Wilhelm (Xenosaga)

Wilhelm (Xenosaga)

General VG character

voiceactor=Richard Cansino (Episode I)
Jason Spisak (Episode II, III)
Vic Mignogna (anime)
japanactor=Nobuyuki Hiyama
inuniverse= Xenosaga character
height=170 cm (5' 7")
weight=54 kg (119 lbs)

"A character/reference from the Xenosaga series."nihongo|Wilhelm|ヴィルヘルム|Wiruherumu is the mysterious founder and CEO of the largest interplanetary conglomerate, Vector Industries in the videogame "Xenosaga". He also served as the Executive Committee Director of the Galaxy Federation, up to a decade ago. He is a major and main antagonist of the "Xenosaga" series.



As explained in the "Episode III Perfect Guide", Wilhelm is the bringer of the Eternal RecurrenceFact|date=November 2007. He is described by the series' creators as the "transcendent man" [Perfect Guide. Ch. 19, Wilhelm and Eternal Recurrence: "Accepting every past that occurred in reality, without denying any of it, will lead to affirmation. This truly is the strength of the transcended man.    And so, the transcended man imposes on all people the repeating of a Hell-like history. It has been the only means so far that can be done for the sake of protecting the Dimensional Universe."] whose responsibility it is to revisit all the joys, pain, and travails experienced by all who have ever lived as a means of affirming the existence of the universe and preventing its psychic collapse. [Perfect Guide. Ch. 45, Wilhelm's Intention: "For thousands of years of history, many people's quiet everyday lives had to change into blood-smeared nightmares. Politics were spun; economics was controlled, and civilization was utilized. There was even so much hateful and cursed words raised that it was incalculable.    And Wilhelm, clearly conscious of the aim for Eternal Recurrence, recognizes that history such as this will once again repeat. In order to repeat a blood-smeared history, history will continue to be stained in blood. Because, if the world that wants to cover its eyes is not affirmed, the very world itself will completely vanish.Only someone who possesses an unwavering resolve is able to accomplish that; it was a superhuman choice. That blood-stained choice cannot be judged by such things as the laws that differ according to nation, nor by morals that change according to era, nor by the standard of values that sway within an individual heart; it was something beyond good and evil."]

The cosmic collapse, a general dissipation of consciousness, was made inevitable by the resonation of chaos' force of anima with human will. Wilhelm is described as being naturally attuned to the flow of consciousness, ["By gazing at the human consciousness that streams through the Compass of Order, he [Wilhelm] comes to understand the world. By gazing at the human hearts that live in the world and by understanding the world that surrounds himself, he comes to discover what he himself can do. And then, realizing that the world is drawing near to the crisis of collapse, in order to avoid it, he considers what can be done."] which allows him to discern the onset of its dissipation and its ultimate consequence to all reality throughout all dimensions. Taking the role of Protector of Lower Dimensional Space, Wilhelm endeavors to bring about eternal recurrence as an alternative to absolute interdimensional collapse. For this purpose he sets into motion three organizations, two seemingly rival companies with divergent business interests and a religious institution by which to restrain the effect of chaos' social influence. (see Lemegeton) These are, respectively, Vector Industries, Hyams Group, and the Ormus.

In preparation for the Eternal Recurrence, Wilhelm arranges for the discovery of the Zohar in the year 2060. The direct interaction between humans and UDO leads to a mass disappearance phenomenon, eventually forcing earth's inhabitants to flee en mass into space. To prevent Earth's total disappearance into imaginary space, Wilhelm compresses the planet to Planck scale dimensions. This gives Wilhelm de facto rulership over all human affairs, as humanity is forced to rely on his Vector Industries' technology to survive.

Before sealing away Earth, Wilhelm moves several relics integral to the process of eternal recurrence to the planet Michtam, and under the alias Heinlein convenes the existence of the Order of the Ormus with funding from Hyams Group. However, it is strongly hinted that Wilhelm established Ormus many ages before, in the time of an unidentified messianic figure, explicitly to shape the popular interpretation of the teachings of a messianic figure, [Perfect Guide, Ch. 10, Words of the Messiah's Disciple that were Left Behind: "chaos, who acted as a disciple of the man called the Messiah in the time of Lost Jerusalem, left words behind. They were words for the sake of leading energy of the upper domain to the lower domain. By means of those words, chaos performed many miracles. It isn't concretely known what kind of miracles they were, but because chaos, a disciple of the Messiah, performed them, people perhaps found hope in the Messiah."] ) as revealed to him by chaos [Perfect Guide. Ch. 9, Existences that Achieve the Activation of the Zohar: "The Zohar was already in existence from the time of this universe's birth, i.e. the Big Bang.    In the era of Lost Jerusalem, the activation of the Zohar was carried out by Lemegeton. That was around the time chaos existed, when he maintained the power of Anima in its complete form.     [...]       In A.D.20xx at the lakeshore of Turkana, Kenya, an excavation team financed by Vector excavated the Zohar that had been sealed for 2000 years."] . In the "Perfect Guide", it is mentioned that Wilhelm was an emperor during the time period in which the Messiah lived. Although he persecuted the Messiah and his followers due to their proximity to Yeshua the Anima and their use of Lemegeton, he gradually infiltrated the following after the death of the Messiah. In this way, he founded Ormus, the organization that was a religion devoted to the memory of the Messiah on the surface, but was secretly meant to protect the written Lemegeton and the other Relics of God. However, he could not stop the dissipation of consciousness -- the constellation of the Gnostic rejection of reality -- which access to Lemegeton had engendered. To stop the dissipation from destroying everything, Wilhelm endeavors to undertake the "spinning" of the world from the shadows, with the ultimate aim of Eternal Recurrence, and vanishes from the scene of history. [Perfect Guide: "Wilhelm at that time was still maneuvering at a human-level, rather than actively using Testament. He directed the flow of funds, staged the competition of organizations, guided the running-out-of-control of Realians from the background, and sent the special Realian equipped with Program Canaan into the mayhem. Thus, he had proceeded to set the stage in order to reach Eternal Recurrence."] However, for a span of 2000 years after the death of the Messiah, Rennes le Chateau and therefore the Anima Vessels and the body of Mary Magdalene had become sealed by an anti-Wilhelm force. Without Mary the Animus and the restored Anima, Eternal Recurrence could not be achieved.

"Xenosaga: Pied Piper"

At the end of "Xenosaga: Pied Piper", Wilhelm makes his first moves toward eternal recurrence by recruiting as the first of his Testaments Eric Weber (aka Voyager) in exchange for Weber's continued existence. The Testaments are described as existing outside the physical realm, primarily as factors of perception that are simultaneously real and not real. In the "Episode III" game database, Wilhelm is described as the primary instrument of their manifestation, having created a phase distortion phenomena that convinces the conscious observer what they see is real, effectively giving life to the perceived in the observer's own mind and corresponding physical life by means of the principle of physical relativism.

"Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht"

In "Episode I", Wilhelm formally begins his preparations to invoke Zarathustra. He carries out his intentions by proxy, dispatching his Testaments and the U-TIC Organization to prepare the Song of Nephilim, one of a seemingly irrelevant chain of events designed to culminate in Shion Uzuki's acquiescence to the operation of Zarathustra. He is often seen looking into the Compass of Order and Chaos, an object that is described in the Complete Guide as an aide to his natural ability to observe the flow of human consciousness. By observing the natural clashes between consciousnesses, Wilhelm predicts individual behaviors and correspondingly, sees into the future of humanity.

"Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse"

At the end of ', there is a brief scene involving chaos and Wilhelm. chaos explains that he will not hold back, and Wilhelm seems delighted that chaos is finally "entering the stage." Wilhelm then addresses chaos as "Yeshua". This act drew a variety of interpretations from fans, among them speculations that Wilhelm is the Gnostic Demiurge or Yaldabaoth, Satan, Samael, and the antichrist, as "Yeshua" is said to be Jesus's true name. Near the end of ', Wilhelm reveals himself to be the true identity of "Heinlein", the leader of Ormus and Hyams. Throughout the entirety of the series he had been manipulating the U-TIC Organization, an Ormus front, and its leader Margulis, who up until that point had never actually seen Heinlein at all.

As revealed in the "Xenosaga Perfect Guide", Wilhelm's link to the collective storyline upon which "Xenosaga" is based laid in the subtitles of the "Xenosaga" games, "Der Wille zur Macht" (The Will to Power), "Jenseits von Gut und Böse" (Beyond Good and Evil) and "Also Sprach Zarathustra" (Thus Spoke Zarathustra). These titles are shared with publications by "Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche", whose middle name is shared by Wilhelm himself. This link explains Wilhelm's role as the enigmatic manipulator of the events which unfold in "Xenosaga". His name may also be a play on Kaiser Wilhelm II, the last German emperor who lived during World War I, and may refer to him being the last "ruler" of a group or nation, perhaps humanity in general. The Xenosaga Perfect Guide reveals Wilhelm was once an emperor in the time of the Messiah. It is unknown what he called himself at that time, but a reference to the Roman Emperor Nero is given in Xenosaga I, once by the character Jr, and again in the game's database, as the fifth emperor of Rome. Wilhelm himself says he has many names that define him, but only chaos knows his true name.

"Episode III: Also Sprach Zarathustra"

In "Episode III" it is revealed that Wilhelm's ultimate purpose is to use Zarathustra to cause the eternal recurrence. This would cause time to reverse. Long ago in ancient times, Wilhelm explains, the will of humanity resonated with chaos's power of Anima. This resulted in the dispersal of consciousnesses that reject each other, a phenomenon that led the universe towards destruction. Before the universe was completely destroyed, explained Wilhelm, chaos' failsafe would trigger and cause the destruction of the rejecting wills (Gnosis) by collapsing the lower physical domain in which humans live. This was delayed by Mary, who used her power of Animus to seal away the power of Anima into the twelve Anima Vessels, which must be reawakened to be used to their full potential. While separated from his Anima power, chaos' failsafe ability could not ignite.

However, as long as Anima existed, the consciousnesses of the universe would continue to disperse until the universe was slowly destroyed by collapse. Wilhelm chose eternal recurrence to avoid this. By using Zarathustra he planned to perpetually rewind time to the past, living in an eternal cycle. This prevented both the collapse through dispersal and the destruction of wills by the failsafe. But this meant living the same lives over and over again. According to the database, it was unknown exactly how many times Zarathustra had been used in the past, be it ten times or ten thousand, or more.

Wilhelm is described as the "protector of lower-dimensional space". The operator of Zarathustra, he possesses a "temporal recurrence ability". He is known to be an existence like chaos, and has been around since the beginning of the universe. Zarathustra was originally a Relic of God built by ancient peoples and orchestrated by Mary to invade the Higher Domain of God. It was known to have been powered by chaos' Anima power and controlled by Mary's Animus power. When their efforts ended in failure, Wilhelm took over, turning Zarathustra into a device for the purpose of Eternal Recurrence. Thus, it is likely that Wilhelm is meant to metaphorically represent Nietzsche himself. Nietzsche also described himself as "the bringer of eternal recurrence" in "Twilight of the Idols".

There is another possible explanation for Wilhelm's motives, as outlined in the post-game database. It mentions the possibility that Wilhelm was actually trying to force a revolution of human consciousness through the repeated use of Zarathustra. That is to say, he was training humanity (through the countless recurrences) to develop to the point that they could throw off the shackles of his control and pave their own way to the future. This seems to be supported by his lack of concern when the party threatens both himself and Zarathustra. This motive is also applied to Wilhelm in both the Xenosaga III Official Perfect Guide and the Xenosaga III Official Complete Guide. Although his body was destroyed due to prolonged direct exposure to the out-of-control energy of Zarathustra, Wilhelm still exists because he is the guardian of the lower domain universe. The Xenosaga Perfect Guide states that Wilhelm was responsible for the Elsa and the Dammerung arriving in the Lost Jerusalem galaxy (the Milky Way) after they escaped through the last transfer column held open by chaos. Even though he was rejected by the universe, he still exists for the sake of protecting it.


According to the "Xenosaga Original Design Materials", Wilhelm is an enneagram type 5 personality. The "ODM" conception of a type 5 is marked determination to counter a pending threat to humanity and the world. In the series Wilhelm is portrayed as reclusive and cold, with outstanding negotiational ability and business prowess. He is interested in the psychological lives of others and demonstrates a superb understanding of analytic psychological concepts. Completely altruistic, he absolves himself of any thoughts for his own welfare. The salvation of the universe is his sole concern, and he is ever at work manipulating events in his official capacity as the leader of Hyams, Vector Industries, and Ormus, to complement his self-affirmed role as Protector of Lower Dimensional Space.

Wilhelm is an adept manipulator of perceptions and a master of illusion. He is demonstrated to be prescient to some degree of competence, and an able leader. In Episode II, he implies in an aside to Kevin that he is risen above the considerations of normal men, which alone grants him the wisdom to determine what is absolutely true about reality. The consequences of this philosophy are manifest as an amoralistic attitude described by the creators as "beyond good and evil". His pursuit of Eternal Recurrence over the objections of Shion indicates a lack of respect for her viewpoint and a general ambivalence toward others' personal welfare.



*"Xenosaga Episode III Perfect Guide" (English translation available at http://translations.xenotensei.com/Xeno3/PerfectGuide.html)
*"Xenosaga Episode III Complete Guide" (English translation available at http://www.xenotensei.com/translations/truth_of_xs.html)
*"Xenosaga Original Design Materials" (English translation available at http://odm.xenotensei.com/scansafe.html)

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