Gen (元 Gen ) is a video game character from the Street Fighter series of fighting games, first appearing as a non-playable opponent in the original Street Fighter, before becoming playable in Street Fighter Alpha 2. He is an aging Chinese martial arts master and former legendary assassin.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Story
- 3 Relationships
- 4 Comics
- 5 Live-action films
- 6 Live-action TV series
- 7 Gameplay
- 8 Trivia
- 9 References
- 10 Gallery
Biography[edit | edit source]
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Gen is an elderly man who often has a stern look on his face. He is among the shortest male characters in the series, standing at just 5'5". Gen wears a loose, purple outfit with a red sash around his clothes, and red Chinese martial art shoes with white socks. He has white hair with a long, white beard. In the original Street Fighter, he had black pupils in his eyes, not to mention he didn't have the red sash, but in his more recent incarnations, his eyes are now completely white in color.
Prior to his recent appearance in Street Fighter IV, Gen had short hair. In the Street Fighter IV games, his hair not only has grown much longer but he also keeps it tied in a formal bun with a purple Chinese qipao on the back of his head. In most recent games his skin also has aging wrinkles in his entire body, most notably his face.
Concept[edit | edit source]
Gen bears a strong resemblance to the martial arts master Pai Mei from Kill Bill: Volume 2, who was based on the famous leader of the White Lotus Clan, Bak Mei. Bak Mei has appeared in many martial arts films by Shaw Brothers Studios; although a master of many styles, he was famous for practicing the art of Dim Mak (pressure point strikes), which Gen appears to utilize.
Gen's martial arts style may been a direct homage to classic 1983 manga/anime Hokuto no Ken (Fist of the North Star). His Hyakurenko technique may have been based off Kenshiro's Hokuto Hyakuretsu Ken.
The character 元 literally means "origin" or "source". Gen's name is spoken out in the Japanese on'yomi reading; the Mandarin/pinyin reading of the character is "Yuán" (pronounced as "Y-wahn/Yoo-ahn").
Personality[edit | edit source]
Gen is a silent, precise and wise man who takes fighting very seriously and prefers to take on formidable, honorable warriors, such as Ryu and Akuma. Elderly though he is, Gen's temperament is extremely sharp, his speech patterned with a weathered and biting coarseness. With a tendency to muse over death (likely rooted in his condition), he is also not hesitant to speak of such dark matters regarding the inevitable passing of all things, especially to those that walk the path of a fighter, since he seeks to die as he has lived: fighting.
Despite being a powerful assassin in the past, and a legend in the Chinese underworld, Gen follows a code and has benevolent intentions, as he never imposes his power over those who cannot fight, nor does he kill the defenseless. Though he fights to test his strength and his opponents, much like Akuma, Gen is very respectful to younger fighters like Sakura and Ibuki, and is displeased by those who do not rely on their own power, as he values the true spirit of martial arts and honor. Another sign that he's a good person underneath is that he shows a great deal of care for Chun-Li, as he trained her in the youth.
Story[edit | edit source]
Early life[edit | edit source]
Gen was known as one of the legends of martial arts, supposedly being the "man who killed hundreds". He was not only a great martial artist, but a legendary assassin, said to be invincible. Gen was also a friend of Chun-Li's father, and he briefly trained her in her youth. Gen also owned a restaurant called Genhanten in Sendai, Japan - where he met Ryu for the first time.
Gen entered the first World Warrior tournament to find worthy opponents. When he did not, he went back to the streets of China.
Later, he was diagnosed with leukemia, and did not have much time to live. Gen did not blame his loss in the first tournament on his illness. At first, he decided he would be careful and just manage his restaurant, but old foes sent assassins who made repeated attempts on him and his family's lives. Due to this, he decided he would stop hiding and go out fighting, in a blaze of glory, as he felt it was a more honorable way to die.
He went on a search for a worthy opponent, taking on members of Shadaloo and other crime syndicates, to provoke a fight to the death in which he would meet his demise. Word got around about Akuma, a fighter who fully embraced the Satsui no Hado. After seeking him out, Gen challenged him to a fight that he hoped would be decisive. The two fought fiercely until the end, each surviving the other's finishing blow. However, Akuma sensed that Gen was terminally ill, making it an unfair fight. Thus, Akuma decided to end the match, leaving him to his fate.
Eventually, Gen challenged Akuma once again, but although the results of the battle are unknown, Gen did survive.
When Gen and Akuma fight during the game's story mode, they perform their signature moves on each other before the fight begins, re-enacting the fight described above.
Gen is haunted by nightmares where he is surrounded on all sides by the ghosts of those he has killed in the past when he was still an assassin. Scorning the ghosts, he proclaims that while he is still alive, he will not succumb to the likes of them. Reflecting on how Chun-Li has grown into a strong and admirable woman, he knows he cannot protect her for much longer, as his time is running short. He remembers the day when his illness allowed Shadaloo to capture her father; cursing his body and its "infernal frailties", he vows not to let them get away.
He joins the S.I.N. organized tournament, and at some point Chun-Li finds him and demands that he tell her all that he knows about what happened to her father. Gen refuses and fades away, leaving her alone. When the S.I.N. base is destroyed, Gen protects Chun-Li from the ensuing collapse, though it's not shown how. While partially trapped under the rubble, Gen witnesses Akuma and Gouken fight over an unconscious Ryu, internally referring to the two fighters as "Life and Death". He muses that "Death is indeed strong. Impressed by what he called their "ultimate battle", in which both men were "prepared to give up the ghost", Gen resolves not to die until their final battle, and so returns to his own "fight to the death".
Gen appears in Akuma's character story in Street Fighter V, locked in combat with the demonic martial artist. Gen observes Akuma's newfound power, and ponders as to whether or not he has become a "true demon god", before realizing he has not attained this level of power yet. Gen laughs, stating that Akuma will never reach the path of the divine if he does not know the path of humanity. Akuma calls Gen weak, striking him down with a Satsui no Hado-infused punch, presumably killing Gen for good. Gen's words echo in Akuma's head, and as he walks away from Gen's unconscious form, he remarks that he has no interest in for the path of humanity or the divine, and only walks the path of the demon.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
Allies[edit | edit source]
At one point, he trained Chun-Li in her youth and somewhat treated her as his own daughter, due to his friendship with her father. She however feels Gen is hiding something from her regarding her father's death and sometimes confronts him for it. Despite occasionally threatening to kill her in combat, Gen cares deeply for her.
Sakura and Ibuki[edit | edit source]
Out of all the fighters, the two are whom Gen is more respectful of.
Ryu[edit | edit source]
Having encountered him during his time as a restaurant operator, he became fascinated with Ryu. Gen would eventually test Ryu's strength in combat and held him in high regard.
Yun and Yang[edit | edit source]
While they are somewhat distant and has no known interactions, it can be assumed Gen is comfortable and holds no ill will with them. He is depicted as like a grandfather to the two in the UDON comics.
Enemies[edit | edit source]
Akuma[edit | edit source]
Gen saw Akuma as a skilled opponent who could finally kill him, a morbid desire amplified by his own terminal sickness. However, their skills often clash, giving each other challenges. Akuma however backed down upon learning Gen is fatally ill, but would engage him again after seeing he can still fight. Akuma emerges victorious and presumably kills him for good in Street Fighter V in their last fight.
Comics[edit | edit source]
Sakura Ganbaru![edit | edit source]
Gen makes an appearance in the manga. He was hired to kill Cammy, who had defected from Shadaloo, fighting against her. Chun-Li, who was nearby along with Sakura and Dan, decided to take matters in her hands and bring Gen into custody. However, Gen was able to quickly incapacitate her by hitting a deadly pressure point on her stomach. Despite her shock and her awareness to the danger the man represented, Sakura steps up to fight Gen
While able to effortlessly dodge every attack, Gen became intrigued by the fighting spirit within Sakura, as well as the fact that she utilized the martial art developed for assassination without any negativity in her mind. As he wondered about the "light" in her fists, he lost his focus for a moment, allowing Sakura to land a hit. Deciding to finish the battle for good, Gen rushed in for the kill, but allowed himself to stop just one moment early, by a cherry tree leaf. The impact, however, was enough to send Sakura into unconsciousness. Cammy asked Gen why he spared Sakura's life when he was never hesitant to kill anybody before; he replied that, having found the "light", he no longer held the desire to kill.
UDON comics[edit | edit source]
Gen appeared in UDON's Street Fighter comic series and in Street Fighter Legends: Chun-Li. He is portrayed as Dorai's longtime friend (despite their being on the opposite side of the law), the teacher of Chun-Li back in the day, and the ward of Yun and Yang; a former legendary assassin, he eventually renounced his ways (after killing his would-be assassin in front of his pupil) and concentrated on his restaurant. By the time of the story, he is close to death, suffering from an advanced stage of leukemia.
In the Street Fighter II arc, Gen is portrayed as the only one, save for Gouken, that at one time managed to defeat Akuma, because the latter had not yet mastered the Satsui no Hado, although he survived Gen's Zan'ei; Gen chose to spare him in hopes of having a fight with both of them at the peak of their abilities. Ryu, seeking for a way to defeat Akuma, went to Gen for help, and he encouraged him to fight back with the same ruthlesness and determination to kill, as Gen felt that otherwise he would have no chance; Ryu refused to accept this, but thanked the elderly master nonetheless. Akuma revealed himself to Gen, and both lamented the fact that their rematch would never take place, because of Gen's sickness; he nonetheless stated that he'd rather die fighting than suffer a long agony, and Akuma obliged him, with the two exchanging a single blow each and parting afterwards. Gen passed away shortly after.
Live-action films[edit | edit source]
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li[edit | edit source]
Gen appeared as a main character the live-action movie, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, portrayed by Robin Shou. Depicted as a younger martial arts master, he serves as the leader of a secret anti-crime organization known as the Order of the Web. It is Gen who teaches Chun-Li her more advanced moves, including the Kikoken, and accompanies her in the fight against Bison and Shadaloo. His back-story also reveals he was a partner-in-arms with Bison in their earlier days as criminals, but Gen eventually left him, no longer tolerant of stealing from others.
Live-action TV series[edit | edit source]
Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist[edit | edit source]
He was mentioned by Gouken in Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist second episode "Round 1: Fight" as a kung-fu master he met during his Musha Shugyo who taught him how to use the Power of Nothingness as the foundation of his Ansatsuken art instead of the Satsui no Hado.
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
Fighting style[edit | edit source]
Gen's fighting style incorporates various kung fu styles that he has utilized in his assassinations. As of Street Fighter Alpha 2, this is reflected in the unique ability to switch between two fighting styles during gameplay: Mantis (Sou) and Crane (Ki).
Moveset[edit | edit source]
Gen is at his best with both styles utilized in tandem, often switching between Mantis and Crane mid-attack; however, this makes him a difficult character to learn and master, and his low stun and stamina leave even less room for error.
Gen's two styles use opposite approaches: The Mantis style focuses on ground-based pressure, spacing, and approaching, with special attacks that can act as solid reversals, among other defensive functions. The more offensive Crane style uses a multi-angle approach, with normal and special moves tailored to confuse and punish foes, and unique standard normals (such as an overhead standing medium punch and low-hitting standing heavy punch).
In the Street Fighter Alpha series, Gen and Guy are the among only characters to retain their 'natural' Chain Combo abilities, and both would carry this trait into later appearances.
Techniques[edit | edit source]
The Mantis/Sou-style makes heavy use of linear-motion attacks and pressure point finger strikes, including the Hyakurenko (百連勾 Hyakurenkō , "Hundred Chained Hooks") (in which Gen strikes the opponent rapidly with hand stabs) and the Gekiro (逆瀧 Gekirō , "Inverted Cascade") (a vertical jump kick with repeated follow-up kicks). His Super Combos while using the Sou-style include the Zan'ei (惨影, the "Cruel Shadow") and the Shitenshuu (死点咒 Shitenshū , "Death Point Curse").
The Crane/Ki-style involves more mobility, swiping and clearing attacks and unorthodox techniques, including the Jyasen (蛇穿 Jasen , "Snake Drill") (a rolling tumble into a forward finger stab) and the Oga (徨牙 Ōga , "Wandering Fang") (a versatile wall-leaping technique with many different ending moves). His Super Combos include the Jyakoha (蛇咬叭 Jakōha , "Snake Bite Opening") and the Kouga (狂牙 Kōga , "Lunatic Fang"). He also has a crouching heavy punch known as the Kirou (危弄 Kirō, "Dangerous Tamper"), one of the strongest counter-hit damage attacks in the series.
When Gen is played on X-ism mode in Street Fighter Alpha 3, he loses the ability to switch between fighting styles. Instead, he has a blended style which uses techniques from both styles (except the Oga), and uses the Zan'ei as his sole Super Combo.
Due to the fact that he has two fighting styles, Gen is one of the two characters to have two Super Combos in the Street Fighter IV series (the other being Dan), and the only character to have four Ultra Combos.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- In Gen's stage in the original Street Fighter, there are a lot of signs in the background. Some of the signs include Southeast Asia Money Exchanger, Siu Wah Bargagain ("Bargain" misspelled) Palace, Gou Norman French Cuisine, etc., which hints that his stage is set in Hong Kong.
- Gen is known for his quote in English, spoken to a defeated opponent: "You are a big fool!". Incidentally, Gen says this before his final battle against M. Bison in Alpha 3.
- When Gen fights Akuma during Stage 9 in Street Fighter Alpha 3, Shin Akuma's "Groan" replaces his usual theme as the BGM.
- Gen's restaurant is one of the backgrounds in Super Gem Fighter: Mini Mix, where Fei Long, Dhalsim, Birdie, M. Bison, Rolento, Charlie and Sodom, along with Darkstalkers characters Victor and Bishamon, can be seen having lunch. Gen himself is seen on the leftmost side of the stage, slicing a duck.
- In the original Street Fighter, Gen uses an attack in which he kicks with both feet while balancing on one hand. Chun-Li can be seen using this same attack in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike.
- A small AI bug caused CPU Gen players in Street Fighter Alpha 2 to occasionally perform various strings of attacks at random intervals, even when the player is far out of reach.
- In the UDON series, it's stated that Gen is the grandparent of Yun and Yang, employing the twins at his restaurant in Hong Kong.
- Gen's game over sequence in the Street Fighter IV series implies that he dies from his disease: he lies on the floor, face down, and does not breathe.
- The fighting style of Neji, from the ninja manga and anime series Naruto, is also similar to Gen's style as they both focus on attacking the vital parts of the body.
- Gen and Charlie Nash are the only characters to have a one-hit super combo. In Gen's case, it is the Jyakoha.
- Gen's Jyasen special attack is very similar to Vega's Rolling Crystal Flash special attack, as both have the same input, start off with consecutive rolls, and end with a punch attack.
- Gen's first alternate costume in Street Fighter IV has a color-changing mask. It is red when he is in Mantis stance and blue when he is in Crane stance.
- Gen utilizing four Super and Ultra Combos along with his profession as an assassin is a reference to tetraphobia. This is fitting as Gen himself constantly muses over death; due to the pronunciation of the said number is "shi" which is the part of the word for "death" (shi-ne), as the belief of tetraphobia is common in Southeast Asian countries, including China.
- In the parody-themed fighting game Divekick, a character named "Uncle Sensei" is a parody of Gen (as well as the "old wise man" stereotype common in fighting games).
- Gen is one of the few characters in the original Street Fighter IV to have one rival (in his case, Chun-Li) throughout the whole game series.