| Spoiler warning!|
This article contains key plot or ending details.
|"By my honor, I shall do my best!"|
After losing his entire family at a young age, he has known little more than the life of a mercenary, wandering through desolate lands from one battlefield to another.
Zael has grown tired of the everyday fighting needed to simply feed himself, and dreams of one day becoming a knight. Little does he know that a mysterious encounter on his first mission on Lazulis Island will change his life forever... - Instruction Manual
Zael (エルザ Eruza; Elza in the Japanese version) is the main character and protagonist of the game. He is a young man who is fighting throughout the continent pursuing the dream of a better life by becoming a knight. He also meets Lady Calista during the game and falls in love with her. He is part of Dagran's mercenary group and is Dagran's oldest and best friend. He posesses the Outsider's power on his right arm, which he gains in the beginning of the story, and he is able to use this power in battle.
Zael has spiky light-brown hair adorned with three feathers. His eyes are blue, but in his concept art his left eye appears to be of a duller hue. Through his right ear he has a triangular formation of circular earrings which are blue, pink, and purple; his left earring is a black rectangular piece with the image of a person with a halo (possibly a deity) painted in white.
Zael's concept art shows him in Cloth Armor and Greaves. He wears a long white cloth jacket but nothing underneath that (his chest is bare). His boots and trousers are dark grey, and his belt is equipped with light grey cloth pouches. He also has strips of grey material hanging from the back of his belt. He wears little armor except on his left arm: it is mostly black and covers the entirety of his arm. In other artworks, he has various necklaces and bracelets.
During the game, he is bestowed with the power of the Outsider, which is seen as a small cross on his right hand. When using this power, his arm glows blue.
Zael first lived in a small village in an unknown location with his mother and possibly his father. When he was still a young boy, the village was sacked and burned down by a group of bandits. His mother was killed in the raid, and he escaped with only a pair of lenses that his father gave him.
Eventually, in another town, Zael meets Dagran, who finds him alone and looking at the lenses. Dagran, seeing how Zael is obviously an orphan, takes Zael by the hand and the two of them become friends. Together they form a mercenary group in order to survive. Zael is unaware of Dagran's true motives for creating the mercenary group until late in the game.
Zael posesses no biological family: his mother was killed by bandits, and his father is also dead. His father's fate is not touched upon in the game, but most likely he died, either before the sacking of the village or during it.
He keeps a pair of lenses that his father gave him. It is the only memento Zael has of his family: he later entrusts the lenses to Calista aboard the Gurak Warship, in the hopes that they can look up at the stars with them during times of peace.
Zael is a very brave and selfless person, always facing danger without fear and putting people's needs and welfare above his own. His ethics reflect what is expected of a true knight, which contrasts with the actual Lazulis knights. It was this selflessnes that granted him the Mark of the Outsider. Zael is also friendly towards people, willing to help them out (such as with getting more drink for Syrenne when Ariela ran out).
He did exhibit a bit of bashfulness when becoming close to Calista when he first met her, probably due to the only girls he interacted with were Syrenne and Mirania. On a sidequest titled Zael's Groupies, Zael does flirt with various women, but unlike Lowell he is not a womanizer.
However, it is shown that Zael can be very doubtful when it came to serving the Count and fighting in the war against Zangurak. Zael knew that no good could come from allying with the Count, but he was torn by the fact that it would mean a better life for him and his friends. He also questioned the belief that Gurak were really as evil as humans made them out to be. In the end, though, he clears his self-doubt when he comes to realize what's truly important and does all he can to stop the war.
Zael wields the Power of the Outsider only as an aid in battle. His dream of becoming a knight is based solely on the wish to keep people safe, and he does not seek out additional wealth or power. He values his close ties with his friends and especially Calista.
- Power Strike (buff): Temporary increases attack power.
- Gale (Sword Skill): Dashes quickly and swings blade generating a cyclone that damages all enemies in its area of effect. Diffuses magic circles.
- Spirit Attack: Accelerate (Buff): Increases movement and attack speed, can be shared with allies by using Gale.
- Gathering:cast gravity status denuff on all enemies while also focusing all enemy attention on the caster.
- Gathering Burst: Allows the player to gather energy when taking damage while Gathering is activated to release as a powerful long range attack against all enemies in the map the moment gathering is deactivated. it will Cast gravity status on opponents slowling them down and when reactivating Gathering will double its effect causing some enemies to come to a complete Stop.
- Cure: a healing and buff that can only be used while Gathering is activated. Lets Zael revive still in-battle characters and also give them a short power boost.
- Guard Counter: When guarding sword strikes, performs a counter attack, and while guarding magic, deflects it back to the caster.
Like Syrenne and Dagran, Zael cannot use magic spells. However, Gale, while not a spell, is treated as a magical attack .
Zael's 'A' skill is Gale, which pauses the battle and switches to a top-down view in which Zael can choose a target place to jump to. After accepting the target area, Zael will jump over there and spin his sword, making a wind-based attack which diffuses magic circles, causing additional effects, and knocking back some enemies. This deplenishes one bar of the skill bar, which refills overtime.
Another skill, Slash, deals 3x the damage of a normal attack. While hiding behind a pillar or a wall etc., by moving the nunchuk control stick towards the enemy and pressing A, you will dash out and attack heavily the enemy. This doesn't use any of the skill bar.Zael's other main skills are Gathering, Gathering Burst and Vertical Slice. To use Vertical Slice, run into a wall while playing as Zael. It will switch to a top-down view, but it won't freeze time like Gale. Select where you want to attack and Zael will jump, hitting the ground and nearby enemies, as well as diffusing magic circles like Gale. This attack is crucial to defeating a Terracor. Like Slash, it doesn't use any of the Skill bar and it deals 3x damage as well.
Zael has the highest Attack and Defense stat in the game, but low Magic, and fairly high Magic Defense. He has the third highest Agility, but since Agility enhancing items are the most common of the physical enhancement items, he can easily have the highest Agility. He also has the 2nd highest HP. And finally, he has the most Skills in the game. Overall, he is the most powerful playable character in the game.
Outside of gameplay, it is shown that Zael has immense physical strength as he was able to knock Atar (who probably weighed a ton) into the air with no effort. He is also a very skilled at infiltration and archery.
Calista is Zael's love interest. It's clear from the very first moment they met that they became smitten with each other. Zael is very protective and caring towards Calista, and usually becomes violent when something bad happens to her. Calista believes that Zael's life as a mercenary is a far better life as Zael gets to go see different places, despite Zael telling her of the danger that comes with the missions, and is upset that Zael wants to become a knight as she believes that he'll become a prisoner of his own life like she has. Later, she briefly goes on an adventure to the Gurak base of operation with the mercenaries, and Zael defends Calista when Dagran becomes cold towards her, and becomes upset that Dagran won't let him take Calista with the mercenaries, not wanting her to marry Jirall and become miserable. Calista later does her best to get Zael out of prison after he is accused of kidnapping her due to Jirall.
However, when Zael agrees to serve Count Arganan for a chance of him and the mercenaries having a better life and saving Calista from marrying Jirall, the two start drifting apart as Calista feels betrayed by Zael when he agrees to work for her uncle, knowing no good can come from it. Zael then starts questioning if what he did was the right choice, especially after he did nothing to help Calista after her uncle slaps her. Later, when Zael gets framed for the murder of Asthar and is thrown in jail again, Calista breaks Zael out of jail, and the two reconcile. The two then continue to learn of the Count's plans. On the day that the Count plans to marry Zael & Calista and knight Zael, Zael refuses his knighthood, and rushes to Calista, confessing his feelings for her and asking her to come with him, to which she happily accepts.
The two then continues on their journey to defeat Zangurak, but Calista is later kidnapped by Zangurak, who plans on using her Arganan blood to increase his Power of the Outsider. Zael (with his friends) then goes on to desperately find her. The two reunite in the battle with Zangurak. Sometime after Dagran's death, the two finally get married, and apparently start traveling the world together as hinted in the credits.
Dagran was Zael's best friend. The two of them met years prior to the start of the game, and they formed a band of mercenaries. Dagran promised to Zael that he would do everything to make Zael's dream of becoming a knight a reality. Since then, they have become nearly inseperable. Zael has come to see Dagran as his only family and trusts him the most of anyone. They were bound by the common factor that both of them lost their homes and families at a young age.
As the story progresses, Dagran is shown doing things that Zael questions. He frames Jirall for General Asthar's murder in order to save Zael, with Dagran defending his actions by saying that they need to act like scheming aristocrats if they are to survive in their world. He also engages in private meetings with the Count, further adding suspicion from the rest of the mercenary group as to his motives for doing so.
Once Zael began to catch the Count's eye and his dream of becoming a knight was within his grasp, he began to doubt the sincerity of his decision, which Dagran viewed as a betrayal. Dagran repeatedly tells Zael that, if he were to refuse a knighthood with the Count, it would affect everyone else in their group. Nevertheless, Zael refuses to swear allegiance to the Count, and for Dagran, this is the last straw. He threatens Zael, but Zael simply walks away. Dagran later disappears during the final Gurak assault.
The truth surrounding the formation of the mercenary band was that Dagran was seeking revenge for the destruction of his home and the murder of his family. He came to the knowledge that General Asthar was responsible for the raid, and was the one responsible for his murder. To him, Zael and the others were merely pawns for his revenge. After Zangurak's defeat, Dagran takes posession of his right arm and gains the power of the Outsider as well. During the final battle, the Outsider completely takes over Dagran's body and morphs him into different monsters, taunting Zael's weakness and ignorance to his true motives. The Outsider asks Zael why he seeks to harm his friend, to which Zael replies that he knows Dagran as well as he knows himself. It is with some regret that Zael kills Dagran, and he is visibly upset after his death, but Lowell assures that had Zael not stopped Dagran, they would all be dead.
Zangurak is Zael's archenemy. The two instantly become enemies as soon as they meet. Zangurak, in a sense, is morally the exact opposite of Zael in every way as while Zael wants a world of peace, Zangurak wants a world of war. Their Power of the Outsider abilities are also opposites as while Zael's Gathering is fueled by his kindness and will to protect those closes to him, Zangurak's Gathering is fueled by his cruelness and hatred. Zael's hatred towards Zangurak intensifies when Zangurak kidnaps Calista and is revealed to have corrupted Dagran by using Dagran's lust for revenge by telling him about the Outsider.
Zangurak's actions have caused him to become Zael's most hated enemy. Their interactions during the story are infrequent, however. Zael battles him on two occasions: while defending Calista in Chapter 10, and during the final battle with him in Chapter 40, the latter chapter being the one where Zael finally defeats Zangurak.
Of all the mercenaries, Zael often teams up with Yurick the most. As with everyone else, Yurick initially doesn't open up to Zael, although he wasn't as rude to Zael as to everyone else, with the exception of Mirania (who he never got rude or upset with). The two have similar pasts as their homes were raided (with Zael it was bandits, and with Yurick it was pirates) and both saw their mothers die (for different reasons). Zael helps Yurick discover his father's fate, which allows Yurick to move on from his past and open up more to the group. Yurick reveals to Zael first the stone in his right eye that gives him such incredible fire magic.
- On several occasions throughout the game it is hinted at that Zael has no sense of smell. Zael being the player avatar, this might be a joke by the developers in reference to the game not being able to prove any aromatic cues to the player.
- Since he marries Calista by the end of the game, Zael may possibly be the new Count, though dialogue suggests that he continues to simply be a Knight.
- Zael and Elza (the English and Japanese names for this character, respectively) are anagrams of each other.
- Zael is one of the few Nintendo protagonists to have extensive dialogue and voice acting.
- His blue eyes are also something extremely common for Nintendo protagonists.
- During early development, Zael's character was changed drastically as the setting of The Last Story changed from a sci-fi setting to a fantasy setting. For example:
- The original name for Zael was Zephyr or Zefa (ゼファ), as appearing in early concept art. Zephyr derives from "Zephyrus," the Greek god of the west wind. This signifies Zael's usage of wind-based magic.
- Zael's original hair colour was white.
- Zael, alongside his wife Calista, appears as a trophy in SUPER SMASH BROS. for Wii U. His appearance is based off his concept art design.
|Mercenaries||Zael - Dagran - Syrenne - Lowell - Yurick - Mirania - Calista|
|Support Characters||Knights - Horace - General Asthar - Therius - Count Arganan - Captain|
|Bad Guys||Zoran - Jirall - Zangurak - Zepha - Zesha|
|Other||Ariela - Warren - Meredith - Braso - Catoleya - Lelio - Dinah - Dinis - Uril - Franklin - Jeffery - Velgun - Forest Guardian - Kentis - Outsider - Sorceress|