Tatsumaki Senpukyaku in Ultimate.
The move involves the user spinning forward like a top with one leg outstretched; Ryu spins at a constant slow rate, while Ken spins faster as he travels, though this is mainly aesthetic. When used on the ground, the move will not go over ledges, despite the user appearing to be airborne. In addition to its combat properties and use as a horizontal recovery, the move can be used to nullify weak projectiles with its hitboxes. In Ultimate, the grounded version makes the pivoting leg intangible, allowing the move to fly over low attacks and small projectiles.
Both Ryu and Ken's versions can be used as a decent horizontal recovery due to it slowing the user's fall while moving and not causing helplessness (which gives the user quite a good recovery if combined with his Shoryuken). However, the move can only be used once in midair without landing back on stage or taking hitstun. If Tatsumaki Senpukyaku is used immediately after a jump, its will travel in a rising arc, which can be effective for certain recovery angles.
The move's distance and power goes up if the special button is held rather than just tapped; when the button is tapped, Ryu spins once and deals 8–9% damage with average knockback, while he spins thrice and deals 12% with significant knockback if the button is held. In addition, the move acts somewhat like a reverse sex kick, dealing much more damage and knockback the longer the move lasts, which makes it less effective up close. When Ryu uses the regular special move input, he merely grunts.
Ken's Tatsumaki Senpukyaku lands multiple weaker hits rather than Ryu's single solid attack. Instead of being a combo finisher and KO move like Ryu's, Ken's version is tailored to extending combos due to its low damage, dragging hits and lower ending lag. While it deals more damage than Ryu's version if held, the grounded version does not grant intangibility to Ken's attacking leg. Ken's tapped Tatsumaki Senpukyaku hits twice when tapped, dealing a total of 6% when grounded and when held, it hits four times, dealing a total of 12% when grounded. However, the tapped version's final hit does considerably more knockback than the held version's, yet is still too weak to offer much utility compared to Ken's other options. Unlike Ryu, Ken announces "Tatsumaki Senpukyaku!" when grounded or "Tatsumaki!" when airborne, instead of merely grunting.
Input Tatsumaki Senpukyaku
|“||Enter down, down-back, back for 1.16x power. Increasing the strength also increases the move’s speed and travel distance.||”|
As with all of the user's special moves except for Focus Attack, performing the move's original arcade input (↓ ↙ ← + attack/special.) will result in the attack gaining more power. When successfully performed, Ryu announces "Tatsumaki Senpukyaku!" if done on the ground or "Tatsumaki!" if done in the air. Additionally, the wind effect around Ryu becomes more opaque while he spins and a small spark flashes during the attack's first frame.
A tapped Input Tatsumaki Senpukyaku deals 10% damage and KOs at around 220%, though it does less damage at point blank range (only 9% before Ryu starts spinning). If held, the move deals 13% damage with KO potential at 140%. It is a decent finisher for Ryu's standard attack combos, although there are better options (since the move is less powerful up close).
Ken's input Tatsumaki Senpukyaku deals 3.4% per hit, with the tapped version dealing 6.9% and the held version dealing 13.9%. Like with the move's normal variant, Ken announces "Tatsumaki Senpukyaku!" when grounded or "Tatsumaki!" when airborne if he performs the input Tatsumaki Senpukyaku, albeit in a fiercer tone.
Both Ryu and Ken can perform a Tatsumaki Senpukyaku out of some normal attacks due to their special move canceling mechanic. By pressing the special button or doing the command input after connecting with a normal attack, Ryu and Ken will cancel the endlag of the normal attack and perform a Tatsumaki Senpukyaku. The normal attacks that can be canceled include the first two hits of neutral attack, tapped and held down-tilt, tapped up-tilt, and proximity forward-tilt and held neutral attack (in Ultimate), to name a few. This allows them to deal extra damage in combos, improving their punish game. In particular, Ryu's held down tilt sends opponents far enough for the late stronger hit of Tatsumaki Senpukyaku to follow up consistently into it, making it a standard KO combo.
In Ultimate, the command variant of Tatsumaki Senpukyaku can itself be cancelled into their user's Final Smash if close enough to an opponent.
|Move List||Whirls with powerful kicks that move him forward for as long as the button is held.|
|Whirls with powerful kicks that move him forward. Hits opponents multiple times unlike Ryu's.|
Special Move customization was added in Super Smash Bros. 4. These are the variations:
- Tatsumaki Senpukyaku: Default
Like the other DLC characters in Smash 4, Ryu has no custom move variations.
Tatsumaki Senpukyaku (nicknamed by fans as the "Hurricane Kick") is one of the original special moves Ryu and Ken had in their arsenal ever since the first Street Fighter, which involves performing several spinning kicks while hovering in the air. In-universe, the practitioner forms an invisible ki-tornado below their non-kicking leg just after jumping in order to suspend them and make them spin. The move is typically performed with ↓ ↙ ← + light/medium/heavy kick. The move's speed, distance traveled, and recovery time increases the more powerful button is pressed.
There was also a variation just known as the Senpuukyaku (Whirlwind Leg) used by both Ryu and his supposed evil counterpart, Akuma (Gouki in Japan), which was a command normal/unique art version that involved simply leaping with the back-spin kicking motion to kick once without any extra flight; however, that version was not used in all of both Ryu or Akuma's appearances.
In Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, both Ryu and Ken's Tatsumaki Senpukyaku dealt a single hard-hitting hit, with the distance depending on the kick button pressed. The attack has the ability to phase through opposing projectiles and is one of the few special moves in the Street Fighter series that can be performed both on the ground and mid-jump, traits that are both carried over into Smash (the midair version in particular in later games is a staple cross-up attack for Tatsumaki Senpukyaku users due to the back-reaching hitboxes).
Ken's Tatsumaki Senpukyaku diversified in Street Figher II: Champion Edition, dealing multiple weak hits as opposed to one strong hit, while more fighters showed the ability to use variations of the Tatsumaki Senpukyaku technique, including Akuma and Gouken. In many of those cases, the hitbox for the move often varies, as in older games it was possible to duck underneath the Tatsumaki due to the height of the said hitbox(es); later games often make it impossible to do so.
In some games, however, especially recent ones without Ken in them, Ryu's Tatsumaki would act akin to the aforementioned Akuma's variation, the Tatsumaki Zankuukyaku (竜巻斬空脚, Tornado Slashing Air Leg), where it would deal both multiple hits and knock down (a combo of both Ryu and Ken's) and in some crossovers can even emit trailing lightning on his leg; while common in recent Vs. Capcom crossovers, this isn't the case in Smash Bros. as Ryu's version returns to its original roots. Ryu himself also has a later variation of his Tatsumaki Senpukyaku known as the Shinkuu Tatsumaki Senpuukyaku (真空竜巻旋風脚, Vacuum Tornado Whirlwind Leg), a stronger Super Combo/Move version of the base technique akin to his Shinku Hadoken, only via the literal translation of the kanji, the ki-tornado expands with enough force to even literally suck in foes and deal multiple hits; it later becomes one of Ryu's EX Moves instead, much like the Shakunetsu Hadoken's case.
This is the codifying example of an "expansion-type special move" (as named by the assist system in Marvel vs. Capcom 2), thus other fighters have a similar move, such as Chun-Li's Spinning Bird Kick. These types of attacks as named are generally physical attacks that cover a form of horizontal distance. Sakura's variation, however, the Shunpuukyaku (春風脚, Spring Breeze Kick) is one such "Tatsumaki-styled expansion" that does not make use of the aforementioned ki-tornado, causing her flight during the move to behave more like a normal jump arc (especially true since it is her personal take on the technique rather than an existing variation in-universe).
The only time the Tatsumaki Senpukyaku used by Ryu was not done in the usual form was mainly in the Street Fighter EX series, where it becomes a multi-input special with swinging spin kicks in midair ending with a turning heel drop.