|“||Playtime is over...||„|
|~ Graf Michael Sepperin|
Graf Michael Sepperin (Count Michael Zeppelin in the English translation) is the recurring antagonist from Rosenkreuzstilette. He is the former leader of RKS, succeeding Rosenkreuz, and the adoptive father of Zorne Sepperin and biological father of Iris Sepperin. He is an oppressive aristocrat who made a pact with the devil and commanded Freudia Neuwahl to lead a coup against the Empire in an attempt to destroy it and create a persecution-free world for Magi. Like Raimund Seyfarth, Sepperin is also not necessarily evil, but his selfish actions and fatal mistakes due to naiveness were enough to qualify him as a villain.
He was voiced by Aigon.
Graf Sepperin is a well-dressed man who wears a blue tuxedo with a blue cape and a red handkerchief worn on the neck part of his outfit. He has pale skin, white hair, and red eyes. When he assumes his demon form, he takes the form of a gigantic blue demonic beast with red eyes and horns.
Graf Sepperin is an imperial and magnificent nobleman at heart, who is respected by many despite his frightening appearance and the darkness in his eyes that have gone unnoticed by others. He is an authoritative and powerful Magus in his own right who promotes the ideals of a world where Magi can live in peace, free of fear and persecution, and is very protective of his daughter Iris.
As the leader of RKS, Graf Sepperin is looked up to as a father by the other Magi, including but not limited to Zorne, who, despite the absence of blood ties, admires him deeply enough to regard him as her real father and desperately yearns for him to someday accept her as his real daughter instead of Iris.
Iris is the Graf's biological daughter, whom he loves and cares for with all his heart. In fact, he trusts her so much that he doesn't see the evil inside his own daughter, which was a fatal mistake due to his naiveness that got him killed by her. Despite that, he was brought back from the dead by her in Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel, and he is still protecting his daughter; he is willing to protect his own murderer. He also believes that Iris brought him back through her prayers - something that Iris manipulates him into doing during his resurrection.
Sepperin wields the ability to manipulate fire and shadows. He can release a trail of fireballs that travels across the floor, turn into bats and rush at opponents, and is also capable of teleportation. Sepperin can also create a large shadow that he can enter, from which he will transform into a huge demonic beast before re-emerging from a much larger shadow. In his demon form, Sepperin can spit fireballs and create many lasers that can obliterate their target instantly.
When Michael Sepperin was young (and he wasn't even Graf (Count) yet), a man named Rosenkreuz gave his life for him and other Magi, whom the Church feared as the most powerful Magus in history. With Rosenkreuz's death, Sepperin and the Magi he was protecting were accepted as part of their military and became Rosenkreuzstilette, the "Blades of the Rose Cross", also known as RKS for short, and since then, Sepperin had not only became a Graf but had also been a servant of the Holy Empire. Eventually, he gave birth to his biological daughter Iris, who was born with every ounce of power and wisdom that Rosenkreuz had accumulated throughout his life. Grateful that Iris was blessed with intelligence, Sepperin was able to conceal her talents in order to prevent the Church from learning about them.
A few decades had passed since RKS was formed, and the persecution of the Magi seemed like a thing of the past. One day, Iris came to him for help saying that Karl Palesch, an agent of the RKS Intelligence Unit, had made an attempt on her life. Sepperin had Karl imprisoned in the castle prison. Believing that RKS was the target of persecution again, Graf Sepperin organized a coup against the Empire with a mere moment of preparation and commanded Freu to lead the rebellion, which he felt was the organization's only option available with their current strength. Liebea Palesch, Karl's younger sister, was against the rebellion, and yet the Graf, while unable to persuade her to join the rebellion's cause, managed to avoid her becoming an obstacle by imprisoning her in the research tower while lying to her that the Empire had taken Karl captive and that it was hopeless to pray for his safe return. Sepperin also made a deal with the devil and started using the forbidden arts, commanding an army of monsters, demons, and the undead, and even resurrected Raimund Seyfarth as a Grim Reaper-like wraith and had him guard the bridge to his castle. When Spiritia Rosenberg, having returned from her six-month training in the Black Forest under the Graf's orders, took it upon herself to stop her friends and colleagues out of refusal to join the rebellion due to condemning it and the sacrifice of innocent people alike, Freu reported the situation to the Graf, who decided to brand her as a traitor to the organization and ordered many of his followers to kill her.
When Tia confronted the Graf, questioning him on why he was leading the rebellion, he explained that the Empire actually has no emperor; instead, the reins of power lay within the Church, whom sought to kill his daughter Iris. He gave a long story containing backstory, telling a tale of how RKS was formed and how he sought to protect Iris and create a peaceful world for Magi by launching the coup against the Empire. In his words, he learned that Karl was a spy working for the Church, and it seemed to him that the Church had learned of Iris and her gifts through Karl. He was able to pre-empt their plans and had RKS's attack organized, and he revealed to Tia that his reason for starting the rebellion was to prevent the people from causing an uproar, and that it was his first time telling others of his true motives. His only miscalculation was that Tia would be at the imperial training hall, and he would've preferred to have her, with her unrivaled sense of justice, to lead everyone to battle. He asked Tia to return to RKS's side, but Tia still refused to join the rebellion out of knowledge of how hard it must be for Lilli and the other inhabitants of the Black Forest to have their homes burned to the ground. Tia was willing to protect Iris, too, but without allowing anyone to be sacrificed. She called him a coward and accused him of getting scared, running away, and lashing out like a cornered beast. The Graf asked Tia if she claimed to be different, and she said that she wouldn't run away from her power nor her fate. Interested, Sepperin called to Tia to show him the true extent of her power in order to show him how sure she was of herself, and from there, a battle ensued.
After the battle was over, Sepperin voiced in surprise that he had not expected such an outcome. Tia, saying that she wouldn't be able to help him as long as he did something wrong, pleaded for him to return to the path of righteousness, for Iris and for Zorne. She then asked him for the wherabouts of Karl as well as his proof that Karl was a spy. Sepperin revealed that he was in the castle prison and that he had made an attempt on Iris' life, which she had told him herself. He said that Iris would not be alive that day had she been born a regular child. Lilli gathered the pieces of Sepperin's information together and began questioning why Iris was at the training hall when all of it happened if what he said was true, and Tia realized that something wasn't right. A confused Sepperin asked them what they were saying, for he had believed that Iris was always in the castle the whole time. Just then, Lilli alerted Tia to an incoming attack and Tia slided out of the way just in time as a lightning bolt from Iris struck Sepperin from behind and obliterated his body into a burst of flames, after which Iris said that Sepperin was such a useless old man. Iris revealed that everything Graf Sepperin said was true, the only incorrect part about it being that she made up the whole part about Karl, who actually saw through her facade, which inspired her to have the Graf imprison him. It was also according to Iris that, since Zorne had always hated her, and with Sepperin's death, Zorne deserved every minute of her suffering.
Early on in Rosenkreuzstilette Grollschwert, Sepperin was informed that Grolla Seyfarth had made an attempt to kill Iris, which led him to mark Grolla as a traitor and order for her execution. Later, Grolla confronted the Graf, angry at him for disrupting Sir Raimund's peaceful slumber. Sepperin believed Grolla to be an assassin working for the Orthodox Church to kill Iris, while Grolla pitied him for being deceived by his own flesh and blood. Admitting that she was foolish to have respected Sepperin, Grolla began wondering what those who shared his ideals would think if they could see him the way she saw him. Sepperin said that he would become the devil himself in order to protect Iris, and Grolla vowed to become a demon slayer and crush him where he stood. After battle, Grolla asked him if he had any last words, just before she sensed an incoming attack and leapt out of the way just in time. Sepperin met a fate similar to that in Spiritia's story.
Sepperin was brought back from the dead by Iris in Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel. He is still protecting his daughter, willing to protect his own murderer from his once-loyal subject Freudia. Freu is shocked with dismay upon stumbling upon him within Iris' palace and realizes that he has been brainwashed by her into thinking that Tia killed him and that Iris brought him back through her prayers. He asks her to join him in destroying the old, corrupt world and create a new, better one in its place, to which Freu sadly responds by saying that such a thing is only a fantasy. He responds by calling her foolish and transforms. After she defeats him and lays him back to rest again, Freu tells Strudel that the Graf will lay in rest this time and confirms to herself that Iris isn't human after all.
Pamela stumbles upon Sepperin while going after Iris in order to seek her honor. Sepperin recognizes her as an offspring of the Arwig clan and asks her to join him in the creation of a new world. Pamela refuses his offer in the same manner that Freu did in her story and lays him back to rest again, commenting on her belief of what a nightmare it was before proceeding further within Iris' palace.
- Sepperin is named after Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, a German general and airship manufacturer and the founder of the Zeppelin Airship company.
- Sepperin is actually a corruption of the word Zeppelin, which is Ferdinand's surname. The "S" comes in place of the "Z", and the "R" comes in place of the "L".
- Graf is the German word for Count.
- He bears many allusions to Dracula from the Castlevania series of games, most notably the Dracula in Castlevania: Rondo of Blood. Sepperin can also transform into a huge demon when enough damage is taken by him, just like Dracula. He also has a guardian for his castle in the form of Raimund Seyfarth, who alludes to Dracula's confidant, Death. His quote, "Grant me power...!", is similar to the quote Dracula says before assuming demon form. In Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel, his introduction before fighting him has him tossing a glass of wine to the floor before assuming his demon form, which alludes to Dracula's tradition of drinking from his wine glass and tossing it to the ground before battle.
- His other line before transforming, "I am the devil...!", is similar to a line spoken by Dr. Weil from Mega Man Zero, which he said before fusing with Ragnarok at the end of Mega Man Zero 4.
- Sepperin also alludes to Dr. Cossack from Mega Man 4. Like Cossack, Sepperin also has a young daughter. His stage select and castle animations are similar to Cossack's, and the passwords to his stages in Story Mode are the exact same passwords used to access Cossack's stages in Mega Man 4. He was also thought to be the primary antagonist until his daughter, Iris, was revealed to be Rosenkreuzstilette's true villain.
- A character cosplaying as Sepperin, known as Scythe Master from Nitroplus' visual novel, Phantom of Inferno, appears in the congratulations screens at the end of the trial versions of both Rosenkreuzstilette games, making fans think that it is Graf Sepperin himself. Scythe Master likes to don various costumes, and is known for donning Sepperin's cloak at the end of the Freudenstachel trial.
- His boss fight in Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel greatly resembles the final boss fight against Sigma's final form in Mega Man X1.