|Also known as||
Lord of Koka Castle
Kan Tokumaru (1997 Anime)
Lex Watus (1997 Anime)
Ruler of Koka
The Snake Baron is an Apostle of the God Hand. He has made himself the local ruler of the town of Koka, in place of the Lord Mayor of Koka and feeds on the local prisoners. He is the first real demonic antagonist that Guts faces in the manga and the first anime proper, and as such, his cruel and monstrous nature helps set the tone for monsters and villains to come in the series.
A large man in human form, the Baron is depicted much like Count Orlok with a long, pale face containing sharp, yet separated teeth. His hair is of a dark, slicked back black and his eyes pale as can be while resembling a snake's. He is also shown to be fairly tall, yet very skinny and wears the dress of a noble, a dark open trench coat of sorts with a white furred trim running from the base to the collared hood, the result bears semblance to a cobra. Beneath that he wears a red linen, button down shirt and dark pants. True to his name, the Baron wears a suit of snake-like armor that is heavily plated in gold decoration with claws on the tops of the gauntlets and an armored hood that looks like the head of a cobra. He is equipped with a halberd and rides upon a fine dark horse, adorned in armor itself. The armor also has a flowing black cape.
In his true form, his size increased greatly, the Snake Baron resembles a massive king cobra with long, muscular arms and legs. His entire body is coated in hard scale and the only feature left from his human form is his face situated within the mouth of his cobra head with the snake-tongue protruding from where his mouth should be. In this form, the Snake Baron can use his tail as a weapon.
When first shown, he appears to be a calm man and doesn't reprimand the leader of the bandits that caused trouble in the bar earlier but instead moves on to the Mayor and shows his true colors as a vile, despicable man who couldn't care less for human life, and in fact actively takes pleasure in committing evil acts against it. He viewed human beings as food and objects to be torn apart and eaten at his leisure, and gleefully demanded women and children be sent to him to be eaten in order to keep the town from being overrun by thieves.
When in battle, he glorifies himself as an all-powerful being due to his species as an Apostle and will stop at nothing to prove that. He's also very confident in his abilities; and as a result, he tends to underestimate his opponents (typically humans) as shown with Guts who quickly unhorses him and sends his human form flying through a building. After taking on his Apostle form, his confidence rises to a godlike demeanor and he treats Guts more and more like a weakling human than he did before, telling him that humans are nothing more than morsels and that food should act like food while Guts continues fighting on. However, when the Baron loses most of his body due to several attacks by Guts, his attitude goes from confidence to begging for mercy at a pitiful level. He made himself out to be a higher Apostle than he actually was but in the end, he admitted to Guts that a lowly Apostle like himself knows nothing of the whereabouts or workings of the God Hand. In the very end, he shows intense fear of dying like most Apostles near death, and therefore dies a weakling after condemning so many as weak themselves.
Golden Age Arc Edit
While his background is unknown, the Snake Baron was among the Apostles that attended the Eclipse that would make Griffith the last member of the God Hand as he was seen from a distance by two hunters in the forest cutting a tree. Sometime after, the Snake Baron came to the town of Koka and placed the town under his control by forcing the mayor to send him the village's maidens for his nourishment to keep him from destroying the town. This allows the Snake Baron's bandit underlings, apparently unaware of his true nature, to run the town for him.
Black Swordsman Arc Edit
While having a meal created from one of his victims, the Snake Baron receives news that the Black Swordsman has attacked his lackies at a tavern in Koka while leaving a survivor to tell the Baron that he is coming for him. He then proceeds wonder who this man is when the Mayor has arrived, having placed the troublemaker in jail and offering more gold and people for forgiveness. But the Baron accuses the mayor for fearing his life more that his people, revealing he preferred to see people succumb to chaos as he reveals his intention of burning the town in somewhat of a poetic manner before ordering the mayor away. Soon after, the Baron and his bandits lay waste to Koka, killing all its people before proceeding to set the town on fire.
But Guts, having escaped confinement prior to the slaughter, makes his move and kills the Baron's henchmen before facing the apostle himself. Confident, the Baron accepts Guts' challenge as he attempts to ram the swordsman through with his halberd before being knocked off his steed. From there, the Baron assumes his true form while voicing his intent to eat Guts alive. The Baron proceeds to overpower before picking him up by his right arm to further degrade him as a human with more speeches. But Guts uses that moment to fire his prosthetic and blow half of the Snake Baron's face off, leaving open to be bifurcated by Guts. Reduced to a torso, the Baron is unable to defend himself from being shot by Guts' bolts. The Baron pleas for his life while recognizing Guts as a survivor of the Eclipse upon seeing his "Brand of Sacrifice". The Baron reveals he has no idea where the God Hand are, with Guts leaving him to die in the fire he started as the apostle is buried alive in burning debris.
Berserk and the Band of the Hawk Edit
The Snake Baron, here called the Lord of Thieves, appears as a boss in the 2016 game Berserk and the Band of the Hawk.
His initial appearance in Story Mode is in the chapter "The Eclipse". However, he can't be defeated here and acts more as a distraction to the player as they attempt to defeat Apostles to progress.
He appears as a beatable boss in the chapter "The Brand's Guidance". Contrary to the short fight in the original manga, the Lord of Thieves is quite the difficult fight here. He has three health bars and is quite fast, and has an aggravating habit of using his tail swipe attack often, stunlocking the player and, unless avoided, running them into a corner to be swiped to death. He yields a Beherit upon defeat.
The Lord of Thieves also appears in the Endless Eclipse. Players will find him on Layer 50. He also appears as the boss of Layer 97 of Guts' Endless Eclipse.
- In the 1997 anime series adaption, the Snake Baron assumes the Count's role of being the Apostle whose Beherit was taken by Guts upon his death. The Snake Baron does not make an appearance in the 2016 anime adaptation.
- For his entire appearance, his face is almost never shown clearly without shadow. Without the mask, there is always a side angle or some deep shadow covering the character, most likely to install a sense of mystery and darkness to him. With the mask on, his face is typically shown hidden in blackness with glowing white eyes and sometimes his teeth shining through. Guts shares this style during certain times where he's in a Berserk rage, making himself almost appear as a demon.
- The Baron doesn't officially have a name of his own, but this is what he is referred to, and, as such, keeps the title.
- In the video game Berserk and the Band of the Hawk, the Snake Baron is listed as the Lord of Thieves.
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