"Uh-uh, no, that'd be too easy, Ulrich. Let me tell you what's wrong around here.
My being around Yumi forces you to ask yourself a question, a tough question that you can't answer. Here's a piece of friendly advice: go and talk to Yumi, from the heart.
Or else, one day, I will! And then I really will be your problem!
Name: William Dunbar
Height: Around 1.7m (5'7)
Age at the start of the series: 14
We can see that, just like Odd, Lyoko reminds William of video games with savage names, which William seems to play of a lot of the time!
Presentation of the character's outfits
"But you did manage to get yourself kicked out of your last school putting up posters all over the place!"
#27 New Order
We don't know anything about William's schooling, except that he is in year 9 and the same class as Yumi. Sometimes, he confuses his exams and revises geography instead of mathematics...
"My uncle used to work in construction, and I go with him during vacation. He used to show me how to..."
#59 The Secret
It's hard to say whether William is close to his family or not. He said that he frequently sees one of his uncles, a construction worker, and takes his nephew to sites to show him the ropes of the profession. We don't know anything about the boy's parents until later in the series, when they appeared in our heroes' Universe after their child's disappearance.
At this moment, we can deduce that William often called his parents, as Mr Dunbar quickly discovered that his child wasn't calling him anymore and alerts the principal (episode 67 “Double Take”). When the clone took the place of the original, the Dunbar parents took a little longer to realise the substitution. In the end they arrive at Kadic and discover the trick, although a little too late, as the real William came back at just the right time to take back his place and lower suspicions surrounding the clone, which had been increasing for some time (episode 93 “Down to Earth”). During the brief time in which William was with his parents on screen, we can see that they are very close to one another. Mr Dunbar lucidly describes his son as a rebellious teenager, the opposite of his mollusk of a clone. We also learn that he hid compromising elements when he enroled his son at Kadic. For more information, consult Mr and Mrs Dunbar's file.
"Nothing can stop them anymore."
"They're going to destroy the sphere!"
#65 Final Round
In his normal state, William has not shown any extraordinary abilities. All the abilities he has used are revealed after he is possessed by XANA.
His power maybe be levitation, even if we can't really judge it, because we see it just once on Lyoko (episode 65 “Final Round”). Maybe XANA give him this power temporarily, given it can easily tamper with Lyoko's parameters. However, from then on out, William uses Supersmoke to move through the air.
When he floats, William is surrounded by a purple aura that is much more intense than the one that surrounds Yumi when she uses telekinesis.
Vehicle, weapons and equipment
"Wow! That's some pretty classy gear!"
#65 Final Round
Weapon: He uses an enormous sword that, like Ulrich's sabre in “Franz Hopper”, can kill from a distance thanks to shockwaves (a power given by XANA?). It can also deflect monster fire, but it's very heavy to carry!
Role in the series
"I knew it was a bad idea to bring you into the group..."
#65 Final Round
William is the character whose role has changed the most. Of all the characters, he is the one who goes through the most evolution, perhaps even more than Aelita.
Unfortunately, the aspects of this interesting character (along with Yumi, he is one of the rare characters that have a truly complex mentality) are too often changed according to the needs of the writers, and consequently become contradictory.
William appeared in “New Order”, the first episode of season 2. At first, he simply appeared to be a new factor in Ulrich and Yumi's relationship, as he seemed interested in and very close to the Japanese girl, much to Ulrich's chagrin. We could say that he became a sort of masculine Sissi.
It's William's first art: stir up trouble in a relationship, although it's often involuntary or in retaliation to provocation. He only showed off to seduce Yumi! Ulrich is extremely jealous... So the anger between the two strong boys quickly escalated, leading to a rivalry that is much more violent than the petty one between Yumi and Mr Delmas' daughter.
As previously stated, depending on the writers' needs, William is sometimes a disruptive element (episode 40 “Attack of the Zombies”). Particularly during season 3, he becomes much more oppressive for the heroes, knowing well that Yumi is hiding a secret, one that he, like Sissi, plans to find out...but unlike Sissi, he actually succeeds!
Not long before that, William became more clumsy, sticking to Yumi, always arriving at the wrong time; he adds a lot more spice to her relationship with Ulrich! He's certainly not a stranger to Yumi's decision in episode 53 “Straight to Heart”.
However, he helps Yumi fight a Xanafied man and prevent the factory from being blown up. The new kid at Kadic therefore has a paradoxical double role: undermining a relationship one day, saving the day the next. He also helps the girl to escape the school so she can get to the factory and fight XANA. It's during these various situations that William takes on the role of temporary ally.
At the end of episode 64 “Double Trouble”, William is officially aware of Lyoko, and joins the group of heroes...before the apocalypse and his falling into XANA's hands, leading to the final event of season 3: Lyoko's destruction!
The images of episode 65 “Final Round” show a William who has been even more Xanafied than anybody else before him, surprising us!
In this complete turnaround, William is once again changed according to the writers' needs. In the space of one episode, he goes from being a new Lyoko Warrior to public enemy number 1, the XANA Warrior that the writers needed in order to spice up the thirty episodes of season 4.
William's presence is slightly tarnished in the final episodes when Ulrich's "love rival" is brought back. The heroes refused to let him back into the group, and he incarnated XANA's threat one last time as the very last person to be Xanafied, during the final battle.
In my opinion, William's evolution is still fascinating! Seeing Ulrich's rival become XANA's lieutenant and one of the main characters of the series is really amazing and fitting for a series like Code Lyoko!
Character and behaviour
"And I'm gonna find out what your big secret is...you can bet on that!"
#59 The Secret
William, like Ulrich and Yumi, has a strong personality!
Being a fighter, he doesn't hesitate to let things get messy with Ulrich when he's provoked by him in episode 39 “A Bad Turn”. He says that love can drive him crazy, and it's true, because he jumps at the chance to go out at night, against the rules, to visit Yumi (episode 39 “A Bad Turn”).
He's a hopeless optimist, he continues to follow Yumi even when she seems to be fed up with him, but he is also extremely curious, unfortunately for the heroes.
Sometimes he is childish (the best example of which being episode 65 “Final Round”). In these cases, we can feel his immature side, but this aspect of William is also obviously present in his provoking/challenging side!
But his strong point, which catches the group's attention, is that he is really brave. In “Lyoko Minus One” and “The Secret”, he fights against his entire Xanafied class and a construction worker who is also under XANA's influence. He deactivates a bomb with seven seconds to spare. You have to admit that you need a lot of courage for that, and to be a good warrior too. William has great mental strength. In the whole series, he is the only character who has fought XANA's influence while being under the program's unerring control (episode 76 “The Lake”).
So, prowess is a word that can be attributed to William's character, but it's not the only one; he's also very frank and doesn't mince his words. He's also serious, but some of his actions are ridiculous, like for example his puerile reaction during his first virtualisation, or his repeated flirting attempts.
Indeed, there is a universal trait among all the character's good and bad qualities: he is persevering. In the end, however, this is what makes him touching: when he became himself again, the heroes rejected him tactlessly, and yet he still wanted to lend a hand if they needed it. That's why, although we can blame William for many things, we can't deny that there is good inside him.
"You mean love makes you crazy?"
"Makes me totally insane."
#27 New Order
William says that he believes in destiny with a capital D! Apparently he stuck posters all over his old school in order to proclaim his love for a girl!
When he arrives at Kadic (episode 27 “New Order”), William wastes no time in getting close to Yumi, who is in the same class as him. He is interested by her. But he quickly found out that Ulrich felt the same way about the Japanese girl. At first, it was like a battle of rivals between the two protagonists! William doesn't take it too far, but for Ulrich things have already turned very hostile! He's convinced that William is doing anything he can to seduce Yumi, although at this point William's intentions were just...to get to know her better... Unlike Sissi, at this point, William isn't yet in a rivalry with Ulrich. Life goes on for him as normal while Ulrich gets riled up all by himself.
Instead of trying to oust him, William even tries to give Ulrich advice...which, given his huge amount of pride, he doesn't follow at all (episode 36 “Marabounta”)! So William decides to take his chance. If Ulrich didn't want to listen to him, tough! So he gets closer and closer to Yumi. That's when he realises that Ulrich really is the only obstacle on his path to Yumi's heart, and he begins to retaliate to our hero's aggressive behaviour.
True to himself, William directly declared his feelings for Yumi in episode 39 “A Bad Turn”, even trying to steal a kiss, but the girl rejected him! Knowing perfectly well that Ulrich was the cause of his failure, he decided he we done acting indifferent: he reacted, and the merciless war began! The two teens quickly made matters escalate into a physical fight!
From then on the fight became less violent, but a true cold war had hit Kadic! Provocations, challenges, insults: it was no holds barred! The loser always suffers from crushing humiliation (episode 44 “Vertigo”).
William has remained the same throughout, not hiding his feelings for Yumi from the rest of the world (episode 32 “Saint Valentine's Day”). In episode 52 “The Key”, once more William creates difficulties for Ulrich and Yumi before the holidays.
When school came back, the boy became a pot of glue...which Yumi hates! She clearly tells him this in “The Secret” and denounces his “two-bit Casanova act”, upsetting William! She doesn't appreciate him as much as she used to, and she was the one who refused to let him enter the group following a group vote. William was convinced that Ulrich was the one who had rejected him.
However, she changes her mind (episode 64 “Double Trouble”) and thanks to her, William joins the group.
William's Xanafication gave the complex love triangle between himself, Yumi and Ulrich some fresh air. This annoying event moves the tension far away from matters of the heart.
Nevertheless, the veracity of William's feelings is pressed in episode 76 “The Lake”. Yumi calls the real William while the being controlled by XANA is preparing to devirtualise her. The real William resurfaces and tries to stop XANA from attacking the girl. In vain, unfortunately.
After William's return, Yumi tells him the truth: he's not the one she loves, and he has to give up hope (episode 95 “Echoes”).
"Hey, Jeremy? There's this really weird-looking creature that just showed up.
Like some kind of uh...giant jellyfish?"
#65 Final Round
Expelled from his former school for sticking posters everywhere (love letters, in his opinion), William came to Kadic in the middle of the school year.
He quickly became friends with Yumi, and grew closer to her. Unfortunately for Ulrich, who tried to win Yumi's heart several times, but ended up making a fool of himself instead.
He is confronted by Ulrich a few times, but he's the only character in the group who has problems with William. He gets along well with the others, and especially well with Yumi. Yumi seems to appreciate him, and Odd likes his rebellious side, but deplores his lack of humour.
After episode 59 “The Secret”, he became much more trouble for our heroes.
He understood that a secret linked Yumi, Ulrich, Odd, Jeremy and Aelita and, just like Sissi, he tries to discover what it is...and succeeds!
In this same episode, he helped Yumi to fight a Xanafied construction worker, and his performance gains the group's attention. He even saved everyone by disarming a bomb placed by the worker. They organise a vote to see if William deserves to keep his memories of the factory and become their partner in the fight against XANA. The vote ends in four "yes" to one "no"...from Yumi, much to her friends' surprise!
William therefore seems to be excluded, but when he helps Yumi to escape from the school in episode 64 “Double Trouble”, the girl finally agrees, and thanks to this, William officially became part of the team in episode 65 “Final Round”.
Eager to fight XANA, William was keen for an attack to be launched, and the others had to calm him down: it's not a game, this is dangerous. In the end, he doesn't have to wait long, as a few hours later, XANA launches an attack on the Core of Lyoko!
Anxious, Aelita calls her friends, but they were all busy for different reasons and Aelita and William were forced to go to Lyoko alone.
William soon began to act as if he were in a video game, and didn't listen at all to Aelita, who was trying to tell him what being a Lyoko Warrior means, even letting him activate the key... But, thrilled by this new experience, William childishly displayed his great combat skills!
A fatal mistake!
When the key is activated, William and Aelita find themselves separated by the reconfiguration of the room, and William is confronted by the Scyphozoa, which Xanafies him. Aelita arrives too late and is devirtualised by her ally-turned-enemy. The boy then goes to the Core Room where Creepers are already amassed and waiting. XANA's army now has a new chief: William!
One by one, the Core's protective barriers are destroyed. Yumi, Odd and Ulrich tried to prevent the destruction of the Core, but were all mercilessly devirtualised by William, seemingly invincible while in the possession of his massive sword and the powers given to him by XANA.
The Core defenceless, William levitates towards it and impales his sword into the centre of the Core, a Xanaly sadistic smile on his face. It's over. Lyoko is lost...and so is William...
But is it really over?
The XANA Warrior seems to awaken, floating in the Digital Void, and in his eyes, the symbol of XANA appears, as well as on his torso. No, it's not over yet. It's just the beginning of a new war...
In this moment, the good William's personality seems to be completely changed by XANA's presence within him. He only makes a very brief return in episode 76.
Fortunately, William was in good company, and the Lyoko Warriors save him from XANA's influence and bring him back to Earth after several months of absence. He learns, horrified (or he remembers) all the trouble he caused the heroes as a XANA Warrior, and he is forced to deal with their hostility. He insists he help however, to show his regrets. But unfortunately for him, he is Xanafied, on Earth this time, during the final mission that will mark the end of the multi-agent program. The end of William's adventure is very miserable: he suffers from missing several weeks of his life, and his friends reject him, especially Yumi. However, the Japanese girl and Aelita are quite indulgent with him and we can say that, after a while, William could have re-earned his place in the group as a Lyoko Warrior...on the condition that he learns to live with the eventual couple of Ulrich and Yumi.
"You know, I had another dream about you last night. (...) There was this giant computer in this huge room like a factory, you know? And then both you and I were on this bridge, fighting against this factory worker, who was doing these wild acrobatics."
#64 Double Trouble
William est un personnage qui fait son apparition au début de la saison 2, il n'intervient pas dans la saison 1 ! Dans la saison 4, des épisodes 66 à 93, il est sous contrôle de XANA !
#27 New Order
#32 Saint Valentine's Day
#33 Final Mix
#34 Missing Link
#35 The Chips Are Down
#39 A Bad Turn
#40 Attack of the Zombies
#42 A Fine Mess
#43 XANA's Kiss
#52 The Key
#53 Straight to Heart
#54 Lyoko Minus One
#55 Tidal Wave
#59 The Secret
#64 Double Trouble
#65 Final Round
#93 Down to Earth
#94 Fight to the Finish