Ryuji Yamazaki (山崎 竜二, Yamazaki Ryūji) is a video game character from both the Fatal Fury and 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 D. Weller, and Street Fighter character, Ken.
He is voiced by Kōji Ishii. 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 Yakuza (Japanese mafia) 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 the man he admired as a surrogate father and found happiness for the first time in his life. 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, he murdered his boss' 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.
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.
During the subsequent tournaments, Yamazaki did not enter, and it's unknown what he did during this time. 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 is clearly mad and hysterical in another. He likes to bash, smash, cut and, basically, kill everyone and anyone. He subconsciously keeps his right hand in his pocket because his idol once praised the power of that particular fist. He also carries around a knife with him at all times, which he seems to have a degree of affinity toward...
He doesn't want to be involved with Orochi and the Hakkesshu. However, due to his own sheer will and stubbornness, he is able to resist losing his mind to the Riot of the Blood; something even Iori Yagami is unable to do. When he encounters the New Faces Team, his blood boils and he laughs hysterically at them. This got expanded even further in The King of Fighters 2002 (and its Unlimited Match expansion), when Yamazaki encounters the rest of the Hakkesshu and laughs hysterically at either one of the members (whether it be a Heavenly King or an Earthly King), which is a nod to The King of Fighters '97 and also carries on to The King of Fighters '98, Neowave, and '98 Ultimate Match.
- 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.
- 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. 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
- Masquerade - The King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match
- Dance de Peace! - Fatal Fury shared image song
- Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory - Sub boss
- Real Bout Fatal Fury
- The King of Fighters '97
- Real Bout Fatal Fury Special: Dominated Mind
- Real Bout Fatal Fury Special
- The King of Fighters '98
- Real Bout Fatal Fury 2: The Newcomers
- Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition
- Capcom vs. SNK - also appears in CVS Pro
- Capcom vs. SNK 2
- The King of Fighters '99: Evolution - As a Special Striker
- The King of Fighters 2000 - As a Striker for Blue Mary
- The King of Fighters 2002
- The King of Fighters 2003
- Garou Densetsu Special - event character
- Garou Densetsu Sougeki - boss character
- 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 '95 - in the Hero team's stage
- The King of Fighters XIII - on a "Wanted" poster in the London stage
- KOF: Maximum Impact - background cameo
- KOF: Maximum Impact 2 - background cameo
- The King of Fighters '94: Rebout - background cameo
- Garou Densetsu The Legend of Wild Wolf
- The King of Fighters (pachinko)
- The King of Fighters 2
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