If you’re looking for something to chew on until Guilty Gear Strive releases June 11th, look no further than its story. Guilty Gear’s narrative is far from “easily digestible,” so let’s all take a lore laxative and gloss over some of the story’s broader strokes. Below is an overview of every character’s story arc leading up to the events of Strive. It’s the kind of series that uses narrative to justify changes to characters’ in-game moves between iterations: a beautiful, if not convoluted, piece of art.

So, what even is a Gear? And why is it guilty? Gears are augmented beings. Originally intended to speed up our biological advancement—and cure disease along the way—the military naturally gravitated toward Gears to use as weapons of war.

Keep in mind, this is a story told across decades of arcade and console games, manga, Japanese drama CDs, literal pachinko machines—it’s a wild ride. But before we get into each character, we must first set the stage.

Striving to understand Guilty Gear's lore for Guilty Gear Strive screenshot

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Source: Destructoid Striving to understand Guilty Gear’s lore for Guilty Gear Strive