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Video Game / Guilty Gear

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Mankind knew that they cannot change society.
So instead of reflecting on themselves, they blamed the Beasts.
Heaven or Hell?
Let's Rock!
Match Intro, Guilty Gear Strive Demo

Guilty Gear is a power of rock Fighting Game series created by Arc System Works. The franchise started out as a cult classic, but got noticeably better attention when its sequels were released.

In the year 2010, mankind discovered an incredible energy source that defied all known laws of physics. This unlimited power would be fittingly labelled as "magic" and go on to catalyse the growth of civilisation across the world. However, this miraculous discovery was not enough to quell the flames of war within the human soul, and soon the invention of Magitek was used to create powerful Living Weapons known as "Gears."

The Gears eventually Turned Against Their Masters in a century-long conflict known as The Crusades. Led by the righteous Holy Order, mankind eventually defeated the leader of the Gears and sealed her away in a dimensional rift, causing every other active Gear to fall dormant.


As the first game opens, the year is 2180, and there are whispers that the Gears may be revived and resume their genocide of humanity. In the midst of the ensuing turmoil, two opposing rivals clash swords: Sol Badguy, an amoral Bounty Hunter with a dark secret linking him to the Gears; and Ky Kiske, an idealistic young paladin of the Second Holy Order.

Mechanically, Guilty Gear has a few unique concepts that set it apart from the competition:

  • The first and most notable aspect of Guilty Gear is that air dashing and air mobility are fundamental to the series. While Guilty Gear was not the first game to feature improved air mobility or dashing in the air, it's considered the first fighting game series to get it right and to control well, particularly starting with Guilty Gear X. The series features a huge number of air control options, all of which are variously good for offense, defense, etc., and various characters have different air performance envelopes, as one of the purposes of the series is to better simulate the crazy shonen anime air battles seen in works like Dragon Ball. Even more so than a game like, say, Street Fighter, air offense is a vital part of a match, to the point that Guilty Gear and other games with a similarly large number of air mobility options (Melty Blood, BlazBlue, etc.) are said to have "air footsies."note 
  • And on that note, the Dust attack. The "fifth" attack button is, when pressed in neutral, a universal sky-launching "uppercut" for all characters. Connect this and follow immediately with a jump, and you then get to do the really big air combos the series is so famous for (as "Dust combos," especially under the right conditions, can be significantly longer than standard combos). Non-neutral Dust attacks tend to vary a good deal more between characters, but neutral Dust tends to be pretty much the same mechanically, even if the animation is different. The button is called "Dust," by the way, because the animations usually kick up a lot of dust as a visual tell that this sort of launch was happening.
  • For that matter, the button layout and the Gatling Combo system. Guilty Gear is a 5-button setup, as opposed to the 6-button layout of Street Fighter or the 4-button layout favored by so many SNK titles: the buttons are Punch, Kick, Slash, Heavy Slash, and Dust. The first thing to note is Slash and Heavy Slash — while Punch and Kick tend to have fairly similar performance envelopes across characters, Slash attacks are where their unique mechanics often start to come into play alongside any special attacks. While it's called "Slash" because that's what series leads Sol and Ky do (slash with their swords), GG characters can use some weird weapons and Slashes tend to be wildly different from character to character.
    • The other facet of this system, though, is how the combos work: the attacks, particularly what would be the first four face buttons on a console controller, ascend in order of strength for a reason: they combo together in what's called the Gatling Combo system. Unlike many competing fighters, especially those present at the time of GG1 and GGX's releases, combos are actually easier to accomplish because the fundamentals work the same across most the cast — neutral P will animation-cancel combo into K, K into S, and S into HS. Furthermore, you can often "jump" a single level and it will still be a combo — P-S-HS, for example. While specific directional-input-plus-attack-type combos, as well as what specials can finish combos, vary for each character (and is where a lot of the depth comes in) the essential concept holds true for every single character in the game, meaning you'll at least have something to start from when playing a new character (or gives you at least some knowledge when facing characters you don't yet have good match-up knowledge against — ultimately, they have to obey this same rule everyone else follows, and their combos will have to end on either HS or a special, and this is where you can go on the attack). There are a few exceptions to the rule, however. Slayer, introduced in GGXX, has little in the way of gatlings compared to the rest of the cast, instead having to rely on links note  and frame traps note  to continue pressuring the opponent. Strive changed this up a bit, limiting gatlings a bit and no longer allowing them from P and K attacks.
  • Finally, there's the idea of "Roman Cancels" — pressing a certain button combination (or, on pretty much any modern console controller or fightstick, a single button) will allow your character to, in a single frame, go back to a "neutral" state from deep within a combo at the cost of tension meter, signified by a red flash of energy briefly enveloping the user and, prior to the switch to 3D, the announcer calling out "Romantic!" In short, you could, for example, do P-K-S-HS, Roman Cancel, take a step forward to get back in range, and P-K-S-HS again, and it would all count as one combo that the enemy can't just interrupt via guarding. Roman Cancels, along with Dust attacks, are what lead to the huge, stylish combos that Guilty Gear is so famous for — you can do a ground combo, Roman Cancel into a Dust attack, perform your Dust combo, Roman Cancel again if you have meter, and do a second air combo. That's an extreme example, but does reflect what having the ability to hard cancel a combo into a new combo allows for.

The series' release history is pretty long, as it's been around for a good two decades and counting:


Main games note 

  • Guilty Gear: The Missing Link (1998, PSX) (2018, Nintendo Switch)
  • Guilty Gear X: By Your Side (2000, Dreamcast/PS2)
  • Guilty Gear XX: The Midnight Carnival (2002, PS2)
    • Guilty Gear XX #Reload (2003, PS2/Xbox)
    • Guilty Gear XX Slash (2005, PS2)
    • Guilty Gear XX Accent Core (2006, PS2/Wii)
    • Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus (2009, PS2/Wii/PSP)
    • Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R (2012, Xbox 360 XBLA/PS3 PSN) (2018, Nintendo Switch)
  • Guilty Gear 2: Overture (2007, Xbox 360/Steam) note 
  • Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- (2014, PS3/PS4/Steam)
    • Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR- (2015, PS3/PS4/Steam)
    • Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 (2017, PS3/PS4/Steam)
  • Guilty Gear Strive (2021, PS4/PS5/Steam)


  • Guilty Gear Petit (2001, WonderSwan)
    • Guilty Gear Petit 2 (2002, WonderSwan)
  • Guilty Gear Isuka (2004, Arcade/PS2/Xbox)
  • Guilty Gear Dust Strikers (2006, Nintendo DS)
  • Guity Gear Judgment (2006, PSP)
  • Pro Jumper! Chimaki's Hot Spring Tour Guilty Gear Tangent!? (2010, Nintendo DS DSiWare)
  • Guilty Gear Vastedge XT (2013, pachinko machine)

After a very long hiatusnote , the franchise returned with Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-note , released in arcades (using Sega's RingEdge 2 board) on February 20, 2014, with the home release on December 16th, 2014 in North America. The game takes place one year after the events of Guilty Gear 2: Overture (in the year 2187) and marks a return to the series' 2D-fighting roots. In addition to Xrd, Arc also unveiled Guilty Gear Vastedge XT note , a pachinko game also set after Overture that appears to tie into Xrd.

ASW has uploaded two trailers and the arcade intro for Xrd to their official YouTube page, and previews for Vastedge can be found here, here, and here.

A new Guilty Gear game, entitled "Guilty Gear Strive", was announced for a 2020 release with a preview trailer at the 2019 Evo Championship Series and confirmed for release on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and Steam. Ky and Sol were confirmed by the initial trailer along with a new character named Nagoriyuki who wields two large katanas. Notable changes include a new corner system where characters can "break through" the corner and smash their opponents into a stage transition, changing how corner mechanics work for the first time in the series.

Despite the fact that many installments contain the letter X, this is not that type of game. (Unless you're playing a Rule 34 doujin.)

See also BlazBlue, a Spiritual Successor created during Guilty Gear's hiatus, and Dragon Ball Fighter Z, their most prominent Licensed game using Guilty Gear's mechanics.

Duel 1! Let's ROCK!

  • 2½D: Guilty Gear Xrd uses cel-shaded 3D models as opposed to traditional 2D sprites, allowing for less restrictive (and more spectacular) camera angles. Similar to to the Ultra Combos in Street Fighter IV, Dust attacks, certain Overdrives, and Instant Kills put this feature to good use.
    • A particular thing to note is just how much the models have been made to look like sprites - perhaps the cleverest example is that, unlike most 3D model animation, the Xrd models lack animation interpolation or in-between frames - in short, they animate or move just like a sprite would. Not only does it make the gameplay feel a lot like a sprite-based fighting game of the future, but it's even strikingly used in the story mode, resulting in the cutscenes looking like what people thought "anime games" would look like in the 2000s, back in 20th century.
  • Aerith and Bob: The game's roster features characters named Johnny and May, along with Elphelt and Ramlethal.
  • After the End: Though some cities and countries flourish, the world remains devastated after the Crusades. America is in ruins and there's a hole in the ocean where Japan used to be.
  • Alien Space Bats: The discovery of magic in 2010. It doesn't seem like humanity is heading down that path in our world... yet.
  • Alliterative Title: Guilty Gear.
  • All There in the Manual: Seeing as how this is a fighting game, a lot of info and lore (especially in the earliest titles) were only through text and explained in detail through manuals.
  • Alternate Universe: Axl's strange condition unwittingly lands him in various historical periods without warning, including a war-torn future in his second AC+ story path. For that matter, the world of Guilty Gear may very well be an alternate course of history from Axl's point of view. The inclusion of I-No, who knows the difficultly arcane art of time travel, in XX takes things further down the rabbit hole, as she deliberately sends certain characters back in time to screw with them or, in Sol's case, try to erase them from the timestream. She's even responsible for an utterly cataclysmic Bad Future, motivated by nothing more than sheer whimsy—and Xrd dials it past 11 to break the amplifier in half when it is revealed that Axl not only has the same Time Master powers as I-No, he could also alter reality on a whim and in fact may have unknowingly erased his original timeline from existence due to his accidental timeslips.
  • Ambidextrous Sprite: Characters like Sol and Ky can easily switch to the other hand, but those with asymmetrical costumes (Testament, Venom) or missing limbs (Baiken) are a bit harder to justify. Xrd, a 3D game whose visual design is centered around replicating the feel of 2D, intentionally uses this trope, with a few exceptions such as Sol's and Ky's "Free" and "Hope" belts reading the same from both sides.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: All of the games which got ported from Japan to America and Europe, most notably the Isuka installment.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Overture drops nearly all the bounty hunters, and instead focuses on the story of the Gears. Of all seven playable characters, only one is a normal human (Ky).
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: In -REVELATOR-, you unlock alternate colors 7 through 17 by fishing for them at the pond in multiplayer lobbies. This doubles to the 24 alternate colors for each character in Digital Figure mode (where you can obtain the DLC colors).
  • Announcer Chatter: The announcer in Xrd is slightly more chatty than previous ones, right up to making remarks at the character select screen and during the Versus Character Splash.
    "Get ready to rock!"
  • Apathetic Citizens: Leo and the President talk about this happening after Ramlethal's capture.
  • Apocalypse Maiden: The Valentines. Special mention goes to the original, who That Man calls "the illegitimate child of a merciless apocalypse."
  • Art Evolution: Sol's hair has gotten much, much spikier since the first game in the series. There's a few other changes as well, such as Axl becoming less muscular and Testament becoming (marginally) less feminine. Also, here's a comparison between Ky's sprites.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: In Xrd by Sin Kiske to Sol Badguy: It really hits home for the receiver - you can visibly see their realization upon hearing it.
    "It's almost like you're telling me I shouldn't trust anybody, or just be a grumpy, lonely bounty hunter.".
  • Audible Sharpness
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: Guilty Gear and badass guitar riffs are almost synonymous.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Instant Kills. Sure, they end the round automatically if they connect, but most are seriously difficult to hit with. If they know it's coming, it's damn near impossible, unless the opponent is stunned. In that case it's somewhat doable.
    • Or you're playing the first game or using "Generations GG Mode" in Accent Core, in which case IKs are basically Quick Time Events.
    • Instant Kills are slightly more practical in Xrd — going into Instant Kill mode while the opponent is low on health briefly stops time (much like the startup of an Overdrive), giving the opportunity to combo into the actual Instant Kill move. Made even moreso in Xrd -Revelator-, where you don't need to be in the corner to combo into it.
    • Justice's Gamma Ray Overdrive. Possibly the most damaging super in the game, but it has a painfully long windup time and burns a full meter, the former only mitigated slightly if you're at close range (where the opponent runs risk of being snared by Justice's electrical discharge before the beam fires).
    • Order-Sol's Dragon Install: Sakkai Overdrive plays with this. If pulled off in its entirety note  and the final hit (the original GG1 Tyrant Rave) is guaranteed to kill, Sol's string of attacks will cap off with his Napalm Death IK, effectively ending the round on the spot. The problem? Aside of the requirements for activating the super (full Tension and Level 3 Charge prior to Plus R, where it only consumes 50% Tension like most other Overdrives), there's a good chance that the opponent will already be done for by the time Napalm Death comes out.
  • Background Music Override:
    • In Xrd, if, during the final round of the match, Ky gets knocked around enough that his ponytail comes undone, "Holy Orders III" from Overture starts playing.
    • Sol's Dragon Install Overdrive in Xrd has its own theme, "Ride the Fire", sounded off with a Metal Scream of "READY OR NOOOOOOOOOOOT!"note  Even after Dragon Install wears off, the music will continue playing until the end of the round.
  • Badass Army:
    • The Servants in Overture, and they come in different types.
    • While we only see/hear of the efforts of the main players (i.e. Sol, Ky, Kliff, and Justice), both the Gears and the Holy Knights count, seeing as the Crusades lasted over a century and probably would have continued on longer had it not been for Justice's sealing (indeed, in the Bad Future, the Crusades continue on for at least another eight).
  • Bad Future:
    • One shown in an XX drama CD, where Ky's death results in a future where Dizzy takes over for her late mother as the leader of the Gears, and most of the cast dies by the end. Thankfully, I-No, spurred on by That Man, saves Ky for her own interests, bringing a much more positive end to the Crusades.
    • I-No's stages take place in future Babylon, on top of a ruined cathedral in XX and on the abandoned city streets overrun by wolves in Xrd. Also, in the latter stage you can spot the former stage in the distance in the right corner.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Potemkin, Jam, and Slayer, who don't carry weapons. Basic attacks used by weapon attack buttons act as occasionally stronger punches and kicks for them.
  • The Battle Didn't Count: Sol, Bedman and Slayer pull this all the time. Granted that this is the only way they could possibly make sense as playable characters, considering the exponential difference in power between them and the rest of the cast.
  • Battle Intro: As usual for fighting games, each character has pre-match intros, and several have special intros against each other, most notably Sol vs. Ky and Millia vs. Zato. Also, several fights in Story Mode have intros that actually have an effect on fight itself.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Realizing that the solution to the Gear problem wasn't more Gears (a lesson likely learned when Testament went rogue thanks to Justice's powers), the Post-War Administration Bureau sought to create an anti-Gear weapon derived from Gear technology, resulting in the parasitic/symbiotic Forbidden Beasts. Gears instinctively know that Forbidden Beasts are their enemies, explaining the nostalgia Testament and Dizzy feel around Eddie, and Eddie rationalizes during AC+ that a Gear's body would be able to sustain him better than Zato's did due to the similarities in physiology.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: The United Nations' Senate and Ramlethal Valentine are in the alliance of convenience in Xrd.
  • Big Eater: The Neo New York stage in Xrd features a large old man in the background, sitting back and eating from a bag full of hamburgers as he watches you fight.
  • Big, Screwed-Up Family: After finding out more about his wife's family in Xrd, Ky Kisuke is mortified to learn:
    • His wife Dizzy, due to gears having a wildly different life cycle than humans, is actually decades younger than him
    • Their son Sin is already a full grown adult at age 3, again because of gears life cycle being utterly different.
    • His father-in-law is actually his rival Sol Badguy, who also turns out to be over a century old and the Ultimate Blacksmith who made his Infinity +1 Sword Thunderseal.
    • Further, the two girls who he basically adopted at the end of Revelator, Ramlethal and Elphet, are clones of his mother-in-law.
    • His mother-in-law? Oh yeah, it's former series Big Bad Justice, who killed his master while she was Brainwashed and Crazy years ago, and is also over a century old.
    • His wife and adopted daughters even lampshade the whole situation by questioning what they should even call Sol, with Dizzy deciding on "father" and the Valentines, being artificially grown gears, considering "big brother" given Sol's identity as the very first gear.
  • Blood Iron: Testament's scythe has a blade made of hardened blood iron.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Guilty Gear XX Accent Core has the blood removed for some reason.
  • Bonus Boss: Baiken's appearance in GG1 skirts between this and True Final Boss. Beating the game's "Normal Mode" without using a continue at any point as either Sol or Ky will enable a match with her after the credits are done rolling. Defeating her will unlock her for regular play and display an "Thanks for playing!" image, though the latter is absent in the North American release for whatever reason and instead leaves the player on a black screen.
  • Book-Ends: The beginning and the end of Xrd story mode has Elphelt nullifying Ramlethal's Taking You with Me attempt on Sol, and Ramlethal nullifying Elphelt's Dying as Yourself attempt, respectively.
  • Bullet Time: All Roman Cancels in Xrd (Red, Yellow, and Purple) briefly cause time to slow down for everything but the character who initiated the RC.
  • Call-Back: EX Order-Sol in Slash up to AC Plus R is a call back to the first Guilty Gear's version of Sol. He has a full screen Gun Flame that can be performed with either S or HS, he has a running barge move he can do by hitting P while running (Much like how you could perform an automatic charge attack that launches the opponent just by running at them for a prolonged time,) his Tyrant Rave overdrive resembles GG 1 Sol's Overdrive (although EX OS's is simply the third part of Tyrant Rave Omega as opposed to GG 1 Sol's flame spiral Tyrant Rave) and he even gets a traditional functioning Instant Kill in the form of Sol's old GG 1 IK, All Guns Blazing. About the only thing he lacks is the original Dragon Install powerup. You can even complete the look by changing EX OS' Generations mode to "GG" for power charging and QTE Instant Kills.
  • Capcom Sequel Stagnation:
    • Guilty Gear XX saw five updated releases between 2002 and 2012 - at first just because the assets were still good, but after Accent Core it was because the rights to the franchise got weird. Each update did add more to the game, though.
    • Xrd has been more stable, currently only sitting at three revisions (-SIGN-, -REVELATOR- and Rev2).
  • Cel Shading: Xrd uses this to emulate the 2D look, further enhanced by the deliberately choppy animation.
  • Central Theme: The plot revolves on moral and religious concepts like innocence, guilt, justice, hope, atonement and life; not just on individual lives, but on a bigger, fictional picture.
  • Character Development: A great deal of it comes to fruition in Overture. Sol goes from Ineffectual Loner to Genius Bruiser and Cynical Mentor. Ky starts off as a Knight Templar and rival to Sol only to later become his ally.
  • Character Outlives Actor: The death of Kaneto Shiozawa, the voice actor who played Zato-1, inspired the plot point of having the symbiote that gave him powers completely take over his body, complete with a new voice actor. This becomes weird when the character returns in Xrd... as Zato.
  • Character Roster Global Warming:
    • XX has around two dozen characters and exactly one big guy (Potemkin), later joined by a re-balanced Justice.
    • The Xrd series has a slightly higher character count with only three fighters past the "Slightly Heavy" weight class: The aforementioned Potemkin, joined by newcomers Bedman and Kum Haehyun.
    • Strive only has two large characters on launch (Potemkin and newcomer Nargoriyuki), but has a much smaller cast in comparison to the previous examples.
  • Cliffhanger:
    • In Xrd, at the end of Sol's Arcade story, the Big Bads start wiping out an entire city. Afterwards, Ramlethal grabs Sol with the intent of destroying him along with herself, thus setting the stage for the console version's Story Mode.
    • Then once more in Xrd: After defeating the revived Justice, she and Elphelt (who was saved from going One-Winged Angel) are pulled back into the Backyard. Sol vows to find a way to save her. Meanwhile, Faust interogates Chronus, the last surviving member of the Conclave, about what he knows about what's happening to the Japanese, only for both of them to realize there is someone else who has been pulling the Conclave's strings!
    • Xrd Revelator has one at the end of its story as well, despite it initially seeming to end on both a high note and a very definitive note. So Jack-O merges with Justice, Aria is reborn, the Universal Will is defeated, Elphelt is saved. But That Man - Asuka R. Kreuz, Sol's former friend - confronts Sol in The Stinger and admits that with Aria whole again, it is time they settle their own business at last. And also, Aria is whole again... except her Justice half didn't want to merge, because it was wracked with guilt over the atrocities it had committed. Just what mental state is Aria going to be in when she wakes up? And that is on of top of whatever I-No is planning to do.
    • Done one final time with the story added with Rev2. Sol and Ky put their heads together theorizing how Sol could possibly defeat Asuka, but before Ky can tell Sol what his single idea is the news drops that Asuka, as the world's single most wanted criminal, has willingly surrendered himself to the United States government... and that is the true ending to the story until Strive.
  • Combo Breaker: The Counter Burst. These, however, are unavailable when your character is staggered, being thrown (command grabs included), dizzied, or hit by an Overdrive (indicated by an X covering the gauge). The Burst Gauge slowly refills over the course of a battle as you deal and take damage, and a successful Blue Burst leaves you with 30% of the gauge intact. Their biggest drawbacks are that they're punishable on block and if you whiff/the Burst is blocked, your Burst Gauge drops to 0%.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The series contains your typical end-game bosses with abilities or juiced-up moves not available in their playable formats, sometimes with permanently-recharging Tension gages. The Gold and Shadow palette swaps available for CPU's in the XX series can also qualify for many of the same reasons.
  • Cool Ship: While there are a few throughout the series, the best example by far is the Mayship, flagship of the Jellyfish Pirates. It's a massive vessel vaguely shaped like a whale, fitting for the crew's nautical theme. It gets even cooler in Strive where it becomes even more whale-like, even moving it's tail and fins as if it's swimming through the skies. It even gets a squadron of mechanical fish, dolphins, manta rays, and other sea creatures flying alongside it.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Justice's story mode in Accent Core Plus (a retelling of the first game) is something to behold. Basically all arcades in the original game are turned non-canon, Justice kills Kliff, beates the crap out of everyone in the original cast with the exception of the characters that aren't in AC+ (at least not how they were in the first game), fights Sol and dies after he gets a Heroic Second Wind.
  • Cycle of Hurting: All over the place, with Sol's Dust Loop and Zato/Eddie's 50/50 (corner) mix-ups being notoriously standout examples. Even the original game could get a little ridiculous with this one quite often. This is likely due to the game focusing on very heavy mobility with fast-pacing while also having no extra getup options, which makes okizeme (lit. wakeup offense) somewhat easy to maintain for those who apply proper aggression.
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff: Negative Penalties, incurred for repeatedly retreating from the opponent and not attacking, make the character susceptible to taking more damage in addition to emptying their Tension Gauge and minimalizing any Tension gained for a time after.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Besides the usual edition transition troubles, Xrd in particular gets this because of the major changes to the Roman Cancel system and being based on #Reload, four editions before AC+R and the last one Daisuke Ishiwatari had a direct role developing before switching his attention to Overture.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • The Korean OST, while it's not bad at all, it's less energic than its Japanese counterpart, and it goes full blown post-apocalyptic Heavy Metal. Which... fits the whole series in a sentence. Still, it's just the Korean version.
    • -STRIVE- is shaping up to be darker than any of the previous entries. While still beautifully animated, the colors are more muted and the silly over-the-top facial expressions are missing. This is especially noticeable with Faust, who is now more of a Humanoid Abomination instead of the jovial doctor from Guilty Gear X onward.
  • Death-or-Glory Attack: Instant Kills.
    • X onward, you either have one connect and win or miss/is blocked and you lose your Tension bar. Add to the fact that they can't combo and it's easy to see you don't see them used often in Tournament Play.
    • They see a bit more use starting in Xrd: Sign. When you are at match point (a victory will win the match), and the opponent's health s reduced to 20% and not in a combo, or 10% while still in one, they will enter hellfire, and your tension bar will turn gold. If you have enough meter at that point, you can then Roman Cancel, activate instant kill mode and trigger a superfreeze, and actually include the instant kill in a combo (normally it will whiff if the opponent is in hitstun). Since opponents at low health take reduced damage (some of them significantly less than others), this is sometimes the only combo that will actually finish off the opponent at that time without softening them up with another combo first.
  • Demoted to Extra: Arguably, Ky in Overture. He spends a good deal of the story trapped, and even after he's freed, he only gets ONE mission.
  • Depending on the Artist: Despite Ishiwatari doing all of the game's core character design, the portrait and arcade/story mode still art has varied a lot over the years depending on who works on the games, and the sprites often end up looking a bit different than the other art due to the style. Overture might be the most dramatic example, with the shift to awkward 3D and many of the characters suddenly looking like they stepped out of an Ayami Kojima Castlevania game. As of Xrd, ArcSys seems to be taking steps to keep the depictions somewhat more stylistically consistent across media.
  • Depopulation Bomb: The Cradle, mainly because its method of movement involves transporting itself into the Backyard. As the on-site investigation of Babylon concluded, only humans and animals disappeared while leaving the city intact.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Not just one person experienced this, but the whole Holy Knights and also the world when Ky Kiske died in the Battle of Rome in the alternate timeline. The event is referred as "the day where the hope of the world crumbled."
  • Developers' Foresight: Accent Core onward introduces "GG Generations" mode which changes gameplay mechanics to more resemble the older games. "GG" mode changes the Instant Kills to function more like that game where they could be repeatedly used and automatically triggered if your opponent fails to press the onscreen button prompts in time. But what about Order-Sol? His Instant Kill is a long, complicated button combo and the IK part only triggers if you perform the combo successfully on an opponent with low health. So what happens if you put normal Order-Sol in "GG" mode? Performing an IK with him simply has him perform his EX form's "All Guns Blazing" Instant Kill.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: The Force Roman Cancel (FRC) in the XX series. Only applicable to specific moves, an FRC uses less Tension meter than a regular Roman Cancel and can also work even if the move doesn't connect (whereas regular RCs must actually make contact, meaning you can make non-safe attacks safe by expending 25% of your Tension gauge). However the frame window to perform these is very small and if you miss it, you'll just get a regular RC and burn more meter (or in the case of whiffed attacks, nothing at all, meaning your attack is now unsafe).
  • Dressed Like a Dominatrix: I-No is a mysterious cruel and manipulative woman, a playable boss in some of the games. She wears a skimpy red jacked and a red miniskirt, a choker, thigh-high boots, and a witch's hat.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Bridget, the former Trope Namer for Unsettling Gender Reveal.
    • In-universe, Ky has been mistaken for a woman as well. Millia in Xrd outright says "I thought you were a woman" to him.
  • Dungeon Punk: Guilty Gear is this trope.
  • Easter Egg:
    • Certain characters (Sol/O.Sol, May, Millia, Baiken) have more than one Taunt and/or Respect gesture. These aren't character-specific, though.
    • In AC (and its revisions), the elderly painter in the new London stage will occasionally paint a scene depicting an alien instead of an unfinished still of the stage itself. Seeing this in the 360 version of AC+ or Vita version of AC+R nets you a trophy/achievement (Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind).
    • Printed on the characters' clothing in Xrd are a variety of different phrases — these are easier to notice in closeups and Digital Figure.
  • Eldritch Location: The Backyard, a realm which contains an immense amount of information within, and the source of the series' magical energy. Those who enter the Backyard risk having their body, mind, and soul being destroyed by the sheer amount of data inside it.
  • EX Special Attack: Force Breaks in Accent Core, which cost 25% of a character's Tension and are performed by pressing Dust after the directional input instead of the usual attack button. Many of them are improved versions of special moves, but some are completely new attacks.
  • False Flag Operation: In Overture's aftermath, a few days after Ky proclaims his intentions to seek co-existence with the Gears, Illyria suffered new raids from the Gears. Sol states that someone is manipulating the Gears to disrupt Ky's plans.
  • Fan Disservice: Under normal circumstances, Raven would not be considered an ugly man, but his frightening faces and bizarre psycho-sexual mannerisms combined with being a masochistic zombie tends to give this impression. Xrd doesn't help either, as it can be seenn that he nearly lacks a torso.
  • Fantastic Aesop: Don't tamper with genes and turn creatures into magical weapons of war... because they will wipe out the Japanese.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: The Guilty Gear universe is pretty much the real world, except that every mythical or supernatural creature from all cultures is true and considered normal. Some stages have skeletons of giants, dragons are being used as restaurants, gnomes catch fish, aliens peek from forests, vampires observe humans, ghosts appear and witches fly. Not only that, magic coexists with ki or chakra, though they are entirely different from one another.
  • Final Boss:
    • An uncommon case among most fighters in that every final boss in the main installments (including X and XX) has been a woman. In order, they are Justice, Dizzy, I-No, Valentine, Ramlethal Valentine and Jack-O Valentine.note  For bonus points, they all share an at least tangential connection with one or more of the other characters on that list and at this point, I-no's the only one who shares no genetic relation with any of the others. Spin-offs Isuka, Dust Strikers, and Judgment break this convention with Leopaldon, Gig, and Judgment, though Gig half-subverts it (he has a formerly human maiden sticking out from his lower body).
    • And for even greater bonus points, Ariels the Universal Will would've been a boss character in previous games, and she's another woman. She appears more or less exclusively in the Xrd story modes, however.
  • Finishing Move: Instant Kill attacks are specific to each character and end the round, regardless of how much health the opponent has. The first game's Instant Kills ended the entire MATCH on the spot if they went through.
  • Force and Finesse: Sol utilizes a rough, unpolished, "all guns blazing" style of combat and wields a blunt sword with no visible edge. Ky favors precision and, having been properly trained in the art of swordfighting, brandishes a longsword.
  • Forced Perspective: Used heavily in Xrd to emulate the 2D visuals.
  • For Want of a Nail: In one of the drama CDs. In the original timeline, Ky dies. And his life is pivotal to the whole war. Needless to say, the war went on even after Justice died because Dizzy took up Justice's role in the rebellion. It was eventually I-No, who met That Man and decided to save Ky's life, resulting in the current timeline.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • As of Xrd, most of the characters have tiny inscriptions on parts of their outfits, such as "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine" written on the back of Faust's coat and "Settle With Elegance" engraved on Venom's glove. These can be seem more easily in -REVELATOR-'s Digital Figure mode.
    • This was also the case in Overture, such as the "Nonsugar" engraving on Valentine's sleeves and the words "Proteus" and "Universe" adorning That Man's robes in a multitude of spots, as well as the phrase "Heven Made Men For Its Reason, Men Respect Men For Their Own Sake" scribbled on their back coattails.
  • Functional Magic: Guilty Gear 2's lore and plot explain the source of all magic: The Backyard is a dimension that contains the universe's laws of physics, where they can be temporarily tweaked and defied on Earth to suit the desires of humanity.
  • Gaiden Game: Canonically, the X and XX series are these. They're very much in-canon, but are largely inconsequential to the events of Overture (unless your name happens to be Sol, Ky, or Dizzy), which was touted as the real continuation of GG1 and second "main" game in the series (with Xrd being the third, hence the name).
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: The Guilty Gear universe is an aftermath of the said scientific (magical) innovation. Gears are biological weapons that were powerful enough to stand against humans for a hundred years and had almost pushed humanity into extinction in the drama CDs.
  • Genre-Busting: Overture. It combines Hack n Slash with Real-Time Strategy, and is inspired by DotA, albeit with much greater control over armies. The fighting game mechanics from previous entries remain intact on top of this, best seen when two Master Units (i.e. Sol, Valentine, Raven, etc.) face off against one another.
  • Genre Shift: The series underwent an experimental phase while in the midst of tweaking XX. Isuka's GG Boost Mode and the entirety of Judgment were Beat Em Ups, while Dust Strikers was a Platform Fighter in the vein of Super Smash Bros. The first true sequel, Overture, was equal parts RTS and H&S. The next proper installment, Xrd, returns to the series' roots as a 2D fighter.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Leopaldon in Isuka.
  • Global Currency: World dollars.
  • God Is Evil: The Universal Will, which fried all human electronics in 1999, and summons Valentines to destroy humanity. Subverted in that it isn't actually God per se, but rather a rogue magical A.I.
  • Going Cosmic: Averted. As noted above, various religious themes like sin and redemption have seen heavy use as underliers for the main conflicts of the series since Day 1, and one of the most prominent heroes, Ky Kiske, is a devout Christian whose idealism, personal integrity, and views on justice are repeatedly questioned by his ordeals. Even when the story is at its most grounded do deeply spiritual and existential matters crop up frequently. The promotional trailer for Guilty Gear X is but one example.
    "Why do you fight?"
  • Government Conspiracy: Towards Gears and the Japanese in general. Ky also gets involved, though he is a victim.
  • Grand Finale: Strive seems to be setting itself up as this, as it will finally set up the final conflict between Sol and Asuka, wrapping up an arc more than twenty years in the making.
  • Gratuitous English: PLENTY.
    • The "SLASH!" that punctuates a KO may qualify, given that it doesn't matter what kind of attack lands the finishing blow.
    • The most interesting example is perhaps the intro trailer for Guilty Gear X. Now, the English might sound like a terrible dub job from that period... and that's because it is, as it was commissioned by a nascent ArcSys themselves for the Japanese version. The English voiceover was used even in the JP versions of the game; the initial narration was sometimes dubbed over in Japanese (on top of the still-audible English), but everything else was in English flat out (except May's orders in her scene, which are in Japanese in all versions). This is why the translation, especially of the narration, is a bit shonky and the acting isn't great - because it's what ArcSys wrote, sent over and commissioned. Needless to say, renditions of the game in vocal English have improved since then.
  • Great Offscreen War: The Crusades. There has yet to be a game that covers the apocalyptic, over a century-long event in full, though a part of the anime intro to X and certain characters' stories in XX and AC+ offer a glimpse of the war's final years, and the XX drama CD shows what would happen if Ky were to die during the Battle of Rome in 2173.
  • The Hedonist: One of Xrd's underlying themes is that humans are hedonistic.
  • Hit Stop: Trope Namer. In this case it's used for gameplay purposes: when a character gets hit, the short pause in animation allows the player to react to it and confirm into a combo. Scoring a Counter Hit increases the pause even more.
    • Xrd has a feature known as Danger Time, triggered randomly by a clash of two opposing attacks, where a successful hit off of canceling the clashed attack will cause a Mortal Counter, a special type of Counter Hit with even longer hit stun that can also be canceled into any other type of attack.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Not that the series was a stranger to fanservice, but Xrd takes things up a notch thanks to the 3D models. Ky can let his hair down, Millia now wears tight leggings, Zato-1 wears very tight spandex, Jam wears a different pair of underwear every day of the week... you get the picture.
  • Humans Are Flawed: A major theme of the setting and evident in some backstories. In Xrd, the primary reasoning for human suffering that is discussed is the Hedonic Treadmill, that human beings go from cherishing gifts and privileges, to expecting them and craving more. Sol, Slayer, Raven, and The Universal Will each complain about it. The Universal Will seeks to replace humanity with something she can "program" to always be happy.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Gears were originally intended to be the next step in human evolution, hence the name "Gear". However, after officials saw the technology's power, it was decided to weaponize it instead. Similarly, the first two "successful" gears, Sol/Frederick and Justice/Aria, were gearized without their consent, with each suffering Power Incontinence and Brainwashed and Crazy respectively as a consequence of That Man's Evilutionary Biologist attempt to "help" them.
  • Idle Animation: Several, from Sol cracking his neck to Slayer tugging at the collar of his shirt to Venom chalking up his cue. Xrd adds more, like Ky waving around his blade in a circular motion for a bit (presumably to keep his sword arm loose and limber) and May stretching a few times before striking a cute pose.
  • Immortality Begins at Twenty: Seems to be the case for the Gears (the humanoid ones, at least), who already exhibit vastly accelerated aging processes and are functionally ageless. Once they hit physical and mental maturity or were already in their prime when converted, they stop aging and remain in their current state indefinitely. For example, Testament appears to be in his twenties despite being at least three times that old and the 170+ Sol looks no older than when he worked on the Gear Project back in the early 21st century.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Damn near everybody!
  • Improbable Weapon User: So many. Alongside swords, scythes and arm blades there are giant scalpels, guitars, pool cues, Prehensile Hair, yo-yos, giant keys and anchors.
  • Inconsistent Dub: Official translations of the characters' special technique can vary wildly, be it slight changes in spelling to complete reworkings of the wording/phrasing. The games have flip-flopped a lot on which move is named what, and some of the (newly) "official" names may end sounding less natural than previous translations. Part of this has been caused by the series having four different English publishers over its lifetime (Atlus, American Sammy, Majesco, and then Aksys), with a bevy of translation teams. It's been more consistent since Aksys became the franchise's more or less permanent publisher, though, though occasionally there's still a slip-up.
  • Infant Immortality: Averted. An apocalyptic blast ends in a freeze frame revealing that a newborn child was, in fact, caught in the very edge of the blast, though any actual damage is not shown.
  • Internal Homage: The promotional artwork/cover art for Xrd (the page image above) is meant to call that of Guilty Gear X to mind: the bottom character is holding chains, the top one is brandishing their sword. The main difference is that Sol and Ky's positions have been swapped.
  • Invulnerable Attack: Gold Bursts, while best known for their ability to instantly max out your Tension gauge if they successfully connect (and if they don't, you're given 30% of your gauge back as reimbursement), are also invincible against all other attacks (including another Burst). Used wisely, they make for a good offensive and defensive tool. Several Overdrives additionally feature start-up invincibility.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": According to the promotional trailer for GGX, the "X" is pronounced as "zex." Similarly, the "XX" in GGXX is "igzex." Xrd's trailer shows that it's pronounced "exard"/"ecks-erd" (or, as seen in a later interview with Dengeki, "igzird").
  • I Want My Jetpack: The series has a backstory starting in 2010...
  • Japanese Spirit: A key factor behind the power and value of the Japanese people. Three guesses why the Gears marked them for extinction first.
  • Jump Physics: Everyone can double jump, save Chipp, who can triple jump. In addition, there are midair dashes.
    • Justice can both triple jump and triple air dash. You can only imagine what that kind of mobility, combined with superior offense, defense, and attack priority compared to virtually every other character in the game, spells out for her as a character.
      • Sadly, Justice's rebalancing in Plus R left her without her triple jump and any air dashes unless she performs a specific full-Tension Overdrive (Omega Shift), and even then it's temporary.
    • Kliff stands out in that his jumps are extremely floaty, much like those of Dhalsim or Anakaris. In AC+R, however, this was severely toned-down as part of his rebalancing.
  • Just Think of the Potential: The Gear Project started out with the goal to get rid of illness and disease, but That Man foresaw that someone will eventually repurpose it for military applications, and had measures taken to prevent that, or in worse case destroy the research. Obviously, they didn't work.
  • Kaiju: Megadeth-class Gears are utterly titanic creatures that wouldn't look out of place tussling with Godzilla. Like with any other Gear, they range from "(vaguely) humanoid" to "hideous monstrosity." One of them, Hydra, was responsible for nearly destroying London; it was stopped by the efforts of Kliff, who halted the beast's advance for an entire week, and even then was he unable to completely finish it off before the Sacred Order rolled out Last Resort—a magic-based satellite laser with a several kilometer-wide blast radius—and sealed Hydra away. (He did manage to sever three of its five heads and four limbs, though.)
  • Ki Manipulation: Pretty much everyone from Asia, which is part of why the surviving Japanese are so highly valued.
  • Kinetic Novel: As opposed to story modes from Blazblue and Persona 4: Arena, which featured battles the player had to fight through (and multiple choices in the former's case), Xrd's Story Mode is completely non-interactive, essentially making it a movie.
  • Lag Cancel: The Roman Cancel technique, which allows you to cancel the animation of nearly every move of the game provided that it connects with your opponent on hit or block and you have at least half meter.
  • Last Lousy Point: Digital Figure Mode in Xrd has a lot of unlockable character poses, expressions, and palette swaps for each character, which can only be unlocked randomly via fishing and are mixed in with other unlocks such as palette swaps for use in regular matches, name plates, avatar parts, and guild icons for online profile customization. -REV 2- expanded the selection with even more poses and expressions for the playable cast along with an assortment of extra characters. Needless to say unless you spend hours grinding for W$ in Episode or online matches once you run out of chances for quick and easy money from Tutorial, Story, Combo, and Mission, you'll be fishing a lot just to unlock everything. The daily chests added to a later update in-REV 2- help getting unlocks slightly easier, as it gives one free random drop of items per day.
  • Launcher Move: Dust attacks. They also happen to function as overheads and put the opponent into a helpless state for a short period of time. In Xrd, characters can also chase horizontally after their opponent, who will instead go flying sideways and careen into a wall.
  • Leitmotif: With the exception of Guilty Gear Isuka (unless you count "Holy Orders?" for Robo-Ky) and rivalry-specific themes, each character has their own distinct tune when fought. Most have been consistent since GGX note  and XX even brought back "No Mercy" (Sol vs. Ky) and "Still in the Dark" (Millia vs. Zato-1/Eddie) from the previous game for when the EX versions of the characters face off.
    • Surprisingly, Xrd does away with all of the previous character themes (even longstanding ones like "Keep Yourself Alive") for a new batch of individual tunes, aside of Ky (see Background Music Override) and Ramlethal Valentine (who gets a remix of "Diva" from Overture, the previous Valentine's theme).
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: St.Elmo's fire, the lightning so big that they had to build a castle-sized lightning rod to tame it, kickstarts Justice's body's control of Gears in Xrd.
  • Lightning/Fire Juxtaposition: Further accenting their rivalry, Sol Badguy uses the Fuuenken (aka Fireseal) while Ky Kiske wields the Fuuraiken (aka Thunderseal).
  • Limited Animation: Subverted in Xrd. The entire game is rendered in cel-shaded 3D, but the characters are not animated as smoothly, thus invoking the look and feel of the previous 2D games in the series.
  • Living Weapon: The Gears were engineered to serve as such, thus making the formerly human ones more along the lines of Human Weapons, though several of them, like Dizzy, don't want to be bioweapons.
  • MacGuffin: The Cradle in Xrd. It is unknown what exactly it is, but it is treated as a Doomsday Device. It is revealed in Xrd's story mode that The Cradle is a heavily shielded mobile base used by the Conclave that also houses the body of Gear Commander Justice, whom they are planning to revive with the upcoming St. Elmo's Fire.
  • Magi Babble: Comprises roughly 90% of Guilty Gear 2's dialogue. Xrd And Revelator have a fair heaping of it as well.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Buried in Magi Babble is many rules and guidelines of how magic was discovered and how it's used in the Guilty Gear universe, such as the Twelve Steps and the Backyard from which the world's "source code" can be played with to create magic.
  • Magic from Technology: Magic in the GG verse is a perpetual energy source discovered through the fruits of science. Curiously, Ki is grouped in here as well, labelled as the fifth and least-known of the five elemental categories of Magic. The Post-War Administration Bureau theorizes that its prevalence in Eastern cultures may be due to their genetic makeup and deeply spiritual nature. In practice, though, the Magic in the series is actually more akin to magitek, as the energy source in question actually originates from the Backyard.
  • Magic Genetics: Human magic users mostly sidestep this as they were the ones who discovered magic in the first place and have to follow complex rules in order to use it. The Gears and Backyard residents, on the other hand, seem to exist specifically to disregard the scientific laws of nature, and stylishly at that.
  • Magic Knights: The members of Sacred Order, Sol and Ky included.
  • Mark of the Supernatural: Red Eyes are a sign of being a Gear.
  • Master of the Levitating Blades: Played With. Ramlethal from Xrd fights with two large blades controlled by two familiars floating at her side. She still in control of them while attacking separately herself.
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter:
    • Robo-Ky has to manage two different meters. One is a thermostat, which builds up as he fights and can only be vented via a certain command or risk a damaging explosion. He also has a power gauge which, unlike everyone else, cannot be charged conventionally and can only be charged via a laid-out power mat or his command grab. His special and Overdrive attacks drain from this power gauge.
    • Order-Sol is a downplayed example (and borderline subversion), possessing a Charge Meter that improves his specials and Overdrives as he gains levels. Using his specials will drain a fair amount of meter (though the drain rate was decreased in AC+R), which will then need to be recharged. While it is certainly possible to use O.Sol to deadly effect without charging up, players who can properly manage his level of charge—which includes using Action Charge note  and his ability to "Charge Keep" note —will literally get the most bang for their buck.
      • Sin in Xrd has a similar mechanic, but his second meter is filled by using a special where he just eats a bite of mutton in the middle of the fight.
    • All of the Valentines in Xrd have some kind of unique mechanic based on another genre of gaming. Ramlethal has canned combos similar to other fighting games like Mortal Kombat, Elphelt primarily uses guns, and Jack'O takes advantage of her Servants.
      • Xrd newcomer Elphelt is an oddity among the entire cast in that she relies heavily on guns to keep opponents at bay, wielding a shotgun and a sniper rifle. Players have to enter a specific command to have Elphelt line up her shots and then have to manually aim before firing. Unless a reload command is input, Elphelt will immediately stow away her weapon until its next use. She also has a move where she pulls the pin on a grenade with a three second timer. Actually throwing the grenade is a separate command, so it can explode in her pocket if the player forgets to throw it.
    • Still no mention of Johnny? The guy is basically the definition of this. His particular style of patient, precise iaido swordsmanship is nearly as out-of-place as Elphelt's guns, and that's not even the unusual part. He has to manage a truly limited resource, his coins. If a coin toss hits, it will power up the next use of his signature Mist Finer, giving the move incredible range and power. But with only five coins per round (unless he successfully uses the Treasure Hunt super and restocks his stash), he has to toss them carefully.
    • Some characters in Strive have unique mechanics:
      • Ramlethal can propel her swords forward, which reduces the power and range of her attacks until they return.
      • Nagoriyuki is a vampire and must manage a bloodlust meter, gaining charge with most attacks and reducing it with a command grab. When it maxes out, he gains a massive boost to damage but constantly loses HP until he exits the bloodlust state, either over time or by using a bloodlust-exclusive super move.
  • Medieval Stasis: Following the Dawn of Revival, humanity began regressing technologically until the Apostles introduced Magic. By the time of the events in the series, with the exception of Zepp, the world resembles that of the Industrial Revolution era at its most technologically advanced. Additionally, the UN classifies non-Magic-based technology as Black Tech and bans them as they are harmful to the environment.
  • Metaphorical Marriage: Ky and Dizzy refer to themselves as a married couple, but were never able to officially tie the knot because Dizzy lacks any legal identity as a Gear and had to fake her death.
  • Mirror Match: Even has three theme tunes for this: "Fatal Duel", "Nothing Out of the Ordinary" and "Ditto!"
  • Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness: Level 2. The rules of magic are noted in complex, painstaking detail, but rigid and consistent, with all subsequent applications falling within the realm of pre-established plausibility. The fact that the core concepts of magic in the GG verse are rooted in music theory may have something to do with it.
  • Monster Lord: The Command class of Gears. So far, all known members of this category are female, paralleling queen ants/queen bees, with Justice in particular embodying several Hive Queen traits.
  • Monumental Damage: Among the rest of the Scenery Gorn present, the A Country stage in GG1 features the detached head and upper to rso of the Statue of Liberty, indicating that Sol's stage is set in the dilapidated ruins of New York City. By the time of Xrd, however, the Statue seems to be getting rebuilt.
  • Mordor: The Backyard, and Japan after it got vaporized by Justice.
  • Mouth Flaps: Sort of.
  • Musical Theme Naming: And how! Nearly every character, many attacks, and even certain game mechanics are named after famous bands or musicians.
  • Natural Spotlight: The Grove in Midnight Carnival.
  • Natural Weapon: The more animalistic Gears have access to these, usually in the form of claws and tails. If evolved enough, they can spice up their already destructive attacks with magic.
  • New Eden: The secret Ganymedian archipelago home to the Gears that were freed from Justice's control and didn't enter a dormant state after her fall could be considered a localized version given humanity's thoughts on the Gear populace. Word of God says that if the United Nations were to ever learn of its existence, Ganymede would be bombed mercilessly.
  • New Neo City: Neo New York in Xrd, though it looks like Texas.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Plus assassins, ghosts, knights, immortals, bounty hunters, a vampire and Gears.
  • Nintendo Hard: Some of the missions in the series can be incredibly frustrating due to overwhelming odds stacked against the player, e.g. Mission 50 in Guilty Gear X2/Mission 100 in Reload, Normal Ky at 50% Health and poisoned vs Gold EX Sol with regeneration.
    • Note that Gold Sol already has regeneration and boosted speed and attack. His attack and speed is boosted even further because he's in permanent Dragon Install.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: With the exception of Kliff and Justice in the original Guilty Gear, after each battle every single character seems perfectly all right and usually capable of speech, even if the battle ended with an Instant Kill, which appears to end in death. (This includes Faust's in GGXX, which looks like he set off a nuclear bomb, Bridget's, which launches the opponent into the moon, and Slayer's, which launches the enemy out of the galaxy.)
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: Feel free to peruse the above list of titles again if you're doubtful.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In Guilty Gear Xrd. Liam O'Brien has many talents but a convincing (and consistent) English accent is not one of them. In his defence, the dialogue he has to say may be a factor.
  • One-Hit Kill: The Instant Kill moves, by design. Whoever hits their opponent with them wins the fight, even on Duel 1.
  • Open Secret: The creators provide many examples of this. From the way the series progressed, secrets are revealed and by the rational mind of the audience, some things are just too obvious even if they aren't officially declared yet. An example is Faust being a reformed Dr. Baldhead. It's never been explicitly stated, but come on, how many nine-foot-tall doctors wielding giant scalpels can there be?
  • Organic Technology: The Gears themselves, being created from a combination of magic, complex A.I. programming, and a hodge podge of DNA taken straight from the kingdom Animalia.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: Gears in general, magically enhanced creatures that range from Eldritch Abominations to Humanoid Abominations when they are in A Form You Are Comfortable With.
  • Phlebotinum Overload: Dr.Paradigm's plan to stop the Conclave's plan to reactivate Justice. Since they could not prevent the charging-by-lightning plan without destroying most of Illyria, he decided to let the Conclave's plan proceed, and have Dizzy to add her Gamma Ray to the process and overload Justice.
  • Player Mooks: The various Servants in Overture avert this, each character's Tribe having several individualized and role-specific units designated as either Minions, Standard Servants, or Elite Servants, with the twist that they're physical manifestations of their Master Units' souls.
  • Possessing a Dead Body: Zato-One has a Living Shadow named Eddie, who is its own entity. When Zato died, Eddie reanimates his corpse; his name in the selection screen becomes "Eddie" in some games rather than "Zato-One".
  • Power at a Price: The Forbidden Beasts are named so for a reason. In order for a human to properly fuse with them, the host must first offer up something in return. Zato sacrificed his eyesight for Eddie, but what Millia unwillingly gave up to obtain Angra when taken in by the Assassin's Guild remains unknown. That's not all, unfortunately; as time goes on, the Forbidden Beast will slowly eat away at its host's mind and eventually kill them, as seen with Zato's eroding sanity and eventual death (although Eddie claims to Millia it was not his intention). This problem is the cornerstone of Millia's Accent Core Plus story, as she grapples with Angra's murderous thoughts and fears she'll share Zato's fate once the magic in her hair fully awakens.
  • Power Trio: Has some of these, though characters are more complex than their representations:
    • Main Characters
      • Sol Badguy: Lazy, unpredictable, seeks revenge and atonement by wanting to kill all Gears and That Man (Id)
      • Ky Kiske: Law abiding, loyal to the authorities, workaholic, religious (Superego)
      • Dizzy: Pacifist, gentle, innocent, loyal to her friends (Ego)
    • Dizzy herself
      • Necro: Violent, hates humans, takes over his master (Id)
      • Undine: Protective, peaceful if Dizzy isn't threatened (Superego)
      • Dizzy: Pleads the two to stop fighting (Ego)
    • Assassins
      • Zato: Desires power, revenge, lusts for Millia (Id)
      • Venom: Loyal to the Assassin's Guild, loyal to Zato, seeks Millia not just for revenge (Superego)
      • Millia: Quits the Guild because of her conscience, seeks peace by destroying it and killing Zato (Ego)
    • Villains
      • I-No: Violent, lustful, sociopathic, unpredictable (Id)
      • Raven: Extremely loyal to That Man, has no other alliances (Superego)
      • That Man: Seeks atonement for what he has done, has mysterious plans to save the world but regrets his actions (Ego)
    • "Japanese" Characters
      • Baiken: Seeks revenge, bloodthirsty, short tempered (Id)
      • Chipp: Determined to become president, follows a ninja's honor (Superego)
      • Anji: Laid back and relaxed, friendly and optimistic, desire eternal youth (Ego)
  • Panty Shot: Let's just say every fighter wearing a skirt and leave it at that. This includes several of the men.
  • Play Every Day: In -REV 2-, the first time you visit a multiplayer lobby in a single day, a chest is located somewhere which automatically unlocks a random assortment of items in the same fashion of fishing when opened.
  • Press X to Not Die: How to avoid getting IKed in GG1 or GGAC if Generations GG mode is active.
  • Protagonist Title: The "Guilty Gear" of the title actually refers to one of the playable characters namely Sol. Later games also extend this a quite a few other characters, including Dizzy, Sin, some of the Valentines, Ky of all people, and eventually even the first game's Big Bad, Justice / Aria.
  • Puzzle Boss:
    • Many of the missions in XX. One particularly notable example: you have to defend against an invincible, high-level A.I. I-No for 40 seconds, when your character is incredibly weak (Bridget), has half health, and is also poisoned.
    • That Man in Overture infamously combines this with Shielded Core Boss and Bullet Hell. Much rage will be had.
  • Quest for a Wish: The first game involves a tournament where the prize is anything the victor desires. Testament, the tournament's true organizer, has no intention of actually granting any wishes, instead planning on using the victor (and the other participants) as sacrifices to revive Justice.
  • Raised by Rival: Ky Kiske had a son with a Gear named Dizzy, Sol's own daughter of sorts. Since he was ruling a kingdom at the time the child was conceived, and Gears were still seen as threats by the world, Ky leaves his son to his longtime rival Sol Badguy's care.
  • Random Number God: The Fishing mode in Xrd -REVELATOR-. Spend World Dollars earned in-game to unlock items for cheaper than if they were bought in the in-game storenote . The outcome of what you earn is randomized, and items that exist in more plentiful numbers (primarily Guild Icons, which are purely cosmetic, and Sprays in the Digital Figure mode, which grant access to Palette Swaps) are more commonly won, and the contents of Digital Figure mode are exclusively won from fishing.
  • Random Power Ranking: Not actually the character's power, but how much of a threat they pose to the Post-War Administration Bureau. For example, Millia is quite low-ranking and Axl is massively high-ranking; Millia is a dangerous assassin but "killing people" is all she can really do even if she is really good at it, and her quest for revenge makes her easy to manipulate and straightforward to predict, whereas Axl is a sweethearted goofball but his involuntary time travel makes him near-impossible to predict, and he's one of the few people in the world who knows what the past world was like (for the Bureau a leak of this knowledge would be political dynamite).
  • Rapid Hair Growth: This is the case of Millia Rage's hair, being alive and prehensile as well. Some of her attacks make her hair grow by necessity.
  • Repeat Cut: A victory in Xrd will usually treat you to a three-time replay of the finishing move you landed. If not, you'll instead get a sweeping, dynamic camera angle of the stage and fighters.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Bedman uses this trope as way of proving to Ramlethal that she is more than a tool. He kills Sin's magehound she bonded with during her arrest and conjures an identical one. Ramlethal tries to pet the new one, but stops and begins to cry, saying it is not the same.
  • The Reveal: The titular Guilty Gear is Sol Badguy, one of the original researchers of the project. He's actually 170 years old.
  • Rhyming with Itself: Present in "Smell of the Game" from StrIVe. The word "Blazing" is used to end several sentences.
    That is bullshit! Blazing! Still my heart is blazing!
    Remember you are blazing! Still your heart is blazing!
  • Romanticism Versus Enlightenment: Enlightenment ideas and technological science are basically deemed illegal and labelled "Black Technology", since it harms the environment, by the United Nations, which is ripe with religious fundamentalism, fascism and xenophobia. This comes across as extremely ironic as magic and the Gear Project were designed for human evolution, only for them to backfire horribly when they began to be used for human greed, resulting in the Crusades, which in turn resulted in humanity regressing into a Dark Ages-like society. The only "enlightened" might be Zepp, who were originally a Totalitarian Utilitarian government before being overthrown and taken over by Gabriel and subsequently reformed into a more democratic nation.
  • Rubber-Band History: A future where Ky is dead.
  • Ruins of the Modern Age: In some stages.
  • Rule of Cool: When your playable cast includes a blind assassin who kills people with the monster living in his shadow, a girl who shoots laser-spitting piranha fish out of her wings, and a ninja, and this barely scratches the surface, you can only be dealing with this trope.
    • To put it another way, one of the playable fighters is a kusarigama-wielding fire user from England who involuntarily slips back and forth through time. He is quite possibly the most normal member of the cast.
  • Rule of Symbolism:
    • Some stages reflect the Central Theme of the series: Nirvana, Babylon, Heaven, and Hell.
    • One can also reminded about a certain messiah when Dizzy's identity is examined. She is called the "hope of the world beyond my expectations" by That Man, celebrates her birthday on December 25th, has 12 female friends in the Jellyfish and has a dual nature by being both human and Gear...
  • Scenery Gorn: The GGX trailer, parts of the manga and the AD 2173 stage.
    • Other qualifiers include the Graveyard (the stage Kliff is associated with), Hell (particularly in AC), Babylon (I-No's non-boss stage in XX, which still manages to qualify as regular ol' Scenery Porn) and the Ruins of a Castle stage from GG Boost Mode in Isuka.
    • The backdrop of the final battle in Xrd is none other than the ruins of Japan. All prior story material tells you that Justice annihilated it, and make no mistake, the claim is no exaggeration at all.
  • Scenery Porn: Although the world suffered heavily as a result of the Gear attacks, the various locales you see in-game do a good job of showcasing its remaining beauty, both natural and man-made.
    • Stages in X, XX/AC, and Isuka like Russia, China, London, and the Japanese Colony are breathtaking, and even more otherworldly places like the Grove, the Phantom City, and Kingdom Cemetery have their own charm.
    • To say nothing of the backdrops in Overture. The Gear utopia (and island paradise) Ganymede comes leaping to mind.
    • Xrd looks set to continue the trend with equally colorful and vibrant destinations, both returning and new.
  • Schizo Tech: Despite the series taking place in the late 22nd century, most real life countries and cities (London, Paris, Russia, China, etc.) appear not too far off from their present-day counterparts, and Illyria (a conglomeration of various European states) and Ganymede (an archipelago settlement founded by the refugee Gears) are no different presentation-wise (though the latter has a slight Atlantean vibe to it). Humanity being pushed to the brink of total annihilation may be the cause of the relative stagnation, but it could simply be a matter of architecture and urban structure deliberately going unchanged as civilization progresses. Zepp, being the only nation to preserve Black Tech as opposed to outlawing it, is decidedly more futuristic than most spots seen, though its heavy urbanization and focus on machinery makes it the Floating Country equivalent of a City Planet; some stages, like the ones in X/XX, have certain parts of Zepp's several islands looking no better than dumps and deserted construction sites. What's left of New York City in A Country, on the other hand, looks to have regressed to an Old West feel after extensive rebuilding by the time Xrd rolls around.
  • Science Is Bad:
    • Technology is branded as "Black Tech" and is banned for destroying nature. People used magic instead but eventually, also abused it.
    • The existence of Vitae in the Lightning the Argent novel (if you factor out the potential for Body Horror if a Commander Gear stirs up the dormant Gear cells used) shows that all of the research put into the creation of Gears wasn't inherently bad. Trying to weaponize them, on the other hand? Not such a good idea.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains:
  • Sequel Hook:
    • Several in Xrd, to the point that its Story Mode ends with a "To Be Continued." Sol, likely along with Sin and an emotionally-developed Ramlethal have to save Elphelt from her captors. Ky has been revealed to be part-Gear, and Dizzy has been revived. May's illness has yet to be fully resolved, and Faust's research of her reveals something nasty is going to go down in Japan. Zato-1 has been revived, implying more possibilities for the Assassin's Guild. The fate of That Man after the battle hasn't been revealed yet. Bedman's plan isn't finished, and he is The Dragon to Ariels, ruler of the Sanctus Populi.
    • Xrd REV 2's After Story drops some major hints about a future installment. Raven is looking to challenge Sol, who is also being challenged by That Man. That Man turns himself over to the authorities, in an obvious bid to arrange a fight with Sol. Finally, another worldwide event known as G4 will be taking place. And of course, the reconstituted Aria pointedly does not appear on camera at any point during the After Stories.
  • Sequel Number Snarl: GG2: Overture avoided this by merit of relegating the X series to the status of sidestories to the original game without diminishing their impact on canon. Xrd, which could essentially be considered a sequel to both XX and Overture, oddly picks up the slack, however, as it more or less continues on from the titling conventions of X and XX (Guilty Gear X3 would've been an acceptable choice, but ASW certainly couldn't call the game "Guilty Gear XXX", now could they?).
  • The Seven Mysteries:
    • Of the 8 Jinki from the Outrage set, only 4 of them are shown: Sol's Fireseal/Fuenken, Ky's Thunderseal/Furaiken, Anji's Zessen, and Slayer, who has a dagger which can cut through Forbidden Beasts. While we never see it properly on its own, the Flashing Fang/Senga is later acquired by Sol at some point after Guilty Gear XX and combined with the Fireseal to make the Junkyard Dog MkIII where it takes the form of a bladed shell around the Fireseal that can split down the middle to reveal the sword underneath.
    • Likewise, this is suggested of the aforementioned Forbidden Beasts, also known as the "Six Forbidden Magics." Only two, Eddie and Angra (the fifth and sixth organisms according to supplemental materials, respectively tethered to Zato and Millia), have been seen so far, with Venom being a third test subject for the bonding process who was rejected when his body was deemed unsuitable as host material.
  • Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing: The Gears who exhibit shapeshifting powers generally avert it. Some, like Justice and Testament, simply morph their limbs accordingly (and Justice's armor may in fact be an armored shell for her true appearance), but Dizzy—who can change costumes in a flash—keeps her clothes intact when switching out of her (silhouetted) true form and the most that happens to Sol Badguy when their Gear form is finally shown in full during Overture is the loss of their jacket.
    • Hilariously enough, when going into his gear form during Dragon Install in Xrd, he gains the jacket that he wears in story mode but looses the rest of his clothing.
  • Shout-Out: With its own page.
  • Situational Damage Attack:
    • Robo-Ky has an "overheat" system which is indicated by a gauge; every attack will fill the gauge. He also has a normal move where he vents out all the heat and depletes the gauge; the closer to full the gauge is, the more damage the venting out deals.
    • The Japan-only XX Slash gives Sol the "Clean Hit" system that's been elaborated more in the Accent Core titles, where some of Sol's non-projectile specials can deal more damage, have more pronounced bounce effects where applicable, and have increased untechable time if he can score a hit with a specific part of his hitbox for each move. Additionally, his Sidewinder (if a Clean Hit) and Tyrant Rave (the follow-up to his Fafnir Force Break) have their power dependent on the number of Clean Hits included in a single combo. Advanced Sol play in these games primarily revolves around his Clean Hit Sidewinder loops, which are character-specific and harder to execute compared to the infamous Dust Loop.
  • Snap Back: Many characters' movelists in Xrd omit the newer moves from Accent Core and its revisions, returning them to their #Reload state. In turn, some of the tactics that had been patched out, such as Sol's dreaded Dust Loop, are back in full force.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Faust's Instant Kill in Xrd starts with the usual Instant Kill theme, then cuts away to Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" as he operates on his hapless victim.
  • Speed Stripes: During super jumps and various special moves.
  • Sphere of Destruction: When the Cradle appears in Xrd, it creates an orange sphere that kills everyone caught in it. This is later revealed in Story mode to be the Cradle's means of transportation, moving back and forth between the real world and the Backyard, with the sphere itself being Backyard space made manifest in the real world.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Barring Sol and Ky, some characters are a little bit too prominent to the central plot, especially Dizzy. This is followed by I-No, who gets some moments with the aforementioned character as well.
    • This is justified to a degree: Dizzy is Justice's daughter, has the ability to resuscitate dormant Gears (which makes her a target of the Government Conspiracy), and is called "the hope of the world" by That Man (who always seems to know what lies ahead), while I-No is one of That Man's servants and was the only one playable until Raven was given his turn in GG2 (thus usually providing the most direct link to her enigmatic master). The two, while not quite Demoted to Extra, also lose some of their direct presence in later games: Dizzy is put into stasis due to a timeseal Ky caused to prevent her sublimation and serves as more of a plot device than an actual character in Overture, and I-No is overshadowed by other plot-centric villains and characters (Crow in AC+, Ramlethal Valentine in Xrd Sign and Jack-O and Ariels in Xrd Revelator) after XX.
  • Story-to-Gameplay Ratio: Surprisingly, the Xrd Story Mode is more or less a visual novel-like movie with no playable fights at all.
  • Super-Deformed: Petit and Petit 2 for the WonderSwan Color. As is par the course for SD fighters, the games' tone is far lighter and sillier than normal, right down to amping up the comedic factor of some of the Instant Kills.
  • Super Move Portrait Attack: In Xrd all characters have one Overdrive, like Sol's Tyrant Rave and Ky's Ride the Lightning, that has a special animation of the character preparing to dish out the pain. All other Overdrives behave normally.
  • Superpower Russian Roulette: The process of Gear conversion and manufacturing has this going for it. The ones who are capable of higher cognitive functions and may even resemble ordinary humans aren't that much better off than the more monstrous or feral Gears.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song:
    • Xrd's arcade staff roll theme, "Lily", is soft melodic love song amidst a soundtrack of heavy metal thrashing.
    • Same goes for "Missing" and "Walk in the Dusk", two of the six staff roll themes in XX. They are compositions relying almost entirely on the piano and strings, only serving to make those Bittersweet and Downer Endings in Story Mode all the more poignant.
    • "Calm Passion", another one of the staff roll themes, is a half-example, beginning with twenty full seconds of piano playing, frequently employing the keyboard and organs alongside a relatively soft guitar melody, and busting out the strings section for a lengthy break in the action halfway through.
    • A few other tracks include "Icarus" and "Birthday Train".
  • Surprisingly Good English: XX's announcer ("Heaven or Hell... Duel 1! LET'S ROCK!"). Accent Core went for a different, equally-fluent announcer, as does Xrd. Overture, being the prime candidate for the title of Oddball in the Series, has its own (female!) announcer and corresponding call ("There's a battle to be won", followed by "Mission Start" in Story Mode or "Round 1. Let's Rock!"/"Round 2. Keep on Rocking!"/"Round 3. Heat it up!"/etc. in Vs. matches); both the Japanese and English system voices use fluent English as well. Additionally, Sol's servants in Ouverture has them speaking the same lines, in English, in both voice tracks (although by different voice actors).
  • Tamer and Chaster: Strive is following this direction with the entire cast wearing much more urban inspired fashion, with guys and gals looking more covered than they have ever been. And the game itself also follows a more restrined style compared to the more bombastic one of the series past. One may wonder why.
  • Take That, Us: It's worth noting that, in this Japanese game, the Japanese people are an endangered species.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Dizzy didn't really know what she just said to Ky at the end of his first story path in Accent Core Plus (Johnny was the one who told her to say it, for the record). Being a gentleman, he politely pointed out that it wasn't appropriate.
    Dizzy: "Then, um...please be gentle...this is my first time..."
    Ky Kiske: "U-Um...That's...uh...that's not really appropriate for this situation."
  • Theme Naming: Some of the characters (and a lot of the attacks) are named after popular metal bands and songs. Additionally, most of the Jellyfish Pirates are named after months of the year.
  • Third Is 3D: Well, Xrd (with three Xs) uses 3D models as opposed to 2D sprites from the previous games, though technically it's the fourth main fighting game entry in the series (possibly even the fifth if you consider the changes between vanilla XX and Accent Core Plus, both in gameplay and the story department, to be enough for AC+ to stand on its own). In an odd twist, the model animation has no tweening and different shading every frame, making them look much like hand-drawn sprites.
  • Time Skip: X and XX take place not very long after 1, going no further than 2181. 2 jumps all the way to 2185, and Xrd jumps further forward to late 2187. =REVELATOR= ends right as November 2187 does.
  • Title Drop: The end of the first game reveals the eponymous "Guilty Gear" is none other than Sol Badguy, a gear who sided with mankind against the other Gears. Later games have similar allusions or mentions to the title, with Sol telling Dizzy her crying makes him feel "guilty" in X, and Slayer and That Man in XX discussing Sol's identity as the Guilty Gear, being the first Gear and also a former human, making him capable of choice and sin in a way many of the other Gears were not.
  • The Tokyo Fireball: Actually extends past Tokyo: the entire nation of Japan was destroyed prior to the games, and there are no signs that it will be rebuilt (what with it largely being a hole in the ocean now). What few survivors remain live under international surveillance inside of colonies.
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: The survivors of Japan's destruction are now sequestered in a colony as "international treasures." It is implied the government is actually studying them for their affinity for "Ki" magic, the rarest and least understood of the five different magic elements.
  • Tournament Arc: While the first game took place during a tournament (which, as usual, was Not Just a Tournament), the later games buck the trend and opt for a more complicated story instead.
  • Transhuman: Gears were intended to be the next step in human evolution (hence "the missing link" that is the first game's subtitle). As the Gear conversion process applies a patchwork of various animal genes to the base organism, only a handful of Gears who were originally human retain any semblance of their humanity in a physiological and anatomical sense. Additionally, only a few of them are lucky to retain their cognizance, though Gears do have the potential to evolve (back) to human levels of sentience.
  • Trope Codifier: Of the Air-dasher subgenre of the Fighting Games.
  • True Companions: The Jellyfish Pirates.
  • Turn of the Millennium: In 1999, a year that would be later known as the "Dawn of Revival", something tried to enter reality through electric circuitry, while affecting everyone in a way that might be described as being touched by God. Anything electronic was banned, and despite the negative drastic changes it would bring, nobody complained because everyone was that scared of that something actually succeeding coming through. As global society was about to collapse, a group of mages calling themselves the Apostles revealed themselves and began teaching the willing of the ways of magic. By 2010, the usage of magic was standardized, with the Apostles themselves becoming a foundation of a new religion.
  • Understatement: After Sin and Elphelt bond in a Ditzy way:
    Sol Badguy: "...I'm sorry, Ky. There's a small chance I may have failed as a mentor and guardian."
    Ky Kiske: "(thinking) "Small"?..."
  • Updated Re-release: The series is particularly notorious for this, almost rivaling the Street Fighter series for how many revisions one of its games has had though some other games have had one or two.
    • There's been Guilty Gear X Plus, which was Japan-only and featured, amongst other things, the Shadow and Gold versions of everyone, Kliff and Justice as playable characters, a Mission Mode and Story Mode, further fleshing out GGX's rather complex story.
    • Guilty Gear XX is particularly infamous for this, having 6 available versions.
      • The first was #Reload, which doubled the amount of Missions from 50 to 100, as well as featuring a new, improved and rebalanced version of Robo-Ky with a completely different moveset, as well as some balance tweaks.
      • The next was Slash, which was Japan-only. This version altered several characters' movesets, several of the stages were largely altered (compare the XX original version of Sol/Ky's stage to the Slash version, where the back wall and door of the stage are now largely wrecked) and most notably, added two new characters: A.B.A from Isuka (which did make it out of Japan) and a new version of Sol called "Order-Sol" (representing during his days as a Holy Knight prior to the first game), both as a playable character AND a secret challenger following I-No.
      • The fourth version was Accent Core, which managed an overseas release and also featured Order-Sol and A.B.A, marking the overseas debut of the former. This version changed the interface on a larger scale (with a new version of the "Destroyed" pop-up when an Instant Kill was connected), featured a new, less popular announcer and new gameplay options such as Force Breaks, slightly more powerful attacks characters could perform at the cost of some Tension meter, and Slashback, a form of parrying. Several new stages were also introduced and the ones existing already for A.B.A and Order-Sol were altered as well, not to mention the further balancing. The "Generations" modes were also introduced, allowing players to play characters with styles and gameplay similar to GG1 or GGX, though at the cost of other features. However, Kliff and Justice were removed from the roster, and there were no Story or Mission Modes to play through. Furthermore, some Game-Breaking Bugs necessitated the release of...
      • Accent Core Plus, a console-only version which re-added Story Mode (now set after GGXX's original Story Mode), Mission Mode, Kliff and Justice, as well as fixing some bugs, adding extra Force Breaks, changing some moves and other such things.
      • Now, there's Accent Core Plus R, which rebalances the characters yet again, including adding Kliff and Justice to the default roster (they had to be unlocked in Accent Core Plus) and making them viable for use in tournaments. This version also saw an arcade release.
    • Xrd, meanwhile, began with -SIGN-, which was the base version of the new engine; this was followed by -REVELATOR-, which was halfway between an update and a full sequel, with a whole new story mode, a vastly improved tutorial mode (to the point of making it industry-leading) and a number of additional characters, especially counting the later DLC. The final version was REV 2, which was a more modest update that just made the DLC characters part of the standard package, addressed some balance concerns, and added a bit of additional side story to the story mode and arcade modes to foreshadow the coming of Strive.
  • Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight: An integral part of The Reveal in The Missing Link. It never dawned on Justice, Type-01 and the first "complete" Gear, that the reason Sol was completely immune to her powers as the Commander Gear was because he was the Prototype Gear. Justice gets a good laugh out of it at her own expense for not connecting the dots sooner.
  • The Unintelligible: "Kill DOG As A Sacrifice To DOG", Leopaldon's theme in Isuka, includes someone screaming muffled, unintelligible gibberish in the background.
  • Villain Override: In one of the flashbacks in Xrd's Story Mode, the man who would become "That Man" assumed direct control of Aria, now the Gear Justice, to vaporize Japan before creatures from the Backyard could invade the Earth through it.
  • Weapons-Grade Vocabulary:
    • Kliff Undersn's taunt creates physical letters, which bounce across the screen and inflict some damage. Knockouts with this in tournament play have become a particularly humiliating form of Cherry Tapping.
    • Baiken uses something similar but more potent as her Force Break.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Guilty Gear 2: Overture. It's set after a 5-year Time Skip (with some rather big developments happening during that missing chunk of time), all characters gone except for Sol and Ky (who are redesigned), and all the other settings are gone. The characters part is lessened after Xrd comes in, confirming that characters from the Assassins' Guild (Millia, Zato/Eddie, Venom, Slayer), Jellyfish Pirates (Johnny, May), Potemkin, Chipp, Axl and I-No are still around. REVELATOR and Rev 2 eventually confirmed the whereabouts of everyone except for Testament, Bridget and A.B.A..
    • Late in Xrd's Story mode, it is revealed that as part of their effort to conquer the world, the Conclave plan to resurrect Justice, the Gear that nearly destroyed the human race during the Crusades. It also heavily establishes that That Man was Good All Along to try to stop this plan, and overall his motivations are much more sympathetic than they originally were thought to be.
    • Xrd Revelator manages to trump them all by revealing that Sanctus Maximus Populi Ariels is actually the Universal Will, the being that not only created the Valentines but is also the same being who first brought magic into the world, essentially creating the whole setting of the series. And not only that, but she was also an A.I. created by The Original visitor to the Backyard in an effort to guide humanity. Unfortunately she concluded that humanity's inherent destructiveness made them hopeless and the best thing to do was to exterminate them all, making her the definitive Big Bad of the series.
  • Willfully Weak: A number of characters are powerful enough to literally level cities in seconds, but would rather not resort to displaying their full powers.
  • Word Salad Title: While the series title "Guilty Gear" actually refers to concepts in the story itself, when combined with subtitles and whatnot, the game names begin to edge into nonsense word combination territory, with titles like "Guilty Gear XX: The Midnight Carnival, Accent Core Plus R" or "Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator-, Rev 2".
  • World of Badass: What else can you call a game with an all-American dragon warrior with the power of a nuclear arsenal, a Magic Knight, a plucky pirate girl who fights with an anchor twice her size, a Russian blonde assassin who kills people with her hair, a man who controls a shadow monster and fights while being blind, a giant Genius Bruiser cyborg slave, a drug dealer turned Ninja turned presidential candidate, a psychotic doctor serial killer who can bend the very laws of physics with his knowledge of anatomy, a time-travelling British Rockstar, a beautiful Handicapped Badass samurai warrior woman, another assassin who literally kills his opponents by playing pool, a handsome Texan cowboy pirate king who woes the ladies everywhere he goes, a posh vampire dandy with a voice like Sean Connery, and a sexy witch with a guitar?
  • "X" Makes Anything Cool: Guilty Gear X, Guilty Gear XX (or X2 if you prefer), Guilty Gear Xrd...
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: The manga that follows the exploits of two characters named Tyr and Mizuha during the year between GG1 and GGX is titled Guilty Gear Xtra.


Video Example(s):


Instant Kill

The Guilty Gear series is well-known for its Instant Kill techniques. In the first game, successfully executing an Instant Kill wins not just the round, but the match outright.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / InstantWinCondition

Media sources:

Main / InstantWinCondition