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Alice Margatroid

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アリス・マーガトロイド
Alice Margatroid
(♫)
Alice Margatroid
Alice Margatroid in Scarlet Weather Rhapsody
Seven-Colored Puppeteer
More Character Titles
Species

Magician

Abilities

Magic, Handling dolls

Location

A house in the Forest of Magic

Music Themes
Show Music Themes
Appearances
Official Games
Show Official Game appearances
Print Works
Show Print Work appearances

Alice Margatroid (アリス・マーガトロイド Arisu Māgatoroido) is a doll-controlling magician[1] who lives in the Forest of Magic. She first appeared in the fifth work Mystic Square as only "Alice," and later appeared in the seventh work Perfect Cherry Blossom with her surname.

General Information

In appearance, she has blonde hair and has pale skin, and at one glance she has the appearance of a doll.[2] Her height is "fairly tall."[3] The color of her eyes changes with each work.

She is an all-purpose-type of magician without strengths and weaknesses in attributes. With a personality that is indifferent to other people, she is attached to magic, and is usually confident but is also timid in one aspect.[4]

According to Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, Alice was originally a human, and upon completion of some training, she became a magician. It has not been long since the day she has become a magician, and because of this, it seems like she still continues human habits like eating and sleeping that were originally not necessary. This was realized when in the "Aria of Forbidden Magic Team" route of Imperishable Night bad endings, she became sleepy.

Personality

She has a residence in the Forest of Magic. According to Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, maybe since she was originally a human, even as a youkai, she has high understanding and friendship level to humans and presents a low danger level, and if someone gets lost in the forest, she also gladly gives shelter upon arriving at her house. However, Alice's house is covered all over with dolls, and since she is not very eager for conversation, it seems like visitors immediately flee when there is something eerie.[2][4] In chapters 5-6 of Strange and Bright Nature Deity, the Three Fairies of Light accidentally arrived at her house, and Alice was hospitable to them.

According to Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, she does not perform the usual act of attacking humans, but she unexpectedly likes fights and upon challenged to battle, she gladly accepts. As she manipulates a great number of combat dolls, the fight is compelled to be highly outnumbered, making a difficult battle inevitable, but since she has her hands full with manipulating the dolls, that is her weakness.

She does not find it enjoyable to win battles with overwhelming power, so she usually fights with power that is a little more than that of the opponent. Also, since it would be the end of the ropes if she was defeated while putting forth her true power, she does not give it her all in fights, which is similar in personality to Reimu Hakurei.

In the character settings text for Imperishable Night, it was written that she was an indoors type who was often alone, but in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense, the range of her place of activities is set to "any kind of place" in Gensokyo, and she also appeared in front of people in times of festivals to exhibit her skill with dolls. In each ending of Imperishable Night and Immaterial and Missing Power, she participated in banquets at the Hakurei Shrine. She also said things that hinted that she sometimes visits the library of the Scarlet Devil Mansion.[5]

According to ZUN's comments in the Music Room of Perfect Cherry Blossom, Alice is a little special as a character of the Touhou Series, and because of that, he composed her theme with renewed vigor.

Ability

Handling dolls

As her specialty is making dolls, she is also able to manipulate a great amount of dolls at the same time. This skilfulness is among the finest in Gensokyo.[4] She is able to make her dolls move pretty much any way humans can, and other than that she can make multiple dolls perform different actions, sometimes making them cooperate and sometimes making them move completely asynchronously, such that to onlookers around her, it might not seem like she is manipulating them. The dolls are also able to manipulate dolls, but it seems like she does it all by herself only when it comes to the task of creating the dolls.[2] In chapter 5 of Strange and Bright Nature Deity, she gave a command to a doll orally, but at that time she was indoors while at the same time there were at least 10 dolls above the roof removing snow, and there were also some dolls inside the room cooking.

According to Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red, her objective is to make a completely autonomous doll that have their own thoughts and move by their own volition. Currently, when Alice gives a command to her dolls, they move as if they were autonomous, but she has to periodically give commands to them, and moreover it seems like she has not have had enough training in order to achieve it.

In Perfect Cherry Blossom, she did not have any special reason to fight Reimu and the others, and it was only because she was there by chance that she became a magic opponent.

Character Basis

Name

Her full name is Alice Margatroid. ZUN states in Mystic Square's bonus text file that he originally based her off of the Alice from Megami Tensei. Also, she was called the "the girl of death". In addition, the Alice from Megami Tensei is, in turn, based off the main protagonist in Lewis Carroll's famous novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and the majority of enemies in Mystic Square's extra stage are card soldiers of the same type seen in the Walt Disney animated movie version of the novel. The title of the BGM used in that stage also directly translates to "Alice in Wonderland". When ZUN created the extra stage in Mystic Square, he decided to add a grimoire to her character design as a reference to a fighting game, Asura Blade: Sword of Dynasty, in which a necromancer named Alice carries one.[6]

According to the "Dawn of Touhou" after-report, when ZUN says "Alice", the name carries an image of illusion.

Her surname Margatroid is derived from a real surname, Murgatroyd. It was also the name of the character Miss Murgatroyd from Agatha Christie's book A Murder is Announced and "Murgatroyd" was also a nickname for the vampire in Kim Newman's Anno Dracula. On a more interesting note, in a BBC Radio 4 adaptation was first broadcast on 9 August 1999, a girl name Alice Arnold was responsible for Miss Murgatroyd role.

Design

Alice was first seen in Mystic Square wearing a pink/white dress with a blue apron and a matching headband with a ribbon on the side. Her eyes were gold, and her hair is blonde. She wears white socks. In the Extra stage of the same game, she appears to be carrying a large black book that's called the "Grimoire of Alice".

By the time she was next seen in Perfect Cherry Blossom, she had dark blue eyes and short blonde hair with what appears to be a red band in her hair. She wears a light blue dress with long white sleeves and a long pink ribbon going round her neck and another one round her waist. Also, appears to be wearing socks and has has a black book, possibly the same one from Mystic Square.

As it gets to Immaterial and Missing Power, her eyes were a very dark green and nearly black. Her book appears to be wrapped up in a red ribbon and there appears to have thin string going round her left arm. She is also seen wearing black boots. In Imperishable Night she has orange eyes and is shown to be wearing socks. In both Scarlet Weather Rhapsody and Touhou Hisoutensoku, her eyes are a lighter shade of green and she once again wears black boots.

Story

Mystic Square

Alice first appeared in Mystic Square. She confronted the heroine with the help of her living dolls. In fact, she was the first boss our character met after entering Makai.

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Perfect Cherry Blossom

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Immaterial and Missing Power
Imperishable Night
Scarlet Weather Rhapsody
Subterranean Animism
Touhou Hisoutensoku

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In Touhou Hisoutensoku she creates a giant doll and tests it in battle against Cirno, who thinks the giant doll is Daidarabotchi.

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Relationships

Marisa Kirisame

Marisa is Alice's neighbor in the Forest of Magic.

Eirin Yagokoro

Alice purchases the Butterfly Dream Pill from Eirin.

Shanghai and Hourai

Shanghai and Hourai are the two most well-known dolls (or types of doll) used by Alice.

Goliath Doll

Goliath Doll is another doll created by Alice, which appears to still be in the testing stages.

Spell Cards

Additional Information

  • In Mystic Square, Alice appears as a Makai resident, calling herself "The Magician of Makai" and referring to Reimu as "human", implying that she is not one. However, in the Windows canon, Akyuu reports that Alice was a human before she became a youkai magician, and does not mention her having any connection to Makai.
  • According to the Omake Notes for Mystic Square, the inspiration for Alice's grimoire came from the game Asura Blade, which features a young necromancer girl also named Alice who controls the dead with a book.
  • Strange and Bright Nature Deity chapter 6 has Sunny Milk attempting to lie to Alice, but accidentally blurting out the truth instead. Among her ramblings, she mentions that she's looking for a magician with a grimoire that "shines wonderfully with all the seven colors of the light". Alice does not deny this to be false. It is possible this is the in-universe explanation for her title, "Seven-Colored Puppeteer".
  • Being known as the "Seven-Colored Puppeteer" or "Rainbow Puppeteer", Alice apparently believes in a correlation between color and power level. During her dialogue with Reimu Hakurei in Perfect Cherry Blossom, she asserts Reimu's powers are only equal to 28.5714% (or 2/7) of her own powers, due to Reimu's outfit only consisting of two colors. This appears to be a recurring theme in Perfect Cherry Blossom, as Yukari Yakumo, Ran Yakumo and Chen are all named after colors and have relative power levels equivalent to their colors' place on the visual spectrum.
    • This has not be referenced in recent games though some fanart references this.
  • In some official material, like Imperishable Night's Prologue and Strange and Bright Nature Deity chapter 5, Alice's dolls appear to be able to act and talk independently, but according to her Perfect Memento in Strict Sense article, she hasn't yet succeeded in creating an independent doll, and a conversation between Marisa and Rinnosuke Morichika in Curiosities of Lotus Asia chapter 16 suggests that Alice just controls the dolls and pretends they are alive for her own amusement and for showing off.
  • Alice's alternate palette from Scarlet Weather Rhapsody resembles Hina-Ichigo, a doll from the manga series Rozen Maiden. In Touhou Hisoutensoku, she has palettes resembling the other Rozen Maiden dolls: Suiseiseki, Souseiseki, Suigintou, Shinku, Kanaria, and Kirakishou. Add the fact that, in Rozen Maiden, the aforementioned dolls are battling for the title of "Alice", the perfect doll.
  • Alice is the only boss who appears 3 times in a single stage: Twice as a midboss and the third as the actual boss of stage 3 in Perfect Cherry Blossom.
  • According to Aya Shameimaru during her interview with Eirin Yagokoro, Alice has been a recurring customer of Eirin's, coming to see her to buy a medicine she developed called Kochoumugan (Butterfly Dream Pill). The medicine guarantees its imbiber to have pleasant dreams once they fall asleep, and was even featured in an article in Aya's newspaper. The reason for purchasing this medicine or even what kinds of dreams Alice is trying to have were never revealed, but instead are left purely to speculation. However, this might be a reference to "Alice in Wonderland", from which the concept of her character is derived.
  • Because Alice, unlike Marisa, is much more interested in strategy and hates having to win a fight from sheer overwhelming power, she always holds back even if it means losing.
  • Her Mystic Square stage 3 title "Girl of Death" may be a Megami Tensei reference as there is a demon in the game known as Alice based on the Alice in Wonderland story that is known by the same title.
  • Alice may be related to the story of Dolls in Pseudo Paradise. A big connection between the two involve how one of the honest men died from being "nailed to a tree" despite being inside, relating to Alice's article in Bohemian Archive in Japanese Red about her nailing straw effigies to trees. Other connections include how the men stumble upon a "Western-style building deep within the forest" and how the culprit was a "beautiful blonde girl", both of which relate to Alice.

Fandom

  • Because of Shinki's dialog in Mystic Square where she mentions that everything in Makai is her creation, it is thought that Alice is Shinki's daughter (although this definition would also extend to the other Makai residents). However, there's been no further mention of this since then, and Perfect Memento in Strict Sense states that Alice was once a human who became a youkai magician. It is unknown whether this is a retroactive change of continuity, merely a mistake by Hieda no Akyuu, or if fans were mistaken from the beginning when thinking Alice was Shinki's daughter. Since there has yet to be any official statement by ZUN, this is merely speculation. However, it is interesting to note that her title is "Witch of Death," as Mystic Square is heavily inspired by Paradise Lost, in which Death is the son of Satan.
  • In Imperishable Night's character settings txt, since it said "she spends most of her time alone," it is easy to link it with the image that she surrounds herself with moving dolls, "distracting her loneliness with dolls." In derivative works this has sometimes been taken to the extreme, and she is sometimes portrayed as left out or bullied by other characters.
  • Alice is often portrayed in fanon as having an obsession for dolls. In some doujin works, she is often depicted making or playing with dolls. It is also widely assumed that she makes dolls of other characters for fun (such as putting on a puppet show with them). This might be somewhat official, as she has at least made dolls representing the Three Fairies of Light and used those to mock them in Strange and Bright Nature Deity. She has also used them, in some doujin, like voodoo dolls in a more sadistic manner.
  • Despite being mistreated often in fanworks (or perhaps because of it), Alice is one of the most popular characters.
  • Likewise in fanworks, because of her perceived cold exterior and cowardly true persona, she is frequently depicted as a down-on-her-luck tsundere. In other cases, she's been depicted as a yandere.
  • The Japanese nickname (and Pixiv tag) for the PC-98 version of Alice is "Lolice" (ロリス) due to the fact that she appears much younger in Mystic Square.
  • While the most obvious and common pairing for Alice is her IN and SA teammate Marisa, with their IN bad ending even showing Alice sleeping over at Marisa's house, several other pairings have grown popular, including fellow magician Patchouli, main character Reimu, and counterpart Sakuya (once summed up as "A Human-like Youkai and a Youkai-like Human"). She also has a surprisingly common pairing with Yuuka, who is usually shown teasing or tormenting Alice.
    • Alice is also known to be associated ("coupled") with Mobile Suit Gundam's Zaku II model in some fan works. The established coupling name is "Zaku-Alice is my justice" (ザクアリが俺のジャスティス zaku ari ga ore no zyasutisu). It became popular in a Touhou comic on pixiv drawn by Kopo (コーポ).[7]
      • There has also been some comparisons between Alice and the Ex-S Gundam or S Gundam, mainly the colors, its ALICE system (with the final goal having it pilot a suit on its own), and its incoms (which offer all-range attacks). There are a few fanarts highlighting this. The relation appears to be incidental (The MS debuted in 1988, some time before ZUN started on Touhou)

Official Profiles

Official Sources

References

  1. 広義には「妖怪」に分類される、「魔法使い」という "種族" である。種族としての詳細は、幻想郷#妖怪を参照。
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Page in Perfect Memento in Strict Sense related to Alice Margatroid
  3. ZUN's E-mails
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Immaterial and Missing Power - character profile
  5. Immaterial and Missing Power - Match mode win quote (Alice beats Patchouli)
  6. Officially stated in the omake.txt for Mystic Square.
  7. The first Zaku-Alice manga on pixiv by Kopo (needs pixiv account to view. Japanese).