|“||Why must I make friends with the hated and make enemies of the respected... It's times like these when I miss the days of the war. The days before I discovered the little space between good and evil...||”|
–Ky Kiske, Guilty Gear XX
Ky Kiske (カイ＝キスク, Kai Kisuku) is a playable character in the Guilty Gear franchise. As one of the two leading characters (the other being Sol Badguy), he is one of the most well known characters, and has been an integral part of the series since the first Guilty Gear. He is a very charismatic young man who possesses a strong sense of justice and a devout religiosity, which sustain and guide him through all manner of shaking uncertainties.
Ky is a handsome young man with blond hair and blue eyes. His hair has grown in the timeline of the series, to the point where he sports it as a ponytail in Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-. His usual outfit is a loosely-fitting, blue base version of the white dime-a-dozen Sacred Order of Holy Knights (aka, the Holy Order) Uniform, fastened together by a white belt buckle is inscribed with the word "HOPE".
Ky is a deeply religious man, the adjective describing both his devotion to God, as well as his commitment to the ideals of law, order, and honor. He is diligent and scrupulous. However, despite his great faith and strong conviction, he is not beyond doubt, and is not entirely incapable of seeing the colors between black and white. Loyal to his ideas more than his surroundings, Ky will not hesitate to investigate his superiors if he believes them to be undermining his conceptions of justice. He is a compassionate man and chivalrous in the classical way, being known to hold back against female opponents if he is forced to fight them. However, other certain characters tend to mock him for such beliefs mainly since his position in the police force leads him into his strings being pulled, which is also true as his future position as a king.
Though his strong beliefs tend to color his moral world black and white, his experiences have developed his character beyond this caricature. In his Overture profile, it is stated that his said position as a king made him lose some of his zeal, but he gains a new perspective over things in its place.
Ky Kiske was appointed as the captain of the International Police Force (IPF) not long after the end of the Crusades. Charismatic and highly talented with both swords and magic, he was the former commander of the Sacred Order of Holy Knights (Seikishidan) during the Holy War (2074-2175 AD) that was fought between mankind and the Gears (the latter under the leadership of Commander Gear Justice).
Orphaned at a young age during the war, he met the then-commander of the Sacred Order, Kliff Undersn. Afterward, Ky was told to come back after five years of training to see him again if he really wanted to fight. Five years passed, and Ky returned, ready to do battle.
A year passed and due to the retirement of Kliff, 16-year-old Ky Kiske was recognized for his talent and named the new chief of the Sacred Order. With the appointment, he was given the Thunderseal, a weapon that allowed the wielder to manipulate the difficult element of lightning, and one of the Sacred Order's holiest treasures. Soon after his appointment, he led the Knights to victory, and ended the 100-year genocidal war. The Order was disbanded after the Holy War ended.
Five years later, Ky entered the IPF. He was soon promoted to rank of captain. However, he is considered easily controllable, and is manipulated by higher powers who were unseen players from the Holy War.
After Ky hears rumors of bloodshed, huge prizes, and the possible resurrection of Justice, Ky Kiske enters a tournament that will select members for a second Sacred Order of Holy Knights.
Guilty Gear X
After hearing Justice's last words at the conclusion of the tournament, Ky hears new rumors, these ones of a new Commander Gear that doesn't wish to harm humans. He sets out to find the truth in Justice's final words and the flaws within his own concept of justice.
Guilty Gear XX
After rescuing a beaten Commander Gear Dizzy and entrusting her to Johnny's care, Ky returns to his normal duties as a captain of the IPF. As soon as he is returned to work, Ky Kiske is thrust into a new conspiracy which includes robot clones of himself, a secret organization, a woman in red named I-No, and his bitter rival, Sol Badguy.
Guilty Gear XX Λccent Core Plus
Ky investigates the Post-War Administration Bureau and fights its minions, ultimately separating from the police but continuing his labor as a banner of justice. He later helps out Dizzy control her power, and protects her. The two grow close to one another, marking the beginning of their romantic relationship.
Depending on if players defeated Dizzy with an Instant Kill or not, Ky will either look after Dizzy, leading into his Path 1 ending, or he will leave Dizzy in Johnny and May's care again before going his own way (Path 2).
Overture Short Stories
Ky Kiske fell in love with Dizzy and after some time they began to live together. Because of the lack of official records and her concealed identity, they cannot get married officially, and this brought guilt to Ky as he found it immoral. Her pregnancy gave him happiness, but brought him turmoil as well, as he knew his child would have the blood of a Gear.
Ky was invited to a meeting by the United Nations; in said meeting, he was told that he must participate in the upcoming elections and serve as a puppet king. When he declined their offer, he was told that they knew about his wife.
After six months, Ky showed a six-month old Sin, who was physically four, to Sol. Frustrated and irritated at the situation Ky got himself into, Sol charged at him and a fight broke between them. As the fight dragged on, Ky was losing (as he always did when facing his rival) and when Sol was about to deal the finishing blow, Sin grabbed Sol's leg and asked him to stop. Ky was moved to tears at his son's actions.
Later on, Ky and his wife entrusted Sin's care to Sol in order to keep him safe.
Guilty Gear 2: Overture
Ky has assumed the position of king, reigning over the land of Illyria, now armed with the sword Aquila, as he is keeping his lover sealed with the use of the Thunderseal's power. Having grown much more mature and composed over the years, his rivalry and animosity towards Sol has diminished entirely, having entrusted to him his part-Gear son, Sin. Ky is shown at constant conflict towards his own ineptitude of being a father and a husband, due to the racial issues regarding Gears. His relation with his son Sin is not quite close as well, as Sin is shown calling his father a "shitty king". In the aftermath, once Sol returns after Valentine's demise in Backyard, Ky let his son Sin do what the "hell" he wants after Sin decided to stay Illyria until his mother is freed from the time freeze, and then catches up with Sol.
Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-
Ky decides to plan an assault against Ramlethal Valentine. However, even after Ky agreed to his ridiculous bounty demand, Sol went ahead by himself, making the situation even more difficult, as his hands are already full from being the king and dealing with Senato's spies and allies. Later, he requests Leo Whitefang's approval as the second king of Illyria to release Elphelt Valentine in order to subdue Ramlethal. Despite Leo's denial, Ky still set Elphelt free. Thanks to her help, he, Sol and Sin managed to apprehend Ramlethal and take her into custody.
Even though he is finally able to see his "wife" again and proud that his son finally called him "dad", the new threat caused by the Conclave's plan to activate Justice cuts all celebrations short.
As the resurrection process began to activate Justice a member of the Conclave, Axus, ambushes Ky and shoots him several times, leaving him for dead. Ky somehow gets to his feet much to Axus' surprise. Ky finishes off Axus, but not before the latter can notice his singular crimson eye, the mark of a Gear.
In the final chapter, he carries an unconscious Dizzy to the remnants of the site of Justice's destruction, followed by Sin and Paradigm. He soon reunites with Sol and Leo who calls out to everyone, warning them of Elphelt's state of mind. Elphelt, having re-awakened to her mission of the activation of Justice and the monitoring of Sol, begins to attack Sol. Ky can do nothing but watch as Sol forces Elphelt's former emotions to surface right before her and Justice's subsequent recalling to the Backyard by "Mother".
Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR-
Ky along with his son, Sin and his rival Sol ambushes St. Maximus when she attempts to use Elphelt to fuse with Justice. The combining three are no match against her until the pillar where Justice is standing is about to collapse. Ky decides to get through the pillar while Sol tries to hold her off and goes there to stop the pillar from collapsing as his left eye glowed in red to keep it at bay.
After St. Maximus was defeated from the power of St. Oratorio by hitting on her back, he and Sin are teleported by Daryl to safety after he refuses Leo's offer to destroy Justice. However, Ky and Sin become horrified to watch helplessly to see Sol to be killed in the blast. But Sol was still alive thanks to Axl's power to compress time which allows him to activate his Dragon Install to fuse both Jack-O' Valentine and Justice to keep it at bay before being blasted by its power. Both Ky and Sin are later relieved to see Sol was alive while carrying an unconscious Jack-O before she transforms into a new version of Aria and seeing that their world is safe again.
Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2: After Story A
The first episode of the After Story focuses largely on Ky Kiske.
After taking Sin, Elphelt and Ramlethal into his and Dizzy's estate, Ky and the others contemplate how long Ky can keep his partnership with a Gear (as well as their son) a secret from the public, but Elphelt reads aloud an article in the paper in which people praise Dizzy for her heroics in the most recent battle, with some even hailing her "an angel - no, a goddess" and that she would make a great Queen for Ky, despite the public's knowledge of her Gear status.
Coincidentally, Sol arrives at the estate during the conversation, and much to Ky's dismay, shows up armed with his gunblade. He and Ky take a walk and discuss the war, with Sol discussing his time in the Order. Sol remarks that watching Ky in-battle versus many foes and gears was awe-inspiring, and the day that Ky challenged him to a duel was beyond terrifying; however, Ky seemed to not care during his actual fight with Sol, which left the latter bitter for a long time, and aching to settle the score. Ky himself admitted that he merely viewed Sol as an equal and refused to fight him on that level as an unspoken rule. Though Ky initially refuses a duel, Sol eventually breaks Ky's composure by calling Dizzy a "monster", enraging him enough to fight with his full power. Ky wins easily, with the ensuing explosion drawing press attention with Sol lying down on the ground and refusing to get back up. Ky eventually pieces together the purpose of the battle, which Sol had meant to use preparation for his final showdown with That Man. The After Story ends with a scene of Asuka in custody after surrendering to the International Police.
Powers & Abilities
Ky Kiske is an extremely talented strategist, swordsman, and magic practitioner. In the novel Lightning the Argent, it is revealed that his ability to create lightning projectiles from his sword Thunderseal is extraordinarily difficult, as lightning is the most difficult magic to control, a testament to his mastery of the weapon. It is also said that he is well adept at performing other forms of elemental magic, though he prefers to use lightning. In Guilty Gear Vastedge XT, it is also revealed that he is an expert marksman, as he is seen wielding a magic lightning-charged gunblade, which is suspected to be the original model of Magnolia Eclair.
Ironically in Xrd, his left eye becomes red, with a Gear symbol inscribed on the iris. When utilizing this power, it vastly increases his strength, speed, durability and magic to supernatural levels. He can regenerate fatal wounds in mere seconds and using raw strength in this state, He was able to prevent the titanic Justice from falling from the sky - as well as the small island of stone she rested on -. His lightning magic also intensifies greatly and takes on a violet hue. However, he can only maintain this state for short intervals and it seems to cause pain afterwards, possibly due to Ky still being a human being.
Ky has also discovered that one of Thunderseal's hidden abilities is to isolate a person or object within a selective space where time has stopped. However, Ky discovered this power out of desperation to save Dizzy from sublimation and does not know how he performed such a feat.
In the After Story of Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2, it is revealed that Ky's own battle ability rivals Sol's while the latter is in his human form, moving so fast that he catches him by surprise with a fist near his head from behind and even defeating him in combat. This is because when he's fighting against monsters (in this case, Gears), he becomes a fearsome fighter uninhibited by emotion and ideals such as honor. Sol even admits that the first time they met as fellow Holy Order knights, Sol was overcome with intense fear, as if his own demise was imminent. The only reason Ky had seemed weaker was because he viewed Sol as a man and not a monster, and sought to best him in a fair duel without the possibility of death (which has always been their unspoken agreement). This mentality consequently led to him inhibiting his abilities and because of what Ky becomes in the face of such beings, he wished to forget about it and put the past behind him. It was also for this reason that Sol sought him out personally because he was an expert in fighting Gears by utilizing the Holy Order's techniques and tactics, so he could prepare for his fight with That Man by learning from him.
- Holy Orders (Be Just Or Be Dead) - Guilty Gear
- Holy Orders (Be Just Or Be Dead) II - Guilty Gear X and Guilty Gear XX
- Pillars of the Underworld - Guilty Gear XX: ♯Reload Korean OST
- Holy Orders (Be Just Or Be Dead) III - Guilty Gear 2, Guilty Gear Xrd (in the round after Ky is hit by an Instant Kill)
- Sheep Will Sleep (If You Become Fatigued) - Guilty Gear Isuka
- Magnolia Éclair - Guilty Gear Xrd
- Conclusion (vs. Sol) - Guilty Gear
- No Mercy (vs. Sol) - Guilty Gear X and Guilty Gear XX
- Noontide (vs. Sol)- Guilty Gear XX
- Revelations (vs. Sol) - Guilty Gear XX: ♯Reload Korean OST
- Faith Shall Save Thee (EX vs EX Sol) - Guilty Gear XX: ♯Reload Korean OST
- Keep the Flag Flying (vs. Order Sol) - Guilty Gear XX: AC
- Re-Coming (vs. Sol) - Guilty Gear 2
- Reunion (vs. Sol) - Guilty Gear Xrd
- Communication (vs. Sin) - Guilty Gear 2, Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-
See: Ky Kiske's Quotes
Ky Kiske's quotes reflect his respectful personality with and his sense of authority as a man of the law. They don't fall short of praises towards his opponents even if he's very competitive.
References and Allusions
- Ky owes his name to the two musicians of Germany's Power Metal scene - Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen, former Helloween members.
- Ky shares his birthday (November 20) with several musicians, such as Oliver Sykes from Bring Me the Horizon, among others.
- Ky's classic leitmotif name - Holy Orders (Be Just or Be Dead) - probably originates from Iron Maiden's song "Be Quick or Be Dead".
- Ky's overdrive is named Ride the Lightning, and one of Metallica's albums has the same name.
- Ky's Instant Kill is named Rising Force— an allusion to the Swedish rocker Yngwie J. Malmsteen's former band of the same name.
- Rhapsody, a band that is quite popular in Japan, has a song named "Holy Thunderforce", which could be another description of him.
- Ky's 6th theme "Magnolia Éclair" Is very clearly a homage to the song "Hellion/Electric Eye" by Judas Priest.
- The "HOPE" inscription on his belt is probably taken from a lyric in the Iron Maiden Song "Revelations":
- Bind all of us together
Ablaze with hope and free,
No storm or heavy weather
Will rock the boat you'll see.
- Sol Badguy has "FREE" inscripted on his own belt.
- The "HOPE" inscription may also be a reference to Trunks from the Dragon Ball series, since he and Ky share the same Japanese voice actor.
- Ky appears as a guest character in Square Enix's Lord of Vermilion III.
- Ky's exact age is never revealed, but various hints can determine the range. He's at least 21 years old in the first game and at least 27 in Xrd.
- Ky was wearing an eye-patch like Sin in his short story, though on his left eye instead of his right. The significance of this is unknown, but in Xrd, he has a sigil in his left eye which is similar to a Gear's Mark. It is believed that he may have participated in an experiment to acquire these qualities.
- Ky has the most themes than any other character in the series, as he shares six songs with Sol, one with Order-Sol and one with his own son, Sin, making a total of eight rivalry songs.
- One of Ky's shouts during battle is "koko da", meaning "right here/there" (commonly used for his Hard Slash and Stun Edge via one set of his quotes). Because of the lack of English dub and translation however before SIGN, players often mishear this as "coconuts", which also extended to being a fan nickname for his Stun Edge.
- Besides "coconuts," players always make fun of Ky's phrase in the Guilty Gear X anime trailer: "Oh no! I'm falling!"
- During Ky's Instant Kill (Rising Force), a figure of a woman can be seen curled into the ball of lightning, and then would fly along the projectile. Her nature is unknown, though it is hinted that she is connected to the Thunderseal.
- Ky can be seen once in a black outfit in one of the early drafting books.
- Takeshi Kusao, Ky's voice actor, is known for voicing heroic young men using swords. His english voice actor, Sam Riegel and Liam O'Brien, also play the roles of Shirou Emiya and Archer from Fate/Stay Night, two protagonists who were obsessed with becoming heroes of Justice(though Archer lost his sense of altruism to bitterness when he found that his ideal of justice betrayed him).
- In Xrd, if he were to be knocked down during his opponent's match point, his hair will become loose and the GG2: Overture version of "Holy Orders" will begin to play.
- It is revealed in Xrd that no matter the times he cuts his hair, it keeps growing at a rapid pace, thus leading to the belief that he also has Gear cells like Dizzy and his son who both share the same trait. As Sin is considered a Quarter-Gear, this means that this development did not occur until sometime after Sin's birth.
- In the final chapter of Revelator, Ky's left eye had changed to red when he is desperate to stop the pillar from collapsing making him to have heterochromia. However, in the next part of the chapter, it reverts back to normal after usage when he and Sin are teleported by Daryl.
- Ky appears alongside Sol Badguy, Jam Kuradoberi, and Ramlethal Valentine in the mobile game, Seven Knights. Ky starts off his appearance in his default outfit from the Xrd games. Upon reaching five stars, his default outfit becomes red and black and his hair is white and reaching maximum of six stars, Ky's default outfit is now in a different shades of blue and maintains his original blond hair.
- Dustloop Forums - Ky Basic FAQ
- Dustloop Forums - Accent Core Info and Combos Thread
- Dustloop Wiki - Ky Kiske (GGXrd Rev2)
- Mizuumi's GG Wiki - Ky Kiske
- Discord - Ky Kiske