Ryu is generally the main player controlled character in the Breath of Fire series, whose name can be changed at the beginning of the game. He is generally seen with blue hair and a red cape, though his appearance changes for each game, some changes not as drastic as others. In some incarnations, his character seems to have fangs.
One of the most noticeable features of his character is that he can transform into a dragon. The name 'Ryu' actually means Dragon, in keeping with Breath of Fire naming conventions. Nina, usually the main female character, is loosely based on the Spanish word for 'girl'.
 Ryu in Breath of Fire
Ryu is a member of the Light Dragon family, who keep peace across the Dragon Tribe. Unfortunately, the Dark Dragons, lead by Zog have decided to unleash the Goddess Tyr. When the Light Dragon's home, Drogen is destroyed and Ryu's sister Sara is defeated, Ryu flees to nearby Camlon. There he begins his journey - to defeat the Dark Dragon tribe, contain Tyr and avenge [[Sara (Breath of Fire}|Sara]].
Unusually, Ryu occasionally speaks within the game.
The game's manual describes him as follows;
"Ryu is a descendant of the White Dragon Tribe, and has the ability to transform into a dragon. The tribe has sealed its power after almost destroying the world in the Goddess War of several thousand years ago. However, it is allowed to use it when the world is in danger in order to save it. Ryu lost his parents when he was young, and now lives with his sister; a shaman who can summon powerful magic. Ryu's hobby is fishing."
Ryu's best equipment can be seen here.
 In Game
Overall Rating: 10/10
Ryu's play style is very straightforward in battle. When you begin your quest, he is unable to use any magic, but after you reach the first Dragon Palace and complete the first trial within, he gains the ability to take on the form of a dragon. His special field ability is fishing, which he may only do when he has a rod and bait equipped in his Etc. slots. There are some areas that can only be fished in using stronger rods...
 Ryu's Dragon Transformations
Ryu learns new transformations by battling alone in Dragon Temples. The AP charge is for the initial transformation, and unlike in later games, they do not deplete his AP each turn. They can also be used to take advantage of elemental weaknesses. Each dragon form has a predetermined amount of fixed damage and amplifies Ryu's defense by a percentage.
IceDgn, FirDgn, BltDgn, and GldDgn are obtained after Ryu defeats Bain in the Dragon Temple south of Nabal Prison. GldDragon damages all enemies, but only affects the undead.
Rudra is obtained after Ryu defeats Avian in the Dragon Temple on the island southwest of Gust. You need the Dragon Armor and Dragon Shield to take the trial. Rudra damages all enemies, but since you can obtain Agni as soon as you have this form, it is essentially useless.
Agni is obtained by speaking to the priest in the Dragon Temple beneath the cleansing water in the Cleansing Water Cave southwest of Romero after obtaining Rudra. Agni fuses all of the characters together into an ultimate dragon form which damages all enemies by 999, ignoring any resistance. Ryu's Max HP is greatly increased while in Agni form.
 Ryu in Breath of Fire II
 In Game
 Ryu in Breath of Fire III
 Ryu in Breath of Fire IV
Drawing parallels with Breath of Fire III, Ryu's first appearance is stark naked. Only this time, instead of being found by Rei, it's Nina who encounters him, and with much embararrasment on her part. She finds him lying in a crater after the appearance and swift disappearance of a mysterious dragon, and with no memory or who or where he is. Like all his predecessors, he is mute. Nina takes pity on him, and asks whether he'd like to come along with her. He later decides to stick with her on her quest to find her sister Elina, who has disappeared.
Like all his previous incarnations, Ryu's weapon is a sword, though this time around he possesses no magic whatsoever, apart from is ability to transform into a dragon. Instead, it is up to the player to have him learn enemy spells by 'examining' them, in the same way as you can do with the other characters.
Instead of transforming into a fully-fledged dragon, Ryu instead 'meditates' and becomes a hybrid, half dragon, half human. He has the figure of a human, but wings burst from his back, horns from his head, his clothes become ripped and torn, and also, he gains a tail. His hair becomes loose and white. In this form, he can cast powerful magic, and his attacks also become stronger. Through the game, Ryu picks up dragon crystals, similar to those in III. These contain the essences of different dragons, and allow him to use different attacks and magic, though his hybrid form remains the same. With the exception of his first form, he can also transform into a full dragon for one powerful attack, before returning to his hybrid state.
Ryu possesses what is called a 'dragon's eye', essentially a second sight which allows him to look into the future in dreams. He uses this to find the possible location of Elina in the Fou empire.
In the world of IV, dragons are refered to as gods, or Endless, which are summoned into the world by mediums. Ryu is one such Endless. However, he, like several others, has been summoned incorrectly. Due to this mistake, his soul has been- quite literally- ripped in half, and split into two bodies. This first 'half' was born centuries before Ryu, known as Fou-Lu and was forced to put himself into a deep sleep to wait for Ryu to be 'born'.
 Ryu in Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter
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