Even in a franchise as full of brilliant characters as Guilty Gear, Baiken rules. The fucked-up samurai, despite missing both an eye and an arm, is canonically one of the strongest people in the fighting game’s universe, and it’s hard not to be charmed by the brash swagger she brings to every battle. But one thing about Baiken continues to confuse me after all these years: Why do her boobs keep growing with every Guilty Gear game Arc System Works releases?
Baiken debuted in the very first Guilty Gear game, subtitled The Missing Link, in 1998. Since then, she’s been playable in every mainline game apart from 2014’s Guilty Gear Xrd -Sign-, ranking her among the most consistent fighters on the franchise’s roster apart from the likes of Sol Badguy and Ky Kiske. Baiken’s regular appearances also contribute to her massive popularity among Guilty Gear heads, with more vocal proponents jokingly adopting a policy of “no Baiken, no buy-ken.”
It wasn’t until she appeared in 2017’s Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2, however, that a series layperson like me began noticing another curious aspect of Baiken’s character design. Sure, the samurai’s clothing always hung loose around her body, often giving players a quick peek at private parts suited for more mature games, but it felt like her breasts suddenly became just as important to her aesthetics as her eyepatch or missing arm.
I mean, the animators went out of their way to make Baiken’s tits cushion her fall after a sweep. That can’t feel good!
With Baiken’s impending January 28 arrival in Guilty Gear Strive, it’s become increasingly clear that her chest is simply going to keep growing every time a new game in the franchise hits the market. After being spurred to go back and look at earlier Guilty Gear art by a random Twitter user, it’s almost comical how much Baiken has changed since her debut 24 years ago, even when compared to her contemporaries.
Just look at this artwork from the first Guilty Gear. She almost looks like a different person entirely, at least as far as her chest is concerned.
The changes to Baiken’s design came slowly at first. Here she is in 2000’s Guilty Gear X…
…2002’s Guilty Gear XX and its Guilty Gear XX Accent Core update…
…and 2003 spin-off Guilty Gear Isuka.
As you can see, things really took off with Baiken in Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2, and then her design entered the realm of absurdity with Guilty Gear Strive, pictured at the top of this blog.
Times change. Where once Baiken was a character so hellbent on revenge that she seemingly couldn’t care less about her risqué wardrobe risking an errant nip slip, she’s since been pseudo-Flanderized with a design that focuses mostly on having boobs as big as her head. And while that’s not to say Baiken doesn’t still play an integral part in the overarching Guilty Gear story or that having tig ol’ bitties means she can’t be a serious, multifaceted character, where does it end? Even Bandai Namco retreated a little after pushing Ivy’s voluptuousness close to human anatomical limits in Soulcalibur IV, but it’s not clear anyone at Arc System Works possesses a similar sense of self-control.
All that said, I’ve become surprisingly addicted to chaos over the last few years, so in the interest of sowing as much discourse as possible, I have just one message for the madman at Arc System Works who’s in charge of designing Baiken: