|English Name:||Accursed Spirits|
|Manga Debut:||The Brand|
|Anime Debut:||The Dragonslayer|
Accursed Spirits is an unofficial name for the spirits of the dead that roam the the Interstice and the shallow levels of the Astral World. They are among the creatures drawn to the Brand of Sacrifice, and come out only at night since they are rendered incorporeal in sunlight.
Accursed spirits are restless and tormented, clinging to life due to lingering regrets. Despite their somewhat pitiable nature, their contempt and hostility will have them attack and possess whatever they can get their hands on within an interstice. Spirits that get too close to their victims may become aware of dark secrets and thoughts that a person may have been hiding, and will use this to break down the minds of a victim and force them to act on them, as happened with Farnese.
Restless spirits, despite being repelled by sunlight, are described as yearning to possess a living body because it is like a warm flame. But they have also possessed corpses, skeletons, and inanimate objects like trees and snow. Restless spirits, until they possess a person or animal, do not present much of a threat on their own, relying on sheer numbers to overwhelm opponents with any defensive skill.
Thought-reading: Spirits can become aware of a person's darkest thoughts and secrets, and have used this ability to torment both Farnese and Guts, with the latter more effected by his inner darkness using the specters to draw strength.
Possession: Accursed spirits can enter the body of an individual and control it, leading them to commit acts they otherwise wouldn't--usually heinous and violent. Just examples would be Farnese and some of the refugees of Saint Albion. Accursed spirits can also enter the bodies of animals, using their feral hosts in very durable ways compared to the similar methods that Kushan create their pishaca. So far, dogs and horses have been shown as victims of possession by accursed spirits.
- Pagan Tree:
- Mad Dogs: Stray canines that have been indwelled by accursed spirits, gaining human-like faces with wide eyes and much longer, sharper teeth.
- Mad Horses: Horses that have been indwelled by accursed spirits. The horses gain wide, expressive eyes and a more human-like jaw, and can speak the human language. One mad horse in particular attempted to force itself on Farnese before being swiftly decapitated by Guts.
Since the incident of the Eclipse onward, while Casca was protected from them for a few years by being placed in an elvish cave, Guts fought against the accursed spirits on a nightly basis while being tormented by them. For this reason, unable to do so for a priest and daughter, Guts typically stays away from other people for their own safety.
The Accursed spirits play a larger role in the Conviction Arc, as the forces of Causality trigger the events that bring Casca to St. Albion, the city itself being infested with a thousand years' worth of accursed spirits of those who died of torture at the hands of the Holy See's inquisitors or fell to disease and starvation. When Casca's child attempts to protect Casca from possessed pagans, it resulted in a chain of events that placed her within the Tower of Conviction. With Guts arriving to Albion, the presence of two Brands of Sacrifice intensified the spirits' presence and numbers exponentially. This led to the spirits of the tortured to manifest through acidic blood while the spirits of the starved and diseased inhabit the mangled mounds of corpses in the mass graves. Ultimately, consuming any living being within their reach, the spirits are used in the Incarnation Ceremony to reconstitute Griffith's physical form.
The accursed spirits begin to have less presence in Guts' life after he meets Schierke, who can temporarily seal the Brands with a talisman. However, rendered harmless in his presence, the accursed spirits have been used by Griffith to give the people of Falconia peace of mind of seeing departed loved ones before sending the spirits off to the next plane of existence.
Other Appearances Edit
Sword of the Berserk Edit
Berserk and the Band of the Hawk Edit
In the 2016 game Berserk and the Band of the Hawk, the Accursed Spirits make up a large bulk of the fodder enemies from the halfway point of the game onward, and the player may regularly be asked to kill up to a thousand of them in one sitting. They are no more dangerous than any other fodder enemies.
Accursed spirits are also present in the Endless Eclipse. Here, they serve a more challenging function as Mad Horses. On certain stages, Mad Horses may appear to pursue players across the map and violently and relentlessly attack. The player will be tasked with either defeating them or escaping from them, and the latter will be extremely difficult due to the fact that the Mad Horses will follow the player to the next layer even from as far away as half the map, and move extremely fast. Defeating them is also no easy task, as Mad Horses have immense health and durability, easily outpacing some bosses, and will restore 3% of their own health every few seconds. However, a large reward can be gained for putting them down.
- In the Visual & Story File artbook, a spirit is known as a "ゴースト", "ghost", whilst a possessed corpse is known as a "ゾンビ", "zombie".