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Akuma

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Akuma, known in Japan as Gouki (豪鬼, "powerful spirit"), is a video game character created by Capcom.

He originally appeared in Super Street Fighter II Turbo as a secret character and hidden boss. He has red hair, and wears a dark blue gi with the Japanese character 'ten' (天) - meaning heaven - on his back. He wears prayer beads around his neck. He is voiced by Tomomichi Nishimura in many of the games he has appeared in.

According to his official biography, Akuma stands 178 cm (just over 5' 10") and weighs 80 kg. Aside from his physical dimensions, no personal details are known.


Origins

The name "Sheng Long" is the Mandarin pronunciation of 昇龍 (shôryû» in Japanese) which means "rising dragon." One of Ryu's win quotes in the English version of the Street Fighter II said, "You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance." At the time, many fans thought that Sheng Long had referred to a person - the supposed master of Ryu and Ken, and not one of Ryu's moves (the Shōryūken). The SNES version of the game offered the true quote, "You must defeat my Dragon Punch to stand a chance!"

The creation of Akuma came from an April Fool's joke in the video game magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM), where the editors claimed that the player could find Sheng Long in the game by not touching M. Bison, the final boss of the Street Fighter II series. Sheng Long would then come out of nowhere and kill Bison, and the player would fight him. Sheng Long was supposed to have the moves of Ryu and Ken, but did much more damage and was also faster. To make this joke more believable, fake screenshots were made. Soon after, many fans, believing that the joke was true, flocked to Street Fighter II machines, hoping that they could fight a nonexistent character. When asked about whether the joke was true, Capcom did not confirm nor deny it as the sudden infusion of money into their machines was driving up business; Capcom USA was taken in by the gag, and actually contacted Capcom Japan and asked if the Sheng Long thing was legit. Only much later was this joke revealed as a hoax, by EGM themselves.

Ironically, in Super Street Fighter II Turbo, parts of this story became true. Like the joke, Akuma would appear from out of nowhere and kill Bison, and the player would fight him, and similarly, Akuma had the moves of Ryu and Ken, and was much faster and dealt much more damage. Akuma can do the Hadōken (His is called either the Gou Hadoken—Strong Surge Fist or the Zankuu Hadoken—Air-Cutting Surge fist) in the ground and in the air, his Tatsumakisenpukyaku (but is actually called Tatsumakizankuukyaku, roughly translated to Hurricane Cutting Air Kick) knocks the opponent instantly and can also juggle, his Shōryūken (Akuma's is called the Gou Shoryuken, a.k.a. Strong Rising Dragon Fist) knocks down his opponent at the first hit and does 3 hits up close and personal, no matter the punch strength being used, and he can also juggle with a single Shōryūken in certain instances. Akuma also had the ability to warp to different places in the screen (Ashura Senkuu: Ashura being a demon-like ogre, and Senkuu meaning "Sky Flash"). Akuma's super moves consist of the Messatsu Gou Hadouken (Death and Destruction Strong Surge Fist), which is simply a Shinku Hadoken with higher gauge, a Tenma Gou Zankuu (Sky Demon Strong Air-Cutter), which is literally an Air-version of the Shinku Hadoken, a Messatsu Gou Shoryuken (Death and Destruction Strong Rising Dragon Fist), which is generally a parody of Ken's Shoryu Reppa without the scorching effect, the Messatsu Gou Rasen (Death and Destruction Strong Spiral). His trademark moves are the Shun Goku Satsu (Instant Hell Murder) and the Misogi. As his name did not appear in the game, some mistakenly thought he was called Akuma Long. The move that was used to kill Bison (the Shun Goku Satsu) was also erroneously called the Bison Killer.

Background

Akuma and his brother Gouken, the master of Ryu and Ken, were students of Goutetsu. Goutetsu taught a murderous martial art, which included a technique called the Shun Goku Satsu (literally Instant Hell Murder but also known as The Raging Demon), a technique that places the user's life on jeopardy, though it can kill its opponent instantly.

As Gouken abandoned the violent nature of his martial art(Gouken taught his students Ryu and Ken the same martial art without the murderous touch to symbolize that he was against the murderous nature of the martial art), Akuma vowed to use his fighting style like it was meant to be used. Akuma vowed to no end that he would master each and every life-threatening technique in the original form of his art, such as his side-stance fierce fist and master the use of the Shun Goku Satsu.

While Akuma sought to master the life-threatening Shun Goku Satsu technique, he eventually increased his strength by embracing a principle called Satsui No Hadou (The Surge of the Intent to Murder). In embracing the Satsui No Hadou, Akuma lost his humanity, but he apparently took the seizure pretty well, as it would only increase the killing power of his techniques, new or old. This embrace caused Akuma to transcend human limits, lowering Akuma's hit points (this was so during Capcom vs. SNK and Capcom Fighting Evolution, in which Akuma had less hit points than others) but increasing Akuma's damage potency.

After mastering the Shun Goku Satsu and embracing the Satsui No Hadou, Akuma fought Goutetsu. Akuma demonstrated his strength by killing Goutetsu in only one swift stroke with the Shun Goku Satsu. Goutetsu, in his last words, never realized that mastery of the Shun Goku Satsu was Akuma's goal. Akuma then challenged Gouken to a battle of death. This was witnessed by Gouken's daughter (a character Capcom has apparently forgotten) as Akuma sealed Gouken's life with the Shun Goku Satsu. Ken, knowing about this atrocity, challenged Akuma, but was defeated. While Akuma was insanely strong, Ken survived.

During the events of Street Fighter Alpha 2, Akuma lost to Ryu for the first time, but it was then revealed that Akuma was holding back a large portion of his true ability. Akuma told Ryu to come back and fight him once he mastered the Satsui No Hadou. Akuma blew up his island, leaving a reminder for Ryu to embrace the Satsui No Hadou fully. That was not to be as we see in Street Fighter Alpha 3, Ryu managed to reject the Satsui No Hadou with the help of Ken, Sakura, and Sagat. Since then, Akuma has vowed to lead Ryu into the same path he himself has embraced. (Ryu faithfully followed Gouken's footsteps in using his martial art mainly as means for spiritual and mental self-improvement).

The only official event that happened in Street Fighter II was when Akuma jumped in without warning and killed M. Bison with a single Shun Goku Satsu.

During the events of Street Fighter III: Second Impact, Akuma devised several new techniques that were meant to create tidal waves, split Ayer's Rock in half, and even kill an opponent in only one, single chop. Akuma's self-taught technique is called the Kongou Kokuretsu Zan, which Akuma channels all his power into his right hand and then slashes away with a life-threatening chop that creates an aura protecting Akuma from harm. Akuma increased the lethality of the move by developing an enhanced, but more life-threatening version of the Kongou Kokuretsu Zan called the Misogi, which Akuma jumps into the air and drops blindingly fast with a life-threatening chop, spot-on at his opponent. Among the two self-developed techniques, the Misogi is regarded as the more life-threatening of the two, since it aims right at his opponent better than the Kongou Kokuretsu Zan. Both required Level 3 or a Maxed-out Super Energy Bar to perform, though.

In Street Fighter III: Third Strike, Akuma demonstrates his ability to remain underwater, under massive pressure, for extended periods of time. According to his Third Strike ending, Akuma managed to destroy a submarine while submerged.

Trivia

  • He is not a demon, nor is he possessed by one, but the comparison is accurate in a metaphorical sense.
  • Akuma actually has a strong moral code. Although he killed his brother and his teacher (and while his goal is to use his martial art like it was meant to be used), he performed these murders while following the code of the warrior; a fight among equals is a fight to the death, and the field of battle does not distinguish between friend and foe. He believes he has committed no transgression.

Appearances

In Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Akuma was exclusively a secret character and boss. He only appeared at the end of the game if the player met specific requirements and was only playable via a secret code. Street Fighter Alpha 2 was the first game to feature Akuma as an regular character, although his power was noticeably reduced. At the same time, Shin (真, "true") Akuma was created as a secret character and boss. The two versions look and operate very similarly, but Shin Akuma is faster, deals more damage and can throw two Zankuu Hadoken at once.


Fighting games featuring Akuma

Other games featuring Akuma

Related characters

See also


Street Fighter and Related Characters
Street Fighter
Street Fighter: AdonBirdie - Geki - Mike - Joe - Lee - EagleGenKenRetsu - RyuSagat
Street Fighter 2
AkumaBalrogCammyBlankaChun-LiDee JayDhalsimE. HondaFei LongGuileM. BisonT. HawkVegaZangief
Street Fighter Alpha
CharlieDanJuni and JuliKarinIngridR. MikaRoseSakura
Street Fighter 3
AlexDudleyElenaGillIbukiMakotoNecroOroQRemySeanTwelveUrienYangYun
Street Fighter 4
AbelC. Viper - El Fuerte - GoukenHakanJuriSeth
Final Fight
BelgerCarlosCodyDeanGuyHugoKyleLuciaMakiMike HaggarPoisonRolentoSodom
Others
Goutetsu - Street Fighter EX characters

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