The Puppeteer, the Mad Puppeteer, the Puppet Master
Former Colonel of Engineering Department
Type of Villain
|“||You're an impressive specimen. Now, let the experiments begin!||„|
|~ Relius Clover|
Relius Clover is a playable character and one of the main antagonists from BlazBlue. He is Carl and Ada's father and the husband of Ignis. He is a Colonel in the engineering department for the Novus Orbis Librarium, and works alongside Hazama. He is voiced by Junichi Sawabe in Japan and Travis Willingham in English. His life-force value hovers around 9152.
Relius was originally a researcher who studied the Boundary alongside Shūichirō Ayatsuki. They were at a dead end until Yūki Terumi showed up, offering them a vast amount of information that allowed their research to progress. In exchange, Terumi asked Relius to make a body for him, which he did by creating Kazuma Kuvaru. During an experiment however, they unknowingly unleashed the Black Beast and Relius was swallowed into the Cauldron.
Relius somehow survived, and was sent forward 80 years into the future, to the year 2179. In the process, he lost his memory, but gradually started to regain it over the years, stating that the feeling was as exhilarating as placing books back on shelves (a personal pastime of his). After reuniting with Terumi, he continued working with him in secret, and during the timeskip to the present day meets and marries Ignis, which in turn leads to the birth of Carl and Ada.
Widely known as the genius "Mad Puppeteer" with unparalleled skills in Alchemy.
Bloodedge Experience — Part 1
When Relius was in his youth, he worked alongside Valkenhayn R. Hellsing as a member of Immortal Breaker. Relius and Valkenhayn were hired by the Mitsurugi Agency's Kīro Hikagami to assassinate Clavis Alucard because of his threat to the worlds order.
He first appears when he stops Valkenhayn from needlessly killing Naoto Kurogane as he explained that the young man possessed the power of Regeneration and could not be killed permanently despite being human (at the time); Relius then held out his hand and gave Naoto some advice regarding self-defense. After Valkenhayn had left, Relius addressed Raquel Alucard and told her to mask her presence better as she appeared out of Naoto's shadow. She thanked Relius and the man left, flattered that she already knew his name.
Relius appeared later alongside Valkenhayn when the two engaged Clavis in Naoto Kurogane's apartment. After Relius joined the fray, Clavis believed it to be wise to flee, as he did, the duo remained in pursuit of the No Life King despite leaving Naoto's apartment in an abysmal state, spare the kitchen.
The Wheel of Fortune
Relius witnesses Hazama's attack on Celica A. Mercury's church. As he narrates the fate of Ragna in a poetic fashion, Hazama comes throwing Saya down the ground before him. Relius reminds him to handle her with care since she will become the vessel later and suggests leaving, as the observer is coming.
A few years later, Relius arrives at the 3rd Hierarchical City of Iwasu and asks Hazama about the preparations of Nu-13's smelting. As Hazama confirms that they only need to wait for the cocoon to hatch, Relius turns to leave. However, Hazama says that he wants to ask him a favor, so Relius ends up staying a while longer for tea at a local store. Coincidentally, Tsubaki Yayoi and Makoto Nanaya are also having their chocolate parfait on the other side. After Hazama returns from interfering with the girls' conversation, Relius shows interests in Makoto, saying that she has a strong soul, a necessary factor to create a Nox Nyctores. Hazama asks where he learnt it from, and Relius says that his daughter, Ada, did.
Later that night, Relius shortly engages Ragna the Bloodedge in combat, being interested in his Azure Grimoire. However, as Ragna shows no intention to use the grimoire, Relius expresses his disappointment and leaves. He rendezvous with Hazama in the sewer after that and once again asks about the status of Nu-13. Hazama says that the cocoon is already hatching, and no one can stop her now. Relius comments that he would like to see her smelting and smiles. Hazama is slightly surprised, saying that he did not know Relius could be interested in anything. Relius says that he is surprised by that fact himself.
Relius and Hazama arrives at the 13th Hierarchical City of Kagutsuchi shortly afterwards. They encounter Hakumen, who provokes Terumi into a fight and almost kills him if not for Relius' intervention. As Relius uses Ignis to stop Hakumen before he goes any further, Hakumen recognizes the similarity between her and Nirvana. Relius confirms that Kokonoe lent a hand in making her, angering Hakumen. Out of rage, Hakumen attempts to attack Relius, but is dragged back to the Boundary due to his connection with the Master Unit. Terumi mocks Hakumen's situation, but coughs up blood from the damage earlier. Relius tells him that he only has himself to blame, since self-observation is incomplete. Slightly annoyed, Terumi says that he is counting on Relius before passing out.
Continuum Shift II
At some point, Relius worked for Sector Seven alongside Kokonoe, under a group called the "Sin Architects". He was individually known as the "Puppeteer", an eccentric alchemist and scientist of the organization. His experiments include the resurrection of the Nox Nyctores named Deus Machina: Nirvana, which he harvested his daughter's body to create. He completed this project with help from Kokonoe of Sector Seven. His own puppet, the Fluctus Redactum: Ignis, was created from the body of his wife, Ignis, who is similar in appearance to Nirvana, although she has a red dress, blue, human-like eyes, a more slender head dress, a top hat instead of a bow, and hooked fingers. He was also involved with the creation of Lambda-11, Mu-12, and Nu-13. Relius later disappeared from Sector Seven, and started working for the NOL instead; though in the truest sense, he only worked with Hazama.
Continuum Shift Extend
In Relius' Arcade Mode story in Continuum Shift Extend, he runs into Hazama following his defeat by Ragna the Bloodedge (possibly in the true ending). While the two aren't antagonistic towards one another by their conversation, Hazama decides to fight him for an unknown reason. After losing, Terumi tells Relius that the Life Link between him and Noel is secure, along with talking about "Kushinada's Lynchpin." After hearing from Phantom that Ragna had defeated Kusanagi, Relius uses Ignis to rip out Terumi's throat and force his spirit from his body, an opportunity that he uses to infiltrate and disable Takamagahara. Relius stays behind and contemplates on the current situation.
In both his and Valkenhayn's Continuum Shift Extend Story Modes, it is revealed that he did not die when was swallowed by the Cauldron during his initial experiment with Terumi and Shūichirō. Instead, he was actually sent forward 80 years into the future, to the year 2179, losing his memory in the process. However, he gradually started to regain it over the years, stating that the feeling was as exhilarating as placing books back on shelves (a personal pastime of his own). After reuniting with Terumi, he continues working with him in secret, and during the timeskip to the present day meets and marries Ignis, which in turn leads to their children Carl and Ada's births.
It was shown that he and Terumi were working for Izanami to call Amaterasu. To do so, Relius traveled across Ikaruga, opening all the Cauldrons so that seithr could flow more freely throughout the world. At some point he encounters Jin Kisaragi who confronts him regarding the Cauldron. They fight and although Jin is victorious, Relius escapes after successfully opening the Cauldron. Afterwards, he is confronted by Carl who demands answers including a way to restore Ada. Relius reveals that although he cannot bring her original body back, he can just "create Ada again", possibly referring to a replacement body for her soul. Carl is astonished at this revelation and finds it hard to believe, but Relius reminds Carl that, despite his villainous reputation, he has always been honest with his son. Later, he appears at Kushinada's Lynchpin in Wadatsumi to open the final Cauldron and encounters Ragna, Bang, Noel, and Celica. Ragna demands to know exactly what he's up to and so Relius reveals his ultimate goal: to recreate the world as he envisions as it's "architect" and make all gods, such as Amaterasu and even Izanami, obsolete. After Ragna chases after Nu when she heads for Hazama, Relius then engages Bang in combat while Litchi and Carl fight Tsubaki and Makoto, both of which were sent by Kagura. Just when it appears that Bang will miss his timing to activate Rettenjō, Valkenhayn appears to fight Relius and allows Bang enough time to fulfill his role.
After the Lynchpin activates, Relius, Litchi, and Carl retreat. With his plan ruined, Relius is then at the mercy of Carl and Litchi as the former demands that Relius begin working on a new body for Ada to which he submits, remarking on how Carl's ambition is interesting.
Relius is a twisted, evil mirror image of his son Carl; while he is just as calm, collected, calculating and courteus as his son, he is cold and utterly lacking in empathy. The one thing in the world he truly cares about is his research. He is even willing to go so far as to kill gods for the sake of science, a curiosity which Terumi just so happened to pique.
It is revealed in Continuum Shift Extend's story mode that his lack of empathy stems from his prior experiments, as well as his experiment on the Boundary. During the process of his creation of Nirvana, as well as falling into the Cauldron, he saw what he believed to be a person's "true form," which appears to be something akin to a ball of bluish-green light. While what that light is remains a mystery, it could possibly be a human's soul. Regardless, due to his belief that the light was a person's true form, he began seeing humans as nothing more than "things," rather than living beings and therefore their existence is meaningless (excluding himself).
In BlazBlue: Chronophantasma, it is revealed that his claiming to only have an interest for his research is only part of the truth. In fact, Relius has a genuine sadistic personality. He admits relishing the act of witnessing the collapse and corruption of a soul under a burden too great to shoulder.
Interestingly, when he was much younger in the Bloodedge Experience novels, Relius was, notably, much kinder than he is in his later years. He both helped Naoto Kurogane up after being attacked by Valkenhayn R. Hellsing and gave advice to both Naoto and Raquel Alucard, even when it wasn't required of him.
Relius is similar in appearance to his son Carl. He shares his son's light blond hair and affinity for the color purple, although the shade of purple he wears is magenta instead of violet. He also wears a golden opera mask for reasons unknown as of yet.
On his younger years, his appearance is not too different; key differences, however, include shoulder-length hair, a white chemise collar shirt with maroon cuffs, a white scarf with a purple gem, a purple vest, and black trousers.
When Relius was in his late teens to early twenties, he was remarkably skinny and had short blonde hair styled in a bob. Underneath his trademark cape, he wore a formal black suit and tie. Instead of an opera mask, he wore a leather-like blindfold that covered his eyes.
Powers and Abilities
Relius possesses vast knowledge of both magic and science, and has created several weapons utilizing his intellect, such as the Murakumo Units, the Nox Nyctores Nirvana, and his own puppet Ignis. He is also presumed to be immortal, and has survived several brushes with death in the past.
With the use of his puppet Ignis, Relius has been shown to be one of the most powerful beings in the BlazBlue universe, having fought and defeated the likes of Valkenhayn of the Six Heroes in some of their encounters.
- The log entry parts of BlazBlue: Phase 0 suggest that Relius Clover was eaten by the Black Beast, being as dead as Terumi in the story, since the frightened Shūichirō was unsure whatever he was dead or not.
- His Astral Heat uses different binding methods for each character:
- Ragna: Crucified on an X-shaped stake.
- Jin: Arms are chained spread-eagle, while legs are chained at the ankles.
- Noel, Lambda, Nu, Mu: Placed inside a Murakumo unit test tube. The Japanese text on the right of each device has different readings for each Murakumo. Naturally, Noel and Mu have the same readings, but with different character sprites, while Lambda and Nu use the same sprite but with palettes swapped.
- Rachel: Tied via vines to a cross. Gii is morphed into a tabernacle and Nago, still an umbrella, is being choked by a vine.
- Taokaka: Trapped inside a pet cage.
- Tager: Limbs magnetized by 2 U-magnets. This one actually uses various different sprites for Tager.
- Litchi: Hands tied to her enlarged staff. Lao Jiu is tied above her, unable to help.
- Arakune: Poured inside a huge lab beaker/flask while being burned alive by a bunsen burner.
- Bang: Hands are tied behind back as cinderblocks are placed on his knees to break his legs. A large row of cinderblocks yet to be placed are seen behind him.
- Carl: He and Ada are suspended by puppet strings in a marionette fashion.
- Hakumen: Tied to the seal Kokonoe uses on him in Story Mode, which is also the seal he uses in his Astral.
- Continuum Shift: Sits on the floor praying, facing the wrong way (back turned to Relius) as her blindness has overcome her. Strangely, some of Izayoi's feathers are seen around her.
- Chrono Phantasma: Stands with hands tied above her head, back still turned to Relius.
- Hazama: Sits in a chair looking bored. The way he sits is a reference to Phase Shift 1.
- Makoto: Trapped inside of a bubble akin to a hamster ball.
- Valkenhayn: Strapped via leather belts to an iron maiden and gagged so he cannot bite back.
- Platinum: Inside a barrel with swords slotted in, crying a fountain of tears.
- Mirror-Relius: Lies asleep in a different chair opposite of the winning Relius, while his Ignis is disabled and is going to be experimented on.
- Amane: Trapped inside an ancient Japanese brothel cage, used for displaying prostitutes.
- Bullet: Put in crawling position, hands bound behind her back with red tape.
- Azrael: Crucified upside-down on a cross.
- Izayoi: Arms held above her head by a giant puppet arm, which sprouts smaller arms that grab the rest of her body.
- Kagura: Hands tied behind his back, being suspended from a gallows stand. His Zweihander is on the ground and out of his reach.
- Terumi: Sitting in a chair, hands bound behind it. Behind him is a mirror which reflects his ghost form.
- Also, in his Astral Heat, if one looks closely at the lighting on the walls, several shadows of dangling corpses can be seen as well as what appears to be their blood. They are possibly previous test subjects who died during procedures.
- Kokonoe: Strapped into a chair with a cat-shaped helmet on her head with several tubes connecting it to a mind-reading machine.
- The intro of Relius-Carl matchup has Relius dodging Nirvana's Con Fuoco, then summoning Ignis, with whom Nirvana continues to trade a Distortion Drive clash (Rhapsody of Memories for Nirvana and Duo Bios for Ignis). When the dolls have finished their clash, the two puppeteers meet each other. This is currently the longest intro in the whole game.
- Relius' Astral Heat is the first case of international censorship within the game itself, as so far, only the games' covers had been edited. In the North American version of the game, the blood splatters on the walls of the background, as well as the shadows of the dangling corpses have been removed to avoid an M-rating by the ESRB/PEGI. The European version of the game is not censored, however.
- When using his Astral Heat against Hazama, Carl, and Makoto, he gives a unique dialogue different from everyone else.
- Most of Relius' special moves are in Latin, while most of Carl's are Italian. This could be a comparison likening Relius to Rome, which was the predecessor of modern Italy, represented by Carl. Oddly, however, the Clover family is Austrian.
- Relius is Blazblue's counterpart of Raven and Crow (although Crow's counterpart is Kokonoe). It is even notable that Relius has more similarities with Crow than Raven, both being mad scientists and both wanting to obtain powerful experiment.