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For being one of the absolute most powerful and feared attacks in the entire Street Fighter universe, Raging Demon sure has a spotty track record

A move called 'Instant Hell Murder' should probably stack more bodies than it has

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • August 2, 2020 at 7:36 p.m. PDT • Comments: 31

While it may not be as iconic as the Hadouken fireball or Shoryuken uppercut, the Shun Goku Satsu (better known as the Raging Demon) is widely seen as the most powerful and most badass move in all of Street Fighter.

The technique calls for the user to deliver themselves wholly over to the killing intent and often comes with the toll of consuming their humanity. Things are even worse for the victim as they're hit with countless deadly strikes all in a single moment that hurt not only their physical body but also assault their very soul with an intensity proportionate to the number of sins they've committed in life.

There's no doubt Shun Goku Satsu is indeed an incredibly metal attack, but as we observe instances of it being used in Street Fighter storylines over the years we find it seems to rarely actually do its job.

Though Akuma has surely handed out the most Raging Demons, this is an attack that's also been used by the likes of Evil Ryu, Kage, and Oni. Other figures are known to have been capable of doing it (most notably Goutetsu, who had mastered Demon so well that he could resist being overcome by the evil Satsui no Hado aura when using it) and others still (Morrigan, Guy, Dan Hibiki) have boasted similar techniques in their move arsenals.

Chronologically, the first time we hear about Demon in action is when Akuma decides to take on his master, Goutetsu. These two have an epic fight and Goutetsu's student ends up killing him in the Field of Fate. Akuma takes his teacher's beads signifying that he's become the new master of Satsui no Hado and fully assumes the demonic role in which we've come to know and love him. We'll start a running count and say Raging Demon is batting a thousand: 1 for 1.

Years thereafter, Akuma visits Gouken for their second major battle. Akuma lands his finisher on his brother, but it simply sends him into a coma (this sequence originally saw Gouken die, but developers decided to retcon things in order to include him on the Street Fighter 4 roster).


Akuma poses just after killing Goutetsu with a Raging Demon, clouds in the dark skies above form the iconic kanji

This is because Gouken is able to empty his soul via The Power of Nothingness, and though his weekend is certainly ruined as his beaten and bloodied body enters a comatose state for years, Gouken ultimately survives and comes back to fight another day. We're down to a 50% success rate: 1 for 2.

Zip forward to the events of Street Fighter Alpha and Akuma sets his sights on yet another old man, this time one who is plagued with leukemia, a Chinese assassin named Gen. Knowing he was nearing the end of his life, Gen decided to seek out the strongest foes he could find to hopefully go out in an honorable blaze of glory on the battlefield. Gen was legitimately trying to die.

Akuma landed Demon on the old cancerous man, but Gen was able to enter a state of Mu (similar to what Gouken did) and thus saved his soul from an onslaught that would have been fueled by the sins of an elder who spent their entire life as an assassin.

Technically Demon is now 1 for 3, but maybe it's Akuma who is the problem? Though he's not canonical, Evil Ryu is also part of the Street Fighter Alpha series and knows how to pull off a mean Demon. He throws down in a non-canonical fight with Guy, a Nike-wearing Bushinryu master.

Thanks to his training, Guy's speed is so fast that he's able to literally block every one of Evil Ryu's Shun Goku Satsu strikes. This either reflects pretty positively on Guy, who can apparently keep up with supernaturally quick attacks, or reflects pretty negatively on Demon, which is now 1 for 4.

Moving along to Street Fighter 3, the next victim of this "Instant Hell Murder" (as it's roughly translated to English) is none other than the genetically enhanced and nearly godlike Emperor of the Secret Society, Gill.

Akuma punches Gill's ticket to the afterlife with his (anything but) tried and true finisher and it legitimately kills his foe. Having beaten one of the strongest beings on the planet, Akuma ventures off to find another, leaving Gill's lifeless body behind.


Freshly-Demoned Gouken reflects on his ruined weekend

What the demonic fighter didn't realize, however, is the fact that Gill had the power to resurrect himself. The SF3 boss simply pops back up a short time after Akuma leaves and goes on his merry way. We'll award this a half kill and report the running total as 1.5 for 5.

Street Fighter 4 saw another instance of Demon connecting on a big boss figure (though it happens in the UDON comics and is not officially canon) when Akuma and Seth meet in combat. The thing about this hellacious technique is that it doesn't work on things that don't have souls... like Seth.

The genetically engineered super soldier begins as just one of many humanoid creations coming off of one of M. Bison's assembly lines. Akuma fights Seth (known at this point as "#15") and lands his finisher, but this only serves to reboot #15's programming and essentially free him to assume his own identity.

The character chooses to become Seth and goes on to host the World Warrior Tournament in Street Fighter 4. This brings our successful Demon count to 1.5 for 6.

There are two more instances (both non-canonical) wherein Akuma uses Raging Demon left. The first is, well, the first we ever saw Demon: at the end of Street Fighter 2 against M. Bison. Most all of us in the FGC have seen the iconic moment play out, and while it technically didn't happen, we'll still give Demon a point for it. 2.5 for 7.

During his guest appearance in Tekken 7 Akuma hits Heihachi Mishima with the Shin Shun Goku Satsu, an even more powerful version of the attack as seen in Street Fighter 4. Protected with just enough plot armor, Heihachi's superhuman durability allows him to barely survive. 2.5 for 8.

I've been dumping on this attack for an entire article now as it really seems to be more of an inconvenience than an instant hell murder. That said, it's completely understandable that developers would want both to have such a powerful technique in their games and not murder off crucial characters every time it gets used.

Raging Demon is one of the most charismatic and intriguing moves in all of fighting games, and we're happy to have it just the way it is. This really all just boils down to the fact that it's fun to poke at Street Fighter's story since it's so often deprioritized beneath other creative inclinations.

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