While Guilty Gear has always been known for its complex and powerful characters, especially when compared to many other fighting games, somebody at Arc System Works may actually be taking this piss with the release of “That Man” Asuka R#, whose new Starter Guide reveals an arcane nightmare.
The progenitor of peace is certainly not living up to his reputation, stepping into the ring armed with an ancient tome of spells that provide myriad aggressive and defensive abilities, as well as keeping the opponent locked down in what is borderline abject terror, awaiting the next screen-filling mythic melee.
Where do you even fucking start?
Mana forms the backbone of most of Asuka R#’s attacks, and provides fuel for a range of spells that can be “bookmarked” and then released. In addition, Mana provides defense for Asuka R#’s health, and he suffers increased damage without it. Mana can be restored by activating certain attacks, or by activating a dedicated Restore Mana special.
In addition, Mana is expelled in various forms of “Bookmarked” attacks — essentially a massive variety special spells which are stored to be launched at a later date. Bookmarked spells can be canceled into one another, or have their individual properties changed via the direction/button pressed in execution.
We’ve not even scratched the surface… Asuka various spells are grouped into “Test Cases”, which can be alternated during battle to provide Asuka with a new range of spells. Think of it as switching out a character’s entire special set — say via a stance — except that there are numerous stances, and the stances themselves all have their own individual cancellation properties, as well as EX variants, and the opportunity to apply randomized boosts. And they all need to be managed via a depleting source.
So, in a summary that really isn’t a summary, Asuka R# is equipped with multiple, entirely different movesets, all of which can be switched out at a whim, and all containing their own unique specials, which can then be Bookmarked for quick activation/cancellation purposes. Additionally, all of the Bookmarked Spells within each Test Case can be boosted in various forms, to reduce Mana cost, increase the number of hits, or automatically bookmark new spells once activated or any other manner of mechanics.
In addition to the Mana mechanic. Asuka is also able to place a magical staff onscreen, which causes a vacuum effect on all of his projectiles (including Supers) to keep them floating in the player’s orbit. Oh, and here’s a shocker: He can also teleport. Because of course he can. Ultimately, Asuka R# has been designed as one of the most complicated characters in fighting game history — a true knowledge check for both his player and the opponent. In clumsy hands, he will be a mess of random and frustrating projectiles. In good hands, he might simply be unstoppable.
Asuka R# is available to purchase now in Guilty Gear Strive as part of the Season 2 pass. As a quick refresher, here are the links to previous starter guides for May & Axl Low, Sol Badguy and Ky Kiske, Chip Zanuff & Potemkin, Faust, Millia Rage, Zato-1, Ramlethal, Leo Whitefang, Nagoriyuki, Giovanna, Anji Mito, I-no, Goldlewis Dickinson, Jack-O Valentine, Happy Chaos, Testament, Bridget, Sin Kiske, and Bedman?