|“||I simply- test those who enter the Tower. And the test reflects the worth of what they desire. That is the duty of the Guardians of this Tower.||”|
Guardians (관리자, Gwahnlija; literally meaning "Administrator") are beings that rule over the Shinsoo of their Floor. Their duty is to give tests to those who wish to climb the Tower and such tests reflect the "worth of the things they want" so they may proceed to the next Floor. However, under the current political system, Zahard and the 10 Great Warriors conquered the first 134 Floors and now Rankers are appointed as examiners who can conduct the tests on behalf of the Guardians for those Floors.
Guardians have existed from the ancient times and may be as old as the Tower itself. As such, their age is unknown. The first Guardian Zahard and the 10 Warriors encountered was Headon, hence his title of the most experienced veteran of the Tower. As the supreme rulers of the Shinsoo on their Floor, they were considered to be the ultimate Shinsoo users, real Gods, the true owners of the Tower, and immortals. However, Enryu, an Irregular, murdered the 43rd Floor Guardian and heretically broke those assumptions.
As Headon stated, their duty concerns Irregulars, and only Irregulars can request to be tested directly by the Guardian. However, Regulars may be allowed to participate in the test given by the Guardian. Most or all Guardians can make exceptions and allow someone who's not an Irregular to take a test (Baam's team in the Last Examination and possibly some of Zahard's Princesses who conquered Floors on Zahard's behalf).
Every Guardian from the 1st to the 134th Floor has made a contract with King Zahard.
Guardians cannot leave their Floors with the exception of Headon, the Guardian of the 1st Floor. He is the only one who can teleport to all Floors from the 1st to the 134th Floor.
A contract is a special deal made with a Guardian. Through such contracts, one can obtain special powers or privileges, up to and including immortality. The exact mechanisms of a contract are unknown. The first person to ever form a contract with a Guardian was Zahard.
The most important difference between a Regular and a Ranker is the contracts with the Guardians.
The contracts known so far include:
- The most basic contract is the Shinsoo contract, which Regulars are taught to make on the 2nd Floor. Regulars form the contract on each Floor, from the 2nd Floor onwards to the 134th Floor (with the exception of the 43rd Floor, where the Guardian is dead and anyone may use Shinsoo without a contract). Even items which use Shinsoo have a contract made for them (and will fail to work on Floors not covered by that contract). Additionally, anyone born into one of the 10 Great Families has a 'family contract' allowing them to use Shinsoo from the moment of their birth.
- Most of the 10 Family heads were given the gift of immortality by the 100th Floor Guardian; Hendo Lok Bloodmadder, however, was left out of this for unknown reasons. Instead, he has a unique contract with that Guardian which trades the lifespan of his children and other descendants in order to continuously extend his own life.
- The Mule Family's contract is an Iron Man's contract. It is a contract that allows the user to overcome one's physical limits; in short, it is a contract that restores one's stamina. A Family's Ranker can attain this contract with a Guardian after passing a special test.
- Zahard has a special contract with the Guardians that protects him from harm; none of the inhabitants of the Tower can kill him. As a result, he can be killed only by an Irregular.
- Second Floor Test Director contract. This contract allows Yu Han Sung to obtain the power of the Ruler of the Second Floor in case of emergency.
The Second Floor Guardian told Baam that a contract was "not his strength, but his shackles". The meaning of this sentence was most likely clarified by the "God" of guardians (who is not a Floor Guardian, but a guardian of the Hell Train) as he told Baam that, as "one who has opened the Door", he is preternaturally authorised to control Shinsoo and does not require the Floor Guardian's approval.
- Floor Guardian
Notes and Trivia
- It is unknown if the power of a Guardian scales with their location like the difficulty of their tests or the pressure of the Shinsoo.
- On the Name Hunt station, a Regular attacked Kaiser in violation of the rules of the station, resulting in him getting utterly disintegrated.
- Koon Aguero Agnis would expect the floor Guardian to intervene in a battle between Rankers jeopardizing Regulars, unless it is deemed necessary for the Tower.