Many gamers don’t even know how much the Berserk manga has influenced the entire gaming industry.
With the tragic death of Berserker author Kentaro Miura, the manga industry lost one of its greatest creators. His colleagues will forever remember his kindness and friendliness, and many fans of Miura’s work will sorely miss his unique handwriting.
Now is the time to remind you of how influential Miura’s story has been for the video game community about a swordsman fighting demons and trying to get rid of all the evil that his closest friend brought on them. So, here are 10 games, the creators of which drew inspiration from the Berserker manga.
Devil May Cry V
Berserk is deeply embedded in the DNA of the Devil May Cry series – just look at the Gothic architecture from the second part, the deadly artificial hand of Nero and the development of a relationship between Dante and Virgil, which closely resembles the relationship between Guts and Griffith.
The fifth and final part of the series was most strongly inspired by Miura’s work, which Hideaki Itsuno himself, the game designer of Devil May Cry V, admitted to. During an interview at GDC 2019 (a conference for game developers), he noted that when creating the tone and style of Devil May Cry V, he focused specifically on the Berserk manga.
We would not have included the unreleased game in the selection, if not for a couple of important details: at the moment, all the content shown in Elden Ring almost frame by frame copies scenes from “Berserker”. The game’s inspiration is clear.
In the network, you can already find a comparison of frames from the trailer with the pages of the manga authored by Miura. And right after the artist’s death, From Software fans flooded the official Elden Ring subreddit to honor the creator’s memory, and at the same time to express their love for these two franchises.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
Perhaps most gracefully said goodbye to Miura, the players of the multiplayer Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Since the overall aesthetic and outfit of the massive MMORPG was inspired by Berserker, players from all over the world decided to team up in the virtual city of Ul’Da, choosing the Dark Knight class and passing torches to each other to honor Miura.
The readiness of fans to band together for this event, using the themed gear in Final Fantasy XIV, once again demonstrates the significant contribution of the author of Berserker to popular culture.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
To an outside observer, it may seem odd that the adventure, based on Japanese folklore, has its roots in Berserk, a Western fantasy manga. But everyone who knows Hidetaka Miyazaki, the author of Sekiro, knows how often he pays homage to his beloved episode.
The protagonist Sekiro uses an artificial metal hand – and the left one, like the protagonist of “Berserker” Guts. It can be used as a firearm, which makes it even more similar to the Black Swordsman’s hand, and the mikiri counterattack performed by the hero Sekiro is a direct reference to the fighting technique of Guts and Griffith.
Final Fantasy VII
If you have little resemblance to the “Berserker” in the synopsis (a stubborn protagonist with protruding hair, large muscles and a sword the size of a skyscraper fights a thin androgynous villain with white hair and a thin sword who dreams of becoming a deity and who was the commander of the main character), then add to this Cloud’s main motivation – revenge for his friends and beloved.
The protagonist of Final Fantasy VII is also an orphan, he also destroys demons and also dreams of being like an antagonist until the latter goes to the dark side. After this, it is very difficult not to see Guts and Griffith in Cloud and Sephiroth.
Hideaki Itsuno announced that the style of Devil May Cry V was inspired by Berserker, but in the case of the cult RPG Dragon’s Dogma, he didn’t even have to say anything – everything was obvious.
The plot of the game tells about the adventures of a warrior in a Western fantasy setting, in which you can find a lot of visual references to Miura’s work, not to mention the characters who seem to have migrated directly from Berserker. The associations between the two were so strong that in honor of the release of the animated trilogy Berserker: The Golden Age, the Guts and Griffith armor sets appeared in Dragon’s Dogma.
And again in our selection of Hidetaka Miyazaki with another game created under the influence of “Berserker”. Monsters like Ludwig, obsessed dogs, the sky offspring, the Brain of Mensis and many others immediately suggest Miura’s manga with their visual characteristics.
Moreover, the Mark of the Hunter in Bloodborne is a clear homage to the mark of the Berserker victim. And if you add to this the main plot of the plot (the hero hunts terrible monsters, just like Guts), then in Bloodborne there will be almost nothing that would not be inspired by Miura’s works.
Yoko Taro is known primarily as the creator of the Nier series, but even before the release of Automata, he became famous for the game Drakengard. The style of the project can be explained as a mixture of lush Nier aesthetics, Nietzschean sentiments and the harshness of Berserk.
Drakengard, set in a European fantasy setting, takes players through a maelstrom of atrocities, deaths, wars, inhuman atrocities, suicides and, finally, all-conquering friendship. There are few direct references to “Berserker” here, but the general direction of the plot is carried out exactly according to the precepts of Miura.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
The Metal Gear Solid series is associated primarily with Hideo Kojima’s unique style and political overtones in the stories, but the plot in The Phantom Pain, oddly enough, was clearly composed with an eye to Berserker.
Metal Gear Solid V tells the story of a black-haired soldier who has lost his right eye and left hand, who kills his mentor, converges with a group of mercenaries who meet a cruel death after betrayal (during which one of the main characters is tortured), and then decides to restore justice. Who would have thought that a fantasy manga story would translate so well into military stealth action?
“Berserk” strongly influenced all of Hidetaka Miyazaki’s work, but it is best seen in the Dark Souls series. Miyazaki has never hidden his love for Berserker and its influence on Dark Souls, and he often noted that the famous series of games might not have been born if it were not for the legendary manga.
There are so many similarities between the two works that they simply do not fit into one article, especially if you count all three games (even four together with Demon’s Souls). You just need to look at the locations, characters, bosses, general art style and other details from the games. Even the prohibitive level of difficulty in Dark Souls is nothing more than an attempt to recreate the sense of hopelessness and constant threat that pervades Miura’s Berserker.