|“||You're insanely stupid, Strider! You dare to take on our lord?! Aren't you afraid of dying?!||„|
|~ Herzog Schlange, defiant to the end|
Herzog Schlange is a minor antagonist from Strider 2, serving as the main enemy in the 2nd stage, set inside his fortress. "Herzog Schlange" is German for "Duke Snake", but in Japan he's instead called "Taurine Mayer", with Herzog Schlange being apparently a title. Professor Schlange serves as his counterpart in the 2014 Strider remake.
Herzog Schlange is a mysterious man of who little is known, although based on the way he wears it can be inferred he may come from a high nobility background. Schlange obtained Fortress Wahnen, an ancient castle found in the Lower Saxony area of Germany, and repurposed it as his base of operations. He rebuild the old castle and turned it into an "anachronic fortress" where old medieval and early century weapons and soldiers co-exist with the advanced technology of the time. From this fortress, Schlange supported the followers of Grandmaster Meio by supplying them with twisted technology of his own making.
Following Hiryu's battle against the Chinese Mafia, he tracked down the source of the technology to the castle, and infiltrated it in order to discover more about its owner's intentions. Schlange awaited for Hiryu in an underground cavern deep below the castle itself, where he commanded his greatest creation to kill the Strider: the Aluminium Hydra, a giant robot created in the likeness of the Hydra of myth. Schlange himself doesn't fight, instead moving around the arena on a floating platform as he shoots orders to the hydra and the soldiers attacking Hiryu.
Once the hydra is destroyed, Schlange finds himself at Hiryu's mercy. The madman backs away while calling Hiryu insane and wondering if he doesn't fear death in facing Meio. Hiryu instead approaches him, claiming he will not die by anyone's hands as he eliminates Schlange.
Schlange is a buff man with tan skin, red eyes and white hair. His upper body is very large and muscular, whereas his waist and legs are small in comparison. He sports hair in three curls at each side of his head, making it resemble a typical judge's wig. He also has a thin moustache.
Schlange dresses in the style of a noble from Europe: he sports a light purple coattails jacket with yellow cuffs, silver and gold epaulettes on his shoulders and a white neck scarf. He also wears white pants, brown boots and a red cape hanging at his side. He sports a monocle as well.
Herzog Schlange is described as being an excentric and peculiar man with a propensity to act "clownish". He appears to incarnate the concept of the mad scientist with a bit of an aristocratic flair. Herzog Schlange is a recluse and prefer to remain in the underground chambers beneath his castle. He also shows a preferences for anachronism, including elements such as a medieval knight force and soldiers dressed in World War 1 attires standing side-to-side to modern artillery and advanced robots. He's officially insane and has an attitude of superiority towards others.
Schlange is also a highly patriotic man, and all his action as a follower of Grandmaster Meio are explicity done in an attempt to show off his country as an exhibit to him.
Powers and Abilities
Herzog Schlange has no skills in combat of note, and relies entirely in the Aluminium Hydra and an unit of Armored Guards to fight against Hiryu. He appears standing on a floating platform, and he'll dash away from Hiryu while shooting orders to his cronies from safe distances. If the Hydra is destroyed, then Schlange's platform will malfunction and he'll slowly drift aimlessly, making him an easy target.
Schlange's main skill lies on his ability to build bizarre and "twisted" machines, including such creations as the bipedal walking tank Sturmgeschutz V, the mechanical horse Metall Hengst and the Aluminium Hydra. He's also implied to be behind the machines used by the Chinese Mafia, chiefly among them the powerful Emperor Dragon.
Strider Hiryu (1988 manga) & NES adaptation