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Characters / Guilty Gear: The Missing Link

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Characters introduced in Guilty Gear: The Missing Link, the first installment in the series.

The Captain Ersatz, Expy, "No Celebrities Were Harmed", Mythology Gags, Continuity Nods and Shout-Out references go here.

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    Sol Badguy 

Sol Badguy (Frederick Bulsara)
  • Height: 6'0"
  • Weight: 163lbs
  • Blood type: Unidentifiable
  • Birthplace: USA
  • Date of Birth: Who cares?
  • Hobbies: Listening to Queen
  • Likes: Queen's Sheer Heart Attack record
  • Dislikes: Effort, trying his best

Voiced by:
JP: Daisuke Ishiwatari (GG-XXAC+R Battle Voice), Hikaru Hanada (Drama CD & XX Story Voice), Joji Nakata (Overture, XXAC+R story & alternate battle voice, full voice from Xrd onward, JP)
EN: Troy Baker (Overture), David Forseth (Xrd -SIGN-, Strive)
KR: Choi Han

Playable in: The Missing Link, X, XX, Overture, Xrd -SIGN-, -STRIVE-

"Don't cry; that makes me feel guilty. Leave... before I change my mind..."

The main character of the series. A lone bounty hunter who hunts down the Gears, bioweapons created through a combination of science and newly-discovered energy, dubbed magic. Though his past is shrouded in mystery, each installment gradually reveals more of Sol's very long and very Dark and Troubled Past.
See his page here

    Ky Kiske 

Ky Kiske
  • Height: 5'10"
  • Weight: 128lbs
  • Blood type: AB
  • Birthplace: France
  • Date of Birth: November 20th
  • Hobbies: Collecting teacups
  • Likes: Dizzy and Sin Kiske, the smiles of others
  • Dislikes: His own weak heart

Voiced by:
JP: Takeshi Kusao
EN: Liam O'Brien (Overture), Sam Riegel (Xrd -SIGN-), Sean Chiplock (Strive)
KR: Kim Myung-Jun

Playable in: The Missing Link, X, XX, Overture, Xrd -SIGN-, -STRIVE-

"Why must I make friends with the hated and make enemies of the respected?... It's times like these when I miss the days of the war. The days before I discovered the little space between good and evil..."

Sol's rival. A goody-two-shoes former Holy Knight who is now a high ranking officer of the International Police Force. Ky is a firm believer in God and justice at all times. This was bad early in the story since his scale of morality consisted exclusively of black and white without shades of grey. Fortunately, by the end of XX he dropped this naive view. His weapon is the Thunderseal, which allows him to manipulate electricity. Throughout the series he is on orders from the IPF to investigate the Gear phenomena that are occurring around the world. In XX he finds out about the Post-War Administration Bureau and decides to investigate into their agenda. He discovers that they are creating robot impersonators of himself and have a dastardly agenda regarding the Gears, especially Dizzy.

In his Accent Core + story, Ky continues to investigate the PWAB, noticing that others have started to take an interest in their agenda as well. Eventually, he reunites with Dizzy and stops her when she loses control of her power due to stress. Johnny thanks him and both of them team up, with Dizzy in tow, to fight Crow and his Justice clone.

This is the fork in the road for the two ending paths. If Ky decides to handle things alone, then he, Johnny, and Dizzy will come to an agreement that allows Dizzy to be placed in Ky's protective custody, allowing her to fulfill her dreams of learning about the world. This is likely the canon path with the story of Overture taken into consideration. However, if Ky lets Johnny settle his grudge with Crow, he will stray from the path and accidentally encounter A.B.A, defeating her before the base explodes. One month later, he continues his work, with even more burdens on his mind due to the connections between the Bureau and the IPF.

In Overture he is unwillingly "promoted" to the king of a country called Illyria by the United Nations, using his secret wife's wellbeing as an incentive to accept the position. He is unofficially married to a woman known only as "The Maiden of the Grove," who was confirmed to be Dizzy in the 10th Memorial Book, and is the father of Sin, with whom he has a shaky relationship. If all that wasn't stressful enough for him, when Dizzy had begun to fade from existence, Ky was forced to sacrifice his Thunderseal sword in order to save her. He wielded a different sword called "Aquila", which, while originally just for decoration, was modified by Ky to be usable in battle.

A returning character in Strive. Ky has now gone back to his short hair cut from the first game, wearing a dark short-sleeved shirt and pants, topped with a white cape. He's called back into action after I-No breaks into Ariels' jail cell in Illyria, and works with Sol on figuring out I-No's motives.

In fighting game installments, Ky is the gold-standard of Jack-of-All-Stats in the Guilty Gear series with moves for every situation. He's great at mid-range (neutral) zoning and has an array of pokes and projectiles to control positioning when needed, but suffers against more specialized combatants when trying to fight them at their own games.

Tropes Associated with Ky:

  • Action Dad: A deadly holy knight who come Overture is married and has a son, Sin Kiske.
  • Always Save the Girl: In Overture, he won't let his love the Maiden of the Grove, a.k.a Dizzy die even if the universe is at stake.
    • Deconstructed in the drama CDs; attempting to save a woman led directly to his horrible demise and therefore the Bad Future.
  • Amazon Chaser: In -Revelator-, his wife Dizzy joins the cast and shows herself as quite the Badass Adorable still. Ky's reaction to her Instant Kill is... going pretty much starry eyed at the sight and turning back to her with a loving smile.
  • Ambiguously Human: Ky is fatally shot several times by Axus during the climax of Xrd and seemingly dies. Thinking it over, Axus gives Ky credit for getting his kingdom to fall for his whole truth and justice. And just as he turns to leave Ky suddenly gets up. Heroic music begins as he makes a short speech of why his people truly believe in him and when he finally raises his head the music suddenly darkens considerably and it is revealed Ky's left eye is glowing crimson...a trait unique to Gears.
    • In Guilty Gear Strive, he gains the ability to use Dragon Install, making it clear that he's at least part Gear due to having one of Sin's eyes.
  • And Then John Was a Zombie: A rare positive example. Ky seems to have gained Gear powers through his relationship with Dizzy, which allows him to survive being shot by Axus during Xrd. By Strive he can use Dragon Install like Sol, in his case to temporarily gearize the left side of his body.
  • Art Evolution: In the first three games, Ky was more on the handsome side (but was still a Bishōnen). He also had shorter hair. His Overture design gives him longer hair though still retaining his handsome looks from the previous games, whilst his Xrd design sends him into Dude Looks Like a Lady territory. Rev 2 reintroduced his classic look.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: With Sin, after they talk out their issues a bit, in Mission #16.
  • Badass Army: He commands a human Magitek knight army along with Sin.
  • Badass Cape: In Overture and Xrd he wears a cool cape on his back to visually denote his new position as a king.
  • Badass in Charge: He's ALWAYS in charge and his Authority Equals Asskicking. He commanded the world's army and was a high ranking officer in the international police force. Later, he becomes a king of Illyria.
  • Badass in Distress: In Overture, he's trapped in Raven's seal in a badass pose.
  • Badass Normal: In comparison with Sol and the rest. Ky is the most normal, archetypal and realistic among the characters. He's not famous in-universe for sheer magical power, he's famous for his control of lightning magic and his swordsmanship. Cranked up a notch in Overture, where he's still kicking ass without Thunderseal.
  • Badass Preacher: He tends to preach about God.
  • Badass Transplant: It is eventually confirmed that this is how Ky got his Gear powers by the time of Xrd. In order to hide Sin's identity as a Gear, Ky had his son's left eye surgically removed and replaced with his own. As Dizzy is the daughter of Justice/Aria, who had the Scales of Juno implanted within her by That Man, she carried "the Blood of Juno" within her, which Sin naturally inherited. Thus, when the two traded their eyes, Ky became part-Gear.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Earlier in the franchise: Don't bring up Fireseal or the fact Sol stole it, or Ky will get very irritable.
    • Later: Do not EVER talk bad about Dizzy. When Sol tries to to get Ky to fight seriously by calling her a monster, Ky gets so angry he literally smashes Sol through the ground.
  • Boring, but Practical: Ky has little in the way of flash or mystique in his moveset. His normals all give him great space control and have little flair, while his special moves are tailored to be extremely direct in their functions. At the same time, a good Ky player is absolute terror to fight, since Ky's lack of real weaknesses makes him very consistent to play at all levels.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Between Missions 15 and 16 of Overture, Ky shows up with the army he almost singlehandedly beat down (see the page) to bail out Sol's party. The latter is openly thankful, albeit in his own special way.
  • Bishōnen: Even more so in Xrd. Strive noticeably tones down his pretty boy-ness and makes him more masculine in appearance.
  • Character Development: From an arrogant, if extremely well-meaning, Knight Templar to a deconstructed Lawful Good character, and his initially bitter rivalry with Sol gets better at each installment until they are virtually friends in Overture, though Sol did beat him to a pulp for bringing Sin into the world and making both their lives harder, and by REVELATOR he's offering Sol whiskey in his office despite not being a drinker himself with Sol telling him that he ought to learn to.
  • Chaste Hero: In Missing Link through XX he's so committed to his mission of protecting the world he has no time for relationships with others. Eventually changes come Overture, where it's revealed he not only met a woman namely Dizzy, but married her and had a child together, Sin Kiske.
  • Child Prodigy He wasn't just a Child Soldier, he was a very good one. How good? After Sol first saw him fight as a ruthless, emotionless, brutally efficient engine of slaughter in the Crusades then was later challenged to a duel by him... Sol was scared absolutely shitless thinking he had been found out as a Gear and that Ky is there to kill him.
  • Child Soldier: His Backstory.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: It's much worse in the drama CDs and produced a tragic result, his death, when mixed with too much chivalry.
  • Church Militant: A definite good-guy example. You might even say he kicks ass for the Lord.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Tying into this via After Story A, it's revealed that Ky, unlike Sol, actually learned how to utilize various battle strategies that don't normally involve fair tactics (while Sol most likely just busted his way through everything with his powers). He first demonstrates he could strike at Sol's throat unnoticed; then comes his berserk button getting triggered to the point where he stabs his sword into Sol's foot, uses his lightning to dismantle Sol's sword, smashes his own sword's pommel into Sol's face until it breaks and Ky grabs the remaining pieces to toss it into Sol's face again before winding up his weapon for a massive lightning strike.
  • Concepts Are Cheap: Subverted trope. Ky actually took the original Big Bad's words to heart about how he was just spouting heroic buzz words without actually understanding them, and much of his character arc surrounds his attempts to find some form of "true" justice, rather than the self-serving concept he originally espoused, and he attempts to acknowledge gray areas.
  • Costume Porn: King Ky Kiske: the nightmare of fan-artists and cosplayers.
  • Creepy Cool Crosses: Seems kinda strange that holy boy would instant-kill people with a freaking electric cross in the first game (his old GG1 Instant Kill, Zwei Voltage). To be sure, it looked WAY cooler than Rising Force (until Xrd).
  • Cultured Badass: His hobby in most bios tends to be collecting teacups.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Once he stops holding himself back he's capable of dishing one of these out to Sol of all people.
    Ky: *Nonchalantly* If you're going to sleep, do so in a bed.
    Sol: *Flat on his back in a crater* I'm fine here. Do most of my sleeping on the ground anyway.
  • Dead-Hand Shot: After being shot in Xrd's Story Mode. He got better.
  • The Dreaded: To Sol, of all people. After Story A shows why: when facing someone he actually wants to kill, like Gears during the Crusades, Ky is a No-Nonsense Nemesis who employs any and all means to kill the enemy with zero compunction or remorse.
  • Determinator: Almost to the point of madness — Ky repeatedly challenges Sol despite never winning in canon (and given how powerful Sol is, he most likely never will). Until Revelator 2, where Sol deliberately taunts him and is utterly trounced in the ensuing fight. Sol even says that fighting Ky to learn about how humans can face off against Gears was pointless, calling Ky a monster.
    • In Strive, he's the only one who isn't brought to tears after witnessing I-No's ascent to godhood, unlike the other characters in the story—Zato included—and instead directly challenges her to a fight despite knowing how hopeless it would be to try and defeat her in her ascended state.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Ky's Xrd design, coupled with his even prettier looks and ponytail, would make him look not too dissimilar to BlazBlue's Izayoi. This is even acknowledged In-Universe by Millia in her Xrd win quote against him.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Despite Ky's status as the commander of the Holy Knights and his great contribution in ending a hundred-year war that ravaged humanity, the characters don't seem to know about it and/or give him the respect he deserves. Instead, he either gets treated like he's a corrupt cop or a Lawful Stupid. Many characters hate him, royal title or not. Eventually averted in Xrd where he is now respected by his peers and the public on a level that befits his kingly status.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: As of Xrd, as he experienced at least partial conversion into a Gear after conceiving Sin with his Half-Gear lover Dizzy.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: His hair has gotten longer over the course of the series. In Xrd, he claims his hair continues to grow rapidly even when he cuts it, foreshadowing his reveal as a half-Gear hybrid.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Had one apparently for no reason in the Overture prequel short story in the 10th Memorial Book. Then in Xrd Ky gets shot behind his back by Axus, but then gets up, with a left eye glowing red, a mark of a Gear.
  • Fair Cop: A Bishōnen Holy Knight.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Similar to Sol, showing that he's still a fighter at heart.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Sol. Just listen to them quarrel in the drama CDs and the games then see them trusting each other afterwards.
  • Flung Clothing: Ky's intro in Xrd has him throwing off his Badass Cape before fighting.
  • For Want of a Nail: His death or survival at the Battle of Rome decides the future according to the drama CDs.
  • French Jerk: Inverted. Ky is French but he is also one of the most polite, helpful and generally nicest people in the whole series. This contrasts him with Sol, who is American and definitely plays to the national stereotype.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Foreshadowed by his own son, no less. One of Sin's win quotes in Xrd mentions that due to the advanced growth traits unique to Gears, he has to constantly cut his hair every few days. In Story Mode, when Dizzy returns, Ky mentions that no matter how much he cuts his hair, it just keeps growing longer. At the end of Xrd's story mode, Ky gets up after having been supposedly fatally shot by Axus to reveal a red left eye; the mark of a Gear.
    • Was also foreshadowed with Elphelt's power to find other Gears. She was hoping it would bring her to Sol, but she found Ky instead.
  • Hero Antagonist: To Sol. Also, to the other characters as well, being a police officer. Eventually, it was changed in Overture.
  • The High King: According to Leo, he is the first among equals in the Illyria triumvirate of kings.
  • Improbable Age: He led the Holy Knights when he was just 16 years old, though we still don't know how much power he actually held. Pretty much in the series it's implied that politicians use his charisma to gain support from the public.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Played straight in a good sense if you exclude his love affair. In the series, Ky is the only character who never or will probably never intentionally commit something evil or abandon his ideals.
    • Including the affair, however, deconstructs this quite brutally, to a point.
  • In the Name of the Moon:
    "I am Illyria's king, Ky Kiske! Get ready!"
  • Interspecies Romance: The human Ky took a Gear as his wife: the "Maiden of the Grove", Dizzy.
  • Invocation: In his Instant Kill in Xrd. As it turns out, what he says in gameplay is only the last part of a much longer poem, the full version of which can be unlocked and listened to in the Gallery.
    "They are modest to greed. Generous to the truths of this world. When the heart is peaceful the seven seas cry! Rising Force!"
  • Irony:
    • Ky lost his family and his supposedly worry-free teenage years because of the brutal war with the Gears. He ends up becoming best friends with one, and another he marries and has a child with her. Xrd reveals that he himself has become at least partially Gear-ized as well.
    • He was the leader of the Holy Knights, yet his son is named Sin. Really, Ky?
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Ky is arguably the most balanced character, the reason why he's recommended to beginners and why many players find him boring to use.
  • Justice Will Prevail: Ironically subverted by his ending in the first Guilty Gear. After defeating her, Ky almost literally says the trope to Commander Gear Justice (it's really her name), but is silenced afterwards when she justifies her actions that the knight claims to be evil.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Deconstructed. It may be true that Ky is saving a lot of lives and protecting the innocent but his devotion to the public also makes him vulnerable to manipulation. The corrupt government is using his charisma to hide the fact that they're doing dirty work in secret. Ky never hesitates to investigate his superiors, but when he does, he's forcefully made into a Puppet King. What's worse is that only very few of the characters acknowledge his efforts and Ky is more of a nuisance to them, than an actual helping hand. His chivalrous and authoritative qualities are mocked by the cast. In the end, he has resolved to bring justice to the innocent but as he experiences different things he begins to question the idea of "justice" he believed all his life, thus prompting him to find his own definition.
  • Knight Templar: Borderline example early on. In fact, he teetered dangerously close to full-on Black-and-White Insanity, until his encounters with Sol and Justice forced him to question his own ideals before they could potentially push him over the edge.
  • Knight Templar Parent: With Sin.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Strive's pre-release trailers casually spoil his Half-Human Hybrid status as of Xrd by showing off his ability to use Dragon Install like Sol does.
  • Law of Conservation of Detail: Ky seems to be the entire international police force, doesn't he? Literally no other member of the IPF is ever shown on screen.
  • Light Is Good: In contrast to Sol's Dark Is Not Evil. He's wearing white and blue and uses lightning, and his personality is probably exactly what you expect.
  • Limited Wardrobe: He always wear his Holy Knight uniform... despite the war ending 5 years ago. He changes into something befitting a royalty in Overture, and changes into what is basically a slightly regal version of the Holy Knight uniform in Xrd. He finally gets a significant design overhaul in Strive, keeping the white and blue coat but switching out his uniform for a black shirt, pants, and shoes.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: From Overture and onwards. It's revealed he grew his hair long for Dizzy. It appears to have gotten even longer than originally expected. When Dizzy is freed from stasis and reunited with Ky near the end of Xrd, she remarks at how long it's actually gotten.
    Dizzy: Your hair's gotten so long...
    Ky: Yes, well... Lately it just keeps growing, no matter how much I cut it.
  • Love Is a Weakness: Ky's involvement with the Maiden of the Grove aka Dizzy, who was Valentine's main target in her Gear sublimation. His kingdom suffered a lot of casualties because of this. Until Revelator 2, that is: by that point, the Ilyrians have warmed up to her.
  • Magic Knight: He is both proficient in sword fighting and lightning magic in a genius level.
  • Mark of the Supernatural: As of Xrd, Ky's left eye glows red when he unleashes more of his power. Glowing red eyes are noted to be a trait unique to Gears, marking Ky as a human-Gear hybrid.
  • Martial Pacifist: Unless his hand is forced, Ky prefers to have things settled peacefully. His desire to not hurt anyone makes him hold back unconsciously on humanoid opponents.
  • Musical Spoiler: His new theme, Magnolia Éclair (literally Lightning Magnolia), is very similar to Judas Priest's Electric Eye. Close to the end of -SIGN- it's heavily implied that Ky became part gear, with the side effect of that not only he's stronger now, but also that his eye is red, with an electric flow of energy. Literally, an Electric Eye.
  • Nice Guy: A little distant (mainly due to his position as king), but he's nonetheless kind, patient, unfailingly polite, and unwilling to resort to violence unless absolutely necessary.
  • Odd Friendship: Despite being your textbook Lawful Good type Knight in Shining Armor, he has plenty of wanted fugitives on speed dial; one would expect Johnny (wanted pirate), Sol (deserter and bounty hunter), Dizzy (wanted person), Potemkin (agent of opposing nation), and Dr. Paradigm (Gear leader) to be his targets rather than his strongest allies.
  • Official Couple: He ends up hooking up with Dizzy.
  • Officer and a Gentleman: Ky is very courteous to his opponents, especially if they're women.
    (to Jam) "Please don't kick so high... I can see- Ouch!"
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • When talking with Ariels relatively early in the REVELATOR story, Ky already had his suspicions about her but the moment she accidentally and nonchalantly reveals a complete lack of care for human life until he catches her on it, the camera specifically focuses on Ky's face as he realizes the very person in charge of humanity is not the saint the world and history paint her as.
    • A much more hilarious example occurs later in Revelator, where he discovers that since Dizzy is Sol's daughter, and he married her, that makes Sol his father-in-law. Neither he or Sol are pleased at this fact.
  • The Only One: Ky is the only opponent that terrifies Sol, a fact which Sol kept secret for years.
  • Open Secret: Dizzy is his wife. The age, origin, appearance, personality and ability uniquely match.
  • Parental Abandonment: His parents are assumed to have died when he was very young, which led to him enlisting in the Sacred Order of Holy Knights not long after.
  • Parental Neglect: Is guilty of this towards his son, Sin. As a result, come Overture, Sin considers Sol his only father, and Ky is already aware that he won't be able to fix the gap between them at this point. However, their relationship does get better over time, and Xrd marks the first time Sin considers Ky to be his father.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: When Ky uses Dragon Install in -STRIVE-, the section of his hair that surrounds his left eye, which Turns Red due to him now having Gear DNA within him, goes from blonde to a bright neon blue.
  • Puppet King: Unwillingly made King of Illyria. The "puppeteers" didn't even bother to hide this fact from Ky.
  • Real Men Love Jesus: While nothing is explicitly mentioned regarding his faith, he's shown doing the sign of the cross. And apparently, the Orthodox way.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Ky's hobby is collecting teacups. He's still a badass.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Ky's left eye glows crimson whenever he taps into his Gear powers. The first time this happened, he had just been shot by one of the Conclave members, who he then proceeded to kill in a single slash.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Sol's red.
  • Ride the Lightning: Probably the most famous example, if only for bearing the trope name.
  • The Rival: To Sol Badguy.
  • Royally Screwed Up: The Gears are a kind of living WMD which are widely despised by most of humanity for almost driving them to extinction. Naturally, Ky marries one and has a child with her, which makes things... occasionally challenging.
    • Averted after Dizzy ran around saving people and stopping the rampaging Gears at the end of Revelator. The masses were begging for her to be Illyria's Queen without knowing she already was.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: He is King by Xrd. Doesn't stop him from kicking ass.
  • Save This Person, Save the World: To avoid a horrific Bad Future, he must survive the Battle of Rome.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: He helped fake Dizzy's death to protect her from bounty hunters, and formed an alliance with Dr. Paradigm at the end of Overture despite the obvious hostility of the populace with Gears.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Possibly in Overture, considering that Ky may have some noble, yet radical, agendas in hand (i.e. friendship with Gears).
  • Secret Relationship: Ky and his wife, Dizzy, because it would be very scandalous to the public. By the time Revelator 2 kicks in, they have been found out... but by that time they find out that Dizzy has become beloved among the Ilyrian crowds, who consider her their guardian angel and do want her to be their Queen.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The sensitive guy to Sol's manly man.
  • Ship Tease: Let's see. One of the XX endings shows him having a picnic with Jam, who was pretty much all over him. Another one of his story endings has him rather tenderly watching over a sleeping Dizzy. And let's not get started on all the artwork which has him and Sol in... interesting positions.
  • Ship Sinking: Every ship that isn't Ky/Dizzy, with the implication that he married her and had a kid with her in AC+, and subsequent confirmation in Xrd.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: Strive shows him breaking his all-white and blue wardrobe of prior games, with him now wearing a black shirt, pants, and shoes.
  • Shock and Awe: His element, which Sin inherits.
  • Shoryuken: Vapor Thrust; Ky leaps up with an arcing slash. The attack is invicible on startup, making it a very effective reversal tool, and he has a light and heavy variant with different power and frame data.
  • Shotoclone: Much like Sol, Ky has a very basic movelist, consisting of a projectile (Stun Edge), anti-air (Vapor Thrust), and a few approaching moves. By Xrd, however, his moveset places more emphasis on zoning. STRIVE brings him back to his roots by rounding out his variety of moves to be more versatile.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Xrd upgraded his Instant Kill, Rising Force, to this.
  • Skilled, but Naïve: Played straight in the first game (his conviction on what's good and evil), but not so much in the second (his pursuit of true justice), and definitely not in Overture and Xrd.
  • Slide Attack: Stun Dipper has Ky slide forward with a low kick before following up with a sword strike. While useful for scoring a knockdown, it can be unsafe due to its high end lag.
  • Slipknot Ponytail: In Xrd, if Ky is slammed around through enough wall bounces/hard knockdowns (determined by a random number generator per match) or is defeated by an instant kill, his ponytail becomes undone and stays that way for the rest of the fight, even in the victory screen. When it happens, "Holy Orders III" from Overture starts playing. Given the requirements for this to happen, it's likely that if a Ky player is going easy on their opponent, they're probably going to stop after the ponytail comes loose.
  • The Strategist: It's his Informed Ability in the early games, but we finally see him in action in Overture. In fact the whole reason Sol had to undergo a Curb-Stomp Battle at Ky's hands was so he could ask Ky for advice on how to defeat Asuka in their impending battle.
  • Stealth Pun: Ky starts the series believing Gears are evil and that eliminating them is justice, only to have this naive belief thrown right back in his face by the Commander of those very same Gears, who is NAMED Justice for extra Irony. His faith shaken, he later ends up bcoming friends with a Gear (his rival Sol), falls in love with and has a child (Sin) with one (Dizzy), becomes one himself, and then realizes that his wife is actually the daughter of his rival, thus making Sol his father-in-law and meaning his entire family are Gears to at least some degree. In other words, Ky has become a "Guilty Gear", just like Sol. This becomes even more pronounced in -STRIVE-, where not only does Ky get Sol's Dragon Install technique, but by the end of the story Sol is more or less reverted back to being human while Ky remains a Gear. Ky is, figuratively and literally, carrying on Sol's legacy.
  • Super Mode: In Guilty Gear Strive, he gains the ability to use Dragon Install.
  • Super Special Move: "Sacred Edge" is a stronger version of his "Stun Edge" special, where he summons a blade-shaped electric projectile that shocks his opponent. Sacred Edge is bigger, stronger, and deals more hits than Stun Edge, while also having Ky perform a similar windup animation.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In Strive, where he gains his own version of Dragon Install.
  • Touched by Vorlons: It's directly implied that his partial Gear powers in Xrd and Strive came from his relationship with Dizzy, since it's referred to as being "a few drops of the blood of Juno" (and thus likely came from Justice's bloodline).
  • Warrior Monk: Western type.
  • Willfully Weak: Rev2 reveals that as much as much as Sol is always holding back so is Ky. Sol finally calls him out about it during a man-to-man talk and tries to goad Ky into coming at him at full power by calling Dizzy a monster, but it works a bit too well and he gets put in a crater for it after an immensely one-sided fight. Sol calls him out that he's still holding back while Ky retorts that Sol didn't even transform; though via Combat Pragmatist up above, Ky's various battle tactics prevented Sol from being able to act on time. Also note that Ky back then considered Sol to be a man as opposed to a monster, making a timeline-long-unspoken-agreement to best him in combat in a fair duel as opposed to using uninhibited war tactics.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Played with. He doesn't hold back against female opponents who are more than capable of kicking his ass, but he's extremely noble and courteous to the majority of them. I-no is fair game, which you really can't blame him for, really.


  • Height: 5'2"
  • Weight: 104lbs
  • Blood type: B
  • Birthplace: Japan
  • Date of Birth: Unknown (Adopted on May 5th)
  • Hobbies: Thinking about Johnny
  • Likes: Johnny
  • Dislikes: Bald people

Voiced by:
JP: Satomi Koorogi
EN: Eden Riegel
KR: Kim Haru

Playable in: The Missing Link, X, XX, Xrd -SIGN-, -STRIVE-

"Johnny, this is for you!"

The Token Mini-Moe of the series. May is a member of the Jellyfish Pirates, a band of modern-day Robin Hood-types who use the sky as their domain. She enters the first tournament to get funds to bail Johnny out of prison. She loses, but manages to bail him out anyway. Afterward, she and the rest of the crew are introduced to Dizzy by Johnny, and the two become fast friends. When I-no appears, however, and tosses Dizzy off the ship, she goes out to search for her, and through a chance encounter with Anji, discovers that she's Japanese. Now, in Guilty Gear, the majority of the Japanese people were wiped out by Justice, so the remaining population are held in safety camps which they are not allowed to leave under penalty of arrest or even death. Being an orphan, May was somehow smuggled out of one of the camps and ended up in Johnny's care.

In Accent Core+, May and the rest of the crew decide to do something special for Dizzy: reuniting her with Testament. Something goes wrong, however, and Dizzy loses control of her power, prompting Ky to jump in and assist. Afterwards she finds Johnny having a conversation with Baiken about the Japanese. Unfortunately, May mistakes this as Johnny flirting with Baiken, which upsets her enough to call him an idiot before running away crying. She ends up running into I-no, who once again mentions that she's Japanese, leading up to another encounter with Anji.

In her first ending, May wonders if she's putting her friends in danger because of her heritage. Johnny decides to put her fears to rest and cheer her up by sparring with her, stating that any problem can be overcome with family bonds. After one last surprise attack by Robo-Ky, May returns with the rest of the Jellyfish Pirates, their lives continuing as normal. However, if May ends up losing a match and continues are used, she will doubt her strength and, believing that it's for the sake of her friends, decides to leave with Anji to discover what it truly means to be Japanese.

A returning character for Strive. May's design has changed where she now wears a very large baggy sweatshirt, but still retains her giant anchor.

The resident pixie fighter, May is a small, aggressive melee character with big damage output and good air mobility. She excels in forcing cross-ups by attacking from right on top of the opponent. In turn, she has below average defense. She also has some set-up options in her dolphins, which were expanded on greatly in Xrd where they now serve as projectiles or movement boosts too.

Tropes Associated with May:

  • Anchors Away: A four foot something young girl who uses a several hundred pound anchor as a weapon.
  • Badass Adorable: Despite being a sweethearted little kid, May is a powerhouse.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Her new look in Xrd.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Implied to be anyone who tries to claim Johnny. Or just being attractive in general, since they might catch his eye.
    • Bald people. Just being around Faust in GGXX gives her the creeps and eventually she incites a fight with him.
  • BFS: Her various anchors are huge, all being two times bigger than her at minimum.
  • Bokukko
  • Charge-Input Special: May has charge inputs for many of her specials that utilize her pet dolphins. "Mr. Dolphin" can travel both horizontally and vertically, giving May the ability to close in from multiple angles. Combined with a variety of projectiles and a powerful Grapple Move, May can exert a lot of pressure from all over the stage.
  • Cute Bruiser: Her shoes even make cute squeaky sounds wherever she walks.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Her intro in Xrd has her ride to the stage on a dolphin, only to promptly lose her balance when she lands. Good job, May.
  • Cutting the Knot: Her philosophy, as shown by the GGXX drama CD.
  • Fingerless Gloves
  • Friendship Moment: May always denies that Johnny is her Parental Substitute and insists that he's her Love Interest. But it's sure that both of them can settle with being pals, especially that May will eventually grow up.
  • Fun Personified: Always having a good time, even in the middle of a fight.
  • Genki Girl
  • Has a Type: She's a reverse paedophile, preferring men who are old enough to be her dad.
  • Human Cannonball: Her new Instant Kill in Guilty Gear Xrd has her place the opponent inside the Mayship's cannon which she and April proceed to fire.
  • Improbable Weapon User: An anchor bigger than her, along with various marine life.
  • Kawaiiko: Her squeaky shoes and her use of dolphins and other cute critters to attack her opponents. She even gets a unique "DESTROYED" message if you execute an Instant Kill that matches her sunny personality.
  • Likes Older Men: May prefers to crush on older men. She tells Ky Kiske, who's at least 21 years old, that he's too young and needs to age 5-10 years more.
  • Megaton Punch: Her Forward + Punch move, which can be charged up. It sends the opponent to the other side of the screen and if done around about 2 or 3 times it dizzies them. It also looks really cute. She keeps it in -STRIVE-, but it's no longer chargeable.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Her petite frame has no bearing on her ability to wield a massive anchor in combat. It's implied that her latent ki abilities granted by her Japanese ancestry is what gives her super strength.
  • Older Than They Look: She's supposed to be 22 by Xrd. Good luck figuring that out from first glance. Averted in her trailer reveal for -STRIVE-, where she finally upgraded to looking more like a teenager/young adult.
  • Open Secret: She's one of the last-surviving Japanese. It's an open secret among her crew and those who have known her for long enough.
  • Parental Abandonment: It's completely unknown where her parents are, or why she was smuggled out of the Japanese camps.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: She's got a very small frame and no muscles to speak of, and yet she's able to swing an anchor around as a weapon with one hand.
  • Pirate Girl: One of the Jellyfish Pirates, complete with a big puffy pirate hat and an army of marine mammals at her beck and call.
  • Plucky Girl
  • She's All Grown Up: In -STRIVE- she's gotten noticeably more full-figured, especially in the legs, making her appear more like she's actually in her 20s.
  • Ship Tease: Most notably she's after Johnny, and is shown hugging him in her Path 3 Story Mode ending for XX, but her Path 2 Story Mode ending from the same game shows her holding hands with Bridget and looking embarrassed. If Faust performs his Kancho move on her in Xrd, she awkwardly and loudly cries out "I'M SORRY, JOHNNY!"
  • Spice Up the Subtitles: Accent Core Plus translates "Johnny, you idiot!" as "Johnny, you asshole!" Now, she is a pirate, but...
  • Suicide Attack: Attempts one in the drama CDs to try and avenge Johnny. It fails miserably.
  • Super Strength
  • Unskilled, but Strong: May plays with this. She isn't particularly coordinated when fighting, as most of her attacks are just doing straightforward punches or anchor swings. One special is her just spinning her arms like a child having a temper tantrum. But her Dust launcher sees her standing on the anchor, spinning on the hook, and punching the opponent skyward.
  • Vibrant Orange: May is a cheerful, openhearted Sky Pirate with an abundance of love and loyalty to her captain and savior Johnny. Her outfit includes an orange coat, boots and hat.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Has a command grab with an impressive animation. She can lift an anchor after all, so this is no surprise.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Her inexplicable fear of bald men. This fear/hate is so powerful that she doesn't even need to actually SEE the baldness. Her meeting Faust a.ka. "Dr. Baldhead" results in an instant fight because of this.

    Millia Rage 

Millia Rage
  • Height: 5'6(1/2)"
  • Weight: 106lbs
  • Blood type: B
  • Birthplace: Russia
  • Date of Birth: Unknown
  • Hobbies: Chasing cats
  • Likes: Chastity
  • Dislikes: Zato-1, losing her hair

Voiced by:
JP: Yuko Sumitomo
EN: Tara Platt
KR: Jung Hye-Won

Millia is a former member of the Assassins' Guild. She has the 6th Forbidden Spell: Angra cast on her hair, allowing her to control it at will, much like Zato, who gained a Forbidden Beast and the ability to control darkness. She left the Guild after, in her desire to break with the group, she betrayed Zato to the authorities. Naturally, she is marked for death by the Guild for high treason. Venom especially hates her because of this, and the fact that Millia had feelings for Zato. She finally ends Zato's suffering in X by killing him, but in XX she finds out that his parasite, Eddie has taken over his dead body. Wanting to put an end to the creature defiling Zato's corpse, she once again sets out to kill Eddie, and encounters Slayer, who sympathizes with her situation. By Accent Core + , she's finally started to mellow out and become less vindictive, simply wanting to go on living for as long as possible for the sakes of those she's killed. This means ending the guild and Eddie just so they'll stop hunting her and be out of her hair at last. Unfortunately, it is also revealed that the spell is starting to become active and sentient, having been fed by all her fighting and bloodshed, and she starts to Freak Out, thinking that she will end up just like Zato if she doesn't kill Eddie soon. note 

The Drama CD "Night of Knives" sheds light on Millia's past, as well as the reason she betrayed Zato. Millia, Zato, and Venom were on a mission to assassinate the ruler-to-be of a certain nation. When it is revealed that the ruler is actually an infant, Millia becomes conflicted with herself as well as with her relationship with Zato. She ultimately decides that if being an Assassin means killing even children, then it is not the life for her. And so, Millia rats out Zato to the authorities while Venom escapes, sparking his hatred of Millia and sending Zato on his path to insanity.

In Accent Core+, Millia's story branches off at her fight with Venom. If she defeats Venom normally, she will encounter Eddie, who is despondent over his ever-nearing death and feels that the key to prolonging his existence lies with taking Millia's body. Millia finally defeats Eddie for good, but as he slowly begins to die he comes to the realization that life is not about flesh and blood, but how that life is lived. With his last breath, Eddie implores Millia to always remember both his and Zato's existences before fading away into nothingness. However, if she defeats Venom by Time Over, the spell within her hair begins to take over her mind, prompting her to attack Baiken and Bridget without warning, killing them both. Just when Millia starts succumbing to the spell, she is stabbed from her fan from the endings of the previous games. This fan had been brainwashed by Venom in order to kill Millia, but had saved her, in a way, by allowing her to die as herself and not the spell's influence. With his mission accomplished, the fan's mind control is broken right as Millia dies, leaving him a traumatized, sobbing wreck.

A returning character in Xrd. Millia now has a brand new look, discarding her white and blue ensemble for an orange and black one plus a stylized ushanka, probably as a Shout-Out to Maetel of Galaxy Express 999. Now seemingly on better terms with Venom and the Assassin's Guild she abandoned, she is summoned by him in regards to an offer the Senate made him: the revival of Zato-1. Suspicious, Venom assigns Millia the task of investigating the Senate, which she accepts.

Gameplay-wise, Millia is a high-speed character centered around punishing callous opponents. She is one of most fragile characters in the series, but she trades that for impressive mobility options, nearly unmatched mix-up game, and deadly okizeme setups to ensure that her opponent pays dearly for every mistake and knockdown.

Tropes Associated with Millia:

  • Action Girl: A former assassin who uses her Prehensile Hair as a weapon in combat.
  • The Atoner: Her Image Song in Strive, Love the Subhuman Self, describes her desire to move past her former life as an Assassin implanted with a Forbidden Spell.
  • Broken Bird: Millia is an orphan and was coerced by her asshole ex-boyfriend to assassinate people. After leaving the organization, she finds it hard to form any relationships.
  • Celibate Hero: Because of her cynicism about men, she doesn't pursue romance anymore.
  • Compressed Hair: Her hair naturally falls to her ankles while tied up, but she also uses it as a weapon, and it takes huge and ridiculous shapes. Also, in one winning pose, she takes off her ponytail and her hair flops to the ground, stretching to about two feet from her. This is due to a forbidden spell permanently bonded to her hair which has a high-end Healing Factor.
  • Defector from Decadence: She left the Assassin's Guild due to the lingering guilt she felt from the murders she committed and their cruel ways.
  • Does Not Like Men: Not because she hates them per se, though. Her past has made her quite cynical of the opposite sex and their quirks.
  • Expressive Hair: Millia's hair takes this to an extreme, as it's a living bioweapon.
  • Fanservice Pack: Curiously inverted: she seems to wear more clothes across each entry of the series. In The Missing Link she only wore a Leotard of Power, in X and XX she changed it to an overgrown shirt that goes down to her thighs, in Xrd she started wearing tights to cover up her legs, and in STRIVE she put on a winter coat on top of it all.
  • Fragile Speedster: She's fast, agile, but not too hard to defeat if enough hits are landed on her.
  • Friend to All Children: Underneath her cold exterior she's actually a kind person, especially to children. This is most likely due to her having been an orphan.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Part of her outfit before Xrd.
  • Flower Motifs: Easter Lilies. She is also called The Lily of Steel in Xrd.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Zig-Zagged. She's blonde, but was trained as an assassin and performed more than a few kills. She was coerced into it rather than becoming a professional killer by choice, though, and she feels great guilt over it, so much that she defected from the Assassin's Guild. Furthermore, underneath her coldness she's a kind person, being friendly to children and cats.
  • Hair Wings: Her hair takes the form of angel wings, during one of her EX drives, where she lifts vertically off the ground and dives at the opponent.
  • Hartman Hips: Oh boy she has them.
  • Humans Are Flawed: Was an assassin.
  • I Broke a Nail: She hates losing any part of her hair.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him!: What she fears of herself if she doesn't kill Eddie soon.
  • Impossible Hourglass Figure: Her -STRIVE- design, in spades.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Her hair, powered by the forbidden spell.
  • Internal Reformist: in Millia's Arcade Mode ending in -REVELATOR-, she comes to realize that despite the trauma she suffered from being a member of the Assassins' Guild, it was still the one place she could truly call "home", since she met the people who would become her True Companions (Zato, Venom, and Slayer). With that in mind, she decides to become the new leader of the Guild.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Her moveset is designed around maximizing the benefits from Okizeme and taking advantage of a downed opponent.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Her hobby is playing with cats.
  • Lady of War: She has a quiet and completely non-brazen demeanor, and her fighting style reflects that. Her animate golden hair flows gracefully, tends to incorporate flower and wing motifs into its strikes, plus it leaves the rest of her body free to contribute to the trope with dance-like movements.
  • Leotard of Power: As shown in the artbooks, she wears a leotard under her blouse. By Xrd, she wears it alongside with tights.
  • Magic Hair: She practiced in the art of Hi-Deigokutsuipou, or the "Sixth Forbidden Spell", which gave her the power to control the movement as well as alter the length and shape of her hair at will.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Millia is a stunningly beautiful woman with a sexy figure, which is accentuated and emphasized by her outfits.
  • Mythology Gag: Part of her idle animation for Xrd has her reenact her idle animation from the earlier games.
  • Nice Hat: Gains one with her new look in Xrd, and keeps wearing it in Strive.
  • Not So Similar: Contrary to what was believed for a while, Millia's hair is not a Forbidden Beast, but a Forbidden Spell that is classified in the same way as a Gear and a Forbidden Beast. Zato is actually the only known user of a Forbidden Beast.
  • Panty Shot: She wears an awfully short skirt for someone who cares about her chastity. One might enjoy making her jump.
  • Parental Abandonment: She lost both her parents at a young age,
  • Prehensile Hair: She has this due to infusing her hair with the Sixth Hi-Deigokutsuipou, allowing her to change its shape and size. Its her weapon in combat, and able to turn into a sword, flowers, and even a unicorn. Her hair can even allow her to fly by turning into wings.
  • Proper Lady: Has shades of this with her elegance, femininity, and lady-like manner.
  • Proper Tights with a Skirt: On some of her alternate palettes in the XX games, and has them in her Xrd getup.
  • Rapid Hair Growth: Due to her hair being alive and prehensile. Some of her attacks make her hair grow by necessity.
  • Rapunzel Hair: When her hair is let down or when she launches an attack.
  • Qipao: Her Missing Link outfit's design doesn't look too dissimilar to Chun-Li's.
  • The Rival: Zato-ONE, and later Eddie. Subverted with Venom, who she sees as more of a jealous little boy than an actual threat.
  • Sensual Slavs: She's from Russia, and her outfits invokes this, although she herself doesn't have the personality of one.
  • She's Got Legs: Millia has a shapely pair of thighs and she uses them quite well for her advantage in fights. Her wardrobe flaunts them as well: her outfit in the first game is a qipao which was later replaced with a short skirt with double slits. In the newer games she wears a similar outfit accompanied by a pair of form-fitting black leggings. Some of the camera angles put even more emphasis on her legs.
  • Ship Tease: All the subtext about her and Zato is quite rife within their stories. It's rumored that she may have lost her virginity to him.
  • Spam Attack: Lust Shaker in the previous games was this, letting her use it by simply mashing the Slash button. Xrd and Strive would eventually Nerf it by making it a command special and reducing the damage it deals.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: She and Venom both developed strong feelings towards Zato, despite the fact he was an evil bastard who raised them into assassins.
  • Straw Feminist: Subverted. Millia does not intentionally insult people, it's just that she has a lot of issues regarding men overall due to her past. She warms up to her Fanboy in one ending.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Type 1. Despite being cold and distant, she does occasionally show there's a nice person underneath it all.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: She's one of the few people who doesn't respond to Faust's Ass Shove attack with pain or awkwardness. She lets out a moan instead, which may be Fridge Brilliance as she may be venting out some frustration.
  • Tyke-Bomb: Reconstructed. Since childhood she was trained as an assassin but her love for children and her determination to find a new life drove her to go against the organization. The information she gave to the police force against the Assassins' Guild proves to be useful.
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: According to Slayer and Zato-1.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: She has a deep affection towards children, and this is also the reason she defected from the Assassin's Guild, as the drama CD shows.

    Zato-1 and Eddie 

Zato-1 and Eddie
  • Height: 5'11"
  • Weight: 150lbs
  • Blood type: A
  • Birthplace: Spain
  • Date of Birth: January 28th
  • Hobbies: Attempting to understand the language of flowers
  • Likes: Millia Rage
  • Dislikes: Women

Zato voiced by:
JP: Kaneto Shiozawa (GG - GGX), Takehito Koyasu (Xrd -SIGN- onward)
EN: Matthew Mercer
KR: Um Sang-Hyun
Eddie voiced by:
JP: Takehito Koyasu
EN: Derek Stephen Prince (Xrd -SIGN-), Matthew Mercer (Strive)
KR: Um Sang-Hyun

Playable in: The Missing Link, X, XX, Xrd -SIGN-, -STRIVE-

"You have awakened the anger of a dead man, child. I will not hesitate to erase you from this world."


Zato-1 was a bottom-feeder in the Assassins' Guild. To fulfill his ambitions, he made a contract with a forbidden beast at the cost of his eyesight. With his new powers of shadow manipulation, he quickly rose in the ranks and became the Guild's leader, taking Millia and Venom under his wing. When Millia left him, he sent out assassins to bring her back, but she betrayed him further by turning him in to the authorities.

Unfortunately for him, the forbidden beasts were called forbidden for a good reason. The beast that Zato had, now calling itself Eddie, slowly began to consume his mind, body, and soul. The beasts are actually parasites that require a body to live. Zato was eventually driven mad by Eddie, and in X, attacks Millia one final time, but is killed by her.

With Zato now dead, Eddie is now able to fully control his new body, but because Zato is dead it means that the body will soon rot and decay. Eddie spends XX and Accent Core desperately trying to find a new host body, all the while pondering the meaning of his existence.

A returning character in Xrd... as Zato-1 instead of Eddie, to the surprise of many. Zato's soul is pulled back from limbo by the Senate, but when he is resurrected, he is completely apathetic and unresponsive, which leads the Senate to lock him in a dimensional prison until he is ready to cooperate. The only thoughts that make him feel anything are those of Millia, but he doesn't know why, so he escapes in order to find her.

Zato is a puppeteer character who can summon his ground-based shadow Eddie, who works in tandem with Zato-1 to overcome their opponent's defense with wide range of mix-up and unblockables, making them extremely dangerous on the offensive. However, controlling the separate shadow entity adds a new degree of complexity to the player's inputs, and Zato-1's abilities will be massively limited if Eddie is taken out of the fight.

Tropes Associated with Zato-1:

  • Adaptive Armor: Eddie can form a living skin that surrounds Zato's body when needed.
  • Animal Motifs: He appears to have a shark motif. Eddie's humanoid forms include one with a shark-like head, and some of his attacks have him summon shark-shaped shadows.
  • Attack Reflector: His Drunkard Shade is this; being able to reflect projectiles and knock away the opponent if they're too close.
  • Bastard Boyfriend: He was very much this to Millia, forcing her to become a killer like him.
  • Beauty Is Bad: Not even Millia can decide whether she loved him, hated him, or just loved to hate him.
  • Bishōnen: Before his sight loss. And after. He is so attractive that during a party in Night of Knives, an aristocrat lady insists that he dance with her, remaining completely undeterred when he mentions his blindness.
  • Blessed with Suck: He manipulates darkness while being overtaken by darkness.
  • Blindfolded Vision: Isn't impaired by his blindness one bit. Perhaps Eddie sees for him?
  • Casting a Shadow: He has the power to manipulate shadows to attack.
  • Casts No Shadow: Technically he never casts any normal shadows.
  • The Charmer: Back when he was the leader of the assassins.
  • Combo Platter Powers: Eddie grants Zato a whole array of seemingly unrelated powers.
  • Confusion Fu: Zato/Eddie's team pressure is a confusing and scary thing even to high-level players. The best strategy against him is to either not allow the summoning at all or to kill Eddie as fast as possible, or else you're stuck dealing with a perpetual loop of 50/50 mixups.
  • Cultured Badass: Even more so than Slayer: he always stays polite and well-mannered both inside and outside combat, like some sort of Victorian nobleman and has an old fashioned bow for one of his Respect animations, as well as using moves literally straight from a ballet.
  • Dashing Hispanic: He hails from Spain.
  • Deal with the Devil: His contract with Eddie not only made him blind, but began to slowly kill him.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: The series' prime example, and one of the most definitive examples in all of fighting games. A good Zato player can utterly smother their opponents with layer upon layer of endless pressure and mixups until they finally crack. Getting good with Zato, however, requires understanding the concept of "negative edge" inputs, where you hold down a specific button to buffer an attack with Eddie, then release it to initiate Eddie's attack. Mastering this type of input requires a very different, very difficult style of execution that can take months or even years to develop.
  • The Door Slams You: Weaponized with his teleports.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Went from a low-ranking member unable to advance up the ranks under his own power to the leader of the Guild.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: Zato was originally a no name Assassin who desired to be the leader of the guild. So he used a forbidden spell to gain control of his shadow and propelled himself to the leader of said guild. In gameplay its commonly states that without Eddie he's the worst character in the game. With Eddie, he's the best.
  • Glass Cannon: Has among the best offense in the series, but has poor defense and has the same amount of health as Bridget, the series' resident Joke Character.
  • Handicapped Badass: He's blind because he traded his eyesight for the ability to control his shadow. Doesn't stop him from kicking ass.
  • Hunk: A somewhat prettier-than-average one though.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Parts ways with Millia at the end of the Night of Knives drama CD due to this. Because of the Guild's rules about traitors and the first game, this does not last.
  • Irony: He's extremely obsessed with Millia though he's the one who can't see how beautiful she is.
  • Laughing Mad: Slips into this on occasion. And it is scary.
  • Long-Range Fighter: It is possible to play him this way with the help of Eddie, his long-ranged normals and drill projectiles.
  • Lovecraftian Superpower: The way he got it and the power itself symbolizes a symbiosis and control over a Shoggoth-like bioweapon.
  • Love Triangle: Alternates between Type 4 and 5. Venom pined for Zato, Zato and Millia had a mutual liking-each-other thing going on, but Zato was a Jerkass, so Millia left, or maybe she still has a soft-spot for him and then there's also Millia's stalker and...
  • Manipulative Bastard: Charmed Millia and Venom into being loyal to him and transformed the Guild from an organization that desires justice into a mercenary-like group that accepted any dirty job.
  • Meaningful Name: He is named after a simple language mixture of Japan's most famous fictional blind warrior: Zatoichi, taking ”ichi” out and replacing it with the english word "one".
  • Not Himself: From X onwards, as his dead body is inhabited solely by Eddie.
  • Not So Stoic:
    • In the original game and sequel Zato was shown as a bitter, power hungry and ruthless maniac who then fell into complete desperation upon realizing that Eddie was going to enslave him.
    • He remains stoic in the face of most Instant Kill and Overdrive Attacks, but Faust's special moves always get a reaction out of him.
  • Our Mages Are Different: Technically, Zato is yet another fighter in a fighting game and specifically an assassin according to ingame lore, but on practice, in contrast to every other assassin in the series, he is more of a wizard who never really fights with his fists instead completely relying on magic powers. Despite his appearance, in action he looks like your typical spellcaster who most of the time uses Magical Gesture's, chanting and what's not.
  • Partial Transformation: Uses this for various attacks and tricks.
  • Pulling Themselves Together: Instead of just simply getting up after knock-down, he prefers to transform his whole body into a shadow and then just reshape himself in his idle stance. An obvious Terminator T-1000 homage.
  • Puppet Fighter: Pressing any button lets Zato attack, while Eddie, when active, will attack when you release the button, leading to some really weird inputs being required to use him effectively. He was one of the first examples of this archetype, and he's generally considered to be the Trope Codifier.
  • Punny Name: Zato-1's name, when read in Japanese, is Zato-Ichi. You know, like the blind swordsman.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Zato died because Kaneto Shiozawa died.
  • The Rival: Millia Rage.
  • Rubber Man: Sort of, he can stretch out his shadow constructs to attack from a long range.
  • Sensual Spandex: A Rare Male Example.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Zato-1 or Zato-ONE?
    • To make matters even more complicated, the Guilty Gear Xrd website lists him as "Zato-ONE", while the game lists him as "Zato-1".
  • The Stoic: Was like this according to Slayer before he went crazy from Millia's betrayal. Became even more stoic after resurrection due to a general lack of emotions.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: Look at his outfit and ask yourself if it feels like he's wearing nothin' at all, nothin' at all, nothin' at all! Venom even thinks this in canon.
  • Summon Magic: Can summon Eddie as long as it isn't on cooldown. This is the staple of Zato's gameplan since he's very dangerous when paired with it, but quite weak on his own.
  • Video Game Flight: One of the only characters with this ability.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The drama CD shows that he readily agreed to assassinate a two year-old king, with Millia's life as a wager. This was the last straw for Millia herself, causing her to defect from the Guild.

Tropes Associated with Eddie himself:

  • Animorphism
  • Blob Monster: Takes the form an undulating mass of black shadow that shapeshifts into all sorts of forms and devours enemies.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: He uses Zato-1's corpse as a host body. As Zato's corpse is starting to decay and become unsuitable for Eddie, the Shadow Beast starts searching for a new host in fear of dying himself.
  • Demoted to Extra: In Xrd. He's still present but with Zato revived he has barely any lines in the story mode and the few he has are mostly comic relief.
  • Hidden Depths: Before Xrd, Eddie is portrayed as a psychotic, arrogant being who toys with and mocks his opponents while trying to find a suitable new host body. As the games go on, however, it's shown that he only acts this way because he's really a lonely, scared creature who hates that he's cursed with such a limited lifespan, and he just wants for someone to remember that he existed before he dies.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Even to the point of wanting to taunt people just to be remembered.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: He's still as difficult to use as usual, with or without Zato alive, but there's a reason why multiple games have an Eddie Tier at the tip top.
  • Living Shadow: He takes the form of a dark mass that can creep on the ground like a shadow.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Played straight pre-Xrd, as his own consciousness has essentially just barely been born after Zato's death. In comparison to Zato, Eddie is much more emotionally unstable and enjoys toying with and mocking his opponents. After his and Zato's revival, however, the psychopath part of him ends up mellowing out, though he still retains his childish personality as a Shapeshifting Trickster.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: To Venom in his 2nd ending in XX's Story Mode, mocking him for being such a loyal "dog" for Zato.
  • Shapeshifter Default Form: A humanoid gargoyle when not fighting.
  • Shapeshifter Weapon: Can transform his shadow-like body in myriad forms.
  • The Symbiote: A weapon bonded to to Zato that needs his body to continue existing in our world.
  • Transformation Horror: Both he and Zato have a penchant for creating various creatures during their attacks (Dark Sentinel, stretched shark, etc.)
  • That Man Is Dead: Justified—that man really was dead.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Eddie's depiction has changed drastically with every installment. He's gone from looking like an amorphous, shadowy blob in Missing Link, to a Gargoyle in XX, to an demonic/alien-esque creature in -SIGN-, to an almost Babadook-like monster in Strive.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting

Tropes Associated with Eddie and Zato's later revival:

  • Amnesiac Lover: Averted, one of the few things he remembers when he comes back in Xrd are his feelings for Millia.
  • Back from the Dead: Was resurrected by the Conclave in Xrd. Turns out he was merely a test subject for the art of resurrection, in preparation for reviving Justice. Despite the fact that he's behaving a bit strangely post-resurrection, it almost seems come and go of its own volition. When he's not acting odd he shows awareness that he was dead before.
  • Badass Longcoat: Materializes one in his victory animation in Xrd, presumably using Eddie.
  • Berserk Button: Xrd makes it clear that hurting Millia will set him off.
    Zato: *To Bedman* To be frank, your mission does not concern me. But you have hurt the one thing that matters to me... Millia. You've awoken the anger of a dead man, child, and I will not hesitate to erase you from this world.
  • Came Back Wrong: Played with. When he's revived, the trauma of it leaves him emotionally hollow and speaking mostly in nonsensical fragments. The other assassins and even Eddie admit there is something terribly wrong with him. Then it eventually turns into a rare inversion, where Zato realizes the only thing that makes him want to keep going is his feelings for Millia, causing a complete Heel–Face Turn and a major Took a Level in Kindness compared to how he was before he died.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: He becomes this post-resurrection, in complete contrast to his past self.
  • Declaration of Protection: Apparently, he wants to protect Millia. Only Time will tell if his feelings are in a good light or not.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: In Xrd, being resurrected and spending a lengthy amount of time in the dimensional prison has left him empty on the inside, and he only does anything because of lingering feelings for Millia.
  • He Knows Too Much: Bedman believes this and thinks his elimination is a top priority.
  • He's Back!: He makes a triumphant return in Xrd, indicated by the character being listed once more as "Zato-One" instead of "Eddie".
  • Heel–Face Turn: In Xrd, after coming back to life, he works to thwart Ramlethal since if she wipes out humanity, Millia would be killed, and his feelings for her are what is keeping him going. It even gets him to the point that he willingly cooperates with Zepp and revealing Sol and Ky more details about the return of Justice.
  • Nice Guy: While relatively emotionless after his resurrection, Zato is a lot kinder and more polite towards everyone, especially Millia.
  • No-Sell: He is the only character in Xrd who immediately understands Bedman's abilities and how to counter them. It's one of the few moments in the story in which Bedman looks scared.
  • Nerves of Steel: Has these thanks to losing his emotions post-resurrection. He's also rather calm whenever he's the victim of an Instant Kill.
  • Same Character, but Different: Having lost all memory of the utter bastard he used to be as well as the emotions and ambitions that led to his insanity, Zato becomes the complete opposite of who he once was and is now driven by his desire to give his comrades, as well as the Guild he ended up corrupting, a better future.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: After being resurrected, he became less bloodthirsty and more of a good guy: his victory pose shows him offering a hand to help his defeated opponent up, and his victory quotes against some opponents are rather polite.
  • What Is This Feeling?: When I-No becomes a god, it causes everyone in the world to cry, including Zato.
  • Wistful Amnesia: His Image Song in Strive describes his memory loss post-revival in this manner. Deep down, he secretly longs to regain the full memories of Millia that he once had, but they are now merely fragments that are also the only thing driving him forward.
  • You Don't Look Like You: While Zato's -STRIVE- design is reminiscent of his previous one, Eddie looks almost completely different. Instead of a wedge-headed gargoyle, his Shapeshifter Default Form has changed to an amorphous demon creature with a wide maw filled with teeth.



  • Height: 8'5"
  • Weight: 2672lbs
  • Blood type: O
  • Birthplace: Zepp
  • Date of Birth: October 18th
  • Hobbies: Art
  • Likes: Indestructible pencil cases
  • Dislikes: Pencils that snap under four tonnes of weight

Voiced by:
JP: Hideyuki Anbe (GG), Takashi Kondo (X onward)
EN: Kirk Thornton (Xrd -SIGN-), Armen Taylor (Strive)
KR: Si Young-Jun

Playable in: The Missing Link, X, XX, Xrd -SIGN-, -STRIVE-

"Understood, Mr. President."

Potemkin was once a slave of Zepp, a floating totalitarian country. He enters the first Sacred Knight Tournament by the orders of his superior, Gabriel. When he returned from the tournament, he joined Gabriel and La Résistance in overthrowing the corrupt political regime and ended the slavery of their fellow countrymen. He is now working as a special agent for Gabriel, who became President.

By Xrd, Potemkin's design has been completely changed. He no longer wears his slave collar, and is clad in full soldier armor from head to toe. Over the years, Potemkin was promoted to a Secret Military Diplomat for Zepp, and has been sent to investigate Ramlethal Valentine's appearance. He returns in Strive.

The Mighty Glacier grappler of the series. Potemkin lacks an air dash and normal forward ground dash, severely limiting his mobility. On the other hand, his normal attacks are deceptively far-reaching for a melee combatant, his attacks hit very hard, and his defense modifier is the best among all characters. He relies on his fast command grabs, and uses some of his moves to close in on his opponent, making up for his lack of speed. He's capable of both punishing opponents with his sheer power and playing like a traditional grappler.

Tropes Associated with Potemkin:

  • Ambiguously Brown: Has a Russian name and was born in the USSR-inspired nation of Zepp. But his dark skin-tone and Russia itself still existing (evidenced by Millia's backstory) muddles things. It's also never specified which country (or countries) went on to form Zepp itself, so his ancestry's up in the air. Xrd's official timeline notes the floating continent that became Zepp was financed and constructed in India, which might hint at Potemkin having Indian ancestry.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: In Guilty Gear, running and dashing will fill the tension meter to encourage and reward aggressive play. Potemkin is the series staple Mighty Glacier so he can do neither of these in any game he appears in. To alleviate this problem, he generally gets more meter per attack whether or not it lands, he builds meter while approaching the opponent, and blocking attacks just before they hit you gives him a significant amount of meter, which allows him to spend meter as liberally as the other members.
  • Arm Cannon: His gauntlets seem to have been upgraded with these in Guilty Gear -STRIVE-. The wrists can unfurl to fire a heavy shot from a short distance or unload a revolver-style clip of Pile Bunker spikes on a grappled foe.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: On the subject of his fighting style. He doesn't need weapons so pressing a weapon attack button triggers a strong punch or kick. This gets lessened in -STRIVE-, where his hands have been augmented with cybernetic weaponry; he's still punching or kicking, but some of the moves are augmented by pile bunkers or fire rounds.
  • Call-Back: His Xrd design has "Burly Heart", the name of his XX theme, etched into various places on his armor.
  • Cyborg: By Guilty Gear -STRIVE- he's definitely one of these. His chest bolts can now extend outward during certain attacks, while his gauntlets look more like they're actually built into his arms.
  • Demoted to Extra: In Xrd, Potemkin is reduced to just having one scene and two lines, interrogating Bedman after President Gabriel subdued him.
  • Explosive Leash: In the first Guilty Gear, his Slave Collar has an explosive in it to prevent him from disobeying orders and rebelling against his Zepp masters. The explosive gets deactivated in his ending, but he keeps wearing the collar itself as a reminder of his origins and as a power limiter.
  • Fingerless Gloves: His gauntlets up until Xrd.
  • Gas Mask Mook: While his mask in Xrd made it look like Potemkin had Glowing Eyes of Doom, -STRIVE-'s iteration gives it significantly more detail, making him look like one.
  • Genius Bruiser: He is a member of Gabriel's elite presidential guard for a reason; Potemkin is basically a combination of a one-man Spec-Ops team, diplomat, and private investigator.
  • Gentle Giant: Despite his fearsome strength and intimidating size, he's a pretty kind guy who likes to make art in his spare time, and he only ever engages in combat when the situation would require it or when his country is threatened by outside forces.
  • The Grappler: Potemkin has two command grabs in his normal arsenal: The Potemkin Buster and his Anti-Air Heat Knuckle. The Overdrive, Heavenly Potemkin Buster, is an Anti-Air Grab that deals massive damage if it connects.
  • Hidden Depths: He likes to paint and draw, but he needs the extra-durable painting tools so that he can paint without crushing them.
  • Husky Russkie: Zepp has many parallels with Ruritania.
  • Martial Pacifist: The man will not fight if he can help it, preferring to talk things out whenever possible.
  • Mighty Glacier: Potemkin lacks many of the normal mobility options other characters have. That said, moves like Mega Fist and Hammer Fall allow him to close the distance while dealing damage, and certain normals allow him to hit from across the screen. And of course, there's the Potemkin Buster; if that connects, it will hurt.
  • Nerves of Steel: Tries to stay calm during Venom's Xrd Instant Kill.
  • One-Man Army: With the collar on, the big guy can take on battalions of enemy soldiers alone. In the one instance he removes the collar in the original Guilty Gear, he can kill battalions of Large-class Gears just by shockwaves he makes by punching the ground.
  • Patriotic Fervor: As of Xrd, Potemkin has fully embraced his role as one of Zepp's defenders. Along with willingly obeying his President's orders without complaint, he is repeatedly noted by other characters to have an indomitable will in the defense of his homeland.
  • Prophet Eyes: Has no irises or pupils, though you can't see them in Xrd unless his helmet is removed by certain attacks.
  • Power Limiter:
    • In his original design, his slave collar acted akin to this. It had a bomb inside of it which was later taken out after his freedom, but still chose to wear it as both a keepsake and the trope.
    • There's also the weights on his hands. His Instant Kill in X and XX involves him removing them and delivering a single punch.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: He's an avid artist and his most treasured possession is a specially reinforced pencil case.
  • Scary Black Man: Looks the part — in fact, his appearance is practically the Platonic ideal of the Scary Black Man. His personality, on the other hand, is mentioned above.
  • Slave Brand: Has barcode tattoos on his shoulders from his time as a slave.
  • Slave Collar: Wore one around his neck before he was redesigned in Xrd.
  • Taking the Bullet: Took the Robo-Ky's Missile intended for Gabriel in one of Accent Core's endings, and it was implied then that he did not survive, or at least received serious wounds.
  • Top-Heavy Guy: His upper body is far bulkier than his lower body. In his original design, his slave collar exaggerated it even further.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: His Potemkin Buster is an exaggerated backbreaker drop.
  • You Are Number 6: Potemkin has what appears to be a serial number tattooed into his right shoulder, presumably an identification marker from his slave days. Similar to his collar, he keeps it even after being freed and even displays it on his uniform from Xrd-onward.
  • You Don't Look Like You: His Xrd design is probably the most radically altered of any returning character, completely changing his design to a military motif and obscuring his face. Truthfully he looks like he'd be at home as an enemy in Kingdom Hearts.

    Chipp Zanuff 

Chipp Zanuff
  • Height: 6'0"
  • Weight: 146lbs
  • Blood type: B
  • Birthplace: Japan (Actually the USA)
  • Date of Birth: February 9th
  • Hobbies: Dreaming of becoming president
  • Likes: Friends, glasses
  • Dislikes: Nightmares, Mafia, gangs, Yakuza

Voiced by:
JP: Takuya Morito (GG), Takeshi Miura (X-Accent Core, credited in the latter as Gaku Miura), Yoshihisa Kawahara (Xrd -SIGN- onward)
EN: Edward Bosco
KR: Kim Hye-Sung

Playable in: The Missing Link, X, XX, Xr -SIGN-, -STRIVE-

"A vote for me, is a vote for love!"

A former Mafia drug-dealer turned Japanese-Wannabe ninja. He was taken in and then trained under a man named Tsuyoshi, who was killed by a member of the Assassins' Guild named Volf. Chipp eventually found this out, and began tracking the Assassins. In X he meets Venom, and accosts him for the murdering of his master, but fails to defeat him. In XX he is brainwashed by Robo-Ky and eventually freed. Afterwards, he meets Slayer, who reveals that he was the original founder of the Guild. Chipp demands to know why he would allow the existence of a group of murderers. Slayer knows the answer, but fights Chipp instead and loses on purpose, telling him that vengeance begets nothing but more vengeance. Slayer then vanishes, telling Chipp that if he's still feeling bitter about it, to come back and try to fight him in another 100 years.

In Accent Core + he decides to run for President to atone for his past sins, apparently taking what Slayer had previously said to heart. He spends the storyline telling people to vote for him, which leads to one of two endings.

In one of the supplemental materials (novel "The Butterfly and her Gale"), he is enlisted as a bodyguard for Erica Bartholomew, the teenage president of "A Country" (formerly the United States of America), and foils the assassination attempt on her by none other than Volf, indirectly avenging his master, since Volf is killed by Venom for failing.

A returning character in Xrd. Chipp's design remains the same, except for the altered pants. Inspired by the growth of Illyria, he works even harder to become President. As a start, he forms the "Eastern Chipp Kingdom", which starts out as a small village but eventually grows to a population of over 20,000. While he's still working on his political skills, he has earned the admiration of the people, and they even refer to him as "boss".

A Fragile Speedster and overall an adaptive runaway / rushdown character with options for any situation. Chipp relies on his impressive mobility and attack speed to avoid even facing the opponent's moves, striking them while they're attempting to lock him down. His defense, however, is the lowest of all characters. As a plus, he is the only non-boss character who can perform a triple jump. Later games also let him climb on walls.

Tropes Associated with Chipp:

  • Action Politician: Politician to be, though, since he's still trying to get elected as of Xrd.
  • Badass Normal: Went from being a drug zombie to ki using ninja with little more than Training from Hell. Still counts as normal, given the setting.
  • Balloon Belly: Chipp's Burst is to suddenly inflate himself to the point of bursting before suddenly reappearing with no body damage.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Of the curved, Reverse Grip variety.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: In XX, he is usually this in other characters' storylines.
  • Catchphrase: "HOLY ZEN!"
  • Celibate Hero: Implied.
    (after fighting Jam) "You thought temptation would work on a ninja? You're an eyesore, go away!"
  • Diplomatic Impunity: Attempts to invoke this just before he gets shot out of a cannon by May. Keyword: "Attempts".
  • Doppelgänger Attack: Chipp's Gamma Blade lets him create a clone of himself that dash-attacks enemies, but he takes damage if it gets hit. -STRIVE-'s iteration of Banki Messai sees him unleash a volley of quick strikes alongside two clones.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Refuses to work together with Ky in Xrd for fear of falling victim to this trope.
  • Fragile Speedster: With his jumps and teleport, Chipp can literally run circles around his opponent, but his low health means that he can die just as fast.
    • BlazBlue makes an oblique reference to Chipp's low defense (comparing it to Ragna's) in its "Teach Me Ms Litchi!" segments.
    • Xrd on the other hand, gives him some boost in tournament competence and ranking while still keeping to this trope.
    • Up to Eleven in Strive, where, while he's generally considered top tier, he's practically made of wet tissue paper, and is the community punching bag.
  • Gratuitous English: He throws in a lot more English words into his lines than most of the cast: "JESUS!" "WHAT ZA HELL?" "KISS MY ASS!"
  • Gratuitous Japanese: But since he's an otaku that doesn't really understand Japanese that well, he throws in an equal amount of Japanese into his lines because he thinks it's cool: "SUSHI!" "SUKIYAKI!" "BANZAI!" "DAIJOBU!!"
  • Guy Liner: This is most noticeable in his Zansei Rouga animation in Xrd, where it shows an up close up shot of him and shows that he's wearing eyeliner. Also doubles as a rare heroic example of a character wearing eyeliner.
  • Hidden Depths: Despite his rough way of speaking, he's actually rather philosophical, as he demonstrates when explaining to May why it was wrong for her to run away from the Mayship.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Unless you Red Roman Cancel after, the Shadow Clone he spawns with Gamma Blade has a separate hurtbox. Basically, if you Happy Birthday the clone along with Chipp, Chipp takes double damage, and, in Strive at least, has led to him being ToD'd in one hit.
  • Humans Are Flawed: Was a drug addict.
  • Jump Physics: He can triple jump.
  • Idiot Hero: Is a good guy and at least tries to be politically savvy, but can come off as really naive and idiotic.
  • Ki Manipulation: Only the second non-Asian capable, behind Kliff. And the only living non-Asian capable, at that.
  • McNinja: American ninja. (Lacks a wolf companion, though.)
  • Mystical High Collar: His -STRIVE- design includes a Best Jeanist-style mouth-obscuring collar that resembles a stereotypical ninja mask.
  • Non-Indicative Name: He is the founder of the Eastern Chipp Kingdom yet he insists on being declared its President.
  • Otaku: A hardcore Japanese fanboy, goes even as far as disclaiming his real nationality. Has something to do with his Japanese master saving him from the life of drug addiction.
  • Occidental Otaku: He's from the USA, but claims to be Japanese and is obsessed with Japanese culture.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: As of Xrd, Chip's become a democratically-elected ninja president of his own nation.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning
  • Reverse Grip: Not exactly, but it fits.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Has always worn one, but it wasn't until Xrd that he keeps it on during fights.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Along with the examples in Gratuitous English above, he tends to yell 'shit' whenever he gets hit.
  • Wall Crawl: One of his recurring skills, and he has versions of his normal attacks that he can use from the wall. STRIVE upgrades it to an upward Wall Run he can use to chase and juggle enemies that get launched skyward in the corner.
  • Weasel Mascot: His Dust attack in Strive is performed by Dodomezaki, May's otter undergoing Chipp's ninja training.

    Faust / Dr. Baldhead 

Faust/Dr. Baldhead
  • Height: 9'4"
  • Weight: 121lbs
  • Blood type: O
  • Birthplace: China
  • Date of Birth: August 21st
  • Hobbies: Collecting high quality paper bags
  • Likes: Believes it's not his place to have such things, his scalpel (As Baldhead)
  • Dislikes: Those who ruined him, cancer (As Baldhead)

Voiced by:
JP: Kaneto Shiozawa (GG), Takashi Kondo (X onward)
EN: Kaiji Tang
KR: Hong Bum-Ki

Playable in: The Missing Link (as Dr. Baldhead), X, XX, Xrd -SIGN-, -STRIVE- (as Faust)

Dr. Baldhead was a very famous life-saver, until one day, he failed an operation that cost a young girl her life. He went insane and began murdering people using the very techniques he had once used to save them. After the first game, he sees a vision of the girl who he failed to cure. She reveals that Baldhead did not kill her, but someone else targeted her for assassination. Baldhead has a Freak Out, and disappears from existence.

Some time afterwards, a strange man with a bag over his head makes his claim to fame as a healer. This strange doctor, known as Faust, is said to have powerful occult magic. In reality, he is a reformed Dr. Baldhead, hiding his identity because he was Hated by All. He atones for the murders he committed by returning to his occupation as a healer.

In XX, he encounters a man named Zappa who claims that he has strange blackouts that leave him with various injuries, believing that Faust may know the cause of his ailment. In truth, Zappa is possessed by various spirits, but Faust does not come to this conclusion until Accent Core + . He also encounters Venom in XX, who knows much about Dr. Baldhead Faust. Faust has resented his previous identity and wishes to uphold his credibility. Faust defeats Venom, who reveals that the Assassins' Guild was indeed behind the girl's death, but before he can answer who did it, both are surrounded by Robo-Ky units. Venom agrees to tell Faust more about that fateful day if they escape their pursuers.

He returns in Xrd, nearly unchanged except for new medical cross-like accessories on his arm belts. One day, Faust was approached by Slayer in regards to the circumstances behind the fateful incident that turned Dr. Baldhead into a serial killer. Slayer had learned from an informant, who died bringing him the info, that the Conclave was involved with the botched surgery. Faust once again heads off in search of the truth. Turns out that the reason why the Conclave ordered the girl's assassination was that the method Baldhead chose to save her was too similar to the "Rebirth technique" for the former's liking, and they wished that the technique was exclusive to them.

He returns again in -STRIVE-, but with a very drastic change to his design. And by drastic, we mean that he seems to have a much creepier take on his wacky Reality Warper abilities, almost seeming a lot more like his old self, Dr. Baldhead...

Faust is a spacing / zoner character with an RNG mechanic. He boasts great range on many of his normal attacks, has a weird hitbox and many pressure tools. In turn, he has long recovery times on most of his moves and on his wake-up. Also, his random item summon move is inconsistent, ranging from being extremely helpful to helping the opponent instead, keeping both him and his opponent guessing. Ultimately, he is an adaptive character that rewards on-the-fly thinking, unpredictable use of his tools, and quick reactions to his own items.

Tropes Associated with Dr.Baldhead:

  • Ax-Crazy: Embodied, to the point that the trope could almost be renamed "Scalpel Crazy."
  • Bald of Evil: In case the name didn't make it obvious, he's completely bald.
  • Confusion Fu: While nowhere near the level of his Faust persona, Baldhead can still use his scalpel as a stilt, impale opponents from near full-screen distance and spin around like a top.
  • Deadly Doctor: With shades of Mad Doctor. For instance, his Awakening is called "Mad Operation" and is Exactly What It Says on the Tin - Baldhead places the opponent on an operating table, performs some high-speed surgery and tosses him/her into the air, all while cackling with glee.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: "Going My Way?" puts his entire body into a spin.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Carries an oversized scalpel and knows how to use it.
  • Laughing Mad
  • Lean and Mean: Baldhead is 282 cm, or 9'3", but fights in an awkward crouching position which actually makes him more difficult to hit than the average character.
  • Meaningful Name: Dr. Baldhead has a bald head.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast
  • Stereotypes of Chinese People: He is from China, though any kind of characterization of him being Chinese, if any, is completely overshadowed by him being a psychopathic Serial Killer Doctor and later a Wacky Atoner Doctor. It is only in Xrd this is referenced a bit in his new theme which has some stereotypical Chinese melodic elements. In fact, due to his profession, many people thought he could be German.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Of the Conclave. Zato-1 informs him of such in Xrd, revealing that they had him kill Baldhead's patient and make it look like a tragic accident.

Tropes Associated with Faust:

Many of the tropes applied to Baldhead apply here as well.
  • Agony of the Feet: One of his Supers in -STRIVE- involves him knocking the opponent down, and rush at them with a wheelchair to crush their foot or ankle.
  • Ambiguous Situation: The lack of proper story segments in the Arcade Mode and him not appearing in the Story Mode short of a quick cameo in the ending where he appears alongside Chronus in a desert means that just what exactly made Faust do a drastic makeover in Strive is never explained.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Played straight after being averted in a sense with Slayer, who at the end of Faust's route in Accent Core + offered Faust to follow him back to his world, which he was sure Faust would survive in. Faust tells him while he's honored by the offer, he can't go until he can heal all the people who need help.
  • Apologises a Lot
  • Attack Backfire:
    • With his Ass Shove overdrive attack and Instant Kill in Xrd. While they'll still do the same amount of damage to the opponents, some will react positively to these attacks sometimes.
      • I-No loves getting hit with this overdrive, and Millia's face and voice look and sound less pained and more pleasured. One of Elphelt's responses is annoyance that Faust didn't at least take her out to dinner first. And another is surprise, followed by a moan and a giggle. Plus Raven, as a Combat Sadomasochist who can only feel pain, is seen happy when hit by it, with shiny eyes and an hilarious grin.
      I-No: Fortisimo!
      Millia: No, not there!
      Raven: PAN-ZER!
    • His opponents can end up liking their facial surgery in his instant kill, depending on what type of face they get. Anybody wanting to look more manly will like the Big Ol' Eyebrows, people who want to be beautiful will like the Bishoujo eyes, and they'll like the Black Beady Eyes look if they want to be cute.
    • In gameplay terms, not reacting properly to some of the items pulled out by What Could This Be? special, such as a live bomb or a black hole, can end up knocking you out instead of the opponent and destroy your match.
    • The Overdrive attack can also be turned around on Faust. The opponent is given a choice between four cups, one of which contains an angel, and the rest are reapers. They need to pick the angel if they don't want to get hit by it. If they do, the attack has a chance of just blowing up in Faust's face. On the other hand, getting the angel while Faust is on low health can just lead to him ignoring it and attacking anyway (albeit with less damage than the reapers).
  • The Atoner: For his past as Dr. Baldhead.
  • Ax-Crazy: Carried over and Played for Laughs. Interestingly enough, Faust proves to be quite insightful and eloquent in his lucid moments. Horribly subverted in -STRIVE-, however, where his insanity has gone right back to being creepy again.
  • Ass Kicks You: His throw involves latching onto the opponent, licking their face, then turning around and knocking them over with his butt. It is as disturbing as it sounds.
  • Ass Shove: One of his Overdrives, called the Stimulating Death Fist, involves Faust impaling the opponent's rear end with his scalpel, complete with distorted colours and various reactions on part of the recipient.
    • In Xrd, he uses his fingers instead, in a manner similar to the Japanese prank called a kanchou.
  • Back-Alley Doctor: He is technically a unlicensed doctor due to his change in identity (from a Mad Doctor none a less), with his wacky personality not helping his case.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: He's an utter goofball in his Faust identity, but that doesn't hide the fact that he's a very deadly opponent with an innate knowledge of the human body. There are also moments where the psychotic parts of his former identity briefly surface. By -STRIVE-, the focus is much more on the "Beware" part than the "Silly" part thanks to his Darker and Edgier redesign, but he does still have some goofy moves in his kit.
  • Bald of Awesome: As far as we know, his head is still completely bald underneath the paper bag.
  • Batter Up!: His Dust Attack has him transforming into a baseball player and batting his opponent into the air. In -STRIVE-, he can use this attack to smack projectiles right back at the opponent with strict timing.
  • Berserk Button: As of Xrd, encountering Zato-1 shifts Faust from a zany madman to chilling fury. He basically loses all control on the old urges while he's around Zato-1. For his role in the little girl's death in the operation, Zato-1 can't really expect any mercy.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In a unusual use of the trope, Faust is using the American Sign Language gesture for "love" in a great deal of his attacks. One can see it when he is folding his middle and ring fingers along with extending the remaining digits... and it remains in -STRIVE-, as he keeps a hold on his scalpel while idle using the same gesture.
  • Brown Bag Mask: Ever since becoming Faust, he started wearing one, with only one eye hole. Also, he collects these as a hobby, as described in his profile.
  • The Cameo: Makes a cameo in Mistover as a possible boss for the player to fight.
  • Cartoon Bomb: Faust can turn his head into a bag-shaped bomb and throw it at you. While howling "Accept my love!"
  • Confusion Fu: Probably deserves Trope Codifier status. He swims through the air and the ground, randomly tosses objects that range from coins and trays to chocolate bars and meteors, grows flowers from his head and blows up opponents on operating tables, giving them afro hairdos in the process. There is a reason his fighting style is known as the "Faust Dance."
  • Creepy Good: As dark and deranged he looks and acts in -STRIVE-, he still wants to treat people as he has wanted for the longest time. He just leaves a really bad impression of himself, especially the way he talks.
  • Creepy Monotone: Coinciding with his -STRIVE- appearance.
  • Darker and Edgier: Hoo boy, his -STRIVE- redesign is this in spades. He may be back, but this is definitely not the Faust you may have known for 20 years. He still has some wacky moves in his arsenal, but he looks and acts very unnatural, as though he's either completely lost his mind once again or isn't even human anymore. Even his Mini-Fausts get in on this, having changed from adorable Fun Size duplicates that float down on balloons to knife-wielding stuffed dolls that scream with rage as they attack.
  • Deadly Doctor: He may be The Atoner, but that doesn't mean he won't use his innate knowledge of the human body in a fight.
  • The Faceless: His face is always obscured with his bag or framed in shadow.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Played for creeps rather than laughs. His victory pose, if you can even call it that, in -STRIVE- is him slumping onto the television screen and wiping his fingers across it while staring directly at you and blinking once (his glowing eye making audible squishing and cracking sounds as it does).
  • Funny Afro: He can give his opponents one in -STRIVE-. It's not just for laughs, either; it practically doubles the wearer's hitbox while it's on (i.e. making them easier to hit since they now cover more of the screen) and if Faust's attacks ignite it, the afro will explode.
  • Helium Speech: In Xrd, one of the items he can toss is a pink balloon that can causes anyone who makes contact with it to speak like this (it has no other effect).
  • Hitbox Dissonance: A rare invoked example, with the afro resulting from his What Will Come Out move or his new Snip Snip Snip command grab in -Strive-. If he successfully uses it, the opponent will be left with a giant afro that counts as a hurtbox. This effectively makes the opponent deceptively larger than normal, making it easier to land attacks.
  • Hufflepuff House: He's been a constant staple since the beginning, and had decent roles in previous games despite being a glorified side character compared to the likes of Sol. That said, he makes no real appearance in the story mode of Strive.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Something happened to him between Xrd and -STRIVE-, and whatever it was, it changed him. He may retain a human appearance that bears a vague resemblance to the person he used to be, but it's evident that Faust isn't even remotely close to human anymore. Jam, of all characters, actually foreshadowed this via her winquote to him in Xrd.
  • Humans Are Flawed: Once a serial murderer, he admits that he still takes pleasure in bloodshed, though he is able to keep it under control. Or rather, he was, before Xrd came along and drudged up bad memories of his past by revealing to him just who was behind his downward spiral into madness. And now, as of -STRIVE-, it's looking like he might be losing control of himself again.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: One of his new attacks in -Strive- involves Faust grabbing the opponent and eating them whole. Though it's possibly a subversion, since Faust himself is startled by the victim struggling inside his stomach (as if he forgot he just ate them) and immediately spits them out through a portal.
  • Mad Doctor: With shades of Deadly Doctor.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: How can he just transform his body and warp space and time when proper researchers can hardly do one of these things? No one knows, but these are the cornerstones of his wacky fighting style, so they don't really need explaining.
  • Magic Plastic Surgery: His new Instant Kill in Xrd: The victims get a new random set of eyes, few of which are the '80 Shoujo eyes, Skintone Sclerae, and the Duke Togo face.
  • My Greatest Failure: The death of his patient (at first).
  • Never Bareheaded: With the exception of one of his taunt animations, he never takes off the bag after becoming Faust.
  • Nuke 'em: His Instant Kill, which involves detonating a nuclear bomb under the opponent while they are strapped to a surgical table in a prop setting of a doctor's office.
  • Nice Shoes: While his Strive redesign is a lot creepier than before, he did get some really nice sneakers in the process.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: To say that the Faust in -STRIVE- is not the same Faust from past games would be a massive understatement. Whatever happened to turn him into that, did not help his fragile sanity at all. He speaks in a Creepy Monotone and displays none of his cheery personality from before, instead sounding extremely depressed, as if he has lost the will to live. Faust seems to be hanging on due to his dedication to healing the sick and injured, and even then it's practically by his fingernails.
  • Open Secret: Faust's past as Dr. Baldhead - they share the same build and much of their fighting style, and there are so many hints connecting the two through the franchise's history that the only thing that hasn't been done is to come out and directly say Faust used to be Dr. Baldhead.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Invoked in -Strive-, where he has very bizarre movements like he's a barely sentient rag doll, a glowing red eye through his paper bag hole, has a new attack where he eats the opponent whole, and is very scrawny with stitching around his chest with discolored skin. Though its unknown if he's genuinely undead or going insane again.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Literally. Seeing as there is absolutely no way to disguise himself properly (being over 9 feet tall is pretty distinctive), he just hides his face with a random paper bag.
  • Parasol Parachute: His umbrella also allows him to fly, much like Mary Poppins.
  • Reality Warper: The PWAB is interested in him because he has localized abilities along these lines; they allow him to open and enter extradimensional doors and swim through concrete.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Against the Conclave, for ruining his life. Subverted, just as he's planning to kill a Conclave member hiding in the Illyria, events lead to him learning about someone pulling the strings, and even the Conclave were merely their puppets. That and there's been many others who's suffered as Faust has.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: In -Strive-, he has a predominate glowing red eye peeping through his paper bag hole.
  • Sanity Slippage: Strive shows him taking on a much gaunter and more deranged appearance with creepier movements to match, indicating that he may be relapsing a bit into his old psychotic persona. This is reflected in the song that plays in his reveal trailer, "Alone Infection", which when played in full is a chaotic, schizophrenic tune whose lyrics make constant references to depression and paranoia, with a brief interlude where it gets back to a cheerful melody... just for it to crash right back to the chaos.
  • Secret Identity: He hides his true identity out of shame for all the crimes he committed during his "stint" as Baldhead.
  • Sickening "Crunch!": Causes these in -STRIVE- just by moving, emphasizing how undead and decrepit he looks now.
  • Super Doc: Even back as Dr. Baldhead he was renowned for his medical skills and considered the greatest doctor in the world. After becoming Faust, he still lives up to the fame. Zappa spends most of his character arc seeking Faust to heal his supernatural condition and Johnny approaches him in Xrd to ask for his help in healing May of her illness. Faust also claims to have treated every ailment under the sun.
  • Teleport Spam: One of very few characters to open a door and hit the opponent with it while emerging. He ditches the door in -STRIVE-, using scarecrows instead.
  • That Man Is Dead: He does not answer to the name "Dr. Baldhead". When Venom called him that, he smacked him and declared that wasn't him anymore.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Have another Faust use the Ass Shove attack on him, and he'll loudly and happily exclaim "My G-Spot!"
  • Truth in Television: Strive gives him a command grab that involves giving his opponent an afro. On top of being appropriate to his usual wackiness, back in the really old days, doctors and barbers were actually combined into one profession, typically referred to as a barber surgeon. They were combined mainly because their tools were ideal for both tasks. Heck, the spiral used for a barber shop sign is based on Bloodletting, a long discredited medical treatment that involved draining a patient of their blood to balance their humors.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: One of Faust's Respect animations in -STRIVE- is him pulling out a flower and giving it to his opponent, but it withers immediately afterward, causing Faust to cry.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Aside from the paper bag and scalpel, Faust's new design in -STRIVE- is nearly unrecognizable from the goofy Confusion Fu-flinging doctor he was in previous games. He trades his suit and comical antics for loose-fitting scrubs, Creepy Long Fingers, and an overall much more unsettling, zombie-like look. The cel-shading constantly leaves him framed in shadow, even on brightly-lit stages, and an Ominous Fog follows him wherever he goes.
  • Zombie Gait: His new intro in -STRIVE- has him slouch onto the battlefield, barely able to walk straight with Sickening "Crunch!" noises as he shuffles. He grabs his scalpel to hoist himself up and points an accusing finger at the opponent. Once battle starts he's as agile as ever, but it seems he needs a lot of warm-up time now...

    Axl Low 

Axl Low
  • Height: 5'10(1/2)"
  • Weight: 172lbs
  • Blood type: B
  • Birthplace: UK
  • Date of Birth: December 25th
  • Hobbies: Billiards, collecting maps from different time periods
  • Likes: Megumi
  • Dislikes: Preaching, death

Voiced by:
JP: Keiichi Nanba
EN: Liam O'Brien (Xrd -SIGN-), Alexander Gross (Strive)
KR: Shin Bum-Sik

Playable in: The Missing Link, X, XX, Xrd -SIGN-, -STRIVE-

"I'll make it back to Megumi, no matter what! That's the promise I made. To myself!

An involuntary British time-traveler from the 20th century. Has a connection with Sol from his time-slips (subverted in his intro with Order-Sol in Accent Core). He searches for some way to get himself back home, where his girlfriend Megumi is waiting. In XX it is revealed that he is a being similar to Raven, one of That Man's servants. Because their power cancels the other out, there needs to be a balance to the equation, so Axl slips through time, while Raven slips through dimensions (of his own accord, not random). In Accent Core + his time slips start getting continuously worse and so he seeks out That Man once again.

A returning character in Xrd. His new design keeps the XX but swaps to clothes inspired by the first game, with a long-sleeved jacket. While slipping through time uncontrollably, he came across a time he'd never been to before and encountered someone who asked him to deliver a message to the Gear Maker. After returning to the present day, he begins searching for "That Man".

Regarded as the go-to for zoning and anti-air among Guilty Gear players, Axl has long-reaching normal and special attacks, some capable of covering three-quarters of the screen. His sweeping anti-air options usually lead to big damage or knockdowns. On the other hand, whiffing any of his exacting long-range pokes can be punishing up close due to recovery times and an extended hurtbox on the moves, potentially allowing opponents to take advantage of his below-average mobility and defense.

Warning: major spoilers ahead due to the Plot Twists regarding his role in Xrd and Strive!

Tropes Associated with Axl:

  • The Ageless: His uncontrollable time travel ability has rendered him ageless in terms of appearance.
  • All-Powerful Bystander: Becomes this in Revelator's Story Mode following the discovery that he was actually a magical being strong enough to rewrite all of reality with a mere thought. The burden of this knowledge, with all the consequences it entails, leaves him with his hands tied for a huge portion of the story until the very last minute, where he finally decides to take action for the better. From this point onwards going into Strive, he subverts this trope by using his powers for good while taking care not to disturb the balance of reality.
  • Art Evolution: Axl was a rather muscular guy back in the first GG. Come GGX, he has a slimmer build. Xrd restores his bulk.
  • Badass Normal: Skirts the line between this and Charles Atlas Superpower. Despite possessing no overt superpowers, aside from his vaguely described time travel abilities (which he can't control), Kusari-Gama skills and use of fire magic, he still manages to keep up with the rest of the cast, even those with far more fighting experience. This is attributed to him having been born with Super Reflexes, which renders even firearms ineffective against him in combat. Additionally, he is described as being one of the rare humans who were able to access magic in the GG-verse prior to its scientific discovery but in Revelator, the "normal" part of Badass Normal is completely demolished in that he is actually a magical being with Time Master and Reality Warper abilities.
  • Badass Unintentional: Keeps getting forced into combat against his will due to his unpredictable time traveling, but almost always manages to come out relatively unscathed. Sometimes veers into Action Survivor levels should he be dropped right into the middle of a crisis situation—including facing off against dinosaurs.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Not once, not twice, but thrice.
    • At the end of Revelator Axl arrives at the final battle at just the right moment to stop time around the area, not only saving Sol and Jack-O from King Daryl's mass bombardment of Justice, but giving Sol the time he needs to take in a blast from Saint Oratorio and use it to super charge Jack-O' to the point she can force her merger with Justice to resurrect Aria. In doing so Axl gives up his only chance of ever getting back to his original time.
    • In Strive's Story Mode, he witnesses an entire skyscraper get blown up by Happy Chaos. So what does he do? Freeze time, teleport into the collapsing structure and drag all the survivors to safety one by one before anybody could figure out what happened. The only ones who were able to catch onto his tricks were I-No and Happy Chaos, and by then he managed to get hundreds of innocent bystanders out alive.
    • At the end of Strive he once again shows up in the nick of time to save a wounded Ky from getting obliterated by the now-godlike I-No by teleporting him to safety, and uses said Teleport Spam powers to aid Ky and Nagoriyuki in stalling her long enough for Sol to destroy her with an Outrage blast.
  • Breakout Character: Originally appeared as a side character whose connection to the rest of the cast and story is tenuous at worst and ambiguous at best, until Xrd when Arcsys began taking the plot more seriously following their worldbuilding efforts in Overture. From there he was elevated to a far more prominent role given the massive revelations about the true nature of his existence and his time-traveling abilities, turning him from a Joke Character of sorts to a veritable Walking Spoiler.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Is described as having the ability to logically analyze any situation carefully, but would much rather prefer to simply wing it instead of giving something too much thought. His Steam Card says the opposite, for some reason, but Venom quickly discerns that he's not as dumb as he seems.
    Venom: You act flippant, but you do so to hide a crafty mind. Not a tactic I care for, but I must acknowledge your skill.
  • Butterfly of Doom: His seemingly random timeslips are not without repercussions. Revelator reveals that his actions have effects on causality, causing paradoxes and even altering the very fabric of reality itself. According to Jack-O', this means he might never be able to return to Megumi at all, as his actions may have erased the timeline from where he originated.
  • Chain Pain: His weapon of choice. Factors greatly into his keepaway and zoning-heavy fighting style.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In Strive, when I-no confronts him after his rescue of hundreds of civilians from Happy Chaos' attack, he notes that he can use his time traveling powers to bring Megumi to the current era and ensure her happiness at the cost of his own existence. Three guesses what I-no does at the end once she remembers her true identity.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Despite his unabashed love for his girlfriend Megumi, he likes flirting with the ladies a lot, particularly Millia and I-No. Partially mitigated given that I-No is actually a future version of Megumi from an alternate timeline.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: He won't let anybody die in front of him if he could help it, not even his opponents in combat: case in point, he successfully stopped a gang war singlehandedly back in the 20th century without any casualties. This comes to a head in Revelator where he is forced to choose between saving the world or going back in time to reunite with Megumi; he chooses the former. In Strive's Story Mode he is seen rescuing innocent bystanders from danger using his Time Master abilities, and this eventually becomes a plot point once I-No realizes that her lost love, William, had the exact same outlook on life as Axl, causing her to drop her Assimilation Plot in favor of sacrificing herself to reunite Axl and Megumi.
  • Clothing Combat: Has a move where he throws his bandanna over the opponent's head before slashing them.
  • Cool Train: With the exception of Isuka (where he shared a stage with Bridget) and Accent Core (And even then you can make a case of the far background bridge being a railroad), all of his stages feature trains.
  • Cosmic Plaything: See Time Travel. He never intended to be part of the plot in any way; however, the machinations of beings who aren't even from his own time period have dragged him away from his friends and family, straight into a mess of apocalyptic proportions. Made even more complicated when it is revealed that he may not even be human to begin with, but rather a living bundle of magical information with the power to rewrite or erase entire timelines.
  • Counter-Attack: Axl's moveset greatly rewards punishing opponents for making mistakes, not only because he's able to hit people from a screen away when they screw up but also because his "Reversal" moves (Notably, Tenhou Sekinote  and in X2, Hachisubako) are tailor made to anticipate and deflect attacks coming in high or low—and in the latter's case, deflect projectiles. He drops his Reversals in Strive in favor of being more of a pure Long-Range Fighter, although the logic behind his skillset remains the same.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He may look naive, but Axl is savvy and skilled enough to tangle with the likes of I-No and Sol (during his Holy Order days) and come out unscathed. Also, as a testament to his growing control over his Time Master abilities, he figures out how to access Bedman's dream dimension at will, travel to I-no's location via thought and even stop and restart the flow of time in order to rescue Sol and Jack-O' from danger. Come Strive he's able to stop time at will in combat using his new super move "One Vision", and even utilizes it to save people from danger in Story Mode.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Traditionally no, but his Strive incarnation was made famous for his Tiger-Knee Axl Bomber loops, or "TKB Loops" as known by the community. While many of Axl's tools were removed or altered in Strive, one of the few that was left unchanged was his Axl Bomber move, which is an aerial combo tool designed to boost his damage in anti-air combos. After some labbing, players found that Axl could perform Axl Bombers extremely close to the ground and even loop them into each other by inputting a jump during the move's normal input, which causes his damage in the corner to skyrocket. A good Axl player who masters TKB Loops can become a deadly opponent, making Axl effective at both close and far ranges. This requires a high amount of skill however, as TKB Loops are among the most difficult to perform combos in the game due to the Tiger-Knee 623 input being awkward to perform.
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: It was once believed that Axl was an alternate version of Raven from the future, who made a paradoxical choice that resulted in him being thrown across time and Raven becoming immortal, thanks to one of That Man's lines from X2. This has since been proven to be a mistranslation on Majesco's part, as the words used actually referred to them being "similar types of beings" in that they're both anomalies who theoretically shouldn't exist in nature, not that they're one and the same person.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: He was as jacked as Sol in The Missing Link. He becomes significantly more lean after.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: At the end of Strive, after untold years traveling through time, and trying his hardest to convince I-No to stop her Face–Heel Turn I-No realizes in her last moments that Axl is William, her disappeared love from an Alternate Timeline, and using the last of her powers, gives Megumi, Axl's girlfriend who is heavily implied to be an earlier version of I-No herself from that Alternate Timeline, her current Time Travel abilities, allowing Axl and Megumi to at last be reunited in the current version of history.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Beginning in GGX, using either his Benten Gari special or his Byakuerenshou super will briefly flash an image of the Japanese Buddhist goddess Benten a few frames after the start of the attack.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: In GGX and GGXX, his stage prominently features a golden retriever in the background. Supplemental artwork seems to imply that the dog is his pet, and she's even shown in the ''GGX'' anime trailer. That's right, Axl happens to be the owner of the original Hype Dog.
  • Hunk: Axl is incredibly ripped for his size. In the first game he was actually quite massively built as evidenced by his sprite, and despite wearing concealing clothing in the second title, his ending shows just how well-sculpted he really is underneath that shirt. In fact, just look at how much he's been paying attention to Leg Day in Xrd, wherein he once again wears shorts. Let's just say there's a reason he's got his own sizeable share of fangirls.
  • I Choose to Stay: Near the end of -Revelator-, Axl is given the choice between finally warping back to his own time period or using his time control powers to save Sol Badguy. He ultimately chooses to help Sol over the chance of seeing his girlfriend Megumi again, since returning to her would destroy the current world and everyone in it.
  • Impeded Messenger: Narrowly avoids this fate in Xrd, where he is tasked by the Original Man, the person who discovered Magic in the Guilty Gear universe, to deliver an encrypted message to That Man. He almost gets killed when Bedman corners him at the last moment, had it not been for I-No's timely intervention.
  • In a Single Bound: In GG, GGX and GGXX, his HS Raiei Sageki attack caused him to jump offscreen. Holding Left or Right will cause him to gradually move in the respective direction for a few seconds until he falls back down, chains spinning, hopefully on top of the opponent. He'll still fall flat on his face whether or not he hits somebody, unless you blow a Roman Cancel or False Roman Cancel.
  • It Was with You All Along: He's been longing for his girlfriend Megumi, even after finding out that he's a Pure Magic Being and bonding with I-No. In Strive, it's revealed that I-No is, in fact, a much older Jade-Colored Glasses Megumi of the current timeline whose memories have similarly been made hazy by the creation and deletion of countless Alternate Timelines.
  • Karmic Jackpot: After willingly sacrificing any chance of returning to Megumi, for the sake of the greater good, come the end of Strive, it's heavily implied that, before she dies, I-No brings Megumi to Axl.
  • Long-Range Fighter: The basic go-to for ranged combat among the playable cast, with a moveset designed around stopping opponents dead in their tracks from across the screen and making sure they stay far away. While a few other characters have similar or sometimes better options for dealing with enemies at range, Axl remains the series benchmark when it comes to reaching out and touching someone...painfully.
  • The Mean Brit: Actually inverted. Axl is British and likeable and optimistic.
  • Nice Guy: Maintains a friendly and optimistic attitude despite his... circumstances. He holds no real grudges against the various weirdos he fights, chalking it up to "bad luck".
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: He's quite obviously based on Axl Rose, the vocalist for Guns N' Roses. His alternate self's name (Will) is also taken from Rose.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Jack-O' explains to Axl in Revelator that both he and I-No are functionally similar in that they're both beings called "magical foci", abstract concepts made flesh by the Backyard. Strive takes it a step further by revealing that they're both (consciously or unconsciously) clinging onto memories of lovers who are actually, unbeknownst to both of them, each other — I-No is an Alternate Self of Axl's lover Megumi, while Axl is an Alternate Self of I-No's past lover Will. Also, in Strive, the two have similar pre-battle intro they share with no one else in the cast: time temporarily freezes, during which they emerge from a portal.
  • The Nicknamer: His Xrd announcer pack contains a few:
  • Playing with Fire: He can use Fire magic.
  • Pure Magic Being: Axl is actually a being called a "magical foci" that is essentially an abstract concept given physical form and sentience. This is the reason why he can control time and space.
  • Reality Warper: Axl is informed by Jack-O' that he is one in his Revelator Arcade Mode ending. He can't be sent back to his own time by I-No because he unwittingly wrote his original timeline out of existence, and after he fully controls his powers in Strive I-No outright tells him that he's strong enough to erase anyone from reality with a single thought if he so desired.
  • Sinister Scythe: Chained kamas/kusarigama. Downplayed in the fact that Axl himself is quite the friendly fellow.
  • Skill Gate Character: The basics of Axl's fighting style revolves around keeping the opponent at bay with long-ranged chain strikes, then converting into a high-damage knockdown combo on counterhit. Players on the receiving end of his pokes sometimes get annoyed at the fact that they're being pushed back with a scant few button presses, and he's usually seen as something of a Noob Bridge in competitive play because of this. At higher levels, however, Axl players begin struggling to keep up as his gatling combinations and move mechanics necessitate much more thorough study in order to maximize his damage and mixup potential, as well as minimize the danger his extended hurtboxes and lengthy recovery time present.
  • Something Only They Would Say: I-No knew that her lost love "Will" was someone with "beautiful blonde hair, like a woman's", but didn't recognize Axl as him (or, more specifically, an Alternate Self of him) until he cried for her saying that he "can't get anything out but tears," which she remembered Will had always said after getting into a fight.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Strive reveals that him also getting a cut of the Time Master powers originally meant for I-No may not have been the "freak accident" it was originally thought to be, because he and I-No are actually alternate selves of the same pair of lovers unaware of each other's identity.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Time Master abilities aside, I-No mentions that he's powerful enough to erase people from reality altogether, including her. The only thing holding Axl back is the fact that he is, at his core, a very kind-natured man.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Barring his Byakuerenshou Overdrive, most of his applications of Fire magic appear to be this.
  • Surprisingly Good English: In Missing Link, one of his voice set had him say a perfectly good "Have a nice day..." on successfully executing an Instant Kill. Do note that it's just Japanese voice available back then.
  • The Heart: A painfully nice guy despite his Chivalrous Pervert tendencies. He even once offered to let Sol Badguy of all people borrow his Queen CD, finds a good conversation partner in Slayer, has a non-antagonistic relationship with I-No, outright tells Asuka, AKA That Man, that he doesn't seem to be as evil and malicious as others make him out to be, and ultimately helps save the world in the end by convincing a genocidal I-No to stand down.
  • The Lost Lenore: As of Revelator, poor Megumi might as well be this as Axl may not only have erased the timeline from which she originated by accident, but also threw away his only chance of ever returning to her in choosing to save Sol and Jack-O' from certain death by stopping the flow of time. Thankfully, it's revealed in Strive to very much not be the case. I-No as it turns out is Megumi, or at least a version of her weathered by watching numerous timelines collapse. In the end, I-No gives the Megumi Axl remembers her time travel abilities so she can be with him again.
  • Time Master: With a side dish of Reality Warper, to boot! In Revelator he finally gets over his Power Incontinence and puts this ability to good use in aiding Sol by stopping time itself, at the possible cost of no longer being able to return to his own time period. Come Strive, he can now stop time at will with his "One Vision" super and even uses time manipulation in the form of Teleport Spam to rescue people in danger during Story Mode.
  • Time Stands Still: Strive gives him a new move, "One Vision", which briefly freezes time. The background turns monochrome during this.
  • Time Travel: Mostly against his will. GGAC's Story Modes for I-No and Axl imply that one of the catalysts is a clashing of two powerful energy sources, though. Meaning that every time Axl fights a particularly strong opponent, he will most likely end up time slipping sooner or later following the confrontation. During his Story Mode dialogue with Slayer, the latter also deduces that Axl's time slipping ability, while largely uncontrollable, could also be tied to his subconscious desires and memories somehow. However, the lack of control is being subverted as of Xrd; see Time Master above.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Both Axl and I-No are beings called "magical foci", which means they were never human to begin with; they're literally walking bundles of magical information given sentience. Discovering this fact led Axl into a deep depression. This was actually foreshadowed in -Sign- during Zato's winquote against him:
    Zato-1: "According to my knowledge, there is no previous record of your existence. What is this...?"'
  • Took a Level in Badass: Went from a hapless, somewhat bumbling average joe who found himself uncontrollably hurtling through time and getting into situations beyond his control, to a Physical God possessing a Story-Breaker Power once he learns more about himself from individuals with intricate knowledge about the workings of the Guilty Gear universe.
  • Variable-Length Chain: To ridiculous levels. His various Instant Kill attacks are the worst offenders, magically conjuring hundreds of meters of chain to crush, stab or even blow up his opponents. And even at base level, there's no way his retractable sickles could possibly hold about 12 feet of chain in its handles.
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: Several variants.
    • His costume in the first Guilty Gear had boots with a Union Jack pattern on the toecap. Given how small it is, it's not immediately obvious.
    • His more widely-known design from Guilty Gear X and XX included a long sleeved shirt with a large Union Jack pattern.
    • His latest costume from Guilty Gear Xrd has two dangling coattails emblazoned with the Union Jack. And if that's not enough, using his aerial Dust attack will reveal that the soles of his shoes also have said pattern.
    • Downplayed in his -Strive- redesign, which features a simplified red-and-white design on his coat sleeve and on a small pouch attached to his belt
  • What You Are in the Dark: At the end of Revelator, he has the choice between not using his powers in the hopes that he could one day return to Megumi and his timeline or use them to save Sol and Jack O'. If he let them die, no one would ever know. He does the right thing.
    Axl: (audibly on the verge of crying) My girlfriend... Megumi's smile is really cute. Even if I abandoned this world, she'll smile and tell me "It must've been such a tough decision." That's the kind of girl she is. ...That's not good enough for me. It's not good enough! If my eyes are so clouded...and I let that happen... How the hell am I supposed to see that smile of hers!? That's why I... GIVE 'EM HELL, BOSS!
  • Walking Spoiler: Becomes this from Xrd onwards, due to his vastly increased role in the plot and the revelations regarding his true nature.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: When Jack-O' asks Sol about who he thinks poses the greatest threat to the world in -STRIVE-, Axl is his answer, with Jack-O' adding that he could probably become a god if he really wanted. Axl, however, only ever uses his Time Master powers to help others, and he was instrumental in helping save the world in Revelator, even sacrificing his own personal happiness in the process.

    Kliff Undersn 

Kliff Undersn
Pride and Glory
  • Height: 4'10"
  • Weight: 121lbs
  • Blood type: AB
  • Birthplace: Switzerland
  • Date of Birth: September 9th
  • Hobbies: Sailing
  • Likes: His priceless Japanese teacups
  • Dislikes: Fashionable, voguish words

Voiced by: Hatsuaki Takami (GG), Shigeru Sakano (XX onward)

The former leader of the Sacred Order of Holy Knights. When he was 7 years old, the Crusades were already in full swing and he would've been just another unfortunate victim of the Gear attacks... if he wasn't saved by a mysterious man named Frederick. Some time later he joined the Sacred Order, eventually becoming its leader. More than half a century later he invites Sol Badguy to join the Order, and encounters Ky Kiske who wanted to join the Order. Kliff refuses him, telling him to train and meet him in five years. Five years later, he met Ky again, now a powerful warrior and genius tactician, and recruits him without regrets.

During the First Holy War, he encounters Justice, who defeats him in their 17th duel. Ky attempts to attack Justice upon seeing his master injured, but fails. Kliff bore witness to Sol's failure to fully defeat Justice, which fueled his dissension from the Order. Knowing that Sol is destined for something greater than where he is now, he passively assists Sol in taking the Fuuenken with him, which Ky finds out about, elevating his already mounting dislike for Sol into all-out hatred.

Eventually he retires and passes the leadership of the Order to Ky. He entered the Sacred Knights Tournament in order to stop the revival of Justice, but is shocked that his adopted son Testament, now a Gear, is behind the curtains. He is killed by a resurrected Justice in their final, 18th duel. After his death, the Sacred Knights of the Holy Order are disbanded. He was notable for ability to use Ki, something that was considered exclusive to Asians.

Kliff was made playable since XX as a bonus character, but was only made tournament-legal in XX Accent Core +R as a hard-hitting fighter with enormous reach... and horrid mobility and defense. Generally an easy-to-play damage and stun machine, Kliff has a unique self-stun mechanic in that some of his moves will raise his own stun level. Playing as Kliff is an exercise in calculated risk-taking. Kliff was, however, completely absent from all iterations of Xrd.

Tropes Associated with Kliff:

  • Adapted Out: Weirdly, he's not at all involved with some of the incidents in the Strive prequel comics that previous titles said or implied he should've been a significant part of. He makes the briefest of cameo appearances during the GG1 chapter (with no spoken dialogue) and we finally get a good shot of him in his prime during the intro of the "Sol's days in the Sacred Order" chapter, and that's it.
  • Badass Normal: The only human ever to fight Justice and live to tell about it. What's more, he fought her seventeen times.
  • BFS: The Dragon Slayer is absolutely gigantic.
  • Blank White Eyes: During battle, but his story mode portrait shows him with normal eyes.
  • Cool Old Guy: It's unclear exactly how old he was when he died, but he was already gray and a legend when he met a little boy named Ky in 2160, and he fought in the Crusades long enough to duel Justice seventeen times prior to GG 1.
  • *Crack!* "Oh, My Back!": He can bend his body backwards to dodge incoming attacks. But he's doing that in his old body, so there's a chance that him doing it while carrying that huge Dragon Slayer instead cracks his back and he takes damage.
  • Custom Uniform: His younger self wore shorts instead of pants in some of the official art.
  • Feeling Their Age: While still very strong, his age slowed him down considerably.
  • Flipping the Table: One of his intros.
  • Fountain of Youth: During his specials, he turns back to what he looked like as a young man.
  • Glass Cannon: In +R. He's got big range and damage and can dizzy opponents within a matter of seconds....but his health is low and he's also infamously easy to dizzy himself. Some of his moves will raise his stun rating, have significant lag or have a chance to backfire badly. Players must be smart when using Kliff, as while his tools are strong, overuse of them or even one slip up could cost him the whole round.
  • Ki Manipulation: The first non-Asian to use them.
  • Killed Off for Real: In the first game.
  • Mighty Glacier: Can deal a huge amount of damage, but is extremely slow, partly as a result of being old.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: He shrunk for about a foot when he aged.
  • Obfuscating Disability: He is an incredibly old man, and while he's clearly a badass, much of his absurd strength has faded with age...until he uses his abilities to temporarily restore himself to his prime.

Unlockable Characters


Inside and out, you are always on the run.
  • Height: 6'1"
  • Weight: 161lbs
  • Blood type: Unidentifiable
  • Birthplace: Switzerland
  • Date of Birth: May 9th
  • Hobbies: Thinking
  • Likes: Kliff Undersn, potatoes
  • Dislikes: Sol Badguy, saito-style martial arts

Voiced by: Takami Akkun (GG), Akira Kobayashi (X onward, credited as Katsuaki Kobayashi in Accent Core)

Playable in: The Missing Link, X, XX

"...Will the world ever forgive me?"

The series' traditional mid-boss. Once a normal human (Kliff's adopted son), he was turned into a Gear by the PWAB. In the first game he organizes the first Sacred Knights tournament to lure worthy sacrifices for Justice's revival, but ended up becoming one himself. In X, he is revived due to Dizzy's influence as a commander Gear, and becomes her guardian until Johnny takes her in. After that he's pretty much Walking the Earth pondering if Humans Are the Real Monsters or not, a part of himself that didn't fade after Justice's death.

He's actually been relatively conspicuous in his absence in Xrd; while it's easy enough to imagine it's due to Dizzy finding happiness, it's unclear exactly what happened to him and even as of =REVELATOR=, the encyclopedia entry about him is vague on 2187 details and he isn't mentioned by the characters in the plot itself.

He is a defensive character that relies on zoning and traps. His regular attacks have large hitboxes but are quite slow. Testament is able to control the battlefield with his traps, slow projectiles and long chains of attacks. Some of his moves also poison enemies for a while or until they hit him, rewarding defensive play further.

Tropes Associated with Testament:

  • The Atoner: He does this by protecting Dizzy and the forest they lived in, calling it a "sanctuary" in the ''GGX' anime trailer.
  • Barbarian Long Hair: He kind of looks like a Black Metal musician.
  • Bare Your Midriff: A male example.
  • Bloody Murder: He took a blood pact, possibly through a bloody ritual, his scythe's blade is made of blood, he turns into blood, his overdrive is a giant blood skull, sucks the opponent's blood during his grab move, and he traps you in a sticky blood web.
  • The Cameo: Makes a very brief one at the end of Strive during the scene focusing on the Kiske family.
  • Character Development: Turned from psycho goth into atoner after meeting Dizzy.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Post Missing Link, he attacks with a scythe made of blood, has a Succubus that helps him, uses demonic seals... to protect Dizzy from hunters.
  • Death Seeker: Averted. Despite the guilt of killing a lot of people during the Crusades because of Justice's control and he being the indirect cause of his own father's death, Testament does not wish to die but to find atonement and redemption for what he had done by living.
  • Declaration of Protection: His oath to Dizzy, has gone to extreme lengths.
  • The Dragon: To Justice. Later, a nicer one to Dizzy.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: It didn't help that in the first game, he had a female voice actor. Afterwards, he is voiced by a man.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: In the first game, but he's now considered as a rare male Raven Hair, Ivory Skin.
  • Extreme Doormat: The way he fights is awesome, but canonically, after X he does very little but sit in the Devil's Grove thinking about Dizzy and whether Humans Are the Real Monsters or not.
  • Friendship Moment: With Dizzy counts as well if we discount their physical age. Testament, during the war, wandered as a Gear for at least 40 years and learned to hate humanity. Dizzy has a three year existence and was born after the war and has lived most of her life secluded in a forest.
  • Friend to All Children: Though he hates the human race, human children seem to be exempt from this view, as evidenced by his dialogues with Josephine in the drama CDs.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Subverted: it's his similarity to Dizzy; however, unlike her, he has some violent measures to protect his forest.
  • Goth: The Lone Psycho Type in The Missing Link, Gloomy Type afterwards.
  • The Grim Reaper: Not exactly, but he looks like one.
  • Horny Devils: He has a succubus familiar named "EXE Beast".
  • Intimate Marks: According to the developers, his Gear Mark is near his buttocks.
  • Kill All Humans: In different degrees throughout the story. Played straight when he was being bent to Justice's will, averted post Missing Link after meeting Dizzy, though in one of the possible (non-canon) endings of XX, he goes back to this when Dizzy is killed.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Testament was once a Wide-Eyed Idealist as a member of the Holy Order. After being turned into a Gear, his mind was not only reconditioned to hate humanity by Justice, but as he fought for her and even after being freed from her control after her death, he witnessed firsthand the potential of human cruelty and evil. By the time he met Dizzy, his hatred for humanity had become genuine and his idealism was utterly shattered, leaving him a tragic, broken man.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: One of the series' originals. He's got hair down past his waist, and for all his evil vibes, he is surprisingly delicate-looking. It's to the point that, for dubbing, he was given a female voice actress early on due to confusion over his identity (though this has long since been corrected).
  • Morality Chain: Dizzy. In one ending of GGXX, Dizzy is slain, so he gives up on the human race and begins a genocidal rampage against them.
  • Power Echoes: of the Evil Sounds Deep variety.
  • Put on a Bus: In Xrd. He was pointedly missing for all three major revisions and didn't even have any story significance. Hell, he doesn't come up during Ky and Dizzy talking about how the two of them first met, when the GGX intro cinematic way back when posited that Testament should've been a significant part of that entire adventure. He does, at the very least, appear in the Strive "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, still watching over Dizzy.
  • The Red Baron: He's called The Gear of Distortion because he's able of travel dimensions and not being manipulated by Justice, The Black Knight
  • Sinister Scythe: His weapon of choice.


Justice (Aria Hale)
Thrown in to the flood of rage, hatred and all.
  • Height: 7'7"
  • Weight: 487lbs
  • Blood type: Unidentifiable
  • Birthplace: USA
  • Date of Birth: September 2nd
  • Hobbies: Sleeping
  • Likes: Herself
  • Dislikes: Humanity

Voiced by: Takuya Morito (GG), Yumiko Ogawa (XX, AC+ Battle Voice), Wakana Sakuraba (AC+ Story Voice), Kazue Fujita (Xrd)

Playable in: The Missing Link, XX

"If only we could have talked one last time... Just the three of us...Sol...We again...All...three of us..."

The first fully complete Gear ever created. Justice was a Commander Gear, able to bend the will of all other Gears created after herself to her own will. Justice realized that she was created as a mere tool for the world to use and later dispose of. Needless to say, she was PISSED. She decided to revolt against humanity and instigated the first Holy War. She then fought Sol Badguy, and discovered that he bore the mark of a Gear, but when she tried to control him, it failed. Shocked by this, she was stunned long enough to be sealed away into a dimensional prison by Ky and the other Holy Knights. It seemed as though the war was over.

... But it wasn't.

Five years later, her faithful servant Testament held a fake tournament to lure sacrifices to revive Justice. Sol entered and defeated Testament, who then sacrificed himself to release Justice from her prison. She resumed the battle she started with the world, and instigated the Second Holy War. She finally killed the former head of the Holy Knights, Kliff Undersn, and defeated Ky Kiske in battle, revealing her (somewhat justified) motives to him afterwards. After giving the young knight something to think about, Sol appeared before her once again, and she flew into a complete rage. It seemed as though victory was certain for her, but in the end, Sol dealt her one final blow, and she fell. Justice, realizing that death was certain for her, asked why Sol didn't obey her mind control. Sol reveals that he was the prototype Gear, meaning Justice was actually the 2nd Gear ever made. She wishes that "the three of them could have chatted one last time," and dies from her wounds.

Justice has been an unlockable bonus character since GG1, but due to her console exclusivity and lack of balance compared to the rest of the cast, she was banned in tournaments. This changed with Accent Core +R, which finally saw the first competitively-balanced version of Justice. She is a zoning character who can have multiple slow-moving projectiles on the screen at once, creating an obstacle course that her opponent is forced to navigate cautiously. Combined with an arsenal of damaging, sweeping normals, Justice can completely dominate the neutral space. The catch? The insane mobility she once possessed as a boss and secret character is now gone. She cannot run or airdash, and is only able to double jump. With the biggest hitbox in the game bar none, this makes it very hard for Justice to defend herself if the opponent does manage to get in her face.

Much like Kliff, AC+R was her final gameplay outing; she does not feature as a playable character in any iteration of Xrd. There are, however, rather major storyline and thematic reasons for this, which are covered below and in certain Xrd character entries.

Tropes Associated with Justice:

  • The Antichrist: She chose to be this to mankind and the Messianic Archetype to the Gears.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The leader of the Gears is without doubt one of the strongest fighters in the series and its very first SNK Boss.
  • Back from the Dead: The Conclave's plan in Xrd involves resurrecting her. That Man, following her death in The Missing Link, has similarly been trying to put together a plan to bring back her mind, allowing her to be herself again rather than the Greater-Scope Villain's slave.
  • Badass Arm-Fold: One of her victory poses.
  • Badass Army: Commanded the Gears in the Second Holy War, who went to war against the whole world and were doing pretty well.
  • Become a Real Boy: At the end of Revelator's story mode, she merges with Jack-O' and becomes Aria truly reborn.
  • Berserk Button: Surviving Japanese people will drive her into a murderous rage.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: REVELATOR reveals that Justice's entire rebellion and mass genocide was the result of mental corruption suffered when the Universal Will invaded her mind during her first activation, not helped at all by Asuka also having to trigger her armor's Gamma Ray function to forciby destroy Tokyo so as to prevent the mass Gearization of the world's most populous city and Aria/Justice having a front row seat to it. The Universal Will proceeded to fill her with ideas of vengeance and hate, exploiting the fact that Gears were intended as weapons by the world's governments, in order to enact its plan to Kill All Humans and leave a world of only Gears, or rather, magical beings. The rest is history.
  • Cloning Blues: In AC+, Crow created "copies" of her that are utterly mindless robots that are nowhere near as dangerous as the original. In Xrd The Universal Will's revived copy of her body is similarly a mindless shell that needs an actual will to make it do much of anything. As the -STRIVE- comics confirm, and earlier implied with Xrd's stories, the clones that Crow made were actually imperfect copies of her Powered Armor core, which would have been used for the main shell, and since Crow worked for the P.W.A.B, which was actually a front for the Conclave, they were playing right into the Universal Will's plans.
  • Combat Stilettos: No, seriously. She has them.
  • Contralto of Danger: Much like Baiken, she has a deeper voice compared to the other characters, and she's essentially the queen of the Gears.
  • Death of Personality: Confirmed by -STRIVE-. The person who was once Aria Hale effectively died the moment the Universal Will tried to use her new body as a conduit to manifest itself and she was forced to fire on Japan. All that remained afterward was an Empty Shell who possessed a horribly corrupted fusion of faint traces of Aria's memroies and the raison d'etre of the Universal Will. Thus, Justice was born.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: She has a large, blue, and very phallic spike jutting from her crotch. Her Dust attack also involves her bending backward and digging her pointed tail into the ground, and it comes out pointed at...that area, launching the opponent into the sky.
  • Dying as Yourself: Unlike her normal megalomaniac tendencies, just before succumbing to her wounds in Missing Link, she seems to have a moment of lucidity were she happily recalls the early days of the Gear Project. -REVELATOR-'s reveal that Justice was Brainwashed and Crazy courtesy of the Universal Will retroactively makes this a rare moment her original personality got through the Will's corruption.
    Justice: That's right... Heh heh. H... How could I have forgotten you? If only we could have talked one last time... Just the three of us...
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Justice had a fairly male-ish (or at least very androgynous-leaning-male) voice in the first Guilty Gear, was referred to with male pronouns in the English release, and Justice's quote in the GGX intro movie (superimposed over footage of the Gear attack where Baiken lost her eye) was voiced in English by a gravelly, vaguely Texan man. Further games made it very clear she was female, and had her voiced by female actresses.
  • Empty Shell:
    • Her clones created by Crow are a bunch of empty mechanical copies without the original's mind.
    • In Xrd, the resurrected version of her doesn't have a will of its own, requiring one of Valentines to merge with it to actually do much of anything. It's also revealed Justice herself started as a mindless replacement body, before the Gear Maker tried to fuse his friend into it.
  • Evil Redhead: A Big Bad with a great big head of red Rapunzel Hair.
  • Fantastic Racism: She hates Japan and what it stands for, and commanded her Gears to carry out a genocide on its people. Or at least, this is what her damaged mind came up with as a justification; in one of Asuka's more desperate moves, he triggered the Justice Armor's Gamma Ray modules to launch the attack on Japan while not just Aria, but much of the Tokyo metroplex was being forcibly Gear-converted by the Will, and the poor Japanese were being turned into living bombs. It was that or face the eradication of mankind, but regardless, the situation did even more damage to an already-under-attack Aria's psyche.
  • Final Boss: She's the last opponent you have to face in Missing Link, and considerably more powerful than all the other fighters.
  • Four-Star Badass: The leader of the Gears' army who is the most powerful among them and turned the war against humanity into a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Her Start of Darkness. She realized that Gears were created to be weapons of war, and she tried to Screw Destiny by inflicting mass genocide on the humans who used her and her kind. In theory.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Justice's Story Mode in AC+ ends with her final fight against Sol. Even if you win, Sol still gets his Heroic Second Wind and finishes her off in a cutscene.
  • Hive Queen: All Gears made after her feel an instinctive need to obey her. Which also makes the prototype Gear Sol the one superpowered Gear she can't control.
  • Humans Are Bastards: She justifies her actions to Ky by telling how humans treated her as nothing more than a weapon, not caring about her mind or soul. This is... true as it goes, and she does appear to believe it genuinely, but there's more going on.
  • Humongous Mecha: Of the Neon Genesis Evangelion variety: A gigantic artificial lifeform wearing a suit of Powered Armor. She's one of the largest characters in the game, with only other giants like Potemkin and Faust rivaling her, at least until Xrd makes her actually mecha-sized. Further details, however, reveal that her new design seen in Xrd is actually a "shell" that requires a core to animate it, which the Conclave (and later the Universal Will, who has secretly been manipulating them), and That Man all want to use for their own purposes. The Strive prequel comics reveal that her old core is actually her pre-Xrd design, and that was the original Powered Armor vessel that was intended to hold Aria's soul, thus making both of her designs canon.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: The Gamma Ray attack is a giant blast of energy that covers the screen.
  • Killed Off for Real: Canonically gets killed at the end of Missing Link by Sol Badguy, finally bringing an end to her threat. It sticks a good 16 years, till Xrd, where the Big Bad revives a mindless copy of her to enact its Evil Plan.
  • Kiai: Shouts "SHAAAAAAAAAA!!!" in some of her attacks.
  • Light Is Not Good: She is covered in white and blue armor, has Laser Blades and tons of Frickin' Laser Beams for her moves, and is also the genocidal Big Bad of the first game.
  • Mighty Glacier: In order for Justice to be tournament-viable, Accent Core +R had to nerf her from Lightning Bruiser verging onto SNK Boss levels to this. Despite gaining multiple variations to her bomb special, she lost her ability to dash, and is comparable in speed to Potemkin. All of this whereas she lost almost none of her damage-dealing capabilities.
  • Mind Rape: It's implied early on that the controls put on her drove her insane. REVELATOR later confirms that, indeed, one of the reasons for her genocidal tendencies was the Universal Will forcefully invading her from the Backyard when she first gained consciousness, leading to a massive influx of information contaminating and possibly painfully reacting with her Gear cells while she stands there, helpless.
  • More Than Mind Control: All Gears made after her have a genetic link to her, allowing her to control them to do whatever she wants. Sol, being the very first Gear, is immune to this.
  • Only One Name: As a magical bioweapon, she only has the designation "Justice" rather than a given and family name like humans. In her original life, her name was Aria Hale. It's implied in the Strive recap comics that "Justice'' is a Nom de Guerre based on what she thinks she's trying to accomplish.
  • Powered Armor: Xrd's Story Mode reveals that the "Justice" we see in earlier games was in fact an advanced protective suit. Didn't do much to protect her from the Universal Will invading her mind, though. The Strive comics also confirm that the powered armor served as the "core" of the larger, mecha-sized Justice now commonly seen.
  • Promoted to Playable: As of Guilty Gear XX, in which she is an unlockable character. From a competitive standpoint, however, it wasn't until Accent Core + R that she became allowed in tournaments, due to her rebalancing.
  • Retcon: Hoo boy, Justice has had a lot of these over the years, but the most prominent one is her design. Originally appearing as a sort of bestial Powered Armor that looked similar to a combination between a Gundam and an Evangelion Unit, Xrd -SIGN- later changed her design to something more resembling an Eva Unit, or even an outright Angel. Then it was revealed in Xrd -REVELATOR- that the new design is actually a shell, powered by a core. It was then hinted at, and finally confimed in the -STRIVE- prequel comics, that her first core was, in fact, her original Powered Armor self.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Translation issues meant Justice was referred to as, and voiced by, a male in the first game, though she was referred to with neutral pronouns in the original Japanese. Later games do make it clear Justice is female, though it's still hard to tell under her armour.
  • Shoulders of Doom: The doom of humanity is supported by giant metal shoulders that have Wave Motion Guns in them.
  • Slow Laser: Her special moves has her shooting glowing energy projectiles.
  • SNK Boss: It took multiple revisions of her tuning for Justice to become legal for Tournament Play for a reason. In her first appearance as the Final Boss, her mobility, reach, defense, and attack power are all above average. She has a universal Counter-Attack. She has a special that fills the entire screen, another that basically deals a 15+ hit auto-combo, and various other abilities no other character possesses.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Played with. Justice towers over everyone not named Faust or Potemkin at a staggering 7'8", Though it's unclear how much of that is her Powered Armor and how much it's the actual Gear inside the armor. (Dizzy for instance assumes a much taller demonic form when tapping into her full gear powers in her X and XX instant kill.) Aria pre-Gearization is usually depicted as being on the somewhat shorter end of the spectrum, usually being about a head and a half shorter than Sol/Frederick, but has never been given a canon height; the nearest we have is Jack'O at 165cm (5'5). We've also never seen Aria/Justice out'' of the armor post-Gearization, though.
  • The Reveal: As revealed in the Xrd games, she was actually an attempt to revive Aria Hale, one of the three scientists who led the first Gear Project alongside Sol/Fredrick and That Man/Asuka. Aria had contracted a fatal, incurable disease and been cryogenically frozen in 2014. Decades later, with no cure in sight, Asuka, now sole head of the second Gear Project, decided to make use of the magitek gear cells they had researched together to create a new Empty Shell body for Aria that she could then be merged into. As such, Asuka subverted the project's research into creating a "commander gear" for military applications to instead create a clone body for his friend. However, when Asuka attempted to fuse Aria into the "commander gear" as part of her first "activation test", an Eldritch Abomination calling itself The Universal Will, from the dimension magic originates from, tried to use the body as a foothold into our reality and Kill All Humans instead. As a result, the Gear who became Justice only gained part of Aria's soul and mind, horribly corrupted by the Will's influence. Also, to stop the Will, who had gained control of a portion of the Gear cells and was using them to infect random parts of the Japanese population and turn them into demonic anti-matter bombs, Asuka then forcibly activated Justice's weapons systems to destroy the country to wipe out any infected. For tropes applying to her afterwards, see the Aria section on the Xrd character page.
  • The Unfettered: She will do anything to wipe out all Japanese people from the face of the Earth, even after Japan itself had been obliterated. This is, again, a combination of her Will-infected psyche and her attempt to rationalize what she experienced during her activation.
  • Walking Spoiler: She didn't used to be this, but a number of questions about her cropped up over the years in the XX games; Xrd then provided a lot of answers, some of which were curveballs of previous expectations, and these revelations are rather deep in the story modes of, fittingly, REVELATOR specifically. This necessitates putting a decent bit of recent information behind tags.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Her Gamma Ray, a powerful ray of concentrated radiation, decimated Japan. It's fairly well implied that the Gamma Ray system interacting with people who were in the middle of forcible conversion to anti-matter bombs did not help the devastation in the least bit.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Same deal as with Testament. On the surface.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Waged the hundred year war against humans and Gears that came to be known as the crusades after discovering that she was nothing more than a disposable weapon for the humans.
  • Worthy Opponent: Compliments Kliff Undersn on his abilities despite being a human in her Accent Core Plus storyline, right before she kills him. She even sounds sad at how time has left Kliff a shell of his former self, no longer able to even land a blow on her.
  • You Don't Look Like You: She seems to have taken on an entirely different appearance in Xrd. Then again, in-universe, President Vernon says that she looks exactly as she did during the Crusades. The prequel comics for Strive confirm that this is a partial Retcon of her older appearance, with her original design still being canon as the "core" of the much larger, more Evangelion-like new design.


Here comes a daredevil!
  • Height: 5'4"
  • Weight: 99lbs
  • Blood type: B
  • Birthplace: Japan
  • Date of Birth: March 5th
  • Hobbies: Drinking
  • Likes: Sake bottles
  • Dislikes: Tanuki statues

Voiced by: Satomi Koorogi (GG), Miho Sudo (X-XX), Chizu Yonemoto (AC), Mayumi Asano (Xrd -REVELATOR- onward)

Playable in: The Missing Link, X, XX, Xrd REV 2, -STRIVE- (DLC)

A young (looking?) Japanese woman with a traumatic past who wants revenge against That Man. During the Crusades her entire village was razed to the ground by Gears, and she lost one of her arms and eyes. She did witness the presence of That Man, though, and swore to kill him one day. She is a childhood friend of Anji Mito, who she views as getting in the way of her revenge since he also wants to meet That Man out of curiosity. She is one of the relentless pursuers of I-No in XX, who would lead her to That Man. In Accent Core + she starts getting an addiction to killing things, and Anji becomes worried that her newfound passion will consume her.

While absent for Xrd -SIGN-, Baiken does make an appearance in Revelator's story mode working with May, Jam, and Kum Haehyun, suggesting that she won't be out of action for long. Sure enough, those suggestions were indeed proven true when she was confirmed as a returning character in an update to Revelator called Rev2, added in Spring 2017.

Baiken is a high-risk high-reward character who plays around her weak defense stats and rather linear offensive tools by fishing for attacks to break through, and pays back in kind with very damaging combos. She has a unique Guard Cancel mechanic that allows her to cancel her block-stun into special attacks, making her threatening against those who attempt to pressure her heavily. This, combined with a blocking dash makes her extremely tough to control, and her ability to counter moves demands that the player have both thorough match-up specific knowledge and very good reaction times.

Tropes Associated with Baiken:

  • The Alcoholic: While we never see it, Baiken is implied to be a heavy drinker, with drinking being listed as her only hobby, and her only listed like simply being sake bottles.
  • All Asians Wear Conical Straw Hats: Shown in Rev2 to wear a roningasa, as per her trailer-given title of "the lone samurai".
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Particularly notable in that she's missing an eye and an arm and they switch sides depending on which way she's facing. She keeps this trait in Rev2 despite the switch to 3D graphics (including the eye, which has no impact on gameplay).
  • Anti-Hero: Her fight-happy nature makes her one of the more morally questionable characters in the Guilty Gear series. However, she's out for That Man, so she's technically on the same side as the good guys.
  • Ax-Crazy: One of her Accent Core + paths explores this possibility. However, this ends up averted canonically.
  • Badass Normal: She has no supernatural abilities or powers to speak of, yet still proves to be a very skilled fighter.
  • Berserk Button: Anything to do with Gears or That Man.
  • Bonus Boss: Back in the first game. Good luck getting to her, though — you'll need it!
  • Break the Cutie: She has a VERY traumatic backstory.
  • The Cameo: She does show up next to Anji during -STRIVE-'s epilogue before she became DLC.
  • Character Development: Baiken's actions in -REVELATOR- seem to suggest that the Accent Core + ending where she goes back to friendlier terms with Anji is canon. During the 5 year timeskip between AC and Xrd, she has settled down in the Colony and works with Haehyun in order to save her fellow Japanese.
  • Cherry Blossoms: Where do they keep coming from?
  • Coat Cape: She's got one on her new design in Rev 2.
  • The Comically Serious: She keeps herself as serious as she can in an environment as... BOMBASTIC as the plot of Rev2. As a result, her reactions to things like Faust's kancho or May's and Dizzy's new Instant Kills are among the most memorable.
  • Contralto of Danger: Compared to the other female characters, her voice is noticeably deeper. It also alludes to the fact that she's based off Kenshin Himura, whose Japanese voice actresses spoke in a contralto for him.
  • Counter-Attack: A major part of her kit. She is able to Lag Cancel her own block-stun into special attack, turning her opponent's momentum back onto themselves providing the player is aware of incoming attack pattern. Later games expand on this by giving her side-swapping command dash and actual parry move, punishing opponent's pressure game further.
  • Dark Action Girl: Turns villainous in one of her (non-canon) endings in Accent Core +.
  • Disabled Hottie: Lost an eye and arm, but still is quite attractive. Just ask Anji.
  • Eyepatch of Power: In Xrd Revelator, Baiken finally got an eyepatch to cover her missing eye, though said eyepatch is glass for some reason.
  • Fanservice Pack: Got a SERIOUS one in -REVELATOR- going from "decent" to "one of the most well-endowed women in the series."
  • Fiery Redhead: She has reddish hair and a very no-nosense, stubborn personality.
  • Gilded Cage: The Japanese colony is this for her and Anji. There are only a small number of Japanese people left in the world after the destruction of Japan, so the world governments created the colony as a last resort to keep them alive. Unfortunately, no one is allowed into the colony without special permission, and its residents are not allowed outside period. In the story mode of -REVELATOR-, it's revealed that this was done for an ulterior purpose: to ensure that none of the Japanese would be able to escape being turned into living bombs by Ariels.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: During her Instant Kill move. Also when she kills I-no in a story scene in one path of each of them in Accent Core +.
  • Guest Fighter: Shows up in Samurai Shodown (2019) as DLC.
  • Guttural Growler: A Rare Female Example of this in Rev2, her battle cries whenever she calls her attacks are quite raspy and turn into this with the aforementioned Contralto of Danger.
  • Handicapped Badass: Despite missing an arm and an eye, and lacking the supernatural abilities that most of the other characters have, Baiken can still hold her own. Indeed, her presence in the first game was as a Bonus boss!
  • Hypocritical Humor: She thinks Millia could use a haircut, despite herself sporting Barbarian Longhair that only gets more outrageous as the series goes on.
  • Iaijutsu Practitioner: Her moves have her unsheathing her sword, attacking directly, and then sheathing it back.
  • Kimono Fanservice: Kimonos are not exactly supposed to flaunt a woman's figure. Hers do. A lot.
  • Jidaigeki: Her new intro and winpose in Rev 2 are done in this style, complete with dramatic narration.
  • The Lad-ette: Kimono attire aside, she's gruff, rude, enjoys drinking, and lives for fighting.
  • Magic Skirt: ... but her opponents probably get to see everything. No longer the case after Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2, which gave her sarashi Modesty Shorts.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: The Masculine Girl to Anji's Feminine Boy.
  • Mistaken Identity: A meta example, as her appearance as a hidden character in the original Guilty Gear without any context and her (at the time) androgynous appearance led some to assume that she's That Man.
  • Modesty Shorts: Previous games, using sprites, could always keep what was under her Kimono hidden. With the move to 3D models for Xrd, she now wears sarashi shorts.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She may be more intimidating and battle-scarred than most examples, but she's still a very attractive woman in a very revealing outfit, and the camera is extremely happy to remind you of this.
  • Nothing Up My Sleeve: Just how many weapons does she have in there?
  • Older Than They Look: It's implied that she may be almost a century old.
  • The Paralyzer: One of her signature supers is a guard cancel counter that can disable the opponent's ability to move or defend themselves for a brief period.
  • Parental Abandonment: Her parents were murdered in front of her, almost surely during the destruction of Japan.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Her remaining eye has a red iris, and she's a VERY dangerous mix of Action Girl and Sociopathic Hero.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Against Gears in general and That Man in particular.
  • Reverse Grip: Most of the time, given that she only has one arm.
  • Rugged Scar: Has a deep gash running vertically over her left eye, which is permanently shut. She covers it up with an eyepatch starting with Xrd.
  • Samurai Ponytail: Not only does she dress and fight like an oldschool samurai (as much as she can with just one arm), but she keeps her hair as one.
  • School Uniforms Are the New Black: Her updated design in Rev 2 shows her wearing what resembles a Gakuran over her kimono, complete with a skull patch on its sleeves.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: She has a skull patch on her Coat Cape in her updated design.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Crosses into this in Accent Core +, possibly permanently depending on ending.
  • Sexy Walk: Her new forward walk animation in Rev 2. It should be noted that it's a shoutout to a confident samurai sway.
  • She's Got Legs: Ohhhh, yes.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Smokes a pipe as one of her taunts.
  • Suddenly Blonde: A really odd example, to say the least. To start off, few know that the pink-haired Baiken we all know and remember used to be an alternate palette in The Missing Link, while her actual dye job was pretty close to Kenshin Himura. Brown hair (as well as her mild voice a-la Kenshin) was eliminated from Baiken's canon design since Guilty Gear X, but still appears in one of the alternate color schemes anyway.
  • There Are No Therapists: Even with the loss of science during the war, nobody tried to do anything for her, who lost an eye and an arm and witnessed her parents' deaths during battle when she was just a little girl. Which is even more jarring considering she's Japanese, who are treated as international treasures.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: After her Darker and Edgier streak in the Accent Core series, Baiken's considerably mellowed out in the Xrd series, mostly.
  • The Unfettered: Anything is permissible so long as she has the opportunity to kill That Man.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Has no powers at all, but is very skilled in the use of the katana alongside with other weapons she stored in the sleeve of her severed arm to the point that she can easily kill Gears.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Since Guilty Gear X she's officially had pink hair but she originally debuted with brown hairnote , the pink hair being her alternate palette in The Missing Link.
  • You Monster!: She calls Order-Sol this in her win quote against him and tells him not to pretend to be human. He is a Gear, after all.
  • You Talk Too Much!: She says this to Ky in her win quote against him, stating that she doesn't care about his sense of justice, nor should anyone else.


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