|“||If you keep talking like that, I'll cut you to pieces!||„|
|~ Baiken, to I-No, Guilty Gear XX|
Baiken is a character from the Guilty Gear series of fighting games who is one of the few characters of Japanese descent. Originally an unlockable playable boss character in the first game, Baiken later became a regular playable character in later installments.
She has pink hair worn in a ponytail, a scar over her left eye, a red, black and white kimono with the sleeves tucked in the sides of a black vest, gold and black legging-like socks, a clawed grappling hook for her right arm, peach eyes and a sword covered in a blue sheath.
Baiken is an aggressive, impulsive and anti-social person motivated solely by revenge, wanting to kill That Man. She has remained bitter over her family's demise and intensely hates Gears. Despite this, she tolerates Anji Mito to a certain extent. And though she dislikes the idea of the Japanese being treated like a special race, she occasionally shows pride towards her heritage. Baiken also comes off as a masculine female character, and she mentions that she has abandoned her gender. Despite her rough personality, she is capable of compassion and mercy, such as when she held back against Testament and Dizzy, and can acknowledge when she is at fault.
In one of her Accent Core Plus endings, Baiken loses her sanity and becomes addicted to killing people.
During the Crusades, the nation of Japan was destroyed by the Gears. Following this, those of Japanese descent who still lived were declared cultural treasures and placed in special colonies. When Baiken was a child, the Gears attacked the Japanese Institute she was living in at the time. During the invasion, she witnessed the bloody death of her parents and other people, her right arm was severed and her left eye gouged out. Amidst the flames, she could only see the silhouette of That Man, and swore revenge on him (and presumably the Gears as well) for what they had done. She trained herself in the use of the katana, and dedicated herself to hunting That Man down.
Baiken was a hidden boss and secret character in this game, and thus was not a major part of the story. In Accent Core, it is revealed that she entered the tournament seeking revenge on the Gears, specifically Justice. She was actually the first out of all the participants to fight Justice but ultimately failed.
Guilty Gear X
Baiken is still seeking her revenge, hunting down "monsters," including Gears such as Sol Badguy and others she considers to be demons, including Potemkin and Faust. Her first ending has her nearly killing Testament and Dizzy, but then letting them go; her stated reason being that she can't find That Man. Her other ending has her accompanying Johnny for a drink.
Guilty Gear XX
Baiken continues her search for That Man. She eventually runs into Anji Mito, who is also seeking That Man, but Anji does not wish to kill him; instead, he wants to ask him questions concerning Gears. Therefore, in order to save the keeper of such knowledge, Anji attempts to halt Baiken. In one of her endings, she meets That Man, but is unable to harm him. In the second, the Post-War Administration Bureau sends a brainwashed May and a Robo-Ky after her, and she has a fairly easy time dispatching them. In her third ending, Anji stalls her, but she spares his life on the condition that he shares the information he managed to gather from That Man.
Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus
In this game, Baiken continues her search for revenge against That Man. Ultimately, she fails on finding him, but Anji insists on becoming her new accomplice. In her first ending, she is shown with Anji at her side vowing to protect her as he also quits his status as a follower of That Man. He states that he "doesn't want her to die", and brings Baiken to the cold realization that That Man is beyond both of them. They now travel together, Baiken apparently giving up on her vengeance. Her second ending (after killing I-No) portrays Baiken still on the run and seeking vengeance, with Ky Kiske chasing her for her crimes as "Baiken the Killer". It's very likely that the first one is the canonical ending.
Powers and Abilities
Whereas other characters possess supernatural abilities or Gear powers, Baiken is one of the few fully "normal" human characters in the series. Her thirst for vengeance made her skilled in the use of the katana, becoming deadly despite only having one arm. She also has many hidden surprise weapons within the sleeve of her severed arm: a Japanese mace, a feudal cannon, a bladed fan, a chain rope, a hook, a claw, and a spear; these weapons are collectively referred to as "Demon Tools'. She is also proficient in utilizing Ki and can use summoning magic (for her Tatami Gaeshi).
References and Allusions
- Baiken was heavily inspired by Himura Kenshin, to the point where her initial physical appearance in the first game was a pallette swap of Kenshin. It is said that Daisuke Ishiwatari (the character designer) got the idea when he saw a picture of Kenshin and mistook him for a woman.
- Aside from the superficial similarities to Kenshin, the concept of a one-armed, one-eyed samurai seeking revenge for his/her clan was directly lifted from Hayashi Fubo's popular literary hero, Tange Sazen. Sazen has been the subject of several stage and film adaptations in Japan. Originally a man, the character has also been portrayed as a female in several films, which is most likely where the inspiration for Baiken emerged from.
- Baiken is likely named (using different kanji) after Baiken Shishido, an Edo period samurai.
- Baiken's special move "Tatami Gaeshi" is a reference to trap-doors in straw panel flooring (tatami), which are a cliché in Japanese period dramas.
- Among the playable characters, Baiken is the only one who has no musical reference.
- Baiken is one of (and perhaps the only) Guilty Gear characters that has been able to actually murder and/or fatally wound I-No, though that scene is not considered to be canon.