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Pishacha (ピシャーチャ Pishācha?) are familiars created from spiritually-infused animals.[1] Endowed by the Emperor Ganishka[2], controlled by Kushan sorcerers[3] and overseen by Daiba as the head of the pishacha gana,[4] the nature of the possession requires a Kushan caster to locally control the minds of the animal.[5][3][6] In doing so, they must be in a state of meditation.[5] Their goal is to aid the Kushan invasion, with their methods adding to the more crude ones of conventional armies.[2] Generally deployed by night, fog surrounds their appearances.[1][7][8]


Pishacha are various animals that are possessed by Kushan magic, implanting a spirit into an animal.[1] They are sometimes outfitted with human weapons.[1] There are four variations of pishacha: tigers, crocodiles,[9] whales[5] and elephants.


Each pishacha gets their own enhanced abilities:

  • Tigers become huge and gain a toothy maw.[10]
  • Crocodiles gain the ability to walk on two legs and use human weapons, typically spears.[1]
  • Elephants gain the ability to walk on two legs, allowing to fit them with armour sets. Their leg nails become sharp claws whilst their forelegs turn into human-like hands with five fingers, allowing them to use human weapons.
  • Whales gain elephantine attributes like long trunks and tusks, allowing them to advance outside of water bodies.[5] Known as makara (マカラ), Daiba considers them as "the chief of the pishacha". According to him, a single makara is capable of sinking ten warships.[4] Their enormous size and strength make them very difficult to kill.[3] Befitting their size, they had massive strength, capable of smashing their way through brick houses with ease. In the same vein, they were incredibly dense and tough, and making lasting headway against them required quick thinking.[11] Makara were also capable of blasting water from their snouts in a high-pressure wave.[3]

When their Kushan possessor is killed, a pishacha's monstrous appearance and enhanced abilities do not disappear. However, their mind returns to its natural, animalistic state. They can be affected by a barrier that rejects astral bodies, though not entirely, since they have a physical body and are merely possessed. Once dead, pishacha don't revert to their original form immediately, taking some time to return to their strictly animal appearance.[12]


Emperor Ganishka uses this inhuman force to dominate Wyndham and invade Vritannis.

Laban and his men, while having the situation in Wyndham explained to them after having infiltrated the city, come under attack from a crocodile pishacha. As they retreat the men encounter an elephant pishacha, equipped with armor and wielding a spiked mace. The crocodile is subsequently killed by Irvine and the elephant is killed by Locus.

When Locus and his Demon Lancers assault the Wyndham palace, Ganishka sends several elephant pishacha as reinforcements to assist the daka in opposing the invaders.

Several crocodile pishacha are deployed to master the bay shores surrounding Vritannis during night, in order for the land army forces to advance. Within a single night, an entire peninsula of villages is subjugated.[2] During the operation, a group of crocodile pishacha encounter Guts and his party, with most of them being killed by the swordsman. When Serpico kills the Kushan controlling them, they regress to common beasts.[5] A makara suddenly emerges from the sea, trampling over several of the confused crocodiles. As its controllers were stationed at sea, Guts was forced to confront it. Once Guts slays the makara, the Berserker Armor clad swordsman turns his attention to the defenseless reptiles, killing the remaining pishacha with ease.[3]


A tiger pishacha appears outside the banquet hall.

Tiger pishacha are sent during the banquet at the Vritannis municipal government premises. A tiger pishacha encounters Guts and his party in the banquet hall after slaying several guards, but the feline ignores them.[7] The tiger kills several people at the ball before Guts intervenes and slays the beast. Before the nobles can grasp the situation, an entire pack barges in the room.[13] After several are killed by Guts' party, Serpico locates and kills the Kushan controlling the tigers. Schierke then immobilizes the now harmless pishacha with a spell.[6] Federico III describes them as war beasts sent by the Kushan in a scheme to take advantage of the party and murder the personages of each nation. Some nobles discuss about having heard of "savages" using beasts in battle, and wonder whether the tigers were born of some secret art of crossbreeding or drug use. In order to control the situation, he tries to pass it as a mass hallucination, but his words are called into question by a projection of Ganishka created from the fog within the animals.[14]

Tiger and crocodile pishacha later assist in the assault on Vritannis, with crocodiles attacking from the water and tigers serving as mounts for the Daka.[15][16] A makara appeared as Guts' party left the premises[16] where it would be slain by Guts, who drove his sword through its brain and blasted it apart.[11] Shortly afterward, no less than five of them appear following the elimination of the daka that were being deployed in the harbor. Once the daka are defeated, Guts dispatches the makara.[17]

Pishacha are present when Ganishka uses the man-made beherit to transcend apostlehood. Every pishacha and Kushan in the city caught by the mist is absorbed.

Berserk and the Band of the Hawk[]

Makara appear as a late-game boss in the 2016 game Berserk and the Band of the Hawk.

Makara appear only in the very last two chapters. Only four makaras will appear in the game, and two of these can be skipped without a skilled player even realizing they were there. One will appear as the boss for the beaches outside Vritannis in the chapter "Familiars". One will appear in Vritannis to block access to the harbor; once it is defeated, should a player fall too far behind the party in making it to the harbor, two more Makara will appear to further block access. However, these will not appear if the player leads the party.


  • Daiba considers the kundalini as "the strongest of his pisacha gana".[18]
  • The term "pishacha" (पिशाच) means "fiend" in Sanskrit, an apt description for their fighting style and abilities.
  • The word "Makara" means "giant fish".


  1. ^ a b c d e Berserk :: Volume 28, "Familiars"
  2. ^ a b c Berserk :: Volume 28, "Jñānin"
  3. ^ a b c d e Berserk :: Volume 28, "Makara"
  4. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 31, "Wizard General"
  5. ^ a b c d e Berserk :: Volume 28, "Mysterious Fog"
  6. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 30, "Rusty Birdcage"
  7. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 29, "Colonnade Chamber"
  8. ^ Berserk :: Volume 30, "Suzerain of the Religious Domain"
  9. ^ Berserk :: Volume 27, "Demon Castle"
  10. ^ Berserk :: Volume 30, "Enchanted Tiger"
  11. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 30, "City of the Demon Beasts (2)"
  12. ^ Berserk :: Volume 32, "Great Invasion (1)"
  13. ^ Berserk :: Volume 30, "Intrusion"
  14. ^ Berserk :: Volume 30, "Declaration of War"
  15. ^ Berserk :: Volume 30, "Invasion of the Demon Beasts"
  16. ^ a b Berserk :: Volume 30, "City of the Demon Beasts (1)"
  17. ^ Berserk :: Volume 31, "Sword Beast"
  18. ^ Berserk :: Volume 31, "Wind Coiler"