Ryo is the son of Takuma Sakazaki and Ronnet Sakazaki and the older brother of Yuri Sakazaki. Born in the city of Southtown, as Ryo was deemed to be Takuma’s successor, he began his martial arts training at an early age. His father instilled him with the difficult principle of self-reliance, where a person’s own strength can form their worth in the world, but these days of his childhood training would prove difficult for the young Ryo, who was reluctant to fight due to his kindness and bashfulness. He eventually gained a sparring partner and friend when Robert Garcia was admitted into the dojo.
On Ryo’s 10th birthday, his mother died in a tragic car accident. Immediately after, his father mysteriously left their home and left Ryo to take care of Yuri. Forced to fend for himself and his sister’s sake, Ryo did this by partaking in construction work and tirelessly strived to defend his family’s dojo. Remembering his father’s lessons during his training, he also took up street fighting. At first, he did poorly but, after many years of persistence and learning the true meanings behind his father’s teachings, including “A man’s strength cannot be known only by his fist”, “Real strength must be felt through the mind and heart”, and to know what he was fighting for, he eventually established himself as a fearsome and renowned street fighter.
Ryo is very serious about fighting and loyal to his friends and family. He has been given discipline through his Karate training by his father, Takuma. He treats Robert as his rival, but they are best friends. He is a little old fashioned and blunt, which sometimes alienates him from his trendier sister and stylish rival. He’s also admits to not being very smart or talented but he believes that these are obstacles for him to overcome. Compared to Yuri and Robert’s ideology on training, Ryo believes he can attain greatness in his art through hard work and experience. Having raised both himself and Yuri during their childhood, he struggles with his own wishes to protect his sister and his own wishes to see her grow up. He accepts her growing maturity with bittersweet acquiescence.
It has been implied that there is some romantic tension between him and King. He apparently thinks her to be a good friend though she may think more of him since he contributed to her brother’s recovery in Art of Fighting 2. Their relationship is referred to various times during The King of Fighters series.
Robert is the only son of Alberto Garcia, a wealthy Italian businessman and best friend of Takuma Sakazaki. During his early childhood, Robert lived a life free of responsibility and caring, being doted on by his loving parents for his every whim. Yet he would yearn for more in his life and would regularly sneak away from his home to go to the Kyokugenryu Dojo. He spied on Takuma and Ryo Sakazaki‘s training sessions and aspired to become like them.
Alberto wanted Robert to focus on his corporate teachings and someday inherit the Garcia Foundation from him. After his father pushed him too far, a young Robert rebelled and embraced his own ambitions to find success by himself. Running away from home, Robert rushed to Takuma’s dojo and demanded to be taught Kyokugenryu Karate. Impressed by the boy’s spirit, Takuma agreed and Robert became Ryo’s sparring partner. The two boys soon became best friends.
Unlike Ryo, Robert is a natural ace in martial arts. Because Robert excelled so well in his studies, Takuma became harder on his son’s training to keep up. As Robert completed his training first, however, this would happen immediately before Ryo’s 10th birthday, and on the day of Ronnet’s deadly car accident. With the death of Ryo’s mother, his master mysteriously disappearing, and leaving Ryo to take care of Yuri, Robert was left with no choice but to reluctantly return home to Italy. Knowing that Ryo must overcome his own trials and mature into the man his father sought, he promised him that he would return, and for Ryo to protect Yuri and to keep her happy. In his home country, Robert rigorously continued his martial arts studies and matured into a respected martial artist. He was given his moniker overseas.
Robert eventually developed romantic feelings for his friend’s sister, Yuri. He has held an infatuation with Yuri ever since he first met her and would likely wed her if not for Takuma and Ryo, who are overprotective of Yuri.