Aria Hale is a major character in the history of the Guilty Gear series, living more than a hundred years before the main events of the series. One of the key researchers of the initial Gear Project, Aria was romantically engaged to Frederick Bulsara and was a friend of That Man.
Aria was a slender young woman with fair skin and red hair. Aria originally kept it long but, in most illustrations and depictions, she has a shoulder-length haircut—which she had it cut to attract Frederick's attention. Her eyes are sometimes shown to be blue or reddish-brown in color.
Generally a bright individual, Aria was a focused and talented researcher of her own. Despite her young age, her speech and conduct made her appear more settled down and mature, although from time to time her mannerisms showed the innocent girl she once was. Her playfulness clashed with Frederick's no-nonsense attitude, who would tell her to act like an adult.
Behind her cheerful demeanor, however, Aria hid a deep-seated fear of loneliness as a product of her isolation growing up. Aria admitted to once thinking that she wouldn't be hurt if she kept to herself and didn't trust anyone, but when her "world" expanded to Frederick and That Man, she came to believe that not being able to see them would be like "dying".
Little is known about Aria aside from That Man's Material Collection story and the flashbacks involving her in Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-. She didn't have any family, and was always kind of a "bookworm" in her own words. She obtained her PhD in her teens, having specialized in the field of Cytology and Artificial Intelligence. In college, she met That Man and Frederick Bulsara, who was two years her senior.
Like Frederick and That Man, Aria Hale was called to become a member of Vince McDonell's research team which, after completing a theoretical assessment of "Gear" cells, was named the Gear Project. In November 2014, one of Aria's conversations with Frederick ended up with Frederick and That Man discussing philosophy once again, and Frederick inadvertently hurt Aria's feelings due to not answering he'd be "spending [his time] with someone you love" if he knew the world was ending.
By 2015, Aria's condition began to worsen, which That Man noticed and worried about. It wasn't until September 2016 that Frederick learned that Aria was sick, and confronted her about it. Aria then revealed the full truth: she had an incurable TP infection and wanted to simply spend the time she had left with him. He pleaded her to cryosleep until a cure was found, but Aria refused and made Frederick promise he wouldn't be alone after she was gone. Aria only agreed to be cryo-frozen when That Man turned Frederick "indestructible" as the Prototype Gear/Flame of Corruption. That Man disappeared with her container when he had the Gear experiments go awry, closing the project.
When the Gear Project was reopened by the US government in 2042, That Man got involved once again. In order to put an end to the use of Gears as weapons of war post-2065, he designed Justice—a copy created using Aria's cryogenic DNA as a genetic template, according to -SIGN-'s Library—with the ability to control all other Gears and the Scales of Juno "seed". Whether Aria agreed to the Gear conversion is unclear.
Unfortunately, her activation test in 2074 went wrong. The unknown entity that caused the Dawn of Revival copied Justice's DNA data and attempted to manifest in Japan. That Man was forced to switch Aria/Justice into a manual override and had her fire a Gamma Ray that destroyed the country. The incident shattered Aria's psyche: as Justice, she forgot who she used to be and rebelled against humanity in a rampage that lasted a hundred years. That Man was able to salvage "half" of her soul (or rather, a number of her memories) and created a human copy, Jack-O' Valentine, to overwrite Justice's individual information sectors. In Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR-, these two halves were fused together, creating a "new" Aria.
- Aria's name most likely comes from "aria", a vocal solo part of a larger work with the typical context being operas. It may also be a homage to the Russian heavy metal band Aria (Ария).
- Her last name, Hale, may be a reference to Lzzy Hale from the American rock band Halestorm, or to the Filipino alternative rock band Hale.
- Both of her identical genetic copies, Valentine and Jack-O', have the same height (165 cm), weight (45 kg) and blood type (Type O), presumably being the same as Aria's.
- Like Elphelt and Ramlethal, Aria has a strong dislike towards bugs, particularly cockroaches.
- One of her Valentine copies, Elphelt, besides having a similar appearance, seems to exhibit aspects of her personality. They also share the same English voice actress.