angels is basically Guile as a main character! His visual design would be refined into K' of The King of Fighters fame, and it's already been mentioned where the rest of the character went...
  • Dave from Holosseum is Jack of All Stats, and also wears a gi outfit, but his moveset is nothing like Ryu and Ken's.
  • Arnold and especially Mr. Chin from Burning Rival.
  • Kain Blade from Golden Axe: The Duel.
  • Gurianos and Diokles from Blandia. It should be noted that Blandia is the sequel to a very different playing game that predates the original Street Fighter.
  • Jin from Martial Champion has a few similar moves to Ryu and Ken's.
  • Shades and Aska from Raging Fighter have Hadouken-like moves, while Miyabi has a Tatsumaki Senpū Kyaku-like move.
  • Yamato from Dragoon Might has a Shoryuken-like move.
  • Astronots and Cools. Roy from Rakugakids.
  • Star Savior from Perfect Soldiers has a few similar moves to Ryu and Ken's.
  • Rob Vincent from Knuckle Heads has a few similar moves to Ryu and Ken's.
  • The Schmeiser mech (piloted by Hiro) from Schmeiser Robo only has a flying, electric uppercut move like Ryu's Shoryuken.
  • Syoh from Battle Master - Kyuukyoku no Senshitachi.
  • Susano from Ragnagard, the Spiritual Successor of Battle Master.
  • Syoh and Zazi from Dead Dance; however, their uppercut moves slide first before moving straight upward.
  • Joe from Power Athlete, but only for his projectile move and gi outfit.
  • Raiya Mikazuchi from Tōkidenshō Angel Eyes; however, her projectile can be shot in multiple directions, while her Shoryuken-style move isn't that similar by how it flows. Instead of the pushing effect of Ryu's Shoryuken, Raiya's stays attached to her opponent before unleashing. Her desperation move also resembles Ryu's Shinku Hadouken, but only smaller while shot with one hand.
  • Lau Tak, an actor from some Jackie Chan films, has a similar move set in Jackie Chan the Kung Fu Master, and its updated version, Jackie Chan in Fists of Fire: Jackie Chan Densetsu.
  • Riggs from Shadow War of Succession also could arguably count.
  • Kazuya from Kaiser Knuckle and its updated version, Dan-Ku-Ga; however, his uppercut slides first before going upward.
  • Han Baedal and Kim Hoon from Fight Fever; however, due to Fight Fever being modeled after Fatal Fury 2/Fatal Fury Special and Art of Fighting both than Street Fighter II, they appear to also mock Ryo Sakazaki and Robert Garcia by having flying kicks and exclusive special rapid moves (Han's is a rapid punch move like Ryo Sakazaki's, while Kim's is a rapid kick move like Robert Garcia's). And while Han Baedal is Korean, he seems more faithful to the legendary Karateka also from South Korea, Masutatsu Oyama than Ryu is. For Kim Hoon, his look and stage match Ryo Sakazaki more than Ken Masters. In fact, Fight Fever's developer Viccom was SNK's Korean distributor who exchanged ideas with SNK while KOF '94 was in development at the same time and had the Art of Fighting characters' stage take place in Mexico.
  • Fulgore and Jago from Killer Instinct. Black Orchid also could arguably count.
  • Hoya from Viccom's other fighting game, The Eye of Typhoon.
  • Johnny Cage in Mortal Kombat since Mortal Kombat 2. Liu Kang is Jack of All Stats, wears a headband, shoots fireballs (though commands are different), and shares some similarities with Bruce Lee. Ryu was planned to be remodeled after Kenshiro from the Fist of the North Star, who was also modeled after Bruce Lee.
  • Galaxy Fight: Universal Warriors
    • Rolf is Jack of All Stats and has the same special move motions.
    • Bonus-kun from the same game and Waku Waku 7 is a flat-out parody of Ryu, being basically a sentient punching bag with Ryu's headband and moveset. Also, from the second game, there's Rai, who has a Shoryuken-like uppercut move, but a projectile move similar to Terry Bogard's Power Wave and Round Wave moves. And Arina.
  • Astra Super Stars: Test-kun from is another parody of Ryu, being basically a blue, hand-drawn stick figure.
  • Max from Power Quest. However, it was published in Japan as Gekitō Power Modeler by Capcom.
  • Neo and Geo in Joy Mech Fight, but with rapid kicks like Chun-Li's Lightning Kick. However, Joy Mech Fight appears to be paying tribute to Capcom's Mega Man and Street Fighter franchises.
  • Mario, Luigi, and Dr. Mario in Super Smash Bros
  • Eiji Shinjo and Kayin Amoh from Battle Arena Toshinden are basically Ryu and Ken with swords. Kayin even incorporates more kicks in his style like Ken does in later Street Fighter games. There's also Sho Shinjo, who is basically the Akuma of the series.
  • Batsu (and all versions thereof) and Hideo Shimazu in Rival Schools. Sakura from Street Fighter also makes an appearance. In the original information for the game, Capcom said that Hideo copied Ryu's moves and claimed them for himself, but this seems to have been dropped in the final release.
    • Roy Bromwell uses a lot of Shoryuken moves.
    • In Tatsunokovs Capcom, Batsu refers to Ryu's fighting style as "Shimazu fighting style", and says "it seems like everyone's using it these days."
    • In Nekketsu Seisyun Nikki 2, Hinata Wakaba claims to be a student of the "Masters style of Karate", a reference to Ken Masters of course, which explains why some of her special moves have a flame effect to them.
  • In Capcom vs. Whatever games, Ryu, Ken, Dan, Akuma, Sakura, Morrigan, and Batsu all put in appearances, as do Cyclops, Spider-Man, Captain America, Ippatsuman, and the aforementioned Terry and Ryo.
    • With Marvel vs. Capcom 3 approaching, it also looks like Deadpool will be joining the list, courtesy of his ability to perform THE Shoryuken carrying over from the comics and gunslinging habits.
      • In a sense. His Shoryuken is merely a Launcher Move with little horizontal range (much like Dan's Koryuken) and his guns have more functionality as they're rapid fire SMGs and he can aim them forward, low (on the ground), diagonally up, and diagonally down (in the air). Deadpool is more of a subversion if anything, but who ever said that Deadpool would play by the rules in the first place?
  • In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tournament Fighters games, Leonardo becomes the Ryu-type. Michaelangelo would be one as well, if his uppercut attack weren't a charge move.
  • Kirby's Fighter copy skirted the edge of this trope, but the Capcom developed Amazing Mirror made went all the way.
    • Return to Dream Land even featured the same button input for a Hadoken.
  • Sol Badguy and Ky Kiske from Guilty Gear. Sol's "fireball" being a wave of flame (similar to Terry's Power Wave from the first FF). They both carry swords too, so maybe they're more "inspired" by Eiji and Kayin...
  • In the Humongous Mecha Fighting Game One Must Fall: 2097 the Jaguar mech had a projectile and a leap attack. Though its leap attacked more forward then upward.
    • The Katana may be an even better fit. It has a horizontally-spinning attack like the Hurricane Kick, an invincible Dragon Punch equivalent, and, when fully powered up, a Fireball.
  • Avdol in the Fighting Game incarnation of Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure. Considering how absolutely crazy most of the other characters' fighting styles are, it can actually be refreshing to have someone familiar.
  • The Dagger fighting style in Soul Calibur 3. The Hadoken is throwing an infinite supply of bombs.
  • X, in Mega Man X and X2, alternately can get the Hadoken and Shoryuken as secret moves, with the same joystick input as Ryu. He can't have them both at the same time, though, since they appear in different games.
    • The Xtreme Gaiden Game series have a secret capsule allowing X to use both.
    • X4 features Magma Dragoon, who is basically an Expy of Akuma and uses many of the latter's moves, actually shouting the names for the attacks.
    • X8 also grants X the Shoryuken as an unlockable move.
    • As long as we're talking about Mega Man, the two arcade gaiden games for the original series gave Mega Man a very shoryuken-esque attack, and Bass' victory pose in the second game would have him "powering up" like Akuma. (Though not the same pose, the similarity is apparent.)
  • Samurai Shodown. Haohmaru's Senpuuretsuzan and Kougetsuzan. Genjuro is arguably the Ken to his Ryu.
  • God Hand lets you give the main character jumping spin kicks, ballerina uppercuts and a couple projectiles.
  • Little Fighter 2 character Davis uses the Shoryuken and also has energy blasts. His uppercut is easily his most powerful and useful move. The Tatsumakisenpukakyu also makes an appearance in the game, through another character.
  • Averted in Blaz Blue; the main character Ragna has no true fireballs or other full-screen ranged moves whatsoever (though he does have a "shoryuken" style move in his Inferno Divider), and his moveset is built around ground combo chains. The only characters that comes close to being a Ryu-type is Jin (who's just Ky Kiske with ice attacks), and Makoto, though her projectiles work oddly.
    • The character Naoto Kurogane happens to have some vibes from some previous SNK protagonists (namely Kyo (only Banishing Fang rekka and shoto stance), K’ (powerful right arm attack), Terry (jumping command kick), and Rock (the Slash Kaid and Divine Smasher)), including Vergil (Rising Sun-style move Phantom Pain) and Sol (a Volcanic Viper-like Inferno Crusader)
  • Arm Joe features a nameless, rank-and-file Policeman as one of the playable characters, and his moves are heavily based on Ryu, Ken, and Akuma, with even a little bit of Ryo Sakazaki thrown in for good measure; he has the fireball, the rising uppercut, super versions of both, and even does Akuma's signature Shun Goku Satsu. This is probably a parody; as noted, the Ryu-type in this game is a nameless policeman and not remotely the main character.
  • Super Cosplay War Ultra features Rario, who is basically Ryu and Mario put into the Brundlefly machine.
  • Sho Kamui from Breakers and its updated version Breakers Revenge, has some moves that resemble Ryu and Ken's, as well as some by Ryo Sakazaki and Robert Garcia's (e.g. rapid punch).
  • Reiji Oyama in the Power Instinct series; Keith Wayne and his successor Chris Wayne from Groove on Fight: Power Instinct 3 follow the formula somewhat but he's a more obvious riff on Terry Bogard from the Fatal Fury series, even having Terry's long hair from Garou: Mark of the Wolves in Matrimelee.
  • Billy and Jimmy Lee in the Double Dragon fighting game based on the movie that was released for the Neo Geo. Their special moves consists of a Shoryuken-esque jumping hand slice (Rekkuha) and a hurricane kick (Ryubisen). However, instead of a projectile, their Hadoken-command move is a flying double punch (Soushuga) similar to Terry's Burn Knuckle from the Fatal Fury series (however, it replaced with a proper projectile during their transformed state). As if that wasn't enough, Billy's main super move is an enhanced version of the Hadoken-style move, while Jimmy's main super move is an enhanced version of the Shoryuken-style move, just like Ryu and Ken respectively.
    • However, the Ryubisen is based on the spin kicks from the original Double Dragon games, but they still don't predate Ryu and Ken's hurricane kicks.
  • Gowcaizer from Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer is Jack of All Stats, while the only move he has that resembles one of Ryu and Ken's moves is his flying uppercut move, while his projectile is more like Terry Bogard's. One of his winning taunts also resembles one of Ryu and Ken's.
  • Parodied in Bleach: Dark Souls with Kon, a 1-foot tall, sentient plush lion whose moves are almost exact copies of "Hadoken", "Shoryuken", and "Tatsumaki Senpyukyaku", even using the same commands.
    • The main character, Ichigo, is also a Ryu-type. He differs from most Ryu-types in that his projectile is a tall arc of energy that travels along the ground, and his anti-air hits on the way up and on the way down.
  • Pretty much the joke behind this picture of Lyoto Machida, being the only high-profile MMA fighter with a Shotokan karate background, much less actually using any of it in the cage.
  • Yuka and Tamao from the Variable Geo series. Like Billy and Jimmy Lee in the Double Dragon fighting game, Yuka and Tamao also have their own enhanced versions of the Hadouken and Shoryuken-style moves.
  • Honda Asuka from the Asuka 120% series. Toyota Karina also could arguably count.
  • Seifuku Densetsu Pretty Fighter, a Japanese-only Bishoujo Series fighting game released on the Super Famicom and later ported to the Sega Saturn, featured a Sailor Fuku-clad young woman who was able to execute both a Hadoken and Shoryuken-esque special move, and doubled as The Mario.
  • Marco and Urs from Battle Fantasia.
  • Non-fighting game example: Suikoden II features characters equipped with runes which allow them to execute shotoclone moves, such as Zamza and his Fire Dragon Rune and Wakaba with her White Tiger Rune. Also present in Suikoden III if you equip a martial artist type character with the Lion Rune.
  • Non-game example: The Murasame brothers from Sasameki Koto are clearly modeled after Ryu, and are pretty much copypasted as if they were on an assembly line, right down to their expressions and poses.
  • Makoto Mizoguchi in the Fighters History series, although he didn't get the uppercut until later, but it slides first before going straight up, while Ryu and Ken's go straight diagonally upward.
    • While Ryu's SFII look was originally remodeled after Kenshiro from Fist of the North Star, Makoto Mizoguchi was modeled after Momotaro Tsurugi from Sakigake!! Otokojuku.
  • Heart Aino of Arcana Heart has a virtually identical moveset to roughly half of Ryu/Ken's -- the non-projectile parts. The other half is on her default Arcana. Given the way Arcana work, you can add Shotoclone moves to any other character, or pair it up with Heart to get the full set.
  • Marisa Kirisame's default specials in the later Touhou fighter games (Scarlet Weather Rhapsody and Hisoutensoku) include a Shoryuken-style broom uppercut (done with a DP motion) and a barrage of star-shaped projectiles (quarter-circle forward motion). All characters have a QCF move, and all but one have one triggered by the shoryuken sequence; most QCF attacks are a projectile, laser or other forward-oriented attack, and the dragon punch one is most frequently an anti-air attack or forward dash.
  • Ickybod Clay in Clay Fighter 63 1/3 has a pumpkin throw as his Hadoken and Squirm Like a Worm as his Shoryuken. He is not a main character though, nor was there a Shotoclone in the previous Clay Fighter games.

Notes

  1. リュウケンタイプ, All About Capcom Head-to-Head Fighting Game 1987-2000, page 285
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