During EVO this weekend, it was announced Bridget, a character who debuted in Guilty Gear XX, would be returning to the series as a DLC character for Guilty Gear Strive. Now that the character is out, it seems like developer Arc System Works is attempting to clean up the character’s messy backstory: dealing with topics of gender identity, religious superstition, and with Bridget finally coming out as a trans girl.
Spoilers for Bridget’s story in Guilty Gear Strive follow:
Bridget’s gender identity has been complicated since her debut. The character was born in an English village plagued by superstition around twins of the same gender, considering them to be a sign of bad luck. As such, when twins of the same gender were born, the village required one twin to either be sacrificed or exiled. To avoid this, Bridget’s parents raised her as a girl and her brother as a boy. As she grew up, she turned to bounty hunting to raise money, hoping to one day return to her family to prove she could be successful in life, and that the superstition of unluck was unfounded.
It’s a messy, somewhat familiar concept. Though it was really made worse by the series’ use of Bridget in shitty, transphobic, and homophobic tropes throughout Guilty Gear XX and its successors. That “messiness” might have made some folks shy about including Bridget in more recent Guilty Gear games. The character hasn’t appeared since 2013’s Guilty Gear Vastedge XT (a Japan-only pachinko game).
Now, nearly a decade later, Bridget is back in Guilty Gear Strive and it seems like the game is trying to reckon with her gender identity. Fans took notice that her page on the official Guilty Gear website completely omitted pronouns for her character bio. This initially seemed to indicate a gender-neutral change — similar to Testament being made canonically non-binary.
However, it turns out this might have been an effort to avoid spoilers for Bridget’s actual storyline in Strive. She apparently comes to terms with her identity as a both a trans woman and a strong bounty hunter in her arcade mode storyline.
More Guilty Gear Strive:
- Guilty Gear Strive Season 2 Roadmap Outlines Crossplay Beta, PS5 Fixes
- Guilty Gear -Strive- Mashes the Practice Button in My Brain
- I Don’t Know What’s Happening in this Guilty Gear Strive Story Trailer and at this Point I’m Too Afraid to Ask
Prior to her release this morning, fans already datamined Guilty Gear Strive to get at English and Japanese dialogue from Season Pass 2 (which adds Bridget to the game). These included interactions between her and Goldlewis Dickinson, where the alien-hunter refers to her as a girl, only for her to sadly “correct” him and say she’s a boy. This is bookended by several more conversations between Bridget, Goldlewis, and Ky Kiske about what she really wants, as well as sharing something important with one’s family.
Around the midway point, however, the two have another back-and-forth. Goldlewis calls Bridget a girl, then corrects himself again and calls her a “cowboy,” after which Bridget (much more happily) says she is, in fact a girl. She now appears to use she/her pronouns.
bridget is transgender!
you cannot comprehend how hard i screamed its not intentionally vague its loud and clear and of all people to show her that its GOLDLEWIS pic.twitter.com/7kIAOArToH
— moeblob (apoc) (@Marcanthony737) August 8, 2022
Notably, her new design also includes the androgyne symbol on her habit — turned upwards and to the left, mirroring its placement on the symbol for transgender people.
This comes several years in-universe after Bridget subverted her village’s superstition, so she has come to the conclusion divorced of her village’s original beliefs. But this does seem like an attempt to interrogate Guilty Gear’s treatment of Bridget in her debut and do right by her in the present. Earlier this year, Guilty Gear Strive also added the aforementioned Testament to the roster, who was previously referred to with he/him pronouns. They are now officially recognized as non-binary in the latest game.
Thanks to Fanbyte Sr. Managing Editor Nerium for help contextualizing this piece!