|Ludger Will Kresnik|
|Game||Tales of Xillia 2|
|Height||5'7" / 170 cm|
|Weapon|| •Dual Blades|
|Japanese Voice Actor||Takashi Kondo|
|English Voice Actor||Josh Grelle|
|Character Designer||Daigo Okumura|
Ludger Will Kresnik (ルドガー・ウィル・クルスニク Rudogaa Uiru Kurusuniku?) is the main protagonist in Tales of Xillia 2. During his first day of work, he meets a mysterious girl named Elle Mel Marta in the train where he is supposed to work.
Ludger is the son of Bisley Karcsi Bakur and Claudia Il Kresnik. When Claudia was pregnant with Ludger, the ultrasonography revealed that Ludger would be born with the chromatus watch. Fearing that Bisley would use Ludger for his ability, Claudia secretly gave birth with the help of her father, Marvin Orta Kresnik, and went into hiding. When Ludger was five years old, his half-brother, Julius Will Kresnik found Claudia by chance. Claudia mistook Julius as Bisley's subordinate and attacked him in an attempt to protect her son, but was killed instead. Ludger, shocked after witnessing his mother's death, lost part of his memory. After knowing Bisley's plan, Julius took Ludger with him to Marvin, who adopted the two and altered the family registry to hide Ludger's existence from Bisley. Originally, Julius had planned to use Ludger by using his unawakened chromatus powers through his watch; however, after seeing the affection displayed by his half-brother, Julius chose to instead protect Ludger rather than use him.
Ludger lives with Julius and their pet cat Rollo in an apartment in Trigleph. Toward the beginning of the story, Ludger fails the exam to become an agent at the Spirius Corporation and becomes a chef on an executive train instead. He meets Jude Mathis, who is lost on his way to the train station, on his way to work. After he escorts Jude to the train, he is framed for being a molester by a mysterious girl and caught. However, the train station is attacked by a group of terrorists, thus granting Ludger a chance to hop on a train and escape. He meets the unconscious Elle in the train and is quickly attacked by one of the terrorists, who mistakes him for being an agent.
Along the way to punish the terrorists, Ludger meets with Jude again, as well as Bisley, who introduces himself as the Chief Executive of Spirius Corporation. The two go to the train cockpit, where they find Julius before Bisley enters. Julius then takes two old watches, one being Elle's golden watch she received from her father, which begins to shine. This activates Ludger's chromatus ability, bringing him, Elle, and Jude into another dimension. Ludger notices Julius acting strangely in the train, and the group is forced to confront him. With his power, Ludger kills the shadow Julius and returns to the real world. Rideaux Zek Rugievit aids the team by tending to their injuries, but Ludger is contracted with a debt of 20 million Gald.
In the "Ludger Ending", depending on the player's choices, Ludger is desperate to save Elle, but is unwilling to use his chromatus transformation to save her. The group knows that he would give anything to save her, but encourages him to destroy all the fractured dimensions. Elle also agrees. Origin agrees to their request, and together with Chronos, the two seal away the miasma. Elle vanishes shortly afterward, leaving Ludger and the others behind. The next scene shows Ludger walking with Vera in a professional suit, now the President of the Spirius Corporation due to Bisley's death. Vera informs him of a meeting, and to his shock, his guest's name is Lara Mel Marta, Elle's mother.
In the "Julius Ending", Ludger chooses his brother over Elle and proceeds to attack his former friends, knowing that they would not accept this outcome. Ludger uses both his and Julius's watches to enter his Level 3 chromatus to defend against their attacks and kills them all. Julius is both horrified and shocked that Ludger would toss everything away he had built for his sake, despite knowing that he would be dead soon. After nearly succumbing to the affects of his catalyst transformation, the two try to live their lives as best as possible. In this ending, Ludger states that Julius was the only person who protected him, and he refuses to kill him. He knows that, while Julius does not have much time left in this world, he wants to cherish these last moments with him. To this end, Ludger states that he will destroy the world if he has to.
In the "Elle Ending", Ludger saves Elle by choosing to become a divergence catalyst through using his chromatus abilities. The group is surprised that he would go to such lengths, but Origin and Milla agree that humans can do many things for the people they care about. Origin grants the two's request and destroys the fractured dimensions before sealing away the miasma together with himself. Afterward, Ludger gives Elle his pocket watch, and although she is saddened to see him go, the others tell her that this is his choice, and as Rowen J. Ilbert states, he believed not in the Elle that could be born in this world, but in the Elle he had come to know and befriend. With this, she watches Ludger disappear with a smile on his face as he hums the song that his brother sang so many years ago. Many years later, an adult Elle dressed similarly to Ludger is shown living her life, still carrying Ludger's pocket watch and humming the Hymn of Proof that he passed down to her.
Appearance and Personality
Ludger wears a blue dress shirt with folded sleeves and brown suspenders, yellow necktie, and black trousers, with a blue, feather-like decoration hanging on the back. He has green eyes with yellow rings circling his pupils, a trait he shares with Elle. His skin is noticeably pale, and two lightning markings appear on his face when he transforms into his chromatus's first stage. His silver hair with black ends on the right is similar to Nova's hair, but with inverted colors.
In the manga, Ludger is likewise depicted as a reliable person fond of his brother, but rather impulsive in his actions. Over the course of the game, the player can shape Ludger's personality and decisions, being either solely focused on protecting his brother or openly displeased with his actions, such as hiding the truth from him about their family's history. He can also be very understanding and supportive of his friends. However, there are, at times, when his bonds come into question, particularly when he learns of the method to reach Canaan. Ludger possesses a protective nature toward Elle and Julius. He seeks to protect Julius by believing there must be another way to save Elle other than kill him, and hesitates when he is opted to kill his own brother.
Ludger has the ability to wield three types of weapons: twin swords, twin pistols, and hammers. He can shift them during battles through the "Weapon Shift" ability by pressing L1 + R1, or L1 + R2 to shift in the reverse direction. In addition to changing his arte selection based on the weapon he is using, his basic statistics such as movement speed and normal attack damage output are also modified. Twin swords focuses on speed and movement. Ludger has higher movement speed while they are active, and the artes specialize in faster hits. The hammer makes use of fewer but stronger hits with slower attack speeds. Twin pistols make use of range and have a higher number of elemental artes. Movement while using the normal attack is possible, though slow. Ludger's overall movement speed is reduced significantly when using twin pistols. The twin pistols are the only weapons to not suffer damage loss when attacking a downed enemy, moreover they deal higher damage to down enemies: the player should tilt the left analog stick down while pressing the "Attack" command to perform a ground twin shot which is the requirement for the damage reduction to be nullified and amplified on downed enemies.
Once Bisley teaches Ludger how to use the chromatus ability in battles, Ludger is able to transform, send enemies to another dimension, and continue the battle there without the aid of his allies for a short time, while granting himself with significant status boosts and infinite health, TP, and AC while the ability is active. The duration of chromatus is reduced each time Ludger takes damage. Ludger's partner characteristic support ability is "Mirroring" (ミラーリング miraaringu?). While Ludger is the partner character, he will use the same support ability as the primary character. Ludger's version is unaffected by any skills the primary has active for their support, however.
- Ludger translates to "the people's spear" in German, and Kresnik is a god typically associated with fire in Slavic mythology.
- Ludger's hair color is actually white. Through a job request, it is revealed that he dyed part of his hair black simply because he thought it looked cool. While in his Level 2 or 3 chromatus form, his hair becomes completely white.
- Like his fractured self and Bisley, Ludger has a complete chromatus. Its design is very similar to Victor's; however, it appears to be more complete, as Victor's is horribly damaged.
- Of all the characters in the game, Ludger has the most mystic artes, including Form Destroyer and Eternal Waltz.
- The game's "Julius Ending" can be interpreted as a nod toward Ludger's fractured self's actions. Victor killed Jude, Leia Rolando, Elize Lutus, Alvin, Rowen, and Julius when they learned that he was going to kill Bisley for trying to take Elle away from him. The only difference between the two is that Milla, Muzét, and Gaius are among the victims, while the three are presumably still alive in the fractured dimension.
- In the aftermath of the game's "True Ending", Elle is seen wearing Victor's pocket watch while humming "Hymn of Proof", the song passed down in the Kresnik family. The watch was given to her by Ludger after he became a divergence catalyst.
- If the player manages to succeed in paying all of Ludger's debt, the "Hot Spring Ending" will play, with Ludger and the other male members of the cast inside of Teepo, while the girls, including Nova and Vera, enjoy their time in the bath. In the Japanese version of the game, the boys are caught peeping and are promptly swallowed by Teepo, while in the English version, the girls feel uncomfortable bathing with the boys, as the hot spring is co-ed, so they have Teepo swallow them.
- Due to the game's characteristic genre theme, Ludger marks the first silent protagonist in the series, as well as the second protagonist who has a name with three words, the first being Luke fon Fabre. However, while he has very little dialogues outside the choices in the Japanese version, he has broader and new dialogues outside the choices in the English version of the game.
- Ludger is currently the only main protagonist in the series who can switch between three primary sets of weapons in battle, building from the Style Shift concept in Tales of Graces. Ludger's fourth weapon, the dual-bladed spear that is only used during his Chromatus ability, is a nominal reference to the Lance of Kresnik from the previous game, Tales of Xillia.
- Ludger's GHS ringtone is "Eternal Mind" from Tales of Eternia.
- An outfit based on Ludger's appearance is available to Kratos Aurion in the PlayStation 3 port of Tales of Symphonia.
- A plushie resembling Ludger appears in Tales of Zestiria. A save from Tales of Xillia 2 is required on the system to obtain it.
- Ludger's initial outfit appears as a DLC costume for Rokurou Rangetsu in Tales of Berseria.
- Ludger appeared in Kai Ri Sei Million Arthur as part of the crossover event with Tales of Link.