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“Jealousy. Hate. Greed. Friends, even family members are driven to kill by such ludicrous emotions. Such emotions create fathers who try to kill their own sons to save their own flesh. As long as humans control, as long as humans dictate, as long as humans exist…this madness will never end.”
—Zephiel, to Roy in Binding Blade.
Fire Emblem: Rekka no KenEdit
Zephiel is the heir to the Bern throne, and the son of Queen Hellene. Zephiel is a very gifted child, and it is obvious that he will become a fine ruler of Bern. However, his spiteful and paranoid father, King Desmond, tries to stop him from taking the throne, wanting his favored daughter Guinivere's future husband to rule instead. Despite this, Zephiel and his half-sister, Guinivere, love each other dearly, but Desmond also wants to bring an end to their contact, starting with the order of killing a baby fox that Zephiel captured and gave to Guinivere as a pet.
During the game, Zephiel is almost murdered by Jaffar and Nino. However, Nino overhears his prayer asking for his family to live in happiness and that he can be accepted by his father. She relates with him due to her own struggles to be accepted by Sonia, whom she believes to be her mother. She thus refuses to kill him. Jaffar, who feels compassion towards Nino due to her saving him in the chapter "Four-Fanged Offense", disregards his orders and the two of them attempt to flee, leaving the prince only unconscious. Eliwood, Hector, and Lyn ultimately rescue Zephiel from Black Fang troops led by Ursula.
Fire Emblem: Binding BladeEdit
Zephiel, now king of Bern, is the main villain of Fire Emblem: Binding Blade. In this title, Zephiel's sanity is slipping away from him, and he seeks to rid the land of Elibe of humanity by allying himself with dragons, believing they would not repeat humanity's mistakes.
Many years after the events of Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken, Desmond attempted a second assassination by handing his son a goblet of poisoned wine; Zephiel took it under the belief that his father had finally accepted him. Zephiel fell ill from the poison, but did not die. However, with the help of his close ally Murdock, he stayed in hiding and had a false funeral arranged. When Desmond stepped up to the casket to view Zephiel's body at the funeral, Zephiel, now in a lust for revenge, rose and stabbed his father to death.
A few days later, Zephiel used the Fire Emblem to awaken the Demon Dragon Idenn. Shortly afterwards, the dragon Jahn sends an illusion of himself to confront Zephiel about his motives, and when it is revealed that they have similar goals, the two started working together. Five years after this, Zephiel ordered his army to take over the continent of Elibe...
The nomadic nation of Sacae was attacked by a force led by Brunnya and the first to fall. Next was the frigid nation of Ilia, with the Bern forces led by Murdock. Then he personally came to the nation of Lycia after Narcian's attack on the Lycia Alliance and spoke to the fatally wounded marquess of Ostia, Hector, who'd die shortly after Roy and the Pheraen Army came to save him.
Zephiel later forged an alliance with the corrupted nobles of the Kingdom of Etruria, Roartz, and Arcardo, and caused a rebellion there; he personally went to an attack himself with Flaer, Narcian, and begrudged Perceval, and knocked out Cecilia after she lost to him in battle. When he left, and the Lycian army was noticed, Narcian left Flaer to command, and he was killed by Roy. Later, in chapter 22, Zephiel sends Brunnya with Idenn to the Dragon Temple to complete his plan and later faces Roy, who manages to defeat him.
He can be unlocked as a playable character in the trial maps after the game is completed 7 times.
Fire Emblem: Hasha no TsurugiEdit
Zephiel makes his first appearance in person in Volume 6 after defeating Cecilia, where he engages Al in a duel. Al is nearly defeated, until he touches the Fire Emblem and promotes to a Dragon Lord, and nearly defeats Zephiel until the Fire Emblem leaves his possession. After the battle Zephiel regains the Fire Emblem and figures out that Al is the son of Hartmut and Militha, a Dragon, who, along with Al, was sealed by Hartmut to hide that fact. Zephiel later appears at the final battle with Roy. This battle is slightly different, as Zephiel starts with the Eckesachs and Sword of Seals, which he uses to seal Al again. Al then partially escapes and distracts Zephiel enough for Roy to get the Sword of Seals and kill him.
Several times in the manga, Guinivere remembers Zephiel as a kind-hearted boy, and even remembers a scene that took place in Rekka no Ken, when Zephiel gave her a baby fox.
Zephiel started out as an idealistic and talented youth wanting nothing more than his parents to reconcile and peace in the world.
Zephiel would later become twisted from his father's abuse and his mother's unintentional abuse of him. It is said by Guinivere that Zephiel was never the same after his father's attempted poisoning of him and subsequent death by Zephiel.
“All I knew is that after our father died, Zephiel never smiled again. Until then, he was strict at times, but he was always a kind and loving brother to me. So...".”
—Guinivere talking about Zephiel's trauma.
Sword - A
*Enemy only, joins unequipped
Zephiel's battle theme is called Battle for Whose Sake and plays whenever he enters battle in Binding Blade. His event theme is The Kingdom of Bern, which is exclusive to him in Binding Blade, but would be made the theme of Bern as a whole in Rekka no Ken.
“...So you have defeated me... But remember... My will shall never die... As long as humans retain control, madness will persist...”
—Zephiel's death quote in Binding Blade.
—Zephiel's death quote in Rekka no Ken.
- On the official Japanese website for Nintendo, Zephiel won 29th place out of 80 in the character popularity poll for Fire Emblem: Binding Blade. The male-female vote ratio is 5:1. The voter comments seem to generally focus on him being a powerful antagonist the player must face and his traumatic backstory.
- Like many characters in Fire Emblem: Binding Blade, Zephiel seems to be a revisitation of a character from Archanea, in this case Book 2 Hardin. Both start out as wise and benevolent allies to the protagonist who seem to have a bright future ahead as a ruler, yet turn out to be brutal tyrants because they were unloved (Hardin by his wife, Zephiel by his father), their loved ones even fooling them at one point (Nyna by proposing to Hardin due to Boah's advice and Desmond pretending to reconcile with Zephiel before his murder attempt). Hardin and Zephiel both seem to be the same age (Late 20s or early 30s) when encountered as bosses, are connected to the Nyna Archetype, have the same gold streak in their armor, are in the game's best class, Zephiel even had glowing red eyes in some pictures like corrupted Hardin, and both finally die in a chapter with hordes of Hero reinforcements. Additionally, they both wield Legendary Weapons that at least appear to be Lances and are closely associated with their kingdom (Gradivus, one of house Archanea's Three Regalia and Eckesachs, a blade that can only be wielded by Bern's King)
- However, there are prominent differences; Even in death Zephiel was steadfast in his belief that humans would lead themselves to ruin, while Hardin returned to his old self before dying. Hardin has a connection to Marth, the main character of his respective game, while Zephiel's connections are to Eliwood, the father of the main character of his respective game, and Hardin uses Lances while Zephiel prefers swords (Although Eckesachs does appear to be a Gradivus-like lance before mechanically morphing into a sword)
- Zephiel is shown in Hasha no Tsurugi  as having the Anima affinity, unlike the game showing no affinity.