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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. She is a time-travelling musician who seems to derive pleasure from tormenting others, and is one of That Man's three servants alongside Raven and Jack-O' Valentine. Very little is known about her, with a report in Guilty Gear XX that consists entirely of "UNKNOWN!!" repeated several times over.

Design

I-No has black hair in a bob cut, a fair complexion, red lips and a mole on her left cheek. While she is normally depicted as having green eyes in artwork, her irises are multicolored, which means—as shown in-game in Guilty Gear Xrd—that they shift 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.

This remains basically the same up until Strive, where she gains the addition of a black short-sleeved top with an open collar and a bra-like design. Her iconic red jacket is no longer connected to her choker, and bears prominent female symbols on the folds. Instead of her miniskirt she wears short-shorts that are open on one side, along with two long flowing coattails that are attached to a large belt. The belt bears a golden cross and there is a also a silver nine. Lastly, her hat now bears a silver ankh toward the top.

Personality

Wicked and cruel,[4] I-No is a manipulative woman who seems to have no qualms about hurting other people,[7] and for whom people have no meaning beyond their ability to amuse her.[8] She has no problem acting personable[9] if she wants to,[5] 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.[5] I-No also has no problem using her feminine features to manipulate[5] and deceive men;[9] her every word and action bursts with sexuality,[4] usually using musical references as double entendres.

Fully aware of her own eccentricities,[5] she claims to be dedicated to That Man's goals and ideals,[10] and is intrigued by his scheme,[4] but in truth, she only works for her own agenda. Self-reliant to a fault, and unwilling to throw away her own will no matter what,[11] I-No is motivated by a fixation with what she calls "tomorrow" due to her origins.[12]

Despite her selfish demeanor, I-No has shown some flashes of remorse at her impulsive reactions, specifically with Axl[13][14] (perhaps due to being fellow "vagabonds")[13] and, to a lesser extent, with Raven.[11] Her apathy—not unlike Raven's—seems to be a result of reality becoming akin to a piece of fiction to her, her time manipulation powers making her lose all sense of value.[13]

Story

Background

I-No's origin lies sometime during the hundred-year Crusades that brought humanity to the brink of extinction. During the war, the peoples' desire for a brighter tomorrow was focused on the Backyard and was so strong that it resulted in a single Magical Foci. Thus, the whole of creation was focused into a single organism. The Backyard interpreted this as an error that would destroy the world, and sealed that conscious away in a single human girl's body, placing within it all the irregularities.[12] However, this was the Backyard's first mistake, as the resulting entity was all-powerful.[source needed]

At some point The Original discovered the girl and realized that the world was being torn from its origin, and that, burdened with mankind's desires, she was on the verge of ascending to godhood. He reluctantly took away her human desire and with it half of her power, robbing her of her future to preserve that of humanity, leaving her with only her name.[source needed]

The result was I-No, although she was completely unaware of her own nature.[12] Through a freak miracle, her individual ID also overlapped with Axl Low's, which resulted in his "time-slips".[13] 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.[15]

Guilty Gear XX

Illustration.

Taking it upon herself to eliminate anyone or anything that stands in That Man's way,[5][10] I-No decides to lay a trap for Sol.[16] She does so by wrecking the May Ship, and pushing Dizzy off the ship despite May's attempts to stop her; I-No meets Axl Low and tells him to let Sol know that she is looking for him; she convinces Eddie that his new host cannot be human,[7] and gives fake bounty contracts to Bridget and Jam Kuradoberi.[10]

In one ending, Sol comes to confront her, but I-No defeats and almost kills him; Raven intervenes and orders her to stand down, and That Man is forced to punish I-No for her rampage while pleading Sol to live on.[10] In her second ending, Dizzy questions I-No's cruelty and unleashes her hidden power to protect her friends, overwhelming I-No completely.[8] In her third ending, I-No defeats Dizzy and May comes to her rescue; seeing for herself the power of the Japanese, I-No decides to take May as research material for That Man.[17]

For disobeying That Man's orders, I-No is detained, but she refuses to meet her end in such a way. In order to kill Sol and regain her honor, she escapes and, thinking she is doing what That Man wants, attacks Sol but realizes that she can't take him head on, and begins building energy up[6] to transport Sol to an unknown location and makes him fight his past self.[18] Despite her trick, Sol survives,[19] and I-No is instead frozen in time by That Man with Anji Mito's help.[18] In her other ending, I-No is defeated at the hands of a bloodlusted Baiken and is stabbed repeatedly, thus leading to her death.[20]

Guilty Gear Xrd

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.[15]

She then returns to 2192 and is thinking about the changes[15] 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.[21] 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.[22]

Even though That Man is imprisoned by Bedman during the ambush on the Cradle,[23] after so many tries, the closed worlds are slowly but finally beginning to show signs of change, pointing to the "tomorrow" I-No wants.[12] Per That Man's orders,[24] I-No wakes up Jack-O' Valentine from her slumber on November 6, but Jack-O' immediately leaves to get some fresh air. I-No calls Raven to back her up and then proceeds to chase her.[12]

On November 15, while tracking Jack-O', I-No encounters Axl again at Heaven's Edge. 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 never needed her and was just keeping an eye on her all along, but Jack-O' affirms that he wants to save her and Raven.[12] Privately, I-No parts ways with Axl, but says he is free to join her if he decides to lead a dishonest life.[13] 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 the "seed" within him but quickly leaves.[25][26][27]

Giving advice to Axl.

The day after, Raven comes looking for her, but I-No—still upset by the revelation—refuses to return to the Sanctuary, promising not to interfere in what is to come. Though Raven shares her pain, I-No says that he is now on the "other side", but that she will not throw her own will away. As they are to part ways, I-No says it is not like they ever were friends, which bothers Raven, so she adds that they might see each other from time to time as she leaves through a portal.[11]

Sometime later, I-No and Axl meet up at the Integration Point per his request, and she asks if he has decided how he will use his power. However, Axl admits to being afraid of destroying everything with his powers. Pitying him, I-No tells Axl to find his own perspective, as being afraid of his own power is useless.[14] After the Universal Will crisis is over,[28] I-No officially no longer works for That Man.[29]

Guilty Gear -Strive-

With I-No learning the truth about her, she started to find less enjoyment in her previous activities despite wanting to deny it. Described as a state for, "no longer enjoying the things you once liked as a child", I-No wanted to find the answer that she was looking for, thus deciding to make all humans the same as her.[30]

3 weeks after the events of Xrd, I-No arrives to the Illyrian castle in order to enter Ariels' cell, and blows away the soldiers that try to stop her. She takes Happy Chaos from inside Ariels, heavily weakening the Universal Will. The two disappear, and Happy Chaos introduces himself to I-No and speaks to her about their next move.

Happy Chaos destroys an apartment complex in order to retrieve Nagoriyuki. After using his time-stop ability to rescue the civilians inside, Axl meets up with I-No to discuss whether she's certain of what she's doing. Axl describes the fate of his first love, that he and Megumi are "the axes of time" and that if he so chooses Axl could trade places with Megumi, however it would erase him from the current timeline. After this discussion I-No allows herself to become captured by the Illyrian government so that the world believes there is no risk in holding the G4 summit.

During I-No's interrogation by Jack-O', I-No tells her a story of a past memory during the 20th Century, where she knew a man named Will, with beautiful long blonde hair, like a woman's, who always got into fights, and was always crying because of it, and they were both lovers. They swore their futures to each other, throwing away their old lives and names. Until one day, Will suddenly disappeared without a trace. Though I-No believes this memory to be fake, or otherwise just doesn't know what to do about it.

I-No and Frederick

Upon at last capturing Asuka, Happy Chaos uses the Tome of Origin inside Asuka to fuse with I-no once more. Thus complete once more, she achieves a god-like status while her own body being altered in discoloration, and threatens to use her powers to grant all of Humanity the same powers that she has, a state of being that would almost certainly result in its destruction. From there she claims she will simply recreate Humanity endlessly.

I-no is stopped by the combined efforts of Sol, Ky, and Nagoriyuki, who points out a weakpoint on her right hand so that Sol can fire the Outrage at it. As she is being destroyed into ashes by the beam of infinite energy, I-no realizes that Axl was Will from an alternate timeline all along, and that she was in fact Megumi from an alternate timeline. Before her final moments and likely with the last of her power, I-No trades places with her alternate past self, just as Axl said he could have done prior. In doing so, they are at last properly reunited.

Abilities

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.

I-No has the ability to meddle with causality[21] 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.[13] Like Axl she can travel through time, although she has much more control over her power, and it manifests in a very different way.[5] I-No can access "any" timeline,[13] and if she so wishes, call other people to her current point in time[15] or send them to a different era.[13] Difficult to do according to herself,[source needed] her powers come from her origin as a Magical Foci[12] created outside the understandings of Earth and to whom a number of irregular laws were applied.[13] 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.

Gameplay-wise, I-No is arguably one of the hardest characters to use. In command of a variety of aerial moves, her air-to-surface rush attacks and aerial combat abilities overwhelm her opponents, along with her arsenal of "musical" moves. As the boss of Guilty Gear XX, I-No becomes roughly three times as fast, making her even harder to control, and has regenerating health, infinite Tension, and the move Megalomania at her disposal.

Music

  • Kagematsuri - Guilty Gear XX  
  • The Midnight Carnival - Guilty Gear XX (boss)  
  • Blacklight Babe - Guilty Gear XX ♯Reload Korean OST  
  • The Midnight Carnival - Guilty Gear XX ♯Reload Korean OST (boss)  
  • Sheep Will Sleep (,if you become fatigued) - Guilty Gear Isuka  
  • Dirty Drive - Guilty Gear Xrd  
  • Requiem - Guilty Gear -Strive-

Quotes

Allusions

  • I-No's name may be a reference to English musician and record producer Brian Eno; Hiroki Ino, lead singer and guitarist of the Japanese rock band YOGURT-pooh, or the 1988 song "eye no" by Prince. 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, and 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.
  • At the Arena, I-No is described as the Crimson Minstrel, which is probably a reference to X Japan's song "Kurenai".

Trivia

  • I-No's multicolored eyes are likely meant to be a reference to how CDs reflect rainbow colours from different angles.
  • 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 seen 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.
  • A costume based on I-No's Strive look, belonging to Alice, appears in Tales of the Rays.
  • I-No has made guest appearances in the following games: Crusaders Quest, Epic Seven, Code Shifter, and Counter:Side.

Gallery

External links

Notes

  1. I-No is described by this title in the Arena stage.

References

  1. Guilty Gear XX script § "Crimson target"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Guilty Gear XX script § "Report ♯4689"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Guilty Gear XX manual, pg.25
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Guilty Gear Codex, pg.24,53,62
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 [GGWorld - "I-No"]
  6. 6.0 6.1 Guilty Gear XX Λ Core Plus script § "Honorless revenge"
  7. 7.0 7.1 Guilty Gear XX script § "Wanton cruelty"
  8. 8.0 8.1 Guilty Gear XX script § "I-No Path 2"
  9. 9.0 9.1 I-NO | CHARACTER | GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- | ARC SYSTEM WORKS
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Guilty Gear XX script § "I-No Path 1"
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "Raven"
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "I-No"
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 13.8 Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "Axl"
  14. 14.0 14.1 Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "Sense B"
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- script § "I-No"
  16. Guilty Gear XX script § "Axl Path 1"
  17. Guilty Gear XX script § "I-No Path 3"
  18. 18.0 18.1 Guilty Gear XX Λ Core Plus script § "Do it myself path"
  19. Guilty Gear XX Λ Core Plus script § "Whatever path"
  20. Guilty Gear XX Λ Core Plus script § "Other person path"
  21. 21.0 21.1 Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- script § "Axl"
  22. Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- script § "Kaleidoscope A"
  23. Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- script § "Showdown B"
  24. Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "Opening"
  25. Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "Sol"
  26. Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "Sin"
  27. Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "Ramlethal"
  28. Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "Fireworks"
  29. Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2 script § "After Story A"
  30. https://www.famitsu.com/news/202110/28237580.html


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