Guilty Gear, more than any fighting game, is a series defined by its music. As such, it only makes sense that fans would hold serious opinions about its soundtrack, even to the point of refusing to play if a song they dislike is chosen as the backing music to a match.
Oreo, a competitive fighting game player and QA analyst on animal fighting game, Them’s Fightin’ Herds, experienced this situation firsthand during a recent Guilty Gear Strive session. After beating an opponent online, she was surprised to find they weren’t interested in a rematch. Oh well, these things happen. But upon returning to the lobby, the other player let Oreo know why with a brief text message: They wanted her to switch away from a divisive track before they continued playing.
“People are that upset about that song?” one of Oreo’s friends asked her in their Discord voice chat.
“It threw him off his whole game,” another friend joked. “How could he possibly play with that song going on?”
The song in question, “The Disaster of Passion,” has made waves in the Guilty Gear community since its reveal as May’s theme back in, well, May. Unlike a majority of Guilty Gear music since the franchise’s 1998 debut, which draws heavy inspiration from old-school metal acts like Metallica and Guns N’ Roses, “The Disaster of Passion” is a poppy, keyboard-driven piece worthy of May’s upbeat personality. The song is nice but stands in stark contrast to the rest of the Guilty Gear Strive soundtrack, even with its killer guitar solo.
See, May is kind of a problem. She doesn’t put out insane damage like Sol Badguy, sure, but her ability to spam her dolphin-based attacks (not to mention the fact that she screams, “Totsugeki!” every time) has frustrated veterans and newcomers alike. I’m not saying that had everything to do with certain portions of the community turning against “The Disaster of Passion,” but fighting game players are a finicky bunch, prone to wild shifts in opinion that can change from day to day based on various factors.
I don’t need to tell you this, but the internet is weird. Something can be popular one day, a meme about how ‘bad’ it is can start the next, and then social media is inundated for weeks with takes upon takes upon takes. Is “The Disaster of Passion” really the most despised song in Guilty Gear Strive? Maybe, but quick peek at the discourse reveals that it has as many unabashed fans as downright haters. Like most Online Things, it’s clear the answer lies somewhere in the middle, obscured beneath several layers of irony.
That said, if you happen to run into the online Nagoriyuki player Oreo was fighting, you might want to save yourself some time and switch away from May’s theme to avoid any interruptions.