Kars is the leader of the Pillar Men, and the designer of the Stone Mask. His goal is to evolve further to become immune to the sun's rays, and thus he seeks the Red Stone of Aja to empower his Masks, battling the Ripple users for its possession.
As the creator of the Stone Masks and Vampires, Kars is one of the more influential characters in the series, his invention having far reaching repercussions for a number of major characters, such as Dio Brando, the Joestar Family and the Zeppeli Family.
Kars takes the appearance of a tall, very well-built man. He has elegant, relatively feminine facial features, and a much lighter complexion than the other Pillar Men. He has long, dark, wavy hair which he keeps under a dark, tight head-wrap (taking it off as a sign of either honor or aggression). Three little pointy horns sprout out from his head and he wears a little diadem with one jewel embedded in it.
He is otherwise minimally dressed, wearing high boots, forearm guards, a thong, and a flowing loincloth. When attacking, he produces long, shimmering blades from his forearms and legs.
While travelling to Italy, Kars dons a fedora and a longcoat in order to appear less conspicuous.
Kars is intelligent, ruthless, and single-minded in his dedication to obtain the Red Stone of Aja. He was stated to have been a genius among the Pillar Men, having been the original creator of the Stone Mask.
Initially, he appears to be the most aloof and no-nonsense of the Pillar Men, rarely smiling and often being the one who has to remind Wamuu and Esidisi of their goal. Obsessed with obtaining the Red Stone of Aja, he is willing to trample anyone in his way, no matter how dishonorable the method. At his worst, he broke his word about fighting for the Stone fair and square, cheating to defeat Lisa Lisa and then unleashing his Vampire minions to kill a weakened Joseph and has been revealed to execute children, anticipating their revenge.
With the advantage of his resilience and immortality, Kars is a methodical and patient individual who can infiltrate human society (donning their clothes) or observes a room to strike all its occupants in one move. His first battle against Joseph demonstrates a great deal of relentlessness in trying to obtain the Stone as the Pillar Man answers Joseph's every tricks calmly with moves of his own. Unaffected by setbacks such as when he peacefully accepted that Joseph stole the Stone from under his nose, he will relentlessly struggle to win through the direst situation. Only when does he find himself in space, unable to move despite repeated attempts to do so, and drifting away from Earth does he lose his composure and hope. Nonetheless, his obsession with the Aja Stone is an easily exploitable weakness as Kars prefers to take no chance in losing it. Thus it has been used as a shield and leverage by his enemies with ease.
Despite his stern, no-nonsense exterior, Kars possesses a murderous and sadistic nature. He has stated that a life without an enemy is boring and has shown to enjoy fights occasionally. However, he only really appreciates seeing his enemies being in a weak position and panicking, appreciation the expression and cries of despair on Joseph when he was the Ultimate Lifeform, and often licks his lips in anticipation of their demise. Kars also comes across as mockingly polite, as he offered Lisa Lisa poison in order to die on her own terms rather than fighting him. These tendencies become more clear when he attains his ultimate form, and he is seen to thoroughly enjoy his status as the most powerful lifeform on Earth.
Kars reveals himself to be a power-hungry Pillar Man, fixated on controlling the full potential of his body and the idea of resting "at the top". When he discovered that the Pillar Men's brains held untapped potential, much like humans, Kars wanted to control it. That obsession made him build the Stone Masks to unlock his hidden abilities; when that failed to meet his expectations, he sought out the Red Stone of Aja to complete his transformation into an ultimate being. He was enraged when the rest of his tribe refused to "conquer the sun" as he wished, believing that they should use their innate power to the fullest and rule over all life; however, he either ignored or failed to consider the fact that the increased hunger brought on by the Stone Mask's power would cause his race to exterminate all life on Earth.
Kars keeps an ambiguous relationship toward those around him. On one hand, he considered Santana to be nothing but a simple guard dog, and slaughtered the rest of his race (including his parents) without hesitation or remorse. On the other hand, he expresses himself to care deeply for Esidisi and Wamuu, repeatedly vowing to achieve his goals and kill Joseph Joestar to honor and avenge their sacrifices in ensuring his success. Kars also seems to have a certain respect for nature and animals; he caused a drunk driver who nearly hit a puppy to get into an accident and die, and he deliberately complicated an otherwise-simple landing to avoid falling on a flower. However, he does later attack a squirrel when testing his Ultimate Form's abilities, and is said to have threatened an entire ecosystem fueling his Stone Masks. Ultimately, Kars is capable of affection and forming bonds with others, but those affections always come second to his goals.
Kars looks down on machines, sneering at the cyborg technology Rudol von Stroheim demonstrates and considering it inferior. Moreover, he considers his Vampire grunts to be worthless pawns, unmoved if they are victimized or slain, and willing to execute them himself should they prove annoying to him.
As the Ultimate Lifeform
Esidisi: Kars appeared to care for his comrade, being the only Pillar Men of his generation to agree with his ideals. He trusted him to investigate a lead on the Red Stone of Aja alone, and immediately went to Switzerland himself when he realized that something must have happened to Esidisi. Upon learning that Joseph had killed Esidisi in order to keep him from the stone, Kars vowed to kill him after completing his primary objective - and he meant it, as the first thing he did after testing his Ultimate Being abilities was to attack Joseph.
Wamuu: Along with Santana, Kars raised him along with Esidisi. While Kars respected Wamuu's ability as a fighting genius, he showed no respect for his honor and thought he was too pure to be a warrior. Nonetheless, he seemed to care for Wamuu to some extent, as he immediately cut down a group of his own minions for mocking Wamuu after the latter's demise and vowed to avenge his death along with Esidisi's by killing Joseph.
Santana: Along with Wamuu, Kars raised him along with Esidisi. In comparison to Wamuu, however, Kars saw Santana as guard dog and left him behind when he couldn't keep up with them.
Joseph Joestar: As the man who created the stone masks, Kars is essentially responsible for Dio Brando's transformation and the death of Jonathan Joestar. Initially, Kars was just one of the Pillar Men to defeat in Joseph's eyes, but after Joseph killed Esidisi, Kars voiced a deep-seated hatred for the human above all Ripple users. Kars would win Joseph's ire as well by revealing how dishonorable he is compared to the others. It was only once Kars became the Ultimate Life Form that he indulged himself in attacking Joseph who made great efforts in order to defeat him. Kars responded by cutting off Joseph's arm and it ended in Joseph unintentionally sending Kars out into space, but not before mocking him one last time.
Kars was born ~102,000 years before the events of Battle Tendency. His people lived underground and survived off the essence of other living things, failing to reproduce due to their long and worthy lifespans. Despite living in a peaceful, well-supplied society, Kars was dissatisfied; in his eyes, his race could easily rule over the Earth if not for their lethal weakness to sunlight. Consumed by ambition, he began seeking a way for his race to "tame the sun" and leave the underground.
In time, Kars created the Stone Masks and began to test their effects on himself. However, their spines were unable to penetrate his own skin deeply enough to unlock his full potential - instead, he gained increased body manipulation powers at the cost of greatly increased hunger.
Eventually, his race began to fear Kars for his obsession, as the increased hunger caused by the mask would threaten their way of life if its use became widespread. Soon, Kars found himself under attack from the rest of his people, who sought his execution despite his protests. Unable to sway them to his side with promises of godhood, he slaughtered his people himself, including his own parents. Along with Esidisi, one of the only members of his race who agreed with his ideals, he took two children, who were presumably the Pillar Men to be known as Santana and Wamuu.
Kars began to experiment on humans, turning hundreds of thousands of them into Vampire and feeding on them for sustenance. However, Kars couldn't use the Stone Mask alone to tame the sun. Kars eventually discovered the Red Stone of Aja and quickly found out that it could focus the power of light to empower the Masks. Still, it wasn't enough to push them beyond their limits because the Aja stones he had were too small and imperfect. He developed a modified version of the mask that could combine with a flawless "Super Aja", leaving Santana behind while he and the others traveled across the sea to Europe. It is also known that the Pillar Men travelled to China. There, during the time of the Roman Empire, Kars heard about a Super Aja in the possession of a Roman Emperor, only to be blocked from his goal by a tribe of Ripple users. At one point, Kars commanded Wamuu to kill a boy from the clan, but Wamuu was reluctant about killing a defenseless child. Knowing that this boy would grow and seek to take revenge, Kars killed him before he'd become a hindrance. While successful in the tribe's decimation, he and his comrades were forced to hibernate under the Roman Colosseum.
Battle Tendency (1938-39)
In the present, Kars is introduced as the leader of the Pillar Men, getting attacked by Wamuu after stepping on his shadow and apologizing for having forgotten that trait. He witnesses Wamuu confronting two new Ripple warriors, Caesar Anthonio Zeppeli and Joseph Joestar. Caesar was easily defeated and the Pillar Men scoffed at his meaningless determination to avenge his comrade. When Joseph appeared to not pose too much of a challenge either, Kars left their cavern. He later observed Wamuu sparing Joseph to have a better fight one month after, but was otherwise uninterested and left.
Kars and the other Pillar Men set off to find the location of the Red Stone of Aja, eventually settling in an abandoned mansion in Saint-Moritz, Switzerland. Having found a lead to the stone, Esidisi had planned to contact Kars after retrieving it, but was promptly defeated by Joseph instead. At the appointed time of Esidisi's call, Kars finds himself unable to reach his fellow Pillar Man and worries about his companion's fate. On the way home, Kars saves a stray dog from being run over by a car by slicing the car in two, along with its drunk occupants.
Fighting for the Super Aja
Kars finds the trail of the Super Aja, who is in the hands of the Nazis. At night, Kars approaches the chalet where the nazis have made their local headquarters. He chooses a room from which he'll enter and senses five soldiers inside. Using his blade, Kars kills all of them through the wall and enters the chalet, but is confronted by Rudol von Stroheim, who has become a cyborg, and Joseph Joestar. He quickly deduces that the latter was responsible for Esidisi's death, and vows to kill Joseph in return once he secures the Red Stone of Aja. Although briefly caught off-guard by Stroheim's new cyborg body - designed to surpass the Pillar Men, based off of Santana's data - he soon regains the advantage and cuts the German down, revealing that Santana was easily the weakest of the four. Kars takes the Super Aja from Stroheim but the German reveals his eye laser, which makes Kars drop the stone. It starts to slide towards a cliff, prompting a race between Kars and Joseph Joestar. With his superhuman constitution, Kars has no hesitation running towards the cliff and predicts that Joseph will try to kick him when he picks up the Aja. Kars easily evades the kick and snatchs the Super Aja with foot, but Joseph also kicks snow at Kars' face, allowing him to take back the Aja. Using one of his leg blades, Kars still hooks Joseph and drags him down the cliff. Joseph grabs a stalactite but Kars still drags him down. He kicks Joseph into the wall to make him rebound and attack him with his blade, but Joseph then uses the Super Aja as a shield. Joseph then uses the falling stalactites to create a makeshift rope, allowing him to hang on while Kars drops to the bottom of the cliff. In there, Kars purposefully avoids a patch of flowers and recognizes his defeat. He leaves, for now.
Kars travels back to his abandoned hotel Saint-Moritz, where Joseph Joestar and Lisa Lisa eventually find him. However, he ambushes them with an army of 100 Vampires. Against Wamuu's wishes, Kars wants to kill the Ripple users with as little hassle as possible. Lisa Lisa then pretends that she's set a time bomb near the Super Aja, which would break it if the heroes didn't return in time. Kars is forced to accept her request that the Pillar Men and Ripple users fight one-on-one to decide whoever gets the Super Aja. All parties agree to meet at the Skeleton Heel Stone to observe a chariot race between Wamuu and Joseph. Kars and Lisa Lisa then comment the race, rooting for their respective students. At one point, Kars snidely offers poison to Lisa Lisa so that she can kill herself instead of fighting him, sure of Wamuu's victory. However, it is Joseph who ultimately wins the battle.
After Wamuu's demise, Kars finally steps in and kills three Vampires who insult Wamuu after his death. He also kills several Vampire who attack Lisa Lisa and Joseph against his orders. Kars and Lisa Lisa thus fight in the ruins of the Piz Bernina Temple, on a stone beam placed above the ground. However, Kars ultimately tricks Lisa Lisa during their fight by using a disguised Vampire as a decoy and steals the stone from her, leaving her unconscious. Kars sics his Vampires on Joseph but the Speedwagon Foundation and the Nazis intervene with anti-Vampire weaponry to battle the Vampires.
This allows Joseph to confront Kars one-on-one on the temple. However, Kars uses Lisa Lisa to his own advantage. He pierces Lisa Lisa's feet and strings a rope through the wounds, forcing Joseph to grab the rope to stop her from falling. An overconfident Kars approaches as Joseph lights his scarf on fire and attacks, but falls from the beam clutching the rope as Kars severs it to finish off Lisa Lisa. However, this is revealed to have been Joseph's intentional setup, as he drew Kars' attention to his upper body while he arranged the loop of rope with his legs below, tricking him into stepping into the loop and forcing him to keep his opponents above the spikes below. Kars faces Joseph in a final standoff with his arm blade, but is soundly beaten as Joseph's Ripple breaks the blade and wounds his arm, knocking him off the railing and into the spikes below. Stroheim and his Nazi troops arrive along with Speedwagon, Smokey and the Speedwagon Foundation Special Forces. Stroheim gloats over Kars before ordering his troops to finish the Pillar Man off.
The Ultimate One
As the Nazis unleash ultraviolet light upon him, Kars unexpectedly dons a modified Stone Mask with the Super Aja in place; the light activates the mask and enables him to enter his ultimate form. The humans can only stand in horror as Kars displays his new-found power by briefly transforming his hand into a flesh-eating squirrel and then standing in the sunlight while his remaining vampire minions are instantly destroyed. To cap his victory, Kars decides to kill Joseph. Growing wings, Kars pursues Joseph, who uses a plane to fly away. Kars pursues him to the Adriatic and shoots hardened feathers at the plane. The feather then turn into squid tentacles and pirhanas that wreck havoc on the plane. Kars spots Joseph jumping with a parachute and approaches to kill the man, but he sees that it is a dummy. Joseph, who is still piloting the plane, rams him with the intention of putting him into the volcano's lava. Kars tries to escape but Stroheim, who was hiding in the plane as well, shoots his rocket fist at Kars. Kars is driven inside the lava lake.
Inside the volcano, Kars tries to create a carapace but it melts. As he sinks into the lava, Kars finally creates a sufficiently heat resistant armour that allows him to dig his way out. He takes Joseph by surprise and slices his left arm off. A desperate Joseph tries to use the Ripple to attack, but Kars then develops his own Ripple, the energy potent enough to melt human flesh. Deciding to use it to kill Joseph out of poetic justice, Kars sends a powerful Ripple at Joseph. Joseph unconsciously defends himself by using the Super Aja to redirect Kars' Ripple into the ground, causing an eruption that blasts the land the two fighters are on into the air. Kars attempts to escape, but is briefly distracted by Joseph, allowing volcanic debris and the latter's severed forearm enough time to knock Kars out of Earth's orbit.
Kars prepares to return to Earth after being thrown out of orbit by ejecting the built-up air within his body, but the air freezes on its way out. His vital body begins to freeze from the near-absolute zero temperature and he becomes trapped in the void of space for eternity as half-mineral, half-animal. Unable to die even though he wishes for it, Kars eventually stops thinking.
Chapters / Episodes
Kars makes his first appearance as a playable character in the PS3 title; he was confirmed alongside Rohan Kishibe. In the English release of the game, Kars' Light Blades are called "Shining Sabres" (keeping the alliteration of the Japanese name).
Since Kars never exactly fought extensively in Part 2, most of his normal attacks consist of regular punches and kicks. Along with Wamuu and Esidisi, Kars uses the Mode style as part of his moveset, which allows him to temporarily boost his strength and performance among other things, at the cost of the Heart Heat Gauge. Kars has 900 HP.
During a fight, Kars can use several different attacks that were featured in Battle Tendency.
Once his GHA is successful, Kars is dubbed as "Kars (Ultimate Life Form)" for the rest of the battle and gains a whole new moveset capable of dealing more overall damage than his previous state. Ultimate Life Form Kars is not entirely infallible. If he falls victim to Kosaku-Kira's Bites the Dust GHA, Kars will revert back to his original form. He is also permanently unable to use his HHA, or enter Light Mode and Shining Sabres Mode.
Kars also appears on the stage "The Battlefield" as a background character along with Lisa Lisa. If Wamuu is one of the combatants ingame, Kars will brag about Wamuu's strength. This is assuming that Kars himself is not part of the fight.
Kars also possesses two alternate costumes, the first one being the attire he usually wears and is seen in for the first half of his presence in Battle Tendency (the veil that covers his long hair), and the second one being the overcoat and large hat he wore in Switzerland, in his fight against Stroheim.
Kars appears as one of the several Part 2 characters who possesses a Metal Striker. His Finish Move consists of him using his Light Blades and cutting the opponent's defeated Metal Striker.
As a Pillar Man, Kars has the special ability Switch Mode, exclusive to the Mode style. His specific Mode is Light Mode. He is also able to stand and walk on the spike pit in the Air Supplena Island stage without taking damage (though he will still take extra damage if knocked down onto the spikes). Of special note is that he has the fastest base movement speed of any character.
Kars (Normal Mode)
- Style Action - Light Mode: Kars' body begins generating sparkles. All attacks involving his Light Blades become unblockable and receive a damage increase.
- Victory is everything!: Kars utilizes light to disappear and reappear behind an opponent. The skill by itself will not deliver an attack, but a Powerful Attack can be inputted to do so. If not in range of an opponent or locked on, Kars will simply teleport forward, though he cannot teleport across gaps or through walls. In Light Mode, the skill executes quicker and the additional attack becomes unblockable.
- Shining Sabres: Kars, in a single movement of his arm, unleashes multiple slashes, with the last strike sending opponents flying. In Light Mode, the skill deals more hits.
- EX - Victory is everything!: The skill gains all of its benefits from Light Mode regardless of whether or not it's currently active.
- EX - Shining Sabres: The skill executes quicker and Kars gains brief invincibility.
- Dual Heat Attack - You don't stand a chance!: After landing a kick to the opponent's abdomen, Kars unleashes a rapid, alternating barrage of slashes from the Light Blades on both his arms, finishing with a single downward slice that successively rends them multiple times and sends them flying with the final hit as Kars turns around.
- I am the ultimate life form!: Kars dons the Stone Mask (in combination with the Red Stone of Aja) to attempt to turn into the Ultimate Life Form. Kars, wearing the mask, will slowly rise to his feet. If the animation fully plays out uninterrupted by his opponents, the mask shatters, and Kars gains a completely new array of moves.
Ultimate Life Form
- Style Action - Flight Mode/Ground Mode: Kars can switch between being on the ground and sprouting wings to take to the sky. While in Flight Mode, his stamina gauge slowly drains, and upon emptying, Kars is forced to land. Ascending will cause the stamina gauge to drain faster.
- Dual Heat Attack - How fitting! I shall cast you into the dark abyss of death with your own precious Ripple!: Kars lunges at the opponent and deals two powerful slashes that leave them lying on the ground. Ecstatically reveling in the fact he can now use Ripple, Kars charges and unleashes an all-powerful Ripple blast straight into the downed opponent. This is a reference to the method he tried to finish Joseph off with during the final chapters of Part 2.
While in Ground Mode:
- Victory is everything!: The maximum range and damage of the attack is increased, but the EX version is no longer available.
- Shining Sabres: The skill gains a damage increase.
- I have absorbed the abilities of every living thing. I contain all of existence.: Kars turns his hand into a squirrel that he then sics on opponents, automatically attacking any threat to him within range. Opponents caught crumple and are open to further attacks.
- Arm yourself!: Kars creates a crustaceous shell layer over most of his body as he assumes a defensive posture to create a special guard. Opponents that attempts to attack him from the front with melee attacks are knocked off-balance, creating an attack opening. While active, Kars' stamina gauge slowly drains, and the skill will end if it empties or the activating button is released.
- EX - Shining Sabres: The skill gains an extra damage increase.
While in Flight Mode:
- You're like a butterfly in a spider's web!: Kars fires two hardened feathers downward. Once they hit the ground, the feathers transform into octopus legs that automatically attack any opponents in range. The attacks are unblockable and up to four octopus legs can be out at any given time.
- Do you believe for a moment that you can escape from me, the mighty Kars?: Kars fires three hardened feathers downward. If they hit the ground, they will start shaking, and transform into piranhas to attack any opponent that gets too close. If they hit an opponent, they will transform instantly. The piranhas themselves latch onto opponents and deal damage in intervals whilst slowing them down.
- EX - Do you believe for a moment that you can escape from me, the mighty Kars?: Kars fires five feathers.
- Victory is everything!!: Kars must connect the additional attack that follows "Victory is everything!" 3 times. A glitch exists where attacks dealt by the tentacles created by "Do you believe for a moment that you can escape from me, the mighty Kars?" also fulfill this JoJolity. (200 Points)
- What would life be without enemies?: Kars must Retire an opponent. (200 Points)
- Finally... finally... I've conquered the sun!: Kars must successfully perform "I am the ultimate life form!". (300 Points)
- Heh heh heh... I'm going to make you die slowly!: Kars must survive the first 20 counts of the battle timer without taking damage. (500 Points)
- Kars used the Red Stone to become the Ultimate Life Form?!: Kars must succeed with a Dual Combo Finish while in Flight Mode. (800 Points)
Unlike the previous game, his main color scheme is now based on his anime appearance.
He is paired with Pet Shop in the Eyes of Heaven Tournament. In the preliminaries, they defeated Pannacotta Fugo and Noriaki Kakyoin in the first round, and Dio Brando and Joseph in the second. In the semifinals, they defeated Jotaro Kujo and Kakyoin in the first round, and Jotaro and DIO in the second. Ultimately, the team won the Tournament, defeating Jolyne Cujoh and Gyro Zeppeli in the final round.
Diamond Records (Android/iOS)
Kars appears in Diamond Records as a playable character, both in his original form and in his ultimate form.
JoJo's Pitter-Patter Pop! (Android/iOS)
One Who Stands at the Top
- Kars' blades are based on an ability seen in Baoh: The Visitor, another manga by Hirohiko Araki.
- The explanation for Kars' Ultimate Life Form ability to transform into animals is a reference to recapitulation theory.
- In an interview with Araki, he dispelled theories of Kars returning in a future part, stating that unless Kars developed a compass ability or crash-landed on another civilization, he'll remain in space forever.
- There is concept art of Kars in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Heritage for the Future, indicating that he was originally set to appear in the game during development.