Zappa (ザッパ) is a character in the Guilty Gear series who is first seen in Guilty Gear XX. He is a very unlucky man who writes of his plight in a diary that he carries about his new "disease" he has, which, from his point of view, consists of fainting and then waking up somewhere else, possibly with alarming wounds and fractures and no memory of how he got there. He is currently seeking a wife. However, his affliction, which happens to be spirits in his body, constantly prevents this.
The so-called 'vengeful spirit' that this subject carries has yet to be confirmed, but has been spotted by several eyewitnesses. Theories abound on its origin. Some say it is the embodiment of someone's innermost thoughts; others say it's a prewar experimental weapon. Regardless, the subject is confirmed to have an extremely rare form of mind parasite. If captured, the insights his body could bring to the mental weaponry could be useful. However, his motives seesaw between his own desires and those of his parasite. As such, he should be approached with caution.
Zappa appears to be a humble person who seeks companionship, and is rather polite. However, it is due to the spirits that possess his body (mainly S-Ko), he may come off as rather as a motor mouth, or in S-Ko's case, cursing and full of vengeance with little in the way of trusting others, especially men due to her grudge. Zappa is rather oblivious about the spirits in his body, and is often distraught at what harm his symptoms cause him. The spirits, save for S-Ko however, are rather caring of Zappa.
Guilty Gear XX to Accent Core Plus
Ever since his appearance, he is searching for the "Dark Doctor" known as Faust in hopes of curing his condition. He meets Faust in two out of his three endings. In the first one, he meets Faust and is possessed by S-Ko, forcing confrontation. S-Ko loses to Faust. After waking up, Zappa is told to isolate himself until a cure is found. In the second ending, S-Ko confronts Faust as in the first, but wins. In this ending, she gains more control over Zappa, mutating him into, according to the ending photo, something non-human. However, this second ending seems less likely. In the third ending, he does not meet Faust at all. Rather, he meets Ky Kiske, who is a high-ranking police officer. After a fight with I-no, Ky arrives on the scene to arrest I-no and attempt to aid Zappa. However, S-Ko interprets this as yet another threat toward Zappa and proceeds to possess Zappa yet again and attack Ky, taking him by surprise. Despite the fact that S-Ko wins the fight, Ky is still able to arrest and put Zappa in jail on the charges of assaulting a police officer, both still unaware of S-Ko's presence and that this and all of the events leading up to this point are her doing. Raou and the weaker spirits (excluding the sword) then comfort him in the ending photo.
Due to the start of Zappa's story mode in Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus, this third ending is the true one. In this story mode, Zappa wakes up in jail and is not sure of what happened to him. Faust appears via one of his interdimensional doors and accidentally invokes S-Ko, who in turn breaks Zappa out of jail and wreaks havoc on the land which ends with two outcomes. In the first outcome, Zappa runs into Faust again, who this time has the proper method of exorcising S-Ko. Zappa enjoys life unpossessed for a short time but reveals that he was in fact aware of S-Ko the entire time and realizes that in their time together, despite all the trouble the possession has brought upon him, he has grown attached to S-Ko and wants her back in his life. The image of S-Ko breaking through Zappa's window and Zappa's horrified face is then shown. In the second outcome, Zappa meets Slayer, a "nightwalker" from another world. Slayer is aware of S-Ko's presence and invites her to come back to his home world with him and his wife, Sharon. S-Ko simply responds with hatred and Slayer then realizes that S-Ko suffers a deep grudge. He allows S-Ko to take out all of her frustration on him in a fight, as he is able to take a great amount of physical damage with no problem. Afterwards, S-Ko agrees to come with Slayer and Sharon on the condition that she is able to take Zappa, who she considers to be her lover, with her. Zappa comes to his senses in Slayer's world, one full of demons like Slayer, and is horrified by the situation he is in. The final shot shows Zappa and S-Ko embracing one another in Slayer's demon world, Zappa in fear and S-Ko in love, whilst Slayer and Sharon look on, content with their new companions.
Zappa himself does not fight. S-Ko takes possession of his body and controls his actions while the lesser spirits do their part to protect Zappa. Strangely, his fighting stance is one where he is facing away from the enemy, with his back bent painfully forward so he faces his enemy upside-down. This nature along with his gameplay makes him an archetype for the confusing character that focuses on several different playstyles through a unique type of stance system, making him more complicated than the likes of Faust. However, once mastered, his modes can all be played with relative ease in order to make him pay off and a worthy one to confront in battle. This is often a very heavy focus on mix-ups, pressure, zoning, spacing and quite as dangerous, frame traps.
Ordinarily, Zappa is weak and does terrible damage with even worse range. However, a majority of his normals can confuse the foe, and without a spirit adding him, in this mode Zappa has a variety of overheads to complement his low attacks. But moves such as his H can be unsafe on hit, so his attacks along with their animations can be confusing if one tries to guess at their hit boxes and properties at first glance. His normal mode is also great for pressure games due to said overhead supplements, as well as some of his other moves that stay the same in all modes meant for approach and poking. And to top off, even cross-ups as well. His combos are also worthwhile in being meaty, and giving him a good amount of tension builds. This mode of Zappa though is best at close range and lacks a good way to zone his opponents, as well as not being so overly mobile, and requiring quick thinking in heavy-matchup-based situations. Because of several quirks in his usage and playstyle, it can be said that balancing him is quite a task in itself.
Zappa fights by summoning a spirit at random; either the Dog, the Triplet Ghosts or a bloody, hovering Sword will respond to his call. During the course of a battle, certain attacks landed by Zappa will yield ghostly orbs known as souls. Each spirit also gives Zappa a different set of S and H attacks, amping up his confusion game and making each spirit have a unique playstyle that one needs to adjust to. The orbs also determine on the last digits which ghost will appear (0 for Sword, 1 for Dog, and 2 for Ghosts), making it easier to control as Zappa nears the limits of orbs. However, Zappa getting hit will make him lose his spirit. His only special used during his normal mode, Konnichiwa Sanbiki no Mukade is a great move in itself in that it provides enough invincibility to be used as an anti-air, and it gives 3 orbs on hit; if it trades hits to get no spirit out, then Zappa can rush in for an OTG to instantly get 6 orbs, and many players tend to RC the attack for a good free combo with their just-summoned spirit. His spirit will always stay with him unless he gets hit, or uses his Force Break or Overdrive, the Umareru. However, the aforementioned Overdrive is rather risky in that despite its invincibility and range, it can be baited and punished, thus there's often a need for Zappa to combo into it to make safe use of it.
As of Accent Core, his new Regiashou wa Koko Kara Force Break is a move that not only helps him get rid of an unwanted spirit, but like his other move in normal mode, it has great combo potential, for it can create OTG setups all for 25% tension, as well as being a rather fast overhead, even with enough time to land a Konnichiwa Sanbiki no Mukade for an OTG hit in order to secure 4 orbs due to its knockdown property (since this attack gives Zappa one orb on hit).
The Dog specializes in alternate Dust attacks used to control it as a "summon" type move, enabling Zappa to apply a bizarre neutral game that requires careful placement and positioning, but can be effective in the hands of a player skilled in lockdown and crossup flanking. The Dog is also the only spirit that does not give Zappa in change in S and H normals other than his Dust attacks, and packs some moves that can harass the foe via joint attacks with Zappa (added with the aforementioned placement, positioning, lockdown and crossup flanking), to the point of even possessing a slow, yet unblockable attack. However, like most "summon" based moves, the Dog can disappear if hit, so Zappa's neutral game with it needs to be of an intelligent and careful offensive lockdown. However, a weakness of this mode tends to be high execution demand, as well as certain knockdown options being lost.
The Ghosts specialize in a similar form of mixup, poking, crossups, and combo-ability in his normal mode. However, not only that, his Sono Mama Kaette Konaide Kudasai which enables him to fire his Ghosts at the foe like projectiles in several different trajectories (or in midair, or as of Slash, all at once with the Dust button for the command), can cause a curse to be inflict on his opponent which can cause random objects to strike opponents during the time it's active (ranging from a banana that drops on the ground which can trip as it hits low for no damage, a bouncing arc golf ball that does no chip damage, and a hachiue/potted plant that can drop directly from above that also does no chip damage). However, in the banana's case, unlike the golf ball and hachiue, it can mess up a player's execution in properly landed combos due to the sudden trip, so one must be mindful. Along with the banana messing up one's combos, the Ghosts in general have poor damage options and have some rather slow attacks.
As of Plus R, the Ghosts however, receive quite a damage buff, making them more of a threat than before.
The Sword can not only pull off decent mixups and crossups like both the Ghost and normal mode, but it possesses a decent anti-air move, great range for spacing, and decent combo finishers to set itself apart from the other two spirits. Not only that, the Sword out of his modes tends to land the most decent damage, and its hitboxes can be great for disjointed pokes, especially being able to control it from afar with varying attacks that can position it in an area favorable for Zappa, especially for powerful frame traps and punishing during pressure. However, the Sword is impaired by its lag and slow attacks in general, so its pressure game is rather unsafe with a few gaps to exploit, especially against characters with high mobility.
Upon collecting 8 orbs, Zappa next summon will call forth Raou, his strongest spirit next to S-Ko. However, Raou will vanish after 16 seconds unlike the other spirits. Raou packs amazing range and damage, as well as powerful combo potential and great cover on Zappa. Raou's two special moves the Darkness Anthem and Last Edguy tend to be the game's best projectile and best anti-air, respectively; the former does amazing chip damage and can be used for powerful wakeup pressure with three different trajectories to fire it in, along for OTG with the K version and great frame advantage on block. The latter has great range for combo starters and enders, reversals, and has little proration for a raw 100 damage, despite its lag for easy punishment (it can be remedied with a RC however). His Bellows Malice Overdrive is also great for covering space, and is amazing at what Darkness Anthem does: chip damage in order to cripple the foe after just landing somehow one way or another, as it does an absurd amount of chip damage, guard gauge increase, and tension drain on Faultless Defense; the move has a big gap in front of Zappa however, so missing with it is disastrous. However, despite Raou's great capabilities, not only does Zappa have to worry about the time (one must make use of Raou in quick-witted manner if so), but Zappa's hitbox plus Raou's is a walking mass target, making him easy prey for anyone intelligent with a great punish tool from any distance.
Sadly though, as of Plus R, Raou is much harder to summon, though all of Zappa's other tools pay off a lot more better, making Raou a mere bonus.
In his EX Mode, Zappa's gameplay reverts to that of a more costly character; his new Goriyuu wo Keikakuteki Ni makes him exchange a number of orbs/souls for his spirits (P costs 1 soul for the Sword, K costs 2 for the Dog, S costs 3 for the Ghosts, and H costs all 8 for Raou). Though it gives one orb on hit, his Konnichiwa Sanbiki no Mukade can now be used even with a spirit on hand, and Raou's S and H moves for Zappa now are altered. Not only that, he now trades in Bellows Malice for a new Overdrive, the Knuckle Kaiser; a powerful electrical straight punch that can wall-bounce for powerful combo potential.
Zappa's Gold mode acts the same, only Raou is active at all times all while shutting off access to the other spirits.
Powers & Abilities
Zappa possesses a rare Magic Art known as Soul Cycle, which allows him to act as a spirit medium. As a result, he constantly acts as an unwilling receptacle for several ghosts, demons and even elementals. The one who he is most commonly possessed by is an extremely vengeful female spirit known as S-Ko who, whenever she feels the need for battle has arisen, takes complete control of Zappa and causes several horrifying deformities, such as completely bending his body over backwards for his fighting stance and completely mutilating his head into one of a giant demon with sharp teeth, to occur on Zappa whenever she attacks with him, which explains his non-generic fighting style.
It is unclear if S-Ko is aware that she is likely doing more harm than good for her host by affecting him the way she does and it is also curious to note that there are a few signs that point to S-Ko having a crush on Zappa, despite the fact that she shows great hatred toward men on several occasions. S-Ko's origins are a mystery, but there are several theories that are explored in the series. One such theory, according to the PWAB's files, is that she is a unique Gear that was ignored during the war. Another theory is that she is the result of a failed experiment. The theory that appears to be the most prominent one is that she is the ghost of Axl Low's lover, Megumi, but the truth is still yet to be revealed. As for the reason as to why S-Ko chose to possess Zappa, it stated that his face resembles her lover's.
There are also other spirits that consist of the following: An extremely powerful lightning manifestation named Raou, three ghosts of unknown origin who are able to curse others with extremely bad luck and even solidify enough to strike themselves, an enchanted sword that resembles a bloody razor blade and appears to be more like an instrument for S-Ko's own use rather than a self-aware being, and a demonic dog that initially takes on the form of a small chihuahua and grows to the size of a large predator dog in order to strike and can even shoot it's entire skeleton outside of its body for one of its attacks. Unlike S-Ko, the weaker spirits appear to be more like guardians as opposed to possessors in that they are able to attack opponents by themselves as opposed to manipulating Zappa's body in any way and only appear to fight those who would harm Zappa. The other spirits also appear to be quite caring toward Zappa, even attempting to comfort him when he is arrested by Ky at the end of Zappa's canon ending in Guilty Gear XX. While S-Ko is quite a large mystery herself, almost nothing has been revealed about the origins of these lesser spirits.
Main article: Zappa's Command List
- Good Manners and Customs - Guilty Gear XX
- Seizures - Guilty Gear XX: #Reload Korean OST
- Home Sweet Grave - Guilty Gear Isuka
See: Zappa Quotes
References and Allusions
- Zappa's character is named after the famous musician Frank Zappa.
- One of his special moves with Raou, Last Edguy, is named after the German band, Edguy.
- Characters who have been confirmed to be able to see S-Ko: Anji Mito, Slayer, Faust, Johnny, and A.B.A
- Many of Zappa's "unique" phrases he wails during his matches are Japanese tongue-twisters.
- S-Ko is allegedly a tribute to Japanese horror icon, Sadako Yamamura, the main antagonist of the Ring films and novels.
- Zappa's running animation resembles Regan Macneil's crawl on the movie "The Exorcist".
- Out of all characters, Zappa's "Instant Kill" move is the only move of its category that is unblockable.
- Zappa is a character whose clothing is a strange combination of outfits worn by Narancia, Vanilla Ice, and Dio Brando from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. His walking animation is also the same as Dio's walk animation from the game JoJo's Venture. In the Guilty Gear story, Zappa is possessed by multiple spirits and is seeking a doctor to help cure his condition. The spirits that possess him hover around him in wraith-like forms, similar to a Stand. Zappa's most powerful "summon", Raou, looks very similar to Star Platnium. When Zappa is possessed, he twitches wildly and strikes increasingly bizarre poses, a subtle references to Araki's notable style of drawing his characters striking poses.
- Such clothing seems to consist of charms of all sorts, possibly to help with his symptoms, but to no avail.