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Ryu's ground mobility is around average. Oddly, his air acceleration is one of the highest in the game, in direct contrast to his extremely low acceleration in the official games.
Ryu has very good frame data, with most of his neutral and special moves falling under that category. Most of his moves have some use in his core kit. His down special move can paralyze opponents and is especially good when punishing unsafe moves or baiting commits. His neutral special move can gimp opponents with bad horizontal recoveries, due to its horizontal-only hitbox. His forward aerial is quick and does a good amount of damage, and thanks to its low base knockback it can lead into grab at many percentage ranges.
He also has strong KO potential. Input Shoryuken is a powerful vertical KO move with low start-up time, KOing most of the cast under 100%, making it an effective combo finisher. His back air is very powerful and has a large hitbox. His forward smash, down smash, and back throw are his other main KO options.
Ryu's grab game is fairly decent. His grab comes out on frame 3 (tied with Waluigi as the fastest in the game) and has decent range for its speed. His back throw can create tech chase scenarios at low percents, turning into a kill throw at later percents, and his up throw can start combos against fast-fallers and large characters.
Ryu does have some weaknesses, as he has a very poor vertical recovery. His horizontal recovery methods are also easily exploitable and laggy, thus, Ryu can struggle a lot against characters with great edgeguarding games or zoners. He also has little to no approach options, considering all his Hadoken variations can be easily cancelled by any attack. His large size and above-average falling speed makes him susceptible to combos, further weakening his disadvantage state.
Performs a quick jab, followed by a short straight-punch, followed by a hook. Based on Ryu's standing light punch from Street Fighter II and close standing medium punch and standing hard punch from Street Fighter III respectively.
Performs a spinning roundhouse kick. Has low knockback growth, and sends opponents at a horizontal angle. Covers a wide area in front of Ryu and has good range. It does not have much use, as it does not KO until extremely high percents and does not have enough knockback to put the opponent in a bad situation at reasonable percents. Based on Ryu's standing heavy kick from Street Fighter II.
Thrusts upward with his elbow. Its decent range and little lag allows it to be used repeatedly and chain into itself or lead into other moves such as his strong up tilt. Based on Ryu's close standing light punch from Street Fighter II.
Uppercuts in front of him. Strong for its speed, making it an effective anti-air attack and KO move. Based on Ryu's close standing heavy punch from Street Fighter II.
Performs a shin kick while crouching. Fast and deals little knockback, allowing it to be used repeatedly and chain into itself or lead into other moves such as his strong down tilt. Based on Ryu's crouching light kick from Street Fighter II.
Thrusts his leg forward while crouching. It can be repeated, though not as quickly as his weak down tilt. Based on Ryu's crouching medium kick from Street Fighter II.
Performs a legsweep in front of him. Launches opponents at a diagonal angle and has the fastest start-up of all of his smash attacks, along with decent range, making it considerably safe to use. Based on Ryu's crouching heavy kick from Street Fighter II.
Performs a downward angled knee strike. Similar to a sex kick, being active for a long duration and strongest at the start. Has limited range but very low ending lag. Based on Ryu's diagonal jumping light kick from Street Fighter II.
Performs a flying kick. Has high launching power when hitting with the foot at the start of the move, with the upper leg being a sourspot. Based on Ryu's diagonal jumping medium and heavy kick animation from Street Fighter II.
Spins around and kicks behind himself. Has high strength and fast start-up, making it Ryu's most powerful aerial and a strong KO move when sweetspotted at the foot. Ryu receives freeze frame advantage if the move hits. Based on Ryu's vertical jumping heavy kick from Street Fighter II.
Punches diagonally downward in front of him. Has a sweetspot at the fist that meteor smashes opponent, while the sourspot at his arm launches diagonally upward instead. Based on Ryu's jumping medium and heavy punch from Street Fighter II.
Performs a stretch kick transitioned into an axe kick. It can combo into an aerial attack at low percents. The axe kick does not hit the thrown opponent but it can hit nearby opponents, dealing much more damage and high knockback. Based on Ryu's close heavy kick from Street Fighter II.
Glides forward with a spin kick. The move hits once with respectable power, and it can be used once in midair for horizontal recovery. Inputting the move increases damage and knockback. Has three travel distances on the ground depending on how long the special input is held, but always travels the same distance in the air.
Performs a jumping, high-speed uppercut. It has very little startup but high landing lag. The height gained depends on how long the player holds the special input. Inputting the move significantly increases damage and knockback.
Concentrates and throws a paralyzing punch that causes grounded opponents to fall. The move has three charge levels (Levels 1, 2, and 3); paralysis starts at Level 2, and depends on how long the move is charged. The move can be canceled with a dash input, known as Focus Attack Dash Cancel. The move can also be turned around before the punch is delivered.
Performs three uppercuts on the opponent(s), the first two on the ground, then Ryu jumps up, and performs the third in midair. Before attacking, Ryu emanates a flash of light that paralyzes foes hit. This Final Smash can only be activated if the opponent is at point-blank range, as it will otherwise be Shinku Hadoken.
Charges up a powerful Hadoken, and fires it at opponents. The Hadoken projectile then travels forward a short distance, hitting opponents multiple times before exploding. While traveling, the projectile has a pull effect that drags foes into the Hadoken. This Final Smash can only be activated when no opponents are in point-blank range.
Crosses his arms and says, "It was a good fight.", and closes his eyes as wind blows onto him. When fighting another Ryu, he instead says, "I can't let myself get in the way of what I must do.". When fighting Mega Man, he instead says, "Talk about nostalgic.".
Steven had showed some of Ryu's sprites on his DeviantArt page years ago. The animation was removed weeks after, however.
His trailer which included Goku and Lucario was a reference to their fighting origins. Goku, like Ryu, is a martial artist while Lucario is a "fighting" type Pokémon who can learn fighting type attacks and various martial arts.
In the Super Smash Bros. Brawl mod, Project M, Lucario received some of Ryu's moves in the Street Fighter games for its moveset, like the Shoryuken for its up smash, and Tatsumaki Senpukyaku for its neutral aerial.