Suspicious characters are suspicious. Suspicious journalists are something else entirely. He first appeared briefly in 3rd, and has since made another appearance that didn’t help his situation in being suspicious!
I’ve been extremely suspicious of this journalist since his first appearance in 3rd- but I’m glad to know that I’m not alone. In fact, I’m quite pleased to know that I’m not the only one who has made, and believes some of the things stated on a Japanese wiki. So instead of compiling everything I see, much of this will be translated from here, (Guan has translated it here) though I will also interject many personal anecdotes in this as well.
Note, there are MAJOR Ao no Kiseki spoilers in this post!
The link above suspects that Nielsen is with the Ouroboros, plain and simple. In fact, not only with the Ouroboros, but even perhaps one of the Anguis. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s start at the beginning.
Who IS Nielsen?
Marcel Nielsen is a world famous blind freelance journalist that originally worked with the Crossbell Times. In 11/1192, he won the Fulitzer Award for exceptional coverage of Erebonia’s invasion of Liberl during the Hundred Days War. Before the death of Guy Bannings, the two were friends, and often exchanged information. He has amazing deductive and research skills, and if you follow his hidden quests throughout Ao no Kiseki, it’s fully possible to have the information to solve most of Crossbell’s mysteries with what he gives Lloyd and the rest of the SSS.
Nielsen’s first appearance, however, is in 3rd, as Kevin can stumble on him on the Lucitania in the game’s prologue. While in 3rd he was using a generic sprite, they gave him a unique appearance in Ao no Kiseki.
Though the page doesn’t bring up the Lucitania itself, they actually speak of Nielsen’s direct actions. I want to start with the Lucitania personally, however, because it is the first place he showed up.
When Kevin gets to the vault in the Lucitania, it’s very clear that there’s Ouroboros influence at work on the cruiseship, with the vault’s password being ‘ORPHEUS.’ (Calling back to the Orpheus Project that was started by the Ouroboros immediately as SC ended- look at Star Door #14.)
What drives me to be as suspicious as I am regarding the character, instead of just being any other NPC, is that he is not only named, but Kevin even makes a comment about him when you choose to listen in on his mumblings about the Lucitania’s engines.
As such, I think this ties into the Nielsen theory setup from Crossbell.
But beyond this, his actions in Crossbell in Ao no Kiseki only make him more suspicious.
To start on everything, Nielsen was a friend to not just Guy, but also Arios and Ian- both of whom were key players in the plan to reset the progression of events in Crossbell.
One of the first points I want to cover is his travels to and from Crossbell. While Nielsen has been in and out of Crossbell several times, there’s some interesting timing to consider. He had returned to Crossbell when Guy Bannings was killed- this was an incident that became instrumental to the project that was being devised there, since Guy was killed for thinking he’d reveal the plans.
He then returns to Crossbell during 1204, when the Crossbell portion of the Phantom Blaze Plan was in full swing.
But when you look at the other situations that have happened in Crossbell- the immensely newsworthy cases of Erebonia and Calvard attempting to pull Crossbell’s power into their hands and so forth? Why was he not available there during this time, when it could be a very newsworthy event to write on? Especially when you consider that his prize came from reporting a conflict.
His sharp perception skills also ‘allowed’ him to determine what KeA was with very little information. …or was it specifically his skills or just information he had before the incidents began to pile on?
We also know that Mariabell and Shirley were recruited into the Ouroboros as of the end of Ao no Kiseki. Interesting coincidence with the recruitment of Leonhardt, Joshua, and Bleublanc during the Hundred Days War- where Nielsen also had a presence. (Though we do know that Weissman had a much bigger hand in the events regarding Leonhardt and Joshua.)
Then there’s everything involving the Tower of Stargaze. It’s his request that puts you to investigating it as an additional quest. ….and it’s also after the investigation he requests when the massive library of books that were once there disappeared.
On the Crossbell information, I’ll leave it with a quote from Guan’s translation:
If he is indeed affiliated with the upper echelons of Ouroboros, he provided the Special Support Section with numerous hints under the pretence of reporting, such as the “ancient oath” of the Holy Beasts and the they to the “treasure” being the “child” giving an “answer” before it.
The Hundred Days War
This won’t be too long, but I just have one thing to say on this particular topic: as I’ve said before, Nielsen was also present during the Hundred Days War. We are definitely aware of the Ouroboros having a presence during the war, too.
This is a nice, coincidental connection.
There is a scene in Ao no Kiseki when the Ouroboros members meet through the Celestial Globe. The individuals involved are the First, Sixth and Seventh Anguis, as well as Campanella. We know who the Sixth (Novartis) and the Seventh (Arianrhod) are. So our mystery individual is the First Anguis.
In Ao no Kiseki Evolution, this character was voiced by Takeshi Kusao. There have been two characters in the Kiseki series that are voiced by this character…. One of them is Marcel Nielsen.
…though the other is Dan Russell. But that opens a completely different can of worms.
Or we can just say that the voice actor is a red herring and has no bearing to this at all!
…but that doesn’t mean that Nielsen isn’t suspicious.