A.B.A

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Nice breeze. Lovely sea, too... My favorite color. A blue so clear, you can peer into its depths...
― A.B.A to Paracelsus and Testament[src]

A.B.A is a recurring character in the Guilty Gear series. She is a homunculus from Frasco who made her debut in the spin-off Guilty Gear Isuka.

Design

In Isuka and XX, A.B.A has sunken green eyes, pale skin and red hair. Her attire is strange, as it mainly consists of blood-drenched bandages that cover her body, with the only clothing items being an off-white skirt with a key hanging on the brown studded belt enveloped around her belly and a similarly colored garment seemingly fashioned from a pair of pants hangs loosely over her chest and back with the help of red strings, and she wears a brown fingerless glove adorned with a red lock on her left hand. In the Xbox cover art for Isuka by Daisuke Ishiwatari, the word "Alice" appears on red tags on her skirt and glove and on the red lock on her glove. She wears off-white shoes which are similar in color to her clothes with black soles, and a dark gray screw shaped like a key sprouts from either side of her head.

In Guilty Gear -Strive-, A.B.A's hair has been dyed a turquoise blue, gaining a white headband and growing out longer. Her glove is now missing the red lock, her bandages are less bloody and wrapped differently, she has new shoes with a chain wrapped around, and her top has changed to more resemble a shirt with writing on it. The black key sprouting from her head has also changed directions it's facing.

Personality

A.B.A is a very shy and immature person. Since she lived by herself in seclusion for 10 years, she doesn’t have confidence about anything in the “outside” world. She is an artificial life form and has strong principles by nature, but she is also very frightened of competition at times. Due to her complicated personality and inexperience with other humans, she tries to treat others authoritatively, oftentimes using difficult expressions that she does not fully know the meaning of.[8] She believes that her logic is not dictated by emotions, and that it makes her better than humans.[2] A.B.A finds motivation in Paracelsus, her axe, who she decided to take as a partner years ago. He helps her to act positively, however she still lacks cooperativeness at times. A.B.A is of a possessive nature and very jealous when it comes to Paracelsus.

In -Strive-, A.B.A's jealously and obsession with Paracelsus is put on display much more, with the former emotion now playing a major part of a gameplay.

A.B.A's favourite colour is the colour of the ocean by Heaven's Edge, calling it "a blue so clear, you can peer into its depths."[9]

Story

Background

In a laboratory named "Frasco" in the mountains to the north of an isolated village, a doctor by the name of Paracelsus[4] was obsessed with creating artificial life forms. After years of research he created A.B.A, an artificial life-form, or homunculus. However, before her 'birth', the aforementioned doctor was taken away by a military organization, which was planning to use his technical skills for unknown reasons.[10] When her eyes opened for the first time, A.B.A found herself alone within Frasco, and lived the first 10 years of her life in total isolation.

Escape from Frasco was not impossible. Nevertheless, A.B.A quickly realized that she had no knowledge of how to exist outside of her home. To find relief from her sadness, she becomes obsessed with keys of all kinds, collecting all sorts, as they represented the opening a path into a new world.[10]

While roaming outside one day, still tired of her isolated life, A.B.A stumbled upon an ancient relic known as "Flament Nagel". It was love at first sight, as the war relic's shape closely resembled a key, A.B.A decided to keep him as her partner; she renamed him "Paracelsus", the same name as her creator. Her new goal was to acquire an artificial body for her newfound partner.[2]

Guilty Gear XX

In Guilty Gear XX Λ Core Plus, A.B.A tries to find a body for Paracelsus, despite Paracelsus not seeing the need for such a thing. In all story mode paths, A.B.A ends up at the Post War Administration Bureau and Crow agrees to try and swap Paracelsus' personality into a body. Depending on the ending the player obtains, Paracelsus can either be transported inside a Robo-Ky head, much to the dismay of both A.B.A and Paracelsus, or be transported into a real human body. In the ending where Paracelsus obtains a human body, A.B.A keeps him in shackles due to her fear of him trying to leave.[11] Both of these endings are most likely non-canon as of Guilty Gear -Strive-, due to Paracelsus remaining in his axe body.

Guilty Gear Strive

In Guilty Gear -Strive-, A.B.A's Arcade Mode starts with her and Paracelsus in a seaside town with Testament passing through. The content of Arcade Mode varies wildly depending on player actions.

In paths involving the player losing a round along the way, A.B.A's obsession with Paracelsus only continues to worsen as she ignores the advice of both him and Testament. One ending involves Paracelsus asking Testament if they can free him from the “hell" he's in, to which Testament's politely refuses. Another ending has A.B.A jump to the conclusion that Paracelsus doesn't love her because she hasn't found him a body yet, which Paracelsus pleads for A.B.A to actually listen to him, a request she blindly ignores.

In paths where the player does not lose a round for the first eight stages, the "Stage 9 boss fight" path, A.B.A says that she enjoys the ocean due to it being her favorite color, "a blue so clear, you can peer into it's depths." After some initial confrontation A.B.A starts to listen to what Testament has to say. Testament tells A.B.A that her obsession with Paracelsus is having an effect on him, and that if she doesn't stop Paracelsus might not be able to maintain his shape. A.B.A realizes that her relationship with Paracelsus is unhealthy. After meeting with Elphelt Valentine, A.B.A begins to say her goodbyes to Paracelsus, however he insists that he doesn't want her to leave entirely. Both of them admit to being detrimental to each other in the past, and Paracelsus says he wants to try and work things out. A.B.A acts unsure if she can change her ways, however, as a sign of good faith, Paracelsus changes himself from yellow to A.B.A's favorite color blue. A.B.A becomes light-headed and collapses, signaling the end of her Arcade Mode.[9]

Abilities

Paracelsus (Flament Nagel) is A.B.A's weapon, who serves somewhat like an axe. She uses blood transfusion packs to temporarily power herself and Paracelsus up, labeled "Super Body Fluid" in a piece by Daisuke Ishiwatari. While transformed, she becomes more powerful and begins dripping blood, in addition to losing health by performing actions. In order to regain the spent health, she can use more blood to revert to normal. Her unusual fighting style may be the reason why she is constantly covered in blood-splotched bandages (which also compliments her frail appearance). In her Moroha form, she is powerful enough to pressure even the likes of Slayer. She also incorporates Fire and Lightning magic through her utilization of alchemy and can also manipulate her bandages.

In spite of her appearance, she is incredibly durable. In her Drama CD side story, she survived Slayer's All Dead (though he was holding back tremendously), which sent her flying over the horizon until she landed somewhere miles away, and was relatively unscathed. She also boasts regenerative capabilities as she had her arm torn off in her fight with Slayer and was able to reattach it by merely realigning it to the stump.[12]

Music

Quotes

Allusions

  • A.B.A can be taken as a reference to the Swedish pop group ABBA, or the musical term "ABA".
  • The name of A.B.A's creator, 'husband' and the name on her clothes and strap in -Strive-, are all in reference to Theophrastus von Hohenheim, more commonly known as Paracelsus. A swiss philosopher most known for his contributions to alchemy, and is considered to be the creator of the concept of Homnunculi.

Trivia

  • The English localization of A.B.A's GG World entries claim she is about 10 years old, but this was a mistranslation. Her actual age is unknown.
  • The name "A.B.A" could also be an indirect reference to blood types, especially due to A.B.A's focus on using blood as a gameplay mechanic.
  • A.B.A has a deep infatuation with Paracelsus, but he does not feel the same. He does however, worry about her and appreciates her as a battle partner.
  • A.B.A is one of the few characters who can see ghosts, which includes Slayer and Anji Mito, as she saw S-Ko (Zappa's vengeful spirit) when they met each other.[8]
  • A.B.A's transformed state may have been the inspiration for Nagoriyuki's blood gauge, both powering them up drastically whilst having their own health drain.
  • In Guilty Gear -Strive-, Asuka R. Kreutz compares A.B.A's construction to that of the Valentine series.[1]
  • A.B.A's eye color is extremely inconsistent in art, being everything from blue, brown, green, red, and grey in different pieces. Her eyes are stated to be green.
  • In Night of Knives, A.B.A claims that because she is a homunculus, she is able to regenerate herself as long as she has a source of blood. [13]
  • A.B.A was teased as the third DLC character in Season Pass 3 for Strive via a promotional silhouette of her render posted on ArcSystemWorks' social media pages on Feburary 28th, 2024.[14] She was later revealed at the Arc World Tour Finals on March 20th, 2024. Attendees of the event could play her before her official release date of March 26th, 2024.[15]
  • A.B.A's release as a DLC character for Strive coincided with the release of a new stage, Fallen Prayer, Engulfed Lives.
  • Shortly after A.B.A's reveal for Strive, Guilty Gear fan ShmuelBrain posted a theory about A.B.A's hair color change on Twitter claiming A.B.A's hair could be made out of copper (similar to how her blood contains mercury) and that the reason for the color change could be due to oxidization.[16] This theory spread online and reached the attention of A.B.A's English voice actor, Anna Brisbin,[17] and even the developers, including Daisuke Ishiwatari himself,[18] who, despite it being non-canon, still enjoyed the theory.

External links

A.B.A | CHARACTER | GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- | ARC SYSTEM WORKS

Notes

  1. Translation swaps between "Frasco" and "Flask" often

References