Ladies and Gentleman, Ryu X Chun-Li Fans all over the world, David “Duake” Muich.
For a long time fans of the video game Street Fighter 2 have noticed a possible connection in two of the warriors. A romantic connection. This actually grew stronger over the years in fans’ minds and eventually, fanfiction became the outlet for the fantasy to finally exist. The two warriors in question are Ryu and Chun-Li.
Close to 15 years ago, a very avid fan of this particular couple wrote a compelling and deeply involved fanfiction story that is still revered to this day as the best romantic version of their relationship anyone has ever written. That fan’s name was Brian Yip.
Brian really saw a connection between Ryu and Chun-Li, like many of us, and decided to write his own version for everyone to read and enjoy. He garnered recognition for his story from many places, but it all started on a forum. He eventually made his own website to share with the world. That is when and where I met him.
Brian and I became friends very quickly as we shared the same strong interest in Ryu and Chun-Li becoming a couple. He even inspired me to write my own fanfiction story, but it was never as good as his. I was just trying to tell a story that would have been an interesting twist, but I was never competing against Brian. We were just doing our own thing and what we felt was good.
Through the years, I eventually created RCL4Ever.com and hosted Brian’s story exclusively for him as a tribute to his fanfiction. I thought it deserved its own domain and place on the web. I had the time and resources to try and make it as awesome as possible. I hosted it for a year or so and then couldn’t afford it and had to let it go. As unfortunate as that seems, fate had given me a different chance to create something special.
When I got to know him after a few months back in 2000, I asked Brian if he had ever considered making his story into a book so he would have a physical copy that he could look at and hold in his own hands. He had told me that that idea would be great, but it probably would never happen. Apparently destiny finds those who are worthy.
In 2003, which was 3 years after I met Brian, I started working in the print industry. It wasn’t until I moved to Las Vegas in 2008 that I had a grand idea and great motivation to do something for him. I was put in charge of figuring out a better way to make the company’s hard cover books. After months of working on them and mastering my own techniques, I finally got my chance to create Brian’s dream. I made a custom hard cover laminated book with his entire 26 chapter fanfiction story. I wanted to this specifically for him so he could see his work as he dreamt it could be someday.
I sent it to him without his knowledge of what it was, but I told him it was a great surprise and he’d really enjoy it. After a few days and one special delivery later, I received an e-mail:
“I just received it today in the mail. And WOW. I was completely in utter amazement! I was speechless! THAT WAS INSANE! I couldn’t believe it! WOW! That was really insane! Unbelievable! Thanks man thanks. That cloth bag really topped it off! Oh man! That is INSANE! Man that takes real talent to make something like that. WOW! This is a memento! Thanks! You are a really talented person!”
- Brian Yip, April 29, 2009
I’m glad he was so happy with it as it really meant something to me to do something special for a friend. At that point, we had known each other for over 9 years. We never talked on the phone. We never video chatted. We only communicated via e-mail at that time. That was the last time I really got to talk to Brian before he passed on and I felt the worst I have ever in my life.
After moving to Alabama and wanting to catch up with Brian after so many months of being busy and not talking to him for so long, I sent him an e-mail about where I was and what was going on in my life. I got my e-mail returned to me because of a bad address. Thinking it was wrong, I double-checked and sent it again. Another e-mail returned. This bothered me so I dug around on the web to find out what was going on. After a little while, I read why the e-mails were returned.
Brian’s life had been cut short. I was 4 months too late in contacting him. I felt my heart sink and at the same time felt extremely angered by what happened. I had lost a great friend. One whom I admired and was proud of because he accomplished so much in his life. He had drive, ambition and determination so few of us have in life.
After I read what happened, Brian’s story came to my mind. One part specifically. Ryu was talking to Chun-Li about fighting Akuma and she stressed the thought about how he may not win that fight. Ryu wasn’t too concerned as he was a fighter and if he died fighting, then that was his fate and he accepted it. Chun-Li responded with emotion:
“You have admirers all around the entire world! The planet will weep…”
“I never realized that I meant so much to more than just the people I know,” Ryu replied.
I believe this has happened since Brian left us. I am so glad I was able to be his friend, as I am sure everyone who knew him feels that way. He was an inspiration to many of us. I know he was happy with just what he wrote and had done himself, but the things I’ve done for him in the past couple of years was done because he was a good friend who deserved it.
This new Ryu X Chun-Li Project is something that I fully support and I believe Brian would be behind it as well. He would say that no one has to do anything like this and just the thought and idea of doing a whole graphic novel that was inspired by his story would be deeply humbling to him. Of course I would know he would be extremely excited over all of it and couldn’t wait to see it all come together.
I will be alongside this project to wherever it goes and support it any way I can. I do this because I, personally, would like to finally see something like this happen, but mainly because Brian’s amazing story and life inspired its creation. I urge anyone who can contribute in ANY way, please don’t hesitate to act. Great things will come from any contribution.
I would like to extend my thanks to Sean Anderson who started this whole project and is managing its creation. Thanks also to ALL the Ryu & Chun-Li fans out there in the world who hold this warrior couple near and dear to their heart. Without all of you, none of this would be possible.
There is only one more thing I want to say:
Happy Birthday, Brian! I miss you, my friend. I hope you are looking down here and seeing what your work and life inspired. I promise you will not be disappointed.
I look forward to the future of Ryu & Chun-Li. Their time has finally come.
David “Duake” Muich
In Honor of Brian William Yip aka NightDragon
(May 24, 1980 – Feb 26, 2010)