Rebellious Earl of Hinowa, Gaoh (兇國 日輪守 我旺, Kyōgoku Hinowa no kami Gaō), better known just as Gaoh, is the final boss in Samurai Shodown V.
Though he was meant to be fashioned as a character to concisely reflect the times of the era that the game takes place, his design eventually took inspiration from Oda Nobunaga. He was designed by Nobuhiro Watsuki.
He was once a loyal general to the Tokugawa clan and lord to the land of Hinowa. He is one of the previous mentors to the clan's heir, Yoshitora. However, Yoshitora and his father became indifferent to the land during the Tenmei famine and the country was thrown into more chaos as a result. Concerned about the well being of his countrymen, he decides to rebel against his lord with an army of powerful warriors until he is defeated by Yoshitora. He begs for his pupil to become shogun for the sake of the people, which Yoshitora finally accepts as his responsibility.
Gaoh is molded from the common example of villainous daimyos found in fiction. He is imposing and unchangeable, rigid in his beliefs and no one else's. Deep inside the callous and unchanging facade is a righteous spirit who will fight for the greater good, to the point of blocking out everything else and becoming seemingly antagonistic.
- Multiple Attacks - Gaoh can rush forward with barrage of spear thrusts
- Reflect Projectiles - Gaoh can deflect opponent's projectiles with his fist.
- Column of Light - Gaoh can surround himself in a column of light that blows opponents away.
- Demon Possession - Gaoh can let the Dark Emperor posses him, materializing in the form of cursed armor and a green flame that envelopes Gaoh.
When his Rage (POW) Gauge is full, he can transform into Kuraki-sumeragi, an evil entity that once possessed Yunfei. This form is killed by Gaoh with Yunfei's help. In Samurai Shodown V Special, when he becomes first playable, he retains this transformation during a special technique that can only be used when his opponent is low on life. In Samurai Shodown VI, this ability is removed altogether.
Aside from being able to transform, his jumonji spear gives him one of the longest reaches in the games - both on ground and in the air. He is also one of the more stronger characters dealing greater damage even if his hits are blocked. His original command list had some awkward commands when he was first available as a boss, though in the later games his moveset's commands were re-adjusted.
- Gaoh Enters - Samurai Shodown V
- Hero - Samurai Shodown V
- Gaoh's Last Moments - Samurai Shodown V
- Samurai Shodown Tenkadaiichi Kenkakuden
- Samurai Shodown (2019) - in the first trailer and in the intro of Story Mode; also mentioned in Yoshitora's ending