We’re back with another round of Genesis Power Battles, and what a contest we have for you today. Ever wonder how Capcom’s sword-wielding futuristic hero Strider Hiryu would fare against the master of the Shinobi, Joe Musashi? Who would come out on top? Who has the better skills?
Well, we’re about to break it down for you, looking at five of their most important aspects. And just in case you’ve forgotten how we do it, here are the criteria:
Background: Where did the participants come from? Would their backgrounds provide them with any distinct advantage?
Appearance: How intimidating would the characters actually be? Do their looks reveal what kind of opponent they’d be?
Abilities: What weapons or powers do the participants have at their disposal? Are they melee-based or long-ranged? Any special moves?
Speed: What some characters lack in power, they make up for in quickness.
Overall Power: How much damage do their special attacks do? Do they powerful to eliminate every enemy around, or are they limited to a single foe?
Now that we’ve taken care of that, let’s get to fightin’!
His code name is Japanese for Flying Dragon, and he is feared throughout the world. As a member of the A-Class Striders (the youngest to ever attain the designation), Hiryu possesses some of the most incredible skills imaginable. He has been trained in all forms of martial arts, is an expert assassin, and his cypher sword Falchion is practically an extension of his body. Not that you’d ever notice, because he’d cleave you in half before you’d ever see it. He’s quick, agile, and extremely focused; which makes him one bad mofo.
His opponent, Joe Musashi is no slouch, mind you. He is a ninja and the strongest member of his clan. An expert in the art of ninjitsu (ninja magic) and shinobi (the art of stealth) Musashi can locate and eliminate his target without anyone ever knowing he was there. That is, until they find the body. His weapons of choice are the mighty katana blade and shuriken star, and he can boost the latter to incredible levels of power.
So it would seem that our two combatants are evenly matched here. Both have extensive training and are proficient in their chosen weapons. Were they to simply battle each other out without any special powers, the battle might last for days.
Who is more intimidating? Taking a first look at Hiryu and Musashi, you might be inclined to believe that only the ninja could be considered a threat. That would be understandable, since Musashi basically lives to kill. Though Hiryu isn’t that threatening in his Genesis garb, he does don a more badass look for his second arcade adventure and Marvel vs. Capcom appearances. There’s something about that long scarf (which ironically, was copied for the latest incarnation of Shinobi on the Playstation 2) that just looks so cool. I’d be quick to call it a draw using that rendition of the Strider, but as he’s drawn for the first game, Musashi definitely comes out ahead. You just can’t beat the look of a ninja. I mean, what’s up with Hiryu’s hair? I know it’s windy in Siberia, but that’s just too much. Additionally, shouldn’t a master assassin make some effort to conceal his identity? Hiryu must be really confident in his abilities to not cover his face at all. I guess he learned his lesson though, because he was sporting the scarf by the time the arcade Strider 2 rolled around.
Advantage: Joe Musashi
Here’s where things get interesting. This is where the most important aspects of each character will come into play, and the results are a lot closer than you’d expect. I’m sure everyone out there is probably thinking that Musashi has the upper hand here, and to be truthful, you’re right, but we need to examine what Hiryu brings to the table. His skill with the cypher sword is as impressive as the weapon itself. As if that weren’t enough, he can also extend the length of the blade, allowing him to take out baddies from almost halfway across the screen. He can cut through most metals and just about anything you can throw at him (including huge metal monkeys and lots of dinosaurs), but that’s not all he has at his disposal. Any kind of surface is his playground, and he can use his formidable grappling hook to pursue his foe anywhere they may run. When things get hairy, he can activate his dual Dipoddle Saucers, two little robots that plod around and take out enemies. Grab another icon and they’ll merge into Terapodal Robo-Panther, a huge metallic cat that wreaks havoc upon everything on the screen. Should Hiryu get into too much trouble, he can always call upon his loyal Hawk Robot, which will swoop down from above and attack foes until he is safe.
How would Musashi contend with such power? Well, he has some tricks of his own, many of which are even more potent. Whether his katana would stand up to the sheer power of Hiryu’s cypher blade is questionable, and his standard shuriken stars would probably be useless against it. This would ordinarily leave Joe to depend on his agility and training to avoid getting sliced and diced. However, powered up shurikens would be a different story altogether. They’re powerful enough to take out most bosses with less than a handful, and Hiryu would be hard pressed to defend himself against them. His robotic pals would be pretty defenseless (hey, the stars were enough to take out Godzilla, remember?) Moreover, we all know that the art of ninjitsu is more than enough to take on any sword, no matter how powerful it may be. Musashi’s command over the four elemental powers would give him the edge versus any foe, even Striders.The Ikazuchi art’s shield is enough to withstand four hits, giving Musashi enough protection to get in close for the kill. Hiryu would have nowhere to go against Kariou, whose four columns of dragon flames would engulf him wherever he went. Should he manage to get to higher ground, Joe’s Fushin art would allow him to pursue him much faster than any grappling hook could move. In the case of Hiryu ever getting the upper hand, Musashi could employ the Mijin technique and take his foe with him.
The combination of the POW-enhanced stars and ninja magic give Joe a lethal edge, against which Hiryu could not last long. For all the power of Falchion, Capcom’s hero would still come up short. A plasma sword may be a great weapon, but it’s pretty useless if you can’t get close enough to use it. Even his robotic allies would of little use, as they would be unable to avoid the power of Joe’s magic.
Advantage: Joe Musashi
Hiryu is quick; I’ll give him that. He has the speed and training to easily catch his prey or to avoid most pursuers. The use of his grappling hook allows him added freedom on the vertical axis, as he can swing up to higher platforms and scale walls like a spider. Hiryu is also a master assassin and expert martial artist, which means that he also possesses acute senses that have been refined to make him one with his environment. Unless he were to get careless, I doubt he would allow himself to be taken unaware by any surprise attack by Musashi.
The Ninja Master would also be quite well prepared to keep one step ahead of Strider’s mighty Falchion. His lifetime of training would keep him from ever experiencing the business end of the plasma sword. Facing off against someone trained in the ninja art of shinobi, something Hiryu knows nothing about, may or may not put him at a disadvantage. It is unclear exactly how much of an edge this would give Musashi, since it’s more of a training issue than a matter of mystical power.
No matter what the results, if ever such a contest were to be held, I would most definitely be first in line to see it. The thought of these two awesome heroes going at it is the stuff of dreams for fans everywhere, and it would surely be a battle for the ages. The actual fighting might not last as long as we would like, since Joe Musashi’s dominion over the mystic art of ninjitsu makes him more powerful than any Strider. I’m sure that Hiryu would give him a run for his money, and that Joe would eventually be forced to use his ninja magic, if his POW-enhanced stars didn’t do the trick. What good would Hiryu’s MvC specials be if they can’t get through the Ikazuchi shield? The fact of the matter is that you can’t compete with the power of magic, and the Strider’s robotic friends would be nowhere nearly as powerful as the ability to fill an area with flaming dragons. For that reason, we have to give this one to the master ninja.
Advantage: Joe Musashi
Winner: Joe Musashi (3-0)
So there you have it. For all his grace and power, Strider Hiryu would not be able to withstand such an onslaught of both martial arts mastery and the power of ninjitsu. Against anyone else, there might not be much to comment on, but against the leader of the Oboro clan, it’s a different story.