Father (Fullmetal Alchemist)
Father is a villain that features in the Fullmetal Alchemist universe.
Father (お父様, Otō-sama), who was named Homunculus (ホムンクルス Homunkurusu?), or The Dwarf in the Flask (フラスコの中の小人 Furasuku no Naka no Kobito?) was a homunculi that was created many years ago during the reign of the king of Xerxes. He was created by an alchemist who drew blood from a purchased slave known as Number 23. Following his creation, he was contained within a flask where he was consulted as a source of knowledge where he was known as the Little One in the Flask. During this time, he would speak to the donor that created him namely Number 23 who was a simple slave that lacked any skills, knowledge or education. The homunculi offered to teach the slave and even named him where he gave the young blonde haired man a name which was Von Hohenheim. Under the homunculi's teachings, Hohenheim rose as a skilled pupil and holding a prestigious role as an apprentice alchemist. In this time, the ailing king of Xerxes summoned the homunculi and asked for the secret of immortality. The homunculi initially taunted the king but agreed to aid the king with his goal. He informed the king about the process of creating a Philosopher's Stone. This involved the creation of a mass transmutation circle around Xerxes with this being claimed by the king's men to be an irrigation effort. However, this was part of an effort for the king to achieve his immortality by initiating wide scale sacrifices achieved through murder by his men with the monarch of Xerxes at the center. However, this proved to be a trick as even the king and his court were killed as the true center was the place where Von Hohenheim and the homunculi stood. As everyone in Xerxes died, a Gate of Truth opened sucking in Hohenheim where he was transformed. In the process, the homunculi gained a physical body that resembled Hohenheim who was given great power as a result of the many souls needed to create his form. In gratitude to Hohenheim, the homunculi gifted half of the souls sacrificed to his human donor making him immortal as well. Afterwards, the homunculi departed to begin the next stage of his plans and eventually took the name Father.
In time, he decided to separate aspects of his personality into new homunculi with the first being Pride. He later created further Homunculi that were each based on one of the Seven Deadly Sins of Man that included Envy, Greed, Lust, Gluttony and Sloth. Gluttony was an attempt by Father at creating his own portal of Truth. Despite his power, Father failed and the Homunculi Gluttony was considered a failed experiment. At some point over a century ago, Greed departed the company of Father and instead sought his own desires. Since the inception of Amestris, Fathers Homunculi had been controlling the entire human nation with the higher ranked officers working under them. As such, this led him using high ranking scientists and the military to continue his experiments. Among these was the creation of the last of his Homunculi that was to embody his Wrath. This saw the military taking numerous orphans and subjecting them to a grueling regime in order to train them to become the next ruler of Amestris. By adulthood, a number were taken to be injected with a distilled liquid form of the Philosopher's Stone but the majority of them died in the process. This was until the twelfth subject who managed to survive the merger and become a human Homunculi who could age but shared all the aspects of his kin. Father met this individual who was later given the name of King Bradley with him becoming the Fuhrer of Amestris and continued to ensure his creators plan came to fruition. Father's plans largely depended on the use of 'human sacrifices', alchemists of notable skill who committed human transmutation and thus 'opened the Gate' within themselves after being forced to pay the toll with their flesh.
With Greed captured, he was brought to the home of Father who offered him the chance to rejoin his ranks. This was because he stated that Greed was both his son and part of his soul. However, Greed refused leading to Father having his body destroyed in order to reabsorb his essence into his body once more.
Gluttony later brought Alphonse Elric to Father where the Alchemist mistakenly believed him to be his own father Hohenheim. At that moment, Edward Elric, Ling Xao and Envy emerged from Gluttonys body, father then determined that the Elrics were his chosen future sacrifices and later discovered them to be the sons of Hohenheim. Father healed the two alchemists but had no use for Ling and ordered Gluttony to devour him. This led to a confrontation ration that was joined by Scar and Mao. Edward Elric revealed Father and the Homunculis being responsible for the destruction of Ishvall. This led to a battle with Ling restrained and Father deciding instead to use the human to create a new Homunculi. Secreting a Philosopher's Stone, he created a new Greed that embodied his avarice that successfully took over Lings body. The Elric brothers were captured but the others managed to flee in the chaos of the battle.
Eventually, his plans were nearing to fruition as Sloth eventually finished building the tunnel underneath Amestris in time for the "Promised Day," an astronomical alignment that was important to Father's plan which was now only weeks away. Father later deliberated he completion of his country wide transmutation circle where he began deciding on his sacrifices. Among those candidates were Edward Alric, Alphonse Alric, Hohenheim, and Izumi Curtis with him deciding that he needed one more to complete the circle. Afterwards, Father became aware of Van Hohenheim's return who warned him that they were bound to meet soon. Father simply stated that he would be waiting for Hohenheim for that time. Later on, he was present at the meeting among Central's military leaders to discuss what to do about Colonel Mustang after the Flame Alchemist went rogue and revolted against the military. During the meeting, General Olivier Armstrong suggested that Mustang's next course of action was likely the capture of Fuhrer King Bradley's wife with Father puzzled at such a move.
Once the day come, as his forces deal with insurgents under Mustang and Oliver, Father battled Hohenheim who attempts to destroy his husk body so the homunculus would die. However, it would turn out that Father's body had expanded over the underground of Central city and the being within his shell was a shadowy humanoid extension covered in eyes. Father then used his body to restrain Hohenheim from further interference where he then activated the Amestris transmutation circle once the other pawns were brought together. Despite May and Greed joining the fray, Father succeeded in forcing the Gate to appear into order to absorb the Truth. Having succeeded, Father gained a new, more youthful husk body with godly power as he attempted to kill everyone off. However, as Hohenheim revealed the transmutation circle he made around the country in secret that restored the sacrificed souls back into their bodies. This worked in conjunction with Scar's activation of the Alkahestry circle secretly made around Central restored the alchemists' alchemy abilities to give them an edge. Barely able to hold the Truth and forced to deal with the alchemists, Father made his way to the surface to take more lives to restore his power. Father effectively defeated Hohenheim, Izumi, Mustang, May, Al and Ed, but the intervention of the rest of their friends allowed them to recover before Father destroyed Ed's Automail arm as he began to lose control. This causes Al to sacrifice himself in order to give Ed's arm back, and Ed furiously attacked Father with a staggering amount of blows before he managed to absorb Greed's stone. However, Greed uses his carbonization ability to cripple Father from the inside and enable Edward to literally punch a hole in Father's chest. In so doing, the trapped souls from Xerxes reach out and turned Father inside out thus dragging him before the gate. There Father, now reduced back to his original form, confronted the force that calls itself 'the Truth' who berated Father for selfishly stealing the power of others instead of trying to evolve using his own strength, the force 'rewards' the horrified Father by having the gate reabsorb him.
Personality and attributes
In appearance, Fathers body had actually changed at multiple points over the years. Initially, he was simply a small black shadow with a single eye and mouth that fit in a glass flask container. This changed when he tricked the king of Xerxes into performing a mass transmutation that created a Philosopher's Stone that the homunculi used to create a body for himself. As such, in these years he resembled Van Hohenheim as his leather based form was made to resemble him. However, over the years, Father had been evolving himself as he sought to become the perfect being. Within his human form, he was able to extrude a black substance that was able to take a humanoid shape with this having a large maw and numerous eyes over the surface. he also embedded part of his nature that opened into a big black eye within his chamber beneath Central under the Amestrian capital.
Fathers goal was to understand the world's knowledge and experience it. He believed that there was nothing wrong with seeking perfection and believed nothing was wrong with craving knowledge. He felt that this was the ultimate freedom and one thing he desired to be outside his flask. During his initial form, he was stated to be so full of life and spirit to the point of being a vibrant being. He was noted to had been arrogant who scoffed at the notion of community and family. Despite this being the case, family was something he wanted the most and he wanted this quality of humanity. Father would later stated that no part of him that wished to lower itself to mankinds level and instead he wished to become a far more perfect being. His ultimate plan was to access Truth and intended to turn the entire planet into a massive portal to enter that realm. He intended to drag this 'god' down to Earth and absorb its power to become the ultimate being in the process. According to Father, he felt that the planet itself was a living being or more akin to a giant nervous system and repository of knowledge. Father was confused when he confronted Truth on why 'god' refused to join with him. Truth told him that Father had never grown from his days in the flask and that he had been boastful in his existence which was why he had to face the truth of his despair..
After the creation of the Homunculi, he treated them as his children and had them call him Father. Each of his homonculi were part of his being and he claimed that they were his children. Father seemingly showed to be somewhat protective of the Homunculi and regarded these creations as his own children and went so far as to reabsorb Gluttony when his Stone was nearly depleted, recreating him with all his original memories intact. This is believed by Hohenheim to be his attempt at creating a family. He did not like his children fighting one another with him noting such nonsense as ugly behavior and wanted sibling rivalries resolved. Pride was said to be his strongest trait and spent considerable time and effort to give this homonculi his original appearance showed how egotistical he was in his personality. This was to the point that he offered Greed to join him again. When Greed refused, Father said he had no choice but to destroy Greeds body and reabsorb him into his own form. Father stated that he was familiar with the feelings that his Homunculi had such as Greeds avarice as these were traits of his own personality. He told Greed that any feelings such as attaining ultimate power first came to Father. Hohenheim stated that the Homunculi that represented the Seven Deadly Sins were important as understanding them meant understanding humanity. This, it was said that he had cast aside his emotions as a result. Furthermore, despite their loyalty, Father showed no such love for the Homunculi such as when he worked Pride to the point that his body began to breakdown and abandoned him to achieve his own goals. Similarly, with Greed he was ready to destroy in order to claim his Philosopher's Stone in order to maintain his own power.
He compared his view of humanity to that of a humans view of an ant. Father believed in utility and that mankind was a resource to be exploited. As such, he cared little about human life and had those humans of no value to him killed. When Edward and Alphonse Elric first meet Father, he was shown to have treated their wounds and even engage them in conversation after learning their relation to Hohenheim. However, Father was quick to dismiss and order the death of Ling before he reconsidered the use of this "valuable human resource". He did not believe that the Philosophers Stone did not have individual souls but that they had been turned into mere energy. Edward Elric, postulated that Father masterminded the creation of the State for the express purpose of bringing his plans to fruition.
Powers and abilities
Due to his nature, Father's core was composed of a Philosopher's Stone that had a great deal of power derived from the souls of people from Xerxes. As with all Philosopher's Stone, it ultimately had a finite source of energy and could be exhausted thus depriving him of his power. However, with it, he was able to conduct acts far above that of a normal human or alchemist. This included being able to regenerate from his wounds and it also made him immortal. Damage made to his form regenerated in a matter of moments and did not harm him greatly. One factor was that he had evolved himself over the centuries. As such, despite his human form, he was able to leave his human container where he took the form of a black liquid that could shape itself into a human form. Father had actually embedded himself deeply into structures such as his chamber underneath Central that he described as being his stomach and manifested a large eye. As a homunculi, Father had great alchemical powers allowing him to transmutate other objects or people. This included the standard abilities of manipulating the environment around him or fashioning weapons from his own body such as a gun. He was also able to heal wounds of others such as broken arms and ribs with a simple touch. Father was able to do this without the need of either a transmutation circle or gestures. Furthermore, he was able to bypass the law of equivalent exchange by utilizing the accumulated energy of his own body. Thus was shown when he reforged Alphonse Elrics armored hand and yet not use the Metal within his body but rather to create a new hand. He was able to also disrupt the ability of Amestrian alchemists from using their abilities but this did not affect foreign alchemy styles such as those used at Xing.
Each of the homunculi were created from his being and he was able to create a new secrete a new Philosopher's Stone from his being. Such a process was used to recreate Greed after Father had absorbed him. The new Greed lacked the memories of the older one that was referred to as Fathers previous avarice before the new one. His knowledge meant he was able to capture the souls of individuals in order to transform them into Philosopher Stones.
At his height, he managed to attain the power of Truth making him effectively a god-like being. With this power, he was able to create miniature subs from his hands against his enemies. However, this great power required a Philosopher Stone with the souls of an entire nation such as Amestris. Among the numerous abilities he demonstrated was creating various forms of energy blasts with some able to achieve mass destruction over an entire area. Other powers included manipulating the weather allowing him to create tornados or even a miniature sun in his hands. Furthermore, he was able to surround himself in barriers to better protect himself. Without Truth's power, he was unable to maintain the god-like power he had stolen.
- Father waa voiced by actor Iemasa Kayumi and by English actor Kent Williams in the dubbed series.
- In the first anime adaptation, the character did not appear and was instead replaced with Dante who never appeared in the Manga.
- Fullmetal Alchemist: