Overlord takes place in Yggdrasil, an enormously popular virtual reality massively multiplayer online role-playing game. And like any MMORPG, Overlord has an extensive cast of characters to keep track of. Good and evil, human and inhuman, player and NPC, allow me to introduce the denizens of the Tomb of Nazarick and beyond.
1. Momonga, a.k.a. Lord Ainz Ooal Gown (Satoshi Hino)
Our main character is a hitherto unnamed salaryman with no friends or family in our world. In the game’s world we know him as Momonga, leader of the evil-aligned Guild of Ainz Ooal Gown. Once the most powerful guild in the game, most members have logged out and moved on ahead of the impending server shutdown. Momonga decides to stay logged in until the very end; when he wakes up, however, he is still in the game. Not only that, but his HUD has disappeared, he’s trapped in the body of his character, and the game world seems to have become real. Taking the name of his former guild, he sets out to build a new life for himself in this virtual world…by conquering it all.
Lord Gown is every power-hungry gamer’s wildest dream: he hit the level cap long ago, has access to the highest-level spells and items, and rules an army of loyal NPCs from the Great Tomb of Nazarick, which can only be described as a “doom fortress.” Yet his extensive game knowledge can only take him so far, as the world around the Tomb is completely different from the Yggdrasil he knows. Think of his journey as a “New Game Plus”: he starts over with all the equipment and resources he had before.
As Gown learns about his surroundings and determines how the game’s rules translate into the new world’s physical and magical laws, he must also come to terms with his own transformation. The elder lich that was once his avatar is now his body: undead and devoid of human imperatives like hunger, thirst or emotion. Gown is caught between his human and undead identities, and is forced to decide whether he must sacrifice his humanity to keep everything else he’s worked for.
Let’s get one thing straight: Gown is completely overpowered. Exceptionally strong mortals are barely capable of “fifth-tier” magic in his world, and Gown himself easily casts tenth-tier spells. Nothing poses a challenge to him, and even his minions strike down major threats with little effort. But Gown knows he’s only scratched the surface of this world. As far as he knows, death is permanent now, and he’s on the hunt for any threat to his existence—which may or may not include other players just as strong as he is. His quest for knowledge and power keep him interesting, as well as his bemused but adaptable personality. Gown may be new to this whole evil overlord thing, but he’s quite willing to roll with it.
2. Albedo (Yumi Hara)
Every villain needs henchmen, and Albedo is the leader of them all. Designed by one of Gown’s guildmates, Albedo is a beautiful succubus that serves as the final boss of the Great Tomb of Nazarick. She is the first being Gown encounters when he awakes, and the first sign that his actions now have lasting consequences. As a joke, Gown programs her to be madly in love with him right before the server shutdown—feelings that carry over to the new world. Gown thus inadvertently creates the perfect yandere—willing to kill for his love and, thanks to his guildmates, more than capable of doing so.
As funny as her obsessive devotion to Gown is, there’s more to Albedo than that. Like the other residents of Nazarick, she detests humans, seeing them as nothing more than cattle. To Gown, Albedo’s monstrous nature is an early sign that he must renounce his humanity in order to survive in his new home. That may not mean enslaving and destroying the human race right away, but for her beloved overlord, Albedo is perfectly content to slaughter anyone and anything that needs slaughtering in the meantime. Whether daydreaming about marrying Gown or striking down his enemies in full plate armor, Albedo is as badass as she is charming.
3. Clementine (Aoi Yūki)
The closest thing we have so far to a primary antagonist. Formerly of the Black Scripture of the evil Slane Theocracy—essentially ex-special forces—Clementine has turned to mercenary work and teamed up with a necromancer to create an army of undead. She’s not really interested in ruling or conquering, though; she’s a brutal, bloodthirsty murderer who’s just going where the violence is. Her hobby is killing adventurers, and she’s so good at it that she forges her victims’ guild plates into her armor—a metal bikini, incidentally, which is always appreciated.
While Lord Gown tangles with the forces of the Slane Theocracy in the fourth episode, Clementine is the first to genuinely surprise him, if not challenge him. But unlike her former employers, she has no real agenda beyond death. Selfish, cruel and capricious, Clementine would like nothing more than to drown the land in blood, laughing all the while. Agile, immoral and prone to fits of devious giggling, she’s a terrifying foil to Lord Gown’s cautious plotting...and thus has no place in his world.
Ironically, Aoi Yūki also voiced Clementine’s polar opposite: none other than the pure-hearted Madoka Kaname from Puella Magi Madoka Magica. How’s that for range?
4. The Swords of Darkness
An adventuring band from the city of E-Rantel, close to the Tomb of Nazarick. Despite their name they are a friendly bunch, dedicated to fighting monsters for the local adventurers’ guild. Peter Mork (Kazuyuki Okitsu), Dyne Woodwonder (Ryouta Takeuchi), Lukeluther Volve (Natsuki Hanae), and Ninya Beiron (Mutsumi Tamura) are your standard RPG party: fighter, druid, ranger, and mage, respectively. Though they are lowly bronze-ranked adventurers, they are united by a common quest and a powerful bond of friendship. Lord Gown joins them in disguise, hoping to get firsthand experience with his new world...and a sense of what he'll be up against when he eventually conquers it.
5. Aura Bella Fiora/Mare Bello Fiore (Emiri Katō/Yumi Uchiyama)
Aura and Mare are the cross-dressing twin elf guardians of Nazarick’s sixth floor. Although they are playful and childish in appearance, true to their elf heritage they are actually several decades old. Aura is brash and enthusiastic while her brother is quiet and timid, but both are highly potent magic users and eager to serve their master. They are tasked with reconnaissance missions outside the Tomb and with hiding its location from enemies, and are among the few who are entrusted with the ability to teleport anywhere within it.
6. Shalltear Bloodfallen (Sumire Uesaka)
The guardian of the first three floors of the Tomb of Nazarick. Shalltear Bloodfallen is a vampire loli with a crush on Lord Gown rivaling Albedo’s. She is easily provoked, particularly when Albedo tries to assert her claim on their overlord, or when Aura makes fun of her chest (minor spoiler: she stuffs her shirt). But she’s as powerful as she is thin-skinned, hiding a grotesque form beneath her cute façade. She views humans as nothing more than food...and she loves to play with her food.
7. Cocytus (Kenta Miyake)
The guardian of Nazarick’s fifth floor. Dungeons and Dragons players will note his resemblance to an umber hulk, an enormous bipedal insect. Named for the frozen ninth circle of Hell, Cocytus possesses power over ice and is Nazarick’s strongest melee warrior. Yet despite his intimidating appearance and thirst for combat, he has quite the soft spot for children.
8. Demiurge (Masayuki Katō)
The guardian of Nazarick’s seventh floor. He would look like a college professor were it not for his tail, a sign of his true demonic nature. Although he is fiercely loyal to Lord Gown, he is more devious and reserved than the rest of the Floor Guardians, preferring to manipulate events from behind the scenes rather than fight directly. He encourages Lord Gown to go forth and conquer the world, subjugating the humans and providing test subjects for gruesome experiments. Much to Gown's discomfort, Demiurge also supports Albedo and Shalltear's romantic designs on him. The overlord needs an heir, after all...
9. Sebas Tian (Shigeru Chiba)
Sebas Tian pulls double duty as Nazarick’s butler and the guardian of the tenth floor. He is a quiet, humble servant, preferring to let his actions in Gown’s service speak for themselves. He and Demiurge strongly dislike each other; this is because the players who created them loathed each other in real life, but the guardians have forgotten the true reason for their animosity. Fans of DBZ’s Garlic Jr. or of Kefka from Dissidia Final Fantasy, be amused: Shigeru Chiba doesn’t raise his voice this time around.
10. The Pleiades Combat Maids
A team of six powerful warriors in the form of beautiful maids, under the command of Sebas Tian. Beneath their seductive exterior, each one is a horrific monster of one kind or another: a slime, a spider, a robot, a dullahan, a werewolf, and a doppelgänger. This last maid, Narberal Gamma (Manami Numakura), is selected to travel outside the Tomb at Lord Gown’s side. Though she is stoic and controlled, she must often restrain herself from smiting the lowly humans they encounter—particularly when they choose to hit on her.
11. Nphirea Baleare (Ayumu Murase)
A teenage alchemist from E-Rantel who assists his grandmother Lizzie (Ikuko Tani) with her potion shop. Nphirea is the childhood friend of Enri Emmot of Carne Village (Mao Ichimichi) and harbors strong romantic feelings for her. He also has the rare power to use any magic item, which makes him a target for various evildoers. The Swords of Darkness volunteer to guard him as he gathers reagents in the forest just beyond the city.
12. Gazef Stronoff (Hiroshi Shirokuma)
The valiant and compassionate Captain of the Guard of the Re-Estize Kingdom. Although he is lowborn and looked down on by the local nobility, Gazef is considered the strongest warrior in the country. He is thus a high-value target for Re-Estize’s rival, the Slane Theocracy.
And Many More...
These are just some of the inhabitants of Overlord’s world. As Lord Gown explores his new home, we will doubtless meet more, caught between his benevolent totalitarianism...and even more nefarious villains.