Theory: There originally wasn't supposed to be a Shun Goku Satsu

Hi everyone, long time since I’ve been around here, but I thought I’d post a theory that’s been bouncing in my head for a long time now: that the original design for Gouki had no Shun Goku Satsu. This move, much like Gouki himself, was a result of fan misinformation that Capcom decided to incorporate into canon. What we saw in SSF2T was not intended to be a special move of any sort, but rather a simple portrayal of Gouki and Vega BOTH fighting EACH OTHER in an intense battle, with Gouki ending up the victor and then turning around to face the player.

Why do I think this? Let’s think carefully about the official canon that was initially given (as stated in the plot guide): Gouki crashed the SF2 tournament, and attacked Vega, who was caught off guard and killed by the SGS. Keep in mind these are from official statements released well after the game.

If this was what was intended when the scene was first made, I believe that the scene would have been portrayed very differently. First, in SSF2T, Gouki approaches from the front, from way behind the player, not behind Vega. It is not portrayed in any way as being sneaky or hard to see coming, and that would be WAY out of character for Gouki anyway. With SF4, this “off guard” idea was then retroactively adjusted to Vega purposely taking the SGS with a contingency plan to be moved to another body again. However, it’s still implied that it “looked” like Vega was caught by surprise and only Vega knew he had a backup body ready. Again, this does not match up well with how the scene was portrayed (not to mention the new statement has Vega’s body being “powderized” which also doesn’t match the original scene), suggesting that it was all tacked on after the fact, once Capcom got the idea of the SGS from fan reactions.

Also note that the animation in this one instance is different from later incarnations of the SGS in a very important way: Gouki did not grab Vega prior to the flash. In every later instance of the SGS, Akuma is clearly shown grabbing the opponent before the move begins. But in this, the first showing, he teleported in, then stopped in front of Vega, both facing each other in their fighting stances, then the screen flashed white and we see the impacts. In other words, it was not originally a grab. Only after the fans mistook it for a super, and Capcom decided to go along with it, did they tack on the grabbing animation which has been present in every single version of the SGS ever since then.

Another point of interest is that Gouki has no super in SSF2T. This is the game that basically brought supers to the series, plus they already have the animations for this move. Gouki was never made in any way to be balanced or fair at all, so why would they not give him his signature move as an incredibly OP super? Simple, because in the creator’s heads, it wasn’t a move. It was a scene where Gouki and Vega are fighting an intense battle.

That’s a very interesting theory. However, there’s one thing that might disprove it:

If the white screen and the screen attack impact symbols are just supposed to indicate a battle and not one specific move, then how come that these symbols are all shown on M. Bison instead of being all over the place?

Have a look:
Those green symbols appear where M. Bison is standing. Only two of them slightly touch Akuma at all. So, the impact of the attacks is clearly shifted towards Bison.
Which leads me to believe that it is actually supposed to be a specific attack by Akuma against Bison and not the general punches and kicks that both exchange with each other. Because otherwise, you would probably see more of them in the place where Akuma is standing.

About Akuma not having a super special move: Well, they probably omitted it because that one was his super special move. Since it’s an instant kill hit, they didn’t include it into gameplay because it would be ridiculous if the same attack that just killed Bison could only take away 50 % of your energy in the actual gameplay. Likewise, it would have been too unfair if it actually was an instant kill hit in gameplay. So, they omitted it in gameplay because it wouldn’t have done the cutscene justice.

But if the cutscene was indeed just a general battle scene and not Akuma’s super special move, then it is really strange why Akuma has no special move at all.
If the cutscene was his super special move, there is an explanation why he doesn’t have one in gameplay: It would either be overpowered for gameplay or underpowered in regards to the cutscene.

But if this wasn’t Akuma’s super special move to begin with, then the situation is really baffling: Why does Akuma have no super special move at all? Why didn’t they give him, for example, a super version of the Hurricane Kick?

It makes sense if the Shun Goku Satsu is supposed to be his special move. In this case, Akuma has a super special move that just cannot be used in gameplay.
But it makes zero sense if the cutscene doesn’t show a special move. In this case, Akuma is the only fighter not to have any super special move at all.

Some other things:

What??? Not being sneaky and actually confronting an opponent for a fair fight would be out of character for Akuma? Are you serious?

No. SF4 retconned the idea completely. In the SF4 canon, Bison blew himself up after fighting against five fighters at once:

Sure, there was no grab animation in this instance yet. But on the other hand, at least in the Japanese version, there is a scene where Akuma is holding Bison’s body and then lets it fall:

This again points to a specific attack again because if it was just a general fight with regular attacks, Akuma wouldn’t hold Bison’s dead body. Akuma doesn’t have any holding moves, only throws, so which attack of him would result in him holding his opponent’s body in his hand at the time of the KO?

Because Akuma is completely dominating their fight. As you say yourself, a couple are more on Akuma’s side, but the impact is shifted towards Bison.

He’s already been made such that if a player was playing him right, he’d be 10-0 against every matchup. They straight up took out the hitbox on several of his moves, he’s just invincible for no reason. I don’t think fairness was even remotely on their minds.

He has a multi-hit fireball with a charge pose, he can shoot double fireballs, his fierce shoryuken straight up does super damage, I think it is all intended to portray that he can throw the equivalent of supers all day without meter.

You’re reading what I said backwards. I was saying that being sneaky would be out of character, which is why I said “anyway”. As in, point #1 is that they didn’t show it as being sneaking, and the second is that furthermore on top of that why would Gouki be sneaky anyway?

Thus it is unlikely that the sneak attack story given at the time was actually what was originally intended.

Imo that makes it even more likely that it was a fight, and Akuma picked him up by the hair AFTER the fight. Or are we really to believe that the SGS grab attack ends holding a guy up from the ground by the hair? Does SGS not work on bald people?

It’s not from an attack. He won and he’s holding him up by the hair in victory. Tons of characters in fighting fiction do this. Particularly characters intended to be portrayed as brutal fighters.