Kneel to your god!

—Gargos' intro quote

Gargos is a diabolical half-god who - alongside Eyedol - has been one of the main antagonists of the Killer Instinct franchise ever since appearing as the final boss in 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, Gargos is shown to be the eternal rival of the demonic warlord Eyedol.



In Killer Instinct 2, Gargos appears as a large, bulky, red-skinned gargoyle with pupilless 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 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. When Gargos was first revealed he had red skin with blue highlights in his eyes and horns, but was later made more purple with green highlights to better match the overall color theme of Season Three.

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 that is unfathomably powerful within its astral domain and profoundly corruptive anywhere else, the demon lord Gargos has the singular obsession of attaining the ultimate power in the universe and enslaving the bodies and souls of all sentient beings; from those who inhabit 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 Wallpaper 1920x1080

Gargos' new appearance in 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

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.


Gargos HeroArt

Gargos in his new Astral Plane stage (KI 2013)

Main article: Astral Plane


Unique Trait - Minions: Gargos can use Summon (QCB+2K) to call on two different kinds of demonic servants to aid him in the battle - the lithe, blue, trident-wielding Izzik, and the bulky, red, large-fisted Dretch. Up to two minions can be onscreen at a time. Pressing (QCB+LK) will put them into the defensive Cover Mode, (QCB+MK) will put them into the offensive Creep Mode, and (QCB+HK) will make them use their Kill Mode special move which can only be used every twelve seconds. Minions can also be grabbed with the Devil's Divide command grab. More info on the minions below.

Combo Trait - Option Enders: Gargos can change his Devil's Divide ender into several different kind of enders based on the direction held. Holding (Forward) will make it a Damage Ender, holding (Back) will make it a Battery Ender, and holding (Down) will make it an Advantage Ender.

Instinct Mode - Stoneskin: Gargos coats his body with thick stone armor for the duration of Instinct Mode. Gargos has unlimited armor while coated in stone, allowing him to power through most attacks, although Heavy moves can still penetrate it. Gargos is also weighed down immensely, now only possessing one jump, no dash, no block, and much slower movement in general. With (3P), Gargos can make his stone armor Eruption, destroying his armor and causing damage to nearby opponents with the use of half his Instinct Meter. Explode can be used as a free Combo Breaker that cannot Lock-Out or be Counter Broken. Exclusive in Shadow Lords, if Gargos is fully KO’d with at least 50% of his Instinct Meter, Resurrection will be activated - he will transformed into a thick stone armor then shatters it and gives him a full health. This cost 50% of his Instinct Meter.

Command Moves

  • Scorn - (HP) - Gargos punches with both fists, creating an explosion of darkness. Causes stagger.
  • Insolence - (HK) - Gargos creates a pillar of darkness that destroys projectiles. Invulnerable to high attacks.
  • Quadruple Jump - (Up-Up-Up-Up) - Gargos can jump up to three additional times while in the air.
  • Throw - (Forward or back, LP+LK) - Gargos grabs the opponent and uppercuts them away.

Special Moves

  • Oblivion - (QCF+P) - Gargos punches into a portal, and his fist comes out of another portal near the opponent. Light punches from below and is an opener, Medium punches from the front and causes hard knockdown, Heavy punches from above and can cause ground bounce. Tracks the opponent's location. Acts as a Damage Ender.
Gargos 05

" Don't you remember me, boy? "

  • Reckoning - (QCF+K) - Gargos swoops forwards in a rushing tackle. Light moves horizontally, Medium moves diagonally up, Heavy moves into a portal and comes down vertically on top of the opponent causing a ground bounce.  Bounces Gargos back into the air on block. Acts as a Wall Splat Ender.
    • Eternal Reckoning - (QCF+K, midair) - Identical to normal Reckoning, but Medium moves diagonally down, Heavy moves straight downwards.
  • Devil's Divide - (QCB+P) - Gargos grabs the opponent by the throat and holds them in the air. Medium has a short hop forwards first, Heavy is an anti-air grab. Leads into other special moves. Can be used midair.
    • Sadistic Drop - (Up, during Devil's Divide) - Gargos flies into a portal and then smashes the opponent into the ground. If the opponent is grabbed while both Gargos and his opponent are midair, Sadistic Drop is instantly activated.
    • Sadistic Hurl - (Forward, during Devil's Divide) - Gargos throws the opponent forwards into the ground. Can be used on a minion to transport it, and holding (Up) will make Gargos lob the minion instead.
    • Sadistic Appetite - (Back, during Devil's Divide) - Gargos leeches energy from his opponent, draining their Shadow Meter and adding it to his own. If used on a minion, the minion will be absorbed and Gargos will receive some Instinct Meter.
    • Sadistic Intent - (Down, during Devil's Divide) - Gargos releases the opponent. Can be used for mix-ups.
    • Spite - (P, during Devil's Divide) - Gargos pummels the opponent while holding them. Can be used up to three times per grab, but the hits can be Combo Broken. If used on a minion, no damage will be dealt and Cruel Inspiration will be activated, instantly restoring their Kill Mode attack instead of having to wait for the twelve seconds.

Shadow Moves

  • Shadow Oblivion - (QCF+2P) - Gargos rapidly punches into a portal, hitting the opponent fourteen times from another portal. Tracks the opponent's location.
  • Shadow Reckoning - (QCF+2K) - Gargos swoops forwards in a spinning tackle that hits five times. Invulnerable to projectiles.
  • Shadow Devil's Divide - (QCB+2P) - Gargos flies into a portal, comes out of another portal, and flies between the two portals as he builds momentum before finally smashing the opponent into the ground.
  • Summon - Gargos summons one of two kinds of minions: Izzik or Dretch.
    • Izzik - (QCB+2K) - Gargos summons a blue demonic servant. In Creep Mode, he slowly pursues the opponent and stabs at them with his trident, and can even go behind them. In his Kill Mode attack he quickly spins around with his trident extended, hitting multiple times. Takes two hits before destruction.
    • Dretch - (QCB+2K, hold) - Gargos summons a red demonic servant. In Creep Mode, he runs back and forth along the length of the stage, attempting to body slam the opponent if he comes close. In his Kill Mode attack he leaps into the air and comes down on top of the opponent, hitting overhead. Takes three hits before destruction.

Ultra Combo

  • 28-Hits

Ultimate Combo

  • TBA


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' 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 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 nor a No Mercy/Ultimate finisher.
  • One of Gargos' Profile Card taunts(You are already dead) is actually Kenshiro's famous quote in Fist of the North Star.

External links


Killer Instinct 2/Gold Characters
Playable Jago ·Black Orchid ·TJ Combo ·Glacius ·Sabrewulf ·Spinal ·Fulgore ·Maya ·Kim Wu ·Tusk
Boss Gargos
Killer Instinct (2013) Characters
Season 1 Jago ·Sabrewulf ·Glacius ·Thunder ·Sadira ·Orchid ·Spinal ·Fulgore ·Shadow Jago
Season 2 TJ Combo ·Maya ·Kan-Ra ·Riptor ·Omen ·Aganos ·Hisako ·Cinder ·ARIA
Season 3 Kim Wu ·Tusk ·Arbiter ·Rash ·Mira ·Gargos ·General RAAM ·Eyedol
Season 3+ Kilgore ·Shin Hisako ·Eagle
Killer Instinct Universe
Playable Characters
Killer Instinct Logo HD Jago ·Orchid ·TJ Combo ·Glacius ·Thunder ·Sabrewulf

 ·Spinal ·Riptor ·Cinder ·Fulgore ·Eyedol

Killer Instinct 2 Kim Wu ·Maya ·Tusk ·Gargos
Killer Logo copy Season 1 Sadira ·Shadow Jago
Season 2 Kan-Ra ·Omen ·Aganos ·Hisako ·ARIA
Season 3 Mira ·Rash ·Arbiter ·General RAAM
Season 3+ Kilgore ·Shin Hisako ·Eagle
Non-Playable Characters and Organizations
Minor Characters The Chairman ·Ryat Adams ·Babylonian King ·The Master ·Yeouiju ·True Tsar
Enemies Mimics
Organizations Ultratech ·Red Eyes of Rylai ·Disavowed ·Night Guard ·The Coven ·The Alliance
Extended Stories The Secrets of the Tiger ·The Lycanthrope's Tale ·The Ice-man Cometh ·Murder of Crows ·The Widow's Bite ·The Firecat's Summoning ·The Quest of the Searing Skull ·Fulgore Mark 03 Field Manual-L ·Glory Days ·Temperance and Vengeance ·Death is no Obstacle ·You and Your Riptor Unit ·The Herald of Gargos ·Peacemaker ·The Everlasting Child ·The Third Degree ·Evolve or Die ·The Dragon Spirit ·The Watchman Of The Gods ·Blood For My Blood ·Flayer Of Souls ·The Reawakened ·Rash's Extended Story ·Arbiter's Extended Story ·For The Queen
Killer Instinct Novella The Road to Ravensburg ·The Watchman Awakes ·Dragon's Choice ·Conflux ·ARIA for Noömorph ·Shadows at Dawn
Gameplay Combo & Counter Breaker ·Ultra Combo ·Ultimate Combo ·Humiliation ·Combo System ·Instinct Mode ·Shadow Meter ·Shadow Moves ·Shadow Counter ·Knockdown Value ·Lock out ·Frame Data ·Character Accessories ·Arcade Mode ·Rivals Mode ·Shadow Lords Mode