- Please note: This article discusses a character whose origins are outside the Tekken universe. Certain links will guide you to Street Fighter Wiki for more information about the character.
Akuma (悪魔 Akuma?, "Devil"), also known as Gouki (豪鬼 Gōki?, "Great Demon", "Great Devil" or "Great Ogre") in Japan, is a licensed guest character appearing in Tekken 7: Fated Retribution, and one of the major antagonists of the Street Fighter series and its UDON Comics adaptation. Known for his sheer power with the Satsui no Hadō, Akuma has clashed multiple times with his brother, Gouken, and is the killer of their master, Goutetsu. Akuma was first revealed at the Tekken World Tour 2015 Grand Finals as one of the new characters for Fated Retribution.
A mysterious fighter… a demon. He finds himself in the middle of the Mishima blood feud by a pre-existing relationship with Kazumi Mishima, Heihachi's wife, who once saved his life. He makes his debut in Tekken 7 promising to fulfill a debt owed to Kazumi by killing Heihachi, as well as their son Kazuya Mishima.
Akuma is a seemingly brutal, angry, but also honorable and a proud warrior who is always training and has contempt for weaklings. He is rarely, if ever, seen smiling and enjoys fighting formidable warriors and those with enough potential for immense strength, such as Ryu. He also seeks to fight warriors with enough potential to kill, but hates interference in his training. He is very serious in a fight, be it holding back or going all out, and enjoys getting stronger. In his conversations with many fighters, he tends to talk about their fists and his own. He truly hates Gouken for not using their fighting style as it is intended to be used, and hates him even more for sealing off the Satsui no Hado in Ryu. He is very independent and fights alone, which is why he doesn't have a partner in Street Fighter X Tekken.
In the Tekken continuity during the events of Tekken 7, Akuma showed a surprising aspect of humanity as he genuinely cared for Kazumi Mishima for treating his injuries before her death at the hands of her husband Heihachi Mishima. He has made it his vow to keep his promise to Kazumi by killing both Heihachi and his son, Kazuya Mishima. After realizing that Heihachi is dead, he focused more on killing Kazuya and his devil form after the latter killed his father in their final showdown during the climax of the Story Mode.
A mysterious individual whose origins remain still murky, in the Street Fighter universe, Akuma originally was one of two students who trained to be the heir of a powerful yet obscure Ansatsuken martial arts in Japan. Akuma and his older brother, Gouken, learned under their master Goutetsu. Goutetsu soon began to teach them the more brutal secrets behind their martial art and revealed the central aspect responsible for their style to be known as a killing art. As Gouken left amicably to found his own branch of the school that did not rely on drawing upon its darker and potentially lethal aspects, Akuma continued on to inherit the school's killing tradition, Satsui no Hadō. Much unlike his master, who embraced its lethal aspects to a controllable degree and without giving in to its darkness, Akuma took the malevolent aspects further and cast off his humanity to fully realize the true strength of his style. To truly inherit the school, Akuma challenged Goutetsu to a duel to the death and defeated his master in battle. Goutetsu died happy that his student had surpassed him. Akuma took Goutetsu's prayer beads after he defeated him, and still wears them now. Unknown to him, Gouken was on his way to see Goutetsu after years of separation, but found only his master's dead body. Since then, Gouken and Akuma parted ways as enemies and would come to fiercely clash over the direction of their martial arts' disposition well into the future.
It is unknown if Akuma's Street Fighter backstory is supposed to also be canon in the Tekken universe.
Sometime after Heihachi reclaimed the Mishima Zaibatsu, Akuma watches from a distance as an air raid destroys an entire city. He then confronts his target at the Mishima dojo, but their battle is interrupted by a Jack-6 army sent by Kazuya. The two of them temporarily join forces to defeat the onslaught of robots. Afterwards, Akuma introduces himself to Heihachi and explains that he was sent by the late Kazumi to kill both her husband and son. When asked by Heihachi about why he waited so long to fulfill the promise, Akuma replies that he was waiting until Heihachi had become stronger. Emerging victorious, Akuma seemingly kills Heihachi and destroys the Mishima dojo.
He later goes to the top of G Corporation tower to fight and kill Kazuya. Gaining the upper hand in the fight, Akuma forces Kazuya into a corner, prompting him to transform into Devil Kazuya. However, before there is a victor, their fight is interrupted by Heihachi, who had survived and faked his death. The Mishima Zaibatsu CEO fires a power laser from a space satellite, destroying G Corporation tower.
Akuma survives the attack, and confronts Kazuya once more in the volcanic pit after Kazuya killed Heihachi, now in his Shin Akuma form. With his opponent in his full devil form, Akuma finds himself locked in an intense fight. The battle reaches its climax when Akuma fires a Hadoken at Kazuya's devil beam attack, destroying the volcanic surroundings. The final outcome of the fight is unknown, although in the Tekken 7 aftermath, it is clear that Kazuya is still the head of G Corporation and waging a war that Jin Kazama means to challenge him over.
As Akuma is originally from Street Fighter, he possesses the elements of his fighting style that are associated with that series. His trademark attacks are the staples of all the practitioners of his fighting style: the Gohadoken (a wave of spirit energy fired from the hands that acts as a ranged attack; Akuma can also imbue the attack with thermal energy, creating the Shakunetsu Hadoken), the Goshoryuken (a rising reverse-hand uppercut that can hit one or three times), and the Tatsumaki Zankukyaku (a move where the user spins themselves through the air with their leg outstretched, kicking their opponent several times). Of the practitioners of his style, he also possesses unique moves such as the Zanku Hadoken (a jumping variation of the Hadoken that the user throws at an angle as he descends) and Ashura Senku (a move that allows the user to phase forward or backwards, immune to attack until they cease). He also possesses a diving kick called the Tenma Kujinkyaku that allows him to stop his forward momentum in air and come down with a sharp kick from above.
Akuma's Power Crush move is derived from his Focus Attack (a technique that serves a similar purpose to the Power Crush in the Street Fighter IV series). Unlike the other Tekken 7: Fated Retribution fighters, Akuma does not have a Rage Drive. Instead, he is governed by a separate bar at the bottom of the screen. This bar can be used to enhance the properties of his moves (referred to as "EX moves", a concept lifted from Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact) or, when full, execute a "Super Combo" that drains the full bar (another feature pulled from Street Fighter; specifically Super Street Fighter II Turbo). Akuma's Super Combo is a much more powerful version of the Gohadoken called the Messatsu Gohado. His super meter can also be used to execute a "Focus Attack Dash Cancel" using his Power Crush move by executing a Power Crush in the middle of another attack. Doing this instantly stops the animation of the preceding attack, at which point Akuma can dash forward and combo off the canceled move. This is a mechanic inherited from Street Fighter IV.
In Tekken (Mobile) as a boss character during the Live Events and his Act, Akuma also gains the Messatsu Goshoryu a powerful version of the Goshoryuken serving as his hidden move when he hits the player with Goshoryuken. If it connects, he will deal another Goshoryuken in multiple hits to deal additional heavy damage to the player. This move became Goshoryuken in his 4-Star move. His Messatsu Gohado later became Gohadoken in Tekken (Mobile) as his 4-Star move.
His Rage Art is the Shin Shun Goku Satsu known as the Wrath of the Raging Demon or True Raging Demon. If it connects, he can destroy an opponent's soul and renders the opponent dead. This move appears identical to his regular Shun Goku Satsu, but more powerful. In his latest appearance in Street Fighter V, this is clearly seen when Akuma destroys the opponent's soul with his Shun Goku Satsu; the attack was revealed to be a series of progressively faster teleport punches around the opponent's body until it goes to a fully black screen again. When slowed down, the punches, in particular, are shown to be targeting vital weak spots located throughout the body, solidifying that the technique utterly destroys the opponent's body.
Akuma utilizes an unknown type of Ansatsuken as a fighting style. Ansatsuken is not a specific fighting style but instead is a Japanese neologism that refers to any kind of style created that is used with the intention of ending your opponent's life. His style, unofficially referred to as Shotokan, utilizes attacks and maneuvers found in Karate, Judo, and Kempo, and adapts central aspects of ki to allow for beyond optimal physical abilities to its practitioners, including performing great feats with nearly superhuman finesse and being able to release one's own ki to unleash as projectiles or to augment their attacks.
Due to its origins as a killing art, the originating style makes the use of the "Satsui no Hado" (殺意の波動 Satsui no Hadō, lit. "Surge of Murderous Intent") (or Dark Hado) that bestows a dangerous and lethal edge. The Satsui no Hado is an incredibly destructive and deadly surge of ki that is said to be gained upon both understanding the dynamics of its workings into becoming a powerful and expert fighter, but taps into the malevolent and darker aspects of human instinct, including the drive to win at all costs, and the willingness to end the life of opposition to attain victory. Those who are strong enough to embrace the Hado corrupting their body will gain monstrous power. However, the weak and ill-trained who attempt to embrace it, and especially immediately to its greater degrees, will be driven to the brink of insanity.
As the original martial art style was used as a martial art of assassination and destruction, Akuma has long derived his strength from the Satsui no Hado to establish his might and prowess as a martial artist known as the "Master of the Fist". Many of his attacks' names are also significant for their overwhelming might; the use of the kanji for "great" in their Japanese spelling implies power like that of a god able to end human lives with merely a wave of a hand. The signature attacks of the school in use by him are said to maim and injure, including his Hadoken, which is able to kill with ki by delivering a disruptive and physically concussive force, and his Shoryuken, able to slice and cut merely by its air pressure. After spending decades under the influence of the Satsui no Hado, Akuma has been able to learn one of the most forbidden and deadliest moves known to man; the Shun Goku Satsu, an attack that destroys an opponent's soul and renders them permanently deceased.
To date, his mastery of the Satsui no Hado has enabled him to transform into an even more powerful type of entity, known as Oni. Oni is the form Akuma takes when the Satsui no Hado completely overtakes him and is much, much more powerful. Akuma in Oni-form is borderline godhood.
- Kazumi Mishima - She saved his life at one point and later entrusted him with the task of killing Heihachi and Kazuya Mishima prior to the events of Tekken.
- Heihachi Mishima - One of his targets in Tekken 7. Defeats and nearly kills him.
- Kazuya Mishima - His other target in Tekken 7. Their first fight is interrupted by Heihachi, and the outcome of their second battle is currently unknown.
- Ogre - His rival in Street Fighter X Tekken (non-canon, alternate continuity that is a part the of Namco X Capcom series). Akuma considers Ogre a "pathetic whelp" and simply wishes to see the creature prove its worth to him through battle.
- In Street Fighter Alpha: Generations and Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist it is implied that Ryu may be Akuma's biological son. Both works are non-canonical however.
- Akuma is the only character with 2 Super Arts, probably to compensate for him having low health.
- Akuma is the second licensed character to appear in the Tekken franchise after Gon in Tekken 3. He was followed by Geese Howard from SNK franchises as the third licensed character, Noctis Lucis Caelum from Final Fantasy XV as the fourth, and Negan from The Walking Dead series as the fifth.
- His and Geese's appearance mark the second time Capcom and SNK characters have clashed, with the SNK vs Capcom series being the first.
- Akuma is a secret final boss in the arcade mode. He replaces Kazumi as the final boss and Abandoned Temple becomes the final stage if certain conditions are met during the arcade run, for example: getting a perfect round. This is similar to how secret bosses have often appeared in the Street Fighter series, including Akuma's himself first-ever appearance in the form of a secret unplayable boss in Street Fighter II Turbo. He's also the final boss if the player was Devil Kazumi Mishima, lalthough replaced by Kazumi Mishima if some conditions are met.
- His current voice actor, Taketora, is also the voice actor of Panda in the movie, Tekken: Blood Vengeance. Taketora is the voice for Akuma in every Street Fighter game since Street Fighter IV.
- In his main appearance in Street Fighter V, Akuma's English voice actor is Richard Epcar who also voices Azazel in Tekken 6 and Geese Howard in Tekken 7. His SFV voice almost looks similar to Heihachi's voice, when the character is modded.
- His presence in Tekken 7: Fated Retribution could take place alter the events of Street Fighter X Tekken, as part of the process of Namco Bandai's own crossover continuity, Namco X Capcom and to an extent, Tekken X Street Fighter.
- In Tekken 7, as he is a character from the Street Fighter series, Akuma is the only character to have a special move cancel, a Focus Attack, and an EX/Super Gauge (in place of a Rage Attack). He was later followed by the original Tekken character Eliza, with the exception of her not having a Focus Attack, and later also by another guest character Geese Howard, but with his meter system being a bit different due to it being based on the one from the King of Fighters series.
- Akuma’s character, gameplay mechanics and traits in Tekken 7 are based on his Street Fighter IV series incarnation. Not long after his appearance in Tekken 7, he also returned for Street Fighter V as a DLC character in its Season 2, now also with a revamped appearance and gameplay.
- The Abandoned Temple stage has a pair of Nio statues overlooking the stage. These fare guardians in Buddhist mythology who watch over sacred Buddhist sites. Akuma's design as a character is heavily inspired by these, hence their appearance on "his" stage.
- In the Kiwami Campaign, where all the characters received new costumes for their customizations, Akuma got a costume that is very similar to one of his disguise forms in Pocket Fighter.
- His Shin Shun Goku Satsu (Raging Demon) quote is not a direct translation; in Japanese, it is meant to say, "One blink, a thousand strikes" (一瞬千撃 isshun sengeki) while the English version rewrites this to a more appropriate and murderous "Die one thousand deaths", emphasizing Akuma's bloodthirsty disposition.
- The way the heaven-kanji (天 ten) appears at the end of the Shin Shun Goku Satsu is different based on whether the attack was used without it knocking out the opponent, knocking out the opponent before the final round and knocking out the opponent in the final round.
- If the attack did not knock the opponent out, the kanji will simply appear in Akuma's back. Akuma will utter "metsu".
- If the attack knocked the opponent out but it was not the final round, the kanji will appear in the background in addition to Akuma's back. Akuma will utter "messatsu".
- If the attack knocked the opponent out in the final round, the kanji will appear in Akuma's back while in a black background, the horizontal strokes of the kanji will appear one at a time in lightning, followed by the strokes of the 人, after which the background will turn blue and the now complete kanji will turn red. Akuma will utter "messatsu". This was originally only played when fighting Shin Akuma in either Story Mode, Arcade Mode, or Treasure Battle.
- He is the only guest character to be part of the main storyline.
- This concept of guest characters being part of the main storyline was also later used in another fighting game made by Bandai Namco, Soulcalibur VI, in the form of Geralt of Rivia (as his CD Projekt video game incarnation) from Andrzej Sapkowski’s Polish series The Witcher, although he is more of a supporting character rather than a main character like Akuma.
- The Baseball Bat Item Move can be used to send Akuma's fireballs flying away. Certain very specific moves, like the Electric Wind Godfist or Heihachi's perfect Omen God Fist, can also be used to destroy the fireballs.
- Even though the Street Fighter series is known for having personalized theme music for all their characters (also in later games, unlike in Tekken where only Tekken 2 and Tekken 3 featured character-specific themes), Akuma's iconic theme seems to not be featured in any shape or form in Tekken 7.
- Akuma's Item "Move" is a car on his head that gets more damaged as he takes damage, a reference to the Car Crusher bonus stages from the Street Fighter series.
- Before Akuma was announced to be in Tekken 7, it was revealed by Harada that the Capcom’s guest representative in a said game was originally meant to be Darkstalkers protagonist Morrigan Aensland, until he and his team gave up and chooses Akuma instead.
- This is a similar situation how Square-Enix’s guest representative Cloud Strife was originally meant to be started out as a PlayStation 2 exclusive for SoulCalibur II before being debunked and had Heihachi to guest appearing there.
- Akuma refers to Kazumi with the archaic "tono" (殿） honorific meaning "lord" or "master".
- There is a rare chance that Akuma in his true form can fire 6 or 1 Shakunetsu Hadoken rather than 3.
- It is possible to have the player version of Shin Akuma in the Treasure Battle, however, the game thinks that Shin Akuma is still the opponent and the announcer will say, "Final Round" despite having two rounds in that mode.
- In Tekken (Mobile), all of Akuma's 1 to 4-Star appearances reference his color palette swaps in the Street Fighter series.