- "Crimes are committed by people. There are no crimes without a heart. I'll never accept any theory that ignores the heart."
- — Willard H. Wright
Willard H. Wright (ウィラード・H・ライト Wirādo H. Raito ), called Will (ウィル Wiru ) for short, is a former first-class archbishop and Chief Inquisitor of SSVD. He is named after Willard Wright and enforces Van Dine's Commandments. A young ace inquisitor once feared by witches for his cold and ruthless tactics, he gained the nicknames "Wright of the Twenty Wedges" and "Wizard-Hunting Wright". Over time, however, he grew malcontent with SSVD's brutal standards and resigned from his position.
Will is the detective of the seventh game, taking on the role held by Battler Ushiromiya and Erika Furudo in the previous games, in a world where Battler does not make it to the conference. Previously, he was briefly alluded to in TIPS for episode 5 as the leader of the SSVD and rumored to be more powerful than the Eiserne Jungfrau's current leader, Dlanor A. Knox. Unlike other characters, who attack arguments using a red blade or a blue blade, or a golden longsword in the case of Battler Ushiromiya, Will utilizes a black sword against his opponents.
Although he appears gruff and quick to anger, he is genuinely good-hearted and opts to be as lenient as possible during his investigations. In Requiem of the Golden Witch, he is forced by Bernkastel to investigate the death of Beatrice and becomes close with Lion Ushiromiya, which eventually leads him to turn against Bernkastel.
Will has short brown hair with a red streak running down along his bangs and a necklace around his neck. His clothing consists of a blue trenchcoat with light blue trim and a white shirt underneath, grayish-looking pants, and black boots. He also wears a purple sash (or scarf) wrapped around his waist with one end hanging beside his leg. A brown strap goes across his chest to his belt (maybe) that is sitting on top of the sash/scarf. A black band adorns his left arm.
Role in the Story
Will is first seen dropping in the resolution of a case misunderstood by his old teammates of SSVD. He saves the servant who was accused unfairly and then leaves immediately. When he appears again, he is seen again on Rokkenjima to attend Beatrice's funeral. There he meets Lion and is forced to accept Bernkastel's role of detective for the Beatrice murder case with Lion as his sidekick. The two start questioning the adults about the figure of Beatrice. Later they ask Kinzo himself about his version.
Will gets closer and closer to Lion as the two start knowing each other better. After meeting the cousins and hearing their knowledge about Beatrice, Will exposes his theory about the witch's death. He supports Lion when it is revealed that Lion is Beatrice's child and not Natsuhi's. After that, he listens to Yasu's confession and (at the end of the tale) he sets Clair's soul free to sleep in peace as he solves all her riddles. After the funeral is over he says goodbye to Lion and heads back home to his cat Diana.
In the tea party of Requiem, he arrives just in the nick of time to save Lion from Bernkastel's revenge. He asks Lion to run as he tries to defeat Bernkastel's army of kitties. After fighting with Bernkastel, he reaches Lion with an arm cut off and they both try to reach a happy "Kakera". It is suggested by the ???? scene that he and Lion are both killed by Bernkastel.
Though it is suggested by the ???? scene that he and Lion are both killed by Bernkastel, in Twilight of the Golden Witch it is revealed that they were saved by Lambdadelta and are present as her pieces. He and Lion were brought by Lambdadelta in the after-party that Battler held.
When the goats attacked Rokkenjima, he and Dlanor fought against those who believe that the Rokkenjima Incident was caused by magic. When Rokkenjima was almost eaten by all of the goats, Willard was able to go the Golden Land with the others. He fought again against the goats and died along with the other characters defending the Golden Land. He was revived with the other characters that died in the Golden Land by ANGE-Beatrice's magic.
In the tea party of the Magic Ending, it was stated in a letter that Erika received that Willard started taking badminton lessons under Lion. He appears with the other characters in the final ???? scene of the Magic Ending.
- Willard's appearance may be a reference to Van Dine's short story, "The Man in the Blue Overcoat".
- Willard's alternate palette in Ougon Musou Kyoku CROSS is based off the Vocaloid KAITO.
- Willard is named after Willard Huntington Wright, a famous art critic who - under the pseudonym "S. S. Van Dine", wrote several very popular detective novels starring his fictional detective, Philo Vance.
- SSVD may be an acronym for Willard Huntigton Wright's pseudonym, S.S Van Dine
- Under the Van Dine pseudonym, Wright also penned the essay Twenty Rules for Writing Detective Stories.
- It was revealed in Ryukishi07's booklet that Willard's birthday is 10/15 and he likes black coffee.
- "Don’t abandon the motive, don’t abandon the heart. Dry mysteries where the motive can just be figured out later aren’t worth anyone’s time."
- "I’ll never accept mysteries and theories that lack heart."
- "That’s right, we are Inquisitors of Heresy. Felling evil witches is our job. However, we must not risk hurting the innocent. We must not suspect them! All humans have their own personal truths. Those should only be exposed when they commit crimes. We’ve been given the right to expose them. But there’s one thing we can’t do. No one, not even God, has the right to expose the innocent truths of those who have not sinned!"
- "The point of theory-making is not to create a culprit or to trample the truths, that lie in the hearts of those who have not sinned. If you want to play the detective, don’t forget the heart. If we do that, we’re just intellectual rapists. Don’t forget it!"
- "Behold my style! I'm Willard H. Wright, SSVD's Head Inquisitor of Heresy. This'll be the final time I draw my sword...!"