Guilty Gear is one of the last 2D
fighting games to grace the Playstation
console. However, unlike Capcom
's fighters, Guilty Gear uses extremely high-resolution sprites with incredibly detailed animations. The series became known for it's driving, heavy metal soundtrack as well as cast of extremely diverse and bizarre characters. Another hallmark was the inclusion of DESTRUCTION moves, which would instantly kill the opponent if it struck and would, in fact, end combat entirely regardless of how many rounds were left. The series came under fire for it's absurdly cheap and difficult final two bosses
. Another unique aspect to Guilty Gear was it's surprisingly (for a fighting game) fleshed out storyline, very little of which was revealed in the first Guilty Gear except in the endings of the characters or the instruction manual.
Like most 2D fighters, combat consisted of a best out of three round structure, which could be changed to best out of four or five in the options menu, in which two fighters squared off. The Capcom-style of special moves were used (consisting of quarter and half circle motions as well as holding backward to "charge" a move) and a Tension Gauge filled at the bottom. The Tension Gauge encouraged players to be extremely aggressive, as it would actually drain if one person was playing too defensively. Super moves could be activated if enough Tension was built up and the above mentioned DESTRUCTION mode could be initiated at any time. This mode would allow the insta-kill move to be activated and would drain the Tension, and later the health, gauge if it wasn't. Combat in Guilty Gear was extremely fast with an emphasis on drawn out combos
, for the most part.
In the distant future the world is united under the rule of the Union of Nations. In order to build a stronger infrastructure, the Union's scientist create a race of bio-mechanical beings called GEARS to be a slave class. One GEAR, however, gains sentience and leads the rest of his race in a violent rebellion against humanity. This GEAR names herself Justice. The Sacred Order of Knights, guardians of the world, are the only force capable of standing against the GEAR menace. The war lasts for 100 years, but finally humanity was victorious and Justice was defeated. The war would come to be known as The Crusades. GEARS were quickly banned and exterminated on sight. One GEAR who fought in the war called Testament sets in motion a plan to resurrect Justice. The Sacred Order began a tournament to try and find someone worthy to stop Testament's plan from going through. The prize was "anything the winner desired." Ten combatants appeared to do battle with one another.
Characters Sol Badguy
: A former Knight who deserted the order, stealing one of their strongest weapons in the process, to become a bounty hunter. Sol is seen by others as aloof and apathetic, even in his fighting style, but all this is a pretense to hide the zeal with which her persues GEARS and their mysterious creator "That Man." He wields the rectangular sword Fireseal, the weapon he stole from the Order, and used it in the Crusades to kill Justice. His appearance also belies an incredible intelligence and emotional sorrow at his past sins. His history is shrouded in mystery, but he is definately hiding something, perhaps many things. He is a devoted fan of rock opera band Queen.Ky Kiske
: Ky is the leader of the Sacred Knights, given the rank by the former leader Kliff Undersn, and wields one of the other anti-GEAR weapons. His is Thunderseal Sword through which he channels his lightning-based attacks. He was orphaned during the Crusades at the age of 10 and was rescued by Undersn, who raised him in the Sacred Order. He was made the leader when Kliff retired and was only 16 at the time. He has an unwavering dedication to the Order and the Union as well as to God, but this leaves him open to manipulation by those in power. He despises Sol for not only deserting the Order, but for stealing one of their greatest weapons. Their personalities are also at odds with Ky being disciplined and focussed.Dr. Baldhead
: A brillian physician, the aptly named Dr. Baldhead was the head of his field. However, a young girl died under his scalpel and the loss drove him mad. Wielding a gigantic scalpel, he went on a serial killing spree, murdering several innocent people before finally being locked away. He was released from prison in order to compete in Testament's tournament. The doctor is easily the tallest of all the combatants, but he slouches and squats constantly, so his height is rarely an issue. He wields the massive scalpel that made him the menace the world knows. His fighting style is a mix between spear-like attacks and bizarre cartoonish attacks that rend apart space (such as vanishing and then opening a door from nowhere to strike foes).Zato-1
: The leader of the mysterious Assassin's Guild, Zato-1 sacrificed his sight to become a host to the parasitic organism known simply as Eddie. The parasite allows him to control and manipulate shadows, turning them into weapons. He enters the tournament to track down Millia Rage
, an ex-member who wields another weapon from the Guild. Unbeknownst to Zato, Eddie is slowly consuming him and his obsession with finding Millia is not fully motivated by hate. It is this former relationship with Millia that has made him a misogynist.Millia Rage
: Born of Russian descent, Millia was orphaned at an early age and wandered the streets for much of her childhood. She was eventually found and taken in by the Assassin's Guild where she took on a form of forbidden magic that allowed her hair to come to life and be used as a weapon, much as Zato can bend shadows to his will. Millia began a romantic relationship with Zato, but recognized the evil that Eddie represented and saw that it would eventually consume her lover. With great sorrow, she sealed him away in another dimension and left the wicked guild behind. Zato, however, escaped and vowed revenge for her betrayal. Millia enters the tournament to find Zato-1 and kill him once and for all. Millia's fighting style incorporates her long hair.Chipp Zanuff
: An American-born street urchin who used to traffic in drugs, Chipp eventually began using his own supply. His superiors were not pleased with this turn of events and sent a small squad of men to dispatch him. He fled, but was cornered and about to be killed, when a mysterious stranger appeared and saved his life, easily killing Chipp's persuers. The man introduced himself as Tsuyoshi and offerred to take Chipp under his wing and teach him the ways the ninja. Chipp accepted and they lived peacefully until Tsuyoshi was murdered by the Assassin's Guild. Chipp entered the tournament to try and find the culprit and kill them. HIs fighting style is extremely quick and he can teleport all over the screen.Potemkin
: A massive citizen of Zepp, a floating continent and military dictatorship, Potemkin wears the collar of a slave that will explode if he removes it. Potemkin despises his lot in life, as he is not a violent person by nature, but he is forced to enter the tournament by the leaders of Zepp so that he can use the prize to increase their power. Potemkin's style is slow, but extremely powerful. He uses a variety of exhaggerated wrestling moves, and could be compared to Zangief
of Street Fighter
: A brash time-traveller from the 20th century, Axl's carefree attitude seems out of place amongst such serious fighters. Axl is motivated by a desire to get back to his own time and see his girlfriend Megumi, but he also is delighted by the sights and sounds of the future. Axl enters the tournament with the intention of using the prize to get back to his own time, though whether or not the Sacred Order is even capable of this is not entirely certain. He uses two kama connected by a length of chain (kama-chucks) and has an extremely defensive style requiring "charging" for many of his moves.Kliff Undersn
: At the age of 6, Kliff was saved by a GEAR attack by a man named Frederick, who would later become Sol Badguy
. Kliff eventually grew to lead the Knights in the Crusades and became a war hero, fighting Justice herself repeatedly to a stalemate. Eventually he was defeated by Justice, but not killed. He enters the tournament in order to stop Justice from being resurrected and because he raised the boy who would become Testament
. He is also the man who passed the reigns of power over to Ky Kiske
. His weapon of choice is the gargantuan blade Dragonslayer, which Kliff, despite his old age, wields with only one hand. He has become an inspirational icon for the rest of the world and a tremendous example of heroism.May
: Another child who was orphaned, the spunky May was adopted by the Jellyfish Pirates and quickly developed a crush on their leader, Johnny
. The entire crew has great affection for the girl, treating her like a beloved mascot. After Johnny is imprisoned, May enters the tournament to bail him out and win his heart. She wields a massive ship's anchor easily despite her small stature. She also has an irrational fear of bald people and can sense them from a distance, which throws her into fits of terror, often manifesting violently.Baiken
: During the Crusades, the GEARS completely annihilated the nation of Japan and as such Japanese people have become extremely uncommon in the modern world. Baiken is one of those people, growing up in a Japanese colony set up by the government. A GEAR attack left her an orphan and missing her right arm and left eye. Amongst the GEARS she saw standing their creator, the mysterious "That Man," and vowed to kill him. Baiken wields a katana
and has a series of counter-moves that respond if Baiken is struck. She also has many hidden weapons that are usually integrated into her counters. She is a hidden character
: Yet another orphan of the Crusades, Testament was found by Kliff Undersn
and raised amongst the Holy Order. Testament wished to become a soldier, but wasn't skilled enough. This depressed him until he was offered a chance to become a GEAR, a chance the boy leapt upon. He became a GEAR, but remained sentient. After Justice declared war on humanity, Testament found himself on the other side of the battle he'd originaly planned. He survived the Crusades and began the tournament in order to revive Justice. He succeeds, but only at the price of his defeat, using his own blood to revive Justice. Testament wields a scythe
and can conjur demons to do his bidding. He is an unlockable character.Justice
: Justice was a command GEAR, possessing both sentience and the ability to command other GEARS. Justice used this power to rebel, beginning the Crusades that would last 100 years. She is eventually defeated by Sol Badguy and sealed in another dimension, from which Testament rescues her by using the tournament as a front. Justice is then killed once and for all, at least canonically, by Sol at the conclusion of the tournament.