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Zelgius, better known by his alternate identity as the Black Knight, is one of the supporting characters of two Fire Emblem games - Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn.

A Mii Fighter Costume modeled after his armor was made available as DLC for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. He later joined Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a summonable Assist Trophy.

Character Description

Despite his towering presence, mysterious personality, and exceptional fighting skills, Zelgius is an honorable man, regarded by his comrades to be the last true knight. A chivalrous man who tries to be peaceful and non-violent as possible, he never killed anyone for the sake of it, especially those who refused to fight back. However, this all goes away when he dons the persona of the Black Knight, acting as a ruthless war machine who is willing to torture enemies.

Zelgius was born in Daein to a father with Laguz ancestry, a heritage that would get branded on his back. Because of this, he endured abuse from his family, turning him into a bitter and lonely child, and later joined the Daein military to escape. He served under General Gawain of the Four Riders, a man who taught him swordfighting and one Zelgius held high reverence for. It would be his desire to duel the general (and later his son Ike) that would drive him in life, so much so that it could be considered his calling, as he believed that Gawain was a worthy opponent and his equal.

Shortly after the Serenes Massacre, he is visited by the sage Lehran; the two bond after Zelgius shares his hardships to him. Lehran then makes an offer to the young knight to join him and assist in achieving his plans, to which Zelgius agrees at the promise of not being alone. Shortly after Gawain leaves the army due to his wife acquiring Lehran's Medallion, a devastated Zelgius left sometime after to serve the sage. After Lehran enters the Begnion Senate as Sephiran, Zelgius joins the Begnion military, where he quickly rose the ranks and gains the title of Earl of Kadohl, and eventually became recognized as a hero by the time of the Mad King's War. Zelgius takes on the moniker of the Black Knight when Sephiran instructs him to be employed under the king of Daein, Ashnard; despite not revealing his identity, Zelgius became one of the king's most trusted agents.

Path of Radiance

One day, in the advent of the Mad King's War, both Zelgius and Sephiran travelled to Galia to find Gawain and his wife Elena to retrieve the Medallion. After finally tracking him down, they discover that Gawain had changed his name to Greil and became the leader of a mercenary troop known as the Greil Mercenaries. In the following evening, Zelgius discovers that Greil had touched Lehran's Medallion years prior, which drove him to mindlessly kill countless friends and Elena. The Black Knight then enters into a duel against Greil, which ends more quickly than expected when Zelgius kills his former mentor in front of his children, Mist and Ike. Before he could retrieve the Medallion, he is interrupted by Galia's ruler Caineghis and retreats.

As the war raged on, the Black Knight gained notoriety among the armies due to his strength and mystique as well as his loyal servitude towards Ashnard (though he secretly was still fulfilling his duties as a Begnion soldier, working as a double agent). He also began to observe Ike's growth as a warrior closely, as Ike himself was driven by vengeance while taking over leadership of the Greil Mercenaries. The two cross paths multiple times during multiple instances, but Ike cannot harm him with his regular weapons as the Black Knight's armor is blessed; however, Zelgius instructs him to wield the holy blade Ragnell for their next encounter as to ensure a fair and proper fight (as the Black Knight himself wields its sister blade, Alondite). Eventually, the two confront one another for a final time during the war in the Battle of Nados Castle, with Ike now wielding Ragnell. During their duel, Ike reveals that Greil willingly crippled his own arm as to resist the Medallion's temptations further, explaining the Black Knight's easy victory. He then realizes that Ike will soon become a truly worthy opponent, so he purposely loses the duel as to ensure Ike's destiny. After his defeat, his body is trapped in the rubble of the collapsing Nados Castle and is presumed dead; however, having secretly survived, he continues to assist the Begnion military as Zelgius unbeknownst to Ike until the final moments of the war, where they successfully defeat Ashnard. Zelgius leaves the army and entrusts it under Ike's care by the orders of Crimea's new queen, Elincia.

Radiant Dawn

Three years later, the remnants of the Daein empire are oppressed by the occupying forces of the corrupt Begnion Empire, lacking a proper ruler. A group of vigilante rebels named the Dawn Brigade, led by Micaiah and Sothe, work to free their people from the empire. One night, Micaiah left the rebel campsite to head to a nearby wood to relax, but is suddenly ambushed by Jarod. Before he could kill her, however, Zelgius suddenly appears to stop him. The two then team up to defeat Jarod's men, but unfortunately was unable to kill the man himself, as Jarod's aide Adler took the fatal blow on his master's behalf. After Sothe arrives and is debriefed on the situation, the Black Knight swears to protect Micaiah, as she senses impending doom due to her choice to let Jarod go to bury Adler. The two then fight alongside the Dawn Brigade to take back Daein Keep and save it from Jarod's fire-bombing assault. The news of their successful recapture and the Black Knight's return spreads to Crimea's queen Elincia.

Soon after Daein's restoration, war breaks out between Begnion and the Laguz Alliance after Rafiel leaks information regarding the Begnion Senate's involvement in the Serenes Massacre. During the conflict, Zelgius returns to his double agent ways, fulfilling his guardian role for Micaiah as the Black Knight and (reluctantly) as the leader of the Begnion army as himself once again. While at the heed of the Begnion Senate, he eventually defied their orders and ultimately sided with the Alliance by killing the general Skirimir, causing the Senate's plans of Laguz extinction to backfire and the war to end peaceably with minimal casualties. However, the ceasefire was shortlived as the Senate quickly overruled it, forcing Zelgius to continue the war after hearing that Sephiran has been arrested and branded a traitor. The severity of the war worsens after the arrival of Senator Valtome of Culbert, appointed to be Zelgius' new superior officer as the army's new commander-in-chief, who is preparing to invade Gallia through Crimea.

Under Valtome's orders, the Begnion army conducts raids on Crimean towns for supplies. After one of their raids is stopped by the Crimean Royal Knights, Valtome seeks permission to pass through, despite Zelgius and Elincia's objections. Days later, the Begnion army goes through Crimean territory anyway and are met with the Laguz Alliance, preparing for a battle. However, Elincia arrives to prevent them from fighting, laying her sword down as a symbolic gesture; both armies decide to retreat, despite Valtome's orders. Zelgius then orders that no more soldiers were to join the battle and takes the blame for his refusal to fight, where Valtome wants him to be executed as punishment, using it as an opportunity to forge a cover story about his death by saying it was during a battle against the Laguz Alliance. However, the execution plans were halted by the interruption of Sanaki and her Holy Guard, who reveals the Senate's nefarious plans to the Begnion army.

This confrontation would cause a civil war, splitting the army into two factions - those loyal to Sanaki, and those loyal to the Senate. Zelgius and Sanaki's forces merge with the Laguz Alliance and the Crimean forces, forming the Apostle's Army, though Zelgius departs to Begnion on his own to find Sephiran, leaving Ike to command the army in his place. After successfully rescuing Sephiran, the two provoke the Begnion people to revolt against the Senate. Eventually, all of the warring fulfill's Sephiran's ultimate goal of awakening the goddesses, as Ashera begins to turn people into stone, while Yune recruits memebers of the Apostle's Army, the Daein army, and Micaiah's Silver Army to help her undo the goddess' judgement. Zelgius himself remained unaffected due to being a Branded.

All three armies arrive at the Tower of Guidance, where the Black Knight awaits them inside; he then takes off his helmet for the first time, revealing to everyone and confirming Ike's suspicions that he was indeed Zelgius. He and Ike enter into one final duel to the death in order to finally end their rivalry, while the other forces fought off the opposing armies. Ike eventually prevails against Zelgius and mortally wounds him. In his final moments, Ike tells him that he was excited for another chance to fight him and that he considered him his final teacher in the ways of swordfighting. Zelgius thanks Ike, feeling he finally had the chance to prove himself against Greil and considered Ike his true equal. He dies peacefully, his life fulfilled.

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Sticker

Name Image Artwork Source Effect Character(s)
The Black Knight
BlackKnightSticker.png
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance Launch Power +40 Anyone

Trophy Description

BlackKnightTrophy.png

One of Daein's Four Riders and wielder of the blessed sword Ettard. 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.

  • GCN - Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
  • Wii - Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn

In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U

Mii Fighter Costume

EFB7595C-88C7-4093-B2A6-FDCB270E7C71.jpeg

A costume for the Mii Swordfighter modeled after the Black Knight armor was made available as a part of the Wave 3 batch of DLC costumes.

The sword it uses is Alondite. It is a regalia sword considered by the people of the Begnion Empire to be one of its national treasures, alongside the sister blade Ragnell, which Ike wields. Both blades were bestowed upon Altina, one of the Three Heroes of Tellius, to be used to defeat the Chaos Goddess Yune. Following Yune's imprisonment within the Fire Emblem, Alita founded Begnion and left the swords in the kingdom's possession. Zelgius presumably comes into possession of Alondite after being given to him by Sephiran.

BlackKnightSmashRun.png

Smash Tour

The Black Knight's trophy is a red item that can be acquried during Smash Tour. If used, the character's Smash Attacks will have a random chance of having a One-Hit KO effect.

Trophy Description

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.

  • GCN - Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (10/2005)
  • Wii - Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn (11/2007)

4EB7B0A9-A3C3-4D50-8B3D-0585C697EB03.jpeg

Palette Swap

One of Ike's Palette Swaps is based on the Black Knight's armor. It also changes the color of Ragnell's handle to match the armor, unlike the gold hilt of Alondite.

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

The Mii Fighter Costume modelled after the Black Knight also returns, this time as part of the base game. It must be acquired separately in the Shop; the Helm is available for 900G, while the armor is 650G.

BlackKnightSSBU.png

Assist Trophy

The Black Knight appears as a summonable Assist Trophy. He will slowly roam around the stage to attack opponents at random with powerful swings of Alondite, which can KO opponents easily and trigger a Special Zoom. He himself can also be KO'd to earn a point in a Timed match, though he has relatively high HP compared to other Assist Trophies. He also cannot be grabbed and has Launch resistance.

Spirits

A Spirit of Zelgius is available in the base game. It is a Primary Attack Spirit under the Ace class. His Spirit Battle uses a Mii Swordfighter wearing the Black Knight costume. The Mii Swordfighter has Launch resistance and has increased attack power. It is also a Stamina match. The stage is the harzard-less form of Castle Siege and the song that plays is "Against the Dark Knight". It can be enhanced to Level 99, which will then transform it to the Black Knight.

No. Spirit Artwork Origin Type Rating Effect Cost
664 Zelgius Spirit.png Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn Attack ★★★ Enhanceable 2
665 Black Knight Spirit.png Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn Attack ★★★★ Armor Knight 2

Trivia