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Alister Dalimar is the main antagonist of several games in the Mystery Case Files series, notably the Ravenhearst games, acting as an unseen, overarching villain in many of the games.
He was initially voiced by Tim Simmons but when Eipix Games took over development he was replaced with Bill Corkery.
He was first mentioned (although not by name) in Escape from Ravenhearst, however his presence was not felt until his first on-screen appearance when he became the main antagonist for Fate's Carnival, since that point he has been revealed to have silently pulled the strings behind the events of several games and often aided the series' previous antagonist Charles Dalimar in his own schemes, thus creating a somewhat omniscient presence about him.
Alister Dalimar was a cruel, murderous, power-hungry, treacherous, sadistic and manipulative psychopath who appeared to do very little to disguise his sociopathic behaviour, hiding it only when it absolutely must be done to aid himself in his plans. He was cunning and heartless, those who weren't useful or entirely obedient to him were often destroyed. Dalimar never held any true compassion or kindness towards anyone, not even his own family several of whom had been cruelly slain at his hand having been only a means to an end for Alister.
Dalimar appeared to enjoy torturing and killing absolutely anyone, a stranger or a friend, whether they were a threat or not he would not hesitate killing them slowly and painfully, at one point claiming that he "feeds on human despair".
Alister was a sorcerer who was born in 1456 in England, at the time the occult and black magic had become increasingly popular, although highly illegal. Alister became rather adept at magic, and although he became a rather bad-tempered but successful locksmith, he led a double-life where he practiced dark magic. Alister was born and raised in the city of Ravenhearst, which infamously had a problem with dark sorcerers living there, something which had been outlawed by the Queen of England at the time. Alister was particularly proficient in the magical arts, even forcing the embodiment of his own mind and spirit into a raven which he named Tanatos.
At some point he murders a knight, presumably in Ravenhearst City, called Gilles Prelati, he traps this man's soul in an alternate dimension via a dark ritual and uses it to increase his lifetime.
He had been brought up as a locksmith by Master Selwyn, an abusive and brash man who tutored the young Alister. Finally all of this became too much for Alister and he, who had been harbouring dark thoughts for a long time at this point, overpowered Selwyn and buried him alive in the wall of his workshop, bricking him up. Alister had been doing research into immortality for a long time and discovered that the Well of Souls lay beneath the city of Ravenhearst, an infinite source of fresh souls. After an unsuccessful attempt to steal the well's power from it's owner, the tyrannical Lord Ravenhearst, he promptly displayed just how much magical potential he had been growing over the years by sinking the entire city into the ocean, killing all of it's inhabitants.
Alister swiftly fled England after this, and travelled the Orient to seek a "Key" that would allow him to "unlock" the powers of the Well of Souls. He keeps his spirit intact in his crippling mortal body for centuries via the use of dark rituals and his raven Tanatos, he also documents his travels in several journals one of which eventually becoming another embodiment of his soul. He eventually discovers that the Key has been in England the whole time and is, in fact, a crystal ball owned by the mystic Madame Fate who owns a travelling carnival.
While trekking through England, Alister makes a small, century long stop at York where he finds himself amidst the neo-pagan cult of Mistwalkers who praise a mysterious entity called the Spirit of the Forest which inhabits the surrounding forests. After being indoctrinated into the Mistwalkers, he attempts to use their rituals in order to extend his life and eventually creates a ritual of his own which would involve the deaths of two members of his family, when the Mistwalkers learned of his, he was exiled but not before he had a daughter named Lily who was indoctrinated into the Mistwalkers.
Around this time in 1856, Dalimar murders a sailor named Douglas Peak and uses his soul to extend his life.
Finally, at some point prior to 1873, Alister finds a carnival worker by the name of Abigail Crown, who is cruelly displayed as the "Largest Woman Alive" due to her obesity. Abigail worked at Fate's Carnival, a circus owned by the mysterious Madame Fate who had been using the Ball of Fate as a scrying tool for many years, this crystal ball also happens to be the Key that Dalimar had been searching for. Shortly after meeting, Abigail falls in love with Alister and although he does not return the feelings, he does end up marrying her although this is implied to be so that he may have more information on the Ball of Fate, the "Key" that he had been searching for.
In 1873 Alister got a job at the carnival as a magician however he had a mental breakdown after finally, successfully locating the key after all this time. This breakdown was noted by the carnival workers who called the local asylum at Manchester. While there Alister is subjected to torture and experimentation by the doctors there and it can be assumed that this weakened state stopped him from using his magical abilities to escape. Although he did successfully build a laboratory beneath his cell to continue his practices on alchemy.
Shortly after his admittance in the asylum, his son Charles is born. Charles grew up to never meet his father and resided with his mother Abigail, it would appear that Alister's admittance to the asylum had turned Abigail into a cruel, spiteful woman who abused her son.
Around 1883, Alister fakes his death in the prison and thus finally escapes. What he does afterwards is relatively unknown but he does eventually contact his son Charles via Tanatos when he is later admitted to the same asylum a year later in 1884. He teaches his son basic alchemy, and dark magic and to "embrace the madness" Charles used his father's teachings to successfully create locks that can trap souls, something which he had been trying to accomplish for a long time. However, before Alister could continue teaching his son, Charles became infatuated with an Emma Ravenhearst from Iowa, Emma had recently moved to Blackpool and Charles had read about this in a local newspaper. Much to Alister's dismay, Charles ignored his father and escaped the asylum to find Emma.
It can be assumed that around this time Alister creates a journal of his called the Black Diary, described as "the very incarnation of his black heart", in this book he records his hatred of Madame Fate and documents several plans of his, including an indestructible automaton.
In 1924, Alister murders a builder called Walt Staten and in 1952 he murders a mime called Jacques Marceau, he uses both of these victim's souls to extend his life.
In 1997, he finally reveals himself to Madame Fate and the two duel for control over the Ball of Fate. Alister loses against Madame Fate and is trapped within the Ball of Fate by the mystic. However a decade later, his son who had successfully used his father's teachings to extend his life, murdered Madame Fate, both avenging his father and taking revenge for the abuse that Madame Fate gave him when he was younger.
In 2013, the power containing Alister begins to weaken and thus he uses his limited magical capabilities to vandalise the ruined circus and to reanimate and torture the souls of the carnival, all while awaiting the arrival of a Master Detective, a woman who was responsible for his son's death a few years prior and who Alister had witnessed a few years prior working on the Madame Fate case. The Master Detective arrived at the carnival and her tampering accidentally released Alister, and now, with his magical abilities at full strength, he transported the Master Detective to a field far away where Madame Fate's tomb lies while he began to bend the circus to his will, warping reality to fit his own mad desires. Alister quickly realises that although his soul and mind are healthy (the latter is questionable), his body is falling apart and thus he plans to builds an indestructible automaton, based on one of his older plans. This plan however does not succeed as the Master Detective returns to the carnival and, under the spirit of Madame Fate's command, destroys Alister's journal which had contained an incarnation of his soul, much like Tanatos, this cripples Alister to the point that everything he had been previously worked on at the carnival was destroyed.
Dire Grove, Sacred Grove
Believing that Alister had died, the Master Detective leaves the carnival. However, he had survived the ordeal and moves to York where he had been exiled centuries prior. He lived in the forests for a year watching the family that his daughter, Lily had brought about. Alister went about manipulating several of his daughter's family and even killed Lily in the process. Alister felt no remorse for the situation and simply saw her as a means to an end. He used the remaining members of his family, Derek and Peter Crawford one a hunter and another a Mistwalker to sacrifice in his Blood Ritual, something which he was unable to complete all those centuries ago. However, once again, this plan was thwarted by the Master Detective who, in 2014, happened to be called to the area due to the carnage he had been causing. This time, she reversed the ritual against Alister and he was completely destroyed along with his ritual chamber.
Key to Ravenhearst
Alister had only just, barely, managed to cling on to life via his familiar Tanatos. He soon found his last remaining blood relatives, his twin grand-daughters Gwendolyn and Charlotte Somerset who were the illegitimate children of Charles Dalimar and his maid, Rose Somerset. Although what exactly happened between Tanatos and the two girls is unknown, they had somehow managed to become enthralled by their grand-father and his power and wished to return him to life.
While Alister sat in limbo, the twins manipulated and married a rich architect by the name of Benedict Caldwell who was then forced to build a sprawling machine called The Collector beneath the ruins of Ravenhearst Manor (the stately home of the deceased Charles Dalimar) which would contain and preserve hundreds of corpses, their souls to be pumped out of them to reconstruct Alister's body. Alister also wished for his son Charles and grandson Victor to be revived, although experiments done by the twins proved that their souls were too weak to return from the cold grip of death, and only Alister was powerful enough to return to life. Alister also made it clear that he wanted the Master Detective to be kidnapped, murdered and placed in The Collector to fuel his return, however this proved to be his detriment as the Master Detective survived and escaped before shutting down Alister's revival chamber but not before his body had partially reformed. Thus Alister had returned to life but in a much more weakened state than he had anticipated, he made haste to enter the deepest chamber of The Collector where he could utilize the machine's true power, a mechanical alternative to the Well of Souls where he could use the stolen Ball of Fate to drain countless of souls into his body, extending his life by thousands of lifetimes. But, once again, the Master Detective snuck into the chamber and overpowered the machine, sending the entire Collector into disarray resulting in it's destruction, the overwhelming power also shattered the Ball of Fate, however Alister and the twins had managed to survive the Collector's implosion.
Despite the resulting explosion, both Alister, the twins and the Master Detective survived and Alister ordered his grand-daughters to find the shattered shards of the Ball of Fate, unfortunately one of the shards was lodged in the Master Detective's forearm and the Master Detective had been falsely admitted to Manchester Lunatic Asylum as the doctors believed that her claims were hallucinations.
Charlotte was sent to the Asylum where she freed the patients and planned to torture the Master Detective before giving the shard back to Alister, however the Master Detective escaped and locked Charlotte in the Asylum, but Tanatos took the shard from Charlotte and flew back to Blackpool.
Upon receiving the last shard, Alister pieced together the Ball of Fate and sacrificed his grand-daughter Gwendolyn in order to raise his home-city of Ravenhearst back up from the sea. He swiftly made his way deep into the city and entered the caverns beneath the lord's castle where the Well of Souls lay, unfortunately for him several undead souls, including that of Cedric Ravenhearst, were still present in the city and attempted to impede his progress. All the while the Master Detective silently tailed him. While Alister was both displaying the power of the Ball of Fate by absorbing the innumerable souls of the well into his body, he argued with Lord Ravenhearst, his old rival. While this occurred, the Master Detective utilized a curious, magical staff to shatter the ceiling above them and sent them falling both to fall into the well. However, this allowed Alister and Cedric to utilize the entire power of the well via the Ball of Fate and thus they both became merged together as a bizarre, yet impossibly powerful entity within the well. Alister and Cedric set aside their hatred to focus on destroying the Master Detective, however she once again utilized the staff to smash the Ball of Fate, releasing the souls trapped both within the ball and within the well, this unfortunately included Alister's who was now returning to the afterlife. And any hope of his survival via Tanatos was quenched when the bird was possessed by another soul, thus forcing Alister to die for once and for all.
Powers and Abilities
Dalimar was highly skilled at magic and widely believed to be the most powerful sorcerer in the world. He was adept at a wide variety of magical skills such as telekinesis which he used at Fate's Carnival to destroy an entire tower and part of a mountain in order to intimidate the Master Detective, he demonstrated this particular skill to the greatest effect when he sunk an entire city underwater.
Dalimar seems to be rather adept at creating a dark smoke, exactly what happens upon coming into contact with this smoke is unknown but it is known to be highly deadly and dangerous but can be dispersed with a bright enough light. Alister also seems to use a similar dark smoke to travel around places quickly.
Perhaps his most powerful ability was his expertise in warping reality, often creating things that would otherwise be impossible such as when he completely changes Fate's Carnival into Dalimar's Sanitorium and constructs an enormous tower in a matter of minutes. Prolonged exposure to these warps in reality is believed to be damaging, however these effects can be countered with a protective charm.
Dalimar could also travel to and even create alternate dimensions, including a bizarre "mirror dimension" where he kept several tortured souls that he could use in his rituals, these dimensions ranged from expansive landscapes to singular rooms.
Upon his failed revival via the Collector, Dalimar appeared to be less powerful and did not perform many magical feats, rather relying on the Ball of Fate.
- Genius-level intellect: Dalimar was incredibly intelligent and was capable of designing highly complicated and well detailing plans and machinery within only a matter of moments, this is seen to greatest effect during the events of Key to Ravenhearst where Alister is dead for the majority of the game, even death does not stop him as he was still capable of designing the sprawling complex of the Collector. Dalimar had also been planning the events of Dire Grove, Sacred Grove for over a century, sowing the seeds of distrust amongst the citizens of the town. Dalimar often relied on nothing more than his own brain to create devious plots and schemes.
- Masterful Manipulator: Alister had managed to manipulate his son and granddaughters into working for him, although his son later became infatuated with Emma Ravenhearst, his granddaughter became entirely submissive towards him and they had become heartless and cruel, even going as far as to try to kill the Master Detective, who had saved their lives several years prior.
- Gilles Prelati
- Master Selwyn
- Several hundred citizens of Ravenhearst City
- Lily Dalimar
- Douglas Peak
- Walt Staten
- Jacques Marceau
- Arthur Lugen (brought back to life by Alister to be tortured and killed)
- Tabitha (brought back to life by Alister to be tortured and killed)
- Franco (brought back to life by Alister to be tortured and killed)
- Roughly 500 randomly selected citizens and sailors (Ordered by Dalimar, carried out by his granddaughters)
- Gwendolyn Dalimar (Technically killed by Charles Dalimar about a century prior but was resurrected by Charles several years earlier)
- Ellen Hornebolt
- Alister's story was written by two entirely different development teams, Elephant Games who made Fate's Carnival and Dire Grove, Sacred Grove and Eipix who made Key to Ravenhearst and Ravenhearst Unlocked. Thus this has created a very clear divide between what the two teams think Alister is as a character, this is particularly obvious with several plot holes and problems in the timeline.
- Alister's trust issues spread even to his memory, claiming that he cannot trust his own mind and thus often documents almost everything in a series of journals, including the combinations of his own locks occasionally. Despite this, Alister appears to have a very sound memory and was capable of planning a rather intricate plot while trapped within the Ball of Fate with nothing more than his memory.