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Student Group

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Greyson Bell
Greyson Bell

Guilty Gear Strive

After the events of the Second Holy Order Selection Tournament, however, they regained their sense of self. Feeling guilty, they hid in the Forest of Demons, before resolving to protect the half-Gear Dizzy from the humans who pursued her. Although this began as a way to atone for their sins, it ended up bringing back their human sensibility.

guilty gear strive

With the release of Guilty Gear -STRIVE-, Arc System Works set out for something completely new. Putting aside old mechanics and traditions, Daisuke Ishiwatari, Akira Katano, and their team set out to create a fighting game that would retain the essence of guilty gear while welcoming new players and giving series veterans plenty of depth to explore. With all the Guilty Gear characters to pick from, they had to carefully decide and create a team of fighters that would appeal to both newcomers and old fans.

  • One of the lead scientists on the Gear Project alongside Sol Badguy / Frederick Bulsara and a female researcher named Aria Hale. Like Sol, he wishes to atone for the gears he created going on a Kill All Humans rampage. But unlike Sol, who decided to hunt down the gears, he chose to pursue another, mysterious goal by manipulating events from the shadows. As the one of the co-creators of the Gears, he has a deep connection with Sol and Justice, and has become a target of multiple other characters in the series like Baiken, Anji, and Axl Low for the destruction his creations wrought. He also has multiple agents carrying out his various agendas, including the immortal Raven, the witch I-no, and the gear Jack-O'. His existence is first alludded to in the events of Missing Link, where Justice mentions him in Ky's ending and recalls his existence as part of her and Sol's past in Sol's ending. However, he only appears in earnest in XX, where he reveals himself to Sol after I-No's defeat, invites Anji to join him in "the betterment of the world", and other cryptic actions. Overture and Xrd however reveal his true name, his history, and his motivations. The Gear Maker, a.k.a. Asuka R. Kreutz, was one of the Apostles who trained under the man who discovered the Backyard, The Original. After the sudden disappearance of their teacher within the Backyard and the oncoming threat of an entity called the Universal Will, he and the other Apostles, who would eventually become known as the Conclave, had a falling out due to a difference in ideals of how they should proceed. While the Conclave believed it was necessary to hold humanity back so as to not incur the Will's wrath, Asuka believed that a more progressive approach was needed to counteract it, and so he turned to applying his knowledge of magic as a scientist, where he would later meet Frederick and Aria. He would go on to create the Gears, but would end up losing control of his creations to the Universal Will. Seeking to destroy humanity for their perceived imperfections, the Will brainwashed the Gears to serve as its puppets, leading to the destruction of Japan and the century long Crusades. Asuka, meanwhile, had made it his life mission to release the Gears from others' control, and create a world where humans and Gears can at last co-exist as equals, no matter what methods he must resort to. In the end, his private war with the Universal Will ends with his victory, and with that he sets forth to put the final phase of his plan for human-Gear coexistence into motion. In -STRIVE-, Asuka has turned himself over to the custody of the United States, stating that he has two goals he wants to achieve in the lead-up to the G4 Summit, which will utlimately lead to the world peace he desires. As the world's most powerful magic user, he has mastered the usage of the very device his master once utilized containing all knowledge within the Backyard - the Tome of Origin, a grimoire so powerful that it effectively allows its user to bend reality itself to their will. His first goal is to seal away the Tome for eternity so that its incomprehensible power can never be used for evil purposes. His second and final goal for his ultimate plan for world the elimination of Sol Badguy. With his objectives set in stone and the final stage of his plans underway, Asuka is ready to settle the score with his old friend once and for all. Asuka being playable in May 2023 was teased at the Arc World Tour 2022 Finals. Accomplice by Inaction: -STRIVE- reveals that past getting Justice to initially fire on Japan, he had no direct involvement in the Crusades that followed, with Happy Chaos taking the credit of "That Man" by escalating the conflict. Since he started the war but didn't do anything about it, Asuka still considers himself as solely to blame for it happening.

  • Affably Evil: For a major antagonist, he's shockingly polite, and most of his subordinates seem to genuinely like him. Axl even points out (and I-No agrees) he expected the guy to be someone more... villainous. In -STRIVE-, after he turns himself into government custody, everyone is surprised by how polite (and socially awkward) "the Devil" is.

  • Ambiguous Disorder: By his own admission in -STRIVE-, he has No Social Skills and doesn't really get social conventions all that well. He's also mostly gotten by through picking up on others' traits and adopting them. And through everything, he remains unfailingly calm. What this actually qualifies as is never clarified in the games though.

  • Ambiguous Syntax: At the end of -REVELATOR-, he states that he has a "score to settle" with Sol, and in -STRIVE- says that he needs to erase "Sol Badguy" from the world. Said "score" is simply that he wishes to free Sol from his uncontrollable Gear powers so he can live a peaceful life as Frederick Bulsara again, and he (mostly) strips Sol of his Gear nature and declares "Sol Badguy the hero has perished."

  • Anti-Villain: Despite being antagonistic towards a lot of characters, he ultimately wants to bring about a peaceful world where gears and humans can live side by side.

  • The Archmage: Nightmarishly strong, as stated above, still somewhat understates just how ridiculously powerful Asuka's magic is. He's so powerful that Sol actually seeks advice from Ky on what to do, as he knows that when he's not holding back Ky is probably the only other person on the planet that could compare. During the conversation Sol flat out says that Asuka is the strongest mage alive, and even with his battlefield genius Ky can only muster up one way to win but explicitly states that only Sol could pull off. By the time said confrontation comes, it's a complete Curb-Stomp Battle on Asuka's part, with Sol emerging mostly unscathed only because Asuka had other plans in mind.

  • The Atoner: He repeatedly comments that he deserves every bit of Sol's hatred, blaming himself for not being able to cure Aria/Justice's brainwashing into a mindless ruthless weapon out to destroy all of humanity. He even explicitly creates Jack-O' in hopes she'll be able to restore Justice into Aria in Revelator.

  • In -STRIVE-, he considers himself to be a bystander who simply reacted to things as they came and thus at fault for causing the Crusades, and considers his current actions as atonement for it. On a personal level, he invites Sol to kill him instead of letting him remove the Flame of Corruption from him if that's what he really wants, because he's in his current situation because of Asuka forcing his will on him.

  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: The Stinger in -REVELATOR- and all of the advertising and beginning parts of -STRIVE- hinted that despite settling a lot of his differences with Sol, he was still looking for a fight, and that he had ominous plans of the Well-Intentioned Extremist kind for the sake of world peace, up to and including "erasing" Sol from the world from being Too Powerful to Live. Actually, he's completely genuine about his intentions to have himself and the Tome protected from the reach of humanity, his grand master plan for "world peace" simply involves going up to a space shelter and using the knowledge granted to him by the Tome to run a peace advocacy radio show, and his plan to "erase" Sol simply means turning him back into a human and having him publicly declared dead to the world so he can live a normal life free from being a Living Weapon or a public hero. I-No and Happy Chaos's plans had nothing to do with him, and not only does he ultimately end up firmly on the protagonist side for the entire duration of the game, he also turns out to be just as blindsided as everyone else is about I-No and Chaos's Evil Plan.

  • Big Bad: He's one of the creators of the Gears, which directly led to the Crusades, and manipulates and targets the rest of the cast at regular intervals to further his Evil Plan. Subverted in Xrd, where he's revealed to actually be Good All Along, trying to stop the Omnicidal Maniac Universal Will, who was behind Justice and the rest of the Gears going insane, from wiping out humanity for good.

  • Big Good: Xrd -Sign- reveals he's been orchestrating the efforts to stop the Kill All Humans plan of the real Greater-Scope Villain of the series, and imprisoned and experimented on Justice in an attempt to save her from said villain's brainwashing.

  • Bishōnen: When unmasked in Revelator, he's shown to be a svelte pretty boy with Mystical White Hair and attractive features.

  • Breaking Speech: Several times gives monologues deconstructing Sol's motivations and actions.

  • Broken Pedestal: In -STRIVE-, he's clearly not happy seeing that his old teacher has gone off the deep end and turned against humanity in the form of Happy Chaos.

  • The Chessmaster: He's orchestrating the action of multiple characters throughout the series, with a number of them even serving as his personal agents.

  • Classical Anti-Hero: Despite his initial, seemingly-villainous approach to things, this is what Asuka actually is underneath everything. He is Sol/Frederick's polar opposite in every way. He's not physically strong like Sol is, but he makes up for that by having more intelligence and capacity for tactics compared to Sol's Brilliant, but Lazy approach, using his complete mastery of sorcery to outwit his opponents. Also, while Sol is flawed because of his guilt in creating the Gears and killing the woman he loved, he is still sociable and eventually learned to let go of his past and move forward. Asuka is driven by his guilt of driving his True Companions away due to his inability to express his true feelings, a flaw he isn't able to realize until much later after everything is said and done, and doesn't actively take steps to overcome until the endgame of his plans.

  • Collective Identity: Turns out Asuka isn't the only person to bear the moniker of That Man, as his former mentor, Happy Chaos, also used it while committing various atrocities, making everyone believe that it's Asuka being responsible for the destruction.

  • Dark Messiah: Wants to bring peaceful coexistence between humans and Gears, even if it means using any and all questionable means possible to get there.

  • Death Faked for You: In -STRIVE-, the reason he'd been so ominously talking about "erasing Sol Badguy from the world" was that he wanted the world to recognize that "Sol Badguy, the hero, has perished" so that he could return to a normal life as Frederick Bulsara and not be exploited as a hero or weapon. Jack-O', Ky, and President Vernon bear witness to what actually happened (Asuka turning Sol back into a normal human), but the government holds a funeral for Sol, and the public is informed that he's dead.

  • Distressed Dude: Ends up captured by Bedman and Ariels after his attempt to stop Justice's revival fails in Xrd. Briefly winds up in this situation again when Happy Chaos finally catches up to him in the climax in -STRIVE-.

  • Enemy Mine: Joins forces with Sol, who for years considered Asuka to be his Arch-Enemy, to take on their mutual enemy and destroy the Cradle's shield in Xrd.

  • Even Evil Has Standards: Despite being a criminal and terrorist who created what amount to magical bio-weapons, he was utterly horrified to see the gears being used as puppets and tools of war. It's to the point his central motivation has become to make sure the Gears become a true sapient race and no one can ever control them again.

  • Evil Plan: Subverted. Despite the underhanded means he resorts to and sending his agents out to fight multiple members of the cast on a regular basis, all he wants is to allow Gears and any other sentient beings on Earth co-exist with humanity just like Dizzy and Ky, rather than being a mindless weapon like how the Conclave and Ariels wanted, and free his friend Aria from her current fate as one such mindless weapon.

  • -STRIVE- reveals that he never really had much of an overarching Evil Plan to begin with as much as he was crafting smaller ones to deal with things as they came, to the point where he'd considered his prior actions to actually be Bystander Syndrome.

  • Evilutionary Biologist: Played with. He turned both Frederick and later Aria into Gears without their consent, in the first case to extend his lifespan and the second case to save her life.

  • Evil Versus Evil: In Xrd he's fighting against the equally antagonistic Conclave and Ariels. Subverted when it turns out Ariels is the Greater-Scope Villain of the series and Asuka was actually the Big Good fighting her the entire time.

  • Exact Words: States that he wants to eliminate Sol Badguy in their final clash, and that "our world has no need for his power." So he removes the Flame of Corruption from Sol's body, effectively "killing" Sol by turning him back into Frederick Bulsara and removing his powers so that the world will stop relying on him as a hero.

  • Eyepatch of Power: Has a wing-shaped eyepatch over his right eye in Xrd to visually illustrate his growth from a mere scientist in flashbacks to a powerful magic user now. It's a winged-wheel design one in -STRIVE-.

  • The Faceless: We never get to see what he looks like under his hood in XX, with his full in-game appearance only being revealed years later in the Xrd series.

  • Fatal Flaw: His inability to understand people and failure to properly state his intentions, which resulted in one of his best friends thinking he betrayed him, his other best friend getting corrupted into a monster that believed herself designed only to bring death, himself branded a war criminal, and the entire world being plunged into a 100-year long war that very nearly brought both humanity and the planet itself to the brink of annihilation.

  • Fountain of Youth: A very strange, self-inflicted case. In order to be able to exist within the Backyard, Asuka had to reverse his aging process using magic. In XX and Accent Core, he appears just as he did years ago, but in Overture his body has de-aged to that of a teenager. By Xrd he's practically a child.

  • Friendly Address Privileges: Like Aria/Jack-O', he's one of the few characters who calls Sol by his original name of Frederick, even after they've returned to being on better terms in -STRIVE-.

  • Friendly Rivalry: By the end of Xrd -REVELATOR-, Sol declares that his battle against Asuka isn't over, and, although he knows the truth behind Asuka's actions and Aria has been revived, he doesn't have the same animosity he once had, turning their battle into more of a rivalry. Subverted in -STRIVE- when it turns out that, despite what Sol thought, Asuka never saw it this way at all, and merely just wants to atone for what he's done for Sol and give him a better life.

  • Good All Along: Despite his antagonistic actions in the previous games, in Xrd he's revealed to have been trying to stop the actual Greater-Scope Villain who made Justice and the Gears go crazy and try to Kill All Humans in the series's backstory, is still working to stop this enemy, genuinely cares about Sol and Aria despite his strained relationship with Sol, and wants Gears to be able to peacefully coexist with humans.

  • Hidden Agenda Villain: For several games, his actual motives and the degrees of how responsible he is for anything are unclear and the only thing apparent is that everyone in the cast is affected by his machinations. Becomes a heroic example, as he just wants to revive his friend Aria, and make a world where gears and humans can live side by side, even seeing Dizzy as a symbol of hope for a better world.

  • This bites him in the rear in -STRIVE- when everyone constantly speculates about his potential nefarious plans behind his surrendering to the government at the time of G4, figuring that there has to be some kind of sinister plot behind it, which isn't helped by I-No hinting at him having a secret plan he calls the "Accumulation of Goodwill" and his outright stated intent to "erase" Sol from the world. In fact, every single thing he intends to do over the course of the game is pretty unambiguously benevolent, his supposed Evil Plan is actually just a radio show, and he just wants Sol to be able to live a normal life as a human away from the public eye; it's just that, by his own admission, he's very bad at communicating his intentions.

  • Hidden Depths: -STRIVE- reveals that for all of his smarts, he's plagued with an abysmally bad case of difficulty with understanding human relationships and a ton of regrets over the disasters his mistakes caused. Having his hood off for the duration of the game exposes a lot of the emotions he'd been processing that had previously been difficult to glean due to his prior status as The Faceless. Asuka: I may craft a persuasive dissertation, but I've always had trouble choosing words others could understand.

  • Honor Before Reason: In the end of -REVELATOR-, although he's nearly reconciled with Sol, he states that he's looking to "settle the score", and Sol senses that he's still looking for a fight. Subverted in -STRIVE- when it turns out that he had no intention to fight beyond removing the Flame of Corruption from Sol, and otherwise wants him to live a normal and happy life.

  • I Did What I Had to Do: Though he regrets it, he justifies forcing Justice to fire on Japan in order to prevent something far worse namely the Universal Will's invasion of reality using humans it infected with Gear Cells.

  • He also justifies turning Sol into the first Gear as being the only way to make sure Sol would still be alive when a cure was found to Aria's disease and she could finally be unfrozen. He really regrets this one, and once it initially seems danger has subsided, he decides to fix his mistake by turning Sol back into a human and comments "I should have done this a hundred years ago."

  • I Have Many Names: He's called a lot of things over the course of the story, including "That Man", "the Devil", and "the Gear Maker". His real name is revealed at the end of Xrd -REVELATOR to be Asuka R. Kreutz, and in -STRIVE- he admits that he's been just going along with whatever people call him (as evidenced by the fact that he's not even responsible for a good chunk of things the public attributed to "That Man" in the first place), and reclaims his identity as Asuka as a sign of making proper decisions and joining the fight directly instead of (in his mind) being a bystander reacting to things as they happen.

Karma Houdini: Regardless of how benevolent his motivations actually were in the end, he still got off pretty lightly for someone who contributed to the initial near-extinction of the human race and numerous other disasters afterwards come the end of -STRIVE-.</l


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