Back to talking about character designs for the third time. I really just enjoy talking about how amazing characters can look. This time I will be talking about my favorite fighting game franchise, Guilty Gear. A series that started in 1998 and it is still a rather niche series. I do feel the time is coming for Guilty Gear to get a bit more fame, hopefully this new Dragon Ball fighter will get people to notice Arc System Works more. Either way I love the designs of Guilty Gear, they stand out in many ways and for the first part I will look at the original roster and even talk about some redesigns too for these characters.
Sol Badguy is easily my favorite protagonist of any fighting game. Again just like the roster in general, Sol really stands out in terms of the main character. First off that name is fantastic, but we are looking at designs here. I will say I like how they design him in Xrd more even if they did just buff him up. Now one thing that is rather silly in his designs would be all those belts, man Sol out does Final Fantasy characters. The belts never do distract me though as they blend well with the clothing. I enjoy the one on his arm the most. All the belts just get me to look around his body and knowing how belts work makes me think he is holding something back. That is what Sol literally is since his human form is something he made as he hides his Gear form. I also think his bigger body works better with the belts since they look like they are being used to hold something in. Then with the Xrd design I love seeing how he encase his sword, the Fire Seal into a case and it is called the Junkyard Dog. The whole thing looks like a big lighter which fits with the overall fire theme Sol has. Then top of that with the overall color scheme of red and black. I am interested to why they added the white cross on his stomach area. Then a small note will be the hair and I prefer the first design’s hair because it shows off the headband more, but the hair for the Xrd design works well with Sol’s bigger body. The last touch is his belt with the word “Free” on it. Funny enough Sol may seem to be free, but he sees himself trapped in his own life. Again Sol even holds himself back so the belt is pretty much representing what he wants to be, free. Overall both of these designs have many similarities, but the Xrd design to me shows off the restrained aspect more.
Ky only has small changes compared, but I will say I like Ky with shorter hair more. Then with the swords, I like the Xrd sword better than, even if it is a weaker sword. The belts come out again with this design and knowing Ky Kiske as of now, there has been a restraining aspect with him too. Now for an unusual design choice for Ky would be the blue and white color scheme. Ky is famous for his lightning magic and I am so used to yellow characters representing lightning. I will say the only other character I can think that is a lightning user and has more of a blue look would be Raiden from Mortal Kombat. Personally I prefer seeing the blue lightning it is more like how we actually see lightning and for a kid who grew up with Pokemon, I saw tons of yellow lightning. Still the blue and white color scheme works with how Ky acts, he is a perfect warrior who is reliable and knowing how he interacts with Sol and Dizzy, that is understandable. The best touch is his belt saying “Hope” on it. Ky is a man all about freedom, he fought in the war facing the Gears and as of now he wants Gears and mankind to be together. So Ky keeps representing hope both on and off the battlefield.
May barely has any changes, but one small difference I have noticed and that could just be how the Xrd art shows the character. In the Xrd art though I can see more of May’s skin and it is a small amount, but it is noticeable regardless. Looking closer in and do not find me creepy for this, but the Xrd version of this design has her being more of a flat chest. Actually the more I am looking there are many small detail differences that go back and forth. The original design had more belts than the Xrd May and again it could just be the difference of art, but Xrd May is brighter. Orange is used to be the color of adventure and May is a pirate girl, so she is always on an adventure. This color is even used to show optimism, so I feel they made the orange brighter in the Xrd design is to better showcase this since May is a bright person in terms of uplifting others. Reminding me of the pirate aspect, she has a total of three skulls in the Xrd design as the cuffs she has got changed to look more like skulls. Belts are around again and while in the original design it is quite toned down compared to Sol and Ky and just look quite normal. In Xrd she has lost more belts, but she has one big one! It even looks loose and May is someone who does not restrain herself which speaks clear because of that anchor she uses! Then on the Xrd design there is a little more text on her clothing. I cannot read the one near the anchor symbol, but I can clearly see the heart next to the “J” which clearly shows her love for Johnny. What an interesting look at first I thought there were barely any changes, but there are actually quite a lot of small changes. I personally like the original design better, but the Xrd design really has some new details that I really enjoy.
Now I get to the character with the biggest change of her design. I am so glad they changed Millia’s design, I do not hate the original one, it is just the Xrd design has so many awesome details. To be honest when I first played Guilty Gear, I thought she was Ky’s sister because of the blonde hair and blue and white color scheme. Of course there are belts still around, but the Xrd design has one! In terms of headwear, I love the hat more than the headband. I still have no idea what those letters and numbers mean though. Now the difference with the colors do have meaning as well. In the past, Millia say herself to be a perfect assassin originally, but things got pretty bumpy for her regarding Zato and Venom. Now her Xrd color scheme is mostly yellow which does have a sign of hope and since Zato came back in Xrd, but not as who he was, Millia is hoping that he returns to normal. Also yellow does show happiness and since Venom and Millia worked out their differences, Millia probably feels better about herself. I also enjoy the change of her tights since it was an under shirt for the original design and now she wears leggings, it is a complete switch around. Also with the art, Millia does not have her hair in roses compared to the Xrd art. Again that has meaning since it shows a new beginning! It even works with the idea of hoping to be remembered and Zato did not have his memories when he came back from the dead. The newer design to me just screams more character for Millia and her new look alone easily jumped her up in my list of favorite Guilty Gear characters.
Zato and Eddie pretty much kept the same design over the years of the franchise. Zato was the original, during sometime Eddie took over, and then they both died because their body could not hold up anymore. Zato comes back from the grave though in Xrd and I am happy they did not give him a new design too. Zato’s look is pretty basic with a great use of black and changing even the tiniest aspect would probably be too much then. Even adding something new would be drastic. Now the shadow beings both them use may look different, but that is because it can freely change. It may seem harder to see the red for Eddie on the left, but the eyes are still red meanwhile the Xrd design for Zato has the shadow glow red. I do enjoy what both of them wear over their eyes, there is always something daunting about a man who can fight without vision. I then noticed something on Zato’s Xrd design where you can red “Walking Shadow” on his arm. Overall, the color black is a mystery and will remain as a mystery and Zato and Eddie do show that well since they have a simple design, but always leaves me asking what is up with them.
I am so happy that Potemkin got a new look in Xrd. For the longest time I never truly liked this character’s design in the original games. Sure the armlets he wears are cool, but I never liked the brace around his neck. To me his old design never spoke true to the character, but the Xrd design shows the soldier aspect so well! Literally his helmet is the same as the Prussian soldiers. The spike on the helmet and the little flowing cloth is an exactly the same look. Then the armlets got even better since they are attached to the overall armor makes it look more complete. I do love seeing the words “Burly Heart” which was his character theme song from the previous games before Xrd. Along the armor and helmet are more symbols representing his nation which again fits so well with the soldier theme. What is also interesting is that his armor has a bar code on it, high chance it is a way to number off the soldiers. Now the overall uniform with the green look with the display of buttons not only reminds me of his other wear which was seen in some art from the game, but it is a complete reference to the Nazi’s uniform. Anyone who knows of Prussia easily knows of their history with Germany. The man even has a band on his left arm which again is just like the uniform. This is so the best new design only because it completely saves the character in my opinion.
By the way Chipp is before Black Star, I feel like saying that since friends of mine always keep telling me this! Either way this American ninja wants to become president! Yes I am not lying, this is a man who says he is Japanese, but he is actually American. Now ninjas have always been shown differently in the media and while some are extremely inaccurate, I feel Chipp is on purpose. Chipp does work with the common martial arts of the ninja, but other than that he does not look like one at all. He does not hide himself in any way and does not even have the color blue which was the true color of ninjas or at least the original color. Chipp wears fish nets under his shirt which I guess is supposed to be close to chain mail? Back to topic of belts now, he has four, two on his leg, one on his neck, and one around his waist. The one around his neck works more like a choker though. My favorite aspect of his design will have to be the awesome sickle he has on his arm! Now for differences there is one small difference which would be the chest area. In the first design he had simple silver buttons, but for Xrd he has a ninja star front and center. Chipp is trying to hard to be a ninja that he does not fit the bill which is why I like his design none the less, it fits his character and still looks better than any ninja from Naruto.
Now we get to possibly the craziest character of all Guilty Gear. Originally he was called Dr. Baldhead and was out for revenge, but later on he turns a new leaf and becomes the travelling doctor, Faust. Still carrying the giant scalpel as his weapon of choice which obviously points to his doctor origins with the original design. Now Faust starts to look more like a doctor with the white coat he wears and he still does sport green with his pants. Dr. Baldhead looks like a psychopath and he was so the first look gets that down well thanks to how he crouches. With Faust he really comes off more comical and the biggest indentation of that would be the paper bag covering his face. With his Xrd look they added those two big red crosses which easily references the Red Cross. So the overall design aspect really comes to the transformation Faust had from his murderer look to the doctor. One is crazy and the other is silly, quite a transformation.
The obvious elephant in this room is that Axl Low looks very much like Axl Rose from the popular band, Guns N’ Roses. Even the name is a bit too on point. Both real life figure and fictional character have the bandanna, long flowing hair, and both love to show off their nationality. Axl is British though which is a big key difference and that could because of the band being popular in that area? The band has done some performances in London before, so maybe? Axl then changes where the flag is shown for his clothes and I am for a fan of having it around his legs, it flows like a flag. Now Axl keeps the jean jacket and jeans, but he goes for jean shorts in the Xrd design. I also think this is a reason why they moved the flag in the lower area, is that there is more of a balance in the Xrd design. Most of the color for the original look is in the upper area. Funny enough there seems to be no belts in the original design, but in Xrd he wears a belt for his pants and another one like a tie? It looks like a tie, but it is also a zipper of some kind. Then there is a white “X” on his headband for the current design, Axl Rose always had different headbands so the change of design is probably a reference to that.
Kliff is from the original game, but later on in the series he would not be part of the roster until Guilty Gear XX. The reason is well because death is a bitch (not sorry for the spoiler). For the newer game they did make new art for him and it really captures his image better. You just got to love how the sword is pretty much the same size as this old man. With belts, it looks like he has one normal looking belt, well except for the size. On the piece in front of his face, you can clearly see scratches on it, along with the sword, and even see scars on his face. This is a man who fought many battles and it shows. He has a simple use of the color brown which is the color of the Earth as he was one of the strongest humans around (old age catches up though). Along with the color meaning, Kliff is one of the most reliable characters in the series. He trained Ky Kiske into the man he is now and even trusted Sol Badguy with the Fire Seal. Overall, he may seem menacing in the newer art, in the older arts they easily make him look a bit relaxed.
Now I get to the original boss character and man knowing that this is Aria, is still shocking. Aria was a woman and for the earliest time we barely knew any of this. All we knew that when Sol killed Justice, we hear her say his real name. Anyways onto the design, man Justice is creepy looking. I really enjoy how sleek she can look with the white armor, but when you see what is not covered in the white armor gives off this horror-like vibe. The claws really show that off, imagine those sinking into your skin. Now I will get the elephant out of the room and that would be what Death Battle called the “Blue robo penis!” Yea it does rather stick out (I should have used a better word) compared to the overall design. I have to wonder if that part is actually on her or the armor. With Justice I feel she has this interesting combination of what makes Guyver great and what even makes a Gundam look nice.
Man this post took some time to make, there will still be more characters to get done. I cannot wait to do the part two post since I will be starting off with my all time favorite fighting game character. Either way I feel for the next design post, I want to dabble into some Toku and high chance it will be Double and not only the riders, but some Dopants as well.