Dan Hibiki is a “joke character” created by Capcom in an effort to lampoon SNK’s Art of Fighting franchise, which they supposedly felt was a rip-off of Street Fighter. The concept of Dan actually came from a piece of art which depicted Sagat holding a crushed opponent by one hand who had the head of Robert Garcia and the body of Ryo Sakazaki (the two main characters of AoF). Dan’s stance and gi are both direct parodies of Ryo’s style in Art of Fighting. Dan also has a reputation of wearing the brightest and ugliest colors, such as pink and bright green, parodying Ryo’s orange gi. His first appearance came in Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors’ Dreams.
Because he is considered a joke, Dan is intentionally designed to be a weaker fighter than the other characters, making it more of a challenge to win with him when facing a skilled opponent. His special attacks typically lack the strength and range of his opponents’, and yet despite these weaknesses he is portrayed with an absurd sense of arrogant confidence in his abilities.
Outraged by the death of his father, Go Hibiki, at the hands of Sagat, Dan Hibiki was raised along Ken and Ryu under the teachings of Gouken. His goal was to one day use Gouken’s teachings to exact his revenge against Sagat. Ironically enough, Dan was expelled from the dojo when his true intentions were learned and he was considered “too dangerous.” Dan went on to create his own style of fighting called Saikyo, or “The Strongest Style,” which is in actuality a humorously weak interpretation of the style Gouken had attempted to teach him before his expulsion. Dan later tried to teach Sakura his ways, but it was revealed she was only traveling with him in order to meet her idol, Ryu. Dan is also very good friends with Blanka, whom he refers to as “Jimmy,” as well as the boistrous Joe Higashi from SNK’s Fatal Fury franchise.
Dan’s moves are typically remembered for their comedic factor and uselessness. He was also the first character in the Street Fighter series who could taunt more than once, which became quite the trademark for our man in pink. Like most characters, Dan’s moves vary from game to game, but typically include the following:
- Fireball (Gadouken): Dan reaches out and a very small fireball barely leaves his hand. Unlike most fireballs, Dan’s can only be used at short range. A comedic variant of the hadouken.
- Flying Kick (Dankukyaku): Dan’s take on the “tornado kick,” in which he flies towards the opponent letting out three typically slow and predictable kicks. Usually travels mid-screen.
- “Shiny” Uppercut (Koryuken): Dan’s shoryuken. As expected, much slower and covers less range than the actual thing. The name comes from the fact that his sprite will randomly shine when doing it.
- Super Taunt: Without a doubt Dan’s most famous move. When his super meter is full, Dan will unleash an annoyingly loud and useless barrage of taunts, roll around, jump, and typically looking like an idiot.
- Raging Dan: Appearing originally in Street Fighter vs Marvel Super Heroes, this move is a parody of the Shun Goku Satsu (Akuma’s most recognized move.) The move itself does some considerable damage, but once it connects, Dan loses all but one pixel of health. It should only be done in times of desperation.