For other versions of Guilty Gear, see Guilty Gear (Disambiguation).

Guilty Gear (ギルティギア, Giruti Gia), subtitled The Missing Link, is the first game of the Guilty Gear series developed by Arc System Works. It was first released on the PlayStation in 1998. The game would later release on PlayStation 3 in Japan in 2007 and PAL regions in 2009, then on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and Microsoft Windows via Steam on May 2019.

Despite being the first release of the series, the game itself reveals little of its past storyline; it is not until later games, drama CDs, and novels of the series that its history is thoroughly explained.


Guilty Gear is set in 2D, similar to Street Fighter and King of Fighters, but is fast-paced and focuses more on the use of combo techniques. The game features 10 characters and 3 hidden characters. It uses a 6 button layout: Punch, Kick, Slash, H-Slash, Taunt, and Respect. However, the Slash and H-Slash buttons can be used as additional punches and kicks of medium and heavy strengths, in case of characters that don't need weapons (for example, Potemkin). Taunts can be canceled, while Respect is a "reverse taunt" that cannot be canceled. Computer characters can taunt and respect— something they never do in other games in the series. Throws are done by pressing a direction plus HS while standing close to an opponent. Launcher attacks, used to initiate an aerial combo, are executed by pressing S and HS at the same time - in later games this attack earned it's own button and became "Dust." The sweep-trip (Crouching Dust in later games) does not exist here unless the character has it specifically as a move (i.e. Sol Badguy's crouching Kick).

Combat is one-on-one, set in best-two-out-of-three rounds. However, there are ways to win the match without beating the opponent twice (see below).

Guilty Gear uses a 'tension' gauge, akin to Street Fighter Alpha's Super Combo techniques, in which characters can input certain commands and activate super-moves called Chaos Attacks. It also features an air-combo system, comparable to 's "Aerial Rave", allowing combos to be performed on airborne opponents.

The game also has a feature called Chaos Mode that is activated when a character's health (yellow bar) is at the half-way point. A red aura will surround the character and he/she is able to perform unlimited Chaos Attacks.

Each character (except Testament and Justice) has one attack that can be charged up to do extra damage once it's performed. Charging is done by pressing the directional commands for a move (for example, quarter-circle forward) and holding down Taunt. The character will stand there and build power, and a number will appear above their Tension gauge showing Level 1, 2, or 3. At any time, a character may stop charging, and the charge is held until that attack is released. When the attack is performed it does far more damage than it would have normally (for example, Ky's Stun Edge would be much larger and hit multiple times).

Guilty Gear features instant kill techniques called Destroy Attacks, which can be used at any time regardless of which round it is or how much Tension the player has. By hitting Punch and Kick simultaneously, a slow, short-range attack will be performed. If it hits, the screen will turn red. At this point both players enter a race. The attacking character must press quarter-circle forward, plus one attack button, while the opponent must mash. If the attacker is successful, the will perform their instant kill attack, winning the match (even if it's in the first round). If the defender mashes enough to break out, nothing happens. Guilty Gear is the only game in the series in which computer players execute instant kills on human players. They are also often (possibly always) seen performing them on each other in demo matches that play after a while of no input at the title screen.


Main article: Guilty Gear Club

Guilty Gear Club is a fighting game released for mobile phones in Japan.

Main article: Guilty Gear RoA

Guilty Gear RoA or Guilty Gear Raid of Arms is a fighting game released for mobile phones in Japan.


Guilty Gear follows the story of ten combatants entering "The Second Sacred Order Tournament" for reasons of their own. Set in a bleak future in which its present time has just recovered from a 100-year-war against man-made bio-organic weapons called "Gears". A Gear named Testament began a plan to resurrect Justice and wipe out the human race.

Fearing this, the Union of Nations began a fighting tournament in order to find fighters who would be able to defeat Testament and the coming revival of Justice, giving the winner the prize of being able to acquire anything they desire.

As the combatants fight through the stages of the tournament they begin find out the true meaning of the tournament. After defeating Testament in the second to last stage of the tournament, the character aids Justice's revival by being the sacrifice. After defeating the threat of Justice, order is restored with an uneasy peace.

Canonically, the winner of the first game is Sol Badguy. However, the events of each character's ending can all be considered more or less canonical, save victory in the tournament (May being reunited with Johnny, Zato's taking over by Eddie, Baldhead's decision to become a healer again, etc.)


Playable CharactersEdit

Hidden CharactersEdit

The player can battle and unlock Baiken only if they beat the game, using Sol or Ky, with no continues. Upon reaching Baiken, though, the player can fight her as many times as they wish.

Boss CharactersEdit

Unlocked by beating the game with any character, continues or no continues.



The game received positive reviews. IGN gave it an 8 out of 10, stating that it was "fast, furious and fun" and "one of the best 2D fighters we've ever laid our hands on". GameSpot also gave a positive review, citing its "excellent gameplay, surprisingly good graphics, secret characters and kick-ass aural experience", giving it 7.9 out of 10. It received some lukewarm reviews, however, from EGM (Electronic Gaming Monthly) and Gamecenter, scoring 6.7 out of 10 and 3 out of 5 stars, respectively. Common criticisms included lack of polish and repetitive sound effects.

References and AllusionsEdit

  • "Tension" alludes to the tension of a string of an instrument, namely a guitar.
  • "Overdrive" alludes to an electric guitar effect.
  • At the start of each match, the announcer says "Heaven or Hell" which is the name of a song by German power metal band Gamma Ray. Also the title of an album released by Black Sabbath.
  • When someone is defeated, the announcer and on-screen text say "SLASH" which alludes to the guitarist who has played with Guns'n'Roses named Slash. Slash is also the name of the attack button set to Δ(triangle) by default on PlayStation systems.


  • Placing the game disc in a computer or CD player will allow you access to one untitled audio track from the disc.




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