|“||I won't break you. Yet. I haven't told you how unfortunate it is that you were born at all, right?||”|
I-No is a major character in the Guilty Gear series, making her first appearance as the boss of Guilty Gear XX. She is a time-travelling musician who seems to derive pleasure from tormenting others, and is one of That Man's servants alongside Raven. Very little is known about her, with a report in Guilty Gear XX that consists entirely of "UNKNOWN!!" repeated several times over.
Design[edit | edit source]
I-No has black hair in a bob cut, a fair complexion, red lips and a mole on her right cheek. While she is normally depicted as having green eyes in artwork, the color of her pupils is multi-colored, which means—as shown in-game in Xrd—that it shifts constantly.
I-no wears a red witch hat that has a skull face on it. Her black leather choker with a gold ring around the neck is connected to her shoulderless red jacket that she can easily take off and put on. She has a red mini-skirt and thigh high heel boots, and black fingerless gloves. She is always carrying her Surf Green-colored Duesenberg Starplayer II guitar named Marlene.
Personality[edit | edit source]
I-No is a manipulative woman who seems to have no qualms about hurting other people, physically or mentally. She has no problem acting friendly if she wants to, but she considers all of humanity to be beneath her—That Man included—, and has a vicious nature that quickly rises to the surface whenever someone challenges her. I-No also has no problem using her feminine features to manipulate anyone receptive to it. As such, she is quite crude in how she speaks to others, as she is always either cursing, insulting her opponents, or making sexually charged comments, usually using musical references as double entendres.
Fully aware of her own eccentricities and chaotic nature, she claims to be dedicated to That Man's goals and ideals, but in truth, she only works for her own agenda. Self-reliant to a fault, I-No is motivated by a fixation with what she calls "tomorrow" due to her origins. Despite her rather misanthropic demeanor, I-No has shown some flashes of remorse at her impulsive reactions, specifically with Axl (perhaps due to being fellow "vagabonds") and, to a lesser extent, with Raven.
Story[edit | edit source]
Background[edit | edit source]
I-No's origins lies sometime during the hundred-year Crusades that brought humanity to the brink of extinction at the hands of Justice's army of Gears. During the war, the peoples' desire for a brighter tomorrow was focused on the Backyard and was so strong that it resulted in the creation of a single Magical Foci. Thus, the whole of creation was focused into a single "object". The Backyard interpreted this as an error that would destroy the world, and sealed that conscious away in a single human's body, placing within it all the irregularities to overcome its first crisis.
The result was I-No, although she was completely unaware of her own nature. Through a freak miracle, her individual ID overlapped with Axl Low's, which resulted in his "time-slips". There are no other details regarding her past, but I-No—without knowing why, but fixated on changing the dull future that awaited humanity—took it upon herself to change their bleak future no matter what. Yet, no matter how many times she repeated history, the future always converged on a single point.
Guilty Gear XX[edit | edit source]
She spends most of her Story Mode manipulating the various cast members against each other, such as throwing Dizzy off the Mayship and handing out to Kuradoberi Jam and Bridget fake bounties, which consist entirely of the other characters.
In Guilty Gear XX Λ Core Plus, to get I-No out of misbehaving, That Man uses Mito Anji to trick and arrest her, eventually succeeding. In the ending where she fights Sol, she is captured by That Man and Raven, who evidently intend to punish her. I-No protests that she only wanted to remove those who stood in her boss' way, but That Man proclaims that they are actually beneficial to what he has in mind for the world. In her less likely endings, I-No fights and defeats Dizzy and May, either subsequently becoming overwhelmed by Dizzy's power, or kidnapping May with the apparent intentions of bringing her to That Man. In another ending, I-No is defeated at the hands of a malicious Baiken and is stabbed repeatedly, thus leading to her death.
Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-[edit | edit source]
In October 17, 2187, at Cappadocia, I-No reflects that no matter how many times she has already killed Ramlethal Valentine, their dull gray future remains unchanged, although now I-No has led That Man into the cycle. I-No then calls Sol to Babylon in 2192 and tries to kill him, but Sol is stronger than last time, and so I-No returns him back as he may now have a chance. She then decides to confront Ramlethal once again, but for a change, I-No is unable to kill Ramlethal this time.
She then returns to 2192 and is thinking about the changes when Axl Low is caught in her net, saved in the nick of time from Bedman. She knows that Axl spoke to the Original and attacks him because of it, but Axl says he was just told to deliver a message to That Man, and I-No thinks it may save them all. Axl then realizes she could send him back to his timeline, but I-No sends him to the Integration Point instead. There, she introduces Axl to That Man. He receives the message that only he understands, and That Man tells I-No he now knows what the Conclave is planning.
Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR-[edit | edit source]
Finally, after so many tries, the closed worlds are slowly beginning to show signs of change, pointing to the "tomorrow" I-No wants. A little earlier than planned, I-No wakes up Jack-O' Valentine from her slumber, but Jack-O' disobeys I-No and immediately leaves to get some fresh air. I-No calls Raven to back her up and then proceeds to chase her.
A week later, while tracking Jack-O', I-No encounters Axl again. He begs to be sent back to 1998. I-No finally relents and tells Axl that she can't do it: he cannot return because his timeline is a "possibility". Jack-O' soon appears before them, and reveals to I-No and Axl the truth about themselves. I-No is shocked, and realizes That Man was just keeping an eye on her all along, but Jack-O' affirms that he wants to save I-No and Raven. Privately, I-No parts ways with Axl, but says he is free to join her if he decides to lead a dishonest life. I-No watches over Jack-O' until Raven arrives with Sol, Sin Kiske and Ramlethal to make Jack-O' return. I-No attacks Sol, interested in his "seed" but quickly leaves.
I-No and Axl later meet up at the Integration Point, and she asks if he has decided how he will use his power. However, Axl says he came because he is afraid of destroying everything, and I-No tells him to find his own perspective, as being afraid of his own power is useless. After the Universal Will crisis is over, I-No parts ways with That Man and Raven.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
As a musician, I-No uses her Duesenberg Starplayer II electric guitar, Marlene, for both magical and physical attacks, strumming it to produce damaging sound waves or slamming her opponents with it. She also uses it for flight, riding it for her air-dashes.
As seen across all her appearances, I-No has the ability to meddle with causality in any way she wishes; she is unaffected by these changes, as she is a "vagabond" with neither a past nor a future, presumably being ageless. I-No can access "any" timeline, and is able to call other people to her current point in time if she so wishes. Difficult to do according to herself, her powers come from her origin as a Magical Foci created outside the understandings of Earth and to whom a number of irregular laws were applied. It has been hinted that I-No has far greater powers yet to be displayed, perhaps even godlike, with I-No being a part of the world, and the world being a part of her. She also appears to have the ability to alter and devour memories.
Gameplay-wise, I-No is arguably one of the hardest characters to use. She focuses on pressure while retaining defense, having a moveset with rather unique properties. When she dashes, she floats above the ground as if she was jumping; thus, she can use her aerial moves without actually being in the air. Her Overdrives have a limited range. In EX Mode, her hover dash becomes a command dash, making it harder for the player to access her aerial combos. In Gold Mode, she becomes roughly three times as fast, making her even harder to control, and has regenerating health, infinite Tension and the move Megalomania. This is the form she takes when fought as a boss in Guilty Gear XX.
Musical themes[edit | edit source]
- Kagematsuri - Guilty Gear XX
- The Midnight Carnival - Guilty Gear XX (boss)
- Blacklight Babe - Guilty Gear XX ♯Reload Korean OST
- Sheep Will Sleep (If You Become Fatigued) - Guilty Gear Isuka
- Dirty Drive - Guilty Gear Xrd
Quotes[edit | edit source]
Allusions[edit | edit source]
- I-No's name may be a reference to Brian Eno, an English musician and record producer, or "eye no", a Prince song released in 1988. Her guitar has a glyph quite similar to Prince's symbol.
- I-No's design is speculated to have been influenced by Japanese musician Ringo Sheena, as I-No sports the hairstyle Sheena wore during her early days, a mole in the same facial location (before Sheena had it removed), the same Duesenberg guitar, the same height and birthday.
- Like Sheena's guitar "Dietrich", I-No's guitar is named after German-American actress Marlene Dietrich.
- One of her victory animations has her playing part of a solo, seemingly alluding to these songs: Metallica's "One", Van Halen's "Eruption", Ozzy Osbourne's "Mr. Crowley", Heavens Gate's "Surrender", or Adon's theme from Street Fighter IV.
- I-No's infamous Megalomania attack may be named after the first album of the Russian metal band Aria, or after a Black Sabbath song.
- In the Arena stage in Xrd, I-No is described as the Crimson Minstrel, which is probably a reference of X Japan's song, "Kurenai".
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- I-No bears resemblance in appearance and personality to Anna Williams from the Tekken franchise, with whom she shares the same English voice actress, Tara Platt.
- I-No is the only character to time travel and not encounter her past self, unlike Axl and Sol.
- In -REVELATOR-'s Story Mode, I-No is wearing a pair of yellow-tinted sunglasses and a short jacket, which is similar to the ensemble she wore in her first chronological appearance in Lightning the Argent.
- I-No has made guest appearances in Crusaders Quest (playable) and Epic Seven (non-playable).
[edit | edit source]