All About Guilty Gear With Creator Daisuke Ishiwatari

By Spencer . May 6, 2011 . 2:31pm

Zen United just released Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus and a massive collector’s edition in Europe earlier today. Daisuke Ishiwatari, creator of Guilty Gear, tells us work on a fighting game is never finished. Before we get to the art of imbalance, Ishiwatari explains where he gets ideas for characters like Venom.




When I think of Guilty Gear and BlazBlue, both titles have a unique cast of characters. How do you come imagine designs for say Faust, Testament, or dare I say Bridget?


Daisuke Ishiwatari, creator of Guilty Gear: It’s a combination of things. Sol for example, is very much my kind of character, so he’s very close to my heart. But inspiration can come from anywhere – Venom came about when I was playing pool with friends and I thought a pool cue would make an interesting weapon. And Bridget?


Bridget was actually a very complicated character to create – she has double the frames of animation of all the other characters because of the Yo-Yo. Mori was actually working on this, and had a hard time getting the wrist action to work – to look natural. We all got Yo-Yos into the studio and spent a very long, very frustrating time trying to get the animation to work. I rejected many versions before the team got it right!


Arc System Works re-released different versions of Guilty Gear, like Accent Core Plus, which is coming to Europe. How do you rebalance Guilty Gear for each iteration?


Work on a fighting game is never finished! When something is played to the extent that Guilty Gear is played, it’s inevitable that people discover tricks, combos and imbalances. We do listen to our fans and monitor closely how the community is playing, very often they are discovering things or imbalances that we have also discovered – we take these into account and decide which changes to make. It’s a difficult process, but is important if you want to keep a fighting game being enjoyed by your fans.


Sometimes however I think a little imbalance is healthy. If all the characters were perfectly balanced would this make a game more fun? I don’t think it would. There is something to be enjoyed in using a ‘weaker’ character to defeat an opponent who is using a ‘stronger’ character – I think that kind of battle can be fun.


Are there any ideas for characters that you didn’t get a chance to implement into Guilty Gear?


Yes. Very many – but I think that’s normal for any fighting game! The process of deciding on characters can get quite heated and people can get very attached to them. In the end all characters go through a number of changes, or rejections before the final roster is agreed.


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While the graphic style and basic combo system draw players into Guilty Gear, the game is quite deep. How do you balance between having a rich fighting system and making a game accessible?


Guilty Gear is a difficult game to play, with many systems to master. When we balanced the game and made revisions, we listened to our fanbase and made changes we wanted to make – which was to make a very technical, hardcore fighter. This was our intention. I don’t think you can have it both ways. BlazBlue has a good balance I think of being easy to pick up, but still having a depth for more dedicated players to explore. Will the next Guilty Gear be easier? No, I don’t think so – it will be a difficult game. But, I would like to implement systems like a beginner mode to help new players get started.


Crossovers, in all forms, are quite popular. Have you ever considered to perhaps do a BlazBlue or Guilty Gear crossover with a different franchise?


People’s desire to see it happen has definitely been noted at Arc and of course, it has been discussed – but whether it will happen? If enough people request it… you never know!


I have to ask for all the Guilty Gear fans. What’s the future of the series? Will we ever see another game? Learn more about "That man"? Or even a Guilty Gear HD title?


We recently went to Europe for the World Game Cup (Gaming Tournament held in Cannes, France) and Arc System Clash (An Arc System Works event and tournament held in London back in March) and we spoke to many of our fans, and this question was asked many times – it’s great to see that the passion for Guilty Gear is still strong! Let’s just say that you won’t be disappointed! When that new Guilty Gear will come? I honestly don’t know – not because I can’t tell you, but because I really don’t know – but it will happen eventually!

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  • Arcm

    I would love Guilty Gear to get a story mode like Blazblue that helps put you into the world and gives a true ending to each game.

  • [The Hunter] Doomrider

    “She”?! Ishiwatari, you of all people should know: it’s a trap!

    Anyways, completely agree with Arcm. I really wish GG would get an elaborate story mode in the future. I got BB CS as a present a while ago and it’s really fun to play through the story. The world is surprisingly deep for a fighting game, the characters are interesting and it’s got a nice anime vibe to it. Even people like me, who suck at fighting games can have a lot of fun with it.

    And I never get tired of Ishiwatari’s music, it’s so good.

  • Apache_Chief

    He conveniently sidestepped the question of how he thought up Bridget…

    • z_merquise

      That or maybe he just had no idea how people are . . . too gay for Bridget.

  • Code

    rar, interesting read was interesting >w<; It's not surprising about Bridget's yo-yo animation, but it's pretty fun to hear that they actually went out and got a bunch of yo-yo's just to work it out. I like to think when figuring out Tao's moves they got a bag of kittens +o+!

  • “Sometimes however I think a little imbalance is healthy.”

    OBJECTION! This only works when there’s only 1, not 2, let alone 3, overcentralizing character(s), as shown via Karas in Tatsunoko vs Capcom: Cross Generation of Heroes.

    On the other hand, imbalance is off-putting, via overcentralization, as displayed back in Marvel VS Capcom 2. >_>

    • Code

      Yeahh, but MvsC2 was a lot more then a little imbalanced >w<' I do agree though, balance is very important. But at the same time I do like the fact that there can be tricker match ups between particular characters and letting players figure out natural flows within the game. I imagine balancing is probably by far the hardest part of the job opo;

      • I forgot which installment had Eddie as the sole God Tier in tourneys. This shows how 1 unbalanced/overcentralizing character perfectly pictures Daisuke’s vision of “Sometimes however I think a little imbalance is healthy,” not a whole team of unbalanced/overcentralizing characters.

        Yes, balancing is the hardest to figure out, since there are some moves that can be abused, a la Cable’s Air Hyper Viper Beam, Sentinel’s normal follow-ups to Hyper Sentinel Force, to name a few. >_>

  • z_merquise

    An HD-2D Guilty Gear fighting game before anything else, spin-offs, Overture sequel or whatnot.

    It’s nice to see that the series still got a huge fan base. An HD-2D game would really take time but as long as they were aware that fans supported it and that they never ignore the series, it already made me happy as a fan.

    • YsyDoesIt

      I echo this sentiment. An HD port would be perfect as a Live or Network title.

  • AnimeRemix

    “Crossovers, in all forms, are quite popular. Have you ever considered to perhaps do a BlazBlue or Guilty Gear crossover with a different franchise? People’s desire to see it happen has definitely been noted at Arc and of course, it has been discussed – but whether it will happen? If enough people request it… you never know!”

    BlazBlue X Guilty Gear please!!! =D I never really got into Guilty Gear (the series just isn’t my style compared to BlazBlue), but I wouldn’t mind facing some of those GG characters using BB characters (and I know my friend would love to see a cross over between them!)

  • “Bridget was actually a very complicated character to create – =she= has
    double the frames of animation of all the other characters because of
    the Yo-Yo.”

    Oh u. :3

  • PrinceHeir

    “Guilty Gear is a difficult game to play, with many systems to master”

    so true, i remember playing this on the PS1, no tutorials, just plain old practice mode and movelist, the moves are so hard not to mention you have to string them in a perfectly manner, but the world, music and artstyle really drew me in.

    “Crossovers, in all forms, are quite popular. Have you ever considered to perhaps do a BlazBlue or Guilty Gear crossover with a different franchise?”

    as much as that would be a good idea, i opposed to that. i mean some of the characters are already similar in one way or another, Sol-Ragna, Ky-Jin, Potemkin-Tager, Hazama-Ino or Slayer etc.

    though a Guilty Gear vs King of Fighters or Arc System Works vs SNK would be nice :P imagine KOF with aerial combos or Samurai Shodown characters vs guilty gear characters. i think SNK and Arc System Works fit with each other, though the problem lies on SNK with their business strategy to cater to pachinko and rerelease of old titles instead of promoting their new ones or making new IP’s

    though companies like Examu, Type Moon, Ecole Software would also be nice :P

    • Guest

      If you remember GG for PS1, do you also remember Groove on Fight for Sega Saturn? (that was more hardcore elite since it was import only)

      • PrinceHeir

        nope how was it? i was mainly a PS gamer back then. played the hell out of SNES though, never bothered with N64. didn’t even knew it existed.

        i did know about Sega Saturn. though Virtua Fighter is the only game i remember.

  • God bless you, Daisuke for having the idea of not letting Guilty Gear become anything else but what it is already! It’s good to see the opinions of the fans are appreciated. It’s why I support ASW and I keep coming back to play this series and its games.

  • karasuKumo

    Sometimes however I think a little imbalance is healthy.”

    He is officially my new hero, I agree soooo much. I always see people complaining about certain characters in fighters being overpowered. I honestly love the feeling of defeating a super strong character after about 20 tries.

    “Work on a fighting game is never finished!”

    Pure dedication right there!
    Great interview! ^^

  • whatever happens, please, no storymode, I´m so happy with some good old fashioned endings. (blazblue endings and story mode are just a complete waste of time, and they are so friggin gaaaay…) and please…no more recycled or arranged tracks, just give us new original tracks!

  • I think crossover between Guilty Gear and Blazblue will be freakin’ awesome!

    And to know if i’m going to see Guilty Gear in HD quite made me hyped!!!

    Hell yeah!

  • Bridget isn’t a “she”, lolz.


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