Which one? Both
Since before the beginning of Guilty Gear’s main story, there’s been a handful of characters behind the scenes pulling strings and setting events in motion, but fans almost never got to play as them.
The most prominent among them was always ‘That Man’, and after more than 20 years since his first appearance, it finally looks like he’s going to be playable in Guilty Gear Strive.
Fans were first introduced properly to That Man in the Guilty Gear X games as a mysterious figure in a white hood as the target of Sol Badguy’s pain and revenge.
He helped lead the initial Gear project and was directly responsible for the creation of Justice and Sol while bearing the sins of doing so — and destroying the basically the entirety of Japan.
Although That Man was always seemingly around in the shadows, it was rare for him to step onto the battlefield despite his presumed overwhelming power considering he trained under The Original, who is the source of magical science in their world.
It wouldn’t be until Guilty Gear Xrd’s story that we’d finally learn That Man’s true name, Asuka R. Kreutz, and also the implication that he wasn’t the only ‘That Man’ running around.
Asuka would play a much more prominent role in Strive’s story, and many expected him to be on the game’s roster either in base form or in Season 1 since we also got Goldlewis Dickinson, Jack-O and Happy Chaos during that time — but he wasn’t.
After confirming Bedman? / Delilah as Strive’s 3rd DLC fighter for Season 2, Arc System Works revealed a brief teaser for the last member of the pass, and it was easy to immediately tell who it is.
Asuka’s arm can be seen with the Tome of Origin, an insanely powerful relic of the Backyard’s magic, above his hand, which he possesed in Strive’s story, so there’s little doubt that it’s him.
Being one of the most powerful magic users in existence, we expect That Man will be focused primarily or exclusively around spells and magical arts, which would probably make him a zoner / trap character in fighting game terms.
Given what we’ve seen of his powers in the story, Asuka will likely come packing barriers / defensive spells, but you can find more of what could be included in his move set here.
For literal decades, That Man has been one of the most requested and interesting characters within Guilty Gear, and that brings with it some lofty expectations from fans.
Daisuke Ishiwatari has had at least 22 years to think about Asuka’s move set, so hopefully it’ll blow all of our socks off.
Without spoiling too much, Asuka’s arrival will also make it so both people refered to as That Man will have been made playable in Guilty Gear Strive, which is kinda crazy to think about just a handful of years ago.
Although Bedman? got delayed from March until April, ArcSys is still confident they’ll launch the last Season 2 character in May, so we have a little bit of a wait — but what’s 2 more months compared to 22 years?
If you’d like to get caught up and learn why Asuka is so important to the series, what he can do and what his relationships are ahead of his launch, we highly recommend checking out the Guilty Gear Lore playlist from WoolieVersus.