Codex Gamicus
Ryu Hayabusa
Nationality Japanese
Gender Male
Birthday June 15, Age: 23
Bloodtype A
Height/Weight 177 cm (DOA1-3) 70 kg (DOA1-3)
179 cm (5 ft 10 in)(DOA4) 78 kg (172 lb)(DOA4)
Body Size B105 W83 H92cm (B41 W33 H36 in DOA4)
Fighting Style Hayabusa style Ninjutsu
Occupation Antique Shop owner
Likes Sushi
Hobbies Mountain Climbing, Fishing
Appearances Ninja Gaiden series
Dead or Alive
Dead or Alive 2
Dead or Alive 3
Dead or Alive: Ultimate
Dead or Alive 4

Ryu Hayabusa (隼・リュウ Hayabusa Ryū?, means Peregrine Falcon Dragon) is the protagonist and the player character of the Ninja Gaiden series as well as a playable character in the Dead or Alive series.


Ryu Hayabusa is the son of Joe Hayabusa (Ken Hayabusa in the NES Ninja Gaiden). Joe Hayabusa is the current leader of the Dragon Ninja Clan. A clan of ninja that has spiritual, physical, and magical ties to ancient Dragons. Ryu is the current heir to the Dragon lineage. He is also the holder of the legendary Dragon Sword. Although his father should carry the sword, he passed the sword to Ryu early, due to his bravery and valor during the "Dark Dragon Blade incident".

Ryu has the demeanor and wisdom of a calm, older wiseman. He is an honorable and brave man. He is estimated to be approximately between the age of 23 and 26. Although he appears as a normal man, he is not. Ryu is not completely human.This was discovered during the "Dark Dragon Blade incident". Because his ancestors draw their blood from the same deities as the Fiends of Vigoor, he is susceptible to the Fiends Blood Curse.....therefore is able to be turned into a "fiend".

He is Hayate's best friend and an ally of Kasumi and Ayane. He and his ninja brethren have been direct players in the defeat of every major threat in the D.O.A. tournaments, himself defeating the rogue Tengu in single combat during the second tournament. Ryu has befriended several people from the DOA tournaments, notably Jann Lee, with whom he shares a mutual respect. Though it's never specifically mentioned in any of the games.

In Ninja Gaiden, Ryu is known by individuals as "The Ninja Dragon" or "The Dragon Ninja". The C.I.A. knows about his clan, abilities, and history. Ryu has been betrayed by some of his alleged allies such as Foster (Ninja Gaiden NES), and Murai, who may possibly be his uncle. (Ninja Gaiden Black)


Ryu Hayabusa is an extremely powerful ninja. The benefit of his training, as well as physical ties to Dragons, has allowed him to become more durable, faster, and stronger beyond that of every human. He has indeed earned the title of "Super Ninja". Ryu is a master sword fighter, archer and martial artist. Ryu can drop from immense heights without injury or death, and could jump thousands of feet into the air with one leap without effort. In the Ninja Gaiden series, Ryu has a array of many powerful techniques. Ryu is very proficient in the art of Ninja Magic, also known as Ninpo. Such mastery has allowed Ryu to channel his inner body heat into a projectile fireball, gathering the cold elements of the air creating a tornado of ice, or magnifying his own bio-electricity and shooting outward towards surrounding targets. These are several of many arts of Ninpo that Ryu has mastered.

Ryu is able to transform into a somewhat transparent entity/falcon the spiritual animal of the Hayabusas, making him able to travel anywhere around the world as seen at the end of Ninja Gaiden/Sigma. Ryu has also mastered free-falling. He has demonstrated these abilities in Ninja Gaiden Black, Ninja Gaiden 2, and his Dead or Alive 4 ending.

Due to Ryu's implied capabilities, he has shown no trouble at all,defeating powerful enemies without a scratch, that have ability to teleport and fight lightning fast with ease and other foes that go so fast they create afterimages. The enemies Ryu Hayabusa as face from Ninja Gaiden to Ninja Gaiden sigma 2. Devil Incarnate Murai, Holy Vigoor Emperor, Doku, Marbus, Alma, Alexei, Volf, Zedonius, Elizabet, Dagra Dai, Genshin, and Vazdah, the Arch Fiend. Ryu's primary weapon, The Dragon Sword, is extremely and unbelievably sharp. It is capable of cutting through airships as shown in his Dead or Alive 4 ending. The Dragon Sword also has magical capabilities. It was once used to resurrect Irene Lew.

Ninpo & Techniques.[]

Ryu's most powerful and lethal ninpo is called The Art of the Piercing Void. Simply put,this Ninpo allows the caster to project a black hole, creating a projectile that can penetrate through multiple targets before dissipating. This Ninpo focuses the telekinetic energy created by the centripetal vibrations of the caster's lower dantian (ki focal point), then directs the shape of the energy using gravitational waves propagated by the conscious spirit. This creates a gravitational abnormality,forming a rotating black hole trapped inside a repulsing spiritual force field. Because this force field is somewhat permeable, extreme fluctuations of space-time occur of the Ninpo projectile that pulverize any nearby matter.

Ryu is shown doing this Ninpo in his Dead or Alive 4 ending cutscene, The Piercing Void taking shape in his palms then releasing it looking like a small ball then in a split second turning several times bigger than the airship itself.

Ryu also possesses The Art of the Wind Blades his most fastest Ninpo so far. This Ninpo amplifies sharp waves of vacuum created by lighting fast movements of the arms.The blades of radiate from the caster, slashing to pieces any organic matter in the vicinity. Clearly,this Ninpo is most useful when the caster is surrounded by enemies, although not designed for pinpoint attacks, its lethality should not be underestimated. In the remote chance that a victim survives, undoubtedly they will have lost at least one their extremities leaving them with little remaining offensive capability.

Ryu's greatest evasion technique is called The Furious Wind. He is unable to be harmed for a second and leaving afterimages behind, literally become the wind itself which could be felt but not harmed.

Ryu's other technique is The Counter attack. This is a hidden power, unleashed when the enemy least expects it. All that is seen from The Counter attack Technique is a flash.

Ryu's most powerful physical attack is called The Ultimate Technique. There two ways that Ryu could gather energy for this technique. The 1st would be gathering waves of energy that surge in the wind to his blade or focusing all of his own energy into his weapon. When unleashed Ryu could instantly reappear and disappear and simultaneously attacks with a fury of slashes with certain weapons he possesses.

Game history[]

Ryu first appeared in the Ninja Gaiden beat 'em up arcade game in 1988. In that same year, Ninja Gaiden was released on the NES (Famicom, in Japan) and the Sega Master System, though these versions, being more centered around platformer-style gameplay, bore little resemblance to the original arcade game. Two NES sequels, Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos and Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom, followed in 1990 and 1991 to complete the trilogy. Also in 1991, Ninja Gaiden Shadow was released on the Game Boy. Ryu's next few appearances were as a playable fighter in the Dead or Alive series, which saw releases on the PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, Xbox and Xbox 360 platforms, as well as in arcades.

There is no story to the original arcade version of Ninja Gaiden, except that Ryu and an unnamed red ninja sidekick who serves as the second player were beating up their foes throughout the United States. Ryu's story commences in Ninja Gaiden for the NES, when he receives a letter from his father, who has departed to fight a life or death duel. Players are left to guess as the story progresses throughout the game, as the young Hayabusa goes on his quest for revenge and to uncover the truth behind his father's disappearance. This was followed by the next two games of the trilogy, which have mysterious introductions that unfolded in a similar manner. In Ninja Gaiden II, players are introduced to a new villain who wields the Dark Sword of Chaos. In Ninja Gaiden III, Ryu Hayabusa is framed for killing his girlfriend.

Eventually, Ryu moved from Ninja Gaiden to Tecmo's Dead or Alive series. Taking place chronologically years after his exploits in the Ninja Gaiden series, he adopts a new, sleeker look. His story is fleshed out more, as a new ninja clan is introduced, several other supporting characters, and a new, serpentine plot that he finds himself intertwined in. He has been a participant in every DOA tournament, canonically winning the second tournament by killing Tengu. His cohorts have claimed the other contests. Save Dead or Alive 4 which canonically was won officially by Zack only due to Helena giving up her title.

Finally after the long wait, Ryu returned to Ninja Gaiden for the Xbox, in a 3D action game with new and original gameplay. The prologue explains the mythos of the Dragon Lineage who sided with the Dragons against the Evil Deities and the Tribes, and how they slew the Dark Dragon. The Dragons are described as god-like, benevolent creatures with metallic bones, teeth and claws, created by the Deity of Creation to counter the Evil Deities. The prologue includes a brief history of the two Dragon Swords. The first is the Dark Dragon Blade, carved out of the bone of the legendary Dark Dragon that betrayed his brethren out of jealousy and thirst for power, joining the Evil Deities. This blade consumes evil, charging as more evil is committed in its vicinity. As a result, the weapon turns its wielder into the devil incarnate. The second sword is the Dragon Sword, carved from the fang of the Dragon, and bequeathed the Dragon Lineage from generation to generation, and finally to Ryu Hayabusa. It is the same sword used by Ryu in the NES Ninja Gaiden trilogy.

The story of Ninja Gaiden (Xbox) deviated from the original NES Ninja Gaiden Trilogy by a few small retroactive continuities. Ninja Gaiden (Xbox) and its sequels Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword and Ninja Gaiden 2 serve as prequels to the NES Ninja Gaiden series, both series are connected to the Dead or Alive series. Timeline wise the events the current Ninja Gaiden series happen first, then the NES Ninja Gaiden series, and finally the Dead or Alive series.[1]

Ninja Gaiden[]

Before Ninja Gaiden[]

Ryu bears the name 'Hayabusa' when he graduates the Hayabusa School. He is the son of Ken Hayabusa and a member of his father's clan called the Hayabusa Ninja Clan. His mother was neither mentioned nor seen in any NG games. He has mastered everything he learned from his school, much to the delight of his father.

Ninja Gaiden (NES)[]

Ryu's father, Ken Hayabusa disappears. Ryu locates a letter from his father, Ken Hayabusa, that stated that he was on his way to a life or death duel. He then instructed that, should he not return, Ryu is to go to America and find his friend Walter Smith. During his time in America searching for Walter Smith, Ryu crosses paths with the CIA, in particular, Irene Lew. Ryu is immediately spun into a globe-trotting adventure. He eventually crosses paths with Bloody Malth, the man who defeated Ryu's father. It is here that Malth tells Ryu that he is "as bold as his father, but Ken Hayabusa is a much better swordsman." After Ryu's and Malth's battle, he informs "The Ninja Dragon" that his father is still alive. He also informs Ryu that it will be the last thing he sees. Ryu eventually locates his father who tries to attack him. Ken Hayabusa was under a spell. The spell had been broken. However, Ken was killed by Bloody Malth's master, the Jaquio (whom Ryu encountered midway through his adventure). Ryu avenged his father's death by killing Jaquio and also the Demon god.

After Ryu vanquished the evil beings, he was to be terminated by Irene Lew on Foster's orders. Irene did not comply and Ryu vows to "get Foster". The two (Ryu and Irene) begin a relationship.

Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos[]

Ashtar, Jaquio's master and the Emperor of Darkness, had planned to rule the world with the power of the Demon. With the Demon dead, Ashtar kidnaps Irene to lure Ryu to his home dimension. Ashtar wields the Dark Sword of Chaos, made from the Bone of the Demon at the same time that the Dragon Sword was forged from the Fang of the Dragon. Ryu eventually confronts and defeats Ashtar, but before he can get Irene to safety, she is captured by Jaquio, who now bears the Dark Sword. Ryu confronts and defeats the Jaquio a second time at an altar made from the Demon's bones. However, the Jaquio's blood flows into the Dark Sword, awakening it. The Jaquio is revived by its power[citation needed], and stabs Irene with the sword[citation needed]. Ryu slays the Jaquio again, but Irene's blood empowers the sword further, and revives the Demon. Ryu fights the Demon again in a battle similar to the one in Ninja Gaiden. After Ryu kills the Demon again, the Dark Sword of Chaos shatters, and he carries Irene back to Earth, where she succumbs to her wounds and dies. Crying over her body, Ryu calls on the spirits of his ancestors, saying his victories are meaningless without her. The Dragon Sword then begins to hum and glow, emitting a blue light which flows into Irene, reviving her. The couple then watches the evening sunset (unlike the sunrise in the other two NES Ninja Gaiden games).

Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom[]

A Ryu doppelgänger assassinates Irene and frames the original for murder. During his quest to clear his name, Ryu discovers that Irene is still alive and that his doppelgänger was a BIO-NOID sent by Irene's own boss and former acquaintance of his, Foster. This was followed by an engagement with Ryu's doppelgänger which ended in Ryu's defeat. But in their second encounter, Ryu turns the tables, defeating his doppelgänger instead. But in a shocking turn-of-events, Foster is double-crossed by his accomplice, Clancy, who murders him. Clancy reveals the true nature of their location, the Castle Rock Fortress, as an inter-dimensional warship, which he intends to use for global dominance. With both Irene and himself caught up in Clancy's machinations, Ryu is forced to take action. Subsequently, Ryu foils Clancy's plans and flees the crumbling Castle Rock Fortress with Irene.

Ninja Gaiden (Master System)[]

One day, Ryu is away from home, and he receives a message that the Dragon Village, home of the Dragon clan, has been brutally massacred. He rushes home only to find that all but one of the village members have been killed. The last survivor of the village tells Ryu with his dying breath that the sacred Bushido scroll has been stolen. The Bushido is a scroll of power so strong that its owner can control the world. As the last Ninja of the Dragon clan, the fate of the world is in its hands, and he must embark on a trip to regain the Sacred Scroll of Bushido from the hands of the evil Shogun of Darkness and his minions.

Ninja Gaiden (Xbox)[]

The Hayabusa Ninja Clan was annihilated including Ryu's childhood friend Kureha, and the Dark Dragon Blade was stolen by the evil black samurai Doku, the Lord of the Greater Fiends, and his minions. Though killed by Doku, Ryu was revived by the clan's animal spirit, the falcon and goes on a journey in search of the stolen Dark Dragon Blade and avenge his clan's death. As he proceeded, he met the Fiend Hunter Rachel, who was in search of her sister. He was observed by Gamov and a mysterious associate of his, known only as the Dark Disciple. Ryu also came across Rachel's twin sister Alma, who was morphed into a Fiend. Eventually, Alma saved Rachel from Doku and Doku was defeated by Hayabusa. Ryu defeated the Vigoor Emperor and the Fiends and retrieved the evil blade. Ryu and Rachel came across two "observers" but Gamov was betrayed and killed by his own associate who was wielding the Dark Dragon Blade. The Dark Disciple was later revealed to be an ally of Ryu, Murai. Murai then betrayed him and challenged him. Despite wielding the evil blade, Murai was defeated and Ryu destroyed the sword. He then left Rachel with no further comment and brought back the Dragon Eye he got from Kureha's grave.

Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword (Nintendo DS)[]

The story of Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword takes place six months after the events of Ninja Gaiden (Xbox). A female ninja named Momiji makes her first appearance in the Ninja Gaiden series. The story begins as Momiji is kidnapped by the Black Spider clan led by Obaba, an elderly woman. Ryu sets out to find seven Dark Dragonstones, defeating several bosses along the way. At the climax of the adventure, Ishtaros, (an ancient Fiend, who is said to have ruled over the land along with her sister, Nicchae) steals the dragonstones from Ryu, making her stronger, and making Ryu's sword weak and useless. Ryu is quickly defeated by Ishtaros, but when Kureha, Momiji's sister, appears and fuses with Momiji's Dragon Eye, the Dragon sword becomes the True Dragon Sword once again. Once Ryu defeats Ishtaros, he must meet with Muramusa (the old man who sells wares to people in Hayabusa Village) then, after defeating the rest of the Black Spider ninja's, he meets up with Nicchae, who tried to fuse Ishtaros together with the dragonstones. The process goes awry, and after Ryu fights with Nicchae, she accepts her fate and is drawn into the cocoon with her sister, warning Ryu of what is yet to come, something she even fears. With this, Ryu must fight the final boss in the game, a dragon which emerged from Ishtaros' cocoon. When Ryu defeats the dragon, he brings Momiji back home. All of the Hayabusa Village mourn at Kureha's grave and Momiji once again starts training with Ryu, hoping to fulfill her promise to her sister to become stronger.

Ninja Gaiden II & Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2[]

The story begins with Sonia, a CIA agent, asking Muramasa if he knows the whereabouts of Ryu Hayabusa, telling him that she has information concerning the Archfiend. Before long, the store is attacked by the Black Spider Clan. Ryu arrives in the nick of time, but is unable to save her and she is kidnapped. He eventually finds her after travelling through the skylines of Tokyo, whereby she warns him of the plot of the greater fiends to steal the Demon Statue, which is being protected by the Hayabusa Ninja Village, in order to resurrect the Archfiend.

The Hayabusa Ninja Clan, who protect the Demon Statue, are now in grave danger. Informed by Sonia, Ryu heads back to the village to see it burning once again. Fighting his way to the Castle of the Dragon where the Statue is held, he finds his father, Joe, fighting Genshin, leader of the Black Spider Clan. They are unable to stop the statue being stolen by Elizébet - one of the greater fiends - and so Ryu follows her trail in the hope of retrieving the statue. Defeating all four greater fiends along the way and later Genshin, Ryu is unable to stop the resurrection of the Archfiend. However, he ultimately destroys it before it can escape. In the aftermath, Ryu reunites with Sonia, and is last seen placing Genshin's sword among many others in a field as a symbol of his grave.

Dead or Alive[]

Before Dead or Alive[]

Ryu had some adventures with his love interest Irene Lew and is a member of his father's clan, the Hayabusa Ninja Clan. He's also best friends with the Mugen Tenshin ninja Hayate and became acquainted with his friend's clan. He's also acquainted with Hayate's sister Kasumi and half-sister Ayane. After the events of Ninja Gaiden for NES, as chronicled in the Ninja Gaiden OVA, he moved to America where he married Irene and bought an antique shop he ran with her.

Dead or Alive[]

One day, Ryu heard that Hayate's sister Kasumi disappeared. He also heard that she joined the DOA Tournament so he joined the tournament as well.

Dead or Alive 2[]

Ryu joined the 2nd DOA Tournament because he was informed by his own clan that a creature from another dimension named Tengu joined the tournament to create chaos in the world. Eventually, Ryu came across his lost friend Hayate (as Ein and was still suffering from a memory loss) and defeated him, restoring his memory. Ryu then defeated Tengu to save the world from his evil plot and won the second tournament.

Dead or Alive 3[]

Genra was captured by DOATEC and became a superhuman known as "Omega." In the tournament, Hayabusa faces off against Hayate, who became the 18th leader of the Mugen Tenshin Ninja Clan after recovering from a memory loss. In his CG ending, he receives a letter from an unknown ninja while he's fishing near the river. It is not known what is said on this letter but it might have something to do with the plans to attack DOATEC in DOA4 from Ayane and Hayate, whom would need his assistance.

Dead or Alive 4[]

Ryu joins Hayate, Kasumi and Ayane to stop DOATEC. Ryu and Ayane come across with Christie, who is trying to stop the ninja from destroying the DOATEC Tritower. In his CG ending, He destroys three DOATEC special aircraft, first by making it self destruct, second by a slash of his sword into two and the last with a ninpo attack (possibly the Art of the Piercing Void) he produced from his palms before disappearing into the night. He produces another ninpo attack in Helena's CG ending onto a single chopper to destroy it, showing a man trapped inside the aircraft who could have been Donovan.

Moreover, Ryu appears in Kasumi's and Ayane's DOA4 story mode but not as an opponent. He's an opponent in Jann Lee's and Christie's DOA4 story mode (in Christie's story mode, she faces either Ryu or Ayane as you control).

In other media[]

File:Hayabusa NG Movie.jpg

Ryu in the OVA.

Ninja Ryūkenden OVA[]

Ryu (voiced by Keiichi Nanba) is the main character in the 1991 OVA version Ninja Ryūkenden, released in Japan only by Pack-In Video. His character in the anime does not wear a ninja-mask, but wears a bandanna instead.

Halo 3[]


The Halo 3 standard Hayabusa armor set.

Ryu Hayabusa makes a cameo in the Xbox 360 game Halo 3, as unlockable armor for Multiplayer called 'Hayabusa'. For the player to obtain the chest, shoulder, and helmet pieces of the armor they must collect all hidden Skulls in campaign mode. Additionally, if the player unlocks the original 49 achievements in the game, they are awarded the Katana body piece, which is a replica of Ryu's Dragon Sword. The sword is unusable as it would give players an additional weapon.


GameDaily listed the "badass ninja" in their top 25 video game archetypes, using Ryu as an example.[2]


  1. Mielke, James (2007-11-16). "Previews: Ninja Gaiden 2". 1Up. Retrieved 2008-07-04.  Tomonobu Itagaki: "This is a new story starring Ryu Hayabusa. It takes place after Ninja Gaiden 1 for Xbox, and before the timeframe of the old Ninja Gaiden games on the NES."

External links[]

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