Gouki from Street Fighter video games in mid-leap

Gouki aka Akuma

(Tom's profile)


Gouki is one of the most powerful characters in the Street Fighters. He was the first hidden character of the series, appearing (or rather, sneaking!) in the 1994 release video game setting.

Why Capcom of America swapped out one Japanese name for another in the English translation is totally beyond me. It should be noted that he’s known as Akuma (The Devil) in North America.

His motivation of looking for worthy opponents gives him reason enough to challenge anyone he deems tough enough, too! Gouki is a god-like martial artist who could give even some of the heaver hitters a challenge.



  • Real Name: Gouki.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Gouken (brother).
  • Group Affiliation: Formerly a disciple of Goutetsu along with Gouten.
  • Base of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 5’11″ Weight: 176 lbs.
  • Eyes: Pupiless that occasional crackle with red energy Hair: Red

Powers and Abilities

Akuma is the undisputed master of the Ansatuken (the assassin’s fist). His utter and entire devotion to it has led him to achieve a destructive power that far surpasses what any human can do. He is without a doubt one of the strongest, if not the strongest, martial artist in the entire SF universe.

His feats of destruction include:

  • Sinking a small island with a single punch.
  • Destroying a mountain with a single punch.
  • Surviving deep under the sea without equipment.
  • Subsequently using a hurricane kick so powerful that it caused a whirlpool so strong that it crushed a submarine.



Among his more standard fare are the moves that SF fans have come to appreciate are him being able to jump super human heights and throw out powerful energy blasts both on the ground and in the air.

His original abilities include being able to teleport short distances, and his Instant Hell Murder aka Raging Demon. The latter is said to instantly drag an opponent’s soul to hell.

In DC Heroes RPG terms whenever he uses this technique (Mystic Blast) he always enhances it with Adrenaline Surge and the maximum amount of Hero Points  as well as teleporting in for a Blindside plus a Devastating Attack.

That said he almost never fights at full strength in order to give his opponents a fighting chance. This is in the hopes that he will push them to become more powerful fighters that will give him a better challenge the next time the cross fists.

The Assassin’s Fist Preamble

Before we get to the history it’s important to understand Akuma’s fighting style. Many sources wrongly state it to be Shotokan Karate . It may have officially been Shotokan at one point before being retconned and of all the real world martial arts it does most closely resemble Shotokan.

His fighting style is actually the fictional Ansatsuken (the assassin’s fist). This particularly lethal style, as the name implies is all about killing an opponent in single combat by trying to use the most damaging techniques. The style has taken some of the more damaging moves from various styles of karate, kempo, and judo.

In game terms a martial artist of this style would typically sub their Martial Artist Skill into EV and typically spend Hero Points for further damage. Obviously they would sacrifice defense for damage output.

However that’s not to say that this style is 100% aggression. Akuma does have some defensive techniques, mostly to evade and then counterattack. In the actual game skilled Akuma players take advantage of his speed to stay mobile. They keep the opponent guessing and punish missed attacks with Akuma deadly arsenal.

The Devil Incarnate?

Also before the history it’s important to understand Akuma’s relationship with the “devil.” In Japan he’s known as “Gouki” and is only an akuma (悪魔) which literally translates into demon or devil. But he’s actually neither – nor has he sold his soul to one.

Several sources erroneously state that he has sold his soul to the devil to achieve his super human power. But this is very much a Christian approach to a character that is very much steeped in Eastern religion.

Capcom America pushed this during the early days of the character to make him more easily understood by Western audiences. It’s largely been discarded since.

Gouki leaps in

Some examples of his Eastern roots include having the character for heaven (namely 天) written on the back of his gi and appearing after performing the Instant Hell Murder Technique (a technique which is said to literally drag his opponent’s soul to hell) as well as him wearing Buddhist prayer beads.

His appearance also seems to be strongly influenced by asuras (असुर). These mythologicals  are said to be punished by being stuck in an endless loop of death and destruction due to their over indulgence in violence when they were mortal. In Capcom games, a character named Asura is based on these.

It is important to note that a lot of these beliefs are largely philosophically incompatible with Western religious ideology. In laymen’s terms Akuma has simply discarded discarded everything else in life to walk the path of the warrior or more specifically the Ansatsuken.

In other words he’s more like a Sith Lord and not Faust striking a deal.

Last notes before the History section I swear

As with a lot of the SF characters there are a ton of retcons and a lot of details in his history that don’t make a lot of sense. I’ve done my best to reconcile this with what’s official in the latest statements by Capcom and noted what is and isn’t supported. As always there are some No-Prize Hypotheses  here and there.

The original storyline was a sloppy mess. It is so full of retccons that it was quite difficult to pinpoint which were current and older and irrelevant.

Thankfully Street Fighter: Legacy came along and changed all that. Originally it was meant as a fan film short, but Capcom liked it so much that they gave it their blessing and it officially became canon.

Thus Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist was born. A certified full length feature film with a coherent plot and although Akuma doesn’t get a ton of screen time his character is largely responsible for shaping the over arching plot


Akuma and Gouken were brothers training under Gotetsu somewhere in rural Japan. Gotetsu was training them the Ansatsuken (the assassin’s fist). Obviously only one of them would inherit their master’s dojo and legacy.

This was further complicated by the presence of Sayaka, Gotetsu’s beautiful daughter. Obviously they became romantic rivals competing for affection as well.

(Her addition makes the story a little bit too cliché, so I’ve chosen to largely ignore her presence.)

Thus the stage was set for them to become bitter rivals. More often than not it was the more level headed Goken who prevailed in sparring and his more compassionate nature also won over Sayaka as opposed to Akuma’s cold aloofness.

The Legacy of the Assassin’s Fist

Akuma grew bitter over Goken’s success. However, he then unearthed ancient scrolls that told of forbidden techniques and legends of obtaining absolute martial power by discarding all other worldly concerns.

Akuma studied them in secret and later when sparring with Goken he unleashed one of the forbidden techniques nearly killing his rival in the process.

Gouki jumping knee first

Gotetsu angrily demanded an explanation as to how Akuma had learned such a technique. Akuma then presented him with said scrolls. Gotetsu stated that such techniques were forbidden for a reason and that obtaining absolute martial power was but a myth.

Akuma shot back that any and all methods should be used to crush an opponent. Left with little choice Gotetsu expelled him from the dojo.

This was only the beginning for Akuma though. He lived a solitary life as a hermit and devoted every waking moment to hellish training and total mastery of the Satsu no Hado (“sudden murderous intent”). Many times he pushed himself seemingly beyond his limits and many times he nearly died of exhaustion.

To the hounds of Hell

After many years of this he returned to his dojo just show his former master just how wrong he had been. The two fought and it did not go well for Akuma initially. His blind rage lashing out was no match for his far more experienced master.

However at a critical moment he was able to unleash the Instant Hell Murder technique which killed Gotetsu. At that moment the ideogram for “Heaven” was mystically branded onto his back and he took his former master’s prayer beads as a trophy.

An understandably upset Gouken arrived at that moment and challenged Akuma to avenge his master. But the devil-man merely brushed him aside saying that he wasn’t ready to face him. Visibly shaken Gouken allowed Akuma to walk away.


Many years later Goken started training Ken and Ryu. In a parallel scene Ken grew tired of losing to the more experienced Ken. He then found on the same scrolls that Akuma had and used one of the forbidden techniques upon Ryu gravely injuring him. Gouken angrily forbade Ken from using the technique and confiscated the scroll without explanation.

However in the coming months it was later shown that Ryu began to succumb to the Satsui no Hado – and not Ken. Realizing that this could only have been triggered by Akuma’s presence Gouken sent his students away before they had completed their training.

Akuma arrived not long after and the two fought. The battle ended with Akuma seemingly killing Gouken with his Raging Demon attack.

(This particular point has been retconned many times. Some stories depict both Ken and Ryu as witnessing this. Others say it was just one, or neither. Neither of them being there makes a lot more sense as they will later gradually uncover the truth about their master and Ryu’s sudden murderous impulses.)

Street Fighter Alpha 2

Akuma then wandered the world in search of worthy opponents. He fought and killed an unnamed Muay Thai champion before his match with Adon. Enraged by this Adon attempted to track him down.

Gouki portrait

He also happened upon another fighter in search of worthy opponents named Gen. Gen’s motivation was a bit different though. Gen was old and was dying of leukemia. But he wanted to die a warrior’s death in battle rather than pass peacefully in bed.

The old man managed to fight him on equal footing. Gen even managed to survive an onslaught from his instant hell murder by emptying his soul and embracing nothingness.

After this Gen began to cough blood. Thus, Akuma now realized what he had suspected earlier that his opponent’s health was failing. Gen begged for death, but Akuma refused. He stated that was an unfair fight and departed shortly afterwards.

After more searching Akuma happened upon Ryu and began to sense the same murderous intent within him. Hoping that an intense battle would trigger the hidden bloodlust in Ryu. Their battle was intense, but Ryu managed to keep the Satsui no Hado at bay.

Realizing that his opponent was not yet ready to embrace the bloodlust Akuma ended the fight by destroying the island they were on with one mighty blow, saying that they would fight again when Ryu was ready.

Street Fighter Alpha 3

Adon finally caught up to Akuma and the two fought. Akuma thrashed the Muay Thai fighter within an inch of his life. But he refused to kill him saying that he was unworthy of a warrior’s death.

During this time M. Bison also came to his attention. Bison was the leader of the crime syndicate Shadaloo and was hell bent on world domination. Bison had also seen the potential in Ryu and wished to enslave him with his Psycho Power.

Akuma was disgusted by this. He knew very well that this might actually stunt Ryu’s true potential, so he set out to stop Bison. While searching for him he briefly encountered the ninja Guy. They fought, but called it a draw as they realized that their interests aligned. They both wished to stop Bison.

Bison defeated and brainwashed Ryu. But he was defeated when Ken, Sagat, and Sakura joined forces to take on Bison and the brainwashed Ryu. At the climax of the battle Ryu snapped out of his conditioning, then landed the final blow.

This forced Bison to retreat to his Psycho Drive. The Psycho Drive was the focus of his power and this allowed him to regenerate. However Akuma had grown tired of Bison’s meddling and tracked him down and killed him with a Raging Demon attack.

Gen and Akuma also had a rematch during this period as well. Its outcome is unrevealed.

Street Fighter II

Akuma didn’t participate in this tournament. He merely watched and bid his time.

(Since he was added to much later versions of the game this made a bit more sense. Adding him would disrupt other story lines and trigger even more retcons.)

More continuity notes about Akuma and SF2

It was originally stated that he jumped out and killed Bison after the final match. But this was later retconned into it happening in the previous game. It would have made more sense for him to kill Bison in this game though. Since after this Shadoloo is largely fractured and never returns to its former glory.

Later games and several noncanon anime start putting him in background cameo appearances. This is likely due to this first mysterious noncanon appearance. Most appearances are the blink and you’ll miss them type of Easter eggs making him kind of a sadistic Where’s Waldo  type.

Of all the characters in the SF universe he’s got by far the most of these including appearing in every single episode of the Street Fighter II V animé among others.

Street Fighter IV

Akuma challenges Ryu to a fight. Akuma dominates the fight early on and criticizes Ryu for rejecting the dark Hado. Ken comes to his best friend’s aid and Akuma leaves. He states that they will fight again.

Gouki casts an energy ball

Akuma later senses that the Satsui no Hado is again awakening in Ryu. He rushes to find him. He does manage to locate an unconscious Ryu and is shocked to see his brother whom he thought he murdered decades ago.

They agree to fight with Ryu being the prize of the victor. It is also revealed that Gouken has perfected the power of nothingness, the polar opposite of the dark Hado.

The outcome of the battle is unrevealed. But both are still alive and Ryu didn’t wind up in Akuma’s possession. So it’s assumed that Gouken bested his brother and let him live.

Akuma may have also befriended Elena at some point during this tournament.

Street Fighter V

Akuma and Gen have a rematch. Akuma wins and seemingly kills Gen.

Necalli also challenges Akuma in a fight for his soul. Akuma also bests him, but Necalli still tries to devour his soul. Akuma escapes by teleporting away.

Akuma and Ryu fight once again. Akuma emerges victorious, but does not kill Ryu. Ryu swears that he will one day best Akuma with the power of nothingness. Akuma then leaves wondering if he will ever find a worthy challenger.

Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact

Akuma is still training like a madman. He cracks a mountain in half with one blow.

Sean, Ken’s newest disciple, challenges Akuma to a fight. This is because he has mistaken him for Ryu. Akuma swats the inexperienced fighter aside.

Akuma also fights the tournament’s host Gill. He kills him with a Raging Demon at the end of their bout. Akuma then departs, unaware that the godlike Gill can resurrect himself.

Akuma and Ryu do have another rematch as Akuma demands to see Ryu’s perfected power of nothingness. The outcome of the battle was left undetermined.

Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike

Akuma is still training like a madman. He can now survive deep under the ocean without equipment. And he has a hurricane kick so powerful that it can destroy sunken ocean liners and cause deadly whirlpools.

Gouki with his necklace

Akuma and Oro become aware of each others’ presence. They sense the great power the other possesses. They of course settled this in a fight. The outcome is unrevealed, but both of them have great respect for the others’ power and complete disdain for their radically different outlook on life.

Other Non-canon Appearances

Akuma has had a ton of non-canon appearances. These are far too numerous to cover in the scope of this writeup.

Some of the more notable ones will be covered in the Previous Stats section below.


He typically wears a ripped up black karate gi with the character for heaven on the back.

There’s something menacing about his white pupiless eyes bright red hair and face that’s fixed into a perpetual sneer that shows in his unsettling appearance.

He also wears the prayer beads that he took from his dead master.


Akuma is primarily an antagonist. As a consequence, his portrayal has radically shifted depending on the needs of the plot.

First and foremost he is a consummate warrior. He has sacrificed everything else to be the strongest there is, but he does follow a very strict warrior’s code of honor. He will not fight those weaker than him unless he’s challenged.

He doesn’t kill indiscriminately. He has no problem entering killing combat in a fight, but he won’t kill downed opponents after they’ve clearly lost. Akuma once refused to fight Gen after it was revealed that he had health issues hampering his ability to fight.

Gouki character details

Akuma did kill his master and try to kill his brother. But this was likely due to the fact that he wanted to be the sole heir of the Ansatsuken and was willing to prove it in a fair fight to the death.

He’s also tried to kill both Bison and Vega who let’s face it were bent on world domination and stifling the potential of other fighters, namely Ryu.

The only questionable killing he’s done was when he killed an unnamed Muay Thai champion in undisclosed circumstances.

While he’s rude and crude and openly mocks his opponents for not being able to give into the blood lust that he lives with he’s not completely evil. (His demonic appearance doesn’t really help with this one either.)

He’s more of a hardcore chaotic neutral  character that lives solely to fight worthy challengers.


“Those who ban techniques cling to life in stinginess, which this warrior of the fist does not !”

“To become fighters, true warriors of the fist must possess all power that can be utilized.”

“A true warrior never escapes from danger, he faces it.”

“My name is Akuma ! The supreme master of the fist !”

“I am Akuma and I will teach you the meaning of pain !”

“Hmph… so it’s you…”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats


Dex: 09 Str: 06 Bod: 07 Motivation: Anti-heroic Seeking Worthy Opponents
Int: 06 Wil: 05 Min: 08 Occupation: Warrior
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 08 Resources {or Wealth}: 001
Init: 025 HP: 100

Adrenaline Surge: 07, Energy Blast: 08, Flame Being: 04, Gliding: 03, Jumping: 04, Magic Blast: 07, Sealed Systems*: 07, Teleport: 03

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Adrenaline Surge can only add to Jumping, Energy Blast, Flame Being, and Magic Blast.
  • Magic Blast has range of Touch only. It can only be used in conjunction to Teleport with a Blindside Devastating Attack.
  • Using Flame Being consumes all Actions for that Phase.

Artist (Sculptor): 03, Acrobatics: 08, Martial Artist: 13

Iron Nerves, Languages (Japanese), Lightning Reflexes, Schticks (Iron Fist, Martial Chi Mastery, Stance Assessment).

Like he needs them !

Creepy Appearance, Enemy (Ken and Ryu), Minor Rage.

A sporting chance

Gouki rarely fights at full potential, in order to give his opponents a sporting chance. Furthermore he rarely engages in killing combat unless he deems the foe truly worthy.

To stimulate this he fights as if all his Attributes were one lower and his Martial Arts is only an 11. Furthermore he usually doesn’t spend HP in combat and doesn’t make use of his Adrenaline Surge.

If he does deem the opponent worthy then all bets are off and he will fight at full force without holding back and do whatever it takes to win.

Enhanced Akuma

This goes double for Cyber Akuma ! This really isn’t recommended for most campaigns unless you want to have crazy DBZ style battles that destroy mountains. Here’s a scary thought: the already near god-like Akuma enhanced even further !

Dex: 10 Str: 07 Bod: 08 Motivation: Anti-heroic Seeking Worthy Opponents
Int: 07 Wil: 06 Min: 09 Occupation: Warrior
Inf: 07 Aur: 06 Spi: 09 Resources {or Wealth}: 001
Init: 028 HP: 175

Adrenaline Surge: 11, Energy Blast: 12, Flame Being: 04, Gliding: 04, Jumping: 10, Magic Blast: 10, Sealed Systems*: 08, Teleport: 05

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Adrenaline Surge can only add to Jumping, Energy Blast, Flame Being, and Magic Blast.
  • Spirit Blast has range of Touch only. It can only be used in conjunction to Teleport with a Blindside Devastating Attack.

Artist (Sculptor): 04, Acrobatics: 09, Martial Artist: 14

Gouki's back

Further Enhanced Akuma

Even nuttier Akuma also made an appearance in Asura’s Wrath also developed by Capcom. He was able to go toe to toe with Asura himself and all the characters in the game are basically gods with planet destroying power. So yeah that version would be even further beefed up.

It is stated that Akuma was Asura’s greatest rival and that they fought for 500 years.

Fated Retribution

Akuma was the final boss in Tekken 7: Fated Retribution.

Through unrevealed circumstances his life was saved by Kazumi Mishima. After Kazumi is murdered by her husband Heihachi, Akuma sets out to repay the life dept that he owed her. He was able to track down and beat Hehachi in single combat and then set the lab to self destruct on his way out.

Unbeknownst to him Heihachi survived the explosion.

Still not feeling the debt repayed he tracked down Kazuya Mishima, their son, in order to kill him and rid the world of the devil gene. The two fight and are evenly matched. Kazuya then turns into his devil form and Akuma turns into Shin Akuma.

Their fight is interrupted as Heihachi uses a satellite laser to destroy the building. The game ends and the outcome and fate of both characters is left unknown. But it was stated that this game’s storyline would put an end to the Mishima Saga.

Tekken is notably a bit more realistic with its power levels, so this version of Akuma isn’t nearly as powerful.

Akuma in Tekken

Dex: 07 Str: 05 Bod: 06 Motivation: Anti-heroic Seeking Worthy Opponents
Int: 05 Wil: 04 Min: 07 Occupation: Warrior
Inf: 05 Aur: 04 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: 01
Init: 025 HP: 090

Energy Blast: 02, Jumping: 00

Acrobatics: 04, Martial Artist: 11

Iron Nerves, Languages (Japanese), Lightning Reflexes.

Like he needs them !

Creepy Appearance, Enemy (Heihachi and Kazuya Mishima), Minor Rage.

By Tom Eilers.

Source of Character: Street Fighter video games.

Helper(s): Sean McDonald (for the original take), Street Fighter Wikia  (for everything that you ever wanted to know about the Street Fighter universe and more !) Kal el Vigilante, Peter S Piispanen, and Darci.

Writeup upgraded on the first of July, 2018.