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“Let us test your stronger arm then. Come, Son of Gawain, show me your strength.”
—The Black Knight to Ike, before their duel at Nados castle in Path of Radiance.

Zelgius, better known as the Black Knight, is a boss character in both Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, though he is also playable in the latter. He was Daein's most powerful general during The Mad King's War, and a member of Daein's Four Riders.

However, he is first seen as Zelgius when he is sent along with an army of Begnion reinforcements to Ike and his Crimean Liberation Army after their conquest of Nevassa.

The Black Knight's true identity was unknown in Path of Radiance, save for the fact that the Black Knight was once a student of General Gawain. In Radiant Dawn, his identity was revealed to be General Zelgius, Earl of Kadohl, the greatest general of Begnion, and the right-hand man to Prime Minister Sephiran. He was also one of the Branded, which he revealed to Sephiran, who provided him with the blessed sword Alondite and the blessed black armor. It is implied that he is the general of Prime Minister Sephiran, Duke of Persis' personal army.

His swordsmanship was so extraordinary that King Ashnard, after a comment from General Petrine about the Black Knight's strength, said he would be interested in challenging him in battle some day.



Zelgius was born in Daein. However, while growing up, he had a miserable childhood because he was a Branded, with the mark being on his back (according to him, someone on his father's side was with a laguz). Because of this, he was looked down on and hated by his own family. This prompted him to leave home and join the Daein army in order to escape his suffering. He feared being discovered and treated the same way by his new comrades so he attempted to hide his brand by rarely removing his armor even when indoors. When he discovered that the brand also slowed his aging, he knew that his time in Daein would not last and he would eventually have to leave to preserve his secret.

While in the army, he served under General Gawain, one of the Four Riders of Daein, whom he respected and studied swordplay from. At this time Gawain was legendary for his strength and prowess, and Zelgius quickly came to idolize him for his talent with the sword, acknowledging that Gawain would be the one thing he would miss about it once the time came to leave the army. However, when Gawain abandoned the Daein army, Zelgius was devastated by this news and swore to someday find and duel Gawain, determined to know if he could one day surpass a man he viewed as invincible.

One day, he met Lehran, who was in Daein at the time. Knowing that he could trust him, Zelgius revealed both his Branded nature and his issues to Lehran, who saw something of himself in Zelgius' pain and isolation. Lehran then made Zelgius an offer: once he chose to depart from the Daein army, he would come to him and assist in achieving his plans, promising that at the very least, Zelgius would no longer be alone, which convinced Zelgius to readily accept Lehran's offer. Zelgius left the Daein army some time later, after Gawain had departed, and entered Lehran's service.

When Lehran joined the Begnion senate as Sephiran, Zelgius enlisted in the Begnion military and quickly rose through the ranks to earn himself the title of Earl of Kadohl. By the time of The Mad King's War, he had developed a reputation as a hero of Begnion and was revered throughout the army's ranks.

A few years before the events of Path of Radiance, Sephiran and Zelgius traveled to Gallia to track down Gawain - now known as Greil - and Elena. By the time they found them, they were too late: Greil had touched Lehran's Medallion and been driven berserk, slaughtering countless friends and killing Elena before fainting himself. They encountered Greil's young children, Mist and Ike, and discovered that Mist was immune to the medallion's effects. Sephiran purged Ike's memory of watching his mother die and decided that the medallion would be safer in Mist's hands for the time being. Zelgius helped take the two children, Greil, and Elena's corpse home. Then the two left.

Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance

When Sephiran's ambition to unseal the "dark god" through Galdr had failed, he began to pursue an alternative plan: use Ashnard, the new king of Daein, to engage Tellius in a continent-spanning war. To help facilitate this and to keep an eye on Ashnard, Sephiran had Zelgius enter Ashnard's employ, under the guise of an anonymous warrior only known as the Black Knight. Despite revealing nothing about his identity, the Black Knight easily won Ashnard's trust with his immense strength and became one of Ashnard's most trusted agents. As the Black Knight, Zelgius made use of numerous mysterious artifacts which were presumably provided to him by Sephiran: he wielded the regalia sword Alondite, a set of Ashera-blessed black armor which rendered him invincible to weapons which had not been similarly blessed, and Warp Powder to instantly transport himself. He also provided Ashnard with a second set of blessed armor as a gift.

When the Mad King's War begun, Sephiran ordered the Black Knight to take the medallion from Greil and return it to Ashnard, to begin the process of freeing the dark god. He eventually tracked Greil, now leading a mercenary troop, to the border forests of Gallia, where he and his mercenaries were fighting Daein forces to safely escort Elincia to Gallia. By the time he arrived, Greil stood in the middle of a standoff between the Daein army, led by Petrine, and a Gallian army led by Ranulf. The Black Knight convinced Petrine to retreat, then retreated himself.

That evening, the Black Knight found Greil in the forests near Gebel Castle, where Greil and his mercenaries had been lodging. The two fought a duel, where despite the Black Knight's insistence, Greil refused to wield Ragnell (offered to him by the Black Knight in order to fight him at his full strength) and continued to wield his axe, Urvan. Greil recognized the Black Knight as his former student and remarked that Zelgius had no chance against the man who taught him how to fight, but the duel was a brief one and ended with the Black Knight impaling Greil right in front of Ike. The Black Knight demanded to be given Lehran's Medallion, threatening to kill Ike and Mist if Greil would not comply, but was quickly forced to warp away by the sound of a roar from Caineghis. Even then, Zelgius was dissatisfied with the outcome of his duel with Greil and felt that he had killed him much too easily, thinking he would never be able to surpass his former teacher.

The Black Knight later traveled to the port city of Toha to check on the progress of the Daein general Mackoya, who had come to subjugate the city ahead of schedule while following rumors about the journeys of Ike, the Greil Mercenaries, and their laguz allies after their attack on the Canteus Castle prison. At Mackoya's request, the Black Knight chose to stand aside and leave the task of apprehending Ike to Mackoya's soldiers, to give them a much-needed opportunity to fight. After Mackoya's men failed to stop the Greil Mercenaries, the Black Knight emerged to fight them himself, but was too late to prevent them from leaving. Ranulf engaged him in a duel to prevent him from interfering with Ike's escape and was soon overwhelmed, saved only by the arrival of Sephiran, who "distracted" the Black Knight while Ranulf escaped.

After this battle the Black Knight reported to Ashnard in Melior, who assigned him to lead an invasion of Gallia while they bided their time for another chance to take Elincia and the medallion. For this mission, the Black Knight was instructed to avoid provoking Gallia into sending their full forces against Daein just yet.

Later in the war, after Ike won the support of Begnion's army and set out to attack Daein, the Black Knight passed this news and his low opinion of Ike's potential as a warrior on to Ashnard, while also informing of the survival of two herons, and Ashnard entrusted him with abducting one of them and ensuring that both the heron and the medallion enter his possession. Soon after the Crimean army's victory in Talrega, the Black Knight oversaw the delivery of the medallion to Ena and Petrine at Daein Keep.

Following Ike's capture of Nevassa, the return of Sephiran to Begnion allowed Sanaki to quickly marshal official Senate support for reinforcing Ike and the Crimean army with Begnion troops, and they entrusted Zelgius with a full battalion to reinforce the Crimean army. Zelgius arrived in Nevassa, put himself and his men under Ike's command, then set up camp for his battalion. After the expedition at Palmeni Shrine, Ike chose to pass on the right to govern Daein to Zelgius and departed to invade Crimea with a troop of Zelgius's soldiers. Zelgius remained behind with the rest of his battalion and assured Ike that he would deliver reinforcements if he needed them in Crimea.

As the war progressed, Zelgius took a keener interest in Ike's growth as a warrior. He appeared at the battle of Castle Delbray to observe from a far, and was challenged to another duel by Ike. Failing to injure him at all due to his blessed armor, the Black Knight instructed Ike to wield Ragnell the next time they fought so that they could have a proper fight.

Soon after, the Black Knight concocted a plan to abduct Leanne, one of the two surviving herons, from Phoenicis Castle for use by Ashnard. After carefully planning to ensure that King Tibarn was well away from Phoenicis, he infiltrated the castle, ambushed and mortally wounded Lotz, and stole Leanne away under threat of murdering her comatose father, Lorazieh. He then delivered Leanne to Ashnard, who had her imprisoned at Grinea Tower in preparation for awakening the "dark god" through the use of Galdr. After Gallia and Phoenicis' armies joined the war on Crimea's side following the battle at Marhaut range, Ashnard ordered the Black Knight to divide up the Daein forces to defend both Fort Pinell and Nados Castle, and then inquired after Ashnard's order to have Ena killed. While Ashnard no longer cared about Ena's fate, so long as she did not interfere with his dragon mount, the Black Knight chose to proceed with executing her.

While the Phoenicis and Gallian armies engaged Daein forces at Nados Castle, the Black Knight arrived at the scene of a battle and defeated an entire unit by himself, then left the defense of the castle to General Hafedd while he dealt with Ena. After promising to deliver an apology to Nasir for her, the Black Knight struck her with a grievous but non-fatal blow, just as Ike arrived, leading him to challenge the Black Knight to single combat, wielding Ragnell, to avenge his father once and for all.

As they fought, Zelgius finally learned why his fight with Gawain was too easy: after killing Elena while under the influence of Lehran's Medallion, Gawain severed the tendons in his right arm and swore never to wield a sword again. He is relieved to hear this, knowing full well that someone like Greil would not have held back against him. Knowing that Gawain's techniques have been passed down to his son, Zelgius decides to wait for Ike to become stronger so that he can defeat Ike and finally surpass his former teacher, leading Ike to win the duel and he and Mist able to flee the castle, with the Black Knight becoming buried in the resulting ruins.

As it was revealed in Radiant Dawn, Bastian sent men to find the Black Knight's body sometime after the castle's collapse, but they were unable to locate any trace of him, with the Japanese version implying that he used his Warp Powder to escape. Having secretly survived the collapse of Nados, Zelgius continued to assist with the war effort under his own identity, up until the end. Through the last days of the campaign, Zelgius and the Begnion army assisted Ike by taking care of retreating Daein forces to allow Ike and his army the abiity to focus on the troops confronting them without worrying about anything else. On Sephiran's orders, Zelgius and his army traveled to Melior for the final battle against Ashnard to provide reinforcements and, if Ike lost the battle, ensure Elincia's safety. Zelgius left the Begnion soldiers in Ike's company with him to ensure Crimea's security at Elincia's request, then returned to Daein to continue his work there.

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn

As the Black Knight, Zelgius returned to protect Micaiah when General Jarod of the Begnion Occupational Army attempted to assassinate her as Begnion began cracking down on the Occupational Army's oppression of the Daein people. Thanks to the Black Knight, Jarod failed, and he continued to protect Micaiah in the war against the Begnion Occupational Army, despite Sothe's objection. He disappeared after the fall of Jarod's forces for unexplained reasons, though it could be assumed that it was because Zelgius was being recalled to Begnion due to the growing tensions between the Begnion Empire and the Laguz Alliance.

As Zelgius, he led the Begnion Central Army, the largest military force on the continent, against the invading Laguz Alliance in the Laguz-Begnion War. During this time, he meets Levail, the leader of Duke Lekain's personal army, who later becomes Zelgius' second-in-command. He first defeated Ranulf, and later Skrimir in single combat, forcing the Laguz Alliance to retreat. Despite not wanting to continue the fighting, he is ordered by the Begnion Senate, who had overthrown the Apostle Sanaki and Sephiran, to pursue and eliminate the Laguz Alliance. When Daein ambushed the Alliance at the Ribahn River, initiating their entry into the war, Zelgius re-assumed his mantle as the Black Knight to aid Daein, specifically to protect Micaiah. He continued to remain at their side until the Greil Mercenaries began engaging Micaiah's forces.

After the Daein army returned home, Zelgius returned to the Begnion army and pursued the Laguz Alliance to the Serenes Forest. After the Laguz Alliance headed into the Kauku Caves, Zelgius decided to call off the pursuit, knowing that it would be suicide to continue pursuing them. However, he was stopped by Senator Valtome, who suddenly arrived and announced that he had been placed in charge of the Begnion Central Army. After ordering part of the army to go into the Kauku Caves, he warned Zelgius that he will be punished if he disobeys him again.

Afterwards, Valtome decided to invade Gallia by going through Crimea. After reaching the border between Crimea and Gallia, another huge battle between the army and the Laguz Alliance seemed inevitable. However, they are stopped by the Crimean Royal Knights, led by Queen Elincia. Despite being warned by Valtome to not get in their way, Elincia orders both sides to not fight, even going as far as to fly into the middle of the battlefield and lay down her sword. While it does not stop the battle or the war, her actions manage to persuade most of the Laguz Alliance and most of the Begnion army, including Zelgius and Levail, to withdraw from the battlefield, with Zelgius telling Valtome that it is against his code to attack an unarmed foe. Because of his actions, Zelgius is labeled a traitor by Valtome and is sentenced to be executed, with Valtome planning to cover it up by telling everyone that Zelgius fell in battle after killing numerous laguz. However, he is saved at the last second by Sanaki, who had fled Begnion along with the Holy Guards. After she announced that she had been against the war from the very beginning, Valtome denounced her, claiming that she is a false apostle and that she and Sephiran were plotting to overthrow Begnion. Before he can say anymore, an angered Zelgius grabbed Valtome by the throat and threatens to kill him if he said another insult about Sephiran. Later on, while the Begnion soldiers who support Sanaki stayed behind in Crimea, Zelgius returned to Begnion to free Sephiran from prison. After doing so, Sephiran told him that the time had come to awaken Ashera.

Later on, after Ashera cast her judgment on the world, Zelgius appeared again in Grann Desert as the Black Knight, where he helped the Silver Army, led by Micaiah, defeat the Disciples of Order led by Senator Numida. After the battle, he asked Micaiah to come with him to the Tower of Guidance to meet his master and warned her that when the Tower of Guidance shined again, it will be all over. However, Micaiah refused to go with him, after which he left.

Zelgius, as the Black Knight, is later confronted in the Tower of Guidance along with Levail and the remaining Disciples of Order after Ike, Micaiah, and Yune's army defeated Senator Lekain. After a brief skirmish between them, Ike reveals that he was aware that the Black Knight was actually Zelgius, having been told this by Ranulf. After removing his helmet, Zelgius decided to begin their final duel. However, they are interrupted by Tibarn, who said that he had a score to settle with Zelgius. Zelgius then told Tibarn that, while he understood why Tibarn wants to fight him, to wait until his battle with Ike was over. Zelgius then revealed that his ultimate goal was to face Gawain at the height of his power; his pursuit of this duel was the only action he undertook of his own accord after becoming Sephiran's follower. However, upon finding that Gawain was not at his true power, he sought out Gawain's son, Ike. After Tibarn leaves, Zelgius created a barrier separating him and Ike from the others. After a long battle, with Ike using Ragnell and Zelgius using Alondite, Ike defeated him. After the battle, Zelgius told Ike that thanks to him, he felt he was fighting Gawain in his glory days. In addition, Ike told Zelgius that he was his final teacher. Afterwards, as Zelgius lies dying, he tells Sephiran that he will be waiting for him.

Zelgius served Prime Minister Sephiran selflessly and viewed him as his master. All of his actions were guided by Sephiran's will, including his eventual return to Daein as the Black Knight.

If the player uses a hacking device, they may see Zelgius's in-game stats. He has a bond with Sephiran and is considered a Level 20 Marshall (which is considered closer to the Black Knight class than to other Marshalls) with Eclipse for a mastery skill. Eclipse negates all Defense and resistance, and attacks with 5 times the strength, able to cause up to 255 unshielded damage with maxed strength and wielding Alondite. Most notably, Ashera would not be able to survive the attack without her Mantle skill. When facing Ranulf and Skrimir, he wields an Iron Sword, although his artwork suggests his default weapon is a Silver Blade.

On their second playthrough, if the player attempts to recruit Lehran, Zelgius (as the Black Knight) must be used in Chapter 1-E, and Ike must engage him in battle without defeating him in Chapter 3-7.


The Black Knight is defined by his mystery, always appearing encased in full armor, and not going by any formal name. His position as high general in Daein's army was due solely to his immense power and his chivalrous behavior toward Ashnard. When he appears, it is only to do the bidding of his master, and slay anyone who would get in the way. Nobody in Daein's army, not even Ashnard, knows what the Black Knight looks like under his armor.

Apart from his duty as a soldier, the Black Knight appears to care only about mastering the art of swordsmanship, having pursued and slain Ike's father Greil for the specific purpose of surpassing his former mentor. Due to Greil's surprising failure to put up a solid fight, the Black Knight waits instead for Ike to become strong enough to oppose him, in hopes of being able to fight someone who could be seen as equal to Greil in his glory days. Ike clashes with The Black Knight many times throughout both Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, and eventually slays him in the Tower of Guidance after learning the Black Knight's true identity. He ends up dying in peace, having known that he contributed to the perfection of swordplay, and served his master to the very end.


Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance

Boss Appearances

  • Chapter 11
  • Chapter 24
  • Chapter 27

Base Stats

Starting ClassAffinity
FE9 Black Knight General Sprite.png GeneralFE9Dark.gif Dark
SkillsWeaponStarting Items
Luna (FE9).gifLuna
FE9 Renewal.gifRenewal
FE9 Sword.pngSword - S
FE9 Lance.pngLance - A

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn

Boss Appearances

  • Chapter 3-7
  • Part 4: Endgame Area 2


  • Chapter 1-9: Automatically from start, available in Chapter 9 and Endgame.
  • Chapter 3-6: Automatically from Turn 6, only available in Chapter 6.
  • Chapter 4-3: Appears as an Other Unit.

Base Stats

Black Knight

Starting ClassAffinity
FE10 Black Knight Sprite.png Black KnightFE10Dark.png Dark
SkillsWeaponStarting Items
Nihil.png Nihil
Imbue.png Imbue*
Shove.png Shove
Eclipse.png Eclipse
FE10 Sword.gif Sword - SS
FE10 Lance.gif Lance - S
Alondite.png Alondite
FE10concoction.png Concoction**

*He does not have this skill as a boss in Easy Mode
**As a playable character only

Zelgius (Unused)

Starting ClassAffinity
FE10 Zelgius Marshall Sprite.png MarshallFE10Dark.png Dark
SkillsWeaponStarting Items
Nihil.png Nihil
Imbue.png Imbue*
Shove.png Shove
Eclipse.png Eclipse
FE10 Sword.gif Sword - SS
FE10 Lance.gif Lance - S

Bond Support (Zelgius)


RD Biorhythm B.jpg

Fire Emblem: Awakening


Starting Class
FE13 NPC Generic General Map Sprite.gifGeneral
SkillsWeaponStarting Items
Defense +2.pngDefense +2
IndoorBattle.pngIndoor Fighter
DefenseCry.pngRally Defense
Great Shield (FE13).pngPavise
Luna (FE13).pngLuna
LanceIconFE13.pngLance - A
AxeIconFE13.pngAxe - B
Brave Lance FE13 Icon.pngBrave Lance*

*Enemy only; joins unequipped

Fire Emblem Heroes

Sinister General
One of Daein's Four Riders. An enigmatic knight encased in pitch black armor. Appears in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance.

Base Stats

Heroes Black Knight Sprite (4*).pngTitle
Sinister General
Heroes Armored.png Armored
FEH skill offense.png Silver Sword
FEH skill special.png New Moon
FEH Sword.png Sword
Heroes Black Knight Sprite (5*).pngTitle
Sinister General
Heroes Armored.png Armored
FEH skill offense.png Alondite
FEH skill special.png New Moon
FEH Sword.png Sword


FEH skill offense.pngIron Sword---
Steel Sword---
Silver Sword-FEH Star Rarity 4.png-
AlonditeSilver SwordFEH Star Rarity 5.pngFEH Star Rarity 5.png
FEH skill special.pngNew Moon-FEH Star Rarity 4.pngFEH Star Rarity 3.png
Black LunaLuna-FEH Star Rarity 5.png
AFEH Steady Stance 1.png Steady Stance 1--
FEH Steady Stance 2.png Steady Stance 2FEH Steady Stance 1.png Steady Stance 1FEH Star Rarity 4.png
FEH Steady Stance 3.png Steady Stance 3FEH Steady Stance 2.png Steady Stance 2FEH Star Rarity 5.png
BFEH Wings of Mercy 1.png Wings of Mercy 1--
FEH Wings of Mercy 2.png Wings of Mercy 2FEH Wings of Mercy 1.png Wings of Mercy 1-
FEH Wings of Mercy 3.png Wings of Mercy 3FEH Wings of Mercy 2.png Wings of Mercy 2FEH Star Rarity 4.png


Secret Book (Artwork).png
Subjective: The following part of this article is based upon the editor's personal experiences and opinions, and therefore may not be applicable for all readers.

As the third Sword Armor unit, the Black Knight entered as a powerful asset that players could obtain for free as a Tempest Trial unit. True to his Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn fame, the Black Knight is one of the most powerful units in Heroes, especially one that is as easy to acquire as he is. He has respectable Atk and physical bulk as one would expect of an Armor unit. Even his Spd is workable and higher than most armor units, preventing follow-up attacks from a much higher host of characters. Unfortunately, he has low Res and can be easily exploited. Nonetheless, he is a powerful asset and is an easy Grail unit investment.

Alondite is the first part of his power as it grants him a Distant Counter effect, much like his native games, making him a dangerous opponent to try to engage safely. The weapon's recent unique refine diminishes his special cooldown by 1 point and grants 4 points to all stats if his health is at 25% or higher of it's total, making him much more menacing. He also has his own unique special, at least outside of his alternative forms, Black Luna, which is a much stronger version of Luna, ignoring 80% of his opponent's Def with the same cooldown charge as regular Luna, giving him astonishing bulk breaking capabilities. Very few units can stand up to him as result and needs to break addressed with caution.

Steady Stance increases his Def by 6 when attacked, bringing his Def to 41. Wings of Mercy allows him to warp to an injured ally, protecting them or better positioning himself to destroy a target.


Black Knight only has low Res, which would be the easiest weakness to exploit. However, few Red Mages can safely engage him, so relying on many staple Blue Mages like Reinhardt, Delthea, Linde, and Lute can yield solid results. Bulky blue units like Ephraim, Winter Robin, and Fallen Hardin can duel him, though they will need to be wary if he has Black Luna ready. While not a true counter, Brave Lyn can safely poke him thanks to Sacae's Blessing's Distant Counter disabling effect. This also applies to Dazzling Staff users. Finally, as an Armored unit, any sort of weapon that deals effective damage against armor units, especially those who have a refined version, can smash through him. Ironically, Micaiah is a true hard counter as not only does she use magic and has a color advantage, Thani deals bonus damage to Armor units, meaning that she can one-shot him with ease.

Skill Inheritance

Black Knight requires many Premium skills to truly become terrifying, but can be built on a budget leading to solid results. In any case, the only skill universally inherited for either version of Black Knight is either Swap or Pivot for his Support skill, allowing himself greater movement.

For those who can fodder off premium units, Black Knight can take the role of an offensive tank by giving him skills that accelerate his Special cooldown so he can activate it often. Inheriting Steady Breath builds right off his innate Steady Stance Skill A while giving himself the Special cooldown acceleration to activate it sooner. For his skill B, taking Bold Fighter gives him a guaranteed follow up attack when initiating combat while also accelerating his cooldown. Finally taking Armor March grants himself and his ally armor units the movement they lack on their own.

For a budget set, Wary Fighter makes for a good Skill B to prevent enemy doubling and making him a strong wall unit. His Skill C can be any armor support skill to give him synergy on Armor teams and is also useful on his premium variant above.

Jet-Black General
A general clad head to toe in the blackest of armor, naturally known as the Black Knight. His holy sword, Alondite, has the power to rend the heavens. Appears in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn.

Base Stats

Rarity: ✯✯✯✯✯

Heroes Zelgius Sprite.pngTitle
Jet-Black General
Heroes Armored.png Armored
FEH skill offense.png Alondite
FEH skill special.png New Moon
FEH Sword.png Sword


FEH skill offense.pngIron Sword---
Steel Sword---
Silver Sword---
Alondite-FEH Star Rarity 5.png-
FEH skill special.pngNew Moon---
LunaNew Moon--
Black LunaLuna-FEH Star Rarity 5.png
AFEH Fierce Stance 1.png Fierce Stance 1--
FEH Fierce Stance 2.png Fierce Stance 2FEH Fierce Stance 1.png Fierce Stance 1-
FEH Fierce Stance 3.png Fierce Stance 3FEH Fierce Stance 2.png Fierce Stance 2FEH Star Rarity 5.png
BFEH Warp Powder.png Warp Powder-FEH Star Rarity 5.png
CFEH Panic Ploy 1.png Panic Ploy 1--
FEH Panic Ploy 2.png Panic Ploy 2FEH Panic Ploy 1.png Panic Ploy 1-
FEH Panic Ploy 3.png Panic Ploy 3FEH Panic Ploy 2.png Panic Ploy 2FEH Star Rarity 5.png


Secret Book (Artwork).png
Subjective: The following part of this article is based upon the editor's personal experiences and opinions, and therefore may not be applicable for all readers.

Taking off his helmet and revealing his identity to the world, Zelgius has all of the perks of his Black Knight form, but with the ability to have IV values and the ability to be summoned at any time for Merging. While virtually similar to his Black Knight form, Zelgius can be optimized better as a result.

He still carries his strong Alondite and Black Luna combo, making him a dangerous opponent to engage as he can counterattack at any range due to the former and the 80% Def ignoring effect of the latter. With the former's refine fastening Black Luna to 2 points of cooldown and giving him 4 points to all stats when healthy (at least in 25% of it's total), he's even more dangerous if not dispatched quickly or one-shotted altogether.

He comes with Fierce Stance, granting him +6 to Atk when he is attacked, increasing his damage output. Warp Powder grants him the ability to teleport to allies within two spaces of himself when his HP is over 80%. His final skill is Panic Ploy, transforming all stat bonuses on enemies into penalties so long as they have less HP than he does. At a 43 HP minimum with a Bane in HP, a large portion of the Heroes cast are affected by this skill. Widely considered to be the one of the strongest overall units in the meta, Zelgius is a unit well worth obtaining and funneling resources.


Dealing with Zelgius is much like dealing with Black Knight. Blue mages like Reinhardt, Delthea, Linde, and Lute dispatch him. Bulky blue units like Ephraim, Winter Robin, and Fallen Hardin can duel him, though they will need to be wary if he has Black Luna ready. Brave Lyn and Dazzling Staff units can slowly poke him out. Finally, his weakness to Armor effective weapons remains the same and Micaiah is still his hardest counter.

Skill Inheritance

Zelgius's optimal and budget builds are the exact same as Black Knight. Taking Swap or Pivot for his Support skill, allowing himself greater movement.

For those who can fodder off premium units, Zelgius can take the role of an offensive tank by giving him skills that accelerate his Special cooldown so he can activate it often. Inheriting Steady Breath builds right off his innate Steady Stance Skill A while giving himself the Special cooldown acceleration to activate it sooner. For his skill B, taking Bold Fighter gives him a guaranteed follow up attack when initiating combat while also accelerating his cooldown. Finally taking Armor March grants himself and his ally armor units the movement they lack on their own.

For a budget set, Wary Fighter makes for a good Skill B to prevent enemy doubling and making him a strong wall unit. His Skill C can be any armor support skill to give him synergy on Armor teams.

Battle Conversation

Path of Radiance

Chapter 27
Vs Ike
Black Knight: What an odd fate. This will be the third time I have defeated you. The first was in the forest of Gallia. The second at Delbray in Crimea.
Ike: We've met twice, and I've lost twice. But the third time will be different.
Black Knight: Oh?
Ike: My sword-fighting skills were given to me by my father. If I stay true to them, I cannot lose.
Black Knight: Did you never think that using your father's techniques on the man who killed him would be futile?
Ike: My father robbed himself of using his stronger arm. If he had, he would not have lost to the likes of you.
Black Knight: Hah... You think so? Let us test your stronger arm, then. Come, son of Gawain... show me your strength.

Vs Mist
Mist: ...sniff...sniff...
Black Knight: Do you tremble in fear, little daughter of Gawain? How...entertaining. But if you value your life, you will leave this place at once.
Mist: took my brother and my father! My sword may not even scratch you, but I don't care. This one blow... will contain... all my anger... and all my pain... Rrrraaaaa! I'll kill you!

Radiant Dawn

Chapter 3-7
Vs Ike
Ike: So, you are alive. Somehow, I knew it wasn't over yet.
Black Knight: Of course it wasn't over. You were a boy trying to live up to the memory of the greatest swordsman in history.
Ike: And yet, I was the one who walked out of the castle that day.
Black Knight: You have your father to thank for that. When you told me that he had crippled himself, I realized that I had never fought him at all, merely his shadow.
Ike: What are you getting at?
Black Knight: I saw immediately that you were not your father's equal, but that one day you might be. So I did the only thing I could to keep you alive... I let you win.
Ike: ...You did, didn't you? I've relived that fight so many times... How could I not have seen it before?
Black Knight: You were not yet capable of seeing it. But I had to let you live, so that you could continue to train and perhaps one day be worthy of Gawain's legacy. My armor's blessing is gone; let us see if that day is today.
Ike: I promise that it will be. Begin.

Vs Ranulf
Ranulf: Oh, I thought I smelled you earlier. We just have to stop meeting like this.
Black Knight: ...
Ranulf: Back in Gallia, in Crimea... We just ran into each other recently, too. I don't know about others, but I can tell who you are. You have one heck of a stench.
Black Knight: ...Enough talk. Prepare yourself.
Ranulf: Still won't own up, huh? Fine. If that's the case, I'll just tear your mask off and show everyone myself!

Vs Ike in Part 4 Endgame
Zelgius: Let's see how you handle this!

“Impressive! Most impressive!”
—Zelgius' Death quote

Fire Emblem Heroes

See Main Article: Black Knight/Heroes Quotes

Non-Canon Appearances

Super Smash Bros. Series

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

In the Wii game Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the Black Knight makes an appearance as a trophy. But, in his description, he was stated as the wielder of the sacred blade Ettard, instead of Alondite. However, this was a change made from the Japanese version to the English, on part of Intelligent System's translation team: the Black Knight's blade in the Japanese version was Ettard while Ike wielded Alondite. Also, his battle music, unchanged since Path of Radiance, was a possible music for the Castle Siege level, although the music was titled "Against the Dark Knight" instead of "Against the Black Knight" - although he is known as "The Dark Knight" in the Japanese version, probably just a localisation mistake - the same happened to Lyn in her trophy (they put her age as 15 - as it is the Japanese version, instead of writing 18 as she is in the localized version of Fire Emblem). He makes another appearance as a sticker.

The Black Knight is included in the background of the second form of the Castle Siege stage in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. However, it is only possible to see him when using hacks to manipulate the camera to view the distant background content.

Brawl Trophy Profile
Type Image Description
Black Knight BlackKnightTrophy.png One of Daein's Four Riders and wielder of the blessed sword Alondite. Once an apprentice to Ike's father, Greil, the two eventually duel, resulting in Greil's defeat. Thought to be dead after losing to Ike and the blessed sword Ragnell, the Black Knight survives and comes to the aid of Micaiah, the leader of the Dawn Brigade, a band of Daein freedom fighters.
Sticker Info
Name Image Artwork from Effect in The Subspace Emissary
The Black Knight
Brawl Sticker The Black Knight.png
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance Launch Power +40

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U

In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, one of Ike's palette swaps is based on Zelgius' normal color palette and one is based on his Black Knight colors. The Black Knight was later made into a Mii Swordfighter outfit complete with the Alondite sword.

Wii U Trophy Profile
Type Image Description
Black Knight 480px-BlackKnightTrophyWiiU.png Not even the other members of the Daein army know the truth behind this dark knight. He is Ike's rival in Path of Radiance and the sequel, Radiant Dawn. His mastery skill Eclipse is so incredibly powerful, it'd be understandable if you thought his defeat would bring peace to the war-torn land.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Zelgius appears in his Black Knight armor as an assist trophy. When summoned, he will move slowly across the stage and deal incredible damage and knockback to any opponent that meets a swing of his sword. He also has two spirits, one as Zelgius in his Begnion General armor, which can be enhanced into his second artwork- that of the Black Knight.

Spirit Info
No. Name Image Type Class Slots Effect
664 Zelgius Zelgius FE10 Artwork.png Primary (Attack) ★★★☆ (Ace) 2 Can Be Enhanced at Lv. 99
665 Black Knight Ferd-black-knight.png Primary (Attack) ★★★★ (Legend) 2 Armor Knight
Spirit Battle
Spirit Enemy Fighter(s) Type Power / Class Stage Rules Conditions Music
Zelgius FE10 Artwork.png
No. 664
•Mii Swordfighter (Black Knight outfit) Attack 9,7 / ★★★☆ (Ace) Castle Siege (hazards off) None •The enemy has super armor and is hard to launch or make flinch
•The enemy's smash attacks have increased power
•Stamina battle
"Against the Dark Knight"

Fire Emblem 0 (Cipher)

Zelgius is illustrated in the trading card game Fire Emblem Cipher with the following cards:

Choose Your Legends Placement History

Round Placement Character Version Votes

CYL1 54
Path of Radiance
Radiant Dawn
Radiant Dawn
Path of Radiance
CYL2 121
Path of Radiance
Radiant Dawn
Radiant Dawn
Path of Radiance
CYL3 saw the transition to different counting mechanisms involving versions of characters and ties, so change measured between CYL2 and CYL3 shouldn't be taken at face value.
CYL3 32
(From highest)
Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn
(From combined)
(From highest)
Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn
(From combined)
CYL4 33
Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn
Radiant Dawn/Path of Radiance
CYL5 39
Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn
Radiant Dawn/Path of Radiance

CYL6 24
Path of Radiance/Radiant Dawn
Radiant Dawn/Path of Radiance


The Greek god 'Zelus' was one of the four children of Pallas and Styx, the others being Nike ("victory"), Cratos ("strength"), and Bia ("violence"). The modern word 'zeal' is derived from this name.

The name could also be a mistranslation of Sergius (the name of many popes, and a Latin word that means "servant"), which fits because he swore loyalty to Sephiran.

'Black Knights' are a common trope in Western literature. They are usually associated with antagonists, lawlessness, and death, and serve as a foil for the archetypical 'white knight.' However, the 'black knight' is not always associated with evil. In texts such as Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur, knights who wished to go unrecognized at tournaments would dress in black. Examples of these include Sir Gareth, Sir Lancelot, and Sir Tristram.

Because of his relationship with Gawain, the Black Knight could also be seen as a parallel to the Green Knight from the famous West Midlands Middle English alliterative poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The clearest allusion is probably that both the Green Knight and Black Knight are somewhat mythical individuals that are brought into conflict with their respective Gawains. The Green Knight and the Black Knight also both appear to be immortal thanks to enchantments and magic, and they both rise from the dead; the Green Knight is beheaded by Gawain but seems unfazed as he picks his head up and reminds the knight of his promise to be subjected to the same in a year and a day, and the Black Knight is supposed killed by the collapse of Nados Castle but he escapes with warp power and, as far as Ike is concerned, returns to life. Furthermore, the Black Knight's relationship with Ike, Gawain's son, evolves into that of a mentor to a student as Ike pursues the Black Knight; when Ike finally defeats Zelgius in the Tower of Guidance, he says that Zelgius is his last teacher. Finally, although both the Green Knight and the Black Knight fit into the role of antagonists, neither of them is purely evil; the Green Knight is only a ploy sent by Morgan le Fay to test the Knights of the Round Table, and the Black Knight is regarded as an honorable and worthy commander by both his subordinates and enemies.

He has some similarities with Sir Lancelot as both are Black Knights (on some occasions Lancelot even wore black armor) and his sword Alondite has a similar name to Lancelot's Arondight and both have a knight named Gawain as an enemy knight, though unlike Lancelot, his Gawain betrayed his kingdom rather than the other way around.

Zelgius's title as the Duke of Kadohl, or Cador, depending on the translation, is similar to the title given to Macbeth in William Shakespeare's play Macbeth, where he is bestowed the title "Thane of Cawdor".


  • The Black Knight's Path of Radiance incarnation came in 25th place for males in the Fire Emblem Heroes Choose Your Legends popularity poll, with 5,317 votes. His Radiant Dawn incarnation came in 28th place for males, and had 4,870 votes.
  • In Fire Emblem Heroes, Zelgius appears as both himself and as the Black Knight, but as Zelgius still wears his Black Knight armor without the helmet despite having never worn black armour in any art as Zelgius.
  • Due to his high speed for a knight, having similar physical characteristics to a Raven Laguz, and the shape of his Brand, it is implied that he is a Branded of Raven Laguz blood.
  • In Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, Zelgius introduces himself as the Earl of Kadohl. However, in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, Valtome addresses him as Zelgius of Cador. This is the fault of an inconsistency in the localization, as both Kadohl and Cador can both be derived from the Japanese phonetics of ka-do-ru.
  • In Path of Radiance, if Ike does not defeat the Black Knight in Chapter 27 and escapes the map, Zelgius will appear later after the war concludes to thank Ike for his services in defeating Ashnard. If defeated, Zelgius will not appear by default, but he can still appear if Tanith didn't survive to the end of the game.
  • Zelgius does not wield Alondite while wearing his General armor, most likely to hide his second identity as the Black Knight.
  • The Black Knight's armor in Radiant Dawn has two main visible scars that are left behind by Ike: on the helmet and across the chest.
  • In Radiant Dawn, since the Black Knight is playable in some levels, his lance weapon level can be raised from S to SS.
    • If the Black Knight equips a lance, the lance is misplaced, going through his hand; this is most likely an oversight, due to the Black Knight having access to Alondite.
  • The Black Knight appears in Fire Emblem Awakening as a Spotpass character, but because the Spotpass units were made using the character parts in the game's avatar creation system, his 3D model lacks a helmet, revealing the face of Zelgius. Despite this, his character portrait includes his helmet and he is referred to as the Black Knight in-game.
  • The TCG series is inconsistent with Zelgius' handedness. One depicts him being left-handed, another right-handed. In Path of Radiance, Radiant Dawn, and Heroes, all forms of Zelgius fights right handed.
  • Although Zelgius doesn't appear at all on the field in his normal red attire in Path of Radiance, he has unused data as a General, uses the default palette swap of one, and his stats are near-identical to that of the Black Knight's.
  • In Path of Radiance, the Black Knight has a slightly distorted and echoing voice due to his heavy armor, but in Heroes and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, he speaks in a normal voice.
  • Although he appears as the Black Knight as a recruitable Spotpass character in Fire Emblem Awakening, he takes more of the appearance of his normal attire due to Spotpass heroes having their heads based off Male Robin's head customization instead of giving him a helmet to cover his face.


See main article: Zelgius/Gallery.