Killer Instinct Wiki

Kneel to your god!

—Gargos' intro quote

Gargos is a diabolical half-god who, alongside Eyedol, has been one of the primary antagonists of the Killer Instinct franchise ever since he appeared as the final boss of the 1996 arcade game Killer Instinct 2. Although Gargos hasn't appeared in every KI title, his name or influence are always mentioned and he has strong ties to Jago.

Gargos made his return to the KI series after twenty years as a playable character in the Season Three of Killer Instinct (2013), and features once again as the game's end boss in its Shadow Lords mode. In each of his iterations, he is shown to be the eternal rival of the demon warlord Eyedol.



In Killer Instinct 2, Gargos appears as a large, bulky, red-skinned gargoyle with pupil-less yellow eyes. He has iron bracelets on both wrists, his ears are pointed, and he has sharp claws on his hands and feet.

In Killer Instinct (2013), Gargos features a far more diabolical appearance. He now has reddish-purple skin, but also a tan chest and horn-like protrusions on his arms. His face undergoes a drastic redesign, giving him curled ram horns reminiscent of the Satanic idol Baphomet, with blank green eyes, bared fangs, no nose, and tusks jutting out from the sides of his lipless mouth. He has digitigrade legs with two large claws on each foot. His wings appear torn and tattered and emanate a green aura from the ends.

Gargos' retro costume is reminiscent of his original appearance in KI2, except that he perpetually bears a mocking grin on his face, and has become much taller and less bulky than his 1996 iteration.


A devilish and god-like entity which is unfathomably powerful within its astral domain and profoundly corruptive anywhere else, the demon king Gargos has a singular obsession with attaining the ultimate power in the universe and enslaving the bodies and souls of all sentient beings; from those inhabiting the mortal realms to the ones dwelling within the astral plane itself. A diabolical personification of dominance and abasement, the Shadow Lord consumes all in his infernal path of conquest.

"Tonight, the sun sets forever. There shall never be another dawn."

During the events of Shadow Lords, Gargos is shown to be particularly focused on finding the most powerful of the remaining astral beings who escaped him in the ancient past—the holy dragon spirit Yeouiju.

Powers & Abilities[]

As the tyrannical Shadow Lord of legend, Gargos has attained untold power by absorbing the essence, or souls, of the numberless mortal and astral beings he has slain. A wandering plague upon existence itself, the demonic half-god can create dimensional portals which enables him and his servants to bypass the limitations of physical space; travelling vast distances in an instant, summoning his minions to his location, and allowing him to reach for his victims out of nowhere. This ability to drain the powers of his prey typically manifests itself as "soul-stealing", causing Gargos to gain Shadow Meter.

Despite his size, Gargos' wings enable him to fly both great distances in order to close the gap between him and his opponent or to put distance between them. His Instinct Mode allows him to transform his entire body into pure stone, making him impervious to the impact of his opponents' attacks (i.e.: no stagger or knockdowns on light or medium attacks) but at the cost of it greatly reducing his movement. He can then "erupt" his stone skin into shards which will inflict harm to his enemy and violently knock them back. 

In Shadow Lords mode, Gargos boasts many unique astral powers such as rapid healing, ressurection, immense damage output, ability to inflict full damage on a blocking opponent, permanent Instinct Mode, etc. These powers can only be countered by defeating the four Omens that herald Gargos' arrival on the Earth. In the original universe, Gargos had a more limited, but still powerful, moveset that included claw-based attacks and spewing fireballs at his opponents, even from the air.

Killer Instinct (1994)[]

Gargos was first mentioned in Killer Instinct (1994) as the "Tiger Spirit" which is worshiped by a reclusive order of Tibetan warrior-monks in the Himalayas. When a young Jago emerges as the order's most skilled combatant, the disguised demon lord bestows the unsuspecting monk a portion of his dark powers, and entices him to enter into the Killer Instinct tournament and slay Gargos' archenemy and eternal rival, Eyedol. Though Jago participated in the tournament and defeated Ultratech's first Fulgore prototype, it was his long lost half-sister Orchid who killed Eyedol in Killer Instinct 2 's storyline, paving the way for Gargos' uncontested dominion over the human world.

In Jago's original 1994 arcade ending, Gargos appears to him in the guise of the Tiger Spirit and empowers his unwitting pawn yet further as a reward for Eyedol's destruction.

Killer Instinct 2[]

Gargos' original appearance in Killer Instinct 2 (1996)

Gargos' retro appearance in Killer Instinct (2013)


The Tiger Spirit, the Supreme Warlord, the Ultimate Servant of Chaos. He has had many names and many appearances to match, all equally deadly. Returning to the ancient world with neither Eyedol nor those responsible for his banishment around to threaten him, Gargos takes his place once more at the head of his devoted cult amidst the shadows. He revives a servant in the form of Spinal, tells his pawn Jago of his true intentions, and begins his campaign. Swiftly recovering the strength lost during his 2000 year exile, he sets his sights on a reign of unopposed fear and brutality.


Main article: Dungeon


Command Moves

  • Jumping Overhead Slam: Down, Quarter Forward, Forward, Fierce Punch [Great Opener]
  • Double Claw Dash: Back, Forward, Any Kick [Great Opener]
  • Shoulder Dash: Down, Quarter Back, Back, Any Kick [Great Opener]
  • Flame: Down, Quarter Forward, Forward, Quick Punch
  • Fly: Up, Fierce Punch
  • Air Fireball: (In Air) Down, Quarter Forward, Forward, Fierce Punch
  • Shoulder Dash 2: Down, Quarter Back, Back, Medium Kick And Fierce Kick
  • Jumping Overhead Slam 2: (In Air) Down, Quarter Forward, Forward, Any Kick
  • Laugh: Down, Quarter Back, Back, Fierce Punch
  • Uppercut: Forward, Down, Quarter Forward, Fierce Punch
  • Recovery Move: Down, Quarter Forward, Forward, Fierce Punch
  • Counter: Back, Quick Punch
  • Throw: Forward, Fierce Punch
  • Counter Throw: Forward, Fierce Punch
  • Pressure Move: Forward, Fierce Kick

Special Moves

  • Combo Breaker: Down, Quarter Forward, Forward, Any Punch And Any Kick
  • Air Combo: Down, Quarter Forward, Forward, Any Punch

Killer Instinct (2013)[]

Gargos in his new appearance for Killer Instinct (2013)

Though Gargos did not yet appear during the Seasons One and Two of Killer Instinct (2013), his presence already loomed strongly. Jago's story revolves around the warrior-monk searching for ways to cleanse his spirit of the demon lord's lingering influence, lest Gargos takes control over his soul and twist him into an agent of chaos and death. Shadow Jago, Season One's hidden boss and a playable character since Season Two, embodies this grim fate, in which Jago's will has succumbed and he is possessed by Gargos' servant, Omen. When Shadow Jago activates his Instinct Mode, a demonic gargoyle's face rather than the image of the Tiger Spirit manifests, clearly meant to invoke Gargos.

In Season Two, the new character of Omen is introduced as the herald of Gargos, who has been sent to "prepare the world" for the return of his master. Omen sets out to achieve this by first possessing Jago, and then using the warrior-monk's body to assault two of the Earth's appointed guardians: the immortal Watchman known as Tusk and the young Dragon warrior called Kim Wu. As Shadow Jago, Omen attempts to murder them both and steal their consecrated weapons from them. While Omen succeeded in possessing Jago, he fails to assassinate either Tusk or Kim Wu, having to flee from Tusk and ultimately being defeated by Kim Wu.

Gargos was subsequently confirmed as the 6th playable character of Season Three, and was officially released on May 27th, 2016. An unplayable version of Gargos, which boasts unique special powers and abilities, additionally features as KI 2013's final boss in Shadow Lords mode.


There is another dimension - the Astral Plane. It is ruled by the evil tyrant Gargos. Long ago the other Astral beings resisted this Shadow Lord, but he slew them all and stole their powers. Good creatures known as Guardians fled from Gargos and his minions, escaping to other dimensions, and they sealed the Astral Plane behind them so that the corruption of Gargos could never taint another world - until the sorcerer Kan-Ra re-opened that door, manipulated by Gargos' powerful mind control. Now Gargos is invading the Earth with his army of duplicate fighters called Mimics. This twisted demigod must be stopped, or he will enslave the human race forever...

Extended Story[]

Gargos in his new Astral Plane stage (KI 2013)

Main article: Flayer Of Souls

Shadow Lords[]

- (1/1) after fighting Gargos

(Gargos is shown basking in victory.) Gargos has defeated the doppelganger. Earth's heroes are conquered... And now he has mastered the Astral Plane. Now what should he do? (Gargos glares at the Earth from outer space with a vicious grin, then flies through one of his portals with a savage burst.) Rage on, Shadow Lord.


Main article: Astral Plane


Killer Instinct 2

Killer Instinct (2013)


For centuries I have schemed, setting events in motion that would lead to this day. I have taken the memories of the one that guarded the gates, corrupted their worthless heroes, and manipulated those hungry for power. It is time. Begin the invasion!

—Gargos in his trailer

How does it feel to meet your god?

—Gargos to Jago in his trailer

I can play your game too, machine.

—Gargos to ARIA in his trailer

Your immortality ends here!

—Gargos to Tusk in his trailer

Pitiful creature.

—Gargos' victory quote

Haha! Pathetic!

—Gargos' taunt


  • According to creative director Adam Isgreen, Gargos' personality for Killer Instinct (2013) was heavily inspired by Tim Curry's performance as the "Lord of Darkness" in the 1985 fantasy film Legend.
    • Gargos' tendency in KI (2013) to grab his opponents and lift them helplessly up into the air likewise seems to have been derived from this movie's last battle scene.
  • Designer Adam "Keits" Heart emphasized that Izzik and Dretch are not the proper names of the lesser minions Gargos can summon, but the names of their respective species. Ergo, Gargos is summoning "a" Izzik and "a" Dretch, not a duo called "Izzik & Dretch".

"Don't you remember me, boy?"

  • When Gargos was first revealed in the launch trailer of Season 3, he had reddish skin with blue highlights in his horns, along with glowing yellow eyes reminiscent of his original appearance in Killer Instinct 2.
    • This color scheme was later revised to be more purplish with green highlights as to better match Season 3's overall theme, and his eyes also were made to glow less strongly.
  • Gargos' new background stage, the Astral Plane, was first revealed during the Shadow Lords exhibition in the E3 convention. The Astral Plane appears to be a tribute to the secret Sky Stage areas from the previous two Killer Instinct games.
  • Gargos is the only character in the game to have two separate Ultra Enders. These enders can be accessed by pressing (Forward-MP+MK)  when the player is about to achieve a Supreme Victory.
  • Gargos' new move "Reckoning" is similar to M. Bison's "Psycho Crusher".
    • Also his Shadow Lord Exclusive move "Resurrection" is similar to Gill's move with the same name.
  • Gargos' voice actor for Killer Instinct (2013), Edward Bosco, also voices the character of Kan-Ra.
  • Gargos, along with Eyedol, are the only boss characters years before the release of Season 3 of Killer Instinct (2013) to not have an Ultra Combo or Ultimate Combo.
  • One of Gargos' profile card taunts ("You are already dead!") is actually Kenshiro's famous quote from Fist of the North Star.
  • One of Gargos' outfits is an armor with a Shadow Lord Amulet on his torso.

External links[]