Even if you force back what was lost, it still won't be the way it was. Guts, renowned as the "Black Swordsman", is a former mercenary and branded wanderer who travels the world in a constant internal struggle between pursuing his own ends and upholding his attachments to those dear to him. At one time driven solely by his will to survive, Guts finds purpose in life upon joining the Band of the Falcon, greatly helping in the faction's storied successes during the Hundred-Year War as captain of the band's raiders. Guts embarks on a two-year war against the God Hand and apostles, becoming increasing embittered on his one-track quest for retribution. I'm used to fighting to survive. But what grows worse daily is the pressure not to die. Have I ever before wielded a sword so heavy? Guts is a man in constant conflict with his own inner darkness, which manifests as the ever-tempting Beast of Darkness. Known for his air of austerity, Guts is a gruff, cynical man holding an overall bleak outlook on life. This is a consequence of enduring waves of suffering and numerous betrayals since his youth, as nearly all highlights of his life have, in time, become lows. In spite of his guarded, brooding exterior, he shows a more easygoing, compassionate side around the people he trusts, appearing markedly less unsociable and distant, though still retaining his dry candidness. Even as his inner darkness festers deep within him and its temptation becomes increasing harder to resist, he retains his empathy and compassion, refusing to discard his humanity.
He leaves behind a regressed Casca for two years to embark on his warpath against demonkind.
In his formative years, Guts is devoid of true purpose in life, killing as a child mercenary merely as a means to survive. His precariousness slowly develops into individuality upon meeting Griffith - someone whom he eventually seeks to stand beside as an equal, rather than be looked down on by. The swordsman then embarks on a journey of self-discovery, in which he comes to acknowledge his lifelong bond with and passion for the sword. Upon realizing this, he begins devoting himself to honing his craft and fighting ever stronger adversaries, having a newfound purpose in life through this. Eventually, Guts is able to overcome his apprehension toward camaraderie, grateful for the companionship of his new group members. After surviving the Eclipse, Guts grows vindictive, wanting nothing other than to hunt down and slaughter any apostle he encounters, and, more importantly, exact revenge on Griffith and the God Hand. He leaves behind a regressed Casca for two years to embark on his warpath against demonkind. On his two-year hunt, Guts becomes largely self-centered and anti-social, indifferent to the suffering of others and detesting those whom he deems weak. His reclusive nature and hostility toward those trying to connect with him stem from a fear of creating new emotional attachments; fear of making precious new companions akin to the comrades he lost to the eclipse. Guts ceases his solitary struggle and solicits the help of fellow travelers, slowly fostering new companionship with them.
An infant Guts, left to die underneath the corpse of his lynched mother.
Despite his initial apprehension toward displaying affection for his new comrades, he comes to appreciate the bonds he makes with them and finds himself grateful for having their individual strengths to rely on. Above all else, Guts is the personification of perseverance and resilience. Through all of his numerous trials and tribulations, he has never yielded to the flow of causality and continues to subsist against seemingly insurmountable odds. Indeed, Guts is an ardent detractor of the idea of destiny, believing his actions to ultimately be of his own volition and paying no heed to such a supposed certainty. An infant Guts, left to die underneath the corpse of his lynched mother. Guts was born from the corpse of his lynched mother underneath a hanging tree, where he was left to die alone in a mire of blood and afterbirth. A mercenary group lead by a man named Gambino eventually happened upon the grisly site, presuming the infant to be dead.
When the baby began wailing, to the surprise of the mercenaries, an acquaintance of Gambino's, Shisu, immediately took to the child and came to his aid. Gambino allowed the woman to keep Guts for her own personal consolation, despite the circumstances of Guts' birth being considered ominous by his cohorts. Three years later, Guts' surrogate mother contracted the plague, dying as he watched on. Under Gambino's tutelage, Guts began honing his swordsmanship at six years of age, and joined the mercenary's band three years later, looking up to his leader as a father figure of sorts. On the night following Guts' first skirmish, a mercenary named Donovan ambushed and raped him in his tent, revealing he bought the boy for a night from Gambino. In a following skirmish, the young mercenary isolated Donovan and eliminated him, refusing to believe the man's claim from the previous night. Guts is forced to kill Gambino, the closest thing to a father he has ever known. When Gambino lost his leg in battle, his relationship with Guts immediately deteriorated.
From verbal to physical abuse, Guts was subjected to various forms of degradation before Gambino eventually made an attempt on his life. Possessed of the notion Guts was the reason for his misfortune, Gambino revealed he did indeed sell Guts out to Donovan, voicing his disgust for the boy's existence. Heavily disheartened by this revelation, Guts retaliated and killed his assailant - the closest thing to a father he had ever known. Consequently attacked by Gambino's men and branded a father killer, he fled the encampment with aggressors on his tail, eventually running into a dead end and being shot off a cliff side. From his high fall and a bout with a pack of wolves below, he fell unconscious, eventually being discovered by and enlisted as a child soldier in another mercenary band that happened upon him. Guts is nursed to health by a forlorn flower spirit named Chitch, though at the cost of Chitch's being. As a result of being on the losing side of battle, Guts and his fellow mercenaries were captured and intended to work as laborers for their captors. On their way to the castle they were to help construct, Guts met a man named Martino, who aided and befriended the injured young mercenary on their trek, even apparently helping him escape.
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Martino instead used Guts' escape attempt as a decoy to make his own, leaving as the guards recaptured the boy, later imprisoning Guts in a frigid cell. In his cell, the young mercenary met the forlorn spirit of a lone flower named Chitch, who nursed him back to health as he readied for a bout with his captor's son. In the process of healing Guts, Chitch expended all of her remaining petals and ceased to be; grateful for her aid, Guts decided to take Chitch's remains to a valley of other blooms like her after his escape. Despite his combat prowess, Guts is defeated and claimed by Griffith, enlisted in the Band of the Falcon thereafter. During the siege of a military garrison defended by the Band of the Falcon, Guts joins the fray alongside a mercenary band and narrowly defeats an enemy leader named Bazuso, lowering the enemy's morale and allowing for the fort's capture. In his travels, he is attacked by Band of the Falcon mercenaries seeking to claim his reward and exact revenge for his earlier interference.
He easily dispatches most of them until he is met by Griffith, who quickly incapacitates the swordsman and has him brought to the band's encampment. Waking several days later, Guts is given by Griffith the option to join the band, though he promptly refuses, instead opting to challenge Griffith to a duel. He stipulates that the White Falcon can lay claim to him in the advent of defeating him in combat. Harboring a vested interest in Guts, Griffith agrees and the two engage in a sensational battle, with the White Falcon ultimately defeating the swordsman and enlisting him as a member of the Band of the Falcon. Guts is the first man in 300 years to wound the legendary Nosferatu Zodd. In three years time, Guts is promoted to the Band of the Falcon's raiders captain and, for their efforts against the Black Ram Iron Lance Knights, the band is formally recruited by Midland in its century-spanning campaign against Tudor. At a later point, amid seizing a Tudor stronghold, the Band of the Falcon finds itself at a standstill while making its final push into the fortress, with roughly fifty of Guts' soldiers being slaughtered by a single enemy burrowed within the inner citadel. Fed up with these results, Guts ventures into the citadel himself, where he meets the monstrous apostle Nosferatu Zodd and engages in battle with the demon.
Initially taken aback by his opponent's overwhelming aura and daunted from parrying Zodd's bone-rattling strikes, Guts ultimately gambles his life on one swing, and with it, lands a gashing blow on the apostle. Zodd is only further excited by the injury - having after 300 years finally found a human capable of injuring him - and then assumes his behemoth released form. Petrified by Zodd's transformation and completely outclassed, Guts is thrashed around and nearly crushed by the apostle, before Griffith and Band of the Falcon reinforcements intervene. When Griffith comes to Guts' aid, Zodd blocks the two's path of escape, forcing them to execute a pincer movement on the apostle, in which both of them deal substantial damage to the demon. In retaliation, Zodd tail whips Griffith into a column, though he immediately ceases his onslaught upon sighting Griffith's Crimson Beherit. The beast leaves Guts with a prophecy, warning the swordsman of an inescapable death that shall befall him should Griffith's dream ever collapse, before flying off.