is the protagonist of the Ninja Gaiden video game series as well as a player character in the Dead or Alive series.
According to the game canon, Ryu (lit. "dragon") Hayabusa ("falcon") is the son of Joe Hayabusa (Ken Hayabusa in the NES Ninja Gaiden), the leader of the Dragon Ninja Clan that has spiritual, physical, and magical ties to ancient dragons. Ryu is the current heir to the Dragon lineage and is also the holder of the legendary Dragon Sword. Although his father should carry the sword, he passed the sword to Ryu early, due to his bravery and valor. His mother was neither mentioned nor seen in any NG games, although was mentioned in the Worlds of Power novel (where she gives Ryu the letter from his father).
Ryu is 21 years old in Ninja Gaiden and 23 in the Dead or Alive series. Although he appears as a normal man, he is not completely human; this was discovered during the Dark Dragon Blade incident. Because his ancestors draw their blood from the same deities as the Fiends of Vigoor, he is succeptable to the Blood Curse and therefore is able to be turned into a fiend.
He is the ninja Hayate's best friend and an ally of Kasumi and Ayane. He and his ninja brethren have been direct players in the defeat of every major threat in the DOA tournaments, himself defeating the rogue Tengu in single combat during the second tournament. Ryu has befriended several people from the DOA tournaments, notably Jann Lee, with whom he shares a mutual respect, though it's never specifically mentioned in any of the games.
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