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Debut: Animorphs #7: The Stranger (1997)
We watched the rise of other species throughout the galaxy. Helped at times, when we could. We wanted companions. We wanted to learn. We imagined a galaxy filled with millions of sentient species, each with its own science and art, its own beauty.
An All-Powerful Bystander, the Ellimist is a being so powerful he can directly manipulate the fabric of space-time, rewrite history, travel through time and cross between dimensions. He ultimately wants the Animorphs to prevail and save Earth, but he is bound by the rules of the nebulous Game, which prevents him from offering direct assistance unless it's in a Deal with the Devil.
- All-Powerful Bystander: Not technically all-powerful, but so close as to make little difference from human perspectives.
- Ascended Fanboy: In-Universe; as a mortal, he was of a race called the Ketrans and enjoyed playing complex simulation games where he helped lesser races grow by indirect assistance. Now that he's powerful enough, he's doing the exact same thing for real.
- Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: He became the Ellimist when his bio-mechanical body of a small fleet of spaceships was drawn into a black hole while some remained in real space and the rest was still in Z-Space, thereby causing him to exist in multiple dimensions at once.
- Balance Of Good and Evil: Justified; if he oversteps the boundaries too much, then his Evil Counterpart will strike back.
- Big Good: The most powerful known being in the universe (second if you count the one who exiled Crayak) and dedicated to spreading and preserving sentient life.
- The Chessmaster: It turns out that he was behind at least four of the kids becoming Animorphs.
- Complete Immortality: At least unless the entire universe were destroyed, too.
- Cosmic Entity: Lives within/beyond the normal bounds of space-time.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": His real name is Toomin; "Ellimist" was basically his screen name when he was a Ketran gamer.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: Usually, he appears as an Ambiguously Human old man; once he appeared as a geeky girl from their school.
- God's Hands Are Tied: If he interferes too directly, Crayak will respond in kind, and the last time they fought each other head-to-head it caused galactic-level devastation.
- Grandpa God: His most common form is the "Saintly Old Man" guise as seen on this page.
- Greater-Scope Paragon: The Ellimist is a Sufficiently Advanced Alien who is willing to help the heroes, but only does so in incomplete or misleading ways, hence why another species familiar with him, the Andalites, has their word for Ellimist mean "trickster". It eventually turns out the reason why he doesn't help the heroes more actively is because there is another being just as powerful as he is, the malevolent Crayak. As the last time the two battled each other at full strength resulted in galactic disaster, the Ellimist and Crayak are under an agreement to never directly battle each other again and instead duel through guiding species and heroes of their choice, like a cosmic game of chess.
- Green Aesop: In his first appearance he portrays himself as something of a space conservationist, telling the kids that free humans will be Extinct in the Future and that he wants to take the Animorphs, their families and a selection of other humans off-planet to a world where they will be safe (a preserve according to Cassie, though Tobias more uncharitably calls it a zoo). As it turns out, he actually doesn't want to take the kids off-world at all, and the space conservationist story is just a "Leave Your Quest" Test while he engages in a bit of his trademark Loophole Abuse and hopes one of them is smart enough to figure it out.
- I Am Legion: Throughout most of his appearances, he refers to himself in the plural, making it unclear if he is a singular entity or part of a collective, or even a race of creatures like him. It is eventually revealed he is a singular individual who absorbed millions of minds in a freak incident, explaining his predilection for referring to himself in the plural.
- Last of His Kind: He is the last surviving member of the Ketran race. By the time the series proper begins, he is the last Ketran only in mind, as his original Ketran body was destroyed in a black hole when he ascended.
- "Leave Your Quest" Test: He gives one to the Animorphs in The Stranger.
- Little Miss Almighty: One of the forms he appeared before the group in.
- Living Ship: During his Third Life.
- Loophole Abuse: He's forbidden to interfere directly except when he makes a deal with Crayak, but gets around it by sneakily arranging for them to realize things on their own that they wouldn't have without him. This is actually the defining trait of him in his first appearance, where he shows the Animorphs a vision of a Bad Future, and a background event clues them in to the location of the Yeerk Kandrona in the present.
- Manipulative Bastard: He might be the Big Good of the series, more or less, but Good Is Not Nice. And he's not above guilt trips, the above Loophole Abuse, and just metaphorically twisting the arms of his pawns to get what he wants out of them. Elfangor and Tobias in particular are among those hardest leaned on by him.
- Million-to-One Chance: His evolution from Ketran gamer to demigod is due to a series of freak accidents, each more improbable than the last.
- Mysterious Backer: He tries to help the heroes, but he is either too roundabout in his methods to really gain their trust or too caught up in his game with Crayak to help at all.
- The last Megamorphs heavily implies that the team basically exists because he arranged things from behind the scenes, including the Contrived Coincidences of getting members who were already unknowingly connected to the conflict in some way.
- Overly Long Name: His official name (which really only applied during his First Life) is Azure Level, Seven Spar, Extension Two, Down-Messenger, Forty-one.
- Pet the Dog: He can't intercede to prevent Rachel's death but the framing device of The Ellimist Chronicles is him recounting his life story to comfort her in the moments before her death.
- Pointy Ears: In his favored form.
- Reality Warper: He can pretty much do anything.
- Recurring Character: He appears in a handful of books, but his influence is felt in many more.
- Starfish Alien: We never get a clear description of what Ketrans look like. We only know that they have wings, quills, arms, pods instead of feet, docking talons, and live on gravity defying crystals.
- Sufficiently Advanced Aliens: At one point, Rachel comments he's advanced to humans in the sense that humans are more advanced than cows. He would probably argue that it's not quite that extreme, though.
- Time Stands Still: His general m.o. if he wants to talk with you.
- What If God Was One of Us?: In The Ellimist Chronicles, he places part of his essence into the body of an Andalite and lives among early Andalites in order to reconnect with his sense of mortality.
- You Cannot Grasp the True Form: Though he arguably doesn't have one anymore.
Debut: Animorphs #6: The Capture (1997, unnamed), #26: The Attack (1999, full appearance)
I will cleanse this galaxy of all life. Then, when no sentient thing is left alive, I will kill you, Ellimist. That's my game. Shall we play?
Foreshadowed early on, the Crayak remains a mystery until halfway through the series, when the Ellimist reveals his story. A being of power equal to the Ellimist but with very different goals, the Crayak is a malevolent being chased from his home galaxy by the one power in the universe that can defeat him. He seeks extinction on a galactic scale, and eventually the ability to control all of space-time as his own.
- All-Powerful Bystander: Like the Ellimist, he is not truly all-powerful, but he is so close, it makes little difference from a human perspective.
- Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: Much like the Ellimist, he found a way into the fabric of space and time.
- Bad Boss: Towards the Drode. Though the Drode serves loyally, Crayak is fully prepared to let Rachel annihilate him if it means securing her loyalty.
- The Chessmaster: Implied; after all, he's good enough to take on the Ellimist in a Cosmic Chess Game.
- Chekhov's Gunman: He first appears as a bizarre, ominous hallucination when the Yeerk in Jake's head dies. It turns out that briefly seeing past life and death allowed Jake to glimpse Crayak.
- Complete Immortality: Like the Ellimist, he has transcended the boundaries of life and death and is no longer possible to kill, or even harm, in any tangible sense.
- The Corrupter: He plays this role to Rachel, tempting her with god-like power in exchange for murdering Jake.
- Cyclops: Even before ascending, Crayak's original form was a monstrous, one-eyed creature.
- Eldritch Abomination: He has the appearance of a giant red eye and even without being an Omnicidal Maniac, he looks pretty terrifying.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: His attempts to sway Rachel to his service in The Return are fairly limp, and mostly reliant on the hope that she'll go Drunk on the Dark Side. When she doesn't, he takes his cosmic ball and leaves in a huff.
- Evil Counterpart: To the Ellimist.
- Evil Gloating: The Drode's first appearance in The Exposed was half following the rules of the Game and giving the Animorphs one hint to keep things fair. The other half was Crayak indulging in this, by proxy.
- Evil Is Petty: After The Attack, he spends most of his time coming up with ways to punish Jake for what he did to the Howlers.
- Evil Sounds Deep: If you're unfortunate enough to meet him in person, his voice feels like being shaken apart at the atomic level.
- Faceless Eye: His appearance is a giant blood-red eye.
- Fate Worse than Death: He is unsatisfied with watching the universe as a passive observer and would choose his own destruction over that fate.
- For the Evulz: He massacres species and enjoys the suffering and torment of others because, hey, it's something to do. When he and the Ellimist first acquire their near-omnipotent powers, the Ellimist suggests that, since they're incapable of killing each other now without collapsing space-time and killing everything including themselves, and can just undo any damage the other does to the galaxy, they could call a truce and just watch the advance of evolution. Crayak refuses because he finds the idea boring.
- Giant Eye of Doom: His Ascended Fanon Fan Nickname is "the Big Red Eye."
- God of Evil: He comes across as this, especially since, unlike the Ellimist, his backstory is never revealed. Additionally, the author admitted to modeling him after personifications of 'pure evil' such as Sauron from The Lord of the Rings.
- Greater-Scope Villain: The ultimate evil in the series who has been responsible for everything occurring. The Yeerks taking over other species was his doing in a great big game with Ellimist.
- Hero's Evil Predecessor: When the Ellimist first meets him he's brand new to the cosmic god wannabe game, while Crayak has apparently already been doing it for some time, and indeed delights in running circles around the Ellimist with cruel Sadistic Choice scenarios until Toomin finally has enough and decides to Take a Third Option. And in a narrative sense, he actually debuts a book before the Ellimist himself, though he is unnamed in it.
- I Lied: To David. He promises him revenge against Rachel, but merely uses him as a tool against her.
- "Leave Your Quest" Test: Playing up his role as the Ellimist's Evil Counterpart, Crayak extends Jake an offer to alter history so he never met Elfangor. Jake accepts this offer, and it's the basis for Megamorphs #4.
- Living Ship: He first appears to the Ellimist as this.
- No Indoor Voice: Similar to Visser Three, he communicates with a form of thought-speech. Jake describes it as sounding like he's screaming at the top of his lungs.
- Omnicidal Maniac: "I play the game of genocide..."
- Reality Warper: For example, he rewrote history in the last Megamorphs book.
- Recurring Character: Though his presence is often felt, the Crayak himself only personally appears in The Attack and The Return.
- Sadistic Choice: When he first met the Ellimist he put him through various scenarios where he faced the doom of multiple planets and had a way to save one or another, but never both or all.
- The Social Darwinist: His goal is to pit race against race, the winner growing stronger with each engagement, until only one species is left and then revere him as a god.
- Someone Has to Die: He agrees to help the Animorphs follow Visser Four through time in Megamorphs #3. In return, he demands that one of their number must die. Jake ends up biting the bullet. Thanks to some Time Travel Loophole Abuse, it doesn't stick.
- Sore Loser: He really doesn't take it well when the Animorphs defeat his Howlers. In fact, he spends the entire rest of the series trying to kill Jake as revenge for it.
- Sufficiently Advanced Aliens: He had super-advanced technology even before ascending to near-godhood.
- Talking in Your Dreams: He appears to both Jake and Rachel in dreams.
Debut: Animorphs #27: The Exposed (1999)
Yes, yes, oh yes. Mustn't upset the balance. Not directly, anyway. But! Create problems? Yes. Create opportunities? Yes. Play the wild card? Of course.
An alien being who resembles a humanoid dinosaur, he serves Crayak and acts as his representative. He has incredible powers, presumably a gift from his master. The series' weirdest points are usually his doing.
- Breaking Speech: His first appearance in The Exposed has him pop out of nowhere and snarkily pick the Animorphs apart one by one.
- Deal with the Devil: Implied, but not confirmed. See Last of His Kind below.
- The Dragon: To Crayak.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Decidedly averted. He's basically an evil space dinosaur.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Is absolutely enraged that the Pemalites and Chee would choose Actual Pacifism.And you wonder why Crayak destroyed the Pemalites. What tedious creatures they were. Pacifist androids! What is the point of machines that cannot kill? They could have ruled the galaxy with their Chee as warriors!
- Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: He likes to joke, but...
- Evil Mentor: Tries really hard to become one to Rachel.
- From a Single Cell: He can regenerate, possibly from any wound. Rachel rips his head off in The Return to no effect.
- Giggling Villain: He's prone to giggling when he thinks he has the upper hand, particularly in The Return.
- In Love with Your Carnage: Enjoys Rachel's penchant for violence.
- Last of His Kind: It's implied that he sold out his entire species so he could become Crayak's right-hand man.
- Loophole Abuse: Like his master, he is bound by the rules of The Game. That doesn't stop him from bending the rules to achieve the outcome he desires.
- Manipulative Bastard: In his debut appearance he pulls the strings of the Animorphs, the Chee, and the Yeerks, all in hopes of punishing the Animorphs for their recent victory over Crayak's Howlers.
- Out-Gambitted: In his first appearance, thanks to the timely intervention of Erek.
- Reality Warper: Shares this power with Crayak.
- Recurring Character: He appears in The Exposed, the last two Megamorphs books, and The Return.
- Smug Snake: Despite all his cosmic power, he's really nothing more than Crayak's errand boy, and as Crayak demonstrates in The Return, he's more than willing to replace the Drode at any time.
- Teleporters and Transporters: Having a fraction of his master's Reality Warper power, he can appear and reappear wherever and whenever he wants.
- Terms of Endangerment: He refers to Rachel as "Rachel of the dark heart."
- The Trickster: His name means "wild card" to his species.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: One of the rules of the Game he is bound by, much to his disdain. This has loopholes, though — while he can't take life directly, he can maneuver victims into scenarios where someone else will kill them, as he tried to do with the Animorphs and the Yeerks. He is also capable of setting the Chee to self-destruct, revealing that some variant of What Measure Is a Non-Human? (or What Measure is a Non-Organic) is at play.
- Wild Card: See above. His name literally means "wild card."
Debut: Animorphs #54: The Beginning (2001)
You have done well to come this far. You have come to find your friend. But the Andalite is part of me now. As you will soon be.
A Giant Space Flea from Nowhere that shows up in the last few pages of the final book. He gathers the remnants of the shattered Yeerk Empire under his aegis and plots to assimilate the Animorphs into his being. The book ends with the Animorphs ramming his ship and the outcome of the conflict is never revealed.
- The Assimilator: Apparently assimilates a lot of beings, including Ax.
- Body Horror: It's revealed he's inflicted it on his captive Ax.
- Bolivian Army Ending: "Ram the Blade ship."
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Implied. Two of the four forms he shows the Animorphs are mechanical creatures.
- Diabolus ex Machina: Just when it looks like the war is finally over for the Animorphs, out like an evil space jack-in-the box pops this thing.
- For the Evulz: What exactly does the One want? Why does it assimilate beings when it seems plenty powerful on its own? Where is it even going? Good luck figuring any of that out, it's just there for two pages of generic villainy.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: He literally shows up within the last few pages of the final book with no build-up.
- A God Am I: To the point where Yeerks start worshiping him.
- Greater-Scope Villain: The leader of the Yeerk survivors and the final enemy faced by the Animorphs.
- Light Is Not Good: He appears to the Animorphs heralded by "searing light."
- Minor Major Character: His only appearance covers all of four pages.
- No Mouth: Subverted in nightmarish fashion. See Body Horror above.
- One-Shot Character: Appears only in The Beginning. Fans theorized he was the being behind Jake's trip to the future in The Familiar, but this was jossed by Applegate in an interview.
- Path of Inspiration: Hinted at. The Yeerk remnants he leads worship him as a god and his lieutenant, Efflit One-Three-One-Eight, carries himself in a manner more befitting a High Priest than a ship's captain.
- The Remnant: He leads it.
- Space Elves: One of his forms is described as a "sweet, feminine, almost elfin visage."
- Mind Probe: Apparently, since he instantly knows that the Animorphs are hiding on their ship.
- Too Many Mouths: One too many, given that he gives a horrifying, red-rimmed mouth to Ax.
- Ultimate Evil: We never see his true face and he is described by Marco as "every corruption and every evil."
- Unrobotic Reveal: When it first shows itself to Jake and company it has a mechanical face, but this quickly dissolves into the "sweet elfin visage" mentioned above before revealing what is apparently its newest face, Ax.