Guilty Gear Strive’s second season of characters kicked off Monday with the release of Bridget, the yo-yo-wielding, habit-wearing fighter who first joined the series with 2002’s Guilty Gear X2. Three more characters are planned for Guilty Gear Strive’s season 2 pass, which will run through 2023.
For players looking to get into Guilty Gear, developer Arc System Works describes Bridget as an “easy to pick up, standard style of character” with solid long-range attacks and... a teddy bear. Bridget is available as part of the $24.99 season pass, and individually for $6.99. The developer also released a starter guide video for Bridget, who wasn’t playable in the recent Guilty Gear Xrd games.
Bridget’s arrival in Guilty Gear Strive is momentous not just for the launch of a second season of DLC, it also confirms that the character is a trans woman. Bridget’s lore and history are complicated, and in previous entries in the Guilty Gear series, her sexuality and a lack of clarity on her gender identity were sometimes played for dramatic effect or comedic purposes. But in Strive, Bridget comes out definitively as transgender, as seen in this cutscene featuring an interaction between Bridget, Ky Kiske, and relative newcomer Goldlewis Dickinson.
its official!— moeblob (apoc) (@Marcanthony737) August 8, 2022
bridget is transgender!
you cannot comprehend how hard i screamed its not intentionally vague its loud and clear and of all people to show her that its GOLDLEWIS pic.twitter.com/7kIAOArToH
Previous Guilty Gear games identified Bridget as male, and other characters referred to Bridget with both male and female pronouns. According to her official backstory (which refers to her in gender-neutral terms), Bridget had a twin brother, and according to a local superstition, twins of the same gender are a bad omen. Bridget’s wealthy parents thus raised her as a girl to protect her from harm, but she later sets off as a bounty hunter to both find success — thus proving the superstition false — and “behav[e] like a man” battling the Guilty Gear roster.
Bridget spawned a legion of fans, particularly cosplayers, who fell in love with the character over the past 20 years, despite the occasional tired jokes surrounding her sexuality and gender identity. Those same tropes made her return to the Guilty Gear franchise uncertain, but it appears that Arc System Works is fully embracing her trans identity — no longer as fodder for storytelling tropes, but as part of an ever-diversifying roster for Guilty Gear Strive.