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"No...I think he just went back to his new master...XANA..."

#66 William Returns

Name: William Dunbar

Nicknames: Tall, dark and handsome

Height: Around 1.7m (5'7)

Age at the start of the series: 14


William is present in the opening credits of season 4 alongside the Lyoko Warriors and Jeremy.

Presentation of the character's outfits


"I can't hear you very well, Mr. Dunbar. Are you trying to say that your son, William, has gone overseas to stay with you? And that he won't be attending classes here until you bring him home?"

#66 William Returns

The biggest problem with William's disappearance is the justification for his absence to the school and his family. At the school, Jeremy solves this by calling the principal while pretending to be William's father, and then creates a clone with William's appearance.

The trick is only discovered by his family in episode 93 “Down to Earth” in which the heroes bring the real William back just in time to take his place back.

Powers, abilities


William's powers are numerous.

One of his first powers to be shown is levitation. When he does it, he is surrounded by an aura and floats in mid-air, which allowed him to destroy the Core of Lyoko in episode 65 “Final Round”. This power may be the one he uses to make his sword fly towards him in episode 74 “I'd Rather Not Talk About It”.
In episode 67 “Double Take”, he levitates while XANA and Jeremy fight for control over a tower. We could say that, given his position, William was the one mentally taking control of the tower, but given that XANA has already proved that it doesn't need anyone to do this for it, this ability receives a big question mark after it.

Also in episode 65, some fans affirm that he uses Supersprint when he quickly moves behind Ulrich. Despite the pink-purple trail behind him when he moves, nothing can confirm whether it really was a Supersprint that's fast enough to beat a vehicle, as he never uses it again in the series. Maybe it came from him getting Supersmoke.

Let's talk about Supersmoke!
Of all the powers in the series, it's the one that has the most uses. It has offensive, defensive, strategic and ballistic capabilities (yes, yes!): Supersmoke allows William to change himself and his weapon into black smoke at any moment, or manipulate small clouds of it.
From an offensive point of view, William uses it to throw the heroes to the ground (episode 68 “Opening Act”) and knock them out by throwing a powerful ball of smoke into the target. Ideal for grounding a vehicle, Aelita is the main victim of it (episode 69 “Wreck Room”). Almost always used on Aelita, the smoke can also take control of a body (preferably inanimate) to move it. This allows William to transport Aelita in order to throw her into the Digital Sea and make Franz Hopper appear (from episode 66 “William Returns” until later on). In episode 85 “Kadic Bombshell”, William even uses this ability to throw Aelita against rocks in the Mountain Sector to ensure she doesn't escape.
William can turn himself into smoke. Flying in the form of a cloudy ball, he is able to cover great distances in a short time... A very useful ability as XANA's Lieutenant has a very full schedule. This even allows him to race ahead of vehicles or Aelita when she is in flight (episode 84 “Guided Missile”) and can then catch her before she reaches a tower.
William also uses it strategically: Supersmoke regularly allows him to save himself from a fall, especially one into the Digital Sea. In combat, he often uses it to get out of difficult situations by dodging, then reappearing behind the heroes and surprising them.
He also uses Supersmoke to propel himself and deliver a powerful blow with his sword by reappearing in mid-air (episode 89 “Music to Soothe the Savage Beast”).
Finally, his sword can also turn to smoke. This allows William to make it appear whenever he needs it and not be slowed down by having to carry it. He regularly makes it disappear and reappear when it has gotten stuck somewhere, which happens often given the sword's weight and the strength of its user...
In episode 78 “Lab Rat”, William uses Supersmoke in order to destroy Yumi's fans.
We finally note that William takes refuge in the Digital Sea in the form of Supersmoke.

Aside from Supersmoke, William has two other offensive abilities:
The first is the power to charge a destructive wave of energy in his sword that he throws at the target in a quick and powerful movement. This power is devastating and combines the two elements of a perfect attack: it is fast and deadly. A single hit is enough to devirtualise a Lyoko Warrior or their vehicle. The heroes pay the price and the element of surprise combined with this attack makes them all end up flattened during their first confrontation with William in episode 65. Until later in the series, the heroes are incapable of fighting back against this attack. Being hit just once from in front or from behind results in devirtualisation. Ulrich tries to parry it in episode 65 but finds himself unarmed due to the violence of the impact. Like with Megatank lasers, only Aelita's energy field can counter it.
The only other option is to avoid it, but as we've said, the shockwave is very fast.

The second is his colossal strength. It allows him to use his imposing equipment (see the next box) to its maximum potential without any difficulty. A primary example is that he had enough power in episode 69 “Wreck Room” to smash a rock to pieces when Yumi threw it towards him with telekinesis.
Thanks to this power, he can also combine close combat with his own fighting style when he duels with a hero. This is notably useful when he finds himself disarmed. We see this strength in episode 92 “Cold Sweat” during William's Teleportation. He KO's Odd (also Teleported) with one powerful kick, although the Teleported heroes have physical abilities that are far above average.
We also note his incredible jump from the top to the bottom of the Core Room during episode 65: although the heroes had already lost life points from less high jumps in the past, William doesn't lose any and leaves a deep cater where he landed.

Like Aelita, William seems to have a sort of second sight on Lyoko. We clearly see this power in episode 68 “Opening Act” when, after defeating Yumi, he manages to see Aelita in his mind's eye, despite her being very far away from him. We can suppose that he uses it at other times, like when he immediately gets rid of the real Ulrich in episode 67 “Double Take” when he uses Triplicate.

There is an important question to answer: are all these the powers of the real William when virtualised; did he have them when he was still on the side of good? Or were they all given to him by XANA?
It's probable that he possessed some of these powers from the start, like the other Lyoko Warriors, but that we didn't see him on screen long enough to find out. On the other hand, XANA surely must have given him extra powers, such as the shockwaves that have already been used by other virtual envelopes possessed by XANA.

Otherwise, while under XANA's control, William became a sort of guardian of the Replikas in the same way that Aelita is the Guardian of Lyoko. When William connects to a Replika tower under Jeremy's control, he can enter the Code XANA. When this happens, the code immediately places the tower under XANA's control. This de-anchors the Skid from the tower and aborts any Teleportations currently being done through the ship (episode 78 “Lab Rat”).

William's last known ability doesn't have any link with fighting.
When he is defeated and, in appearance, devirtualised, William doesn't rematerialise. He transforms into red and black smoke and disappears, but remains in digital form. According to questions answered by the writers during the advance screening of season 4, he returns to the Digital Sea.

Vehicle, weapons and equipment

"You think I'm afraid of that popsicle stick?"

#85 Kadic Bombshell

William doesn't have a vehicle on Lyoko or the Replikas because the possibilities offered by Supersmoke largely surpass any vehicles' in a number of ways.
William nevertheless often rides a Black Manta given to him by XANA. This Manta only gives William the ability to participate in aerial combat without being confined to the ground. His aide doesn't seem too important, as it doesn't appear to be any stronger than regular Mantas.

On the Network, William pilots a vessel called the Rorkal. It looks like a cross between a Navskid and the Skidbladnir itself, and allows William to block the heroes' way, side-by-side with undersea monsters. Larger and more imposing than the Navskids, the Rorkal also fires torpedoes. It can evolve autonomously. Once destroyed, it later reappears. Its destruction doesn't seem to affect William... Which is logical seeing as the XANA Warrior seeks refuge in the Digital Sea when he is defeated on Lyoko, or when a Replika is destroyed.
Note: The name “Rorkal” has never been said in the series and is only known through (French) documents produced by Moonscoop, especially communication documents on season 4. “Rorkal” comes from the French word for whale.

When it comes to equipment, XANA has doted on its soldier.
XANA-William still has his giant sword, redecorated à la XANA. As explained above, it is able to send out shockwaves and change into Supersmoke. William handles it firmly: almost all its blows are fatal, with but a few exceptions (like Odd in episode 73 “Replika”). William even throws it sometimes (episode 86 “Canine Conundrum”), however the sword's heavy weight and its lack of manoeuvrability restrain its use in this way: it often sticks into objects or the ground and is hard to pull back out. Also, even when losing the fight, the heroes and especially the svelte Yumi always gain a lot of time by dodging William's blows.
In episode 80 “Dog Day Afternoon”, when the sword is hit in the eye of XANA with an energy field, it seems to absorb the sphere and then William sends back a wave of energy that's the same colour as energy fields, throwing Aelita towards the Digital Sea. A unique use that remains a quite mysterious situation.

William also has a protective armband that allows him to block any form of attack.

Combined with William's amazing strength, the sword and the armband make him the best virtual warrior in terms of brute force. However, William's most important aptitude remains his excellent combat technique. Even if he's outnumbered, he can get rid of the group all by himself, and has only lost a few duels.

Role in the series

"But one day, we'll bring you back, William."

#77 Lost at Sea

Code Lyoko has one thing missing: the lack of a material enemy.
The presence of an identified and dangerous enemy is often the key to the success of some series. Whether we like them or not, whether they be handsome or not, vicious or not, the main antagonist is often a driving and showcasing element in a series.
Even if XANA is just as good an enemy as other series have, it appears extremely rarely, most of the time being symbolised by its eye. At times, this is a good thing (because this spurs the imaginations of numerous fans to picture XANA's appearance), but it can also be bad. With William, this bad point is corrected.

Thanks to his durable Xanafication, the fallen Lyoko Warrior not only becomes XANA's puppet, but also, in some way, its incarnation. Lyoko's monsters being inexpressive, William's cries of rage, satisfied expressions and lines of speech seem to come directly from the program. Therefore, we have a bad guy for visual reference in the series...
William has all the qualities of a good villain: powerful, fast, aggressive, unbeatable at the start, dark...

So William gives a little something to each episode; this moment of suspense when we ask ourselves if evil will finally triumph over the heroes...and how the heroes will get out of it this time.

This comes naturally with what we've just said, however we must also note the double positive impact of William's arrival on the fight scenes in the series:
Firstly, the XANA Warrior ups the level of difficulty of missions on Lyoko. Indeed, after Lyoko's destruction, the heroes had reached a new level of skill in virtual combat that made the missions almost boring. Remember the invincible Tarantula from episode 27 “New Order” that wiped out the three Lyoko Warriors all by itself...the same Tarantulas that, when pitted four against one, were all destroyed by Odd in episode 54 “Lyoko Minus One”. With the arrival of new outfits and the few bonuses that accompanied them (a second sabre for Ulrich, Aelita's wings, etc...), XANA had to react quickly.
William's massacre in in the Core Room after he was Xanafied gives a preview of the events to come: now, the Lyoko Warriors will have something to worry about.
Evidently, the heroes becoming more and more adept at fighting him is also what put season 4 in a state of perpetual evolution.

The second positive impact of William's coming to the dark side is the change it made on the combat style in the series.
From the beginning, the heroes had only ever faced monsters. While some innovations (vehicles, Tarantulas) made the fights more interesting, they started to become repetitive. A few monsters had their last hurrah during season 3 (Megatanks firing horizontally, among other things) but as we've said, the challenge was no longer there.
Fights between humanoids were rare in Code Lyoko. They were a magic recipe to make Lyokofans happy: everybody remembers episode 51 “Revelation” as THE episode in which Ulrich confronts his polymorphic clone. The fights to block XANA-Aelita's access to towers were also memorable.
The Xanafication of William therefore allowed these kinds of fights to occur more often: fights between warriors in the virtual world are more frequent, more varied, in groups or as duels... And as we explained above, William was largely there to take on the Lyoko Warriors.

To conclude, William's Xanafication also had important repercussions on the heroes' objectives and the realisation of XANA's plans: we explain this more further down.

Character and behaviour

"You can always count on William to mess everything up!"

#92 Cold Sweat

William is an atypical Xanafied person.
At the start, after his confrontation with the Schyphozoa, he seems to be like any other: pupils replaced by the eye of XANA, and doesn't speak, just makes strange noises and evil laughs.

But after the destruction of Lyoko, William changes...not only in appearance, but also in behaviour.

William is capable of showing all emotions from satisfaction to anger, fear, surprise, deception... He often laughs with satisfaction.
However, the big difference resides in the fact that William can speak. He often shows to be impatient and menacing, as well as arrogant and self-conscious. In episode 85 “Kadic Bombshell”, leaning that the rematerialisation program is going haywire, he declares that he is going to get “three birds with one sword”. He also often mocks people, for example when he says to Aelita “You want to leave? Be my guest” just before throwing her into the Digital Sea (episode 82 “Distant Memory”). He even shows some irony in episode 86 “Canine Conundrum” when he laughs at Aelita after she devirtualises Odd by accident.
Most of the time, he only speaks to Aelita and Yumi; rarely to Ulrich and never to Odd.

William is able to speak using his real teenage voice, not just the metallic one Xanafied people use. He uses it twice to trick the heroes (episodes 66 “William Returns” and 69 “Wreck Room”). This also shows that he is capable of playing tricks. He proves this in various situations. In episode 76, he waits for Yumi in ambush inside the infected tower.

However, William is more of an aggressive character. He often savagely attacks the heroes without a strategy. This character trait often places him in a leader position, in front of the monsters that he commands during battle.

To conclude, we note that William is also rational. Unlike the monsters, which always fight to the death, William sometimes retreats when the battle is lost (episode 68 “Opening Act”) or when he is badly outnumbered (episode 73 “Replika”).


"...for a second there the real William came back, Aelita..."

#76 The Lake

This isn't a familiar subject to the XANA Warrior, but we can however look at an important episode in our understanding of XANA-William's character: episode 76 “The Lake”.

Everyone knows that there is only room in the real William's heart for Yumi.
In episode 76, while they were fighting in the Ice Sector and William is about to deal the final blow in the duel, Yumi begs him to try to remember that he swore to being a Lyoko Warrior, promising that he would stand by the heroes' sides just before he stepped into the scanner...

This evocation seems to wake the real William up, and the unexpected happens when he engages in a sort of mental duel with XANA. The boy seems to be swamped by flashbacks as he fights to take back control of his virtual envelope.

In the end, unfortunately XANA is the one who comes out on top, and William remains on the side of evil.


"XANA's finally gonna have your company for good! Hahahahaha!"

# 85 Kadic Bombshell

William is a character who takes on an important role in the story, almost as important as Aelita's (that's saying something...). It is often said that he is the character who has evolved the most during the series. Coming to Kadic as a simple outsider to Ulrich in his relationship with Yumi, he became more and more of precious help to the heroes, the newest Lyoko Warrior and finally XANA's Lieutenant.

The program uses him as an instrument in realising its plans in the Virtual World.
Remember that after Lyoko's destruction, the Artificial Intelligence set about getting rid of Franz Hopper. To do this, XANA needed to lure the Creator of Lyoko out of the Digital Sea. And to do that, it tries to throw Aelita in, because once digitised in the Network, only Franz Hopper can save her and bring her back to Lyoko.
William is the main instrument in this objective. In episode 66, XANA rematerialises him to go find Aelita, virtualise her by force and throw her into the Digital Sea. He fails this time, but he ceaselessly harasses the girl every opportunity he gets. He ends up succeeding in episode 82 “Distant Memory”, but Franz escapes just in time.

XANA also uses William for its usual objectives: protect activated towers (episode 72 “Crash Course”), try to destroy the Supercomputer (episode 81 “A Lack of Goodwill”)...

Finally, William is also involved in XANA's second objective. The program infested Supercomputers around the world to create Replikas. Using the energy from these Replikas, it is creating armies of robots to take control of the Earth.

William defends these Replikas. Either by fighting the heroes directly when they go there, or by attacking the Skidbladnir (episode 73 “Replika”). He can also enter a tower to which the Skidbladnir is anchored (to launch Teleportation) and type the Code XANA into the interface. The tower immediately goes under XANA's control, and the Skid's anchorage and Teleportation are interrupted (episode 78 “Lab Rat”).
William also has the chance to defend a Supercomputer directly in the real world by being Teleported into the base containing it (episode 92 “Cold Sweat”).

We see him go into the Network twice on board his Rorkal to confront the heroes alongside Kongres and Sharks. Without much success (episodes 77 “Lost at Sea” & 86 “Canine Conundrum”).

William's Xanafication had immediate repercussions on the heroes' objectives: as well as destroying XANA and looking for Franz Hopper, Jeremy must now also work on saving William.
He makes a first attempt with a program in episode 69 “Wreck Room”...which ends in failure. In the end, one of XANA's mistakes gives them the solution. When it Teleports William from a tower onto a Replika, it stores important data about its warrior within the tower. Aelita enters the tower and steals the data. Then, Jeremy manages to create a program to bring William back, and it works. Launched during a long fight on the Ice Replika, William is defeated and reappears in the scanners, without any memory of the events after he was captured by the Scyphozoa...


"I don't have to deal with you, but I do have to wreck everything!"

#81 A Lack of Goodwill

The character only appears from episode 65 onwards, after he is Xanafied by the Scyphozoa. He doesn't appear after episode 93 “Down to Earth” when he is saved by the heroes.

#65 Final Round
#66 William Returns
#67 Double Take
#68 Opening Act
#69 Wreck Room
#70 Skidbladnir
#72 Crash Course
#73 Replika
#74 I'd Rather Not Talk About It
#75 Hot Shower
#76 The Lake
#77 Lost at Sea
#78 Lab Rat
#79 Bragging Rights
#80 Dog Day Afternoon
#81 A Lack of Goodwill
#82 Distant Memory
#83 Hard Luck
#84 Guided Missile
#85 Kadic Bombshell
#86 Canine Conundrum
#87 A Space Oddity
#89 Music to Soothe the Savage Beast
#92 Cold Sweat
#93 Down to Earth
#95 Echoes (flashback)


Media about the character
ImageFighting William 1

Extract of the season 4 music when our heroes fight XANA-William on Lyoko.
ImageFighting William 2

Music used when our heroes fight XANA-William.
ImageWilliam's Theme

William's theme music, ripped from episode 95 "Echoes".
ImageBest of William

The Best of William video, published by Bangoo at the start of the promotional campaign for Code Lyoko Evolution.

The different Spanish advertisements for the William action figures in several versions:
William on Earth - Long version
William virtualised & Monsters - Long version