|Guilty Gear character|
Sol Badguy in Guilty Gear Xrd
|First game||Guilty Gear|
|Created by||Daisuke Ishiwatari|
|Voiced by||Troy Baker (English version of Guilty Gear 2: Overture)|
Sol Badguy (Japanese: ソル＝バッドガイ Hepburn: Soru Baddogai?) is a fictional character in Arc System Works's Guilty Gear video game series. He first appeared in the 1998 video game Guilty Gear as the main character and namesake. In the series, he is a bounty hunter who has dedicated his life to the destruction of Gears, a race of magical bioweapons that plunged the world into a hundred-year war known as the Crusades. He was once a member of the Sacred Order of the Holy Knights, and this appearance was featured as an another playable character named Order-Sol (聖騎士団ソル Seikishidan Soru?).
Sol Badguy, whose real name is Frederick, was named after Freddie Mercury's nickname "Mr. Bad Guy" by Daisuke Ishiwatari, the series' creator, who also provided his voice in video games. Despite being criticized as a generic fictional character, video game reviewers compared his relationship with his main rival Ky Kiske to that of other notable video game characters. Sol's fighting abilities and his name's choice were also the subject of the reviewers, receiving both praise and criticism.
Creation and design
Creator Daisuke Ishiwatari designed Sol in many ways to reflect as his alter ego, and also recorded Sol's in-game voice acting (the voice actor for Guilty Gear X2's story mode and drama CDs however, is done by Hikaru Hanada). Ishiwatari's favorite band is Queen, and he thus put in Sol's profile that he is a fan of Queen, and named Sol Badguy, whose real name is Frederick (or Freddie for short), after Freddie Mercury, whose nickname was "Mr. Bad Guy".
Introduced in the first installment of the series (1998), he was one of the lead scientists of the Gear project, and 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 Gears. He was personally acquainted with That Man prior to the Crusades. As Frederick, Sol created the "Outrage", which he called a supreme Anti-Gear weapon. The Outrage has eight components called "Jinki" (Godlike Weapons), which greatly amplify their wielders' magical ability. Later, he was himself recruited into the order, as a bounty hunter named "Sol Badguy." Sol took part in the Crusades, and at this time he was a member of the Sacred Order of Holy Knights (Seikishidan). He acquired the nickname "Flame of Corruption" (背徳の炎 Haitoku no Honō?) during that time. However, he later became disenchanted with the methods of the Sacred Order, and fled the order, taking with him the Fūenken (封炎剣?, Fireseal). The theft earned him Ky Kiske's enmity.
In 2175, Sol faced Justice directly. The two fought, and Justice won—in the process, discovering that Sol was a Gear. Justice attempted to assert her power as a Commander Gear to control Sol, but was unable to do so. Exploiting her confusion and weakness from the fight, the Holy Order, led by Ky, sealed Justice away, bringing the war to an end. However, a Gear named Testament began a plan to resurrect Justice, and to stop it, the Union of Nations held a tournament. 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.
In Guilty Gear X (2000), Sol has three endings, all of which involve a fight against Dizzy, who has a half-million 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 is not a threat to the world in the other two.  On the subsquent game, Guilty Gear X2 (2002), his storyline here involves chasing down I-No. His first ending, after he defeats I-No, leads to a direct confrontation with That Man who 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.
In Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus (2008), Sol has two endings. In one, I-No throws him back in time to fight with his past self, Order-Sol. After both are weakened from the battle, I-No reappears to murder Order-Sol—an alternative past version of him—, which, in turn, causes Sol's present form to cease existing. In his other ending, the same set of events play out, but Sol's present form, strangely, is unaffected by his past self's death. After escaping the time rift, Ky confronts and engages him in battle. After the fight, Sol and Ky finally settle their differences and go their separate ways, with Ky asking Sol to promise that they will meet again. Though it is referenced in both Sol and Ky's endings, only Sol's tells the events directly after the battle, implying that Sol was the victor.
In Guilty Gear 2: Overture (2007), 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, he meets Izuna who tells him that a man called Vizel is seeking out and destroying Gears on the orders of Valentine, and that his next target is the kingdom of Illyria. Sol, Sin, and Izuna go to Illyria and find Ky Kiske in a binding spell. With Dr. Paradigm's help they are able to release him. Eventually, they capture Valentine who transforms herself in a monster. Sol fights against her, and after the fight, he finds himself in a white space, unable to return.
Order-Sol is an alternative past version of the original character. Sol was once a part of the Sacred Order of the Holy Knights, and Order-Sol is a take on what Sol looked like and how he fought during that time. This form also shows a glimpse of Sol's true Gear form when performing one of his special moves.
He first appeared as a playable character in Guilty Gear XX Slash (2005), and subsequently appeared in Guilty Gear XX Accent Core (2006), Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus (2008), and Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R (2012). In addition to being playable, Order-Sol also appears as a final boss of Guilty Gear XX Slash's Arcade Mode.
In a 2013 poll conducted by Arc System Works, Sol was voted as the second most popular character from the series. Daisuke Ishiwatari cited Sol as his favorite character several times. William Usher from Cinema Blend found Sol to be one of his favorite characters "of all time, for any game". He has been praised for his last name's loftiness by many sources, with Eurogamer's calling him "the best-named videogame character of all time." On other hand, Hardcore Gaming 101 said "his name is ridiculous", 1UP.com ranked him sixth in their "Top 10 Most Ridiculous Character Names", while Emily Gera of VideoGamer.com included him in a list of "Oddest Character Names in Games", and GamesRadar's David Houghton placed him among the "25 most gloriously stupid character names in video games".
Despite called him one of the cast "more generic characters", IGN commented that Sol has a "standard speed and versatility", and considered Sol "cool" because he is a good character to play with for newcomers as he is "one of the easier characters to get acquianted [sic] with." Thunderbolt Games listed his Dust Loop as one of the "Fighting Games' Most Infamous Combos", and stated it is "the biggest crowd upsetting combo in X2", as well as "one of history's most boring and abused combos". On other hand, GamesRadar's "Top 7" named him the fifth best character in fighting games of all time, adding "Sol and his array of fiery attacks are emblematic", and calling Dust Loop, "one of fighting games' most iconic combos". Similary, but this time in a "Top 50", he was ranked 34th in Complex's list of "Most Dominant Fighting Game Characters". The option of his alternate form, Order-Sol, was also praised by IGN that remarked he "is utterly fantastic and makes a great addition to the cast". In contrast, Lucas Sullivan from GamesRadar described him as "bit like Evil Ryu: just different enough from the original to justify your inclusion in a limited roster".
His relation with Ky Kiske has also been commended by reviewers. Todd Ciolek from Anime News Network described it as a "true relationship", and IGN's writer Ryan Clements called their a legendary pair, while Vincent Ingenito of the same site said "Ky and Sol might very well have been the next Ryu and Ken...or at least the next Scorpion and Sub-Zero". Writing for GameSpy, Benjamin Turner commented that they "are the closest you'll get to a Ken and Ryu, but they look approximately a thousand times cooler." On the same subject, Clements, however, said their clashes are "great melodrama".
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