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|“||Your soul will be so sweet.||„|
|~ Gabriel Miller's most famous quote.|
Gabriel Miller, also known as Subtilizer (in Gun Gale Online) and Emperor Vector (in Alicization), is the main antagonist in the second half of Sword Art Online: Alicization, known as the War of the Underworld Arc. He is also the final boss of the series' original web series version.
Gabriel is the Chief Technological Officer of "Glowgen Defense Systems" and son of the founder and former CTO. During the events of the Alicization Arc, he leads a 12-men team of operators, at the request of the National Security Agency, on an assault of the Ocean Turtle.
He was first mentioned in the Phantom Bullet Arc as the winner of the 1st Japanese Bullet of Bullets, using only a knife and a handgun, and the winner of the 4th Japanese BoB, without bringing any weapons of his own.
Gabriel is not only charismatic, manipulative, and wickedly intelligent, even despite his insanity, but also is simultaneously utterly bloodthirsty and utterly devoid of anything remotely resembling empathy. He murdered his fiancée when he was a child to see what the nature of the soul was like, experimented on animals for that same reason also during his youth, and treats his followers either as tools or his own playthings.
Gabriel constantly views everyone else as inferior to him whilst discarding them after being done using them for his own purposes. He also sees Integrity Knights as nothing but artificial intelligence, as he mocked an AI for sacrificing his own life, and then Kirito, Alice, Asuna and Shino for their supposed arrogance.
Gabriel Miller was born in the Pacific Palisades district in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California in March 1998. His father had a hobby of collecting insect specimens. The young Gabriel would seclude himself in the room to observe the multi-colored insects with a magnifying glass.
During such observations, Gabriel began thinking about what powered those creatures. His father then showed him a video about mating praying mantises, where the female would devour the head of her partner during the mating. However, the insect would still continue to move despite no longer having a head. Since then he began thinking where was the soul of the insect housed in.
To find out, Gabriel conduced numerous experiments on insects by demolishing various parts of their bodies in secret. By the outcome of those cruel experiments, he concluded that the insect's soul was spread throughout its body. Gabriel desired to see or even capture this soul. However, no matter how much he experimented, he never fulfill his goal.
Gabriel then began thinking about human souls. As humans could not live on without their heads, he concluded that their soul resided in the brain. He continued his thoughts about the human soul while analyzing his childhood friend, Alicia Klingerman.
Murder of his Friend
Gabriel envisioned marrying Alicia one day to gain a glimpse at her soul. However, because of the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, Alicia's family fell from grace and earned a heavy debt. Alicia and her family were going to move to their kin in Kansas City. However, the 10-year-old Gabriel decided to kill her in case her soul lost its brilliance.
On the day Alicia bid her farewells at school, Gabriel invited her to the forest behind his home where his secret laboratory was hidden. There, when Gabriel and Alicia hugged, he took out the needle, which his father had used on his insects, to pierce through Alicia's left ear while holding her right ear, killing her.
As Alicia died, Gabriel saw a small glittering cloud passing out of her forehead and thought that what he was seeing was her soul. After that, he became more and more obsessed with human souls.
For the next years, Gabriel showed great interest in the FullDive technology created in Japan in his pursuit of souls. He even began studying Japanese and fought against Japanese players in Gun Gale Online as Subtilizer.
Soon, he became a legendary figure amongst GGO players after winning the 1st Bullet of Bullets tournament with just a knife and a handgun. Later, his fame cemented after the 4th BoB tournament, which he won its champion without bringing any weapons of his own, merely using the «Army Combative» skill to grapple to his opponent, steal the player's weapon and use it to kill his target. He was somehow able to predict the moves of his targets to ambush them at extremely close range. After that, he would kill them before they were even able to use their weapons against him.
Sword Art Online: Alicization
One day, Gabriel's company was approached by the National Security Agency and they were requested to participate in an operation to assault the Ocean Turtle to obtain the Soul Translator technology secretly developed there. Hearing about the technology to interface with the human soul and that it had already succeeded in duplicating a human's soul, Gabriel volunteered to lead the operation himself.
- In the web version, it was revealed that "Subtilizer" is an English word, borrowed from French, which in turn was borrowed from Latin, where it means "one who hides things below". Reki interpreted this as "one who steals things away", similar to the French meaning of "Subtiliser", "to steal".
- In the web version, Gabriel was presented as the final antagonist, because the web version doesn't include the currently ongoing Unital Ring Arc, which is reportedly to be the final story arc of the light novel series.
- In addition, in the web version, the final battle against Gabriel as well as the epilogue happened after the original Moon Cradle Arc was over.
- Gabriel is by far the strongest villain in Sword Art Online series, and it's justified considering as mentioned above, he was the final boss of the series before SAO being adapted into light novels.
- In the anime, Gabriel wasn't mentioned in the second season. However, he made his anime debut as a cameo in Alicization's first episode.