Baiken! A name that immediately brings to mind a character of the utmost fame within the Guilty Gear franchise — and yet despite said fame, she didn’t even make the starting line-up for Arc System Works latest installment, Guilty Gear Strive.
While I am sad that my favourite character didn’t make it into the game, I also understand ArcSys’ reasoning — Baiken alone will sell a season pass, and most Baiken players are too busy being horny over Baiken to actually play the character.
Welcome once again to another Waifu Wednesday and today, as you may have already guessed, I will be talking about Guilty Gear’s resident badass who stole my heart (And something else from the sound of things – Ed.), Baiken. Let’s begin.
Who is Baiken?
As I mentioned, Baiken is the original Japanese wandering samurai of Guilty Gear. Baiken is most known for her long and somewhat messy pink hair, her signature missing eye(now covered with an eyepatch) — and also her missing arm, which has been replaced with a clawed grappling hook. Oh and her big ol’ anime tiddies.
Baiken’s backstory is actually one of the more understandable ones, especially considering just how crazy some of the Guilty Gear lore can get.
While Baiken was still a child, Gears raided where she was living. She was only young at the time, and she could do nothing to stop this invasion. It’s here that she lost not only her arm and eye, but also her parents, who died trying to protect her.
Although it was the Gears that caused all of the bloodshed around her, Baiken saw the silhouette of “That Man” and knew with every fibre of her being that he was the cause. So began Baiken’s story for revenge.
Why we love Baiken
I must admit that my initial attraction to the character was entirely based on her overall aesthetic. Baiken is exactly the kind of character that I look for in every fighting game that I play: badass personality; wields a katana; slightly rough around the edges; slightly unhinged; and hot. That right there is the recipe to success when it comes to guaranteeing I will purchase a fighting game.
That isn’t all though, as I quickly fell in love with the way that Baiken played in the barely pronounceable Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2, even though I was a fairly surface-level player. My first experience with Guilty Gear was with Xrd — and Baiken was the entire reason I purchased and played the game.
Every one of her attacks sees her screaming in a harsh tone that sounds like it must have been murder on the voice actress’ throat. She is loaded with different counterattacks to cover numerous situations in the game. Her animations are absolutely superb and filled with so much passion and character — her walk animation mimics that of a Kurosawa-inspired samurai “swagger walk”.
Finally, her “Instant Kill” attack is a completely over-the-top Iaijutsu technique where once she sheathes her sword, everything is cut in two.
Why you’ll love Baiken
I refuse to believe that there is even a single weeb out there that doesn’t love a katana-wielding, eye-patch wearing, pink-haired badass that just happens to be rather well endowed. Also, there is a good chance that in Guilty Gear Strive she may receive a bit of a makeover, which could be very fun to see!
When it comes to gameplay, Baiken has a playstyle that rewards players who want to learn and understand what the opponent is doing, then using Baiken’s toolset, proceed to counterattack. If like me, you prefer to play a slightly more defensive game that roots itself firmly in punishing the opponent’s mistakes, then Baiken is perfect for you as well. It’s this style of play that forces players to learn from their mistakes and change up their options, which ultimately adds even more layers of depth to the mental battle that fighting games excel at.
On top of everything I mentioned above, who doesn’t like samurai? Samurai are, without a doubt, one of the coolest types of warriors from all eras of history, and Baiken is the embodiment of that within this game.
To me, when it comes to Guilty Gear, there is no one cooler and full of character than Baiken.
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