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|“||C'est si boooon. I am Starlevel the Great. For your admirable positivity, I'm providing you a special service. Mon amouuuur.||”|
—Starlevel the Great, appearing in front of Rocky Bank.
|Starlevel the Great|
|Ht. / Wt.||195cm / 85kg (Kichikuou Rance)|
|Affiliation||Gods, Free Cities Alliance, Kurupiston|
|Level limit||22 (Kichikuou Rance)|
|Skill levels||Death Magic Lv2 (Kichikuou Rance)|
|Appeared in||Kichikuou Rance, Persiom, Daiakuji, Rance VI, Rance X|
Starlevel the Great is an enigmatic being who has made several appearances throughout the Rance Series.
An artificial hybrid of Human genes and those of a Kurupistonian, an alien race from the planet Kurupiston that exists within the same universe as The Continent, Starlevel the Great was created under the name "Mars the Great" (火星大王, kasei daiō) for the purpose of assimilating within human society to acquire females of the species for use in kurupistonian breeding.
While the eccentricities that stemmed from being an alien lifeform caused Mars the Great to do an extremely poor job of blending in with humans, it also bestowed him with an unconventional charisma that caused others to be drawn toward him. Over time, Mars the Great amassed a cult of personality around himself, and was able to found a city in the southwestern corner of the Free Cities Alliance, which was named Mars in tribute to him. Despite often enacting unusual policies, such as requiring that all citizens wear clothing similar to his own, Mars the Great proved to be a surprisingly excellent mayor, causing his city to prosper and his followers to remain slavishly devoted to him.
At some point after becoming the mayor of Mars, Mars the Great chose to become a Level God for unknown reasons, changing his name to "Starlevel the Great" in the process. Seemingly no longer interested in the goal he was created for, he began traveling across the Continent and appearing before hardworking people who had reached their Level Caps to temporarily increase them in recognition for maintaining a positive outlook on life even after reaching the full extent of their potential. As he was no longer able to directly govern over the citizens of Mars, Starlevel the Great instead became a figure of worship, with the city's name being altered to Mars Star in celebration of his ascension to Godhood. As their god, Starlevel the Great bestowed the people of Mars Star with a wide variety of level cap enhancing items and commanded them to use them on any weak-looking person that passed through the city. While increasing the level caps of random individuals is considered illegal within level god society, Starlevel the Great was able to continue this practice for several years, avoiding detection by appearing before people suddenly and disappearing just as quickly.
During the events of Rance VI, Starlevel the Great appeared numerous times in front of Rocky Bank, a plucky second-class Zethan citizen and member of the resistance movement Ice Flame. Starlevel the Great would reveal himself to Rocky whenever the young resistance member had managed to lift himself from a momentary bout of depression caused by hitting his level cap by resolving to try his hardest regardless of his strength. As a reward for his optimism, Starlevel the Great increased Rocky's level cap by a value of ten each time he appeared, substantially improving his potential in the process. Starlevel made no attempt at consulting Rocky before raising his level cap, causing him to increase it even when Rocky had decided to retire from the battlefield to assist Kimchi Drive in running her orphanage, forcing him to continue fighting even when he didn't want to.
Starlevel the Great makes an additional appearance in Rance VI if Rance leads his party down the spiritual path leading to "Hope" in the depths of the Disposal Dungeon, an enormous dungeon that connects directly to Hell. Appearing at the end of the pathway, Starlevel the Great rewards the group's efforts by increasing the level cap of a random party member who had already reached theirs by two. Starlevel the Great can be visited repeatedly, and can increase every character's level cap up to a value of 50. No explanation is given as to why he is present at the bottom of the dungeon, though it is possible that he utilizes the location as a hiding place from the denizens of the Gods' Realm.
|This section contains spoilers from a game that has not been translated to English yet.|
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During the events of Rance X, Rance is able to lead the forces of the Dark Lord Extermination Squad through Mars Star if he chooses to accompany the Free City Alliance's representative Copandon Dott to the city of Diptheria in the operation to defeat the Dark Lord Lei. The citizens of Mars Star immediately begin flocking around Rocky, now a member of the Dark Lord Extermination Squad, and attempt to persuade him to use one of their level cap boosting facilities. Before the flustered Rocky has a chance to respond, Willis, Rance's personal level god, appears and declares that she will report the city's possession of illegal level cap altering facilities to her superiors. The panicked people of Mars Star begin praying to Starlevel the Great to rescue them, causing his voice to echo throughout the city from parts unknown and chant in a strange language. In the blink of an eye, the entire city of Mars Star and all of the citizens who inhabited it disappear off the face of the Continent, forcing the baffled Dark Lord Extermination Squad to continue on their way.
In the non-canonical Kichikuou Rance, Starlevel the Great appears while still acting as the mayor of Mars under the name Mars the Great. While conquering the Free Cities, Rance, the newly-appointed king of the Kingdom of Leazas, is given the option of seizing control over Mars through either negotiation or force, with Mars the Great's role changing depending on the choice.
If Rance chooses to use negotiation to capture Mars, Mars the Great will agree to relinquish control over the city under the condition that he be treated as a commander in the Leazas Army in exchange. If Rance accepts this proposal, Mars the Great will begin halfheartedly working under him as the commander of a group of soldiers from the Leazas Black Corps. As a commander, Mars the Great will regularly scout out women living in Leazas Castle to capture, eventually luring them to the roof to be abducted by a kurupistonian spaceship. Mars the Great can target any one of Sill Plain, Eleanor Ran, Merim Tser, Yamamoto Isoroku, Saulnia Benz, as well as all of the unnamed women in Rance's personal pleasure chamber, permanently removing them from the game if he is able to successfully get them captured. If Mars the Great is able to abduct any five of these targets, he will complete his mission and be allowed entry into the kurupistonian saucer to return to outer space, never to be seen again and leaving only a dumbfounded Maris Amaryllis as a witness.
If Rance chooses to capture Mars by force, Mars the Great will attempt to defend his city with a small army of civilians and die in the process. After being killed in battle, he will immediately resurrect himself using Necromancy under the name "New Mars the Great" and raise a massive army of the Undead to attack Leazas Castle. He will persistently continue to attack Leazas at the end of each week until he and his army are completely destroyed. Alternatively, Rance can bring Merim Tser to investigate Mars the Great's palace in the city of Mars between attacks, where she will discover his body sleeping in a coffin. Rance will then burn the body, killing Mars the Great permanently.
Personality and Appearance
A very bizarre-looking lifeform, Starlevel the Great resembles a tall and thin humanoid man with ghostly pale skin, sharp cheekbones, and pointed ears. He possesses white hair of a similar shade to his skin that is styled into a single branch swept to the left and splitting off into three curls of varying sizes, with a pair of paper strips with writing on them hanging from the longest one. Starlevel the Great's clothing consists of a large and extremely gaudy-looking star-shaped body suit with a sequin star surrounded by a circle of matching sequin stones at its center. This costume emits a blinding light from it all times, furthering its extravagant appearance. Starlevel the Great also always carries a small pink star-shaped shaped magic wand on his person, which he waves around when casting spells. Due to its cheap appearance, it is unclear if this wand actually serves any function during spellcasting or if it is simply used for additional visual flair.
During his time living as Mars the Great, Starlevel the Great wore a completely different but no less eccentric costume consisting of a golden crown, silver armor encrusted with a red jewel at its center, purple pants decorated with a star-print pattern, purple opera gloves, a large orange cape with a green scarf and two star-shaped ornaments draped off of it, a matching orange ruff worn around his neck, three gold-colored earrings on either ear, and a spherical red scepter carried in his right hand. Mars the Great personally constructed this outfit himself and took immense pride in it, even offering to make a similar one for Rance when questioned about it.
Befitting his strange appearance, Starlevel the Great is an extremely flamboyant individual with a host of mystifying mannerisms. He speaks in a lilting and effeminate voice and liberally peppers his words with a combination of French and an unknown language of presumably alien origin, making him incredibly difficult to understand on most occasions. This odd behavior often leads those that meet him to enter into an immediate state of confusion and perplexity, particularly due to his tendency of making flashy and sudden appearances out of nowhere.
When speaking with others, Starlevel the Great will frequently talk to himself mid-conversation about the quality of the electromagnetic waves, an invisible aura that is apparently transmitted by all things both living and non-living, that the other person is projecting, seeming almost oblivious to the fact that he is having a conversation at all. As a result, he rarely acknowledges the perplexed questions or actual wants and needs of his conversation partner, leading him to use his powers on them without their consent. Starlevel the Great seems to derive sexual pleasure from these electromagnetic waves, gleefully referring to the ejection of them as a "climax" and claiming to have almost had an orgasm simply from being around the waves emitted by Saulnia Benz.
Despite his unusual and often indecipherable personality, Starlevel the Great is noted to possess a sort of unconventional charisma that is capable of compelling certain people into following under him with near-worshipful devotion. This charm was enough for him to found a city of his own made up entirely of his obsequious followers, which later evolved into a sort of religious cult after he ascended to the position of level god, and served him well when attempting to abduct women, as it allowed him to lower their guards by convincing them to develop a blind trust in him. Not all people are susceptible to Starlevel the Great's wiles, however, with many, such as Maris Amaryllis, becoming highly suspicious of his character almost immediately after meeting him. Even these individuals are not completely immune to his allure, as he is often able to lull them into a false sense of security by simply convincing them that he is too eccentric to be a true danger to them, causing his actions to be overlooked.
Starlevel the Great is particularly notable for his ambiguous morality and intentions. In spite of being created for the purpose of abducting women to be used in forced copulation, he has apparently completely abandoned this mission in favor of increasing the level caps of individuals who display positive character traits such as bravery and self-confidence. While this would suggest that he is a benevolent being, he is shown to perform these actions without obtaining a person's permission to do so, causing him to increase their level cap even when they explicitly do not want him to. Additionally, his propagating various illegal level cap enhancing items throughout the city of Mars Star and vanishing the entire city and its citizens upon having his activities uncovered by another level god imply that he is aware his actions are forbidden and that he has an agenda of his own that runs counter to the typical responsibilities of someone in his position. Due to the brief and spontaneous nature of his appearances, however, it is impossible to truly discern what his motivations are.
As a hybrid of an alien lifeform and a human, Starlevel the Great possesses an array of strange abilities that are entirely unique to him. His most frequently used power is his ability to detect the electromagnetic current surrounding a person or person. While the exact properties of an electromagnetic current are unclear, Starlevel the Great appears to be able to detect both a person's personality and power based on the color and strength of the waves they emit. He is capable of manipulating these waves to a slight degree, allowing for him to send signals to kurupistonian saucers to visit the planet when he has found a sufficient woman for them. Besides this, Starlevel the Great is also able to use the waves for more mundane activities, such as predicting the weather.
Upon becoming a level god, Starlevel the Great gained the ability to alter the Level and level cap of any being on the Continent with a Soul. Utilizing electromagnetic waves, he is able to instantaneously raise the level cap of an individual before they so much as have time to react. Starlevel the Great is able to substantially increase a person's level cap through multiple uses of this technique, most evidently through his ability to potentially transform Rocky Bank's level cap from a middling value of 19 to a staggering 65; among the highest in all of humanity. While increasing the level cap of a being is generally a highly regulated process among level gods that is very rarely done, the speed at which Starlevel the Great is capable of raising a person's level cap, in conjunction with his natural ability as a level god to teleport to and from places in the blink of an eye, allows him to illegally perform the ritual without drawing attention to himself. Starlevel the Great is also suggested to possess powers far greater than others of a similar standing to himself, as he was able to cause the entire city of Mars Star and all of its inhabitants disappear without a trace after having his operations within it exposed, a feat that perplexed even his fellow level god Willis.
During his appearance in Kichikuou Rance, Mars the Great is shown to possess the Death Magic Lv2 Skill Level, giving him an outstanding amount of potential in the field. Using this magic, he is able to revive himself from death with the ability to summon hordes of the undead under his command. Mars the Great's excellent skill at death magic allows him to create a massive army of over 30,000 undead soldiers with ease, making him an extremely dangerous opponent when encountered in this state. In addition, unlike other necromancers, who are reduced to zombie-like beings themselves upon their resurrection, Mars the Great is shown to be near-totally unchanged in his revived state from his living one, simply differentiating them from each other by referring to them as his "negative life" and "positive life", respectively. Whether this is due to his talents with death magic, his status as a synthetic organism, or some combination of the two, is unknown.
Outside of his potent death magic, Mars the Great is relatively unremarkable as an individual fighter. Though he possesses a level cap of 22, giving him a decent amount of innate strength, he makes no attempt at defending himself in combat, instead performing a strange dance known as the "slide skip". The slide skip is described as a strange combination of skipping and galloping which Mars the Great uses to move around in place of walking. As a result of this, he is seen as a liability in battle with very little use. Mars the Great's possession of a level cap is notable in and of itself, as it implies that he possesses a soul, something which other artificial lifeforms, such as Athena 2.0, do not.
For information relating to this character's playable appearances, refer to:
- Mars the Great makes a guest appearance in the Alicesoft game Persiom as an adventurer exploring the depths of the Hades Labyrinth that can randomly be encountered upon entering the labyrinth's entrance hall. He is notable for being one of the only guest characters that can be encountered by every playable character, including the Miracle Gang, and will reward the player with the morning star weapon when he is encountered after they have advanced farther into the labyrinth than him. His title on the adventurer ranking board is listed as "Fabulous".
- An alternate universe version of Mars the Great, referred to primarily as the Great King, appears in the Alicesoft game Daiakuji. Unlike the Mars the Great of the Continent, the Great King seems to more literally be the king of the planet Mars, and commands an army of various robots. A toy in the likeness of the Continent's version of Mars the Great also appears alongside various other Kichikuou Rance characters in the "Gachagacha" item.
- In an interview in RANCE THE COMPLETE, Orion, the Rance series' lead artist, claimed that Mars the Great and Starlevel the Great were only "probably" the same person. This ambiguity is supported by Starlevel the Great's profile in the book, which simply states that he "seems familiar". The two were eventually more definitively proven to be the same being in Rance X, which revealed that Starlevel the Great is also the mayor of Mars.
- During the same interview in RANCE THE COMPLETE, Purin, one of the Rance series' primary scenario designers, suggested that Starlevel the Great was created as a result of a teleporter accident that caused a human man and a kurupistonian to fuse into a single entity, citing the film The Fly as an inspiration. While Orion was a fan of the idea, it has never been referenced outside of this interview, making its canonicity unclear.
- Mars the Great was at one point intended to appear in the Alicesoft game Kaeru nyo Panyo~n, where he was to have mysteriously taken the place of the protagonist Poron Chao's level god Totochaune. While he was at first planned to appear as a slightly altered version of himself with the name of "Mars the Great Q", this was later changed to having him appear incognito as a superhero-like figure known as "Starman". Mars the Great was eventually cut from this role and replaced by the original character Yamane. Even after being cut from his role as the game's level god, the developers of Kaeru nyo Panyo~n still attempted to incorporate Mars the Great into the game as a townsperson, with concept artwork proposing him as both the owner of the item shop and the save area existing. Though Mars the Great ultimately did not appear in Kaeru nyo Panyo~n at all, his unused Starman persona eventually evolved into Starlevel the Great and was incorporated into Rance VI.
- According to his profile in the Kichikuou Rance guide book, Mars the Great physically appears to be somewhere in his late twenties.
- The two colored pieces of paper that hang from Starlevel the Great's hair appear to be tanabata-gami, pieces of paper that are inscribed with wishes and hung from bamboo during the Japanese festival Tanabata. Tanabata is also referred to as the "Star Festival", making the papers a pun derived from Starlevel the Great's name.
- Mars the Great shares his name with the Japanese title of the MARS KING line of toy tin robots. Produced in the early 1950s, the MARS KING line is notable for the important role it played in Japan's post-war economic recovery due to its cheap production costs and popularity worldwide.
- Mars the Great's character seems to be inspired by the music and persona of David Bowie, most notably the character of Ziggy Stardust, an eccentric rock star who acts as the earthly messenger for the mysterious extraterrestrial "the Starman", mirroring Mars the Great's own role as the human avatar for the kurupistonians. The character Ziggy Stardust is the front man of a fictional band known as "The Spiders From Mars", furthering the connection between the two.
- Mars the Great was allegedly the most popular choice among Kichikuou Rance's development team to sacrifice to the Flash during the debugging process.