Ken Masters (ケン Ken?) is a video game character created by Capcom. He is one of the main characters from the Street Fighter series of fighting games alongside Ryu. Ken made his first appearance in the original Street Fighter released in 1987. The character's name was originally spelled in Japanese as 拳 (Ken), which is the kanji character for fist, although Capcom dropped this in subsequent games, spelling his name in katakana instead (ケン). Ken is described as a former sparring partner, rival and best friend of the main character, Ryu, who trained under the same master (a character whose identity would later be fleshed out as Gouken).
In the original Street Fighter, and in the first iteration of Street Fighter II, Ken was identical to Ryu, in terms of game play, with only one attack (a throw) appearing to be aesthetically different. In later Street Fighter II editions, Ken's character was modified to be a variant of Ryu, using modified versions of Ryu's special attacks, though his animations and other attacks were still very similar to Ryu's, as Ken's sprite is always a head swap of Ryu. In the original version of this game, the only way to effectively have two characters with similar abilities fight each other was to have one player play as Ryu and the other play as Ken.