Greed Machine. The greed
Greed | Full Metal Alchemist
|Aliases||"The Ultimate Shield" "Greed the Avaricious""Greedling" (second Greed, mainly called by this name by Edward Elric)|
|Place of Creation||Amestris|
|Age||Around 200 years old (Third oldest Homunculus)|
|Affiliations||Martel, Roa, Dolcetto, Bido, Solf J. Kimblee (2003 anime), Shou Tucker (2003 anime) (minions)Edward Elric, Heinkel, and Darius (temporary minions, manga and 2009 anime)Ling Yao (host body, manga and 2009 anime)|
|Abilities||Ability to alter the outer layer of his body to create a shield of varying durability, which can be used for both offense and defense.|
|Weapon||Philosopher's Stone body core |
Anything that can be wielded as a weapon
Razor-sharp finger nails
|Goal||To become "truly" immortal and possess all the world's riches (formerly) |
To gain true happiness and content
|First Appearance||Chapter 25 Episode 19 (2003 series)Episode 13 (2009 series)|
|Voice Actor||Chris Patton (2003 anime/first Greed in 2009)Troy Baker (second Greed)|
|Seiyū||Junichi Suwabe (2003 anime) Yuichi Nakamura (2009 anime)|
|“||You humans think greed is only about money and power. But don't forget: everybody wants something they don't have.||”|
Greed (グリード, Gurīdo) is the embodiment of some of Father's greed. He is called the "Ultimate Shield" because he can rearrange the carbon in his body to make his skin as hard as diamond, thus making him impenetrable by most weapons. As his name implies, he is a very avaricious character, who likes living in luxury, surrounded by powerful minions and beautiful women. He also has a habit of flipping people off in the manga. Despite his generally greedy nature, he is shown to care for his subordinates, as detailed below.
In his original body, Greed resembled a tall and muscular young adult with short, spiky, black hair that is kept slicked back. He also had a subtle widow's peek. Among his most noticeable features were Greed's purple eyes with thin, cat-like pupils, and razor-sharp teeth. He often smiled with a huge grin. Greed dresses in leather, sporting a short, black jacket with a fur collar, black leather pants, and shoes with upward tips. In the 2003 anime, his pants and shoes have a dark green hue, while in the 2009 anime they're colored black. Beneath his jacket, Greed wears a skintight shirt similar to the clothes worn by his homunculus siblings. His shirt is the same navy blue as his armor form in the 2003 anime, while in the 2009 anime it has a reddish brown hue. Around each of his wrists, Greed wore four black leather wrist belts with metal claps. He briefly wore a pair of sunglasses with round lenses.
While possessing Ling Yao, Greed looks exactly like Ling, but with slit pupils, purple irises, and he kept his eyes opened in the same manner as his previous body.
In his "Ultimate Shield" form, Greed has dark blue skin, razor-sharp finger nails, and a pronounced spinal column, while his ears and hair disappear beneath his blue skin. The sclera of both eyes become red, while his irises turn white. In this form, Greed's sharp teeth become more pronounced, with two lower fangs rising just above his upper lip. His overall facial features are a reflection of his inner self, which takes the form of a red devil's head with skull-like features, notably: fangs and slit eyes.
His Ouroboros tattoo is located on the back of his left hand in both incarnations.
|“||They weren't my "friends". Henchmen are like money and women: possessions. And killing them is like stealing from me. And NOBODY steals from me!||”|
After being killed and reborn, he initially had no memories of his former life. He retained his mocking arrogant easygoing personality but initially had a loyalty to Father, faithfully doing his job. However, after killing one of his surviving friends, Bido, he remembers his past and develops a grudge against Wrath for what he had done. He also slowly develops a bond with Ling, whose body he shares and whose greed nearly matches his, and the prince helps him realize what he truly desires. He does get annoyed when Ling tries to take over his body, especially without his permission, though the two manage to work together well as a team. He also bonds with Edward, despite getting into fights with him.
He claims to desire all the finer things in life, such as money, power, women, sex and status. He even tries to interfere with Father's plan so he can use them to conquer the Earth and rule over all in order to fulfill the emptiness he was born with. However, deep down he wants nothing more than true friends who cared for him and for whom he cared for. This is first shown in Dublith where his chimera friends are killed by Wrath. He claims he only saw them as possessions and will kill Wrath for killing them because it was like Wrath was stealing from him. However, he cries upon killing his own friend Bido and regaining his memories. Ling later points this out to him during their final fight against Father, and in the end Greed is satisfied with having died to protect his friends.
Being a living incarnation of avarice, Greed understands its nature better than anyone else. Though Ed warns him that wanting too much can have dangerous results, just like what happens to people who attempt human transmutation. However, Greed countered by explaining that avarice is not about just money and power; no matter how noble or selfless someone is, everybody desires something.
Manga and 2009 anime
Greed's Ouroboros tattoo on the back of his left hand.Greed is the third Homunculus created by Father (according to the Perfect Guide Book 2) and claims to be around two centuries old. He defected from the other Homunculi over 100 years before the start of the series, as fulfilling Father's ambition would deprive him from obtaining all of his worldly desires. He first appears hiding in the Devil's Nest in Dublith, with his gang of chimeras, all of whom he apparently rescued from military experimentation.
After learning of the Elric brothers' battle with Scar, he becomes intrigued with the notion that the youngest brother, Alphonse, is an independent soul bound into a suit of armor. Contrary to fact, he believes that existing in this state would make him truly immortal. He sends out his gang's smallest member, the lizard chimera Bido, to confirm his suspicions. Bido locates the brothers, but is discovered and barely escapes the two. His hopes confirmed, Greed orders the rest of his gang: Roa, Dolcetto and Martel to capture Alphonse. After a brief battle, the chimeras capture and bring Al to Greed, where Greed introduces himself and starts questioning Al about his empty armor. Greed even reveals himself to be a Homunculus. Al, however, denies it and claims it to be impossible. In order to prove it, Greed has Roa smash the top part of his head off with his hammer. Within seconds, Greed rises up completely healed, thus proving that he is, in fact, a Homunculus.
Shortly after, Edward rushes into the Devil's Nest to rescue his brother and confront Greed. Finding him, Ed pays no attention to Al and Greed's suggestions about a deal and demands that Greed free Al, saying he wants nothing to do with his plans. Greed offers a deal to Ed of how to manufacture his own Homunculi in exchange for information in how to become immortal. Greed then explains that he doesn't know why Al would ever want his original body back, having not to deal with the physical conveniences of his human body. Ed then flies into a rage and threatens to beat Greed and his gang. Dolcetto tries to physically force Ed to agree with the deal, but gets beaten in seconds. Seeing what Ed is capable of, Greed sends his gang to run away with Al, and he fights Edward alone. Despite Greed using part of his "Ultimate Shield" on his hands, Edward slips past Greed's guard and breaks his neck. However, this does little to stop Greed, and he only shrugs it off. Ed thinks that he has the advantage in the fight because he thinks that Greed's shield only covers part of his body. In fact, Greed was only holding back. Greed explains that his full form covers his face, so he tries not to wear it much, and then he changes to his completely armored form.Now practically invulnerable to physical harm, Greed seems to gain the upper hand in the fight. Ed, however, manages to figure the alchemic process behind the Shield (rearranging carbon molecules into a dia-
Izumi attacks Greed.mond-like form) and nullifies it with his own alchemy. Some moments later, Izumi Curtis storms in to rescue Alphonse. She quickly gets in a fight and finds herself outmatched by his Ultimate Shield. After she is beaten, Alphonse agrees to make a deal with Greed, to stay with him willingly in exchange for information on Soul Attachment. Greed agrees and Izumi leaves Devil's Nest to tell Ed about the deal. Suddenly, Führer King Bradley arrives with Alex Louis Armstrong and an army unit to reclaim Al and eliminate the chimeras.
Before the two can finish their battle, Bradley's army unit storms the Devil's Nest. Greed manages to escape with Alphonse still in his custody. However, in the sewers below the club, he is met by King Bradley. Not knowing the Führer's real identity, Greed orders his gang to dispose of him. In a matter of seconds, Bradley kills all of Greed's gang (except for Bido), before revealing himself as a Homunculus. After repeatedly killing Greed until his Philosophers Stone is almost depleted, Bradley impales Greed with four swords and takes him prisoner.
Shortly after that, Greed is brought before Father and the other Homunculi, and Bradley introduces himself as the Homunculus Wrath. After gleefully insulting Envy, Father offers him another chance to work for him, but Greed flippantly refuses to rejoin Father's scheme. Knowing that Greed is but an obstacle in his current state, Father lowers Greed into a vat filled with boiling molten gold (symbolizing greed), and melts him down into his constituent Philosopher's Stone. Greed remains defiant to the end, laughing maniacally and screaming curses at everyone present.
The Return of Greed
Greed in Ling's Soul.
In Chapter 54, Greed returns to the story as Father decides he needs a new pawn due the void left by Lust's death. To this end, he reextracts his avarice as a Philosopher's Stone and inserts it into the body of Ling Yao (who was more than willing to accept the stone). While undergoing the painful transformation into a Homonculus, Ling meets Greed within his subconscious; Greed tells him to hand over his body. Ling allows this, stating he needs Greed's power if he is to become ruler of Xing. Greed notes Ling's avarice is appealing, taking control as the process ends. However, due to having his mind wiped by Father reassmilating him, Greed does not recognize Envy, Gluttony or the Elric Brothers. Now a "blank slate", Greed is loyal to Father despite his desires. While it looks like Ling is gone for good, Ed manages to wake him up briefly by yelling about Lan Fan's sacrifice. it turns out that Ling is still "alive", as is waiting for a moment of weakness from Greed to take back his body; he briefly snaps at Wrath for insulting his view of how to rule. Greed honors a request from Ling to give Ed a message for Lan Fan that explains his situation.
Once the Elric Brothers and Mustang are threatened into keeping quiet and not opposing them, Greed is given the job of standing guard over Father's lair and dealing with intruders, as witnessed in Chapter 73 when he is spotted merely watching Father sleep and, more poignantly, in Chapter 82 when he chases Bido (who has blundered into the Homunculi's inner sanctum) with the intent of killing him. Because the new Greed shares powers and mannerisms with the first, Bido recognizes him despite his different body.
Greed's memory sweeps back upon him full force over his merciless action.Greed is confused by how much this odd stranger knows about him, but shrugs it off and uses Bido's relaxed guard as an opening to kill him, stating that the lizard-man has the wrong Greed. But as soon as Bido dies, Greed begins to have mental flashes back to his first life and his comrades at Devil's Nest and begins trembling uncontrollably. Ling berates the Homunculus from inside for killing a comrade and believing that the old Greed's memories and feelings could be purified. He informs Greed that things that have become part of a soul can never be truly washed clean or forgotten. Holding Bido's body in his arms, Greed has a complete mental breakdown (as he killed one of his "possessions"). Seeking answers, Greed rushes to the Führer's mansion to confront Wrath. The two Homunculi do battle as Greed demands to know what is going on, but when Greed notices that Pride is there as well, he flees, defecting from Father for a second time.
In his state, Ling takes the body over again and wanders to Mustang's safe house outside Central City, encountering Edward, Heinkel and Darius. As Ling threatens to divulge parts of Father's plan to them, Greed takes over once again. Edward offers to allow Greed to join the good guys, after learning that he has left the Homunculi forever, but Greed says that his greed can not be satisfied by working for Edward or merely being the Emperor of Xing, as he desires the whole world. The only way he'll help is if Edward offers to work for him instead, which the Fullmetal Alchemist accepts. For the next few months, Edward, Heinkel and Darius work as Greed's outlaw henchmen, using the basement of the Rockbell house in Resembool as their hideout before returning to Central for the final battle. They are confronted by Pride and Gluttony, and Greed must allow Ling to fight with the body under his control because he can sense the Homunculi's aura. After Gluttony is killed and Pride is trapped, Greed takes his chance to escape from the battlefield. Realizing that the only Homunculus left to guard Father is Sloth, he heads to Central Command to take a stand against his creator.
In Chapter 97, Greed reappears to confront the returned Wrath at the entryway to Central Command and engages him in combat, claiming that his avarice now desires Wrath's life. With Ling providing tactics from inside Greed's mind, he manages to hold his own against Bradley in hand to hand combat, deflecting sword strikes with his armored hands and moving into the Führer's blind spot, until Wrath removes his eye patch and gains the upper hand. Though Briggs soldiers attempt to come to Greed's aid by providing cover fire, Greed warns them to stay uninvolved in the fray. His advice proves justified when Wrath mercilessly cuts down all who fired impotently on him. After Captain Buccaneer manages to disarm Bradley, Greed engages him again, only to be met with further resistance as Wrath procures twin bowie knives with which to do combat. Fu arrives on the scene to provide further backup, and the two prepare to take on Bradley in tandem. Wrath still holds ground against them both and eventually wounds Fu fatally. Fu tries a suicide bomb attack against Bradley, but fails, with Bradley slicing through the detonators and Fu himself. Cpt. Buccaneer stabs one of Wrath's swords through Fu's body, wounding Wrath. Greed continues the fight, hitting Wrath to head with his hardened arm and seemingly blinding his Ultimate Eye. The gate is opened to Central, distracting Greed, which gives Bradley time for counterattack. Wrath throws them off the walkway but Greed manages to grab the side of walkway. Lan Fan and Briggs men try to help Greed up, but he and Wrath weigh too much. One of Briggs soldiers shoots Wrath down to moat surrounding Central HQ. Greed, reverting to Ling Yao, promises to Buccaneer to guard the HQ's gates. He then transforms to his fully armored form and charges against the attacking Central forces, although not before offering "those who have a family, a lover, or simply doesn't want to get hurt" and women to leave (only to be ignored). Central troops are quickly defeated before Greed's might.
A short while later, as Father is prepared to use the five sacrifices to open "The World's Gate", Greed suddenly appears right behind him and cuts him down while saying the world belongs to him. But his attack fails to kill Father, as the latter tells him that he knew Greed would come because he was born from Father's own avarice. When Father successively brings God down to earth and makes him a part of himself, Greed, Mei, Roy, Izumi, Lan Fan, Scar, Hawkeye, Darius, Zampano, Jerso, Hohenheim, Alphonse, and Edward are the only ones left free while everyone in the country's souls are removed and contained within Father's new body, much to their shock. When Scar activates the redesigned country-wide transmutation circle and restores alchemy, Greed aids the brothers in battle with Father until his stone is depleted sufficiently that he flees to the surface. Without alchemy to aid his assent, Greed climbs up himself and finds Lan Fan standing beside the fallen body of Wrath, Greed is quietly angry with Wrath for dying with a smile on his face.
Finally reaching the surface, Greed finds all the allies desperately fighting to bring down Father's strength. As he watches Father fight, Greed envies Father's powers and claims them for himself, saying that the power of God will finally sate his desires. Ling disagrees, but Greed orders him to be silent and charges headlong into battle. Since Father's power is waning and he is losing control over the God that he has absorbed, Father decides to lower his guard in order for Greed to strike him and in doing so reabsorb his son's Philosopher's Stone. However, Greed anticipated the move and Ed seizes the opportunity to strike Father directly. Though the attack fails, Father's overuse of his power causes him to lose control of God and his body begins disintegrating. When Edward regains his right arm and tries to finish Father off, everyone cheers for him except Greed. Quietly the homunculus admits to Ling that the true thing he has always wanted was not world domination, but to have friends like them.
Ling tries to prevent Father from absorbing Greed.
After Ed pummels Father badly enough, God attempts to leave Father's body again. Driven into a frenzy for power to subdue God again, Father stabs his hand into Greed's gut to suck out his Philosopher's Stone. Inside, Ling holds onto Greed soul while the rest are being drawn back in; Greed is not too pleased with having to get eaten again by Father, but tells Ling to let go to avoid getting sucked in too. However, Ling refuses under the belief he needs Greed's power to become emperor of Xing. Seeing he can reason with the prince, Greed tells him that they will fight together before sucker punching him. Resisting the pull, Greed tells Ling that was the only lie of his life and that Lan Fan has another Philosopher's Stone with her.
Greed heads willingly into Father's body; remembering Ed telling him about how he reversed the Ultimate Shield to be weak as graphite, Greed begins turning Father into pencil lead to make it easier for his friends to kill him. With his last moment in Ling, Greed called Lan Fan to sever Father's arm; as a parting gift, Greed healed the wound in Ling's gut before leaving. As Father wonders why Greed betrayed him, Greed laughs that his dad shouldn't be too surprised by this; he's betrayed him twice already. After telling Father his plan, Greed's soul is pulled out of Father's mouth and severed from him with a bite.
Greed's demise at Father's hand.
As his soul floats away into the air, with no more Philosopher's Stone to sustain him, Greed accepts his time has come. He looks down to see Ed and Ling on the verge of crying over his demise. Greed then thinks back to when Ling reminded him that bonds with friends couldn't be washed from his soul, and how Ed was able to convince him to team up so he wouldn't be alone. Thinking he never got any respect he "deserved" from them, Greed decides what he's done is enough and silently thanks the two for giving him everything .
Greed is the sixth Homunculus to permanently die.
Powers and Abilities
Greed's Ultimate Shield form.Immortality: He does not age beyond his youthful prime.
Rapid regeneration: Any injuries the he suffers immediately heal, even if he is decapitated,disintegrated, blown up or completely incinerated, he will still return to life in perfect condition.
Containment Immunity: He is immune to all poisons, toxins, venoms, viruses, bacteria, allergen, diseases, etc.
Self-Sustenance: He does not need to eat, drink, or breathe.
Enhanced Physiology: He possesses strength, speed, reflexes, stamina, durability, senses, agility, coordination, willpower, intelligence, and instincts superior to any human. He possesses limitless physical energy, stamina, vitality and virility; he can keep working, fighting, and moving almost indefinitely. Even without training, his muscles are brawny and his perfect body shape doesn't change.
Ultimate Shield: Greed can convert his skin into Graphene. He usually uses this ability to partially strengthen the density of selected parts of his body during battle, but can extend the effect to its entirety. In this form, he resembles a demon with a malevolent facial visage. His finger nails become razor sharp while under this form, capable of slicing through rock and metal alike with little effort. Because Greed has control over the configuration of his body's carbon atoms, the substances that he can convert his skin into can vary based on his intentions. He can choose to convert his body into the indestructible substance, or he can turn his skin into weak graphite. The latter was seen in his fight against Father. While in its Ultimate Shield form, Greed's body is completely indestructible and possesses absolutely no internal or external weakness. This defense cannot be breached by any attack, giving him protection from all attacks, regardless of types, magnitude and directions; thus, he is immune to any/all kind of damage, and his indestructible body does not hinder his speed or mobility. He is able to survive and adapt to any environment, with no discomfort. at optimal efficiency under any circumstances and for an unlimited duration. His "shield" is so strong that he was able to take Father's nuclear level attack at point-blank without harm.
As a downside to his Ultimate Shield power, skilled alchemists can transmute his skin from graphene to graphite, which allows for his shield to be breached with excessive force. Edward once exploited this weakness during his battle with the homunculus. Another disadvantage of Greed's is that he cannot harden his skin and regenerate simultaneously. During their fight together, Wrath constantly dismembered and sliced Greed. Before hardening his skin, his intervals of regeneration left Greed open for more of Wrath's sword attacks.
Charisma: Greed possess a magnetic quality that allows him to easily make loyal allies/friends with anyone. While he cannot directly override others' will and values, his persuasive abilities are so powerful he can convince others of anything remotely believable. Due to his immense charisma and eloquence, he was able to form many loyal friendships and partnerships, as well as becoming an effective and respected leader. He has the ability to see perfectly even in low light conditions or even total darkness.
Second Greed: While sharing the same powers, these advantages are further enhanced by Ling's abilities such as the knowledge of Wrath's sword skills. Though he prefers to use his ultimate shield to form claws covering up to his shoulders (thereby summoning makeshift weapons at will), leaving much of his body vulnerable to attack (only using his shield on other areas to protect them from attack temporarily, as seen when Wrath attempts to slice Greed's head off with his sword only to have it broken in two by Greed's shield), in Chapter 100 of the manga, Ling requested more power from Greed and finally assumed a fully armored, presumably invincible form. Furthermore, being fused with Ling's body enables the two to conveniently switch during battle (though he dislikes having to do this, as he fears that Ling will simply "run off with this body"), allowing them to compensate each other's weaknesses with the other's strength (i.e. as Greed, he can summon the Ultimate Shield, while Ling can sense the presence of people and differentiate them from homunculi).
After defecting a second time, Greed briefly loses control to Ling; Ling proceeded to eat a large amount of food, showing that a human-based Homunculus will need food after an amount of time. Since Ling's body tends to be a bottomless pit, Greed will have to eat a large amount to sate his hunger.
In the 2003 animeThe second oldest of the Homunculi, Greed was created by Dante. Due to his avarice, Greed rebelled against the woman who created him and soon after that was captured and sealed within the bowels of the Fifth Laboratory in Central by Envy. He escapes some 130 years later with some of the other Lab 5 prisoners. After establishing his base of operations within The Devil's Nest, he hears of a new Homunculus (Wrath), and begins a hunt for him intending to add him to his cause. His attempts to capture Wrath from South Headquarters and
Greed in the 2003 anime.later Yock Island fail due to Envy and Sloth's intervention. After this, Greed's next plan becomes the kidnapping of Alphonse Elric. He explains to Al that the reason for the kidnapping was his desire for a "truly immortal" body after seeing Al's apparent impervious form. His ultimate goal to force Edward Elric into bonding his soul to a suit of armor similar to Al's condition. This is all stopped by the arrival of Izumi Curtis and Ed, but just minutes after they start their fight, they are interrupted by a surprise military raid (lead by Frank Archer) on the Devil's Nest. Greed, Martel, Roa, and Dolcetto are barely able to escape when they are confronted by Lust and Gluttony. The two Homunculi slaughter his chimera mercenaries (Martel is once again able to escape), and Greed is forced to go on the run. With no place to go, Greed goes to the place where he was born, Dante's mansion. It is here that he meets with his creator who, in the guise of Lyra, takes him before his former human remains and from there drains the Red Stones in him, thereby rendering him mortal. Almost immediately, Edward arrives at the scene and begins his final confrontation with Greed. Now knowing full well how to transmute Greed's body structure and fight him, he pierces Greed's heart, killing him due to all the Red Stones previously leeched out of him. Before dying, Greed tells Ed how to weaken the Homunculi and kill them. He is the first Homunculus in the 2003 anime series to die.
His 'armored' form is different in this series as it is rather a dull black than the shiny grey of the 2009 anime.
In the OVA "Reflections", a segment possibly reveals Greed's past and the reason he broke away from the rest of the Homunculi. A voice-over by Envy states that Greed was Dante's former lover (his human forerunner) and the current him still loves her. This is further cemented by his final actions of going to see her one last time before death and him backing down from harming Ed when he notices Dante was watching him from afar. Envy goes on to state Greed was merely an experiment for Dante (possibly in her greed to become more knowledgeable in creating Homunculi). Greed, however, denies being some love-struck fool and storms off in a huff.
- Greed's Armor state differs between the manga and the 2009 anime and 2003 anime:
- In the 2003 Anime, when Greed goes into his full Armor state, his mouth doesn't move (unless he laughs). However in Brotherhood, when he uses his armor, his mouth does move like in the manga.
- In the 2003 anime and the manga, Greed's skintight shirt is of the same navy blue color as his Armor state and the two meld together, while in the 2009 anime, his shirt is of the different color (reddish brown) and his Armor state grows over it.
- Greed's body being shared with Ling could possibly be a reference to Canto XXV of The Inferno. In this Canto the thieves are subjected to the constant loss of their bodies to the lizards that inhabit the seventh Bolgia. In life they took the substance of others, transforming it into their own, so in Hell their very bodies are constantly being taken from them and they are left to steal back a human form from some other sinner.
- Interestingly, as the second Greed, when his hair is over his right eye, Greed's soul is in control. When it's over the left side, Ling is in control. However, this is only mostly present in the manga, as the 2009 anime shows the bangs in mostly random positions, regardless of who's in control. Instead, they are differentiated by their voice actors.
- In a slight way, Greed is one of the few characters, alongside both Selim Bradley and Hohenheim, to have entirely new Japanese and English Voice Actors from 2003 to 2009; although Greed's original English voice actor did reprise his role initially.
- Fans just take this in stride, assuming that the change was due Greed's voice now having Ling's accent.
- In the latest fan poll, Greed came in the 12th place, making him the second most popular of the Homunculi. The second Greed came in 13th place while Ling himself came in 9th.
- The original Greed and Lust are the only Homunculi who are not in a back spine volume shot.
- Due to his death and rebirth, and the fall of his Homunculi siblings, Greed was both the first Homunculus to die and the second to last one to die permanently (Father being the last).
- Second Greed is commonly called by fans, "LinGreed," due to the fact that Ling's name ends with the letter G and Greed's starts with G. Greedling or Greelin are also common nicknames for him. Edward has also mentioned to calling the new Greed "Grin", but it never appeared to have caught on.
- It is interesting to note that the Ouroboros between the first and second Greed differentiate in the 2009 anime. Ling's Ouroboros is actually facing the opposite way as the first Greed. The first Greed's Ouroboros had its top by his fingers, but the second Greed wears his with the top by his wrist. There are a few animation mistakes where it changes around (by his fingers), but for the most part, it's opposite the first Greed. It is unknown why this was decided because the mark is the same on both Greeds in the manga.
- Unlike his fellow Homunculi, Greed surprisingly does not harbor any sociopathic feeling towards humans.
- According to the English audio commentary in Conqueror of Shamballa, Troy Baker originally auditioned for the role of Greed in the 2003 anime but was rejected after 35 seconds because he couldn't laugh right for the part. Ironically, Baker did go on to play the second Greed in Brotherhood.
- Greed's motive for kidnapping Al does not sensibly transition to the 2003 anime. Although both Greeds sought immortality by being bonded to an inanimate object, it's heavily stressed that Homunculi in the anime have no souls, thus making a spirit binding impossible.
- Coincidentally, in all versions of the series, Greed is the first Homunculus to "die" (though he was reborn in the manga and 2009 anime).
- Apparently, Greed does not believe in telling lies, as Ling stated when Greed lied to Ling in order to prevent him from being dragged into Father along with Greed himself.
- Greed seems to like strong women like Lan Fan, instantly becoming impressed with her combat skills.
- The way Greed transfers to a new body in the manga and Brotherhood is similar to Hazama/Yuuki Terumi of Blazblue, where the latter like Greed "seemingly perished" and later possess a vessel to be reborn, only Terumi took time compared to Greed, and grew permanently in control for the vessel was made specifically for him. Both have also been voiced by Yuuichi Nakamura in Japanese.
- Interestingly, Terumi's durability is similar to Greed's title as the Ultimate Shield; most Blazblue fighters often have a hard time trying to defeat him, though Terumi's weakness was not as obvious as Greed's.
- Despite their bickering, Greed and Envy shared two preferences: both of them preferred avoiding violence whenever possible and both enjoyed their respective good-looks while in human form.
Greed - Wikipedia1909 painting The Worship of Mammon, the New Testament representation and personification of material greed, by Evelyn De Morgan. Shakespeare Sacrificed: Or the Offering to Avarice by James Gillray. The Father and Mother by Boardman Robinson depicting War as the offspring of Greed and Pride. Avarice (2012), by Jesus Solana
Greed, or avarice, is an inordinate or insatiable longing for unneeded excess, especially for excess wealth, status, power, or food.
As a secular psychological concept, greed is an inordinate desire to acquire or possess more than one needs. The degree of inordinance is related to the inability to control the reformulation of "wants" once desired "needs" are eliminated. Erich Fromm described greed as "a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction." It is typically used to criticize those who seek excessive material wealth, although it may apply to the need to feel more excessively moral, social, or otherwise better than someone else.
The purpose for greed, and any actions associated with it, is possibly to deprive others of potential means (perhaps, of basic survival and comfort) or future opportunities accordingly, or to obstruct them therefrom, thus insidious and tyrannical or otherwise having a negative connotation. Alternately, the purpose could be defense or counteraction from such dangerous, potential negotiation in matters of questionable agreeability. A consequence of greedy activity may be an inability to sustain any of the costs or burdens associated with that which has been or is being accumulated, leading to a backfire or destruction, whether of self or more generally. So, the level of "inordinance" of greed pertains to the amount of vanity, malice or burden associated with it.
Thomas Aquinas says that greed "is a sin against God, just as all mortal sins, in as much as man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things.":A1 In Dante's Purgatory, the avaricious penitents were bound and laid face down on the ground for having concentrated too much on earthly thoughts.
From Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary, greed means "greedy for base gains". Gain itself is not a sin, but the gain of base things. Also, "given to greed" means literally, "given to filth." Thus, a moral concern, not a subjective economic one for which there is no equal. A very wealthy man, for example, may be erroneously considered "greedy" if such wealth was planned for some great achievement or building project.
Meher Baba dictated that "Greed is a state of restlessness of the heart, and it consists mainly of craving for power and possessions. Possessions and power are sought for the fulfillment of desires. Man is only partially satisfied in his attempt to have the fulfillment of his desires, and this partial satisfaction fans and increases the flame of craving instead of extinguishing it. Thus greed always finds an endless field of conquest and leaves the man endlessly dissatisfied. The chief expressions of greed are related to the emotional part of man."
Ivan Boesky famously defended greed in an 18 May 1986 commencement address at the UC Berkeley's School of Business Administration, in which he said, "Greed is all right, by the way. I want you to know that. I think greed is healthy. You can be greedy and still feel good about yourself". This speech inspired the 1987 film Wall Street, which features the famous line spoken by Gordon Gekko: "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good. Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind."
Scavenging and hoarding of materials or objects, theft and robbery, especially by means of violence, trickery, or manipulation of authority are all actions that may be inspired by greed. Such misdeeds can include simony, where one profits from soliciting goods within the actual confines of a church. A well-known example of greed is the pirate Hendrick Lucifer, who fought for hours to acquire Cuban gold, becoming mortally wounded in the process. He died of his wounds hours after having transferred the booty to his ship.
Some research suggests there is a genetic basis for greed. It is possible people who have a shorter version of the ruthlessness gene (AVPR1a) may behave more selfishly.
- ^ Thomas Aquinas. "The Summa Theologica II-II.Q118 (The vices opposed to liberality, and in the first place, of covetousness)" (1920, Second and Revised ed.). New Advent.
- ^ Baba, Meher (1967). Discourses. Volume II. San Francisco: Sufism Reoriented. p. 27.
- ^ Gabriel, Satya J (November 21, 2001). "Oliver Stone's Wall Street and the Market for Corporate Control". Economics in Popular Film. Mount Holyoke. Retrieved 2008-12-10.
- ^ Ross, Brian (November 11, 2005). "Greed on Wall Street". ABC News. Retrieved 2008-03-18.
- ^ Dreamtheimpossible (September 14, 2011). "Examples of greed". Archived from the original on January 18, 2012. Retrieved October 4, 2011.
- ^ 'Ruthlessness gene' discovered
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Greed|
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Greed Machine - Binding of Isaac: Rebirth Wiki
The Greed Machine appears after every Ultra Greed fight in Greed Mode or Greedier Mode. Upon touching the Greed Machine, Isaac will donate a coin, causing the displayed coin total to increment. This mechanic is unique in that the amount of coins donated will persist between all Greed Mode runs. Donating money to the Greed Machine unlocks achievements and items.
- The machine can be jammed, like the Donation Machine, when adding coins.
- The current chance for the machine to jam is approximately equal to 1% per 50 coins.
- The jam chances in for each character increase as follows: 0-54 coins donated: 0%. 55-93: 1%. 94-113: 2%. 114-126: 3% 127-137: 4% 138-?: 5%...
- Each character's overall donation status is tracked separately across all playthroughs, so each character has a separate jam chance.
- The machine has a much lower jam rate in Greedier Mode.
- The jam chance maxes out at 20% regardless of amount donated.
- Here are a few ways to drastically shorten the time spent on Greed Mode by allowing the player to donate as many coins as they want in a single run.
Quicker Donating to the Greed Machine[edit | edit source]
This method centers around the fact that the Greed Machine is unjammed every time Ultra Greed is killed but the coin count doesn't reset after the Glowing Hour Glass is used. In order to make this possible you will need some way to recharge your spacebar item, since you will only get one recharge every time you kill Ultra Greed. This is also a very good method to farm as many Eden tokens as you want, as one token will be granted for each Ultra Greed kill.
These tricks have very limited use in Afterbirth+, as the Glowing Hour Glass now turns into the regular Hourglass after five uses. If you have Schoolbag, you can use Glowing Hour Glass indefinitely, not only 5 times. If you use Glowing Hour Glass, then force quit, you can also put coins into the Greed Machine indefinitely.
- Buy the Glowing Hour Glass.
- The Glowing Hour Glass is very rare, but it can be found easier by exhausting the shop pool with any of the Infinite Money methods found below.
- It can also be found in golden chests. Buying a D20 and little batteries will help with finding it.
- Since Chaos causes each newly generated item to be chosen from a randomly selected item pool, acquiring it will drastically increase the time spent rerolling items as there is only one item pool in Greed Mode which contains the Glowing Hour Glass.
- The fight with Ultra Greed has to be started with a fully charged Glowing Hour Glass.
From here is where you can start donating infinitely:
- Kill Ultra Greed. If the battle looks like a loss, the Glowing Hour Glass can be used once to reset the fight, but the next time Ultra Greed has to be defeated in order to keep the combo up.
- A double-charged Hour Glass with The Battery allows infinite uses of the Hour Glass, allowing you to reset as much as you want any time.
- Donate money to the Greed Machine until the machine jams.
- Use the Glowing Hour Glass to reset back to the room before Ultra Greed.
Acquiring the Chaos Card[edit | edit source]
The Chaos Card (if unlocked already) will allow player to instantly kill Ultra Greed, cutting a large amount of time otherwise needed to defeat him.
- Keep buying cards from the shop until a Chaos Card shows up.
- Use a Deck of Cards and buy Batteries until you draw a Chaos Card.
- Any Little Batteries and Battery Items will further increase the effectiveness of Deck of Cards.
If the Chaos Card is not available, Midas' Touch works as an alternative, provided you don't have minuscule Health.
Faster alternative method using the 0 - The Fool card[edit | edit source]
- Acquire an infinite Glowing Hour Glass (such as by using The Battery, Habit with any form of self damage, Glitter Bombs, or the 48 Hour Energy pill), but bring The Fool card instead of the Chaos Card.
- Kill Greed once, then run near the bottom of the room to spawn the machine by where the door was, but do NOT donate to the machine.
- Use the fool card, re-enter the boss room, Greed will be dead but the machine will still be there, donate to the machine until it breaks.
- Use glowing hour glass, re-enter room, donate again. Repeat.
Via Smart Fly/Any Chasing Familiar
- Buy any chasing familiar. Smart Fly is most useful due to its increased damage per tick and faster movement speed.
- During the Ultra Greed Fight, send the chasing familiar after Ultra Greed. (Note: you must be hit at least once before Smart Fly is activated.)
- As Ultra Greed begins spawning, kill as little enemies as required to get Ultra Greed to stay in his defensive stance. The goal here is to get Ultra Greed into his defensive stance while your chasing familiar attacks him. As soon as this is achieved, run around to avoid killing/being killed by the remaining mobs.
- Continue to avoid attacking monsters until your familiar kills Ultra Greed.
- Repeat if monsters are killed by accident and Ultra Greed breaks out of his defensive stance.
- Testing reveals the lowest number of monsters to be around 5 or 6.
Infinite Money[edit | edit source]
Via the 2 of Diamonds[edit | edit source]
- Acquire a 2 of Diamonds card and the Blank Card (which must be unlocked first).
- Find a Little Battery for sale. At least 11 Coins are needed to exploit the 2 of Diamonds card.
- Use the Blank Card to double your money then buy the Little Battery to recharge the Blank Card. Restock will cause the Little Battery to constantly be restock in the store. This allows Isaac to generate an infinite amount of money.
- Rune of Jera can likewise be exploited in the same manner with coins on the ground, and can duplicate batteries in the shop for ease of exploitation.
This method can be used to quickly gain the Chaos Card as well:
- Use a Deck of Cards and buy Batteries until you draw a Chaos Card.
- Make sure your Coin count does not drop below 11 while doing this!
Via Head of the Keeper[edit | edit source]
- Acquire the Head of the Keeper and some enemy spawning Monster(s) (like Ulcer) alive.
- Keep killing spawned monsters until the total amount of desired coins has been spawned from your coin tears.
- However Head of the Keeper will make the fight against Ultra Greed more difficult by constantly producing coins next to him, allowing him to recover some HP regularly.
- Also, your tears will blend in with all the coins Ultra Greed produced, making it difficult to know who is shooting whom.
Via Glitter Bombs and any form of infinite bombs[edit | edit source]
Via the D20[edit | edit source]
This is an easy way, since the D20 is quite common in the greed shop pool.
- Buy the D20.
- Kill an entire floor without picking up money.
- Restock the shop until a Little Battery is present.
- Reroll the money. (Don't touch anything yet.)
- Buy the Little Battery.
- Open all the chests.
- If you don't already have at least 5 cents, pick up coins until you have at least 5 cents.
- Reroll and repeat the process.
After a couple of rerolls you will have 99 of all consumables. This is improved by also having Chaos, as you will also get a lot of items from golden chests
Via Swallowed Penny or Piggy Bank[edit | edit source]
- Acquire the Swallowed Penny or Piggy Bank.
- Acquire any method to regenerate health: Pyromaniac with sufficient/infinite bombs (with sufficient bombs, there's high probability you'll manage to find any number of combos to continue anyway), Bloody Penny, Scapular, Habit with any number of consumable-spawning items, etc.
- Alternatively, acquire Humbling Bundle, which makes you drop more coins than it costs to heal, or Maggy's Bow, which would heal you for more.
- Take damage, collect coins and health, repeat as required.
- Be careful not to get damage-prevention effects when doing this: Holy Mantle prevents the sacrifice room from damaging you for this purpose, Mom transformations has a tendency to destroy fires if you aren't careful, Pyromaniac prevents you from using bombs for self damage, Flying prevents you from taking damage from spikes, Holy water can destroy soul fires, etc.
Via IV Bag[edit | edit source]
- Manage to start the game with Eden holding IV Bag
- Have at least 2 heart containers
- Keep using the IV Bag and filling hearts from the market. The price of hearts is 3 cents and usually the IV Bag gives you 1 or 2 cents per half a heart. Though part of this depends on luck(literally), on the long run you will be able to get a margin since the IV Bag gives you nickels or dimes time by time.
- Use the margin to purchase collectible items or trinkets.
- PHD, Swallowed Penny, Counterfeit Penny, Bloody Penny will guarantee success on this method and cut down the effort considerably.
- Placenta can be used as an emergency option.
- If there is the Little Battery in the market you will be able to produce all the trinkets once you encounter Mom's Box
Notes on farming methods[edit | edit source]
- Avoid the following items whenever possible:
- DO NOT get Missing No.. It will cause you to reroll your items and ruin the entire strategy.
- DO NOT get the Little Baggy at all, as it will replace your Two of Diamonds and/or chaos card.
- Chaos: Will make it a lot harder (nearly impossible) to find Glowing Hour Glass, it's best to find it before picking up Chaos.
- Marked: Will force you to shoot tears, which with too many items may result in the game repeatedly crashing, not allowing you to continue.
- ? Card: If used with the Blank Card, you will get teleported to the I AM ERROR room, and lose both ? Card and Blank Card in the process. If used on the Ultra Greed floor, an I AM ERROR shopkeeper will spawn instead.
- Resetting the Ultra Greed fight many times may cause a bug that strips you of all your items. When this happens, close the program via Task Manager. DO NOT use the Hour Glass or exit the game normally. If you do, the game will save your progress and you will be permanently stripped of your items.
- Be extremely careful when the giant chest spawns, since accidentally touching it (either by walking into it being knocked into it by an explosive blast) will immediately end your run.
- Spread your runs out across multiple characters
- Since the greed machine's chance of jamming is character specific it's a good idea to play multiple characters to decrease the chance of the greed machine jamming. If you're having a hard time with the above methods or just don't want to do them, switch characters when you notice the greed machine starts jamming regularly on you. Excluding The Lost and the Keeper, if you are able to average donating 50 coins a run to the greed machine, only doing two wins a character, you should be done in 20 wins.
The Force Quit method is an easy way to fill up the greed machine. It follows the same exploit as the Donation Machine. The game saves the Greed and Donation Machine data separately from your main save file; the Machine data is only changed and saved AFTER you leave the room. Requisite is any item or card that allows you to teleport outside the boss room. There is no need for Glowing Hour Glass, Blank Card, or ? Card for this method as you can reset your items and keep the coin count going higher.
- Defeat Ultra Greed(ier).
- After the Greed Machine appears, exit to the start menu normally to save your game.
- Continue the game.
- Donate money until machine jams or you run out of coins.
- Teleport outside the room. Now the game will save the change in coins only.
- Force quit the game
- Windows: Alt-F4
- OS X: Force Quit
- Linux: Ctrl+Alt+Esc (may depend on desktop environment)
- Consoles: home button and then quit app
- Nintendo Switch: eject and reinsert the cartridge
- Restart and continue the game. Your save game from the 2nd step will be restored. It should look the same as before: Greed Machine is unjammed and your teleport item / card is still there...EXCEPT the starting coin count on the Greed Machine is now higher.
- Donate money. Teleport. Force Quit. Repeat.
- Note: The Force Quit Method has been patched. The Greed Machine will no longer be there when you return to the game after force quitting, neither will the item/card, which you used to teleport with.
- The Greed Machine could initially only hold a maximum of 109 coins, blowing up whenever another coin was inserted. However, this was changed with an update when Keeper was revealed.
- The exact number, 109, is a reference to how dataminers found the secret of The Lost within 109 hours of Rebirth's release.
Greed Mode - Binding of Isaac: Rebirth Wiki
Greed Mode is a new game mode introduced in the Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth expansion.
In Greed Mode, each floor has a Curse Room, a Devil Room/Angel Room, a double-wide Shop, and an exit room all connected to a main double-height arena room with a button in the center. A Super Secret Room is also connected to one of the rooms. Up until the penultimate floor, an already unlocked Treasure Room with a silver doorframe and a normal locked treasure room are also available. The silver treasure room always gives items from the Boss pool. The sixth floor (The Shop) does not have any Treasure Rooms, but does have the Shop and Curse rooms. The final seventh floor has no waves and contains only three rooms, the largest of which contains the game mode's final boss.
When playing Greed Mode, a yellow coin () will appear on the HUD, below the consumables.
Shop[edit | edit source]
As there are no normal drops in Greed Mode, the shop becomes Isaac's primary source of items and pickups. Shops in Greed Mode automatically restock. The items for sale are a key, a heart pickup, a shop item, a boss item, and two random pickups, trinkets, or items from the treasure room pool.
The shop has a chance of containing a Restock Box, along with various pickups, machines, and beggars.
Arena[edit | edit source]
When the button is pressed, it turns red, grows spikes, and a timer appears underneath it. All doors are barred and waves of random enemies start spawning. The timer initially starts with 6 seconds left and will be increased by 1 second for every subsequent wave of enemies. Once the timer runs out or all enemies in the current wave are killed, another wave spawns. This continues until wave 8 is reached, Isaac dies, or Isaac presses the red button. Pressing the red button deals half a heart of damage to Isaac and causes waves to stop spawning, and once all remaining enemies are killed, the doors re-open. The button can then be re-activated to continue progressing through the waves.
At the start of each wave (with the exception of the nightmare boss wave), pennies are dropped on the ground, which Isaac can use in the shop to purchase items and pickups. Each new wave counts as a new 'room' for purposes of item charges, familiars dropping items, or the like. However, one-room temporary effects will remain, so it may be advisable to do all waves at once if you have a particularly good improvement, such as the effect of The Book of Belial.
2 and occasionally 3 pennies will drop for each of the first 8 waves. Upon completing the eighth wave, a skull appears on the button. Pushing the skull button starts the two boss waves, which grants access to the floor's exit room upon completion. A total of 9 coins will drop for these boss waves. Each boss-wave will spawn one boss/mini-boss.
Upon completing the tenth wave of the floor, a pentagram appears on the button. Pushing the pentagram button starts the optional nightmare boss wave, which grants access to the devil/angel room when completed. Each nightmare boss wave can spawn multiple bosses/mini-bosses at once. No coins are dropped during the final wave.
Items that activate upon entering a new room will not activate when a new wave starts, making many items far less useful or outright useless.
For the first 8 waves, the clock will start at a set time and then increase by 1 second for subsequent waves. For The Basement and The Caves, the clock starts at 6 seconds. For The Depths, the clock starts at 5 seconds. For The Womb, the clock starts at 4 seconds. For Sheol and The Shop, the clock starts back at 6 seconds again. The first boss wave is set at 30 seconds on all floors.
Greed Mode has seven total floors, five of which are based off of floors found in the main game. These floors are The Basement, The Caves, The Depths, The Womb, Sheol, a unique floor called The Shop, and the final boss floor. Each floor will spawn enemies and bosses native to that floor in the main game, except for The Shop, which has no counterpart outside of Greed Mode. Instead, The Shop spawns mostly Greed enemies, but can also spawn enemies from any floor. The Shop is the only normal floor which does not contain Treasure Rooms.
The Ultra Greed floor contains only three rooms: An empty starting room, a mini-boss room in which multiple Greeds, Super Greed, Wrath or Monstro will spawn, and the final boss room containing Ultra Greed. After Ultra Greed has been defeated, turning him into a golden statue, a Final Boss Chest to end the level and the Greed Machine will spawn. Isaac is given the chance to donate his remaining money to the Greed Machine, which will unlock several rewards including the Keeper character.
Greedier Mode is a harder version of Greed Mode. In Greedier Mode, fewer coins drop, enemies can become champions, and Ultra Greed has a second form, Ultra Greedier.
Greedier Mode starts off with 9 waves when the button is first pressed instead of 8. 1 and occasionally 2 pennies will drop for each of the first 9 waves. The boss waves remain at 2. A total of 10 coins will drop for these boss waves. The nightmare boss wave remains at 1 and no coins will drop.
For the first 9 waves, the clock will start at a set time and then increase by 1 second for subsequent waves. For The Basement, the clock starts at 8 seconds. For The Caves, the clock starts at 6 seconds. For The Depths, the clock starts at 4 seconds. For The Womb, the clock starts at 3 seconds. For Sheol and The Shop, the clock starts at 2 seconds. The first boss wave is set at 14 seconds on all floors.
The coin penalty for hitting the button before the waves are completed remains at 1 penny.
Greedier Mode unlockables are separate from Greed Mode unlockables; completing Greedier Mode with a character will not unlock the corresponding Greed Mode unlockable.
When playing Greedier Mode, a small, red coin () will appear on the HUD, below the consumables.
Switch PS4 Greedier Mode is unlocked by donating 500 coins to the Greed Machine.
- Completing all waves without pressing the stop button will maximize the total possible amount of coins.
- Flight will not prevent damage from the spiked stop button unless the player is The Lost.
- However, a penny is deducted from the next round of rewards if the button is pressed.
- Items with effects that only persist in the room are especially useful in Greed Mode. Complete all waves in one go to maximize their efficiency. Examples of such items include Box of Friends, The Pinking Shears, and Lusty Blood.
- Avoid using the Credit Card on a shop until you are ready to move on to the next floor, as items will not restock unless you use a Restock Box.
- Being teleported by means of the Curse of the Maze can sometimes open the exit door without completing the floor, allowing you to skip large chunks of combat.
- Going to the Womb and beyond won't cause you to take 1 full heart of damage as normal.
- Killing all the enemies before the timer resets does not increase the amount of coins produced.
- The dead shop keepers have very low chance of dropping Steam Sale when bombed. If found early on it is extremely useful.
- The 2 of Diamonds card is very effective in Greed Mode as you can double your money, increasing your chance to get good items.
- There are setups that will allow near infinite purchases from the shop. Although not easy to obtain, they do help with obtaining Greed(ier) Mode achievements as your character will become overpowered. They also help to fill your Collection pages.
- Setup #1: 2 of Diamonds card, Blank Card, and the shop has to sell batteries. As long as you have enough coins to buy batteries, you can generate up to 99 coins easily. Obtaining Chaos will allow access to Devil and Angel room item pools allowing for a grossly overpowered character. Once an item pool has been depleted, then Breakfast will appear. Beware of Little Baggy as you will lose your 2 of Diamonds card if picked up (Unless you already have Starter Deck).
- Setup #2: Use Diplopia on Steam Sale. This will make all the items for free.
- Setup #3: Use Crooked Penny on Steam Sale. Same effect as #2.
- D20 is extremely useful if the shop on the floor contains a battery. Clear all the waves but do not pick up the coins, then re-roll them, open any chests and sacks that spawn, and repeat the process.
- When doing this, make sure you have a full charge on the D20 before you start opening chests, already-open chests re-roll into pickups with the D20.
- In the Womb, It Lives can spawn even if it hasn't been unlocked yet. 
Edmund McMillen's sketch of the Greed Mode layout
- Isaac’s sin is confirmed to be greed, hence the creation of Greed Mode.
- Ultra Greed’s theme is a remix of the main menu theme.
Greed (film) - Wikipedia
Greed is a 1924 American silent film, written and directed by Erich von Stroheim and based on the 1899 Frank Norris novel McTeague. It stars Gibson Gowland as Dr. John McTeague, ZaSu Pitts as Trina Sieppe, his wife, and Jean Hersholt as McTeague's friend and eventual enemy Marcus Schouler. The film tells the story of McTeague, a San Francisco dentist, who marries his best friend Schouler's girlfriend Trina. Shortly after their engagement, Trina wins a lottery prize of $5,000, at that time a substantial sum. Schouler jealously informs the authorities that McTeague had been practicing dentistry without a license, and McTeague and Trina become impoverished. While living in squalor, McTeague becomes a violent alcoholic and Trina becomes greedily obsessed with her winnings, refusing to spend any of them, despite how poor she and her husband have become. Eventually McTeague murders Trina for the money and flees to Death Valley. Schouler catches up with him there for a final confrontation.
Greed was one of the few films of its time to be shot entirely on location, with Stroheim shooting approximately 85 hours of footage before editing. Two months alone were spent shooting in Death Valley for the film's final sequence, and many of the cast and crew became ill. Stroheim used sophisticated filming techniques such as deep-focus cinematography and montage editing. He considered Greed to be a Greek tragedy, in which environment and heredity controlled the characters' fates and reduced them to primitive bête humaines (human beasts).
During editing on Greed, the production company merged into Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, putting Irving Thalberg in charge of the film's post-production. Thalberg had fired Stroheim a few years earlier at Universal Pictures. Originally almost eight hours long, Greed was edited against Stroheim's wishes to about two-and-a-half hours. Only twelve people saw the full-length 42-reel version, now lost; some of them called it the greatest film ever made. Stroheim later called Greed his most fully realized work and was hurt both professionally and personally by the studio's re-editing of it.
The uncut version has been called the "holy grail" for film archivists, amid repeated false claims of the discovery of the missing footage. In 1999 Turner Entertainment created a four-hour version of Greed that used existing stills of cut scenes to reconstruct the film. Greed was a critical and financial failure upon its initial release, but by the 1950s it began to be regarded as one of the greatest films ever made; filmmakers and scholars have noted its influence on subsequent films.
"I never truckled, I never took off the hat to fashion and held it out for pennies. By God, I told them the truth. They liked it or they didn't like it. What had that to do with me? I told them the truth; I knew it for the truth then and I know it for the truth now."—Frank Norris, quoted from his essay "The True Reward of the Novelist", in a title card at the beginning of Greed.
John McTeague is a miner working in Placer County, California. A traveling dentist calling himself Dr. "Painless" Potter visits the town, and McTeague's mother begs Potter to take her son on as an apprentice. Potter agrees and McTeague eventually becomes a dentist, practicing on Polk Street in San Francisco.
Marcus Schouler brings Trina Sieppe, his cousin and intended fiancée, into McTeague's office for dental work. Schouler and McTeague are friends and McTeague gladly agrees to examine her. As they wait for an opening, Trina buys a lottery ticket. McTeague becomes enamored with Trina and begs Schouler for permission to court Trina. After seeing McTeague's conviction, Schouler agrees. Trina eventually agrees to marry McTeague and shortly afterwards her lottery ticket wins her $5,000.[a] Schouler bitterly claims that the money should have been his, causing a rift between McTeague and Schouler. After McTeague and Trina wed, they continue to live in their small apartment with Trina refusing to spend her $5,000.Trina and McTeague have a relationship that moves from romance to tragedy.
Schouler leaves the city to become a cattle rancher. Before he goes, he secretly, in order to ruin his former friend, reports McTeague for practicing dentistry without a license. McTeague is ordered to shut down his practice or face jail. Even though she has saved over $200 in addition to the original $5,000 from the lottery ticket, Trina is unwilling to spend her money. Money becomes increasingly scarce, with the couple forced to sell their possessions. McTeague finally snaps and bites Trina's fingers in a fit of rage. Later, he goes fishing to earn money, taking Trina's savings (now totaling $450).
Trina's bitten fingers become infected and have to be amputated. To earn money she becomes a janitor at a children's school. She withdraws the $5,000 from the bank to keep it close to her, eventually spreading it on her bed so she can sleep on it. McTeague then returns, having spent the money he took, and asks Trina for more. The following day McTeague confronts Trina at the school. After a heated argument McTeague beats Trina to death and steals her $5,000.
Now an outlaw, McTeague returns to Placer County and teams up with a prospector named Cribbens. Headed towards Death Valley, they find a large quantity of quartz and plan to become millionaires. Before they can begin mining, McTeague senses danger and flees into Death Valley with a single horse, the remaining money and one water jug. Several marshals pursue him, joined by Schouler. Schouler wants to catch McTeague personally and rides into Death Valley alone.
The oppressive heat slows McTeague's progress. Schouler's progress is also beginning to wane when he spies McTeague and moves in to arrest him. After a confrontation, McTeague's horse bolts and Schouler shoots it, puncturing the water container. The water spills onto the desert floor. The pair fight one last time, with McTeague proving the victor; however, Schouler has handcuffed himself to McTeague. The film ends with McTeague left in the desert with no horse and no water, handcuffed to a corpse and unable to reach the remaining money.
Von Stroheim's original edit contained two main sub-plots that were later cut. The point of these sub-plots was to contrast two possible outcomes of Trina and McTeague's life together. The first depicted the lives of the junkman Zerkow and Maria Miranda Macapa, the young Mexican woman who collects junk for Zerkow and sold Trina the lottery ticket. Maria often talks about her imaginary solid gold dining set with Zerkow, who becomes obsessed by it. Eventually, believing she has riches hidden away, Zerkow marries her. He often asks about it, but she gives a different answer each time he mentions it. Zerkow does not believe her and becomes obsessed with prying the truth from her. He murders her and after having lost his mind, leaps into San Francisco Bay.
The second sub-plot depicts the lives of Charles W. Grannis and Miss Anastasia Baker. Grannis and Baker are two elderly boarders who share adjoining rooms in the apartment complex where Trina and McTeague live. Throughout their time at the apartment complex, they have not met. They both sit close to their adjoining wall and listen to the other for company, so they know almost everything about each other. They finally meet and cannot hide their long-time feelings for each other. When they reveal their love, Grannis admits he has $5,000, making him just as rich as Trina. But this makes little difference to them. Eventually, they marry and a door connects their rooms.
| Prologue || Friends and Neighbors at Polk Street |
"I intended to show men and women as they are all over the world, none of them perfect, with their good and bad qualities, their noble and idealistic sides and their jealous, vicious, mean and greedy sides. I was not going to compromise. I felt that after the last war, the motion picture going public had tired of the cinematographic 'chocolate éclairs' which had been stuffed down their throats and which had in a large degree figuratively ruined their stomachs with this overdose of Saccharose in pictures. Now, I felt, they were ready for a large bowl of plebeian but honest corned beef and cabbage'."—Erich von Stroheim.
Background and writing
Greed is based on the American author Frank Norris's 1899 novel McTeague: A Story of San Francisco. Stroheim's interest in McTeague can be traced back to January 1920, when he told a journalist that he wanted to film the novel. He had himself lived in San Francisco in the early 1910s, living there in poverty like that of the story's characters. He eventually moved to Los Angeles, and worked his way up in the film industry from extra to acting in villainous or aristocratic roles in films By 1919, Stroheim had finally become a successful director in his own right at Universal Film Manufacturing Company, although one with a reputation of going over budget and over schedule.
Upon the appointment of Irving Thalberg as general manager at Universal, Stroheim's defiance of commercial and industrial norms was no longer tolerated. After Thalberg's prior shutdown of Foolish Wives in 1921 (which had been shooting nonstop for eleven months), and after six weeks of filming on Merry-Go-Round, Stroheim was finally fired from the studio on October 6, 1922. This was a step unprecedented in Hollywood, heralding a new era in which the producer and the studio would hold artistic control over actors and directors. However, by this time Stroheim had received several offers of contracts with other studios, even before being fired from Universal. He had met with executives of the Goldwyn Company on September 14, 1922, less than a month before, and he formally signed with them in late November.Erich von Stroheim in 1920, the year he first publicly expressed interest in filming the novel McTeague
Stroheim chose his new studio because of the level of artistic freedom he was offered, which he had been denied at Universal under Thalberg. Since March of that year, Goldwyn had been run by Abe Lehr, who publicly promised that "each director will have his own staff and will be given every facility in putting into production his own individuality and personality." Stroheim signed a one-year, three-feature deal with Goldwyn on November 20, 1922. The deal stipulated that each feature would be between 4,500 and 8,500 feet (1,400 and 2,600 m) long, cost no more than $175,000 and be completed in fourteen weeks. It also promised von Stroheim $30,000 for each completed film.
Lehr initially hired Stroheim in order to film a big-budget version of the operetta The Merry Widow, which the producer saw as a guaranteed hit; Stroheim, however, convinced Lehr to let him make Greed first, promising low costs. A press release of February 1923 said that although Stroheim had "run rather freely to large sets in the past, [he] seems to have reformed—or surrendered—for it is announced that he will not build any sets at all."
Stroheim wrote a highly detailed 300-page script that contained camera movements, composition and tint cues. Among the changes that he made to Norris's novel was giving McTeague the first name of John and omitting Norris's anti-Semitism.McTeague had been filmed once before as Life's Whirlpool, a five-reel short by William A. Brady's World Pictures, starring Broadway star Holbrook Blinn as McTeague, which had been released in 1916. Film critics disliked this version and Stroheim later criticized Blinn's performance. According to film historian Kevin Brownlow, Life's Whirlpool was also shot on location in Death Valley.
Stroheim was known for his meticulous perfectionism and attention to detail, as well as his insolence towards studio executives. Working on Greed, Stroheim set out to make a realistic film about everyday people and rejected the Hollywood tropes of glamor, happy endings and upper-class characters. Before shooting began, Stroheim told a reporter:
It is possible to tell a great story in motion pictures in such a way that the spectator forgets he is looking at beauteous Gertie Gefelta, the producer's pet and discovers himself intensely interested, just as if he were looking out of a window at life itself. He will come to believe that what he is gazing at is real—a cameraman was present in the household and nobody knew it. They went on in their daily life with their joys, fun and tragedies and the camera stole it all, holding it up afterward for all to see.
In early January 1923 Stroheim arrived in San Francisco, where he scouted locations and finished writing the shooting script. While researching for Greed, he attended society functions in town and met many friends of Frank Norris, including his brother Charles and his sister-in-law Kathleen. To capture the authentic spirit of the story, Stroheim insisted on filming on location in San Francisco, the Sierra Nevada mountains, the Big Dipper Mine in Iowa Hill, and Death Valley. He rented some of the actual buildings that had inspired scenes in the novel. Other locations included Cliff House and San Francisco Bay.
Norris had similarly scouted settings for his novel and chose the upstairs of a building on the corner of Polk and California street as McTeague's dentist office, as well as many of the saloons and lunch counters in the area. Stroheim discovered that many of the locations that Norris had described, such as Polk Street, had been destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, but he was able to find suitable period locations on Hayes and Laguna streets. For authenticity, Stroheim had no sets built in San Francisco and only redecorated existing locations, such as saloons, butcher shops, and wooden shacks, thus saving on construction costs.
Despite the strict conditions of Stroheim's initial contract, Goldwyn approved the lengthy shooting script before filming began. Production Manager J. J. Cohn later explained that "they thought they could control him when the time comes."
With the exception of Jean Hersholt, all of the main actors in Greed were regulars of Stroheim's earlier films, a group dubbed the "Stroheim Stock Company".Gibson Gowland had previously appeared in Blind Husbands and returned to the U.S. from Scotland for the role of John McTeague. Cesare Gravina, who played the junkman Zerkow, and Dale Fuller, the lottery-ticket seller Maria, had both appeared in Foolish Wives and would later appear in The Merry Widow. Other actors in Stroheim's Stock Company included Sidney Bracey, Mae Busch, George Fawcett, Maude George, Hughie Mack and George Nichols.
Trina was the most difficult role to cast, and ZaSu Pitts was hired at the last minute, after Stroheim had rejected both Claire Windsor and Colleen Moore. Pitts had previously acted only in comedic roles; Greed was her first dramatic part. The actress later appeared in both The Wedding March and Hello, Sister! Stroheim said that Pitts was "the greatest psychopathological actress in the American cinema" and that "she should not be in comedy, for she is the greatest of all tragediennes."
Stroheim had met casually with Jean Hersholt to discuss the role of Marcus Schouler, but he was initially reluctant to cast him. However, after Hersholt adjusted his appearance and wardrobe to more closely resemble Schouler, Stroheim changed his mind on the spot. With the exception of Gowland, Stroheim shot extensive screen tests of all the other actors at Goldwyn with cinematographer Paul Ivano. A scene from the Goldwyn film Souls for Sale is thought to be behind-the-scenes footage of Stroheim directing Greed, but it actually depicts him directing Hersholt during one of these screen tests.
Filming began in San Francisco on March 13, 1923, and lasted until late June. Despite the initial contract between von Stroheim and Goldwyn, Lehr agreed to double the film's budget to $347,000 three days after shooting began. Von Stroheim had already worked twenty-hour days for over two months of pre-production and collapsed on set after a few days of filming. He remained in good health for the remainder of the shoot. This was not the only mishap on set; during scenes shot at San Francisco Bay, Cesare Gravina got double pneumonia, making von Stroheim bitterly ashamed that Gravina's entire performance was later cut from the film, despite the actor's dedication to the role. Hersholt was knocked out by Gowland during the picnic scene (later cut) in which McTeague and Schouler fight, and Pitts was almost run over by a trolley. In late May, Lehr visited von Stroheim on the set and praised the footage that he had seen, saying that "it has atmosphere, color and realism that could not possibly have been reproduced in the studio."
One scene that von Stroheim re-shot at the studio's insistence depicted a younger McTeague in his apprenticeship with Potter. In the scene McTeague is too embarrassed to examine the teeth of a young woman and Potter has to take over. A thinly disguised ZaSu Pitts portrayed the woman so that the audience would see a resemblance to Trina, but the studio insisted that the scene was confusing and von Stroheim agreed to re-shoot it. Von Stroheim also conceded his original vision when shooting the bar confrontation between McTeague and Schouler. The director wanted to have a knife thrower actually throw a real knife at Gibson Gowland's head. Von Stroheim was overruled by Gowland himself, who refused to allow such a dangerous stunt. A special-effect shot was used instead.The Death Valley scenes, including this final sequence, were filmed over two months during midsummer, in harsh conditions.
After filming in San Francisco wrapped in late June, the production traveled to Death Valley. Most Hollywood films that required desert scenes settled for the local Oxnard dunes north of Los Angeles, but von Stroheim insisted on authenticity. Death Valley had no roads, hotels, gas stations, or running water and was occupied by tarantulas, scorpions and venomous snakes. The nearest populated area to the shoot was 100 miles (160 km) away and insurance coverage was denied. Filming in Death Valley lasted for two months during midsummer, allowing actors Gowland and Hersholt time to grow the beards necessary for the sequence. Some members of the production reported temperatures between 91 and 161 °F (33 and 72 °C), but the highest temperature officially recorded in Death Valley during the period was 123 °F (51 °C). Of the 43 members of the cast and crew who worked on the Death Valley sequence, 14 became ill and were sent back to Los Angeles.
While shooting, crew members would collapse of heat exhaustion every day. Hersholt spent a week in the hospital after shooting was completed, suffering from internal bleeding. Hersholt claimed to have lost 27 pounds (12 kg), and was covered in blisters by the end of filming. Despite the hardship Hersholt said that he considered it the best role of his career. In order to motivate Hersholt and Gibson during the scene where they fight, von Stroheim yelled at them, "Fight, fight! Try to hate each other as you both hate me!" Throughout filming, von Stroheim brought musicians on set to help create mood for the actors. He continued to use this for the Death Valley scenes with a harmonium and violin player. A theme, inspired by the music of Ruggero Leoncavallo, was composed and played throughout production. Other music used included the popular songs "Nearer, My God, to Thee", "Hearts and Flowers", "Oh Promise Me", and "Call Me Thine Own".
Filming moved to Placer County, California, on September 13 and continued for less than a month. The Big Dipper Mine had been closed for ten years, so von Stroheim convinced the Goldwyn Company to lease and renovate it for filming. While first visiting Placer County during pre-production, von Stroheim had met Harold Henderson, a local resident and fan of Norris whose brother had worked in the mine in the 1890s. Von Stroheim hired Henderson to oversee the renovation of the mine and other locations in Iowa Hill. Von Stroheim also wanted to restore the local cemetery for a newly invented scene depicting McTeague's mother's funeral, but the Goldwyn Company turned down this proposal. Inside the mine, von Stroheim usually shot at night between 9 pm and 6 am. Cinematographer William H. Daniels later said that von Stroheim insisted on descending 3,000 feet (900 m) underground for realism, even though the setting would have looked exactly the same at 100 feet (30 m). Filming was completed on October 6, 1923, after 198 days. Despite his original contract stipulating that all films be under 8,500 feet (2,600 m), von Stroheim shot a total of 446,103 feet (135,972 m) of footage for the film, running approximately 85 hours.
StyleThe wedding scene made innovative use of deep-focus cinematography, despite challenges with the lighting.
Stroheim's biographer Arthur Lennig compared the director's visual style to that of pioneering filmmaker D. W. Griffith, but felt that "unlike Griffith, who viewed scenes as though through a fourth wall, Stroheim shot from many sides and from different angles; he also used deep-focus, meaningful foregrounds and effective camera movement."Greed's lighting included high contrast, chiaroscuro techniques with pools or shafts of lights illuminating an otherwise dark space. Examples of this technique include the scene where McTeague begs Trina for money in a pool of moonlight and the merry-go-round scene in which characters alternate between appearing only as dark silhouettes and being fully lit.
Daniels was especially proud of the wedding scene, which has a funeral procession visible through the window and was difficult to light properly.Greed has often been praised for its use of deep-focus cinematography, seventeen years before its more-famous application in Citizen Kane. Daniels sometimes used incandescent lights instead of studio arc lights, due to the constraints of his locations. He later said that Stroheim "was one of the first to insist on no make-up for men, on real paint on the walls which were shiny, real glass in the windows, pure white on sets and in costumes ... everything up to then had been painted a dull brown" to mask the scratches on worn-down film prints. Although not officially credited, Ernest B. Schoedsack worked on the picture as a camera operator.
Stroheim favored "Soviet-style" montage editing. Greed often uses dramatic close-ups and cuts instead of long takes. One exception to this is the scene in which Schouler becomes angry with McTeague and breaks his pipe, which was shot in one long, unbroken take. Stroheim also used symbolic cross-cutting for dramatic effect, such as his use of animals in the film and a shot of a train when McTeague and Trina first kiss. In 1932 film theorist Andrew Buchanan called Stroheim a montage director, stating that "each observation would be captured in a 'close-up' and at leisure, he would assemble his 'shots' in just the order which would most forcibly illustrate the fact." In the 1950s film critic André Bazin praised Stroheim's use of mise en scène and noted his "one simple rule for directing. Take a close look at the world, keep on doing so and in the end it will lay bare for you all its cruelty and ugliness."
Despite Stroheim's reputation as a perfectionist, Greed contains anachronisms. In the scenes on Polk Street, the main characters are clothed in 1890s fashions, but the extras wear 1920s clothing. Stroheim did his best to avoid such historical mistakes; he shot only those buildings that were from the era Greed was set in, and he kept motor vehicles out of sight while filming. Daniels stated that, despite his desire for authenticity, Stroheim sometimes had walls knocked out of real locations to achieve a desired camera position.
Frank Norris's novel belongs to the literary school of naturalism founded by French author Émile Zola.McTeague depicts the fate of its lower-class characters in terms of heredity and their environment, with the belief that "man's nature, despite free will, is determined by genetic and environmental factors" and that heredity controls fate, despite efforts at upward mobility. This literary style was influenced by Charles Darwin and portrayed characters whose higher states of being, the rational and compassionate, are in conflict with their lower states, the bête humaine (human beast).McTeague was first published in 1899 and was inspired by an October 1893 murder case in which Patrick Collins, a poor husband with a history of beating his wife Sarah, finally stole her money and stabbed her to death at her San Francisco workplace. Sarah Collins worked at the Lest Norris kindergarten, which was financed by Norris's family.
Von Stroheim did not see Greed as political and told a journalist that he considered it to be like a Greek tragedy. Despite the characters' struggles with poverty and class, von Stroheim followed the naturalist technique of portraying characters whose lives are driven by fate and their inner nature. Von Stroheim employed variations of this theme in his other films, which often involved a commoner falling in love with an aristocrat or royal.In the wedding banquet scene, Trina's mother grotesquely devours her food.
One of the cinematic techniques by which von Stroheim portrayed naturalism was animal symbolism. In Greed McTeague is associated with a canary, only briefly mentioned in the novel. Von Stroheim altered Norris's original ending and has McTeague release the canary in Death Valley. McTeague buys Trina a female canary as a wedding gift and early in their marriage von Stroheim cuts from a shot of them kissing to birds fluttering wildly in their cage. Another scene with animal imagery includes cross-cutting between a cat attempting to pounce on the canaries in the scene where Schouler bids goodbye to McTeague and Trina without telling them that he has informed on McTeague. Dogs, cats and monkeys are associated with various supporting characters. Von Stroheim also used the naturalist technique of giving characters specific objects, gestures or phrases that repeat throughout the film as a visual leitmotif. For example, Trina tugs on her lips and McTeague fiddles with his birdcage.
Throughout his career von Stroheim used grotesque imagery and characters. This is most apparent in the wedding-banquet scene, which includes a midget, a hunchback, a woman with buck teeth and a boy on crutches. The wedding guests violently and crudely devour their meal like animals. This scene was unlike any other in films of that period, which treated meals with dignity and a sense of communion. Other instances of grotesque imagery include Trina's fingers becoming infected and amputated. Von Stroheim contrasted love scenes between McTeague and Trina with their ugly, lower-class environment, such as the sewer with the dead rat and a garbage truck driving by as they kiss.
As in his other films, von Stroheim used Christian imagery and symbols, such as crosses and churches. Trina first shows signs of greed on Easter Sunday and is murdered by McTeague on Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve was often depicted in von Stroheim's films and was close to the date of his father's death. Lennig asserted that the character of McTeague's father (who was only briefly mentioned in the novel) is based on von Stroheim's own father, while McTeague's mother is a tribute to von Stroheim's mother, to whom Greed is dedicated. Von Stroheim stated that he considered all of his good qualities to have come from his mother and all of his bad qualities to have come from his father.
Editing Greed took almost a year and von Stroheim's contract did not include payment for his post-production work. He and his chief film cutter Frank Hull worked on the film for several months before completing a rough cut. Von Stroheim was indecisive during editing. He felt restricted by his contract's limitation on the length of the film. Von Stroheim colored certain scenes with gold tinting by using the Handschiegl Color Process, in which individual frames are hand colored with stencils. Von Stroheim credited himself in the beginning titles with "Personally directed by Erich von Stroheim."
Other than studio personnel, only twelve people saw the original 42-reel[b] version of Greed at a special screening in January 1924; they included Harry Carr, Rex Ingram, Aileen Pringle, Carmel Myers, Idwal Jones, Joseph Jackson, Jack Jungmeyer, Fritz Tidden, Welford Beaton, Valentine Mandelstam, and Jean Bertin. After the screening Jones, Carr and Ingram all agreed that they had just seen the greatest film ever made and that it was unlikely that a better film would ever be made. Carr wrote a review of the advance screening where he raved that he "saw a wonderful picture the other day—that no one else will ever see ... I can't imagine what they are going to do with it. It is like Les Miserables. Episodes come along that you think have no bearing on the story, then 12 or 14 reels later it hits you with a crash. For stark, terrible realism and marvelous artistry, it is the greatest picture I have ever seen. But I don't know what it will be like when it shrinks to 8 reels."Jonathan Rosenbaum suggested that Carr was most likely referring to a cut sequence early in the film that introduced all of the characters who lived in McTeague's building. The forty-minute scene depicted what the tenants did on a Saturday afternoon, and established cinematic atmosphere without furthering the plot. Rosenbaum compared the cut sequence to novels of the 19th century and to the first few hours of Jacques Rivette's Out 1. Jones publicly praised the advance screening and compared Greed to The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Dr. Mabuse the Gambler. However, Welford Beaton of The Film Spectator disliked the 42-reel version and criticized its excessive use of close-ups.Some scenes, like this one, were gold tinted by Von Stroheim himself, hand coloring individual frames with stencils.
Many sources claim that the 42-reel version was only ever intended to be a rough cut, and that Von Stroheim chose to cut it down to 24 reels by March 18, 1924, with the intention of screening it with intermissions over two nights. The director had difficulty cutting the film down, telling his friend Don Ryan, "I could take out sequences and thus get the job over in a day. That would be child's play. But I can't do it. It would leave gaps that could only be bridged through titles. When you do such a thing you have illustrated subtitles instead of a motion picture." Von Stroheim later claimed that at this time the Goldwyn Company wanted him to shoot a scene of McTeague waking up in his dentist chair, showing the entire film to have been a bad dream. While von Stroheim was editing the 24-reel cut June Mathis, who was the head of the Goldwyn Story Department, had made her own 13-reel version of Greed by January 21, 1924. She ordered even more cuts to be made on January 29, but then left for Rome in early February to oversee the production of Ben-Hur and was uninvolved in the film's editing for several months.
After having completed the 24-reel[c] cut of Greed, von Stroheim told Goldwyn executives that he could not cut another frame. Goldwyn producers thought that this version was still too long and told him to cut it to a more manageable length. Von Stroheim then sent the film to his friend, director Rex Ingram, who turned it over to his editor, Grant Whytock. Whytock had worked with von Stroheim on The Devil's Pass Key and was familiar with the director's style and tastes. Whytock initially proposed that it be split in two, with one 8-reel film ending with the wedding and a second 7-reel film ending at Death Valley. Whytock eventually cut the film down to 18 reels.[d] His only major cut was the entire subplot of Zerkow and Maria, which he thought was "very distasteful". Otherwise he simply cut down scenes and cut out 1,200 feet (400 m) of quick "flash" shots that only lasted a few frames. However, Whytock's version of Greed retained the prologue and other subplots, as well as much of the humor that was later cut out of it.
Whytock and Ingram screened their version of Greed to studio executives, who responded favorably to it but worried that the tragic ending would be hard to sell to the public. Ingram then sent the 18-reel version to von Stroheim and told him, "If you cut one more frame I shall never speak to you again." On April 10, 1924, the Goldwyn Company officially agreed to merge with Metro Pictures, putting von Stroheim's nemesis Thalberg directly in charge of Greed. Von Stroheim and Louis B. Mayer had a lengthy confrontation over the film's editing, which according to both men ended with von Stroheim claiming that all women were whores and Mayer punching him.[e] Mayer disliked the film because of its lack of glamor, optimism or morality and considered it to be a guaranteed flop.
MGM executives screened Greed at full length once to meet contractual obligations. Idwal Jones, a San Francisco critic, attended the all-day screening and wrote that while some of the scenes were compelling, Stroheim's desire that "every comma of the book [be] put in" was ultimately negative. MGM then took control and re-edited it. The studio ordered June Mathis to cut it down further; she assigned the job to an editor named Joseph W. Farnham. Farnham was a well-known "titles editor", who patched scenes together using title cards to keep continuity. His contributions to Greed include the notorious title cards "Such was McTeague" and "Let's go over and sit on the sewer", which were snickered at for years. Eventually Farnham reduced Greed to 10 reels,[f] totaling 10,607 feet (3,233 m). Von Stroheim said that the film "was cut by a hack with nothing on his mind but his hat." He later bitterly lamented that Greed was made before the financial success of Eugene O'Neill's four-hour play Strange Interlude in 1928. Von Stroheim angrily disowned the final version, blaming Mathis for destroying his masterpiece.
One week before Greed's release the New York State Motion Picture Committee (which censored films) demanded several more cuts on moral grounds. These cuts included the administration of ether in the dental scenes and certain instances of foul language. Although these cuts were made to prints that were screened in New York State, the footage was kept in many other prints.
Difference between von Stroheim's cut and MGM's cut
The main cuts to Greed were the elimination of its two sub-plots and other entire sequences, while individual scenes were often not touched. Commenting about the cuts made in the film to the Los Angeles Times, Thalberg stated:
This whole story is about greed—a progressive greed. It is the story of the way greed grew in Trina's heart until it obsessed her. I found that the junk dealer's greed was so much greater than hers that it almost destroyed the theme. His intense greed drowned out Trina's greed just as a steam whistle drowns out a small street noise. Instead of hurting the picture, throwing out this junk dealer's story made the picture stronger.
Thalberg also stated that he "took no chances in cutting it. We took it around to different theaters in the suburbs, ran it at its enormous length, and then we took note of the places at which interest seemed to droop."
Individual scenes or sequences that were cut include McTeague and Trina's early, happy years of marriage, the sequence showing McTeague and Trina eventually moving into their shack, the family life of the Sieppe family before Trina's marriage, the prologue depicting McTeague's mother and father at the Big Dipper mine and McTeague's apprenticeship. Other cuts included the more suggestive and sexual close-up shots depicting McTeague and Trina's physical attraction to each other, the scenes after McTeague has murdered Trina and roams around San Francisco and Placer County, additional footage of Death Valley, additional footage of Trina with her money, and a more gradual version of Trina's descent into greed and miserly obsession.
Release and critical reviews
Greed premiered on December 4, 1924, at the Cosmopolitan Theatre in Columbus Circle, New York City, which was owned by William Randolph Hearst. Frank Norris had once worked for Hearst as a foreign correspondent during the Spanish–American War and Hearst praised Greed, calling it the greatest film he had ever seen. Hearst's newspapers promoted the film, but MGM did very little advertising. At the time of the release von Stroheim was in Los Angeles, having begun production on The Merry Widow on December 1. In May 1926 Greed was released in Berlin, where its premiere famously caused a riot at the theater that may have been instigated by members of the then-fledgling Nazi party.
Greed received mostly negative reviews. The trade paper Harrison's Report said that "[i]f a contest were to be held to determine which has been the filthiest, vilest, most putrid picture in the history of the motion picture business, I am sure that Greed would win."Variety Weekly called it "an out-and-out box office flop" only six days after its premiere and claimed that the film had taken two years to shoot, cost $700,000 and was originally 130 reels long. The review went on to say that "nothing more morbid and senseless, from a commercial picture standpoint, has been seen on the screen for a long, long time" and that despite its "excellent acting, fine direction and the undoubted power of its story ... it does not entertain." In its December 1924 – January 1925 issue, Exceptional Photoplays called it "one of the most uncompromising films ever shown on the screen. There have already been many criticisms of its brutality, its stark realism, its sordidness. But the point is that it was never intended to be a pleasant picture." In the February 1925 issue of Theatre Magazine, Aileen St. John-Brenon wrote that "the persons in the photoplay are not characters, but types—they are well selected, weighed and completely drilled. But they did not act; they do not come to life. They perform their mission like so many uncouth images of miserliness and repugnant animalism."Mordaunt Hall of the New York Times gave the film a mostly positive review in regards to the acting and directing while criticizing how it was edited, writing that MGM "clipped this production as much as they dared ... and are to be congratulated on their efforts and the only pity is that they did not use the scissors more generously in the beginning." In a Life Magazine article, Robert E. Sherwood also defended MGM's cutting of the film and called von Stroheim "a genius ... badly in need of a stopwatch."Iris Barry of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) disliked the tinting, saying "a not very pleasing yellow tinge is smudged in." A March 1925 review in Pictureplay magazine stated, "perhaps an American director would not have seen greed as a vice."
A more favorable review came from Richard Watts, Jr. of the New York Herald Tribune, who called Greed "the most important picture yet produced in America ... It is the one picture of the season that can hold its own as a work of dramatic art worthy of comparison with such stage plays as What Price Glory? and Desire Under the Elms." The April 20, 1925, edition of The Montreal Gazette claimed it "impresses as a powerful film" and described the "capacity audience" screening as "one of the few pictures which are as worthy of serious consideration...which offer a real and convincing study of life and character and that secure their ends by artistic and intellectual means rather than by writing down to the level of the groundlings." The review went on to describe the direction as "masterly", citing "its remarkable delineation of character development and the subtle touches which convey ideas through vision rather than the written word, an all too-rare employment of the possibilities of the cinema play as a distinct branch of art capable of truthful and convincing revelation and interpretation of life's realities." A review in Exceptional Photoplays stated that "Mr. von Stroheim has always been the realist as Rex Ingram is the romanticist and Griffith the sentimentalist of the screen, and in Greed he has given us an example of realism at its starkest. Like the novel from which the plot was taken, Greed is a terrible and wonderful thing."
Greed was a financial disappointment. On its initial run, it earned $224,500 in the United States, $3,063 in Canada and $47,264 in other markets. In total it earned $274,827. Von Stroheim's biographer Arthur Lennig stated that according to MGM's records the final cost of Greed was $546,883. Another biographer, Richard Koszarski, stated that its final cost was $665,603: $585,250 for the production, $30,000 for von Stroheim's personal fee, $54,971 for processing and editing, $53,654 for advertising and $1,726 for Motion Picture dues.
Arthur Lennig asserted that MGM's official budget for Greed was suspiciously high for a film with no stars, no built sets, a small crew and inexpensive film stock. Lennig suspects that MGM averaged the film's cost with the more expensive The Merry Widow in order to prevent von Stroheim from getting a percentage of the more profitable film.The Merry Widow ended up being a hit and earned more profits than Greed had lost; it cost $614,961 but earned $996,226 on its initial run.
In his final years, von Stroheim said that "of all my films, only Greed was a fully realized work, only Greed had a total validity." In 1926 a British foundation of arts and sciences requested a copy of the original version of Greed to keep in their archive, but their request was denied by MGM.Henri Langlois screened the studio version of Greed for von Stroheim in 1950. Von Stroheim said, "It was for me an exhumation. It was like opening a coffin in which there was just dust, giving off a terrible stench, a couple of vertebra and a piece of shoulder bone." He went on to say that "It was as if a man's beloved was run over by a truck, maimed beyond recognition. He goes to see her in the morgue. Of course, he still loves her but it's only the memory of her that he can love—because he doesn't recognize her anymore."
In the early 1950s Greed's reputation began to grow and it appeared on several lists of the greatest films ever made. In 1952 at the Festival Mondial du Film et des Beaux Arts de Belgique, Greed was named the fifth greatest film ever made, with such directors as Luchino Visconti, Orson Welles and Billy Wilder voting for it. Later in 1952 Sight and Sound magazine published its first list of the "ten greatest films ever made". Greed was tied for 7th place on that list, with such critics as Andre Bazin, Lotte Eisner, Curtis Harrington, Penelope Houston and Gavin Lambert voting for it. In 1962 it was tied for 4th on the same list. Since 1972 it has failed to reach a spot on the top ten. The Cinémathèque royale de Belgique released a list of "the most important and misappreciated American films of all time" in 1978. Greed was third on its list after Citizen Kane and Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans. In a University of Southern California list of the "50 Most Significant American Films" made by the school's Performing Arts Council, Greed was listed as number 21. In 1991 Greed was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
Among those who have praised Greed over the years are Sergei Eisenstein;Joseph von Sternberg, who said, "We were all influenced by Greed";Jean Renoir, who called it "the film of films"; and Ernst Lubitsch, who called von Stroheim "the only true 'novelist'" in films. More recently Guillermo del Toro called it "a perfect reflection of the anxiety permeating the passage into the 20th century and the absolute dehumanization that was to come", and Norbert Pfaffenbichler said that "the last shot of the movie is unforgettable." Jonathan Rosenbaum has stated that Greed was a major influence on the style and content of many films. Stroheim's shots filming the sun predated Akira Kurosawa's better-known uses of the technique in Rashomon (1950). Rosenbaum compared specific shot set-ups in Greed to shots in King Vidor's The Crowd, Jean Renoir's Le Crime de Monsieur Lange, Orson Welles's The Magnificent Ambersons, Howard Hawks' To Have and Have Not and Michelangelo Antonioni's L'Avventura. In addition, he likened certain plot elements or characters in Greed to John Huston's The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window (1954), Claude Chabrol's Les Bonnes Femmes (1960) and Elaine May's Mikey and Nicky (1975). Rosenbaum singled out Stroheim's influence on May, an American director, with Mikey and Nicky centering on the disintegration of a friendship over money and sex, and including grotesque elements and characters caught between innocence and corruption. Rosenbaum also asserts that Orson Welles' use of satirical caricatures in all of his films is in "the spirit of von Stroheim".
The two films most commonly compared to Greed are Huston's The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons. Rosenbaum believes that besides Huston's film ending with gold being lost in the desert and similarities between Trina's descent into madness with Fred C. Dobbs own obsessions, the two films have little else in common. The Magnificent Ambersons and Greed both have characters who struggle with class differences that lead to their downfall. Ambersons was famously edited down drastically by its studio and the cut footage is now lost. Rosenbaum goes on to state that Greed influenced the methods in which novels are adapted into films and filmmakers like Welles, Huston and Bill Forsyth followed von Stroheim's example by re-arranging the plot and adding new scenes to their films while still remaining faithful to the intentions of the original novels. The 1994 Jonathan Lynn film Greedy pays tribute to the film by giving the main characters the last name McTeague.
Attempts to reconstruct the uncut version of Greed without use of the lost footage first began in 1958. At the Brussels International Exposition, the Cinémathèque royale de Belgique named Greed as one of the twelve greatest films ever made and simultaneously published von Stroheim's original, uncut script for Greed, which came directly from von Stroheim's personal copy preserved by his widow Denise Vernac. This publication led to three separate books that all used von Stroheim's script in order to reconstruct the original version of the film and compare it to the released version: a French book edited by Jacques-G. Perret in 1968 and two versions edited by Joel Finler and Herman G. Weinberg, both in 1972. Weinberg's book utilized 400 individual stills and production photos to reconstruct the uncut version of Greed, the first time that images from the uncut version were publicly available.
In 1999, Turner Entertainment (the film's current rights holder) decided to recreate, as closely as possible, the original version by combining the existing footage with over 650 still photographs of the lost scenes (many of which had been used in Weinberg's book), in accordance with an original continuity outline written by von Stroheim. All materials were provided by the Margaret Herrick Library. This restoration runs almost four hours. It was produced by film preservationist Rick Schmidlin and edited by Glenn Morgan. Schmidlin restored many characters and sub-plots from the original version. A new musical score was composed by Robert Israel. The reconstruction cost $100,000 to produce. Schmidlin called the finished product "a reconstruction of Von Stroheim's lost narrative." It premiered at the 1999 Telluride Film Festival and was later screened at the Venice Film Festival and the Pordenone Silent Film Festival before being aired on Turner Classic Movies on December 5, 1999. Film critic Todd McCarthy called the restored version of Greed a triumph.Roger Ebert called Greed a masterpiece and said that the restored Schmidlin cut illustrates the "prudish sensibilities [that] went into MGM's chop job." Rosenbaum praised the project, but claimed it could only be considered a "study version". The reconstruction won a special citation from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards.
Myths and misconceptions
Stroheim was known to exaggerate events from his life and create myths about himself, such as his fictitious aristocratic origins and military record in Austria. He claimed that shortly after having moved to the US in the early 1910s, he had found a copy of McTeague in a motel in New York and had read it in one sitting. He also said that wanting to adapt the book inspired him to make a career in filmmaking.Georges Sadoul later stated that Stroheim had first read the novel in 1914, while living in poverty in Los Angeles.
Claims that Stroheim's original cut was a completely unabridged version of McTeague are not accurate. Stroheim's 300-page script was almost as long as the original novel, but he rethought the entire story and invented new scenes, as well as extensively elaborating existing ones. In the Norris novel, McTeague's back story in Placer County and relationships with his father, mother and Potter were remembered as a flashback and took two paragraphs. In Stroheim's original Greed, this sequence took up the first hour of the film and was not a flashback. Stroheim also modernized the novel's time span to between 1908 and 1923, a quarter-century later than the novel.
Greed has sometimes been said to be over 100 reels long. Stroheim said that his initial edit was 42 reels, although several of the people who saw this cut remembered it as being anywhere from 42 to 47 reels. Grant Whytock remembered the edited version that Stroheim initially sent to him as between 26 and 28 reels. MGM's official studio files list the original cut of the film at 22 reels. As recently as 1992, former MGM Story Editor Samuel Marx erroneously claimed that the original version of Greed was 70 reels.
June Mathis is credited with co-writing the script due to her work on the 10-reel version. Mathis was the head of the Story Department at MGM and her contract stipulated that she would receive writing credit for all MGM films. She did not actually write any part of the screenplay. She is also said to have changed its title from McTeague to Greed during post-production; however, a publicity still of the cast and crew taken during production clearly indicates that it was titled Greed before the MGM merger even took place. The film's working title was "Greedy Wives", a joke on Stroheim's previous film Foolish Wives; this working title was never considered as the film's actual title.
The original version of Greed has been called the "holy grail" for film archivists. Various reports of the original version proved to be unfounded. Among these "sightings" are a claim that a copy existed in a vault in South America that was only screened once a year for invited guests on New Year's Eve. Another claim was that a copy in the possession of a Texan millionaire was sold to Henri Langlois of Cinémathèque Française. Other claims include that a film society in Boston held a private screening of a print found by a World War II veteran in Berlin from a tip by Emil Jannings, that David Shepherd of the American Film Institute had found a copy at a garage sale, and that the head of a film society in Redwood City, California, owned "the longest existing version of Greed (purchased in Europe)." Stroheim himself once stated that Benito Mussolini owned a personal copy of the film. Stroheim's son Joseph von Stroheim once claimed that when he was in the Army during World War II, he saw a version of the film that took two nights to fully screen, although he could not remember exactly how long it was.
There were also reports that MGM had retained a copy of the original version. Iris Barry of the Museum of Modern Art claimed that a copy was locked in the MGM vaults, although Thalberg denied it. It was also reported that John Houseman had a private screening at MGM and that MGM owned two copies stored in a vault in a Utah salt mine. Lotte Eisner once claimed that in the 1950s and 1960s, several cans of films labeled "McTeague" were found in MGM's vaults and destroyed by executives who did not know that it was footage from Greed. MGM executive Al Lewin said that several years after the film's release Stroheim asked him for the cut footage. Lewin and editor Margaret Booth searched MGM's vault but could not find any missing footage.
- ^ Approximately $71,000 in 2016 dollars according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- ^ It is traditional to discuss the length of theatrical motion pictures in terms of "reels". The standard length of a 35 mm motion picture reel is 1,000 feet (300 meters). This length runs approximately 11 minutes at sound speed (24 frames per second) and slightly longer at silent film speed (which may vary from approximately 16 to 22 frames per second). Therefore the 42-reel version of Greed was 462 minutes (8 hours) at 24 fps, 551 minutes (9 hours) at 20 fps and longer at other speeds.
- ^ 264 minutes (4 hours and 20 minutes) at 24 fps and 315 minutes (5 hours and 15 minutes) at 20 fps.
- ^ 198 minutes (3 hours and 20 minutes) at 24 fps and 236 minutes (3 hours and 56 minutes) at 20 fps.
- ^ In a remarkably similar story, screen actor John Gilbert once told Mayer that his own mother was a whore and Mayer allegedly chased him with a knife.
- ^ 110 minutes (1 hour and 50 minutes) at 24 fps.
- ^ "View Data". National Climatic Data Center. Archived from the original on December 20, 2013. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
- ^ a b Ebert, Roger (December 12, 1999). "Greed (1925)". Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago: Sun-Times Media Group. Archived from the original on December 23, 2010. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
- ^ Unterburger, Amy L.; Foster, Gwendolyn Audrey (1999). The St. James Women Filmmakers Encyclopedia: Women on the Other Side of the Camera. Visible Ink Press. p. 270. ISBN 1-57859-092-2.
- ^ Ward Mahar, Karen (2006). Women Filmmakers in Early Hollywood. JHU Press. p. 200. ISBN 0-8018-8436-5.
- ^ Hall, Mordaunt (December 5, 1924). "Greed (1924)". The New York Times. New York City: The New York Times Company. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
- ^ "'Greed' Impresses as Powerful Film". The Gazette. Montreal: Postmedia Network. April 20, 1925. Retrieved January 16, 2013.
- ^ "National Film Registry". National Film Preservation Board. Archived from the original on April 19, 2012. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
- ^ "Guillermo del Toro". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on June 16, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
- ^ "Norbert Pfaffenbichler". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 11, 2014.
- ^ Ebert, Roger (March 4, 1994). "Greedy". Chicago Sun-Times. Chicago: Sun-Times Media Group. Archived from the original on April 21, 2007. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- ^ a b Rosenbaum, Jonathan (November 26, 1999). "Fables of the Reconstruction: The 4-Hour GREED". The Chicago Reader. Archived from the original on December 19, 2013. Retrieved April 8, 2014.
- ^ a b McCarthy, Todd (September 7, 1999). "Review: 'Greed'". Variety. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved April 2, 2014.
- ^ Steffen, James. "Greed". Turner Classic Movies. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
- ^ "Restored `Greed' Comes To Turner Classic Movies". The Seattle Times. December 5, 1999. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved March 28, 2014.
- ^ "~Greed~ Von Stroheim's Silent Movie Classic". Archived from the original on April 11, 2000. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
- ^ "2013 Greater St. Louis Humanities Festival — Greed Screening". April 6, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2016. Rosenbaum asserts this around 43 minutes through.
- ^ "25th Annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards". The Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
- Curtiss, Thomas Quinn (1971). Von Stroheim. New York, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 978-0-374-28520-3.
- Finler, Joel W. (1972). Greed. A Film. New York, New York: Lorrimer Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-0-900855-45-0.
- Finler, Joel W. (1968). Stroheim. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. ASIN B003G8IMK8.
- Flamini, Roland (1994). Thalberg: The Last Tycoon and the World of M-G-M. New York, New York: Crown Publisher, Inc. ISBN 0-517-58640-1.
- Koszarski, Richard (1983). The Man You Loved to Hate: Erich von Stroheim and Hollywood. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-503239-0.
- Lennig, Arthur (2000). Stroheim. Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 978-0-8131-2138-3.
- Rosenbaum, Jonathan (1993). Greed. London, England: BFI Publishing. ISBN 978-0-85170-358-9.
- Vieira, Mark A. (2010). Irving Thalberg: Boy Wonder to Producer Prince. Los Angeles, California: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-26048-1.
- Wakeman, John (1987). World Film Directors, Volume 1. New York, New York: The H. W. Wilson Company. ISBN 978-0-8242-0757-1.
- Weinberg, Herman G. (1972). The Complete Greed of Erich Von Stroheim: a reconstruction of the film in 348 still photos following the original screenplay plus 52 production stills. New York, New York: ARNO Press. ISBN 978-0-405-03925-6.
Greed | Villains Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia
Greed The AvariciousGreeling (nickname given to his second incarnation)
Deserter of the Seven HomunculiRuler of his gang of rogue chimeras(later in the story) Father's Bodyguard(then)Self-proclaimed leader of Edward Elric's gang
Enhanced Strength, speed and durability; Regeneration; "Ultimate Shield" (the ability to transform his body, partially or entirely, to carbon)
Relaxing in his bar
To own the world and everything in it(deep down in his heart: he wishes to gain true companions)
|“||I want everything you can possibly imagine. I want money and women, power and sex, status, glory! I demand the finer things in life!||„|
|~ Greed (reciting his greedy motto to Alphonse Elric)|
|“||I disagree. You want to bring back someone that you’ve lost. You might want money. Maybe you want women. Or, you might want to protect the world. These are all common things people want. Things that their hearts desire. Greed may not be good, but it’s not so bad, either. You humans think greed is just for money and power! But everyone wants something they don’t have.||„|
|“||Hmm. I can't believe I let Ling and the little runt talk to me that way. Aw, I've had enough. Yeah. That's all I really need. They gave me everything I could want. Hehehe. Thank you, and goodbye, my friends.||„|
|~ Greed thanking his friends before disintegrating.|
He was voiced by Chris Patton as the first Greed and in the 2003 series, and by Troy Baker as the second Greed.
Greed's "Ultimate Shield".Greed looks like a tall, well-built and muscular man with dark hair, a pointed face and sharp pointed teeth. He wears the black clothing common among the homunculi, plus a black jacket with a white fur-collar and a pair of sunglasses, and most of fellow homunculi has red lines across his body; in his case the torso. Greed has the homunculi's distinctive Ouroboros mark on the back of his left hand. Used to the maximum, Greed's Ultimate Shield ability turns him entirely black and metal-like and the two red lines that run all over his body are expanded all over his face, crossing his eyes.
Greed possessing Ling Yao.After being destroyed and re-assimilated by Father, Greed is reborn in the body of Ling Yao. Thus he now has the appearance of his host, though his eyes become red, an Ouroboros mark appears on his left hand and his facial features are altered, looking paler and more akin to that of his previous aspect. When Greed is in control of Ling's body his hair cover his right eye, while when Ling takes it back, his hair cover his left eye. Also contrary to his host, Greed is almost always depicted with his eyes open.
As his name implies, Greed is the embodiment of Father's extreme avarice and unquenchable thirst for every form of possession. He covets "everything that the world can offer", including money, women and political power. However, this also gives Greed a much firmer personality than his fellow homunculi that played into his desertion, since he felt he would never gain anything for himself by following Father's command. This makes Edward Elric describe him as "the only homunculus who has learnt to think for himself".
In spite of his demanding and nettlesome personality, he his very polite, laid-back, chivalrous, and enthusiastic (he refuses to fight against women). He never lies, he offers bargains to gain what he wants and he acts in an extremely friendly (though sarcastic) way even towards foes. However, he is bent on gaining whatever he has set his sight on, not taking "no" for an answer and fighting ruthlessly to obtain and keep it. When confronting people he dislikes, he becomes clearly insulting and bent on killing them, stating that he is so greedy that he wants their lives.
Being extremely greedy and possessive, he values his possessions more than he demonstrates it, and holds those who swear their allegiances to him in very high regards, being seen kind and complementing towards his chimera underlings. He eventually becomes friend with Ling, though he frequently rants when Ling take the control of their body, which he considers as his own alone.
Role in the Story
The first Greed
Greed is the third Homunculus created by Father. Sometime after his creation, Greed ran off to follow his vices and achieve his own immortality. Greed is introduced in the manga and the 2009 Brotherhood series shortly after the primary protagonists Edward and Alphonse Elric come to the town of Dublith to visit their teacher Izumi Curtis; having learned of their arrival from his lizard Chimera underling Bido who had revealed Alphonse's condition.Greed has his Chimeras Martel, Dolchet, and Roa lure Alphonse into a factory, where they capture him after Martel enters his armor. Greed introduces himself to the youth when he brought to the Devil's Nest bar he had settled in. As Alphonse recognizes his Ouroboros mark, Greed reveals that he was told by his informants that Alphonse's soul was bound to a suit of armor. Greed demands to learn the secret to Al's soul affixation, which he believes to be the key to eternal life, but learns that it was Edward who performed it. Izumi then comes to Alphonse's rescue but she cannot harm Greed, whose Ultimate Shield breaks her knuckles when she punches him.
Edward later confronts Greed, but refuses to listen to his conditions and attacks him. Greed however is unimpressed by Edward's insults and he turns into his Ultimate Shield form, easily overpowering him. Just as Edward figures how to transmute Greed's carbon to undo the Ultimate Shield and harm his enemy, several soldiers led by King Bradley, the Fuhrer of Ametris who is also the Homunculus Wrath, storm into Greed's hideout, forcing the homunculus to flee.
Bradley and his soldiers kill most of Greed's underlings killed as he and Martel escape with Alphonse through the sewer. Upon seeing Bradley murder Dolchet and Roa, Greed attacks the Fuhrer, who easily beats up to submission by striking his weak points and captures him. but is easily beaten to submission. In Father's lair, Greed is informed by his siblings that the preparations for the Day of Reckoning are nearly complete. When Father offers him another chance to serve him again, Greed refuses and is lowered into a boiling vat. Defiant to the very end, Greed gets destroyed while laughing maniacally the Philosopher's Stone that makes his essence is liquefied and drunk by Father.
The second Greed
Greed within Ling's body
When Edward, Alphonse and the Xingese prince Ling Yao enter Father's lair, they attempt to take Father down when he attempts to kill Ling for having no use for him, but only to get subdued by Envy and Gluttony. Seeing Ling's remarkable energy, Father reconsiders killing him and injects a refined version of Greed's Philosopher's Stone into his bloodstream.
Normally, Ling's and Greed's souls were to fight for dominance until only one would prevail, but Ling willingly relinquished his body to let Greed possess him, hoping to gain enough power to become the next emperor of Xing (much to Greed's astonishment). Thus there are now two personas in the same body. But although Greed has gained complete control, Ling's soul remains intact and ready to regain control of his body at the first occasion.
To the Elrics' horror, Greed is reborn with no memories of his life before and as a loyal follower of Father. He attacks Edward and defeats him, allowing Envy to take the Elric Brothers to Wrath. Greed is later appointed as Father's bodyguard, acting as a sentinel and killing any intruder who ventures in the villain's subterranean lair.
However, Bido eventually manages to sneak into Father's lair and gets spotted by Greed, who tracks him down to kill him. Bido recognizes Greed's laughter and mannerisms and manages to catch his attention by reciting his greedy motto by heart. He feigns to remember Bido to catch him off guard and remorselessly kills him. However, spilling his former friend's blood causes Greed's mind to be flooded by blurry memories of his previous life. He tries to deny them saying that he is not this Greed but Ling berates him, saying that if that was the case he would remember nothing, and suffers a breakdown.
Greed's second battle with King Bradley.In a semi-conscious state, Greed storms into the presidential palace, attacking Wrath in a rage and demanding to know why he remembers him slaughtering his team. The two homunculi do battle and Greed eventually flees when he notices Pride is about to team up with Wrath.
Ling then assumes control and flees to a deserted hideout in which he stumbles upon Edward Elric and his two chimera associates Darius and Heinkel. After Ling tells Edward of what he knows, Greed reasserted himself in control and takes his leave, before Edward convinces him to take him, Darius, and Heinkel as his "underlings".
Accepting the proposal, Greed aids the protagonists to make a nation-wide transmutation circle able to counter the one that Father is preparing. From then on, Ling is able to temporarily take control of his body more easily; (though he has to ask for permission at first).
Greed, Edward, Darius and Heinkel later come across Alphonse whose armor is manipulated by Pride. Greed recognizes his elder sibling who attacks them alongside Gluttony. Lan Fan and Fu, Ling Yao's bodyguards, then come to their rescue and kill Gluttony several times, while Edward causes a blackout to make Pride's shadow disappear. Pride eventually devours Gluttony to gain his powers and soon overwhelms them all, until Alphonse restrains him, enabling Hohenheim to trap them both in a gigantic dome of earth. Following this, Greed escapes and heads towards Central City, revealing to Ling that he has ulterior motives in stopping Father and wants to be the one in the center of the Nation-wide Transmutation Circle.
The Final Battle
On his way to Father's lair, Greed finds himself facing Wrath again, who was thought dead but has returned. With Ling (who has fought against Wrath once) providing battle tactics, Greed attempts to overwhelm the other human-based Homunculus. Yet, Wrath eventually reveals his Ultimate Eye and gains the upper-hand. The Briggs soldier Buccaneer then aids Greed by letting himself be stabbed with Wrath's saber and taking it from him, forcing him to fight with a pair of daggers to which he is less familiar with. Greed is then helped by Ling’s bodyguard Fu, who sensed his evil aura.
Wrath kills Fu but gets wounded in the process by Buccaneer, who sacrifices his life to stab Wrath with his own sabre through Fu's body to get undetected. An angry Ling then takes over and strikes him, destroying the Ultimate Eye and pushing his foe into a moat. Honoring the promise Ling made to Buccaneer, Greed turns to his Ultimate Shield form and dispatches the soldiers under the corrupt official who rule the country under Father; who were threatening the troops of Briggs.
Greed reappears in Father's throne room as the latter is about to activate the nation-wide transmutation circle by using the Elrics, Hohenheim, Izumi Curtis and Roy Mustang (five alchemist who have seen the Truth, the source of all alchemic power and knowledge of the universe, which Father plans to absorb to become the new God of the World). Greed attacks Father to kill him and claim the godhood that Father covets for himself, but Father easily subdues him and successfully becomes "God".
Fortunately, Hohenheim manages to activate a counter-ritual he devised, and Father finds himself unable to contain the Truth within himself, prompting him to flee towards the surface with everyone tailing him. As Greed does not master alchemy, he reaches the surface on his own, finding the majority of their allies near Bradley's corpse. He curses the man for having died with a smile and informs them all about the current crisis unfolding, before reaching the surface.
As everyone is fighting against Father, Greed marvels on the villain's incredible power, but he finally admits to Ling that his only actual desire is a friend. Greed attacks Father who lets himself be struck to absorb his offspring back once again, but it appears that Greed was counting on it to allow Edward to strike.
Ling vainly tries to keep Greed within himself
With his supply of souls nearly spent from the damage Edward is giving him, Father attempts to grab Ling to reabsorb Greed. However, despite Ling's attempt to keep him, Greed knocks his host away to be sucked into Father's body. From there, Greed turns Father's body into the frailest form of charcoal so Ed can deliver the death blow.
Enraged of his child's continued defiant act, Father rips Greed's soulless essence out and flings it into the air. (In the manga, Father kills Greed by snapping his teeth shut on him.) In his final moment, seeing Edward and Ling while reflecting on the good they did for him, Greed thanks the two before ceasing to be.
In the 2003 anime
In the 2003 anime series, Greed is the second oldest homunculus, who was created when Dante, the main villain of the series' radically different storyline, tried to revive one of her former lovers. Once again, Greed betrayed his master to live for himself and quench his greed, and established his headquarters in the Devil's Nest bar, surrounding himself with many chimeras.
He first tries to get (the 2003 anime counterpart of) Wrath to join his side but not to avail. He later captures Alphonse Elric to learn how he bound his soul to his armor, as he does in the manga. Once again, his lair his invaded and his chimeras are killed, but this time by Lust and Gluttony. Greed is then manipulated by Dante, so that he would be perceived as her murderer, before getting weakened enough for Edward to kill him. With his dying breath, Greed reveals how to kill a homunculus.
Powers and Abilities
Being one of the Seven Homunculi, Greed has above-average strength, speed and durability, and he is able to regenerate his body even when mortally wounded or partially destroyed. As such, the only way to fully destroy him is to kill him more times than the Philosopher's Stone which serves as his core can regenerate him.
His most prominent power, the "Ultimate Shield" enables him to rearrange the carbon cells in his body to make his limbs or his entire self as hard as diamond. He usually uses this power on his forearms (which then become clawed) to use them for offense and defense, becoming able to impale people with his bare hand and to block sword strikes. When he turns his entire body into this diamond-like matter, he becomes virtually immune to any attack and not even an explosion can hinder him. Greed is also able to rearrange the carbon in his cells the other way around; to make his body as friable and weak as charcoal, but he obviously does not use it often.
- In the 2009 series, Greed has fought Wrath three times. He lost the first two. The final was interrupted when Ling took over after Wrath killed Fu.
- Greed is similar to Beelzemon from Digimon franchise, as they wear leather jackets and are independent. They are also greedy, but both have also redeemed themselves afterwards.
- In the 2003 anime, both Greed and Envy share a particular distaste for one-another - although this was never explained, but it could be attributed to their connection with Dante.
What does the Bible say about greed?Question: "What does the Bible say about greed?"
Answer:Greed is a strong and selfish desire to have more of something, most often money or power. There are many warnings in the Bible about giving in to greed and longing for riches. Jesus warned, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15). “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal… You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:19, 24b). Did Jesus pursue the acquisition of money? No. On the contrary, He became poor for our sake (2 Corinthians 8:9) and had “no place to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). Neither did Jesus pursue power. Rather, He instructed, "Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:43–45).
Greed and a desire for riches are traps that bring ruin and destruction. “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil,” and Christians are warned, “Do not put your trust in wealth” (see 1 Timothy 6:9-10, 17-18). Covetousness, or having an excessive or greedy desire for more, is idolatry. Ephesians 5:5 says, “For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person – such a man is an idolater – has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” The principle to remember is contained in Hebrews 13:5: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’”
It is the love of money, and not money itself, that is the problem. The love of money is a sin because it gets in the way of worshipping God. Jesus said it was very hard for rich people to enter the Kingdom of God. When the rich young ruler asked Jesus what he should do to inherit eternal life, Jesus told him to sell all his possessions and give the money to the poor. “When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth” (see Matthew 19:16-22). By instructing him to give up his money, Jesus pointed out the young man’s main problem: greed or a love of money. The man could not follow Christ because he was following money. His love of this world interfered with his love for God.
Greed refuses to be satisfied. More often than not, the more we get, the more we want. Material possessions will not protect us—in this life or eternally. Jesus’ parable of the rich fool in Luke 12:13–21 illustrates this point well. Again, money or wealth is not a problem. The problem is our attitude toward it. When we place our confidence in wealth or are consumed by an insatiable desire for more, we are failing to give God the glory and worship He deserves. We are to serve God, not waste our time trying to become rich (Proverbs 23:4). Our heart’s desire should be to store up riches in heaven and not worry about what we will eat or drink or wear. “But seek first [God’s] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (see Matthew 6:25-34).Recommended Resource: The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey
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What does the Bible say about greed?