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.
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.
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.
- Electric Body: Zan stands still and electrifies his entire body for a few seconds, damaging anyone who touches him.
- Electric Reach: Zan extends his arms forward and electrifies it, damaging anyone it touches.
- Mach Dash: Zan's blitz move, Zan dashes forward ramming his elbow/shoulder into enemies. Easily spammed, and quite powerful.
- Mach Tackle/Mach Booster/Hyper Booster: Zan's Star Combos. Each move expands upon Mach Dash, with the Mach Tackle being an extended distanced Dash, and the Booster moves performing the move twice, and three times respectively.
- Energy Ball Toss: This is an interesting move, in that Zan cannot use weapons like the rest of the characters, and when a weapon is picked up Zan turns it into a ball of energy. Pressing >+A or >>B will make Zan throw a slow or fast energy ball across the floor respectively.
Zan's fighting style is quite interesting as (much like his animation), it is quite jerky and pieced together possibly signaling a lack of martial arts training. Aside from his special moves (which feature his electricity usage), most players will make use of his blitz attack, which has long range and can easily be executed back-to-back (spammable in essence), and only gets more powerful as your earn more Stars.
Interestingly enough, aside from the evasive kick Zan has no kicks in his moveset.
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 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.
- 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.