Villain Overview

Hmph. What nonsense. One is born either noble or common. This destiny cannot be changed. Has a sheep any hope of leading wolves? No!
~ Berkut to Fernand
Only death awaits those who would profane Rigel's soil. Consider it a mercy your bones will rest here, in sight of your homeland!
~ Berkut before fighting the heroes at the Zofia/Rigel border.
From childhood, all that’s ever been asked of me is strength. It is my duty as one born to stand above others. To rule. I’ve been taught that all my life. By my father, my mother... How am I to remain calm in the face of defeat at the hands of peasants?!
~ Berkut to Rinea.

Berkut is a non-playable character who appears exclusively in Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, the remake of Fire Emblem Gaiden. He is the nephew of Emperor Rudolf of Rigel and a major antagonist in Alm's route.

Berkut is voiced by Tatsuhisa Suzuki in Japanese and Ian Sinclair in English.

Appearance

Berkut is a black-haired young man who wears black armor over a blue coat with white trim and matching pants. He also wears a blue cape draped over one shoulder. After forming a pact with Duma, Berkut gains red eyes, and dark red flames surround his body. 

Personality

Berkut is a prideful man who places great emphasis on social status and believes in demonstrating his own power and worth. Berkut is haughty, bigoted, and even a bit aggressive, constantly talking down to others. He is very mistrustful of most people, particularly the Duma Faithful; he loathes and fears the High Priest Jedah, and is suspicious of religion and magic as a result.

While growing up, Berkut 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, part of him recognizes how poorly his parents treated him, but he refuses to acknowledge that Rudolf treats him much the same. He is desperate to please his uncle, who is seldom anything but taciturn or disapproving towards Berkut in return. This desperation is Berkut's undoing; he walks on a knife's edge between pride and terror at failing Rudolf.

As the war progresses, he lashes out in frustration more and more, and increasingly believes people doubt him. However, Berkut is different when 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 overcompensates in front of her at times, he is unafraid of expressing his true emotions to her. He feels that she genuinely deserves the power and status of an empress, to the point where becomes angry when she tells him she does not want to be one and 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.

Biography

Backstory

Berkut's father and Emperor Rudolf’s younger brother was a noble Rigelian general who 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 strictly raised him so he would not be teased for being fatherless, and to demonstrate that without strength, he would be unworthy of becoming the next emperor. She too passed away before Berkut reached adulthood. Viewing Emperor Rudolf as a surrogate father figure, he devoted himself to the military to receive recognition for his deeds.

To prove is military prowess, Berkut commanded the invasion of Zofia. He guided the coup d'etat in Zofia by manipulating Chancellor Desaix into betraying his homeland. Berkut also becomes Fernand's superior officer after the latter left the Deliverance, a resistance army that founded to overthrow Desaix. Berkut is also engaged to Rinea, who cares for him during the ongoing war. 

War of the Deliverance

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.

Other Media

Fire Emblem Heroes

There are three different variations of Berkut available to players. The regular Berkut, titled Prideful Prince, was released on July 18, 2017 as a Grand Hero Battle. A fallen version of Berkut, corrupted by his pact with Duma, was made available for summoning on May 10, 2018. This version, titled Purgatorial Prince, has the witch form of Rinea appear alongside him in his neutral portrait and during his special attacks. On September 6, 2018, a Berkut themed around ballroom dancing was released. This Berkut, titled Debonair Noble, wears a purple coat with white trim over blue pants and matching boots. He also wears a blue and purple cape with white fur trim. 

Quotes

Come then! Are you going to entertain me or not?
~ Berkut challenging the heroes at the Forest Crossroads.
They're stronger than I thought... But no... I came here to be entertained, not to give up my life.
~ Berkut as he is defeated at the Forest Crossroads.
Nrgh... No... Am I to lose again? AGAIN?!
~ Berkut as he is defeated at the Zofia/Rigel border.
You... You took... everything from me. You will SUFFER for what you've done!
~ Berkut before battling the heroes in the Tower of Duma after his pact with Duma.
Graugh!
~ Berkut as he is defeated in the Tower of Duma.

Trivia

  • During the Border Battle against Berkut on the Normal, Berkut shares the exact same stats as the boss Seazas, was the boss of that battle in Fire Emblem Gaiden, but was replaced.
  • During Berkut's final battle, his and Rinea's combined attack range forms a heart.
  • In addition to Berkut, Tatsuhisa Suzuki also provides the Japanese voices of Fire Emblem heroes Ranulf, Tibarn, and Alfonse.

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