|“||I am the shadow under the radiance of heroic spirits — Birthed of the darkness of glorious legend...||„|
Berserker is a major antagonist in Fate/Zero. He is the servant of Kariya Matou in the Fourth Holy Grail War and serves as Saber's most personal enemy during that war, due to his true identity and the fact that his one goal is to take revenge on her.
He is voiced by Ryōtarō Okiayu in Japanese and Kyle Hebert in English.
Berserker was once the knight of the Round Table, Lancelot, and was a loyal knight to his king, Altria. He was one of her few friends, knowing her real gender and the abilities of Excalibur. However Lancelot fell in love with Altria’s wife, queen Guinevere, whom she’d married to maintain the image that she was a man. Lancelot considered fleeing Camelot with Guinevere, but chose not to out of loyalty and duty to Altria. Unfortunately, political enemies of the king exposed their affair and Guinevere was sentenced to death. Lancelot tried to save his love, killing a number of other knights as he did so. Altria forgave Lancelot, but Gawain hated him as two of the knights he killed were Gawain’s brothers. The balance of the Round Table had been fractured, which would lead to the war that would ruin the land. Lancelot was excommunicated, but sought to aid Altria in the Battle of Camlann, only to be turned away by Gawain.
The Fourth Holy Grail War
In the modern day, Lancelot was summoned as the Berserker-class Servant of Kariya Matou for the Holy Grail War, as Zouken Matou felt it would make up for Kariya lacking as a mage.
In the first confrontation between the Servants, Berserker suddenly arrived and was engaged by Archer. However he was able to take him on, wielding the weapons fired by Archer’s Gate of Babylon. When Archer was ordered to retreat, Berserker quickly attacked Saber (Altria) with Kariya unable to control him. Lancer tried to defend Saber, but his master Kayneth Archibald El-Melloi used a Command Spell to make him fight alongside Berserker. However Rider intervened, charging into Berserker with his chariot and forcing him to retreat. Soon afterwards, while the other Servants were battling Caster,
Berserker arrived and took over a fighter jet with his Noble Phantasm. Kariya sent him against Archer and the two engaged in a dog-fight, before Saber caught Berserker’s attention. He went after her instead and almost managed to attack her, but was sneak attacked by Archer, forcing him to retreat again. Some time later, Berserker kidnapped Irisviel von Einzbern under orders from his master, who’d made a bargain with Kirei Kotomine, using his power to look like Rider. Thus Saber went after the real Rider, while Berserker delivered Irisviel to Kariya. Shortly afterwards, Berserker engaged Saber for the final time.
In the fight, Saber managed to disarm him and damage his armor. However as she moved to finish him, Berserker caught her sword between his hands. Since the blade was invisible, Saber realized that the only way Berserker could know the shape and length of the blade was if he knew her in life.
Saber asked Berserker his real name and he responded by summoning his sword, Arondight, and breaking open his helmet to reveal his face. Saber was shocked and overcome with guilt at bringing about Lancelot’s downfall, leaving her helpless against Berserker. But as he moved to finish her, he suddenly froze in place, thanks to his master having been drained of all mana and cutting of his energy source.
Saber took the opportunity to impale Berserker with Excalibur, finishing him off. She told him that she wanted the Holy Grail to undo her mistakes, including her part in Lancelot’s downfall. Berserker told Saber that he’d wanted her to punish him for his crimes. But since she’d so quickly forgave him, Lancelot had not been able to forgive himself and as she held him up, he said that in the end, he would die in his lord’s arms as a loyal knight. Lancelot then faded away, saying that Saber was the greatest of kings and all who'd served her thought so.
Lancelot is an honorable knight with great loyalty to his king and was once determined to protect his land at all costs. Even when he was in his affair with Guinevere, they were both ashamed for betraying Altria. Because of this, Lancelot could not bring himself to forgive himself for his actions, particularly after Altria refused to blame or punish him for what he did. Ultimately, this drove Lancelot into madness, which made him into Berserker. As Berserker, he has little rational thought and is nothing but a bloodthirsty, killing machine. Despite this, Berserker is able to fight with great finesse and swiftness and could recognize Lancer as a temporary ally. He can also recognize Saber, instantly attacking her and forgetting his orders, due to his hatred for her at the fact that he could not save Guinevere and the fact that Saber’s legend left him a traitor with no honor or pride.
Powers And Abilities
Berserker possesses superhuman natural abilities, thanks to his nature as a Servant. His abilities are boosted by the power of Mad Enhancement, the spell put on all Berserker-class Servants. However it makes Berserker hard to control, so while he’ll obey basic commands, he can freely ignore them and Command Spells are the only way to ensure his complete obedience. Berserker also consumes a great deal of his Master’s energy, making it so he can’t fight as much as other Servants. His first Noble Phantasm is For Someone’s Glory, which comes from the fact that he performed many of his heroic acts in disguise. It obscures Berserker’s armor in a black fog that makes others unable to identify him and prevents Masters from analyzing his abilities. It can also be used to make Berserker take the form of other Heroic Spirits, but it costs his Master a Command Spell each time. Despite his maddened state, Berserker is a technical and flawless fighter, thanks to his possession of Eternal Arms Mastership, which prevents mental hindrance from affecting his martial skill. Berserker was a master of combat unmatched in his era, so while he can attack with the
bestial ferocity of his class, his attacks are surprisingly precise. Berserker’s main means of fighting is his second Noble Phantasm, Knight of Honor, which comes from his accomplishment of defeating the knight, Phelot, with only an oak branch he found. This ability turns any object Berserker recognizes as a weapon into a Noble Phantasm. This allows Berserker to constantly find something to fight with, even something as basic as a piece of iron, and can enhance normal weapons he wields, such as machine guns or even a fighter jet. It can also affect other Heroic Spirit’s Noble Phantasms. Berserker’s last Noble Phantasm is Arondight, the sister sword of Excalibur, which he wielded in life. To use it, Berserker must deactivate his other two Noble Phantasms, but it allows him to show his incredible sword skills, far greater than he could at his previous level. It boosts Berserker’s abilities, but it consumes an even greater amount of magical energy from his master.
- Before Berserker’s identity was revealed, he was called Black Knight.
- He appears in the Einzburn Consultation Room, a segment, which helped explain aspects of the Fate/Zero anime. In this, Berserker demonstrates a very humble and polite attitude and talks about his past and the nature of the Grail War.
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