In the first game, his girlfriend Jessica, the daughter of Mayor Haggar, is kidnapped by the Mad Gear Gang in an effort to bring the incorruptible mayor under their control. Haggar tells Cody about this and he along with his friend Guy, assist Haggar in defeating the Mad Gear Gang. Cody, along with Guy were more agile in combat than Haggar.
In addition to his fighting skills, Cody was also skilled in the use of knives, making him a deadly warrior.
After defeating the Mad Gear Gang, Cody left Metro City in an effort to end more evil and make the world safer for Jessica. In Final Fight Revenge, Jessica is kidnapped again by a reforming Mad Gear Gang. Cody sought to rescue her but is framed for crimes committed by Poison and the street fights he was in. Jessica dumps him for street fighting and she leaves to study abroad, leaving Cody in prison.
At this point, Cody becomes an anti-hero in the Street Fighter series when he breaks out of prison when a riot started. By this point, he now only fights to amuse himself and becomes cynical and apathetic to the outside world, but still had some sense of justice remaining within him. At the end of Street Fighter IV Cody decides he can't stop fighting and stays in prison.