Streets Of Rage Wiki

Dr. Gilbert Zan is a character in the Streets of Rage series. He debuted in Streets of Rage 3 as one of the playable characters, replacing Max Thunder. Zan is unique among the playable characters, as he is a cyborg, and was previously involved with the Syndicate Crime Organization. Zan was also the discoverer of the element Rakushin, and thus is heavily involved in the backstory of both Bare Knuckle III and Streets of Rage 3.



Zan is a cybernetic robot who typically wears a blue shirt, blue jeans, and red rollerblades. He is bald and has a white mustache. He has red short gloves on his forearm. He also has a bunch of cybernetically built in parts visible all over his body.


Zan is a wise scientist who seems to always find a solution. He uses his past knowledge from being a scientist in the syndicate to make logical decisions. Zan also manages to stay calm in even the most stressful situations.


Streets of Rage 3 / Bare Knuckle III[]

Zan thus far has been a playable character in the series' third installment, albeit with slightly different stories. In both versions, Zan got into contact with Blaze Fielding, and offered information on the location of bombs placed throughout the city due to his heavy hatred against the Syndicate for causing the events leading to him becoming a cyborg.

More backstory was given to Zan in Bare Knuckle III, such as Zan being the discoverer of Rakushin (the nuclear element the bombs were made of) and having a past with the General Ivan Petrov (where we learn his first name and the Rakushin info). Not only that, but a certain unease and lack of trust due to his dealings with the Syndicate from Axel Stone and Skate were added to the cutscenes between stages.

Streets of Rage 4 / Bare Knuckle IV[]

After the events of the third game Dr. Zan would help in the reconstruction of Wood Oak City and the victims of the Syndicate, eventually taking in Floyd Iraia as his apprentice after giving him his robotic arms. When Blaze called for his help to take down the new Syndicate Floyd offers to go in Zan's place. While Zan isn't playable in HD form, his Streets of Rage 3 version is unlockable.

In the "Mr. Nightmare" DLC, Zan creates a simulation that draws upon the memories of the late Mr. X to help the other characters train.


Zan's gameplay makes use of his robotic limbs. His attacks are surprisingly fast, some even surpassing Skate's. His Special Attacks are notable for shocking his opponents.

Blitz Attacks[]

  • Elbow Slam Shield: Zan performs a quick shoulder tackle while surrounded by an energy field, ramming into opponents. It's the fastest Blitz Attack in Streets of Rage 3, and in Streets of Rage 4 it grants him decent invincibility frames. Also called Mach Dash.
  • The Claw: the alternate Blitz Attack unlockable in the DLC for Streets of Rage 4. Zan performs an overhead swing with his arm, clawing opponents and causes a ground bounce. Can combo with itself near walls a few times.

Defensive Special Attacks[]

  • Shock Treatment: Zan emits an electric field all around himself, damaging surrounding opponents. While the range is low, it is very fast and can be used consecutively. Also called Electric Body.
  • Energy Ball: the alternate Defensive Special Attack unlockable in the DLC for Streets of Rage 4. Zan creates an energy sphere on his arm, which can be tossed by pressing forward + attack button. Deals less damage than the item pickup version. This attack can hit off the ground.

Offensive Special Attacks[]

  • Electric Grab: Zan extends his arms forward and electrifies them. Despite its name, it's not a command grab. Very fast and covers a large distance in front of Zan. Also called Electric Reach.
  • Guillotine: the alternate Offensive Special Attack unlockable in the DLC for Streets of Rage 4. Zan does a short hop and slams forcefully on the ground, sending enemies upwards. Players can control Zan's trajectory sideways. This attack can hit off the ground.

Star Moves[]

  • Super Shield Charge: Zan quickly charges his body and performs a more powerful version of his Elbow Slam Shield, covering more distance and zig-zagging on the battlefield. Also called Mach Booster.
  • Big Energy Ball: the alternate Star Move unlockable in the DLC for Streets of Rage 4. Zan tosses a massive energy sphere that travels the entire screen, hitting all opponents in its path.

Notable Moves[]

  • Energy Ball Toss: Zan cannot use weapons like the rest of the characters, and when picking up a weapon, he turns it into a ball of energy. Pressing forward and the pickup or forward twice + attack button will make Zan throw a slow or fast energy ball across the floor respectively. In Streets of Rage 4 this attack can hit off the ground.

Fighting Style[]

Zan's fighting style is quite jerky and pieced together possibly signaling a lack of martial arts training. His mechanical limbs grant him enhanced speed and stamina compared to the rest of the cast.

Character Evolution[]

Dr. Zan is playable in SOR3, replacing Max Thunder, and is also an unlockable character in SOR4. He's not as strong as Axel, but is slightly faster and has the best reach of the group.

Beta Zan[]

Beta sprites of Zan in early version of BKIII looks very different and he was pretty easy to distinguish from Final Zan due to the lack of detail and shading on his chest and abdominal muscles, the different looking feet, and the extremely muscular legs.

Game Appearances[]


  • He's the only character that did not change palettes from BKIII to SoR3 by Sega of America, possibly because of how many colors are featured on Zan as is.
  • In BKIII, Zan and Ivan Petrov know each other already. From Ivan, we learn that Zan is in fact Dr. Gilbert Zan, the discoverer of Rakushin.
  • Despite being a cyborg with a presumably strong body, Zan cannot successfully slam/throw Big Ben even though when performing a slam, Zan will lift him up and shake him just before collapsing under his weight.
  • He's the only main character in SoR3 to not have an idle animation.
  • The element Rakushin is written in katakana in Japanese, suggesting that it is a name borrowed from another language. But a guess would hint at the fact that it could be actually derived from the word 烙心 i.e., burning core.