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YMMV: Guilty Gear
  • Alternate Character Interpretation
    • Sol is either a Marty Stu who's ridiculously powerful and full of manly attributes, or an interesting former scientist who became immortal, an atoner, and a Byronic Hero who's an Unwitting Pawn.
    • Either Ky's a one of a kind heroic character who gets significant character development as his idealism battles with reality, or a generic, self-righteous, blonde knight. Variations are plentiful whether you know his character well or not, which includes his workaholic cop life or his love for teacups.
    • Either Dizzy is a three-year-old trapped in a mature porn star's body or a symbolic character. Are her accidental slips on occasion...actually accidental or intended to catch foes off-guard? She's a Half-Human Hybrid, has both demonic and angelic elements, either peaceful or destructive. Either way she's very, very vulnerable.
    • Jam is either a cute, strong and ambitious Genki Girl or a simple-minded bitch because of her flirting with Ky and a Shotacon for recruiting Bridget.
    • Thanks to Slayer's story in Accent Core + and his advice to Venom on not getting too attached to Millia, more than a few fans have latched onto the idea that Venom is bisexual or only gay for Zato, interpreting his attachment as harboring a love-hate complex for Millia instead of vengeance/jealousy taken to the point of obsession.
  • Awesome Ego: Johnny.
  • Awesome Music: This doesn't need explaining. It even has its own page.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: Notice how many times Bridget is mentioned?
  • Broken Base: A medium-sized split is starting to surface over the Xrd OST due to the fact that all of the longstanding Leitmotifs have been done away with for a new batch of character themes. The general consensus is that the new music is good, but the question of whether or not they're good enough to live up to the precedent set by the old tracks, particularly the ones that have been around since The Missing Link and X, is where you start to get wildly different opinions.
    • New character Elphelt has also split the base between those who think that she brings interesting new mechanics to the game and those who can't get past her design and proclaim that she's "too anime" and "not metal enough."
  • Cargo Ship: The in-game galleries have some... interesting pictures of I-No and her guitar.
    • That's nothing. One of her intros shows I-No leaning over her guitar, proceeding to slowly run her tongue up its neck. As she finishes and breaks away, I-No remains there for a few seconds with her head thrown back, her back arched, and her legs clenched together, appearing to have very much savored the taste of her guitar and a strand of saliva clearly visible.
    • A.B.A and Paracelsus are canon, subverted in a sense that Paracelsus is a living being despite being a giant key. She also spends her Accent Core Plus story working for the P.W.A.B. with the promise that they'll provide a human body for Paracelsus to inhabit. She ends up succeeding in one ending. In the other, his consciousness gets transferred into... a Robo-Ky head.
      • Weirdly subverted in that Paracelsus thinks A.B.A. is a nice girl, but would prefer to remain friends.
  • Crazy Awesome:
  • Die for Our Ship:
    • Dizzy, as she got in the way of the popular Sol/Ky pairing as of Overture.
    • Jam Kuradoberi gets hate from both the Sol/Ky and Ky/Dizzy shippers because of her flirting with Ky. Canonically, she has no chance in winning, though.
    • Ky, too, as he is accused of stealing Dizzy away from Testament.
  • Dueling Games: Xrd is billed as one against Killer Instinct 2013, by virtue of being on rival platforms (Xrd and the PS3/4 vs. ''KI'l and the XBO) and being the resurrection of two old 2D fighting game franchises. There's also a bit of an America vs. Japan thing going on.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Faust/Dr. Baldhead.
    • Robo-Ky. Despite being being a Ky's evil robot twin, wearing the same clothes and even copying some of his moveset, Robo-Ky earned a distinct, separate identity and a lot of love.
    • Bridget, thanks to Memetic Mutation.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: I-No. See Evil Is Sexy.
  • Evil Is Sexy: I-No. And how!
    • If we're being technical, in Accent Core Plus, we see both Anji and A.B.A as temporary Punch Clock Villains, while Baiken gives in to her bloodlust in one ending and turns into a disreputable serial killer. If we're being really technical, the Bad Future caused by I-No's meddling and Ky's death during the Battle of Rome has a "good girl gone bad" example in Dizzy.
    • With the sheer explosion of fan art and more than a few fans proclaiming her to be their waifu not long after her unveiling, one can safely assume Ramlethal Valentine of Xrd counts as well.
    • Speaking of Valentines, the Valentine we see in Overture would also the fit the bill as she's a clone of Aria, Sol's Lost Lenore. With the Aria = Justice hints given out in both previous games and Overture itself, you're basically getting a glimpse at what Justice might've looked like underneath that armor. Which means that, depending on how you interpret things, Justice herself may retroactively qualify.
  • Foe Yay: Sol and Ky.
  • Game Breaker:
    • In the original games, Sol had a powerful combo that has been given the Fan Nickname of "the Dust Loop." It involved comboing certain moves together in such a way that the opponent would be locked in the corner. This is promptly followed by, as the name implies, a seemingly infinite loop with his Air Dust, resulting in a ridiculous number of hits, ending in a Volcanic Viper combo when they started to slip out of the loop. For Massive Damage. This was eventually toned down in later games and removed completely in Accent Core, though unfortunately, it came back in Accent Core Plus, but only for Order-Sol's EX Mode, which is based off of his GG1 incarnation but with added Reload stats.
      • Guess what? The Dust Loop is back in full force in Xrd—as a matter of fact, it was shown off in the first trailer.
    • Eddie. The top tier in the first edition of GGXX was called "Eddie tier" for a reason.
    • Justice. As she is only in the console versions and is horribly unbalanced, she is banned from ALL tournaments along with Kliff and sometimes Robo-Ky. In an effort to revert this, however, Justice and Kliff are now properly balanced for the first time in the series in the Accent Core Plus R update. To wit: Justice can no longer dash in any capacity and can only double jump along with Michael Sword now being only one hit, although she gets a new Dragon Install-style Overdrive (Omega Shift) that powers her back up to her old self.
    • Zappa's Confusion Fu. Getting Raoh out is tough to do, but Zappa with Raoh is arguably the strongest character in the game, boasting superior strength, speed, and reach, and possessing a very powerful Overdrive.
    • In the first Guilty Gear, pick Millia, let her health drop below 50%, and spam her super nonstop. The opponent has very little chance of getting close to you.
  • Genius Bonus: Besides the immense number of musical shout outs this series has to its name, the mechanics of phenomena like magic and harmonic resonance between Gears may seem familiar to anyone versed in music theory. It's be expected of a top-notch musician (and rock aficionado) like Ishiwatari.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Several characters' backstories indicate that Japan was destroyed in Guilty Gear's timeline. Given the 2011 earthquake/tsunami/possible threat of nuclear meltdown and mass radiation poisoning events that recently hit Japan...
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
  • Magnificent Bastard: That Man. And all that implies.
  • Marty Stu: Actually pulled off successfully with Sol Badguy, whose Japanese voice actor is the game's creator himself, but still manages to be a well-rounded and likable character, Stu-ness notwithstanding.
    • Justified by a number of flaws. Despite his Marty Stu characteristics, what Sol did was to spearhead the Gear Project and spent a hundred years trying to correct it, efforts in vain. Compared to Ky who has contributed greatly to mankind's victory in his teens, Sol seems utterly inferior. Sol was also not able to get revenge on That Man, and was defeated after he meets him. To boot, he's an Unwitting Pawn in That Man's plans.
    • To wit, aside of his title of God of Atonement, Sol's additionally the God of False Marty Stus.
  • Memetic Badass: Slayer. This is the guy who regularly takes characters like Sol to the cleaners while extensively holding back to be a good sport. Even then is he capable of feats like punching you halfway to the Andromeda Galaxy. None of this accounts for the fact that he has none of the weaknesses vampires are traditionally known for. Really, Slayer's badassery isn't so much memetic as it is canon.
  • Memetic Molesters:
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Memetic Sex God: You may have heard this before, but: Everyone. Is gay. For Bridget. Unless you're a lesbian. Then, you're straight for Bridget.
  • Mind Game Ship: Millia and Zato's relationship. Did they really love each other but were only separated by different views or was it all a horribly screwed manipulative one-sided obsession?
  • Moe: May, Bridget, April, and Dizzy.
    • Dizzy is probably the first and only Moe boss in fighting game history.
  • Most Annoying Sound: Zappa's tendency to babble constantly in battle.
    • Jam and May's high-pitched voices might come off as this as well. Especially if they are pitted against each other.
    • No matter how good it sounds, I-No's guitar riff (played on her victory animation) is this to anyone losing against her.
  • Never Live It Down: The entire franchise is never gonna live down introducing Bridget.
    • The fandom's not gonna let Johnny live down his accidental flirting with Bridget any time soon.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Bridget's attacking teddy bear, Roger.
    • Justice's crotchspike can also count.
    • Bedman's victory animation in Xrd consists of him speaking with a blank white background, interspersed by TV static and constantly changing camera angles and zoom, before cutting to black when he's done. Pretty unsettling.
  • Porting Disaster: Not a disaster, but the PC version of Guilty Gear X2 #Reload is very... lacking. Configurating the keyboard/gamepad is a nightmare and it's clear that this is a PlayStation port because no one even bothered to change the names of the buttons; they're still labeled Triangle, Circle, etc. Hell, there isn't even a "quit" button that actually quits the game; you'll only return to the start menu. To quit you have to use Alt+F4. In short, no one put much effort into this port.
    • The GBA version of GGX responses are so slow that even initiating Instant Kills are impossible. Additonally, due to size limitations, all of the music has been compressed horribly (particularly egregious considering that Guilty Gear is known for its rockin' soundtrack). The AI also presents absolutely no challenge, even on the highest difficulty.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • The matches in The Missing Link can be less than ten seconds small, thanks to the local finishing move system: you can perform these on any round and, if everything goes horribly fine, end the game on the first round. Some practice is required to master the finishers on your own, although the CPU opponents (especially Justice) don't seem to have much problems pulling those off. No wonder it was nerfed by the time the sequel came out.
    • Isuka is one of the very, very few fighting games to include the "Turn" button in place of autoturning. Well, its existence could be proven by the fact that a lot of special moves need you to wiggle the directional pad a lot just to perform those on a certain opponent... but in practice, not only it turned out to be highly inconvenient during the ridiculously fast-paced matches of the arcade mode (where the CPU opponents, again, barely have any problem with turning themselves in the right direction), it also becomes a completely tedious Damn You, Muscle Memory fuel whenever you have a mere one-on-one match. Many fans felt that this feature crippled an otherwise decent spin-off title.
  • Self-Fanservice: If you ever stumble across fan art of Justice in their human form, depicting them with the same curvy figure as her daughter, do not be surprised. Granted, the character might actually look like this without her armor (see also: Valentine), but there's no current way of knowing.
  • Ship Sinking: Hoo boy, did Overture ever trip over this land mine. Dizzy had a very wide number of people she was close to in the series, but it was ultimately decided in Overture that she'd be paired up with Ky Kiske while the rest don't appear at all. Suffice it to say anyone who wasn't a Ky/Dizzy fan didn't take it well. Heck, even the Ky/Dizzy shippers themselves were angry because of Dizzy's current fate in Overture.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The Guilty Gear XX N.Y/L.A vocals. The lyrics are out of character, barring the lyrics to "Awe of She," which is about getting away from the fighting. "Awe of She" is, of course, the theme of Dizzy.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: Given Ishiwatari's musical influences, it's no surprise.
  • That One Boss: When the A.I. controls I-No as a boss, she has the Megalomania attack, one version of which fills the screen with projectiles and if ONE so much as hits you, you're good as dead. Has reduced many inexperienced players to controller-chewing rage. ASW has probably noticed this, as Megalomania is now I-No's Instant Kill in Xrd.
    • Justice in the first game was worse. You know Imperial Ray, that super she has that fires a laser in a circular path across the screen? In the first game, she has it as a normal attack. What's more, Gamma Ray doesn't have nearly as much windup time in that game, allowing her to easily hit you with it several times in a match and most of the time it can dizzy you. And, of course, if none of that gets you, she's also got the Destroy attack feature to abuse.
    • To even get to fight Justice, you first have to defeat Testament. He is himself a That One Boss, as his Trap Master mechanic borders on Everything Trying to Kill You.
    • Players finally get to face That Man as a boss in Overture and it's about as ridiculous as you'd expect, even with Sol in his Gear form at your disposal. Imagine a Bullet Hell boss with an extremely durable barrier and high resistance to your strongest attacks and specials who is best approached at only the most specific of intervals. The mission briefing even tells you that you're in for a tough fight if you can't get your timing down pat. What's worse: they were holding back the entire time.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Barring Sol and Ky, some characters are a little bit too prominent to the central plot, especially Dizzy. This is followed by I-No, who gets some moments with the aforementioned character as well.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Overture, along with the shift to a mix of Dynasty Warriors-style hack and slash and an RTS. None of the original cast return save for Sol, Ky, and Dizzy (the latter in a cameo; That Man and Raven are also present and serve as bosses) and the series' trademark, its rock music, is (mostly) traded in for orchestral pieces. Not helping matters was that it was only ported to Xbox 360, halving its audience.
    • People are already complaining that Xrd is 2D and running on the Unreal Engine, being an engine normally used for Western games, especially FPSs.
    • Potemkin's new look in Xrd has pretty much divided fans between those who don't mind it and those who invoke this trope.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Millia. In the first Guilty Gear. Next to the Final Boss Justice, she was by far the cheapest character in the game, capable of throwing direction-changing projectiles and keeping you at hair's length. And her super involved firing a myriad of slow-moving, large, homing projectiles that guaranteed you could never get anywhere close to her. And if her health dropped below 50%, she could spam that move forever. It was very difficult to get close to her, and there she was even more dangerous. Thankfully, she's never come close to that level of cheese since then, as she no longer has the old super and her projectiles work much differently now.
    • In #Reload, Zato-1/Eddie occupied "Eddie Tier" for a reason. It proved very easy for him to get his opponent into a situation where he could simply trap them in the corner and give them an unblockable series of hits that stripped away a lot of their life... and left them in the corner. After a series of tweaks, Xrd largely returns him to his #Reload status, with good Zato players able to solo entire teams of well-played opposition by themselves.
  • Toy Ship: Bridget and May.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Potemkin, a black man who was a former slave...
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Justice. Due to the odd... protrusion from the crotch of her armor, many are surprised to find out she's female (and Dizzy's mother, no less!).
  • Villain Sue: That Man. Not only is he stronger than pretty much all of the cast (only Slayer really contests this claim, but the most interaction they've had is a brief chat in XX, not an actual battle), including Sol in his full Dragon Install form, but everything has been going just as planned for him thus far, and he can access the Backyard with little to no difficulty. And unlike Terumi, That Man has yet to suffer ANY type of defeat.
    • Oddly enough, despite That Man being the main catalyst for everything that went wrong in the series (alongside Sol and Aria) and Sol hating him with a passion, That Man is actually very much The Atoner (just like Sol and for the same reasons) and is apparently working from the shadows to prevent another apocalyptic calamity (and according to his words, Sol is also necessary for the world's continued survival). This is best seen in Overture where he oversees Valentine's actions, tips off the heroes to (part of) what's really going on, and even saves Sol at the end when he's trapped in the Backyard. In short, if Sol is a Messianic Archetype, That Man is his thematic opposite. On top of this, That Man has to often reel in I-No (who's far closer in demeanor and deeds to Hazama, her Spear Spiritual Successor) and apologize for whatever trouble she's caused. Whether this lessens the alleged Sue label or drives it home even further is up to you to decide.
  • The Woobie: A.B.A. Poor kid just wants a friend.
    • Dizzy in GGX. She was driven away from her village when she began to grow wings and a tail, separated from her beloved foster parents and was forced to live in a cave. Though, as humans were abusing her. She does her best to defend herself without hurting anyone seriously. She ran to the grove and lived there alone. She wanted friends. In the drama CDs, she was able to make friends with a blind girl named Josephine; however, when her eyes got healed she was horrified to see Dizzy and called her a monster. Things went From Bad to Worse again when the UN issued a very huge bounty on her causing almost every member of the Guilty Gear X cast to hunt her down. What's her reaction?
      Stay away! I don't want to hurt anyone!
    • Testament. In the drama CDs, we learned that he was once a very king young man who just wanted to make his father proud. Sadly, his desperation pushed him to undergo Gear conversion and that resulted into his lost of humanity. He hated and killed a lot of humans and even contributed to his father's demise. This is even sadder when you learn that Testament actually loved children and had taken in orphans in the past. He continues on atoning for his mistakes.
    • Jerkass Woobie: While Zato was an assassin and a really vain and selfish one at that, the drama CDs did show he actually cared for his underlings and especially Millia (even if he eventually got a bit strange with that), making the knowledge that he's eventually consumed, driven insane, and killed by his shadow a bit hard to take. Even Eddie, the shadow in question who goes out of his way to taunt the people who cared about Zato and spend every game attacking the rest of the cast, constantly shows that he's desperate for a host because he's afraid of death and taunts those people in order to be remembered.
    • Wheelchair Woobie: Marina from Lightning the Argent, the novel set shortly before the events of GGX. A cripple who was taken in by a priest as an infant, it's later revealed that she was separated from her sister Solaria, who was instead experimented on by the Blackard Company and transformed into a Command-Type Gear—a fate that Marina would've shared had she not ended up being whisked away to safety. Later on, she accidentally drinks Vitae, an alleged miracle drug that ends up curing her disability and allowing Marina to walk. The catch? Vitae is manufactured using Gear cells. Gear cells that react violently to Solaria's songs, causing Marina's legs to explode into sentient, singing, snake-like tentacles with a woman's face that try to devour her. Ky has to hack off her legs in order to prevent Marina's mutated body parts from eating her (something that many other villagers were not fortunate enough to avoid), and it takes a timely invention from Faust to fully treat and save her life, though Marina ends up back in the wheelchair. Things do look up for her at the close of the story, as she is reunited with Solaria and the two are placed under the watchful eye of Ky and the rest of the IPF, but damn.

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