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Ryo Sakazaki is one of the main protagonists in the Art of Fighting franchise, along with his friend and rival Robert Garcia. He also leads the Art of Fighting team in the King of Fighters franchise and appears as a secret character in Fatal Fury Special, Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition, and Buriki One. (Along with a mention in Garou: Mark of the Wolves) He is often considered a clone of Ryu and Ken from the Street Fighter franchise, and is parodied in that franchise by Dan Hibiki.

Ryo is the heir to his family's fighting style, known as Kyokugen Karate. He has been given the nickname "The Invincible Dragon" due to his remarkable use and determination of the fighting style. In most games, he wears an orange gi without sleeves on top of a black t-shirt. In most games where he is known as the second Mr. Karate (with his father Takuma being the first), he wears a dark grey gi. His hair is either blonde, orange or gray, depending on the game.

In the first Art of Fighting game, Ryo and Robert team up to find Ryo's younger sister, Yuri, who has been captured by the crime boss Mr. Big. Upon defeating Mr. Big, Ryo is led to fight against an opponent by the name of Mr. Karate, who is revealed in the second game to be Ryo's father, Takuma. In the second game, Ryo fights and defeats a young Geese Howard. Ryo acts as a supporting character in the third game, trying to find the whereabouts of Robert. (along with fighting Kasumi Todoh, who wants revenge for the defeat of her father by Ryo in the first game) Because the Art of Fighting franchise takes place decades before the Fatal Fury franchise, he appears as the aged second Mr. Karate in the Fatal Fury games. One of his students, Khushnood Butt, appears as a fighter in Garou: Mark of the Wolves.

In King of Fighters

He always appears in the Art of Fighting team in the King of Fighters franchise, where he is often joined by Robert, Takuma, Yuri, and King. There is often romantic tension between Ryo and King in the series, which Takuma seeks to intensify so there can be a new heir to the family's fighting style. Ryo has appeared in almost every King of Fighters game, which is a rare accomplishment.

One odd biographical note regarding Ryo's KOF appearances, however, has to do with his age and birth date. The Art of Fighting series is set during the 1970s, whereas the King of Fighters series is set in the 1990s and later. Rather than appear twenty years older, Ryo and the other Art of Fighting characters are instead treated as though they were born twenty years later, maintaining their same ages and appearances as in their origin series.


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