Kuniang M.A. Team, a.k.a. The Four WindsA trio of fighting Chinese sisters who uses their great mastery of martial arts to work as bounty hunters and assassins. The group is formed by middle sister and team leader, Tong Pooh; oldest sister and mood-maker Pei Pooh, and the youngest sister Sai Pooh (in the first two games)/Nang Pooh (2014 only). The team is known as "The Four Winds" (or just "The Winds") in the 2014 game. They are a recurring obstacle in Hiryu's quest.
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- Anime Chinese Girl
- Amazon Brigade: Specially in the 2014 game, where they work directly for Grandmaster Meio.
- Bounty Hunter: Just like Solo.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The Kuniang are 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).
- Divergent Character Evolution: In the first game, the sisters use the same Palette Swapped sprite and have the same attack, and only their leader (Tong Pooh) got an official description and dialogue, the other two being merely Filler for the boss fight. In Strider 2, the three were given different designs, techniques and hairstyles, with Bei Pooh becoming a Femme Fatale with a large ponytail, Sai Pooh getting a pigtailed childish look and Tong Pooh retaining the original design. Finally, the 2014 Strider gave each a Weapon of Choice and fleshed out the two sister's personalities, turning B/Pei into an Ax-Crazy Blood Knight and Nang Poohnote becoming the Only Sane Woman keeping both her more hot-headed sisters in check.
- Dual Boss: The sisters are always faced together in battle, save for one instance (Pei's first Boss Battle in the 2014 game).
- Dub Name Change: The team goes by the moniker "Three Chinese Girls" in the Arcade original, but were rebranded "Kuniang M.A. Team" in the localization of the Genesis port. Starting with the PC-Engine version, they are named "Tong Pooh Three Sisters" in Japanese. The team got renamed "The Four Winds" for the localization of the 2014 game as well.
- Bilingual Bonus: "Kuniang" is the chinese word for "girl".
- Extremity Extremist: In the first two games, the sisters only ever use kick techniques to fight. In the 2014 game, they instead are almost entirely focused on using their weapons.
- Flat Character: Pei and Sai are practically this in the first two games, as they exist solely to pad out the boss fight, while Tong Pooh gets to appear in cutscenes and receive profile and appearances in other games. Pei Pooh got a bit better in the 2014 game, however.
- Kick Chick: The three Kuniang are all about kicks... that can create blades of plasma.
- Lady of War: They move with very graceful movements while dodging and jumping. Word of God has said their movements were inspired by ballet dancers.
- Living a Double Life: In Strider 2, the team is established to lead a cover life as entertainers in a Chinese acrobatics group when not out hunting people.
- Odango Hair: All sisters sport the pigtailed odango style in the first game. From all subsequent appearances, Tong Pooh appropiated it while her sisters took on different hairstyles.
- Professional Killer: In the 2014 game, they are subordinates of Grandmaster Meio who are specifically tasked with assassination missions.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: Most notably in the 2014 game.
- Same-Sex Triplets: They were practically identical in the first game (as they were all palette swaps), but got their own style and technique in later games.
- Sibling Team: A trio of assassins triplets, at that.
- She's Got Legs: Given their kick-centric fighting style, this was a given, and the focus on them has only gone up in later appearances.
- Theme Naming: They are named after the four cardinal winds: Tong Pooh is Chinese for "East Wind", Pei Pooh is "North Wind" and Sai Pooh is "West Wind". In the 2014 Strider, Sai is replaced by Nang Pooh ("South Wind") and their mentor, Xi Wang Mu, is named after a Taoist deity whose name translates to "Queen Mother of the West".
- The Sixth Ranger: Though the group is always conformed by the three sisters, some times a fourth member is said to exist: the first game has three gray-colored girls who may (or may not) be Tong Pooh's clones; while the 2014 game introduced the sisters' teacher, Xi Wang Mu, as the fourth member.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Following their third battle in the 2014 Strider, the Kuniang disappear entirely from the game without any conclusion. Xi Wang Mu's dialogue, however, heavily implies they died at some point afterwards, probably by Meio for failing one too many times.
- Weapon of Choice: Each sister got assigned a personal weapon in the 2014 game.
Voiced by: Yumi Touma (Strider for PC-Engine), Yayoi Jinguji (Marvel vs. Capcom), Miho Yamada (Namco × Capcom), Niki Kernow (Strider 2014)
"Do you really think that you can get close to our lord? The world belongs to him! And so do you, Strider! Ha Ha ha!"
The middle sister and team leader of the Kuniang M.A. Team. Tong Pooh is recognized by her braided ponytails and green clothes. She's the most influential member on the team, driving her sister forward during assignments. Tong Pooh is the most skilled of the three, combining graceful movements with her martial arts to dazzle and kill her targets. She's also quite prone to anger and is very confrontational, even specifically stated to draw strength from her rage during a battle. Out of the three, she's the one to responds directly to Grandmaster Meio, to which she shows deep loyalty. This always leads to her taunting and mocking Hiryu after her defeat, proclaiming her master invincible.
- Blind Obedience: She's completely devoted to Grandmaster Meio, and her lines often reflects this.
- Braids of Action: Her identifying hairstyle is a pair of long braids.
- Breakout Character: Outside Hiryu himself, she's probably one of the better known characters and is the second with the most exposure in crossovers.
- Cool Sword: Her weapon in the 2014 game is a rather obscure Chinese sword known as a "Rinkaku" (Unicorn's Horn) Sword.
- Dark Action Girl: Fierce, temperamental and very deadly. Check!
- Everything's Better with Spinning: All of her moves in the 2014 game feature lots of spinning motions.
- Expy: Inverted, a lot of people (specially those who first saw her in the 2014 game) believes she's an expy of Chun-Li, but Tong Pooh not only predates her by almost 3 years, but also actually inspired her initial designs.
- I Shall Taunt You: Even in defeat, she'll be quick to mock Hiryu for his empty victory.
- Middle Child Syndrome: Subverted. One would presume that, being the leader and most relevant character in the team, Tong Pooh would be the oldest of the three sisters. But no, she's actually the middle one.
- Razor Wind: The effect of her personal kick attack resembles this, creating an arc of plasma as she performs a hopping back kick.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Serves as one when compared to Hiryu, as she's quick to anger and driven by her emotions in contrast to Hiryu's stoic and straight-to-the-point persona. Among her sisters, she'd be the red oni to Nang Pooh, who is the cool-headed member who tries to keep her (and Pei) from going off the handle.
- Signature Move: The jumping back kick all sisters used in the first game became her exclusive staple move in later appearance.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: She uses a sleeveless Chinese shirt in all her appearances.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Her name is spelt "Ton Pooh" in Marvel vs. Capcom and Card Fighters DS, "Tong Poo" in Strider 2 and "Tong Pooh" in the 2014 Strider.
- The Leader: She's the leader and most influential member of the team.
Voiced by: Moriah Angeline (Strider 2014)
"Let the winds echo with the screams of my enemies!"
The oldest sister and the "mood maker" of the Kuniang M.A. Team. Pei Pooh is recognized by her long ponytail and red clothes. Out of the three, she's the most reckless and carefree, usually jumping at the opportunity to fight by herself, much to the chagrin of her two sisters. She enjoys fighting and killing a bit too much, though she's much more focused when fighting with her sisters. As part of the team, she's in charge of supporting her sisters from afar.
- Blood Knight: In the 2014 game, she introduces herself to Hiryu by claiming for "the screams of [her] enemies!".
- Combination Attack: Has one with Nang Pooh in the 2014 game, where they combine attacks as a blue and red yin-yang forms around them.
- Cleavage Window: Her costume in the 2014 game sports the most prominent one of the team (Tong Pooh has one, but it is mostly obscured by her collar, whereas Nang and their master lacks one altogether).
- Dragon Lady: Out of the three she's the one who invokes the image of one the most, specially in her design from Strider 2.
- Flower in Her Hair: Starting with Strider 2, she can be seen wearing a rose on her hair.
- Ms. Fanservice: Becomes the team's representative in her 2014 design, what with her body suit being open at the crotch (displaying what really seems to be black panties), having a large Cleavage Window and using thigh-length pantyhoses. None of the other members' uniforms are this revealing.
- Mix-and-Match Weapon: Her Weapon of Choice is basically a hook-like set of blades with built-in machineguns.
- Playing with Fire: Her weapon shoots literal fireballs.
- Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Her personal move in Strider 2 consists of three kicks performed in quick succession.
- Short Hair with Tail: Her identifying hairstyle, a waist-length ponytail.
- Spell My Name with an "S": She was known as "Bei Pooh" in the fandom before the 2014 game localized it as "Pei Pooh". For a while, she was also erroneusly called "Nam Pooh".
Voiced by: Lani Minella (Strider 2014)
"Residents, observe justice! Observe what you reap when you defy the Grandmaster."
Sai Pooh is the original sister from the first game and Strider 2, while Nang Pooh is her replacement in the 2014 Strider. Since Sai Pooh doesn't get much of a characterization, the entry is mostly dedicated to Nang Pooh.
The youngest sister and stern foundation of the Kuniang M.A. Team. Nang Pooh is recognized from her sisters by her blue clothes. She serves as the middle ground between her sisters, tasking herself with keeping both their hot-headed personalities on check. Being the most determined out of the three, she's always working very hard to keep up with her older sisters and to give off a strong appearance at every moment. In the team she works as the defender, attacking targets with defensive and disrupting attacks.
- Blade on a Stick: She wields a crescent spear.
- I Call It "Vera": Hers is named "Houtengeki" (Moon-Piercing Halberd).
- Blow You Away: Nang Pooh's personal move consists of spinning her spear rapidly, creating powerful gusts of winds that push Hiryu away.
- Canon Immigrant: Nang Pooh in a sense: the first instance of a "Nang Pooh" character was in Namco × Capcom, where they were clones of Tong Pooh serving as mooks.
- Diving Kick: Sai Pooh's personal attack in Strider 2, an angled diving kick with plasma energy covering the leg. The move is later borrowed by all sisters in the 2014 Strider.
- Girlish Pigtails: Sai Pooh's hairstyle in Strider 2 is a set of chinese pigtails. Although there's not enough info to know if she was indeed childish, her artwork atleast gives off this impression, specially when compared to the sultry Pei Pooh and the dead-serious Tong Pooh.
- Hair Decorations: Nang Pooh sports two quite large, glowing rings with little bells on their centers as part of her unique hairstyle.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Nang is established to serve one to her two sisters, who are way more hot-headed and prone to get carried away so she does her best to keep them both in check.
- Worthy Opponent: He considers Hiryu one after he survives one of her traps in the residence area.
Xi Wang Mu
Voiced by: Lani Minella (Strider 2014)
"Oh Strider, so eager to play, so reluctant to admit it."
The mysterious master of the three sisters, introduced in the 2014 Strider. An extremely powerful martial artists with an unknown background, she dutifully serves Grandmaster Meio as one of his top lieutenants. As the master of the three Wind sisters, she taught them different aspects of her fighting style, and although their relationship (if any) is unknown, she still treats them like her own daughters. Xi Wang Mu wields form-changing knuckle guards which can transform into any kind of weapon. She rarely accompanies her students into battle or fights herself publicly, making her existence an urban legend for the world at large.
- Black Eyes of Crazy: Her portrait upon defeat shows the talismans covering her eyes ripped apart, revealing her eyes to be black with yellow irises.
- Hellish Pupils: They are also slitted like a cat's eyes.
- Ditto Fighter: She copies all the moves of the other Winds during her boss fight.
- Eye-Obscuring Hat: Wears a very elaborate headgear with two talismans hanging on the front, covering her eyes in all but her death portrait.
- Mama Bear: While whether she's their biological mother is not certain, she really does seem to treat the Winds as one, and most of her Boss Banter centers on them. She explicitly says to Hiryu that, while she's being ordered his elimination, she's also doing it in their name."Lord Meio may have ordered your execution, but you will pay for the death of my students."
- Morph Weapon: Her knuckle guards can turn into any of the Winds' weapons.
- Multi-Melee Master: As a result of her weapon, she can wield a sword, a spear or bladed guns efficiently. In addition, her backstory establishes she has studied all forms of martial arts.
- Mysterious Woman: Noted in her profile to be enshrouded in mystery.
- Old Master: The master of the Winds, and although she doesn't look that much old physically, her backstory seems to imply she's older than she looks.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: One of her attacks has her transform into a purple panther of pure energy.
Meio's ArmyA common demonination for Earth's military armies and corrupt individuals who has pledged loyalty to Grandmaster Meio, and rule the world in his name. This includes the madmen ruling the military arm of his empire, the mad scientists performing experiments and developing machines for his sake, and his closer lieutenants and followers who do all his biddings with a smile on their faces.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: All members of the secret group from Strider 2 are designed like European nobility and are established as the heads of several nations.
- Armies Are Evil: Usually, the armies who allied with Meio do so out of fear or self-preservation, but have no qualms on ruling with an iron fist and opressing the rest of the planet on his name.
- Dirty Communists: The main enemy force in the original Strider was a Russian empire set on the Kazakh Federation.
- Hero Killer: In the 2014 Strider, all of the Grandmaster's subordinates has dealt with and killed atleast one of the Striders sent in before Hiryu. In-game, only Professor Schlange makes a mention of it, however.
- Fan Nickname: Lacking a name, the group from Strider 2 is called "Light Sword Cypher" by fans, a mistake born from a common title given to Hiryu's weapon.
- The Omni Scient Council Of Vagueness: The group governing the world in Strider 2. They are formed by corrupt corporations and criminal organizations and led by heads of states, and maintain control of Earth from the shadows while awaiting the day Meio returns to the world.
Voiced by: Koji Totani (Strider for PC-Engine), Kan Tokumaru (Strider 2), Tetsuo Mizutori (Namco × Capcom), Eric Newsome (Strider 2014)
"All sons of old gods, die!"
A mysterious being presumed to come from outer space, Grandmaster Meio suddenly appeared on Earth in the year 2042 intent on conquering it. Taking over the still-living Russian Empire, he waged war against the world and become its ruler after 5 years. Not satisfied with merely ruling over the world, Meio wanted every living creature on the planet to recognize his superior authority. To accomplish this, he set out to exterminate all life on Earth and use his powers to create a new race to repopulate it, this way becoming humanity's undisputed God. Though defeated in the end, Meio somehow survived and went into a deep sleep as his plan continued on, finally awakening 2000 years later in a world inhabited by his creations, each of whom worships him as their God.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: In the 2014 game, Meio's human visage is the way he appears to his subordinates, with his true form being revealed as the Final Boss.
- Arch-Enemy: To Hiryu, seemingly across thousands of years.
- 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 earthall sons of old gods, die!!!"
- Bad Boss: He really thinks nothing of his subordinates or the people of Earth he rules over, seeing them as mere playthings to be used to fulfill his ambitions. As soon as they serve their purpose or don't measure up to his expectatives, he decides to kill the whole planet and start anew somewhere else.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Even though he was defeated in the end, Meio's plans for Earth were still carried out in his absence, and Strider 2 begins in a corrupted world ruled by his human creations 2000 years after his defeat.
- Bald of Evil
- Bandaged Face: He's got his face covered in bandages in Strider 2.
- Body Horror: His design in the 2014 Strider is bizarre to say the least: he's got a single, worm-like body with a pale complexion and red veins all over, no visible legs and a core of sort embedded in his "chest".
- Cognizant Limbs: Meio Prime has two snake or dragon-looking arms which act on their own.
- 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.
- For some reason this ability is absent in his 2014 incarnation, though there are hints that the clones in the Research area of Kazakh City were created by him.
- Depopulation Bomb: The Grandmaster's plan, erasing all lifeforms (all the "Sons of Old Gods") off Earth so he could create his own lifeforms and thus become a god.
- Despotism Justifies the Means: Everything Meio does is only to satisfy his inmense overblown ego and ambitions of godhood, humanity be damned. He took over the world, but felt entirely unsatisfied because he wanted everyone on the planet to accept his rule, something practically impossible due to those who openly opposed him and those who weren't civilized enough to understand him. So what did he decided to do? incinerate all life on the planet, the "Sons of Old Gods", then use his life-creating powers to repoblate the planet with a new human race which would all worship him as a New God. And then, things get even worse in Strider 2, where he finds Earth's corruption and decadent state so beyond repair that he simply decides to destroy the planet and leave to find a new planet to start the process all over again.
- Eldritch Abomination: His 2014 Strider self has shades of this with his bizarre body structure and appearance, and then he gets fully into it when he turns into Meio Prime, his real form.
- Egopolis: Meio went on to name the years after himself in the 2014 game, since the game is set in "Meio 0048".
- Evil Genius
- Evil Laugh: The Grandmaster starts the arcade game off with a huge cackle. In Strider 2, he occassionally breaks into a lower pitched, deep laughter during battle.
- Evil Old Folks: He looks quite old already, and by Strider 2 he's added more than 2000 years to his age.
- Evil Wears Black: The only villain to sport a mostly black costume/color scheme, and the evilest of them all.
- Flight: Grandmaster Meio is always seen floating, his feet are never visible beneath his cloak. His 2014 incarnation doesn't even have feet at all, his body formed by his head, arms and a long piece of meat with a core as his "chest".
- Galactic Conqueror: Appears on Earth one day to conquer. In Strider 2, he plans on leaving the decadent Earth and find a new planet to conquer and start everything all over.
- Got the Whole World in My Hand: The first visual once starting the original Arcade game is of Meio moving up the screen, holding the Earth between his sharp-nailed fingers as he cracks one impressive Evil Laugh.
- Humanoid Abomination: Most definitively in the 2014 Strider, given his bizarre Body Horror, but there are shades of this in his previous designs as well, mainly on the fact only his head and hands are ever visible, even thought his cloak is open from the front, and they just seem to blend into the darkness inside it.
- Kill All Humans: His primary goal is to erradicate all life on Earth, so he can repopulate it with his own engineered life.
- In the Hood: The Grandmaster is always wearing a black hood.
- Load-Bearing Boss: Almost always averted: the only instance where Meio's defeat leads to his base exploding on its own is in the ending created for the Genesis port.
- Mad Scientist: Grandmaster Meio has touches of this, as he's not only the one leading research teams into creating the machines of the game, he unlocked the secret to create life through researching ancient lifeforms found in the Amazon.
- One-Winged Angel: Grandmaster Meio turns into a humongous Caduceus-like creature named Meio Prime as the final boss of the 2014 Strider.
- Painfully Slow Projectile: One of his attacks in the 2014 game is to sic a giant orb of energy that flies slowly at Hiryu, requiring several hits to break.
- Physical God: Meio possess vast powers and the ability to create life of any kind on the spot, but he doesn't seem to be a true god, instead trying to achieve the title by creating his own species to rule over.
- Pride Before a Fall: He's very boastful of himself and invariably belittles Hiryu and threatens to show him his power before the final stage. Much good it does to him in the end...
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Meio's default appearance always includes a black tunic/hood with red outlines.
- Take Over the World: By the time the games starts, it's been a few years since he's done it.
- Teleport Spam: The Grandmaster gains this tactic in Strider 2 and the 2014 game, teleporting around to avoid being hit.
- The Scottish Trope: No subordinate of him ever refers to Meio by his actual name, instead calling him "lord" (or "master" in certain versions). The 2014 Strider averts this trope, although only in the English script, the Japanese keeping the same appelative given in all previous games which translates roughly to "Him" or "That Man".
- Shock and Awe: Lightning attacks are a staple of his boss fights since the beginning.
- Villainous Breakdown: His first defeat in the 2014 Strider leads into this. By the time he comes back as Meio Prime, the boostful and demeaning Meio is no more, and he just rambles about the perfect world he is going to create after killing Hiryu.
- You Have Failed Me: In the 2014 game, he kills Professor Schlange after the good doctor fails a few too many times. He also actually thanks Hiryu fo killing his subordinates, having grown tired of their incompetence.
- We Can Rule Together: Meio offers this to Hiryu in the 2014 game. He doesn't bite.
Voiced by: Shuichi Ikeda (Strider for PC-Engine), Hozumi Gouda (Strider 2), Hideo Watanabe (Namco × Capcom), Dave Rivas (Strider 2014)
"I GOT YOU!"
A bounty hunter and hired assassin with a reputation for being unmatched and undefeated in his profession. Very proud of his strength, Solo trusts only two things in life: money and himself, and will carry out any job no matter how risky or dirty once his costly fees are paid. In battle, he fights by using a Powered Armor that allows him to fly and an assortment of high-power firearms, guns and explosives to exterminate from a safe distance.
In all versions, Solo is contracted to exterminate Hiryu after his crusade becomes a nuisance to Grandmaster Meio, but he finds himself not up to Hiryu's skills. His pride wounded, he always returns a second time to rechallenge Hiryu and settle the score.
- The Ace: Solo asserts himself to be the strongest human being on Earth, and carries the title proudly on his own name (see Meaningful Name below). Part of his interest in fighting Hiryu is to prove it by challenging a Strider in battle.
- Badass Baritone: He has quite a deep voice, specially in the first game.
- Bald of Evil
- BFG: Solo's main weapon is usually a huge cannon of some sort. In the first game, it was a flamethrower with an attached missile launcher, while in Strider 2 it is a plasma cannon. While his main weapon in the 2014 game is a much smaller rifle, he can throw some big attacks with it and later replaces it with the huge flamethrower from the first game.
- Bounty Hunter: His main profession.
- Came Back Wrong: His return as Solo ZN-2 really messed up his head, which coupled with having been defeated for the first time in his career, turned Solo into an insane, revenge-obssessed maniac.
- Came Back Strong: Solo ZN-2 is said to be even stronger than his regular form, however.
- Clone Army: The weaker "mass produced models" developed after him, featured as enemies in Strider 2.
- Deadly Disc: One of his moves in Strider 2 has him create two large rings of plasma over his shoulders.
- Dub Name Change: In his appearance in the Western-made Strider Returns, he's called "Inferno".
- Enemy Posturing: Half the time you can actually hit Solo in the 2014 game is because he stopped flying around to mock Hiryu.
- Evil Counterpart: Can be seen as one to Hiryu: both are, in a sense, mercenaries who take up missions/contracts from clients and are determined to see them to the end, but while Hiryu does it out of loyalty to the Striders and follows his own sense of justice with no interest in any type of reward or aknowledgement, Solo does it merely for the money and to maintain his title as the strongest in the world. They are also thematically opposite, both being extremelly quick warriors, but one wearing simple clothing and a melee-range sword while the other fights in a full suit of armor and exclusively with long-ranged weaponry.
- Expy: He's one to Boba Fett, with his creation being inspired by Fett's Establishing Character Moment in The Empire Strikes Back.
- The Faceless: Solo's face is always hidden behind his golden visor. We do get a brief glimpse of his face in the 2014 Strider, when he returns as Solo ZN-2 with his visor half-broken.
- Flight: Solo uses thrusters on his back.
- Fragile Speedster: In the original game, Solo moves really fast and has a lot of firepower... but dies in 3 hits.
- Guns vs. Swords: A futuristic take, as Solo always wields plasma cannons and guns to face Hiryu and his trusty plasma sword Cypher.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: In the original game, you can briefly see him fly away in pieces after being defeated.
- Laughing Mad: Sometimes breaks into a cackle during boss battles in the 2014 game.
- Macross Missile Massacre: One of Solo's attacks in the first game is a barrage of homing missiles.
- Meaningful Name: In-story, "Solo" is meant to reflect his belief and position as the "strongest man, alone at the top".
- Mysterious Mercenary Pursuer: As expected of a Boba Fett Expy. A Bounty Hunter paid by the Big Bad to kill The Protagonist? Check. Wears an all-concealing Powered Armor whose visor makes him The Faceless? Check. A mysterious assassin? Check. Relentless pursues his target, and takes things personal once he's defeated for the first time? Check.
- Only in It for the Money: One of the only two things Solo believes in life, the other being the weapons he holds.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Given the meaning behind his name, it is possible Solo is meant to be a nickname and not his actual name.
- Parts Unknown: Unlike the other enemies in the first game, there's no clear indication of his nationality, either from design or spoken language, as he speaks English.
- Plasma Cannon: His weapon in Strider 2, as well as the plasma rifle he wields in the 2014 Strider.
- Playing with Fire: His weapons tend to lean toward this. Solo ZN-2 practically revels in this.
- Powered Armor: All his incarnations use a flight-enabled mechanical suit equipped with lots of missiles.
- Psycho for Hire: Solo's personality takes a turn to this in the 2014 Strider. While previous incarnations showed him more a Consummate Professional focused on hunting down Hiryu, the 2014 game added a much more sadistic personality to the mix, exemplified by him taunting Hiryu mid-battle about not entertaining him enough and being generally disappointed by his performance, as well as breaking into a rather jarring Evil Laugh occassionally. Once he's defeated and half-heartedly brought back to life, he goes full Ax-Crazy, entirely obssessed over killing Hiryu for his previous defeat.
- 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). He's also fought twice in Strider Returns for the Genesis and the 2014 Strider in an "upgraded" form known as Solo ZN-2.
- The Rival: One of Hiryu's most persistents at that.
- Skippable Boss: He can actually be ignored both times he's faced in the original Arcade game. Doing so on Siberia means the player will have to deal with him alongside the Kuniang sisters (although, again, he doesn't need to be killed to end the stage so one can try ignore him), while doing so on the final stage will have him pester the player for the following two bosses, which is not really a good idea.
- Sore Loser: Doesn't take losing well at all, best exemplified in the 2014 Strider, where having experienced his first defeat on his career pushed him into insanity.
- Speed Echoes: In the first and second game, he moves so fast he leaves residual images of himself behind him.
- Spread Shot: Solo's side arm in the first two games shoots three-way shots.
General Mikiel (Ouroboros)
Voiced by: Kouji Yada (Strider for PC-Engine), Erik Braa (Strider 2014)
"You really think you can win? You will never defeat the Master!"
A decorated war general from the Kazakh Federation, Mikiel is the corrupt and power-hungry head of the military council ruling the country. When Grandmaster Meio appears on Earth, however, he's quick to switch sides and become his subordinate, allowing him to keep his position of power over the country while serving Meio as his direct representative on Earth and military overseer. He appears as as the first antagonist in the first Strider and returns for the 2014 game.
In both appearances, Mikiel has his body modified to become a machine. In the first game, he and the other council members can merge themselves into a large, centipede-like creature known as "Ouroboros, the Iron Ruler", who serves as the first stage boss. In the 2014 Strider, he has most of his body turned into a machine, making him a cyborg.
- Arc Villain: Serves as one during the first half of the 2014 game, being the one who sends troops amd the Winds against Hiryu, and then contracts Solo's services. Once he's killed, Meio takes matters into his hands and starts directly ordering the following villains to kill Hiryu.
- The Caligula: In the first game, Mikiel's mismanagement of the Kazakh Federation has not only left the country in the brink of economic ruin, but also encouraged the rise of a rebel army out of the tired population that not only plunged the area into war, but actually led to them seeking the Striders and Hiryu getting involved in the first place. His 2014 version is even worse, as now he's punishing citizens for even the tiniest of crimes (like being slow in disembarking from the subway!) in the name of preventing "social decay", constantly broadcasting orders and reminders to the citizens through speakers and wasting huge sums of money and resources in building his "Tornado", a powerful weapon that only he can drive and so expensive it can't be mass-produced. Why he ordered it built? Because he wanted one in his collection of weapon!
- Collector of the Strange: In the 2014 game, he's stated to collect weapons of all kinds, including turrets, guns and even a Hover Tank. His decision to mechanize himself also stems from this, as in his eyes this makes him a part of his collection.
- Cool Tank: His prized possession in the 2014 game is a massive Hover Tank known as "Tornado", equipped with a plethora of weapons including molotov bombs, laser beam walls, explosives and a huge cannon.
- Combining Mecha: Well, Ouroboros should count as one, the combined form of 24 Russian councilmen.
- Cyborg: Visibly becomes one in the 2014 Strider.
- Fake Russian: In the 2014 Strider. Instead of having him speak Russian as in the original, the developers instead went for a heavily exaggerated Russian accent instead. This applies to most of the enemies actually, but Mikiel's accent is perhaps the most obvious and noticeable one of the bunch.
- "Get Back Here!" Boss: Although not directly faced as a boss, the player has to pursue him across several screens before fighting him in his Tornado tank.
- The Generalissimo: He's the despot ruler of a Eastern European country derived from the Soviet Union, having turned it into a dystopia where every citizen is monitored.
- Gratuitous Russian: His lines in the Arcade game are spoken in a heavily accented Russian, making them very hard to understand.
- Glorious Leader: Has shades of this in the 2014 Strider, stating things like the imposed martial law is for the people's safety and that all the strict rules and obedience is to prevent "social decay", when in truth he's only doing everything to stroke his own ego.
- Husky Russkie: In the 2014 Strider, he's the most brutish out of all of Meio's followers, being brash, overly confident and having little common sense (as his death cutscene confirms), and comes with the accent to prove his heritage proudly.
- Mook Lieutenant: As Grandmaster Meio's military overseer, Mikiel has total control of his armies on Earth and coordinates them in his name.
- Never Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight: Mikiel brings the stock phrase in the 2014 Strider, telling Hiryu he has "zero chances" of winning as he wields a gun and he has just a "knife". He seems to entirely disregard the fact Hiryu has just used said "knife" to destroy his beloved (and massive) Hover Tank full to be brim with missiles, lasers and turrets. Suffice to say, he doesn't live for long after that statement...
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: His appearance in the first game resembles then-president of Russia Mikhail Gorbachev.
- No Name Given: In Japan he was only ever referred to by monickers such as "Kazakh High Officer". Averted in the 2014 Strider, where Mikiel was carried over into the Japanese version as well.
- Ouroboros: Ouroboros represents one, and one of its patterns has him spin around itself, reflecting its usual representation of a snake eating its own tail.
- Pinball Projectile: His weapon in the 2014 Strider shoots fireballs which bounce off any surface they hit, making them hard to dodge.
- Puppet King: Serves as one for Grandmaster Meio, as he rules in his name while Meio's occupied on more important matters.
- Segmented Serpent: He becomes one when he merges into Ouroboros. Well, closer to a segmented Creepy Centipede but the feelings' the same.
- Sinister Scythe & Drop the Hammer: Ouroboros' two weapons. Because Glorious Mother Russia.
Voiced by: Yukitoshi Hori (Strider for PC-Engine)
A Russian "enhanced human", Strobaya is a Kazakh soldier who has subjected himself to special modifications, turning himself into a Cyborg enhanced through special drugs, giving him incredible physical strength. He confronts Hiryu as the very first boss in the original Strider.
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: He's named after a brand of Russian Vodka the creator was fond of.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: His strategy is to constantly launch himself at Hiryu trying to grab and toss him into walls. Noted in his backstory that he's not one to think strategically, making his battle plan lineal and predictable.
- Blood Knight: His line in the PC-Engine version paints him as one, telling Hiryu he's been waiting for him to appear.
- Cyborg: Willingly becomes one.
- Expy: He's pretty much Ivan Drago's twin brother, a blonde Russian muscle man who barely speaks and got himself extra strength through some suspicious substances.
- Husky Russkie: Not as slow as the norm, but otherwise fits the bill as a very strong, brutish and not so bright Russian soldier.
- Kiai: Everything he does, he does while screaming his lungs out. It is noted he really enjoys shouting warcries in battle.
- Rolling Attack: He rolls along the ground if his diving or lunging miss its mark.
- Shirtless Scene: His introduction has him ripping out his shirt, and he goes like this.
- Skippable Boss: In the Arcade original, the player can bypass the whole battle by doing a long jump over his room. Later ports, however, removed this making him a forced encounter.
- Super Serum: He uses special drugs to strengthen himself. When first found, he's hooked up to a machine that's administering them, actually.
- Super Strength: Thanks to the modifications to his body and the drugs. He's so strong he destroys the backup machine hooked up to him by merely flexing his muscles.
- Wrestler in All of Us: If he catches Hiryu, he will either perform a shoulder throw or a head scissors leg throw to violently strike him against one of the walls.
- Warm-Up Boss: The very first boss of the whole series.
Captain Beard Jr.
Voiced by: Iemasa Kayumi (Strider for PC-Engine)
One of the Grandmaster's subordinates, and the pirate-styled captain of the Flying Battleship Balrog. Before that, however, Beard was a commander of the Earth forces opposing Meio's attempt at conquering the planet. After a particularly brutal defeat against the Grandmaster where he lost his left eye, leg and arm, Beard Jr. realized how powerful Meio truly is and switched sides. He appears as the final obstacle in the 3rd stage.
- Airborne Aircraft Carrier: He's the captain of one, the Flying Battleship Balrog.
- An Arm and a Leg: Lost an arm, leg and eye to Meio.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Zigzagged. While Beard Jr. appears more capable than his men, seeing he can effortlessly whip them away from his escape ship, he's still nothing special in Hiryu's eyes, and as such goes down in measly three hits.
- Bad Boss: Has no care in the world for his own underlings, as seen at the end of the stage where he's whipping away the desperate soldiers who try to jump into his escape airship as the Balrog is collapsing.
- The Captain
- Captain Colorbeard
- Dressed to Plunder: Has most the trappings of a typical pirate design, including a Nice Hat, Hook Hand, peg leg and eyepatch.
- FaceHeel Turn: After getting a taste of Meio's powers, he quickly turned allegiances.
- Fallen Hero: He was once one fighting against Meio, but one brutal beating later he realized just how impossibly powerful Meio truly is and turned his back on everyone, becoming another subordinate of his.
- Gratuitous Spanish: His line in the game is spoken in a decent, if heavily slurred and accented, Spanish.
- Hook Hand: Has one, and actually uses it to attack Hiryu.
- Pirate: Has the style of one, as part of his Shout-Out.
- Sky Pirate: Given he leads a huge flying aircraft carrier, although he's the only one on board carrying the pirate imagery, with the rest of the crew being decked in futuristic armors.
- Seadog Beard: Has a large, brown beard.
- Shout-Out: His Japanese name (Captain Higemaru Jr.) and design are one to Capcom's old Arcade game Pirate Ship Higemaru.
- Unique Enemy: Rather than a boss proper, he's closer to an unique enemy whose death is programmed to end the 3rd stage.
- Whip It Good: Wields a whip in battle.
Desert Commander & Tank Driver
Voiced by: Koji Yada & Yukitoshi Hori
Two characters exclusive of the PC-Engine port of Strider. Part of the Kazakh military, the Desert Commander appears mid-way through the port's exclusive desert stage only to be killed by a giant antlion, the actual mid-boss. The Tank Driver is the stage's end boss, driving the large tank "Sovkhoz Я".
- Antlion Monster: A huge one eliminates the Desert Commander before the proper boss fight.
- Bait-and-Switch Boss: The Desert Commander blocks Hiryu's way, threatens him like all other bosses and starts spinning on place...only to get mauled by a giant antlion, who turns into the actual boss Hiryu faces.
- Canon Foreigner: Both appear in the desert level created for the PC-Engine version of the arcade game.
- Cool Tank: The Tank Driver's Sovkhoz Я.
- No Name Given: Neither character is given any known name.
Elder Brother Honghuo
A boss introduced in Strider 2, a high-ranking member of the Chinese Mafia. Honghuo has replaced most of his body with machine parts, and has outfitted himself with a number of weapons including a gatling gun for a right hand and a missile launcher on his belly. He's faced as the first boss enemy in the game.
- All There in the Manual: His full name is only revealed in official material, as the game simply calls him "Terrorist".
- Artificial Limbs: Both his hands are replaced with weapons: his right hand is a large gatling gun, while his left is some sort of huge, two-edged weapon.
- Cool Shades: Wears black shades.
- Cyborg: 80% of his body is no longer organics, replaced instead with black metal parts and weapons.
- Expy: Of Strobaya from the first game, as the two are loyal cyborg men serving evil organizations allied with the Grandmaster, as well as the very first actual bosses Hiryu faces.
- Fat Bastard: He's got a large, black-metallic gut.
- Meaningful Name: His name is Chinese for "Red Fire", which is fitting of a guy whose body holds a bunch of explosive weapons.
- More Dakka: One of his attacks is to constantly pelt Hiryu with his gatling gun-arm.
- The Speechless: He doesn't make any sound at all. Even when hit.
- The Triads and the Tongs: A high-ranking member of the "Chinese Mafia".
- Warm-Up Boss: As the first boss in the game, he's quite simple to deal with.
Voiced by: Toshihide Tsuchiha (Strider 2), Chris Subagio (Strider 2014)
There are two characters who go by the last name "Schlange". The first, introduced in Strider 2, is Herzog Schlange. An excentric and mysterious Mad Scientist dressed as an aristocrat or high noble, Herzog Schlange serves Grandmaster Meio's allies by building them machines and other weapons. He's the lord of Fortress Wahnen, an ancient castle he has rebuilt extensively, showcasing a combination of both medieval and modern technology. He's the final boss in the 2nd stage, set in his castle, together with one of his greatest creations, the "Aluminium Hydra".
The other is known simply as Professor Schlange, a straight-to-the-formula Mad Scientist reimagining featured in the 2014 Strider. Professor Schlange is Grandmaster Meio's top scientist and the one in charge of his Research Facility, where both production of troopers and biological experiments take place. Rather than excentric, this Schlange is a complete nutjob, completely deranged and obssessed with his creations, and with an ego streak that borders on insanity. He pesters Hiryu throrough the Research Facility and eventually sics his greatest creation, Mecha Pon, at him.
- Anachronism Stew: Invoked in-universe, as this is Herzog Schlange's entire schtick, shown in the stage he's the boss of: an ancient, German castle with an army of soldiers dressed as if they came straight out of a World War I battlefield and an unit of freakin medieval knights standing side-to-side with mechanical horses, sentient machines and a two-legged walking tank that wouldn't be out of place in Metal Gear.
- Background Boss: The Aluminium Hydra stands in the back of the stage and only attacks one head at a time.
- Bilingual Bonus: German is all over Herzog Schlange and his stage. Besides his own name (seen below), there's Fortress Wahnen itself ("Delusion"), Metall Hengst ("Metal Stallion"), Sturmgeschutz V ("Assault Gun") and even a minor enemy, the Rasenhamer ("Lawnmower").
- Bio-Augmentation: Professor Schlange is all about this, as he thinks the body is nothing but a vehicle to work with. He even offers Hiryu to become immortal this way, albeit at the cost of his soul.
- Boss Banter: Although Professor Schlange is not a proper boss, he'll pester Hiryu with his banter all the way through his huge research complex.
- Cyborg: Professor Schlange has no love for a biological body, thinking of it as a mere vehicle, so he has "upgraded" himself with mechanical parts, most notably having removed his entire lower half with a round contraption that connects with the facility, allowing him to quickly transverse the large complex on a whim.
- For Science!: Every atrocity Professor Schlange commits is to satisfy his desire for knowledge.
- Flunky Boss: Schlange summons armored knights during the battle with the Hydra.
- "Get Back Here!" Boss: Herzog Schlange appears standing on a floating platform during the Boss Battle, and as he is the actual target one must shoot for, he will constantly drift back and forth, staying little time on any one spot for long.
- High-Class Glass: Herzog Schlange sports a nifty monocle, a classic fit for his aristocratic look.
- Labcoat of Science and Medicine: Professor Schlange has one drapped around his shoulders, wearing it like a cape.
- Lack of Empathy: Professor Schlange feels nothing of the sort, if how easily he's willing to experiment on captured citizens and harvest their brains didn't clue you in already.
- Machine Worship: As long as the machine in question is built by him, Professor Schlange will joyfully praise its beauty and perfection to kingdom's come.
- Mad Doctor: Professor Schlange also dabbles in genetic engineering as well as robotic manufacturing.
- Mad Scientist: Herzog Schlange is one combined with the image of an aristocrat, while Professor Schlange is the basic, vanilla version.
- Mad Scientist Laboratory: Professor Schlange has the Research Facility, which combines a robot manufacturing plant, a testing chamber, a cloning and storage building and a research and experiment laboratory into one massive complex.
- Meaningful Name: "Herzog Schlange" is German for "Duke (as in the title of nobility) Snake".
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Well, it is Professor Schlange after all.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: Each one of the Aluminium Hydra's heads resemble one of six different animals: a dragon, lizard, turtle, snake, chameleon and crocodile.
- Orochi: The Aluminium Hydra was inspired by the Yamata-no-Orochi.
- Patriotic Fervor: Herzog Schlange serves the Grandmaster entirely as a way of showing off his country's worth to him.
- Pride: Professor Schlange's got this overinflated, exaggerated view of himself and all things he has created, to the point he goes rambling mad the more Hiryu wrecks them.
- Professor Guinea Pig: Professor Schlange, natch. He's performed several surgeries over his own body in order to fully integrate himself with the huge Research Facility he oversees.
- Robot Master: Both versions are well-versed in robotics and have created plenty of strange machines for Meio.
- Top-Heavy Guy: Herzog Schlange's got quite the upper body, in spite of not being a fighter or actual boss.
- The Unfought: Neither Schlange is actually faced as a Boss Battle, although Herzog atleast appears during the boss battle as the actual target.
- Villainous Breakdown: Professor Schlange starts out smug and confident as he welcomes Hiryu to the research area and sics wave after wave of enemies while "guiding" him around the premises and telling him of his experiments, mocking him or offering him to become another test subject. As Hiryu continues surviving every trap and destroying the machines he's so proud of, Schlange starts losing his patience and the playful and mocking tone gets replaced with irritation and frustration, as he just wishes Hiryu to die already. After the Gravitron is destroyed, Schlange's finally turned into a raving madman, yelling at Hiryu for daring to destroy HIS creations and laboratory.
- Wetware CPU: Professor's Schlange "ZAIN Project v2" has this as its core, using human brains to power and control his war machines.
A mysterious creature used as the literal heart of the Flying Battleship Balrog, encased within its Reactor Core where some sort of energy she possess is syphoned to provide motion to the air fortress.
- Death Seeker: When Hiryu confronts her, she pleads with him to kill her and he grants her wish.
- Fate Worse than Death: Encased in the Reactor Core and being drained off whatever power she has is far from a pleasant experience, to the point she willingly asks Hiryu to kill her.
- Living Battery: She's unwillingly supplying the Balrog as its power core.
- Mercy Kill: While if Hiryu meant it like this is unknown (given destroying the core was mandatory so killing her was unavoidable), either way he complies with her request.
- No Name Given: Merrow actually is the name of her species.
- Our Mermaids Are Different: Merrows are basically the mermaids of Irish folklore.
- Rapunzel Hair
Voiced by: Hozumi Gouda (Strider 2)
A boss introduced in Strider 2, a high-ranking member of the shadow organization worshipping Meio and the captain of the renewed Flying Battleship Balrog. Wilhelm is a loyal subordinate of Meio who fights with a plasma sword known as a "Shock Blade", and is very agile and nimble thanks to robotic prosthetic legs. He also really hates Hiryu for wasting his strength and talent opposing Meio.
- Artificial Limbs: He and the soldiers under his charge have metallic prosthetic legs. In his case, they allow him to walk on walls.
- The Captain: The captain of an entire flying fortress, the new Balrog.
- Cool Sword: A curved sabre capable of producing a large trail of plasma when swung.
- No-Sell: He never flinches when hit, he's only slightly slowed down.
- Sword Beam: When reduced to half of its health, Wilhelm's sword starts throwing small homing blades of energy with each attack, like a very watered-down version of Hiryu's Boost move.
- Turns Red: Subtle, but the color of his plasma attacks change from blue to green and purple when reduced to half of its health.
The final boss of Strider 2, a massive otherworldly monstrosity created by Grandmaster Meio's power to serve as a vehicle to transport the seeds of his lifeforms with him once he leaves Earth for a new planet to begin his experiments again.
- Beam Spam: His most powerful attack consists of showering the whole area with laser beams.
- Colossus Climb: Since Caduceus' only weak point is its head, one has to climb its large arms in order to get into striking distance.
- Death from Above: His biggest attack is a massve laser storm that covers almost the entire screen.
- Eldritch Abomination: A massive, deformed being with a vaguely mantaray shape and enough power to obliterate a planet.
- Elemental Powers: As the Final Boss, Caduceus can manipulate a lot of elements during his battle.
- Flying Seafood Special: Has the overall shape of a giant mantaray with two big "arms".
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Outside of some obscure Japanese material, there's no explanation of Caduceus' existence, outside Meio creating parts of it as enemies during his boss battle hinting that its another one of his created lifeforms.
- Healing Factor: Anything but its head, where its core is located, can't be damaged and will repair instantly. In-game, this is shown when striking its arms: it can temporarily disable its attacks, but they will be functional again in no time.
- Kill It with Fire: Caduceus' end comes about when he freefalls into Earth and burns at reentry.
Voiced by: Eric Newsome
Introduced in the 2014 Strider, Juroung is the self-proclaimed "true disciple" of Grandmaster Meio, a a religious follower of Meio who worships him as a true God and enforces his will and rule upon the refugees of the Underground. Juroung believes himself superior to others due to his fanatical belief in Meio and the right of his vision for the world, and has made his life's mission to assist his master in seeing this "utopia" become a reality. Juroung's primary ability lies in the manipulation of water, which he can use in a variety of forms and shapes to crush his master's enemies.
- Does Not Like Shoes: He fights barefeet.
- The Dragon: Described as Meio's closest subordinate, and the one he trusts the most.
- Elemental Baggage: Averted. Juroung's boss room is in ankle-deep water, and he has a mechanism on his back which sucks up water up to his arms, from where he then weaponizes it.
- The Fundamentalist: As far as he is concerned, Meio is in the right to do what he plans to do and nothing will sway his conviction. He even inquires Hiryu aloud at the beginning of his battle why he remains a non-believer and refuses Meio's call.
- Giant Hands of Doom: A lot of his attacks consist of giant hands of water he uses to clasp, crush or punch his enemies.
- Gravity Master: His water-control is achieved through this, as Juroung uses the power of a miniature Gravitron embedded within him to shape water to his will.
- Ground Pound: He strikes the ground in order to create rising pillars of water as an attack.
- Holier Than Thou: He's defined entirely by his devotion to Grandmaster Meio: he enforces his will among those who escaped his dystopian rule, sees himself superior to others because his belief is stronger, and believes Meio's "will" guides him to victory.
- Knight Templar: Juroung is convinced Meio's vision is the right one for the world, and that his complete devotion will always guide him to victory.
- Making a Splash: Juroung's main power is the ability to manipulate and control water with devastating force.
- Prophet Eyes: Juroung's eyes are completely white, denoting his status as a spiritual shaman.
- Religious Bruiser: As the devout follower and rule enforcer of Grandmaster Meio.
- Scary Black Man: A tall, imposing one that's more often than not surrounded by shadows.
- Sinister Silhouettes: In his introductory cutscene he appears enshrouded in shadows.
- Undying Loyalty: Juroung follows Meio's orders even if it means death to him.
- Warrior Monk: Invokes the image with his shaman outfit and total religious devotion to Grandmaster Meio.
- Weapons That Suck: Juroung's strongest attack consists of a powerful gravity pull that sucks Hiryu into the center of the screen and stuns him in place.