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The Narrator (Arcadia Complex)

'The Narrator' is an NPC played by Pancakei within Arcadia Complex, serving as the primary instigator and aptly, the narrator of the plots events.

The Narrator
The Narrator's ethereal form.
Gender: None
Race: Echyllis Imprint
Age: Unknown

Physical Appearance

The Narrator carries the vague appearance of a humanoid created of light flaming energy clad in robes and a spiked helmet. They wear what appears to be a metal laurel crown not unlike those worn by judicial officials of the New Incipere Courthouse. A large crystal rests in the center of their laurel, never staying a fixed color.

The Narrator is usually never seen on a physical level, but seems capable of shapeshifting in their own appearance. While they have the vague appearance of a human face visible on the lower end of their helmet, this is purely a facade. Their eyes, mouth, and internals are usually hidden, but when revealed are a chaotic light show of images and colors. While not wholly confirmed, the Narrator may be a particularly strong Echyllis Imprint.


'The Narrator' is the title given to an otherworldly entity of no self-title who serves as the narrator for much of Arcadia Complex. Not much is known about The Narrator themselves, though they seems to have existed for several centuries at least and are capable of an unknown amount of power. According to them, they have become known by a multitude of names over time, all of which they have chosen to reject. From what little is known of them, they consider themselves good acquaintances of OSC-01, though it is debatable if this feeling goes both ways or is even known to the latter.

The Narrator resides within an unusual space far outside of physical reach, observing many different chosen subjects and occasionally interfering on their own. They seem mostly unable to move outside of this space, outside of mental projections. The Narrator, while not omnipotent, seems to be directly responsible for the curse of the ISS Downrider's continued existence, and an instigator for their progression in alignment with their own 'life goal'.


The Narrator initially comes off as a rather wise, reserved, but quick-tempered individual. They often speak poetically, specifically when going over the start and endings of the Downrider's episodic events. When dealing with the Downrider Crew directly, their demeanor changes and can range from openly friendly to easily annoyed, with a variable tolerance of their antics. Juryrig and Alioth in particular seems to draw a bulk of their snarky comments. Their repeated observation of the crew and their many, many mishaps have given them a great wealth of information to work with.

When first properly met in-person, the Narrator comes off as a benevolent aid, acting as a guiding hand and “guardian” for the Downrider expedition. It becomes quickly apparent after addressing the crew that they are not concerned about the moral implications of their actions, nor how it affects anyone else. It does not take long for their just and holy facade to crack, revealing a touch of megalomania and malice beneath their word. Still, the Narrator believes what they are doing is just and for the right cause, no matter the suffering inflicted upon those beneath their influence. It is quite possible they take some kind of sadistic enjoyment out of their deals with the Downriders, however.



The Narrator is, of course, versed in narration. While most of their commentary falls on deaf ears, they are more than capable of getting their message through with enough effort. It is unknown how strongly the Narrator actually influences events as they happen, or if they simply narrate over what is happening. This is supported by the fact that while incredibly observant, the Narrator is not omnipotent, nor omnipresent. Their influence is far stronger within their own domain.


The Narrator seems to hold some slight control and heightened communication over OSC-01. While the Overseer seems mostly unaware of this connection or incapable of thinking about it, they have previously been shown to try and fight it in the past. The Narrator acts fondly of them however, infrequently interfering and ensuring they shall not remember any of their directed actions when they do. Due to their strong similarities, it may be possible this same connection is present in OSC-02 or BTC-03, but this is yet unknown.

When spirits are invited to the domain of the Narrator, they seem to also be subconsciously subjected to their command.


The Narrator seems to be capable of withdrawing the very essence of those they observe post-death, inviting them to their realm. From this, they are capable of making adjustments where necessary before recycling that essence. Because of this, the Narrator is responsible for the multiversal nature of the Downrider Expedition, where every critical failure brings forth a new crew to carry the torch of the last.

It is evidenced on a meta scale that whenever this occurs, the entirety of the plot and Downrider Expedition repeats from the very beginning until it catches up to the point where the old crew left off. This is seen at the ending of Renewal.

Echyllis Manipulation

The Narrator is unfathomably strong in Echyllis Manipulation, believed to be the source of their aforementioned reincarnate abilities. Their abode seems to be crafted entirely of the material, able to survive in an environment that would otherwise destroy it instantly. Despite this, the Narrator is nearly incapable of leaving this domain, though they are able to bring and send others from it postmortem.

Their ability of Echyllis Manipulation as an offensive strategy is yet unknown, though they are most certainly stronger than the lingering spirits they invite into their domain. They would appear to have command of Folly inside their domain as well, despite its normally uncontrollable behavior.


  • The Narrator has long been hinted as being an actual character due to their occasional sarcasm and even rebutting of player dialogue, but their existence was not confirmed until the ending of Episode 3: Defile.
  • Not all meta text for the plot is the work of the Narrator, their comments are usually attributed to italicized narration.
  • The Narrator seems to have an annoyance or grudge against Juryrig and Alioth. The former may be explained from Juryrig's often meta or fourth-wall leaning jokes, but may have deeper significance, referring to them as a wretched 'thing' and constantly spiting them. As for the latter, it may be due to Alioth's strong clairvoyance and possible detection and resistance to the Narrator's interfering.
  • The Narrator's sarcastic and often patronizing commentary is heavily inspired by Archjustice Androbeles IX (The Voice) from Supergiant Games' Pyre.

OOC Notes

This page was originally created by Pancakei on Sun 01-08-21.

Since the plot of Arcadia Complex is relatively linear and Episodes are sequentially linked, the existence and interference of the Narrator is used as an explanation for any new or changed characters that would not logically have been able to appear.

ayenee/character/narrator.txt · Last modified: 2021/09/07 22:57 by pancakei