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Japhet

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Spoiler warning!
This article contains important details about OFF's plot, which may spoil the game for you. If you haven't played and finished OFF, it is recommended that you do not read this.

Japhet is the Guardian of Zone 2. Like other Guardians, he is responsible for administering the affairs of his Zone in accordance with the wishes of the Queen.

Profile

Appearance

He first appears in the form of a cat, but his true form is that of a large bird, looking very similar to the mythological phoenix and firebird creatures.

Personality

Although intelligent, strong, and ambitious, by the time of the game's events within the OFF world he has grown emotionally distraught and torn about how things in his Zone has deteriorated. Though trying to maintain his grip over the various Elsen he rules over, he anticipates his own death due to his failure. He is ultimately confronted about the corruptions that have taken place by the Batter and the Player before being killed.

Plot

The second one, Japhet, was good and generous. Due to his kind personality, he was loved by all. He was constantly on his feet, doing his best to provide safety and peace to his subjects.

- Page in Zone 2's massive library, Bismark


Japhet is responsible for the death of the Judge's brother, Valerie. Japhet was eaten by Valerie while he was still a little bird, as shown in the Room, but Valerie was too nice and didn't chew him up. Japhet was too powerful to be eaten like that and instead took control of Valerie's body and used it as a host[1]. As Valerie, no one recognizes him as a Guardian anymore and they only see him as a cat.

In contrast to other enemies encountered, Japhet appears to have a fundamental sense that he has failed, understanding that he has been unable to rule over his Zone as he should have, and that things have fallen apart. At least some of the spectres that exist in the game were intentionally created by him. It is unclear to what extent he knows about the Batter's purification mission, with success for the Batter meaning the end of the entire world of OFF including every last Zone, or of the existence of the Player. However, despite fighting in vain for his life against the Batter, he is described as having wept profusely and recognized himself as being "evil" as well as anticipating ahead of time his own death.

Japhet is often mentioned in the various books found in the library as the glorious leader of the Elsen, the subordinate beings at first enjoying the pleasures of his benevolent rule but then started to fear everything. This angered Japhet, seeing the areas under his control deteriorating into despair and madness, and he decided to take revenge by summoning the various spectres encountered in Zone 2. It is unclear whether he actually controls those beings or merely believes himself to do so, and various interpretations also remain as to why other calamitous things such as transformations into Burnt Elsen happen. Japhet may have intentionally caused this corruption, unintentionally caused it, or encountered it naturally as happening due to inherent flaws in the design of the Zone.

In the upper levels of the library, the Batter is faced with a puzzle that gives the opportunity to read several pages in which Japhet's story and relationship with the Elsen is explained. The puzzle must be completed before progress can be made. While the reliability of this account is questionable, it is generally considered genuine due to the frankness and straightforwardness of the writing.

The pages read:

  • Drawing from his waning forces, he created the Library, more beautiful than ever before. Its height pierced the smoky clouds and there he stood.
  • Much like a guardian angel, he had done everything for them. He had brought them peace, security and entertainment. Such was his generosity.
  • For a while, that was all good and well for all, they enjoyed the new land with the innocence of a child. They were running down the streets, enjoying …
  • But the dynamics of the world soon drove the people mad. They forgot about their joys and eventually succumbed to their neurosis of fear and worries.
  • Meanwhile, the Flaming Winged Sovereign weeped on his throne, their joys saddened to have been forgotten by Man. He had no more time for their worries.
  • And so the Flaming Bird turned into a cat and the cat into a Ruler. Driven insane by his anger and sadness, he summoned forth a storm of evil spirits upon his subjects. His madness had ...
  • While the spectres were destroying the world he had created, he sought shelter (sic) at the summit of his most wonderful creation, the Great Library.
  • There was nothing else to be done but wait for the man who would rise forth to destroy him. For deep inside his soul, there was no doubt that what he did was Evil. The End

In the Room, the Batter encounters an entity known simply as "The Bird". This being appears to be a version of Japhet before the events through which he became a Guardian. Akin to the intentionally cheerful version of Japhet described in the writings within the library, this alternate songbird has a caring, resourceful personality. He repeatedly warns the Batter to be careful not to fall off of the cliff he is perched upon. The Batter asks him to help the creature known as "The Big Mister" out of the hole he is trapped in, which the Bird is able to accomplish by attaching a whole flock of other birds to the Big Mister by ropes and instructing said flock to lift the big creature up. The Bird does this in return for a book, which contains a diagram of an orchid.

The orchid book can also be found in Japhet's library earlier on in Zone 2. As well, an orchid is seen painted on a wall near the top of the library while ascending to battle Japhet. These symbols appear inherently associated with the character just like how baseball imagery is associated with the Batter.

In Battle

Japhet is battled twice in the game. He is first fought in the library's rooms, possessing Valerie. In this battle, he attempts to summon various spectres to fight the Batter. He fails and ultimately flees, cutting things short. After the battle, the second Add-On, named "Omega", is found. Japhet is fought again on the roof of the library, where it was foretold he would wait to be destroyed. He has three different forms, in each of which he emerges further from Valerie's dead body.

Competences

Since Japhet is a songbird, his Competences are all sound-themed.

Name Description CP Rate
Attack 0
Alto Mute status effect applied on targeted member, low impact. 5 100%
Soprano Attack of mediocre impact. 5 100%
Head-voice Attack of great impact. 10 100%
Tenor Applies Poison status effect on targeted member, low impact. 5 100%

Trivia

  • The fact that Japhet appears as a cat before revealing himself as a completely different looking bird may serve as foreshadowing, particularly for how the Batter appears different as viewed by the Player in the regular game versus by the Judge in the special ending.
  • Orchids are commonly used not just as foods and flavorings but are also grown for medicinal uses as well as just to be decoration. Japhet's early adoption of this as a symbol may be a reference to how he provided the Elsen with not just material comforts but also care for their health and recreation.
  • As with multiple other names in the OFF world, "Japhet" has religious significance. The figure of Japhet (also known as Japheth) in the Bible is one of the sons of Noah and is regarded as a legendary ancestor to the peoples of Europe.
  • The description of Japhet as being a firebird directly references the various mythologies about those creatures, many of which involve them functioning as guardians for various individuals or groups.
  • Concept art shows that Japhet was originally supposed to be eaten by The Judge instead of Valerie.

Gallery

References

  1. http://comments.deviantart.com/4/3470838/3058713420

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