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John Hardin

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Everyone lies, surely you know that. Whether they are Dark sorcerers or corrupt clergy, they all lie, and we believe. Am I wrong?
—John Hardin

John Hardin (ジョン・ハーディン, Jon Hādin?) is Sydney Losstarot's second-in-command of Müllenkamp in Vagrant Story. He is a 29-year-old tireless, faithful servant pushed to join the cult after the government betrayed him. Hardin possesses the power of spying on events far away. Though he seems to be a tough man caring only for his safety, he proves himself heartbreakingly gentle by the end of the game. He is loyal to Sydney, and despite a strained relationship, the two consider each other "friends". Hardin is said to have some powers to summon monsters, though it is never shown in game.


Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

Hardin once had a little brother, who was a sickly boy half his age. During the wartime, he worked with a special team that provide weapons to rebels in a neighboring kingdom. This little operation was caught selling the weapons in black market, but none ever admitted to the crime. However, Hardin wanted money and freedom, and betrayed his friends by telling the truth. He was not set free, nevertheless, so Hardin escaped prison on his own, only to find that his brother had died. To get revenge on the government that betrayed him, Hardin joined Müllenkamp.

During the Crimson Blades assault upon the Müllenkamp base of Leá Monde, Hardin tries to persuade Sydney to flee, fearing for both their lives. However, Sydney remains fervent that all is going according to his plan. Hardin pushes onward, forcing Sydney to use his powers of "compulsion" to force Hardin to stop challenging his wisdom. This infuriates Hardin, who promises Sydney that if he ever "compels" him again, they will no longer be allies.

Despite the argument, Sydney gives Hardin the job of overseeing the prisoners, Callo Merlose and the Duke Bardorba's very young son, Joshua. Hardin shows affection to Joshua, though the boy never talks. Callo becomes interested in this odd trait for such a harsh man. When she grows in a Heart-Seer, she uses her powers to pry into Hardin's mind and discover his difficult past. Despite Hardin's extravagant attempt to block his mind, going so far as stabbing himself in the leg, Merlose discovers all of his secrets.

Ciao Hardin

Hardin dies outside Leá Monde.

While moving through the Grand Cathedral, Hardin is caught by the Crimson Blade leader, Romeo Guildenstern. Hardin stays loyal to his master, even when shown evidence that he is a "pawn" of Sydney. Guildenstern then uses another ploy to make Hardin speak: he transforms into the guise of Sydney and fools Hardin into telling him of the Blood-Sin that controls Leá Monde. Hardin is horrified when he realizes he has failed his master, but is fatally wounded by Guildenstern nonetheless.

Sydney, crushed to see his friend suffer for his plans, teleports into the Temple and saves Hardin by warping him and the prisoners out of Leá Monde. As Leá Monde falls, Hardin slowly dies. Joshua, who has remained silent for the entire game, shouts out for Hardin to live on, but to no avail. Callo takes the boy, but their later fates are not shown.

Spoilers end here.

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