Pious, during his playable chapter
|Chapter Year||26 BC|
|Other Appearance(s)|| 1150 AD, 1460 AD, 1485 AD, 1983 AD, 2000 AD,|
numerous unknown dates
|Location(s)|| Forbidden City|
|Voiced by||Richard Doyle|
Pious Augustus is a Roman Centurion in his late 20s, at war in Ancient Persia. His playable chapter occurs in 26 BC, but he has many other appearances between then and 2000 AD. He debuts as the protagonist of Chapter 1: The Chosen One, but becomes the antagonist for almost every other chapter in the game due to being corrupted by the Ancients.
In 26 BC, Pious first speaks to his fellow soldiers about how well their previous battle went. One of the soldiers praises Pious' tactics on the battlefield, which guaranteed an easy victory. Another soldier asks Pious about the artifact that the Emperor told them about, and Pious responds with confidence that they will bring the artifact to the Emperor. As the soldiers proceed to hunt for the artifacts, Pious starts hearing voices calling for him. Pious follows the voices and finds several strange spires in the desert, and upon doing so, he is transported into an ancient temple known as the Forbidden City. He fights his way through several Mantorok zombies, destroys a statue of himself (which then appears smashed in the room where the Tome of Eternal Darkness remains), and then finds three powerful artifacts, each representing one of the three Ancients. The power of the artifact he chooses turns Pious into a liche, and the chapter ends with him describing how much stronger or smarter he has become under the power of the Ancient whose artifact he has selected, and thus warns the reader that challenging him will surely result in them perishing at his hand.
As an antagonist
Although he appears in various guises, such as a monk who supports the Inquisition, a collector of rare items in search of a temple in Cambodia, or even Edward Roivas' own ghost, the other main characters easily see through his disguises for whom he really is, most times just before being murdered by his loyal minions. He holds a deep respect towards the ancient whose artifact he has chosen, never referring to them by their name in their presence and instead opting for terms of royalty. He reports anything and everything to his Ancient, even if they are already in possession of the knowledge for themselves. He plays an active role in deterring the actions of the heroes, although he himself does not prefer to do the dirty work and instead summons the minions of his lord to finish the job for him. Even so, he does attempt to be humble and offers to put a bullet in the back of Lindsey's head, kill Luther when the Black Guardian is readily available to do so for him, and eventually attacks Alex Roivas herself when she appears to do battle. He also, at least initially, had some degree of compassion, as he was initially willing to let Ellia go without incident when she first encountered him even though he was clearly in a position to kill her for witnessing him. As demonstrated with a knight shortly before the eighth chapter, he also made the knight the foundation of the Pillar of Flesh due to being impressed at the knight seeing his true form.
At the end of the game Alexandra Roivas collects all of the Ancients essences (except the Artifact Pious chose), takes them to Ehn'gha and prepares to do battle with Pious. When the fight starts, Pious absorbs his artifact into his body and begins slowly walking towards the player. As long as the artifact in intact Pious cannot be harmed. Instead players must hit the shield of Pious to get the artifact out of him. They must strike the artifact a few times with the Enchanted Gladius until their sanity is low, which will allow the spirits of main characters who died to enter Alexandra's body and harm Pious. The player must repeat this process with all characters except Edward Roivas until the artifact is smashed and Pious' shield is weakened. Now Pious can be attacked. Players must now destroy his shield and then attack Pious himself. Pious will retaliate with several magickal spells of his ancients alignment. As the battle progresses Pious uses higher tier spells up to 7-tier spells and ocassionaly summons Zombies and Horrors (Horror is very rare). He can also wack the player with his staff. As Pious is wounded he moves slower and his power gets weaker until he can only hurt Alex with the staff by swinging it at her in close combat. Pious has more health then the Black Guardian but can be beaten quicker. During the entirety of the battle the Ancient that Alex summoned and Pious' Ancient battle in space. Alex's Ancient will eventually win when Pious is defeated regardless of circumstances. After Pious falls Alex's Ancient kills Pious' Ancient and prepares to enslave Earth. Edward Roivas will appear at the top of one of the magickal towers as the player is tasked with finding the right rune to use in order to bind the Ancient. After all is said and done Alex's Ancient is sealed away (again) and the game ends with a good note.
Pious Augustus, prior to being made a missionary to one of the Ancients, was mentioned to have been an extremely skilled centurion, having managed to defeat an enemy in Persia with implied minimal casualties on the Romans' end, and was depicted as being efficient in killing his foes when transported to the Forbidden City. He was also shown to lack fear since he is the only character in the game to be unaffected by the sanity drain Mantorok's zombies inflict on every other protagonist, presumably due to his status as a career soldier.
After gaining one of the Ancients' artifacts and thus becoming their missionary, his powers are increased exponentially, giving him the ability to practice the magick powered by that Ancient, including a powerful summoning spell, and is able to command all of that Ancient's forces. Depending on which artifact he took, he had gained either the power to not only invigorate his deceased body but also level buildings, render the ground asunder, and wield power that mortals can only dream about with a mere touch (Chattur'gha); the ability to read people's minds and drive them mad with a mere suggestion (Xel'lotath); or significant understanding of the multiverse to such an extent that there was neither a mountain too high for him nor any city too far from his reach (Ulyaoth). Regardless of which Ancient he aligned with, he also became able to wield Mantorok's own magick, shown when he binded and mortally wounded Mantorok in Angkor Thom and used a 9-Point version of "Dispel Magick" spell at instant speed in his final battle with Alexandra Roivas. He also had the ability to shapeshift, as evidenced by his disguises as Phillipe Augustine, Paul Augustine, and an unnamed warlord. His disguises are also not limited to the living, as evidenced by his disguising himself as the ghost of then-recently deceased Edward Roivas in an attempt to break Alex's spirit. He is also the only character to have access to the 9-Point Circle of Power magick without relying on the pillars in Ehn'gha, a testament to his magickal strength and prowess.
- ”Pious” means “devoutly religious”.
- Pious Augustus's voice actor, Richard Doyle, would later voice Big Boss in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Coincidentally, both characters were well-renowned and legendary soldiers who fell from grace and got involved with a cult, although the primary difference is that Big Boss fought against the cult while Augustus embraced it.
- Pious Augustus is the only playable character to actually narrate his chapter of Eternal Darkness (all the other playable characters' chapters, including Alexandra Roivas', were narrated by Edward Roivas), as well as one of only two characters (possibly three if one counts Edward's narration in the third ending's additional scene) to give an ending narration for their chapters (Alexandra Roivas narrates the ending to the game in all but the full third ending).
- Pious Augustus is the only character whose statue in the hall where players receive the Tome of Eternal Darkness is broken and it is broken by Pious himself in his chapter in order to advance and as a practice for the player to target different body parts. His name is visible on the statue until destroyed.
- The fact that Pious has a statue among the champions employed by Mantorok suggest that Pious was intended to be a guardian of the Ancients and help prevent their return. The destruction of his statue is symbolic of his failure and corruption by his chosen Ancient.
- Pious Augustus is also the only playable character to never actually gain the Tome of Eternal Darkness during his chapter, although it is implied that he eventually did manage to find it.
- Pious Augustus is the only playable character (not counting Anthony, for him being totally unable to die) whose game over does not mention that he died to the Eternal Darkness or that as a result humanity will surely be vanquished. Instead, the game over message states that Pious has perished following the Emperor's request, and that the Ancients' artifacts remain buried in the sands waiting to be discovered.
- Although Pious Augustus is technically undead, he does not drain Alexandra Roivas of her sanity during the final battle unlike most other zombies (including the Bishop and Anthony), thus making him the only zombie enemy other than victims of the Vampire to not drain sanity. He does, however, have access to magick that might drain her of sanity if it makes contact, and during the late stage of the battle he does drain sanity via the typical zombie method.
- The spell he uses to summon the communication channel with his Ancient is the 5-Point magick cycle "Magick Pool" spell (Tier Pargon Redgormor "Rune of his Ancient" Pargon).
- Pious Augustus made a cameo on a poster inside the B2 Armory in Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, due to the game being made by the same developers as Eternal Darkness, Silicon Knights.
- There were originally supposed to be endings planned beyond simply Pious Augustus simply taunting Alexandra Roivas' corpse if the player lost the final battle that directly showed the consequences of the player losing the final fight. More specifically:
- Red Path: several humans lined up to be consumed by Chattur'gha who is laying in wait on a nearby hill;
- This is notable for being the only ending that matches and is expanded on by the visions Alex has after winning with Chattur'gha.
- Blue Path: a zombie apocalypse with various cities ruined, and the landscape being remade and molded out of countless bones;
- Green Path: a ruined city with green lighting.
- Red Path: several humans lined up to be consumed by Chattur'gha who is laying in wait on a nearby hill;
- Depending on the Ancient chosen in the first chapter, Pious' interactions with his Ancient will vary (although it is clear overall that the Ancients are in charge of him):
- With Chattur'gha, Pious does most if not all of the planning for him;
- With Xel'lotath, Pious is to some extent her equal, sharing some role in the planning process, although Xel'lotath implies he might betray her in the future;
- With Ulyaoth, Pious is pretty clearly submissive to him, often doing exactly what he is told, and making a lot of compliments to Ulyaoth to the point that the latter actually seems to find him tiresome, and has little, if any role in the planning process.
- Pious Augustus is one of only five playable characters who managed to gain the Tome of Eternal Darkness without warping to its resting spot beforehand, the only others being Ellia, Maximillian Roivas, Edward Roivas, and Alexandra Roivas. In addition, Pious is one of only two to do so who had no interaction with the Roivas family (the only other being Ellia).