A tribute to Dan Hibiki by Jess Ragan, now with more Street Fighter IV coverage!


Well, not totally out.  I've taken the liberty of moving the updates from the last decade to their own legacy section, because it really was time for some fresh blood on this page.  If you want to see David Graham's drawing of Dan as Snake from Metal Gear Solid, the Q&A session with Aaron Thacker, and of course, that ridiculous Dan Hibiki rap, you can find them all here.

So, what's new on Saikyo Crusher?  Well, this update is all about Street Fighter IV.  The surprise sequel to the long-running but nearly-as-long-dormant Street Fighter series was released last year, with an even more impressive upgrade hitting store shelves in May.  If you're a fan of Dan Hibiki at all, you either already own one of these games or should feel deeply ashamed that you don't.  (Don't worry, there's always time to fix that mistake!  Head over to Amazon and get yourself a copy of Super Street Fighter IV right away... you deserve it!)

Dan Hibiki doesn't steal the show in either game, but the designers did perfectly capture his essence.  Especially memorable is his Sisshou Burai-Ken, a thoroughly humiliating beatdown of his opponent, and the way he runs away from his rival during a backward dash.  As a fighter, he's... well, Dan, but he's no less powerful than he was in Street Fighter Alpha 2, and Capcom tipped the scales slightly in his favor in the recent update.  It is possible to beat opponents in online matches using Dan, and believe me, victory has never been sweeter.

I've included references to Street Fighter IV in the move list, including the EX enhancements for all his special moves and the two Ultra moves exclusive to those games.  Also, I've changed the evolutionary chart (because the black and green grid in the last one was really getting to my eyes), popped in the best quotes from Super Street Fighter IV, and fixed any typos I could find.  There weren't any monumental changes made to the page... just necessary ones.

Before I go, I probably should mention Marvel vs. Capcom 3.  Dan hasn't been confirmed as a playable character in the game (although it would be a damn shame if he weren't in there), but there has been footage of Deadpool floating around the internet.  For those of you unfamiliar with him, Deadpool is a Marvel Comics character with a sizable cult following, who's essentially a parody of the DC Comics villain Deathstroke (who you may remember as "Slade" from the Teen Titans animated series).  Instead of being pathetic like Dan, he's just plain nuts, lusting after the late Bea Arthur and taking his job as a murderous mercenary almost as seriously as Jon Stewart does his late night news anchor gig.

Deadpool is no less wacky in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, proudly crowing "I loves me some pineapples!" whenever he drops grenades and scolding the player for pressing the wrong button after he's beaten.  Rumor has it that his best super move involves him ripping the life bar from his side of the screen and clobbering his opponent with it!  Early footage of the game suggests that the "merc with a mouth" may be a little exhausting to play after a few rounds thanks to his habit of repeating lines, but it's nevertheless comforting to know that Capcom hasn't lost its sense of humor after all these years.  Now let's get Dan in there for a truly epic comedic crossover!


Well, I'll be Danned!That was, and is, Dan Hibiki.  Dan was created by Capcom as a release for their frustration with rival SNK, which has been the Royal Crown to Capcom's Coke for nearly a decade... ever since it released the games Fatal Fury and The Art of Fighting for its Neo-Geo.  The Neo-Geo was originally designed as an affordable arcade system with replaceable cartridges.  These cartridges usually contained games similar to popular titles that pool halls, convenience stores, and arcade operators on a tight budget just couldn't afford... for instance, Burning Fight and Ninja Combat were a lot like Capcom's Final Fight, and Magician Lord was a hybrid of Sega's Shinobi series and Shadow of the Beast for the Amiga line of computers (while this never was an arcade game, Beast was hugely popular in the late 1980's, and SNK felt that its stunning graphics and fast, simple gameplay would work even better in arcades).  Fatal Fury was created as a cheap alternative to Street Fighter II, and it probably would have been the Neo-Geo's last one-on-one fighting game... if it hadn't been for SFII's surprising success.  It wasn't long before SNK changed its business strategy and transformed the Neo-Geo from a system with something for everyone to a weapon whose chambers were loaded with dozens of Street Fighter II killers.  At least, that's what SNK hoped they'd be.  Unfortunately for them, most of the fighting games on the Neo-Geo just bounced off Capcom's chest like so many contrived BBs.

Capcom put up with this at first... Fatal Fury wasn't exactly like Street Fighter II, and its tiny selection of characters insured that people would always play their game first if given the chance.  But then SNK released The Art of Fighting, and Capcom got a little testy.  I can't really blame them for that... the star of SNK's game, Ryo Sakazaki, bore a disturbing resemblence to their own wandering warrior, Ryu Hoshino (or Hoshi, if you're going by the names in the Street Fighter film... but who'd want to do that?).  Their signature attacks were similar, their outfits were pretty much the same, and even their names were almost exactly alike.  Oddly, Capcom didn't break out the lawyers over this or World Heroes (a game that could just as easily have been called I Can't Believe It's Not Street Fighter), waiting instead for Data East's Fighter's History... but they did do something about it.  They taunted SNK, first with a comic in a short-lived Capcom newsletter.  In it, Ryu stumbles across a mysterious, yet achingly familiar fighter and manages to defeat him only AFTER coming up with a new move he hadn't ripped off yet.  Then came the picture of Sagat with his monstrous hand wrapped around the head of... wait, that isn't Ryo, is it?  SNK still wasn't getting the point, so Capcom took its frustration and anger, pounded it into a soupy pink mess, and sculpted it into a crude parody of the character that had leeched from them for years.  They took this statue, put it on the world's highest pedestal, threw a dozen blinding spotlights on it, and SCREAMED at the top of their lungs, "THIS IS DAN HIBIKI!!!"

To put it simply, Dan Hibiki is Ryo Sakazaki on a bad day... actually, his absolute worst day.  In the first two Art of Fighting games, Ryo had a spirit gauge which emptied as he performed special moves.  Once that meter was bone-dry, his best attacks became hilariously weak, and he was forced to taunt his opponent to leave them in the same position so he could channel his energy and bring himself back up to speed.  Dan, however, is pathetic right out of the starting gate, and his taunt is the best move he's got.  His projectile has all the distance of a thrown snowball on Mercury, his jumping uppercut has plenty of lift but no horizontal reach, and instead of a powerful hurricane kick, Dan's stuck with a jumping kick flail that delivers about as many hits as Vanilla Ice.  This, of course, leads us to the question...


Thanks to Aaron Thacker, the ninja's got a name!  Just call him... Flamingo.That's my friend Pat's reaction whenever I choose Dan.  Actually, since there are no worthwhile arcades in the mid-Michigan area, he usually just walks in the living room when I'm playing as Mr. Hibiki in Street Fighter Alpha 3 or Marvel vs. Capcom 2, mutters "Oh, brother..." under his breath, and walks right back out.  I'm sure other Saikyo-ites have had to put up with similar putdowns from their own friends, and that's a shame, because Dan is actually a lot of fun to play.  The reason I like him is that he's not as thunderously powerful as Ryu or Ken, yet because his fighting style is similar to theirs, I don't have to spend endless hours mastering entirely different (but just as wimpy) characters like Rolento or Cody.

Even if that doesn't appeal to you, Dan's amusing personality just has to win your over.  Now here's a guy who just doesn't get it... he's a rotten fighter, probably not worthy of the black belt he wears, yet he's absolutely convinced that his self-taught fighting style will revolutionize the world of martial arts, and thinks so highly of himself that he gives out autographs in the middle of matches!  This apparently rubbed off on Midway, who had its vengeance on actor Danny Pesina (who left its popular Mortal Kombat series to create his own guild for actors appearing in video games.  Wow, talk about your major league mistakes!) by reintroducing his character Johnny Cage in the fourth Mortal Kombat game... and turning him into a self-absorbed moron that nobody likes.  Unlike Dan, Johnny Cage's attacks weren't redesigned to make this obvious (why would Midway need to?  His moves already sucked!), but if you beat the Playstation version of MK4 with him, you get an ending that's quite different from those of the other fighters.  Johnny takes center stage at an awards ceremony and makes the unfortunate mistake of taking shots at the studio audience, who fire back with boos, hisses, and the occasional beer bottle.

Wait, wait, I was going somewhere with this.  Oh yeah... the reason why people like Dan (although many of them won't admit it!) is because they admire losers.  There was this great episode of Coach that perfectly illustrates my point.  Jerry Van Dyke stands up in a fancy restaurant and gives his friend this sage bit of advice... "You know, being a loser isn't so bad.  I mean, if you're a winner all your life, you start to expect victories, and when you finally lose you don't understand what happened... it just eats you up inside.  Losing doesn't bother a loser, though- they're used to it!  Besides, winners have their goals set way too high.  When a loser sets his goals, he just puts the bar down as far as possible so he can step right over it.  Hey, check this out!  I'm setting my bar!  And I'm clearing it, too!"  As Jerry also mentioned, losers don't have things like dignity to drag them down.  They can completely embarass themselves and they'll just get right back up and try again, whereas someone with more pride would be crushed by a single failure.  And that's why Dan keeps coming back for more fights- and more punishment.  No matter how many times he falls, he'll never be discouraged... and when he finally drops an opponent, that victory is far more special than any of Ryu's, who's wandered around the world for years, searching in vain for a battle that will truly satisfy him.


As you can see from this chart, the Hibiki heritage is a puzzle with a lot of pieces missing, and the few that are left sometimes fit together a little strangely.  At the top of the tree is Donovan, the vampire hunter (D?) from the Darkstalkers series.  He's rumored to be the great ancestor of Dan, and I can believe it... the family resemblence is obvious.  Not only is Donovan a parody of a video game character, in this case Simon Belmont from Castlevania, he's also got the same determined sneer and hairstyle as his great great grandson, complete with a lock of hair leaping from his forehead. 

Hundreds of years later, Dan's father Go was born... and unwisely decided to compete against Sagat in a Street Fighter tournament.  It's said that Sagat killed Go in a blind rage after one of his eyes were, um, forcefully removed in that battle, but Marvel vs. Street Fighter suggested that Go- or should I say GouKI- is alive and more powerful than ever.  Once Dan manages to beat Cyber Akuma (Mech Gouki) in that game, he stands over his bruised body and announces, "You've made a fool out of me for long enough!  Now we'll see who the REAL champion is!"  Before he's able to beat the 10W30 out of the cybernetic fiend, a girl in a Japanese school uniform (who looks disturbingly like Dan in drag) comes out of nowhere and shouts, "Don't do it, Dan!  That man is our... our..."  Although it's clear that this is a parody of the ending in the first Art of Fighting, you've still got to wonder if there's some truth to it. 

At the end of NightWarriors, Donovan eventually surrenders to his vampire urges and goes on a killing rampage, much like Akuma, who hunts down worthy opponents and fights them to the death.  Don't worry, though... if Dan does have vampire in him, it's been diluted to the point where instead of sucking blood, he just sucks. ^_^  Last on the tree is Dan, his still unnamed sister (Danielle?  Daniko?), and... wait a minute, how the hell did Balrog get in there?  The clue's in the 'do... both Dan and Balrog have that crazy starburst on their foreheads that's a Hibiki trademark.  Could they be distant cousins?

There's also buzz on the Internets that Ran Hibiki, the trigger-happy photographer from Project Justice, is related to Dan Hibiki in some way.  However, it's probably a safe bet that she's not the gender-swapped sister from Dan's ending in Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter.


SUPER STREET FIGHTER II: While Dan wasn't in this game, he first appeared in some press artwork promoting it.  The picture in question showed Sagat clutching an unworthy challenger's head like a basketball.  Surprisingly, Capcom built on the character and presented a playable version of him in...

STREET FIGHTER ALPHA:  The first Street Fighter game with taunts was also the first starring Dan.  In fact, you had to taunt uninterrupted in every round of the first five matches to get a crack at him.  Past this trademark association with taunts, Dan hadn't developed much of a personality, and it seemed as though he was shoehorned into the game... he shares voice samples with Ryu, his Gadoken animation doesn't look quite right (just look at the way he holds out his fist!  Weird...), and his ending is just terrible... all he does is roll back and forth, irritating the hell out of a nearby M. Bison and probably the player as well.  Lucky for us, he was reintroduced to the series in...

STREET FIGHTER ALPHA 2:  Dan was given full character status in this game... you didn't have to memorize a ridiculously long code to gain access to him, and he was given his very own voice, including such classic exclamations as "Oyajiii!" and "Yahooie!".  His relationship to Sagat was finally explained in detail, and Dan was even given the ability to build up his super energy by taunting... and the opportunity to waste it with a very showy (yet very risky) extended taunt.

SUPER PUZZLE FIGHTER II TURBO:  Dan's unremarkable abilities were made fifteen times worse in this already tough puzzle game, starring characters from two popular Capcom series (and that dumb mech game they released in Japan... but let's not go there).  I mean, sure, Dan's Gadoken may not do much damage, but at least it doesn't circle around and hit him in the back of the head.  Unfortunately, that's exactly what happens in Puzzle Fighter... in the game, you fight your opponent by dropping unusable gems into his playfield.  However, these gems don't stay useless forever, and will eventually change into a color after a certain number of turns (displayed on the counter gem's face).  Each character has their own pattern of colors for their counter gems, and Dan's is all red, all the time.  This leaves you three options if you insist on using Dan... the first is to fill the opponent's playfield with gems so quickly that he never has a chance to play the red orb necessary to destroy them all.  The second is to create layers of counter gems, so that when one batch of counter gems become red, you've got another line of unusable gems covering them.  The third is to, well, bend over and take it right in the couch cushion.  I have a friend who claims he can beat half his opponents with Dan... if this is in fact true, I hope he shows me mercy when he uses that 10,000 point IQ to conquer the world.

MARVEL SUPER HEROES VS. STREET FIGHTER:  Dan truly came of age here... if he were Jewish, this sequel to the popular tag-team fighting game X-Men vs. Street Fighter would have been his bar mitzvah.  And oy oh boy, what a celebration it was!  Some of Dan's best win quotes are in this game, including the classic "I'm sorry... no, you are!".  Dan also invented two great new moves to combat Marvel's powerful supervillians... the Premium Sign (which so far has only appeared in the Marvel vs. games) and the Otoko Michi, the energy hungry super attack that really puts the "blow" in death blow.  Dan even makes an appearance in two of the game's endings, and both of them are pretty funny, especially the one where he claims to be a cyborg and Akuma responds by both stripping him of his costume and knocking him into orbit with a single punch.

POCKET FIGHTER:  I consider this more of a walking billboard for Capcom than a legitimate extension of the Street Fighter series, but what the heck... it was fun for a little while, and it took licenses with the Street Fighter and Darkstalkers characters that wouldn't have been possible in Capcom's more serious games.  The cartoony environment benefitted the already amusing Dan the most... now, instead of just fighting and throwing the occasional autograph, he could break out the rhinestone jumpsuit and belt out a few lines from Kentucky Rain as well!  Dan could even rely on his dead father as both a heavy blunt object (Dan grabs his dad's corpse by the nose and swings him at opponents!) and a panic button when things looked bleak.

STREET FIGHTER ALPHA 3:  Mandi Paugh suggested that I include this game for the sake of completeness... I suppose it's only fair that I do, since the Dreamcast version IS subtitled "Saikyo Dojo".  So here it is.  To be honest, I tried to avoid listing it here before this because Dan didn't really evolve at all in Alpha 3... his new win quotes are so-so (pretty dull in comparison to his comments in Marvel vs. Street Fighter, actually), and he only has two new abilities.  One, the aerial kick flail, is pretty handy, but the other, a super move that locks him into taunt mode for a half minute, is both worthless and not really all that funny... the Premium Sign was a lot more entertaining.  Worst of all, the Dan Factor has been reduced to almost nothing in the Game Boy Advance version, where he's forced to borrow his voice from Ken and lets out only slightly self confident grunts while performing taunts.  The latest translation of Alpha 3 may have been wonderful for the rest of us, but not for Dan... he just doesn't have game here.

MATCH OF THE MILLENNIUM:  Dan's growth had hit a brick wall in Street Fighter Alpha 3... they hadn't given him any new moves except for a rather lame super that prevented him from doing anything but taunting for thirty seconds, and he didn't even get to keep the Premium Sign that made him so much fun to use in Marvel vs. Street Fighter.  Fortunately, when SNK made Match of the Millennium for the Neo-Geo Pocket, they paid special attention to Dan, giving him a hilarious super taunt (where he imitates everyone from Mai Shiranui- minus the boobs, thankfully- to Kyo Kusanagi from The King of Fighters) and some of the best win quotes he's ever had.  Unfortunately, SNK hints throughout the game that Dan is a clone of their own character Ryo... I guess they conveniently forgot that he was a PARODY of a character that was quite obviously a store brand imitation of Ryu, the star of the Street Fighter series.  Still, I'd have to say that this is Dan's best appearance in a video game so far, and it doesn't look like it'll be topped until Capcom releases a sequel to Pocket Fighter.

MARVEL VS. CAPCOM 2:  Dan wasn't improved in Street Fighter Alpha 3, and he wasn't getting any closer to the right end of the evolutionary chart here either.  There are three strikes against Hibiki in this game, and here they are... Strike 1:  Dan's moves weren't enhanced or improved.  Strike 2:  He's got nothing to say (there are no win quotes for anyone in the game, but this especially hurts Dan).  Strike 3:  You've got to earn Dan with versus points, and he's more expensive than a pardon from Bill Clinton in 2000 (or a gallon of gas in 2006, or cleaning up millions of gallons of gas in 2010!).  I would be upset about this, but since the game's got fifty-six playable characters, awesome polygonal backgrounds, three player teams, and split-second load times, let's just say that I've learned to live with it.

CAPCOM VS. SNK PRO:  Talk about an evolutionary backslide.  Dan is supposed to be a wimpy character, but Capcom took things too far when they introduced him to Capcom vs. SNK.  He's been (badly) redrawn, so not only is he uglier than he was in the Street Fighter Alpha series, his kicks and punches- especially the most powerful ones- have lost a lot of reach.  Similarly, his fireball (despite whoop-de-doo transparency effects) looks like crap and is even less effective than before.  You don't even have to block it... if you're close enough to Dan, it'll fly right past you, cheating him out of any damage at all AND making him vulnerable to your next attack.  Worst of all, the ratio system has definitely not worked to Dan's advantage... now his attacks are practically useless even if they DO connect because they do so little damage.

CAPCOM VS. SNK 2:  That's more like it, Capcom.  Dan's still drawn a little strangely but he doesn't seem quite as toned down (to nothing) as he was in Pro.  In fact, I fought a friend who created two custom characters, a Ratio 4 Ryu he named after himself and a Ratio 4 Dan recolored to look like my picture from Karate class, and I almost beat him.  My friend's a tough opponent, too, so Capcom must have put at least a little spike back into Dan's punch.

[Speaking of improvements, Capcom vs. SNK 2 is a lot better as well... it's got more characters and much more freedom of customization, although the backgrounds, 3D or not, didn't get my yayas up (the rooftop location is great, but the others... I dunno.  I never knew Woody from Toy Story was this fond of beer...).  That's fine, though, because like I said, there are many more fighters in this game, and unlike Capcom vs. SNK only a couple were bad choices.  I'm really impressed with Eagle... he was the best character in the first Street Fighter and he's definitely pulling his weight in this game.]

SNK VS. CAPCOM: SVC CHAOS:  Hey, look who's back!  Playmore managed to piece SNK back together from the scraps its previous owner, Aruze, had left behind.  To celebrate its return, Playmore has pitted its most popular characters against Capcom's in a Neo-Geo exclusive.  Among the fighters included is Dan Hibiki, a hidden character who challenges you in the third round of the game.  SNK's done a great job with their interpretation of the master of Saikyo, giving him additional moves, a slick new look, and some of the best lines of dialogue in the game.  You haven't had this much fun with Dan since the golden days of Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter!

STREET FIGHTER ALPHA ANTHOLOGY:  This isn't so much a new release as a collection of old ones.  Submitted for your approval are translations of Street Fighter Alphas 1, 2, Gold, and 3, along with the hilarious Pocket Fighter and an exclusive versus mode that lets you mix and match characters from all the Alpha games.  Dan appears in every one of the titles in this package, including the bonus game.  There's even the option to use the Saikyo superstar's fireball from Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter... although I'm not sure you'd want it, since it's even wimpier than it was in the Alpha games!

(SUPER) STREET FIGHTER IV:  I couldn't say this singlehandedly brought back 2D fighting games, since BlazBlue contributed to the resurrection of the genre... and King of Fighters XII tried desperately to put it back in its grave.  However, what I can say is that this is one of the best titles in the Street Fighter series, thanks to... are you ready for this?  Dimps.  The creators of the sublime handheld title Match of the Millennium are just as brilliant on the powerful Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, making a game that plays every bit as well as the last three Street Fighter releases and looks that much better thanks to slick cel-shaded graphics.  Dan Hibiki is also well represented... he doesn't outshine the rest of the cast like he did in Matchmo, but he's still great comic relief, flexing his muscles for the camera during victories and fleeing from opponents in his backward dash.  Surprisingly, he may not even be the silliest fighter this time, being given a run for his money by chatty, chubby Tai Chi expert Rufus and greasy Turkish wrestler Hakan (available only in the upgrade, Super Street Fighter IV). 


Here are the building blocks of Dan's Saikyo fighting style, including fireballs, jumping flail kicks, and most importantly, a wide variety of taunts.  Also listed are the joystick motions for each move, for both Capcom's Street Fighter games and SNK's Match of the Millennium if the motions differ.  Moves marked with "EX" can be doubled in strength in the Street Fighter IV games by tapping two buttons after entering the joystick motion shown.


   (all games)

Dan takes a handful of his inner strength and tosses it at his opponent in the form of a powerful ball of light.  Unfortunately, he can't put any distance on it, so the attack won't do him much good unless he gets in close to his opponent or uses it to counter other projectiles.  The Gadoken varies in effectiveness from game to game.  In Match of the Millennium, it's a pretty nifty move since the Neo-Geo Pocket's small screen keeps the fighters fairly close together, but in, say, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, you're not going to get too much mileage out of it since that game's super jump allows your sparring partner to keep a safe horizontal and vertical distance from you.  The best use for the Gadoken is to first jump at your opponent, throw a kick or punch, then perform the Gadoken just after you land to drive him back.  It won't knock him down, but it should give you just enough distance to escape before he tries a jumping uppercut or another similar move.  In Street Fighter IV, the Gadoken can be boosted to EX strength by pressing two punch buttons at the end of the joystick motion.  This extends the fireball's reach and doubles its power, but you'll have to sacrifice a segment of your Super meter to do it.

   (all games)

Dan leaps upward with his fist raised to the sky.  It's your ordinary, average jumping uppercut with both a flaw and the occasional benefit... on one hand, Dan's Koryuken doesn't have much horizontal range, but on the other hand, Dan will sometimes flash before taking to the air... if he does this, he can't be countered until he lands.  The frequency of this flash varies from game to game... it seems to happen most often in Match of the Millennium. On the flip side of the coin, Dan can't flash at all in the original Street Fighter Alpha, and was given the special point draining "What Gives?!" in Card Fighters' Clash instead of a small chance to avoid damage while attacking (in my opinion, this would have been a much better ability).

Aaanyway, the Koryuken is basically a toned-down dragon punch, and can be used just like one, although you'd be wise to get in close to your opponent before letting one fly.  Like most of Dan's moves, it has limited range, and overestimating its reach could land you right into the open (and unloving) arms of your opponent.  Also, when performing the Koryuken in SVC Chaos, be sure the joystick is held in the down-forward position before pressing the punch button... otherwise, the game won't recognize the motion and Dan won't perform the move.  While playing Street Fighter IV, you can juice up this attack by pressing two punch buttons instead of one.  An EX Koryuken has greater reach, more airtime, and strikes twice, but it drains a portion of your Super meter.  Think carefully about doing this if you've got the meter nearly topped up.

   (all games)

Dan's jumping flail kick is one of his better moves, although it's still nowhere near as cool as the attack that inspired it, Ryo Sakazaki's Hien-Shippu-Kyaku.  Ryo would leap into his opponent like a bullet, plant a flaming foot into his stomach, then knock him away with a roundhouse kick to the head.  The Dankukyaku is a bit more humble, dishing out up to three jump kicks with just enough pause between them to allow the opponent to sneak in a quick dragon punch.  Still, it puts pressure on your foe, and a strong Dankukyaku can really leave a mark if all three of the kicks connect.  In Street Fighter Alpha 3, Dan gained the ability to perform the Dankukyaku in mid-air... this is a superb escape tactic because if you perform the flail kick at the top of a jump, it sends Dan safely over his opponent and to the opposite edge of the screen.  Hit two kick buttons in Street Fighter IV and, for the cost of a portion of your Super energy, Dan performs a Hien-Shippu-Kyaku instead.

  (SVC Chaos only)

Oddly, Dan doesn't have a super fireball in SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos.  The good news is that he can break out a really large Gadouken anytime he feels like it, even if his super meter is bone dry.  After the move is performed, Dan leans backward slightly, charges a ball of energy in his hands, then unleashes a projectile that's more firewall than fireball.  On the downside, it takes a couple of seconds for Dan to fully charge the attack, making him vulnerable during the entire time.  Worse yet, the Shin Gadouken has little to no reach, just like Dan's smaller projectiles.  Don't expect to get a lot of mileage out of this attack... it was included as a tongue-in-cheek reference to Dan's similarities to both Robert Garcia and his friend Ryo Sakazaki.

 + (SVC Chaos only)

This is Dan's first ever counter attack, a parody of a similar move used by Takuma Sakazaki in the King of Fighters games.  Dan summons all his power (what power he has, anyway...), intercepts his enemy's attack, then strikes back with a devastating punch that knocks the assailant away.  Unfortunately, since Dan hasn't quite mastered his newest move yet, he sprains his hand on the opponent's chest!  Dan then crouches down, clutching his injured hand with his back turned away, probably to hide the tears streaming down his face.  He continues to nurse his wound for about a second before he turns around, gives a reassuring thumbs up to the player, and stands to fight once again.  Once again, this is more of a novelty than a useful attack.  It's surprisingly tough to perform, and the player is left vulnerable while Dan recovers from his self-inflicted injuries.  Luckily, the opponent is knocked so far away that they're rarely given a chance to retaliate.

  (Marvel vs. games only, NOT the M-ism mode in Street Fighter Alpha Anthology)

Trust me, I'm not keeping anything from you... the Premium Sign was only recently introduced (in 1997's Marvel vs. Street Fighter) and isn't available in most of Dan's games, including Match of the Millennium. Consider this retouched graphic a visual aid. 

Anyways, the Premium Sign is and probably will remain Dan's only long-distance projectile.  Dan whips out an 8"x10" glossy, signs it, then flings it at his opponent, who he assumes will be ecstatic to get an autograph from such an incredible martial artist.  Instead, the photo, in true Dan style, hits the other player in the forehead and gives them a paper cut.  To add insult to (minimal) injury, you'll be rewarded with a screen flash if you can finish off your last opponent with the Premium Sign.  OK, so that's not likely to happen, since it takes Dan a while to scribble his name onto the picture, and even after he tosses it, it doesn't exactly rip through the air at lightning speed. 

Still, you could always use it if you're out of super energy and still want to make it clear to your opponent (and everyone in the room) that you've kicked his keister.  Also, you can use the light Premium Sign to snuff out fireballs, or mix the occasional snapshot in with your more substantial moves to annoy your rival and amuse your friends. 

Sadly, you're not going to find this signature move in the recently released Street Fighter Alpha Anthology... Dan has an M-ism mode there that's supposed to give him all his moves from the Marvel vs. series, but the Premium Sign is conspicuously absent.  For shame, Capcom!

TAUNT, duck and TAUNT, jump then TAUNT
(in Match of the Millennium, +)
(in Street Fighter IV, +)

Dan wasn't much more than a palatte swap of Ryu and Ken in the original Street Fighter Alpha, but he did have one ability that they, and the rest of the game's cast, didn't... while they could only taunt once per round, he could do it as often as he wanted.  In Street Fighter Alpha 2, Dan could taunt on land, in the air, and even in the sea (if that puddle in Gen's round counts...), and taunting gave him a slight boost in super energy, a feature that would become even more useful when he was paired up with partners in Marvel vs. Street Fighter. 

There is a downside to this, of course... when you taunt, you can't fight or defend yourself, and unless you've put a good distance between yourself and your opponent, they can drop a combo on you while you're nailed to the floor.  And if you're playing one of the Marvel vs. games, it doesn't matter how far you are from the other player... they can quite literally fire a screen-engulfing laser at you faster than you can say "Oh-shabu-sha!" 

Your best bet is to use taunts defensively, and pass the super energy gained from them onto your partner unless you're confident that Dan's own supers will do the job.  And whenever you jump away from your enemy, especially in the Marvel vs. games, let out a "Yahooie!" so the leap will serve two purposes... to preserve the life you've got left and to charge up your super meter.

Oh yes, one more thing... in Street Fighter IV, the taunt serves no purpose except to annoy your opponent.  Don't waste a lot of time with it unless you're extremely confident you can win, because it won't charge Dan's Super or Revenge meters.

 TAUNT to roll forward (in Match of the Millennium, press  +)
 TAUNT to roll backward (in Match of the Millennium, press  +)
(not available in Street Fighter IV)

Rolling taunt!  Roooollling taaaaunt!  This is Dan's answer to the defensive roll Ken earned in Street Fighter Alpha 2, only Dan ends his with an insult.  I don't recommend using this because it gives your adversary two chances to tag you- the first is while you're rolling away (rather slowly, I might add), and the second is when Dan gets up and shakes his fist.  And the forward roll? Oy... You might as well forget that exists.  Only use the rolling taunt if you're really desperate for super energy, because it'll charge you up faster than the stationary or jumping taunts.  The Rolling Taunt is conspicuously absent from Street Fighter IV and its recent update, so in the unlikely event that it's a cornerstone of your strategy, you'd better come up with a new one fast.


  (all games but SVC Chaos)

 (Super Street Fighter IV)

An enhanced version of Dan's fireball, this drains one level of his super meter but has a lot more juice than the regular Gadoken, doing a great deal more damange and travelling a lot further. The Shinkuu Gadoken was practically a wrecking ball in Marvel vs. Street Fighter, doing immense damage at point blank range.  The move lost a lot of that pepper in the Alpha games, although you could get some distance from it if you put a full meter of super energy behind it.  Match of the Millennium balances out the Shinkuu Gadoken a bit... however, if you have a full super meter when you perform it, Dan charges up for about two seconds and lets go of Ryo's fireball, the Haoh-Oh-Ken, instead!  Super Street Fighter IV makes the Art of Fighting reference even more obvious and unflattering, calling the attack the "Haoh Gadoken" and knocking Dan flat on his keister after he performs it.

Generally, your best bet is to treat the Shinkuu Gadoken like its less powerful cousin, softening up your opponent with a jump kick or punch then letting them have it with the attack when you land.  That way, you'll be nice and close to the enemy and the Shinkuu Gadoken can do the most possible damage.  It's worth pointing out that Dan has been robbed of this attack in SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos.  However, he has a similar move, the Shin Gadouken, which can be performed at any time, with or without energy stored in your super meter.

  (all games but Street Fighter IV)

Yeech!  With a move like this it's no wonder most gamers don't give Dan the respect he deserves.  Dan leaps into the air with a Koryuken, then does another, higher one. Neither of them have any reach, and the odds of them doing any useful damage are about as high as finding a parent who would leave their child in an empty room with Michael Jackson. The worst part about this mistake is that it's very easy to perform by mistake, so practice a bit and try to disassociate the kick button with double fireball motions.  In the games without the Premium Sign, don't use fireball motions with the kick button at all... that way, you'll never have to worry about performing the dreaded Koryurekka by accident.

  (all games except Street Fighter IV)
 (Street Fighter IV)

Way back in the original Art of Fighting, Ryo Sakazaki was given a secret attack that could only be performed when his life was low and his inner strength was high.  Once performed, Ryo would pounce toward his enemy and invest his ki in a kicking, punching, clawing, maiming, stop with the hurting dance of death that was without a doubt the most powerful attack in any fighting game available at the time. 

Dan's Hishou Burai-Ken is a more conservative version of this attack... instead of rushing toward his opponent and hoping to connect with an opening blow, Dan wisely stays put and strikes repeatedly even if his first attack is unsuccessful.  This is different from most of the autocombos in Capcom's fighting games, which are an all or nothing bet... in an attack like Wolverine's Weapon X, if the first hit doesn't meet its target, you'll be left vulnerable, and your opponent will get the chance to make you regret your mistake.  However, if the Burai-Ken isn't successful, Dan's rapid-fire punches and kicks offer him some protection against counterattacks. 

Like the Shinkuu Gadoken, the strongest version of this attack was enhanced in Match of the Millennium... after he's done wailing on him, Dan pops his opponent into the air with an uppercut, then cocks back and waits to intercept the sap on his way down with an especially powerful punch.  Naturally, the punch misses and Dan's jaw hits the floor as the enemy drops safely to the ground.


(Street Fighter IV only)

It's just like the Hishou Burai-Ken, except different!  Much of the difference comes from the cinematic quality of the attack... Dan first prepares himself with a dramatic kata, then unleashes hell on his opponent with a series of devastating strikes.  He finishes with a water-powered uppercut that washes over his rival's jaw, then turns to the camera for a quick thumbs up. 

There's more to the Sisshou Burai-Ken than good looks, however!  As you'd expect from one of Street Fighter IV's Ultra Moves, it's more powerful than the standard Hishou Burai-Ken, but also more risky.  Rather than staying put, Dan races toward the opponent to land the first blow.  You'll know right away if it was a success if the camera zooms in to the face of the poor sap who's about to take a beating.  If the enemy blocks or dodges the opening strike, the camera will stay panned out as Dan trips and lands face-first on the floor, giving the opponent a chance to retaliate.  It goes without saying that you never want to start a Sisshou Burai-Ken unless you're confident you can finish it. 

Also, you truly dedicated fighting game nuts who ran out and bought Super Street Fighter IV should know that the upgrade will force you to choose between the Sisshou Burai-Ken or Dan's new move, the Gaoh Hadoken.  Once you've chosen one of his Ultra moves, you're stuck with it for the remainder of the game or until you switch characters.  Personally speaking, the Sisshou Burai-Ken is the best move for my money, and certainly the most entertaining.  However, if you're the kind of guy who absolutely insists on striking from a distance... uh, why the heck are you choosing Dan in the first place?!

, Marvel vs. series (includes the M-ism mode in Street Fighter Alpha Anthology) 
 , Match of the Millennium
, Street Fighter IV

People call this move "worthless", but worthless is such an ugly word. OK, well, in this case, it's also an accurate one.  But what the heck... even though a small child could knock you out of this extended taunt, it's still fun to try.  Dan's actions in the Chohatsu Densetsu vary from game to game... it's a rather plain series of rolling taunts in Street Fighter Alpha 2, but in Match of the Millennium, Dan will leave you rolling on the floor with his wacky imitations of Kyo, Sakura, Chun-Li, Mai, and Akuma.  These wacky hijinx weren't included in Capcom vs. SNK 2, sadly, but it does have the benefit of fully charging your super meter if you can finish the taunt.  It can be done, at least against a computer opponent... one of my adversaries just stood there watching the show while Dan spent several seconds rolling around squealing insults.


     (in Match of the Millennium,   )
(not available in the Alpha series or Street Fighter IV)

Dan glides toward his opponent on wings of fury, clutches him in a death grip, summons up all his inner strength, and creates an explosion that rips him to shreds.  Dan, that is.  Don't worry, though... his opponent is injured, too.  Well, a little.  Now you know what your parents meant when they said "this is gonna hurt me more than it hurts you!"  So what the heck use is an attack that bruises your opponent and puts you in a body cast?  Well, it's a great finisher in the Marvel vs. games if your enemy has lost one fighter and his other one is barely standing... the Otoko Michi is just the finger flick to the forehead you'll need to take him down for good. 

Just don't overestimate the Otoko Michi... the other player may have enough energy to survive the blast, but once Dan explodes, he'll be extremely vulnerable and won't be able to recover any of the energy he lost.  Also, the other player can wriggle out of Dan's grip by violently shaking the joystick and pounding the attack buttons... in this case, Dan doesn't explode but he still loses the three levels of super energy he needed to perform the attack.  And what else?  Oh, yeah, as I'm sure you've heard (probably either from Kao or Matt), the Otoko Michi is much more powerful in Marvel vs. Capcom 2, changing Dan from the game's comic relief to a powerful (but unreliable) smart bomb.  Just use Dan as you normally would, and when he's lost most of his energy, perform the Otoko Michi on your opponent's most annoying character (Wolverine comes to mind).  That fighter will lose half of their energy and all you'll have sacrificed is three levels of super meter and a team member who was already on the brink of defeat.



Dan has an instant ability called "What Gives?!" in both Card Fighter's Clash and the sequel, Expand Edition... when this card is played, both players lose six of their special points (used for creating teams of attacking characters or playing action cards).  This happens because in SNK's earlier fighting games, taunting would make your opponent lose super energy.  However, when Dan taunts, he GAINS super energy, so maybe that should have been his ability instead.


Dan makes a cameo appearance in this card... begging for mercy while in Sagat's clutches, naturally.  Anyway, this B ranked card has an ability called True Power... when used, both players must reveal their cards to one another, then discard any action cards they may have had.  It's a pretty raw deal for everyone involved, but on the plus side, Sagat's 1000 battle points makes him every bit as threatening as he was in the Street Fighter games.  The two special points he gives you are a nice plus as well, although you obviously won't be able to spend them on action cards in that turn.

C'mon, click me.  I dare 'ya!


Dan and Ryo from The Art of Fighting team up for a double taunt in this card.  When played, both players lose all of their special points.  This card has a high rating (a B, specifically) but I never used it much, and eventually traded it and two other cards for something that packed more of a punch.  It can be useful if your opponent has an enormous amount of special points and you suspect they've got a lot of action cards (or a Blodia, which gulps down ten special points the moment it's played).  Still, in my opinion, it takes up valuable deck space that could be put to better use with a Showtime! or a Grace.


This D-rated card allows you to knock out one of your characters and apply the damage he took to one of your opponent's fighters.  As you can see, both Dan and his father appear in this card... I assume that it was inspired by the Jun Goku Satsu in Pocket Fighter.  Anyway, the Bopper is kind of crummy.  You can use it to flush worn down characters out of your ring, or negate an opponent's character with one of your own equally powerful cards, but Card Fighters' Clash has a lot of similar action cards with more beneficial properties (like the ability to instantly knock out two characters- one in your ring and another in your opponent's- regardless of their current hit points).

Dan does make an appearance in Card Fighter's Clash for the Nintendo DS, but... let's pretend that awful thing never happened, shall we?  You can't even beat the game without sending it back to the manufacturer for a playable replacement.  No, they won't send you back either of the Neo-Geo Pocket games.


LOSER LASER:  Dan calls out his dead father, who fires a beam of light from the tip of his oversized nose.  So far, this is only available in Pocket Fighter.

JUN GOKU SATSU:  Dan's father somehow reanimates himself and glides over to the opponent.  If Go manages to make the tag, the screen turns white for a few seconds while hit marks appear in the milky void.  When the blinding light vanishes, Go is shown with his back to the camera and the enemy is face down in the dirt.  This is very similar to Akuma and Ryu's Shun Goku Satsu attacks, and again, this appears only in Pocket Fighter.

MEGA FANTASTIC SUPER TAUNT OF DOOM:  Dan is possessed by his conceited nature and for thirty seconds, all he can do is taunt.  The player can move him around the screen, but pressing buttons just makes Dan insult his sparring partner.  This is only available in Street Fighter Alpha 3, and I must say that I would much rather have had the Premium Sign.


Where's Mr. Driller when you need him?

Perhaps it's because of his ego, or maybe it's just that he's had so little experience with the situation, but Dan is definitely not a graceful winner.  Just check out these insults he hurls at his rivals after he knocks them out!


"My father could beat you, and he's dead!"

(in response to the Asian martial artist Guy)
"Well, grasshopper, you asked for it."


"Ha!  You're weak... just like me!"

"I'm sorry.  No, you are!"
(the best line since Golden Axe: The Duel's "Greetings from the land of beatings!")

"I'm not tougher than you... just better than you!"

"It's more fun to mock you than to fight you!"


"I'm no match for you, snot!"
(presenting the world's most ironic grammatical error!)

"You're lucky I held back, droolbag!"

"You had guts... mop them up!"

"I am the man, for I am DAN!"


"In the name of pride, I will survive!"

"Check out my new exercise video series... Seven Minute Saikyo!"

"Little girls tie bows [Tae Bo]... real men Saikyo!"
(he's firing blanks today... namely, Billy Blanks!)

"Dan is still the man!  Yeah, baby, yeah!"

"I need to start the official Dan Hibiki fan club!"
(Sorry, Dan, but I'm pretty sure one already exists...)


"How about becoming my disciple?  And with that marvelous offer, you receive an outfit like me!"

"Huff. Puff.  Passed out, eh...?  Too bad.  J-just when I was getting warmed up!  Gah ha ha!"

"My name is Dan Hibiki?  Dan Hibiki!  Dan Hibiki!  That's Dan Hibiki!  Got it!"
(I think I understand what the designers meant to say, but this quote's still a little confusing...)

(after beating Sagat)
"I did it, Daddy-O!"


"Underestimating me is a surefire way to get hurt!"

"I stubbed my toe!  I hope you have good insurance, bub!"

"I just thought of a great new taunt!  Better write it down before I forget!"



The most painful part about being an innovator is that once you've built that better mouse trap, half the people who beat a path to your door are there to "borrow" your idea, and months later, you'll find inferior versions of your product ranging from the Mouse Clap to the Rodent Remover on store shelves.  When the Pokemon cartoon series became popular enough to inspire a film, Fox churned out suspiciously familiar shows and put them in suspiciously familiar time slots, just to catch the attentions of kids who'd normally spent the half hours before and after Pokemon bouncing off the walls.  When Brittney Spears jumped on stage and mesmerized fans with her tit, I mean hit songs, you could almost see the silhouette of Christina Augie Doggie (or whatever her name is) backstage with a microphone in one hand and a pair of soon-to-be-installed saline implants in the other.  And when Kao Megura created his own tribute page to Dan, you just knew crappy knockoffs like Saikyo Crusher were hanging on to the bumper of that bandwagon for dear life.  Oh, wait a minute, did I say that out loud?  Eh heh heh...  Anyway, Dan's had his share of admirers, and not all of them put that enthusiasm to good use by creating tribute pages.  Nope, a few of them have had the nerve to leech from his Saikyo style, including the man who inspired him in the first place.  Apparently, SNK didn't understand the point Capcom was trying to make with Dan and turned their own character, Ryo Sakazaki, into a bit of a wuss in the 1996 edition of The King of Fighters (he didn't get his more powerful moves, like that totally cool machine gun fist attack, back for two bloody years!).  Even worse is Hyo Amano, the arrogant goofball in The Last Blade who wears a robe with a cherry blossom pattern on it and nearly trips whenever he swings his wooden staff.  He's the closest thing to Dan you're going to find in a Samurai Shodown clone, but it's just not as fun to use him.  They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but in this case, it's just obnoxious.  After that, we've got-

Wait a minute, who's wooden sandals just flew in here?!

"I'll take those, thank you!"

Wow, it's really you!  Ladies and gentlemen, it's award-winning martial artist and Saikyo dojo founder Dan Hibiki!  So hey, what brings you here?

"Well, Jess, you were talking about fighters who've taken my techniques and tried to pass them off as their own.  And while Ryo, Amano, and that punching bag guy from Waku Waku 7 have all ripped pages from the book of Saikyo without paying me a cent in royalties, nobody's imitated my style more often or more shamelessly than this jerk."

Ouch!  Son of a...! OK, Dan.  We're going to have to lay down a ground rule here... if you want to show me any more pictures, you've got to put them on this table instead of throwing them at me.

"Sorry, force of habit.  As I was saying, this Mizoguchi-bag guy has taken every one of my favorite attacks and turned them into a sick joke.  The worst thing is, this karate klepto actually starred in his own Super NES game... those are MY moves, dammit!  If anyone should get his own Nintendo game, it should be me!  Just imagine... Street Fighter Mythologies:  Dan Hibiki.  I know I'd buy it."

Well, at least someone would.  What's got you so hot and bothered about Mizoguchi, anyway?  He looks just like every other martial artist in every other fighting game I've ever played.

"Takeagoodlookatya!""Looks like you're going to need to see another picture.  Check out the way this guy tosses his projectile... with one hand.  JUST LIKE ME!  That's a neat trick, though, making it look like a tiger like that.  I'll bet he's a real hit at children's parties.  I wonder if he can do a horsie or maybe an elephant?"

Yeah, you have to wonder why he even bothers.  I mean, a fireball is a fireball.  It doesn't matter if it's shaped like a flaming orb, a predatory animal, or even Abe Lincoln... it's still going to hurt like hell when it connects.  It seems like he'd be better off putting that extra effort into making it larger and save the clever shapes for his cigarette break.

"Oh, it gets worse, Jess.  Here's Mizodouchie with his, or should I say, MY second special move.  Y'know, a little Tinactin would clear that right up.  It's the foot powder recommended by nine out of ten overweight sports commentators!"

Do I detect a little jealousy there, Dan?

"Not really.  I can do that, but the whole Hien-Shippu-Kyaku thing never worked for me.  I threw some flaming kicks at a punching bag back when I opened my first dojo, but the damned bag caught on fire!  And since I hadn't practiced my fire extinguisher kick earlier that day, the whole dojo went up in smoke.  It didn't help matters that all the walls were made out of rice paper.  Stupid Japanese architecture..."

Riiight... anyway, I noticed you've got one more picture in your hand.  Let's see it.

Raise your hand if you're sure... my game sucked!"Now this is just sad.  People call my Koryuken pathetic, but this guy doesn't even leave the ground when he does his uppercut.  How the heck can you put any power behind an uppercut if you don't jump first?"

Well, most boxers seem to manage.

"Heh, well most boxers are dumb enough to make Don King their manager."

Good point.  I've got one question, though...

"Fire away!"

Didn't the Fighter's History games come out before you were introduced to the Street Fighter series?


You know, Mizoguchi was doing these moves a good two years before you were.



"Well, color me embarassed!  I'd better tell that helicopter not to dump the half ton of horse crap on his house before... darn, it's past 4 'o clock already.  Oh well, mistakes will happen!  I guess I'd better head back to my dojo now, but before I go, here's an autographed snapshot of your favorite martial artist and mine!"

"Ow.  Dan Hibiki, ladies and gentlemen."


Come see the darker side of Dan...This tribute page just wouldn't be o-ra-ra-riffic without the assistance of these people, who provided me with resource material, emulators, games, and all kinds of other support.  Thanks to staffer Kao Megura for his great FAQs as well as setting the foundation for Dan fan sites with his own tribute page, the guys at Saikyo.com for their own fun and informative site, Matt DelGiudice for catching the Hibiki fever and creating his Marvel vs. Capcom 2 strategy guide, Aaron Thacker for both his letters and for naming one of the characters on this site, Carl Schafer for the Dan, er, fan art, the boys at Sector: NGP, (now available at Classicgaming.com!), Z-Force for his awesome guide to Card Fighters' Clash, Judge of the Rather A Pokemon Emulator, the anonymous creator of NGPocket, Gollum of NeoPocott fame, and of course Capcom, for creating a great character, and SNK, for ripping him off, and Capcom again, for turning that rip-off into another great character, and SNK, for ripping HIM off, and... well, you see where this is going...