|“||But even as old as I am...I've still got the heart and soul of a soldier...||”|
–Kliff Undersn, Guilty Gear XX Λ Core Plus
Kliff Undersn, alternatively spelled as Andersn, is a playable character in the Guilty Gear series. A formidable warrior active during the Crusades and a member of the Sacred Order of Holy Knights, Kliff was its commander for decades until he retired of old age, being succeeded by Ky Kiske. He is Testament's adoptive father.
In his prime, Kliff was a tall man with long light-gray hair and a fierce expression. However, with the years, Kliff lost a lot of his height even as he retained his muscular frame, and changed to a short haircut, beard and bushy eyebrows. Rather inexplicably, whenever he performs an Overdrive, Kliff momentarily returns to his more youthful look.
He is invariably seen wearing a sleeveless, non-longcoat variant of the uniform worn by the Sacred Order of Holy Knights. It retains the elbow-length cape, but it is entirely light-brown with silver borders, and has a metal plate in his collarbone area. He also wears dark brown fingerless gloves with metal plates on the backhand, and matching boots.
Kliff has a strict and tough personality, but he stands for fairness and is a kind man. He regards his men as family and feels great remorse when lives are lost and innocence is tarnished. Kliff feels that he will be condemned for the sins of involving children, like Ky and his own adopted son, in the war against Gears.
Even though he is conscious of his own age, Kliff is an extremely vigorous and stubborn individual, having remained on active duty until his eighties. While he fights because it is his duty as a knight, Kliff seems to enjoy a worthy challenge, and is willing to spar with anyone at any given time; even in the post-war years, he would alleviate his own boredom by studying fighting styles.
Kliff was born in 2093, nineteen years after Justice declared war on humanity. In 2099, Kliff was 6 years old when he was nearly killed by a rampaging Gear, but he was saved by Sol Badguy (who at the time was still going by the name Frederick). Seemingly inspired to do greater things, Kliff eventually joined the Sacred Order of Holy Knights to combat the Gear menace.
Playing an active role during the middle period of the Crusades, Kliff was appointed as the Order's leader, in part due to his awe-inspiring strength. Kliff was able to fight the five-headed Hydra that leveled London. The Order couldn't do much against it for a day and night before Kliff arrived. Kliff fought the Hydra for seven days and nights, managing to cut off three of its heads and four of its sword limbs, after which it was sealed away. Kliff would be the Order's commander for decades, and crossed swords with Justice in at least sixteen occasions.
Sometime during the war, Kliff found and raised Testament as his own. Testament was a pacifist, but his respect and admiration for Kliff drove him to volunteer to be a soldier. He was caught in a scheme by the Post-War Administration Bureau, and converted into a Gear. Like all other Gears, Testament fell under Justice's control and became a killing machine, unable to properly recognize his own father. Presumably circa 2140, Kliff was forced to fight Testament and kill him, but unbeknownst to Kliff, his son survived the encounter.
In later years, Kliff met Tyr, who joined the Order and became his battle partner. Around 2166, Kliff and Tyr came across Ky Kiske, aged 9 at the time, who had sought Kliff out to join the Order. Seeing as he didn't know how to fight, Kliff gave Ky a mission to survive for five years and then he would let him join. Ky did as ordered and returned circa 2172. That same year, Kliff heard rumors of Sol as a bounty hunter taking out Gears with relative ease. Kliff—who still remembered the image of Sol saving him—tracked Sol down and recruited him into the Order. His affiliation didn't last long, however. After Kliff fought Justice for the seventeenth time and was unable to defeat her once again, Kliff thought of moving on. He returned to the knights' camp and found Ky in Sol's pursuit, as he had just stolen the Fireseal.
Kliff told Ky to keep the incident between them, and that he would handle it. Kliff caught up with Sol and explained he would let Sol have the Fireseal, as he was going to give it to him anyway, but first, Sol had to prove himself with the sword. After the fight, Kliff told Sol he was family and Sol went on his way. Kliff realized he could invest the future in both Sol and Ky, and in 2173, decided to finally step down as leader. The 16-year-old Ky was then given leadership of the Order. Kliff remained as an instructor, training new recruits. Ultimately, Kliff took part in the battle that led to Justice's sealing and ended the Crusades.
Guilty Gear Edit
For five years, Kliff lived a quiet life of retirement in sheer boredom. His only diversion was the study of various cultures' fighting techniques, the most interesting of which stemmed from Japan. In 2180, one day while walking through the streets, he noticed a placard announcing a tournament for a proposed Second Sacred Order. Sensing a disturbance in the natural flow of energies, Kliff suspected something so terrible that he dare not speak it aloud: Justice's resurrection. Kliff immediately decided to enter the tournament.
Kliff finds out that Testament is using them to free Justice. In Kliff's ending, he seemingly kills Testament, who tells Kliff to cheer up and calls him Dad once again. Before he can follow his son to hell, the feeble Kliff defeats Justice. In her dying words, she now understands why her control over Testament was limited—he still felt love for his father. His duty fulfilled at last, Kliff nevertheless pushed himself a bit too far, and passes away.
Kliff was buried in a cemetary located in the village near the Grove, which Testament (now free of Justice's influence) visits in Guilty Gear X Drama CD Vol.2. So do Sol and later Ky, who pay their respects by leaving flowers on his grave, in Guilty Gear Xtra.
Guilty Gear XX Edit
His Story Mode in Guilty Gear XX Λ Core Plus chronicles the day that Sol stole the Fireseal, which ends with Kliff deciding to become an instructor. In Justice's Story Mode, which is a re-telling of the tournament, Kliff tells Justice that failing to stop her was his greatest failure. As they go back a long way, just that once Justice offers to let him go, but Kliff refuses and the two fight. Unfortunately, Kliff's age has finally caught up with him; he can't even touch her. Ky arrives to find him fatally wounded and Kliff apologizes. In a rage, Ky attacks Justice.
In his prime, Kliff's superhuman strength was nearly without equal. Reputed to be "a mighty warrior with the strength of a thousand men", Kliff was regarded with both awe and fear. He could effortlessly cut down a legion of Gears merely with a vacuum of air created by swinging his sword, and was capable of fighting the Hydra, a Megadeath-class Gear, with Kliff showing a resistance against its miasmic poison and Lightning magic. He fought Justice on even terms on seventeen occasions, even with an aging body. Even Sol found it difficult to defeat Kliff in a duel despite his old age.
His weapon of choice is the Dragonslayer, a gigantic blade that is said to have the power to kill dragons with a single stroke, presumably due to Kliff's skill with it. Regarding magic, he has displayed the ability to summon dragons in his attacks. He is also one of the few western practioners of Ki, utilizing it in the form of energy bursts and protective barriers.
Kliff is a regular character in Guilty Gear, but becomes a hidden character in Guilty Gear X Plus and Guilty Gear XX and ♯Reload. He can be unlocked by beating him on Survival Mode Level 440, completing all 60 story endings, completing 50 missions, or accumulating up to 96 hours of playtime. He is removed from the roster in subsequent updates, but returns in Λ Core Plus onwards as a regular character. Regarding his playstyle, Kliff is very slow, but his attack power is very high. He has a unique jump, in which he takes time to fall to the ground, "floating" his way down, and his Taunt can inflict damage. Kliff cannot run or dash in Guilty Gear, but can dash forward a bit in XX. A majority of his moves have great reach, and his special moves have a rather wide coverage, and in Λ Core Plus R has high stun modifiers—although using his wide-swinging moves too often cause his own stun rate to rise.
- Pride and Glory - Guilty Gear
- Pride and Glory II - Guilty Gear XX
- Vengeance is Mine - Guilty Gear XX ♯Reload Korean OST
- His name could be an homage to the late Cliff Burton, bass guitarist for the American band Metallica, while Undersn may have originated in the surname Anderson, which is shared by several several rock musicians, such as Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) or Jon Anderson (Yes).
- His Hellish Charge—or Jigoku Tsukkomi—attack may be named as such because Kliff's jab at his foe resembles that of a tsukkomi (straight man) smacking the boke (funny man) for his incompetence in Japanese manzai comedy. His Taunt, BAKAMON!!, and one of his intros are also most likely based off of comedy skit routines.
- His Overdrive, Sole Survivor, most likely references either of the "Sole Survivor" songs by Helloween or Asia. The attack is alternatively called Soul Survivor, a 1996 album by Gorefest.
- Until Guilty Gear XX, Kliff was the only character capable of using a midair Dust attack.
- In the original Guilty Gear, Kliff could not dash at all while on the ground. Back dashing instead activated his dodge move.
- GGACR/Kliff Undersn at Dustloop Wiki