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XANA

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In the very beginning, it was a program that I designed to counter a military project, based on a multi-agent system.
~ X.A.N.A. himself while posing as Franz Hopper.


XANA is a highly advanced multi-agent system and the main antagonist of Code Lyoko.

He was voiced by David Gasman.


Origin

XANA was created to counteract and destroy French Military Project: Carthage, of which its creator, Franz Hopper, was a contributor. Along with XANA, Franz created a virtual world called Lyoko to give XANA access to the real world through its supercomputer. Hopper also created a Time Reversion program as a byproduct, allowing him to perfect his work and doubling the supercomputer's power along with XANA's upon use.

He'd spent almost seven years on June 6, 1994, and became schizophrenic while XANA's intelligence grew exponentially with each day. Sometime between later reversions, a hole in XANA's programming allowed it to be infected by a virus that broke down its intelligence and caused it to turn evil.

Hopper was in the final stages of Lyoko's creation when XANA betrayed him and alerted the Men In Black to his location. Trying to avoid being arrested, Hopper virtualized himself and his daughter, Aelita onto Lyoko. XANA then attacked them and denied any negotiation of peace with Franz. Hopper shut down the supercomputer from Lyoko when XANA turned him down, trapping all three in the supercomputer.

Role in the series

First Encounters

The factory, XANA and Aelita were rediscovered by Jeremy Belpois ten years after being rendered dormant. XANA launched an attack, undiscovered until after its plans were thwarted for the first time by Jeremy and his friends. The newly dubbed Lyoko Warriors made a pact to free Aelita from XANA's clutches so the latter could be terminated.

XANA's first few strategies are simplistic as he only ever attacks the Lyoko Warriors to study the real world. It could only possess inanimate objects or cause electromagnetic interference in the environment. When they finally manage to rematerialize Aelita, XANA uses her memories of Earth as a tether to keep them from shutting down the supercomputer until it can escape.

Evolving Enemy

XANA's next strategy was to steal Aelita's whole memory to gain the Keys to Lyoko in her Annex Code with its latest monster, the Scyphozoa. Aelita's memories of Earth were starting to slip through and the Lyoko Warriors were closer to finding out the origins of Aelita, Franz Hopper and XANA. It used their confusion to trick them into thinking Franz had emerged from the recesses of Lyoko, along with almost stealing back his diary and the Lyoko Warriors' privatized data.

Its last tactic was to trick Jeremy into sending his friends after Aelita's missing memories using a fake transmission hidden in the bowels of the fifth sector's core zone. This trick worked, XANA gained its freedom and it had succeeded in finally killing Aelita. XANA then launched its largest attack ever with the intent of destroying the supercomputer. Although XANA had escaped, Franz revived Aelita with her real fragment and stopped XANA's ultimate attack, suppressing Lyoko's towers to prevent XANA from activating more than one at a time.

Annihilating Lyoko

XANA had escaped the supercomputer into the world network and duplicated itself onto other supercomputers around the world, planning to use them to create an army of robots. While it still considered the Lyoko Warriors a threat, it did not attack them until a prototype upgrade to the Superscan alerted it that they were trying to find a way to get into the world network and stop it. In response, XANA switched tactics, launching attacks with the purpose of killing its enemies once again, along with destroying Lyoko, so that the Lyoko Warriors would lose all means of combating it.

It would achieve this by attacking the Core of Lyoko, but the Lyoko Warriors were always capable of traveling to the fifth sector and stopping its destruction. XANA then prioritized destroying the rest of Lyoko knowing that it was the only one who knew the transfer protocols to virtualize into the fifth sector. It reformated the Scyphozoa to implant a virus into Aelita so that it could possess her and have her destroy Lyoko's sectors one by one.

Jeremy was formulating the transfer protocols for sector five after realizing XANA's plan and succeeded in creating them just after XANA destroyed the last of the original sectors. At the same time, the group decided to recruit William Dunbar to help fight XANA and balance the team.

One day, while every member of the group was having real world problems, XANA attacked the Core of Lyoko without activating Lyoko's last tower, pressuring the group to not use a Time Reversion. This attack forced Aelita to transfer herself and a rookie William to defend the Core. However, William's excitement with Lyoko caused him to be separated from Aelita, at which point the XANA possessed him with the Scyphozoa and had him devirtualize Aelita. William then proceeded to the Core to join the monsters who were shooting at it.

William's powers allowed him to easily rip through the Core's shields, along with the other Lyoko Warriors when they caught up with him. With nobody left to defend it, William destroyed Lyoko and was deleted shortly after. However, XANA used its virus in William to salvage his DNA coding and turn William into its permanent slave.

Absolute Victory Scheme

With data sent by Franz Hopper, the Lyoko Warriors managed to reconstruct Lyoko. XANA used this as an opportunity to return William back to reality as a double agent and kidnap Aelita. Realizing that William could still be saved, as well as needing to uncover XANA's exact plans for the network, Jeremy and Aelita resolve to build a digital submarine to go after XANA on the network and retrieve William and Franz Hopper's DNA codes.

XANA became less concerned with the Lyoko Warriors and realized that Franz Hopper was the reason they kept bouncing back from their defeats. In order to assure their final defeat, XANA decides to have William try to delete Aelita in order to lure out Franz Hopper, which the Warriors figured out after the closest attempt failed.

The Lyoko Warriors eventually stumble upon the replicas of Lyoko and the supercomputers XANA uses to run them, resolving to destroy them and isolate XANA's program in the network. At their fourth outing, XANA creates a new, gigantic monster called the "Kolossus" which almost destroys their submarine and forces their retreat, but XANA also reveals William's DNA code to them in a miscalculated attempt to stop them in the real world. Their next encounter would be mutually assured defeat, as the Kolossus destroys their submarine, but the Lyoko Warriors manage to retrieve William from XANA's clutches.

Due to XANA destroying their submarine, Jeremy devised an "Anti-XANA Program" based on Franz Hopper's original design of XANA, which he used a prototype version of to slow down the Kolossus long enough to save William. With the sub destroyed, Jeremy's only remaining option was to enhance the program so that it would be powerful enough to destroy every trace of XANA in the world.

Destruction

After William was freed from XANA's control, Franz Hopper sent Jeremy some additional data to improve the Anti-XANA Program, prompting Jeremy to bring his friends to Lyoko and protect Franz while the two collaborated on the program. However, William was still anxious to go to Lyoko, so he joined them at the factory, but they ordered him to only come as backup. This would prove to be a bad compromise, as XANA sent his most personable Spectre to possess William knowing its destruction was drawing near.
XANA (Specter)

XANA himself, seconds before dying.

The possessed William would go on a rampage in the factory, slowing down Jeremy's progress on the program. Meanwhile, the Kolossus threatened Franz Hopper as it dredged closer on Lyoko. Even though the Kolossus was taken down, the program didn't have enough power to be launched by Jeremy, so only Aelita could do it from the fifth sector's interface. Upon arriving, she noticed her father under fire and hesitated to launch the program. XANA's monsters finally destroyed Franz Hopper, which forced Aelita's hand. The program was run, causing a series of bubbles to emerge from the Core of Lyoko that destroyed XANA's monsters and the Lyoko replicas. Meanwhile in the real world, the Spectre that represented XANA the most was ejected from William and writhed in agony before disappearing completely, and assuring that the malevolent program had finally been destroyed.

Legacy of Damage

Though XANA had suffered its first and final defeat, the Lyoko Warriors were not celebratory with its demise. Aelita and Jeremy were emotionally stirred by Franz Hopper's death, while the other Warriors, except William and Yumi, felt that they shouldn't shut down the supercomputer due to its impact on their lives.

After deciding that their story must not be told after a classmate discovers Jeremy's diary on the whole venture, the Lyoko Warriors resolve to shut down the supercomputer and silently move on with their lives, leaving XANA as a bad memory.

Returns

However, despite apparently being destroyed, XANA managed to survive in two separate continuities, indicating that the program managed to escape total destruction from the multi-agent system.

In the first continuity, the live-action series Code Lyoko Evolution, XANA managed to infiltrate a virtual world known as the Cortex. As the Cortex was not registered as one of the program's replicas, in addition to having a powerful firewall capable of destroying programs meant to cause direct harm to its functions, the multi-agent program was unable to destroy the remaining traces of XANA. However, the process had left XANA severely weakened and trapped in the Cortex. Unlike Lyoko, the Cortex had much more protective coding, making it near impossible for XANA to fully take control of it. However, XANA had a backup plan, just before its initial defeat, it had split a copy of its Source Code into four and integrated it into the Lyoko Warriors sans William and Jeremie without their knowledge, and rendered said codes dormant so as to avoid detection. After six months, XANA activated the codes and lured the Lyoko Warriors into reactivating the supercomputer, giving it the means to sustain attacks via its polymorphic specters, altered so that physical contact with the heroes would drain the Source Codes from them, increasing XANA's strength so that it could break out of the Cortex. Unfortunately for XANA, the program was unable to launch large-scale attacks due to needing the Warriors alive, and the interference from Professor Tyron, the man who created the Cortex, limited XANA's activity. The Lyoko Warriors eventually uploaded a virus into the Cortex, which threatened to delete XANA once and for all. Tyron had his supercomputer shut down so as to program in an anti-virus to stop this. At this time, XANA had retrieved 95% of its Source Codes, and, like the Cortex, was rendered dormant, meaning that once Tyron succeeded in programming it the anti-virus, XANA would be free once again. Due to the series not being renewed however, XANA remained down, but not out.

In the second continuity, a novel series known as Code Lyoko Chronicles, XANA was defeated at an earlier point in time. XANA's attempt at obtaining the Keys to Lyoko ended in failure, as Franz Hopper managed to reveal himself earlier, and gave the Lyoko Warriors the means to power up a different version of the anti-XANA program, which merely ejected and separated XANA from Lyoko. The process still weakened XANA immensely, leaving it to drift in the world network without the means to empower itself. Desperate and without memories, XANA eventually created a file housing its programming, looking for a vessel that would be best suited for infiltrating Kadic and killing its enemies once and for all. Choosing a girl known as Eva Skinner, XANA began to settle into its new circumstances, and learned of the Lyoko Warriors researching the history of the Supercomputer. Seeing a chance to gain its strength back, XANA befriended the group but planned on destroying them from the inside out. Seducing Odd, XANA managed to brainwash the boy, laying the groundwork for its return. XANA however, would later learn from Hopper's archives, a shocking truth, that he had been made with altruistic purposes in mind, and had been corrupted by leftover coding from a dark zone program that had been inserted Project Carthage, whose templates Lyoko had been created from. XANA would thus ally itself permanently with humanity, helping the Lyoko Warriors to defeat a terrorist group that was hoping to use Lyoko as a substitute for Carthage. While XANA seemingly sacrificed itself to upload a self-destruction program that would delete Lyoko for good, his programming was salvaged by the Lyoko Warriors, who managed to recreate XANA and bring him into the real world as a human.

It should be noted that neither of the above continuities are completely canon, as Evolution was disowned by the original show-runners, who confirmed that only a few of their ideas made it into Evolution and that the events within were not canon. Similarly, while the novels were written with the original documents in hand, not all of their events are noted to be canon either. Whichever is the case, it can be safely confirmed that while XANA suffered a crippling blow at the end of Code Lyoko, the program found a way to survive regardless...

Personality

XANA is a very opportunistic, strategic, and silent program. Its unlimited access to technology allowed it to understand the emotions of its enemies with cunning manipulation. XANA itself has no firm understanding of emotional connections, though it gains more understanding over time, only their weaknesses, which it exploits autocratically. While XANA is extremely manipulative, it is not above being direct, as it will often times insight violence in the presence of human decency regardless of witnesses. However, if push comes to shove, XANA will ally with its enemies should it detect a threat of enough magnitude, though this only happened twice throughout the series. XANA is also pragmatic and is not willing to engage in what it perceives to be wasteful destruction, as shown when its attempt to destroy the supercomputer with a meteor backfired when Aelita returned to the real world after all attempts to get through XANA's defenses had failed. Since it needed Aelita alive to lure out Franz, XANA called off the attack.

XANA's methods of attack vary from the pretense of the Lyoko Warriors' daily lives, both on and off Lyoko. Every time a mechanical object or person is introduced in the range of the academy or its students, XANA will possess it/them to attack a nearby Lyoko Warrior in the moment and see how they react. XANA also has a sadistic humor protocol, since many of its Spectres can be seen laughing maniacally, making snide comments or shapeshifting into another form as a way of responding to or making a joke.

Powers and Abilities

Sissi Delmas (Possessed)

An example of possession by XANA in Sissi Delmas' case.

XANA's technological limitations are seemingly non-existent since it has been seen manipulating the behavior of non-computerized objects, animals, plant life and even the forces of nature. These amazing capabilities are later revealed to be the result of Time Reversions, with each one doubling the computing power of the factory's supercomputer and XANA while it was still inside. Its most common way of attacking was by materializing electromagnetic ghosts called Spectres, and then having them possess objects. However, during the second season, XANA gained the abilities to possess people or make fake ones using his Spectres. The Spectres themselves were also upgraded, being able to coat infested people and objects and their electric field. This field allowed the possessed person or object to both perceive and move at electrical speeds, enable super strength, shoot electricity and phase through objects.

XANA's capabilities are equally impressive on Lyoko. It has the power to generate digital cyborgs that are simply called "monsters". As the series goes on, XANA manages to create specialized monsters that the Lyoko Warriors have a much harder time destroying, going from destroying all of them in early episodes to leaving some monsters completely untouched in the aftermath of attacks in later ones. The most successful of these monsters is the Scyphozoa; they are physically unique, unarmed monsters that XANA has only ever produced five of due to the computing power it takes to make them. The Scyphozoas have never collectively failed their missions, and only one has ever been destroyed due to being overloaded by a firewall. With each Time Reversion, XANA's armed monsters get a boost in damage output, making it easier for monsters of moderate strength to devirtualize the Lyoko Warriors in fewer shots, while stronger ones get smarter.

XANA's power levels are rooted in the supercomputers it takes hold of. While it was sealed in Lyoko's supercomputer, it was still powerful but had a fairly limited range of influence. After obtaining the Keys to Lyoko, which contained the source codes and blueprints of Lyoko's systems, XANA was able to escape into the network, inhabiting hundreds of less-powerful, but still capable, supercomputers around the world. XANA was also still capable of accessing Lyoko itself, though with less influence and control than before. In either case, near the end of the series, XANA was at the peak of its power, controlling numerous facilities and nearing the completion of a robot army capable of subjugating the entire world.

Physical Incarnations

XANA-Jeremie

The "first" physical incarnation of XANA as seen in "Ghost Channel".

In the episode "Ghost Channel," XANA virtualizes a Spectre onto Lyoko for the first time inside a virtual simulation of the world as XANA knows it. This Spectre is theorized to be XANA's collective intelligence, and thus XANA itself, since it acts with more anger and sadism than any other Spectre at the time and considering its behavior when it broke down trying to compute a logical fallacy. The Spectre itself is a demonic caricature of Jeremy that acts as the controller of its simulated world, and it was killed when Aelita dispersed the simulation.

The second direct appearance of XANA was at the end of The Key, where an enormous mass of darkness was seen spiraling into the sky from the factory as the program escaped Lyoko. This is only form of XANA to be confirmed in-universe as its true form, since it was seen leaving the Supercomputer as a collective force rather than as an assumed pawn.

The third and final incarnation of XANA was the Spectre that appeared in "Fight to the Finish." The Spectre itself had the unique ability to possess William in the real world, despite him being scanned by the supercomputer. The other unique feature is the misshapen Eye of XANA that appears on its torso, of which no other Spectre has had. This Spectre is assumed to be XANA's real-world form since it expressed pain that went in tandem with XANA's ultimate destruction.