|“||The Guild belongs to Master Zato. I will not yield, even to you.||”|
Venom is a recurring character in the Guilty Gear series. A young man taken in by the Assassin's Guild, he has sworn undying loyalty to the one who saved him, Zato-1. Like many other characters in the series, Venom uses a very unusual weapon, a pool cue, and attacks with a number of billiard-based moves.
Venom is a fit, dark-skinned man with long, white hair. He has a handsome face and blue eyes, but the bangs are long enough to cover his face completely, and a light-blue eye pattern is drawn on the bangs. He usually wears the guild's standard uniform, which he removes to fight his opponents.
In battle, he sports a white open vest that goes down only to his upper chest. His matching pants only cover his waist and left leg, as his right leg is covered by a black legging. He also wears matching black gloves and boots, and his whole attire is decorated with black attachments on his arms, legs and waist. In Guilty Gear Xrd, the words "Settle with Elegance" are written on several parts of Venom's uniform along with "British Elegance" on his vest's buckles.
At the end of After Story B, Venom dons a classic baker's outfit: he has a white chef's coat, black pants, a black waist apron with matching neckerchief, and a tall white chef's hat.
Though he is an assassin by trade, Venom is a gentle and honest man who can barely bring himself to lie. He speaks with rigidity and seems to favor logic and reason above all, but he places high importance on empathy, emotion, and his own humility. However, if one is to openly declare themselves as an enemy of Zato, it will ignite a rage within Venom that cannot be easily extinguished.
Venom has a calm and unobtrusive personality—unless he perceives Zato to be in any sort of danger—as well as a literary mind. Having grown up in an impersonal environment from an early age, he doesn't have a particular sense of purpose in his life other than serving Zato and, by extension, the guild. Though Venom hates murder intuitively, he is a diligent person who will complete his assigned task regardless of his own desires. If not on a mission, he seems to prefer to intimidate his opponents via words rather than force a confrontation.
Orphaned at a young age, Venom (real name unknown) was taken in and trained by the Assassin's Guild. However, Venom's sensibilities hindered his talent as an assassin, and he began to ponder his own value as time passed. The organization was to dispose of him as useless, but at that time, Zato-1 appeared as the new leader of the guild in front of Venom. Zato, who saw him and his talent as a necessity to the guild, reached out as a benefactor. Valued for his existence, Venom was deeply indebted to Zato, and pledged his allegiance to him.
As seen in Night of Knives, Venom knew of Zato and Millia Rage's relationship, and so Venom treated her coldly, but accepted it. When the guild was hired to assassinate Duke Dorian Scaburi of the Calroni Kingdom, Venom assisted Zato during the operation. Although the two distracted the castle guards and Venom fought Godfried evenly, Millia was captured by Leon Mining due to Slayer's meddling. In order to rescue her, Zato agreed to assassinate King Salteria I for Mining, only to find out that Slayer had already released Millia. Bound by their code, they carried on with the request. Venom fought and finally defeated Godfried, but Millia betrayed Zato and left him for dead to save the baby king. Millia revealed this to Venom as she fled. They fiercely fought each other until they realized that Zato was still alive but in danger.
Venom and Millia then rescued Zato and Slayer from Mining's "Arm" monster. Zato forgave Millia for her betrayal, but her unhappiness with the guild persisted and led to her fleeing during another major operation led by Zato. Her escape threw the assassin into chaos, allowing them to be caught red-handed, and Zato was arrested and imprisoned. During the Second Holy Order Selection Tournament, Zato was supposedly freed by Testament yet he had failed to return to the guild.
Guilty Gear X
Having received information about a possible Zato sighting, Venom departs to investigate. In Guilty Gear X Plus, he finds Zato, but Eddie the Forbidden Beast has almost taken complete control of Zato. In one ending, Venom defeats Eddie, but Zato seems to be inert, if not catatonic. In the other (non-canonical) ending, Venom feigns defeat to lure Eddie into his own body, whereupon he reveals his trickery to Eddie and indicates that he will sacrifice himself to kill Eddie and save Zato.
Guilty Gear XX
With Zato's disappearance, Venom becomes the guild's top-ranking official. His Story Mode begins with Slayer's dissolution of the guild. Angry at the perceived disrespect for Zato's (albeit absent) authority as leader of the Guild, Venom trains to challenge Slayer, defending all that is left of Zato.
In his first ending, Venom defeats Slayer but, as Slayer wryly points out, Venom is still not strong enough to destroy him; Venom then locks Slayer in an iron coffin. In his other path, Venom is distracted by a chance encounter with Eddie and chases after him. In one ending, Venom defeats Eddie but he collapses and dies soon afterwards. In his third ending, when Venom finds Eddie, Millia has already won and killed Zato as well; enraged, Venom kills Millia, then pledges his loyalty and life to Zato's soul.
In Guilty Gear XX Λ Core Plus, Venom has succeeded in reviving the guild from near extinction, but it brought no satisfaction, as Millia is still out there: Must he finish her off himself in order to find peace? In one ending, he spares Millia after deciding her death would accomplish nothing, and turns his attention to the Post-War Administration Bureau. In the other, Venom kills Millia and, still feeling empty and unhappy, disbands the Guild to become a traveling pool player; he meets an orphan named Eddie, whom Venom adopts.
Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-
In 2187, Venom remains the Guild's leader. One day, the guild is hired by the Conclave, who tell him that Zato-1 has been resurrected, to guard the Opera House. Suspicious of their claim, Venom asks Millia—with whom he has made peace—to investigate, while he fulfills the contract. As it turns out, the Opera House is where Zato's dimensional prison is.
Venom and Millia are soon found by Zato, who has freed himself. While Zato tries to locate the Conclave, he asks Venom to protect Millia and leaves. Slayer soon joins them as well. The three agree that they have an obligation to deliver the information they possess to the appropiate party. After discarding the P.W.A.B. as a possibility, Venom suggests King Ky Kiske of Illyria. However, they are taken by surprised by Bedman's attack, knocking Venom and Millia out and weakening Slayer. He teleports himself and the three assassins to Uighur in order to kill Faust. They are saved by Zato's intervention. Bedman disappears, and Venom suspects that Bedman is working for a unknown party. Zato then departs to tell Ky what they know.
Guilty Gear Xrd -REVELATOR-
After their humiliating defeat at the hands of Bedman, Venom convenes with the others at Slayer's Mansion to rebuild the guild. Venom admits to being rather glad they were defeated, as it has let him realize what it means to "protect the organization". Venom shows the strength of his resolve to Millia (with Venom asking her to look after Zato) and Slayer. Venom wants to expose the Guild's deeds to the world and show the organization's role in affairs, and thus save its "soul".
Venom, Millia and Slayer meet with Zato after his conversation with King Daryl. He confirms that the assassins can now enlist as Illyrian soldiers, but while the others contemplate a celebration, Venom politely declines and departs to complete preparations. He travels to a small village and finds Robo-Ky. He hires the robot to aid him in defeating Bedman. As they head towards their destination, Robo-Ky demands a tangerine orchard. The pair discuss fate, and Venom apologizes for dragging him into the darkness, but Robo-Ky tells Venom not to worry and that he should be focusing on the mission at hand.
During Ariels' attack against the Illyrian capital, Venom and Robo-Ky confront Bedman. The reason why Venom hired Robo-Ky soon becomes clear: Bedman cannot read Robo-Ky's mind. After a brief scuffle, Venom uses his Tera Machina System technique, proclaiming that in order for the Guild to be reborn in the light, he must sacrifice himself. Bedman scoffs at it despite being at a disadvantage, thinking that Venom is foolish for betting his own life. Before Venom can finish him off, two kids show up and Bedman turns his attention to them, causing Robo-Ky to step in. He rejects Bedman's worldview and self-destructs to separate him from his bed, and Venom executes the spell, managing to fatally wound Bedman. Venom collapses from the strain, and Robo Ky's head—with his propeller—carries Venom to a safe location.
In Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2's After Story B, Venom has indeed survived and is in an alleyway as a street vendor, trying to earn money to pay for Robo-Ky's new body. Officially declared dead, Venom's survival puts the guild's new path in jeopardy. As they talk, they get customers—assassins led by 2cave. He requests a shoe shine from Venom, and gives him the choice to either protect the town or return to the "wolves", or else they will kill an innocent bystander. Venom chooses to protect the town, and so 2cave gives Venom a deed to a shop in the main shopping district. They had been sent by Zato to test Venom's resolve, hoping that Venom can live as humans do. Venom and Robo-Ky end up opening a bakery. While the former assassin is initially anxious as all he did to disguise himself was raise his bangs, he has yet to be discovered.
Venom is a skilled assassin, being one of the core members of the Assassin's Guild, and having abilities which Slayer always had a high opinion of. His fighting style is unique, being adept at using objects not normally treated as weapons and can adapt easily to any situation in order to fulfill his mission. Although his hand-to-hand skill is less than average, his skill as a killer is second to none. His weapon of choice is a pool cue, which he expertly wield s a polearm to attack in melee combat. Regarding magic, Venom is able to create and solidify billiard balls, and can control their position and enhance their size and power. He can also move at blinding speeds and can use his billiard balls as an axis point to perform teleportation.
During his and Robo-Ky's final battle against Bedman, he used his greatest technique known as Tera Machina System (テラマキナシステム?), a variant to Giga Machina System and a last-resort spell that requires Venom to pool all of his energy to materialize millions of billiards over a large radius and have them convene to form a giant cue. The opponent is locked onto and encompassed by an orb of energy, effectively becoming the "ball". The sphere itself is harmless, but it allows the cue to track and hit its target, whether they use teleportation or cross into other dimensions to escape. Unfortunately, usage of this technique is potentially fatal and can lead to Venom's death.
- A Solitude That Asks Nothing In Return - Guilty Gear X, Guilty Gear XX
- Keeper of the Unknown - Guilty Gear XX ♯Reload Korean OST
- The Irony Of Chaste - Guilty Gear Isuka
- Call Shot - Guilty Gear Xrd
- Rivalry themes
- Existence (vs. Zato-1/Millia/Slayer) - Guilty Gear XX
- When Life Comes (vs. Zato-1/Millia/Slayer) - Guilty Gear Xrd
- Much like other characters in the series, Venom's name is a reference to a famous metal band. In his case, his name is a reference to the British extreme metal band Venom.
- His Dark Angel Overdrive attack is named after a California-based thrash metal band.
- Venom's move Carcass Ride/Raid might be named for the metal band Carcass.
- His first Instant Kill was localized in most of its appearances as "Dim Bomber" until it was finally corrected to Dimmu Borgir in Λ Core Plus R. Dimmu Borgir is the name of a Norwegian symphonic black metal band.
- Venom's homosexuality, and his feelings for Zato-1, has been hinted at throughout the series several times, such as Venom yelling Zato's name during Elphelt's Magnum Wedding (in her win quote, she is surprised at Venom not wanting a wife) or Johnny stealing from him a letter addressed to "Dear Z".
- Throughout the series, Venom's Instant Kills have him transforming his opponent into a pool ball. Every character has their own unique pool ball design.
- His original theme, "A Solitude Asks Nothing In Return", sounds akin to "Breed to Breathe" by the band Napalm Death.
- Venom's winpose where he twirls his cue is actually able to interact with any pool balls that have been setup nearby, much like all of his other cue-based moves.