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 x 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 will be receiving a new sequel in the form of a open-world Metroidvania-style game in 2014 by Double Helix Games, and will be 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.
Capcom vs. Whatever: As already said, Hiryu is a playable character in Marvel vs. Capcom 1, 2 and Ultimate, as well as Namco x Capcom. Ton Pooh appears in the first MvC as an Assist Character, and she along with the Grandmaster, Solo, Hien and two mooks are AI-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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 excessive credit munching, despite a simple pattern.
Cyborg: The very first boss of both games, Strobaya and the Chinese Terrorist.
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.
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.
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 Nikto ne ooydjot zhivim - No one will leave alive has turned into "Никто не идиот!"note Nikto ne idiot - No one is an idiot
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.
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.
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.
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 1st 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.
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.
Strangely inverted with the NES game. Its Famicom counterpart was canceled despite being heavily promoted in ads and previewed in several magazines and videos.
No Name Given: A good number of manga-exclusive characters are only known by their profession.
Obfuscating Disability: Director Kuramoto from the manga suffers from senility, appearing very dispersed and oblivious about what's going on around him. Then, when a group of Matic's men show up with orders to kill him, Kuramoto suddenly stands up and kills them instantly, revealing his condition to be faked as he awaited for Matic to show his true colors.