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The Gear Project was an American scientific undertaking of crucial importance in the history of the Guilty Gear series. Founded in 2014, it was initially named the Ecosystem Evolution Project. Its purpose was to advance evolution and to strengthen the human race, but ended up creating the living weapon known as Gears.


The Ecosystem Evolution Project[1][7] was founded in 2014 by Professor Vince MacDonell,[8] the world's leading authority on cellular mechanics at the time.[2] As the director,[2] he was the one to presumably hire his former students Frederick Bulsara, That Man, and Aria Hale[2] as members upon their graduation.[4] It was initially launched with the hope of curing terminal diseases,[9][10] and hoped to directly restructure the human body so that it could adapt to rigorous environments.[3]

In early 2014, his team of scientists completed a theoretical assessment of what they called "Gear cells",[6] the basic theory completed by That Man.[7][8] Then in 2015, they managed to stabilize Gear cells infused with magic,[10] allowing them to fuse them to the material world.[6] Presumably at this point, Vince left the project, with That Man taking over as director. Their next step was integrate Gear stem cells into many different organisms in an attempt to create a more "complete" life form. However, the increased strength and resilience imparted by Gear cells quickly caught the attention of militaries across the world.[7]

Afraid that these cells would be weaponized, That Man decided to turn over all of their research on Gear cells, and the theory behind them, to the state under four conditions. They were: Any benefits derived could only be used to further peace in the world; the guaranteed well-physical and financial being of everyone involved in further research; retaining the current staff, with a significant budget increase to keep their facility intact; and a public announcement of these conditions to prevent the state from going back on them once they were agreed upon. Otherwise, his contingency plan would destroy all of their research material.[10]

Following a successful negotiation,[6] the project grew in importance in 2016,[11] and was renamed the Gear Project, with several countries investing massive amounts of money in it.[8] At the time, That Man was determined to save Aria, afflicted with a TP Infection, and convinced her to cryo-sleep until a cure was found by guaranteeing that she would able to see Frederick again no matter how many years passed.[12] He did so by restructuring[13] Frederick into the first Gear prototype[14] without his consent, and in secret. Just as the process was completed, That Man's fears proved well-founded, and the military intervened.[15]

Experiments with Gear cells went awry then, and several core team members died or disappeared,[6] with That Man and Aria missing,[15] and Frederick reported dead.[6] With its core team gone,[8] research became more difficult,[6] and all projects were frozen. All related data was classified Rank A+.[8]

Gear production tanks.

However, in 2042, the military and political influence of the US began to decline[6] in favor of Europe due to the UN and Vatican's zeal and introment production.[16] They thus reopened the files on Gear cell research, with an eye for military use.[6] In 2045, the project completed the first Gear prototype—ineffective in combat, and difficult to control[6]—and That Man joins the project under an alias.[8] After several more tests, the first combat-ready Gear was unveiled in 2065. Mass production began, and the US deployed their Gears to allies across the globe,[6] bringing "countless lands" under its control.[17]

Then, in 2073,[1] That Man using the collective system he had built create Justice with the ability to give orders to the weaponized Gears, secretly hoping to stop the wars involving them.[12] Yet, during a test in 2074, Justice was intervened, leading to the Black Sunrise[5] and her declaration of war against mankind.[17] With little documentation of the truth of his research, That Man was labeled a war criminal who had intentionally turned Justice against humanity.[6] The project was then presumably terminated for good.