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Who is Ken Masters?[]

Ryu's eternal rival, Ken Masters. Ken was born from a rich family, and was a very wild and uncontrollable child. Ken's father disliked this, but wanted to take advantage of his son's energy and wild spirit. Being friends with a skilled Martial Artist named Gouken, and knowing of his strict teachings, he decided to send Ken there to grow into a martial artist and teach Ken discipline. Growing up in the same dojo as Ryu and both being private pupils under Master Gouken's watchful eye, these two became Gouken's brightest and most skilled pupils. Having fought countless times, Ryu, however proved to be the strongest of the two with his better win record. Ken and Ryu learned a lot from each other, Ken taught Ryu English so that Ryu would be able to travel to other countries someday and Ryu taught Ken to be more focused and become able to control his wild energy that lead to Ken's ability to engulf his fist in flame for a Fire Shoryuken. Ken's often known for his constant wins in the American Martial arts tournament, rivaled only by Charlie. Ken is often brash, arrogant and constantly flexes his ego, but with his powerful flaming Shoryuken techniques, he's a man that can back up his words.

Ken's rivalry with Ryu is the defines a friendly rivalry. Unlike Sagat who hates Ryu for giving him that scar with a cheap blow in the first World Warrior tournament and Akuma who sees Ryu only as potential opponent, Ken fights with Ryu just for fun, exercise and to see how they've progressed over the years. Ken's main fault for being weaker than Ryu is that he's a married man and has to take of his family, while Ryu trains all his life. Ken most likely would have retired from fighting in Street Fighter III if a diehard fan didn't constantly bother him to train him. That fan, being Sean, reminded Ken of how he was when he was young, being brash and wild. However Sean was undisciplined and very weak (weaker than even Dan and R. Mika storywise). However Ken's not much of a teacher himself, and finds Sean rather annoying, and often sends Sean to look for Ryu while Ken fights or stays with family. Ken after this returned to the American martial arts tournaments and even broke the record for straight championships in a row, while his pupil Sean can't even pass the qualifying rounds.

Ken is known for being THE Ryu clone. Despite them both appearing in Street Fighter 1, Ken was pretty much there just for the two player mode. Ken also reappeared in Street Fighter 2 as a Ryu clone, with no differences besides their throws. In Champion Edition, there was the choice to have a Mirror Match and have two players fight each other with same character. Ken's purpose was done as a complete Ryu clone, he began to gain differences from Ryu. His fireball was slower, but his Shoryuken was now multi hit and went in a different arc, and while Ryu's Hurricane Kick hit only once, Ken's hit multiple times, but didn't knock down. Ken focused more on being aggressive while Ryu focused on being more defensive. However the tier lists have never been too kind to Ken until the late nineties. Ken was always under Ryu in every Street Fighter game, and even was the weakest character in Marvel Super Heroes vs Street Fighter (He's worse than DAN in that game.) It wasn't until Street Fighter 3 Third Strike and Capcom vs SNK 2 Ken was finally above Ryu. And Ken wasn't even in Capcom Fighting Evolution despite Red Earth characters getting in, most of who where never heard of until this game.

Ken's still a popular character today, and isn't just a Street Fighter icon, but a fighting game icon and arguably the second most popular Street Fighter character.

"Focus the mind. Cleanse the soul. Keep sight on my target." - Ken Masters

(Writeup courtesy of Heroic Dr Wily)

Ken Masters' Contest History[]

Win-Loss Record: 1-3

Summer 2002 Contest - West Division - 12 Seed

  • Western Round 1 --- Lost to (5) Samus, 21698 [34.69%] - 40857 [65.31%]
  • Extrapolated Strength --- 14th Place [28.49%]

Summer 2003 Contest - East Division - 15 Seed

  • Eastern Round 1 --- Lost to (2) Sonic the Hedgehog, 33146 [31.09%] - 73484 [68.91%]
  • Extrapolated Strength --- 40th Place [21.71%]

Being given a low seed in two consecutive years and getting slapped against two Noble Nine characters isn't a good way to make a living, and Ken has been rewarded for his efforts with not being given a spot in the field since despite it being somewhat plausible that he would be a decent midcarder if given a proper seed.

Will he ever get one? Who knows.

Winter 2010 Contest - Chaos Division - 13 Seed

  • Chaos Round 1 --- Defeated (4) Albert Wesker, 36484 [50.32%] - 36013 [49.68%]
  • Chaos Round 2 --- Lost to (5) Ganondorf, 25376 [36.17%] - 44784 [63.83%]
  • Extrapolated Strength --- 100th Place [18.44%]

Ken finally made his return in 2010 and rewarded his fans with one of the most intense matches ever, and for much of the night, the talk was about whether or not the match would break the record set by Frog and Liquid in 2004 for closest wire-to-wire match. Finally, with a bit more than an hour left in the match, Ken's lead ballooned to 462, two higher than the largest lead in that match, and interest died down--right as Wesker started making a comeback, making it look as though 462 would stand as the official number. When the next poll began, Ken's lead was back to 462 exactly, though somewhere along the line it ended up at 471.

However, the closeness of this match seems to debunk the theory that Ken could be a decent midcarder, as Wesker is not exactly the toughest of first-round opponents. Still, Ken got his well-deserved win, and could become a fixture in the tournament for years to come.

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