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  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The first half of the Underground area is a rather massive sewer.
  • Ambiguously Human: Hiryu's eyes are now blood red and have lines in them. Artwork depicts them glowing, so he may be a cyborg.
  • An Ice Person: The "Ultra-Cold" Cypher upgrade.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: If a Mutual Kill occurs during a boss fight, retrying will take you straight to the cutscene following the boss' defeat.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Xi Wang Mu can use all the powers of the Kuniang sisters and has some tricks of her own.
  • Assist Character: The glorious return of the Options, now Energy Beings instead of robots:
    • Attack Drone: The Option A/Dipodal Saucer works mostly like the original with a bit of the Ouroboros Hyper thrown in. They also now hack through computers to open doors.
    • Giant Flyer: The Option C/Robot Eagle, a red plasma eagle which flies forward like a torpedo. It can also carry Hiryu around specific sections of the game.
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    • Panthera Awesome: The Option B/Terapodal Robo-Panther, a blue plasma panther which runs around and lunges at enemies. It can also transport Hiryu between sections of Kazakh City.
  • Attack Reflector: The aptly-named Reflect Cypher lets Hiryu deflect shots with his swings. Hitting them at a very last moment deflects them back at the enemy that shot them for major damage, while hitting them too early deflects them in a random direction.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Hiryu can find and wear the outfits of other fallen Striders across the city. Collecting all of them allows you to customize his outfit colors manually.
  • Badass Arm-Fold: Hiryu's idle stance, specially notable in most cutscenes.
  • Back from the Brink: Supplemental material (and the "fallen Striders" you can find) make it clear that many Striders were sent to kill Meio as he gained power, and all were spectacularly unsuccessful. Hiryu is considered humanity's last chance to stop Meio.
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  • Battle Aura: Hiryu's Scarf Of Asskicking in this game is actually a trail of plasma that is beyond his body's ability to channel into his Cypher (as his body is producing so much that it's above his ability to use it all). Despite not covering his body, for all intents and purposes it fits the trope.
  • Big Bad: Grandmaster Meio is back at it.
  • Bilingual Bonus: A lot of Russian can be found in posters, signs or written in walls, plus most Russian-made Mecha-Mooks are named after Russian words, like "Vityaz" (Knight) and "Bulava" (Mace).
  • Boss Subtitles: All bosses and sub-bosses have one in their introduction.
  • Brain in a Jar: A giant brain in a container can be seen in one of the rooms in the Research Facility. Schlange can't help himself but proudly point it out to Hiryu, too.
  • Bullet Hell: Xi Wang Mu combines this with Blow You Away: you need to hit the bright red projectiles back at her to make her stop.
  • Canned Orders over Loudspeaker: The player gets to hear General Mikiel encourage the people of Kazakh City to be good and obedient citizens this way, as they make their way through the slums of the Historic Sector.
  • Canon Immigrant: This game's version of the Kuniang M.A. Team is known as the Four Winds, their line-up consisting not of Ton Pooh, Sai Pooh, and Bei Pooh, but Ton Pooh, Bei Pooh, and Nang Pooh. Nang, who has assimilated most of the traits of the bussed Sai (such as being the youngest sister of the trio and wearing a blue outfit), is a based on a minor enemy of the same name from Namco × Capcom who was a grey Palette Swap of Ton and noted to be a clone of her. That Nang was in turn a nod to an optional rematch against the trio in the original game, where all three sisters wore black-and-grey outfits.
  • Charged Attack: Hiryu quickly gets an upgrade that lets him extend his attack range and punch through (most) shields and blocks.
  • City of Adventure: The game happens entirely in an homage-filled Russian location known as "Kazakh City."
  • Code Name: The mention in the profile of Strider Rouga (one of the fallen Striders whose mark/clothing you can obtain) that "only Striders of A Rank or greater are allowed an animal name" suggests this of Hiryu (and all other Striders), as opposed to the original continuity.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Certain enemies (shielded ones in special) are color-coded with the Cypher upgrade required to destroy them.
  • Continuity Nod/Mythology Gag: The Ouroboros here is the Ouroboros Mk.III, presumably alluding to the original Ouroboros model and its successor from Strider 2, the Emperor Dragon.
    • One of the unlockable costumes gives Hiryu the color scheme of Strider 2's Hien.
  • Combat Stilettos: The Kuniang sisters all sport heeled shoes with blades extending from the back/soles. (Bei/Pei did wear stilettos in Strider 2 instead of slippers, but they were normal pumps, not blades.)
  • Cool Tank: General Mikiel's MechTank, the Tornado.
  • Death from Above: Hiryu's Down Strike.
  • Degraded Boss: Several of the mid-bosses become common mooks following their introductory boss fight.
  • Diving Kick: A favored move of the Kuniang sisters (though originally exclusive to missing sister Sai in previous games), and one of the few moves they all share. Things can get a bit hairy when Tong, Pei, and Nang decide to start synchronizing their attacks due to the limited space of their boss arena.
  • Double Weapon: The first boss (Vityaz-1) is seen with a two-sided laser spear.
  • Dual Boss: The sisters Pei and Nang fight together the second time they fight Hiryu, then all three fight together the third time.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: "The Ascent" sees Hiryu facing a long gauntlet of enemies as he's on an elevator up to Meio's throne room.
  • Elite Mook: Vityaz-1, the first boss in the game, is referred to as "Meio's Elite Guard."
  • Epic Flail: The Heavy Trooper robot has two instead of hands.
  • Experienced Protagonist: Hiryu is a Special A Rank Strider by the time the story begins.
  • Fragile Speedster: On Hard this is basically your lot. Taking everyone head on is usually trouble because they can chew up your health very fast but Strider Hiryu is nimble as a cat and can easily jump and dodge his enemies to confuse their line of fire whilst attacking from all sides. On lower difficulties you can tank hits better but on Hard it's best to hit and run as much as possible.
  • "Get Back Here!" Boss: Subverted with General Mikiel. As soon as the fight with him starts, he begins running away from you, but you're given nowhere near enough time to deplete his health bar before he leads you to his Humongous Mecha.
  • Gravity Screw: In the proud tradition of the series, there are gravity-inverted halls. There are also sections with small floating cores with their own gravity, letting Hiryu run around them.
  • It's All Upstairs from Here: Meio's Tower, The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • Killer Gorilla: Mecha Pon returns in this game, bigger and badder than before.
  • Knife Nut: In the vein of the Shinobi series, Hiryu can now use kunai for ranged attacks. They double as your means for toggling switches in later segments of the game. Collecting upgrades for them allows you to throw up to 7 of them at the same time and collecting elemental upgrades turns them into bouncing, exploding, freezing or homing kunai.
  • Life Energy: Hiryu's plasma is now generated by himself and channeled by the Cypher. His scarf is now a flow of red energy, as he generates so much plasma it leaks out of his body.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Shield Troopers carry a huge shield around, which repels normal attacks and can only be destroyed with a charged strike. Later in the game, energy shields based off Hiryu's plasma upgrades start appearing, which can only be destroyed by the corresponding plasma Cypher.
  • Mad Scientist: Professor Schlange is one nutty case.
  • Making a Splash: Juroung can manipulate water into several shapes to attack.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The Russian mooks are now robots.
    • Which in later stages can be infected with mutant bugs to become robozombies.
  • Metroidvania
  • One-Time Dungeon: This version's Balrog becomes this once it goes boom.
  • One-Winged Angel: Grandmaster Meio turns into a humongous Caduceus-like creature named Meio Prime after the first battle.
  • Parrying Bullets: Hiryu will be doing this with laser blasts, thanks to his Cypher getting a new "Reflect" upgrade that lets him return shots back at enemies.
  • Playing with Fire: The "Explosive Cypher" upgrade. The Magmapede mini-boss.
  • Point of No Return: Right before you enter Meio's Tower. The game outright warns you that if you decide to proceed, you won't be able to go back into the city to pick up any other items.
  • Professional Killer: The Kuniang sisters are subordinates of Grandmaster Meio who are specifically tasked with assassination missions.
    • Hiryu is, of course, also one, as his whole purpose for being in Kazakh City is to kill Grandmaster Meio. Solo is more of a hired gun.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Brainwalkers Schlange is so proud of? They work by installing brains harvested from citizens who failed to escape Kazakh City. Even worse, the robot overworks the installed brain so heavily, it must be disposed and replaced constantly.
  • Purely Aesthetic Era: The game is set in Meio 0048, a dystopian alternate era ruled by the iron fist of the Grandmaster.
  • Rocket Punch: Mecha Pon can now do this.
  • Royal "We": Meio uses it inconsistently.
  • Shock and Awe: Mecha Pon's extended skillset now includes plenty of electricity.
    • Meio shoots pink lightning bolts.
  • Shout-Out: The enemy at the end of the gameplay video is one to the Segmented Serpents of the past: Ouroboros and the Emperor Dragon. It's even called the Ouroboros Mk.III.
    • Several of Hiryu's animations are drawn in reference to his previous games as well as the Marvel vs. Capcom entries, specifically his Launcher Move and Charged Attack animations when used normally or when running for the latter, as well as his death (either normal or a temporary one caused by an obstacle) animation which is taken from the original game.
    • The game's intro (as seen in the preview gameplay video) is one to the original game's, even throwing in the Grandmaster's old Evil Laugh straight out of the arcade title.
    • Mecha Pon's strategy appears to draw inspiration from that of Spark Mandrill, another electric robo-ape from Capcom.
    • Hidden deep within the Research area is one to Mega Man X: it's an X capsule!
    • Tong Pooh believes the Grandmaster owns Hiryu, but Hiryu knows that she is the one who is a slave to her master. Mikiel would also like Hiryu to know that he'll never leave Eurasia alive. Both are shout-outs to the dialogue of the Arcade originals.
    • Meio Prime is designed after Caduceus, the Final Boss in Strider 2.
    • The trophy/achievement names also reference a bunch of stuff, like That's No Moon, Master of Unlocking, and You Must Defeat Sheng Long.
  • Sibling Murder: Hiryu was forced to do this to his sister Mariya after she went insane and started murdering other Striders. He tried to talk her out of fighting, but being unable to, was finally forced to fight back and pierce her through with his Cypher. This would weight heavily on his mind afterwards, eventually leading to him leaving the Striders.
  • Slide Attack: Hiryu starts with one, but you can't break through grates or damage enemies with it until you get an early upgrade for it.
  • Smug Snake: Special mention goes to General Mikiel, who mocks Hiryu for only having a "knife" — despite the fact that Hiryu just completely destroyed Mikiel's gigantic tank with that knife — and shoots Hiryu. Unsurprisingly, Hiryu just reflects the bullet, killing Mikiel with it.
  • Spider Tank: The Brainwalker.
  • The Stoic: Strider Hiryu does not emote often. Whether confronting hordes of cyborg troopers, a corrupt general, mutant abominations, or the equivalent of a Physical God, Hiryu's usual reaction is one of calm, focused determination.
  • Super Mode: Slashing enemies in rapid succession without getting hit yourself fills up the circle next to your life and energy bar: once it's full, you glow red, do more damage and the range of your Cypher slashes is doubled. However, if you take too long between attacks or run out of enemies to kill the circle drains completely, meaning you rarely see it in action outside of bossfights or long stretches with a large number of enemies thanks to the game's Metroidvania motif.
  • Sword Beam: The Magnetic Cypher upgrade gives Hiryu one of these. It isn't as rapid-fire as Hiryu's other plasma types, however, so beware.
  • Three-Point Landing: Hiryu's preferred method of touching down.
  • Tube Travel: A few of them, as a nod to the NES game.
  • Video Game Settings:
  • Videogame Dashing: Hiryu's "Plasma Catapult" technique allows him to perform blinding-fast air dashes at any direction the player wants. It later becomes a Dash Attack as well when the elemental upgrades are obtained, allowing the trail of plasma from the dash to reflect bullets and to stun, freeze or burn enemies.
  • Weapon of Choice: Alongside their new repertoire of Combination Attacks, the Kuniang sisters each sport one in this game: Ton wields a dao, Nang uses a spear, and Bei brandishes twin hook swords built into submachine guns.
  • We Can Rule Together: Meio offers this to Hiryu. He doesn't bite.
  • You Have Failed Me: Grandmaster Meio does this to Professor Schlange after he completely fails to defeat Hiryu.
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