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"You don’t have to trust my words, but do you have any better options? Your choice. The customer is always right, after all."
— The Duke

The Duke is a mysterious, morbidly obese character who serves as a merchant and aids Ethan Winters in Resident Evil Village. He has been the resident merchant of the village for years, profiting well from his business transactions. He becomes an important guide in Ethan's journey to rescue his daughter Rosemary.

Biography

The Duke was the village's resident merchant for years. He is an obese person with a jolly personality, his Emporium littered with supplies and bedecked with garlic to fend off vampiric monsters. His motives are often purely profit-driven, as he is willing to do business with anyone in the village, including Lady Alcina Dimitrescu, as he had a station inside her castle.[1] Despite this, he has occasionally granted favors to several villagers; he brought old newspapers to Vasile upon request so that he could read about goings-on of the outside world, despite it being forbidden by Mother Miranda.[2] He also seems to know the Merchant from Spain.[3]

As the game's merchant, he sells Ethan weapons, supplies, upgrades, and blueprints to craft supplies on the go. He will also buy valuable treasures from Ethan for Lei, and provide boosts by preparing special dishes from meat, poultry, and seafood Ethan brings him.

Despite his human façade, he seems to have an omnipresent, omniscient, and immortal nature. He is able to move his cart around quite quickly, and is conveniently present in several locations whenever Ethan needs him. He has extensive knowledge of the village and its history, as well as the true nature and plans of Mother Miranda and the Lords despite not being physically present. He supplies valuable information integral to Ethan's journey, and serves as something of a guide to him. He is also unaffected if Ethan fires weapons or attacks him in any way.

The Duke meeting Ethan Winters for the first time.

After the village is attacked by Lycans, he becomes Ethan's aide. He meets Ethan in front of Castle Dimitrescu after the latter escapes traps set by Karl Heisenberg, though already seems to know who Ethan is, and that Ethan is there to rescue his daughter. When asked about this by Ethan, he says, "Anyone who is anyone has heard of the likes of you."

Ethan finds the Duke again inside the castle, where the Duke merely says he is there if there's "coin to be made." He suggests to Ethan that if Rosemary is inside the castle, then she might be in Lady Dimitrescu's private chambers. Upon returning to the Duke's station, Ethan tells him that Rosemary is not in the castle; the Duke then apologizes for the poor turn of events.

The Duke meets Ethan at the village's altar.

After Ethan kills Dimitrescu, he reunites with the Duke at the village's ceremonial site. The Duke reveals that the glass flask he possesses contains the head of Rosemary, shocking Ethan, who lashes out at him. The Duke assures him that Rosemary's essence is still intact and she can be saved, but he must first retrieve something in a house with a red chimney. Ethan threatens him, but he merely replies that he has no other options, and it is his choice to trust him or not. Ethan retrieves the Winged Unborn Key, which the Duke says can be used to access the locations of the Four Lords to retrieve the flasks containing Rosemary. The Duke explains the Four Lords to Ethan, and places their locations on his map. When Ethan asks why he is so eager to help him, the Duke says that it is part of his "first-class customer service", and from then on, the Duke's Emporium is based at the altar. He also opens his Kitchen to cook and serve food from ingredients Ethan provides.

When Ethan arrives at Moreau's Reservoir, the Duke is located at the washed up control tower which powers the dam.

When Ethan enters Heisenberg's Factory, the Duke once again sets up his Emporium at the factory's elevator, where he says he has expanded his services. No matter what floor Ethan brings him to, the Duke seems completely unfazed, and spends his time in the factory reading a book.

After Ethan's heart is ripped out by Mother Miranda, the Duke rescues him and places him in the back of his carriage while he recuperates, having been drawn to the location by watching his battle with Heisenberg. Knowing Ethan would need to finish the job, the Duke brings him to Miranda's location. The Duke asks him if he should continue his quest, considering that his body is dying; when Ethan affirms, the Duke says it was foolish of him to ask. Ethan then asks him about his true nature, to which he replies, "Even I can't quite answer that". Upon arriving at Miranda's site, the Duke cautions Ethan that he cannot return to his old life anymore due to his condition, but Ethan assures that he is ready. As Ethan purchases from his Emporium one last time, the Duke laments that the village, his territory of business, has been destroyed due to Miranda's actions. He bids Ethan farewell before Ethan faces Miranda.

After Ethan sacrificed himself and blew up the entire village, it is unknown if the Duke survived and made it out of the village, though it is possible, given his brisk movement.

Further notes

The Duke holding a Cadou.

  • When the crystallized remains of the Four Lords are sold to him, he has special reactions.
    • He says Dimitrescu is "beautiful, even in death" and compliments her waistline.
    • Following Ethan killing Beneviento, the Duke can be seen holding a Madalina doll. He finds Angie adorable, and says that porcelain dolls have become popular.
    • Following Ethan killing Moreau, the Duke can be seen holding a jar with a Cadou parasite. He is uneasy with Moreau's remains, saying, "I suppose it's what they call 'the beauty of the grotesque.'"
    • He feels the essence of Heisenberg in his remains, and compliments the "assemblage of life and machine."
  • During a transaction, he may say, "What're ya buyin?", which he then states is "just something an old friend of mine used to say", referencing the Merchant's classic line.
  • Out of all the locations of the four lords, the Duke doesn't appear in or nearby Donna Beneviento's mansion. This may be that Beneviento steals Ethan's weapons while exploring the estate.

Gallery

Sources

  1. Resident Evil Village (2021), file: "Guest Book"
  2. Resident Evil Village (2021), file: "Ernest's Diary"
  3. Resident Evil Village (2021), quote: "What're ya buyin? - Haha, just something an old friend of mine used to say."