—Berkut to Fernand
A noble general of Rigel, Berkut's father, who was Emperor Rudolf’s younger brother, died young. Being so timid as a child that even riding a horse would make him cry, his mother raised him strictly so that he would not be teased for being fatherless, and to become a man worthy of becoming the next emperor, until she also passed away before he reached adulthood. Viewing Emperor Rudolf as a surrogate father figure, he developed an interest in devoting himself to the military, in order to seize recognition for his deeds.
He guided the coup d’etat in Zofia by luring Desaix into betraying his homeland. Berkut also convinces Fernand to join the Rigelian army after leaving the Deliverance. He is vying to be the next emperor and commands the invasion of Zofia to prove his military prowess. He is also engaged to Rinea, who cares for him during the ongoing war. According to Lukas, he is around the same age that Alm is.
Berkut first fights Alm in Chapter 3 where he faces the Deliverance alongside Fernand out of sport and in order to test their strength. Despite a tough fight for Alm, Berkut is defeated, forcing him to retreat to the Rigelian palace. Disgraced by his loss against Alm, Berkut begs Rudolf for a second chance to face Alm, this time with the Rigelian army behind him, as despite Jedah's assurance, he believes the Deliverance might be able to break past the sluice gate. Before leaving, Nuibaba offers to grant him great power through Duma to give him an edge over Alm. Seeing no honor in having to resort to a God's blessing to beat Alm, Berkut refuses. However, Nuibaba gives him a mirror, telling him to shatter the mirror if he desires power. Later, Berkut and the Regelian army meets the Deliverance just outside of the floodgates and promptly charges into battle, bent on killing Alm. He is, once again, bested by Alm. In desperation, Berkut shatters Nuibaba's mirror, causing a curse to fall over the Deliverance. Berkut is horrified by the dark magic while Fernand is shocked, but Alm's pendant from Celica removes the curse and Berkut is forced to retreat once more.
Later, as the Deliverance finishes its campaign through Rigel and arrives at the castle's doorstep, Berkut pleads to Rudolf for one more chance to face Alm. Disappointed by his failures, Rudolf denies Berkut's request and he is forced to watch as the battle unfolds.
"Just a minute! The following section contains spoilers, viewing it will cost a lot. Are you prepared to pay for it?"
In the aftermath of the battle, resulting in the death of Emperor Rudolf, comes the revelation that Alm is Rudolf's son and heir to the Rigelian empire, thus rendering Berkut's succession of the throne invalid. This discovery causes him to wallow in despair in the basement of the Tower of Duma, where the god himself offers to give Berkut the power he desires. Worried for Berkut, Rinea follows him into the Tower and tells Berkut that she does not care whether or not he is emperor, as she never wanted to be empress and only desired to spend the rest of her days with him. Berkut perceives it as a slight of her admitting she was in on Rudolf's secret. Driven over the edge, Berkut then willingly gives himself to Duma, offering whatever Duma desires in exchange for power. Duma demands Rinea's soul as his price, and Berkut complies, turning her into a Witch.
Blinded by his new power, Berkut makes Rinea attack and mortally wound Fernand, who came to check on him. Later, as Alm heads down Duma Temple to claim the Falchion, Berkut stands in his way. Despite Alm attempting to ask Berkut to work together to restore peace to Rigel and Valentia, Berkut refuses and is overcome by Duma's blessing. After the battle, Berkut begs Alm to kill him and end his suffering. Suddenly, Rinea appears in spirit, back in her normal appearance. Rinea continues to tell Berkut that regardless if he is emperor or not, she still loves him for the noble man he truly is deep down. Berkut, having regained his sanity, accepts her offer to look for his "empire" together, so long as he accepts her as his "empress". As Berkut is on his death throes, he hands Alm a ring, a memento of his mother, and trusting Alm to restore Valentia and make it a land led by men, rather than gods. Berkut departs into the afterlife with his beloved Rinea next to him for their new journey.
Berkut is a prideful man who, much like Fernand, places great emphasis on social status. Unlike Fernand, who acts as if he is owed something for being a noble, Berkut feels the need to demonstrate his own power and worth, subtly signifying contrast between Zofian and Rigelian ideals. Berkut tends to come off as haughty, bigoted, and even a bit aggressive, in the way that he talks down on others. He is very mistrustful of most people, particularly the church of Duma; he loathes and outright fears Jedah, and is extra-suspicious of religion and magic as a result.
His parents hammered it into his head as he grew up that might made right, and that he could never follow in Rudolf's footsteps without being strong. As an adult, while a part of him recognizes how poorly his parents treated him, he refuses to acknowledge that Rudolf treats him much the same. He is desperate to please his uncle, who is seldom shown as anything but taciturn or disapproving towards Berkut in return. His desperation is his undoing; he is fiercely proud, yet at the same time, walking on a knife's edge, terrified to fail Rudolf and prove himself unworthy or weak.
As the game progresses, he lashes out in frustration more and more, almost looking for excuses to see people doubting him, as seen with Rinea when conflict happens. In spite of that, he is much different when he is alone with Rinea, as she is the only person he has ever trusted. Their relationship is as important to his character as it is to hers. Berkut is keenly aware of her needs and feelings, and while he does still overcompensate in front of her at times, he is unafraid of expressing his true emotions in front of her. He feels that she genuinely deserves the power and status of an empress, to the point where she cannot tell him she does not want to be one, and becoming angry when she expresses relief that Alm is the rightful emperor. Rinea's heritage as a member of minor, if not downright impoverished nobility, does not matter to the otherwise strictly hierarchical Berkut. This is shown to a lesser extent when he's with Fernand as well since Berkut considers him a comrade and they both share similar social views.
**Dropped upon Defeat
*Granted by Kriemhild
- Prideful Prince
- First in line to the Rigelian throne. Prideful but loves Rinea with all his heart. Appears in Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia.
- Purgatorial Prince
- Heir presumptive to the Rigelian throne. Fell into a deep despair when the truth about Alm came out. Gave his betrothed's life to Duma to obtain power. Appears in Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia.
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—Act 3 battle quote
—Act 3 defeat quote
—Act 4 battle quote
—Act 4 defeat quote
—Act 5 battle quote
—Act 5 defeat quote
- "Die, worm!"
- "Know your damn place!"
- "Meet your end!"
- "Begone from my sight!"
Although Berkut is not playable in the final game, he and Fernand both have full voice files in game data as playable units, suggesting that both were cut late into development. As a unit, his critical quotes are the same ones that he uses as a boss.
Berkut is illustrated in the trading card game Fire Emblem Cipher with the following cards:
Berkut (Бе́ркут) is the Ukranian word for the Golden Eagle.
- Pre-Act 5 Berkut is the only enemy besides Fernand who has unused battle dialogue when selected on turn 1 and when below half health.
- This may suggest that Berkut was once originally a playable character seeing as he does not have many other playable quotes, including a lack of post battle quotes. This may have been a thought early in development but was scrapped later on.
- During the fight against Berkut in Act 4 on the Normal difficulty, Berkut shares the exact same stats as the boss Seazas, who appeared in Gaiden but was removed from Shadows of Valentia in favor of Berkut's boss fight.
- Berkut and Rinea are the only non-playable characters in the game to have a passive support.
- In Act 5, when the final battle of Berkut takes place, Berkut's and Rinea's combined attack range forms a heart.
- See main article: Berkut/Gallery.