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Characters / Sword Art Online - Antagonists

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Real world names are in western naming order. Followed by their online name and worlds they played in.note 

This page details the antagonists of each story arc.

Note: Unmarked spoilers ahead. If you're starting the anime, do not read this page!

For characters with their own pages see the following:

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Laughing Coffin


    Nobuyuki Sugou / Oberon the Fairy King 

    Scientist (SPOILERS) 


Voiced by: Yusuke Numata (Japanese), Chris Cason (English), Elliot Leguizamo (Latin American Spanish)

Click here to see his real appearance 

One of two scientists working for Sugou is his brainwashing and mind altering experiments. Click here to see spoilers 

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Of Asuna, expressing envy that Nobuyuki Sugou gets her all to himself and attempting to sexually harass her. He also later becomes one to Quinella, who manipulates him to create the "Seal of the Right Eye" to keep the residents of the Underworld obedient to her Taboo Index.
  • Adaptational Dye-Job: His slug form is gray in the light novel, but purple in the anime.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Apologises to Higa for shooting him, claiming he didn’t mean to hit him.
  • Ascended Extra: He only appears in one scene in the Fairy Dance arc, yet later appears as his real self as an obstacle to reviving Kirito.
  • Avenging the Villain: He intially claims he wants to avenge Sugou. He also tries to prevent Kirito from being saved, due to being bitter over the boy being responsible for Quinella's death.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: He and his fellow researcher take on the form of slug monsters with multiple tentacle appendages. Unlike his partner though, who appears to mainly see their extra arms as more effective tools for their work, he's quick to use the appendages as Naughty Tentacles to harass Asuna when they find her sneaking out.
  • Dirty Coward: He escapes punishment for his role in Sugou's crimes by throwing his coworker under the bus. During the confrontation with Higa, Yanai is the one who's visibly terrified, even though he has a gun and Higa is unarmed.
  • Disney Villain Death: A falling wrench causes him to fall to his death.
  • Drugs Are Bad: His encounter with Asuna implies that he's a user of digital drugs, drugs usable via a VR device that create stimulation in brain activity with varying effects.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: He's heavily Implied to be one of the four scientists who raised the original Fluctlights and imparted self-serving ideals onto them. This makes him responsible for quite possibly every horrible Noble encountered in the Underworld, like Raios and Humbert, Quinella, and Cruiga.
  • Hypocrite: He initially claims to be avenging Sugou in trying to prevent Kirito's revival, though he's Implied the guy who sold him out to begin with.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: After receiving no comeuppance for him harassing Asuna in Fairy Dance, he finally got his comeuppance when he fell to his death.
  • Lack of Empathy: For starters, he shows no regard to any of Sugou's test subjects while experimenting on them.
  • Meaningful Name: His surname has the characters for 8, 7 and 1 in that order. It means he's the source of the program that prevents the Fluctlights from violating the Taboo Index in the Human Empire. Ditto with the "Rule of the Strongest" in the Dark Territory. This proves he was Quinella's ally from the real world.
  • The Mole: He's the spy in Rath, as well as one of Sugou's subordinates.
  • Revenge Before Reason: He probably would have got out alive if he had simply done the following: stayed put, kept his head down, and let Kirito be revived and Alice be extracted by Rath. However, his anger at Kirito for killing Quinella compels him to go with Higa so he can prevent him from reviving Kirito and revealing himself as The Mole. This puts him in a position to be killed by the mercenaries, who are likely to do so to cover up US involvement. It also leads to his death after Rinko figures him out from the lab coat he left behind, heads to their position, and drops a wrench on him. This causes him to fall to his death.
  • Sadist: He clearly enjoys experimenting on Sugou's test subjects.
  • Sanity Slippage: While pretty messed up in Fairy Dance, he is a lot more unstable when he returns in Alicization. It's especially after Quinella dies.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Ohhh boy. He was the spy implanted within Rath. He was the one who probably raised the original generation of Fluctlights who grew into corrupt nobles. He revealed the real world to Quinella. Also, he created the "CODE: 871" a.k.a. the "Seal of the Right Eye" that keeps the Underworld citizens complacent. This makes him responsible for nearly everything Kirito had to go through during the first half of Alicization, and the suffering of other characters (like Eugeo).
  • Villainous Crush: If him sexually harassing Asuna is anything go by. He also gets envious of Sugou having her all to himself and him attempting to sexually assault her.
  • Walking Spoiler: Since he's mostly a background character, it's impossible to discuss him without revealing that he's the spy inside the Ocean Turtle.


Death Gun

    "Death Gun" / Sterben 

"Death Gun" / Sterben

Voiced by: Soichiro Hoshi (Japanese), Ben Diskin (English), Rafael Ordóñez Arrieta (European Spanish), Alfredo Gabriel Basurto (Latin American Spanish)

"Let your fear carve one name into your brains, the name I share with this weapon: Death Gun!"

A mysterious gunman who showed up in Gun Gale Online, rumored to be able to kill someone in real-life from the virtual world. The antagonist of volumes 5-6.

Click here to see spoilers 

  • Arch-Enemy:
    • To Kirito. XaXa had a very personal conflict with Kirito for besting him back in SAO and deeming him too unimportant to find out his name. "Death Gun" is delighted at having another chance to even the score with Kirito, taking delight in the fact that Kirito can't remember his name, and that Kirito is now a shadow of his former self by mockingly referring to him as "Black Swordsman". While on Kirito's side, discovering "Death Gun" was an SAO survivor who he had history with opened a lot of emotional wounds that he had tried to shut out, including the guilt he carried over taking human lives. Kirito becomes hellbent on finding out the identity of Death Gun and putting a stop to him before he can take anymore lives. The fact that they are both SAO survivors who can't let go of their past, just makes Kirito all the more determined to prove he is better.
    • To Sinon. The Kyouji side of him was a Stalker with a Crush for Sinon and created the Death Gun myth through inspiration of the incident that traumatized Sinon, using the same gun she used to kill the bank robber. Sinon is one of Death Gun's key targets, while Sinon herself is determined to prove she isn't weak by overcoming him. It's even more prevalent in Fatal Bullet where Sinon actually has a score to settle with Death Gun, personally entering BoB in a bid to take Death Gun down and prevent the same gun from taking any more lives.
  • Arc Villain: Of the Phantom Bullet arc, with his mysterious murders driving the plot and leading Kirito being called in to investigate him, while also serving as the main threat throughout the arc as he threatens the lives of Sinon and other BoB players.
  • Ax-Crazy: Downplayed. He enjoys killing just as much as any other Laughing Coffin member, but for the most he demonstrates a lot of restraint and a calm collected attitude.
  • Badass Boast: After killing XeXeeD, he introduces himself to the players of GGO.
    Death Gun: This is real power, real strength! Let your fear carve one name into your brains, the name I share with this weapon: Death Gun!
  • Badass Cape: Dons a tattered mantle that comes with a hood, which, in addition to the skull-like helmet, gives him a sinister vibe, akin to a Grim Reaper.
  • Badass Normal: Unlike other villains who were seriously overpowered, Death Gun is simply extremely skilled and very strategic. Yet, he manages to be a serious threat all on his own.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Three people are playing the role. One plays, while the other two break into the homes of either well-known, or powerful players and administers the lethal injections.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Borrows PoH's "It's showtime" as part of a Red Herring to his real identity in order to throw Kirito off.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: He is proud of the fact he is a true red-player, one who kills for the satisfaction and not for survival like Kirito did.
  • Cast as a Mask: To hide the fact that Kyouji was one of the members of Death Gun, while he's in-game he has a completely different voice actor.
  • Catchphrase: "The name I share with this weapon: Death Gun!"
  • Characterization Marches On: When we first meet Death Gun, he comes off as rather loud and passionate, giving a "Reason You Suck" Speech calling XeXeeD a fraud with false strength before killing him and intimidating the scared bar patrons, which makes his calmer demeanour when he encounters Kirito and during the BoB after he kills Pale Rider and nearly kills Sinon rather odd. This is because there are multiple players using the Avatar, with Kyouji being the one to use the Death Gun on XeXeeD, who he resented as the one who instigated the AGI scam, whereas after we only see it used by his brother XaXa, who's not only an older and more experienced Serial Killer, but also has no personal resentment towards Death Gun's victims, solely killing them For the Evulz.
  • Cold Ham: He doesn't shy away from Badass Boasts and reminding Kirito of how he holds all the aces, but due to the Creepy Monotone from his Cool Mask he never raises his voice while hamming it up.
  • Cold Sniper: He uses a L115A3, the British Army designation for the Arctic Warfare Super Magnum sniper rifle. The gun's unique custom integrally suppressed barrel is what gives it its unique "Silent Assassin" moniker. During the BoB tournament, he usually uses it to shoot his targets with stun bullets, but he can also load more standard bullets which he uses against Kirito and Sinon.
  • Collective Identity: There were three perpetrators. Two were Siblings in Crime while the other was added later for their plot during the third Bullet of Bullets. Specifically, Kyouji Shinkawa/Spiegel created "Sterben", and bought the Optic Camo-cloak from a Real Money Trade, and a replacement for his Spiegel avatar, as it was poorly optimized due to XeXeeD's false information.. His older brother Shouichi/"Red-Eyed" XaXa, normally spied on players entering their real-world info in game at the Governors Palace using the Optic Camo Cloak to stay hidden, and administered the poisons on the first two victims, while Kyouji performed the choreographed act of shooting the victims in-game. Johnny Black joined in the crime to murder Garrett and Pale Rider, and Kyouji and XaXa switched roles for the Bullet of Bullets Tournament.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: In contrast with the previous two, Death Gun is not a GMPC and used a code name different to his character name. His goals are also very different, whereas Kayaba was a Visionary Villain who wanted to make a Virtual World real, and Sugou wanted to rule a Virtual World as its God and have Asuna for himself, Death Gun's goal is merely to kill in cold blood and pass judgment on what he considers to be false strength. Thematically he averts the Light Is Not Good motif seen with Heathcliff and Oberon, instead embodying Dark Is Evil to contrast Kirito's Dark Is Not Evil. Finally, Death Gun is the first Big Bad who is roughly on even ground with Kirito in fighting ability, by virtue that he's not a GM with broken admin privileges, as his power comes from skill with a sword, though of course that doesn't matter since the goal isn't to overpower Death Gun, but to find out his identity and stop him from killing Sinon.
  • Contrived Coincidence: His "Death Gun" is the same exact model of gun Shino used to kill a bank robber years ago. She herself is stunned to see this. Subverted later; it's not a coincidence. Death Gun's creator, Kyouji Shinkawa picked it specifically, as a "tribute" to Shino's "True Power". For Shino, it triggers her PTSD.
  • Cool Mask: Wears one that resembles a mechanical skull whose eyes are glowing red, and vents out steam for extra creepy factor. It's design Foreshadows his true identity as XaXa.
  • Cool Sword: An estoc crafted from the armor plating of a starship.
  • Crazy-Prepared: He has decked himself out with lots of high level equipment to account for different scenarios, such as his Invisibility Cloak, his paralysis bullet, his hand crafted estoc, and of course the muscle relaxant poison he uses to carry out his kills.
  • Creepy Monotone: Due to his mask filtering out his voice, it appears almost completely drained of emotion. His icy tone gives a haunting quality to all his lines promising to kill someone.
  • Dark Is Evil: Clad in black clothes and sneaks about in the shadows.
  • Death by Irony: Death Gun's entire shtick is being able to fire a "Phantom Bullet" in-game that will kill players in real-life. Ultimately what is used to defeat him is a Phantom Bullet created by Sinon (one of his targets), using her sniper rifle's prediction line which distracts Death Gun for long enough and allow Kirito to finish him off.
  • Decoy Antagonist: In Fatal Bullet, promotional advertising made it look like Death Gun would be the Big Bad of the game with him even headlining the opening sequence. In reality he is the secondary villain part of a Big Bad Ensemble, only taking center stage during "Kirito Mode" which is the direct Phantom Bullet adaptation, which while important to the plot is ultimately not the main focus of the game.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • To Kirito, for the XaXa side of him. Both of them are SAO survivors who ended up in GGO and both of them wear dark colors. Both of them are Master Swordsman and are still using swords despite being in a gun MMO, symbolic of how both are living in the past that is SAO. However, while Kirito tried shutting the traumatic past out, "Death Gun" embraced it and took pride in being a red player.
    • To Sinon, with both being Cold Snipers and both work in groups to engage in Player Killing. However otherwise they are polar opposites, with Sinon noting her PK Squadron have a degree of honor in fighting on the battlefield, while Death Gun's methods are nothing but cowardly murder. In addition, the Kyouji side to him parallels Sinon in that both of them immersed themselves in Gun Gale Online out of a dissatisfaction in real life and seeking to grow stronger there. The contrast is that Sinon's goal was to use her time spent in GGO to improve her real life self in accordance, while Kyouji outright rejected reality and chose the virtual world as his new existence while his obsession with Sinon is Loving a Shadow.
  • Evil Is Bigger: While this is largely due to Kirito's GGO avatar being shorter, Death Gun typically towers over both him and Sinon.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Whenever he invokes his presence, he ensures that his ham invokes fear in his opponents.
  • Evil Laugh: Has a very creepy sinister chuckle which has a reverb effect.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Sports a deep, sinister, mechanical voice. Especially true with Ben Diskin, where he's known to pull deep voices at times for some of his older characters.
  • Expy: A very obvious one to Darth Vader. Clad in dark clothes, namely a Badass Cape (complete with a hood) and a Cool Mask, "Death Gun" sports a Vader Breath as well as a Creepy Monotone voice, and is related to Kirito by way of having faced him before in Aincrad as part of the Laughing Coffin guild. The fact he faces a boy wielding a Laser Blade drives the Star Wars homage even further.
  • Fair-Play Villain: Kirito believed Death Gun to be this, stating he had his own rules that he followed and he wouldn't try to kill any of his victims in real-life once it was made impossible in-game. This may be true for XaXa, but Kyouji had no problem with killing Sinon even after Death Gun's defeat.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He has nothing but respect and praise for the old Kirito of SAO. Though he seems disgusted by how weak the present day Kirito of GGO has become.
  • Forced to Watch: His Evil Plan is to incapacitate Kirito in battle and then force him to watch as he kills Sinon both in-game and in real-life.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The opening shows three shadows around Kirito, indicating there are three people in total behind his identity. Also, a shot of Kyouji with his hand outstretched gets replaced with Death Gun.
    • Death Gun wears a skull mask and uses an Estoc, much like XaXa did back in SAO.
    • His tournament name, Sterben, means "to die" in German. It is also a medical term used to pronounce the death of a patient in a hospital. His method of killing involves his victim being injected with a lethal dose of drug in the real world the same time they were shot by him in GGO. This indicates that "Death Gun" might be a doctor or someone with knowledge in the field of medicine. Similarly, Spiegel's name is also German, being the word for "Mirror," implying a connection between the two.
  • For the Evulz: One of the reasons "Death Gun" kills. Two of the conspirators were members of Laughing Coffin and wanted to continue the death game that was SAO.
  • Four Is Death: In the end, he kills a total of four players.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Much like Oberon before him, Kirito slices Death Gun in half at the end of their duel.
  • Handguns: Uses a Type 54 "Black Star"note in GGO.
  • Head Bob: As his face is always obscured by his skull mask, his head bobs and tilts about with his speech to convey his emotion. In the climax, Sinon puts a prediction line on him, where he shows his surprise by flinching and his head turning to look down.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: He's a new villain who turns out to be an avatar for Shouichi Shinkawa, aka XaXa.
  • Image Song: One, MAD BULLET"S".
  • Invisibility Cloak: He owns a mantle that has the "Metamaterial Optical Camouflage" ability. He can use it in the city AREA and hide from satellite scans during BoB.
  • I Know Your True Name: Is on both the giving end, and the receiving end of this. He notices Kirito's name in the Qualifiers and demands to know if he's the same one from SAO, or a fake using his name. Part of the plot during the actual tournament itself is when Kirito realizes that Death Gun's character is not actually named Death Gun, forcing him to figure out what his real character name is. It's also an important plot point, when Kirito figures out it's a member of Laughing Coffin, and tries to recall who he is, as so the criminal can then be arrested. He pieces together the clues via Death Gun's mask, melee weapon, and fighting style, identifying him as Red-Eyed XaXa on International internet streams watching the events of the tournament, shocking XaXa and breaking his concentration.
  • Improvised Weapon: Uses a crudely-made Estoc.
  • Knight of Cerebus: While he's not the first Sword Art Online villain to be a complete creep with no redeeming qualities, unlike his predecessors he invokes fear in the characters and audience alike. He's also a constant threat that Kirito must fight against and escape from, rather than a villain who waits around to be found. Season 2 is a great deal more Darker and Edgier because of him.
  • Leitmotif: Has an ominous theme that accompanies his presence.
  • Machine Monotone: In the English dub, Death Gun speaks in a mechanically-distorted Creepy Monotone. In the Japanese Dub, when Kirito engages him in a final duel, his voice changes from the deep-sounding adult male voice, into one sounding late teen/young adult male voice, further revealing his true identity. Specifically, its XaXa's voice, just being filtered due to the mask, and using a voice changing filter to disguise his identity beforehand.
  • Mood-Swinger: At the start of the arc, Death Gun goes on a rant to the TV screen of XeXeeD about high level players being cheaters but is more calm and sinister in the Bullet of Bullets tournament. Of course, it turns out to be foreshadowing to him being a Collective Identity.
  • Moral Myopia: He believes weakness is a crime. He passes judgement on a player's strength and if he deems them to be too weak or having false strength, then they must die. On the other hand, he doesn’t seem to think of having his brother and old partner poison people on his behalf, while they’re helpless no less, as "false strength".
  • The Musketeer: His signature weapons are his eponymous "Death Gun", and a crudely built estoc made from warship armor plating, neither of which he uses at the same time, only using the latter against Kirito. Justified since the pistol can only be used on players who his IRL accomplices can enter the homes of and poison, meaning that using it on anyone who doesn't meet these requirements and therefore wouldn't be killed would break the illusion.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: As if his moniker as the "Death Gun" wasn't representative enough of the murders he started committing in GGO, his BoB tournament entry name, "Sterben", is the German verb for "To die".
  • Nonindicative Name: His estoc is officially considered a knife in Gun Gale Online, even though it's clearly long enough to be classified as a sword.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Several characters have had trouble pronouncing Death Gun's player name, Sterbern. Both Sinon and Kirito pronounced it as "Stee-burn", while Asuna thought it was a misspelled "Steven".
  • Nothing Is Scarier: We know so little about him when he's introduced. Who is he? How does he kill players in real-life? How does he remain undetected throughout the game? When these answers slowly get revealed he becomes less threatening.
  • Oh, Crap!: He's got Kirito on the ropes with an improvised estoc... then Kirito realizes he's Red-Eyed XaXa, and the Prediction Line from Sinon's Hecate appears on his center mass. His mask stops us from seeing his expression, but he promptly triggers his cloak's Metamaterial Optical Camouflage, so it's safe to assume this trope.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: "Death Gun" is the moniker he goes by and announces to the game. This is part of his cover, as player names are not displayed except as part of Satellite Scans, tournament standings, and when one has formed a Squad with others, as part of their HUD. His character name is actually "Sterben".
  • Precision F-Strike: The otherwise collected and impersonal Death Gun calls Kirito's initial attack on him "half-assed" in the English dub.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: His helm features red eyes that glow and sometimes flash, Foreshadowing his true identity as Red-Eyed XaXa.
  • Red Herring: Although he reveals himself as being a Laughing Coffin member, he starts throwing multiple false clues common of other LC members. One of which is saying PoH's trademark line of "It's show time."
  • Revenge: Another reason why "Death Gun" kills. Two of the perpetrators are former Laughing Coffin members, and they are elated when they get the chance to torment Kirito in Gun Gale Online. The third blamed the high level players for recommending a character build that eventually got nerfed, leaving him unable to compete in the BoB tournament for his subscription fee.
  • Rich Kids: Shouichi/XaXa paid a lot of money to kit out Sterben with the sniper rifle and optic camo cloak via the Real Money Trade system in GGO. The cloak alone has an estimated value of 300,000 Yennote , and rare sniper rifles go for quite a lot. Shouichi is said to have a monthly allowance, of 500,000 yen, and the Shinkawa brothers parents are doctors.
  • Serial Killer: The Gun Gale Online arc has Kirito investigate on this enigmatic character who is rumored to be able to kill players both in the game and in the real world. Two known victims were among GGO's top players.
  • Siblings in Crime: The original two members of the team. The eldest was a former SAO player who was part of the red guild "Laughing Coffin"; he was the one who collected info on where their targets lived, was the one who injected XeXeeD and Usujio Tarako with Succinycholine in the real world, and is the one who shot the avatars of Pale Rider and Garret in GGO during BoB. The youngest was the one who shot the avatars of XeXeeD and Usujio Tarako in GGO, and during BoB he was meant to break into Shino's home and inject her with a dose of Succinylcholine with a needless syringe. Both were children of a doctor and had access to the funds and equipment needed to pull it off.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: During his final duel with Kirito, he uses a player-made Estoc. Because of the limitations of GGO's Gun/Sword Creation skill, his weapon is statistically weaker than Kirito's; however, it's much better suited to XaXa's fighting style than a Photon Sword is to Kirito's, giving him an edge.
  • Sinister Shiv: His estoc is essentially this, being a strip of starship metal that he fashioned into a sword (or, according to Gun Gale Online, a long dagger).
  • Sliding Scale of Villain Threat: Death Gun actually averts this in terms of threat level, being far less powerful than his predecessors since he's not a GM with admin privileges. In battle he's mostly evenly matched with Kirito, with his power coming from his skill and the equipment that he bought. However he makes up what he lacks in raw power by being genuinely terrifying compared to his predecessors, and has the edge in that the heroes don't know how he operates so still making him quite efficient.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: By virtue of having an Invisibility Cloak, he can quickly appear and disappear at will.
  • Strong and Skilled: Like Kirito he has the swordsmanship skills from his times in SAO, but overall he's equipped with much better gear due to Shouichi paying an extensive amount of money to fit him with the best, as well as making a crudely-built estoc, which is much more suited to his style than Kirito's Photon Sword.
  • Tattooed Crook: Amidst the bandages on his right arm, a small tattoo can be made out. It's the same mark as the members of Laughing Coffin, and Kirito subsequently has a Heroic BSoD when he sees it.
  • Tom the Dark Lord: Subverted. Due to a lack of fluency in English, Sinon and Kirito initially assume that his username is pronounced "Steven", which is a fairly average English name. However, it's later revealed that it's pronounced "Sterben", which is a German phrase used in Hospitals meaning "to die".
  • Troll: For a large portion of the arc, Death Gun would taunt Kirito on not being able to remember his name, guilting Kirito into thinking he had forgotten. In reality Kirito didn't forget at all, it was just that Death Gun never directly told his real name. However, Kirito was indirectly told his name during a briefing and is able to finally remember Death Gun's name as "Red-Eyed XaXa" from his red eyes.
  • Vader Breath: When talking, a distinctive wheeze can be sporadically heard around "Death Gun". In fact he sometimes blows out steam from his visor.
  • Walking Spoiler: The character known as "Death Gun" is actually an entity created by three people, two of which are SAO survivors of the Player Killing variety, to carry out murders both in GGO and the real-life near-simultaneously, making its importance to the overall series' story that much more vital.
  • Wolverine Publicity: One of the most popular villains of Sword Art Online. Trailers for Fatal Bullet made sure to show him off, even though he's not that prominent in the actual game.

Axiom Church Leadership


    Prime Senator Chudelkin 

Prime Senator Chudelkin

Voiced by: Wataru Takagi (Japanese), Frank Todaro (English), Roberto Gutiérrez (Latin American Spanish)

Leader of the Senators, a group dedicated to enforcing the Taboo Index.

  • Acrofatic: Despite appearances, his main mode of transportation is to Be the Ball and he proves to be surprisingly nimble, constantly dancing and prancing about and is even able to do a headstand. Possibly Subverted when it turns out he's literally full of hot air.
  • Ambiguously Human: Given his drastically different Non-Standard Character Design, it really makes one wonder what his species is.
  • Bad Boss: Chudelkin is notorious for abusing the Integrity Knights; he rudely dismisses all of their concerns about the possibility of invasion by the Dark Territory, he insults them over the most trivial things, and is all too willing to Deep Freeze them if they displease him. This is despite the fact their existence alone is what prevents the Dark Territory from launching a full-scale invasion.
  • Berserk Button: Don't even think about calling him a lump of meat if you don't want your head torn off.
  • Be the Ball: His primary form of transport is to curl into a ball and bounce about the place.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: He looks like a clown and seems relatively silly. But he's a sadistic individual who's highly skilled with Sacred Arts, and so should not be underestimated.
  • Dirty Old Monk: While his exact age is never specified, though he's Implied to have been bossing Bercouli around for a while, Chudelkin, as the Prime Senator, is technically a member of the Axiom Church's clergy, yet he's an obsessive Stalker with a Crush towards Quinella, even requesting that he get a night with free access to her body in exchange for killing the Rulid Trio, and one of the Skits during "Overflowing Eternal Affection" Scout hints that he at least once entered the Great Baths during the girls times while Eydis was using her privacy to mock him.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: He threatens to turn Eugeo into a horse the next time he fails to address Chudelkin with the "Kakka" honorific (roughly equivalent to "Your Excellency") after his "Prime Senator" title.
  • The Dragon: He’s the second-in-command to Quinella, and unlike the Integrity Knights, he is straight out evil and delights in committing atrocities for her.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": He only ever refers to Integrity Knights by their numbers rather than their names.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Has a very deep gravelly voice and is likely the most evil being in the Axion Church save for Quinella herself. The dub makes his voice deeper yet to the point it resembles The Joker.
  • Eye Scream: While casting his most powerful Sacred Art that conjures a giant fire genie, he burns his own eyes out.
  • Evil Is Petty: When he's briefly brought Back from the Dead in Unleash Blading's second anniversary event, he forms an alliance with Sugou and Gabriel to crash Eydis' party since he wasn't invited.
  • Fat Bastard: A pudgy fat man dressed like a clown who constantly mocks everyone around him.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He speaks with a formal and polite tone, yet has no issue with addressing others condescendingly.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Less friend and more acquaintance. While he is on the same side as the Integrity Knights and technically their boss, none of them like him given he treats them like trash. Bercouli in fact outright despises him and when given the chance doesn’t shy away from directly insulting him.
  • Giggling Villain: He lets off a laugh of "Hoh-hoh-hoh!"
  • Glass Cannon: He is one of the most powerful Sacred Users of all time (and possibly the best other than Quinella and Cardinal). However he had nothing in the way of physical combat, and goes down very easily if he takes damage.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: He is obsessed with Quinella and becomes aggressively jealous if she so much as even gives attention to anyone else.
  • Gonk: He's a short, pudgy man with heavy makeup who doesn't look much like anyone on the Integrity Knights' side.
  • Hated by All: It soon becomes clear there is absolutely no one, hero or villain, that likes Chudelkin. The Integrity Knights all range from not caring about him to outright despising him. Even Quinella feigns politeness around him and is all too eager to cast him aside like trash when he’s outlived his usefulness. In reality, she's also repulsed by him.
  • Insistent Terminology: Always chastises anyone who doesn't refer to him by "Prime Senator".
  • Irony: He, Quinella's most fervent follower, is the one who kills her in the end.
  • Jerkass at Your Discretion: He's a very rude and abusive Bad Boss who torments anyone in sight... until Quinella appears where he suddenly piles on praise and polite language. The most direspectful he ever gets is asking if she'll sleep with him if he disposes of Kirito, Eugeo and Alice, and even then he phrases it like a humble request.
  • Kevlard: Inverted; while he's pudgy, he can take little punishment.
  • Kick the Dog: He gleefully recounts how poorly Alice was treated, and how she despaired once her hopes of being able to return home were dashed before she ended up becoming an Integrity Knight, particularly how she begged not to forget the people who were most important to her.
  • Light Is Not Good: Wears some white, and is a sadistic Psychopathic Manchild.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Manipulated the Integrity Knights into fighting Kirito and Eugeo by putting them under the belief that they were invaders from Dark Territory.
  • Mister Big: As the Prime Senator, he's the highest authority in the Central Cathedral save for Quinella herself. Yet he's diminutive and barely taller than a child. Also worth noting is he is a contender for the most powerful Sacred Arts user in the Human Empire, barring Quinella.
  • Monster Clown: He dresses more like a jester than a clown, but otherwise he still gives off these vibes, and unlike the Integrity Knights he's unconditionally evil. Some of the characters even derogatorily refer to him as a clown.
  • The Napoleon: Chudelkin is a short, arrogant man.
  • No Indoor Voice: He yells at the top of voice for often no reason at times, to anyone other than Quinella.
  • Not Quite Dead: It looked as though he had already met his end at the hands of Kirito, with Quinella even casting his lifeless body aside. But we later see he wasn't quite finished yet, and he uses presumably the last of his Durability to launch himself at Quinella's body to finally touch and be with her, much to her horror, whereby he burns the both of them out.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: Everything about him, all the way down to his clashing colors and the 8-bit sound effects, looks nothing like a Sword Art Online character and more like he belongs in a completely different franchise.
  • Not Brainwashed: Alice speculates that Chudelkin may be a victim of Quinella just like the Integrity Knights. Whether or not this is true, what's made clear is Chudelkin had full knowledge of what Quinella was really doing and not only supported her but actively partook in the immoral activities himself.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: He may be small, but he's a very powerful Scared Arts user.
  • Playing with Fire: His most powerful Sacred Art involves summoning a gigantic fire genie.
  • The Power of Lust: He's generally spends the arc as a Dirty Coward, but he's immediately motivated to fight when Quinella offers him a night with access to her body if he kills the Rulid Trio, even summoning a giant, fiery version of himself.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: He's clearly an adult, but acts extremely immature; he throwing tantrums over the most trivial of things, dresses like a clown, and he giggles at the silliest of stuff. His private quarters is brightly colored room full of children's toys, like a child's bedroom. "Fearless Resistance" even shows him angrily bouncing up and down in response to Quinella requesting a late-night meeting with Bercouli so he can give his mission reports. However he is also Ax-Crazy and enjoys torture or ordering the execution of others.
  • Sadist: He enjoys executions and torture.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: In Rising Steel, while he seems to have beef with every Knight, he and Eydis simply cannot stand each other, with him always getting upset at her blatant lack of respect for him and laid back attitude.
  • Slimeball: He rivals Sugou as the most detestable character in the whole series. Aside from the fact he's an evil Monster Clown, he's also smarmy, manipulative, and betrays his own allies without a second thought after coming upon someone more useful. In stark contrast to Quinella who is seductively Faux Affably Evil, he's downright abusive and condescending to the Integrity Knights and outright calls them puppets to do his bidding. He's a Dirty Coward who flees the second he's in danger and will not hesitate to reducing himself to grovelling. He also reveals he's just as sickly perverted as any of the other SAO villains before him (if not worse), lusting for Quinella and requesting he spend a night with access to her body if he were to dispose of the rebels.
  • Smoke Out: It turns out his "fat" might actually be a large amount of smoke he has in his clothes, as shown when Alice impales him, causing it all to burst out and cover his escape.
  • Smug Snake: Chudelkin is this in regards to the Dark Territory; he dismisses all the Knight's concerns about possible invasion. In Rising Steel, he even berates Eydis when she doesn't kill a group of them she finds doing something suspicious, instead opting to play it safe and report back to Bercouli, which many agree is the smarter option.
  • Squishy Wizard: He's not much of a physical fighter, but he's incredibly skilled with Sacred Arts which are so destructive he can easily be a One-Man Army in his own right.
  • Taking You with Me: He hugs Quinella while he's on fire, immolating her before she can escape to the real world via a console.
  • Villains Want Mercy: As soon as things go south, he's reduced to a blubbering wreck who begs for his life.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: A rare villainous example. Typically he derogatorily refers to the Integrity Knights via their numerical designations. When Alice defects and holds him at sword point, with his life on the line he finally refers to her as "Alice" to try and appease her.
  • You Have Failed Me: He plans on reprocessing the Integrity Knights (or at least Bercouli and Fanatio) after seeing Bercouli fail to defeat Eugeo.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Quinella has no qualms with tossing aside Chudelkin's lifeless corpse after Kirito offs him.

Glowgen Defense Systems

    In General 

A US-based company that was hired by the National Security Agency to assault the Ocean Turtle to obtain the Soul Translator technology secretly developed there.

  • Anime Accent Absence: They are supposed to be Americans, but speak perfect Japanese.
  • Army of Thieves and Whores: They're all comprised of criminals. Captain Dario Ziliani remarks that (with the exception of Gabriel Miller), none of the Glowgen operatives had any sense of discipline.
  • Eagleland: Given that they're the antagonists in Alicization, it's the boorish variety. They're also Americans.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Villain example. The three main faces of the group could be seen to have this dynamic.
    • Gabriel is the Fighter, being the Physical God who relies on aggressive We Have Reserves tactics against the Human Army. He also is powerful enough to be a match for several heavy-hitters like Bercouli, Sinon (who's logged in as Solus), and a recently revived and empowered Kirito.
    • PoH is the Thief, being a Professional Killer who can sneak into the human encampment and kill several guards. He also later ambushes the Human Army and ALO players with his army of Chinese and Koreans.
    • Critter is the Mage, being The Cracker who hacks into the Ocean Turtle's system to log Gabriel and Vassago in. He even recruits and logs in foreign players to serve as Gabriel and Vassago's reinforcements.
  • Gratuitous English: They slip a lot of English words into their dialogue as a way of showing they are not Japanese.
  • He Knows Too Much: After the mission ends, Critter suspects the surviving team members are likely to be detained or even killed due to the American Government not wanting it to leak that they violated their treaty with Japan and led an attack on one of their facilities. Because this could cause an international incident, he stole a data-chip before they left the Ocean Turtle; he was hoping to use it to bargain for his life.
  • Post-Final Boss: After the defeat and (seemingly for the latter) deaths of Gabriel and Vassago, the remaining mercenaries declare the mission a failure and attempt to blow up the Ocean Turtle before leaving. Though, one of them stays behind in hopes of avenging his partner. It takes the combined efforts of Kayaba in a robot body and Kikuoka to prevent the bomb from going off.
  • Private Military Contractors: They operate in this way. It's a case of Truth in Television, as the GDS HQ is located in San Diego. In Real Life, there's a heavy presence of both the U.S. Navy's Point Loma base and U.S. Marine Corps Camp Pendleton in San Diego County. It means there are innumerable corporations note  in the region with major Department of Defense contracts.
  • Professional Killer: All of Glowgen's operatives specialize in assasinating people.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Vassago is the impulsive and hotheaded red to Gabriel's calmer and logical blue.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: As experienced in assasination the operatives are, as Vassago himself remarks, they are no match for soldiers with formal training like the JSDF.

    Gabriel Miller / Subtilizer / Vector 

Gabriel Miller / Subtilizer (GGO, UW) / Vector (UW)

Voiced by: Akira Ishida (Japanese), Rie Kugimiya (Japanese, young), Ted Sroka (English, Alicization), Greg Chun (English, War of Underworld), Amanda Céline Miller (English, young), Sergio Gutiérrez Coto (Latin American Spanish)
Click here to see Vector 
Click here to see the True Gabriel Miller 

"Your soul will be so sweet."

Chief Technological Officer of "Glowgen Defense Systems" and son of the founder and former CTO. During the events of the Alicization arc, he leads a 12-men team of operators, at the request of the National Security Agency, on an assault of the Ocean Turtle.

  • 0% Approval Rating: Despite his status as the strongest being there, which dictates that they follow him unquestionably, none of the Dark Territory members seem to actually like him or are genuinely loyal to him. Shasta and Lipia die trying to kill him, Fu Za stopped Shasta out of a personal grude as opposed to loyalty, Dee Eye Ell has plans to usurp his authority, Kosogi thinks he's being manipulated by Dee Eye Ell and uses Loophole Abuse in regards to his orders, Lilpilin is angered when he orders 3,000 of his people dead for a spell, and Iskahn is disgusted by his We Have Reserves mentality enough to betray him himself and even before that he was rooting for Shasta when he made an attempt on his life. In addition, Vassago, his right hand, proves to be even more insane than he is. As when he threatens Kirito that he'll torture and kill everyone in Underworld, he includes Gabriel and his own armies in them.
  • Achievement In Ignorance: He has no idea how he managed to consume Lipia's FluctLight, but he doesn't care and is delighted nonetheless.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Downplayed. The Light Novel depicts him as somewhat Unskilled, but Strong, due to lacking much skill in swordsmanship but compensating for that with the Vecta account's stats and Power of the Void, something which is Lampshaded by Bercouli during their duel. In the Anime however, he's depicted as being much more skilled with the Vecta account's sword and Bercouli's observation on his lack of swordsmanship prowess is adapted out.
    • Weird Zig Zag, with two scenes swapping his reactions to certain events. When he presented Lipia's head to lure out the treasonous general, he actually displayed concerned when Shasta attempted to kill him and turned into a murderous tornado, trying to strategize a way out before determining there is none. Later on in his fight with Bercouli, he's noted to have a completely expressionless face when Bercouli finally kills him with the Uragiri, dying with nary a sound. In the anime, his reactions to both of these are swapped, with him keeping a straight in the face of Shasta's charge yet displaying surprise and even howling in pain when killed by the Uragiri.
  • Adaptational Villainy: As much of a bastard he is in the lightnovels, he actually manages to be worse in the anime, having a penchant for rape that was never present in the lightnovels.
  • An Arm and a Leg: During their fight, Sinon's final attack destroys his arm in addition to the XM500 he generated. He temporarily replaces it with one made of pure energy for his final duel with Kirito.
  • Animal Motifs:
    • In his introductory chapter, Dario Giulani, the captain of the USS Jimmy Carter, the sub that would transport Gabriel's forces right before the Ocean Turtle raid, describes him as having hollow eyes that "devoured all light like a bottomless pit" like the great white shark that he encountered while he was swimming in Miami. Considering the type of person Gabriel is, this is fitting.
    • He also has a minor link with insects; his interest in the soul was born out of curiosity over his father's insect collection and a insect's strange ability to survive things like getting their heads bitten off, wondering where their souls could be. The first opening for War of Underworld also shows him at a desk with a frame of frozen butterflies behind him.
  • Anime Accent Absence: Despite being an American, his Japanese is perfect. In fact it is his Gratuitous English which has a Japanese accent.
  • The Anti-God: As the Dark God Vecta, he is this to Goddess of Creation Stacia. In the mythology of Underworld, Vecta was the one god who was not created by Stacia, being a sentience who was birthed from the darkness itself and opposed Stacia, envying her power. He also became the reason why humans die, as he steals their lives over time, effectively making him The Grim Reaper, but his origins also make him effectively Satan.
  • Arch Angel Gabriel: Named Gabriel and has a backstory and personality painting him as a Satanic Archetype, making him a Fallen Angel so to speak. He even takes on an angelic form when he goes One-Winged Angel, termed his "Angel of Death" form where he gains a dark shadowy form with six wings and a halo.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • To Alice. The man dedicates himself to capturing Alice's soul and having it for himself while being at the forefront of the Dark Territory's attack on the Human Empire, which Alice fought so hard to protect. It becomes very personal for Alice when he kills Bercouli, the closest thing Alice had to a father.
    • To Sinon. Ever since he delivered a Curb-Stomp Battle and brutally killed her in the 4th BoB, Sinon has been haunted by dreams of him. Defeating Subtilizer becomes almost as big of a priority to her as defeating Death Gun. Likewise, Gabriel sees Sinon as worthy prey and too desires her soul for his taking.
    • Interestingly, this is averted with Kirito. The two never develop this sort of relationship due to how late Kirito was in participating in the war. The two of them do not even know each other when they finally meet face-to-face, and have never gained any personal hatred towards one another. To Kirito, Gabriel is merely the threat that needs to be stopped, while Gabriel views Kirito as just another insect for him to squash. This makes him one of the few Big Bads who does not develop this dynamic with Kirito.
  • Artificial Limbs: After Sinon blows off his right arm (along with his rifle), he temporarily replaces it with one made of dark, multicolored- energy, although it doesn't always stay solid, often morphing into a lash of sorts.
  • Ax-Crazy: Hands down the biggest example in the series. Hands down. Not even the Laughing Coffin, an organization dedicated to Player Killing, at their most terrifying reaches to his level of derangement. To put it into perspective, whilst Vassago's kills number in the triple-digits, the vast majority of them were done in SAO. Gabriel had already committed his first murder when he was still a child, and it only progressed from there, such as "experimenting" on as much as more than 100 people in real life to satisfy his curiosity of the human soul.
  • Badass Boast: Makes one during his fight with Kirito.
  • Badass in Charge: Of both Glowgen Defense Systems and The Dark Territory. Gabriel is hands down the most powwerful villain in the entireshow and goes almost unchallenged until he faces Kirito.
  • Bad Boss: He has little regard for the lives of his forces and will do anything to get what he wants, including killing anyone who questions him both in UW and in the real world. When Gabriel leaves the Dark Territory forces at the mercy of the American players he invited, they pull an Enemy Mine with the Human Empire.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: His childhood experiments on insects.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: Admittedly, one of the most impressive examples in fiction. When Bercouli tries attacking him with the suspended slash generated from his initial strike like he did with Eugeo in their duel, Gabriel is able to sense it and slam his hands together to stop it and absorb its Incarnation, the only damage being to the Vecta account's crown.
  • Battle Cry: During his fight with Kirito, he's eventually reduced to screaming "NULL!" as a reflection of his empty nature.
  • Big Bad: After Quinella is defeated, he takes over this role for Alicization.
  • Black Eyes of Crazy: When he's using Incarnation, the whites in his eyes turn a pitch black, which, combined with his natural Icy Blue Eyes, makes him go from looking intimidating to outright demonic.
  • Break the Haughty: After spending the entire Arc as an Invincible Villain who causes the death of thousands of Artificial Fluctlights for his own ends, even personally killing Bercouli, his response to being Dragged Off to Hell by his previous victims is to drop his generally emotionless visage and scream in terror, begging for his forces to save him from his fate.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Even after Bercouli pulls a Heroic Sacrifice takes out his Vecta Avatar, he's still a massive threat even when using the comparatively weaker Subtiliser Avatar due to his powerful Incarnation.
  • The Caligula: As the Dark God, Emperor Vecta, Gabriel is an atrocious Bad Boss who, instead of relying on his IRL mercenary leader experience, seems content with just sending waves of his troops at the enemy out of the arrogant belief that the human army will be overwhelmed easily, and he has no qualms with having Dee Eye Ell sacrifice 3,000 Orcs to power a Death Worm Curse and using his remaining forces as bait for the Human Army and the American Players Critter summons to capture Alice in the commotion.
  • Call-Forward: He shows up in Fatal Bullet, being revealed to be the mastermind behind Lievre's Evil Plan. He teases the Alicization arc, where he mentions that the entire incident was to collect data on noteworthy players and that the "rabbit" would light the way to Wonderland before promising Alice he'd see her again.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Invoked. When he logs in as Vecta, he hypes up the Dark Territory forces and rallies them behind him with a speech about how he'll lead them in laying waste to the Human Empire, killing everyone there and plundering it for all it's worth. Though seeing as he later describes himself as something akin to a Grim Reaper during his fight with Kirito, he probably plays this straight as well.
    "Blood and terror. Flames and destruction. Death and screams."
  • Challenge Seeker: Implied. For both the 1st and 4th BoBs, he entered with some form of handicap that should realistically put him at a disadvantage, entering the former armed with only a pistol and knife, and the latter completely unarmed and instead stealing weapons from the other participants via his Army Combatant ability. These, however, do nothing to stop him from curb-stomping the competition.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Before blowing themselves up, Sinon told Kirito of the outcome of the first Bullet of Bullets tournament where it ended in a tie because the person who should have won got caught off guard. This is further explained under Taking You with Me.
  • The Chessmaster: As Vecta, he is quick to take advantage of the Dark Territory's conditioning to follow the "Rule of the strongest" for his own ends, using them all as cannon fodder to overwhelm the Human Army and use them as bait so he can capture Alice just as he has his IRL allies summon American Players to hold them off from pursuing him.
  • Cold Sniper: During his fight with Sinon, he responds to her turning Solus' bow into her PGM Hecate by turning his crossbow into a XM 500 Anti-Material rifle.
  • Combat Tentacles: He can manifest shadowy tentacles for battle.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: To Quinella. Both are the main villains of the Alicization arc and both are physical gods. But while Quinella was a tyrannical ruler of Underworld, Gabriel seeks to invade Underworld and become it’s new ruler. And while Quinella is one of Kirito’s archenemies and isn’t an obvious Evil Counterpart, Gabriel is Just another Evil Counterpart to Kirito and isn’t one of Kirito’s most personal foes.
  • Cool Sword:
    • His sword as Dark God Vecta looks especially impressive, being a One-Handed Zweihänder with a cross-guard in the shape of a cross in with a ring around it and a blue jewel imbedded in the pomel. It's also powerful enough to match Bercouli's Time-Splitting Sword.
    • When he logs back into the Underworld as Subtilizer, his combat knife is converted into a large sword, called the Nihlism Blade in Rising Steel, that he uses against Kirito.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Even more so than Sugou. Gabriel's willing to kidnap and murder innocent people if it means finding about the nature of the soul.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Any battle involving him is bound to go in his favor. Case in point, in the first BoB tournament, he won bringing only a knife and a handgun with him, whilst in the fourth, he won bringing nothing with him, instead stealing weapons from his opponents.The only people who were able to stand up to him were Bercouli and Kirito. Justified in GGO as he's an experienced soldier in real life and thus can apply real life tactics from the battlefield into the game.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: He was living a very comfortable life with his wealth and would have had a lot of monetary gain from completing the mission to the NSA to deliver Alice, but he's more interested in capturing her for himself and enjoying her soul, as well as creating his own world using the stolen STL tech where he's basically god.
  • Dark Is Evil: In contrast to Kirito's Dark Is Not Evil. He plays this more straight than any other villain, being Vecta the darkness based God of Evil, as well as having the Power of the Void.
  • Death by Irony: Gabriel is left for dead by an Invincible Hero and ends up being Dragged Off to Hell by the souls of the dead, with the person he killed in his younger years mocking him. Made doubly ironic in that the latter part is the first time he's ever been afraid, a feeling he's always enjoyed inspiring in others.
  • Die Laughing: He's arrogantly laughing as Kirito finishes him off, not considering the possibility that Kirito could actually beat him. He only stops after realizing he's having an out-of-body experience and is about to be Dragged Off to Hell.
  • Dirty Coward: For all of his bragging about being an Invincible Villain or stealing souls, he screams and begs for his forces to save him when he gets Dragged Off to Hell.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: His fate after being defeated.
  • Dragon Rider: He rides a dragon when he captures Alice. Fortunately, Bercouli manages to catch up and shoot the dragon down.
  • The Dreaded:
    • As Vecta, all of the residents of the Underworld are terrified of him, even the Dark Territory. Kirito himself is unnerved by him when they finally meet.
    • As Subtilizer, he is feared throughout GGO, especially Sinon who has been haunted by him.
  • Earlybird Cameo:
    • He was alluded to in the Phantom Bullet arc as the co-winner of the first BoB.
    • He makes his first voiced appearance in the game-verse entry Fatal Bullet, as part of its Collapse of Balance DLC.
    • The anime features him in Episode 1 of Alicization, as leader of the squadron in GGO fighting against Sinon and the rest of the SAO gang. This is a whole two cours before he's scheduled to properly appear.
  • Eagleland: The Boorish variety, and taken to the extreme.
  • Enfante Terrible: Even when he was a child, him murdering his fiancée and experimenting on animals to satisfy his curiosity on the nature of a soul clearly paints that he's been pure evil since his youth.
  • Ephebophile: Alice is one thing, but his partial obsession with Sinon is arguably creepier seeing as, while he's a 28 year old man, she's only 16 around the time they first met, something he suspected when he killed her in the BoB, yet he still tries to forcibly kiss her to "steal her soul" when they meet in the Underworld.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • To Eugeo. Both are blonde boys who lost their Childhood Friends when they were young and their lives were dictated by said loss from then on. However, while Eugeo was a poor Wood Cutter who truly cared for Alice and desired to save her, Gabriel was from a wealthy family and not only never truly cared for Alicia, just her soul, but he's also the one who killed her to begin with, with the belief that he saw her soul after he did turning him into a Mad Scientist Serial Killer who would kidnap people and experiment on them in hopes that he could experience what he did that day. Even their respective deaths mirror each other with them being Together in Death with said Childhood Friends, only Eugeo departs peacefully with Alice while Gabriel is Dragged Off to Hell by Alicia and the other people he's killed.
    • To Asuna as Stacia. Both of them dived into the Underworld as Physical Gods using Super Accounts, with the Dark God Vecta being built up as an Anti-God to Stacia. They have opposing goals of Asuna wanting to protect Alice and Gabriel wanting to capture her. However the biggest contrast is, Asuna's use of the Stacia account's godly abilities that allows her to turn the tides in the favor of the Human Empire, while Gabriel as Vecta is mostly an Orcus on His Throne with the usefulness of the account mostly just his ability to command the Dark Territory, with most of his fighting done with his Subtilizer account.
    • To Bercouli. Both are the Badass in Charge of the Human Realm and Dark Territory respectively, both are god-like compared to most other folk, both assumed command of their forces very recently, and both make it their top priority to keep Alice out of the hands of the others. However, while Bercouli is a Frontline General who puts his own life at risk, Gabriel for a large part of the war was an Orcus on His Throne who left the fighting to his expendable army and doesn't get involved himself until Alice is in his grasp. While Bercouli is still very much human, Gabriel is a true Physical God thanks to his Vecta Super Account, with their fight being an extreme mismatch. While Bercouli was put in charge due to the death of Quinella, Gabriel abruptly showed up in the Underworld and stole command for himself while killing Shasta the Dark Knight Commander. Bercouli sees himself as a father figure to Alice and is willing to give his life to keep her safe and wants to reduce as much lives lost as possible, Gabriel only values Alice for the tasty soul which he wishes to indulge in and sends thousands upon thousands to their deaths to achieve his petty goal.
    • To Sinon. Both of them are The Ace in GGO and potential winners of the BoB as well as Cold Snipers, both lead unorthodox platoons, and both end up logging into the Underworld using Super Accounts to become Physical Gods. But of course, Sinon is fighting for the force of good and defending the Human Empire, while it is Gabriel who is undermining their efforts by bringing in foreign players as reinforcements. The two even Incarnate in their GGO guns and proceed to have a Sniper Duel to further invoke this parallel.
    • To Kirito, once he finally returns. Both end up being Physical Gods in the Underworld, not due to super accounts, but from their unparalleled Incarnations. Both have dark motifs, with Gabriel being Dark Is Evil to contrast Kirito's Dark Is Not Evil. While Gabriel plays up the Satanic Archetype, Kirito is placed as the Messianic Archetype who the people put their faith in to defeat Gabriel. Both of them end up losing an arm, but while Kirito Incarnates his arm back, Gabriel replaces it with a shadowy Artificial Limb. During their fight, while Kirito manifests Spriggan wings like for himself, Gabriel opts for bat-like wings. Finally, both took on alternate forms in the Final Battle, with Kirito Incarnating his Black Swordsman outfit while Gabriel goes One-Winged Angel and transforms into a shadowy Humanoid Abomination vaguely resembling an angel.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Even after seeing the powers of love and friendship on full display, he still sees people only as resources for him.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Being a mercenary, Gabriel is large and solidly built, and this translates to when he logs in as Vecta, as Underworld Avatars share the real world aspects of their users. Justified since he's an American, who would be taller than your average Japanese man.
  • Evil Overlord: As Vecta in Underworld.
  • Evil Plan: Capture Alice and the Soul Translator technology, go into hiding in his Australian house, create his own VR world for him to rule as God, and kidnap and murder several people to trap in there as his "subjects" who he can abuse and torment as he pleases. Oh, and destroy the Underworld for good measure.
  • Evil Tastes Good: Whenever he discusses souls, he tends to describe them as if they were food and even tends to use dining-related metaphors, such as him telling Sinon "Your Soul Will Be So Sweet" and comparing Bercouli's soul to a vintage wine during their duel.
  • Eviler than Thou: As monstrous as Quinella was, Gabriel manages to be far far worse. It's to the point that what appears to Quinella's ghost appears to support Kirito when he confronts him.
  • Faux Affably Evil: During his meeting with the NSA, Gabriel seems to have a fairly normal, if businesslike, attitude, and Dario Giuliani remarks that Gabriel was well-behaved compared to his men on the Jimmy Carter. Anyone else who has encountered him knows that he's, in reality, a batshit insane, bloodthirsty, megalomaniacal sociopath.
  • Foil:
    • To Vassago. See Vassago's folder on this page for more details.
    • To Quinella. While both became a Physical God of the Underworld and were Mad Scientists, they are otherwise polar opposites. Quinella wanted to preserve her rule over the Human Empire for all eternity, with a war against the Dark Territory or the destruction of the Underworld opposing her interests, while Gabriel actively pushed for the War due to seeing it as a means to acquire Alice and intended to destroy the entire Underworld once he had achieved his goals so he can remake it to his liking. The anime even further exemplifies this by having Quinella's spirit encouraging Kirito during his battle against Gabriel. While both are unable to understand the concept of love their resulting actions are very different, Quinella interprets love as attempting to control everything and making people her obedient dolls, while Gabriel only saw people for the delicious souls that resided inside them and has killed countless people to try and satiate his urges. Quinella was a Villain with Good Publicity revered as the benign Pontifex of the Human Empire and embodies Light Is Not Good, while Gabriel as Vecta was a God of Evil embracing Dark Is Evil and was despised by everyone and governed solely out of fear and the Taboo Index. Furthermore, both ended up losing their right arm to one of Kirito's friends before facing him in battle, with Quinella transforming her severed arm into a new weapon, while Gabriel manifested a new shadowy arm through Incarnation.
  • Forced Sleep: His ability to suck in a person's Incarnation allows him to force people into unconsciousness. He uses this on Alice when he captures her.
  • For Science!: He wants to learn about the secrets of the soul through any means necessary, and is willing to kill innocents to perform this research. Even his childhood love interest is no exception, since he believes someone like her must have a high quality soul.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: He started out as a a typical, if privileged child. Then his father showed him a video that depicted a male preying mantis living after being decapitated post-coital, and things just escalated from there.
  • Genius Bruiser: For a deluded Serial Killer, he's fairly knowledgeable in quantum physics, being able to have rudimentary understanding of how the Soul Translator works entirely on his own. He's also quite possibly VR's World's Strongest Man period.
  • Godhood Seeker: His end goal is to steal Alice's lightcube to place her in a virtual world of his own design. Afterwards, he plans on kidnapping real world people, killing their physical bodies, and placing their souls in his virtual world too, all so he can manipulate their souls as he sees fit. He even boasts himself as one during his fight with Kirito.
  • God-Emperor: As Vector, he is this for the Dark Territory.
  • Godlike Gamer: Regarded as the most legendary player of GGO and his reputation really shows with just how invincible he is on the battlefield.
  • Good Wings, Evil Wings: In contrast to Kirito’s translucent streamlined Spriggan wings, Gabriel manifests demonic bat-like wings.
  • Heroic Willpower: Villainous Inversion. The reason that Gabriel is such an Invincible Villain is because of his great deal of willpower, which is the result of his delusional belief of his power to take souls and his great pride in his abilitiesnote . Even after losing the Vecta account, which for all intents and purposes should be more powerful, he remains a large threat with just his Subtilizer avatar as his powerful incarnation allows him to mimic the Vecta account's abilities to an extent, generate powerful weapons like an Anti-Material rifle, and take on a One-Winged Angel form to fight Kirito.
  • Hero Killer: He kills Bercouli during the UW war.
  • Hypocrite: When Iskahn introduces himself as the head of the Pugilist's guild, Gabriel expresses silent bewilderment at the idea of a faction of unarmed combatants existing. Bear in mind that this is the same guy who just recently entered the Fourth BoB completely unarmed, yet still came out the victor. Granted, he partially got by through stealing his opponent's weapon, but he hardly has much room to wonder why someone would enter combat unarmed, especially in a fantasy influenced VR world where he's just logged in as a Physical God.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Inverted. Part of what makes Gabriel so dangerous is that he's an experienced soldier and as such can apply real-life tactics in the VRMMOs that he plays.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: His eyes are described as devouring all light. Also doubles as a Red Right Hand as it indicates of his sociopathic character.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: He rips out Kirito's heart and eats it in an attempt to reap his soul. This works against him when Kirito places razors in his heart.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: In the Anime, he displays an amazing amount of skill in swordsmanship, in spite of the fact that he mainly played GGO and didn't rely on anything resembling a sword, the closest being his combat knife.
  • Instant Expert: Despite first having to use them when he gets into his first actual fight in the Underworld, and it's against Bercouli of all people, he picks up on the use of Vecta's abilities and Incarnation relatively quickly, allowing him to nearly deliver a Curb-Stomp Battle to Bercouli before being killed by the Uragiri. When he logs back in as Subtilizer, he's basically mastered the latter, being able to Psychic Strangle a waiting Sinon, turn his cross-bow into an Anti-Material Rifle, create a shadow tentacle to replace the arm he loses to Sinon, and take on a One-Winged Angel form in his fight with Kirito.
  • Invincible Villain: Gabriel is by and far the toughest out of all the antagonists. Across his appearances, he has been steamrolling over nearly every member of the main cast, even those with super-accounts, whether via proxies such as PoH or by himself. Ironically, Gabriel ends up being outclassed by Kirito despite giving him the toughest fight of his life. Fittingly, he served as the Final Boss of the original web novel series.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: He's established to be an uncaring sociopath who sees his soldiers, both in the real world and UW, as disposable pawns. The only time he comes across as sympathetic is his flashback of his Childhood Friend Romance with Alicia, and he even seems to be sad that she has to move away and endure a life of poverty. This sympathetic moment is soon negated when he decides that he doesn't want Alicia to belong to anyone but him, leading him to kill her and revel in the beauty of her soul. In the end, his "love" for Alicia is really just selfish possessiveness over her soul.
  • Jerkass: He's nothing but a ruthless asshole.
  • The Juggernaut: Very few people have ever managed to lay a finger on him, and any fight involving him turns into a Curb-Stomp Battle with him on the giving end, with only Bercouli and Kirito being able to put up a fight with him.
  • Just a Kid: He thinks that Sinon and Kirito are nothing more than just "brats". Unfortunately for him, the latter is NOT someone who should be taken lightly.
  • Karmic Death: Following his defeat at the hands of Kirito, the souls of his victims were freed and drag him away.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • In his youth, experimenting on animals, killing his fiancée when he was a child because he believed her soul would lose its brilliance.
    • Puts Lipia Zankale's decapitated head on display after killing her. This sends Viksul Ur Shasta into an Unstoppable Rage and he tries to kill him, though his efforts proved futile.
    • The first thing he does upon returning the the Underworld as Subtilizer is to mock Bercouli for sacrificing his life to stop him as Vector.
  • Knight of Cerebus: SAO was already a dark series as is but Gabriel's introduction makes everything in the series even more serious.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Despite his partial obsession with Sinon and that fact that she very clearly pissed him off after destroying his arm and XM500 in addition to charring his face, he decides to cut his losses and take advantage of the fact that she can no longer use Solus' Flight ability to continue pursuing Alice.
  • Lack of Empathy: He cares for nothing but getting the first fully-functional artificial intelligence (i.e. Alice) all for himself, and that's before taking into account all the numerous atrocities that he did before getting to her, such as experimenting on animals to find the nature of the soul, killing his fiancé (the former two of which he did when he was a child), and leading people he manipulated to their deaths in the Underworld.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: One of his abilities as Vecta allows him to induce this in people by sucking in their Incarnation. In his fight with Bercouli, he's able to cause the Integrity Knight to suffer brief moments of amnesia in order to make up for the skill gap between them, even using it to cut off his arm.
  • Lean and Mean: As Subtilizer, he has thin build compared to his real life counterpart. He is also arguably the most sadistic and ruthless character in the entire series.
  • Lust: Obviously towards Alice and souls but it's ultimately under a greater lust: a lust for power.
  • Mad Scientist: Even worse than Sugou. If Sugou forcing people into mind control experiments was bad enough, Gabriel kidnaps innocent civilians and murders them in his "experiments" to learn the nature of the soul.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He's quick to take advantage of his status as a Physical God, and in turn the strongest being, to make the Dark Territory follow him, promising them the plunder of the Human Realm when in reality he plans to destroy the Underworld after he gets Alice, them included. He later has Critter summon American VR players with the claim that the Underworld is a Beta-Test for a new VR game, saying that they can kill all the NPCs they want, so he can capture Alice in the ensuing confusion and make his escape.
  • Mask of Sanity: He's a sociopath with a sick obsession with possessing and consuming souls, but manages to pass himself off as a cold, rational leader. His batshit insanity really comes to light during the final fight with Kirito.
  • Master of All: Implied. In the 4th BoB, he entered unarmed and got by solely by stealing weapons from his opponents for his own use, suggesting that he's quite confident in his ability to wield different types of firearms.
  • Master Swordsman: A part of his Adaptational Badassery in the anime. Despite primarily handling guns and at best a knife in GGO, Gabriel proves to be an exceptional swordsman too, managing to overwhelm Bercoui and later Kirito in melee combat.
  • Meaningful Name:
  • Mighty Glacier: Bercouli summarizes his unrefined sword fighting style as Vecta as this; he hardly ever moves from his spot, yet blocks every strike sent at him despite his lack of a proper stance, and his return strikes are extremely powerful due to being a Physical God while his ability to induce Laser-Guided Amnesia creates openings for him to exploit, leaving Bercouli with little defensive options. In contrast, the Anime depicts him as a more Strong and Skilled proactive Lightning Bruiser.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: When Alicia is being forced to move after her family became victim to a financial crisis, he concluded that the best solution is to kill her to prevent her soul from being "tainted" by any new people she could meet.
  • Near-Villain Victory: He manages to outmaneuver the Human Empire Army with his elaborately effective Uriah Gambits, have PoH drive the heroes back into a corner by inviting thousands of Chines and Korean players into the underworld and exploit their hatred against the Japanese for all its worth (though unaware that it puts himself and his army at as much risk with just how unhinged PoH is), and would've won by capturing Alice if it weren't for Kirito's last-minute mental recovery.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: If Subtilizer's meanings are of any indication, it gives an insight on to the inner workings of his mind.
  • Not So Stoic: During his final fight with Kirito, Gabriel's Mask of Sanity breaks apart, revealing what he truly is: a batshit insane megalomaniac who's truly off his rocker.
  • Oh, Crap!: He actually looks surprised, shocked even, when Bercouli uses the Uragiri to kill him as Vecta.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: In his words, if he succeeds in capturing Alice, he'll blow up UW and its people next. The only one who tops him in this is his partner in crime Vassago, who also wants to kill off the demon army he lords over, and himself by proxy, all For the Evulz and then some just to spite Kirito and friends.
  • One-Man Army: In GGO, he was able to take on a bunch of players using only as little as a knife and a handgun, to just nothing at all, thanks to his Combat Skill, "Army Combatative", which allows him to grapple his opponent and steal their weapon before they can react and use it against them.
  • One-Winged Angel: While fighting against Kirito, Gabriel transforms into a pitch-black Eldritch Abomination with a pair of glowing blue eyes, a dark halo, and three pairs of angelic wings.
  • Physical God: As Vector, especially in his One-Winged Angel form.
  • Playing with Syringes: What he did to insects when he was a child to learn more about the nature of souls.
  • Power Born of Madness: In a world powered by Imagination-Based Superpower, Gabriel's incredible insanity is the secret to his godlike power, granting him an unrivalled Incarnation.
  • Power Copying: He displays a very high degree of mimicry, taking the abilities of opponents after simply observing them.
    • Seeing Sinon use Incarnation to transform Solus' bow into her PGM Hecat, he does the same and transforms his crossbow into a XM500 Anti-Material rifle, where the two proceed to have a Sniper Duel.
    • Observing Kirito having manifested his ALO Spriggan wings, he absorbs his flying Spider Tank to manifest giant bat-like wings, even telling Kirito he stole it from the boy.
  • Power Nullifier: His "Darkness of the Void" functions like this, being capable of absorbing an enemy's Incarnation and negating the power they were about to use on him.
  • Power of the Void: His "Darkness of the Void", which sucks in a person's willpower and Incarnation with varying effects, like inducing unconsciousness and causing brief memory relapses.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Despite her now being vulnerable with her legs destroyed and Solus' Flight ability now unusable, he decides that he's wasted too much time on Sinon and continues his pursuit of Alice, even after Sinon tries egging him on.
  • Promoted to Playable: He is a playable character in several mobile games.
    • In Memory Defrag he is a playable unit called "[Cruel Spirit] Subtilizer" which has him paired against GGO Sinon and the two engaging in a Sniper Duel.
    • In Rising Steel, Gabriel becomes playable in the "Angel of Death" Scout as a Dark Elemental Break Unit with an Enhance Mode.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: While he never displays any behavior that would suggest this, the fact that his power to see souls and consume them in the Underworld stems from the delusional belief that he's actually capable of doing just that and that he's had this belief since childhood and has never grown out of it certainly implies that he is one.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: The Vecta account comes equipped with black armor and cape combo with red coloring to them, and its user is perhaps the nastiest villain in the series.
  • Red Right Hand: The right arm he creates to replace his missing one during his final duel with Kirito is made of pure dark energy.
  • Sadist: Even worse than the Laughing Coffin (or any villain before him, for that matter). He began studying the concept of mortality when he was a kid by killing his childhood friend Alicia Klingerman, and as he grew up capture, experiment on and then kill innocent civilians for "research" onto souls. And as Vector, the dark god of Underworld, he tortured even more souls (artificial ones, but no less satisfying to him). His prime goal in Underworld though to hunt down Alice - who resembles Alicia - and torture her as well.
  • Satanic Archetype: His obsession with souls easily parallels the Faustian depictions of Satan, his Chessmaster abilities parallel some contemporary depictions of Satan as a sophisticated, Machiavellian smooth-talker a la The Rolling Stones's depiction of the Devil from Sympathy for the Devil, and, as Vector, he's a God of Darkness with an Eldritch Abomination true form who leads an army of demihumans and monsters like the traditional depictions of Satan. To finish it off, considering that Alicization was the last arc in the original web novel series and the Book of Revelation is the last book of the Bible, if Gabriel is Satan then Kirito is the Messiah who ultimately defeats Satan in the Final Battle.
  • Serial Killer: Given that he's "experimented" on as much as a hundred people in real life since his youth, this gives him one of the highest bodycounts in the series.
  • Situational Sword: Downplayed. In Rising Steel as [Angel of Death] Subtilizer, his Incarnate Skill deals bonus damage against an enemy when their Incarnation is at 150% or over, meaning it can only be used for optimum damage in when his opponent is charging an Incarnation Skill over a certain percentage.
  • Skewed Priorities: Despite Alice making her way the World End Alter to escape him, he decides to take the time to torture Sinon and take her soul as well upon seeing and recognising her. This backfires on him, as not only does Sinon fight back and injure him, but she's able to delay him long enough to give Kirito and Asuna the chance to catch up to him and Alice, allowing the former to fight Gabriel while the latter helps Alice get to the alter.
  • Slasher Smile: Rarely smiles, but there's a grim smile on his face in the whenever he's close to getting what he wants, such as getting Alice. It shows his true character.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: As Subtilizer, he wears a black shirt that leaves his forearms bare, and he’s basically an Invincible Villain.
  • Sliding Scale of Villain Threat: Quinella was already immensely overpowered compared to previous villains, but Gabriel cranks up the threat level in further by being a borderline Invincible Villain.
  • Smug Snake: Gabriel fancies himself as The Chessmaster, but his overuse of risky strategies ends up getting his army killed for a fleeting to nonexistent tactical advantage, forcing him or his proxies such as PoH to to do the job himself. He's also very dismissive of all of his opponents and underestimates them greatly, which gets his Vecta account killed by Bercouli, gets him held up by Sinon long enough for Alice to reach the World's End Alter, and he even Dies Laughing out of arrogance when Kirito deals the final blow against him. His arrogance disappears the minute he realizes he's being Dragged Off to Hell, replaced by a coward who screams and begs for mercy.
  • The Sociopath: A high-functioning one, and the most dangerous example in the series. Gabriel is charismatic, manipulative, and wickedly intelligent, even despite his batshit insanity, but is simultaneously utterly bloodthirsty and utterly devoid of anything remotely resembling empathy.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Thus far in the gameverse, he's still kicking seeing as the "War of Underworld" arc didn't unfold at all compared to canon, and Glowgen has yet to try to infiltrate the Ocean Turtle. It's to the point that Fatal Bullet, which so far is the latest main game in this alternate timeline besides mobile titles, has him appear in The Stinger for the DLC episodes setting up a future antagonist role.
  • Spider Tank: He gets a flying platform variation of this when he logs back in as Subtilizer. He states that it was converted from a jetpack he owned in GGO.
  • Spikes of Villainy: One of his pauldrons as Vecta has a horn-like spike protruding from it. He's also pure evil.
  • Stalker with a Crush: To his Childhood Friend Alicia Klingerman, or more accurately her soul, to the point where he murdered her in cold blood when she was about to move away, believing that interacting with people other than him would taint her soul's brilliance. His attempts at capturing Alice during the War of Underworld is so that he can use her as a Replacement Goldfish, planning on making her the queen of the VR World he was planning to trap various other people's souls in.
    • Minor example in regards to Sinon. While his focus is largely focused on Alice, his internal narration has him displaying an interest in her after their encounter in the BoB due to believing that she has a strong soul, to the point that he expresses a desire to trap her in his planned VR world as well. Not helping matters is when Sinon, as Solus, confronts him when he logs back into the Underworld as Subtilizer, the way he interacts with her can come off as kind of rapey, with him using his Incarnation to restrain her and attempting to kiss her as the light drains from her eyes.
  • The Stoic: Gabriel typically presents the front of a calm, collected, and rational leader and usually only raises his voice when commanding the Dark Territory army. However, this appears to largely be a Mask of Sanity.
  • Strong and Skilled: Not only does he have a powerful Incarnation, he's as skilled as one would expect from a modern soldier, as shown in his GGO fights where he's an expert in using knives and firearms. He is also able to see the weaknesses in Aincrad's unarmed combat style, which puts Kirito at a disadvantage when fighting him this way. However, he's less skilled with swords and other weapons that generally aren't used in modern warfare.
  • Taking You with Me: He was on the receiving end of this during the Japanese GGO server's first Bullet of Bullets tourney (the one where he participated with only a pistol and knife). He got blown up by the last surviving player when the latter pulled out and activated a plasma grenade as a "Screw You!" move.
  • Tears of Fear: The "spirit" of Alicia really set off the waterworks when she chose to banish him.
  • Tempting Fate: During his fight with Kirito, he displays absolute certainty in his Invincible Villain status and believes that Kirito won't be able to beat him, even mocking him as Kirito deals a blow powered by the prayers of everyone in the Underworld. Not only does he lose, he ends up dying and getting Dragged Off to Hell.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: His GGO avatar is noted to look very average, having a, while not ugly, plain face, typical blonde hair and blue eyes and a build that's not too thin but not too large either. This however serves to make him more unnerving.
  • Tranquil Fury: It's easy to tell that he's pissed after Sinon destroys his XM500, blows off his arm, and burns his face with her final attack in their duel. Thankfully, he decides to go after Alice instead of continuing the fight.
  • Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: Killing his friend Alicia Klingerman when he was still a child.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Oh Gabriel, do you really think its a good idea to underestimate Kirito, just because you're a Physical God? You'll definitely regret it soon enough.
  • The Unfettered: He sees everyone, enemy and ally alike, as pawns or stepping stones to his goal.
  • UltimateGamer386: Regarded as something of a legend in GGO, being a renowned player and one of the finalists of the first BoB along with the only player who Sinon has had no hope of beating (with the list including Kirito).
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Zig-zagged. He possesses the skills and reflexes that one would naturally expect from a IRL mercenary, and while he does make use of them in the Underworld during his duel with Bercouli to dodge and even block his attacks, the Integrity Knight notes that he doesn't seem especially skilled in sword combat and is largely only able to have the edge due to the Vecta account's ability to suck in a person's willpower and Incarnation.
  • Villain Ball: Despite being an IRL CSO of a Private Military Company, suggesting that he has a good deal of experience in combat and in leading troops, his initial attack is simply just him having the Demi-Human tribes rush the Human Army in a frontal attack with seemingly no attempt to learn who exactly he's dealing with or, which causes the initial attack to fail miserably and all but wipe out four of the tribes. It's only after this fails that he relies on smarter plans such as sacrificing Orc troops to power a dark magic spell that's for all intents and purposes a One-Hit Kill and using his remaining troops and a bunch of foreign players summoned by Critter to distract the Human Army so he can capture Alice in the commotion.
  • Villainous Breakdown: As he's Dragged Off to Hell after being defeated by Kirito, he breaks down crying and weeping. He also demanding to know what he had done wrong, before screaming as he's absorbed into oblivion.
    Gabriel Miller: This is... This face is... It's mine. W-What... [...] S-Stop! Let go! Stop! Stop! S-Stop! Stop!
  • Villain Respect: He seems to legitimately respect Kayaba as the creator of the revolutionary Full-dive technology, admitting that he would have spent millions to recruit him to Glowgen Defense System in spite of, even because of his criminal record.
  • Villains Want Mercy: He begs for his men to save him as he's being dragged into oblivion when he's rendered powerless. Unfortunately for Gabriel, his pleas are ignored as he's banished to oblivion.... forever.
  • Villain Takes an Interest: Generally Averted. Gabriel is such an Smug Snake that he views most obstacles as merely bugs for him to squash, and in the rare time that he does gain a degree of interest in an opponent, such as Bercouli, he will quickly grow bored and move to finish them so he continue with his plans. However, there are two notable exceptions to this.
    • Obviously, in Alice, which kickstarted when he first heard her name, which bore resemblance to that of his Childhood Friend Alicia's who he murdered, immediately making plans to go AWOL upon retrieving her to keep her to himself instead of handing her to the U.S. Her interest increases when he actually sees her in person due to her physical similarities to Alicia, prompting a Psychotic Smirk from him.
    • In his encounter with Sinon in the BoB, he's quick to display an interest in her as "prey", taking joy in predicating where she'd attempt to snipe at him from and ambushing her, using his "Your Soul Will Be So Sweet" Catchphrase before killing her. It's to the point that when he encounters her in the Underworld upon logging back in as Subtilizer, he decides to hold off on pursuing Alice to claim her soul, even when she fights back.
  • We Have Reserves: For him, sacrificing his forces is no big deal. He even sacrifices 3,000 Orcs to power a One-Hit Kill Sacred Art and sets up his remaining forces to act as a bait for the Human Army while he captures Alice.
  • Wicked Cultured: Despite his claims that the body is only a vessel for the soul, Gabriel has rather high-class taste. When we first meet him, he's dressed in a white shirt, grey slacks, and custom-made cordovan leather shoes, and waking up from a nap on an imported italian sofa, and his desk comes with a Norwegian reclining chair. Later on when fighting Bercouli, he feels compelled to compare his soul to a vintage wine, implying he's a connoisseur of sorts.
  • Would Hit a Girl: A repeat offender. He murders his friend Alicia by stabbing her in the head, brutally kills Sinon in GGO with a chokehold, and strangles Lipia to death, just to name a few examples.
  • Yandere: When his childhood friend Alicia is about to move away, Gabriel kills her in his mad belief that he can preserve the brilliance of her soul and keep anyone else from having her. In the present, he seeks Alice as a replacement due to their similar appearance and names, hoping that her soul will be just as brilliant.
  • You Monster!: Several characters (like Shasta and Bercouli) have called him an inhumane and pure evil monster.
  • Your Soul Is Mine!: His entire motive. He has no problems "stealing souls" from his victims to the point of attempting to claim Kirito's soul by cutting him in half and trying to eat his heart during their fight.
  • Zerg Rush: His tactics can be summed up as throwing all the men at his disposal at the enemy on hopes of overwhelming them, with no concern how many of them die due to his We Have Reserves mentality.

    Vassago Casals 



Voiced by: Isshin Chiba (Japanese), Jon Allen (English), René García (Latin American Spanish)

A hacker under the employ of Glowgen Defence Systems. Brought on the assault of the Ocean Turtle in order to hack the Soul Translator.

  • The Chessmaster: He orchestrates the syncing of Underworld and real world time. Then he advertises on forums in different countries and unwittingly recruiting an army of foreign players to Zerg Rush the Human Empire with almost none of them any the wiser to the truth.
  • The Cracker: Critter is a criminal hacker and claims to have once hacked into the Pentagon, a claim Vassago uses to mock him when he fails to hack into the Ocean Turtle's network to get Alice's Lightcube.
  • Dirty Coward: He's quick to flee when Brigg is killed and, while reluctant at first, he agrees to plant a bomb on the Ocean Turtle and kill everyone in it when threatened by Hans. He's also revealed to have stolen a data chip in hopes of talking the US out of killing him, with no indication that he's gonna bargain for his remaining teammates' lives.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Despite being a criminal, he's frightened by Vassago's true sadistic nature. Of all the Glowgen members, he's the only one shown to be reluctant to blow up the Ocean Turtle and kill all the Rath members, only relenting when Hans threatens to kill him.
  • Evil Counterpart: His blonde hair, glasses and status as his group's computer expert makes him a rather obvious one to Higa.
  • Evil Genius: He's The Chessmaster, Glowgen's resident hacker, and handles all of the technolgical side of the mission.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: He pokes fun at Vassago for only knowing how to fire a gun in a game, insulting his skills as a mercenary. Unbeknownst to him, not only was Vassago the most infamous Player Killer in SAO. This effectively makes him an actual Serial Killer with quite possibly one of the highest body counts in the world. But before then he was a Professional Killer for the Korean Mafia, meaning he likely knew how to handle a gun.
  • Failed a Spot Check: When he notices that Vassago's body wasn't with Gabriel and Brigg's in the body bags, he realizes that he never confirmed whether or not he was dead when he found him and Gabriel, just assuming he was dead just by looking at him.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: He's a hacker and mercenary who wears a pair of glasses. Vassago gives him the nickname "Four Eyes" as a result.
  • Freak Out: Has a minor one when he realizes that Vassago might still be alive.
  • Hypocrite: He pokes fun at Vassago for, at least from his perspective, not knowing how to actually fight due to being the "VR expert", but Critter himself is a Non-Action Guy who's only there to hack the Soul Translator and he was quick to flee when Brigg is killed, citing his own lack of combat skill as the reason.
  • Non-Action Guy: Villainous example. While he is armed like the other mercenaries, Critter is the only member of the GDS forces to not do any actual fighting. His main role in the War of the Underworld is simply to log Gabriel and Vassago in as Vector and a Dark Knight and later as their personal accounts, Subtilizer and PoH, and to recruit foreign players from America, China and Korea via a false beta-test recruitment ad. He even Lampshades this when Brigg is killed, choosing to flee while going on about he's not a soldier.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: He and Vassago do not get along, the both of them making jabs at each other and almost coming to blows before Gabriel intervened.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Despite being a Non-Action Guy, he doesn't have a very high opinion of Vassago. He views him as Dumb Muscle at best, and just a Miles Gloriosus who thinks his skill in simulation combat makes him a badass soldier in real life at worst. This leads to him being caught off guard when, after he calls into question the idea of logging in to search for Alice due to the possible language barrier, Vassago reveals himself to be fluent in Japanese. He's also likely unaware of the fact that he was SAO's most infamous Serial Killer. In the end, after catching a glimpse of his true nature and learning of his apparent escape from death, he's now thoroughly terrified of him and the possibility of his survival.

     Hans and Brigg 

Hans and Brigg

Hans Voiced by: Yasunori Matsumoto (Japanese), Ben Lepley (English), Gerardo Ortega (Latin American Spanish)

Brigg Voiced by: Yoji Ueda (Japanese), Kellen Goff (English), Héctor Moreno (Latin American Spanish)
Left: Hans, Right: Brigg

A pair of mercenaries who were partners long before being hired by Glowgen Defense System.

  • Adaptational Dumbass: Brigg shooting the time accelerator safety switch. In the Light Novel it was simply because he lost his temper and shot it after failing to pick the lock for it and losing a bet with Hans in the process. In the anime, shooting it was his first idea.
  • Avenging the Villain: Hans tries to do this when Brigg is killed by trying to blow up the Ocean Turtle and staying behind so the bomb goes off. He fails.
  • Bald of Evil: Brigg is shown to be evil and completely bald.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Doubles as Even Evil Has Loved Ones; these two men have apparently been working as partners for a while and have a good deal of comradery between them. It's to the point that Hans is willing to lay down his life to avenge Brigg when he's killed.
  • Lethally Stupid: Kirito and Asuna probably wouldn't even be trapped in the Underworld for 200 years if Brigg didn't shoot the lock for the time accelerator safety switch. This breaks it and causing the time acceleration to reactivate.
  • Oh, Crap!: Brigg's reaction when he notices Kikuoka shooting at him and Critter.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Downplayed. The both of them are mercenaries with little qualms with killing. However, Brigg is described as being The Brute and comes off as Dumb Muscle. Hans also is noted to be a bit of a dandy, having a soft face and a styled mustache.
  • Taking You with Me: In order to ensure the Ocean Turtle is destroyed to avenge Brigg, Hans stays behind to prevent anyone from disarming the bomb.

     Reinforcements (SPOILERS) 

Foreign Players

Players from countries outside of Japan. They were summoned by Critter to act as reinforcements for Gabriel and Vassago. And they have no actual knowledge of what's going on.

  • Adaptational Heroism: In the anime, since everyone figures out that PoH's a Serial Killer, PoH instead opts on brainwashing them into killing each other instead of just spurning the Only Sane Men against those following their jingoism against Japanese players.
  • The Cavalry: A villainous example. After most of the Dark Territory forces had been whittled out, these guys are sent in to continue pushing back the Human Empire.
  • Failed a Spot Check: As Moonphase points out, if PoH really was an admin like he claimed, then he could have easily dealt with the Japanese players himself by merely rebooting the system. However, none of them seem to pick up on this.
  • Gratuitous English: They are all voiced by Japanese voice actors attempting to speak often broken English phrases in very obvious Japanese accents.
  • Internet Jerk: Many of the Foreign players shown definitely give into their darker impulses, being borderline sadistic Blood Knights who enjoy every moment they spend killing the "Enemy NPCs". The Chinese and Koreans arguably take it further, since their summoning gives them a chance to let out a lot of their resentment towards the Japanese.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: All of the factions in this group are outright lied to by Glowgen Defense Systems and PoH, believing the Underworld to be just be a regular VR Game and the Artificial Fluctlights they're killing to be mere NPCs.
  • Obliviously Evil: They genuinely have no idea that their actions are helping an amoral group of mercenaries. Nor do they know most of the "NPCs" they're killing are actually Artificial Fluctlights who are basically no different from them.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: A played with example. When they're logged in, all of them are clad in heavy-looking red armor and black clothes beneath them. However, while they clearly don't present themselves as the pictures of morality, this is largely due to their "ignorance" of their situation and them being lied to. And some of them are shown to be morally sound.
  • Secretly Selfish: It's Implied that while many of the Chinese and Koreans were genuinely oblivious to what was going on and actually started becoming suspicious the moment PoH started torturing Kirito, many others did suspect something was off. But they went along with it and never bothered questioning it since they saw it as an excuse to kill VR players from Japan (who they resented due to being denied access to the Seed Nexus).
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Alice and some others note how disorganized and uncoordinated the armies as a whole are, and that they don't appear to be very skilled with the weapons they came with. However, not only do the red knight avatar they log in with have decent enough stats, but their sheer numbers makes them a massive threat to the comparatively small armies of the Human Empire, Dark Territory, and Japanese players.
  • Unwitting Pawn:
    • Both the American players and later the Chinese and Korean ones become this for Glowgen Defense Systems. They were logged into the Underworld without being told the full truth, being told a lie that convinces them to fight the Human Army and be an effective decoy for Gabriel.
    • The Americans are told that the Underworld is a Beta-Test for a brand new VR Game and both the Human and Dark Territory Armies are experimental enemy NPCs that they are free to kill as they please.
    • The Chinese and Koreans are a bit more in the know, being told that an army of American Players are being dealt a Curb-Stomp Battle by an army of Japanese ones... and that's about all they know. They're never told that it's because the American themselves are being manipulated and that all the NPCs they're killing are being defended by the Japanese, instead being convinced that it's all a joint VR Project between America, Korea and China and that the Japanese players are hackers trying to ruin it.
  • Walking Spoiler: There's a reason why their folder title warns of spoilers.
  • Zerg Rush: In terms of combat power, they are vastly inferior to the Integrity Knights, Physical Gods, and even the Pugilists. However, they have the power in numbers advantage and prove to be a threat. This is because there's simply an endless number of them rushing in.