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SO, ARE YOU KEN?! Veteran Street Fighter Character Gets Major Revamp

Street Fighter V is due for release in early 2016 for PS4 and Windows PC and a number of veteran fighters from the franchise’s three decade history are set to make a kick-ass comeback. However, Capcom has hit us with a real surprise by revealing a brand new look for one of the game’s most famous fighters – Ken Masters.

Ken was introduced in the very first Street Fighter game in 1987 and was controllable by the second player in the two-player mode. In this classic side-scroller he was really nothing more than a Westernised mirror-image of the main character, the Japanese fighter Ryu. The threads and move-set were near identical and the only separating characteristics were his red gi and long blonde locks.

When Street Fighter II: The World Warrior landed in arcades, and then on home consoles in 1991, the series and its characters became a household name. Ken and Ryu again bore great similarities in both fighting style and combat gear but each got an individual back story as well as an intertwined origin which explained that their similarities stem from their training together under the same master (we encourage you watch the fan-made Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist for a superb interpretation of this history.)

Also See: Capcom Announces Street Fighter Assassin’s Fist – Live Action Series is Based is Fan Film Sensation

Throughout the years Ken has appeared alongside Ryu in all of the Street Fighter canon titles and crossover games, as well as expanded media such as live-action and animated movies and both have always looked pretty much the same, despite some minor updates to the costumes. That’s what makes Capcom’s latest teaser trailer for Ken’s arrival in Street Fighter V so shocking.

Still recognisable by his trademark red gi bottoms – albeit slightly altered from the original design (that might be the top tied around his waist), and his canary yellow hair – now tied into a ponytail with floppy fringe, we’re seeing a totally revamped and revitalised Ken, wearing technical/Japanese traditional inspired gear. And we think it’s the first time we’ve seen him change his shirt in 28 years!

Regardless of his dramatic and unexpected wardrobe choices, Ken still looks badass and ready for a fight, calling on the power of the Hadou through the game’s new “V Skills” system to showcase some sick moves in the new promo clip for Street Fighter V in which he once again battles Ryu, who still appears to prefer his classic garbs.

Ken and Ryu will enter the tournament again, along with Chun Li, Cammy, M Bison, Birdie and Nash also already announced to appear in Street Fighter V next March.