Today, not many know why the Gears were created nor why they suddenly turned on their masters. Only one man besides their creator knew of the truth.Narrator, Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator-
Gears are an artificial race from the Guilty Gear series, playing a fundamental role in its lore. They are magical creatures created with the intention to advance evolution, but were eventually produced as weapons of war. As a result of Justice's rebellion, they waged a century-long war on humankind before the events of the series.
Gears generally bear a sigil on some part of their body that gives away their identity as Gears, such as Justice and Sol bearing one in their foreheads. Another key trait is the possession of red eyes, which can come in different shades.
Designed for war, Gears vary widely in their appearance and size according to their purpose, but for the most part, they are usually monstrous. Claws, sharp teeth, tails, and armored skin are common. Flying-type Gears possess dragon and bird-like characteristics. Humanoid Gears look very similar to humans, but they usually have a few immediately visible differences besides the red eyes, such as Solaria's elf-like ears; they are also known to have an extremely fast hair growth rate.
In early 2014, a team of American scientists under Vince MacDonell completed a theoretical assessment of what they called "Gear" cells for the Ecosystem Evolution project. Attempting to create a more "complete" life form, its researchers hoped to end to human illness. In 2015, they managed to stabilize Gear cells infused with magic, but That Man was afraid that their work would be weaponized. Following a successful negotiation, the research data was turned over to the U.S. government for more thorough study.
In 2016, it was renamed the Gear Project, with several countries investing massive amounts of money in it, and the U.S. military soon intervened—experimenting with animals such as owls, dogs, and bears—, forcing That Man's hand. Secretly creating the "Prototype Gear" with the Flame of Corruption, experiments went awry due to an "accident" at the project's facility, and several core team members died or disappeared. Although That Man was singled out and forced to work for the military, the project was frozen and all related data files were classified after the incident.
The Gear Project was reopened in 2042 by the U.S. after its military and political influence began to decline in favor of Europe. In 2045, their first Gear prototype was completed, and That Man joined the project under an alias. After several prototypes, in 2065 the first combat-ready Gear was completed. The U.S. thus began their mass production and monopoly of Gears. The country deployed them as weapons to allies across the globe, and brought "countless lands" under its control.
That Man, who never intended for Gears to become weapons of war, created Justice in 2073, giving his old friend the ability to command all other Gears and stop the wars. But during a test in 2074, an entity intervened Justice and started to infect the people of Japan. To stop its materialization, That Man made Justice use her Gamma Ray on Japan, obliterating it. Her psyche shattered, Justice forgot who she was and rebelled in response to the Gears' enslavement. As 2074 progressed, Justice gathered an army of her fellow Gears and declared war on humanity, starting the Crusades that engulfed all of Earth.
In the face of heavy initial casualties, humanity put aside many of their differences and formed the Sacred Order of Holy Knights as they were pushed to the brink of extinction. After a hundred years of war, the conflict came to an end with the Sealing of Justice in 2175 by the Order. Without their commander, the majority of Gears were reduced to a dormant state; many were destroyed, but others were simply sealed. Those that gained self-consciousness of their own went into hiding at Ganymede, although humanoid Gears would soon leave. Most national leaders called for Gear research to be terminated immediately. Any being suspected of being a Gear would be ostracized and persecuted, such as Dizzy being forced to live in the Forest of Demons in 2179.
In 2180, Justice is freed during a UN-sponsored tournament but is ultimately killed by Sol Badguy. Less than a year later, reports of Dizzy, a second self-reliant Gear's existence lead to widespread panic. Coupled with the rumors of nations in possession of Gears for military use—of which Australia is known to have continued research in secret—, anti-Gear sentiment (反ギア運動, Han Gia Undō?) rises to an all-time high.
In 2185, the Baptisma 13 incident starts, causing the disappearance of many inactive or sealed Gears throughout Illyria. Ganymede is also attacked, prompting its leader Dr. Paradigm to intervene and meet King Ky Kiske. Striking an alliance, Ky offers to establish a dominion for Gears on Illyria. After Valentine's defeat, Ky opens a emergency session of the General Assembly by announcing his wish for human-Gear coexistence in Illyria, causing an outrage. Although newspapers spread misinformation that Gears were responsible for the attack on Illyria, the open involvement of Dr. Paradigm during the Cradle Incident and of Dizzy during the battle to defend the capitol from the Universal Will's forces begin to change governmental and public opinion towards acceptance.
Any creature called a Gear ineludibly contains some number of Gear cells (ギア細胞, Gia Saibō?), a special type of stem cells that have the unique ability to tap directly into the Backyard, and under optimal circumstances supply themselves with almost infinite energy. One component is a non-essential self-replicating aminoacid called varga hectacine. These cells serve as a conduit to the Backyard regardless of whether the subject's alive or dead. They can be fused to the material world through the application of magic, allowing them to reproduce and become at least semi-permanent. After they have been integrated into an organism, Gear cells can be suppressed with devices.
Integrating these cells into a subject's organs will vastly improve the function of that organ, and induce several other sorts of cellular activity. A subject might see enhanced muscular strength, or rapid regeneration cells replicating and healing organs almost immediately, enhanced hearing, and increased resilience, having far tougher body structures than other organisms. In case they are ingested (e.g. Vitae), these cells will die if not renewed; however, the power of a command-type Gear can cause harmful mutations to their bodies, resulting in death.
Gear cells are known to have a certain "purity" according to the number of times they have been replicated since they were created by That Man. The most pure Gear cells—that is, those replicated the fewest times—can be found in the two Gears that hold the cores of the Absolute World: Sol Badguy and Justice. The latter's cells have been inherited by her daughter, Dizzy, and grandson, Sin, and partially by Ky Kiske; this lineage is known as the "blood of Juno". The chord in these cells resemble those of the Cube. It would appear that these cells are extremely strong, way beyond those possessed by the great majority of Gears.
Said to be "produced by fusing human and animal DNA with magic", the method to artificially produce Gears is unknown. However, a Gear is said to require a life-form as a prime field (素体, Mototai?), and is completed by "cultivating the seeds of Gear cells". They can be mass-produced, or individually converted. It is assumed that further genetic modification, beyond simply integrating Gear cells, is required to create the more monstruous Gears created for military use. The conversion process is irreversible.
When something becomes a Gear, its predecessor's conscious (soul) is inherited. However, once an organism has been converted into a Gear, it will usually lose any sense of self or higher brain function, and operate solely on instinct. The only "complete" Gear to successfully maintain all of her mental faculties was Justice. Presumably, it is in their nature to be violent and aggressive, with Sol stating that his Gear blood is always beckoning him towards destroying what surrounds him. Unless they develop a self-consciousness of their own, the vast majority of Gears will also be unable to move of their own volition, requiring that a master order them to do so; otherwise, they will enter a dormant state and become harmless. Another mental trait is their instinctive enmity towards Forbidden Beasts.
Once born, Gears mature at a rapid rate, their growth exponentially accelerated in order to make them readily available for war. Both Dizzy and Sin matured from infancy to adulthood in three years, thanks to their superior ability to absorb and process information. As for their longevity, Gears appear to become immune to aging—once they reach adulthood, or from the moment of their conversion—and can live for a seemingly indefinite period of time.
Regarding their reproduction, humanoid Gears are able to breed with humans, and are said to "multiply like rabbits". Regarding Gear mothers, they are heavily implied to be oviparous, and in simply three weeks are halfway through their pregnancy. It is rumored that the natural cross-breeding of different Gears may have spawned a new species in Australia.
During the Crusades, Gears were assigned classes based on the level of danger they represented. Megadeath-class (メガデス級, Megadesu-kyū?) was the highest, or most dangerous, class. These Gears can level an entire city, under the right conditions. One example is the Hydra. Other classes used by the Sacred Order include the Toxic (Ｔ型, Tī-gata?), Medium (中型, Chūgata?), and Large (大型, Ōgata?) classes, but their ranking is unknown.
Unique to Justice—and later, Dizzy—is the label of Command-type Gear (指揮固体型ギア, Shikikotai-gata Gia?) as complete, self-reliant Gears that have the power to control almost every Gear in existence thanks to the collective information system That Man built.
Further classification is shown to be done on the basis of several criteria. One such is their body type, such as humanoid (人型, Hitogata?) or avian; another criterion is their power level, e.g. mid-class (中級程度, Chūkyū-teido?); according to their manufacture, they may be either a prototype, a production model, or complete; and finally, they may be classified to their level of autonomy, such as fully-independent (完全独立型, Kanzen Dokuritsu-gata?), or semi-independent (半独立思考型, Han Dokuritsu Shikō-gata?), i.e. a Gear who is able to retain his memories and personality but is unable to resist Justice's orders, like Testament.
- The Megadeath classification could be a reference to the American heavy metal band Megadeth.
- The only person to go toe-to-toe with Megadeath-class Gears and survive was Kliff Undersn.
- The Opus are extremely close to Gears in their nature.
- While the conversion process is said to be irreversible, restoration to previous humanity has been shown, so far, to be possible for the two Gears with the divine seeds—dubbed the "the origin of Gear cells". Although details are scarce, the process involves removing these items from their bodies.
- Guilty Gear script § "Sol"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- script § "Philosopher B"
- [GGWorld - "Gear"]
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- script § "Struggle A"
- [GGWorld - "Gear Cells"]
- [GGWorld - Chronology]
- Guilty Gear Begin, pg.?? - "Suspicion"
- [GGWorld - "State of Affairs Following Magic"]
- Guilty Gear manual, pg.4
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "Cause A"
- Guilty Gear Complete Bible, pg.96-99
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- script § "Kaleidoscope B"
- Guilty Gear 2 -Overture- script § "The Unyielding Silhouette"
- Guilty Gear 2 -Overture- script § "Cynical Wise Man"
- Guilty Gear 2 -Overture- script § "Glaring Self-Interest"
- Guilty Gear X Drama CD Vol.2 script § "???"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- manual, pg.3-4
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- script § "Sign A"
- Guilty Gear X manual, pg.4
- [GGWorld - "Baptisma 13"]
- Guilty Gear 2 -Overture- script § "For Whom Do I Wield the Sword"
- Guilty Gear 2 -Overture- script § "A Cell Called Paradise"
- Guilty Gear 2 -Overture- script § "Curtain Call"
- Arc System Works 25th Anniversary Official Character Collection, pg.?? - "The Unseen Sign"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- script § "Philosopher A"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "Wall A"
- Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2 script § "After Story A"
- Guilty Gear Begin, pg.?? - "Prologue"
- [GGWorld - "Gear Cell Suppressor"]
- Guilty Gear X Lightning the Argent, pg.?? - "???"
- Guilty Gear -Strive- script § "Conclusion"
- Guilty Gear 2 -Overture- script § "The Birth of a Girl"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "Sin"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "Revelator A"
- Guilty Gear 2 -Overture- Lore § "Gears"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "Sol"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- script § "Hope A"
- Guilty Gear XX script § "Eddie Path 3"
- Guilty Gear XX script § "Dizzy Path 1"
- [GGWorld - "Dizzy"]
- Guilty Gear script § "Kliff"
- Guilty Gear 2 -Overture- Material Collection, pg.?? - "For Whom There Would be Justice"
- [GGWorld - "Australia"]
- [GGWorld - "Megadeath Class"]
- Guilty Gear XX Drama CD Red script § "Street Corner - Dead Town"
- Guilty Gear XX Drama CD Red script § "Airship - Humanity's Last Hope"
- Guilty Gear XX script § "Report ♯3360"
- Guilty Gear XX Λ Core Plus script § "Record ♯6690"
- Guilty Gear XX script § "Report ♯6661"
- Guilty Gear 2 -Overture- Complete Guide, pg.??
- [GGWorld - "Testament"]
- Guilty Gear XX script § "Slayer Path 3"
- [GGWorld - "Opus"]