He declares himself "America's Greatest Fighter" (as well as the best-looking) and considers Ken Masters to be his rival. He fights to prove he is better than Ken, though he frequently mistakes other fighters for him.
Rufus' concept art was a complete opposite from his final. Designed by Daigo Ikeno, one of his original concept artworks (as seen in his gallery) had him as African-American, thin, muscular, and bald. He also had a sense of fashion, as he was drawn with a furred karate Gi (which would later be used for Ken as his alternate costume), and his name was originally King Cobra.
His fighting style was intended to be "breakung-fu", mixing elements of kung fu with breakdancing, which the Street Fighter IV development team perceived as a fad in the United States at the time, and Ikeno developed the character's concept around it. Midway through the process of recording the character's lines, however, art director Takashi Kamei proposed that they have the character be overweight, an idea Ikeno agreed with.
As a result, Rufus was gradually changed completely, becoming more obese and turned into a blonde, long-haired white male, a design which Ikeno later admitted was in fact rushed. Rufus' final appearance was chosen over his initial design because the developers felt he would "freak people out". Street Fighter IVs executive producer Yoshinori Ono likened his inclusion to that of Blanka in Street Fighter II, noting that Rufus' "over-the-top" design was intended to help set the game apart from the "really cool-looking but ultimately bland" characters of Tekken and Virtua Fighter.
The final concept art of Rufus seems to be inspired by Chris Farley's caricature in "Beverly Hills Ninja" and Bruce Lee's yellow jumpsuit from "The Game of Death". His overall appearance and concept (that of an overweight guy with long, blond hair, a beard and a love for motorcycles) could've been inspired by Michael Teutul from the reality show "American Chopper". One of Rufus' concept drawings in Street Fighter IV shows him with his hair down, bearing quite a resemblance to Michael's appearance. Another possible inspiration could have been MMA fighter Roy "Big Country" Nelson, who is also a trained American kung fu fighter known for his long hair, beard and a big belly.
Similar to how Dan is a parody of Ryo from SNK's Art of Fighting series, Rufus seems to be similar to Bob from Namco's Tekken series (a point emphasized in Street Fighter X Tekken); both are obese American martial artists with blond hair, have small amounts of facial hair, are incredibly fast for their size, have similar move sets and each a master of their respective fighting styles (self-taught kung-fu based on Snake style in the case of Rufus, freestyle karate in the case of Bob). Rufus' Messiah Kick and its mix up properties are exactly the same as one of Bob's attacks. However, their personalities are opposites, as Rufus is obnoxious and impatient man who just wants to show America he is the best, while Bob is calm and serious, and intentionally put on weight. In Tekken 7: Fated Retribution, Bob's Rage Art has a slight resemblance to Rufus' Ultra Combo attack Space Opera Symphony.
When asked about comparisons between Rufus and Bob, Ono emphasized that the characters were different in many regards and while Bob represented a "cool fat guy", Rufus represented a "weird fat guy".
Rufus's basic appearance is that of a tall, fat man with blond hair in a yellow and black jumpsuit and black short-necked combat boots.
For Super Street Fighter IV, a third outfit intended to resemble the Chinese Jiang Shi was included, consisting of a long Chinese robe, black hat with his ponytail extruding from the top, yellow and black striped pants, and a yellow strip of paper meant to represent a sealing charm extending from the front of the hat and over his face.
The developers considered to have the charm able to be knocked off by an opponent's attacks, and as a result alter his attack patterns and power; however, they felt this overcomplicated the character, and instead abandoned the idea. Assistant producer Natsuki Shiozawa cited the outfit as one of her five favorites in the game, feeling that design suited his body well.
In his Street Fighter V profile art, the colors of his outfit are switched (black and yellow), he has orange goggles on his head and yellow gloves.
Rufus is a loudmouthed master of Kung-Fu, hailing from the U.S. Believing himself to be the strongest in America, he develops a personal hatred for Ken Masters, who carries that title officially. He notably tends to call Ken by his full name. He is often seen riding his motorcycle with his girlfriend, Candy, an attractive (but not very bright) brunnette woman with a notably tacky fashion sense who seems to adore him and agree with his beliefs. Rufus is very hasty and impatient, constantly jumping to conclusions to reach a goal, which often results in him sacrificing accuracy for speed. Rufus can be seen as Guile's opposite in representing Americans: albeit both display very muscular builds, Guile is generally more positive, patriotic and athletic, while Rufus is loud, obnoxious and obese.
Rufus is prone to loud-mouthed rambling, often spouting off at the mouth continuously until someone cuts him off. Said rambling is usually about trivial things he notices about the characters, doting over Candy, giving random anecdotes, or mistaking several members of the cast for Ken Masters (including Cammy, Guile and Ryu). In fact, his win quotes are so long they're normally impossible to read completely before the game transitions to the next screen. He's also prone to saying whatever random thoughts come to his mind, regardless of how rude they are (i.e. asking Dhalsim if he is an alien because of his Yoga power, and then giving his personal view of aliens before Dhalsim cuts him off). Most of the other fighters object to his constant talking whenever they defeat him, with some people getting annoyed of how much he speaks (i.e. Fei Long says: "No need for words. In fact, shut up already, will ya?").
Despite his goofy appearance and personality, he is a highly skilled master of Kung-Fu, which even surprises several of the other characters. In fact, he actually gives some good advice to Fei Long in his win quote about being more calm and stoic in his movements while using Kung Fu instead of shouting with flashy moves (not that he practices it that much himself). He also seems to know quite a bit about sumo wrestling rules, and not just stereotypical rules, as he is the only one that actively points out that sumo is done in the ring, and what E. Honda is doing is against sumo code.
Rufus also attributes his skills and fighting prowess to 'Mojo' and 'Charisma', two things he believes are required of a good fighter and that he claims to have ample of. His intelligence is questionable because of his odd conclusions that he is quick to jump to; additionally, Rufus has a terrible sense of direction, but always somehow reaches his destinations regardless as seen with him reaching both the South and North Pole ("I can be both on the top and the bottom of the world!"). In spite of this, he does have good instincts and insights, making him akin to a boastful but well-meaning fellow: many of his compliments in his win quotes are based on qualities he believes he has that he sees others have too, such as Zangief (the closest thing to a friend he has).
Not much is known about Rufus' past before the events in Street Fighter IV, except that he met his girlfriend Candy by saving her from a waiter (Rufus beat him up) who was chasing her. Rufus describes this event on a win quote to Rose; "I’ll never forget when I first met my girl. It was a rainy day in October and I was on my way home from a fight. Suddenly, this chick came outta nowhere an’ was all like 'Help!' I guess she pulled a dine an’ dash, so I beat up the waiter that was chasin’ her!".
Rufus first became interested in martial arts after seeing an abundance of kung-fu flicks in his youth; this prompted him to take correspondence courses, and later ride his motorcycle around China studying under various masters. Another thing Rufus has described about his past is that he is a legend in the biker world, a fact he feels indifferent about.
After reading an article praising Ken's status as America's best fighter, Rufus is, naturally, insulted. Candy suggests that he defeat Ken in front of an audience, making it clear who the best is. Rufus smiles and accepts his girlfriend's suggestion.
Rufus eventually finds the tournament and Ken, although the results of the fight are unknown. After the tournament, Rufus and Candy zoom past Ken and Ryu in the wasteland, stopping briefly for an insult.
Not too long after, however, he's seen pushing his motorcycle, as it's run out of gas. Ken rolls up to him in his stylish SUV with Candy's hat, offering a tow. Rufus proudly turns the offer down, stating that the pushing was part of his training. Ken shrugs it off and drives away. Candy offers to help push, but Rufus insists that she stay put, cursing Ken for his misfortune.
On their way to the tournament, Rufus and Candy ride through a wasteland with very little signs of life. Rufus wonders whether's he headed the right, and decides that Ken must have somehow set him astray.
Rufus and Candy eventually reach a gas station, where Candy gets the attendant to fill the bike while Rufus cools off by emptying an entire tank of water upon himself. Setting out on the road again, Rufus asks Candy where they should go next. Candy suggests that since they're far too hot in this desert, they should head for the North Pole. Rufus enthusiastically agrees.
Rufus appears in the background on the center right of the EVO 2016 stage.
Rufus appears as a playable character in Street Fighter X Tekken. His tag partner is Zangief.
In one of the game's trailers, Rufus and Bob meet in a bathroom in one of Marshall Law's restaurants, with Rufus mistaking Bob for Ken, starting a fight between the two. As they fight, their tag partners, Zangief and Julia respectively, are attempting to enjoy a meal despite the intrusiveness of the brawl. At one point, Rufus is trapped in a barrel, which Bob capitalizes on by throwing plates at him, eventually sending the barreled Rufus flying. While in midair, he passes by Ken and Ryu, who are coincidentally eating on the roof.
In the game's storyline, after having apparently gone to the North Pole with Candy, Rufus enters the North American Martial Arts tournament and wins. Unfortunately for Rufus, the media's attention was solely placed on Pandora, a mysterious fragment from outer space that landed in the South Pole. Because of this, Rufus' victory was largely ignored, which infuriated him to no end. Zangief, who was given a mission by his motherland to search for the box, needed a strong partner to go with him, so he called out to Rufus, who agrees because he wanted to put the box behind him and everyone else. They set off, with him dubbing their duo "The Space Cyclones".
During their journey, Rufus and Zangief encounter Julia and Bob. Because of Bob's blonde hair, Rufus mistakenly believes him to be Ken Masters. A confused Zangief corrects him, and points out Bob is far too overweight to be Ken Masters. As Rufus and Zangief discuss amongst each other, Bob and Julia overhear them, and challenge them to a fight.
After fighting their way to the South Pole, Rufus and Zangief at last reach Pandora's Box. Suddenly, a light flashes from the box and coats the heavyweight duo leaving them confused until a blinding flash occurs that mysteriously strips them of all their girth. Rendered skinny and weightless, the two fighters cry out in despair. This ending mirrors Bob's ending in Tekken 6, where he loses his weight and becomes skinny under mysterious conditions.
Returning home, Rufus feared Candy would no longer be able to recognize him in his skinny body; to his surprise, she did, and thought him to be even cooler because of his sleeker look. With the knowledge that Candy will always love him, Rufus calls up a depressed Zangief and gives him an offer to train together and rebuild their beloved bodies. His drive invigorated, Rufus returns to training for the title as best in the world.
Rufus appear in UDON's Street Fighter IV comic which focus on the game's newcomers (himself included).
Fighting style Edit
Throughout the years, Rufus has managed to create his own style of kung-fu; despite his rotund shape, it is surprisingly effective. It is revealed from one of his win quotes that his technique stems from years of studying various kung-fu books and movies, as well as many years of studying in China, reinforcing what he had taught himself. His fighting style takes advantage of his extreme weight, strength, and surprising agility. Despite his devastating ability, it seems that he has not yet gained the respect of his peers: Ryu, for example, considers his style "interesting, but too flashy to be effective".
Rufus is a heavily offensive rushdown character with high stamina, high-damaging combos, and above-average mobility. His special attacks can be used to overcome his lack of range, as some of them can bypass enemy projectiles and close the distance between Rufus and his opponents. Though his normal attacks also have decent range, they lack power, and Rufus players may find themselves in trouble against similarly built characters with better attack reach, among others. Despite appearing easy to pick up, his dive-based mix-up game, combined with the combo/comeback potential of his first Ultra Combo, make him tough (but worthwhile) to master.
Rufus' command normals include the diving Falcon Kick, the powerful Fragrance Palm, the tricky Glory Kick, and the Vulture Kick.
Rufus also possesses the Galactic Tornado, a spinning palm strike that can bypass projectiles and draw foes closer. His Messiah Kick is an overhead kick that provides followups with varied height and startup. The Snake Strike gives Rufus an anti-air option that can be used to score several hits.
Super and Ultra CombosEdit
Rufus' Super Combo is the Spectacle Romance, a three-hit combo that finishes with a double-palm strike. His first Ultra Combo, the Space Opera Symphony, is a combo of strikes that launches a foe and finishes off with a double-palm strike to the airborne foe's back. His second Ultra Combo, the Big Bang Typhoon, is a powerful Galactic Tornado that can draw foes into a multi-hitting storm of strikes.
- According to the Super Street Fighter IV blog, Rufus was born on July 30th, and one of his special skills is karaoke.
- When seeing a high resolution image of the first official art of Rufus from Street Fighter IV, an interesting detail is revealed. The popcorn in the bucket he holds under his arm is genuine popcorn; not drawn, but pasted in and painted around its perimeter.
- The name of Rufus' dive kick, Falcon Kick, is coincidentally similar in appearance and name to one of the signature attacks of Nintendo character Captain Falcon in his appearances in the Super Smash Bros. games, which is also a downwards dive kick when used in midair.
- Wyzen, a character from Capcom's 3D action beat em' up game Asura's Wrath, shares some similarities with Rufus, possessing a similar bodybuild and tendencies to talk a lot.
- Out of all the other characters, Rufus has the longest Super Street Fighter IV prologue in arcade mode; spanning over two minutes. This is due to his talkative nature, prolonging the duration.
- Strangely enough, despite wearing a gi, Akuma isn't one of the many characters Rufus mistakes for Ken.