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Video Game / Power Instinct

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Known in Japan as Gōketsuji Ichizoku ("Gōketsuji Clan"), Power Instinct is a Fighting Game series by Atlus.

The games in this series are the following

  • Power Instinct / Gōketsuji Ichizoku (1993; Arcade/Genesis/SNES)
  • Power Instinct 2 / Gōketsuji Ichizoku 2 (1994; Arcade/PlayStation)
  • Gogetsuji Legendsnote  / Gōketsuji Gaiden: Saikyou Densetsu (1995; Arcade)
  • Groove on Fight / Gōketsuji Ichizoku 3: Groove on Fight (1997; Arcade/Saturn)
  • Matrimelee note  / Shin Gōketsuji Ichizoku: Toukon Matrimelee (2002; Arcade/Neo-Geo)
  • Shin Gōketsuji Ichizoku: Bonnou no Kaihou (2006; PlayStation 2)
  • Gōketsuji Ichizoku Matsuri Senzo Kuyounote  (2009; Arcade)

The series also produced two Spin-Off, Purikura Daisakusen, an isometric Action Game released for arcade and Sega Saturn in 1996, and CR Goketsuji Ichizoku, a card-reader pachinko game in 2010.

This series features examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody: of most other fighting games at the time.
  • Big Bad: Each game in this series has its final boss:
    • Power Instinct: Oume Goketsuji
    • Power Instinct 2: Otane Goketsuji (though the real big bads are Oume and Oshima Goketsuji)
    • Gogetsuji Legends: Chuck
    • Groove On Fight: Bristol-D note 
    • Matrimelee: Princess Sissy
    • Bonnou no Kaihou: Bobby Strong
    • Matsuri Senzo Kuyou: Shinjuro Goketsuji
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: Most of the playable characters in the series and a number of the non-playables are members of the Goketsuji family. Some are more distant than others, of course. A few of the playable characters introduced in Matrimelee aren't related to the the Goketsuji family in any way, as it wasn't another family tournament. Also in Groove on Fight happens this because the lack of family members, making an open tournament for the first time in the series.
  • Bishōnen: Several, most interestingly Prince's alternate form.
  • The Cameo: In Groove On Fight, Goketsuji sisters' hyper move is about to summon the spirits of all characters from 1, 2 and Legends. Also, some of the characters from these games appears as cameo in some of the endings.
  • Cosplay: Popura Hananokōji
  • Crossover: The guest fighters from Rage Of The Dragons appeared in Matrimelee. On the other hand, Kurara appeared in a Virtua Fighter-esque PlayStation game, Heaven's Gate, while the song Let's Go! Onmyouji (and its corresponding stage) appeared in OnTaMaRaMa .
  • Darker and Edgier: Groove On Fight.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Prince first appeared in Matrimelee and Bonnou no Kaihou in some endings to be later a proper character in Matsuri Senzo Kuyou.
  • Energy Absorption: The Otane, Oume, Elizabeth, and Sandra do this in order to transform into their younger selves.
  • Expies:
  • Full-Frontal Assault: True to his namesake, Kintaro fights wearing only a full-body bib, which has the side effect of leaving his genitals visible in some attacks. Yeah, it's that kind of game.
  • Funny Background Event: Even has fighting lounge singers!
  • Goketsuji Publicity: Otane and Oume themselves.
  • Gonk: Prince.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Green Oni, Blue Oni: The Kuno brothers Shintaro and Buntaro.
  • Guest Fighter: Jimmy, Lynn, Elias, and Mr. Jones in Matrimelee.
    • So did Bobby Strong in the PlayStation 2 semi-sequel Bonnou no Kaihou, though the ROTD characters did not return, sadly.
  • Kid Appeal Characters: Kintaro Kokuin, Kurara Hananokōji, Popura Hananokōji note , and Takumi Hattori.
  • Kissing Cousins: Debateably. Until Groove On Fight the playable characters were all members of the Goketsuji family and some of them were depicted together as couples (such as Keith and Annie, who even have a son in that same game) while others such as Thin Nen show no qualms at flirting with opposite sex opponenets even when they're assumably relatives of theirs. The part of it being debateable comes from the games being vague on how related the cast members are to each-other.
  • Limit Break: A few characters in Matrimelee and up had a level 3 Forbidden super move.
  • Lohengrin and Mendelssohn: Whoever defeats Sissy in Matrimelee will proceed to marry her... NOT!
    • Or if you're a girl, then you can marry with Prince... Ick!
  • Look what Matrimelee did to some of the characters' names:
    • Annie -> Anny
    • Kurara -> Clara
    • Kuroko (non-player character)  -> Enabler
    • Otane Gōketsuji -> Tane
    • Oume Gōketsuji -> Ume (these two make sense, since the initial "O" in women's names is sometimes used as a sort of honorific)
    • Thin Nen -> Chinnen
      • On a similar note, Oshima is spelled Osima in Power Instinct 2.
      • Also Gogetsuji instead Goketsuji in Legends's game name.
      • Bonnou no Kaihou is also known as Bonnou Kaihou.
  • Mana Meter: Introduced in Power Instinct 2. Getting hit or striking a blocking opponent builds this up. Groove On Fight introduced multiple levels of the meter, which shows up in later games.
  • Meaningful Name: Groove On Fight utilizes background dance music.
    • On the subject of acronyms, Max Ax Dax in Groove On Fight was better known as M.A.D.
  • Older Than They Look: See Energy Absorption.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Prince.
  • Only One Name: Kuroko, Chuck, Falco, M.A.D. (subverted; his name is Max Ax Dax) and Marutanote .
    • There's a related the unlockable music video for it for it: onmyoji Yabeno Hikomaro, shrine maiden Kotohime, and three backup monks (referred to only as the Bozu Dancers) dance in the background to a surprisingly catchy tune. The song and video became something of a meme.
  • The Rival: Oume and Otane. Recently, Oume/Otane and the Belti sisters.
    • Removing the Rival: Oume kidnappingnote  Otane in Power Instinct 2.
  • Rule of Three: Strangely enough, each character in Groove On Fight has a three-pieced special move.
  • Series Mascot: Prominently Goketsuji sisters (which are Mascot Villains), but also Clara serves this as well since Power Instinct 2 (in Matrimelee she's accompanied by Sissy).
    • In Groove on Fight, Solis is the game mascot, being Larry the second one.
  • Shotoclone: Reiji and Keith, more or less. In Groove On Fight, it's Larry and Chris. Annie also qualifies.
  • Shoutout: Keith's stage in Legends looks suspiciously like one to musicals starring delinquents such as Grease.
  • Source Music: The background musicians are usually visible in each stage.
  • SNK Boss: Oume in the first game, Bristol D. and Princess Sissy. Especially Sissy.
  • Tag Team: In Power Instinct Legends (1995) and Groove On Fight (1997), the former predating X-Men vs. Street Fighter (1996) and Tekken Tag Tournament (1999).
  • Taunt Button: Matrimelee introduced this. In case both players taunt at the same time, they must proceed to a "Bloodline Battle", where they'll press a correct button to respect each other until either fighter makes the wrong move.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Angela (Butch Lesbian) and Annie (Lady of War).
  • Transformation Trinkets: Shown in the Gogetsuji Legends intro are Clara's wand and Kinta's bib, which respectively turn them into Super Clara and Poochy.
  • Widget Series