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Felix Walken

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"Your ticket please!"
—Rail Tracer to Rachel

Felix Walken (フェリックス・ウォーケン Fericcusu Wōken), formerly known as Rail Tracer (レールトレーサー Rērutorēsā), introduced as Young Conductor and born Claire Stanfield (クレア・スタンフィールド Kurea Sutanfīrudo) is the legendary freelance assassin Vino (ヴィーノ Vīno, Italian wine), considered to be the best in the world.

Biography Edit

After Claire's parents died when he was a young boy, he was adopted into the Gandor family, who were his next-door neighbors. As such, he is often considered the fourth Gandor brother, though he is not considered officially part of the family. In 1925, Huey Laforet visited New York City in the hopes of meeting Claire (whom he called a 'genius'), but he was too late; after the Gandors' father died, Claire ran away from home to join the circus, where he trained as an acrobat. He uses the strength and agility he gained from his training in his trade. It should be noted that he is also nearly unstoppable in physical combat. In addition to being an assassin, he worked as a conductor aboard the transcontinental train Flying Pussyfoot from something before or during 1927 to 1931, making it easier for him to travel to his targets. When the train was hijacked, he assumed the identity of the Rail Tracer, a monster that 'eats' train passengers, to kill train hijackers and ensure the passengers' safety. He meets and proposes to Chane Laforet on the top of the train. Later, they meet in Manhattan, where Chane has joined the gang of Jacuzzi Splot. He later purchases the name Felix Walken from a retired assassin. His great-grandchildren are named Claudia Walken and Charon Walken.

Personality Edit

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I am the stage. I am the hero.

In his first appearance, the Young Conductor seemed like a handsome, happy-go-lucky man, with a penchant for telling stories about trains. He was very close to his mentor Tony, and had a deep-rooted affection for trains.

Claire's actual personality is a tad more complex. One of his notable traits is that he is a solipsist, believing that only he really exists. As he explains in the anime, the world is a dream of his own creation, and all the people figments of his own imagination. In his mind, he cannot die--though if he were to die, he'd simply 'wake up' from his dream. His solipsism has led him to eschew the idea of immortality, as "it can do nothing for him".

Claire dislikes it when people attribute his fearsome abilities to God, or natural talent, since he has worked supremely hard to reach the physical prowess he currently possesses.

While at first his killings can be seen as having no connection to reality, he operates outside the law under his own unique and somewhat twisted sense of justice. It can be argued that he is not entirely inhumane; despite his occupation and brutal nature, Claire is kind and protective to those he deems innocent people, going out of his way to ensure their safety. If he takes on a job, he will ensure his clients or charges are unharmed, as seen when he works as a train conductor. On a train, the passengers are in his care as a conductor, and as such he adopts the Rail Tracer persona to protect them. Claire has argued that he has plenty of 'mercy and compassion', which he claims "only the strong are capable of possessing."

He is not above putting down his fellow assassins when he defeats them in battle.

Abilities Edit

The name "Vino" is well feared in the criminal underworld, as exemplified by Gustavo Bagetta, who was terrified at the prospect of having to face the legendary killer, hiring freelance assassins left and right just to stop him. Many powerful assassins would like to defeat Vino in combat, since such a feat would prove their own strength.

His speed, strength and dexterity are far beyond the boundaries of an ordinary human, first showcased on the Flying Pussyfoot where he became the Rail Tracer and was enough of a threat to be considered an entire third faction of his own against several homicidal hitmen from the Russo Family and the Lemures that worshiped Huey, he basically managed to take down and severely traumatize both parties. He defeated the highly dangerous and well feared hitman Ladd Russo, known for his ruthlessness and killing capability, and took down several assassins, even severely crippling the "Vampire" Class homunculus Christopher Shouldered. Even at a young age he showed this promise catching the attention of Huey Laforet. Ever since the incident on the flying Pussyfoot, Immortal Czeslaw Meyer has become afraid of him to a high degree that persists even towards to 2002 storyline, proving that Claire has the ability to bring even the immortals down a few scales on their power-meter. On the flying pussyfoot, he showed tremendous acrobatic skills moving under and over cars without any problem. To Claire, the chaos on the Flying Pussyfoot was like a "walk in the park" further elaborating just how frightening his capabilities really are.

With only short battles and unexpected means he defeated four powerhouse assassins that were hired by the Runorata Family without much difficulty at all and walking away unscaved, in fact Claire has even walked away unscathed from battles with supernatural being such as Adele and immortals like Berga.

His Solipsistic persona also gives him somewhat controversial, but effective and surprising ideas in the midst of battle. One example would be using Christopher's eyes to see the chakrams approaching him from behind or taking the guise of Felix Walken to infiltrate the Runorata's hired assassins.

Throughout his battle with Christopher, he held back severely just to fight longer with Chane. Once she left, he took him down with one attack that has left him in shock.

He possesses the mental instability (what some would call insanity) to feel no guilt, and is very charismatic, intelligent and perceptive, capable of grasping even the warped mind of Ladd Russo and tricking him into jumping off the train. He also deduced Huey and Chane's connection without much information.

ChronologyEdit

Pre-BaccanoEdit

Claire's father and the father of the Gandor Brothers were on very good terms and as such Claire spent much of his early childhood with his one-day adopted family. Presumably around this time is when he also befriended Firo Prochnazeo. At some point Claire was orphaned and taken in by his family's long time friends the Gandors. Keith, Luck and Berga retain a close relationship with him after this and consider him to be their fourth brother. However for reasons yet to be disclosed Claire ran away with the circus. It was around this time that Huey Laforet and Chane Laforet ironically sought him out but settled on conscripting Tack Jefferson instead.

Claire's time in the circus helped him to hone his strength and agility to beyond anything that had been seen prior or since. Eventually Claire left the circus and began his life as an assassin where he retained his possitive relationship with his adoptive brothers and the Martillo Family.

One of his known hired jobs involved Don Bartolo Runorata hiring him to clean up his competition and within the night all of the Runorata's targets had been killed.

Prohibition EraEdit

2002Edit

By the twenty-first century Claire married Chane and now has great-grandchildren child-actors duo Claudia and Charron Walken. He has also left a psychological scar on the not-so-young Czeslaw Meyer who avoids his relations because of this phobia.

Even pushing Ninty Claire retains his daredevil and thrill-seeker ways and during 2002 he is scuba diving for treasure.

Relationships Edit

Chane Laforet - In the anime and books, Claire is completely and utterly in love with her. After Claire encounters her on the train, he proposes the idea of marriage to Chane, baffling her. Having been separated afterwards, Claire has promised to find her somewhere in Manhattan after he fulfills his obligation to the Gandor Brothers. Despite the fact that Claire has a very casual and nonchalant way of approaching love, proposing immediately after taking a fancy to them then getting rejected and moving on to the next, it's shown that he is unusually hopelessly in love with Chane, unable to move on from her like all the rest. Although Chane struggles with her feelings, Claire easily declares his love and devotion for her, a notable reason being that she has basically engraved proof of her existence in his world, with the nick on his ear when Chane was climbing up the side of The Flying Pussyfoot, unintentional as it was. It's revealed in the 2002 novel, that Chane and Claire got married after Chane eventually fell in love with him.

Claudia Walken - Claire's great-granddaughter in the books. She is a lot like Claire; Claudia thinks the world is hers and just like Claire if she dies she will just wake up to find that it was just a dream.

Charon Walken - Claire's great-grandson, he is very quiet and takes most of his personality from Chane.

Huey Laforet - Huey is Claire's father-in-law. Huey and Claire met in the 1935 - B Dr Feelgreed manga. Initially, Claire asked Huey if he was Chane' s brother. But Huey calmly corrected him, introducing himself as Chane' s father. 

Firo Prochinazeo - Firo and Claire were childhood friends.                      

Renee Paramedes Branvillier - Renee is Claire Stanfield/Felix Walken's mother-in-law. They met when Claire caught Renee attempting to break into Runorata manor. Noticing features that Renee and Chane share that most people would never be able to notice, he initially asked her if she was Chane's sister, but she told Claire she's Chane's mother.                                                 

Rachel - Claire considers Rachel a be close acquaintance, he seeks love advice from her in regards to Chane, the Anime omitted an important scene in which Claire had saved Rachel in the closing events of the Flying Pussyfoot episode, she pleads Claire to stop killing people and reveals her love for trains and rails while in tears, not wanting to see what she admires to be soiled with death even further, Claire is smitten by Rachel and says there’s no one else left he would like to kill now, even remarking that if he had not met and proposed to Chane shortly before he would then propose to Rachel instead.                                                 

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You ain't heard nothing yet!

Trivia Edit

  • Despite not having his name revealed in the opening (though he does make a brief cameo), he plays a vital role in the story. This was done so as to not spoil his identity as Rail Tracer or even the fact that he had survived being shot.
  • He is the franchise's most popular character, however the author has no intention about writing a story with him as the main character feeling that it would "move too fast without any plot or action"
  • The Author has described him as a "Baccano's Number One Problem Child".
  • Claire Stanfield uses many aliases throughout the story (Claire Stanfield, The young conductor, Felix Walken, Vino, The Rail Tracer).
  • In the ending credits, he is credited with Jerry Jewell as his voice for the Rail Tracer in the Funimation Dub, but only actually speaks once as the Rail Tracer before his identity was revealed. Furthermore he is the only character who has a two word name cited in the ending of Baccano (both when he is credited as the Young Conductor and Rail Tracer.)
  • Several different adaptations have his hair in different shades of red. Though the light novels depict his hair as a blood-red, the anime uses a less gory colouration in the earlier episodes, the manga uses a gingery shade, and some official artwork (and fanart) depicts him as rusty shade. A colouration error occurs in the anime miscolouring his hair colour during his confrontation with Czeslaw Meyer to match the manga.
  • His nickname 'Vino' is derived from the way he mutilates his targets, leaving them covered in blood as if they were soaked in wine.

Gallery Edit

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