Scarlemagne, formerly known as Hugo, is a mandrill mute who once sat at the very top of Las Vistas's food chain using mind control and fear. He's the main antagonist for the first two seasons in Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts.
Hugo was originally a normal primate that was mutated and raised by Lio and Song in his youth; making him Kipo's adoptive brother. The cruel treatment he endured under the human scientists who commissioned his mutation, and the eventual perceived desertion of his adoptive family, left Hugo with a lasting grudge against the human race. Upon acclimating to the surface world and weaponizing his coercive pheromones, he rechristened himself 'Scarlemagne' and crusaded to reunite the surface under his banner.
A despotic ruler who championed his fellow primates through intimidation and mind-control, Scarlemagne was feared across the surface for the reach and scope of his power. He sought to build a golden city from which he could rule over his fellow mutes, and very nearly succeeded before Kipo and her allies were able to depose him at his own coronation, costing him his captive army in the process. Shortly afterwards, Scarlemagne was captured and imprisoned by the Timbercats.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Scarlemagne is a very large mandrill mute with characteristically-multicolored facial features. His heavily-scarred visage serves as his namesake.
Drawing inspiration from the Rococo period and the classical composers of old, Scarlemagne typically appears in knee-breeches and a red frocked coat, as well as a blue ribbon around his collar. His fur is styled to resemble the powdered wigs of his followers.
Scarlemagne presumably imposed this style of dress on his court, who appear in similarly-extravagant habiliments with a similar color scheme. The captive humans under his command wore carnival masks.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Scarlemagne is a flamboyant, hedonistic, and highly-extravagant individual. He first appears as despotic and apparently mad, forcing the mind-controlled humans of his entourage to dance themselves to exhaustion for his amusement. As the de-facto ruler of Las Visas, Scarlemagne was emboldened by his own power and conducted his affairs with a dignified and polite air befitting a monarch. He greatly valued appearances and took efforts to appear refined before his subjects, and would apologize if his manners ever failed him. However this regal facade would often give way to his volatile temperament, leading him to outbursts of extreme emotion. At one point, Scarlemagne admits himself 'unhinged' to Lio, indicating he is at least aware of his tenuous sanity. He indulged in fits of maniacal laughter, occasionally doing so to announce his presence.
During his youth, upon his mutation, Scarlemagne (then 'Hugo') was far more empathic, passive, and naive. Due largely to his existence as a laboratory test subject, 'Hugo' feared his human captors for their aggression, evident in his interactions with Dr. Emilia and her associates. He was unhappy with his circumstances and desired to be like the human royalty he would read about. A notable exception to this was his friendship with Lio and Song Oak, who taught and raised him as their own. The mandrill included them in all of his escapist fantasies, demonstrating the affection he felt for his adoptive family. Following his exposure as a mute, he weathered the demeaning life which was imposed upon him for the sake of his handlers and their unborn child, relying on Lio's promise that they would all soon leave their burrow for good. Scarlemagne discouraged himself from using his powers of suggestion on others at first, after taking to heart Lio's statement that coercion was morally wrong.
The many hostilities of the surface world quickly eroded his mental state, and 'Hugo' came to rely increasingly on his mind-controlling pheromones. He suffered a severe mental break upon his first meeting with Lio. His feelings of abandonment gave way to rage, thus setting in motion his ascent to tyranny. Scarlemagne also changed his stance on mind-control at this time, instead regarding it as a facet of himself which made him naturally superior. By the time the foundations of his capital city were laid, Scarlemagne had come to accept a glorified view of himself, fashioning himself a beloved ruler when in reality, he was only feared by his subjects. Scarlemagne harbored a deeply-rooted prejudice against humans and regarded human history with pronounced spite. He also "couldn't abide" 'traitorous' mutes who opposed his ideals. Scarlemagne was at least pliant enough to be pragmatic, however, and could maintain a tactical mind independent of his emotional state.
Nearing his official 'coronation', Scarlemagne was softened by meeting his adoptive sister Kipo, who empathized with his painful memories, and encouraged him to rule with compassion so that his subjects would follow him consensually, rather than out of fear. It is ultimately his fear of abandonment that wins out, however, and subsequently serves as his undoing. Faced with the perceived reality that no one will ever "choose him", Scarlemagne forsakes his subjects to assumed demise and attempts to flee. Upon the disaster's aversion and his deposition and capture, he appears awed by Kipo's sacrifice and the selflessness it required of her.
Consistent throughout Scarlemagne's life is his artistic curiosity. He had a proclivity towards the visual arts as well a strong affinity for music, which he habitually indulged by playing a grande piano-forte for his court. Scarlemagne was also creative enough to navigate a strategy-based board game of Kipo's design and enjoy himself while doing so.
History[edit | edit source]
Early Years as Hugo[edit | edit source]
Scarlemagne was once a regular mandrill and went by the name Hugo. He was one of several test subjects used by burrow residents in order to isolate the mutagen which had affected Mutes and find a way to reverse its effects. Under the care of Lio and Song Oak, Hugo had several different formulas administered to himself which gradually turned him into a Mute, giving him the gifts of speech and human intellect.
Lio and Song were eventually able to isolate the mutagen that had given Hugo these abilities, but soon realized the consequences of what they were doing. They kept Hugo's speech a secret from Emilia and planned to escape the burrow with him as soon as Kipo was born.
Unfortunately, Emilia found out about Hugo's secret after she heard him playing the piano and singing the song 'Play in My Head'. Song and Lio tried to protect Hugo but were unsuccessful. It was then that Hugo's puppet pheromones were discovered when he, in self-defense, splashed some on Zane, a burrow scientist who was trying to get a blood sample from him. Emilia then imprisoned Hugo and forced him to run on a treadmill to harvest his pheromones. Emilia used Hugo's pheromones as leverage in order to force Lio and Song to further their research into developing a Mute "cure".
After Kipo was born, Emilia sought to confront the couple about Song's pregnancy, having found out that they infused Kipo's DNA with a Mute jaguar's DNA. At Song's insistence, Lio was able to escape with Kipo while Song distracted Emilia. During their confrontation, however, Song fell over a ledge, and her Mute genes (which she had acquired from her pregnancy) activated in response to her fear. Song ended up transforming into a six-armed, giant Mega Monkey and caused the destruction of her own burrow. Hugo, at the time, was still imprisoned and was separated from Lio and scarred by the rubble after the burrow was destroyed.
As he ventured the surface, scared and alone, Hugo came across the Goth Apes. Seeing their love of music and similarities to Hugo, he began playing a nearby piano. Gerard, leader of the Goth Apes, told Hugo to battle in order to prove his worth. Losing his initial fight against Porcelaine, Hugo decided to use his pheromones on her in order to throw the odds. After winning, Gerard allowed Hugo to join.
Traveling with the Goth Apes, Hugo came across Lio fighting off some Newton Wolves. As the Newton Wolves were distracted by the Goth Apes looting them, Hugo ran up to Lio and happily reunited with him. Lio explained that when the burrow fell, he barely made it out with the newborn Kipo and had been running from Emilia ever since. Hugo felt betrayed that Lio had not tried to look for him and asked if he could hold baby Kipo. Lio, who was unsure of Hugo's intentions and wanted to protect his daughter, rejected the request, but Hugo aggressively lunged at Kipo's blanket (which was once his) and managed to tear a piece off. Hugo, seeing his sweat pouring on the piece of cloth, stood up and threatened Lio with it while laughing insanely. Lio ran off, abandoning Hugo in his laughter.
Hugo returned to the Goth Apes hideout and threw his pheromones onto Gerard, claiming the Goth Apes as his subjects. Realizing his potential, Hugo declared the surface would have kings once more, and renamed himself Scarlemagne.
Later Years as Scarlemagne[edit | edit source]
Using his pheromones, Scarlemagne is able to take control of everyone around him. He develops a master plan to entrap all of the humans and make them work for him and his mutes to get them back for generations of humans controlling animals.
Scarlemagne gets colder and meaner in his old age, forgetting the sweet monkey that he once was. Scarlemagne manages to find the Site B burrow to entrap all of Kipo's old family and friends. He makes them his slaves and he makes plans to become the king of the kingdom and have all bow down to him. Scarlemagne plans a coronation ceremony, where everyone will declare their loyalty to him.
Scarlemagne manages to trap Lio, for revenge, and Lio's daughter Kipo. He wants them to publicly declare their allegiance to him as well. Upon realizing that Kipo is a half mute, and when talking to her- he realizes she isn't a monster. She tries to connect with him, reminding him that he doesn't have to be a power-hungry monster to get people to follow him. He can just show kindness and have them follow him naturally. Scarlemagne seems to consider this option, but ultimately decides that he wants to force everyone to follow him because he doesn't trust anyone to follow him of their own will.
At his coronation, he tells the crowd that he will give them a choice - follow him, or be gilded in gold to become a statue. To increase everyone's fear, he starts to flood the stadium with melted gold. Kipo and Lio try to fight him to stop the liquid hot gold. Kipo turns into a jaguar to flip over the tree that is releasing the melted gold. Kipo saves the day. Scarlemagne attempts to run away but is knocked out. Lio seems him and runs to get him, declaring that he will not abandon him a second time. With the help of the Timbercats, Scarlemagne is locked up in a cage where he will be sent back to the Timbercats' home to await his fate.
Powers and abilities[edit | edit source]
- Puppet Pheromones - Scarlemagne's natural pheromones possess the unique ability to control the mind of any primate who is exposed to them.
- Pianist - Scarlemagne is shown to be a skilled pianist, regularly playing the piano.
Episode appearances[edit | edit source]
Season 1[edit | edit source]
- S1 02. "Explosion Berries" mentioned
- S1 03. "Real Cats Wear Plaid" mentioned
- S1 04. "Cactus Town" mentioned
- S1 05. "The Astronomers in Turtlenecks" mentioned
- S1 06. "Ratland"
- S1 08. "Twin Beaks"
- S1 09. "Mute-Eat-Mute World"
- S1 10. "Beyond the Valley of the Dogs"
Season 2[edit | edit source]
- S2 01. "Paw of the Jaguar"
- 02. "The Goat Cheese Prophecy"
- 03. "The Ballad of Brunchington Beach" mentioned
- 04. "To Catch a Deathstalker"
- 05. "Fun Gus Part I"
- 06. "Fun Gus Part II"
- 07. "Benson and the Beast"
- 08. "Sympathy for the Mandrill"
- 09. "All That Glitters"
- 10. "Heroes on Fire"
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Scarlemagne was created to be "equal parts" Tom Hulce's portrayal of Mozart in the 1984 movie "Amadeus" and the DC comics villain Joker.
- His name is a portmanteau of "Scar" (his facial appearance having prominent scars) and "Charlemagne" (a prominent figure known for creating a powerful Frankish realm in post-Roman Europe, befitting his ambitions as a conqueror).
- This choice of name most likely came from captive Hugo's love of stories about kings, implied when he asks Lio whether there are any more kings on the surface.
- He might also have been inspired by the Marvel villain Mandrill, a mutant with the physiology of a mandrill, who can also generate mind-controlling pheromones.
- According to Radford Sechrist and Bill Wolkoff, Scarlemagne was originally going to be a bat who enjoyed drinking humans' blood as fine wine, but this idea was abandoned in the writers' room for not being child-friendly.
References[edit | edit source]