|“||Don't cry; that makes me feel "GUILTY". Leave... before I change my mind...||”|
Sol Badguy is the main protagonist of the Guilty Gear series and Ky Kiske's eternal rival. He is an aloof and brash bounty hunter, whose apparent laziness and gruffness belies a terrifying fighting ability, intelligence, and emotional depths beneath.
Sol's normal character design depicts him with brown hair and eyes. They are sometimes depicted as reddish-brown or golden with slit pupils—the latter of which is to distinguish his true nature as a Gear. Wearing a red headband bearing the words "Rock You", Sol keeps his spiky, waist-length hair tied at all times. The headband conceals the red brand on his forehead that would expose him as a Gear.
He wears a tight, black undershirt with the top half covered by a red, sleeveless jacket along and white jeans. His belt buckle has the word "FREE" scratched on it and a drape of red cloth hanging down beneath. Sol also wears a pair of black, fingerless gloves, red shoes, and a multitude of belts, including a lone one on his left bicep. In later games, he is seen sporting long-sleeved, red leather jackets as well.
Sol fights using a blunt, rectangular sword known as Fireseal, or Fuuenken (which is now part in Junkyard Dog MK III as of the Xrd games), through which he releases a range of fire-based attacks. Of note is that Sol is officially left-handed.
In recent official artwork, Sol, as Frederick, is depicted with blue eyes and sported shorter hair. Befitting the nature of his job as a scientist, he wore a white labcoat.
Sullen and unrefined, Sol only speaks to others when absolutely necessary. This is reflected in everything he does, including his fighting moves—while rough and unpolished, they are executed with absolute precision. He is known to be rude and impatient towards those who wish to interact with him, whether they are friend or foe, and often taunts others, displaying a rather belligerent attitude. Sol is also quite stubborn when he is in pursuit of a goal or when he decides to take action regarding certain matters, never allowing the opinions of others to dissuade him once he's made up his mind.
Overall, Sol conveys his intent through actions rather than words. While he cynically mocks those who speak of "justice" like Ky, he has demonstrated a staunch sense of righteousness that motivates him to prevent anything that may potentially threaten the world and the peace that's been established after the Crusades.
In more trivial matters though, Sol is known to be a very lazy and half-hearted individual, such as often holding back his power due to not being bothered with the idea of full effort, or not properly explaining things to Sin.
His actions have also proven that he is quite compassionate in contrast to his anti-social persona. He refuses to harm neither Dizzy nor Solaria, despite them being Command-Type Gears; he even rescues Dizzy when she is possessed by Necro and goes on a rampage. He spares Testament on several occasions (perhaps out of sympathy due to both once being humans forcibly converted into Gears), takes Sin in at the behest of Ky and Dizzy, and even offers a prayer for Justice's soul in their last encounter. He also swears to save Elphelt from the Universal Will.
Pre-Overture, Sol constantly roamed the world alone, and kept everyone at a distance, only stopping to fight when it was necessary or to intervene in cataclysmic events. Bearing the guilt of working on the Gear Project and Aria's death, as well as the burden of That Man's betrayal and being a Gear or "monster", Sol fully dedicated himself to correct the wrongs he committed and to exact his revenge on That Man. As the series progresses however, his clashes with other characters, especially with Ky, slowly began to change his outlook, as did reluctantly taking Sin as his ward. In -REVELATOR-, Sol admits to Ariels that the world where he kept himself distant to others is worth saving, and finally acknowledges that despite what he is and his fear of the future, he is no longer alone in the world.
Despite his often composed demeanor, Sol (rather comically) expresses a nervous attitude whenever his connection to Dizzy and Justice is discussed. He is shown feeling embarrassment and is eager to avoid the issue, rather than admit that he is Dizzy's father.
According to Guilty Gear Begin, Sol was born as Frederick Bulsara (フレデリック＝バルサラ, Furederikku Barusara?) and majored in Magic Particle Physics. In his college years, he met Aria Hale, whom he became romantically involved with, and That Man, who would become his best friend. Upon graduation, he seems to have started working on the Saint Oratorio Project before being called to join the core team of the Gear Project, founded by Vince McDonell, with the intent of ending human illness.
In 2015, they managed to stabilize Gear cells infused with magic, and That Man handed over their research to the state on four conditions, although he was worried about Aria's illness. Frederick learned about her condition in September 2016, and pleaded her to agree to cryosleep until the cure was found; Aria refused as she'd rather spend her last moments with Frederick. That Man convinced Aria the only way he could: he forcibly converted Frederick into the "Prototype Gear", the Flame of Corruption, so that he would live indefinitely. Frederick woke up some time afterwards with amnesia, only to find that later experiments with Gear cells went awry.
Frederick escaped the facility and created his headband to hide and control his nature as a Gear. As Frederick was reported dead in 2016 but somehow had survived, Eripmavs D Yraid (implied to be Slayer) tracked him down to satiate his thirst for knowledge. As his "passion shone like the sun" and illuminated Yraid's path, he bestowed upon Frederick the name "Sol". Post-2065, after the government restarted the Gear Project, Frederick made it his personal mission to destroy all Gears so that they couldn't be used for war. He was designated as "Badguy" by the authorities after he destroyed several Gear manufacturing facilities. He would combine these names to create his new alias as a bounty hunter.
In 2073, Sol caught news of Justice's completion and created the OutRage—the supreme 'Anti-Gear' weapon—in response. As its power was far too cumbersome to control, it was separated into eight components, the "Sacred Treasures", which ended up in the custody of the United Nations. Justice's declaration of war in 2074 started the Crusades, and the Sacred Order of Holy Knights was formed to combat the Gear menace. Sol took neither side, but as a bounty hunter, he continued to destroy Gears on his own. In 2099, Sol saved a 6-year-old Kliff Undersn from a Gear attack.
That same Kliff would become the Order's commander. When he heard rumors of Sol in 2172, he recruited Sol. Kliff told him about Ky Kiske, and Sol was unwillingly impressed after seeing him in action. One day, Ky challenged Sol to a duel, but Ky fought Sol as if he were human and lost. Sol took it as an insult, thinking Ky hadn't taken their fight seriously, which led to a growing tension between the two. Given Sol's unpleasant personality, many knights bore Sol "little more than ill will", and was nicknamed the "God of War".
In 2173, Sol challenged Justice on his own, but he was defeated and spared by her. Sol realized he needed to steal the Sacred Treasure Fireseal after all. Ky caught Sol during the act, and fought him, but Sol defeated him once again adn got away with the Fireseal. Kliff later caught up with Sol; instead of punishing his desertion, he allowed Sol to have the Fireseal. After a friendly duel, Kliff let him go and told Sol that he was "family". In 2175, Sol faced Justice for the second time after Ky pushed her to retreat. During the fight, Justice learned that Sol was a Gear and attempted to control him, but he was unaffected. Unleashing his flames, Justice lost power. Ky, who was on her trail, ordered his men to seal Justice—thus bringing the war to an end. Sol then slipped away and went back to his ways as a bounty hunter.
Five years later, the walls of Justice's dimensional prison unexpectedly began to erode. During a particularly bounty run, one of his marks begs to be spared, telling Sol about the Second Holy Order Selection Tornament before Sol ends his life.
Canonically, Sol is the winner of the Tournament, and it is here that Justice discovers that Sol is, in fact, Frederick. Justice, in her dying words, comments that she wishes that "the three of us" could talk one last time, and Sol swears to kill That Man.
Guilty Gear X
Sol has three endings, all of which involve a fight against Dizzy, who has a half-million World Dollar bounty on her head. However, he spares her life in all of them, losing against her in his second ending, and judging that she isn't a threat to the world in the other two. In his third ending, we see a conversation between That Man and one of his servants, in which That Man cryptically says "To think there was a daughter... most interesting". It is revealed in Drama CD Side Black to that this is a reference to Justice being Dizzy's mother.
Guilty Gear XX
His storyline here involves chasing down I-No. His first ending, after he defeats I-No, leads to a direct confrontation with That Man. That Man casually deflects all Sol's attacks, and says that Sol is needed because soon a greater battle than the Crusades will occur. In Sol's second ending, Slayer informs him of the Post-War Administration Bureau's interest in Dizzy, which catches his interest. In the third, he fights Dizzy, who had been possessed by Necro after I-No knocked her off the Mayship, and sends Dizzy on her way to meet Johnny and May.
Guilty Gear XX Λ Core Plus follows directly after in that he is hunting I-No down, as well as investigating the Post-War Administration Bureau. Depending on the player's choices and actions, Sol may do battle with Ky, and upon further investigation, encounter Crow and defeat his copy of Justice, before encountering I-No again and being pulled into the past and being forced to battle his past self, Order-Sol.
After their battle, I-No slyly kills Order-Sol. Depending on the players choices and/or if they did not use a continue at all, Sol will either be destroyed by the resultant time paradox as That Man laments Sol's falling for I-No's trickery and implores him to live (Path 2), or he will resist it and obliterate I-No, before returning to the present and battling Ky—for the second time if the first option was chosen at the P.W.A.B. branch. Their score settled, the defeated Ky says he will no longer pursue Sol, but makes Sol promise that they'll meet again before they go their separate ways (Path 1).
Material Collection stories
Close to New Year's Eve of 2184, Dizzy—acompanied by her son, Sin—requested Sol's assistance to help Ky out, whose internal turmoil over his "justice" and his appointment as the puppet king of the newly-formed United Kingdom of Illyria had reached a breaking point. Sol found Ky praying at the church.
Seeing Ky rather deteriorated, Sol provoked him. The fight dragged on and Ky was losing as usual, but light returned to his eyes. They fought until a frightened Sin grabbed Sol's leg and asked him to stop. Sol then accepted Ky's request to take care of Sin.
Sol, to restrain Sin's restless curiosity as they traveled the world, kept him on a leash and trained him not to use his considerable power without a reason. When Sin was a year old, on a visit to Zepp, Sol left Sin alone for a bit to go collect a bounty. He returned to find that Sin had wounded some bullies, so Sol disciplined him and the bullies. Later on, Sol agreed to train Sin.
Guilty Gear 2: Overture
In 2185, at the Village of Witches, Sol and Sin see a wanted poster of Sol, which Sol figures is Ky asking for help. Shortly after, they are attacked by the Vizuel and Izuna helps them out. After the battle, Izuna informs them that the Vizuel are destroying Gears, with their focus on Illyria.
At the capital they meet Valentine, and Sol is shocked by her resemblance to Aria. The trio find Ky sealed in the castle, and Raven briefly checks in on Sol. After another confrontation with Valentine (who mentions a "key"), Sol leaves Sin to guard Ky while he and Izuna go get Dr. Paradigm from Ganymede. He agrees to help after learning that Sol is Frederick, and releases Ky's seal. Sin storms out, while Ky shows Dizzy's sealed state to them. They realize that the "key" is Justice's cells, which Sin also carries.
Sol and Izuna find and fight a brainwashed Sin at Bel Canto Valley. After Sin comes to his senses, they follow after Valentine, but the Vizuel stand in their way. Ky leads his men into battle against them so that Sol's group can reach her, and Sol punches Sin to stay with Ky. They find the gate to the Backyard closed, but it is opened by That Man, whom Sol almost immediately attacks with his Dragon Install. That Man—unharmed—enchants Sol, Izuna and Paradigm so that they can temporarily withstand the Backyard's pressure.
The three enter and catch up to Valentine. The Cube's "key" is already in motion, so Sol stops the process while Izuna, Paradigm and the late-arriving Sin battle Valentine. Sol stays behind to fight Valentine's final form while the others escape and the gate closes. Sol manages to kill her, with the last thing she says being "Frederick". He is unable to return, and That Man reappears. He warns Sol it isn't the end of the "merciless apocalypse" and urges him to live on. Sol asks if Valentine was really Aria, but That Man says they already killed her. Weakened, Sol vows to kill That Man, who will wait for him, before he is reunited with the others.
Guilty Gear Vastedge XT
To prepare for the second coming of Valentine's forces, Sol decides to collect the Sacred Treasures to build a new weapon. Sol discovers that the Flashing Fang is held under tight security inside the UN's Harden Fort. Sol and Sin fight their way into the facility, where they run into Baldias and learn that the governments of the world are actually under the control of the Conclave. Sol is able to defeat Baldias and take the Fang, but Baldias escapes.
Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-
Three months later, Sol and Sin are still in the process of chasing down the other Treasures when they receive a message from Ky. He tells Sol that Ramlethal Valentine has declared war on all humanity, and Sol agrees to hunt her down for a W$ 1 million bounty in return. They meet up in Neo Newyork and, aboard the Royal Fleet One, they fly over to Ramlethal's location, Japan. Ramlethal is defeated but she was a distraction: the Cradle is retrieved from Babylon, and she moves in to kill Sol by self-destructing.
He survives thanks to Ky releasing Elphelt Valentine, who renders her sister powerless. Sol is about to kill Ramlethal, but Ky suggests that they take her into custody instead. Sol is distrustful of Elphelt, and admonishes Sin for his attempts at befriending the Valentines but Sin rejects Sol's lonely worldview. En route to Zepp per Leo Whitefang's suggestion, Ky privately asks Sol if he only cares about his revenge, and not the world, and adds that he, Dizzy and Sin will wait for Sol to "come home". The duo meets with President Gabriel and Zato-1, who reveals the Conclave wants to resurrect Justice.
After a failed ambush on the Cradle even with Paradigm and That Man's assistance, and Elphelt saving Sol's life once again, a changed Ramlethal finally talks: they will use St. Elmo's Fire and Illyria Castle to awaken Justice. Sol is tasked with removing Chronus from inside of Justice while the recently-unsealed Dizzy overloads the systems and Ky, Leo and Sin guard the control room. Although they are successful in stopping the Conclave, an apparently-emotionless Elphelt reveals that she accomplished her true mission—activating Justice—and attacks. Sol forces Elphelt's true emotions to surface right before she and Justice are recalled by her "Mother". Tired of losing people, Sol swears to save her.
Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR-
During the following week they are unable to find any leads on Elphelt's location, when Raven asks for their help in finding Jack-O' Valentine. Their encounter serves as Sol's confirmation that Aria was Justice all along. Sol later asks Axl to find clues in the past, but says he can't do it; on the way back to the capital, Sol is almost killed by a Variable X Gear.
Upon his return, Sol and Ky reflect on their past rivalry, and Ky insists again that Sol has a future, acknowledging Sol as a friend. In the meeting with That Man and Jack-O', Sol, Ky, Paradigm and Leo learn about the Absolute World, That Man's reasons for Sol and Aria's conversions, and that Ariels is the Universal Will; Sol is frustrated but agrees to work with them to stop Ariels.
Once they locate Ariels thanks to Zappa, Sol's group leaves Illyria's defense to Dizzy and their allies. During the journey, Sin brings up if Dizzy may somehow be related to Sol, who is embarrassed and avoids the topic. Upon arrival, Ky, Sin and Sol ambush Ariels while Jack-O' positions herself to fuse with Justice, replacing Elphelt. Sol defeats Ariels by hitting her with the Saint Oratorio that partially fuses Jack-O' and Justice, and Ramlethal is reunited with Elphelt. However, the fusion is incomplete and Daryl orders his fleet to fire at Justice/Jack-O' and Sol, who remains to power up a second Saint Oratorio to finish the fusion. He is successful thanks to Axl's time compression. A dying Ariels saves Sol and Jack-O', entrusting her daughters' safety to Sol.
In Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2's After Story A, Sol shows up at Ky and Dizzy's state, looking for a fight with Ky. Taking a walk, Sol asks if their score is truly settled. Ky says it is, so Sol calls Dizzy a "monster" so as to anger Ky enough to fight "seriously". Ky wins easily, ending with Sol lying down on the ground. When Sol wakes up, he admits to wanting to learn how humans can face monsters, as he is preparing for his final showdown with That Man—who, as they speak, surrenders himself to the US government.
Sol Badguy is often noted to be one of the most powerful characters in the series. Being the Prototype Gear, Sol has been described as a "hybrid of Gear and human cells". He is immune to the control Justice has over other Gears, and possesses longevity, enhanced strength, fast regeneration, and some degree of invulnerability. Whenever Sol becomes serious or desperate, he may rely on his latent Gear powers to give him an extraordinary boost in form of Dragon Install. Given his past as a researcher, he is also an advanced practitioner of Magic Arts outside of his natural Fire magic, being able to grasp the mechanics behind spells rather quickly as seen in Overture. Other intellectual feats regarding magic and engineering include his involvement in the Saint Oratorio spell, and his creation of the OutRage and Gear Cell suppressors.
His fighting style is well-known for being self-taught, without much form and with a huge focus on all-out brawling while wielding a sword on a reverse grip and his Fire magic. His attacks are often crude in nature, such as headbutts, wide-swinging strikes, slams, fierce punches and kicks, prioritizing practical application of his strength above elegance.
Sol's weapon of choice is the Fireseal, which allows him to magnify his Fire magic—that he often fashions into ground-bound projectiles—without straining his Gear Cell inhibitor headband. He later combines Fireseal with another Sacred Treasure, the Flashing Fang, to form the Junkyard Dog MK III as of the Xrd games. It now has a secondary function to transfigure into a long-range cannon that can fire magical bullets packed with his own flame magic, and can even unleash a "weak" version of the Saint Oratorio.
Thanks to Izuna's modifications to his magic during the Baptisma 17 incident, he has also tapped into the ability to use the Soul Sinker, a powerful and rather obscure summoning ritual that allows him to manifest his soul into physical reality and create Servants. Given the risks involved, he does not use it often. He has, however, made use of the matter displacement aspect of this spell in order to summon objects, such as the Fire Wheel MK II vehicle.
- Keep Yourself Alive - Guilty Gear
- Keep Yourself Alive II - Guilty Gear X, Guilty Gear XX
- Keep Yourself Alive III - Guilty Gear 2: Overture
- Starchaser - Guilty Gear XX #Reload Korean OST
- Sheep Will Sleep (If You Become Fatigued) - Guilty Gear Isuka
- Give me a break - Guilty Gear Xrd
- Ride the Fire! - Guilty Gear Xrd (Dragon Install theme)
- Rivalry themes
- Conclusion (vs. Ky) - Guilty Gear
- No Mercy (vs. Ky) - Guilty Gear X
- Noontide (vs. Ky) - Guilty Gear XX
- Revelations (vs. Ky) - Guilty Gear XX: #Reload Korean OST
- Faith Shall Save Thee (EX vs EX Ky) - Guilty Gear XX: #Reload Korean OST
- The Re-Coming (vs. Ky) - Guilty Gear 2: Overture
- Reunion (vs. Ky) - Guilty Gear Xrd
Sol's quotes are usually abrupt, rude and taunting, reflecting his reticent nature and cocky attitude.
- Series creator Daisuke Ishiwatari's favorite band is Queen, and he thus named Sol Badguy (real name Frederick Bulsara) after Freddie Mercury, whose nickname was 'Mr. Bad Guy'. Frederick is the long version of Freddie, while Bulsara cromes from Mercury's birth name, Farrokh Bulsara, before he had it legally changed.
- The special item that Johnny steals from Sol with his Treasure Hunt attack is a vinyl LP with a butterfly motif on the label, clearly meaning that he steals Sol's Sheer Heart Attack LP.
- Sol's first theme, "Keep Yourself Alive", has the same name as the first track in Queen's debut album. Several chords are lifted from another Queen song, "Stone Cold Crazy".
- Sol's headband bears the words 'Rock You', a reference to Queen's song "We Will Rock You".
- Sol's Napalm Death shares its name with a Grindcore/Death metal band.
- In Norse mythology, Fafnir is a dwarf prince who, affected by the curse of Andvari's ring and gold, became a dragon and was slain by Sigurd.
- The "FREE" inscription on Sol's belt buckle may be a double reference—one to Queen's "I Want to Break Free" and the other to Iron Maiden's song "Revelations" given Ky's own "HOPE" belt buckle:
- Bind all of us together
- Ablaze with hope and free,
- No storm or heavy weather
- Will rock the boat you'll see.
- One of Sol's round win quotes is "Yare yare daze...", the same catchphrase of Jotaro Kujo from the manga/anime series JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
- Sol's clothing in Xrd features the phrase "Fight Fire With Fire", a song by Metallica.
- Series creator Daisuke Ishiwatari designed Sol in many ways to reflect his alter-ego, and also recorded Sol's battle quotes from Guilty Gear until Guilty Gear XX Λ Core.
- Official artwork and Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- confirm that Sol enjoys smoking. He can arguably be heard lighting a cigarette in the Guilty Gear X Drama CD.
- Sol's favorite type of alcohol is gin.
- Sol's clothing brand of choice has always been "RIOT", the same brand used by Sin and Bridget. According to text in artwork, RIOT was established in 2134. Sol regularly carries around Fireseal/Junkyard Dog in a red duffel bag purchased from RIOT.
- Sol has created a portable phonograph so that he can listen to Queen albums.
- Sol, Axl, I-No, and Johnny all can play the guitar.
- In Guilty Gear Xtra, Sol's hideout/laboratory in the ruins of Old New York has a global mapping system. There he keeps a picture of himself, Aria and That Man (whose face has been intentionally damaged). This is alluded to in Elphelt's win quote against Sol when she suggests that Sol would always carry a picture of her if they were a couple.
- The word sol in Latin means "sun", and is also the name of a Norse goddess and a Roman god.
- A costume based on Sol's Xrd look appears in Border Break X Zero.
- Sol has made guest playable appearances in the following games: Lord of Vermilion III, Lost Saga, Star Ocean: Anamnesis, Mabinogi Duel, Fantasy War Tactics, Chaos Heroes Online, Brave Frontier, Seven Knights, Last Period, Chain Chronicle, Epic Seven, Crusaders Quest, #COMPASS, Elemental Battle, Code Shifter.