A more complete explanation of the Shun Goku Satsu


#1

<reposting this from Capcom-Unity to hopefully spark some discussion here>

// Please keep in mind this stuff is all my interpretation and opinion backed up with explainations and citations where-ever and whenever possible! Also I am always happy to discuss how or why I came to certain conclusions because I love the sort of discussion that delves into canon //

In the interest of some discussion, I figured I’d post up some of my ramblings on one of the more mysterious parts of Street Fighter: The infamous Shun Goku Satsu. As a little heads up, this post won’t be short! Best of luck to anyone reading it all and thanks to anyone that gets through to the end and replies! Now, as a fair warning, the Shun Goku Satsu/Instant Hell Murder/Hundred Demon Attack/Raging Demon/wowthishasalotofdifferentnames is a very vaguely detailed technique so quite a bit of it is going to be based on interpretation. I’ll attempt to explain my reasoning behind my interpretations as best as possible.

Our actual understanding of the SGS is actually less limited than one might think since we have about 20 years of informational tidbits to draw from. Our best source to start from is this excerpt reproduced in the Plot Guide regarding that very move. I’ll break it down and interpret it as best as I can, step by step.

Master Goutetsu spoke of a forbidden technique, “shungokusatsu.” With
that move, it was said that even one’s own life would be also cut off in a
moment of unparalleled intensity. Namely with one to have made use of this
"satsui no hadou" would be impossible to control, to run wildly until that
life’s very end, so it was said.
*
*Master Goutetsu spoke of a forbidden technique called the “Shun Goku Satsu”. A move so unmatched in its intensity that it would even cut off the life of the user. That is to say, the “Satsui No Hadou” (Surge of Killing Intent) used with it would become impossible to control, causing the user to become beserk for the remainder of their days.
*
[Here we have a brief look into the SGS. It is a move so dangerous it even threatens the users own life by way of consuming it. The SGS is fueled by Satsui No Hadou, the killing intent that Goutetsu’s fighting style is based on. Unlike the other moves of the style, however, the intensity of the SGS causes that killing intent to go out of control…it consumes the user and makes them, for lack of a better word, crazy for the rest of their life. We got an obvious glimpse of this with Evil Ryu who is mentally consumed by the Satsui No Hadou…unlike Akuma, he’s a rampaging madman that kills everything in his path. This is the threat of dipping to deep into Satsui No Hadou, and the SGS was thought to be impossible to use without being consumed.]

Gouki, pronouncing all ancestors “fools” for sealing this “shungokusatsu,”*
selected his path to break that ban on his own.
"To become fighters, true warriors of the fist must possess all power
that can be utilized. Those who ban techniques cling to life in stinginess,
*which this warrior of the fist does not!"
*
Gouki, deciding his forebearers were “fools” for forbidding the “Shun Goku Satsu”, decided that he would be the one to lift the ban on it. “To become fighters, warriors of the fist must possess all power they can. Those who would ban a technique are cowards, but this warrior is not!”

[Pretty simple stuff here. Gouki/Akuma, being the total boss that he is decides that he’s going to be the one that resurrects the SGS.]

Gouki filled himself with confidence. Having controlled the ancestors’
“satsui no hadou”, the “shungokusatsu” was utilized. But Gouki’s own self
changed. Usually when collecting “satsui no hadou”, to acquire manipulation
of it many years past became a piling heavy burden. "Who exists that is
stronger" now became the wish, and this request would be answered with the
spraying of blood incited by training. The forbidden move was done. He
selected Master Goutetsu as his opponent. As there was about to be a fight
*to the death, the opponent had no deficiencies.
*
Gouki was brimming with confidence. Having mastered the “Satsui No Hadou”, the Shun Goku Satsu was achieved. But with it, Gouki changed. Over the years, usage of the “Satsui No Hadou” bore down as a heavy burden on the user. “Who is stronger?” became the single question, and the only way to answer it was with the spilling of blood in combat. The forbidden move was unlocked. Master Goutetsu was chosen as the first opponent. Since it was to be a fight to the death, the opponent had to be flawless.

[Here we have Akuma, quite pleased with himself that he has mastered the SGS. However, though he hasn’t been consumed by the Satsui No Hadou, he’s still been warped by it. All you have to do is look at Akuma to know that he’s been strongly inflluenced and changed by the power of the Satsui No Hadou with his fearsome appearance. Akuma becomes consumed with the desire to seek out strong opponents in battle and he chooses his master Goutetsu as his first test of his new-found skills because he knows his master is phenomenally strong.]*

“…arm yourself now!!” The spirit kept secretly inside exploded, the*
cells of Gouki’s entire body rose in sound with a resonating sensation.
…several hours later, Gouki’s entire body in blood returned a scarlet
hue, as he moved and saw the master’s corpse.
hadou’s ultimate move “shungokusatsu,” armed with “satsui no hadou” that
struck the master, was complete.
From then on, Gouki walked the long “path of carnage’s” first walk.

“Prepare yourself!” The power hidden inside explodes out, Gouki’s very cells beginning to resonate with the power. …several hours later, Gouki, his body soaked red by blood, stirred and saw his masters corpse. The hadou’s ultimate technique “Shun Goku Satsu”, fueled by the “Satsui No Hadou”, that struck his master, was done. At that moment, Gouki took the first steps on the long “path of carnage”.

[And here is the culmination of the attack. Gouki and Goutetsu meet in their first ever death-match, and Gouki is victorious after he slays Goutetsu with the SGS. This is his first step on his dark path of mastering the fist. The real interesting part here is that it takes HOURS for Gouki to stir again and become fully aware of what has occured.]

So what we know of the SGS is that it requires Satsui No Hadou to function and actually requires so much that before Akuma, it was thought it was impossible to use it without the SnH driving the warrior mad. Of course, Akuma overcame this and mastered the SnH and, with it, the SGS. As we can see in the excerpt though, when he uses it against Goutetsu it actually takes him hours to recover from dredging up that much SnH. This explains Evil Ryu and his madness. He’s possessed by SnH and its turned him into a raving, bloodthirsty lunatic. Akuma is, of course, far more self-controlled than this.

What this doesn’t tell us, however, is WHAT the SGS actually is. Thankfully, Akuma actually tells us in the Japanese dialogue of SF4. When he uses the Shin Shun Goku Satsu as his Ultra he says, essentially, “A thousand strikes in an instant”…and that is, in a nut-shell, what the SGS is. In the span of a heartbeat, the SGS bares down on its victim with countless blows (or maybe around 15 or 27 if the in-game hit-counter is to be believed). Its basically a moment of pure, lethal, absolute violence, a series of attacks so quick and so perfect that its impossible to (traditionally) defend against.

And thats it. There’s nothing bizarre, otherwordly or mystical about the attack…instead, its an expression of absolute mastery of the fist and pure violence. While its often been put forth that there is hell and demons and such involved, then Shun Goku Satsu doesn’t literally have anything to do with all that.

If anyone is up for some discussion on this stuff, or if anyone has any counterpoints, please post 'em up! I’m going to be following this up with some musings on Mu as well, especially since understanding the SGS helps us understand Mu and vice versa!


Warriors Fate: Street Fighter story thread, revived
Warriors Fate: Street Fighter story thread, revived
#2

<Continued>

// This second part was in response to a few questions but it has alot of clarification in it so I am posting it up slightly edited for simplicity //
Okay, first of all, let me point out that the SGS in the plot guide is actually fully incompatible with Akuma’s character. It simply does not jive. Remember, this is a man that not only chides Bison for how he gained power and ridicules him, but also is disdainful of people that so much as use a weapon in a fight. He believes 100% in the power of the fist. Therefore, it is completely out of character to believe that Akuma would use a technique that translocates his opponent to hell where they get dog-piled by demons…this is something more along the lines of a character like Felicia (From Darkstalkers) calling in her kitty-buddies…it is certainly not in keeping with Akuma’s attitude towards 1v1 unarmed combat.

I realize though that that does not disprove the plot guide concept of the SGS, so I will elaborate, especially as the plot guide version of SGS is internally inconsistent. In the plot guide it is said that Mu No Ken defends by “emptying the spirit” to make the user immune. While this is, initially, a massive misunderstanding of the martial arts concept of Mu No Ken, even if it did what the guide says, the guide also says that the demons will attack anything…they simply attack sinners “worse” so Mu No Ken defends from that “worse” aspect. However, in both instances where we see MNK (not writing that out anymore!) defend against SGS, not only is the attack ENTIRELY rebuffed with no damage to the recipient (in SF Alpha 2 Gen vs Akuma intro and in Akuma’s SF4 epilogue) but both times the person does not even move from the spot. The plot guide says nothing about MNK guarding against the translocation of the target, it merely says that the person is guarded from the demons in hell by hiding their karma. In that case then, we would still see the person translocated…now, I am willing to write this off as “hey its only an intro” for the SFA2 instance, but in the SF4 epilogue it is clear that Akuma can’t even lay a hand on Gouken, much less grab him to teleport. Therefore, if MNK supposedly guards against the spiritual component, we would be shown the translocation and Akuma would certainly have to grab the person to even begin the attack (assuming translocation to hell) but he cannot even do that in the epilogue.

I would be satisfied personally with that dispelling the “take to hell” concept. This is not where the misconceptions end though so I will continue.

It is a misconception that Akuma teleports. In fact, he does not. He simply moves with far-beyond human-speed. The Ashura Senku is the movements of the “Asura”, a type of Buddhist Deva. This is why in-game we are shown Akuma still physically move from one location to another. Yes yes, I know that he goes through characters and projectiles and such when he does it, but that does not prove it is teleporting any more than Abel’s roll (which also goes through characters and projectiles) proves that he can teleport. This is especially obvious because of Akuma’s design cues coming from mythic Asuras. Asura’s are “titans” in Buddhism…not really gods, but far above mortals. They are violent and warlike and very very powerful. However, they are not enlightened and lack the abilities of gods…while they are described as superhumanly strong and fast (ashura senkuu!) they cannot translocate as that is an ability reserved only for the most enlightened (IE full gods).

Therefore, if Akuma does not and cannot teleport, it necessarily invalidates him teleporting someone to hell. No teleportation = no trip to hell.

Hopefully this is sufficient to dispell the hell rumor but, if it isn’t, I am willing to go further into the impossibility of the technique with examples of how horrible Buddhist hell is and that demons would be the least of a persons worries when it comes to physically surviving a trip there. Imagine being in a school of pirahna…that are on fire…while at the bottom of the ocean…in space…yeah thats sorta like Buddhist hell lol.

Now, regarding Mu No Ken defending against SGS…the biggest problem here is a 100% incorrect understanding of MNK and the underlying martial arts principles behind it. “Nothingness Fist” (Mu No Ken) is not a spiritual technique…it is a heightening of awareness and reaction to an absolutely superhuman level. In fact, Nothingness Fist is not a fictional concept…its entirely one based in the traditions of actual martial arts. Additionally, its usage in fiction isn’t even limited to Street Fighter! Its been in martial arts fiction for decades!

In general, the concept of the “Fist of Nothing”/“Nothingness Fist”/“Empty Fist”/Mu No Ken, is that a person can train themselves to such a level that they react without the step of deliberation. The user becomes so attuned to their environment, that their body simply reacts perfectly to anything that transpires against it. It is a fist that strikes without being told to strike and a defense that defends without thought of defense. Now, as I said before, this “ultimate fist” has actually already been explored in fiction. Years ago in Hokuto No Ken (fist of the north star) the ultimate technique of the fictional martial art the series is named for is the Muso Tensei. Yup, there’s “Nothingness” right in the name. Here is a link.

hokuto.wikia.com/wiki/Mus%C5%8D_Tensei

Note the description.

“Musō Tensei allows the user to achieve a state of “nothingness”, impervious to physical attacks”

Of course, this sounds VERY familiar as Mu No Ken in SF is shown to be a perfect defense. We not only see it when the SGS fails against both Gen and Gouken, but even in Gouken’s prologue Ryu throws a hadoken at him and literally nothing happens. Gouken just stands there, the hadoken is defended and then he counterattacks Ryu, leaving Ryu to remark about “The power of nothing” and then collapse. Also, keep in mind, Hokuto No Ken is one of the undisputed top inspirations for stuff in Street Fighter going all the way back to SF1.

A little further reading even shows how much deeper the similarities go!

"Kaioh was able to negate the power of Musō Tensei with his demonic [aura

http://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/mag-glass_10x10.gif](‘http://hokuto.wikia.com/wiki/Musō_Tensei’) (Matōki), until Kenshirō absorbed the secrets of Hokuto Sōke and perfected the technique. "

Now, one might ask…what is “Matoki”? …its Hokuto No Ken Satsui No Hadou. No seriously!

This is an excerpt from the explaination of “Matoki”

"Matōki (魔闘気, demonic fighting spirit) is a special type of ki energy used by practitioners of Hokuto Ryū Ken. It grants the user inhuman powers at the cost of consuming their soul, turning them into a ‘demon’. Jukei, the former Hokuto Ryūken successor, was once consumed by its power and murdered his wife and child in the ensuing madness, until Ryuken exorcized the curse."

A chi-technique that grants inhuman power but drives the user to madness, turning them into a ‘demon’ as it consumes their soul as, basically, fuel? Hmm this sounds quite familiar, doesn’t it?

So, here we see that MNK, as a concept, actually means action-without-intent…it is simply perfect reactions to ones environment. What better way to defend from 10000 attacks in an instant than to simply become impervious to physical attack? This is when we start getting into conceptual attacks in the SF world…launching 10000 attacks (or even 15) in a moment is impossible…but if you were to do it, defending against it would be like-wise impossible…unless you know MNK and can defend without even having to take action.

Now, again, I am readily willing to admit that another instance of a technique like MNK in another fictional source is not enough to 100% validate what I am saying…so with that in mind…

In Tenjho Tenge (another japanese series all about fighting & martial arts!) one of the characters, Mitsuomi Takayanagi has this technique

Muukuuken/“Strong Forged Fist”/“Emptiness Fist”/“Empty Fist”

It is described thusly…

Muukuuken is a Chinese martial art and is widely considered the ‘ultimate fist’ for the fact that the fist strikes without the conscious will to strike. Born solely through steady, daily training, punching even after strength has left the fist and the tendons and muscles tear. Only after countless numbers of repetitions, when the brain nor the spinal cord register the punch and the fist strikes of its own accord, would the ‘fist’ be considered complete.

Again we have the concept of the perfect martial arts technique…action without concious effort. In this manga, the technique takes the form of a strike that is delivered (and yes these are quotes) with “No timing. No conciousness. No killing intent.” Now, of course, I don’t think I need to point out the importance of that. A strike that defends or strikes of its own accord, devoid of any killing intent (or truthfully any intent at all!) sounds right up Gouken’s alley!

You’ll also note that the fist has its origins in Chinese martial arts tradition and the first fighter we are shown use Mu No Ken in SF is the Chinese martial arts master Gen.

I’ll end this long explaination, with one of the core misunderstandings of this whole SGS situation…and that is Akuma’s remark that “It is not my fist that kills you, but the weight of your sins”. This has long been used to reinforce the whole incorrect “hell theory” as its pointed to as proof of Akuma telling the opponent that they’re karma is going to kill them in hell. In fact, that sentence can be translated as “weight of your karma” or “inequities” instead of simply “sins”

This, actually, doesn’t prove anything. Instead, it is Akuma chiding the person for their weakness. Keep in mind, Buddhist hell is VERY strict and has VERY strict rules and only the rarest of the rare ever achieve heaven. Now, Akuma himself doesn’t even follow Buddhist precepts of right & wrong…and his designation as an “Asura” actually precludes him from reaching enlightenment. Remember, Akuma killed his brother for the sole purpose of testing himself against a strong opponent…this is a GIANT no-no in Buddhism. However, to Akuma, strength is EVERYTHING and it is all that matters. Strength = good and Weak = bad. In other words, being weak is sinful.

Essentially, Akuma is saying “Don’t blame me for your death, blame your own inequities”…basically, you lost because you committed the gravest errors…you didn’t have enough talent, strength, skill or technique…which, to Akuma, is the greatest of all sins. So yes, what Akuma says is accurate…but the interpretation of it used to validate the “Take to hell” version of the SGS is mistaken, especially as it assumes that Akuma gives a darn about “right and wrong” in the Buddhist way…which he obviously doesn’t.

// Hope this gets some people chatting and thinking! Also, I kept the western name usage intact from the original post as that is how most people refer to the characters on Capcom-Unity since its a western site (IE: Gouki = Akuma, Vega = Bison). Hopefully it does not confuse anyone! //


The Inevitable Street Fighter V Story Thread: ARCADE EDITION!
The Inevitable Street Fighter V Story Thread: ARCADE EDITION!
SFV Character Request/Anticipation Thread
#3

Bumping this because it’s experiencing an increased level of interest. :slight_smile:


#4

gazes at the mountain of text

…you can’t shorten any of that?


#5

You know, it’s really not that much. :stuck_out_tongue:

However, I’ll summarize with some bullet points…

The early info we have about the SGS is actually that it’s dangerous to the user not because it can cause them physical harm but because the amount of Satsui no hadou it requires channeling to use overwhelms the attacker and drives them mad for the rest of their life. We already know Satsui no Hadou can do this because…well…Evil Ryu; the guy is nuts and a raving, vicious madman. The SGS was forbidden because it was believed that the amount of SnH the user had to channel would ALWAYS lead to them going beserk. Akuma proved that wrong.

Also, there is no great mystery as to what the SGS does. Akuma tells us. “A thousand strikes in an instant…!” And…that’s it. In one moment you get hit impossibly fast with a wall of violence. Remember, SnH increases strength, speed, etc. So it is like being whaled on by a super-strong Flash for a second. Devastating. Now…whether it’s actually a thousand strikes or 15 (or 27 for the Ultra) is debatable. Akuma speaks metaphorically a lot so it might not necessarily be a thousand. Still, even 15 lethal blows in the span of a heartbeat is a devastating attack. Pure murder.

Why isn’t the “Take to hell” interpretation plausible?

  1. Akuma fights 1 v 1. The concept of him having an army of demons dog-pile someone is the complete opposite of 1 v 1 combat. It’s incompatible with Akuma.

  2. Akuma cannot teleport, he simply moves with super-speed. No teleport = no teleporting to hell.

  3. Mu No Ken is an actual martial arts concept that involves perfect technique (defense) without action…not the nullification of one’s karma. This concept is also seen in Hokuto No Ken and in Tenjho Tenge, two other martial arts series. In fact, in Hokuto no Ken, Mu is the counter to that series version of Satsui No Hadou (seriously, Street Fighter basically copied it directly).

So that’s it, in a nut-shell. The hell thing has never been accurate and has always been entirely based on large amounts of conjecture and extrapolation. This simpler explanation is based instead on what we know of Akuma’s character, what we know of martial arts lore, and what we can compare to in other, similar works of fiction. It also resolves what Mu is based on those same points.


#6

If you really look at the very English translation of Shun Goku Satsu, it really means Instant Imprisonment Death. The other translation, Instant Hell Murder, specifically the “hell” portion is an absolute mistranslation. Goku does NOT mean hell, it means prison as in confinement. Now Jigoku is definitely the word for hell. I really feel that word goku has stirred up more trouble than it’s been worth.


#7

Who cares it’s cool as fuck.


#8

nice read


#9

So that’s what the SGS truly does…it was overhyped from the start…Well Akuma just lost 5 points.


#10

Just read the Street Fighter Ryu FINAL manga and you get to see what the Shun Goku Satsu is.

Spoiler

Multiple strikes, each one releasing a mini-Hadouken causing an internal explosion


#11

Send this man to Smashboards/Smogon


#12

Sounds like Evil Ryu Ultra 2. I always loved that hadoken charged face smash at the end.


#13

Interestin’ read, indeed. Given what Akuma said in A3, I always thought the technique was some sort of soul death move. I never believed the whole demons mobbin’ you in Hell bullshit, but I do think the move is way more supernatural than just ultra fast strikes. Akuma, Gen, and Gouken have all stated that the more evil you are, the harder you die and that the move, some how, is dangerous for the user as well.

The real mystery to me is, how the Hell the move is actually done?! In gameplay, he slides up on you but outside of that, the Shun Goku Satsu has been used in 1000 different ways.


#14

TL;DR?


#15

you forgot?


#16

last hit of SGS is akuma impaling u on his arm


#17

I’ve always seen the move itself as a demon art, that only is super effective against the wicked. because the demons of hell clamour for the souls of those banished to them

…or whatever.


#18

It’s a thousand strikes in an instant. It instantly kills the opponent. It’s unlikely that it has anything literally to do with hell.


#19

Indeed. Especially considering the word “Hell” doesn’t even appear in its name.

Also, Keepin’EmHonest…where do Gen or Gouken ever make the claim about it doing greater harm to those of greater evil? Never ever seen this in my research.


#20

@YagamiFire

Gen and Akuma both say somethin’ to that effect in A3 and maybe even A2. They also add that you have to empty your soul in order to survive it, ie Gen and Ryu survivin’ the attack while much more powerful characters like Bison and Gill do not (of course they have powers that allow them to come back from the dead.) Gouken has said this as well, but I don’t remember the source, prolly wasn’t canon anyway.

Could be…I know alotta people who think this and Capcom has never really confirmed or denied that this was the case. I just think that since shit like Heaven or Hell have never been confirmed to exist in Street Fighter, I would just assume that it’s some sort of spiritual karma assault.