|“||Nobody tells me something's impossible.||„|
|~ Sol Badguy|
Sol Badguy, also known by his real name as Frederick Bulsara, is the main protagonist of Guilty Gear and Ky Kiske's eternal rival. At first glance, he is an aloof bounty hunter, whose apparent laziness and gruffness belies his terrifying fighting ability, and the amazing genius and emotional depths beneath that brash exterior.
Creator Daisuke Ishiwatari designed Sol in many ways to reflect his alter-ego, and also recorded Sol's in-game voice acting (the voice acting for GGXX's Story Mode and Drama CDs however, is done by Hikaru Hanada).
Sol's normal character design depicts him as left-handed, with brown hair and reddish-brown or golden eyes with slit pupils(to indicate his Gear nature), wearing a tight, black undershirt with the top half covered by a red, sleeveless jacket along and white jeans. His headband bears the words 'Rock You', a reference to the Queen song "We Will Rock You", while his belt buckle has the word 'FREE', a possible reference to Queen's song "I Want To Break Free". Sol's character design also contains a pair of black, fingerless gloves, red shoes, a drape of red cloth hanging down beneath his buckle and a multitude of belts, including a lone one on his left forearm. Sol fights using a blunt, rectangular sword known as Fuuenken (Fireseal) through which he releases a range of fire-based attacks.
Of note is that Sol is officially left-handed. In official artwork, Sol, as Frederick, was depicted with blue eyes and shorter hair.
Sullen and unrefined, Sol only speaks to others when absolutely necessary. This is reflected in everything he does, and his fighting moves, while rough and unpolished, are executed with absolute precision. He is known to be rude and impatient towards those who wish to interact with him, whether they are friend or foe. He is also quite stubborn when he is in pursuit of a goal or when he decides to take action regarding certain matters, never allowing the opinions of others to dissuade him once he's made up his mind. Overall, Sol is not a friendly man, but he is not an inherently evil one neither. He is an individual who prefers to convey his intent through actions than words. And while he cynically mocks those who speak of "justice", he has demonstrated a staunch sense of righteousness that motivates him to prevent anything that may potentially threaten the world and the peace that's been established after the horror of the Crusades.
His actions have also proven that he is quite compassionate in contrast to his anti-social persona. He refused to harm neither Dizzy nor Solaria due to their innocence and kindness, despite the fact that they are Command-Type Gears who possess enormous power that puts them on equal footing with Justice and the ability to subjugate Gears to their whim; he even gave a Gear-Cell limiter to Solaria so she can control her power and rescued Dizzy when she was possessed by Necro and went on a rampage. He has spared Testament on several occasions despite being a powerful and dangerous Gear due to him being the son of his friend and mentor, Kliff, as well as out of mutual sympathy since they are both humans that were converted into Gears. He also takes in Sin at the behest of Ky and Dizzy so that he would not be placed in danger by the Conclave. He even offered a prayer for Justice's soul to find peace in the afterlife after he defeated her for the second time. He later comes to care greatly about Elphelt, in spite of his persistent wariness of her, and has vowed to save her from her role as a tool to the Universal Will, stating that he does not wish to lose any more loved ones.
The reason behind his abrasive nature is explored significantly in Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-. It is revealed that he maintains an emotional distance towards others out of fear of loss and betrayal. Aria, his lover, died from a TP infection and he is forced to end her life for a second time when she is reincarnated as Justice. He was also betrayed by That Man, who was once his best friend and colleague, and forcibly converted into a Gear by him against his will. This is further compounded by his personal sense of guilt, as he feels responsible for the Crusades and remorse for having to eliminate Gears, sentient beings that his research gave birth to that became biological weapons against their will. This has led to a self-loathing mentality that prevents him from forming close relations with others or allowing himself to experience happiness. He also feels disgust over his Gear body, considering himself a monster.
Ultimately, he fears that he will eventually become a danger to his friends and the world in general since he believes that the destructive tendencies of his Gear nature(which he acknowledges that it constantly urges him to kill and destroy everything around him) will encroach upon his humanity and inevitably turn him into an unstoppable monster that will wreak wanton havoc upon Earth, He has implied that that if he ever kills That Man, should he fail in finding a solution that can prevent his Gear nature from gaining dominance, he will commit suicide.
As the series progresses, however, his clashes with many of the series characters slowly begin to change his outlook, especially his rival Ky Kiske; Sin Kiske, who he reluctantly takes as his apprentice and Elphelt Valentine, who he initially saw as a potential threat yet ultimately became someone he considers precious to him(though he would deny this outloud). During the final battle against St. Maximus Populi Ariels in Guilty Gear Xrd -Revelator- ,Sol admits to her that the world where he kept himself distant to others was worth saving and finally acknowledged that despite what he was and his fear of the future, he was no longer alone in the world.
It is seen through the course of the series that Sol has much deeper emotional depths than he normally doesn't display towards people.
His exact history is unclear, but it is known for certain that Sol's real name is Frederick Bulsara, A Magic Particle physicist who not only was one of the lead scientists of the Gear Project, but is also the Prototype Gear from over a hundred years before the events of the Guilty Gear games. As a prototype, he is immune to the orders of Commander-Type Gears. He was personally acquainted with That Man prior to the Crusades. His headband is actually a Gear-suppression device which prevents him from giving into his Gear nature and losing his rationality, at the cost of suppressing much of his power. The headband also conceals the red brand on his forehead, the telltale mark that would expose him as a Gear. In Guilty Gear 2: Overture, this headband suppression device seems to be beginning to malfunction, explaining the increase in Sol's strength. That Man later explains the malfunction and Sol's increase in power is due to his body and powers evolving.
As Frederick, he destroyed several Gear manufacturing facilities, which would eventually earn him the designation "Badguy" by the government, as authorities could not identify him. In 2073, he created the "Outrage", which he called a supreme Anti-Gear weapon. The Outrage is actually not one weapon but several - eight components called "Jinki" (Sacred Treasures), which greatly amplify their wielders' magical ability. The reason the Outrage was split into the eight Sacred Treasures is because the power of the complete Outrage was far too cumbersome for Frederick to control as it had no predetermined limits to how much Mana it could generate, and could potentially destroy the world if its power was not properly regulated. Only four Outrage weapons are currently known to be active - Sol's own Fuuenken (Fireseal) that he combined with Senga (The Flashing Tooth) to create the Junkyard Dog MK.3, Ky's Fuuraiken (Thunderseal), and Anji Mito's twin fans, Zessen (Unparalleled Fans). Other three are supposedly in the custody of the United Nations, and Slayer is also in possession of an unknown Sacred Treasure.
In 2099, Frederick saved Kliff Undersn (one of the leaders of the Holy Order and the one who named Ky Kiske leader of the Holy Knights) when Kliff was still a young boy. He would later encounter the Nightwalker, Slayer, who would bestow upon him the name "Sol" and would act as a mentor of sorts. Roughly half a century later, he was himself recruited into the Order, as a bounty hunter named "Sol Badguy". Sol took part in the Crusades, ironically becoming one of the best fighters on the human side. At this time, he was a member of the Sacred Order of Holy Knights (Seikishidan). He acquired the nickname "Corrupted [or Immoral] Flame" (Haitoku no Honoo) during that time, a name that such figures as I-No and Justice use for him later. However, he later became disenchanted with the methods of the Sacred Order. At an unspecified time, Sol fled the order, taking with him the Fuuenken, which the Holy Knights had come to consider a sacred treasure — the theft earned him Ky Kiske's enmity. Ironically, Sol himself forged the Fuuenken.
In 2175, Sol faced Justice directly. The two fought, and Justice won, also discovering that Sol was a Gear (but not his true identity as the Prototype Gear). Justice attempted to assert her power as a Commander Gear to control Sol, but was unable to do so. Exploiting her confusion from the fight, the Holy Order, led by Ky Kiske, sealed Justice away, bringing the war to an end.
Canon states that Sol was the winner of the Tournament, and it is here that Justice discovers that Sol is, in fact, Frederick. Justice, in her dying words, comments that she wishes that "the three of us" could talk one last time, and Sol swears to kill That Man.
Guilty Gear X
Sol has three endings, all of which involve a fight against Dizzy, who has a half-million World Dollar bounty on her head. However, he spares her life in all of them, losing against her in his second ending, and judging that she isn't a threat to the world in the other two. In his third ending, we see a conversation between That Man and one of his servants, in which That Man cryptically says "To think there was a daughter... most interesting". It is revealed in the Drama CD Side Black to that this a reference to Justice being Dizzy's mother.
Guilty Gear XX
His storyline here involves chasing down I-No. His first ending, after he defeats I-No, leads to a direct confrontation with That Man. That Man casually deflects all Sol's attacks, and says that Sol is needed because soon a greater battle than the Crusades will occur. In Sol's second ending, Slayer informs him of the Post-War Administration Bureau's interest in Dizzy, which catches his interest. In the third, he fights Dizzy, who had been possessed by Necro after I-No knocked her off the Mayship, and sends Dizzy on her way to meet Johnny and May.
Guilty Gear XX Λ Core Plus
His story here is a continuation of the previous one in that he is hunting I-No down, who recently escaped her captivity, as well as investigating the Post-War Administration Bureau. Depending on the player's choices and actions, Sol may do battle with Ky, and upon further investigation, encounter Crow and defeat his copy of Justice, before encountering I-No again and being pulled into the past and being forced to battle his past self, Holy Order Sol.
After their battle, I-No slyly kills Order-Sol. Depending on the players choices and/or if they did not use a continue at all, Sol will either be destroyed by the resultant time paradox as That Man laments Sol's falling for I-No's trickery and implores him to live (Path 2), or he will resist it and obliterate I-No, before returning to the present and battling Ky (for the second time if players choose the first option upon encountering him at the P.W.A.B. branch). After the battle, Ky states that he will no longer pursue Sol and makes him promise that they'll meet again before they go their seperate ways (Path 1).
Taking Overture into consideration, Sol's Path 1 ending appears to be canon.
Guilty Gear 2: Overture
Sol Badguy has taken in a young man named Sin as his apprentice, and travels the world with him as bounty hunters. During their journey, they came across a wanted poster with Sol’s picture on it. Sol figures that the poster is just Ky's way of asking for help. Shortly after, he is plagued by a headache and the pair are attacked by the Vizuel, the servants of Valentine. The Vizuel had the upper hand until a voice introduces Sol to a new power, the Soul Sinker. This allowed Sol to construct Servants of his own from his soul, leading to their victory. The voice later introduced himself as Izuna, a resident of the Backyard. Izuna told Sin and Sol that the Vizuel were seeking out and destroying Gears. Their main area of interest was the kingdom of Illyria.
Izuna, through a series of warp gates, takes the pair to Illyria. There, they met Valentine for the first time. Sol’s head ached again, and he was shocked by Valentine's resemblance to Aria. Sol battled her and the Vizuel with the help of Izuna’s powers. After the fight, the group made it to Illyria Castle, where they found Ky in a powerful binding spell. They met with Raven, who Sol recognized as That Man's servant, and the two battle.
After the fight, Sol left Sin to guard Ky, while he went to meet Dr. Paradigm, who can release Ky's spell. Sol was shocked to be brought to a colony of living and self-aware gears. After learning that Sol is Frederick, Dr. Paradigm agreed to help the king. Sol then accompanied Dr. Paradigm to Illyria to release the seal placed on Ky. After realizing that Sin carries the Gear cells Valentine needed, Sol and Izuna left the others to defend Illyria Castle while they chased after the young man.
They were too late to stop Valentine from kidnapping Sin. Sol and Izuna chased after them to Bel Canto Valley where they fought a brainwashed Sin. After Sin came to his sense the group took off after Valentine. Thousands of Vizuel stood in their way. To their surprise, Ky, Paradigm, and the knights of Illyria arrived to take on the fight. Sol, Izuna, and Dr. Paradigm went on ahead, leaving Sin and Ky to take on the Vizuel. Sol and the others reached the gate to the Backyard, but it was already closed. Just before all hope was lost the gate opened and a lone figure came out, That Man. Sol revealed his true Gear form in order to fight That Man. During the battle That Man seemed to be testing Sol and informing him about Valentine's intentions. When the battle ended, Sol was unable to damage That Man. As he left, That Man gave the group an effect that would enable them to survive the immense pressure of The Backyard.
The group entered the Backyard and caught up to Valentine. The Key was already in motion and the Cube was starting to open. In frustration, Valentine transformed into a Justice-like monster and battled the late arriving Sin together with Izuna and Dr. Paradigm. Meanwhile, Sol was busy stopping the Cube from opening. He succeed, and Valentine seemed to give up fighting. She appeared as if she was going to self-destruct. Sol told the others to escape the Backyard while he remained back to fight yet another form of Valentine. In the fight, Sol battled both Valentine's immense body and her soul. In her soul, he would hear a rush of her emotions and memories. Once he laid the final blow, the last thing she said was his true name, Frederick. After the fight, Sol found himself in a white space, unable to return.
While there, That Man came before him yet again. He revealed that Valentine is involved with “A Merciless Apocalypse”, an event that Sol is to take part in. Sol confirmed with That Man that Valentine was a copy of Aria, Sol’s former lover, who is implied to be the woman That Man turned into Justice. With That Man's help, Sol was able to return to the real world and reunite with the others.
Sol's gameplay consists of mainly rushdown aspects, so just about all of his damage is dealt up close. He's probably the most average character in the cast and is easy to learn, and has a couple of very useful normals and specials like 5K and Volcanic Viper, but he can be a very high risk/low reward character if some moves are used recklessly, like Grand Viper and his Overdrives for example, though this becomes less of a problem in several retweaks of the GGXX games. In the early days of GGXX, Sol's infamous dustloops devastated several of the cast, till as the revisions went on Sol's dustloops were more tweaked, and his Sidewinder loops as of GGXXSlash (much more so in Accent Core) become rather more character specific, forcing to higher levels of play.
Powers & Abilities
Sol Badguy is often noted to be one of the greatest fighters seen in the Guilty Gear series. Being the Prototype Gear, Sol was immune to the control Justice had over other Gears. Due to his Gear state, he possesses longevity. He also possesses degrees of regeneration and in some cases, invulnerability. While he does not practice any fighting style in particular, his skill level seems to be second to none. He is also proficient in sword combat and doesn't appear to favor any particular type of blade, no matter the size.
Sol's weapon of choice is the Fireseal (Fuuenken), a uniquely designed sword with a rectangular blade, the blunt part which seems to have an exhaust/engine-like device that spews forth flames. The weapon itself is capable of generating high-power flames, which he can use to augment both his physical and sword attacks. He often fashions this fire into ground-bound projectiles. He later upgrades to the Junkyard Dog MK III in Guilty Gear Vast Edge and -SIGN-, which is actually a combination of two Outrage weapons - The Fireseal and the Flashing Tooth. Sol designed Junkyard Dog MK III with a secondary function to transfigure into a long-range cannon that can fire magical bullets packed with his own flame magic as well as an extremely powerful energy spell called Saint Oratorio, which can release intense bursts of magical energy. However, the backlash from unleashing this spell is tremendous, causing it to not only cause damage to the target and environment, but the user as well, which is why Sol utilizes it sparingly.
In Overture, thanks to Izuna's modifications to his magic, he has also tapped into the ability to use Soul Sinker, a summoning ritual that allows him to manifest his Soul(also known as a Master Ghost) into physical reality and create Servants.
Whenever Sol becomes serious or desperate, he may rely on his own latent Gear powers to give him an extraordinary boost. Whenever he first does so, his body flashes a silhouette, as if to contain something. In truth, this is him holding back his transformation. When he was a bit younger as a Holy Knight, the silhouette has wings and a long tail, which suggests that in his current state, he has been able to repress it almost entirely. However, due to the encroachment of his Dragon Install, he now transforms into a dragon-like creature with his blade wrapped in infernal flames shaped into a sword, allowing him to go toe-to-toe with That Man. However, it had been stated that even in this form during the fight, Sol had not actually went all out, nor did he remove the Gear-Cell limiter on his head, which may suggest an even more drastic transformation should he release all of his power. He has since been learning to repress his Dragon Install into more humanoid forms, as seen in Vast Edge and -SIGN-.
References & Allusions
- Ishiwatari's favorite band is Queen, and he thus named Sol Badguy, whose "real" name is Frederick (or Freddie for short), after Freddie Mercury, whose nickname was 'Mr. Bad Guy'.
- Like Ishiwatari, Sol's favorite band is also said to be Queen, with Sol's favorite album being 'Sheer Heart Attack'.
- Sol's theme song, "Keep Yourself Alive", shares the same name as the first track from Queen's debut album. Several chords are lifted from another Queen song, "Stone Cold Crazy".
- Sol's Instant Kill, "Napalm Death", shares its name with that of a thrash band.
- As noted above, Sol's headband bears the words 'Rock You', a reference to the Queen song "We Will Rock You".
- The "FREE" inscription on Sol's belt buckle may be a double reference— one being to Queen's "I Want to Break Free" and the other being to a lyric in English metal band Iron Maiden's song "Revelations":
- Bind all of us together
- Ablaze with hope and free,
- No storm or heavy weather
- Will rock the boat you'll see.
- It was originally unknown why Sol carries a violent vendetta against That Man. Fans have speculated that it is because he might've been a unwilling participant in the Gear conversion experiment. This was finally confirmed to be fact by Sol's remarks in Overture and an interview with Daisuke Ishiwatari in the GG2 Overture Material Collection. Others suspect that he is enraged at how That Man has used his research (as Sol is stated to be the lead scientist behind the "Gear Concept") to turn Gears into biological killing machines, which has resulted in the mass genocide of the human race, when the original purpose of Gear Cells was for medicinal benefits such as curing illnesses and increasing human longevity. Another idea is Sol may seeking retribution for his girlfriend Aria, who is hinted to be Justice, for possibly converting her into a Gear. It is eventually revealed that all three of these factors contributed to his hatred for That Man.
- More recent official art shows Sol smoking. Additionally, he can arguably be heard lighting a cigarette in the GGX Drama CD.
- Sol is officially left-handed.
- Sol's clothing brand has always been "RIOT". Sin and Bridget also use the same brand. According to text in artwork, RIOT was established in 2134.
- In the official manga, Sol is shown to have a secret hideout near the Boston Seabed where it has a laboratory with a global mapping system. He also has a picture showing him, his former lover Aria, and That Man (whose face has been intentionally damaged). This is faintly referenced in Elphelt's Win Quote when she states that if she and Sol were a couple, he would always keep a picture of her with him.
- Including Sol, there are three more characters that play guitar: Axl, I-No and Johnny.
- Sol's bounty in Overture is higher than Dizzy's in GGX.
- Similar to Ky's "coconuts", one of Sol's moves, Gun Flame, is often misheard as "girlfriend".
- On the front of Sol's "Tyrant Wave ver. α", the exact same "eye" symbol that is on Venom's hair can be seen.
- Sol is a playable character in IO Entertainment Online Fighting Game "Lost Saga".
- Sol's BlazBlue counterpart is Ragna the Bloodedge. Both characters are wanted, have harsh attitudes and tempers, possess immense powers that they usually keep suppressed since they threaten to erode away their humanity and sanity if used heedlessly, and are the main protagonists of their separate series. They have a personal connection with the main villain (Hades Izanami possessing the body of Ragna's sister, Saya, and That Man being Sol's former best friend and employer). They also have strong rivalries with blonde swordsmen affiliated with law enforcement, however Ragna's rival is his brother, Jin Kisaragi and Sol's rival is Ky Kiske, Sol's former comrade. Though while Sol and Ky settled their differences and eventually became good friends(though their rivalry remains), Ragna and Jin are still antagonistic towards one another, even when fighting on the same side. Ragna also has a habit of dining/dashing from restaurants(mostly because of Taokaka) while Sol spends his time drinking at seedy taverns, which occasionally leads to brawls (mostly because of Axl). They are also known to be splendid cooks. They also have weapons that can transfigure into different forms: Ragna's Blood Scythe can take on the form of either a giant sword or energy scythe, and Sol's Junkyard Dog MK III has the ability to function as both a sword and a long-range energy gun/cannon.
- In -REVELATOR-, Sol has designed and created his own customized motorcycle called the "Fire-Wheel Mk.II", which is named after his Servant from Overture.