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Byrne

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I have no wish to continue the work of the spirits. Why would I want to serve the spirits... When I can become as powerful as they are?
~ Byrne

Byrne (pronounced burn) is the former tertiary antagonist, and later an anti-hero in The Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks. He is a part of a race known as a Lokomo. He has the appearance of a normal Hylian, unlike his wheelchair-bound kin.

Story

Not much of Byrne's early history is known. He was born to a Lokomo and became apprentice to Anjean, a sage of Hyrule and protector of the Tower of Spirits. Byrne claims he came to study with her for a chance at receiving power from the spirits he worked for. However, the spirits of good never gave him the power he desired, and eventually he decided to leave. As he did, Anjean had a premonition that he would soon begin to conspire with the Demon King.

When Link and Princess Zelda are travelling with Alfonzo to the Tower of Spirits, the Spirit Tracks suddenly vanish beneath their train. Byrne then appears with a demon named Cole, who was disguising himself as a human and the chancellor of Hyrule. Alfonzo attempts to protect Princess Zelda from the two; however Byrne disarms and easily defeats him with his gauntlet and an unknown magic. He then knocks Link aside when he attempts to interfere and is seen carrying off Zelda's body after Cole removes her spirit.

Later on, when Link and Zelda find the Fire Rail Map in the Tower of Spirits, Byrne suddenly appears before them. He is about to attack them when Anjean arrives and reveals that the two of them have a history. Byrne claims that he no longer wishes to serve the spirits of good when he can become equally as powerful as they are, and upon realizing that her former apprectice is far beyond saving, Anjean teleports Link and Zelda to the tower's lobby before turning to face him herself.

After restoring the final sets of Spirit Tracks and returning to the tower, Link and Zelda climb to the top and encounter the mercenary once again. They team up against him in battle and are victorious, and afterward, Byrne retreats to the roof of the tower, where he is scolded by Cole for not being able to completely dispose of the children. The demon then fuses Malladus' spirit into Zelda's vacant body. Just as Link and Zelda arrive, Byrne is seen requesting the powers he wanted from Malladus; however, instead of granting him said power, Malladus blasts him with dark magic, gravely injuring him. Cole then reveals to Byrne that he was indeed using him; Malladus would never give him power because Byrne was once apprentice to Anjean and servant to the spirits of good. Malladus and Cole depart on the Demon Train.

Anjean arrives afterward and she, Link and Zelda return to the Spirit Train's passenger car, bringing an unconscious Byrne with them solely out of pity. Anjean tells the tale of a weapon called the Bow of Light that is hidden beneath a temple in the desert; she believes it may be able to purge Zelda's body of Malladus' spirit. Before heading there, Zelda requests that the sage keep Byrne safe from harm, as she would like to 'have words with him' when she reclaims her body. In an attempt at humor, she begins throwing kicks and punchs in the air, and Byrne, unbeknownst to all, awakens and secretly observes this, presumably finding it amusing.

After retrieving the Bow of Light, Link and Zelda return to the train and discover some bad news: Malladus and Cole have hidden the Demon Train so well that Anjean has been unable to find it. Byrne then has a change of heart, telling them that he made a tool called the Compass of Light and that he and Cole used it to track down the Demon Train, where it was held in the Dark Realm. Byrne tells them hid the compass far beneath the Altar of the Demon King so that no one could ever find it. He also thanks them for sparing his life.

Link is able to retrieve the compass and the four of them head to the Dark Realm. Prior to facing the Demon Train, Anjean offers her help to Link and Zelda, saying that it is too dangerous for the two of them alone. Byrne interferes, stating that Anjean's wounds from the battle between the two were still fresh before offering himself instead. Link and Zelda ultimately decide to handle things on their own, as both of the Lokomos need their rest. After striking Malladus with an arrow from the Bow of Light, he is forced out of Zelda's body. Zelda attempts to reenter, only to discover that she cannot do so; she simply passes right through it. Just before Malladus can get to her, however, Byrne appears projects a magical barrier around her and her body, telling her that she must concentrate on reclaiming the sacred power within it, as well as humorusly reminding her that she had wanted to have words with him. Zelda calls on the spirits for a blessing and finally enters her body again.

The happiness is short-lived, however; Malladus utilizes his own power and destroys Byrne, with the Lokomo showing some form of content that Zelda was able to revive herself. After possessing Cole, Malladus is fully defeated by Link and Zelda. Anjean then reveals that Lokomos can never really die; they will instead become spirits which, after many years, are reincarnated into a new form with no memories of their past life. After piecing together the spirit of Byrne, Anjean then departs for the heavens with him and the other Lokomos.

Physical Appearence

Byrne is a Lokomo, or at least a descendant of one, and he has bright yellow-golden eyes and black hair tied into a ponytail. He wears generally dark clothes, and his most well-known trait is the gauntlet   he wears on his arm (which could be a prosthetic). It appears to be made of iron or steel and is very strong. He has a green bandana covering his mouth and the lower portion of his nose for the entire game. In his spirit form, he is a pale blue-gray color.

However, it is implied that he looked noticeably different in past years; after recounting the evil he has resorted to when the two meet in the Tower of Spirits, she looked at him disapprovingly and says, "...And now look at you."

Byrne is much older than he looks; Anjean tells Link and Zelda that he 'has had more than a century to train'. This is possible because of his race; all the Lokomo are hinted to have extremely long lifespans.

Personality

Byrne's personality is very dynamic throughout the game; during the first half he seems to be obsessed with power, while in the second half he is determined to take revenge on Malladus and Cole for lying to him. he appears to be very proud and ambitious, stating by Anjean, and towards the end of the game, he shows some concern for Zelda's well-being, as she spared his life. Even before her reverts to the side of good, he strangely refers to Anjean as 'Master'. Also, it is assumed that he could have killed her during their battle, but he did not, possibly showing he felt self-pity or even respect for her.

He seems to underestimate humans, as when he goes into a brief battle with Alfonzo, he states, "...But he is only human," and after losing the fight against Link and Zelda, he shows disbelief that he was beaten by 'two human children."

Battle Strategy

During the battle against Byrne, he starts by hopping from pillar to pillar, occasionally sending magic blasts at Link and Phantom Zelda. Eventually he was pause atop one of them and aims the hand of his gauntlet at Link or Zelda. A purple pointer appears wherever he is about to fire; it is easy to avoid. Once he fired, Phantom Zelda must be sent to pick up the hand as Byrne tries to retract it; once she picks it up, she will pull on it and send him crashing to the ground. He is now vulnerable to sword strikes. You must repeat this process once more, and the next time around, Byrne picks things up, this time sending a strong blast at Zelda prior to firing at Link. Again, it is easy to avoid.

In the next stage of the battle, Byrne fights on the ground with hit-and-run tactics, frequently swinging his gauntlet at Link before hastily leaping away. After some time, he will begin to charge up an attack, and as he does he will glow with dark energy. Link then must get behind Zelda, who will hold Byrne back when he charges, granting Link the ability to attack. This must be repeated two to three times more before Byrne finally succumbs to the pair.

Etymology

Byrne's name is obviously derived from the word 'burn', as in the burning of coal to power trains. Many of the characters in Spirit Tracks are named after trains or train-related things.

Trivia

  • The buckle on Byrne's belt resembles the brooches worn by Anjean and the other Lokomos, as well as the wheels on their steem-powered wheelchairs.

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