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- "Defenders of the Helghast Dream, NOW IS OUR TIME!"
- —Scolar Visari[src]
Scolar Visari (2307-2359) was the founder of the Helghan Empire, the Autarch of Helghan, and the main antagonist of the Killzone series. He was vicious and violent, uniting the Helghan Nation through his charismatic and compelling leadership to become a major power on the interstellar stage.
Rise to Power
Scolar Visari's early life remains mostly unknown, although he was descended from a noble family with much influence among the people of Helghan, having a higher adaptation to the environment of the planet and not requiring breathing assistant technology. His family owned the Visari Corporation, the second largest corporate entity on Helghan in competition with Stahl Arms. Later on in his life, Visari ventured into the world of politics, soon gaining much attention due to his superior oratory skills and charisma.
As he rose to power, Visari professed his belief that the people of Helghan had gone beyond mere humans, into what he termed Helghast. He claimed that they had become far superior to the corrupt human race that forced them to live on such a hellish world and robbed them of their birthrights. He also said that the filtration masks the people of Helghan wore should not be symbols of shame, but symbols of the pride of emerging successfully from years of struggle and hardships. His beliefs catch on to all segments of Helghan society, both rich and poor.
Capitalizing off Helghan's economic crisis and the people's growing resentment towards the UCN, ISA, and even the Helghan Administration, Visari began to rally the masses around him. After staging an attempt on his own life in 2347 for the purpose of making it seem the 'elites' of the Helghan Administration wanted him dead, he launched a popular coup. The masses of Helghast successfully forced the Helghan Administration to give in to Visari's demands, including granting him the title of Autarch with unrestrained control over the entire government.
The New Order
After taking full control over the Helghan government, he set out to restructure the society of Helghan. Pushing propaganda into overtime, he encouraged the oppressed Helghast to support his dictatorship, promising to remake their civilization into one capable of surviving any disaster and crushing any opposition. In order to make the Helghast people feel truly unique, he abolished the use of written English in 2349, replacing it with an entirely different alphabet. He even made an attempt to create an entirely new language, but the sheer scope and size of such a feat prevented him from doing so.
Helghan's economy began to pick up again once Visari created a black market route with the Independent Colonial Strategic Alliance. With the threat of mass starvation no longer a problem for his people, Visari began to concern himself with the quality of life for the ordinary citizen less and less, but rather the power of the military. Massive resources were poured into making the feeble Helghast security force into a fearsome army of conquest. Visari began to make plans to capture Vekta and, after a decade of rebuilding his homeworld and society, declared the creation of the Helghan Empire.
The Second Extrasolar War
Visari's plans to capture Vekta were eagerly received by the masses and the High Command promised to recognize Visari as Emperor of their empire if his plan succeeded.
His plan consisted of capturing Vekta by utilizing two traitors in the ISA's ranks and turning the planet's orbital defense system against the ISA and the eventual UCN reinforcements. With the immediate threat of invasion gone and the UCN on the back foot, Visari planned to reverse-engineer the destroyed UCN fleet and use the knowledge gained to construct an armada capable of fighting Earth's own forces on an equal footing. With the Alpha Centauri system under Helghast control and Earth cut off from colonial resources, the Helghast would hit Sol itself, destroying the UCN shipyards. Eventually, this would lead to a bold invasion of Earth and a blockade that would starve the planet's entire population, revenge for the suffering which had befallen the Helghans in the First Extrasolar War. The final phase of Visari's agenda was nothing less than the complete domination and conquest of every human colony; their subjugation and the destruction of the UCN would enable the Helghast to completely control the known galaxy, and ensure that no threat could ever harm them again.
With Helghast nationalism at a fever pitch and their forces now capable to meet their ambitions, Visari's forces invaded Vekta and started the Second Extrasolar War. Visari was confident in his victory, but the tide turned against him with the death of his prized general, Joseph Lente, and the failure of the Helghast and their ISA puppet General Stuart Adams to obliterate the UCA relief force with the Vektan Orbital Defense Network. However, his forces managed to secure a nuclear device codenamed Red Dust which gives him leverage against the ISA and UCN.
Visari later rallied the people of Helghan around him as the ISA prepared to stage a retaliatory invasion of the planet, ordering each of them to fiercely resist the invasion. The ISA fleet quickly blockaded the planet and sending the bulk of their ground forces concentrating on the Helghast capital city of Pyhrrus. Visari coordinated a defense plan with Colonel Radec utilizing Arc Towers, holding back the invaders. The carriers hovering over the capital are ambushed and destroyed with a makeshift force of leechpods and dropships, the brainchild of Colonel Radec. Following the suicide crash of the New Sun on the Petrusite grid powering the city's defenses, Visari gave the order for Red Dust to be detonated in Pyhrrus, wiping out the ISA invasion forces, along with many of his own soldiers, still in the city.
Despite inflicting significant losses against the ISA, ISA Marines led by Captain Jason Narville stormed Visari Palace following the nuclear detonation. Alpha Squad members Sergeants Rico Velasquez and Tomas Sevchenko fought through Colonel Radec's troops, and ultimately killing the Colonel to get to Visari. The Autarch confronted the two in his chambers, giving them a speech about how the generals had sent all their comrades to die, only to capture him alive. He then tells them about how he gave the Helghast power, and how the ISA needed him as it was the only way to control his people. He also points out that if he was killed, he would only become a martyr. He continues tempting them until Rico impulsively shot him repeatedly, leaving him to bleed to death on the ground. His last words were "The madness... begins."
Due to Visari's death, the Helghan Empire fell into a violent political power struggle between Admiral Orlock and Jorhan Stahl of Stahl Arms. This ultimately lead to the planet-wide devastation of Helghan in the Terracide, thus fulfilling Visari's last words of the Helghast's future.
Decades after the end of the Second Extrasolar War, Visari's legacy continues to live on in the nation of New Helghan, the Empire's successor state, and led by his daughter Hera Visari. While contemptuously viewed by Vektans as a brutal tyrant, Visari is still venerated by the Helghast and his legacy is memorialized in New Helghan's statues and monuments, recognizing him as the Helghast's "eternally loving father whose name shall never be erased."
Visari's appearance and ideals are clearly modeled after fascism, particularly the regimes of Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan under Hirohito. His fiery rhetoric is most closely modeled after the fascist leaders Benito Mussolini (whom he also physically resembles) and Adolf Hitler. His emphasis on Helghast superiority and their need to reclaim their rightful place mainly lends itself to Mussolini's ultranationalist ideals and Hitler's theory of Lebensraum. The Helghast salute is similar to the Nazi salute.
It should also be noted that, in the Killzone cinematic intro, Visari mentions having asked the Helghan people for ten years, in which he promised to consolidate the nation. This expression echoes one made by Adolf Hitler during his first speech as Chancellor of Germany, in which he asks the German people for four years, during which time he would make the country "rise again".
North Korean dictator Kim-Jong Il was also a likely influence. Much Helghan propaganda is in a similar stylized form as propaganda posters and bill boards used by the Korean Workers' Party. The Helghan alphabet bears a striking similarity to the stylized Hangul used by the North Korean regime in their media. Another example of North Korean influence is the Helghan Symbols the player has to destroy. They bear a striking similarity to badges used by North Korean Army officers. Visari's militaristic military-centered society, with Helghan's scarce resources being prioritized for the military is similar to the Songun (선군) policy implemented by Kim-Jong Il after his ascension to power in the late 1990s which prioritizes food (which is scarce in North Korea, a country with poor agriculture) and resources to the military.
The uniforms worn by the Helghast "flag officers" are similar to the uniforms used by fascist and communist governments. They are ornate, decorated with multiple medals, decorations, orders, sashes, and are designed to convey a sense of power.
Another possible influence is that of Saddam Hussein, the Baathist dictator of Iraq. Both Saddam and Visari are executed after an invasion by another force, the USA and ISA respectively, and their deaths trigger instability and a power vacuum while trapping the invaders in a war with the domestic populace.
Perhaps the most subtle reference to his influence, however, is his name: Visari is extremely similar to Vissarionovich, the middle name of Josef Stalin.
Speeches and conversations
Scolar Visari never appeared in gameplay of the Killzone games, though he was present in the introductions to each game and cutscenes (except Killzone: Liberation). His background propaganda can be heard during some missions and during the "Capture and Hold" mission in multiplayer of Killzone 2. His voice is present in several Killzone trailers.
|Show: Killzone "Flag" Trailer|
"I tell you today... All of humanity will kneel before us!"
|Show: Killzone TV Trailer|
"I have rebuilt our nation, I have rebuilt our pride! Our enemies been re-educated. On this day, we stand united once more. On this day, those driven to divide us will hear our voice! On this day, they will know our victory is imminent!"
|Show: Intro Speech|
"My people... Sons and Daughters of Helghan... For many years, we have been a broken nation: shunned, oppressed, and conquered by those we sought to escape. Ten years ago, I asked for time, and that time was granted by you. You: the strength in my arm, the holders of my dreams... Our forefathers embarked on the greatest exodus in the history of all mankind. An exodus for freedom, Helghan became that freedom. Our new world changed our bodies. At first, it weakened us, but in fact, we were growing... stronger. In the time you have given me, I have rebuilt our nation, I have rebuilt our strength, and I have rebuilt our pride! Our enemies at home have been re-educated; we have given them new insights into our cause. On this day, we stand united once more. On this day, those driven to divide us will hear our voice! On this day, we shall act as one, and we shall be ignored NO MORE! Defenders of the Helghast dream, NOW IS OUR TIME!"
|Show: Intro Speech|
"My people... Sons and Daughters of Helghan. This much I vow: The history of these days will be written in blood. By crushing the armies of our enemy, by seizing the weapons they thought to turn against us, we were fighting for our very existence. But if there are those who would deny us peace; refuse us our rightful place in the universe, then we will unleash such terrible vengeance that generations yet unborn will cry out in anguish![...]The enemy may shatter our bodies, but they cannot break our spirit. Even now they advance on our home world, to seize by force what they cannot claim by right. They cannot imagine what awaits them. WE WILL SMITE THE INVADERS FROM OUR SKIES! Though they sweep over our lands like the sands of winter, never again will we bow before them; never again endure their oppression; never again endure their tyranny. We will strike without warning and without mercy, fighting as one hand, one heart, one soul. We will shatter their dreams and haunt their nightmares, drenching our ancestors' graves with their blood. And as our last breath tears at their lungs; as we rise again from the ruins of our cities... they will know: Helghan belongs to the Helghast."
|Show: Convoy Ambush|
Visari: "Colonel Radec, report. What are their losses? I want this day to be a day of mourning for the ISA."
|Show: Visari's Arrest|
|Show: Visari's Propaganda|
|Show: Killzone 3 "Beta Reveal Trailer" Speech (also heard during the campaign of Killzone 2)|
"It is not enough that they fear to be beaten by us. They must learn to fear the very sight, that sound of us! We have survived exile. We have survived isolation. We will survive this."
|Show: Killzone 3 Intro|
Orlock: "My Autarch, All preparations have been made."
- Visari's last name is actually based from Joseph Stalin's real name Iosif Visarionovich Dzhugashilivi.
- Scolar's name may be inspired by the word "scholar".
- In the novel Killzone: Ascendancy, Sev (when he was in school) thought Visari looked like "a little demon kid" when he saw pictures of a young Visari in a textbook.
- There is a Killzone: Shadow Fall multiplayer player icon of Scolar Visari, entitling him as "The Scolar".
- Scolar Visari appears in the crossover fighting game PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale as a DLC Minion and as a icon.
- He is the first antagonist to be killed by the deuteragonist instead of the protagonist. The second being Echo killing Thomas Sinclair in Shadow Fall.