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Twisted Wonderland Characters and their Disney Counterparts

From left to right: Azul Ashengrotto, Riddle Rosehearts, Leona Kingscholar, Vil Schoeenheit (Images from game)

   Twisted Wonderland, often abbreviated to TWST, is a Japanese Disney RPG video game in which the player gets accidentally taken into another world and is enrolled into Night Raven, the school where the story takes place. There are characters in TWST that attend Night Raven as students and reside in dormitories, both parties being based on Disney villains. While there are apparent similarities between the characters and their counterparts, each character in TWST has their own lore. 


How Obvious are These Influences? 

   TWST is filled with references from Disney films. Simply looking at the characters or taking notice of their names can give you a hint on which character is based on whom. This is what I find so fun about this game and why I enjoy playing it for its main story. The references are nostalgic and make the characters ten times more interesting. It really shows that you can be extremely creative even when basing your ideas from other media. 


The Contract Maker and his Henchmen 

   Each dormitory has its own dorm leaders. To no one’s surprise, all seven dorm leaders are based off of villains. In this case, the dorm leader of the Octavinelle dorm, Azul Ashengrotto, is heavily based on Ursula who is the main antagonist of The Little Mermaid.  

   Being based on the sea witch, Azul takes advantage of other students by using contracts to grant their wishes with a price. This way, it only advantages himself. Many of the other students in Night Raven see him as rather intelligent with his schemes and fear his skill in manipulation. 

   However, Azul is shown to be heavily insecure about himself later on in the story. This is according to his childhood, where he was made fun of for being chubby and for being different compared to everyone else appearance-wise. Azul had isolated himself as a child and set a goal of becoming a great potion-maker like the Sea Witch, Ursula. After his redemption, Azul no longer takes advantage of others. 

   Apart from Ursula, her two minions also play a part in being influences in the cast of characters in TWST. Jade and Floyd Leech are obvious references to the eels Jetsam and Flotsam from The Little Mermaid, including their matching colors and initially working alongside Azul for when it came to making contracts and making sure the students kept their word. This included taking further measures. Jade and Floyd have known Azul since elementary school. 

  In contrast to the eels being so similar, the twins have completely different personalities: Jade being formal and very well-mannered and Floyd being known for his mood swings and speaking in a lazy-like manner. Their contrasting personalities are entertaining when interacting with other characters. 


A Crimson Tyrant 

   Heartslabyul is the dorm that we are first introduced to after playing the game’s prologue. Just by the name itself, that being the “hearts” of the dorm’s name, it is based on the Queen of Hearts and her kingdom from Alice in Wonderland. This is apparent in the dorm’s unique and eye-catching architecture, its Unbirthday Parties, and croquet matches. 

   Upon surface level, Riddle Rosehearts, the dorm leader, is heavily inspired by the Queen. He maintains heavy and strict order among his peers, and if this is ignored, it results in an outburst. But in total contrast to the Queen of Hearts, it is later revealed in the game’s story that Riddle was this way due to being taught that breaking the status quo will make it worse for others and himself. 


Second Prince of Afterglow Savannah 

   Leona Kingscholar is the domineering dorm leader of Savanaclaw. The dormitory and the character himself are based on the world of The Lion King and its main antagonist, Scar. 

  Leona doesn’t waste his time on those inferior to him and is deemed lazy while getting his peers to do things for him. He often skips classes and slacks off which results in him flunking a year in Night Raven.  

   Aside from this, Leona has a more competitive side to him thanks to how prideful he is. However, Leona was compared to his older brother when growing up, and it has made him the type to prove himself to others even if it means getting his hands dirty. To be honest, this side of Leona was what made him grow on me since I initially didn’t find him as interesting. 


Tyrant of Beauty 

   The chapter “Tyrant of Beauty” takes place in the Pomefiore dormitory. This dorm, based on the Evil Queen, is a roller coaster. It’s where a lot more goes down according to many players, including myself. It is because the sister school of Night Raven, Royal Sword Academy, gets involved. Royal Sword Academy is speculated to be the opposite of Night Raven, having the protagonists of Disney movies instead of the antagonists.  

   The chapter demonstrates the rivalry not only between the schools, but between two specific characters that were based on characters from Snow White. 

   In this chapter of TWST, the plot mainly focuses on the rivalry between Vil Schoenheit, the dorm leader of Pomefiore, and Neige LeBlanche, both characters being actors and celebrities. Their relationship and individual characters are heavily based on The Evil Queen and Snow White, especially when the chapter reaches its climax. 

   During the climax, Night Raven and Royal Sword Academy compete in a Vocal and Dance Competition, and because of Vil’s envy for Neige getting more attention due to his beauty and increasing popularity, it results in him planning to poison Neige with a popular brand of apple juice. This is a direct reference to when The Evil Queen disguises herself as an elderly woman to trick Snow White into taking a bite out of a poisoned apple. They both resemble an act of kindness that can be disguised as one full of malicious intent that only benefits the perpetrator. 


Personal Thoughts 

   I have been playing this game since late 2020 while surfing through the internet for English translations. The more I played it, the more attached I became to the characters and their amazing variety of personalities. The main story gets you hooked on its emotional moments and the characters’ designs are extremely inspiring.  

   The game’s artwork has influenced me as an artist who was initially struggling with creating  personal pieces. The perspective, lighting and color schemes in the art are breathtaking. It’s one of the many reasons why the game has me so hooked. 


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