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The main playable cast in the game. Led by Dagran, they are a gang of mercenaries who banded together for their own personal reasons and have since forged a strong bond through their shared hardships. To identify themselves as a group, they all wear the same necklace.
Voiced by: Mamoru Miyano(JP), Jack Ryder(EN)
The young protagonist of the story. He dreams of becoming a knight so that he can fight for ideals instead of survival. He receives a mysterious power called Gathering that he uses to protect those closest to him.
- The Atoner: After the second attack on the Gurak continent, Zael comes to see his involvement as a Moral Event Horizon - or at least close to it - and, while he never says it openly, his desire to atone is very much apparent.
- Badass Angster: Downplayed but still present. Zael will spend a good part of the game being a bit of a silent moper.
- Badass Longcoat: His starting equipment.
- BFS: While Zael, as a melee-type character, can use all the game's weapons (including the daggers used by the mages) most of them are some variation of greatsword; so he'll be stuck with one of these for 90% of the game.
- Bow and Sword, in Accord: In the single player mode, Zael is the only character that can normally equip a crossbow along with his melee weapon.
- Empowered Badass Normal: After receiving the Outsider's power.
- Chastity Couple: His romance with Calista until the epilogue, where he hugs her, and they kiss briefly when they are wed. Especially weird since it's his entire motivation for fighting.
- Chick Magnet: Zael starts to attract the attention of a lot of women later in the game. One side-quest involves him gathering a fan club for himself. Also, the woman who gives him the invisible dye will tell him to use it on his shirt.
- Conveniently an Orphan: This drives most of Zael's motivations throughout the game.
- Counter Attack: Zael gains the ability to Counter once he clears the Tower of Trials. It's very useful on guard happy enemies.
- Covert Pervert: Zael isn't exactly a Chaste Hero; he has his own little moments. For example, in one of the earlier chapters, you can choose to have Zael examine the bathroom in Syrenne and Mirania's room. He can either walk in and peek on the girls (and get beaten up for it) or he can choose not to go in and listen to a particularly fan-servicey conversation between Syrenne and "Lisa" (Calista).
- Draw Aggro: The Gathering power has this as its main effect.
- Deconstruction: Of romantic RPG protagonists in general. Fell in Love at First Sight with a Rebellious Princess? Congratulations! Now you get to spend the rest of the game trying to woo her over, not realising that everything you're doing is just serving to push her away... and then there's the fact that, even though she loves you, she doesn't want to be with you because she's afraid that you will get trapped in her world of corrupt nobles and backstabbing politicians... and this just convinces you to try harder, which only serves to fuck up even more in the long run. Sometimes, one can't help but feel that Sakaguchi was using Zael to take pot-shots at his earlier, idealistically romantic, games until the ending, that is, where they live Happily Ever After.
- Genre Blind: He gives Terra a run for his money in this department. When you don't realise that the guy who explicitly wants to genocide the shit out of another race is evil until the start of the third act, you definitely qualify for these tropes.
- The Hero
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: He tends to have a few freak-outs when something reminds him of his childhood trauma.
- Honour Before Reason: Much to Dagran's chagrin.
- Kick the Dog: You have the option to refuse marrying Calista in the post-game content. Now, given that getting to this point was the entire point of the game, you get three guesses as to how it goes down.
- Knight In Shining Armour: Becoming one is what drives him.
- Limit Break: Accelerate; a powerful Status Buff that can be conferred upon allies through dispersion.
- Living MacGuffin: It turns out that Zael's Gathering ability allows him to control Lazulis Island itself, making it mobile.
- Love at First Sight: With Calista.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Invoked, both in and out of the main story. During the second attack on the Gurak continent, where there are barely any soldiers and only innocent civilians present. This is done, quite simply, to make the player feel like a complete bastard. Meanwhile, in-story, Zael will consider his involvement in the event to be utterly unforgivable and is so disgusted with himself that he rejects his knighthood soon after to represent his desire to atone.
- Nice Guy: Zael's a pushover and will (if you choose) to do all sorts of petty tasks for the people of Lazulis Island.
- The Nose Knows: Averted, as Zael's sense of smell is apparently total utter crap (according to the rest of the party), and he can't smell anything. Which is a plus for him as he has a tendency to end up in sewers, volcanoes and other smelly locations.
- Orphan's Plot Trinket: Zael carries his parents' Lens; which serves as a reminder to him of them.
- Punch a Wall: Zael likes to kick open walls in caves. It usually works.
- The Quiet One: He's definitely one of the more reserved mercenaries.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to the entire cast sans Yurick and Mirania.
- Red Right Hand: Gathering manifests as a blue right hand.
- Satellite Love Interest: For Calista. For something that takes up about 50% of its plot, the game doesn't really do a very good job of explaining why they love each other.
- Signature Moves:
- Razor Wind: Zael gains the Gale ability, which makes a whirlwind around the area he chooses to attack. It lets him spread magical effects in any magic circles that his teammates cast into the battlefield.
- Shockwave Stomp: Zael's Vertical Slice ability lets him run up a wall and then slam down his sword; creating a shockwave that acts much like his Gales ability.
- The Stoic: To a degree. For someone who's always going on about how his friends, like Yurick, should open up and embrace The Power of Friendship, he doesn't really display a great range of feelings himself.
- Weapon of Choice:
Voiced by: Unshou Ishizuka(JP), Nico Lennon(EN)
Zael's childhood friend and older brother figure. He is the leader of the mercenaries and handles all their negotiations with prospective employers. His employees trust him without question due to his promise to make them all knights.
- A God Am I: Interestingly played. Like Zangurak, he wants to achieve the power of the Outsiders so that he can make the world a better place for him and his mercenaries; his reasoning being that, since they've already lost everything, they should use whatever means are necessary in order to get it all back.
- Ambition Is Evil: He starts off just trying to get revenge and get his people ahead in life. Once he gets them ahead in life, he keeps going until he crosses the point of no return.
- Anti-Hero: Type IV. The game does a very good job of showing why Dagran is a protagonist rather than a hero. He's ruthlessly pragmatic, totally unafraid of making deals with potential Big Bads in order to get his people ahead in life, will quite happily do dirty dealings in order to bail his people out of tough situations... Despite being one of the more morally grey characters himself, however, he draws the line at being a Villain Protagonist thanks to his various Pet the Dog moments.
- Anti-Villain: He's a cross between Types II and III. He's something of a Jerkass Woobie who wants revenge for how his life was destroyed but still clings to his dream of creating the best life possible for his people.
- Big Bad Friend: He turns out to be the ultimate villain of the game.
- Big Brother Mentor - To Zael. He teaches Zael the Swordplay techniques.
- Broken Pedestal: For Zael, by the end of the game. He manipulated more or less everyone so that he could get close enough to Asthar to take revenge for the deaths of his parents and get away scott-free.
- Can't Hold His Liquor: Dagran gets pretty belligerent when he's drunk. It's rather hilarious.
- Dark is Not Evil: He is by far the "edgiest"-looking mercenary and gets many scenes that underline just how far he's willing to go to make their dream come true. Despite all this, he's still a Father to His Men. But, as stated before, he's more of a protagonist than a true hero.
- Deal with the Devil: This is what sets Dagran aside from the other mercenaries. Whereas most of them are too noble to consider working with people who are Obviously Evil, Dagran will and, because they trust him, he knows they'll follow his lead. Why? Because he knows that it's a Crapsack World out there and that the easiest way to survive in it is to make sacrifices.
- Death Equals Redemption: He manages to return to the good side right after his terminal defeat in the final battle. Even after his death, he manages to use the power of the Outsider to revive Lowell.
- Demonic Possession: He pulls a Fusion Dance with the Gurak's Outsider before he goes One-Winged Angel.
- Despair Event Horizon: He crossed it a long, long time ago and has decided to just make the most of it.
- Empowered Badass Normal: Once he receives the Gurak Outsider's power.
- Evil All Along: Although in a rather Anti Villainous way.
- False Reassurance: The promises he makes to his gang are sometimes worded... uncomfortably strangely.
- Grey and Gray Morality: He is fully aware that life in Lazulis Island is a World Half Empty and he doesn't give two shits about it, the people in it or what they're fighting for. All he wants is to give his mercs the best life he can through whatever means necessary.
- Green-Eyed Monster: He envies the easy life of the knights. This is what drives him to get his mercenaries into Count Arganan's good books. Later, it turns out he desired Zael's Power of the Outsider as well.
- Indy Ploy: His Evil Plan was to get close to Count Arganam, rise above suspicion and then, with the Gurak War acting as a smokescreen, kill Asthar and get clean away with it. Sadly, Zael just had to be in the wrong place at the wrong time... so he had to pull a big time Indy Ploy that creates enough inconsistencies that Therius is encouraged to Pull the Thread.
- The Lancer: The pragmatist to Zael's idealism. He later loses this position to Lowell after he begins to drift away from the group in the last act.
- Leitmotif: "Bonds", which is less a leitmotif for him personally and more for the bond shared between him and Zael. A Dark Reprise, The One Who Rules All, serves as the final boss theme.
- Limit Break: Death Sentence; which inflicts a death countdown on those it hits.
- Papa Wolf: To his mercs. It's his greatest trait as well as his Fatal Flaw.
- Pet the Dog: As well as how he treats his friends in comparison to his normally-ruthless attitude, an NPC in Artisan's Alley tells Zael about a mysterious anonymous benefactor who has been paying his daughter's tuition fees and finds out the same benefactor had been giving money to Orphanages. During the epilogue, said NPC discovers that it was Dagran.
- Poor Communication Kills: As it turns out, Asthar didn't kill his family. He simply took the blame for the knights who did because, as their leader, he felt the responsibility should be his alone to bear. Dagran never found this out.
- The Quisling: He's revealed to be the man who dealt with the Gurak rather than Jirall. He also reveals that he managed to manipulate them into pushing forward with their plans for war.
- Red Right Hand: He gets one when he stabs Zangurak's Red Right Hand and absorbs the power of the Outsider and the Arganan blood it had consumed.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: His default equipment.
- Take Up My Sword: A variation: after Dagran is defeated by the Mercenaries, he passes on his sword (representing their oath to become knights and protect people) to Zael.
- Useless Useful Spell: The sword that Dagran wears on his belt was bought when he and Zael were young. Turns out that it was pretty useless as a weapon, so Dagran simply wears it as a reminder of his and Zael's dream. After the Epilogue, Zael (and Dagran in New Game+) can use that sword. It starts out horrifically weak, but when upgraded properly, it becomes an Infinity+1 Sword.
- You Killed My Father: To Asthar... Or not.
- Weapon of Choice: Heroes Prefer Swords: While, as a melee character, Dagran has the same deal as Zael in terms of equipment, he always carries around their treasured sword. In the finale, he uses it to stab Zangurak's living hand.
- Who Wears Short Shorts?: For his default armor, Dagran is literally wearing a variation of booty shorts!
Voiced by: Megumi Toyoguchi (JP), Kelly Wenham(EN)
The heart and soul of the Mercenaries. She has a foul mouth and a fiery personality but genuinely cares for her friends. A confident leader who loves to fight on the front lines.
- Action Girl: One of the toughest brawlers in battle.
- Ambiguously Bi: While she has a load of BST with Lowell, she also has a particularly Fanservicey conversation with Calista. Also, during a mission in the Sea Cave, she expresses a wish to take a nice, hot bath... with Mirania. For her smooth, silky skin.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Lowell.
- Beta Couple: With Lowell.
- The Big Gal
- Chainmail Bikini: Her default outfit, although the chiainmail and bikini part are separate.
- Cool Big Sis: To the rest of the party (save for Dagran and Lowell). Most of her interactions with Zael tend to be flirty teasing, however.
- Does Not Like Men: A heart-to-heart with Zael reveals that she hates men because the men in her homeland ran off when an enemy army appeared, leaving the women to fend for themselves. However, she is obviously quite fond of the men in the party.
- Fiery Redhead
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: One quest is Zael getting her more booze.
- The Heart: She's always the one who says what everyone's thinking and is usually the first to call Zael out every time he does something that Calista wouldn't approve of.
- The Lad-ette
- Limit Break: Shadow Stitch; which damages and paralyses all foes in range.
- Ms. Fanservice
- No Guy Wants an Amazon: She seems to doubt how attractive she really is to men every now and then.
- Power Tattoo: In her default equipment and concept art. They don't do anything besides look cool, however.
- Pretty in Mink: Her default outfit is the hunter armor set, which includes a fur pelt worn as a Showgirl Skirt.
- Relationship Upgrade: She finally decides to get one with Lowell during the massive finale, where she says she'll "think about (a relationship with him)".
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Although not so much that this game got too strict ratings.
- Stock British Phrases: She is a veritable fountain of them!
- Stripperiffic: In her concept art. She seems to be wearing a bra, trousers and not much else.
- The Tease: She enjoys teasing Zael and coming onto him now and again.
- Tsundere: Towards Lowell.
- Weapon of Choice: Dual Wielding whatever weapons you equip her with.
Voiced by: Hiro Shimono (JP), Colin Ryan (EN)
The youngest member of the Mercenaries, Yurick is an absurdly-powerful fire mage. He is cold and unsociable and views mercenary work as nothing more than a means of survival.
- Amplifier Artifact: His "Evil Eye", which is a stone embedded in his eye socket that greatly amplifies his fire magic.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Defrosting Ice King
- Disappeared Dad: His father is a warrior who vanished during a battle to protect their village. Finding out what happened to him composes his personal sidequest.
- Elemental Powers: Playing with Fire.
- Eleventh Hour Superpower: During the Final Boss battle, his Meteor Spirit Magic becomes Big Bang. It's the only way to break through the barrier erected by the boss' second form.
- Eyepatch of Power: It's a Power Limiter on his Magical Eye.
- Laughing Mad: During his Spirit Magic.
- Limit Break: Meteor; which is... Exactly What It Says on the Tin. It gets upgraded to Big Bang during the final battle, however.
- Magical Eye: It's actually a magic-enhancing stone. He implanted it within his eye socket in order to give his magic a boost, as he was notoriously weak with it in his younger years.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue Oni to the entire cast (sans Zael and Mirania), even after defrosting.
- Sixth Ranger: He's definitely the outsider of the group and doesn't really contribute much to their cause beyond lending a hand in battle. This starts to change after his personal quest is completed.
- The Stoic
- Took a Level in Badass : Once he lays his fears about his father to rest, he goes from being a broody loner to a pretty cool guy.
- Why Did It Have To Be Ghosts: Yurick is deathly afraid of ghosts, despite having no problem blasting undead skeletons in earlier chapters. He happens to be one of the party members on your excursion to a Haunted House, and most of the chapter is spent listening to him freak out. Getting shoved into a coffin does not help matters.
Voiced by: Keiji Fujiwara(JP), Derek Ridell(EN)
An ice mage who is also proficient with swords. Lowell is cheerful, easy-going and hits on anything with a XX chromosome. Despite this carefree attitude, he's one of the most reliable members of the Mercenaries and always steps up to plate when the situation calls for it.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Syrenne.
- Bi the Way: Subverted. According to a throwaway line of dialogue, he's capable of charming prison guards into "ignoring" escapees with the same kinds of lines that he uses on women. However, he's never shown having any real interest in anything with a Y chromosome.
- Big Brother Mentor: He tries to be this to Zael, by teaching him the art of flirting. However, since this is Zael we're talking about, it fails completely.
- Beta Couple: With Syrenne.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer
- Butt Monkey
- Casanova Wannabe
- Chivalrous Pervert: Whichever one he is depends on whether Syrenne is in the immediate vicinity or not.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Elemental Powers: An Ice Person.
- Everyone Can See It: Yes, Lowell. You clearly don't have any interest in Syrenne. You quite clearly don't want to see her naked. You most certainly don't want her to marry you, either. Yep, you've totally convinced us that you want someone else.
- Groin Attack: Is on the receiving end of one during the final dungeon.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He makes one protecting Syrenne in the final dungeon. However, Dagran's spirit resurrects him after the final battle.
- Hidden Depths: The reason he's such a playboy is because every single one of his love interests have died. He's afraid of losing anyone else, so he just keeps things casual.
- Ladykiller in Love: He gradually falls for Syrenne and, by the end of the game, they're the Beta Couple.
- The Lancer: He takes this role in the Five-Man Band after Dagran's Face–Heel Turn.
- Limit Break: Glacier; where he summons huge blasts of ice to crush everything in range.
- Lovable Sex Maniac: "You can be my forty-second wife!" He shameless offers Syrenne. Guess how well it goes down.
- Magic Knight
- Obfuscating Stupidity
- Rated M for Manly: Let's see here. Badass Beard, Kickass X-marked scar clearly won from some epic battle, reacting to life-threatening situations like they're nothing, cool enough to make lilac seem like a badass colour, hitting on everything with two X chromosomes - turning ice/water - a stereotypically "healers only" element - into an epic force of destruction and, just to top it all off, has by far one of the manliest voices in the English dub. There's no two ways about it. Lowell is badass.
- Really Gets Around: Not-so-subtley implied.
- Real Men Wear Pink: He wears a lilac tank-top when he first joins you. Also? He's badass.
- Rebel Prince: He's actually a former noble. It's never stated why he left but there's a heavy implication that he disliked the intrigues and rituals of court life, especially where romance was concerned.
- X Marks the Hero
Voiced by: Mamiko Noto(JP), Montserrat Lombard(EN)
A sorceress who specializes in healing magic. Mirania has a mysterious, intellectual air about her, though at times it's like she's on another planet. She acts motherly towards the other Mercenaries, and somehow maintains a trim figure despite being a terrifying glutton.
- Big Eater:
- To terrifying proportions. While clearing the haunted mansion, Dagran recalls her eating about 214 muffins in one go. The Japanese version uses donburi instead of muffins. In hindsight, this is even more food.
- She wonders if the Kraken's Combat Tentacles would taste any good - mind you, these tentacles are thicker than a person, and reach higher than a two-story building. Apparently, she loves seafood, which is also commented when fighting crabs the size of the carts around the city.
- Dissonant Serenity: Speaks in Creepy Monotone most of the time and always keeps her calm even as things are exploding around her. If she ever raises her voice even a little, you know shit just got real.
- Elemental Powers:
- Expy: She has a lot in common with Tales of Vesperia's Judith. They both have a very subdued, almost sedated manner of talking, were both raised by the local legendary beast and are both committed to preserving the health of the land. Mirania is way, way nicer than Judy, though.
- Even the Girls Want Her: If her fawning over her beautiful skin is any indication, Syrenne seems to have a little bit of a crush on her.
- Facial Markings: A ring of dots on her forehead.
- Limit Break: Revive; which fully heals, cures and revives the party and also gives them back a Life point each.
- The Medic: With Heal and Recover being her primary spell, it's intended that her primary role is this.
- Nature Heroine
- Parental Abandonment: They're not even mentioned.
- Raised by Wolves: She was raised by a Guardian of a forest. As such, she doesn't quite "get" normal human interaction.
Nobles Of Lazulis Island
Voiced by: Fumiko Orikasa(JP), Alix Wilton Regan(EN)
The niece of Count Arganan. Because she is constantly confined to the castle, trapped in a loveless Arranged Marriage and used as a pawn by her Evil Uncle, she has become somewhat depressive and seeks an escape from her surroundings.
- Action Dress Rip: Tears the lower half of her ballgown's skirt when the palace is being invaded.
- Aristocrats Are Evil: A firm believer in this. Not going down this route is a fate she desperately wants to secure for herself and the mercenaries.
- Arranged Marriage:
- Barrier Warrior: Her speciality is defensive magic; with her circles boosting defence and granting the Barrier status on diffusion. Her Spirit Magic, "Ancient Barrier", essentially makes Zael invincible for a short time.
- Blue Blood: Daughter of the last count before he died and her uncle took power.
- Broken Bird: Her uncle's tyrannical methods shattered her idealism about "knights and princesses" long ago and she sees only the Deadly Decadent Court wherever she looks.
- Canon Sue: Invoked, as the whole point of her character is to deconstruct the Mary Sue archetype. Despite having great power at her disposal, she doesn't have the spine to stop her uncle. When Zael falls in love with her and starts working so that they can be together, she tries pushing him away so that he won't get hurt and he just gets more motivated to achieve his goal. Incredible things happen around her but, because she's a Grade-A Doom Magnet, they're all horrible and usually entail her or the people she loves getting hurt, captured, or both... Basically, her life is utterly craptacular because it has so many Sueish elements. Furthermore, she's fully aware of it too. This leads to a heart-to-heart with Syrenne during the finale where she expresses envy for the mercenaries, who became strong on their own terms and got Character Development, while the plot was demanding that she be everyone's Unwitting Pawn.
- Character Development: She's fairly cynical at the beginning of the game, but meeting and traveling with Zael gives her the strength to take control of her own fate, and by the end of the game she's more content with her life.
- The Chick & The Sixth Ranger
- Consummate Liar: She's surprisingly good at making up an identity for herself on the fly and dupes not only Zael but the entire mercenary squad into thinking that she's just some Lonely Rich Kid rather than the count's niece. Even Dagran seems surprised when the truth comes out. It's implied that she's had plenty of practice, however.
- Deconstruction: Of Sakuraba's past RPG heroines, in a similar vein as Zael to the male protagonists.
- Despair Event Horizon: She is within nanoseconds of crossing it until Zael refuses her uncle's knighthood and offers to run away with her.
- Distressed Damsel: Twice.
- Elemental Powers:
- Eleventh Hour Superpower: During the battle against Atar, she learns how to summon Mitra to protect the party despite never having showing any indication that she could beforehand. It makes a lot more sense if you read all the in-game books.
- Everything's Better with Princesses: By marring her to Jirall, her uncle hopes to invoke this trope by using them as puppet rulers to control the Empire from within.
- Genre Savvy: She's savvy enough to know that she's the cliched, ignorant-of-the-outside-world princess archetype... so she focuses on learning as much about her world of nobles and politics as she can to warn Zael and the gang not to get involved.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: She never actually says the words but it's clear that she wishes her life wasn't the way it was. Also, her life being what it is? She has every damn right to wish it.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Yeah, right.
- In the Blood: She's inherited her family's powerful magic.
- In the Hood: Her preferred method of disguising her identity.
- Limit Break: Ancient Barrier; which protects those it affects from damage and fills the Skill Gauge. Also, for one battle only, Ancient Summon; which lets her call forth Mitra to help in the battle with Atar.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Her ballgown, and a few others.
- Princess Classic: Subverted and then deconstructed. See "Canon Sue" for the full lowdown.
- Rebellious Princess
- Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Averted. While she's not got much in the way of common sense, she is surprisingly Genre Savvy and deceptive for a princess.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: She can fight alongside the Mercenaries in battle.
- Stepford Smiler: Think that she's your typical Princess Classic? No.
- Summon Magic: Once and only once, during the battle against Atar.
- True Blue Femininity: She wears a blue dress when she first appears.
Voiced by: Koji Ishii(JP), Peter De Jersey(EN)
The current ruler of Lazulis Island and primary source of business for the mercenaries. He is Calista's uncle and took up the position after the death of her father. Befitting the leader of a city-state, he is very ambitious and resourceful.
- Ambition Is Evil
- Artificial Limbs: And they don't seem to be able to move on their own, either; making for a surprisingly realistic take on this trope.
- Big Bad: Seen as one by the Gurak and his niece. He's the first potential one to go; quickly being driven mad with power and annihilated by the Outsider.
- The Chessmaster: Played interestingly, as he doesn't really try to hide this side of himself from others.
- The Emperor: Becoming this is his master plan. It doesn't work, though. He does, however, function as this trope on a strictly local level.
- The Extremist Was Right: While he crosses some serious lines in his war with the Gurak, the game makes a point of hammering home that it made Lazulis Island extremely wealthy... And you helped.
- Evil Overlord: Disposes of political rivals, schemes to Take Over the World, uses his niece as a political bargaining chip... the list goes on.
- Evil Plan: His is to Take Over the World. Infuriatingly, the game spoils it long before the Wham Episode.
- Eyepatch of Power
- Fantastic Racism: He does not like the Gurak. At all.
- Genre Blind: Not him personally but rather how he makes everyone else look. As a result of the game's framing device, the player is allowed to see what Count Arganan's evil plan is long before the heroes figure it out; meaning that, for a good ten hours or so, you may be raging at how ignorant the party is to his evil.
- Guest-Star Party Member: When the Gurak are invading Lazulis Island. However, he's not that great to have around. Fridge Brilliance kicks in when you remember that he's lost an arm and a leg.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: A very small, shrivelled heart that's so rusted it barely shines; but one nonetheless. See "Pragmatic Villainy" and "Reasonable Authority Figure".
- Laughing Mad: When he forces Lazulis Island's Outsider piece to fire its Wave Motion Gun at Gurak Island, he becomes enraptured by the power and attempts to take it for himself. He disintegrates in the process.
- Manipulative Bastard
- Obviously Evil: Zigzagged. Despite being outed as a baddie before he's even truly introduced, the party works for him long enough to realise that, as bad as he is, he has a very pragmatic approach towards his evil ambitions.
- Only Known By Their Title
- Pet the Dog: During the Epilogue you can find Arganan's diary in his chambers. It serves as a big posthumous Pet the Dog; detailing his insecurities, descent into madness and guilt for using Calista as a pawn.
- Pragmatic Villainy: He completely hates the idea of just being a bastard for the sake of it. Instead, he prefers to take actions that will best benefit his reputation and keep his subjects alive and loyal. For instance, all it takes for him to clear Zael of Jirall's trumped up charges is him talking with Dagran...because he learns Zael is The Chosen One and he can use him better if he supports him.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Surprisingly enough, he actually is willing to listen to reason and take the words of commoners over nobles if it helps him to further his own ambitions. Toward the middle of the game, you could be forgiven for thinking he's a decent guy, until his real plans are revealed. He is, on the whole, a surprisingly humanly ambitious man who just happens to be the big bad.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something
- Self-Disposing Villain: Blatantly ignores the giant "Don't Touch It, You Idiot!" sign nailed to the Lazulis Outsider's shell.
- Take Over the World: His ultimate goal.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He truly does desire to bring peace to the empire. It's just that his way of doing it involves genociding the crap out of the Gurak.
General Asthar/General Trista
Voiced by: Fumihiko Tachiki(JP), Tom Goodman-Hill (EN)
Once one of the highest-ranking officers within the Imperial Army, Asthar is a greatly-respected knight and the embodiment of chivalry. Seeking answers to the mystery behind the land's slow decay, he left his position and embarked on a journey across the world, finally finding himself at Lazulis Island.
- A Father to His Men: He acts, quite simply, like a total bro towards Zael and his gang; so much so you could be forgiven for thinking that they're not actually family. His fatherly tendencies are so great, in fact, that he took responsibility for the soldier who incited a rebellion and destroyed Dagran's village in the process by accepting the man's crimes as his own, apologising to all of the victims personally and then leaving his post.
- Ambiguously Evil: Both he and Therius have this going for them for much of the first act. The game plays on all the usual RPG tropes associated with characters of their nature to lure you into suspecting both of them. By the start of act two, however, the "Ambiguous" part has dropped off all the actually evil characters and Asthar and Therius have been cleared of all suspicions in the eyes of the player.
- The Atoner: Revealed to have been one posthumously.
- The Brigadier
- Deadpan Snarker: Gets in a few good lines.
- Dissonant Laughter
- Duel Boss: Zael fights him in the final stage of the Tower of Trials.
- Ensemble Darkhorse: Is considered one in-universe. Even though he turned his back on commanding knights long ago, and thus doesn't have any real power among them anymore, he's still by far the most beloved member of them across the land.
- Fallen Hero: He's accused of being one by Dagran. It turns out to be a subversion, however. He didn't actually kill Dagran's parents. He just accepted the blame for it because, as the leader of the knights, he felt that he should take responsibility for their actions. Regardless, he still considered himself to be one, though.
- Guest-Star Party Member
- Knight In Shining Armour: The defining example in the story.
- Mentor Archetype
- Old Master
- Parental Substitute: Effectively becomes like a dad towards Zael.
- Rated M for Manly
- Reasonable Authority Figure: The most reasonable in the game by a country mile.
- Redemption Equals Death: Dagran kind of forces this on him, but he seems to be okay with it, probably even welcoming of it.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red Oni to Zael and Therius.
- Weapon of Choice: Swords.
- Wild Hair
Voiced by: Hiroki Takahashi (JP), Daniel Curshen(EN)
A dedicated knight and Asthar's protégé; he accompanies the general on his travels. He looks down upon sellswords and mercenaries like Zael but has a good heart beneath his arrogant exterior.
- Agent Peacock: Subverted. He might look like the most flamboyant knight ever but he acts more like a no-nonsense badass.
- Bonus Boss: You can fight him during the Epilogue, where he takes the place of Ashtar.
- Chick Magnet: Subverted. With his good looks and white knight qualities, there's no reason why he couldn't be this trope. But Asthar implies that his tendency to be overly formal and serious is more likely to drive women away, if his often harsh personality doesn't do it.
- Defrosting Ice King
- Facial Markings: You wouldn't know it from his in-game model, but his concept art shows a set of white markings above his left eye, underneath his bangs. What it means is anyone's guess.
- Guest-Star Party Member: He accompanies you during certain points of the game, usually when fighting against the Gurak.
- Honor Before Reason: As when he refuses to leave the battlefield in the finale, saying that no matter what, a knight must never retreat. This is in spite of the fact that he's badly wounded and very weak, probably a greater burden than of any real use to the crew at that point.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's kind of a dick in the beginning due to his pride as a knight and the frustration with the lack of truly good men in the organisation. He gradually gets a heck of a lot better.
- Knight In Shining Armour
- No Sense of Humor: Notable for being quite dour, jokes tend to fly right over his head. It's a testament to his Character Development when, in the Epilogue, he of all people makes a joke about the possibility of Zael running away from his knighthood for the second straight time.
- Oblivious to Love: While he has no love interest in the game, General Asthar implies that he's so stodgy and stern that he wouldn't know love if it bit him square on the ass. To wit: "No wonder you're not a hit with the ladies."
- Only a Flesh Wound: Uttered nearly word for word after taking a sword through the leg for Zael towards the end of the game.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Contributes to his initial shadiness, which had many players thinking he'd be a villain. It's really just for style though.
- Perpetual Frowner: ...which makes it all the more worth it once Character Development kicks in. Not that he smiles all that much more often, but when he does...
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue Oni to Asthar and, eventually, Zael.
- Taking the Bullet: For Zael, when Therius pulls him out of the way of an enemy attack just in time, only to be on the receiving end of the blade himself. He gets better, though.
- The Rival: To Zael, who gradually earns Therius's respect by being a pretty damn good knight.
- Worthy Opponent: He eventually comes to view Zael as one.
Jirall Rambaldt/Jill Ranbart
Voiced by: Akira Ishida(JP), Blake Ritson(EN)A nobleman engaged to marry Calista. Arrogant, petty and cowardly, he sneers at those who are not of the aristocracy and quickly develops a rivalry with Zael over Calista's affections.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Zael gives him such a moment in-universe.
- Arranged Marriage: To Calista. She really hates his guts.
- Badass Long Coat: Subverted, as Jirall is anything but badass. He actually loses the coat when he gains the Emperor sword and becomes quite dangerous.
- Bastard Boyfriend
- Big Bad Wannabe: Although he's way more dangerous than the usual examples because of his various political connections and all the strings he can pull with them, he's still nowhere near being the kind of threat to Zael that he'd like to be.
- Blatant Lies: He claims to have slain over a hundred Gurak. As you'll learn within the first ten minutes of meeting him, this is an utter lie.
- Blue Blood: More so than most of the nobles in his story, as his family has royal blood running through their veins.
- Deadly Decadent Court: He more or less embodies this trope.
- Dirty Coward: When the Gurak invade, he runs at the sight of three of them, leaving Zael and Calista (his fiancée!) behind. He later claims to have killed over a hundred Gurak, and imprisons anyone who claims otherwise.
- Draco in Leather Pants: He expects that people will treat him as one in-universe; overlooking all of his flaws and his utterly horrible personality purely because he's a noble. Nobody does.
- Duel Boss
- Evil Weapon: Zangurak gives him the Emperor sword; which drives him insane.
- Jerkass: The nicest possible thing you could ever say about Jirall is that he's a complete fucking tool.
- Eyes of Gold
- It's All About Me: Jirall's concern is only with his own happiness and welfare. He says as much with his dying words.
- It's Personal: After being publicly humiliated by Zael (numerous times) Jirall goes out of his way to kill him (also numerous times).
- Leitmotif: "Fallen Nobles". A remix of this, "Invitation To Madness", plays during his final Duel Boss fight with Zael.
- Madness Mantra: Before and during the Duel Boss battle against him."[Calista] always looked at me with such scorn! Always always always always always always always always always always always always always always always always always always!""Zael! Kill! Kill kill kill kill kill kill!"
- Not Brainwashed: Whether because of Story And Gameplay Segregation or because of intentional design, it's possible to use the Emperor sword without any of the negative side-effects that Jirall gets settled with. It's possible that the weapon may not actually be evil; just powerful. If so, then Jirall's own evil coupled with his decreasing levels of sanity could have been what drove him over the edge rather than the blade itself.
- Not Me This Time: While he was constantly trying to antagonize Zael, and was quick to accuse him for murdering General Asthar, Jirall wasn't the one conspiring with the Gurak. Dagran was; and he used his obvious revenge motive to frame Jirall, save Zael, and cover his tracks all at once.
- Prince Charming Wannabe
- Sanity Slippage: As Zael keeps coming out on top, so Jirall's grip on reality begins to slips away from him.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: During Jirall's revenge duel against Zael on the Gurak ship, it seems he was possessed by the power of the blade Zangurak gave him, accounting for the eye color shift.
- Smug Snake: Jirall pulls all kinds of dirty tricks to undermine or outright murder Zael, like using his position as a noble to get him thrown into jail on false charges.
- Something About a Rose: A recurring motif with Jirall is the blue rose.
- Sword Pointing: Within seconds of meeting Zael, he's got his sword out and trusting it in his general direction. The Gurak assault begins at that point, and he literally drops it and runs away screaming like a little girl.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: He was already evil but after Zangurak gives him the Emperor sword to take his revenge on Zael he decides to go along with it because, hey, everyone already thinks he's a Gurak collaborator.
- This Is Your Brain on Evil: When he is wielding the Emperor sword.
- Unwitting Pawn: Arganan planned to use the feckless Jirall as a puppet ruler within the Empire. When Zael emerges as a more suitable pawn for Arganan's ambitions, Jirall is quickly discarded. Later, he gets used as one by Zangurak when he goes off to kill Zael for the final time.
- Villainous Breakdown: After being humiliated in public twice by Zael, and then framed for betraying Lazulis Island to the Gurak, Jirall finally snaps and goes into Laughing Mad mode.
Inhabitants of Lazulis Island
Voiced by: Maria Darling(EN)The bartender of the Mercenaries' favourite bar, "Ariela's Tavern". She is the daughter of the tavern's owner and loves Lazulis Island.
- Chaste Hero: Responds to Lowell's blatant flirting by asking him for his order. Either she just doesn't notice or is a stunning example of professionalism.
- Generic Cuteness
KensuAriela's father and the proprietor of "Ariela's Tavern".
Voiced by: Lizzie Waterworth-Santo(EN)The Littlest Cancer Patient of the game. He is bedridden with an unspecified disease said to be caused by the dust around Lazulis Island and an early mission involves retrieving medicine for him.
Voiced by: James Daniel Wilson(EN)The owner of an Upgrade Store in Lazulis City. He fancies himself an archaeologist, and is easily-excited by new findings.
Meredith/IrminaHorace's beloved wife, who has gone missing.
Mina/MiinaA young woman who works in the marketplace. She has a crush on Zael.
Voiced by: Rupert Farley(EN)A criminal who was once a member of the Mercenaries alongside Dagran and Zael. He sold them out for money, and has since become a significant presence in the criminal underworld. Underhanded and slimy, there is nothing he will not do for money.
- Dirty Coward
- Face–Heel Turn: Before the game. Dagran is still quite bitter about it.
- Heel–Face Turn: During the Gurak invasion of Lazulis Island, he is scared straight(ish) and offers his services to the Mercenaries, using his criminal contacts and supplies to act as a shop and equipment upgrader.
- Kick the Dog: The first thing we see him doing is planning on releasing a horde of monsters into town; then using the confusion to ransack houses.
- Smug Snake
- We Used to Be Friends: This is truly why Dagran hates him. Not just because he betrayed the group but because he was their friend.
Forest BeastA mysterious white tiger that appears to Zael and the other Mercenaries, seemingly as an enemy. Its true identity is the Guardian Beast of Lazulis Island.
Traveling MerchantA young girl staying in Ariela's Tavern with Zael and the other Mercenaries. As the name implies, she makes a living selling weaponry and upgrading it.
A race of Orc-like humanoids who make their home on the appropriately-named Gurak Island. Years ago, they waged a war on humanity that they lost badly, shattering their nation and scattering the various tribes. In recent years a charismatic Gurak named Zangurak has reunited his people under the banner of war, and they are preparing to take revenge.
Voiced by: Joji Nakata(JP), Nick Boulton(EN)The current leader of the Gurak race, who used his charisma and strength to unite the Gurak against humanity.
- A Father to His Men
- A God Am I: In a rare example of this trope, however, he isn't just after power. His ultimate goal is to restore the dying land to its natural state and wipe out the humans who are kindasortamaybealittlesinglehandedlyresponsible for it. To do this, he seeks to absorb the power of the Outsider and gain supreme control over the world. As the battle with him progresses, however, it's clear that With Great Power Comes Great Insanity; and his goal shifts more from "I WILL SAVE THE WORLD by becoming a god" to "I will save the world BY BECOMING A GOD".
- A Hero to His Hometown: Being the first to unite them and all.
- Anti-Villain: A Type II-Type III combo, although the main story doesn't do a great job of showing it. The books, on the other hand, give more clues as to his motivations. One that can be read before he makes his introduction tells the player that humans and Gurak used to live together before the latter were expelled from the empire due to the escalating levels of Fantastic Racism. Somehow, not even General Ashtar himself seems to have read the one thing that might clue them in as to why Zangurak is attacking.
- Asskicking Equals Authority & Authority Equals Asskicking: He single-handedly united the Gurak and dedicated himself to bringing about a better future for them.
- Big Bad: One of the contenders for the crown. The people of Lazulis island certainly consider him to be this.
- The Extremist Was Right: He hates humans not only for constantly waging war against his people for no other reason than Fantastic Racism but also because the Lazulis Cannon is more or less one great big "rape the earth" button.
- Expy: It's probably not a coincidence that he looks a bit like Ganondorf. His modus operandi is also pretty similar; especially to his Wind Waker incarnation. Zangurak also share's Ganondorf's classic weakness to gag weapons. Just as a fishing rod and a bug catching net can be used to exploit Ganondorf's weaknessess, Prank bananas can be used to open Zangurak's guard.
- Eye Scream: He loses an eye during the final battle with him.
- Fantastic Racism: His people have been a victim of it for generations; so he's decided to turn it back on the humans. What makes it all the worse is that the points he makes in his Hannibal Lecture are actually right on the money.
- Helping Hands: He tears off his Outsider-marked hand after he loses, and orders it to reach the Outsider and resurrect him.
- Humans Are Bastards: Believes this with a passion. Considering the kinds of things they do to his people, it's hard not to see why.
- Obviously Evil: Or not.
- Red Right Hand: It contains the powers of the Gurak's half of the Outsider and, later, the Arganan bloodline.
- Sanity Slippage: Subtly done during the final battle.
- Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: He calls Zael out for his idealism; stating that if it was that easy to end the racial conflict between the species that it would have happened ages ago and that war is the inevitable outcome between their peoples. Naturally, Zael doesn't buy it. By the end, Zangurak is shown to be wrong; during the epilogue, humans and Gurak are shown working and living together in peace.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: No it doesn't. It just gives Zael the opportunity to pick up the Zanlance and use it against him.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Ice. The Gurak race as a whole have a weakness to the element and Zangurak is no exception. This means that a fully-ugpraded Fang or Nameless Nothing, which have the ice element assigned to them, are capable of turning Zangurak into such a Zero-Effort Boss that you don't even need to turn his Zanlance against him.
- Weapon of Choice:
- We Have Reserves: Zangurak is not of the opinion that this is the case.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Like Count Arganan, he does want peace, but just as Arganan plans to exterminate the Gurak race, Zangurak plans to exterminate the human race.
Zesha & Zepha
Voiced by: Josh Cohen(Zesha), Antony Byrne(Zepha)Twin Gurak brothers who serve Zangurak as his Co-Dragons.
- Co-Dragons: To Zangurak.
- Creepy Monotone
- Creepy Twins
- Dual Boss: The first fight with them.
- Elemental Powers: Zesha can use An Ice Person, Green Thumb, Holy Hand Grenade and Playing with Fire.
- Fantastic Racism: They don't like humans much.
- Hot-Blooded: Zepha. Although, only by comparison.
- Kill All Humans: Syrenne and Lowell mock Zangurak bringing about 'the usual "kill all humans" nonsense' during the battle with Zepha... Who actually believes that this would be for the best.
- Leitmotif: After Zesha's death, Zepha gets his own personal boss theme; Death Dance.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Zepha has a red aura and uses physical attacks. Zesha has a blue one and focuses on magical attacks.
- Revenge Before Reason: Zepha gets called out on this by Zangurak before he goes to avenge his brother's death. Although Zangurak allows him to go, he tells him not to die trying.
- Tranquil Fury: Because pulling off a Hot-Blooded Creepy Monotone is obviously going to be nigh-impossible, Zepha's anger was made to come across as this in the English dub.
- Undying Loyalty: Both are unquestionably loyal towards Zangurak, which he praises them for in the final dungeon.
- You Killed My Brother: Zepha pull this after Zesha is killed by Zael, Mirania and Yurick.
- Weapons Of Choice:
- Dual Wielding: Katanas Are Just Better
- Named Weapons: Specifically, Zesha wields the North Wing & South Wing swords while Zepha possesses the East Wing & West Wing swords.
The CaptainThe captain of the Gurak Warship, who develops a one-sided rivalry with Zael.
The OutsiderA mysterious being whose secrets lie at the heart of the game's story. The Outsider is an extraterrestrial lifeform that absorbs energy from its surroundings, giving itself a vast reservoir of energy beyond any mortal means. Though its power was successfully used to end a world war, it began to drain the life from the earth itself and was forcefully split into two to slow the process. Both halves wish to reunite with the other and return to the cosmos; however, while the blue Outsider half in Lazulis Island is consumed by quiet loneliness, the red Outsider half on Gurak Island burns with vengeful hatred towards humanity. In the end, the Outsider is revealed to be a World Seed and the energy it absorbs from its surroundings is eventually used to create a new world.
CocoonAn aspect of the Outsider, it resembles an armored shell that can grow into a massive humanoid beast.
- Eldritch Abomination: A rather horrific appearance, especially when it has dozens of swords stuck into it.
- Make My Monster Grow: It can become a really huge monster.
- Mind Rape: In its Last Cocoon form, it can manipulate a person's memories to implant traumatizing scenarios.
- Sword of Damocles: Its final form as the Last Cocoon can be killed by dropping a massive sword on it, if your timing is right. The fact that there is a sword hanging above it like this reeks of this symbolism.
BerithA Guardian Spirit that protects the Outsider, it resembles an armored humanoid.
- Blade on a Stick: It uses a huge double-headed staff as a weapon but holds it in the center, similar to Darth Maul.
- Deflector Shields: A powerful shield protects itself and its copies.
- Me's a Crowd: It can produce two additional copies of itself.
- Power Floats: It doesn't walk, just floats.
- Projectile Spell: Another attack it can do is to launch three fireballs at once.
- Taking You with Me: The copies will self-destruct when killed.
MitraThe Guardian Beast of the blue Outsider.
- Eleventh Hour Superpower: Calista gains the ability to summon it for one battle against Atar.
- Our Dragons Are Different
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Atar.
AtarThe Guardian Beast of the red Outsider.