A character/reference from the Xenosaga series. is the mysterious founder and CEO of the largest interplanetary conglomerate, Vector Industries in the videogame Xenosaga. He also served as the Executive Committee Director of the Galaxy Federation, up to a decade ago. He is a major and main antagonist of the Xenosaga series.
The cosmic collapse, a general dissipation of consciousness, was made inevitable by the resonation of chaos' force of anima with human will. Wilhelm is described as being naturally attuned to the flow of consciousness, which allows him to discern the onset of its dissipation and its ultimate consequence to all reality throughout all dimensions. Taking the role of Protector of Lower Dimensional Space, Wilhelm endeavors to bring about eternal recurrence as an alternative to absolute interdimensional collapse. For this purpose he sets into motion three organizations, two seemingly rival companies with divergent business interests and a religious institution by which to restrain the effect of chaos' social influence. (see Lemegeton) These are, respectively, Vector Industries, Hyams Group, and the Ormus.
In preparation for the Eternal Recurrence, Wilhelm arranges for the discovery of the Zohar in the year 2060. The direct interaction between humans and UDO leads to a mass disappearance phenomenon, eventually forcing earth's inhabitants to flee en mass into space. To prevent Earth's total disappearance into imaginary space, Wilhelm compresses the planet to Planck scale dimensions. This gives Wilhelm de facto rulership over all human affairs, as humanity is forced to rely on his Vector Industries' technology to survive.
Before sealing away Earth, Wilhelm moves several relics integral to the process of eternal recurrence to the planet Michtam, and under the alias Heinlein convenes the existence of the Order of the Ormus with funding from Hyams Group. However, it is strongly hinted that Wilhelm established Ormus many ages before, in the time of an unidentified messianic figure, explicitly to shape the popular interpretation of the teachings of a messianic figure,) as revealed to him by chaos. In the Perfect Guide, it is mentioned that Wilhelm was an emperor during the time period in which the Messiah lived. Although he persecuted the Messiah and his followers due to their proximity to Yeshua the Anima and their use of Lemegeton, he gradually infiltrated the following after the death of the Messiah. In this way, he founded Ormus, the organization that was a religion devoted to the memory of the Messiah on the surface, but was secretly meant to protect the written Lemegeton and the other Relics of God. However, he could not stop the dissipation of consciousness -- the constellation of the Gnostic rejection of reality -- which access to Lemegeton had engendered. To stop the dissipation from destroying everything, Wilhelm endeavors to undertake the "spinning" of the world from the shadows, with the ultimate aim of Eternal Recurrence, and vanishes from the scene of history. However, for a span of 2000 years after the death of the Messiah, Rennes le Chateau and therefore the Anima Vessels and the body of Mary Magdalene had become sealed by an anti-Wilhelm force. Without Mary the Animus and the restored Anima, Eternal Recurrence could not be achieved.
As revealed in the Xenosaga Perfect Guide, Wilhelm's link to the collective storyline upon which Xenosaga is based laid in the subtitles of the Xenosaga games, Der Wille zur Macht (The Will to Power), Jenseits von Gut und Böse (Beyond Good and Evil) and Also Sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spoke Zarathustra). These titles are shared with publications by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, whose middle name is shared by Wilhelm himself. This link explains Wilhelm's role as the enigmatic manipulator of the events which unfold in Xenosaga. His name may also be a play on Kaiser Wilhelm II, the last German emperor who lived during World War I, and may refer to him being the last "ruler" of a group or nation, perhaps humanity in general. The Xenosaga Perfect Guide reveals Wilhelm was once an emperor in the time of the Messiah. It is unknown what he called himself at that time, but a reference to the Roman Emperor Nero is given in Xenosaga I, once by the character Jr, and again in the game's database, as the fifth emperor of Rome. Wilhelm himself says he has many names that define him, but only chaos knows his true name.
However, as long as Anima existed, the consciousnesses of the universe would continue to disperse until the universe was slowly destroyed by collapse. Wilhelm chose eternal recurrence to avoid this. By using Zarathustra he planned to perpetually rewind time to the past, living in an eternal cycle. This prevented both the collapse through dispersal and the destruction of wills by the failsafe. But this meant living the same lives over and over again. According to the database, it was unknown exactly how many times Zarathustra had been used in the past, be it ten times or ten thousand, or more.
Wilhelm is described as the "protector of lower-dimensional space". The operator of Zarathustra, he possesses a "temporal recurrence ability". He is known to be an existence like chaos, and has been around since the beginning of the universe. Zarathustra was originally a Relic of God built by ancient peoples and orchestrated by Mary to invade the Higher Domain of God. It was known to have been powered by chaos' Anima power and controlled by Mary's Animus power. When their efforts ended in failure, Wilhelm took over, turning Zarathustra into a device for the purpose of Eternal Recurrence. Thus, it is likely that Wilhelm is meant to metaphorically represent Nietzsche himself. Nietzsche also described himself as "the bringer of eternal recurrence" in "Twilight of the Idols".
There is another possible explanation for Wilhelm's motives, as outlined in the post-game database. It mentions the possibility that Wilhelm was actually trying to force a revolution of human consciousness through the repeated use of Zarathustra. That is to say, he was training humanity (through the countless recurrences) to develop to the point that they could throw off the shackles of his control and pave their own way to the future. This seems to be supported by his lack of concern when the party threatens both himself and Zarathustra. This motive is also applied to Wilhelm in both the Xenosaga III Official Perfect Guide and the Xenosaga III Official Complete Guide. Although his body was destroyed due to prolonged direct exposure to the out-of-control energy of Zarathustra, Wilhelm still exists because he is the guardian of the lower domain universe. The Xenosaga Perfect Guide states that Wilhelm was responsible for the Elsa and the Dammerung arriving in the Lost Jerusalem galaxy (the Milky Way) after they escaped through the last transfer column held open by chaos. Even though he was rejected by the universe, he still exists for the sake of protecting it.
Wilhelm is an adept manipulator of perceptions and a master of illusion. He is demonstrated to be prescient to some degree of competence, and an able leader. In Episode II, he implies in an aside to Kevin that he is risen above the considerations of normal men, which alone grants him the wisdom to determine what is absolutely true about reality. The consequences of this philosophy are manifest as an amoralistic attitude described by the creators as "beyond good and evil". His pursuit of Eternal Recurrence over the objections of Shion indicates a lack of respect for her viewpoint and a general ambivalence toward others' personal welfare.