Guilty Gear Strive is the most recent game in the Guilty Gear franchise, developed by Arc System Works and designed by Daisuke Ishiwatari. The franchise has been a known name within the fighting game community ever since the first game was released in arcades back in 1998.
This first game introduced fans to some of the game’s iconic characters such as Baiken, Sol Badguy, Ky Kiske, and many more. Throughout the years and the numerous different versions of Guilty Gear games, these characters have seen some drastic redesigns. Today I thought we could go through three of my favourite new redesigns that Guilty Gear Strive has given us.
Chipp Zanuff is a long-running character in the Guilty Gear franchise, in fact, he has been in the game since the very beginning. When it comes to character background, Chipp is interesting in the sense that his past is rather dark, but with a realistic tone. He was raised on the streets and during this time he was both selling and using drugs.
It’s only after he met his Japanese sensei, Tsuyoshi, that Chipp began to walk down a straighter path. Chipp’s admiration for his teacher started to bleed into his personality, to the point where he tells people that he himself is Japanese — he’s the weeb of Guilty Gear, literally. This is evident by the way he shouts commonly known (but mostly nonsensical in context) Japanese words whenever he performs an attack, such as “sushi, sukiyaki, harakiri, kamikaze, banzai!”
Design-wise Chipp has always had a clear colour pattern assigned to him: a mix of black top and white trousers with red accents. This design stayed fairly similar throughout every iteration of Guilty Gear until Strive, and it’s here that we see a redesign that manages to keep those key Chipp-like elements while executing them in a new and exciting way.
His odd-looking leather waistcoat is replaced with a new sleeveless jacket that zips all the way up to his mouth. His pants aren’t casual trousers, but rather baggy ninja pants. And all this is topped off with a belt in the form of the sort of thick braided rope you would see at a Japanese shrine. The absolute best part, though, was his much-needed haircut.
Ky isn’t only one of the games mainstay characters, but he is basically the deuteragonist character alongside Sol Badguy — a character who definitely did not improve in Guilty Gear Strive when it comes to character design. Considering his status as one of the game’s main two characters, Ky has been in every version of Guilty Gear and it’s fair to say that his appearance didn’t change much until Strive.
Ky’s main theme throughout the series has been something along the lines of a holy kingly attire with the main colours being blue and white. He wields a ridiculous sword that goes by the name of Thunderseal, which keeps in line with his colours and even his holy theme, as the sword’s hilt looks like a cross.
In Strive Ky finally received a much-deserved makeover, and it all started with his hair. Ky has had a few different hairstyles throughout the games, but the style they have chosen in Strive brings out the character’s devilish good looks. Next was the colours being not changed so much as “lessened”. He still keeps his signature blue and white jacket over his shoulders, but now he’s wearing a dark shirt and trousers, which complement his other colours.
I have had a few character crises during my time with Guilty Gear Strive; without the inclusion of Baiken, my favourite character in the franchise, I had begun to play a few other characters such as Ramlethal, Millia, and finally I-No. It was I-No’s revamped design that made me make the switch from my beloved Baiken over to her — her redesign is that good.
I-No was first introduced as an antagonist character in Guilty Gear X2, which was first released in 2003, and since her debut, I-No has maintained a theme of red leather clothing, along with her signature hat and guitar. It would be fair to say that I-No is a fanservice character — she even has a round win animation in which she turns away from the camera and takes off her top — and she is not wearing a bra.
Her design in Strive takes a slightly different approach to her usually revealing outfits, incorporating some high-level waifu technology in place of the over-the-top fanservice. In place of the top she previously wore, which just barely hovered over her chest, she is wearing a cropped shirt and jacket which is accompanied by her pants and open front skirt, all perfectly topped off by her thigh-high boots. I understand I just described her design as if it was a Masterchef meal, but it’s just that good.
Her new outfit still has I-No showing some skin, but it’s much more tasteful this time around, and it’s done in a way that also makes her look so damn stylish! In addition, her hat has been blown up in size but it really works with her new image. Finally, the addition of her sunglasses perfects her badass, rock music appearance — her redesign might just be perfect.
What are your favourite redesigns from Guilty Gear Strive? Let us know down in the comments — or write us a letter for the Rice Digital Friday Letters Page!
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