Shiva is a recurring boss from the Streets of Rage series, appearing as a boss in all games from Streets of Rage 2 onwards. He formerly acted as Mr. X's right hand man in the Syndicate Crime Organization back in Sega Genesis/Mr. X Saga Trilogy games.
Shiva is a muscular and handsome Asian-American 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 SOR2, 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/hakama 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 SOR3 American port, his "standard" attire and hair palette 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 SOR3, as for the BKIII version the forest-green one is his "standard" palette.
His SOR4 attire is a throwback to his classic SOR2 style, except that his hakama 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 man of few words, he prefers to be alone and meditate in his free time. He is very calm, and only fights for the right reason. With evidence from the extras menu in SOR4, Shiva loves animals, and doesn't agree with animal abuse. This man was once a Kempo teacher, informing that he cares about people and can be quite friendly (at times), but sadly- all of his disciples left to fight on the Streets, and joins a criminal organization that involves unethical animal abuse at worst. Also, Shiva is a very fearless being- he will not flee if anyone threatens/attacks him, and he doesn't need to use weapons; he thinks weapons are for the weak. All together, Shiva is a calm, culturist, and loyal man, but when someone betrays him, Shiva's ready to strike, and when he does, he'll strike hard.
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 evil character who will never cooperate with Blaze or Axel, his existence as a playable character will never be officially 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 him 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 SOR3, as in BKIII 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 3 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 SOR2 and 3 counterparts appear in the game; the former as a secret boss and the latter as a playable character. The current Shiva himself appears as a DLC character as well.
- Final Crash: Shiva's trademark move, 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. In SOR3/BK3, a white shine was added as an special effect to emphasize Shiva's attack power. His boss version in SOR4 does not use this move.
- Flaming Circular Kick: Shiva's primary defense and counterattack, 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. In SOR4 he use this move also as secondary offensive attack, usually up to twice consecutive.
- Quick Palm Strike: Shiva's primary attack in SOR4. He quickly moves to the opponent and hit him with a palm strike. ￼
- Senretsu Ken: Shiva moves almost instantly to the opposite side of the screen make him almost impossible to be catched for a while. Used in SOR4. Air version can be varies:
- Against airborne, it works the same as the ground version.
- If enemies on the ground, Shiva will perform an overhead kick.
- 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 SOR2 and SOR4).
- Spirit Clone Palm: He conjures a shadowy clone 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.
- Double Shadow Clone: As playable DLC character in SOR4, this is one of Shiva’s Super Moves. An enhance version of Shadow Clone, where he conjures three clones of himself at once.
- Hashinsho: A dual palm move.
In addition to these attacks, he can perform standard combos, usually consisting in a barrage of quick jabs or palm strikes, followed by a knocking down rising or circular kick. He can also parry weapon attacks, or grab and throw weapons immediately without wielding them. In SOR4, Shiva can now use parry counters, and even air combo/aerial rave.
- He is named after the Hindu god Shiva.
- His special attack is similar to Axel’s.
- His moveset as a playable character is incomplete compared to the heroes of the game due to him being specifically an enemy character. In the Streets of Rage remake it has been significantly improved.
- There is an enemy Hakuyo in the first Streets of Rage game that strongly resembles him, possibly his original version as a lower rank (it may have been the influence for his later design).
- He is the only enemy in Streets of Rage 4 from the first three installments to turn into a good person.
- Bizarrely, his Final Crash technique is called Ninja Attack in the US/EU version of Streets of Rage 3.
- The present Shiva is the only playable character in Streets of Rage 4 who don’t wield weapons, earning him the moniker of "Living Weapon". This is a characterization of his Streets of Rage 3's playable version; there, he was unable to use weapons due to lack of programming, while in the new game, it's a canon fact of his incorporated into gameplay.