|Unused sprites|| |
|Relatives||Lucas, Hinawa, Flint, Alec|
|Affiliations||Pigmask Army (Brainwashed and turned into a human chimera)|
|Appears in||Mother 3|
|Status||Chapter 7 Boss (first battle), Final Boss (last battle)|
|Nom de guerre||Masked Man|
|Hit points||5000,¹ Infinite², Infinite³|
|IQ||64,¹ 79,² 60³|
|Experience reward||15474,¹ 0²³|
|Wealth||1321 DP,¹ 0 DP²³|
|Location||Outside Chupichupyoi Temple,¹ underneath New Pork City²³|
|In-battle theme||Strong One (Masked Man), Battle Against the Masked Man, It is Finished, Memory of Mother|
- "Dad. It's me. Claus. I told Lucas to come too, but he's been crying at Mom's grave all this time. Dad. I'm gonna leave this apple here. The core might be hard, but... The core... The core might be too hard to eat, but be SURE you eat it! I'm gonna get stronger. ...I'm gonna get so strong even Dragos won't stand a chance against me! Dad... I..."
- — Claus
Claus (クラウス Crouth) is a major character in Mother 3. He is a boy from Tazmily Village, and the energetic twin of Lucas. Claus looks very similar to Lucas other than the different colors of his clothing and hair, though he is energetic and far more courageous than Lucas. He is last seen by the player lying motionless near the Drago Plateau, although the residents of Tazmily are never made aware of this.
- "...Huh? That monster's name is Claus? Its name was Claus?! That almost sounds like a person's name! But now it's my robot. Not even a fragment of life remains inside it. It's Master Porky's slave robot! It does whatever I say! It acts on my will alone. It's my double. It doesn't know anything about who you are! *cough* *cough*"
- — Porky Minch
The Masked Man is a mysterious character who debuts during the final scene of the fifth chapter of Mother 3, he is the secondary antagonist of Mother 3. He is the only other person besides Lucas capable of removing the seven Needles. He attacks with lightning, a sword, an arm cannon and some PSI powers; he also has the ability to destroy PSI Shields and use mechanical wings to fly away. He also has a move that is able to instantly render Lucas's entire party unconscious with a lightning attack, meaning that only himself and Lucas (because of the Courage Badge that was revealed to be a Franklin Badge) remain in the battle. The attack is unavoidable.
Claus works for Porky Minch, the Pig King, as what he refers to as his "adorable little monster," and never says a word in the story. Though a pigmask states to Lucas (who thought he was the Masked Man since he answered his phone) that he sounded "kind of cheery", possibly signalling that the Masked Man can, in fact, talk, though in an emotionless tone. Surprisingly, he is the final boss, rather than Porky Minch himself. Because of this, Porky has been the penultimate boss in both games he has appeared in.
The Masked Man is in reality, Claus, who was apparently discovered near the Drago Plateau by the Pigmask Army. He was brought back to consciousness and turned into a human chimera. Although it is unknown whether or not he was dead, this is most likely true as the Magypsies sense no heart in him. During this time, King P used him as a loyal servant and gave to him near full command of the Pigmask Army. Still, during this time, Claus's sense of self and memories have been forgotten and pushed deep inside of him.
At the end of the final battle with the Masked Man, after realizing his true identity and revealing himself as Claus, he fires an intense bolt of lightning at Lucas, purposely reflecting it off of Lucas's Franklin Badge, causing himself mortal damage and ultimately killing himself.
The Masked Man has three battle themes. The first music is a variation of "Strong One", entitled "Strong One (Masked Man)". The latter musics are heard during each portion of the final battle against the Masked Man, and are titled "Battle Against the Masked Man" and "It is Finished", respectively. "It is Finished" is an eerie, sad rendition of "Mother 3 Love Theme". During the moments with Hinawa speaking, the song is called "Memory of Mother".
Claus is the character with the most unused sprites in the game, having around 150. There is an entire set of sprites for young Claus both walking and running in a bathing suit, including one where he dives into the water and resurfaces with a gasp of air from this unused cutscene. There are also several sprites for Claus pushing Lucas, as shown in this video, climbing, cheering, swaying from side to side, yelling, falling backward as if he was hurt, and lying on his back after the fall. This is likely due to the fact that Claus was shown to have a greater role in EarthBound 64 (a trailer of Lucas and Claus in a minecart was prominently shown), but the technological restrictions of the Game Boy Advance made this impossible to implement in Mother 3. However, his younger sprite can still be the party leader in the Debug Room and have his level increased to 99.
There are also multiple unused sprites of Claus when he is older; there appears to be a sprite for him sitting, standing upright, dressed as the Masked Man and walking around, and an in-battle sprite where he still has the cannon on his right arm which can be seen using the enemy modifier code and approaching the enemy from behind. There is a notable set of Masked Man sprites where he appears to explode, a set where he is thrown backwards by something, and when he is first being "built", possibly to be used in a cutscene at the end of either Chapter 1 or 3. The entire series of sprites can be seen animated here.
Claus appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as a sticker. Attaching this sticker to the bottom of Ness or Lucas's trophies in The Subspace Emissary increases their PK attack by 13. One of Lucas's alternate costumes also uses Claus's clothing and hair colour.
- Claus's name is an anagram of "Lucas."
- When Flint and Alec meet the Magypsies, Aeolia realizes that Flint is his father, noting the resemblance and that they have the same eyes.
- Shigesato Itoi revealed in an interview with Mycom Inc. that Claus and his twin brother Lucas were inspired by two characters of the same name from the novel "The Notebook" (by Agota Kristof), which he described as a novel "about the bonds between twins." The novel is part of a trilogy, which also includes the books "The Proof" and "The Third Lie"-- both of which further explore the relationship between Kristof's twin characters.
- The fight background of the final battle with Masked Man is very similar to the fight backgrounds of Ness's Nightmare and Evil Mani Mani.
- In the commercials for EarthBound 64, Claus is depicted with brown hair rather than orange hair.
- While it has been said that Claus was turned into a cyborg by the Pigmask Army, it is not said how much of him was replaced by cybernetics, aside from his right arm still having an arm cannon as seen in an unused sprite.
- In the first fight against the Masked Man, even though lightning is reflected back at him, he takes no damage when the battle begins. However, when fought again as the final boss and lightning is reflected back at him, he takes damage as the battle begins. The reason for this is not explained.
- Ironically, the Pigmask Army made it possible for Claus to fulfill his last sentence to Flint in Chapter 1.
- The Masked Man is said to have no heart. In keeping with this idea, the Masked Man has absolutely no heartbeat file present in the game for either of his battle themes.
- In Pokemon Heart Gold/Soul Silver , the character Blue wears clothes similar to the Masked Man.
- The Masked Man seems to be referrential to Darth Vader from the Star Wars franchise, in both appearance and biography.
- The Masked Man seems to bear a slight resemblance to Capcom character Mega Man due to his helmet having a similar design and the fact that both characters have arm cannons.
- An earlier render of Claus from Earthbound 64 looked like Ness or Ninten.