Ryuji Yamazaki (山崎 竜二, Yamazaki Ryūji) is a video game character from both the Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters series. In Gamest's 1997 Heroes Collection, Yamazaki was voted as the staff's fifteenth favorite character. He shared the spot with Samurai Shodown character, Galford, and Street Fighter character, Ken. In the Neo Geo Freak's 1997 Volume 8 character poll, he was voted as the seventh favourite character with a total of 1,206 votes. And in Neo Geo Freak's August 1998 issue, he was ranked as the 6th best character.
He is portrayed by actor Michael K. Hayashida for the Fatal Fury 3 live action commercials.
Yamazaki was orphaned at a young age in the streets of Okinawa. His life was a miserable and boring existence — with American troops constantly patrolling his town — until he caught glimpse of a well-dressed yakuza boss named Sorimachi (反町). Aspiring to be like the man he saw, Yamazaki left his town and joined the crime syndicate. Eventually, he worked under Sorimachi, the man he admired as a surrogate father, and found happiness for the first time in his life as his bodyguard.
Unfortunately, Yamazaki's uneasiness during a fateful business trip to Osaka alongside his boss marked an ambush from a rival gang, and from there his boss Sorimachi was tortured and killed. The shock of his death gave birth to Yamazaki's insane alter ego.
Although he has little memory of his past after this incident, Yamazaki murdered his boss's rival and fled from Japan to Hong Kong. He continues to be an influential broker, weapons dealer, and drug trader with Kowloon Walled City as his base of operations. He is usually at odds with Hon-Fu, who tries to catch and arrest him in the act.
Ten years later (1995), he joined the Chinese mafia and was hired by Jin Chonrei and Jin Chonshu to protect them and the scrolls of immortality. In his Fatal Fury 3 ending, Yamazaki is arrested by local authorities, yet he beats the police officers around him and escapes. He is presumably still on the run from the law.
The King of Fighters
In the King of Fighters series, as he was trashing another dojo, Yamazaki met Billy Kane. On Geese's orders, Billy requested the broker's participation in the tournament. Yamazaki refused at first, but after terribly mauling one of the warriors, he felt an adrenaline rush through his blood. He then accepted Billy's offer and demanded to be paid double the amount of the tournament's prize money. During the tournament it was revealed that Yamazaki is one of the Hakkesshu.
He returns in the 2003 tournament with Billy and Gato on another of Geese's schemes. In their team's ending, Billy and Yamazaki engage in a brawl and neither have made an appearance in KOF XI. Whether or not this ending in canon remains to be seen, although it does somewhat explain the characters' disappearance.
Yamazaki has psychopathic tendencies with a love for materialistic articles and money. He is the calm and confident gangster at one time, and a hysterical killer in another. He likes to bash, smash, cut, and kill everyone and anyone whom he confronts. These savagely cruel mannerisms were borne out of witnessing his father figure die in the worst way possible.
While not completely amoral, he is not above toying around as much as he likes to emphasize his dominating demeanor to anyone he encounters.
Of curious note is how Yamazaki subconsciously keeps his right hand in his pocket because his idol once praised the power of that particular fist, and only uses it for special techniques.
He doesn't want to be involved with Orochi and the Hakkesshu, and has been rebuked for his disinterest during the events of KOF97. Through his own sheer will and stubbornness, he manages to retain his mind against the Riot of the Blood's influence, something that others born under the Orochi blood cannot accomplish. Whenever he encounters any version of the '97 New Faces Team in any of their game appearances, Yamazaki laughs hysterically at them during their special introduction sequences, perhaps because he thinks of them as "weak" or "pathetic" for being under such influence.
- Elongate Arms - Yamazaki can increase the range of his strikes with his arms. This move is extremely fast, making it nearly impossible to actually see Yamazaki's arm - only a blur can be seen, denoting the area of the attack. He can also use the speed of this attack to strike several times at his opponent in a barrage of almost inescapable punches or knife slashes.
- Explosive Headbutt - Yamazaki can headbutt his opponent with such force that he can create a small explosion with its impact. This has also been shown in some games to stun Yamazaki.
- Energy Strikes - Yamazaki can infuse his strikes with an unknown source of energy. This power takes two forms: a weaker and a stronger version. Both versions take the form of a golden energy halo surrounding his hands, with golden arcs circling his striking path. The stronger version seems has the arcs spin around his arm, making it appear like an 'energy hurricane'.
- Absorb Energy - Yamazaki has the ability to absorb the chi or kinetic energy of projectiles thrown at him. To do so, he hits the projectile with his arm, feeling pain, but receiving no damage and increasing his own power - an evidence of his inherent masochism.
- Blood Projectile - An alternative to the power described above, if Yamazaki receives a wound from the projectile he tried to intercept, he can infuse his own blood with dark energies and fire it at his opponent as an extremely fast dark red projectile.
- Hakkesshu: Death - The powers of death grant him merciless, feral brutality with unknown variable effects. It is likely that this is responsible for the majority of his powers.
- Sleep Resilience - Yamazaki can easily stand up to three consecutive nights without sleeping, in a similar way to Elisabeth Blanctorche.
- Orochi Resistance - Yamazaki somehow possesses a strong and stubborn willpower that grants him complete invulnerability to Orochi's influences - something that even other strong individuals such as Iori Yagami and Leona cannot accomplish.
In contrast with most of the other fighters in combat video games, Yamazaki does not use any particular martial art - he is a self-taught brawler, and uses a wide variety of attacks in his fighting, including unfair and dishonest moves such as kicking sand in his opponent's eyes, and his ever-present-prized knife. He also rarely takes his right hand out of his pocket unless he is using his knife or other certain moves that involve his powers (especially his Desperation Moves; it is said his idol passed on the idea of praising one's dominate fist to Yamazaki which is why he normally doesn't make too much use of it), and a majority of his moves display quite an amount of strength from him.
Yamazaki fights with his instincts, much like a wild animal. He has little interest in technique, instead relies on brutal, vicious tactics to win his fights, such as headbutting and stomping his opponent repeatedly (though one technique he has involves an axe kick of possible karate origin). He also relies on messing with his opponent's head with the nature of his attacks, as well as even using hints of his powers as an Hakkesshu occasionally. Yamazaki is also known for his motif towards snakes, and is often compared to one himself.
Many of his techniques are rarely written in kanji, as a majority of them are written with a mixture of both kanji and katakana, leaving some of their meanings to be a bit ambiguous at best; however, a number of them are named after a variety of Japanese onomatopoeias. His Bakudan Pachiki (Bomb Headbutt) technique also possesses the Korean term for "headbutt" in its katakana.
- C62 ~Shirokuni~ (C62 ~White Country~) - Fatal Fury 3, Real Bout Fatal Fury, The King of Fighters 98: Ultimate Match (as EX Yamazaki)
- C62 ~Shirokuni Ver.2~ (C62 ~White Country Ver.2~) - Real Bout Fatal Fury Special, Real Bout Fatal Fury 2, The King of Fighters 97, The King of Fighters 98, The King of Fighters 98: Ultimate Match
- Black Rose - Fatal Fury Wild Ambition
- Yuuwaki no Toki (The Alluring Time) - The King of Fighters 2002
- Villainous - The King of Fighters 2003
- C62 -KOF XIV ver.- - The King of Fighters XIV
- Masquerade - The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match
- Dance de Peace! - Fatal Fury shared image song
Ryuji's theme, C62 ~Shirokuni~, is a Japanese pun:
- C62 = Train
- C roku-ju ni = C sixty two
- Shi roku ni = C six two
- Shirokuni = The White Country
- Kōji Ishii - Fatal Fury 3~The King of Fighters 2003
- Tsuguo Mogami - The King of Fighters XIV~present
- Kenjiro Tsuda - The King of Fighters for Girls
- Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory - sub boss
- Real Bout Fatal Fury
- The King of Fighters '97
- Real Bout Fatal Fury Special
- Real Bout Garou Densetsu Special Dominated Mind
- The King of Fighters '98
- Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers
- Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition
- Capcom vs. SNK
- Capcom vs. SNK 2
- The King of Fighters '99: Evolution - as a Special Striker
- The King of Fighters 2000 - as a Striker for Mary
- The King of Fighters EX: Neo Blood - as a Hidden Striker
- The King of Fighters 2002
- The King of Fighters 2003
- The King of Fighters 2002: Unlimited Match
- The King of Fighters XIV - DLC Character
- Garou Densetsu Special - event character
- Garou Densetsu Sougeki - boss character
- Garou Densetsu Premium
- Garou Densetsu Southtown Adventure
- Days of Memories (second title) - in-text cameo; participates in the Orochi route
- SNK Gals Island Astro Quest Hoshi☆wa Nigashimasen! - as an enemy
- The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match Online
- Crash Fever
- The King of Fighters: Destiny (Game)
- The King of Fighters: World
- The King of Fighters All Star
- Kimi wa Hero
- The King of Fighters: Orochi Go
- The King of Fighters M: Fighting Stars Assembly
- The King of Fighters for Girls
- SNK Fighting Age
- The King of Fighters '95 - in the Japan Team's stage
- The King of Fighters 2002 - on a "Wanted" poster in the Mexico stage
- The King of Fighters XIII - on a "Wanted" poster in the London stage
- The King of Fighters '94: Rebout - background cameo
- KOF: Maximum Impact - background cameo
- KOF: Maximum Impact 2 - background cameo
- Garou Densetsu The Legend of Wild Wolf
- The King of Fighters (pachinko)
- The King of Fighters 2
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - in King of Fighters Stage
- In Neo-Geo Freak 1998, the characters in KOF '98 have their own interviews. Here are Yamazaki's response to the questions.
- What is your aspiration in this competition? - "... kill ... kill everything Oh! Hyacha HotHatHatHatHatHat ... !!"
- Who would you like to fight the most? - "I will kill all this !! (Yamazaki's serpent slash. Ruptures the skull of the cameraman)"
- Who would you like to team up with? / Who would you not like to team up with? - "There is no such thing! This trash is ah!! (Yamazaki's sand kick caused corneal inflammation in the soundman's eyes)"
- What is "KOF" for you? - "... lick. Shoes, lick it ... I'll teach you to lick ... Hey! Be sure to lick it or else !! (Reporter licking the shoes of Yamazaki) Hyacha HotHatHatHatHatHat ... I'll teach you as promised, my mop! (Reporter with head caught)"
- Finally, please give a word to your fans. - "Go away-!! Ukyukyukyakyakyukyakyakyakyaky ... !! (Yamazaki's bombshells, reporter's face, big hit) Uhy ... Ukyakyukyakyakyakyakyakyakyakyakyakyakyakyakyakyakyakyakyakyakyakyakyakyakyakyakyat !!
- In Capcom vs SNK, Terry and Yamazaki's special intro is a direct reference to Bunnoshin Inagi vs Kaoru Hanayama from Baki the Grappler. The scene can be found here.
- Yamazaki's hairdo is somewhat identical to Goenitz's, an undercut with blonde top hair, though it is unknown if the resemblance is meant to be intentional.
- Neo Geo Freak 1997-08 archive Neo Geo Freak character popularity poll results.
- Neo Geo Freak 1998-08 archive Neo Geo Freak 10 best character set original image collection.
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