“Brave warriors of Rigel. You have fought with courage and skill at my side these long years. But the hour of reckoning is upon us. Our empire's light is guttering. Now heed my words well! If I should fall, my final order is that you lay down your arms and surrender. I hear the young Zofian general is a man of mercy. If you have any love and loyalty for me, you'll not waste your lives this day.”
—Rudolf's pre-battle speech in Act 4 in Echoes.
Rudolf is the fourth generation Emperor of Rigel, as well as a renowned general who stood on the battlefield from a young age, with numerous victories to his name. Within the empire, the people fear his reign of terror, but his knights are among the most steadfastly loyal to his rule. About 17 years prior to the start of Gaiden and Echoes, Rudolf was blessed with a son who bore a special brand of Duma on his left hand. Upon seeing this mark as well as hearing of a Zofian princess with a brand of Mila on her hand, Rudolf summoned Mycen, a long time friend from Zofia, where he entrusted his son to him to raise into a great warrior.
16 years later, a man was washed ashore in Rigel and discovered by a Rigelian priestess, Tatiana, who nursed him back to health. The man showed great skill as a knight and the two became close. Naming him Ezekiel, or Zeke for short, Rudolf tasked him to follow a man who bore a mark on his left hand should he ever meet him in battle. Zeke would later uphold this promise, following Alm in his cause.
Through the years, Rudolf enacted a plan to spur the Valentian people into conflict in order to end the rule of Duma and Mila on the Rigelian and Zofian people respectively, both whom he viewed as a danger to humans as a whole. As such, he became a conqueror, set on unifying the continent of Valentia under a single rule. Rudolf begins his plan, requesting the Falchion from Duma in order to seal Mila, and aiding Desaix in his rebellion in order to provoke the true heroes to come out and stop him or unite the continent by military might.
Over the years, Rudolf became acquainted with his nephew, Berkut, who desired to become heir to the Empire by becoming a great knight worthy of Rudolf. Rudolf often humored Berkut's ambitions and grandeur, but when he constantly failed him during the conflict against the Zofian force, the Deliverance, Rudolf sidelines him to prevent further shame upon the empire.
End of the Age of GodsEdit
Alm, who lead the Deliverance, eventually reaches the Rigelian castle. At the dawn of the battle, Rudolf praises his knights for their loyalty and orders them to surrender peacefully should he fall in battle.
A man of great ambition, Rudolf commands Rigel with great respect from the masses and undying loyalty from the knights in his service. Even his final order was strictly observed by his order of knights upon his death. Even Berkut admires Rudolf, possibly being the only individual he has ever shown such respect. However, he has shown very little attention to Berkut, despite him being his nephew. Inversely, due to the war he launched against Zofia, he is seen by the Zofian people as a power hungry conqueror who is merely trying to unify Valentia through force.
In truth, Rudolf was a man of great order and initiative, seeing that the influence of Duma and Mila on the Valentians were too harmful for the Valentians and awaiting for the circumstances that could lead to the end of the rule of the Divine Dragons. Upon seeing the Brand on his son's hand and hearing of a Zofian princess with the selfsame mark, Rudolf enacted his plan, even at the expense of his son and himself. Even after 17 years, after seeing his son for the first and last time since he first gave him to Mycen to raise, he expressed great pride in his son's power and kindness and dies happily knowing that Valentia would have a great leader in his absence.
*Due to equipped Angel Ring
As previously stated, if Alm attacks Rudolf or if Rudolf attacks Alm, then Rudolf will not attack/attack back. This is the only real method that the player can use to beat him (unless they level grind for a very extensive amount of time), as in addition to being equipped with an Angel Ring (which essentially boosts his critical rate by 20%), he has very high HP (52, the max HP of the game for all units except the final boss), attack, defense, and speed. Assuming the player has refrained from serious level grinding, he will generally be able to double any unit that attacks him, and given that the highest amount of defense your units will have generally is 20 at best (and this would only include your Barons), he will do an average of 14 or more damage given the fact that he has a high critical rate. If not for the fact that Rudolf will not attack Alm in battle, Rudolf would likely be the most difficult boss out of all the Fire Emblem games given his high stats and abilities, along with the fact that he moves.
*Due to equipped Angel Ring
Like Gaiden, Rudolf will not attack Alm. If Alm is in range of Rudolf, he will initiate an attack on Alm.
Rudolf is fairly vulnerable to magic; the best strategy to abuse this would be to kill all of the enemy Bow Knights and use a Bow Knight of your own to kill the enemy Arcanists before attempting to attack Rudolf. This would require Rudolf moving out of his position, which would entail using the Invoke spell or sending an incredibly durable unit to lure Rudolf out of his position to a point where he can attacked by a Thunder or Sagittae spell over the wall of the right side of the map. In Hard Mode, Rudolf cannot be killed with magic alone due to his improved resistance and how the enemies on the map are positioned differently. The best strategy in Hard Mode would be to lure out Rudolf with Dread Fighter from Silque's Invoke spell, targeting him with as much magic as possible, and having Alm finish him off, with the Royal Sword's Double Lion skill if necessary.
If you have Delthea with Ragnarok however, as well as training 3 other mages (Preferably the 3 Saints), and you had defeated Nuibaba (which is highly recommended as Tatiana is by far the best healer in the game), you can use both Silque and Tatiana's Invokes to lure Rudolf into moving as soon as possible, and allowing all 4 to bombard him with attacks, and due to the Mage Ring that can be traded around, all 4 will have 1-4 range against Rudolf, and as Sephraim and Ragnarok are the most accurate spells in the game, this method should kill Rudolf quite easily, as long as Silque, Faye and Tatiana have decent attack values.
“Come... Strike me!”
—Rudolf's battle quote in Echoes
Vs Alm: Edit
- Alm: "What's going on? Why won't you attack? What are you planning, Rudolf?!"
- Rudolf: "......"
“This is...as it should be...”
—Rudolf's defeat voice clip in Echoes
“Alm... You've become a splendid young man... Was it no mistake to have entrusted you with Sir Mycen after all...? You should have realized it by now, haven't you? Your real name is Albein Alm Rudolf. My... one and only... son... Guh... I cannot speak for much longer... However, Alm. I have just one last request. Using "Falchion", that holy sword that sealed Mila... Defeat... the fell god... Duma...”
—Upon Rudolf's defeat in Chapter 4 in Gaiden
“You've...done well...I'm proud of you...my son. I knew I was right to entrust you to my dearest friend. I'd thought you'd have realized it by now. Your true name... Your true name is Albein Alm Rudolf. You are...my one and only son. Nnngh... Be still, Alm. I haven't time left...to explain. But I beg you to grant me one...final favor. Take the divine Falchion that...sealed Mila's strength... Duma has become a thing of mindless evil. Use the blade... Destroy him... Please, my son... You must...”
—Upon Rudolf's defeat in Chapter 4 in Echoes
- "The time has come!"
- "No mercy!"
- "Now perish!"
Rudolf is a Germanic name deriving from two stems: Rod or Hrōð, meaning "fame", and olf meaning "wolf".
- Rudolf's first name is unknown, as his son Alm's full name, Albein Alm Rudolf II, clarifies that Rudolf is the family name. This makes him one of the only Fire Emblem characters to be referred to only by his last name.
- However, given the fact that his son is called Albein Alm Rudolf II, it's highly likely that the Emperor's full name is Albein Alm Rudolf I though this is never confirmed.
- His official artwork depicts him weilding both the Emperor Lance and the Emperor Shield
- Rudolf does not have facial hair in the manga adaptation, but he has it in the game.
- Aside from the manga, there is no artwork of Rudolf in any of the supplementary material for the original Gaiden. This is likely why he was excluded from SpotPass content relating to Gaiden in Fire Emblem Awakening.
- Rudolf shares his English VA, Jamieson Price, with Priam from Fire Emblem Awakening.