HadoukenThe is a special attack from Capcom's Street Fighter series of fighting games. Game designer Takashi Nishiyama credits an energy attack called Hadouho (lit. the "Wave Motion Gun"), from the 1970s anime Space Battleship Yamato, as the origin of Hadouken. It is used by the characters Ryu, Ken, Sakura, Akuma (Gouki in Japan), and Gouken. The Hadouken and the Shoryuken are the two archetypal moves of these characters, as well as some of the most iconic and famous elements of the Street Fighter series or even video games in general.
In Capcom games and merchandiseStreet Fighter characters that use the Hadouken are Ryu and Ken since the first Street Fighter, later joined by Sakura, Gouken and Akuma. The move is achieved by the character thrusting their palms forward, sending a surge of spirit energy (or ki) towards the opponent ("chi blast"). Takashi Nishiyama, the creator of the original Street Fighter (1987), credits the 1970s anime Space Battleship Yamato and a super-weapon called the Hadouho ("Wave Motion Gun") as the origin of the Hadouken. The move is achieved by the characters thrusting their palms forward, sending a surge of spirit energy, flying towards the opponent. It is normally performed by the player moving the joystick or D-pad a quarter circle forward towards the opponent from the down position, then pressing a punch button (so, for example, a character facing to the right would execute the move by pressing ↓, ↘, →, and then "punch" in a smooth motion). Although the execution has been always the same, the design, speed, damage, and other attributes of the technique vary in different games.
Most fighting games of the sprite-based era used at least some characters with projectile special moves, and while the actual type of projectile launched varies from game to game and character to character, the execution and behavior of these attacks are often rather similar to the Hadouken. The Hadouken can usually be performed in three different degrees depending on which type punch is used; these will affect its speed, damage caused on impact, amount of recovery frames, and sometimes its range. The Hadouken itself has many variations depending on the character in question that the move is associated with. For example, both Ryu and Akuma use a fire-based variant of the move called the Shakunetsu Hadouken (灼熱波動拳) or Blazing Surge Fist, which briefly engulfs its target in flames. Later titles in the series that use super combo moves ramp up the power of the Hadouken, evolving it into the Shinku Hadouken (真空波動拳 - Vacuum Surge Fist). This takes one of two forms depending on the game: an outsized fireball, or a blast of constant energy. Street Fighter III introduced the Denjin Hadouken (電刃波動拳), an unblockable, electrified version which could be 'stored' by holding down the punch key, for timing purposes. Introduced in the Capcom vs. SNK series, the "Evil Ryu" Kage's Satsui no Hadou Ryu uses a more powerful version called the Metsu Hadouken (滅波動拳), which acts similar to Denjin Hadouken, being unblockable and stunning the opponent. Street Fighter IV brought back the Metsu Hadouken, though it instead acts simply like a more powerful variant of the Shinkuu Hadouken. The latest entry in the series, Street Fighter V, brought back the Denjin Hadouken, which can be performed by performing the Shinku Hadouken while in Ryu's V Trigger mode.
An unofficial "Rainbow Edition" of Street Fighter II gave the Hadouken abilities to all characters, possibly influencing later official games. Since then, many others in the Street Fighter series have been given similar moves, but have their own names for it. For instance, Kairi and Allen Snider both have such a move, the latter calling it Fire Force. Dhalsim spits fire ("Yoga Fire), and Chun-Li eventually gained a projectile move she calls the Kikouken (気功拳, Chi-Gong Fist). In Street Fighter III, Sean has no routine Hadouken, but can employ a similar super-move named the Hadou Burst. Dan Hibiki utilizes a single-handed projectile called the Gadouken (我道拳, Self-Taught Fist), which has barely any range or power. Ace can also use the Hadouken in Street Fighter EX3 once the third set of usable arts is unlocked in Character Edit Mode.
Other special moves derived from the Hadouken include the Soul Fist of Morrigan in the Darkstalkers series. The Hadouken has been seen several times in the Capcom's Mega Man X platform game series. It was a hidden Easter egg ability in the first game (Mega Man X) and its remake (Mega Man Maverick Hunter X). In Mega Man X4, Magma Dragoon uses the move (the copy of Magma Dragoon also uses the move in Mega Man X5). It was also available to the player in the Mega Man Xtreme games. The Tails Clan, a group of secret bosses in Mega Man X: Command Mission, use a move called "Annihilator Hadouken". There are also Hadouken emotes in the massive multiplayer role-playing video game Monster Hunter: World. Among the official or licensed merchandise, Multiverse Studio made plush Hadouken balls in 2015, Naked & Famous Denim produced the "Ryu Hadoken Selvedge" jeans pants in 2017, and Everlast released cologne perfume named after the Hadouken in 2018.
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ReceptionEurogamer's Wesley Yin-Poole claimed that most players of a "certain generation" had "ingrained in [their] psyche". Both Yin-Poole and The Escapist author Earnest Cavalli compare moves from non-Street Fighter games to the Hadouken technique. GamesRadar included "Hadouken!" in their list of the 100 best video game quotes. The PlayStation 4 received a "viral teaser" which featured a fake taxi service called Hadouken Cabs. A card in Street Fighter-themed Monopoly game was based on the Hadouken.
Game Informers Kyle Hilliard included the Hadouken's cameo in Mega Man X in his list of his five favourite video game Easter eggs. He claimed that this was in part due to the fact that without Internet at the time, which prevented him from verifying whether it was true. GamesRadar featured it in his list of the 100 best video game Easter eggs.