Leader of the Black Dog Knights
Wyald (ワイアルド Waiarudo?) was an Apostle who was the leader of the Black Dog Knights. Possessing simian features and abnormal fighting abilities, Wyald was characterized by his carefree personality and intense libertine bloodlust and sexuality.
Wyald appears human at first glance but actually resembles an ape more than a human. His overall body structure and clothing resembles Zodd's, with a long, jutting face and wide eyes with wild, thick hair and heavy brows. Nude in his first panel, he is shown to be rippling with muscle with a coating of body hair almost resembling actual fur. When going into battle, Wyald donned thick animal skins and pelts alongside armor, including an actual skinned dog as a helm, increasing his brutish appearance.
In his apostle form, his arms fuse into his torso as his waist transforms into an ape-like body with a mouth in his "chest" that has a flower-like penile tongue and multiple eyes across his body, one on each shoulder and one at the fusion of his upper waist and lower neck.
Wyald was by all definition, a libertine, always following his motto "Excitement and Enjoyment". He possessed an almost gleeful childlike lust for battle, never taking his fights seriously, fighting Guts using only a log. Guts himself comments on his carelessness, that his technique is sloppy and he compensates with his inhuman reflexes. He often put his men in serious danger for the sake of "fun", recklessly charging them through the Falcons traps, killing a soldier beforehand after he protests and massacring them when they lost their morale. Wyald has absolutely no semblance of morality or empathy; he raped and mutilated women, he burned children alive, he killed his own soldiers, mostly for fun and he strips Casca naked to humiliate her in front of her own men.
However, when the situation is dire, Wyald loses his usual cocky and playful attitude and becomes desperate, holding Griffith hostage in order to summon the God Hand to restore him. He later attempts to justify his actions to Nosferatu Zodd, who quickly kills him for endangering the one destined to be a God Hand.
Wyald has an unbelievable amount of strength, as he was capable of crushing one of his men's skulls with only two fingers, punched a falling boulder into pieces, stopped Guts' sword with his teeth, and ripped a tree apart with his hands. He also has superhuman reflexes and speed, being able to parry/block all of Guts' attacks with ease using a simple log and being able to impale a monster at speeds faster than the eye can see.
While he is already immensely powerful and agile in his human form, his demon form presents a massive boost in his basic abilities to the point where he can take out dozens of armed men with a tree trunk. His attacks also proved strong enough to break Guts' large sword.
Golden Age Arc Edit
Very little is known about Wyald's life before he became an apostle, other than that he was a small frail old man who presumably regretted not living the life that he wanted. At some point after becoming an apostle he was taken prisoner, though how he was able to be captured despite being superhuman is unknown. It was this imprisonment which led him to meet the King of Midland, who ordered all able bodied prisoners to be assembled and drafted into war. Wyald volunteered as leader of this new army claiming that he was the strongest and the position was his by right. An enormous man known as Barbo the armor hacker approached to challenge his claim and the two fought to the death for the right of leadership. In order to earn the fear and respect of the other convicts, Wyald killed him in a spectacular fashion; by impaling him on the spike of a tower. Wyald and his army of convicts named the "Black Dog Knights" gained an infamous reputation for being the most cruel and barbarous army in all of Midland as their habit of instigating atrocities caused them to be banished to the outskirts of Midland away from the King's sight.
When the Band of the Falcon rescued Griffith and escorted him out of Wyndham, the King ordered the Black Dog Knights to hunt them down. Though Wyald was reluctant to carry out the task, he changes his mind upon hearing the king's wish for Griffith to die. In pursuit of the Falcons, Wyald's group comes across a farm that aided the Falcons, having all the residents slaughtered and the women raped. When the Black Dogs came in contact with the Falcons, they fell victim to many of the Falcons' traps, with only Wyald and a few of his men continuing after them before the pursuit turned into a full on battle against Guts.
After realizing his men were outmatched, and killing them indiscriminately when morale fell, Wyald decided to assume his true form. After a long and brutal fight against Guts, Wyald is critically wounded and presumed dead with the scouts guarding the corpse. However, Wyald was feigning death and kills the scouts before crawling to the Falcons' camp and taking Griffith hostage, intending to start the Eclipse early to save his own life. After destroying the Falcons' morale by stripping Griffith down to reveal the full extent of the torture inflicted upon him, Wyald panics, unable to find Griffith's Beherit. He is then impaled on the horns of Nosferatu Zodd, who intervenes to ensure that Griffith arrives at the destined time and place of the Eclipse. Wyald begs for mercy, justifying that he was only following the God Hand's one law of "Do as thou wilt". Zodd rebuts that to be his reason to kill Wyald for endangering Griffith, ripping his stomach open. Now dead, Wyald's spiritual essence is dragged into the Abyss with his body is reduced to that of the old man he used to be.
Berserk and the Band of the Hawk Edit
Wyald is a boss and playable character in the 2016 game Berserk and the Band of the Hawk. He features as a boss in the Devil Dogs chapter, in which he will reappear every so often until the one-on-one battle, after which he shifts to his Apostle form and the true battle commences.
Wyald is one of the more difficult bosses for starting players, due to his wide variety of long-range attacks with high knockback. His rock gravel spit attack should be avoided at all costs, as should his tree spin. The chapter provides a means of defeating Wyald that references its manga counterpart: Guts can use trees around the area and lure Wyald into attacking them, dizzying him for a small period and opening him up for counterattack. The horse can also be used to perform hit and run attacks.
Wyald can be unlocked as a playable character by playing through and completing 30% of the Endless Eclipse. His fighting style, uniquely, revolves around his attitude, with him taunting opponents after nearly every attack. To use him effectively, players must counteract this, which is done fairly easily with the dash cancel. Wyald packs a lot of power and swings faster than Zodd, but has very poor aim due to his wild swings and may miss enemies even directly in front of him. His rolling attack (X/X/△) is quite fast and can be used to make distance between him and dangerous opponents, and his digging attack (X/X/X/△/△/△) is very powerful and can be used to avoid enemy attacks while landing one's own. Wyald's sub-weapon moves include Wyald Cry, which automatically dizzies all surrounding enemies, Wyald's Club, which tosses Wyald's club forward for heavy damage, and Black Dog Knights' Creed, which increases Wyald's attack for a short time. His Deathblow animation involves him ripping a tree up and spinning with it, which can hit enemies multiple times for heavy damage.
Like Zodd, Wyald can transform into his Apostle form when his Deathblow gauge is full to wreak havoc. His sub-weapon moves include Wyald's Tree, Wyald Rock Gravel, Wyald Avalanche, and Wyald Throw, all moves used in his boss fight. His Deathblow is Wyald Jump, wherein he jumps up and slams down to the ground with great force, dealing massive damage.
Wyald appears as a boss in Endless Eclipse, waiting on Layers 39 (in normal form) and 40 (in Apostle form). He also appears on Layer 98 of Zodd's Endless Eclipse in Apostle form, and on Layers 96 and 98 in Judeau's Endless Eclipse in normal and Apostle forms. His final five bosses on Layers 96--100 are Casca, Judeau, Zodd, Apostle Zodd, and Femto in that order. The reward for defeating Femto on Layer 100 is the Apostle costume, which makes Wyald's Apostle form the default.
- Wyald has not appeared in either the animated series nor the movie series. Because of his omission, the destruction of Guts' sword during this particular part of the Golden Age arc isn't explored either. However, the silhouette of an apostle that looks nearly identical to Wyald's apostle form can be seen among the apostles gathered at the Eclipse before the Sacrifice begins in the 1997 version anime.
- Wyald's first adaptation appearance finally occurs in the video game adaptation Berserk and the Band of the Hawk.
- Wyald speaks several English phrases in the game, notably his creed "Enjoy and Excite!" and the calls of his Apostle Attacks.
- Wyald is the first apostle that Guts successfully defeats, although not the first one he fought.
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