This is a list of characters from Dead Cells.
As each character has more than meets the eye: Beware of unmarked spoilers!
The Beheaded/The Fallen One
The main protagonist and playable character of the game. The Beheaded is a clump of sentient cells capable of possessing bodies. His main goal is to discover the secrets of the island and kill the King in hopes to end the continuous cycle.
- All There in the Manual: A minor example. His species is never specified in game, but The Heart of Dead Cells book refers to him as a homunculus.
- Blob Monster: Basically, a sapient, parasitic slime mold puppeteering a dead body.
- Complete Immortality: While his bodies can (and will) die, the mass of cells that make up his consciousness can't.
- Deadpan Snarker: A lot of his commentary is him making snide remarks about the lore, especially where the populace dying is concerned.
- Death Seeker: In a way. He wants off the island and out of the "Groundhog Day" Loop, and if that means dying permanently, then so be it. Unfortunately for him, not even the panacea can kill him, though at that point, he doesn't seem to mind.
- Dem Bones: Wearing one of the Giant's outfits makes him a skeleton.
- Flaming Skulls: When the clump of cells fully takes over a body, they disappear and the Beheaded has a flaming...thing...where the body's head ought to be.
- Gender Bender: Wearing one of the Time Keeper's outfits results in this.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: He's being forced to live through one again and again.
- Heroic Mime: Played with. He never speaks when interacting with others, emoting through gestures. When examining objects and background elements, however, his thoughts are visible to the player. This implies and is eventually confirmed by the Collector that he can't actually speak. Probably because he has no mouth.
- I Hate Past Me: Though he doesn't realize he's the same person at first, he detests what the King has done.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The Beheaded isn't really a nice person. He's absurdly violent and seems indifferent to the suffering of others, only acting according to his own desires. Despite this, he doesn't approve of the King's actions (executing his own soldiers and imprisoning innocents under the suspicion that they were infected ) and does want to end the Malaise for good.
- Lack of Empathy: Lampshaded by the Collector prior to his boss fight. Notably, he doesn't even care that he's doomed the island by killing the only person that could create the cure to the Malaise.
- No Name Given: The Beheaded isn't referred to by his real name; not even after being revealed to be the King.
- One-Man Army: The Beheaded can cut down scores of monsters by himself.
- The Reveal: The Beheaded is actually the King's mind.
- Tron Lines: Some of the skins give him glowing lights, who change colours depending on if the player is using a weapon and which one.
- Victory Is Boring: During the final ending, he's gotten everything he wanted. He's brought an end to the cycle of death and rebirth that plagued him for the entire game, his mind and body are joined together again, and the Panacea has made him immune to the Malaise. However, his kingdom is lost, very few (if any) are left alive and sane, and he admits that it was more fun running through the sewers.
A mysterious alchemist who provides the Beheaded with new weaponry and mutations in exchange for cells.
- Ambiguously Human: While it could just be a result of the Malaise infecting him, some parts of the Collector's design don't seem human. On top of his blue skin and glowing eyes, he also has digitgrade legs.
- Came Back Wrong: Like the Tutorial Knight and the King, he's revived by the Time Crash, though in a heavily glitched state. He seems to come out of it after he drinks the Panacea and mutates.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: The Beheaded kills him by repeatedly curb stomping him until his head explodes.
- Despair Event Horizon: Before drinking the Panacea and going insane, the Collector's monologue is rather heavy. He's exhausted every other option to cure the Malaise and sounds to have lost all hope. It doesn't help that he seems to have contracted the Malaise himself.The Collector: Is this all I've got left? The false hope of a bunch of children's stories... Pathetic.
- Intrepid Merchant: Of sorts. He appears in every rest area to trade cells.
- Marathon Boss: Easily the longest boss fight in the game. He has multiple phases and further extends the fight by healing himself with the Panacea. It's only when you knock the Panacea out of his hands and drink it yourself that you can finally put him down.
- This Is Gonna Suck: After loosing and just before The Beheaded finishes him, he can only mutter "Oh, we're in deep now."
- True Final Boss: Becomes this with five boss cells active.
- Walking Spoiler: There is far more to him than meets the eye.
- What the Hell, Hero?: After you defeat him, he points out that by killing him, you've doomed the island since you just killed the only person who can create the cure to the Malaise. Though given what the Panacea did to him, that might be for the best.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: After he drinks the Panacea, he goes completely insane. Funnily enough, he outright predicted this would happen to him.
The KingThe ruler of the island on which the game takes place. He is the primary antagonist of the game.
- 0% Approval Rating: The townspeople hated this man. Throughout the game you can find vandalized statues of him. Even his own soldiers didn't think too highly of him and his methods.
- Big Bad: He's built up to be this at first. The truth is far more complicated, however.
- The Caligula: He isolated, imprisoned, and executed anyone even suspected of being infected with the Malaise, and ordered the death of any of his soldiers who refused to comply. If he acted anything like the Beheaded does, it may explain a few things.
- Empty Shell: When you finally confront him, he's in a vegetative state and can't even move or act. The reason for this is because he's without his mind, which currently inhabits the very character you're controlling!
- Fallen Hero: According to the Giant, he was a far more honorable and reasonable man before the Malaise came.
- Killed Off for Real: Unlike the game's bosses, his death sticks. At least until the Time Keeper causes the Time Crash, restoring the body back (although somewhat bugged).
- No Name Given: His real name is never said. Everyone just calls him the King.
- Orcus on His Throne: Justified. He's in a vegetative state.
- Sigil Spam: His crest, three vertical claw marks, are seen everywhere around the island on banners and whatnot. He wears a crown that has three ridges that resembles this crest, concealing his face.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: While he did a lot of truly horrible things, he did so with the intention of containing and eradicating the Malaise.
- Zero-Effort Boss: For all the build up to him, he's dispatched very easily in a cutscene. His bodyguard, however, more than makes up for it.
Tutorial KnightA female knight who serves as the Beheaded's first encounter at the very start of the game. She gives the Beheaded cryptic advice.
- Action Girl: We don't get to see her in action, but she's a female knight wielding a BFS.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Horrifically averted. After somehow being killed, the Female Knight's body decomposes to the point where she's a rotting skeleton.
- BFS: She has a rather hefty one strapped across her back. Fittingly, you get the Broad Sword blueprint from her corpse.
- Came Back Wrong: After the Time Crash, she's alive again, but her body glitches considerably, and she repeats her opening speech ad nauseum.
- Captain Ersatz: She's explicitly based on Lara Croft, specifically the modern incarnation.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Out-of-universe example. The Tutorial Knight isn't really referred to by a specific name or title, so players simply call her "Tutorial Knight".
- Gender Flip: Was a male in the early access version of the game.
- Killed Off for Real: Unlike most of the characters in the game, her death sticks. At least until the Time Keeper causes the Time Crash, detailed below.
- Killed Offscreen: We don't get to see how the Tutorial Knight dies.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: She's killed off rather abruptly after only a few runs through the game. Her corpse remains at the entrance to the Promenade of the Condemned for each run afterwards.
- Apocalyptic Log: Throughout the game, you can find grimoires that document his attempts to cure the Malaise.
- For Science!: Had shades of these, especially in the Cavern, where he laments that the King merely used the crystals to sell for money, when they could be applied to much more.
- The Ghost: While his notes can be found in every biomes, he's nowhere to be seen. Just before his boss fight, the Collector says a few cryptic words, which implies either that the Alchemist is dead and the Collector took over his notes, or that the Collector is the Alchemist.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: According to one of the Guardian's Haven loading screen lines, nobody liked him.
- The Reveal: While it's quite ambiguous and never said outright, the Collector's speech before his boss fight implies that he and the Alchemist are one and the same. Notably, when he refers to himself as an alchemist, the word is capitalized, implying a much deeper meaning.
The ConciergeThe boss found on the Black Bridge.
- Barrier Warrior: During his fight, he'll use two kinds of barriers, the first one (who only last a second or so) making him invulnerable and knocking the Beheaded back, the second one, red, inflicting damage to the Beheaded when he touches it.
- Pointy-Haired Boss: Whatever else Castaing was, it's heavily implied he was corrupt. He disobeyed the king's orders, hoarded gold in his offices, and even had a sunbathing lounge on the rooftop of his office in the Ramparts, implying a very lazy and rich lifestyle.
- Was Once a Man: Some notes found in lore rooms in the Ramparts imply that he was the captain of the prison guards, Castaing, but was infected by the Malaise, which caused his arms to become swollen (much like the boss himself). One of the loading screens quotes pretty much says it: "They say the prison warden was personally involved in guarding the bridge. So they say..."
ConjonctiviusThe boss fought in the Insufferable Crypt. It looks like a giant eyeball monster attached to the walls with chains.
- Bullet Hell: On her final phase, one of her attacks is this, where she'll make all platforms disappear, fly to the ceiling, and shoot bullets all over the place.
- Combat Tentacles: In between phases, she'll become invulnerable, makes all platforms disappear, and spawn tentacles on the ground that will attack the beheaded, each tentacle destroyed makes the ones left faster. Killing all tentacles sees her progress to her next phase.
- Eldritch Abomination: One of the most bizarre enemies in the entire game. And considering the types of enemies you can find, that's saying something.
- Female Monster Surprise: The game's lore and developers consistently refer to Conjunctivius as a she.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: The most we find about her are the cocoons of her molts in the Toxic and Ancient Sewers. Where she's from and how she came to be are not known.
- Outside-Context Problem: Compared to the other bosses, she's not linked to the King or the Kingdom that much... apart from the fact that the king ordered her imprisonment. She's likely a result of the Malaise, still.
- Spell My Name with an "S": More recent updates have spelled her name as Conjonctivius, though Conjunctivius is still used for her outfits.
Mama TickThe boss fought in the Nest. A monstrous tick worshiped as a god by the Banished.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: She's even bigger than Conjonctivius!
- Eldritch Abomination: Not quite to the level of Conjonctivius, but one wonders exactly what sort of horror birthed this thing.
- Eyes Do Not Belong There: She's basically a gigantic sphere with legs and claws covered in eyes.
- King Mook: A much larger version of the giant ticks you fought earlier in the Morass of the Banished.
- Outside-Context Problem: Like Conjonctivius, she has little to do with the main story. Unlike Conjonctivius, she does make a bit of sense in the context of the area you find her in, as that part of the island was reserved for outcasts who began to worship her as a god.
- Action Girl: More that capable of kicking the Beheaded's ass.
- Bare Your Midriff: Her outfit includes a generous portion of this.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: She enforces this. A letter you can find in a room in the Clock Tower reveals she's been repeating the same day over and over again. It is also implied that her task makes her increasingly exhausted, as the number of executions decreases each day.
- Hooks and Crooks: Uses a hook in one of her attacks to bring the Beheaded to her and deal a powerful sword strike.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: The Beheaded would never have been reunited with his original body if the Time Keeper hadn't caused the Time Crash mentioned below.
- Storm of Blades: Makes giant swords fall from the ceiling during her boss battle.
- Time Crash: After the Beheaded kills the Collector, she resets time again to undo what he's done. However, something goes very wrong this time. Parts of the island become glitched, and the Tutorial Knight, the Collector, and the King are alive again, though heavily glitched.
- Time Master: Skilled enough with time manipulation to trap the entire island in a "Groundhog Day" Loop in an effort to contain the Malaise.
- Villain: Exit, Stage Left: As of the Pimp My Run update, she can never be killed. If you defeat her, she teleports out instead. Justified, as she's required for the "Groundhog Day" Loop.
- What the Hell, Hero?: If you kill the Collector, at the start of your next run she teleports you directly to the Clock Room to berate you for killing the only person who could create the cure for the Malaise.
- Attack Its Weak Point: His only weak spot is his eyeball, which is only revealed after doing enough damage to his hands.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: They don't call him the Giant for nothing. His head and shoulders alone fill the screen.
- Broken Pedestal: The King (aka the Beheaded) is this to him. The lore implies that the Giant was one of the King's most loyal servants as well as one of his closest friends. But then the Giant began disapproving of the King's methods to contain the Malaise. They had a fight which resulted in the Giant's death. When the Beheaded finds him, he is greeted with immense disdain. The Giant even calls him an "incorrigible ass" and flips him the bird while dying.
- Bullet Hell: He has an attack that creates this. It's rare, however, and only appears if he's allowed to charge one of his hands three times before you knock it out.
- Dem Bones: He's a gigantic skeleton. You might think he was reduced to this state after dying the first time, but a large painting that sometimes appears in High Peak Castle shows that he was always a skeleton, or at least he was during the time he served the King.
- Flipping the Bird: His parting gesture after you defeat him. The Beheaded flips him off right back.
- He Was Right There All Along: That gigantic skeleton you see at the start of each run? That's him!
- Secret Keeper: He seems to be the only being in the entire game who knows who the Beheaded truly is. The Collector also knows, but he does not bring this up until you confront him in the King's body.
- The Rival: He didn't like the Hand of the King, and the feeling was mutual, though they both hated the Alchemist more.
- Wham Line: He drops a major bombshell after you defeat him. He refers to the Beheaded as "my king."
- Worthy Opponent: If you beat him with four boss cells active, he admits you defeated him fairly and acknowledges you as this and gives you the fifth boss cell.
- Your Size May Vary: When you find his corpse at the start of the game, he's huge, but nowhere near as big as he is when you fight him. This may be a perspective matter, as he's further in the "background" at the beginning.
- Barrier Warrior: He puts a force field around the King just before you fight him. He can also block your attacks this way.
- Battle Trophy: In the final ending, His helmet adorns the King's throne.
- Final Boss: Unless you have five boss cells, he is this.
- Flat Character: Unlike the other bosses, little is known about him other than the fact that he's the King's bodyguard.
- Flunky Boss: He summons several enemies, including elites, to fight you during the battle.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Can hurl grenades at you. He also summons banners that unleash huge explosions if they aren't destroyed quickly.
- The Hermit: He's lived in the Throne Room for a very long time, presumably since the King fell into a vegetative state.
- The Rival: He didn't like the Giant, and the feeling was mutual, though they both hated the Alchemist more.
- The Stoic: Unlike the Time Keeper and the Giant, the Hand of the King does not speak all that much. The only time he speaks is if you confront him in the King's Body, at which point he turns Not So Stoic because he believes you to be an impostor that has stolen the King's body.
- Undying Loyalty: Despite the horrific acts that his king has committed, he remains at his side even though he has been reduced to a vegetative state. Unfortunately, you can't use this to your advantage. If you confront him while in the King's Body, he's confused at first, but then (incorrectly) declares you an impostor and attacks.