May we run rampant with hatred and wild joy just to crush with these fangs the true light that burns us.
– The Beast of Darkness
The Beast of Darkness is the manifestation of Guts' wrath and bloodlust, born from the trauma of his experiences during the Eclipse and his intense vindictiveness toward demonkind. As an amalgamation of the swordsman's malice, it relentlessly attempts to overtake his mind. Whenever Guts dons the Berserker Armor, the fetish is reshaped to reflect it.
The Beast is comprised solely of Guts' most negative emotions: hate, anger, malice, and particularly his desire for revenge against Griffith. When Guts begins regaining his humanity, it begins making numerous attempts at forcing him to resume their carnage. It sees Guts' new allies and Casca as enablers of Guts' morality, and believes said morality can be eliminated by killing them all. It also sees his allies as impediments to its desire for revenge, as Guts deliberately chose to safeguard Casca over attempting to kill Griffith. Yet it also encourages Guts to cherish them, believing their untimely deaths to be an inevitability and eagerly awaiting the moment it can consume Guts in his despair.
The Beast also represents Guts' lust, as it showed a strong attraction to Casca and tempted Guts into forcing himself upon her. Additionally, it showed Guts visions of itself ravaging and beheading her, urging him to "Rip her to shreds. The way Griffith did."
During Guts' two year warpath of blood and carnage following the Eclipse, the Beast's presence grows parallel to the swordsman's malice. Sometime after defeating Rosine, restless spirits surrounding Guts manifest as the Beast, taunting him about his destructive actions and divulging the origins of the entity, as his inner darkness personified. The spirits suggest Guts' eventual subjugation to it, proposing that he too can become a monster, similar to Griffith.
In Godot's mine, as Guts is plagued by his past and begins accepting his growing darkness, the Beast reminds him, "The blood must flow," urging him to continue killing, even if it will never sate the bloodlust.
Millennium Falcon Arc
Pushed to his breaking point from protecting a regressed Casca, Guts temporarily gives in to the Beast and unleashes his lust on his companion. The struggler is driven by a vision of the Beast ravaging a bared Casca, as he begins gnawing at her breast. When Guts comes to his senses, he is left shaken by his actions, afraid of what he might do if left unchecked and consequently accepting the fellowship of Farnese, Serpico and Isidro.
The Beast resurfaces when the swordsman dons the Berserker Armor. As the violent od of the armor begins to mesmerize Guts, it warps the armor's helmet into the shape of its own visage. The Black Swordsman then combats Grunbeld, decisively outclassing the apostle in a feral onslaught. Only by way of Schierke's astral projection into and reinforcement of Guts' ego by reminding him of who he is and how he is to protect Casca is the Beast's hold on the swordsman relinquished.
The Beast is able to envelop the Black Swordsman's mind on two following occasions: at the beach near and harbor of Vritannis. Upon boarding the Seahorse, Schierke etches a personal talisman on Guts' brand, restraining the Beast with ethereal chains. However, when Guts contracts a fever, he is met by the Beast in a nightmare, who makes it known how he can manifest through the Berserker Armor and that the witch's constraints would not hold it at bay forever. Unable to fully exert its influence, it chooses to bide its time until the deaths of Guts' companions – for the moment when the swordsman is forced to resume their carnage and finally extinguish the burning light that is Griffith.
When the Seahorse crew comes under attack on a remote island in the Western Sea, Guts gives in to the Beast again to combat his enemies; under its influence, the Black Swordsman is able to annihilate the attacking swarm of the Sea God's appendages. However, he thereafter sets his sights on his comrades, with his own will only scantly impeding the compulsion of his inner darkness. A childlike luminous body appears to Guts in his subconsciousness, wherein it jumbles the Beast's hold and creates an opening for Schierke to again free the swordsman from the entity's sway.
Its sway on Guts increases in tandem with the swordsman's negative emotions. Upon activating the Berserker Armor, Guts' strength and agility are unmitigated by his body's natural limitations, and as such, yielding to the Beast makes Guts fight with total unrestrainment. When manifesting through the Berserker Armor, the Beast is able to overtake Guts' sound mind. On such occasions, Guts displays unparalleled brutality, capable of overwhelming both high-ranking apostles, and legions of large monsters and Kushan familiars.
Additionally, the od emitted by the Berserker Armor – and thus the influence of the Beast itself – has been shown to increase in intensity with every activation of the fetish. It has become so great as to render Schierke unable to penetrate Guts' subverted subconsciousness any longer, granting the Beast a foothold over the Black Swordsman when called upon.
The entity is only impeded by Schierke's magic, Guts' own willpower and, most notably, the Moonlight Boy, who can effectively disrupt its influence and make way for the restoration of Guts' mental state. However, its presence is never permanently driven out in any of the aforementioned cases, but rather temporarily subdued; it has made it known that the constraints currently mitigating its influence will not restrain it forever.
- ^ Volume 23 cover art
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 26, "Berserker Armor (2)"
- ^ a b c d e f g Berserk, Volume 33, "Howl from the Darkness"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 27, "Departure of Flame"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 23, "Fangs of Ego"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 16, "Beast of Darkness"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 17, "Feeble Flame"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 27, "Fire Dragon"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 28, "Sea Beast (Makara)"
- ^ a b Berserk, Volume 31, "Sword Beast"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 33, "Sea Battle (1)"
- ^ a b c Berserk, Volume 36, "Full Moon (1)"
- ^ Berserk, Volume 36, "Full Moon (2)"