Street Fighter veterans Ryu and Chun-Li, relatively fresh off cameos in Fortnite and two Power Rangers fighting games, are coming to Ubisoft’s take on the Super Smash Bros. formula, the free-to-play platform fighter Brawlhalla. Akuma’s coming to Brawlhalla as a playable fighter too, but the real news comes in the mass reduction of the “Ryu Number” of dozens of video game characters and painter Bob Ross. (I’ll explain.)
The Ryu Number is video gaming’s closest equivalent to the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon challenge. The number indicates how distant Ryu is from any other video game character, by determining if Ryu has punched a character in a video game and if that person has then punched another character (or had some other form of contact with them) in a separate game. Given Ryu’s wide array of video game appearances, particularly in crossover fare like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Fortnite, Project X Zone, and the Marvel vs. Capcom games, you can connect Ryu to just about anyone.
In an extreme example, Ryu Number mathematicians have connected Ryu to Disco Elysium’s Kim Kitsuragi, thanks to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mario’s Time Machine, and Civilization 5.
After a long and thorough investigation, it is with tears in my eyes that I announce you that Kim Kitsuragi from Disco Elysium has a Ryu Number of 4.— Younès (@pyrofoux) September 6, 2021
Unroll for a detailed breakdown, partner. 1/ pic.twitter.com/O43NgkVuAh
Ryu himself has a Ryu Number of 0, while Chun-Li has a Ryu Number of 1. And thanks to Ryu, Chun-Li, and Akuma’s appearance in Brawlhalla, a whole new world of low-integer Ryu Numbering opportunities await.
See, Brawlhalla is effectively Ubisoft’s take on Super Smash Bros. Officially released in 2017, the platform fighter features dozens of original characters (and Ubisoft’s own Rayman), as well as crossover appearances for its roster of Legends, including the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Lara Croft from Tomb Raider, Shovel Knight, and WWE’s The Rock and John Cena. It’s that TMNT connection that brings Ryu closer to Bob Ross, because the Turtles have also appeared in Hi-Rez Studios’ MOBA Smite alongside the famously mellow painter.
Brawlhalla has also featured Crossover skins from Adventure Time and Steven Universe, some of whom will also appear in next year’s Warner Bros. crossover brawler MultiVersus. That means that Arya Stark from Game of Thrones will have a Ryu Number of just 2 someday soon.
Until that time, Brawlhalla fans can enjoy seeing Ryu, Chun-Li, and Akuma in their fighting game of choice. The street fighters’ arrival coincides with an in-game event featuring a new mode called Street Brawl, which adopts Street Fighter’s health bars and adds other aesthetic effects inspired by Capcom’s fighting game franchise. Brawlhalla is available on Android, iOS, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.