|Street Fighter character|
Dan in Street Fighter Alpha 3, as drawn by Bengus
|First game||Street Fighter Alpha (1995)|
|Voiced by (English)||Ted Sroka (Street Fighter IV Street Fighter X Tekken)
Bob Papenbrook (Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation)
|Voiced by (Japanese)||Osamu Hosoi (all but SFIV)
Kazuyuki Ishikawa (Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation) Toshiyuki Kusuda (Street Fighter IV Street Fighter X Tekken)
|Fighting style||Saikyo-style karate (サイキョウ流空手 Saikyō Ryū Karate?)|
Dan Hibiki (火引 弾 Hibiki Dan?) is a video game character from Capcom's Street Fighter series of fighting games. He was created to parody Ryo Sakazaki and Robert Garcia, the two lead characters of SNK's Art of Fighting series, as Capcom saw Ryo as a ripoff of Street Fighter characters Ryu and Ken. Since then, Dan has become a fan favorite due to his humorous design, mannerisms, and signature moves.
Introduced in Street Fighter Alpha, Dan is consistently portrayed as an arrogant, overconfident, yet utterly feeble character. In the series' storyline, Dan is a self-taught martial artist whose goal is to defeat Sagat, who killed Dan's father in a brutal match. After beating Sagat, Dan opens an unsuccessful school for his fighting style, Saikyo-ryu ("Strongest style").
Dan is introduced in Street Fighter Alpha and Street Fighter Alpha 2 as a martial artist who developed his own fighting style called Saikyō-ryū, "The Strongest Style", despite the considerable lack of power in his techniques. During these two games, Dan seeks to defeat Sagat to avenge his father's death. While Dan is an unlockable character in Street Fighter Alpha, in following games he is already available. By Street Fighter Alpha 3, Dan has succeeded in his quest, and seeks to perfect and promote his fighting style. In this game, he also declares himself the mentor from the fighter Sakura Kasugano and is revealed to be one of Blanka's friends.
Dan also appears in the console versions from Street Fighter IV, entering the tournament in an effort to make his Saikyo-style more popular. He also appears as Sakura's mentor and fights her as a rival in the penultimate fight of his Arcade mode. In Super Street Fighter IV, he continues fighting to promote and gain membership into his Saikyo Dojo which has no members at all. However, his plan fails due to lack of publicity used for his dojo. Dan is used as the dummy opponent for the Challenge Mode in the home versions.
His stance as a "weak" character is emphasized in the puzzle game Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, in which Dan is a hidden character who drops only red counter gems, making him extremely easy to beat. In Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix, Dan's story begins with himself looking to expand his Saikyo-ryu school, and subsequently chooses Sakura as his student. Upon meeting Sakura, he offers to teach her his style, and she accepts after Dan defeats her in a fight. Sakura masters the entire Saikyo-ryu style, and chooses to forget the entire style three days after mastering it, humiliating Dan.
Dan appears as a playable character in some Capcom crossover projects including two crossovers with Marvel: Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter and Marvel vs. Capcom 2 as well as the crossovers with SNK starting with Capcom vs. SNK Pro. During the debut trailer for the crossover fighting game Street Fighter X Tekken, Dan is beaten through a door following an encounter with Tekken fighter Kazuya Mishima. Despite his defeat mentioned by Capcom, Dan makes a non-playable appearance as the instructor in the game's training mode. He is also seen in Sakura and Blanka's ending, trapped inside of Pandora.
Additionally, Dan has had a small appearance in the original video animation Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation. In the manga Street Fighter: Sakura Ganbaru!, Dan is featured as a supporting character. Dan is also featured in UDONs Street Fighter series, where he views Sakura as a rival, though he is usually defeated without much effort on her part. By the time of Super Street Fighter: New Generation (which adapts the events of Street Fighter III), Dan is shown to have lost his dojo, and now works as a chef for E. Honda.
Concept and creation
Shortly after the release of Street Fighter II, rival company SNK released their own fighting game, Art of Fighting. The principal character of this series, Ryo Sakazaki, bore a resemblance in appearance and name to Ryu, as well as other aesthetic similarities to Ken, wearing an orange gi and sporting blonde hair.
In humorous retaliation, Street Fighter II co-designer Akiman drew an artwork of Sagat holding a defeated opponent by the head during the release of Street Fighter II: Champion Edition. The defeated opponent wore an attire similar to Ryo's: an orange karate gi with a torn black shirt underneath and geta sandals; but had long dark hair tied to a ponytail like Robert Garcia, another character from the Art of Fighting series. This character design would become the basis of Dan, who was introduced as a secret character in Street Fighter Alpha until finally becoming a selectable character by default in the game's sequel, Street Fighter Alpha 2. His fireball is telling: instead of using both hands to unleash his Gadōken, as Ryu and Ken do for the Hadōken, he propels it with one hand, like Ryo, Robert and Yuri do for the Kooh-ken (though Dan's Gadōken has pitifully short range and does mediocre damage. It only gains longer range when you use the super version of the move, the Shinkū Gadōken). Dan can also taunt infinitely like the Art of Fighting games, unlike his fellow Street Fighter Alpha characters who can only taunt once per round in the Alpha series.
When developing Street Fighter IV, executive producer Yoshinori Ono emphasized Dan as a character he strongly wanted to have appear in the game, stating that while the character's personality and actions earned him the label of a joke character, he felt Dan was a very technical fighting game character that could be used well and bring something unique to the game. In a later interview, he emphasized his desire to have Dan in the game again, citing the then-unveiled inclusion of Sakura Kasugano in home versions as added incentive.
Dan has a similar outfit to Ryu and Ken, wearing a traditional karate gi. Dan also wears a black undershirt like Ryo. His head and face closely resembles Robert from Art of Fighting, while his outfit is bright pink, reminiscent of Ryo's orange outfit in Art of Fighting.
Though his fighting stance is similar to Ken and Ryu's, it is more "loose" and animated. Many of his mannerisms directly mirror those of Yuri Sakazaki. In Street Fighter IV, Dan's stance more closely resembles Ryo Sakazaki's fighting stance, rather than Ryu and Ken's.
In Street Fighter IV, he can be seen with the kanji 最強流 (Saikyō-ryū) on his lapel. During some moves, the kanji 父 (father) or 弾 (bullet, pronounced 'Dan') appears on his back, similar to Akuma.
Dan's character has received positive response by video game publications. IGN ranked Dan at number twelve in their "Top 25 Street Fighter Characters" article, noting his role as a "fan favourite" despite his status as a joke character. GameDaily listed Dan at number eighteen in their "Top 20 Street Fighter Characters of All Time" article and at number two in their "Top 25 Most Bizarre Fighting Characters" article, stating that despite the character's handicaps "...Dan is fun". In the January 30, 1997 issue of Gamest magazine in Japan, Dan ranked at the top from the poll Top 50 Characters of 1996. GamesRadar listed Dan's uselessness as the number one in-game in-joke, stating that the character has become a fan favourite for overconfident players who want to show their skills. UGO Networks editor Paul Furfari chose Dan as one of the top 50 best Street Fighter characters, commenting that players could use him to "insult or embarrass a competing player." GameRadar's Mikel Reparaz also wrote an article titled "The pathetic history of Dan Hibiki" which focused on his appearances ever since Street Fighter Alpha and his history with the Art of Fighting characters. Reparaz labelled Dan as "a crappy version of Ryu or Ken", stating nevertheless to be one of the most enjoyable playable characters of the series. Ryan Clements from IGN shared similar comments, stating that if players are able to fully control Dan's moves, the character becomes very effective in fights from Street Fighter IV. Kotaku's Brian Ashcraft also praised Dan's gameplay in Street Fighter IV, but criticized his English voice. UGO listed him thirteenth in their article of "The 25 Awesomest Hidden Characters" with comments on his introduction in Street Fighter Alpha as a comic-relief character. His "Shisso Buraiken" move from Street Fighter IV was listed as one of the most satisfying uppercuts in gaming's history by GamesRadar due to the effect done in the opponent's facial expression. Dan's absence from Street Fighter X Tekken was joked by series producer Yoshinori Ono to be as a result of Tekken character who "killed" him at the Comic-Con 2010 trailer from the game. As a result, Joystiq wrote a comical article based on the character's "death."
On the other hand, Complex listed Dan as the lamest character in Street Fighter, reasoning that he's "Intentionally underpowered with a truncated move list", as well as in their list of "The 50 Most Annoying Characters In Video Games", placing him 16th because he is "awful" and "also cries". They asked "Could there be anybody more pathetic?".
- Capcom (1995-06-27). "Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dreams". Arcade. Capcom. Level/area: Dan ending.
- Capcom (1995-06-27). "Street Fighter Alpha 2". Arcade. Capcom. Level/area: Dan ending.
Dan: Nice eye, Sagat! Would you like the other one to match? / Sagat: The fool who took my eye paid with his life. / Dan: That was my father, you murderer!
- "Street Fighter Alpha Hints & Cheats". GameSpot. Retrieved August 26, 2011.
- Capcom (1997-06-29). "Street Fighter Alpha 3". Arcade. Capcom. Level/area: Dan profile.
Dan finally defeated the man who killed his father.... He made his own fighting style called Saikyo: "The strongest". But his ambition will not rest until he achieves perfection....
- Capcom (1997-06-29). "Street Fighter Alpha 3". Arcade. Capcom. Level/area: Blanka's fifth stage.
Dan: Jimmy...?! You're Jimmy!! / Blanka: Uwon!! Uwon!! <Oh! My dear old friend Dan!!>
- Capcom (1997-06-29). "Street Fighter Alpha 3". Arcade. Capcom. Level/area: Blanka ending.
Dan: I'm sorry, Jimmy.... I kept you waiting! But, I brought my number one disciple with me! / Sakura: Is he talking about me...?
- Dimps/Capcom (2008-07-18). "Street Fighter IV". Arcade. Capcom. Level/area: Dan's introduction.
- Clements, Ryan (February 2, 2009). "Street Fighter IV: Dan". IGN. Retrieved August 24, 2011.
- Dimps/Capcom (2010-04-27). "Street Fighter IV". PlayStation 3. Capcom. Level/area: Dan's introduction.
- Dimps/Capcom (2010-04-27). "Street Fighter IV". PlayStation 3. Capcom. Level/area: Dan's ending.
- "CAPCOM VS. SNK PRO". Capcom. Archived from the original on 2009-03-30. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
- "Saikyo X Kobusi Blog". Capcom. 2011-12-26. Retrieved 2011-12-26.
- Nakahira, Masahiro (1997). Street Fighter: Sakura Ganbaru! 1. Shueisha. ISBN 4-88199-326-7.
- Street Fighter Legends: Sakura #1-4
- Super Street Fighter Volume 1: New Generation
- Top 25 Street Fighter Characters - Day III. IGN. Retrieved on 15 August 2008
- "Street Fighter IV Producer interview". GameVideos. 2008-06-06. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- "Street Fighter IV - Yoshinori Ono Interview". GameTrailers. 2009-02-17. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- Top 20 Street Fighter Characters of All Time. GameDaily. Retrieved on 13 November 2008
- Top 25 Most Bizarre Fighting Characters. GameDaily. Retrieved on 30 December 2008
- Ishii, Zenji (December 1996). "第10回ゲーメスト大賞". Gamest Magazine 188: pg. 46. Retrieved 2008-12-28.
- "The Top 7... in-game in-jokes". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
- Furfari, Paul (2010-08-25). "Top 50 Street Fighter Characters". UGO.com. Retrieved 2010-09-09.
- Reparaz, Mikel. "The pathetic history of Dan Hibiki". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2011-01-03.
- Aschcraft, Brian (January 6, 2009). "Dan Vs. Dan (Oh, The English...)". Kotaku. Retrieved August 25, 2011.
- Jensen, K. Thor (December 7, 2010). "The 25 Awesomest Hidden Characters". UGO.com. Retrieved 2011-08-24.
- Reparaz, Mikel. "Gaming's most satisfying uppercuts". GamesRadar. Retrieved August 23, 2011.
- Mallory, Jordan (July 30, 2011). "Dan and Anna knocked out of Street Fighter X Tekken's final roster". Joystiq. Retrieved August 24, 2011.
- Mallory, Jordan (July 30, 2011). "Weekly Webcomic Wrapup is mourning a loss". Joystiq. Retrieved August 24, 2011.
- Amirkhani, Justin (April 17, 2012). "The 10 Lamest Street Fighter Characters". Complex. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
- "The 50 Most Annoying Characters In Video Games". Complex. May 24, 2011. Retrieved January 30, 2014.