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Akuma (Japanese for "Devil" or "Demon"), known in Japan as Gouki (豪鬼 Gōki?, lit. "Great Demon" or "Great Ogre"), is a fictional character from the Street Fighter series of fighting games by Capcom. Akuma made his debut in Super Street Fighter II Turbo as a secret character and hidden boss. In the storyline of the Street Fighter video games, he is the younger brother of Gouken, Ryu's and Ken's master. In some games he also has an enhanced version named Shin Akuma, or Shin Gouki (真・豪鬼 Shin Gōki?, the "true Great Demon") in Japanese. Since his debut, Akuma has appeared in several subsequent titles and has been well received by both fans and critics.

Appearances Edit

Street Fighter series Edit

Akuma made his debut in Super Street Fighter II Turbo, the fifth arcade iteration of the Street Fighter II games, where he appears as a hidden and unnamed character. After meeting certain requirements, Akuma appears prior to the player's final match with M. Bison and obliterates M. Bison before challenging the player. In the Japanese arcade version of the game, Akuma would introduce himself to the player before the match, proclaiming himself to be the "Master of the Fist" (拳を極めし者 Ken o Kiwameshi Mono?). He also has two endings in the game as well: one for defeating M. Bison, and another against himself. While these endings were omitted from the international releases of the arcade game, they were edited into one ending and included in the English localization of Super Turbo Revival for the Game Boy Advance. Shin Akuma is, however, an unlockable playable character in the Game Boy Advance version of the game, Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival, as well as the Japan-only Dreamcast version of the game, Super Street Fighter II X for Matchmaking Service. In the latter version, another version of Akuma referred to as Tien Gouki can also be selected.

Akuma appears in Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dreams, where he was given his name, once again as a hidden opponent and unlockable character. His backstory remains the same as in Super Turbo. Akuma was added to the immediate roster in Street Fighter Alpha 2 and Street Fighter Alpha 3, with a powered-up version of the character named "Shin Akuma" appearing as a hidden opponent. The character's relation with other Street Fighter characters begins to be fleshed out, establishing rivalries with Guy, Adon, Gen and Ryu. Shin Akuma, rather than "Final Bison", is Evil Ryu's final boss in the console versions of Street Fighter Alpha 3.

Akuma and Shin Akuma are featured in Street Fighter EX as hidden boss characters, where he is one of the few characters able to move out of the 2D playing field, during his teleport. Akuma also appears in the arcade and home video game console adaption of Street Fighter: The Movie despite not appearing in the movie.

Akuma is featured in the Street Fighter III sub-series beginning with Street Fighter III 2nd Impact: Giant Attack. Like in his debut in Super Turbo, Akuma is both a secret opponent who serves as an alternate final boss and unlockable character, with the CPU-controlled version being the "Shin Akuma" incarnation introduced in Alpha 2. He is a regular character in Street Fighter III 3rd Strike: Fight for the Future. Akuma reappears in Street Fighter IV, once again as a hidden boss in the Single Player Mode as well as an unlockable secret character in both the arcade and home console versions. Shin Akuma also returns as a hidden boss in Super Street Fighter IV.

Both secret boss and playable versions of a new form of Akuma, known as Oni (狂オシキ鬼 Kuruoshiki Oni, lit. The Mad Demon?), were confirmed in Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition by leaked videos.[2] Unlike Shin Akuma, Oni is the being that would consume Akuma after mastering the Satsui no Hadou.[citation needed] Akuma returns in Street Fighter V as a downloadable character.[citation needed]

Oni Edit

Oni (鬼 Oni?, "Demon"), also known as Kuruoshiki Oni (狂オシキ鬼 Kuruoshiki Oni?, "Mad Demon") is a character who makes his debut in Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition as a secret boss and a playable character. Oni is in fact Akuma, who has become one with the Satsui no Hado entirely.[citation needed] Oni appears as a far more muscular and noticeably larger version of Akuma. He has dark blue skin, glowing yellow-red eyes and glowing, spiky shoulder-length hair, akin to the Super Saiyan of the Dragon Ball series. He also gains fangs and short protrusions on his forehead, resembling growing horns. The top half of his gi has been blown off by the amount of dark ki he emanates, showing off his musculature; the prayer beads that were once around his neck now float about disconnected around his body. He also has claws on his fingers and toes, and no longer wears sandals; his voice also sounds much more demonic. When using fierce attacks or powerful physical attacks of any kind, his arms and legs glow a superheated color. While it is difficult to spot, the kanji of "heaven" (天 ten) also appears on his back during the same animations, seemingly having branded itself on his back. Oni's moveset is similar to Akuma's but with additional moves and modifications. Oni can perform a fireball that disappears unless charged. To replace the Shankunetsu Hadouken, Oni has an electrical variant. His standing fierce punch cancels out fireballs. Added to Oni is a dashing spinning punch which can vary depending on what kick button is pressed. While jumping, Oni can do an evasive dash backward or forward or even perform a downward attack. He also uses an overhead smash attack. Oni's gameplay consists of high-damage combos and reversal potential, combined with his above-average walk speed, that allows players to create massive-pressure situations while remaining mobile and flexible via buffering moves into other attacks, although he has below-average stamina, stun and short-range Focus Attack. Oni appears in the second half of the second DLC Lost Episode The Strongest vs. The Angriest of the video game Asura's Wrath, given the epithet of "Destroyer of Heaven". A Pandora version of Oni appears in Akuma's ending in Street Fighter X Tekken. He also appears as a playable character in strategic RPG Blood Brothers 2.

Character design and gameplay[edit] Edit

Akuma has dark red hair, dark skin tone, glowing red eyes with black sclera, wears prayer beads around his neck, a dark gray karate gi and a piece of twine around his waist in lieu of an obi. The kanji "ten" (天) — meaning "Heaven" — can be seen on his back when it appears during certain win animations. Shin Akuma's appearance is very similar to Akuma's; for example, in the Street Fighter Alpha series, Shin Akuma had a purple karate gi instead of a dark gray one and marginally darker skin tone. Akuma's introduction in Super Street Fighter II Turbo stemmed from the development team's desire to introduce a "mysterious and really powerful" character, with his status as a hidden character within the game resulting from later discussions.[3] When asked regarding the presence of Akuma as a secret character in several of Capcom's fighting games, Capcom's Noritaka Funamizu stated that, while he did not personally support the concept, he said, "Akuma is a character that can fit in any game design nicely".[4] Matt Edwards of Capcom Europe considered Akuma the most powerful Street Fighter character.[5]

Akuma's play style incorporates the trademark techniques of Ryu and Ken, the series' protagonists, only noticeably stronger in comparison along with additional techniques. Akuma has also been one of the characters with the lowest health and stun meter in most of the games he has appeared in. As the franchise expanded, the three characters have been differentiated somewhat while still retaining their common techniques (e.g. different regular attacks, throws, Super moves). In games where Akuma has appeared as a boss, he has had many upgrades, from extra meter to being able to use EX moves without meter at all.[citation needed] Rich Knight of Complex described Akuma as "a character who must constantly be on the offense, because he takes a shit ton of damage when he's not."[6]

Other video games[edit] Edit

Akuma has appeared in some form or another through many Capcom games outside the Street Fighter franchise. The first of these appearances was in the fighting game X-Men: Children of the Atom, where Akuma (in his Super Turbo incarnation) appears as a nameless hidden character. He also appears in Marvel Super Heroes as part of one of Anita's special moves, in which his sprite from X-Men: Children of the Atom briefly appears. He would appear in the later Marvel-licensed fighting games (see Marvel vs. Capcom series), including in X-Men vs. Street FighterMarvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, where he also appears in mechanized form as "Cyber Akuma" (Mech Gouki (メカ豪鬼 Meka Gouki?) in Japanese), a version of Akuma enhanced by Apocalypse acting as the horseman of Death and the final boss. In Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes, he appears as an alternate fighting style of Ryu; Akuma himself would later appear as a playable character in its sequels: Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of HeroesMarvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. He is also an unlockable character in Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix. He also appears in Namco x Capcom. He appears as both a playable character and one of the final boss characters in the crossover fighting game Street Fighter X Tekken. Akuma also appears in the fighting video game Street Fighter X Mega Man, as a hidden boss.

In the SNK vs. Capcom series, Akuma appears in Capcom vs. SNK and SVC Chaos as both regular Akuma and as a version of "Shin Akuma". In Capcom vs. SNK 2, a different form of Shin Akuma appears. This form of Akuma achieves a new level of power when a dying Rugal Bernstein pours his Orochi power into him. His name is spelled in Japanese as 神・豪鬼, with the "Shin" character meaning "God" instead of the usual "True".

Akuma also appears in Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo As the final boss, Pocket Fighter, and in the Japanese console version of Cyberbots: Full Metal Madness as a mecha named "Zero Gouki." Also, various version of Akuma have appeared in the SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash series. He is featured in a DLC episode of the action video game Asura's Wrath, alongside Ryu as an opponent.[7]

Akuma will appear as a special guest character in Tekken 7: Fated Retribution. In the game's story, he seeks to repay a debt to Kazumi Mishima, who asks him to kill her husband Heihachi and son Kazuya for her if she dies.[8] In arcade mode, Akuma can be fought in Final Stage, replacing Kazumi by performing Rage moves (either Rage Art or Rage Drive (Super Combo for Akuma)) in all stage's last round without losing any rounds.