That Man (あの男, Ano Otoko) also referred to as The Gear Maker, is a prominent character who was originally the central antagonist in the Guilty Gear universe, though he takes on a more supportive role during the events of Guilty Gear Xrd. He is the creator of the Gears and a sought-out target by most of the Guilty Gear cast. He is also knowledgeable in most of the events taking place in the series' continuity, dating all the way back to the Crusades, although other information is currently unknown. He has three servants: Raven, I-No, and Jack-O' Valentine, who frequently act on his behalf while he remains behind the scenes. The true extent of his power is unclear, but evidence suggests that he is one of the strongest characters in the franchise.
That Man's face and body are rarely seen, as they are usually covered by flowing, hooded cloaks, however he has been shown in flashbacks to have pure white hair and an average build. In his earliest appearances, he wore a largely featureless red and blue cloak, but beginning in Overture his design was updated to predominantly white with black and red details, with a heavy cross motif and text accents featuring biblical allusions. This design was largely carried over in Vastedge and Xrd. In Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator's story mode he's revealed to have a youthful face and blue eyes, with a wing-shaped eyepatch over his right eye, an inverted red cross design on his bangs, and what appear to be pointy red ears, similar to those of a youkai.
He is a self-righteous individual who will burden himself with the weight of his sins to achieve his goals. While ultimately well-intentioned, he is often manipulative and not above using others like chess pieces in a game. He has also described by himself as rebellious, and this is extended to his belief that humanity should have complete control over the course of their own fate, including their evolution.
That Man has been in every Guilty Gear game to date except for Isuka, though his name was not revealed until Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator. Together with two other scientists, Frederick and Aria, he spearheaded the Gear Project. In every game, he has the same profile: the original creator of the Gears that seeks redemption for causing the Holy Order War, as the calamity was not his intention; the Gear known as Justice rebelled, believing that all humans were beneath the Gear race. He also warns Sol of a menace that will make the Crusades seem like a dim memory and requires Sol's knowledge and strength to combat it in the future. This could also explain why he did his best to rile Sol Badguy up in one of Sol's endings in Guilty Gear XX. The menace that he referred to was a powerful entity which he refers to as the Merciless Apocalypse, or the Universal Will. While its origins are unknown, there is a connection between it and the series' other antagonists: Justice, Judgment, Valentine, and Ramlethal Valentine. He stated in Overture that the death of Aria was both his and Frederick's fault, even though Aria was able to survive her TP infection for unknown reasons, implying that this probably has to do with her becoming the first weapon for humanity decades ago and Frederick's disappearance much later. On the other hand, as revealed in Xrd's Story Mode, it appears that he and Chronus already knew each other, but whether that relationship is deeper than just a war for world domination (at least according to Chronus) is yet to be known.
Guilty Gear X Lightning the Argent
That Man sends Raven on an assignment in England to investigate the appearance of the mysterious Command Type Gear Solaria and gather information on her, specifically her ability to resonate with Gears with her singing.
Guilty Gear X
In Sol's third ending, a conversation between That Man and one of his servants is seen, in which he cryptically says "To think there was a daughter... most interesting". It is revealed in the Drama CD Side Black that it is a reference to Justice being Dizzy's mother.'
Guilty Gear XX
In Sol's first ending, he appears after Sol defeats I-No. He greets Sol and Sol attempts to strike him down. However, he blocks Sol's attack and counters with an explosive blast. He warns Sol that a menace will soon appear on Earth that will make the Crusades seem like a dim memory. He states that he will need Sol when the time comes to confront this threat.
Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus
After I-No escapes her confinement for her activities in Guilty Gear XX Midnight Carnival, That Man, Raven, and Anji Mito attempt to set a trap for her.
That Man's Short story
Sometime after the events of Accent Core, That Man performs an procedure that would allow him to retrograde his body's age to that of a teenager's.
Guilty Gear 2: Overture
That Man appears as a boss when Sol reached the gate of the Backyard. During the battle, he seemed to be testing Sol and informing him about Valentine's intentions. Despite transforming into his evolved Dragon Install, Sol was unable to harm him and was defeated.
After the fight with Valentine, he approached Sol again. He revealed that Valentine was involved with "a Merciless Apocalypse", an event that Sol is to take part in. With his help, Sol was able to return to the real world and reunite with the others. In the last scene of the story, there is a conversation held between That Man and Raven, in where it was revealed that Valentines just like the one Sol destroyed are being made everyday.
Guilty Gear Vastedge XT
He appears in Harden Fort to confront and fight Sol, though his reasons for doing so are unknown.
Guilty Gear Xrd: Sign
That Man comes into contact with Axl Low, who possesses a coded message from the Original Man/Sage, though its contents are unknown. He later collaborates with Dr. Paradigm in order to dismantle the Cradle and halt the Conclave's movements. However, he is unable to pierce through Absolute Defense Felion without Sol's help. He implements the Schwarzschild Radial Limit via channeling the Backyard to create a pocket universe which, combined with the power of Sol's Junkyard Dog MK III and his massive strength, allows them to disable the barrier.
He tries to prevent Justice, who was encased within the Cradle, from escaping to the Backyard, but ends up being obstructed by Bedman, who pulls him into his Nightmare Theater.
Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator
Though he is immune to effects of Nightmare Theater because he is a similar entity to Bedman, That Man is having difficulty returning to the real world due to Bedman locking him in an isolated space, with Absolute Defense: Felion activated to prevent his escape. While he works to free himself, That Man entrusts Raven to find Elphelt before she is merged with Justice and to seek out Jack-O. He also asks that Raven acquires the assistance of Sol and his party since their objectives coincide. After Chronus helps him escape from Bedman's prison, he returns to his Servants and advises Raven to monitor the situation with the Anti-matter Gears and only act if necessary.
Later on, he meets with Sol and the others and reveals the truth about the Universal Will, The Variable X incident, the Seeds, his reasons for converting Sol into a Gear and creating Justice. While striking an uneasy alliance with Sol and the two Kings of Illyria in their endeavor to rescue Elphelt and stop Ariels' plot for eradicating humanity, he transports Paradigm and Zappa to his old laboratory to prepare the Saint Oratorio in order to give Justice the adequate power she needs to activate and have Jack-O' merge with Justice. However, while Justice is successfully revived, her memories of the activation test initially prevent Jack-O from completing the fusion. Sol orders Asuka and Paradigm to fire the Saint Oratorio again and he will use the power of his Junkyard Dog III to amplify its power and direct it at Jack-O', allowing Jack-O' to forcibly overwrite Justice's consciousness and complete the merger. With Jack-O' and Justice restored as a singular being, That Man entrusts her to Sol for the time being.
However, it is revealed that there is unresolved hatred and tension between That Man and Sol. He lowers his hood and shows his face. Sol tells Sin that those are they eyes of a man trying to pick a fight. It is then that his full name is revealed to be Asuka R. Kreutz (飛鳥＝Ｒ＝クロイツ Asuka R. Kuroitsu).
Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2 (After Story A)
At the end of After Story A, he surrendered himself to the US government.
Powers & Abilities
While he is immeasurably powerful, due to his placid and seemingly benign nature, he rarely engages in direct combat, which leaves the full scope of his abilities mostly unknown. However, he has revealed some of his abilities in Guilty Gear 2: Overture and Guilty Gear Vastedge XT. He is able to conjure glyph barriers with the capability of dispersing both physical and magical attacks, rendering himself almost invulnerable. He can alternatively make himself intangible. He can create monolith walls for both defense and offense, and summons mechanical bits that rapidly fire lasers and energy bullets. He is also the only human, aside from the Original Man, who can withstand the Backyard's dense pressure of information without strain or effort. He uses a large quill-like blade to 'write' runic symbols in the air for different magical effects, such as immobilizing a target, materializing a massive energy blade in the shape of a crucifix or manifesting large arms composed of magical energy. He can also release a myriad of magical blasts, including slicing energy waves, energy balls, or large beams of light from his hands and his grimoire. He can also materialize two massive devices known as 'Proteus Universe' to fire intense beams of energy.
It is also suggested that he has incredible physical strength, as he managed to block Sol's sword thrust with his bare hands in Guilty Gear XX Midnight Carnival. He has also repelled attacks from Baiken with seemingly no effort.
In addition, he is capable of enchanting others with magic, such as protection against the pressure of the Backyard and even flight.
- "The Man" (Guilty Gear 2: Overture)
- It is revealed in his official short story that he has been slowly reversing his age. His voice sounded like a middle aged man in Accent Core, while he seemed to be much younger in Overture, Vastedge XT, and -SIGN-.
- Sin and Asuka share the same English voice actor, Yuri Lowenthal who also voices Bedman in Guilty Gear Xrd: Sign.
- Ironically, Asuka also shares his Japanese voice with Ragna the Bloodedge, one of the main protagonists of Arc System Works' other fighting game series, BlazBlue, and the counterpart of Sol Badguy.
- Asuka's third servant was said to be a secret player that will be revealed in future installments, as Daisuke Ishiwatari stated in an interview in the Guilty Gear 2 Material Collection guidebook, and later when Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator was announced a new secret character under the name of Jack-O was confirmed to be the identity of the other servant of Asuka.
- In Guilty Gear Vastedge XT, Asuka is shown carrying a tome similar in appearance to the one the Sage possessed that contained a compilation of all the knowledge he obtained about the Backyard. Whether this is the same tome or is a coincidence is unknown.
- In previous games, it was speculated that That Man could be the Pope of Rome, according to Justice's final words in Ky's ending on the first game, as well as Raven calling him "Holiness" many times. However, this was proven to be wrong in Xrd. Still, he is considered as one of two trump cards ( the other being his former friend and colleague, Sol) to put an end to Conclave's reign into using Gears as weapons of destruction.
- After the announcement of Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator, Daisuke Ishiwatari revealed in an interview with Famitsu that after the threat of the Merciless Apocalypse/Universal Will and Ariels were neutralized, That Man would commence with his true plan and the final confrontation between he and Sol would take place.
- Seemingly following the series' naming conventions of referencing musicians and bands, That Man's real name of Asuka R. Kreutz is very similar to American classical music composer Arthur R. Kreutz.