Did you know that Ryu, the globe-hopping protagonist of the Street Fighter franchise, has become so prolific that it’s possible to connect him to just about every other video game character in existence? It’s true! No matter how weird or obscure, they probably lead back to Ryu in some way or another.
Similar to “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” a parlor game wherein you attempt to connect Bacon with another actor by way of daisy-chaining castmates in their various movies, the Twitter account “Six Degrees of Ryu” charts the world warrior’s interwoven relationships with other game characters that stem from his vast crossover potential in games like Super Smash Bros. and Marvel vs. Capcom. The account is just over a week old, but it’s already garnered over 3,000 followers.
Popular musician Deadmau5, for example, has a “Ryu Number” of seven thanks to his cameo in DJ Hero 2. This connects him to Wu-Tang Clan rapper RZA, who appeared in Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style with Ghostface Killah, who appeared in Def Jam: Fight for NY with Danny Trejo, who appeared in Call of Duty: Black Ops with Ronald Reagan, who appeared in Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus with Adolf Hitler, who appeared in Bionic Commando with Nathan “Rad” Spencer, who appeared in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite with Ryu.
Some of the more out-there connections are much simpler than that. Jesus Christ, central figure of the Christian faith, has been assigned a Ryu Number of two by way of Monolith Software’s strangely clad android KOS-MOS, who appears alongside both Jesus in Xenosaga Episode III: Also Sprach Zarathustra and Ryu in Project X Zone.
United States president Joe Biden also has a Ryu Number of two thanks to former president Barack Obama’s cameos in both NBA Jam (in which Biden also appears) and Street Fighter Online: Mouse Generation (which, naturally, features Ryu as a playable character).
This vast array of relationships should come as no surprise to anyone who’s seen SourceGaming’s giant chart of opponents Ryu has faced in battle since his 1987 debut in the original Street Fighter. Just like Kevin Bacon, whose lengthy career has left an indelible mark on the world of cinema, Ryu is an ubiquitous part of gaming history. The dude’s rolodex was massive before he even showed up in Fortnite.