In light of Kentaro Miura’s untimely passing, we decided that it is time to talk about his masterpiece, Berserk.
Berserk can be favorably compared to Frank Herbert’s Dune when it comes to how much of an influence it had on different forms of media.
In this article, we will be highlighting some of the influences of Berserk on video games. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The creator of Dark Souls, Hidetaka Miyazaki is an avid reader of Berserk manga. Throughout Dark Souls franchise there are lots of neat references to Berserk.
At times the similarity can be noticed quite easily, such as when the cover of Dark Souls DLC Artorias of the Abyss. This cover is a reference to Guts in his Berserkers armor. Artorias, one of the best Dark Souls bosses, is posed in a similar fashion to evoke the same image.
Artorias’ fighting style is also quite similar to Guts in that they both disregard a lot of conventional sword fighting styles in favor of a more unpredictable and chaotic style.
Additionally, there are certain monsters in Dark Souls that have been inspired by Berserk.
The most notable one that come to mind are the Bonewheels. They are skeletons that are carrying/tied to large wooden wheels that spawn in areas like the Catacombs. They roll towards the player and can be quite a nuisance to deal with in the early stages of the game.
While this isn’t officially confirmed, when Griffith makes his first appearance as Femto, the newly birthed Godhand, he refers to the mass of souls being swallowed up by the abyss as an “ocean of Dark Souls”.
The main character of the original Drakengard game, Caim, had similar circumstances as Guts. Both of them are marked with a cursed seal and wielding a heavy sword.
In case of Caim, it takes away his ability to speak. Also, look at this recurring weapon titled Broken Nail from the Drakengard series. It looks almost identical to the Dragon Slayer wielded by Guts later on.
According to the director of the NieR and Drakengard series, Yoko Taro, Berserk was a huge inspiration for him.
Final Fantasy VII
When it comes to Final Fantasy VII, you don’t have to look much further than the main protagonist Cloud Strife. Cloud’s Buster Sword is a reference to Dragon Slayer from Berserk.
There is also somewhat of a resemblance between the main antagonist Sephiroth and Griffith from Berserk. Much like Griffith, Sephiroth is unmatched in the way of the sword. He is also quite the charismatic character in the first few chapters of Final Fantasy VII – Crisis Core, another very similar trait shared by the leader of Band of Hawks, Griffith.
Final Fantasy XIV
The Dark Knight subclass system in Final Fantasy XIV is a reference to Guts and his Berserker Armor. This subclass was introduced to the game with the launch of Heavensward expansion pack. Complete with a dark iron clad armor and a massive sword, the typical Dark Knight in the game would look very much like Guts.
Final Fantasy XIV players paid a tribute to Miura’s passing by changing to Dark Knight class and forming massive lines in one of the game’s main cities, Ul’dah.
Devil May Cry
Hideaki Itsuno, the creator of Devil May Cry 2 and Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening acknowledged that some of the themes in the game are inspired by Berserk. DMC has a similar theme as Berserk with all the demon slaying and apocalyptic scenarios, although DMC takes things in a more light hearted manner than Berserk.
The Red Orbs in the DMC franchise is also reference to the Crimson Behelit from Berserk manga which will bring about the birth of The Godhand Femto.
These are just some examples of popular games which took inspiration from Kentaro Miura’s brilliant work on his magnum opus, Berserk.
We are big fans of the Berserk manga and lament the passing of such a phenomenal mangaka. Berserk was a foundational piece of reading for many of us in our late teens.
We would like to take this moment to sincerely thank Kentaro Miura-sensei for the masterful work that he has done.
Though Miura-sensei has put his pen down, his legacy continues to live on through his work and the many others it inspired.