Heh heh heh... The most notorious war criminal in history, as soft as a pillow. I wonder what the rest of humanity would think if they saw you like this.
That Man, also referred to as the Gear Maker, is a major character in the Guilty Gear series. He is the creator of the Gears and Justice, and the target of Sol Badguy's revenge. He has three servants: Raven, I-No, and Jack-O' Valentine, who frequently act on his behalf while he remains behind the scenes.
That Man's face is rarely seen, but in flashbacks he is shown to have fair skin, white hair with bangs covering his eyes, and an average build. In his earliest appearances, his outfit consisted of a largely featureless dark cloak, but beginning in Overture his design is updated to a predominantly white with black and red palette, numerous belts, with a heavy cross motif and text accents featuring biblical allusions.
This design is carried over to Vastedge and Xrd. In Revelator, That Man is revealed to have a youthful face, a light-blue left eye with a white wing covering his right eye, as well as a red cross on his bangs, and what appear to be pointy red ears.
In Strive, he receives a major redesign: The cross and ears on his hair from his previous design are now absent, his left eye is shown to be gold now, and his right eye is covered by five red wings arranged in a circular pattern around a golden coin with a cross engraved on it, resembling a Rose Cross. His outfit is much more subdued but still priestly in nature. Below a thigh-length, white hooded haori-like robe, he wears a black cassock, decorated with white and gold crosses, as well as a dark gray kimono and hakama with dark red pleats. He also wears trainers and black gloves.
That Man is a mysterious individual with unclear intentions, having single-handedly become the target of a few people's hatred and interests, having the whole world as his enemy. Admitting to having trouble choosing words others could understand, That Man is generally cryptic when talking due to his use of florid language.
Claiming to be self-righteous, That Man is actually motivated by "atonement", and makes no real attempt in explaning his own reasons, believing that the blame for the Crusades rests solely on his shoulders and that he has no right to apologize to Sol. Determined to correct his own mistakes, he keeps on living; even so, he is someone who wants to "see what tomorrow brings" as well. Ultimately well-intentioned, he is not one to use people as pawns, but will keep others in the dark if he deems it necessary, and is tenacious and uncompromising, always wanting things his way.
Contrary to the fear he may inspire in others due to his reputation, That Man is an unassuming, perceptive, and modest individual, who isn't much for small talk, has a quiet and benign nature, wanting to save Raven and I-No, and is sentimental, terrified of losing his connection to Sol, preferring to be hated instead. The contrast is such that I-No once told him to consider being a little "scarier". A self-proclaimed "boring man with a fondness for math", That Man admits to being someone who never decided anything for himself—including his becoming a scientist—, trying to adapt to the influences around him.
Born sometime in the 20th century, That Man experienced the Dawn of Revival firsthand. At some point, he became a disciple to The Original, one of the five closest to him. Not long after Chronus and the others formed the Conclave, the Original returned to the Backyard in order to stop the Universal Will's rampage. In the process, he retrieved the seeds of the Absolute World and entrusted both items to That Man. The five disciples would await the Original's return, but began searching for a way to stop the Universal Will on their own; That Man, at odds with the other four, chose to "educate the people and help them evolve".
A gifted prodigy, That Man completed Biology studies in his youth and played a part in completing the Theory of Magical Science. Specializing in the field of Bioinformatics, he met Frederick Bulsara and Aria Hale in college, who would become his best friends. In 2014, That Man was transferred to the Ecosystem Evolution Project to spearhead applied magical research under his former professor Vince MacDonell. That Man would often discuss philosophy with Frederick.
In 2015, presumably succeeding Vince as the project's director at this point, That Man completed the Gear cell theory, managing to stabilize cells infused with magic. Afraid of their weaponization, That Man turned his research to the state under four conditions. Following a successful negotiation, it was renamed the Gear Project in 2016, yet the military soon intervened. Forced to work for them, That Man resisted the way he could: he convinced the terminally-ill Aria to cryo-sleep, and planted one of the seeds in Frederick, restructuring him into a Gear, gambling for his friend to survive. When confronted about it, That Man lied to Frederick, and left him for dead. At his apparent betrayal, Frederick swore revenge. Months later, That Man went missing, causing all projects to be frozen, and all related data to be classified.
After the U.S. reopened the Gear Project in 2042, they were able to successfully activate their own Gear prototype in 2045. Secretly opposed to Gear's weaponization, That Man joined this new project under an alias, in order to build a collective information system to give orders to the Gears. After their mass production began in 2065, That Man created Justice in 2073, transforming Aria into the basis of the Commander Gear, completing her exoskeleton and successfully activating her. But during her activation test in 2074, the Universal Will intervened Justice from inside the Backyard, using her DNA as a link to materialize, and mutated the people of Japan. Switching Justice over to manual override, That Man fired her Gamma Ray at the island, destroying it.
Deeply affected by the entity's intervention, Aria forgot her own identity. She ran amok, but That Man was able to save half of her soul, her fragmented memory. Justice announced herself to be self-aware, and took command of all Gears across the globe as the year progressed, declaring war on all mankind. With little documentation of the truth of his research, That Man—as Justice's creator—was widely believed to have intentionally turned Justice against humanity and was labeled a war criminal. Because nobody knew where the blame really lay, the title of "That Man" was created for him.
During the Crusades, That Man disappeared, working to free Aria, but another individual would wreak havoc while calling himself "That Man". At an unknown point, That Man met the immortal Raven, who became his faithful servant, and in 2173, the unpredictable I-No. He also created two Jack-O' units: one to restore Justice to humanity, and the other to make I-No human if she ever awakened; however, That Man completed only the first one.
Guilty Gear X
In October 2180, after Justice's death at Sol's hand during the Second Holy Order Selection Tournament, That Man learns that his design plans for her still exist—misused to experiment on a young girl—, and asks Raven to secure and delete the samples. Privately, That Man reflects that despite the Crusades killing at least ten billion people, humans still seek power.
In 2181, the world learns of a self-reliant Gear Dizzy, on whom a large bounty is placed. In one of Sol's paths, after Raven's report, That Man is surprised to know that "there was a daughter". Ordering Raven to keep an eye on Dizzy without being detected, That Man realizes that she is yet another reason to be killed by Sol.
Guilty Gear XX
Sometime later, I-No takes it upon herself to eliminate anyone or anything that stands in his way, and wreaks havoc to get Sol's attention and lure him into a trap. In Sol's first path, That Man appears before Sol and I-No and tells the latter to stand down. Blocking Sol's attack, he warns his former friend that a menace that'll make the Crusades seem like a dim memory will come, and that they will Sol as a warrior, before saying farewell. In Eddie's third path, after he defeats Dizzy, That Man orders to take the Forbidden Beast back as a sample, and ponders about "evolution". In Axl's first path, That Man explains that Raven is an "identical existence", which causes Axl to time-slip because they naturally repel each other.[note 2]
In Baiken's first path, That Man blocks all of her attacks and apologizes, hoping that someday when his life ends, her anger will fade. In Anji's first path, That Man is surprised by Anji's question—if Gears were really meant to be weapons—and offers to explain the truth if he comes with him. In Dizzy's ending, That Man puts I-No to sleep; he then turns to Dizzy, who has "his" face, and tells her to reunite with her friends with his blessing. In Slayer's third path, That Man apologizes for I-No's behavior; Slayer inquires if he has changed as well, but That Man says he can't. Unable to understand living only for atonement, Slayer bids him farewell. In I-No's first path, That Man and Raven punish her, saving Sol, for they mustn't be killed—they are the ones who will change history—and he begs Frederick not to die.
For disobeying orders, That Man detains I-No, but she refuses to meet her end in such a way. In order to kill Sol and regain her honor, she escapes. to transport Sol to an unknown location and makes him fight his past self. Despite her trick, Sol survives, and I-No is instead frozen in time by That Man with Anji Mito's help.
Material Collection stories
Sometime afterward, That Man performed a procedure in which he rejuvenated his body to that of a teenager's, under Raven's watchful eye, with non-human juvenile hormones. Due to the program's flaw—high probability of causing haziness and loss of memory—, That Man had to receive backup memory data to ensure nothing was lost. Raven noted a disturbance during the process, but That Man assured him that it was merely a memory (he and Frederick telling Aria of a five-hour discussion they had regarding "controversial phenomena", with That Man subtly telling them of the 'apocalypse') that just incited some nostalgia.
Guilty Gear 2
In 2186, in the aftermath of a battle between Valentine's forces and the Illyrian knights, That Man seals Ky Kiske away in Illyria Castle's throne room.[note 3] Raven himself appears before Sol, Sin Kiske, and Izuna when they come looking for Ky, subtly confirming That Man's involvement in the ongoing incident.
That Man himself appears before Sol, Izuna, and Dr. Paradigm via opening Valentine's gateway to the Backyard. Warning that the Backyard's pressure will destroy them, That Man challenges Sol—who immediately uses his Dragon Install—to a fight. During the battle, That Man apologizes and asks Sol to focus on stopping Valentine, child of the Universal Will, from reaching the Cube. Despite Sol's attacks, That Man is unharmed but praises him for becoming a warrior, to Sol's chagrin. He then does a spell to temporarily protect them beyond the gate, and disappears.
After Valentine's death, Sol is stuck in the depths of the Backyard, and That Man approaches him. He warns Sol that this isn't end of the "merciless apocalypse" and tells him to live on, opening the gate. Sol inquires if Valentine was really Aria, but That Man says they both already killed that girl. Exhausted, Sol vows to kill him. That Man says he knows, and will be waiting for him. Later on, That Man reunites with Raven, and laments that next time probably won't be this easy, yet either he or Sol shall put an end to the 'apocalypse'. Raven expresses concern that Sol may stand in their way again, and vows to protect That Man, but he tells Raven to let history write its own course, for Raven's responsibility is simply to be there at that time.
Guilty Gear Xrd
In October 29, 2187, after Ramlethal Valentine declares war on all the world and the Cradle is activated over Babylon, That Man agrees to meet with I-No in the Backyard. She brings a terrified Axl along, who has a coded message from the Original which only That Man can understand. Learning what the Conclave is after, he visits Dr. Paradigm in his room at Illyria Castle to fill him in on all the details, and plan their next move. During the Black Sea allied ambush on the Cradle, That Man appears and collaborates with Sol to destroy the Absolute Defense: Felion barrier around it. The airships' attack reveals Justice's body, but it begins to disappear into the Backyard again. That Man tries to prevent it, but Bedman teleports him away.
After a clash, That Man is sealed away by Bedman in the Backyard, using the Felion spell to prevent his escape. Unable to free himself, Raven soon comes looking for him, and That Man instructs him to awaken Jack-O' so that she, instead of Elphelt, may fuse with Justice. Weeks later, Chronus finds That Man's prison and frees him, helping him realize who the Universal Will is. He tells That Man to put an end to the history of bloodshed between humans and Gears by telling Sol everything; That Man admits to being terrified of confessing. Chronus then urges him to stop the Universal Will.
That Man then reunites with Raven and Jack-O', then Raven departs to Scandiva. After making contact with Paradigm, together with Jack-O', That Man meets with Sol, Paradigm, Ky, and Leo Whitefang. He explains about the Absolute World, tells them that the Universal Will is Ariels, and reveals the truth of Sol and Aria's conversions. They all agree to an uneasy alliance to determine both Justice and Elphelt's whereabouts, and prevent Ariels from eradicating humanity. He brings Paradigm and Zappa into his old laboratory, where they are to fire the Saint Oratorio that will give Jack-O' the adequate power she needs to merge with Justice.
Despite the complications that follow, Ariels is defeated and Jack-O' is able to forcibly overwrite Justice's consciousness and complete the merge, restoring Aria. Yet, in the aftermath, there is still unresolved tension between That Man and Sol. That Man thanks Sol, leaving Aria in his care, but says they must settle their score, dropping his hood. While Sin doesn't understand, Sol sees That Man's determination and accepts his challenge, finally calling That Man by his name: Asuka R. Kreutz (飛鳥＝Ｒ＝クロイツ, Asuka Āru Kuroitsu?).
Sometime later, Raven and I-No no longer work for Asuka, but Asuka talks to Raven, perhaps for the last time. Raven tells Asuka that preparations are complete, and that Asuka will have half a month to carry out his plans. As they are part ways, Raven reflects how Asuka once made it sound like he wanted him to live as a "storyteller" when peace finally came. Asuka says that he wanted to part as friends, not as master and servant. Raven tells Asuka a story from his past—not having done so previously—, and concludes that an immortal storyteller indeed might be able to truly save people. Upon Raven's request to say his usual line, Asuka thanks him and says he'll "leave the rest to [him]", parting as friends. Soon afterwards, Asuka surrenders himself to the U.S. government.
Guilty Gear -Strive-
Alerting the press to his surrender for transparency, Asuka is escorted to the White House by President Vernon, Erica Bartholomew, Stryper and Giovanna, wanting to take the Tome of Origin to a safe location—the Presidential Emergency Operations Center. Once there, he reveals to Vernon his intention to raise at G4 the issue of eliminating relics from the Crusades, and erase the Tome and Sol Badguy from the world. Upon ascertaining that the PEOC remains the same, from then ownards he communicates with the outside via monitor.
After Vernon informs Asuka of I-No's capture, Sol arrives at the White House, secretly intending to protect the Tome from I-No. Asuka and Sol talk briefly, and Asuka vows that he will no longer "push the responsibility for [his own] presence in this world" onto everyone else. Soon afterwards, G4 begins, wherein Asuka acts as moderator and starts telling the representatives of his final venture as a scientist, a "world peace experiment." However, Happy Chaos takes control of the conference room, and cuts Asuka off. Puzzled by his name and magic skills, Asuka ponders Chaos' identity. After Chaos activates the White House's Tír na nÓg mode, Asuka realizes who he is.
Via magic signal intrusion, he warns Sol—who is keeping Vernon safe—that Chaos is his former teacher, the Original; in turn, Sol tells Asuka that Chaos' goal is to make I-No complete. Later on, when Goldlewis Dickinson and Chipp Zanuff warn the three about their time limit, Asuka vows to fight off his teacher as well, trying to buy Sol and Vernon time to reach the PEOC escape pod and evacuate. Asuka tries to take control of the aircraft and alter the route, but Chaos interferes. Talking via comm, Asuka overpowers Chaos, but only momentarily, as Chaos reveals himself to be I-No's other half and knocks Asuka unconscious. When Sol and Vernon arrive at the PEOC, Chaos takes Asuka's form and enters the room, only to find that Asuka deceived him with a projection, and is ejected.
Asuka, Sol and Vernon then meet with the newly-arrived Ky and Jack-O', and Asuka announces that he will use Tír na nÓg to travel to the moon to keep the Tome safe. But first he will settle his score with Sol, giving him a choice: to let Asuka remove the Flame of Corruption, or keep it and kill Asuka. Sol chooses the former. At Ky's question, Asuka explains about the "Accumulation of Good Will", and his desire to do a radio show. To their surprise, a disguised Chaos is still onboard, and manages to open the Tome from within Asuka, restoring I-No to godhood at his own expense. Easily defeating everyone, I-No uses Asuka to start a process that will grant her powers to humanity, likely destroying the current world. Thanks to everyone's efforts, however, I-No is defeated, seemingly killed by Sol. With the crisis averted, Asuka—now residing on the moon—does his first radio broadcast, apologetic about his lack of eloquency.
While he is extremely powerful, That Man rarely engages in direct combat, which leaves the full scope of his abilities mostly unknown. Able to fend off Sol in his Dragon Install state and remain completely unharmed, his capacity for magic is unmatched, likely surpassed only by his former teacher. However, as a magic-user, That Man isn't a "warrior"; according to Sol, if he didn't have his magic, anyone could take him down. A genius scientist, That Man is responsible for making possible the implementation of Gear cells, and is the creator of Justice, the Cube, a field that allows people to be inside the Backyard in the flesh, artificial humans, and a rejuvenation device to extend his own life. That Man is also in possession of the Tome of Origin, which only he or his teacher can read.
Extremely familiar with all types of magic, That Man is able to conjure a barrier around himself, multiple projectiles, monolith walls for offense, large energy beams, and summon mechanical bits that fire lasers and bullets. He is also able to render himself intangible, cast Float, bestow upon others temporal protection against the Backyard's informational pressure, and teleport himself and others. With Sol's help, he is even able to destroy Absolute Defense: Felion. He is also able to easily circumvent 13th generation AES encryption signal blocking (the highest standard of security in the world) to make telecommunication calls, and perform magic signal intrusions. He can also project his own image, make himself imperceptible to others, and effortlessly lift Sol from the ground and strangling him with one hand via magic, in spite of the latter's resistance.
Gameplay-wise, That Man has so far appeared as an enemy boss in Overture and Vastedge. In the former, he is fought one-on-one with Sol in a Dragon Install state, and has a extremely strong barrier. That Man is resistant to Gun Flame so that even if one lands, not much damage is incurred, forcing the player to find a time when he is not alert and force an infight.
- The Man - Guilty Gear 2
- Seemingly following the series' naming convention of musical references, That Man's real name is very similar to that of American classical music composer Arthur R. Kreutz.
- In Strive, his clothing contains many references to Rosicrucianism, including the phrases "Fama Fraternitatis" and "dat rosa mel apibus" (from Robert Fludd's Summum Bonum), as well as the year in which its first manifesto was published, 1614.
- In Overture, Sin Kiske and That Man share the same English voice actor, Yuri Lowenthal, who also voices Bedman in Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign-.
- The Lore sub-menu in Overture lists his height as 181 cm; however, this is likely to be an error, since it is Raven's height.
- This ending is explicitly non-canon, as That Man and Axl's first-time meeting is shown in Sign Chapter 4A.
- It is never explicitly stated; however, in Chapter 10, Sol recognizes the chord habit on Ky's seal from somewhere. Then, in Chapter 18, upon seeing the Cube's chord, he says that he "should've recognized it" earlier as "That Man's style".
- Guilty Gear XX script § "Testament Path 2"
- Guilty Gear 2 -Overture- script § "Gaze of the Chronicle"
- Guilty Gear -Strive- script § "Prologue"
- Guilty Gear 2 -Overture- Lore § "That Man's Profile"
- Guilty Gear 2 -Overture- Material Collection, pg.?? - "Isotope & Isolation"
- Guilty Gear script § "Sol"
- Guilty Gear 2 -Overture- Lore § "That Man's Profile II"
- Guilty Gear XX script § "Slayer Path 3"
- Guilty Gear -Strive- script § "Conclusion"
- Guilty Gear 2 -Overture- script § "Demon"
- Guilty Gear XX script § "Sol Path 1"
- Guilty Gear X Lightning the Argent, pg.?? - "Commander & Beast"
- Guilty Gear XX script § "Last battle"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "Cause A"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "Raven"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "I-No"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "Revelator B"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- script § "Kaleidoscope A"
- Guilty Gear -Strive- script § "Confrontation"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- script § "Struggle A"
- Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2 script § "After Story A"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "Identify B"
- Guilty Gear -Strive- script § "Omen"
- [GGWorld - "Dawn of Revival"]
- [GGWorld - "The Original"]
- [GGWorld - "Sol Badguy"]
- Guilty Gear Begin, pg.?? - "Awakening"
- [GGWorld - Chronology]
- [GGWorld - "Vince"]
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- script § "Devastation A"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- script § "Philosopher B"
- [GGWorld - "Gear"]
- Guilty Gear Begin, pg.?? - "Suspicion"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- script § "Philosopher A"
- Guilty Gear Begin, pg.?? - "Betrayal"
- Guilty Gear Begin, pg.?? - "Epilogue"
- Guilty Gear Complete Bible, pg.96-99
- [GGWorld - "Aria"]
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- script § "Kaleidoscope B"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "Jack-O'"
- Guilty Gear manual, pg.5-6
- [GGWorld - "Crusades"]
- Guilty Gear 2 -Overture- Lore § "The Crusades"
- [GGWorld - "That Man"]
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- manual, pg.3-4
- Guilty Gear X manual, pg.4
- Guilty Gear X Plus script § "Sol Path 3"
- [GGWorld - "I-No"]
- Guilty Gear XX script § "I-No Path 1"
- Guilty Gear XX script § "Axl Path 1"
- Guilty Gear XX script § "Eddie Path 3"
- Guilty Gear XX script § "Baiken Path 1"
- Guilty Gear XX script § "Anji Path 1"
- Guilty Gear XX script § "Dizzy Path 1"
- Guilty Gear XX Λ Core Plus script § "Honorless revenge"
- Guilty Gear XX Λ Core Plus script § "Do it myself path"
- Guilty Gear XX Λ Core Plus script § "Whatever path"
- Guilty Gear 2 -Overture- script § "Budding Keyhole"
- Guilty Gear 2 -Overture- script § "Curtain Call"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- script § "Opening"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign- script § "Showdown B"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "Opening"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "Face A"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "Face B"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "Thesis A"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "Wall B"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "Fireworks"
- Guilty Gear -Strive- script § "Chaos"
- Guilty Gear -Strive- script § "Intruder"
- Guilty Gear -Strive- script § "Myth"
- Guilty Gear -Strive- script § "Strive"
- Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- script § "Identify A"