Shiriki Utundu is the main antagonist of Tokyo DisneySea's version of the Tower of Terror. He is a violent and sadistic African deity possessing an idol of itself and causing death, destruction, chaos and misery wherever it goes.
Legend states that Mtundu tribe of the Congo were once a tribe of thieves and defilers. They were so despised by the other tribes that they were forced out of their lands and driven away by their rival tribe, the Kokoko. As the tribe sought new lands, they learned of a wealthy neighbor tribe that possessed a powerful idol of Shiriki Utundu , said to be inhabited by the spirit of the deity himself. One man (the grandfather of the future chief Kijanji) snuck into the village and stole the idol. Doing so caused luck for the Mtundu tribe, and the man decided to further test the idol's power to get revenge on the Kokoko tribe.
The man hammered nails into the idol's head and chanted an incantation to bring it to life. The idol awakened and left in the dead of night. The next morning, the Mtundu discovered the idol had returned, blood coating its dagger and staff. The Mtundu learned later that the entire Kokoko tribe had been slaughtered and their village destroyed.
Feeling guilty for what he had done, the man attempted to throw the cursed idol in the river. However, the idol used magic to transport him to a hellish forest-like world of permanent night, where he was forced to be tortured and even killed repeatedly by leeches and snakes for a week.
Harrison Hightower III
Years later, the African jungles were explored by the adventurer Harrison Hightower III, who came across the Mtundu tribe. Hightower was told the story of the idol by Kijanji's son Kibwana, and was intrigued. He offered to purchase the idol from them, but the tribe refused. Hightower then decided to take the idol by force, though the tribe did not put up much of a fight.
For the remainder of his expedition, Hightower mounted the idol on the tip of his canoe. All tribes that saw the idol showered the canoe in gifts, not out of respect, but of fear.
Upon returning to New York, Hightower planned to keep the idol as a trophy in the penthouse suite of his skyscraper hotel, Hotel Hightower.
However, during the New Year's Eve of 1899, Hightower got into his hotel's elevator and began going upwards towards his suite, but disrespected the idol by extinguishing a cigarette on its head. This awakened Shiriki Utundu once more, and it proceeded to use magic to drop and crash the elevator, killing Hightower. Shiriki Utundu then forced Hightower's ghost into eternal limbo by making his ghost haunt his own hotel for all time.
New York Preservation Society
Years later, journalist Manfred Strang and the head of the New York Preservation Society, Beatrice Rose Endicott, returned to the hotel hoping to preserve it as a landmark. Strang was cautious and fearful of the legend of the Shiriki Utundu idol, but Endicott mocked the legend and the idol, even pushing the idol around when she found it in an office. The phone then rang, with the person on the other end warning them about the idol, but Endicott thought it was a prank.
The two made their way to Hightower's Suite, finding the idol had mysteriously moved up there with them. The phone rang again with the same person warning them of the idol. Strang realized this caller was the ghost of Hightower, who alerted them that Shiriki Utundu had once again been awakened. The two saw the idol's eyes open and fled. Though they both escaped, Strang begged Endicott not to proceed with preserving the hotel or giving tours. However, she ignored his pleas and went ahead with her plans anyway.
Tower of Terror
The attraction is the result of the tours given by the New York Preservation Society. A guests enter the hotel, they are shown the idol on a pedestal next to a stained glass window portraying Hightower. The tour guide then explains to the guests about Hightower, then winds up a gramophone that plays Hightower's last interview. As this occurs, the lights dim and the window changes to show Hightower holding the idol, entering the elevator, and dropping to his death. The Shiriki Utundu idol then come back to life, grinning and cackling maliciously at the guests before him, He then vanishes in a wave of stars, creating a dark fog and turning the stained glass image of the hotel green.
After guests board the elevators, they can hear Hightower's spirit explaining the idol to them, while Shiriki Utundu's glowing green eyes are seen peering through the darkness. The elevator arrives at a floor with the idol and the ghost of Hightower, attempting to warn the guests. However, Shiriki Utundu uses magic to force Hightower into another elevator and drops him, similar to the event that took his life. Shiriki Utundu cackles at the guests and teleports away.
As guests reach another floor and see a mirror, Shiriki Utundu appears in the mirror laughing. He then lunges at the elevator wielding magic, causing the elevator to sharply rise to the top of the building and bob up and down. As the elevator reaches the top of the shaft, guests can see Shiriki Utundu's shadow as the idol reaches the top of the elevator and uses his dagger to cut the cable, causing the elevator to drop. Shiriki Utundu cackles and mocks the doomed passengers as they fall, his face lunging at them from a star-field. The elevator lands and the guests survive, but Shiriki Utundu's eyes are seen glowing in the darkness once more before he cackles and vanishes, leaving the guests to escape.
Rules of the Idol
Always treat it with respect.
Do not have it close to fire.
It must not be wrapped up, buried or confined in a small building.
It must never be thrown or given away.
Beware its eyes.
Shiriki Utundu is sadistic and violent, and delights in causing death, torture and destruction. He will do these to anyone he pleases, but will most often choose those who disrespect or abuse his idol, which he will the possess to wreck havoc. He has no qualms with viciously slaughtering an entire village or full elevators of innocent people simply for fun or for revenge. He is shown to be prideful and often shows off his kills. When he is not killing people, he tortures them by holding them as undead spirits or trapping them in dark worlds of pain and repeated death. He grins and cackles when doing so, and takes clear and relentless delight in the suffering of others.