Something in the back of my mind was telling me all the clues were there. And after some research, I think I figured it out. G is Q. Sort of.
To start off, there was a wonderful analysis on G and the Jungian man found here (copy and paste the URL): https://i.redd.it/bj687jbelqf11.jpg
While it’s surprisingly philosophical, it assumes that G depowered into Q. Based on the evidence I have, this doesn’t pan out. Rather, my evidence points to G controlling Q and several others using some sort of mind control. Using the G concept art found on the Street Fighter CFN website, we can determine a few things.
First of all, the art of the man and woman in masks leads me to believe that G has a cult following (likely from the Footube videos in G’s ending). As stated in the Street Fighter wiki as well as in Q’s ending in SFIII, Q has appeared all over the world within hours whenever natural disasters have occured. Since neither G nor Q appear to have teleportation powers, it only makes sense that there are multiple Q’s all over the world.
This leads to my second piece of evidence, which is also found in Q’s SFIII ending: the newspaper clipping in the final image that states “ROBODEKA-Q”. In Japan, the term Robodeka is short for Robot Detective (for example, Robot Detective K). As an expy of this trope, Q has all the physical traits of being a detective, i.e. the costume, the mystery, the espionage when he breaks into the CIA’s headquarters to find… something? And it’s true: Q is a detective, or rather a spy. Each Q acts as a spy for G, discovering strong fighters for him to capture and assimilate. Essentially, G does what Bison does on a far grander scale.
More evidence can be found on CFN again (and again, copy and paste): https://game.capcom.com/cfn/sfv/column/130020
Here it plainly states the design of Q was to make it “feel like it was being manipulated behind the scenes,” adding more credibility to the idea that Q is being controlled. However, there’s even more evidence that G is a controller. Listen back to the song “President of the World” in G’s trailer reveal, and a couple of ideas stand out: the first, G wants to conquer the world; the second, G self-appointed himself as President of the World “so you wouldn’t have to think for yourself.” In other words, he wants to control the minds of people under the guise of unification.
Q’s do not only exist to spy. They are also used to spread G’s message of unification. How? Through the spoken word. There is a piece of official art that exists where Q is taking off his coat and is about to be interviewed by a reporter. “But wait!,” you say. “Q can’t talk! He can only mumble!” This is true. Q has a hard time speaking. But who said anything about Q being the one who talks? Not only does G control minds, he controls voices as well, or at least has some sort of speaker to spread his message to the reporter. This is also why Q has such a hard time speaking: he can’t control his own voice, let alone his own body. The few words he can express are only when he can gain control of himself for a brief respite from G’s influence. Otherwise, G controls everything: how he speaks, fights, acts, and moves. He kills when G commands him to. He stomps on people when G commands him to. Since he has very little control of himself, the only thing he can do is shed a tear and watch the abomination he has become.
So I’ve connected the evidence available of mind control and G and Q’s true natures. However, there was one last thing bugging me: what is G’s overall purpose in the game? Is he going to be the next Bison or Gill?
No. He is worse. Much worse. Bison and Gill want to take over the world, but at least they each allow some expression of free will and wish to take over for somewhat altruistic means. G doesn’t just want to take over the world. He wants to take it over while causing as much physical destruction as he possibly can.
G shakes hands with everyone, and it’s this personality quirk which makes him a force to be reckoned with. His handshake (along with his pocket watch, because his type of watch is the type hypnotists use to control their subjects) is used to maintain physical control over others. However, it also serves another purpose. In G’s concept art, G vigorously shakes the hand of a person, telling them in Japanese, “We have a deal!” In other words, G makes deals with people. What kind of deals? Well, if his mind control isn’t a tell, his trailer song and his powers are. “President of the World” states that G is “the true boss among bosses,” which means that he is on a level beyond what Bison or Gill are capable of. G’s power over magma and fire also clues us in to what he does. G makes Faustian bargains. He collects souls. His warm, blustery speeches that he wants to unify the world with him as its leader reeks of a messianic entitlement. He is an anti-Christ figure.
Make no mistake about it: G is the Devil.
However, his nature points to being a specific devil. Meet Glasya-Labolas. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glasya-Labolas
As it says in the Wikipedia article, Glasya-Labolas is the President of Hell. He controls legions of demons, controlling others through mind control, forcing people to fall in love with him, to kill others, and cause as much mayhem and bloodshed as possible. G, quite simply, is a complete monster, and behind his foolish facade lays the black heart of a demon.
Of course, this is all speculation based on what little evidence there is. I still can’t answer why Q doesn’t have a skeleton when he’s shocked in SFIII, or why Dhalsim doesn’t sense evil in G to begin with (I can only guess he’s able to hide it somehow). However, there is one last thing I’d like to point out.
G’s body is covered in gold tattoos that move around his body. This is symbolic of G’s centrism. The world doesn’t revolve around the sun – it revolves around G.
Shoutout to ShockDingo, whose video “G and Q: The Golden Question” was where I found the link to Q’s concept. I also want to give credit to the Shoryuken.com‘s “The Super Inevitable Street Fighter V Story Thread” for providing a good majority of the evidence. Lastly, I want to thank BornFree, who keeps speculation alive in the hearts of Street Fighter fans around the world.