Power Instinct

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Power Instinct
Power Instinct Logo.png
Logo from the SNES version of the first Power Instinct
Genres Fighting game
Developers Atlus
Noise Factory
Publishers Atlus
Platforms Arcade, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Super NES, Genesis, Sega Saturn, Neo Geo
First release Power Instinct/Gouketsuji Ichizoku
November 1993
Latest release Gōketsuji Ichizoku: Senzo Kuyō
August 2009

Power Instinct, released in Japan as Gōketsuji Ichizoku (豪血寺一族, "Gōketsuji Family"), is a fighting video game series created by Atlus.

The series is known for its absurdist humor. Unique to the series was the introduction of the transformation feature: several of the characters can change their appearance and fighting style by simply executing certain moves (usually a throwing move), though this has not been featured in every entry in the series. Other features include the ability for every character to perform a double jump, run, and attack while running.


Power Instinct[edit]

Power Instinct
Power Instinct SNES.png
Developer(s) Atlus
Publisher(s) Atlus
Designer(s) Atlus
Noise Factory Edit this on Wikidata
Platform(s) Arcade, Super NES, Genesis
Release November 1993
Genre(s) Fighting game
Mode(s) Up to 2 players simultaneously
Cabinet Upright
Display Horizontally oriented, 320 × 224, 2048 palette colors

Released in Japan as Gōketsuji Ichizoku (豪血寺一族), the first game of the series was released in 1993. In it, players play as a member of the Gōketsuji clan, who are battling to determine who will replace 78-year-old Oume Gōketsuji as head of the clan. It has eight selectable characters and one unplayable boss character, Oume Gōketsuji, a palette-swap of her younger sister Otane. Originally, every character had a specific win quote for each defeated foe, but that was reduced to only one win quote for each character in the English version.

This game was ported to Super NES and Genesis and includes some new play modes: Vs. Battle, Practice Mode, Time Attack and a "Life Attack" that consists of defeating as many opponents as possible with just one life bar (similar to the Survival Modes seen in other fighting games).

The Mega Drive version has a Battle Royal mode where 1 or 2 players can select a team, with an option to hide the characters being chosen so they are not revealed until the fight. Additionally, it features an option that allows the strength of each special attack of every playable character to be adjusted to the player's liking.

The English console ports of this game had several omitted features, such as Karaoke Mode with the lyrics for the songs "Tatanka no Uta" and "Otoko no Karatemichi", character biographies that pop up in between demos, the intro demo to the game and the scene of Oume where she speaks to the player before she fights them (which changes if she's fighting Otane). The Super NES version also replaces the endings that were in the Japanese Super Famicom version with a congratulations screen with the character portraits used in the pre-fight screen.[citation needed]


  • Italy Angela Belti – Angela is an Italian strongwoman. Although she has a very rough lifestyle and a love for heavy metal music, Angela Belti is very passionate and tends to fall in love easily. She is very tall, and very strong, even stronger than most men and as revealed in her ending, quite a bon vivant woman.
  • England Annie Hamilton – Born in the country of England, Annie Hamilton is a calm and compassionate woman born within a rich family. She is at times overbearing and bossy, due to her spoiled upbringing. However she loves animals, and currently has six dogs, four cats, three horses and a turtle named Kensington.
  • United States Keith Wayne – Keith is a playboy who likes to flirt with women, which is one of the reasons that he enters the Gōketsuji tournament. Eventually, he met Annie Hamilton, who became the love of his life and since then, he has been determined to prove that he's the right guy for her.
  • Japan Otane Gōketsuji (豪血寺 お種, Gōketsuji Otane) – As a child, Otane was constantly berated and abused by her older sister, Oume, and was neglected by her own mother, Oshima, due to her unwillingness to fight back. After many years of facing Oume's abuse, Otane decided to leave home at the age of 15 with only one thing on mind: train endlessly so that one day, she could beat Oume and prove that she is a worthy leader of the Gōketsuji clan.
  • Japan Oume Gōketsuji (豪血寺 お梅, Gōketsuji Oume) – Oume, like her younger sister Otane, is a superhuman. To master her mysterious attacks, she confined herself to the mountains. Moreover, she has an eerie and unearthly presence about her and it is rumored that she can turn her opponents to stone just by gazing into their eyes.
  • Japan Reiji Oyama (大山 礼児, Ōyama Reiji) – Reiji is a very straightforward and honest Japanese fighter and is the ultimate training fanatic. He does not do well with minute details, but excels at physical strength matches. He works part-time for a construction company to exert his excess energy. He is somewhat a parody of Ryu from Street Fighter and many other karate warriors like Ryo Sakazaki and Robert Garcia from Art of Fighting.
  • Japan Saizo Hattori (破鳥 才蔵, Hattori Saizō) – Saizo is a dark ninja who keeps his emotions hidden. He normally hides behind a ninja mask to avoid the contact with others, although on some occasions, his part-time job requires him to appear on stage in an animal costume.
  • China Thin Nen (陳念, Chin Nen) – Thin Nen is a violent Shaolin monk with obscene desires. This religious man studied ancient rituals to gain mystic powers and will do everything to get what he wants, whether it be women, food or money.
  • United States White Buffalo – White Buffalo is a Native American who tries to protect the rights of his people at all costs. A man of few words, he appreciates the little things in life.


Reviewing the Super NES version, GamePro judged that "Power Instinct falls along the lines of Fatal Fury, but it falls short." They praised the double jumps and special moves, but criticized the "passable" graphics and sound and the fact that the boss is just a palette swap of a playable character.[1] A reviewer for Next Generation said the game has "average graphics, decent play control, and moves you've mostly seen before. ... Nothing wrong here, it's just typical." He gave the Super NES version two out of five stars.[2]

Power Instinct 2[edit]

Power Instinct 2
Power Instinct 2 PlayStation.png
Developer(s) Atlus
Publisher(s) Atlus
Designer(s) Super-K!, Markey, Helen
Platform(s) Arcade, PlayStation
Release April 1994
Genre(s) Fighting game
Mode(s) Up to 2 players simultaneously
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system CAVE 1st generation
Display Horizontally oriented, 320 × 240, 10240 palette colors

Released in Japan as Gōketsuji Ichizoku 2 (豪血寺一族2), Power Instinct 2 features five new characters, giving a total of 13 playable characters and one unplayable boss (Otane Gōketsuji). The game's story picks off from the last game, with Otane having defeated her sister Oume in the previous tournament. However, with the help of their mother Oshima Gōketsuji, Oume kidnapped her sister, threw her into the ocean, and forged a letter saying that Otane has quit as leader, resulting in a new tournament. Otane does escape and fights the winner of the tournament in a bid to defend her leadership of the Gōketsuji clan.

The game introduces the "Stress" meter into the series, which increases when one's attacks are blocked or when attacked. A super attack can be executed when it is full. In addition, when the Stress meter fills up, a character becomes engulfed in a flame of their own energy for a brief moment, which protects from any incoming attacks from the opponent and knocks them away if they are too close.

The PlayStation version, retitled Gouketsuji Ichizoku 2: Chottodake Saikyou Densetsu (豪血寺一族2 ちょっとだけ最強伝説), was only released in Japan. As the subtitle might indicate, it shares some characteristics from Gogetsuji Legends (described below), like the team battle and the possibility to play as Chuck and Kuroko, but these features are only available for Versus (player vs. player) mode. Unlike the arcade game, anytime a transformable character changed into his or her alternate version in the PlayStation port, there was considerable loading time that interrupted the match.

New characters[edit]

  • Japan Oshima Gōketsuji – Known to be the matriarch of the entire Gōketsuji clan, Oshima Gōketsuji is known for her strict policies and precise personality to make her clan the strongest throughout the entire world. She's the mother of both Otane and Oume Gōketsuji and often favors Oume over Otane, due to the fact that Oume takes up most of her own personality traits.
  • Japan Kurara Hanakouji – A magical witch who uses her special powers and magical wand for her own benefits, Kurara Hanakouji seeks to have much fun and excitement during her travels throughout the world. Even though she looks like a 15-year-old, Kurara's exact age is unknown. When she gains enough power from a fight, she can change into her alter-ego, Super Kurara (a woman who wears roller-skates while fighting in scantily-clad clothing). In Matrimelee, her name is changed to Clara. She also stars in her own spin-off game, Purikura Daisakusen, and appears as an unlockable character in the PlayStation version of Heaven's Gate, another Atlus fighting game.
  • Japan Kanji Kokuin – An old man who is the ex-husband of Oume Gōketsuji, Kanji Kokuin now seeks to defeat the members of the Gōketsuji clan so that he can gain full control over the clan. He starts the battle off with his pumped-up muscles, but if he fails from within the initiation of his super move, he loses his strength and turns into a prickly man who only fights with his walking cane.
  • Japan Kinta Kokuin – A young kindergartner who is the grandson of Haruki, Kanji Kokuin's younger brother, Kinta Kokuin is known for being an obnoxious brat who takes up most of his grandfather's personality traits and that he won't stop until he gets what he wants. He fights in the tournament in order to impress a girl that he likes and he uses the assistance of his pets (a huge fish and a bear) to aid him. When he gains enough strength from within a fight, Kinta can transform into his alter-ego, Pochi (a man wearing a dog costume who fights by throwing power bones at the opponent).
  • Lebanon Sahad Asran Ryuto – An Arabian man who uses both his fighting skills and the power of the djinn from a magic lamp. Sahad's goal is to not only test out his abilities in battle, but to also impress Angela Belti, to whom he has developed a crush upon.


On release, Famicom Tsūshin scored the PlayStation version of the game a 23 out of 40.[3]

Gogetsuji Legends[edit]

Known as Gogetsuji Gaiden: Saikyou Densetsu (豪血寺外伝 最強伝説) in Japan. This installment lacks the Power Instinct title in its localization; this would be a trend for the series in its subsequent western releases, officially phasing out the Power Instinct branding. The game's story picks up from the last game, with Otane being defeated by Kanji Kokuin, who became the new leader of the Gouketsuji clan.

This game is a sort of "update" to Power Instinct 2. All previous characters reappear, plus a few new characters. Super Kurara and Pochi are individual characters; because of this, Kurara and Kinta lost their transformations but gained new moves to replace them. Otane is also made playable. There is one new playable character, Kuroko, and a new playable boss, Chuck, bringing the cast to 16 characters.

The battles are in teams of two characters, a leader and a partner. This plays out similarly to The King of Fighters, where you fight with each character one after the other. A Super Block and a Charge Attack were brought into the gameplay. A Super Block can nullify the opponent's blow and allow for a counterattack, and a Charge Attack can immediately knock down the opponent or launch them into the air for another attack. All of the characters were given new special attacks, though the majority of them were exclusive to this game.

Groove on Fight[edit]

Groove on Fight
Groove On Fight.png
Developer(s) Atlus
Publisher(s) Atlus
Designer(s) Atlus
Noise Factory Edit this on Wikidata
Platform(s) Arcade, Sega Saturn
Release April 1997
Genre(s) Fighting game
Mode(s) Up to 2 players simultaneously
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system Sega Titan Video
Display Horizontally oriented, 704 × 513, 6144 palette colors

Fully titled Groove on Fight: Gōketsuji Ichizoku 3 (グルーヴ オン ファイト 豪血寺一族3), this was a Japan exclusive. The story takes place 20 years after the last Gōketsuji tournament. It has a darker and more serious tone than its predecessors, similar to that of Garou: Mark of the Wolves, but still maintains some of the same humor that is particular to the series.

The players can choose from eleven characters; all of them, save Otane/Oume, are new. The graphic style of Groove on Fight is very different from its predecessors, as the sprites are smaller, but are more fluid and have an animated look to them.

The Sega Saturn port of the game included some features like being able to play as Damian, Bristol Weller, and Bristol-D once the player beats the game with certain characters, the possibility of four players to play at the same time by way of the Saturn's multi-tap and an "Omake Mode" where the players can view artwork of the characters for the game. The Saturn version also features an arranged version of the soundtrack that has some new music themes that were not present in the original, like the theme "Mystic" and the vocal version of the title song.

New characters[edit]

  • Chris Wayne – A rebellious gang leader, son of Keith and Annie.
  • Larry Light – A school teacher and biker, he is Chris's tag team partner and an idealistic man.
  • Falco – An old gambler who is recruited by Oume and Otane to be their tag team partner in the new Gōketsuji tournament after he defeated the former in a poker game and managed to evade her attacks.
  • Hizumi Yukinoue – An amateur ninja who enters the tournament alongside Sujiroku to disseminate the beauty of the Japanese culture outside of Japan.
  • Sujiroku Tenjinbashi - Hizumi's tag team partner, he is the leader of the Tenjinbashi family and master of ceremonies of cultural events in Japan, always wearing a lion mask and carrying a pair of drumsticks.
  • Popura Hanakouji – Kurara's daughter, and a magical witch just like her mother. She enters the tournament expecting that her missing martial artist father will recognize her.
  • Remi Otogiri – Popura's tag team partner and also a magical witch, coming from a high-class family, who enters the tournament to show the power of music to the world.
  • Solis R8000 – A young policewoman coming even further from the future, assigned to travel to the past and investigate the activities of a powerful organization seemingly involved with the new Gōketsuji tournament.
  • M.A.D. – A mysterious scientist working for the Gartheimer family. His real name is Max Ax Dax, and he is Solis's tag team partner.
  • Rudolph Gartheimer – An aggressive man who is feared by all who know him, he wants to destroy the Gōketsuji clan after his family was exiled from it by Oume.
  • Damian Shade – Rudolph's servant, secret lover and tag team partner, although he never gets the opportunity to fight, being shot by Bristol as soon as Rudolph is defeated. The Saturn version of the game allows Damian to fight, as a secret character.
  • Bristol Weller – A high-ranked member of the Gartheimer company, Bristol's ambition leads him to make a pact with demons to obtain supernatural powers. He seems to be the final boss of the game.
  • Bristol-D – The real final boss of the game, emerging from Bristol's back after he is defeated. He is a dark summoner who wishes to bring chaos to the world, capable of hypnotizing the player's tag team partner to join him and summoning demons to attack his enemies.


Gameplay is in a 2-on-2 format much like Legends, but with the ability to tag in and out at any time between players, similar to X-Men vs. Street Fighter. Whenever the player tags successfully between characters, the character who is on the sidelines slowly begins to get his or her energy back.

A big difference from the previous games is that Groove on Fight has a six buttons system. The two new buttons are for "Dodge" and for the "Powerful Blow", but are also used for stronger versions of special moves. the "Dodge" allows the characters to evade attacks and then counterattack the opponent. The "Powerful Blow" is an attack that inflicts more damage to the opponent than the normal strong attacks, but is also slower. The special guard and the shadow moves from Gogetsuji Legends are still present in the game and some other new characteristics were introduced to the gameplay:

Name Description
Body Toss The character throws the body of a defeated character at the opponent.
Taunt Pressing the start button will taunt the opponent. Introduced for the first time in the series.
Unblockable Attack Each character has his/her own Unblockable Attack. This attack is very slow, but if hits cause a great amount of damage to the opponent.
Partner Attack The character that is not fighting will perform a jump-in attack from the sidelines.
Dual Combo Is a series of attacks performed by the two characters at the same time. This requires one level of the Stress meter.
Pounce Pressing up + Light kick, Hard Kick, as soon as the character knocks an opponent down, will attack the downed foe.

Rage of the Dragons[edit]

Although Rage of the Dragons is not a Power Instinct title, it was developed by this team and features gameplay very similar to Groove on Fight. Characters from Rage of the Dragons would later appear in Matrimelee.


This new sequel, fully titled Shin Gouketsuji Ichizoku: Toukon -Matrimelee- (新豪血寺一族 闘婚 -Matrimelee-) in Japan, brings back the roster from Power Instinct 2 (except Angela, Oshima, Sahad and Kinta, the latter of whom was replaced by his alter-ego, Pochi), plus 4 totally new characters and one new boss (Princess Sissy). However, all the characters introduced in Groove of Fight were discarded. Jimmy, Elias, Lynn and Jones from Rage of the Dragons are guest stars, and are unlockable. A few of the game elements were borrowed from that same game as well. The western releases drop the Shin Gouketsuji Ichizoku title and remains named simply as Matrimelee (though the Toukon mark still appears). It was one of the last games to be released on the Neo Geo.

Transformations were excluded. The Stress meter now could be filled up to three levels. Super moves included are a Stress Shot (one bar), an Ippatsu Ougi (two bars) and a powerful, hidden super attack called a Kinjite (three bars). However, only a few of the characters have Kinjite moves.

In the game's story, the King of Certain Country wants to find a worthy successor for the throne and the ideal husband for his little daughter (or a beautiful and strong woman for his older son) So he holds a fighting tournament where the prize is the hand of the princess and the throne succession.

New characters[edit]

  • Buntaro Kuno – A delinquent schoolboy who enters the tournament to meet his idol, Reiji Oyama.
  • Shintaro Kuno – Buntaro's younger brother and also a delinquent schoolboy, he enters the tournament to defeat his brother.
  • Hikaru Jomon – A tomboy student who fights with a cane and enters the tournament to prove she is the best fighter.
  • Olof Linderoth – Princess Sissy's bodyguard, who demands him to enter the tournament to test himself.
  • Princess Sissy – The Princess of Certain Country, trained to be the successor of the throne.

Shin Gōketsuji Ichizoku: Bonnō Kaihō[edit]

Shin Gōketsuji Ichizoku: Bonnō Kaihō
Shin Gouketsuji Ichizoku Bonnou Kaihou.jpg
Developer(s) Noise Factory
Publisher(s) Excite
Platform(s) PlayStation 2
Release May 25, 2006
Genre(s) Fighting game
Mode(s) Up to 2 players simultaneously

Shin Gōketsuji Ichizoku: Bonnō Kaihō (新・豪血寺一族 煩悩解放) is a direct sequel of Matrimelee. It was released exclusively in Japan, and only as a console title for the PlayStation 2. It features enhanced graphics and sound, the return of two of the older characters (Angela Belti and Kinta Kokuin), a new boss (Bobby Strong), and the return of the transformation feature. Gameplay was also improved in some areas, and super attacks were made easier to execute. The game has the same backgrounds and all the characters from Matrimelee (except the four secret characters from Rage of the Dragons), and because of that it is usually described as a port of the game, while in fact the game's story takes place after the events from the previous game, making it a sort of sequel or update. The game tells the story of the king from the previous game, who holds a "Bonnou Kaihou" ("Liberation of Lusts") tournament to cheer up his daughter Princess Sissy. This time the prize is anything that the winner could wish for (except the throne succession).

The game also features an online mode and a 'Lust Cards System' that consists of buying cards with special effects. Some allow the player to change certain characteristics of the characters, others are used to view special music video clips, and others to call strange characters to help the player in battle.

Gōketsuji Ichizoku: Senzo Kuyō[edit]

Gōketsuji Ichizoku: Senzo Kuyō
Gouketsuji Ichizoku Matsuri Senzo Kuyou.jpg
Developer(s) Noise Factory
Publisher(s) Atlus
Designer(s) Atlus
Noise Factory Edit this on Wikidata
Platform(s) Arcade

August 2009 (Taito Type X)

February 22, 2012 (Taito NESiCAxLive)
Genre(s) Fighting game
Mode(s) Up to 2 players simultaneously
Cabinet Upright
Arcade system Taito Type X, Taito NESiCAxLive

Gōketsuji Ichizoku: Senzo Kuyō (豪血寺一族 先祖供養) is currently the latest game in the series. It refocuses on the Gōketsuji clan, with Oume announcing a new tournament. Several new characters were introduced:

  • Sandra Belti – An 82-year-old lady, grandmother of Angela Belti. She has the ability to transform in their younger self (Super Sandra), just like the Gōketsuji sisters.
  • Elizabeth Belti – Sandra's younger sister, grandaunt of Angela Belti. Elizabeth also has the ability to transform to her younger self (Super Elizabeth).
  • Prince – Princess Sissy's older brother. He appeared in some of the endings in Power Instict: Matrimelee, and makes his playable debut in this game. He can transform in a "good looking" version of himself (Super Prince), which gives him different gameplay.
  • Rin Oyama - Reiji Oyama's niece. She started practicing karate with her uncle since she was four years old.
  • Takumi Hattori – Saizo Hattori's cousin. Just like his cousin, this eight-year-old kid is very shy and wears a mask most of the time.


Various merchandise based on the series has been released in Japan. The 253-page 1995 novel Gouketsuji Ichizoku: The Novel (ISBN 978-4-8470-3158-8) was published by Wani Books in 1995. It relates the history of the Gōketsuji family and features some art made by Range Murata. Gōketsuji Ichizoku: THE CD-ROM was published in 1998 by Toshiba EMI and contains information about the series including characters profiles, correlation diagrams, the family lineage, concept art, sounds and other artwork. It also has desktop wallpapers and screen savers.

Soundtracks to the first five games in the series were also released. Pony Canyon/Scitron released the first four, while Noise Factory released the Matrimelee soundtrack. In 2005, Noise Factory released a box set of all soundtracks to the first five games in the series, along with a 2005 calendar featuring art from the. Unlike the original releases, the CDs in the box art do not include the sound effects collections and the Groove on Fight's CD has the arranged tracks from the Sega Saturn.


  1. ^ "ProReview: Power Instinct". GamePro. IDG (82): 63. July 1995. 
  2. ^ "Power Instinct". Next Generation. Imagine Media (4): 100. April 1995. 
  3. ^ NEW GAMES CROSS REVIEW: 豪血寺一族2 ちょっとだけ最強伝説. Weekly Famicom Tsūshin. No.358. Pg.31. 27 October 1995.

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