This is a part of Edward Chang's GGXX plot FAQ.
- GG - the original video game Guilty Gear
- GGX - the original video game Guilty Gear X
- GGX+ - the original video game Guilty Gear X+
- GGXX - the original video game Guilty Gear XX
- #R - the original video game Guilty Gear #Reload
- CB - the Complete Bible
- SE - the Slash Encyclopedia
- BE - the Burst Encyclopedia
- DA - the Drafting Artworks
- CG - the Complete Guide
- LA - The "Lightning The Argent" novel
- BG - The "The Butterfly and her Gale" novel
- V1 - Drama CD Vol. 1
- V2 - Drama CD Vol. 2
- SR - Drama CD Red
- SB - Drama CD Black
- WS - the official Website
The questions in this section are rougly organized according to category.
Q. What is a Gear?
A. Gears were created by mankind as a means to further evolution. Gears aren't really a species of their own; they are "altered" species, and whales and elephants can be made into Gear-types. Of course, humans are included in this list as well. In 2016, the first human subject to undergo the change into Gear was the American Frederick. He and the researchers all disappeared shortly after. Many Gears run on instinct and turn out to be little more than killing machines, but some - especially those derived from human subjects - are able to retain their free will.
(DA pg. 225)
Q. Who created Gears?
A. Somebody simply known as "That Man" (Ano Otoko). He was actually just one of several people on the Gear Project, but he is the one who created Justice and is therefore the person responsible for the current trouble with Gears. Oddly enough, the few times he does appear he seems apologetic about creating Gears, only saying that it is necessary to save the world. Also, Drama CD Black makes it clear that he doesn't intend for Gears to overrun mankind or rule the world. It is clear that he knows Frederick (Sol), and recently it's been revealed that he also knows or at least knows of Slayer.
Q. Why are Gears such a threat, if they were created as a means for mankind to further evolution?
A. The process of making a Gear can cause a Gear to lose its own will and run on instinct. When a "command-type Gear" (such as Justice) is around, these instinct-running Gears can be directed towards certain ends, such as attacking humans. As a matter of fact, this is precisely what happened to Testament. Also, the fact that Gears are stronger and more powerful in magic or magic-like abilities leaves open the possibility that they will be used as weapons, though they were not created for the sake of being weapons.
(DA pg. 225, GGXX)
Q. Are Gears no longer a threat?
A. With the death of Justice, the "command-type" Gear, Gears are supposedly unable to move of their own volition anymore. However, there is evidence that Dizzy may have some of the same properties that Justice did, which is what makes Dizzy so powerful and dangerous - the fact that Testament has volition could be an indication of that.
In Lightning the Argent, it is revealed that Dizzy is not the only self-aware Gear; there is a full-blooded Gear named Solaria, created by the Blackard Company for the purposes of taking control of Gears and using them as weapons. However Solaria was rescued from the Company and she is currently living freely under the auspices of the International Police (via Ky Kiske).
Q. What is magic? What is ki?
A. Magic is a source of incredible energy that began to be studied seriously by humans in the 21st century. There are five elements of magic, fire, lightning, water, wind, and ki. The first four are now well understood and can be ampilified and controlled, but the use of ki remains unknown. Ki has its origins in the Orient. Testament is known to control some sort of magic, and the wielders of Jinki can also control magic to some extent. Axl too, for some reason, has been observed to use something similar to magic of the fire element. As for ki, some fighting masters of the Orient, such as Jam Kuradoberi, can use it; Kliff Undersn was the first non-Asian to be able to use ki, and now Chipp Zanuff has mastered its use as well.
(DA pg. 227, GGXX, CG pg. 294, BG)
Q. What is the Outrage?
A. The Outrage was a weapon designed by mankind to fight against Gears. Its purpose is to function as an amplifier for magical powers that could be harnessed by man. However, the potential of the Outrage was unknown, so it wasn't created as one part - it was created as eight component pieces, each of which is known as a "Jinki" (Divine Implement or Tool). The eight Jinki are the Fuuenken (Fireseal Sword), Fuuraiken (Thunderseal Sword), Zessen (Stopping Fans), Senga (Flashing Tooth), Ekitoku (Increasing Fervor), Kojouhaku (White on the Lake), and two that are unnamed. Note that aside from the first three, it's not clear that the Jinki are even weapons by themselves.
(CB pg. 103, DA pg. 225, 231, although romanizations are guesses on my part)
Q. Who has the Jinki?
A. The Jinki are under the care of the United Nations. However, three of the eight Jinki are currently in the possession of some of the Guilty Gear cast. Ky Kiske, as current head of the Holy Order, has the Fuuraiken. Sol Badguy (formerly Frederick) has the Fuuenken. Anji Mito has the Zessen. NO OTHER CHARACTER has a Jinki.
(DA pg. 225, BE pg. 16, 19, 40, GGX+, GGXX)
Q. Who has "fake Outrages"?
A. There is no such thing as fake Jinki. It is a popular fan notion that That Man, in response to Frederick creating the Outrage, created "fake Outrages". This is untrue and it doesn't even make sense, as the individual weapons are called Jinki, not Outrages - the Outrage is simply a huge anti-Gear weapon. By that same token, Venom/Johnny/Robo Ky do not have "fake Outrages" as fans have suggested. In short, there is no official support in any of the canon sources for the existence of "fake Outrages".
Q. What are the "forbidden beasts"?
A. The forbidden beasts (kinjuu) are based on Gear technology. However, they were developed by the Shuusen Kanrikyoku into an anti-Gear weapon. One of the first was given as a test case to a man named Zato-1, and this spurred Zato's rise in the assassin syndicate until he managed to become the syndicate's leader.
Q. What are the "forbidden magics"?
A. The forbidden magic (kinju - note this is written with different characters than kinjuu) are magic rituals that are deemed unsafe for humans to practice. The reason is that because human understanding of magic is still yet incomplete, practice of these rituals may cause unintended side effects, including virus-like effects and harm inflicted to the wielder. Nevertheless, sometimes these magics get practiced, and there have been hints that the Assassin Syndicate has practiced this.
(DA pg. 225, GGXX)
Q. What is the "Hi-Deigokutsuipou"?
A. This is the term for the "six forbidden magics". They have been forbidden because practitioners of it are at a huge risk for aftereffects; however because of the power they can grant it is still practiced. Zato-1, for instance, gave up his powers of perception as the "password" for the Fifth Forbidden Magic, "Shokusei Kagejin", and in exchange received the power to control shadows. (Note: GGXX seems to conflict with this description, saying that the Shuusen Kanrikyoku bestowed the Eddie, a Gear-derived kinjuu, onto Zato-1.). Millia Rage of the same syndicate underwent the Sixth Forbidden Magic, "Angra", but what aftereffects it may have on her are still unknown.
(DA pg. 226, GGXX)
Q. What happened to Japan?
A. It was destroyed by an attack of Gears, under the command of Justice (and therefore indirectly That Man) in 2074 A.D. This was the incident that set off the Holy War and the formation of the Holy Order.
(DA pg. 231)
Q. What is the Shuusen Kanrikyoku/Postwar Management Bureau?
A. The Shuusen Kanrikyoku is a mysterious organization that is behind the events of GGXX. According to Ky, they were around during the Holy War (and were not a secret organization then) but were supposed to have been disbanded. They are a separate entity from That Man and his organization, and their goals also seem to be different. During GGXX, their goals seem to be the capture and/or elimination of Gears, those of Japanese descent, and those who can use "ki". Their ultimate goals are unknown.
Q. What is the Assassin Syndicate?
A. The Assassins are a shadowy group of, what else, assassins. Some among them have battle prowess similar to Gears, while there are also reports that the practice of kinju (forbidden magic) has taken place within the syndicate. The syndicate was originally founded by Slayer, purportedly to "punish those outside the law", but he grew tired of life on Earth and "retired" to his castle. Many years passed and eventually, either because of the practice of kinju (DA) or because of the involvement of the Shuusen Kanrikyoku (GGXX), Zato-1 became he leader of the syndicate. He had associated with him an underling, Venom, as well as a member of still undefined relationship to him, Millia. However Zato-1 lost control of the shadows and eventually passed away. The current status of the Syndicate is in question; Slayer wants it dissolved, since it has lost its original purpose, whereas Venom wants to take it over in Zato-1's memory. The Syndicate has its hands in politics; it's certainly able to influence the politics of A Country (formerly the United States) and evidence points that the Syndicate may in fact be based in A Country.
(DA pg. 225, GGXX, BG)
Q. What is Zepp?
A. When the potential of magic was realized in 2010, the use of science became obsolete. However, some decided that technology still had its uses. These people founded the floating continent of Zepp. Currently Zepp floats around in the sky, constantly changing location; people on the ground fear it as a country that uses "Black Tech". Zepp recently had a slave uprising and revolution, and currently they are led by President Gabriel.
Q. What happened to the USA?
A. The US is currently known simply as "A Country". It seems to be less powerful than formerly, and it, like many other nations, is firmly under the yoke of the United Nations. As of 2181, the leader of the USA is a 17 year old girl, Erica Bartholomew. However, like former presidents of the USA, she's a puppet of the Assassin Syndicate. By 2182, Erica has forged an alliance with President Gabriel of Zepp for the purpose of reducing the Syndicate's influence on politics.
Q. Who is Frederick? Who is Sol?
A. Frederick is the man who became the prototype Gear, in 2016. After undergoing his transformation, he donned his headgear, which is actually a Gear Cell Control-type device (to suppress his Gear nature) and disappeared. However, he kept "That Man", one of the researchers of the Gear Project and the creator of Justice, in his sights. When That Man began work on Justice, Frederick began work on the Outrage. He also saved Kliff from a Gear attack when Kliff was only 6. Decades later, Kliff recruited a certain "Sol Badguy" into the Holy Order. It was this Sol that was responsible for the sealing away of Justice (in Justice's Story Mode Ending in GGXX), and after Justice's escape five years later, the destruction of Justice (in GG). Presenting himself as a bounty hunter, he nevertheless revealed himself to Justice as the proto-type of Gears, and therefore, as Frederick. Later on, he began hunting other Gears, though once he found Dizzy, for reasons still unexplained he did not kill her as he had killed others.
(DA pg. 226, 229, GG, GGX, GGXX)
Q. Why is Sol often called "Haitoku no Honoo"?
A. Haitoku no Honoo means in this context "Corrupted Flame", not "Flame of Corruption" (as it is referring to the fact that Sol/Frederick has been "corrupted", not that he corrupts others). This relates to the whole title of the series, "Guilty Gear", as Sol can be described as both the "Guilty Gear" and the "Corrupted Flame" for having worked on the Gear Project. Who first bestowed the name on him is unknown, but when Justice and Sol meet at the end of the Holy War, even before Justice knows that Sol is a Gear, she calls Sol by this name.
Q. Were Sol and I-No ever romantically involved?
A. No. Drama CD Side Red shows that the first time Sol and I-No met was in 2173, during the Holy War, and Sol in fact tries to kill her as soon as he meets her. I-No was not working with That Man during the Gear Project, and thus there would have been no 'time frame' where Sol and I-No could've been romantically involved. (The source of this popular fan rumor appears to be I-No's intro vs. Sol, "Gobusata, *bleep*yarou", which means "You haven't written, asshole". However, Gobusata is in no way limited to former lovers, and in spoken context, as opposed to letters, it simply means "long time no see".)
Q. Is Dizzy a Gear? Is Necro a Gear? Is Undine a Gear?
A. Dizzy is a half-Gear, half-human. Her Gear heritage allows her phenomenol physical and intellectual growth rate as well as gives her her wings and tail. Necro and Undine aren't in and of themselves Gears, but rather an extension of Dizzy's Gear nature. The Burst Encyclopedia describes them as her "Guardian Spirits"; the Drafting Artworks refer to them as "Systems".
(BE pg. 47, 208, DA pg. 228-229)
Q. Is Necro a servant of That Man?
A. No, no, and no. I don't know where this rumor came up, but there are several proofs against it. Most recently, in one of Slayer's endings in GGXX, he refers to The Man's "Three Servants" - Raven, I-No, and Justice. There is no "room" for Necro. More convincingly, both the GGXX Mook and the Drafting Artworks reveal that Necro (and Undine as well) were brought into existence by Dizzy's Gear Nature at the same time as she got wings and a tail. The Drafting Artworks even refers to him as a kind of "system" (perhaps an immune system with an attitude?) rather than a separate entity.
(DA pg. 229, BE pg. 208, GGXX)
Q. Who are Dizzy's parents?
A. (Answer revised v2.5) At long last, Drama CD Side Black revealed that Dizzy's mother is Justice (of course, this means that Justice is female). Some have argued that this is the 'alternate future' presented in that Drama CD, but the fact remains that Dizzy is Justice's daughter in that future, and therefore it's highly unlikely that Dizzy is anybody else's daughter in the 'correct' future. (After all, changing the mother would change the genetic makeup of a person, and changing somebody's genetic makeup would make a totally different person). This makes a lot of sense as well, as Dizzy is the only known command-type Gear currently alive (the only known one previously was Justice).
The question remains as to who Dizzy's father is. Since Dizzy is only half-Gear, her father must be human, not Gear. This makes it very unlikely that Sol is her father, despite hints in XX Story Mode that he may be. (It's possibly that his protectiveness over her is out of duty, not paternal love.)
(GGX+, GGXX, SB)
Q. Who is That Man?
A. That Man is the creator of Justice and one of the foremost researchers on the Gear Project. Little else is known about him. He knows Sol/Fredrick from before, but his goals and aims are a mystery. Recently, he's been shown to be apologetic about creating Gears (for example to Baiken in one of her GGXX endings) and has hinted that Gears, in particular Justice, had to be made in order to save the world from some great danger. What exactly that danger is is unknown.
Q. Who is Justice?
A. The command-type Gear created by That Man. Most Gears lose their minds and become killing machines by instinct when transformed, but Justice was originally human and so retained intelligence and free will. She was also bestowed with a "command ability" - that is, her very presence allowed her to control other Gears contrary to the orders given to them by their respective governments. Justice led the Gears in the Holy War but was sealed away by Sol and Ky in 2175. Five years later, thanks to the involvement of Testament, she was released from his seal and once again threatened another Holy War, but was this time killed for good by Sol.
(GG, GGXX, LA, SB)
Q. Is Justice male or female?
A. (Answer revised v2.5) Female. Though for a long time, all official sources made a point not to use gendered pronouns when referring to her, Side Black finally revealed that Justice was female via Dizzy, who refers to her several times as "mother". Outside that context, Fujita Kazue (the voice actress of Dizzy) says explicitly in her comments on Side Black that Justice was Dizzy's mother.
Q. Who is Raven? How is he related to Axl?
A. Raven is one of the servants of That Man. Since he did not appear until GGXX (and also in the GG novel), little is known about him. However, in GGXX it is revealed that he, like Axl, timeslips, and in fact he and Axl are "parallel existences", which is the cause of the time slipping in the first place. Note that That Man does not call them the same person, and they do not share the same voice actor. Axl and Raven are probably not the same person, but they are somehow linked, and That Man reveals that the reason is because of something Axl will do in his future.
Whatever he is, he seems to be immensely powerful; Sol attempts to burn him in the Lightning the Argent novel, yet he simply shrugs it off and regenerates his skin. He is also able to go toe-to-toe with Faust in an extradimensional battle easily.
Q. Who is I-No?
A. (Answer revised v2.5) I-No is an enormously powerful human being who is currently working for That Man. She does not seem to be a Gear, and she was not involved in the original Gear Project. Most importantly, she has the power to travel through time, and indeed she was responsible for the major change in history that spawned the current GG universe (see the timeline below for details). There are some indications that she may also be able to erase memories. She agrees to work for That Man out of sheer curiosity and entertainment, but her loyalty to him seems absolute.
Q. Is I-No a Gear? Is Raven a Gear?
A. Interestingly enough, I've never seen official references that these two individuals are Gears. And they may very well not be - they could be, just like That Man, "different". (Of course we don't know if That Man himself has undergone the Gear transformation or not either). However, in Side Black, I-No identifies herself as human, and in that situation (talking to That Man) she has no reason to lie.
Q. Who killed Chipp's master Tsuyoshi?
A. (Answer revised v2.0) A member of the Assassin's Syndicate known as Volf. Volf was a direct subordinate of Venom. However, failing to kill President Erica Bartholomew and/or Chipp, he was killed by Venom.
Q. Why did the Syndicate kill Tsuyoshi?
A. Tsuyoshi was formerly a member of the Syndicate. However, he was a member of the Syndicate as an undercover secret agent in the service of the International Police. His cover was blown, and thus the Syndicate put out hitmen after him. While escaping, Tsuyoshi ran into Chipp and took him under his wing.
Q. Who turned Testament into a Gear?
A. The Shuusen Kanrikyoku, as revealed by Slayer in one of Testament's GGXX Story Mode paths. Why they turned him into a Gear, especially now that their current goals seem to be finding anti-Gear powers, is unknown.
Q. Who is the girl/spirit that hangs around Testament?
A. The relationship between the girl (named in the mooks simply as "Succubus") and Testament is not quite known, although in his Instant Kill in XX Testament does say "Keiyaku ni shitagare!" (Obey the contract!), which implies that she, like other things involved with Testament, has been summoned by him. Many sites/fans/doujinshi claim that her name is Zio - however, I have never seen in any of the canon sources a name other than Succubus for her.
(BE pg. 45, 130, GGXX)
Q. Is Baiken a Gear?
A. No. The reason this rumor propagated is because Japan was destroyed many decades before GGXX and therefore if Baiken were born in Japan she would be much much older than she appears - and longetivity is a hallmark of Gears. However, no official info states that she was born in Japan - rather, she is of Japanese descent, and likely was born in one of the government's Japanese colonies. Also, many people confuse Gears with Robots, and claim that Baiken's many parts make her a Gear. This is not true, as Gears aren't necessarily mechanical in any way - Justice's battlesuit was just that, a suit. (Revision 1.1 note: On second search, I can't find anything that says that Justice's appearance is a battle suit. I will keep looking but for now take this with a grain of salt. It's certain, however, that Gears can be totally organic - there is no "robotic" requirement for Gears).
(BE pg. 33)
Q. Is May a Gear?
A. No. The reason behind this rumor is the fact that she can carry around a giant anchor with ease. However, this is simply circumstantial evidence and the fact is that many fighting game characters are unrealistic. A better explanation is that May, as a Japanese, has expressed some sort of use of "ki" in her super strength.
(BE pg. 21)
Q. Who is Faust? Is he Dr. Baldhead?
A. Most likely. Though there has never been an official source that says outright that Faust and Dr. Baldhead are the same person, there are too many connections to ignore. In GGXX Venom almost calls Faust by this name.
(BE pg. 5, GGXX)
Q. Who killed the girl that Faust was operating on before he went insane?
A. A representative of the Assassin's Guild, although who exactly it was is unknown. The one who hired the Guild was a rival of Faust's, although Venom reveals that he was merely a puppet, and the true people behind it were once again the Shuusen Kanrikyoku.
Q. Who is S-Ko?
A. S-Ko is the vengeful spirit that possesses Zappa. In life, she had been betrayed by her lover, and therefore she committed suicide by throwing herself into a well. She thus hates men as well as women in love. A rumor had gone around that S-Ko is the girl that Faust had been operating on that was killed, but this is patently untrue, as the Burst Encyclopedia clearly delineates her life and demise. Recently a theory has popped up that S-Ko is the spirit of Megumi, whom Axl "abandoned" after timeslipping from the 20th century. This might explain Axl's ending with Zappa/S-Ko and how he suddenly wonders how Megumi is doing. Still, there is no official evidence for this, just hints that it might be true.
(BE pg. 13, GGXX)
Q. Who is Robo Ky? Who is Kuro Ky? Who is Gear Ky?
A. Robo Ky is a robot double of Ky created by the Shuusen Kanrikyoku, for purposes unknown. However his purpose in GGXX seems to be the capture of the Japanese or people who are able to use "ki". In #Reload he gets a massive makeover, and he seems to have more of a personality - he's quite egotistical, and perhaps even rebellious against his masters, but still his purpose is unknown.
Kuro Ky is a fan-creation. He is an "evil" or "dark" version of Ky who appears in many a Japanese fanfic or fanart. There is no official basis for Kuro Ky. (Kuro means "black" in Japanese).
Gear Ky is a mistaken name for Robo Ky. This name is misleading because Robo Ky is not a Gear. The origin of this name is probably actually a shortening of "Guilty Gear Ky", as in GGX(+) enabling Guilty Gear Mode made Ky Robo Ky.
Q. Who is the woman who appears in Axl's Bentengari move?
A. The answer is quite simple - its Benten, the Buddhist goddess of music and the arts. She is often portrayed with a musical instrument, and indeed, when she appears briefly in Bentengari she's holding a biwa (a Japanese instrument similar to a lute).
Q. Is Venom gay?
A. Most likely. Tragically enough, it appears that his love for Zato was unrequited, but he still shows the utmost devotion to him. Hints that his loyalty to Zato is not just platonic in nature are shown in a few of his GGXX endings, as well as some of his battle quotes. (If he receives the Shigekiteki Zetsumeiken, AKA Scalpel Enema, from Faust, one of his lines is "Nobody other than HE can do that!)
Q. Are Sol and Ky gay?
A. The fairest answer to this popular fan notion is 'quite possibly'. Though there is no official evidence on the scale of Venom, Daisuke has drawn several pictures of the two in provocative positions, such as one in which Ky's hips are directly behind Sol. Drama CDs Side Red and Side Black reveal that Sol and Ky's outward dislike for each other is just on the surface, and in Side Red, in the alternate future in which Ky dies, the disc ends with Sol crying over Ky's body. However, once again there is no official proof either for or against, so the question remains up in the air, at least until GGXXX.
(GGXX, SR, SB)
Q. Why isn't (insert source here) included in this FAQ?
A. There are several things in the Guilty Gear series that aren't included in this FAQ. One is certain GG games, such as the short lived Guilty Gear X v1.5, and the new Guilty Gear X Series the Newest Version (a temporary title). These games do not have a story mode, nor is there anything in them significantly different from the 'base' games of GGX and GGXX, and thus they have no bearing on this FAQ.
Official doujinshi anthologies and 4-panel comics are likewise not included, as they are drawn by other people, and there is no indication that Daisuke had any hand in their production at all (not to mention most of them don't have any serious bearing on the plot in the first place).
Q. There's a Guilty Gear MANGA?
A. Yes, the full title is "Guilty Gear Xtra". Daisuke is credited as being behind it, but the script is directly written by Kaihou Norimitsu (the writer of the GG Novels and the drama CDs) and it is drawn by Sumii Akihito. The manga is serialized in Kodansha's "Magazine Z", and the chapters will be collected in stand-alone volumes (tankoubon), the first of which will be released September 22nd, 2003.
Q. Sounds great! How can I get all these lovely books and things?
A. Most of these items are readily available on amazon.co.jp - simply search by ISBN number provided and you should find it. Note that older books (mostly the Arcadia ones, such as the Complete Bible, Slash Encyclopedia, and Burst Encyclopedia) are out of print, and thus are not in stock; you might not be able to get them unless you go to an auction service like Yahoo Auctions or eBay. The CDs (both the Drama CDs described here and the soundtracks) can probably be gotten off of CDJapan (cdjapan.co.jp).
As for the games themselves, GGX and GGXX have official US releases and can be bought from any retailer of PS2 games; GGX+, #Reload, and so on must be imported through places such as yesasia.com or ncsx.com.