Claus F. Lester (クラース・Ｆ・レスター Kuraasu F. Resutaa?, "Klarth F. Lester") is a protagonist in Tales of Phantasia. He is a 29-year-old professor whose studies into magic have earned him fame for being a human, and thus unable to use it naturally.
Tales of Phantasia
Claus is a famous teacher of magic residing in Euclid a hundred years before Cress Albane, Chester Burklight, and Mint Adenade are born. While researching summoning, Cress Albane and Mint Adenade come searching for his aid to defeat Dhaos. Initially dismissing their claims as a plot to obtain free lessons in magic, his assistant Milard Rune manages to convince him otherwise after a small argument. Claus decides to take them with him to Lone Valley, where the Wind Spirit Sylph resides. He explains to Cress and Mint that the art of summoning, a particular kind of magic which even humans can use, is focused around forming pacts with Spirits using jeweled rings. They find that Lone Valley's Spirits are rampaging, and Claus discovers that Miasma, demonic wind from Daemonium, is causing the Sylph to run wild. Using that knowledge, he comes up with a plan to stop the Miasma by covering the holes from which it comes with rocks, preventing them from entering. With the Sylph calmed, Claus manages to form a pact with the spirit.
Told by Sylph to visit the Great Tree Yggdrasill, they are told by Martel that the tree is dying. Determined to stop the tree's death, which would cause magic to fade, Claus decides to find Luna, the strongest Spirit he knows. On the way to Alvanista, the party encounters and befriends Arche Klein, who allows Rhea Scarlet to avenge her killed family and destroyed hometown of Hamel. On the boat to Alvanista, Claus talks with Cress about the girls they are traveling with, mentioning that he likes Mint's prim and proper nature, but he also like Arche's mischievous side. An embarrassed Cress changes the topic to Milard, whom Claus denies being interested in. At a buffet, Claus talks with a swordsman, Meia, and discovers that Dhaos has been controlling the Prince of Alvanista, which is why the two powerful kingdoms, Alvanista and Midgards, have not been strongly opposing Dhaos. Due to that night, however, Claus is incapacitated in the morning when Meia becomes controlled by one of Dhaos's minions, so Cress has to strike him down alone.
At Alvanista, Claus directs them to the inn rather than directly confronting the Prince, where they hatch a plan to sneak in on Arche's broom during the moonless night. There, Claus discovers that the parrot has been controlling the prince, and the party fights it in its true demon form, only to be mistaken as thieves and thrown in prison afterward. Upon explaining the situation to the king with the aid of Lundgrom, Alvanista's Court Magic User, the party receives a pass to the Morlia Mineshaft, where Luna's pact ring is to be found, and Claus receives a tome of magic from him as well.
The party then travels the world, making pacts with Undine, Efreet, and Gnome. With the help of the four Spirits Claus a pact with, they encounter and befriend Maxwell, gaining access to the treasure room, only to find that the pact rings are broken. Traveling to the Elf Colony in Ymir Forest, they learn about the elves and their isolationist stance, as well as getting the rings fixed. Upon returning to Midgards, the party makes a pact with Luna. The party returns to Midgards where Reisen shows them the Magitech Lab. Arche begins to question Dhaos's motives, suggesting that there may be a greater reason behind his actions, and Claus agrees with her, but Cress harshly shuts them down to the point where Mint reprimands him. After returning to Midgards once more after attempting to figure out the reason as to why Dhaos chose to destroy only Hamel, they discover that Dhaos has sent a minion to declare war on the world. To save a child, Edward D. Morrison disappears with Dhaos's minion using time travel.
Claus is named the leader of a unit consisting of the rest of the party, and the group lead an offensive on Dhaos's army at Valhalla Plains, succeeding in taking out his commander. They return to Midgards, where Claus receives a hefty sum as reward, only to find that Dhaos has launched an aerial assault. While Midgards fires the Mana Cannon, Cress disappears in a gate summoned by Valkyrie. Once the force is repelled, the party strikes for Dhaos, who they manage to defeat in a long battle only for him to disappear into time. Because Dhaos escapes into time, the party needs to make sure that Yggdrasill will survive in the future. With the help of the Unicorn, Mint manages to heal the tree, and after hearing Martel discuss the fact that large amounts of mana, the thing which sustains the tree and magic itself, Claus reasons that it is magitech that is killing the tree, though he still can not guess at Dhaos's motivations.
The party returns to the present through the power of the ancient civilization Thor, which is underwater and only reached through the aid of Undine, whom Claus summons. There, they return to the Catacombs with Morrison and Chester still battling Dhaos, managing to defeat him this time. With his body lost amid the ruins, the party believes they can rest, only for Harrison to come from the future to call for aid, because Dhaos is wrecking havoc there. The party, with Chester in tow, then head for the future.
In the future, in the town of Miguel, the future Toltus, the party rests before going to Euclid. At Euclid, when the party rests at the inn, Claus remembers about a night with Milard, who gives him a cup of tea as he reads, though Claus dismisses her. At Euclid, they find that they need the Techbirds in order to reach Alvanista through the air, and Claus offers his services as a summon to enlist the Lightning Spirit Volt's help in powering them. On the way to Volt's Cave, they meet a ninja, later revealed to Suzu Fujibayashi, in several encounters where the party forces Cress to help her. Upon obtaining Volt's power and subsequently obtaining the Techbirds, they proceed to Alvanista.
At Alvanista, the party is tasked with finding the Three Weapons which defeated the three ancient civilizations of Thor, Fenrir, and Odin. While claiming the Fire sword, Flamberge, and Ice sword, Vorpal Sword, Claus also makes side trips to make pacts with the Spirits Shadow and Aska, the latter they free from Thor. The party returns to Treantwood, where they subdue Origin. Origin creates the Eternal Sword from the two swords and the power of the "Diamond" pact ring. The party travels to Arlee. Once alone, Claus uses a special, one-time favor with Origin. Using the Eternal Sword's power, Origin allows Claus to look back into time, where he sees Milard teaching a class on magic, with her stating that she trusts him to return. Afterward, using the Eternal Sword, they break the time barrier that surround Dhaos's castle. Meeting him one final time, the group defeats him once and for all. Claus says his last farewells the party, knowing that he would see none but Arche again. Using the Eternal Sword, he returns back to his time with Arche.
Tales of Phantasia: Narikiri Dungeon
Claus plays an important role in this game as one of the Heroes of Eternity who guide central protagonists Mell and Dio on their quest. For him, a year has passed since he returned home, and Claus continues to teach magic with Milard at his side. Norn comes to him for help, telling him the true history of Dhaos. He meets with Mel and Dio, relating first the sanitized history of the Dhaos War and then his own interpretation. Claus still believes that Midgards was not as perfect as history claims, and that he does not believe that Dhaos was an inhuman monster. Claus states that Dhaos hated magitech, that which consumes mana at an alarming rate, dooming the world. He tells them about Cress, whom they would meet later and would expand on the Dhaos War, and he gives them the key to the Valley of Wind, where the Wind Spirit Sylph resides. Later, Mel and Dio need help translating a lithograph. They come to Claus, who realizes that it is writing from Thor, and teaches them how to read it, though he is unable to help them with understanding it.
Toward the end, Claus is working furiously and Milard attempts to get him to rest. He says he wishes to do one more thing, and Milard reminds him that he needs to care for his health. Claus stops because the words remind him of his father, a famous botanist, and how his researching kept him away from his family. Claus was not sure if he hates his father, but he always wonders if his mother was happy about it, and he worries that he might be doing the same to Milard in a sort of ironic echo. Milard replies that for her, and maybe for his mother, there is happiness in watching a loved one who so deeply loved his work. Claus calls her his life's partner, flustering her. Dios Bandi uses this scene to mock Claus for what he sees as his luck. To him, affection and hatred are close, and the bond between a parent and child, even a painful echo of hatred between the two and similarity in actions, is still a bond. He wonders that, for a child who does not even have that, what that child should love or hate.
Tales of the World: Summoner's Lineage
In order to defeat the Demon King Xex, Claus's descendant, Fulein K. Lester, and his partner Macaron go around gathering Claus's old pact rings in order to attain more power. Once they obtain the "Efreet Ring", Fulein decides to bring forth Claus for advice. Macaron uses one of his pact rings to call him, and once Claus hears Fulein's situation, he agrees to help. Claus also suggests gathering his old friends for help, starting with Cress. Along the way, Claus gets closer to his descendant, granting advice and the like with his greater maturity.
Appearance and Personality
Claus appears as a man in his late twenties with a man-made, mage-styled outfit that consists of a pointed hat with a veil; two-long-tassels that act as a coat for him, with a brown, no-button jacket underneath; red, baggy pants, with both the jacket and pants tied by a blue sash; and a pair of brown-tan ankle shoes and black finger-less gloves. Claus is also notable for a large amount of tattoos that run along his body, which are visible on his arms and ankles. Claus also has fairly tanned skin, blue eyes, and white, messy hair tied in a ponytail.
However, his appearance in the SFC version of the game greatly contrasts his more consistent appearance via having him as a middle-aged scholar with a coat, a scholar's hat, and a monocle despite his SFC portrait remaining the same as his primary appearance; this was eventually corrected as of the PSX version. Personality-wise, Claus is a blunt and arrogant, telling things like he sees them. His rough exterior hides a great intellect and soft heart, and he has the ability to understand and solve problems quickly. Stubborn and harsh, he is still a restraining force of maturity, though he is also a bit perverted and unashamed of his ogling of women.
Claus is a summoner, one of the two mages capable of attacking. Through the use of summoning which he developed himself, Claus is capable of calling Spirits such as Undine and Origin to his aid. While he lacks the wide variety of abilities Arche Klein does, his spells pack a lot of power. He fights with books, but as expected of a caster, these do little to injure enemies at close range. In Tales of Phantasia: The Animation, Claus's main weakness is that his stronger summons require much preparation. Maxwell, in particular, though extremely powerful, requires a lengthy ritual for one cast, and when a monster gets close, he is unable to do anything. Other weaker Spirits such as Undine and Volt are ones he can call much faster, though are not nearly as potent.
Tales of Eternia
Tales of the World: Narikiri Dungeon 2
After defeating Cress during the storyline, Julio Sven and Caro Orange can find Claus at the Stone Cave and recruit him to the town. Julio and Caro are able to recruit him to travel with them and also able to take quests from him. Julio can dress as Claus by combining a male Scholar costume with the "Necronomicon" root item.
Tales of the World: Narikiri Dungeon 3
Claus joins Julio and Caro after Mission 5 at Dhaos's Castle Dungeon. He is able to be used as a party member after the completion of the mission. Julio can dress as Claus by combining his Scholar costume with the "Contract Ring" root item.
- Claus's weapons are mainly references to the Cthulhu Mythos.
- The "Gentlewakame" (ジェントルワカメ?) wears Claus's hat in the PlayStation 2 remake of Tales of Destiny. Its 100% Break Gauge arte is "Jifneet" (自負ニート Jifuniito?), a parody of Efreet and its summon.