So, you're curious about the various heavy metal and rock references in Guilty Gear? The fact that the game was based on a love for manga and rock/metal is one of the aspects that make it so unique, and whether or not you're aware of them all, I have compiled this FAQ to give information and backgrounds about just who and what each reference is alluding to, and theorize about any possible "unofficial" references.
When reading, keep in mind that anything written in italics is a proposed meaning, and may or may not be intended by the game's creators (i.e. I might be reading a little too much into it).
This FAQ is written with the assumption that the reader has little to moderate knowledge of the Heavy Metal/Rock scene.
Sol Badguy: Sol's favorite band is Queen, a group who came out around the 70's. Sol's theme, "Keep Yourself Alive", is even titled after a song by Queen, though some of the notes themselve are actually taken from another Queen song titled "Stone Cold Crazy". Freddy "Mercury" also had a solo album titled "Mr. Badguy" obviously Sol's last name. Incidentally, this happens to be Daisuke Ishiwatari's favortie band as well (there are even rumors that Sol is meant to be a self projection of himself, heck Daisuke even does Sol's voice). Almost everyone knows who Queen is, even if they aren't familiar with the group itself. They brought us "We are the Champions", "We Will Rock You" (Note, "Rock You" is even etched onto Sol's headplate), and "Bohemian Rhapsody". But for some reson, I can't picture Sol listening to the latter.... Scaramouch! Scaramouch! Will you do the Fandango.....?!! No, I don't think Sol can...
Sol also has some other references besides those to Queen. His Instant Kill move is called "Napalm Death", which would come from the grindcore group by the same name.
Napalm Death was founded in Birmingham, England, in 1981. They mixed the influences of Punk and Trash Metal to create an entirely new form of music that would become "Grindcore" (one of the genres the average person off the street will undoubtedly hear in their head when you mention "Punk" or even "metal"). The extremely fast tempo of the music causes the guitars to meld into an almost "white noise" effect, and the vocals (The lyrics often deal with social or political injustices) often come off sounding as if the vocalist is barking or growling (or as I like to call it, the "evil monster voice").
in their debut Album, side one featured Nick Bullen (bass, vocals), Mick Harris (drums), and Justin Broadrick (guitar), but on side two they had switched to Jim Whitely (bass), Lee Dorrian (vocals), and Bill Steer (guitar). During their earlier years, their style of music was subject to miscomprehension, but by about 1989, after their tour in Japan and during their European Grindcrusher tour, the genre had gained a wide acceptance among most metal fans.
By 1992, Mitch Harris, the last original member of the band, left and was replaced by Danny Herrara.
Ky Kiske: Ky is basically a huge mish-mash of allusions. The first, being the most notable, is his very name. His last name "Kiske" is taken from Michael Kiske, and his first name, "Ky", is taken from Kai Hansen, both of the band Helloween.
Helloween was founded in 1984 in Hamburg, Germany. Their original lineup consisted of Markus Grosskopf (bass), Kai Hansen ( vocals, and guitar), Michael Weikath (guitar), and Ingo Schwichenburg (drums). Michael Kiske was later hired as a vocalist/frontman. However, in 1989, Kai left the group to form "Gamma Ray", and was replaced by Roland Grapow.
Due to some issues with their former record label, they eventually signed with EMI Records, and in 1990 released "Pink Bubbles Go Ape". Michael Kiske and Ingo Schwichenberg eventually left (Kiske went solo and released an album titled "Instant Charity" in 1996), and were replaced by Ulli Kusch (drums), and Andi Deris (vocals).
"Master of the Rings", one of Helloween's later albums, was one of their most popular, and topped Japanese charts for some time.
Ky's second reference comes from his super called "Ride the Lightning", which is a song by the metal group, Metallica (on the album "Ride the Lightning", released in 1987). Metallica is one of the most well known heavy metal bands. They were formed in California in 1981 by Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield. David Mustaine was in the band, but he later left to form Megadeth. He was replaced by Kirk Hammett. One of the tragedies to strike the group was the death of their bassist, Cliff Burton, when their tour bus overturned in Sweden on September 27, 1986. Someone online told me he was chopped in half, but I don't think so. The group later recruited Jason Newstand of Flotsom And Jetsom as his replacement. Today Metallica still remains one of the most popular bands, even though some accuse them of selling out recently.
Ky's theme is titled "Holy Orders (Be Just or Be Dead)", this sounds suspiciously like a re-worded title of an Iron Maiden song called "Be Quick or Be Dead". The song was on the album, "Fear of the Dark", and was released on May 12, 1992. The Lyrics are as follows:
"Covered in sinners and dripping
Making you money from slime
and from filth
Parading your bellies in ivory towers
Investing our lives in your schemes
and your powers
You got to watch them - Be quick
or be dead
Snake eyes in heaven - The thief
in your head
You've got to watch them - Be quick
or be dead
Snake eyes in heaven - The thief
in your head...
Or be dead!
Or be dead..." ----Bruce Dickinson,Janick Gers
Ky also has an Instant Kill attack called "Rising Force". There was an album by this title put out by a man named Yngwie Malmsteen (born Lars Johann Yngwie Lannerback).
At an early age, Yngwie's mother tried to get him to learn to play an instrument, but he showed absolutely no interest in music. It wasn't untill 1970 when he saw a special about the death of Jimi Hendrix on TV that his interest was sparked.
Mixing influences from both classical and rock he came out with his first solo album, "Rising Force".
Axl Low: Axl is named for Axl Rose of the band Guns N' Roses (he's even modeled after him I hear, ever seen Axl wear a bandanna?), one of the most controversial bands of the late 80s as many of the members had either alcohol or drug addictions, or regularly made public scenes of themselves. Axl himself is a notorious womanizer. (He once pointed out that it's not a good idea to "include your wife or girlfriend in a musicvideo because if you break up with them-and you will-they'll still be in the video"). Some of G N'R's most recognizable songs are 'Welcome to the Jungle','Paradise City', and "Sweet Child O' Mine" (which Axl wrote about his wife/girlfriend, Erin Everly--who also appeared in the music video--prompting him to crack the earlier mentioned quote). In the mid 90s Axl and Slash were continually at odds with each other, and Axl seemed to depart from the group. But in 1997 Axl purchased the rights to the Guns N'Roses name, and Robin Finck was later hired to replace Slash after he left the group.
Axl could also have a bunch of misc. references, such as an allusion to Napalm Death (see under Sol for band info), as the sign in his GGX stage reads "Napalm" (Napalm Death is from England). Thanks to RickNapalm for pointing this out.
Axl's last name could also be another allusion, as Testament released an album/ song in 1994 titled "Low".
Plus, the title of Axl's GGX theme, "Make Oneself" sounds like a re-worded version of "Make Youself", an album released in 1999 by the band, Incubus. Incubus was formed in 1991 and later signed with Immortal Records. They released a few albums, but "Make Yourself" eventually became the album that first got the group attention.
While on the topic of themes, Axl's GG theme, "March of the Wicked King" seems to be a re-worded version of Queen's "March of the Black Queen", however, I've been told that the actual riff are taken from Guns N' Roses' album, "Appetite For Destruction". More specifically the song "You're Crazy".
May: May's name could possibly come from Brian May, who was a member of Queen. This wouldn't be too surprising considering Daisuke's a Queen fan. See also Queen under Sol
Millia Rage: Millia is another collection of references. Her name comes from the group 'Meliah Rage', and she has attacks called 'Winger' (in which her hair turns into a pair of wings, and she flies upward, then dives at her opponent) and 'Iron Maiden' (a super in the first Guilty Gear that has been modified into a "Destroy" move for Guilty Gear X where her hair turns into giant tendrils that destroy her opponent). Her theme ("Writhe in Pain") could also be a reference to an obscure rock/pop group called Impel, who had an album titled "Writhe in Pain" (released on 2/17/1994).
"Meliah Rage" was a Boston born hard rock band formed by Anthony Nichols in 1985. The name comes from the Meliah indian tribe, and their usage of opium before battles (Meliah Rage...Get it?). Due to then recent lawsuits by parents against rockers such as Ozzy and Judas Priest (claiming that a few of their songs encouraged their children to suicide), their debute album, "Kill to Survive", was held back, and had it's title track removed, however, it was included in the album "Live Kill". Their "last" album, titled "Solitary Solitude", was released in 1990. However, they DID released an album titled "Death Valley Dreams" in 1996.
The name of Millia's super comes from "Winger", a hard rock group formed by Kip Winger and Paul Taylor after their work on Alice Cooper's Constrictor tour. They had originally chosen to call the group "Sahara", but changed the name at the last moment, and the word still appeared on a corner of the sleeve of their debut (self-titled) album. They were immediately popular, and scored hits with songs such as "Seventeen" and "Headed for a Heartbreak". Paul Taylor eventually left, as the heavy touring schedual proved too much for him, and the group recruited John Roth. The band was later shelved as Kip Winger persued a solo career.
Millia's third reference comes from the band, "Iron Maiden". Iron Maiden ("Maiden" for short) is named after a medieval torture device, and is one of the more well know British metal bands in the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM). Bassist, Steve Harris, founded the band on Christmas day, 1975, at a time when the heavy metal scene of the late 70's was quite stagnant. Maiden started off with 5 members, however, the lineup has changed over the years, and the band has had about 18 different members through some quiting, or being fired.
The band started off doing appearences in pubs ect. but they're biggest break, however, was when their manager, Rod Smallwood secured a record deal with EMI, bringing about the release of their chart-storming self-titled album.
One of their familiar songs is "Number of the Beast", and their most recent album, "Brave New World" came out in late May of 2000. The band has also contributed music to the video game 'Carmaggedon 2', and has also had a collection of their music used in the game 'Ed Hunter' (the songs to be used were voted upon by fans on the "Official Iron Maiden Website"), in which you chase Eddie, the band's mascot, through Hell, and eventually fight the four horsemen of the apocalypse.
Her last name could also very well come from a band called "Rage".
Rage was originally formed in 1983 by Peavy Wagner(vocals, bass) under the name "Avenger", and debuted with the album, 'Prayers of Steel'. In 1986 they released 'Reign of Fear', now under the band name "Rage". The group was particularly well recieved in Germany and Japan.
The lineup has changed over the years, and now consists of Peavy Wagner (vocals, bass), Mike Terrana (drums), and Victor Smolski (guitars, keyboards).
Millia has an attack called "Iron Savior", but I've also heard it referred to as "Iron Saber". The former could be likely, as there is a band by that name.
Iron Savior first appeared in 1996/97 with a self titled album. The band was a project by Piet Sielck and Kai Hansen of Helloween, and originally planned as a one album studio project. Piet doubled up on multiple instruments, but they recruited Thomas Stauch of Blind Guardian as their drummer. The group was successfull and released a few more albums, but sometimes their live performances conflicted with the members' respective bands' scheduals.
Zato One: Zato has two possible allusions, one to Judas Priest, and a one to the band, Iron Maiden.
Zato has a teleport move called "Break the Law". This sounds rather like a Judas Priest song titled 'Breaking the Law' (included on the album, "British Steel" with 'Living After Midnight'). Many people will recognize this as one of the songs Beavis and Butthead regularly play air-guitar to ("Breakin' the law!! Breakin' the LAAAW!!!"). Judas Priest (considered one of the epitomes of heavy metal) was formed in Birmingham, England in 1969. They toured Europe and eventually signed a worldwide contract with CBS records. They were later sued in 1990 on the grounds that backwards messages in the song, 'Better By You, Better Than Me' incited suicide, however, They were found not guilty in June 1993. K.K. Downing (guitarist and founder) commented: 'It will be another ten years before I can even spell subliminal'. The group seemed on ice for while, however, they returned with the album "Juggulator" in 1997, vocals now by "Ripper" Owens.
The second reference comes from Zato's shadow named Eddie. Many gamers thought that this was a rather odd name choice, but it's possible that Zato's shadow could be named for Iron Maiden's "mascot", Eddie, which would give more meaning to an otherwise common name. Eddie is a zombie who has graced every one of Iron Maiden's album covers and is one of the band's identifying features, especially in live performances where he often appears in person to terrorize the crowds. Without Eddie, the band seems to be missing something.
During Maiden's earlier years, he started as a head on a board at the back of venues that would spew fake blood from his mouth (often splattering all over the drummer) and flash his red eyes whenever the band played their signature song, "Iron Maiden". Since then, his appearence often varies slightly from his signifying long ginger or white hair, to his more current bald incarnation, brought on by his lobotomy in the band's album "Piece of Mind", and in the 'Beast On The Road' tour he was 9 feet tall. For information on the band, see 'Iron Maiden' under 'Millia'
Zato's theme in Guilty Gear, "Black Soul" also sounds like it was inspired by a song called "Twice as Ugly" from the group, Jackyl (off of their album, "Cut the Crap" which was released in July of 1997). Jackyl was formed in 1990 by singer, Jesse Dupree, Tom Bettini, Jimmy Stiff, Jeff Worley, and Chris Worley. The group is sort of like Guns N' Roses in that tend to get them selves in trouble for things like disorderly conduct.
Zato also has a move called "Black in Mind". This was the name of an album released in 1995 by the band, Rage. For more info, see "Rage" under "Millia".
Zato Also has an attack called "Shadow Gallery".
"Shadow Gallery" is a band that was formed in 1980 by Carl Cadden-James, Mike Baker, John Coonie, and Ron Evans under the name, "Sorcerer" .
In 1985 Chris Ingles was added as a guitarist, but was later switched to keyboard as Brendt Allman joined the group. Chris Ingles later left to pursue an education in theology and music.
The group changed their name to "Shadow Gallery", put together a demo that Chris Ingles contributed to as well.
The group was signed in August 23, 1991 by the label Magna Carta, and released a self-titled album that was only availible in Japan and Europe.
Kliff Underson: Kliff has an attack called "Soul Survivor", A.K.A. "Sole Survivor." Helloween had a song by this title on their "Master of the Rings" album.
Chipp Zanuff: Besides being a Strider Hiryu/Goku/Gohan look-alike, Is it just me....or does Chipp look like Billy Idol (the spikey, blonde hair look)???
Anyways, Chipp´s name comes from the band "Enuff Z´nuff", a Chicago born pop/metal cross-over group formed around 1989 who was influenced by the "Beatles" and "Cheap Trick" (which is somewhat apparent in their music, as the group makes use of three-part harmonies). I think it's safe to say that "Chipp Zanuff" is a pretty blantant reference, since the group's bassist is actually named "Chip Z'Nuff".
Potemkin: The Zepp Empire, the name of Potemkin's nation, comes from the group "Led Zeppelin". I would say Potemkin's GGX theme, "Burly Heart", even sounds, like their song, "Kashmir" (off their album,"Physical Graffiti") at times. You'll also note there's a "zeppelin" floating around his background. Pretty blatant if you ask me.
Led Zeppelin has been around since the late 60's. They have around 36 albums, and were founded by guitarist Jimmy Page in October 1968. They are considered one of the definitive rock groups of this era, and the intro to their song "Stairway to Heaven" is usually one of the first obstacles for the begining guitarist. Led Zeppelin almost broke up in 1977, when Robert Plant's (vocals) son died of a viral infection, but they came back with the album "In Through The Out Door" in 78. On December 4th, after drummer John Bonham died from alcohol poisoning earlier in September 1980, it was announced that the group had retired. However, since that time they have had numerous reunions and have put out a few albums and collections. Recently, Jimmy Page worked with rapper, Puff Daddy, to create the song 'Come with Me' (based on Zeppelin's 'Kashmir')for the Godzilla movie.
I also had another allusion pointed out to me by RickNapalm recently. Apparently Potemkin's scissor-fist charge attack is called 'Hammer Fall'. I hadn't noticed this before because I hadn't paid a whole lot of attention to the names of his special moves, but this could very well be in reference to the powermetal band, Hammerfall. Hammerfall was a Swedish band created as a side project to compete in a local band competition, and drew it's members from two other bands called 'Crystal Age', and 'In Flames'. The band became a full time act once it signed with Vic Records (a Dutch label). Members with ties to the other two bands were replaced. Another possibility is that 'Hammerfall' could be a re-worded allusion to Queen's song, "Hammer to Fall".
Baldhead: None known
Testament: One of the more blatant references in the game, our little mopey goth is named for "Testament", a thrash metal group founded by Derek Ramirez (lead guitarist, who was later replaced by Alex Skolnick), Steve Souza(vocals), Louie Clemente (drums), Greg Christian (bass), and Eric Peterson (rhythm guitar) that came out around 1983. They originally called themselves "Legacy", but two years later renamed themselves "Testament". Testament is one of those groups that have periodically experienced ups and downs with band membership (e.g. John Tempesta joining for a time, but later leaving to join White Zombie, and John Dette leaving in 1996 to join Slayer.), and had a rushed album titled "Souls of Black" for the European Clash Of The Titans tour, which included Megadeth, Suicidal Tendencies, and Slayer. Despite this Testament is a talented, popular band. What I've heard from them, I like. When Souza left for Exodus, he was replaced by Chuck Billy by the time their album "The Legacy" came out. Incidently, Chuck is also the person Testament was supposedly modeled after. Unfortunately Chuck Billy was recently diagnosed with Cancer around March 2001, however, it was caught in an early phase, so his prognosis is very good.
In Guilty Gear XX, Testament also gains an attack called "Master of Puppets". This would come from the name of a Metallica album by the same name released in 1986. For more info on them, see Metallica under Ky.
Testament's Gravedigger attack is also named for a band by the same name.
Grave Digger first appeared in 1984 with their album, "Heavy Metal Breakdown".
They split in the beginning of 1987, but came back in 1993 with "The Reaper", and they've been around since.
Testament has an Instant Kill called The "Seventh Sign". This was also the title of a Yngwie Malmsteen album released in 1998.
Testament also has an attack called "Warrant." There was a band by this name formed in 1989 whose members consisted of Jani Lane doing vocals, Erik Turner on rhythm guitar, Jerry Dixon on bass, Billy Morris on lead guitar, and Mike Fasano on drums. Some of their top 40 radio singles include "Cherry Pie," "Heaven," and "Down Boys."
Justice: In Guilty Gear, Justtice has an overpowered Overdrive Attack called "Gamma Ray". This would come from the band that guitarist, Kai Hanson split off into after he left Helloween.
Baiken: None known
Johnny: The name 'Johnny' is not an official reference, but he and Dizzy both could be references to the band, The Goo Goo Dolls. The lead singer of the group is named Johnny Rzeznik, and they have an album called "Dizzy up the Girl", so this theory is based more or less based on these two occuring similarities.
The Goo Goo Dolls,[are] a punk/rock/pop band formed around 1986,consists of-no not goo boys and girls-but three men by the name(s) of Johnny Rzeznik(guitar), Robby Takac(Bass), and Mike Malinin(Drums). Their most notable song is "Iris" from the soundtrack for the movie "City of Angels" with Meg Ryan and Nicolas Cage. Their breakthrough hit was "Name" from "A Boy Named Goo" and they have also scored hits with others like "Dizzy" "Broadway" "Black Balloon" all on their latest album "Dizzy Up the Girl." From what I hear, they are currently working on their seventh album which should be out sometime this fall [As this is written].
Kuradoberi Jam: One of translations of Jam's name was "Cloudberi Jam", and it was pointed out to me that there is an alternative Swedish band by that name. I did some research, and it turns out they were formed about 1991 and enjoyed a good amount of success in Japan.
Venom: There is a band called Venom. Formed by "Cronos" ( Conrad Lant), "Mantas" (Geoff Dunn) and "Abaddon" ( Tony Bray), they are a black metal (in other words, a good genre to give your parents a heart attack...) band who influenced the likes of Metallica (they toured with them once), Slayer, and Possesed. Their debut album, "Welcome to Hell" was released in 1981. One interesting thing about Venom, is they usually can't perform inside enclosed areas because they tend to use a lot of pyrotechnics in their shows. Mantas and Cronos eventually left the group, but Mantas later returned.
On another note, Venom's theme, "A Solitude That Asks Nothing in Return", sounds as if it were inspired by the Napalm Death song "Breed to Breath" (off the album 'Inside the Torn Apart'). Once again, thanks to RickNapalm for pointing this out.
The name of Venom's overdrive attack, Dark Angel, also seems as if could be taken from a thrash metal band by the same name. Dark Angel was formed in 1983, released a few albums, but ultimately disapeared about 1991.
Faust: I've had a couple of references pointed out here. The first is a comic book that was supposedly very popular among dethmetalers (this could very well be likely, considering Daisuke's love of comics/manga and Fausts usage of comic book phrases). There's also an ambient sounding German "rock" group called Faust that makes use of spliced sounds in their music.
Anji: Anji's theme, "Fuuga" sounds inspired by Motley Crue's song, "Live Wire".
Motley crue was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles by Nikki Sixx (Frank Carlton Serafino), Tommy Lee (Thomas Lee Bass), and Mick Mars (Bob Deal), and later adding , Vince Neil (Vince Neil Wharton). They released their debut album, "Too Fast For Love " on their own Leathur Records label, which was re-released six months later.
The band was on hold for a while in 1984 when Vince Neil was involved in a drunk driving accident, killing Nicholas "Razzle" Dingley-drummer of the band Hanoi Rocks. Neil was sentenced to 30 days in a minimum security prison, but it was reduced to 18 for good behavior, and the band went back to work. Neil was later dropped in 1992 because of his excessive drinking, and John Corabi took over for him. He only sang in the 1994 album, "Motley Crue". Corabi left in 1996, and Neil rejoined the group.
Anji also looks like he could have an Aerosmith allusion too. Whenever his butterfly projectile is blocked it turns into a bird-like entity which looks suspiciously like the Aerosmith logo. Aerosmith is another well known band formed in the 1970s by Steven Tyler and Joe Perry.
Dizzy: Dizzy has no offically known reference, but her name could be a reference to the band called The Goo Goo Dolls, as they have an album titled "Dizzy up the Girl". For more information on the group, see Johnny
I've also been reminded by a couple people that "Dizzy" is the nickname of Guns N' Roses' keyboardist (Dizzy Reed). So that is another strong possibility.
Slayer: Another straightforward reference, Slayer is a band that came out in the 80's. They were one of the many bands of being accused of being Satanic over the course of their career.
Slayer also has three attacks called "It's Late", "Under Pressure", "Dead on Time", and "All Dead".
"It's Late", and "All Dead All Dead" are Queen songs that were on the album, 'News Of The World', released 1977.
"Under Pressure" was a song Produced by both Queen and David Bowie.
"Dead on Time" is a song on Queen's album, "Jazz", released in 1978
Zappa: Zappa's name would come from Frank Zappa, a rock musician who put out tons of music under his own label called 'Barking Pumpkin', as well as composing music for a film called 'The World's Greates Sinner'. He also lobbied against the censorship of music proposed by such groups as the Parents Music Resource Center. He later Died of prostate cancer in 1993
Zappa has a Rao mode attack called "The Last Edguy".
Edguy was a band formed in 1992 when the group members were about fourteen years old. They started out as a cover band, but began to write to their own songs.
By the time lead singer/creative head of the band, Tobias Sammet was sixteen years old, they unsucessfully submitted two demo-tapes called "Evil-minded" and "Children of steel", in an attempt to get a record deal. However, they were convinced that it was the medium, not the songs themselves that were the problem. They recorded the CD, "Savage Poetry" and landed a contract with AFM-records.
Their first official album was "Kingdom of madness" in 1997, but it was the release of their album "Vain glory opera" that got them attention.
I-no: I-no has a victory pose in GGXX where she plays a riff that sounds suspiciously like one of the themes from the Bill and Ted movies ("Together we are WILDSTALLIONS!!!" ::they play air guitar::). However, I've also been told that it sounds like a bit from Metallica's "One".
Her theme, "Midnight Carnival", also has some riffs that sound like they were taken from a song called 'Kurenai' by a Japanese band called "X-Japan", which was released on 9/13/2000 on the album "Vanishing Vision".
Bridget: Bridget has an attack called "Kickstart My Heart". This was a Motley Crue song released in 1989 in the album, "Dr. Feelgood". For more information, see "Motley Crue" under Anji
III. Misc. references
Heaven or Hell??: The "Heaven or Hell" that appears before a match arguably comes from the the symbolism of Ky and Sol (Ky represents Heaven, and Sol, Hell), but there could also be another allusion here. Iron Maiden tends to use "Heaven and Hell" imagery a lot, and the the phrase has appeared in some of their lyrics once or twice. However, Black Sabbath also has a song titled 'Heaven & Hell' (off the album, Heaven & Hell), so this could be just another theory.
A third possible theory could be that the phrase was inspired by the last few lines of the Queen song, 'Stone Cold Crazy' which read "They [the police] got the sirens loose; I ran fight outa juice; they're gonna put me in
a cell, if I can't go to Heaven; Well they'll let me go to Hell".
Daisuke has already shown us that he's a Queen fan, so it seems this would be the likely candidate.
SLASH!!: The SLASH!! logo that appears at the end of a match instead of the usual K.O. is dedicated to Slash (Saul Hudson), the former lead guitarist of Guns'n Roses. He was born in England on July 23, 1965, but his family later moved to Hollywood while he was in junior high. There he eventually met Steven Adler, future Guns'n Roses drummer. They formed an usuccesful band called Road Crew, but this paved the way for them to meet future G N' R members. The new group debuted in June, 1985.
In 1993, the band went on hiatus, and Slash formed a side project called "Slash's Snakepit". In October, 1996, it was confirmed that Slash was no longer a member of G N' R, as he was unwilling to follow Axl Rose's interest in industrial and electronic music (Slash opted for traditional [guitar] rock. Personally, I don't blame him.). He left himself open to possible reunions, but for the most part, turned his attention back to his Snakepit project. For more info on Guns'n Roses, see Axl
Nirvana: In GGX, Zato and Venom both share a hellish looking stage called "Nirvana". I had first written this off simply as an allusion to the Bhuddist religion. But looking back on it, this could be a double allusion to the grunge group Nirvana-a group formed in Washington in 1988.
Guilty GearXX #Reload: An alternate version of Guilty Gear XX was released under the title of "Guilty GearXX #Reload". Coincidentally enough, Metallica also has an album titled "Reload".
Special Thanks to FreakyGeek (firstname.lastname@example.org)for her contribution to this FAQ by submitting information on the Goo Goo Dolls to me. HI FREAKY!!!
Thankyou to Nemo Incognito for pointing out the usage of "Stone Cold Crazy" in Sol's theme, and for supplying me with other bits of guesswork.
Thanks to RickNapalm for pointing out various allusions.
And thank you to all the various people who have pointed out other possible allusions to me. You know who you are.
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