In Hunter × Hunter (2011), Komugi and Meruem play a game called Gungi. It's a fictional game which appears to take conceptual origins from chess, Go, and other strategic board games.

The Gungi board

We see tidbits of it played here and there, but I'm left to wonder: How is it played? What are the rules?


2 Answers 2


With what I have seen in the anime, this should sum up all the rules and factors.

  • The objective is to capture the king.
  • The game is played on a single color 9x9 board.
  • The game starts with a empty board
  • The players take turns placing stones, limited to the first 3 rows of the board on your side of the field
  • After all the pieces are placed, the players take turns moving a piece.
  • The pieces can be stacked on top of each other (the 3rd dimension) up to 3 pieces.
  • Certain pieces are stronger than others. Therefore, not all setups can beat certain counters.
  • Each player has 24 pieces in total.

The pieces used in this game are as following

  • Pawn
  • Spy
  • Cannon
  • Fortress
  • Musketeer
  • Knight
  • General

The exact conditions for victory are too blurry to confirm, but the rules for victory seem pretty similar to chess, which would equal to trying to checkmate the king. The placement and tactics used in the game are pretty similar to shogi. As for the initial placement, it's pretty similar to checkers. For the combat side of the game, it also seems to have a slide of Stratego in it, as some pieces are stronger than others, and there potentially are pieces that can only be beaten by certain other pieces.

This is all I managed to find out.

  • What about the pieces that "evolve?" Isn't there also an Archer piece?
    – кяαzєя
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 21:13
  • 1
    To clarify the movement "coordinate" a numbers. As observed from episode 103, ~7m in, each digit corresponds to a directional axis in three dimensions: Y, X, and Z, respectively.
    – кяαzєя
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 21:21
  • 1
    A more complete list of the pieces (from the image above): 馬 refers to Knight, 忍 is Ninja (Spy?), 兵 is Pawn, 砲 is Cannon, 侍 is Samurai (missing in the list?), 帥 is Marshal (or General), 弓 is Archer (Musketeer?), 謀 is Counsel/Strategist (missing?), 砦 is Fortress. Don't know what 小 is referring to.
    – nhahtdh
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 6:27

The game appears to be a blend of shogi, othello, checkers, chess, and as mentioned earlier stratego. The objective is to put your opponent into checkmate by capturing the king. The set up is closest to checkers, while movement is like chess, and the evolution of pieces is similar to checkers "king" creation. Shogi is in the overall patterns and formations that can be made on the board and in the variations of strength regarding pieces.

Some of the pieces being taken after certain placements were shown in the anime during a few of the matches more complicated maneuvers. This is what leads me to think of Othello, though this may have no real bearing at all in the true gameplay.

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