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The Judge, also known as Pablo, is the first non-player character encountered in the game. He is initially found in Zone 0 and appears throughout the rest of the game in various places. He is most likely the Guardian for Zone 0, for which he possesses a card much like the other guardians for each Zone.
The Judge is a white-furred cat with a disproportionately large head and a constant wide grin. Despite the character's grotesquely huge mouth and prominent teeth, he moves, acts, and sounds very much like a normal housecat. He always appears with his trademark smile in his conversational avatar and makes a purring sound when spoken to. However, after the purification of Zone 2 (and subsequently the understanding of Valerie's death), The Judge's sprite will change the expression to a solemn straight face.
The Judge is a seemingly almost omniscient being, having a quiz-master-like character. He does not seem to take much interest in the Batter's mission until the end of the game, and he appears far more focused on his own amusement. In conversation with the Batter, the Judge will often present a riddle in place of a response. Much like Zacharie, the Judge addresses the Player directly and usually refers to the Batter as merely the Player's "puppet".
The Judge proves a very precious help for visitors in the world of OFF - The zones hold no secrets for him. He is easily recognizable by his big ears, his sharp canine teeth and his soft fur (of which he is quite proud). Notified of your presence even if you have not installed OFF, he is the first character to welcome you to this world. But do be careful, for his companionable appearance hides a formidable fighter!
|- The Judge's section in the "others 02" image (translated), located in the "Sketches" folder on the official OFF website.|
The cat appears, at first, to have dropped out of the game at the conclusion of moving through Zone 2 (playing no role in Zone 3). He, in fact, appears again in the Room. At the near conclusion of the game, a choice offered to the Player allows him or her to abandon controlling the Batter and instead control him, making the Judge the only other playable character. The default, standard ending assumes that the Player declines the offer.
The Judge takes no side during most of the game, but he occasionally aids the Player by giving them hints. At the end of the game, before the Batter can flip the switch found at the very end of the level the Room, the Judge steps in and requests the Player's assistance in stopping the Batter. The cat's exact motivations for this change of heart is unknown, although the reversal may stem from a deeply emotional reaction to the unavoidable deaths of Hugo and the Queen moments ago in the game.
If the Player denies the request, the Batter will face the Judge in battle. The fight will serve as a peculiar kind of bookend to the game, given that the Player started off things with a mock battle against the cat in Zone 1. Upon the Judge's defeat, the Batter is free to proceed to the switch and flip it into the "OFF" position. Flicking this will fade the screen to black, followed by a message box informing the Player that "The switch is now on OFF". After this, the credits roll. It is often presumed (although by no means certain) that this means the complete destruction of not just the Room but the entire OFF world.
If the Player accepts, they will control the Judge in a battle against the Batter, who will transform into a spectre-like monster (this is confirmed as not a specific physical alteration but as a change in perspective). If he is defeated, the game ends. The Judge is aware that there is no way to reverse the actions the Batter and the Player made but prefers this over the Batter finishing his mission. He is then seen traversing the railway of the purified Zone 1.
|Conniving Aneurysm||Special attack of low impact.||5||100%|
|Malicious Aneurysm||Special attack of mediocre impact.||13||100%|
|Critical Aneurysm||Special attack of important impact.||26||100%|
|Aneurysm Rupture||Special attack of incredible impact.||25%||100%|
|Unknown Sclerosis||Special attack inflicting Muteness||8||100%|
|Untypical Sclerosis||Special attack inflicting Blindness||8||80%|
|Purulent Sclerosis||Special attack inflicting Poison||8||100%|
|Immediate Sclerosis||Special attack inflicting Palsy||8||100%|
- Zacharie reveals that the Judge's real name is Pablo. This appears to signify that there is some unknown relationship between the two of them that's not explicitly shown in the game, which may also relate to how both of them are aware of the Player's existence in controlling the Batter.
- The Judge is one of the very few characters to be identified as part of a family; he explicitly has a brother named Valerie whom the Judge cares about.
- A special ending is available in which the Player can choose to side with the Judge instead of the Batter, as stated above, and that makes the cat the only other possible playable character besides the Batter.
- The Judge's appearance of a smiling, talking and enigmatic cat is similar and possibly inspired by the Cheshire Cat of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
- All of the Judge's competences are related to medical disorders. Sclerosis is the term for a hardening in the brain, and the aneurysm is a term to describe a blood-filled and balloon-like bulge in a blood vessel.
- Valerie and the Judge could be the subjects of the cards found in the Shachihata post office. The final card states that there are only two, who reside in a secret Zone. This may also refer to the Queen and Hugo in the Room.
- A noticeable gap exists between the Judge's abilities regarding things and getting around places earlier in the game versus his final fight against the Batter and the Player in the standard ending. Various explanations exist for the comparative weakness of the character, with the battle appearing perhaps 'too easy'. It is possible that the cat believed that the most likely outcome was the Player betraying the Batter to join him, so seeing the Player stick with the Batter severely cripples the Judge's will to fight. Alternatively, the Judge may have severely underestimated the Batter's strength and stamina due to the Batter's use of his Add-Ons.
- The fact that the Judge gives you the Leo-Card seems to be symbolic of the Zodiac "Leo", which represents a lion. Not only is the Judge a cat (like a lion is, technically) but lions are commonly symbols of bravery and courage, which foreshadows the Judge's action in the Room