Berserker (バーサーカー, Bāsākā?) is the Berserker-class Servant of Illyasviel von Einzbern in the Fifth Holy Grail War of Fate/stay night. He is one of the Servants of the Protagonist of the Grand Order conflicts of Fate/Grand Order.
Berserker's True Name is Heracles (ヘラクレス, Herakuresu?, Hercules) the greatest hero in Greek mythology. He was a demi-god born from Zeus, the king of the gods, and a human woman (who herself, was the granddaughter of Perseus, a demigod son of Zeus). While he had superior talent in all areas, he had a number of personality issues. He beat his lyre instructor, Linus to death after he reprimanded Heracles for making errors and then caned him with rods, so his mortal father Amphitryon (who himself, was a grandson of Perseus) sent him to tend his cowherds. He thus became a splendid man who accomplished several great deeds that caused the King of Thebes to grant Heracles his daughter, Megara. They had two children, and he earned the right to succeed the king.
He was both young and strong and it seemed that there was no match for him among humans. His future seemed bright, having married the king's daughter and bearing two children, but Zeus's wife, Hera, detested the child born between Zeus and a human. She meddled with his fate at every opportunity, and she started by sending madness to him that caused him to kill his family. Troubled by the sins he had committed, he received a sign that he should atone by becoming the slave of Eurystheus, the man who took away his promised position as king.
Eurystheus, jealous of the strong hero, gave him many difficult tasks, and claimed that Heracles would remain his slave until they were completed. These difficult labors were tasks impossible to complete with normal human skills that later came to be known as the famous Twelve Labors of Heracles. The number of labors originally chosen by the gods was ten, but Eurystheus added two more labors after denying the fulfillment of two of them. Heracles managed to complete even those tasks, so he was granted not only his freedom, but he also received an immortal body as proof of his great accomplishments.
This marked the beginning of the great hero Heracles, the greatest hero in Greece, who singlehandedly achieved great deeds equaling those of the Trojan War and the Argo Expedition. Despite that, Hera's hatred was endless, so the rest of his life was again full of madness. While he should have been immortal, he was killed by poison by one of his wives. Though he was a great hero equally matched with the sun god even as a human, he was slowly killed by Hera's persistent jealousy. He burned his own body, still contaminated with poison at the time of his death, and he entrusted himself to Zeus' judgment. The gods approved of his great deeds in a conference, prepared a seat in Olympus after his death, and acknowledged him as a god.
Berserker is a colossal, statue-like man who is described as a "black giant." He gives off the impression of a monster, instantly marked as the Berserker-class Servant by Rin Tohsaka, in both appearance and presence. He is one of the few entities that can impart fear unto Shirou Emiya, freezing him in place. Had he not been summoned as a berserker, his facial expressions and muscles would have been softer and he wouldnt have his elbow protrusions.
Due to his Mad Enhancement, Berserker is completely void of thought for most of the story. His emotions have been sealed off, making it impossible to perform any actions with personal motivation, and the only thing not lost is the reason within the core of his being that not even the bondage of the Command Spells can overwhelm. This side is shown in the occasions when he is shown feeling something like the will to protect Ilya. He faces even hopeless fights with his iron will, advancing to keep Ilya from facing death. He can display general thoughts based on his instincts that Ilya can interpret, and she responds as if having a normal conversation. Archer notes that he is one of the Servants completely satisfied with their Master.
He enjoys battle, and he would have grieved that his match with Archer "deserved better" had he been a normal Servant. He displays a brief sense of rationality while thinking this, wishing to have matched sword techniques with Archer to his heart's content and passed a satisfying time. He speaks briefly, free of Mad Enhancement, before his death during the Fate route, asking about Caliburn and commenting on its surprising strength. He puts no emotion into his dying words, and simply crumbles away like sand.
For Heracles, who had gone berserk numerous times in legend, having beat his harp instructor to death when he was a child and many other episodes killing people in rage without even hearing them speak, the Berserker Class is quite familiar and easy in which to adapt. After being Blackened by the Holy Grail in Heaven's Feel, he was able to halt the last strike of his Axe Sword before he died. He was able to do so due to the strength of his heart; a heart which suffered the pain of going berserk since his early days as a hero. He is identified as the most manly character in the story of Fate.
Berserker is initially summoned by Ilya in the Einzbern family castle two months before the start of the Holy Grail War. He is specifically summoned as Berserker, utilizing a slab of stone from a temple of Heracles for a catalyst. Choosing him for his vast strength and choosing the class to have a puppet unable to betray them like Kiritsugu in the previous war, they begin to prepare Ilya and Berserker as the strongest Master and Servant pair. Lacking any support from the Grail, Ilya is forced to provide the entirety of his energy, keeping her in constant pain.
Part of their training involves abandoning them in the Einzbern wasteyard, where only Berserker can keep them alive. He attacks any enemies, and she bears the pain of his movements draining her life away. The process slowly becomes special to him without his knowing. She hates whining, so she insults him instead, scorning his ugliness and cursing his existence. His existence causes her to suffer, so she hates him and keeps him in constant madness as a form of revenge. He knows it is only her desperate opposition, a way to hide the fact that she is fated to have nothing.
The burden on her begins to lessen as the Grail begins to show signs of appearing. After a particularly desperate battle where his body is severely torn from fending off wolves, where she began to scream for his sake rather than her own and endure the pain of his movement for his sake, she acknowledges him with the words: "You're strong, Berserker." He is covered in the blood of the beasts and she is covered in her own blood, and seeing her resting on him while crying tears of anguish, he realizes that he is the only one she has talked to in the entire castle.
After arriving in Fuyuki, Ilya and Berserker engage Lancer at some undetermined point. Lancer then leaves the battle unfinished in accordance with the command from his Master, Kirei Kotomine. They also attempt to storm Ryuudou Temple to slay Caster, but Berserker is forced back by Assassin and Caster's magecraft weighing him down.
Shirou, Saber, and Rin encounter Ilya and Berserker for the first time when preparing to head home after leaving the church. Ilya quickly has him attack after a brief introduction, and he meets Saber in battle. He easily overwhelms her with his power and speed, and she is left on the defensive the entire fight. Rin tries to damage him with her magecraft after Saber is thrown back by a brutal strike, but God Hand prevents it from doing any damage. As Berserker continues his rush, he lands a major blow that she cannot block.
He simply stands still afterward, awaiting Ilya's orders. Confident in his strength, she casually reveals his identity as Heracles. She commands him to deal the final blow and cut off her head, but Shirou pushes Saber out of the way and has a large chunk taken from his stomach. Ilya retreats afterward, disinterested in fighting any longer and confused by his actions. Ilya later appears before Shirou without Berserker during the day, and she has her Servant kill Shinji Matou after the defeat of Rider. She kidnaps Shirou afterward due to her interest in him.
Berserker is sent to attack Saber, Rin and Archer when they arrive to rescue Shirou, but Archer stays behind to face him. While the others get away, Archer and Berserker battle, resulting in Berserker being grievously wounded after being killed six (five in the anime) times and Archer defeated. Ilya's shock at an unknown hero being able to accomplish such a feat keeps her from acting until morning, and although Berserker believes even Excalibur cannot defeat him, he cautions her that he should still face Saber at full strength. It would take three days to fully heal, so Ilya reprimands him and tells him that five lives will be enough.
Finally acting, the two proceed after their targets and quickly find them. Ilya has Berserker utilize his full strength, and he once again meets Saber in combat. She faces him head-on, but quickly reaches the limits of her dwindling energy. Shirou tries to support her with an arrow, but Berserker continues to push her back without even taking notice. Saber finally manages to push him back, giving Rin a chance to use ice magecraft from a jewel. It manages to hurt him, but he destroys most of the ice, giving him an opportunity to grab her. Berserker is unable to crush Rin due to reinforcing herself with jewels on her stomach, and she unleashes four jewels at once to destroy his head.
Displaying the resurrection of God Hand, he resumes his grip on her after his head is restored. Saber and Shirou attack him, but they are unable to even cause him to loosen his grip, let alone harm him. Shirou projects Caliburn in desperation, allowing him to sever Berserker's arm. Berserker attacks him ferociously afterward, but another projected Caliburn is able to block the strikes. He is soon overwhelmed, but Saber also grabs onto the sword and utilizes it to smash through the Axe-sword, slash into Berserker's body (impaling the chest in the anime), and release a light that kills him seven times over.
Defeated and freed from his madness as he crumbles into sand, Berserker comments on the sword, noting that it was indeed simply an illusion brought forth by Shirou. As his chest splits open, he says that such an illusion should not be underestimated because of the unexpected damage it caused him. His existence then disperses into the air.
Unlimited Blade WorksEdit
The first encounter with Berserker differs due to Archer not being injured at the time. Archer supports Saber by firing arrows at Berserker while she fights him at close range, but they are unable to pierce Berserker's skin. She is pushed back even with further support from Rin, and she is blown away by a powerful strike as part of a plan to overpower him. The fight moves towards the graveyard due to that, where she manages to get an advantage over Berserker by utilizing the gravestones as cover. While chopping through the gravestones is trivial for him, it provides the slight advantage she needs to overpower him.
The fight continues until Saber gets a chance to perform a decisive strike, but Archer fires Caladbolg II, planning to hit both Servants if possible. Berserker realizes the danger it poses to him, and he intercepts it before it can hit him. It causes a massive conflagration in the graveyard, but Berserker emerges unscratched. Ilya is surprised by this interesting turn of events, so she decides to retreat because fighting them is no longer a boring chore that she wishes to get out of the way. She does not care about Saber, but finds Archer's ability to possibly damage Berserker interesting.
Many days later, after Caster has taken Saber and Archer, Rin and Shirou decide to look towards Ilya and Berserker for an alliance, believing that Heracles knowing Medea from the Argo Expedition would make him her worst enemy. They instead find Berserker battling Gilgamesh under the orders of Shinji Matou, Berserker making a desperate death charge with no hope of winning. He can only charge through the torrent of weapons from the Gate of Babylon because Ilya may die otherwise, expending his lives while slowly making his way towards his opponent.
It is evident to all, even himself in his maddened state, that he holds no chance of victory, but he still walks forward while ignoring the stream of weapons piercing his body. Gilgamesh eventually grows bored and plans to finish him off, but Berserker surprises him by continuing to advance even after that simply through willpower. It is a battle where Berserker will win upon reaching his enemy, killing him before he is killed by him. Approaching the enemy before his life ends, it is a battle where the one to accomplish their goal is the one to win.
Gilgamesh makes use of Enkidu, after Berserker has died ten times and is about to strike after a particularly desperate charge. Though it should be impossible, Berserker resists even the binding force from the chains, and even Gilgamesh acknowledges that it will not be enough. Ilya tries to get him to retreat through the power of a Command Spell, but the chains keep him bound despite that. Gilgamesh makes the seemingly final strike, piercing Berserker with twenty-two weapons while still bound. As he dies, Berserker remembers his and Ilya's first two months together, seeing her tears for the first time since then as she runs towards him.
After Ilya is blinded and stabbed through a lung, Berserker summons his strength to break the chains as she continues to crawl towards him even in that state. Gilgamesh simply pierces his heart with Gae Bolg, and the attack truly kills him. Though he is out of power and should instantly fall, his remaining will allows him to comfort Ilya in her final moments. Fighting all the laws destroying him, he watches her call out for him, standing strong as if to say he must remain invincible for her until the very end. She eventually reaches him and takes comfort in that he has not been defeated yet and that he is strong like always. She peacefully sleeps in comfort as Berserker fades away, and Gilgamesh rips out her heart.
The first encounter with Berserker is the same as that of the Fate route. During the time Shirou spends bonding with Ilya, she mentions that he sleeps most of the day and awakes at night, and she does not take him with her when they are not participating in battle. Shirou and Rin attempt to find Ilya after the truth behind Sakura Matou and Zouken Matou is discovered, believing Zouken to be too dangerous an opponent to let Ilya fight without any warning. They are too late, and the Shadow appears before the Einzbern Castle. Berserker, even without reason, is able to instinctively tell that the Shadow is not an opponent he can beat due to its advantage over Servants, so he tells Ilya to run.
Ilya is more afraid of losing her Servant to the command of the Shadow than actual defeat, so she attempts to flee with him. They are intercepted by Zouken and True Assassin, but Assassin has no chance to even fight before Berserker's intimidating presence causes him to back down. The Shadow and Saber Alter eventually arrive, bringing about a situation where Berserker must fight in order to protect Ilya, even against her orders to retreat. Saber is able to fight Berserker directly, and her advantage increases as the Shadow begins to cover his body and restrain his limbs. Though Ilya pleads for him to run, he continues battling in order to protect her.
He goes as far as ripping the Shadow from his legs and chest, but such a thing should not be possible. He is forced to rip his own flesh apart deep enough to show bone in order to remove it, and then proceeds to the final clash with Saber. Utilizing Excalibur Morgan, she meets his charge and overwhelms him, leaving him defeated for the Shadow to absorb. Due to Sakura gaining more control over the Shadow as she becomes more attuned to it, she does not absorb Berserker, trapping him within her like Saber. He is not cleanly blackened like her, instead emerging covered in mud and with the wounds from Saber untouched.
Berserker no longer has any of his little sense remaining, and he no longer has senses left within his eyes, nose, or mouth. He cannot see, leaving him to rage towards the target blindly, and he cannot even recognize Ilya. He is a monster only capable of destruction, and he is let loose on Shirou and Kirei Kotomine as they attempt to rescue Ilya. They are able to keep ahead of him due to his blindness because he is impeded by every tree he crashes through. Kotomine splits from them to engage Assassin, while Shirou and Ilya are left without a way to escape after Berserker catches up with them.
Shirou manages to avoid a fatal blow by strengthening a Black Key, but he is thrown far away due to Berserker's strike. Ilya is astonished at his form, his red eyes only emitting hostility, and fruitlessly attempts to get him to recognize her. Berserker immediately strikes down at her, and Shirou is forced to project his Axe-sword to save her in time without being overwhelmed. It proves to be an inferior copy, shattering instantly under Berserker's strength. They manage to get enough time to retreat, and Shirou makes a resolution to utilize Archer's arm to combat him. Shirou engages him from thirty meters away, reproducing the Axe-sword with Berserker's strength to keep from being overwhelmed by it.
Berserker recognizes him as a threat, charging at the opponent in his mind. Still fighting the battle with Saber, he charges to protect Ilya despite being blind, insane and having a rotting body. Shirou utilizes Nine Lives Blade Works to delivers eight massive strikes that destroy eighty percent of his body, but it still doesn't stop his charge. Shirou is unable to land the final strike before Berserker's strike, but Ilya gets him to halt his strike at the last moment by appearing before him, giving Shirou the opportunity to land the final blow and have Berserker crumble to dust without further resistance. His red eyes, focusing on Ilya, tell Shirou to protect her as they fade away.
In Fate/Unlimited Codes, he is known as the Raging Destroyer (怒涛の破壊者, Dotō no Hakaisha?).
As he is summoned by Illya, Berserker's sanity is taken away and even he is uncertain of his real identity. All Berserker has is pure rage, except for one tranquil place in his heart whenever he sees Illya. The voice of Illya helps Berserker to remember his regrets and lamentation for not being able to protect his loved one. He desires to protect her, and his resolve is that of a hero who floats in the depths of madness.
Berserker and Illya later confront Shirou and Saber, and Berserker is blinded by Saber's silver radiance. He remembers fighting against this type of enemy before, and considers her to be a dangerous enemy. In addition, Illya is frightened of Saber, so he instinctively fights Saber and wins.
His final opponent is Gilgamesh. Illya is surprised to see that an eighth servant exists. Berserker knows Gilgamesh to be the most evil and the most powerful enemy he will face, and he can tell from Gilgamesh's eyes that he seeks Illya's death. He can tell that Gilgamesh isn't a normal enemy, and that he will have to prove his worth as a hero to surpass Gilgamesh. Berserker reacts to Gilgamesh's murderous intent, and enters battle. When the battle is over, his body is etched with countless wounds and it became hard to tell if it is his own blood or the enemy's. Illya touches Berserker and praises his strength, her voice reaching his heart, and Berserker knows that this is the end. A gentle warmth and peace console his bestial heart. He feels relief, a feeling that a hero has not enjoyed for a very long time. Illya thanks Berserker and says her farewell to him, using all her Command Spells to order Berserker to commit suicide by crushing his own heart. As he dies, he witnesses Illya wearing the Dress of Heaven, and laments as his consciousness fades: "So beautiful".
|Fate/unlimited codes - Berserker command list|
Fate/tiger colosseum seriesEdit
In his story in Fate/tiger colosseum, Berserker unexpectedly regains sanity from the power of Holy Tiger Grail. He has a personality of a gentlemen which often shocks other characters. He is often seen carrying a rose in his hand. In his ending, Berserker wished to become Illya's butler and retained his sanity.
Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYAEdit
When manifested, he has the same appearance as he normally does in the Berserker class. He does not have his axe-sword, instead only using his fists to fight and God Hand to revive. As he continues to battle, his elbow protrusions begin to grow into a number of spikes and similar protrusions begin to grow on his body. Miyu is completely overwhelmed by Berserker after she manages to kill him once with Gae Bolg. Installing the Saber Class Card is able to allow her to fight him back and strike with Excalibur, but it proves ineffective in fully killing him. Illya arrives before Berserker can finish Miyu off, and while Rin and Luvia briefly hold him down, Miyu and Illya use Kaleid Install with the Saber Class Card to finish him off.
Fuyuki: The Contaminated City in FlamesEdit
Heracles is defeated by Artoria Alter and turned into a Shadow Servant. He is regarded as very dangerous by Cú Chulainn, as even Artoria Alter had problems with defeating him. However, he doesn't openly attack others and keeps to himself. Due to the threat he poses, the Protagonist's party choose to not to go after him, leaving him alone.
Okeanos: The Four Sealed Seas of the EndEdit
Heracles is one of the heroes aligned with Jason, along with Hector and Medea Lily, sailing on the Argo. They search for the Ark and face the Protagonist's party. Heracles battles many of the other Servants, at one point being intentionally pierced with Hector's Noble Phantasm, Durindana, along with Asterios and sinking into the ocean. Heracles is finally defeated when he is lured into touching the Ark, that drains him of all his remaining lives.
Agartha: The Mythical Subterranean SocietyEdit
When the Agartha Singularity manifested, Heracles disappeared from Chaldea and ended up in the Singularity. His Saint Graph was modified by Scheherazade and he was changed into a form later called Megalos.
In his first interlude Oath of Heracles, Heracles is in France with Ritsuka and Mash, and they go to rescue a nearby village being attacked by wild beasts. After killing a number of the beasts, the group notice a scared girl, who Heracles runs towards. Initially worried that he was going after the girl, the group notice that he was going after to kill a beast that was behind the girl. After Mash has the girl run off to safety, the group soon become surrounded by enemies, which are soon slain by the group. Returning to Chaldea, Romani reveals Heracles didn't attack the girl from before due his Madness Enhancement Skill being weak due to it being lowered so not to consume so much Magical Energy. Ritsuka then states their belief that Heracles wouldn't have attacked the girl if he were truly mad, though Romani expresses his doubt.
In his second interlude The 13th Labor, Heracles, with Ritsuka and Mash, rayshifts to the cavern of the Greater Grail due an odd response that Romani detected, which he suspects being remnants of the Singularity or a dimensional disturbance. However, the response turns out to be a trap left by Lev Lainur Flauros that caused the group to fight enemies for three days and nights. Angry that they fell for Lev's trap, Romani further reveals that the exit is blocked by enemies, and that the group is trapped inside a magical dimension. After the group defeats more enemies, Romani tells the group that they need to restore Heracles' Madness Enchancement in order to have a chance of escaping. Romani continues that they need a large source of Magical Energy, and warns Ritsuka and Mash that tragedy always happened when Heracles went mad in life. Though Mash is against such a plan, Ritsuka decides to go with it, and asks Romani how to proceed. Romani tells Ritsuka to add the line for Madness Enhancement to the original summoning chant. But, a dragon appears before the group, which forces Ritsuka to speak the line for Madness Enhancement to restore Heracles' own Madness Enhancement. However, after slaying the dragon, Heracles continues his rampage, but he is stopped when Ritsuka faints due to using all of their Magical Energy. Despite though, he slays all the remaining monsters in order for the group to escape.
Today's Menu for Emiya FamilyEdit
Berserker makes his debut in the 12th episode of Today's Menu for Emiya Family. He is tasked by Illya to retrieve a tree from outside to use for Christmas decorations, and upon his return, Illya offers him a poorly made cookie she made and a professionally made cookie Sakura made. To Illya's delight, he eats her cookie first. Unlike the other characters featured in the episode, Berserker does not get to enjoy the episode's featured meal cooked by Shirou.
In the latter, Berserker is the central character of Episode 5. Sent on his first errand by Illya who has requested batteries, Berserker unwittingly wins the 5th Holy Grail War by defeating the other Servants, and through a one-sided friendship with Lancer, Berserker is able to use Lancer as a Noble Phantasm (Boomelancer) to defeat Archer. He fails to obtain the correct batteries, however.
Heracles is an exceptional Heroic Spirit, considered to be the most famous of all Heroic Spirits by Illya and close to the strongest of them. He, as the most famous hero of Greek mythology, is undoubtedly an A-rank Servant who can be assumed to have mostly A-rank abilities from reputation alone, likely the strongest in the Holy Grail War in regards to fame. Illya believes there should only be one or two others in existence capable of matching him. He can be said to be on par with Cú Chulainn and King Arthur when all are summoned in Europe, and unlike the other two who would obtain the height of their abilities in their home countries' Cultural Spheres, his own fame is such that he will display excellent strength throughout all of western Europe and Greece. Being stout of heart, body, and mind, he is an excellent warrior who has mastered all weapons. He displays qualifications corresponding to six classes, Saber, Archer, Lancer, Rider, Assassin, and Berserker, only lacking the necessary knowledge and skills in magecraft to be Caster. Being specialized with the bow, the Archer class is the class with the greatest compatibility to display his true abilities, a "ranger" class that would be comfortable to he who overcame many trials with knowledge and resourcefulness. Rin Tohsaka mentions that one Noble Phantasm she thinks he would likely normally carry would be the Bow of Hydra (ヒドラの弓, Hidora no Yumi?). Qualifying for the Saber class with ease, he would best be able to display his "glorious, exquisite swordplay" and Nine Lives.
While an exceptional Heroic Spirit under normal conditions, being inflicted with Mad Enhancement that reinforces ability at the cost of sanity allows him to be called an untouchable monster. The level of all his abilities has been raised in compensation for losing most of his sanity, but it also has the effect of sealing a variety of sword techniques and skills, including part of his Noble Phantasms. While other classes may have allowed for more skills and Noble Phantasms, the Einzberns wanted him to have more power, and as they had been constantly betrayed, felt it was best to have a "loyal dog that'd do only what they told it to do." Heracles as a regular Heroic Spirit would have many advantages in his own right, but the possibility of cooperative friction between the Master and the heroic part of him is too strong for them to take that chance. Although having lost much of he technical prowess and being limited to simple direct melee, he can undoubtedly be called the strongest amongst the Servants summoned for the Holy Grail War. Even Saber believes she would have a hard fight at her full strength, and claims that it may be impossible for any Servant to overcome his strength.
He would have the ability to cancel the control of Command Spells in the case of a normal Master, but Ilya is able to control him due to her Command Spells being special as the person acting as the Holy Grail. She still focuses on her ability to control him outside of combat, so she suppresses the rank of Mad Enhancement. She even does so in combat against opponents that she believes inferior, specifically strengthening him only as necessary. The original version of Fate/stay night had it so that she had not utilized the raised parameters of Mad Enhancement at all, but it was changed within Realta Nua having him truly become wild in his fighting. While he would retain his large size even in other classes, he would no longer have the projections on his arms, his muscles would become slightly softer, and his face would show more humanity if he was no longer under Mad Enhancement. He is a mixed-race child of the King of Gods Zeus and a human, who later became a god after his death, so he naturally possesses the highest level of the Divinity skill with the exception of Gilgamesh's original rank. Having the blood of the gods makes it necessary for one to have a divine mystery of the same level to even affect him. It proves to be fatal when faced with the complete entrapment of Enkidu, more dangerous to him even than the powerful Excalibur, but his strength and determination allow him to overcome even those binds.
Although the very core of his reason has managed to remain, the heart of the brave warrior has been painted over by Mad Enhancement, rendering his Bravery skill unable to take effect. Displaying his brave and daring spirit, he would normally be able to neutralize mental interference like suppression, confusion and charm, and he would display increased damage upon opponents in unarmed melee combat that allowed him to have defeated several monsters empty-handed in life. While his most trusted Noble Phantasm is Nine Lives, it cannot be used in the Berserker class due to a lack of motor skills. It is still ingrained into his technique and history, allowing Shirou to project the Axe-Sword and technique to utilize Nine Lives Blade Works.
Berserker possesses none of the rationality or concepts like notions of detailed tactics of his normal very adept and skilled self. He is an existence that can only utterly defeat the enemy from the front as directed by Ilya while leaving everything to his physical ability and brandishing his weapon to strike. Even in this state, he still manages to demonstrate hand-to-hand combat abilities superior to every Servant. Although he lacks technique, his abilities are so beyond normal standards in power and speed that there is no room for the idea in the first place. "Technique" in battle is something invented by humans to compensate for their natural weaknesses, so such is unnecessary for he who possesses none. Despite his monstrous size, he has the highest rank of Agility, so cornering him in battle is difficult. With the Noble Phantasm God Hand providing great defense against attacks, he is able to fight without even thinking of defense.
His main weapon isn't a Noble Phantasm, but rather a simple Nameless Axe-Sword (無銘·斧剣, Mumei Onoken?) made of rock. It was originally part of the foundations of a temple that the Einzbern family carved out in preparation for summoning him, and the sword itself was eventually used as the catalyst. He brandishes it with ease due to his extreme strength, and he causes large amounts of destruction with each swing. He is able to easily push back even strong opponents who are capable of blocking his strikes, and he is able to fling Saber dozens of feet away even when she manages to properly block his stronger strikes. It is a brutish weapon more like a rock than an axe, and it can only be considered a weapon due to his extreme strength that allows him to wield it, suiting him perfectly despite being unconventional. It works on the same principle as prehistoric flint weapons unearthed in Northern Europe in that stone weapons broke easily because they were inherently brittle, had low lethality, and did not see widespread use, but Berserker compensates for the shortcomings with the sheer mass of the stone. Under the Ascension system, the Axe-Sword gains several protrusions, and then he instead gains a proper, golden axe. Each of his attacks is a fatal blow that needs to be blocked or dodged. Despite his large body and sword, he is easily able to overwhelm Saber under Shirou with speed exceeding her own.
Unlike his sealed Bravery skill, Eye of the Mind (False) remains active due to it being nearly an instinct. It is danger avoidance based on intuition that was gained throughout his many ordeals and adventures. It is a troublesome ability for his opponents, allowing him to keep from falling for half-hearted feints even against seasoned swordsmen. Due to his lack of motor skills, it is possible to use the terrain to gain an advantage over him. Using gravestones as cover, Saber is able to use the brief intervals where he is forced to slice through them to strike at him without worry of directly intercepting the blows. The gravestones are only a slight hindrance to him, but are still enough to allow for a decisive turn in the battle. Upon being Blackened, Shirou and Kirei Kotomine are able to outdistance him due to his blindness forcing him to take a straight path even through trees.
Due to God Hand, he is able to charge without even breaking to think about defense, ignoring various attacks that are unable to harm him even when aimed at vital spots like his temples. He is still instinctively able to tell that a dangerous attack is incoming. He ignores Archer's Caladbolg II at first after having shrugged of his earlier attacks, but immediately intercepts it after sensing the danger to him. The ability grants eleven extra lives and protection from attacks B rank or lower. Any time he is killed by an A rank attack or above, he is revived and granted immunity from that attack in the future. He must be killed twelve times in order to be fully defeated. Due to having Ilya as a Master, he is able to also regenerate lost lives over time.
Aside from the regeneration provided by God Hand, he is also able to continue through combat after sustaining mortal wounds through Battle Continuation. Differing from that of Cú Chulainn that represents “never give up no matter what”, his represents the ability to survive. Coupled with God Hand's resurrection from death, his ability of “will not die easily” has exceptional compatibility with the Noble Phantasm, and the best result is achieved when the user has a resilient body like his own. His willpower is such that he can even temporarily sustain himself after going through his stored lives and even the energy sustaining him, pushing past the powers trying to eliminate him, the laws of magic that constructed him, the regulations of the World that attempt to destroy inconsistencies, and even his own body that is crumbling away like sand. Though his mind is dead, his willpower that should no longer exist supports his invincible body until it finally fades away.
Berserker's original role in Fate/Prototype was similar to his final design in Fate/stay night, but he didn't appear in the animated short. There were a number of changes throughout the design process. His Master was originally Sancraid Phahn, a murderous maniac sent by the Church, but Takeuchi suggested a young girl instead. They were originally experimenting with his design to make him seem "inhuman", and the elbow spikes are a remnant of that process. Rider originally recognized him as Heracles at first glance due to their shared background in Greek mythology. She would have rammed him to death once or twice with Bellerophon before being killed.
The original concept of God Hand held the ability "will not lose for 11 battles" (11回の戦闘までは絶対に負けない, 11-kai no sentō made wa zettai ni makenai?), so that he would be able to easily defeat the six other Servants and still have victories left over. Against Gilgamesh's Noble Phantasm at the time, which was "will absolutely survive", the two concepts of the abilities clashed and the paradoxical situation had to be resolved. Berserker eventually died even though he won, while Gilgamesh lost but survived. After designing Ilya as his Master, they originally planned on having them both share lives. As long as Berserker lived, she was immortal and unable to be killed even if other Servants tried to avoid Berserker to strike at his Master. The idea was scrapped after they thought it was too strong.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10
 Fate/complete material II: Character Material - Characters: Berserker entry, p.064-065
Character Data 008
Affiliation: Illya's Servant
True Identity: Hercules
Image Color: Lead
Talents: - (Nothing, since he is mad enhanced)
Likes: - (Nothing, since he is mad enhanced)
Dislike: - (Nothing, since he is mad enhanced)
Worst enemy: Gilgamesh
Nasu Kinoko & Takeuchi Takashi • Character Discussion
バーサーカー - 破滅と狂気を誘う黒い戦神
Character Data ００８
奈須 きのこ&武内崇 • キャラクター別対談
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 2.28 2.29 2.30 2.31 2.32 2.33
 Fate/complete material III: World Material - The Servants of the Fifth Holy Grail War: Berserker, p.036-037 [T]
Master: Illyasviel von Einzbern
Alignment: Chaotic Mad
Noble Phantasm: A
A demigod hero of Greek Mythology, he was born between the King of Gods Zeus and a human girl. He received the violent hatred of Zeus' wife Hera because of his origins and was tormented by the goddess at every turn. However, he entirely overcame the difficulties he had been given, and was enshrined as a god in the end.
Heracles had an extremely violent temperament as an infant, and grew up as a shepherd in order to obtain a gentle heart. Having grown into a fine adult, Heracles was recognized for several feats, and gained two children as well as the right of succession to the throne. However, Hera made Heracles go temporarily insane and he killed his wife and children, ending up in the role of a slave to the king to atone for his sins. Here the jealous king gave him a challenge, the famous Twelve Labors. The Labors were all things that a human could not achieve but Heracles completed them safely, and at the same time he was freed from slavery, he received an immortal body.
However, the adventures of Heracles and Hera's hatred did not end there. Hera's numerous artifices resulted in Heracles' poisoning by his own wife from his second marriage. In his final moments, Heracles cremated himself, surrendering to Zeus's judgment. The gods after consulting recognize Heracles' feats, and he was recruited as a god like his father, becoming a constellation.
An excellent warrior, he possesses the qualifications corresponding to six classes excluding Caster. Other than specializing with the bow, he has mastered every weapon. However, all that is talk about times when he is not Berserker. Heracles as a Berserker has lost his rationality, and exists only to utterly defeat the enemy from the front as directed by Illya. Naturally, there is no such thing as detailed tactics, leaving it to physical ability and brandishing an axe-sword to strike. Astonishingly, with just that, it is a fact that he demonstrates hand-to-hand combat abilities superior to every Servant. Without breaking to even think about defense, he leaves it to his Noble Phantasm "God Hand."
Mad Enhancements: B
The Class Skill that characterizes Berserker, it reinforces ability at the cost of reason. As Heracles' possesses the skill at Rank B, in compensation for losing most of his sanity, the levels of all his abilities rise. Heracles beat his harp instructor to death when he was a child, and had many episodes when he killed people in his rage without even hearing them speak. It seems that for Heracles, Berserker that receives "Mad Enhancement" was an easy class to adapt to. Focusing on controllability when out of combat, the rank of "Mad Enhancement" is suppressed by Illya.
Being close to the strongest Heroic Spirit, even restricted to simple direct melee as consequence of Mad Enhancement, Heracles was undoubtedly the strongest among the Servants. However, because of Mad Enhancement, a variety of sword techniques and skills, and a part of his Noble Phantasms was lost. Having his emotions also sealed off and not able to perform any personally motivated actions, only the reason within his core was not lost, having occasions when he felt something like the will to protect Illya.
Battle Continuation: A
A skill that allows for the continuation of combat after sustaining mortal wounds. It will also reduce mortality rate from injury. Cú Chulainn’s Battle Continuation represents “never give up no matter what”, while Hercules’ represents the ability to survive. The Noble Phantasm that allows for resurrection after death, God Hand, has exceptional compatibility with the “will not die easily” skill Battle Continuation.
The best result is achieved when a resilient body is combined with this skill.
Eye of the Mind (False): B
A danger avoidance ability based on Intuition/Sixth Sense, gained through many ordeals and adventures. Even though Hercules’ sanity was lost due to Mad Enhancement, this skill remained effective as it is nearly an instinct. When crossing swords with a seasoned swordsman like Artoria, he would not fall for half-hearted feints. It is such a troublesome ability for Hercules’ opponents.
Although monstrous in size, Hercules has the highest rank in Agility. As a result, it is very difficult to corner him.
With his brave and daring spirit, Herakles is able to neutralise mental interference such as suppression, confusion and charm. However, under the influence of Mad Enhancement, this skill is unable to take effect. While operating correctly, Bravery also increases the damage inflicted upon the opponent during melee combat. This skill allowed Herakles to defeat several monsters empty-handed.
Even the brave warrior’s heart was painted over by the insanity of Mad Enhancement.
Being a mixed-race child of the King of Gods Zeus and a human, and becoming a god after death, Herakles naturally possessed the highest level of the Divinity skill. However, this matter became a disaster, ending with his complete entrapment in Gilgamesh's Noble Phantasm "Chains of Heaven" that grows in strength proportionate to the enemy's Divinity.
God Hand: Twelve Labors
A blessing of Gods, as well as a curse. It is a Noble Phantasm given to Heracles, representing immortality. This Noble Phantasm does not have an overt external manifestation such as a weapon or armour, but if you hazard to put a shape to it, the body itself can be called the Noble Phantasm. God Hand turns one’s body into a tough suit of armour and nullifies all attacks Rank B or lower, regardless the attack being physical or magical. It also has the effect of automatic resurrection after death. Because the resurrection effect has 11 uses, Heracles cannot perish unless killed 12 times. In addition, due to Illya’s immense magical energy, given enough time, the lives lost can also be regenerated.
Resurrection as well as attack-nullification. Besides these two effects, God Hand also possesses a third effect: rendering an attack that it has experienced before useless. Regardless how powerful is the Noble Phantasm that defeated Heracles, it would be completely nullified after he resurrects.
Nine Lives: The Shooting Hundred Heads
Maximum Targets: -
Among Hercules’Noble Phantasms, he trusted this one the most. It was the Noble Phantasm which Hercules used to slay the immortal nine-headed serpent Hydra once upon a time, taking the form of bow and arrow. After killing the Hydra, Hercules could even utilise techniques that emulate the ability of this Noble Phantasm when wielding other weapons. In essence, it is “a high speed attack consisting of nine consecutive strikes, as swift as if the attacks are overlapping”. Even when delivered via sword, spear, or axe, this technique still boasts power on the level of Noble Phantasms. Also, just like Cú Chulainn’s demonic spear Gae Bolg has a technique called “Gae Bolg – Piercing Death Thorn”, Hercules’ technique shares the “Nine Lives – Shooting of Hundred Heads” name with the Noble Phantasm.
Shirou projected this secret sword technique while projecting Hercules’ Axe Sword, thus annihilating the Blackened Hercules. While summoned as a Berserker, Hercules could not use Nine Lives.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5
 Fate/side material - Encyclopedia: Berserker [Servant], p.069
The mad warrior Heroic Spirit.
Regardless of basic abilities, Berserkers are a type of Servant that specialise in destruction through “going berserk”.
The Berserker in this story was an exceptional Heroic Spirit, but due to his “Mad Enhancement”, he became an untouchable monster.
In the case of a normal Master, Berserker can cancel the control of Command Spells. However, Illyasviel, who was acting as the Holy Grail, was able to control Berserker due to her Command Spells being special.
His true identity is the great Grecian hero Hercules.
For Hercules, who had gone berserk numerous times in legend, the Berserker Class probably feels quite familiar.
Of course, Hercules is exceptional in body, mind, and skills. Since Hercules had mastered every weapon, he can even qualify for the Sabre Class without difficulty.
If Hercules had been summoned in the Saber Class, he would be able to fully display his phenomenal sword play.
Hercules was the earliest Servant to be summoned. He was summoned more than one, no, more than two months prior to the Holy Grail War.
Berserker cannot act independently as his emotions have been sealed.
However, no matter how strong the bondage of Command Spells, Berserker never lost the sense at the core of his being.
After being Blackened in the Sakura Route, Berserker was able to halt the last strike of his Axe Sword before he died. He was able to do so due to the strength of his heart; a heart which suffered the pain of berserking since his early days as a hero.
In the story of Fate, Berserker is the most manly character.
- ↑ Fate/Grand Order - Agartha: The Mythical Subterranean Society, Prologue
- ↑ Fate/Grand Order - Agartha: The Mythical Subterranean Society, Chapter 1
- ↑ Fate/Grand Order - Agartha: The Mythical Subterranean Society, Chapter 9
- ↑ Fate route Day 4 - "Contract established / Saber (I)"
- ↑ Fate Day 11 - Dawn in the ruins
 Fate/complete material III: World material - FAQ with Nasu: Servants, p.132
Q: If the Holy Grail War were set in Europe, would Cu chulainn (Lancer), King Arthur (Saber), and Heracles (Berserker) be roughly equal in power?
Q: If the Holy Grail War were set in Europe, would Cu chulainn (Lancer), King Arthur (Saber), and Heracles (Berserker) be roughly equal in power?
A: ...Well, if we’re talking western Europe in general I’d say the first two would be powered up to an equal degree... though England and Ireland, the odds would be sharply in the respective hero’s favor. Heracles would display excellent power in all of western Europe.
 Fate/Side Material - Encyclopedia: Lancer [Servant], p.077 [T]
Heroic Spirit of the lance. Requires supreme agility, as well as excellent close combat skills. Though they tend to be less flashy than the other classes, they are a very reliable type of Servant.
The Lancer in the story has a rough and tumble personality, but at his core he believes in justice and is easy to get along with. He is an agreeable youth acting out the role of one gentle in disposition yet strong in body.
His true identity is the great Celtic hero, Cu Chulainn.
If the stage of this Holy Grail War were anywhere but Japan, he would be a shining existence on par with Heracles and King Arthur.
As was mentioned in the story, he is a Heroic Spirit that specializes in survival, capable of returning alive no matter how hopeless the situation. Unfortunately, this time luck wasn't on his side.
It is said that in the midst of battle he would unleash a fearsome war cry, and at the same time his body would swell and bulge with muscle as his behavior became like that of a demon.
However, though he possesses the qualifications to be a Berserker there is no doubt that the Lancer class suits him best.
He responded to the summoning solely because he wanted to engage in a valiant fight to the death, but this simple wish was never granted to him.
He is a tragic Servant, who embodies the cynical notion that "wishes don't come true".
- ↑ Fate/Apocrypha - volume 1
 Fate/complete material III: World material - FAQ with Nasu: Servants, p.133
Q: Which class would it be that Herakles could demonstrate his true power the most?
Q: About Herakles who was summoned as Berserker, it seems like he can become Saber or Archer. If he had been summoned in a different class, which class would it be that he could demonstrate his true power the most?
A: Surprisingly, it would be Archer. Archer is a ranger so it's a pretty comfortable class to someone like him who overcame many trials with knowledge and resourcefulness.
- ↑ Fate day - Vs Berserker - Twelve Labors
 Fate/side material - Encyclopedia: Nine Lives [Noble Phantasm], p.068 [T]
Nine Lives [Noble Phantasm]
"The Shooting Hundred Heads".
Heroic Spirit Heracles' most trusted Noble Phantasm.
It was the bow used to slay the Lernaean Hydra, whose nine heads would always regenerate no matter how many times they were cut off. Afterward, Heracles perfected a method of attacking that emulated the abilities of the bow, that could even be used with great swords. If Heracles' class was Saber, that glorious, exquisite swordplay would have definitely made its return.
…By the way, what cut down the blackened Berserker in the Sakura route was this secret sword technique, projected from Berserker together with the axe sword.
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Fate Day 5 - "Question - Vela Gulf"
Fate/stay night - Berserker Original and Réalta Nua text comparison Original | Realta Nua
Saber: "You have not been using his berserker abilities all these times…!?"
Ilya: "Go mad, Berserker"
 Fate/side material - Encyclopedia: Chain of Heavens [Armament], p.066-067
Chain of Heavens [Armament]
A Noble Phantasm that Gilgamesh preferred. Its true name is Enkidu.
This was the chain that bound the Bull of Heaven that caused Uruk seven years of famine. To Gilgamesh, it was a Noble Phantasm that he trusted like Ea, no, it was a Noble Phantasm that he trusted more than Ea.
Its ability is "to rule the Gods".
Its toughness increased with the target's Divinity.
It was one of the few Noble Phantasms that could be classified as Anti-God.
As a result, Chains of Heavens was actually a more troublesome Noble Phantasm for Berserker than Excalibur.
On the other hand, for Saber, Assassin, and Archer, who had no Divinity, it was merely a strong chain.
- ↑ Fate route Day 3 - "Decision / The Strongest Enemy"
 Fate/complete material II: Character material - Weapons: Nameless Axe-Sword, p.130
A brutish sword, more like a lump of rock than an axe. Carved from the foundation of a temple, it was also the catalyst used to summon Berserker. It’s only because of Berserker’s ridiculous strength that such a thing can be considered a weapon at all.
In real life, flint knives dating back to prehistoric times have been unearthed in Northern Europe. However, because the stone was brittle and the knives broke easily, their lethality was low and they did not see widespread use as weapons. The axe-sword used by Berserker, however, overcomes those faults with sheer mass. It may be an unconventional weapon, but it suits him perfectly.
史実では．紀元前の北欧にフリントという岩石の一種で作られた短剣が発見されている。しかし岩石で作られ た刀剣は壊れやすく殺傷能力も低いため、あまり一般的ではない。バーサーカーが使うこの斧剣は、それらの欠 点を質量で克服した、彼が持つに相応しい規格外の武器と言えよう。
- ↑ Nasu: Oh, and this was mentioned in passing, but in the Saber route, Rin told Shirou about there being "a Servant who shares his life with his Master's". This actually had been the very first image of Berserker. Ilya and Berserker share the same life so it would have been pointless to target Ilya because you can't defeat Berserker. As long as Berserker is intact, Ilya won't die. Invincible combo for all intents and purposes but it got thrown in the trash can because nobody would be able to defeat them.