9.29.2006

What Makes a Villain 2

Previously I mentioned that someday I would get around to discussing another villain from Xenogears.

Welcome to someday.



This is Grahf. He's not a nice man. He's also based heavily (and deliberately) on the Darth Vader mold. You see, he used to be a good guy. At one point he was the good guy. Unfortunately, the same turn of events that caused Krelian to decide he needed to "create god," brought about an entirely different reaction from Krelian's good friend Lacan.

Lacan was a very special individual. He has a very important role to play, and a part of that role is to be forever paired with a particular woman. This is more than a conscious decision. It's a destiny wrought through "divine" intervention and is played out in just about every "Episode" of Xenogears. Sophia is that woman, and they are both drawn to one another in a way far beyond basic affection. The only trouble is their widely differing stations in this particular stage of the timeline. While Lacan is a very gifted painter from a small village, Sophia is the leader of a faith and nation.

Lacan is commissioned to paint a portrait of the Great Mother. His overpowering urge to be near her causes him to drag out the process while simultaneously being unable to express the feelings he holds for fear of overstepping his bounds. Sophia battles all the while with similar conflicting emotions, wanting him near, but unable to shirk her duties. The War intervenes and Sophia is killed just before the painting is finished.

Sophia's last words before crashing her ship were, "Lacan, live." Lacan, a simple painter from the booneys, felt powerless to save her. But he was a religious man, and while Krelian decided she died because god didn't exist, Lacan decided that he must seek out power wherever he could find it and take vengeance for her death. He would challenge and kill god.

If not for who and what he was, Lacan would likely have been taking on a fools errand. Slight problem... That's actually what his role was always meant to be. His destiny was to eventually find the source of power that would make him strong enough to kill "god" (yes those scare quotes are deliberate), but when the time finally came to attain that power, his hate corrupted it. He was rendered unable to fulfill his role. His body died, but he had learned how to transfer his consciousness forcibly into others. He became Grahf, and spent the next 500 years searching for more power and the reincarnation of his own body.

It's at this point I think I should stop, before giving away much more. There is far more to the Darth Vader parallel than the fallen hero archetype, but to continue would spoil the plot even further for anyone interested in ever going back to play this gem.

I mentioned previously that Krelian had an assist in achieving his goal of creating god. Well, Lacan had an assist as well. He didn't just stumble across his source of power. While Krelian was the "villain" in Xenogears, he was at heart, doing what he thought was right. But he and Lacan were both manipulated by a villain more in the "force if nature" category, and that's who I'll talk about next (read: later).

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