Last weekend I finally got around to buying and reading the Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind manga, and I’ve got to say I was very impressed. I’d heard all sorts of good things about it from various people, but Nausicaa seemed to be one of those things that pretty much lived up to its reputation; by the time I’d finished the second volume (of the seven volume version) I was so absorbed that I read the rest of it in only a couple of sittings.

I was just wondering who else here has read Nausicaa (or seen the movie), and what your thoughts on it all are? Did it live up to your expectations, if you had any, and what was your opinion overall? I also haven’t seen the movie myself yet, so could anyone give an opinion on how it compares?

(For anyone new-ish to the forums who might not know, Nausicaa often gets cited as a big inspiration for the Panzer Dragoon storyline. While PD is definitely “inspired by” rather than “based on” Nausicaa, I’d say that the PD world and setting are closer to Nausicaa than anything else I know of; essentially, if you’re a fan of PD, I’d really recommend giving this a look.)

i’ve only seen the movie but i’d say nausicaa is miyazaki’s best film. it’s quite similar to princess mononoke, which i think was miyazaki trying nausicaa’s formula over again set in a less abstract, alien world- that coupled with better animation made mononoke a much greater success as far as becoming part of pop culture.

i see the similar themes between it and panzer and i think it is quite possible that team andromeda was inspired by it, but i think PD is very much in its own world with its own styles and own messages.

Oh, definitely; as I say, I’d only go as far as saying that PD was inspired by Nausicaa in general storyline / setting terms, as both the details and overall tone of the two are much less similar. When I said “the PD world and setting are closer to Nausicaa than anything else I know of”, I wasn’t trying to imply that they’re literally very similar; the PD world is of course very unique. I only think that, in Nausicaa, I’ve seen more of the same themes and ideas explored than in any other piece of SF I’ve read. Both series are very much distinct entities, though.

Also, from the quick bit of research I’ve got around to doing, it seems that the Nausicaa movie is only based on about the first two-sevenths of the manga; now to be honest, the elements that I thought Panzer Dragoon echoed really cropped up after that point, in the later stages of the storyline.

I’m intrigued to see the film now, though; I’m actually new to Miyazaki in general, so which of his other movies would people recommend?

I haven’t read the manga, but Nausicaa was the first Miyazaki film I’d seen and I loved it. I saw it waaaaay back in the day though so I had no preconceptions about it. Anime wasn’t that popular back then and my high school classmate made regular trips back to Taiwan to visit her relatives so I asked to borrow one the anime tapes she’d brought back with her. It was in Japanese with Chinese subtitles, but I liked it anyway. (I eventually saw it with English subtitles many years later.)

Of Miyazaki’s work, I would recommend Laputa, Spirited Away, and Princess Mononoke. My Neighbor Totoro is really cute for the younger set, but I find I can’t get excited at the prospect of watching it anymore. The plush toys are still adorable though. :slight_smile:

i would rate them in this order:

nausicaa, as i said was my favorite.

castle in the sky laputa was a cool little adventure movie for all ages (you may notice a few base themes shared with PD or skies of arcadia).

mononoke was quality but i thought everyone had seen it already (random side note: the white boar was voice acted by the same guy who did the arbiter in halo 2)

spirited away was interesting, but definitely a bit more esoteric than the others.

porco rosso was a little odd but definitely enjoyable

kiki’s delivery service and totoro i’m sure were good, but i don’t think i’m the demographic they had in mind.

hearing that the movie only covered 2/7ths of nausicaa’s story, i will now begin gradually pulling the graphic novels into my possesion.

Nausicaa is a lot more similar to PD than you probably are thinking…

I’ve seen the movie (with questionable subtitles) and read the manga. The movie is quite similar in presentation, but there’s quite a few changes to the story. Kushana plays a much darker role, and certain characters do things that were done by other characters/sides in the book.

I’m writing something about Nausicaa’s similarities with Panzer Dragoon for the site at the moment actually (I think I told you about it Lance), so I wondered what everyone thought of these parallels:

Nausicaa = Lundi
Princess Kushana = Lord Craymen
Torumekian Emperor = The Seventh Emperor
Kurotowa = Zastava
Master Yupa = Edge’s Captain
The Insects = The Monsters
Ohmu = Desert Worms
Torumekian Empire = The Empire
The Forest People = The Wormriders
The God Warriors = The Dragons
The Sea of Corruption = The Towers
The Crypt of Shuwa = Sestren (the place)
The Master of the Crypt = Sestren (the being)
Nausicaa’s Mehve = Lagi
The Seven Days of Fire = The Downfall of the Ancients
Gargantuan Industrial Society = The Ancients

…what do you think?

And you would know this HOW?

Omniscience :slight_smile:

Rather than throwing around any more vague comments, I think I’ll be better off justifying just why I did and didn’t think that Nausicaa and PD were similar…

*** Huge, horrific Nausicaa spoilers ahead! Resist the urge to highlight the text below if you haven’t read it! :slight_smile: ***

I felt that the “big picture” of Nausicaa was incredibly similar to Panzer Dragoon Saga; the final resolution of PDS seemed like a real tribute to the final resolution of Nausicaa. However, in the thousand pages of the manga, Nausicaa seemed to explore so many themes that didn’t have a parallel in Panzer Dragoon, or which were treated in a different way.

[size=150]Major Parallels[/size]

Background Story

This is where I thought the two tales were most explicitly similar. Both Nausicaa’s world and the PD world were once home to a thriving technological civilisation, who had the power to do more or less anything with their knowledge, including control the creation of life through biological engineering.

However, both of these civilisations were confronted with a planet that had been devastated by human folly (and advanced nuclear-esque warfare), and they both came to a similar conclusion about how they should save the world and the human race from extinction. The Ancients of the PD world created the Towers and Sestren, whereas the people of Nausicaa’s world created the Sea of Corruption and the Crypt of Shuwa.

In PD, the Towers were meant to rejuvenate the environment just like the Sea of Corruption does in Nausicaa. Similarly, the Towers were also designed to control the fate of humankind as well, something that was mirrored (though with different specifics) in the Crypt of Shuwa. Stylistically, the indestructible obelisk of the Crypt of Shuwa was more than a little like a Tower itself.

And of course, the Master of the Crypt was an almost direct parallel for Sestren in PD - the cold, inhuman machine intelligence at the heart of the world, which would forever continue manipulating humankind according to the misguided plan it had been charged with.

In essence, both PD and Nausicaa were a journey to uncover the secret of the world, and the idea that “the world must be freed from the shackles of a misguided past” formed the conclusion to them both.


Like Nausicaa’s world, the PD world is a wasteland largely unfit for human habitation, defined by inhospitable landscapes filled with monstrous creatures; in Nausicaa these creatures are giant insects, and a large proportion of PD monsters have an insect-like flavour to them too.

In both of these worlds, smaller human societies also struggle for survival between greed-driven Imperial superpowers. The negative effects of war and imperialism are covered in the course of both stories.


In both PD and Nausicaa, modern humans have started reclaiming the technologies of the past. Both worlds feature “excavation sites” where ancient engines and technologies are dug up, and the people of both worlds end up doing a lot of battle in airborne gunships. In both stories there’s a feeling that ancient technologies should perhaps not have been resurrected in the first place.

Nausicaa’s glider is also directly mirrored in the PD world’s transport devices, such as the “Floater” that Edge and Azel ride in the Underground Ruins of Uru; of course, it’s also a parallel for the dragon itself in that respect.

Also, Nausicaa mentions that a lot of technological and battle equipment is composed of superhard ceramics, and a lot of the ancient technology in the PD world literally looks like it could be made of a white ceramic substance.


In both worlds, the “monsters” are the product of ancient genetic engineering, and in both stories they’ve become the caretakers of the environment (although in PD they have a more sinister secondary role). Also, the people of both worlds ride around on genetically engineered bipeds; Horseclaws in Nausicaa, and Coolias in PD.

You could also make a case for the Heedra in Nausicaa being a parallel for the Drones in PD. Both races are humanoid creatures created as servants to the ancient people, both races can have less human or more human bodies, and both can have different levels of intelligence and intellect; in Nausicaa, compare Namulith’s warrior Heedras to the Keeper of the Garden.

In Nausicaa, the God Warrior also plays a similar final role to the dragon in PD; both represent the most destructive biotechnological entity created by the ancient world, and both of them bring the influence of the past to a close.


Although neither story gets too bogged down in religious significance, the coming of the protagonist (who ultimately sets the world free) is prophesised to some extent in both stories. Also, the people of both worlds do view the present state of their world as a religious punishment for the “sins of the past”.

Panzer Dragoon Orta

The idea that the Ancients went into hibernation or stasis (to await the rejuvenation of the world) was only really introduced in PDO, and it might superficially seem a bit random - after all, it wasn’t really touched on in the PD storyline before that point. However, it’s exactly what happened in Nausicaa.

Those are the major similarities that spring to my mind; there’s surely more, but I’ve only read through the manga once (and I’m writing this off the top of my head), so forgive whatever I’ve left out. I’ll post what I thought the important differences were in a little while (with some feedback on your list too, Solo).

Hahaha… Okay, so maybe there aren’t more similarities than you were thinking :slight_smile:

Pretty good, I must say.

You’ve summed up most of the parallels pretty well there, Lance. One thing I that hadn’t occurred to me was the Heedra being like the drones, but I suppose they are quite similar.

*** Spoilers below (highlight to view them) ***

About the Ancients going into hibernation, although that was mainly touched upon in Panzer Dragoon Orta, there are hints in Panzer Dragoon Saga in the books of Zoah. “The Gods shall return and again watch the world. They will bring glory and happiness to all. It is a day without an end, and the paradise promised to us.” That piece reminds me of the new world that was talked about in some of those dream-like scenes of Nausicaa.

It’s possible that the writers of Panzer Dragoon Orta expanded upon the idea hinted in Saga and used in Nausicaa of an Ancient race who went into hibernation and went about creating a new world, to “save” the world. The PD Ancients could well have had different reasons, however.


Sorry Solo, I’ll get to all those points of yours in a minute; for now here’s the second part of my last post, with my thoughts on the differences between PD and Nausicaa (in brief). I doubt these ones need the invisible-spoiler treatment:

The Protagonist

Most of Nausicaa focuses on Nausicaa herself - her development as a character and growth as a human being - and to be entirely honest I don’t think she was similar to the protagonists in the PD games. Nausicaa was incredibly pacifistic and had a great love and respect for all forms of life - both humans and monsters - whereas Edge had no problems with blowing away whole ships full of people. Their approach to the world and the people around them was very different indeed.

The Journey

At the beginning of the manga, Nausicaa sets out from the Valley of the Wind, and her journey represents quite a traditional hero’s quest as she travels away from her home (which is even a pastoral ideal) in order to save her people from the impending dangers of the world.

In contrast, the PD protagonists have no home to save; they’re wanderers and nomads, and the motivation for their quest is entirely different. Kyle, Lundi and Edge are guided by the almost messianic dragon, which doesn’t have much of a parallel in Nausicaa.

Also, the journeys of the PD heroes (especially Kyle and Lundi) were very lonely affairs, as they travelled through a hostile world with rarely a friendly face in sight. In contrast, Nausicaa is always surrounded by other people; she’s a natural leader, and by her virtues she attracts other people to her. The PD heroes are very much lone, isolated warriors though, so the overall tone of the story is very different there. (Although it could have been similar if, say, PDS was a party-based RPG.)

Major Themes

Some of the most important themes in Nausicaa are hardly represented (if they appear at all) in PD. While there’s still the obvious “don’t nuke the planet” message, a lot of Nausicaa focuses on the beauty of nature and the value of all free, unrestrained life, something that is only just acknowledged in PD. Similarly, things like Nausicaa’s internal struggle against the nature of death and the nihilistic “nothingness” don’t really crop up with the PD characters at all. Not that this is any kind of criticism; there’s only so much ground you can cover in even a four-disc RPG.

OK, that’s enough rambing; I don’t want to subject you all to a full-blown essay. :slight_smile: If anyone disagrees with any of that be sure to say though, as I’m sure I can’t have fully taken Nausicaa in yet.

[quote=“Lance Way”]The Protagonist

Most of Nausicaa focuses on Nausicaa herself - her development as a character and growth as a human being - and to be entirely honest I don’t think she was similar to the protagonists in the PD games. Nausicaa was incredibly pacifistic and had a great love and respect for all forms of life - both humans and monsters - whereas Edge had no problems with blowing away whole ships full of people. Their approach to the world and the people around them was very different indeed.[/quote]

I’d liken Nausicaa to Lundi, they share many of the same traits, although they do have many differences too. Lundi and Nausicaa both have a fondness towards animals, perhaps even more so than people themselves. Nausicaa never wanted to see a living thing die, especially the giant Ohmu. Lundi, too couldn’t bear to kill Lagi, and went against what others said to save him. Lundi’s diary also states that he felt terrified being forced to shoot down the Empire; Nausicaa had no love for death of human beings either.

Lundi, as Endow also became a leader later on his life, something that Nausicaa had become by the end of her story.

Good points Solo, I hadn’t really considered that angle. I would still say that there are important differences between Nausicaa and Lundi, mainly because Nausicaa’s character is developed so much more in the manga than Lundi’s can be in the game, but now that you’ve mentioned them they seem like noticeable similarities. Lundi definitely seemed like the “least aggressive” dragon rider, from what we knew of him.

Anyway, my thoughts on your earlier list:

*** Yep, spoilers ***

As you’ve probably gathered, I agree with these more or less entirely:

Gargantuan Industrial Society = The Ancients
The Seven Days of Fire = The Downfall of the Ancients
The Sea of Corruption = The Towers
The Crypt of Shuwa = Sestren (the place)
The Master of the Crypt = Sestren (the being)
The Insects = The Monsters
Torumekian Empire = The Empire

I’d also say that the Dorok Principalities paralleled the PD Empire too, as it was them who resurrected the really dangerous ancient technologies (such as bio-engineering). And as I mentioned earlier, I get the impression that Mehve and the God Warrior were condensed into the dragon(s) of the PD world, but Lagi had a different role too (he guided the rider, whereas Nausicaa guided the God Warrior).

However, while the whole background story and setting of the two stories are extremely similar, I’d be very wary about drawing links between PD and Nausicaa characters. This was another area where I thought the two works differed considerably; I really thought that most of the character similarities only existed on the surface, and that the characters in PD and Nausicaa didn’t have a great deal in common when you examined them in detail. Here’s some views:

“Princess Kushana = Lord Craymen”

This one certainly struck me while I was reading, too. Kushana and Craymen had several things in common, but on reflection I would say there were an equal amount of differences between them. On the “similar” side, they were both imperial commanders who had an extremely loyal group of troops under them, and they both went renegade. However, they seemed to be very different characters at heart, and they went renegade for quite different reasons; Kushana’s betrayal of the Torumekian Empire was by and large a “good thing”, and it was a defensive act - she was being betrayed by her father. On the other hand, Craymen seemed much more aggressive in his rebellion, and very misguided in his plan to reactivate the Tower.

Similarly, Kushana had an almost motherly care for her loyal troops, whereas Craymen didn’t seem like the caring type. In the end Kushana seems to becomes a noble / just person who rules wisely over Torumekia, whereas Craymen pursues his fairly insane plan and gets killed in the process.

“Torumekian Emperor = The Seventh Emperor”

This is also pretty close in a lot of respects (for obvious reasons - they’re both greedy and ruthless emperors), but again I’d say there are significant differences between the two. The Seventh Emperor was a really stereotypically evil and corrupt ruler, and while the Torumekian Emperor was depicted in the same way for much of the story, he was somewhat redeemed by his final act in the Crypt; he saw the sense in Nausicaa’s words (when she acknowledged the value of life and freedom), and he sacrificed himself so that she could survive.

Perhaps there was a greater similarity between the Seventh Emperor and Namulith? Namulith seemed crazy right up to the end, and he was also killed by the ancient force he had revived - the God Warrior - as the Seventh Emperor was killed by the Tower.

“Kurotowa = Zastava”

This is a link I’d be very cautious about; while Kurotowa and Zastava occupied the same superficial roles in the story (they were both “the traitor’s” henchman), their characters were extremely different in my opinion. Zastava was pretty psychotic and murderous, whereas Kurotowa seemed in many ways to be a balanced, believably human character who people could often sympathise with. (With his background as a common soldier, Kurotowa could probably be seen as the voice of “the normal man” amongst all the noble and religious leaders - Nausicaa, Kushana, Charuka, Chikuku, Miralupa, Namulith, the Torumekian Emperor, and so on.)

“Master Yupa = Edge’s Captain”

Another link I might be wary of; while they’re both mentor characters, I’d say that Yupa plays a considerably different role to Edge’s captain in PDS. Edge’s captain seemed like quite a powerless, almost pitiable and very human figure, but Yupa is an extremely adept and independent man on a quest of his own.

I suspect that there might be echoes of Yupa in Gash, actually; they’re both searching for the truth regarding their existence, and they both seem very experienced in the ways of the world. Plus, the scene where Edge meets the Coolia-riding Gash and saves him from the Arachnoth is more than a little like the start of Nausicaa; she saves Yupa, who is riding a Horseclaw, from an enraged Ohmu. But yeah, there would still be many differences between Yupa and Gash, too.

“Ohmu = Desert Worms”

Now upon seeing an Ohmu, those desert worms from PD1 are the first thing that sprung to my mind; the look of their eyes and mandibles was extremely similar, and I’d say the Ohmu were very probably an inspiration for their design. Of course, they do play very different roles in the storyline, though; the Ohmu are seen to be a great and noble race of creatures, whereas those sandworms in PD1 are just generic huge monsters that you have to blow up. Design-wise though, I’d agree that there’s a parallel there.

“The Forest People = The Wormriders”

Looking at their place in the story, I actually thought that the Forest People had a greater similarity with the Seekers in PD; the Seekers despised the technology of the past, and in a vaguely similar way, the Forest People had abandoned a technological existence in order to dwell in the natural world of the forest. (Like the Seekers, they also “know the secret of the world” to some extent.) There are still a bunch of differences between the two cultures, though.

I’d suspect that the stronger parallel for the Wormriders in Nausicaa would be the Wormhandlers; in both stories they’re described as “disgusting savages” by the imperials (literally), and they both have a similar weird-people-living-as-a-primitive-culture sort of role.

As with characters in general though, I’m not sure that the cultures of Nausicaa’s world had any really direct parallels with cultures in the PD world, except for the roles that the empires play. It’s probably worth noting the similarity between the Periphery in Nausicaa and the PD world’s Frontier, though - they’re both independent lands beyond the empire, the main character’s place of origin, and the place where the story begins.

I bought the first manga a few days ago. Unfortunatly I forgot it when I went back to college today and haven’t read it yet.

I just watched Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind for the first time, I have yet to read the manga but I must say this has become one of my favorite movies.

The parallels that Nausicaa has with the PD world sre truly remarkable as stated in the section on this site, but once you see the movie it becomes so much more apparent.

My favorite aspect of the film would have to be the music, it has stayed with me ever since, and I watched all the credits just so I could listen to the ending track. I will definitely try to find the OST if there is one.

I highly recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys the PD world or just anime in general. Actually all of Miyazaki’s work in general is outstanding!

I bought the mangas a while back and recently finished reading them. it was very good indeed. I’ve yet to see the film though.

yes I saw the many simularities and influences that must have went into Panzer Dragoon. of course I love Panzer Dragoon so I was obviously going to love Nausicaa. ^^

I’d never even heard of Nausicaa, let alone Hiyao Miyazaki (beyond the level of Wasn’t He That Guy Who Did Spirited Away), until TWotA opened the “Parallels” section.

After reading the Nausicaa entry on that, my curiosity was piqued, and after some forum comments and broaching the subject with Lance when he was proofreading my “Mystery of the Emerald Dragon” article (Cheers!), I bought all seven volumes of Viz Comic’s (No relation to the UK “lad’s mag”) recent reprints of the series from Amazon. And yes, they were thoroughly enjoyable! It took me a while to acclimatise myself to reading right-to-left, but once I did I could appreciate Hiyao Miyazaki’s superlative artwork - despite the dense panelling, it retained both detail and clarity and did not refrain from including some spectacular set-pieces and a healthy dose of action-adventure as well as character insight. It also allowed for plenty of plot to be crammed into each page, which ensured that this comic actually had substance - unlike most comics I read which tend to be serialised into parts of 5-8 pages and so you breeze through rather rapidly, Nausicaa demands more attention.

The script is also professionally executed, too - whilst Nausicaa is a series that doesn’t disguise the fact that it wants to communicate A Very Important Message, Miyazaki was restrained and for the most part managed to resist the temptation to become preachy (although sections of Book Seven threatened to become numbingly sententious).



If I could just make one contribution to the allegorical comparisons between Nausicaa and Panzer Dragoon, I’d like to reject Solo’s decision to equate Lord Craymen with Princess Kushana. These two are most definitely not compatible, and there are fundamental differences in both their characters and their objectives.

HRH Princess Kushana, for instance, has genuinely suffered during her life.
She may be royalty, with all the luxury and pageantry that accompanies her rank, but she’s had to contend with a rather savage brand of politics too. Her own family, the true royal lineage, was wiped out (or in the case of her mother, driven insane) by the incumbent Vai Emperor’s usurpation of the throne. Furthermore, the step-family that she consequently entered has been seeking for an excuse to scrub out the irritating loose thread that she represents since her adolescence. That’s hardly the most apposite environment to culture a balanced psychology in!
Hence there is a genuinely sense of pathos and tragedy when we see her sordid past (particularly when she confronts one of her step-brothers in Book IV, one of my favourite sections of the whole saga), and as such we can both sympathise and empathise with her stark decisions and hard attitude, and the desire for revenge which drives her rebellion against the Torumekian authority.
Another important distinction in Princess Kushana’s character is the virtue of her title. We shouldn’t forget that Kushana is royalty, a woman both bred to rule and to be a committed patriot. Nausicaa plumps for the syrupy “let’s all be happy together” attitude by the end of the series - yet Kushana, by contrast, knows what she is and isn’t shamed by it - she won’t demean herself to the hoi polloi by denying her very being. Throughout the entire series, in war and peace, Kushana wears her diadem, and is conscious of its presence (she even has a weapon hidden in it), and we also see her valuing the symbolism of her battle-standard in Book III. Yet royalty and nobility also bring with it a sense of dignity and duty. Kushana’s assertion of her right to power isn’t simply egotistical or vengeful, but eventually comes to be motivated by a genuine desire to aid her country of Torumekia. Although you can argue that her refusal to take the Vai Crown at the close is petty semantics (she’s still “Queen Regent”, a king in all but name), her proclamation to “I will not become king. I await a new king. But let us go and pave a path of justice for that king!” is indicative of a more benign approach to rule.

Lord Craymen couldn’t be further from this - indeed, he’s decidedly inferior to Princess Kushana. For one, he’s decidedly lacking in the innate grand scale you can attribute to Kushana. He is bereft of the sumptuous monarchical aura: instead, despite his own noble title, we only see him dressed in a simple military uniform, as if he’s lamely and falsely attempting to pass himself off as “a man of the people”. Unlike Kushana, who takes pride in what she is, this awkward self-deception in Craymen strikes hollow and dissonant.
Also, Kushana’s historical experiences of Court life as I mentioned earlier give depth and focus to her character, a palpable and explicable sense of what motivates her. Craymen has no such background to explain his actions. Kushana has genuine drive and is true to herself - Craymen, by contrast, reminds me of a Fabian. Like the nigh-exclusively middle-class hegemony of the Bolsheviks, he actually has no link at all with the cause he’s promoting (indeed, his career has been built on killing Seekers who shared his objective of defeating the Towers), and seems to have done nothing more than read about his mission - and then just by doing that thinks he can stylise himself as a ‘glorious revolutionary’. It may be a justifiable position, but regardless of whether it’s right or wrong it remains a cold, blank, sterile philosophy, sneering and condescending. It’s wholly unlike Kushana’s own vividly turbulent and emotive past.
As a final point, I want to compare each leader’s relationship with their men. I admit one similarity between the two characters - each inspires absolute faith and loyalty from those under their command. Yet whilst Kushana reciprocates this trust and genuinely loves her men, there’s nothing to suggest that Craymen does likewise. Indeed, it seems that the lives in the Black Fleet are merely tools to the achievement of his goal. He takes advantage of Azel’s devotion to him and uses her as a weapon; he flings his hopelessly outgunned and outclassed ships into a futile and suicidal engagement against the Grig Orig and the greater Imperial Navy in order to distract them from the Tower which he’s fleeing to.

A final point to clinch the argument - Kushana is t3h |-|awt! :anjou_happy:

Yeah, good points Robert. Kushana and Craymen are similar characters in many respects but with differences at the same time, especially in how their stories end. Both Kushana and Craymen rebelled against their Empire’s because they believed that they could deal with things better themselves.

Craymen ultimately wanted to save the world, but the way in which he ended up doing it was more than a little ruthless. We know very little about his background, except that as a member of the Imperial Academy, somewhere along the line he saw that humanity/the Empire would eventually destroy itself and he saw himself as a means of stopping that by attempting to seize control of the Tower and Azel. The contradiction is that if he took control of the Tower, he would be little different from the Empire. Yet, otherwise his reasoning made sense: the Empire should not be allowed to the control the Tower at whatever cost.

I would go as far as to call Craymen a tragic hero.