|Also known as:||Raging Destroyer|
|Appears in:|| Fate/stay night|
|Japanese VA:||Tadahisa Saizen|
|English VA:||Michael McConnohie|
|Character type:||Servant (Master: Illyasviel von Einzbern)|
|Servant classes:||Berserker, Lancer, Rider, Saber, Archer, Assassin|
|Place of Birth:||Greece|
|Likes:||(Nothing, since he is mad enhanced)|
|Dislikes:||(Nothing, since he is mad enhanced)|
|Talents:||(Nothing, since he is mad enhanced)|
Berserker is Heracles, also known as Hercules, the greatest hero in Greek mythology. He was a demi-god born from Zeus, the king of the gods, and a human woman. While he had superior talent in all areas, he had a number of personality issues. He beat his harp teacher to death over a small matter during his childhood, so he lived as a shepherd afterward to calm his temper. 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 tall, 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 imparts fear unto Shirou Emiya, freezing him in place.
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 Ryuudouji 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 her 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 him kill Shinji Matou after the defeat of Rider. She kidnaps Shirou afterward due to her interest in him.
Berserker is sent to attack them as they later make their escape, but Archer is left behind to face him. While the others get away, Archer and Berserker battle, resulting in Berserker being grievously wounded after being killed six 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. She 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. He is unable to crush her 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 quickly overwhelmed, but Saber also grabs onto the sword and utilizes it to smash through the Axe-sword, slash into his body, and release a light that kills him seven times over and drains his remaining lives.
Defeated and freed from his madness as he crumble 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 unscathed. 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 him 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 the 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, which bound the Bull of Heaven, 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 seeming final strike, piercing him with twenty-two weapons while still bound. As he dies, Berserker remembers their 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, he 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 her 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 Black Excalibur, 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 attune 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.
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, ?), 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 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.
Heracles is already an exceptional Heroic Spirit that is close to being one of the strongest, Ilya noting that only one or two should be able to match him, but under Mad Enhancement he can be called an untouchable monster. Mad Enhancement reinforces ability at the cost of sanity, and his level raises all of his abilities in compensation for losing most of his sanity. This has an effect of sealing a variety of sword techniques and skills, including part of his Noble Phantasms. Even restricted to simple direct melee due to the madness, he is undoubtedly the strongest amongst the Servants summoned for the Holy Grail War.
He would normally 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. 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.
Heracles is exceptional in body, mind, and skills, and since he specialized with the bow and had mastered every weapon, he can even qualify for the Saber Class without difficulty. As an excellent warrior possessing the qualifications corresponding to six classes, he would also have been able to be summoned as Archer, Lancer, Rider, or Assassin, but he doesn't have the necessary knowledge or skills to be Caster. Out of all the possible classes, Archer would have allowed him to best demonstrate his true abilities. As a ranger class, it would have been comfortable to someone skilled in archery who overcame many trials with knowledge and resourcefulness. If he had been summoned in as Saber, he would be able to fully display his phenomenal sword play and best display Nine Lives.
Unlike other Heroic Spirits that would receive a slight boost in power close to their spheres of influence and a greater boost in power in the country of their legend, Heracles would display excellent power in all of western Europe. 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.
Heracles, as a mixed-race child of the King of Gods, Zeus, and a human, who became a god after death, naturally possesses the highest level of the Divinity skill with the exception of Gilgamesh's original rank. It proves to be fatal when faced with the entrapment of Enkidu, but his strength and determination allow him to overcome even those binds.
Though normally very adept and skilled, Heracles as Berserker has lost his rationality, having become an existence that can only utterly defeat the enemy from the front as directed by Ilya. He possesses nothing like detailed tactics, instead leaving everything to his physical ability and brandishing his weapon to strike. His main weapon isn't a Noble Phantasm, but rather a simple, Nameless Axe-Sword (無銘·斧剣, ?) 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. Even with such a weapon, he demonstrates hand-to-hand combat abilities superior to every Servant.
He brandishes the weapon with ease due to his extreme strength, and he causes large amounts of destruction with each swing. 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 Norther 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. 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. While the attacks are just smashing swings with no technique behind them, they are so beyond normal standards in power and speed that there is no room for technique. As technique is something humans invented to compensate for their weaknesses, it is unnecessary for him because he has no weaknesses.
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. Due to his lack of motor skills, it is possible to use the terrain to gain an advantage over him. He has the highest rank in Agility despite his monstrous size, so it is very difficult to corner 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.
Proper use of his sealed Bravery skill would allow for increased damage inflicted upon opponents during melee combat, and it increases damage while fighting unarmed, which gave him the ability to defeat several monsters empty-handed in life. His Eye of the Mind (False), danger avoidance based on Intuition that is gained through many ordeals and adventures, remains even without his sanity due to being nearly an instinct. He will not fall for half-hearted feints, making it a troubling ability for even seasoned swordsmen facing him.
The only Noble Phantasm available to him is God Hand, which 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. While his most trusted Noble Phantasm is Nine Lives, it cannot be used in the Berserker class due to a lack of motor skills. The ability to use it with the Axe-sword is ingrained into his technique and history, allowing Shirou to project the Axe-Sword and use Nine Lives Blade Works.
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. He would normally be able to utilize Bravery, his brave and daring spirit, to neutralize mental interference like suppression, confusion and charm, but the skill is unusable due even such a brave warrior’s heart being painted over by the insanity of Mad Enhancement.
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.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9
Fate/complete material II: Character material - Characters: Berserker entry, p.064-065
- ↑ 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
Fate/complete material III: World Material - The Servants of the Fifth Holy Grail War - Berserker profile, p.036-037
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 Ilya. 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 Ilya.
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 Ilya.
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 Altria, 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 Ilya’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
 Fate/side material - Encyclopedia: Berserker [Servant], p.069 English | Japanese
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.
- ↑ 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.
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"
Comptiq 2007-07 issue - Fate Dojo Q & A:
Q. Would Heracles still be so huge even if he wasn't Mad Enhanced?
English | Japanese
Q: Would Heracles still be so huge even if he wasn't Mad Enhanced?
A: He'd still be huuuge! However, the stuff like the projections on his arms wouldn't be there. His muscles would become a little softer, and his face would show more humanity than it does now.
Fate/complete material III: World material - FAQ with Nasu: Servants, p.132-133
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/complete material III: World material - FAQ with Nasu: Servants, p.132-133
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.
Comptiq 2007-06 issue - Fate Dojo Q & A:
Q. Why did the Einzbern summoned Hercules as a Berserker?
English | Japanese
Q: Why did the Einzbern summoned Hercules as a Berserker? I'd think that in some other classes, he'd be able to have access to skills and Noble Phantasms that he had originally had....
A: Simple is POWER. Mayhap the Einzbern, who had been up until now been betrayed again and again, felt it safer to have a "loyal dog that'd do only what they told it to do". The aspect of Hercules as a regular Heroic Spirit would have many advantages in his own right, but on the other hand, there's also the possibility of some cooperative friction occurring with the Master because the heroic part of him is a bit too strong. That kind of Master and Servant combo is pretty frequent in Fate/Zero...
Fate/complete material II: Character material - Weapons - Nameless Axe-Sword, p.130 English | JapaneseUser: Berserker
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.