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"These are the utmost grand of days! This is going to be so, so- awful!"
This article contains spoilers for Temptation Stairway. Please read at your own risk.

"Buenas, comadre! ¿No Le gustaría algunos dulces pa' guardar este momentazo?" (Good day Godmother! Would you like to buy treats to remember this beautiful event?)
— Merchant, Temptation Stairway

Merchant is a minor character that appears in Temptation Stairway.

Appearance

Merchant appears to be a humanoid in a black skintight suit. They don three red masks, two of which are on their hands. These masks have yellow-colored mouths, noses, cheeks, and eyeholes while also sporting black facial hair. They also don a magenta and yellow-striped cloak that goes over their shoulders.

Trivia

  • Merchant speaks Spanish with Mexican slang.
  • Merchant is the third ENA character to have their name be a job, the other ones being Auctioneer, Keeper, and The Shepherd.
  • Merchant bears a striking resemblance to Merci; both of them wear masks and have hand puppets.
  • After Ena gets the Turrón and the screen pops up, it is possible to hear Sr. Pelo laughing.
  • As stated in a Twitch stream by Joel Guerra, the Merchant was originally going to speak English. However, it was later decided that they would speak Spanish and Joel contacted Sr. Pelo to voice the character due to his voice, to which the latter gladly agreed.

Cultural references and inspirations

  • The figure juggling the Merchant's masks before the character materializes is based on the 1986 Juggler Demo for the Commodore Amiga line of computers. This demo showed off the ability to render raytraced, 3D imagery on the 16-bit computer, specifically in the software Sculpt 3D.[2]
  • The masks that the Merchant dons resemble Peruvian Waq'ollos, balaclavas/masks worn during the Qhapaq Q'olla dance from Paucartambo. Specific features, most notably the mustache, look like they're from a Waq'ollo, having a black, red, and yellow color scheme (though Waq'ollos are usually white) with a black mustache and eyebrows, red face, and yellow rings around the eyes and mouth. The Qhapaq Q'olla is also a character representing a merchant.
  • The cloak Merchant wears appears to be an aguayo, a carrying cloth used in traditional communities in the Andes, which is commonly used to carry small children and other items on the wearer's back.
  • Merchant's overall appearance resembles the costumes in the play The Neutral Mask On The Surface Of Skin in which performers wear black suits that cover their entire body and wear masks on both their face and hands.
  • The dances that Ena, Merchant, and The Shepherd do upon obtaining the Turrón are references to the music video for the Talking Heads song "Once in a Lifetime".

References

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