|“||One is born either noble or common. This destiny cannot be changed. Has a sheep any hope of leading wolves? No!||„|
Berkut is a non-playable character who appears exclusively in Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. He is the nephew of Emperor Rudolf of Rigel and a major antagonist in Alm's route.
Berkut is a black-haired young man in a black armor.
Berkut is a prideful man who places great emphasis on social status and believes in demonstrating his own power and worth. Berkut tends to come off as haughty, bigoted, and even a bit aggressive, in the way that he talks down on others. He is very mistrustful of most people, particularly the church of Duma; he loathes and outright fears Jedah, and is extra-suspicious of religion and magic as a result.
While growing up, he was taught by his parents that strength means everything, and that he could never succeed his uncle as emperor unless he was strong. As an adult, while a part of him recognizes how poorly his parents treated him, he refuses to acknowledge that Rudolf treats him much the same. He is desperate to please his uncle, who is seldom shown as anything but taciturn or disapproving towards Berkut in return. His desperation is his undoing; he is fiercely proud, yet at the same time, walking on a knife's edge, terrified to fail Rudolf and prove himself unworthy or weak.
As the war progresses, he lashes out in frustration more and more, almost looking for any excuse to see people doubting him, as seen with Rinea when conflict happens. In spite of that, he is much different when he is alone with Rinea, as she is the only person he has ever trusted. Their relationship is as important to his character as it is to hers. Berkut is keenly aware of her needs and feelings, and while he does still overcompensate in front of her at times, he is unafraid of expressing his true emotions in front of her. He feels that she genuinely deserves the power and status of an empress, to the point where she cannot tell him she does not want to be one, and becoming angry when she expresses relief that Alm is the rightful heir. Rinea's heritage as a member of minor noble house does not matter to the otherwise strictly hierarchical Berkut. This is shown to a lesser extent when he's with Fernand, since Berkut considers him a comrade and they both share similar social views.
A noble general of Rigel, Berkut's father, who was Emperor Rudolf’s younger brother, died when Berkut was around 10 years old. Being so timid as a child that even riding a horse would make him cry, his mother raised him strictly so that he would not be teased for not having a father and to show that he was worthy of becoming the next emperor, until she also passed away before he reached adulthood. Viewing Emperor Rudolf as a surrogate father figure, he developed an interest in devoting himself to the military, in order to seize recognition for his deeds.
He guided the coup d'etat in Zofia by manipulating chacellor Desaix into betraying his homeland. Berkut also convinces Fernand, a former member of Deliverance, an army that was formed to overthrow Desaix, to join the Rigelian army after leaving the Deliverance. He is vying to be the next emperor and commands the invasion of Zofia to prove his military prowess. He is also engaged to Rinea, who cares for him during the ongoing war.
Berkut first confronts Alm, the new leader of the Deliverance, while en route to the border between Zofia and Rigel, where he faces the Deliverance alongside Fernand out of sport and in order to test their strength. Despite being a tough match for Alm, Berkut is defeated, forcing him to retreat back to Rigel. Disgraced by his loss against Alm, Berkut begs Rudolf for a second chance to face Alm, this time with the Rigelian army behind him, as despite Jedah's assurance, he believes the Deliverance might be able to break past the sluice gate. Before leaving, Nuibaba offers to grant him great power through Duma to allow him to defeat Alm. Seeing no honor in having to resort to a god's blessing to beat Alm, Berkut refuses. However, Nuibaba gives him a mirror, telling him to shatter the mirror if he desires power.
Assault on Rigel
Later, Berkut and the Regelian army confront the Deliverance right after they cross into Rigel and promptly charges into battle, bent on killing Alm, only to be defeated again. In desperation, Berkut shatters Nuibaba's mirror, causing a curse to fall over the Deliverance. Berkut is horrified by the dark magic while Fernand is shocked, but Alm's pendant removes the curse and Berkut is forced to retreat once more. Later, as the Deliverance finally reaches Rigel Castle, Berkut pleads with Rudolf for one more chance to face Alm. Disappointed by his failures, Rudolf denies Berkut's request and he is forced to watch as the battle unfolds, ultimately resulting the death of Rudolf by Alm's hands.
End of the Age of Gods
Not only does Berkut lose Rudolf during the battle, but also his claim to the throne. With his dying breaths, Rudolf reveals that Alm is his biological son and thus the true successor to the Rigelian throne. This discovery causes him to wallow in despair in the basement of the Tower of Duma, where Duma offers to give Berkut the power he desires. Worried for Berkut, Rinea follows him into the Tower and tells him that she does not care whether or not he is emperor, as she never wanted to be empress and only desired to spend the rest of her days with him. Berkut perceives it as a slight of her admitting that she was in on Rudolf's secret. Consumed by rage, Berkut willingly gives himself to Duma, offering whatever Duma desires in exchange for power. Duma demands Rinea's soul as his price, and Berkut complies, turning her into a witch.
Blinded by his new power, Berkut makes Rinea attack and mortally wound Fernand, who came to check on him. Later, as Alm heads down Duma Temple to claim Falchion and kill Duma, Berkut stands in his way. Despite Alm asking Berkut to work together with him to restore peace to Valentia, Berkut refuses and is overcome by Duma's blessing. After the battle, Berkut begs Alm to kill him and end his suffering. Suddenly, Rinea's spirit appears and tells Berkut that she still loves him for the noble man he truly is deep down. Berkut, having regained his sanity, accepts her offer to look for his "empire" together, so long as he accepts her as his "empress". In his final moments, Berkut gives Alm a ring that belonged to his mother and trusts Alm to restore Valentia and make it a land led by men, rather than gods. Berkut departs into the afterlife with his beloved Rinea next to him for their new journey.
- During the fight against Berkut in Act 4 on the Normal difficulty, Berkut shares the exact same stats as the boss Seazas, who appeared in Gaiden, but was removed from Shadows of Valentia in favor of Berkut's boss fight.
- In Act 5, when the final battle of Berkut takes place, Berkut's and Rinea's combined attack range forms a heart.
Fire Emblem Gaiden & Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
The Black Fang
Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
Fire Emblem Awakening
Fire Emblem Fates
Fire Emblem Warriors
Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE
Fire Emblem Heroes
Fire Emblem: Three Houses