The Guilty Gear series has gone from obscure to mainstream, so here are some of the most strong characters for new players to consider.
Guilty Gear offers a plot unlike any other fighting game on the market. And, in the most recent, aesthetically stunning incarnation, Guilty Gear Strive, the plot only becomes more complicated. Other than the Mortal Kombat series, no other fighter has such a deep plot with god-like characters told over the course of multiple games.
Furthermore, aside from the gameplay, one of the main reasons players keep returning to Guilty Gear is to understand all of the brilliantly crafted anime-esque characters in this plot. In reality, much of the major cast is so obviously overpowered that it’s tough to determine who is the “strongest” among them, but we did our best to detect the “Smell of the Game” and make some predictions.
The Sleeping Saboteur: Bedman
Bedman is the first character to be introduced, having made his debut as a member of the Ariels in Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign-. Bedman is a figure who, to address the obvious elephant in the room, is always sleeping. This is due to the fact that both he and his sister (Delilah) were born with intellect that was too powerful for their own brains to understand, therefore their bodies kept them asleep all the time, which “connected” them to the Backyard.
Bedman’s superhuman intellect isn’t his only power; he also has the ability to drag others into his dream world, as seen in his Instant Kill, Theatre of Pain; read the minds of those around him (unclear how deeply), in order to predict their attacks; and create a “Absolute Realm” around him in which he can do and create basically anything he wants.
However, once his skills are known, fighters have an easier time defeating him, as evidenced by Gabriel and Venom defeating him in different times during Revelator’s Story Mode.
President Of Zepp: Gabriel
Let’s take a closer look at Gabriel, the man in charge of the fan-favorite grappler Potemkin. President Gabriel is perhaps a surprising addition to our list, but trust us when we say that his participation is readily justified.
Let’s take a look at some of his distinguishing features. He has never been playable in any of the games, and Slayer, one of the game’s top-tier strength characters, regards him as a competition. Similar things might be stated about other characters, as Gabriel has defeated Bedman, Chipp Zanuff, and even a massive anti-matter Gear without breaking a sweat.
Gabriele is the ruler of Zepp, a country that still primarily relies on Black Tech from before the Age of Magic, therefore who knows what cybernetic or magical upgrades he possesses. Gabriel truly deserves to be in the playable cast, and it’s a shame he’s never been. Who can say? Perhaps he’ll appear as a DLC character in Strive.
The Nightless: Slayer And Nagoriyuki
It’s now time to discuss the cast’s “Nightless” or Vampiric roles.
Slayer: The Man Who Lives By His Code Of “Dandyism”
Slayer was assumed to be the last living Nightless for a long time, which positioned him towards the top of the food chain in terms of strength. Having said that, as distant as Slayer’s strength makes him, he’s always played a role in the storyline of every game in which he’s been available. Slayer has a lot going on, such as forming the Assassins Guild back in the day, his connection with his immortal wife, Sharon, and his rivalry with Gabriel and their code of “Dandyism.”
Consider Slayer to be something like to Vampire Batman, with a dash of Dudley from Street Fighter thrown in for good measure.
Nagoriyuki: A Literal Vampire Samurai
We’d like to put Nagoriyuki, a new Nightless introduced in Guilty Gear Strive, on the same pedestal as Slayer, but it’s a little too early to tell.
Certainly, he has a sword that slows wound regeneration (which is useful against characters like Sol or Slayer) and the ability to “see” his opponents’ weak areas. Yet, Nagoriyuki does not appear to be as far along as a Nightless as Slayer. Furthermore, he spends the most of Strive as Happy Chaos’ tool, so we rarely see him go “all-out.”
The Crusade War Catalyst: Justice
Justice is the first “Gear” on this list to be discussed, but she is far from the last. Yet, aside from Sol and the Universal Will, Justice is the most significant character in the game.
Justice was the first “full” Gear, a Command-Class Gear who could impose her will or “control” on all the other Gears, and her rebellion utilizing her powers was the catalyst for the Crusades. Justice is a tough cookie to crack as the head of the Gear insurrection, especially after Kliff Undersn fought her to a standstill 17 times. This is due to Justice’s diverse set of abilities, which include the ability to command all Gears regardless of distance, regenerate instantly with her Gear Cells, and unleash vast amounts of Gamma Radiation via her Gamma-Ray weapon.
The Valentine Units: Valentine, Ephelt, Ramlethal, And Jack-O
Valentines are arguably the most unusual inclusion, as they appear to be “vessels” of organic origin generated by the Universal Will. The Valentines all have various skills, personalities, and aspirations, but they all have one thing in common: they’re unique lifeforms born in “The Backyard” that use Aria Hale’s genetic code as a foundation. This is also the reason why each person has unique abilities, such as:
- Valentine: The original Valentine from GG2 -Overture-, she battles a sentient balloon named “Lucifero” and has influence over other Gears.
- Ramlethal Valentine: Introduced in GG Xrd, this form of Lucifero fights as two telekinetically controlled greatswords.
- Ephelt Valentine: A one-of-a-kind Valentine who does not use Lucifero and instead employs a variety of magical guns and other weaponry.
- One of the most complicated Valentine units is Jack-O Valentine. Asuka developed her rather than the Universal Will, and she serves an entirely different purpose. Dorpos, her familiar, serves as a sort of ankle flail for her.
The Maiden Of The Grove: Dizzy
Dizzy, the “Child of Light and Dark,” is one of the most deceptively powerful characters in the entire saga. The first thing you need to know about Dizzy is that she’s a half-Gear half-human hybrid. Second, if you look at her, you’ll find two specter-like characters close to her; these are her “wings” or “guardians,” and their names are Necro and Undine.
Finally, Dizzy is the daughter of Justice (A.K.A. Aria Hale) and Frederick (A.K.A. Sol Badguy), which explains her half-and-half heritage. And, as it turns out, that species mix produces an outrageously powerful being, Dizzy, who possesses a wide range of powers. She has her mother’s “perfect” Gear cells, for example, allowing her to command any Gear she wants, as well as her Gamma-Ray assault. Dizzy has the ability to alter her own body into various costumes, weapons, and so on (this also applies to Necro and Undine). Her two sentient wing guards, Necro and Undine, may also make their own fighting judgments and specialize in different kinds of magic.
To be honest, she’s probably the most powerful Guilty Gear character (ignoring Gods and the Universal Will), but her peaceful disposition means she prefers to spend time with her family than flaunting her strength.
The Man Of Many Names: Asuka R. Kreutz
Now, we may discuss “That Man,” the long-running “antagonist” of Guilty Gear, who has gone by many many names, including “The Devil” and “Gearmaker,” but we now know him as Asuka R. Kreutz. Asuka, along with Frederick and Aria Hale, was one of the three primary scientists on the initial Gear Cells research before the Crusades. But he also has a more mysterious past as the fifth pupil of “The Original,” the guy who discovered the Garden and introduced magic to humans.
It gets convoluted, but all you need to know is that Asuka, like his instructor, is a human capable of logic-defying magic, has an incalculably high Intelligence, and is always plotting something. Also, Asuka has easily “fought off” Sol Badguy on countless occasions, demonstrating his power. He’s undeniably one of the most enigmatic characters in the series, but the more we discover about him, the clearer it becomes that this guy is virtually utterly unrivaled.
The Original Gear: Sol Badguy
Finally, we have Sol Badguy, the de facto main character of the Guilty Gear saga. At first sight, he appears to be your usual boisterous, forthright, hot-blooded protagonist; he even works as a bounty hunter, but there’s a lot more to Sol than meets the eye (though not in terms of gameplay; he’s as straightforward as they come).
Sol, for example, is the first finished Gear, making him one of the series’ longest-living characters. He was one of the world’s top scientists, and he and Asuka and Aria Hale were assigned to the Gear Cells project during the Age of Magic. Throughout the Gear Cells project, his original objective was to study the Saint Oratorio spell, which is what he originally created the Cells to cast.
Sol was a skilled inventor/creator, creating items such as the Outrage (which evolved into eight other weapons), his own motorcycle, and a Gear-supression headband, among other things. Kliff Undersn then scouted him to join the Sacred Order of Holy Knights during the Crusades, when he met his close friend Ky Kiske.
Sol Badguy, as Ariels put it in Guilty Gear Revelator, is virtually a God in comparison to the rest of the characters, but he still manages to preserve his badass attitude/appearance and humanitarian values.
The Time-Hopping Troublemakers: I-No And Axl Low
This is another two-parter entry, owing to the fact that these two characters have a lot of overlapping talents and storylines.
I-No: The Time Traveling Terror
Explaining I-backstory No’s is tricky, given that fans of the franchise only recently found it in its entirety in the GG Strive Story Mode. Essentially, during the Crusades, humanity’s focus on striving for a brighter future all came together in the Backyard to form a single Magical Foci (A.K.A. a materialization of that “focus”). This “Foci” was declared a “error” by the Universal Will (remember, the Universal Will is a robot created by “The Original”) and was subsequently sealed inside a random human on Earth, dragging them into the Backyard, and this turned out to be I-No.
Then, “The Original” discovered I-No in the Backyard and severed her human desire from her body, removing half of her “godly powers.” This is why I-No is so unfazed by pandemonium, doesn’t recall much of her background, and is completely unfazed by anything emotionally. We must remark, though, that her absence of emotions appears to have resulted in massive drip levels.
What can’t I-No do with his magical abilities? She fights largely using time-altering or causality-changing skills, such as stopping time and taking individuals into various timelines. I-No may also fly atop her magical electric guitar, Marlene (the franchise has many metal/rock references), to cast devastating soundwaves of varied power levels.
Axl Low: A Universal Accident
It may seem absurd to compare I-No to the goofy that is Axl Low, yet the two have some very significant connections and similarities. Furthermore, with some of the other ridiculous stuff in Strive (looking at you, Goldlewis Dickinson), is it really that difficult to imagine Axl is a powerhouse? Axl was a well-meaning gang leader from the 20th century England until he was sucked through time to the late 2100s. Because his “physical ID” (similar to his universe-assigned serial number) overlapping with I- No’s, he was pulled through time and given copies of all her time-based powers.
Yet it isn’t until Strive that Axl begins to understand how to employ these abilities consciously. With these newly acquired abilities, Axl is arguably one of the strongest characters in the series, alongside I-No, because they can manipulate time and space and go to any location they like. Not only that, but he’s a naturally brilliant martial artist, can wield magic to some extent, and is remarkably effective at winning over even his most adamant foes because to his puppy-like cuteness.
Backyard-Borne Bosses: Ariels And Happy Chaos
If we examine I-No and Axl Low’s strength levels at the end of GG Strive, they may be as powerful as both Ariels and Happy Chaos, but “on average,” the latter two are scarier due to their cognition and Backyard-based history.
Sanctus Maximum Populi Ariels: The Vessel Of The Universal Will
Ariels is the literal pope of the Guilty Gear universe, possessed by the Universal Will, a robot left in the Backyard by “The Original” to use the Backyard for the betterment of humanity, except that the Universal Will is now bent on destroying humans (or what it calls “redundancies”) to create a new race of organisms that better fit its definition of “human.”
Ariels is a human, no doubt, but as the vessel for the Universal Will, she’s on par with Sol Badguy in terms of raw power, comparable to Asuka in magical prowess, and about as ridiculous as it gets, especially with the gold Black Tech revolver she carries around and her laughable Clown Posse-like face makeup.
I-No’s Godly Other Half: Happy Chaos
Meanwhile, another type of Backyard being is Happy Wheels, a being taken from Ariels by I-No at the start of GG Strive.
Originally, Happy Chaos was known as “The Original,” the man who discovered the Backyard first, introduced magic to humanity, created the Tome of Origin, created the Universal Will, and took on five disciples (the four Conclave members and Asuka). However, while wandering the Backyard himself, he found I-No and stole half of her power to prevent her from becoming a “God.”
Thus it should be obvious why Happy Chaos is possibly the strongest character in the franchise: his shattered moral compass as a result of his heavenly powers and lengthy life make him the most unexpected adversary Guilty Gear has ever had.