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Chess Pieces (MÄR)

The Chess Pieces (チェスの兵隊, Chesu no Koma) is a fictional organization in the anime and manga series MÄR: Märchen Awakens Romance by the author Nobuyuki Anzai, and plays the role of the main antagonist faction. It is a military faction which, over the 10 years it was in existence, has established supremacy over the rest of its rebellious kind in MÄR-Heaven; its notoriety for being the predominantly antagonist organization enjoys a prestige of such the name of Chess Pieces has become a taboo for generations to come. This organization's home to people from a mélange of backgrounds with a mélange of motives: discarded humans seeking a refuge, victims of social injustice wishing to avenge themselves upon their antagonists, radicals aiming to 'cleanse' the current MÄR-Heaven, or simply lusters of wealth, power, women, ÄRMs or war; all united under the same goal: to conquer the world.

History

The foundation for the Chess Pieces was first laid 10 years prior to the current storyline by two exiled Caldians, Diana (its would-be Queen) and Phantom (its would-be no.1 Knight) as they traveled across MÄR-Heaven. After Diana got selected into Lestava's Royal Family as the new queen it was Phantom and his counselor, Peta, who constructed the rest of the incomplete system, journeying through the land to collect efficient candidates. In 4 years' time their efforts came to fruition: the Chess Pieces, ferociously and ruthlessly, savaged the whole of MÄR-Heaven with the 1st Great War. However in the following War Game in which it faced up against the world defender Cross Guard, though able to claim the life of many opponents, even the Cross Guard leader Danna himself, the Chess was itself devastated with a staggering loss of members and Phantom's death, and was forced to retreat into darkness.

For the next 6 years under the leadership of deputy chief Knight Peta, the Chess slowly inched toward reconstruction, restoring its former grandeur. With the 2nd War in sight, Queen Diana herself came into the open, stealthily staged a coup d'état in Lestava and headquartered the entire Chess inside its castle, the news of which was only known when Lestava's princess Snow eluded her grasp. The felled Phantom was also resurrected from death soon after - which fully reinvigorated the Chess Pieces, introduced them to the world's alarm again and initiated the 2nd War, which far exceeded its predecessor in magnitude. However, despite this time's bettered maneuver, organization and force, in the 2nd War Game the tides of events still turned to the Chess' adversary's, MÄR team's advantage and led them to triumph. This fiasco is followed in the manga by the death of Phantom, Diana and lastly the King himself, which would throw the Chess into anarchy and eventual disbandment. The anime adaption, however, only followed the canon storyline until Phantom's abdication of his position and death (which was presented in a different light). Instead of the manga adaption's subsequent, untold disintegration, the Chess Pieces ' downfall was ultimately brought about by the elimination of its (almost every) member, ordered by the Queen Diana and executed by its very King for their personal goal of conquering MÄR-Heaven and Earth. In the end, with the King dead, the murdered Chess Pieces were revived, and it's speculated that the disbandment would then take place.

Hierarchy

The Chess ranks are based on the pieces in the game of chess with rank going from king down to queen, knights, bishops, rooks, and pawns, separating the hierarchy into two parts. Its top is governed by the command force of one King and one Queen, which lurks in darkness most of the time the identity of its two members privy almost to none outside the Chess Pieces; headed by the Queen Diana. Second to it is the combat force consisted of echeloned Knights (elite fighters, leading operation executors), Bishops, Rooks and Pawns (foot soldiers); headed by the no.1 Knight Phantom. Chess members from Rook ranks upward is permitted the possession of class earrings (which are actually Dimension ÄRMs that allow them to communicate with other Chess Pieces, like the Cross Guard's are) and individual masks. Although the rudimentary rule for ranking one is based on their power (proved by mastery of ARMs or in less usual cases, impressive feats), it's also noted that soldiers of lower ranks can be stronger than their superiors .

Methods of operation

In operation, Chess Pieces usually carry with them a card with the organization's emblem on it, and leave it at the target site each time they're done with havocking and along with it, their trademark announcement of victory 'checkmate' (which is also seldom recited by some Chess after winning a fight).

The Chess combat force employs draconian regimentations: subordinates, from Knights to Pawns, must comply to every order from the chief Knight, Phantom and any Chess Piece responsible for actions of disobedience will be punished severely - for example, not by physical means, but mental means: one's most precious person is to be disciplined in one's stead and that way, rather than having a Chess Piece of enormous potential ruined, an exponentially strengthened (rage-fueled) member would be gained .

The War Games

Scheduled to succeed each massacre of the two MÄR-Heaven war is a tournament held by the Chess Pieces army known as The War Games, which assembles all warriors on its adversary line into one fighting stage. There they will be pitted against the Chess Pieces members all the way from second-lowest Rooks class to omnipotent Knights class. Its original purpose is to eliminate all malcontents spared alive from the previous gory razzmatazz and announced the Chess as the world's worthiest ruler, but both Games in the two war ends fiascoes.

The War Games matches each take place in a location that the Chess Pieces have pre-arranged (in the 2nd war it's the Reginleif castle situated in the centre of MÄR-Heaven), but its unofficial start announcement is prematurely given by means of lunar broadcasting, the role of deliverance falling down to Chess Pieces' chief strategist Knight, Peta. Everyone who wishes to involve will arrive in the place at the appointed time and have to enter the Game's preliminary round; a one-on-one combat in enclosed spaces (entry available through magic stones only, chosen at random) with a Chess individual. The Chess selected are mostly Pawns, but among them there's a 'hidden piece', a Knight, a tweak of plot that ascertains one less from the enemy. After the round's settled, the surviving participants will engage in the fighting round of the War Game, henceforth starts the true War Game's.

In each round, each party involved will choose a captain to lead the fights) and select a number of fighters on their side (decided by the Chess referee's roll of the die), and the selected will be transported to a distant battlefield (also decided by the die's number), while the remaining participants and spectators will observe the fights broadcasted back through the sun. Two important rules are applied to the fights, first is that the team with the most-wins wins, and all combatants (including the lost one) will advance on to the next round; while if the team loses, only ones with victory can advance. The second rule is that the captain's fight decide the whole team's fate, if he loses his own fight, the whole party he represents will be the vanquished .

Both Chess' participations in the two War Game are carried out with its leader Knight, Phantom, as the captain. From the opposing side, Danna commander of Cross Guards in the 1st War, and Ginta from Team MÄR in the 2nd.

Members

King

(キング, Kingu)
Top class of the Chess Pieces, accessible to Queen class only.

  • Caldia's Orb -

Caldia's Orb is an orb formed in Caldia, the island of magic users, to contain the most evil of evils, and thus was locked away in Caldia's floating palace. After influencing both Phantom and Diana with its thoughts, Caldia's Orb was freed by the two, and the three together formed the Chess Pieces with the Orb as King. The Orb entered Babbo for Phantom to use as a weapon, and after Phantom's death possessed Danna's body as a new host with which to control the Chess Pieces. While awaiting Phantom's revival, the Orb concocted a plan to conquer both MÄR-Heaven and Earth alongside his Queen. Caldia's Orb's only thoughts are those of pure malevolence, though, ironically, hates the human race for such sins as well. The true form of the evil that is the Orb is an eyeless corpse wielding a scythe, a perfect form for something of such impurity. The anime shows the Orb having other abilities, such as strangling enemies without touching them in a manner similar to The Force from Star Wars, and immediately killing those who touch its deadly aura.

The Orb, following the defeat of Phantom, decided that all of the Chess Piece soldiers, outside of itself and Diana, were useless pawns and massacred all of them, the only survivors being those who already abandoned the Chess. The next step to total victory the Orb devised was the annihilation of Team MÄR, killing all of its members outside Ginta and Jack. Following Diana's defeat, the Orb challenged Ginta and revealed its form of Danna. Though at first discouraged to fight his father's body, Ginta eventually managed to use Babbo to draw the Orb out of his father and put Danna's soul back in its rightful place. In the manga, the Orb then entered Babbo and battled Ginta, who entered Babbo as well, and was defeated right there, its remains a magic stone for Babbo. In the anime, the Orb escapes to Earth and begins wreaking havoc. Eventually, Ginta returns to Earth and, using the collective willpower of his friends (include the dead comrades) in MÄR-Heaven, summoned a golden Gargoyle to ultimately destroy the Orb. In both versions the Orb's final words were to warn humanity that one day all life will be destroyed by their own hands. The Orb's ÄRM include:

* Gigant Blade: A giant sword Weapon ÄRM with its handle run into the spine of its heavily spiked blade.
* Explode (manga): Nature ÄRM, a semi-circular glass ball that encloses its prey and explodes.
* Raijin Goyles: Nature ÄRM, two gyrating wheels of air that King launches at his opponents.
* Phoenix: A phoenix Guardian summoned to fight by the King's side and consume all his opponents in flame.
* Tiamat: A naked, giant demon woman with a monstrous bone shield attached to her back who can generate powerful blasts from her mouth.

Queen

(クイーン, Kuin)
Second most powerful class of the Chess Pieces. The Queen insignia is a Queen-piece earring.

Knights

(ナイト, Naito)
In the Chess combat force's hierarchy, Knights are top members highest ranked for their powers. The number of Knights is strictly within 13, making up the alias Zodiac Knights (ゾディアックのナイト, Zodiakku no Naito) - each Knight has a Zodiac constellation correspondence , with the odd 13th is the number one Knight, Phantom. Each one when dubbed a Knight will have an insignia earring (the knight piece in a chess game) bestowed upon him/her, usually by Phantom. There are two unnamed members that were only shown in episode 69, their positions were probably taken over by Rolan and Chimera as they died in the First War.

  • - Adult - Child

Halloween is the second strongest Knight and the third in command, losing out to Peta only for the latter's intelligence. Halloween was abandoned as a child by his parents, who gave him the name of Pump, and was often bullied by other children in his town. During his childhood, Pump also developed a penchant for dismembering small animals, such as dogs. Despite this and the town's disliking towards him, Pump's childhood friends, Alan, still remained friends with him. One day, however, Alan showed Pump an ÄRM that creates flames. Attracted to it, Pump thieved the ÄRM, murdered the children who bullied him, and left the village, but not before telling Alan they would always be different people. At some point, Pump joined the Chess Pieces, and, taking on the title of Halloween and chaining himself to a cross ÄRM, would eventually rise to the rank of Knight. As fate would have it, Halloween would fight Alan, who had joined the Cross Guard, and the fight ended in a draw. Even to today Halloween still holds a deep hatred for Alan inside of his crippled heart.

Halloween is a most sadistic character, taking enjoyment in the pain and sufferings of others. Like other Chess Pieces, Halloween takes enjoyment out of slowly killing his enemies in battle. A lover of war and bloodshed, Halloween is often put in charge of Chess Piece operations, particularly major invasions. Halloween has a fancy for punishing lower-ranked Chess Pieces, as seen with him enjoying the mental torment of Ian when informed about the upcoming punishment of his lover, Gido. When Ian threatens to escape and murder Halloween, Halloween responds by mockingly wishing Ian really was strong enough to kill him. Halloween's love of torment and punishment extends even to his fellow Knights, commonly making death threats to Rapunzel should her greed get out of hand. Several times he is the pun of a joke about tomatoes because of his mask, which is mistaken for a tomato, earning him the nickname 'Tomato Head' from Alan. Deep inside, however, Halloween is still the cowardly child he was when under his former name, as pointed out by Alan.

Halloween first appeared to inform Loco and Ian that the mission to kidnap Snow had been canceled. Following a rampage through the port city of Vestry alongside Chimera, Halloween punished Ian by sentencing his lover, Gido, to torture. Just prior to the War Games' 3rd Round, Halloween gives Pozun the order to enter Alan into the War Games. Alan and Halloween at last had the confrontation they'd been waiting for during the final round of the War Games. During the fight Halloween goes on a killing rampage among the audience members by sending Alan blows he can easily dodge only for them to hit the audience. After Alan willingly takes each attack Halloween sends, Halloween reveals his identity of Pump, much to Alan's horror. Halloween goes on with the battle, hoping that Alan will eventually succumb to him and leave the defenseless audience vulnerable. Alan, however, no longer holds back and manages to wound Halloween. Halloween responds by unleashing his Guardian, Wanka Tanka, which nearly manages to kill Alan if Alan had not unleashed the Guardian he got in Caldia, Saint Anger, to destroy Halloween's. Defenseless, Halloween is then picked up by Alan's Guardian, thrown, and punched skyward. With Halloween being thrust into the sky to unknown whereabouts, Alan is named victor with Halloween's apparent demise. Halloween's ÄRM include:

* Cross Dagger: Weapon ÄRM, the very cross tied to Halloween's back, that turns into, and shoots missiles of flame. Edited into a pole in the American dub of both the anime and the manga.
* Napalm Death: Weapon ÄRM which grows a large blossom from the back of Halloween's cross that shoots flames like a cannon.
* Flame Hand: Nature ÄRM which is used to create hands for Halloween, since he got himself tied to the cross.
* Antares: Nature ÄRM, creates balls of flame of multiple sizes used to throw at the enemy.
* Sticks of Fire: Nature ÄRM, two sticks with the tips on fire that shoots blasts of flame at the enemy, held by Halloween using Flame Hand. Left unnamed in the manga.
* ????: Nature ÄRM, and unnamed bracelet ÄRM that creates flames formerly belonging to Alan during his child hood, Halloween having stolen it.
* Grave Hail: Darkness ÄRM, crosses, with several eyes and mouths on them, which shoots up from underground, similar to Alviss' 13 Totem Pole's Guardian style. Edited into poles in the American dub. In the anime, this ÄRM instead summons several coffins, with the same eyes and mouths, which open up to reveal skeleton warriors to do Halloween's bidding.
* Igniel: A Darkness ÄRM. Although specific details are unknown, it basically merges two living creatures together, as seen with Alan and Edward.
* Trick-Or-Treat: A Guardian ÄRM that creates explosive plant creatures with Jack-o-lantern heads.
* Wakan Tanka: A necklace Guardian ÄRM which takes the giant form of a winged skeleton-bodied fire-breathing skull upon activation.

  • -

Weasel is the oldest of the Knights (84 years old), but nevertheless a nimble fighter. He is easily distinguished due to his eccentric appearance with a tree growing out of his head containing all his magic power, and always seen holding a wood cane inside which he hides all his ÄRMs. As a Chess Piece he's wicked, but is overall an amicable figure to his Chess fellows, and is civil enough towards his opponents.

In the 1st War Games, Weasel fought Jack's father, Jake and grasped victory using his Guardian Bird of Rotten Wood, leaving Jake fatally wounded (and dying at his home shortly thereafter, which was unknown to Weasel). He plays little to no role in the 2nd War, save for once in the War campaign when he took over an unnamed castle by his trees, and like most of the Chess Pieces spends the War Games observing the fights. He takes special notice of Jack since his debut of victory, for the boy also masters his wood element and uses Jake's memento scoop. He fights Jack in the final round of the 2nd War Games and is defeated by him, who used Kikazoku Fire to burn the tree on his head, eliminating the source of his power. Weasel compliments Jack by telling him that he has surpassed his father, and after the War Games ends, receives no more lines for the rest of the series. Weasel is a plant Guardian ÄRM user:

* Seed Cannon: A Nature ÄRM summoning cannons to fire fruits and vegetables as bullets.
* Bomb Grass: A Nature ÄRM which summons a strange kind of exploding plants.
* ???: A Nature ÄRM, a large leaf that is used by the user to float in the air.
* Deadly Field: A Darkness ÄRM, used to wither all the plants around the users, with the exception of the tree on top of Weasel's head.
* Yggdrasil: A Guardian ÄRM which calls out an enormous, invincible tree. Weasel can control various parts of the tree for an attack. In the anime, it uses the suffering of others to grow indefinately.
** Dance of the Leaves: An attack of Yggdrasil, many leaves launch themselves towards the enemy and cuts them.
** Snaky Bow: An attack of Yggdrasil, grows large 'snakes' our of the tree's branches used to attack the enemy.
* Wooden Bird: Guardian ÄRM, a bird with bleak, wooden structure.

  • -

Magical Roe is a clown directly under Queen Diana's command. When Diana's stepdaughter, Princess of Lestava Snow was little, she cried often and it was during one of those times that Diana introduced Lou to her. For her entertainment, he always demonstrated many circus tricks and as they grew close, became her favorite babysitter and childhood friend. However later the two parted ways, at an unknown point in Snow's life and under unknown circumstances.

Roe was present at Phantom's revival. In the 2nd War, he was seen with Phantom and the other Knights after the 3rd Round. MRoe reappeared in the War Games and fought Snow herself in the 6th round (secretly obeying Diana's order to kidnap Snow) and told Snow that he didn't join the Chess Pieces, he was with the Chess Pieces to begin with. He did manage to play around with Snow as a way of tiring her down. While struggling with the thought of betraying his princess himself, Roe still proceeded with his mission and eventually managed to take Snow back to the Lestava headquarter, winning the Game fight by default. After the War Games' Final Battles when Team MÄR stormed Lestava Castle, he fought off Nanashi, Alan, and Gaira to prevent them from reaching Snow and ended up defeated, regretting his actions. In the anime adaption, instead he fought Alan and Ginta, and after his loss, Roe sacrificed his life to save Snow from Diana's Darkness ÄRM, atoning for his wrongdoings towards the princess. Magical Roe uses circus-themed ÄRM:

* Blade Ball: A Weapon ÄRM that creates a ball with sharp blades extending from it.
* Flare Wheel: A Nature ÄRM that creates flame hoops to attack the target. Destroyed during his battle with Snow.
* Bubble Leo: A Nature ÄRM that resembles a bubble hoop creating lion-shaped bubbles to attack.
* Mimic Medallion: An ÄRM that mimics the ability of an opponent's ÄRM (i.e. summons the same Guardian his opponent's ÄRM calls, but their power differ in accordance to the user's power).
* Trump Soldier: A Guardian ÄRM that creates card soldiers. The cover spread for the first chapter shows the outlines of this ÄRM.
* Nightmare: A Guardian ÄRM that creates many eyed, sharp-toothed spherical objects, which fly around and attack.

  • -

Galian is the former leader of the notorious thief guild Luberia, founding it as a sanctuary for the lowest of the world. As a leader he was an amicable figure and well-loved by his subordinate thieves, and led Luberia in a peaceful reign - until the 1st War started. The birth of a homicidal Chess Pieces army begot disasters and destructions all over MÄR-Heaven, which, while seen as a bad thing for 'business' by many Luberians, set Galian on constant agitation, eager to test his power. His first encounter with the Chess was inside a havoc-wrought castle they occupied, and after defeating many Pawns, Galian faced the strategist Knight Peta. Although Galian was easily worsted, Peta still acknowledged his great potentials and let him go after provocatively advising him to invest his power in a worthier place.

The 1st War Games concluded with the Chess' defeat, however that did little to help Galian's already triggered infatuation with their immense power. Predicting the Chess' inevitable return, he resolved to abandon Luberia and joined the Chess. During that time he found and saved a wounded man with no memory of his past life, but nevertheless endowed with latent might, whom he named Nanashi. Turning a deaf ear to his thieves' suspicion and cool reception towards Nanashi, Galian took Nanashi under his wings. To help him win Luberia's heart Galian sent a monster to the guild's fortress, which Nanashi outfought and earned him the respect of many, just like Galian wished. After that he trained Nanashi and when he was strong enough, he left his throne and the Electric Eyes ÄRMs, symbols of Luberia's leader to Nanashi, erased all memories regarding him and went to Peta to accept his previous offer. Over the years, his name also faded from Luberia's memories itself as the thieves recognized Nanashi as their true leader.

Although Galian severed all his ties to Luberia when he gave up on it, the news of Luberia's extermination (along with its ragged flag), brought to him by the perpetrator Peta himself, comes as a great personal blow, though he denies it by setting fire to the flag. Knowing Nanashi's nature and his reaction to this homicide, Galian anticipated the man's participation in the 2nd War Games and entered it thus, to prove he had chosen the right path. With Phantom's approval, he revealed himself to Nanashi in the 5th round after Ash's defeat and the two battled, Nanashi's memories of him gradually returning. He's defeated by Nanashi and compliments him for having become a fine leader, admitting his envy. At the end of the series, Nanashi and Galian rule Luberia together. Like Nanashi, he fights with lightning-themed ÄRMs:

* Magic Rope: Weapon ÄRM, an urn containing ropes which tie the opponent. These ropes can keep coming after their target even after being cut and the only way to stop them is to destroy the urn.
* Electric Feather: A ring Weapon ÄRM that creates feathers which emit electricity.
* Electric Circuit (Electric Frisbee): Weapon ÄRM, objects of circular shape, that Galian uses for circumdate his opponent. This ÄRM has an electric power, that attack and inhibits the opponent.
* Hiraiken (Lightning Rod Sword): Nature ÄRM, a sword which absorbs lightning.
* ????: A Darkness ÄRM which erases memories.
* Torpedine: A stingray-like Guardian which emerges from the thunderclouds and emits electric beams from a sharp-toothed mouth on its back.

  • -

Ash is easily distinguished by his mask: a grim reaper skull with its tongue sticking out. Ash joined the Chess Pieces in the hopes on using their immense power to conquer the world, ending all other wars countries might bring up, preventing the deaths of the children he loves. Ash's personality is rather unusual on Chess Piece standards, being both playful and fun-loving. Ash prefers to solve matters without fighting, urging the other knights during a meeting not to deal with Rapunzel's insolence. Phantom himself, who is one of the Knights' more sadistic members, states that he could never hate Ash, as he is "just that sort of person". Ash is almost always seen enjoyably playing with children, usually Defu, Ko, and Benni, three children he rescued from the war, when not fighting a battle. Ash is also very willing to take punishment, sometimes volunteering to be punished when he felt he did something wrong. Galian also states that Ash is usually not one to give up in battle. Ash's original design had little differences from his original one, the most notable being having a regular mask rather than a skull one.

Ash is first introduced revealing to Nanashi that an opponent, Galian, requests that Nanashi appears in the fifth round of the War Games, and also states to Ginta Toramizu as wish to fight him as well. During the fight, Ash chooses to use his Psycho Space on Ginta, claiming that he doesn't want children to see the rest of the battle. Once inside, when Ash reveals he joined the Chess Pieces to save the children he loves, and Ginta, angered, responds by yelling at Ash that the Chess Pieces would only kill those children by their own hands. After Ginta defeats Ash's Guardian, Ash gives up the fight, and tells Ginta that he supports Ginta's wish to save MÄR-Heaven. Ash, Defu, Ko, and Benni later watch Ginta's battle with Phantom together, and leave once Phantom is defeated.

Ash, along with most other Chess Pieces, later is called for a meeting by Diana, and there Diana has King kill all of them, though Ash escapes. While leading survivors of the war to safety, Ash meets up with Ian and Gido, who themselves are escaping the Chess Pieces, and together the three search for Ginta while also closing various portals between the two worlds. Once they reunite with what remains of Team MÄR, Ash reveals to them King's plan to conquer both worlds. As Ash and Ginta close another portal later that night, King attempts to stop them, though Ash locks him in his Phsyco Space. The two then have a short battle, ending with Ash's death. Like others killed by King, Ash is revived following his death, and still allows his friends Ian and Gido to live with him. Ash's ÄRM include:

* Walking Bomb: Weapon ÄRM, a bomb that enlarges itself every time a participant of the fight gets wounded, and ignites when it gets large enough.
* Shadowman: A Nature ÄRM that allows Ash's shadow to attack his enemy. Ash can also use this to absorb attacks meant for him.
* Split Part: A pendant Dimension ÄRM, allows the user to split his body to attack in different directions.
* Psycho Space: A ring Dimension ÄRM, creates a different dimension that cuts off the opponent's magic in half.
* Eingang: (anime) A ring Dimension ÄRM which emits a beam Ash uses to fill the gap connecting Earth and MÄR-Heaven.
* Death: A pendant Guardian ÄRM which conjures a goalie-masked monster with ability of Ash's likes - the ability to separate its body.

  • -

Before joining the Chess, Candice was a sadomasochistic mercenary officer, and was feared by many for her violent and abusing personality. After a defeat to Phantom, however, Candice fell in love with Phantom and followed him. Though this remains largely an unreciprocal passion, Candice still endeavours to undertake many demanding tasks (e.g. taking on powerful enemies) to get Phantom's commends, and is resolute to obliterate whoever obstructs his way.

Candice first appeared during Phantom's revival and informed him that Queen Diana summoned him. During the Chess Pieces' war campaign, Candice single-handedly defeats the soldiers at Castle Geirelulu using Gorgon to turn them into stone. Candice reappeared during the 5th Round of the War Games and fought to a draw with Jack. After Phantom's defeat, Candice accompanies Phantom to Lestava's castle, and in the manga witnesses his death while he rests on his throne. In the anime Candice tries to help him escape from the pursuit by Team MÄR in the end of the Ghost Chess attack. Though this ends unsuccessfully, it deeply touches Phantom and partly lets him die peacefully, knowing he after all isn't so hated. Her last appearance is with the revived Rolan, visiting Phantom's grave. Candice's ÄRM include:

* Boulder Axe: A large stone axe Weapon ÄRM.
* Boulder Claw: With this Nature ÄRM Candice creates two giant sets of stone claws over her real hands that she attacks her opponent with.
* Boulder Fang: A Nature ÄRM that launches sharp rock shards from under her enemies.
** Boulder Crush: Candice buries her opponent under the shards produced by Boulder Fang.
* Grand Boulder: A Nature ÄRM which creates giant boulders.
* Kukan Teni: A magic stone embedded into her maimed eye that she uses as a Dimension ÄRM in order to exchange her position with another one.
* Scale of Blessing: A scale in the shape of a clock, used to measure the injuries her body takes and change them into enormous magic power to summon her Guardian ÄRM.
* Gorgon: A pendant ÄRM which evoke the awake of Gorgoneion and petrification to all whom its gaze beholds.
* Lamia: (anime) An alluring nymphs with its lyre's enchanting, hallucination-generating melody and powerful blasts as main attacks.

  • -

12th strongest Knight and the smallest of the Knights, Pinocchio was once a toy puppet made by Diana for her little sister Dorothy when Dorothy was a child, and was apparently animated to life upon joining the Chess Pieces. In the 6th round, it was ordered to defeat Dorothy if he wished to become human. Like his namesake, his nose grows when he lies, but it transforms into a cannon after about three lies and can be used to shoot his opponents. In the War Games at the Mushroom Field, he is ripped apart by Dorothy's ÄRM Toto. Chaton salvaged his parts by the end of the 6th Round. In this show's filler episode, he was rebuilt with wagon wheels. Alongside Kouga and Girom, they ambushed Dorothy, Ginta and Alviss where Pinocchio destroyed Dorothy's Andarta at the time when Babbo gets cracked. After being repelled, Diana then sent them to capture Caldia's Grand Elder only to be defeated by Dorothy and Ginta. Also in the anime, they were last seen riding Kouga's Kung Fu Frog somewhere. A Weapon ÄRM user:

  • Saw Blade: Weapon ÄRM. Creates 3 saw-like swords Pinocchion can use as weapons.
  • Fastitocalon: A Guardian ÄRM that creates a giant whale to attack his foes. Those who are swallowed, save for the cursed Poko, ultimately die and are dissolved down to the bones thanks to its slimy digestive juices. Fastitocalon is very likely a reference to the giant whale that had swallowed Pinocchio and Geppetto in the namesake's story.

Pinocchion also has other abilities that are not ÄRM-based:

  • Liar Nose: Pinocchion starts telling lies, causing his nose to grow until it becomes a cannon to blast his enemies.
  • Third Arm: Pinocchion uses a third arm concealed above his right arm.
  • Wire Hand: Pinocchion launches his hands on wires from all three of his arms to grab his opponent.
  • Buzzsaw Chest: Pinocchion reveals a buzzsaw in his chest for slicing up enemies. This is best used after grabbing his enemy with Wire Hand to pull them into it.

  • -

Rapunzel is the older sister of Girom. Their father died early of an illness, after which their mother became deranged and physically abused the siblings on a daily basis. Gradually driven to their limits, one day Rapunzel and her brother finally broke down and chopped their mother to death, then ran away. The scar of this matricide survives into her adulthood: Rapunzel grows up to be bloodthirsty, arrogant and riotous (to the irritation and exasperation of many Knights), and appears to share with her brother Girom (notably the only one she holds dear and is gentle with) a love for killing women. Despite being quite far from most visions of beauty herself, Rapunzel is shown to be helplessly narcissistic and looks down on everyone, men or women, as obnoxiously ugly.

Rapunzel was present at Phantom's revival, and in the campaign of the 2nd War Games, she was responsible for the siege of Reginrave castle. Besides being with Girom watching the match between Ginta and Garon, Rapunzel was only seen outside once with the rest of the Knights after the 3rd Round. She persuaded Phantom to let her and Girom fight in the 4th Round. When someone on her team loses to Team MÄR, she challenges the loser of her team to a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors and ends up decapitating them if they lose. After Ginta defeated Girom, Rapunzel wanted to fight Ginta only for Dorothy to step in. She loses to Dorothy in the 4th round of the War Game, but it was not after the 5th Round of the War Games that the deserving retribution was delivered: as punishment for slaying her comrades, Phantom has the Rook Ian battle and kill her (by decapitation in the manga, and incineration in the anime) in battle in front of Girom's eyes and usurp her Knighthood. Rapunzel's ÄRMs include:

* Ice Spikes: A Nature ÄRM which creates several streams of giant icicles along the ground. It can also be used to make a sort of bear trap out of two spiked walls.
* Hair Master: A Nature ÄRM allowing her to manipulate her already odd hair, turning it into several very sharp and hard, tentacle-like drills.
* Scissors: An Unknown ÄRM, used on the losing Chess Pieces in the 3rd Round of the War Games at the Iceberg Field. Used to decapitate the losers on the Chess Piece side.

  • -

The weakest Knight and the largest of the Knights. Kouga is sensitive about his ugliness, due to which as a child he was always treated miserably. He's extremely arrogant and dense, and hates anyone with good looks (e.g Alviss, as he claimed in their fight) as he thinks people with good appearance carries dark hearts. Although his magical powers and ÄRM strength are more along Bishop class, Kouga rose to Knight Class due to his vast amount of strength and a sturdy stamina which takes in unusually low damage from the most destructive of attacks.

Kouga appears cloaked throughout most of the series until War Games' 6th round, wherein he fights Alviss and loses. In a filler episode of the anime, he teams up with Pinocchio and Girom to attack Dorothy, Ginta, and Alviss. After being repelled, Diana then sent them on a mission to kidnap the Caldian Grand Elder, and is later defeated by Dorothy and Ginta. He is last seen (in the anime only) somewhere with Pinocchio and Girom, riding Kung Fu frog. A user of ninja-themed Weapon ÄRMs:

*Daimonji: A Weapon ÄRM that forms a giant, five-bladed shuriken. Kouga uses this in hand-to-hand combat.
*Centipede: A Weapon ÄRM that turns into a huge centipede attached to the user's hand to attack.
*Smokescreen: A Nature ÄRM which creates gray mist that can hide almost anything, even magic power.
*Sand Hell: A Dimension ÄRM which creates quicksand around his opponent's feet.
*Kung Fu Frog: A Guardian ÄRM that summons a huge red frog to attack with martial arts. Its speed is said to be in the top class among Guardians.

Bishops

(ビショップ, Bishoppu)
The Bishops are the second-strongest group of the Chess Pieces after Knights. From this rank every rank is separated into 10 levels from weakest Level 10 upwards to strongest Level 1. Each of the Bishops wears a bishop earring as an insignia; designed like a shield with a cross rather than the actual piece in chess.

  • Chaton -

Chaton is a kitty girl and the strongest of the Bishops. Chaton is always happy, almost to an annoying level. She has a comical, yet entirely serious, crush on Alan, much to his distaste as Alan, ridiculously in contrast to his looks and due to an ironic twist of his situation with Edward, is a cat phobic. She is a good friend with Loco, even though Chaton is quick to get on Loco's nerves. Chaton deeply cares for Loco and constantly looks out for her well-being, though this usually tends to annoy Loco.

Chaton first appears in the 6th Round of the War Games and Alan was surprised at her appearance when she removed her hooded robe. She quickly manages to defeat Alan (who mistook her for a Knight before the battle began) due to his Cat phobia, which he inherited from Edward. During Halloween and Alan's battle, Chaton and Loco kept arguing over who would win while watching from a castle balcony. During Phantom and Ginta's battle, after Ginta's Puss in Boots was introduced, Chaton commented that it is "the greatest Guardian ever", making her the only one who took it seriously.

In the anime, after the War Games are completed, she and Loco, while traveling through the desert, get captured by the Ghost Chess along with Team MÄR. Working together, all of them escape the Ghost Chess, although due to Loco's constant use of Darkness ÄRM Loco is reverted back into a baby. Chaton is quick to begin taking care of Loco, and later watches the death of Alan to King, much to her horror. During Alan's last moments, he gives Chaton his earring and she seeks out other Chess Piece members and interrogates them on King's current location. After King is defeated, Chaton lives together with Alan and Babbo, who help take care of Loco. She uses cat-themed ÄRMs:

* Para Claw: A ring Weapon ÄRM in the form of a powerful set of cat claws that paralyze the opponent.
* Cat Teaser: A ring Nature ÄRM in the form a of cat-toy shaped which allows the user to play puppeteer with his/her opponent's body.
* Meow Meow Blast: A ring Nature ÄRM that creates a powerful blast.
* Bururu: A ring Guardian ÄRM that summons a giant bulldog.

  • Girom -

Girom, or Gillom in the game, is a psychotic boy about Ginta's age who enjoys killing, particularly women, much like his maniac older sister, the Knight Rapunzel. This is largely due, however, to the tremendous stress from their childhood abuse from their mother, whom they later killed. He was present at Phantom's revival, along with the Knights and several other Chess Pieces. He and Orco attacked Vestry during the Chess Piece's war campaign, under the order to search for a certain ÄRM. While searching the boat at the cave's end, he quickly meets up with and fights Ginta, who defeats him using Gargoyle.

Girom was seen with Rapunzel observing the fight between Ginta and Garon. Girom then showed up in the 4th Round of the War Games, where he killed Aqua after her tie with Nanashi. As he wanted, Girom had a rematch with Ginta, and Girom almost won, due to Ginta's anger of him killing Aqua. Babbo later calmed Ginta down, however, and Ginta defeated Girom with Gargoyle, to which Girom also survived. He later witnessed his sister killed by Ian in battle as punishment for her killing of her teammates in the 4th Round. In a filler episode of the anime, he alongside with Kouga and Pinocchio attacked Ginta, Dorothy, and Alviss at the time Babbo was cracked. Ginta barely survived his battle with him. After being repelled, Diana sent them to kidnap the Kaldea Elder, to which Ginta and Dorothy come to rescue him. He is last seen (also in the anime only) with the two somewhere riding Kung Fu Frog. A user of ice-based Nature ÄRMs:

* Iced Earth: A ring Nature ÄRM and Girom's signature ÄRM, used to fire shards of ice at the enemy. It also has several other uses, such as creating an icicle around the user's arm to use as a sword.
* Crevice: A ring Nature ÄRM that creates a giant crevice beneath targets and plunges them through its endless depths.
* Egola: A ring Guardian ÄRM, summons a giant made of ice to attack the user's enemies. This giant's power increases in areas covered in ice. Destroyed by Gargoyle.
* ???? (anime only): A Guardian ÄRM, summons a sphere-shaped chunk of ice that shoots energy beams at the enemy.

  • Garon -

Garon Rodokin is the Chess Piece who fought Ginta in the first round of the War Games and the father of Leno and Pano. He is an honorable man, and Ginta ends up sparing him (partly due to intervention by Pano) after Babbo's Gargoyle form broke his ÄRM. He was killed by King but was revived when King was defeated. He uses Nature ÄRM:

* ???: Nature ÄRM, a ring that enhances one's strength. Garon has five of these.
* ???: Nature ÄRM, a ring that hardens one's body. Garon has five of these.

  • Aqua -

Aqua is a pretty girl wearing a sea-themed ball dress. Despite being a Chess Piece, the happy and rather unpredictable Aqua always keeps a smile on her face, much to the surprise of Team MÄR. Aqua refers to everyone with honorific suffixes in the Japanese version, while in the English dub puts either "Mr." or "Miss" in front of everyone's names, including herself.

Aqua appears in the 3rd round of the 4th Battle. After witnessing several examples of how Rapunzel kills any losing Chess Pieces, Nanashi and Aqua fight each other, where Nanashi defeats Aqua with his Electric Eye. Nanashi, however, pretends that attack removed all of his energy in order to make the fight a draw and save Aqua. Although Rapunzel isn't happy about this, Aqua wins Rock-Paper-Scissors against her and Rapunzel doesn't kill her, but has her brother Girom do it in her stead. Her final words were an apology to Nanashi. After Rapunzel was defeated by Dorothy, Nanashi floats her body into the water as a burial. Her character is based on The Little Mermaid. she uses sea-themed ÄRM:

* Akko: Guardian ÄRM used by Aqua, summons a giant mobile clam that can shoot pearls at the enemy and allows the user to hide inside of it. Unlike most Guardians, the user can still move while using it.
* Skate: A Weapon ÄRM (true name not stated in the series) that creates ice skates on the user's feet. She only used this once, drawing a target for Supikara.
* Supikara: A crown Nature ÄRM in the shape of a spiral seashell. By blowing in it, the user can call on sea creatures to aid in battle. Aqua wears Supikara on her head.

Rooks

(ルーク, ''Ruku)
Rooks are the third strongest of the Chess Pieces after Bishops, they tend to be weak and more along the lines of above-average Pawns. Rook earrings are their insignia.

  • Loco -

Loco is the strongest Rook and one of the first Chess Pieces introduced. Loco's name means a patron of healers in the religion of Voodoo, a reference to her ÄRM Straw Doll (Spikes and Hammer). Loco was born 32 years before the main part of the series. At age 26, Loco, at that point a Pawn, the lowest Chess Piece rank, was given the order to participate in the attacking of a, unknown, town. While fighting, Loco's only ÄRM the Weapon ÄRM Ring Dagger, was broken, leaving Loco defenseless. While stumbling throughout the battling village, Loco crossed paths with a midget-like cloaked figure carrying a large suitcase. The cloaked person asked Loco if she wanted strength, to which she answered that she only wanted power to fight with. The cloaked person then gave Loco the suitcase, telling her it was full of seven Darkness ÄRMs, the cost of using being reversed aging, and the mysterious figure died from the ARM's effects. Using the Darkness ÄRMs, Loco eventually increased in the ranking system to the strongest of the Rooks. The Darkness ÄRMs affects had damaged her, however, as her body had been transformed into a young child's by the series' beginning.

Acting emotionless at all times, Loco finds little importance out of the happenings around her, and prefers to do anything that is seemingly the most successful path to take at the time. Loco's dark personality can also make her cruel at times. Unlike most other Chess Pieces, Loco does not wear her mask on her face (except at Phantom's revival), keeping it on her head's side instead. Loco is intelligent and wise, often being able to deduce problems quickly others find difficult or simply unsolvable. Loco also apparently doesn't enjoy sitting in the background doing nothing when given the chance to fight. Despite constantly being under her Darkness ÄRMs' curse, Loco sees little significance of her reversed aging, instead taking more concern with outside matters. Despite her young appearance and rather emotionless cover, inside she is still a mature woman. Loco is also very good friends with Chaton of the Bishops, despite how Loco is easily annoyed by Chaton. Chaton still remains unaffected by Loco coldness, however, or rather, doesn't seem to understand how Loco is annoyed by this. Loco appears has a crush on the high-ranking Knight Halloween, keeping with her a small doll of the powerful Knight, as seen in the anime. Loco's appearance is often a common center of jokes throughout the series.

Loco first appeared during Phantom's revival, and was later sent to kidnap Snow alongside Ian, though before they could succeed (or get killed by Alan), Halloween ordered them back to Lestava Castle. She later appears during the 2nd Round of the War Games and fights Nanashi, nearly killing him with her Darkness ÄRM. Nanashi, however, breaks free and uses his Electric Eye to destroy the Darkness ÄRM's affects, though losses because he is unwilling to harm her prior to his falling unconscious from exhaustion. In the manga Loco makes only background appearance after this, though in the anime Loco, and later Chaton as well, act as important allies to Team MÄR, helping them rescue the Princess of Reginlief and escape the Ghost Chess. During the fight with the Ghost Chess, however, Loco's consistent use of her Darkness ÄRM ages her back into an infant, leading Chaton to take care of her. At the end of the series, Chaton and Alan, who now live together, take care of the baby Loco together. Loco keeps all of her ÄRMs in the suitcase strapped on her back. Her ÄRMs are:

* Ring Dagger: A ring Weapon ÄRM, transforms into a dagger. Loco had this ÄRM during the First Great War, but it was broken just before she gained the Darkness ÄRMs.
* Negzero: A pendant Darkness ÄRM that paralyzes the target, the side-effect is to reverse its user's aging.
* Straw Doll (Spikes and Hammer): A Darkness ÄRM in the shape of a straw man. Five metal stakes are hammered into ringed points on the straw man's body to damage the enemy in a Voodoo doll fashion. Using this ÄRM causes the user to decrease in age.
* Animal Change (anime only): An torc ÄRM that metamorphoses people into animals which came into Loco's possession for a short period of time.

  • Leno -

Leno Rodokin is the son of Garon and Pano's brother, and the first enemy fought in the war games. He fought against Alviss, who easily beat him. He was killed by King (which left behind his mask) and revived at the end, watching Pano and Jack from afar with his father. A Nature ÄRM user:

* Storm Kadarm: Weapon ÄRM, a set of swords that attacks to the user's arm. These can act as both shields and attacks.
* Flame Ball: Nature ÄRM, creates balls of fire that float around the user, can be launched as projectiles or used to strengthen weapons.

  • Pano -

Pano Rodokin is the sister of Leno and the daughter of Garon. Pano's most notable trait is her relationship with Jack, who she falls in love with during the series. She defeats him in the first round of the War Games, though loses to him during their rematch in the third. In both of her battles with Jack, at some point Jack is comically hit in the groin by Pano. Using Jack's mushrooms, it's discovered she's scared of bats, being immobilized, leeches, and likes pretty flowers and butterflies.

Pano first appeared with her family in the 1st Round of the War Games, where she managed to defeat Jack by hitting him in the groin with her Weapon ÄRM. Jack and Pano have a rematch in the 3rd Round, where Jack uses his mushrooms to force Pano to surrender. While under the effect of the mushrooms, Pano sees an absurdly handsome vision of Jack, and is quick to fall in love with him followed by a hug. Once the illusion is removed, however, Pano quickly becomes angry at Jack and kicks him in his "family jewels".

Pano later appeared during Jack's battle with Weasel, where she gave her support to Jack and encouraged him throughout the battle. By that time she seems to have developed a vey big crush on Jack. In the anime, she later reappeared stealing food where she reunites with several members of Team MÄR, including Jack, where she reveals King's mass murder of several Chess Pieces, including her brother and father. After King is defeated, Pano lives with Jack and his mother on their farm together, and it appears that her family supports her relationship with Jack. Pano is a Weapon ÄRM user:

* Ball Hammer: Pano's mace Weapon ÄRM. Its detachable ball head has radar skill to track down opponent and can separate into 4 sections to attack.

Pawns

(ポーン, Pon)
There are many Pawns in the Chess, and all but one (Gido) have not possessed individuality. Most are nameless and identical with black cloaks and masks. All Pawns are given a Weapon ÄRM, either a spear or two-blades that are attached to the user's arms.

  • Gido -

Gido is Ian's girlfriend and the only Pawn of the Chess Pieces to have an individual identity. She accompanied Ian in his first battle against Ginta. When Ian is taken down, she holds her ground against the others until she is knocked down by Jack's attack. Due to Ian's loss to Ginta, Halloween had Ian punished by ordering Chimera to transform Gido into a creature with her body fused with tentacles, unable to of speak as she transforms slowly into the hdieous creature.

Eventually she is returned to her human form by Chimera's death and the couple leaves the Chess Pieces. however In the anime, they meet up with Ash, who they quickly befriend, Ash dies protecting Ian and Gido from King, who return the favor by taking care of Ash's friends. Once Ash is revived, she and Ian continue to live with Ash and his kids.

Other

Ghost Chess

The Ghost Chess are anime-only characters featured in the filler episodes 86-93. It consisted of Chess members who were infatuated with Ghost ÄRMs. They were used against Team MÄR after they won War Games. The Ghost Chess make their appearance after the battle between Rolan and Candice against Alviss and Dorothy. The Leader uses a special pendant that speeds up Alviss' Zombie Tattoo until it takes complete control over Alviss, putting Alviss under the control of Phantom. They later reappear and capture Team MÄR, along with Chaton and Loco, who happened to be there at the time. With Loco's help, all of them escape.

See also

References

External links



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