So far, only a silhouette of him has been seen, resembling a grown man wearing a captain's coat.
Vander Decken supposedly went insane one night and murdered his own crew, defying even heaven itself, and incurring the wrath of God. Though legends do have their inaccuracies, it was only clear that he was mad. He also had an interest in the Mermaid Princess of that era and her incredible ability to command the Sea Kings.
Abilities and Powers
Vander Decken was apparently powerful enough to throw his entire crew overboard. However, Pappag did state that legends tend to exaggerate so the legend of Vander Decken is not entirely credible. He was skilled enough to man his ship to Fish-Man Island, which existed on the ocean floor.
In the flashbacks involving Vander Decken, he is seen wielding a sword.
Vander Decken was the captain of a pirate crew that existed hundreds of years ago, and they all rode on the Flying Dutchman. But then, according to legend, one dark and stormy night, Decken suddenly went mad and began killing off his crew mates by throwing them off the ship. He then invoked the wrath of God by defying him, and as a punishment, he and his ship were cursed to wander the seas forever. However, as legends tend to exaggerate, several points are debatable. The only things that was certain is that Decken did exist and that he was definitely crazy.
At some point in his life, Vander Decken then came to the ocean floor to search for the legendary Mermaid Princess, who possessed the power to command Sea Kings. Unfortunately for him, he never achieved his goal, and Decken ended up dying on Fish-Man Island.
Vander Decken's knowledge of the mermaid princess of legend was passed down to his descendants, who have been piloting the Flying Dutchman ever since. The current captain is his eighth generation grandson, Vander Decken IX, who found out that the current mermaid princess, Shirahoshi, had inherited the fabled power his family had searched for. Using his abilities, he constantly attempted to force the princess to marry him so that he can use her power for his own ambitions, but ultimately failed and was eventually arrested.
- The captain of the Flying Dutchman was unnamed in the original legend. The first version of the legend as a story was printed in "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine", which names the captain 'Van der Decken'. The name means "of the deck" and was also used in the Gothic novel "The Phantom Ship" by Frederick Marryat.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 62 Chapter 606 and Episode 525, Brook speaks of the legend of Vander Decken.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 62 Chapter 610 and Episode 529, Pappag explains that Decken's legend is exaggerated.
- One Piece Manga and Anime — Vol. 63 Chapter 625 and Episode 545, Decken IX speaks of his ancestor's goal of finding the Mermaid Princess.