"Somewhere in the back of my mind, I have this vision of her on a beach at night, all lit up by the light of the moon. She's staring out to sea with such sad eyes...
Seeing her like that, I think I finally understand how my tutu felt. He wasn't cursed... He was in love."
-Kai the Second
Michelle is a character from the game Dragon Quest XI.
Michelle was a mermaid from the underwater city of Nautica. She would often sit upon the rocks around a small, mysterious isle where no winds nor waves appeared. One day, she finds an injured fisherman named Kainoa. She rescues him from drowning and nurses him back to health. Overtime, the two fell deeply in love and soon wished to marry. Kainoa revealed that he was engaged to the chief's daughter and wished to return to end the arrangement. Kainoa asked Michelle to come to land but Michelle warned that while she could gain human legs, if she were to ever touch water after the transformation, she would dissolve into sea foam. Kainoa promised to return and join her beneath the waves but he first had to return to his home of Lonalulu. That was the last time Michelle saw him.
When Kainoa returned, he informed his people of who had saved him. The people were incredibly superstitious and grew fearful, believing Kainoa had been bewitched by Michelle. As punishment for consorting with a mermaid, they burned his boat and banished him from the village. The chief's daughter married another man and soon became pregnant. As the birth neared, terrible storms plagued the island, taking many lives, including the chief and his son-in-law. Filled with grief, the chief's daughter threw herself into the sea. Kainoa saw her and rescued her but it was too late. Weakened from the ordeal, the chief's daughter died in childbirth, leaving Kainoa with her daughter. The people of Lonalulu saw Kainoa with the baby and assumed it was Michelle's, furthering the rift between Kainoa and Lonalulu. Kainoa couldn't leave the baby so he chose to spend his life raising the child. Kainoa's love for Michelle never wavered and he crafted a veil for his love and painted a portrait of Michelle beneath the moonlight. Kainoa eventually died allowing his adopted daughter to finally be accepted back into society. To make money, she told the village's version of Kainoa's encounter with Michelle and how she stole his heart and soul. She gave birth to a son and named him Kainoa "Kai" after her adopted father. Kai grew up hating Michelle for all he thought she had done to his family. Michelle was unaware of these events and faithfully waited for Kainoa, unaware that her years of waiting had outlasted his human life.
Dragon Quest XI
The Luminary and his crew come across Michelle's isle and encounter the mermaid. She asks them to find Kainoa for her. In exchange, she will use her powers to safely bring them to Nautica.
The Luminary travels to Lonalulu only to discover how long Michelle has waited and what prevented Kainoa from returning to her. They meet Kai who makes his hatred for Michelle obvious but relents and shows them the veil his grandfather made for her. The Luminary returns with the veil to Michelle and is given two choices: lie to her or tell the truth.
Lie to Her
If the Luminary lies, Michelle will believe him and will keep her promise and deliver them to Nautica unharmed. Sadly, Michelle will continue to wait for her long dead lover.
The only ray of hope lies after the game is completed. If the Luminary returns to Lonalulu, the villages ask him to find a missing Kai. They follow Kai's trail to Michelle's isle and find him and Michelle surrounded by vicious mermen (no relation to mermaids). After the sea monsters are defeated it is revealed that Michelle saved Kai from drowning and healed him. Her actions made Kai see the truth, that his grandfather wasn't cursed, he was in love. Michelle still waits for her Kainoa to return. Whether something is kindled between the two or Michelle waits alone is left unknown.
Tell the Truth
When the Luminary reveals Kainoa's death, Michelle at first refuses to believe it. She asks the Luminary to accompany her to Lonalulu. Once there, Kai sees her sitting upon the rocks and is enchanted by the sight. At first Michelle is overjoyed, believing Kai is her lost love. Within seconds she realizes her folly and sees Kai is not her true love. Kai confirms Michelle's fears and points to Kainoa's gravestone. Michelle gasps, her heart broken. A saddened Michelle informs the Luminary that she left Lorelai's Harp on her isle and that it will deliver him safely to Nautica. She informs him that now that she is here she has to stay.
Michelle sings a haunting melody and her shimmering fishtail transforms into human legs. She goes to Kainoa's grave and kisses it. She walks back towards the water and stumbles but Kai catches her. She notes the similarities between the two before. Michelle dives below the water and dissolves into sea foam.
- Michelle's page Dragon Quest Wiki.