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Garan

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Have you enjoyed my little tour of hell?
~ Garan: Shadow Hearts:Covenant

Garan is a villain in the videogame Shadow Hearts: Covenant. Garan works for Minister Ishimura, the shadow ruler of Japan, as his mystical adviser. He possesses dark powers to call upon the spirit world and uses them to try to destroy Yuri and the rest of he game's heroes for Ishimura.

Ishimura's Wrath

Yuri Hyuga had encountered the influences of Minister Ishimura for some time but when Yuri arrived in Japan Minister Ishimura became much more concerned about Yuri's direct interference in his plans and started sending special forces to deal with him and his friends; one of Ishimura's more specialized men was his adviser Garan a Shinto Priest who had sworn loyalty to Ishimura. Ishimura's political rival, Naniwa Kawashima, had stood in his way for too long and when Yuri and his friends arrived in Japan they encountered some of his troops trying to silence him for good. Protecting Naniwa was made easier by the fact he had a body-guard named Kurando Inugami, a man with the power to fuse with apparitions like Yuri. After the first few attempts to kill Naniwa failed Ishimura sent Garan to get both Yuri and Kurando out of the picture.

Encounters

Garan's first strike at Yuri and Kurando was to turn the two against each-other by using his powers to control the spirit of Tsukiyomi, the guardian spirit Kurando had fused with, and making it and Kurando attack Yuri and his friends. Though Yuri and friends defeated Tsukiyomi without killing Kurando's body and bringing him to his senses the heroes soon noticed they had become trapped in Garan's territory of Purgatory. The territory had various seals which Yuri and friends had to break in order to leave, when they finally had though Garan was waiting for them in person. Though Garan insisted he be revered as a powerful wizard Yuri and company were more taken by Garan's "gross" appearance rather than his dark powers. The lack of respect and mockery enraged Garan and he attacked the party. After being roundly beaten Garan vanished and in doing so took his territory with him freeing the heroes.

After Ishimura's top scientist, Dr. Hojo, had been killed and his spy Kato had gone A.W.O.L. Garan offered his services once again to keep Yuri and Kurando from further interference in the Minister's plans. This time Garan was prepared to bring the full force of his powers down on Yuri and Kurando and laid a trap for them just outside Kurando's village. The heroes fell into Garan's Hell territory trap on their way into the village and were transported to a small corner of hell Garan had commandeered. As with Garan's Purgatory territory, the area was held together by a series of seals, after the party broke each one by one they made their way to it's center where Garan was waiting. As before Garan's attempts to command respect fell on deaf ears, this time Yuri and his friends were more distracted by Garan's floating pillow and when Garan asked if they had any final requests Yuri's was to know where he could get his own flying pillow. Garan once again lost complete control in light of the lack of respect and transformed into King Yama, the Shinto/Hindu, king of the netherworld, who Garan had fused with for power. This time Yuri and his friends killed Garan in the process and were freed.

As a side quest to unlock Kurando's hidden powers the party may enter the Dog Shrine maze. In releasing the power at the end of the maze a gate to the spirit world is opened. Garan makes his way out of the gateway and encounters the party once last time as a ghost with the full force of the netherworld's king at his disposal. Garan is once again defeated and permanently fades into the netherworld.

Personality

Garan is a loyal right-hand to Minister Ishimura and aside from helping the Minister in his evil plans Garan also shows genuine concern for Ishimura's failing health. Garan considers himself a patriot son of Japan and distrusts Kato for his time spent over-seas. Garan makes a habit of keeping afoot of bad news for the Minister and when reporting it to Ishimura usually tries to put it as gently as possible. Garan is quite arrogant when counting his own power against others. Not showing proper awe for his power or worse, mocking him, seems to quickly incur uncontrollable anger in him.

Powers and Abilities

Garan has various powers associated with Shinto mysticism such as the power to create spiritual territories or summon and control spirits. As noted above Garan possess a mystical pillow that he uses to float around and teleport and is never seen walking under his own power. Garan's binding of Yama to his will is said to eventually wear on his sanity but this is never seen at any great length given his swift defeat after invoking it. Garan's Purgatory territory is a misty limbo filled with the undead while his Hell territory is a fiery pit filled with both undead and demons.


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