Guilty Gear

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Heaven or Hell?

Guilty Gear is a 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.

Main games

  • Guilty Gear: The Missing Link (1998)
  • Guilty Gear X: By Your Side (2000)
  • Guilty Gear XX (2002)
    • Guilty Gear XX #Reload (2003)
    • Guilty Gear XX Slash (2005)
    • Guilty Gear XX Accent Core (2006)
    • Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus (2009)
    • Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R (2012)
  • Guilty Gear 2: Overture (2009)
  • Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- (2014)
    • Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR- (TBA)


  • Guilty Gear Petit (2001)
    • Guilty Gear Petit (2002)
  • Guilty Gear Isuka (2004)
  • Guilty Gear Dust Strikers (2006)
  • Guity Gear: Judgment (2006)
  • Pro Jumper Chimaki's Hot Spring Tour Guilty Gear Tangent!? (2010)

The story of the game takes place around the year 2180, in a chaotic, mystical future world. In 2010, mankind discovered an unlimited energy source of incredible power, which was fittingly labeled as Magic. Even with the various energy problems solved, however, wars still continued. With the power of Magic and science, living weapons known as "Gears" were created. These Gears eventually Turned Against Their Masters, beginning a century-long global war known as the Crusades where the Sacred Order of Holy Knights, fighting for the human race, was able to defeat Justice, the leader of the Gears. Justice was locked away in a dimensional prison, and all other Gears seemingly ceased to function, bringing an end to the Crusades.

In the first game, set five years after the end of the war, a Gear named Testament hatched a plan to free Justice. In response to this threat, the United Nations began a fighting tournament in order to find fighters who would be able to defeat Testament and Justice. Ultimately, the immortal Bounty Hunter Sol Badguy brought down Justice again, and an uneasy peace began.

In the second game Guilty Gear X, it appears that a new Commander Gear has appeared less than a year later. The United Nations offers a bounty of 500,000 World Dollars for the destruction of this new Gear. Unfortunately, it turns out that the Gear in question is a sweet and innocent girl named Dizzy who wants nothing more than to live in peace and happiness. Sol Badguy, after defeating her, spares her, and the bounty falls to a chef named Jam Kuradoberi, while Dizzy goes to live with the Jellyfish Pirates, a group of Robin Hood-esque pirates who travel the world in an airship.

In the third game Guilty Gear XX (or Guilty Gear X2 in North America), a secret organization called the Post-War Administration Bureau starts attempting to capture or gather information on the various fighters from the past tournaments, while at the same time, I-No, a servant of the creator of the Gears—known only as That Man—starts manipulating them against each other for reasons unknown...

After a whole bunch of incremental upgrades to XX#Reload, Slash, Accent Core and Accent Core Plus—the series finally got a fourth entry in Guilty Gear 2: Overture... and an Unexpected Gameplay Change to Real Time Strategy mixed with hack'n'slash. In this game, Ky Kiske has become the king of his own country; too bad that it's not only under attack by a mysterious army controlled by Little Miss Badass Valentine, but all the sealed Gears are mysteriously vanishing. He sends for help from his old rival Sol, who is now a vagabond traveling with a young warrior named Sin.

Arc System Works went on to create other games such as Battle Fantasia, Sengoku Basara X, and later a proper Spiritual Successor to Guilty Gear in BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger. In May 2011, Arc System Works successfully bought all the rights to the Guilty Gear IP. Though when they plan on continuing the series and if they plan on keeping it a fighting game remains to be seen.

In March 2012, Arc System Works finally announced news on a new installment... which turns out to be yet another new version of XX for Arcades as well as Playstation Network and Xbox Live Arcade, called Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R. This updated version of Accent Core will feature online play, all of the features of the original console version of Accent Core Plus had, and the boss characters Kliff and Justice finally made playable and tournament-viable for Arcades. Currently, it is set for a Summer 2012 release, but this is subject to change.

This game has a character sheet.

Duel 1. Let's Rock!
  • After the End
  • All There in the Manual: A lot of info, seeing as how this is a fighter.
  • 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.
  • 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 six playable characters, five are Gears and one is human (Ky).
  • 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 either stunned. In that case, it's somewhat doable.
    • Or you're playing the first game or using "Generations Guilty Gear Mode" in Accent Core, in which case Instant Kills are basically Quick Time Events.
  • Badass Army: The Servants in Overture, and they come in different types.
  • The Battle Didn't Count: Sol and Slayer pull this all the time.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Guilty Gear XX Accent Core has the blood removed for some reason.
  • Capcom Sequel Stagnation: Guilty Gear XX has seen four "special edition" rereleases so far (with yet another one slated for summer 2012), though each version does add to the complexity of the game.
  • 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 start off as a Knight Templar and rival to Sol to being his ally.
  • Character Roster Global Warming: XX has around two dozen characters and exactly one big guy (Potemkin).
  • Combo Breaker: The Counter Burst.
  • Combos
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Arcade Mode bosses.
  • Cool Scars: Baiken has one over her left eye.
  • Crosshair Aware
  • Death or Glory Attack: Instant Kills, 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.
  • 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."
  • 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 peak, vampires observe humans, ghosts appear and witches fly. Not only that, magic coexist with ki or chakra, though they are entirely different from one another.
  • Finishing Move: Instant Kill attacks are specific to each character and end the round, regardless of how much health the opponent has.
  • Fixed-Floor Fighting
  • 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.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: How this series can be seen. Let's say Sol is The Dragon, Ky is the Knight in Shining Armor, Dizzy is the Damsel in Distress, Testament is the Knight in Sour Armor, Potemkin as the Gentle Giant, Sin as the Rebel Prince, Johnny as the Pirate, and I-No is the Hot Witch.
    • In Guilty Gear X, the damsel is a 3-year old Person of Mass Destruction being hunted by the cast and gets protected by a goth knight. However, The Dragon gets past the protector and beat the shit out of the damsel. But for some reason, the dragon spared her life. The damsel is then rescued by the Gentle Giant and the Knight in Shining Armor (but probably they fought her first too). The damsel is then entrusted to a captain of a Pirate group full of lolis.
    • In Guilty Gear XX, the damsel lost control of herself and is trying to kill everyone because the Hot Witch pushed her off the pirate ship... a thousand feet from the air. Depending on the ending, she calms down after the dragon beat the shit out of her again.
      • We also learn that the Knight in Shining Armor is supposed to be dead by that time. Because of the knight's death, the damsel is an evil bitch with the goth knight as her evil minion, and the dragon is her rival. But since the witch traveled time with her magic power from her magic guitar, she changed the future by saving the life of the Knight in Shining Armor.
    • In Guilty Gear 2: Overture, we learn that the blond knight who became a Puppet King and the damsel married... ooops NO! They're not officially married! Therefore, they produced a bastard son, and because they had a bastard son, they give him to the dragon for safekeeping.
  • Freudian 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, sociopath, 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).
  • 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 Defense of the Ancients, albeit with much greater control over armies.
  • Government Conspiracy: Towards Gears and the Japanese in general. Ky also gets involved, though he is a victim.
  • 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.
  • Humans Are Flawed: A major theme of the setting and evident in some backstories.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Gears were originally intended to be the next step in human evolution, hence the name "Gear". Instead, they were weaponized, with Sol being made into a Gear against his will.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Damn near everybody!
  • Invulnerable Attack
  • I Want My Jetpack: The series has a backstory starting in 2010...
  • Jump Physics: Everyone can double jump, save Chipp, who can triple jump. In addition, there are mid-air dashes.
  • Ki Attacks: Pretty much everyone from Asia, which is part of why the surviving Japanese are so highly valued.
  • Leitmotif: With the exception of Guilty Gear Asuka, each character has their own distinct tune when fought.
  • Magi Babble: Comprises roughly 90% of Guilty Gear 2's dialogue.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: Buried in Magi Babble is many rules and guide lines 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 Knights: The members of Sacred Order that includes Sol and Ky.
  • Mirror Match: Even has three theme tunes for this: "Fatal Duel", "Nothing Out Of The Ordinary" and "Ditto!".
  • Mouth Flaps: Sort of.
  • Natural Spotlight: The Grove in Midnight Carnival.
  • 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 KO: With the exception of 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 (including Faust's in Guilty Gear XX, which looks like he set off a nuclear bomb, Bridget's, which launches the opponent into the moon, and Slayer's, which apparently launches the enemy out of the galaxy).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Panty Shot: Let's just say every fighter wearing a skirt and leave it at that. This includes several of the men.
  • Press X to Not Die: How to avoid getting Instant Kill'd in Guilty Gear 1 or Guilty Gear Accent Core if Generations Guilty Gear mode is active.
  • Put on a Bus: In a large scale example, most of the original cast save Sol, Ky, That Man, and choice others are nowhere to be seen during the events of Overture. However...
    • The Bus Came Back: A good chunk of them returned in form in Xrd, either in playable form or in Story Mode roles (such as Johnny, who was later Promoted to Playable in Revelator, and Dizzy). Some, like Bridget, Baiken and so forth, are still at large as of the time of this writing, though they are given entries in Library Mode.
  • Puzzle Boss: Many of the missions in XX. One particularly notable example: you have to defend against an invincible, high-level AI I-No for 40 seconds, when your character is incredibly weak (Bridget), has half health, and is also poisoned.
  • Random Power Ranking: Not actually the character's power, but how much of a threat they pose to the Postwar Administration Bureau.
  • Role Reprisal: While the dub of Xrd changed all of the voice actors for the returning characters, Michael McConnohie returned to reprise his role as Dr. Paradigm in the game's Story mode.
    • While many of the Japanese voices of Xrd characters were changed (especially for those formerly voiced by one-time VA's like Chipp and Jam), apparently, Kazue Fujita still stays for Dizzy in Xrd -REVELATOR-.
  • Rubber Band History: A future where Ky is dead.
  • Ruins of the Modern Age: In some stages.
  • 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 25, has 12 female friends in the Jellyfish and has a dual nature by being both Human and Gear...
  • Scenery Gorn: The Guilty Gear X trailer, parts of the manga and the AD 2173 stage.
  • Schizo-Tech
  • Science Is Bad: Technology is branded as "Black Tech" and is banned for destroying nature. People used magic instead but eventually, also abused it.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: Subverted in two ways; first, "good" characters like Sol, Baiken, Millia and Anji, and villainous characters like Zato-1 and I-No. Second, characters like Testament converted from evil to good.
  • The Seven Mysteries: Of the 8 Jinki from the Outrage set, only 4 of them are shown: Sol's Fuenken, Ky's Furaiken, Anji's Zessen, and Slayer, who has a dagger which can cut through a forbidden beast.
  • Shout-Out: With an own page.
  • Speed Stripes: During various special moves
  • Surprisingly Good English: XX's announcer ("Heaven or Hell... Duel 1! LET'S ROCK!"). Accent Core went for a different announcer.
    • Ditto Xrd's announcer, who has several lines of perfectly pronounced English, such as "Who dares to enter the mayhem?".
  • 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.
  • Title Drop: The Guilty Gear is none other than Sol Badguy. Slayer and That Man reveal the meaning to the title, implying Sol is the only Gear capable of sin, because he was the first, and therefore, once human, while all others after him were created for war.
  • The Tokyo Fireball: Actually extends past Tokyo: the entire nation of Japan has been destroyed prior to the games, and there are no signs that it will be rebuilt.
  • 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.
  • True Companions: The Jellyfish Pirates.
  • Updated Rerelease: The series is particularly notorious for this, almost rivalling 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 Guilty Gear X's rather complex story.
    • Guilty Gear XX is particularly infamous for this, having 5 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 and a new version of Sol called "Order-Sol", both as a playable character AND a final boss.
      • The fourth version was Accent Core, which managed an overseas release and also featured Order-Sol and A.B.A, marking their overseas debut leading to a slight Marth Debuted in Smash Bros effect for the former. This version changed the interface on a larger scale (with a new version of the "Destroyed" popup 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 Guilty Gear 1 or Guilty Gear X, though at the cost of other features. However, Kliff and Justice were removed from the roster, and there was no Story or Mission modes to play through. Furthermore, some Game Breaking Bugs necessitated the release of...
      • Accent Core Plus, which re-inserted Story mode (now set after Guilty Gear XX'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.
    • And now Xrd follows in the footsteps of its predecessors with Xrd -REVELATOR-. Revealed thus far are the return of Johnny to the playable cast, a new character named Jack-O, the possible removal of Danger Time, and other miscellaneous changes.
  • 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.
  • Wham! Episode: Guilty Gear 2: Overture. It's set after a 5-year Time Skip, all characters gone except for Sol and Ky who are redesigned, and all the other settings are gone.
  • World of Badass