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Classic Guilty Gear Character Comes Out As Non-Binary In Latest Game

Arc System Works now officially recognizes the androgynous Testament as agender

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An androgynous, grim reaper-style character pulls down the brim of their top hat with a gloved hand.
Screenshot: Arc System Works

Guilty Gear Strive’s next roster expansion will see fan-favorite Testament return to the fold with an updated design, moveset, and gender.

Testament is now considered agender—a non-binary identity classified by its total disassociation with all known genders—by Arc System Works, after previously being referred to with he/him pronouns. This change is reflected in the official Guilty Gear Strive website’s use of they/them pronouns and was specifically pointed out by the devs during a recent presentation at the Arc Revo America fighting game tournament finals.

“Agender is the best word,” explained Arc System Works marketing rep Riku Ozawa, according to a third-party translation. “Neither male nor female. Testament is Testament.”

Arc System Works (YouTube)

Testament, who presented as a highly androgynous grim reaper long before Strive, was included as an unlockable secret boss in both 1998’s Guilty Gear and 2000’s Guilty Gear X before becoming a regular cast member in 2002’s Guilty Gear XX. Since then, they’ve appeared in every mainline Guilty Gear game (with the exception of the Xrd trilogy) and several spin-offs.

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“They’re androgynous,” Guilty Gear godfather Daisuke Ishiwatari reportedly said when asked about Testament’s gender in a decades-old interview. “In fact, they’ve transcended human existence. Just like me.”

Arc System Works (YouTube)

Testament’s trap-based gameplay made them an infamous part of old-school Guilty Gear competition, and players experienced with Testament’s unique brand of shenanigans are pessimistically expecting them to be a powerhouse in Strive as well. They will be portrayed by trans voice actor Kayleigh McKee, whose work has appeared in games like Genshin Impact and Hearthstone.

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While fighting games still have their problems with diversity, it’s cool to see genre devs continue to set a standard for the rest of the industry by pushing against long-held norms in representation. I hated playing against Testament back in the day, but we stan a non-binary icon.