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|“|| Some things only the weak can feel... But weakness does not make them servile. It's because they are weak, that they can develop kindness... and never look down on people. That is where real human interaction comes from. Everyone has weaknesses. Even you did at first. Your weakness drew you to each other... And made you grow strong. Never forget those feelings. When you all lived together side by side...
Lieutenant Elehayym Van Houten (Elhaym Van Houten in the English localization), nicknamed Elly, is the deuteragonist and a playable character of Xenogears.
In the beginning of Xenogears, Elly is the young skilled officer of the Solaris Military known as Gebler, and is part of Gebler's Aveh branch. She is the lieutenant of Ignas Army's Third Assault Division and leads a squad. After much persuasion by Fei Fong Wong, Elly leaves the military, coming to terms with the truth of Solaris' actions and goals.
As a Solarian, Elly is a 1st Class Gazel citizen and lives a very privileged life compared to the rest of Solaris, and her parents are pure Solarians. Her mother is Medena Van Houten, and her father is Erich Van Houten, who works on the Imperial Guard.
In the beginning of Xenogears, Elly is a forceful and confrontational military woman who believes the military is where she belongs, but is reasonable.
Elly is a proud Solarian and truly believes in Solaris. Her knowledge of Solaris is extensive, trumping Citan, and shares a very elaborate residence there with her parents.
She does have a heart, as she spares Fei's life and apologizes to him for something mean she said. However, Elly still believes that she, a "Shepherd/Abel", have the right to control Lambs and decide whether or not they should live or die. When leaving Fei, she comments that the next time they meet, they will be enemies.
When using the drug known as Drive, her personality turns violent and aggressive, going from wanting to spare Fei's life to wanting him to die, although she claims she will kill him painlessly in return for treating her so kindly.
While initially hostile towards Fei, she slowly begins to trust him, and later, ends up switching sides to fight with the party against Solaris. During her journey with Fei's group, Elly begins to question her role, her purpose in life, the various facets of Solaris' existence, the role of the church, what is truly occurring on the planet, etc, and goes through her own existential crisis. Overcoming Solaris' thought inhibition, Elly begins questioning the various aspects of her life, society and the planet which she never really questioned before. She learns about the truth, the psychology of people, and begins to understand the true meaning of love, compassion and empathy.
Her love for Fei starts small. Their mutual affection grows until they return to Ignas after destroying the Urobolus Gene creature and restoring the gene pool of Ignas's human population to balance, along with their time together in the Yggdrasil. This love aids them in many of their trials, and no doubt in the end of the game, they will endure no matter what dangers await them. Nothing can separate them, as the case of their previous incarnations, Fei's love for Elly, and her love for him has existed for ten thousand years and will continue until the end of the world.
Creation and past lives Edit
In T.C. 4767, Abel was on a spaceship called the Eldridge searching for his missing mother. The Wave Existence, using Kadomony, sensed Abel's desire and created a woman. After the Eldridge crashed due to Deus' awakening, Abel was the only survivor.
Elehayym then split into two existences - one was called Elehaymm and the other was called Myyah Hawwa. Because of this, both Myyah and Elehayym can be seen as the the mother of all humanity in the E.C. era.
Together with Elehayym, or Elly as he had come to call her, Abel lived during the first years of human life on the Xenogears planet. When Cain, Myyah and the Gazel Ministry began laying down the foundations of what would be all their various control mechanisms in the developing human culture, Abel and Elly, now grown adults stepped forward and challenged them. Abel, having known the real truth of the matter and being the only true human on the planet was able to see through Cain's lies and called him on them in front of the whole world. Cain responded by murdering both him and Elly to silence them.
Both Abel and Elly were continuously reincarnated through the Zohar Modifier by the will and power of the Wave Existence until the year 9999 when Fei Fong Wong and Elehayym Van Houten were born. Elly is also the Antitype in this incarnation of Fei's life, just as she has been throughout the centuries on the planet (Abel's companion, Kim Kasim's wife Elly during the Zeboim era, the Great Mother Sophia, etc.).
Elehayym Van Houten Edit
Elly was born to Medena and Erich Van Houten in 9981 in Solaris. Like her parents, Elly was also subjected to Solaris' brainwashing, mind control and anti-Lamb propaganda, being told by her society that Lambs are inferior people. At Jugend Military Academy, she was taught that Lambs were "stupid" and "base".
Despite Elly being a Solarian and the daughter of one of the Empire's most decorated officers, her red hair and blue-violet eyes somewhat separates her from other Solarians, who are mostly blond-haired and blue-eyed. Elly feels ashamed for not possessing blonde hair, and because Lambs are prone to not having blonde-hair, she believes she is half-Solarian, half-Lamb.
For a time, Elly thought her mother Medena was not the woman her father married, and that her childhood nanny, a Lamb, was actually her real mother. This fact of her life was a mark of ridicule by some people of Solaris, including Elly's former comrade in the Elements, Dominia Yizkor. It's only toward the midpoint of the game that Elly learns that her appearance is due to her being the Antitype, and finally accepts that Medena is her real biological mother.
In 9994, Elly joined the Jugend Military Academy.
About a year prior to the game (9998), Elly was given a dose of Drive against her will as part of both an experiment and standard Jugend procedure to test all graduate. When the drugs took affect, her powers as the Antitype temporarily awakened and she lashed out in berserk self-defense, killing two of her fellow students and injuring three more. She came to surrounded by blood, causing her significant guilt going forward. This event prevented her from becoming an Element, a position she otherwise qualified for due to her high Ether capabilities.
She would still manage to attain a position as a lieutenant within Gebler.
Her encounter with Fei in the Blackmoon Forest changes her life forever. Elly approaches Fei at gunpoint and orders him to surrender in her language. However, when she realizes Fei can't comprehend her, she switches to his language: the language of the Lambs. Fei struggles to find a reason to live and considers suicide after Elly calls him a coward responsible for the villager's deaths, but ultimately refrains.
When Fei blames Kislev for the massacre in Lahan, Elly is annoyed and calls him out, essentially telling him to grow up, act like an adult, and take some responsibility for the blame: that he was, to some extent, responsible for the deaths since he jumped into the Gear and started fighting in it in the middle of the village, despite not knowing how to fully operate it. Yet she admits later to herself and to Citan Uzuki that she was the one avoiding blame as the incident in Lahan was also her fault due to landing her Gear near the town that kickstarted the fight, and luring Kislev to Lahan. Elly leaves Fei to return to her country's headquarters and military.
Fei eventually reunites with Elly during the assault on Nortune, Kislev. Elly is an optimist and wants to help Fei, despite the fact that he is a Lamb, and she cannot leave the military. Elly eventually decides to leave the Solaris military during the attack on Nortune, and she realizes killing, violence, horror, and war isn't her thing.
In order to escape the Kislev Empire, Fei's group decides to steal the airplane "Goliath" in the Goliath Factory. They do so, however, Fei and Elly are separated from the rest of the party when the Goliath sinks into the sea after being accidentally shot down by Bart Fatima's ship.
Elly and Fei are rescued by the Thames, a movable floating city ship. After learning Elly's whereabouts, Gebler attempts to kidnap Elly. Myyah Hawwa, a Gebler officer, unsuccessfully brainwashes her. Myyah also calls Elly's eyes "beautiful". Elly eventually returns to the party.
Much later, in her home country Solaris, Elly shows Fei around Etrenank and Solaris and she acts as a language translator for him. She introduces Fei to her parents at her 1st Class Gazel home which is a luxurious mansion, a stark contrast to the small pods the 3rd Class worker bee slaves have.
When Erich catches Elly and Fei trying to find information about their friends in his room, he and Elly argue, causing Fei to leave their home in order to spare Elly from being arrested as a traitor.
While Fei is gone, Elly is visited in her room by Medena, who feels that Elly should live her life the way she wishes, and that if her loved ones are in danger, she can't abandon them. As Elly leaves her room, she is met by Erich, who declares his belief that being human means being able to pick your path in life, an aspect of free will.
When Erich hears the arrival of soldiers, he is surprised when, instead of the military police, the Imperial Guard has arrived. Stating that the intruder had 'fled', Erich is alarmed to learn that Karellen, one of Solaris' rulers, had ordered Elly be taken into custody. Putting his rank as a 1st class citizen and possibly his life on the line, Erich holds back the soldiers, allowing Elly to escape.
Rejoining Fei and Citan as they delve into the military sectors of Solaris, they learn the horrifying truth of the Soylent System, as well as discover various party members' genetic data on display. As they go in deeper, they are seemingly betrayed by Citan.
Elly is taken into Karellen's private lab, where she confronts a deranged Kahran Ramsus demanding to know where Fei is. When Fei and the party comes in to help her escape, it is revealed that Citan's betrayal was his means of rescuing the rest of the party.
Regrouping with Elly's parents, Elly and the rest of the party make their way to the hanger. Just as they arrive, Hammer takes Elly hostage. Medena manages to get Elly free, but is fatally shot in the process. Grahf and Executioner then arrive, forcing Erich to confront them in his mech. As his mech is destroyed by Executioner, Erich declares that Elly is his and Medena's child, no matter what.
Later, Fei and Elly are chased by Ramsus and are struck down. Mortally wounded, they are rescued by Taura Melchior. After a period of three weeks, Fei and Elly are healed by Taura and his nanotechnology.
When her faith in Solaris is shaken, Elly must find her own path in life and pursue her goals without the backing of her family or Solaris. Everyone regroups and Elly and Emeralda go to the Mass Driver Facility to release the Limiters of everyone on the planet. However, in doing so, some turn into Wels.
Back on the surface, Fei and Elly work together to put an end to the Soylent System slaughterhouses. The Wels divide themselves into the 'haves' and 'have nots', and some even resort to cannibalism due to their desire for flesh and meat. At one point, Sophia resonates with Elly and comforts the mutated Wels (Reapers) in a Soylent System facility, begging them not to lose the shreds of human dignity they have left. All the people that had been mutated were taken in by Nisan where they received treatment.
Elly stays behind and assists Nisan for her own safety. Karellen seeks to possess Elly, the Mother, who must be sacrificed in order to revive Deus. In Nisan, Elly senses that Fei is in danger, which is confirmed when Karellen sends a message, saying that if she wants to save Fei and his group, she must go to Golgoda. Elly does so and defeats Mugwort and Rattan, but is kidnapped by Karellen. Karellen lets Fei and his allies go, knowing they will come back to rescue her.
In Merkava, the party finds Karellen and Myyah waiting for them as well as an unconscious Elly, bound on a cross in front of Deus's massive form. Karellan explains that Elly, as the Mother, must be sacrificed in order to revive Deus. As the party struggles to free Elly, Ramsus arrives, and, goaded by Myyah about how she used him, kills Myyah.
As Fei frees Elly, a gunshot is heard. As Fei slumps back against Citan it is revealed that Elly is the who shot Fei. As her hair color, facial expression, and choice of words change, the party realizes that Elly has turned into the next incarnation of Myyah. After revealing the truth about Deus's nature and its coming plans for humanity, Elly/Myyah becomes absorbed by Deus. The party is forced to retreat as Merkava raises into the sky, firing a red beam of destruction on the land below.
Fei sets out to destroy Deus and free the Wave Existence and Elly. The party defeats Deus, but they realize that the energy released from the Wave Existence's shift will destroy the planet. Elly, inside Deus, tries to move it away from the planet and Fei, in his Xenogears, follows to save her, but both disappear in the rift. Karellen confronts them, telling Fei he only sought to end the pain and suffering that comes with human existence by reverting everything back to when it all began, when all was one, to ascend to the realm of God. Fei rejects Karellen's ideology with his love for Elly, but Karellen challenges Fei, telling him to prove this love that could make him independent of God, and calls forth Urobolus, a gigantic serpent-like incarnation of Myyah. Xenogears appears and Fei uses it to defeat Urobolus.
Karellen releases Elly and reveals to Fei that he had planned to become one with God along with Elly. During her time with Karellen, Elly had seen inside his heart and realized it was full of sadness and despair for all the atrocities he had committed. Despite everything, Elly says that Karellen truly loved people more than anyone else. Because no one will forgive his sins, he declines Fei's offer to return and ascends to a higher plane of existence along with the Wave Existence, telling Fei and Elly that he envies them. Fei and Elly then return to their planet along with Xenogears and reunite with the rest of the party.
Elly is a competent fighter with her rods, but she has powerful elemental ether, which makes her valuable to the party.
In battles, Elly fights using rods or batons which she knocks her opponent in each hit. She can also somersault her opponents with a single blow or a single kick. When using elemental deathblows, Elly is also capable of using elemental magic. In her Aqua Frost final deathblow, Elly is shown as an excellent ballet when using this ability.
In Gear battles, her Gear Vierge, and her Omnigear, El-Regrs, also wield a rod. However, during her boss battle against Fei due to being drugged by the "Drive", her Gear is not seen wielding a rod. Some of her fighting abilities are used before making a final blow against Fei using Aerods.
Vierge can essentially become overpowered if the player equips her with an Ether Doubler on her human form (use 2x EP to create 2x effect), and Power Magic on her Gear (increases Eth Mach Strength). Her Gear's Aerods then become insanely overpowered. Sometimes, it's enough to one-hit-kill bosses.
Elly leaves the party forever after Anima Dungeon Two is completed - it is recommended the player remove any valuable equipment before the Hammer boss battle. Because of this, Elly and her Gear can be viewed as a rather pointless character to use entirely, since she won't be available for the latter parts of the game, and all the effort put into building Elly and her Gear as a party member could be used on Fei/Citan/Bart/Billy/Rico/Emeralda/Maria instead.
- Screamer: - 4 AP
- Cyclone Kick: - 5 AP
- Breakthrough: - 5 AP
- Double Shock: - 6 AP
- Sky Attack: - 6 AP
- Bright Spark: - 6 AP
- Sting Kick: - 6 AP
- Anemo Zap: - Wind Elemental, 7 AP
- Terra Charge: - Earth Elemental, 7 AP
- Thermo Thump: - Fire Elemental, 7 AP
- Aqua Frost: - Water Elemental, 7 AP
Elehayym (Elhaym) is phonetically composed of 'El' and 'haim.' The name references the Hebrew toast "L'chaim," which means "to life." In Hebrew, "El" means "God," and her name can thus be loosely understood as "the life that God gives us to live." The "El" in her name also symbolizes her connection to the Wave Existence (not Deus).
The main antagonist in the story is "Myyah" (Miang in the English localization), which is a reverse anagram of "haym;" notably, the "El" is absent, signifying the exclusion of "God."
Contextually, this makes Elly the progenitor of "the life of God" and pits Myyah as the antithetical, reverse of life--without "God." Given that Myyah is an agent of Deus (the Latin name for 'God'), and that Elly is the incarnation of the 'Complement/Antitype' (the being created by a human (the Contact Abel/Fei) touching the Wave Existence in the Zohar), it can be inferred that Elly is an avatar of the living "God" while Myyah is a servant of the machine glommed onto that deity.
Van Houten is a Dutch surname, literally meaning "from Houten" (a reference to the town of Houten in the Netherlands). It can also mean "from the forest", and Fei meets Elly in a forest - the Blackmoon Forest.
- "Ranahad! Katenayu tada bintudah akba! Dhan narata! Rana kotay!" (angry vaguely German-sounding yelling)
- "Throw down your weapon! Make one wrong move and I'll shoot!"
- "Enough of that! You're a COWARD! Yes, you're a COWARD. All you're saying is 'THEM, THEM, THEM'. Don't talk as if YOU had no part of the blame, as well!"
- "You talk as if it's not your RESPONSIBILITY! They DIED because YOU had to pilot the Gear and start FIGHTING! Not just ANYONE can pilot those machines, you know! Why won't you take RESPONSIBILITY!? Why are you trying to put the BLAME on OTHERS? You're a COWARD!"
- "No... I didn't do anything...! It wasn't me... can't you understand? I didn't do it... I'm not so strong... I'm not even all that talented..." (Elly remembers her Drive incident)
- "Why don't you take some of the responsibility yourself? Why are you putting all the blame on others? That's just running away! That's what makes you a coward!"
- "Why? It's obvious. It's divine providence! We are the chosen people, the Abel... Our purpose of existence is to subordinate the earth dwelling 'Lambs'. Those who stand in our way must be eliminated! This is my true nature! There is no other!" (using Drive)
- "Hahaha! Writhe! Dance! Die and rot in obscurity here! It looks like it's over for you. I'll put you out of your misery now! Fear not! In return for treating me so kindly, I will kill you painlessly. Farewell, Fei..." (using Drive)
- "Sorry I'm so edgy."
- "It's OK not to feel ‘whole’. Even if you only feel partly complete, if you repeat that enough, eventually it’ll be 'whole'. A part... is better than zero." (to Fei)
- "Don't be too hard on yourself. Everyone wants to be needed at times. All of us want to give something inside ourselves to others to be accepted."
- "A dream... I was dreaming a dream... Or perhaps it was a memory. From a distant past... A dream... A memory... Those words I was unable to convey... That day... That time... Those thoughts I was unable to carry out... Words and thoughts... The connection between the two... Without words, thoughts cannot be conveyed... Without thoughts, there are no words... They are both as vital as each other... They can never be divided... Like the wings of angels... Like a man and a woman... An unchangeable destiny... Feelings one wishes one could change... Meeting without the person who would change me... And watching myself change... I dreamt such a dream... A long... Never-ending dream..."
- "In that dream, I was called 'Sophia'... Mother Sophia... A symbolic name... Crowned upon the person who would be the people's hope... A name I was destined to have whether I wanted it or not..."
- "Dreams... A life of a woman named Sophia... And the lives of countless other women... All but dreams... Now that I am awake, those countless numbers of long, heartrending dreams are almost impossible to remember at all... In those dreams, I loved one man... no matter the day, No matter the era... That did not change... Only his name..."
- "That dream changed me... That dream was the catalyst for me to resolve what my purpose was. I think I know now... What I have to do... That long, long memory of a dream... That perhaps was the memory of my soul..."
- "Excuse me! I'm only 18 years old. I'm nowhere near the age of being your mother!" (after Citan comments that Elly has matured like a mother)
- "I'm sorry... I guess I couldn't help you after all. All I can do for you now is ease your wounds... I'm so sorry..."
- "Please! Listen to me! Stop fighting among yourselves. We are all humans!"
- "All of you, want to be loved... needed by someone, so we look to others... By ourselves, we are lonely, so we try to draw together to live... That's what it means to be human...That's how people live. A single hand cannot clap."
- "I only did what I could. Maybe I'm a hypocrite. A well to do 'have'. Maybe it's only pity for the 'have-nots'... But if I can know the joy of giving out a little of the life within me... Then maybe someday it may just be possible that one human can truly give love to another... People can do it... I truly believe they can. That's why..."
- "You've got us all wrong, Dominia. Our paths may be different, but our goals are the same. That's why I can't fight you anymore. There's no reason for me to... That's all."
- "...It's funny, isn't it? We used to be enemies, but now we're together like this... In the beginning... I think I saw myself in you. We seemed to overlap... You being in a similar situation as I was in. When I was with you, I didn't feel alone or apprehensive. That's why I thought I liked you... But it wasn't that. I simply didn't have the courage to look at my true self. I turned to you to run away from it all... I mistook that for love. But, it's different now. I can face my own problems. I am me... and you are you. It has all become clear to me now. I also learned that I really do need you... It's not because I need you as a sanctuary for my problems. I need you because I truly love you." (to Fei)
- "Everyone wants someone special waiting for them. Someone who will protect a place they can return to. If you don't have that peace of mind, then you would not be able to get anything done... Men try to fight it out as much as they can and then some... They're cute when they do that, aren't they?"
- "I'm not a holy woman of any sort. I'm just a regular woman. I get angry... I cry... I laugh... Although at times I can resent others, I also know how to love others... Loving whole masses of people at times... and loving just one person the rest of the time... I am in supreme bliss when I am embraced by the man that I love. Giving what I have to him, and receiving what he gives to me, we become one flesh... That is the moment when I am most at peace. It is my prerogative as a woman to simply want to save the man that I love!" (to her squad)
- "I'm so sorry... so please forgive me! I was wrong... I thought sacrificing myself in order to save others was the right thing to do... But my actions only brought sadness to all the people who I left behind. And that sadness gave birth to even more sadness. As long as 'I' still live within you, my life is not just mine alone."
- "If we're together, I can."
- In the introduction of the game, Shigeyoshi Inoue looks at a photo of his apparent family. The girl in it strongly resembles Elly.
- Elly is symbolic of Anima, which is why one of her incarnations is named Sophia after the Jungian names for Anima. The names are, in order from low Anima to high Anima: Eve, Helen, Mary, and Sophia.
- Elly is the only party member who retains her Japanese battle cries in the English version of Xenogears.
- When Elly talks about her and Fei becoming "one flesh", this is likely a Biblical allusion to Genesis 2:24.
- Elly has a strong resemblance to Nephilim Verum in Xenosaga, and it is possible Nephilim is the Xenosaga equivalent of Elly, set in an alternate universe - possibly one of the alternate universes Wilhelm created from Eternal Recurrence. Nephilim also has a relationship with Abel in Xenosaga. In the Japanese versions of both games, Nephilim and Elly share the same voice actor.
- Her English voice actress, Moira Quirk is best known for portraying as a referee in Nickelodeon's Guts and for her role as Daniella from Haunting Ground.