—Zihark, to Tauroneo in Radiant Dawn
Zihark is a playable character in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. He is a mercenary who hails from Daein. He is first encountered as a recruitable enemy in Path of Radiance, and later returns in Chapter 1-5 of Radiant Dawn, fighting with the Daein Liberation Army against the Begnion Occupational Army.
Zihark is a travelling mercenary born in Daein, and was formerly in a relationship with a laguz of the beast tribe, despite his homeland's prejudice towards the laguz. Their relationship ended due to the stress of being in a forbidden relationship being too much for his girlfriend (she was killed in the Japanese version). Despite the premature ending of their relationship, Zihark felt no desire to enter another relationship, and became a traveling mercenary aiding other laguz in order to honor her memory.
Zihark traveled to Crimea after hearing about the country's efforts to forge ties with the laguz nation of Gallia. In Port Toha, Zihark joined a group of anti-laguz vigilantes to help any laguz escape before the vigilantes could get to them.
Soon after, Zihark meets the Greil Mercenaries when they are trying to board Nasir's ship. Daein troops had blocked the harbor, and Zihark enters the fight alongside the vigilantes. Shortly before the battle, he has a conversation with the vigilante leader to determine if any laguz are with the Greil Mercenaries. When he sees Lethe and Mordecai, he speaks to them, revealing that he was with the vigilantes as a double agent, and joins the mercenaries to help them escape the Daein soldiers. Later, while on the ship, Ike talks with him about his motivations, and deems him to be trustworthy despite Zihark having "personal reasons" he did not want to share (this being his past relationship with a laguz).
After the events of Path of Radiance, Zihark returns to Daein. In Daein, he joined the Daein Liberation Army along with Tauroneo and Jill to help free the country from its Begnion occupiers. He is first seen with Tauroneo and Jill defending Prince Pelleas' hideout against Begnion forces. After the Dawn Brigade arrives and assists them in fighting off Begnion, Zihark meets Micaiah and the rest of the group, and continues to fight for Daein's emancipation. After the Liberation of Daein, he stays in Daein to help with its reconstruction.
When Pelleas orders the Daein Army goes to fight against the Laguz Alliance, Zihark is at a loss. He does not want to betray his country and friends, but also does not wish to betray his ideals and fight against the laguz. He can recruit himself over to the the Greil Mercenaries by speaking with Lethe or Mordecai in Chapter 3-6: A Reason to Fight, or by having Lethe or Mordecai speak to him in Chapter 3-7: Rivals Collide and Chapter 3-E: From Pain, Awakening. Brom or Ilyana can also recruit him if they had an A support in Path of Radiance. Otherwise, he remains with the Daein army.
If Zihark rejoins the Greil Mercenaries, he assists them in fighting off Begnion. When Zihark re-encounters his former allies in the Daein army, he desperately tries to understand why Daein began its war to aid Begnion against the laguz. He questions how people he believed to be good could commit atrocities and fight to the end for what he believes an unjust cause.
If Zihark stays with Daein, he and the other high ranking soldiers learns that the truth of why Pelleas ordered the war was due to the Blood Pact binding Pelleas to Begnion. Zihark no longer has a choice to leave Daein, and fights on to ensure his country's survival. Even so, he does not fight against his close friends, even if they attack him first.
Zihark, in contrast to other characters in his archetype (the Navarre), is sociable, friendly, and kind. His interactions with others shows that he deeply values friendship, as seen by his knack for remembering names and faces, as well as his frequent invitations of his friends to meals. He is highly honorable in combat, asking for a peaceful solution prior to fighting as well as flat out refusing to ever fight his close friends. In his freetime, Zihark has a hobby of sword and equipment maintenance, a skill he picked up due to the frugal lifestyle of a mercenary.
When it comes to his ideal of harmony between laguz and beorc, Zihark has strong convictions toward it, and is willing to sacrifice nearly anything to fight for it. Despite being one to avoid conflict when possible, he was willing to cut down every vigilante in the anti-laguz group he infiltrated in order to convince the laguz Lethe that he wished to help her. After joining the Greil Mercenaries, Zihark found a likeminded individual in Ike, and expressed how he felt he was finally able to do the good he longed to do. This ideal is almost entirely driven by his past relationship with his ex-girlfriend, as he wished for nobody else to experience the prejudice and hate that he and his girlfriend experienced.
In spite of Zihark's disapproval of his country's attitude towards the laguz, Zihark still feels attachment towards his country of birth. He returned to Daein after the Mad King's War because he hoped that he could change the country to become less prejudiced towards laguz. His plans were put on hold when Begnion tightened its grip over the defeated Daein, but his efforts to free his country strengthened his attachment with his country and with the people he fought together with. After its freedom, Daein became a pawn to Begnion and began its attack on the Laguz Alliance, forcing Zihark into a dilemma. Zihark knew in his heart that Micaiah and King Pelleas were good people, but continuing to fight with Daein would go against everything he stood for. Ultimately, what would allow Zihark to betray his country would be the words of his friends, reminding him of what he fought for back when he joined the Greil Mercenaries three years ago.
Zihark has shown to have a bit of a playful streak. This is seen on multiple occasions, such as when he ignores Ilyana's charms to take his food and then later flirts with her, or when he cracks jokes with Tormod and Muarim after being reunited in Chapter 1-7 of Radiant Dawn. On the other hand, Zihark has a tendency to become flustered when confronted with the subject of marriage, seen when Brom tries to have Zihark marry his daughters and when Meg announces her intent to marry Zihark.
|Adept||Sword - C||Killing Edge|
- See also: Zihark/Supports
|Item Required||Promoted Class|
|( Master Seal)||Swordmaster|
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.
Zihark is a decent unit to have. He starts with higher stats and at a higher level than Mia, has the very effective Earth affinity, and has a Killing Edge. If trained, his Speed, Skill, and occasionally Strength will cap, making him a terror offensively. He can be a bit frail, though his fairly high HP growth helps balance that a bit. Myrmidons face some trouble in that they have no reliable ranged attack in a game where nearly every other class has cheap and effective ranged attack options. Also, the joining of Stefan will likely see both him and Mia be surpassed due to the former's extremely high base stats. However, Zihark can still see great use due to having many chapters to be deployed in, and through his ability to dodge and trigger his Adept skill.
|Part 1||Part 2||Part 3||Part 4||Endgame|
◎=Forced ○=Available □=Available for selected
*Zihark is only available in these chapters if he is recruited over to the Greil Mercenaries in 3-6 or 3-7.
**If Zihark is recruited over to the Greil Mercenaries in 3-6 or 3-7, he will not be available for these chapters.
|Sword - A||Killing Edge|
|Item Required||Promoted Class|
|( Master Crown)||Trueblade|
| Critical +20|
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.
Radiant Dawn lowers Zihark's physical stats, giving him the Strength and Defense growths on par with most Mages in the game. However, his decent bases, partnered with his Earth affinity, and generous Skill and Speed growths, will allow him to dodge most attacks directed at him, and retaliate with frequent Adept triggers. When his Skill and Speed stats reach their cap, he can then be given bonus experience to help cap his Strength and Defense stats due to how bonus experience levels give three guaranteed stat increases. His contributions to the Dawn Brigade chapters can be very helpful, as most of the other members, sans Jill, Nolan, Volug, and Sothe, face issues such as low availability or low base stats. If he supports with Nolan or Volug, they both will receive up to +45 avoid thanks to their shared Earth affinities. On top of his natural avoid from having high Speed, Zihark will have little trouble avoiding all but the most accurate of attacks. Even though Zihark may eventually be surpassed by Edward due to his higher growths, Zihark requires much less training to become useful, and has some flexibility in that he can switch to the Greil Mercenaries. In the endgame, Zihark will cap his Speed, Skill, and Resistance, and is quite likely to cap his Strength and Defense, especially if he was given bonus experience level ups. He can be reliable in the Tower of Guidance due to being able to double attack practically all enemies, and can use the Vague Katti and Alondite very effectively.
|Sword - B||Killing Edge*|
*Enemy only; joins unequipped
Path of Radiance Edit
"Crimea's an interesting place, but I've decided to travel to Daein. Perhaps fate will bring us together again."
Radiant Dawn Edit
Blade of Unity (穏静の剣使い)
Zihark traveled Tellius as a mercenary, resolving beorc-laguz disputes. Some say he eventually settled in Gallia.
Path of RadianceEdit
- Lethe: Grrrr! Die, human!
- Zihark: Hold on! Please! ...I am not an enemy to laguz.
- Lethe: L-laguz...? How do you...
- Zihark: I joined this vigilante group because I knew it would afford me a chance to help you flee. Listen, I'll distract the townspeople. While they're worried about me, you can make good yours escape.
- Lethe: I cannot trust the word of a human.
- Zihark: ...I see. Well, if I cut down these vigilantes, will you believe me?
- Lethe: Huh?
- Zihark: One? Two? All of them? How many do you want? Just give the word and I'll start the cutting!
- Lethe: Hssss! Quiet! Why, why would you...
- Zihark: I want to help you. ...That's all.
- Lethe:... I see... You're not an enemy. That much I'll believe...
- Zihark: Thank you. Now, you must hurry away from this place.
- Lethe: No, I cannot flee. I have fr-friends that I must board a ship with.
- Zihark: Will you not desist? It's much too dangerous. The vigilantes and the Daeins want nothing more than to kill laguz!
- Lethe: I'm not leaving.
- Zihark: I see... If that's your stance, then I've no choice.
- Lethe: Hm?
- Zihark: I will join your group.
- Lethe: Don't, don't be ridiculous!
- Zihark: What's your name?
- Lethe: I am Lethe, but--
- Zihark: That's a good name.
- Lethe: That's beside the point! You--
- Zihark: I am Zihark. Well met, Lethe! Whoops! I don't think we have time for formal introductions. Let's hurry!
- Lethe: H-hold it! I have not agreed to this!
- Zihark: Ah!
- Mordecai: You are a vigilante. We must avoid vigilantes. You should flee.
- Zihark: You would speak so to the vigilante group that's hunting you? You're kind laguz, aren't you?
- Mordecai: Hm? My word are not good. You must go quickly.
- Zihark: No, you are the one who should flee. Leave the rest to me. I'll confuse the townsfolk and give you time to run.
- Mordecai: What? Why?
- Zihark: I don't want to see any laguz harmed, so I joined these vigilantes as a double agent.
- Mordecai: Hmm...? I am confused. But... you do not smell like an enemy. Our group must get that ship. We are taking it to Begnion.
- Zihark: Will you desist? It's much too dangerous. The vigilantes and the Daeins desire nothing more than to kill laguz!
- Mordecai: Even so, we will go.
- Zihark: I see... If that's your stance, then I've no choice.
- Mordecai: ...
- Zihark: I will join in your group.
- Mordecai: You will betray your friends?
- Zihark: I told you, they're not my friends. I am an ally to the laguz. What? you need proof? There!
- Mordecai: Why do you drop your blade? That bright metal tool is your only fang.
- Zihark: I want you believe me. ...Please. You must believe me.
- Mordecai: ... I believe you. I am Mordecai warrior of Gallia. Who are you?
- Zihark: I am Zihark. Well met, Mordecai! Whoops! I don't think we have time for formal introductions. Let's hurry!
- Mordecai: You, I know...
- Zihark: Mordecai... I never expected us to meet like this, on opposite sides...
- Mordecai: Ah! Zee...eehark! Hm... No, that not it. Sorry. Mordecai says your name not right. Not right yet.
- Zihark: But...
- Mordecai: Zeehork? Zeehar-ack? Zi...hark? Ahh! That is good! Zi-hark!
- Zihark: Mordecai... Don't you understand? We're now--
- Mordecai: I know. Mordecai is your friend. Allies we are. It does not matter who we fight for.
- Zihark: But--
- Mordecai: You have no fang or tail, but you are a beast brother, Zee-hark! Hmm... No. Mordecai forgets again. Sorry.
- Zihark: Hey, don't worry about it. I've got it! I'll go with you. That way, you'll get my name right in no time.
- Mordecai: Ah! Good idea! Mordecai likes this idea.
Lethe Recruited Edit
- Lethe: Zihark!
- Zihark: Lethe...
- Lethe: You defeated me last time, but this time it'll be different. Prepare yourself!
- Zihark: You won't surrender?
- Lethe: I am a soldier. I will fight to my death.
- Zihark: ...I knew you'd say that. Then I'm coming with you. I'm at your service, Lethe. Just like old times, yeah?
- Lethe: What?! Why?
- Zihark: The Daein soldiers call this war "the sub-human hunt." You know I hate that word. I believed that Daein would change. Or at least I used to. But now... I can't just stand by. This war is the last straw. I can't fight for Daein anymore.
- Lethe: ...You may not have claws, but I think your soul is more laguz than beorc. Welcome to our tribe, Zihark.
Ilyana Recruited Edit
- Ilyana: Sir Zihark. It's not too late. Let's not fight.
- Zihark: I can't do that... Daein has just freed itself. I can't betray it now.
- Ilyana: Even if you have been ordered by Daein to hunt down laguz?
- Zihark: I-I just...
- Ilyana: But this isn't you! When I met you, you were so nice, and you never doubted yourself or your friends. You even risked your own life to fight on behalf of the laguz. And now you're throwing it all away...
- Zihark: ...Ilyana.
- Ilyana: Yes?
- Zihark: Thank you. You've opened my eyes.
- Ilyana: Pardon?
- Zihark: I will leave the Daein army. My friends in Daein are dear to me, but I refuse to take part in any hunt, or lie to myself any longer.
- Ilyana: Oh, Zihark, I'm so glad...
Brom Recruited Edit
- Brom: Huh? Well, hey there, Zihark! Long time no see!
- Zihark: Brom...
- Brom: Ah, it sure is great to see ya! You're looking mighty fine. Seem a bit sad, though.
- Zihark: Oh, I'm all right, Brom. How's the family?
- Brom: Oh, they're doin' great. We had ourselves some troubles, but Queen Elincia took care of it. Ah, speakin' of my family! About your engagement to one of my daughters... Have you given it any extra thought? All my daughters are eager to marry. Just say the word, now!
- Zihark: What? All of your daughters? You told all of your daughters about me?
- Brom: Ah, they're all such dears! I can't favor one over the others, can I? So, what do you say? My second daughter is startin' to look a lot like me! Nice, soft cheeks.
- Zihark: Um, well, I thought I was pretty clear on this the last time we went over it...
- Brom: She left for Daein to see you. Have you run into her yet? Her name's Meg. Nice girl. She looks a lot like me.
- Zihark: You haven't changed at all, Brom. You're still the same good man that I remember from three years ago. I'm really glad I ran into you, Brom. Now I remember what I was fighting for back then. And now I know what I have to do.
- Brom: Hm? What're you goin' on about, son?
- Zihark: I'm leaving the Daein army. My friends in Daein are dear to me, but I refuse to turn my sword against the laguz any longer.
Zihark and Micaiah in chapter 3-7 Edit
- Micaiah: Zihark...
- Zihark: As you can see, I'm with the Laguz Alliance now. I can't lie to myself anymore, Micaiah. I'm sorry.
- Micaiah: I see...
- Zihark: Tell me, Micaiah. Why did Daein become an enemy of the laguz? Daein has a new king now. Why can't it escape the grip of Begnion?!
- Micaiah: I don't know, Zihark. I wish I did. I'm sorry...
- Zihark: No, I'm the one who should be sorry. I know this isn't your fault. It's just that...now I wonder if the time I've spent fighting to liberate Daein was well spent. It makes me sad.
- Micaiah: Will you cut me down?
- Zihark: That depends on you, Micaiah. Will you try to kill me?
- Micaiah: You are an enemy of Daein now. But... I... How could I? How could I possibly kill you?
- Zihark: I feel the same way. I couldn't possibly hurt you. However, fighting laguz is something I will not do for anyone. Where do we go from here?
- Micaiah: I... I don't know...
Zihark vs Sothe in chapter 3-7 Edit
- Sothe: I understand. I thought that fighting against the laguz would set you off.
- Zihark: I won't make any excuses. I'm finished with the new Daein.
- Sothe: You chose principles over country and comrades. I can't blame you for that.
- Zihark: But these people are my comrades! Look around you, Sothe! These people aren't your enemies, they're your friends!
- Sothe: Let's get on with this. I'm with Daein. You're with the Laguz Alliance. There's only one thing to do when enemies meet.
- Zihark: I won't go easy on you. I respect you too much for that!
Ike vs Zihark (enemy) in chapter 3-7 Edit
- Zihark: Ike...
- Ike: It's been a while, Zihark. So, you're with Daein?
- Zihark: Yep. This is weird, Ike. I never thought we'd meet again as enemies.
- Ike: It's the nature of being a mercenary. No hard feelings, Zihark. Any chance you could convince the Daein army to retreat?
- Zihark: I wish. It's too complicated right now. Too many politicians playing around.
- Ike: I see... I'm not much for politics. All I do is live by my principles, my sword, and my friends. What can I say? I won’t change who I am, even if it means fighting you.
- Zihark: That's fine by me. You're still the man I knew from the Mad King's War. It's about time I also threw away my doubts...
Ilyana vs Zihark (enemy) in chapter 3-7 Edit
- Ilyana: Hello, Sir Zihark.
- Zihark: Ilyana... You're on their side, too?
- Ilyana: And you stand with the enemy...
- Zihark: I don't know why, but it feels like you've been in my life longer than the others. I couldn't handle it if you got hurt. Ilyana, please pull back before something awful happens. I beg of you.
- Ilyana: Oh, Zihark...
Zihark and Micaiah in chapter 3-E Edit
- Zihark: Micaiah! Pull back your troops! We don't want to fight you. There's got to be a way to stop all this!
- Micaiah: I can't, and there isn't. We have to keep fighting. Until the last of us falls, we have no choice.
- Zihark: What's happened to you all?! Why get yourselves into such a hopeless war? Why did you do those horrible things in the valley? I know all of this must have a reason! Please tell me... Tell me how my country lost its soul.
- Micaiah: I’ve nothing to say to you.
- Zihark: I see. No words to waste on a deserter like me, is that it? I'm sorry I wasted your time.
- Micaiah: Zihark–
- Zihark: No, please... Just know that I could never draw steel against you. Good-bye, Micaiah.
- Micaiah: I... I'm so sorry, Zihark. I can't get you involved in this, too.
Zihark and Pelleas in chapter 3-E Edit
- Zihark: King Pelleas. Would you please listen to what I have to say?
- Pelleas: Zihark. What is there to talk about? You've deserted your country and your people.
- Zihark: I just don't understand. I thought I knew you. You are a good, kind man. Why do you continue to fight for those bloodsucking senators?
- Pelleas: I don’t want to talk about it.
- Zihark: Your Majesty...
- Pelleas: It doesn't concern you anymore. You've abandoned Daein–and us. If you want to stop us, use your sword–not words.
- Zihark: My sword and my allegiance do lie elsewhere now, it's true. But I am not without honor. I will not draw my sword against the man I call my king, no matter what.
- Pelleas: ...I’m sorry, Zihark. At least you’ll be spared from the curse of the pact.
Zihark and Tauroneo in chapter 3-E Edit
- Zihark: General Tauroneo! Finally, I found you! Please, tell me what happened to Daein! Why are you fighting?
- Tauroneo: There is nothing to say. We have parted ways. That is all.
- Zihark: What are you trying to hide?! Daein has now committed atrocities on par with those committed by Ashnard! I want to know why you'd continue to fight a war like this!
- Tauroneo: And I say that there is no need for you to know. Mercenary Zihark, return to your allies in the apostle's army.
- Zihark: I will find out what's going on here! If my country can't save itself, then I'LL save it! But I'll never raise my sword against you. Good-bye for now, General. I hope our next meeting goes better.
- Tauroneo: ...Forgive me.
Zihark vs Nailah in chapter 3-E Edit
- Nailah: Zihark... You used to fight for Micaiah.
- Zihark: Queen Nailah. Do you fight for Daein now?
- Nailah: Well, let's say I've replaced some of the deserters.
- Zihark: That's right, I'm a deserter. I don't have to defend my decision. I made the right choice.
- Nailah: Zihark, I don't care. These are beorc problems. What I'm interested in is you and your blade. Shall we get started? I remember you as a skilled swordsman. I'm excited to see your work up close.
- Zihark: I don't know if my blade can match your jaws, Queen Nailah, but I'm honored to face you. At your ready.
Ike vs Zihark (enemy) in chapter 3-E Edit
- Zihark: Ike, I'm sorry, I... I must raise my sword against you.
- Ike: Zihark, what's going on here? Why do you sound so desperate? This isn't like you at all!
- Zihark: I'll take my secret to the grave. Besides, you know I don't like to complain. At your ready, Commander.
Ilyana vs Zihark (enemy) in chapter 3-E Edit
- Zihark: Ilyana, we've no time for doubts now. This mess has to finish its course. Let's get this over with.
- Ilyana: Sir Zihark... I wish it didn't have to be this way...
Zihark vs Izuka Edit
- Zihark: Izuka the Cruel... You are the author of this atrocity against nature? What gives you the right to perform your vile works on the laguz!
- Izuka: The sub-humans are perfect subjects! What could be wrong with using them?
- Zihark: ...She always told me not to let anger and hatred get the best of me, not to let them guide my blade... This will be my only exception.
—Zihark's death quote in Path of Radiance
—Zihark's death quote in Radiant Dawn
Zihark is illustrated in the trading card game Fire Emblem Cipher with the following cards:
Zahhak' is a character in the Persian poem 'Shāhnāma' by Ferdowsi, written in approximately 1000 A.D.. The character has its sources in early Iranian mythology as 'Aži Dahāka.' In the poem, Zahhak is a handsome, good person who is easily swayed by evil counselors, particularly a character named 'Ahriman,' who first convinces Zahhak to kill his father to gain the throne. Gradually, through Ahriman's influence, Zahhak becomes more and more evil and corrupted. It is interesting, though, that Zihark from the games seems to follow the opposite progression, growing up in a prejudiced and cruel country whose influence he later successfully rejects.
As a note, 'Deros' in the below trivia is equivalent to 'Delos,' which is the Greek island where Leto gave birth to Apollo and Artemis.
- An early picture shows Ike fighting a "Deros" (possibly later named Daein) soldier. That soldier bears a resemblance to Zihark, as well as being equipped with a Killing Edge.
- Zihark has a cut support with Ike in the data for Path of Radiance. There is also an unused ending dialogue for Zihark for if he had an A support with Ike.
- "Crimea's an interesting place, but I’ve decided to travel to Daein. ...We never did have our match, did we? Of course, I'm no longer in the same class as you... I'll be training hard for the next time we meet!" - Zihark's unused ending dialogue.
- In Radiant Dawn, Zihark is not able to attack or counter-attack against twelve characters, even while he is an enemy. These characters are Lethe, Mordecai, Ranulf, Reyson, Leanne, Micaiah, Ilyana, Jill, Meg, Brom, Tauroneo, and Pelleas.
- Zihark, along with Edward, are the only two characters that can reach a SS weapon rank as a second tier unit.
- Though Zihark's girlfriend left from pressure in the English version, the original Japanese version does not elaborate on what happened to her. The artbook confirms that she was killed.
- In Awakening, Zihark claims that he is from the Toha Vigilantes, despite the fact that he was never loyal to them, and only fought for them during one chapter out of both the games he appeared in.
- Zihark is one of the few recruited units who can defect from the player's side to the enemy side when chosen to speak with the enemy, with Jill being the other.
- Zihark is the second character in Fire Emblem series who can leave the roster after they are recruited if certain conditions are not met. The other two examples are Jill in Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Kaze in Fire Emblem: Fates.