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Video Game / Hiryū no Ken

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Hiryū no Ken (飛龍の拳, lit. "Fist of the Flying Dragon") is a Genre Mashup video game series developed by Culture Brain which ran from 1985 to 2000. The series started with the Arcade Game Hokuha Syourin Hiryū no Ken / Shanghai Kid, which is one of the earliest examples of a Mixed Martial Arts note  Fighting Game. Its main feature is the "Mind's Eye" system, which indicates one of the two fighters' weak points to attack or defend. It was also one of the first fighting games with a special move, a Counter-Attack and a Finishing Move. In what would be a series' tradition, the main character, a Kung Fu practitioner, fights against martial artists who practice six different fighting styles (one of them being a Mirror Boss).

When the game was remade two years later for the Nintendo Entertainment System, it was turned into a 2D Beat 'em Up / Platform Game with RPG Elements and a story, although the fighting game roots were kept in its combat mechanics, and emphasized on martial arts tournaments and boss matches. The sequels moved further into Action RPGs, introducing a Five-Man Band with super modes, variable difficulties, Player Versus Player modes, and an RPG mode that replaces the combat portions with commands. This was also when Culture Brain was trying to push a Foreign Remake of the series with the Superhero-themed Flying Warriors and Ultimate Fighter.


When Street Fighter II revolutionized the fighting game genre, the series failed to keep up with the modern conventions, so it tried to Follow the Leader with the SD Hiryū no Ken games. Later, it also tried to borrow from the more "realistic" 3D fighting games like Virtua Fighter and Tekken in Virtual Hiryū no Ken and Hiryū no Ken Twin to little success, since the style returned into the SD slant. SD Hiryū no Ken Densetsu was the final title of the seriesnote , which had a story mode that was a Video Game Remake of the first game.

Compare with the sister series Super Chinese: SD Hiryū no Ken was made in the style of Culture Brain's own Super Chinese World 2, which itself borrowed from Hiryū no Ken's Tournament Arc tropes in space. Also, Ryuhi and his gang made cameos in Super Chinese 2 and Super Chinese World — in turn, fighters from Super Chinese Fighter would be guest fighters in the last two Hiryū no Ken titles.


The series consists of the following games:

  • Hokuha Syourin Hiryū no Ken / Shanghai Kid (1985, Arcade)
  • Hiryū no Ken: Ōgi no Sho / Flying Dragon: The Secret Scroll (1987/1988, FC/NES)
  • Hiryū no Ken II: Dragon no Tsubasa (1989, FC)
  • Hiryu no Ken III: Gonin no Ryū Senshi (1990, FC)
  • Hiryū no Ken Gaiden / Fighting Simulator: 2-in-1: Flying Warriors (1990/1992, GB)
    • Hiryū no Ken Retsuden GB (2000. GBC): Updated Re-release of Hiryū no Ken Gaiden with a different story.
  • Hiryū no Ken Special: Fighting Wars (1991, FC): Hiryū no Ken III Fighting Game spin-off.
  • Hiryū no Ken S: Golden Fighter (1992, SFC)
    • Hiryū no Ken S: Hyper Version / Ultimate Fighter (1992/1994, SFC/SNES): Tweaked update of Hiryū no Ken S's engine.
  • SD Hiryū no Ken (1994, SFC)
    • SD Hiryū no Ken Gaiden (1995, GB): Port of SD Hiryū no Ken.
  • SD Hiryū no Ken Gaiden 2 (1996, GB)
  • Virtual Hiryū no Ken (1997, PSX)
  • Hiryū no Ken Twin / Flying Dragon (1997/1998-99, N64)
  • SD Hiryū no Ken Densetsu (1999, N64)

This series provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Early Appearance: SD Hiryū no Ken Densetsu's story mode is a retelling of the first Hiryū no Ken, but it manages to add the second game's new heroes and villain in cameo roles: Red Falcon and Wiler substitute the boxing bosses Boxer X and Giga Bruiser — and the remaining boxer, Fighter Question, is heavily implied to be Shouryu. Ellie, the only new character in the installment, gets a minor cameo as Wolf's daughter.
  • All Your Powers Combined: The heroes can combine their powers against the second and third games' final bosses to transform into Ryūten Taisei, an ancient gold-colored heavenly hero that banished the Big Bad of the second game in the past.
    • This also happens with the villain Fudō Ryumaou and the Godai Myōō of Gonin no Ryū Senshi, who merge into a demon-looking monster. The Matenshu, villains of Gaiden, also combine their powers to create Dark Dragon.
  • Animal Motifs: Associated with the Five-Man Band's super modes: Ryuhi symbolizes the Golden Dragon, Minmin the Kirin, Hayato the Houou, Wiler the Lion, and Shouryu the Platinum Dragon.
  • Another Dimension: Fights between the heroes and the bosses are fought in the "Kekkai" (Samgha, aka dimensional barrier).
  • Arrange Mode: Hiryū no Ken II, aside from its main story mode, gets a proto-Fighting Game Tournament Mode and an Anime RPG mode, which substitutes the main game's fighting game-like boss fights with RPG commands. After an absence in III (which got its own fighting game spin-off), these modes return to Golden Fighter along with a new Battle Mode, which lets the player fight against any boss.
    • Virtual Hiryū no Ken lets you choose against four modes: Hiryū Mode 1 (Virtua Fighter 3 controls, Mind's Eye), Hiryū Mode 2 (Virtua Fighter 2 controls, Mind's Eye), EXCITE Mode (Tekken 2 controls, no Super Special Moves) and EXPERT mode (Hiryū 1 without Mind's Eye nor Super Special Moves). The options let you switch the controls from the first three modes, though.
    • Hiryū no Ken Twin / Flying Dragon's main gimmick is that you can either play it as a customizable Virtual Hiryū no Ken port or a 3D SD Hiryū no Ken sequel. That said, the game favours playing the SD mode, which adds a Treasure Item-collecting feature that returned for the sequel.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The whole point of the "Mind's Eye" system is marking the player character and its enemy's weak point. Hitting in one of the other two possible points results in a brief stun. The marker can occasionally change into a Critical Hit blue marker, a "R" (Rush) custom combo, or a One-Hit Kill star.
    • Virtual Hiryū no Ken redesigns it from its pseudo-Rhythm Game turn-based origins into a more dynamic feature, where the markers show up to warn where an attack is going to hit — and at the same time, the attacker's unprotected points (usually the legs). Since the feature is kind of redundant in a fighting game, it was optional in every installment since SD.
  • Bad Moon Rising: A red star is an ominous sign of Daimajin's return.
  • Big Bad: Ryumaou (Dragon Devil King), the leader of the Dragon Tusks, although it's more complicated than that. The main villain of Ōgi no Sho / SD Hiryū no Ken Densetsu and Golden Fighter is Fuzu-Fu Ryumaou (Dargon overseas), and the main villain of Gonin no Ryū Senshi is his younger brother Fudō Ryumaou, the leader of the "Godai Myōō". However, from SD Hiryū no Ken Gaiden 2 to the end of the series, Ryumaou returned as the main villain. It's unclear if he's one of the brothers or if it's just somebody with the same title note .
    • Other main villains include Suzaku / Zakros, the main villain of Dragon no Tsubasa, SD Hiryū no Ken and Retsuden, and Dark Dragon from Gaiden.
  • Black-and-White Morality: The backstory of Hiryū no Ken II involves the resurrection of the ultimate forces of good and evil, Ryūten Taisei and Daimajin (aka Dragonlord and Demonyx).
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: Aleph, a competent american karateka, is sent by Minmin's father to protect her.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The "Kiba Toshi" (Tusk warriors) from the first three game are a literal version of this, since they tend to be hidden in the bodies of martial artists. Beating them is essential for the 100% Completion, but managing to fight against them usually involves knowing specific strategies against the martial artists.
    • Inverted by the "Makaishū Shitennō" boss Baishura in II, who hides as a Kiba Toshi.
  • Boxing Battler: Too many to list, since every game has at least a boxer enemy / boss. Probably the most notorious one is Roseman, who debuted in SD Hiryū no Ken.
  • Celebrity Endorsement: The NES / GB titles were endorsed by New Japan Pro-Wrestling talent such as Antonio Inoki or Jushin Thunder Liger. It's fitting, because the series was strongly influenced by Inoki's famous "style vs. style" matches in the late seventies.
  • Charlie Brown from Outta Town: After being defeated in Hiryū no Ken II, Suzaku reappears as Red Falcon, a Human Disguise. He also sports a scar on his face as a mark from his defeat (which doesn't make sense in Densetsu's story mode, since it happens before the second game).
  • Chinese Vampire: Hiryū no Ken II / Flying Warriors had jiangshi as enemies in the Hong Kong level, with a giant jiangshi subboss at its end.
  • Chrome Champion: Hiryū no Ken Twin / Flying Dragon (N64) features platinum and gold versions of the playable characters as sub-bosses. They're equipped with items to make their fights harder — the game even offers purchasable items to explain their weaknesses.
  • CIA Evil, FBI Good: Inverted: Wiler, one of the main characters, works for the CIA and is as heroic as the other members.
  • Counter-Attack: In the early titles, it was possible to counter a high punch into an arm throw. When the series returned into being full-blown fighting games, counter-attack mechanics were expanded into an essential feature.
  • Creature-Hunter Organization: Seimadan, a ancient ghost-hunting organization (vaguely implied to be Dragon Tusks) led by Shouryu. In fact, every organization leader is given the title Shouryu.
  • Cyber Ninja: RAIMA, who was created by a scientist to collect data from the world's best fighters. While the CIA, and therefore Wiler, doesn't trust its destructive potential (which is sort of proven with Suzaku's attempt to revive Daimajin), Raima's purpose is to save the world from danger. He also gains two more rivals in Virtual Hiryū no Ken: Swedish policewoman Kate and Hayato, who is sent by Shiranui Shizuka (daughter of Hayato's story boss in III) to search for his lost brother — no guessing where is he.
  • Death by Origin Story: The story of the first Hiryū no Ken (remade in SD Hiryū no Ken Densetsu) starts when Shou'an Rōshi (Master Shou'an / Juan), Ryuhi's teacher and foster father, is killed to steal his Ōgi no Sho book.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Hayato and Minmin were rivals to Ryuhi in the first game, but turn into main cast members in the sequel.
  • Degraded Boss: Fuzu-Fu Ryumaou evolves from the final boss of the first game to the last opponent of II's Tournament Arc, which happens halfway in the game. He gets it even worse in III, where he's the final trial of the combat tutorial as a Recap Episode. The same thing happens to Suzaku between the second and third games, who returns in III as "Red Falcon", the mysterious boss of the tournament. To a lesser extent, the martial artists' sprites, which were used for boss fights in the first two games, are also used for common mooks in III and S.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: In Ōgi no Sho, Minmin was a Ryuhi Head Swap, and Hayato was a minor boss. Dragon no Tsubasa makes Minmin and Hayato playable, along with new characters Wiler and Shouryu, but only as head swaps of Ryuhi's Super Mode. III makes them once again playable as Ryuhi head swaps in both modes, and now their super modes wield either two swords or a staff. Fighting Wars makes them different for the first time by assigning every one of them a fighting style archetype — except for Minmin, since there is no female fighter archetype. Golden Fighter gives Minmin her own sprite, at the expense of removing her super mode — Hayato, Wiler and Shouryu are only playable in super modes. Finally, SD Hiryū no Ken gives them for the first time their own sprites and completely different movesets.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Between SD Hiryū no Ken and Gaiden 2, Suzaku revives Ryumaou to help him awaken Daimajin. Since Ryumaou is the major villain of most of the games (including every game after Gaiden 2), this goes as well as you can imagine. Averted in the earlier Dragon no Tsubasa, where Ryumaou was indeed a servant of Suzaku.
  • Dressed Like a Dominatrix: Jennifer from SD Hiryū no Ken / SD Gaiden. She even has a whip to control his winged lion, Daddy.
  • Elemental Powers: Each character gets assigned an elemental power in their Super Mode: Ryuhi gets heavenly powers, Minmin controls fire, Hayato has wind abilities, Wiler controls lightning, and Shouryu gets the power of light. The sequels add Yuuka, Raima and Gou Fire to the mix.
  • Evil Counterpart: Every major villain is either an evil counterpart of Ryuhi (Fuzu-Fu, Red Falcon, Dark Dragon, Kim Wang-Yu in Fighting Wars) or his Super Mode (Suzaku, Fudō, Fuzu-Fu's super mode in Golden Fighter).
  • Evil Knockoff: Dark Dragon, the secret boss of Gaiden, is literally an evil copy of Ryuhi made with the power of the Matenshu and the five Hiryū medals.
  • Expy:
    • The Martial Arts fighters are either based on Satoru Sayama (Lion Kid / Litron), Benny Urquidez (Haken / Harkon, Hurricane Benny, Falcon...), or Everett "Monster Man" Eddy (Monster T, Monster Joe) — no wonder, since they're the fighters more strongly associated with the fictional "Martial Arts" fighting style in Japan.
    • Ōgi no Sho's wrestler boss Mongol Khan is vaguely similar to Road Warrior Animal, and Demon Kabuki might be loosely based on The Great Kabuki. Later, the wrestler boss Warrior / Max Crusher from II and the wrestler sprite from III (aka Conan) are identical to Hulk Hogan. Mad Warrior from Fighting Wars, Zebra and Gossett from Hiryū no Ken S and Powers from the SD games are expies of Ultimate Warrior.
    • As far as boxers go, Ōgi no Sho's Giga Bruiser is probably meant to be a Rocky Balboa lookalike, but Crusher / Slugger Sam from Dragon no Tsubasa is undoubtedly based on Clubber Lang. Mick Johnston from Fighting Wars is probably meant to be Mike Tyson.
    • Bob Roman, the kickboxer from Fighting Wars (a Muay Thai fighter in all but name), is clearly meant to be Rob Kaman.
    • The karate fighters from Fighting Wars, Muguruma Shirou and William Gordon, are probably meant to be Masaaki Satake and Willie Williams.
    • Fighting Wars redesigns the Kung Fu fighter archetype into Bruce Lee Clones. Jackie Dean is Jackie Chan, and Kamikaze Kid is probably meant to be the real deal.
    • Fighting Wars also redesigned the gigantic wrestler archetype into a more realistic Universal Wrestling Federation-type fighter, most notably Mach Akira as an Akira Maeda expy and Toukon Taro being "Moeru Toukon" Antonio Inoki. In Hiryū no Ken S, there is a wrestler Head Swap with a Tiger Mask called Gym Owner / Huge Hugh.
    • Grimson / Grimzon from Hiryū no Ken S is an imposing wrestler that uses spiked shoulderpads, just like The Road Warriors.
    • Kevin Clark, the Martial Artist who serves as the first boss of III (and the host of the "Godai Myōō" Aizen), is redesigned in Virtual Hiryū no Ken as a wrestler who is basically Stan Hansen.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Foreign Remake: The NES Flying Warriors game is a remake of Hiryū no Ken II with a Superhero aesthetic and storyline. However, it's unusual because it was made with the Hiryū no Ken III engine and some Gaiden graphics, instead of just editing the graphics and calling it a day. Further sequels for the Game Boy and Super Nintendo simply edited the main characters' sprites.
  • Genre Mashup: The NES installments and Golden Fighter are a proto-fighting game, platformer / beat'em up and RPG at the same time. Dragon no Tsubasa has proto-open world stages, while Golden Fighter loses the platforming elements of its prequels. The last games are simply fighting games with light RPG Elements.
  • Golden Super Mode: In the last boss fight of Flying Warriors the heroes all combine into one golden hero.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The last two games added a Treasure Item-collecting feature, which allowed the games to return to its earlier RPG elements. The items could range to stat-changing items, status buffs, healing potions, unlockable moves, magic spells, weapons, extra continues, game hints, etc.
  • Head Swap: Common in the early games: Hiryū no Ken I, II and S used head swaps of the six fighter archetypes, and II and III used it for the main five protagonists. III only has different heads for the hero / Kung Fu archetype, otherwise there's only a single sprite type for the fighter characters. Inverted in Fighting Wars, which uses slightly different movesets for each archetype clone, despite them being little more than Palette Swaps.
  • Heaven Versus Hell: Ryūten Taisei comes from the Tenkai (Heavenly realm), and the Ankoku-kai (Dark world) is the origin source of the Gekkōshū.
  • Hurricane Kick: It's one of the iconic moves of the main characters (especially back when they shared sprites) — the titular "Hiryū no Ken" technique starts as a hurricane kick into one of the screen's corners, where the characters perform a flying kick.
  • I Have Your Daughter: The reason why Kevin Clark enters the tournament in Virtual Hiryū no Ken.
  • Japanese Delinquents: Tetsuo from SD Hiryū no Ken / SD Gaiden is a heroic version.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: A common ability in the early games, known as Tōki. However, it could only be performed against minor enemies and supernatural bosses, not against martial artists. Since Golden Fighter, they're performed in 'Street Fighter II'''s traditional quarter circle forward command.
  • Legacy Boss Battle: The Muay Thai fighter Songlam / Thornram and the Martial Artist Lion Kid were bosses from Hokuha Syourin Hiryū no Ken to Dragon no Tsubasa. Likewise, the karateka Daimon appeared in the second and third games.
  • Limit Break: The "Hiryū no Ken" technique, which initially could only be used when the K.O. Gauge was full, is probably the first technique of its kind in a fighting game. It's also an essential technique in the storyline, since the villains learned it in the first game.
    • From Hiryū no Ken II to S (except Gaiden), the main characters' super modes and the bosses could use the "Hōriki", mantra-invoked spells.
  • MacGuffin:
    • Ōgi no Sho: The Ōgi no Sho (Mysterious Book), who was stolen from Shou'an Rōshi by the Dragon Tusks and divided into various scrolls, and contains the teachings to perform the Hiryū no Ken, the "Mind's Eye", and various power-ups in the first game. It's implied in further titles that it was created by Shou'an Rōshi after Ryūten Taisei teached him the Hiryū no Ken.
    • Dragon no Tsubasa: The broken Mandala Talisman, which used to seal Daimajin in the past.
    • Gonin no Ryū Senshi: The Nichirin Ken (Sun blade), which is used to summon Ryūten Taisei. It's mentioned to be known under other names in the past, like Excalibur. Unlike earlier examples, it's acquired fairly early in the game — the rest of the game is about Putting the Band Back Together.
    • Hiryū no Ken Gaiden: The Hiryū medals, which can be combined to summon Dark Dragon.
    • Golden Fighter: The older games' Ōgi no Sho and Nichirin Ken, stolen from the Shaolin temple.
  • Masked Luchador: SD Hiryū no Ken retcons Shouryu, who was previously a "Martial Artist" in Hiryū no Ken Special, as a high-flying luchador. While he isn't masked, he appears as a masked fighter in SD Hiryū no Ken Densetsu's story mode.
  • Moveset Clone: Mostly played straight in Fighting Wars. The new characters from SD Hiryū no Ken Gaiden 2 (Karateka Helbert, nak muay Dava, and Noel) highly resemble older characters from Super Chinese Fighter (namely Gou Fire, Kamanchai, and Ryu). Cleverly Played With in SD Hiryū no Ken Densetsu, though, since every returning boss from the first game (little more than bonus characters) borrows their moveset from different characters:
    • The Kung Fu archetype is still made from Ryuhi clones (Kokūnsai, Fuzu-Fu) — however, Minmin and Ryumaou (Fuzu-Fu's Super Mode) have been individual characters since earlier SD installments. Sadly, Gengai is now a Ryuhi clone, instead of an individual character like in Virtual / Twin. The Kiba Toshi mooks now retain their possessed body's moves, instead of being Kung Fu fighter head swaps.
    • Karate fighter Gou Hayato retains his SD moveset, but Mugen Shirou is now a clone of Gou Fire.
    • Muay Thai fighters Songlam and Jungle Tagan get their own non-cloned moveset, so they are clones of each other.
    • Wrestler fighters are all over the place: the Bandaged Face wrestler Zongerian turns into a full-body mummy with Earth Quaker's appearance, Mongol Khan shares his Sumo Wrestling style with Robo-no-Hana, and Demon Kabuki's fighting style is borrowed from Powers, the most straight pro-wrestler in the SD series.
    • Martial Arts fighter Harrier (aka "Lion Kid" / "Litron" in the older series) borrows his style from Shouryu — which makes sense, given that Shouryu's fighting style was Martial Arts in Fighting Wars. Wolf Morgan, now named Wolf Schwartz, is turned into an Expy of Wiler.
    • The Boxer discipline from Ōgi no Sho is mostly absent, only Fighter Question returns as another Shouryu clone (in fact, heavily implied to be himself). Boxer X and Giga Bruiser are nowhere to be seen, since they're replaced by Red Falcon and Wiler — one would guess that basing them on Roseman from the SD series or Astro Joe from the Super Chinese series would have greatly helped.
  • Multinational Team: Ryuhi is Chinese, Hayato is Japanese, and Minmin is from Hong Kong. The second game introduces allies from the United States: Wiler, who is commonly associated with foreign Jungle Japes, and Shouryu, who is from New York's Chinatown (although since SD Hiryū no Ken he turns into a mexican luchador).
  • Mummy: Earth Quaker, one of the bosses of Hiryū no Ken S / Ultimate Fighter and the only new character from the game that made it to the sequels.
  • Mysterious Employer: Jennifer and her pet Daddy are sent by the "Kongo Shichibushin" Kendara to oversee Suzaku's actions. Likewise, Gaiden 2 and Virtual Hiryū no Ken's Dava follows the orders of Tiha, a mysterious Tennō who is never mentioned again.
  • Not Just a Tournament: You can expect the Dragon Tusks or other villains to be behind them. Roseman, the winner of the SD Hiryū no Ken tournament, is responsible for making the one in Virtual Hiryū no Ken, and is soon overtaken by various villains.
  • Old Master: Gengai serves as the Parental Substitute / master of Ryuhi and, to a lesser extent, to other main characters. Also Rakan (Arhat) in the second game, a Shaolin monk protected by two Nio-looking monks who teaches Ryuhi to transform into his super mode. Minmin and Yuuka's grandparents are implied to be expert martial artist, since they fought with Gengai.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Yuuka, the Aikido user from SD Hiryū no Ken, was defeated by Hayato and has been looking for him since then.
  • Promoted to Playable: Hayato and Minmin in the second game, Suzaku and Earth Quaker in SD Hiryū no Ken, Ryumaou in Gaiden 2, Gengai and Kevin Clark in Virtual Hiryū no Ken, and almost every boss from Ōgi no Sho in Densetsu. Powers from the SD series is an Expy of earlier wrestlers such as Mad Warrior and Zebra, though.
  • Psychic Children: Shouryu is an especially skilled one.
  • The Psycho Rangers: Incredibly common villains in every non-fighting game, usually Palette Swaps of the Kiba Toshi. Many of them hide in the body of a martial artist:
    • I's "Garyu Jushi Rokunin-shu" (Six Dragon Tusk Beastmen: Zora, Taron, Torudo, Pebora, Kali and Gordon) are little more than overworld Elite Mooks. Unlike further installments, every one of them has their own sprite.
    • II has the "Makaishū Shitennō" (Hellish Four Heavenly Kings), and the Four Gods-themed "Gekkōshū Hissatsu-ō" (Four Moonlight Killing Kings) who have their own sprite — in an unusual example, Suzaku, the leader of the Gekkōshū, is both a team member and the Big Bad of the game.
    • III has the "Godai Myōō" (Wisdom Kings), which much like the protagonists, they either wield twin swords or a Simple Staff. Even their boss Fudō Ryumaou shares their sprite.
    • Gaiden has the five "Matenshu" (Devil Devas), which all share the twin sword-wielding sprite. For some reason, in the Updated Re-release they have been renamed as the "Ryuga Goketsushu" (Five Great Dragon Fangs), which have dinosaur-themed names.
    • S has the "Shura Satsuo" (Four Killing Asura Kings: Iron Jason / Iron Claw, Grimson / Grimzon, Broadway / Jake Spinner, and Earth Quaker) — unlike the older bosses, who shared sprites, every one of them has its own design. Played straight, however, with the seven "Makaishu" (Hellish ones), which seem to be extremely similar to the "Godai Myōō".
    • The end of Hiryū no Ken S teases the appearance of the "Kongo Shichibushin" (Seven Vajra Deities) in future installments. However, the only mention of them in sequels was that Daddy and Jennifer (from SD Hiryū no Ken / SD Gaiden) are minions to Kendara, one of the seven Shichibushin.
  • Quintessential British Gentleman: Albert Roseman, an aristocratic boxer whose psychic powers wake up when Suzaku tries to summon Daimajin in SD Hiryū no Ken.
  • Recurring Boss Template: Every game contains six types of martial artist bosses: a Kung Fu practitioner, a karateka, a boxer, a nak muay, a professional wrestler and a Martial Artistnote . This template gets followed as late as Virtual Hiryū no Ken: for example, there's Kung Fu (Red Falcon), Karate (Aleph), Boxing (Roseman), Muay Thai (Dava Siddharta), Wrestling (Kevin Clark) and Martial Arts (Kate).
  • The Rival: In SD Hiryū no Ken, every character gets their own subboss before fighting against Suzaku, and they share their ending with the designated character: Yuuka wants to avenge her lost fight against Hayato, Minmin wants to end the forecoming threat of Jennifer, Wiler is suspicious of RAIMA's purpose, Shouryu and Earth Quaker are after a mysterious MacGuffin, Powers and Mainohana fight to prove their wrestling style is better, and Tetsuo and Uruka are the Comedic Relief Characters who can't understand each other. The exceptions are Ryuhi (fights against Hayato), Suzaku (fights against Ryuhi) and the pre-subboss fighter Roseman (fights against a psychic Doppelgänger).
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Daimajin, the last boss of Dragon no Tsubasa. The end of Gonin no Ryū Senshi, SD Hiryū no Ken and Retsuden tease with his return.
  • Shotoclone: Zig-zagged: Ryuhi has had a Hurricane Kick since the first installment (two years before the first Street Fighter game came out), and a Kamehame Hadoken power-up since the NES port. However, his Shoryuken counterpart, a rising kick, appeared for the first time in Golden Fighter, a year after Street Fighter II came out. From there, it was easy to make him a Shotoclone in subsequent games.
  • Shout-Out: A Japanese game from the eighties about a Five-Man Band with legendary armors that fight against other evil armored warriors? Yeah, Saint Seiya was kind of popular back then. One of them has even a peacock-like tail (at least in cutscenes), just like Phoenix Ikki.
  • Sumo Wrestling: Mainohana from SD Hiryū no Ken / SD Gaiden is an excommunicated sumo wrestler. He seems to have been forgotten by Hiryū no Ken Twin, since he was replaced by the more colorful Robo-no-Hana from the Super Chinese series.
  • Super-Deformed: Every SD Hiryū no Ken title, and half of Hiryū no Ken Twin / Flying Dragon.
  • Super Mode: From II to S, the five protagonists can transform into super modes with a special armor and weapons. Due to sprite limitations, in II they are head swaps (and the only way to play as anyone other than Ryuhi), and in III and S they either wield twin swords or a Simple Staff. S removes Minmin's super mode, since they didn't bother to do a new armored female sprite.
  • Super Title 64 Advance: In Hiryū no Ken Retsuden GB, although it's technically a GBC title.
  • Teen Genius: At 15, Shouryu is the youngest cast member, but is said to have immense psychic power potential. Moreover, he's the leader of a ghost-hunting organization.
  • Tournament Arc: Present in every game, as an homage to its proto-Fighting Game roots.
  • Transplant: Many fighters from Super Chinese World 2 and Super Chinese Fighter moved to Hiryū no Ken's last two installments, namely Robo-no-Hana, Bokuchin (Twin, Densetsu), Jack, Ryu and Gou Fire (Densetsu).
  • Video Game Remake: SD Hiryū no Ken Densetsu's story mode is a remake of Ōgi no Sho.
  • Warrior Monk: Ryuhi's first assignment after his father's death is to visit a Shaolin Temple where Gengai and his fellow Shaolin monks reside, to teach Ryuhi how to fight.
  • Wild Man: Uruka from SD Hiryū no Ken / SD Gaiden is a monstruous-looking child from a Cannibal Tribe.
  • World Tour: The Big Applesauce is a recurring location, since the finals of the martial arts tournament are hosted there. In Dragon no Tsubasa, the heroes visit China, Hong Kong, Peru, New York and the underworld. Gonin no Ryū Senshi moves them to North America, Japan, Thailand, Europe and New York. Golden Fighter has a more limited scope, since they move from a chinese Shaolin temple to Miami, New York and Catle Grolba. Later, in the fighting games, every character gets their own location in the grand tradition of Street Fighter''.
  • World-Wrecking Wave: Subtly done by Suzaku's attempt to re-awaken Daimajin in SD Hiryū no Ken: the mummy Earth Quaker wakes up from slumber, the already wild Uruka turns into The Berserker, Roseman's psychic powers wake up, and RAIMA's programming fails.
  • You Killed My Father: Both Ryuhi and Minmin have their parents killed by the Dragon Tusks. To a lesser extent, Wiler's subordinates were killed by a monster summoned by the Dragon Tusks, and Hayato's clan and Shouryu's parents probably dissapeared under Dragon Tusk-related incidents.

Alternative Title(s): Flying Dragon