Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits


I could fill a book with reasons why Bebedora has skyrockted to #1 on my list of favorite RPG characters. As much as I loved everyone in Kartia, I've found no other character as fascinating, interesting, and hilarious to me as Bebedora. It's always something new with her and no matter what it is, it always makes me want to either laugh hysterically or fall over "anime-style". Heck, she almost made me cry at one point, and that's something I practically never do. She's the kind of character I never could've come up with myself in over a million years, and yet at the same time, she's exactly what I've been waiting for.

First of all, a little background on Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits (hereafter referred to as "Arc the Lad 4" or "Arc 4", because it's the fourth in a series of Playstation 1 & 2 RPGs). The gist of it is that you play as two different "hero" characters - one is a human named Kharg, the other a Deimos named Darc. "Deimos" is just Arc 4's word for "demon". Basically, a Deimos is defined as anything that can talk and think, yet isn't human. By this defintion, Bebedora is a Deimos, though she's the only one of her kind in the world. In Arc 4's world, humans and Deimos pretty much hate each other and they're constantly at war over Spirit Stones. Humans use Spirit Stones for energy and Deimos use them to cast magic spells. So you'll play as both Kharg's pary of human characters and Darc's party of Deimos as they compete to gather the world's Spirit Stones and defeat the evil Dilzweld Army, who also want the stones for their own evil purposes.

I don't need to bore you with specifics at this moment (there will be a full review in the future). It's basically your standard RPG with a fun combat system and a cast of quirky characters. And despite the somewhat cliché plot, it's the characters that really make it come to life and work on several levels, especially my favorite, Bebedora.

So, what exactly is Bebedora, you might ask? She's a possessed, demonic marionette that was created by an evil being called the "Divine Ruler" thousands of years ago. She has a giant change purse for a backpack (this is where all her magic spells are stored), a hat with a big eyeball painted on it that covers the entire top half of her head, a stuffed bunny rabbit that she uses for a weapon (I'm not kidding), and a really huge frilly pink dress with a giant mouth that doubles as a storage compartment for her items. I'm serious. It works like one of those ACME holes in Looney Tunes.

Bebedora was sealed away in a treasure box for centuries for reasons I'm not quite sure of (I'm guessing since the seal was broken so easily by tripping the floorplates that she was a failsafe - meant to finish the job the Divine Ruler started if he should fail, as he did.) While Darc (one of the main characters of Arc the Lad 4) and his friends and the Dilzweld Army were infiltrating the Coleopt Shrine in search of the Miracle Stone, one of the Dilzweld Soldiers accidentally broke the seal on her treasure chest, causing her to awaken from thousands of years of slumber. Soon after this, she joins Darc's party on his quest to conquer the world. She is certainly a freaky-looking thing, and her ridiculsouly exaggerated running and talking animations just have to be seen to be believed.

Although Bebedora was created for a dark purpose, the problem is that she has the mind of a 12-year-old girl, and it's a bit scrambled. No, actually it's quite scrambled. I mean, she knows she's supposed to "destroy her enemies", but she has no frickin' clue who her enemies are. She's constantly running around asking everyone, be they monsters or people or whatever, if they're her enemy. Yup, she'll even ask that question of a tree stump if you have her target one in battle.

Bebedora also has the unique ability to see into people's souls and minds, so she always knows what people are really thinking, even if they lie. She sees these thoughts and emotions in the form of swirling colors. One interesting effect this has on the story is that, until you meet Bebedora, we know what the characters are saying, but not necessarily what they're thinking. Because Bebedora can see their thoughts, and she has a habit of blurting them right out, now we know. Most of the time, Bebedora speaks in weird gibberish, like, "I am a container, I am empty", which doesn't seem to make sense to anyone but herself.

Bebedora's personality is quite on the gloomy side. She's really obssessed with death, darkness, and destruction. She finds it absolutely funny when she gets attacked in battle and even backtalks people for trying to heal her. Her head spins a full 360 degrees whenever she attacks an enemy or takes a hit, like something out of The Exorcist. And when she's low on hit points, she reels around like she's drunk. (Maybe there's a reason for that; "Bebedora" is Spanish for "heavy drinker".) Her signature talent is the ability to control humans and monsters like puppets on strings. (This takes the form of the "Mind Control" spell in battle.) This is the main reason Darc allowed Bebedora to join his party - he saw that her talents could be very useful. Unfortuantely, she tends to annoy everyone else because she's constantly reading their thoughts out loud and calling them on it when they try to lie their way out of something.

Despite how gloomy she is, she mysteriously has a rather uplifting effect on many characters in the story. She's like walking, talking Prozac. How else to describe a character that totally and completely unintentionally cures people's depression, makes them giggle and smile like little schoolgirls, and accidentally causes a whole town that's lost all hope to care again? Forget that, *I* can't even think about her without laughing. She's just that damn hilarious!

Bebedora is voiced magnificently by veteran voice actor, Debi Derryberry (Ryo-Ohki from Tenchi Muyo!, Jimmy Neutron). Her voice acting is totally convincing and one of the best voiceover performances in a game I've yet heard. She sounds very much like a little girl...a very evil little girl. Some of my favorite Bebedora lines are "I'm Bebedora", "You won't get anywhere with those moves", "Are you the enemy?", "I want to destroy everything!", "We're all gonna die someday, anyway", "Farewell!", "My strings are ready to break!", and her demonic giggling. You know, why did I even list those? I think I liked pretty much all of them!

No, you're not seeing that wrong, she's stretching her neck up. To say Bebedora is "a little strange" would be an understatement. But strangeness, weirdness, and nonsense isn't the only side to Bebedora. Despite that she's so thoroughly convinced herself that she's nothing more than a monster, a puppet to serve only her master, she does have some natural human desires that I found easy to relate to. She wants to be free, and she wants to be loved, but she's so convinced that neither could ever actually happen. Perhaps it will take someone just as bizarre and different as she is to prove otherwise...Bebedora may sound evil, and she may be obssessed with evil, but in reality, she's hardly evil at all...just a little confused.

To this day, I have absolutely no idea how the hell Bebedora sees where she's going...

Finally, Bebedora has one of the funniest theme songs I've ever heard. Here you can download an MP3 of it:

Download Bebedora's Theme Music



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