The main protagonist of the series. A Japanese intergalactic bounty hunter who uses a Plasma Sword in battle. Hayato joins the Star Gladiator project in order to help out the female director of an orphanage in which he grew up in. During his battle against the Fourth Empire, Hayato is implanted with an unexpected genotype-altering microchip by Bilstein and through random occurrences, this microchip forces Hayato to change into a cold-hearted and ruthless fighter named Black Hayato.
Expy: 30% Luke Skywalker and 70%Han Solo. He's one tough and gruff looking man with a heart of gold who is forced to undertake particularly unsavory work for a good cause, is good friends and partner with Gamof, a buff and fuzzy alien, wields a lightsaber-esque weapon along with some impressive kenjutsu skills, and that he battles against a Darth Vader Clone who leads an evil empire.
Sword Beam: His Engetsu (Full Moon) and Rasetsu Zan (Justice Slash) Plasma Strikes. Also, when Hayato activates his Plasma Field, he can increase the power of his Plasma Sword and unleash crescent-shaped Pure Energy strikes.
A British-Chinese gymnast who uses a Plasma Ring in battle. Upon learning that Bilstein was behind a specific lab accident that resulted in the "death" of her father, a scientist named Michael Milliam, June joins the Star Gladiator project in order to exact her revenge against Bilstein. During the course of the battle, June develops feelings for Hayato, evident when Hayato comes to June's aid in her own time of need.
Crossover: Appears in Super Gem Fighter: Mini Mix/Pocket Fighter (two distinct background cameos; Chun-Li also cosplays as her), Capcom vs. SNK 2 (in the background of the Shanghai stage), Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (one of Hayato's Victory Poses), SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash (all three games), Capcom Fighting Evolution/Jam (Felicia's ending), and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (in Hawkeye's and Deadpool's endings as well as a Heroes and Heralds card).
A green-skinned cone-headed alien who uses a set of Plasma Yo-Yos. Saturn comes from a planet in the Andromeda Galaxy called Saturn (not the one known in Earth's Solar System) and that he's known throughout his homeworld as being a popular street performer. Upon coming to Earth in order to enjoy his personal hobby of theater, Saturn learns about the threat of the Fourth Empire and decides to join the Star Gladiator project in order to help Earth out and protect his own home planet at the same time.
Shout Out: When a player holds the back button of the control pad while playing as Saturn, he instantly puts and holds one of his Plasma Yo-Yos on top of his head like a hat and then does the Moonwalk with his own boots, much like Michael Jackson.
He also makes a reference to The Mask (he can be heard yelling "Smokin'!" and "Somebody stop me!" in heavily accented English in his victory dances).
A brown-furred alien woodsman who uses a Plasma Axe in battle. Gamof hails from the forest planet of De Rosa in the Andromeda Galaxy and works as a noble lumberjack. When an unknown Earth microbe virus destroys most of De Rosa's forests, Gamof is forced to find a new line of work in order to support his family. Upon becoming a bounty hunter, Gamof meets up with Hayato and becomes good friends with him. When Gamof learns about the Star Gladiator project, he joins it with Hayato so that he can protect his home planet from the Fourth Empire.
Expy: Ammo belt across his torso? Check. Comes from an arboreal planet? Check. Big tall furry guy? Check! He's friends with a bounty hunter and also a family man? Double check! It's damn obvious he was based from Chewbacca. He also pulled a move or two from Zangief's moveset too.
Home Run Hitter: Gamof has the ability to throw the opponent up into the air and swing his weapon towards them like a baseball bat. Often, it depends on the timing of the player from within the attack itself and if it succeeds, Gamof can easily knock the opponent out of the fighting field. The first game would guarantee a ring-out victory while the second one would send the opponent flying into the sky (though they would come back down a few seconds later).
A blue avian winged humanoid who uses a Plasma Claw in battle. Zelkin comes from the sky planet of Klondike in the Andromeda Galaxy and that he and his people value honor and bravery found in battle. Because of a past war between Earth and Klondike, Zelkin had developed an intense hatred towards Earth and its people. He had joined Bilstein's Fourth Empire in order to exact his vengeance against Earth, but soon realized that not all of Earth's people were evil. Eventually, Zelkin had defected from the Fourth Empire and joined up with Hayato and the other Star Gladiators so that he could atone for his mistakes and set things right.
The Atoner: In Plasma Sword, he joins the Star Gladiators to atone for his service to Bilstein.
Fantastic Racism: Zelkin's reason for joining the Fourth Empire in the first game is due to his personal hatred of humans (on account that his people had engaged in a past war against Earth and afterward had faced prejudice and discrimination from the Earthlings). After fighting Hayato, Zelkin realized that not all humans are bad and eventually defected from the Fourth Empire so that he could join up with the Star Gladiators and atone for his mistakes.
Feathered Fiend: Subverted. The reason Zelkin had aligned himself with Bilstein and the Fourth Empire from within Star Gladiator was because of his Fantastic RacismFreudian Excuse against Earth and the humans. By the time Plasma Sword had came around, Zelkin had realized that Bilstein was far worse than the humans and defected from the Fourth Empire in order to join up with the Star Gladiators and make up for his mistakes.
Heel-Face Turn: After realizing that the Fourth Empire wasn't any better than the Earthlings that had harmed his people (in fact, the leader is even worse), he decides to defect to the Star Gladiators in order to stop Bilstein and atone for his past.
A young man of European descent who uses a Plasma Broadsword in battle. Because he holds the strongest amount of Plasma Power in his own body, Blood was kidnapped at a young age by Bilstein, who had killed his parents with no hesitation. Using a Plasma mind spell, Bilstein was able to turn Blood into his loyal fighter, having him eliminate any threat that came towards the Fourth Empire. However, Blood was freed from the spell when Bilstein was killed by Hayato during the Final Crusade and although he was able to regain his free will, Blood was disgusted to learn of what he had done while being under Bilstein's spell. Upon learning of Bilstein's unexpected return, Blood had joined the Star Gladiators in order to atone for his past actions and to find and eliminate Bilstein once and for all.
Artificial Limbs: One of his arms has been replaced by a cybernetic hand, connected to his shoulder by what seems to be an electric current or force field of some sort. Apparently, it causes him much discomfort.
The Atoner: Much like Zelkin, Blood also wants to repent for his actions during his time as a Fourth Empire member (albeit when he's more of a Brainwashed and Crazy pawn).
Expy: To Luke Skywalker. Even though Hayato is seen by many as being the Luke expy, Blood can also be considered one as well, given the fact that he wields a lightsaber-like weapon while having a cybernetic hand and that his own backstory had explained that during the time he was under Bilstein's command, Bilstein, who is seen as the Darth Vader Clone, had treated him well as if he was own "son".
Heroic Sacrifice: Blood's true ending in Plasma Sword has him stopping the nuclear reactor core explosion of the Fourth Empire's flying fortress through the use of his own Plasma power.
Power Tattoo: Has the tattoo of a skull with a king's crown on his back.
A mysterious young girl who uses a Plasma Ring in combat. While having a kind and cheerful personality to those that meet her, Ele is determined to complete a specific mission, which is to find Bilstein's ghost and eliminate it as soon as possible so that a tragedy in the future doesn't come to pass.
Set Right What Once Went Wrong: In a distant future, Ghost Bilstein had attacked Ele's home and killed her mother while her father's status remained unknown. To change this tragedy, Ele had traveled back into the past so that she could destroy Ghost Bilstein and prevent this from ever happening.
A Japanese military war soldier who uses a Plasma Axe in battle. Even though Gantetsu isn't the sharpest knife when it comes to strategy, he makes up for it with his tough determination and strength. Gantetsu is given a mission by his superiors to track down Franco Gerelt for his past war crimes and bring him into the custody of the Earth Federation.
A modern-day superhero who uses a Plasma Blade in battle. Eagle was once a faux superhero at Gorakuem Amusement Park, but when Bilstein had started his universal conquest, Eagle had decided to become a real-life superhero and joined the Star Gladiators in order to help them out.
Big Damn Heroes: Eagle's true ending in Plasma Sword has him saving the life of a young child from a rampaging Vector bot.
Jumped at the Call: Eagle started out as a faux superhero at an amusement park. Once Bilstein initiated his conquest of the universe, Eagle decided to become an actual hero and join the Star Gladiators.
The main antagonist of the series. A cybernetic mad scientist who leads the Fourth Empire and uses a Plasma Broadsword in battle. Bilstein was once a prestigious physicist for the Earth Federation and was responsible for the discovery of Plasma Power, but it was soon discovered that Bilstein had used actual human bodies in his experiments and that he was exiled from Earth, being placed in a prison satellite that orbited Planet Zeta. Upon managing to break out from his prison, Bilstein, now in a cybernetic body, sought revenge against Earth and is determined to conquer it and the rest of the universe with his Fourth Empire.
Bad Boss: You wouldn't want to work for him, that's for certain.
Sword Beam: His Dark Vortex special move and Dark Vortex: End Plasma Strike.
A Spanish matador who uses a Plasma Rapier in battle. Unlike most members of the Fourth Empire, Gerelt is a "forced ally" of Bilstein, who had kidnapped Gerelt's family and threatens to kill them unless Gerelt does exactly what Bilstein says. Making matters worse, Bilstein had also implanted a bomb inside Gerelt's chest and threatens to blow him up if Gerelt tries to rebel against him. While Gerelt reluctantly follows Bilstein's orders, he secretly seeks to overthrow him so that he can save himself and his family from Bilstein's evil hand.
Forced Into Evil: When his wife and daughter are kidnapped by Bilstein, Gerelt has no other choice but to obey and fight for Bilstein if he wishes to get them back safely. The bomb implanted into his chest by Bilstein himself only makes matters worse for Gerelt and that he's determined to disarm it while trying to save his wife and daughter.
An Indonesian alien magician who uses a Plasma Mace in battle. Gore comes from a huge family who lives in Indonesia and that Gore himself is considered a role model to his many brothers and sisters. His family name, Gajah, has gained a reputation in Indonesia as it has been associated with the world of black magic, since Gore's father is a well-known Plasma wizard who performed many rituals and exorcism. To gain much knowledge about Plasma wizardry, Gore had joined Bilstein and the Fourth Empire so that he can attempt to learn much that is to know about the studies of Plasma Power itself.
Bubble Gun: The first game's Dokuyaku Sanpu special attack, though it's more of the poisonous type.
The Dark Arts: Gore's backstory states that his father was well-known throughout most of Indonesia for his use of black magic spells and exorcism. Being a Plasma wizard himself, Gore is able to utilize many dark magic techhniques in his own state and opportunity.
Expy: To Yoda, given the fact that he almost looks like him (albeit with a different skin color) and that both of them often use magic from within their fighting repertoires.
Sdrawkcab Name: In the Japanese version of Star Gladiator 2, some of his quotes, though translated into meaningful sentences, appear to be written in an alien language. However, when read backwards, they form "alternate" phrases such as "Shin no ending mitekureta?" ("Did you see the true ending?") and "Oppai, boyoyon, boyoyon....!" ("Boobs, boyoing, boyoing...!")
Sickening Crunch: Aside from being a Plasma magician, Gore seems to also specialize in orthopedics, since most of his grab moves involves attacking or grabbing an opponent's limbs so that he can pull and snap it instantly. In fact, one of his special attacks involves having to lie down on the ground so that he can get close to the opponent, which would then enable him to grab their legs while shoving his right foot up towards their...private area so that he can intentionally snap it and the legs as well. Surprisingly, the attack itself is called Shindou Ryouhou (Vibration Treatment).
A green-skinned turtle-like alien who uses a Plasma Spear in battle. Coming from the Planet Kappa in the Cygnus Galaxy, Kappah is a soldier for his planet's elite military army. Because Kappah and his race dislike peace and prefer war, his planet has had a falling out with Earth and many other planets during attemped negotiations. Bilstein had approached Kappah one day and told him that if he were to join up with the Fourth Empire, his planet would be given full protection from any outside threat. Kappah accepts Bilstein's deal and joins up with him and the rest of the Fourth Empire.
Proud Warrior Race Guy: Kappah and his race are known for having a belligerent nature and that they despise peace, living only for war and fighting.
An alien royal prince who uses a set of Plasma Yo-Yos in battle. His full name is Prince Saturn Kuida-Ore the 3rd and that he's the royal prince of the Planet Saturn in the Andromeda Galaxy. He grew jealous of Saturn's popularity as a street performer and determined to prove that he's a much better one, he adopts the alias of "Prince" and joins up with the Fourth Empire so that he can get the chance to fight Saturn in his own given opportunity.
A Spanish female fencer who uses a Plasma Rapier in battle. Claire's reason for being a part of the Fourth Empire is shrouded in mystery, but it is speculated that something tragic had happened to her in the past and that she saw the Fourth Empire as a way of escaping her own personal pain.
Expy: It's kind of a stretch, but she's way too similar to the main character of Claymore. It's possible Norihiro Yagi was inspired by Claire to design Clare (even the names are similar), but it doesn't seem to have been confirmed.
Redemption Equals Death: Claire's true ending in Plasma Sword has her sacrificing herself to protect Gerelt from Luca's inner energy explosion. She then dies in his arms while musing on why she saved him.
An artificial girl who uses a Plasma Mace in battle. She is Gore's fiancee/assistant and is devoted to him no matter what. Despite having a cheerful personality, Luca is very naive when it comes to the concepts of life and death and that she's unable to comprehend any action that differs from right and wrong.
Black Eyes of Crazy/Black Eyes of Evil: In Luca's true ending, she meets up with Gore after defeating Bilstein and it's very obvious to the player that Luca isn't quiteherself, given the fact that she has complete dark brown eyes from within the conversation and that she soon makes a Slasher Smile on her face, indicating the direct fact that things aren't gonna end well for Gore.
Cute and Psycho: In her true ending, she kills Gore on a whim, then wonders if he stays quiet out of embarrassment.
Fanservice: In Gore's true ending from within Plasma Sword.
Skilled, but Naive: As Gore's fiancee/assistant, Luca is able to use much of Gore's skills and techniques in battle, but the downside comes from the fact that Luca has no concept about life and death, killing other people as if it was a game.
A cybernetic clone of Blood who uses a Plasma Broadsword in battle. Shaker has a psychotic personality and won't hesitate to rip apart anyone who gets in his way. In his spare time, Shaker loves to listen and play punk music.
More Dakka: His Murderous Vulcan Plasma Strike converts his robotic arm into a gattling gun.
Musical Assassin: While Shaker doesn't exactly have any musical special attacks, the fact that he kills on a daily basis while playing punk music and treating his battles like they were rock solo duels could have him qualify for this trope.
Bilstein's daughter who uses a Plasma Scythe in battle. Rain is an ambitious person who seeks to prove herself as being a beautiful woman who is able to defeat anyone who tries to challenge her to a battle.
An Ice Person: Her Plasma Field allows her to freeze her opponents with a simple weapon strike.
Spirited Competitor: Hinted at. While she doesn't actively seek out a fight, she's disappointed by victories over fighters that didn't live up to her expectations (although by the end of her story, she wonders if it's because she's grown too powerful).
Stalker with a Test Tube: Subverted; she's the one who personally goes out and captures the male characters, but it's her father who's interested in their DNA and Plasma power. Rain has no real interest in her father's schemes.
Super Breeding Program: Bilstein's plans for his daughter involve using the DNA of the male Plasma wielders—Hayato's in particular—to impregnate Rain, making her become the mother of a race of "new human beings" with unparalleled Plasma power, a trait that would be most beneficial to the Fourth Empire's galactic conquest.
A genetically-enhanced dinosaur who uses a Bone Club in battle. In truth, Rimgal is actually Michael Milliam: June's father who was experimented on by Bilstein, in which Bilstein had mixed his human DNA with dinosaur DNA. Rimgal is at war with his own self as he attempts to fight the inner feral beast that lurks within his own inner mind.
Breath Weapon: He's able to unleash a short-range fire blast from his mouth.
Downer Ending: To ensure that his inner feral beast doesn't get the chance to hurt his daughter and her friends, Rimgal kills himself by jumping off the top of the Fourth Empire flying fortress, plummeting to his death below.
Was Once a Man: He used to be June's father before Bilstein had experimented on him.
A prototype robot who uses a Plasma Gun in battle. Omega was created by Bilstein as the prototype for the later Vector robot model and was eventually discarded after having too many emotions in its own circuits. Upon regaining its sentience, Omega learns that it has a "heart" and seeks to know on what it is before its current energy supply runs out.
The apparition of Bilstein's old cybernetic body who uses a Plasma Broadsword in battle. After Bilstein was killed by Hayato during the events of the Final Crusade, he was able to transcend his spirit into a new cybernetic body, leaving his old one behind. Somehow, Bilstein's old cybernetic body had gained a small portion of his conscience and was able to move without its previous host. It now seeks to find and kill Hayato, destroying everything that stands in its way.
Came Back Wrong: A subversion; this is merely the cybernetic shell left behind by Bilstein after his defeat by Hayato. It gained some sentience and is now on a mindless rampage to find and kill Hayato. The real Bilstein, now in a new body, finds this slightly amusing, as well as a minor annoyance.
True Final Boss: In order to get to him in Star Gladiator, the player must beat the game from within a specific amount of time. Doing this will take them to a special battle against a super-powered version of Bilstein. Defeating Ghost Bilstein gives you your character's true and good ending while losing to him gives you a bad ending.
A mysterious kunoichi (female ninja) who uses a Plasma Hammer in battle. Kaede is hired by the Earth Federation to hunt down and attack any Plasma wielder so that she can seal off their usage of Plasma Power.
Whack-A-Gladiator: Kaede's Plasma Field, which is called Mysterious Force: Mogura Tataki, has her playing a quick variation of the classic Whack-A-Mole game, in which her opponent pops out of three holes from within sight and that the damage to the opponent depends on how many times Kaede is able to strike them with her hammer.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In Kaede's true ending, her benefactors had immediately turned on her after she had succeeded from within her mission, claiming that Plasma Power should belong to the Earth Federation and no one else. Upon managing to defeat Byakko from within an impromptu battle, Kaede is able to easily escape while robbing the vault of the Earth Federation, being able to relax from within a seclusive life of luxury.
A white humanoid tiger ninja who uses a set of dual Plasma Claws. Byakko is given a mission by the Earth Federation to hunt down and eliminate any Plasma wielder who comes into his path. Despite his cold methods of fighting, Byakko is a noble warrior who fights while using a Zen-like nature.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In Byakko's true ending, Rai-on tells Byakko that he's grown too powerful from within his Plasma Power and that he must be eliminated. Byakko manages to escape after a tough fight against Rai-on and upon reflecting on what has happened to him, Byakko says that he has much to live for and that he can't die just yet.
A black humanoid tiger ninja who uses a set of dual Plasma Claws in battle. Unlike Byakko, Rai-on is more vicious and harsh when it comes to his mission and that he won't hesitate to complete it no matter what.