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Ken Masters

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"Ken" redirects here. For other uses, see Ken (disambiguation).
For fighter info, see Ken (SSBU).
Ken Masters
Street Fighter - Ken Third Strike Online.png

Official artwork of Ken from Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition.

Universe Street Fighter
Debut Street Fighter (1987)
Smash Bros. appearances SSB4
Most recent non-Smash appearance Summoners War: Sky Arena (2020, via update)
Console/platform of origin Arcade
Species Human
Gender Male
Place of origin United States
Created by Manabu Takemura
English voice actor Reuben Langdon
Japanese voice actor Yūji Kishi
Article on Wikipedia Ken Masters

Ken Masters (ケン・マスターズ, Ken Masters) is a major character from the Street Fighter series of fighting games by Capcom. As Ryu's best friend and longtime rival, Ken appears throughout the Street Fighter series and utilizes a similar fighting style, making him one of the most famous examples of a moveset clone in fighting games.


Ken Masters is one of the main characters of Street Fighter and is one of the only two characters (the other being Ryu) that have appeared in every single installment of the series. He is widely known by many as being Ryu's "clone, " using similar attacks such as the Hadoken, Shoryuken and Tatsumaki Senpukyaku, but later games in the series have added subtle differences to their movesets such as Ken's use of fire and multi-hit capabilities.

Born to a wealthy family, Ken was sent to Japan to be taught discipline in order to avoid being spoiled by his family. He was trained by his master Gouken and constantly sparred with his future rival and best friend Ryu, being taught Ansatsuken, the Assassination's Fist. After leaving Gouken's dojo, Ken returns to America and enters many martial arts tournaments, eventually meeting a woman named Eliza who becomes his girlfriend. Returning to Japan to tell his master of the news of his victories in America, he witnesses the murder of Gouken by his brother Akuma, who easily defeats Ken after he tried to attack him in rage. After the attack, he then searches for Ryu to inform him of their master's death. Upon meeting up with him, the two have a sparring match in which Ken comes out victorious, though afterwards, he notes that Ryu wasn't himself. In response, Ken gives Ryu his red headband that he wears as his now signature red headband to cheer him up and tells Ryu to keep focused. Ken later teams up with Sakura Kasugano and Sagat to rescue Ryu from Shadaloo.

Ken then receives an invitation to the second Street Fighter tournament, but had been slacking in his training due to spending a lot of time with Eliza. Ryu, however, challenges and inspires Ken to continue training and enter the tournament. After the events of the tournament, Ken and Eliza would get married, eventually having a son named Mel.

During the events of Street Fighter III, Ken would later take up an apprentice himself in the form of Sean Matsuda of São Paulo, Brazil, after being pestered by the aspiring fighter. Ken later entered the Third World Warrior tournament, held by the Secret Society, but drops out after learning that Ryu had been defeated by the Brazilian hermit Oro. Along the way, Ken fights against Urien, the younger twin of the Society's leader Gill, and meets up with Ryu once again for their long-awaited rematch. Ken later enters his third straight US martial arts tournament, where he is named the winner, offering his trophy to Sean.

In Super Smash Bros. 4[edit]

Ken appears as a downloadable content trophy in both versions of Super Smash Bros. 4 using his design from Street Fighter IV. His trophy is unlocked immediately upon downloading Ryu. In addition, Ken Stage, his theme from Street Fighter II, is available as a music track on Suzaku Castle in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U in its original version, its Super Street Fighter II version, and a new remix. In addition, Zero Suit Samus adopted his pose in Ryu's reveal poster for the same game.


North America Ken has been Ryu’s number-one rival and best friend since they trained together as children under the same master. In fact, the headband Ryu wears was a gift from Ken! Along with being a very talented martial artist, Ken is also heir to his rich father’s Masters Foundation. But sorry, would-be suitors, Ken’s married and has a son!
Europe Ken has been Ryu's number one rival and best friend since they trained together as children under the same master. The head band Ryu wears was a gift from Ken. Heir to his rich father's Masters Foundation, Ken is a highly skilled martial artist, but eventually goes home and becomes a family man with his wife Eliza and their son, Mel.
Street Fighter (1987)

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit]

As a playable character[edit]

Main article: Ken (SSBU)
Ken as he appears in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Ken appears as an unlockable newcomer in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, serving as Ryu's Echo Fighter. His inclusion was leaked on September 21st, 2018 through a screenshot, before his official reveal on November 1st. Despite being classified as an Echo Fighter, Ken falls more in line with the definition of a semi-clone, having more unique moves and differences from his base fighter compared to any other Echo Fighter pairing.

Similar to their home series, Ken focuses more on extensive combos and damage racking compared to Ryu's emphasis on zoning and powerful single hits. Along with a faster running speed, many of Ken's standard and special attacks have different properties from Ryu's. Ken's Hadoken is weaker and less controllable than Ryu's, and he cannot perform the Shakunetsu Hadoken. However, he can instead perform roundhouse kicks with unique inputs; these can be special-cancelled into and can themselves cancel into Inazuma Kick for extra shield damage. Tatsumaki Senpukyaku hits multiple times, making it more effective as a combo starter, though it is much weaker and leaves Ken vulnerable even if it connects. Finally, Shoryuken also hits multiple times, dealing much more damage and launching more reliably with the late hits.

Due to his flashy, combo-oriented playstyle and in spite of his high learning curve, Ken has seen impressive representation and results in competitive play, especially in comparison to Ryu.


Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name
Japan Japanese ケン, Ken
UK English Ken
France French Ken
Germany German Ken
Italy Italian Ken
Spain Spanish Ken
China Chinese (Simplified) , Ken
Taiwan Chinese (Traditional) Ken
South Korea Korean
Ken (in-game texts)
Netherlands Dutch Ken
Russia Russian Кен


  • Ken is the second playable character in the Super Smash Bros. series to have two Final Smashes in his moveset, after Ryu.
  • Ken is the second fighter to originate from a fighting game, the first being Ryu. They were both later joined by Terry Bogard and Min Min.
    • He is the only character from a fighting game not to make his playable debut as a DLC character.
  • Ken is the seventh playable character who hails from a real world location, along with Snake, Sonic, Little Mac, Ryu, Simon, Richter, Joker, and Terry.
  • Ken is the second third-party character to be from the same universe as another playable third-party character. The first was Richter.
    • As Castlevania debuted in Ultimate while Street Fighter debuted in Smash 4, Ken is the only third party character coming from an already represented series.
  • Ken is the first and currently only third-party playable character to have appeared in the series in a non-playable capacity prior to his playable debut, as he appeared as a trophy in Super Smash Bros. 4 before making his debut as a fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • Ken is the only Echo Fighter to debut in the same game of their home series as the character they were based on.
  • Ken's SSB4 English PAL trophy description contains a reference to Guile's iconic phrase from Street Fighter II, "Go home and be a family man!".
  • The Super Smash Bros. series marked Ken's fifth appearance in a crossover fighting game series after the Marvel vs. Capcom series, Capcom vs. SNK series, SNK vs. Capcom series, and Street Fighter X Tekken.