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Video Game: Strider

He slashes, springs, slides and climbs! Every single action he takes is superhuman! Here comes the super-A ranked strider called "Hiryu"!!
Game description from the X68000 version.

Strider is a stylish 1989 action/platforming game by Capcom about a ninja with an incredibly badass sword. The game features our hero Hiryu as he takes on the "Grandmaster", an entity from another galaxy that has decided to conquer the Earth. The arcade game was ported to many systems, including the Sega Genesis, where it was one of the system's first Killer Apps, and the first game to be released on an 8-megabit cartridge.

The arcade version of Strider was actually the product of a three-way collaboration between Capcom and manga studio Motomiya Kikaku, which also resulted in a separate NES game and a single-volume manga version. The manga and NES version follows Hiryu, as he is forced out of retirement to track down and eliminate Kain, a fellow Strider and friend who has been compromised by his capture. Hiryu must travel around the world, from enemy bases to a moving train and from New York to China. During his mission, he uncovers a conspiracy that involves the Strider organization. The NES version understandably has a much deeper story than the more-famous arcade version, but suffered from many programming and control errors. Notably, the NES version was never released for the Family Computer in Japan, in a bizarre reversal of No Export for You.

The game naturally inspired a number of imitators and similar games, such as Run Saber and Shadow of the Ninja. One of these, Osman, was created by the same designer of the original and is considered its Spiritual Successor. In 1990, the European-based company U.S. Gold produced an officially-licensed sequel titled Strider II, which was originally released for various home computer platforms in Europe (specifically the Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum). The game was remade in 1992 for the Mega Drive with redesigned stages and play mechanics much closer to the original arcade game. This was that version that was released in North America under the title of Strider Returns: Journey From Darkness. An 8-bit Sega Master System version of Strider II was also released, with a corresponding American release for the Game Gear under the Strider Returns title.

The series remained silent until 1998, where Hiryu was included as a playable character in Marvel vs. Capcom. Hiryu's speed, easily-chained combos, zone control, and full-screen Limit Break made him a favorite of Scrubs and "Stop Having Fun" Guys alike. In 1999, Capcom partied with Strider 2, a PlayStation follow-up to the arcade game where Hiryu once again faces the Grandmaster as well as a new foe, the renegade Strider Hien. Since then, Hiryu and his enemies have appeared in Namco × Capcom; notably, the Grandmaster gets the honor of being the last Big Bad to be confronted before the biggest bad herself. While not present in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 due to copyright issues, Hiryu did join the line-up of its Updated Re-release, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

The series received a new sequel in the form of a open-world Metroidvania-style game in 2014 by Double Helix Games, and was overseen by the original developers.

Not to be confused with the Beverly Cleary book with the same name, the alias of Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings, or Dave.

The game series contains examples of:

    open/close all folders 

  • Audible Sharpness: SWHING!!
    • Apparently, it won't be returning in the upcoming new game.
      • Oh it did. It's just very faint.
  • Badass: Strider Hiryu himself.
    • Strider Hien is no slouch either.
  • Bayonet Ya: Russians in this series love their bladed guns, even in the new game.
  • Bishōnen: In Marvel vs. Capcom and beyond.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": The kanji on Hiryu's outfit is the head character on his name (飛 or Hi).
    • Strider Kain has a "C" (implying that his name is meant to be "Cain") and Matic has an "M."
    • Hien also sports the Hi character which is also the head character on his name.
  • Cool Sword: The cypher, specially in the manga and Strider 2.
  • Child Prodigy: The youngest Strider to attain the greatest rank in the organization.
  • Consummate Professional: Describes Hiryu's personality very well.
  • Crossover: Hiryu appeared as a challenger in the game Adventure Quiz: Capcom World 2. He also appears as one of several guests in Ken's stage in Street Fighter Alpha 2.
    • Capcom vs. Whatever: As already said, Hiryu is a playable character in Marvel vs. Capcom 1, 2 and Ultimate, as well as Namco × Capcom. Ton Pooh appears in the first MvC as an Assist Character, and she along with the Grandmaster, Solo, Hien and two mooks are A.I.-only characters in NxC.
  • The Great Politics Mess-Up: The Soviet Union still exists in the 2040s and the country of Kazakhstan is referred by its former name of Kazakh SSR in both arcade and NES games, as well as the manga.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Hiryu's enemies tend to fly away in two pieces whenever they are hit by the Cypher.
    • In the manga, Hiryu cuts one bastard soldier in half vertically.
  • Heroes R Us: The Striders are a Private Military Contractor with a ninja theme, but since the Big Bad refuses to hire them they default to Heroes R Us instead.
  • Heroic Mime: In the arcade original, Hiryu says only two phrases: "Take me to your boss!", and calling the aerial battleship a toy.
    • Unless you're playing the Japanese version, then he'll NEVER shut up...PAAH! PAHPAHPAHPAHPAHPAH!
    • Hiryu is more or less The Quiet One elsewhere, Namco × Capcom and UMvC3 being perhaps the best exceptions.
    • In the manga he's much more expressive, emotional and gets along just fine with his friends, although when fighting he's as cold and to the point as he's been known in later characterization.
    • He's quite a bit more talkative in the 2014 game, though only when directly speaking to someone. He also has at least two "..." lines. And even when he talks, he's very terse and business-like.
  • Job Title: English title.
  • Ninja: The Striders aren't ninja per se, but they're pretty damn close.
    • Highly-Visible Ninja: Well, look at him. The blue, close-fitting outfit was a step in the right direction, the red scarf and glowing sword were not. The action is great, but doesn't involve a lot of stealth.
    • Rank Inflation: The Striders go from C to A, and then Special (or Super) A.
  • Ninja Run: Hiryu's dashing animation in the NES game, Strider 2 and all crossover appearances.
  • Nintendo Hard: Both the NES and the original arcade games are really hard due to Hiryu's funky hitboxes. The arcade has a extra whammy of not being able to control Hiryu mid-jump. The final stage in the original arcade game is almost impossible to complete without memorization.
  • One-Man Army: The Striders are billed as being as such. The lowest ranked guys in the group can fight on par with entire special force units.
  • Palette Swap: Hinjo from Strider Returns is a white and neon green swap of Hiryu's Genesis sprite. Hien is a black and white head swap of Hiryu.
    • The Kuniang are Color-Coded for Your Convenience identical sprites in the first game (Ton Pooh = green, Sai Pooh = blue, Bei Pooh = red). Averted in the second game and beyond, where they have personalized hairstyles in addition to the color-coding (with Bei/Pei's coloring additionally becoming a lighter shade in the 2014 game).
  • A Protagonist Is Ryu
  • Recycled Title: There are 3 games (out of 5 total) named "Strider": the arcade game, the NES game, and the HD digital game.
    • In Japan, the manga is named the same as the arcade game.
  • Reformulated Game:
    • The arcade and Famicom versions were developed in tandem. Strangely, the Famicom version was canceled despite the fact that it was heavily promoted by Moto Kikaku's tie-in manga, although it eventually saw a U.S.-exclusive release on the NES.
    • Strider II, the U.S. Gold-produced sequel, was remade completely when it was released for the Mega Drive and Master System.
  • The Rival: Solo, a cyborg bounty hunter that Hiryu faces at least once per game, often multiple times.
  • Same-Sex Triplets: The Kuniang sisters. They become an all-female Sibling Team starting in Strider 2 (Ton Pooh, the leader, is the middle sister, Bei is the oldest, and Sai/Nang is the youngest).
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Conspicuously absent in the original arcade game.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Hiryu's responses to villains' threats.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: Hiryu displays his well-toned arms proudly.
  • Slide Attack
  • Spell My Name with an "S":
    • The name of the flying airship in Stage 3 of the arcade, "Ballog", is an obvious mistranslation of "Balrog" (this was corrected in Strider 2).
    • Strider Kain has an uppercase "C" on his ninja outfit (matching the "飛" (Hi) in Hiryu's and the "M" on Matic's), which seems to suggest that his name is supposed to be "Cain", not "Kain."
    • Ouroboros is spelt "Urobolos" in the Genesis in-game sound test and manual.
    • In the NES game, there's "Yugdesiral", which should actually be Yggdrasil.
    • The Kuniang sisters are specially prone to this, thanks to their Chinese names being filtered through Japanese spelling and then localized, resulting in Ton Pooh/Tong Poo, Bei/Pei Pooh and Nam/Nang Pooh.
  • Spiritual Successor: Osman was directed by Isuke, the same director who worked on the arcade version of Strider. Isuke also worked on Moon Diver, essentially a remake for PS3 and Xbox 360.
  • Super Soldier: The Striders are super mercenaries, and Hiryu's the top elite among them.
  • Super Speed: A constant in all his appearances: he's fast. Really fast.
  • Theme Naming: In Marvel vs. Capcom, Hiryu's moveset is heavily influenced by legendary swords and items (Ame no Murakumo, Excalibur, Gram, Vajra) and mythology in general (Ragnarok, Ouroboros, Legion).
    • The Ton Pooh sisters are named for three of the four winds: Ton, Sai, and Bei are respectively the eastern, western, and northern winds. (Ton Pooh also doubles as a musical Shout-Out to the first track of the second side of a self-titled album by the Yellow Magic Orchestra.) In the 2014 game, Sai is replaced by a different sister named Nang Pooh (the southern wind), as in this continuity, the trio was trained by a master martial artist named Xi Wang Mu.
  • Wall Crawl/Ceiling Cling: One of the iconic elements of the series. In the main series and crossovers, Hiryu uses his Climb Sickle to climb to any surface and ceiling. In the NES game, he can move up specific glowing walls/ceilings with magnetic boots.
    • Wall Jump: An ability in both the NES game and Strider 2. Much loathed in the former due to funky controls.

    The arcade game and Strider 2 
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • The Genesis port has some improvements from the arcade version, such as having a unique tune for the Stage 3 theme (some variants of the arcade version reused the Stage 1 theme) and a greatly expanded ending sequence.
    • The PC Engine port has an optional stage that was not in any other port of the coin-op version.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: The third stage in the first game has a pretty frustrating one, where the slight lag in moving will end up with a crushed Strider.
  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: The Battleship Balrog.
  • Always Someone Better: The main reason behind Hien's motivation to defeat Hiryu; he's jealous that someone so young could be talented enough to earn the highest honor bestowed to a Strider and the praise that came with it.
  • Anime Chinese Girl: The Kuniang trio: Ton Pooh, Bei Pooh and Sai Pooh.
  • Assist Character: The Options in the first game:
  • Badass Boast: The Grandmaster in the final level of the first game:
    "I shall raise the city up to the sky and rid the earth of all creatures! I will create a race to fill the new earth—all sons of old gods, die!!!"
  • Bald of Evil: The Grandmaster.
  • Battle Boomerang: The Amazons from the fourth stage use either this or axes.
  • Battleship Raid: The Balrog levels in both games, which both include fighting the ship's core, starting a chain reaction that brings it down, and dueling their respective captains in escape ships.
  • BFG: Solo favors a flamethrower with a mounted missile launcher as his main weapon, though he later replaces it in Strider 2 with a plasma cannon.
  • BFS: Strider 2 has the Dullahan and his big-ass sword made of chainsaws.
  • Big Bad: The Grandmaster, in both games.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In the first game, the names of the stages are spelled in Cyrillic, Hebrew and Nordic letters. In fact, the only time the Latin alphabet is ever used is for the fourth stage's location.
  • Boss Game: Strider 2. There is a wide variety of enemies but the stages are very short and the sub-levels almost always end with a Mid Boss battle.
  • Boss Rush: The final stage in the first game. One of the bosses can be skipped, but the repeat of the metallic dinosaur is nearly impossible without memorization, despite a simple pattern.
  • Bounty Hunter: Solo and the Kuniang team.
  • Creating Life: The Grandmaster has the ability to create any form of life at will. He created wolves, piranhas and pteranodons in his boss fight in the first game, and has created most of the mooks found in the second game.
    • Flunky Boss: In-game, this translates into him summoning enemies from previous stages to hunt Hiryu.
  • Compilation Re-release/Embedded Precursor: Strider 2 came packaged with a second CD with the first arcade game.
  • Cyborg: The very first boss of both games, Strobaya and the Chinese Terrorist (Elder Brother Honghuo).
  • Department of Redundancy Department: In the manual for the Genesis version, the Grandmaster is referred by the name of "Grandmaster Meio." However, "Meio" is not actually a name, but a Japanese title equivalent to "Grandmaster."
  • Depopulation Bomb: The Grandmaster's plan was this, erasing all lifeforms (all the "Sons of Old Gods") off Earth so he could create his own lifeforms and thus become a god.
  • Dynamic Difficulty: Which tries to make some features less Nintendo Hard (but there's too many fun units to throw away).
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Hien.
  • Dumb Muscle: Strobaya.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Seen in the fourth stage, courtesy of the Grandmaster.
  • Evil Counterpart: Hien to Hiryu.
    • There could be a case for the fourth stage boss Admiral Wilhelm, who uses similar techniques to Hiryu and even wields a curved sword that's more like a counterfeit Cypher.
  • Evil Laugh: The Grandmaster starts the arcade game off with one of these.
  • Evil Old Folks: The Grandmaster.
  • The Faceless: Solo is always seen with his mask/visor on.
  • Fallen Hero: According to All There in the Manual, Captain Beard Jr. used to be a good guy right before he lost his limbs in a fight against the Grandmaster and decided to switch allegiances.
  • Fat Bastard: The Chinese Terrorist (apparently named Honghuo) in Strider 2.
  • Flight: Solo uses thrusters on his back. The Grandmaster levitates.
  • Fragile Speedster: Solo moves really fast and has a lot of firepower... but dies in 3 hits.
  • Gainax Ending: The ending of Strider 2. Among other things, it's implied that Strider Hiryu is the reincarnation of the Strider who defeated Grandmaster Meio almost 2,000 years ago (i.e. the events of the original Strider). Strider Hiryu does kill Grandmaster, so it's not a matter of being a Downer Ending... It's simply that this plot element will probably remain an Aborted Arc. Now it's a matter of seeing if the new "retelling"/reboot will try to address this.
  • Galactic Conqueror: The Grandmaster.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Caduceus, the Final Boss of the second game. There's a bit of foreshadowing in that Meio creates pieces of it in the previous boss fight, though.
  • Glorious Mother Russia: The arcade version of the game stays mostly within the Soviet Union, except for the fourth level, which takes place deep in the Amazon.
  • A God Am I: The Grandmaster.
  • Gravity Screw: Certain areas in both games have the gravity reversed, which forces the player to walk in the ceiling.
  • Gratuitous Russian: While the first Strider contains some Russian, it's not always the case it's fairly accurate. Just as a little example, the subtitles at the end of stage one don't even remotely point at what the USSR leader is saying. And thanks to the horrible accent acting and the fact that Meio interrupts his speech out of nowhere, the supposed phrase "Никто не уйдёт живым!"note  has turned into "Никто не идиот!"note 
    • This trope follows straight after that cutscene: the location name of stage 2, "Сибирь", is actually spelt correctly, but it's obvious that Capcom didn't used the English-Russian dictionary the right way... They forgot to remove the stress mark.
  • Headless Horseman: Not with his horse, but a Dullahan is summoned and, after killing his summoner, engages in a boss battle in Strider 2.
  • Husky Russkie: Strobaya, the first boss in the original game. He's a hulk of muscles that can only grunt and shout. The expanded PC-Engine game apparently paints him as a Blood Knight.
  • In the Hood: The Grandmaster is always wearing a black hood.
  • Jungle Japes: Amazon in the first, the PlayStation-exclusive "Waterfall stage" in the second (mixed with Temple of Doom).
  • Kick Chick: The three Kuniang are all about kicks... that can create blades of plasma.
  • Killer Gorilla: Second stage boss Mecha Pon, a mechanical gorilla.
  • Large Ham: The Grandmaster in the arcade game.
  • Long Song, Short Scene: Stage 3 of the first game was supposed to have its unique theme music, but some variants of the arcade version reuses the BGM from Stage 1 instead. Most of the home versions fix this however.
  • Mad Scientist: Grandmaster Meio appears to mix some of it along his Sorcery. Strider 2 introduced the German Herzog Schlange as well.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: One of Solo's attacks in the first game.
  • Mechanical Horse: One is a boss in Strider 2.
  • Moveset Clone: In Strider 2, Strider Hiryu and Strider Hien. Both use the same techniques, but Hiryu is mostly up close and personal, while Hien uses throwing weapons.
  • Pirate: The Balrog's captain, Beard Jr. Comes with peg leg and hook hand included!
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: General Mikiel is a thinly-veiled Gorbachov caricature.
  • Nubile Savage: The Amazons from the eponymous stage.
  • Powered Armor: Solo.
  • Power-Up Letdown: The robot panther looks awesome, but doesn't shoot and has serious problems keeping up with Hiryu and not falling off ledges. Most experienced players avoid further power-ups once they have two droids.
  • Promoted to Playable: Hien becomes playable in the PS port of Strider 2.
  • Recurring Boss: Solo is fought two or three times (depending if the player ignores the first encounter) in the first game, and twice in the second (the initial fight being now two phases). Hien is a recurring boss in the PS port of Strider 2, since he's in the PS-only bonus stage.
  • Reflecting Laser: Several enemies have this ability. The first stage sub-boss Novo throws 4 at a time, which bounces off the walls around it.
  • The Rival: Strider Hien in Strider 2. Solo believes himself to be one too.
  • Secret Character: Hien in Strider 2, unlockable only after completing Mission 00 (unlocked by finishing both Strider 2 and the first Strider, which is included with its sequel). Additionally, beating the game with Hien grants the player the option to use the Boost skill an infinite amount of times.
  • Segmented Serpent: Ouroboros in the first game, the Emperor Dragon in Strider 2.
  • Sinister Scythe: Ouroboros, the first arcade boss, uses one, though it's more of a sinister sickle. With a hammer.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Siberia in the first, Antarctica in the second.
  • Space Base: The Third Moon, the Grandmaster's moon-shaped lair.
  • Spent Shells Shower: One enemy in the first arcade game with a big machinegun ejects them constantly as he (tries to) shoot Hiryu.
  • Spider Tank: Enemies in the first stage.
  • Sprite/Polygon Mix: Strider 2.
  • Surprisingly Good English:
    "Hmm... it is Strider Hiryu. He will never leave Eurasia alive!" "I got you."
  • Sword Beam: Hiryu can do this in the second game after activating a power up. They also home-in on enemies.
  • Teleport Spam: The Grandmaster gains this tactic in Strider 2.
  • This Is a Drill: The humongous drill machine used as a giant boss in Strider 2.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Hien's main method of attack. It's also his Achilles' Heel, as he's vulnerable in-between each throw.
  • Timed Mission: With all the slowly approaching hazards, you probably wouldn't see Time Over very often.
  • Translation Convention: Averted in the original arcade game, where each character speaks in his or her own native language during voice clips (i.e. Japanese for Hiryu, English for Solo and the Grandmaster, Mandarin for Ton Pooh). Played straight by the PC Engine version, where everyone speaks Japanese.
  • Trash Talk:
    "You must be joking. You're sending a toy into battle?"
  • The Triads and the Tongs: Enemies belong to the Chinese mafia in the first stage of Strider 2.
  • Tsurime Eyes: Almost everyone except for Hien, who is a Tareme.
  • Whip It Good: Beard Jr. uses a whip.

    Manga and NES 

    The 2014 Strider 
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer
  • An Ice Person: The "Ultra-Cold" Cypher upgrade.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Xi Wang Mu can use all the powers of the Kuniang sisters and has some tricks of her own.
  • Attack Drones: The glorious return of the Option A drones.
  • Attack Reflector: The aptly-named Reflect Plasma lets Hiryu deflect shots with his swings.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Hiryu can find and wear the outfits of other fallen Striders across the city.
  • Back from the Brink: Supplemental material (and the "fallen Striders" you can find) make it clear that many Striders were sent to kill Meio as he gained power, and all were spectacularly unsuccessful. Hiryu is considered humanity's last chance to stop Meio.
  • Battle Aura: Hiryu's Scarf of Asskicking in this game is actually a trail of plasma that is beyond his body's ability to channel into his Cypher (as his body is producing so much that it's above his ability to use it all). Despite not covering his body, for all intents and purposes it fits the trope.
  • Big Bad: Grandmaster Meio is back at it.
  • Bilingual Bonus: A lot of Russian can be found in posters, signs or written in walls, plus most Russian-made Mecha-Mooks are named after Russian words, like "Vityaz" (Knight) and "Bulava" (Mace).
  • Boss Subtitles: All bosses and sub-bosses have one in their introduction.
  • Canned Orders Over Loudspeaker: The player gets to hear General Mikiel encourage the people of Kazakh City to be good and obedient citizens this way, as they make their way through the slums of the Historic Sector.
  • Canon Immigrant: This game's version of the Kuniang M.A. Team is known as the Four Winds, their line-up consisting not of Ton Pooh, Sai Pooh, and Bei Pooh, but Ton Pooh, Bei Pooh, and Nang Pooh. Nang, who has assimilated most of the traits of the bussed Sai (such as being the youngest sister of the trio and wearing a blue outfit), is a based on a minor enemy of the same name from Namco × Capcom who was a grey Palette Swap of Ton and noted to be a clone of her. That Nang was in turn a nod to an optional rematch against the trio in the original game, where all three sisters wore black-and-grey outfits.
  • Charged Attack: Hiryu quickly gets an upgrade that lets him extend his attack range and punch through (most) shields and blocks.
  • City of Adventure: The game happens entirely in an homage-filled Russian location known as "Kazakh City."
  • Code Name: The mention in the profile of Strider Rouga (one of the fallen Striders whose mark/clothing you can obtain) that "only Striders of A Rank or greater are allowed an animal name" suggests this of Hiryu (and all other Striders), as opposed to the original continuity.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Certain enemies (shielded ones in special) are color-coded with the Cypher upgrade required to destroy them.
  • Continuity Nod/Mythology Gag: The Ouroboros here is the Ouroboros Mk.III, presumably alluding to the original Ouroboros model and its successor from Strider 2, the Emperor Dragon.
    • One of the unlockable costumes gives Hiryu the color scheme of Strider 2's Hien.
  • Combat Stilettos: The Kuniang sisters all sport heeled shoes with blades extending from the back/soles. (Bei/Pei did wear stilettos in Strider 2 instead of slippers, but they were normal pumps, not blades.)
  • Cool Tank: General Mikiel's MechTank, the Tornado.
  • Death from Above: Hiryu's Down Strike.
  • Degraded Boss: Several of the mid-bosses become common mooks following their introductory boss fight.
  • Diving Kick: A favored move of the Kuniang sisters (though originally exclusive to missing sister Sai in previous games), and one of the few moves they all share. Things can get a bit hairy when Tong, Pei, and Nang decide to start synchronizing their attacks due to the limited space of their boss arena.
  • Double Weapon: The first boss (Vityaz-1) is seen with a two-sided laser spear.
  • Dual Boss: The sisters Pei and Nang fight together the second time they fight Hiryu, then all three fight together the third time.
  • Elite Mook: Vityaz-1, the first boss in the game, is referred to as "Meio's Elite Guard."
  • Epic Flail: The Heavy Trooper robot has two instead of hands.
  • Fragile Speedster: On Hard this is basically your lot. Taking everyone head on is usually trouble because they can chew up your health very fast but Strider Hiryu is nimble as a cat and can easily jump and dodge his enemies to confuse their line of fire whilst attacking from all sides. On lower difficulties you can tank hits better but on Hard it's best to hit and run as much as possible.
  • Gravity Screw: In the proud tradition of the series, there are gravity-inverted halls. There are also sections with small floating cores with their own gravity, letting Hiryu run around them.
  • Knife Nut: In the vein of the Shinobi series, Hiryu can now use kunai for ranged attacks. They double as your means for toggling switches in later segments of the game.
  • Life Energy: Hiryu's plasma is now generated by himself and channeled by the Cypher. His scarf is now a flow of red energy, as he generates so much plasma it leaks out of his body.
  • Mad Scientist: The guy in the Research area is one nutty case.
  • Making a Splash: Juroung can manipulate water into several shapes to attack.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The Russian mooks are now robots.
    • Which in later stages can be infected with mutant bugs to become robozombies.
  • Metroidvania
  • One-Winged Angel: Grandmaster Meio turns into a humongous Caduceus-like creature named Meio Prime after the first battle.
  • Playing with Fire: The "Explosive Cypher" upgrade.
  • Point of No Return: Right before you enter Meio's Tower. The game outright warns you that if you decide to proceed, you won't be able to go back into the city to pick up any other items.
  • Professional Killer: The Kuniang sisters are subordinates of Grandmaster Meio who are specifically tasked with assassination missions.
    • Hiryu is, of course, also one, as his whole purpose for being in Kazakh City is to kill Grandmaster Meio. Solo is more of a Hired Gun.
  • Purely Aesthetic Era: The game is set in Meio 0048, a dystopian alternate era ruled by the iron fist of the Grandmaster.
  • Rocket Punch: Mecha Pon can now do this.
  • Royal "We": Meio uses it inconsistently.
  • Shock and Awe: Mecha Pon's extended skillset now includes plenty of electricity.
    • Meio shoots pink lightning bolts.
  • Shout-Out: The enemy at the end of the gameplay video is one to the Segmented Serpents of the past: Ouroboros and the Emperor Dragon. It's even called the Ouroboros Mk.III.
    • Several of Hiryu's animations are drawn in reference to his previous games as well as the Marvel vs. Capcom entries.
    • The game's intro (as seen in the preview gameplay video) is one to the original game's, even throwing in the Grandmaster's old Evil Laugh straight out of the arcade title.
    • Mecha Pon's strategy appears to draw inspiration from that of Spark Mandrill, another electric robo-ape from Capcom.
    • Hidden deep within the Research area is one to Mega Man X: it's an X capsule!
    • Tong Pooh believes the Grandmaster owns Hiryu, but Hiryu knows that she is the one who is a slave to her master. Mikiel would also like Hiryu to know that he'll never leave Eurasia alive. Both are shout-outs to the dialogue of the Arcade original.
    • The trophy/achievement names also reference a bunch of stuff, like That's No Moon, Master of Unlocking, and You Must Defeat Sheng Long.
  • Smug Snake: Special mention goes to General Mikiel, who mocks Hiryu for only having a "knife" — despite the fact that Hiryu just completely destroyed Mikiel's gigantic tank with that knife — and shoots Hiryu. Unsurprisingly, Hiryu just reflects the bullet, killing Mikiel with it.
  • Spider Tank: The Brainwalker.
  • The Stoic: Strider Hiryu does not emote often. Whether confronting hordes of cyborg troopers, a corrupt general, mutant abominations, or the equivalent of a Physical God, Hiryu's usual reaction is one of calm, focused determination.
  • Sword Beam: The Magnetic Cypher upgrade gives Hiryu one of these. It isn't as rapid-fire as Hiryu's other plasma types, however, so beware.
  • Three-Point Landing: Hiryu's preferred method of touching down.
  • Tube Travel: A few of them, as a nod to the NES game.
  • Weapon of Choice: Alongside their new repertoire of Combination Attacks, the Kuniang sisters each sport one in this game: Ton wields a dao, Nang uses a spear, and Bei brandishes twin hook swords built into submachine guns.
  • We Can Rule Together: Meio offers this to Hiryu. He doesn't bite.
  • You Have Failed Me: Grandmaster Meio does this to Herzog Schlange after he completely fails to defeat Hiryu.

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alternative title(s): Strider
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