Shiva is a recurring character from the Streets of Rage series, appearing as a boss since Streets of Rage 2. He formerly acted as Mr. X's right-hand man in the Syndicate Crime Organization in Streets of Rage 2 and Streets of Rage 3. He has turned over a new leaf in Streets of Rage 4 and lives a humble life running his own dojo.
Shiva is a muscular Asian-American (or purely Asian) man, around the same age of his rival-turned-friend Axel Stone. He has shoulder-length black (or dark-bluish) hair, and a somewhat menacing yet disciplined facial expression.
In his debut in Streets of Rage 2, he dresses in a traditional black Koppou-ken attire, showing part of his thoracic muscles, pants and training shoes, along with a thin red headband, sash belt, and fingerless kickboxing gloves.
In Streets of Rage 3, his attire and hair share the same color, the shirt/gi is entirely open and shows all of his pectoral and abdominal areas, and the fingerless gloves are replaced by simple sweatbands of the same color of the attire. In the American port, his "standard" palette for hair and attire is navy-blue as Round 1 boss, and has a forest-green palette if the player faces him again as the Stage 7 boss in the bad ending route. The navy-blue palette exists only in Streets of Rage 3, as for the Bare Knuckle III version the forest-green one is his "standard" palette.
His Streets of Rage 4 attire is a throwback to his outfit in the second game, except that his gi now has a yellow trim, with its right side completely loose and hanging down (showing that side of his bare chest, shoulder and arm), he dons red armbands instead of fingerless gloves, and the sash belt was replaced with a thick white shimenawa (praying rope commonly seen attached to bells in Shinto/Buddhist temples, alluding to his newfound faith in Buddha's teachings).
Shiva is a stoic man of few words, who praises solitude and meditation in his free time. He is very calm, collected, and only fights for the right reason. With evidence from the extras menu in Streets of Rage 4, Shiva loves animals and will frontally oppose any forms of animal abuse. He was once a Kempo teacher, informing that he cares about people and can be quite friendly (at times), but sadly all of his former disciples left to fight on the streets, and joined a criminal organization that involves unethical animal abuse at worst.
Shiva is very fearless, and will not flee if anyone threatens or attacks him. He follows a philosophy that weapons are for the weak; because of that he always fights barehanded. Altogether, Shiva is a calm, cultured and loyal man who strikes hard and mercilessly at anyone who dares to betray his trust.
Shiva acts as Mr. X's personal bodyguard, seen near him as the penultimate boss of the game, where he must be defeated before the player is allowed to face Mr. X himself. It was from that point that was born his rivalry towards Axel Stone.
Shiva reappeared as the first boss in Streets of Rage 3, apparently being cast down from Mr. X's personal bodyguard to a simple position of street enforcer. He is also a secret playable character who can be unlocked immediately after his defeat by holding down the B button until Round 2 starts. As an antagonist who'd never betray Mr. X and cooperate with Blaze or Axel, his existence as a playable character is not considered canon.
If the player fails to save the General in Stage 6, then they will enter what is supposedly the White House. There, Axel and company will confront Shiva again during "fake general" press-conference on national TV. In this fight, Shiva has increased health and more powerful attacks, along with a green palette instead of his "default" navy-blue (this color switch is exclusive to Streets of Rage 3, as in Bare Knuckle III he only has the green palette at all). Once the player beats him, the cutscene will have him lying down and saying "Mr. X will finish you". The game then cuts to Mr. X watching it on a monitor of his own, in his hideout at unknown location, and furiously crushing a wine glass in his hand — signaling one of the three bad endings of the game.
Shiva reappears in Streets of Rage 4 as the Stage 6 boss. While initially presumed to still be part of the Syndicate, after his defeat, he reveals that he has started a new life in Buddhist faith and teaching people martial arts from his new dojo at Chinatown. He encourages the heroes to pursue Mr. Y and Ms. Y, ending their discussion on good terms and thus finally turning their rivalry into a (distant) friendship.
His bio states that many of his new students has left his dojo to join the Syndicate, and even suggests that "reports of animal cruelty at Y's secret labs" (which go against the benevolence towards animals in his newfound Buddha conduct) now drive him to directly oppose his former organization.
In addition, his counterparts from Streets of Rage 2 and Streets of Rage 3 appear in this game; the former as a secret boss and the latter as a playable character. The Streets of Rage 4 version of Shiva was later added in the Mr. X Nightmare DLC, alongside Max, Estel and Roo.
Shiva's first appearance as a playable character happens in Streets of Rage 3, unlocked by holding down the B button after defeating him in Round 1, until Round 2 starts. He is one of the strongest characters in the game from a pure power standpoint, as well being the fastest in the game. However, due to him being an enemy character, his moveset is incomplete; for instance, he is unable to pick up weapons.
In Streets of Rage 4, Shiva appears as a DLC character. Much like in the third game, he boasts incredible power and speed attributes. He is also unique in that he is the only character in the game capable of performing air combos. Additionally, as a nod to his Streets of Rage 3 version, he is also unable to pick up weapons, but when interacting with any will instead throw them at his opponents; if a weapon is thrown at him, he is able to deflect them back at the attacker.
- Dashing Moon Kick: Streets of Rage 3 Shiva's default Blitz Attack. He turns to rapidly whip out a spinning overhead back kick in a circular motion, with the attacking foot engulfed in flames due to the kick's extreme speed.
- Dark Dash: the alternate Blitz attack unlockable in the DLC for Streets of Rage 4, and exclusive to Streets of Rage 3 Shiva. He envelops himself in the shadows and dashes through his opponents.
- Final Crash: Streets of Rage 4 Shiva's default Blitz Attack, where he turns his back at his enemy for a fraction of a second, followed by a quick ducking twist, then projects an extended leg upwards with its foot in flames (much like the flaming fist of Axel's Grand Upper), hitting the target with an uppercut-like kick. This attack can hit enemies that are already down on the ground, and can be used to initiate air combos. Shiva can use Aerial Special Attacks after this move.
- Flying Kick: the alternate Blitz attack unlockable in the DLC for Streets of Rage 4, and exclusive to Streets of Rage 4 Shiva. He leaps forward delivering a kick that hits multiple times. One of the strongest tools in his arsenal thanks to its damage potential, hitstun and invulnerability frames.
Defensive Special Attacks
- Moon Kick: Streets of Rage 3 Shiva's default Defensive Special Attack. He delivers an overhead kick, with his foot enveloped in flames due to extreme raw speed.
- Ki Strike: the alternate Defensive Special Attack unlockable in the DLC for Streets of Rage 4, and exclusive to Streets of Rage 3 Shiva. He will perform a quick hop and projects slam the ground with his spiritual energy, knocking enemies away.
- Flaming Circular Kick: Streets of Rage 4 Shiva's default Defensive Special Attack. Shiva turns to rapidly whip out a spinning overhead back kick in a circular motion, with the attacking foot engulfed in purple flames. This move is Streets of Rage 4 Shiva's default Defensive Special Attack.
- Hashinsho: the alternate Defensive Special Attack unlockable in the DLC for Streets of Rage 4, and exclusive to Streets of Rage 4 Shiva. He performs a dual palm move that hits on both sides that knocks opponents away; if it hits in the inner area, it briefly stuns them instead.
Offensive Special Attacks
- Final Crash: Streets of Rage 3 Shiva's default Offensive Special Attack, where he turns his back at his enemy for a fraction of a second, followed by a quick ducking twist, then projects an extended leg upwards with its foot in flames (much like the flaming fist of Axel's Grand Upper), hitting the target with an uppercut-like kick.
- Diving Moon Kick: the alternate Offensive Special Attack unlockable in the DLC for Streets of Rage 4, and exclusive to Streets of Rage 3 Shiva. Shiva leaps into the air and performs an axe kick that slams opponents.
- Senretsu Ken: Streets of Rage 4 Shiva's default Offensive Special Attack. Shiva does a quick dash toward his opponent to attack, which varies depending on the distance between him and his target:
- At close range, he'll dash through his opponent, reappearing behind them in a praying pose while his opponent is hit multiple times.
- At long range, he'll perform and palm strike that launches opponents away.
- Spirit Palm: the alternate Offensive Special Attack unlockable in the DLC for Streets of Rage 4, and exclusive to Streets of Rage 4 Shiva. He performs a quick palm strike, and then conjures a shadowy clone who repeats the same motion. The shadow clone attack covers higher range and launches opponents away.
Air Special Attack
- Air Senretsu Ken: Shiva's default Air Special in Streets of Rage 4. This move is unique as it has different properties depending on the input by the player.
- If the player holds right or does no input at all, Shiva will dash through his opponent and hit multiple times.
- If the player holds down, Shiva will descend with a slam attack; this version can hit opponents that are already down on the ground.
- Spirit Kick: the alternate Air Special Attack unlockable in the DLC for Streets of Rage 4. He performs an overhead axe kick, and then conjures a shadowy clone who repeats the same motion. The shadow clone attack covers higher range and launches opponents away.
- Ultimate Final Crash: Streets of Rage 3 Shiva's Star Move featured in Streets of Rage 4, where he performs his Final Crash two times in succession, dealing multiple hits.
- Asura Ranbu: the alternate Star Move unlockable in the DLC for Streets of Rage 4, and exclusive to Streets of Rage 3 Shiva. He'll perform a dash grab, dissappearing into thin air and delivery lightning fast strikes on his opponents. This move is inspired by Akuma's Shun Goku Satsu from the Street Fighter series.
- Shin Hashinshou: Streets of Rage 4 Shiva's Star Move, where he performs a more powerful version of Hashinshou, enveloping his hands in purple flames that erupt fiery wings behind his back. Opponents hit by this move will be launched in the air and will fall slowly to the ground.
- Spirit Dance: Streets of Rage 4 Shiva's alternate Star Move, where he conjures three shadowy clones that will perform palm strikes repeatedly for few seconds. These strikes are very powerful and will even knock down unstoppable enemies (such as Max in his boss form).
- Air Combos: Shiva is unique as he can perform air combos out of any aerial attack. Unlike other characters, he only has a neutral aerial attack, lacking a forward aerial attack. His air combos can hit up to four times, and the player can alter the trajectory of his final hit with inputs; if no input is made, Shiva will finish with a kick that launches opponents forward; if holding down, he'll do an elbow strike that will launch opponents downwards.
- Additionally, Shiva can frame cancel the last hit of his normal combo into a jump to initiate air combos.
- Weapon Throw: instead of picking up weapons on the ground, Shiva will instead pick them up with his foot and launches them forward with a palm strike. Similarly, when opponents throw weapons at him, he'll instead deflect them right back at them with the button input.
- Quick Palm Strike: Shiva's primary attack in Streets of Rage 4. He quickly moves to the opponent and hit him with a palm strike.
- Handspring Palm Strike: Only used in the third installment, Shiva handsprings off the ground and enters his downward palm attack, clearing across almost the entire screen. The forth game later use it to parry weapons.
- Rising Kick: Shiva can recover from flat on his back to an incredibly quick jumpkick attack almost instantly after being knocked down. Used to surprise players who get too close to a downed Shiva (except in the second and fourth games).
- Spirit Dance: Used in Streets of Rage 4. He conjures a multiple shadowy clones of himself, all performing a palm strike. They cannot be harmed and will dissipate after attacking a certain amount of times. Shiva starts using clones after powering up once losing half of his health.
- He is named after the Hindu god Shiva.
- Hakuyo's appearance in the first Streets of Rage bears strongly resemblance to Shiva.
- Shiva is the only enemy in Streets of Rage 4 from the first three installments to turn into a good person.
- In the US/EU version of Streets of Rage 3, his Final Crash technique is called Ninja Attack.
- Shiva's moveset as a playable character in Streets of Rage 3 is incomplete compared to the heroes due to lack of programming as him being specifically an enemy character. For instance, he is unable to pick up weapons.
- Streets of Rage 3 Shiva being unable to pick up weapons is later referenced and canonized in Streets of Rage 4, where he doesn’t wield weapons by choice, earning him the moniker of "Living Weapon".
- Shiva's third color palette in Streets of Rage 4 could be a possible reference to Goku from the Dragon Ball series.