- "Right and wrong does not define who we are as a human being. It's our ability to help those in need and seek out help when we need it most."
- —Raiden Hataru
Raiden Hataru (は樽 雷電 Hataru Raiden) is a 1st year student at the IS Academy and the main protagonist of Lion Heart: Vengeance of a God and Kingslayer: He Who Brings Order Through Chaos. A survivor from Phantom Task's cruel experiments and blind completely, Raiden enters the Academy as the 2nd male IS pilot to seek salvation for his sins.
Raiden is a tall and scarred muscular man with long silver hair reaching to the tip of his shoulders. The most prominent scars are his arms, neck, and ankles from his chains, a spot on his right hip that was a slash mark from a knife, two bullet wounds on his left thigh and right palm, and a never-ending amount of all the scars and bruises he has obtained in the past. The biggest one is on his chest that is in the picture of a small sun as a result of Laura's saber going through him. With his left arm amputated after a severe injury, he wears a cybernetic arm with state of the art technology courtesy of the CIA's cutting edge technology to act as a real life arm complete with a synthetic nerve system connected to the brain, CMT synthetic muscle fiber, adamantium metal bone structure, and synthetic plasma blood. It was later restored as a fully fleshed arm. Inside of his body though are cybernetic augmentations and nanomachines as a result of Project Akuruka situated on his skeleton, the mechanical parts augmented on his lower spine, pelvis, fibula, tibia, tarsus, and sternum.
He wears the IS Academy uniform with a gray leather trench coat that is only zipped down halfway, black gloves, and black shoes. His IS training suit is similar to Ichika's but covers the entire abdominal area. He carries with him a large iron tessen used for self-defense when not in an IS, along with an M9 Beretta holstered on his right hip and a small flask of sake. He also carries in his pocket a silver chained locket with a picture of his mentor Akane which plays music when opened.
Raiden wears a large black blindfold around his eyes so as to cover up the scars that were given unto him. Although blind, Raiden surprisingly knows where he walks and whom he speaks to given his improvised senses of sound and smell. After waking up from his slumber, his eyes were restored which had a blue color and fading scars across them.
In his casual appearance on weekends or vacations, Raiden most often wears a black leather bomber jacket with a fur trim collar and a v-neck white shirt, black pants with two interconnecting belts, and black boots and gloves. Cuffs of lion fur are decorated on the neck, wrists, and right waist to give it a more lion-like impression. He wears a silver chain necklace with a lion pendant, a matching ring, and a lion belt buckle. Without the bomber jacket, he sometimes wears a sleeveless black tank top with fingerless gloves and a chain is wrapped around his left arm. As an adult, Raiden keeps the same appearance but is a little bit taller.
Raiden is a victim who carries a great weight of pain in his heart. Seeing his parents killed by Phantom Task scarred him immensely as it was the last thing he saw before losing his eye sight. After suffering at the hands of being an experiment for Phantom Task and of being molested as a young boy along with being a pet toy of Squall Meusel, Raiden was unable to shake off the memory of those dark times. Because of this, he sought to escape from any involvement regarding the IS which is why he applied for the Marines and the CIA. He claims himself to be a coward and pathetic as he felt extremely weak and unable to do anything.
Since then, Raiden has developed a semi case of Post Traumatic Stress disorder that compels him to throw down his life for the ones he cares most. He is willing to take the fatal hits for anyone, stranger or not, so that they may live another day whether he is in an IS or not. This selfless sacrifice however has often come into verbal conflict with his fellow students and teachers, especially Chifuyu Orimura, as they constantly tell him that his parents' death was not his fault and that his life is more precious than he realizes. He is not stupid to the point of suicide in that he feels neglected and pushed aside but still struggles against his demons on how vulnerable he was as a child.
Since his parents' death, his loss of sight, and of losing Akane Fujimoto, Raiden has developed a fear of losing the feelings of comfort loved-ones provide. Raiden initially did not believe in relying on others, as friends and family are inevitably lost and in the end he will be alone in end. He later comes to rethink his thoughts in life when he falls in love with Houki, Charlotte, and Tatenashi respectively and comes to accept the support and friendship of his friends, especially Chifuyu, becoming more social and understanding that everyone at the Academy wanted to help him, more than ever.
When one gets to know Raiden, he is patient, kind, mature, calm, and charismatic. He is honest with his thinking, especially in situations deemed indecent, but he is not honest about his life that he deems sensitive. He is willing to accept help from anyone provided that it does not become a burden as he feels that the path he walks is one he must take alone. Raiden is also very obedient as he complies with his superior's commands without any second thoughts, questions, or hesitation; not willing to shrink from what he considers his responsibility. He is loyal and friendly only to those whom he could trust. He begins to open up and socialize more after seeing how far the people who care for him are willing to go to help him recover from his traumatic past. He is very protective of the people he cares for, especially with his family, going so far as to seal himself away selflessly.
Despite his kindness and compassion, he will kill those who dare to threaten his family or friends. This in turn stirs the Kingslayer inside of him and words would be pointless to stop him. Everyone, even women and children, will be killed as long as he reaches his target. Raiden executes his enemies without mercy though it makes him regret it later on.
Raiden is aware of the feelings the girls hold for him to which he acknowledges and accepts but doesn't usually respond back, at least publicly since he and the girls agreed to keep it a secret given his intimate moments with them separately. He too feels the same feelings that the girls hold for him but initially concealed it as he fears of losing them just like how he lost his parents and Akane. He doesn't mind if one girl holds his hand or arm or hugs him from behind or even getting teased so much. He also does not mind if he ends up having sex with them. Strangely enough, he knows how to make girls "feel good", a fact his mentor Akane Fujimoto learned too late in that she "created a monster". Some say that he likes to be a little rough around women, especially in bed but that is only imagined by his Mentor Akane. However, he gets somewhat annoyed by the fact the girls argue over him for various of reasons, as he tries to diffuse the situation calmly but gets shot down immediately.
Houki Shinonono: One of the only girls in the Academy whom he trusts and personally feels more attached to, Raiden first met Houki Shinonono at the dojo club at the Academy when the former was practicing Iaido despite the two being in the same class. Since then, the two had remained friends because of their friendship with Ichika but Houki began to watch Raiden more and more. As time passed, Houki felt more drawn to him than Ichika and came to care for Raiden greatly, which was first demonstrated when Raiden protected Houki from the first Golem's attack, at the cost of being injured in the process to which Houki saw him being brutally wounded and ending up in the infirmary. It was then after finding him outside the dojo in the rain still injured that Houki learned part of his origins and of his blindness and comforted him, changing her completely. She was even more shocked when she uncovered all of Raiden's past with everyone else. Overtime, Houki came to care more and more for Raiden, unintentionally falling in love with him rather than Ichika due to his mature, honest, and kind personality along with his will to protect anyone he cares most for, something she admires most. Whenever Raiden felt down or depressed, she was the first to give him some comfort and assurance, which made Raiden fall in love with her and that her eye color reminded him much of his former mentor Akane's.
After witnessing to her horror of the true monster inside Raiden and of how he was suffering much of his past because of it, Houki vowed to protect Raiden from harm and give him a better life, which is why she wanted her IS, Akatsubaki, to match Lion Heart in terms of performance and power. The Silver Gospel incident only brought them closer than ever to where they shared their first kiss and, in the second term of their first year, she became the last girl to have had sex. Their relationship became officially public during their last year. She is the first and only girl (aside from Chifuyu) in the Academy to look at Raiden's scarred eyes.
Charlotte Dunois: Another of the few girls that Raiden trusts, the two of them actually met each other at France years ago when they were just kids at a local park. The two of them instantly became friends but their time together would only be a short one given that Raiden had to leave for Japan but he made a promise to her that they will see each other again.
Years later, when Charlotte entered the Academy disguised as a boy, she found Raiden and was shocked to see him again given his new look. However over time, she became worried because of his memory loss and of his initial melancholic attitude. Given that her mission from her father was to spy on both Ichika and Raiden and their IS's (mainly the latter), she carefully watched over her childhood friend, even after revealing her gender, and often came to his aid, even when injured. She was surprised to hear that Raiden knew of her real gender and identity yet decided to keep it to himself for her sake and was even more surprised to find out that he had recovered his memories of his time in France, especially with Charlotte, making her break down in tears. After overhearing her story of what she did and why, Raiden decided to look after Charlotte for her sake and to catch up with her. Charlotte later confesses that ever since their time in France, she fell in love with Raiden due to his kindness and maturity yet recognizes Houki, and eventually Tatenashi, as her rivals for Raiden to which she accepts wholeheartedly without any issues whatsoever, unless Raiden does not pay attention to her well enough. All that she wants for Raiden is to have a happy life and she would do whatever it takes to make him happy, even if she must ally with her rivals to do so. She was the second girl to have had sex with Raiden.
Tatenashi Sarashiki: The student council president was assigned to watch over Raiden because of his depression by personal orders from Chifuyu Orimura, knowing that Raiden has not changed since his parents' murder and that she wants him to feel safe and comfortable at the Academy. Informed of this and having read the report of his parents' murder and of his time at the orphanage before disappearing off the map, Tatenashi became Raiden's roommate for the first year, unknown to most of everyone until the 2nd semester. Every day, Raiden would wake up with Tatenashi on his bed, which he never really minded. Raiden was, at first, wary of Tatenashi due to her mysterious nature but complied to live with her as her roommate. Overtime, he started to trust her due to her dedication to protect him and help him in his depression despite her teases and advances before falling in love with her. Tatenashi did everything she could in an attempt to instill some happiness into the blind boy and she succeeded little by little. During this time, Tatenashi fell in love with him because of how patient he was with her since she was a teaser and all and the fact that him being with her gave him another chance at life, much to her surprise. She is willing to share Raiden with Houki and Charlotte but still desires to keep the blind boy all to herself and was the first to have sexual intercourse with Raiden. When she heard of Squall's history with Raiden, Tatenashi became shocked and angered that Squall had caused the one person she loved immense pain for eight years, hence the reason for his suffering.
Chifuyu Orimura: With a history of eight years, Chifuyu treats Raiden as a younger brother but with more sisterly affection. Knowing that the 2nd male pilot is the same young boy she rescued eight years ago, she keeps a watchful eye on him during his time at the Academy because although she doesn't show it, she worries for him constantly, as he had not changed since the loss of his sight and of his parents' death. The event and sight of a young boy whose eyes were sliced to the point of blindness scarred Chifuyu immensely, as it was a memory she would never forget and sometimes gives her nightmares about it. She regrets sending Raiden to the orphanage as she read the report of how he was constantly alone, being bullied and all by the kids for his blindness. But she knew that she couldn't take care of Raiden at the same time as being an IS pilot and taking care of Ichika, much to her frustration. She was further heartbroken when she learned that Raiden was taken by a disguised member of Phantom Task to an unknown location before reuniting with him eight years later at the IS Academy. She had intended on taking care of him properly this time. She can get extremely worried should Raiden be in a drastic and life-threatening situation, but that occurs very rarely.
She, like everyone else, does not like it when Raiden throws himself in the line of fire to save someone from a fatal attack. As a foster sister figure, she does not want lose him again; as a teacher, she reprimands him for such reckless action. Raiden, with a personal request from Chifuyu, is the only student to call her by her first name during private conversations or after school. Although she can still teach and train harshly on him, Raiden doesn't mind as he acknowledges and trusts her to be doing her best as her personal student. The two are extremely close to one another as Chifuyu is not willing to give up Raiden just yet to a girl who has feelings for him, such as Houki or Charlotte, but for good reason as his foster older sister. Since his arrival to the Academy, Chifuyu was always helping Raiden from behind the scenes, such as rooming him with Tatenashi to help him recover from his past or "accepting" his reasons not to be a class representative because she wanted him to feel safe and get comfortable at the Academy first. After hearing of how Raiden was the one who killed Chifuyu and Ichika’s abandoned parents, she didn’t blame him considering he was under Phantom Task’s thrall at the time.
Akane Fujimoto: A former US Marine who's reputation was highly respected among the Corps and one of the famed top agents of the CIA, Akane found Raiden in his prison when he was held captive by Phantom Task and the sight of him changed her for life. As such, she decided to take him in as his legal guardian and live with her in Yamanashi. From there, Akane raised and trained Raiden strictly and harshly, instilling her moral values and teachings into his head, but treated him with great care and affection, even going so far as to have sexual intercourse with him to teach him about womanizing, which became a great help to him in the Academy. She was able to calm down the monster dwelling inside Raiden and trained him on how to control it by instilling emotion back into him. It was she that sent Raiden to the US Marines in order to learn how to fight in close quarter combat on her authority as a former member of the US Marines. When she heard that Raiden became the 2nd male IS pilot, she acknowledged that she has done what she could for Raiden and that it was up to him to decide his fate from now on without her to guide the way. Afterwards, Akane had died of a failed heart that she endured from a poison in her system from one of her past missions. She was cremated and buried near where she lived alongside Jane, a border collie dog unit that belonged to Raiden before dying of old age. Her childhood friend, Miriam Walker, took over the cabin where the three lived and kept a watchful eye on Raiden. All of Akane's finances, along with her military/CIA ID, were then transported under Raiden's name, which earned him a grand fortune, as a "last gift" to him, according to Miriam. During his time at the Academy, Raiden often saw Akane's ghost who served as a sort of spiritual counselor to him during his times of solitude and reflection. Raiden never saw her as a mother figure nor a sister figure, but more of a mentor.
Miriam "Miri" Walker: An American childhood friend to Akane Fujimoto and a CIA intelligence officer, Miriam was Raiden's second guardian, who had a lot of doubts initially that Raiden would recover considering of his blindness and of his scarred past, not to mention of his parents' involvement with the IS and of what he had experienced at the hands of Phantom Task. Together with Akane, she became a supervisor as part of the deal by their superiors. She was also the second woman who, unwillingly, had sexual intercourse with Raiden; mainly because it was an order by Akane to take a drunk Miriam to bed with him in order to "nurse" her. After Akane died, Miriam decided to look after the cabin as Raiden went to the IS Academy and was enrolled as his current guardian. Miriam kept from time to time an eye on Raiden to make sure he was doing well but trusted the students and teachers, especially Chifuyu Orimura, to take care and watch over him. She trusts Raiden in what he is doing in his operations, even if the methods that he uses don't exactly go along protocol rules to which she, to her annoyance, has to get the short end of the stick and explain it all to her superiors and to the media.
Squall Meusel: The leader of Phantom Task is Raiden's personal enemy as she reveals to be the one who picked him up from the orphanage to take to her compound where she personally trained him and took care of him. She gave him plenty of food, water, and shelter but was ultimately a pet and play toy of hers in the end, becoming somewhat a pedophile to him before it turned into somewhat an obsession. An example of it is when she allowed Raiden to sit on her lap, only for her to harass him, even going so far as to nibble his ear lobe or breast feed him. She was also one of the girls who sexually molested Raiden during his time as Phantom Task's prisoner/experiment as she had become attached to the blind boy, to the jealousy of Autumn who would often go in Raiden's cell and beat him to a bloody pulp. Raiden often addressed Squall as "Mistress", to which he still does to this day. Before then, however, it is revealed that Squall, who disguised herself as Konomi Tsuhara as an old acquaintance of Raiden's mother, met Raiden as a six-year old boy and gave him a piece of chocolate, making the encounter memorable for her as she couldn't let go of the boy in her mind, sending strange glances in his direction every time she came over to his parents' house. After the murdering of his parents by Autumn, Squall tracked Raiden down to the orphanage and took him in for a time. Having found out that Raiden is the 2nd male IS pilot at the IS Academy, she has personally plotted to retrieve him back not only for being the only successful experiment of Project Akuruka on her superior's orders but also to claim what she believes is rightfully hers and would go by any means necessary to bring him back to her. Raiden in turn does not particularly hate nor like Squall and doesn't blame her for what she did to him as a child, but nonetheless wants to prove that that as her student, he has surpassed her.
Madoka Orimura: The two of them met when they were children in Phantom Task and grew to become close friends, almost like siblings and more. They attended the same terrorist school in Siberia that was run by Squall and envisioned a better world through the IS. Both Madoka and Raiden were the most well-known and most-skilled trainees and were often pitted to fight against each other in duels. Madoka didn't seem to care much for Raiden as the two were evenly matched initially but over time, the two of them bonded and became close friends as they had a lot in common, being more than just close friends. She let slip of her past to Raiden, in which she reveals she wants revenge on her sister Chifuyu for "abandoning" her and "favoring" her twin brother instead.
But as Project Akuruka advanced for Raiden, she developed nothing but hatred for her humiliation and jealousy of Raiden being in favor with her higher-ups, Squall included. Their last mission together would be the murdering of Madoka’s abandoned parents. She then spitefully severed all times with Raiden when he was rescued by the CIA. Although she slightly respects, if not fears, Raiden due to his skill and heartlessness in combat, she regards him as the only obstacle to stand in her way to killing Ichika and Chifuyu and also wants personal payback for her humiliation. She had thought she accomplished that when Phantom Task attacked during the attack in Kyoto as Madoka attempted to kill Ichika, only for Raiden to take the fatal hit and later to see Raiden revived and in a new form and struck down by him, deepening her hatred for him. Her hatred was so deep that she disregarded her siblings and focused on killing Raiden by any means necessary. She would achieve anything and sacrifice everything to match herself to Raiden in terms of power, to which she succeeded after drinking a vial of his blood which gave her the power of the Akuruka. Madoka also doesn't accept the fact that Raiden is seen as a younger sibling in Chifuyu's eyes despite their history, thinking that she had been replaced by what she calls a broken shell. Despite this hatred, Madoka still considers Raiden an old friend/partner and a worthy opponent. In Raiden's perspective, he once considered Madoka to be his surrogate sister before she became a warmonger.
Infinite Stratos & Abilities
In terms of IS knowledge and piloting, his skills are one of the best, hence why he was placed as the Vice-President of the IS Academy Student Council at Tatenashi's request. Despite his IS Lion Heart being a 2.5 Generation prototype, Raiden has adapted to its functionality and performance. Using good tactical thinking, Raiden is able to overcome his opponents easily but that does not mean he is all powerful nor invincible. Sometimes he can miscalculate and make mistakes but he uses those mistakes to his advantage for him to come up with alternatives.
Raiden is trained in close quarter combat fighting by the US Marines and by the CIA and has an expert handling and accuracy on range weaponry, mainly pistols and sniper rifles. He was also given a gift that originally belonged to his mentor Akane, which was a huge black case containing an M24-SWS sniper that can fire 250 METI registered NATO rounds. He carries with him an M9 Beretta holstered on his side and an iron tessen fan.
For being blind, Raiden can sense where he is going and knows whom he is talking to. He can stitch up his own wounds should he have a bloody gash. He can even play piano very well. He explains that he trained his senses of hearing, touch, and smell to the point of superhuman. He is also a motorcyclist, using his own Black 2016 Kawasaki Ninja R 650 ABS Sports Motorbike that he inherited from Akane Fujimoto.
Raiden is also an expert at gathering intelligence from the shadows or in disguise with great hearing and taking out enemies quietly and efficiently with what he has available to him. Whatever situation he is in, he uses whatever materials he can around him to make something work. He excels well in tactics, especially against such strong opponents, with or without an IS.
Born and raised Japanese, Raiden specializes in a few languages such as French, English, and Mandarin and is very fluent in all three. He also has developed somewhat a high tolerance for alcohol, mainly sake. He exercises everyday as he runs each morning and each evening, with an occasion to do some basketball if given the opportunity along with some strangers who are willing to join him.
Raiden was born to Azumi Hataru and an unknown father, respectfully being one of its many test pilots and a top IS engineer and scientist. At the age of eight, Raiden watched as both of his parents were killed by an IS pilot (which was later revealed to be Autumn), an event that scarred him emotionally and psychologically for life. The last thing he saw were the dead bodies of his parents and the flames of his house before having his eyes sliced by the pilot, blinding him permanently. His life would've ended had it not been for another IS pilot, Chifuyu Orimura, who fended off his attacker and saved Raiden.
Raiden was later put into an orphanage and lived there for one month, where he grew up hated and bullied by a majority of the kids. He had barely eaten and barely slept and most of the time sat alone, scarred by his past.
Raiden was then picked up by Squall Meusel, who went by the name of Konomi Tsuhara in Japan and was an old acquaintance of his mother. For two years, he was held captive by Phantom Task and became one of the many test subjects of Project Akuruka. Project Akuruka was formed when Phantom Task uncovered the fossilized remains of an unknown yet powerful mystical creature deep beneath Mongolia, called the Kingslayer, and extracted its DNA in an effort to reverse-engineer its power used for the sole purpose of the IS. Phantom Task performed experiments on Raiden by inducing him with cybernetics and drugs/nanomachines called Hydra 48, created from the spliced DNA of the creature, in an effort to create the first male IS pilot supersoldier. While they had many other male subjects, about 99.9% of them were deemed failures. Raiden was the only one to have been a successful test subject. During his time as their prisoner/experiment, Raiden was tortured, harassed, and even sexually molested by the other girls who were the IS pilots of Phantom Task.
Soon afterwards, Raiden was transferred over to a terrorist training camp in Siberia as part of Project Akuruka in order to perfect his skills. It was at this time he met Madoka Orimura and became close friends with her. He was trained and pitted to fight against IS pilots and other test subjects to adapt to the effects of Hydra 48 to become the ultimate killing machine. At the same time, he was sent on assassination missions to remove any people with the potential to destroy Phantom Task whether they were politicians, businessmen, IS pilots, or even the unknown. Raiden would eventually attract the attention of the CIA, who began to identify him as S.B. 01, short for Silver Bolt 01. They were unable to locate and track Raiden because of the evidence that he destroys to cover his tracks. Miriam Walker, then a new initiate of the CIA, would eventually be given the assignment of tracking down S.B. 01.
A joint CIA-MI6 IS operation was carried out when they attacked the compound that Raiden was held at. Their mission officially was to eliminate this compound which contained volatile experiments for IS purposes only and that it had to be shut down. It was then that Raiden met his guardian and caretaker, Akane Fujimoto, who happened to be part of the operation where she discovered him in his cell and took him in to raise him.
Akane Fujimoto took Raiden in and raised him in her mountain cabin in Yamanashi, alongside Miriam Walker. At the time Raiden was found, he was severely malnourished, dehydrated, feverish, bloodied, and on the verge of death. Despite Hydra 48 keeping him somewhat alive, it took him three to four months in the hospital for him to fully recover physically. Akane had managed to instill back his emotions and passed on her moral teachings. He was also taught the simple ways of living and how to see without the use of his damaged eyes, whether it be through hunting, cooking, fighting, bathing, etc. At some point, Raiden went to America and trained in the US Marines in a personal effort to escape from the IS and to take the path of his mentor, who was former Marine Corp. Raiden eventually earned the rank of 1st lieutenant during his service. For the next six years, Raiden enjoyed a quiet and secluded life with his Mentor before one event changed his life for the better.
Raiden was taken to a remote underground facility to undergo what was presumably an entrance exam for high school. When he arrived, Raiden, to his surprise, was told to activate an IS. Surprised yet compiling to the command of his superiors, Raiden was able to activate the IS with a simple touch, to the surprise of the observers and to himself. This event officially made him the 2nd male IS pilot and he was transferred to the IS Academy, with Chifuyu Orimura as his teacher. This discovery, however, was covered up by the Japanese government as the world was solely focused on the discovery of the first male IS pilot, Ichika Orimura. At this time, Akane had passed away and Raiden was accepted into a full-time job with the CIA, working as one of its top agents.
"What makes you think this is my first time?" -Raiden to Tatenashi upon their first meeting.
"Houki...I never had nor will I ever blame you for what you did. Yes, the operation was your fault but to simply hate you because of that would be pointless. In the end, you became something much stronger even than I. You did what you wanted to do and I am happy for you. So long as you learned and the fact that you are safe, that is more than enough for me." -Raiden comforting Houki before their first kiss.
"Hey, you gave me a chance. A reason to have hope to continue living. Having you with me has made me happy, something I haven't felt for eight years. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be where I am now." -Raiden comforting Tatenashi before they kiss.
"There's something dark in me, Charlotte. And whatever it is, I can honestly say that I am scared, of the reflection it will mirror unto me. Have I truly become...a monster? What am I even doing, knowing only vengeance?" -Raiden to Charlotte.
"Kanzashi, in any case, do yourself a favor. Put aside logic, do what feels right." -Raiden advising Kanzashi to come out of her hiding zone.
"Akane was not a father to me, nor a sister, and not even a mother. That's why if I had to define her, she was my 'mentor.'" -Raiden describing his late mentor to Houki.
- Raiden's hobbies are running, basketball, and piano as he is quite a good singer
- Raiden is influenced by many characters from past anime; primarily Squall Leonhart from FFVIII, Kazami Yuuji from Fruit of Grisaia, and Hakuoro from Utawarerumono
- Raiden believes in the philosophy that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, hence he sometimes makes extreme choices that often end in great cost