Answering The Internet's Most Asked Questions About Ken Masters
Have you wondered what the most asked questions about Ken Masters are? Well, we have a bunch of them here, and we answer them too!
Ken is easily one of the most popular characters from the Street Fighter franchise as he has appeared in every iteration since its conception. That said, there are still a lot of questions on the good ol' internet about the blond-haired dreamboat.
The purpose of this article is, hopefully, to help answer some of the most pressing questions about the character and perhaps present a side to Ken that many aren't as familiar with.
So, let's go!
Who is Ken Masters?
So, this is a question that any Street Fighter player definitely knows, but for the sake of those who might not be familiar with the game, here goes: Ken is a Street Fighter character who has appeared in every iteration of the game. He often appears with best friend and fellow stalwart, Ryu. The two were students of a great martial arts master called Gouken and are skilled in the art of Ansatsuken. Ken married his girlfriend Eliza (Street Fighter II Turbo), the sister-in-law to another Street Fighter regular, Guile. The two have a son, Mel (Street Fighter IV), and are quite comfortable financially. Ken and Ryu are intense rivals that train and fight to better themselves and also to obtain the power to defeat the villain Akuma. Akuma allegedly killed their master Gouken, an act which led Ryu down the path of revenge, and while Ken isn't quite the same as his friend, he also seeks to take down his master's murderer. Ken is also said to have been modeled after a real-life martial artist, Joe Lewis, and you can see a couple of similarities in their looks and fighting careers. Ken is a multiple martial arts champion, and as his story in Street Fighter III shows, he even has a disciple of his own.
Is Ken Japanese or American?
With a name like Ken Masters, the assumption is that he is American. What more, he has blonde hair and blue eyes (not in all iterations apparently) and all the other features that make up an all-American boy. However, the truth is a little bit more complicated than that. You see, Ken has Japanese blood in him—a lot of it. Ken's father was an American hotel owner who is said to have had some Japanese blood in him (this will explain his relationship with Gouken) while his mother is completely Japanese. What this means is that Ken is three parts Japanese and only one part American.
Some people have speculated that Ken was adopted by the Masters, but there is nothing in the canonical story to support this. As for his features not looking Japanese...well... maybe his dad's genes are super dominant? Also, his Street Fighter V design looks a lot more Japanese than any of the looks that came before.
So, to answer the question, Ken is both Japanese and American but is more of the former than the latter. That said, he certainly talks, acts, and lives American.
Is Ken a billionaire?
Well, yes, Ken is a billionaire. Think about it, how else would he be able to travel the globe just to fight a bunch of people while easily maintaining a very comfortable life with an awesome partner and a huge house? As mentioned earlier, his father was a hotel tycoon, and his sizable portfolio meant that he made a lot of bank. Ken's wealthy background is one of the reasons why he had to be sent to Japan to train under Gouken and learn some discipline, and from the looks of things, this was a masterstroke from Mr. Masters as Ken grew up to be a considerate and responsible individual. This meant that he was able to inherit his father's wealth and grow it rather than squandering it.
He might not be the richest video game character (Mario sill seems to be the undisputed Mr. Scrooge), but Ken certainly makes any top 20 list of wealthy fictional characters.
Did Ken dye his hair?
Everyone knows that Ken from Street Fighter is a blondie, but was his hair always like that? Actually, no. Ken is a natural brunette, and the legend goes that he dyed his hair blonde as an act of rebellion against his parents. I guess he really liked how it made him look as he remained blonde-haired throughout the Street Fighter storyline. Ken's son, Mel, is also blonde, but it seems he got this trait from his mother.
It is also possible that Mr. Masters's decision to send Ken away to train with Gouken was solidified after the hair dyeing episode as this was an act of rebellion that had grave implications. As mentioned before, Ken trained with Gouken and became friends with Ryu, who is Gouken's adopted son. Ryu's hair has always been dark, and maybe Ken kept his blonde further to differentiate himself from his more somber sparring partner. `
That said, blonde hair suits Ken as it also gives us a hint of his personality, which is bright, bubbly, and infectious.
What city/state is Ken from?
Okay, so this is a little tricky as all the official outlets state that Ken is from the United States, but there is little information about where in the States he is from. Therefore, there is no clear answer to this question. Ken's Street Fighter II stage is a great indicator as the area is called 'Battle Harbour,' and it looks like a port around a quiet town in the United States. According to one of Ken's many wikis, the map in Street Fighter II seems to put Ken's stage somewhere close to Detroit. This is supported by the fact that the stage is surrounded by a large body of water, which many have speculated is 'Lake Huron.' Meanwhile, there is a place in Canada called Battle Harbour, but since it isn't in the United States, this is probably simply a coincidence and isn't where Ken is from.
Apart from the SFII stage, Ken's Street Fighter Alpha 2 domicile is also of great interest as there is speculation that it is around the San Francisco area.
Some have stated that Ken is from New York, Maine, and so on. However, as one Redditor put it, "He's a billionaire. He's from wherever he feels like it." and I cannot think of an answer better than that.
How old is Ken?
Ken was born on the 14th of February, 1965, which puts him at 55 years of age. So, the secret of his youthful look? Being a billionaire, perhaps? Cheers to many more years!
How strong is Ken?
This is an interesting topic. Before we move on, we need to make one thing absolutely clear: I will judge Ken's strength based solely on the Street Fighter universe. With that out of the way, let's consider a few things:
- Ken has competed and won several martial arts tournaments with tough opponents
- Ken has two really strong proteges in Sean and Karin
- Ken trained under the same master as Ryu
- Ken's Shoryuken is more refined than Ryu's
- As violent Ken, he is just as destructive as other high tier characters like Evil Ryu and Akuma
So, within the Street Fighter universe, it is safe to say that Ken is insanely strong and will easily make it into any top 20 list of strong characters. While Ryu has trained more and has learned several secrets, including the power of nothingness, Ken is no slouch as all the media surrounding the game, including comics, portray Ken as a naturally talented fighter.
With that said, I would put Ken as being on par with Ryu in terms of strength. This means he can take on powerhouses like Sagat, Gouken, Oro, Bison, etc. If there is anything I would say would bring Ken down slightly on my list of most powerful Street Fighter characters, it would be his lack of desire for absolute power. Therefore, Ken isn't willing to go to the extent that some of the stronger characters are willing to. This could be due to the fact that he has a family.
Ken is one of the biggest characters in Street Fighter for a reason, and I hope that this little piece was able to answer some questions you might have about him.