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What I do, I do for my comrades...

Potemkin, Guilty Gear manual

Potemkin is a recurring character in the Guilty Gear series. He was a former slave in the Zepp Armed Air Empire, and was a supporter of the democratic revolution that took place. He is currently a member of Zepp's elite presidential guard, working closely with President Gabriel.


Potemkin is a tan, muscular man and one of the tallest characters in the series. He has brown hair that he ties up in a ponytail, or more often in a bun. He has eyes usually depicted as completely white without pupils. On his left shoulder he has a black barcode tattoo.

Potemkin's classic design has him shirtless, wearing blue jeans and red toed brown boots. He wears a giant red collar. In the original Guilty Gear, it was a slave collar that would explode should he try to remove it, but this function was since removed. His gauntlets are black fingerless gloves with red metal plating and cuffs. In the Xrd games and onward, Potemkin's design has changed drastically, as he now sports a green body-tight military uniform with grey spiked shoulder pads. He also wears a robot-like metal helmet with a decorative orange ponytail. His gauntlets are more technologically advanced, now fully covering his hands.


Despite people's assumption regarding his appearance, Potemkin is actually an intelligent and calculating individual who dislikes fighting, only doing it when absolutely necessary and for the sake of others. While Potemkin can withstand pain, he cannot bear to witness the pain of others.

Potemkin is proud, and has a honest heart. He has a kind, gentle character, and great love for nature. He places the utmost importance on ceremony, and loathes superficial behavior or unreasonable demands. Able to meet pressure and adversity head on, Potemkin places great importance in his duty and comrades, and is capable of keeping his patience even when the person he's speaking to isn't being necessarily friendly.



Potemkin was born in Zepp, a military state established toward the end of the Crusades. Potemkin was one of the many slave soldiers that it employed and was called by a barcode number, Code 4595605381. Like the others, Potemkin was forced to wear an anti-desertion bomb collar around his neck, and had to live in fear of it exploding at any given moment. Given his genetic mutation, Potemkin was a unique asset.

One day, one of his superiors claimed that they finally found a use for Potemkin and his ridiculous body. He ordered Potemkin to win the Second Holy Order Selection Tournament, so that he would then wish for suitable territory for Zepp to expand their empire into. Potemkin agreed, thinking that gaining territory peacefully was better than an invasion.

Guilty Gear

The tournament is revealed to be a farce arranged by Testament to free Justice from her dimensional prison. She is canonically killed by Sol Badguy. In his ending, Potemkin is exhausted from the fight, when Sergeant Gabriel suddenly appears and states that Potemkin's mission has not yet been completed and that the tournament 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 to establish a peaceful, democratic nation. Surprised by this, Potemkin joins and takes off his slave neck collar, after Gabriel assures it will not explode.

Guilty Gear X

Potemkin is sent 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 knocked off the Mayship, and subsequently becomes entangled in the affairs of the Post-War Administration Bureau. In one ending, he bickers with Johnny over whether Dizzy should go back to the Mayship or to Zepp. In another ending, Potemkin gets into a confrontation with Bridget, who mistakes Potemkin for a rival bounty hunter pursuing Dizzy. After their fight, Potemkin and Bridget clear up the misunderstanding and become friends; Potemkin recruits Bridget into the Zepp military as a combat trainer, with Potemkin becoming Bridget's first student. Potemkin's third ending has him fighting against the army of Robo-Kys employed by the P.W.A.B.

In Guilty Gear XX Λ Core Plus, given the events of Xrd, neither of his endings can be considered canonical. In Path 1, Potemkin ends up fighting Chipp Zanuff, who if defeated with Potemkin's Instant Kill, is convinced to join Gabriel's presidential bodyguard unit. In Path 2, Potemkin investigates the P.W.A.B. because he considers them dangerous for the Zepp. He dismantles Robo-Ky and Justice clone units before returning to his country. In retaliation, P.W.A.B. members send a suicide bomb Robo-Ky to kill Gabriel. Potemkin covers the explosion, resulting in his death, and he is remembered as a hero with a statue on the city square.

Guilty Gear Xrd

In 2187, Potemkin and Gabriel are going over Ramlethal Valentine's status and are considering allying with the United Nations before any kind of confrontation. But first, Potemkin is ordered to scout the area and report back. He encounters Bedman, who is charged with keeping Potemkin away from Ramlethal. After Bedman's "defeat", Potemkin realizes he's been stuck in Bedman's dream world for three days. When he comes to, he is confronted by Ramlethal, who has already put her plan into action. Potemkin defeats her, but the Cradle's been activated. Potemkin laments and wishes he could do something.

In Story Mode, Potemkin makes a brief appearance towards the end of Chapter 5, where he is interrogating Bedman in one of Zepp's holding cells. However, as Bedman is asleep, the endeavor is fruitless before he teleports away.

In the week after, Potemkin is assigned to investigate the Conclave's old hideout: the Opera House. Gabriel senses that Potemkin has lost his ambition, and offers some parting words about being a first rate soldier. He faces off with himself, trying to clear his mind and learning to trust himself more. Then Potemkin runs into Ky Kiske at the Opera House, surprised that the king has come alone. The king needs testimony from Zepp's scientists regarding the Opus along with Zepp's assistance. Potemkin challenges him to a fight, saying he needs to know something.

After the fight, Potemkin reveals that he questioned the limits of his strength after his fight with Bedman. Ky disagrees, and Potemkin admits to overthinking things. Ky is glad that Potemkin came, and says they need hope in the face of an unknown force, which could be achieved by their countries joining forces. Potemkin and Ky shake hands and agree to become that unwavering force of hope. They find Chipp, who thinks the Universal Will may actually be human.

In Story Mode, Potemkin takes part in the battle to defend the Illyrian capital, which has been attacked by massive antimatter Gears and the Phalanx. He works in tandem with Chipp and helps clear a path for Faust, whose injections will prevent the Gears from exploding. The crisis ends when the Illyrian main team defeat Ariels and Justice is fused with Jack-O' Valentine.

Guilty Gear -Strive-

When the White House is invaded by Happy Chaos and he activates its aerial Tir na nOg mode, Gabriel contacts Potemkin to help Sol and Vernon and Asuka, with the help from Giovanna, while Daryl was able to propose Chaos to set him and the rest of world's leaders (barring Vernon) free from the now battlefield White House area. Upon his arrival, Potemkin helps forcing the White House to stop flying straight to Old Mexico, finally succeeding on saving it, with both Sol, Vernon and Asuka was able to get rid of Chaos off the White House.

Just as Ky arrived with Jack-O', and Sol revert to his human-self, Frederick Bulsara by Asuka, Potemkin patrols from the top of White House airship area. However, when an injured Giovanna arrive and talk about her retirement plan on not keeping high-ranked officer's cartoony badge as a memento, the allies are too late to realize that the "Chaos" they last saw was in fact a high-ranked officer Stryper, while the real Chaos is still inside the White House and had been disguising Udos, a new agent whose jacket only being stolen by Chaos. Just as Chaos reveals the Tome of Origin had been fusing with Asuka, and use it to fuse himself with I-No, transporting her to the White House under her now godlike-state, Potemkin, Giovanna and a human Sol ignores Asuka's warning on not to engage her god-state in combat, and defeated by her quickly. Although human Sol is able to recover to help both Ky, Axl, Asuka and Jack-O' against godlike I-No, with the help from Vernon, and surprisingly, Nagoriyuki.

In the epilogue, Gabriel congratulates him for accomplishing his mission.


Due to a unique genetic mutation, Potemkin possesses extraordinary durability, strength and power. 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 in the alternate timeline from Guilty Gear XX Drama CD Black, where he is capable of devastating entire battalions of Large-Class Gears with merely the shockwaves emanated from his punches. It has been 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.

Even with the limiter, with his giant frame and mastery of Zepp-style martial arts, his sheer battle power is comparable to that of an entire ground-based army division and "has been compared to a storm that can demolish mountains", according to his P.W.A.B. report. He is capable of descending from Zepp to ground-level without injury, and is capable of throwing Gears the size of large buildings with relative ease, as shown in -Revelator-. He has been personally mentored by President Gabriel, who in terms of battle prowess is on par with the likes of Slayer.

In terms of gameplay, Potemkin has high defense and is able to deal damage in great proportions whenever he is able to use his signature move, the Potemkin Buster. He is a grappler that works best in close range to the opponent, having a good range and a variety of throws at his disposal, but has poor mobility. In the original Guilty Gear, he cannot dash.


  • 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
  • Armor-clad Faith - Guilty Gear -Strive-



  • His name was inspired by the Russian battleship initially named Kniaz Potemkin Tavricheskiy, famous for a 1905 mutiny considered to be the first step for the Russian Revolution of 1917. Potemkin (Потёмкин, Potyomkin) is a Russian surname derived from Потёмка meaning "darkness".
  • His Hammer Fall attack may be a reference to the band HammerFall, or Queen's "Hammer To Fall".
  • Nuclear Hammer's name may be inspired by the song title "Neutron Hammer" by Australian band Spear of Longinus.
  • His "Burly Heart" theme may be inspired by "Kashmir" by Led Zeppelin, "Wake Up" by Rage Against the Machine, or "Hold the Line" by Toto.
  • Potemkin's Heat Knuckle and Heat Extend may be homage to Domon Kasshu's Erupting Burning Finger technique from G Gundam. His Gigant Bullet super is extremely similar to GaoGaiGar's Hell & Heaven finishing move.


  • His XX fighting stance is animated to the tune of "Burly Heart".
  • Potemkin and Faust share the same Japanese voice actor, Takashi Kondou.
  • Faust's What Could This Be? and its Overdrive version involve Faust dropping small-sized dolls of some characters. Potemkin is one of these characters.
  • In Guilty Gear Xrd, Potemkin's throw is based on his alternate throw from the original Guilty Gear, which was performed identically to a normal throw but with Kick instead of Heavy Slash.
  • A costume based on Potemkin's Strive look, belonging to Bruiser Khang (Mighty Kongman in Japan), appears in Tales of the Rays. It gives him access to Potemkin's attacks as artes, in which Potemkin Buster is renamed "Kongman Buster".
  • Potemkin has made a guest appearance in the game Code Shifter.


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