Gen (元, Gen?) is a character in the Street Fighter series of fighting games. He first appeared in the original Street Fighter game. Stated by the official Street Fighter website to be in his 70s by the time of Super Street Fighter IV, Gen is a legend in the Chinese underworld, however, he has been diagnosed with a fatal illness, believed to be leukemia, and is seeking to die as he has lived: fighting. He is currently the only character in the Street Fighter series who can switch between fighting styles (having two of them) during a match, and one of the few characters in fighting games with multiple movesets. He also notably taught Chun-Li the art of Tai Chi.
Gen was known as one of the big legends of martial arts, supposedly being the "man who killed a hundred". He was not only a great martial artist, but a legendary assassin for the law, said to be invincible in battle. Gen was also a friend of Chun-Li and her 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 and helped train him for a short time before his continuing his jourery.
Gen entered the first World Warrior tournament to test his strengh with 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 his and his family and friends lives such as Chun-Li. 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 foe, taking on the evil members of Shadaloo and other crime syndicates, to provoke a fight to the death in which he would meet his end in a fight. Word got around about Akuma, a warrior who fully embraced the the demonic power of the Satsui no Hadou. After seeking him out, Gen challenged him to a fight that he hoped would be decisive. The two fought eveanly until the end, each surviving the other's finishing blow. However, Akuma sensed that Gen was sick, making it the battle unfair. Thus, Akuma decided to end the match, leaving Gen to his fate.
Street Fighter Alpha 3
Eventually, Akuma was once again challenged by Gen, but although the results of the battle are unknown, Gen did survive (it is most likely that Akuma only fought him in a regular fight instead of a battle to the death).
Gen, 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, scorns the ghosts and says 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 quitely fades away, leaving her alone in her mission to stop S.I.N from taking over the world. 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 when the Satsui no Hadou is sealed off for the time being, 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 "the final battle between Life and Death", so he returns to what he calls "my own fight to the death".
One of Gen's more popular special moves (similar to moves by Chun-Li and E. Honda) is the Hyaku-Ren-Kou (百連勾, Hyakurenkō?, "Hundred Rapid Captures"), in which he strikes the opponent rapidly with hand stabs.
Gen is the only Street Fighter character that can change fighting styles in mid-fight. This gives him access to two different movesets, and knowing which is the best to use in the situation is the key to using him effectively. The Mantis Style focuses more on quick jabs and low-level, repeated damage, while his Crane style is slower but with more damaging, longer-ranged attacks. Overall, Gen excels at comboing moves together and executing 'air juggles' - moves that link together to keep the opponent off the ground.
- Gen's restaurant is one of the stages in Super Gem Fighter: Mini Mix (Pocket Fighter in Japan).
- In the UDON comic, Gen has stated that Akuma has not yet mastered his dark powers during his talk with Ryu.