Iris Zeppelin (biological daughter)
Zorne Zeppelin (adopted daughter)
Raimund Seyfarth (gatekeeper of his castle)
|Weakness||Rosenkreuzstilette: Klageharnisch |
|Voice Actor||Aigon (JP)|
Tristan MacAvery (ENG)
Count Michael Zeppelin (ミヒャエル・ゼッペリン伯爵, Mihyaeru Zepperin hakushaku) is the leader of the RKS, succeeding Rosenkreuz, and one of the main antagonists of Rosenkreuzstilette. He is the adoptive father of Zorne Zeppelin and biological father of Iris Zeppelin. An authority figure on magical research, he was once a kind man whom everyone looked up to like a father. When persecution from the Holy Empire began once more, he became a vampire and commanded Freudia Neuwahl to lead a rebellion against the Empire in their attempt to destroy it.
Zeppelin is a well-dressed character wearing a dark blue tuxedo and dark blue shoes and wearing a dark blue cape over it with red insides and wearing a red hankerchief. His hair is silver and his eyes (pupils of course, unless during his transformation and in his demon form) glow blood red. In his demon form, he resembles a blue, muscular humanoid/draconic beast with glowing red eyes and blood-red horns.
- "Grant me power...!"
- —Count Michael Zeppelin, Rosenkreuzstilette
Despite his frightening appearance and the darkness within his eyes, Count Zeppelin is an Imperial nobleman at heart, respected by many. He promotes the ideal of a peaceful world for Magi, as he is a powerful Magus himself in his own right.
Count Zeppelin has access to various powers gained through using the forbidden arts. His signature ability, Fire Wave, grants him the ability to launch a flaming trail across the floor. Thanks to the pact he made with the Devil, he can transform into several bats, an ability gained from having become a vampire. Said pact also gave him the ability to transform into a huge demonic beast known as the Nightwalker (夜を往くもの, Yoru o iku mono).
Count Zeppelin led the rebellion of the RKS with Freudia Neuwahl along with the other Magi of the RKS. When Spiritia Rosenberg refused to join in the rebellion with the others, he branded her as a traitor to the organization and ordered the members of the RKS to kill her. He also imprisoned Liebea Palesch in the Research Tower for refusing to take part of the rebellion. During Liebea's imprisonment, Zeppelin told her that it was hopeless to pray for her brother, Kahl Palesch's safety after the Holy Empire took him as a prisoner. Despite their efforts, the other members of the RKS were unable to stop Spiritia from preventing the rebellion. It was later revealed that Zeppelin had been using forbidden arts and forged a pact with the Devil to command an army of monsters, demons, and the undead. He also brought back Raimund Seyfarth from the dead to guard the bridge leading to his castle keep.
When Spiritia finally confronted him, Zeppelin told her the truth behind the Empire, that the land has no Emperor and was ruled by the Orthodox Church. He goes on to explain that the Church planned to take his daughter's life and thus he fought against them to protect her. He explained to Spiritia that Rosenkreuz, the most powerful Magus in the world, was feared by the Church and devoted his life to help free Magi from persecution. The Orthodox Church treated Magi as demons, and Rosenkreuz as the Devil himself. Zeppelin recounts how Rosenkreuz gave his life for the Magi so that they can work together with the Church as their subordinates, leading to the creation of Rosenkreuzstilette: the "Blades of the Rose Cross".
Zeppelin also revealed to Spiritia that his own daughter, Iris, was born with Rosenkreuz's power and intelligence, thus making Iris his reincarnation. As grateful as he as that his daughter inherited Rosenkreuz power and knowledge, he concealed the truth about Iris from the Church. He made a careless mistake after he found out there was a spy within the RKS: He only told the secret of Iris to a select few that he could trust, then he revealed that the spy was Liebea's brother, Kahl. The Church learned about Iris' secrets through him and Zeppelin launched attack against the Empire with the current manpower of the RKS. The reason for the attack was to prevent people from causing an uproar and he was worried that Liebea would become an adversary. As powerful as Liebea was, she is still a paciest at heart. That is when Zeppelin told her that her brother was taken captive by the Church. He insists that every word he spoke was true, that the "new world for Magi" and the protection of Iris' life are one in the same. He wishes that Spiritia would rejoin them in the rebellion, but she refuses. A battle between them ensued, Zeppelin challenging her to show him the true extent of her power if she is so certain of herself.
After the battle, Zeppelin was at Spiritia's mercy, though she was willing to forgive him if he set things right. Zeppelin was first asked of Kahl's location, then asked him why he imprisoned Kahl in the first place. Zeppelin told her that Kahl made an attempt on Iris' life. Lilli then began piecing everything together about the war until she realized something was wrong; she wondered why was Iris at the Imperial Training Hall when it all started. That was when Zeppelin revealed that Iris was with him the entire time to inform him about Kahl. Before anyone had time to react to this, Iris launched a Blitzstrahl attack from behind Zeppelin in an attempt to kill Spiritia. The attack obliterated him into a burst of flames.
When Grolla made an attempt to kill Iris, Count Zeppelin branded her as a traitor to the organization. After Grolla had slain her now-undead grandfather, she vowed vengeance against him for disturbing the peace of her grandfather and having him fight against her. After having fought her way past several guards throughout the Castle Keep, she angrily burst into his throne room shouting out his name in rage. Zeppelin was surprised at such a "rude entrance" and thought it was ludicrously fitting for a traitor. Grolla told the demon, as she called him, to be silent and know that the price for toying with the souls of the dead is high. Zeppelin realized that was what had her so aggravated. He revealed that he required immense power that would never betray him and thus made a pact with the Devil and began using the forbidden arts. As Grolla wondered if it was for Iris and he agreed, it turned out that Zeppelin was manipulated by Iris into believing that Grolla was an assassin working for the Church to assassinate Iris. Knowing that she worked for no one but the very organization that she showed undying devotion to, she both pitied and insulted him for being so easily deceived by his own daughter. Amused by Grolla saying to him that he didn't even know he was being deceived by his own flesh and blood, Zeppelin believed her to be the one who is being deceived, not himself. Grolla asked him if he was saying that he would believe no one but Iris no matter what. Zeppelin, not being able to know where traitors lie, refused to hear that from her. Grolla admitted that she was a fool for having respected him and wondered what those who still shared his ideals would think if they could see him the way he was. The amused Zeppelin was willing to allow Grolla to say what she wished, and was even willing to become the Devil himself in order to protect Iris. That was fine with Grolla, who was willing to become a demon slayer and crush Zeppelin where he stood. Zeppelin taunted her, and from there, a battle ensued, and eventually Grolla emerged victorious. She then asked Zeppelin, the Devil as she called him, who was shocked to not have expected such an outcome, if he had any last words. Just before she could finish off Zeppelin, Grolla saw Iris' attack from behind him and leaped out of the way. He met a similar fate to that in Spiritia's story.
- Main article: Zeppelin's Castle
Count Zeppelin will teleport around in a Dracula-like fashion, then releases a trail of flames that race along the ground and rises into pillars of flames. If the player attacks him, he'll turn into a swarm of bats that will rush into the player's location.
Once enough damage is taken, he will sink through the floor, and afterwards a large shadow will appear and he will re-emerge from it as the Nightwalker. This beast has a very simple attack pattern; he will spit three fireballs that glide along the ground, then leap to the other side, spitting down three embers that explode into flaming pillars upon contact with the ground as he lands. If the player does not jump when he lands, the tremor he causes will momentarily stops the player from moving and leaves them open for an attack. He repeats this pattern throughout the rest of the battle.
Even though he was killed by Iris in the original game, Count Zeppelin makes a surprise returning appearance in Rosenkreuzstilette ~Freudenstachel~ as the boss of the first Iris Stage, having been resurrected by Iris. He is also one of the few characters not to receive a redesign, alongside Spiritia, Liebea, and Schwer-Muta Casasola Merkle.
Zeppelin appears just as Freudia enters the throne room at the end of the stage, where she is shocked to learn that he lives once again. Freudia quickly realizes that Count Zeppelin was brainwashed by Iris to think that it was Spiritia who killed him and that Iris resurrected him through her prayers. Zeppelin asks Freudia to join him in the destruction of the old, corrupt world in creation of a new, better one, though Freudia refuses, telling him that such a thing is only a fantasy. Zeppelin declares Freudia to be foolish and transforms into the Nightwalker once again.
After being defeated, Freudia tells Strudel that the Count will lay in rest this time and confirms to herself that "Iris, you are not a human after all".
Pamela Arwig stumbles upon count Zeppelin while going after the Iris. Zeppelin recognizes Pamela as the offspring of the Arwig clan and asks her to join him in the creation of a new world and is refuted in the same manner as in Freudenstachel.
After being defeated, Pamela leaves behind the comment "What a nightmare" and leaves.
Count Zeppelin will spit several fireballs upwards, after which they will come back down from the top of the screen in an attempt to hit the player character. To avoid them, the player must anticipate where they will fall and move out of the way when possible. The Count will also try to crush the player with his hands, slamming the floor with one hand at a time, before moving them off the sides of the screen. During the battle, the two skull platforms floating on the sides of the screen will fire lightning bolts from their top and bottom. Sometimes, they will fall down and attempt to damage the player. After they hit the floor, the player can board them and ride them up to Zeppelin's head, which is his weak point and therefore must be attacked to damage him, but the player must stand on the sides of the platforms to avoid taking damage from the lightning bolts fired from them. When he goes into Desperation Mode, he will spit more fireballs and start firing lasers that act in the same fashion as the ones found throughout the stage before him, which the player must go beneath the platforms to avoid.
His weakness is Kopiekreisel, which is learned from Trau. Kopiekreisel will kill him in one hit.
- 「その実力……示してみせろ……！」 ("Sono jitsuryoku... shimeshite misero...!") ("Show me your power...!")
- 「戯れ言は終わりだ……」 ("Zaregoto wa owarida...") ("Playtime is over...")
- 「身の程を知れ……」 ("Minohodowoshire...") ("Know your place...")
- Flame Attack:
- 「はっ」 ("Ha-!")
- 「ふっ」 ("Hu-!")
- 「燃えろ」 ("Moero.") ("Burn.")
- Bat Rush Attack:
- 「愚かな……」 ("Orokana...") ("Foolish...")
- 「闇よ！」 ("Yami yo!") ("By darkness!")
- 「かゆい」 ("Kayui.") ("Itchy.")
- 「当たらんな……」 ("Ataran na...") ("You have missed...")
- 「無駄だ……」 ("Mudada...") ("Useless...")
- 「光よ！」 ("Hikari yo!") ("Light it!")
- Desperation Mode:
- 「我に力を……！」 ("Ware ni chikara o...!") ("Grant me power...!")
- 「終わらぬ悪夢だ……！」 ("Owaranu akumu da...!") ("Endless nightmare...!")
- Damage (Weakness Weapon):
- 「うぅおお……」 ("Uuoo-...")
- 「こうする以外に無いのだよ……」 ("Kō suru igai ni nai noda yo...") ("There is no other way...")
- 「力の無い正義など無意味だ……」 ("Chikara no nai seigi nado muimida...") ("Justice without force is meaningless...")
- 「どうした……この程度か？」 ("Dō shita... kono teido ka?") ("What... is that all?")
- 「ぬぉぉっ！？ぅあぁ…」 ("Guooa!? Ugh...")
- 「我に力を！！！」 ("Ware ni chikara o!!") ("Grant us power!!")
- Count Zeppelin is named after Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, a German general and aircraft manufacturer and founder of the Zeppelin Airship company.
- Count Zeppelin bears many allusions to Count Dracula from the Castlevania series, most notably, Count Dracula's incarnation from Castlevania: Rondo of Blood. Zeppelin can also transform into the Nightwalker, which is a large demon, when he has taken enough damage, just like Count Dracula. He also resurrected Grolla's grandfather, Raimund Seyfarth, in the form of the Grim Reaper to guard his castle. His quote, 「我に力を……！」 ("Grant me power...!"), is also the same line spoken by Count Dracula when he transforms into his demon form.
- Count Zeppelin's dialog theme is reminiscent to the final stage theme, "Poison Mind" from Castlevania: Rondo of Blood.
- Count Zeppelin's line during his transformation, 「終わらぬ悪夢だ……！」 ("I am the devil...!"), is a reference to a spoken line of Dr. Weil in Mega Man Zero 4 when he fused his body with the Ragnarok during the game's final events.
- Zeppelin's attacks during his first form is reminiscent to Heat Man from Mega Man 2. He also shares Heat Man's weakness to a water-based weapon.
- Zeppelin's seiyuu, Aigon, also voices Raimund Seyfarth, Grolla Seyfarth's grandfather and mentor.
- His introduction in ~Freudenstachel~ is reminiscent of Dracula's tradition of drinking from his chalice and then tossing it onto the floor and shattering it before starting a battle with the heroes in the Castlevania series.
|Rosenkreuzstilette||Spiritia Rosenberg · Freudia Neuwahl · Zorne Zeppelin · Trauare Wrede · Luste Teuber · Grolla Seyfarth · Sichte Meister · Liebea Palesch · Schwer-Muta Casasola Merkle · Doris Warmind · Raimund Seyfarth · Kahl Palesch · Rosenkreuz|
|Schwarzkreuz||Pamela Arwig · Schirach Fühler · Recht & Link Refraktia|
|Fairies and Animals||Lilli · Strudel · Zeppy · Talos|
|Villains||Michael Zeppelin · Eifer Skute · Iris Zeppelin|