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.
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.
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."
After awakening to the destruction of Drogen, Ryu flees to Camlon. There he clears the castle of monsters, and is hailed as a hero. An earthquake sends him to Nanai, where he removes the first of the six Goddess Keys from the quake machine. This causes the destruction of Nanai, after which Ryu heads to Winlan.
In Winlan, Ryu requires an audience with the King, who is unavailable due to having been poisoned. Ryu rests in the castle as, unbeknownst to him, Nina and her guards set out to find the remedy. Later, he is awoken by a guard and asked to rescue the princess - the Wizard of Karma is using Xeon gas, which is deadly to the Fae Tribe, but harmless to Ryu. After defeating the Wizard, Nina passes out, and Ryu carries her back to Winlan.
After giving her father the remedy, Nina insists on joining Ryu in defeating Zog. Her father grants his permission, and Ryu is no longer alone. Ryu also finally has the chance to ask the King permission to use the tunnel - which is granted.
The group heads to the towns of Tantar and Tuntar, where they find the river blocked by the Dark Dragons and the townsfolk suffering. After having the Tantar blacksmith forge their I.Ore (picked up in Aura Cave) into a Saw, they head to Lament Woods.
Ryu and Nina quickly make their way through the woods and find the Dark Dragon's Fort buried deep within. Once inside they battle their way through the guards - the last set of which assumes they are there to rescue the chief.
After this battle, the chief - seemingly the real chief of Tantar - thanks the party for saving him, and suggests they loot the place. He offers to lead Ryu and Nina to the weapons, and, when they take him up on this offer, leads them into a trap. He sets a monster on them - Pog - which they easily defeat.
Furious with them, the fake chief screams at Ryu "You're not getting away with this warrior!"
At this point, a mysterious wolfish warrior interrupts. He explains that he managed to rescue the real chief whilst Ryu and Nina distracted the guards.
The fake chief removes his disguise and reveals himself to be a General. He attacks Ryu, Nina and Bo, who fend him off easily. As he stalks off, he informs them that, though they may have won the battle, they have not won the war - the river is still dry.
With that commotion over, the Chief informs the party that the Dark Dragons were looking for the Ring - and that they must now find a way to remove the large stone that is blocking the river.
The party head to Agua, making their way through Winlan and Aura Cave. They discover that they cannot reach Agua, as the bridge which connects to the floating tower is not there. An old man in Romero promises to tell them the secret if they remove the zombies from Romero. A girl upstairs in the same house tells them of Cleansing Water in a nearby cave, which will purify the soil.
When nightfalls, the party talk to an old lady, who is delighted to have her husband back with her. At first, she refuses to talk to them, as removing the zombies will mean her husband will leave again. However, her husband changes her mind, and shows the party to the Water Jar, which they can use to transport the water.
Bo leads Ryu and Nina through the woods, and they soon reach Ease Cave, which is south of Karma Tower. At the bottom of it, they find the Cleansing Water, which they take back to Romero. After using it to purify the soil, the old man gives them the Tablet they need to enter Agua.
As they leave Romero, they hear a rumour...that Agua is somehow related to the Goddess...
The party use the Tablet to enter Agua, and make their way to the top of the tower. There, they defeat the Guardian of the Key, and receive the KngKey, which is used to power the Stone Robot. The party use Nina's warp spell to make their way back to Tantar.
From Tantar, the party heads north, to the desert where the Stone Robot is waiting. They make their way up to the heart of the robot, which is guarded by Dark Dragons. The party soon dispatches them, and uses the key to power up the robot. They then make their way up to the creature's mind.
Ryu uses the key on the robots mind, and Nina commands it to walk to the lake. Once there, Bo yells "When the robot destroys the rock we'll restore the river!". Nina commands the robot to destroy the rock and it does so using its laser.
The party are then asked to retrieve Tantar's treasure, a ring, from Lake Cave, to the north.
On their return to Tantar, the party are told that that the villages are ready for the wedding, between a Tantar man and a Tuntar woman. After the wedding, the party are congratulated on retrieving the Ring, and advised to use the Stone Robot to cross the river, and reach the port town to the South.
As the villages celebrate in Tantar, a Dark Dragon General steals the Stone Robot, and commands it to destroy Tuntar. It does so, but freezes when it is ordered to destroy Tantar as well. Leaving the village, Bo, Ryu and Nina notice this, and take the opportunity to head up to the Robots brain and confront the General.
After the battle, the Stone Robot walks to the southern volcano, allowing the party members to leave when it reaches it.
The Stone Robot then walks into the volcano, destroying himself. This causes the volcano to overflow, and the magma solidifies over the river, creating a bridge.
Nina says "There was a quiet voice. It said 'Goodbye...'"
Bo replies "And it asked us not to make the same mistake."
The party cross the river to the south, where they come to a Dragon Shrine. Only Ryu is allowed to enter. He must defeat Talon in order to gain his first few dragon transformations. As he leaves, the Dragon advises him to use his powers wisely, to bring peace to the world.
The party continue south, to Auria, where they are promptly thrown in jail, as suspected thieves.
After escaping from jail (a very simple matter of asking the sleeping prisoner to pick the lock), Nina, Ryu and Bo talk to the townsfolk of Auria. They hear rumours that Zog is able to transform into a dragon, as well as learning of the Light Key, which keeps Auria perpetually lit, and can be reached by going through the safe.
At the dockyard, the party learn that the ships are owned by Ross. Ross is willing to lend the party a ship - as long as they rescue his daughter, who has locked herself inside the safe. The party head through L & D Cave, to the east, to reach the legendary city of thieves, Bleak.
After exchanging a bar of gold (bought in Auria) for an Icicle, the party head through the Desert Cave to the west of Bleak, and then on to the desert town of Arad. There, they learn that the chief of Arad has the Fife needed to access Krypt. He's willing to give it to the party...if they defeat the SandWorm which terrorizes the village every full moon.
Fortunately, that night happens to be a full moon, and the party is victorious.
After obtaining the Fife, the party heads south to the dungeon of Krypt, where the item creates a bridge over the constant whirlpools.
In Krypt, Ryu, Nina and Bo are assaulted by almost constant traps. After facing a guardian, who exclaims that "you're only human! You're not supposed to have this much power!", the party finds themselves in what appears to be the final room.
After opening the last chest, the room begins to fill with water, and the party begin to panic At the last minute, Karn appears, muttering that only a fool would be caught in so simple a trap.
After a little persuading, Karn agrees to join the party, and they continue to look for the Book of Thieves.
Ryu's Dragon Transformations
Ryu learns new transformations by battling alone in certain places. 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.
|SnoDR||Defeat Talon at the shrine south of the bridge south of Tantar and Tuntar.||This transformation costs 7ap. It has no abilities, but Ryu is far, far stronger in this form, and does around four times as much damage as he would otherwise.|
|FlmDR||Defeat Talon at the shrine south of the bridge south of Tantar and Tuntar.||This transformation costs 10ap. It has no abilities, but Ryu is far, far stronger in this form, and does around four-five times as much damage as he would otherwise.|
|IceDGN||Defeat Talon at the shrine south of the bridge south of Tantar and Tuntar.||This transformation costs 12ap. It has no abilities, but Ryu is far, far stronger in this form, and does around five-six times as much damage as he would otherwise.|
|Agni||You must have all the earlier dragon forms and all the dragon equipment.|
Ryu's best equipment is as follows;
|Weapon||Tri-Rang/Dragon SD||Although the Dragon Sword is a little stronger, the Tri-Rang hits multiple enemies.|
Ryu in Breath of Fire II
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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