February 28, 2021
… Is that so!? I suppose this is Dyluck’s power! Energy is flowing into you from him, eh!!? Fufufu…With [Dyluck demonstrating his power], it has become all the more necessary that I not let this one out of my grasp!Thanatos at the Northtown Ruins
Dyluck has a dual role in Secret of Mana. On one hand, he’s Purim’s love interest and drives her motivation for joining the quest. But he’s also imbued with a mysterious power that’s alluring to evil. Cut content from the 2018 remake (which we can’t assume is canon) shows that Dyluck was always aware of this power and shunned by others for it, similar to how Randi is shunned for being an outsider. His remake design is similar to Randi as they both come from the same area.
Dyluck is originally from Kippo, and his parents lament that he doesn’t come to see them, probably due to his successful military career, where he’s risen to the rank of Major:
DYLUCK’S MOTHER: My son, Dyluck, is so busy that he doesn’t come back [to visit] for even a little bit. Even though it’s so close…
He seems to be a military prodigy—young (a Japanese magazine lists him as 19), but capable of putting the witch down who’s terrorizing his kingdom:
That’s our commander, Dyluck. Even though he’s young, [his leadership is] reliable.
Even though we might not return from this mission alive, he doesn’t show the slightest reluctance on his face!
This dangerous mission seals his fate. It happens off camera, but the fight with Elinee doesn’t go well, resulting in Dyluck’s entire squad being captured. It’s not known if she senses that Dyluck’s different, but instead of imprisoning him like the others, she sends him to Thanatos. Perhaps she observed that his lifeforce would be a more powerful prize than his companions’.
Randi and friends arrive as she’s transporting him to Thanatos:
PURIM: Dyluck! [Elinee], what on earth did you do!!?
ELINEE: Ka ka ka! …For some reason, that man alone didn’t suffer from my technique [fall under my spell], and so he troubled me! On Master Thanatos’ order, I’ve sent him to the Ancient Ruins in Pandora!
When Randi finds Thanatos with Dyluck in the Ruins, Thanatos senses that he may be the answer to his decaying body:
THANATOS: That Elinee had trouble with him, and even I was somewhat troubled. This man–perhaps he could…fufufu, my interest in him has come to be overflowing!
Thanatos’ interest in him only increases as the game goes on. In fact, it seems that Thanatos is obsessed with Dyluck’s lifeforce to the point that he’s willing to lose all of the others he’s acquired. The explanation for this comes at the end, as Thanatos is about to appropriate him:
THANATOS: Were I to possess an ordinary human, their body, unable to contain my power, would explode. And yet, once in many decades a person bearing the blood of darkness is born…If I possess that person, my power will grow even stronger and larger…Yes! That person is Dyluck! When the power of darkness is sealed into someone at a young age, it seems that, as a reaction, their sense of justice grows profusely stronger.
One interpretation is that while the Empire’s generals had to make a contract with Mavolia to achieve dark power, Dyluck possesses it inherently. But he seems to be a good-natured warrior throughout, and is very popular in Pandora until he’s captured. It’s possible that Dyluck naturally suppressed his power to keep it from evil but at the end of the day, Thanatos was too strong. Once Thanatos’ spirit takes up residence in Dyluck’s body, he somehow sacrifices his physical form which forces Thanatos’ true form out. This means that Thanatos will have to find a new host immediately. Dyluck likely had confidence that Randi could stop him before he became successful. As Randi has “good” Mana power vs. troubled dark power, he’s a foil to Dyluck, and perhaps Dyluck was relieved to have an uncorrupted version of himself watching over Purim.
- In Japanese, Dyluck commands theとうばつたいだ, which translates as, “Suppression Unit/Squad”, and should be capitalized in this case. It implies a special force specifically assembled to put down an uprising or a rebellion. An example is the specially-formed Japanese military groups dispatched to hunt down “bandits” in parts of the Chinese countryside during WWII.
- Dyluck’s Japanese name is, “Dirac.” Given the many French influences on Secret of Mana, this is possibly a reference to Paul Dirac.
- In the Japanese versions of Secret of Mana and other games in the series, Mavolia is known as “Makai”, “demon world.” This was translated as “underworld” in the SNES version of Secret of Mana, but later localizations in the series use the name Mavolia, including the 2018 remake.