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Villain Overview
Squad B, head back to the shaft and salvage what you can. We'll rendezvous in 24 hours.
~ Rourke ordering several of his soldiers to remain in the volcano base to cover their plot.

Rourke's Mercenaries (also known as Soldiers) are a supporting antagonistic faction of Disney's 41st full-length animated feature film Atlantis: The Lost Empire. They serve as henchmen to the ruthless Commander Lyle T. Rourke and his right-hand Helga Katrina Sinclair, as they are bent on stealing an ancient crystal (known as the Heart of Atlantis) and sell it for a price. The army consists of about 381 soldiers.

Biography

The soldiers are first seen boarding on their high-tech submarine along with their officers and the crew, as they are heading over to the bottom of the ocean to find the lost city of Atlantis. Even when the giant Leviathan came in and attacked the majority of the crew to their deaths, the remaining crew managed to escape through sub-pods and drive themselves into a crevice that leads to an air bubble pertaining the directions to the entrance of Atlantis. Thanks to the deciphering of the Atlantean language of the Shepherd's Journal (due to the efforts of linguist Milo James Thatch, the protagonist of the film), the crew were able to locate the lost city of Atlantis hidden underground near Iceland.

With the successful discovery finally made, Rourke negotiates with the Atlantean King to let him and his crew to stay one night to rest and resupply, so that they can leave by morning. As Milo talks with the king's daughter Princess Kida about the culture of Atlantis, little did he know that the soldiers are arming themselves with guns hidden inside their trucks.

Eventually, after deciphering an underwater mural, Milo finally catches onto Rourke's true motives as the latter, along with Helga and the soldiers, have armed themselves as they plan to steal the Heart of Atlantis to sell it for a good price. Rourke even commented that he had the missing page detailing the crystal's existence to confirm Milo's suspicions, much to the horror of Milo and Kida. After locating the Heart of Atlantis (which was located under the king's chambers and fused with Kida), Rourke had his soldiers to lock up the crystallized Kida in a portable chamber and hold Milo and the Atlanteans at gunpoint to prevent them from retrieving it. After Rourke punches Milo as an opprobrious insult for his discovery, several of the crew members were disgusted and defected to Milo's side, but Rourke the other soldiers didn't care and towed the crystal away from the city; even Rourke rigged the bridge with explosives to ensure that neither the crew members nor the natives will escape.

Leaving the city to be vulnerable to danger, Rourke and his soldiers head back to the volcano's base, where they fired up a missile to create an opening through the volcano's bowels and activated a giant blimp to transport the crystal out. Fortunately, Milo and the crew members, along with several Atlantean warriors, fire up several flying fish-mobiles, forcing the soldiers to fight back with with their guns and hovercrafts. At first, the soldiers had the upper hand (killing a few Atlantean warriors), but the heroes manage to use their fish-mobiles to emit crystallized bolts to take down the soldiers' hovercrafts and weaponry, effectively killing the soldiers all one by one.

Of course, Rourke did not care about the loss of his men, even betraying Helga by throwing off the blimp to lighten the load, though this only backfired when a dying Helga uses her flare gun to destroy the blimp in revenge for Rourke's betrayal. This allows Milo to finally defeat Rourke by crystallizing him and shredding him to pieces with the blimp's propellers. Following the deaths of Rourke and his soldiers, Milo and the crew retrieve the crystal and use it to save the city from a volcanic eruption caused by the battle.

Trivia

  • Despite being Rourke's minions, they are not the secondary antagonists, Helga is.

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