|Occupation||Avatar of Ishtar, Goddess of Fertility|
|ENG VA||Yuri Lowenthal|
|JPN VA||Junko Minagawa|
Astaroth is one of the many avatars of Ishtar (Trisha, the Midnight Venus), Goddess of Fertility. The name "Astaroth" is derived from the goddess "Astarte" who is the Phoenician equivalent of Ishtar.
He is the mastermind behind the entire plot of the game: the weakening deaths and the nightmares. Though rumors surrounding the deaths have the deaths occur in cycles of 100 years, this is not completely true, as Dumuzid made reference to causing the birth of Vincent Brooks by splitting his mother and her lover apart, so she could start a family with someone else.
Astaroth employs Dumuzid (Thomas Mutton) to target what he calls the "lowest of the low": men who cheat, betray, exercise deceit or are not fully committed to establishing a family and procreating with their significant other. These men, he claims, are taking someone else's future for their own selfish and immature reasons.
He communicates to all the chosen "lambs" through the Confessional on each Landing. Through that, he asks each sheep a series of questions that is designed to identify the true life's worth of the man. Though early in the game he claimed to only be watching over the sheep, he takes full responsibility later on for the entire series of events.
Though the entire trial exists to weed out unfaithful and uncommitted men by killing them in their dreams, Astaroth seems genuinely pleased and proud when Vincent survives all the trials. This act of baptism, as he calls it, is another reason the trials exist: to find the Man of Legends, and reward his potential.
Though never shown in the real world, Astaroth still has power over it, as he is able to block the memories of the chosen men so they will not remember the nightmares. He also communicates with Vincent specifically at the Stray Sheep, showing him visions of the next night and urging him to come into the dream world. Whether this is done for all candidates or because Astaroth suspected Vincent is the "Man of Legends," is not known.
If the act of forcing re-population in a world that is most likely already plenty populated can be seen as pointless at best and irresponsible at worst, one must remember fertility and re-population is the sole reason Ishtar exists. Also, while it may be argued that the world's population is sufficient, geographically there are areas that have zero or negative population growth -- for example, Japan. It is possible that the curse only hits these such areas. There's also the fact that populated 'enough' can be a completely subjective term.
The Trivia for Tonight.....
- His parting words to Vincent before the last level are, "When this sanctuary is bathed in Ishtar's love, I'll see you again, in a place far removed from here." This later on truly happens when the "player," unlocks the Axis Mundi Babel level, and meets Trisha through the fourth wall, who explains the overall connection.
- Astaroth and Erica share the same voice actor, Junko Minagawa, in the Japanese version, while Astaroth and Toby share the same voice actor, Yuri Lowenthal, in the English dub. This does not have any relation to the story itself.
- Astaroth has the same voice as Pharos, the boy who gives the protagonist the "Persona" contract in Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 although there may be no meaning to this.
- According to several demonological texts (such as The Lesser Key of Solomon), Astaroth is described as a Crowned Prince of Hell and is said to be the prince of accusers and inquisitors, explaining his role in the Nightmares as the Mysterious Voice.
|Vincent · Katherine · Catherine · Rin · Orlando · Jonny · Toby · Erica · Boss|
|Stray Sheep goers|
|Justin · Todd · Archie · Daniel · Morgan · Anna · Lindsay and Martha · The Couple · Roderick · Abul|
|Trisha · Paul · Steve · Feather|