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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

RECT Inc.

    Nobuyuki Sugou / Oberon the Fairy King 

Nobuyuki Sugou / Oberon the Fairy King (ALO)

Voiced by: Takehito Koyasu (Japanese), Todd Haberkorn (English), Enric Puig (European Spanish), José Gilberto Vilchis (Latin American Spanish)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sugoufairydance.png
Click here to see Oberon 
"I'd prefer it if you didn't call me that name in this world. You should address me as His Highness, Fairy King Oberon!"

The director of RECT Inc.'s research institute who is in fact a Mad Scientist behind close doors. He hijacked the minds of 300 of the SAO victims (including his then-fiance Asuna) and traps them in his own game ALFheim Online to experiment on them. The antagonist of volumes 3-4.

For Alberich, the version of him from the Gameverse, see this page.


  • Abhorrent Admirer: To Asuna. Sugou freely admits that Asuna has always hated him, and that was before the events of the Fairy Dance arc, when he traps her in a cage in ALO for two months and makes multiple attempts to sexually assault her before trying to rape her outright. When holding her captive, Sugou asks for Asuna's love, and Asuna tells him point-blank that he'll have to make do with her disgust and hatred.
  • Adaptational Badass: Both times he's appeared as a boss in Rising Steel, he's presented as being much more dangerous, utilizing a variety of magic attacks to fight off a party of up to six enemies.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Literally every scene Sugou shares with Asuna has him drooling all over her. He sniffs her hair while she's in a coma, traps her in ALO just to lord over her in a bird cage, constantly gropes and sniffs her, and finally licks her face and rips her clothes off before trying to rape her outright. He's even worse in the video game continuity, where he takes advantage of his super account to override Kayaba's Harassment Code and sexually assaults more than one female player, and his Oberon self in Accel World vs. Sword Art Online lewds over several other girls before becoming fixated on Asuna.
  • Always Second Best: To Kayaba, which drives him nuts. To drive it home, when Kayaba effortlessly overrides Sugou's control of ALO and grants Kirito admin privileges to turn the tide, Sugou's immediate response is to throw a temper tantrum, whining about how even in death, Kayaba's getting in his way and one-upping him.
  • Arch-Enemy:
  • Arranged Marriage: Was the fiancé of Asuna chosen by her parents. In her parents' defense, he admits that if they knew how she felt about him, they would have called it off in a heartbeat.
  • Attempted Rape: During the climax of the Fairy Dance arc, Sugou molests Asuna and is just about to rape her in front of Kirito, before Kirito frees himself, obtains admin privileges from Kayaba's digital spirt, and beats the crap out of him.
  • Ax-Crazy: His childish, sickening obsession of dominating everyone around him leads him to trap 300 people to perform sadistic mind games with them, almost rape Asuna while trying to make Kirito watch and he actually tries to murder Kirito in real-life after he gets his ass beat.
  • Beauty Is Bad: Played With. While he's not noted to be especially attractive IRL, looking like your average Japanese salaryman, his Oberon Avatar in ALO on the other hand has flawless skin, long blonde hair, extremely handsome features, and decks himself out in rich looking clothes to match his "king-ly" status. However, Asuna notes that it looks too perfect, which only serves to make him look unnatural instead of attractive.
  • Big Bad: The primary antagonist of the Fairy Dance arc, kick-starting the plot when he reveals he was responsible for keeping Asuna trapped in ALO, forcing Kirito to enter the game to rescue her.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: While the legitimate Big Bad of the Fairy Dance arc and introduced as the villain following up Kayaba, he's ultimately just a shallow imitation of his predecessor. The entire system for his game was hijacked from SAO and he even shows himself to be extremely jealous of the far more talented Kayaba. His inferiority is cemented when Kayaba easily overrides the code in his game and gives Kirito admin privileges, while Sugou is helpless to do anything about it but whine and cry.
  • Big "OMG!": His response in the English dub when he realizes that Kayaba overrode his control of ALO and gave Kirito admin privileges, followed by a temper tantrum about how even in death, Kayaba is still beating him.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Asuna's father Shouzou viewed him as a friendly, bright prodigy, to the extent that he set up an Arranged Marriage between him and Asuna and intended for him to inherit his company, RECT Inc. In reality, Sugou is a Corrupt Corporate Executive and a Stalker with a Crush towards Asuna who not only trapped 300 SAO survivors, including Asuna herself, in ALO in order to conduct inhumane Mind Control experiments on them, but also planned to brainwash and rape Asuna and take control of the company. After Kirito defeats him, the sheep's clothing is flung off.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: After stabbing Kirito through his back and spine with Kirito's own sword, Sugou, rather than just finish him off and be done with it, decides to torture him by slowly decreasing the Pain Absorber, on top of making him watch while he molests Asuna, just to be a sadistic asshole. This buys Kayaba's digital spirit time to save Kirito, granting him access to his ID and admin privileges, both of which outrank Sugou's own, and which Kirito uses to set Sugou's in-game level to 1 before using the Pain Absorber on Sugou himself, killing him so brutally that Sugou is left permanently injured IRL. Even though Sugou had no way of foreseeing Kayaba's intervention, that still wasn't exactly a smart move.
  • Break the Haughty: Due to his position as Game Master of ALO, Sugou has quite the bloated ego, to the point of declaring himself a god, and believes there's nothing Kirito can do to stop him. His delusions of godhood come to a crashing halt when Kayaba's Virtual Ghost saves Kirito and grants him admin privileges to turn the tables, proving that even with the former dead, Sugou is still Always Second Best to Kayaba. This is only the beginning of his Humiliation Conga; immediately afterwards, Sugou is left trembling in fear before an enraged Kirito, and by the time Kirito's done with him, Sugou is left a whimpering, blubbering wreck. It happens again when he tries to attack Kirito in real-life, going from smugly gloating about how he's going to kill him and continue his research to crying his eyes out in fear and wetting his pants the minute Kirito turns the tables on him again.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: He pees in his pants, after screaming his lungs out, after Kirito overpowers him in real-life.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Kayaba grants Kirito his user ID and along with it admin privileges that outrank that of Sugou. With this, Kirito proceeds to set Sugou's Oberon avatar to level 1, removing all unfair advantages he had before, before Kirito lays down the pain upon the bastard and inevitably killing his in-game avatar.
  • Can't Take Criticism: When Kirito pulls off his Heroic Second Wind and tears him down verbally, declaring he's nothing but a "king of thieves, sitting alone on a stolen throne," Sugou is outraged that Kirito dares speak to him in such a manner and tries to summon Excalibur to cut him down with; unfortunately for him, thanks to Kayaba's intervention, Sugou no longer has admin privileges.
    Sugou: You little punk... you dare... you dare talk to me like that?!
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Unlike Kayaba, he is portrayed as straightly and unconditionally evil, and revels in being able to do all the horrible things in ALO that would see him ostracized outside of it.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: He experiments on the minds of the 300 SAO survivors, testing their fear and pain responses. Then there's what he does to Kirito during the climax, running him through with his own sword and making him watch as he molests Asuna.
  • Combat Pragmatist: He's a lousy fighter, but compensates by using his admin privileges to give himself unfair advantages like overpowered stats, equipment, and magic. He also paralyzes Kirito and Asuna with an unreleased gravity spell and gets the jump on Kazuto with a surprise attack, slashing his arm before going for the kill. Tellingly, when Sugou can't rely on his Game Master powers or such dirty tricks, Kirito hands him his ass.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Aside from being a GMPC, he and Kayaba are as different as night and day. While Kayaba was simply deluded, Sugou is unambiguously, unconditionally evil and revels in his villainy. While Kayaba actively participated in the game under the guise of Heathcliff, Sugou was an Orcus on His Throne who didn't take action until Kirito was literally at his door. Kayaba posed as a humble player and a noble commander to his guild, while Sugou declared himself to be God and treated everyone else like dirt while believing he was entitled to have Asuna. Kayaba was Strong and Skilled, and still a match for Kirito even after forfeiting his admin privileges, while Sugou is Unskilled, but Strong, has nothing going for him aside from his Game Master powers, and is curb-stomped by Kirito when he loses them. While Kayaba was a Graceful Loser who faced death with dignity, Sugou is a Dirty Coward who goes out whining, cursing, and crying both times Kirito beats him.
  • Corporate Conspiracy: Is at the center of one, as he hijacks the minds of 300 of the SAO victims (including his then-fiance Asuna) and traps them in his own game ALFheim Online to conduct experiments on human subjugation via full dive technology, in addition to attempting to take over RCT Progress Inc. by marrying Asuna while she is unconscious. His ambition is to become a god in real life, just as he is in ALO.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: He is the director of RECTO's research institute and the one responsible for keeping 300 Nerve Gear victims, including Asuna, prisoner even after SAO had ended. He did this by transferring them all into ALO for experiments on human subjugation via full dive technology. He also attempts to take over RCT Progress Inc. by marrying Asuna while she is unconscious.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: The guy is completely obsessed with Asuna, which fuels a lot of his animosity with Kirito. Especially egregious since he doesn't really seem to actually love her; he was just promised her as part of an Arranged Marriage, and therefore feels that she's rightfully his. This even extends into Rising Steel where the June Bride event "Holding Hands With You" has him acting as entitled as ever, threatening a fate worse than death on Kirito.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: He criticizes Kayaba for having this mindset, but Sugou isn't much better. Kayaba's FullDive technology has considerable potential and seen uses outside of game development, as seen with the Medicuboid, whereas Sugou's only interest in the tech is turning it into a Mind-Control Device to fulfill his delusions of godhood.
  • Deceased Fall-Guy Gambit: Upon his defeat and arrest, Sugou attempts this, claiming that Kayaba was the one who was really behind his experiments on the SAO survivors. It doesn't work, and he eventually gives in and confesses when one of his employees is questioned.
  • Despotism Justifies the Means: Everything he does throughout the Fairy Dance arc is for the sake of making himself a god, both in ALO and in the real world. This is a key component in his Mind Control research and experiments on the 300 SAO players.
  • Didn't See That Coming: He believes he has everything in the bag and is unstoppable. He would have been, were it not for Kayaba's Virtual Ghost intervening and giving Kirito access to his admin ID, which outranks Sugou's and allows Kirito to turn the tide in an instant.
  • Dirty Coward: He spends most of the Fairy Dance arc cocky, composed, and arrogant, declaring himself a god and rubbing in Kirito's face that there's nothing he can do to stop him... as long as he's in control of the situation and has his Game Master powers backing him up. The minute he's stripped of his admin privileges and faced with a righteously pissed-off Kirito, Sugou has a massive Freak Out and breaks down crying like a scared little girl. He's just as cowardly in real-life; he attacks Kirito with a knife, slashing his arm in a surprise attack, and kicks Kirito multiple times after he falls to the ground before trying to kill him... and when Kirito overpowers him, takes the knife away, and states his intention to kill him with it, Sugou panics and immediately tries to make a break for it; Kirito just barely manages to stop himself from finishing him off, by which point Sugou is crying Tears of Fear and loses control of his bladder before passing out.
  • Disease Bleach: In the anime. When we last see Sugou, in a flashback to his interrogation, his hair has turned completely white, no doubt from the shock of Kirito nearly slitting his throat.
  • Ditzy Genius: He's a VR genius in his own right, though falling a bit short of Kayaba. But he's prone to very blatant Bond Villain Stupidity moments and can't anticipate very obvious consequences to his actions. Case in point: he believes that there are numerous organizations that would kill to have his research and thus shelter him from the law after Kirito defeats him in ALO. Instead, he's arrested and incarcerated, with RECT nearly going bankrupt as a result of his crimes.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Insists that he be referred to as Oberon while in the game. Kirito doesn't give a damn and continues to call him Sugou.
    Sugou: I'd prefer it if you didn't call me that name in this world. You should address me as His Highness, the Fairy King Oberon!
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Sugou is a major creep with very pale skin and dark brown hair.
  • Entitled Bastard: Sugou takes this to extreme levels, believing he has the right to do whatever he wants, like rule the world, and no one has any right to stop him. When he first reveals his true colors to Kazuto, he brags that it's his right to take advantage of Asuna, since RECTO took custody of her and the other 300 SAO survivors, and that he's entitled to compensation for keeping them all alive. Later, when Kayaba's Virtual Ghost overrides his control of ALO and gives Kirito Game Master privileges, Sugou throws a screaming tantrum and rants that Kayaba always takes everything he considers rightfully his.
  • Entitled to Have You: His attitude towards Asuna. He even flat-out tells Kirito as such, saying it's his right to take advantage of her and he's entitled to compensation for keeping her and the other SAO survivors alive. Never mind the fact that, as he freely admits, Asuna has always hated him.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: He thinks that Kirito will be too scared to enter ALO to save Asuna and gloats about it to her face in an attempt to demoralize her. Not only is Kirito more than strong enough to dive headfirst into the game on the off-chance he can save Asuna, she is well aware of that, and hearing that Kirito knows she's in danger is enough to keep her going for a little while longer. She herself lampshades this, saying that if Sugou had any understanding of love, he would have lied and said Kirito was dead.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • He's an eviler counterpart to Kayaba. Both are technical geniuses and the Game Masters of the virtual worlds they created, and both are Psychopathic Manchildren with God complexes. However, Kayaba has a Noble Demon attitude and sense of fair play while Sugou has neither.
    • To a lesser extent, Kirito. Both ended up being betrothed to Asuna, but while Kirito genuinely won over Asuna's heart and she pursued him herself, Sugou saw Asuna as rightfully his property and tried to forcefully make her his by any means possible. Both ended up having overpowered stats in Alfheim Online, but while Kirito had this due to an Old Save Bonus from his time in SAO and even then deemed it cheating, Sugou abused admin privileges to make himself an invincible avatar. Furthermore, Kirito proved himself to be Strong and Skilled being able to backup his stats with hours of VR experience, while Sugou is solely Unskilled, but Strong and is completely dependent on his stats and completely useless once he's stripped of his admin privileges. Finally, both ended up being 'successors' to Kayaba and continued his work, however while Kirito was handpicked by Kayaba as The Chosen One due to seeing the boy's love and passion for the virtual world, Sugou stole all of Kayaba's work in order create his own world where he could rule as a god. Kirito wants to create the VR in order to seek out how it can benefit humanity, while Sugou's motives were only for his own selfish means of experimenting on helpless players in developing mind control tech and as an eventual means to Take Over the World.
  • Evil Gloating:
    • When he first reveals his true colors to Kirito, he spends several seconds rubbing in Kirito's face how he's going to forcibly marry her within a week, and there's nothing he can do about it.
    • He brags to a captive Asuna about his belief that Kirito is too scared to enter ALO to save her in an effort to demoralize her. It does the exact opposite; Asuna knows that Kirito is more than strong enough to enter ALO if there's any chance of saving her, and knowing that he's still alive helps her Heroic Resolve.
    • He does it once again after Kirito defeats him in ALO, when he attacks Kirito in real-life. When Kirito tells him he's finished and should just turn himself in, Sugou smugly brushes him off, stating that countless organizations would want his work and thus shelter him from the law, allowing him to continue his research and become a true king. After Kirito overpowers him and leaves him unconscious in the parking lot, Sugou is proven wrong; he's arrested and incarcerated for his crimes.
  • Evil Is Hammy: As Oberon, he acts incredibly grandiose and overly dramatic, particularly when he is beating up Kirito and then later on getting his ass whooped.
  • Evil Is Petty: After revealing to Kirito his Arranged Marriage with Asuna, he mockingly invites him to the wedding just to twist the knife. He takes great delight in describing Kirito's reaction to said wedding to Asuna, openly admitting he barely stopped himself from laughing at it.
  • Evil Laugh: He lets out some Ax-Crazy cackles during his first confrontation with Kirito. His face certainly adds to his psychopathic demeanor.
  • Evil Plan: In his arrogance, he explains one-half of his vile scheme to Kazuto in the hospital, which is to keep Asuna in a VR-coma so he can marry her without her objecting and inherit RECTCO through her. The other half is developing Mind Control and memory modification technology for criminal use.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Only in the Japanese version. Averted in the English dub, where his voice is higher pitched.
  • Evil Tastes Good: Says something to this effect while licking Asuna's face.
    Sugou: Yummy! How sweet!
  • Eye Scream: Suffered this by Kirito at the final part of his Curb-Stomp Battle by letting his sword fall into him and because of the pain reception he brought up during that fight it transfers into the real world with painful irritation and bad vision from that right eye.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Not outright stated; but considering The Unwritten Prison Code of Honor pertaining to “doing unto him how he did unto her" when it comes to sex offenders, Kazuto not killing Sugou will doom him to having a HELL of a time being "everybody's girlfriend" in prison for the next 25 or so years...
  • Faux Affably Evil: While Sugou tries to puts up a polite façade, it eventually becomes clear that he's an amoral, greedy, pretentious Jerkass with a God complex who looks down on everyone around him, as well as being a perverted stalker towards Asuna. It's particularly pronounced in his Last Villain Stand, where he casually talks with Kirito at first, before charging at him with a knife with full intent to kill him.
    Sugou: You're late, Kirito. I've been out here so long, I might catch cold.
  • Flynning: Exploited hard by Kirito. When Kirito gets admin privileges and demands a duel, it becomes clear that Sugou is not skilled at either games or real swordfighting, because he attacks Kirito's weapon instead of the boy himself, which Kirito easily deflects and overpowers.
  • Foil:
    • Like Kayaba, he's a technical genius and the Game Master of the game he created, but while Kayaba built up SAO from scratch, willingly gave up his admin privileges to fight Kirito fairly, was able to put up a good fight without them, and went out gracefully, Sugou stole the entire system of ALO from Kayaba's design, abused his admin privileges to wipe the floor with Kirito, proved to be absolutely no threat without said privileges, and went out whining, cursing, and crying. The biggest difference between the two? Kayaba doesn't seem to see the inherent problems with his actions, whereas Sugou knows what he's doing is wrong and doesn't give a damn; instead, he revels in the knowledge that he can do all the things in ALO that would see him ostracized in real-life.
    • To Kirito himself. Kirito notes that both him and Sugou shared the experience of being defeated and then forced to work for Kayaba — the difference being that Sugou tried to become Kayaba, while Kirito defied him. How they approach the concept of What You Are in the Dark also counts; Kirito believes that if you indulge your baser instincts while anonymous online, you end up becoming a worse person as a result, whereas Sugou revels in being able to do all the horrible things online that would see him ostracized in the real world, and uses ALO as his own personal outlet for indulging in his sadism and sick fantasies.
  • For the Evulz: He revels in being evil, and delights in being able to commit all manner of atrocities in ALO that would see him ostracized in the real world. Then there's his Cold-Blooded Torture of Kirito, where he pins him down and makes him watch as he sexually assaults Asuna, purely for the sake of being cruel and lording his power over the two.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Zigzagged. His real world counterpart (the corrupt corporate executive) wears glasses but his game avatar (the tyrannical king) does not.
  • The GM Is a Cheating Bastard: Uses an unreleased, overpowered gravity spell on Kirito and Asuna. He then slowly lowers the Pain Absorber to torture Kirito rather than kill him immediately. The latter eventually leads to him being Hoist by His Own Petard with it being used against him.
  • GMPC: He abuses the fact he has overpowered stats, equipment and magic to fight the heroes. Unlike Kayaba, who was a skilled fighter and warrior even when he intentionally turned off his admin privileges, those are the only things going for him as he's pathetic combat-wise. Once Kayaba's virtual ghost (anime/novels) or Strea (games) take his admin status away, Kirito wastes no time showing Sugou how outclassed and pathetic he really is.
  • Game Master: He's the administrator of ALO during Fairy Dance.
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: He doesn't wear glasses in ALO.
  • A God Am I: Saw himself as one in ALO and gave himself the identity of "the fairy king, Oberon". His research into Mind Control is in part so he can make himself one in real-life as well.
    Sugou: [mockingly] Ah, who do you think is going to stop me? Ooh, maybe a god! But sadly, there's none in this world. EXCEPT FOR YOURS TRULY!
  • Godhood Seeker: While he styled himself as god in ALO and saw himself as such, being the one who created the game, he also seeks to become one IRL by perfecting his Mind Control research.
  • Good Hair, Evil Hair: In real-life, his hair is slicked back. During his Last Villain Stand, said hair is now a mess, showcasing his Villainous Breakdown.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: It may not seem like it at first, but he's this for the War of the Underworld subarc of the Alicization arc. Sugou had put spies within the Ocean Turtle with the intention to sell their tech to foreign governments, thus leading to NSA hiring Glowden Security Systems to seize it.
  • Greed: Part of his motivation for his mind control experiments. He gloats to Asuna that as soon as his research is complete, he's going to sell it and RECT to an American organization for "as much as he can." It's also revealed that he planted spies in the Ocean Turtle with the intention of selling their tech.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: His avatar gets chopped in half by Kirito during the climax of Fairy Dance, before getting thrown in the air and impaled through the eye.
  • Hate Sink: Unlike Kayaba, Sugou has no redeeming qualities and goes out of his way to be as despicable as possible. He's a Smug Snake, Dirty Coward, and Corrupt Corporate Executive who performs inhumane mind control experiments on 300 SAO survivors, thinks himself above everyone else, keeps Asuna prisoner in ALO to lord over her in a birdcage before trying to rape her outright while making Kirito watch, and lastly, makes an attempt on Kazuto's life IRL. Every moment he's on-screen seems devoted to making the audience cheer every time Kirito turns the tables on him.
  • The Hedonist: His lust for power and treatment of Asuna gives him some exaggerated hedonistic qualities.
  • Heroes Act, Villains Hinder: For the majority of the Fairy Dance arc he's an Orcus on His Throne who does nothing to stop Kirito from advancing the game and coming to rescue Asuna. Only when Kirito has made his way to the top of the World Tree does he get off his ass and take action. Even in the real world, he just stands outside the hospital in the snow, waiting for Kirito to show up, and when he does, he gripes that Kirito is late and he could have caught a cold.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Pain Absorption that he used to torture Kirito is used against him when the latter obtains Administration Powers from Kayaba.
  • Hope Crusher: He constantly tries to be this for Asuna during her time trapped in ALO, most notably by gloating about his belief Kirito is too scared to enter ALO to rescue her and that he won't be coming. It backfires, since Asuna knows Kirito will come for her, and the knowledge he's out there helps her Heroic Resolve.
  • Humiliation Conga: Gets hit with this when Kirito pulls off his Heroic Second Wind. First, Kirito revokes his admin status and turns off the Pain Absorber that Sugou had previously used to torture him, insuring that every wound he inflicted on Sugou's avatar would carry over to his real body. Then, he uses a voice command to summon Excalibur, the most powerful weapon in ALO, and gives it to Sugou, who tries to cut Kirito down with it, only to fail miserably; subsequently, Kirito literally tears Oberon apart, slicing off his arm, cutting him in half, and stabbing him through the eye, killing him in-game. When Sugou later tries to attack Kirito in real-life, he's overpowered, reduced to a sobbing wreck, and loses control of his bladder before being arrested and incarcerated. His crimes are subsequently made public, and Asuna's parents, call off his engagement to their daughter. In the end, Sugou lost everything; his dreams and ambitions are crushed, his body is permanently damaged, and the whole world now sees him for the cyber-criminal and monster he really is.
  • Hypocrite:
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Does this to Asuna by chaining her, ripping her clothes off and licking her, all this right in front of Kirito.
  • If I Can't Have You…: His threat of altering Asuna's memories. If she doesn't voluntarily submit to him then he will brainwash her into doing so.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Kirito kills Sugou's Oberon avatar by tossing him up and letting him fall onto his sword that landed on his right eye.
  • In-Series Nickname: Kirito dubs him "The King of Thieves", since in spite of all his claims that he's the king, creator, and god of ALfheim Online, he actually just stole his power, the lives of 300 SAO survivors, the world someone else completed, and is overall mooching off Akihiko Kayaba's work and inventions.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: What he's reduced to when Kirito turns the tables on him, both in-game and IRL, is a tearful wreck.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: He fancies himself a big and powerful man, even declaring himself a god, but he's ultimately nothing but a poor imitation of Akihiko Kayaba and he knows it. During his Villainous Breakdown, he whines and throws a temper tantrum over the fact that even with Kayaba dead, he's still Always Second Best. Kirito even lampshades it; while both of them were defeated by Kayaba and forced to work for him, Kirito defied Kayaba while Sugou wants to be him.
  • Internet Jerk: He may very well be one of the worst examples in all of fiction. While most examples of this trope merely have those online acting as massive jerks which they could not get away with in real-life. Sugou sees being in a virtual world as the perfect excuse to bring a sadistic bastard, conducting inhumane experiments on players and making numerous attempts to sexually assault Asuna, before going for the full on Attempted Rape. And then, Kirito finds out he's just as bad in the real world as he is online, when Sugou tries to kill him using a knife.
  • It's All About Me: He takes having a god complex to unbelievable levels, thinking that he's entitled to ruling the world and it's not fair if anyone tries to stop his grandiose plans.
  • Jerkass: Sugou isn't just evil, he's a thoroughly a callous and unpleasant dick to boot. Aside from treating Asuna like a doll and disregarding her own emotions, he rubs his impending Arranged Marriage with Asuna in Kirito's face just to be a dick, looks down on everyone around him, and responds to his attempts to save Asuna from ALO with sadistic mockery.
  • Kick the Dog: He does this a lot. Highlights include gloating about his Arranged Marriage with Asuna to Kirito, bragging about the look on Kirito's face when he did so to Asuna, and pinning him down before impaling him with his own sword and making him watch as he molests Asuna while smirking and laughing about it.
    Sugou: Give me a break. Why don't you stay down and grovel like a GOOD LITTLE DOGGY?!
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Once Kayaba saves Kirito and takes away Sugou's admin privileges, Kirito wastes no time in defeating Sugou as painfully and humiliating as possible, verbally tearing down his delusions of godhood before brutally killing him to the point where Sugou is left with permanent injuries in real-life. On anyone else, it would've been horrifyingly brutal, but after all of the atrocities Sugou has committed on top of being a Jerkass Smug Snake, it's incredibly cathartic to watch Kirito put him in his place.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: After impaling Kirito with his own sword, he decides to twist the knife by first changing the Pain Absorber to torture him, then to mess with him even further by molesting Asuna right in front of him. Later, when he attacks Kirito in the real world, he literally kicks him multiple times after Kirito falls to the ground.
  • Killer Game Master: The overpowered spells, the Pain Reception controls, and the fact that ALO is Unwinnable by Design, all point to a sadistic "Fairy King".
  • Knife Nut: He tried to kill Kazuto in the real world with a combat knife. Thankfully he gets his ass handed to him by his supposed victim, who hands him to the police. This thanks to the skills Kazuto learned in-game.
  • Lack of Empathy: He shows no remorse over any of his heinous deeds, and even takes delight in them. Most notably, he views the 300 SAO survivors he trapped in ALO as nothing but guinea pigs for his mind control research and calls them as such. He also believes he's entitled to have Asuna and completely disregards her own emotions, opting to make her fall in love with him and marry her.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After his Attempted Rape of Asuna and being a massive Jerkass to boot, Sugou gets what's coming to him big-time: after acquiring Kayaba's Administrator ID, Kirito kills Oberon so brutally in the game that Sugou is left with permanent injuries in the real world, and after trying to kill Kirito in real-life, he fails, gets arrested, and is forced to confess everything.
  • Last Villain Stand: After his defeat, he's suffered a complete Villainous Breakdown and has lost everything he had planned to achieve... but still makes one last attempt to kill Kirito in the real world. Kirito beats the crap out of him and leaves him a broken wreck in the parking lot for the cops to arrest.
  • Lean and Mean: He's a callous and ruthless psychopath who is also incredibly tall and skinny.
  • Lecherous Licking: When he is sexually assaulting Asuna in Alfheim Online, she starts to cry in humiliation and he ecstatically licks her tears.
  • Leitmotif: "False king", a more divine but also darker sounding remix of "We Have To Defeat It" that played for the SAO bosses.
  • Light/Darkness Juxtaposition: As Oberon he's the light to Kirito's dark. Kirito is the Dark Is Not Evil hero while Sugou made himself into the King of the Fairies and the God of Alfheim Online, giving himself a divine appearance with blonde hair and ornamented with gold.
  • Light Is Not Good: As Oberon he gives himself a divine looking avatar with blonde hair and gold ornaments on his robes, but he's one of the most vile characters in the entire series.
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming: If his ecstatic reaction to the look of fear on Asuna's face, complete with Slasher Smile, as he chains her up and is about to molest her in front of an incapacitated Kirito is anything to go by.
    Sugou: Yes! Great! That's what I was hoping for! You can't get NPC girls to make faces like that!
  • Mad Eye: His right eye bugs out while he's gloating to Asuna in episode 18. That same eye later gets this treatment in the real world after Kirito stabs him through it with the Pain Absorber set to zero; it's permanently bloodshot, with visible veins/scarring extending in all directions from it.
  • Mask of Sanity: He pretends to be a friendly, stable guy, and the act is convincing enough to completely fool Asuna's parents. Beneath it all, he's a totally sadistic, Ax-Crazy Jerkass prone to Evil Laughs and Slasher Smiles, especially in his role as Oberon in ALO. The mask comes off completely once Kirito defeats and exposes him.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: When Kirito gives him a small cut on the cheek, he freaks out and whines that it hurts. Kirito lampshades it, remarking that it's nothing compared to what Sugou did to Asuna; right afterwards, Kirito proceeds to really give Sugou/Oberon some wounds to cry about by, in this order, slicing off his arm, cutting him in half, and finally impaling him through the eye, into the brain area, killing him in-game and permanently injuring him IRL.
  • Moral Myopia: When he confronts Kirito outside of the hospital, he's absolutely furious that Kirito overrode his control of the game and permanently injured him... when he put Kirito through Cold-Blooded Torture, subjected 300 SAO survivors to inhumane experiments, and sexually assaulted Asuna while making Kirito watch.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: As stated above, Sugou was part of the same class of brilliant VR engineers as Kayaba, and is responsible for hijacking the minds of Asuna and other 300 SAO survivors to experiment on them for his Mind Control research.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: After being defeated in ALO, Sugou attacks Kirito in real-life with full intent to kill, stating outright that he won't accept anything less than Kirito's death for interfering with his plans.
    Sugou: You think a piece of trash like you can get in my way? Did you think I'd let you slow me down?! Wanna know what the punishment is? Death. I won't accept anything less!
  • Narcissist: Sugou displays multiple narcissistic traits. He's arrogant, egomaniacal, and power-hungry, to the extent of proclaiming himself a god, and quite manipulative, easily tricking Asuna's parents into thinking he's a friendly Honest Corporate Executive when he's really using their company for his own twisted ends. He also possesses a grandiose sense of self-worth and expects special treatment from people around him, believing he's entitled to have Asuna even though she completely despises him. Finally, he's unable to handle criticism and takes defiance of his plans very personally; he views Kirito as beneath him, openly calling him trash and scum, and is outraged when Kirito ruins his plans while verbally tearing down his delusions of godhood and summing him up as nothing but a "king of thieves" mooching off Kayaba's work, to the extent that he outright tries to murder him in real-life while declaring he won't accept anything less than Kirito's death for his interference.
  • Never My Fault: After his arrest and subsequent interrogation, Sugou initially denied everything and tried to pin the blame for his actions on Akihiko Kayaba. He only gave in and confessed when one of his own employees was brought in for questioning.
  • No Ontological Inertia: His victims, bar Asuna, luckily had no recollection or post-effects of three months spent experimented upon. Neither madness nor suffering ensued once they were freed.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: He doesn't know how to keep his hands and tongue to himself.
  • Not-So-Badass Longcoat: When he attacks Kirito in real-life after losing to him in ALO, Sugou is wearing a khaki trenchcoat. This is after Kirito beat him in ALO, turning off the Pain Absorber and killing Sugou's in-game avatar so brutally that Sugou has been left with permanent injuries in real-life, and in the ensuing confrontation, Sugou loses once again to Kirito, who just barely manages to stop himself from slitting Sugou's throat with his own knife; by that point, Sugou is crying his eyes out and wetting himself.
  • Not So Invincible After All: When he first encounters Kirito in-game, it isn’t even a battle and more a massacre, where he abuses his admin powers to lay Cold-Blooded Torture upon the boy. But as Kirito is lying on the ground, completely helpless with his own sword impales through his back, Kayaba’s Virtual Ghost pulls a Big Damn Heroes and shows his account has even more authority than Sugou and gives these credentials to Kirito, who proceeds to reset Sugou’s OP account to zero, turn off the pain absorber, and lay a Curb-Stomp Battle upon the bastard.
  • Not So Stoic: He tries to act as if he's always in control, but his composure collapses when unexpected events happen.
  • Obviously Evil: As Oberon he gives off a very unsettling air, with his Slasher Smiles, evil cackles, and proclaims of godhood. It's also apparent from his very first appearance that he's a perverted rapist.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • He's quite visibly terrified when Kirito, using his newfound Game Master powers, reduces Oberon to Level 1 and turns the Pain Absorber for Sugou off completely, ensuring that every wound inflicted on Oberon would carry over to Sugou's real body. Kirito even calls him out on flinching and panicking, something Kayaba never did.
    • He does it again when Kirito manages to overpower him and take his knife away in real-life, explicitly stating his intent to use it on Sugou himself. Sugou promptly panics and tries to make a run for it; Kirito doesn't let him get away.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: He admits to Asuna that he'd been researching mind control using FullDive for a while, and took advantage of the SAO incident to reroute 300 survivors to ALO for human experimentation.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Despite holding administrative powers over the world of ALO, he chooses to sit back and observe the chaos from afar while making his own plans. It isn't until Kirito makes it to the top of the World Tree that Sugou actually bothers to get off his ass.
  • Paper Tiger: He talks a big game and boasts of his so-called godhood, but for all of his bravado, Sugou sucks at combat and has nothing but his Game Master privileges to keep up with Kirito. Best shown when Kirito pulls off his Heroic Second Wind and uses Kayaba's ID to strip Oberon of them; he summons Excalibur, the Infinity +1 Sword of the game, and gives it to Sugou before taking up his own sword. Even with the strongest weapon in the game, Sugou is no match for Kirito in a straight fight, fails to land a single hit, and goes down in a matter of seconds. It happens again in real-life, where he goes from smugly gloating about how he's going to kill Kirito and continue his research to balling his eyes out and wetting his pants the minute Kirito turns the tables on him again.
  • Perverted Sniffing: Kirito and the audience first discover Sugou's true colors when, after Asuna's father leaves her hospital room, he sniffs the comatose Asuna's hair. Taken Up to Eleven when we discover he went so far as to recreate Asuna's real-life scent in ALO.
    Sugou: And don't even get me started on how... hard it was to get an analyzer into your hospital room undetected.
  • Pitiful Worms: He sees himself as the god of ALO, and thinks so little of Kirito that he calls him, among other things, a "cockroach," a "piece of trash", and "scum."
    Sugou: The last thing I expected to find was a cockroach in my little bird's cage.
  • Power Perversion Potential: In his attempted rape on Asuna, he summons some chains to string her up as he molests her to prevent her from fighting back. A comment on how NPC girls don't make expressions like hers Implies that he also used his privileges to use ALO's NPCs as glorified sex dolls.
  • Pride Before a Fall: He's introduced as an arrogant, self-assured creep, declaring himself the god of ALO and rubbing in Kirito's face that there's nothing he can do to stop him. This culminates in him pinning Kirito down and making him watch as he molests Asuna just to rub in how powerless he is rather than just finish him off and be done with it... which allows Kayaba to grant Kirito access to his admin ID, which outranks Sugou's own, and allows Kirito to finally put Sugou in his place. For his ego, Sugou lost everything and landed himself in prison.
  • Promoted to Playable: He, or at least his Oberon Avatar, is playable in Accel World VS. Sword Art Online: Millennium Twilight. He's appropriately pathetic.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: While he can put up a respectable front, Beneath the Mask Sugou is a physically weak, morally spineless coward who just wants to slobber all over Asuna, both in-game and over her comatose body in real-life, and throws temper tantrums when he doesn't get his way. Best shown when Kayaba's Virtual Ghost overrides his control of the game and gives Kirito admin privileges; Sugou whines and throws a temper tantrum, griping about how even in death, Kayaba's getting in his way and taking everything that Sugou considers rightfully his. Immediately afterwards, when Kirito gives him a small cut on the cheek with the Pain Absorber set to 0, Sugou has a minor Freak Out and whines over the pain like a child with a scraped knee. Made even more blatant in the original Japanese; Sugou uses the gentle-masculine "Boku" (normally used by little-boys) to refer to himself (instead of the coarse-masculine "Ore" or gender-neutral "watashi" expected of a grown-man), further accentuating that beneath his Mask of Sanity is a sinister Spoiled Brat.
  • Put on a Prison Bus: After his final battle with Kirito in the real world, Sugou is taken into police custody. He still appears through mentions.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil:
    • If all of his inhumane acts weren't enough, like hijacking all of the SAO captives and running experiments on their minds, just to show how much of an absolute bastard he is, he tries to rape Asuna in front of Kirito, after having stabbed him through the back with his own sword.
    • It's even worse in the games, where he uses his admin privileges to override the Harassment Code put in place and actively sexually assaults several female players.
  • Sadist: Not only does he meddle with the Pain Absorber to torture Kirito, Sugou goes so far as to pin him down and sexually assault Asuna right in front of him, just to make him suffer psychologically. He even takes the time to look right at Kirito, smirk, and laugh while doing so. He also seems to thrive on trying to be a Hope Crusher towards Asuna, and is ecstatic when Asuna attempts to reassure Kirito, saying nothing Sugou does will really hurt her.
    Sugou: I was hoping you'd say that. But I wonder how long your pride's going to last. Thirty minutes? An hour? Why don't we see how long you can HANG ON TO IT?!
  • Satanic Archetype: If Kayaba is the equivalent of God and Kirito is the Messianic Archetype, then this makes Sugou the Devil, the personification of everything awful. He once worked for Kayaba, but was always his inferior, however once given the chance Sugou seizes the world and its people, declaring himself its new god and ruler. However he's no match for the intervention of the real God, where Kayaba's Virtual Ghost steps in to give Kirito the means to beat him. As Kirito puts it, Sugou is a "King of Thieves, sitting alone on [his] stolen throne." His Light Is Not Good theme only makes it all the more apparent.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: While he has a deep voice in the Japanese version, Sugou nonetheless lets out a very high-pitched scream when Kirito chops his arm off in-game, and later when Kazuto nearly slits his throat in real-life.
  • Sexier Alter Ego: He seems to be going for this with the Oberon character, given it's long blond hair, fancy clothes, and lack of glasses. His facial expressions and body language ruin the effect, though.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: When Asuna expresses disgust at Sugou using the SAO survivors for mind control research and claims that such technology is illegal, Sugou retorts that several countries are researching mind control technology just as he is, with the only obstacle being human experimentation.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: He's only stalkerishly obsessed with Asuna. In Accel World vs Sword Art Online, while he does lewd other girls, once he lays eyes on Asuna he became fixated with her and her only, ignoring all of the other girls present.
  • Sissy Villain: Speaks in a florid, posh and effeminite manner, even using gentle-masculine "Boku" (normally used by boys) to refer to himself (instead of the coarse-masculine "Ore" or even the gender-neutral "watashi" expected of a grown man), further accentuating his immaturity, and his ALO avatar Oberon is a blonde Long-Haired Pretty Boy.
  • Slasher Smile: He gives a big, toothy one after chaining Asuna up.
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: He kidnapped 300 SAO survivors and trapped them in ALO for the express purpose of performing inhumane Mind Control experiments on him. He also makes the threat that if Asuna won't voluntary submit to him, then he'll simply brainwash her into loving him. He also intended to do this to Kirito to pry his mind for information.
  • Slimeball: An insecure creep and sexual deviant who sleazes his way up the business ladder and over-compensates his inadequacies and insecurities with expensive suits and slicked back hair. Yeah, Sugou would be right at home with fellow sleazebags Carter J Burke and The Wolf of Wall Street.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: He talks big, describing himself as an incredibly powerful man, to the point of claiming to be a god but is really the poor man's version of Akihiko Kayaba and after the latter's Big Damn Heroes moment in Alfheim, he shows that he knows it too. Kirito even spells it out for him, telling him point-blank that he's nothing but a thief mooching off Kayaba's work:
    Kirito: You stole everything in this world. Everything! Including its people! You're nothing but a king of thieves, sitting alone on your stolen throne!
  • Small Role, Big Impact: For the War of the Underworld subarc of the Alicization Arc. Sugou's spy in the Ocean Turtle leaks out the info of their tech and research, thus leading to the NSA going after it and hiring Glowgen Defense Systems to seize it, and thus causing the entire subarc.
  • Smug Snake: He constantly acts smug and arrogant, and tends to speak in a slick tone... but that's only because he has the powers of a Game Master; the second the tables turn on him, he loses it and throws a temper tantrum.
  • The Sociopath: He's a straighter example than Kayaba, wanting to perform inhumane mind control experiments on 300 SAO survivors, whom he openly describes as "guinea pigs" rather than people, and making an incapacitated Kirito watch as he tries to rape Asuna without a flicker of remorse. Sugou also has a grandiose sense of self-worth, declaring himself a god and believing that he's entitled to have Asuna despite the fact that she can't stand him, and unlike Kayaba, he's a vicious sadist who revels in his cruelty and evil. He's a high-functioning sociopath, hiding his true nature to Asuna's father by playing the part of a friendly, polite Honest Corporate Executive.
  • Spoiled Brat: It is likely that being a spoiled rotten "prince" of a Zaibatsu family since childhood, having what he wants when he wants removed Sugou's need to ever take responsibility for his actions, and hence destroyed his ability to empathize with the rest of humanity in adulthood. When he loses to Kirito, he outright whines and throws a temper tantrum over the fact that things aren't going his way.
  • Stalker with a Crush:
    • To Asuna. He sniffs her hair while she's in a coma, traps her in ALO just to lord over her in a bird cage, constantly gropes and sniffs her, and finally licks her face and rips her clothes off before trying to rape her outright, all while stating that he's going to record the act and then molest her unconscious body while watching said recording.
    • Implied to have been this towards Rinko during their school years, the Light Novel revealing that he tried to court her. Whether or not this was genuine attraction and just wanting what was Kayaba's is never clarified.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!: As Oberon, he often screams in the midst of talking.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: When Kirito overpowers him in real-life, his smug statement that other organizations would take him in and shelter him for his work is proven wrong; not only is he arrested and incarcerated for his crimes, but his actions result in a massive scandal against RECT Inc. that forces Shouzou, who put Sugou in charge of the RECT Progress division in the first place, to step down as CEO in shame. Adding to that, while it isn't explicitly mentioned, no company would ever take in Sugou anyway; RECT Inc. was ruined by the bad press and no company would ever trust anything he made after the ALO incident, no matter how impressive, because he proved he would trap and kill people for his amusement.
  • Take Over the World: What he ultimately strives to do is perfect his mind control technology and assert himself as God of the world.
  • Tears of Fear: He's reduced to balling his eyes out in sheer terror when Kazuto nearly slits his throat IRL.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: Sugou is a power-hungry sociopath with a god complex, and in real-life, looks like your average everyday guy in a business suit and glasses. Even Kirito didn't realize his true colors until Sugou sniffed Asuna's hair and gloated about their upcoming marriage.
  • This Cannot Be!: His response when Kirito gains access to Kayaba's ID and Game Master privileges, and uses them to strip Sugou of his own admin privileges.
    Sugou: An ID that outranks mine?! That's impossible! This is my world! I'm the creator! I'm its ruler! Its king! Its god!
  • Underestimating Badassery: He gravely underestimates Kirito, dismissing him as a "weak little boy" and believing he'll be too scared to enter ALO to save Asuna. This arrogance costs Sugou everything and results in him being locked up, his dreams and ambitions crushed and his body permanently damaged. This extends to real life, where he thinks wielding a knife will be enough to kill Kirito, only to have the boy turn the tides, steal his knife, and very nearly kill Sugou.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: He's pathetic combat-wise, but gets by throughout most of the Fairy Dance arc purely by abusing his admin privileges to give himself overpowered stats, equipment, and magic to fight Kirito with. Once he's stripped of his Game Master status, Sugou proves to be no match for Kirito even with the strongest weapon in ALO, failing to land even a single hit before Kirito literally rips him to shreds.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: ALO is his own personal outlet for endulging in his sick fantasies, from sexually assaulting Asuna to torturing Kirito.
  • Viler New Villain: Akihiko Kayaba was no saint, but he had his own moral code and stuck to it to the end. Sugou has none of Kayaba's Affably Evil traits and is just an amoral, greedy, perverted Jerkass who commits such horrifying atrocities as trapping 300 SAO survivors for the sake of performing mind control experiments, trying to rape Asuna while making Kirito watch, and then trying to kill Kazuto IRL. And while Kayaba had Villainous Valor, was a good fighter even without admin privileges, and ultimately took his defeat well, Sugou is a Dirty Coward who knows he doesn't stand a chance against Kirito without Game Master powers and wimps out when the tables turn on him.
  • Villain Ball: When he has Kirito pinned down in ALO, rather than just finish him off and be done with it, Sugou decides to indulge his sadism by slowly decreasing the Pain Absorber to "give him something to look forward to", and then make him watch while he sexually assaults Asuna. This buys Kayaba's Virtual Ghost time to save Kirito and grant him admin privileges, leading to the Pain Absorber being used against Sugou himself and Sugou being chopped up and left with permanent injuries IRL. Sugou had no way of foreseeing Kayaba's intervention, but deciding to torment Kirito before killing him was still a stupid move.
  • Villain Has a Point: Yes, Sugou is a total bastard, but he makes a valid point when he remarks to Asuna that Kayaba's FullDive technology had far more potential and uses than simply making a video game, and that Kayaba was foolish to not want more out of it. Indeed, Kayaba's tech has found other uses beyond game development, most notably with the Medicuboid and the Soul Translatornote .
    Sugou: Mr. Kayaba was a genius, but he was also a fool. All he wanted to use his technology for was his game. He couldn't see the potential in it. But I did.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After Kirito foils his plans, Sugou loses all sense of gentlemanly restraint he'd shown throughout his appearances to the point where he's reduced to a nervous wreck when he tries to kill Kirito in real-life. Kirito just barely manages to stop himself from slitting Sugou's throat with his own knife, after which Sugou wets himself and faints.
  • Villainous Crush: His attempts at "courting" Asuna amount to putting her in a cage and threatening her memories. He also apparently had one on Rinko Koujiro, Kayaba's girlfriend.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: He gives a completely unjustified one to Kirito during his Last Villain Stand, calling him out on torturing and killing him in ALO and telling him that what he did was cruel. Of course, Sugou has no room to talk, considering that he himself tortured Kirito and tried to rape Asuna right in front of him on top of committing other horrifying atrocities.
  • Where's the Fun in That?: He remarks to Asuna that he could alter her memories if he wanted to, but claims he won't because such an option wouldn't be fun.
    Sugou: If I wanted, I could alter your memories too. Don't worry, the last thing I'd ever want to do is turn you into a porcelain doll.
  • Wicked Pretentious: Sugou may appear sophisticated to most, but those who've seen his true self know that he's a self-absorbed and arrogant psychopath who's nothing but a creepy Psychopathic Manchild.
  • Worf Had the Flu: He comes pretty close to killing Kirito in the real world, but fails due to the bad vision in his right eye, causing him to miss with the killing blow and allowing Kirito to beat him.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: Because Kirito inflicted grievous wounds on him with the pain absorber set 0, he experiences phantom pain in the real world and is blind in one eye. It can't be cured because there is physically nothing wrong with him.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: When changing the Pain Absorber to torture Kirito, Sugou remarks that once it hits 3, any wounds he suffers in-game will affect his body in the real world. Once he gets Kayaba's admin privileges, Kirito turns the Pain Absorber off completely before chopping Sugou up, leaving him with permanent real-world injuries.

    Scientist (SPOILERS) 

Yanai

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.
  • Hate Sink: He isn't much better than his superior Sugou. While Yanai has less direct involvement in much of the carnage Sugou causes in Fairy Dance, he takes an equal amount of perverse pleasure in experimenting on people. Ditto when he sexually harasses Asuna with his slug form's Naughty Tentacles. Additionally, he's an unrepentant smug Dirty Coward who sells out his own allies to save his own skin. All this makes his gruesome death from falling down the shaft in Alicization well-deserved.
  • 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.

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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)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/deathgun.png

"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 mess with Kirito's life, constantly rubbing in his face on why he can't remember who he is, always 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 Not So Different being 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: During the BoB tournament, he shoots his targets with stun bullets from his "Silent Assassin" (a very rare and high-level sniper rifle according to Sinon) before moving in for the kill with his handgun.
  • 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.
  • Darth Vader Clone: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 for respect and praise for the old Kirito of SAO. Though he seems disgusted by how weak the present day Kirito of GGO is.
  • 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.
  • It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY": 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".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sniper Rifles: His rifle of choice is the L115A3, the British Army designation for the Arctic Warfare Super Magnum sniper rifle. His particular rifle is unique in that it has a custom integrally suppressed barrel akin to the AWS variant. This is what gives it its unique "Silent Assassin" moniker in-game.
  • 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

    Quinella 

Quinella

Voiced by: Maaya Sakamoto (Japanese), Maureen Price (English)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/quinella_0.png
"To love is to control. I love everything. I rule everything."

The Administrator of Underworld and high minister of Axiom Church. She is responsible for corrupting the government from behind the scenes, disposing of those who oppose her. The antagonist of volumes 9-14.


  • Accidental Murder: Her implementation of the Taboo Index has caused incidents like this. One such example is when Rath caused a plague in the Underworld in hopes of forcing the people to break the laws so they can try to minimize possible deaths. However, the people's absolute adherence to the Index and it's rules against killing and stealing led to them not doing anything about it, leading to devastating casualties that could have been avoided.
  • Accidental Truth: When she gave Scheta the Black Lily Sword, she encouraged her to cling to her murderous impulses and obsession with cutting, claiming that she'll find a way to break out of it as a result. Knowing Quinella, this is definitely an attempt at manipulating her into being an effective attack dog, But Scheta does end up finding a way out of her obsession, since it leads to her taking part in the War of Underworld and meeting Iskahn, who she falls in love with when he proves capable of resisting her slashes and soon realizes that in spite of her obsession, she doesn't want to kill or cut him.
  • Actor Allusion: This wouldn't be the first time Maaya Sakamoto voiced a video game AI that had seemingly infinite powers (and even resided in a cathedral) However, unlike Quinella, Aura shows herself to be a Benevolent A.I. who cares for the well-being of the players playing the game.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Her hair and eyes were described in the novels as silver with a platinum-like sheen. In all animated and illustrated media ever since, it's purple, with no noticeable luster.
  • Adaptational Modesty: In the game, she wears her dress for the entire final battle intact against Kirito, instead of going into her Full-Frontal Assault territory that she's better known for.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy:
    • Downplayed. While her crimes are mostly the same in the anime adaptation, there are a few more scenes added in that make her overall more sympathetic. Her spirit lingering after her death and being proud of the empire that she created. After Bercouli's death, her spirit appears with him, showing awareness of her heinousness and even some regret over her actions, while both are happy to reunite and are Together in Death.
    • Gets this treatment in the Cake Timeline. While she still gives off the impression of a Sociopathic tyrant with the God Complex who effectively sees her subjects as objects she can use and abuse as she pleases, there are moments where she's merciful and even warm, something Kirito and Eugeo pick up in her interactions with her riding dragon, and she appears more willing to actually negotiate with Cardinal than kill her outright after being convinced by the two new Integrity Knights. This actually appears to be a plot-point, as Charlotte feels compelled to report this behavior to Cardinal.
  • The Ageless: Her original effort to take over the Cardinal system of UW resulted in her fusing with it, granting her eternal youth and the removal of the need to eat and drink. However, she wasn't satisfied with just that.
  • All Cloth Unravels: It takes only a tug of a knot on her nightgown to strip completely naked in front of Eugeo. Knowing her, this could be intentional.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Her right arm was severed when Eugeo (in sword form) clashed with Quinella's blade. She subsequently transmutes said arm into another sword to kill Kirito with. And even that other arm is lopped off in battle later on when the two stab each other in such a way Quinella is also able to take one of Kirito's arms in exchange. Subverted in ''Lycoris'', where she and Kirito both apparently end the duel with all of their arms intact.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • To Cardinal. Being her antithesis, Cardinal exists for the sole reason of ending Quinella. The two have spent centuries battling and attempting to thwart one another. Quinella wanting nothing more than to hunt Cardinal down and kill her, while Cardinal wants to put an end to Quinella's reign and reclaim Administrator powers. Quinella has utter glee when she finally gets the chance to kill Cardinal and makes sure to enjoy every second of it.
    • To Kirito, with both eventually coming to see each other as this. Kirito discovers that Quinella is the one responsible for everything bad that happened to him in the Underworld, and dedicates his efforts to bringing her down, while ensuring that others who were once fiercely loyal to the Pontifex see her for the vile being she is. This becomes especially the case when Quinella kills Eugeo, earning her a place among Kirito's most hated enemies of all time. While Quinella originally saw Kirito as nothing but an insignificant bug who dared to defy her and waiting to be crushed, she attains special hatred for him when she finds out he's special, being from the other side of the outside world. Kirito giving Quinella a reality check in reminding her there are true gods on the outside infuriates her, and her hatred for Kirito only grows when he continues to resist her, being the last one standing. Worth noting is, even among the others who resisted her, Quinella at least is able to show a twisted form of affection such as to Alice, Eugeo, and even Cardinal, whereas she never once gives this treatment to Kirito and derogatorily refers to him as "boy".
    • To Eugeo. While his hatred was initially aimed towards the Axiom Church itself, later it gets centered on Quinella since she is the one responsible for everything. It becomes very personal after she subjects Eugeo to Mind Rape and make him susceptible to Synthesis, before later when he breaks free revealing she put forced Synthesis on Alice. Eugeo later decides that it is his purpose to bring Quinella down due to wishing to atone for his actions and gives up his life to ensure it happens.
    • To Alice. While originally Alice was fiercely loyal to the Pontifex and the Axiom Church, Kirito's influence began to cast more and more doubt upon her, and she uncovered more about the truth on Quinella's corruption. It reached the point where Alice openly abandoned her duties as an Integrity Knight and chose to oppose her former master. While her hatred for Quinella isn't quite as intense as Kirito and Eugeo's due to her conflicting loyalty, she still very much despises the Pontifex. Though this sentiment isn't quite as much shared on Quinella's side who views Alice's rebelling as an inconvenience and still sees her as an adequate doll that can be reprogrammed to do her bidding.
  • Awesome by Analysis: Her personality aside, there's something to be said for her skills. She was the first UW resident to figure out how to create offensive skills, restore her life, overturn the Cardinal System, copy her Fluctlight onto others, and forcibly alter the Fluctlights of others into her personal Servants... all because she spent a large amount of time just analyzing how the Sacred Arts of the Underworld worked.
  • Back from the Dead: The plot of Alicization Lycoris is set in motion by Kirito's decision to use the Night Sky Sword to kill Quinella ending up backfiring hard on him and the others. It allowed Quinella to take advantage of the sword's ability to absorb resources from the Gigas Cedar Tree to turn herself into a gigantic tree and plant seeds to bring back monsters and beings with Fluctlights Back from the Dead, connecting her own will with the Main Visualizer to make the entire thing happen.
  • Bad Boss: It's repeatedly shown that she views the Senators and Integrity Knights as more like tools than people.
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: She is shown to enjoy killing animals in her childhood to level herself up.
  • Barrier Change Boss: As a boss in Rising Steel, she makes use of barrier moves in each fight that nullifies damage from either physical attacks in her first and magic attacks in the second. As the Final Boss, she alternates between the two.
  • Bathing Beauty: Her Full Limit Break art and profile description as [Eternal Beauty] Quinella in Rising Steel depicts her enjoying a bath.
    Eternal beauty... how boring. Listening to the sounds of water drops falling, she finally can relax and wash all these thoughts away. Cracks of light illuminated on her skin while her wet hair accentuated her undeniable beauty. She stretched out her elegant legs from the snow white bathtub as the fragrance of flowers wrapped itself around her aura. Through the thin screen of steam, her allure entices
  • Beauty Is Bad: The Underworld's Most Beautiful Woman, and a self-centered Sociopath with a Sadistic streak and has no qualms with manipulating and Mind Raping anyone to suit her own ends.
  • Big Bad: For the first half of Alicization, she is the head villain, being the leader of the Axion Church and thus the world itself. She is responsible for Alice's arrest, the corruption in the nobility, the lack of preparation the Human Empire has for the Final Stress Test, and the later revelation of the even more sinister plot of converting the Human Empire into Sword Golems to battle the Dark Territory.
  • Blatant Lies: She swears to the Goddess Stacia that if Chudelkin helps defeat her enemies, she'll let him do whatever he wants with her body for one night. While Chudelkin can't fathom the idea of lying, Kirito knows that Quinella doesn't believe in Stacia, so her oath means nothing. Cardinal is smart enough to see through this, and insists that Quinella swear by the one thing that matters to her — her own Fluctlight.
  • Blow You Away: Blasted Eugeo aside using a gust of wind after thwarting his assassination attempt.
  • Body Horror: Her skin starts cracking when she's near death after Kirito stabbed her.
  • Body Surf: First started doing this once she realized that her current body could no longer contain all her memories and needing a new body to store her new experiences, but as time went on it became about attaining complete immortality.
  • Boobs of Steel: Presumably as part of being the Underworld's Most Beautiful Woman, Quinella has a considerable bust and, despite the fact that she spends most of her time sleeping, she is the most powerful Sacred Arts user of her time and has basically memorized every possible sword skill and technique, making her quite possibly the most powerful being short of a Physical God and allows her to give Kirito one of the toughest fights of his life.
  • Breakout Villain: Subverted. While she doesn't get to return to the series after her defeat, the anime does seem to acknowledge her popularity by not only giving her additional scenes but ones that depict her in a redeeming light.
    • After her initial defeat the anime adds a scene that shows her spirit getting to proudly observe the empire she created one last time as she passes on.
    • In War of the Underworld, her spirit returns after Bercouli is killed in combat and the two are reunited Together in Death.
  • Casting a Shadow: Generated a ball of darkness using the Umbral Element Sacred Arts, and can have Silvery Eternity fire bolts of dark lightning.
  • Clothing Damage: After Eugeo breaks free from her brainwashing and attacks her, her nightgown is left shredded, with it losing losing it's durability and disappearing soon after.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: She's the first Big Bad who is a female and isn't a human from the real world, a sharp contrast with her predecessors. She's also the first villain who isn't an obvious Evil Counterpart to Kirito, instead paralleling Alice. She's also the first who had her fall to villainy and ascension to power told in great detail, rather than being presented as just another bad guy straight from the get-go.
  • Control Freak: Quinella is a corrupt, narcissistic and callous psychopath who is not above killing, torturing, and brainwashing anyone to keep UW for herself, though her methods of doing so are different from the standard. She spends most of her time asleep in order to preserve precious memory space, but the laws she placed over the land and its people might as well be God-given edicts to follow consciously or subconsciously given her authority and are enforced by her Integrity Knights. In the backstory, while she fused with the Cardinal System to regulate UW, her original intention was to outright steal its powers and authority for herself.
  • Corrupt Church: She is the Pontifex of the Axiom Church, which is the leading authority in the human empire, but is more akin to a tyrant that rules the land with an iron fist while painting the allusion she's a benevolent ruler and emmisary of the gods.
  • The Corrupter: Quinella preys on Eugeo's emotions and his desire to be loved, twisting his memories and breaking him, before turning him into her own loyal servant.
  • Dark Action Girl: Being female does not stop her from being gifted at sword fighting.
  • Dark Messiah: Preaches herself as the will of God and the savior of humanity, when in reality she governed the human realm with an iron fist and is concerned with nothing but self-preservation.
  • Death by Irony: Quinella, a Control Freak who manipulated and brainwashed people into having Undying Loyalty to her, is burned alive by Chudelkin, quite possibly her most obsessive follower.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Implied. While the spirit of her Bercouli meets when he dies is stated to be the version of her that exists in his Fluctlight, and in turn is more benevolent than she actually was, what’s hinted to be her actual spirit appears to cheer Kirito on when he fights Gabriel.
  • Dirty Coward: Despite being more competent and attractive than Sugou, she's very rotten to the core and the reason why she's a Control Freak in the first place is because she fears losing power and influence to the people of UW.
  • Didn't See That Coming:
    • Her biggest undoing is failing to anticipate that Kirito and Eugeo's swords are not made from metal, which she has not made herself impervious to.
    • Nor Chudelkin barely surviving his injuries and ruining her getaway, killing her in the process.
    • She also got one in the Gameverse, when she realized that the blade that Kirito wielded (which originally belonged to Medina and the blade was fused with her Fluctlight) is revealed to be a divine object made out of an actual human's flesh and blood, meaning it had the capability to use Armament Full Control as well. Plus, since it's revealed that Medina's bloodline is actually the the key to create the gate to the real world the blade had a reality bending power as well, which ultimately led to her downfall.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Surprisingly Played for Laughs in the If You Were Here timeline. After Kirito reveals that he knows about the Synthesis Ritual and tries arguing for why she shouldn't perform it on him and Eugeo by noting how tedious the process of doing the ritual then mind wiping the people they interacted with would be, she ends up whining about how much of a "pain in the ass" the whole thing is and admits that the only reason she still does it is because she's done it so many times with the same "Summoned from the Celestial Realm" story that revealing the truth to her Knights would effectively screw her over.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Serves as the Big Bad of the first half of Alicization before Gabriel takes over.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Since her adult life, she wears just ankle wraps. She retains those even when naked.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Her forced synthesis of Eugeo looks very suspiciously like she's seducing him... or past that point already and gone to full-on sex.
  • Do Wrong, Right: In "Memories of Bygone Days: Alice", one of her issues with Rath trying to use two different "natural" disasters to kill off some Fluctlights and possibly spur the survivors into fighting for food is that she saw it as "uninspired".
  • Draco in Leather Pants: In-Universe: After he dies, Bercouli happens to meet Quinella's ghost, or more accurately the version of her that existed in his Fluctlight before he learned of her true nature and as a result is a much kinder and warmer individual to reflect how he saw her beforehand, with the two of them treating each other like old friends as they pass on.
  • Dragon Rider: Like her Integrity Knights, Quinella has a personal riding dragon who she has dubbed Yukiori and is apparently the oldest and strongest of the dragons the Knights use. Like its master, it appears to spend most of it's time asleep.
  • Driven to Suicide: After fusing with Cardinal, the sub-process within it deemed Quinella "an error" due to her intentional direct manipulation of the UW residents and, in times of emotional distress, took control of her with the intent of making her kill herself. After several failed attempts due to Quinella taking back control at the last second, she only stopped this by forcibly sealing her emotions away.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: While already quite corrupt, Quinella becomes increasingly vile the more power she attains. Rising Steel implies that while she started as an earnest and sweet girl despite being Nobility, being given a Calling dedicated to advancing the Sacred Arts and making great deals of progress, being able to weaponize it and make weather predictions, followed by her village believing her to be a goddess as a result, was her Start of Darkness.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Her first scene has her waking up in bed while completely nude, showing that she has no problem showing off her sexuality.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • In her own warped, twisted way, she did seem to care about the Underworld as the world she created. This could be why her spirit appears to support Kirito during his fight against Subtilizer, seeing as the latter plans to destroy the Underworld.
    • The Cake timeline also depicts her as close with Yukiori, her own personal riding dragon, with Kirito even describing her as looking like a normal girl when seeing her interact with them.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even she is sick of Chudelkin's shenanigans and often tells him off when he's being rude to the Integrity Knights or going over the top in smothering her with praise. It's a wonder why she even keeps him around.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Quinella has no understanding of what love really is. To her, love is just desire, something that can be acquired through an exchange, and a means of controlling people.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Alice. Like Quinella, Alice was very talented in the Sacred Arts. One of Alice's most well-known abilities was to predict a storm one week in advance at a rather young age, while Quinella was also able to predict the weather in advance, though only 3 days in advance. A notable difference between the two is that Quinella was born in a noble family in the capital, while Alice was born in a family of villagers in one of the most remote villages in the Human Empire. It's implied Alice might have walked down a similar path to Quinella had Eugeo and Kirito not been in her life from near the start.
  • Evil Genius: Quinella is an esteemed prodigy and the greatest Sacred Arts user seen in the Underworld. She managed to invent many rituals herself, as well as discovering every System Command in that existed in the Underworld.
  • Evil Is Petty: Brainwashing and forcing immortality on skilled swordsmen and criminals so that they can enforce her control is one thing, but learning she did the same to some seemingly random girl with a knack for Wind Sacred Arts just so she can have someone to operate an elevator is where you truly realize how low her opinion of the Underworld's residents is.
  • Evil Is Sexy: She's widely known as the most beautiful woman in the Underworld. She knows she's attractive and uses her beauty and sexuality to her advantage by seducing others.
  • Evil Laugh: While she usually remains calm and composed, when she really gets in the moment then she can let off some unhinged cackles.
  • Evil Versus Oblivion: The Anime hints that this is why her ghost supports Kirito during his fight with Gabriel, since she, for all her faults, did care for the Underworld in her own twisted way, whereas Gabriel was planning to destroy it and turn it into his personal world where he's God and can manipulate the souls he sees fit.
  • Exact Words:
    • When Chudelkin requests that he have a night with access to her body in exchange for taking out the rebels, she agrees and swears to Stacia. The thing is, not only does she not believe in Stacia, but she's the one who made her up to begin with, meaning she effectively gave him an empty promise.
    • The reason she gives for putting Renly into stasis is that he was "defective". While his trauma-induced inability to fight could be what she meant, and is likely what Renly thought she meant, Rising Steel gives these words another potential meaning; When Renly was synthesized, Quinella was shocked when he asked if there was supposed to be someone with him, referring to his Best Friend who he promised to become an Integrity Knight alongside only to accidentally kill him during the Four Empires Unity Tournament. This tipped her off to the possibility that his memories weren't completely blocked and that the Synthesis Ritual has some issues she needs to fix, giving her reason to Deep Freeze him in case he remembered everything on his own and blabbed to the other Knights, with his inability to master the Twin-Edged Wings being a convenient excuse.
  • Face Death with Dignity: In the anime, despite her horror at realizing she's going to die, she calms down when she sees a vision of the empire and world she always sought to build and manages to find peace with it before exploding, while smiling, no less.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Quinella has an angelic theme to her design. Her light purples and whites give off a generally non-threatening look, and at a glance, one would be forgiven for thinking she were a heroine rather than a villain. Quinella is perfectly aware of her "innocent" appearance, and uses it to mask her true nature as she manipulates others.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Had she bothered to check and make sure Chudelkin was actually dead (by nature of Disappearing Into Light, like Cardinal), he wouldn't have been alive to ruin her getaway attempt and kill her.
  • Fan Disservice: Sure, she has an extremely attractive body (that she has no qualms about showing off), but the way she smoothly seduces Eugeo (along with some of her other seductress-esque behaviors) is rather uncomfortable to watch. Then there's her losing both her arms and getting a Torso with a View after dueling Kirito in the buff, with visible cracks all over her body.
  • Faux Affably Evil: She maintains an air of formality towards her enemies, despite seeing everyone as nothing but fodder for turning into sword golems. When turning Eugeo into an Integrity Knight, she showers him with false affection in order to make him remove his core protection. She only drops the facade when encountering setbacks such as Cardinal fusing Eugeo with his sword or Kirito cutting her remaining arm off.
  • Final-Exam Boss: With her access to the system as Administrator, Quinella knows every fighting style and system call art in the Underworld and how to exploit them, as well as copying the Aincrad Style from Eugeo's memories. It takes Eugeo's Heroic Sacrifice to give Kirito a second sword for his signature dual-wielding style and a Heroic Second Wind to even the odds, and even then she still gives him a solid challenge with only a single arm.
  • Foil: To Sugou, being a more competent Distaff Counterpart to him. Parallels can be seen in that they are both raised as privileged people who grew to be corrupt and made and declared themselves the gods of a world. They both also perform awful experiments on innocents and have very twisted understanding of love. Kirito also calls both of them out for being false rulers with a God Guise. However their difference lie in that Sugou is an Abhorrent Admirer who feels entitled to have Asuna, while Quinella loves no one but herself and only wishes for everyone to server her. In addition while both perform experiments on victims' minds, Sugou states he does not want to tamper with Asuna's mind except as a final resort due to wanting to turn her into a doll, while Quinella effectively made all of her Integrity Knights into her dolls and outright refers to them as that.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Once, she was a simple resident (a noble, yes, but still something not too impressive in the grand scheme of things) of UW that discovered several key facts about the world, such as how to perform offensive commands and that killing things would increase her stats. Developing these powers further throughout her life, she eventually discovered how to raise her Authority to the level of Cardinal itself on her deathbed, making herself a Physical God in the process. Not content with sharing power, however, she tried to steal Cardinal's powers for herself but only succeeding in fusing with it to gain its functions of regulating the world, but even then she went much further than Cardinal intended.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: She has no problems fighting without any clothes on, as Kirito and Alice found out.
  • Gaining the Will to Kill: In her backstory she was among the first residents to realize that she could create offensive commands for the purpose of fighting and killing other things...and then realizing that doing so made her stronger with each kill...
  • Gaslighting: She twists Eugeo's perception of his feelings and even his own memories to make him believe he's a lonely and forsaken individual that only she herself could "save". She also wipes her Integrity Knights' memories after a century or so to make them forget grievances.
  • A God Am I: After attaining the powers of the Cardinal System, she declares herself the Administrator of Underworld, which Cardinal considers the most arrogant name possible.
  • Godiva Hair: The only thing hiding her lady bits whenever she's naked is her long hair, along with some rare strategic object placement.
  • Go Out with a Smile: In the anime, just as she's dying, she sees one last vision of the empire she once controlled, looking at it with pride before she's gone for good.
  • Gratuitous English: Being well versed in System Commands and their meanings, she often spouts English words midspeech.
  • Handicapped Badass: Despite losing an arm, she still has sword skills from both the Underworld and Aincrad, allowing her to overwhelm Kirito until he dual wields his own sword and Eugeo's.
  • Heavy Sleeper: She spends the majority of her days in her chambers asleep. Justified, as it allows her to preserve as much memory space in her Fluctlight (and by extension, her lifespan) as possible.
  • Hero Killer:
    • Not only did she turn Eugeo into her lackey, but she also killed him. One might also consider Charlotte's death given how it was her Golem, or Cardinal, since she fried her with energy blasts, before the latter used the last of her strength to empower Eugeo before his eventual demise.
    • In Lycoris she killed Medina instead, though in reality this was part of Medina's Batman Gambit to kill Quinella, so Quinella unknowingly doomed herself instead.
  • Hey, You!: She always calls Kirito "boy," as a reference to his coming from another world.
  • Human Shield: Quinella's Sword Golems are not only effective killing machines which never stop fighting for all eternity, driven by the emotion of love that got twisted into blind instinct, but the fact that they were once humans means that Cardinal cannot bring herself to attack them.
  • Hypocrite:
    • "Memories of Bygone Days: Alice", she's quick to realise that Rath caused the recent volcanic eruption and storm to spur the Fluctlights there into breaking the Taboo Index, and bemoans their cruelty after fixing the issue herself. While not wrong of her assessment of Rath, she has little room to call them out seeing as she sees every other Artifical Fluctlight as little more than dolls or bugs for her to toy with, and is not above subjecting them to experiments for her own research endeavours.
  • Immortality Begins at Twenty: Played with. She actually did age normally all the way to the end of her natural lifespan, but she was able to restore her youth just in time and then granted herself immortality, forever preserving her with the appearance of a twenty something woman.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Stabbed in the heart by Kirito during their duel - which lands a critical blow. It doesn't kill her though, since she had a sliver of health left - enough to make a last-ditch escape attempt.
  • Improvised Weapon: After Silvery Eternity was destroyed and her right arm was severed, she decides to transform her arm into both a rapier, and later, a katana, in order to fight Kirito.
  • Insistent Terminology: Implied. She's not shown to have any real issues with her old name, but she goes by "Administrator" in the present and appears annoyed when Kirito calls her Quinella instead.
  • It's All About Me: Attempted to steal Cardinal's Authority and/or destroy it simply because she couldn't stand the idea of another having equal Authority as her over UW. It did become slightly more justified when revealed that Cardinal tried at multiple points to make her kill herself after their fusion... but only because Quinella by that point had already started directly interfering with the lives of UW residents, something she wasn't supposed to do at all.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Her turning the Elevator Operator into what she is, an immortal Emotionless Girl forced to recite Wind Sacred Arts all day with very few breaks to the point that she's forgotten her own name, is seen as this by Kirito and Eugeo and as a sign of how she views the people she rules over. And that's before she introduces the Sword Golem...
    • She plays a major part in causing Kirito's Game-Breaking Injury and Break the Cutie phase for the next three books by cleaving Eugeo in half.
    • She's also utterly contemptuous of Chudelkin even after he "dies" fighting for her. Alice, despite being fairly cold, is quite appalled at how callous Quinella is over the death of one of her servants. Although considering Chudelkin's general behaviour, this comes off more as Kick the Son of a Bitch.
    • She also taunts Alice over how painful the process of forcibly turning her into an Integrity Knight must have been.
    • In a flashback, she contemptuously dismisses the traumatized Renly as "broken" before sealing him away.
    • In the Gameverse, her labelling the Orthinanos family as "defects", knowing that the weight of her words would make them pariahs among the nobility and subject it's descendants to horrendous abuse from other nobles.
    • In "Memories of Bygone Days: Alice", she immediately refuses Alice's plea to help a Southacroith village when it comes under attack by monsters after suffering the aftereffects of a volcanic eruption and getting hit by a powerful storm. And while she does fix it in the end by putting a stop to both of the latter two, she only does so as in a move of spite towards Rath, who she realized caused both the eruption and the storm to force the residents to do their whims.
  • Kill It with Fire: Not only does she possess fire spells, but Chudelkin setting her on fire is what does her in, and by accident, no less.
  • Leitmotif: Has a theme consisting of a choir's ominous chanting.
  • Light Is Not Good: She has long white hair and wears a white gown, and she's the Underworld's Satanic Archetype.
  • Light/Darkness Juxtaposition: She tends to dress in lavender/white and is otherwise associated with bright colors, while Kirito continues his Dark Is Not Evil theme, especially prominent when he uses Incarnation to manifest his Black Swordsman attire from SAO.
  • Manipulative Bitch:
    • She manipulated Eugeo into removing his Core Protection to turn him into a Integrity Knight, using Gaslighting and praying on his loveless background and skewed idea of it.
    • In Scheta's segment of "The Knight's Recollection", she spends the entire event grooming Scheta to be a powerful attack dog for her to use. Tempting her with "a sword that can cut through anything", she actively encourages her obsession with cutting and lies, or so she thinks, that her continuing on her path would find her a way out of it to motivate her. She then goes as far as to manipulating another Knight into duelling Scheta, likely knowing he'd be killed, just to test the Black Lily Sword's capabilities.
  • Master Swordswoman: Despite losing an arm, she proves skilled enough to keep pace with Kirito while he's Dual Wielding against her, even managing to take one of his arms at the cost of her remaining one.
  • Mind Manipulation: Quinella created loyal followers that came to be known as her Integrity Knights, who have their memories sealed off and will unquestioningly carry out her bidding.
  • My Skull Runneth Over: After ruling for seventy years as an Immortal Ruler, Quinella discovered that her FluctLight had reached its limit of stored memories, so the solution she came up with was overwrite a child's FluctLight with her own memories and FluctLight using the Synthesis Ritual. Though this would be her undoing as she ended up giving this girl power equal to her own and she would end up becoming Cardinal.
  • Moral Myopia: When asked why she would go the atrocious deeds of enslaving the souls of innocent people to become her Integrity Knights and not even being able to entrust them, she argues that her Piety Modules she implanted in her knights were out of an act of love which she reserved only for them, as it freed them from worry and pain and making them beautiful dolls who didn't need to think. In Quinella's eyes all her actions are just and she has done nothing wrong.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Has been regularly referred to as beautiful, voluptuous, and her clothing doesn't try to hide much of her figure, if she's even wearing any. Not to mention how she seduced Eugeo and fought against Kirito and Alice in the nude.
    • In Rising Steel, all of her Limit Break art thus far has her naked in some way, [Sweet Trap] having her laying seductively in her bed, [The World I Should Love] having her fighting nude, [Eternal Beauty] showing her in the bath, and [Whimsical Rhapsody], which has her sitting seductively in an ornate sofa. The only exception thus far is [The Glow in Your Hands] Administrator, and even then she's the first Administrator unit to enter battle and appear on the homescreen in the buff.
  • Mystical White Hair: Fitting for one who considers herself the goddess of UW and has the power to back it up.
  • Narcissist: Quinella believes that as the elegant "goddess" of UW, everyone should kneel before her.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Quinella's attempt to amend her overflowing memory by imprinting to another FluctLight was what allowed Cardinal to split off from her and seize control of another individual, the little girl who would come to be known as Cardinal and resist her.
  • No-Sell: She made her skin as hard as iron and therefore impervious to any metal weapon. This is why Eugeo's dagger failed even with the element of surprise. There's a heavy emphasis on the weapon being metal however - Eugeo and Kirito's swords bypass this drawback by being made of ice and wood, respectively - even Divine Objects are transmuted by Quinella herself into metal weapons in an attempt to counter this loophole.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: While she claims that turning half the Underworld (including her Knights) into sword golems is for their own safety, it's clear by her actions that she's nothing but a narcissistic Control Freak who's no better than any of the other psychopaths Kirito has faced, like Sugou or Laughing Coffin. In fact, Quinella's refusal to allow the existence of any military force that she can't control has doomed the realm of humanity, and this realization helps Kirito win Alice over to his side.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: She's almost exclusively referred to as "The Pontifex" or "Administrator" rather than Quinella. She's somewhat amused when Kirito calls her by her name.
  • Pet the Dog: A few examples, though all things considered, they could all just be Pragmatic Villainy.
    • In "Homeside Waterfront", Alice states that she got a valuable catalyst from her to use to heal Amayori's seemingly unhealable wound.
    • In "Memories of Bygone Days: Bercouli", while baffled at first, she takes Bercouli's request to make a giant bathhouse rather seriously.
  • Physical Goddess: She imbued her FluctLight with the Cardinal sub-processor, which was essentially the god of the Underworld, and hence amassed its unlimited power.
  • Playing with Fire: Ranked up by killing foxes with fire arrows, and can shoot fire from her fingertips without having to recite anything.
  • Posthuman Nudism: Discards her entire dress after attaining godhood by implanting the administrative abilities inside her FluctLight.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Her outlawing of things like murder and entering the Dark Territory where there's monsters is done less for the sake of morals and protecting her people, but more to ensure that no one can do what she did to increase her Object Control Authority and System Authority growing up, ensuring her place as the most powerful being in the Underworld.
  • Prehensile Hair: After losing both her arms, she resorts to turning her hair into needles. She also attempts to use a console by using her hair as fingers, or as razor-sharp blades and Combat Tentacles in a last ditch-attempt to kill Kirito with in their duel.
  • Promoted to Playable: She is a playable character in several mobile games, and currently has the most playable appearances out of all the antagonists.
    • In Memory Defrag, she's first introduced as [Seductress] Administrator as part of the Sleeping Art Online April Fools Event, where she serves as the Big Bad. Later on, she gains two more Units called [Coneqeror of Love] and [High Pontifex].
    • Has her most playable appearances Rising Steel.
      • [Sweet Trap] Administrator, featured in the “Gift from the High Pontifex” banner and her first playable Unit; a Light-Elemental Break Unit with a unique skillset that allows her to gain more Charge or inflict more Break when her foes are afflicted with Continuous Damage.
      • [The World I Should Love] Administrator, featured in the “Fearless Resistance” banner; a Fire-Elemental Charge Unit with an Enhance Mode that has her do a Full-Frontal Assault, while her Charge deals Continious Damage while her Assault deals added damage to enemies afflicted with it.
      • [Eternal Beauty] Administrator, featured in the "Eternal Beauty" banner; a magic wielding Wind-Element Charge Unit with an Enhance Mode whose playstyle focuses on increasing the Recollection Field to deal more damage.
      • [Whimsical Rhapsody] Administrator, featured in the "1.5 Anniversary - Part 3" banner; a Non-Element Charge Unit who's the closest to a Support Party Member, possessing a Charge Move that increases the party's critical damage while debuffing the enemies Incarnate Break, an Assault Skill that increases the party's attack, and a heal move that increases the party's physical resistance while adding a bar to the Recollection field.
      • [The Glow In Your Hands] Administrator, featured in the "Memories of Bygone Days Part 2" banner; another Fire-Element Charge Unit, though with a different skillset. This version of her puts a good deal of emphasis on increasing Charge, her Charge attack creating more when the Recollection field is three or higher, her first Assault Skill increasing her personal charge by x1.3 for one turn, and her Incarnate Skill creates a Recollection Field that, while active, increases the party's Charge when Incarnate is 40% or lower. And to round things up, her second Assault Skill deals Continuous Damage and adds 1 to the recollection field.
  • Properly Paranoid: Her decision to make herself immune to metal and make it so every Divine Object she makes or bequeaths to her Knights are made of metal proves to be this when Eugeo's attempt to use Cardinal's Dagger on her fails, as it would have teleported her to Cardinal's domain and given the latter a homefield advantage against her. She's further vindicated when she fights Kirito, with him being able to defeat her due to both the Night Sky Sword and Blue Rose Sword not being able of metal, instead being wood and ice respectively.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Her white outfit and hair has light purple shades in them, along with her eyes, and she's certainly powerful as the Administrator of Underworld.
  • Rapunzel Hair: A major feature is her incredibly long hair, which is appropriate given her past as a noblewoman and now as the ruler of the world.
  • Reality Warper: Possessing Cardinal's Authority gives her the ability to use very high-level System Commands that virtually allow her to shape the reality of UW to her will.
  • Really 700 Years Old: She's 363 years old and retains her youthful appearance, both of which are made possible only after meddling with the Cardinal system in an attempt to control it.
  • Sadist: Despite freezing most of her emotions, she still takes pleasure in killing Cardinal slowly and states that she wants to see Kirito's despair.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: She acts like one in regards to the Knights, often overlooking any rudeness, such as when they're initially summoned and Eydis' informal behaviour, and granting certain requests, such as Linel and Fizel's desire to become Integrity Knights after freeing them from her Ressurection experiment. This is in contrast to Chudelkin, who endlessly picks on them over anything he can find and often gets angry when they do something that could be seen as disrespectful to himself or Quinella.
    • In "Memories of the Abyss", she further cultivates this image by letting Eydis off the hook after she lost control of her Divine Object and attacked Bercouli, knowing fully well of the possibility of that happening.
  • Sanity Slippage: It's really subtle but in Lycoris after her first death, she absolutely lose herself when Kirito managed to kill her and when she got resurrected she'll do anything to screw him and the others, along with the entirety of the Underworld, on their attempt to kill her again, especially Kirito whom she despise so much that she willingly bring down the entire Underworld just to kill him. This get worse when Kirito finally defeated her for the second time and by the third and the final time Kirito fought her, she's reduced to Laughing Mad from combination of her defeat, her continuous resurrection and perhaps from wielding the power of the Main Visualizer (since the power give her an omnipresence, meaning she knew about everything in Underworld but it's heavily implied wielding such a great power is to much for her soul).
  • Satanic Archetype: Her backstory paints her as one. She rebelled against the Underworld's version of God in order to become one herself, setting herself up as one gifted by the gods before constructing a false faith in her own name, eventually succeeded in her goals, and ruled by her specially-prepared laws and her Integrity Knights.
  • Shameless Fanservice Girl: After attaining godhood by imprinting Cardinal's system administrator abilities onto her FluctLight, she decided she was above simple things such as clothes, discarding her garments and often staying fully nude. Word of God says that she doesn't feel shame about being nude because she's realized she's in a simulation. Even her body isn't truly real, so what's the point of caring?
  • Sinister Minister: She fancies herself as Axiom's high minister and rules UW with an iron fist.
  • Sleeps in the Nude: She's introduced to the audience sleeping naked in her luxurious bed.
  • Sliding Scale of Villain Threat: A huge jump from all of her predecessors in both power and threat. While previous SAO villains did make Kirito struggle, he could typically take them down on his own with limited assistance from the respective Arc Hero. Quinella however is godlike and initially towered over Kirito, whereby it took several sacrifices from his friends to wear her down before the playing field had been leveled for Kirito to match her. Also unlike the other villains who restricted their crimes to game communities, she has ruled over a human empire for centuries. Not only is she the first villain since Kayaba to land a significant physical blow to Kirito, she's also the one to severely damage Kirito's mental health, to the point where he becomes comatose and depressed (thanks to killing his friends), something that no other villain has come close to. Even to this day, her killing of Eugeo still haunts him, and that's after he defeated the next, more invincible villain - Gabriel Miller.
  • The Sociopath: She never cares for the welfare of the UW people because it's all about her in her head. Justified in that she had to seal her emotions to prevent Cardinal from making her kill herself during times of emotional distress... but also double-subverted in that Quinella had already begun her experiments into manipulating the UW residents by this time, so she already was a psychopath, she just made herself worse. She feels no remorse for the trouble she's caused and even convinces her victims that she's helping them by twisting their feelings and memories.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Towers over the other female characters, being even taller than Kirito despite being the same biological age as him appearance-wise.
  • Strong and Skilled: While she could be mistaken for Unskilled, but Strong at first with her over-reliance on her godlike Administrator powers and mastery of the Sacred Arts, she is revealed to be as well versed in sword combat as Kirito himself. Even having worn her down with weapons that can harm her, she still spends a fair share of the fight thrashing Kirito by showcasing her knowledge of Sword Skills. After all, she did fuse with the Cardinal System and knows of the entire command list, so it's not like she couldn't gain the knowledge one way or another, either by peering through Eugeo's memories, or by having the Cardinal system record the data every time Kirito or Eugeo swung their swords.
  • Stupid Evil: Quinella's Control Freak tendencies bite her in the ass when it's revealed that humanity is doomed because she refuses to allow the existence of any military force that isn't under her complete control. This realization is what convinces Alice to turn on her in favor of Kirito. Subverted in that she did have a plan. It just involved a lot Human Sacrifice to create robotic soldiers made of swords, which is arguably even worse.
  • Super Toughness: She's made herself immune to iron and all forms of metal, which is what most weapons in the world are made from. This is why Kirito and Eugeo's swords, which aren't made of metal, are able to hurt her.
  • Sweet Tooth: Up to Eleven in the Cake Timeline, where being able to eat the new, exotic cakes Kirito replicates in the Underworld is the reason she's considering working together with Cardinal to properly protect the Underworld from invasion.
  • Terms of Endangerment: She uses the affectionate "-chan" honorific on Alice, even after it's become clear that Alice is now her enemy. She also occasionally calls Cardinal "Lyserith-chan."
  • Too Powerful to Live: Notably Quinella is the first villain who was not allowed to remain alive after her defeatnote , albeit not by Kirito's hand. Had she succeeded in escaping to the real world, she would have been able to cause all sorts of chaos.
  • Torso with a View: After Kirito impales her in the heart, what's left behind in the impact spot is a large hole in the center of her chest.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: In an original story in Rising Steel, we learn that before she received her Calling as a Sacred Arts researcher, Quinella came off as a kind girl who wanted to receive a calling so she could benefit her village in spite of her Noble Status, a far cry from the Sadistic Control Freak we meet in the present.
  • The Vamp: Seduces Eugeo with the promise of fulfilling his desire to be loved, even stripping off all her clothes in front of him.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: After Kirito deals her a lethal wound she attempts to escape to the real world in a robotic body. It would have worked if Chudelkin had not been still alive.
  • Villain Has a Point: When Kirito calls Quinella out on all the atrocities she committed of controlling her world, Quinella counter-argues that he's from a world of people who did the same thing by creating a world for their own purposes. So what right does a boy from such a world have to judge her?
  • Villainous Friendship: Played With. Despite him being more of a Hero Antagonist than genuinely evil, she seemed to have a friendly relationship with Bercouli, the two of them apparently drinking win together in her quarters often and her even opening up to him about her Paranoiac tendencies that prompted her Control Freak nature. Of course, knowing her, she may have just been faking it.
  • Villainous Breakdown: She loses her cool when Eugeo fuses with his sword, enabling him to destroy her Sword Golem and cut off her arm - or when Kirito later impales her through the heart later on. While she could easily shrug it off the first two times (on account of having said arm transformed into a second sword, and an escape route into the real world), what really seals the deal is the panic on her face when Chudelkin unexpectedly shows up and sets her on fire, which thwarts her escape and eventually kills her, though she manages to regain control before her death.
    • Her breakdown is even more profounded in Lycoris, after Kirito manage to break her rapier with ,the currently fused Eugeo, Blue Rose Sword and Kirito used the Night Sky Blade to kill her, she let out a shrill Skyward Scream and she died with a face full of agony and hatred toward the man who killed her. Let just say when she get resurrected, she'll absolutely do anything to kill him and his friends to the point cutting of the Underworld communication with the real world AND bringing down the entire Underworld just to kill him simply out of spite. Pretty much showing how much she had lose herself by the time of the final act had began.
  • Villain Takes an Interest: She's done this with a few of her Knights.
    • She apparently took a quick interest in Eydis after Synthesizing her, with her promising to give Eydis a dragon after her first mission, the earliest any Knight at the time has got theirs, and surprising Bercouli by expressing a desire to grant her a Divine Object upon her return, sending her to grab the material for it after only her second mission, curious as to whether she's maintain control of the sword's memories or lose her mind in the process. She also took notes from the experience so she could refine the Synthesis ritual.
    • Upon Scheta's recruitment, she approached her and proceeded to tempt her with a sword that could cut through anything, and then encourages her cutting obsession after she made it and granted it to her. She's disappointed however when Scheta requested to be put into Deep Freeze after she accidentally killed a fellow Knight in a duel, whom she offered to give a Divine Object to should he best her in a duel, pondering if she screwed up the Synthesis ritual or made the Black Lily Sword too sharp.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Even after her death, her reputation as a benevolent ruler is maintained due to the unrest that would be caused by her true nature going public. Kirito actually fears that the people learning of her death at his hands would ruin his own 100% Adoration Rating as the Star King and head of the Human Unification Council.
  • Weapon of Choice: Silvery Eternity, her Royal Rapier, signifying her prestige and authority as the Ruler of the Underworld with its pimped-out design. It ends up a Wrecked Weapon during her fight with Kirito when Eugeo decides to intervene.
  • We Can Rule Together: She offers this to all three of the Rulid trio.
    • She first gives it to Eugeo offering him the love which he has desired all his life, to which he very nearly submits after being broken by her Mind Rape. Eugeo gets voluntarily subjected to Synthesis and Synthesised into an Integrity Knight, but eventually breaks free and tries to incapacitate Quinella himself with a special dagger created by Cardinal. Upon his betrayal being discovered, Quinella offers him a last chance to pledge his loyalty and destroying Cardinal's dagger. Eugeo of course refuses having finally come to understand what love is.
    • After she sees Alice has broken the Seal of the Right Eye by her own volition, she offers to re-Synthesise Alice so she would no longer feel pain or emotion. Alice angrily rejects this proposal, citing the pain allowed her to realize she was human and not a doll-like Integrity Knight.
    • She even gives this offer to Kirito, stating she'd spare his life if he went into her servitude as her secretary. Kirito of course pays no heed and continues fighting.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Inverted. Quinella actually constantly preaches love and that she gives it to her loyal followers, but the twist is that she does not truly understand what love is, using it as a placeholder word for 'desire' or 'control'.
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: Stated to be this by a couple of characters, including Eugeo and Kirito. Even before becoming a Physical God, she was seen as one of the great beauties of the Underworld, which likely helped her convince people of her divinity.
  • Would Hurt a Child: As Linel and Fizel can attest to, she has no problem harming children or using them in her Sacred Art experiments. In fact, in the one the aforementioned girls were in, she gathered about thirty children and had them all kill each other so she could test out a Sacred Art to bring people back from the dead, leading to large amounts of Body Horror, and only stopped when only Linel and Fizel were left, coming out of it severely traumatized and as the Cute and Psycho girls we now know.
  • You Keep Using That Word: A reoccurring theme brought up with her is her inability to understand love. She believes love is simply desire and that it can be acquired through an exchange. She also seems to believe that love is a means of controlling others, whereby she twists the emotion into making her Integrity Knights and her Sword Golems fiercely loyal to her.
    Quinella: To love is to control. I love everything. I rule everything.

    Prime Senator Chudelkin 

Prime Senator Chudelkin

Voiced by: Wataru Takagi (Japanese), Frank Todaro (English)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/omake_screencap_sword_art_online_alicization_episode_21_chudelkin_patched_up.jpg

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.
  • 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.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: During her and Kirito's confrontation with him, Alice briefly speculates that Chudelkin might be similar to the Integrity Knights in that he was someone who Quinella manipulated for her own ends to act as her loyal servant. However, she also states that he deserves no pity in spite of this since unlike the Knights, he derived far too much pleasure from his role as The Dragon to the High Pontifex, such as the sadistic glee he gained from putting Alice through the Forced Synthesis Ritual.
  • 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.
  • Hate Sink: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gabriels_real_life_concept.png
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.
  • 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. 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.
  • Battlecry: 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.
  • 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 Sugou. Both are Mad Scientists who come from privileged backgrounds, and are obsessed with a girl including one they were betrothed to. Both end up using super accounts with godlike powers, and both are Godhood Seekers who desire to trap people in virtual worlds. The difference however is Sugou declared himself god of the world he had stolen, but is firmly dependant on his admin powers and is otherwise completely useless when stripped of them while being reduced to a blubbering wreck. Gabriel by contrast really only needed the Vecta super account to command the Dark Territory, and is otherwise Strong and Skilled no matter which avatar he uses or world he is in, as his Incarnation is so overwhelmingly powerful that he may very well be a true god when he is in the Underworld. In essence, while their motives and paths are very similar, Gabriel is a far more competent version of Sugou. If Sugou is a false god, then Gabriel is the real deal.
    • 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • Hate Sink: Reki Kawahara makes no secret as to what a monster he is. He murdered his fiancée Alicia Klingerman when he was a child to see what the nature of the soul was like, experimented on animals and even humans for that same reason, and treats his followers either as tools or his own stress toys. He has zero empathy or remorse, constantly viewing everyone else as beneath him whilst violating the laws of the Underworld to become God. Gabriel has the gall to mock Bercouli for sacrificing his own life to stop him as Vector, and then Kirito, Alice, Asuna and Shino for their supposed arrogance, and eventually tries to capture Alice and destroy the Underworld. It's hard not to cheer alongside the characters when Kirito gives him the pummeling he's asked for so long.
  • 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.
  • Knife Nut: In the 1st BoB, he's stated to have made a name for himself wielding only a pistol and combat knife. Said knife is presumably what turned into a sword when he transferred his Subtilizer account to the Underworld.
    • In the Anime, he used one when he encountered Sinon in the 4th BoB, throwing it at her arm she pulled out her Glock.
  • 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, 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. He is only topped by Vassago, who also wants to kill off the demon army he lords over, and himself by proxy, all For the Evulz and then some.
  • 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 XM 500 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.
  • 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 

    Critter 

Critter

Voiced by: Isshin Chiba (Japanese), Jon Allen (English)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/critter.png

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)

Brigg Voiced by: Yoji Ueda (Japanese), Kellen Goff (English)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fa716c7085786e9dbe48e7797d8217f4.jpg
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

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/foreign_players.jpg

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.
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