"The stars... They grow dim... Visions of a future beset with chaos... A great swell of dark and light which swallows all..."
—Desna, Azure Striker Gunvolt 2
Desna, "The Starstruck Beauty", also known in Japan as "Towering Blonde", Nike (塔上の美髪天 (タワーリングブロンド) ニケー, tawaaringu burondo, Nikee; Towering Blonde translating to "Tower's Beautifully Haired Angel") is a member of Eden's "The Seven" and one of the antagonists of Azure Striker Gunvolt 2.
She is an astrologist who joined Eden under the pretense of being an oracle of the stars and has become highly revered for her accurate fortune telling. She has an affinity for the Septima Splitting Ends (タングルヘア, Tangle Hair), which allows her to control an endless supply of phantasmagorical hair.
She's an adept who possesses the "Splitting Ends" Septima which allows her to control the seemingly limitless supply of phantasmagorical hair.
A rather enigmatic girl, she loves astrology and joined up with Eden under the pretense of being an oracle of the stars. She has incredibly high level accuracy with her fortune telling, so much so that many members of Eden revere her like an idol, oftentimes going so far so to refer to her as a goddess.
She does not look at herself in this manner at times, though.
She’s a Psychic with the “Tangle Hair” Ability: she can control her phantasmagoric hair.
She’s an odd girl: one of her hobbies is astrology. She says that she received “a message from the stars,” and thus joined Eden. Her words are elusive. Her fortune-telling tends to be true a lot of times.
It’d seem there are a lot of Eden members that accept her oracles as divine revelations. Some worship her like an idol, but Nike herself isn’t aware of this.
Desna is a teenager with long brown hair and green eyes. She wears an orange sweater dress made of wool, with a black and white short sleeved jacket on top. She also wears multiple purple wrist bands, two on each wrist, and a black belt with a silver buckle in an lemniscate shape.
In her Grimoired form, Desna gains black eyes with bright yellow irises, with thin, matching hair. She wears slender black and gray armour, with yellow areas on her cleavage, neck, and feet. She also gains a large hoop attached to the back of her head, which sprouts four long, ribbon-like pieces of hair.
Desna is one of the more mysterious members of The Seven. She always has an unnervingly calm air about her, and speaks in a soft, knowing voice which rarely shows any emotion. As one of Eden's elite, Desna is unflinching in her loyalty to Zonda, and takes her role as her protector very seriously.
Desna also has a great love for fortunes and astrology, being quite skilled in both subjects and having an incredibly high accuracy rate, enough for the members of Eden to regard her as a Goddess, something she doesn't see herself as or is even aware of.
Desna once belonged to a wealthy Russian family, where she was adored for her beauty and precise astrological predictions. However, a riot broke out in her home town lead by an Adept, resulting in discrimination against those with Septima. Fearing for her safety, Desna's family confined her to her house.
However, she interpreted a message from the stars telling her to travel the world and act as a guide to oppressed Adepts. Taking the message to heart, she used her Septima to flee from her window, and from that point onwards roamed the land, guiding the lost and oppressed, amassing quite the following, whom came to see her as a Goddess.
Once, whilst sleeping in a stable, Desna saw a message in her dreams, telling her to join the adept union Eden and save Adepts. Desna and her followers then joined the group after that, with Desna herself joining The Seven, Eden's elite, and became known as one of Eden's "Rooks".
Some time after Eden managed to obtain the power of the Muse, Desna led a band of Eden soldiers to Babel, Sumeragi's Orbital Elevator, to obtain more data on the Muse, using her hair as makeshift electrical cords to power some of the machinery (and to act as ramps to allow her men to climb up as well).
This draws the attention of Copen, who goes to the tower to stop her and obtain her mirror shard. During their fight, Desna attempts to warn Copen that his quest for vengeance will lead only to abject misery and that he will take with him all that he holds dear, but Copen will hear none of her fortunes and defeats her, claiming her mirror shard.
The Garden 3 (Savior)
As Copen fights his way to the heart of the garden to rescue his sister Mytyl, Zonda summons mirror copies of The Seven to hinder his progress, one of them being Desna. During their fight, Desna expresses worry about the future, foreseeing "a great swell of light and dark that swallows all". Copen ignores her prophecies and defeats her once again before moving on.
Later, during Zonda's fight with Copen, she uses her Eden's Presence Special Skill to summon illusions of The Seven to aid her, Desna being among them.
The Garden 1 (Eden)
As Gunvolt fights his way to the heart of the Garden to reclaim the rest of the mirror shards, Tenjian sends Desna to stop him.
Desna taunts Gunvolt, calling him a devil whose very existence brings pain to the world with no regard for order. Gunvolt merely retorts that even if he is a devil, it in no way justifies Eden's actions and engages the Starstruck Beauty in battle, defeating her and claiming her mirror shard.
Powers and Abilities
As a human attuned to the Septimal stage of the Lifewave and a member of The Seven, Desna is one of the strongest Adepts in Eden who wields the Splitting Ends Septima, which allows her to manipulate her seemingly endless supply of hair.
She can extend the length of her hair to seemingly no end and can mold it into a variety of shapes such as hands to grab enemies, a tornado to suck enemies close to her, and more commonly, drills. Her hair can also harden to the point where it surpasses diamond in strength. Desna is also very agile, using her hair as springs to extend the height and length of her jumps. She can also use her hair for more mundane purposes such as creating makeshift electrical cords.
Her hair is a valued commodity among Eden, often serving as a reward for loyal soldiers.
Apart from her Septima, Desna is a skilled fortune teller whose prophecies are highly accurate, earning her a reputation among Eden as a goddess. For instance, she was able to predict that Copen's vendetta against Adepts would lead only to misery for him, a prophecy that would come to fruition at the end of his story.
|Desna jumps out at you, striking once or twice with her hair extended.|
|A long-ranged attack in which she turns some split-off hairs into drills and shoots them towards the player. The hairballs and the drills they form can block tags/bullets. She can transition into this attack from Neo Wolf.|
|She gathers bloated hair around her, makes it spin, and then turns it into a gigantic tornado which pulls you toward it. She’s invincible during this attack (cancels tags and block shots), so focus on dodging it by dashing away.
|An attack in which she makes two jumps, one on your position, and one to either end of the arena. On the second jump, her hair thrusts upwards from the floor in a wave of drills. The drills grow higher as they go further from Desna, so staying close to her is recommended to dodge this attack.
|"Golden locks of hair / Heed the maiden's wish and build / A spire to Heaven! Entangled Strands!"
Desna's Special Skill. It's a large-scale attack in which she stretches hair everywhere and tries to capture the player. She also makes hair drills line the ceiling for those who try to wait it out in the air. If you get caught by the hair, you will be subject to a hair whip tornado that takes up about 4/6ths of the screen. She'll create a tornado anyway even if you don't get caught, it'll just be around your general area. Survivable as long as you don't stand in place and LET the hair whips strike you.
Fuu! Ei! Seyaa!
Hmpf! Hah! There!
Kyah! Pierce him!
はっ！ せいっ！はっ！ 絡めとります…！
Haa! Seii! Haa! Karame torimasu!
Hah! There! Hah! I will entwine you…!
Shuuen no jikan! Entangurudo Sutoranzu!
You are finished! Entangled Strands!
Haa! Hoshi ga tsugemasu…
Hah! The stars announce so…
(If you get caught):
Tsukamae mashita… Hoshi no nageki wo, shirinasai!
Caught you… Get to know the stars’ grief!
Shuuen no jikan!
You are finished!
Hoshi yo! Watashi wo michibiite!
Stars! Guide me!
Hoshi ga… Matataite iru…
The stars… are twinkling…
Hoshi no hikari ga… kieru…
The starlight… is vanishing…!
"I was expecting you. The stars foretold your arrival."
—Desna , greeting Copen
"I will do what is required to keep Zonda safe. My name is Desna... And you will perish by my sacred hand."
—Desna , about to fight Copen
"That is not what I meant. Your life will be forfeit unless you turn back. Your path will lead you to abject misery. And you will take with you all you hold dear."
—Desna , warning Copen of his fate
"Praise be the Oracle Zonda! I have returned! The stars guide me anew, and now show me your true destiny!"
—Desna's copy , greeting Copen
"Ah, Gunvolt. Welcome. I, the Goddess Desna, defend this fortress in The Seven's name. For Zonda, and the sake of our future, I will strike you down!"
—Desna , facing Gunvolt
"The stars whispered to me of your arrival, Adept. The stars see the shadow you cast on Zonda's pure future. Your very existence brings the world to the void's brink. You're a devil bringing pain with no regard for order. You know this to be true."
—Desna , berating Gunvolt
"Winsome nymphs like your Muse have misled others for ages. For the stars sake, I must consign you both to oblivion!"
—Desna , fighting Gunvolt
I remember discussing with Araki-san whether her post-transformation form’s panties section should be a thong or not (laughs).
We thought that, obviously enough, Rapunzel would attack with her hair so we designed (Nike) to have a big back of the head and a lot of hair. The whipping corset-shaped neck armor was put as an idea to explain how the neck supports the weight of the head and as a trait of each boss. Also, that section asides, I also wanted to have a gap, the body below the neck was normal female lines. The draft that Hatakeyama-san gave me back had the back of the head become ring-shaped and it still kept the (character) traits. It was cool and splendid, nothing to complain about. It was a very good lesson.
- The members of Eden are based off classical fairy tales and represent the pieces on a chessboard. Desna is based off Rapunzel and represents one of two rooks, the other being Milas.
- Desna is named after the R-9 Desna, as the members of The Seven are all named after missiles.
- Her Japanese name, "Nike", is derived from Project Nike, a planned US missile program. It is also the same as the Ancient Greek Goddess of victory Nike and reduction of the Russian name Veronike.
- Desna's hair is a precious commodity among Eden troopers. There is a groundless rumour floating among them that those who serve Desna well are awarded a year's supply of hair, something she herself isn't privy to. It's unknown what one would do with such a vast amount of hair, or why anyone would want it.
- According to an official height chart, Desna is 185cm (6'0") tall, making her the tallest female character in the series, tied with Fake Zonda.
- Desna's voice actress, Jenya, is also Russian, perhaps that explained why her English pronunciation is more accurate compared to other characters.
- In early trailers for Azure Striker Gunvolt 2, Desna's Special Skill splash screen used the name "Beat Up Entremets" (as seen in the picture to the right), which is the Japanese name for Asroc's Special Skill, instead of "Entangled Blonde". However, the incantation was the same as in the final version.
It’d seem that… the starlight… doesn’t reach you…”
—Nike ', Japanese Quote ◆“Tower’s Beautifully Haired Angel (Towering Blonde)” Nike