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Characters: Dead Over Two
    Main Characters 

Arc Howard

“I’d say it’s about time to take some action. Carpe diem, as they say.”

The starting character of the story. At fifteen years old, he’s a confident and intelligent freshman who’s not afraid to voice his opinions – a stark contrast to his stereotypical emo looks. Unfortunately, all the cunning in the world can’t save him from a series of unfortunate events: what starts as a simple quest to scrounge up enough money for a date becomes a fight for survival – a fight that he inevitably loses.

But that’s just the beginning of his story – and his ultimate role as the hero of Dead over Two. Following his death, he takes a Journey to the Center of the Mind and encounters a doppelganger, who declares that if Arc can pass a few trials, he can come back to life. After much struggle and discovery, Arc returns to the shifting New Rock City and starts fighting back against the Ghost Empire; however, the battle against Bellanger is just one of many struggles he’ll face over the course of the story.

His theme song is “Edge and Pearl” by Machinae Supremacy.

  • Emo Teen: Averted, thankfully, in spite of his…
  • Peek-a-Bangs: One of his defining traits; covers his right eye at all times, but can see past it fairly easily (somehow).
  • Embarrassing First Name: Archie? Seriously?
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Most people just call him "Skull Kid", with good reason.
  • The Napoleon: 3rd shortest character in the entire story, and the shortest two aren't seen nearly as often as he is.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Played with. Though not technically alone thanks to his girlfriend Katie, Arc doesn’t have a single friend beyond her. More to the point, although he’s not murderous or suicidal in any way, his monologues and internal ramblings suggest a darker and maladjusted character.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Oh so much. As one of the few level-headed members of the cast, he’s usually not amused by the antics of the others. Apparently, he’s even got a “bullshit quota.” To wit:
    Katie: Between you and me, I think I’ve been gaining weight – all of my clothes feel more snug than usual…
    Arc: Maybe you finally hit puberty.
  • Anti-Hero: A standard Type-Two: not exactly a Good Samaritan, but good enough to do what he thinks is right. Later evolves into a Type-Three, and skirts the line between Four and Five.
  • Butt Monkey: On a semi-regular basis in-universe.
  • Ambition is Evil: Zigzagging. At story’s outset, Arc is incredibly devoted to his ideals, and wants to become student council president to change the school, saying things like “There are things here that shouldn’t exist, so I’m going to erase them. And to do that, I’ll need power.” But his ambitions are kept in check by his love and respect for Katie which makes it all the more painful for him when the two clash, and he has a major crisis of faith. Later combines with Love Makes You Crazy in his need to protect Katie, then ultimately feeds into Dark Messiah, much to the dismay of his allies.
  • Face Palm: With increasing regularity.
  • Hot-Blooded: You'd be surprised what this so-called emo kid is capable of. From speaking his mind to taking on baddies twice his size to going all out in desperate situations, he's always ready for a fight. Lampshaded in-universe when everyone acts surprised at his "out-of-character" actions.
  • Shorter Equals Smarter
  • Übermensch: Arc sees himself as this, but ultimately comes up short. After his death and resurrection, however, he takes up his creed once more and, symbolically, becomes this.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Arc is noticeably shorter than average and very, very thin. He’s also a practiced martial artist who uses speed and precision to take down larger, stupider opponents.
  • Norse Mythology: Fairly well-versed in the matter, especially in regards to Odin, who he considers “a badass”. Can you blame him?
  • Chekhov's Gun: Arc’s yin-yang necklace.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Coil’s red, and similarly to Katie’s red. Interestingly, he’s the ‘’red’’ oni to R4’s blue.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Arc can’t dance for shit. Bringing it up is a surefire way to make him lose his composure.
  • The Power of Love: Thanks to his faith in Katie, he’s a believer. Unfortunately, it does not end well…
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Called out repeatedly over the course of the story.
  • Jerkass: He's called a "smug son of a bitch" and/or "asshole" several times. Even by R4.
  • Always Save the Girl: Arc's number one rule, considering how much Katie means to him. Carries over throughout the course of the story, but just because Katie's the "damsel in distress" doesn't guarantee she'll make it out alive.
  • Years Too Early: Spouts this a few times, usually aimed at Katie.
  • Chekhov's Skill: He's pretty good with a yo-yo, you know.
  • Back from the Dead: Yeah, he comes back – he’s just too cool to stay dead for long. However…
  • Came Back Wrong:…It’s hinted several times throughout the story that Arc isn’t one hundred percent human anymore. Paler, thinner, fiercer, and imbued with the power of darkness, several characters suggest that he’s actually a ghost. Codified by R4 when he proposes that the real Arc is still dead, while the hero walking about now is an offshoot of the Ghost Emperor…but, ultimately, never conclusively proven.
  • Hitman with a Heart: Ultimately becomes this after his death, soul-searching, and resurrection. Dressed to kill, and ready to punch the hell out of some ghosts.
  • Casting a Shadow/Dark Is Not Evil: Nearly all of his powers are darkness-based elemental attacks, to say nothing of his ghost-summoning ability and nightmarish cloak. Also, he’s among the first of his team to go insane, yet somehow remains as the story’s hero.
  • Madness Mantra: “I don’t have an answer…I don’t have an answer…”
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Revealed in the 5th volume. He's had no memories since he was 13, yet he hasn't said a word.

Katie Noether

“So does that mean that, someday, you’ll forget about me?”

A fourteen-year-old girl and high school freshman, as well as Arc’s girlfriend. In stark contrast to Arc’s dark and sarcastic nature, Katie’s bright and cheerful, typically referred to in-universe as a fairy (reflecting her looks, as well). But underneath her cheery demeanor lies a savvy and fiercely intelligent partner, and a worthy right-hand man to her boyfriend. As a dark mystery begins to unfold in New Rock City, Katie teams up with Arc to help unravel the secrets of the decaying world.

Unbeknownst to most, Katie is barely classifiable as human. The emergence of Bellanger in the city triggers an extreme reaction within, driving her emotions to a fever pitch. It all comes to a head as she discovers and reveals her true form: a now-corrupted succubus, who’s more than capable of wreaking havoc upon the innocent. The battle between Arc and Katie will ultimately define “the breakdown of peace.”

Her theme song is “Come On” by Go Betty Go.

  • ACupAngst: A weakness regularly exploited by Arc. According to Katie, all the women in her family are well-endowed, making her the black sheep. Makes you wonder…
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Inverted. Even though she’s always wearing headphones, she keeps them around her neck when not in use, and is fairly popular among her niche.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy
  • The Cutie
  • Genki Girl: She’s so Moe!
  • Big Eater: The sole reason why Arc is starved for cash. Apparently, she’s capable of eating several breakfasts a day.
  • Stepford Smiler: Underneath her sunny disposition lies a frighteningly grave and philosophical personality – even more so than Arc! Coupled with some issues, the sweet, sugary girl turns into a callous and calculating demon – literally.
  • Horny Devils: Surprise! Little Katie was a demon succubus all along! And a hot one, too! And can make your organs explode!
  • Distressed Damsel: Subverted – she’s Arc’s partner, so naturally she can take care of herself. Of course, there are a few other reasons…
  • Lightning Bruiser: Becomes this in her demon form, and gives Arc – even at full power – a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • Author Avatar: Remarkably (and nightmarishly), yes...by complete and utter accident.
  • Batter Up: She can swing that thing pretty hard!
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: She is MUCH more savvy than meets the eye; there's a reason Arc considers Katie, and Katie alone, his partner. She's sharp, can handle herself in a fight, and her insight frequently surpasses her precious Skull Kid. If you underestimate her, you just might die...
  • One Head Taller: Even though Arc isn’t exactly huge, Katie is barely even five feet. Reversed in Katie’s demon form, where she stands at six feet even.
  • Oblivious Adoption: Kath's joke that Katie was adopted in Chapter 3 is, eerily enough, the truth. That would explain why she hasn't inherited the family genes...

Coil (Kristoph Glaser)

“I’ll teach you not to mess with me. Cross me again, an’ I’ll cut ya to pieces.”

A rough-necked teen better known as “the white-haired punk”, Coil is a foreigner who’s come to New Rock City for his own purposes. Belligerent and hot-headed, he’s a troublemaker of the highest caliber, and loves getting into fights. Cocky as he may be, he’s good at heart and follows through on his creed – his goal of being a real man.

Even though he acts like a punk, Coil is actually a member of the Astrum Guard, a mystic organization charged with protecting the world from unearthly threats – namely, from the Ghost Emperor. Armed with his blazing sword, Solus, and having endured years of training, Coil has what it takes to put up a fight…but, unfortunately, his skills aren’t up to par with his status as “prodigy”. His weakness and ineptitude have become well-known, feeding into his insecurities as a warrior. Over the course of the story, he faces his weakness head-on, and struggles to overcome them on his road to victory.

His theme is “Eat the Rich” by Aerosmith.

  • Delinquent: In spades. He doesn’t even go to school!
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Averted. He has white hair, but he’s rough and tumble, and not nice by any stretch of the imagination.
  • Gray Eyes
  • Mighty Glacier: Coil’s fighting style relies heavily on his street-fighting instincts, not to mention his high power and durability. He’s not slow per se, but compared to Arc, he might as well be. Taken to the extreme when he unleashes...
  • BFS: His giant flaming sword, which is at least as tall as he is and can shoot massive fireballs. Of course, said BFS is viciously deconstructed when the creepy crawlies come out to play: it’s slow, unwieldy, he can only swing it in a limited number of ways, it gets caught on the environment, and it’s not energy efficient. But it hits really, really hard.
  • Playing with Fire: He’s a fire-elemental by nature, and because he can’t use any magic beside his sword. Combines with Fire, Ice, Lightning with respect to Arc and R4, respectively.
  • Slice-and-Dice Swordsmanship: He slices, dices, AND thrusts! Of course, that's probably just because he has no clue of what he's doing, but he makes it work.
  • Idiot Hero: He’s…not very smart. When he can actually do math, he’s ecstatic.
  • The Hero/The Chosen One: That Jerkass in the hood and wearing those sunglasses? It’s his job to save the world. Have a nice day!
  • Hot-Blooded: Even more than Arc. Thinks with his heart instead of his head, probably as a consequence of his burning passion.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: He's in love! How cute! With a girl he has no hopes of ever winning over! How brutal!
  • Badass: He's a hot-blooded brawler who never lets the pressure get to himwhich hides his real nature as a failure of a hero, a screw-up who's late to the awakening of the Big Bad, and a friendless, inept mage in a magical organization who's reminded of his weakness at every turn. Ironically, it'd be easier to call him The Woobie (or, worst case scenario, Emo) than Arc.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Curses in nearly every line. For that reason, he's...
  • Sir Swearsalot: Knight of Shitopia!
  • Hope Spot: Coil is the first of the cast to die, immediately after dealing a supposedly lethal attack to the Big Bad. His last words? "But then I died. And just like that, my dreams came to an end."
  • Blood Magic:The secret to Coil's power, taken to its logical extreme: he pulls an even BIGGER BFS out of a puddle of his own blood. And that's just the beginning.

R4

“I think this is what they call character development. I thought it was just a legend, though.”

A seventeen-year-old gamer who’s stumbled into New Rock City. Good-natured and amicable, he’s always cracking jokes and making obscure video game references; he takes his “craft” very seriously, even wearing gloves to keep his hands from getting sweat on his devices. Despite his kind and polite nature, he has a crippling fear of women.

Originally working in the background, he’s actually an operative for the Astrum Guard, and cooperating with Coil and Old Wade. However, the full extent of his loyalty - and his mission - remains to be seen, and will be tested during the Ghost Emperor Rebellion.

His theme is “Carte Blanche” by Veracocha.

  • Ascended Extra: Starts of as a background character muttering to himself while playing video games. In the next few chapters, he becomes the story's Knight of Cerebus. Not bad for a former extra!
  • Black and Nerdy: A gaming nut who doesn’t think about much else, and actively ignores people when he’s in the zone.
  • Green Eyes: Despite being black, sports these. Lampshaded when he references Smokey Robinson.
  • Batman Gambit: His plans are either brilliant or incredibly stupid. No one can decide.
  • The Red Mage: Combines magical prowess with stalwart physical ability…and apparently, he learned all his moves from video games!
  • Shock and Awe
  • Four Is Death: You should probably keep an eye on this guy…either he’ll die, kill himself, or kill you.
  • Funny Afro: It’s not exactly huge (or funny), but poked fun of nonetheless:
    R4: You did your very best, and I’m sure that counts for something.
    Coil: Don’t talk down t’ me, you Chia-pet lookin’ ass hat!
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Oh hell yes. The only question is, how many layers is he obfuscating?
  • Obfuscating Insanity: Also hell yes. It's probably a good idea to listen very carefully to what he has to say...
  • Precision F-Strike: Compared to Coil, he only swears once through the duration of the story. But when he does, you had better take notice.
  • Nice Guy: He's so polite, he adds "Miss" to all the girls' names! Of course, that's probably just a consequence of being...
  • Allergic to Love: Has a MASSIVE fear of women that (in no particular order) causes him to leap three feet away, quiver and sweat, act like their butler, laugh like a robot, fall unconscious, and faint while standing up. And yes, this extends to women that he faces in combat, too. Fortunately, it only happens once.
  • Butt Monkey: Although he trades off with the other main characters (the males, generally), in-universe he's slapped around by Old Wade and Coil. If only they knew...
  • Willfully Weak: Both to keep Coil's pride intact and to further his own agenda, while keeping friends and enemies alike in the dark about his true abilities.
  • Super Mode: There's a reason he always wears his gloves...
  • My Greatest Failure: R4 - as a part of his mission - was once forced to bury an eight-year-old girl alive after weeks of digging a grave for her in the arctic. And he was ten years old.
  • Artificial Human: He's a homunculus created by the Guard, for the Guard - the most telling features (other than his own admission - are his green eyes and his spirit-constructed hands. It's heavily suggested that he could be killed at any moment for disobeying orders, and similarly suggested that his plan is to break free from their control.
  • Shock and Awe
  • Otaku: Of the gamer sort. Doubles with...
  • Cosplay Otaku Guy: Seems to get some genuine satisfaction out of dressing up the girls.

Madeline "Maddy" Hunter

“I just meant that, well, I pray for…you know, peace. Happiness. There’s nothing wrong with that, right?”

A New Rock City native, currently in her senior year at the nearby Four Star University. Standing at an impossible seven feet tall, this bashful young lady has a complex about her height, and is easily flustered at even the slightest provocation. Even so, she's a steadfast believer in peace, justice, and the law - a consequence of idolizing her father, a famous officer in town. Earnest, thoughtful, and always trying to do the right thing (even if she trips along the way), she's working to solve the mysteries plaguing the town, thanks in no small part to Arc and Coil's antics. But what starts out as a simple mystery blooms into a desperate struggle for survival, leaving Maddy with little choice but to throw herself into the fray...

While in pursuit of answers - and trying to protect Johnny - Maddy is forced into the graveyard by a hideous beast, who immediately transforms into a more frightening form. Trapped in an area with high corruption, Maddy's innate powers arise, drawing Old Wade's attention and cementing her position as a member of the Ghost Emperor Rebellion. However, her ulterior motive throughout is to find her missing father, and save him from the creatures invading the city.

Her theme is "Running Away" by The Polyphonic Spree.

  • Huge Schoolgirl: Her defining trait, much to her chagrin; repeatedly commented on in-universe, along with the quintessential "Do you play basketball?" quip (she's terrible at it, by the way). Of course, her immense size is a deconstruction of the trope - it's clearly caused her some major distress in the past and present, not to mention that she's huge due to a tumor in her pituitary gland. Whether or not this is true remains to be revealed...
  • Hollywood Nerd: Her other defining trait. Glasses, skirt, shoes, book bag, it's all there.
  • Shrinking Violet: Her other (other) defining trait. It really doesn’t take much to break her composure. Exploited to no end by Arc in the second chapter, who dupes her with an obviously fake marriage proposal, and forcing her to crash face-first into a door.
  • Daddy's Girl: Extremely devoted to the ideals of her father, Norman, a veteran on the force known as the “Head Hunter”. It’s because of him that Maddy’s looking to become an officer in his footsteps, and similarly is eager to work alongside him as they investigate the city’s mysterious events. Oh, and whatever you do, don’t badmouth Norman. You will regret it.
  • Amateur Sleuth: Tries to be this at first, in line with her dream of being a cop. Unfortunately, there’s not much to solve…
  • Naïve Everygirl: She’s got lots of innocent and well-meaning ideals, and is a not-quite-devout-but-extremely-respectful believer in God and heaven. If only that pesky plot wouldn’t get in the way…
  • Break the Cutie: Just one of several victims in the story, including virtually every member of the main cast. Maddy, however, gets hit particularly hard; she’s forced to abandon her father to the Emperor, who turns him into material for building his castle, nearly dies at the hands of a psychotic demon, and has her mind assaulted by Arc, the corrupted city, and even her inner self.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Oh so much. Goes from being an innocent, if maladjusted young lady to a manic, always-furious Knight Templar…but not before rusted girders in the shape of angel wings explode from her back.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: Well, more like Big Girl Bigger Gun; she’s got plenty of training with guns, and even wields a shotgun, even though it’s ineffective against demons. Of course, there’s always…
  • Holy Hand Grenade: The form that her power takes. Makes both a riot shield and transmutes whatever item’s in her left hand into a light-based weapon (including a literal holy hand grenade!) Her shotgun turns into an even more powerful shotgun, and its bullets spray pure energy over a huge area.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: She can be pretty persuasive at times. Not to mention she knows how to use guns, is incredibly durable (and pretty strong), and expects chastity from her comrades. To say nothing of when she gets really pissed…
  • Covert Pervert: She’d never admit it, but there are a number of allusions to the fact that she’s into some pretty kinky stuff. She’s apparently no stranger to the world of fetishes, and in one chapter even quotes a movie of “ill repute.” Not to mention she uses a few double entendres by accident (?).
  • Epileptic Trees: Done in-universe; Maddy has a sneaking suspicion that she’s actually a descendant of Bellanger, the Ghost Emperor, thanks to a family tree project she did a year ago. Once upon a time, they shared the same last name, and Maddy’s power has a few negative connotations – namely, the upside-down cross on her shield.
  • Stone Wall: Thanks to her light shield, she’s got the best defense out of all the rebels – although her offensive abilities are limited to how much ammo she has and what she’s transmuted. But then again, who needs offense when you can take a hit from a 10-foot-tall demon gladiator square in the ribs and walk it off two minutes later?
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Apparently, she’s had this. It’s just a matter of whether or not she’s telling the truth, and what she’s hiding.
  • Enemy Within: Something, or someone, is inside her; Arc can hear a mysterious song playing when he interrogates her, and it covers up for her when confronted about her past. Of course, one could argue that the real enemy is Arc himself, as it’s his form that Maddy’s insanity takes.
  • Light is Good: It has to be, right?

Johnny Anderson

“You DARE to ignore The King of All Books?! Repent for your crimes!”

Maddy's closest friend, and the sole owner and employee of the floundering Joker's Books, which he inherited from his late father. Jovial and easygoing, but incredibly savvy nonetheless, he's both a peddler of his wares and a reliable source of information. He's never seen without his trusted Karate Kid headband (or some variant thereof), which he's taken to tugging whenever he's nervous. His discovery of an old book in the bowels of the store sets into motion his role in the rebellion, and Johnny's quest will force the seemingly-average seller into a journey to discover his mettle as a hero.

His theme is "Pretty Fly For A White Guy" by The Offspring.

  • Martial Arts Headband: Never leaves home without it!
  • Red-Headed Hero: More or less...except his hair's more orange than red, and he's something of a coward. Which kinda makes him not an example, but semantics.
  • Large Ham: Speaks for himself:
    Johnny:You may be wondering why something so trivial has me bent out of shape – well, that’s because there is nothing more sacred than comedy done right; THERE-FORE! As the ONE! Aaaaaaand ONLY! KING! Of AAAAAAAALL BOOKS! (copyrighted), IT! Is my SWORN DUTY to…!
    (beat)
    Johnny: Note to self: take acting classes.
  • Perpetual Poverty: He has a tiny apartment downtown that's littered with books. He's the only employee in his failing bookstore. One of the few things in his refrigerator is rotting milk. How is this guy even alive? Good question.
  • The Smart Guy: As a consequence of owning a bookstore, he's incredibly well-versed in a number of subjects. As he becomes a major player in the story proper, he's always considering options that others don't. Granted, his cowardice can sometimes cloud his judgment, but he's a quick enough thinker to do some remarkable things.
  • In the Blood: As fate would have it, Johnny is more than the successor to the bookstore; he's also the last descendant of an ancient bloodline of extremely powerful mages. What a coincidence that he should find out the very day he needs it.
  • Squishy Wizard: His primary contribution in a fight, so long as he doesn't get hurt.
  • The Drag-Along: The most extreme example. Prior to the story's game-changing events, he's asleep. Then, after being discovered by Bellanger - while still in his boxers, mind you - he's forced to run for dear life because he doesn't have the MacGuffin on him. Of course, had he not run, he'd be dead, just like countless others; only problem is, now he's trapped in a city full of monsters with no hope of escape. Although...
  • Escape from the Crazy Place: Johnny's ultimate goal, not that one could blame him. He has a duty to protect Maddy (as promised to her father), and he's in no mood to play hero when everything's turning to shit around him. Survival is his number-one priority, more so than fighting the good fight.
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: The entirety of his magical abilities. Deconstructed in several ways - for one, Johnny's got raw magical power, but little to no understanding of its nuances and consequences; in one instance, his magic ends up being Cast from Hit Points, and slowly unraveling his body. Psychologically, his powers are a complete shock, and the fact that he has to fight on the front lines after a life of comfort slowly eats away at his mind.
  • Running Gag: Tends to make a big deal about other people named Johnny - Blaze, Storm, Quest, and a certain drunkard.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: With Maddy, obviously. Granted, he's about 5'11", but that doesn't mean very much when you're standing next to her.
  • The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Averted - the rest of the group understands and recognizes Johnny's complaints, particularly their need for an escape route (though it's ultimately proven implausible). Even so, he regularly brings up legitimate concerns, which gives his character more of an Action Survivor shade.

Katherine “Kath” Noether

“We may be alike in certain ways, but we’re very different, too.”

Katie’s 19-year-old sister. Although she’s conceited and haughty thanks to her lusty form, her flirtatious nature belies a radically sharpened wit, and she’s strong enough to overpower most men. Indeed, Kath is a woman of many layers, and underneath her image and personality, she’s eager to find true love, especially if it’s to compete with her “princess” little sister. As fate would have it, it’s thanks to that same sister that Kath’s journey into the bowels of the transformed New Rock City begins.

Over the course of the story, the relationship between Katie and Kath will be tested and brought to light. As a result of the corruption and the resulting insanity, Kath develops twisted feelings toward Arc, pushing a greater wedge between the sisters. To make matters worse, she’s acting as a mole for a mysterious enemy – one who’s been Kath’s best friend for years. Whether or not she becomes a victim of the Ghost Emperor’s power depends heavily on her ability to power through her fears and sorrows.

Her theme is “Beat Your Heart Out” by The Distillers.

  • Amazonian Beauty: She stands at a solid 5’9”, and her fitness (gained from rigorous and routine exercise) is commented on regularly. There’s also the little fact that she’s a former wrestler – and uses those moves on monsters!
  • Buxom Is Better: Oh lord, where to begin. She’s very busty, eager to flaunt her assets, and is savvy enough to use said assets to utterly screw with the minds of men, Arc included. And yet she’s not considered the most attractive character in the story; that honor (probably) goes to her significantly smaller sister Katie. To say nothing of Kath repeatedly being called a “worthless cow”…
  • Ms. Fanservice: Did you not read the above? Lampshaded and exaggerated at every turn, if not outright twisted; in one instance, she starts doing bodybuilder poses just because she was already putting other sexy poses into rotation. And, outside of bearing the midriff, the workout costume she wears for the story's duration is fairly tame.
  • Fiery Redhead: Hot-blooded womanly power! Or something like that.
  • Boisterous Bruiser
  • The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Katie and Kath have a few issues to iron out, to say the least. One of them is – from Kath’s perspective – The Unfavorite, with Katie being a general source of annoyance (and envy) for the elder Noether. The lynchpin of their fallout, however, depends on their…
  • Love Triangle: It wouldn’t be a story without one! And who else but Arc would be at the center?
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: The “final option” employed by Kath. Granted Katie was about five minutes away from doing the same, but at least she’s Arc’s partner.
  • The Juggernaut: Kath’s demon form (get it?!). She’s just as powerful as the name suggests; particularly because she levels several city blocks and a cliff with one punch. Unfortunately, this isn’t exactly the best method to take when in the presence of an unstable Arc…
  • Stepford Smiler: A Type-A/B hybrid. Full of sorrow and emptiness, despite what her persona suggests; as the city’s corruption affects her, she blooms into a full-on Type C. A superstrong, indestructible Type C.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Apparently she flies into a fit should anyone dare to be as busty as her. And, you know, the whole little sister thing.
  • Ship Tease: There's enough evidence to suggest that there's a spark between Kath and Arc, among others. Unfortunately, it doesn't lead anywhere in terms of a full relationship; fortunately, it does have a tangible effect on the story.
  • The Mole: Not Kath, but there's a traitor in the ranks, and she's the only one aware of it. Now she just has to figure out who...
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Otherwise known as the Red Cyclone, Kath busts out a haymaker, a German suplex, and even a giant swing!
  • Biker Babe: Guess who's driving in the kickass motorcycle chase scene?
  • The Tease: What a surprise.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Kath's spirit-sensing abilities are on par, if not greater, than the rest of the rebellion.
  • Suplex Finisher

Old Wade

"As long as you have that burning zeal, you of the new generation can reach great heights.”

An old man spotted by Arc around New Rock City, and cooperating with both Coil and R4 as their superior. Easy to spot due to his diminutive stature, what he lacks in size he makes up for with his commanding presence and indomitable spirit; the wisdom and knowledge he has gained over his hundred and fifty-plus years of life have given him both immense power and unparalleled mental stability, making him the perfect candidate to provide support during the Ghost Emperor Rebellion.

However, Old Wade's physical condition leaves much to be desired. Although he can fight impressively for short bursts of time, doing so activates a curse used to control his actions, and cripples his ability to act. Nevertheless, he offers his wisdom and skill to create the rebellion's greatest weapon: the TP Custom, a tool that will restore peace to New Rock City. Because of his ability to read minds, he has a full understanding of who the traitor is and the deteriorating mental health of his comrades; however, for the sake of his own ulterior motives he decides to let the events play out with as little interference as possible.

His theme is "You Make Me High" by L.A. Jazz Syndicate.

  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Stands at an almighty three feet tall, which makes him almost half the size of the taller members of the cast (and less than half with Maddy). However, he makes up for it by being a...
  • Lightning Bruiser: Extreme speed plus magical ability equals one souped-up grandpa.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap
  • Character Tics: Often strokes his chin - his defining trait considering the Body Motif thing all the characters have.
  • Bald of Awesome: He looks remarkably similar to Captain Picard. Only...tiny. And magical.
  • Badass Grandpa: When he does fight, he'll definitely leave an impression.
  • Mission Control: When he doesn't, this is the role that he wants to play.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Inexplicably, he loves barbecue, and gives Coil trouble for letting him miss out on it.
  • Team Dad
  • All-Powerful Bystander: Justified in that he's trying to make sure Coil and all the rest are strong enough to take on whatever comes their way, be it from the Ghost Emperor or future threats. Since he only has about three years left to live anyway,Training the group to become strong and stand without relying on "the old generation" is his top objective.
  • Old Master: Hell yes.
  • So Proud of You: Gives Coil his approval right before his final showdown with Bellanger. Unfortunately...
  • The Chessmaster: It's hinted that, due to his mind-reading powers, that Old Wade has a full understanding of who will do what, and when. Why doesn't he do anything? It's all a part of his master plan, both to develop the rebellion's powers and set his own advancements into motion.
  • Telepathy: One of his most formidable powers. You can't hide anything from the old man. However, you CAN stun him by "screaming" thoughts at him.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling

    Enemies 

Bellanger

"And now you finally realize how weak you really are."

The main villain of the story, who, after over a hundred and fifty years of imprisonment, has broken free from the seal that contained him and is eager to spread chaos. However, his intentions are not to destroy the world or take control of it; as a service to the world's true order, he seeks to crush all of the world's conventions and paradigms - something he's fully capable of, and chosen by God Himself to do so. As the Ghost Emperor, he has command over all ghosts, and subsequently uses them to tear New Rock City - and the world - apart, bit by bit. Killing Arc is just the first of his crimes against humanity.

His theme is "Superbeast" by Rob Zombie.

  • Big Bad: You know it.
  • Hero Killer: Again, you know it. Of course, Bellanger goes above and beyond the call of duty by killing more than just one hero...
  • The Dreaded: R4, with good reason, is legitimately afraid of him ("him" being a ten-foot-tall god of death whose mere voice spreads corruption and insanity). Which makes their brief fight all the more fearsome.
  • Black Knight: Fills this role in spirit. Then, to hammer the point home, he evolves into this as he regains his memories and his true power.
  • Implacable Man: He barely even reacts to most attacks; it takes about forty chapters to even get him to stay down for the count. Unfortunately, it doesn't stick...
  • Lightning Bruiser: Speed? Can fly as fast as a car. Magic? Summons swords and dark energy at will. Power? Can punch you through three towers before you even hit the ground.
  • Cool Mask
  • BFS: His favorite type of weapon, which he can wield with ease. Taken to extremes when his signature weapon, Aria, is unleashed.
  • Compelling Voice: Conscious and subconscious; conscious in the sense that the people he kills himself are turned into his mindless slaves; subconscious in the sense that his "echo" spreads throughout the city with barely a thought. But the voice of the echo is not his own; it actually belongs to TheManBehindTheMan.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: As a result of the seal, most of his memories regarding the past are scrambled or missing outright. Though they return over the course of the story (thanks to the true enemy), and ultimately he remembers the full circumstances of his death as well as his lost love. However, his powers come back as well...
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He's screwing up the world to save it. Doesn't get much more extreme than that.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Scores a body count in the BILLIONS.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to Arc before his death.
  • Evil Laugh: Required by law to deliver one several times throughout the story.
  • Not So Different: Ultimately, the opinion shared by both Arc and Bellanger. Of course, that doesn't stop the latter from fucking shit up for Arc.
  • Worthy Opponent

The Harbingers of the Dead (Caestus, Muramasa, and Zwei)

To protect the master from harm – that was the purpose of a guardian.

Bellanger's top three soldiers, who have undying loyalty towards their master. Caestus is a red gladiator, Muramasa is a blue samurai, and Zwei is a cloaked enigma.

Their theme is "Seizure of Power" by Marilyn Manson.

    Supporting Cast 

Diego Umejuarez

“I mean, it’s shapin’ up to be an interesting day, don’t you think? We should enjoy it together.”

A senior at New Rock High, and a slacker of the highest caliber. Lazy with an almost drunken swagger, he rarely takes anything seriously, especially his studies. However, underneath his careless exterior lies a sharp, almost philosophical mind; more to the point, he's the leader of the city's most fearsome gang, the Hounds. Nevertheless, he's actually quite friendly, and takes a shine to Arc.

His theme is "Rock 'N Roll Train" by the indomitable AC/DC.

  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's the strongest member of the strongest gang in town...and just ADORES doggies!
  • Head Pet: Occasionally puts Chompy on his head.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy
  • A Father to His Men: The Hounds would follow Diego to hell and back. Literally.
  • Badass Normal: Though he can see the creatures infecting the city, Diego can't do anything to hurt them; instead, he just steals a truck and starts plowing through them on his quest to save as many denizens as he can.
  • Trickster Archetype: It's best not to take your eyes off him for too long...
  • Anyone Can Die: The Hounds are killed off one by one, until finally their invincible leader bites the dust.
  • Red Herring:...except he wasn't dead. He just lost his hat. And, more importantly, he's coming to save Arc's life!
  • Reality Warper: Uses his dice to alter probability - and you know what that means.
  • Wild Card

The "Brute Squad" (Chuck, Neil, and Hartson)

"Kinda reminds me of that one movie..."

A trio of football players who end up getting Arc involved in the Ghost Emperor's return. Despite their massive size and hairy bodies, they're only freshmen, and are actually pretty friendly when it comes down to it. Unfortunately...

Their theme is "We Will Rock You" by Queen.

  • Dumb Muscle
  • Jerk Jock: Inverted; though they have their issues with Arc, they're justified. All in all, they're actually very nice and goofy class clowns who play football to bring honor to their school; Arc's just a Jerkass, that's all.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Chuck, of all people, gives one to Arc, even if it is in a fairly simple manner.
  • The Bus Came Back:The Brute Squad returns, with most of the dead characters from the story, to heal Arc's wounds and give him the strength needed to finish the fight.

Seth Howard

B-baseball nut…?!

Arc's older brother by five years, and a student at Four Star University under a baseball scholarship. Always eager to tease his brother, he's a joker at heart, but surprisingly intent on finding a nice girlfriend. When Arc disappears, Seth - by order of his parents - ventures into the city to find him.

His theme is "She Is Beautiful" by Andrew W.K.

  • Sibling Yin-Yang
  • Weaksauce Weakness: He can't spell, and reacts in the same way that Arc does to dancing. Maybe it runs in the family.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Actually has a crush on a girl he knows from class named Caroline. And then the plot happened.
  • Cool Car: He's got a Ford Mustang.
  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: It's heavily implied that, before he gets caught in the web of events, he slept with Caroline after the party.
  • Hearing Voices: As a nasty side effect of losing Caroline (thanks to Zwei's misfired attack) and being lost in the city, he starts losing it to the corruption. And it only gets worse from there; being a Muggle, he's one hundred percent vulnerable to the side effects of the Emperor's echo.
  • Came Back Wrong: Dies of "natural" causes, then returns as a mere puppet of a greater enemy. And, sadly, is killed off again.

Norman Hunter

“You haven’t done anything unlawful to my daughter, have you?”

Maddy's father, and a famous police officer around New Rock City. A good, honest man who believes in law and order, and is fiercely loyal to his colossal child. Offers his help in investigating the city's current issues, endangering himself in the process.

His theme is "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" by Phil Harris.

Sylvia Torres and Tina Armstrong

"Just remember, I’ve got my eye on you – and I’ve got this little incident hanging over your head.”

The school's most popular freshman — and a real beauty to boot. She has a real chip on her shoulder due to an incident involving Arc, a conflict which leads her to taunt both Skull Kid and Katie. Her parents are divorced, and she currently lives with her father.

The conflict between Arc and Sylvia stems from a bracelet that she kept as a memento of her late friend, Tina. Thanks to Arc's intervention to save her from a speeding truck, the bracelet was destroyed; adding insult to injury, Arc tells Sylvia off and expects her to ignore her memories. The bad blood between them comes to a head when Tina comes back as a ghost, and uses Sylvia in a plot to bring pain to everyone around them - starting with Sylvia.

Her theme is "La La" by Ashlee Simpson.

    Those of the Past (spoilers, unmarked) 

Desiree Ethelbert

"You and I, together, can accomplish great things – but you have to be willing to work with me."

A former high-ranking member of the Astrum Guard, who's turned into a magiterrorist to further her own goals. Cold and calculating, she's as ruthless as she is cunning - most notably, in her manipulation of the Noether sisters as a part of her plan. As it turns out, she's incredibly devoted to Arc, and is eager to recruit him once more for her war against the Astrum Guard, and take command of the very planet.

Her theme is "Missing" by Evanescence.

  • And I Must Scream: She was buried alive for three years in the arctic. All alone, with no food, water, warmth, or light. No wonder she's so messed up.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: She's the mysterious friend that Kath often texted on her phone.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Desiree would love nothing more than to do this; however, approaching Katie causes immense physical and spiritual pain to herself (and the world!). As a result, she's taken to using Kath as her pawn.
  • Yandere: She'd kill for Arc. Seriously.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: It's possible she has a more sensitive side, if her ability to blush - and to love - are any indication. Likewise, she's actually trying to make the world a better place.
  • Blondes are Evil
  • Everyone Looks Sexier If French
  • Split Personality: She has SIX of them. Desiree acts as the leader, while Delia is the sweet and gentle public face, and Deidra is a vicious and crass brawler. The other three, meanwhile...
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Each personality embodies this. Desiree is wrath, Delia is lust, and Deandra gluttony.
  • New Old Flame: According to Desiree, her relationship with Arc predates the one between Arc and Katie by years. It's still up for debate if Arc had the same feelings for Desiree in the past, and there's no way of knowing now.
  • Memento MacGuffin: Arc, Desiree, and Diego all have the same yin-yang necklace - a testament to their time as the heads of a magiterrorist group.
  • Misery Builds Character: Actually a plot-relevant example. The Astrum Guard's reasoning for burying her alive was based on the (correct) assumption that putting her through immense mental trauma would increase her ability to communicate with God, as well as drastically enhance her powers. One can't help but wonder if it was worth it.
  • More Than Mind Control: Desiree's most dangerous ability, as explained by the young lady herself. Using her magic strings, she can release a person's inhibitions, and forcibly suggest that he or she act on his darkest desires. Although she can, in the worst-case scenario, activate the puppetry and brainwashing aspect of her powers, everyone she's affected so far (Katie, Kath, and eventually Arc) are victims of her persuasive powers.
  • Broken Bird: She's extremely adamant about not being alone, to the point of violent outbursts. Considering who she used to work for, it's hard to blame her.
  • Wicked Cultured: As Desiree, yes. Delia's speech is a bit warmer, though still very polite. You're lucky to get a coherent sentence out of Deidra.
  • Female Feline, Male Mutt: Desiree and Diego have this relationship.
  • Wicked Witch: Desiree's "role" in the story, in respect to the other fairy tale motifs.
  • Catholic School Girls Rule: She's not a Catholic schoolgirl, but she looks pretty similar to one. (What have I done?)

Aria

"This tale has almost reached its end, Sir Knight – and when it does, everything will cease to exist."

The true villain of the story, and the mastermind behind all its events. Although she takes the form of a bloodstained nurse, her true form is much more horrifying - assuming she even has a true form. Ageless and forever dead, her sadism and malice know no limits, but are constantly concealed by an empty gaze and a pleasant smile. Though the full extent of her abilities are unknown, she stands alone as the greatest threat to all life - and with it, all existence.

Her theme is "Wish I Had An Angel" by Nightwish.

  • Chekhov's Gunman: She's the nurse that's seen in the picture from Chapter 7. Taunts Arc about forgetting it when they meet.
  • The Chessmaster: She's been manipulating everyone, from Arc and Katie all the way to Bellanger. She's also the one responsible for releasing the corrupting echo, not the Ghost Emperor.
  • Deadly Doctor: Sports the nurse getup, but has yet to reveal her true fighting style (if any). For now, she just decomposes living things with a touch, and unleashes disease-riddled waves of air.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Always, always, always smiling.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: I wonder why...
  • Establishing Character Moment: Her first act of cruelty, after revealing that the man who idolized her was just a worthless pawn? Decompose a youthful dog's hind legs down to a mass of blood and bone, let it drag itself back to its master, then crush its spine under her heel, and then blow it into bloody chunks all over the floor.
  • Evil Plan: What, you thought that was her only plan? Think again!
  • Foreshadowing: At one point or another, every main character makes offhand comments about meeting a blue-eyed nurse - apparently, Aria was a frequenter of Joker's Books, the nurse that healed Coil (as assigned by Old Wade), the woman inspiring R4's gynephobia (or so he suggests), the wrestler that beat Kath, and the one who watched over Katie while she was in the hospital. She's also inside Maddy.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Well, more like laughter. And so far, she's winning.
  • Looks Like She Is Enjoying It: Aria's response to murdering an innocent dog? She has an orgasm on the spot.
  • Stable Time Loop: The sole instigator of this. After experiencing the whole of the universe's existence up to the present, Aria uses one of her infinite means of destruction to destroy the world and all its tenets, weakening its god. However, rather than continue to let the world exist in an abyss of nothingness, that same god resets the world, allowing it all to be reborn as it was in the past...only for Aria to destroy it all again, typically in a different fashion. To date, Aria has destroyed the world without consequence nearly EIGHT MILLION TIMES. And if she does it again...
  • Fairy Tale: Aria, oddly enough, is a fan of these, and has implemented its motifs on each of the main characters for this "run" through her apocalyptic scenario.
  • For the Evulz: Most of Aria's reasoning for destroying the world. She even puts a bomb inside Katie, just to screw with Arc's head!

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