The Guardians are are group of entities that function as administrators and rulers over their own particular Zone. As symbolic of the general corruption and deterioration taking place in the various places within OFF, most of the Guardians possess either physical monstrosities, severe psychological problems, or both. For example, Japhet serves as the Guardian of Zone 2, and he has degenerated to the point that he has callous, almost psychopathic attitude to the Elsen in his area. The two exceptions to this are The Judge and The Queen, who serve as Guardians over Zone 0 and The Room respectively.
Upon the death or disappearance of a Guardian, their Zone shifts to a bleak state in which the populace appears to be gone, the background colors warp to a harsh black and white, and only powerful enemies known as "secretaries" remain. These "purified" districts (referred to by The Judge as "pristine nothingness") may perhaps end up degenerating into absolute nonexistence. While how they do so is unknown, it is clear that a Guardian must exist for every Zone or else it becomes permanently cleansed. A running theme within the game is the question of whether or not oblivion, in terms of a mercy killing by The Batter, is a better state or not compared to the decrepit, corrupt state of the OFF areas under the rule of the Guardians.