Monday, 29 September 2008

Mighty Branagh!

Variety are reporting that Shakespeare supremo Kenneth Branagh is in talks with Marvel to direct a feature film based on Jack Kirby and Stan Lee's Norse shitkicker The Mighty Thor. Screenwriter Mark Protosevich has spoken about jettisoning human interest elements and focusing on the plight of an Old Testament God. Phew! My fingers are firmly crossed that Branagh and co get to bring some Kirby cosmology to the screen. Is an intergalactic smackdown with Ego the Living Planet too much to ask?

Don't turn him into a cloud.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Paul Newman

Go Ape!

Those money grabbing multi dippers at Fox have a yet another boxset of the Planet of the Apes flicks heading States way early November. The jewel of the Blu-ray collection is a newly minted unrated extended cut of species war favourite Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. The fourth in the film franchise, 1972's Conquest details man's fall in the face of a mutinous slave caste. Helter skelter! Conquest ran into trouble with the MPAA ratings board, narrowly avoiding an R rating. Test audiences also reacted badly to scenes of violent ape riot, culminating in the vicious execution of their human masters. Shorn of nine minutes and sporting a compromised call-for-mercy ending, this is the muddied version we've had to bear in the interim. Woe is us! Fox's new set purports to return Conquest its brutalist revolutionary flavour. Fingers crossed!

Check out this trailer for a compressed watch approximation.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

You Must Defeat Gouken To Stand A Chance..

Ryu and Ken's long-thought-dead master has turned up in Yoshinori Ono's Street Fighter IV as a severe conditions secret boss! A real turn up for the books since the character has long been considered dead as a doornail. A long and muddled pop history has brought us to this point. Allow me to bore you with the details!

Puzzling over Ryu's post-match gloat-screen reference to one Sheng Long in the English localisation of the Street Fighter II arcade prompted many to put 2, 2, and arrogance together to arrive at the misunderstanding that Ryu was referring to some mysterious master he'd bettered.

"If you can't beat that putz, don't even bother!"

Unfortunately, the line was subject to quite the laziest of translation efforts in its move West. Sheng Long was actually referring to Ryu's key special move, the dragon punch. For reasons unknown it was decided to leave the name moored in Pinyin Chinese, rather than puzzle it out for the public. This cryptic oversight was later corrected for the SNES conversion: "You must defeat my dragon punch to stand a chance." A straight translation of the original win quote (昇龍拳を破らぬ限り、おまえに勝ち目はない!) would read: "If you cannot break through the Rising Dragon Punch, you cannot win." See? The line was less about Ryu bluster, and more about helpful tuition!

US gaming magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly ran with the idea for their 1992 April Fools joke, detailing an absurdly convoluted strategy that unlocked this mystery character for CPU battle.

The player had to choose Ryu, not get hit even once, and spar for ten hitless rounds with hyper-aggressive end boss M. Bison. Yikes! This Herculean act achieved, Sheng Long would make himself known- hurling the standard final boss off screen, before pummeling you with Chun-Li borrowed Spinning Bird Kicks and flame-consumed Dragon Punches. Ouch! The 'cheat' was reported all around the globe, the character even making a speedy appearance in an unlicensed Hong Kong comic, before EGM verified it as a hoax in the following issue.

EGM would revisit this idea again for their 1997 April Fools joke, this time recounting implausible conditions to make Sheng Long appear in the recently released Street Fighter III: New Generation.

This attempt didn't have quite the same impact.

This idea of a super shoryuken master was indoctrinated into popular Japanese culture with the introduction of Gouken in Masaomi Kanzaki's 1993 Family Computer Magazine manga Street Fighter II RYU. Disregarding established video game canon, the RYU manga took place in and around a fighting tournament on artificial island Shad. Shad was created as a focal point for international political and economic relations. The man made mass floundered after a global stock market crash, and M. Bison's criminal syndicate Shadoloo eventually seized total control. Rather than compete in a globe-trotting competition, the various street fighters gathered to destabilise Bison's choke hold on Shad, and disrupt his distribution of a potent narcotic called Doll. How civic minded of them! In this continuity, Gouken was apparently killed many years previously in a confrontation with a younger incarnation of Bison.

Gouken's pupils were also attacked by Bison's henchmen to keep them distracted: Ken struggled with ninja matador Vega, whilst Ryu fought Sagat, scarring his chest with an imperfect Dragon Punch - a battle usually depicted as the final of the Street Fighter I tournament. The idea of Gouken's death at the hands of a wildly powerful rival would become key to the still-establishing mythos of this pugilism franchise.

The blag boss idea EGM floated obviously made quite an impression on Capcom staff, the fifth iteration of SFII, 1994's Super Street Fighter II X introduced the wayward brother of Gouken: Gouki (known as Akuma in the West).

As with the hoax, Gouki can only be challenged in SSFIIX if the player meets certain (less ridiculous) conditions during gameplay, these include not losing any rounds, and achieving three perfect victories. Your chances are also scuppered if a second player joins in at any point along your game. Damn them! If these conditions are met Gouki will appear and annihilate Bison in a brief story sequence, replacing him as the final encounter. Gouki would become a series mainstay, featuring heavily in the flashback Street Fighter Alpha (Zero in Japan) series, as well as popping up as a secret character in Capcom's X-Men: Children of the Atom arcade title.

Gouki had trained with his older brother under their sensei Goutetsu. Goutetsu taught the pair an ancient unnamed martial art that specialised in assassination techniques. Gouken shied away from the killing aspects of the discipline, but Gouki forged on eventually mastering the forbidden disaster move Shun Goku Satsu (Instant Hell Murder), which he uses to defeat his master. Gouken fled the dojo, eventually setting up his own school where he trained Ryu and Ken (and briefly Dan) in a diluted defense based version of the death-art until he too was murdered by his brother.


Apparently not.

Thankfully, rather than recycle the basic Ryu moveset again, Ono et al have at least attempted to differentiate Gouken's style from your standard shotoclone. Gouken throws fireballs one-handed, and is able to throw them diagonally upwards at jump-in fighters; his Hurricane Kick is similar to Gouki's Street Fighter III Messatsu Go Rasen super: Gouken step kicks into the move before propelling himself and his opponent upwards; he appears to have Ryu's SFIII side-kick strike manoeuvre Joudan Sokutou Geri, along with a dashing punch variation.

Finally his Dragon Punch is limited to Ultra Move only, bearing a striking resemblance to Ryu's SFIII Shin Shoryuken (True / Super Dragon Punch). This last point is especially interesting, the various manga tie-ins associated with the franchise tend to stress Gouken's indifference to the standard Dragon Punch as a pivotal character point. Gouken apparently dislikes the lethality of the special, considering an over-reliance on it as the first step down his brother's dark road.

To see the master in action, head here.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Most Excellent Transformation! Signal Lancer!

This is Signal Lancer. An obscure deep-deep-cover Autobot from the fairly recent Japanese Galaxy Force TV serial.

Observe his humdrum hectoring alternative mode! Then marvel at the outrageously heroic, splendidly lengthy, and exhaustively rendered transformation sequence!

Road safety is laudable! What a beautiful message for the kids.

Answering a rally cry from city titan Metroplex, Lancer blasted off into the cosmos to bring petty order to the universe. Hooray!

His greatest pal was a pay phone.


Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Gotta Have A Seizure! Pokémon!

Ah, the Internet is a wonderful place, especially this viddy heavy 2.0 version. There was a time when if you wanted to see the Pokémon episode that gave 685 Japanese children an epileptic fit you'd have to get in touch with some grubby urchin who just so happened to have a piss poor fifth generation VHS dub. Ugh. You'd probably even have to give him money too. Not even scale money like £10, weird banned infamy money like £40.

The episode in question: Denno Senshi Porygon (Electric Soldier Porygon) was the thirty-eighth show in the original run of the Pokémon TV series. Porygon was naturally dumped from syndication, and worldwide distribution, after putting hundreds of kids in hospital. Ailments ranging from: headaches and vomiting to blindness and being very unconscious. Ouch!

What caused such a hideous reaction?

Allow Wikipedia to fill you in:

"About 20 minutes into the episode, there was a scene in which Pikachu stops some vaccine missiles with its Thunderbolt attack, resulting in a huge explosion that flashed red and blue lights. Although there were similar parts in the episode with red and blue flashes, an anime technique called "paka paka" made this scene extremely intense, for these flashes were extremely bright strobe lights with blinks at a rate of about 12 Hz for approximately 4 seconds in almost fullscreen and then for 2 seconds outright fullscreen. At this point, viewers started to complain of blurred vision, headaches, dizziness and nausea."

Here's a frame by frame breakdown I managed to source from a Japanese website. Brutal!

Thankfully in this electro borders sans world, I can just go on youtube and rustle up a clip. A low resolution clip with dreadful non-seizure framerate, but free nonetheless. I really wouldn't watch this if flashing lights give you headaches. You can feel your eyes straining to adjust even at this pathetically encoded broadcast approximation.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Terminator: Sarah Crapper Chronicles

Lookee! That's Garbage front-lady Shirley Manson. She used to be musically inclined! What's she upto these days? Why, she's playing a urinal in Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles! Essaying the role of a porcelain wee trough that part times as a lethal ILM morpho 'droid must be tiring work. Poor Shirl, no wonder she's all whimsical. Apparently programmed to hold petty office grudges, and look tiny in a popped-collar brutalist 70s business suit, Manson's wicked lazy T-1001 (what?!) is yet another reason why I will never ever suffer through this series. Seventeen years and they can't even do the colour bleed-in as seamlessly as Cameron's flick. Yikes. Get your judgemental on here.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Transformers: The Headmasters

Ditching lost in spacer US final act The Rebirth, Transformers manga writer turned TV plotter Masumi Kaneda and product forebears Takara forged on with their own Japan exclusive divergent series Transformers: The Headmasters. The Robots in Disguise were on their last legs in the 'States, not so in Japan. They just couldn't get enough of those shape-shifting robots.

The sustained cultural interest is no surprise when you consider that the first wave of toys in 1984 were cherry picked from two ongoing Japanese toylines Diaclone and Microchange. Hasbro and Marvel Entertainment took the Car Robot sub-line of Diaclone for the Autobot faction and the spy-change paraphernalia of Microchange for the Decepticons. A gang of Marvel editors cooked up a backstory and the mutant brand of Transformers was born. Naturally, it was promptly exported back to its creator country. The Transformers brand enjoyed several years of kid mugging success, taking in three lengthy animated series, an animated movie and on-going comic. In 1987, responding to a waning interest in the franchise Hasbro pulled funding for their animated series, allowing Takara to run with the concept. So began the first of three region restricted series. Hooray!

The Japanese Generation 1 shows are each characterised by a key gimmick concept that forms the backbone of the (nominal) narrative. In the case of The Headmasters it's technology from Master, a Cybertronian colony. At the height of the civil war, a gang of small, fairly useless, non-transforming transformers hightailed it from their home planet. These infant bots were sick of being kicked about! Seeking peace and respite, they instead crash-landed on planet Master and were forced to eke out a fraught Darwinian existence. Most died. Those poor cowards! Surviving several ice ages, a few junior transformers eventually mustered enough thinks to cobble together massive vehicle bodies called Transtectors - with the tot robots morphing into pilot heads.

Suitably bluffed up from this size increase, these Headmasters lark about the galaxy being brash and uncompromising, eventually falling in with their brethren and stealing the show.

The opening credits animation tells you all you need to know. Old favourites rendered useless and frail compared to Headmaster might!

The Headmasters TV series has a pretty dire reputation. Seen by few, hated by most. Despite the whiff of arc outlined above, and the massive 35 episode running time (38 if you count a trio of encore clip episodes), there's a distinct lack of over-arching plot. Individual episodes are similarly cavalier with story, rarely adequately wrapping up any dangling threads. The whole series has the effect of a child rummaging through his toy box. Dead characters / toys reappear with zero explanation. Mainstay heroes and villains are cruelly sidelined, or even turned into bumbling arm waving stooges, to make way for this season's hot new product.

I'd love to cry foul, but this isn't anything new for the Transformers franchise. The 1986 Movie spends a third of its running time rending and trashing two seasons worth of favourites just so the US designed next generation could have a money spinning feature adventure. Naturally this is all dressed up by adult fans as the harrowing realities of war, which it sort of is, despite the best efforts of greedy paymasters. Plus, of course, I've really enjoyed this series so far!

Transformers: The Headmasters is the closest real life approximation of The Simpsons in-show parody series Battling Seizure Robots that I have ever seen. Headmasters also neatly encapsulates and exaggerates every uncharitable parent group opinion of Japan authored children's entertainment. To wit: an endless series of incomprehensible battles and situations, designed purely to shift wallet draining kid crack. Vacuum vapid toy whoring. Don't you want to create your own adventures little kid?

A typical episode will feature no less than several entrenched no-thrills gun fights with as many toys as can be mustered. The same mechanically 'Heroic' music will blare over nothing. With no clear conclusion in sight the scene will switch rapidly to somewhere else - a senior bot is saying something grave. Failing that the omniscient narrator will plug logic gaps with glib proclamation / literal explanation. The battle will only be resolved when the Decepticons get really bored and fly away. Their plans usually only barely compromised.

Headmasters operates on the unfathomable logic of children. How do you defeat Galvatron, the all-supreme Decepticon Emperor of Destruction? You hold hands with your friends, and spin around really fast until you bump into him and knock him under an iceberg. Of course!

This is what Headmasters has to offer. There are no minutely textured narratives. Zero three act structure. Characters are not developed, and foreshadowing is just completely elsewhere. Instead you get 20 minutes of total fucking mayhem. Characters die FOR NO REASON. Planets nearly blow up FOR NO REASON. Planets DO blow up FOR NO REASON! Decepticons are really polite to each other FOR NO REASON. Minor Hasbro hologram toy franchise Battle Beasts pop up mid-series for a starring role FOR ABSOLUTELY NO REASON!

Headmasters is an imagination pile-up. An every-toy-for-himself fender bender, fuelled by sugar sweets and E numbers.

I hasten to add, this is not a knowing, Generation Y, post-modernist wink winker. I'm not investing any irony in this. Nope. I'm not ashamed to say that I thoroughly enjoy seeing cackling robots flying around, mindlessly shooting at nothing. This is for all intents and purposes a dreadful cartoon, somehow blessed with just enough lack of interest from its designers to mutate it into something inexplicably enjoyable. The Transformers themselves, and more specifically their war, at last feels like an intrusive, impenetrable alien conflict. We are merely bystanders to this unfolding forever fight!


Sunday, 21 September 2008

Mad Max 2: The Chase Continues

A vintage Mad Max 2 / Road Warrior making of featurette for you here. Heaven knows why this delightful little insight has failed to find a place among the special features of this film's various DVD releases. Mr Gravelly god-voice narrates the trials and tribulations of making (as James Graham Ballard put it) "punk's Sistine Chapel". I don't know what's more terrifying; that they actually did these Wile E Coyote stunts with real live stuntmen, or that they actually did these Wile E Coyote stunts with real live stuntmen several times over.

"The stunt has not gone according to plan."

No kidding! Poor Guy Norris' leg.

You Can See The Doctor Now!

Another image of Sam Jackson as The Octopus from the upcoming Frank Miller The Spirit movie. I continue to enjoy Miller's contrary take on Eisner's supervillain. What's that? He's never seen out of shadow? Stands to reason you then cast walking 90s pop icon Jackson playing dress-up. That's logic that is. Many more images here.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Commentary Quicky 1

The first in a bi-whenever peak at those comments on dvd commentary tracks that leave your head in a spin! Saucy remarks! Deodorant dry irony! Pure macho dick-swinging hubris! Or simply a well delivered swear; commentaries are a rich vein in daft. Expect a rash of these whenever I'm feeling indolent.

This week: Zodiac!

Zodiac is director David Fincher's queasy book-think take on the eponymous serial murders that plagued San Francisco during the late 60s. Starring Robert Downey Jnr as San Francisco Chronicle crime reporter Paul Avery, Mark Ruffalo as on-the-case cop Dave Toschi, and Jake Gyllenhaal as political cartoonist / dog-with-bone Robert Graysmith.

Key up that yakker tracker..

David Fincher: "Jake's hands are hairless. And pretty."

Yes, they are.

That's all for this week folks!

Tune in some other time, when something else will happen!


Sunday, 14 September 2008

Transformers: Japan TV

Prowling around online shops trying to decide whether or not to waste good money buying Michael Bay's Transformers anti-effort on blu-ray (God help me, I did), I finally came across Metrodome's complete Japanese exclusive Generation 1 Transformers cartoons at an absurdly low price. £20 for 110+ 20 minute episodes of robot smack downs, anime stylings and cultural oddities! How could I resist?

The deciding factor was the inclusion of OVA one-off Transformers: Zone; an orphaned installment of a supernaturally tinged non-series. Zone sees a mystical space ghost resurrect several big hitter Decepticons to fly round the universe and blow planets up. Standing in their way are an avalanche of Galoob-esque teeny tiny Micromaster playsets and two mysterious command annexing Mega-Autobots. Zone failed to make the cut as an extra on any of the individual releases of the three core series that make up this collection: The Headmasters, Super-God Masterforce and Victory, a crushing disappointment for completist strop nerds like myself. Seems Metrodome had an economically minded change-of-heart and re-authored the last dvd in the Victory set to include Zone. Hooray for disinterested waiting! Bought them sets separately? Fuck you! Johnny ComeLately Boxset gets more than you! Why not buy everything again? Eh?

Continuity wise, these series' take place after the conclusion of Rodimus Prime and Galvatron's post-Movie head-to-header season 3; junking season (ish) 4 / The Rebirth in the process. I've made a start on The Headmasters, and hope to bring you some reviews very soon.

I say reviews, more like petty slander.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Palpatine Youth

Rising at the ungodly hour of half past nine this morning, I took full advantage of that rarest of treats: Saturday morning kid's TV. In this age of dedicated kid cable channels, terrestrial children's television has dried to a trickle in the UK. Original content is only really being produced by public broadcast outfits like the BBC and S4C. ITV et al ran a mile when Ofcom threw a strop over a marked increase in eye-catch product hawking. What can you expect now? Usually only the barest of US imports. If I'm lucky I might catch ten minutes of the latest faux sentai Power Rangers franchise or, like this morning, the dying minutes of a The Batman adventure.

This morning the Jackie Chan Adventures universe dark knight was crossing wits with a tech heavy Maxie Zeus - a pleasingly obtuse villain for a tot serial. The series has come a long way from the dreadful teen'd up first episodes. Still not a patch on the Timm years though. That's just opening paragraph dressing though. The real gold at this hour though, is the adverts that run in between each little snatch of martial arts motion. Featured heavily this morning was a child friendly version of this:

The Hasbro Clone Wars Clone Trooper Voice Changer Helmet. Don this lump of uniform oppression and your voice is presumably morphed into that of a disgruntled mutant Kiwi. This is the trail that ran with the product - very young boys hoisting featureless masks over their faces and running about shooting nothing.

Kids like to play soldiers, I did anyway, and getting franchise kitted out to boot woulda been swish. Clone Troopers though, aren't they the clean line jack-booting fascists who kill for the galaxy conquering Space Hitler Emperor Palpatine? In Episode III don't these identikit nought men betray their Jedi allies in several quite brutal Order 66 vignettes? Isn't this confusing for children? Isn't this confusing for adults?

Regardless of the loyalty position in now-current digital animation cop-out feature The Clone Wars, these are the dastardly dickholes that subjugate the stars. Parents want their children to play as them? Do people spend even a second thinking about their totemic plastic product before dumping it in the marketplace? Not wishing to patronise children, who I'm sure grasp this bizarre dichotomy more succinctly than their deep pocket carers, and quite enjoy the opportunity to play as a gang of total evil dicks.

It's an aspect of Star Wars fandom that I find quite strange. Sure, it's easier to play as a set of characters that require just the costume, and not good looks / hours in a make-up chair, but they are Space Nazis. They are Space Nazis that kill the shit out of whole planets just to put the shits up Princesses. Alderaan was a mega-holocaust, just because it was a pat annihilation doesn't make any less terrible than a half decade of shovelling a people into the cogs of a kill machine.

Dress up kids!

Dress up like an intergalactic National Socialist.

You're just following orders!

Friday, 12 September 2008

Korgoth of Barbaria

For your consideration: I submit to you a lonely forgotten pilot that didn't quite attracted a series; Aaron Springer's Korgoth of Barbaria. Springer - a veteran of modern animation luminaries Spongebob Squarepants, and Dexter's Laboratory - brings all his face tic skill-set to the table, served up with a meaty eye for supremely inventive gore vignettes. Hosanna! This pilot tease was co-directed with Genndy Tartakovsky; the duo perhaps hoping to do for Robert E Howard sorcery noodling what they breezed with chanbara blow-out masterpiece Samurai Jack. Clearly a labour of love for all involved, Korgoth drips time-sink think quality.

Korgoth neatly straddles both ugly brute men genre mainstays: pre-civilisation barbarity and post-apocalyptia law breakdown barbarity. This here motion yarner contains a whole lot of barbarity. Rend and tear baby, rend and tear.

Expect Frank Frazetta muscle mountains caricatured and distorted in breeze block knuckle dragging Thruds, lusty chuckles, peering eyes and busty maidens.


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Unfortunately, Adult Swim decided not to bother picking this slice of nice up, instead heaping tens of dollars onto interminable flash shows. What a gang of fucking dicks.

If you're a sucker for lost causes, why not sign this petition and register your distaste?

Thursday, 11 September 2008

This Here Arcade Belongs To The Fucking Batgirl!

Frank Miller and Jim Lee's latest issue of fan riling reboot All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder hit a recall snag earlier this week. DC kindly asked if stockists wouldn't mind returning stock, for a full refund, due to an undisclosed 'printing error'. Printing error eh? A term nebulous enough to imply anything from a Poison Ivy nip-slip to an info break-down colouring error.

So what did cause the ish junking offence? My good friend Mal passed me this here full skinny relating Comic Book Resources link - looks like inadequately censored capital bolded potty mouth is to blame! Head on over for a decent pair of scans, then if you're brave go see how much they're charging for the pamphlet on eBay. If you want a real scare check Grant Morrison favourite Frank Quitely's alternative cover charge. Ouch!

Pony up hundred bones plus, slur sucka!

That Batgirl's got a mouth on her. Good work kid!

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Pink Ninja

Here is a shifty ninja I drew on a self-imposed work break. Holy heck do I work hard. Heh. Said ninja; or Pink Ninja as I have dubbed him, was drawn with a slightly wonky mouse in the medium of Microsoft Paint. Verily, it did take me minutes. I have left a massive dead space for text, or perhaps even a speech bubble, to be inserted. If anyone reads this, feel free to add whatever in similar excursions from responsibility time (I'm not sure if this'll post in any significant quality. No doubt the pink and the spidery lines will muddy up. Thanks a lot!) I shall print basically anything I receive. Excelsior!

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Hobo With A Shotgun

An oldy this, but it's always worth clicking on through to the original youtube link and leaving a big fat full-marks 5 star rating in the vain hope a feature proper turns up one day. Do it! For the uninitiated, Hobo With A Shotgun is the winning entry of Robert Rodriguez's South by Southwest Grindhouse Trailer Contest. Creators Jason Eisener, Rob Cotterill and John Davies' outstanding achievements in the field of excellence were rewarded with an attach to Canadian prints of the Rodriguez / Tarantino double-header Grindhouse. Hobo served as yet another please-make-it fake trail, and arguably stole the whole fucking show. Hobo has the air of a low-rent urban threat take on They Live, crossed with Death Wish aping splatter gruel like The Exterminator, seasoned with an infuriated WWF announcer scream-demanding you go watch NOW NOW NOW!

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Gouki Made The Cut!

Who's Gouki? Why it's the Japanese name for Street Fighter stalwart Akuma! Pretentious people, like myself, use it in lieu of the region assigned moniker all the time. What's a Gouki? A Gouki is a grumpy martial arts master so dedicated to his own brand of assassin art that he'll only get his fight on when his life is realistically threatened by his opponent's frown-style. Everyone else is beneath his beady contempt. Past victims have included his own brother Gouken - Ryu and Ken's sensei - and head of Shadaloo: Vega (M.Bison to anyone whose not a pedantic douche). Looks like Gouki's super mega kill art is getting bum rusty, both victims are threatening to pop up in this new installment.

Yes sir! Gouki has found his way into Street Fighter IV. Did we ever doubt it? As is usual, Gouki pops up towards the end of the game if the user has met some shadow conditions during their stomp narrative. I can't find a clear route to meeting, but past incarnations have required you never lose ever, get a string of perfects, and finish your opponent with a screen smashing super move - so if you if you live a blessed life and have a SFIV cabinet in close proximity, go do that. See how you get on.

I love me a Gouki. He's got a massive cob-on and with every installment he inches closer to being a pixel flesh personification of a Shinto War God.