I had never heard of Testament — the next Guilty Gear Strive DLC character — before today. But they’ve just joined a growing list of “Reasons I Should Play Guilty Gear Strive Again.” Most of which are actually just DMs sent to me by Fanbyte fighting game super-fan Fūnk-é Joseph. This is because Testament, like me, is non-binary. An agender hottie to be specific. And I just love to feel represented in video games.
Testament is apparently an “elegant grim reaper” appropriately dressed to the nines with two succubi, very good thighs, and a big scythe that spits blood. The last of which they stab into the ground and rest against like Bugs Bunny on an invisible tree. This, to me, is fashion. It’s also appropriately Guilty Gear — right down move names like “Unholy Diver.”
Testament was previously referred to with he/him pronouns. Though it’s clear even from their old designs that they’ve always been androgynous, it’s nice to see Arc System Works canonize during a Japanese language competitive stream. Fans have since translated the discussion, with longtime Guilty Gear dev and composer Daisuke Ishiwatari saying “They’re androgynous. In fact, they’ve transcended human existence. Just like me.” As with all fan translated interviews, you should take the exact wording with a grain of salt, but it’s a wonderful sentiment. We love a non-binary monarch, don’t we folks? Yes we do.
ArcSys is also notably putting its money where its mouth is (i.e. in the hands of a trans person). Trans voice actor Kayleigh McKee — who has appeared in games like Genshin Impact and NEO: The World Ends With You and anime such as Beastars and Jujutsu Kaisen — voices not just Testament, but their succubi as well.
It’s still hard to take anything in the Guilty Gear world rock references, alien corpses, and vampires too seriously. However, one of McKee’s lines from the character trailer did certainly stick with me: “Here I thought you would understand… I used to carry myself like some sort of demon, too. Even though I was surrounded by accepting people.”
But in addition to being metaphysically superior to most of humanity, Testament sounds like they’ve been a real strong pick in older Guilty Gear games. Though they haven’t shown up in the series’ recent resurgence until now. This will be their first appearance since Guilty Gear XX in 2002.
That’s three Guilty Gear Strive characters almost back-to-back that have me itching to
play lose badly again. I’ve also been a big fan of Baiken and Happy Chaos — for purely mechanical reasons and nothing else. The fact that Guilty Gear happens to have the most deranged smokeshows in fighting games right now has absolutely no impact on my single, queer braincell or its poor decision-making. It does help me overlook the tophat, though.