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Nicola is the main villain of the film Bunraku. He was played by Ron Perlman.


Following a devastating war which saw all firearms outlawed, this decidedly Nordic-looking fellow took power over a small EurAsian city which he rules with an iron fist. Before the war, he was just a humble woodsman. But in the post-apocalyptic world which has seen ranged weapons (except bows and arrows) outlawed, he has found that his years of chopping down trees has made him strong and quite handy with axes.

So he clawed his way to the top of organized crime and became the undisputed ruler of his part of the world. He leads a group of elite assassins called the Killers. Each of them has a number. Nicola is Killer #1, whilst his right-hand man and main enforcer is Killer#2.

Nicola made many enemies during his rise to power. He stole Alexandra, the girlfriend of his town's Bartender, and made her his woman, impregnating her with his child. He also stole the sacred gold dragon medallion of Japanese swordsman Yoshi's family, wearing it around his neck as a trophy. In some way, he was also associated with the father of the wandering killer named "The Drifter," who once told him that there was always someone more powerful than him. Nicola took this lesson to heart, even after his falling out with the Drifter's father which led him to murder him.

All three men - the Drifter, Yoshi and the Bartender - would eventually come after Nicola for vengeance.

Nicola ruled his town with an iron fist. He ran illegal gambling and prostitution and even kept a harem of sex slaves for himself and his men. He controlled the local police and his Killers made sure all the elections were rigged so no one disloyal to Nicola would ever hold office in the town.

The key to maintaining his power was that no one except his close inner circle of friends and servants, including the Killers, actually knew what he looked like. He could walk the streets and go to his favorite Japanese restaurant without being recognized. When appearing in person to his enemies, or anyone else he did not want to know what he looked like, he wore a dark cloak with a tall, wide-brimmed hat which concealed his face in shadow. The Killers also murdered anyone who opposed them, preventing other rival gangs from surfacing in the town.

Despite the fact he has money, power, women, and vast political influence, it bores him to tears. He considers himself first and foremost a warrior, and although he appreciates fine art and cuisine, and is more intelligent and sophisticated than his Nordic warrior-like appearance would suggest, he often tired of the spoils of his victories and yearned to face battle once more. At the same time, though, part of still wanted to hold onto his empire, and as a result, he constantly feared assassination, which was another reason for his disguise when we went out.

When the Drifter came to town, and convinced Yoshi and the Bartender to help him take down Nicola's empire, Nicola's warrior's blood was fired up. When the Drifter challenged him to a face-to-face game of cards, Nicola almost accepted, but backed down after discussing the matter with Killer #2. He sent an impostor in his place, hoping the Drifter would be killed. But his enemy survived, and the three heroes gathered an army of displaced townspeople angry about the political corruption, the rigged elections, murders, slavery and terror Nicola brought to their town, and they stormed the Killers' compound.

The Drifter and Yoshi climbed to the top of the pinnacle where Nicola's Japanese fortress was located. While Yoshi fought and eventually killed Killer #2, the Drifter faced Nicola alone. The former woodsman threw a small hand axe into the cowboy's shoulder, grievously wounding him, and demanded to know who he was and why he'd come after him for revenge. The Drifter refused to answer.

Yoshi entered and fired an arrow, severing the necklace that held the dragon medallion around Nicola's neck, thus recovering his family's heirloom. As Nicola went to get another axe from his weapon collection, the Drifter grabbed the arrow and snapped the arrowhead off. As Nicola turned with his chosen axe to kill the intruders, the Drifter used the arrowhead to cut Nicola's throat. As Nicola lay dying on the floor, the Drifter finally told him who he was. With his curiosity satisfied, Nicola finally died.

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