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- Amnesiac Hero: XIII is amnesiac. He does not even remember his name.
- Amnesiac Resonance: Just like Jason Bourne, his combat skills are not at all affected by the memory loss.
- Chick Magnet: He never tries to seduce girls, they just come to him.
- Dead Person Impersonation: He was recruited to impersonate Steve Rowland as part of Carrington's plan to find out who ordered the assassination of William Sheridan, before his amnesia.
- Disease Bleach: XIII has a grey streak on his left temple where a bullet scratched him.
- Genre Savvy: In spite of his amnesia, he often compares his situations with detective novels or movies.
- Identity Amnesia: XIII does not remember who he is.
- Made of Iron: In The Day of the Black Sun, he jumps through a window and falls from the 4th floor and he escapes unhurt. In The Night of August Third, he is shot at point-blank range. The bullet is stopped by a notebook and he is able to get involved in a fistfight a few minutes later.
- Mr. Fanservice: Sometimes shirtless.
- Mysterious Past: Even to himself, his past is mysterious because of his amnesia. The numerous mysteries about his past are conveniently used by the authors to expand the series.
- Name Amnesia: XIII does not remember his own name. In the first episodes, on several occasions, he thinks that he has finally discovered his real name, but he is proven wrong soon thereafter.
- Oblivious to Love: Action Girl Jones is obviously fond of XIII, but he seems to ignore this when she asks him what she is to him.
- Pursuing Parental Perils: In "The Jason Fly File" and "The Night of August 3rd".
- Quest for Identity: XIII does not remember who he is, so he tries to discover it.
- Skunk Stripe: XIII has a white stripe of hair, the result of being grazed by a bullet.
- Surgical Impersonation: XIII is not the real Steve Rowland. He had plastic surgery to impersonate him. The said surgery was very successful, given the fact that Steve's family did not spot the impostor in Where the Indian Goes.
- Tattoo as Character Type: The protagonist has simple tattoo on the clavicle: the number XIII (Moderate Sized). Amos reveals that this is the mark of the members of a conspiracy (Organizational Emblem) that attempted to kill the president.
- 13 Is Unlucky: Lampshaded by a tramp he meets in a train at the end of "The Day of The Black Sun". Averted most of the time actually.
- Training from Hell: Has followed several in his life. The most horrible of these has to be the S.P.A.D.S. training, which often results in the death of the weakest soldiers.
- X Marks the Hero: His XIII tattoo counts.
- You Are Number 6: He suffers from Name Amnesia and the XIII tattoo is the main clue to his identity. Even when his identity as Jason Fly/Mac Lane is established, Jones keeps on calling him XIII.
- Action Girl: Jones is nearly able to match XIII in a fight in Where the Indian Goes. In Thirteen to One, she fights with young male soldiers (for her, this is just a pastime that she enjoys during her holiday). She knocks them out easily.
- Battle Couple: With XIII. They are both exceptional fighters, they have fought together throughout the series and they are Friends with Benefits.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted: as she gets a wound to the abdomen that leaves a massive scar. The doctor says it'lll eventually go away, but she's now likely to be unable to bear children.
- Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: For her appearance, she was inspired by Whitney Houston.
- Crippling Castration: Jones's uterus was damaged when she was wounded in Full Red and she is infertile.
- Friends with Benefits: She often has sex with XIII, but they are not in a real relationship: XIII bangs other women from time to time and he feels no guilt about it. In The Jason Fly File, she makes clear that she would like a relationship upgrade, but XIII does not understand (or he pretends not to).
- Majorly Awesome: She was introduced as a lieutenant, but at the end of Full Red, she is promoted to the rank of major.
- Ms. Fanservice: In The Jason Fly File and The Night of August Third, bad guys attack her when she is almost naked, so she has to flee and fight in very light clothes. In Thirteen to One, she wears a swimsuit on the beach.
- No Name Given: XIII asks Jones's first name and she answers "Lieutenant".
From XIII Mystery:
General Benjamin Carrington
- Cigar Chomper: He always smokes cigars.
- Cool Old Guy: In Where the Indian Goes, he does not hesitate to jump into a helicopter to pick XIII up on the roof of the house of the Rowlands. In Full Red, he inflicts Standwell a bad wound, then he tries to escape.
- A Father to His Men: In Where the Indian Goes, Carrington tells XIII he trained him and the link between them is very strong even if he is amnesiac. Therefore, he does not hesitate to help him to escape from the Sheriff in Southburg. He does not even ask why the Sheriff chases him. Subverted, because it is revealed in SPADS that Carrington did not train XIII and that he helps him for other reasons.
- Four-Star Badass: In Where the Indian Goes, he does not hesitate to jump into a helicopter to pick XIII up on the roof of the house of the Rowlands. In Full Red, he inflicts Standwell a bad wound, then he tries to escape.
- Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Lee Marvin, anyone?
Colonel Samuel Amos
- An Arm and a Leg: Lost his left arm in his youth.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In "Operation Monte Cristo".
- Inspector Javert: Amos investigates the murder of William Sheridan and in the beginning, he was convinced XIII was the murderer, so he chased him.
- Action Girl: In Full Red, she kills several thugs who wanted to rape her.
- A Match Made in Stockholm: Armand de Préseau is very fond of her who is one of his captors in Full Red. In the end of this episode, she goes to San Miguel to meet him.
- Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Averted. She had two abortions. Her comicbook reveals she had been pregnant with XIII and decided to keep him but then had a miscariage.
- He Knows Too Much: She saw Steve Rowland discussing with Mac Call after his supposed death in an helicopter crash. When Mac Call hears it, he decides to kill her.
Marquis Armand de Préseau
- A Match Made in Stockholm: He is very fond of Betty Barnowsky who is one of his captors in Full Red. In the end of this episode, Betty goes to San Miguel to meet him.
- Self-Made Man: Became the wealthiest banana plantation owner of Costa Verde by sheer force of will, starting with only a shack and the help of Romeo, a young Indian.
The Conspiracy of the XX
- Government Conspiracy: Their numbers include high-ranking military personal, members of Congress, staffers in the White House, and the President.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: They even wear Klan robes.
- Nebulous Evil Organisation: While they want to take over the country, it's not as clear what they intend to do once they've accomplished that.
- Allohistorical Allusion: The assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. He doesn't die of it though.
- Batman Gambit: The whole operations leading to his election to the presidency.
- Big Bad: Number I of the Conspiracy.
- The Chessmaster: He manipulates just about everyone over the course of the story.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: He asks XIII why he saved "that worthless black woman" instead of Kim who know much about the conspiracy. XIII replies that an asshole like him can't understand.
- Faux Affably Evil: He acts like a nice guy when pretending to help Amos and XIII investigate SSH2.
- The Idealist: Seems to share his brother's political ideas. It's all a lie.
- Mole in Charge: He winds up leading the conspiracy to take over America while also serving as the president.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Wally Sheridan is the brother of an assassinated American president and he is a presidential candidate with a progressive and pacifist platform. During his campaign, he is the target of an assassination attempt. He is based on Robert F. Kennedy, but unlike his real-life model, he survives the assassination attempt.
- President Evil: He's the president of America, and he's evil to the bone.
- Villain with Good Publicity: The public loves him on account of his charisma and the sympathy he garnered after the death of his brother.
Calvin Wax (II)
- Better to Die than Be Killed: He shoots himself in the head, setting off the self-destruct for his base in the process, rather than give up.
- Evil Chancellor: Calvin Wax is a counselor of President Galbrain, then he becomes Secretary of Defense. He is also an evil conspirator.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: He wears glasses, and he's willing to kill huge quantities of people to get what he wants.
- Number Two: He serves as this in the conspiracy.
William S. Standwell (III)
- The Butcher: His nickname during the war in Asia.
- The Dragon: To Calvin Wax.
- General Ripper: Standwell is said to have killed many civilians in a past conflict. He is also ready to start World War III right after the establishment of a dictatorship in the US.
- Eye Patch Of Power: He has an eyepatch and he is one of the strongest bosses in the game.
- Eye Scream: Carrington burnt his eye with a cigar.
Senator Clayton Willard (V)
- Badass Boast: Even when outnumbered and outgunned, he just laughs that the FBI and XIII are vastly underestimating the conspiracy's power.
- Cop Killer: He kills one of the FBI agents sent to arrest him.
Admiral Franklin Edelbright (VII)
- General Ripper: A Navy version. He works on behalf of a conspiracy that is planning on killing a huge number of people, including fellow US soldiers.
Jasper Winslow (IX)
- Money Is Not Power: During his boss fight he babbles that he can make XIII rich if XIII lets him go. It doesn't help him.
- Morally Bankrupt Banker: He runs Winslow Bank, and he's also part of the evil conspiracy.
Colonel Seymour D. Mac Call (XI)
Steve Rowland (XIII)
- Faking the Dead: He faked his own death in a helicopter crash.
- Missing Mom: Steve Rowland's mother died in an accident when she came back from his wedding.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Kim tells his husband has changed a lot during the war and she does not recognize the man she married.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The conspiracy planned to kill him just after the assassination of William Sheridan.
Kim Rowland (née Carrington) (XVII)
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: She falls in love with Wally Sheridan, then with Steve Rowland, who are both involved in the conspiracy.
- Double Agent: Kim Rowland has worked for Wally Sheridan all along. He asked her to infiltrate the counter-espionage services. The counter-espionage services used her to infiltrate the conspiracy led by Wally Sheridan.
- He Knows Too Much:
- The conspiracy wants to kill her after the assassination of William Sheridan because of that.
- In Thirteen to One, Wally Sheridan orders to kill her, because she knows that he is Number I.
- I Have Your Wife: She has obeyed Wally Sheridan for years, because he has held her son hostage.
- Missing Mom: Her mother died when she was 8 years old.
- Reverse Mole: Kim Rowland was an infiltrated agent in the conspiracy.
Dr. Edward W. Johansson (XX)
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: He's a demented neurosurgeon who gleefully conducts horrible experiments on prisoners, and even goes after his own staff when they displease him.
Other Major Antagonists
- Assassin Outclassin': Never succeeds to kill XIII.
- He Knows Too Much: Wally Sheridan kills him in "The Trial" when he's about to reveal crucial informations about him and the Conspiracy of the XX.
- Implacable Man: He does not stop from chasing XIII to kill him.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: His nickname is evocative of his personality.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: He is known by his nickname, "The Mongoose".
- Professional Killer: He is a hitman hired to kill XIII and various other characters.
From XIII Mystery:
- Battleaxe Nurse: Her disguise the first time she confronts XIII.
- Diabolical Mastermind: She becomes the chief of her own SPECTRE-like organisation of hitmen and professional assassins, Executor, after the death of the Mongoose.
- Eye Scream: She lost an eye during her first encounter with XIII.
- Legacy Character: To the Mongoose after "The Trial".
- Professional Killer: She is the assistant of the Mongoose and she has to kill XIII.
Felicity Rowland (née Brown)
- Black Widow: Felicity plans the murder of her husband, then kills her lover Matt.
- Florence Nightingale Effect: She was the nurse who took care of Jeremie Rowland, then she married him. Jeremie's love was probably sincere, but she was clearly faking her feelings for Jeremie.
- Gold Digger: Felicity is a young attractive woman who is married with an old handicapped rich landowner.
- Karma Houdini: In Where the Indian Goes, Felicity is not punished for the murders of Jeremie and Matt Rowland. In the end of Full Red, we hear that she had to disappear from the Rowlands' estate, but still she gets no real punishment for her crimes.
- Lady Macbeth: She encourages Matt to kill his brother.
- MayDecember Romance: She is the young wife of the old Jeremie Rowland. Jeremie's love was probably sincere, but Felicity was clearly faking her feelings for Jeremie.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: The old and handicapped Jeremie Rowland and the young and attractive Felicity.
- Wicked Stepmother: Felicity wants to frame Steve Rowland for the murders of Jeremie and Matt Rowland.
- Your Cheating Heart: Felicity cheats on her husband with Matt, who is a married man.
- Corrupt Hick: Dwight Rigby controls everything in Greenfalls, including the police.
- The Klan: Dwight Rigby is a Klansman.
- Allohistorical Allusion: John F. Kennedy.
- Corrupt Politician: Got elected with the help of The Mafia.
- Our Presidents Are Different: President Target and President Personable.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: He is an American president who was killed in his car during a parade. Does not it remind you of John F. Kennedy?
Maria Isabel De Los Santos
- Love Interest: She was XIII's love interest when he helped the revolutionarists of Costa Verde
Padre Jacinto (aka "El Loco")
- The Adjective One: "El Loco".
- HeelFace Turn: Twice. One to Frank Giordino and another to Irina Svatlanova.
- Professional Killer: Works in partnership with Irina Svatlanova for some time.
General James Elroy Wittaker
- Peer Pressure Makes You Evil: What he tries to escape.
- Unsafe Haven: His house.
Jonathan Mac Lane
- Mysterious Past: When XIII start investigating his life, he finds very little information. Why did he leave New York? Why did he settle in a small town? Why XIII cannot find any information about him in the archives of the newspaper he worked for?
- Witch Hunt: A victim of this in the Red Scare times. See above.
- Worth Living For: His leftist and humanist ideas.
- Handicapped Badass: He's blind, and he shot Dwight Rigby dead while being guided solely by the latter's voice.
- The Reveal: He reveals the truth about what happened to Jonathan Mac Lane.
- Broken Bird: She has been raped at the age of 14. She got better though.
- Promiscuity After Rape: Judith is promiscuous (she says she regurlarly has sex with Dwight and David Rigby and she has a one-night stand with XIII) and she reveals that she was raped at 14.
- "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: She's not very mad at Dwight Rigby for having raped her because she was secretly in love with him.
- Rape as Backstory: Judith reveals that she was raped by Dwight Rigby when she was 14.