The Berserker Armor is a suit of highly durable body armor currently worn by Guts. Wearers of the armor are aptly named "berserkers", due to the superhuman strength and inhuman ferocity they are bestowed.
At an unknown point in time, the Berserker Armor was forged by the dwarf blacksmith Hanarr, who imbued it with an ominous Od purposed for rousing its wearer's negative emotions, namely rage and violence. The armor was eventually donned by the man who became the Skull Knight, used by him to combat demonkind. Eventually, he entrusted the dangerous artifact to his friend, the witch Flora. In her care, it remained locked away.
It is later entrusted to Guts after Flora's spirit tree mansion is invaded by apostles of Griffith's reborn Band of the Falcon. In spite of Grunbeld's immense strength, even after his fire dragon transformation, Guts easily withstands his attacks after donning the Berserker Armor and overwhelms the apostle in their clash.
The primary function of the Berserker Armor, by way of its Od, is to suppress the physiological and subconscious systems of the human body which would normally prevent a person from exerting enough force to injure themselves. The result is a significant augmentation of the wearer's physicality, increasing strength and speed to previously unimaginable levels. The armor does this by eliminating the distress caused by pain; the wearer can still feel pain as a sensation, but the mind does not interpret the pain as being a problem, allowing for it to simply be ignored. It also invokes a tremendous bloodlust in the wearer, amplifying negative emotions like hate, fear, and anger that enable the wearer to fight harder. The armor also temporarily repairs debilitating injuries in the heat of battle. For instance, a broken arm will be pieced together by the armor injecting thin spines from itself into the broken bones, returning them to their proper places and restoring the limb's functionality. The armor can also repair itself if damaged.
Upon inducing a berserker rage, the armor's helm takes on a distinct appearance. In Guts' case, the helmet and bevor are shaped like the Beast of Darkness; able to function as a mouth capable of biting enemies. When the armor is active, the helm's eye sockets glow red and Guts' face is completely obstructed; if in control of himself, however, the swordsman's face is partially visible and the helm's eye sockets stop emitting their red glow, instead showing his real eye.
In one instance, the Berserker Armor has displayed the ability to impart unto its current wearer a "blood memory" seeped into it of a previous wearer's final moments.
The armor's power comes with significant drawbacks, the most important of which is associated with the Od that gives the armor its power. If the wearer does not actively check their negative emotions, the Od can consume the wearer's psyche, turning them into a feral, bloodthirsty monster that can no longer differentiate between friend and foe. If this state is entered repeatedly, the wearer's senses will begin to deteriorate until they are lost completely. It can also cause chronic mental deterioration, providing a hotbed for its wearer's inner darkness to fester. In Guts' case, the only currently reliable way to keep him stable while using the armor to its full effect is to reinforce his mind and spirit with a powerful magical presence, such as that exuded by Schierke's astral body or the Moonlight Boy's presence.
The armor's ability to suppress pain allows the wearer to harm themselves through overexertion. In the same vein, the armor's reinforcement of broken bones or other debilitating injuries can lead to death through blood loss.
- In Old Norse legends and lore, berserkers were described as warriors who fought in a trance-like fury.
- ^ Berserk :: Volume 41, "Gorge"
- ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 26, "Berserker Armor (2)"
- ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 41, "Phantom Death"
- ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 28, "Proclaimed Omen"
- ^ Berserk :: Volume 26, "Claw Marks"
- ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 27, "Fire Dragon"
- ^ Berserk :: Volume 36, "Full Moon (1)"
- ^ Berserk :: Volume 28, "Roar of the Sea"
- ^ Berserk :: Volume 33, "Howl from the Darkness"
Axe of the Gnomes · Berserker Armor · Cannon Arm · Dragon Slayer · Flamethrower Pump · Golem · Miniature Bomb · Repeater Crossbow · Rocket Launcher · Salamander Dagger · Silver Dagger · Sword of Beherits · Sylph Sword · Throwing Knife · Wicker Man