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This is about the character of the Classic "Saint Seiya" series. For Sphinx Pharaoh in "Lost Canvas", click here. For info on the Sphinx Surplice, click here.

Sphinx Pharaoh



178 cm


69 kg

Date of Birth

November 19






Sphinx Surplice


Balance of Curse






Heavenly Star


Beast Star

Manga Debut

Legendary Saint! Orphée

Anime Debut

Legendary Saint Orphée

Japanese Voice

Junichi Suwabe

English Voice

Sphinx Pharaoh (スフィンクスのファラオ) is a minor character from Saint Seiya, the classic anime/manga series. He is one of the more recognizable Specters in Hades' vast army of 108 soldiers, and commands the Heavenly Bestial Star (天獣星). Pharaoh is the only spectre who utilizes a music instrument as a weapon.


Background & Personality

Pharaoh anime 01.png

243 years had passed since the last holy war between Athena and Hades in the 18th century so Athena's seal on the |108 Specters had withered and was released. The Sphinx Surplice sought Pharaoh out and transformed him into one of Hades' warriors. After swearing an oath to Hades he travelled to the Underworld and was stationed as the guard of the 2nd Prison and the caretaker of Cerberus. Hades had not awakened in his chosen vessel of this holy war, but his soul was still conscious enough to give out orders. Pharaoh had been appointed the official bard of Hades, and was pleased to have that position. He was one of the first Specters that arrived in the Underworld before the Holy War between Athena and Hades. As such, one of Athena's Saints, Lyra Orphee had descended into the Underworld in order to retrieve his deceased lover Euridice. Orphee managed to gain Hades' favour by a musical performance, much to Pharaoh's chagrin. To build onto his envy of the Saint, Pandora ordered Pharaoh to trick Orphee into looking at his lover before they had reached the surface, as Eurydice would be turned to stone and Orphee would likely stay with her. As such, they would be able to use Orphee, and Hades would have something nice to listen to. While Pharaoh enjoyed causing suffering to Orphee, he did not appreciate the Saint's presence in the Underworld.

When the war started, Hades managed to persuade several of Athena's Saints to take the goddess' life in exchange of getting their lives back. The Saints had been bluffing, but Athena had nevertheless been killed by her own hand. When the revived Saint presented Athena's body to Hades' servant Pandora, the body had mysteriously disappeared. Gemini Saga suggested that the goddess might have gone to the Underworld to personally defeat Hades. Pandora did not like that possibility and ordered their stronghold on Earth, Hades' Castle to be destroyed and all remaining Specters to withdraw to the Underworld. Several Saints managed however to infiltrate the Underworld.[1]


Eat Your Heart Out

Pharaoh anime 02.png

During his watch in the Second Prison two Saints of Athena stumbled inside. Pegasus Seiya and Andromeda Shun noticed Cerberus almost immediately but the guardian was faster and tried to devour the Pegasus Saint. The monster spat out the Pegasus Saint, apparently bothered by the taste of a still-living person. It is at this point that Sphinx Pharaoh, amused by the events, stepped out of the shadows to present himself to the bronze saints.

Cerberus took another swipe at Seiya, this time devouring him whole and leaving nothing more than the Pegasus Cloth's headpiece, soaked in blood. The beast next attacked Shun, but the Andromeda Saint rebounded well with his chains using the "Great Capture". Suddenly, Cerberus' mouth was forced open, revealing that Seiya was sitting in his mouth. With a powerful uppercut, the Pegasus Saint snapped the creature's jaws apart and escaped, knocking out one of its heads in the process. Shun then soundly defeated the other heads, rendering the colossal animal unconscious.

Pharaoh anime 03.png

The saints then challenged Pharaoh to a fight, which the spectre calmly accepted. He struck a cord on his harp, informing his opponent that they would regret attacking Cerberus. At this point, another face arrived to the battlefield, and it was a shocking one at that - Lyra Orphée, a renown silver saint who was an extremely gifted musician, and whose cosmos rivalled even the gold saints. Orphée vanished years ago, and Seiya and Shun, like the rest of Sainthood, presumed that he was dead. Pharaoh corrected them - Orphée did not die; in fact, he was quite alive. And he didn't simply "vanish", either - the Lyra Saint had voluntarily decided to come to the Underworld, and since then had chosen to remain as a servant of Hades.

The bronze saints refused to believe this, and implored Orphée for the truth. The Lyra remained silent, but Pharaoh quickly took the opportunity to strike the bronze saints. The spectre hit another cord and began to play the "Balance of Curse". Shun rolled out his chains for its "Circle Defence", but the Sphinx laughed it off - after all, how would one defend himself against music? Seiya rushed towards the spectre with a "Pegasus Ryu Sei Ken", but it, too, was met with no effect. Pharaoh then advised the saints to observe their own bodies to get an idea of what was happening to them.

Pharaoh anime 04.png

To Seiya's complete horror, his heart gorily pushed itself out of his chest. A wall of hieroglyphs emerged behind him, with a majestic weighting scale in the middle. The spectre explained the terrifying mechanics behind his technique, and declared that the Pegasus shall be tested against the symbol of justice. There was nothing Seiya could do but watch as his heart floated over to Pharaoh's device.

Suddenly, everything stopped. The illusion of the hieroglyphs dissolved and the scene reverted back to normal. At the most critical moment, Lyra Orphée had interfered with the attack with a strike of his own lyre, saving Seiya from possible death. The spectre demanded to know what he was planning to do, but the silver saint did not utter one word - instead, he attacked Seiya and Shun with his "Stringer Nocturne" technique. Both were instantly taken out.[2]

Tugging at the Heart Strings

Pharaoh anime 05.png

Orphée assured Pharaoh that he finished off the intruders, and left the second prison carrying their bodies. The spectre would not be convinced, however, and trailed after the Lyra to keep a watchful eye. He was right - the saints were still very much alive, and had regained conscious shortly after. As they pleaded to Orphée about fulfilling his duties to Sainthood and joining the war, Pharaoh revealed himself once more - this time, his entrance accompanied with a blinding light. The Specter used his skills to pull Athena's Cloth to his hand.

Orphée and Eurydice had both recalled the light and demanded to know if the Sphinx had anything to do with the events of that day that trapped them. Pharaoh did not deny his involvement - after all, the fact that Orphée had left the Bronze Saints alive proved that he had betrayed Hades, and therefore lost any value as a commodity to the Underworld. The Lyra was enraged. He had originally wished to stay out of the Holy War, and only saved the Bronze Saints from certain death out of respect for Sainthood. But now there was a good reason to fight. And the same applied to Pharaoh - he had been itching to settle his issues with Orphée ever since the day that the saint barged into Hades' throne room and replaced him as the god's favourite musician. Now they could end their feud once and for all, and prove which of the two were the more capable music virtuoso.

Pharaoh anime 06.png

Orphée struck first - his sudden play of the chord granted him control of Pharaoh's hand, forcing the spectre to drop the Athena's Cloth that he had taken from Seiya when he reappeared. The Sphinx responded with a chord of his own, freezing the Lyra and cutting off the G string of his instrument. Without that crucial piece on the lyre, Orphée was effectively crippled as a fighter. Pharaoh quickly took advantage and played the "Balance of Curse", spreading the might of his cosmos to all parties present. Even Seiya and Shun were at the Sphinx's mercy.

Shockingly, instead of Orphée's heart being forced atop the divine scale, it was Pharaoh's. Somehow, the silver saint had managed to revert the attack back on the spectre, and for the first time in his life, Pharaoh felt the terrors of his own gruesome technique. And, in a further twist of irony, the spectre's own heart weighted heavier than the holy feather - proving to all that he himself was no less evil than the men he might have executed under this trial.

Pharaoh anime 07.png

The illusion ended. Pharaoh was amazed that Orphée was able to turn the tables on him even with the G string of his lyre cut. An interesting souvenir fell to the grass as Pharaoh stopped to catch his breath - a small, round mirror belonging to Pandora. Orphée inquired if this was the very same object the spectre had used to bind him and Eurydice to the Underworld. The Sphinx laughed - what would it matter if it was? Vengeance? Contrary to what Pharaoh thought, Orphée actually wanted to thank him - for he had come to understand that life was a fragile thing that only comes once, be they flowers, birds, or even people. It was absolutely foolish of him to believe that he and Eurydice could be exceptions to the rule. Eurydice, as well as the bronze saints, were moved by his words.

Pharaoh anime 08.png

Now that he had realize this, the next logical step for Orphée to take to correct his error was but a simple one: renounce his loyalty to Hades and fight as a Saint of Athena once more! Pharaoh was already quite ready for round two, as Orphée was no more than a dead man walking - after all, what was he going to do with a cut G string on his instrument? The spectre strummed his harp - but, to his dismay, all of the strings snapped! It seems the illusion from the "Balance of Curse" was not the only thing Orphée had countered. The Lyra improvised for his own damaged instrument by holding up the G string with his teeth. One "Stringer Nocturne" after, and Pharaoh fell. With his last breath, he conceded defeat and praised Orphée as the better musician. [3]

Concept & Creation

While Pharaoh's name is obviously based on the ancient Egyptian kings, it is never specified if he himself is of any actual royalty.

In The Lost Canvas, Phaorah makes his début appearance to put Wyvern Rhadamanthys through the trial of the "Balance of Curse" to see if the spectre's allegiance to Alone was still intact. After that, he takes on an entire crew of saints attempting to break down the Wailing Wall, and is eventually confronted by Sagittarius Sisyphus.

Special Techniques

Pharaoh anime 09.png

Armed with a terrifying technique that dances with macabre and gore, Pharaoh is well known as one of the more powerful Specters of the Hades army.

"Balance of Curse"

Striking a cord on his harp, the Sphinx Spectre can summon his opponent's heart to jump out of their chest, still beating. With another play, Pharaoh creates the illusion of a wall of hieroglyphs with a heavenly weighting scale as its centrepiece. One more string and the heart floats over to the measuring device, settling down on the left side. At the farthest right sits a single feather. If the heart can balance equally with it, then the subject is labelled as a just person and may live upon Pharaoh's discretion. If the heart is heavier than the feather, however - as is often the case - then the victim is deemed as evil, and dies immediately with their heart splattered by their corpse.


Pharaoh merch 01.png

Sphinx Pharaoh was released as a Myth Cloth figure in November, 2014 and cost 9,180 Japanese Yen. Four pairs of interchangeable hands and one extra interchangeable face are included.[4]



  1. Saint Seiya Vol. 22, p.50-55, 90-106
  2. Saint Seiya Vol. 23, Chapter 87: The Legendary Saint! Orphée, p.136-169
  3. Saint Seiya Vol. 24, Chapter 88: Orphee, a Sad Requiem, p.11-44

→ back to Character Index (Classic)

Classic Specters
Celestial Suikyo · Aiacos · Vermeer · Minos · Rhadamanthys · Charon · Gordon · Ivan · Pharaoh · Phlegyas · Queen · Rock · René · Stand · Sylphid · Valentine
Terrestrial Cube · Gigant · Mills · Myu · Niobe · Ochs · Raimi · Zelos · Meehan
Other Marchino
The Lost Canvas Specters
Celestial Minos · Rhadamanthys · Aiacos · Byaku · Charon · Fyodor · Gordon · Ivan · Gregor · Kagaho · Luco · Pharaoh · Phlegyas · Queen · Rock · René · Stand · Sylphid · Tokusa · Valentine · Veronica · Violate · Yōma  · Partita · Earhart · Chris
Terrestrial Cheshire · Cube · Edward · Gigant · Myu · Niobe · Raimi · Wimber · Zelos · Kageboshi · Atavaka · Raybould
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