Potemkin (ポチョムキン, Pochomukin) is a character in the Guilty Gear series. He was a former slave in the empire of Zepp, and was a supporter of the democratic revolution that took place. He is currently a member of Zepp's elite presidential guard.
Potemkin is a dark skinned, muscular man. He has brown hair that he ties up in a ponytail, and brown eyes. He also wears red battle gauntlets that he uses in battle. Potemkin's design also has him wearing blue jeans and red toed brown boots. On his left arm he has a barcode tattoo. In the original Guilty Gear, Potemkin wore a slave collar that would explode should he attempt to remove it, though he was able to remove it when President Gabriel told him he could.
In Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-, Potemkin's design has changed drastically, as he now sports a green body suit with grey spiked shoulder pads. He also wears a metal helmet with a decorative orange ponytail, and his eyes are the only things that are visible as most of his face is covered.
Despite his appearence, Potemkin is actually a very intelligent calculating individual who dislikes fighting, only doing it when absolutely necessary. He is also generally kind to others, and is capable of keeping his patience even when the person he's speaking to isn't being necessarily friendly.
Potemkin is sent by his Zepp Military superior Sergeant Gabriel to participate in the tournament that Testament holds. In his ending, Potemkin has just defeated Justice and is exhausted from the fight, Gabriel suddenly appears and states Potemkin's mission has not yet been completed and that the tournement was simply his 'final test'. Seething with rage, Potemkin yells at Gabriel, but before he can do anything else to vent his anger, Gabriel explains how he too detests the corrupt Zepp regime and offers Potemkin to join his revolution. Surprised by this, Potemkin joins and takes off his slave neck collar, with Gabriel assuring it will not explode.
Guilty Gear X
Potemkin is sent, supposedly as a bounty hunter, to face Dizzy -- though rather than destroying her, his intention is to rescue her and bring her to Zepp in secret. In one ending, Johnny interferes, and Dizzy goes with him and May instead; in the other, Dizzy goes with him to Zepp, where she finds happiness. Events in subsequent games render the second ending impossible.
Guilty Gear XX
On a tip from Slayer, Potemkin goes to look for Dizzy, whom I-No had knocked off the May Ship, and subsequently becomes entangled in the affairs of the Post-War Administration Bureau. One of his endings ends with him bickering with Johnny over whether Dizzy should go back to the May Ship or to Zepp. In his second ending, Potemkin fights with Bridget, who mistakes Potemkin for a fellow bounty hunter pursuing Dizzy. Potemkin and Bridget clear up the misunderstanding and become friends after their fight; Potemkin recruits Bridget into the Zepp military as a combat trainer, with Potemkin becoming Bridget's first student. His third ending has Potemkin fighting against an army of Robo-Kys. Guilty Gear Accent Core Plus reveals that the third ending is canonical.
Guilty Gear XX Λccent Core Plus
Potemkin investigates the Post-War Administration Bureau because he considered them dangerous for the Zepp Nation. He dismantles Robo-Ky and Justice clone units before returning to his country. There, Bureau members sends a suicide bomb Robo-Ky to kill President Gabriel. Potemkin covers the explosion, resulting in his death, and he's remembered as a hero with a statue on the city square. (Path 2)
Depending on the player's choices, however, they may end up fighting Chipp Zanuff during his storyline where he still seeks the presidency. Should the player defeat Chipp with Potemkin's Instant Kill, he convinces Chipp to join the presidential bodyguard unit, similar to Chipp's Path 1 ending. (Path 1)
Considering the events of Xrd, neither of these endings is canonical.
Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-
Main article: Potemkin's Command List
Powers & Abilities
Due to a unique genetic mutation, Potemkin possesses extraordinary durability, strength and power. He is capable of descending from Zepp (located 100,000 feet above the surface) to ground-level without injury. It is also known that throughout the series, he never exhibits his full strength thanks to a limiter-collar placed upon his body during his slavery. The only time he disengages the limiter is during the original Guilty Gear timeline set before I-NO alters the past, where he is capable of devastating entire battalions of Large-Class Gears with merely the shockwaves emanated from his punches(which are stated and shown to have the same explosive force as his Instant Kill move, Magnum Opera). Daisuke Ishiwatari has stated that as Potemkin's strength continues to grow, he would eventually have to equip a special limiter that would constrain his entire body in order to regulate his power. This occurs in Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-.
He was also capable of throwing Gears the size of large buildings with ease, as shown in REVELATOR.
- In Slave's Glory - Guilty Gear
- Burly Heart - Guilty Gear X
- Burly Heart II - Guilty Gear XX
- Megatona Furioso - Guilty Gear XX ♯Reload Korean OST
- Riches in Me - Guilty Gear Isuka
- Engage - Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-
See: Potemkin Quotes
References and Allusions
- Potemkin's name may originate from the Soviet Battleship Potemkin.
- The name of Zepp empire may originate from a Russian car tires company
- His attack "Hammer Fall" references Swedish power metal band HammerfFall.
- His Instant Kill "Nuclear Hammer" may be a longshot reference to the song "Neutron Hammer" by Australian black metal band Spear of Longinus.
- His main themes in Guilty Gear X and XX sound very similar to the songs Kashmir by Led Zeppelin and Wake Up by Rage Against the Machine. As well as Hold the Line by Toto.
- Potemkin has many mecha homages in his moveset. Potemkin's Heat Knuckle and Heat Extend moves could be references to Domon Kasshu's Erupting Burning Finger technique from G Gundam. His Gigantor Bullet super is extremely similar to GaoGaiGar's Hell and Heaven finishing move.
- It is speculated by the fandom that Potemkin may be Gabriel's son based on Slayer's victory quote in Arcade Mode upon defeating Potemkin: "Strength and conviction do not always bring victory. Like father, like son, I suppose."
- If one listens closely to Potemkin's Guilty Gear XX stage theme and looks closely at his fighting stance, he is actually moving to the beat of his own theme.
- In Potemkin's ending for Guilty Gear, when he removes his slave neck collar, his ponytail reaches down his back. In later artworks and sprites, He has turned his ponytail into a bun.
- One of Faust's Special Moves (What's Next?) and its Overdrive version (Super What's Next?) involves Faust dropping small-sized dolls of some characters. Potemkin is one of these characters, and both Faust and Potemkin are even voiced by Takashi Kondou as well (making it a voice actor allusion gag).