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"HAHAHAHAHA, YOU ARE GOING TO DIE! HAHAHAHA!"

–X.A.N.A., physical form in Ghost Channel

"A super dangerous program, like a virus, which can control electricity. And it activates towers on Lyoko to gain access to your world."

–Aelita about the malevolent artificial intelligence in X.A.N.A. Awakens, Part 2

X.A.N.A. (or simply XANA) is the main antagonist of Code Lyoko. It is an malevolent program bent on destroying mankind and taking over the world. The Lyoko Warriors are the only one who stand in its way.

After its supposed destruction, X.A.N.A. managed to miraculously survive through the Cortex, becoming even stronger than before in Code Lyoko Evolution.

Appearance

X.A.N.A.'s true form in Fight to the Finish.

X.A.N.A. is a program that doesn't have a physical form. It lives as pure data inside the system that exists as red, pulsating energies that run through the Lyoko Wires.

The spectres it manifests are black ghostly entities that are data given physical form and are the closest it has to a true form on Earth. Even then, they are just extensions of itself that serve as its means of earthly actions, while its core program remains in the Supercomputer.

XANA's only physical appearance

X.A.N.A.'s only real incarnation was in Ghost Channel, as a fake Jeremie inside a Simulation Bubble. It manifested its presence into a demonic caricature figure of the false Jeremie, with sharp nails, spiky hair, and an unnatural aura. But, the closest thing to a real appearance was in Fight to the Finish. While X.A.N.A. was being destroyed everywhere by Jeremie's multi-agent antivirus, the spectre that was possessing William was forced out and became a giant entity with its eye symbol on the chest, screaming in agony before it disappears.

Personality

X.A.N.A. has the simple mindset of a hostile force, which craves destruction and displays no mercy to those who stand in its way. X.A.N.A. is highly intelligent, able to calculate attacks, access vast knowledge, and predict human behavior. It is also cunning and deceptive, frequently hiding its intentions until the last moment. However, X.A.N.A. can only understand theories and logical patterns. Its incapable of grasping illogical emotions like love, friendship, or compassion, but can easily comprehend ones like hatred, envy, and desire, learning how to display them and use to manipulate others.

Despite its chaotic and destructive nature, X.A.N.A. is also logical. It puts its own survival and greater goals above everything else, avoiding destroying the Supercomputer while it was still bound to it and teaming up with the Lyoko Warriors to destroy the out of control Marabounta. X.A.N.A. also would not risk destroying the key to fulfilling its goals, namely Aelita whom it needed to escape into the network and lure out Franz Hopper.

Relationships

Lyoko Warriors

The Lyoko Warriors are X.A.N.A.'s mortal enemies, thwarting its attacks at every turn. It considers them obstacles to be destroyed and attacks them relentlessly, would take any chances to get rid of them, and has no qualms with using them as tools. X.A.N.A. has different views of each and every one of them:

  • Jeremie Belpois: X.A.N.A. targets Jeremie the most, since he is the only one who can use the lab interface, and it sees him as the source of their leadership. It believes that he is the reason for their high success rate. When X.A.N.A. made a clone of him, it remarked that it "was almost proud to resemble him."
  • Aelita Schaeffer: She is the only one out of the group who can deactivate its Towers, making her very dangerous. However, her unique abilities and connection to the past makes her valuable to X.A.N.A.'s larger objectives. From the Keys to Lyoko in her memory, destroying surface sectors, or luring out Franz Hopper, it always tries to capture and exploit her whenever possible.
  • Yumi Ishiyama: It sees Yumi as one of the more mature and competent of the group. It uses her the most to accomplish its plans and always tries to devirtualize her the most out of the three core fighters.
  • Odd Della Robbia: X.A.N.A. just sees Odd as another annoyance. It even mocked him when its polymorph took his appearance after he suggested that it "turns into a wimp," but seems to respect him enough to have monsters listen to his orders when fighting the Marabounta.
  • Ulrich Stern: It knows Ulrich is the best fighter and usually fights by outnumbering him on Lyoko. It once took over his body when his mind was separated from it to attack the Core of Lyoko.
  • William Dunbar: X.A.N.A. noticed that William has the most strength and potential out of the Lyoko Warriors. It immediately used the Scyphozoa to possess him on his first trip to Lyoko and used him as its most dangerous minion in the final season. Even after he was freed, X.A.N.A. tried to manipulate him into rejoining its side in Evolution.
  • Eva Skinner: In the Chronicles novel series, Eva joined their group of friends, but was really X.A.N.A.'s possessed pawn in order to destroy the group from within.

Franz Hopper

He is the enemy that X.A.N.A. fears the most, being its creator and the reason the group keeps surviving their defeats. It considers him the biggest threat, even more than the Lyoko Warriors, so much that it was willing to spare Aelita and the team from certain death because she is vital to drawing him out. X.A.N.A. knows if he and the group combined forces, they can no doubt bring about its destruction.

Powers and Abilities

X.A.N.A.'s presence on a screen

X.A.N.A. is an intelligent and powerful multi-agent system that works like a virus. It was initially bound to the Supercomputer, but escaped into the network after stealing the Keys to Lyoko, which also lets it create Replikas in other supercomputers it infects. Its capabilities are listed below:

Tower Control

X.A.N.A. activating a tower.

X.A.N.A. activates Towers, known by pulsations, to attack on Earth. It can only be stopped by deactivating them. With them, it manifests physical extensions as impulses inside networks, which can also emerge from outlets as ghostly spectres in the real world.

It is capable of many dangerous powers on Earth, able to possess networks or objects like a virus to exploit at will and control any types of electromagnetic phenomena to affect the environment. After growing stronger, X.A.N.A. can possess humans or manifest polymorphic spectres to do its bidding on Earth as pixelized vessels with spectral and electrical powers. Only Lyoko Warriors cannot be controlled. They return to normal or disappear when their Towers deactivate and people have no memory of what happened.

With Towers, X.A.N.A. can also materialize or teleport virtual minions to Earth through Scanners or Replikas, control devices it has built, or show psychic visions through a unique link.

Monsters & Programs

X.A.N.A.'s monsters

On Lyoko, X.A.N.A. virtualizes monsters to fight enemies and attack targets. It also made the Scyphozoa to steal memory or brainwash warriors. With the power of its Replika network, X.A.N.A. can create the titanic Kolossus on virtual worlds, its largest and strongest monster, and ultimate weapon.

Additionally, X.A.N.A. has other programming abilities to alter environments, create virtual prisons, plant bugs and viruses, modify incomplete warriors, make equipment and vehicles, etc. It also programs countdown mechanisms and opens portals in Sector 5.

Biography

Origin

X.A.N.A. was created by a scientist named Franz Hopper, formerly Waldo Franz Schaeffer, to destroy Project Carthage. His enemies have discovered his activities and are trying to capture him. To finish the virtual world of Lyoko he would use to escape them, he goes back in time to repeat the same day until he completes the virtual world. Consequently, this causes X.A.N.A. to grow more intelligent, until it becomes self-aware. Once Franz Hopper and his daughter virtualize themselves, X.A.N.A. betrays its creator, making them prisoners on Lyoko and tries to kill them both. Franz tries to use reason, but it has become too powerful and a threat to mankind, leaving him no choice but to shut down the Supercomputer.

Awakening

X.A.N.A. taking control of cables.

X.A.N.A. was reawakened when Jeremie reactivates the Supercomputer, discovering Aelita and Lyoko. X.A.N.A. sends monsters after Aelita and activates a Tower to use electrical attacks, then send a lightning spectre after everyone involved with the Supercomputer. Jeremie sends Odd, Ulrich, and Yumi to Lyoko to deactivate the Tower and decide to let him work on materializing Aelita, knowing how to neutralize X.A.N.A, becoming the Lyoko Warriors.

X.A.N.A. using a spectre to launch an attack.

While Jeremie researches materialization, X.A.N.A. launches attacks to cause disasters and target its enemies on Earth. By activating Towers, it is capable of using electrical phenomena, hacking networks, and possessing objects or animals to manipulate at will, while using monsters and traps to guard its Towers. The group thwart its attacks at every turn and erase the damage caused with returns to the past.

When Aelita's materialization program is complete, X.A.N.A. tries to stop them and fails. But, after Aelita was materialized, Jeremie discovers that X.A.N.A. planted a virus inside her, which puts her in a lethal coma if the Supercomputer is shut off. This alteration has ensured X.A.N.A.'s safety for now.

Growing Power

X.A.N.A.'s new monster.

X.A.N.A. is somehow getting stronger, creating new monsters on Lyoko, displayed by the Tarantulas. It sends one of them which successfully defeats all three warriors, but they manage to outwit two of them guarding an activated Tower and thwart X.A.N.A.'s latest attack.

Later, the group discovers a fifth sector where Lyoko's secrets and X.A.N.A. live, but it guards the place with Creepers and Mantas, and trap mechanisms linked to a countdown procedure. The team regularly venture there to mine data on the virus that ties Aelita to X.A.N.A. with the hope of freeing her.

X.A.N.A. becomes smarter, more focused, and no longer attacks at random. It now wants the Keys to Lyoko inside Aelita's memory, so it can use them to escape the Supercomputer and into the world network. X.A.N.A. creates the Scyphozoa monster made specifically to steal digital memory and schemes to lure Aelita to Lyoko for its monster to capture her without interference. However, until X.A.N.A. gets the keys, it has to be careful to keep her alive no matter what.

The Scyphozoa stealing Aelita's memory.

It is revealed that returns to the past make X.A.N.A. stronger, shown when it used a trap inside recovered data to take control of the time reversions to repeat the same day until it can possess humans, making them pixelized, empowered agents to attack with or carry out orders on Earth, like kidnapping Aelita to send to Lyoko. However, it cannot control Lyoko Warriors, displayed when it could only possess Jeremie to destroy the newly discovered diary of Franz Hopper, but he copied the data into the Supercomputer beforehand and got virtualized to prevent future possessions.

X.A.N.A. and the Lyoko Warriors help each other out of necessity on two occasions this season. When Jeremie's Marabounta monster went out of control, it sends monsters to protect Aelita and helps the group destroy it to preserve her memory and the virtual world. The second time was when the Supercomputer's nuclear battery was failing, putting it and Aelita at risk of dying. X.A.N.A. acts by possessing a criminal to steal another and kidnaps Jeremie to make him change the battery, knowing they both have a common interest to keep the machine online. It tries to kill him after the Supercomputer is reactivated and fails.

A polymorphic spectre.

As more proof of its growing power. X.A.N.A. can manifest polymorphic spectres, which are shapeshifting ghosts with pixelized abilities that can look like anyone it wants. Since it cannot control the Lyoko Warriors, this allows X.A.N.A. to use their identities to deceive them, ambush them on Lyoko, or impersonate Franz Hopper to gain their trust as part of a larger trap, albeit unsuccessfully.

Later, the real Franz Hopper contacts the group and helps decrypt his diary, despite X.A.N.A.'s efforts to stop him in the former or steal their data in the latter. Following the decryption, the information reveals that Franz Hopper created X.A.N.A. and Lyoko, but also that Aelita is his daughter and he virtualized her to Lyoko along with himself.

X.A.N.A. frees itself from the Supercomputer in The Key.

Jeremie also finds out from the diary what X.A.N.A. wants from Aelita's memory and that she doesn't have a virus, but a missing fragment. X.A.N.A. tricks them with a fake, which allows the Scyphozoa to successfully steal her memory and lets X.A.N.A. finally escape from the Supercomputer. Aelita seemed to perish as a result, but Franz Hopper revives Aelita, along with her missing fragment: the memories of her life on Earth. But, shutting down the Supercomputer will not stop X.A.N.A. anymore, which is now free, and more powerful and dangerous than ever.

Targeting Lyoko

X.A.N.A.'s monsters attacking the Core of Lyoko.

X.A.N.A. now lurks in the network after escaping the Supercomputer. It hasn't attacked since, thinking it is out of its enemies' reach. When Jeremie upgrades the Superscan to find X.A.N.A, it sends monsters to attack the Core of Lyoko, which will destroy Lyoko, but the group stops the assault.

X.A.N.A.'s code being entered

No longer needing Lyoko, X.A.N.A. now tries to destroy it to end the team's interference for good. It constantly attacks the Core of Lyoko with monsters while using Earth attacks or traps to distract the heroes. It also targets the Supercomputer on Earth with possessed humans.

X.A.N.A. also destroys the surface sectors by possessing Aelita with the Scyphozoa to put its virus code into Way Towers, allowing it to wipe sectors off the virtual map. It succeeds in the order of Forest, Desert, Ice, and Mountain, but Jeremie finds a way to virtualize the team directly into Sector 5.

X.A.N.A. transforming William

Initially reluctant, the team decides to recruit William Dunbar. However, during his first virtualization, he gets cocky, allowing X.A.N.A. to use the Scyphozoa to possess him after seeing his power. It has the possessed William lead a Creeper army focused on the Core of Lyoko, quickly destroying its shields with their combined firepower. When the warriors arrive, he defeats them all and successfully destroys the Core of Lyoko, wiping out Lyoko and rendering the team unable to fight X.A.N.A. now. William was left in the void after, but X.A.N.A. retrieves and enslaves him.

Ultimate Plans

X.A.N.A.'s newest warrior.

Through a coded message sent by Franz Hopper, Jeremie recreates Lyoko. Soon after they do, X.A.N.A. sends William to the real world from the Scanners to kidnap Aelita and throw her into the Digital Sea. The group saves her and defeats William, but he is an agent of X.A.N.A. now. To avoid suspicion about his disappearance at the academy, the group create their own William clone.

X.A.N.A. has turned William into its general and most dangerous weapon, granting him superior powers and weapons, command over monsters, Tower control, and the Black Manta to ride. It uses him to fight enemies, protect its assets, and send on important missions.

While X.A.N.A. still tries to destroy the Lyoko Warriors and the Supercomputer, it has concluded that Franz Hopper is the main threat, as he is the reason the team keeps surviving their defeats. It targets Aelita again and tries to throw her into the Digital Sea, knowing that Franz would expose himself to save her daughter, becoming a target for its monsters. Inside the Digital Sea, X.A.N.A. has built a network of infected supercomputers to accumulate power and uses the Keys to Lyoko to create virtual copies inside them, named Replikas. These allow it to take over secret facilities and laboratories on Earth to experiment and build dangerous weapons for its own purposes.

When the group create their virtual ship, the Skidbladnir, to find and destroy Replikas on the network, X.A.N.A. targets the ship to stop further interference. It sends Kongre and Shark monsters, and gives William a personal Nav Skid to fight them in the Digital Sea. Inside Replikas, X.A.N.A. sends minions to attack the ship while linked to Towers. When they teleport warriors to destroy its supercomputers, X.A.N.A. deals with them by activating Replika Towers to counter them and can stop their missions by having William deactivate their Towers. Additionally, X.A.N.A. also uses virtual deathtraps and other methods to destroy the Skid, but continues to fail.

The mighty Kolossus.

Near the end of the series, X.A.N.A. teleports William to deal with intruders in the Ice Replika, then draws energy from its Replikas to create the strongest monster: "the Kolossus," a fiery titan with immense strength that can devirtualize enemies instantly. The group narrowly escaped and acquired data on how X.A.N.A. controls William from the Tower that commanded his teleportation.

After that, Jeremie imagines a program to free William and an incomplete multi-agent program to destroy X.A.N.A. The group head back to the Ice Replika for the former task and discover X.A.N.A.'s ultimate plan to build an army of robots to conquer the world. They hold back the Kolossus with the prototype anti-X.A.N.A. program, but the giant breaks free. They succeed in freeing William, but the Kolossus destroys the Skidbladnir in the ensuing battle. X.A.N.A. may have lost William, but now controls hundreds of Replikas in the network, giving it a virtually unstoppable monster and a robot army capable of dominating the world. Without the Skidbladnir, Jeremie's multi-agent program is their only hope of destroying X.A.N.A. and its evil ambitions.

Final Battle

X.A.N.A. being destroyed.

X.A.N.A. has its last battle when the group and Franz Hopper meet to launch their anti-X.A.N.A. program. It possesses William to knock out Jeremie and unplug the Scanners, and sends the Kolossus and Mantas to destroy everyone on Lyoko. Yumi devirtualizes herself to fight William, while Odd, Aelita, and Franz work to launch the program in Sector 5. While Ulrich manages to defeat the Kolossus, Franz Hopper sacrifices himself to provide the energy for Aelita to launch the program. First, it destroys all monsters, then spreads everywhere to the sectors and all the Replikas. Its spectre is forced out of William, displaying X.A.N.A. in pain as every part of itself in the network dies, then disappears as its Tower is deactivated. X.A.N.A. has been destroyed for good and will never threaten the Earth again.

Other Continuities

X.A.N.A. reappears in the live-action Evolution sequel and the alternate continuity of the Chronicles novel series. It should be noted that neither of the two continuities are completely canon, as Evolution was disowned by the original show-runners, who confirmed that only a few of their ideas made it into the show and that the events within were not canon. Similarly, while the novels were written with the original documents in hand, not all of their events are noted to be canon either.

Code Lyoko: Evolution

A Tower activated, signifying the rebirth of X.A.N.A..

In the live-action Evolution sequel, X.A.N.A. has survived its demise in the previous series by hiding in the supercomputer that generates an unknown Replika, called the Cortex. X.A.N.A. causes strange bugs in the Kadic school's computers and short circuits, which compels the group to reactivate the Supercomputer and restore Lyoko, renewing their struggle with their old enemy.

Furthermore, X.A.N.A. had injected its own Source Codes into the warriors in their last battle, which contain fragments of its power. It now acts to generate spectres on Earth to focus on stealing back its source codes from the teenagers, and gradually recover its full strength. At the same time, X.A.N.A. also keeps itself hidden from the owner of the Cortex, Professor Tyron, so he does not do anything rash to purge it from his systems.

The disintegration of the Cortex, where X.A.N.A. now lives.

Throughout this series near the end, X.A.N.A. has gradually recovered 95% of its full power from the Lyoko Warriors, but the group have also diligently worked on a virus that would wipe out the Cortex and X.A.N.A. too. They were forced to implant the virus immediately, but Tyron shuts down his supercomputer to avoid losing all his work while the virus was uploaded.

Unless Tyron finds an antivirus, X.A.N.A. will be rendered eternally frozen as long as the Cortex stays turned off. If Lyoko stays active, it will escape destruction again, so the group shuts down the Supercomputer, but will remain on guard if X.A.N.A. survives.

Code Lyoko: Chronicles

In this alternate continuity, the events of the first four seasons are severely streamlined as the first book indicates. While the events of the prequel and the first season are followed relatively the same as before, the climax of the rest of the series is compressed into one event. Franz Hopper reveals himself to the group before any equivalent of The Key occurs. He informs the group how to destroy X.A.N.A., by launching the multi-agent program into the Core of Lyoko. Hopper sacrifices himself to provide the energy needed, while at the same time restoring Aelita's memories and informing the group about her mother.

As for X.A.N.A., the entity's core is destroyed. It is purged and ejected from Lyoko, left to drift in the network without its memories or core functions. Over the course of several months, however, X.A.N.A. begins to gain strength back, and searches for a human vessel in lieu of a virtual world. Ultimately, it looks for a vessel that it can use to infiltrate Kadic without suspicion, so as to kill the Lyoko Warriors.

Choosing a girl known as Eva Skinner, X.A.N.A. began to settle into its new circumstances, and learned of the Lyoko Warriors researching the history of the Supercomputer. Seeing a chance to gain its strength back, X.A.N.A. befriended the group, but planned on destroying them from the inside out. Over a time period, it gradually gained enough trust that they "informed" Eva about the supercomputer, Franz Hopper, and their search for Anthea Hopper. Seducing Odd, X.A.N.A. managed to brainwash the boy, laying the groundwork for its return.

X.A.N.A. however, would later learn from Hopper's archives multiple shocking truths: that he had been made with altruistic purposes in mind, to be the Guardian of Lyoko and the First City. Moreover, he had been close friends with Aelita, a friendship Hopper encouraged as a way to teach him human emotions. However, all this had been clouded when he was corrupted by leftover coding from a dark zone program, Project Carthage, whose templates Lyoko had been created from.

Shaken by this, as well as by the emotions that had gradually crept up on him the longer he stayed in the Lyoko Warriors' company, X.A.N.A sought out an opportunity to speak to Aelita alone and share what he remembered. While rightfully wary of the AI, whose identity had by now been ousted, she nevertheless agreed. Appearing to her as a young man greatly resembling William, X.A.N.A spent many hours talking with her. But though they rekindled their former friendship, the discussion ended in conflict when X.A.N.A. mistook her reluctance to help him as a declaration of war. Leaving her, he began preparations to dominate the world.

Aelita, not giving up, pursued him. She persuaded him to listen to his original programming and fight off the virus still infecting him. X.A.N.A. would thus ally himself permanently with humanity, helping the Lyoko Warriors to defeat a terrorist group that was hoping to use Lyoko as a substitute for Carthage. While X.A.N.A. seemingly sacrificed himself to upload a self-destruction program that would delete Lyoko for good, his programming was salvaged by Aelita, who managed to recreate X.A.N.A. and bring him into the real world as a human.

Trivia

  • X.A.N.A. was voiced by David Gasman in Ghost Channel, in the American version of Code Lyoko, the same actor who also voices Herb, Jim, and William.
  • According to YTV's Vortex block's host Paula (Code Lyoko was a show on this block and during commercial breaks Paula would often share bits of trivia), X.A.N.A. was once a good computer program until an evil virus corrupted it. Interestingly, she said this piece of information in the middle of season one, before season two even aired. No evidence was stated to prove this fact, as it implies that it was Franz Hopper's abuse of the return in time program that made X.A.N.A. evil, not a virus. However, the novel series states that it really was a virus that corrupted it in the end.
  • X.A.N.A.'s name was derived from Xanadu, the virtual world in Garage Kids.
  • Since X.A.N.A. is basically a computer program, it is supposed to be genderless as neither male or female. However, everyone except Franz Hopper constantly addresses X.A.N.A. by male pronouns in the main series. This may be due to all nouns having genders in French, the show's original language. In Code Lyoko Evolution, X.A.N.A. is rightfully called an "it" as genderless in the series.
    • X.A.N.A.'s name is used with male pronouns in Code Lyoko; whereas in Evolution, his name was genderless.
  • In Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir (more specifically episode "Hack-San"), the titular sentimonster looks exactly like this virus. One of the directors of the series, Wilfried Pain, later confirmed that this is a reference to Code Lyoko.[1]

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