The King is the ruler of the Island where Dead Cells takes place. He is the main antagonist of the game, who the Beheaded seeks to kill on their journey.
After the Malaise appeared, the King decided to isolate, imprison, and execute those suspected of being infected in order to stop the epidemic. None of his actions worked. Instead they caused rebellions and insurgencies, but eventually the Malaise tore them down as well before they could overthrow the king, who was rendered powerless by the Malaise killing almost everyone on the island.
- For the statue in the Promenade of the Condemned, the Beheaded wonders how he can see with his helmet covering his face.
- Close to this statue and in other areas of the island, there can sometimes be another, desecrated statue. . A cow head lies beside it, emblazoned with the King's coat of arms, which shows that some citizens were violently opposed to the King's policies.
- Another statue in the Stilt Village depicts the King with his Hand. The Beheaded remarks that the Hand of the King's statue is big, maybe even a little too big. Ironically, the actual Hand of the King is even bigger than what the statue depicts.
- In a different instance, those same statues of the King and his Hand appear vandalized with fishnets and graffiti denouncing the King's lies and demanding his death. It seems the villagers revolted after they realized what was happening to them.
Orders of the King
All over the island, the Beheaded finds a variety of orders written by the King. Most of these relate to the imprisonment and quarantining of criminals, infected or plain innocent people. Some of them are direct orders to high ranking public officers such as Castaing or The Alchemist.
- In the Stilt Village orders from the King can be found;
Citizens! Anyone behaving strangely or manifesting signs of illness must be reported to the local patrol promptly and without exception.Next to a urinated royal order is a vandalized banner of the King which reads,
The King is kidnapping and burning our children! WAKE UP!
- In the Ramparts and the Promenade, an order from the King reads, "If the cells are overpopulated, use the outdoor jails or the oubliettes. Leave no suspects unsupervised." This shows that the Prisoners' Quarters were becoming full due to the imprisonment of too many people.
- A public order by the King can be found next to hanged prisoners. It orders the imprisonment and execution of all people presenting signs of abnormal behavior or physical appearance, i.e. suspected of infection by the Malaise. A bottom note in brackets adds "(if the prison doctor confirms the diagnosis of infection)", which implies that confirmation is actually not important, and that suspicion of infection is enough proof.
- In the Ramparts, a similar order from the King addressed to his officers can be found.
- Another order by the King warns the soldiers that they would be executed if they refused to obey.
- In Castaing's office in the Prisoners' Quarters, the Beheaded finds a direct, secret order from the King to the prison's warden. The King asks Castaing to stop controlling the entrances to the prison until further notice, which seems to imply unlawful imprisonments and prisoner transfers were taking place on orders of the King.
- A later secret order to Castaing, along with another bribe, scolds him for making the King's orders public. He also instructs him to not let any prisoners leave, even if they have finished serving their time.
- The Giant, a former royal guard member, attempted to warn the King that his actions are leading to the island's ruin. The King refused to listen and ordered the Giant to be executed.
- The Time Keeper was allowed to construct the Clock Tower after securing unspecified terms with the King.
- The King had one of his senior medical advisors executed for unspecified reasons.
- The King dislikes foreign beliefs and religions, leading to him banishing people from the Fractured Shrines. He later created a law that forbade traveling to that location, despite the fact that none wanted to head there.
- To a further extent, he also banished Apostates to the Undying Shores for "unspecified crimes against the crown". He later sent soldiers to raid their hideouts in hopes of getting a remedy for the Alchemist.
When encountered in the Throne Room, the King is completely immobile, not moving even an inch. Besides the protection of the Hand of the King, he is completely defenseless. Even the Beheaded approaching him with the Symmetrical Lance provokes nothing. Once the Beheaded stabs him, the king floats and then proceeds to explode in a wave of power, damaging the nearby area, and disintegrating the Beheaded's body, leaving only his true entity behind and burying it under the wrecked throne's rubble. There is no explanation of why this happens.